Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What God Says Is Good

Psalm 119:39(MSG)
Deflect the harsh words of my critics--
but what you say is always so good.

His Word is so good!
The words we say to people can be so harsh can't they?  We need to be so careful that we are building up rather than tearing down.  This is especially true where our children are concerned.  They are always listening to what we say.  It may not seem like they hear us, but they do indeed. 

I have forgotten a lot of things through the years, but the memories that stick most forcefully in my mind are the words of encouragement and in stark contrast the words of discouragement that people have said to me!  We tend to replay those words over and over again.  This verse is a good reminder to me to let my words be uplifting and kind.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for Your words that are always good.  Please forgive the careless and selfish words that sometimes spew from my mouth.  Guard my tongue in the future and help me to use words that build up instead of tear down.
In Jesus name,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

He Is Your Guard

Psalm 121:7-8(MSG)
God guards you from every evil, He guards your very life.  He guards you when you leave and when you return, He guards you now, He guards you always.
You might feel vunerable~but God's got your back!

After yesterday's verse about God's promises, I thought I would post these two verses tonight.  They are an amazing comfort and an incredible reminder that God is with you....wherever you find yourself right now as you read this.  He is guarding your very life!!  Wow...what else do we need?

Thank you for these words of assurance.  Increase my faith in Your loving protective ways.  Teach me to trust You more.
In the guarding name of Jesus,

Monday, April 23, 2012


Psalm 119:38(MSG)
Affirm Your promises to me--
promises made to all who fear You.
Cease His promises!

As you read this today, you may find yourself in the middle of a heartbreaking situation.  I want you to hear that God is good!  I want you to know that He promises you a hope and a future.  That He has not forgotten you!  That He loves you.....deeply...beyond what you or I in our human mind can conceive.  He sees and hears you today.....I promise...and more importantly....He promises!  His love never quits!  His love never fails! (Psalm 136)

I know that there are those with heavy burdens today.  Lighten their loads and give them Your assurance that You will see them through.
In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Homeless Wanderer

Psalm 119:37(MSG)
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
I am a Ci-Co Girl.  (Pronounced "Sick-O".)  Have you heard of that word?  Ci-Co?  You won't find it in Webster's Dictionary.  It can only be found in "Wiser's Dictionary".  In this book there are words that I myself made up...and sense my last name is have....yeap you guessed it...the "Wiser's Dictionary".  Anyway, I will probably need to define this one for you, sense my dictionary has not been picked up for publishing yet.  Ci-Co Girl defines a girl who is a cross between a city girl and a country girl.

Let me expound on that.  You see, when I go to a city such as, oh let's just say Atlanta, I feel very much like a country girl.  However, when I go out to my sister's house in the country and I enter the barn and hear them say they are going to "put up hay",  I'm looking around for the cabinets to neatly stack some pieces of straw in to get them out of the way.  It is at that point that I feel very much like a city girl.  You understand?  I don't fit in either place.  I am not a savvy city girl and I'm certainly far from being an official country girl.  I'm a Ci-Co Girl.

Take, for example, my recent trip to Atlanta.  I flew in to stay with my niece.  Upon arrival at the airport, I disembarked the plane and promptly started reading the signs.  My destination was "Ground Transportation".  I had studied well before hand the lay out of this monstrous airport.  I cocked my head back and meandered down the concourse with the rest of the weary travelers.  I know I looked quite comfortable.  (I had practiced the look.)  I seemed to fit in. 

On the inside, however, I was rehearsing my route.  It went something like this....Take the next right and follow it to the tram.  Board the tram and ride it to the "ground transportation" sign.  Get off the tram and walk through the gates to the MARTA system (Atlanta's Rail System).  Saunter over to the MARTA store and nonchalantly purchase a MARTA riding card.  Swipe the card past the infrared gate opener and shuffle through the opening like you have done this a thousand times.  (That would have worked too, I might add, had I not been waiting for the wrong gate to open.  I stood there swiping and swiping my card all the while not realizing that the gate to my left was open for me!  It took the real "City Girl" behind me to politely inform me to use the other gate!)  Board the subway, flop in a chair like you own the place and ride it through down town Atlanta!  Listen carefully, while pretending to read your book, for the "Red Route" disembarking prompter.  DO NOT get off early by accident, because then I will be on the Green Route or the Gold Route.....they will take me to the wrong place!!  It was a busy place in my head that day with all of those directions floating around...let me tell you!

The bottom line in all of that was to say, that as long as I stayed on my "route", I would eventually get to my destination.  I did reach my niece's house without incident by the way.  I also had an escort (my sweet brother-in-law) who met me at the MARTA entrance to ensure my safe travel.  I looked like I belonged there, but I really didn't belong there on that subway anymore than I belong in the barn "mucking out" a stall!  (I do know what that one means....although I have never officially done it.)   

I spotted these two ducks crossing over the bridge instead
of swimming to get to the other side of the river!
  I have never seen ducks take this route!
I had to chuckle as they navigated down the stairs!
This verse prompted me to think about the word pilgrim.  At it's most basic meaning, the word pilgrim is defined as "traveler or homeless wanderer".  In the Latin orientation it refers to a "foreigner or stranger." 

We really are strangers here on earth, aren't we?  Wandering around trying to figure out where we fit in.  The thing is, that we will never "fit in" in this world if we are a child of the King.  And that's okay, because we were never meant to.  As a Christ follower I don't have to feel comfortable here on planet earth.  It's only my temporary home.  I just need to find the gifts and talents He has given me, so that I might utilize them to help His children and thereby to glorify His name on my travels. 

The best way I know to identify my gifts and talents, and therefore decrease my wandering aimlessly without purpose, is to define my convictions.  At the very core of that task is to recognize the difference between my convictions and my preferences.  My convictions are my non-negotiable core beliefs.  These convictions will be the fuel to motivate my actions and uncover any God given talents, so I can use them.  They keep me on track.  I have studied them.  I have memorized them.  I will not waiver from them.  My personal convictions are based upon the Word of God and my preferences are usually based upon the word of my flesh, so to speak.

Here are a few of my convictions:
  1. I will love God before anyone or anything else and never belittle His glorious name. (Exodus 20:1-4)
  2. I will Honor my parents. (Exodus 20:12)
  3. I will teach my children to know, honor, and love God. (Ephesians 6:4)
  4. I will treat human life as sacred from the moment of conception.  (Psalm 139:13-16)
  5. I will be satisfied and grateful with what the Lord has blessed me with. (Exodus 20:17)
Thank you for the gift of Your Word that allows my wandering through planet earth to be invigorated with purpose and a clearly defined destination.  You're all I really need to master this portion of my pilgrimage.  Please give Your confidence to each of us today and assure us that the route we are on is the one that You have placed us on.  Help us to listen carefully to Your promptings so  we will remain faithful to fulfill the journey You have designed specifically for each one of us.
In the Holy name of Jesus,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My New Plant

My "Upside Down Plant"
Psalm 119:36(MSG)
Give me a bent for Your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot.

Reading the word "bent" this morning reminded me of this phenomenal new plant I just found!  Take a look at the flower.  If you are a gardener then you probably already recognize this species as a Cyclamen Persicum, but I being a novice to the plant world, had to look up it's name.  It has to be one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time!  I hope you can tell from this picture what it's doing, but if not, then I'll tell you.  It's basically growing upside down.  The flowering portion of the plant is bent to the earth instead of up to the sun.  It's pedals open upward, but the center stays pointing down.  Completely incredible!!

I am observing it to see if bees are interested in it, because they would have to literally fly upside down to get any pollen from it.  Wouldn't that be a funny sight to behold!  Anyway, what is even more fantastic about this plant, is that even though it is upside down, once it blooms, it's pedals still grow toward the light.

There are a few conclusions I have drawn after thinking about my beautiful new plant today.  First of all, this plant that sits on my front porch, where I see it constantly on my coming and going, reminds me that God creates all of His creation so uniquely beautiful.  When I look at it, I'm also reminded that this plant that is so different in it's upside down way is still functioning quite well as a flower.  Maybe looking different is kind of special.  Perhaps I don't want to waste my time trying to look like everybody else. 

This flowering plant and today's verse also remind me that no matter what direction I find myself facing, I will always need to turn to the light of His Words and wisdom to get my nourishment and strength to carry out His plan for me.  The plant is facing down, but it's pedals are raising up to the sun.  It's not much different with me.  I'm surrounded by "loot"....or the material distractions of this world, but "my pedals" or, in this case my heart, needs to remain turned to the Son of God for my light.

You are a creative God!  Thank you for a simple flowering plant to remind me of Your creativity.  Help me to remain turned to Your words and to put them into practice every day this week!
In the creative name of Christ,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The FREE Way

Psalm 119:35(MSG)
Guide me down the road of your commandments;  I love traveling this freeway!

Have you ever been in a hurry?  I mean a real hurry?  The kind where you're driving home and you decide to take a short cut because you just really want to get home.  I did this the other day.  I didn't have any particular reason to be in such a rush.  I was just ready to be home.  Plain and simple.

I quickly thought, "Hey, I never go this way; I think I'll try it and see if it's faster".  I wound all over the city zig~zagging and flying around corners (within the speed limit of course).  I was definitely taking the short cut....sneaking around traffic and averting several traffic lights.  I was pretty impressed with myself.  (Enter the verse about "pride cometh before a fall"  As I approached the last curve and made the turn, I saw orange fences in the road.  Huh?  No way!!  The sign in front of the barricade read in bold letters:  ROAD CLOSED.  Where were the warning signs?  Why didn't they tell me I was headed down a closed road?! 

You probably saw that coming didn't you?  Well, I didn't!  I had to come to a complete stop and turn that flying machine around.  Not only did I have to completely back track, but I had to return to the path I was on.  The usual path...the one with stop lights...traffic...the same scenery.  Ugh....  And to top it off, I was now obviously into my trip for twice the time that I would have been if I would have just stayed on track!

Reading this verse today reminds me of the road I'm on with Christ.  It's quite literally the "FREE way".  While it is true that I have to frequently fight my flesh to stay tuned into His Voice, He is always standing by with words of wisdom and direction to help me arrive at my destination.  He is that gentle voice in chaos that says, "I'm right here.  I haven't let you down in the past and I don't intend to drop you now."  He is that reassuring whisper that tells me to move when I become paralyzed.  He is that compassionate voice that says, "Reach out and help that person.  Don't be afraid."  He is that patient song that plays in myhead and allows me to display grace and mercy instead of retaliation when I've been wronged. 

Yes, Christ is guiding me every day down the road of an abundant life in Him.  It is truly the a wonderful and free way!! 

When I think back to this day eighteen years ago and the birth of our son, I realize Your hand of grace in the delivery of this precious child into our family.  Your loving voice and steady words were our direction then and they remain our direction now.  Thank you for the blessing of his birth and life!  At his young age, he has already been a gift in so many ways.  It is my prayer that you will continue to illuminate our path and give us a sensitivity to Your Spirit that will enable us to bring You glory all the days of our lives!
In the Mighty name of Jesus,