Friday, August 18, 2017

Be the Light in the Darkness

I know I am not alone in having a heavy heart this year. This year has been a time of ups and downs, and one of loss. I have said goodbye to a dear friend / sister-in-law, great aunt and some church family. Also I've watched as my friends have lost close family members. In addition we are all watching as our nation wars against itself and devours itself. This nation seems determined to not be unified. I am sad over this seemingly irreconcilable differences that exist on both extremes. I am more than slightly angry at the media who fans the flames, and frustrated at those who long so passionately for power that there is no level they will not stoop to get it.
So wherever you stand in this politically charged environment, please take a deep breath. Think on what matters. For those of you who are believers, spend time in the word, prayer and in the presence of God. Allow Him time to prepare you. Once He has done His work in you, you should have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness/meekness, and self control displayed in your manner. Once this is done, go forth and make a difference in your sphere of influence.  
We are the hope of the world. We Christians need to look no farther than ourselves to blame for where we are in our society and nation. The world will act and behave like the world.  That should not be a surprise. But for those of us who claim to know Christ, we need to manifest His character. This will not be manufactured but will be infused into us by the work of the Holy Spirit as we surrender to Him.
We need to be ready to share the hope that we have when we are asked. Let me be clear, the hope we have is Jesus. He makes us reconciled with God. He, by His blood, paid for our sin which separated us from God. He will work in us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to make us display this wonderful fruit. The world is crying out for us to display this fruit. So how about we stop complaining about the condition of the world and begin being the difference makers. Let's manifest the hope of Jesus Christ to the world.  
Let the revival begin in you and me.   Remember that the light of Jesus in us will offer light in these dark times. Light is always more noticeable in the dark. So bring the light of Christ into the darkness. I can promise you many are looking for hope.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Encouragement for the Day: Daily Devotionals

Encouragement for the Day: Daily Devotionals: I have attached two daily devotions I wrote for our church blog.  You can check them out below if you are interested. God is Good, God is...

Daily Devotionals

I have attached two daily devotions I wrote for our church blog.  You can check them out below if you are interested.

God is Good, God is Great! Devotion

Faithfulness to God Devotion

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Revelation of the Greatness of God

Have you ever wondered why it is so incredibly hard to do nothing?  Why do we have such a hard time being still and trusting God?  What is it we think our actions accomplish? Can we really receive revelation from God when we are busy doing? 

These questions are points to ponder.  

We serve a God who calls us to wait on Him, to call out to Him, to trust Him and yes sometimes He calls us to action.  Our action is to be in obedience to Him when He leads.

In the scripture reading, God tells the Israelites to stand firm, hold their position and see the salvation of the Lord.  He tells them not to be afraid  and assures them that the battle is for Him to fight for them.  That actually sounds pretty good, so why do we find it so hard to do?

I have been through times of battle.  There have been times when I have fought on my knees and times when I was called to action.  Regardless of where God is leading us, and what He is telling us in our situation, we must start the battle in the same position: On our knees.  This position for us as believers in Jesus is the most effective position. 

Prayer is like spiritually opening the door to our dressing room where we meet with God to put on our armor for the day.  We do not know what the day has in store for us, but God does.  He knows exactly how we need to dress for the day.  So take time to meet with Him. Allow Him to assure you of your salvation, righteousness, peace with Him, and His truth.  While with Him, ask Him to strengthen your faith, and study the word in His presence.  

Once this is done, you are ready for the battle that is in front of you for the day.  You will be able to stand firm if He calls you to stand, and you will be able to fight the battle is He calls you to action. 

This time in prayer is a way to focus on Him.  This time of focus is the best victory for the day.  Once we see Him with a proper perspective, we start to see our reality in light of our God. (Nothing is impossible with God)  Scripture tells us in 2 Cor. 10:5 that we are to take captive every thought that is lifted up against the knowledge of God.  Our enemy always tries to convince us that our battles are too big  and he wants us to reduce the size of our God. He does this by trying to get us to exalt our trials and feel defeated by them.  Our best defense is to set our eyes on the Lord and remain in that position until we get a clearer image of God.  That means He becomes the biggest when stacked up against our battles.  

  1. Ask God to help you get a clearer revelation of Him.
  2. Spend time exalting God.
  3. Ponder on His power, might and all He has already done.
  4. Submit your requests to God in light of His greatness.
  5. Ask God for perspective and take your thoughts captive and make them obey Christ.

“Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is!”

The Glory of God

I am so comforted to think that God is always with me. Recently, I was overwhelmed by how many times in scripture we are told that God is with us.  He tells us in the old and New Testament.  He tells us that He will not leave us nor forsake us. As if the God of the universe always being with us were not enough already, He also tells us He will fight for us against our enemies.   

We are the absolute luckiest, most blessed of all people because we have the presence of this marvelous God.  He is our purpose for living and our greatest prize. We get the pleasure to enter into an intimate relationship with Him. We get to not only enjoy His glory, but we also get to manifest His glory to the world.

The Lord wants to reveal Himself to us and through us.  He wants to be made known to all the earth.  Glory of God is simply the physical manifestation of God.  We who are His followers can be used by God to reveal His glory to the unbelieving world.   What an amazing honor God has bestowed upon us!
The angels totally knew how to acknowledge the greatness of God as you see in Isaiah 6:3. The whole earth is filled with His glory.  We can see the physical manifestation all around us, and as we spend time with Him, He begins to be displayed in us.

  1. Give thanks to God today as you just meditate on His greatness.
  2. Thank Him for making Himself known.
  3. Spend time today resting in His presence.
  4. Allow God to cover you as you wait on Him.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Maintaining a Vibrant Prayer Life

Why do we as Christians come to God with a list of requests if we come at all to Him in prayer?  Is it because we live in a society filled with messages of self?  Could it be that we are so self-centered that we don’t even realize we have made even our spiritual pursuits about ourselves? Also, could it be that we really don’t believe that prayer matters all that much, and that is the reason we don’t regularly pray?

Our sermon Sunday was encouraging us to develop a vibrant prayer life.  To do this, you need to remember that prayer is not a magic spell you cast to get circumstances to work out in your favor. Nor is it a list of things you command God to do for you. I firmly believe that prayer is simply communicating with God regularly.  It is the best part of our walk with Him.  It is where we engage in communication with our Creator. Prayer is a wonderful way to align ourselves and our perspective up with God. Prayer is where most of our battle against the enemy is won.

As I talk to God in prayer, I remind myself of who He is, what He has done, how big and able He is and how wonderful and good He is. That is praise. By the time I have done this, the List of requests that I had seems to diminish in size and scope.  It brings perspective to my requests and to my circumstances.  So often during my prayer time, I am the thing that changes more than my situations. After a time of praise, I spend some time thanking Him for all He has done for me. That is gratitude. In Psalm 100:4, we are told that we enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  These two things are so powerful to help align our thinking, our will and our perspective. It is the best part of our time with Him.

After we have aligned our thinking, we can bring all our requests to Him.  We can trust Him to lead us to the BEST answer. It may not be what we want to hear, but it is what will be best. We can bring everything to God in prayer. Our anxiousness, our hurts, our disappointments and even our faithlessness. You want to know a secret, He already knows, but we still need to bring it to Him. The act of submitting our requests and our confessions to Him, is our way of giving God access to these parts of our lives.

Prayer matters and is effective. Prayer strengthens our faith.  The more we talk to the Father in prayer, the more we believe Him. The more we believe and trust Him, the stronger our faith becomes.  It was counted to Abraham as righteousness because he believed God.  We know that He believed because when God told Him to go to a place God would show him, Abraham went. Many other evidences in Abraham’s life demonstrated his belief.  Faith is simply demonstrating in action what we believe to be true.  We may say that we believe that God answers prayers, yet we do not pray. Then do we really believe He answers prayers.  If we believed that, wouldn’t we take things to Him in prayer.

  • 1.     Start this week by setting aside time to pray regularly.
  • 2.     Consider journaling to help you focus.
  • 3.     Spend time in your prayer exalting God to remind yourself of who exactly it is you are talking to. Also, this will help you remember what an honor and privilege it is to be able to talk to Him in such a personal way. (This is the best time of prayer I promise… It is the time when perspective comes and we realize for our own sake our own insignificance compared to God, yet how significant we are to Him)
  • 4.     Spend time thanking God for all He has done. Starting with what Jesus did for you on the cross.
  • 5.     Submit your requests, petitions and intercessions to Him.
  • 6.     Demonstrate what you say you believe by acting out in faith and pray. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Encouragement for the Day: Choices and Their Consequences

Encouragement for the Day: Choices and Their Consequences: In Genesis 4:1-13, we see Abel who was humble and obedient, and Cain who was self-focused and self-centered. Even when God confronted Cain ...

Choices and Their Consequences

In Genesis 4:1-13, we see Abel who was humble and obedient, and Cain who was self-focused and self-centered. Even when God confronted Cain with his self-centeredness, he refused to be broken over his sin and we see the consequences of his action. He kills his brother and God issues to him the payment for his sin. Of course, Cain's response is typical of a hardened heart.

"Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear."

Recently I was reminded that our victory comes when we realize we are in control of our choices. Satan cannot make us choose sin, nor can anyone make us choose to be disobedient. Ultimately God is in control, but He gave us the freedom to choose. I believe He gave this to us so we would be able to freely choose Him or not. God didn't want to force us to choose Him although He is what is BEST for us. Just as we would never want to force someone to love us, we want them to choose to love us.

I remember several years ago watching as a dear family member CHOSE to walk in the bondage of sin. Yet, she would blame everyone else for her consequences or even for her choices. At that time, I told her that you can be a victim or a victor, but you cannot be both. We experience victory over our sin and situations when we take responsibility for where we are, and we acknowledge our part in our consequences. This requires self-awareness, a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's conviction and LOTS of HUMILITY. What follows this is freedom! Freedom from sin. The consequences however of our sin may linger for a lifetime. God sent His Son to die so that we could be set us free from sin, I don't think our consequences were necessarily part of the deal. Does that mean you will deal with them the rest of your life? Possibly. It may be a broken relationship that never is restored, it may be your lost health; Sin has consequences and some last a lifetime....  but whatever the consequences, you can move on and begin again. You can have victory.

Although we do not deserve it, grace has been given to us because we believe Jesus is our right standing with God.  (He is our righteousness) We have been given mercy, although we deserve eternal separation from God because of our sin. We have been given Jesus Christ by our faith to be all that we need to access our Heavenly Father. Why would we choose anything other than Jesus? In this right standing, we have been given TRUE PEACE! To be right with God is to be at peace, and to be at peace is to be filled with JOY.

Today let's choose to do the following:
  • Choose to be broken over our sins.
  • Take responsibility for our sins and consequences that resulted from it.
  • Stop blaming others.
  • Cooperate with the Holy Spirit.  
  • Practice humility. 
  • Become the victorious warriors we were designed by our Creator to be!!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Humble in Transition

Have you ever noticed that you can always count on change?  Some people embrace change and even look forward to new and fresh.  However, there are those who do not like change and even dread it.  Whether you want it to come or not, change is coming. 

Sunday, we looked at Proverbs 3:1-8 where our youth pastor, Byron, showed us there are a few principles for us to help us deal with our transition in a healthy way.  The scripture reminds us to not forget what we have learned and to hold to the truth. Byron even went on to say that we need to bind it to us. We are to trust God with all that we are.  We are to put God first.  In doing that, He will lead and guide us if we will let him.

To put God first, we need to be humble which was the last principle Byron mentioned.  Our wisdom is usually the thing that gets us into trouble.  As we learn to lean on God, lean on His wisdom, we begin to see His way, His will and maybe get a glimpse of His plan.  But let’s face it, that is not easy.  I have found the biggest obstacle of walking upright with my Lord is getting over myself.  Crucifying my flesh is so difficult.  There is a way that seems right to me, but it leads to death and destruction.  If I go through a season of change and grow weary, tired, feel forgotten or betrayed, it is possible I am not humbling myself, and I am leaning on my own understanding. 

All the self-centered wisdom, way and plan is just plain and simple pride.  To deny myself, I must be God-centered instead. We don’t want to be prideful, remember scripture says pride goes before destruction or a fall.

To be humble it is helpful to keep an accurate assessment of self and God.  Scripture says the beginning of wisdom is the fear of God. If we are convinced that God is our creator and that He knows all things, then He should rightfully hold a place in our lives as supreme authority and knowledge/wisdom.  When we lean on our own understanding we are far from humble, and we are sending a message to God that we know better than he does on our situation. 

Whether you are going into, in the midst of, or coming out of a time of transition remember to make an accurate assessment of self and God.  Seek Him for His will, wisdom and plan. He will direct you through this transition and prove to be faithful, reliable and true. 

Pray for God to help you today in these areas:
  • ·        See God more clearly, and seek Him for His wisdom
  • ·        Lay down your pride and choose to humble yourself

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Reflections from a Sermon about Hacksaw Ridge

I wrote a devotion after hearing a sermon over a week ago. It is listed below.

After hearing the message and writing the devotion I rented the movie Hacksaw Ridge. As I watched it, I began to realize that the movie was based at the location where my grandfather was when he was killed in World War II. It prompted me to do much investigating and I was so blessed to find the many details that was available to his story  that I didn't know.  But below is the devotion written about the sermon.
Picture from Life Magazine

“I can’t hear you Lord,”  [loud explosions all around and total chaos]
“What do you want from me?”
A distant cry for help…

“Help me save one more.”
The sermon Sunday morning began with a movie clip from the movie “Hacksaw Ridge”.  While the story was very applicable to the message to come, my mind was already going.  I began to converse in my heart and mind with the Lord as I processed the statement from the movie. 
We are surrounded by many lost people who are dying in their sin as well as the wounded people all around us.  The movie clip reminded me the body of Christ’s need to head into the explosions of this life to help rescue those wounded in battle.  However, we do not do it on our own.  We do it as we cry out to our Lord to HELP us save one more.  We need Him to identify them, to find them, and to be able to help them.

As I was reflecting upon this point I began to mull over the idea of what we would need to do before moving out on such a mission.  We need to focus on God and not the mission.  We need to be immersed in the reality of the love of God for us.  We need to see what great love He has lavished on us that we are now called the children of God.  The love is there, but we need to be aware of it and enter it. We need to meditate upon it.  The outcome of this effort will help produce our motivation and spur us on to overwhelming love for those who are lost and wounded.  We will not serve any purpose in our own sense of duty or obligation.  For that matter, none of us respond well when someone is serving us out of duty or obligation.  We must serve them out of our love. 
As we proceed through the week, let’s begin by contemplating just how much God loves us, reminding ourselves that God thinks about us; we are on His mind.  He loved us so much that He sent His most loved son to pay for our sin so that we could be in relationship with the God of the universe.  Wow, meditate on that level of payment and sacrifice.  Allow that to settle over you today.  Then meditate on those who have not received this gift.  Ask God to put a face on the thought.  Once you have a face, begin to ask God to give you His eyes for that person.  Begin to pray for that person and ask for an opportunity to share the love of Christ with them.  Do it humbly, lovingly yet urgently.   Maybe start by asking as Pastor Michael mentioned he had done, “I’ll be praying later today, how can I pray for you?” 

Each one of us is invited to this wonderful relationship.  What if God wants you to be the living invitation He is writing to someone today?  It is God’s will that they RETURN to HIM!  It is His will that they be reconciled with Him.   Once each one of us are reconciled to God, we are to be about the Father’s business of reconciling others with God.  So, dwell on the love of God until you are filled with such love it begins to spill out onto this broken world.  Be the invitation sent with love from the Father to His lost sheep.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Are the Angels Bored

Are we boring our angels?

In the Old Testament, there is a story of Elisha and his servant in  2 Kings 6:8-23.  As an army approaches them, the servant is concerned. Elisha tells the servant "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."  Elisha prays the servant's eyes would be able to see.  God
opened the servant's eyes so the he could see all of the chariots and horses all around to help them.  As this heavenly army of warring angels were ready to go to battle on Elisha's behalf, I believe we too have angels that are available to go to war in the heavenly realm on our behalf.

If that is true, what things would deactivate their activity in our lives?  I believe our own disobedience is a factor, our unbelief, our refusal to surrender to the Lord our God, and the lack of cooperation on our part with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

As a result, I wonder if angels are standing around with weapons in their holders and shields dangling to their side as they are bored silly.  I wonder if they stand by thinking "man I could help you with this battle or that trial if only you would obey, believe or just not resist the movement of the Holy Spirit."  I wonder if they are dumbfounded by our lack of cooperation.  I wonder if they are puzzled that we would have so much protection available to us, and yet we refuse to do that which would bring us victory.  I wonder if it is frustrating to them to stand by and watch while the people of God are defeated by the enemy when they are placed on the sidelines.

This is like a great team playing in a big important game, and the coach deciding to bench the 1st string.  No one would expect victory in this case.

Can you imagine if believers would release the angels to active status.  To call up the first string team to play on their part.  I wonder how much easier our trials would be, and how different our lives would be.  The war that exist in the heavenly realm is real.  I believe we will be most effective in our bringing about victory if we will choose to do what we know is right, walk in truth, obey the word of the Lord; follow, surrender and cooperate with the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit.  I believe our lives would be entirely different.  We would unleash a powerful force on our behalf, and I believe we would begin to walk in the victory that is ours because we are children of God.

So if we do indeed have available to us an army of angels to war on our behalf in the heavenly realm, let's stop boring them, and walk in a manner that releases them to do what they are designed to do.

No More Sterilization of Religion

One simple request if you are a believer in Jesus.  We live in a time where we are educated, dignified
and clean.  When we pray, worship and meet together in the name of the Lord, are we too educated, too dignified and has our cleanliness made us sterile?

Imagine for a moment the cost that God paid for us to be believing Christians.  That cost was to pay a price that we could do to do for us a thing that we could not do.  We cannot set our own selves free.  We can not make things right with God without the sacrifice of Jesus.  That should set up ablaze within.  We should be jumping for joy.

Even though I am not advocating making a spectacle of ourselves, I am advocating we do not become too dignified to worship a Lord that has done such a great thing for us.  I also do not believe we should be cleaned and sterile.  God has cleaned us up by Jesus and it is to create an environment for life.  A sterile environment is to kill all things.  We are to have life and have it abundantly.

So let's just hold on to this truth about what price was paid for us.  Remember what it cost Jesus and never take it casually.  Sing praise to Him with abandoned and get rid of the dignified persona and remember nothing grows in a sterile environment.  

So maybe we can be a little messy in worship, and even sing a little louder in our praise.  We can mess up while we pray... but pray anyway.  Allow ourselves to be moved by the thought of a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son from a place where they were in perfect unity, the Son was praised and adored as royalty and descended to earth to put on flesh to become our sacrifice in order to pay for our sin debt that we couldn't afford to pay.  He did this through the hours of torture and humiliation; rejection by many, the vilest of men taunting Him. All of that led to His agonizing death on a cross to pay for our debt so we may be filled with the Holy Spirit and join in unity with our God and Creator.  That ought to make our hearts sing.

Let's leave the sterilization process at the hospital where it is appropriate. but say NO MORE STERILE, DIGNIFIED, POMPOUS WORSHIP, PRAISE, PRAYER OR RELIGION FOR ME!  That is not what Jesus died to give us.  So do not settle for that.

The world does not need dignified, sterilized religion ...  It needs to know that Jesus loves them and we need to know that too.  We need a vibrant relationship with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


The story in scripture about the son who went to his father to ask for his inheritance in order to go away and live it up is a familiar story to many people.  Some people refer to this prodigal as a black sheep, wild child or rebellious child.  The story is a heartbreaking story for this wanderer because he squanders all his inheritance and ends up with the pigs. The story is also heartbreaking for the father who is left behind wondering if his son is okay or will every return home.

I began to think about this scenario as the prodigal son's father waits at home hoping for his sons return. I imagined the other son who remained at home with the father returns home from a journey and tells his father that he has seen the prodigal.  Just imagine the father's excitement.  I imagine he would begin questioning the son. "Did you tell him I love him?"  "Did you tell him he was welcome to return home?" " Did you tell him that I can't wait to see him again?"

I also imagine that our heavenly Father is saying the same things to us when we encounter His wayward, wandering or lost children.  "Did you tell them I love them?"  "Did you tell them that I made a way for them to come home to me?"  "Did you tell them that I can't wait to be in communication with them?" "I have so much I want to tell them.  Did you tell them..."

Be on the look out for the prodigals that may just need to hear from you that the Father is longing for them to come home.

Friday, March 3, 2017

How Inspiring: The Martyr of Perpetua

Yes it has been a long time since I posted a blog.  I have been VERY busy, or should I say the Lord has been busy in me.  Last post was Oct. 2016.  Since then I have been studying the word, preparing for Christmas, ladies retreat at church and leading several small group bible studies.  All the while, being a wife, mom and fitness leader.  Any of you that know me, know that I take my responsibility as a citizen of the United States very seriously.  I believe it is a privilege and GREAT HONOR to be part of this nation's citizenship.  So you may also note that the election of 2016 fell in the middle of this time frame as well.  So yes it has been a while.

Today, I have been working on an online study with Lifeway, Mark, by Lisa Harper.  In her video, she mentions Perpetua, a Christian martyr in the third century.  I was so impressed by her story, I am sharing a link here  Story of Perpetua

While I will not say much more so that I do not take away from that amazing story, I was challenged by this story.

Having walked with the Lord a large portion of my life, I pondered this thought:  Do I live my faith the way she died in her faith?

So today, I am sending that question out to each of you too!  (Keep in mind, this is not for condemnation, but for revelation and inspiration:  Hopefully spurring us on to a more meaningful faith walk with our Lord)

Praying blessing on you today.