Right now I feel like I'm in the midst of a teaching moment. One where I am the student. It started when I was chatting with my husband about the blog. I have a sense that I need to step up my game.  Improve some technical aspects of the website, educate myself on a few areas where I lack expertise, and overall, be more diligent and purposeful in my work.  And then I said, "But I don't think God wants me to hustle."   There wasn't anything earth-shaking about that conversation or my statements. I'm guessing that when we are in the process of being molded by God, the process is pretty … [Read more...]

  Each day I read a few devotional meditations as part of my time with God in the morning. One of them has music videos that are included, but it is rare I ever view them. This morning, for some reason I was nudged to click the music video open.  It was good.  And I was grateful to have engaged in worship to God with it.  When it was finished, as always happens on YouTube, a collage of other music options came up.  I noticed a song we sing in church, at least I was hoping it was the same song and decided to listen to it as … [Read more...]

  Are you settling for second best? God intends for us to live life fully. He doesn't want us to settle for second best. Sometimes it's really good to read scripture out of context. It's then the Ah-Ha moments can come. That's what happened when I read this verse.... God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? Romans 8:32 As we make our approach to Easter, we're contemplating this amazing love that God has for us and the significance of Jesus giving His life to pay the price of our sin. When God sent Jesus to earth to be … [Read more...]

    This evening we sat at a red traffic light.  My husband is usually a very patient man, but tonight, he was very tired and commented several times as we sat under the heavy gray skies about how the light was slow, that the timing must be off, and then finally, it turned green. I, the typically impatient one, wasn't bothered by the length of time the light remained red. Remember, I said Tim was tired.  He is usually quite busy on the weekends with his work and we also volunteer at church... so we don't have much time together. I had some errands to do and he offered to come with me. … [Read more...]

  Are you been in that spot where you are looking for answers but can't seem to find any? There I was in that very spot, trying to make things happen, and being completely frustrated when I came across this verse.... This is what the SovereignLord,     the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me     and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength." Isaiah 30:15   The morning I read that verse I had no idea that it would be a day where I would encounter an obstacle at every turn.  Nothing seemed to go the right way. It was the culmination … [Read more...]

  Have you ever read a passage of scripture that intrigued you and you wanted to know more? This week I came across this verse... “May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”  Deuteronomy 33:12 Can you guess which sentence jumped out at me? It was... "And he dwells between His shoulders.”     This scripture was part of a blessing that Moses gave to the twelve tribes of Israel prior to his death and this verse specifically was a blessing for Benjamin and his tribe. I know that all the blessings … [Read more...]

  We live in a shaky world.  It seems there isn't much we can count on. ONE thing we can depend on is GOD and his never ending loving kindness. The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace.” So says the Lord who loves you. Isaiah 54:10 Think about the past week. Not to dwell on the negative... but were there people who let you down? And no doubt you let someone else down, too. Some of it may have been purposeful... generally, we try yet we fail, we care yet we're selfish. Though relationships and nations may appear … [Read more...]

  Most of us don't like confrontation. It is something I try to avoid if at all possible.  But, there's something else that recently has made me feel even more uncomfortable... observing friends being shut down for interjecting thoughts or ideas that may be contrary to the listener.     Open communication and a free exchange of ideas are so important to me.  A respectful, kind, and friendly discussion is one where we actually listen and then speak and generally it's a rather enjoyable experience.  I am terribly uncomfortable when people think their ideas are the only ideas and … [Read more...]

    This morning I read this verse from 1 Corinthians and sort of felt like it was a slap in the face. Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.  1 Corinthians 13:4-5 As I think back over the past 24 hours I know I had moments of impatience, selfishness, envy, and pride.  I wanted my own way and though I probably didn't notice it, was probably irritable or touchy.  Grudge … [Read more...]

  "Never take your eyes off the master because he knows things you don't." Lysa Terkeurst Friday night I had an opportunity to attend a woman's gathering at my church, something I rarely do. One of my dear friends mentioned it and we decided, last minute, to go together and I'm so glad we did.  It was a thoughtful time of live worship with an all-girl band at our church and there was a simulcast so we could watch, with other women around the world, wonderful and challenging speakers like Lysa Terkeurst and Ann Voskamp. I took a few notes, but this quote from Lysa -- "Never take your eyes off the … [Read more...]

  When I was growing up I used to hear people talk about how to know God's will for your life. It's a question to which we all want an answer.     Better yet... a direct message, email, a text from God would put us all on the right path.  Or so we think. I know that there are times when I'm perplexed with indecision and I wish for His "handwriting on the wall." God doesn't work that way and even if we had a personalized life plan in our hands Fed-Exed directly to us from Him... we would still pick and choose what feels good to us.  What?!  I hate to admit it... but how many … [Read more...]

  Have you noticed how our hope can waver?  In the midst of winter and the never-ending gray... hope seems tentative.  But... come a blue sky sunny day... hope shines bright! If you're floundering, there is ONE thing YOU CAN DO to find your HOPE again!     On those days when you feel hopeless, you're not alone. Lamentations... the book filled with laments reflects those feelings we sometimes share... I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,     the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—     the feeling of hitting the … [Read more...]

  This morning I prayed for direction in writing this post.  As usual, there were no lightning bolts nor was there any handwriting on the wall.     My heart was open to hearing from God.  And he didn't leave me wondering for long.  I opened Bible Gateway and the verse of the day popped up. Here it is... If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen. The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also. 1 John 4:20-21 I had already been concerned about … [Read more...]

  We are a week into the New Year.  Already time seems to be going by too quickly. There are so many things I want to accomplish.  New goals being set.  I'm trying super hard to become more productive with my time. And, I even started a little accountability support group of sorts with two other blogging friends.  We learn together, share tips, encourage each other, pray for each other, and speak Truth to each other. Speaking Truth is a big one for us.  It's so easy for us to get sucked into the lies of the world.  You know the lies you have to fight each day.   That's why it's so important that we … [Read more...]

  I coulda... If only I woulda... There's no question, I shoulda... If that's your assessment of the past year, then turn your head, move forward, and never look back. The past few days I've been thinking through the past year and I've had more coulda, woulda, shoulda thoughts than I care to admit. I confess I spent too much time spinning my wheels. I allowed my circumstances to cloud my vision and impede my forward movement.  There were days I made good choices and moved forward... but those days were too few and far between. I don't want another year of that.  I don't want to look back on … [Read more...]

    I heard the bells on Christmas Day     I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!     And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!     Till ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men!     Then from each black, … [Read more...]

  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the entire inhabited earth should be taxed. This taxation was first made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to his own city to be taxed. So Joseph also departed from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to the City of David which is called Bethlehem, in Judea, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So while they were there, the day came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in strips of cloth, and laid Him in a … [Read more...]