Here we are the week AFTER Easter and I find myself reflecting on some of the events leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection. I think that's the way it was for Jesus' friends and followers, too.  Sometimes we see things in hindsight that were right in front of us but we just didn't see them. Jesus said a lot of things that night of the last supper.  If it wasn't enough that he humbled himself to wash his disciples' feet, he also told them about things to come that were unfathomable and challenging even for us to process when we know the whole story.  You can read all about it in … [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...]

    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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  If a TV reporter were to stop you on the street and thrust a microphone in your face and ask you what you're thankful for this Thanksgiving... what would be your answer? We often talk about gratitude here and how a thankful heart is a happy heart.     As I was editing photos today I was thinking about Thanksgiving and the pilgrims' first Thanksgiving dinner that my second-grade class reenacted on the stage of an old gym with the slippery brown linoleum floor.  A long table was placed on the stage and set with food.  I'm not sure if every student dressed in pilgrim clothing, but … [Read more...]

  Words... Have you noticed that there's been a war of words, especially on Facebook? Granted Facebook isn't REALLY our personal space.... but it feels personal to me. It's where I keep up with my nieces... one lives in Connecticut and the other in Arizona. It's where I keep up with the friends I've made in New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and beyond. It's also a work space for me... there are the blogging groups I belong to and there's my biz page for my blog, too.     Words, memes, and other images have invaded the space where I usually I look forward to seeing … [Read more...]

    That got your attention. Good grief... we're taught not to shout. So how in the world will shouting bring happiness?  Good question. These verses from the Book of Psalms opened my eyes... But make everyone rejoice who puts his trust in you. Keep them shouting for joy because you are defending them. Fill all who love you with your happiness. For you bless the godly man, O Lord; you protect him with your shield of love. Psalm 5:11-12     The psalmist pleads with God to "make" all who trust in Him rejoice. That's such an odd thing.  Doesn't it seem like … [Read more...]

  This week was a double header. No there wasn't any baseball involved. However, I did enjoy two celebrations in one week. And a really big one too.     Tuesday was my birthday and then five days later we celebrated our anniversary.  It's a big milestone kind of anniversary.  One for which you gather your friends for a party or take a cruise or celebrate by purchasing a new fun car.     I'm sure you know our budget isn't capable of  even thinking of such extravagances.  So we did little things... like split a yummy pretzel sandwich and soda at cute … [Read more...]

  If August had an official flower, I think it might be the sunflower. They stand tall.. stretching for the sun... bravely holding their seedy heads high. As our days grow shorter and the sun sinks lower in the sky each day, the sunflowers with rays of brilliant yellow brighten our spirits.     How is it that we see emotion in the sunflowers? Do you think we just might be transferring our feelings? I know, it's a crazy thought, but we anthropomorphize animals and birds all the time, so I guess doing that with flowers isn't too far-fetched. Maybe we see happiness … [Read more...]

    Like it or not... growth comes through hard times. When you've been knocked down it takes courage to get up and start over again. And then there is that thing called fear.  It's paralyzing... it kills your hope and dreams.   Whether you've been knocked down, overcome with fear, or are in the midst of a hard journey... you need encouragement. You need to know the secret for getting back up... having the courage to stand strong... and the confidence to believe for tomorrow.   So what's the secret?     My husband and I have been going … [Read more...]

  I'm sure you've noticed, too. This week has been filled with vitriol and gall.  Anger and hate.  Worry and distress. It makes my head and heart hurt.     In the midst of everything... this verse has been swirling around in my head. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”  John 13:34-35 This verse is directed to Jesus' followers. Those who were traveling the countryside with Him when He was alive and … [Read more...]

    When things go wrong, what do you do? More times than I can count, I'll talk to someone close to me. I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with that.... except that GOD should be our FIRST go-to person/place. You see... we need others... even more... we NEED God.   When things go wrong... we need a safe place. There's only ONE safe place we can count on. God. He must be our safe place. What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. You hide them safely … [Read more...]

  Do you believe that God cares about the details you care about? Not long ago, my husband and I were having a conversation about my dream studio. The list included these must haves... nice sized windows and good natural light for photographing, high and low work surfaces and plenty of space for creating, a great view of either a lovely garden or tree tops. Fast forward a few weeks when we were in the midst of settling into an apartment... with just an inflatable bed and a card table and chairs... when I said to my husband, "You realize that our apartment windows provide us with a beautiful … [Read more...]