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...]

  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...]

  Students on college campuses across the country were so filled with fear and anxiety following the presidential election that exams were postponed, cocoa was served, crayons and Play-Doh were given out, and counselors were made available. Fear spills out of every news channel as well as our Facebook news feeds. So many people are worried about their future, their children's future, the future of our country and the world. Yet, Jesus said in the midst of very tumultuous and troubling times... not unlike ours...   "Don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had a problem with yellow-jacket wasps at your house? At our first house we had ground bees one summer... but never bees or wasps IN our house.     For the past few months, we've been living in an apartment.  It's in a nice wooded area and we see turkeys and deer across the road regularly. That's how I like to enjoy wildlife... with a little distance between us. So, when I got stung on my foot in my apartment a few months ago, I immediately let the owners know, and informed them that there was a nest in the back outside wall.  We later discovered that there was … [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...]

    Do you talk to yourself? I remember working with a gal who talked to herself.  More often than not, I would stop what I was doing because I thought she was talking to me.  And then she would say, "I'm just talking to myself."  Usually, she was walking herself through the steps of her tasks.  It seems kind of quirky doesn't it? However... developing a lifestyle of talking to oneself isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact... talking to yourself can be a good thing. If you read Psalms, you'll notice that some of the psalmists (writers) did the very same thing. Why am I so … [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...]

    Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,  Psalm 23:6a Have you ever thought about God, in His goodness and love, pursuing you... every day?!   Maybe you learned the 23rd Psalm... even memorized it as... Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. That's the way I memorized it as a small child. And then I read that the literal meaning of that verse is not, follow... but pursue. When I think of pursuing something or someone I think of a cop car, bar strobe flashing, flying down the road at a high speed... … [Read more...]

    Just between us... do you sometimes feel like God doesn't care? It's okay... you're not alone. We all feel like that sometimes. As I was preparing to write this post, I had a sense that you needed to be reminded just how much God cares for you. God. Our big God.  The Creator of the universe. The One who had you in His mind's eye before you were even conceived. Yes... that amazing, powerful, just, strong, amazing, faithful, loving, and tender God... He loves you and cares for you intimately. And... Just in case you need further validation... here are some scripture verses … [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...]

    “Don’t you mind,” said Puddleglum. “There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan.” --The Silver Chair   I enjoy reading snippets of C.S. Lewis.  So much so that I subscribe to a daily C.S. Lewis devotional.  In actuality, these are not devotionals in the typical sense but are bite-sized excerpts of Lewis' writings from his many books.  Don't tell anyone, but I haven't read the Chronicles of Narnia series.  I haven't even seen the movies.  However, one winter, my husband did read the first book to me as we sat by the fire in the evenings.  That was pretty special.  That's probably why … [Read more...]

    Do you remember how God rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians by way of the Red Sea?  You would think that the people would have worshiped God continuously and trusted Him with every single thing.  Instead, they complained.  A lot. They complained against God and said to Moses, “Did you bring us out of Egypt, just to let us die in the desert? There’s no water out here, and we can’t stand this awful food!”  Numbers 21:5 As I read this, I thought, how could these people have been so ungrateful.  Every day God provided them all they needed to eat for that day. He completely met … [Read more...]

  Do you believe in coincidences?  I prefer to think of them as God moments.  To me those coincidences are reminders of God's hand at work in my life.  I like to think of those coincidences as His attention-getting tools.  He's pretty clever that way.     Recently I received an email that contained a graphic with the word, endurance. I contemplated it for a minute and then was off to the next email.  Later in the day a good friend left a comment on Facebook with a scripture verse.  It was there that the word endurance popped out at me, again.   Have you ever given much … [Read more...]

I have friends and family going through hard times right now. Maybe you're facing some pretty tough days with illness, loss, relationships, or finances? What do we do when faced with difficult times? Cling to this verse and remember... The Lord is fighting for ME! The Lord is fighting for you! So be still! Exodus 14:14 GW This verse needs to be our banner. Our theme song, so to speak. We need to write it down, post it on our mirrors, on our computer screens, on the fridge, over the sink, anywhere we might see it and be reminded. The Lord is fighting for you! So be still! Exodus 14:14 … [Read more...]

Many of us are going through something right now.   If we aren't, then most likely someone we are close to needs our support.  That something might be a job loss, a physical or emotional illness, a challenging relationship or a break in a relationship, finances, even death.  The journey is difficult.  And my words sometimes seem empty.   One thing I know for sure..... ...the joy of the Lord is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10 This is true....  The JOY of the Lord IS our strength.     It's not in our doing, striving, reaching, or any other effort. It's HIM...all … [Read more...]

For the past six weeks we've been discovering how to pray with power and purpose. This prayer discovery (which began here) has taken us on a journey through... The Lord's Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. This is the prayer Jesus taught his followers … [Read more...]

Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times.  Romans 12:12   It's been a hard week for me. I won't bore you with the details, but through the difficulties I knew that I could choose joy. And often I did. Choosing to be joyful is a mindset. Some days it's like walking a tightrope with that big long stick.   There's only one way to traverse a tightrope. One step at a time. With our eyes fixed on the finish.     For us as believers... Walking in joy is one step at a time, too. The stick we carry... is … [Read more...]