Different with the Same Passion

May 22
We know better than to cruise the lake on a summer Saturday, but thought May 20th wouldn't be too crowded. Wrong. It was a gorgeous day and people were making the most of it. Our plan had been to find a quiet cove to anchor in and read, but that wasn't going to happen. Grabbing my camera I was amazed at the diversity in boating styles represented.  Ha!  The photo missing is two grandparents on a pontoon!  That's because most locals know better than to be out in the chaos!

As I clicked away the thought entered my mind of how different God's children are.  We come in all colors, shapes and sizes. We motor about life at different speeds, with different personalities, but the commonality is our love for Christ, like all these boaters love Smith Mt. Lake.

These boaters may all end up at the same marina chatting over their love for the Lake.  Hopefully, we will encounter some sort of Christian fellowship this week and rejoice over the greatness of God!

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone
who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
Romans 1:16

Happy Birds

May 20-21
While the large magnolia tree in our yard is the evening porch for multitudes of birds, it is off of our screen porch where the chirpiest of birds on our property can be found. They are so happy! Not a worry in the world. A cat could be on the prowl after them, but they are not stressed!

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you."
Psalm 55:22 

My skin is saggier than last summer, my hair is grayer, my gums are receding and my walk is slower,   but like the birds, I have Jesus in my heart and I am happy.  Hope you feel like singing a song today!

"Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with  one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 15:5-6

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. ..."
Matthew 6:25-34

Father, thank You for Your loving care. For the encouragement that comes from Your Word and the fortitude to persevere knowing You created each of us with a purpose.  May we be found faithful to sing out our praise to You today. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Into Our Selfies

May 19
Our pastor has embarked on a sermon series entitled "How's Your Soul?" It's fabulous! (The sermon series that is).  He shared that Yellow Stone National Park has opened for the season and park guests are asked to sign a statement of agreement for 10 things they will do while in the park. #1 is to be cautious and practice safety while taking "selfies."  Accidents have been occurring due to risky selfies on ledges and with animals.

He then said, "We are into our selfies! The more we focus on ourselves the more we neglect our souls."

Five days later I opened Jesus Always and read a similar message:
"To increase your awareness of My Presence, you need to learn the art of self-forgetfulness. You were not designed to stay focused on yourself. However, Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden made selfishness the natural bent of mankind.  The inclination is a deadly trap, but I've equipped you to live supernaturally...you have My Spirit living in you.  Ask this Holy Helper to free you from self-centeredness....Ask My Spirit to help you look beyond yourself with eyes that really see."

"You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you."  Romans 8:9

Father, we step away from the mirror of "all about me" today and seek Your face.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, give us eyes to look out and see the day from Your perspective.  In Jesus' Name, Amen

I'm sure I've sent this link before, but this is one of my favorite Brandon Heath videos.
Give Me Your Eyes


Walk With Me

May 17-18
The other evening I asked my husband, "Will you walk with me?"  He grimaced and moaned.  After a long day at work that really wasn't on his wish list.  Whenever we walk around Shiloh a "to do list" manifests.  This particular evening the walked turned into cleaning our dock and replacing lights until after 9PM when we could see no more.

"Enoch walked with God faithfully for 300 years!  Noah walked with God and got into a really BIG project!"

Walking with God can lead into working for God, but there's really no better place to be.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plan."   Proverbs 16:3

"How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!" Psalm 92:5

Satisfaction Guarenteed

My joy comes from the Lord.

"...yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation."
Habakkuk 3:18

May 16
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."
John Piper
How many promotional product tag lines include the phrase "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back?"  Can't say that I've ever been disappointed about hanging out in the Bible and wanted to renege on my walk with Jesus. God's Word satisfies.

There is a praise song which has the chorus line…My joy comes from the Lord.  Again and again God has to refresh my mind to this truth.  My joy can’t be in how my husband makes me feel, the affirmation I get from other people, the laughter that comes from the grandchildren or the faithfulness of a pet like Moses.  My constant is my Creator and the relationship He created me to have with Him.  A relationship with a guarantee to satisfy throughout eternity.


May 15
A younger sister in Christ posted on Instagram her new life verse.

"My flesh and my heat may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:26

What are some things you have scrapped because they were such a mess, total failures in your eyes that you decided it was just easier to start over?  I've tossed baked goods, knitting projects, paintings, writings, clothing, fishing poles and even friendships.

Unlike the majority of the items mentioned above, marriage is God made, not something established by human hands. Not something He wants scrapped, but totally refreshed, restored.  While friendships are relational in nature, they are not bound by a covenant to God. Yes, our friendship with God/Jesus is the exception.

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
Proverbs 18:24

Coming alongside a wounded couple one night, my husband and I recognized the spiritual battle warring around them.  His assignment was for them to read Ephesians 6 and learn how to put on the Armor of God.

The next morning, as I read Psalm 73:26 I wanted to go deeper in studying this verse and came across two excellent sermons by John Piper.


Piper lays out 5 guidelines for times when we are feeling despondent. Just ready to scrap life.

  1. "Find your trusted friends. Who are they? Who are your inner ring?
  2. Open your soul to them.
  3. Ask them to fight with you, to wage war with you, to support you, to watch with you and pray with you.
  4. Pour out your soul to the Father.
  5. And rest in the sovereignty of his wisdom, come what may. “But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
 God is greater than any problem we have.  FIGHT for what is of value.  BELIEVE.

Faith In Action

May 13-14
Yesterday's Jesus Always entry had me recognizing our faith takes action to operate correctly.
This weekend let's see if we are:
Praising the Lord for simply being Present.
Thanking Jesus for being a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Trusting God is always with us.
Talking to Jesus about "thoughts and feelings, our struggles and pleasures."
Believing  He cares for us deeply and hears our prayers.
Seeking Help and accepting our limitations
Looking Out and seeing where God is at work
Rejoicing always because God can do "immeasurably more than we can imagine."
Remembering "Nothing is impossible with God."
Refusing "to be intimidated by daunting circumstances"

"Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?  Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God-soon I'll be praising again.  He puts a smile on my face. He's my God."
Psalm 42:5 (MSG)

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, 
according to his power that is at work within us..."
Ephesians 3:20

"For nothing will be impossible with God."
Luke 1:37