Go back to God

July 31
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive.
John 16:24

"Talk it over with the Father, then leave the outcome to His wisdom."
Catherine Marshall

Boo thought: Working with a fast paced copy machine yesterday, a friend and I got in a rhythm of copying, collating, and stapling. For over two hours we stayed in the motion. Our lives get like that sometimes...we just go through the motions, producing "stuff", without God's direction.

Psalms Now 78, by Leslie Brandt, is a reminder to turn back to God.
Here are some excerpts.
But like silly, confused sheep, the children of God went astray. They became self-sufficient and wandered off to pursue their own selfish interests. Many of them rebelled against their God. They refused His love and would not walk in His paths....
Some of them turned back to God. They discovered once more their loving God, a God willing to forgive them and accept them, to gather them once more into His fortress of love-to care for them and watch over them like a shepherd over his flock.
Like silly, selfish sheep, we often wander off on our own; imagining that we can find our own way to joy and security. We discover pain and emptiness and meaninglessness outside the orbit of God. We are out of joint and the deepest longings of our hearts go unfulfilled.
I return, O God, to You, and Your purposes for my life. I find You waiting for me, ready to forgive my foolishness and my rebelliousness and eager to reinstate me in Your family and reconcile me to Your will once more.

Let's Pray: Father, here we come knocking, admitting we long to be under your umbrella of love. Either we ourselves have wandered, taken the steering wheel back in our control, or our hearts ache desperately for someone we know who has chosen to stray from You and Your ways.
May today be the return for ______________to his/her first love. Draw us back to the place we should be....with You. In Jesus Name, Amen

Be Happy in Jesus

July 30
Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
Proverbs 16:20

"I believe the happiest and truest of Christians are those who never dare to doubt God."
Charles H. Spurgeon

Boo Thought: Dang, this trusting thing can certainly trip us up. Just when we think we have it down pat the ticker tape runs across our minds shouting (like storm warnings on the TV) "Warning, God really doesn't have your back on this one. You better step in and take charge!"

Our heart rate increases, the joy and peace are stolen from us, and our minds and our ways (which we read yesterday are nothing like the Lord's) become taxed and take over.

I think I am going to take my One A Day vitamin box and write the words Trust in the Lord on it. This will remind me to take one day at a time to trust in the Lord for His provisions for that day!

Trust and obey for there's no better way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

Let's Pray: Good morning God, it is a blessing to know You are at Your command station and nothing takes You off guard. Please guard our hearts, so we are not easily swayed by deception which robes our happiness. When our trust begins to waiver, build us back up. Bring to mind Your faithfulness to many generations and walk with us day by day. In Jesus Name, Amen

Slipping Away

July 29
I know the thoughts that I think toward you...thoughts...to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

"God may say no to our prayers, but He never stops loving and He will do us not harm."
Leith Anderson

Boo thought: "Clear the way, clear the way, the emergency vehicles need to get through and rescue Boo from her thoughts today. These thoughts are not My thoughts, nor are her ways anything like My ways. She is in danger from missing the blessing I have for her; the hope, the future, please let Me through!"
These vehicles for reaching us include God's Word, prayers of God's people, and Bible study buddies who speak the truth in love.

Let's Pray: Oh, Lord, praise Your mighty name. Thank You that You are our life line. Sometimes we get too close to the edge and begin to slip away. When that happens Father use whatever necessary to pull us back to You. In Jesus Name, Amen

A Friend Closer than a Brother

Noticing a pile of mail that needed to get out, I decided to kill two birds with one stone (getting exercise and taking the mail) and I took the half mile hike up the gravel road to our mailboxes.
I had dropped the out going mail in the box and also picked up our paper and headed back towards home.

Most people who know me well know of my fear of birds. As a five year old child, I was with my grandmother when a blue jay attacked her for showing me a nest. I had just walked pass a lovely family cemetery when out of no where a large grey bird, possibly a pigeon, but it sounded more like a dove, swooped towards me.
I instinctively called out to my husband, my hero: "Deke," although I was no where near home. Then immediately the words, "Help me Lord" flowed from my lips.

Out from the edge of the road came a second bird who was obviously injured. The protector, continued to fly towards me and then back the injured bird who was making her way across the street flapping vigorously her/himself. By now I had the sense to stop walking and trust in the Lord to resolve this situation. Normally, I carry my cell phone out on adventures like this, but I had forgotten it this morning.

When I stopped and waited on the Lord, the protector bird stayed by the side of the injured bird until they made it down into the woods. By now I was moved by the friendship visible in these two creatures. The injured bird had a friend willing to stick closer than a brother.
I did too...his name is Jesus and he saw me safely home!

Puzzle Pieces of God Fit

July 26
This is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.
1 John 5:4
"We need faith, not only in God's power, but in His willingness to help us."
Peter Marshall

July 27
If you have faith as a mustard seed...nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20
"Faith does not require external confirmation, but believes God in spite of appearances."
J. Oswald Sanders

Boo thought: During my quiet time this morning God had me two other places in a Beth Moore study that fit like puzzle pieces with what we have just read above.
In Luke 5 I was checking out the authority that Jesus had on earth to forgive sins. Beth Moore was addressing how often we plead for forgiveness for the same sin over and over again.
She states, "I began to realize that my sin of unbelief was as serious as my prior sin of rebellion. I wept and repented for my failure to credit Him (God) with the authority He possessed to forgive my sins." Couple that with Marshall's quote about God being both powerful and willing to help us and Sanders saying "Faith does not require external confirmation" and it is my guess God is trying to deal with some of us today on some issues concerning forgiveness!

The other place I was wandering around was in Luke 6:1-11 with those nasty Pharisees. Boy, they can get on your nerves with their critical spirits. Moore points out how these guys were just sitting by, when they could have been sitting under God's Word (alive and before them).
My husband is weeks away from opening a Christian School...the Pharisee phrases have been flying these past months and the battle will heighten in the months to come as children are being trained up in the ways they should go.
I am sure each of you is about the Lord's business in some way and are enduring criticism. Be encouraged by two statements Beth Moore makes:
"I really do believe that more people in the body of Christ are generally accepting than accusing, but one mean-spirited person is practically enough to ruin any one's day...I encourage you to break free from the traps set by approval and accusation...Christ was blameless yet was blamed continually."

Let's pray: Lord, You are always putting on big events! We want to be about Your business, being part of the puzzle and not just sitting by. Guard our hearts from the hurtful darts of critical spirits. May those comments bounce off us as boomerangs going right back to where they came from and may we turn our eyes upon Jesus remembering how graciously He stood firm when accusations were flung at him. He turned his eyes upon You and made lemonade from lemons! He takes the toughest puzzle and makes the pieces fit! All we need is a little faith and the realization that nothing is too difficult for You.
Also Father, may we be reminded today of who You are and the adhesive element Your forgiveness is made of. It sticks the first time, we don't need to believe Satan's lies that it really didn't take. In Jesus Name, Amen

Are You Even Listening?

July 28
I remembered God, and was troubled, I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
Psalm 77:3

"Quarreling with God is a time-honored biblical prat ice: Moses, Job, David and St. Peter were all masters at it."
Eugene H. Peterson

Boo Thought: My earthly father and his father, both began loosing their hearing earlier than most people. I can remember my mother contemplating at times if my father really couldn't hear her or just didn't want to.
Psalm 77 rings of the frustrations we sometimes encounter when God makes us wait to have our cries answered.
Hmm, I remember those painful times with newborns when you had to let them cry themselves to sleep. I think my pediatrician told me to give our daughter ten minutes...it seemed like ten hours as my husband sat with me watching the clock and probably holding me back from going in that room. Our lives were going to be much better if our child learned to be at peace and accept the routine of nap time and bedtime when we placed her in her bed.
God hears our cries, He just has something to teach us in the wait.

Psalms Now 77
I cry to God in my desperation. Out of the dark corner of my stifling loneliness,
I grope in vain for some solace or comfort.

I try to think about God, to contemplate His many promises, but my heart is empty, my soul as dry as dust. I spend sleepless nights searching, waiting for God to speak to my need, to give me strength in my conflict. I remember how He has responded to my prayers in times past, but I get nothing from Him now-nothing except the echoes of my own agonized screams to the empty heavens.

I am reminded of His deeds and wonders of years past, how He demonstrated His love and concern for His people. His majesty and power are reflected in the great forces of nature.
Then why doesn't He hear my pitiful pleadings? Why doesn't He fulfill His promises to me?
Good Lord, where are You?

Let's Pray: Father, Your ears are never clogged. You don't have a hearing aide that you turn off. Help us to consider, when You don't answer our call, that You might be trying to teach us something in the wait and maybe we are the ones not listening. Ha, I am thinking of those "trick" tests teachers give students to see if they are listening to directions. The first thing the teacher says is to read all the questions first. If a student does this, the last question tells them they don't have to do the test. The majority of students want to get the test over with and don't follow the directions, but plow through answering the questions. Could it be Lord, You aren't answering our cries at times because we haven't been following Your previous instructions?
Take us back today, back to Your ways. We are listening. In Jesus Name, Amen

Rescue Me

July 25
He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and earth.
Daniel 6:27

"Upon God's faithfulness rests our whole hope of future blessedness."
A. W. Tozer

Boo Thought: Daniel was in a mess and God made it into a miracle in the lion's den.
He's the master of doing that in our lives.

God also removes things from our lives to make room for something else He is up to with us.
I just finished reading Bethany Hamilton's true, life story, Soul Surfer. The book is about when, at fourteen years old, a shark bit off her arm while she was surfing in Hawaii. God has used this tragedy and taken Bethany across the US to places she never dreamed of going, speaking and testifying to God's faithfulness. She had to be willing to trust Him and travel along though.

God turns tragedy into triumph and we applaud him with praise today.

Let's Pray: Lord, Keeper of our Days, don't let us miss the next flight you have for us. Take us from attitudes of "woe is me" to the acknowledgement of "Whoa is God!" Looking back we can all see there have been numerous times we needed to be rescued, by You, from the path we were on. You are constantly at work in heaven and our earth producing circumstances to draw us closer to You and bring about good in our lives. May we be on board with You today Father. In Jesus Name, Amen

We Ought to Pray

July 24
Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
Luke 18:1

"Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God."
William Carey

Boo thought: My husband was hired last fall to be the head of a new Christian school that people have been praying for in our area. The whole process has been a God thing full of answered prayers and we are down to crunch time with the board wanting this school to open August 20th. Luke 18:1 could be our daily theme! Prayer is what we all "ought" to do, but often we fidget around on our own first.

Last week the student numbers increased and the school needed to hire another teacher. Two experienced teachers who had been interviewed had already taken other jobs. As we prayed, I told the Lord it would really be awesome to have a guy on the staff. Not many elementary schools are blessed with male faculty members and our children need good male role models. That very afternoon the phone rang and it was a man named.....are you ready...."Guy" and he was inquiring about the job. He interviewed with my husband Monday. He has four years teaching experience, great references and a seminary masters!

We remembered we "ought" to pray and God answered those prayers.

Let's Pray: Father, we don't even need a cell phone to reach you. We don't even have to open our mouths for You know our minds and our words before we speak them. You are a relational God creating us for your pleasure and that pleasure includes talking to us and giving us good things/blessings. Help us to stay in Your Word, so that we know Your will and pray accordingly finding fulfillment and joy in who You have created, in advance, us to be. When we pray, help our unbelief and have us pray in a way that we expect results! In Jesus Name, Amen


July 23

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

"The Lord's goodness is the source of all our joy."
C. H. Spurgeon

Boo Thought: I was to meet friends to walk this AM, but wanted to get the devo written first. "Concentrate" I thought. I began breaking that word down...con...meaning with..."cen"...ah or is it "sin"...trate..."traitor" I thought. We have to concentrate to keep Satan, the traitor and father of lies from penetrating our lives with sin.

I went to turn on my laptop to write and the anti-virus program popped up that a "worm" protection program needed to be added. Ha, yup, on my computer and over my heart! I clicked for the anti-virus process to update and while it was going I thought it best to pray and update my sin protection. I opened my journal study I am doing and there was the cure written out.

Luke 5:24 .. so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, Jesus told the paralyzed man-I tell you: get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.

Glancing back at the computer the instructions were to "restart" it. Perfect message for us today... we confess our sins, repent and have the privilege of restarting our lives with the Lord.

The Song "I'll Be There" popped into my head. Yes, we just call on the name of Jesus and he will be there!

Let's Pray: Father, today we choose to concentrate on You and the gift and purpose of Your precious Son. Thank You for the protection you provide, but also for janitorial service You offer to us, being willing to perform some major clean ups! As one of my friends said this morning, "I got myself in some real doo." I asked, "Would that be dew or doo?" Lord, Jesus keep our eyes on You and help us avoid the doo that disappoints us and You. You do make everything beautiful in Your time! In Jesus Name, Amen

God Exists

July 22
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

"The more you give everything over to God, the more His spirit will fill you."
J. Heinrich Arnold

Boo thought: In Carol Kent's book, Secret Longings of the Heart, she states a profound truth..."God Exists". The Isaiah verse personalizes that truth taking us right onto our Father's lap....when our eyes and minds are steadfast on the Lord we will have peace.

My Mama always said, "You don't have to tell names and tales too," but I want to share a women's Bible Study experience (without names) that testifies to the filling of the Spirit, mentioned by Arnold above.

The day had been hectic and the facilitator for the evening study was really unprepared to lead this group of twenty women. Rushing to the gathering she prayed, "Lord, I have no handouts, no catchy stories, what am I to say tonight?" "Just speak my love over them," God replied. OK, she thought. As the women settled in their chairs one of the women in the group, with musical talents said she had a few songs God had placed on her heart for them to sing. No one rose from their seats, but just took the piece of paper with the lyrics and sat and sang. The first song was Lord, I Lift Your name on High, then they proceeded with Oh, How He Loves You and Me. The tears were dripping down the facilitator's cheeks. God had impressed upon two hearts the same need...so through music and through prayer God's love was spoken over these women. What was to follow was an unfolding of God's healing touch on hurting spots on the hearts around that room. Everyone there knew they were in the presence of an adoring loving Father.

Kent says in that same book...Instead of feeling ashamed or threatened by our emotions, we can pass them through the grid of a belief system based on the Word of God so our passions and ultimately our actions will be for our good, the good of others, and the good of God's kingdom.

May we all go forward today and speak God's love over another.
God loves each of you. He loves how wonderfully he has made you and he longs for you to recognize His love for you today! Take time to sit in your Daddy's lap and taste of his goodness.
He is waiting to wrap His arms around you.

To God be the Glory

July 21
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory.
Psalm 115:1

"God is too wise not to know what is really best for us, and He is too good not to give it.
Henry Parey Liddon

Boo thought:Election years bring concerns and anxiety and this year is certainly no different. God sees the big picture and also is the keeper of our days on this earth. He wants to give us good things. How his heart must ache for where we have chosen to go as a nation. I think I would have given the etcha-sketch a good shake and started over long ago, but God is patient not wanting any to perish.

God will get the glory he deserves and every knee will bow before Jesus. In the meantime, let's do our part to pray for our nation and our leaders to be pleasing in His sight.

Let's Pray: Lord, you are the ruler of the nations. The creature of the universe. Every year you send me a black and yellow butterfly to encourage me and she just showed up Father! As Your children, may we come out of our cocoons and spread our wings proclaiming Your love for us and have voices that speak up to keep our rights as believers in this nation. You are our hope and our ever present help in times of trouble! In Jesus Name, Amen

Psalm 114 & 115 from Psalms Now by Leslie Brandt

We fear, O God, for our country and the tragic indifference that is demonstrated toward You and Your purposes. We have built great sanctuaries and memorials in Your honor. We have established innumerable church bodies that presume to glorify and serve You. We have respectfully imprinted Your name on our coins and properly credited You in our founding principles. Our leaders generally call on You to guide them in the most critical decisions they must make. A remnant of our populace gathers occasionally to sing Your praises and profess its faith. There are even special days when we count our blessings and conduct services of thanksgiving.

But the sanctuaries we build do not always glorify You. They often become soundproof fortresses that block out the sounds of suffering that echo throughout the world around them. Our numerous church bodies turn into vain attempts to box You into human ideas and concepts of divinity.

The coins that bear Your name are dedicated to the pursuit of our selfish ambitions and the acquisition of material wealth. Our founding principles are interpreted to benefit the powerful and oppress the weak. Our laws sometimes contradict and oppose Your law in the consciences and convictions of Your children. Our leaders call on You to bless their intentions rather than to reveal Your plans in the way they govern. And those who do gather to sing Your praises are seldom committed to anyone or anything unless it is comfortable and convenient for their purposes.

And yet, O Lord, we pray that You will not give up on us. We have selfishly clutched at Your great blessings and abused the wealth You have put into our hands. We have gathered ourselves while countless millions of this world's creatures have died with their needs unfulfilled. We have foolishly ignored You to worship the things that have come from Your hands.

We confess our rebelliousness and selfishness, O Lord, and pray that You will spare us. Spare us that you might renew us and save us and use us to share Your blessings with Your human creatures in every land. You dealt mercifully with Your ungrateful children throughout history. We pray that You will deal patiently and lovingly with us, that You will transform our words into actions and our shallow platitudes into genuine praises that will glorify and serve You in all the world.


July 19
Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

"We are never more Christlike than when we choose to forgive."
David Egner
July 20
The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped. Psalm 28:7

"The one who lives by faith trusts that good things can happen because God wants good things to happen."
Lewis Smedes

Boo thought: The word on my mind is obstacle:something that impedes progress or achievement. The cell phone rang yesterday and it was a recording from USAir stating our flight was delayed 94 minutes, therefore we would not make our connection to the flight home and we needed to call. Calling the 800 number we were simply told there were no more flights we could get on that day. While on hold I had my son pull up flight options from other airlines on the computer, so we could ask to be put on those flights. One flight required us being at the airport an hour earlier than planned, so while on hold we headed to his car, but our cell service was disconnected in the garage. When out in the open we had to start the whole process again. We reached the airport in Minneapolis before the airlines ever came back on the line!
We chose to be proactive and trust in the Lord to work this out. He did, we took two other airlines and arrived home two hours ahead of our originally scheduled time. On top of that we got to sit together, which hadn't been possible on the USAir flights. We also enjoyed visiting with the Dean of Students of Liberty University. Two other delightful Christians were on board and one is attending a wake board tournament on our Lake today, so we invited him to church here Sunday.
Faith building takes a giant leap forward when we watch God work out details to overcome obstacles. The Bible is an instruction manual for how this is possible...the ark, the parting of the Red Sea, Joseph in the pit, David on the run, Moses in the basket, Joshua at Jericho, Hannah being barren, David and Goliath, Gideon and the Midianites, how about Job, Ruth and Naomi, and of course our Lord overcame the obstacle of death...He rose from the dead!
Joseph summed up how the combo of the two verses above today work so well when he forgivingly addressed his brothers: Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:19-20

We finagled some flights yesterday, but God is at work finagling lives to come to a point where they recognize His amazing love for Him. Ah, that we would not be slow learners.

Let's Pray: Lord, there is a pretty good chance we will face some obstacles today. It may be an outdoor wedding that gets rained on forcing people inside and to have to bump into someone that has joy to share with them. It may be a flat tire or a need for directions that ends up with someone being invited to church tomorrow. Maybe a hospital or doctor's visit will bring estranged family members back together or those who have been separated from You Father will look up! Thank You, that you are always about our business, may we return the favor and join You in yours. In Jesus Name, Amen

Growing Strong in our Faith

July 18
You, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.
Isaiah 63:16

"If we walk continually in the Lord, we shall not lose the way or lose heart."
Marva J. Dawn

Boo thought: I awakened after a great night's sleep and thought...Did Jesus ever toss and turn or struggle with hot flashes? Did he have nightmares or throw up in the middle of the night? This verse about Jesus popped into my head. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. Luke 2:40
Growing physically and spiritually requires a process. While the physical process entails an eventual decline, the spiritual growth can continue to soar and strengthen!
Think about Abraham: No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Romans 4:20
The wash is running, the vacuum, Windex and dust cloth needs to come out. Day to day routines are to be tackled, but I am expecting God to be there all along the way for that is what He has promised. While I do physical cleaning, I will be praying that He cleans up my act spiritually and increases my faith!

Let's pray: Good morning Father! You have chosen this day for us. This is the day that You have made! We come to You wondering what it is You have planned. We will not lose heart along the way today, because we know that Your promises are true and therefore You go with us. What a grand companion You are. We sing out...Lord we lift Your name on high. Lord we love to sing your praises. We're so glad your in our life. We're so glad you came to save us. You came from heaven to earth to show the way, from the earth to the cross our debt to pay. From the cross to the grave, from grave to the sky. Lord we lift your name on high! And in Your precious name we pray, Amen


July 17
Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.
Psalm 27:14

"God often works His miracles in unmiraculous ways."
Peter Marshall

Boo Thought:OK, here God goes again...showing up and confirming himself through the verses and quotes on my calendar. Yesterday I was traveling by air. I had to be up at 4AM, so was very tired. I even asked the Lord, "Father, would it be OK if I am just quiet on the flight and knit or read?" No, response.
I had a middle sit between two attractive women, whom I would guess are nearing thirty. The conversation started by one of them inquiring about my knitting and progressed to a faith discussion as one of the women shared about her friend, battling cancer, who just courageously went through her wedding with a wreath on her head, since she is bald from her chemo treatments. We also touched on how my plane companion's three years in the Army (including Afghanistan) challenged her faith journey.
This young woman, who captured my heart on a two and a half hour plane ride, was in tears at one point and said, "I can't believe a stranger has made me cry." Ah, dear ones, it wasn't a stranger at all was it, but her heavenly father himself who created her with His own hands and was calling to her. I wrapped my arm around her and prayed God's love over her.
As we talked and I shared my nutty stories of how God has rocked my world over the years, speaking to my heart and directing me, severe turbulence came upon our plane. I told my new friend that I was excited about heading to heaven and wanted that for her too, so if we started heading down for her to fast forward to the part where she calls out to Jesus, seeking forgiveness of her sins and acknowledging him...then we would be able to hang out in heaven together.
If someone asked me what the best part of that day was, it would be my time with my new friend. Oh we of little faith. A good time is always a God time.

Let's Pray:Father, you are at work in miraculous ways! We can't wait to see how you are going to show up today. Forgive us for "our" agendas. Whew, we miss the party so many times because we do not accept the invitation to join You. When we wait on You and have the good courage to join You, then you strengthen our hearts and and our faith. Lord, the tears are dripping down my cheeks for so many who are missing the boat. You are such a good deal, may many come to love you today and experience the joy, peace, and exuberant love You are longing to offer them. May the love You desire to shower upon so many, not be lost today, but fill them up! May those of us who know that we are receiving the prize not be selfish and hoard the treasure we have been given. May we be found faithful to share our cookie with others!
In Jesus Name, Amen

Knocking on Heavens Door

July 16
Let my prayer be set before You as incense.
Psalm 141:2
"The kingdom is not for sentimentalists, but for those who mean business with God."
Catherine Marshall

Boo thought: The kingdom is not for sentimentalists and 5:50AM airline flights, for people who live an hour from the airport, are not for sissies! Wherever we are, whatever we do, we have a tool to take along with us...prayer. Knock, knock, knocking on heavens door!
Last night we had an Open House for the new Christian School my husband is to be Head of School for. We had a collage art class for thirteen of the young students visiting. Hands were flying up here and there for help and extra supplies, it was taxing getting around to. Not for God, He is the ultimate multi-tasker. The customer service people at a cell phone store, the DMV or at an airport where there are numerous disgruntled customers probably are looking forward most to going home. Not God, the Psalm says our needs and coming to him in prayer are like incense (a sweet aroma) to Him.

Psalm 141 in Psalms Now soon!
O God, I come to You in sorrow and shame.
I spoke up in my own defense today and uttered words that knifed their way into the heart of my friend, and this created a rift between us.
I would never raise my hand to strike anybody, but the tongue is more destructive than the fist, and I hurt the one I love.

Heal the hurt of my friend, O Lord, and heal the sickness within my heart that forced my foolish tongue into such irresponsible actions.
I come to claim Your loving mercy.
I pray, as well, that you grant my friend the grace to forgive me.
May Your Spirit who abides in my heart curb and control my rebellious tongue and teach me to speak words that give life and promote love in this hate-ridden world.

A History of our Faith

July 15

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

Psalm 103:8

"How reasonable it is to trust ourselves to the keeping of God's infinite love and infinite wisdom!

Thomas Erskine

Boo thought: Last night at our women's Bible Study we completed Henry Blackaby's study, When God Speaks. We highlighted what we had been impacted by these last weeks. One young woman shared the importance of the idea of having a history of our faith. We keep resumes and a history of our work/volunteer accomplishments. We have baby books/photo albums with pictorial histories of our lives, but where is there record of the history of our faith to pass on to future generations? The Psalms were David's record of his faith! Be blessed today by Psalm 103 from:

Psalms Now 103

My heart bursts with praises to God: every fiber of my being reaches out in rejoicing!

How can I ever forget His many blessings? He forgives all my sins; He touches my afflictions with healing; He snatches me back from the gaping jaws of hell; He covers me with concerns and love; He fulfills my deepest desires and give me meaning for life and purpose for living.

God is a God of judgement and justice, but He sides with those who need His help. He is angry with those who persistently rebel against Him, but He pours out His love on those who turn to Him. He does not give us our just desserts, of pay us what we well deserve. He is grieved when we so miserably fall, but He quickly draws us to His forgiving heart and accepts us just as if it never happened. He looks with tenderness at His faltering children; He knows and understands our fallible natures.

God's human creatures are pitiful pictures of weakness. Now and then one will, like a streaking meteor, blaze out across the skies of time only to become a smoking cinder at the end of the short journey. But those who are joined to God's loving will and purposes become the objects of His eternal mercy and righteousness.

Rejoice with me you who are His invisible servants and you who hear and obey His voice. Shout His praises you who are His children and you who serve as His ministers and priests.

There is no time for despair and discouragement. Whoever and wherever you are, lift your hearts in praises to God.

Shine Brighter

July 14
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.
1 Peter 3:12

"While God's doings are often beyond my understanding, His love for me is beyond all measure."
Jan Winebrenner

Boo thought: Yesterday morning, fifteen minutes before our Sunday morning celebration service God took me aside and gave me a message to share. The 1 Peter verse above went right along with what He was impressing upon me.
God told me to put in my teeth whiteners. I am the worst about wearing these, because my husband won't kiss me when I have them on! God wanted me to share how we are willing to brighten our teeth, but not take the time to feed on the Word and be brighter lights for Christ.

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1

Next I was cleaning out my ears... that is where 1 Peter 3:12 about the Lord's ears being open to our prayers fits in. I proceeded to put sunscreen on my face to protect my skin and read John 17:11 where Jesus asks: Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name. I picked up a pen to jot these verses down and got ink all over my hand. I thought of the song..."Sin had left a crimson stain, but Jesus washed it white as snow."

In the next room I heard my husband cutting his finger nails and God whispered...what is it you need to cut out of your life to make your light shine brighter?

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither, do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Getting up to write this morning I turned on a lamp with a three way switch. Usually I turn three clicks for the brightest degree available. A bulb with only 60 watt capability must have been placed in the lamp, because it wouldn't go any brighter. Likewise, we have limited capability of how bright we can shine on our own. That extra brightness comes from Christ in us and our reliance upon the Holy Spirit.

Let's Pray: Father, turn us on today, so that we may shine as brightly as possible for you. In Jesus Name, Amen

Our Best Investment

July 12
Blessed are those who ...seek Him with the whole heart.
Psalm 119:2

"Showing up at church once a week and saying a hearty Amen is a lot easier then engaging in a life of daily prayer."
Eugene Peterson

July 13
Do not worry about tomorrow.
Matthew 6:34

"Worrying is paying interest on trouble that may never come due!"
Richard De Haan

A Week Long Tale: God has taken me on a faith journey this week that began with a proposal and when followed through was full of his purposes, his presence, and his promises. When we live aware of these "p"s we become amazed at the possibilities.
The verses God has given us this morning speak so clearly to me in relation to what I learned this week. The proposal came several months ago, when an NFL assistant football coach (who had coached where one of our sons had been on a college team and knew our son lived on Smith Mt. Lake) called to ask where he and some friends might be able to rent a place on the Lake. At that time there were 13 people coming. My husband, having coached at the HS and MS level for years was very excited and said, "Why don't we have them here?" I said, "Sure." Over the next month the numbers grew and the final count was thirteen adults and twenty-two incredible children between the ages of one and fourteen. I wish I had taken time to journal everyday for God was at work at a level I have never experienced before. The week long experience would have made an amazing movie.
The husbands of these families were friends of this coach from various stages of his life...childhood, pro ball, and one of his churches along the way. Many of these people did not know one another, but had a deep love for the coach and his family. Now remember we had never met any of these people! The night before they arrived I looked at my husband and said, "What if we don't like them and we have committed to the whole week?"
We had scheduled special activities for the children such as tubing, banana boating, arts and crafts, fishing lessons, sugar cookie baking, treasure hunts, and a horse racing game. Moses, our bull dog followed behind them eating who knows what all week! Nightly we would set up for a huge dinner the couples took turns preparing and nightly the thunder or hail storms would blow in and we would have to move all the tables from the patio.
One of the dinners was prepared by two of the dads. They had shopped diligently for fresh ingredients from home grown veggies, basil, tarragon, to fresh dairy cream and ice cream. The food was amazing. While everyone was delighting in the delectable spread before them, out of the corner of my eye, I caught this two men over by the buffet table embracing. They had followed the Biblical teaching of two combining their efforts to lighten the load and their joy was great. (Those of us eating were pretty happy ourselves!)

In addition to the normal lake vacation activities I agreed to do a daily Bible Study with the children. I chose a devotional series on animals and lessons we can learn from them about friendship. (More to come in a bit.)
The power of prayer is what I think had the biggest punch for us all. No sooner had one couple arrived from Chicago than the mother had a serious asthma attack. I was inside and my husband came and got me and said, "You need to get out there and pray, there is a problem."
Rushing outside to this woman who could not get her breathe, I laid hands upon her and cried out to the Lord for help. When I prayed about how much God loved her and how He knew everything about her, the attack subsided.
One evening we made a giant prayer chain that contains two prayer requests from each of the thirty-five people! Watching these families come together and do this was amazing. We will pray over that chain here at our home for the rest of the summer! The mothers went on daily prayer walks with me and learned ABC prayers. I don't think we made it past the letter "H".
Twice we had missing items...a wallet and a toy that belonged to one of my children. Not until we stopped and prayed for God to help us find these things were they recovered. The answered prayer was exciting to the children. Daily I had the opportunity to pray with hurting mothers and children. The bond that is created through doing that is a "God thing".
God took the lessons we were learning from the devotions and put them into action. The biggest for me was a story about pigs and how unjustly we have judged them. The truth is pigs are smart, clean and friendly yet people tell stories making reference to them being dirty, lazy and stupid.
The verse was Luke 6:37...Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.
One of our guests was a very spirited, gorgeous, five year old boy with a strong will. Nine of the other boys were much older and the girls his age had their own agendas, so he was kind of left out and exhibited frustrations over this fact. He and I came to blows one day (I have a three strikes and your out policy..but had given him four because he is so cute). What became very clear was that whenever something went wrong, both children and adults immediately accused this child. When the wallet went missing, although he was out on a boat, he was unanimously decided the culprit...NOT. The wallet belong to a precious little girl who had left it in her mother's room. My heart ached for the mother that heard everyone turning on her son...it made me think of Mary and Jesus. We all learned a powerful lesson that night and as parents we reflected on the power of words and how what we speak over our children is what they can become.
The other big lesson that came from this is how God works things for good. The young girl who had lost her wallet was overcome with guilt as she realized the false accusations she had stirred up. I took her in my arms and talked to her about how clear the Bible is that we will all suffer trials. I told her God must known how much she loved him and that He could use her and her missing wallet to teach us all the lesson on judging others. We talked about how young, teenage, Mary must have felt when she was pregnant and not married. God saw a faith in her, that He knew he could use. We talked about being joyful always and she put a big smile on her face and dried her tears. This is the sort of thing God was up to continually.
The biggest lesson for me came one day when I was beginning to stress a bit about the wear and tear on the house and thinking this probably wasn't a wise decision. I told the Lord..."This house is our biggest investment, our worth is in it and we need to take care of it." God quickly gave me the wrong answer buzzer...NOT. "Your worth, my child, is in Christ Jesus and your biggest investment is the time you spend in the Word and serving me." Whew back to the verses for today...seeking Him with our whole hearts and not worrying about tomorrow. Rather timely huh?
Yesterday, I sobbed as these children and parents embraced me and told me they loved me and had learned so much this week. The night before my heart was overwhelmed as I looked out over them and thought about the plans God has for them and the possibilities that lay ahead for His kingdom with all these workers! I didn't want to see them go...they won't be far away though for I am carrying each of them in my heart.

If God is leading you somewhere out of your comfort zone today, hang on and go with him...it may be a great adventure with a treasure chests of blessings at the end!
My life is certainly all the richer for this past week.
Love, Boo

Crying Out

They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distress. Psalm 107:19

"God's ability is not limited by our inability."

David Branon

Boo thought: Two darts came zooming into our lives yesterday, concerning the Christian School my husband is a part of. I thought my armor was on, but obviously it was askew because the pain was intense. I fell to my knees onto my prayer bench and cried out to the Lord.
I trembled as I held my Bible and out of it fell these verses I had typed up a week ago...

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17

...he knows the secrets of the heart.
Psalm 44:21

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
Job 23:10

Your Father knows what you need before you ask.
Matthew 6:8

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Jesus wrapped his arms around me, reminding me he was there. He is with you as well.
Love, Boo

Let's Pray: Father, thank You for always being there and loving us well. In Jesus Name, Amen

Feed On the Word

Your Word is very pure, therefore Your servant loves it.
Psalm 119:140

"Read your Bible prayerfully and obey it joyfully."
David Egner

Boo thought: I awakened suffering from the sin of gluttony. Two men, who are house guests here made the most amazing dinner last night and I couldn't stop eating. They topped it off with vanilla ice cream they had bought at our local creamery...Homestead Creamery. Whew, that ice cream was smooth and "PURE" like the verse above speaks of the Word of God...and the people here loved it!

When you fall in love with Jesus and feed upon his Word...you don't want to stop devouring it.
The good thing is...the only morning after affect is "joy" for having been with someone who loves you so much.

Yesterday we did a treasure hunt here, where one clue lead to the next...that is what can happen when you are seeking God's treasure...his Holy Word. Take today's verse and turn to that Psalm...your eyes may fall upon another verse God wants to use to speak to you. Then choose a key word from today's verse. Go with "servant". Look that up in your concordance and let that lead you to more verses. If you Bible doesn't have a concordance go to http://www.biblegateway.com/ and search the word "servant" (or another one if God lays it upon you). It is so much fun you will not want to stop!

Email me some of your verses at boojoyful@aol.com.

Let's pray: Lord you are our treasure. You are more precious than silver, Lord you are more costly than gold, Lord you are more beautiful than diamonds and nothing we desire compares with You. Speak to us today through Your Word. In Jesus Name, Amen

PS. I am too tired to proof this, so let me know if there are typos. Thanks for helping.

Stop in the Name of Love

July 9

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

"In a world of constant change, you can trust the unchanging Christ."
Paul Van Gorder

Boo thought: Oh, my goodness, here comes the song.
Stop in the Name of Love, Before You Break My Heart.
That is what we are doing right now! We are stopping to tell the Lord we love Him and we want to learn more about him. What an amazing friend we have in Jesus...his character is always the same....PERFECT! May we never give Him the cold shoulder or ignore Him.
We have 35 house guests for the week. Twenty-two of those are children from 1-14 years of age. Each morning I am doing a devotional time with them on friendship. We will learn what God's Word has to say about being a good friend, but most importantly we will learn that Jesus is the best friend we can ever have...he never disappoints.

Check out these verses and take time today to pray with your best friend...Jesus.

The LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9

You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.
Job 22:27

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:7

God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

Divine Time in the Den

July 8

Daniel...knelt down on his knees three times that day,

and prayed and gave thanks before his God.

Daniel 6:10

"Throughout the ages God has never been proven untrustworthy.

Vernon Grounds

Boo Thought: Want an action story? Read Daniel 6 and be thrilled by God's divine, protective presence over Daniel in the lion's den. Daniel knew the power of prayer and he wasn't giving up the protocol of praying. God instructs us to pray and Daniel was going to be obedient, even if unto death by carrying out that statute.
One of my favorite stories is of a friend who went to lunch with a lady who had just move to town. They were served their food and my friend bowed her head to pray. The new lady on the block interrupted and said, "I am sorry, where I come from we don't do that in public." My friend said, "Well, you are here now and we do this here" and she proceeded to pray!
Knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door!

Let's Pray: Abba, Daddy, you always have a listening ear. We lift our hearts to You rejoicing and giving You praise as we remember the many things you have done for generation after generation. Lord hear our prayers. May our lives be so in tune with You that our prayers mirror the plans You have had for us since You spoke us into being. Lord make our prayer time a two way conversation...speak to us today. In Jesus Name, Amen

Who do you say I am?

July 7

Without Me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

"If we depend wholly on God, we will find Him wholly dependable."

Herbert Vander Lugt

Boo Thought: Wow, I had very little sleep last night, but I awakened singing...This the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Immediately the question from Jesus came across my mind..."Who do you say that I am?"
The thoughts of who Jesus is and all he has done and continues to do for me flood across my mind. The Son of God, the miracle worker, the One who made an atoning sacrifice for me come rushing to the forefront. Then the role He played as a human on earth come into play...the man who wept, who ate with his friends, the one who loved his parents....the One who knew the importance of staying connected to The Father. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a solitary place. And He was praying there.
Mark 1:35

Lord, I say You are full of love and the perfect example for us to follow.

Let's Pray: Father, thank You for sending your Son. Mold us and make us to be more like him...for with You nothing is impossible...so here we are. In Jesus Name, Amen

Happy Fourth-Be Joyful Always

Happy Fourth

While Merriman Webster refers to independence as:
"not subject to control by others",
we as believers need to think of it as being
"in" the dependence mode and controlled by the Holy Spirit!

July 3
I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Isaiah 38:5

"No matter where we are, God is as close as a prayer."

Billy Graham

July 4
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

"Wait patiently for the Lord. He will give you what's best-in His time!"
Henry G. Bosch

Boo thought: Very Timely message as AOL has kicked me off once again.
I believe no weapon formed against us will prosper and God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, so I will allow this snafoo to bring to fruition even something grander for the Lord.
Prayerfully a new web site will be done soon and include online Bible Study, recommended books, music and recipes!
July 5
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Matthew 22:37
"Our minds are to be as fully yielded to God as our hearts and souls."
David McCasland

July 6
Search me O God, and know my heart. Psalm 139:23
"Praying for selfish gain turns God against our requests. " Leith Anderson

Psalms Now 75 & 76
We praise You, O God
Even in the midst of this world's wickedness, we celebrate Your majesty and power.
For You are here, O God. You are here to save; You are here also to judge.
Even while the godless trumpet their rebellion,
You hold the world in the palm of Your hand.
Should You close Your hand in anger, O God, their doom is sealed, their boasts ended forever.

Your fainthearted servants need not be dismayed, O God.
Even the rebelliousness of these obstinate creatures can serve to further Your purposes.
We need not fear the distortions of those who defy and oppose You.
We need only renew our relationship with You, rededicate our lives to Your objectives,
and continue to celebrate You presence and Your power in our world.