Gumball Rally

Welcome to September
"The word impossible melts away with God."
Catherine Marshall
September 1
His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23
"We see only the beginning. God sees the end from the beginning."
C. H. Spurgeon

Boo thought:Years ago there was a movie called Gumball Rally. The plot was a tradition between a group of people that when they received a gumball they were to get in their cars and race from the east coast to the west coast. You just dropped everything and went! We started doing that with our children..they couldn't drive, but they knew if there was a gumball under their pillow, at their place at breakfast or their teacher handed them a gumball they were to immediately get in the car and we would be on an unknown adventure!
Sometimes God hands us a "gumball" and wants us to just "GO" with Him!
Because He is the God of Lamentations 3:22-23...compassionate, merciful, and loving...we can trust Him and follow him where He leads.
If He calls us to surrender all today and go on a special assignment, be ready for a blessing!

Let's Pray: God, you are a God of Order. Mold us into children/servants who are quick to follow Your orders even if they disrupt the order of our days! We pray for the many people in the Gulf who have had their lives disrupted. PLEASE Lord, still this storm and protect these people from harm and destruction of their property. May we be many who answer the call to rally around this situation and help out by donating our time, services and money. May we all be found faithful in our prayers for these people as well. In Jesus Name, Amen

Forget not His Benefits

August 30
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not His benefits.
Psalm 103:2

"In God's presence my soul find strength, my days find deep delight."
W. Phillip Keller

August 31
The way of the Lord is strength for the upright.
Proverbs 10:29

"Nothing is too big or too small to be touched by God's wisdom."
Larry Lea

Boo thought: Day after day, this past week, I just kept praising God for the benefits of teaching in a Christian school. I've previously mentioned that we are reading Soul Surfer...yesterday we read two impactful passages that make reading the whole book worthwhile. Bethany shared, pre-shark attack, about her routine before a surfing competition.
Prayer was the order for her day...check out what she still prays. She asks God for SAFETY for everyone competing, for WISDOM in her wave selection and to be in the RIGHT PLACE at the right time. Putting the book down and looking at my students, I simply said, "WOW". Then I asked them what seemed unusual about that prayer. The total agreement was amazement that she hadn't prayed to win.
Safety, wisdom and to be in the right place at the right time is a suitable prayer for all of us!
The second paragraph that packed a forever punch (and is also a fabulous benefit of belonging to the Father) was what Bethany remembers the paramedic in the ambulance saying to her: "Remember, God will never leave you or forsake you." God has that paramedic in the right business!

Let's Pray: Father, mighty are your ways and numerous are your benefits. Thank You for always being with us. May we have the sense to seek Your wisdom which you are waiting to impart. Wherever our weekend takes us may it be obvious to others You are the one leading the way. In Jesus Name, Amen

Soar or Sore

August 29
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad.
Psalm 126:3

"Turn to God in every situation-even when you don't feel like it."
Billy Graham

Boo thought:This Psalm speaks of the uncertainty that surrounds our days...we don't know what we will encounter along the way. We climb all the rungs of the ladder with others, rejoicing at the top at times and sitting in sorrow in other circumstances with those who are low. The homonyms soar and sore say a lot!

Let's Pray:Lord, whether high or low, soaring or sorrowing, we can be happy and know it, because we know You. You have done great things and You always will do great things. Mold us and make us to be more like You. We look forward to how You are going to shape us...what a plan You have! In Jesus Name, Amen

A time of rest

August 28
I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
John 5:30

"Prayer is Sabbath. We put ourselves, or those for whom we pray, to rest in God's hands."
Harriet Crosby

Boo thought: If prayer is Sabbath...and Sabbath means a time of rest... and rest is defined as peace of mind or spirit...prayer is where I want to be.

Let's Go There....Oh Great Author of the Sabbath, You are our peace! The pace of this world can escalate out of control. We must pull out our rest flag and solute its' purpose, being still and knowing You are God. Speak to us in the quiet moments and envelope us in Your will, for that is our "want to be" place! In Jesus Name, Amen

Let's Pray: Whew, Lord, I don't know about everyone else, but for me this last week I have stayed on the go and even gone on ahead without you a few times. Forgive us when we wander and forgive us when we wonder! Speak to us now in these quiet moments, thrill our hearts with Your wisdom

Face to Face

August 27
Oh Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all."

Psalm 104:24

"The most important things we ever hope for from God is God Himself."
Lewis Smedes

Boo thought: In Bethany Hamilton's book Soul Surfer, this teen who had her arm bitten off by a shark shares that one good thing about our trials is they make us seek wanting to see him face to face. I am challenged by the story in Luke 8 when the woman desiring to be healed, just reaches out and touches Jesus' robe...believing.
He wants us to reach out and touch him and look for his face!

Don't Leave Me

August 26
I will never leave you or forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5

"You are in God's heart and on His mind every moment."
Anne Graham Lotz

Boo thought: What a perfect verse for this time of year for the parents of kindergarten and college parents! They whisper similar words to their children, really needing them to be spoken over themselves! We say, "Mommy will be right here to pick you up after school" or "Remember we are only a phone call away and can bring you or mail you anything you need."
The reality is our hearts are being ripped apart at the thought that these wee ones and wonderful ones (college kids) could possibly make it on their own without us. If we have trained them up in the way they should go, they will know they are not alone.

Let's Pray: Oh, precious Father, you know us so well for you are always with us. Where hearts are heavy...lift them up and lighten the load. Where parents are worrying...have them speak the wonders of YOU over those they care about, thus feeling refreshed themselves as they practice what they preach. Help us turn our hearts to You and feel Your peace. In Jesus Name, Amen

Power to Change the Atmosphere

August 25
He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Psalm 32:10

"Christians are to be defined as people who are hungry for God."
Calvin Miller

Boo Thought: Lord, my head hung low this morning. I had worked frantically late into the night trying to prepare my lesson plans and email the parents of my students. Being restless I was up again working shortly after 5AM. Computer glitches frustrated me and the clock ticked away...7AM and I hadn't even gotten in the shower and needed to be on the road. Then the nauseating feeling set in...I hadn't had my quiet time, hadn't written today's devotional, hadn't put You first Lord.
Scurrying home, I grabbed Chinese food for my wonderful Bible study ladies who have been studying Carol Kent's Secret Longings of the Heart with me. My heart was comforted by so many passages we read. I want to share three of those with you before I put my head down...I've made the Midnight is still the 25th.
1) "As I create untrue mental images, the Enemy attacks with vengeance."
2) "Corrie ten Boom's secret was a passion for God that resulted in relinquishment of her personal rights, which included all her expectations that He should lead her along an easy path.
J. Oswald Sanders defines what we're talking about: "Spirituality is not easy to define, but its presence or absence can easily be discerned...It is the power to change the atmosphere by one's presence, the unconscious influence that makes Christ and the spiritual things real to others."
Let's pray this one:
4) "Lord, be glorified in me. Let Your supernatural presence be felt by the people in my life. Free me from false guilt. Establish my heart in truth. Help me to encourage others on their journey home. Give me the boldness to speak and the wisdom to be quiet. Let your creativity flow through me. But center my lofty thoughts on You. Teach me the value of solitude. Slow me down. Quiet me heart. Give me an eternal mindset. Purify my motives. Keep me from demanding visible results. Teach me to pray. Guard my convictions. Let my ruling passion be my love for you. Amen."


August 23
Those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
Psalm 37:9

"God is highly confident of His own plans."
Kathy Troccoli

August 24
If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Matthew 18:19

"Let us pray for each other, for this is the best way to love one another."
Mother Teresa

Boo thought: This first week of the new school as been amazing. We've built kingdoms and castles in the woods, had wakeboarding lessons, made aluminum foil boats to sail in the lake, selected a tree to "fall in love with" and study throughout a year's cycle, learned a wealth of vocabulary words already, begun writing personal journals, applied scripture to every lesson and prayed without ceasing!
We discussed the advantages of friendship and two coming together to pray in agreement is one of those! The students were challenged to think of examples of strong friendships...David and Jonathon, Naomi and Ruth, Andy and Barney, Beaver and Larry! (A wealthy young man and a shepherd, a mother in law and daughter in law, a sheriff and a deputy, and two boys!) Friendships and prayer partners can be formed without social, cultural or age requirements.

Thanks to each of you who have prayed for us these past ten months for this school to come to fruition. The stories of what God has done in three days are amazing....a child suffering from depression released from that bondage, a timid student not wanting to go to school anywhere has made a friend she has played with everyday after school, and a young man walking up to a teacher yesterday after chapel time in our woods simply saying..."I want to be saved." Nine mothers have already called me in tears of joy of what this school means to their family!

We have waited on the Lord to put all the details of The Academy together and He has done it.
There are still enormous financial needs, but God has provided and will continue to meet our needs.

Let's Praise & Pray: Today Lord, we stop to say, "Thank You." I studied in Luke 8:41 this morning where Jairus cried out to you to heal his daughter...he was desperate for You, sweet Jesus. Our wants are many and our need is Jesus. Accept these two poems I wrote this morning, Father, as a representation of us acknowledging who You are. In Jesus' Name, Amen
Where there is pain
Where there is sorrow
Where there is sickness
Where there is despair
Where there is loneliness
Where there is fear of death.....Be greater Lord, Be THEIR all in all!
Wipe away the doubt...have believers shout!
Tell the lost, Christ paid the cost!
Your Father is waiting with open arms
to begin a relationship that does not end! Rejoice, for it is true!

Parts of Prayer

August 18
In the night His song shall be with me-a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8

"God knows what parts of our prayer are the best for us to have,
and what are not." Fredderick Temple

Boo thought: Ha...God picks the parts of prayer which are best for us...good thought. My husband has severely injured his back and we are moving into the new school tomorrow. Not only can he not pick up anything...he can't sit!
I took over Saturday, making yet another Sam's and Staples run and then met a mother at the school to help me unload everything. A large box of metal shelving fell out of the car onto my arm, which feels like it may have a little break in.

On the way home I was nearing tears. Something must have triggered the On Star program available on our car...a woman's voice said, "Good-bye."

"Hmm, maybe Jesus was coming for me," I thought. Driving down the gravel road to our house, I began singing praise songs just in case He was waiting for me. I even sang, "Take me Jesus!" Well, I am still here, so he didn't go with that part of the prayer request.

Let's Pray: Lord, provide for us what we need and what will make us most pleasing in your sight. Pick apart our prayers making them pure. In Jesus Name, Amen

Desire to pray.

August 22
I desire therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without...doubting. 1 Timothy 2:8

"Prayer is that means whereby man's will is bent to God's desires."
Charles H. Brent

Boo thought: Everybody needs a friend like Paul is to Timothy, in this book of encouragement and step by step instructions. He speaks from the perspective of one who had a powerful experience of God showing up and speaking to him, thus having a passion to please God.
He stresses that God wants everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Paul also mentions the importance of praying for kings and all those in authority, for these leaders' decisions have a huge impact on people living in peace. Great nudge for us to be praying for our upcoming elections.
The word "desire" keeps jumping out at me this morning. When you look in the middle of that word you see the little word "sir". God is our big "Yes, sir!" Let's make a list of our top five desires...starting with being pleasing in God's sight!

Let's Pray: Lord, I can't lift up my hands and type, but I will stop between sentences and raise them up to You! May all Your creation praise Your holy name this morning. May people everywhere recognize the power in prayer and the purpose of prayer. Prayer brings us into fellowship with YOU and that is an awesome place to be. Father we do pray for the leaders in this world. Keep their egos in check. Tug on their hearts in a way that they aren't satisfied until they find You. Raise up leaders who desire peace. Keep our nation, as one under You and may that be reflected in the way this nation votes. In Jesus Name, Amen

Talk It Over

August 21
Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments.
1 John 3:22

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

Boo Thought: Today we've had the 4-7th graders at our home for a school team building retreat. The students have been divided into groups creating "kingdoms" like in their summer reading book:Bridge to Terabithia and building aluminum foil boats for Science.
Collaboration was one of the big vocabulary words. They had to discuss options with one another and select a course to be taken to reach a successful outcome.

We have access to the same procedure process. We can discuss things with God.

Let's Pray: Lord, show us the way to godly, successful, living. With You, nothing is possible. We thank You for what You did today, what You have done for those who have walked before us and for the many outcomes You have ready to produce in the future. We come ready to chat, knowing You are a good listener. In Jesus Nane, Amen


August 20
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things.
Jeremiah 33:3

"God is faithful to His Word, even though He does not always do what we ask."
John Bisagno

Boo Thought: Life is a process and there are some awesome outcomes with "three parters". Peanut butter, jelly and soft bread. Squat, tuck and roll=forward roll. Shuffle, ball, change (tap dancing).

Jeremiah 33 reverberates God's three part instructions for us on the steps to take to see great and mighty things. Call, get an answer and see!

Today is the first day of school and I am having my class make a stop sign. I want to pray today for all of us to stop, look and listen to God.

Let's Pray: Father, Jesus came as "the man", but you are so much more than that. We recognize Lord, that when we do not take time to "stop" from our business and be with you we miss out on what You have planned for the day. We pray and pray and pray, but often forget to open the love letter and instruction guide You have written for us and gain encouragement and knowledge from the Bible....may we open it today. And lastly God, make us good listeners. While others disappoint us and lead us into temptation, You will always guide us towards good!

Here we are Father, calling, waiting for answers and to see great and mighty things. In Jesus Name, Amen

Peace and Power

August 19
Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
Matthew 21:22

"We pray in order to bring down blessings upon ourselves."
Priscilla Maurice

Boo Thought: Opening day of this new school we are involved in is approaching. The process has been much like Christmas where people work frantically, cooking, cleaning and shopping to prepare for this festive holiday event. Then a point is reached where you just have to stop and enjoy the people. We have packed a lot of punch into everyday the past ten months to prepare for Smith Mt Lake Christian Academy, but today is Christmas Eve (and I hate going to the mall on Chritmas Eve) so we must take what we have and put on the finishing touches.

Tomorrow, as those rooms encompass precious faces, the childen will be our decorations and they will be what is to be enjoyed.

What we have prayed for and believed God wanted to do has come to fruition.

Yesterday, the faculty walked together through each classroom and prayed specifically by name for each child who will be attending and the Head of School prayed over each teacher! During an English training session the Head of School (my hubby) came in to say there was an urgent prayer need. A private plan had taken off from the Roanoke Airport without permission and was flying below rador. The plan had been missing for several hours and a helicopter had spotted if over our lake area. Agents talking to the pilot believed him to be suicidal. The bridge and surrounding shopping areas had been evacuated and police were alerted to be watching the dam. One of our teachers knew that her three children were going to play Putt Putt at the bridge, another faculty member's sister was working at the Putt Putt. Immediately we went into prayer mode! Not five minutes passed before we were told the pilot had finally been talked into landing at the airport and was taken into custody.

Had the bridge been taken out our school could not have started Wednesday for half of our faculty and students live on the other side of the lake. Never a dull moment!

Prayer is where power and peace dwell.

In Jesus' Name

August 16
Everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found.
Psalm 32:6
"Let us not be content to pray morning and evening, but let us live in prayer all day long." Francois Fenelon

August 17
"Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My Name He will give you." John 16:23
"A man must not stop listening any more than praying when he rises from his knees." George H. Brent

Boo thought: Yesterday, at our faculty meeting the topic of dress code for students and teachers came up. The Head of School said if there is a question he will look the individual right in the eye and say, "Do you believe what you are wearing brings glory to God?"

I would probably ask..."Would you walk around with Jesus wearing that?"

John has a similar guideline when it comes to getting answered prayer. When we recognize we are asking Jesus to stand on our behalf and take our requests to our heavenly Father we will be more likely to petition God from within his boundaries.

Let's Pray: Hello Father, praise and glory to Your name on high. Majesty, we worship your majesty. To you be all glory, honor and praise!
Lord, have our prayers been all "gime prayers"? Today we come with hearts that say..."Give us more of YOU." In Jesus Name, Amen

No Interference

August 15
Since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you.
Colossians 1:9

"Let us take all our wishes, all our the feet of our Father."
Frederick Temple

Boo Thought: This morning I was studying the parable of the sower of the seed. The evaluation process began as I asked myself: "What in my life is keeping God's Word from taking root in my life?" My time just seems to steal away these days, computer work, phone calls, UPS deliveries of textbooks for the school and more computer work, and little distractions from a solid alone time, meditating on the Word and weaving it into my life.
The enemy works like those squiggly, interference, lines (or what was called snow) on a TV that keep the picture from being clear.
This morning I felt like Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz knocking on the castle door desiring God's assistance. Who am I to knock on the door of the Throne Room? God's word says I am his child and he welcomes me in!

Just that time with Him this morning has encouraged me. Thank you to all of you who are praying for this school we are starting. May God get all the glory!

Let's Pray: Good morning Father, here we are, some of us not knowing which way to go. Forgive us for making so many attempts on our own. Lately Lord, I've felt like when you play Pin the Tail on the Donkey and they blindfold you and spin you around and then send you in an unknown direction. If we reach out for Your hand, even though blindfolded, You will lead the way to the perfect spot! Huh, it may not be putting the tail perfectly on the donkey's rear end, but we face today, knowing you will put us right where you need us to be to accomplish the purpose in our life today! Lord, if others laugh at where we land, may we be joyful always and laugh with them and respond: "God has me here for a very good reason!" I'd rather be pinned somewhere with God, than stuck to the rear end of that donkey on my own. In Jesus Name. Amen

Never Rushed

August 14
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:12

"Prayer is a habit, and the more we pray the better we shall pray."
Anthony W. Thorold

Boo Thought: What a hectic week we have with the faculty having reported yesterday. My husband just said, "I don't mean to rush you, but the CPR lady is waiting." God never rushes us, he never grows impatient, he is always waiting for us to come to him, so he can listen!

Pray for me a I rush! Love, Boo

Overcast with Angels' Wings

August 13

It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer.
Isaiah 65:24

"All our prayers are only supplements to those of the angelic hosts,
the heavenly beings, and God Himself. Marva J. Dawn

Boo Thought: It is overcast this visible sign of the sun, but we all go forward believing the sun is still there. Looking up the definition of overcast was the synonym overshadowed. Now that just thilled my heart. Peering back outside I decided the covering of the sky was actually the overlay of angels' wings, because so many are looking over us today (teachers report to the new school my husband is head)!
Grabbing my concordance it led me to Psalm 36:7-10 which will be our prayer today.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.
In Jesus Name, Amen
August 12
O Lord, attend to my cry,
give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.
Psalm 17:1

"To pray in the Name of Christ is to pray as one who is at one with Christ."
Samuel Chadwick

Boo thought:
Repetition! The weather is amazing, so the air has been turned off and our windows are open. The Lake sounds are flowing into the house. Boats, splashes and laughter. Another familiar sound has just reach my sound barrier, the music from the local ice cream boat. Two young, twenties something, brothers run this business, which was started by their father. They claim to eat most of their profits! Speakers are attached to the sides of their pontoon boat and play the same monotonous song over and over, but it serves its' purpose of alerting you to their arrival. My husband often wonders how these boys endure the monotony of the repetition of that music. Chadwick states we are to be "at one with Christ"... these poor fellows have to be at one with the music on that boat!
Sometimes we have to apply repetition to our prayers, but the sound of our voices is never received as monotonous to God our Father.
Ah, now there is a wee one screaming at the top of his lungs on another dock. I've been to that point with the Lord myself! He still loves us even when we have melt downs!

Let's Pray: Father, thank you that you don't tire of us calling and even crying out to you. Help us to grow in wisdom to the point that all our prayers align with Your will. As Moses and your children wandered for forty years, we are certain there was some repetition in their prayers. Obviously, You have lessons to teach us when we have to linger places. We trust You and thank You for listening. In Jesus Name, Amen

Magical Moments

August 11
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

"All the Christian virtues are locked up in the word prayer."
Charles H. Spurgeon

Boo Thought: Sunday is the Lord's day and yesterday He showed up in our yard. We had gathered for our Sunday Celebration service and were blessed to have our daughter performing on her harp. The setting was incredible...golden harp, green lawn, blue sky, weeping willow trees, sparkling water and a fabulous breeze. After a few songs, she stopped and my husband came forward to give the message. He shared the introduction and then said he felt what we all needed to do was to "rest" in the Lord, so he sat back down and asked Betty Ashton to continue playing. Burdens were lifted, troubles laid down and God was with us. While she played Amazing Grace a beautiful butterfly flew right into the crowd and came so close to my head, I actually thought it was going to land on me! The man next to me asked, "How did you train that butterfly?"
Another woman shared how she became aware of the birds in the trees and how even they were thrilled by the sounds coming from the harp and seemed to sing along!
The enemy can toss a lot of trash, but he is no match for the presence of the Lord and our praises really bring on that presence!

Let's Pray: Great are you Lord and worthy of praise. Thank You for the chance to sit at your feet Lord and tell you our tales. When we begin to waiver, please whisper to us..."The ole devil is no match for ME!" When we lift Your name on high, our spirits rise on such occasion. In Jesus Name we come, trusting and finding peace, Amen

Building Blocks

August 9
God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

"We can never know God's power unless we attempt the impossible."
Marva J. Dawn

August 10
With my whole heart I have sought You.
Psalm 119:10

"God desires to talk with us in the quietness of our own heart through His Spirit."
Brent Curtis and John Eldredge

Boo thought:
Do you remember playing with building blocks? Initially, as beginning builders we would just stack random blocks on top of one another. If we happened to have the stacking set with progressing sizes of blocks we quickly learned the larger ones went on the bottom. Today's verses, coupled with a few others, create a successful pattern for us to have obedience in Christ and a faith that does not waiver or crash!
Let's get stacking...
First, we will choose to:
love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all
our mind and with all our strength. (Mark 12:30)
Because of how we have chosen to love Christ...
We will keep his commands and obey him. (John 14:21)
As God with our whole heart (Psalm 119:10)
We will thrill that God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and love and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
And therefore we will be far more likely to persevere in trials. (James 1:12)

Open Our Eyes

August 8
We walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

"The oceans of God's love come up into the tiny bay of our unbelief."
Peter Marshall

Boo Thought: Climbing into his pickup truck, my husband couldn't believe what he saw. Flying around was, at first glance, the largest bee he had ever seen. He backed out, leaving the door open and waited until what he realized was a hummingbird, exited the truck.

So many episodes we encounter in life are not what they seem to be. Tumultuous events occur and we wonder how a loving God could allow them. Positions God can call upon us to take may make no sense at all, but that should come as no surprise for His ways are not our ways... His outcomes are wonderful!

Let's pray the song...Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus, to reach out and touch him and say that we love Him. Open our ears, Lord. And teach us to listen. Open our eyes, Lord. We want to see Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen

Clothed in Majesty

August 7
O Lord my God...You are clothed with honor and majesty.
Psalm 104:1

"My business is to think about God. It is for God to think about me." Simone Weil

Boo thought: Waking in the still of the night, I sensed I was in a planetarium and the stars were laid out on the ceiling of our bedroom. Was I dreaming? No, it was a "God thing" calling me outside. The summer heat has been so oppressive lately that it was a delight to take our bulldog and step out onto our deck. Whoa, there was God's majesty, hung out before me! The night sky had been clothed with stars of various intensity and an orchestra of crickets and tree frogs were performing a previously selected piece to accompany the scene.
Grabbing my computer I decided to sit a spell (as Granny Clampet would say) and write to you, while delighting in the lacy canopy several trees provided as accessories adorning a night sky.
Checking out God's evening wear more intently, I realize....I don't get out enough in the middle of the night!
Interesting timing. Our daughter is visiting and last night asked me to watch the show, Project Runway. It is a clothing designer competition and here we are in Psalm 104 taking in how God is clothed!
Let's Pray:

Psalms Now 104
O Lord, how great and all-powerful You are! And how beautiful is the world You created for our habitation! Even before Adam was brought forth from the dust, or Eve was brought forth from Adam's rib, You prepared for them a place in which to live and grow. And everything they saw around them reflected the beauty and power of the living God...Father, help us to get out and fellowship with You in the diverse wardrobe You possess. For the mere fact You have designed sunrises to starlight, mountains to oceans, and ants to elephants speaks of the majesty You behold. The universe is Your clothes closet and my oh my are You always in style! Thank You that we are part of that grand design, what a privilege! In Jesus Name, Amen

Majesty, worship His majesty, unto Jesus be all glory, honor and praise!

Exceedingly Abundantly

August 6
To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or glory.
Ephesians 3:20-21

"Give God an inch, and He'll take a mile, encouraging you each step of the way."
Joni Eareckson Tada

Boo thought: What a powerful testimonial coming from Joni Tada, who is paralyzed. She has seen God do abundantly more with her broken body than she could have ever imagined. Through the process of how He has expanded his Spirit that pours out of her, she sacrifices her time and talents to travel and encourage a hurting world.
Bethany Hamilton, the young 14 year old surfer, whose arm was bitten off, is another example of God on the job! Her book Soul Surfer is an excellent read on faith and going with God.

Standing in the grocery check out aisle our eyes can always fall upon a diet tip tempting us to peek inside a magazine, beholding the newest solution to look better!

We all need friends, like Paul was to the Ephesians, who put the Word before us in the form of a prayer that will make us feel better! Yes, words that lavish God's abundant love upon us.

Allow me to pray his prayer over you today: Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason I kneel before the Father, for whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with powers through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Just Ask

August 5
This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us...whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked him.

1 John 5:14-15

"Let all your fears go-give them to God. He will not let you down."

Peter Marshall

Boo thought: Last night, four year old prayer request of mine was answered. The thrill was better than any roller coaster ride out there.

A four year old PRAY-ER (someone who prayers), was at my house yesterday morning and blew away a whole room of older PRAY-ERS. This child was standing in a prayer circle, as many of us cried out our prayers, and began to sing in his own refrain...."God our Father, God our Father, A da men, A da men." We were all speechless. The sincerity and purity of his praise to God was a blessing to with hold.
Who will be found talking to today? Try God.

Let's Pray: Good morning Lord. You are more than all ears, you are all understanding. Thanks that we can be real with you, for you know our hearts anyway. Keep us from concealing our junk, but have us to be children who just put it all out there for You to help us sort through. Whew, we already feel a load lifted! Reveal a newness to us that fills us with hope, gives us direction, and reminds us how much we are loved. In Jesus Name, Amen

P is for Prayer

August 4
When He had sent them away, He departed to the mountains to pray.
Mark 6:46

"Each of us has the capacity to become holy, and the way to holiness is prayer."
Mother Teresa

Boo thought: Someone gave me a bookmark that says: "Think back...move forward....
God is Here....And will be there, wherever you go!"
Jesus may have sent the disciples away in Mark 6, but they were not anymore out of his sight than we are today. Verse 46 was the preface to the verse where Jesus walks on water to the disciples in the boat!
Bible stories allow us to think back, be encouraged by all that God did, and then move forward into where God is leading us. Fortunately, prayer affords us the same luxury.

Let's pray: God, you are the Perfect One, Promise Giver, Problem Solver, Preserver of our Souls, Prayer Partner and Our Portion. The pattern for our prayers was laid out by Christ when he walked on earth. May our prayer lives reflect times of fasting prayer, alone in the mountains or off in the garden prayer, intercessory prayer and corporate prayer. Praying without ceasing!
In Jesus Name, Amen

The Hand of the Lord

August 2
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2
"The path to a life full of answers to prayer is through the will of God."
Andrews Murray

August 3
The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him.
Ezra 8:22

"There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of God."
Frederick William Faber

Boo thought: Last night I had an incredible middle of the night experience. Moses, our bulldog barked loudly, one time, as if something had startled him. I was sleeping on my back and when I awakened there was a pattern on our cathedral ceiling that resembled a giant angel's wing. (I realized the moon must have been shining through an arched window creating that pattern, but God used that to show me the angels were there. I think Moses, the bulldog, saw it as well.)
Having just been studying Ezra, until well after midnight, and recognizing the battle we are in working fervently to open the new Christian school in 18 days I found great peace in the vision! I praised God, thanked him for showing me there are angels watching over us and went right back to sleep!

The darts have flown the past few days. One couple offering a full scholarship emailed to say they cannot do that now, another student who has been signed up for weeks, is telling his mother he doesn't want to come now, one of our teachers called today to say she has shingles, a rental contract on a small piece of property we have fell through, and other obstacles with the school have raised their ugly heads.
Yesterday, taking a break from the computer and the phone, I trotted down to the dock to sit with the Lord. He was quick to show up and utter: "Do you trust me? Do you think I care about all the things that are happening? Do you believe this is my school and I have it under control?"

Not able to get to sleep last night I opened up today's devotional verses and thought to myself...Who is Ezra and what did he do?"

Check out the commentaries in my NIV Women's Study Bible....The overview says: "The book of Ezra sounds a clear reminder that God is in control of earthly events." The Jews, at this time in history, had been held captive and were being allowed to return to the promised land. "Though the people face adversity, their commitment to each other and to God's commands ultimately brings abuot religious revival, joyful celebration and a successful rebuilding program. Ezra's leadership provides a sure foundation for ordinary people who want their lives to count for God. Ezra's passion for God spills over into his daily life and helps bring revival to his nation."
"After 70 years most Jewish exiles living in Babylon were leading comfortable lives. Consequently, when Cyrus grants them permission to leave...they are unwilling to forfeit their well-paying jobs and sheltered social lives for the hardships of the 900 mile-trek back to broken down Judah. They cannot predict what might happen. Those who stay behind retain their prosperous businesses and predictable schedules. Yet, they miss the joyous fulfillment of joining God in his restorative work."
Last night as we were still out shopping for office and school supplies at 10 PM, I said to my husband, "We are too old to be doing this, the work is too hard!" Here we are at a time in life when most of our friends have either retired or are contemplating retirement and we are sinking time, great effort and money into this huge endeavor.
The commentator continues: "There will always be those who oppose the work of God. Over time this reality can cause God's people to doubt and wonder if he is in control. God understands, and he wants to replace our fears with faith in his ability to overcome any and all opposition."
In chapter 5 the Jewish exiles face opposition and stop their work. They lose their passion for rebuilding. Finally the remembrance that the " eye of God" is watching over them renews their commitment. "When the people keep their focus on God, trusting him to guide and empower them, they find courage to face their difficulties and finish the work God has given them to do. When God accomplishes what humans think is impossible, it is always a reason for joy!"
Six times in Ezra 7-8 the phrase "The hand of the Lord was upon us" occurs.
Ezra relies on God to help him in all walks of life.

Once again God hits the nail on the head for me, when I take the time to sit and listen. We appreciate your prayers for all our students and faculty, for their families, for Halesford Baptist Church who is renting us the space and for Deke and me as we battle forward. God is up to something great. We are making an investment in young lives that we pray will be forever changed!

Your Goodness, My Goodness

August 1
How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You.
Psalm 31:19

"It is the certainty of the goodness of God that enables us to live in fullness of joy."
John T. Faris

Boo Thought: Walking with my friends our conversation bounded into tales of heartache. The horrific stories of the Nazis', the present day travesties in Africa, and the corruption in our own prison system. I am also lead to pray for so many on my prayer list with physical sufferings. Next I read in Psalms Now 79 "Why is it God, that the ungodly appear to be so successful? They not only obtruct Your purposes, God, they pollute Your world and taunt Your servants?"

Then I read: "How great is Your goodness." I'm confused, frustrated, thinking "YOU, God Almighty, could have come up with a less painful plan.

I picked Psalms Now back up and read as the attitude of the Psalmist changes. (Attitude adjustments tend to happen when we hang out with You, Father.) I will make th plea in this Psalm our prayer today.

Let's Pray: Dear God, "help me (us) to love Your enemies even as You love them, to bear patiently and graciously their scorn, and to serve You faithfully whatever the consequences. Help me (us) measure our worth and success by Your standards and rejoice in Your love and acceptance." For it is in a heart attitude like this that we see Your goodness and we remember the mercy that has been extended to us in wayward times. In Jesus Name, Amen