Sifting

April 30

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back,
strengthen your brothers."
Luke 22:31-21

I seldom use a sifter anymore. The one I have was my grandmother's and
has a crank handle that causes the metal blade to spread against the
wire bottom pressing the flour through making it FINE!

Yes, Sir, we need to see our pressing times as God's way of making us
fine!

Let's Pray: Shine Jesus, shine...(are those song lyrics)?
You are the God of glory and we thank You that we like Peter can find
comfort in knowing You are with us so we will not fail in persevering through
the tough times. Keep refining us Lord, so we will be so fine in Your sight.
Help us to feel Your love and see the benefits in the process.
In Jesus' Name, Amen

Toucan

April 29

Too funny, to wake up thinking about toucans!
Ecclesiastes chapter 4:9-12 came right to mind!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


Let's Pray: Jesus, You are the strength to our cord!
Place on our hearts the person who needs us to come along side them
today to make a team of two! Keep us willing to entwine our lives
with the needs of others. In Your name we pray, Amen

Peculiar People

April 28

Peculiar was one of our sixth grade spelling words last week.
It showed up again in church on Sunday as the pastor reminded us we are
called a peculiar people, but very special to the Lord.

Hmm, is that a back handed compliment like the date, whom when asked about the person he/she went out with, says...."They have a nice personality?"

Some of Webster's definitions:distinctive, special, odd, curious, eccentric;
different from the usual or normal.
We are so special to the Lord! Look what God's Word says in the Amplified
translation.

Deuteronomy 14:2
For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations on the earth.

Deuteronomy 26:18
And the Lord has declared this day that you are His peculiar people as He promised you, and you are to keep all His commandments;


Titus 2:14
Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds.

The next time someone suggests we are behaving rather peculiarly, we can
respond with "Praise the Lord, must be His"!

Let's Pray: Father, in all honestly, after reading Webster's
definition of peculiar I would have to say you qualify as peculiar, which
appears to be a blessing! You are distinctive, curious and oh so special, for
there is none like You. As our world turns from Your ways, continue to keep
us "set apart". Keep us, at least on our "P's", not as concerned about the
"Q's". Practicing praying, pondering prophesy, and proclaiming Your promises!
In Jesus' Name, Amen

Contrast

April 27

The morning was just too beautiful not to be out and about.
I am actually sitting outside typing right now, choking a bit on pollen,
but that is the cost of spring busting loose! I hiked up out 1/2 mile
long driveway and encountered the woodland animals of Shiloh.
First, a white tailed deer bolted across in front of me.
Moments later a bushy tailed squirrel. Quite the contrast.

Heading back down the road the Bunny of Shiloh shot out from my neighbor's
driveway into the woods across the road. His photo would be such a hit on
the blog, but he runs like a rabbit and would be tough to capture through the
lens. With bunny thoughts in my head, I got a chuckle as the next creature
came creeping across my path on the steps to our home...a slug.
Ah, a fish just jumped, celebrating the fact the ESPN Bass Brawl is over!

Today we will encounter deer, squirrel, rabbit, slug and yes, even fishy personalities...all created and all loved by God. Some may seem strange
to us...the intriguing thought is...we most likely seem just as strange
to them!

A black crow calls out, reminding me of the havoc and discord the enemy
wants to reek in relationships, while an old dove has hit the jackpot.
I have a basket planter on an outside wall that has not been filled with
plants yet. She said, "Forget nest building this spring, I will just take
this one."

Genesis 1:21
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Let's Pray: Creation sings out praise to You, Father. We
join in as well today with shouts of adoration! Forgive us when we think
that "we are it". Christ is it...in all that He did, in all that He does, and
in all that He will do when He comes again. Give us a boldness to love
others, strange as they may seem, the way Jesus loves us,in hopes they will
accept the love He has for them. Then there will be more rejoicing in
heaven! In Jesus' Name, Amen

The Change

April 25-26

Our Lake Kroger has been undergoing an expansion this past year. It has been and still is a mess. Each week you have no idea what would be on which aisle and which department will be under renovation. There has been no sushi for a month!

My grocery list was lengthy yesterday and it actually took me an hour and twenty minutes to get in and out of the store. The ESPN Bass Brawl and incredibly hot temperatures predicted had the weekenders pouring in to shop.
When I arrived at the check out counter and began placing my items on the conveyor belt I realized the bag boy had Downs Syndrome. My heart thrilled at the
character of Kroger for hiring this young man. Wanting to make his job easier
I began unloading my items in a very orderly fashion...all the heavy things first, all the refrigerated items together, the bag salads together, the frozen foods together and of course chips, ice cream cones, and breads for last.
The check out girl and I got a bit chatty and before I knew it my cart
was ready for me to pull out to the parking lot.

Oh, my goodness, what a mess had been made of my groceries. I've never seen
such bagging style. Everything which had been set out in precise order had been distributed in a shall we say: "crushing" manner.
The chips were on top of the cart, but somehow the salads, breads and vegetables were underneath the milk, juice, Clorox and cartons of ice cream.
But do you know what...it was not of eternal value.

Who else establishes things in precise order and we make a mess of the plan?
Forgive us Lord!

The Change, is about more than hormones and hot flashes,
it is about heart tones!

When does "The Change" happen?
Thinking back I do recall wondering why things just didn't bother my mother
any more. She didn't seem to get riled over the offenses that had occurred to
her or to me for that matter. Sharing complaints with her were not fulfilling, because you didn't get a rise out of her.

The Change comes in our lives when we see encounters in the light of whether
they are of eternal value or not. The Change occurs when life is all about
Jesus and not who we see in the mirror or whose groceries are in the cart
we are pushing. Dying to self is a requirement of living "The Changed" life.

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3

Let's Pray: Father, praise Your name that You and Your
perfection never change. Forgive us for our selfishness and our
stubbornness. Change our hearts today and make them as You intended them
to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen

They're Off

April 23

Here come the bass boats;
100 of them entered in the ESPN Blueridge Bass Brawl!
The start was at 7AM this morning and their big engines can be heard all
over the Lake. They really like our cove! Now this is a sport, where you
have to learn to wait upon the Lord....I mean fish!

Warren Wiersbe, in his book Be Encouraged, takes a look at Paul's life in
2 Corinthians where Paul has learned to wait upon the Lord.

"Paul did not make his plans carelessly or haphazardly; he sought the leading of the Lord. Sometimes he was not sure what God wanted him to do, but he knew how to wait on the Lord. His motives were sincere; he was seeking to please the Lord and not men.

Paul was sure that God was leading him. The circumstances were not comfortable, and Paul could not explain the detours and disappointments, but he was sure that God was in control and working everything together for good.

If God be for us, who can be against us?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Romans 8:31,37"

The circumstances for this four day fishing tournament are going to be
down right HOT. It is supposed to reach 90 one day.
Hmm, I wonder how a lemonade stand on the dock would work?????
Boat by and check it out. I think I will hand out lemonade and scripture verses.
We have Matthew 4:19 on a sign on the end of our dock,
I hope it makes these guys smile.
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

Supplication

April 22

If I threw out the word supplication for possible definitions to my
students, a dinner club, would probably be among the guesses.

Webster's defines supplication this way:to ask humbly and earnestly of;
to pray to God. Synonym...BEG!!!!

This very popular verse: Philippians 4:6, encourages us:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

So what is the difference between prayer and supplication?
According to Wikipedia:Supplication is a particular type of prayer, one that is asking for something. It has the connotation of being a humble request. Prayer itself can be many things other than requests. It can be for simply telling God how you feel - happy or sad, and for thanking Him for any one of the good things He does or provides for us. It is a way of becoming close to Him, and a time of listening for what He would say to us.

WOW, great job Wikipedia!

Our prayer lives may need a little spicing up if they are the same ole, same ole, begging variety. We could think of our prayers as a full course meal.

Praise = salad (a good beginning)
Confession = vegetables (which are good for us)
Supplications = main course (meat of the matter)
Listening = bread (comfort,the Bread of Life speaks comfort)
Thanksgiving = dessert (what we all look forward to)

Let's Pray: God, You are our God and we will ever praise You.
Our hearts just beat and our eyes just blinked and of that You are fully aware.
Amazing! Indescribable! Forgive us when we grow anxious, when we fret or grumble,
or just plain forget to say we love You. Thank You that You have today all planned out and no matter where we are, You are with us. We surrender our lives to You and give the Holy Spirit control...ok...that is our intention at this moment...help us!
And Father, we come to You begging for assistance in areas where we know
You can provide.
Please hear our prayers of supplication______________________.
Thank You for allowing us to lay those down. The load is so much lighter and
now we can get on with what You have for today. We are listening.
In Jesus' Name, Amen

Two's day

April 21

Before my eyelids opened I began to pray: "Good morning Lord,
what is up for today? For that matter, what is today? The
reply..."Two'sday, for I am with you!"

What a blessing to know we are never alone. Of all the gifts
we have received most likely "salvation" ranks way up there, but
the Holy Spirit should be nipping at salvation's heels. What a helper!

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He
anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our
hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


1 John 2:20, 27
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you
do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about
all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has
taught you, remain in him.


Romans 5:5
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love
into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


Oh, my goodness, what a combo...the inspiration and delight which comes
from the reality of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and then in the back
of my mind, hearing Elvis sing...You Will Never Walk Alone. Now that
is a God with a sense of humor. Sing it my friends:

When you walk through a storm hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never, ever walk alone.


Let's Pray: Lord, You are so all sufficient and
have no needs, yet You take time to mess with us. Thank You for
knowing how needy we are and providing us a counselor, a helper,
Two'sday and we do not have to walk alone. In Jesus' Name,
Amen

Delivering New Solutions!

April 20

God has blessed me with a brilliant earthly father, who is very
innovative. He will turn 89 next week, but is as sharp as ever.
Several years ago he was a big help with our home addition. One
amazing suggestion he gave us was to place light switches by the
headboard of our bed. From experience, he knew middle of the night
bathroom runs would be coming and a night light would be handy. Additionally.
my husband's side has a switch which turns on the gas fireplace, while
on my side the second switch controls the ceiling fans. How did my
Daddy know that would be the perfect solution for hot flashes?

Our heavenly Father is full new solutions. His mercies are new
every morning and He can work all things together for good for those
of us who are called according to His purposes
.

A dear friend emailed that she and her husband were traveling on the
highway and had some struggles facing them. On the back of the truck in
front of them was a bumper sticker which read: Delivering New Solutions. They praised the Lord for the reminder that
He is a Savior with Solutions!

This morning as I was praying the fact was placed on my mind that today
each us of will face a heart that needs to be filled with hope.

Let's Pray: Oh, Great God, Your love is so amazing.
Your knowledge is indescribable and the covering of Your wing a comfort
we have all needed multiple times. Fill us with the Holy Spirit today
and give us a sensitivity to see the needs of others. Stir our hearts
to move and come alongside someone who needs hope and open our mouths
to tell of Your faithfulness and pour Your Word out upon someone who
is ailing and needs the miracle of YOU...a healing balm. In Jesus Name,
Amen

What are we doing here?

April 16
Yesterday, I came home from a full day of work and sat down to attempt
more school work only to fall asleep reading a young adult novel. I awakened
alone in my living room around 6PM and my thought was: "What am I doing
here?" For so many years my life's purpose was raising children. There
always was someone to feed, tote around, or even move to college!
Waking up to a quiet house and no demands (ok, my husband did want
dinner, but even offered to fix it himself) I had this feeling my purpose
was complete and there was nothing more.
Somewhere in that deep sleep I forgot we are trying to train up 20
young students at The Academy and praying God will send us 100 more!

My God is faithful and He spoke to me this morning, putting me in my place
shall we say, through both that still small whisper in my ear and several devotionals reminding me we are here to serve Him. Simple reminders!
From John Oglivie:
Help me to see every task today as an opportunity to serve You. May I
commit my every action to You so that You may use it as You wish. Make
this a productive day not for my own sake, but for Your glory's sake.


From God calling:
God is using you in marvelous ways. Go on gladly. You will see.
Obey My commands!
Never feel inadequate for any task. All work here is accomplished by
My Spirit, and that can flow through the most humble and lowly. It
simply needs an unblocked channel. Rid yourself of self and all is well.


Hearts eager to do My Will send out a call that ever I find irresistible.

Now check this out and may your joy be complete and bring about a chuckle as
it did for me as I recognized how incredibly personal our Father is. He knows
our thoughts before we think them and even puts the answers we need in print!

From Oglivie on April 16th in his book "Quiet Moments with God"

Because I am here to please You in all that I do, my hope is that at the end
of this day I will hear Your voice sounding in my soul,
"Well, done, good and faithful servant."


And all God's people said, "Amen" and got about His business!

The Great Grumbler

April 18-19

The two year road saga continues as we have had heavy equipment and mud
along our new road for the past three weeks. The ever unhappy neighbor,
decided he didn't like the fact that the cable lines, which were laid
years ago on the original road, were buried on his property, so he waited
until our road was complete to complain and have the company come and dig
up our new road and lay them there.
This week I came home one day to find four trucks and heavy equipment
blocking my path home as men worked and the hateful neighbor was out
orchestrating everything. My blood pressure began to climb and then...
the whisper of God.
"My child, why does this man's possible path to Hell not grieve you more
than his shenanigans. He is precious to me and My desire is that not one
should perish." Ugh, my only response was lame, but honest...
"Because I am human and he and his wife are hateful and thorns in my side?"

Then came the verses...like a doctor's orders to take a bitter cough syrup
to suppress an ailment.
Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. And here is a
real kicker....Give thanks in all situations.

Hmm, this occurred the same day I had the nap and awakened thinking...
"What am I doing here?"

We do tire of life's process, but that is why it is critical to rejuvenate
through praise, prayer and fellowship and flee from the mode of "Great
Grumbler."

Let's Pray and Praise: We praise You Lord and give thanks for this weekend. We just walk outside and see nature rejuvenating and know that
with You all things are possible and we too can be refreshed. Forgive us
for our grumblings, for they reflect a lack of faith in and a dissatisfaction
with You and that is not at all the way we feel. Today we choose to rejoice
and to be thankful for we are called Your children and that is the essence of
our joy. May our lives be a reflection of You! In Jesus Name, Amen

Jesus is on the Job

April 17th
The other day I was email praying for someone and typed..
Jesus is on the Job.
He really, really is.

I am part of a Moms In Touch group for mothers of college and adult
children. We meet once a week for one hour of PRAYER. The leader
organizes a scriptural prayer sheet and has verses for us to read
and one for us to insert the names of our children. It is very
powerful. Yesterday, she arrived and had forgotten the sheet. She
was full of regret and felt like she had let us down. She said, "Let's
just pray and see where the Holy Spirit leads." As we prayed it was
impressed upon my heart that we should go out to our scripture trails
and God would provide the verses to pray over our children. He did
and it was powerful!

One of my children had called yesterday morning and was lacking joy.
I'd been praying all afternoon for joy for her. She called after dinner
and was bubbling over! I was shocked at how quickly God had restored
her joy. Sorry, Lord. I do know with You all things are possible for
Jesus is always on the job.
He continued His work this morning by sending me these words in a devotional.

April 17th from God Calling
Joy is of two kinds. The Joy born of Love and Wonder, and the Joy born of
Love and Knowledge, and between the experience of the two Joys lie discipline, disappointment, almost disillusion.
But combat these in My Strength, persevere in obeying My Will, accept My
discipline, and the second Joy will follow. And of this second Joy it was
that I said, "Your joy no man taketh from you." Do not regret the first,
the second is the greater gift.

A Dart Day

April 15
The clocked ticked to 1:50AM, I could not sleep. It is now 2:56AM and I
am up listening to the Lord. We have to have lows to appreciate highs.
My "Jasper Day" was so incredible, my "Dart Day" yesterday was down right
gross. Walking out the door I found that half of the tulips I had planted
last fall at our front steps had been decapitated...the not so dear, deer.
Before getting into the car to head for school I surrounded the remaining
five tulips with trash cans. Now that was a lovely site at our front steps.
What did I plan to do, ask people to look in between the cans and admire the
tulips?
The day continued with a great inconvenience that still has not been sorted
out, a pouring rain and no umbrella, a huge disappointment for one of our
children and heartfelt concern for some others. Then, oh yes, at some point
we turned on the news. I think I sighed my normal response these days...
"Come, Jesus Come
The first thirty minutes of my sleeplessness found me trying to figure out
how to fix things, until I finally surrendered to praying and hearing the
Lord say:
"I've instructed you to not be anxious for anything. Obey My command."
I sought forgiveness for that fauz pas and prepared my heart to listen.
He said, "My Kingdom will come and My will, will be done."
Then Barbara Mason's 1965 song "Are you ready? Yes, I'm ready!" preceded my heavenly Father's reminder..."I work all things for good".
His final message was... "Do not store up treasures on earth," but focus
on loving Me and telling others about My love for them."

Are we ready to fall in love with Jesus? Check out Mason's lyrics and
relate them to where we and/or others might stand in relationship with Jesus.
I don't even know how to love you
Just the way you want me to
But I'm ready [ready] to learn (to learn)
Yes, I'm ready [ready] to learn (to learn)
To fall in love, to fall in love, to fall in love with you


Looking over towards my coffee table I picked up Ogilvie's devotional and
turned to April 15th and read what we can turn into our prayer today:
In everything, Lord, give me a positive attitude that exudes hope. In each
difficult impasse, help me to seek Your guidance. Draw me closer to You so
that I might think Your thoughts, speak Your words, carry out Your actions.
May my one desire, above all, be to live as a servant fit for Your use.
Thank You for allowing me that privilege." In Jesus' Name, Amen

Ah, to catch a few winks before dawn! Love to each of you!

Longings

April 14

What a word! We long to be loved and to be needed. Peace, rest,
happiness are longings of our hearts. To know God's will, be pleasing
in His sight and see the Lord rank up high on my list of longings.

Paul often longed for his fellow disciples in Christ.
Romans 1:11
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you.

I just wrote an email to my summer Bible Study group and it was filled with
the longing to be together with them once again.

2 Timothy 1:4
Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.

There really are no secret longings before the Lord.
Psalm 38:9
All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.

When the road got rough David was quick to express his honest longings.
Psalm 61:4
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Psalm 119:40
How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.

And the hope of heaven creates a longing for the everlasting life which
awaits us!

Psalm 119:81
My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.


2 Corinthians 5:1-3
Our Heavenly Dwelling
1Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.

There are many of you who have been longing for college acceptance letters
these past weeks. The decisions are in. I pray today that you can trust
that God has opened the doors to the best places for you and that for those
of you who have choices to make you will consider the place where God can
grow you best in His ways. Check out the Christian fellowship opportunities!

More to come...I know my boss (my husband) longs for me to be at school
on time!

Jasper

April 13

Walking into Lifeway headquarters in Nashville, TN, Saturday, I was
browsing the shelves for some books on the twelve disciples to use next year
at The Academy where I teach. I had the sensation that someone was behind
me looking at books on the other shelf, but I never looked up to see who
it was. I just scoured away at book titles.
Shortly thereafter the soft spoken voice of a tall, gorgeous, young,
Afro-American man asked, "What do you think of this title?"
It was Andrew Murray's book Indwelling Spirit.
I explained he had been a fabulous pastor and writer, but I had not read
that particular book, but personally loved being indwelt by the Holy Spirit!
The sweet, sincere spirit of this young man was captivating. I asked him if
he was a believer and he said yes, for a long, long time. We headed back to
the Bible Study area and I inquired if he was familiar with the teachings of
Henry Blackaby and I shared some personal experiences and growth in my life
from Experiencing God and When God Speaks.
It was then I realized that if there was anything more Jasper could add to
his faith walk he desired it with all this heart. I asked him if I could
pray for him. Tears dripped down his cheeks and he said, "I am sorry."
I embraced him and assured him tears were a good thing and that if he
sought the Lord with all his heart, he would hear from Him. I told him
about my mother dying nine years ago, which led me into this devotional
ministry and offered him my email. He said, "Let's go get a pen."

Leaving the store I said to my husband, "Coming here was all about Jasper
wasn't it? I really think Jasper was an angel and this was a test for me.
I think Jasper's tears were because he was on a mission for the Lord to
test me and he was thankful that I took the time and passed the test."

The song lyric "Open my eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus, to reach out and
touch Him and say that I love Him" is flowing through my mind.
Jesus shows up in the simplest ways.
Jesus, through Jasper's embrace, wrapped his arms around me and showed me
He is alive.
Thank you Jesus, thank you Jasper.

Ha, ha...the second test just came. The phone rang as I typed and it was
a Telemarketer from Cooking Light. I was so tempted to let the
answering machine get it, but thought nope, it might be Jesus! God
allowed me to pray with this woman for her health problems. The truth is
when we are willing vessels we feel so much better than when we play the
avoidance game.

Let's Pray: Lord, you are alive and working 24-7. Forgive us when we get "me focused" and forget the mission to reach out to a lost world.
We have tasted and seen that You are good and we need to remember that
Your work is good and has amazing rewards. As we step into the week after
Easter, may we continue to shout Alleluia and spread the love of Jesus.

Jasper, wherever you are...come visit again soon or email me at
boojoyful@aol.com.

Stomp on Stupid Thoughts

April 9-12

A friend, who is going through a very tough time wrote last night
that she was having "stupid thoughts," but had nipped them in the bud.
These revolved around harming herself. Praise the Lord, she has
learned to distinguish the differences in the voices of the enemy and God
and knows that looking up to the Lord brings benefits and puts a squash on
the detrimental thoughts trying to infiltrate our minds.

We all have days we want to bail out on life. Jesus was wishing He had
another way back home to heaven instead of the route awaiting Him from
the Garden of Gethsemane to the cross.

My heart thrills to think of all the believers around the world who will
be singing Alleluia on Sunday as we celebrate our risen Lord. May you
have the Happiest of Easter celebrations and see others come to Christ.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
Ps. 121:1-2

No Words

April 7-8
Today/Yesterday, we had a "let's just do it moment". We hopped in our car
and drove to Chapel Hill to meet one of our sons who, along with his father,
is a UNC graduate who wanted to cheer on the 2009 National Basketball Champs...
the Tarheels...as they arrived back to campus from Detroit. It was a sweet
time to share with our son and thousands of other Carolina faithful fans.
Ah, if we would be so quick to follow the Lord when He instructs us to
"just do it".

The first scholarship senior to be asked to speak was so overwhelmed by
the setting of a packed Dean Smith Center, which was full of a cheering
crowd ranging from newborns to those in their eighties, that all he could
say was "I have no words."

I am preparing to do a John MacArthur study of the twelve disciples and my
guess is they had plenty of times as they accompanied Jesus that they
felt like they had "no words" to describe what they were experiencing.
It makes me think of the song....I Can Only Imagine... which talks
about some of our possible actions when we see Jesus...will we stand in His
presence, to our knees will be bow, we will dance for Him or be able to
speak at all.

This Holy Week, if we are asked to give an account of what we believe I
pray we will be able to speak!

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect...


Let's Pray: Lord, we bow down before You and praise Your
name! Father, forgive me for today I indulged in a selfish endeavor and
didn't have on my sold out for Jesus attitude. Lord, with You all things
are possible. I pray that something as simple as my prayers for two wrecks
we passed, made a difference in another life. May tomorrow find us
useful to the cause of Christ in whose name we pray! Amen

Hardwork

April 7

Somewhere on the road Monday I saw a sign that flashed the word hardwork. That phrase flashed back across my mind as UNC proved victorious
in the NCAA basketball finals an hour ago. Several of their players
could have taken the hike off to the pros last year, but they stuck it
out for their senior year and their hard work and perseverance paid off.
Their joy and probably relief was reflected in the tears they shed after
the buzzer sounded.

I think that is the way we will feel when we reach heaven. We've all
taken some hits and hard knocks along the way as believers. Digging
into the Word for answers, training ourselves and our children in His
ways and working out in the prayer process requires dedication and
perseverance. When we cut the net (the strings of life) and head into
heaven, I believe the tears will flow for joy.

Ellington said after the game that he could not explain how amazing
winning the championship felt. It was one of those things you have to
experience to believe. Jesus probably hears that a lot in heaven!


Those basketball players suffered through injuries, grueling workouts,
practice after practice, special diets, and the sacrifice of a free
spirit college experience, but their hard work paid off and brought
about a reward they will remember the rest of their lives. We will
experience our reward for eternity! Now that is KOOL!

Paul says this in Romans 5:3
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering
produces perseverance
.

Yesterday, with my students, we talked about the things the enemy uses
to try to tempt us to leave the One who love us. (To slip away from the
training table of sorts.) It may be loneliness, financial woes, lusts,
jealousy, disease, or self-pity. Commitment to a belief in what we cannot
see and the testimony of those who have gone before us prepare us for the
work which is laid out for us to do here on earth!

Early to bed....

April 6

Over the weekend, out of the blue, my husband said, "Early to bed,
early to rise ain't done a darn thing for me!" (Meaning it hasn't
made him healthy, wealthy or wise.)

It is so interesting all the things people will try to improve life,
yet they avoid Jesus the very giver of life.

This morning I started a book called "Be Encouraged" by Warren Wiersbe
based on 2 Corinthians. Wiersbe writes, "What was Paul's secret of
victory when he was experiencing pressures and trials? His secret
was God. When you find yourself discouraged and ready to quit, get
your attention off of yourself and focus it on God."

Here is a fun thought! Going to Jesus is like going to the cookie jar!
It brings comfort!

Let's Pray: Lord, yesterday in church we sang Hallelujah,
what a Savior, whatever's in front of me I'm gonna sing hallelujah!
May "hallelujah" be the cry of our hearts this Easter week and may we
be filled with joy that overflows to many who need to know You!
In Jesus' Name, Amen

Transformation

April 4-5

Opening my eyelids, early this morning, the Lord had painted
the sky a soft hue of pink. It was so soothing, I fell back
to sleep! An hour later I was awakened by the brilliant white
light of the sun cresting over the tree tops. The sky had been
totally transformed.

Transformation is possible for each of us this weekend. (No, I
don't mean for us to head off for plastic surgery, I am speaking
of spiritual transformation. Let's read how Paul encourages us
in this way.)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer
your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is
your act of spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the
pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

Let's Pray: Lord, by whom all creation has been
formed, transform us today. As we feed upon your Word, may we
become less like ourselves and more like Jesus in whose name we pray.
Amen

TGIF

April 3

Around 6AM my husband walked through the room and said, "TGIF."
My first thought when I had awakened was "It's Friday, but Sunday,
yes, Palm Sunday, is a coming!"

Last night we attended an Easter Pageant depicting the birth, life, death
and resurrection of Christ at Halesford Baptist Church here in Moneta. What
a story! You go from the Hoorahs of his miracles; to the heartache of the
crucifixion; to the hallelujahs of realizing He is risen and alive today!

What a week we have ahead of us as we celebrate the most holy of weeks in
our lives as believers.

Google: Bird Loves Ray Charles - Video and watch this video.
This is how we, who have life in Christ, should be feeling!

Let's Pray: Hallelujah, what a Savior! Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty King, Radiant Redeemer! Father, You have seen us through another
week and we are one step closer to heaven. May we all be in a place of
worship Sunday. Help us to think outside of our box and invite someone
else to enter into a time of worship of You! In Jesus Name, Amen

Need to Know Basis

April 2

Listening to the news is just plain mind-boggling. An America where the
President can fire CEO's, demand people to volunteer and place people in
public office who have gotten away with not paying their taxes,
I don't' get it?

Clicking away from the new sites, after participating in a poll where 50%
of the people thought an IPOD was a good gift choice for Obama to give the
Queen of England, I realized my head was bowed in prayer. I must have prayed
"What is going on Father?" for the response I heard was ...
"You don't need to know child."

"What you do need to know is that I will never leave you or forsake you and
I want you to love me with all your heart and all your soul and all your
strength. Oh, yea and love your neighbor as yourself. Also remember,
I am coming back."


My students were practicing writing friendly letters yesterday. My heart
thrilled as I proofed the letter of one young man to his mother. He had drawn
a cross on the paper as a gift to his mom, because he said he knew how much
she loved Jesus. Now that is what God wants to know from us....if we love His Son? Nothing could be much more important for us to let others know about us as well.

Let's Pray: Lord. You are stable and steady, even when the world is not. We just want to rejoice right now for those who have gone before us
and are with You in heaven. We don't have to wish you all a happy day...it is
a guarantee! Please let our loved ones know that we love You with all of our
hearts and while we don't know the day we are coming to be with You, we know we have an open date ticket home! Bring to mind today anyone who does need to know the love of Christ and prepare us to share in the simple way You have laid out the Gospel!
In Jesus Name, Amen