Appearances

July 29

Not able to sleep I was up before the sun and my sweet husband agreed to
go for a morning walk with me. I took him to the route which I used to
walk with some girlfriends. This morning route has us encounter four men
who each walk alone. Each of the men had a comment for me which had my
husband start to wonder what really goes on at "the walk". When one of
the men said, "You are looking as beautiful as always," my husband
quickly replied..."Well, thank you, my wife doesn't look so bad either."
The man was really caught off guard but chuckled!

Now it would appear that I have some friends my husband doesn't
know about, but the truth of the matter is we are just cheerful passer byers!

Here are a couple verses on "appearance". Ask the Lord to reveal to you
any situation where things aren't as they seem to be.

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross. Philippians 2:8


But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height,
for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

1 Samuel 16:7

Let's Pray: Lord, You appeared on the earthly scene before
and you shall appear again! Forgive us when we put on false pretenses and
try to appear to be anything except what You created. When others see us
may they immediately say...."He/she appears to love the Lord with all his/her
heart." Open our eyes and give us wisdom into situations where deception is
controlling minds. Have your children to be a people who can see into the
hearts of others as You can. In Jesus Name, Amen

The Swarm

July 28

There are times in our lives when it feels like a swarm of bees is after
us and we can't swat them away fast enough. We are hit from every direction
and our minds become confused. I am in the swarm of life right now.

Trying to get to sleep last night a variety of bees (subjects) kept
stinging me robbing my rest. After each attack I was quick to say...Jesus
I just want to see Your face. I began trying to recall scripture knowing
that is the sword of the Spirit (excellent bee repellant). Finally, some
rest came.

No weapon (or bee) formed against us can prosper (oooo, another PRO word).

We can take it to the One who cares for us and be comforted!
May the knowledge of Christ and his love for you be the peace that
passes understanding in your day today.

My father is not well and hallucinating. Yesterday as I sat on his bed
with Him he said, "Look out the window at the choir. I believe they are
all males. Oh, they are singing the hymn...Faith of our Fathers...
Yes, what a great reminder...He will be true to you til death.

The Pride Bouncer

July 27

I had just spent an hour and a half researching and writing an
entry called God is a Pro. When our phone rings it kicks me
off line, but usually the blog is saved. I continued writing and
went to publish and lost everything. My first reaction was...
you've got to be kidding me, that was so good. I felt like I
had been robbed...I must have been writing in my own skin, not
the Spirit from God. I am not kidding you..the phone is ringing again.
Good lesson here to let it go and let God be priority!

God is our PROvider, PROtector, PROducer.
We can turn to Him for all our needs.
We can cry out to Him for protection when fears and anxiety try to hold us captive.
We can rely on Him to produce the fruit from our lives which brings Him glory.

Temptation has me wanting to skip the research of all the verses I had found,
to save time in my day, but knowing how God works I must need a double dose
of those verses, so back to work I go!

He provides food for those who fear him. Psalm 111:5

He provided redemption for his people. Psalm 111:9

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can
stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround
me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced
by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by
hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:3

Let's Pray: Lord, you are above all things. You hold the
strings and control the outcomes. I seek Your forgiveness for my mind
set which took control today and set out to do things my way. Surrendering to
You and your ways is so much more sufficient. Thank You for tenderly
correcting me today and putting my pride in it's place. Without You I can
do nothing. Heeding this warning I look forward to what this day has in store,
for I know I have a pro before me, beside me and at my rear guard who is
surprised by nothing. To God be the glory, great things he has done!
In Jesus Name. Amen

The Ins, Outs, Starts and Stops of Life

July 25-26

Giving Moses his daily morning attention I praised God Moses could open his
eyes as I cleaned gookies (as I call them) out of these droopy eyes. Wiping
his drippy nose, again the praises followed for he is still thrilled by scents.
Although one ear struggles with infections he hears well with the other one.
And as I gave him his morning massage...yes he is spoiled...and the summer
shedding exhibited hair coming off by the handfuls, I praised the Lord he
was still growing hair.
It was a "thank You, God, for this wonderful creature" moment.

My thoughts turned to my father who places several of his teeth in
a jar at night and has very little hair on his head any more. Hearing
aids do the best they can to assist him, but he relies heavily on
reading lips and we miss placed his reading glasses yesterday which
presents quite a problem! As heart wrenching as it is to watch the aging
process I am thankful for the medical treatment he has been able to receive
all these years which have allowed joy and wisdom to flow to three generations
in his family.(My pitch against the health care bill).

We can rejoice and shout to the hilltops, no matter what our situation...

If God is for us, who can be against us! Romans 8:31

Let's Pray: Lord, there is none like You. No one else can
thrill our hearts like You do! Whatever comes our way, we know we can say
You are on our side. Today for each person in a hospital or hospice bed,
for each starving child or soldier facing danger, for the lonely and scared
we pray they can call out to Jesus and know of His love and power to
deliver. Bring it on Lord, in Your name we pray! Amen

Wrinkles & Rattles

July 24
While having dinner with friends last night the husband was
telling about house guests this past weekend who are mid-lifers
(50) with a one year old. Our friend chuckled and said yup, this fellow
has wrinkles and rattles. Whew, I was thinking of the mom who combined
menopause and morning sickness!

Thankfully, I am not the mother of a one year old right now, but God
works things together for the good of those who love Him and are called
according to His purpose. Thinking about this couple I began to reflect on
the other parents they will encounter at Mother's Day Out, the church
nursery, Back to School Nights and in the stands for sporting events.
They will have wisdom, which comes with age, to pass on to the twenty year
old parents.

Last night I was praying with a young twenty something friend whose father
has been battling cancer for a few years. Yesterday, his hip broke and he
is awaiting surgery today. This young woman is a teacher and lives at home
with her parents. She has spent her summer helping care for her father.
Personally it has been heart breaking for me to watch the health struggles
of my 89 year old father. I told her last night, I can't imagine enduring
what she has at her age.
Our life cycles are not the same, but the sustenance and sufficiency of
our Lord are applicable for all situations.

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show
Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9

God Really Knows Me

July 23

The nasty, nurse encounter happened yesterday and stole my peace.
My father's medications seemed to have him out of whack. Calling his doctor
I found out he would not be available until Friday, so I asked for a
nurse to see if some medication changes could be causing the problem.
We had encountered attitude problems with a nurse before and the office
had been gracious to always give us another one when we visited. Well,
nasty nurse was the one available yesterday and with our doctor out of
town she went into her condescending routine. My peace was stolen and
I was ready to have all our charts moved to another doctor. Six of
us in our family go to this doctor.
This morning the foul taste of yesterday was still in my mouth, but
check out God's instructions to me through the God Calling Devotional
and Quiet Moments with God...such confirmation that God is
aware of what is happening in my life and wants to speak to me.

Stop All Work Until...Our Lord, grant us that wonderful inward Peace
"My children, that Peace does truly pass all understanding. That peace no
man taketh from you. No man has the power to disturb that Peace, but
you yourselves can let the world and its worries and distractions in.
You can give the entrance to fears and despondency. You can open the door
to the robber who breaks in upon and destroys, your peace.
Set yourselves this task to allow nothing to disturb your peace, your
heart calm, with Me. Stop all work, stop all intercourse with others-
until this is restored. Do not let those about you spoil your peace of
heart and mind. Do not let any one without, any trouble, any irritation,
any adversity, disturb it for one moment.
Look on each difficulty as training to enable you to acquire this peace.
Every work, every interruption-set yourself to see that none of it touches
the harmony of the real you, that is hid with Me in the Secret Place of
the Father.
In the other devotional God even gives me instructions on how to handle the
doctor's office issue: "Under your control and with Your guidance, I want
to speak the truth in love and take stands on issues of righteousness."

Let's Pray: God you are our God and we will ever praise You!
You know our thoughts from afar and you care about every hair on our heads and
every hurt in our hearts. Forgive us when we allow the exterior of life to rob
the peace the Holy Spirit gives us on the inside. Help us to keep our eyes on
You and learn from You in the tough times. In Jesus Name, Amen

Blockage

July 22

Blockage:an act or instance of obstructing.

Torrential rains exposed a blockage in one of our gutters which had
collected debris. Moses has an ear infection which has resulted in
drainage collecting and pus obstructing his ear canal. There are other
blockages which occur and bring pain and discomfort, but one of the
worst is when we feel there is something obstructing our ability to
hear from the Lord.

Busy schedules and life's distractions can certainly rob us from our
God connection. The Word is clear that sin and unforgiveness build
up a communication wall.

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Psalm 66:18

Last night I awakened from a dream where I was teaching Sunday School and
the children would not listen. Some were coloring, others had Lego
constructions going up in front of them, while some played house and dressed
baby dolls. Whoa, a powerful message for us as adults. I am convicted.
Yesterday, God said to me..."Come alone with me and listen." He was
drawing me down to the dock, but instead I got on the computer, answered
some phone calls, did several loads of wash, and picked up a novel I needed
to finish for school. Now I wonder what I missed.
In the middle of the night when I awakened from the dream I tried to listen
to the Lord, but my own mind kept drifting to today's to do list.
I cried out...
GOD,don’t shut me out; don’t give me the silent treatment.Psalm 83:1

Just now my husband walked in and shared a huge answer to a prayer I had told
no one about...not even him! God whispered over my shoulder...I hear you
child..take time to hear from Me!

Let's Pray:
Oh Abba, Daddy dear
Please to us be always near
And when our minds begin to fear
May we turn to You and clearly hear!

Touch Me

July 21
Some of our children have been here visiting the past few days.
The last three will take off today. (With their dogs.) Sitting beside
my daughter on the couch last night I was scratching her back. Then
my mind was taken back to when she was a little girl and I would brush
her hair. There was such a wonderful comfort in just running my fingers
through her hair and having her close.
Last week I believe I shared about visiting my father who has
not been feeling real spunky. (This is allowed at 89.)
Comfort came from just sitting beside him, holding his hand and rubbing his
back and just being thankful for the ability to simply "be" with him.
This morning I thought how often do I do that with my heavenly Father
or is there always an agenda...a sense of rushing to get in the praise, the
repentance, the intercession and petitions and possibly listen for a response.
Slipping my hand between my satin comforter and Egyptian cotton blanket I
imagined I was holding the hand of Christ. I even felt for the scars. No
words were exchanged, just a warmth of being with Him.

Secrets of the Secret Place had a passage about how sometimes
when we are just sitting with God we start to sing. Try this chorus!

Bebo Norman's lyrics to "Sometimes by Step"
Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You.
I will seek You in the morning and learn to walk in Your ways.
And step by step You'll lead me and I will follow You all my days.


Reach out and touch someone today...start with God!

Don't Dig Back Thru the Trash

July 20

Blowing my hair dry, my mind began to wander to worries and wrongs from
the past. Two situations were raising my blood pressure and God placed
on my mind..."Why are you picking that trash back up...leave it alone,
trust me and move forward. Don't let the enemy drag you back to what
has past."

Psalm 37:8 from The Message says: Bridle your anger, trash your wrath,
cool your pipes it only makes things worse. Before long the crooks will
be bankrupt; God-investors will soon own the store
.


Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Let's Pray: Heavenly Father, You are our dwelling place!
Forgive us for the times we let our guard and Your guidance wain and we begin
to worry and work out of own salvation plan! The past is past and You allowed
us to walk through it, now with trust in our heels we head into today,leaving
the trash at the dump and thinking about what is true, noble, right, pure,
lovely and admirable...ah yes, a life lived for You...our first love.
In Your Son's precious Name, we say Amen,

The Four Synonyms

July 18-19
The hymn His Name is Wonderful was dribbling off my lips as I awakened to another pink sunrise.
His Name is Wonderful His Name is Wonderful His Name is Wonderful
Jesus My Lord
He is the Mighty King Master of everything His Name is Wonderful
Jesus My Lord
He’s the Great shepherd The Rock of All Ages Almighty God is He
Bow down before Him Love and adore Him His Name is Wonderful
Jesus My Lord


"I need a word from You today Father," I prayed. "Stupendous," he replied.
Rushing to Biblegateway my doubts were confirmed when there was no sign of
stupendous. Switching to definition mode a grin affirming His faithfulness crept across my face as I read these four synonyms. Causing...
astonishment or wonder, awesome, marvelous.

Psalm 145:6
Your marvelous doings are headline news; I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.
Deuteronomy 10:14
Look around you: Everything you see is God's—the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. But it was your ancestors who God fell in love with; he picked their children—that's you!—out of all the other peoples. That's where we are right now. So cut away the thick calluses from your heart and stop being so willfully hardheaded. God, your God, is the God of all gods, he's the Master of all masters, a God immense and powerful and awesome. He doesn't play favorites, takes no bribes, makes sure orphans and widows are treated fairly, takes loving care of foreigners by seeing that they get food and clothing.

2 Corinthians 9:8
God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

Well, once again His Word has lifted me! Chris Tomlin's How Great is our God is echoing in my mind and that is what I will step into today with on
my heart (beats singing It's a Small World over and over...so sing
with me and praise our God who is Stupendous in all he does, but
especially in his love for us.
The splendor of a King Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice All the earth rejoice

He wraps Himself in light And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God


Now wander off to a quiet, secret place and wait for Him to thrill your heart.
I pray you hear from Him in a way today which you never have before.

Authority

July 17
Listening to the Lord is just too much fun! The first words on my
mind this AM were authority and then author. In light of God being
our authority and Christ given authority to forgive sin...check this
out!

Authority-power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior.

Author- one who originates or creates
(from Latin auctor promoter, originator, author, from aug─ôre to increase)

Mark 1:22
The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one
who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.


W00T! I love being under the authority of my Originator, the Creator of
the Universe, the one who knows my every thought and can influence my
every decision if I allow.

How Does Your Garden Grow

July 16

Well, this title took me on whirlwind tour of classic literature
and the meaning of nursery rhymes.
Things aren't always what they seem to be!
http://childrensbooks.suite101.com/article.cfm/mary_mary_quite_contrary
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary,_Mary,_Quite_Contrary

My little deck garden has been a delight. Even the double daily waterings
provide a time to be still and reflect on the Lord. The expectancy involved
is the intriguing part...looking forward to what has come to fruition and is
ready to be harvested.

Our spiritual lives are so garden like...
the planting of seeds (evangelism),
the watering (Bible Study),
fertilizing (prayer),
the pest control(sin and persecution),
and waiting for the harvest (waiting on God's provisions and answers to prayer).

Today in God Calling it says:
" Know My Divine Power. Trust in Me. Dwell in My Love. Laugh and trust.
Laughter is a child's faith in God and good."

Heading out to pick some peppers, I fully anticipate that God has grown
some to full maturity overnight. Similar expectations are in view for
what He is doing in my life and the lives of all His children who are
seeking Him.

Let's pray Colossians 1:9-11 for the body of believers and pray that
the number of those who are called according to His purpose will be
increased today.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped
praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his
will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this
in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please
him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the
knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to
his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
and joyfully.
Colossians 1:9-11

While I Was Sleeping

July 15

Dog sitting for our sons' tall, skinny,Rhodesian Ridgeback named Scotty
last night was a contrast from our short, buff English Bulldog.
Both my man and the bulldog have nightly bathroom routines, which I
amazingly sleep right through. Last night my husband said each time he
returned to our bed, which is over three feet off the ground, Scotty had
jumped up on the bed and taken his place by me. I never noticed!

This made me think about all the occurrences which go on around us
and we never notice. The short lady in the grocery store who could really
use help reaching the top shelf, the lonely person in the church pew who
longs to meet a friend, the flagman on the road job whose wife is critically
ill and he could use our prayers, or the neighbor dying of cancer whose
family members are in from out of town and would appreciate a home cooked
meal and a hug.
Open our eyes Lord and help us to see where You are working and want us
to join You.

Interruptions have abounded this morning and it has taken me almost
five hours to get this devo out today. I kid you not my husband just
walked in and wanted to pray about something and the last thing he said
was..Lord, help us to see where You are at work and join You!

Confirmations from the Lord, could be another whole topic!
Jesus said in John..."I've told you this ahead of time, before it happens,
so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me."
John 14:29

Parsley, Weeds and Banana Peppers

July 14

The Bible study ladies would be arriving within the hour and I had nothing
with which to decorate the dinner tables. Driving along our ½ mile gravel
driveway to the house I looked frantically for Queen Ann’s Lace along the
roadside…none. There were some interesting green weeds that I grasped out of desperation. Walking out onto our dock I grabbed the hose to water my plants
and plucked some banana peppers and parsley to come up with a very unique
floral design! God provided the cutest center pieces in just the nick of
time.
What are the needs you are questioning? Cry out to God and watch Him provide.
Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to his
glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Worth

July 13

Gearing up for school to start back the topic of worth enters
my mind once again as I consider the salaries of teachers and school
administrators compared to other careers...especially professional athletes!
I'll have to admit I think back on some high school teachers who have
taught the same class for 20 or more years from the same set of notes
and they have a pretty sweet situation. This is not the norm though.
Lower school teachers with ever changing curriculum, bulletin boards
to create and new little minds trying to grasp the basics of reading,
writing and arithmatic carry a load home every night. Add to the
standard requirements, dealing with student emotions and their parents,
and teachers should at least be paid what counselors make!

As a teacher, the question of "Is my time worth more than this?" has merit.
The word worth relates to monetary value; the value of something
measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held; and a moral
or personal value. While teachers don't rate well on the monetary scale, I
do believe they are held in high esteem and of great personal value for
the impact they have on future generations.

Our value to God is what is of importance.
Jesus said:
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is
forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:6-7

Paul's perspective:
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish
the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of
testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Acts 20:24

Considering our worth is a slippery slope into pride issues.
Focusing on the Lord and his worth is where our hearts should dwell.
As believers we should encourage one another in this way:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped
praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his
will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this
in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him
in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge
of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving
thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance
of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the
dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14


I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise. Psalm 18:3

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created and
have their being.
Revelation 4:11

The Quitter

July 12

Friday, I announced to the Lord, "I quit, You have picked the wrong woman
for the task at hand. You have taken me deeper than I am capable of
going with You. The battle is too ferocious, I want out."
First off that is where I was going wrong...relying on my capabilities.
God is fulling capable of bringing all things He desires to fruition.
He wasn't depending on me for the outcome...He just wanted my faithfulness
to Him on the ride.

Typing in "quit" in The Message check out what I fed upon this morning.
Our God is so personal, He speaks right to our hearts when we get alone
with Him and still ourselves.

How quick He is to forgive. Just two days ago I bailed on Him and he is
already tenderly building me back up. He is not the least bit miffed...
for He is not human...He is God!
Romans 12:11
Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants
of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times;
pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.


2 Timothy 4:1-5

I can't impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder.
Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead.
He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people.
Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple.
You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no
stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy
opinions that tickle their fancy.
They'll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.
But you—keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times
along with the good; keep the Message alive;
do a thorough job as God's servant.



Matthew 10:20-22

Don't be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear
your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don't be upset when they
haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they've done
you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news!
And don't worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it.
The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some
idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people
in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love,
experiencing so much hate! But don't quit. Don't cave in. It is all well
worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival.
Be survivors! Before you've run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.


Let's Pray: Praise Your name among the heavenlies! You
God Almighty never quit...You do not even slumber. Forgive us when we
take tasks into our own hands and grow weary. Thank You for how Your
Word revives! Revive us again and again! In Jesus' Name, Amen

The Heart and the Mud Pie

July 10-12

Numbness keeps trying to crowd its way into my existence appearing
to be the preferred state of mind to the raging choice of
overwhelmingness. Hmmm, summer shouldn't be like this.
My brain is emotional mush, so I whispered to the Lord..."Could you put
it (the message) in clear site and not make me think much?" A small
pillow lay on the couch next to me and turning it over lay, written in a
creative script, the phrase "Seek Him with all your heart," which is
always a great message to pass along such as the standard Christian
line of "read your Bible and pray".
Precious friends who sensed a burden abounding at 500 Moonriver Lane
stopped by with some praise music and prayer for us last night.
God sent confirmation through those prayers (or pray ers) of verses He had
taken me to that very morning on the importance of hating what is evil.
(I'm equating the mud pie in the title with evil...often a thick gooey mess
that masquerades as something good.)
In order to hate what is evil, we must seek God will all our heart and learn
discernment. Opening my devotional by Ogilvie I begin to laugh out loud...
yet another confirmation...a perfect fit for differentiating between
what comes from a heart seeking the Lord and what could be whispers from
the Evil One.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit,but test the spirits,
whether they are of God.
1 John 4:1

Let's pray this paragraph from Ogilvie: "Lord, I pray for the gift of
discernment. Maximize every faculty You have given me to show me Your
will and way. Help me think clearly. Guide my thoughts to conclusions
that will move me forward in Your plan for me. Control my feelings so
that I may trust my inner heart to alert me to potential problems. Take
charge of my will and create in me a desire to obey the guidance You
give me." In Jesus Name, Amen

Morning Stretch

July 9

Sitting on our screened porch is like being up in a tree house.
As I look out it is as if the tree tops are doing their morning
stretches trying their best to touch God in heaven.
Every leaf is looking up! How about us?
Is our heart's desire to be closer to the Lord each day?
A friend gave me the book Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge
and each page fills me with elation for it is full of passion from
a writer who knows the thrill of being at the feet of the King.
Chatting with a friend who is enduring a time of testing and patience
with a long term house guest I began sharing the power of listening prayer
and taking time to sit before the Lord. The suggestion of asking Him for a
word and going to a Bible concordance to be led to scriptures which might
speak to her erupted the deer in the headlights look.
My response was..."You think I'm a nut don't you?"
Her quiet answer..."Yup."
We love each other dearly, but she hasn't tasted what I am talking about.
Her morning stretch is not all about Jesus.
Check this passage out in reference to going off to the Secret Place
(being alone with the Lord)-"Our enemy will do anything to get us to curtail
the amount of time we devote to the secret place with God."
He will even use guilt. "Guilt is always founded on satanic lies.
Satan wants you to believe that God is ticked with you because you haven't
been meeting your daily quota of time with Him. God is your greatest fan.
As your heavenly Father, He is constantly coaxing you forward into the
heights of spiritually victory. When you neglect the secret place, He's not disappointed in you; He's disappointed for you.
He sees the spiritual riches available to you, and His heart breaks when
He watches you getting bypassed. He wants you to share in heaven's best,
and He looks with wistful longing when you short-change yourself spiritually."

Let's Pray: To You, the Great I AM, the Beginning and the
End, we say with grateful praise Good Morning, for You are the one who
chose to have today. We adore You, we want to know more about You and we
want to imitate the birds in their morning songs of praise to You. With
our shoulders back and our heads lifted high we step out in confidence
because we our children of the King! To be loved by the Most High is to
be filled up beyond measure. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Vibrant

July 8

Once again God rocks my world. About six weeks ago He impressed
upon my heart to pray for the uterus of a friend's daughter in law.
I asked my friend if he daughter in law was pregnant and she said
not to her knowledge. Then about 10 days ago the young woman was
here attending a Sunday service and during our prayer time the Lord
gave me the same urge to pray for her uterus. (Now this has never happened
to me before...a rather unusual prayer request.) Asking her if
there was any chance she was pregnant...she looked pretty shocked
and said, "I don't think so." Well....guess what....she is 5-6
weeks pregnant!

Returning from my morning walk the Lord gave me the word vibrant/vibrance.
"What am I to do with that Lord?" I thought back to the "uterus"..ok,
I will trust You and go sit a spell and seek out "vibrance".

Going to Merriam-Webster here is what confronted me...
pulsating with life, vigor, or activity.
Totally different from my limited definition of "bright" for this word.
Then going to Biblegateway.com my strength was renewed as I read the verses
with this reference. Beaten down the past few days from personal issues
which were weighing heavily on my heart, the distractions seemed to
be coming from every direction in the form of immediate needs for others.
Then a simple word...vibrance...drew me into the presence of the God of
the universe and thrilled my soul.
It is hard to be sad with praise or beach music on (smile)...it is also
hard to be down trodden when you read the following Psalm from The Message.

Wherever God wants to take you today...trust Him.
Psalm 89:5
God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways, the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways! Search high and low, scan skies and land, you'll find nothing and no one quite like God. The holy angels are in awe before him; he looms immense and august over everyone around him. God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who is like you, powerful and faithful from every angle? You put the arrogant ocean in its place and calm its waves when they turn unruly. You gave that old hag Egypt the back of your hand, you brushed off your enemies with a flick of your wrist. You own the cosmos—you made everything in it, everything from atom to archangel. You positioned the North and South Poles; the mountains Tabor and Hermon sing duets to you. With your well-muscled arm and your grip of steel— nobody trifles with you! The Right and Justice are the roots of your rule; Love and Truth are its fruits. Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do—they can't keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us— you've been so good to us! We're walking on air! All we are and have we owe to God, Holy God of Israel, our King!

Let's Pray Lord, spending time with You is what makes the
difference in our day. Please help us to carve out the time, to steal away
when necessary and come into Your presence with thanksgiving, knowing You
can supply all our needs. We love you Lord, in Jesus' name, Amen

Exterior

July 7

The song Open My Eyes Lord, I Want to see Jesus was playing in my heart
during my quiet time and on my bedside table was a Pier 1 tag off a
patio umbrella which reads "outdoor/exterieur". (Maybe that is french
or just fancy retail for "exterior'.
"Situated on the outside and observable by outward signs" are
two definitions of exterior.

I want my exterior to allow others to observe Jesus has the main
ingredient in my life.

Reflect-Freedom

July 5-6
Two KOOL words rambled across my mind on this rainy Sunday morning.
Reflect-Freedom
One of our favorite family gathering times is reflecting on things of
the past. As the mom, it quite often occurs that these reflections
are news to me! Ah, the things a mom may never know!

Searching the scriptures related to reflect established a
composite which thrilled my heart. Not knowing where you are in life
today, I will share a variety and ask the Lord to feed you what you
need. Personally I am dishing up a scoop of insight and
transformation for myself.

2 Timothy 2:7
Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

2 Corinthians 3:18
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory,
are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


Psalm 63:5 (The Message)
I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy; I smack my lips.
It's time to shout praises! If I'm sleepless at midnight, I spend the
hours in grateful reflection. Because you've always stood up for me,
I'm free to run and play. I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold
me steady as a post.



Reading in the news where the Statue of Liberty's Crown was opened back
up for tours, the article went on to describe the limited access. Thirty
people at a time and they are to be in groups of ten, led by a park rangers
and you must get tickets.
Praise the Lord we have freedom to come to Christ whenever!
There are no limits he welcomes us in whatever age or whatever the state
of or lives.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 19:14


These verses found on freedom give us reason to put on a happy face.
Ephesians 3:12
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

1 Peter 2:16
Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil;
live as servants of God.


2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom
.

Galatians 5:13
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life.
Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do
whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your
freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows.
For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single
sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true
freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time
at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your
precious freedom be then?


God has written so beautifully and so profoundly hasn't He!

Let's Pray: We stop today Father to reflect on
who You are...on all You have done and all You promise to do. Our
hearts thrill at the thought of our homecoming. To sit at Your feet
and reflect on the earthly adventure we had will be tough for our
focus will be on our new found freedom in heaven. Jubilation!
Better than any fireworks we might have seen last night! Bring on
the celebration! Praise You for not only the freedom to reflect on
days gone by, the the hope we find in reflecting on Your Word and what
is to come! In Jesus' Name, Amen

No cure

July 3-5
Opening Bible Gateway, the verse on their home page was:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.
Jeremiah 17:9-10

How do we find help for our heart condition? Allowing the Holy Spirit
the right to perform surgery daily keeps us in tip top shape.

Let's Pray: Father, You are the author of freedom through Christ and
we praise Your name this holiday weekend. Please do whatever it takes
to turn our rebellious hearts back to You and may we be able to sing with
fervor, "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful". Jesus is the only
cure for deceitful hearts! With each beat my our hearts echo...
"I love You Lord." In Jesus' Name, Amen

Insight

July 2

The wind is rustling the leaves this morning and the birds are trying
to outdo one another with their morning calls. Leaning my ear heavenward
I am listening for what God wants me to share this morning. The first
word I thought I heard was "Penelope". No clue, I thought and certainly
not in the concordance, but I will give it a shot.
Nope, no Penelope in the Bible.
Maybe the connection wasn't clear Lord, try again...Can I hear you now?
Priority Ah, now there is a possibility.
Proverbs 2:1 The Message[Make Insight Your Priority]
Good friend, take to heart what I'm telling you;
collect my counsels and guard them with your life.
Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom;
set your heart on a life of Understanding.
That's right—if you make Insight your priority, and won't take no for an answer, Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
you'll have come upon the Knowledge of God.

Digesting all of that I look back at "insight". Keeping God and his Word
in my sight is the priority the Lord wants me to have in my life!

The Golden Scepter

July 1
Studying Esther this summer, I have reached the climax in
chapter 4 where she comes to the conclusion she must take
her chances and come before the King unannounced and petition
him on behalf of her people, the Jews, who are about to be
annihilated. This is not proper protocol and her chances
of being killed are great!
In response to her cousin Mordecai's request, she says, "If I
perish I perish."
How incredible is our access to the King of Kings! Never do
we have to fear for our lives when we approach Jesus!

In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. Psalm 56:4

"I confess that often, my lack of knowledge of You (God) is the
cause of my insecurity, inconsistency, and insufficiency.
It also accounts for the vacillation in my prayers."
Lloyd John Ogilvie