He Who Loves Me

September 30

Several days ago the Lord impressed upon my heart not to miss this week with Him. I even started a new Bible study on grace and committed to make the time each day expecting God to speak and teach me amazing things. With a wedding on the horizon love is a natural theme to be in one's head, but recognizing the magnitude of God's love is the lesson which seems to be on the course roster for this semester of my life.

"He who had My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me...I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
John 14;21

If the Lord calls me home today I feel I have at least been faithful to share that these words are true. God's love is not a hoax.

On Tuesday a woman walked up to me in the grocery store and said, "You are Boo Andrews. You have been in my home. You are having a wedding and need to know that the food, the flowers, the decorations, the festivities don't matter. What is important is that people see God's love." Tears welled up in my eyes for I knew this woman spoke truth.

My mind spins back to the songs of the sixties..."You got to have love, love, love." We do have the most amazing love available to us. John Ogilvie calls it "indefatigable love".

Father God, your love is amazing. We confess to You that we don't always love others well, as You would have us to do. Keep our minds steadfast on You, trusting in Your plans no matter where life has us to travel. May we be so filled up with our love from You that it flows over into a wold which needs refreshment. In Jesus' Name, Amen

It's For Real

September 29 (I think)

A couple of days ago a neighbor called to say he was heading out of town for his son's wedding and if we needed to use his driveway for parking for our son's wedding to feel free to. My husband thanked him and asked where the wedding he was attending would be held. The reply, "Oh, we are going on a Disney cruise." Hanging up the phone, my husband said, "Not fair!" We are working away to prepare our yard, home and food and this man is going on a cruise! Sharing that story with a girlfriend last night she had great consolation for us. "A cruise is so impersonal." I laughed, "Well, I have to agree. Everyone hanging out around here gets pretty personal!"

God wants us to be personal with him. This morning my first thoughts were that I needed to go set butter out to soften, get some cakes going in the oven and make a "to do" list for the day. I knew better. For ten years I've written this daily devotional because I have learned that the best way to start a day is with Jesus. Excitement and energy flow out of me as I read His Word and realize He is for real, because He puts before me exactly what I need to hear that day. We need to share with one another how real our faith walks are, for in that exchange of experiences we spur one another on.

My days are all flowing into one another and my nights have not been filled with much sleep, but I think it was day before yesterday when I was talking to a dear out of town friend. Her husband's business has really been struggling to survive this economic down turn. I felt a strong urge to lie prostrate on the ground, Mose's dog hairs and all, and just call out to the Lord for them. Last night I received a copy of this email from her husband's top man in California, whom he was going to have to let go.
"A short while ago I walked over to the cafĂ© in the adjacent building to get a banana for breakfast. As I exited our building I noticed a man and a woman conversing in the breezeway between the buildings. I thought nothing of it as I passed them by and went on to purchase my banana. I returned to the office by the same route and the couple was still conversing as before. As I entered the door of our building, I heard the man speak to me...” Sir I saw you walk by a few minutes ago and as you passed I thought, that man’s business is getting ready to take off and I though I should tell you that.” I was stunned. This was a man I had only ever seen a moment before and asked him where did that come from? I told him our business was indeed struggling and we were in desperate shape. He said, “ I am a pastor and a man of God and the Lord spoke to me” I told him that I had been wrestling with God like Jacob all night and his prophetic word was a gift from God, and his witness was a confirmation of His grace. He laughed with joy and we embraced and I thanked him for stepping forward boldly with a prophetic word. He said to me, “three things you must protect your witness, your word and your walk”.

God’s name be blessed for He keeps His promises and His word is yea and amen…!!"

Ok, that is exciting. It is a for real experience, but it gets even better. I opened Streams in the Dessert today and check this out!
I am a man of prayer. Psalm 109:4
"All too often we are in a 'holy' hurry in our devotional time. How much actual time do we spend in quiet devotion on a daily basis? Can you think of even one person of great spiritual stature who did not spend much of his time in prayer? George Whitefield, the English preacher who was one of the leading figures in the eighteenth-century American revival known as the Great Awakening, once said, "I have spent entire days and weeks lying prostrate on the ground, engaged in silent or spoken prayer." Another quote listed was: "Fall to your knees and grow there."

I don't lie prostrate often enough and it is not a pretty site, me getting up off the floor these days, but I am heading there more often.

Lord, You are for real. You created us with the unique ability to communicate with You. What a privilege prayer is. Forgive us for the moments we have wasted. Funny Father, I doubt there is a one of us who did not have some say to us..."Eat your vegetables, they're good for you." We should tell one another..."Take time to pray and listen to the Lord, it is good for you!"
The sun is coming up again. You have work for us to do. There is joy to be experienced and hardships to endure, but we don't face anything alone. For that we say, "Thank You." In Jesus Name, Amen

She Really Gets It

September 28

Last night I received a call from an excited young mother whose three year old has started in an AWANA program in their community. Enthusiastically she exclaimed, "My three year old is memorizing scripture and she really gets it!" They have enrolled their child in this program at another church on Sunday nights. Their daughter calls is "night school". The little girl pointed to her mom's Bible in the house and said, "That's the Bible." Her mother questioned, "Who is the Bible about?" Her reply, "Jesus. God loves us so much he sent Jesus for us." Whoa! I told her mother what is being implanted in that little heart will stay forever.

In my big girl Bible study today the same message was poured out over me reminding me how much God loves me. Isaiah 43:1b is playing over and over in my mind: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Check out this definition for redeem:compensate for faults or bad aspects.
Whew. We've all been in some bad, but God loves us so much he was willing to sacrifice Jesus to compensate for those faults.
Throughout today just say to yourself...I've been redeemed.

Another young mother emailed how thrilled she is to have her five year old in a Christian school this year. Yesterday she asked her daughter what she had learned and she replied, "A song called, Father Apron Man. LOL she meant Father Abraham!

All Things...Need Rest

September 27

On my calendar today is this quote:
"All things made by God need rest-especially us." Mark Buchanan

Six days you shall labor and do all your work;
but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.
Exodus 20:9-10a

I did not do that yesterday.
With the excitement of a home wedding upon us we have our priorities mixed up.
Saturday night some dear friends called and said, "We are in your cove. Come down to the dock and we are going to take you out to watch the moon come up." I was still wearing my workout clothes from 7AM that morning! Rushing upstairs I threw on some warm ups and launched away on a much needed reprieve. God has given us amazing friends who have stepped in at just the right time and loved like Christ, knowing more what we need than we ourselves are aware of!

Thinking back to Buchanan's quote it is so true. Moses, our bulldog certainly has the resting mode down pat. The birds and the bees stop flapping their wings, while the fields of harvest rest and replenish their soil awaiting the next year's crops. Let's covenant to stop at times today and notice what/whom God has placed before us.
Rest in the love of the Lord, for then we can go back into action being our best!

Accessible

September 25-26

Here is a simple, yet profound thought. We serve an accessible God who welcomes our interruptions.
Check out the definition of accessible and see if you would categorize Jesus in this fashion.
Accessible: capable of being reached; easy to communicate or deal with; capable of being influenced : open; capable of being used or seen : available; capable of being understood or appreciated.

"Though I am King of the universe, I am totally accessible to you. I am with you wherever you are. Nothing can separate you from My Presence! When I cried out from the cross, "It is finished!" the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This opened the way for you to meet Me face to Face, with no need of protocol or priests. I, the King of kings, am your constant companion." Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling,

Whether we have sinned and are seeking an advocate in our search for forgiveness or we are walking through what appears to be the Valley of Death, we have someone with us. Someone who is accessible and able to read our hearts!

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.- 1 John 2:1


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There's just something about that name,
Thank you Father, thank you. Our lives never need be the same!

Tools

September 24

We are experiencing an invasion of stink bugs. Open your car door or the door to your home and they come flying in. The greatest defense mechanism of a stink bug is the fact that the word on the street is if you kill one your home is going to stink!
They swoop into your home and head for the ceiling. If you have a long vacuum hose, sucking them up is an option, but I learned of another tool today...take a yard stick and put duct tape, doubled over to be sticky on both sides on the end of the stick. Then you hold it up to the bug and with the lightest touch the stinker sticks! My husband is so excited to take this new tool to work today! What a funny sight it will be to see the Head Master walking around campus with a sticky stick covered in bugs!

There are tools for our faith walk which work so well. Praise, prayer, meditation, singing and of course the big power tool...the Word of God.
This verse on Biblegateway thrilled my heart and I began to pray if over my children, my friends and their children.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.- Hebrews 10:35-36

We keep a hammer and screw drivers in both garages, the front door closet and a drawer downstairs so they are within reasonable reach when we need them. Look what amazing tool Psalm 16:8 says is in reasonable reach!

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.


We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Yup, without a doubt there is work to be done and we have been given the tools for the trade, we just need to take them out of the box and utilize them!

Connected - Dormant

September 23

Here's a new computer message I received yesterday when trying to log on...
"connected-dormant". Does that sound like our faith at times? We are connected to Christ and nothing is going to break that bond, but our faith is in a dormant state.

God has given me a double dip today with this thought. I opened my Streams in the Desert devotional and read:
John 7:38 says: Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.

"Some of us are troubled, wondering why the Holy Spirit doesn't fill us, The problem is that we have plenty coming in but we are not giving out to others. If you will give the blessing you have received, planning your life around greater service and being a blessing to those around you, then you will quickly find that the Holy Spirit is with you. He will bestow blessings to your for service, giving you all He can trust you to give away to others."

What an easily accessible antidote to dormancy!

In Order to Bring Praise to God.

September 22
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you,
in order to bring praise to God.
- Romans 15:7

Clicking on to Biblegateway I thought I knew where the Spirit was heading today. Searching a few words which came to mind, I got no where.
Over and over I kept coming back to the site's verse for today.
While the beginning phrase is convicting on accepting others, just as Christ accepts us, I can't get past the in order to bring praise to God part.

Why did we opt for our Christian faith? Personally, I kind of liked the eternal life in heaven with Jesus part.
That is probably the bait which caused me to bite, along with the enormity of God's love for me despite my sinfulness.
But where it has grown from there; the whole praise, confess, repent, trust, obey, meditate on the Word, pray without ceasing steps, should be in order to bring praise to God and lift His name on high.

Whatever we do, we are instructed to do it to God's glory, as if working for Him. So whether getting along with one another, caring for our homes or ourselves, or helping another; we should be productive in a way which makes God smile and gets him a heap of Glory! It is not about us, it is about Him! All the praise goes His way!

What does God have in our path today which will bring Him praise?

Trifecta

September 21

The term trifecta, I believe, has to do with wagers on horse races when you predict the first, second and third place winners of a race. For me a trifecta is when God takes the three devotional books I am reading right now and sends me the same message in all three. That happened yesterday and even went a step further to correlate with the sermon we heard Sunday and then one on the radio. Do ya think He had my attention? Ya, sure ya betcha!

The song playing on my IPOD right now is ringing out the chorus: Jesus Messiah, name above all names, blessed Redeemer, Emanuel, the rescue for sinners, the ransom from heaven, Jesus Messiah, Lord of all. All our hope is in you.

The message in my trifecta was that we do not need to know the "whys" of God, but find our joy and peace in who He is and love and trust him in that mere fact.

A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what us unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Father, with our heads bowed and hearts humbled, we come before You and give you praise! Today we will trust You and today we will treasure our relationship with you! Find us faithful in this journey called "today". In Jesus Name, Amen

He Will Meet Us Where We Are

September 20

I longed for a time to sit and just listen to the Lord, but my list of yard chores were going to take up the whole day. Walking past some shrubs I had pruned a couple weeks before, I was thrilled with the results of the rose bushes. Ding! The Lord quickly reminded me of the benefits of pruning in our lives. Turning to my left I noticed spots of browning on the top of some shrubs I had trimmed..."Oh, no!" I thought, "are these dying?" When we trimmed the shrubs, which have very sharp thorns, we failed to get all the cuttings off of the tops and they had died there. Having no gloves on, because I had not expected this added project, I began to carefully pick out these cuttings. Again a whisper from the Lord, "There is some dead yuck I've been picking out of your heart, Boo." Walking around the corner to cut off a hose which was running I saw a branch in the driveway, which was much more convenient to access than my garden gloves in the house. I broke off a branch and used that to flick the dead prickles off the bushes. "Wise choice to look for assistance my child. There is always help around the corner," came the comforting voice of the Lord once again. Heading into the scrub pines I had some serious dead wooding to do with my trusty tree saw. The process was going extremely well, although I could feel my shoulders aching from this work. All of a sudden a screw and nut came loose and the blade on my saw went limp. My first thought was to thank the angels for protecting me from that blade falling across my face. I heard the Lord say, "It is time to quit." As I combed the pine needles for the screw and bolt He disciplined me gently speaking to me of changes which needed to take place in my heart. The sun was shining brightly through the trees and I was overwhelmed with how God has provided me a time of such intimacy right in the middle of my work.
Finding the screw I was so excited. I knew the bolt would be close at hand and the Lord had used this time to teach me. Then the Lord said, "What if this story doesn't turn out the way you want? What if you don't find the bolt?" Oh, I will still love you Lord and trust in your wisdom. He then said, "Boo, I know you so well that if I allow you to find the bolt and fix the blade you will continue to work." I did not argue, but walked out of the wooded area. Looking across the drive I saw a single tree standing with a lot of dead wood. I took the broken tree saw and began swatting at the dead limbs trying to at least knock them loose, since I could not saw them down. Then I stopped in my tracks and thought to myself..."Look at me. The Lord knows me better than I know myself. It is time to stop."
Walking back to the house I was amazed how God had met me where I was and taught me so much while I worked!

Now therefore, listen to me, my children. For blessed are those who keep my ways.
Proverbs 8:32

Knowledge

September 19

The word which was given me over and over during my quiet time was "knowledge".
Be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Colossians 1:9b

"I know that beyond my education and experience there are solutions to problems I will not think of without Your gift of knowledge...Now as I begin this day, once again I confess how much I need the gift of knowledge. People I love are troubled by complex problems. I want to give them more than my limited advice." Lloyd John Ogilvie

A wonderful companion to knowledge is discernment. Me, oh my, does humanity need this when it comes to the media. Praise the Lord, he has given us the Holy Spirit to help us decipher what is true. So often we strain along on our own not utilizing the tools we have been given to lighten our load. Yesterday my husband and I did a whole lot of yard work and there were times when gloves, wheelbarrows, screwdrivers and even buckets would have made our tasks much easier, but often feeling rushed we didn't take time to accept the aid. The same is true when we need knowledge. We are rushed, want an immediate answer and are not willing to sit before the source and seek His face! Pencil in a "sit" with Jesus today!

Thorn in the Flesh

September 17-18

A girlfriend came to the lake for the day yesterday to help me with preparations for our son's wedding. One thing we wanted to do was experiment with some floral arrangements utilizing plants that were easily accessible. I had purchased some succulents which being annuals had been marked down to half price. This plant has now been labeled by me as "the killer plant". Working outside to avoid a mess in the kitchen we were thrilled with the conglomeration of succulents, vines and artichokes!(I will try to post a picture.) We both nicked our hands several times on the protruding thorns and have war wounds this morning as proof of our hard work. Having just heavily watered our creation I left it out on the Trex at the front door. Moving on to the next project I brushed pass this arrangement and two long thorns, from one of the plants, punctured my leg in the calf area and then one went right into a vein below my ankle. Blood shot out like a water hose! Swelling immediately followed and throbbing and pain have continued into this morning. Paul's comment of having a thorn in the flesh has taken on new meaning.

2 Corinthians 12:6-8
Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

And last night I kept thinking about the pain in Jesus' head as that crown of thorns was embedded into his head.
John 19:1
So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!" Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.

Today's plans have changed. I am off my feet and using this time to work on menu planning, grocery lists, and have some quality Jesus time! I am also praying that God uses these two scripture verses to reveal something to each of you which takes you to a new depth of understanding for His plans and His purposes!
Love, Boo

Old Habits

September 16

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;to be made new in the attitude of your minds. Ephesians 4:22-23

Help me Jesus! My children have convinced me to change from my faithful old PC, which is at death's door to a MAC. (No, this is not a hamburger, but an Apple computer.) The problem lies in the fact that this old brain is going to have to turn from her old habits of right clicking and right "x-ing" out and learn new habits. All the children are united in their echos of..."A MAC is so much easier."
But is it easier when this old brain has to learn new tricks?

When we choose to change from our sinful ways and submit to Christ; choosing him as Lord of our lives and dying to self... there are some major habits to change and the process is not instantaneous. We will falter and have to allow Jesus to forgive us and pick us back up. We will have to go to those who have walked this way with Christ and ask them to mentor us (like me calling my children or the Apple help line to learn about this new computer..which I am not on by the way...I confess..I've succumb to the pull of backsliding and gone back to my old computer until this wedding is over).

The exciting reality about this process is all the assistance which surrounds us to make the new habit of Jesus a joy...God's Word, fellow believes, the immediately availability of prayer and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are all freebies which work to make this eternal change worthwhile.

His Choice

September 15

We have some major landscaping needs before this upcoming wedding and we called in a professional to discuss several problem areas. Several times he asked me, "What did you have in mind?" I responded, "I need your mind, you are the professional."

We have a drainage issue in our driveway and have a delightful young gentleman who had the equipment to come in and address it, but has never put a drain in before. He is willing to attempt anything we ask, but neither my husband or I have done this before either. We want it done correctly, so I am calling in a consult from an expert, my father, and I will leave the choice to him!

There is a powerful Elisabeth Elliot quote which goes like this:
"God gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him."

Oh, how either from being born impulsive (used to be me) or exhibiting pride thinking we don't need help, we often make choices in our own will, when by bowing before the Father and submitting to His will we would be so much better off.

Lord, we can't fool You. You are God and You know us inside out. Confessing is no fun, but it is good for our health! Hear our cries today Father as we seek forgiveness for the messes we have made and the opportunities to bring You glory we have missed. As the leaves are beginning to fall, may our self-centeredness fall away as well. May we realize our hearts stand naked before You, as a tree without her leaves, fully exposed. Chip away the places of our lives which are infested with sin, selfishness, bitterness or rage and have the potential to infect others. Restore us to what is lovely and pleasing in Your sight.
In Jesus' name, Amen

Like Father, Like Son

September 14

God is so on the ball. My "to do list" is of such magnitude that for an instant I thought..."I do not have time to do the devotional today." My husband needed a lift to pick up a car and the three mile ride back home alone with Moses and the Lord afforded me some quiet time. While reflecting on the events of yesterday, which I will share momentarily, the Lord gave me the title "Like Father, Like Son." Having brain overload I thought, will I be able to come up with the correct scripture to coincide. (Oh, how quietly we forget...yesterday's message was on letting the Spirit help and He certainly can bring scripture verses to mind. Well, He enabled me even more, knowing I was wavering a bit today, and put the perfect verse right in my face on Biblegateway. What a lift to my spirits by the Holy Spirit! Ah, what a friend we have in the whole Trinity!

Ok, so that's the lengthy background...here is the tale.
One of our sons called my husband yesterday to explain he had been in a little fender bender in a parking lot with a couple in their 80's. Not that they are old. Right Daddy? (My 90 year old father reads these so I need to be careful!) But I wanted to paint a clearer picture with words. Bless all their hearts, they were in a health club parking lot and not going but 5 miles an hour. Our son had actually just helped this gentleman in the locker room. They exchanged insurance info, but did not call the police.
My husband absorbed this and went on with his day. Needing to gas up on this way home from work, he was in his car at the pump and noticed a huge dump truck backing up towards him. He quickly laid on the horn, but it was too late. Bam! He just experienced the same type accident the very same day. Ah, like Father,like son! My guess is these two people, who are so precious to me, reacted the very same way in these situations: with peace, calm, clean mouths, and a fashion which brings honor to Christ!
Unfortunately, in this world there are many mothers who would prefer their sons not act like their fathers. God knew this and provided another example, which is available to us all. His name is Jesus. When we are united with Him and in fellowship with the Spirit we are quicker to react like the Father and make his joy complete!

So here is the Biblegateway verse, but it gets even better.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.- Philippians 2:1-2

I just opened my calendar which reads:
Teach me to do Your will. For You are my God; Your Spirit is good.
Psalm 143:10a

"When we take responsibility for our lives, we're empowered to make changes." Henry Cloud & John Townsend

Lean on Me

September 13
Our son's wedding will be here at Shiloh in 27 days! When I think about what needs to be done from the world's view, I start to panic. When I step back and realize this is a time for two families to come together and rejoice in the love their children share my heart thrills and I realize the Lord is fully capable of pulling this off. He is already sending so many amazing people to walk alongside me. I cannot wait to see what God has planned for this special time. Please pray rain isn't on the schedule!
Two of the devotionals I read today were about not doing things in our own strength. Check out this quote:
"Most people scurry around busily, trying to accomplish things through their own strength and ability. Some succeed enormously; others fail miserably. But both groups miss what life is meant to be: living and working in collaboration with Me. When you depend on Me continually, your whole perspective changes. You see miracles happening all around, while others see only natural occurrences and 'coincidences.' You begin each day with joyful expectation, watching to see what I will do."

I don't have the reference but somewhere in the Bible it says: "My grace is sufficient or you, for my power is made perfect in weakness...for when I am weak I am strong."

There is so much freedom and comfort in Christ! Oh, what a Savior.

What is it He needs you to trust Him with today?

Press Pray

September 11-12

The Staples commercial with the "easy" button has really stuck in my mind. (I was in the store two weeks ago and it wasn't that easy. They were out of all three items I was searching for.) Our daughter in law has a car with an "easy start button". It is awesome. No scrambling through your purse for keys...as long as they are with you, the car will start!
Functionally fabulous would be a great way to describe our access to God...we just have to press pray!
This week God has been doing some fine tuning with my obedience to not only pray for the people He prompts me to, but to contact them as well. Earlier this week for two days in a row God brought to mind the daughter of a friend who lives in Hilton Head. Knowing she was on a volleyball team and in middle school I figured something was up at school and prayed for her. The next day she came to mind as well and I received an email from her mother saying she had a fever of 104 and they were going for a chest scan. She has pneumonia. How I wished I had called. Last night, while cleaning out a drawer, I came across a couple pictures of her and while they were in my hands her mother texted me. Whew, that blew me away.
Thursday and Friday I had another young woman on my heart. Finally, I took time to pick up the phone and call. Asking her mother if she was alright the mother explained that she had just started a new high school that day and it would be great to pray for the transition.
We have an amazing convenience in our prayer lives. No matter where we are, we can simply press the pray button on our hearts and God hears!
When God places someone on our hearts, we should pray for them and even extend the action a step further than pressing pray...contact them and encourage their day!

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Country Roads

September 10
Heading off to a substituting job yesterday I had to laugh at my life in the country. I took Dove Field Road, to Chestnut Hill, past Ball field Road, onto Doe Run and finally a left onto ....are you ready? Scuffling Hill Road! Somehow I don't picture many of those names fitting in on street signs in downtown NY.

There are titles which are not befitting of Christians...gossip, foul mouth, lover of pornography, liar, etc. When we come to Christ changes should occur in our lives.

My husband is Head Master at a Christian school and tells the students he wants to them be set apart; to be noticeably different from other students.

Paul spoke of this in Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Let's Pray:
Father, You are clothed in majesty! Forgive us when we settle for rags and allow dirt to fill up our lives. Thank You for the cleansing power of Jesus and the refreshment He brings. May the signs of our lives be a reflection of Christ. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that our language, looks and overall lifestyles align themselves with how a Christian should live. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Laugh and Cry

September 9

It is not even 8AM, I have not left my bed, and I have already laughed and cried this morning. Email can bring about those emotional fluctuations! Today is the 22nd birthday of our youngest child and some fun emails/texts will be exchanged between the siblings.
The Biblegateway verse today is appropriate since this youngster's college days are over and he is now an engaged man in grad school.
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled,
and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.-
Titus 2:2

While rejoicing in this, I received an email from a friend whose son has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. How quickly our emotions can shift.
For this family I am claiming Psalm 9:10
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.


Whatever today holds, we need not fear, for God holds this day in the palm of his hand.
Isaiah 26:4
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

Lord, teach us to rejoice with those who rejoice and also to be able to mourn with those who mourn. Thank you for our brothers and sisters who walk through this world with us. In Jesus Name,Amen

Girdle for Life

September 8

My mother would have been 87 years old this summer, but colon cancer took her life ten years ago and she is having a blast with Jesus. I feel certain she is on the hospitality committee in heaven. This spring I purchased my first pair of "Spanks" at the urging of a lady's apparel sales person. If you don't know what they are you don't need to. This morning I was contemplating wearing them and the consideration took me back to my mother at this age. One of my responsibilities, as the only child at home, was to help my mother into her girdle. Whoa! You have never seen so many snaps and the girdle itself must have had metal reinforcements. It could not have been comfortable, but it certainly held things together or at least squished them into a different location. :)

Doesn't seem like there are times in life when we need a girdle to just keep everything intact? Just squish all those problems and responsibilities into a neat package so we look good to people on the outside. The deal is..God still sees the inside and loves us just the same.

Sarah Young, in her devotional book Jesus Calling says:
"On some days, your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance: The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives-giving up or relying on Me (Christ)."
Today's Biblegateway verse goes well alongside that thought.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”- Psalm 143:10

Oh, Father, You are our refreshment. We thank You for the encouraging words in Jeremiah where You say: I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
When we think we cannot go on or we don't have a clue which way to go, let us remember You are The Way, The Truth and The Life and in our surrendering to You we will find peace and direction. In Jesus' Name, Amen

The Dirty Dime

September 7
Yesterday was a day of labor for us here at Shiloh. The weather was fantastic, although the cool nights have lowered the water temperature and my swim was a bit brisk! My husband cut all the grass, spray painted some furniture and helped me with the task of cleaning out our boathouse and neatly packing things away for the winter. In the process I looked down onto the floor of the boathouse and found the dirtiest dime I've ever seen. It was so black I didn't recognize it as a coin at first glance, but I picked it up and put it in my pocket. Why? Because even though it was covered in filth, it still had value.

That is the way God sees us. Even though we are covered in sin, He is just waiting to pick us up and offer forgiveness and then process us on to the "full of value life" He created for us to experience.

Isaiah 61:10-11 speaks of how God has a plan to clean up our act.
I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.


Treat yourself to a reading of Romans 8 in The Message translation today!

Father, You are the one who is worthy. Worthy to receive honor and praise. Thank You that we are valuable in your sight and for Christ's atonement for our sins. How blessed we are to receive forgiveness for all the mess that covers us. As we step into today, aware of all that awaits us in heaven, may the aroma of our life reveal the Spirit's act of transformation and entice someone to taste of Your goodness and call this their spiritual birthday!
In Jesus' Name, Amen

Need Some Jesus Time

September 6
My computer is near death. It is trying to hold on and has served me well, but a replacement is necessary. Our children are encouraging me to make the switch to a MAC.
This weekend while in another city for a wedding I went to an Apple store and taxed my brain to the max. Opportunities abound in big city life, from restaurants, stores and sights to see, so we tried to cram lots in. My quiet time with Jesus is what went by the wayside and this morning I found myself saying..."I just need to be with Jesus."
Opening one of my devotional books I was led to linger in Hebrews 1. What a wonderful place to remember who Jesus is! Check out some verses from this chapter.

Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God's nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!
After he finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took his honored place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule. Did God ever say to an angel, "You're my Son; today I celebrate you" or "I'm his Father, he's my Son"? When he presents his honored Son to the world, he says, "All angels must worship him."
In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain.



Let's Pray:
Oh Lord, today we rejoice in who You are! We envision You on Your throne and thrill at the thought of seeing You there someday! Over and over today I have said the words: "You remain." You remain not only on Your throne, but You remain in the hearts of Your people and You remain ready to be received by all who call upon Your name. May we choose today to remain close to You and get some Jesus time! In Your name we pray, Amen

Tangled Mess

September 3-5
This morning I pulled out a long macho multi-beaded necklace to wear, but it had become tangled. Try as I may, I could not get the strands straightened...yes, I even prayed over it. I decided to wear it anyway. Every store I went in today at least one, if not multiple people commented on my necklace. One lady said, "That is so beautiful, is it a scarf or are those beads?"
The strands and strands of tiny beads made me think about our lives. To us, often they feel like tangled messes, but God walks through the messes with us and weaves something very beautiful and pleasing to those who look upon it.
At one point I leaned over in Home Depot and caught one of the strands on the leg of a metal plant stand. Had I jerked back the strand would have broken and the tiny beads would have gone flying. Instead, I leaned over further and gave myself some slack and was able to get out of the impending danger. Life is like that too. When we get ourselves in a mess, we need to lean into the power of God, give ourselves some slack by trusting him and allow Him to lead us to a secure place.

This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.- Isaiah 48:17

Trust = Peace

September 2

Sunday morning I was sitting outside praying about what the Lord wanted me to share at our service. The two words He gave me were trust and peace. If we want to have peace, we must trust in the Lord and His ways.
Every day this week He has sent me a devotional or a verse related to trust and peace!
I opened an email from a friend today and read: Isaiah 26:3-4
You, Lord, give true peace. You give peace to those who depend on you. You give peace to those who trust you. So, trust the Lord always. Trust the Lord because he is our Rock forever.

Contemplating why I trust Him led my mind to think about how uniquely He has created each one of us. I turned my hand over and thought about my finger print. Then I rubbed the distinctly different texture of my finger nail and thought, "What caused God to create that in such a contrast from our skin?" Looking at the skin on the top of my hand I was amazed by the veins and thought of the life giving blood which flows through them. Then as I flexed my hand the intricate bones became prominent.
What complexity right there in our hands! The God who designed all that is certainly capable of designing each of my days. So today I choose to trust and find peace in being loved by my creator.

Father, You are the Divine Designer. Oh, to be able to love as You love. Forgive us when we waiver in our faith and trust. May we be like Weebles which wobble but don't fall down. If we fall may it be at Your feet, so we may be lifted up. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit today and may we find strength in Him though we are weak.
Teach us to live in peace because we trust! In Jesus Name, Amen

Permeate

September 1
This entry really could have been titled "hardheaded". The Lord gave me the word "permeate" to write on this morning, but I questioned Him thinking we had already utilized that title. Stubborn as I am, I sifted back through 600 some entries looking for that title and it was no where to be found.
Oh, Lord, please be patient with me!
Permeate is defined as: to diffuse through, to spread through or penetrate something.
While in a lounge chair on the dock one afternoon I was behind a big planter. A fishing boat had trolled its way within feet of the dock and I was grossed out by the cigarette smoke which permeated the air. Even more disgusting was the loud belch that the fisherman let out unaware I was sitting on the other side of the planter! I was amazed how the stench of one cigarette could overwhelm the air around me. Much more pleasing to the senses was the smell we inhaled while cruising home on our boat Monday night...it was that of steak on the barbie!

Proverbs 9:7, from The Message, speaks of desiring wisdom to permeate our lives.

If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you'll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don't waste your time on a scoffer; all you'll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that's different—they'll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise—they'll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they'll profit from it. Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God, insight into life from knowing a Holy God. It's through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen. Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you.

Lord, Your wisdom is beyond our comprehension. Forgive us when we second guess You. What a dumb move! May we be in tune with the moving of the Spirit and recognize Lady Wisdom when she is being shared and welcome her in to permeate our lives. Fill us with the Spirit and give us the boldness to share Your wisdom in love and gentleness with others. In Jesus' Name, Amen