Christlike Mode

April 30-May 1
How do we live in a Christlike mode or mindset, being...
Compassionate...Forgiving...Humble...Loving...Merciful...Understanding....Unselfish...Eager to obey.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

We have a powerful provision available to us, which we forget to plug into. The Holy Spirit lies dormant in so many believers. Taking on the "I'll just do it myself" attitude is quite often just asking for failure. Let's take the eight characteristics of Christ I listed in yesterday's devotional and write each one on a card or in our journal. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal two avenues to us...
#1 Is there anything blocking me from hearing the Lord or being filled with the Spirit?
#2 Unfold the "bigger than me" or "obviously heaven sent" proposition in each of these areas, which I can be equipped by the Spirit to carry out and make a difference for the Kingdom this weekend.

Example:
Compassion- to whom does God want me to show compassion to this weekend that is way out of my comfort zone.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

Forgiveness- Jesus never exhibited bitterness or hatred. Holy Spirit reveal this area of weakness in my character and remove the unforgiveness from my life. God heal the wound which led to this, free me from the bondage it brings and allow me to love like Christ.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Humility-who do I think I am better than? Does my education, car, job, house, clothing, social position get me puffed up? Does my attitude of myself keep me from Kingdom work?
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12

Love-how often do I stop each day to simply tell the Lord I love him and appreciate the sacrifice he made for me.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Mercy-it is said, "If you want a friend, you must be a friend." Along the same lines, I need to evaluate my actions. Do I cry out for mercy, yet am not willing to offer it to others?
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

Understanding-there are so many personalities, so many cultures and various backgrounds. It is difficult to truly offer understanding until we walk in another's shoes. What a wonderful prayer to ask God for wisdom and understanding. Do others see me as an understanding person?
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 1 Kings 4:29

Unselfish-You've heard, "It is my way or the highway." The best living comes when we go God's way, not my way! Unselfish living requires major faith and trust. Give me some of that God, God, living. Help me seek Your plans for this day before mine Lord.
Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galatians 6:7

Eager to obey-God ordained missions are usually out of our comfort zone. Think back to the last thing God asked you to do. Did you eagerly obey, postpone the act of obedience, try to bargain your way out of the obedience, or tell God He had the wrong man for the job?

Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching." John 14:23

Same Mindset



April 29
Let me preface today's devo with the fact that I am a bit sleep deprived after 18 wonderful days of the newborn experience and my brain is no where near articulate functioning level. Driving along I81 last night we came upon the town Glade Springs, VA. Actually, I should say, the remains of Glade Springs. Never in my life have I seen first hand the destruction of a tornado. Traffic was backed up 10 miles. Even in the darkness, I was drawn to roll down my window and gazed more closely to try to comprehend what was before me. Prayers immediately poured out of my mouth when we realized what we were seeing. As much as my heart is longing to hold our new grandson, it is also aching with compassion for the people walking around Glade Springs looking for whatever "remains" of their life they can find.

Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5...
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Do our hearts direct our minds or our minds direct our hearts?
What is the heart of Christ like?
Compassionate...Forgiving...Humble...Loving...Merciful...Understanding....Unselfish...
Eager to obey.

This weekend let's take a deep, self evaluating look at each of those characteristics and see if they are visible in our own lives. I'll sleep a little more and then continue!






April 27-28
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 3:38-39

And likewise, I am convinced that a grandmother's love is full of the same sustenance. Words cannot explain the lump in my throat and the hole in my heart as I am "separating" from our daughter and her first born today. I have never been more proud of her than when I watched her quiet her crying child last night. She is an amazing mother and this babe is truly blessed.

I will attempt to download a video we made when a couple Broadway actor friends of our daughter's popped into town for a visit and she asked them to sing for her baby. If it doesn't appear here and you have Facebook it is on my Facebook page. (Never say, never. That is what I said about Facebook, before grandchildren.)




Move That Bus

April 26
The show, "Extreme Home Makeover" climaxes each Sunday night with the crowds shouting the phrase, "Move that bus!" Thus, revealing the new home. Late last night, my husband flew into Nashville. I've been here over two weeks and we've been missing one another. There is a ten minute parking area by baggage claim, but you have to stand outside your car with your trunk open. (I supposed signaling that you do not have a bomb in there.) Gazing towards the terminal, you can see an escalator which brings the passengers down to the baggage area. The thrill of anticipation was growing as I watched for my beloved. Then a huge bus, which takes passengers to long term parking, pulled in and blocked my view. "Move that bus," I thought, "I want to be able to see my husband." Standing there watching all the people, I began to wonder how many of them were headed to heaven. Hmmm, had that bus been there to pick up the people who were in The Lamb's Book of Life, when the bus pulled away how many would have been left behind? As I leaned and careened, it made me contemplate a scenario where God is looking down upon those lost sheep, yearning every moment for another to fall in love with Jesus and thus be able to ascend to the heavenlies.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:14

PT
Father, give us eyes to see the world as you do today. Move the bus, which blocks our hearts from having compassion for the lost. Open our mouths to speak words full of heavenly expectations. Give us the courage to ask...Are you headed to heaven?" In Jesus' Name, Amen

PS. Thanks so much for the prayers for our daughter. She just came in my room and said, "Mom, I am feeling so much better."


Simple Encouragers

April 25
I knew I was not in Moneta anymore when I pulled into Kroger to find out they have valet parking! Today's entry will be quick as my daughter is very sick with an infection and we are waiting to hear from the doctor, the sink has been clogged since Easter afternoon and I am waiting for the plumber while still in my pajamas and I put that baby down somewhere and need to go find him! :)
With my daughter being so sick, we didn't get out to church so I took time when everyone else was down for a nap to dig into J. Oswald Sanders The Incomparable Christ. Over and over again I was thrilled by this writing.
Sometimes the tiniest things can bring great comfort. A newborn baby's smiles automatically makes you smile back. Someone reaching out and gently holding your hand or a beautiful bouquet of flowers can hit the senses in a positive matter. Prayer or the written or spoken word can penetrate our souls and fill them with healing. That is what overcame me as Sanders deciphers details which occur on the cross.

May this thought encourage your faith today:
Though forsaken by God, His faith did not suffer an eclipse, but rather laid firmer hold on the eternal. Feeling forsaken of God, He rushed into the arms of God and these arms closed round Him in loving protection.

Hold On

April 23-24
There is something oh, so, precious about a child holding onto your finger and finding comfort.
Likewise, there is something very magical in how we can hold onto our faith in the Father and find peace and purpose in our place in life. The words "hold on" were playing over and over in my mind as I was praying, so I looked up verses on the topic. The story of Hagar, getting the boot out of Sarah's presence and having to hike to the wilderness with Ishmael, was among them. Read below as their wine skins are empty and Hagar cries out to the Lord in fear that her child will starve.

Let me not look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." Then(God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Our compassions grow out of personal experience and I must say, my heart has ached this week and prayers have gone up for new mothers who have no support system. As that baby holds on to them, they too need to be held. Interestingly, as I headed out yesterday afternoon and early evening to give this little family some alone time here, again and again I came across young mothers who were at the end of their ropes. "I am going to blister your bottom," one mother resounded. "I can't take it any more, you are going to be spanked," another said as she pulled her daughter out of a dressing room in TJ Maxx. Motherhood is tough. I wondered how many of those moms were in a Bible study or had been trained to use the tool of prayer. I silently prayed for those moms yesterday, but could have easily given them some scripture cards, which I carry in my purse, to be able to pray over their children.
PT
Lord, help me be more obedient and "hands on" making a difference in some lives that are barely holding on! In Jesus' Name, Amen

This Easter weekend is different for us. We've been so busy babying that there are no baskets being filled (except diaper genies), no eggs being dyed, decorations adorning the house and no family pouring in for fellowship. There's a good chance we won't even make it to church tomorrow, but as my daughter said yesterday, "This Easter is all about God's gift of this baby."
He is already being trained up to love his Savior!

This is the Day!



April 22
It makes perfect sense that this new grandson of ours loves classical music, as his mother is a professional harpist. He also likes hymns and made up scripture songs...makes sense because this woman hanging around helping his mom is a nut for the Lord. :)
So far his favorite song is This is the Day the Lord has Made...I will rejoice and be glad in it.

I know it's Good Friday and our reflections go to the heart wrenching reality that we are sinful people in need of a Savior, but we have one, so even on Good Friday we can rejoice. May these verses today put a spark in your step!
I am praising the Lord because I got 9 hours of sleep last night and my daughter did almost as well! We are feeling so great we are going shopping for bras and panties, which can sometimes be a chore, before her doctor's appointment.
Love to each of you this Easter weekend.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.


Proverbs 23:25
Let your father and mother be glad;let her who bore you rejoice.

Psalm 5:11
But
let all who take refuge in you rejoice;let them ever sing for joy,and spread your protection over them,that those who love your name may exult in you.

1 Chronicles 16:10
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!

1 Chronicles 16:31
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
April 21

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Hebrews 5:8-9

I remember each time, in the situations of natural childbirth and food poisoning, surviving the pain by recognizing neither situation could compare to Christ's painful scourging and crucifixion on the cross. Seldom, when reflecting on being Christlike, do we concentrate on the task of learning obedience through suffering. Giving to the poor, helping the orphan and the widow, praying for the sick, loving our neighbor, even dying to self are more palatable characteristics to willing consider applying to our lives than suffering.

Billy Graham writes, in Unto These Hills, "Christ has left us an example. The Greek word used for example is derived from school life and refers to a pattern of writing to be copied by the children learning to write. Christ is our copybook. We look at Him and learn how suffering is to be borne. The New Testament, while insisting that the true purpose for which Jesus suffered was to deal with our sins, also points us to the suffering Savior as a pattern of how we, as His believing people, should endure our sufferings."
Graham draws attention to four aspects related to Christ's suffering:
1) His holy life....He committed no sin.
2) His guileless speech-no deceit was found in his mouth
3) His patient spirit- though insults were hurled at him he did not retaliate or make threats
4) His implicit faith- he entrusted himself to the One who judges justly.

These four points were all lived out last Tuesday by our daughter who suffered greatly through a painful, complicated and at times very frightening 15 hours of labor and emergency C-section delivery. She entrusted her life and the life of her baby to the Lord. As for her Mama...well, I certainly sinned by growing anxious and had a few "this is not fair" conversations with God. What happened to Jesus was not fair either.
Graham continues..."Yes, consider Him. In our sufferings and tribulations Jesus Himself must be our chief consideration. We must fix our eyes upon Him. He who suffered for us shows us how we are to bear our sufferings."

PT
God, your ways are best, but I wish suffering could have been omitted, although I recognize its worth in my own life. May our eyes go from the cross and the earthly stint we perform, to the resurrection and the lavish eternal life in heaven that will be grander than anything our eyes have ever beheld. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Foot Path


Singing praise to the Lord

April 20
Our new grandson loves having scripture read to him. I've even been singing it over him.
Yesterday, I took the photograph of his precious, long skinny feet, This morning, while his mommy is sleeping, we decided to check out some scriptures related to where his feet may take him. I came upon Psalm 17 and was blessed by this verse which I am going to write in my Bible.

"I'm not trying to get my way in the world's way.
I'm trying to get your way, your Word's way."
Nibble on that one a bit today.
What are we doing today that will help God's Word come to fruition?
I will go with training up a child in the way he should go!
(Easy cop out, praying and rocking a newborn!)
Below are two translations from this Psalm.

Psalm 17:4-7
The Message
I'm not trying to get my way in the world's way.
I'm trying to get your way, your Word's way.
I'm staying on your trail; I'm putting one foot in front of the other.
I'm not giving up.

I call to you, God, because I'm sure of an answer.
So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children, who are running from the neighborhood bullies,
straight to you.

The NIV
Though people tried to bribe me,
I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded.
My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

PT
Lord, what a week of emotions we are entering. Holy Week. From palm branches swaying, praises ringing out and a final supper with the best of friends, to the throws of lows such as belittling, betrayals, beatings and finally crucifixion...then we are catapulted to the earthly incomprehensible resurrection. Life is a lot like the highs and lows of this week. Our course seems smooth and on track. Then the bumps and jolts throw us into a disbelief that life could take such turns. When we allow these times to turn us to You and we experience Your peace and strength, we are resurrected to walk again. Thank You for being with us on every path our feet take. We love You Lord and will tell your story and of your glory today! In Jesus' Name, Amen

Slumber


April 19
Psalm 121:4 says this of our God.
...indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Can't say that about our new grandson! He loves to slumber.



Dead Wooding




April 18
Walking along the water's edge by the willow tree, I noticed lots of branches which did not have new life sprouting out of them. Reaching up to touch them, they were so brittle they fell right to the ground. Getting rid of this dead wood left the tree with a much more pleasant appearance. I thought about how much "dead wooding" or "pruning" needs to be done in our own lives to make us look more like Christ. We need people, parents, passages, sermons, songs, a Savior and Bible studies in our lives, which expose the dead wood so we can remove it and shine brighter.

John 15: 1-3 (The Message)
I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

PT
Here we are Lord, prune us so that our inside appearance is more appropriate for Your purposes. In Jesus Name, Amen

Missing An Angel



April 16-17
Back in the mid-seventies my husband romanced me through the music of a group called Tavares. They had a hit song called Heaven Must Be Missin' an Angel
The lyrics began this way:
Heaven must be missin' an angel
Missin' one angel, child, 'cause you're here with me right now
Your love is heavenly, baby. Heavenly to me, baby


While this is exactly the way we are all feeling about Baby Harrison right now, the truth is he is not an angel, but I believe with all my crazy, loving Jesus heart this child sees angels. As my husband would say..."That's just my personal option." There is going to be so much happening in heaven that is beyond our earthly comprehension right now and while we will want for nothing, I do hope we get to meet the angels who ministered to us here on earth.
Billy Graham has some wonderful writings about angels, which he confirms scripturally.
"Angels minister to us personally....We may not always be aware of the presence of angels. We can't always predict how they will appear. But angels have been said to be our neighbors. Often they may be our companions without us being aware of their presence. We know little of their constant ministry. The Bible assures us, however, that one day our eyes will be unscaled to see and know the full extent of the attention angels have given us. (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)

PT
Father, we thank you for the intricacies of your creation. From the air we breathe, to the water we drink, from the blood which was shed for our sins, to the angels watching over us...what a plan! To our angels out there, we say, "Thank you! Have a great day!" In Jesus' name, Amen

All Sufficient


April 15
Late Tuesday night, sitting alone in the very sterile setting of a hospital hallway, there was no movement or activity around as I awaiting word of our grandson's delivery and our daughter's well being. A friend texted..."Is there anyone there with you?" "Jesus and a man around the corner waxing floors," I replied. As the expected time of notification tripled, I begin to brace myself for the worst as tears dripped down my cheeks. There was no one to offer a tissue or a word of encouragement. "Lord, I am scared," my heart rung out in silent honesty. "I am all you need," the Truth answered.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
Praying in the Spirit, as I was beyond the point of knowing what to pray, the peace that passes understanding came over me and I remained there in contentment, trusting in the Lord's plans.

Today our daughter is feeling stronger and glad to be off pain meds. Our grandson is improving as well. My guess is over time we will forget the magnitude of the emotions we have experienced and be so thankful for God's safe passage through the ordeal and the gift of this child. His name means "strong leader" and his parents began praying months ago that God would train him up to be exactly that. For now, he can just enjoy being loved.


Exhausted



April 14
Standing in the grocery store, picking up some items for my daughter, I said to the woman in front of me, "Excuse me, I am from out of town where there is no Harris Teeter. Would you let me use your VIC card?" She stared at me like I was a nut, as did the man at the register. I was holding a Kroger credit card in my hand. Embarrassingly I muttered, "This is not Harris Teeter is it? Is this Kroger?" They both shook their heads in an affirmative manner. I moaned, "I've been up for over 24 hours with a daughter who has had a very traumatic delivery. I am so sorry." They were very kind, but probably concerned that I was driving a car from that parking lot! The night before was even worse, as I went in the bathroom at the hospital and took out Neosporin from my tote bag, thinking it was tooth paste and brushed my teeth. "Gross," I exclaimed.

You know how I always say my faith is as crazy as it is because of how personal God is with the ways he shows up. I had to laugh when I opened Billy Graham's devotional, "Unto the Hills" and read April 13th.
"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
"Many people have trouble falling asleep at night. Some take over the counter drugs or sleeping pills to help them sleep. Others require prescription drugs in order to get the rest they need. I am n0t a doctor and would not presume to prescribe medication but it is my experience that too many in our culture turn first to drugs and not to God. Often, it is a restless spirit and not a chemical imbalance that keeps us from the rest our bodies need. God wants us to get our rest. He knows that we need it in order to work effectively while we are awake. So the next time you have difficulty falling asleep at night (and even when you don't), read some of the psalms.
PT
Thank You God for putting a much needed message right in front of me! In Jesus' Name, Good night and Amen!

Too tired to proof read.

Apart From Me....


Belly to Belly the Day Before


Harrison Ward Mayo

April 13
April 12th, 2011 will go down as one of the longest days of my life. What started at 5AM with my daughter in exciting labor with her first child, turned chaotic 13 hours later as teams of doctors rushed in to try to save her baby. Needles were being shot in her leg to stop contractions, anesthesiologist were loaded with enormous syringes and clips boards were flying with releases to be signed. Doctors and nurses were conferring about who knows what all.
And there was absolutely nothing I could do to change any of this. If I could have changed places with my daughter I would have done it in a minute. Picking up the phone I begged my husband to get prayer chains started and then in the midst of all the chaos I dropped to my knees by a chair and prayed. The baby's heart rate seemed to be recovering and eventually they allowed labor to start back up, but due to several complications a C-section was finally decided upon. I let God know I didn't think it was fair and his only reply was...."Do you love me? You prayed with all those people that you trusted me. Do you trust me?"
Waiting outside the operating room there was no one there but a man waxing floors and of course....Jesus. I began to sob as anxiety reared its ugly head. (This didn't phase the floor waxer!) The surgery was more complicated than they had hoped and there was difficulty getting this 8 pound 12 ounce, 22 inches long, boy out even by C-section. Finally, the midwife brought him out to me and said, "Would you like to hold your grandson?"

He's checking Mama Boo out.
Who I desperately wanted to see was my daughter, but she was heavily sedated and we would need to wait another hour. Finally, kissing her head goodnight I headed to her house. Opening my devotional. before crawling into bed, I read in reference to John 15:5....
"This is the secret not only of joyful living but also of victorious living. I designed you to depend on Me moment by moment, recognizing that apart from me you can do nothing.

Lesson learned. Giving thanks to God for this precious child and asking for him to heal my daughter, in the name of Jesus!
For all of you who have prayed and for those of you who will pray now...thank you.

Valuable or Valued

April 12
I heard a message on the radio yesterday where the speaker was explaining why we are valued by God, yet not valuable to him.

Valuable is defined as worth a good price or of great use or service.
Valued, on the other hand, relating to how God sees us, has to do with desirability and importance.

The point being made was, that while God doesn't need us to do anything for Him, he values us beyond our comprehension.

My Liberator

April 11
Attending a college alumni dinner with my father last week, who is from the VA Tech class of 1942, he was visibly disappointed none of his classmates, nor professors were in attendance. The man closest in age was a Dutchman from the class of 1956. His first question for my father was where did you serve in THE war. "Under Patton," my father humbly replied. "My liberator!" the man exclaimed as he hugged my father. Continuing on he said, "I am from Holland. Thank you! How many of those Nazis did you kill?" Lowering his head, my father lost eye contact with this gentleman as he said, "It wasn't like that." Clearly, a discussion on WWII and how many lives were lost was not where he wanted to linger that evening. Ask him to tell you about the grand college dances, with bands like Tony Dorsey's, and he would be able to recall every detail from dance cards to decorations! My father-in- law was in the Pacific during the war and now in his golden years he prefers to tell the happy tales of coming home and being treated like a hero. Our generation cannot fathom, what our father's went through in WWII. How blessed we are to have had them and the soldiers of today willing to risk their lives for our physical freedom.
When we reflect on the life of Christ, it is more pleasant to recall his birth, his compassion, his friendship to The Twelve, certainly his miracles and his resurrection. The merciless beatings he endured and the anguish on the cross are painful reflections for us, knowing our sins placed him there. Freedom has a price.The relinquishment from our spiritual bondage to sin is costly.
Billy Graham said, "To you sin may be a small thing, to God is it a great and awful thing. It is the second largest thing in the world, only love of God is greater."
Praise God for Jesus, who made a sacrifice on Calvary which is sufficient for our sins yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is our Liberator! Our King reigns on high!

He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free. Psalm 146:7

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

PT
Oh dear Lord our prayer today with gratitude is to simply, meekly, humbly say...What an enormous price, you so willingly paid. The love You lavished on mankind..forever will stand the test of time. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Fluctuate

April 9-10
The way Merriman Webster defines fluctuate, makes it sound slightly less dramatic than the ten pound fluctuation of my weight lately.
Fluctuate-to shift back and forth uncertainly.
Performing the summer closet switch can always be a bit depressing after those extra pounds of winter have been ladled on (necessary to keep us warm...right?) Instead of the obsessive closet and drawer sorting and arranging I do by color, it should be done by body stage...
semi-firm, tolerable, and down right fluffy.
Praise God, his faithfulness his love for us does not fluctuate. Hebrews 13:8 says:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!
(Unlike my waistline!)

PT
Lord, you are the constant we can all count upon. Forgive us when we waiver in our faith, not believing in who You are and the wonders of Your ways. Forgive us when we pray without expectation, but act surprised when answers come. May the fluctuation in our spiritual lives shift us closer to You, as we continually yearn to learn more about you and the love and plans you have for us.

Warning

April 8
Warning, it is dangerous to clean and weed without praise music.
Whew, I had myself a little pity party, yesterday, about an hour and half into house cleaning. My back was aching from baby sitting for a young mother, whose 10 week old was out of sorts, and then I helped move a queen size bed in order to paint a bedroom. As I pushed the vacuum along, pushing and pulling furniture out of the way, I began to resent having to do this process. The laundry had been backed up and the day before was spent scrubbing stains set into my summer whites and working on ten pieces of "hand wash only" items, which had piled high. The more I worked, the more people I thought of people who had house keepers or cleaning services...jealousy, envy, and bitterness were beginning to be my mind set. Then I took my thoughts captive...remembered who the enemy is, how he loves to rob our joy and I put on praise music and brushed my blues away, thanking God I had a house to clean and a yard to weed!

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

PT
Father, you created these minds of ours. Help us to take thoughts which are not from you captive and dwell on what you advise in Philippians 4:8...whatever is true, noble, right, pure, excellent or praiseworthy. In so doing we may say, "Today is a good day, for today is God's day." In Jesus' Name, Amen

Aperio

April 7
It is time to seek the Lord. Hosea 10:12

Aperio is the Latin word for April and it means to open.
Charles Spurgeon writes:
"This is the month of April...All the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery season. Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal blossoming flower warn you that it is time to seek the Lord. Do not be out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires."

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

PT
Lord, spring is amazing! You are always up to something new! The redbuds out race the dogwoods and the daffodils dance before the tulips! Thank You for the exhilaration of spring!
Thank You also for your Word and how it thrills our hearts. We can be mumbly, we can be grumbly, but when we "open" Your Word, love spews out. We all long to be loved, but often are just looking for love in all the wrong places. When we look to You, You bring it on! We seek You now, in Jesus' Name, Amen

Anticipation

April 6
My bags are packed, I'm ready to go....but probably not on a jet plane like the John Denver song. I am just waiting for the phone call that labor has begun in our daughter's belly and praying I can make the eight plus hour drive before the baby gets here!
Anticipation is defined as: the act of looking forward; pleasurable expectation.
While I am joyfully anticipating the arrival of two new grandchildren (one of our son's wives is due in May), I am also anticipating the return of Christ and eternity in heaven. If He wants to beam me up before His return, I am good to go or if I am to remain here until he comes and has a gaggle of us go up like geese together that is fine too!

What are you anticipating today?

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments." Matthew 19:16-17

PT
Lord, you are good, holy and just and full of incomparable love. Thank You, thank You for the hope of heaven. We anticipate not only what You have prepared for us this day, but for the eternal life with You on streets of gold and with angels voices singing! What a mighty God You are! In Jesus' name, Amen

Romantically Challenged-Not These Guys



You know I seldom tell names and tales too, so just enjoy the story of this mystery couple. My husband and I have known the bride for many years and it has been a blessing to walk along side her during this engagement period and to be a part of her wedding weekend. Through this process we have fallen in love with her husband and are elated by the way he loves her so well. My husband was the officiant and the location was the historical UVA Chapel in Charlottesville, VA. I can't imagine that there has been a wedding rehearsal and ceremony held there which was centered more on Christ. Their excitement for their faith and their desire for the people they love to know the Lord in the very personal way which they do was evident to all.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 from The Message describes them so well...It's no light thing to know that we'll all one day stand in that place of Judgement. That's why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We're not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we're on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted over serious, I did it for you. Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

They are two romantics who could lead a course for those who are romantically challenged.(Check out the skit guys video at the link below.)







Mouth, Mind, Motives

April 4
Standing on my husband's elliptical machine I began to pass the time by praying (I prayed first that I could survive 20 minutes on this machine). After I went through praying for all of our children, I looked up to the ceiling where there were three canister lights and said, "God, I am here to listen. What do You want to work on?" He was quick to respond, "Your mouth, your mind and your motives." Whew, He put the spotlight right on me and three areas that always seem to be up for a make-over.

The Bible is chocked full of godly advice to keep all three of these areas of our lives fine tuned.

Ephesians 4:29 advises: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Philippians 2:1-3 speaks well to how like-mindedness and godly motives equate to joy.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in 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 of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

When we allow God into the examination room of our lives, He becomes a gentle physician with a light shining into the dark spaces revealing areas which are detrimental to our spiritual health.

PT
Father, You are holy and we are oh, so lowly. Today we face another week of unknowns, but because of Your faithfulness to generation after generation we can step into this week confident that You are near. Trials may come and fear and trepidation may set us into a spiraling action. Please Holy Spirit be our prompter and keep our mouths, minds and motives Christ centered, allowing the aroma they emit to bring a watching world closer to a relationship with the Father.