On God's Map

April 30th
Yesterday, I was able to write with rejoicing over celebrating my father's 93rd birthday. Sunday, my heart was heavy as I hugged a sweet sister in Christ, whose faced her father's birthday that day with the realization they were getting ready to call in hospice for him this week.  At church I watched as one of our small group members, whose father is dying of cancer, hugged the first friend with tears pouring down his cheeks. Now I pray for another friend, whose father is dying, after his transport bus for the aging and handicapped was hit by a train in PA on Friday.
My prayer is that these families find comfort in knowing that heaven is a for real place on God's map.

My mother's favorite scripture verse was John 14:2
I go to prepare a place for you.

Adrian Roger's resides in Heaven now, but his messages to God's sheep continue to resonate throughout the land.  At some point in his life, Roger's wrote this message titled "Heaven is Not a State of Mind".

"Do you believe that there is a home in heaven waiting for you?  There is!  Because Jesus cannot lie. He is Truth incarnate. He always told the truth. He said, "if it were not so, I would have told you."
Jesus would not let the hope of heaven go on beating in your heart if it were simply a lie, a superstition, or a fond delusion. Heaven is not merely a state of mind. It is not a condition. It is a place so real that Jesus is there in a literal, resurrected body. There is a body in this place called heaven. It is His resurrected body. Heaven is a place on God's map.

Happy 93rd Birthday Daddy

April 29th

Today my sweet Daddy celebrates his 93rd birthday.  He has been an amazing provider, supporter, encourager,  teacher and example in how to live a godly marriage and be steadfast in times of trouble.
My mother has been gone for 13 years and he looks at her pictures in an album he made, every day.  Recently he found the letter she wrote him the week before she was heading to his home to meet his parents for the first time.  She wrote, "I'm scared to death."  :-)  What a treasure to hold onto.
It's easy to "Honor your father..." (Matthew 19:19) when he is filled with the character mine has.

Detained

April 27-28

Now one of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the Lord. 1 Samuel 21:7



The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.  Then Moses set out with Joshua, his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God...When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai.  For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.  To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.  Then Moses entered the cloud as he went up on the mountain and he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.  Exodus 24:12-18

A group of us are studying the book Secrets of the Secret Place and each week we discuss someone's struggle to find time to daily slip away with the Lord.  The daily readings take an average of 10 minutes to read, but the urgency of our days can steal us away from even that.   Check out Moses' flexibility..ugh 40 days???? That's commitment.  But let's think about this....He was with the Lord. He probably never wanted to come down.
Once we experience the depth of fellowship, which is available to us, (yes, we may have to sit a spell and wait for His presence to be manifested) we don't want to leave.

I think back to my long distance dating days with my husband. I was teaching school in Florida and he starting a new business in Virginia.  He would fly to Orlando late Friday night and by Sunday morning, my begging began for him to stay "one more day".  Sometimes it worked and he'd change his flight to Monday morning.  

When we get away with Jesus and he starts pouring out his love upon us through his word, we want more and more!  If we have to be detained somewhere, being detained before the Lord is a great place to be!



  

Simply Said


April 26

"I gave in and admitted that God was God."
C.S. Lewis

For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Psalm 108:4

As the heavens are higher than the dart, 
                      so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  
                                                                        Isaiah 55:9





Laughter is Good For the Soul

A cheerful heart is good medicine. 
Proverbs 17:22
April 25
Often I refer to "God-incidences" in my life...well, we had a funny one the other day.  I've posted this photo of our favorite "polka dot" goat before.  Last weekend we had the privilege of dining with it's owner.  I had taken this photo and had it made into a card for my sister's birthday and also made a copy for Polka Dot's owner. He was very appreciative.
While we were discussing some of the humorous events, which occur at his petting farm, he explained to us that Polka Dot is what is known as a "fainting" goat.  These critters keel over, stiff legged, if startled.  He said, his employees have tried several times to startle this goat, but it has yet to happen.

The second element of today's devotional relates to the fact that my husband played football for the University of North Carolina and regularly checks on team news. Yesterday, he opened a video exhibiting a recent prank played on the team's quarterback.  We do not know the background on how they knew about fainting goats...possibly they had been out trying to scare a few.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtwRhnMp-Pg&feature=player_embedded

Investigate

April 24
The word for the morning, yesterday, was "invest". Feeling as if I had recently written on this topic, I turned to Biblegateway to see where this word was leading.  Investing our time in the Word is certainly a beneficial cause, but as I searched the NIV "invest" did not come up, but ten passages highlighting "investigate" led to my morning inquiry and I settled on these verses in Ecclesiastes 7:24-25.

Whatever exists is far off and most profound-who can discover it?  So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.  

Isn't that perfect for what our nation is facing in light of last week's tragedy in Boston.  How well put is the phrase "the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly"?

We all need wisdom and we need to pray fervently for the leaders, whom authority we are under, to seek wisdom as well.

What have you investigated this week?
Emails, recipes, vacation spots, new appliances, medical expertise, diets, spring plantings, a new book to read, financial opportunities...
Do we investigate and search for the wisdom of the Lord with equal passion and urgency?

A Symbol of Hope



April 23
Sunday our pastor shot a picture of the Superman "S" icon up on the big screen.  Someone had shared a clip with him where Superman states that the "S" on his chest is actually not an "S" but the symbol for hope  from where he comes from. What a great lead in for a sermon on hope!

George Muller wrote: "Even when our situation appears to be impossible, our work is to 'hope in God'. Our hope will not be in vain, and in the Lord's own timing, help will come."

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.  Psalm 42:5

For what are you hoping?
In whom is your hope dependent?

The Message translation puts this twist on Psalm 42:5
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?  Why are you crying the blues?  Fix my eyes on God-soon I'll be praising again.  he puts a smile on my face. He's my God.




 Visiting a dear, dear college friend we went to check out her family orange groves...
 We came across these two characters, who had a bull coming along behind them, on our path....
We yielded any right of passage and saw them on their way.
April 22
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.  Psalm 119:105

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  Psalm 16:11

My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.  Psalm 17:5

Oh how I wish I could say to the Lord, "My feet have not stumbled." I've not only stumbled, but sunk in quick sand at times and even run out into a dangerous path of temptation.

We hold the hands of young children in an attempt to keep them from stumbling or direct them away from danger.  When we get a bit of age on us, we are holding hands again to steady ourselves along the way.  Praise God, he is always in our presence and we can reach for his wisdom to direct our paths and steady us along life's ruts and twists and turns!



It's Grand



Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them.
Then he left and returned home.  Genesis 31:55

 April 20-21
This week we had the privilege of attending our first Grandparents Day, at our grandson's Christian School.  He was so proud to have both sets of grandparents and his parents in the audience!  After going out to lunch, we went back to their his house to play with he and his little sister until nap time.
Then we had to kiss them good-bye, which always breaks my heart.  It is grand to be a grandparent!

Prayerlessness



April 19
"Prayerlessness is the first sign of prideful independence.  We begin to trim back on our secret time with God when we're feeling great about ourselves, energetic and optimistic about our future, and confident about the path we're taking. It's the first sign that we're getting full of ourselves." Bob Sorge

Have you prayed and sought God's direction for your day?

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

The best way to know what God is up to is to sit before him in prayer mode and listen.

Missed Opportunity

April 18
Conviction set in this morning as I reflected on a missed opportunity to pray for someone yesterday. A young man with some obvious handicaps was sitting at the entrance to a Belk department store, manning a table for charitable giving.  He was quite overweight and sat with his legs sprawled apart on either side of a card table.  On the mannequin platform beside him he placed his Dr. Pepper, a bagged lunch, a large hooded sweatshirt and a hand written sign  "On lunch break."  As I shopped I could hear him moan, saying out loud to know one..."I have to sit here until 4:00...thank goodness Friday is my last day."  It was rather distracting. 
The atmosphere turned rather humorous when I wanted to try on a pair of pants and my size was on the mannequin right beside this fellow. I am talking RIGHT beside him.  First off, the sales lady was perturbed he had placed his belongings...we are talking scrunched up brown paper bag with lunch leftovers inside and a 3/4 of the way completed plastic Dr Pepper bottle and personal jacket...right on the display.  When she goes to drop the pants off the mannequin and she can't get them off... he is talking to her  the whole time.  She explains to me she is going to need to get someone in charge of displays to help her. Telling her I'd be back in 15 minutes, I walked off leaving this young man sitting beside a half naked mannequin. I can only imagine what went on while I was gone as he stopped each person coming in and out of the store asking them to buy a ticket to a charity event. I should have taken a picture.  
No, what I should have done is bought a ticket from this young man, told him how much Jesus loves him and offered to pray for his endeavor.  I missed a great opportunity to be like Jesus.

Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men.  1 Timothy 2:1

There is a mother/father/sibling somewhere (maybe even working in that store) who is so thrilled that their child/sibling has a job.


Our Angel Guard

April 17

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11
Departing an Apple Store, in a large city recently, the class instructor (knowing I was from a tiny town in SW VA) reminded me to be cautious going to my car in the dark carrying my computer.  I appreciated the concern, but didn't think too much of it.  I stopped in a coffee shop to pick up a cookie for my husband, whom I had hoped was going to arrive in time to meet me at the Apple Store. While paying for the cookie, I sensed someone standing VERY close to me and turned expecting to see my husband attempting to surprise me.  My eyes looked, up, up,  up and there stood one of the largest men I've ever seen. He must have been a professional wrestler or Goliath's cousin.  The head of black hair he had was like nothing I've ever seen.  Black glasses, a black leather vest, dark jeans and a beard added to his daunting appearance.
He apologized for startling me.  Not wanting to appear scared out of my pants, I said, "Oh, no.  You didn't startle me. I thought you were my husband, who is arriving in town tonight, and had come to surprise me. I was buying this cookie for him."  Then I placed my hand on his ENORMOUS arm and said, "I'm sure you are just as sweet as he is."  His reply, "I'd be happy to give you a hug and kiss."

I politely walked away without responding.  What was that I thought? Guarding my computer and taking out my car keys I believed with all my heart that was my guardian angel.  At least I'd like to think that is my angel's stature!  :-)  The black get up, would normally lead me to deduce an evil presence, but this man's demeanor was quite kind.  The evil one is a deceiver though isn't he.  Well, if it was The Tempter, I guess it's good I left and didn't dance with the devil or let him hug and kiss me.

The good thing about encounters such as that is they get us thinking...and for me...thanking God for the angels who are watching over me is a reason to praise.  Even the ones who usher me to heaven one day will be doing that with watchful care.  Oh, how I pray those who lost their lives in Boston were comforted by their angels and are in Jesus' presence.

Your Buck A Roo, Wants to Be Like You



April 16
Our grandson had a Thomas the Train 2nd birthday party.  He enjoyed every moment and was so excited as each friend arrived.  The highlight of the party was when this child's father arrived dressed as Sir Topham Hatt.  Sir Topham Hatt is the British gent who heads up the railroad on the Island of Sodor in the TV Series Thomas the Train.
We all knew we were taking a chance with Dad dressing up.  One of our sons attended a 5 year old Davey Crockett birthday party years ago, where the dad dressed up as a bear they could shoot with pop guns.  All the children cried from fear, even when the dad took off his bear head.
Sir Topham Hatt was a total success.





Our children are watching us.  They watch how we parent, how we do business, how we treat others, how we place importance on our faith...some may even be around to watch how we die. Our character counts for more than we know.
While driving to Nashville, I engulfed myself in wonderful Christian and Country radio stations throughout the trip. A country song came on that really caught my attention. It is by Rodney Atkins and is called I've Been Watching You.
The song lyrics take you through this little boy imitating his father in action and speech.  Good ways and then some not so desirable.  The chorus goes:
I've been watching you, dad ain't that cool? I'm your buckaroo, I want to be like you.

3 John 1:11 says: 
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.

Income



April 15
No, I'm not posting about taxable income today.
While visiting our daughter in Nashville, I found myself longing to have a job with a large income, so I could live in beautiful Belle Meade, shop the stores of Green Hills without concern, eat at the fabulous restaurants!  Quickly, I sensed the Lord bringing to mind that the only extravagant income  I needed was in obedience to the scripture..Offer hospitality without grumbling wherever I live and say:
"Y'all come in!"  
Then I'm to step back and watch as "In Come" Da People Da Lord wants me to love on in His name!

My Expectation

April 13-14
My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.
Psalm 62:5

If you follow international news, then you are aware North Korea has put the world on edge with their nuclear threats.  We are faced with threats everyday...safety, health, job security, relational stability.  Psalm 62 is such a wonderful place to hide out and trust in the Lord.

Bob Sorge wrote: "God worshippers are those who come to God first in their time of need.  They seek God's face and wait on Him to receive direction for the course to take."  Oh, how I want to be labeled in such a way.  I want to live in "positive expectancy" waiting and watching for what God will do next!

As a child, I had expectations for my parents to provide food, clothing, education, love and a safe place to live.  As a parent, I had probably WAY too many expectations for my children, obedience, nice manners, good study habits, clean rooms...:-)  As a wife,  I've seen God's grace in my husband sticking around due to the length of my expectation list.  Ugh...forgive me Father and family.

While I may have issued up a tough order for all these individuals, the expectations I have of God are totally realistic! Sometimes he places me in a holding pattern, but I've grown to see his faithfulness again and again.  I can say...
My heart is steadfast.  Psalm 57:7
God sends his love and faithfulness.  Psalm 57:3

Amusement

 Moses our bulldog can slumber just about anywhere!


And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Romans 13:11

April 12 
I do enjoy a good word study.  Somewhere recently I read a devotional about the word amusement. The writer was explaining that muse means to think and the prefix alpha means "not to".  What he said next is scary...
"We are a generation that is amusing ourselves into oblivion.  And it's time to wake up!
Do you know what Napoleon said about China? 'There lies a sleeping giant, and let him sleep, because if he awakens, he will shake the world.' I believe the devil says that about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I believe the church is just that: a sleeping giant.  We're asleep because we have been chloroformed by the spirit of this age."

Whew!  Friends, we do like to be amused.  I believe not only China has been awakened, but certainly the Muslim world as well.  I have to ponder what God has ahead for me as he brought this reminded of amusement  to me today and yesterday the reflection of the dead among the living.  Where is most of my time spent?  In amusement or in evangelism?
Will I be willing to breathe life into anyone else today by sharing God's Word and love for them?

But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day to day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God.  The night is about over, dawn is about to break.  Be up and awake to what God is doing!  God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.  We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed!  Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!   Romans 13:11-14

 








The Dead Among the Living Can Be Revitalized

April 11

The bare trees in our yard are dressing themselves for spring at various rates.  The red buds are already bursting forth with their flashy red finery, while right next to them may stand a bare poplar who appears to not be very popular in her nakedness.  Someone might wonder of these late bloomers...are they dead?

Watching these arbors make their spring statements brought this reminder from God...
We encounter the dead among the living.  Being alive in Christ we are called to step out into a world of those who are dead spiritually.

Gazing upon the pin oak holding on to her dead leaves (not attractive at all), waiting until new growth pushes the dead leaves away, revealed a sin issue in my life.  We need to drop the dead parts of our lives...bitterness, envy, resentment...forgiving others to receive what is new.

Revitalization is ALWAYS possible through Christ. Don't stop praying for the spiritually dead. If the Holy Spirit ignited each of us, He is capable of striking the match and bringing new birth through Christ's sacrifice for anyone.  Let's be a vessel today.

The humble have seen it and are glad; You who seek God, let your heart revive. Psalm 69:32

Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity and revive me in Your ways. Psalm 119:37

Now that you've cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it.  Your new life is not like your old life.  Your old birth came from mortal sperm' your new birth comes from God's living Word.  Just think: a life conceived by God himself!  That's why the prophet said, The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; Grass dries up, flowers droop, God's Word goes on and on forever. This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.  
1 Peter 1:22-25

The Unknown

April 10
There is a beautiful duet, called The Prayer.  It was posted on Godtube recently being sung by American Idol Contestant, Angie Miller.  Watching the video, you read about Angie in the intro, but nothing is mentioned of the young man who sings the male vocalist part.  Presumably, because he has not earned popularity on a national show such as American Idol.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0F0911NU&utm_source=GodTube%20Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=04/08/2013

There are many unsung heroes along the path to heaven.  Encouragers in the faith who never speak behind a podium, grace a platform and hear applause for their performance, see their names as author on a book in a store bookshelf or are taunted as an excellent TV evangelist.  They are the behind the scenes necessities, who make the lime light possible for the keynote speakers and headliners of Christianity.

Pray about saying thanks to some of the people who help make your faith happen....
The sound and lighting gang, who flash the words on the big screen so we can sing praise.
The nursery worker who allows you to sit in church Sunday morning without your two year old.
They youth worker who plays the essential role of chaperone at youth events.
The Sunday School director who checks the role and makes the follow up calls for the teacher.
The church secretaries and book keepers who do more than we can even imagine.
The custodial staff who refills the toilet paper and pulls the chewing gum from the carpet.
The prayers warriors who gather an hour before anyone else on Sunday morning to pray over every detail which will gravitate into the day.
The widow who can no longer get to church, but willing sits all week long with a prayer list before her crying out day after day to the Lord for people she most likely will never met.

The pastor takes the pulpit, our eyes on are him, our notes of appreciation and marvel are expressed (probably not enough). The choir or praise team takes center stage...the chill bumps run through our bodies as voices are lifted in waves of worship.  The unknown, behind the scenes saints keep on keeping on, but wait...they really aren't unknown to the King are they. No, He is smiling and waiting with open arms to say..."Job well done."

What's Sprouting?


April 9
I'm having one of my clap your hands and applaud for the Lord moments.  Yesterday, the title "What's Sprouting" came to me and I typed it down feeling led to to write about what we sow in life.  This time of year is so exhilarating as we observe the various flora, which were previously planted, popping their heads up from the earth.
We have friends in our neighborhood, who moved into a new home a couple months ago and the yard is a surprise party right now...they've never been there in spring and have no idea what is going to spring up on their new property!
I was reflecting on how that is for us when we share our faith with others. Sometimes we aren't around when the sowing we've done with God's Word and fertilizing of His love for an individual comes to fruition in that person's life.   I envision the scene when we are approached by a friend from our past in heaven and they say...Remember that time when you came along side me and told me Jesus loved me?  Yes, I think I did roll my eyes at you, but later when I was in dire need I remembered all you said and called out to Him and asked him into my heart!  w00t!  w00t!

Here's the applause part for me.  I picked up the present study I am doing, Secrets of the Secret Place,  and turned to the next entry #6 and was blown away to find the same topic.
Sorge writes...
"Our devotional life with God is more like the planting of a garden.  When we arise from sowing into the secret place (where we have our quiet time), we will not usually be able to point to immediate results of benefits. What we sow today will require an entire season of growth before the results are manifest.
Sowing is usually extremely mundane, boring and menial.  Rarely are the benefits of sowing seen at the time.  Usually, it takes a period of time before the benefits of sowing start to become self-evident.  Authentic spiritual harvest is rarely instantaneous.  The wise believer who understands this will devote himself to arduous sowing, knowing that at the right time he will reap if he does not lose heart.
He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread  Proverbs12:11.  To have a harvest, you must till (prepare) the soil of your heart and then implant God's word into your heart.  God's word is powerful seed, which will eventually produce a mighty harvest if the soil of our hearts is right...The word being sown into your heart today is going to germinate, sprout, send roots downward and branches upward, and produce fruit! Catch the secret: 
He who sows will most assuredly reap!"

What's sprouting in your spiritual life?  Are the things we share with others encouraging them to bloom for the Lord?

He Raises Me Up




One of our sons, raising up his son!
April 8
That's the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, 
The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.

God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down.
I'm headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof!
Already I'm singing God-songs; I'm making music to God.  
Psalm 27:5-9

We've all seen the day when we needed a lift, literally and figuratively.  More than once, I've filled the request to reach an item on the top shelf of the grocery aisle for someone a bit shorter.  There've been flu filled days when I could not raise my head off my pillow and needed someone to step in and raise my children.  With my recent back issues, I had to call upon friends to lift my grandchildren, I was caring for, in and out of cribs.

One of the most difficult things to raise can be our spirits when we are down trodden.  The Psalm above expresses God's provision this way:

God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down.

 A dear, dear friend sent me this Youtube video last week. It is of a British children's choir singing,
You Raise Me Up.   I am praying for each of you who read this devotional today, that you allow God to raise you up, when the world tries to bring you down.  I love you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSCOFNeq28&sns=em

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

Things Don't Change...



April 6-7
Spring is all about change.  "Busting Loose" was the titled of a song at some point in my growing up years and while it wasn't about spring, I think that is a perfect "tag" for what happens this time of year...nature is busting loose with changes.  I walked around the yard the other day searching for what is busting loose from tree branches and the ground!  While it is our sense of sight, which tips us off to natures changes; it is our sense of hearing, which tips us off to the changes God wants to make!

You've opened my ears, so I can listen.  Psalm 40:6

"The power of prayer is found, not in convincing God of my agenda, but in waiting upon Him to hear His agenda."  Bob Sorge

Everything that is hidden will become clear, and every secret thing will be made known.  So be careful how you listen. Those who have understanding will be given more. But those who do not have understanding, even what they think they have will be taken away.  Luke 8:17-18

The greatest "giving glory to God...life changing" accomplishments have come from the times I was still and listening for God's voice.  Well, sometimes I wasn't actually intentionally listening for Him, he just spoke up when my mind was quiet and I had stopped "doing" for awhile.  He loves to catch me in the shower for this sort of encounter.  :-)

When I look back on those "show stoppers" there is a common element...change.  Either change in me or positioning me in a place to come alongside someone else needing a change.

"Things don't change when I talk to God, things change when God talks to me."  Bob Sorge

Jesus is the change maker in our lives.  Allow Him to trigger a change in you today!

What Holds Us Back?


April 5
Bargaining with the Lord (once more I'm afraid) I was looking for the easy way out of an assignment he'd give me.  You know, like buying the Cliff Notes back in the day or renting the movie instead of reading the book before writing the report. I wanted to pull out some old writings to fulfill an obligation I had to God.  The reply, "I am doing a new work!"  That phrase sounded like a familiar verse from Jesus, but when I went to Biblegateway I couldn't find it. Instead,  the passage below is what I came upon.

Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin?  Was it by working your heads off to please God?  Or was it by responding to God's Message to you?  Are you going to continue this craziness?  For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God.  If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you supposes you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing?  It is not a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! Galatians 3:2-4  

Ouch!

The dog barked to go out, the phone rang, and a new message tinged on my computer ....temptation to abort the assignment set in.  "Forgive me Lord, but I am looking for a way out," I sheepishly remarked.  

What holds us back from stepping out in action when God calls?

For me it is fear, lack of confidence, and selfish desire to do "more comfortable" things.
Whoa!  For me it is sin.

Forgive me Father.  Today find me faithful.


Watch What You Say

April 4
God's Word says... 
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

Parenting and grandparenting are serious roles to be played in a child's life.  We were privileged to have two of our grandsons here for two weeks recently. The last four of those days our daughter and her husband were out of town, so my husband and I stayed busy.  I make a breakfast muffin that the boys love, so each morning they would hear the timer go off.  One of us must have said, "The muffins are ready!"  Our daughter said when they returned home to Nashville that evening a beeper sounded on one of their phones and their almost two year old said, "Muffins ready!"

Her next report was that the next morning they were working a puzzle and one piece was of a flower.  When her son picked it up he said "Daffodil!"  She had no idea how he knew what a daffodil was, but while she was gone we had an egg hunt in the daffodils and he obviously quickly absorbed that word.
A rather disturbing comment evolved the other morning as this precious child kept looking at her saying, "Butt head, butt head." Would my parents really have taught him to say this? she was thinking. Laughter rang from my body knowing the reason. Ever since he was an infant, I've placed my forehead on his and we've rub noses. He grew to love the feeling of forehead to forehead and it became his sign of affection.  We've wondered if he is a "cone head" like in the Saturday Night Live skits years ago.  Whenever my husband holds this little fellow he says, "Head butt, head butt," meaning place your forehead on mine.  He had turned the word line up around.  My daughter and I were almost crying as we laughed at how she will explain this when she picks him up for the nursery at Sunday School, Bible Study and the "Y" and the sitters report her son called them a "butt head".

What we pour into these children is what comes out of them, so we must watch what we say!

His name for zebra may get him in trouble too...it's a Brazee!



Staying in Easter Mode

April 3
Staring at the bare branches of winter we can't actually see the leaves of spring growing bigger, but we notice the difference as they begin to burst forth.  Our faith is like that. People cannot actually see it growing, but they notice the difference the growth makes in us.  One of the things that excites me about the Christian faith is that we are a continual work in progress and there is always something new to learn.
Monday night a group of us began a study called Secrets of the Secret Place.  The author, Bob Sorge, makes the statement, Reproductive power is unlocked in the shadow of the Almighty. We all pondered that term which was new to us.  Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we have the ability to reproduce the characteristics of Christ, which God calls us to do.  The process of giving the Good News has been reproduced generation after generation!

Studying in Colossians 1 yesterday another phrase kept me in the Easter Mode...leading the resurrection parade.  May these words seep into your soul and keep you as grateful as you were while singing Alleluia on Easter Sunday.
Colossians 1:18-23


18-20 He (Christ) was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
21-23 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.


The Weight of the Worry

This picture of my husband and granddaughter reminds me of how God is there to hold our hand.

April 2
The past five weeks, I wallowed in back pain.  My wallowing wove itself into worry, as I anticipated, yet another back surgery.  God did his best to assure me of his presence.  He even placed the story of the disciples needing the waves calmed right in front of me...yet my mind would find no rest.

At one point I found myself explaining to the Lord ...."If I can't be whole, I'd rather be home."  No sooner had I said this, than did my mind drift to a young VT professor I conversed with last month.
This young man had several birth defects; two obvious ones were stunted growth and only one arm.  His limitations did not slow him down from living life.  There were no visible signs of a "woe is me attitude" or the weight of worry.

When we allow the weight of worry to weave its way into us, we stumble into sin.  "Worry doesn't take the sorrow out of tomorrow, it takes the strength out of today."  Adrian Rogers.  He also wrote, "God didn't give you grace for tomorrow's difficulties. He only gives you grace for today."

Casting all you care upon Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Seeping

April 1st


I was preparing two pitchers of  tea and watched as they seeped,  The longer the tea bag remained in the water the stronger the tea became.  Then it occurred to me how similar our faith walks are. The longer we remain in the Lord and his Word, the stronger our faith becomes!

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can heart fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  John 15:1-9