Cheers or Chores

November 30-Dec 1
Laid up in our bed with aching backs last Saturday, my husband was reading and I was typing away. Glancing over at him, I inquired as to the air time of a football game we wanted to watch.  My purpose was to inform him, "I need to do a few chores first," but it came out, "I need to do a few cheers first." This later seemed totally appropriate to him!

How do we look at our faith and our times of worship...with cheerful hearts or as a chore?

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4 

While writing this the other morning, the rising sun had coated the sky in a burst of pink, at least 30 geese formed their "V" and flew out over the water which was coated with billowing fog which had formed due to the 17 degree temperatures.  The mere scene out my window gave me reason to praise, so I began to sing.

Sometimes when there is a battle going on around me or even in me, I've learned to sing as a way to encourage the angels encamped upon our property to mount up and be renewed in the battle they fight for us in the heavenlies.  We set out birdseed for the birds, why not send up songs of praise for the angels!

Now this just rocked my world. As I am typing on workshop, a James MacDonald message popped up on the same topic. It's worth the read!

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will 
worship the Father in spirit and truth, 
for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
John 4:23

A Father's Love

Thank God! He deserves your thanks.
His love never quits.
Thank the God of all gods, 
His love never quits.
Thank the Lord of all lords.
His love never quits.
God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love need quits.
Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits.
Psalm 136:1,26MSG

November 29
Sitting on the floor, with a couple of lumps of love in my lap and a few others playing with new toys on the floor nearby, the zinger came.  The realization we were having a family gathering without Daddy hit my heart and instinctively I thought it was time to call him.  Immediately following the realization of that impossibility, the tears began to form and trickle down my cheeks.  Flicking a few tears onto my pant leg, I hoped to be able to wade through the moment.  My tear ducts reminded me of a dripping faucet.  Plop, plop, plop!
Heading into the kitchen, I began to find comfort in washing dishes.  Then two of our chidden walked in and seeing me, they just said, "Davedaddy?"  Then our daughter came forth with her mama's quote,
"Life is a lot."

What hit me was quite profound, but not an emotion that everyone would experience, for not everyone has experienced a father's love.  The deepest, sincerest, safest love I'd ever experience on earth, was no longer attainable. The love of a parent.  It's different from the love a child has for a parent,  a sibling has for a sibling, or spouses share with one another.  Those loves can be quite temperamental and carry the potential for rejection.  A parent's love is like none other. It always longs, it always hopes, and it is willing to forgive.  God obviously created this love, as a mirror of his love for us.
(Now grand baby love is evolving into a close second.)

While I long to be able to walk into my father's house, see his face light up and have him kiss me, and offer the most sincere inquiries into how life is going; I know there is no way he'd want to come back from where he is and that fact establishes a peace within me.

How futile life would seem without my faith.  So, where do I go from here?  I must return to my first Love.  Grow deeper and deeper in my relationship with Christ and his all fulfilling, unconditional love for me.  The acceptance of God's love and perfect plan for our lives is the ultimate pacifier until we reach our heavenly home.

Be Thankful

November 28
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…
And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

My husband challenged a group of his students to express what they were thankful for.  One young lady responded, "I'm thankful I'm not a turkey."  :-)
We live in a fallen world filled with evil, sorrow and pain.  As I look out my window the clouds abound, but there are streaks of the bright blue background making the a statement, that blue skies may prevail. God's love it like that. It makes a statement!  A statement saying, "Look at Me! I am your hope, your joy, your future.  All this, the evil, sorrow, and pain, will one day pass away and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

So today we choose to enter the day with thanksgiving, remain in God's presence with praise and give Him thanks for the hope to come.  And by the faith of our fathers we will allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts and be thankful.

All the Andrews send you a hearty Thanksgiving Cheer and pray that You will be filled with the Spirit and experience extraordinary joy on this day and in the days to come.

 Get your Gobble on!

The Pine Garland Made Me Cuss

November 27
The devil got the best of me the other night. My husband had been sick and in terrible pain from a back injury, I'd way over committed myself ministry wise, a good part of the day had been spent on a ladder with enormous clippers trying to cut crepe myrtle branches without breaking my neck, and after spray painting them my girlfriend pointed out that my face was white from the spray paint blowing in on me.
Heading inside for the evening hours I didn't know which way to turn.  The house was a mess with Christmas decorations begging to be hung and 150 Thanksgiving cards stared at me needing addressing.
I decided to tackle putting lights on some garland and hanging the pieces over a large painting in the dining room.  For starters this was not a one person job, but I didn't want to bother my husband, who had no business lifting anything.  At one point, the left strand of garland slipped and slit my finger open when the devil made me do it...yup, I cussed.  Calling from the bedroom, my husband inquired if I was alright.  I think a scream of utter frustration sprang forth from my mouth at that point.  Turning around, the wooden Jesus sign I carved out last year fell over.  Knocking Jesus down is when it hit me...the enemy was trying to knock my Jesus joy from my life.
I rebuked him in the name of Jesus. Set the Jesus sign back up and took a deep breath.

Our enemy, the devil, prowls around looking for someone to devour.  He knows our weaknesses, when we are tired and vulnerable and he takes us down, stealing our joy, filling our hearts with disappointment, anger, regret.
Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3


November 26
It's been a gross day.  The iffy weather forecasts of an ice storm had my husband delay the start of school today and it's seems life has just gotten discombobulated. The pouring rain put a snafu in gathering boxes to pack up food from a food drive. Rush, rush, rush.  Here it is almost 1:00 and I'm just getting to the devotional.  Turning on the computer I face an email seeking prayer for a friend's young daughter with ovarian cancer, and news comes of another friend's mom having a stroke,  Just gross.

Wait there's the doorbell!  A dear friend was dropping off a back pillow she made herself for us.  It's like Jesus just stopped in to say, "Remember I am here."

I hope when you play this video, you will get Goosebumps as I did and be able to stop and remember,
God is with you.


November 25
Admittedly, I am a morning person.  A "rise and shine, it's gonna be a great day" type girl.  Not all of our children are morning peeps and some didn't appreciate my get up and go, chipper attitude in the mornings, so they may want to wait and watch this Mercy Me video until later in the day.

If Jesus is in your life, you've been transformed and that is a reason to give thanks and rejoice!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise him name.  
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalms 100:4-5
So shake off any discouragement, depression or dread and boogie along with Mercy Me!

The Women of Christmas-Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

November 23-24
"A season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God.  Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in the Lord remains fertile.  Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to hear God's Son.  Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.  Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way this season."  The back cover of Liz Curtis Higgs' book,    The Women of Christmas.

Curtis Higgs writes, "Christmas is so much more than a holiday. So much more than buying and wrapping, and cooking and eating, and trimming with tinsel, and mailing out cards. It's a season for reflection, for preparation, for renewal. What better time to put aside our shopping lists and reach for out Bibles, where the story of the Christ child awaits us."

I do it every year....promise to slow the pace and ponder the life of Christ.  You know, really celebrate his birthday.  A precious friend, celebrates her 60th birthday on Monday and I asked her to think back on the last 6 decades and write to me of a favorite memory each.  Could you respond to someone who asked you to share your favorite memories of Christ's life on this earth?

When I received an email promoting this book, I passed it on to a group of friends and asked them to slow the pace with me this season and commit to come for a cup of coffee or tea the first three Mondays in December for a time of prayer and reflection on what Jesus means to us.

Is there room in your heart for Jesus?  Sing...
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing, 
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.   Isaac Watts, 1719

Elizabeth and Zechariah had most likely long given up any hope of having a child, when an angel said to Zechariah, "Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to call him John."  Luke 1:13
They had preparations to make.
As we begin preparations for this holiday season, let's make Jesus part of every day.

A Different Perspective

November 22
It's 4AM and not being able to sleep I've grabbed my trusty laptop and headed to the living room to hang out with Jesus. My husband, who is finally resting well after struggling to get comfortable from severe back pain and nausea, will eventually awaken and probably say, "Why did you go out there?"  (I usually type away from bed, if I awaken in the middle of the night.) His perspective may be that I was making a sacrifice to venture into the cold living room, but from mine the house is beginning to be decorated with Christmas lights, so it's quite enchanting with all the twinkling, twinkling going on!
One of my first decisions was whether to sit on the sofa facing the fire or to look out the window awaiting sunrise. Two totally different perspectives.  The second selection will be from my palette's perspective of whether to delight my tastebuds with hot tea or cocoa.

Attending an area Bible study this week, the women were rather feisty on this particular day and responded to questions by heading into "hot" topics, which envelop quite different perspectives and opinions.  The Tea Party, gay marriage, whether Jesus literally descended into Hell for three days or if the cross figuratively was his hell...I believe we were studying "The Promise of God's Hope," but certainly visited some aside topics from very different perspectives.

While there are verses to ponder and concepts which we will not totally understand this side of heaven, as even the disciples couldn't grasp why Jesus had to go away,  we can all agree that this place is not our home, Jesus came to die for our sins, and we do have a heavenly home awaiting us! Also, praise the Lord God's Word tells us:

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.  Colossians 3:15

Great Attitude

November 21
If we slur the word gratitude it might come out as Great Attitude!

A.W. Tozer wrote, "Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer, but richer for having made it."

While visiting with a dear friend on the phone early one morning, her cell phone alarm sounded.  Every morning it is set to play a song called Thank You Jesus!  Now that helps start the day the right way!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks in all circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

If it Was of Eternal Value....

There's a deerlightful party at Shiloh in the afternoons!  Come see us.
November 20
Often, I will be about the business of the day and a thought will cross my mind triggering the thought, "That would make a good devotional title."  It happened the other morning, but I didn't write the thought down and only 5 minutes later couldn't remember the clever alliteration, which had come to mind. The lead letter was "H", but the trio of words had left me.  Praying, I asked the Lord, "What was the title?"  He replied, "It must not have been of eternal value!" I laughed.

November 11th, in Oswald Chambers' beloved book, His Utmost for My Highest, Chambers wrote about self-motivated ministry.  We are capable of dreaming up a lot of good things to do, but it is the work initiated by the Lord, which he planned in advance for us to do,  that has lasting eternal value.

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

His Presence

November 19
We are big proponents of short sermons and long praise and worship.  Most messages/sermons much longer than 20 minutes seem to often become repetitive, having the tendency to cause one's mind to drift from the topic matter.  The four minute message in the link below on God's Presence, byFrancis Chan will stick with me.

Honor and majesty are (found) in His presence; strength and joy are (found) in His sanctuary.
1 Chronicles 16:27
Scriptures God's Presence Bar
And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."   Exodus 33:14
Scriptures God's Presence Bar

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11
Scriptures God's Presence Bar
Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Psalm 51:11
Scriptures God's Presence Bar
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of  refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.  Acts 3:19
Scriptures God's Presence Bar
Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  Psalm 139:7
Scriptures God's Presence Bar
Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.  Psalm 100:2

Noah was Stressed?

November 18
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Tis the season to get in a twit! Don't do it!  Put Jesus first and spend time with him. It's His birthday we are about to celebrate and I think he'd rather us spend time with him than worry about a big bash!  I tell myself this every year and I still go overboard decorating, gifting and cooking.

Last week Adrian Rogers' website had a excellent message titled "Bridging the Stress Gap".
It reads:
"Stress is nothing new. Noah had it when he was building the ark with no rain in sight. Martha had it when she was preparing a meal for our Lord.  Stress is the gap between the demands placed on us and the strength we have in meeting those demands.  It is not a sin to be stressed, nor a sin to be weary. It is a sin, though, not to seek a lessening of that stress which tears down the temple of the Holy Spirit, your body.  Where is your answer?  In waiting upon the Lord-waiting in the midst of demands. When you learn to wait on Him, God steps in to bridge the stress gap with His might strength.  Ask God to equip you to be a stress-buster today. Perhaps it will be your boss or your spouse that is "stressed out."  Rejoice in the opportunity you have to share God's love."

Faith Walk for an Audience of One

November 16-17
Dear Friends,
I write to you this weekend under conviction from a Wisdom Hunters devotional.  I want to share what a wrote to some of my Bible Study girlfriends.

Being in sweet fellowship with you all feels like a safety zone. A place to share what we sense the is Lord doing, a place cry out in despair, a place be vulnerable and express our disobedience and need for forgiveness without fear of being rejected.  One area God has worked on me this week in is assuming everyone, who loves the Lord, has similar experiences and understands what I am feeling. That is just not true in extensive areas of life experience.

The other thought that hit me in the gut (which is sore anyway from a stomach bug last night) came from the devotional below.  I talk to much to others about what  I need to just be working out with God. In my heart of hearts I've truly believed I share in hopes of someone else helping me figure out the remaining pieces of the puzzle to what God is up to with me or to encourage them in their "God" struggles.  But God's Word tells us the heart is quite deceitful. Also, God is fully capable of leading me without the help of others. He wants to get the full credit for leading me through the woods with the bread crumbs He drops.  
This devotional has me searching deeply to see if there are pride issues related to what I share or a need for approval from my "safety zone" in areas that the world offers rejection and persecution.
God is the best personal trainer we can ever have!  I love the way He disciplines and I do long to be pleasing in his sight.  Please forgive me if my faith walk and maybe too much talk have been a stumbling block to you in any way.

It's great being in God's classroom with each of you.
Love, Boo  I am laughing out loud. The devotional will not show up, so I'm having to type the whole thing. Do you think God wants to put it a little deeper in my heart. Heading to the chalk board!

Boyd Bailey, The Wisdom Hunters Devotional November 16, 2013
I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
John 14:31 

I struggle playing to an audience other than almighty God. I create an unnecessary tension by asking myself, "What will they think?  How will they respond?" Yet the heart of Jesus asks, "What does my heavenly Father want?  How can I obey Him with my whole heart?"
It is an audience of one with my heavenly Father that requires my focus.

So I ask myself, "Whom do I love more?  Do I love my Savior more, or do I love the praise of people more?"  If I truly love the commendation of Christ more than the approval of people, then I will obey His commands, even when I am misunderstood and mistreated. A life that loves God longs to grow in a relationship that faithfully follows His ways.
Caution is required not to become proud in our obedience. In a distorted way, a disciplined life can play into impressing people instead of pleasing God. It is a false humility to be proud of our humility and wish others could attain our level of maturity.  False humility on the stage of life acts out its spirituality for the world's accolades.
These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are
based on merely human commands and teachings/ Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence."
Colossians 2:22-23
True humility seeks only to deflect glory back to God's glory. However, when all is said and done, living for an audience of one insists on intense intimacy with Jesus Christ, so that we naturally follow His lead. It is like an eloquent dance rendition, where He leads and we follow.  Some steps are new and awkward, while others moves are comfortable and unconscious.  If we dance with Jesus before others, he will amuse them most, as He leads us into His will.   True humility follows Christ's lead.
Lastly, learning to live for an audience of one means giving away recognition and resisting taking credit.  For example, at work give the team credit for the success, and take responsibility for failure.  At home quietly serve behind the scenes without a worry about who gets the recognition for the household chores.  Most of all, minister for Christ's kingdom, so you kingdom fades away and His becomes full center.  An audience of one pleases the One. 

She's a Character

November 15
My husband's 104 year old great aunt died this week and we truly experienced the end of an amazing era.  The four Finley sisters were loaded with personality and very well known in their community. They were also quite talented musically.  This particular aunt was probably my husband's favorite.  Talking to her granddaughter's at the funeral he said, "She was a character." (He meant this in a most complimentary way.)  Although that does differs from having character, it can still be a good thing.

Will people remember us for our character or as characters?

A group of us are about to embark on a new study called The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs. Tapping into the life of Elizabeth in the first chapter, Higgs wrote:

A wife of noble character who can find?  Proverbs 31:10

"Even in the days of old, such women were rare birds, putting character above all else.  Rather than caring about how she looked to other, Elizabeth would have focused on what she did for others, taking care to always be above reproach."

Character counts!

Marinate or Meditate..same idea

 The bath...
The basting!
Turkey prep is a serious endeavor.

November 14
My role in our Bible study feast the other night was the production of the turkey. Researching various brines, I went with a sweet orange and lemon based brine.  The suggested time for this brining process was 20 hours.  A good marinade enriches any meat, just as a good meditation on the Word of God enriches us and our relationship to Christ. What are you soaking in these days?

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

The brining recipe can be found on my menu bar under "Palate Pleasers".

He's the Real Deal

It's hard to catch 5 turkeys in perfect picture mode.
November 13
"We've been bamboozled!" my girlfriend replied, when we realized why we were able to purchase 1200 thread count sheets for $20.  They were not cotton, but a "micro-fiber".  Hmmm? I give her credit, earlier in the day she was fast to figure out the 3 for $20 cashmere scarf promotion loop hole.  I kept rubbing them, questioning the reality that they were cashmere, when she pointed to the TINY script on the LARGE sign promoting this product.  What we had failed to see were the little bitty words preceding the word "cashmere"...the words..."feels like".  Ah!  We will laugh about this for years and be wiser shoppers for the wear.

There are many imitations/variations of our faith, but the major difference in Christianity and other faiths is that the WORK HAS BEEN DONE.  There is absolutely nothing we can add to Christ's work on the cross, that will save us from our sins. We can do and do and do.  We can love and love and love, but without the sacrifice which was made...without the death which was overcome...we aren't getting in the gates of heaven.  Instead of a faith which touts what we must do, we have a faith that shouts..."It is finished!"

"Jesus paid it all.  All to Him we owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, but He washed it white as snow."
Are you able to say, "I'm a sinner saved by grace." Do you wait daily for his marching orders, ready to serve as a response to his love for us?  Believe in Jesus, he's the real deal.

Entrance Examination

November 12
University programs and various job certifications have entrance examinations, which are required to be passed before you may proceed or advance.  What if when we reached the gates of heavens there was an entrance examination?  Test your knowledge on this True/False quiz.  The answers can be found in the scripture references.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.                                                        Romans 3:23

While we were still sinners Christ died for us.                                                               Romans 5:8

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God-not of works, so that no one can boast.                                                                          Ephesians 2:8-9

In the world you will have trouble. But Jesus overcame the world.                                John 16:33

Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.               Matthew 7:13

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. John 14:6

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.                                                                                                 Romans 10:9


November 11
After 40 hours of work, thanks to some youthful aid this weekend, my husband almost has our 5 acres of leaves cleaned up.  He is a veteran leaf blower/raker.  He is also, exhausted.  A huge shout of appreciation for four young adults from our church who sacrificed their Saturday morning to help move the leaves of Shiloh!
The dictionary defines veteran as: "A person who has had long experience in a particular field or a person who served in the military. Today we remember the men and women who have laid down their lives for us!  Thank You. Without you, our freedom to worship as we wish may have been long gone.  God help that freedom to continue!

Most of us did not first hand fight in the Wars of our fathers and none of us walked beside our Savior in the flesh.  Yet, many of us are veterans of the faith.  The word veterans comes from the Latin word veteranus...vetus meaning "old".  I qualify as an "old" Christian!  How about you?  Taking the word veteran and plugging it into Biblegateway, I smiled at the encouraging words from The Message.  God is spurring us!  Have joy! Get an adrenaline shoot!

I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus' name.  You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One. And a second reminder, dear children: You know the Father from personal experience. You veterans know the One who started it all; and you newcomers- such vitality and strength!  God's word is so steady in you.  Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.
1 John 2:12-14

(Disciple in a Long-Distance Race) Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on?  It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never quit!  No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished the race we're in.  Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.  When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!  Hebrews 12:1-3

Offer Grace - Spread Joy

November 9-10
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 
and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Ephesians 4:26-27

"Offer grace" makes me think of the movie Christmas Vacation) where the 80 year old aunt is asked to say grace before dinner, " She replies, "Grace! She passed away 30 years ago."
Have you served grace to anyone lately?  How often do we dish it out?  We certainly like to receive it!
My stomach is churning right now over the arrogant times I've thought about "what I deserved" in various service oriented businesses.  Oh, how Jesus must have been shaking his head. I'm not saying we should allow people to cheat us or treat us rudely, but that we examine our hearts in our responses and put ourselves in the other person's shoes.
Last month we ordered a pizza for our grandchildren. My husband went to pick it up and came home and they had given him the wrong pizza!  We were all hungry and it was disappointing, but not life threatening.  The pizza we had ordered had already gone out the door with another "disappointed" customer, who was about to find only cheese on his pepperoni pizza.  The restaurant told us to keep the one we had and we could come back for the plain cheese at not charge. Some people may have had their feathers so ruffled that they might demand the pizza be delivered (we don't have that luxury in our neck of the woods) and that they also be reimbursed for their gas money or maybe even try to get free pizza for life! I believe with all my heart there are people who set out to find an issue at a restaurant, with the plan of getting a free meal.

Have you ever worked retail and not had the size or item someone wanted?  I've felt like they expected me to go in the back, get on a sewing machine and make them that dress in just their size!  

We are created in God's image. Created to do good works, which he has planned in advance for us to do.   Offering grace is a mighty good work.  It's really enjoyable.  We should know, because we've received it time and again from God. 


November 8
Merriam Webster defines pursue this way: to follow and try to catch or capture (someone or something) for usually a long distance of time.

During a Bible Study yesterday, I saw a photograph of a painting where an artist had depicted his interpretation of Saul's encounter with God, which turned him into Paul!  The teacher noted, "God was pursuing Paul."  Paul wasn't out looking to grow closer in a relationship with Christ.

Could God be trying to capture your heart and attention today?  Have you sensed Him knocking on your heart for a long time, but you never take the time to open up to Him?

Scripture is filled with examples of what to pursue and what not to pursue.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  Psalm 34:14

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.  Proverbs 21:21

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  2 Timothy 2:22

Foremost, we should be pursuing a passionate relationship with God, who created us with not only a purpose, but a hope and a future in heaven with him forever!  Have you told Him today, how much you love him?  Pursue the most incredible love relationship we have available to us.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there's just something about that name!

I hope you didn't miss hearing Billy Graham testify to God's love last night.  The tears dripped down my cheeks.  There's a man who pursues God!

One Liners

November 7
My car and purse are filled with bits of paper, where I've written down "one liners" or maybe a song lyric I want to remember.  I'm thinking this one may have come from our pastor, but I'm not for certain.
"Forget means it no longer has an influence."

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. .
Philippians 3:13-14

Isn't it interesting the things we forget and the then the occurrences we hold onto. Hold onto the healthy memories and let those holding you captive, teach their lesson in your life and then go free, no longer having a negative influence on your life.

Who's at the Controls?

November 6
One of the hand me down toys from our children to our grandchildren, which has stood the test of time, is this Little Tykes blue car.  It is a one seater, so on occasion there can be a bit of a scuffle over who gets to man the vehicle.
Upon acknowledging our need for a savior and accepting Christ, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us and comfort us through life. He's a gentleman and only takes control, when we step out of the driver's seat and ask Him to steer.  Instead of allowing that to be part of my daily survival preparation, I often wait and holler to Him to come in when I'm at my wits end or backed into a corner.
This morning, the before my eyes opened phrase that was on my mind was "Empty me of me Lord and fill me with Your Holy Spirit."  The process needs to be a daily choice.  There's not room for both of us in the driver's seat of our life.
Who's at the controls of your life today?

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

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

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  John 14:26

Right Before Our Eyes

November 5
A dear friend gave me a month by month calendar for Christmas last year which is displayed in a frame and highlights a scripture verse. You have to change out each month.  It sits right in my dressing room and I look at it every day.  With everything that occurred the last week of September in our life, my eyes ceased to focus on the calendar, until I realized the other day, it was November and the calendar still showed September.  Life seemed to have stop there for awhile. October just slipped by.
Glancing at September's verse, as I pulled it out of the frame, I thought how perfect the verse was for what September had held in our lives here at Shiloh.

Pray about everything. Worry about nothing. 
Philippians 4:6

I wanted to check out October, before moving on to November.

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, "You are my God." My times are in Your hand.
Psalm 31:14-15

How I wished I had been tuned into what should have been right before my eyes....a powerful verse to have been meditating on throughout October. November is working quite well for me!

So do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself.  
Matthew 6:34

Satisfaction Guaranteed

November 4
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God.
People take refuge in the Shadow of Your Wings.
Psalm 36:7

Satisfy is in the morning with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14

Have you ever purchased a product, been disappointed and returned it for the money back guarantee?  The other day I read this quote (can't remember where) "I know I'm saved, but I'm not satisfied."  Asking Jesus into our hearts isn't a "fix all" remedy.
In this world you will have trouble. But take courage. I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Our guaranteed satisfaction comes from knowing God never leaves us or forsakes us and promises to work all things together for our good, while we walk here on earth awaiting heaven.  Renee Swope wrote: "We must learn to see challenges as spiritual exercises designed to make us stronger."

There is a children's song, I've referred to before with the chorus: 
He's still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.
Now there's a guarantee!

The Ultimate Multitasker

November 2
Being married to a college football player, I'm always a bit defensive when I hear someone refer to a dumb football player. Have they actually watched the game?  Have they seen a college or professional level play book.  You can't be dumb and learn all that.

Well, you can't be dumb to pull off what this Ohio State marching band does either in this video clip. Talk about multi-tasking.  Playing your music and knowing when and where to march too would tax my brain.

God is the ultimate Multitasker!  Nothing is too difficult for Him.  Mary knew that when she became pregnant as a virgin. Sarah knew that as she became a mother at 90 years old.  Noah knew that when he received guidance to build an ark. Moses knew that when he saw the Red Sea part.  I knew that each time I experienced a baby being born or now as I simply feel my heart beat, my eyes blink and realize there is blood pumping through those big ole veins in my hand!

"And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant!  Nothing, you see, is impossible with God."
And Mary said Yes, I see it all now: I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve. 
Let is be with me just as you say. Ten the angel left her.
Luke 1:37


Things You Do Not Expect

November 1
A month to the date my father died, I received three inquires related to investments.  I guess people in this line of work read the obituaries and then they call their heirs assuming they have inherited money.  It really shocked me.  Two of these individuals, though older than me, went to the high school I attended years ago.  There was no mention of my father's passing, although I knew they were aware of this.  The comment made by these two was that they'd like to help me take a look at my financial future.  The third was an email offer, which at least included a dinner invitation!  :-)

Life is full of surprises and occurrences we do not anticipate. That particular day was the first day I'd been alone since September 23rd and it was OK to be alone!  Our home desperately needs some straightening up.  Walking through the living room, I noticed a coffee table book published by Thomas Nelson called  You Are Loved.   At some point I had placed it near our front door and planned to leave it opened to a different quote each week.  (That project flew by the wayside five weeks ago.)  Most likely my guardian angel flipped the pages to what my eyes focused upon.

To find someone who will love you for no reason,
and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.
Robert Brault

Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.
Sir Arthur Pinero

Pinero's quote embodies the life of my father!  Everyday he reminisced of his teenage love for my mother, he cherished his children and grandchildren and he stayed young and full of hope as he looked into the eyes of his great grandchildren.

We love because God first loved us.
1 John 4:10
Right now, you may not be expecting this, but take a time out and remember how deeply you are loved. Then take time to tell Jesus you love him too!