Dig Deep


Dig Deep and Seek the Lord
February 27

There are so many elements to our relationship with Jesus.  We have to be proactive for this faith walk to deepen.  Here are some mental and emotional actions we have to apply to the relationship
for it to work.

Acknowledge our need for Him
Accept that He is God
Trust He is good.
Have Confidence that He knows the future and has a plan.
Depend on Him in every situation.
Ask Him for assistance in every decision.
Thank Him for the way he cares for us and provides for us.
Allow His love to pour over us and be still in His Presence.

Today, I just stopped and prayed...
"Good morning Heavenly Father, Creator of my soul. Today, I rejoice in Your goodness and love for me.  I have total confidence that nothing will come my way today without your foreknowledge. Before I make any decisions remind me to stop and seek Your guidance. Thank You for all the ways you have provided for me before and for the way you will be with me today.   Your love is amazing.
Open my eyes to the opportunities which await where I can tell of Your love to others. In Jesus' Name, Amen

"God's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
Let me give you some good advice;
I'm looking you in the eye and giving it to you straight:
Don't be ornery like the horse or mule that needs bit and bride to stay on track."

Psalm 32:7-9 (MSG)

See you soon!
Loads of Love, Boo

The Light Above


February 25-26
In-between praying, I've been fretting a tiny bit over a big situation.  While traveling yesterday, I had six hours alone in the car with Jesus.  I'd wavered between trying to figure things out on my own and trusting that God has this!

So, I'm sitting in a left turn lane waiting on this light to turn green. It goes through a whole cycle and skips me.  Thus plenty of time to take out my phone and snap this photo. As I'm considering my options of just running the red light or switching lanes and going to the next intersection, I realize the song lyric on the radio just said...  

"Keep your eyes fixed on the light above."

Yup, God had my attention and I told him I was trusting him with my every move. At that moment the light turned green.

No one can ever convince me that God Almighty isn't aware of every second of our lives!

It's 3:00 AM and I've been awake for awhile listening to the Lord. This is what I'm hearing...
"Unplug from the world and approach me."  Looking up the word approach I found this definition:
"Come near or nearer to someone or something in the distance."  That's very biblical.

"Come near to God and he will come near to you."  James 4:8

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart....let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."  Hebrews 10:22-23

So, for the approaching Lenten season, which begins March 1st, after 17 years of being here with you, the plan is to unplug and approach God alone, for awhile.

Here's a link to the song which was on the radio called "Beloved!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgJFUW3VenY



Trust Me!

They were rather skeptical when I asked them to follow me... 
 into the woods for a bear hunt.  "Trust me!" I said.
February 24
"Will you just trust me!"  Every parent has said these words at some point.  This past week a couple of our grandsons have been here and had the flu with high, high fever.  Fortunately, their mother arrived back in town when the youngest became sick.  In trying to get this four year old to take Tylenol she said, "Will you just trust me that this will make you feel better?"

Some of my very favorite scripture verses are about trust.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6

"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him."  Jeremiah 17:7

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
Psalm 20:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."  Psalm 28:7 

"Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods."  Psalm 40:4

"The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper."  Proverbs 28:25

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation."  Psalm 13:5

Not sure about you, but currently I have multiple real life situations requiring trust that God knows the road ahead and what is best and he can work all things together for the good of those of us who love Him and are called according to his purpose!  (Romans 8:28)

Today's Biblegateway verse is Jeremiah 29:11-13

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when yo seek me with all your heart."

It's a gorgeous day here in Virginia to get out and seek the Lord!

Toothless in Tampa

February 23
I laughed the other day when a reader emailed me and thanked me for "being real" with what I write in these devotionals.  I thought...will I be real and share photos of a recent dart/dagger, the devil tosses at me?

Those of you who know me personally know I love to laugh and smiles just seem to stay implanted on my face.  Recently, I was in a predicament where it would behoove me not to laugh,  but I couldn't resist.  It was 8:30 on a Saturday night and I was biting into a piece of ginger candy. I looked at my husband and said, "I think my front tooth just came out." With a shell shocked look he said, "Yes, it did!" (It was a tooth which had a root canal years ago.)
The major dilemma was that I was to board a plane to Florida the next day to welcome our new grandson into the world.
My mind immediately shot to..."You cannot go!"  That thought lasted about five seconds.  The next thought was:  "This is not of eternal value. I will deal with it when I get home. I'll just be Toothless in Tampa."
Then the laughter began.  My speech was impaired without a tooth to place my tongue behind! My husband was so supportive. He said, "Once you get over the initial shock of seeing you like this, it's not too bad."  When I sent the photo below to our children the reactions were filled with a bit more alarm.   One of them said, "You can't get on a plane like that!"   Immense sympathy began going out towards our daughter in law, the new mom, who was hosting me.
My dental hygienist is also my neighbor, so I called her for suggestions. "There's nothing they can do quickly Boo. It will take a couple days. Whatever you do, DO NOT try super glue," she explained regretfully.

Knowing with God all things are possible, I prayed and then left a voicemail message on the emergency contact number for the dental office. The office manager called back and said he would try to reach my dentist.  About two hours later, my dentist called and agreed to evaluate the situation Sunday morning.  He said to bring the tooth. Using my husband as his assistant, he used what is called Dental Duct Tape and temporarily put the tooth back in place. Prayerfully it will stay there until he can get a crown done in March.

"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

I Want Something to Sprout

Joy is sprouting from this precious granddaughter and her beautiful mama!
A two year old on skates!
February 22
For my birthday a friend gave me some tulip bulbs which were just opening up. They were such a joy to watch. The other day I thought...I want something to sprout!  Later that evening, my husband said, "Your daffodils are coming up!"  These 60-70 degree temps in February shout that spring is a coming. (I know, I know, we always get a big March snow.)

"Never mind.  My lover s already on his way to his garden,
to browse among the flowers, touching the colors and forms.
I am my lover's and my lover is mine. He caresses the sweet-smelling flowers."
Song of Solomon 6:3

Do our lives put off an image of the hopefulness of what is to come?
Is our love for Christ visible to others?
God wants something to sprout from us!
The radiance of our lives should point to Jesus sprouting out of us, if he's really in there.

Sprout-grow, put forth shoots.

Are we growing in the depth of knowledge of our Lord?
Are we making disciples and putting forth faithful shoots?
May all that sprouts forth from our lives today bring God glory!!!

The Magnitude of God

Thankful for this new little creation.

For as much as we love this little one, it's nothing compared to God's love and care.

February 21
Fathom - understand a difficult problem or enigmatic person.  A measure of depth.


"He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted."
Job 9:10

For the past couple weeks I've been battling a very painful Hordeolum (stye) in my lower eyelid.
The doctor wanted to operate last week. Shocked by his description of the procedure, the pain involved and facial bruising that will occur due to my stroke med, I asked him...."How do you feel about prayer?" That flew right over his head. He had his nurse schedule surgery for March 2nd, as I was not going to be available before then and told me to continue hot compresses multiple times a day.
Compress time has translated into prayer time.  At 4AM the other morning, I was praying for healing with a rice sock on my eye and asking God to do a mighty work on the rest of my prayer list.  At that point I was overcome with the magnitude of God.  The word fathom came to mind.  God, who created the universe and continues  to keep it on track and create new beings every moment, is capable of ANYTHING.  If he wants to heal this eye without surgery He will. If not, there is a purpose in the process that is intended to bring Him glory.

What a mighty God he is!  He is out of this world for certain, but at the same time aware of every earthly detail.

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom."
Psalm 145:3

Friends have been fabulous to be praying for me.  Friday night I told a friend that I know this little annoyance is about much more than my eye.  One son texted me the story of the friends lowering the paralytic though the roof of the home where Jesus was, so this man could be healed.  I told my friend it wouldn't surprise me if God's timing in bringing healing was directly related to increasing the faith of someone else. Whatever happens God will get the glory.

Offer Hospitality out of Love

 
February 20
While at The Homestead for my birthday celebration in January, this bellman, whose name is Sincere, bestowed this sweet bear and some wonderful chocolates on me as a personal gift. Another bellman told me, that Sincere regularly brings in items he has purchased on his own to give away and bless others.  He said over the holidays he kept a bag of suckers behind the bellman's stand to give to children when they walked through the lobby.  The hospitality business is a good fit for this gentleman. How is God calling us to offer hospitality today?

"The life we live and the love we give is by His power and for His glory" Galatians 2:19-20.
"The Son of God is the ultimate embodiment of the Good Samaritan. Jesus left heaven to come to us in the form of a man"  Philippians 2:6-8, "to seek us out and meet us in our deepest need-when we were still lying dead in the ditch of our sin" Ephesians 2:1.

He left His throne room to rescue us, even to the point of death on a cross.  Let us love our neighbors with this same otherworldly love, the love of Christ. 




Write On!

February 18-19
May these examples of personal notes encourage us to write to someone this weekend.
I've encouraged our children to keep a treasure box for our grandchildren of personal notes sent to them.

Here is a note from an 8 year old and it says a lot!

What is a Grandma?
A grandmother is a lady who has no children of her own, so she likes other people's little girls.
A grandfather is a man grandmother.  He goes for walks with the boys and they talk fishing and things like that.
Grandma's don't have anything to do except be there. It is enough if they drive us to the supermarket where the pretend horse is and have lots of dimes ready.  Or if they take us for walks, they should slow down past pretty leaves and caterpillars.  They should never say "hurry up."  Usually they are fat but not too fat to tie kids' shoes. They wear glasses and funny underwear. They can take their teeth and gums out.  It is better if they don't typewrite or play cards except with us.  They don't have to be smart, only answer questions like why do dogs hate cats and how come God isn't married.  They don't talk visitors talk like visitors do, because it is hard to understand.  When they read to us they don't skip words or mind if it is the same story again.

Everybody should try to have a  grandmother, especially if you don't have television, because grandmas are the only grownups who have got time."

The next letter in the bundle is one my father saved that I had written to him.
Daddy, 
I'm sitting on our screened porch with a blanket on my legs as there is a chill in the air, but I love it out here by the lake. I'm doing a Bible Study on heaven and how it is our reward, our home and a place of rejoicing forever.  The promise of heaven fills me with such hope and I am so thankful you and Mama brought us up in the Christian faith.
Revelation 22:12 says: "Listen! I'm coming soon!  I will bring my reward with me and I will repay each one of you for what yo have done."
2 Peter 1:11 "And you will be given a very great welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
I so look forward to the day I see Jesus face to face. There are times I miss Mama, as I know you do, and now I miss my friend Kaye so much, but I know they loved the Lord with all their hearts and they are experiencing no suffering.
I thank God for the long life He has given you and for the example you have been to your family. I am praying today for you to be full of joy, have reasons to laugh and for God to be merciful and your body not ache.
I'm so thankful God gave me you for an earthly father. See you in April. I love you."

Letters of Love


February 17
The postmark was 1974 and the postage was 8 cents! In the inside pocket of an old suitcase, I found some letters written by my paternal grandmother and was taken back in time by the handwritten words.  What a lost art letter writing is.  The individuality of each person's handwriting leaves no question to the authenticity of letters, unlike a typed, texted or emailed message.

Thank God for his love letter to us.  How greatly embellished our faith is by the written Word.

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."  2 Timothy 3:16

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4

One of the blessings for me in reading these old letters was to catch glimpses of my grandmother's faith.  She lived in Pennsylvania and I didn't get to see her as regularly as my maternal grandmother, who lived one street away and sat with me in church every Sunday.  These letters are a gift for sure.
In the letter below, she is writing to my maternal grandmother who had taken a bad fall.  She states:
"Now cheer up and use all the determination and grit that you can to help yourself.  I'm still having to use a lot of it but it pays off. I'm sure God wants us to and He will help us. We must have faith and love. There is a little booklet that says, 'Where you are, God is.'"


In another letter she has just sent a truckload of her belongings to be distributed to her grandchildren. The letter starts off, "I'd like to make a few suggestions."  Then four pages letter she requests pictures of where the furniture and china were placed. (Per her instructions.)  The china she was sending me was not to be unpacked, as I was too young to use it at the time.  LOL Making me think of Paul's words of instruction to Timothy above.

One of my favorites is a letter written to my parents. She is in her 80's by this time. In the closing of this letter she writes, "Do try to keep well. The T.V. says if you have your health, you have just about everything. I think you need to have God on our side too. It's getting time for my dinner to come, so I'll say by for this time with lots of love for all."

Included in this same bundle is a typed letter from an 8 year old and a letter I wrote to my father.
I'll post those tomorrow!

Love Who?

Love this pondering pose.

February 16
Ive just come off a concentrated study on Hospitality by She Reads Truth.  More to come on that, but with our focus on love this Valentine's week I had to share a quote from that study.

"To truly love God, we must also love people."

The SRT writer goes on to say: "Some people are easier to love than others.  Maybe they require less sacrifice, they love us back, or they just caught us in a good mood."

Jesus challenges us: "If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?  Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that." Matthew 5:47 

Who is one of the hardest people for you to love?  Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and show you how to pour love upon that person this today!

Love Passed Down

A joy giver!

February 15
Years ago, before he was even married, this thoughtful son surprised me by building a covered nook in our woods. I'd been eyeing one in a catalog for several hundred dollars, so he just built one for me.
Now the joy has been passed on as his daughter enjoys climbing up on that seat and ringing the wind chimes hanging inside.

If you've never read The Five Love Languages I highly recommend the read.  You can also go online and take a test to determine your love language or your child's.

http://www.5lovelanguages.com

God created us to establish connections with one another.  Knowing one another's love language give insight on how to love others well.

"This is my command: Love each other."  John 15:17

While the Five Love Languages in the book are:
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
Physical Tough
Quality Time
Gifts

The love language God offered us through Jesus was total sacrifice.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

What About Love

Loving on this new grandson has been such a privilege.

February14
Happy Valentine's Day to each of you!  Whether you get flowers, chocolates or a card, remember you are loved deeply!

"We love because he first loved us."  1 John 4:19

Lying in bed after a wonderful day of staring at this new grandchild and helping to care for his parents, I had love on my mind. It truly blows my mind how internally woven love is for our children and grandchildren. Serving those you love is a joy.

Googling "John Piper's outlook on love," a thought provoking sermon appeared. The title was
"The Goal of God's Love May Not be What You Think It Is."

"'Christ became a servant...in order that the nations might glorify God for his mercy' (Romans 15:8-9). God has been merciful to us so that we would magnify him.  We see it again in the words, 'In love (God) destined us to adoption...to the praise of the glory of His grace' (Ephesians 1:4-6).  In other words, the goal of God's loving us is that we might praise him. One  more illustration from Psalm 86:12-13: 'I will glorify your name forever. For your lovingkindness toward me is great.'  God's love is the ground.  His glory is the goal.

This is shocking. The love of God is not God's making much of us, but God's saving us from self-centeredness so that we can enjoy making much of him forever.  And our love to others is not our making much of them, but helping them to find satisfaction in making much of God.

This is the ultimately loving aim of Christ's death.  He did not die to make much of us, but to free us to enjoy making much of God forever."

Jesus' love is the best gift we can receive.

Here is a worldly flashback.  In 1966, I would have only been nine years old, but my sister was sweet sixteen.  Burt Bacharach's song, Alfie, was a hot single. I remember the sheet music on our piano. While not a Christian song, the lyrics have some good jumping off points which can propel an excellent discussion about the Greatest Love we all can experience. God's love.

"As sure as I believe  there's a heaven above...I know there's something much more."

Song Lyrics:
What's it all about, Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie? Are we meant to take more than we give or
are we mean to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie then I guess it is wise to be cruel.
And it life belongs, only to the strong, Alfie. What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as there's a heaven above, Alfie, I know there's something much more,
Something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie, without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until ou find the love you'e missed you're nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way and you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.
Songwriters: Burt Bacharach / Hal David

(I have no clue what the movie was about, so if it's disrespectful in any way, forgive me.
Just found the lyrics intriguing....Just went to look up the movie. It sounds awful and depressing.
About a British womanizer, who certainly doesn't find Christ's love.)

Our Newest


February 13
The past week, I've had the blessing of loving on this new grandson and his parents in Tampa, Florida.  I thank God for this new life.  Caring for a newborn is definitely in my top five favorite life experiences. How I love to hold a miracle in my arms.  If I lived near a hospital, I'd be a volunteer baby rocker for sure.

Somewhere recently I was reading how a kiss is the most intimate expression of love. When I hold a newborn, I can't help but kiss on that little head.

Numerous passages teach the concept of greeting one another with a holy kiss. (2 Corinthians 13:12)
Come to think of this, it's a concept carried out in our home.  When greeting the kids or grands we always embrace and offer a kiss.

Europeans kiss on both cheeks!  Watching the 2017 Presidential Inauguration kissing techniques was interesting. Some people used the European double cheek technique with the First Lady and others went with the American, single sided peck.

Whatever article I was reading posed the question: "Have you ever offered up a kiss to God?"
Since meditating on that concept, I've been offering God a kiss every night and Ive been greeting him with one in the morning!

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
Deuteronomy 6:5

And blow him a kiss every now and then. 

Fruit Bearing

February 11-12

A great message on bearing fruit!  She Reads Truth posted this online....
"Look back through John 15. Jesus is not commanding His disciples to bear fruit. The command is to remain. When we remain-when we abide in the never ending, unconditional, forever love of Christ-then the fruit will come.
We bear fruit when, and only when, we are grafted into the True Vine. His Holy Spirit in us is the fruit producer; we are simply the branches who have the privilege of displaying His fruit."

Here's a fruit bearing challenge from Galatians 6:1 in The Message translation.
"Live creatively friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself.  You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out.  Stoop down and reach to to those who are oppressed.  Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law.  If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived."  Galatians 6:1 MSG 

In a similar light, I was recently reading how the word reach in Hebrew is the same word for wind and Spirit.   The writer was describing how difficult it is to walk against the wind.  It takes more energy and creates a drag. Where if we are walking with the wind/Spirit we are receiving power and it's much easier!

So, may we faithfully be found attached to the Vine and going with the Spirit this coming week.

Step Out of the Traffic.

These two brother in laws were caught sitting in mirror images.

February  10
"Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your God, above politics, above everything."
Psalm 46:10 MSG

WOW.  This verse jumped out and grabbed me at a time when my heart has been hurting over the hate floating across our nation. It has brought division within families, marriages and friendships. One friend shared that many friends would no longer talk to her because of her voting preference.
Tragic.  Posts on Facebook have had me wanting to steer clear of certain individuals.

This verse says to "Step out of the traffic!"   We need to do that regularly. Step out and look up.
Find a wilderness location, even if it's alone in your car or a closet with a flashlight in your busy home.  For God often speaks in the wilderness.


                                                 

Boys and Bulldogs

See the orange  ball in the air? Pretty funny.
One of the grandsons was throwing it while this photo was taken.
Love these boys. I thank God for them and  know they will always have my back.
Samson has stolen my heart! Is he cute or what?
Such a timid soul.  When startled he hides under a table.
We will protect you Samson.


February 9
God always has our backs, our fronts and protect us from whatever puddle of life we might be standing in at the moment.

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

The Bible says, "God is love." 1 John 4:16

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 encourages us with this characteristic of love.
"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trust, always  hopes, always perseveres."

The storyline continues to enhance when we realize the way God has designed for believers to love one another and thus protect and trust one another, while encouraging each other in hope to persevere.  Thank God for Christian fellowship!

2 Thessalonians 1:3 says:
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing."

Reflecting on protection, my mind flashed back to a BSF lecture I heard. The speaker posed a question, which I turned into a prayer request.
Father, change my heart to want to love those I'm protecting myself from.

Whew.  Right now stop and be real as you lift up the list of people you are protecting yourself from and I don't mean international terrorists.  It could be a neighbor, a classmate, a business associate or a relative. An individual you have realized it is best for your health to avoid.  Be real. We all have these people in our lives.  The question is are we praying for God to give us hearts to love them?

I know. I ruined your day. Bet my list is longer than yours.
The Bible issues a challenge for us to do just this.

"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that.  I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves,  your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best-the sun to warm and the rain to nourish-to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?  Anybody can do that.  If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal?  Any run-of the mill sinner does that.
In a word what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it.  Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."
Matthew 5:43-47

Yes, Father, change my heart to want to love those I'm protecting myself from. In Jesus' Name, Amen







Pajamas with Mama

These young woman all love the Lord deeply and are forever teaching this
ole bird new Biblical insights!  I thank God for allowing me to call them mine!
Truly, truly beautiful gals.

February 8
Studying the book of John gives reflection on the deep purpose in Jesus' actions. Whether he was chatting with the woman at the well, calling Lazaras to come forth from the tomb, or washing the disciples feet, there was purpose behind the process and the motive for His actions came straight 
from heaven.

When I reflect back on any random day, most of what occurred in that daily schedule was self-motivated.  Not that those were worthless actions, but I can't say they were God ordained or Spirit led.  The good things is today is another day!

"You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you."
Psalm 86:5 

"My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit.  Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.  These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?  
Galatians 5:16





The Castle

Had so much fun building this castle for the grands out of refrigerator and washing machine boxes.
The draw bridge was the best part!  
Thanks Deke Andrews for assisting me with my crazy ideas.

February 7
Who is the king of you castle?
Who is seated on the throne of your heart?
Where does your strength come from?

The next time I build a castle like this I will place these amazing verses on the walls of the castle.

"I love you, God-you make me strong. 
God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. 
My God- the high rage where I run for dear life, 
hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout!
 Psalm 18:1-2 MSG






Tough Questions

Love this grandson wearing my bathing cap!

February 6
A couple weeks ago when attending a satellite Bible Study Fellowship class on the book of John the audio was not working well during the lecture session.  Straining to listen, we tried to grab bits and pieces. Whether these things were actually said or this is how the Spirit interpreted the lesson for me, there are some tough questions.  The ladies in the class the following week said, "Thanks a lot Boo! Like we needed this much conviction in our lives."
If it gets too hard, just look back up at the bathing cap photo!


How is God changing your heart to care for him more?

Are you a generous giver or do you criticize?

What are your sacrificial expressions of love?
Do we reach out to those who can hurt us?
Do you realize you are a threat because you spend time with Jesus?

What is the one thing you won’t do for Jesus?

When was the last time we praised the Lord outside of church? Praise is a privilege.

"No one's ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it-
What God has arranged for those who love him."
1 Corinthians 2:9
 


Make Jesus Your Valentine

Reading The Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin

February 4-5
It's the LUV month! Red hearts are adorning all the stores.  Reality is that we are loved in a magnificent fashion everyday. Stopping to pray for those who haven't realized they are lavishly loved.

"Remember that you are My beloved. I am on your side, and I want what is best for you.  Whenever you feel inadequate for the task ahead, stop and think about your resources.  I, your Strength, am infinite.  I never run out of anything!"  Jesus Calling

"Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength."  Isaiah 40:28-29

Make Jesus your Valentine!

Coupled



February 3
I started writing a "lovely" devotional the other day on being coupled to Christ after reading...

"A happily married man and woman are connected by much more than law and morality. Their warm memories of shared experiences create ties that draw them close and keep them committed to each other.  Dear one, I want you to know that I am totally committed to you. I can fill your heart with loving memories as you walk in the Light of my Presence joyfully depending on Me." Jesus Calling

"Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
    who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet!
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
    you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!
All we are and have we owe to God,
    Holy God of Israel, our King!"

Psalm 89:15-16


But before I could complete my writing on this passage, real life happened. Read below this entry better titled Disciplined and Forgiven

We often laugh remembering a time when my husband was teasing one of our grandsons and he replied saying, "I'm going to discipline you, Pop!"  Obviously, words he had heard at home himself.
Well, God has disciplined me.
The other night, I was tired from days of worrying about our newest grandson. If you asked me, I would have said I'd placed the how situation in God's hands, but I was worrying. Yes, I know that's a sin.  So is what happened next.
Cooking up some wonderful spinach lasagna rolls, I'd made quite a kitchen mess. Pots, pans, blender,  blows and utensils of various kinds cluttered the island and sink.  Graciously, without being asked my husband washed these things.  He left them on the counter to be put away and that's when the monster popped out.
Ugh, so embarrassed to admit this.  Calling him back into kitchen, I pointed out he had helped, but only halfway. Ungrateful woman! What was I thinking?  I wrapped my arms around him, begging forgiveness, but the hurtful words could not be taken back.

"They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows."
Psalm 64:3

Less than an hour later, awful, unceasing sciatic pain was running down the right side of my leg.  Awaiting me was a night of sleeplessness and a trip to the chiropractor. The physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional pain I had spewed upon my husband.

Awakening the next morning  I began to read the daily She Read Truth's post and read these convicting words...

"When I'm having a bad day, God forbid my husband sneeze too loudly, miss a button on his shirt, or accidentally leave the stove on. I'm quick to point out or dwell on his minor flaws while ignoring the far bigger issue: my critical spirit.
Self-righteousness blocks our ability to find joy in other's redemption.  When I'm being self-righteous, Im better at calling other people names than naming my own sin."

Just in case I didn't get it, God spelled it out for me!  A perfect example of the importance of staying plugged into God's Word. We are to thank God in all things, I thank him for his discipline and for my husband's forgiving spirit.

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things."
Romans 2:1

Want to dig deeper. Check out Romans 2:1-4 in The Message.

"Those people are on a dark spiral downward.  But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself.  It takes on to know on. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn't so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and hold you to what you've done.
You didn't think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard?  Or did you think that because he's such a nice God, he'd let you off the hook?  Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change."


The Father



Thankful we have a heavenly Father who holds us in the palm of his hand.

February 2
Our newest grandson is so blessed to have smart, loving, compassionate parents who have stood beside him in the NICU the first few days of his life.  Angels must have been whispering to him…”You are blessed. God gave you really, really good parents.”   

Here are thoughts penned by Sarah Young in the voice of Jesus, which have been a blessing at such a scary time.
Thank you all for your prayers.  

“I am your strength and shield…I provide the strength you need each step of the way. Instead of assessing your energy level and wondering about what’s on the road ahead, concentrate on staying in touch with Me.  My Power flows freely into you through our communication.  Refuse to waste energy worrying, and you will have strength to spare.
Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am your Shield. But unlike armor, I am always alert and active.  My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you both from known and unknown dangers.  Entrust yourself to My watch-care, which is the best security system available.  

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.  Genesis 28:15

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.  Psalm 28:7

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”  Matthew 6:34

Sweet Pea

Nothing like a gorgeous day to go biking!
This little one is a continuous smile!
February 1
God called me Sweet Pea!!!!
After working on a slideshow production for a couple hours, the task was complete and I went to send it. The screen screamed "Err, unable to upload." Are you kidding me?  The next prompt told me I needed to restart the program.  UGH.  Beginning again, I asked the Lord for patience and I prayed. God brought to mind that I had neglected to include an important recipient. Had it worked the first time, I would have been very embarrassed.  My mother always said, "God works in mysterious ways."  I say, "He's always watching out for me."

When I thanked Him, he said, "Sweet Pea, I love you and I've got your back!"  It thrilled my heart!

God will never walk away from his people, never desert his precious people. 
Psalm 94:12

When trials surface and frustrations fall upon us, we look to the Lord and trust He is always able to work things for the good of those who are called to his purpose!  (Romans 8:28)