Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a Mighty Word

"... clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5

We are bigger in His eyes, when we are smaller in our own.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

leaping leprecauns!

"...and good news gives health to the bones." Proverbs 15:30

The low snickering around me was puzzling until my husband whispered a leprechaun had sashayed into the coffee shop.  The quick five minute stop before getting my MRI and checkup was providing more of a treat than expected.  Without risking whiplash, I turned around as carefully and normally as possible to discover he was right.  Standing about five feet short and 70ish in years, she was dressed in green sweats, green shirt, green vest, green scarf and, of course, a dainty green derby.  Clearly it was too early for a St. Patty's day party, but for me the timing was perfect - giving me a sign of what was to come.... a sign of good luck, a sign of good news.

As you can guess, the news from my doctor was good. I don't have to return until July for another checkup.  Good news -- we, as believers, are surrounded by it.  It just takes looking up to our Father, daily ... sometimes we see it in rainbows, sometimes in lots of green, sometimes in a kind word, sometimes in the smile of a friend.  But it's there, just look for it... the Good News is there for you too.

have a good-filled day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

watch out! big head ahead

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..."Proverbs 3:5

Coming down the mountain this weekend was far more exhausting than the climb up.  While on the mountain top at The Cove i devoured a wealth of information from the Christian Devotions workshop. So it would be true to say, i ate the whole thing... and it was good!  But equally as important as learning sharper writing skills, i enjoyed incredible fellowship with other writers. All last week i kept misspelling workshop with worship. Oddly enough, it now makes sense because it was also a worship event with much sharing, encouraging, laughter and praying. 

Now back at home, my mind is bulging with exciting, new information to absorb, digest and use.  But right now, i'm digesting a pound of frozen yogurt and then napping. For me, all good things and times need to include a period of rest... that's what brain surgery taught me, and that is a good thing.

Will i remember all i read, heard or learned?  Probably not, but that's okay.  I'm going to trust God will prompt me to recall all He intends for me.  Relinquishing control to Him is not easy, but it's what i know will provide me with true peace and rest.  Trust in Him for your peace of mind too.

have a rest-filled day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

trim THAT fat... SHE SAID

Wounds from a friend can be trusted…” Proverbs 27:7

"You need to tighten up, and lose THAT fat," SHE SAID without stuttering, “ and stop YELLING.  And for goodness sakes, give me YOUR NAME!”  All THAT is what stuck in my head from our conversation.  Why had SHE SAID THAT to me?  Because i had asked for her opinion, or more accurately, for her to critique my writing, THAT is.  And as you can see, she was right about THAT. As a rule, THAT is usually unnecessary fat in one's writing, and all CAPS is like YELLING at the reader. SORRY!  Plus, one should ALWAYS put their name on their writing.  Her task was to teach me how to write better.  Trimming out THAT fat would help me be a leaner and stronger writer.  And being a lean, dream writing machine is what i desire.  It's a taste of what’s to come at the devotional workshop this weekend.  And YES!   I am ready for another lashing… for the betterment of writing.

The truth can hurt or make you wiggle in your shoes.  But when the source of the truth is from a trusted friend or someone who truly has our best interest at heart, it cushions the blow.  Have you been told something that caused you to roll your toes up tight lately?   Then consider the creditability of the source.  And if you still have a doubt, take it to the One you can always trust to have your best interest at heart... God, our heavenly Father and Best Friend.

Have a joy-filled day!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

the boss is away...

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men... It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24

This week for me i've had not one boss gone but two,
Should i play hooky or come in late...  what would you do?

The demands and needs of my job are the same,
Should i ignore them or postpone them... would i be to blame?

But to be truthful, there is another One i answer to and serve,                                                        
God, my Savior and Redeemer... my best He will get and always deserve!

What about you, you  know Him too?
May there be joy in your work for all that you do!

have an honest-filled day!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

how is your battery?

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

How is your spiritual battery?  Is it sputtering on low due to the time of year, uncertainty of relationships, the demands of the day or unpredictable economics?  Do you need a spiritual jump start or refueling?  One thing for sure, i can always use a refueling of Him. 

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent… the forty days of meditation in preparation for Easter.  Its purpose is for us to give up (sacrifice) something and to fill that void with our Father or to simply add more of Him to our day.  Lent is the perfect time to recharge our spiritual battery by strengthening that connection with our Father, acknowledging our dependency on Him and giving Him thanks in all things.  He is our one eternal, never-ending Source of true Power for everything.  May Lent be a time of thankful preparation for you as you get your heart and mind ready for a glorious, joyous Easter celebration.

When deciding what to sacrifice for Lent, here are some things to remember…
A true sacrifice is giving something that costs
It must be done for the right reason
It’s not about competing or having bragging rights, but honoring our Father
And, most importantly, remembering that the ultimate sacrifice was made for you and me.

So, give it up, and fill up with Him!

Have a thank-filled day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

notes from my (almost) funeral

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom..." Colossians 3:15-16

If we knew what people would say when we died, i wonder if we would live differently.  My recent illness gave me a taste of what it might be like. I received delicious food, beautiful cards, phone calls and very special gifts.  Most people i knew well, then some barely at all.  One of the most surprising treats were letters from former PSS elementary students.  The folder was filled with wrinkled and beautifully decorated letters that had been crammed through the slits of a locker serving as a mailbox.  As i read them i laughed, smiled and cried.  The tears were from embarrassment, as well as, joy.  Shocked and ashamed, some of the well wishers were students i could not remember and some were ones i had found a bit irritating.  Yet, they had taken their time to offer me encouragement and love while I was healing.  They humbly blessed me in many ways.

We never know what impact we have on others.  People we count on, sometimes don't show up.  And people we just as soon forget, fill in the gaps of our needs. The former student letters are a priceless reminder to me on the impact we may have on others, when we least expect it. 

Lord, help me to stay consciously aware of the importance in keeping You in my heart in all that i do or say to all who cross my path today.   I don’t want to leave the wrong impression of You with anyone.

have a kind-filled day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

coming home!

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

With a cane in one hand and my husband at my side, i felt like singing and dancing when i left the hospital.  The air  had never smelled fresher and the breeze on my face never sweeter.   Though still weak from the procedures, i was home bound!  God had done His part, using tools of an incredible doctor, nurses and others to restore my health.  Now, it was time for me to do my part.  Before me were three possibilities… i could stay the same, get better or get worse.  What i believed and the decisions i made once home would determine the outcome.

There are times in our life we need to be bold in our faith and go beyond what we see or feel.  We must press on in the belief and knowledge that our Father is in control and that we have hope in Christ in all things.    When we do, God will show us magnificent works and wonders.  May the power and light of God in your life show for others to see.  Remember, as believers, we are a witness to others as to what living for Christ does in our life every day.  Let your life be the spark another needs to have faith and hope in Him.

Have a hope-filled day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

how do you feel?

“Let EVERYTHING (ONE) that has breath praise the LORD.  PRAISE THE LORD.” Psalm 150:6

I’m not one to dwell on the past, but it’s hard to move on without sharing more of what i’ve experienced.  While down, i found the world  kept turning. And as it turned, i watched others step in from many directions for me.  

Friends and family came from afar to be by my side and provide comfort.  PRAISE THE LORD! 
A friend not seen in years came to inspire and share love. PRAISE THE LORD ! 
And the Salt Shaker messages continued due to a friend and my daughter, who understand my passion and desire to share Him with others AND to discover they are capable of doing it too!   PRAISE THE LORD!
Then, i was able to return home practically healed on THANKS-giving week.  PRAISE THE LORD !

Giving thanks is what life is all about through the good and the bad.  If we allow Him, God will show us glimmers of Himself and His Power through our dark days because He is always with us.  Where we allow our mind and heart to find root and grow,  is up to us.  Choose to remember and dwell on the good, it is there.  Never doubt, God meant for us to be filled with gratitude, not an attitude.

‘I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow.’   PRAISE THE LORD!

Have a thank-filled day!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

what a ride!

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

I don’t remember much from that day, but i do remember the ride in the ambulance with “Billy Bob” and “Junior”.  After zooming to both Spartanburg hospitals after a brain tumor was discovered, it was decided i needed treatment in Charleston.  It stands to reason a three hour ride, stretched out in an ambulance would rattle anyone with wild, scary thoughts.  My ambulance driver and rider erased those thoughts completely.  My ears perked up as i heard the driver jabber about this being his first driving assignment (lucky me).  He went on to complain about his eyes drying out, necessitating the need to make stops.  My rider told me his life history… a-l-l of it, or least three hours worth.   To keep from pondering my health issues, God had provided a needed distraction.  My ambulance-driver/rider gave me a mind FULL of other thoughts! At the time it was a nuisance, as a reflection it was a blessing.

It’s amazing what or who God puts in our life at specific moments.  During certain situations we might find ourselves aggravated, heartbroken, confused or even outraged.  But, when we have an opportunity to look back, how beautiful it is to see the Hand of God busy at work weaving Himself and His Will into our lives. May we give thanks in all things as we trust God is actively at work in us. What a God!  What a Savior!

Thank you, “Billy Bob”! Thank you, “Junior”!  THANK YOU, GOD!!

Have a thank-filled day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

it's about time!

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me…’ And God granted his request.” 1 Chronicles 4:10

Procrastination… i have a hard time spelling it, but i sure can do it.  Four years ago i thought, planned and started a devotional blog after attending a writing conference.  After awhile my enthusiasm fizzled, and i was satisfied and comfortable in just continuing my devotional emails.  Then i had surgery.  A wonderful group of friends blessed me with an extraordinary gift to attend a devotional workshop at the Cove next weekend.   

Those who know me best, know i do not like wasting time or money.  In an effort to maximize the workshop, i scheduled individual critique meetings with professionals, including a blog expert.  And you know what that meant?  I had to finish what i started four years ago!  If i truly desire for God to expand my territory, i have to be willing to get out of my comfort zone and do my part.  Finishing my blog was part of it.  Is there anything you need to finish?

Have a thank-filled day!

I invite you to share my devotions/blog with others, please keep in mind it is a work in progress... and i am too.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why (not) me?

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

Until recently, i'd always considered myself healthy as a horse.  On that morn of November 7th, i discovered that like the horse that appears to be healthy, looks don't tell everything.  In the blink of an eye, a person can be put down or sent out to pasture too.  With an unexpected emergency i didn't have much time to think about it.  BAM!  I'm walking one minute, down the next, and brain tumor detected next.   Decisions came swiftly and action happened.  There was no time to muddle around or procrastinate.  How thankful i was God was with me.  Because of Him, i was filled with hope and indescribable peace.

My trust and relationship with God also kept me from pondering the question "why me?", only "why not me?"   For years i have prayed the Jabez prayer - for God to increase my territory.  Has He answered me?  In recent prayers i know my name has been on the lips of loved ones and strangers, and the Salt Shakers email list has grown.   If through my trauma others witnessed and learned of God's mighty power, grace and healing, how blessed i am to have been a vessel of hope for Him.  The pure "why?"  is not important; but our pure trust in Him is.  I am praising our Father for His faithfulness and His response to prayers.  I trust God has worked exactly how He desired.  He always does; may His hope and peace fill you too.

 have a believing-filled day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

love letter #4... it's over

Valentine's Day is over, but the love of our Father is unconditional and unending.
How does He love you?  Keep counting the ways...

(your name), My dearly loved Child,   (Ephesians 5:1)

You have been fearfully and wonderfully made by Me.   (Psalm 139:14)
Nothing and no one will separate you from My love! ... neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation!   (Romans 8:35 39)
I will meet all your needs.  (Philippians 4:19)
I will fulfill My purpose for you with an unending love.   (Psalm 138:8)
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you... carry you... and rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4)
I will never forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.  (Isaiah 49:15-16)
As I watch over you, I will not sleep nor slumber.  (Psalm 121:4)
Live with the confidence of knowing who you are and whose you are... My Child.  (1 Peter 2:9)
Keeping looking up, My Child, I am here for you always.  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

forever your Dad

have a peace-filled day!

Need more affirmations regarding His love for you? Just pull out His Book.   It 's basically a love story written just for you.  Face it, friend...  He's crazy about you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

love letter #3... a love that can't be matched

Happy Valentine's Day!  Reduce your stress, and bask in the love of the One who loves you best...
Here is the next letter from your forever Valentine.

Dear (your name),
As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so I rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5)
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
I have chosen you to be my treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6)
Do not be afraid, for I will fight for you. (Deuteronomy 3:22)
I will rescue you because I delight in you. (Psalm 1819)
You are the apple of my eye. (Psalm 17:8)

Forever your heavenly Dad

have a joy-filled day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

love letter # 2, also for YOU

 You are the cherished love of My life!  I wrote this Valentine with just you in mind.

My dear sweet (your name),
Rejoice! For I have made this day for you!  (Psalm 118:24)
You have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  I chose you before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in My sight.  (Ephesians 1:4)
Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Since I am for you, who can be against you?  (Romans 8:31)
Who or what shall separate you for My love?  Shall trouble or hardship? No, never!  (Romans 8:35)
I will tend to you like a shepherd does his flock.  I will gather you in my arms and carry you close to My heart. (Isaiah 40:11)
When you are tired and weary, come to Me, and I will give you rest.  (Matthew 11:28)
Whatever yoke you are under, I will free you from it.  I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  You are mine, and I am Your God.  (Exodus 6:6-7)
I will keep you from all harm and watch over your life always.  (Psalm 121:7-8)
It is My prayer that you may grasp how wide and long and high and deep My love is for you.  (Ephesians 3:17-19)

always on your side and for you,

have a thank-filled day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

FOUND! love letter to YOU!!

love letter #1... Be Mine

A lifetime Admirer wanted you to have this Valentine.  It's straight from His mouth to your heart.   No matter who you are, where you are, or what you are doing, YOU ARE GREATLY LOVED!  May we always remember Whose we are and Who first loved us. Read and believe.

Dear (your name),

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?   (Isaiah 40:21)
I will never take my love away from you.  (1 Chronicles 17:13)
To you, I will be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love.    (Psalm 103:8)
I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10)
Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you... do not be afraid, for I am with you.  (Isaiah 43:4 5)
I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine.   (Isaiah 42:1)
I will quiet you with My love. I will rejoice over you with singing.   (Zephaniah 3:17)
And remember, dear Child of Mine,
My love endures forever.   (2 Chronicles 20:21)


What a Love!  What a God!  What a Father!

have a love filled day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

what is that i hear?

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

The silence upon entering the school was eerie.  No students, few lights and no noise.  Today is a teacher’s work day, and the silence was deafening.  I soon found myself longing for the usual pitter-patter of students’ feet, for smiling faces and for the surprising, chattering of tales students do tell.  But today is a day of rest from the usual routine. 

May there be one routine we continue just the same… the one of gratitude.  Let us give thanks to God for our blessings and for His  relentless working in our lives.  His job never changes and neither does His love for us.  THANK YOU, FATHER!!

Have a rest-filled day!  in Him