Thursday, October 31, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ variety

"The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other people...

Nor because of your color, size or shape
or income level
or social status
or career success
or good deeds
or church work

but it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty Hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery..." Deuteronomy 6:7-8

God's love for us is not about looks, acts or numbers, but the heart... His and ours.  Our outward appearance makes us different and special, our heart makes us His. He loves us all.  Thank You, Father!

have a blessed-filled day!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

spit'n seeds

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4: 30-32

Every October, i am reminded of the tale comparing a Christian to a jack-o-lantern.  God personally picks and prepares each of us to do His work.  Through continuous love and discipline, He diligently removes the yuck from us.  He rids us of the harmful seeds of hate, jealousy, anger, doubt, revenge, fear. Once in the Arms of Jesus, His Light shines from within us to draw others to Him.

Now don't you agree, that's a beautiful picture?  God's Hands on us taking out the junk and putting in His Light! 
Smile, and let His Light shine for all to see!

have a Light-filled day!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ cling

"Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings.
I cling to You; Your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:7-8

Feeling a little batty and out of sorts? 

Cling to our Father, He will not fail us.  Thank You, Father!

have a song-filled day!

Monday, October 28, 2013

keep moving

"But you, (your name) are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9

Crisp weather and colorful foliage made for an incredible drive in the mountains.  But the Fall drive was not without dark moments.  Some roads cut right through the mountains and threw us in dreary tunnels.  I didn't find any comfort or pleasure in the drab concrete and dim lights.

Just when my nerves started to unravel, the marvelous light at the end of the tunnel appeared.  And not a moment too soon.

Life is much like my mountain drive.  The anticipated journey we plan can take an unexpected turn... filled with detours, delays, potholes and tunnels.  If we stop, fear might overtake us.  When life is dark and uncertain, we must keep moving on. 

But the truth be known, even while in the darkest tunnels of our lives, the Light is still with us. We might not see it, but it is there... God never forsakes us.  He patiently and continuously watches over us and waits for us to return to Him and His endless love, grace and mercy.  Are you in a tunnel?  Keep moving in faith, and get out of the tunnel and under the wings of God. There we will find peace, comfort and rest.  Thank You, Father.

have a Light-filled day!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Room 207... is it yours?

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
He has made everything beautiful in its time..."  Ecclesiastes 3:1,4,7,8,11

"Miss Nelson is Missing" is a well known book among teachers.  Sweet Miss Nelson's rowdy class get a real shakedown when Viola Swamp comes to substitute. Like you, i've witnessed a few Room 207 classes. And i must say, when they come to library, i am not too sad when they leave.

On these visits, i am reminded how very much i admire and appreciate our teachers.  I've never met a teacher who preferred to be Viola Swamp over Miss Nelson, but there are times/seasons when they have no choice. 

So for all the Viola Swamps, i want to remind you, you bless many daily. Thank you for faithfully persevering to bring peace, order and knowledge to your class.  All benefit from your ongoing efforts. The rowdy students clearly need firm discipline and guidance, and the good ones benefit too. How might you wonder?

The timid build courage to speak up
The self sufficient develop compassion
The independent learn team work
The intelligent discover patience
The giving master the ability to focus

Never doubt God uses everything to grow fruit in His children. And He equips you with what's needed to serve Him. Whatever season you're in today, it will not last.  Celebrate the good, pray through the hard and thank God daily for the blessings.  The ones He gives you, and the ones you are giving others. 

have a thank-filled day!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ feet

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  Isaiah 52:7

Anyone can have beautiful feet... including you and me.

Go tell it on the mountain!  Our Savior lives! He lives in you and me!

have a praise-filled day!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

mustache fever

"Abraham was considered righteous for what he did... his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did." James 2:21-22

In the spirit of Red Ribbon Week (say no to drugs) at school, many sported mustaches supporting the theme, "we mustache you to keep your life healthy".  It was fun, and i heard lots of cute comments.

"Whoa!! great mustache!" (giggle, giggle) 
"Did you know your mustache is purple?"
"Is your mustache real?"  (To which i could only reply, "Which one?")

Sometimes doing something out of the ordinary, helps to make an extraordinary point.  The bigger question is what are we willing to do to attract someone to Christ?  Let's remember, our actions speak louder than our words... and can possibly bring an eternal smile to another face and our Father's.

have a bold-filled day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ Thankful

"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."

For this reason, and this reason alone, today is a good day. 

No matter what we are facing... trials, lies, sad memories, hardships, pain, doubts... what God has done for us triumphs over it all.  Father, help me keep my eyes on You.

Thank You, Father.

have a thank-filled day!

Monday, October 21, 2013

not what i expected

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs... His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:1-2,5

How are you with surprises?  Sunday was a gorgeous day filled with church, sunshine, family and water.  But, it wasn't all to my liking. As i cleaned the kitchen, yelling from the basement below stopped me.  The kitchen sink pipe burst, and water was pouring in my son's bedroom!  From the ceiling, to the walls, to the carpet and everything between all was drenched.  With a sour face, i hand-washed a sink and dishwasher full of dirty dishes in a little bathroom sink. Then, i loaded four heaping baskets of clothes and bedding for the laundromat.

Ironically, the sermon just an hour earlier had been on JOYful worship. I definitely was not feeling any joy now. As i watched the clothes spin, i reflected on Frank saying the goodness of God is not always apparent.  In life it matters what we choose to see... the obstacles, the good, the problems, the grace.  I needed to choose to stop focusing on the inconvenience and unexpected expenses and on my blessings instead.

I do not have to go to the laundromat every week
I will get to use my dishwasher and kitchen sink again
We have insurance
We were at home when it happened
My home is not destroyed
What is damaged can be fixed
No one was hurt

And my biggest blessing of all, witnessing how God goes before us in all we do.  He gave me a needed Word Sunday morning before i ever knew i would need it.  Now that is something to sing about.  Thank You, Father!

have a JOY-filled day!

Friday, October 18, 2013

may i borrow one?

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

Do you ever say something you really don’t  mean?  I do.  Like, “May I borrow a tissue?” Really? Think about it.  Who would want it back? How nasty!

And then there are the more serious comments… i hate you, go jump in a lake, you make me sick, you are stupid, i don't care how you feel, no one likes you, get out of my life. In the heat of a moment, out of fear or exhaustion, we can spit out hurtful words we really don't mean.  But like the tissue, the words are now used, and can't be put back.

Father, There are times my emotions go crazy and my mouth follows suit.  Help me to stop, breathe and think before i speak. I don't want to sulk later about saying something nasty and not being able to take it back. I want my words to flow with kindness and in confidence of bringing You glory.  

have a kind-filled day!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ part

"Now you, (your name), are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it..." 1 Corinthians 12:27
"... encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13

Apart or a part?

We can choose to be apart from a situation/person or a part of it.  Just like the words, a small move can make a BIG difference.

What will you do?

have a giving-filled day!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

how did she know?

"And my God will meet ALL your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19
I called to thank her for the card, but was perplexed.  How did she know of my recent struggles?  The card addressed each of my needs.  It was rich in assured comfort, love and strength from God; it referred to a song about trusting God to take the wheel; it reminded me my help comes FIRST from God; and most timely of all, it spoke of the prodigal son. The faith and the unconditional love of the father was unwavering during his son’s absence, and concluded with a joyous reunion.  For me the timing of the card was impeccable, for her it was mailed 2 weeks late.
Blessed Reminder… God can NEVER be late because He is always with us.
No matter what is happening, God is in the midst of it.  At times, God works through us for someone in need, and at other times He works through another to fulfill a need for us.  Let's give or receive His goodness with thanksgiving to all.
have a believing-filled day!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ JOY

"Do not grieve, FOR THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH." Nehemiah 8:10

Lasting JOY is not found in our circumstances, it is found in our LORD.

have a joy-filled day!

Monday, October 14, 2013

what is your name?

"In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will..." Ephesians 1:11

"What is your first name?"
"I don't know... i don't know my first name."
What he serious?  Trying to check library books out to the new kindergarten student, i stumbled onto an unexpected problem. He didn't know what name to give me.  Fortunately, his teacher returned and filled in the blanks.  Now we both know his name for school.

Sometime the obvious in life is not so obvious, and we have to be reminded.

You, my friend, are greatly loved.  God created you specifically at this time for a divine purpose.  Whether for one, tens, hundreds or more, God's plan includes you touching the lives of others with His love, kindness and comfort. 

When we see others through the eyes of Jesus, blessings flow in both directions.  And that makes Him smile.

have a love-filled day!

Friday, October 11, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ seek

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness..." Matthew 6:33

A sure way to be defeated... base our life and decisions on what others do and say.  Let's choose to do what's right, based on our Father and His steadfast, sure, solid Word.

have a rest-filled day!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

he said what?!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Referring to the 20+ Rugby team sprawled out on the floor, he chuckled and said, "Boy, this looks like a train wreck. Good thing you're flying."

And then after boarding the plan, the pilot announced, "Just to let you know, one engine is not working; we will have to "jump start it" off the other engine when we taxi."
These are not parting comments you embrace with joy before leaving the ground.

Have you ever been privy to unwanted comments?  Whether in jest or truth, it can make us uneasy.  With so many outside factors in life, we have limited control and input with everything we might face.  How can we possibly find peace with this?

What can help most is knowing NOTHING touches us without going through God's Hand first. He is aware and with us every second of every day.  He never, never leaves our side. We must trust He works all things (including joys, trials, disappointments, heartaches and celebrations) to the good to those who belong to Him and have been called to His purpose.

Loving Him first, provides the strength needed for everything else.

have a rest-filled day!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ beauty

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment.... it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

There is nothing more beautiful to God than a heart tendered towards Him and His children.  May others enJOY and find comfort in the glow of your soul today.

have a sweet-filled day!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

how's your GPS?

"... never tire of doing what is right." 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Have you ever been lost?  I, for one, am not street smart, literally. If all the paper maps i've used were piled up, i'm sure the stack would be over my head.  Thanks to technology, my reduction in trees/paper waste has improved.  With the push of a few buttons, i now program my destination into a GPS.  Voice commands provide turn-by-turn instructions, and even recalculates when i make mistakes.

Directions... we all need them at some point.  Whether in driving, testing, putting something together -- directions provide the help needed when not-knowing, questions or doubts surface.

Come to think about it, we, as believers, serve as a GPS.  We live and work among hurting, lonely people searching for direction, peace and acceptance.  When we live with a loving, compassionate heart, God's light beams through us and touches those in need of hope and direction.

GPS, that is what we are... God's People Serving and showing others the goodness of our God. Let's live in a way so God's Voice can be heard through us and guide the lost home.  Because... everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.  Thank You, Father!

have a serving-filled day!

Monday, October 7, 2013

release and BE free

"God gives wisdom, knowledge and joy to those who please Him." Ecclesiastes 2:26

When we are experiencing anger, we wonder if it’s damaging… 
when we finally release our anger, we recognize it is damaging to our soul and spirit.

Father, help us to take the wisdom and knowledge You have given us  -- digest it, and use it. Then we will know and experience Your good and perfect Will and be at peace.

have a joy-filled day!

Friday, October 4, 2013

anger dANGER (part 2)

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 
 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40

Thank you so allowing me to share my recent anger pains.  AND, thank you for speaking truth back to me.  Some expressed similar struggles and some provided words of comfort.  A bless reminder we need to honestly and continually share  with others the love of our Father – so we can LIVE the abundant life He desires for us.

Oh, those stones we carry and want to hurl at others… because they totally deserve it from our perspective.  And then to stop, and be reminded, God has every right to hurl stones at us.  But instead He covers us in love and forgiveness.  My tears are dissolving the anger  and being replaced with forgiveness.   I am not completely there, but because of God and with Him, I am healing.  I know forgiveness is His Will for me because of the indescribable peace I now feel.  Letting go of the anger and praying with love and not hatred has restored my JOY.   Thank You, Father.
Let's encourage each other every day.  It’s a fierce battle out there, and we need Him and each other.  It's critical we honor God's LIFE rule 1 and 2 -- loving Him and our neighbors.  Not just the neighbors we choose, but all neighbors, even the ones who stomp and spit on our heart... or our child's.  How is this possible?  Only through God.  We can't accomplish the second greatest commandment without doing the greatest one first.

There is immense dANGER in anger; God threw several red flags before me biding for my attention, including irritability, impatience, bitterness resentment.
We gain so much more when we choose obeDIEnce instead.  When we DIE to self and LIVE for God, we are then filled with freedom, peace and JOY!

have a JOY-filled day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ quiet

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zaphaniah 3:17

In the midst of turmoil, He can quiet our soul with His love.
Thank You, Father!

have a song-filled day!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

a kick in the gut

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

Sometimes you have to put your heart out there on the line.  And today is one of those days.  I would be less than honest to say all is well with my soul. A sickening battle has raged inside me recently. Wrongdoing, disrespect and humiliation are common human shortcomings we've all faced in life.  Whereas we learn to cope with such treatment when directed towards us, it's much more difficult when it affects someone we love. The pain is almost unbearable.

My heart has oozed with tears and anger.  I've jotted down everything i wanted to say to the offender; i armed myself for a bloody battle.  Then this week at Bible Study, my full fist of stones was slapped.  As Brenda spoke of the adulterous woman and the ones itching to stone her, i was convicted of my own sin... revengeful and angry thoughts. Jesus said, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." I was no better in God's eyes than the one who fueled my anger.  The stones i so desperately wanted to throw had to be put down at the cross. I've been praying for forgiveness and God"s direction since. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Why do i share this with you? They say confession is good for the soul... and i need goodness and healing now. I've laid my stones down at the cross, along with my torn soul.  God in His infinite grace and mercy is removing the boulders one-by-one from the pit of my stomach and restoring peace.  Life is not fair, never has been and never will be.Yet forgiveness must occur.  Forgiveness is not saying what happened is right or even okay, but it's necessary to free us to live life abundantly as we trust God with the situation.

This is why we must cling to the One who is always Faithful and True.  He gives rest to the weary, hope to the hopeless and peace to the hurt.  

Father, You let some of my weaknesses seep out this week.  I am humbly reminded how very much i need You -- every moment of my life. Thank You for the sisters i am surrounded by to encourage and increase my faith, and thank You for Your wonderful Words of life, true comfort food for my broken soul. Thank You for turning my heart of stone to one of forgiveness.  Sometimes the lessons in life are hard, but oh so needed. I love You. 

have a heart-filled day!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

a Mighty Word ~ peace

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts... and be thankful." Colossians 3:15

Sometimes life gets crazy and we have to be reminded, what's truly important.
Thank You, Father, for Your unconditional love. There is none like You.

have a peace-filled day!