Monday, June 30, 2014

back to you...

"The LORD will keep you from all harm -- He will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."  Psalm 121:7-8

I don't know about you, but i am not very happy when someone gives me their backside.  Usually, it is a sign of defiance.  Yet, last week it was a sign of being ready too.

As i watched Anna leave 7 days ago for Germany, my last image of her was her backside and pink neck pillow, not her face.  It was definitely a sign of readiness from her to leave... the child whom i had picked up numerous times at midnight from her best friend's house due to homesickness. She left resolutely with joy and confidence in her move across the deep, wide ocean, not looking back.

Did my tears increase the level of the salty ocean? For sure, but as a sweet mixture of joy and sadness.  The one thing i am most confident in is knowing that while i was looking as her backside, God was already ahead of her, in the front.  He has her back, side, front and every inch between, every second.  My trust in Him is critical; i am totally relying on His Word and promises.  God is crazy in love with all His children and goes before them and with them every step.  Thank You, Father!

Are you dealing with some tough issues now?  When in doubt, we must seek Him out.  Sometimes our peace comes only from Believing and Trusting God.  Praying for you to have my favorite type of candy bar day.... a Pay Day.  May you find satisfaction and peace in the mixture of a salty-sweet day, too.  Taste and see that the LORD is good!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God, 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

taking care of business

"Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always." Psalm 105:4

Sometimes we just have to put matters in God's Hands...

Actually, we need to put everything in God's Hands... and leave it there.  Why do we want to invite greater hardships or chaos, when we know only He can provide and sustain peace, even in the unimaginable moments?  And many of you know exactly what i mean.

Thank You, Father, for your unending love and strength!  I want to give it and leave it ALL with You.  Shake loose my fears and grow my trust.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, June 23, 2014

too much

The sun is up, the day is here, and so is my God. He reminds me... "I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Today i am reminded of a "too much" problem... the one of too much love. When you love too much, you fall prey to heartache.  So it is with our children.

Today my daughter leaves for Germany for at least one year.  She married 2 months ago and is anxious to join to her husband in the Army.  I am thrilled for the exciting new chapter in her life, but selfishly aching and wanting to hide her passport. 

I can't help but remember my younger years with my Mother. She always wanted me close by, even as i was eager for independence and freedom as a young adult.  I couldn't understand her reluctance to let go, now i do.  Oh, the pain of understanding.  There is no better way than experiencing it.  The deeper the love, the deeper the emotions... all of them.  The love for our children is an abyss. 

Together we will finish packing Anna up.  Gently placed beside her shoes, clothes and makeup will be my heart. Pray for smiles at the airport, as i place her hand in God's and walk away with His other Hand in mine.  Together with Him, i just know this chapter will be wonderful because He is the Author.  There will be tears today from me and that will be fine. Don't you cry when you read a good chapter too?  

Tissues, hugs and God... may they cover our eyes, heart and soul with comfort.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, June 20, 2014

Who's in the house?

Jesus said...
"everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it has its foundation on the rock." Matthew 8:24-25

Summer is in full swing, and so is the door to my house.  My son continually invites people over.  If i run an errand, it's not unusual to find a strange car in the driveway when i return -- leaving me to wonder, who's in the house now.  Do you ever wonder who's in your house?

Not all visitors are expected or welcomed in my house... or life.  There are visitors that add sunshine and joy, and there are visitors that bring rain and high winds.  Some visitors we invite and others just pop-in.  Because of these facts, there is One i need to always find in my house -- God.

Only God provides the foundation and power to withstand and overcome the trials and hardships that walk through our doors.   When trouble comes knocking, i want God there to answer the door.  He knows exactly how to handle it.

Father, i need You to be my Foundation, my Rock, my All, through the sun and the rain.  With You i am ready for the day.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ Still

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Anyone need this reminder today, besides me?

Thank You, Father, for always Being....

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

note:   slight change on the ending; i need to be reminded i am loved and chosen by God too.  Thank You, Father!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

difficult journey

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Life is a difficult journey, and would be impossible without God.  
He saves me every day from troubles – i don’t know how anyone survives without Him.
Thank You, Father, for loving me more than i or anyone else possibly could.

Friend, you are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ Freed

"My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only He will release my feet from the snare." Psalm 25:15

Tripped up, tied up, turned up, twisted up... i don't want to be.
Father, help me keep my eyes on You, so my feet will be free.

friend, you are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, June 16, 2014

Never enough

"Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long." Psalm 25:4-5

School is out... but not really. Learning is a continuous task.  I'm over half a century old, and God is still teaching, showing and guiding me in new things daily.

Luckily for me, my favorite Bible Study group scheduled a summer session. Whether a phrase or a novel-sized portion, God always needs to tell me or remind me of something. But the true value of learning in the classroom, home or world, is not hearing, but applying the new knowledge. 

Starting today, the devotions will end differently.  Instead of suggesting the kind of day to have, they will end as a reminder of who you are.  Because knowing, believing and accepting who we are in Christ will show, teach and guide us in the type of day to have. 

friends, you are loved and chosen by God,

p.s.  If you are interested in a summer Bible Study and live near Spartanburg, please consider joining us!
The Facts:
Meet with Brenda Blankenship at 9-11 a.m, on any or all the  remaining Tuesdays... June 17th, July 1st, July 15th, and July 29th at THE STAGE at Milestones Church Upper Campus, right off I-85 Business, across from SCC.

Join us for Beth Moore's in-depth, video-driven Bible study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians this summer. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 13, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ WE

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

WE have got a mighty job to do... but not alone.  God has it all laid out; WE need to only follow Him.  

You are chosen by God,
have a glory-filled day!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

the last rose

"As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. Truly I tell you,” he said, this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." Luke 21:1-3

Bags of stuff lined the hallway.  My daughter was moving out, and i had a lot of stuff needing a new home.  I called a member of our church to see if her granddaughter might be interested in examining the goods.  She was delighted.  So with bags in tow, i gladly took it all to her home.  They met me outside, we chatted and they eagerly helped me unload my car.  Then the real blessing happened.

Before i left Ms. Lou handed me some flowers.  She had cut the last of her roses and gave them all to me.   I gifted her my excess; she gifted me with all she had.

There is no doubt where the greatest blessing occurred. 

Father, what a lesson.  Keep plucking those thorns of pride, and reminding me of the true story of giving from the heart.  How easy it is to give what we don't want.  The real question is am i willing to give my all to You and others. Open my heart and my hands to hearing You and serving others.

have a giving-filled day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ above

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."  Colossians 3:2

Only when i look up does my mind clear of the clutter and foolishness of this world.  Thank You, Father, for the beauty of the sky.  It helps to keep my focus in the right direction.  You know what i need. 

have an uplifting-filled day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ Hard

"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27

Having a hard day?  Don't worry... God has you covered.

have a thank-filled day!

Monday, June 9, 2014

the end

"The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." 1 Peter 4:7

Everything has an end... 
the road
the school year
a conflict
the rope
a test
a career
a project
a relationship
sunny days 

The end... sometimes for the good, and sometimes not. Some ends bring tears of joy and others tears of pain. Whatever the outcome, with God and prayer it is possible to rise above the circumstance and maintain peace.  Peace of mind, peace of heart, peace with God... the end.

have a prayer-filled day!

Friday, June 6, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ courageous

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

 We can be strong and courageous, not because of anything we do, but because of who God is.  God's strength lifts and carries His children.

Thank You, Father.

have a peace-filled day!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

small investment, HUMONGOUS return

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

When it comes to gambling, i'm not a big risk taker. Sure bets are my preference. And my favorite ones are small investments with large returns.  

If you feel like that too, i have a proposition for you.  My sweet uncle has been in the hospital for weeks and will be there for an extended time.  The hospital is away from his family and friends.  He is sad and lonely.  I can't imagine being away so long from all you know and care about.

For the price of a stamp and a small card or hand written note, you can make a tremendous difference in his day.  Whether he knows you or not, I KNOW receiving a personal card will put a smile on his face.  If you are interested in a sure bet with big rewards, i invite you to send him a card. 

Mr. Lynwood Hughes
Select Specialty Hospital
6th Floor, Room 6227
3643 N. Roxboro St.
Durham, NC  27704

May we remember it's the smallest acts of kindness, that can bring the greatest joy and blessings to others.  A smile, a hug, a note, a listening ear, a word of thanks... i'm willing to bet someone is about to be a big winner.

have a thought-filled day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

a Mighty Word ~ rest

"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." Jeremiah 31:25

only You.  Thank You, Father!

have a rest-filled day!

Monday, June 2, 2014

pack it up!

"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." 1 Timothy  6:18-19

One of the most powerful lessons taught this year happened the last day of school. Our entire fifth grade class partnered with the "Stop Hunger Now" organization. Students were given key facts concerning worldwide hunger, trained how to properly pack a nutritious meal and then given the opportunity to be actual hands-on volunteers.   In just under one hour 10,000 individual meals were packed for people facing hunger.  It is one of the best lesson i've witnessed at school... compassion and doing good for others.

When you add up the people affected in this program, the givers and the receivers, the blessings multiply exponentially.   What an awesome way to end the school year and to start summer.  May our hunger for God outpace the physical hunger in this world.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your day.  When we pack up and leave school for the summer, let us continue to pray for each other... may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God the Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage our hearts and strengthen us in every good deed and word.

have a good-filled day!