Friday, January 30, 2015

the gift of surprise

" good, be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share." 1 Timothy 6:18

I heard him charging up the steps and immediately suspected something was wrong.

"Mom, guess what i found in my room?"

This "find" from my 24 year old son, sent my imagination on a wild journey.  All kinds of images swirled in my head... disintegrated food, lost driver's license, an old picture, a missing Redbox DVD, and items i'm too embarrassed to mention.  He handed me a wad of tissue paper. Slowly i peeled back the layers to find a surprising treasure.

"It's a Christmas gift i got for you and then forgot," he confessed.

The belated, unexpected gift was perfect.  Still bothered over losing my cherished bracelet from my Mother 2 months ago, this gift was special and comforting to me on many levels.  The gift reminded me i still have a lot to be thankful for, like a caring family.  Gifts of love are wonderful during the bustle of CHRISTmas, but are needed reminders later, as sadness can seep into our quiet, normal days.

Lord, stir in me the need to continuously and actively gift others with love.  Whether a card, phone call, hug, present, word of encouragement or smile, it might unexpectedly fill an emptiness in their heart. You know the needs, and the perfect timing.  May this bracelet remind me it's never too late to give.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, January 29, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ yours

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4

Oh, how sweet is Your Word, Father!  And it just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter with each day.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


"Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."  Romans 12:13

Clang those cans, and sing a song of joy! 
We reached 100 days of school for all girls and boys!  

To celebrate this milestone, students dressed up as 100 year-old people and collected can goods.  All classes set a goal of collecting 100 cans. As the cans stacked up, so did their excitement. The thrill in reaching 100 school days and 100 cans by the students can only be exceeded by the ones receiving the cans of food. 

Good News, whether in words or actions, is more fulfilling when shared with others. It spreads goodwill, inspires hope, and creates unity.  

When we care, we share... and others are helped. 

Father, thank You, for opening our eyes and hearts to the needs of those around us.  May the spirit of giving continue the next 100 days, and the next, and the next, and the next, etc.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ taste

"Taste and see that the LORD is good! blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8

Guaranteed to melt your heart... God's immense love for you.
He will wash away the bitterness, and you will be better with Him.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, January 26, 2015

let it go!

"'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

What is happening in your life?

worries...  let it go
disappointments... let it go
mistakes... let it go
heartaches...  let it go
unfairness... let it go
brokenness... let it go
disillusions... let it go 
abandonment... let it go

When we let go of our frustrations, fears and hurts and let God take over, peace can again fill our heart and soul.

He who created us, has a plan for us... and it is a plan for good. What we can't see or know, He does. His definition of good might not match ours, yet it is divine.  We can completely trust He is working all things to the good in His Perfect Way.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, January 23, 2015

Read this...

"Love is patient, love is kind." 1 Corinthians 13:4

With new books arriving, our bookshelves were bulging.  A good weeding (pulling and removing of books) was necessary.   Book deletions rest on several guidelines -- copywrite date, physical book condition, customer usage, number of copies.  And then, the factor which bothers me most, visual appeal of the book, "judging a book by its cover".  Sadly, some of the books snubbed by readers due to boring, unattractive covers, actually contain wonderful stories.

Plain, ho-hum books aren't the only things that get looked over.

Father, weeding books reminded me to be careful in tossing things or people aside because of how they look. Sometimes we need to take time to dig deeper and better understand the makeup of another. We need to be page turners. What might appear to be unappealing, unattractive or boring could be housing a beautiful hidden gem.  Help us to discover and uncover all the treasures You have designed. 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ nonstopping

"For You have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth."  Psalm 71:5

Father, for all my seconds, minutes, days, months, years You have protected me. On You, and You alone, i will continue to rely on for my needs. You have gotten me this far, and i am confident You will continue and see me safely home.  

Thank You.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

are you whistling?

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the LORD, not men, because you know that the LORD will reward everyone for whatever good he does... " Ephesians 6:7

Do you remember the song of the seven dwarfs... "hi‑ho, hi‑ho, it's off to work we go!" followed by the whistling of a happy little tune?    Is your morning song like that, or is it more like "i owe, i owe, it's off to work i go...sigh :(  ?    

Who and what are you working for?  What's driving you?

We are called to work as if we are working for the LORD.   For many, work occurs throughout the day including at the office, home, church and school.  Don't you think our attitude and song should be more like the dwarfs?  

I pray we see the true riches of our work are found in serving those in need while letting God's Light shine through our efforts. Positively, with God as our primary motive in all areas of our life, we will find reason to whistle too!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ cotton-candy

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 12:1-2 

 See the beauty, hear the cheers, feel the love.

The cotton-candy skies of late are sweet reminders we need to continuously stop, look up and know our God wants to "wow" us.  Don't get caught off guard by the dark clouds and storms that pop up.  Keep believing and pursuing all the blessings God has in store for you.

God, no matter what, i'm looking at and believing You.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, January 19, 2015

following the wise...

"But the  wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." James 3:17-18

Thankful for Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the others willing to do as Jesus would.
May the harvest of righteousness be overflowing as we stride each day to follow in Jesus' steps.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, January 16, 2015

may I have a Word with you?

"May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

After going over new material, the teacher asked to see a student... in private.  Classroom instruction is good.  But at times, a word in private is needed.  Whether for extra instruction or needed clarification, discipline or correction of a behavior, or even a word of praise, some things need to be relayed privately.  Wouldn't you agree that sometimes a little one-on-one is needed to accomplish your goal as a teacher?

I believe God feels the same way with us.  As wonderful as corporate worship, Bible study classes, and prayer groups are, do you think its enough?  Yes, God speaks to us and moves us in group situations, but He also desires to speak to us One-on-one.  Make time for just you and Him... there are things He longs to say just to you, His precious, beloved Child.  He's calling.  Can He have a Word with just you now?

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, January 15, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ rest

"In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat -- for He grants sleep to those He loves." Psalm 127:2

Don't be a night owl.

REST... God desires and expects His children to have it.  Let's don't let Him down on this one.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

mine, mine, MINE

"But now, this is what the LORD says— He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

That is MY game! Where is MY cookie? I want MY own phone.

Possessiveness... it's usually thought of as a negative and selfish act.  We are taught to share and not hold on to anything too tightly.  But some things just can't be helped.

While working in an school for many years, i've witnessed a lot of possessiveness; and i'm not referring to only students. I can't ever recall hearing a teacher refer to the students in their room as "these" students.  It's always MY students, My class, My kids, My "Susie". 

The teacher claims them for their own. Fussing, loving, praising, challenging, preparing... they carefully tuck a piece of self into each child, as they guide them through book and life lessons. The teacher-student relationship truly mimics many aspects of a parent-child relationships, including preservation of their welfare, protection of mind and growth in self esteem. 

Father, thank You for allowing me to serve You in a school environment.  I am honored to work side-by-side with some of your most precious children -- my peers and my young little friends.  May Your love flow freely through me to them every day.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ value

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

Don’t discount anything you do.  What might seem like nothing to you, might be monumental or even life changing to another.

friend, we are loved and  chosen by God,

Monday, January 12, 2015

He protects__________ (period).

"God reached down from on high and took hold of ______; He drew ______ out of deep waters.
He rescued ________ from  his/her powerful enemy, from his/her foes, who were too strong for _______.
They confronted ______ in the day of his/her disaster, but the Lord was his/her support.
He brought ______ out into a spacious place;   He rescued ______ because He delighted in ______."

Psalm 18:16-19

Is there someone, who's name you need to put in the above blank?

When physical, emotional or mental distress is present... there is suffering. Some situations develop due to decisions made, others just happen. 
I am reminded daily just how very little control we actually have over others.

TRUST the strength and support for those in need, (as well as, the peace of those who love them,) is in the Mighty Hands of our Father, the Great Physician.

Where we are incapable, our God IS capable.  
When we are ready to give up, our God IS going strong.

He cares, He can, He will... rest in Him.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, January 9, 2015

Rut cleaning needed

"Let us not become weary in doing good... let us do good to all people..." Galatians 6:9,10

As new fallen snow makes all look clean and better, we approach New Year with the same uplifting attitude.  We pledge to make better decisions, while we remove and change what's ugly and unpleasant... but do we?

As we claim and aspire to make changes for a better new year, we sometimes remain stuck in some of our same old ruts...
same old habits
same old thinking
same old judging
same old mistakes

Not only do our ruts affect us, but our behavior toward others.  It is easy to allow the repeatable smudges, irritations and wrongs of one to establish our actions and conclusions. But if we respond in the same old rutty way, what encouragement is there for someone we label as "an issue" to change?  Suppose God dealt with us in our faults/weaknesses in such a predetermined manner? 

Who needs to make the first change?

Could it be, a desired change needs to come from me first?  If i treat someone with the attitude of believing the best from them... could it possibly produce a change for the better?  Surely the opportunity for them to succeed is more likely to occur if my attitude is one of support and encouragement instead of dismay and discouragement.  

Father, help me. I don't want to tarnish a clean new year by holding onto old ruts.  Clean out my heart and head to believe and support the best in others.  After all, aren't they suppose to see You in me?

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ warmth

"The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold." Acts 28:2

How are you surviving this bitter, wintery cold day?  Many of us are blessed with comfort and warmth... inside and out.  But some are faced with difficulties that are foreign to us.

As children of God, we need to be the present-day islanders to those facing cold, hunger and pain.
We should do good to all those around us...
not because we know them,
not because others are watching us,
not because it makes us feel good,
not because someone else does,

but because it's just the right thing to do.

May we bring music, joy, love and His Light to a cold and hurting world.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

a Good Handbook for 2015

I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32

In preparing my mind, body and soul for 2015, i was in need of reviewing a Good Handbook and thought you might benefit from it too.



1.       Drink plenty of water.

2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured 
          in plants.

4.       Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.

5.       Make time to pray.

6.       Play more games.

7.       Read more books than you did in 2014.

8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

9.       Sleep for 7 hours.

10.    Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11.    Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12.    Don't have negative thoughts on things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in
         the positive present moment.

13.    Don't overdo. Keep your limits.

14.    Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15.    Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

16.    Dream more while you are awake.

17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18.    Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past.
         That will ruin your present happiness.

19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

20.    Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the 
         curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will
         last a lifetime.

23.    Smile and laugh more.

24.    You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


25.    Call your family often.

26.    Each day give something good to others.

27.    Forgive everyone for everything.

28.    Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.

29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.

31.    Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


32.    Do the right thing!

33.    Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

34.    GOD heals everything.

35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37.    The best is yet to come.

38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

And when all else fails or questions arise, consult the original Handbook on Living… the Bible.  It is a proven and true Source for everything under the “Son”!
friend, you are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ comfort

"The LORD will fulfill His purpose, for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever --" Psalm 138:8

What ever is going on in our life, may we find comfort in knowing God's Will, His good and perfect Will, for our life will be fulfilled.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, January 5, 2015

back to the routine... or not?

"...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."   Romans 6:23

We made it through another CHRISTmas.  The wrapping, the unwrapping, the eating, the cooking, the eating, the visiting, the eating, the decorating, the undecorating, the traveling, the cleaning, the eating. CHRISTmas is now over, and it's time to get back to business as usual.  Or, should we?

As we leave the hustle and bustle of the CHRISTmas season, let's do just that.  Leave the hustle and bustle.  But let's not neglect nor forget to keep the true spirit of CHRISTmas alive in our heart and actions -- God's gift of eternal life through Jesus. 
I hope your CHRISTmas was full of His wonder, joy and love.  If not, don't despair.  As His children, we have reason to celebrate CHRISTmas everyday.
Put your decorations up in the attic, but not Jesus.  Leave Him out and up front in your life for all to witness His goodness.  His Presence is our daily present -- and one designed for sharing.  Let's keep the merry in CHRISTmas going.  We live in a world in great need of Him.
friend, we are loved and chosen by God,