Thursday, April 30, 2015

seeing yellow...

"Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor." Proverbs 21:21

Who hasn't seen footage of the mother-in-yellow charging and removing her son from the Baltimore riots? In support of parental leadership and guidance, i'm wearing yellow.

Bold, determined and focused this mom was bent on getting his attention.  Love for her son and the desire for his right behavior, exceeded all fears and doubts.  She was more concerned with his safety and life than his embarrassment.

This reminds me of another Parent we all know and have, the One who relentlessly pursues each of us.

Father, we need to bloom rightly where we are planted. Some of the dirt around us stinks and is stripped of nutrients. But with "Son"shine, the watering of Your Spirit and filling of Your Word, we can richly bless others.  Instill in us the abilty to boldly model and inspire an abundant life that honors You.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ heal

This is what the LORD says...
"I have heard your prayer and seen your tears, I will heal you." 2 Kings 20:5

The fires are raging in our land and our hearts.  Can anything stop it?

Yes... Genuine prayer to God. Prayer has the power to extinguish the flames and restore peace.  

Father, may You turn our tears to hope.  Fill our lands with compassion and unite us in spirit as we work together to promote unity and understanding.  If all our eyes would just turn to You, we would be restored and filled with Your Peace. 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

no words needed

"...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Romans 8:26

Can't talk about it? Pray about it.
The One who needs to hear it most is listening.  And best of all, He doesn't even need our words to understand.

He sees us and knows us in our truest living colors.

Thank You, Jesus!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, April 27, 2015

just a spoonful of sugar

"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24

Her words were like sugar and brought healing to my soul. It was just the dose of kindness i needed... an unexpected compliment, from an unexpected person at the perfect time.  It soothed the hurt felt by the neglect of another.

All around us, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family are in need of sweet encouragement and healing. Sometimes we need to give the sugar, and sometimes we need to receive it.

Father, help us stay sensitive to You and Your nudging. We are grateful for the opportunity to dish it out, as well as, for the opportunity to accept spoonfuls of sugar too.  Thank you for sweet angels.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, April 24, 2015

thank you...

"Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Today, i want to thank you for allowing me to share my incredible visit with my daughter, Anna, and her husband, Chas.  The beauty, memories and lessons i witnessed during Spring Break are permanently etched on my heart. Through it all, my understanding of the fact, God is always with us, whether in chaos or in joy, grew. 
My trip concluded a with a visit to the Neuschwanstein castle that inspired Walt Disney and a wonderful truth -- dreams do come true.  May we live each day knowing a happily-ever-after ending with Him awaits us.  No doubt, like my trip, it will exceed our wildest imagination.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you...

Delight yourself in the Lord (the bright Morning Star), and He will give you the desires of your heart.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

did you see it?

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold... He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.  They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support." Psalm 18:2,17-18

I missed it yesterday.
I was so focused on the actual barb-wired fence, that i completely missed a Truth God was showing.
Look at the shadow of the fence.  It reveals a cross.  Truly a magnificent reminder God is ever present and in the midst of all things with us

There is no pain, no hurt, no tears God is not aware of with His children. He feels, sees, hears and knows everything that touches us.  

Thank You, God, we are never alone in the good, the bad or the ugly.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

sandwiched between the beautiful

And this is what the LORD says to you...
"Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.  In your hearts do not think evil of each other." Zechariah 7:9-10

Today's message is difficult and ugly.  It has been churning in my heart for 14 days. I am compelled to share it because ugliness is real and a part in all our lives. Truth needs to be spoken so God's light can shine forth to bring healing and hope to the hurting.

Sandwiched among days of spectacular beauty during my Spring Break, i found myself in a place known for it's sheer horror and pure evil... Dachau Concentration Camp.   It isn't a destination for all visiting Germany because of all the sadness it holds.  But i felt a strong need to go... to see... to hear... to touch... to feel man's inhumanity to man.  To see the many photos of beautiful, innocent men, women and children who were stripped of identity, all belongings, rights and decency... to stare at the hollow, vacant eyes... the skin-to-bone skeletons... to hear the tales of endless torture... i was dazed and speechless, wondering how such a tragedy existed?  Arrogance and ignorance were key factors... a racist belief all should conform to one state of normality.  My life and heart have been changed forever, as i recognize and openly admit oppression is not over.

As horrific as the killing of 6 million innocent people during the Holocaust was, it is not over. Some have failed to learn from the hideous crime.  Barb-wired fences still exist keeping out the unwanted; some are within the reach of our fingertips.

Man's injustice to man is still prevalent.  Discrimination, arrogance, ignorance march up and down our streets daily.  Whether it's race, sex, age, sexual orientation, nationality, religious belief, physical features, disability, employment, language, social class -- there is judging, shunning, berating, belittling --  emotional barb-wired fences still surround innocent people.  Blood, tears and brokenness spill out on the sidewalks of our cities, filling the cracks in our world with fear, pain and rejection.

Six million and counting... when will the numbers stop? when will the judging disappear?  when will we be bold enough to say no more and rip down the fences of injustice and replace them with love and acceptance? 

In the midst of beauty in the past 2 weeks, i have also seen ugly.  It is real, and it is here.  But like my trip, i don't think it will be the last vision or word we see.  Sometimes a smack of ugly is necessary to put us on the right path, so we can be the vessel God desires and needs.  And when we are, transformation evolves and Peace enters. Rest assured, He will bring about a glorious and beautiful ending.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers/sisters, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessings, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3: 8-9

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

meet me here

"...Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." Luke 6:12

The past week my soul has demanded time for silence, rest and reflection.  This is where i need to be... in prayer with God.  Would you like to join us?  There is room enough for all.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Handpicked and special...

"Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." Acts 20:28

Father, in Your vast world of wonders, at this precise time, You have set us where we are for a specific reason. As Your children, we are called to help, love and pray for those around us -- our mission field as designated by You.  May we lead and guide with the wisdom and patience of Your church created in Love by Love for Love.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, April 17, 2015

ain't no mountain high enough

Jesus said...
"...  I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."  Matthew 17:20-21

Are you standing on the edge of a mountain-size obstacle, hardship or problem, wondering how you can overcome it? 

Focus on Jesus

Then, watch your faith rise over and go beyond any mountain before you.
With God, all things are possible.  

Ain't no mountain high enough,
Ain't no valley low enough,
Ain't no river wide enough
To keep Him from you...

Thank You, Father!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

you've been heard

Jesus said...
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22

No matter where we are, who we are, how we feel, what we say or do, or when we pray -- 
When we believe, ALL our prayers are heard and answered by God, is His perfect way and time.

He is as close as our next breath.
Believing is receiving.

Thank You, Father!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

what goes up and doesn't come down?

"'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

Shaken, rattled, rolling... God is still tightly holding you. 
His love for you is unending and soars beyond the heavens.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ still

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

It's where i need to be this week... still.

friend, we are love and chosen by God,

Monday, April 13, 2015

what do you see?

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10

I hope your Spring Break was special. Mine was filled with life lessons, unexpected beauty and wonder. One such sight was Wolfgangsee Lake.  Besides mirroring a beautiful sky, this lake is also pure enough to drink.  True beauty inside and out.

Father, keep me from harming those in my path. Purify me that i might be a reflection of You in my words and actions. 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Serious about you? absolutely!

"HE HAS RISEN!"  Mark 16:6

"But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three - sin, guilt, death - are gone! the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!" 1 Corinthians 15:57


The earth shook, the cloth was folded, His work finished.

And the glory of the LORD shone all around.


Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

not a sound...

'Take a guard,' Pilate answered (the Pharisees). 'Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.'" Matthew 27:65


All is quiet.  The rush and excitement of the last week at school before Spring break is over. Homework, fire drill and four Annie plays done, and now all sleep.  How peaceful the silence!  But not all silence is peaceful.


There is silence at the cross.  Jesus is dead. His body now guarded in a tomb with a massive stone covering the opening. No one can possibly enter.  

But, they forgot to consider the possibility of Someone coming out.  Oh, ye, of little faith. What a glorious day to come!  Thank You, Father!!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, April 3, 2015

choose your side... carefully and boldly

"... there they crucified Him, along with the criminals ‑ one on His right, the other on His left. Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'.. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him... But the other rebuked him... Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'" Luke 23:33‑43

Jesus, weak and nearly unrecognizable from the lashings, could not drag His cross up the rocky path. Help came from a stranger, not His disciples. The women followed in tears, the men scattered.

The last "Annie" production brought cheers, smiles and sweet relief. It delivered everything promised and more. Jesus' last "show" on earth brought the house down, not with cheers but jeers... the people expected more. But, hold on!  The Last Act is yet to come. It will not only bring down the house, but will rip the temple's curtain in two from top to bottom.
Even at the very last minute, one criminal chose to acknowledge and accept Christ. One went to paradise, the other didn't. It's all about forgiveness. It's what Jesus was born to do. It's God's greatest gift and sacrifice to man.

We, like the criminals, are either on the right or left side of Jesus. With our speech and/or actions we are denying or accepting Him. God is willing, waiting, and wanting to receive all into His Kingdom.

May the words of Annie also be ours...  I don't need sunshine now to turn my skies to blue...

Just You, Jesus, just You.  Thank You.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

by the light of the moon

Jesus prayer -
My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You." John 17:20

Sweat rolling down His back and legs and tears spilling from His eyes, the dirt on His knees change to mud. The fury of the week left the disciples too exhausted to stay awake in the Garden. Three times Jesus wakes them... and later, three times Peter denies Him. Under the full moon, Jesus is alone on the path to the Cross.

The brilliance and beauty of the moon the past few nights is mesmerizing. So full and bright; it is breathtaking. How can anything so beautiful, hold so much sorrow too?

It was under that same moon, over 2,000 year ago, Jesus prepared to be betrayed and disowned by His own, and unjustly accused by others. In the Garden after the Last Supper, He committed His final act before captured -- He prayed.

 He prayed for Himself and the ability to be obedient... Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done. He prayed for His disciples and their strengthening. And He prayed for you and me. His final prayer -- for us to be one in Him.

May you see the moon in a different light tonight... His eternal Light for all. The sorrow of this night will fade as His path fills with believers. Victory over darkness is guaranteed. Thank You, Father!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,