Monday, November 30, 2015

love those 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

However you do it...

Strut, walk, trot, run, skip, glide, dance -- there is beauty in sharing the Good News with others.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
Go tell others,

Friday, November 27, 2015

a non-ending feast

"... the cheerful heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:15

Thanks to God, we can continually feed on His wondrous grace, goodness and mercy.

Thank You, Father!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, November 26, 2015

how full is your plate?

"Be filled with the Spirit... Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:18-20

May your plate today be filled with joy, love, kindness, thanks, giving, and peace.

And when all is said and done after your meal... rest in the One who loves us best as you sing a song of thanks to Him.

Happy Thanksgiving!
friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

prepare for the feasting!

"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song." Psalm 95:1-2
The Thanksgiving feast is tomorrow! But feasting on the goodness is God is available every day. He is good all the time.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

thankful for our journey... together

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-6

I am thankful for being on this pilgrimage with you

Thank You, Father, for my sisters and brothers in Christ.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, November 23, 2015

thankful for that?

"...give thanks in all circumstances" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

missed opportunities
dead ends
humble moments
denied promotions
lost treasures

Can there be thanks in such a list?  Thankfulness isn't just about the obvious. 

Just like turkeys, blessings come dressed in many different ways. God knows what needs to be done. He doesn't waste anything that touches our lives... working all things to our good and His glory.

Thank You, Father, for the blessing of today.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, November 20, 2015

the cat's meow... and mine

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

Have you ever given a pill to a cat? We are temporarily keeping our son's cat, and she's been battling a raging infection.  Shots, medicine, surgery... and now, more medicine.  I am about ready to wring her fluffy neck. Claire is a horrible pill taker.  For the first pills we wrapped her up in a towel, like a straight jacket.  With this round of pills we supposedly could just add it to her food. Ha! That's a joke.  First, i hid it in her regular cat food, then cheese, then tried 2 varieties of gourmet cat food. Rudely and loudly she turned up her nose and refused it.  Next, we tried her favorite treat -- chicken from the table.  With the chicken she did partake, BUT she meticulously picked, clawed and ate the chicken without even a trace of the pill clearing her lips.

Claire is a master at taking what she wants and leaving behind what she needs.

Her story could be mine too -- taking what i want and refusing what i need.  God has frequently wrapped up blessings for me in various situations, to strengthen and grow my faith. I nibble on what's good, pleasing and easy then turn my nose up to the true blessing. While i whine, fight and pout He still pursues me, because His love is relentlessly.

What appears bitter at the on sight proves to be better and of great value later. When we finally receive the blessing God intends for us, His Power infiltrates our soul, producing Fruit --such as perseverance, patience, kindness, compassion.

Father, keep pushing me to be better.  May i swallow my pride with Your living water and humbly accept all the blessings You have for me.  Thank You.
friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ touched-by-Paris

"... be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble." 1 Peter 3:8


When i opened my email from Mrs. B., i was mesmerized by the love spilling from the page from her first grade students. Through the eyes of a child -- it is one of the most moving tributes i've seen for the people of Paris.


It's no wonder Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

God is with us always.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God, 

note:   I'm sure you caught the love surrounding the Eiffel Tower in the first painting, but did you see the cross in the Tower in the second one? 

We are truly all covered in God's Love.  Thank You, Father.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

field of broken dreams

"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed... 
 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Romans 4:18, 20-21

Shattered dreams, we've all had them.  And no matter how we finagle or struggle to fit the pieces back together like we want, it usually doesn't happen. Broken dreams come in many shapes and sizes, sometimes they occur rarely and sometimes in clusters, sometimes we sense it and sometimes we are blindsided.  However it happens, it still hurts and can feel more like a feverish nightmare than just a broken dream.  Are you facing any brokenness today?

job uncertainty
financial turbulence
torn relationships
challenging children
aging parents
insensitive spouse
demanding leader
false accusations
physical limitations
emotional stress
worldly pressure

Whatever is going on... we can still be thankful.  In faith, we can trust God will see us through each hardship and trial.  We only have to look back and see God's continuous fingerprints on our lives to remember what He has already done for us.  Our strength and peace will be restored knowing He will continue to sustain us.  

As God picks up all the pieces of our broken dreams and rearranges them, let's keep believing and knowing He has the power and desire to bring goodness into our lives.  

God works all things to the good to those who love Him.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ wait

"WAIT for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14
Sitting on a ledge, don't loose your head.
WAIT... on God.  He has your needs covered.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, November 16, 2015

He hears...

"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear."  Isaiah 65:24

Comfort... where and how is it possible in the wake of horrific tragedies as witnessed in New York, Charleston and now most recently in Paris?  There is no understanding or rational for such inhumane actions. When we don't know the answers, what can we do?  

In the midst of heartache and despair, we cling to what we do know -- our God is still with us. We are never left alone, even for a second. May we find some peace and solace knowing God is Ever-Present, hearing our cries and holding us tightly in His Everlasting Arms. We do not go unheard.  Our Father hears every word, whimper and breath we utter.  He collects and covers His own with divine love. 

" the time it happens, I am there."  Isaiah 48:16

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, November 13, 2015

remembering... i've a story to tell

"Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 106:1

With all the scurry of events this week, an important anniversary in my life nearly slipped by unnoticed.  Four years ago this week, i was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As God would have it, a friend recently sent me a note sharing the impact of my ordeal on her. I cried as i read it, recounting the faithfulness of a God, we sometimes dismiss as distant, uncaring or slack in answering our needs.  I cried remembering He has saved me not just once (on the cross) but numerous times.  I cried realizing God's ability to use all things to the good, whether for us or for friends and family or for complete strangers.  Along with the many special people i have honored this week, God is most deserving for the top spot in my heart. 

For those who don't know my story from 4 years ago, here are the highlights.

As God would have it, while walking my dogs, i took a nasty fall.  A trip to the emergency room confirmed i had a concussion, but also revealed i had a rare brain tumor.  As God would have it, the staff/physicians at both local hospitals admitted they were not the best choice for treatment. As God would have it, the Spartanburg neurosurgeon mentioned the name of a surgeon, Dr. Vandergrift, he deemed best qualified for my condition. As God would have it,  i was whisked to MUSC in Charleston for medical attention/surgery.  As God would have it, He placed me in the hands of the top neurosurgeon, Dr. Vandergrift, a godly, humble man. As God would have it, Dr. V. led a talented team through 3 critical surgeries on me during the next two weeks. As God would have it, one of my nurses use to attend my home church.  As God would have it, i returned home and in time healed enough to return to work. As God would have it, i have not suffered from any long-term side effects.  As God would have it, i am a living miracle.  He is not finished with me yet... i have a story of wonder and thankfulness, a story to share with others, a story to remember His faithfulness is personal to all!

So, it's been a busy week of remembering for me.  And it's the perfect lead in for our Thanksgiving season. As God would have it, we all have an abundance to be thankful for today and everyday. 

What's your story?  Someone needs to hear it.  Spread the Good News!

friend, we are love and chosen by God,  
Thank Him,

Thursday, November 12, 2015

beyond the call of duty

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:9-10

Living life beyond the call of duty and ability... that's when our Savior shines the brightest through us for others to see.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life."
Philippians 2:14-16

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

as freedom rings

"The Lord your God Himself will fight for you." Deuteronomy 3:22

It's one of my favorite programs at school... the Veteran's Day Program.  The respect, honor and dedication exhibited on this day is moving.  From the youngest to the oldest, a sense of gratefulness fills the air as we reflect on the continuous courage, strength and sacrifice displayed to maintain our freedom. 

As we salute the veterans and soldiers who serve, i also extend my hands in thanks to their families... spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  Having now personally experienced military life through my daughter's marriage, i have a new understanding and appreciation for the entire family. The soldier's family serves an important role of support. Together, they exemplify a unit of love and strength amid ongoing changes and trials. To conquer battles in the field and at home, loyalty, dedication, encouragement, trust, sacrifice and integrity are necessary elements for the soldier, as well as, his/her family.

As believers, we are all military family members. On the heavenly battlefield, our Father and Mighty Defender, sealed our freedom in Christ. ALL our sins were forgiven through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.  And as a member of His family, we should celebrate this victory daily by living for Him boldly in Truth, love and peace.

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 15:5-6

Thank you, Veterans, those currently serving in our Armed Forces and all your family members.  May God bless all your days.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ fearless

"The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
 of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

No scarecrows needed here...

God is with us through every step in our life.  Nothing catches Him off guard or by surprise.  He knows and is perfectly capable to move us through and beyond all circumstances.

Thank You, Father.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, November 9, 2015

depend on Him

"TRUST in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

The miles on my odometer, weren't rolling up fast enough. I was anxious to be with a family member, and  many hours separated us. Wanting to minimize my stops, i sipped on just half a cup of coffee.  I was determined to reach her as soon as possible.
During my long drive, i thought of the crazed woman who actually drove through several states nonstop.  She too was bent on reaching someone quickly.  BUT, our similarities stop there.  Our motives and goals were nothing alike. And we depended on and looked to different sources for guidance and strength.  Mine led to peace, hers to destruction.

A billboard i spotted shortly after getting on the road defined my trip... "Jesus, I trust in You". When doubt or fear would try to creep in, i focused back on the fact...  Jesus, I trust in You.  He led me, went before me, stayed with me, and returned me home. I did not find all the answers, but i did find peace...  I trust Jesus.  

I know whatever happens, God is with us and will work all things to the good and to His glory. Who and what we depend on with our decisions, determines the peace we will (or will not) experience when an ordeal/trial/situation strikes.  And there is one decision that is always right... Jesus, I trust You.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, November 6, 2015

come sit with me

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

What we need to do more of these days...




and Let God do.

Father, i will trust You with my life and the life of my loved ones.  Your Perfect Will will be done.

He knows, He cares. And, His plans will not be thwarted.  Resting in His Love and Truth. 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ peace

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."   Psalm 91: 14-15

When the world is harsh and deceit surrounds you, hold fast to the One Truth that will never falter... God is for you, and God is with you.

 We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...

friend, we are love and chosen by God,

As i take a necessary break, may your next few days be filled with the quiet Peace of God and prayers.

Monday, November 2, 2015

slippery slopes

The LORD said...
"I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you." 2 Kings 20:5

Rain, loose shoelaces and wet leaves aren't the only factors causing slips and falls.
Hurt, doubt, jealousy, business, heartache, fear, sickness, loneliness and regret also have the power to tie our feet up, break our walk and bring us down.  

Father, my knees are covered with scars from numerous falls, but i count each one as a blessing.  While the fall is painful, messy and sometimes even due to my own carelessness, it is not the end of my story.  I only have to look at the scars to remember that healing does come, and it always comes from You.  Thank You for mending my heart, my hurt and my ways.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,