Friday, April 29, 2016

after all i've done for you...

"Do everything in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14

The workday was over, and i was ready to go home.  Running to the office to fax an order, i realized i'd forgotten my machine key. I spotted Mrs. Sunshine with hers and asked to borrow it.  She teasingly hesitated, and i quipped, "After all i've done for you? Can't you do this for me?"  We both laughed as i used her key. As she left, i heard her whispering with a smile, " after all i've done for you..."

I said it in jest; but to be honest with you, it's not always the case. I have ugly moments that pop up and my heart burns like hot lava.  It's then i hear the same phrase whispered in my ears but with sadness, "after all i've done for you..."

Father, i want to show i belong to You.  Help me love ALL others, as You do me... complete with no reservation or hesitation.  Help me live in the freedom of believing there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Help me distinguish between what i feel from what i know.

If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, April 28, 2016

out of this world!

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

God's love for us is OUT OF THIS WORLD... and extends into His heavenly Kingdom forever!

Thank You, Father!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

the teacher said...

"Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord." Proverbs 16:20

My teacher said....
My doctor said...
My boss said...

My "Father" said....

If only i had listen and followed through.

Success, progress or failure is usually determined by how well we follow or ignore instructions -- whether from a teacher, doctor, boss, parent.

Father, there is a lot of testing going on now, in and out of the classroom. Open our ears and spirit as You instill within us an obedient heart and mind.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ patience

"... God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built." 1 Peter 3:20

Whatever God has in store for us, isn't it comforting to know His patience is great enough to see it through?
Thank You, Father.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, April 25, 2016

mistakes accepted here

And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Gone but not forgotten.  Her note was short -- “scrap paper <3 ”. Mrs. G transferred from our school a year ago, but still knew and remembered what we needed and liked.

In the Media Center we use recycled paper in our copier.  It helps to streeeettch the tight budget.  What amounted to trash, a surplus or a mistake for Mrs. G was a gold nugget for us.

God, sometimes i feel like such a failure… making bad decisions, wasting time, acting selfishly.  Oh, how i wonder how You put up with me!  What good am i riddled with such sin? Don't You just want to toss me out? Yet, i do believe Your Holy Word and trust i am still a work in progress.  I rest in the fact You will never leave me nor quit working in me.  Thank You for not letting anything go to waste.  Thank You for encouraging  me to share what we go through together to give strength, wisdom and hope to others.  You truly use everything for the good and for Your glory. Thank You for reusing, redoing and restoring!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, April 22, 2016

some days...

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life... The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever -" Psalm 138:7,8

Some days i don't feel like, act like, talk like or look like i belong to Him.

But thankfully i still do!

Father, i am grateful you don't allow my quirky and moody ways to settle comfortably in me, and that You don't give up on me with all my shortcomings. Mold me, shape me and prepare me to shine for You. Thank You for Your amazing mercy and grace poured freely in my life.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, April 21, 2016

don't forget....

YOU are greatly loved and cherished, just because you belong to Him.

"'Because he loves me,' say 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 we remember and believe His unfailing love for us, other matters dim in comparison.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

something to scream about...

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply... offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 4:7-9

Do you know how many days of school are left? 

The countdown before Summer... echoes through the hallways. Teachers, students and parents are gearing up for the end. 

The remaining days are crammed with countless deadlines and events... projects, tests, meetings, training, displays, banquets, reports, ceremonies, etc..  It's enough to make a person SCREAM.  But, relax. School days are numbered; and we know exactly how many are left and when summer break begins.

Not all ends are known.  We don't know exactly how many days are left before Jesus returns.  But we do know how to live with Peace as The Day approaches.  No screaming necessary, just love, pray and kindness.

But the day of the Lord will come like a holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God..." 2 Peter 3:8, 11

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ ALL

"And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
Breathe and take Him into every fiber of your soul. There is nothing sweeter or more satisfying than the love of Jesus.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, April 18, 2016

the book bag...

"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails....The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. " Proverbs 19:21, 23

In the hands or on the back of a student all is relatively calm, but found elsewhere suspicion erupts. The book bag has lost its innocence. 

Arriving late at church, my regular spot was filled.  Skimming my choices, i crossed the aisle for another seat. Ten minutes later a man arrived and sat on my pew. With silvery and slightly oily shoulder length hair, a deeply creased leather face and worn clothes, his appearance clearly was unlike other attendees.  I wondered what others were thinking.

One of my biggest pet peeves in life is a guest not feeling welcomed, especially in church. I shudder to think about getting to heaven's gates and Jesus asking, "Why did you turn from Me?" Certain he was a guest, i decided to welcome him after the service.  Another member approached him first, and i waited patiently.  During this time i exchanged the normal niceties with other members.  But Mrs. Lee kept chatting with me beyond the usual hello and have a good afternoon.  She spoke and asked about my outings, my children, etc. all the while her eyes darted from me to the guest.  

She finally whispered to me, " I'm protecting you."
I was totally caught off guard.  "What do you mean?"
"The man next to you, he has a book bag."

She might as well have said a bomb.  In the past few years we have experienced horrific, senseless tragedies carried out by extreme radicals... many carrying a book bag. Now there was a stranger among us... and he was toting a book bag. Were we safe?  As i left with her at my arm, i was saddened with the growing doubts and uncertainties we face in our troubled world.

Where was the danger?  Was he a lost soul seeking comfort? Was he questioning Jesus' love for him? Was he angry and looking for a place to lash out? Or, was the danger really with me?   Was i in danger of forsaking obedience to God? Was i in danger of allowing fear and doubt to rule over trust?

I think danger existed for us both. The question is who survived. Sometimes our peace in life must lie in the knowledge God's purpose prevails, in spite of our actions. Father, the world is a dangerous place, give me the strength to not live in a self-contained cocoon, but to live out boldly for You. 

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

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, April 15, 2016

one good egg...

"This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Deviled eggs... did you know the name for this tasty dish was derived from its spicy mustard flavor?  But after last week, i was convinced it had more to do with its preparation.  Using all the tricks i knew when boiling eggs, i thought the first egg i peeled was just "one bad egg".  But by the sixth one, i realized my sunny disposition was peeling away quicker than the egg shells.  With half a dozen eggs to go, i frantically shifted my focus to anything but those devilish eggs to avoid turning the dish into an egg toss game instead.

And then, there is was... saving grace.  No, the egg shells didn't start to magically slip away, but my frustration did.  As i shifted my gaze up, i was shocked by what i read on the egg carton. After buying these eggs for years, for the first time ever, i locked in on words of comfort and Truth.  God showed up even in this hardship (or hard-shell) situation, to restore my peace.
Father, You never cease to amaze me.  The things You use to speak to us.  Whatever is going on in my day, there is always reason to still celebrate.   Thank You.

p.s. If you are trying to decipher the phrase on the towel, it's "Too Blessed to be Stressed".  God's going to make sure we get His message... if we will just stop, look and listen.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, April 14, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ promise

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Never, Never, Never will God leave you...

His promises are real...
His promises are solid...
His promises are trustworthy.

In spite of the continuous changes we face daily, God is NOT one of them.

I'm resting in Your promises, Father, i'm resting in You.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

forgotten lines...

"'You are not one of His disciples, are you?'
Peter denied it, saying, 'I am not.'" John 18:25

Practice, practice, practice.  It does not always produce perfection.  During play practice, lines flowed as smooth as honey. But for some the combination of the actual moment, the lights and the audience allowed stage fright to creep in during show time. Easy to understand, don't you think?

Such a time existed for Peter too.  Time after time, he confessed to know Jesus, even claiming he would die for Him. Then the unthinkable happened.  Jesus dragged, flogged and cursed from the garden, and on through town and Pilate's court, produced stage fright for the cast of disciples.  When asked if he knew Him, Peter who had practiced and proclaimed his love and devotion for Jesus, suddenly went silent.  Not once, but three times. I understand.

Father, i too, have experienced such silence and denial for You.  Please forgive me. When faced with difficult challenges, i pray for Your strength to stand by Your Truth.  Help me believe as i live and live as i believe.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, April 11, 2016

let there be no doubt...

You are His treasured possession!

"The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose your because you were more numerous than other peoples (or prettier or smarter or stronger or braver or sweeter) ...But it was because the LORD loved you!"  Deuteronomy 7:6-6

friend, you are loved and chosen by God,

just a taste...

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

Spring Break... a taste of what's to come.  Yummy summer! 

The week was wonderful.  But, gosh! did it leave me hungry for more... more traveling, more visiting, more exploring. Instead of returning home full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm, it intensified my awareness and desire of what's around the corner - Summer. Now the struggle is to complete the task at hand... and with the right spirit. This morning as we pine for those lazy, hazy days on the sunny horizon, i anticipate walking down a relatively quiet hallway while dodging some long faces.

Father, help us to live and enjoy the present moment. We want to serve You today with JOY. Create in me a willing and loving spirit with a heart totally devoted to You, as i anticipate what's to come for this summer and for eternity.

friend, we are loved and chosen  by  God,

Friday, April 1, 2016

Do you see Him?

"For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son..." Romans 8:29

A wrap up and final Lion King thought...

After fleeing from home, a skeptical Simba ponders returning.  Will he go and face his fears? He needs and wants his father.  Rafiki leads him to the waterhole where his reflection reveals his father's image.  Seeing Mufasa alive in him, Simba finds the strength to return home.

Fears, doubts, trials, we all experience them.  Fleeing from them is at best a temporary solution.  Only when we remember and claim the power of our Father in us will we truly be set free. The One True King, He lives in you.   When we are weak, He is strong.

More of You, Father, and less of me;
Then with You i will soar for eternity.

friend, we are love and chosen by God,

To all preparing for Spring Break, i wish you much rest, refreshment and restoration.