Saturday, December 29, 2007

What Comes Next?

Matthew 2:1, 13 & 19-20 "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem...When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him...After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."

Ok, so maybe I have crammed several years of events into one little paragraph but the Bible squeezes them all into one little chapter.  Once the presents are opened and the wrapping paper cleaned up, the pumpkin pie eaten and the ham or turkey leftovers dwindle down, it is so easy to lose sight of what we just celebrated.  The most important birthday ever should not just be specially remembered for simply one or two days...most theologians will tell you that the Magi did not visit for probably more than two years later so why is it most of us only remember what Christmas is truly about during December?  Maybe we need to uproot our way of thinking the way Joseph had to uproot where they lived.  He was running from a jealous king but we may need to "run" from some worldly ways, thoughts and values.  We need to find ways every day to hold on to the special feelings of Christmas time, the warm fuzzies, the giving natures, families worshiping together...and so much more!  We need to implement these into our every day lives throughout the whole year so that we are always living with Christ first and foremost.  We would find that many things would become so unimportant in the real "scheme" of things if we were to really begin living for God, if we put Him before all others.  So what comes next after all the carols have ended, the cookies have been eaten and the twinkling lights come down for another 11 months?  How about more of the same?  More gift giving, more family time, more worshiping?  How about more living to please God?  After all, He has given the ultimate gift and wishes to keep on giving to us...and He really does not ask for a whole lot from us.  Please join me in prayer:

Heavenly Father,
You have given us the most awesome and priceless gift possible: Your Son!  We are not worthy however we humbly come to You with thanksgiving in our hearts and Your glory on our lips.  Please help us to always keep the Spirit of what is so special at this time of year in our hearts, minds and souls all year through.  Keep us on Your path even when that means taking ourselves away from what is familiar.  Lord, we come to You weekly here and daily in our hearts and thank You for all of the healing You have already granted to Summer, Kayla, Ally and Sharon, with Your help they are making progress that medicine cannot understand or take credit for.  We ask that You please continue Your amazing grace and healing in their lives and in the lives of all who are in need of Your touch that we may be individually naming now.  God, we thank You for our nation's service men and women, without them we would never be able to enjoy all the freedoms, priviledges and liberties that we do.  Please grant them protection through Your covenant promises and provide them with the inner peace and strength they need in order to do what they do.  We ask that all these may be given according to Your will and in Jesus precious name.  Amen.

Have a blessed weekend and week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Monday, December 24, 2007

Blessed Christ Mass Wishes

I want to apologize that I am a bit behind on my emails, we are on vacation and I had every intention of waking up yesterday morning and sending out my belated Friday verse, my Saturday thoughts and also a Sunday verse...however we woke up to no power due to a tree on the wires...I need to start cooking Christmas Eve dinner here shortly however I would like to share my thoughts on what today and tomorrow and this whole Christmas celebration mean to me.  Please pardon me for I am sure this is going to get lengthy although I am kind of making up for lost days here!  >WINK<

Luke 2:1-20 "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.   And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

I wanted you to read the whole Christmas, if you have skimmed over the familiar words to get to this part please take an extra minute or two now to slowly read the story and open your heart to let every word settle in there.  Did you read it?  Imagine this dark world where every mistake meant burnt offerings and the blood of animals sacrificed in order to obtain forgiveness, hundreds of years of living with sin meaning certain death and then the Light arrives!  The Savious is born, just as Isaiah had prophesied - He came and became man to save us all!  Jesus is born and we no longer live in fear, darkness and desolation...we have hope, faith and the promise of eternal life in paradise!  Christmas is not just a time of presents and "what's in it for me", it is a time of giving because God has given us the perfect present and in our thankfulness and praise we should want to give to others as we reflect His love.  Christmas is not just about stuffing ourselves with good food and great desserts, it is about celebrating the most important birthday in the history of time!  As Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart, I encourage you to ponder the true reason for the Christ-Mass celebrations and let them keep you in a praiseful and glorifying mindset today, tomorrow and all through the year!  Please join me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, 
We want to thank You for all You have given to us, life, love and salvation among millions of other blessings!  Lord, every day, but especially today and tomorrow, help us to keep alive within us the true spirit of Christmas.  Please guide our hearts to what is important and wonderful and awesome about this precious Christmas celebration...You!  God we truly want to give all glory to You as we remember that You sent Your Word to become flesh that we may join You in heaven when You call us home.  Father, we ask that You please grant healing and comfort to all those in need but especially our sisters in Christ, Summer, Kayla, Ally & Sharon.  Thank You for all You have already granted them and please continue Your grace and glory in their lives.  God please grant our service men and women a very blessed and holy Christmas, fill them with Your love as they sacrifice to protect us.  Lord I also ask that You may please grant a special blessing of comfort, favor, peace and protection to all who may be reading these words that You have deemed to allow me to type.  I thank You greatly for each and every one of them and for the honor and blessing of You allowing me to serve You by sharing Your love with them.  We ask that all these things may be done according to Your perfect Will and in Jesus precious name.  Amen.

I wish you and your families all a very blessed and holy Christ-Mass!
Love through Christ,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

God Has Had It All Planned

Matthew 1:18-21 "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Joseph must have felt so many emotions leading up to and resulting from his dream.  I can only imagine what kind of pity party he could have sunk into asking himself, "Why me?"  He could have dwelt on how insignificant and alone he felt, or how unfair life is, or how hard his road was going to be...but I don't think he did.  He stuck around!  He did not discreetly leave Mary, he did not lay around all day and whine, he did what he needed to do in his role no matter what it was that God had chosen for him to do.   I believe God would not have chosen Joseph for Mary's husband if he was going to sink into a dark, sour attitude whenever it turned out his pledged wife was found to be with child and they hadn't had their wedding night yet!  I know that God has given us free will to make our own choices but I also know that He is all knowing and so already knows what choice we are going to make.  I also think this a determining factor in what path God places you on, what talents He gives you, what timing He uses and what people He surrounds you with.  I don't know how theologically correct this all is, I just know that in my heart I believe we can learn huge humility lessons from Joseph in accepting God's plan for our lives, in placing our complete trust in Him that His will for our lives is perfect and part of a much bigger picture and in letting God take care of all the important stuff so we do not need to fall into a pity party.  I heard something on the radio about how we are equipped to handle what life throws at us today, it's usually when we start to fret over what tomorrow will bring that we begin to feel overwhelmed.  So let's focus on today, let's quiet our hearts and listen for God to tell us what He has planned and let's accept that His plan is right for our lives and He will be here with us for every single step of our journey.  I have a new sister in Christ I am adding to our prayer list, she needs prayers for healing, for comfort for strength and for financial means to afford her medicine and provide for her family.  Please join me in prayer:
Heavenly Father,
We thank You for Matthew 1:19 which shows us that Joseph was human with doubts just as we all are.  We thank You as well for quickly letting us know that he did not dwell on that thought long because You sent Your angel to him in his dreams to reveal Your perfect plan for his life.  When we feel alone, afraid, disappointed or insignificant please help us to remember that everything has a reason and that we will learn and grow from the tough times and that when we keep our faith in You and Your promises that all the bad will eventually result in good.  Lord we continue to ask for Your healing hand in the lives of Summer, Kayla, Ally, Sharon and all others whom we have in our hearts at this moment.  We thank You for the healing that we can see already happening and we praise You for the healing that we cannot see as well as the healing that You continue to work in them.  Father we thank You for all of our armed forces and service men and women around the world, we thank You that they are willing to put their lives on the line to protect ours.  We ask that You grant them all protection, favor and blessings.  God I also ask personally that You may bless and protect every one who may be reading this message which You have allowed me to write.  Please pour out Your favor in their lives and grant them Your peace.  In Jesus name we ask that all this may be done according to Your perfect will.  Amen.
Have a blessed week and if you will be unable to read next weekend's message please also enjoy a very blessed Christmas!
Love through Christ,

Saturday, December 8, 2007

That Kind Of Faith!

Luke 1:35-38 "The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."  "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her."
I am amazed & inspired by Mary's faith!  Within the span of 9 short verses Mary goes from being troubled, to being in wonderment of how this can occur to finally being accepting of God's plan.  I like how Mary asks 'how will this be' as opposed to Zechariah's question in verse 18, 'how can I be sure of this?' {when he was being told of Elizabeth's soon to be baby John (the Baptist).}  There is a very different tone to Mary's question, one that may explain a bit into her character...  She wasn't questioning whether the angel was truthful or whether God could accomplish what was being told her, she was just a little curious as to how it would happen.  I cannot even fathom such an act of faith.  If she had found favor with God than I am going to go out on a limb and assume that she was familiar with the prophesy which depicted that Jesus would die on the cross to save the world.  And if that is the case, she just accepted the fate of later watching her firstborn Son die a horrible death on the cross.  Again I tell you, I am amazed and inspired by Mary's faith!  To knowingly and willingly accept that God's will for her life may be great but will also include a lot of pain and suffering.  She accepted this with a praiseful song in verses 46-55, she praised God for His favor and blessings upon her life.  I strive for that kind of faith, the kind of relationship with God where I may willingly accept all He plans for my life and praise His name through it all.  Let's pray together:
Dear God,
We thank You for Your precious Son, for Mary and her example of faith and for Your grace and promises for our lives.  Please help us to work towards that kind of accepting, servant-minded faith that Mary shows us in the Book of Luke.  Father, we wish to continue in lifting up praises to Your holy name for the healing which You have already worked in Summer, Kayla, Ally and all others whom we may personally name to You now.  We ask that You may keep restoring Summer, Kayla, Ally, and any other individuals on our minds and in our hearts, granting them Your healing touch, favor and blessings.  Please keep their families strong in You as they watch their loved ones struggle to become victorious over their injuries and illnesses.  Lord we also want to daily remember our service men and women both abroad and here in the US as they put their lives in harm's way to protect ours.   I wish to personally thank You, God, for all who read these messages that You have allowed me the blessing of typing, I thank You for letting me serve You through sharing Your love with my family, my friends and possibly some people whom I've never met that may be reading this on my web site.  Lord please bless and protect them all as they go through their daily lives this week and always, sending forth Your favor before them in all that they do and everywhere they go.  In Your Son Jesus name we ask that all this may come to pass in accordance with Your will.  Amen. 
Have a blessed weekend and week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Monday, December 3, 2007

Preparing For Christmas

Sorry this is so late, I've been working on it since Saturday morning but am typing one handed b/c I slammed my finger into the vault while lifting a box of nickels out - x-ray pending - those also waiting on Daily Verses I appreciate your patience as I work on catching up.  Thanks!
Luke 1:28-29 "The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be."
In many ways this is the season of rejoicing, celebrating and overall having a great our church the period from November 15 until Christmas Day is a time of preparing oneself for the birth, the Nativity of our Lord.  We are encouraged to fast, to spend a lot of extra time devoted to quiet time with God, to reflect on what His Son's birth truly means in our lives.  With shopping malls and superstores overflowing with busy, time-crunched consumers it is an easy thing to forget what "The Season" is truly about.  I would like to spend this month reflecting on pieces of the beloved Christmas story.
    I'd like you to imagine Mary, probably a teenaged girl, betrothed to wed Joseph and minding her own business and suddenly she is approached by the angel of the Lord!  I'd be "greatly troubled" too if a heavenly being appeared to me!  Troubled is such a great word here because it could take on several different meanings and it gives us a rather vague picture of who Mary is...but that's so we can dwell not on Mary but on the true main character of this wonderful story; Jesus.  I believe God leaves us a brief description of her because He wants us to focus on His priceless gift...  How many times at this time of year do we feel troubled?  Need to find the perfect gift, need to complete all our shopping, need to clean the house, need to plan the big celebration dinner...  Plenty more "needs" I am certain, but how much time do we focus on what we really need?  To reflect on Jesus birth and what it means for our lives?  I think we'd all feel much less troubled by the worldly "needs" if we make the Christ child our #1 need, especially as we prepare for His coming.  Please join me in praying:
Dear Lord, Thank You for coming to save us!  When the busyness of this time of year starts to sweep me up and I feel troubled please help me to remember it's really about You and that if I center my thoughts and dreams on You than all else will work itself out.  We praise Your holy name for the healing's You have already worked in Summer and Kayla.  We continue to beseech Your grace and healing hand in their bodies and their lives as well as Ally's.  Father we also thank You for our country's service men and women who put their own lives at risk to protect ours.  Please bless and protect them each as well as their families.  Finally Lord, I thank You for everyone who reads this, I thank You for allowing me the blessing of passing Your love along to many of my family, friends and maybe even some strangers who may be reading this on my web site.  Please bless and protect each of them as they go about their lives this week, allowing Your favor to go before them in all that they do.  In Jesus name we ask that this all may be done according to Your will.  Amen.
Have a blessed week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Serve Him With All of Your Heart

II Chronicles 6:14 "He said: "O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven or on earth-You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way.""
I read this verse and first reaction is warm fuzzies...another example of a Bible hero {Solomon} praising God for keeping His promises!  Then as I dissect the verse further I learn even more and I am hooked!  I love it when a verse draws me in on one aspect and then deepens my love and respect for our Maker on others!  Ok, I know this is about to be way more biblical history than I normally get into but I think it is important to really grasp the text from which the above verse has been taken so please hang in with me here...
       Alright, so Solomon has got it pretty good at this point in the story...he's been established as the ruler over his earthly father's, David's, kingdom...he has asked for wisdom and God blessed him with wisdom, wealth, riches and honor!  So he has built God a temple and he is dedicating this new holy place to God through a prayer which starts with the above verse.  The very end of this verse "covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way,"" is the part that hit me second...yes God keeps His those who serve Him and continue wholeheartedly in His way.  We've got to shed the "old me" when we come into God's presence and give Him all of us, mind, soul & heart-all of our heart!  As this transition fully comes to pass an amazing thing will happen, the desires of our heart will become more pure and more God pleasing and then, as He has done for His servants as far back as Solomon and farther, He will bless us more than we are even looking for!  Solomon gave himself to God heart, soul, mind & body and his only desire was for wisdom, so he could serve the people whom God had entrusted to his reign and God blessed Solomon with not only wisdom but also many, many other things.  God wants to do this for us!  It is not an easy journey to shed your earthly ways and devote yourself wholly to God and His plan but friends I guarantee it one that is worthwhile and well rewarded with things beyond earthly is well rewarded with the presence of God within your very soul!  Please pray with me:
Father in heaven, We come to You amazed at what works You have done, at what love You have shown, at what promises You have made & kept.  We thank You Lord for the opportunity to take a journey of faith with You that will ultimately lead me to Your ultimate reward, life with You in heaven.  Please help us, Lord, to serve You with our whole hearts - to seek You in all things and to do all that we do to Your glory.  We continue to lift praises to Your holy name for the healing You have already worked in Summer, Kayla and all others for whom we individually name to You.  We keep coming to You and calling upon Your mercy and healing hand to restore their bodies and their lives.  God we want to always thank You for our country's service men and women, these brave soldiers put their own lives at risk every day in order to protect ours.  Please protect and bless them each as well as their families.  Lastly today Father, I personally thank You for all who read these messages that You have allowed me the blessing of typing, I thank You for letting me serve You through sharing Your love with my family, my friends and possibly some I've never met who may be reading this on my web site.  Lord please bless and protect them all as they go through their daily lives this week and always, sending forth Your favor before them in all that they do and everywhere they go.  In Your Son Jesus name we ask that all this may come to pass in accordance with Your will.  Amen. 
Have a blessed weekend and week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Saturday, November 17, 2007

God's Truth Walk

This week I have been inspired by a verse that was in one of Stasi's devotionals.  I am going to give the NIV version of this verse and then the way in which I originally read it, which is the ICB {International Children's Bible.}
Psalm 86:11
"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name."
"Lord, teach me what You want me to do.  And I will live by Your truth.  Teach me to respect You completely."
The Orthodox Study Bible was very similar to the NIV but instead of "give me an undivided heart" it asks, "unite my heart." 
I feel very blessed to have the biblical resources in my home that I do!  Sometimes, when something is translated from its original version/language it is easy to lose something in translation and so to me the different perspectives of the Bible verses offer a more complete picture for me.  In my life lately, I have been in a similar mind-set as this verse speaks to me, I have been asking God to teach me what He wants me to be doing.  It's how I got started with these weekly emails over 16 months ago, how I felt God leading me to my new "daily verses" emails and ultimately I believe it is what led my family and me to NC.  I love the two different ways it talks about what truth should be, it should be the way we walk, the way we live!  If you were able to read last weekend's verse you'll recall how much I loved the phrase, "walk in love."  So I would hope it is not a huge surprise how I am equally excited about walking in truth!  I love how this verse ties it together, asking God to teach us His ways that we may walk in truth.  His ways, His truth and respect/fear for His name.  Truth and respect are so closely related in my mind & heart already, I have many times said to those around me that I feel that I am not being given respect when someone lies to me.  Likewise I try my best to tell the truth always because I try my hardest to show my respect to all whom I come in contact with.  We can't lie to God, we might try but He knows everything so He knows the truth already.  How much more do you think He hurts when we try to lie to Him, and to ourselves?  I know as a parent, when my daughter has tried to lie though I already know the truth, well, it feels like someone is stabbing my heart, a physical pain in my chest.  I imagine that for God it's hundreds if not thousands of times worse of a feeling because He is not only our Father He is also our Creator, Savior, Immanuel - God with us!  Let's try hard this week (and always) to walk in His truth and to seek His teaching of what He wants us to do.  Let's pray:
Lord, Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your truths as You have shared us with in Your precious Word.  Please help us to learn what it is You want us to do & help us also Lord to walk in truth, in Your truth.  We praise Your holy name for the healing's You have already worked in Summer and Kayla.  We continue to beseech Your grace and healing hand in their bodies and their lives.  Father we also thank You for our country's service men and women who put their own lives at risk to protect ours.  Please bless and protect them each as well as their families.  Finally Lord, I thank You for everyone who reads this, I thank You for allowing me the blessing of passing Your love along to many of my family, friends and maybe even some strangers who may be reading this on my web site.  Please bless and protect each of them as they go about their lives this week, allowing Your favor to go before them in all that they do.  In Jesus name we ask that this all may be done according to Your will.  Amen.
Have a blessed weekend & week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Walking In Love

2 John 6 "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love."
Let me just tell you that I love this verse!  I have read so much of my Bible, many verses repeatedly through the years, yet I do not recall having read this particular one prior to tonight.  I have read that we are to love one another, that we are to be the light, that we are to walk in the light but this expression, "walk in love," well it seriously brings it to a whole other level for me!  It becomes more than simply doing something or acting a certain me - this "walk in love" - it becomes a journey we take.  I feel that to walk in love is to take a journey with God to where He calls us, to where He leads us to where we can live and walk daily in His presence because He is love!  Whoa!  Let me say that again, God is love!  So really, when you think about it from that perspective than to walk in love is to walk in God?  Yes, in God, in His presence, filled with His Holy Spirit, following His commands, obeying His path...walking in and with Him in everything we do.  Oh, I want that!  I so want that!  Don't you?  Doesn't it fire you up to think about that kind of love, that kind of life, that kind of journey?  I'm bursting with this excitement that I hope is coming through in these feeble words.  This is love, this is what we all yearn for and it is right here being given to us through His amazing grace (yes I went there).  I Corinthians says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  And the greatest of these is love."  God is love, the greatest is love, to truly love is to walk in God.  I feel like I am fumbling over what I want to express here.  I pray that God walks with you each this weekend and the week ahead and shows you His love that you may walk in Him and share His love with others.  I continually thank you for joining me in daily prayers for our troops, for those in need of healing & comfort and for Summer & Kayla who continue their paths of recovery.  I am personally grateful for your time and support each week as you read my messages and I pray for God's blessings to flow continually through each of your lives.  I hope & pray that you have a blessed weekend and week ahead!!!
Love through Christ,

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Wanting to do more...

A thought has been impressed upon my mind this week, beginning a few days ago and continuing to come back to the forefront of my mind repeatedly and so I want to pose this question to you:  Would anyone be interested in a Bible Verse of the Day email?  I would probably not be able to type much else that the verse itself that God reveals to me each morning but if I did have time I may include a short prayer...or when you reply to this email I would love to hear what your ideas are on this. 
I have been praying for ways in which I can serve God further.  I love the time I spend with Him as He inspires the words I type to ya'll each week and I feel more and more that I wish to find ways every day to serve Him.  I have been keeping Him on my mind and in my heart as much as possible each day and have been trying hard to gauge every choice from how I will reply to someone speaking to me to how I will react to the aches and pains in my body and so many others.  Still my heart longs for more and I know in His perfect timing He will use me for His purpose on His scale for my path.  I know I have a lot more growth in my personal relationship with Him and I am ever so grateful for each and every one of you that join me for my weekly emails, it has been such a great honor and humbling experience to share my ever deepening faith with you and to pray with you and for you all.
Enough about me!  I want to know what I can do for you!  I know that some of you may be in need of prayers, some I am already praying for personally...but I would like to know if I may add anyone to the prayers within my emails so that we may all pray for you?  I would use first names only as in the case of Summer and would keep it as vague or detailed as you request but I am a very strong believer in the power of prayer, after salvation and grace {which go hand in hand} I believe prayer is our next best gift from our loving Father!!
I pray you each have a safe, rested and blessed weekend as you walk with God and in His favor!
Love through Christ,

Winning Approval

Galatians 1:10 "Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.  If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant". 
How many minutes of everyday have we spent in front of the bathroom mirror?  For some it may be more than others but when we look into that mirror what do we see?  When we are getting dressed for the day, or shopping for new clothes, what do we think about as we gauge the choices in front of us?  How about the topics we choose to discuss with our acquaintances?  Do we stick to only the "safe" ones and avoid the ever increasingly politically incorrect discussion about morals and religion?  I could probably come up with tons more of situations in which we are faced with choices that pull between what would make the people around us happy and what would make God happy, or maybe wouldn't affect His opinion at all, after all I am pretty sure that God's not interested in, "who you're wearing" today!  Wanna know what He is interested in?  Read His Word!  He has sent us this amazing, detailed love letter filled with pages and pages of instructions on what it takes to serve Him, to please Him, to praise Him and to walk with Him in His glory.  We have all heard "You can't please all the people all the time" which is not only true but more importantly it is irrelevant.  Yet, some of us {me especially} have tried our hardest to please those around us the best we can.  But God has been teaching me lately that if we are focusing on pleasing Him, on winning His approval, than chances are in the long run the people who really matter to us, family, friends, etc., will not suffer for it.  Because if we are trying to "win the approval" of God by following His plans for our lives and His directions via His precious Word than we will be living a life of love and serving others as we share God's love & compassion & grace through our actions and when appropriate our words.  I pray that we may each find ourselves able to focus our time on what is pleasing to God and to not get caught up with what may win the approval of this world.  Let us all join together in prayer for Summer, Kayla and for all who are in need of God's continued healing hand.  May He grant those who are suffering physically, mentally and/or spiritually peace in their spirits and comfort as He surrounds them with His loving arms.  Please also join with me daily in prayer for the protection of our military and their families.    I am personally continuing to keep you each in my prayers, asking that our heavenly Father may protect you and grant His favor before you each day.  Have a blessed and awesome week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Perceived Attitude

Psalm 146:2 & 5 "While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.  Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." 
Praise, help, hope...these words speak to my heart on so many levels.  I have found that the more I spend time with our loving Father the more my soul sings & shouts His praises.  The more I set my hope in Him the more I can feel His help.  Truly if we can experience God's love on the personal scale He is offering it to us then we will find that praise, help and hope tie into our everyday lives more and more.  That is not to say that life will miraculously become an easy street of excessive happiness where nothing ever goes wrong, that is not realistic...  However, I have been learning and relearning that the more I fully trust and hope His promises to be true then the less difficult it becomes to remain positive and praiseful during the hard times.  In any type of "customer service" position the employees are often reminded that "perception is everything", if a client perceives an injustice then it occurred.  I believe, as Christians, attitude is everything...well, ok not everything but roll with me here...if our attitude is positive than any situation that arises can be turned into a positive.  Our attitude is in direct connection with our perspective - so if we have a good attitude than chances are we'll have a good perspective.  Life has ups and downs, friends get sick, money gets tight, loved ones are too far away, fill in the blank with endless sad things but then remember that a sick friend is an opportunity to share God's love through your actions, God will provide for all your needs monetary included, vacation time is just around the corner & you'll cherish that visit all that much more since time is precious.  If we shift our attitude to a praiseful one, singing His praises morning, noon & night we will find our perspective becomes a bright happy one because we can dwell in the hope & knowledge that God is our help and will always be with us.  Let's pray this week that we may keep our attitude in the right perspective according to His Word, knowing in our hearts & souls that He helps us in all things if only we let Him.  Please continue to join me in daily prayer for our service men & women both overseas and here at home, their jobs never cease and neither should our prayers for their protection.  Summer continues her healing path via God's miraculous answers to everyone's prayers.  She also continues to have a long path ahead of her and as we continue to praise God for all He has done we also please ask that according to His plans may He continue her healing.  As we keep praying for Summer's healing may we please also remember Kayla Aguero and her family, God is good and His miracles continue to amaze me.  May we please also pray for all who may be hurting whether physically, mentally or emotionally, asking God for His comfort, peace, healing and love to surround them every minute of their days.  I am honored and extremely thankful to be welcomed into your email box each week and I pray that God may bless & protect you each surrounding you with His love and favor.  Have a blessed week ahead!!!
Love through Christ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

If the LORD had not...

Psalm 124 "If the LORD had not been on our side—let Israel say- if the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away.  Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth.  We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped.  Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."
I apologize for my tardiness, I had the stomach flu this weekend and was on bed rest as much as possible...
I read this and it makes me think of the current drought we are living through here in the southeast...I know northern  Georgia is in the news for how bad theirs is but here locally we may not be far behind them...I think of the fires in California, the wars in the Middle East, the many troubles and challenges we all face day to day.  It reminds me of not only all the tragedy, sin, darkness but especially of how our loving LORD saves us from the worst.  I think about how we trust in Him and He in turn delivers us.  I remember the "Footprints" poem and the idea that He carries us when we must muddle through the worst of times.  I additionally reflect on the saying, "If God brings you to it then He will bring you through it!"  These thoughts lead me to shouts and songs of joy, praise, glory and thanksgiving...I am moved to happy tears as I recall all the things God has lead me through in my life and all the trials He has brought me around because He keeps His promises and His holy Word tells us He will never give us more than we can stand up under.  Many times it takes steps in the wrong direction to point us back to the right path, to draw us closer to Him and to bring us to the mind-set of ever giving thanks...I know that I have been off and on the path back and forth and never could have allowed the Spirit into my heart and soul the way He has been lately if I had not learned many lessons from doing it the wrong way so many times.  If we lift each other up in prayer, if we remember that every mistake is a learning opportunity and if we keep our faith in Him Who is our strength, our light...our everything, then we will find ourselves praising His name from the highest mountains for all He has delivered us from and also from all He has brought us through.  Please join me in praying for our views of every situation in life to bring us to thankfulness for all He has done, is doing and will continue to do to be on our side and bring us through or around all trials in our daily lives.  I continually thank you for joining me in daily prayers for our troops, for those in need of healing & comfort including Summer who continues her path of recovery.  She has come a long way from when we first started praying for her and I know her family and friends appreciate our continued prayers as God continues to work His miraculous healing in her.  I am personally grateful for your time and support each week as you read my messages and I pray for God's blessings to flow continually through each of your lives.  I hope & pray that you have a blessed week ahead!!!
Love through Christ,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fall Into God

Psalm 118:13-14 "I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.  The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation."
I probably cannot count on two hands the many times I have felt a personal struggle of being pushed back from God by temptations, worries and other things of this world...and rather than just about to fall I have fallen many times from His path for my life.  Humbly I come back to God each time asking His forgiveness and He helps me, He strengthens me.  By His mercy, grace and His Spirit's welcome presence in my heart I have slowly gotten better at falling into His open arms, giving Him the control in my life...for a recovering control freak this is no easy road!...He is patient, gracious and welcoming and as in verse 14 He is my daily song; He truly has become my salvation!  I am not even sure that words can possibly begin to describe the peace within me as I let go more and more and on my knees ask Him to guide me on His path for my life, to lead me towards what He would have me do, to allow me to serve Him and bless others through the talents and blessings He has afforded me.  As an empty stomach yearns for food so does my soul more and more yearn for His precious Word which is food for my spirit.  I pray that we may each reach for our loving Lord's hand to help us when we are pushed back, that we may ask Him into our hearts and souls to be our song & strength each and every day.  I continue to ask that we please join together in prayer for Summer and for all who are in need of God's continued healing hand.  May the Lord grant those who are suffering physically, mentally and/or spiritually peace, strength & comfort in their spirits as He surrounds them with His loving arms.  Please also join with me daily in prayer for the protection of our military and their families.    I am personally keeping you each in my prayers and asking our heavenly Father to bless & protect you and to grant His favor before you each day.  Have a blessed and awesome week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Oct. 7: Blessing God In All Things

"Blessed be Your name, On the road marked with suffering, Though there's pain in the offering, Blessed be Your name...Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise..."  
We are extremely blessed in that we have 3 wonderful Christian music stations to choose from on the radio, the Bible belt has its perks, ya know?  I love that after my morning prayers I can turn on the radio and sing His praises all the while I am getting ready for my day.  As I drive to work I can sing to the Lord and prepare my heart and mind some more for glorifying Him in all I will do.  As I drive back home I am able to unwind from any stresses of the day by singing again to my wonderful Lord and thanking Him for the blessings that are present in all situations.  It has been a seemingly long road to get me to this point where I want to daily, hourly and sometimes each second connect with my heavenly Father (though at 28 most would say how long could it truly be but perspective is different to each person).  I am continually still growing in God and I still stumble often but I have learned that in all things God is good and His name should be blessed.  I know there are a hundred analogies that can be made about life's ups and downs but the one constant is that God is always there for us and He should be praised and blessed by our words, deeds and thoughts.  God has promised us in many passages in His precious Word that He will always be with us and He has promised us salvation through nothing we have done or earned...He loves us unconditionally and without end.  Blessing, honoring and praising His good name seems like so little in comparison.  Maybe it speaks more to me because music has always touched me on such a spiritual level, or maybe it is just what I needed to hear at this point in my life...whatever the case may be I pray that God may bless you abundantly.  I pray that we all remember to bless His name unapologetically in this world where doing so may be a little politically un-correct.  Let us all join together in prayer for Summer and for all who are in need of God's continued healing hand.  May He grant those who are suffering physically, mentally and/or spiritually peace in their spirits and comfort as He surrounds them with His loving arms.  Please also join with me daily in prayer for the protection of our military and their families.    I am personally keeping you each in my prayers and asking our heavenly Father to protect you and grant His favor before you each day.  Have a blessed and awesome week ahead!
Love through Christ,

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Seek His Counsel

I Kings 22:5b "First seek the counsel of the Lord." 
How many situations in your life have required a well thought out plan and how many necessitated instant decision making?  As we grow physically & spiritually we travel through many stages, right?  Furthermore, depending  on what stage we are in now and which ones we've already been through, some maybe more than once, would affect each of our replies to my posed question.  Here's a better one though:  When you are faced with a choice/decision/situation that does require a more thought out plan who do you first turn to for advice?  In I Kings 22 two kings were faced with a possibility of war after several years of peace...Jehoshaphat tells the king of Israel, in so many words, he'll go with if there is to be a war but he adds the above quote from verse 5b.  Jehoshaphat knew, what I myself have been slowly learning, that if you want real results then seek God's advice.  Now I don't expect to hear some big booming voice or run into a burning bush...but then again I would never say never so anything is possible!  I believe that the most important thing is to remember is to seek God first, no matter what.  Seek Him always, in everything you do...when you are happy, seek to give Him glory & praises, when you are sad seek His comfort, when you worry seek His peace, just seek the Lord in all you do and He will grant you what you need according to His will!  It may not come as a first instinct right away but the more we push ourselves towards this then the more we can create a great habit in ourselves to first seek God in all that we are faced with.  I pray that we are all able to pray our way through any and all choices we are faced with this week.  I continually thank you for joining me in daily prayers for our troops, for those in need of healing & comfort and for Summer who continues her path of recovery.  I am personally grateful for your time and support each week as you read my messages and I pray for God's blessings to flow continually through each of your lives.  I hope & pray that you have ablessed weekend and week ahead!!!
Love through Christ,

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Caterpillar To The Butterfly

I recently re-read an unknown author's quote, "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."  Most who know me know that I absolutely LOVE butterflies so of course when I stumbled upon this quote it held a special meaning.  But what you may not know is why I love butterflies, what they remind me of...I think I have referred to one of my favorite verses before: II Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  Butterflies remind me of this verse, the old caterpillar is gone and the new creature emerges with a completely new view on the world!  I think, as in the quote above, we are all like the caterpillar in regard to our spiritual lives and also in our daily battles with sin.  We have "all sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and some days it may feel that the evil around us is winning out and our whole world is ending.  But then, if & when we come to our Lord on our knees & truly repentant, we find that He washes us clean in the blood of the Lamb and grants us a new beginning, we become like the butterfly with a brand new view of the world and all that is in it when we draw close and listen for God's voice all around & in us.  For me this has been the roller coaster of my life!  I fall down, I get up, I stumble some more and hit rock bottom and come crawling to God begging Him to forgive me and to plant in my heart His desires for my life.  I still stumble some days, but the more I draw myself closer to God through prayer and through His precious Word, well the less time I spend with my face in the mud I guess!  God wants this for you my friends!  He wants to hear from you all the time, He is watching you and waiting for your voice, your precious voice to call on His name so He can grant you "the new" as well!  I am praying that you find your butterfly, your new view of this world that God is calling us to live in as His new creations.  Additionally, I pray that if ever you feel as if your world may be over then you feel God's peace within and you are drawn to Him & to His Word for your strength and new view.  Please pray for those in need of healing, strength & comfort.  I want to thank you each for your continued prayers for Summer!  Our Lord has helped her & her family in so many ways and we should praise His holy name continually.  She still has recovery needs and therefore I ask that we please continue to remember her in our prayers.  Again I also request that we please remember our service men & women as they daily put their lives on the line for us and for our country.  I am personally thanking God daily for each of you and for your continued interest in reading my thoughts.  I pray God may continue to use me to serve Him in whatever way He has planned for my life, including these weekly messages.  I hope & pray that you and your families have a safe, relaxing & blessed weekend and a blessed week ahead as well!
Love in Christ,

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Where Is My Help?

Psalm 121 "1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?  2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  5 The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
I could spend the whole day reading from the book of Psalms...actually today I nearly did!  Again and again my loving Savior and Guide gently reminds me that I am not alone and not to look to myself for all my dilemmas because my help does indeed come from the LORD!  He is watching over me and I just need to let go of the wheel so to speak and allow Him to be my help in all things.  In this Psalm we are again cued in that God not only watches over us but He is not going to let us slip, our help comes from Him.  No matter what situation, no matter where we are, no matter what time it is God is watching and so He knows when we need His help.  So often I find myself falling into a control freak attitude where I want to do it myself and when I allow that line of thought to dwell I find I am faltering and that is when verses like this point out to me the error in my ways.  I take this as a hint to stop side-seat driving and to allow God to help me.  I'm not saying that by allowing God's plan in our lives we are going to have it easy or skip the valleys but God will help us through them in His planned perfect way.  When we let go of what we think is best and we ask God to show us what is to be learned from the challenge and ask for His help then we will feel His presence with us as we face the road of life.  He may not move every mountain but He will be our help to climb it or trek around or even through it.  He knows we need His help daily so it is our own selves that need to let Him help and guide us to and thru it all.  I pray that in all situations when we "lift our eyes to the hills" looking for help that we feel God's presence in our lives and we yield to His help that He is watching us in anticipation of and is waiting to give to us.  I thank God for His awesome blessing in my life of being invited to your computer screen each week and I ask that He may continue to inspire me with weekly thoughts to share.  I also ask you each to please continue to pray for Summer & her family, prayers of thanksgiving & praise for the amazing healing that God has already performed and additionally for additional healing in accordance with His plan for her life.  Lastly, but not in the least may we please continually pray for our soldiers here and away that God may bless them and their families and grant them His protection daily.  May God bless, protect and inspire each of you.  Have a blessed and awesome week ahead!!
Love through Christ,

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Advertising For God?

I recently viewed a clip of a comedian playing radio songs as advertising for different products, like the song, "Call Me," for AT&T.  He said advertisers weren't using songs enough to promote their products.  It reminded me of the email that has circulated hundreds of times of the Sunday School project where they took advertising slogans and related them to God..."God is like Dial Soap, aren't you glad you've got Him?  Don't you wish everyone did?"  Or, "God is like Allstate, you're in good hands!"  That got me thinking of what songs we could use to "advertise" for God...there would be the obvious songs that I love to lose myself in on the local Christian radio stations like "Awesome God" and "Great is the Lord"...and I've always loved most of the lyrics to "Because You Loved Me," by Celine Dion thinking that they could be related to our relationship with our Heavenly Father who most certainly makes me feel that "I'm everything I am because You loved me."  Although try as we may I think we would find that just one song could never fully sum up all the glory, honor & praise due to His holy name.  All the while also trying to fully capture all He is to us, all He's done for us and all He has planned - it can never be contained in just one song.  Maybe that's why I can't pick a favorite?  I suppose I am glad that I do not have to pick a "theme song" to advertise for God.  I think the best way we can advertise for our Lord and Savior is by living as He showed us how, letting our light shine before men and truly treating all we come across as we would want to be treated.  I pray for each of you that in your own way you are able to advertise for God through your actions as each day passes.  I pray also that He may surround each of you with His peace, love, comfort, protection & deliverance.  May we please continue to keep Summer in our prayers...thanking the good Lord for the healing He has worked in her and asking that in His perfect timing that He continue to bless her & her loved one's with her recovery.  Please also remember all who are sick, in pain, weak or otherwise in need of God's loving & healing Spirit & presence in their lives.  And always for our military, that they may be protected by our Maker even as they risk their lives to keep us each safe.  Have a blessed week ahead!
Love in Christ,

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Someone Who's Been There

***If you have special prayer requests please allow me to pray for you or your family/friends by sending me a quick response to this email.  I pray individually or if you wish I can ask our other brothers and sisters in Christ to join us in prayer, confidentiality is of the utmost importance to me.***

If you feel inspired to pass along my email, please do!  And/or if you or someone you know would enjoy receiving my weekly thoughts, please send an email to


My weekly messages past and present can also be viewed at either of the below links:
I heard a song on the radio Thursday on my home from a job interview {it wasn't in God's plans for me to work there} and it still amazes me how God can send us exactly what we need when we need it if we are open to His will.  The song had several verses describing various trying situations and the chorus changed a little with each one but the overall gist of the message in the lyrics was this: no matter what situation we face & emotions we feel Jesus has been there.  He's felt sorrow, pain,  and all of the other emotions we've experienced both good and bad because He came down to this earth and became man!  Prayer is a powerful thing but when you stop and think about the simple truth that not only is He all knowing but He's also felt and does feel the emotions that we are experiencing it takes on all that much more meaning!  When you seek out a friend or confidant to talk through a problem do you not seek out the one who can best identify with what you are going through in hopes for the best advice?  Well, look no further that our one and only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!  He knows, He has felt it all, He has been there and even better...He is with you now as you face whatever this challenge is!!  I think this is exciting news!  It is one amazing thing to know He has saved us by His grace and He loves us and has a will to prosper us but when you add to that awesome news the fact that He has also been through whatever emotions you may be feeling it nearly knocks me over.  I pray we can all take great comfort in knowing that not only is our awesome Father by our side everyday but He has been through whatever we are feeling.  I continue to ask for our prayers for Summer, the Lord has worked miracles in her healing thus far but she still has a very long road ahead of her and our continued prayers are the best gift she can get!  Let's also please remember to pray for our soldiers & their know there is a saying only two people ever offered to die to save your life the first is Jesus and the second is the American soldier.  I thank you sincerely for your prayers and I am personally praying that our loving Father continually surround you with His love, favor, protection and deliverance in every situation.  I hope and pray that you will each have a blessed weekend and week ahead!
Love through Christ,
*****UPDATE: Song Title is "I Have Been There" sung by Mark Schultz: Mark Schultz lyrics I Have Been There  *****

Monday, August 27, 2007

8/25/2007: The Purpose of Life...

Sign at a local office here in Kannapolis, "The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
That really hit me because it seemed when I read it the first time I drove past it I assumed I had driven past a's actually an office of some sort I noticed the last time I passed it.  It occurs to me though that it's a good lesson for Christians and has been a movement in some circles.  Truly though when we start to question, as seems to be our nature most often, "what is the purpose of our lives?" or "why are we here?" we need not look further than our Bibles to know that our life's purpose is a life of purpose and that purpose should be to follow God's will for our lives.  I know that is not always an easy thing or even maybe our first gut instinct, it is a conscious choice.  But it should be our choice to want to live a life of purpose for our Lord.  He has done and is doing great and awesome things in our lives!!  On some days it may feel those awesome things are small and few numbered but don't let the devil fool you into believing that!  I heard once if your worries are keeping you up at night instead of counting sheep try counting your blessings.  From personal experience I can tell you that when you lie on your pillow and begin to thank God for all of the blessings in your life you will fall asleep long before you come to the end of that list...because that list is endless!  When I have a bad arthritis night and the pain keeps me up it is most definitely a choice {not necessarily an easy one either!} to focus on praise and thanksgiving to our awesome and mighty Lord but I start small, sometimes it's as simple as thanking Him for air to breath but once you get those first few out, a bed to sleep in, a roof over our head, running water with indoor plumbing, then they start flowing like a 65-foot waterfall and soon you've drifted off into a restful sleep at peace with God, Who is due all the glory and more!  I know on a hard day that hearing someone say there's always something to be thankful for can make you want to roll your eyes like a hormonal teenager and say it's easy for others to say or think that way because they are not going thru what you are going thru but we have all been to the bottom of our barrels, we have all walked our valleys...what keeps us going is the purpose of God's will and the knowledge that He promises us in His precious Word to always be with us and that He has a plan to prosper us.  We have each other too, which is why I feel so strongly that we should always be giving each other the most precious gift we can...prayer.  I pray tonight that God may fill you with a life full of purpose, that He surround you with His peace and that you may find yourself falling asleep while thanking Him for the many blessings in your lives.  One of the top blessings in my life that I continually thank our heavenly Father for is each of you out there reading my weekly thoughts!  I thank God for you and I thank you for your continued interest in receiving these messages.  May you please daily remember our soldiers and their families in your prayers and also young Summer who has come a far way in the Lord but still has a long road of recovery ahead.  Have a blessed weekend and week ahead!
Love in Christ,

8/16/2007: History, Mystery and a Gift

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift."
Not only is this so true but I feel that we can really focus on what this means to our spiritual health besides our physical lives.  To me this has three parts really; history, mystery and a gift.  "Yesterday is history..." Although we can learn valuable lessons from the past, we should not dwell negatively on things we cannot change.  If we take God at His word and fully believe that, " all things God works for the good of those who love him" then there is good to be seen in all of our yesterdays.  We should find what the good was, we should learn the lessons to be learned but we should always keep in our mind that nothing that happened yesterday can be is history and so we really need to work hard to not fret over it.  I know personally this can be a challenge that we fight within ourselves to choose to move past however I fully trust that God will help me through and He'll help you as well...He's waiting to hear from you and always willing to listen!  "...tomorrow is a mystery..." Ok, at first when you take this part on it's own it can either be exciting or rather frightening, depends on how you choose to view it.  No matter what, even if the "not knowing" and "mystery" aspect is unnerving to us we can take true comfort in the knowledge that tomorrow may be a mystery to us but God knows all, and tomorrow is not a mystery to Him...tomorrow may just be when His plans for prospering us start to come into our views.  Tomorrow is "a gift" waiting to be unwrapped in a way!  "...and today is a gift."  I personally love this, God not only gave us the greatest gift ever, salvation in His Son, but He loves us so much that it wasn't enough!!  He continues to give us a gift every!  New beginnings!  I could truly list on and on for days the gift that today is and the gifts that come with each new day but I'm sure you have your very own ideas on that and I'd soon start sounding like a broken record!  The simple truth is that each day is a gift, a gift of history found in our yesterdays, a mystery awaiting us tomorrow and many, many gifts of life, love, (fill in the blank) ____________ today.  I pray that our loving God inspires you to view your histories, mysteries and gifts through His precious Word that you may find comfort in knowing it is all a part of His plan to mold you as you grow in His love.   I pray you are blessed and protected and surrounded by His love, joy and peace.  I ask that we please continue to keep Summer and her family in our prayers, along with continuing our prayers for our military and their families and always for each other as adopted Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  Have a blessed and awesome weekend and week ahead!!
Love in Christ,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How Awesome is our God!

Psalm 111:1a, 2 & 9b "Praise the LORD...Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them...holy and awesome is his name."
I think I may have mentioned this before but in case not I'll say again that I am very inspired by many types of music.  Songs and music have always been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember and I get so much from them...comfort, inspiration, strength,  and so much more.  I've read that a lot of the older hymns in the original hymnals were either based on Bible verses or actually were Bible verses set to music.  When I read Psalm 111 in its entirety the word awesome drew me to my husband's favorite Christian Rock song, "Awesome God."  It's one of the ones I like a lot too, but it is his all-time favorite for certain.  I think of how my cousins and I used to stand on my grandmother's fireplace and put on a "concert" for her and that song was always our favorite to belt out!  Truly our God is awesome and great are all of His works!  It is a wonderful thing to be able to not only read about and celebrate His works of the past in the Bible but also to celebrate His works in our everyday lives today, here and now.  Sure, it can be really hard to focus on the good works He is performing in our lives when we are crawling through the valleys and trying to survive our trials.  Still, they are there...every day, we have to choose to see them at times but I feel it is crucial to our spiritual, mental and emotional and maybe even physical health to find those works and spend time daily thanking our heavenly Father for all the awesome blessings He grants us.  It is important that we do this however what is truly important is that we do this because we want to praise God, we need to delight in Him and give Him all the glory, honor, praise and thanksgiving for His works...not for ourselves but for Him, to truly give Him praise is to do it not for what it can do for us but to do it, to give the praise because God is good and holy and awesome and deserves our humble praises and glory and honor.  I'm sorry I've been foggy all day from my allergies and I fear I'm not making great sense here but I pray God will impress it upon your hearts to read Psalm 111 for yourself and let it soak in and feel His awesome presence as you seek to praise His awesome and holy name.  I pray you are blessed and protected and surrounded by His love, joy and peace.  I ask that we please continue to keep Summer and her family in our prayers, along with continuing our prayers for our military and their families and always for each other as adopted Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  Have a blessed and awesome weekend and week ahead!!
Love in Christ,

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Laught it up!

Proverbs 17:22a "A cheerful heart is good medicine..." 
I recently read an article in which Rick Warren said, "if you learn to laugh at your troubles, you'll never run out of anything to laugh at!"  Is that not the plain, brutal truth or what?  I don't know about you but I think even an optimist would be able to count a week's worth of troubles on both hands...they'd choose to find the brighter side of those troubles and not dwell on them but they'd still be there.  I think maybe when we find that we're unable to find the humor in our troubles then we've fallen into the poor situation of taking ourselves too seriously.  I know I have been there...I've been in and out of there so many times they don't even card me at the door!  Humor and the ability to laugh and find humor is not just a choice, it is part of who we are...Psalm 2:4a says, "The One enthroned in heaven laughs" and if we believe that we are created in God's image than we have to know that laughter is a part of that!  What a wonderful gift!  A tool to get us thru the bad into the lighter side of things, a path to the silver lining!  I thank and praise God for laughter and the endless supply of situations that arise that can be laughed at.  Yes, I have to make a conscious choice at times in order to get to that point but the more I make that choice then the faster the situations turns around.  The evil one doesn't want us to laugh, or he wants us to laugh at the "wrong" types of things which is all the more reason we need to find humor in our troubles, because that's exactly what satan does not want.  If he can't get to us by our troubles then we are all that much more stronger in our Lord!  I pray we can find humor in our every day lives, that we stop and thank God for the gift of laughter that He created us with!  I pray we are all able to praise Him for the miracle of life which includes the tool of laughter! I ask that we continue to please pray for all who need healing and strength, especially Summer and her family, praising God for all He has already done in her healing process and asking for His amazing healing touch tocontinue to bring Summer along to a full recovery.  Please, in prayer, let us daily remember our troops as they fight to keep our country free.  I pray that each of you are surrounded by God's love, protection, favor and blessings today and always.
Love through Christ,

Sunday, July 29, 2007

An unexpected alternate

Good day to one and all...I'm afraid that although I had plans for a wonderful one year anniversary "Weekly Thoughts" I have gone and sprained my wrist which has made it very difficult to even type this little bit.  For next week I will write it ahead of time and ask my husband to type if I am still unable.  In the meantime, I hope the prayer below will touch your hearts in the same way it did mine, even if (as was the case for me) it is not the first time you've read it.  It was received as an email and I do not know its origins.
Love through Christ,
this is a nice way to start or end the day...
PRAY THIS EVEN IF YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE IT!! IT WILL ONLY TAKE A MINUTE. I started not to do this, but as I read it.... I understood God to say, "You need a miracle tomorrow.... so here goes.. Prove. 29:25...

You never know when God is going to bless you!! Good things happen when you least expect them to !!!!!!!!
Change the number in the subject box when you forward it by adding one!!!

Dear Lord, I thank You for this day I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning. I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God. You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me. Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you.

I ask now for Your forgiveness. Please keep me safe from all danger and harm. Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You. Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things. Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over. And It's the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.

I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart. Continue to use me to do Your will. Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak... Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those that are lost and can't find their way. I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don't know You intimately. I pray for those that will delete this without sharing it with others I pray for those that don't believe.

But I thank you that I believe that God changes people and God changes things. I pray for all my sisters and brothers. For each and every family member in their households. I pray for peace , love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt and all their needs are met. I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.
I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees it.
If you prayed this prayer, change the number in the subject box before forwarding the message so people can See how many people have done so. God Bless!!!!!!!!!!! Just repeat this phrase and see how God moves!!

God, I love you and I need you, come into m y heart, please. Pass this message to 10 people except you and me. You will receive a miracle tomorrow.
Know that you are already blessed by the person who sent this to you...

God, Keep your arm around my shoulder, and your hand over my mouth 
Have a great day

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Praise God, Really

Psalm 8:1 "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens."
So many times we use our Bibles to find comfort to heal our wounded pride, solace to shield our broken hearts and forgiveness for our sins.  Yes, these blessings are all given and displayed to us in His holy Word...He does want us to find and use them, but we must not forget to also seek out the verses which are solely to praise His name.  He has given us comfort, solace, forgiveness and all without our deserving it therefore we should fall on our knees and daily lift up our voices to shout Hosanna, Glory to the King of Kings!  I have been recently waking up to the fact that I have not been praising Him nearly enough for all of the blessings in my life.  He has done so much for me, for my family, for all of us...I have an air freshener in my car, it hangs from my passenger side sun shade {so it can be tucked up in there while driving to not cause a distraction} and it no longer smells like anything but I LOVE the saying so much I can't let go of it, "Dying was the most He could do for me...Living for Him is the least I can do."  Powerful and true words, don't you think?  Praising Him, true praise that glorifies Him and does nothing for ourselves, is that not also part of living for Him?  There are so many more reminder phrases, catchy ones that jump to mind and they are all true and we know it but how much time do we truly devote each day to praising and glorifying our heavenly Father's holy name?  Personally, not nearly enough...but I am working on that and this week I pray you will take time to praise Him daily.  Please also continue prayers for Summer and her family...we join them in their praises which they never stopped giving to God even when things were touch and go in the beginning, we also ask our wonderful Lord and Savior to continue His healing of Summer to a full recovery if it be His will.  Please pray for all those in need of His healing, physically, emotionally or spiritually.  I ask that we additionally continue our daily prayers for our military service men and women and their families.  Thank you each for your continued interest in reading my weekly thoughts, you inspire me to want a closer relationship with God and to want to share my faith with as many people as possible.  Prayers and wishes for you each to have a blessed weekend and week ahead.
Love through Christ,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Maui Travel Journey

Aloha again to one and all!  Mahalo for your patience with me through everything the past few weeks.  I have to say I am still feeling a bit of the Aloha spirit and I hope it always stays with me.  Being so late in the week already and a regularly scheduled weekly thoughts coming in a few short days I hope you do mot mind but I have decided that in lieu of a normal message this week I am going to send you this link to my Travel Journal, walking you through my experiences in Maui earlier this month.  I pray that each of you are doing wonderfully well and look forward to any and all feedback.
Aloha and love through Christ,