Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Thursday August 17, 2017 Yet

August 17, 2017

Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the fold and there are no cows in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord and exult in my saving God. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Wow, Habakkuk had immense faith.  It sounds like he was wiped out and YET he sang praises to God and trusted Him to help Him.  I have been where Habakkuk was.  Cupboard was bear, no money in the bank account and the rent was due.  Somehow, I managed to keep a roof over my head with God by my side.  I ate Ramen and rode my bike because I could not afford gas, I did not have any credit cards back then so I was not tempted to over extend for luxuries like milk and bread.  But I eventually worked hard enough to survive that time but as I look back, I knew I would make it.  I was blessed with friends who loved me even if I could not afford to go out with them.  We had fun watching TV movies sharing popcorn at home.

The financially hard times are different than a diagnosis of cancer when FEAR and control are outside of a person’s control… but is it?  I have known many people who trust God so intensely that even this does not reduce their praise and exultation of their God.  So, inspiring is their YET that I am humbled to be in their presence. Life is full of circumstances where surrendering to God is the only way.  When HE is the only way is when He teaches me the most about His love.  When I can “DO IT MYSELF” then my respect might be diminished.  That is why YET is a key to my devotion and my love.

Dear Father, I thank You that I need You and that You are always there for me.  Whenever I am facing emptiness, fear and uncertainty, You are always there to lift me up.  Thank You that you are my eternal refuge and strength. 

Wednesday August 16, 2017 Swords

August 16, 2017

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.  Micah 4:3

There is so much tension in our world.  North Korea threatens the delicate balance of power now with nuclear weapons.  There are 65 million people who are refugees in our world today… looking for peace and a place to be safe.  So this prophecy from Micah seems like it can never be achieved.  As I pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding that Jesus came to bring us, I visualize what turning the weapons used today into good would look like.

The huge intercontinental ballistic missiles might be used to get medicine or care packages delivered in seconds with just the addition of a landing mechanism.  The Nuclear warheads could be reshaped for energy production so we could quit using fossil fuels.  The great minds that create these horrible weapons could turn their creative genius to curing cancer or feeding the hungry.  The millions and millions of dollars used to arm and train troops could be used to end homelessness and create jobs for the millions displaced by hostility.

I hope to live long enough to witness these weapons being shaped into good for the world and see the time when Nation no longer fights Nation.  Truly that will be heaven on earth.  Jesus can then defeat death and all the world can embrace one another in brotherly love.  Micah’s vision would be a reality.  Many of the things he foretold came to be… Bethlehem Ephrathah, out of you will come the one who will be ruler over Israel.

Lord, help me to be someone who in Micah’s words: Acts justly, loves mercy and walks humbly with God.   If each of us follow these three dictums and mimic God’s heart then heaven on earth is not only possible but probable. 

Tuesday August 15, 2017 Afraid

August 15, 2017

“Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them.  Their protection is gone, because the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:9

Joshua and Caleb, two of the twelve who were sent into the promised land by Moses gave this stirring speech when the Israelites were fearful to go against the “giants” who inhabited the Land God had brought them to and said this is your new home.  A turning point and the final straw that broke God’s patience with this bunch of complaining and sinful people.  Because the people refused to march into the Land that God chose for them, hey spent forty years in the desert.  That whole generation was gone before the Israelites were allowed to enter.

Many instances of fear occurred and have prevented me from taking charge of the life that God has invited me to live.  My mom used to say of me “She would not say shit if she had a mouthful.” Reading and studying the bible has given me the courage to pray and ask God for guidance and now I move forward.  I do not to wait forty years for gratification and to receive what He is offering to me RIGHT NOW!  God has a plan and I thwarted it with fear too often.  Once I came to realize that fear is really false evidence appearing real, I stopped letting it rule my life.

Moses and Aaron tore their clothes and fell facedown begging the people to TRUST God.  How sad that their people who had witnessed miracle after miracle could not fathom that God could and would continue to lead them and deliver them.  There have been plenty of miracles in my life too.  How about yours?

Lord, I believe You are going to be with me into the fray.  I know that if I pray and discern that my steps are Your will, You are always by my side.  Allow me to continue to grow stronger in my faith and trust in You… forever unafraid! 

Monday August 14, 2017 Wings

August 14, 2017

He will cover you with feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  Psalm 91:4

Whenever I hear the word “wings”, I think of soaring and being free.  In this Psalm, wings are described as shield and protection.  Looking at small birds, this might not seem to be much safety but when I think of an eagle or a hawk, their wings are huge and so strong.  This protection extends to physical and emotional situations.  I sometimes do feel as fragile as a baby bird.  Finding myself weak and alone, it is always a comfort to know that God extends His wings around me and allows me to be protected until I feel strong enough to handle what is outside.

There is also power in wings to carry me to places of beauty and give me freedom.  I am not an escapist but when I get into an airplane, I love to think of leaving my problems on the ground.  As they get smaller and smaller, I feel free to get clarity and calmness.  I love to travel for that reason.

As the Lord covers me with His protection, I know that nothing is bigger than His refuge offers me.  Looking at the state of the world today, those are some big wings indeed… nuclear threats, bigotry, racism, and the list goes on.  God offers Himself as a shield and a buffer who knows the plan even when I cannot see it.  As hard as today may seem, life continues with God in His heaven and all is right with the world.  Choosing to believe that God protects provides me much comfort.

Lord, give me Your protection and provide a safe haven under Your wings.  I know, You offer me Your protection when I feel most vulnerable.  I am grateful indeed. 

Sunday August 13, 2017 Doubt

August 13, 2017

Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31

This story from Matthew’s gospel about Peter stepping out of the boat in the storm to walk on the water toward Jesus has always been one of my favorites.  I love that Peter is brash and confident to start and like each of us humans, when the winds blow and the tides are rising against us… he doubts.  Jesus simply reaches out His hand and saves Peter.  All Peter had to do was ask…

Unlike the other disciples who stayed in the boat, Peter was brave enough to want to experience everything the Lord was doing.  Jesus simply replied “Come” to Peter when he excitedly asked.  How wonderful that Peter asked.  Some of the other disciples were likely thinking wow that looks incredible, wish I could do that but Peter goes for it.  I know in my lifetime, I have held back and stayed behind wishing I was brave enough to write a book, speak in public or ask for the promotion.  It takes confidence and trust in the Lord to take the step and get out of the relative safety of the boat.  It took me years in some cases to achieve what God had been calling me to do because of my doubts.

Two things happened over the past couple of days that make this particularly relevant.  I received a call from a friend who introduced me to Linda Sacha telling me that she had died of an aneurism.  Linda was a speaker, author and life support coach who touched my soul and encouraged me when I was writing my first book.  Her book Queen for a Day, Recapturing Your Happiness One BIRTHDAY at a Time helps women embrace and love herself enough to

  • Believe that the day she was born is a day worth celebrating.
  • Ask herself, “What do I really want on my special day?”
  • Fully embrace that reclaiming her happiness is the greatest gift of all.

She used as her mantra “The greatest gift I give to the world is the gift of loving myself.”  She empowered women to be Queen for a Day…. Everyday!  She used to give little crowns to women and let them know that they are SPECIAL!  I will miss her!

Last night a friend, threw herself a lavish 40th Birthday Party.  It was beautiful and she looked amazing.  I could not help but think how proud I was that she did this and how happy Linda must be looking down from heaven.

So, when people doubt their worth or ability… I believe God is shaking His head and reaching out His hand to catch them.  Saying “O you of little faith, WHY did you doubt?” 

Lord, I am sorry I have doubted.  Help me to know in my heart that when You say “Come” that I need to release my fears and move forward.  You are the force that holds me erect in the storm.  Let me encourage everyone to discover their beauty and talents and to use them. 

Saturday August 12, 2017 Remember

August 12, 2017

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord, your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to our ancestors, as it is today.  Deuteronomy 8:17-18

Gratitude is the most important emotion we have in our toolbox.  You might think that it is love but you can feel other emotions when you are loving someone.  But gratitude is all encompassing.  It completely takes over when I am feeling grateful.  It is impossible to feel angry, to feel jealous or to feel sad.  God reminds often in Scripture that Pride, Selfishness and Greed are deadly sins to be avoided.  It can be done only be living a grateful life.

Each one of God’s children are given gifts to be used for His glory.  Discovering those special talents can be a worthy pursuit.  (I call them my Super Powers) It is crucial to remember every day that these are gifts however and to never forget where they come from.  If I use them for God’s glory and the fulfillment of His plan for my life, I am living my covenant with Him.  How often I stumble and fall when I turn my focus inward instead of trusting in His guidance.  God is the power and the glory behind every good gift.

Have you ever forgotten that God is the provider of these gifts?  It is easy to become full of ourselves and bask in the moment of victory and accomplishment.  When this happens, I hope you will REMEMBER who is the giver in our relationships with God.  Moses told the Israelites to write it on their foreheads, bind it to their wrists, hang it from their doorposts, drill it into their children BUT never forget who God is…  The Lord alone, the Provider of every good gift!

Father forgive me when I am proud, help me to turn my eyes to heaven and thank YOU for every good gift.  Help me to speak against the sense of entitlement that permeates the air we breathe today.  I want to remember in humility that I can do nothing without Your grace. 

Friday August 11, 2017 If Only…

August 11, 2017

Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. John 11:32

Lazarus, Martha and Mary were friends with Jesus.  Martha had felt close enough to ask / tell Him to send Mary to the kitchen to help her serve the meal.  She goes out to meet Him and scolds and applies some guilt saying… IF ONLY!  I must admit, I have done the same, often.  A child died in a locked car this week… I cried if only there had been a safety feature in the daycare van, if only the driver had numbered the children.  Throughout my life, I have approached God to help me understand tragedy.  Could I have prevented some disaster or illness?  If only I had not let my girls go shopping in the snowstorm… If only I had forced my mom to go to the doctor sooner, we could have found the cancer in time…

I have learned that I cannot question God’s plan. I certainly do not understand and ask like Martha and Mary for perspective but it always comes down to God’s purposes are beyond my understanding.  He will make something good come from whatever happens to me.  He has carried me through hard circumstances and in each one my trust has been warranted.

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark, that is faith!” How much each of us need to have faith especially when the darkness is crushing and there does not appear to be a way out.  Loss of a loved one is probably the time when this trust is most sorely needed.  I pray for those who are suffering this terrible loss, today.

Jesus, friend of the broken-hearted, be with those who mourn.  Help them know that Father God knows their struggle and is there with them.  Your grace mends brokenness and brings peace.  Help all who are struggling with “IF ONLY” today.