Monday, December 1, 2014


"I pray that God, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely with JOY and PEACE because you trust in Him.  Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit".  Romans 15:13 comforts us, sustains us, revives us, relaxes us, calms us, bathes us in peace, fill us with joy and exudes confidence in us.  But attaining hope, living in hope and sharing hope can be elusive to us if we put all our energy and focus on our circumstances.  Choosing to do this will exhaust us and keep us from leaning and trusting on our God.

When we deliberately walk down the path of living in the past, or decide to set our thoughts on unfulfilled expectations of what if's, then the chances for hope to enter into our lives becomes smaller and the light of hope dwelling in us becomes dimmer.

God's Word is filled with HOPE, but too numerous for me to list on one page, so here is just a few:
I am a child of God, John 1:12;  I am His friend, John 15:5;  I have peace with God because I have been made right in His sight, Romans 5:1;  I have been adopted into His family, Eph. 1:5;  He chose me, Eph. 1:4;  He freely gives me grace, Eph. 1:6; His Word revives me, Psalm 119:50;  He strengthens me, hears me, delivers me from my enemies, Psalm 18;  He blesses those who trust Him, Jeremiah 17:7-8!!  That's just a tip of the list!

But how can I know all this?  I have to purposely go to His Word, fill my thought life with His promises, dwell with Him and pray to Him to be able to glean from Him the HOPE He offers.  When we choose those steps, there is a promise from Him in Isaiah 55:8-13.  Go there and dwell on those verses.  Make the effort and take the time.  The promise He gives us in those verses is that His Word (each time you read it or hear it) NEVER returns empty to Him.  His Word will accomplish what He desires every time it goes forth.  What a tremendous promise.  Every time you read His Word He is accomplishing something with it in you.  Every time you hear His Word there will be change in your life.  That is HOPE!

Share that hope with others this holiday season.  Surrender all your needs, trust Him to take care of you and fill you with His hope!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hair Color

Sometimes I get ahead of myself.  I want things, ministries, people doing things my way.  I love to talk and God has gifted me with a gift of speaking and teaching.  I am also very organized.  I love order and I love to create order.  So all this said, I can be hard on those people not gifted in those areas I am.  I don't always see their gifts.

I've read in scripture that God gives all types of gifts to His people, but it doesn't always sink into my little mind.  Everyone should be like me, should run things like me.  If I were running that, I would do it this way.  Then once again God uses something in my life to show me how wrong I think!

I have been sick for over two months.  I am now on a big dose of steroids to help heal me.  The downside is that this medication makes by body, especially my hands shake.  Its hard to write, sometimes hold a fork or a cup.  It is a humbling experience and I have had to depend on my husband for help.   Recently we were getting ready to leave for a week on Kauai and the roots in my hair needed a touch up.  Normally I would go to my hairdresser but she wasn't available.  I dreaded doing it myself as I am extremely messy in this task.  I have no patience.  I asked my husband if he would help me.  He agreed - what a sweetie.

I watched as he carefully read ALL the instructions.  This is something I never do, thus that's where my problems start.  I rush through it causing chaos and a mess.  He mixed the solution, got a comb and carefully, methodically started to separate each section of my head and applied the color ever so diligently.  All the while reassuring me it was looking good.  Slowly, methodically, carefully, reassuringly.  Not ONE drop of that color missed my head.  There was no mess to clean up after! Not even any dripping down my neck.  I looked at him through new eyes.

This is the man who loves the Lord and knows His Word but can't always articulate it openly as me.  But will call another brother-in-Christ to encourage him, or will patiently listen to anyone with a problem.  He readily is available to help anyone who calls and needs help.  This is the man whose side of our office has piles of papers all over the place, I can never find anything on his desk.  But yet he pays every bill on time, invests our money wisely, has paid our mortgage off way before the designated years, and tithes no matter what our financial circumstance.  His gifts are very different from mine and that is perhaps why God puts us together.  We compliment each other and we are both needed in the Body of Christ.

Each of us has our gifts, none is better than the other.  We mess up when we don't see the value in others gifts - methodical, calm thoughtful, diligent, persevering, reassuring.

I might be gregarious, animated, organized and a gift with words, but there are so many other gifts that the Body of Christ needs to effectively spread the Gospel.

Lesson learned!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Filled Arms

This morning I was reading the scriptures on Sarah.  Her wanting a child so desperately.  Wanting those arms to feel filled.  God in His infinite wisdom saw her, and heard her pleas; but He also made her wait for some time before He filled that need.

The waiting can be hard, painful and stressing.  Yet He says "in His timing".  I don't do well with waiting but I thought back to a time when God provided my arms with a filling I desperately needed.

It was October 1987 - tragedy struck our household.  My beautiful 16 year old son was killed on his way home from school by a negligent teen driver.  I am plunged into a despair that words in the english language cannot describe.  Tears, disbelief, fogginess, confusion, depthness of darkness are just a few of the feelings that coursed through me daily.  Some times hourly.  No one could understand.  Everyone wanted me to be like I was before his death, but that wasn't to be.  Not then, not so soon.

A month and a half before Jeremy's death, God blessed us with a beautiful, healthy baby boy.  Trey was a delight.  He nursed well - I had a terrible time nursing Brooke so I wasn't looking forward to nursing Trey but he took to me so well.  No problems.  He would nurse and look up at me, burp and sleep hours on end.  And then when Jeremy died I realized that Trey was my saving grace gift from God.  Had God not given Trey to me it would have been easy for me to stay in bed and not do anything or think of any one, but here was someone put in my arms for me to care for.

I remember rocking him, caressing him, stroking him as tears ran down my cheeks for Jeremy.  Not fully realizing how therapeutic this was for me.  Looking back I can see that now.  God's gracious timing, he filled a desperate need in me.  He knew what was going to happen and He provided Trey for my comfort.  My arms were filled, just like Sarah's.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jehovah Rohi - The Good Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd...a shepherd, guides, cares for, feeds, leads, listens, answers, knows me well, loves, forgives, has mercy, when there is no pasture He gathers the food needed for His flock and with his crook he even pulls down the food and feeds them.  He feeds them intimately and directly out of His hands.

I just read a quote from Susanna Wesley, mother of John Wesley, the founder of methodism.  " I will tell you what rule I observed when I was young, and too much addicted to childish diversions, which was this - never to spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spend in private religious devotions."

I am treading on tiptoes right now as I write this.  How will this be received?  We live in an outdoorsy, recreational, gorgeous country.  We are a people consumed with body type, body mass,diets, bikinis, tans, what we eat, vitamins, oils, smoothies, etc.  In a given day I can speak with several people and that's all I hear.   There is nothing wrong with getting outdoors and enjoying Gods creation, nor is there anything wrong in wanting good health.  The fine line comes when we spend more time, effort, thoughts, and energy on everything else but God.  After all isn't God the one who gave us eyes to see His creation, touch to feel the sun and rain, taste to enjoy the good foods, smell to enjoy His fragrances.

Susanna Wesley challenges me to look at how I spend my time.  I don't have to live a cloistered life, locked away in a a prayer room hours on end, but there must be a good GODLY balance.  Notice I used the word "GODLY" balance not worldly balance.  Do I go to God first with everything?  Do I stop and listen for Jehovah Rohi, my Good Shepherd to guide me or do I put my trust in my to do list, the children's activities, posting on Facebook, my husbands desires - all good but are they in alignment with what God has for me each and every day.

How much time do I give to my Good Shepherd?  Challenged?  Take the plunge - dive into HIS word today as much as you can, give the Good Shepherd the best of you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Camouflage or Truth

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law" Galatians 5:22-23

My husband has a sense of humor.  One morning he came up to me dressed in full camouflage.  His t-shirt was one type of camouflage and his long pants another.  "How do I look", he smiles.  I stifle a laugh.  He then asks me; "what picture do you see?".  I squint my eyes, thinking, are we playing Where's Waldo?  Try as I may I couldn't see anything.  "So what do you see?"  Finally I blurt out, "I see confusion"!!!!!!

I went back to my devotions.  Reading Galatians 5, I wondered how others might view me.  Do they need to squint to see the real me, or am I hiding so much under all my type of camouflage?  How am I portraying Christ to them?  Do I display the fruit of the Spirit through my life?  Do others see love, joy, goodness and kindness when I am helping someone or doing ministry?  Or do my actions say one thing and my heart reflecting  something else?  When I'm dealing with family, do they see patience and gentleness; or do they hear sharp criticisms followed by rolling eyes?  When faced with a trial, do I walk in faithfulness and peace, reflecting my faith in HIM?  Do I exhibit self control when circumstances are frustrating and out of my control!  Camouflage or truth.  Camouflage or faith.

Galatians tells me that I am free (verse 1), free of yokes that keep me from living a life full of the fruit of the Spirit.  Verse 23b tells me there is no limit to how much I can display the fruit of the Spirit in my life.  But I must guard against following the desires of my flesh (verse 16) .  We must walk in the Spirit and live Spirit filled lives even when those around me are ugly.

Will you join me in making a promise not to hide behind or under a yoke.  No camouflage for us.  Let us put on our Shields of Faith, and carry the Sword of Truth and live our lives serving one another as Christ served.  Love as HE loved unconditionally.  Persevere in faith, goodness, kindness and gentleness.  Let the world see an abounding joy and peace from us.