Monday, December 26, 2011


Thank you to all my readers & followers. I hope you ALL had a VERY Merry Christmas. In celebrating the birth of Christ, we are now looking forward to the day He comes again. Keep Him in your heart always.

Now i have 1 more challenge for you. And you can start today. Make a resolution to focus on your relationship with Jesus daily. By doing this, your relationship will grow stronger every day. This is my prayer for you.

There will be no post next Monday, January 2, 2012. Blog posts will resume on the following Monday.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Advent Season - Part 4 - Joy

The fourth week of Advent is traditionally associated with the JOY that the birth of Jesus brings.

"Joy" is defined as "a feeling of great pleasure & happiness. This time of year, when i hear the word "joy" i think of "Good tidings of great joy".  As Christians, we know that God is a God of joy & He wants His people to be joyful also. He wants His people to have HIS joy. Sadly, it's estimated that only 20% of Americans are happy or joyful. Do you have a sense of joy in your life? An evangelist once said, "The trouble with many is that they have got just  enough religion to make them miserable. If there is not joy in your religion, you've got a leak in your religion."

One thing that is contagious in life is attitude. The only thing more contagious that a good attitude is a bad attitude. People always project on the outside how they feel on the inside. I have met many people who i could tell right at first that they were Christians. The joyful glow of the Holy Spirit just reflected in them.

Joy is found in obedience.
"The shepherds returned, glorifying & praising God for all the things they had heard & seen, which were just as they had been told."
Luke 2:20 (NIV)

Joy is found in fellowship. When the believers gather God appears in our midst through His Holy Spirit.
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good new 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.' "
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Joy is found in the church, in worship when Christians gather & grow in faithfulness to God.
"It gave me great joy to have some brothers come & tell about your faithfulness to the truth & how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
III John 3-4 (NIV)

Joy is found when we accept Christ as our Savior, & are able to share it with others.
"We proclaim to you what we have seen & heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father & with His son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him & declare to you; God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all."
I John 1:3-5 (NIV)

Joy is experienced whenever we give thanks in the midst of ALL circumstances.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:16
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
Psalm 92:19

Advent Week 4 Challenge:
Make a list of your prayers for joy - for yourself, for those who don't know Christ, people you don't know, your local area, in world situations, etc.

Jesus, who brings joy where there is sorrow, & happiness where there is despair. Thank You for Your great mission of joy, which we particularly remember at Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Season - Part 3 - Love

The third week of Advent is traditionally associated with God's love for the world & His people. To me, John 3:16 says it all:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV)

God sent His Son to be born of the Virgin Mary, knowing what Jesus would have to go through so much suffering, before His death on the cross. Just so we would have eternal life. That is love.....God's love. And when when i think of the countless blessings the He generously gives us, it is so overwhelming. God IS love.

I know how protective & defensive that i am about my boys. Can you really imagine giving  your child to go through what Jesus went through for us. I don't think i could. I would die for my boys & i would die for God, but to know that my boys would have to suffer like Jesus did, i just don't think that i could do that. But God loved us that much!

I'm reminded of the story of Abraham & his son Isaac. God tested Abraham by telling him to take Isaac up on a mountain & sacrifice him to God. The next day, that's exactly what Abraham did. He even got so far as to bind Isaac & lay him on the sacrificial altar. He even had a knife poised to kill his son. But just in the nick of time, an angel appeared & stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son.

"Abraham looked up & there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over & took the ram & sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham call that place 'The Lord Will Provide...." 
Genesis 22:12-14a (NIV)

God not only provides for our needs, He forgives us of our sins. He gives us the peace that passes all understanding. He offers us eternal life! This type of love can never be measured, it can only be felt. This is the love of our Heavenly Father! God IS love! He loves each & every one of us, His children.

This Advent Season, ask God to fill your heart with His love. His love for all mankind. And as you get ready to face the busy last two weeks before Jesus' birthday, remember to reflect Gods' love to those you meet. you don't know what that person may be going through. Wish them a Merry Christmas & give them a smile that is filled with God's love.

Week 3 Advent Challenge:
This week, write your own prayer list for God's love to be revealed -- to yourself, people you know, in your local area, in world situation, etc.

Jesus, whose love for the world was so great, you were prepared to die for it, we thank You for your sacrificial mission, which started at your birth. We offer up our prayers for your love to be shown abundantly to each & every heart. Amen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Season - Part 2 - Peace

The second week of Advent is traditionally associated with the peace that Jesus' birth promises.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given & the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

Christmas is the season of peace & celebration. But there are so many people who struggle, especially at this time of year. For some, a time when hearts should be overflowing with love, it's a time of pain & sadness. The Christmas season can be full of stress too, with the shopping, the decorating, the Christmas cards, the gatherings, the baking & cooking. And sometimes Jesus gets lost in the activities. But when God sent His one & only Son to this earth. He did it to bring light & salvation to a lost world. His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away. Jesus' birth signified a promise to bring you peace, no matter what you're going through. He is the Light of the World who will never fail you.

So if the peace of this season is overcome with a situation which is causing pain, sadness, &/or stress, the peace that comes through knowing Jesus is sufficient for all of our needs, & He will get us through anything. And through all circumstances, His power is so strong, He can give you peace in the midst of your struggle. No situation is ever hopeless when you have Christ in your heart.

Week 2 Advent Challenge:
This week, make a list of those who you know are struggling. At the top of my list this week, are those who have lost loved ones this past year, especially those who have lost children. The first Christmas after losing a loved one can be very hard & i know i wouldn't have gotten through those "firsts" without God's peace. Pray your own prayer of hope for those on your list. Then give the list to God.

Jesus, who brings peace into turmoil & conflict, we thank You for Your divine peace mission, which we are reminded of by celebrating Your birth. We offer up our prayers for peace, trusting that You will act in each & every situation.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Season of Advent - Part 1

The word "Advent" means "coming" or "arrived". And the season of advent is focused on the coming of Jesus. Not only His first coming, but for His glorious second coming.

Jesus brings hope to all who will ask Him & it always amazes me how He works. In all honesty, i have been struggling with my blog today. And then a little bit ago, it hit me! First let me back track a little. I've been distracted today. A sweet lady that i know had a kidney transplant earlier today & the donor was one of her daughters. So, i have been distracted in prayer for them both. In the meantime, i've now sat here for over 2 hours, writing & writing, but nothing came together. I said my prayer asking God to give me His words & still i struggled. I just thankful right now, that they both came through the surgeries & everything went well. 

So, as i started over for the third or fourth time, i realized that God was giving me his message all day long...Hope in prayer. In everyday language, we might say "hope so". But when we take things to the Lord in prayer, hope is a part of faith. We have hope for all things through Him because we know that Jesus is always there for us.

And as i sit here wanting to share hope with you, i find that i'm very hopeful for this season. I can't tell you specifically for what or who. I just know that the Spirit is sending me hope & that's a wonderful, peaceful feeling!

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)

So here's an advent challenge to you:
This week, make a list of your own hopes. Personally, at the top of my list is those who don't know Jesus & therefore, don't have hope. Then add hopes for yourselves, people you know, charities, your local area, national & world situations, etc. Pray your own prayers of hope for those on your list. Give it all to God. 

Jesus, You do bring hope into hopeless situations. Thank You for Your heavenly rescue missions. We offer up our prayers of hope, knowing that you care deeply about each & every one of these situations.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Psalm 100 - A Psalm. For thanksgiving

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth." v.1

I give you all the praise & all the glory Lord. Hallelujah!

"Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs." v.2

Today Lord, i come to you with a humble heart full of thankfulness for the uncountable blessings you have given. You are so much more than amazing!

'Know that the Lord is God
It is He who made us & we are His.
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture." v.3

Father, thank You for making us in Your image. Thank You for being there for us 24/7. Help us to reflect Your image to all those we meet. You are our Shepherd. Lead us to do your work & to serve only You.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise'
give thanks to Him & praise." v.4

You are such an awesome God! There is no way that i could ever say thank You enough for Your love, Your forgiveness, Your grace, Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

"For the Lord is good & His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations." v.5

Thank You Lord for the faith of my family who have instilled the roots in each generation. Help me to continue to keep those roots of faith. Help them to grow stronger with each passing day. So that they are even stronger for future generations.

Praying that you all have a safe & HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just a note....

I just wanted to let you know that there wouldn't be a post today. I've been a little bit under the weather. But days like this, i just want to say how much i appreciate each & every one of you who read my writings. Thank you so much!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Forgiveness - It's not always simple, but always necessary.

This past weekend, i heard some disturbing news about someone that i have admired for more years that i could remember - or even if i could remember probably wouldn't admit. I have dealt with feelings or hurt, betrayal, disappointment, anger. You get the picture. I had been in a funk the majority of the weekend. I've prayed about this situation off & on all weekend, but this morning, i was able to turn it all over to God. I've quit having questions of "why" & "how could he". I still feel betrayed, but am peaceful about it now.

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to achieve without God's strength. It doesn't come easily for most of us. We have a natural instinct of self-protection. Protection from hurt feelings, anger, confusion, betrayal, etc. We aren't naturally full of mercy, grace, & forgiveness when we are disappointed or feel wronged. But God has commanded us:

"Forgive as the Lord forgave you"
Colossians 3:13a (NIV)

How do we forgive? Forgiveness is a choice we make that is motivated by obedience to God. We need to forgive by faith, out of obedience - whether we feel like it or not. We need to surrender our feelings to God, ask Him, & trust Him to do the work in us that needs to be done to forgive. 

"being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

How do you know if you have really forgiven? Corrie ten Boom is quoted as saying, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, & to realize the prisoner was you." I think that we know that forgiveness is complete when we experience freedom from the betrayal. That the betrayal really doesn't matter to us anymore.

I have found that prayer is the best way to breakdown the wall of unforgiveness. Before i started writing today, i prayed - again - about the situation that has been eating at me. God gave me new eyes to view this situation with. And a new heart to care for that person. I am not without sin & i know that God forgives me. And although it is perfectly normal to feel anger toward sin & injustice, it's not our job to judge.

"Do not judge, & you will not be judges. Do not condemn, & you will not be condemned. Forgive & you will be forgiven."
Luke 6:37 (NIV)

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in Heaven may for give your sins."
Mark 11:25 (NIV)

Yesterday morning, on Facebook, a friend posted this:
Anyone can hold a grudge by it takes a person with character to forgive. When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden. Forgiveness doesn't mean what happened was ok & it doesn't mean that person should still be welcome in your life. It just means you have made peace with the pain & are ready to let go."

I'm ready to let go. I hope & pray that you are too.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Are You Haunted?

Happy Halloween Everyone! I pray that you have a fun & safe Halloween AND i pray that you are HAUNTED!!! Yes. That's what i said & i'll repeat it. I pray that you are HAUNTED by THE GHOST!!! The Holy Ghost!!!

"Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (aka Holy Ghost), who is in you, whom you have received from God." 
I Corinthians 6:19a (NIV)

That's right my friends, you are haunted (inhabited, frequently visited) by a ghost. Cool! Huh? I think so. Personally i love the haunting of this Ghost & have learned so much from being haunted.

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my (Jesus) name, will teach you all things & will remind you of every thing I have said to you."
John 14:26 (NIV)

So how do we know that we are being taught by the Holy Ghost? The things we learn from the Holy Ghost are reinforced by all the things that Jesus taught, which are written in the Bible - the written word of God - which is a work inspired AND directed by the Holy Ghost. These teachings promote righteousness & bring glory to Jesus. What an awesome "treat"!!!

But this Ghost can be "tricky" too! The Holy Ghost also convicts us of sin. And He won't leave you alone. He's there with you always - watching...listening. Are there times when you hear things? Especially things like "You know you shouldn't", "Tell them you are sorry", "Why did you do that", "You are only hurting yourself", etc. He's continually convicting you, reminding you. You can lie to yourself all you want. But you can't lie to the Holy Ghost. He is there all the time & knows the truth.

"Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it"
Hebrews 4:1 (NIV)

God's rest is the best "treat" ever!!! It is both present & future. It is the enjoyment of His spiritual blessings. Missing God's present rest means living a frustrated life of spiritual frenzy. Those who struggle to gain salvation through their own efforts have not found rest in Christ. Missing God's future rest means missing eternal salvation.

So today, i pray that you become receptive & sensitive to this Ghost. And through His haunting, your relationship with the Holy Ghost will grow stronger. That you will find God's rest in the present & in the future.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Got Great Faith?

Have you ever watched people of great faith & wondered why they were given greater faith than you? Do you know the kind of people that i mean? The ones that any kind of adversity doesn't seem to affect them much at all. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get to know someone like this. There was a lady in my church a few years ago whose faith i so admired. As our friendship developed, i learned that we had a lot more in common that i ever imagined. But one of the most important things that i learned was that people of great faith got it from their trials.....not from lack of trials. Trusting in God in one trial made it easier & gave them courage trust Him in another trial, & then another. This happened to me also & before i knew it, i had developed great faith in God. Faith doesn't happen overnight. It's a process. Faith - the size of a mustard seed - grows into great faith.

Through the growth process, we discover several things about faith. Faith leads to great undertakings when we face the trials &  challenges that are given to us. With faith we give those challenges & trials to God with believing that He will take care of them.

In Matthew 15, we find the story of a Gentile woman of faith. This woman came to Jesus crying out,

" 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.' Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came to Him & urged Him. 'Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.' "
vs. 22b-23 (NIV)

The disciples were annoyed by this woman. But to Jesus, she was an example of great faith. Who was determined to do whatever she had to do to get what she needed. Great faith also brings great expectations.  Have you ever prayed for something but didn't expect great results. That's lack of faith. But not this woman! Oh no! She expected Jesus to heal her daughter.

Great faith also brings about great earnestness. This woman didn't care what others thought about her actions. She came to Jesus, fell at His feet, crying. There have been times during a church service that i have been moved to tears. Some people fight these honest, Spirit filled emotions. But it's those earnest emotions that keep us persistent in our prayers & actions, no matter what others think of us.

Great faith also conquers great difficulties. As the woman continued to pursue 7 beg Jesus, He reminded her of her position. She was not a Jew. 

"He replied, 'It is not right to take the children's bread & toss it to their dogs.' "
v. 26 (NIV)
("dogs" was commonly used by Jews to describe Gentiles)

The woman agreed with Him & then threw herself on Jesus' mercy again, knowing that even one morsel of God's power was enough to heal her daughter.

" 'Yes, Lord' she said, 'but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.' "
v.27 (NIV)

Great faith achieves victories. Jesus rewarded the woman's faith by healing her daughter.

"Then Jesus answered, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.'  And her daughter was healed from that very hour."
v.28 (NIV)

Great faith is not something that is given to just a few & not others. It's a choice. We need to make the choice to consistently trust & pursue God, even & especially when there seems to be no response. Don't ask God to provide for a need & then try to take care of it yourself. Instead, follow the example of the Gentile woman. You're faith will grow.

"Everything is possible for him who believes."
Mark 9:23b (NIV)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Protects, Trusts, Hopes, Perseveres

"Love" is probably one of the most used word in the English language. You love your spouse. You love your kids. You love your family. You love your friends. You love your pets. You love your haircut. You love your new coat. You love pizza. You love the fall colors. See what i mean? And that's ok that you love all these & more. 

Today's blog is a bit different. But God has put it on my heart to ask you to read, reread, & really ponder on the Bible's definition of love from I Corinthians 13.

"Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices in the truth.

It always protects,
always trusts,
 always hopes,
always perseveres. 

Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope & love. But the greatest of these is love."
(vs. 4-8a,13 NIV)

Precious Heavenly Father,
I do not know why you've put this on my heart today, but You do. You know all of our questions, trials, frustrations. etc. I pray that i have heard You correctly & that You will use this scripture to answer questions & enhance not only our earthly relationships, but our relationship with You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day

Hello my friends!

I just want to take a few minutes to wish you all a wonderful Columbus day. I was away over the weekend, so i am going to be doing some catch up on laundry, etc. So today's blog post is short & sweet. But my trip was such a blessing. I love spending time with dear friends!
"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prayer, Devotion, Reading --- Down - Set - Hut!

I heard a wonderful message yesterday on TBN from Kenneth Haggin & i'd like to share the just of it with you. It is football season & whether you're a football fan or not, it was a message that we all need.
First, i want to talk about discipline. Now no matter what sport someone plays, it takes discipline. There are practices, practices, & more practices to get it right. Those practices take discipline.This can be applied to our spiritual life also. Through discipline, we find that we have more in us than we think we do. Football players & Christians have this in common. When we're hurting, we keep tough & keep going. In spring training, those football players are not only practicing, but they are studying & learning plays. They are preparing for their games. Just as we should prepare for our game every day with prayer, devotion & reading.
In football, it's down, set, hut.
Down - puts the players in their positions to handle whatever may come to them from the other team. We need to be in a position to look at life the same way & be ready to handle anything.
Set - The players are in a position for the play & their mindset is in determination that nothing will get in their way to complete the play. As Christians, we need to have the same mindset & determination that we will not compromise our faith, our character, our morals & ethics. We nee to be ready & determined to listen & follow God.
Hut - starts the action. The team is ready execute the play. Always be determined to execute what you've learned to live a Christian life.
Through prayer, devotion & reading God's word. We can have a winning game every day. Just remember to 
"Be on your guard;
stand firm in faith;
be men of courage;
be strong.
Do everything in love."
I Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV)

And remember....God is love.

Monday, September 26, 2011

In the Middle of All the Stuff

Many People have issues with Mondays. The weekend is over. Time to go back to work. Nothing is going as planned. I've kind of had one of those Mondays, today. Now i'm aware that many bloggers say that it's better to sit down & write many blog posts in one sitting. Well, that's not how i work. I may have a list of many topics in mind that i refer to each week, but until i sit down to write, i'm never sure what message that God will put upon my heart.

One of my favorite songs that they play on our local Christian radio station, is "This is the Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli. It reminds me of "one of those days".

"I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please
'Cause I can't find my phone.

"45 in a 35
Sirens & fines
When I'm running behind.

"This is the stuff
That drives me crazy
This is the stuff
That's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff
That gets under my skin"

Yesterday, i thought that i had my topic for today. Plus, i didn't think it would take me long to jot down my thoughts. (Don't try to tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor. tee he.) I didn't lose my keys.....yet; or my phone. But i did have a nice, unexpected 45 minute chat with my BFF. (I thank You & praise You, Lord for my BFF!) Then there was an issue with our clothes dryer last night. I had an idea this morning what it might be & if so, it should be a quick & easy fix. (The keyword here is should.) I investigated & found that i was correct in what was wrong. However, since i am a plus size woman & the laundry room is very small, it definitely wasn't an "easy fix". But i kept at it & many times thanked God for providing His physical strength, the fact that even with my arthritis, i could get down on the floor and eventually, back up. But mostly, i was thankful that no one was around with a camera to record this task. I'm sure it would've been very entertaining to watch. However, by now, i'm way behind my scheduled plan.

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business & make money.'
...Why you don't even know what will happen tomorrow.
...Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live & do this or that.'"
James 4:13,14a,15a (NIV)

I do know that God wants us to plan things, but we need to remember that He is the one in control. "This is the Stuff" continues to remind us

"But I've gotta bust
You know exactly what You're doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use...

"To break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world"

So, my list of tasks didn't get done today as planned. (Oh well.) And my frustrations are gone.(Thank You Lord.) And it's not the end of the world. Lord willing, there will be a tomorrow & many days to get our tasks done. And each day, i will pray that God's will be done. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slow Down for God's Timing

"The Lord isn't slow about keeping His promises, as some people think He is. In fact, God is patient, because He wants everyone to turn from sin & no one to be lost."
II Peter 3:9 (CEV)

A friend of mine posted this verse on Facebook yesterday & it just reminded me of how hard it is for some to understand God's timing. And that one of the hardest things to do is to wait on His timing for certain things in our lives. After all, it is kind of an "unnatural" thing for us to do, considering the fast paced world that we live in. Meals are ready in a matter of minutes with fast food drive thrus & microwave ovens. If we want to we can record something from TV & fast forward through the commercials. And computers can send instant messages & have access to so much research material, rather than spending hours of looking for info at the library. It's no wonder that we have a hard time adjusting to the slower ways that God will work in our lives.

It is nice that we do have fast food restaurants, computers & technology to help us. We can be more productive in a day's time than we could ever be in the past. But where we can get in trouble is when we can't downshift & remember that God usually has a much slower way of working things out in our lives. And God wants to work things out for us. But when we try  to move ahead of God's timing in a particular area of life, you may find very quickly that things may fall apart & completely unravel.

God does like to work on His specific timetable. And the sooner you can understand this is one of God's ways, the easier it will be for you to adjust & accept His timetable, including how He will work in your life. I believe the reason that God makes us wait at times, is to not only test our faith in Him, but also to prepare us for what He's making us wait for.

Just realize that God's timing is much different than ours & sometimes, our patience will be tested.