Monday, August 31, 2009


When the way seems dark, when there seems to be no answer, when you're weary of the load you are carrying, when your pillow is soaked with your ceaseless tears......

Remember this:

"There shall be a performance" Luke 1:45
"My words shall be fulfilled in their season" Luke 1:20

There shall be a performance of those things
That loving heart has waited long to see;
Those words shall be fulfilled to which she clings
Because her God has promised faithfully.
And, knowing Him, she ne'er can doubt His Word
'He speaks and it is done'...the mighty God!
There shall be a perfomrance of those things
O burdened heart, rest ever in His care
In quietness beneath His shadowing wings
Await the answer to your longing prayer.
When thou "has cast thy care" the heart then sings
There shall be a performance of those things.
There shall be a performance of those things
O tired heart, believe and wait and pray
At eventide, the peaceful vesper rings
Though cloud and rain and storm have filled the day
Faith pierces through the mist of doubt that bars
The coming night sometimes, and finds the stars.
There shall be a performance of those things
O trusting heart, the Lord to thee hath told
Let faith and hope arise and plume their wings
And soar towards the sunrise clouds of gold.
The portels of the rosy dawn sing wide
Revealing joys the darkening night did hide.
---Bessie Porter
Matthew Henry says "We must depend upon the performance of the promise when all the ways leading up to it are shut up."
Proverbs 3: 5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."
Though your path may be dark today, TRUST the One who loves you and is working all things for your good. He will perform it for you in His time and in His way, rolling back the dark clouds and revealing the sunshine once again. Cling to this today, dear friend, do not lose hope!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Starbucks has become a national phenomenon in a very short period of time. There's one on every corner.

People have been drinking coffee for ages, so what's the BIG DEAL?

I am convinced that Starbucks is NOT about the's about the comraderie.

You rarely see people drinking coffee alone in Starbucks, unless maybe they are waiting on someone to join them.

Starbucks has become the local "watering hole" so to speak. The place where friends gather to chat; business associates make deals; couples share a quiet moment.

Do you like yours black or with lots of sugar? Prefer espresso or latte? Straight up or flavored? Doesn't really matter....just as long as you have someone to share it with.

In years past, neighbors used to chat over the back fence. Old retired gentlemen gathered at the local drug store. Women caught up on the gossip at the local beauty parlor. In the 21st century, people do Starbucks!

Again, the key element, however, is not the coffee, it's the connection.

I am blessed to have a host of friends and acquaintances. Some go back to my childhood, others are new. But all are blessings. And, I enjoy nothing better than having lunch with them. It always brightens my day.

So, you ask...why all the talk about Starbucks and coffee??????

I don't do Starbucks. Nothing against Starbucks, but I usually only drink one cup of coffee a day, and that is first thing in the morning. I DO share with a friend, just not at Starbucks.

You see, I begin my day having coffee with God. There is no better start to the day!

When I was a teenager, I discovered a little devotional book entitled Open Windows. It came at a time when I really needed encouragement. I still have many of the devotional pages that were so meaningful to me at that time stored safely away in a file. But I don't have to look at them to remember what many of them said.

One of my favorite ones I had taped to my dresser mirror for years. It was one phrase:

If you ask God to direct your steps in the morning
You won't have to ask Him to forgive you for taking the wrong
path in the evening.
I guess that began my journey with God in the mornings. Although I have not always been a morning person, I have always made an attempt to connect with Him early in my day. It has not always been easy, especially when my children were small. Often in those days it was just a snatch of a few minutes early....the other snatches throughout my day as I could work it in.
Now that my house is quiet, my early morning time with God is the most precious part of my day. I love sitting quietly with Him on the porch as I sip my coffee and drink in the beauty of the day or curled up on my sofa with Bible and devotional.
Yes, I'd rather begin my day having coffee with God and connecting with Him than just about anything else I can think of. I look forward to it every morning. It prepares me for the day like no $4.95 cup of joe ever could, and it puts me in touch with the One who knows me like no other. I don't have to get dressed or get in my car. I don't have to put on makeup or be sure I'm fashionably dressed.
Coffee with God. Yes...there's no better way to start your day. Why not pour yourself a cup right now and join Him. He's waiting for you.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Do you ever God must feel when people ignore Him day after day after day....especially Christians?

Do you ever wonder.........if God looks down as He watches us as we struggle to live the Christian life, and HE wonders "Why don't they just read the instruction manual I gave them?"

Do you ever wonder........if God gets weary of trying to show people how much He loves them, and yet they seem to not see?

Do you ever God feels when there is so much evidence around us to demonstrate how awesome He is, yet there are those who still deny His existence?

Do you ever wonder...........if God sighs when he sees us making the same mistakes again and again and again, and if He ever says "Not again!"

Do you ever wonder.............when God steps in and saves us from something that could have been disastrous and we call it 'luck' instead of recognizing it was Him, if it pierces His heart?

Do you ever wonder..........if God looks down as we do "church" and says to Himself, "You people just don't get it, do you?"

Do you ever many times a day God whispers "I love you" to you?

Do you ever wonder............what the lost people around you will think when suddenly one day you are snatched from this earth, when in the "twinkling of an eye (which is faster than you can blink), you will be "caught up with Him in the air"...aka the rapture?

Do you ever wonder...........what it will be like when you finally see Jesus face to face?

I can only imagine................

Sunday, August 23, 2009


"He went out, not knowing whither he went." Heb. 11:8

"It is faith without sight.

When we can see, it is not faith, but reasoning.

In crossing the Atlantic we observed this very principle of faith. We saw no path upon the sea, nor sign of the shore. And yet day by day we were marking our path upon the chart as exactly as if there had followed us a great chalk line upon the sea. And when we came within twenty miles of land, we knew where we were as exactly as if we had seen it all three thousand miles ahead.

How had we measured and marked our course? Day by day our captain had taken his instruments and, looking up to the sky, had fixed his course by the sun. He was sailing by the heavenlies, not the earthly lights.

So faith looks up and sails on, by God's great Sun, not seeing one shore line or earthly lighthouse or path upon the way. Often its steps seem to lead into utter uncertainty and even darkness and disaster; but He opens the way and often makes such midnight hours the very gates of day. Let us go forth this day, not knowing but trusting.

Too many of us want to see our way through before starting out. If we could and did, from whence would come the development of our Christian graces? Faith, hope and love cannot be plucked from trees, like ripe apples. After the words "In the beginning" comes the word "God". The first step turns the key into God's powerhouse.....Waiting on God brings us to our journey's end quicker than our feet!"

-----From Streams in the Desert

Friday, August 21, 2009


There is something so comforting to me about the words "MY GOD". 'My' is a personal pronoun denoting ownership. God is the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, the Sustainer, the One and Only God....holy, righteous, infinite, eternal, the Alpha and Omega, the King of kings and Lord of lords. I am His and He is mine!!!!!!!!!!!

David wrote throughout the Psalms about his God. Though he was in the pit many times throughout scripture and lamented long and loud of his condition, he always came back to the one central point...God was his God and that is where his hope rested.

Listen to him and see if you do not find yourself in these verses:

"Innumerable evils have compassed me about; mine iniquities have taken hold upon me so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me, O Lord, make haste to help me. Withhold not your tender mercies from me; let you lovingkindness and your truth continually preserve me." Psalm 40: 12, 13, 11

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God. I shall yet praise him for the help of His countenance." Psalm 42: 5

"Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime and in the night his song shall be with me and my prayer shall be to the God of my life." Psalm 42: 8

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted with in me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him who is the health of my countenance and MY GOD." Psalm 42: 11

"For thou art the God of my strength...why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God MY EXCEEDING JOY!.....Why art thou cast down O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God for I shall praise him who is the health of my countenance and MY GOD!" Psalm 43: 2-5

If you find yourself in a pit today, if your soul is cast down...realize that your hope...your only found in God. Not just a god or any god, but in your GOD, the God of your salvation. If you know Him, he is yours...he is nearer than breathing, closer than hands and feet. If you don't know him, I'd love to share with you how you can. (You may contact me through the CONTACT button below)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


All my life I've heard when someone shows extraordinary patience that he or she has "the patience of Job". But, I've always taken issue with that. I don't think Job was particularly patient.

He questioned God. He grieved. He sought answers. And who could blame him? He lost everything near and dear to him (except for his wife and for all the good she did him, he probably grieved he DIDN'T lose her!)

He was considered "the greatest man in the east". (Job. 1: 3) God was proud of Job, saying "there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that fears God and eschews evil". He was in right standing with God and living an exemplary life before Him.

Then it all fell apart. God allowed Satan to attack him in every way except taking his life. He lost his entire family, except the wife; he lost his livestock...his livelihood and all his servants. Then on top of all that, he was struck with disease from head to toe. When his wife urged him to curse God and die, his reply was "Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil? "

But though he did not ever curse God, he did curse the day he was born. He questioned why God allowed this to happen to him. What had he done?

When bad things happen in our lives, that is usually our reaction. Why God? What did I do or what did I fail to do that has caused you to allow this in my life?!

One thing I've learned is that God allows these things for many different reasons. One is that it causes us to press into Him. Another is it quickly gets things into perspective...shows us what is really important in life. Sometimes it is to get our wake us up to something that God is trying to teach us...maybe something we've been dragging our feet about. And sometimes God simply allows it so that in our suffering HE is glorified.

The most difficult part of being in circumstances of suffering is that we don't always know what God is up to...we can't see where it's leading. We pray and seek His face, but when we see nothing happening, it is easy to lose heart and to lose hope.

That is when we must be like Job and remember what we KNOW!!!

Job lamented to one of his so-called 'friends':

Know now that God has overthown me, and has compassed me with his net. Behold I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard. I cry aloud, but there is no judgment. He has fenced up my way that I cannot pass and he has set darkness in my paths. He has stripped me of my glory and taken the crown from my head. He has destroyed me on every side and I am gone and my hope has he removed like a tree. He has kindled his wrath against me and he counts me unto him as one of his enemies. He has put my brethren far from me and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinfolk have failed and my familiar friends have forgotten me." (Job 19:3-14)

But after this gut wrenching declaration, Job finishes by declaring:

"For I KNOW that my redeemer lives and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth and though after my skin is destroyed by the worms, yet in my flesh I shall see GOD whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold!" Psalm 19: 25-27

Yes, dear friends, when we find ourselves in the dark places of our life...when all seems lost, we must remember what we KNOW....

We KNOW, like Job, that our REDEEMER lives!!!!!!!!!!!!

We KNOW that we shall see HIM face to face one day!!!

We KNOW that He does all things well....even when we see NO evidence that He is doing anything.

We KNOW that He has promised that ALL things work together for good to those who are the called according to HIS purpose.

These are just a few of the things we can KNOW. But the important thing is that the only way you are going to KNOW these things in the dark, is to be partaking of them in the light! You must be in the Word to KNOW the Word. For knowing the WORD is what will see you through those dark days, those days when all hope seems lost and no answers come. Then you must rely on what you KNOW and not what you SEE.

"For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

If darkness comes your way today, what do you KNOW?

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Have you poured out your heart to God.....yet Heaven seems silent?

Have you prayed for what seems like forever ......yet see no results?

Have you sought answers.....and still have none?

Have you plead with God repeatedly for help....yet none has come?

Have you prayed seems to no avail?

Have you wet your pillow with tears continuously...still no relief has come?

Have you laid your burden at the feet of Jesus more times than you can count....but you seem bent on picking it up again?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then these are for YOU:

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God IS with thee wherever you go! Joshua 1:9 [translation...DON'T GIVE UP! You are NOT alone no matter what the circumstances seem like.]

I will praise thee, O Lord with my whole heart. I will show forth all thy marvelous works. Psalm 9:1 [Praise dispels the darkness. As the Casting Crowns Song 'Praise You in This Storm' so eloquently says, "I'll praise you IN this storm and I will lift my hands. For you are who you are no matter where I am. Every tear I've cried, you hold in your hand...I'll praise you in this storm."]

As for God, his way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is tried..." Psalm 18: 30 [God doesn't make mistakes!]

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. [God promises joy will follow the weeping. Some nights are just longer than others.]

Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55: 22 [No matter how many times you have to do it, just keep casting it!]

Thou which has shown me great and sore troubles WILL quicken me again and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth...and comfort me on every side. [God WILL come through in HIS time!]

Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. [Keep your eyes on Jesus and NOT on your circumstances]

And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy your soul....and you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shall be called The Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58: 11, 12 [God is going to use this to teach future generations to follow Him]

God .... cannot lie...Titus 1:2

When the darkness overtakes us, we must not listen to Satan's lies. We must instead call to mind TRUTH as found in God's word. For God cannot lie. He is faithful to all generations. Though He sometimes takes a long time to act or respond, we must use that time to reflect upon His goodness, His mercy and His faithfulness. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He has promised to help us. He has promised to turn our mourning into dancing and our weeping into joy. Do we believe Him? If we do, no matter how we feel or how things look at the moment, no matter how long we've been waiting for God to act, we must surrender to His Holy and perfect will, believing that He does ALL things well. We must rejoice and trust in His Holy Word. We must PRAISE HIM IN OUR STORM!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The American Heart Association says that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women. They encourage women to get exercise...for the sake of their heart.

I HATE TO EXERCISE! Yes, I know it's good for me. Yes, I know I need to. Yes, I know that I'm always glad AFTER I do. But getting motivated to just DO IT is the hard part.

Our physical heart is an organ that we MUST have to live. Therefore, it behooves us to take good care of it by eating healthy, getting enough exercise and reducing stress.

But what about our spiritual heart? Have you ever thought about what is needed to get it healthy, too? I submit to you that there are several exercises we need to do to keep our spiritual heart in good condition:

Exercise #1 - Bend the knees in prayer.

A. Spend time just adoring your Savior, worshipping Him, praising Him for his goodness and his mercy and his grace. "My meditation of Him will be sweet. I will be glad in the Lord." Psalm 104: 34

B. Cleanse your heart by confessing your sins and asking for forgiveness. Your heart will immediately feel lighter. "Create in my a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me....restore to me the joy of my salvation. Open thou my lips and my moush shall show forth thy praise!" Psalm 51: 10, 12, 15

C. Petition the Lord with your needs and your burdens. He has the answers and He will meet all of your needs, thereby reducing your stress levels. "Call unto me in the day of trouble. I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me." Psalm 50: 15

D. Pray for others. Getting your eyes off yourself will be good for your heart.
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for all making requests with joy [for you]." Phil. 1: 3,4

Exercise #2 - Exercise your lips:

A. Praise the Lord! Praise will make your heart glad. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine!" Prov. 17: 22

B. Encourage someone. "Heaviness in the heart of a man makes it stoop, but a good word makes it glad." Prov. 12: 25

C. Tell someone about Jesus! "...that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel." Eph. 6: 19

D. Keeping your mouth closed can sometimes be the BEST exercise of all! "In the multitude of words, there is no lacking of sin; but he that refrains his lips is wise!" Prov. 10: 19 "He that keeps his mouth keeps his life; but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction." Prov. 13: 3

E. Be a peacemaker. "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." Prov. 15: 1

Exercise #3 - Exercise your hands:

A. Reach out and touch someone with kindness. A hug, a gentle touch, a firm handshake can speak volumes. "She stretches out her hands to the poor, yea she reaches forth her hands to the needy." Prov. 31: 20 "To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven...a time to embrace." Eccl. 3: 1, 5

B. Labor with your hands. "She looks well to the ways of her household and eats not the bread of idlesness." Prov. 31: 27 "He that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster." Prov. 18: 9

C. Give with your hands. "The righteous give and spare not." Prov. 21: 26

Exercise #4 - Exercise your ears:

A. Listen for a need you can meet. "Whoso stops his ears at the cry of the poor he also shall cry himself, but he shall not be heard." Prov. 21: 13

B. Listen to wise counsel. "Hear counsel and receive instruction that you may wise in the latter end." Prov. 19: 20 "A wise son hears his father's instruction but a scorner hears not rebuke." Prov. 13: 1

C. Listen for the voice of God. Samuel, as a small boy, heard God and said "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." "Cause me to hear your lovingkindness in the morning for in thee do I trust." Psalm 143: 8

Remember, your heart is vital to your life.

"A man's heart devises his way, but the Lord directs the steps." Prov. 16: 7

"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Prov. 22: 23

Now...let's get to it!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009


"When they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushments...(2 Chronicles 20:22)

There is something about music that soothes our souls. King Saul used to call the shepherd boy, David, to come and play his harp when a troubled spirit came upon him. Music is the backdrop of Heaven, where a heavenly choir of angels sings continuously. "I heard the singing of thousands and millions of angels around the throne...." Revelation 5:11.

Don Piper in his book 90 Minutes in Heaven, an account of his life after death experience, writes:

"A holy awe came over me as I stepped forward....then I heard the music....the most vivid memory of heaven is what I heard. I can only describe it as a holy whoosh of wings. But I'd have to magnify that thousands of times to explain the effect of the sound in Heaven. It was the most beautiful and pleasant sound I've ever heard, and it didn't stop. It was like a song that goes on forever. I just didn't hear the music, I felt like I was part of the music---and it played in and through my body. I stood still, yet felt embraced by the music.....Myriads of sounds so filled my mind and heart that it's difficult to explain them....the single most vivid memory of my entire heavenly experience was [the music]. I call it music, but it differed from anything I had ever heard of or ever expect to hear on earth. The melodies of praise filled the atmosphere...the praise was unending. Praise was everywhere, and all of it was musical, yet comprised of melodies and tones I'd never experienced before. "Hallelujah! Praise! Glory to God! Praise to the King" Such words rang out in the midst of the music......The celestial tunes surpassed any I had ever heard. Even now back on earth, sometimes I hear faint echoes of that same music. No matter how difficult a day I've had, peace immediately fills every part of my being [with the sounds of Heaven filling my heart and mind.]"

Hebrews 13:15 tells us that we are to offer "a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."

Sometimes in the midst of our turmoil and pain, it is a true SACRIFICE to let that go and instead begin to praise. But, if we will do that, we will realize that we cannot focus on our problems AND praise at the same time! Our songs of praise will actually dispel the darkness.

'We can sing our cares away easier than we can reason them away. Sing in the morning. The birds are the earliest to sing and birds are more without care than anything else that I know of. Sing at evening. Singing is the last thing that robins do. When they have done their daily work; when they have flown their last flight an dpicked up their last morsel of food, then on a topmost twig, they will sing songs of praise." (Streams in the Desert)

Today if you are burdened with a load of care, if your heart is heavy, if your problems are mountainous, turn up the music...TURN IT UP LOUD and begin to praise the Lord with all your might!! The demons will flee, your heart will sing and God will be lifted up!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


"Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee...who passing through the valley of weeping, makes it a well." Psalm 84: 5, 6

"When night---needful night---gathers over the garden of our souls, when the leaves close up, and the flowers no longer hold any sunlight within their folded petals, there shall never be wanting, even in the thickest darkness [for God sends] drops of heavenly dew---dew which falls only when the sun has gone."

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the God of all comfort was with me
At hand to uphold and sustain.
As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.
When he leads thro' some valley of trouble
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us
Are part of His lessons in grace.
Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.
Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
'Hereafter Thou'lt know what I do.'
As we travel thro' life's shadow'd valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.
So we'll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night."
---Author unknown
Copied from Streams in the Desert

Saturday, August 8, 2009


If you have a child or grandchild, hug them a little closer today.

If you are in the baby days and feel as if you are being buried in a mountain of diapers and long for a full night's sleep....

If you are in the season of terrible twos and threes, and feel like you are losing your mind......

If you are in the whirlwind of school days when the activities, book reports, science projects and ballgames seem never ending.....

If you have a teenager and you are ready to pull the last strand of your hair out....

Read the last journal entry from a Caring Bridge website written by the mother of a little 4 year old boy in Olive Branch, Mississippi. I think your perspective on your situation, however trying it may be right now, will change.

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to give you all the update from out test results today. Turner's cancer has returned yet again. The two areas that we just finished radiation on, his cheek bone and above his right eye, have started to grow again, along with the new area under his jaw bone. So, Keith and I met with our two doctors today and had a discussion regarding Turner's treatment. He will no longer have treatment for his disease. We were told today that it will be almost impossible for Turner to be cured. So, after great discussion between Keith and I and with the agreement of our doctors, we feel that quality of life is the most important thing for Turner and our family now.

Turner will go in for visits every couple of weeks or so or until he starts to show signs of discomfort. He will be given oral pain meds as long as they will work for him. After that point, he will need to have a port put in so that he can get IV pain meds. At that time any further care needed will be given in our home. One of our doctors has requested if she can be our at home doctor and we are thankful for that, since she knows our exact situation

No words can express our sadness right now. We are thankful that Turner is still feeling very well and seems to be his happy self. Most importantly we are thankful to have been chosen to be Turner's parents. We hope you all know that your continued prayers, love, and support have been so greatly appreciated. As Turner's doctor once told me, prayer is the most powerful medicine. So, we will not stop.

Love, Sarah

We have been praying for Turner for months, praying for a miracle. Our God is a miracle working God. He healed Jairus's daughter. He healed the blind and made the lame to walk. He spoke and they were healed. He raised the dead. He IS able. He is the Great Physician.

So we continue to pray for Turner even though it appears that this horrible disease is quickly overtaking his little body. God WILL heal this precious child. He will either do a tremendous miracle and raise him up here on earth, or He will take him home to Heaven where Jesus will meet him with open arms and he will dance with the angels.

Turner will be healed if God takes him home, but his parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles and all those who love him, will be left with a huge hole in their hearts. God will comfort and heal them, too, but it will take time.

But for today as you look at your child or grandchild.....remember Turner. Hug yours a little tighter today and thank God for them, even on the difficult days. For in Olive Branch there is a momma and a daddy who will be thinking today each time they hug Turner, "How many hugs do I have left?"

We take what we have so for granted. Our health, our children's health, our time spent with them. We rush from activity to activity much like a storybook I read to my granddaughter "run, rush, chase and scramble". We don't stop very often to really drink in the moments...the precious moments we have with those we love.

So today...for Turner and his mom and dad....cherish your moments. And breath a prayer for Turner and his family. We need to storm Heaven on his behalf. It is not too late. God can still work a miracle! We will not give up trusting in Him for He is abundantly able.

Please pass this as a prayer request to your prayer lists. You may check out Turner's story at

Friday, August 7, 2009


Heard this catchy commercial today on the radio....

"If a woman says, 'I have nothing to wear' it means she has nothing new.
If a man says, 'I have nothing to wear', it means he has nothing clean."

I thought that was pretty funny. Then as I was standing in line....a VERY long Kohl's, I heard the mom behind me say to her teenage daughter, 'Honey why don't you go see if there are some tee shirts you like while I wait in line." To which the daughter said with utter disgust, "Mom, there are NO tee shirts I like here!"

Translated that meant, "Oh my could you be so dumb as to think I'd be caught dead in a tee shirt from Kohl's.!!"

So, does that mean if a teenager says she has nothing to wear, it means 'I have nothing I'd be seen in by the "IN CROWD" and costing less than $100?!!

Appearance is important to most all of and women and teens alike. Although my husband often argues with me that being "fashionable" is not important and grumbles about the fact that styles constantly changing is nothing more than a "money maker" for the fashion industry, I have to remind him that he does not have a single leisure suit in his closet and his white shoes and belt went the way of the yard sale many, many years ago!!

I do care about appearance and about not being "out of style", but labels have never been important to me. I guess there have always been things I thought were more important to spend my money on. Besides, my husband works very, very hard to provide for us, and it is important to me to be a good steward of that and not to be frivolous.

Today with advertising everywhere you turn and our kids being pushed to have it all from the latest technology to the latest in fashion, it is hard not to have a child who is always wanting more. It is hard for many adults I know to be satisfied with what they have and not always be yearning for more. A bigger house, a newer car, the newest in the fashion line from pricey handbags to designer sunglasses all beckon to some who cannot stand to not have the latest and greatest.

We watched a commercial last night where a young boy, probably 9 or 10, got up in front of his class to give a report and did so by opening up his laptop. I looked at my husband and remarked that in a few years our granddaughters will probably not be shopping at Fred's or Walmart for notebook paper or composition books. They will simply take their laptops to school! Incredible!

My mother told me she had gotten something in her Verizon bill that offered a real deal on a Blackberry and wanted to know if I wanted it. I thanked her but told her 'no'....I do not need one more thing to occupy any of my time. Technology is grand, but enough is enough! I want to have some time left to actually speak to people and look into their eyes instead of into a computer or phone screen.

Satan is very subtle in causing us to be dissatisfied and always wanting more and more and more. It all started in the garden with Eve. She had everything she could have possibly wanted. The BEST of everything on earth. She only had heard me right....ONE rule to follow..."Don't eat this one....O - N - E....fruit. All the rest you can freely eat." And what did Satan do? He made her feel like she was missing out by not getting to eat that ONE fruit!! It worked and we have been paying the price ever since. And what' s worse, his same technique is still working just as well today as it did then. Are we suckers or what?

Maybe we need to read and re-read Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want," and learn to be more content with what we have. Think that would work when you take your teens shopping?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


"Be still................................"

"Be still..............................."

"Be still...............................and know that I AM GOD." Psalm 46:10

It is in the stillness that we come to truly KNOW God. When our souls become quiet before Him. When we shut out the clamor and noise that pervades our lives. When we get alone before Him and truly listen, THEN we will KNOW Him.

After another night of showers, thunder and lightening, I decided that the porch would be a perfect place for my morning quiet time. I cherish that time with the Lord and being outside just enhances my closeness to Him.

It was early and the clouds hovered overhead, still unsure if they were going to move on and allow the sun to break through or shower us with more rain. The cool morning temperatures were a great respite from the heat and humidity we had yesterday. A light breeze was blowing and the only sound was the rain dripping from the gutters and a lone bird singing her song. Ahhhh, such peace.

I opened my JESUS CALLING devotional book and read these words:

"Sit quietly in My Presence while I bless you. Make your mind a still pool, ready to receive whatever thoughts I drop into it. Rest in my sufficiency as you consider the challenges this day presents."

And so I did. I sat there with my eyes closed and just drank in the stillness, thanking God for those few peaceful moments alone with Him.

I continued to read and pray. I needed to get up and go inside, but the peacefulness just would not let me go. The breeze had been blowing softly through the trees that surround our house which sits in a semi circle of a small grove of trees. Suddenly from the lower end of the grove the wind began to blow with more of a vengence, the trees swaying to and fro. The sound of it made me wonder if a storm were about to break. The wind was fierce and the rustling of the trees got louder and louder as the wind made its way around the grove. Soon the windchimes behind my head were swaying wildly, playing their tune with all their tune with all their might. Overhead the clouds seemed dark and threatening. I wondered if I should not get up and go turn on the TV to see if indeed a tornado watch was out or if another storm were approaching. But....I couldn't move. I was absolutely mesmerized as I watched the wind blowing so forcefully through the trees, their branches heaving and sighing with each gust that blew, leaves being ripped and blown across the yard.

I was reminded of the verse I used here just a few days ago from Nahum..."God is in the whirlwind" Nahum1:3 Indeed He is.

I was struck with the fact that God is the only one in control of the wind and all the weather. For all of man's ingenuity, he cannot cause the sun to rise or set, the rain to fall or not. He does not say when or where the wind will blow or for how much or how long. Only GOD does that! Isn't that an awesome and comforting thought?

I love the verses in Job where God speaks to Job:

"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind [notice it was OUT OF THE WHIRLWIND] and said, 'Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth....who has laid the measures of it, do you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it?...............I made the cloud the garment thereof and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it.............Have you perceived the breadth of the earth...declare it if you know....By what way is the light parted which scatters the east wind upon the earth....Hath the rain a father or who begat the drops of dew?'" Job 38

He reminded Job as He reminds us that He alone is in control!!

Now as I write this, it is so still not a leaf is moving. Who stilled the winds? Who moved the clouds? Who holds back the rain?

Only One...the Lord God Almighty, the Lord strong and mighty. Man may control many things, or they think they do, but God is ultimately and supremely in control of this universe. He spoke it into being and He will one day bring it to an end. He and He alone! Worship Him with me today in the beauty of His holiness and awesome power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Why is following the rules so difficult?

Have you ever heard someone comment "Oh he has to do everything by the book!" or "She is such a stickler for the rules!" if following the rules were something sinister.

By and large rules are made for our good, to protect us, to keep us from harming ourselves or others. As children we see rules as barriers to fun or to keep up from doing what we want, but hopefully as we grow up, we realize that rules were made not so much to fence us in, but to shield us from harm.

But, in order to keep the rules, you must KNOW the rules!

In our neighborhood, we have covenants. These covenants were established to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood and to enhance our property values. When anyone purchases or builds in our neighborhood they are provided a copy of these covenants at closing. One can either choose to live here and abide by them, or choose to live elsewhere.

Yet maintaining those covenants is one of the most difficult tasks the homeowners' association has to deal with.

Case in point. A few years ago, a new neighbor decided to build a fence and construct a shop. In order to build or construct anything in our neighborhood, the covenants require that the homeowners' association issue a permit. In turn that permit is presented to the county to obtain the necessary permit to begin construction. Without the neighborhood permit, no county permit can be issued. Or I should say SHOULD be issued.

Unfortunately for this particular neighbor he was issued a county permit with out first obtaining the neighborhood one. He began construction of his fence. Problem was he was in violation of the covenants on two points. #1, he failed to get the neighborhood permit, and #2 he was building the fence on the line instead of the appropriate number of feet from the line. When this was realized by a board member, a stop work order was issued.

Naturally the homeowner was none too happy. However, he prepared the necessary paperwork and submitted it to the Board. Everything was approved except for the fence. It was still in violation of the covenants and the board had no authority to grant an exception. That could only be done by a 2/3 vote of the homeowners. He chose, instead, to tear down the fence and re-construct it.

I felt really bad for him, but the bottom line was that he could have avoided all the hassle and expense if he had just done one thing. Read the covenants! He had no one to blame but himself. Yes, the county was in error in granting him a permit, but the responsibility for his knowing and abiding by the covenants was his.

As believers we too have rules to abide by. God gives us His word to live by. He has outlined for us what we are to do and not do, how to treat others, how to share Him with others. He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He demands obedience. Yet we cannot obey if we do not take the time to open the book and see what He expects of us. I think sometimes we think if we just lay our Bible around where we can see it or carry it with us to church on Sundays, somehow we will just absorb it. But that's just not the way it works.

I used to tell the children in VBS that it's like a can only get out of it what you put into it. If you take the time to "input" God's word into your life, He will be sure to bless it and multiply it in your life. He has promised that His word will NOT return void. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven and returns not again but waters the earth and makes it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and seed to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth [the Bible] shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing where to I sent it." Isaiah 55:8-11.

God's word is not meant to be a stuffy rulebook, but it is His guidebook and instruction manual to help us navigate our way on our journey. Don't leave home without it sure to open it and READ it!!!!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Don't you just love how personal God is? !! Oh how He loves us and desires to communicate with us, His beloved children.

Before church this morning, I prayed "Lord speak to me today. Encourage my heart."

I love our church and just being there is encouraging to me. I love the people in our Sunday School class (aka Connecting Points Class) and the women I'm in Women's Ministry with. Seeing familiar faces as I walk down the hall blesses me as we connect with a word of greeting or a smile or a hug. This is my family and I am at home here.

As I sat in worship, our worship leader, Hank, took a moment to share a thought that God had planted in his heart just for me. Hank is a pilot. He shared that pilots gauge their day by the weather. Pretty, sunny days mean great flying. Gray, overcast days mean low ceiling and they are limited in what they can do. He said as a young pilot he would always be disgruntled when the cloudy, rainy days hindered his plans for flying. But as he matured, he realized that it was not all about the fun things you could do on the sunny days. That gray skies are as much a part of life as sunny days and that it was actually on those dismal days that his skills as a pilot were honed and perfected.

How like our lives. Who doesn't prefer the sunny days? I happen to be "solar energized" and too many days of rain and gray skies really get me down. In life, I too do not like the "storms". I prefer the happy days to the gray days of worry, anxiety, hurt and discouragement. I do not like conflict. I tend to be more like Joan Rivers..."can't we all just get along?"

I think of some of the happiest days in my life and often wish that every day could be just that happy. But, that is wishful thinking. Jesus told us, "In this life you WILL have tribulation. But, be of good cheer for I have overcome the world!" John 17: 33

I realized as Hank spoke that though we have those gray days, God is IN those days just as He is IN the sunny days. And, just as when we fly, we can rise above the clouds to the sunshine of His love, His peace, and His comfort. We must look past the clouds to the SON who wants to shine through the clouds and warm our hearts. The earlier part of John 17:33 says "These things have I spoken unto you, that IN ME you might have peace."

But, God was not finished speaking to me. In the message which was given today by one of our elders, David Olford shared that as a young 8 year old boy he went to the beach with some friends. He was led way into the water by the man whom he was with. Suddenly a huge wave engulfed him. He was thrown up and down in the water and remembered thinking, "OK God, if this is it, I'm coming to you!" Having had a similar experience some years ago, I totally related to his dilemma. Just when he thought it was all over, his head bobbed up and he realized that the gentleman he was with had hold of his arm. He had never let go! He had held on to David the entire time he was churning in that wave, yet he was so overwhelmed he didn't realize it.

Sometimes life crashes in on us in wave after wave til we think we cannot hold on any longer. We feel helpless and nearly overtaken by our circumstances. What we need to remember is that God is holding on to us by His mighty right hand. He will not let go no matter what!!!!!!!!!!

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage, neither be thou dismayed. For the Lord THY God is with thee wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you." Joshua 1: 5

"Fear not for I am with thee; be not dismayed for I am THY God; I will strenthen thee, yea I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness....for I the Lord THY God will hold your right hand saying unto thee, Fear Not I will help thee." Isaiah 41: 10, 13

Today, though your clouds may be gray and your life may be churning, look THROUGH the clouds and realize that God is there. You are not alone. He is holding you by His mighty right hand. He will see you through. The sun will shine again. Seek Him today. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in the midst of your storm. He will. He loves you and wants you to know that He is there.

God has not promised
Skies always blue
Flower strewn pathways
All our lives through
God has not promised
Sun without rain
Joy without sorrow
Peace without pain.
But God has promised
Strength for the day
Rest for the labor
Light for the way
Grace for the trials
Help from above
Unfailing sympathy
Undying love.
--Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932)