Monday, January 31, 2011



"Consider it all joy, my brothers, whenever you experience VARIOUS trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces ENDURANCE.  But...endurance must do its complete work SO THAT [the object of the exercise] you may be mature and complete, lacking NOTHING!"  James 1: 2-4

I have the wonderful joy and privilege of teaching a sweet group of Mommas on Wednesday nights.  We are currently studying the book of James as we walk through Jean Stockdale's study, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Jesus Fairest of Them All.

As is usually the case, I never teach that God does not hone in on ME most of all through the material taught.  I have not been able to get away from this verse since we began to study it.  I think one reason is, that with Jean's help, I've seen it more deeply that ever before.

The word "various" means 'varigated' or 'multi-colored', much as you would think of Joseph's multi-colored coat made for him by his father, Jacob.  Our trials are all different.  And, when we realize that NOTHING....absolutely nothing...comes into our lives without being filtered through the loving fingers of our Heavenly Father, we realize that each of our trials is uniquely crafted to bring about a desired end....the maturing of our faith.

But...did you know that with each trial you face, there is a corresponding grace to handle that trial?  I Peter 4:10 says "Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good mangers of the varied grace of God".  That word "varied" is the same word used in James 1: 2. 

I Peter 1:6 also says "You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith...more valuable than gold which perishes though refined by fire...may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

I don't know of anyone who enjoys going through trials. I certainly don't.   Considering it JOY or REJOICING in them seems foreign not to mention impossible!  Yet we must realize that the trials God allows into our lives are not meant to destroy us, but rather to refine us.  Refining precious metals requires the ore to be fired in a furnace at extreme temperatures in order to burn away the dross, the impurities that pollute it.  The test of the refiner is when he can finally look into the cauldron of ore and see his reflection. 

God desires to purifiy us, to remove  impurities in our lives and hearts that pollute us and keep us from reflecting Him.  It can be a painful process, but there is always pain in growth.  We can also take comfort in knowing that for every unique trial that we go through, God has a hand-crafted, personalized grace sufficient to help us to endure.  We must also remember that there is a desired end...namely that our faith will come to maturity, be complete, lacking NOTHING and that our lives will reflect the Son and bring honor, glory and praise to Him.  

And to that end, we can truly considert it joy and REJOICE!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


















Broken heart

Shattered dreams






"Surely I will come quickly....  Even so, come Lord Jesus!" Rev. 22: 21

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I am totally solar energized.  I do not function well when we have days on end of gray skies and no sunshine.  But I also realized today that I am snow immobilized.  I cannot do anything when it is snowing except walk from window to window to get another view of the beauty of the snow falling.  It totally mesmerizes me!!  I cannot get enough of watching it. 

I am thankful that I am not having to drive on icy streets or work outside in the cold and wet.  But warm inside my house, I can take in the absolute beauty of God's creation!! 

Today, in only a matter of about 15 minutes, our yard has gone from nothing to this! And it is still coming down quite heavily.  I love it!

I am reminded that God uses snow to remind us of how He cleanses us from sin.

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1: 18

It also reminds us of Jesus and His purity:

“As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze."  Daniel 7:9

"His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow." Matt. 28:3

"The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire" Rev. 1:14

Today as you enjoy the beauty of the snow, thank God for His marvelous creation and its magnificent beauty, but also thank Him for salvation, that washes us white as snow so that one day we will see Jesus face to face...we will see Him in all His purity and holiness. 

Let it snow...Let it snow....Let it snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"Look! He is coming with the clouds and EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM..."  Revelation 1: 7

I am in a study of Revelation right now and oh what a blessing to dig into this blessed book.  It is causing me to read every word and every phrase and to really THINK about what it is saying, trying to visualize it in my mind.

In conjunction with this study, I've been reading THE VISION OF HIS GLORY by Anne Graham Lotz.  In regard to the verse quoted above, she wrote:

"On the day Jesus returns, everyone will be looking at Jesus.  But, hav eyou ever considered where HE will be looking?  He will be looking for you!  He has told us ," I will come back and take you to be with me" John 14:3  His eyes will be searching the crowds of upturned faces, looking for you!"

That statement captivated me.  As we turn to look at Him, He will be looking each of us in the face, eye to eye. Miraculous in that He can do that with EACH ONE OF US at the same time!  But, He is God and He can do that.  But to me, it just once again signifies how personal He is to each of us.  I believe at that moment when our eyes meet is when every knee will bow.  Just as John sees Jesus in Revelation and immediately He goes from describing His eyes to describing His feet .  Why?  Because the moment he saw Jesus eye to eye in His resurrected body, He fell on his face "as dead". 

Still, the thought of Him looking at each of us as if we were the only person on earth reminds me once again of His great love.  Oh how He loves us!   Each of us, individually.  He knows us by name.  He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads.  He knows each thought and the intent of our hearts....EACH OF US.  And Psalms tells us that HIS thoughts toward us....each of more than the sands of the sea!!!!  Have you ever tried to count just a handful of sand?  Multiply that by the billions to the umpteenth power!!  That's how much He thinks about you and me.   Our finite minds cannot even begin to scratch the surface of that kind of love.

We just cannot fathom that kind of love, but it real just the same.  Today I hope you will think about that love...that love that is

Immeasureable.....there are absolutely no limits to His love for you has no beginning and no end

Unconditional....there are no conditions to His love.  There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more and nothing you can do will ever make Him love you less.  Your performance does not affect His love for you.  HE JUST strings attached.

I hope you know MY JESUS.  Because He knows YOU and He loves you with an everlasting love.  If you do not know Him, you can and I'd love to tell you how because one day you will see Him face to face, eye to eye and your knee will bow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011



The very mention of it strikes terror in the heart of anyone who is old enough to know what it is and what it does.  It is the word no one wants to hear when tests are completed.  It is the word no one wants to hear when biopsies are done.  It does not matter if you are a parent, a child or an do NOT want to hear that word mentioned in relation to anyone you love or to yourself.

Yet it is prevalent in our society.  Consider this...according to the American Cancer Society, men have a lifetime risk of slightly less than 1 in 2 chance of developing or dying from cancer.  For women, it is slightly more than 1 in 3.  I doubt there is anyone reading this who has never known of anyone with cancer.  In fact, many who are reading this have either had cancer in the past, are battling it now or have a family member who has died from the disease.

Pretty depressing stuff, isn't it? 

I have several friends right now who are battling this dreaded disease as well as a family member.  My husband and I have lost numerous family members to cancer, so we are well acquainted with the havoc it wreaks on lives and families. 

But, on a positive note...we also know many people who have battled this disease and WON!!!  One of those amazing people is Jim Siegfried.  Jim was diagnosed with lung cancer (and no, he was NOT a  smoker) several years ago.  After going through treatment and surgery, he also battled re-occurences in several locations before FINALLY being declared CANCER FREE!!!  We praise God for his miraculous healing, but the wonderful thing is that Jim has used this has his wife, Cyndi, to help others who are battling this disease and to give them HOPE.

Their ministry is called F. A. I. T. H. (Facing An Illness Through Him).  They are a support group for those going through a serious illness (not limited to cancer) and for their caretakers as well.  For more information about this group, please go to  Cyndi has written a marvelous book entitled, A Cancer Journey, A Caregiver's View from the Passenger Seat.  If you know anyone who is going through this journey, either as the patient or the caregiver, I cannot recommend it enough.  You can check it out at

If you or someone you love is facing CANCER right now, I hope you will find the following an encouragement to you!

Cancer is SO limited.....

It cannot cripple love,

It cannot shatter hope,

It cannot corrode faith,

It cannot eat away at peace,

It cannot destroy confidence,

It cannot kill friendship,

It cannot shut out memories,

It cannot silence courage,

It cannot invade the soul,

It cannot reduce eternal life,

It cannot quench the Spirit,

It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection!

Remember, through CHRIST JESUS, we are "more than conquerors through Him who loves us" Romans 8:37