Sunday, December 2, 2012


On this Sunday morning, Lord, I want to worship YOU.

I acknowledge who you are...

The Messiah

Our Lord and Savior

King of Kings and Lord of Lords

The Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and the End

Creator God




You alone deserve our worship and praise.

You came into this world in a lowly stable, born to a peasant girl and boy.

Your first bed was a manger filled with hay.

Your first witnesses to your glory, the ordinary cows and sheep and donkeys.

Your first visitors were common men...shepherds.

But you were anything but common.  Anything but ordinary.

Your story began in a garden, became manifested in a stable, was lived out on a cruel cross and will one day culminate in Heaven around the throne of God!

You and you alone are God.  You deserve all of our worship and all of our praise.

May you be our central focus today.  Not a man...not a teacher...not a particular church...not a style of music or a song....just YOU!

Worthy....Worthy is the Lamb of God.  Worthy of all honor and glory and praise!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I woke up yesterday with a lot on my mind.  A ton of things that needed my attention, things weighing on my heart, and I really wasn't sure where to begin.  I had fixed my coffee and was standing in the middle of my kitchen, contemplating what to do first.  I breathed a prayer and said "Lord, what do I do first?!"  At that moment, my eyes fell on my Bible lying on the kitchen table.  It was almost as if God shined a spotlight on it.  I sort of laughed, and said "Ok...I hear you."  Although I would be leading a Bible study in a few hours in my home and I did need to look over my notes, I sensed that I just needed to open it up and let God speak.

I did and He did.

After flipping through several passages, I landed where I almost always do...Psalms.  My eyes fell on the verses 9-10 of Psalm 119, "I have sought you with my whole heart.  Do not let me wander from your commands."  I felt that voiced the desire of my heart.  I continued reading and then came to verses 15, 16

"I will meditate on your precepts
I will think on your ways
I will delight in your statutes
I will not forget your word."

Those words just jumped off the page at me!  Two reasons.  One, I am the world's worst at rehearsing my woes over and over and over in my mind.  What I should have done or said, what can I do or say, how can I fix this, what if....., etc."  I talk to the Lord constantly about them (not a bad thing, but I have a feeling even HE sometimes wishes I'd give it a rest!).  I know better.  I know not to dwell on those things, not to worry, but I still do.

So when I read those words, it was as if God was reminding me GET YOUR MIND ON THE RIGHT THINGS !!

The second reason was that the Bible study I've been leading has been about God's Story.  We have been doing a chronological study of the Word of God and the one thread we have seen throughout the Bible has been the thread of Bible literacy and how important it is to the survival of a nation and of a life on a personal level.  These verses speak directly to that!

So I have challenged those in my Bible study to memorize these 2 verses for next week.

The first line says "I will meditate on your precepts."  

What does it mean to "meditate"?  Webster defines meditate: "to focus one's thoughts on, to ponder, to chew over, to study, to question, to 'kick around', to wrestle with."

What are precepts?  "A command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action".  

So, if we are to "mediate on your precepts", we will ponder, chew on, wrestle with and question a command or principle put forth in the Word of God.  That will require more than a mere glance at this principle or verse.  It will require that we take it with us, either by memory or in written form.  We will think on it again and again throughout our day.  We will contemplate what it means for us specifically.  We will ask the Lord to open the eyes of our understanding to His meaning for us and for our lives.  Once we begin to do that, we will begin to "own" that verse.  It will no longer just be words on a page.  It will be personal to us, to our situation, and that is when, I believe, that God will begin to change us and maybe even our circumstances.

"I will think about your ways."  God's ways are not our ways.  He is our role model.  When we begin to think about and read about His ways, we will learn to follow after Him.  We will begin to see how He wants us to live.  That, too, will change our lives.  We are to be image bearers to the world, witnesses to the world of the life that resides within us as believers.  If we never give any thought to God's ways, we will never be like Him.

"I will delight in your statutes."  A statute is defined as "an ordinance or a law."   God gave a number of laws and ordinances for us to live by.  Do we "delight" in them?  We should.  They are for our good and for our protection.  It is important for us to know what they are so that we can live within their boundaries.  We can feel secure and cared for when we know the laws that God has instituted for our good and when we obey them.  God never enacted any rule or law to harm us.  Just like we, as parents, make rules for the good of our children, so God has made rules for the good of us, His children.  It just shows He loves us and wants what is best for us.  For that reason, we CAN delight in His laws.

"I will not forget your Word."  If we are meditating on His Word, thinking on His ways, and delighting ourselves in His laws, we will NOT forget His Word.  It will become a part of us.  If we allow God's Word to fill our minds rather than our problems, agendas, and concerns, we will find those things somehow becoming "strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace". 

I challenge you to memorize those verses with us this week and free your mind from "stinkin' thinkin'"!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


 After the children of Israel (the Israelites) went into the Promised Land, the land of Canaan, which God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they were to possess the land, removing the people from each of the territories and removing ALL vestiges of their religious practices.  The Israelites were to be a 'set-apart' people, God's peculiar treasure.  They were to demonstrate to the world what it would look like to live in obedience to the one true God.  They were given strict laws and statutes to follow so that they would not in any way resemble these pagan nations.  God promised manifold blessings for their obedience, BUT....He also warned them if they did not obey, there would be severe consequences.  They were a wicked, obstinate, stiff-necked people and they continually strayed from His paths.   Time after time He showed them mercy.  He pursued them.  He sent prophets to warn them they were going to face dire consequences if they did not repent and turn back to Him.  They refused.  So, He took His hand off of them and allowed foreign nations to take them into exile for 70 years.  II Kings 17: 7-20 explains:

 All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. 12 They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”[a] 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.

Fast forward to 2012:

America left the God of her founding fathers and chose to worship what man could create.  Man's inventions and creations became the gods of America.  They sought money more than God.  Bigger houses, cars, vacation homes, and all kinds of technology soon consumed them.  The Word of God was removed from the schools and evolution and the Big Bang Theory was taught in their place.  The Ten Commandments were ripped from schools and courthouses and situational ethics became the by-word.  Children were murdered in the womb and old people were tossed aside as worthless.   Hollywood became their god, parading sexual immorality before their eyes and perversion of every sort, til their minds and hearts were corrupted.  What God called an abomination was legalized and uplifted, being taught as an alternate lifestyle in the schools and accepted in the pulpits.  The Word of the Lord was watered down and re-translated to suit the people.  False prophets proclaimed a false gospel but the people were too blind to see.  America has been led astray and no longer worships God, but does what is right in their own eyes and one day God's judgment will fall as surely as it did on the house of Israel!


Sunday, September 16, 2012


"But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark.  And knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matt. 24: 37-39

So what was it like in the days of Noah...the days preceding the flood?  Genesis 6: 5 tells us, 'And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that EVERY imagination of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY evil CONTINUALLY."

Did you get that??

EVERY thought of his heart...not some of his thoughts....not an occasional thought of his heart....EVERY thought of his heart was ONLY evil CONTINUALLY!!

Let that sink in a moment...........

I think things are pretty bad now.  Just to peruse the TV programs on right now can make you sick to your stomach.  There is literally NOTHING they won't put on television or in movies now.  And what's worse, PEOPLE WATCH IT!!

It is as if all moral restraint has been removed.  There is nothing off-limits any more.  The old saying of "If it feels good, do it" is the motto of the day.

Yet there ARE godly people still left on this earth.  People who love the Lord Jesus and serve Him and worship Him.  So with that in mind, at least we can't say that EVERY thought of EVERY heart is ONLY evil CONTINUALLY....yet.

Still, it should make us aware how close we are to being there.

But, there's more.  God says that when the end times draw near, people will be doing life as normal, oblivious to the coming danger.  Noah had warned the people of his day for 120 years that judgment was coming.  No one paid him any attention.  He was just that insane guy building a huge boat in the middle of the desert! They were, you might say, blindsided by the flood that killed them all.

Last week our embassy was attacked in Libya.  Our ambassador was murdered and so were 3 other Americans.  Yet as I strolled through Facebook yesterday and today, I saw almost nothing about it.  No one seemed to care.  There was more outrage over football games than anything else.

And while the games played, and our teams won or lost, while Rocky Top was sung, "whopigsooie" and "hoddy-toddy" were yelled,  a world away our troops were being sent to the Persian Gulf along with other countries' naval forces as Israel prepares for possible war with Iran.*  Did anyone notice?

The U. S. has always been a strong ally of Israel.  I should hope so, for Zechariah 2:8 says "For thus says the LORD of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, [Israel] for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.  Our president has said America "will always have Israel's back".  Unfortunately, his actions speak louder than his words.  Israeli President Netanyahu will be in New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly and has requested a meeting with President Obama either there in NY or in Washington.  Our President's response?  Too busy.  Just no time in his busy schedule.  But...he WILL have time to appear on the TONIGHT show with David Letterman.* 

We are going about our busy lives just as in the days of Noah.   Doing business as usual.  Yet in the blink of an eye, our entire world could suddenly be turned upside down!  It's almost like watching a movie as the plot thickens and you can tell by the "JAWS" type music, that something BIG is about to happen.  The suspense is building up to the climax as the music swells.  You want to yell at the people "LOOK OUT!! CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN??"  But, of course, they can't hear you.  They are about to be blindsided and there is nothing we can do to help them.

I wonder if God is trying to wake us up as well and we are all too busy with football and our jobs and our other activities to notice the impending doom.

I'm not trying to be dramatic.  Yet I can't help but wonder.  Are we on the brink of being blindsided??

Joel Rosenberg put it best:

"To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it.

We didn't understand the threat posed by Adolph Hitler and the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany in the 1930's and we were blindsided by the invasion of Europe and the death camps of the Holocaust.

We didn't understand the threat imposed by Imperial Japan in 1941 and we were blindsided by the attack at Pearl Harbor.

We didn't understand the threat imposed by Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda in 2001and we were blindsided by the attacks of September 11th."*  I remember that day.  I remember it well.  And I never want to feel the way I felt that day again in my life!! 

Maybe it's time we woke up, looked around and paid attention to what is happening on the other side of the world.  If we don't, we may wake up one morning soon to find life as we once knew it here in America to be gone for good.  

Instead of burying our heads in the sand, maybe we need to fall on our knees and cry out to God for our country, our upcoming election and for all those fighting men and women who are standing on the wall for us and fighting for our freedom.





Friday, August 17, 2012


The pain of the anguished heart is deep. It is a cutting pain, one that sears and threatens to take the very breath of life away.

Hatred and rejection are the knives that drive deep into the heart, cutting so deeply that the blood of heartbreak flows freely. How could something cause such searing pain and not be tangible? Yet the pain is as real as the slicing away of an appendage of the body without anesthetic.

Why would one human being choose to inflict this kind of anguish on another? It is not random. It is not accidental. No, but rather deliberate, calculated and enjoyed by the perpetrator. It almost seems to produce a sense of satisfaction to that one who is inflicting this pain upon its subject.

Jesus was acquainted with grief in all points like we are (Heb. 14: 15). Isaiah also tells us that Jesus was a man of sorrows “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. (Is 53:3). Yes Jesus knew a lot about the anguished heart.

It humbles me and deeply moves me that He would willingly endure such grief and heartache in order to reach me. I've often thought about how He bore the nails for me, but have never given much thought to how he endured the rejection, being despised, and hated, just for me. He knew the meaning of an anguished heart. For the rest of the verse in Isaiah says “we hid as it were our faces from Him; he was despised and we esteemed Him not.”

So only Jesus can understand the anguished heart. He alone can identify with one who is suffering from the blows of rejection and being despised. But He does. He knows. He understands. He cares. He has not left us alone to bear these burdens. He invites us to “cast all our cares on Him, for He cares for us.”

Furthermore, His love is not like human love. It does not end. It is everlasting, eternal, infinite, unconditional. Though we may be hated, despised, or rejected by those in this life, God will NEVER give up on us, nor reject us, nor ever, ever ,ever stop loving us!!!!!!!!!!!!

This song expresses it so well............

Sunday, July 15, 2012


"[He will] give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." Is 61: 3

I read the most heartwarming story this morning written by David Waters in the Commercial Appeal.  Rev. Randall Mullins and his wife, Sharon, had been given a devastating diagnosis.  Rev. Mullins had been diagnosed with the terminal, neurological disease of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  He was told in January that if he didn't stop eating and drinking and resort to a feeding tube that he could very well choke to death.  He opted for further tests. In June, they traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he underwent a battery of tests. 

Now if you know anything about ALS you know that it is a debilitating disease.  It progresses rather quickly, paralyzing the patient until he can do little more than move his eyes.

So you would think if you had been diagnosed with this disease, had undergone more tests than you'd ever had in your life, and you were anxiously awaiting the results, the last thing you would be thinking about would be dancing!

Yet as Randall and Sharon waited on the results from the Mayo physicians, that is exactly what they did.  It seems that in the Mayo clinic atrium was a piano and when the pianist began to play the Patsy Cline song, Crazy, in Randall's words "What could we do?  It was the first song we had ever danced to and the song we danced to at our wedding nine years and one month to the day before."  So like a scene from a Hollywood movie, they danced!  "Randall put down his briefcase filled with doctors reports and test results, took me in his arms, and danced me all over that floor.  I have to say , it was glorious!  I only had eyes for him, but when it was over and folks were applauding, we became acutely aware of how many people gathered around were in wheelchairs or were with those who were."

Now I don't know about you, but for this romantic, that just melted my heart!!  But beyond the romance of it, was the fact that in the midst of difficult circumstances, they still had joy.  That joy was not born of optimism but of faith in the One who would see them through no matter what the outcome of those tests.  It was the same joy we saw in Trey Erwin and his family as they walked through their ordeal and we were awed by it.  It is not natural.  It is born of the supernatural, it is born of faith in a God who will never forsake you even in the midst of life's most difficult and devastating circumstances.

Randall and Sharon's dance story did not end with that dance, however.  Two days later they received the news from Mayo that Randall did NOT have ALS!  He still has a battle before him, but it is not fatal.  As they were leaving, they walked back through the same atrium as a man sat at the piano playing "He Touched Me".  They got all the way to the exit and realized that they had to go back and dance one more time.  "We had to go back and dance our prayer of gratitude" said Sharon.   They asked the pianist if he would mind if they danced.  His reply was "DANCE!"   "So we twirled and spun and improvised with great JOY".

Randall and Sharon, both in their 60's will be dancing at their son's wedding this weekend!

There was a country song recorded by Lee Ann Womack a few years ago, entitled "I Hope You Dance".  I hope you will watch the video below and listen to the words.  And most of all.....I hope when life hands you difficult circumstances, you will hold on to the God of all hope and joy and that you DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Our last night at the beach, I walked onto our balcony and saw a spectacular sight.  The moon was reflecting on the water like so many sparkling diamonds sprinkled against a black velvet canvas.  What a display of God's marvelous handiwork!!

As I sat staring at the view, I was amazed to think that the moon is thousands of miles away, but it's light was still brilliant enough to illuminate the water below.   Yet in scripture, the moon is described as the "lesser light".  I imagined how brilliant it must be close up if it were this bright so far away.

As I reflected on that, I was reminded that one day there will be no more moon, no more stars and no more sun.  "And the city [the new Jerusalem] had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it." Rev. 21:23  God in his glory will shine so bright, brighter than the moon sparkling upon the ocean, that there will be no need for any other light!

What's more...and this makes this ocean lover a bit sad...there will be no more sea.  Rev. 21:1 says "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth will pass away and there will be no more sea."

So I sat and drank in the beauty of this moonlit ocean and thanked God for his beautiful creation that always points to Him and looked forward to the day when I will be Home with Him, basking in the light of His presence and worshiping Him at His throne on bended knee.  Not even a moonlit night at the beach can compare to that!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What Lies Beneath

We were at the beach last week as Tropical Storm Debbie approached.  The waves were enormous...especially for the gulf coast.  As I sat watching the weaves build and then crash as they rushed to shore, a thought occurred to me.  How powerful...and yet how deadly!  You see the rip currents beneath the surface were extremely strong.  All day they had patrolled the beach warning people to stay out of the water!!  Double red flags dotted the landscape, again spreading the warning to stay out.

What is frightening to me is to think of the years we went to the beach, oblivious of those rip currents.  My children were small and yet we would play for hours in the ocean, jumping wave after wave or riding in our boat-like float.  If there were flags, I had no clue what they were for.  It was not until our son was in high school and I chaperoned a youth trip that I learned about rip currents.  It was then I learned about the flags, too.  Green - it's ok to get in the water; Yellow = caution; Red means stay out.  Double red means "No really, STAY OUT OF THE WATER!" 

However, it was on a green flag day that I learned first hand about rip currents.  We were sitting on the beach with a group of our kids, when suddenly we heard the voice of a panic stricken mom, yelling for help.  Her son was being pulled out and she could't get to him.  One of our girls was a life guard.  She instinctively ran to help, as did a couple of men.  However, by that time the little boy had been pulled farther and farther out.  I had jumped up to try and keep our teenager out of the water (after all we were responsible for her), but it was too late.  As I stood watching her go out, I saw that one of the men had gotten the boy.  But the other man was now caught in the current and was struggling.  Our teen was trying to help him, but he was battling her and they were both obviously in trouble.  She was yelling for help.  I knew I had to do something...I could not just stand there and do nothing.  So in I went. 

Before I knew it, the strong current was taking me farther and farther out.  Every time I'd come up after being pulled under by a strong wave, another wave would overtake me.  I could see the beach getting farther and farther away.  I really thought it was the end.

Suddenly, someone was in front of me saying "Pull to the side".  I was so exhausted.  Another wave took me down.  Again when I came up, this person said "Don't try to go forward, pull to the side".  I could not tell you anything about this person, whether it was male or female or any distinguishing features.  All I could see was a form of someone and hear their calm, but commanding voice.  I cried out "I can't!!"  But the voice responded "Yes you can.  Pull to the side."  When I came up again, I pulled to the side with all the strength I had left.  Then I pulled again.  I went under and when I came up I pulled and suddenly my feet touched bottom.  I was shocked and thrilled to realize how close I now was to safety and the shore.  I stumbled into the beach and looked around to thank the one who had saved me. There was no one there. 

Thankfully, all the others had been safely rescued, too.  But I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned that as beautiful and inviting as the ocean is, what lies beneath can kill you!!

So as I sat watching these monster waves being propelled to shore by Debbie, I was reminded of how attractive sin can be too.

It can come in the form of a handsome, charming man who can sweet talk a girl into going farther than she ever planned to go.  His good looks and smooth talk concealing what really was lying beneath...a conniving, devious spirit bent on nothing less than getting his way.  Then once the conquest is made, he will leave her broken and used.

It may come in a bottle or a pill, promising only a good time, a way to "fit in" and be like the others.  But before you know it, it takes more and more to satisfy the craving that develops so suddenly and you realize what started out as "just a little fun" has suddenly become an addiction.  No one could have told you what lay beneath that pretty little drink in the frosty glass could ultimately steal your looks, your family, your home and your health.

Or maybe what lies beneath in your case is jealousy or bitterness or deep-seated anger.  Maybe it has festered for years.  And the longer it goes, the worse it gets.  You look fine to everyone around you, but they can't see what lies beneath.  Yet the anger builds and builds.  Forgiveness would set you free.  But instead you hold tight to your feelings and as you do, it's like holding a burning coal in your hand.  The longer you refuse to let go, the more you will suffer.

So I ask you your ocean of prosperity, good looks, charm, success, etc. what really lies beneath?  Don't let sin pull you under.  It can destroy you.  God wants to throw you a lifeline.  Grab hold and let Him give you true life.  A life of meaning and purpose...a life with  Him as your lifeguard.  Today you can experience TRUE freedom, lasting freedom.  I hope today will be YOUR real Independence Day!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


A man sat in a restaurant, quietly reading his Bible.  Two men at a nearby table were beginning to argue.  One, obviously very upset with the other man, abruptly got up to leave and loudly said to the other man at his table, "Go to Hell!"  The man who had been reading his Bible, turned to the man still sitting at the table, lifted his Bible so the man could see what he was reading and said "Hey...for what it's worth...I've been reading the manual and you don't HAVE to go if you don't want to."

Hell.  People can use it all day as a word of profanity out in the world.  Odd thing is, not many in the church want to talk about Hell today.  It's almost as if, if we don't speak of it, it's not real. 

I think many preachers are afraid to talk of Hell today.  They are afraid of being labelled one of those "hell fire and brimstone" preachers, and Heaven knows, no one wants to be one of THOSE! 

Yet Hell is just as real as Heaven.  People can talk all day long about Heaven, because after all EVERYONE is going there, right?  I mean have you ever been to a funeral where it was said of the deceased "Well, we know where he is and no matter what he was suffering here, it is no comparison to what he's suffering now"?  No.  Even if the person never gave a hoot about God, never professed Him as Lord, never darkened a church door, people will say all sorts of things about him being in a better place, no more suffering, we'll see him again one day, etc.   Why?  Because no one wants to admit that someone is actually in Hell.

I heard a preacher this morning on TV preaching a sermon on Hell.  He made some very good points. 

He said "No one goes to Hell because they are bad.  No one is in Hell because he was a murderer, a child molester, a rapist or a scoundrel."  I bet that statement shocked a lot of people!  But it is a true statement.

Does that shock YOU?

You see people go to Hell for one reason.  They chose to. 

Bet that shocks you too!!

But it is true.  Because the only reason anyone ever goes to Hell is because they CHOSE to reject Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. 

Every person must choose what they will do with Jesus. (Romans 3:23)  He died to pay for our sin and He freely offers us the gift of eternal life.(John 3:16, Romans 6:23).  But we must CHOOSE to follow Him, to accept that free gift of salvation.(Romans 10:13)  God is a gentleman and He does not force that gift down our throat. (Rev. 3:20) It is our choice.  We can choose Jesus and Heaven or we can choose do live life on our terms and choose Hell. 

So which do you choose?  Heaven or Hell??

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


"Each day is a gift; that's why they call it the present."

As I was walking this morning, I was suddenly overcome with how grateful I am for an ordinary day.  A day to get up, dress myself, read, walk a mile or two without impediment, eat normally and have plans for the day that do not include a hospital, a nursing home or a mortuary.

Sound morbid?  No, it's just that as I think over the number of people I know who are either battling an illness themselves or caring for someone who is or walking through the illness of a loved one, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for.

Everything can change in a heartbeat.  Our normal, everyday routine can suddenly be thrown into oblivion, never to be regained, by one phone call. 

Just a few examples:

We have all been touched by the PRAY FOR TREY campaign.  Trey is the young football player from Collierville High School who has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.  This is an older adult's disease, not the disease of a 16 year old.  In just a matter of days, Trey's and his family's world was turned upside down with that diagnosis.  Now their days are filled with meds, treatments, side effects of the multitude of drugs Trey takes and the concerns of what tomorrow may bring, all the while trying to maintain an element of normalcy for their younger son.

We have neighbors who also have a 17 year old grandson in Millington who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Tanner has endured great pain, chemo and side effects that have left him weak and in the hospital for weeks.  A football player like Trey, Tanner did not envision his senior year being like this, nor did his family. (Please remember as you pray for Trey, to also pray for Tanner!)

A week ago a family of four was hit by a drunk driver.  The mom and two children were seriously injured.  The 2 year old did not survive.  The mom and older child are home, but with grave injuries that will take a long time to heal and overcome.  And now they have to bury their child and there is NOTHING normal about that!  All their world as they knew it came crashing to a screeching halt in a split second!

An article in Sunday's Commercial Appeal told of a man who suddenly became gravely ill to the point that doctors decided he was not going to make it.  They thought he was in a coma.  But, suddenly his wife notices that his leg twitches when she turns up the music she was playing for him.  She summons the doctors who begin to confer with one another.  It is finally decided that this man has suffered from the effect of botulism.  He could hear everything they were saying, but the nerves had rendered him totally lifeless looking.  Now he is beginning a recovery which may take more than a year.  He still cannot talk, although his mind is as sharp as ever.  His wife painstakingly spells the alphabet to him, to spell out what he wants to say.  Numerous volunteers take shifts with him so his wife can work and maintain their health insurance.  He cannot do anything for himself, but doctors are very hopeful that he will regain it all in time.  He was in his 40s and relatively healthy until this happened to him just before Christmas.  I'm sure he is looking forward to a normal day in his future.

I think too often we take NORMAL for granted and don't appreciate how wonderful it is to spend a "normal" day, even with its stresses and headaches and annoyances. 

Somewhere in the world today, there are people who are in prison and being tortured because they name the name of Christ.  They would give anything for a "normal" day.

A world away, our military are serving in places of grave danger, bullets whizzing by, explosions at every turn, never knowing if they will see tomorrow or their loved ones again.  They long for the day when they can return to "normal".  Some never will. 

In other parts of the world, children roam the streets, begging for food, sleeping wherever they can find a place to lay their little bodies down.  Parents are dead due to war or AIDS or some other atrocity.  These are the "forsaken children".  Their "normal" is nothing like ours. 

So if you have the pleasure of taking  your kids to the park today or maybe to the pool; if you got up and drove to work this morning, hating the rush hour traffic; or if today seems like just another day, stop and thank God for NORMAL days.   Thank Him for the ability to get up on your own without assistance, to drive to work or to play, to be able to hear the sound of your children's laughter and yes, even their bickering, for it is the sound of life and the sound of a NORMAL day.....

and that is a GIFT!!!!!!!!!!

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Thursday, April 5, 2012


"We love Him because he first loved us."  I John 4:19

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

Those two statements are some of the most important verses in the Bible.  They show us that God has pursued us.  We did not come after Him.  He came after us!

He loved us first.

He sought us first.


God SO LOVED us that He sacrificed His only Son for us.  And now we have a choice.  We can CHOOSE to accept that precious gift that He offers through His Son, Jesus.  Or, we can walk away.  We can CHOOSE the world, self, and to live life the way we choose.


I choose JESUS because He first chose me.

I choose JESUS because He first loved me.

I choose JESUS because He chose the nails that held Him to that cross.

I choose JESUS because he chose to lay down his life for me.

I choose JESUS because HE chose me for all eternity.

What is YOUR choice today? 

JESUS................or the world?

Sunday, March 4, 2012


In the Old Testament we read about the series of kings who ruled over Israel, each one getting progressively worse as they did "what was evil in the sight of the Lord."  These were not nomads. These were not uneducated people.  These were the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the patriarchs of Israel. 

So what was the problem? 

It can be narrowed down to one single thing.  Bible literacy.  Although they were religious in that they made sacrifices, worshiped idols and had a "form" of religion, they were not following or obeying God. 

God had clearly defined for them in Leviticus 26 how they were to live.  He outlined the many ways He would bless them IF they would follow Him and obey His commands.  He also spelled out for them how things would go if they did NOT follow and obey Him.  

However, the children of Israel chose not to follow God and with each successive generation, the Word of God was not passed down.  God had commanded that it be read before the people every 7 years, but it had been a long time since that had happened. 

But I bet if you had stopped the average Israelite on the street, he would have told you that he was a follower, that he was, indeed, religious.  Yet, if you had asked him what the Word of the Lord was about a specific issue, he would not have had a clue. 

I know lots of people like that.  Many of them call themselves Christians.  They believe in God.  They are not opposed to the Bible. In fact they probably have a couple laying around the house somewhere.  Not that they have opened it recently, but it is there.  You could ask them "Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God" and they would not hesitate to say Yes.  You could ask "Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" and again the answer would be Yes. 

But you wouldn't have to track very far down that line of questioning, getting more and more specific, til you would have soon have them squirming.  Why?  Bible literacy.

After a number of kings passed through the nation of Israel, one came on the scene who was vastly different.  Shockingly, he was only 8 years old when he became king!!  II Chronicles 34:2 says Josiah "did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of his ancestor, David; he did not turn aside to the right or the left." 

You see when Josiah was 16 he "began to seek the God of his ancestor David" and when he was 20 he began to cleanse the land of all the idols, high places and images that previous generations had erected.  A few years later while they were cleaning out the Temple to rebuild it, an amazing discovery was uncovered.  The book of the Law!!!  As it was read to Josiah for the first time in his life, he tore his clothes in grief as he realized how they had failed to keep the Law of God. 

I couldn't help wonder as I read these passages this week, What is it going to take to wake people in America up?!  What will it take to turn people I know and love BACK to God, back to His Word?  

God gave us His word so that it could be a "lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path".  Yet many have chosen to walk in the darkness, blind to all that God had planned for them if they had just followed Him.  The really sad thing is that they do not realize that they are blind.  They think they are just fine.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Do you remember when your kids were little and you'd tell them something to do, and they'd whine "Do I have tooooooooooo?"  or worse "I don't WANT to!!!!!!!"  Some days I feel just like that, don't you?

There are lots of things I WANT to do.  Projects that I want to work on, things I ENJOY doing like working on my scrapbook that I am SO far behind on.  Reading a good book just for pleasure.  Even sitting down and just watching a good movie. 

Yet the demands of what I NEED to be doing are ever pressing.  The tyranny of the urgent, I think someone called it.  Yes, the urgent is definitely a tyrant at my house!  I marvel at people who say "I am so bored.  I have nothing to do."  They must live in a box and eat TV dinners and have the dry cleaners pick up their laundry every day at their door.  (Seriously, do people really do that?)  I once knew a woman who would NOT change her baby's dirty diapers.  And this was during the day of cloth diapers.  She had a diaper service that picked them up and returned them all clean.  And, if it got too "fragrant" before a pick-up, she'd just toss them in the trash.  That still blows my mind!

We are currently studying the Bible chronologically at our church.  I am LOVING this study.  However, it does require taking the time to really study.  I have heard from lots of the ladies taking this study that they are just overwhelmed by it all.  Not that the homework is so much.  It's just that they are learning so much more than they ever dreamed and trying to process it all has taken them aback a little. 

I think for some, studying on a daily basis has been an adjustment.  Many have fallen into the thinking that "a little dab will do ya".  Read a little JESUS CALLING and that was enough.  Now don't get me wrong.  I truly have been blessed by JESUS CALLING and mean nothing negative by it.  But, it can NOT be your entire diet.  It was never intended to replace the Bible.  It was only meant to supplement. 

Reading the Bible on a daily, consistent basis is one of those things that start out as being a HAVE TO, but as you do it, it quickly becomes a WANT TO.  It draws you back, day after day, as it begins to speak to you right where you are.  Most people who have never done Bible study simply do not understand that.

Although there are lots of things on my TO DO list that I'd rather skip, I am thankful that Bible study has moved to the WANT TO DO list because the more I do it, the more blessed I am.

If you are not currently reading the Word on a regular basis, I urge you to find a Bible reading plan, join a Bible study group at your church or a nearby church, or even sign up for one online...there are numerous ones available FREE.  However, you do it, just DO IT!!  It may start out as a HAVE TO til you get into it, but I guarantee you, before long it will become a WANT TO!!

Now...back to my HAVE TO list ..........sigh.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Life is hard.  That's a fact.  Ups and downs.  Upheavals.  Broken relationships.  Heartache and more. 

The children of Israel knew all about hardship.  They had known years of hard labor at the hands of the Egyptians.  They had trekked in the desert for 40 years.  They ate the same meal for years.  YET, God never left them nor forsook them...not for one moment.  No, rather He hovered over them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  The Shekinah glory Himself, watching over His treasured possession. 

The same God who watched over the Israelites and took them through the Red Sea and across the Jordan River....

The same God who marched them around the walls of Jericho for 7 days and on the 7th brought it all down with one shout....

The same God who promised to make them a great nation...

The same God who made promise after promise and has kept EVERY SINGLE ONE....

That God is with me today.

And even when it's hard, I will trust Him.

When my heart aches, I will trust Him.

When my prayers go unanswered, I will still trust Him.

When no one understands, I will trust Him.

When I don't understand, I will trust Him.

When there seem to be no answers, I will trust Him.

When things don't turn out the way I'd hoped, I will trust Him.

When I am disappointed, I will trust Him.

When I can't SEE Him working, I will believe that He is, and I will trust Him. 

When I fail AGAIN, I will trust Him.

When I don't know what to do, I will trust Him.

He is MY God, my refuge and my strength, my strong High Tower, the lover of my soul and I will trust Him because He has claimed me as His own and He has promised He will never leave me, He will never let me down or let me go.  And....I trust Him.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I am continually amazed at how the Word of God is new every day, how we see things we NEVER saw before even if we've read the passage a hundred times.

That happened to me this week.  We have recently begun a chronological Bible study, His Story, My Story.  We are in Genesis, which I have read many times.  I've read and studied and taught the creation story more times than I can count.      

But as I was reading it this week, there it was.  Something I had never really grasped before, at least not in the way I did as I read this week.

"Then the eyes of them were opened and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."  Genesis 3: 7

When we read they were "naked", we naturally think of them in the buff, without clothes, suddenly trying to cover up themselves with their hands.  So that not being adequate, they grab the first thing they can find large enough....fig leaves. 

But as I read that this week, it hit me.  Yes, they were PHYSICALLY naked, but more than that, they were EXPOSED.  They had taken of the forbidden fruit and immediately sin entered the picture and their sin was exposed.  They could not hide it, even though they desperately tried.

And though they tried in their humanness to cover their sin, it was not good enough.  An innocent animal had to be slain, blood had to be spilled in order to COVER their exposed sin.  Why?  "Because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." Hebrews 9:22

But, all that the sacrifice of the animals could do was to temporarily COVER their sin.  It could not remove it.  "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.  " Hebrews 10: 4  But when Jesus came, His sacrifice on the cross REMOVED our sin and our guilt once for all.  "By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once and for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can NEVER TAKE AWAY SINS.  But this man [JESUS] after he had offered one sacrifice [HIMSELF] for sins FOREVER, sat down on the right hand of God."  Hebrews 10: 10-12. 

HALLELUJAH!!!  What a Savior!! Our sin is no longer covered, but it is removed once and for all, as far as the east is from the west.      Not COVERED and to be remembered and brought up to us again and again, year after year.  But totally and completely REMOVED! 

That precious royal blood did what the blood of bulls and goats never could.  It set us free.  Like the old song said "What can wash my sins away?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus."  I am so thankful for the blood, so thankful for what Jesus has done for me.  What about you?  Have your sins been REMOVED??  Fig leaves may cover, but Jesus' blood will wash you white as snow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I remember as a child, kneeling by my bed, saying the child's prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

I guess that was my first experience of kneeling in prayer.  After I grew up, I continued to pray, not "canned" prayers or recited ones, but from my heart.  I can't say I was ever taught that...guess I just picked up how from listening to others at church pray.  

As an adult there have been some times that I knelt to pray.  It seems the more serious we get in prayer, the more our posture gets low.  I can remember reading Kay Arthur's testimony years ago.  She talked of lying prostrate on her face before God.  That was new to me.  I had never done that.  More recently, we have had Bible teacher, Angela Thomas, at our church.  She spoke of getting face down in the carpet quite often.  And I have learned to do that a few times myself, again, more in times of deepest need. 

It's in those times of bowing our knees or lying face down in our carpet, that we are humbled.  We are brought low before a righteous and a holy God.  It puts us in our place, if you will.  And somehow, the more on our face we are, the more humbled we become, the nearer we feel to Him.  Because then we are in a position that we have to look UP to Him.

At our church, we get on our knees every Sunday.  

Funny thing is, at our former church, they also did that, but I was not raised to do that.  It felt odd.  Sad, isn't it, that getting on my knees in God's house felt "odd", but it did.  And there, some people did and some didn't.  But where we are at church now, there is scarcely a person who does not bow, and most of them are because they can't for physical reasons.  And, you know what?  It doesn't seem odd any more.  It feels right. 

God has blessed me with an added bonus of being able to worship with our daughter and son-in-love most Sundays.  And to be able to bow with them and to see them bowing before the Lord together blesses this momma more than words can express. 

May I ask you who are reading this....when was the last time YOU bowed your knee before the Lord?  Maybe you do it on a regular basis, or maybe you never have.  That is not to say that you don't pray, but you just don't bow.  I certainly believe you can "bow" in your heart in an attitude of worship and humility.  But, I can tell you firsthand that there is something powerful and humbling by actually bending the knee before the Father.  

Maybe you don't bow because it really isn't important to you.  You acknowledge that there is a God.  Maybe you even pray occasionally when you get in a jam.  But most days, you really do not think that much about Him.  Or maybe you don't bow because you do NOT believe.  Maybe you think that any god will do as long as you believe in something or someone.  

But you need to know that one day, EVERY knee will bow to God the Father.  

"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."  Isaiah 45: 22, 23

Did you catch that word in red?  EVERY!!

That includes every person who reads this blog.

Every person on Facebook.

Every person in the U. S.

Every person around the world.

Yes, EVERY person past, present and future.....including:

Billy Graham

Tim Tebow

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich

President Obama

Martin Luther King

Mother Theresa

Christopher Columbus

George Washington

Abraham Lincoln

George Wilkes Booth

The list is endless because it says "EVERY" knee.  That also includes you and me.

So you see, whether we ever find time to bow now or not.  Whether we ever think it is important or not.  Whether we have ever even THOUGHT about it before or day, "EVERY knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father."  Romans 14:11

If you have never bowed your knee to the Father, I pray that you will today.  Personally, I want my knees to be so used to bowing that when that time before the Father comes when ALL knees are bowed, that it will not feel "odd", but it will feel more like coming home as I bow before MY Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


by John Piper

For thoughtful people, how they pray for the soul is governed by how they believe God acts. So, for example, if they believe God changes people’s souls so that they make new and right choices, then they will ask God to make those soul-changes through evangelism and nurture. But not everybody is thoughtful about the way they pray. They don’t think about what view of God is behind their praying.

So what I suggest is that we learn first to pray for the soul from the way the Bible prays for the soul. If we do that, then our prayers will probably be good prayers, and in the process we will also learn about how God acts. Here is the way I pray for my soul. I use these prayers over and over again—for myself and my children and wife and for the staff and the elders and for all the church. This is the meat and potatoes of my prayer life.
The first thing my soul needs is an inclination to God and his word. Without that, nothing else will happen of any value in my life. I must want to know God and read his word and draw near to him. Where does that “want to” come from? It comes from God. So Psalm 119:36 teaches us to pray, “Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to gain."
Next I need to have the eyes of my heart opened, so that when my inclination leads me to the word I see what is really there and not just my own ideas. Who opens the eyes of the heart? God does. So Psalm 119:18 teaches us to pray, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.”
Then I need for my heart to be enlightened with these “wonders.” I need to perceive glory in them and not just interesting facts. Who enlightens the heart? God does. So Ephesians 1:18 teaches us to pray “That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.”
Then I am concerned that my heart is fragmented and that parts of it might remain in the dark while other parts are enlightened. So I long for my heart to be united for God. Where does that wholeness and unity come from? From God. So Psalm 86:11 teaches us to pray, “O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”
What I really want from all this engagement with the Word of God and the work of his Spirit in answer to my prayers is that my heart will be satisfied with God and not with the world. Where does that satisfaction come from? It comes from God. So Psalm 90:14 teaches us to pray, “O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
But I don’t just want to be happy in my own little private world with God. I want my happiness to be as full as possible for spreading and expanding for others. I want to be strong in joy. This will make me durable in the face of threats or adversity. Where does that strength and durability come from? It comes from God. So Ephesians 3:16 teaches us to pray, “That God would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.”
Finally, I want my strength in Christ to produce good deeds for others so that the glory of God will be seen in my life. Who produces these good deeds? God does. So Colossians 1:10 teaches us to pray, “That [we] will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord . . . bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
All this I pray “in Jesus’ name,” because God gives these things to my soul only because Jesus died for me and removed the wrath of God so that the Father might “freely give me all things” (Romans 8:32).

To remember some of these prayers, I use an acronym—IOUS—almost every day in praying for those
I love, asking God to give us an inclination to his Word and not to money or fame or power (Psalm 119:36), and to open our eyes to see wonderful things when we read his Word (Psalm 119:18), and to have hearts united in the fear of God rather than fragmented over a dozen concerns (Psalm 86:11), and to be satisfied in his steadfast love (Psalm 90:14).

Monday, January 16, 2012



Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines commitment as follows:

(1)  an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date 

(2) the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled commitment to a cause

Furthermore, the word COMMIT is defined as "to obligate or to bind" as in a contract.

In today's fast paced society, commitment is a word that has lost a lot of its value.  People do not keep their commitments like they used to.  In times past, a man's word was his bond.  A handshake sealed the deal. Not any more.  Even when you have it in writing, with every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed, those deals are broken.

 How many men and women have stood before God and a congregation of witnesses and vowed...."committed".... themselves to each other til death, only to find a few years down the road that one or the other tossed that commitment aside for something they deemed better?  

 It is not uncommon today for couples to marry and go through the motions of a traditional wedding, saying all the vows of commitment, yet with the mindset of "If it doesn't work, we'll just get a divorce and start over".  Is that real commitment?  I think not.  

 God takes vows and commitments seriously.  

"If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth."Number 30:2 

"That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth." Deut. 23:23 

"Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You," Psalm 56:12 

"Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. " Eccl. 5:5

"But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment" James 5:12 

Yes, there is definitely a difference between just having an "interest in" and being COMMITTED.

Whether in marriage, in exercise, in Bible study, or in any other arena, a commitment is serious business.  Do not enter in lightly.   

January is a time for "New Year's Resolutions".  Most of them fall broken by the wayside before the month is out.  Why?  Because we are "interested in" making changes, but not "Committed".  

This month, I encourage and challenge you to take a look at those things you really WANT to do to make a difference in your life.  Then decide, "Am I committed to this or just interested in doing it?"   As the sign from yesterday said, if you are committed, you will accept NO excuses.  You may stumble.  You may even fall down a time or two.  But you will get back up, dust yourself off and get back on track.  

I, for one, am committed to this Bible study, His Story, My Story.  I want to know the full counsel of the Word of God.  I'm committed to reading all the way through the Bible this year...not just 1/2 way.  What about you?  I hope you will join me!! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


A friend posted the following on Facebook this week:

At first glance, it reminded me of my daughter who just ran her first 1/2 marathon in December.  13 miles!!!  Did you get that.....THIRTEEN MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It blew me away!  We were SO proud of her.

Of course, she didn't just get up on the morning of December 3 and slip on her running shoes and decide "Oh, I think I'll run the 1/2 marathon today!"  No, she began months in advance by running first one mile, then two, then three until she finally worked herself all the way up to THIRTEEN!!  

I marveled at her stamina and her discipline, her determination and COMMITMENT to the goal she had set before her, even when her knee started to give her trouble.  She would not quit.  Even when it was extremely hot, even when she did not feel her best, even when she had 100 other things she had to do, she made the time to run.  She was the perfect example of the photo above.  In fact, she could be THAT woman running!

That premise layed forth in the photo applies to anything, not just running.  

This week we began a Bible study called His Story, My Story.  We will be reading through the Bible chronologically.  The whole basis of this study is that we must KNOW His story which is contained in all 66 books of the Bible, not just bits and pieces.  

Did you know that God was so committed to His people knowing His Story that He commanded that it be read to the people, in its entirety (which then was only the first 5 books as we know it), every 7 years?!  And that was to be passed down from generation to generation.  Why?  Because God wanted them to know what He had done for them, how much He loved them and to understand His faithfulness to them.

Our leader and the author of the Bible study, Iva May, shared with us Thursday that she has read THROUGH the Bible every year since the 1970's!  WOW!!  I don't know many people who can say that. I sure can't.  In fact, I've started more times than I can count, but somehow I always got sidetracked and never got all the way through.  

But this year is going to be different.  Why?  Because I am committed to it.  I am no longer just "interested" in trying to do it.  I'm committed to doing it.  I'm committed to learning ALL of His Story and not only learning it, but being able to TELL it to another.

So, what about you?  Are you COMMITTED or just INTERESTED?  

More tomorrow.

Friday, January 13, 2012


It seems these days, you only have to look a short distance to find someone who seems to be facing what appears to be an impossible situation.  Impossible, that is, in the eyes of man.

God, however, does not see things as we do.  He sees beyond our circumstances to what He envisioned when He allowed those circumstances into our lives.

One thing God keeps trying to drive into my head is IT IS NOT ABOUT ME.  No, rather it is ALL ABOUT

H I M !!!

We have a good friend who is battling terminal cancer.  Yet his and his wife's attitude is amazing.  Why?  Because they know  that it is all in God's hands, not theirs and not even the doctors.  Yes, they go to the doctor and they are seeking the best medical advice and treatment possible.  But they still understand that ultimately our lives are in His hands. 

I read the blog today of a young family whose young son just had major surgery and is now battling for his life due to an unforseen infection.  They are calling out to God, trusting Him for the outcome.  Is it hard? Absolutely!  But they have known Him long enough to know that He is trustworthy.

How about YOU?  If that were you in either of those situations, would YOU trust God?  Do you know Him well enough to know He is faithful?  Cause I can tell you, if you don't, when YOUR desperate situation comes on the scene of your life, you are going to have a really rough time.  In fact, I wonder how you will even make it .

God teaches us through our daily struggles that He is faithful and He is enough.  Each time we face a crisis of any proportion, He is there.  And when we learn to lean on Him, to wait for Him, to trust that He really does know what He is doing, we are building spiritual muscle.  Then one day, when the totally impossible situation arrives in our lives, we will not wonder, rather we will KNOW that JESUS is big enough!

I read a devotional in the One Year Women's Devotional that spoke so eloquently to this.  The writer, Leighann McCoy wrote about her experience of learning she had colon cancer:

"You might have hoped that God gave me a "word" and that I smiled and quoted it aloud to my medical frieinds.  But that's not what happened.  For fifteen minutes I wept like a baby.

But as soon as my husband and I got in the car, a deep peace rose up in me like the tide rising around a Caribbean island.  The peace that passes all understanding swallowed up my tears.  When peace moved in I didn't know if I would live or die.  I didn't know if the cancer had spread.  I didn't know what tests I would have to take or what appointments I would be making or canceling.

But what I did KNOW put all that I didn't know into its place.  I knew that God was on His throne.  I knew that He was still good and I was still loved.  I knew that Jesus took care of death for me a long time ago on an old rugged cross.  And I knew that He was with me every step of the way."

Friend, if you are facing an impossible situation today, it really does not matter what you DO know, unless you know JESUS.  For He is the only one who can get you through it, no matter what.  I pray that you do know Him and that you KNOW that He can be trusted.  

My friend whose husband is battling cancer said to me that she knew it sounded crazy, but that they had experienced more blessings and seen the faithfulness of God in more things than she could ever have imagined.  Yes, I told her, those are the "treasures of darkness" that God promises us in Isaiah 45:3.  So even when we find ourselves in difficult situation, IMPOSSIBLE situations, we must remember that God is in the midst of those situations and He will work all things for His good!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


"Oh God!   I am SO overwhelmed by your amazing love for me!!!.

Thank you so much for loving me the way you do .

You will never abandon me.

You will never reject me.

You ALWAYS have time for me...even when I have neglected to have time for You.

I will never be too old, too fat, too ugly, too talkative, too quiet, too weird, too nerdy, too eccentric, too troubled, too needy, or too clingy for you.

You always have time to listen, even when I make the same complaints, beg for the same things, or ask forgiveness for the same sins again and again and again.

You always care.

You always say "Come"; never "Come back later, I'm busy" or "Could you hurry it up?" or "Haven't you already been here once today?"

You never turn a deaf ear.

Oh God, no one will ever love me like YOU do!!

How grateful I am for your constant, abiding love.  

It is infinite, immeasurable and unconditional!!

Thank you, O God, the lover of my soul, for loving me!!"

"Hear me, O Lord, for thy lovingkindness is good; turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies and hide not thy face from me"  Psalm 69: 16, 17


Friday, January 6, 2012


Saw a great sign in front of a neighborhood church this week:

I liked that!  

How thankful I am that I serve a God who NEVER changes.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever more.
Think about that.....

Someone you love may stop loving you....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.
Your finances may change....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.

Your location may change....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.

Someone you trust may betray you....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.

Your circumstances may change....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.

Your health may change....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.
The world situation will change....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.

Politicians will change....BUT GOD NEVER WILL.

"For I am the Lord, I do not change....." Malachi 3:6

I am so glad to know that I can trust my life and my future to a God who never changes.  Aren't you?


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I do not know why, but this has been the most difficult CHRISTmas to clean up after ....EVER!!!  I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or because I'm suffering from perpetual brain fog, but I can't seem to stay focused long enough to get anything accomplished.  It took me DAYS to get my den back to normal...something that used to take me at most ONE full day.  Seeing all that clutter and all that disarray really ruined my day. 

Then in the bedroom, all of my CHRISTmas presents got piled to the side of the bed.  It took me over a WEEK to get to them.  UGH!!!

And, last but not least, my office is just indescribable.  Because everything that got collected from the other rooms that needed to be sorted, investigated, filed, etc. got dumped there.  I look around and am just totally overwhelmed, trying to think "Where do I even begin!?"

So when I saw a  post on Facebook this morning from one of my favorite sites, PROVERBS 31 MINISTRIES, it jumped off the page at me.  It was about "Decluttering".  When I read it, I so related.  So I thought I'd just pass it along to you because I think we ALL have some areas of our life that need "decluttering".  Maybe not your house, but maybe some area of your life.  And, as we begin 2012, there is no better time to begin.  So I hope you enjoy!!  I've already signed up to follow her beginning the 9th.  Maybe you will want to join us.

Glynnis Whitwer
January 3, 2012
Living Clutter-free
Glynnis Whitwer
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (NIV 1984)
My friend was desperate. I could hear it in her voice as she talked about her disorganized house. She was disgusted. Her husband was frustrated. Every day was a challenge to get the kids ready, find clean socks and cook dinner.

The chaos in her home was affecting her emotionally. She felt like she was falling apart. Why couldn’t she get it together? she wondered. After all, she was an intelligent, educated woman.

She was also embarrassed. So when I told her I’d love to come over and help, she put me off. It wasn’t a bother at all, I said. Second to finding a litter of kittens needing me to rescue them, I love helping friends organize something. Eventually I wore her down and we set a date.

Walking into her house that morning with a cup of coffee for her in one hand and some boxes to sort things in the other, I immediately realized organization wasn’t her problem. Clutter was. There was no point trying to organize anything. We needed to uncover and reclaim her home.

She wasn’t a hoarder. Life circumstances had converged and overwhelmed her. Plus, the amount of visual mess was draining her energy and causing confusion. She couldn’t identify what to keep and what to let go. And she was afraid to file anything in case she couldn’t find it later … but that wasn’t working either.
I could relate to my friend’s situation. What happened to her happens to most of us at some time. In fact, if she had come by my house a few years before that, she would have seen a very cluttered home. At the time, my husband and I had three little boys. We were outnumbered and I couldn’t keep up with everything.
I’ve discovered that in most loving and lively homes, there is going to be a lot of clutter. It can be a sign of activity, intelligence and curiosity. Books from the library, art projects and magazines speak of minds and hearts that long to explore and create. However, left untended, clutter becomes a prison. And that is where my friend was. She just needed someone to come and help her get out.

Together we were able to quickly sort through stacks and piles. We discarded broken toys and dishes, recycled loads of paper and identified what was important. We didn’t get much “organizing” done that day, but we sure did lighten her load – physically and emotionally. That was just the jumpstart she needed to continue bringing order to her home and life.

My friend did the right thing in sharing her situation. By admitting she needed help, she was able to get unstuck. The clutter had rendered her frozen in indecision, which is what happens quickly. It becomes like a prison, affecting our schedules, finances, homes and sometimes even our relationships. And that is far from the life of freedom God desires for us.

Galatians 1:5 tells us that Christ came to set us free. Free from sin. Free from legalism. Free from judgment. Basically, free from whatever holds us back. Jesus frees us from all this so we are free to live a simple, alert life. A lighter life. One where our minds are clearer, our focus sharper, our priorities evident and lived-out. Truly it’s a life of freedom.

It may seem like a harmless pile of paper, or just a stack of clothes needing mending. In reality every area of clutter in our lives can be a link in a chain, holding us back from freedom. It doesn’t have to be that way. Will you join me today in embracing God’s gift of ordered and clutter-free life? I might not be able to bring you coffee, but you’ve got my support.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your freedom…freely offered in every area of my life. Please show me areas of clutter I have, and ways to clean them up to best serve You and those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Starting January 9th, Glynnis will be featuring a 15-Day Clutter-FREE Challenge on her blog. She’ll be addressing ways to reduce the clutter in our minds, schedules, offices and homes. If you’d like to join her, visit her blog today for more information.
I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer

Monday, January 2, 2012


2012....a brand, spanking new year!! 

Don't you love new beginnings?!  I do.  A new year is like a fresh start, a "do-over" if you will.  A chance to make some needed changes, re-think our possibilities, take on new challenges, and just plain wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

We used to have an English teacher when I was in high school.  He was a quiet man, very learned and one that did not allow you to get away with anything.  But he was very respected and when he spoke, he was like E. F. Hutton....EVERYONE listened!  Whenever he got ready to give a pop test (in case they don't give those anymore, those are tests you probably were not prepared for, that he just "popped" on you at the last minute, usually with only 2 minutes left in the class) he would say "Now....get out a nice....clean....sheet of paper."  I always think of that when I think of new beginnings. 

Our new year can be like that nice clean sheet of paper.  No blemishes.  No bad marks. 

God is the God of new beginnings.  He loves to wipe our slates clean and give us clean ones to try again.  He is all about forgetting the past and looking toward the future. 

"Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  Behold I will do a new thing..." Is 43: 18, 19

"but this one thing I do...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which lie ahead I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ." Phil. 3: 13, 14

"Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."  Ephesians 4: 22, 23

Today as we embark upon a new year, may we lay aside all that hindered us and weighed us down in 2011 and begin anew today.  May we not hold on to past hurts, past grudges, past failures, but may we LET THEM ALL GO and move forward, trusting God to light our way so that HIS light might shine through us to all of those around us.