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.