Wednesday, July 4, 2012


"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every though captive to obey Christ..." 2 Corinthians 10:5

In a world full of labels, most of which are given us through the words and actions of loved ones and friends, or by the enemy twisting our thoughts to make us think them our own, we must choose to believe God. Choose to believe His every Word is true. 2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The thoughts we take captive, the ones we recognize are not God's truth, should be replaced with truths from God's Word. This video clip reminds me of how He erased the labels in my life when I chose to believe Him, and the freedom He granted me when I began walking in truth and forgiveness.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Life's Waiting Rooms

The Lord woke me in the wee hours this morning to write this devotion for our Legacy Ladies Day Out at The Barn today. Thought I'd share after my friends helped fill in a few blanks with an interactive exercise.


I tend to write and speak from my own life lessons, praying they speak into someone else’s life as well. So here is where I am today…

We live in a “want it now” society. We are an impatient generation. We search the internet for instant answers instead of searching for them the old fashioned way. We have information, email, Facebook, music, Bibles, dictionaries and a host of other apps at our fingertips with smart phones. We can purchase things from the internet without leaving home and have it shipped overnight. We can use credit cards as payment so we don’t have to wait until we’ve saved enough money. We can check in before we get to the airport so we don’t have to wait in line. We microwave our food and drive through fast food establishments. We make restaurant reservations so our table is waiting when we get there. We live in a want it now society.

But God…

God does not operate on our 21st century, fast-paced time table. We have forgotten what it’s like to wait or save up for things, and the sweet satisfaction of finally receiving what our heart desired. Though we may be able to rush through life, one thing has not changed from the early centuries until now…we cannot rush God. He works on His timetable, not ours. So we find ourselves in the waiting rooms of life on a regular basis. Life is a series of peaks and valleys. So if we are not in a waiting room right now, we’ll likely be in one soon.

Pause for a moment and consider whether you are in a waiting room right now. Think of at least one thing you are waiting on God for.

These are a few of the things my friends and I shared: 

Waiting for increase.
Waiting for financial peace.
Waiting for a job.
Waiting for the right guy.
Waiting for school to be over and summer to come.
Waiting for God to provide college funds.
Waiting for an opportunity to move.
Waiting for a friend to move back. 
Waiting for a daughter to surrender to the Lord.
Waiting for someone to accept Christ.

As a woman, how do you respond to waiting, especially when the pending news could be bad, or it’s something hard or seems impossible? Consider a few options and determine what your usual mode of operation might be...

Negative responses:
·        fear (if/how God will answer)
·        worry (even though God’s Word says 9 times in 8 verses in Matt. 6 not to worry)
·        anxiety
·        depression
·        impatience

Positive responses:

·        hope
·        anticipation
·        expectancy
·        faith
·        believing God

I want to share a verse that has really affirms what God has doing in my heart in recent months of waiting. He has been teaching me how to wait with hope and peace and expectancy.

God’s Word says in Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Note that God does not say, “Those who try to work it out themselves…” or “Those who run ahead and do it in their own strength…” or “ Those craft their own plan and ask Me to bless it…”  will renew their strength. No, He says, “Those who wait on [Him]…”

We tend to think of waiting as a passive term. One that means we are to be inactive in the process. As I learned from writer Holly Gerth, “The ‘wait’ here is full of activity – soaring, running, walking.”

Sometimes, God requires us to be still in the waiting. But many times He leaves us in a position to continue on with the work He has given us to do, fulfilling His plan for our lives. He often wants and expects us to press on. By doing so, I have found that my mind is not so consumed with life’s challenges and it actually renews my strength as I work, wait, hope and trust in the Lord.

As Holly elaborated, it’s like being in a fancy restaurant and being doted over by an attentive waiter. His job is to fill his customer’s every desire. He hovers close by and watches and waits for moments he can be of service.

Being renewed is a lot like that. It comes when we wait expectantly while serving the Lord and continue to meet the needs of those around us, regardless of our own circumstances. This brings joy to the "One Who Loves Us". In other words, our attitude in the waiting makes all the difference!

This new perspective has been teaching me to balance praying with expectancy, with not setting my own agenda for how God should answer. God’s Word says in Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  Matthew Henry’s commentary describes what we do this way: we “design an end, and project ways and means leading to that end, which we [just cannot] do…We are depending creature[s]…subject to the direction and dominion of [our] Maker.” However, “If men devise their way, so as to make God’s glory their end and His will their rule, they may expect that He will direct their steps by His Spirit and grace, so that they shall not miss their way…But let men devise their worldly affairs ever so politely, and with ever so great a probability of success, yet God has the ordering of the event, and sometimes directs their steps to that which they least intended.”  The intent of this verse is to teach us to wait with our eyes on God, not only in the waiting rooms and twists and turns of life, but in every step we take.

My life verse, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” I think He gave me that verse early on knowing I would be in lots of waiting rooms in my lifetime. So I am learning to pray expectantly, but to temper my words by adding, Lord, direct my steps. Not my will but Yours be done.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jesus, My Satisfaction

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

I have studied the Beatitudes many a time, but what I love about God's Word is that each time you study a passage, He can teach you something new. His Word is always fresh...and refreshing. When I was doing an Angela Thomas study on the subject, I learned to consider looking as this passage as the "When You Are's". For example, when you are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, then you will be satisfied. That little idea really helped me understand the verses in a fresh new way.

As I read these familiar lines today, it just seemed to jump off the page at me and resonate in my heart - Jesus is my "Satisfaction". My daughter and I have been talking this past week about keeping track of the ways God shows us who we are (in Him) and who He is. We started putting together SMASH books (a trendy new kind of scrapbook) this past weekend during some mother/daughter time and purposely created pages for recording these truths. Pages dedicated in our books to the "I am's" we discover in His Word, and pages to record who we learn "He is..."

To teach Emily the concept in a visible, tangible way, I pulled this old index card from my Bible. I showed her that in 2004 I started keeping track of the ways the Lord has taught me who He is. In every trial and season of life I have discovered new and different names or characteristics about God. Today I added the words "my Satisfaction" to the back of my tattered little index card. Mmmmm...that's a good one to soak in today!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Need Not Fear

I need not fear. I know Jesus. I belong to Him, and He belongs to me. He conquered death and rescued me. The cup of wrath meant for me was poured out on Him instead, to pay the penalty for all of my sin.  Every painful thing I have ever been through, or will endure, vastly pales in comparison to the sacrifice He made for me. It is but a watered down drop in the cup compared to the pain, suffering  and separation from the Father my Lord endured when the full cup of God's fury was poured out on Him in my place. His blood has covered my sin and I choose to walk with Him. He is my Savior and He is risen, He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Believe in Him...
Happy Resurrection Day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Distractions Cause Division

"Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; 
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."
Psalm 86:11 (NIV)
At the prompting of my husband, I decided to write. He suggested I just begin to pen the things the Lord has been speaking to my heart. Unknowingly, He had actually been addressing the same issue in both of us - our divided hearts. Even before our Bible study lesson yesterday morning on the topic, God had been speaking.
To me, the Lord has been speaking about distractions. He has prompted me to consider what things were distracting me from Him. What things were contributing to an over-arching feeling of discontentment in my life? What was making me want to just pull the covers over my head some days? What was making my time with Him feel dull and dissatisfying? The answer was... distractions. 
I began to make the connection. Distractions cause division. Divison of my heart from God. Division in my relationships with other people. Distractions keep me from walking in step with the Lord and have caused a condition biblically known as a "divided heart".
So what have been the culprits? As I asked God to impress upon my heart anything that was keeping me from a closeness with Him, about three things came to mind. Mainly, things I disconnect and zone out with... a TV show that I can watch re-run after re-run of (and mind you, I rarely even watch TV - in fact I usually have to ask my kids to work the remote!); a particular website (one that is helping me be more productive - but too much of a good thing causes me to disconnect with those around me); and my smart phone (information at your fingertips can be both a huge help and a major distraction). In fact, when I first got my smart phone, my husband and kids would tease almost anytime I picked it up saying, "intervention!"
None of these things in and of themselves are particularly wrong, but when they take the place of time I could be connecting with God, worshiping through any manner of outlets (including writing), or serving those I love, they become idols in my life. And idol-worship is sin. God's Word says in Leviticus 32:16, "They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols." When I turn to anything other than God to fill me up, I am forsaking the One to whom I am betrothed. The only One that can truly satisfy me. When I let such things as TV, websites or my phone get out of balance to the point of tuning God and my loved ones out, I end up divided, distracted, discontent, depressed and downright discouraged. I end up in need of divine intervention!
I am so thankful my God loves me enough to intervene and make me aware when I've gotten off track. My heart's desire is to serve Him with clean hands and a pure heart. My whole heart. An undivided heart.

Father God, Thank You for loving me enough to call me on the things that do not bring honor and glory to You. Thank You for reminding me that while technology and other things are not bad in and of themselves, too much of them and not enough YOU will leave me dissatisfied and discontent. They'll leave me with a divided heart. Thank You for my husband who loved me enough to recognize the discontentment within and who sought to minister to and encourage me in that place - pointing me back to You. Lord, grant me an undivided heart. In the most satisfying name I know, the name of Jesus, I ask these things ~ Amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

He is Tending to Me

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26 (NIV84)

Wow…it’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged. I have sort of been in hiding. Much “life” has happened and though my desire to write has remained, my time has been short and even more than that, my words have been few.

Life does happen, but I don’t like it when it gets me off track. I ran off the road after things like change of job and schedule and season piled up, topped off by deep disappointment in some things for me, and unexpected health concerns in our family.

As I was driving home this morning I began to ponder my personal responses in those “life” situations. I thought about how most of us are wired as fight or flight people, but then I realized how I can flip-flop. For many, many months I have allowed the things mentioned above to distract me from diligent time in the Word. I haven’t been in fight mode. It seems I reserve that more for crises. 

Growing up, moments of trauma or crisis often caused the flight response in me. So much so that God seemed to use it to allow me to block memories until I was spiritually strong enough to work through them. Having since been set free from those things, it seems as though God has shifted the pendulum. In most traumatic things He now gives me the ability to be strong and fight during the crisis, and graciously holds much of my emotion at bay, letting it catch up with me later after things settle.

This week however, I seem to be a flip-flop. After heading in to a follow-up doctor appointment hopeful after my husband’s recent heart attack, and receiving news different than we expected, I have struggled to stay present and fight and not resort to the flight response. I have been overwhelmed with tough stuff including drastic dietary changes and feelings of the enemy trying to isolate us (after all we love fellowshipping with friends and food!). For the last two days – and maybe even some today as I write this - I feel like I’d rather pull the covers over my head and try again next week.

But God... God is tending to me in my plight. Before my day even started He had graciously put me on the mind of two friends who checked in with me by text. Yesterday He reminded me as I made a call through tears that He tends to the needs of the birds of the air when a beautiful feathered friend perched itself on my car – and how much more He will care for me (Matthew 6:26). Then He graced me with lunch and lovely conversation with a dear friend and put others in my path at just the right time. The day before, He started the day by giving a friend discernment and scripture before we headed to the doctor. And He made sure my close friend was home and available afterward when I needed to pour out my heart and cry. That night He had others call or text to express their love and concern for us. I know He knows, and I know He sees. I know He is tending to me.

Through much prayer (maybe even a little whining), lots of tears, and the prayer and encouragement of good friends, I feel a bit more resolve today. Prayer works wonderfully that way. For days I have tried to be a woman of few words because I was thankful the Lord was allowing my Michael to press on with such a positive outlook, and I didn’t want to bring him down. But truthfully, I needed a few days to catch up! Days filled with prayer and time to soak up the scriptures He’s given me to cling to, time to pour out my heart to a girlfriend or two, time to fill my head repetitively with the song He’s given me to praise Him with. The final turning point may have been the words of my daughter’s devo this morning that reminded me “troubles will come” and only eternity will be “trouble free”. As my life verse (Proverbs 3:5) and the title of her devotion says, I need to “Trust Him Anyway”! Today I feel God starting to restore my strength so that I can fight again. He’s making my footing sure and planting me back on solid ground. He is tending to me.

The Lord is good and His plans are good – yes, even for me and my family. And if I really want the knowledge and discernment I have been asking Him for, He’s revealed it will more often than not, come through affliction (Psalm 119:66-72). Gulp…lump in my throat! I guess I need to be ready.