Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Recently we bought a new bottle of aspirin. Without thinking, I threw the old empty bottle away. It was a distinctive looking bottle, one which we had used for years and which was easy to spot in the medicine cabinet.

I was feeling some regret about my hasty action. I actually missed that old bottle.

A small thing, to be sure, but it pointed to a real emotion we humans experience - that of regret - feeling badly over a particular act we have done or word we have spoken.

What can we do with that horrible feeling of regret? First, we need to discover whether our action was sin or just thoughtlessness. (Sin is a deliberate, willful act contrary to God’s Word or command to us.)

Second, if our action or word was sin, we need to ask God’s forgiveness. (No, throwing the aspirin bottle away wasn’t sin, just thoughtlessness.)

Third, we may need to ask a person’s forgiveness if we have sinned against him or her.

Fourth, Jesus gives us the next step to take:

No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62

Heavenly Father, I ask forgiveness for any word or action which was displeasing to You. I place any regret for that into Your hands and ask that You bring about good, in spite of it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Have you ever known someone who puts up a false front for others? She always seems to be trying to impress people so that they will think more highly of her. She continually tells you how well she is doing spiritually, how well her husband is doing in his career, how well the children are doing in school. She only wishes it were so.

The good news is that God can see through any charade. He knows the real us - and loves us in spite of ourselves. So why not be up front and honest about who we really are? It is God’s opinion alone we should value.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being, therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Psalm 51:6

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You love me, knowing every detail. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Have you ever Pigeon-Holed someone? Have you ever observed a friend’s behavior and then placed him in a Pigeon Hole, slamming the door shut, your opinion of them never to be revised?

Years ago - maybe 20 LONG years ago, a friend was chronically late. Time and again this friend exhibited an inability to be ready for anything on time. We placed our friend in a Pigeon Hole, expecting nothing but tardiness.

Years went by, distance separated us. Then our paths crossed again. As we interacted with our friend, we noticed that our Pigeon-Hole mentality was back. We expected tardiness and inconsistency from our friend, not allowing for God’s growth in his life.

Let’s keep our Pigeon Holes loosely constructed or nonexistent at all. Let’s allow God to work in a person's heart, be willing and able to see our friend as God now sees him, not with all the faults we remember.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Corinthians 13:7

Heavenly Father, please help me see people through Your eyes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Have you ever been faced with a task which you dreaded? That task could be as complicated as traveling to a far city for a week’s stay to participate in a family reunion. Or it could be as simple as finally getting around to cleaning out the oven. No matter what the task, you know the Lord is directing you to do it and do it you must.

What can you do, though, with that feeling of dread and distaste?

First, commit the situation (and your dread) into God’s hands.

Second, ask God to:
“Restore to me the joy of salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12

If God calls us to do a task, let’s lift our feet and march forward - with the willingness He can instill within us.

Heavenly Father, Thank You that I don’t have to live my life in dread but in obedience to You and in willingness to please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Have you ever felt just horrible about something you have done? Perhaps you spoke disrespectfully and sharply to your spouse. Or you disciplined your child in anger. Or you hurt a friend’s feelings by forgetting a birthday. Or you did something far worse . . . .

How thankful we can be that God has given us each a conscience which speaks loudly and clearly when we trespass His ways and laws. How thankful we should be when we have that uncomfortable feeling inside of us which prompts us to deal with an area of our life which displeases God. How thankful we should be when He prompts us to make things right.

May we honor that part of ourselves which is God-given for our benefit. May we listen to that small inner voice each moment throughout the day.

Blessed are those who have a tender conscience. Proverbs 27:14

Heavenly Father, please keep my spirit sensitive to You speaking through my conscience. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Many of us, in our school years, or even in our present days, commit ourselves to the study of various subjects: accounting, biology, music, psychology, art history, botany, business management. The list is endless. When, I wonder do we get around to studying that which is really important, that of eternal significance - theology.

I’m not talking about learning the correct order of the books of the Bible, the proper way to pronounce the hardest names mentioned in I Kings or memorizing the Sermon on the Mount. What I am talking about is the study of God Himself - finding out more of who He is, what His thoughts are, His purposes, His directions for us personally today. That kind of study will last a life time . . . and on into eternity.

Let’s get to know our Creator better. That would please Him immensely! (Hint: the scriptures are only one way to get to know God - let’s see if we can discover some other ways.)

Worthy art Thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou didst create all things and by Thy will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:11

Heavenly Father, I want to know You more and better....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My daughter injured her pinky finger. As she was helping carry video equipment at work, her co-worker accidentally caught my daughter’s finger in a tripod he was moving. It hurt! A couple of days later the same co-worker lost his balance, smashing into that same finger, bruising it badly. Amazingly, that little finger’s injury affected all of our lives in the entire household.

Because of the splinted finger, my daughter was unable to do the simplest chores - like washing dishes. She was also unable to do some of the heavier farm chores she had committed herself to do to help friends. I found myself doing my own tasks and picking up the slack from her chores, too. I was glad to help out, knowing that she would rather have been “doing” instead of healing, but I noticed the strain as more work was added to my already busy schedule.

The Body of Christ, like in a family, works together to get God’s work accomplished according to His direction. When one of us has an “injured pinky” in the form of an unwilling attitude, being “bummed out” that particular day, being unavailable to the Lord’s directives or being burned out from busyness, others in the Body of Christ must pick up the slack if God’s purposes are to be fulfilled.

Let’s realize that we have an important part to play in God’s work. Let’s each do our share. Sometimes we may have an “injured pinky” which can’t be helped, but when we are able, let’s work together to get the job done.

. . . none of us liveth to himself. Romans 14:7

Heavenly Father, thank You that You expect me to work and that I can be of help to my sisters and brothers in the Lord as I obey You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We all know how important it is to discern God’s will before we make a decision. A few years ago, I was faced with a decision whether to become involved in a business having to do with gardens. In seeking God’s will, I followed the principles I knew which would shed God’s light and direction onto my path:

1. Ask God in prayer - I needed to keep an open heart to whatever God said to do, knowing that the correct decision would point to Jesus.

2. Seek others’ counsel - I needed to ask and listen.

3. Experience the peace of God - in my heart, I would experience peace as I obeyed God in His choice for me.

4. Observe circumstances - did they seem to fit together?

5. Search God’s Word - for me, even if the principles 1-4 line up positively, I need it in black and white - in God’s written Word - to know for sure God’s voice in a matter.

I was reading through Isaiah and decided not to search further in the Scriptures for an answer but to read my regularly scheduled portion. I read:

. . . leading you down a pretty garden path to destruction.” Isaiah 3:23

Needless to say, I heard God loudly and clearly. Even though, for myself, I would have enjoyed the challenge and opportunity, I knew for a fact that it would lead to my destruction in ways I couldn’t even foresee. Again, I am reminded that God’s Word is powerful:

For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your clear direction in Your Word to me as an individual time after time after time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Once upon a time, a man hired a secretary to answer the phones, type his correspondence, file reports and to keep track of his appointments. He only wanted her to do those specific tasks, since he knew they would keep her busy enough each day.

After a few weeks, the man noticed that the phone wasn’t being answered, the paperwork was piling up and he didn’t know where he was to be and when.

The man decided to watch how his secretary was spending her time. He noticed that she was always present at the office, but that she was busy doing other things - mopping the floor, re-potting his plants and reading manuals on how to be a better secretary. Certainly those were all “good” and helpful tasks, but the tasks authorized by her boss weren’t being accomplish.

Do we do this, too? Do we neglect those things God has authorized us to do because we are too busy doing other ‘good’ tasks?

On judgment day many will tell me, “Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.” But I will reply, “I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.” Matthew 7:22-23

Heavenly Father, please teach me to do those things which You authorize me to do and to leave the rest in Your hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


If my mother were here, I would ask her who else in the family had black hair, from whom did my child inherit her petite bone structure, where did the old wooden-handled fork come from?

If my dad were here, I would ask him why he loved to dive from the Arch Street bridge when he was a kid, what it was like growing up with nine siblings, why we moved to the west coast when I was a child. Many unanswered questions remain now that they have gone home to be with the Lord.

I am wondering if I, myself, an leaving my children’s or friends' questions unanswered. They may not be asking them, but the questions are there nonetheless. There is so much I want to share with them about their history, my history and most important, how God has lovingly cared for me (and them) through the years.

No, we don’t have to start “preaching”, but we can begin to set down on paper or on a tape recorder all of those things we would like to voice. Our words will echo down through the generations. Our friends and descendants will know what we believed, in Whom we believed and what He means to you.

. . . that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God for ever and ever. He will be our guide for ever. Psalm 48:13 & 14

Heavenly Father, please give me the words to share how precious You are to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


When someone cuts you off in traffic, what is your initial reaction? When your child again spills her milk, what is your initial reaction? When you have just finished mopping the kitchen floor and someone walks across it with muddy boots, what is your initial reaction? When you have put time and preparation into a presentation and your boss cancels the meeting, what is your initial reaction?

Is there a way we can fine tune our initial reactions to life’s irritations so that instead of reacting in a sinful manner, we can react in a way which honors God? Yes, there is! By relying on God’s presence within us, we can draw upon the Holy Spirit’s empowerment within to manifest the fruit of God’s Spirit through us.

What is the fruit of the Spirit?

Galatians 2:22-24 clearly lists them:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control . . . and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

As we manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our initial reactions, God Himself will be honored in and through us.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.
Romans 6:12

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You know about life here on this planet and, specifically, what irritates me. Thank You that You give guidelines for all situations. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, September 19, 2008


We’ve all done it. Read how-to books. If we wanted to learn new software, learn to play the harmonica, write in calligraphy style, create wooden toys, make a quilt. . . The how-to book list is endless.

Yet we have all experienced being so busy reading the how-to books that we never get around to doing what we wanted to do in the first place - the actual doing.

The other day I was in a Christian bookstore. There, too, were endless how-to books. How to love more, pray better, be more hospitable, find your gifts, how to study the Bible . . . and on and on.

I’m wondering if we don’t do the same thing in the spiritual realm of learning as in the natural realm - we are so busy reading about how-to that we never actually DO.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing. James 1:22-27

Heavenly Father, please help me persevere in doing your Word. Please set me free from the hesitancy to do and gently lead me into doing what You want each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Isn’t is marvelous that we don’t have to experience every difficult circumstance possible in this world in order to pray for others’ needs?

A friend’s husband recently went home to be with the Lord. Not ever having had to experience that particular grief, I could only imagine what she was experiencing as she made preparations for a funeral service.

Another friend was scheduled for angioplasty. Having never experienced that particular procedure, I could only imagine what fears she must be experiencing.

Other friends were having a daughter leave home to be married. I had never experienced that situation either. I could only the imagine that, too.

Yet, because God’s Spirit dwells within us, He can reveal how, specifically, we can pray for our friends and our world.

. . . for we do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26

Heavenly Father, please open my heart to the needs of others. Then please show me how to pray for them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Recently a friend was being pressured by her boss to put in 20 hours overtime per week. She was given a choice and was asked: “What’s more important - your job or your family?”

Sometimes the choices we face are more subtle - whether to spend time cooking a meal at home or dash out for fast food; whether to take a community education class to update your skills or not; whether to leave the kids with your spouse one night a week so you can get some much needed physical activity on the volleyball court or not.

Sometimes we may have to work overtime. Sometimes grabbing some fast food is the answer to a particularly hectic day. Sometimes a night out for your own benefit may be just what is needed.

Our list of choices is endless because life is full of choices. With all of the choices (important and seemingly unimportant), how do we decide what is best to do?

In each and every choice with which we are faced, God Himself longs to give us His wisdom for that particular moment of time in our lives. All we have to do is ask Him. Then we must listen and heed. He has our best interests in His heart.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men (women) generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Heavenly Father, I come to You for each life choice. Please help me to ask, listen and heed what You say. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The sunflowers in my garden space were beauties. The flower heads were huge. Every day, many times throughout the day, I would often visit them. I marveled at how they not only stood so tall, but they would turn their faces toward the sun - even on cloudy days. They seemed to recognize the very source of their lives, basking in the light.

May we join with all creation as we, too, recognize the source of our life - God Himself. Even on days in our lives which seem cloudy due to difficult circumstances, may we turn toward the source of Life and Light - God our Father. Let’s bask in His kind care of us, His people.

“I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus in John 8:12

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the Light you shed into my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, September 15, 2008


In the sports world there are all different kinds of races. Some races involve running, some swimming, some with hurdles.

Potential racers spend long hours in training, preparing for the season in which their particular race will be held. They look forward in anticipation to show to the world the result of all the hard work they have put into training for that season.

May I ask you - for what season and race is God preparing you? Or maybe you are already living within the season of your race. Perhaps you are being called upon at your place of employment to run the race of loyalty or steadfastness. Or at home, you are being called upon to run the race of patient endurance. Or with the care of elderly parents, your race may involve gentleness.

May we each run the race well which God has specifically given us at this season in our lives.

. . . and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith . . . . Hebrews 12:1-2

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the race You have called me to run and for all of the training and strength which you are daily providing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


We have a friend who grows the best sweet corn in his garden. Maybe its the best in the county . . . the state . . . maybe even the world. It is THAT good.

Each September we look forward to our friend offering us a portion of his bounty - a brown grocery sack full to overflowing with corn on the cob. The kernels are so tender, so sweet, one can just imagine that is how heaven will taste.

Our friend, Frank, is an expert gardener. Throughout his 70 plus years, he has experimented with various types of seeds to yield the most delicious corn in his particular garden space. Frank, a follower of Jesus, is known far and wide for his excellent corn, bringing glory to God because of it.

Maybe we should ask ourselves - what is it I do which is special, which sets me apart, that I may live to the glory of God?

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give glory. Psalm 115:1

Heavenly Father, You created me as a unique being - please reveal to me how I can glorify Your name through that uniqueness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


The whole world, it seems, wants to take sides. In our small village, a quarrel is brewing over re-zoning.

The world-wide, larger picture reveals nations aligned against each other in regard to what is being done in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan . . . . We won’t even mention the divisions concerning Israel, North Korea, the Palestinians, China, African nations and every other corner of the world.

It becomes all too easy to quarrel, taking sides and having opinions on the rightness or wrongness of others’ opinions and actions. The world seems in a mess - a turmoil of unrest and quarreling over boundaries, people and resources.

Maybe, since God knew man’s (and woman’s) propensity for quarreling, that is why in the scriptures He said:

The beginning of strife is like letting out water; so quit before the quarrel breaks out. Proverbs 17:14

Let’s guard our minds, hearts and words from falling into a quarrelsome attitude on any subject. If we obey God’s admonishment, there will be peace in us and around us. That could be far-reaching!

Heavenly Father, please help me, if possible, live at peace with others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, September 12, 2008


In the spring I decided to try growing some gourds to be used as birdhouses in the autumn. I could just picture fifty unique looking birdhouses, ready to decorate my yard and as gifts to others.

I prepared the ground carefully, waited until all danger of frost was past and then planted the seeds as the packet directed. I was so excited!

As springtime gave way to the warmth of summer, those gourd vines grew until my entire garden area was covered with huge green leaves. Then, one day, I noticed delicate, large white flowers beginning to bloom. As each day passed, more and more flowers appeared, each one only lasting a few hours. They were so beautiful! Then, to my surprise, the flower heads would drop off, leaving a bare stem. No gourds could develop on those bare stems. The prolific vines were all “show” - there was no fruitfulness.

Let us examine our own lives to determine if, in our lives, we are only “show” or is there fruitfulness which God desires and uses to bless others?

. . . asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10

Heavenly Father, please help me to see clearly the condition of the garden of my own soul. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Just like a long awaited picnic . . . and it rains, we’ve all experienced it - FRUSTRATION! Sometimes frustration builds and bursts forth as we try to learn a new computer program and we just can’t get it. Or maybe we are ready to “lose it” as we attempt to build a bookcase, bake a new cake recipe, de-clutter our parent’s home or as we try to piece a quilt. We all know the sputtering that can go on as frustration overflows.

Does it honor God, though, when we lose our cool and we begin to rant and rave (in a mild manner, of course)? No, surely not.

Instead, let’s approach tasks in a manner which honors God. We need to commit our way to the Lord and be open hearted to learn the new skills. We need to be willing to work hard and to also take a break, when needed, until we see the work completed.

Let’s put frustration behind us. Let’s pray and ask God for successful learning and mastering of the tasks before us. We will be pleased with the results - and so will God.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act. Psalm 37:5

Heavenly Father, I thank You even for those times which hold the potential for feelings of frustration. Please help me turn to You first for help and then in thankfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


When I was in grade school, I always received As and Bs on my report card. Yet every June, just as school was to be let out for summer vacation, I was petrified. Why such fear, you ask? I was afraid that I wouldn’t be passed on to the next grade level when September arrived. I feared that I just hadn’t measured up to the school’s expectations.

I can remember, every June, holding my breath until I yanked my report card out of its little paper jacket, scanning it quickly to see if I’d passed. Of course, with a history of As and Bs, I did. What energy and time I had wasted, imagining something bad which never happened.

I am wondering what fears, real or imagined, we bring with us in our day to day lives as adults? What is the cause of our anxiety? How much time and energy is spent worrying and stewing over things which may never happen? God, certainly, doesn’t want us to live in fear. In Scripture, God’s Word says:

. . . for God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and self control.
II Timothy 1:7

Heavenly Father, please help me to recognize areas in which I feel fear. Show me how to bring them to You to be dealt with once and for all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Have you ever really wanted to show God your love for Him? You told Him you’d do anything
. . . anything . . . to prove that love.

All of a sudden people started coming to you with a multitude of requests.

After careful prayer, you sensed the Lord directing you to say “no” to each request. It was clear, you were not to help in those areas.

What are you to think? You just told God you’d do anything . . . . Then when you felt you could prove your love for Him, you find yourself saying, “No” to people.

Oh, how important it is to realize that our obedience to God can also mean NOT doing something - even if it is something a friend requests us to do. Our obedience to God takes top priority although a thousand friends are urging another action. Will we obey Him?

We must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29

Heavenly Father, please give me the courage to always hear Your voice speaking above the crowd. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Have you ever felt the need to improve your prayer life? You scan your bookshelves and find a couple of books about prayer. You visit your local bookstore to see what they have. The stack on your bedside table grows and you begin reading. After the third book, you begin to realize that your time reading about prayer would have been better spent in actual praying.

After all, isn’t prayer a bit like gardening? We can read all of the gardening books we want, but that doesn’t get the ground prepared, the seeds in, cultivated for growth and eventual harvest. We can read all about prayer and never turn toward the Father in real communication. Let’s put aside reading about prayer and thinking about prayer. Let us pray!

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26

Heavenly Father . . . .

Sunday, September 7, 2008


How many years have you lived in your present home? Do you remember the day when you hung up all of the paintings, photos and special little wall hangings?

Now, as time has passed, you don’t even notice those special objects. They are just “there”. You walk right by them a hundred times a day.

Don’t we do that same thing with God’s creation, too? There are the marvelous stars which God created. Nightly we close the curtains and our eyes to them. God’s sunrises and sunsets provide us daily with a sight which never happened before. We turn our backs on them as we hurry and scurry about.

Do we pause a moment in wonder as spring buds appear. . . at the first and thirtieth snow fall . . . at a bird’s song . . . at an autumn leaf with lovely tints of burgundy . . . at a common ordinary miraculous day?

May we open our eyes to see, our ears to hear and our hearts to notice the marvels which God has taken time to create.

May the glory of the Lord endure for ever, may the Lord rejoice in His works. Psalm 104:31

For a blessing, read all of Psalm 104 this week!.

Heavenly Father, please cause me to be more aware of Your “wall hangings”. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I had loved living in the country where every evening we could walk out our door and enjoy the sunset over the rolling hills and nearby woods. But it was time to move into the village. We all knew it. Our time of living in the country was past.

On one of our last days there, as I was packing, I ran across three packets of Forget-Me-Not seeds. Outside I went, sprinkling those tiny seeds around the house, in my old garden space, around the barn and back again. I could just imagine little blue flowers popping up everywhere I’d been when spring and summer next arrived.

Shouldn’t our lives be like that - always spreading the love of God everywhere we go?

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. II Corinthians 2:14

Heavenly Father, please let me be a sweet aroma of life to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Have you ever wondered why we must do the same tasks over and over again? Think about it! Haven’t you noticed that after you sweep the kitchen floor, someone WILL walk in with mud on his or her shoes? Now, this is not a grumbling complaint . . . just a fact of life. Or after you finish washing dishes, someone WILL dirty a glass as they need a drink of water. Or after shoveling the snow, the plow trucks comes by which means you must shovel again to get the car out of the driveway.

Yes, doing some tasks again and again seems just a part of life - making beds, changing diapers, wiping runny noses on little faces, cooking meals, cleaning out refrigerators, polishing shoes, washing clothes. The list is endless.

Maybe, just maybe, those often repeated tasks are some of THE most important work we will ever do. Maybe that’s why God says:

. . . whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31

Heavenly Father, please keep me from seeking to do only the flashy, news-worthy tasks. Help me do every task as if it were the most important task in the universe. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Do you sometimes feel tossed to and fro like you are a beach ball bobbing on the water? You are constantly being pulled, pushed and tugged this way and that. You find yourself being asked to become involved in this exciting new project, or to become involved that necessary cause. You sense it is all too much. The phone rings and you run to answer it, trying to meet one more need. The dog is ill and needs to go the the vet - NOW! The children’s school calls - you have a sick child waiting in the nurse’s office. - NOW. Your husband needs something - NOW. Your boss needs a report - NOW! You find yourself running, stumbling, picking yourself up and running again, knowing that this isn’t how God intended life to be lived. Where is the peace He promised?

When you feel like that beach ball, being tossed to and fro on the waves of life, STOP! Just STOP! Dive down into the peace of God. When one “dwells deep”, every wave, big or small, has little influence on your inner life. Yes, the outward life still must go pick up the child from school, care for your husband and get that report to your boss but inside is peace because you are dwelling in God Himself and He is dwelling in you.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
John 14:27

Heavenly Father, the next time I find myself overwhelmed, please remind me to dive deeply into Your love and peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Have you ever been disappointed? Have you ever experienced that sick feeling that what you had hoped for and longed for would never become reality?

Approximately 10 years ago, my family and I lived in and operated a living history park. Our responsibilities were to take care of the day to day details and to plan and put on special events.

One exciting event was welcoming antique car enthusiasts into the park. Hundreds of people, each with antique cars, would be driving into the park for a day of picnics, watermelon eating and fishing. They even requested that we open and demonstrate the huge 1850s flour mill for them.

Needless to say, much excitement was generated. The local newspaper announced the event. The public was invited. The mill was cleaned from top to bottom. We were ready!

The special day arrived. We waited . . . and waited. The cars and their owners never arrived. We heard that they were running behind schedule so had decided to skip the mill stop.

Oh . . . the disappointment! All of the planning and work resulted in nothing except the planning and work (and, of course, good attributes added to our characters).

How good it is to know, for a fact, that following after Jesus will lead us Home - never to disappointment.

No one who believes in Him will be disappointed. Romans 10:11

Heavenly Father, I thank You that there will never be even a hint of disappointment in the
eternity You have planned for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Mandy faced her biggest challenge that summer. She had signed up to take part in a High Ropes Course Adventure. She was excited and just knew that she could thoroughly accomplish every task set before her up there in the air.

She and others met on the ground under the High Ropes Course. Tall ladders were in place. Various activities on ropes, swings and platforms awaited the participants.

Instructed in how to put on safety harnesses and helmets, they were ready to begin. One by one, each participant began climbing the tallest ladder they had ever seen. Then each chose the task or tasks they wanted. Some who thought they could breeze right through each task found themselves frozen at the top of the ladder, clutching a pole (Mandy included). Others who didn’t think they could do even one activity found themselves swinging from the ropes, enjoying the sense of accomplishment.

What did Mandy learn that day as she stood, gripping the post 20 feet above the ground? She learned that, when faced with a new challenge, none of us knows how he or she will react. Only by the grace of God can we come out victoriously. Thus, it is important not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. Only by God’s grace can we accomplish any task.

For by the grace given to me I bid every one of you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think but to think with sober judgment each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him. Romans 12:3

Heavenly Father, I thank You for lessons you send my way to show me Your grace in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Monday, September 1, 2008


How will we react when the limitations of our growing older creep up on us? Will we rebel and complain about the slower pace, the creaky joints, of the unwelcome aches and pains? Or will we use our trouble as a refining influence in our lives?

If we look at ourselves and how we handle adversity now, we will have a clue as to how we will probably handle adversity later in our lives. If we grumble and complain at every difficulty which crosses our path, we will probably grumble and complain in future years.

If we, however, meet difficulties relying and trusting in the goodness of God, thanking Him for all that comes about, we will be strengthening our characters, ready for whatever comes our way.

. . . give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:18

Heavenly Father, please teach me now to have a thankful heart as I experience the effects of growing older in this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.