Saturday, January 31, 2009


The end of January was here, the most difficult time of year in the Midwest. We could tell because there was a chill in the house which the furnace couldn’t touch. As in previous years, we doubled up on layers of turtlenecks and sweaters with big, thick shoes and socks to help keep out the cold. Our funny little house just wasn’t warm.

Also, the car wouldn’t start - the result of the frigid temperatures and living on top of a hill where the wind blew day and night.

The faucet in the kitchen needed to be constantly tended. If we weren’t careful, the pipes would freeze and that would mean hours in the cold using a torch.

Our initial reaction to this part of winter was a tendency to say, “Oh no!” Yet, even though troublesome, those problems were familiar - like old friends who we greeted each January. We knew they were coming and we knew how to act toward them.

How do you greet those familiar “old friends” in your life?

Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Heavenly Father, although I don’t like trials, I thank you that You are teaching me how to deal victoriously with each one. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, January 30, 2009


A decision needed to be made. A meeting was to be held the next night. The weatherman clearly predicted that heavy snow would begin falling that afternoon and by evening the snow was expected to be quite deep.

With those predictions in mind, I canceled the meeting. No one needed to risk life and limb in the bone chilling winter temperatures and on slick roadways.

As the next afternoon arrived. . . and on into the evening . . . not one snowflake fell from the sky. All was clear. There could have been a meeting.

I began to second guess myself . . . should I have . . . shouldn't I have. . . .

We've all been there. We make a decision prayerfully - sometimes even a BIG decision and then the results of the decision unfold and we wonder.

Yes, although we must always be open to the Lord correcting and re-directing our steps, if we proceed on a path in the light we have been given by God, then we can walk confidently, knowing that God is in control and is guiding.

After all, we are human.

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." I Corinthians 13:12

Someday we will see VERY clearly. In the meantime, let's look to God who sees it ALL in perfect clarity. That's why He is the One who can direct our steps.

Heavenly Father, please give me eyes to SEE and ears to HEAR You every day, every step through the day. . . and to OBEY promptly. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

WHAT IF . . . .

This one is for all of us who are right-brained, whimsical and like to imagine. Please bear with me in this one:

Have you ever played “What if . . . “
What if you won a million dollars . . . .
What if you lived on a houseboat . . . .
What if you had the biggest vegetable garden and no critters came to lunch.
What if you lived in Alaska . . . .

On and on the game could go as our imaginations get a work out.

What about this thought -

What if (now picture this), before we were born and placed on this planet, we were little speckled eggs. Not perfect because we had already been contaminated by The Garden Experience, but still beautiful in the Creator’s eyes.

As God carefully lowered us to earth to be born, all of the forces of nature worked against us. . . . and we landed with a splat. Instead of being whole, we became broken.

Now think about this - what if . . . from that broken egg condition, it took all of our lives for God to make us whole again - as God intended us to be. What if . . . He had to use all of the elements and circumstances (good and difficult) available to return us to a right relationship with Him and wholeness.

Maybe that’s why scripture says:

All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Heavenly Father, sometimes I just don’t understand my life - why certain things happen or don’t happen. So I leave those things in Your capable hands, knowing that You have a Plan which includes making me whole, in right relationship with You. Please draw me close to You. Please instill in me a trust in Your goodness. Please bring wholeness to my broken life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Winter came late to the Great Lakes Region. In November and December, it felt like spring as everyone, young and old, took advantage of the warm temperatures. People could be seen out walking, biking and finishing their yard clean-up. Comments from here and there could be heard as gratefulness overflowed when they realized that God was being merciful in delaying winter.

Then it hit. As arctic air flowed into the region, lake effect snow bands could be seen as they dumped inches…then feet of snow. Grumbling now took the place of gratefulness.

When something good arrives from the hand of God, we are grateful. Shouldn’t our reaction be the same when difficulties arrive?

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything hard? Job 2:10

Heavenly Father, please help me to accept the good and the difficult as coming from Your hand and for Your purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Have you seen or heard of those dog collars which are called an invisible fence? When the collar is in place, it keeps the dog within a boundary set by the owner. As the dog tries to go beyond a set area, a small shock is felt and the dog turns around toward home. Soon the dog learns just how far he can go . . . and no farther.

Don’t you wish living our lives could be that simple? As we would begin to walk in unwise paths, we would feel a small shock to warn us and turn us back.

Did you know that we have something similar? It is called a conscience. Our wise Creator instilled our conscience within us to give warnings when we begin walking outside the boundaries He established for mankind. If we speak hurtful, angry words, we know it. If we neglect to do those small simple things given us by God, we know it. If we begin taking small steps which will lead us into deeper sin…we know it.

Then all we need to do is listen…and turn back toward Him.

May we all say:
So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men. Acts 24:16

Heavenly Father, please be my invisible fence. Please speak clearly to me deep in my heart. Open my ears to hear You and to heed Your boundaries for me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Fifty years ago babies were fed formula which had to be mixed by the parents in proper proportions as prescribed by a pediatrician. Due to a pediatrician’s error of calculation...or a nervous mother’s mistake, the formula was too powerful. The baby’s screams could be heard day after day, night after night. By the time the error was discovered, the baby was near death. Thankfully, the problem was remedied and the baby thrived. God was watching over His little one.

A few months later the mother was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. The baby was thrown on the mercy of relatives for her care. God was watching over His little one.

While in the hospital, a mistake was made. The mother returned home, never to be the same again due to brain damage. She was just barely able to continue caring for her child. God was watching over His little one.

Through crisis after crisis in this young child’s life, it is evident that God’s hand was at work, protecting her. Certainly He does the same for each of us!

Yet Thou art He who took me from the womb; Thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts. Upon Thee was I cast from my birth and since my mother bore me thou has been my God. Psalm 22:10

Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what my situation, past or present, You are my God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Have you ever felt like you were in the wrong place at the wrong time? Perhaps you were . . . . Let me share what happened to me once upon a time.

Spring storms swept through the Chicago area delaying flight after flight at the airport, causing bedlam. Trying to fly home from there, I knew that I faced a three hour delay, at the least.

Leaving one of the restaurants, I headed toward, what I thought, was the gate from which my plane would depart. Walking close to the wall on the right hand side of the corridor, I was repeatedly surprised as people kept bumping into me as if I were invisible. After the fifth time of being bumped, I stopped to take stock of what was happening. As I looked up at the identifying marks showing where I was, I realized that I had been heading in the opposite direction from my gate of departure. I was amazed that the Lord had used actual physical means to cause me to stop and see my error.

Even in the midst of crowds, the Lord continues to lead and guide.

…and the Lord shall guide thee continually. Isaiah 58:11

Heavenly Father, please continue to direct my steps moment by moment. Help me to be sensitive to Your directions so I don’t have to experience the bumps and bruises of life because I’m not paying attention to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


A blizzard pounded away at the Midwestern section of the United States. High winds, deep snow and sub-zero temperatures combined to create dangerous conditions for man and beast.

Day after day, for eleven days, snow continued to fall until 45 inches of white powdery fluff threatened to bring life to a halt. As temperatures hovered at minus 12 degrees, cars refused to start. For those whose cars started, dangerous black ice appeared on the roadways. People had to walk away from their abandoned cars as they slid into ditches and towing services were too busy to help. Shovels and snow blowers were sold out. Furnaces stopped working, water pumps and pipes froze.

The storm continued to pound away until most people could be heard saying, “We’ve had enough!” Life was so difficult that it seemed that we lived on the edge of disaster as each new day brought fresh challenges.

How good it is to know that God is in control of every detail of our lives - the depth of the snow, the pilot light on the furnace and the battery in the car. When days seem especially dark, cold and full of danger, no matter what the cause, the wisest thing to do is to commit our souls to our Creator and to hide beneath the shadow of His wings until the violent storm is past. Warmer, easier days will come.

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; for my soul trusteth in Thee; yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be past. Psalm 57:1

Heavenly Father, please remind me that I have a refuge in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Often in the middle of the cold, snowy winters in Michigan, my daughter and I played board games. One of my favorites is Parcheesi.

As we progress in the game, I may have a substantial lead. My loud groans can be heard as I am sent back to Start. It becomes shockingly clear to me - all of my time and effort had been for nothing.

We are reminded that human effort, too, apart from God’s direction, ends in nothing. Being busy for busyness’ sake and striving after worldly pursuits is a waste of time and effort. Instead, we want our every move to count. We don’t want to be busy about nothing. If we will only live in obedience to God, nothing will ever be wasted as we move through our days and years. Our time and energy will have eternal worth.

We are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. Psalm 39:6

Heavenly Father, please help me to listen for Your voice so I can hear Your directions. I want my life to count eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Julie is a wife and mother who sees beyond the walls of her own home. She has a desire to see those in the neighborhood - an urban area populated by a variety of ethnic groups, come together around Jesus.

Recently she started a storytelling group. Another plan is to encourage Spanish speaking storytellers. In addition, Julie saw the possibility of bringing women together for a workshop to encourage them in today’s busy society. Her vision for possibilities knows no end. Just being around her is exciting as she seems to be listening and quietly awaiting a new vision, a new venture which the Lord may direct her to do.

As soon as Julie receives direction from the Lord, she springs into action, gathering those who want to participate in that particular activity. With much prayerfulness, each vision becomes a reality in her life, in her neighborhood and in her world.

Where there is no vision the people perish. Proverbs 29:13

Heavenly Father, please open my heart to hear and see what more You may want me to do. Please give me Your vision of what can be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Streams in the Desert, a devotional book from the 1920s states: “Get serious with God about your body. It is as much His residence as it is yours. Recognize that He really owns it, not you….”

How surprising it was to read those words! Yes, most of us may think that our bodies are a tool God has given us to use for His glory. But to think that our bodies actually belong to Him seems an amazing thought.

If that concept is true, where can it be found in Scripture? There it is in I Corinthians in black and white.

Maybe it’s time for us to reconsider how we treat the bodies God has loaned to us. It seems evident that He would want us to take excellent care of them and use them wisely until He receives them back to Himself.

You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. I Corinthians 6:19-20

Heavenly Father, please show me how best to nourish and use the body You have loaned to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


In order to make room for a desk that friends had given us, my daughter found that she had to re-arrange and de-clutter some areas of her room to make space for it. As is often the case, a bigger mess was created in the process. I wanted to jump right in to help but decided to keep my hands off, watch the situation prayerfully and offer help only if she asked.

How often we see others get themselves in predicaments - overscheduled calendars from poor prioritizing or poor life choices with dire consequences. Our tendency is to jump in to help them. How much wiser it would be if we prayerfully considered how our heavenly Father would like us to help. Sometimes the best kind of help He wants to offer is that of prayerfully stepping back.

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

Heavenly Father, please give me the wisdom to know when to jump in to help others and when to prayerfully stand back. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Across our country road lived an elderly woman who owned 20 sheep. It was my daughter’s daily task and joy to check on their safety, especially The Old Sheep who had lived way beyond the 8-9 year life expectancy in sheepdom.

Every day my daughter would come home with a funny story about that Old Sheep. One day the sheep would be found in the pig lot by herself. Another day she would be found wandering alone in the alfalfa field. Every few days my daughter would find her “down” - unable to get up. For a sheep, that can mean certain death. Patiently and kindly my daughter would save The Old Sheep from one disaster after another.

How did that Old Sheep respond to help? Always she snorted, stomped her foot angrily, then marched off - once she was back on her feet. My daughter would smile indulgently and return the next day to save Old Sheep from another disaster.

Do you know someone who is like the Old Sheep? Do you know someone who needs our loving attention yet who responds to your kind actions with every attitude but a grateful one?

By God’s grace, can you keep on loving - no matter what the reaction? Sure you can because the greatest of all. . . is love!

. . . But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13

Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created love to be stronger than anything I can come up against. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Have you ever found yourself asking the Lord, “What should I do next?” Yet you feel like you have run into a brick wall. You ask again and again, your words bouncing off the walls. You don’t receive any clear direction. As the days go by and you continue to ask, “What next?” you suddenly realize that God did tell you what next. You just hadn’t been paying attention.

If you find yourself in this situation, perhaps it is time to start afresh. Go to the Lord for a reminder of those things He has already told you to do. Then make sure your footsteps are swift and sure to obey.

The steps of a man are from the Lord, and He establishes him in whose way He delights....
Psalm 37:23

Heavenly Father, please clearly show me the areas in which You have already said, “Do”. Then set wings to my feet so that I readily obey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Amidst the hurry and scurry of your days, do you often long for time alone? Everyone seems to need you. They want to talk to you. They have a request for you to do something for them . . . Until you just want to dash off by yourself to take some alone-time. Then you begin to feel guilty for wanting to run and hide. Thus, you push yourself to “be there” for everyone, realizing that part of you is slowly being drained away.

Consider Jesus and His life here on earth. In the Scriptures, we see that time and again He would withdraw by Himself to be alone with the Father. He knew that He needed time to be still, to listen intently in the silence, to replenish and restore His soul.

If Jesus needed time alone (and He was God in the flesh), how much more should we? We don’t need to feel guilty about it! Just think how much more effective we will be in our serving after we have taken time to be with our Creator.

And after He dismissed the crowds, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone . . . Matthew 14:23

Heavenly Father, please help me see the importance of time alone with You. Then show me how and when to set aside that time daily. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Let's talk about salt. No, not the kind that you throw on the sidewalk to melt the ice or the kind we throw in a pot of stew or sprinkle on a homemade pretzel.

Let's talk about the kind of salt Jesus said we are to be in this world:

"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men." Matthew 5:13

Yes, He wants us to give this world the flavor of God - of His love, of His holiness. He wants us to act as preservatives in a rotting world. Let's think about it. What does that mean to you?

Now let's talk about what we are NOT to be - a hardened, stay-put pillar of salt. Lot's wife, instead of becoming the salt of the earth, became something salty but not what God intended for her.

"But Lot's wife . . . looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 4:21

How did that happen? How did she become forever frozen in time and place? She looked back. Did she look back because she was sad to leave the place of sin where she and Lot lived? Was she already missing her old place that was scheduled for destruction? For whatever the reason, she did not move ahead in her life but was stuck right there - being a salty pillar, of no use to God except as a bad example.

God tells us that if we do look back, this is what we should see: "And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you . . . ." Deuteronomy 8:2

Yes, we are to remember all that God has done in our lives and to learn from the lessons He has taught us and the mercies He has given us. Yet we are also admonished to:

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

Let us set our eyes, hearts, minds and souls on God. He has our days planned out. We just need to walk in what He gives us to be and do so that we remain salt, a healthy form of salt.

Heavenly Father, thank Your for stretching out my life ahead of me. Please help me not to look back or too far ahead but to live in the NOW place as Your child. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


When winter approaches and the weather gets frigid and the days shorten, most of us feel like we want to hibernate. Gone are the days when we zip around the house, cleaning everything in sight, washing curtains, de-cluttering. Now we just want to grab a good book and cuddle down under a warm quilt.

Instead of fighting this impulse to hibernate, perhaps we should listen to it. Maybe this is God’s way of giving rest to our bodies. Instead of feeling guilty for our desire to hibernate, perhaps we should recognize it as another season in our lives. A season in which we can rest.

As surely as spring follows winter, we will again feel energized and be zipping around inside the house and outside in the garden . . . when it is time.

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Heavenly Father, please help me to honor all of the seasons You give me in my life - the busy seasons as well as the quiet ones. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Sometimes we humans think that our energy is limitless - that we have an unending supply. Until we come down with the flu. Then we realize how limited our energy really is as we struggle to get out of bed, put on our clothes, feeling as weak as a noodle. We are reminded that we are, after all, human.

Even though we may realize that our energy has limits, we often find ourselves wishing for more hours in a day . . . more days in the week . . . to accomplish all we want to get done. How wise God is to have set a limit to our hours, our days and our energy - thereby protecting us. Surely we can accomplish exactly what is needed in the time God gives!

This is the day which the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24

Heavenly Father, thank You for establishing limits in time and energy. Please help me use both wisely. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Have you ever been in a situation where you were asked to do, what seemed to you, a petty job? Perhaps your boss at work asked you to clean out a messy drawer in a filing cabinet. Or at a family dinner you found yourself asked to peel 20 pounds of potatoes.

Although seemingly unimportant tasks, have you ever considered that the ground on which you stand while doing them is holy ground? It is holy ground because God sent you there.

Think of other holy ground on which you walk - through the aisles of a grocery store, at the folding table in the laundromat, in a rocking chair with an ill child, at the bedside of a loved one.

The ground where we stand is truly holy ground in God’s eyes. As we are faithful in doing what He gives us to do, big or small, we ourselves become holy.

The place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Exodus 3:5

Holy Father, please guide my steps to Your purposes. Let me honor those tasks You’ve given me, no matter how small. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Have you ever noticed how pens differ from each other? Some pens have ink which flows smoothly and easily, almost willingly. Another pen’s ink comes out in a long, thin pale line. It feels like the ink must be manually squeezed out. It’s difficult to discern where paper ends and ink begins, the ink so pale.

Let’s think about those pens in relation to life. Which pen does your life resemble in the hand of God? Does He have to push and prod you to obey Him? Do you grumble all the way, putting out a pale reflection of who He is with frequent stops and starts? Or do you willingly serve in the areas He has given you - cheerfully, readily, boldly?

And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. II Corinthians 9:8

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your abundance and providing all I need to serve You freely. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Have you ever had such a busy day that your daily time of prayer, reading Scripture and being still before God fell along the wayside? Were you too busy to sit quietly at the Lord’s feet to listen to what He had to say to you?

By evening you realized that you had not received nourishment for your soul that day. Like trying to catch up on sleep, you found that trying to gather and store spiritual nourishment couldn’t be done either. Then you began to feel guilty, neglecting the Lord the next day . . . and the next. The guilt increased day by day. But you felt so far ‘behind’ that you failed to even try to catch up. What can be done once spiritual malnourishment has set in?

Just like the Israelites of long ago, if they missed a day in gathering and feasting on manna, they just got out there the next day and gathered the portion the Lord had for them that particular day. Once again they were freshly nourished by their heavenly Father.

May we be determined to get out there the next day…and the next…and the next to gather what the Lord has for us. If we miss a day, may we go to the Lord with renewed hunger and thirst for Him the very next day. Our souls will rejoice at being nourished and replenished.

Seek God while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6

Heavenly Father, I know I need daily sustenance from You. Please help me to carve out a time daily to meet with You to receive what You have for me that day. I don't want to miss out. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The self-help section in bookstores is bulging with books to help us better ourselves. There are books detailing how to start a home-based business, how to lose weight, how to learn the newest computer software, how to learn a foreign language. Then come the weighter matters such as how to fix the damage to our souls, how to forgive, how to know our personality type, how to deal with stress. We could spend 24 hours a day reading and trying to apply what we learn. We so much want to be wise, better, healthier, smarter, more loving, kind and forgiving.

Isn’t it good to know that God is at work in us day by day - to make us into the people He created us to be? Yes, He can use self-help books, seminars and workshops to teach us, but our responsibility is to allow God to do His work in us.

God is at work in you . . . Philippians 2:13

Heavenly Father, thank You that I can rest in the fact that I don’t have to improve myself - You are at work in me. My part is to obey You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, January 9, 2009


The Scriptures often encourage us to sing a “new song“. How can this be possible? Most of us can barely carry a tune not to mention putting together an entirely new song.

Think about it for a moment…. Whenever we learn a new lesson from God in our daily lives, don’t we try to put it into words? Whether on paper via a letter or talking with a friend, somehow we try to make that new truth come alive when we share it. Isn’t that, really, singing a “new song”? Not all songs need to be set to musical notes, do they?

Sing to Him a new song…. Psalm 144:9

Heavenly Father, I look to You to set my words to Your music. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


One day, a child of 10 years of age could be heard grumbling from morning until night. Special plans made for the day fell through. She fell off her bike and skinned her knee. She spilled her dinner on her clean shirt and dumped a glass of water on the dinner table. It seemed nothing on this earth was running satisfactorily.

As the day progressed from bad to worse, the child was finally instructed to sit down with pen and paper. Her assignment was to list ten things for which she was thankful. The mother expected items to be listed such as being thankful for parents, a house to live in and food to eat. She was surprised to find what the daughter did list: “Wild canaries came to eat our sunflowers today, we visited the library, I made a phone call to a friend”.

Instead of general thankfulness, the child was very specific, her thoughts on one particular day and its particular happenings. How like children we should become - finding small, special things throughout each day for which to thank God.

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Heavenly Father, please fill my heart with thankfulness from morning to night. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Have you ever been sick in bed, unable to carry out your regular responsibilities? Did you begin to feel quite useless as you were unable to get up to dress yourself, unable to fix yourself some food, unable to go about your normal daily activities? As time stretched on and your health did not improve, did you wonder if you’d ever get back to your regular life again?

You thought of the many people who have had to live their lives in constant pain, in weakness, debilitated by illness….without any hope of living a life as you have known it - full and busy.

You began to wonder what you would do if you were confined to bed, unable to return to life as you know it. What would be the value of your life? Then you remember a Scripture from long ago which was often recited:

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

Then you realize…it is not in the doing of our life which gives glory and honor and praise to God... it is in our being.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love . . . just because we are Your creation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Don’t you love to see things in writing whether it is a letter from a friend, a list of things to do, a note from your children or words in a good book?

Over the years, if direction was needed from the Lord, I’ve always relied on His written Word. Of course, sometimes we can receive direction from circumstances, from friends’ counsel or thoughts running through our mind. To me, however, God’s direction through His written Word is special, something concrete which can be seen.

Recently when asking God’s direction about whether I should continue on a certain writing project, my first hint came in a book I was reading. “Go ahead” seemed to be the answer. The second hint came in Scripture which seemed to confirm the same answer. The third hint came from a sticky note placed in a library book by someone unknown. It read: “But we don’t give up on the things we were meant to do, which is another way of saying the passion we bring to our activities won’t allow us to quit them.” Needless to say, the project is moving ahead full blast.

How kind God is - and He certainly has a sense of humor. He not only puts His answer in writing. He sometimes uses a sticky note!

Every word of God proves true. Proverbs 30:5

Heavenly Father, please open my ears and eyes to see You and any direction You want to give me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, January 5, 2009


The instructor of the quilt class handed out a new pattern to us, her students. If the pattern’s intricate directions were followed step by step, the quilted wall hangings would be beauties.

As each student unfolded her pattern, it revealed the exact measurements needed for each of the dozens of pieces of fabric in a variety of colors. You could hear groans of disbelief as each of us wondered how we could possibly create such complicated designs. The entire project, when looked at as a whole, was daunting. It seemed impossible.

The day came when the work needed to begin if my project was ever to be completed. Looking at the instructions, the pieces were measured, cut and labeled, then stacked to the side. Continuing to follow the directions, the quilt pieces were put together, stitch by stitch. Gradually, a lovely wall hanging appeared.

Isn’t this how God works in our lives? As we follow His directions in every matter, big or small, our lives are assembled according to His specifications. In His eyes an object of beauty is created as He had planned from the beginning of time.

For it is precept upon precept…line upon line…here a little, there a little. Isaiah 28:10

Heavenly Father, I trust Your craftsmanship in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Recently a man was interviewed on television. He stated quite emphatically, “I want to be rich, retire and enjoy my life.”

What will happen to this man if he is never ‘rich’ - if he only has enough money for his family to ‘get by’? What will happen if, instead of retiring, he is downsized when he reaches the age of 60, unable to find another job? What will happen if his health fails? What will happen to his dream to ‘enjoy life’?

Shouldn’t we have more lofty goals than to be rich, retire and enjoy life now? What about eternal goals? What about the spiritual aspects of our lives? Wouldn't it be more eternally profitable to be rich in the things of God? Instead of setting our hearts on retiring, wouldn’t it be spiritually more beneficial to have a set goal to be obedient daily in the areas where God directs us? If we make ourselves truly rich in God and obey Him daily, we then will find ourselves truly enjoying life. . . and Life eternally.

And now . . . what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I command you this day for your good? Deuteronomy 10:12

Heavenly Father, please set my eyes and heart on You and on those things which matter for an eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Have you ever looked at your family members in the morning wondering what adventures each would experience that day? Your spouse may be on the road seeing clients. One child may be just starting a new job. Another child may be busy riding bikes and climbing trees. Each person’s tasks are full of possible dangers. Will your family members all return safely home that night? Will you again gather together to laugh and enjoy each other? Will you again sit around the dinner table? Will you enjoy doing those commonplace, special things together?

Daily we must put our family members in God’s wise loving hands. He will protect and guide each one. He will bring each home or will give us the strength to bear it if something untoward should happen. Either way, we are safe in His kind care.

The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from another. Genesis 31:49

Heavenly Father, please protect those who live under the same roof as I. At the end of each day, please bring us together again, thankful that we have walked safely through this world another day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, January 2, 2009


The EKG leads were placed on her chest. The machine gave the verdict - there was something unusual spotted on the EKG strip. The cardiologist decided that the chest would have to be opened to find out what was causing the unusual reading.

Surgery was scheduled and the patient found herself praying, committing herself into God’s hands as the seriousness of the surgery was explained to her.

After being wheeled into the surgical suite, anesthesia was administered and the surgeon raised his scalpel to begin A few minutes were needed to reach the heart, well protected by ribs and tissue. As he surveyed the site, he stepped back to ponder his findings. Love poured forth from the patient’s heart - pure love! Nothing else unusual could be found.

If your heart were opened today, what would the Master Physician find?

Whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5

Heavenly Father, please purify my heart so that only the qualities which please You will be found in it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


On our calendars, blank days stretch ahead of us which we will fill with all sorts of events which will have their own joys, sorrows, adventures, difficulties and laughter-filled moments.

Recently I heard of a person who loved God more than life itself. He decided to surrender all he owned to God. To prove that love, he made a list of those things he valued: his career, his family, his bank account, his home, hobbies. All of it. He promised to read his Bible, give his tithe and sing in the choir. The list was long but he wanted to prove his love for God. He signed his name at the bottom of the list to show his sincerity. And he presented it to God.

Then he seemed to hear God speak to his heart - "I really don't want a consecration like this. What I really want is for you to take a blank piece of paper and sign your name on the bottom of it, and let Me fill it in."

Can you do that? It is risky, isn't it - to trust God like that - for every detail of your life. Yet God who is the Creator of the universe can surely be trusted - after all, He created us. He loves us. He knows just what is best to put on those blank pages . Our part is to remain yielded and surrendered day after day to Him.

Heavenly Father, I present this new year to You. Please fill the blank pages of my life with the Life You desire for me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6