Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Do you feel stressed, tired and depressed from all you must do today?

Recently some scary statistics were presented: We work 65-85 hours per week. That includes time away from home at work and time in the home with meal preparation, clean-up, laundry and grocery shopping. You know all that is included in the care of a family and a home without even being told.

Have you ever even stopped to consider why we are working so hard? Is it to make ends meet or is it to have the extras - a bigger house, fancier cars, more clothes, that cruise? Many of us in today’s society must work to help keep food on the table and some sort of roof over their heads. Others, however, work to acquire more and better “things”.

Scripture, with good cause, warns all of us, men and women, not to work to acquire wealth. We should be working where and when out of obedience to God and for no other purpose. We would be wise to heed God’s words. He knows we cannot keep up the pace. Let’s listen to what He tells us. He speaks to us with our best interests in His heart.

Do not toil to acquire wealth, be wise enough to desist. Proverbs 23:4

Heavenly Father, help me to hear Your voice in the matter of work. Help me to be wise in the use of the time You are giving me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Sunday was a peaceful day full of rest, quiet and a delicious dinner with my family around the dining room table. The sun was shining and it felt like the day could go on forever.

The next day, Monday, a storm blew through. My daughter and I could hear the distant rumble of thunder as we worked together in her bedroom. We scurried to turn off and unplug all electrical equipment but were surprised to find that the storm was upon us so quickly.

The heavy winds swirled and the rain pounded the house. All of a sudden we heard a CRACK and a WHOOSH as the mammoth white pine outside my daughter’s window lost half of itself.

Instead of falling on the house and into my daughter’s room like it should have, the swirling winds had twisted the tree as it crashed, causing it to fall parallel to the house. We could barely see out the windows or door since the huge tree covered the entire length of the house. We breathed a quiet prayer of thanksgiving for the Lord’s protection. We truly felt as David did: “There is but a step between me and death.” (I Samuel 20:3)

Some days life seems so serene, like it could go on day after day just the same. Other times life seems so fragile as we realize that death can come in an instant by unforseen danger. No matter what our days bring, we can rest securely knowing that our times are in God’s hands and that our heavenly Father kindly watches over us constantly.

My times are in thy hand. Psalm 31:15

Heavenly Father, no matter if serene or tumultuous, may I live out my days to Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The summer reading program at the library was marvelous. Hundreds of children were reading thousands of books. Every Wednesday afternoon special programs were held - a puppet show, a storytelling, a play, arts and crafts.

One mother, however, had a complaint: “Why was the program held in the early afternoon so nothing could be scheduled by the family before or after it?”

This complaint was amazing to the library staff. As they thought about it,they realized that many families pack three day’s worth of activities into one day, every day. Some families think going to the zoo in the morning, out to lunch, attending a library program in the afternoon and fireworks at night is a normal way to live.

Is that how God intended our lives to be? It seems apparent that when we try to do too much, what we do loses its value. Children become jaded, expecting every moment to be filled with the next exciting thing. When that doesn’t happen, they declare themselves “bored” and become unable to think their own thoughts. Wouldn’t it be wiser to slow the pace so the special moments of our days can be savored?

Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
Ecclesiastes 4:6

Heavenly Father, please show me how to keep a sane pace in my life. Fill my days with being and doing good. Don’t allow this society’s busy ways to numb me to the special times You give me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


How we greet our family members when they come through the door at the end of the day is important. There should be no place there for a list of woes, nagging words or a sour attitude when greeting them. We should be welcoming them for the glory of God as Scripture commands:

Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:7

Let’s make an all-out effort to greet them in as pleasant a manner as possible, one which honors God who gave them to us! No, we don’t have to blow up balloons and put on our best clothes to meet them at the door each evening. We can, however, welcome them warmly with bright eyes and a cheery smile. After all, they are your family, the ones who love you and whom you love.

Forget the problems of the day and the undone chores until later. Let all of that melt into the background as love surrounds your reunion.

Heavenly Father, no matter what has happened during my day, please give me joy in welcoming my family as You would want me to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Do you love to serve and be hospitable? Yet you sense that you are called upon by too many people to do too much. You see that the continual demands on the use of your time are causing tremendous stress. In fact, if you do not allow the use of your time and energy to be directed by God, you know that it will be squandered. You will not be as effective in those things you do accomplish.

The solution? To go to the Lord and ask for His guidance, task by task. Then you can be brave - brave enough to say a kindly, firm “no” if you don't feel that the Lord is leading you in certain directions.

Yes, it can be difficult to say “no” to someone. It is much better, however, to say “no” to people (even if they mean well) than to say “no” to God. The Lord has given us talents and knows where and when He wants them used. When we heed His guidance in their use, there is peace in our hearts.

For it will be as when a man going on a journey, called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, each according to his ability. Matthew 21:15

Heavenly Father, Please help me to see clearly the talents You have given me and specific areas in which You want them used. Let me begin using them, not abusing or burying them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Perhaps you have a friends like this: They just can’t seem to get their garden harvested each year. They plant early and diligently cultivate day after day, caring for their garden as they do their immaculate home. When it comes to harvesting, however, they just can’t get in gear to do it. Day after day they procrastinate.

They know the Lord is nudging them into action before the vegetables become too ripe. Soon they will be useless. They don't heed but continue to procrastinate.

It makes one wonder - in what areas of our lives do we allow to become too “ripe” - ignoring that nudging to action which comes from the Lord.

Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts . . . . Hebrews 3:8

Heavenly Father, when something needs to be done, please gently nudge me until I do what You want. Now! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Imagine this: Once upon a time there was a man who worked hard at his job. When he arrived home each night, standing nearby was his wife with her honey-do list in hand. Anything she wanted done, she added to the list. She never seemed to talk or listen to her husband, only handed him the daily “honey do list,” expecting him to fulfill her every wish.

Have you ever gone to God with an endless “honey-do list”? Perhaps your list is so long that you don’t even have time to greet Him or to listen to what He has to say to you that day. That list just keeps getting in the way. Perhaps it’s time to put the “honey-dos” away, greet God and listen to what He has to say to your heart.

How precious to me are Thy thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them. Psalm 139:17

Heavenly Father, please help me to be sensitive to You. Remind me not to just present my “list” and run about doing my own thing. Help me to truly converse with You and to listen! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Have you ever noticed that sometimes you are expected to do things you know you shouldn’t be involved in - yet there is no way out?

This scenario happened to my daughter recently: A friend asked her to do some running around town the following day, finding items for a project. My daughter knew that all of the dashing around would be futile since the timing for the project was off. It was difficult for her to be involved in something which she knew would end in nothing.

The next day, because sore throats, fevers and chills were going around, it seemed to be my daughter's turn to become ill. She was sorry to be sick but so thankful to be unable to help with the project that day.

As I think back, I remember times such as this. Sometimes an illness would prevent me from being where I shouldn’t be. Other times the entire scenario would dry up and blow away into nothingness.

The key seems to be the willingness to do what is asked of us, yet prayerfully asking the Lord to bring the situation into line with His will for us day by day.

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Heavenly Father, please guide my steps day by day. If I am headed in a direction which is not Your plan for me, please step in to prevent any mis-steps for I desire to please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Can we overeat spiritually? Yes! Especially as we every day read 3 devotionals, 5 chapters in a spiritual self-help book, listen to 2 teaching tapes and watch television preachers day and night plus take that correspondence course in Bible history. (Well, maybe that is an exaggeration....)

Were we in hopes of becoming a spiritual giant? Did we think that the more spiritual knowledge we took in, the holier we would become? It just doesn’t work that way. It appears to have the opposite effect. The more we read, listen to and watch the more apt we are to glaze over spiritual words and meanings. Before we know it, we are just going through the motions - our eyes and ears skimming by words, none of it going to our brains or into our hearts. Then we begin to feel sluggish.

Bit by bit, it would be wise to weed out the excess and begin reading only what the Lord directs - especially His Word. Amazing things can begin to happen. His Word can go right to our hearts. We will be in awe of the precious treasures God has for us. Then, because we have less to contend with, we can begin to put into practice those things which the Lord reveals. That’s the point anyway, isn’t it - to learn and then practice it?!

But when they measured it . . . he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; each gathered according to what he could eat. Exodus 16:18

Heavenly Father, please help me to stay trim and fit spiritually for Your use. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


It happens too frequently: You receive a telephone call asking you to help. You respond with a yes. A chance encounter brings another request. Again you say yes. The requests begin to pile up, one on top of another. Because you were asked . . . because you feel honored to have been asked . . . you say yes. You assume God is opening doors so you can serve.

Your calendar overflows with too many commitments . . . your body is stressed . . . your mind is burdened . . . you cry out to God.

God reveals to you that a need on someone else’s part does not mean it is God who is calling you to meet that need. Your responsibility is to obey Him.

Never assume ! Always ask for clear direction from God before saying yes to anything. Then proceed, but only if He gives you a clear YES!

Don’t assume . . . ask God!

Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins and let them not have dominion over me.
Psalm 19:13

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You only give me those things to do which You empower me to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


As the temperatures rise in the spring, there is new life all around us. Small green shoots pop up in the least likely places. The sap in the trees begins to rise - frilly green lace can be seen edging the bushes and trees. Our energy begins to soar as we rake up the winter debris, dig new flower beds and sow seeds. Our minds, too, seem rejuvenated as our thoughts dart here and there thinking up new and creative projects to accomplish.

Spring is a clear picture of God bringing life out of death. Every year spring reminds us of God’s power as shown in the resurrection of Jesus from death and the grave to Life. Not only did Jesus arise from the dead, He came to give us our own resurrection.

Yes, some day our bodies will be raised with Him. In the meantime, we can rejoice that our spirits can be made alive by what He did for us at His death. Because He died in our place, as our substitute, we can be fully alive . . . even now!

I came that they may have Life . . . . Jesus
in John 10:10

Lifegiving Father, please touch my life - spirit, soul and body - with Your resurrection power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Recently Ella had a serious health problem which necessitated a strict diet over an extended period of time if she was to regain her health.

At first she couldn’t believe that she would have to be so careful about every morsel she ate. She found myself wanting to rebel. Eventually, as she sensed the Lord urging her to cooperate, she found myself saying, “Thy will be done!”

Yes, the Lord could have reached down and immediately healed her. She felt, however, that He was calling her to cooperate. If she would follow the guidelines given by the doctor, she would be on the road to better health. Perhaps not a total recovery, but better health.

Where will it end? She doesn’t yet know. She does know, however, that as she continues to cooperate and say “Thy will be done”, she can let the results rest in God’s kind hands.

I wonder in what areas of your life God is urging you to cooperate with Him?

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

Heavenly Father, thank You that I can live in cooperation with You. Please open my heart to hear You speak to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


It had been a difficult five years. Three family members, two friends and various pets died. The house we were living in seemed to have problem after problem as did our cars. The sadness and grief and suffering seemed to go on and on.

Recently I attended, what we thought, was a seminar on grief. Instead it was a newly formed grief support group. As we listened to story after story about why each person was there, all we could see was fresh, raw grief and suffering. It was heart wrenching.

Then I realized that my eyes, too, had been red continually from crying. I had thought that I would never get over the sadness and grief. Now here I was a couple of years farther along the path. I realized that God’s promise of restoring, establishing and strengthening me had come about. My tears were less. I was able to move on with my life, not being stalled in a place of sorrow. God had been at work in me day by day. I hadn’t even been aware of the process . . . it had been so gradual. Amazing, this thing called grace.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish and strengthen you. I Peter 5:10

Heavenly Father, life sometimes almost seems too much but I thank You for restoring my soul and stengthening me to keep on. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Our cat, Chassis, was headed to the vet for a surgical procedure. Oh, how we dreaded it! She wouldn’t be allowed to have food or water after 8 p.m. the night before the surgery. We hated to think of how she would act in the morning, not understanding why we weren’t feeding her, quenching her thirst or allowing her to go outside.

In the morning as we arose to get ready for our visit to the vet, we were utterly surprised. Yes, Chassis let us know that she would like to be fed, but it wasn’t with a loud voice and a continual pacing. She quietly spoke, then patiently sat in the kitchen, waiting. There were no loud demands, no whining. She accepted our word “No, we are sorry”.

Oh, what a lesson can be seen here! How often, when the Lord says “no” to one of our requests, do we begin to pace inwardly, expressing our dislike of the situation in a loud, whining voice. May we learn how to patiently accept God’s “no” answers.

Submit yourself therefore to God. James 4:7

Heavenly Father, forgive me for my loud protests, my pacing back and forth, my attempts to change Your mind when you tell me “No” . . . . Help me to submit to Your will - I know Your choices for me are for my good. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I used to hate how I made the capital D in my first name...until I met Jan who made the greatest looking Ds. Suddenly my Ds were transformed into things perky and upbeat.

That is such a simple thing. Yet I wonder how many others have touched my life and influenced it in over the years. There was Charlotte Brown with her gentle ways, pleasantly wrinkled face and all of the nursing knowledge I could absorb. Clare was the no-nonsense landlady who cleaned like a pro. Aunt Jo was a first rate domestic engineer, teaching me laundry tricks, how to defrost a freezer, how to cook fried potatoes and how to hang laundry on the clothesline. My mother taught me excellent organizational skills. Aunt Edith’s love for plants and animals rubbed off on me. On and on the list goes - all of the people who have touched my life, influenced me for good, to the love of God, for the benefit of my family.

I wonder whose life you are touching and influencing? May we each allow God to use us as blessings to others.

and the older women . . . train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind . . . . Titus 2:3&4

Heavenly Father, please open my eyes so that I can see the lives I am to touch. May my influence be that of Your loving touch. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 16, 2009


We took our car into the repair shop. When we retrieved it a couple of days later, all four of our hub caps were gone. Our nice family car looked like a junker.

Now if there is one thing in the entire world which upsets me, it is owning a car which has no hub caps. How I feel about myself turns to mud.

I find it strange that how I view myself is so closely connected to how my vehicle looks. How shallow can my thinking be? Aren’t I the same person whether I ride in a luxury car with no hub caps or in an economy car with hub caps? Why does that bother me? Could it be linked with that “keep up appearances” game? Don’t we realize that appearances can be misleading?

The outside of a house . . . a car . . . a person . . . can have the correct appearance on the outside. Underneath, however, the roof can have dry rot, under the hood can be a burned out engine, in a person’s heart can be greed, bitterness and hatred.

God has made provision through the Lord Jesus for us to be a new and whole person from the inside out. Even if we lose our hub caps (and appearance) on the outside, we know God dwells within. He has made our hearts pure. We are who He made us to be. All is well.

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24

Heavenly Father, please show me how to keep my heart pure before You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Once upon a time my family and I lived in a small town. It was more like a movie set. The quaint two-story houses lined the shady streets, lace curtains fluttered at the windows. The yards were neat and tidy, flowers blooming where they should. The one thing missing, we noticed, were the people. We never seemed to see the inhabitants of the town.

Two days before we were to move, we held a yard sale. One by one, townspeople stopped by. We even found some with whom we had much in common. It was too late, though, we were gone within two days.

Another house in which we lived, we had the opposite experience. On our first day there, we heard a tentative knock on the door. There stood a neighbor in her 80s, small and frail. In her outstretched hands were two cans of soup. On her lips were the words, “Welcome! I’m glad you are to be my neighbors.”

Oh, what a difference the two situations made in our lives. In one we felt alone and unwelcome, in the other, our hearts were warmed.

How do we greet those with whom we come in contact?

Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you to the glory of God. Romans 15:7

Heavenly Father, please put a smile on my lips as I extend even a friendly wave to those who may need to feel Your welcoming touch today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Have you ever noticed how children compete among themselves for their parents’ attention?

When they were small, competition reigns as they clamor to sit on a parent’s lap, to choose which book to be read aloud, to tell all of the happenings of their day. When they grow older, the competition increases - who will speak first, who will get the largest helping at the dinner table.

Some siblings, even grown and moved away from home, continue to compete - in the area of the number of grandchildren, careers and types of cars driven. It doesn’t seem to end, that competition for a parent’s love.

Haven’t we learned that love is limitless? As child after child is added to a family, love isn’t divided up
. . . it multiplies. Haven’t we yet realized that God has an infinite amount of love to bestow . . . through parents . . . through us?

Let’s see how much love can be multiplied in and through us to those whom God sends to us.

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. I John 4:7

Heavenly Father, please help me to see Your limitless love . . . and then to give it to those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, March 13, 2009


If you are an introvert (one who enjoys quiet and with plenty of time to
yourself), being around people non-stop drains you of energy. You begin to feel guilty as you constantly strive for time alone. What you need are spaces in time to read, pray and think. Then you are refreshed, ready to face the demands of family and friends as the needs arise. Yet after being with people again, you want to withdraw to a quiet place.

Extroverts (ones who thrive on being with others), on the other hand, are energized by the activity and conversations which the presence of people brings. They love to be out and about, chatting and enjoying. They almost have to force themselves into a quiet place.

What type was Jesus? According to Scripture, He was a good balance between the two. He loved people. He enjoyed a wedding and teaching the multitudes. But the Scriptures reveal that He often drew apart to be alone with God. Once refreshed and replenished, He was again ready to go out among the people.

Thus, for extroverts and introverts alike, there is no need for guilt. As long as we are sensitive to God’s leading, we will be energized and rested.

But He withdrew to the wilderness and prayed. Matthew 5:16

Heavenly Father, I know that You want me to serve others and I also know that You want to speak to me in the quietness of my heart. Please help me wisely balance the minutes of each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


My family and I had been thinking about moving to a location which was closer to town, less expensive to heat and one which was roomier for our needs. One Sunday we found a place listed in the newspaper. It sounded perfect - the perfect location, size and price. We even drove out to see it. Right away we noticed that the yard had a country feel to it, the house seemed solid and friendly.

If we were to move, it was so much easier to be able to picture our move as real when we knew what our specific destination was to be.

Maybe that is why, in our faith life, we find it difficult to picture our heavenly home. We haven’t yet seen it in person. Yes, God has placed detail after detail in the Scriptures. But perhaps we need to practice more with our eyes of faith so we can actually picture ourselves there.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Heavenly Father, although we can’t see specifically what our home with You will be like, help us see with the eyes of faith, knowing that it is perfectly planned by You. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It was spring clean-up time in my yard. Tree branches which had been blown down to the ground during the winter were removed so the grass could grow unhindered. Next, leaf debris was removed from the flower beds. During the winter a covering of leaves was a good thing, creating a warm blanket for bulbs and plants which were dormant. As warmer weather arrived, however, the leaf debris was smothering, not protecting, any new spring growth. It was time for the debris to be removed so new life could spring forth.

In our lives it is much the same. The old, dry and dead needs to be periodically removed so new life can sprout and grow. How does your life look this spring - is your life cluttered with the old and dead or have you removed the debris so you are ready for whatever God may have next?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. II Corinthians 5:27

Heavenly Father, thank You that You expect us to prepare for and welcome new life and growth from You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It was eight o’clock on a Monday morning and it was already a busy day. In addition to regular household duties, two cover letters, envelopes and a resume for a friend had to be typed. Potato salad had to be made to add to hamburgers for an easy dinner before we headed out the door to a meeting that evening. We needed to remember to take applications for a workshop, not to mention our smiles. The stress was building as the challenges of the day seemed to be winning out . It didn’t feel good or fun or healthy.

What to do? How to keep from getting caught up in the endless merry-go-round of too much to do? How to keep it from spilling over, affecting everyone else?

If we would just pause a moment in the midst of the chaos, we would remember that the Lord stands ready to help. He wants us to go to Him to ask for His plan for our day. He wants us to be still so we can hear His directives. He longs to help us make wise decisions.

As we ask for the Lord’s wisdom, we will see clearly which activities of the day are to stay as a top priority and which ones can wait until another day. Then we will be surrounded by peace.

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, when I am in the midst of chaos and I am overwhelmed, please calm my heart so that I may seek You and Your wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Over the years we’ve all heard it - research studies to prove which food is good for us. Then the very next week they discover it is bad for us. Trying to honor God in our bodies, we try to live a healthy lifestyle. With conflicting reports, however, we give up trying to figure it all out. We revert and keep on with our regular habits, doing the best we can.

Then one day our body breaks down. We find ourselves quite ill. Maybe it’s the flu or something more serious. It is then that we decide it is time to get serious about taking care of our bodies.

As we begin to do some research, we put aside all of those reports we’ve seen on television and read about in the newspapers and magazines. We use common sense in food choices - good wholesome food, low in sugars and calories. It is as simple as that. We also begin to walk - a bit more each day until we reach the goal of 30 brisk minutes per day.

As the days and months pass, a new level of good health and energy is noticed. We find that it was as simple as being willing to make some changes. As simple as being obedient to God’s direction daily in the care of our bodies. Literally, we will be “eating the good of the land”.

If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.
Isaiah 1:19

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the gift of my body. Please give me wisdom in how best to care for it to Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


How many of us are “house poor”? We have moved our way up into larger houses with more rooms than we know what to do with. Huge closets are packed with items we forgot we had. We are hardly ever home because the husband and wife must work long, hard hours just to pay for an expansive lifestyle. They rarely see each other or the children. No one has the time to kick back and enjoy their home as a haven. The houses are beautiful but empty.

Our homes should be a place where we can go to unwind, to be ourselves and to enjoy one another, not a source of overwork and stress.

Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate. Do we have life from God which we are enjoying or are we just trying to maintain a lifestyle?

Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses without inhabitant. Isaiah 5:9

Heavenly Father, help us to establish and maintain the home You have in mind for our family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


We knew there was going to be trouble the minute we saw a very angry man and his two children approach the desk at the library. As library clerks, we had talked earlier in the day with the daughter as she tried to obtain a library card. Because they lived out of the district, it would cost a large annual fee. Of course they didn’t want to pay it, thinking it unjust. Now it was time to face an angry father.

We prayed for God’s intervention and a peaceful solution to an otherwise volatile situation. Scripture speaks about a soft answer turning away wrath. The soft words would be our part. We also knew, however, that Scripture talks about turning the other cheek and praying for those who despitefully use us. Which scenario it would be - peace or loud shouting?

To our complete surprise, as we began to express our empathy toward the father, his anger began to cool. In response to our soft answers, his words became softer. Eventually, the man and his children left the library. The issue was unresolved but he knew some steps he could take to remedy the matter. We all breathed a huge sigh of relief and lifted our eyes heavenward in thankfulness to God.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Heavenly Father, please show me clearly which words You would have me use today in each situation as it arises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, March 6, 2009


At the age of 76, it is difficult to imagine being downsized. Yet, that is exactly what happened to my aunt. Suddenly she found herself stripped of her deceased husband’s benefits. Gone is the monthly pension, gone are the health care benefits and prescription coverage. She may even need to consider moving to a smaller apartment. Gone are the benefits she had counted on to last the rest of her life.

Having lived through the Depression Era as a young child, my aunt never knew hunger but did know a loving family with plenty of song and laughter. Although widowed twice, my aunt never knew want - God continued to watch over her, guiding her steps as she worked and raised two children.

How will she deal with these drastic and shocking changes in her life? Hopefully, she will remember all the ways the Lord has led her thus far and she will realize His kind care will continue every day of her life - even now. Yes, her anxieties are many, even overwhelming at times, however God knows . . . .

Cast all your anxieties on him (God), for He cares about you. I Peter 5:7

Heavenly Father, please help me see this scripture as a command, not a request. Please help me obey - for my own good. In Jesus' name. Amen.

PS - A few years later this same aunt at age 82 is helping her grown children who, due to downsizing of jobs and health issues are having financial problems. Amazing, God's grace!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Procrastinating for months, my huge wicker basket of quilt scraps still needed to be sorted by color. The entire job seemed too overwhelming. That’s why it sat untouched.

The basket of scraps was kept under the window in the dining room. Above that perched our air conditioning unit. Unknown to us, water began leaking from the unit into the basket. Drip by drip every square inch of fabric became a soggy mess.

As soon as the problem was realized, out into the sunshine went every scrap in hopes that they would quickly dry. Soon they did! The weatherman, however, probably hadn’t seen it coming, that small gray cloud. Maybe it appeared only over our yard and my fabric. A slow drizzle dampened every inch of fabric again. There was no choice but to drive to the laundromat since we didn’t own a dryer.

After the fabric was dried - again - we journeyed home to begin the tedious task of folding each small piece, placing matching colors in piles and putting them in plastic see-through bags. As I began to grumble and complain, I realized that I had a choice. I could grumble and complain my way through the process or I could recognize God’s hand behind the circumstances and let Him bring good out of the mess. It was time to be thankful and quit fighting God.

When the entire process was completed, I marveled at God’s ways. While I had been procrastinating in doing a job which needed to be done, the Lord used circumstances to push me in the direction He had wanted me to go all along.

This God - his way is perfect . . . . Psalm 18:30

Heavenly Father, no matter what my circumstances, help me to see Your hand at work and to react to You in ways which please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


How do I react when the Lord sends adversity my way?

Do I fuss and fume and stomp my spiritual foot? When the weather is below zero and the car won’t start, do I grumble at Mother Nature, forgetting to stop and enjoy the crystals sparkling in the air, realizing that Mother Nature is God himself?

When the snow is knee deep, the car gets stuck and we have to dig our way out, do we rebel against our circumstances and wish ourselves back in bed? When the kitchen plumbing backs up, do we boil over in anger?

Don’t we see that both come from the hand of God - the good days and the difficult? How long will it take to learn to thank Him for both and when the difficulties come, to bow our hearts and souls before the Lord, accept it, say, “It’s OK,” and wait for His direction out of the difficulties?

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that in due time he may exalt you.
I Peter 5:6

Heavenly Father, please give me the grace to say, "It's OK" and bow my heart and will to You no matter what comes my way. In Jesus name. Amen

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I opened the letter and burst into tears. It was from my aunt’s lawyer, informing me that, upon her death, my aunt had left me a small inheritance - a brooch. With tears streaming down my face, all I could think about was that my aunt had remembered me. I repeated time after time, “She remembered me!” I couldn’t get past that thought.

My aunt, an only child, had no close living relatives. She and her husband were childless so they used their money doing good in other people's lives. They sent a ministerial student through college, they made sure that a nurse’s education was provided for a niece. My aunt turned her faith in God into practical everyday activities.

After my aunt quietly slipped away - to be home with the Lord, the letter informing me of her intention arrived. What deep emotions that letter stirred. To be remembered meant so much to me.

The next thought broke through clearly - the Lord Jesus Christ has an inheritance for each of us who have given our lives to Him. It is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept safe for us by the one who gave His life for us. We can truly declare: “He remembered me!”

By His great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled and unfading kept in heaven for you. I Peter 1:3-4

Heavenly Father, thank You for remembering me! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009


The pasture fence line was checked carefully. Any gaps or holes were re-wired. Woodchuck holes were filled in. Rocks were moved. Poisonous plants were cut down, dug up and carted away. Our sheep were to be moved into their new pasture soon. All must be thoroughly readied for their arrival. Proper care of our woolly friends would yield healthy lambs and thick fleeces.

As my daughter and I were walking the fence line inspecting every square inch, I thought of our Good Shepherd and how, under His watchful eyes, all of life’s circumstances are readied for us before we even walk through them. Then, to our delight, we find the Good Shepherd nearby each day, guiding and leading us.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Hebrews 13:20-21

Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your watchfulness over my path before I even walk it. Please help me to see more clearly Your kind care for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


It was finally spring. The windows were thrown open, the screens were in place and the curtains were washed and hung afresh. My daughter, for Mother’s Day had given me a delicate wind chime which I decided to hang in the kitchen window. If a breeze came through, a lovely sound would be heard throughout the entire house. As I reached up to hang the wind chime, I marveled at how still it was. I asked myself, “Why, if the earth is constantly spinning, don’t the trees constantly move? Why don’t we fly off of the planet? Why aren’t these wind chimes moving at all?” Of course, we all know the answer is - gravity. Isn’t it amazing, though, that there is stillness in the midst of tremendous motion?

All of our lives, too, are busy with a tremendous amount of activity. There is constant activity in and around us. Yet, at the center of our being, amidst all of the hurry and scurry of being in this world, we can be still, we can increasingly come to know our heavenly Father as He commands and as pleases Him.

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Heavenly Father, please show me how to be still in this busy world so that I may come to know You better and better with each passing day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.