Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My father had been extremely ill for weeks with complications from surgery. An infection was raging in his chest which seemed to be sapping every ounce of his strength.

My mother called me from 2000 miles away, asking that I fly to California to be with her and Dad. Needless to say, I was on the plane the next morning.

At the airport, my siblings greeted me with red and swollen eyes. I was too late. Dad had gone home to be with the Lord as I was boarding my plane earlier that morning.

My first reaction was, “I’m too late!!!”

Then I remembered that the Lord’s timing is always perfect. There is no possibility of being “too late” in His divine design. His ways are wise and, yes, sometimes past finding out - but always perfect.

My next reaction was, “It’s OK....”

As difficulties surround us and we utter, “It’s OK,” we are in actuality submitting to God’s wisdom in the situation. May we readily, especially when difficulties arise, say, “It’s OK” when needed.

Submit yourselves therefore to God . . . . James 4:7

Heavenly Father, help me submit and bow to Your ways in my life. You know what is best even when I don’t understand. It’s OK. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Monday, June 29, 2009


Tom and his friends were having a day at the beach. You could hear their laughter and you smiled at their antics. Suddenly Tom was being carried out to sea by the strong rip tide. The harder he tried to swim, the faster he was being pulled away from shore. Although his friends went for help, Tom wasn’t sure he could keep on swimming, even a few more strokes, until help arrived.

Suddenly Tom sensed that the Lord was commanding him to stop swimming and tread water. He obeyed, trying to relax as he did so.

Often we, like Tom, struggle to extricate ourselves from our troubles. We kick and squirm, trying to push our way out, ignoring the Lord’s encouragement to rest in Him. Finally when we quit our struggles, the Lord reaches down and plucks us from our swirling circumstances. As He holds onto us with oh, so steady hands, we wonder why we hadn't stopped struggling long before.

He reached from on high, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. Psalm 18:16

Heavenly Father, please give me wisdom to know when I should keep swimming and when I should tread water - waiting for Your next directions. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Sunday, June 28, 2009


A few years ago, my family and I were responsible for putting on the events in a living history park. It was our job to plan the event, then to set the “stage” for the arrival of participants and the public’s enjoyment.

In preparation for events, picnic tables were cleaned, the grounds were raked, flower beds were planted and cultivated, buildings were painted, the paths swept. As we looked out onto the park, it appeared to be a “stage” - ready for lights, camera, action. Ready to serve the people coming for the day.

The Lord used that “stage” to move us further toward holiness. Oh, how many lessons in diligence, hard work and taking care of the smallest detail to His satisfaction were involved. No, it wasn’t always easy nor pleasant. Yet the Lord used each task every day to add His qualities to our character.

What is your “stage” setting at the present time? Whether it is in the kitchen or the board room, the Lord is using your “stage” to train you unto holiness. Will you accept His training?

For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. II Peter 1:5-7

Heavenly Father, thank You for placing me in this specific setting at this time of my life - whether at home or at work. Please use this “stage” to bring me closer to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Have you ever volunteered services for a specific project, thinking that was what the Lord wanted you to do? Perhaps it was offering to go next door each day to prepare lunch for an elderly neighbor. Or help was needed on the playground at your child’s school. Maybe a local nursing home needed help with their Sunday services. No matter what the task, you proceeded, fully expecting to serve in that specific area for months . . . perhaps for years.

After a short span of time you then felt the Lord prompting you to stop. Did you misread the Lord’s direction in the first place? Were you never to have become involved? Guilt began to set in as you wondered what kind of person you were to start and stop something so quickly. Sure, you knew that you had touched lives. Yet, you continued to wonder, asking forgiveness if you hadn’t heard correctly, requesting that the Lord would continue to make His way clear.

Suddenly, it occurred to you: The Lord trusts you so much that He knows He can give you directions to move in a certain area and that you will. Then, He trusts you so much that, after a short time when He has accomplished His purpose, He knows that He can ask you to change direction, or to stop, and you will obey that, too. He trusts you! What an awesome thought!!! What a humbling thought!!! May we live up to His trust!!!

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night . . . . Exodus13:21

Heavenly Father, please help me to continually seek Your will in matters big and small. I know that only You have the wisdom to direct our starts and stops. Help me to hear both clearly and to obey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Have you ever found yourself blaming God when something difficult came into your life? You found yourself accusing God saying, “You knew!”

Since God is in charge of the universe . . . and of our lives, of course He knew. And you blamed Him . . . for not preventing the difficulty.

Months passed. You could sense God’s kind, loving care in the midst of difficult days. You found His strength for each step. Gradually your accusation of “You knew” turns to a declaration of breathless wonder. Now you find yourself declaring, “You knew . . . . ” as you clearly see that He prepared you ahead of time for any hard spots in your walk with Him. Yes, in His all merciful love . . . He knew. And He was present!

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for Thou art with me . . . . Psalm 23:4

Heavenly Father, please forgive my accusations against You. I fall at your feet in awe that “You knew” and You know me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


When we owned sheep, we needed to constantly be on the look-out for their safely. If one of them became caught in a fence or stuck in a woodchuck hole, they would struggle until they were exhausted. If they couldn’t get themselves out of a difficult situation fast enough or if help didn’t arrive quickly enough, down would go their heads in utter defeat. They would just give up. If they weren’t found in time, death was imminent. Those creatures were so easily discouraged and defeated.

May we not be like sheep in that regard. May we, if we find ourselves in any difficult situation, cry out for help to our heavenly Father. If we find that we are truly stuck, unable to get free, may we prayerfully await God’s direction and help. Let’s never become so defeated that we bow our heads and give up. Even in the midst of the most difficult situations, let’s keep looking upward to Him who loved us enough to die for us.

But, as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

Look to Him and be radiant.... Psalm 34:5

Heavenly Father, please help me always to look to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The roaring crowd could be heard as they cheered for each cowboy as he came out of the chute riding a bucking bull. The cowboys rode for points as they tried to increase their national standing in the rodeo circuit. Each did his best to stay on the back of the horned beast.

Earlier in the day, rodeo officials had “randomly” matched each cowboy with the bull he would ride that evening under the bright lights. Since, in God’s world there is no such thing as “randomly”, we know that behind each choice was God’s hand, guiding. No matter which bull was chosen for the cowboy, each rider did his best.

Isn’t it good to know that for us, too, there is no such thing as “randomly” chosen circumstances in our lives? God’s kind and loving hand is behind and guiding all that comes our way. We can rest in that fact, allowing Him to teach and direct us as we do our part - our best.

Now in putting everything in subjection to Him, He left nothing outside His control. Hebrews 2:8

Heavenly Father, I thank You that behind every situation You are there, in control! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Have you ever been invited to a special dinner? You wondered should you go casual, somewhat dressy, or formal? You fretted and actually had nightmares about the situation.

In one such nightmare, you arrived at the event without your shoes. Your shoes were at home, three hours away . . . all of the stores were closed. (See, this was a real nightmare!) There was nothing to be done about the situation. There you were in a lovely dress . . . and bare feet. How totally unacceptable you felt!

Isn’t it comforting to know that when we stand before God at the end of time, we need have no fear of our acceptability? Because of what Jesus has done for us upon the cross, we will be perfectly attired from head to toe. We will be clothed in His own goodness which assures our salvation.

I greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness . . . . Isaiah 61:10

Heavenly Father, I thank you for taking away my fear of being unacceptable in Your sight. Thank You for what Jesus has done for me on the cross and for the garments of salvation in which I can truly rejoice - even now! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, June 22, 2009


A friend of ours thoroughly enjoyed his costumed status as Mr. Dragon, promoting his wife's stained glass shop. Often Mr. Dragon could be seen lumbering along in parades or at special events, all to the glee of his audience. Mr. Dragon is big and blue with a puffy silver tummy. Realistic “hands” and “feet” stretch out in humorous action as his toothful grin towers above the tallest man. His tail swishes happily back and forth as he walks.

When my daughter wondered aloud, “How can Mr. Dragon see where he’s going?” The answer: “One step at a time.” He couldn’t see any farther ahead than that.

How like life that is for us as followers of Jesus. We may not be able to see far into the future but we can see just that far ahead - one step at a time. As God directs our every step, the next step we are to take becomes clear.

The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord, He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23

Heavenly Father, please direct my every step. I trust in You implicitly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


We’ve all been there - at a mall or arts and crafts show where the crushing crowds threaten to sidetrack us from our mission. All we want to do is to head home with our loved one. You both have had enough for the day and are ready to depart. Your loved one says, “Follow me,” knowing a direct route to freedom... and home. You begin to follow, eyes forward, keeping your loved one in sight at all times. Then the crush of the crowd, the sights and sounds of the place all tempt you to takes your eyes off the one you are following. Soon you have lost sight of who you were following and where you were going. You know you will never reach home unless you again connect. Quick - find him, close the gap, head home.

How similar this scenario is to our following Jesus. He tells us, “Follow Me.” We begin - but then we look around at other things. We almost lose our way until we realize - He is still there, look to Him, close the gap. He will lead us safely Home.

Follow me . . . . Matthew 4:19

Heavenly Father, please help me to keep my eyes on You, following closely. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Have you ever felt broiling ambition driving you forward? At work, perhaps you wanted to work your way into your boss’ job. Or you wanted to be teaching leader at your women’s Bible study. Maybe you wanted to become president of your child’s parent-teacher association. You didn’t care what you had to do to get there - how many hours you had to devote to it, how many sleepless nights worrying. . . you wanted that position.

You knew, however, that your ambitious feelings weren’t of God since they seemed to take over your every thought. One day, while reading Scripture, you notice that we are admonished to:
. . . aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs.

Suddenly you knew that you have no choice. The ambition you felt must be placed in God’s hands. You knew that He would promote you if He saw fit. What peace that brings!

Let it be your ambition to live a quiet life, to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands.
I Thessalonians 4:11

Heavenly Father, thank You for the desire to do better, to be better. Protect me, however, from myself and my selfish ambitions. Please show me how to strive after those things which glorify You - and to strive after them with a pure heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Recently a friend wanted some trees planted along the lane leading from their log home to the barns. She was given some six foot beauties by another friend.

Her husband and various helpers prepared the ground for the delivery of the trees. Deep holes were dug with manure placed at the bottom of each. When the trees arrived, they were planted, straight and tall. To insure protection from the winds blowing across the wide expanse of pasture. Each tree was held straight by four wires attached to stakes in the ground.

Our heavenly Father wants, with all His heart, for us to grow straight and tall, too. He knows that our natural tendency will be to bend to the winds of our world’s way of thinking and doing things. Thus, He has placed the guiding wires of Scripture, prayer, fellowship and His loving presence into our lives to keep us growing properly. May we rest, knowing that the Lord Himself is directing our growth.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42

Heavenly Father, thank You for your kind direction in my life. I submit myself to Your wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


In chemistry class students are given an experiment to do. Each student was given a glass container half full of cloudy, colored liquid. To that container was added another chemical. With the addition of the second chemical, the liquid turned sparkling pure and clear.

Sometimes we may feel like that glass container of cloudy, colored liquid. Our lives become filled with the grudges, resentments, jealousies and hurts this world offers. We are in drastic need of that “something” which will turn our hearts into sparkling pure containers of God’s goodness again. That “something” is God’s forgiveness, freely offered to those who see their need and ask for it.

I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me . . . .
Jeremiah 33:8

Heavenly Father, please send Your forgiveness into my heart. I desire to be clean and pure in Your eyes. Because of Jesus’ death for me. In His name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We know a man who lived a very successful, self-sufficient life well into his 80s. He was healthy, made a good living and cared for his family.

One day an illness paralyzed him, confining him to a wheelchair. He became frustrated at his helplessness, angry at anyone who tried to help. He was miserable and made everyone else miserable who came in contact with him.

In the past when he met adversity, he reacted in exactly the same way - with anger and bitterness. Now, years later, he still reacts in the same way- this time against the ill health which stands in his path.

What a warning this should be to us who believe in God’s goodness. When adversity crosses our path, do we allow anger and bitterness to creep in or do we allow God to use the trouble as a refining influence?

God gives grace to the humble.

Heavenly Father, please empower me to humbly accept the easy parts of my life but also the more difficult parts. In Jesus' name. Amen


If we are to believe television commercials, newspaper articles and the literature from our doctor’s offices, we are in trouble. As we approach ‘old age’ we are told that our arteries will be clogged, our bones will deteriorate, our hearts will be weak, our memories will be missing and on and on. It’s enough to scare us so that the later years in life are looked upon with dread.

How does God want us to look at ‘old age’?

But the godly will flourish . . . and grow strong. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is nothing but goodness in Him.” Psalm 92:13-15

Yes, let’s heed the common sense warnings so we care for these bodies to the glory of God. Let’s also, however, focus on and believe what God tells us in scripture about ‘old age’. After all, He has our lives all mapped out for each of us right to our very last day on earth. We can believe what He says!

Heavenly Father, I choose to believe You about my future and look forward in anticipation to what You have planned for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Once she was a joyous wife and mother, always ready to enter into the fun of family life. She loved her home, quaint and tidy and her garden, planted with such pleasure.

Then something began to go wrong. She no longer entered into the life she and her husband enjoyed. Creating her own life, she was often absent. She began working long hours at her job, traveling to workshops to further her career. Although physically present, she moved out of her home emotionally, away from her husband and child.

They sit at the table now, talking as if she doesn't exist. She withdrew to her own life - self-sufficient, apart, seemingly in need of no one. Even though they don’t speak of her, she is very much present in their hearts and thoughts. They just can’t bear to mention her name - it is too painful.

A sad picture, to be sure. May we, as men or women, realize the importance of our place in our family’s lives. May we be a blessing and bring pleasure at the mention of our name.

A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12

Heavenly Father, please let me see the importance in Your eyes of loving my family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Why do children ask permission to do the same thing over and over again? Don’t they hear the word “NO” the first time? Don’t they hear it the second and third time? Do they think they will wear the parent down with their continual asking? Don’t they realize that No means NO? Don’t they see that the answer “NO” was for their own good, because they are loved and what they want to do isn’t wise . . . or safe?

How often do we act that same way toward our heavenly Father? We ask permission or direction. He says, “NO.” Since we don’t like His answer, we continue asking again and again. Do we really think God will change His mind when He knows what is best for us and loves us enough to die for us?

Perhaps we can take a lesson from the children. May we learn to seek God’s answer to our questions, listen to what He tells us and then may we accept His answer in our everyday walk with Him!

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 help me to be wise in my asking. Open my ears and heart to hear You and to accept Your answer. Then please give me the grace to walk according to Your directions. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Mary was a woman well into her 70s. She could put those who were younger to shame by her tireless energy and service to others. She especially enjoyed cooking and serving food at a senior citizen center in a poor section of town. Mary’s help was much needed there.

One problem arose, however. The faster she worked and flew around the kitchen, the more stinging her words were to anyone who got in her way. By the time dinner was served in the church fellowship hall, the atmosphere of the entire room had been poisoned. Anyone who had tried to help Mary was scorched by her impatience.

How many times do we, with our impatient attitude and hurtful words, poison the atmosphere around us? Oh, how careful we must be! In our desire to serve others, we must not fill our hands so full that we become impatient in our serving.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience . . . . Colossians 3:12

Heavenly Father, please let my serving be as unto You, full of Your peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


At a conference recently, the speaker took a poll asking “How many of you have had enough sleep this week?” Not one in the audience raised their hands. Laughter filled the auditorium as people admitted that their lack of sleep was a consistent problem for them.

Researchers have found that 62% of Americans have sleep problems. Another 40% admit that lack of sleep influences their daily activities. Women, especially, suffer from sleep deprivation as they continually try to meet needs. When they try to “catch up” on their sleep, they find that it is an illusive, non-existent process.

Sleep is unique, given to us by God for a variety of reasons: our muscles rest, our heart rate slows, cells are repaired and replenished. Also, the brain integrates all of our hopes, fears and buried images.

Instead of fighting a God-given necessity, let’s take advantage of the gift of a good night’s sleep which comes from the hand of God directly to us.

It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

Heavenly Father, please help me discipline my time so that I take advantage of all of the healing properties of sleep. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, June 12, 2009


One year I journeyed to a conference for writers. Upon arrival at the registration table, I noticed another early arriver - a woman in her late 40s, standing alone clutching her notebook and purse.

It seemed that everywhere I turned that day, there was that same woman, standing alone. She seemed like a lost orphan.

When it came time to go to lunch, some of us decided to go across the street to a nearby restaurant. As we were dodging traffic to get there, that same woman was also dodging traffic, going to lunch by herself. Seeing her so alone pulled at my heartstrings. She was invited to join us for lunch. As we progressed to the restaurant, we came upon more “orphans”, inviting them to sit with us, too. What an interesting, fun lunch we had!

Perhaps Scripture’s command to care for the widows and orphans includes “orphans” who we notice could use a friend - even just for lunch one day.

Learn to do good; seek justice, defend the orphans, plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:17

Heavenly Father, please give me eyes to see and a heart to respond to those who are lonely, in need of a friend. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Many years ago, I had an infestation of water-seeking ants. Every morning when I would go into the kitchen to fix breakfast, I would find the sink and counter covered in a brown, gliding mass of ants. It turned my stomach.

I tried everything to get rid of those ants, including having a grumbling attitude. Even that didn’t work! As winter approached, they eventually disappeared. My grumbling about those ants continued, though, even when I moved 2000 miles away. Eventually, with some maturity I stopped grumbling and realized that my attitude wasn’t pleasing to the

Lord no matter how far away those ants were.

Years passed and I again had an infestation. This time it was an infestation of hornets into my kitchen. For three days, hundreds of hornets swarmed inside from an unknown source. That old grumbling attitude appeared again. Remembering clearly how the Lord had dealt with me before on the issue of the ants, I was suddenly silent. Instead I quietly went about finding the source of their entry. Needless to say, positive, prayerful action was far more successful than grumbling.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world . . . . Philippians 2:14

Heavenly Father, thank You for lessons You have taught me in years past. Please bring them to mind as I need them - all to your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


A family of five visited our local library recently. It was very noticeable that everywhere they went, they left behind them a trail of noise, confusion and litter.

The children left toys spread on the floor, puzzle pieces strewn about, books left open on tables and on the floor. The parents pulled tax forms from the rack, leaving them out of place. The big notebook of reproducible tax forms was left open with pages scattered. When they left, it looked like a tornado had been through the library.

What does the trail we leave behind us look like? Is there confusion, gossip, selfishness or bitterness? Or do we leave behind us the aroma of Jesus’ presence with His peace, kindness, gentleness, love and caring attitude?

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 show me the importance of leaving a trail of blessing to others everywhere I go. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Do you keep a journal? Are you including in it your thoughts and feelings? Have you written of the ways in which the Lord has led and taught you through the years? How precious such a log would be as you or your loved ones look back to see the Lord’s faithfulness to you. As you note milestones. As you remember special moments. As you see God’s hand in your life.

Moses, long ago, kept a written record of his journey. From these records we can learn more about God’s faithfulness. May those who read your journal see God’s faithfulness in your life!

At the Lord’s direction, Moses kept a written record of their progress. These are the stages of their march, identified by the different places they stopped along the way. Numbers 33:2

Heavenly Father, You have been faithful to me every step of the way during my entire lifetime thus far. Thank You for the journey we have been on together. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Many of us, for years, have been keeping our eye on world events. We have longed for the day when Jesus, as He promised us, would return to earth. We’ve known, however, that difficult times would come first as prophesied in Scriptures. Now, in this present time, it seems that the Day of the Blessed Hope is nearer. Every few years we seem to be on the brink of war. The economy. . . .
The price of gas. . . . Wars . . . . Rumors of war . . . .

It is a time of great fear in the world and, if we aren’t careful, we will get caught up in the panic, too.
What should we do with our fears of the days ahead? Let’s declare with the psalmist:

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in Thee.”
Psalm 56:3

Then, let’s follow Jesus’ instructions:

Now when these things begin to take place, look up, and raise your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:28

Heavenly Father, I don’t know what the days ahead hold but I am looking to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Do you have a garden this year? While laboring in it planting, weeding and harvesting, have you ever felt a little bit like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? God placed them in that particular beautiful spot on earth. The care of it was their responsibility.

In which ‘garden’ space has God placed you? His placement of you is in a particular family, neighborhood, home, community, fellowship, job and/or volunteer position.

Hopefully, God derives extreme pleasure as He watches you faithfully laboring in it and tending it as He directs. May we each daily be diligent in our work in that particular garden in which we are placed.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. Genesis 2:15

Master Gardener, please help me to see clearly the ‘garden’ You have given me to tend. Please help me to be faithful in each detail. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


One day it was quite warm and humid, as it gets sometimes in the Midwest. The nearby lake looked stale and greenish. Even the air felt stale. All of the green floating bits of plants (does anyone know their name?) made the water look greenish and uninviting.

The very next day the wind came up, temperatures dropped a few degrees and the humidity blew away. Everything sparkled. The sky was a pure blue, trees were a lush June green and those bits of floating green plants were blown to the shoreline. The water itself was clear, fresh and new.

How are our lives? Are they somewhat stale and stagnant? Or is the fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit blowing unhindered through us as we remain open to God’s work in our lives? Let’s open the windows of our souls and let God’s fresh Life blow in and through us.

You must be born anew. The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes or whither it goes, so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit. Jesus in John 3:8

O Holy Breath of God, please blow on me. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.

Friday, June 5, 2009


A poison ivy rash had developed on my hand which, if treated with a simple application of homemade soap, would stop itching and disappear within days. As time went by and I neglected to apply the soap, the rash became angry looking, spreading up my arm.

One day, while visiting our local library, we noticed that Bill, a volunteer there, had also developed a case of poison ivy. The rash on his arms and legs was blistering badly. Feeling intense sympathy for his plight, I promised to drive home, get the special soap for him and return so that he could immediately apply it. The horrible itching would stop and he would begin healing.

Isn’t it interesting that we jump quickly to help someone else when, for ourselves, we procrastinate, allowing our own bodies to suffer. Certainly, since God has given us these bodies to use as instruments to serve Him, then it is our responsibility to be good stewards of them until He returns.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? I Corinthians 6:19

Heavenly Father, thank You for opening my eyes to others’ needs. Now please open my eyes to my own needs and show me to be diligent in the care of the body You have loaned me. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Like Job, my father was a man of integrity, a man who loved God. As a boy, he joyfully sang in the church choir. In World War II he served his country faithfully, married his sweetheart and eventually had three children.

Like Job, my father experienced life’s trials, too. When my father and mother were newly married and were still in their twenties, my mother was rushed to the hospital, returning home never to be the same again due to brain damage. Dad spent long hours working a job, arriving home to care for his children until well past nightfall. Dad, a faithful employee, was eventually squeezed out of his position by the boss’ son. Moving to the west coast to start over, he found a job which he loved but which was eventually taken from him as he was forced into an early retirement. Over the remaining years, ill health became evident which resulted in his death at age 78.

Like Job, however, my dad knew that the Lord gives and the Lord allows some things to be taken from us. He knew that he came into the world with nothing and that he would go to meet his Maker with empty hands.

What a good example my Dad was to me. Through it all, like Job, Dad’s attitude was one of “Blessed be the name of the Lord” because he knew and experienced God’s love first hand even though life wasn’t always easy.

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job 1:21

Heavenly Father, even when our lives aren’t filled with ease, let us continue to declare with Job, “blessed be the name of the Lord”. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


In the morning before my son went to work, he informed us that there was a tornado warning.

As we scanned the sky, our power blinked off and on a couple of times. In our house, loss of power meant more than the loss of electricity for lights and stove. It also meant loss of the use of any bathroom facilities - no showers, no hair washing, no brushing of teeth...no water. Breathing a sigh of relief because we hadn’t lost power, we went about our morning tasks.

Showers were quickly taken and breakfast was cooked. Even though we carried out our normal routine, we noticed that there was a brown out - just barely enough power to use the stove and toaster but not enough to turn on the television to get a weather update. The overhead lights barely glowed, the microwave was unworkable and the refrigerator bulb was dim.

As we were almost ready to head out the door, my daughter decided to use the hair dryer. As she plugged it in and attempted to get it going, suddenly all was dead, quiet. All of the electricity which had been slowly coursing through the house was gone.

As we surveyed our situation, ready to go, my son said, “We had just enough power to get us out the door!”

Oh, how clearly our heavenly Father could be seen in this situation. He provided just exactly what was needed, exactly when it was needed. God always provides abundantly for our every need. We never have to experience a brown-out or even a power outage in our spiritual lives. God abundantly provides us with the strength to do whatever it is that He calls us to do each day.

. . . as thy days, so shall thy strength be. Deuteronomy 33:25

Heavenly Father, thank You for providing me with the strength I need each day of my life. Your promise of strength encourages me to look around to see what else You may want done. Thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Working in a library for four years made me realize the importance of accuracy and a sense of order. Every book is given a number when cataloged into the system. At a moment’s notice, if a book is needed, the librarian can look for that particular book by a specific number at a particular place on a shelf.

The process, however, breaks down if someone places a book other than in its proper place. Perhaps due to a careless error in re-shelving or a misreading of the book’s number, the book may be out of order, unable to be found.

Our God is a God who takes delight in a sense of order. Look around you at the universe. All is in order. The sun and its planets are placed so that day and night have a specific order. The oceans are placed in specific places. Plants and animals show a certain order in their creation and function.

Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord, or show forth all His praise? Psalm 106:3

Heavenly Father, please open our eyes to see Your order in the universe. Help me maintain a sense of accuracy and order in MY little corner of the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, June 1, 2009


As you look around, don’t you sometimes become frustrated with how poorly everyone else seems to be living their lives?

Your neighbor, try as she might, just can’t seem to get it together to keep her house clean and in order. Another neighbor is so busy, there is never any food in her cupboards so they continually dash out for fast food. Another friend has a sick wife and doesn’t seem to help out much at home. Everywhere you look, you see people failing miserably.

Is it our job to hold others accountable? No, it certainly is not. Each person has a “story” which God is working out in his or her life. No, they may not be doing their “story” perfectly, but that is God’s business, not ours. In fact, if we look at our OWN “story”, we may find so much to keep us busy, that we will have no time to be looking at others’ stories.

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld for the Master is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4

Heavenly Father, please help me to keep my eyes on my own “story”, doing those things which please You more every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


“Time is so precious that it is dealt out to us only in the smallest possible fractions - a tiny moment at a time." Irish Proverb

How have you used the time God has given you this past year? Have you used it to honor and please God or to honor and please yourself? Or maybe half and half.

In order to take our lives back - to give them back to God who created us, perhaps we need to look at some potential problem areas and learn how we can do better now and into the future:

Have you squandered your time away by:

- Being so worried about loved ones’ health, lifestyle or well-being that you have neglected your own health and well-being?

- Being so busy doing good works that you are serving man instead of God?

- Speaking unkind words about others, chipping away at the foundation of your marriage, your family, your church, your very own life?

- Forgetting the principles of good self-care such as nutritious meals, regular exercise and a good dose of fresh air daily?

- Being so concerned about your financial situation that you can no longer hear God’s voice telling you what to do about it?

- Falling into patterns that resemble a rut so there is nothing new, fresh and different about your life?

Enough, you say! Yes, we can all identify with at least one time waster - and we can probably write out some of our own.

As time unfolds, let’s TAKE BACK OUR LIVES AND GIVE THEM ANEW TO THE GOD WHO CREATED US AND LOVES US BEYOND MEASURE. He has the blueprint for each of our lives. If we follow His blueprint, we will be all He wants us to be - pleasing and honoring Him minute by precious minute.

I appeal to you therefore . . . by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable o God which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for squandering precious minutes, hours and days. Please teach me how to better please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.