Friday, July 31, 2009


Our spry, energetic friend, Dorris, had a disabling stroke. At age 68, it was unexpected and shocking to those of us who worked with her at the library. She was a widow, so independent, so helpful to everyone, so devoted to serving others in the love Jesus provided.

When we went to visit Dorris in the hospital, we found that she was unable to speak so that she could be understood. How frustrating for her it was! She was unable to walk and could no longer feed herself. She was also unable to read a book - her eyes wouldn’t focus. We prayed, knowing that our friend’s life had changed forever.

Then we began hearing reports from others who visited her. We heard how hard she was working in rehabilitation to regain muscle strength - practicing daily. A speech therapist was helping her practice her speech. We even heard that, once at home, she began practicing the use of her muscles by using a rowing machine.

A year passed. Dorris is again walking, driving, reading and volunteering at the library. A miracle we say. Yes, God certainly restored her. Dorris also did her part - practicing those things she needed to do.

In which areas should you be practicing in order to further develop your spiritual muscles of servanthood? Go ahead . . . you can do it!

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge and knowledge with self control, self control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness and godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love. II Peter 1:5

Heavenly Father, please help me practice all that is needed in order that I may serve You better. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Have you ever noticed that when life seems difficult, we storm the gates of heaven with request after request?

The roof leaks . . . we cry out to God. The car is in the repair shop . . . again
. . . we cry out to God. A flu bug has us in its grasp and won’t let go . . . we cry out to God. The baby has the colic . . . God, help! We fear losing our job . . . God, help! Our child’s grades begin to slip . . . God, help! Our spouse is stressed and it is evident at home . . . God, help! Again and again we cry out to our heavenly Father for help. Of course, this pleases Him . . . He loves it when we turn to Him. He wants us to rely on and trust Him for the smallest detail of our lives.

Then our lives begin to run more smoothly. The children are thriving, our spouse is fine, we feel well, we have a car that runs. God? Does He once again become a shadow figure - someone you once knew and talked with . . . constantly. But now you no longer need Him . . . or do you?

Look unto Me. Isaiah 54:22

Heavenly Father, please help me to look to You not only when things are difficult, but also when life seems to run more smoothly. I need You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Recently it was mentioned by a television personality that we have become a self-less society. (Do we really believe that?) At first glance, that seems commendable, doesn’t it? Being self-less, after all, seems far superior to being selfish.

Interpreting self-less in another way, however, can also have a negative meaning. Being self-less can also mean not knowing yourself, your beliefs, your values, your skills or your gifts. In that sense, being self-less is like being a non-person. God certainly never intended that!

God created us each in His image. He expects us to desire to know Him. Then He wants us to know who we are in His eyes . . . to know what we believe . . . to discern what it is He wants us to do each day of our lives. Yes, let’s be self-less in giving love, but let’s always know who we are and where we are going - in God’s eyes.

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male an female He created them. Genesis 1:27

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You know who You created me to be. Now all I need to do is to listen to You and obey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Every evening during the summer I would bike to the newly created pond in our village park to feed the huge carp. As I would stand overlooking the pond, the only sound I could hear was the rushing of water over the rocks as it tumbled into the shallow pond in front of me.

The noise of the water rushing downward drowned out all other sounds - traffic, children at play, dogs barking, my own voice and - almost - my own thoughts. All I could hear was the water thundering.

I was reminded of the scripture in Psalm 93:4:

“Mightier than the thunders of many waters . . . the Lord on high is mighty”.

God desires to communicate with us, His people. His voice is a still small voice, yet if we listen intently, His voice actually thunders. His voice can be heard in our lives so that all other ‘noises’ are minor in comparison.

May we hear His still, small, thunderous voice daily. May we listen intently to what He is saying to us.

Heavenly Father - I thank You that You desire to communicate with me. Please help me to hear You clearly, thunderously. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, July 27, 2009


A friend went to visit his doctor. He’d been having minor foot problems. As the doctor examined him, further extensive tests were ordered which ultimately revealed serious heart blockage in four of his coronary arteries. Surgery would need to be performed to repair the damage and to restore my friend’s health.

The Lord used a minor medical problem to reveal, in His perfect timing, a much more serious life-threatening problem. In each step of the journey our friend took, it was quite evident that God was, indeed, in control.

In your life, do you see God at work, too? Maybe it’s not in such a dramatic life and death situation but He is working . . . can you see Him?

Thou art a hiding place for me, Thou preservest me from trouble; Thou dost encompass me with deliverance. Psalm 32:7

Heavenly Father, I thank You for working mightily in my life day by day. Please open my eyes to see You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Have you ever noticed a child, when learning to read, often balks at trying to sound out a new word? With proper encouragement, over time, the child eventually becomes more adventurous, trying, practicing and attaining success in their new-found skill.

Do you find yourself balking at anything new which the Lord may be opening to you? In which area is He encouraging you to be courageous? In which area is He prodding you to take those initial steps toward mastering something new? Try it! What do you have to lose? Be courageous and adventuresome. A whole new world of opportunity could open up. You just need to take that first step . . . then the next . . . then the next. Go for it!

The steps of a good man (woman) are ordered by the Lord. Proverbs 20:24

Heavenly Father, please give me the courage to move forward in the areas You present to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Do we belong to God, manifesting the new life He has given us? Or do we still think we belong to ourselves?

Are we willing to do His will every moment of each day? Or do we pick and choose which directives from Him we heed?

Do our friends reflect His nature? Or do we surround ourselves with those whose characters haven’t been changed into His likeness?

Do the words which come out of our mouths reflect Him who is enthroned in our hearts? Or do our words reflect our own self-centered interests and views?

Do we focus our eyes outward, looking for areas where our King may want us to serve? Or are we so caught up in our own dramas, that we don’t recognize others’ needs?

Let’s look at our lives. Who do we truly belong to - God or ourselves?

If we find ourselves lacking, may we again give ourselves completely to Him who loves us beyond measure.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

Heavenly Father, I give myself to You, my Creator. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Have you noticed that if we aren’t careful to guard our minds and hearts, anxiety will begin to consume us? We humans tend to be anxious about many things - that is why Jesus warned about that tendency of ours when he said: “Consider the lilies . . . ”.

Whenever you hear the word ‘lily’, if you live out in the country, do you think of the day lilies which bloom along the roadside in brilliant orange?

Recently I was introduced to an entire new world of lilies. My co-workers who are fanatic gardeners (in a good way), graced the office with a sampling of their backyard lilies. What a variety of colors - peach, mauve, gold, apricot, amber. Some were speckled, some were a mix of colors. Even their names reflected their loveliness - Red Hot, Stargazer, Orange Electra, D’Oro.

As I think of those lilies, Jesus’ words take on a whole new meaning as He admonishes us not to be anxious about our lives: “Consider the lilies . . . ” in Luke 12:27.

If God can clothe the lilies of the field so magnificently, certainly He can (and does) care for us!

So, this week, let’s ‘consider the lilies,’ recognizing God’s creative and kind care of us.

Consider the lilies, how they grow.... Luke 12:27

Creator of the universe, I thank You for Your kind care of me! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


In the Scriptures people are often likened to sheep. After “owning” a flock of those fluffy critters for a few years, it became apparent why God sees us as sheep in need of a Good Shepherd.

One characteristic of sheep that always amazes me is how easily sheep give up when they find themselves in difficult circumstances.

One July day it was extremely hot and humid. A sheep named Mary was resting in the shade in the barn. When she tried to get to a standing position, her horns caught on the barn studs. She must have struggled, but when she couldn’t stand, she gave up. When we found her within a short period of time, it was too late. Although she was alive, we could tell that she’d given up. The next day she died.

When we find ourselves in difficulties, do we struggle to extricate ourselves and become frustrated and give up after only a short period of time? No wonder God told us in His Word:

For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised. Hebrews 10:36

Heavenly Father, please train me to go the distance, whatever is needed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


We’ve all heard of the campus shootings. In my own community within the past two weeks, a man shot a woman and her two children and then himself. A mob of people stormed the emergency room after a street fight among women. A 14 year old was gunned down on his front porch.

People ask, “Why?”

People suggest solutions: “We need more education, less poverty, more understanding, better counseling, less depression, closer observation, better race relations, better medical care, more control of weapons, more tolerance, less religion, better psychological help, more social programs, better self esteem, more freedom to express ourselves”.**

Yet God Himself told us what the real problem is - it is man’s heart.

“The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; He looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God.

But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!” Psalm 14:2&3

Now that we know the problem - man’s heart - what is the solution?

God knows the solution and provided all we need for that solution - Himself. As we are reconciled (become friends) with God as it was meant to be from the beginning, there will be changed hearts. One by one, as hearts are changed, the world will change. Your neighborhood will change. Your own home will change.

Are you willing to become part of the solution. . . every day . . . every minute . . . in your own heart and life?

“Christ reconciled (us) to God by means of His death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.” Ephesians 2:11

** Thanks to Mike Jones, Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship in north central Washington, for allowing me to quote him.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It was said in the Land of Giants no one could see the king unless he or she possessed a certain quality. Every citizen of the land made it their aim in life to do whatever needed to be done to attain that quality. Being able to see the king was that important to them. Some even died in their pursuit.

In Scripture we read that we, too, need to be in possession of a certain quality so that we can see the King - our Lord. What is that quality? Scripture names it: HOLINESS!

What is holiness? Webster defines it “as belonging to or coming from God; consecrated; sacred; spiritually perfect or pure; untainted by evil or sin; associated with Jesus and His life”.

Certainly we want to see our King! How will we cooperate with God day to day to obtain that holiness?

Strive for . . . holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

Heavenly Father, please guide my steps in pursuit of You and Your holiness. I want to see You more clearly . . . beginning today! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Recently a sunflower plant needed to be transplanted. The soil in the new area was prepared ahead of time in order to give the plant the best possible chance. Tenderly it was lifted from the soil and was placed in its new home. Water was added to the hole as the sunflower was gently placed in it. Fresh soil was gently packed around the plant. All should have been well.

It wasn’t. As the hot July sun beat down, the plant suffered. Even though it was watered daily, by each evening, the leaves hung down, wilted. Its root system hadn’t burrowed deep enough yet to sustain life.

Perhaps that is why the Scripture admonishes us to let our roots grow down deep into Jesus. God knows that if our root system is not burrowed deep into Life Himself, we will wilt.

There is a happy ending to this story. The sunflower’s roots kept digging deeper and deeper into the life giving soil with each passing day. What a beauty it is!

As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7

Heavenly Father, please sustain me by Your life-giving presence day by day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


What has the Lord been teaching you this week? Do you know? Can you put it into words? Were you paying attention to your life and what He was revealing for your benefit? Or did it slip right by you?

God, in His mercy, often repeats again and again a lesson He wants us to learn. Do we pay attention or are we too busy or preoccupied?

Let’s pay attention! Let’s hold firm what we are being taught.... He is reaching down through eternity to teach us.

Let’s hold fast, especially, to Him who loves us so much.

Therefore, we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard. . . . Hebrews 2:1

Heavenly Father, please help me be more aware of the lessons You are teaching me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


It was a hot summer day. There they were, about 30 girls practicing to become cheerleaders for the upcoming school year. They didn’t have their uniforms yet, but they all seemed to look alike. They all wore similar shorts and t-shirts with their ponytails bouncing as they moved. If you stopped to talk to them, would they have similar speech patterns and topics of conversation - their make-up, boys and the upcoming school year?

Some adults, too, seem to look and act alike - their houses are just the right shade of sandlewood this year. They talk about their investments and their children’s chances for college. Even some older adults seem alike - worried about their upcoming retirement, their health, their looks.

Whatever happened to the idea that God created us in His image, not in the image of everyone else in our social circle? Certainly God is big enough, many-faceted enough, original enough to create us - each uniquely.

May we not cover up our God-given uniqueness with society’s sameness. As we get to know our heavenly Father more every day, may we derive our identity from Him. May we be one of a kind - that one whom God created to bring pleasure to Himself.

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. Rev. 4:11

Heavenly Father, thank You for creating me. Please, daily, help me become more and more that person who You created to honor You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Infection raged in the first patient. Taking the full dosage of antibiotics until they were done, the patient recovered fully within two weeks.

In the second patient, infection also raged. After just a few days of antibiotics, the patient felt better so, against medical advice, stopped taking the medication. Within days a more dangerous, widespread infection returned, threatening the patient’s life.

Sin is like an infection in our lives. If we allow the Lord to only partially eradicate sin, it returns to plague us again and again. If, however, we place ourselves into the merciful hands of God, confess our sin and turn from it completely, we are then free . . . forever!

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

Heavenly Father, I thank You that I don’t have to limp along in life, always struggling against sin, never conquering it. I thank You that, because of Jesus’ death in my place, I can turn away from sin and walk before You in joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Have you ever gotten up on the morning with a grumbling attitude already rising to the surface? You didn’t sleep well. There was no milk for breakfast. The day stretched before you with all of the heat and humidity of a July heat wave. someone tracked dirt onto the kitchen floor, there was dust everywhere. On and on the grumbling proceeded until you couldn’t even stand yourself.

God has a remedy for those days when we are out of sorts. He instructed us to place our thoughts on the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious and excellent. When we heed His instructions, all is tinted in peace as we give praise to our Creator. He has truly created all things perfectly.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things . . . . Philippians 4:8

Heavenly Father, please bundle my grumbling thoughts up and help me cast them aside so that my every thought may please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The summer was turning into a hot, dry one. Everywhere we looked, we saw animals, trees, grass and flowers under stress. They were hot and thirsty! In our own household, our cat’s appetite deceased significantly. She had no energy, lounging in the shade wherever it could be found. In our yard, some of the leaves on the walnut trees yellowed and fell to the ground prematurely. People all around us, too, tried to stay cool, their energy sapped by the heat.

In other parts of the world, we heard of floods sweeping away animals, people and vegetation. An earthquake struck elsewhere. The devastation was tremendous.

Sometimes, living in this old world seems such a struggle. We find ourselves groaning not only for our own sufferings but for the sufferings of all living creatures subjected to the laws of our universe. Yet with those groans, we also find ourselves joyously anticipating what God has planned for all creation throughout eternity

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:22-23

Heavenly Father, thank You for the future glorious plans You have for all creation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


On the airwaves right now is a popular song whose lyrics include, “I will arise when You call my name….” I know those words probably refer to when Jesus calls our names and we arise to live with Him forever.

What about now? When He speaks to you on a daily basis, do you arise? Do you arise to serve Him in the everyday tasks He gives?

Perhaps those everyday tasks include….
Faithfully going to your job
Spending loving time with your family
Caring kindly for your aging parents…or a newborn
Providing a good example to your children and grandchildren

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Yes, eternally we will arise when He calls our names but let us, now, listen for Him to speak to us so we can arise NOW.

Heavenly Father, please open my ears to hear Your call . Please give me a willing heart to say, “Send me!” Then please give me joyful feet as I obey You.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


It has been said that there are two types of people: “givers” and “takers”. A “taker” is a person who always seems to want something from others but gives nothing in return. It’s all about them. They never seem to get around to asking how you are . . . they are too busy flooding you with details of the what they are doing.

A “giver,” on the other hand, is a person who always seems to be looking outward and away from themselves, looking for ways to serve others. They listen patiently, then respond with words of wisdom and acts of kindness. If there is a need, they seem to sense it and quietly provide for it, unnoticed by anyone.

May it be our heart’s ambition to be a “giver” - like the greatest giver of all - our heavenly Father.

For God so loved the world that He gave . . . .
John 3:16

Heavenly Father, my heart’s desire is to be more like You - a giver. Please teach me who I need to be in order to do what pleases You more fully. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Recently a friend made this statement: “Maybe I just need problems to make me happy.”

I am reminded of a soldier from ancient times. When he was in battle, he was magnificent - full of courage, riding on his steed to defeat dragons. In peace time, however, he crumbled into a whining baby. As he returned home to his wife and children, he became unbearable. He just couldn’t seem to get his hands around a rake in the garden, on a hammer to repair the roof, or his arms around his family to love them. He fussed and fumed, impatient to be off to the excitement of the battle once again. He needed “problems” to be happy.

What is there in some of us, as humans, which craves the excitement of “problems” but rebels against the peace of ordinary days? Don’t we realize that the times of peace are precious? So precious that the times of peace are used by God to further bless and train us - to make us ready for anything ahead.

May we recognize that both come from the hand of God - times of peace and times of problems.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in all ways.
II Thessalonians 3:16a

Heavenly Father, thank You for times of peace which help to balance out the times of problems. Oh, how I need both! Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, July 10, 2009


A beloved aunt left a beautiful antique lamp to me upon her death. My uncle wrapped it carefully in special packaging material so that it wouldn’t break on its way from Pennsylvania to Michigan. We breathed a sigh of relief when it arrived safely those many years ago.

That lamp was valuable so special care had to be taken in its placement in our home. It couldn’t be in a spot where someone might bump it accidentally or where my young son might run into it while playing. Every time young guests would come to visit, the lamp was picked up and moved to another room, where it would be safe.

One day the unthinkable happened. As I was carrying the lamp to safety, the top portion of it dropped onto the hard oak floor and smashed. Instead of tears, I found myself suddenly relieved. It had been such a burden to protect that lamp. Now I was free.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that our inheritance from God isn’t burdensome. It is imperishable, unable to be defiled, nor does it ever fade. How kind He is!

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 all You have for me - now and through eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, July 9, 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 she continually dashes out for fast food. Another friend is extremely ill, yet her family 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. 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 much to keep us busy. 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 I know which please You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Have you ever tried to help someone whose life seemed out of control? Perhaps it is someone who has an alcohol problem, unable to escape the grip of drink. Perhaps it is someone who won’t listen to Godly counsel, bent on marrying someone they shouldn’t. No matter the situation, you find yourself becoming angry and impatient with the entire cycle of failure on their part. Can’t they see? Why won’t they listen?

Then a thought enters your mind which helps you see more clearly: If that same person were suffering from bronchitis, would you become angry? Would you be impatient, wishing she’d just get on with life, leaving the illness behind?

No, you wouldn’t. You would realize that she was weakened and that certain measures needed to be taken to return to health - rest, liquids and, perhaps, some antibiotics.

Those whose lives are out of control have an illness, too. The illness is caused by sin which entered this world with Adam’s and Eve’s trespass. Sin, which has contaminated lives resulting in every sort of problem imaginable, has been dealt with at the cross by Jesus’ sacrifice. Healthy helpfulness on our part begins with praying and listening to the Lord’s directions if we are to have a part in the cure.

. . . for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. James 1:20

Heavenly Father, please help me exhibit Your patience towards those You want to help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Billy became ill with a nasty respiratory flu which caused a physical crisis. At the emergency room it was found that his blood sugar level was elevated. Suddenly he found himself on a strict diet and full daily exercise program.

Looking back after the emergency, he realized that for the previous four years he had been under tremendous stress. His father and mother had both died within a year of each other. Then two friends died. Then his wife's step-dad died. He realized that stress may have played a big role in his subsequent crisis.

Realizing the dangers of high blood sugar, he began the diet, an exercise regime and tried to control his current stress levels. Because he was monitoring blood sugar levels by doing a finger poke five times a day, he had a window into his body. He could see what, specifically, would cause his blood sugar to be elevated. Not only did various foods affect the level, but stress and anxiety did, too - in a mighty way.

How wise God is to admonish us again and again in the Scriptures not to be anxious about anything. As anxiety rises, we damage our bodies. Imagine what it does to our souls! If we will only recognize that God is in control of every situation and event and learn to deal prayerfully with life’s stresses and strains, some of the anxiety can begin to dissipate. We can learn how to trust in God’s kind care.

Our heavenly Father had a good reason to admonish us to not have anxiety - for our health not only spiritually but physically.

A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh. Proverbs 14:30

Heavenly Father, help me to obey You in dealing with the anxiety inherent in living in this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Have you noticed that there are many types of soldiers in any war? One type of soldier makes a good show of it. His uniform is creased just so, his gear in perfect order. Yet when he goes out to do battle against the enemy, he takes no ground. Puffs of ineffective smoke and dust are all that result.

Another soldier, however, may not look so perfect outwardly, yet when he marches against the enemy, he advances and the enemy retreats. He takes ground once held by the enemy, making it his own.

What type of soldier are you? When you see ground that God wants you to take, do you march ahead with shouts of victory or do you just huff and puff and make a good show of it?

If we sense that the Lord is dealing with our impatience, do we just march around blowing smoke or do we get down to business and take the ground - asking Him to live His life through us? If we know that the Lord is speaking to us about neglecting our families . . . do we ignore the order or do we start marching, already knowing what is to be done - then doing it!

May we be soldiers who please the Master . . . and who will hear, “Well done. . . .”

. . . that you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.
I Timothy 1:18

Heavenly Father, please teach me how to be effective in the battles in this life. Then please give me the courage to take the ground. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


We have all heard of or seen those dog collars which, when in place, warn a dog when he is going outside the boundaries established by the owner. There is no need of a fence, the collar emits a shock if the boundary is penetrated.

Did you know that some dogs ignore the warning shocks and continue on their merry way? The owner must then take that dog and drag him back home through the shock field in order to teach him never to trespass again. Although not pleasant, the dog must bear the consequences of his “sin”.

That is exactly what happens when we sin. As we step out on our merry way, heedless of God’s direction, we think we are free. God in His lovingkindness, however, engineers circumstances which only He can create to draw us back to Himself.

Is returning to God after we sin pain-free? Probably not. Repentance and godly sorrow are never easy. Yet that is exactly what is needed so we can be truly free.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret . . . .
II Corinthians 7:10a

Heavenly Father, thank You that there is a way back to You when we sin. Please help me be willing to experience Your sorrow at my waywardness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


During the hot days of summer, the hum of the air conditioner could be heard at our house day and night. Then on a lovely July morning, the temperatures cooled. The air conditioner was turned off and the windows were thrown wide open.

Once again the sounds of summer came pouring into the house. We could hear the robin’s song, a blue jay’s piercing squawk, a cardinal’s melody, a crow’s far away caw. There was even a new note to be heard - a bird we had never heard before. It was refreshing to just sit and listen.

Our busy lives are often full of a humming sound, too - that of our own busyness. Our overflowing calendars seem to drown out the words God may have for us day to day. Perhaps if we would turn off our busyness and open wide the windows of our souls, we would be able to clearly hear a new note from the Shepherd of our souls - just for us.

The sheep hear His voice and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3

Heavenly Father, please show me how to slow my busyness to hear Your words to me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Friday, July 3, 2009


A friend was recently hospitalized for two weeks. A serious infection from a spider bite (brown recluse!) raged throughout his body. Finally, he was able to go home from the hospital but was still in an extremely weakened condition. The doctor ordered a month’s recovery time before returning to work.

After two days, our friend was pacing the floor at home. He couldn’t find anything of interest to do. He wanted to return to work immediately.

How many of us, if we couldn’t enter into our work-a-day world (out in the work place or doing home duties) would find life unbearable? Have we made “work” so much a part of our lives that it has become our entire life?

God calls us to lived balanced lives of work and rest. Yes, we must work, but we also must rest. Since work (8 hours) and rest (8 hours) only take up approximately 16 hours per day, that leaves 8 hours remaining. What will we do with it - to the glory of God?

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, I thank You that living a well balanced life is what You expect. Please show me what You want in each of my days. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Have you ever felt the Lord admonishing you to take better care of your health? You knew He was nudging you to get more sleep, to eat properly and to decrease the hurry and stress in your life. In obedience to Him, you made a good beginning. You disciplined yourself to get to bed on time in order to get a full eight hours of sleep each night. You changed some of your eating habits and even began to walk every day.

Then something began to happen. A friend needed your listening ear . . . a neighbor needed your help
. . . .a child needed extra attention . . . your elderly parents . . . your spouse . . . your child’s school . . . your place of fellowship. Before you knew it, you no longer were exercising, eating properly or getting the rest you needed. You became exhausted and run down. Instead of obeying the Lord’s directives to you about your health, you began to disobey Him by
sacrificing your time and energy above and beyond His directions to you.

No, it is never wrong to serve those whom the Lord places in our lives. It is sin, however, to disobey Him. In this case, as in all instances . . .

To obey is better than sacrifice.... I Samuel 15:22

Heavenly Father, please help me not to get so caught up in “doing good” so that I disobey You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by the problems in your life? Of course you have. We all have at one time or another.

Sometimes there seem to be so many problems, it feels like we are drowning in them. At home there are problems. At work there are problems. In those you love, problems. In yourself, problems. Being in the middle of the swirling , rising muddy waters of problems is a dangerous place to be. How ever do you get free from it all?

It may be time to call for help. Maybe help should have been called upon before this . . . long before this. But now you know that it is time and it is as easy as yelling (out loud or quietly in your heart is good) with all your might, “Help, Heavenly Father, I need Your help.”

If you lack words of your own to call for help, try these:

“Save me, O God, For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.” Psalm 69:1-3

I love this part - now listen to what happens:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.
From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.

THEN the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked….
Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from Him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under His feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
He came swiftly upon the wings of the wind….
He reached from on high, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters." Portions of Psalm 18

THAT is what happens when we call upon God for help. All of the power of heaven is sent.

God’s joy is to hear our voices requesting His help. Our part is to cling to Him with all of our might and cooperate with Him one step at a time until we are free!

Heavenly Father, HELP! If I don’t seem to need help right now, I know that I will in the future so I am asking for it right now, ahead of time. Please HELP me all of my days and nights until I am safely Home with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.