Brenda's Inspirational Thought Of The Day Jan 2015 - Aug 2015

Jan 2015 - Aug 2015 Inspirational Thoughts

Scroll to the bottom of the page to navigate previous posts by month.

Aug 31 - “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Faith is not knowing God can, but it’s knowing He will!! You may feel like you are being bombarded and that things are against you. Take the positive perspective and know that nothing in life has happened to you. It has happened for you. God has a greater plan and will carry all of you through the storm.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17

From John O’Leary…”Your priorities shape your decisions, your decisions, decide your days. Your days determine your life.”

Make God your priority…Trust in Him, have faith that He will provide and comfort you. And one of the hardest things, SURRENDER it to Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Aug 28 - “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I can honestly say that most things we do in life are better done with a buddy or partner.  A sidekick can help take that encouragement to a new level. They can per say, take hold of our hand when we feel ourselves slowing down or struggling to continue and they run together. “Come on... I’m here with you. We can do this!”  At that point yet another buddy can encourage us to move forward. Why not allow God to be your buddy, partner, sidekick...with Him you can accomplish all things for your good.

With God our life it can take on new meaning, greater dignity, and a higher power when we live in endless purpose with our Creator. The thought of God, takes God and us into a partnership, and when we realize the amazing accomplishments in our lives we think as “we,” not ‘‘I.” The struggle will be less burdensome. We are nothing without Him!!

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” - Philippians 4:13

Do you struggle with completing a task because it gets too hard? When you take God into full, complete partnership you will never fear. Your life’s venture cannot end in disappointment. It is the God in man working with the God with great strength and courage which lifts us to such heights.

Dear God, please help me to be lifted to new heights. Please be with me when I feel those around me are asking for more and more and I feel I can’t give more. Help encourage me to keep going to reach goals and aspirations I didn’t even know were out there. Steer me to those things that will be to your glory and good. In Your name of Lord, Amen.

Aug 23 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. - Psalm 37:4

Here is a little reminder comparing Happiness to Pleasure. Happiness has nothing to do with pleasure. You feel pleasure when you want something and you get it. Or when you don't want something and you remove it. Pleasure is always relative. Happiness is absolute. Happiness is the understanding and acceptance of life as it is in this very moment as completely perfect, because every creation of God is perfect. The degree to which you do not accept life in all of the Godly forms is the point to which you suffer.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy (happiness); at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11

Aug 21 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. - Psalm 37:4

Here is a little reminder comparing Happiness to Pleasure. Happiness has nothing to do with pleasure. You feel pleasure when you want something and you get it. Or when you don't want something and you remove it. Pleasure is always relative. Happiness is absolute. Happiness is the understanding and acceptance of life as it is in this very moment as completely perfect, because every creation of God is perfect. The degree to which you do not accept life in all of the Godly forms is the point to which you suffer.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy (happiness); at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11

Aug 20 - For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10

My goodness there are going to be a lot of babies born over the next few months. And one of them will be my very first grandchild. As a parent and maybe even more as a grandparent we are so proud and blessed to see how God gives us offspring to carry on our family heritage.

“Before I shaped you  in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” – Jeremiah 1:5

We wonder whose nose, whose eyes, whose personality this beautiful baby will have, mom or dad?!? (maybe grandma’s) When deep down we know it doesn’t matter and we only pray the child is healthy. This grandma also prays that my grandchild develops a deep relationship with our God. At age 52, even more now than ever, it’s still amazes and amuses me daily that God knows every step this child will every take…just how MIRACLOUS is that!!!!! For us that is beyond what we can understand, but it’s all in a day’s work for our Lord and Savior.

Whatever He has in store we will give Him all the glory... “From where He sits God overlooks all of us on earth. He has shaped each person in turn: now he watches everything we do.” – Psalm 33:14-15

Before you were born God shaped you to do His work. Have you found what He shaped you for??

Aug 16 - So many of us are anxious to fix our problems on our own…In my mind I’m a fixer and I can resolve whatever it is. But I know there have been times when I tried to resolve a problem and the fix only lasted temporarily…Very quickly I’d find that if I would have just asked God for help or guidance upfront I’d have less stress and frustration…but then on the other hand aren’t we sometimes afraid if we ask God for help He will in His time give us what He knows is best, but not what we’re necessarily looking for. I believe we can all relate to that.

We are taught to stand on our own and use the knowledge we’ve been given, but sometimes that’s just not enough!! Lord, remind us at those times that You are waiting for us to ask, and that You’re waiting to reach out to us.

“The LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” – Isaiah 30:18

Dear Lord, help me not me so stubborn and to recognize that what you have in store for me is part of the BIG plan for me. Help me to know that I’m only creating more problems for myself when I attempt to take things into my own hands.  In Proverbs 16:3 we’re reassured that when we commit to You, that whatever we do will be successful through You!! I thank you daily that I’m not left alone and hanging there with nowhere to turn. I pray this in your name. Amen.

Aug 14 - Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

It’s the beginning of a new school year…A new beginning is ahead. Whether it’s your child’s first day of kindergarten, their senior year in High School or maybe off to college. We as adult also have new beginnings… new jobs, new marriages, first time parents, etc.

Even if none of these examples fit your life, we all do have one thing in common, God gives us a new beginning every morning we get up, and it’s up to us to make the most of it.

Whatever God has asks us to do, do it well. Each stage of our lives will not last forever, so we must give it all we’ve got. There’s no promise that it won’t be hard or won’t require some serious determination, but there is a promise our God is watching and cheering us on as we fight to the finish.

In Isaiah 43, we’re reminded to forget the former things. It will only weigh you down and keep you from where you are going. Do not dwell on the past. This just clutters our minds with worries. There’s no room for troubles from the past when making a fresh start.

Acknowledge the fresh start is a gift from God. He’s doing a new thing in you. Take time to recognize it. Don’t miss it. Trust God. He gives you a new, clean fresh start daily.

What race has God asked you to run that seems especially difficult right now? In pray ask Him to help make it clear to you.  What's on your mind?

Aug 12- Today I’m sending out random one liners and thoughts, with women in mind, which may be useful from time to time. Doesn’t mean they can’t apply to men as well.

Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be…ever again.

There isn’t enough room in your for worry and faith…So choose wisely!!

A strong woman remains hopeful during tough times because she knows there’s another side and is determined to get there.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” – Proverbs 31:28-29

Sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors, and fights battles that nobody knows about.

If someone truly loves you. They won’t make you feel like you need to constantly fight for their attention.

Being told you’re appreciated is one of the simplest and most incredible things you can ever hear.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” – Proverbs 31:26

It’s always nice to have someone in your life that makes you smile even when they’re not around.

Be with someone who wants to know how your day was!!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17

Aug 10 - Sorry, I was out of town for a few days. It’s always a feeling good to get away and not have to think about anything. I remember a time in my life when I couldn’t stay away from my JOB. Life is so much better, with minimal anxiety!!

We live in and age of anxiety... Whether its personal concerns, family matter, financial needs, health issues, governmental concerns or racial issues, we all have reasons to worry and fret. Sometimes major issues strike immediate fear in our hearts and put a pit in our stomachs…and that’s only natural. However, much of what we worry about is associated with everyday problems. We worry all day, take them to bed with us, wake up with them, and continue to carry around all day. This is not how God wants us to live! Through pray if you talk things through with God He can settle our hearts in a way that we can live with the stresses of life, yet still experiences His peace and joy!!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.....Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:25-34.

Aug 6 - "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. “ – Ephesians 3:20

One of the most amazing things about living for Christ is that God allows us to work with Him to share His love with the world. It’s really only been in the last couple years that I’ve realized how God can use me, and I’m so blessed at the opportunities He has put in my path.

I’ve was born and raised to know Christ, but never really had the confidence to go out and speak His word. I’m not a Bible scholar by no means, but He has given me the confidence and courage to share my life experiences. I always pray for Him to put the right words in my mouth, words that someone who doesn’t know Him can understand. I feel He has the confidence in me to just be me!!!

God has given me the privilege of joining Him. My life stories could look different to different people, but I know in my heart that God can use them to change someone else’s life. God will use my gift of gab and love for people in ways I would never imagine. Sometimes I feel kind of like the opening act, setting the stage for God to be the main attraction. He will accomplish more through me than I will ever know or need to know.

God is working through you…How do you think God might want to use you?

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him”. - Philippians 2:13

Aug 2 - This Sunday we completed a sermon series focused on God forming our lives as an image of Him. Each Sunday pastor used a clip from the “Skit Guys – God’s Chisel”. This week we watched the complete YouTube video. I think is will be worth your watching…

When you look in the mirror who do you see? Yourself or God?!? To be fully human is to fully reflect God's creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities. – That’s sound good right?!? I thought so too, I took it from someone else. :)

Have you ever seen a picture of an actor or actress and thought, “Is that for REAL??”—most likely not. But how unfortunate that many people try to mimic those pictures. Those unreal things are things we may tend to hide behind due to our insecurities.

God says you are who you are and what He wants people to see is Himself when they look at you…God wants US to see Him when we look in the mirror.

Deep down inside we know we have insecurities, imperfections and flaws, but God wants us to know if we meet Him all the way we don’t have to hide and feel ashamed.

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

Instead of getting stuck trying to be something we’re not, we need to celebrate who we are --- be our own authentic self.

July 30 - Here’s a topic I feel I’ve always tried to carry forward…Setting an example.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

Sometimes we may feel as if our individual choices don’t matter, as if no one notices anyway. But truth is, that others are watching more than we know.

We are that beacon in the night for some who are going through rough times, we can be put that smile on someone’s face when they think all is lost and there’s no hope. That how God uses His children as positive influences even when we don’t realize it. Don’t necessarily because I’m any better or more special than the next person, but simply because Christ shines through me.

He hasn’t just chosen me, we all have that opportunity to influence those around us – whether it’s our family, our friends or people in our communities or even a total stranger who happens to cross our path. God calls us to be an example of His image – no matter what our age.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” - 1 Corinthians 15:33

Being an example doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. We are all sinners. But with God’s help we will be able to show other people what it looks like to live a life devoted to Christ. When we love another’s as we love ourselves, when we choose our word carefully, make good choices and live in purity, we will be role modeling for those who may be watching.

If you currently don’t feel you live your life this way, take some time to work on it. With practice and God’s help you will soon be living life and shining for God without even thinking about it.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”- Philippians 4:13

July 29 - I couldn’t resist to not send this message today from John O’Leary.  As humans this is just something we do and as women we do it more!! When I read this I think of all the times when I should have moved on, but felt if I did and I hadn’t completed what I  was doing that I was a failure and had just given up. I realize now that there is so much more to my story and I couldn’t be more blessed that God gave me a wait up call. Live inspired, life is too short to be miserable and to ignore God’s plan.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

John’s words…"There comes a day when turning the page is the best decision for you because you realize there's so much more to the book than the page you were stuck"

Good morning my friends. Turning the page doesn't mean you lost. It doesn't mean you're weak.

The mistakes, heartbreaks, and let downs of yesterday will remain part of your story. But now, instead of being a tragedy that you keep repeating, it becomes a page that propels you toward writing the epic story of your life.

So turn the page, write on, and stay on fire. The Best Is Yet To Come!!

July 28 - Finding my worth…I often wonder why God choose me for this path in life. What have I done to deserve being chosen?

“You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.” – Deuteronomy 14:2

All of us sometimes doubt our value because we don’t feel we measure up to the world’s standards in some way or another. We allow other people to control our feelings…we feel we’re not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not talented enough or not likable enough. It’s very easy to let our sense of worth to be beat down and feel inadequate.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

But the truth is, we’re the same whether the person or world making us feel that way likes us or not. The only person who controls our sense of worth is us. Our value and worth has nothing to do with what clothes we wear, how many friends we have, or how successful we become.

He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die so we could be with Him forever. When other people question your worth because you do not fit their standards, remember God gave up everything to bring you new and everlasting life.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

July 27 - “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” – Ephesians 1:5

The world and others look at us to define ourselves based on many things which are not that important…how much money we make, what career we hold, what we do in the community for all to see, etc.

There are some people who take pride in wanting others to see what they’ve accomplished. Some people may refer to that as leaving a legacy. But none of those things matter – God reminds us that none of those things define who we really are. That is never the case, but all He asked is that we have faith in Him and accepted His approval that’s all we need!!

We can do and achieve many roles in this world: daughter, sister, wife, mother, co-worker, entrepreneur, a millionaire, etc. Although some of those roles may shape us in positive ways; while others could have negative effects on us. It is tempting to let some of these things form our identity. But no matter how good these roles may look and feel—even when they may be blessings from God, they can’t determine our true identity.

God says that our identity can come only from being His children. When He formed us He gave us inherent values and characteristics that only we can possess. Even if we lost all earthly things, nothing can take those values, from God away from us.

Are there any roles that you tend to let define you? Whatever role in our mind we see ourselves playing out, remember this verse…“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

July 26 - I’m going to try something a little different and I’m not sure where this is taking me, but we will see.  I’m reading a devotional on finding and discovering a more beautiful you. There are many people, especially girls, but not limited to, who have a hard time accepting who they are on the outside. I hope these little reminders help others to accept their purpose for God’s plan.

Truly we are made in God’s image. “God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
Our perceived worth is based on appearances WE can’t control. If He made us to be five feet five with a muscular, athletic build, we will never be five feet ten and 110 pounds with a long, thin legs model type build.

We are who we are, God has made each one of us to play a role in this beautiful world of His. I will never be a model or even an outstanding athlete, but I have found my worth in this world, I am a terrific mother, soon-to-be grandmother, friend and I have found that spreading God’s word gives me a great sense of worth.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” - Psalm 139:13-14

Fortunately, physical appearance is not the way true worth is measured. The Bible says that we have characteristic values because we are made in God’s image…we are His most precious creation, and He made us like Him in special ways. He gave us minds to seek Him and hearts that can love and serve Him and other. He gave us creativity, compassion and understanding, which are in His likeness. We all have an important role in this world. He wants us to seek out a relationship with Him.

If you ever get to a point where you feel you have no self-worth, seek Him out. He loves and values everything about you. There is nothing in the world we can’t accomplish or become with God’s help and guidance. The person I have become and now am is because of Him…we are nothing without Him. Remember if God thinks we have great value, who are we to argue with Him?

Make a list of your characteristics, or even better have someone else make that list. You may be surprised as to how other view you!! We are all a work in progress!!
You are worthwhile to God!!

"I'm the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works & give glory to your Father who is in heaven" – Matthew 5:16

July 22 - Short and sweet today inspired by John O’Leary.  I know we all have felt this way…
"Oh no! Not another DETOUR!? OR, is it a blessing in disguise..."

These are my thoughts…Can God create detours? Absolutely! We are impatient human beings! We want OUR minute-by-minute plans uninterrupted. But God may want us to slow down and open our eyes to His wonders.

As I did some research I discovered in Isaiah 41:18-20 the Prophet Isaiah recounts God's wonders of nature, followed by these words:

". . . so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it."

I hope the next time you experience a DETOUR, you remember this thought and immediately pray to recognize where God is leading you. Open your eyes. Watch and wait to see if the Lord is working in an unexpected way. You may be in store for a blessing you never anticipated. I love His unexpected blessings of learning. If you aren't learning you aren't living!!

“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” – 1 Corinthians 10:11

July 21 - My first thought this morning were, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24. The temperature was perfect, with a calm breeze. But this simple thought went through my mind, “When was the last time that I simply thanked God for the beautiful day?” We often get caught up is just accomplishing our daily list of things to do and forget the simple “Thank You!”

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:20

Dear God, we thank you for blessing us with another beautiful day, which we may grow closer to you and to spread your Word. God we thank you for keeping our families safe and for showing us that our prayers to you are being heard.

Lord, I know there are many times when we are impatient and think we can do it ourselves and forget to ask for help, we are asking Lord that you help us to be more appreciative of those things we take for granted. We thank you for carrying all our burdens even when we don’t notice. God, we thank you in advance for increasing our faith, our strength and our praise. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

July 15 - Hear; for I will speak of excellent things: and the opening of my lips shall be right things. – Proverbs 8:6

The gift of speech is a valuable thing.  It can carry great responsibility, for good and bad!! Our words should reflect the presence of God in our hearts. Only the most positive and right things should come from our mouths. We should speak with kind words of compliments and flattery.

In times of trouble and sorrow we should speak words that sooth and comfort those in need. And most importantly in happy, good times share in the laughter. God loves our laughter.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. -  Colossians 4:6

Dear Lord, let the words of my mouth always produce what is pleasing in Your sight. Help me to turn my ear away from those that tend to find everyone else’s business their business. Help me to address them with positive words, in helping them to be more like you. May my speech always reflect my great love for you. Amen

July 14 - Just a few words of reflection...He says, “Be still, and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10. Plain and simple this should be all we need.

"The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.” - Psalm 34:17

God's not offended by our flaws and imperfections. God's Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9a, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

"God never said this world would be easy… but that He would be at our side. Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. – Psalm 119:76

July 12 - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteous. – Matthew 5:6

God is the only source of true happiness, because He offers those immaterial things we think can be found on earth. He offer us contentment, security, peace and hope for our future. None of these things can be found in our jobs, relationships with others, money, power or possessions. They are found in God alone.

We as believers can easily fail into the ways of the world and think we have found what makes us happy or content. We may be very pleased with our riches or success, but as Jesus preached: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” This is God’s promise.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. – Proverbs 16-8

Riches or righteousness? Which will be your choice?

July 10 - God understands our prayers even when we can’t find the words to say them.

God feels what we feel. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28.  He feels our joy, our sorrow, our fear and our grieving. God is a person, He feels what we feel.

No matter what we face, He understand what we are going through. He even understands our temptations, for Christ “has been tempted in every way possible, just as we are – yet…without sin” – Hebrews 4:15 And that is why you can bring anything, yes anything – to Him in prayer, confident that He will understand.

Dear Lord, help me to understand that you feel my pain, my sorrow and my fear. Help me to surrender to you for help in all that I think I can do on my own. When I look in the mirror I want to see you in me. Thank you for all you provide me and please be with those who are experiencing great pain and sorrow. Comfort them and carry them through this time of great need.  I pray this in your name oh Lord, Amen.

July 9 - It’s been a busy day and getting late, but I didn’t want the day to go by without leaving you all with just a little something to think about.

“Always pray to have eyes that see the best, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith.”

That’s one thing which drives me crazy, and maybe it’s a women thing, but I remember everything, especially those things that have hurt me in some way or another. I’m not saying I don’t forgive, I just can’t seem to forget the bad. Jay Martin, CEO of Juice Plus+ once said he was born with an eraser. Boy, I wish I would have been, believe me there are some things I’d love to be able to forget.

I don’t think Jay wasn't particularly referring to sin, but when some hurts you we need to forget it and move on with life and do not dwell on it. As much as possible, we should forget what is behind and strive toward what is ahead…”We should forgive each other “just as in Christ God forgave” - Philippians 3:13

July 4 - As Americans, this weekend we will be celebrating our countries freedom, today this 4th day of July. It’s one of the most important days in our nation’s history. The food, the fellowship, possibly a day off work, but how many of us are truly experiencing freedom of in our lives?

We as American’s could say we’re living the “American Dream”: We have the opportunity to enjoy well-paying careers, own homes, and can enjoy just about any type of hobby we could imagine. But in reality many people are still searching for the “pursuit of happiness”. Maybe it has nothing to do with what we have, but what we are lacking inside. The reason could be that we remain stuck internally. 

We can look like we have all things under control through the appearance of our outward success. But we have anxiety and depression, and possibly the fear of losing what we’ve worked hard for. However we may look externally, we will eventually learn that freedom must come from within. 

Are you feeling the weight of anxiety or fear? God know our every thought and move. Look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.

For he says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (our promised internal freedom)

July 5 - What would happen if we didn’t take some risks in our lives? God’s plan for us is to step out of the box once in a while and ask Him for guidance and help when we feel the pressure….Remember asking Him for help and always thanking Him, whatever the outcome, is one way we can show our trust in Him.

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. In Joshua 1:9 He says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

When we refuse to follow Him into risky situations, the results can be devastating to our spiritual growth….you will never become the person God wants you to be, you limit your usefulness to the Lord, you’ll always controlled by fear, not faith and your preparation here on earth is your hand on training for heaven. I don’t want to miss that big promotion, how about you?!?

For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. - Matthew 25:29

Are you missing God’s call? Our Lord is trustworthy. Whatever His plan of action is for us, be assured He will see us safely through the challenge.

July 6 - In 1 Corinthians 12:27 scripture says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

We are not the Body of Christ on your own. We need others to help express that. Together, not separated, we are His Body. Just as the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”…As well “It takes a village to make Christ known”. We as a village, a faith family or even a community organization must work together to do God’s work.

People talk about leaving a legacy…When I’m no longer on this this earth and someone mentions my name I want them to know foremost that I was loud and proud about my Christian faith and being able to instill that in my family is the most importance thing to me.

Giving to others whether big or small is of the utmost importance. Money is a necessary thing in life, but may not always be the most important. Some people just need love and inspiration. Showing people love and helping them find Christ gives me great pleasure, because I know in my heart it’s what He expects me to do, now more than ever.

God wants us to devote our lives in helping others in whatever way we can. Most people have heard the words of John 3:16 and until I read this devotion I was unaware of the word in 1 John 3:16: “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters”.

This is the kind of love God expects you to show others — a willingness to love them in the same way Jesus loves you. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you...” – Matthew 7:12June 24 - I apologize that you haven’t heard from me lately. There have been many challenges with the Fidelity (FIdnet) mail migration.

It may be awhile before everything is cleaned up and I can’t wait forever to get back in the groove. I know this is a minor thing in life, but sometimes they seem to be the most frustrating

“The fear of the Lord adds length to life.” – Proverbs 10:27

The size of your problem is an indication of the size of your future. That difficulty was not sent to defeat you—it was sent to promote you. If you’re up against a big challenge, you have a big destiny

'With God’s help I have conquered all the big stuff He’s challenged me with. This Bible verse expresses exactly what we should all strive to live for… I have and continue to work to spread His word. My faith reassures me He will not leave me nor forsake me until my work is done for Him.

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, still I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” - Psalm 71:18

June 5 - Today I’m taking the easy way out. Today’s devotion comes from Daily Hope with Rick Warren. He say it perfectly and his thoughts are what’s on my heart…

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” - Matthew 6:24. Notice it doesn’t say you “should not.” It says you “cannot.” It’s impossible. You can’t have two number ones in your life. You have to choose what’s going to be number one.

Would you agree that we live in a culture of materialism (greediness)? It’s like the goal is to get more and more and more. And just about the time you catch up with the Joneses, they refinance or file bankruptcy. And just about the time you think you’ve got it all, the Christmas advertisements come out, and they tell you about all kinds of things you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. Just when you think all your bills are paid and you can start saving some major repair arises.

It’s tough keeping your priorities right when you live in a society that’s all about “getting.” The one with the most toys wins, right? No! The one with the most toys still dies, whether or not you’ve got toys.

There is only one solution to materialism: generosity. Every time you’re generous, you have a spiritual victory in your heart. Every time you’re generous, your heart grows. Every time you’re generous, you break the grip of materialism in your life. Why? Because materialism is all about getting — get, get, get, get! It is your nature to get and to hold on. God says every time you’re generous, you are breaking that grip and defeating materialism in your life.

Choose generosity. It will transform your relationships with other people and your relationship with God. It will change you from the inside out as you learn to be generous like God is generous with you.

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. – Proverbs 11:28

Amen to this statement!! Give, give, give. Give what you can, it doesn’t have to be a lot, but it has to be from the heart.

June 3 - Isn’t the hardest thing about a perceived problem accepting that it is actually a problem? Having the bravery to face your difficulties is the hardest step; working through the problem is often easier than you think.

The first step is always the hardest. After we take that first step, don’t we often find ourselves thinking or saying, “Boy, I wish I would have faced this sooner and avoided all the worry and stress…the sleepless nights, the anxiety, the avoiding people we are having the problem with, etc.”

God definitely wishes we would have come to Him sooner, too. He doesn’t want us to be anxious and feeling like there is nowhere else to turn. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” - Psalm 55:22, and “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” - 1 Peter 5:7.

Taken one at a time, we see first that God declares both His ability and His willingness to be our strength and support—mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He is able (and best of all, willing!) to take everything that threatens to overwhelm us and use it for our benefit. He has promised to “work all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Even at times when we doubt Him, He is still working for our good and His glory. And He has also promised that He will allow no trial to be so great we cannot bear it and that He will provide a means of escape - 1 Corinthians 10:13. By this, He means that He will not let us fall, as He promised in Psalm 55:22.

So, each day, taking one step at a time, we should pray for God's Word to guide us, read or listen to God's Word, and meditate on God's Word when the problems, worries, and anxieties of life come along. The secret to giving things over to Christ is really no secret at all—it's simply asking Jesus to take our burden of sin and be our Savior, as well as submitting to Jesus as our Lord in day-to-day living.

May 29 - A dear friend sent this to me today. I’m so blessed that she sees in me the determination of never giving up. If you are a caring person you’ll enjoy this analogy. When we try and try to always do the right thing and never stoop to a lower level, but feel we continually get knocked down.

My God is so good and I know, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13.Thanks Donna.

Here you go….I was chatting with my neighbor the other day and I noticed a... weed had pushed through the foundation of his house and through joint sealer to make its way above ground. I couldn’t help but think: man, that’s some serious will power. Could you imagine having a conversation with that weed?

Keep this verses in mind as you read the conversation… “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Me: So, what are you up to today?
Weed: Oh, just doing my thing, I’m gonna make my way through this concrete to reach the sun on the other side of it.
Me: WOW, it sounds like you’ve really got your work cut out for you.
Weed: I guess if that’s how you want to look at it, I just know my objective.
Me: Well, I mean, that sounds really difficult, you could fail and feel let down.
Weed: That’s funny but I guess you haven’t realized I’ve become so strong by overcoming hard work and setbacks.
Me: You mean enduring hardships and overcoming adversity has made you stronger?
Weed: Yep, they were opportunities disguised as obstacles that helped me grow.
Me: Geez, I wish I were as confident as you are.
Weed: I wish you’d stop cutting me when I make it above ground.

We all experience setback and trials, but usually our lack of will comes from our lack of belief in ourselves. No one ever told the weed it couldn’t do it and that’s why it did.

May 28 - Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. – Psalm 73:23
You’re not alone, God is always with you, seen or unseen, saint or sinner. Giving you air, carrying you, giving us nourishing sunshine and food, God is here with you. The loneliness you sometimes feel is the devil wanting you to feel like you are alone, in truth you are never alone.

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6

Scripture says In Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

May 26 - "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think."  - Romans 12:2

There are so many things this world has to offer, but if we’re not careful we can find ourselves getting wrapped up in lots that can go wrong. Before cell phones, blogs, Facebook and Pinterest, we actually used old-fashioned things like home phones, cookbooks, with pages that you turn, not swipe on an electronic device.

Granted I used all these things daily now, but when I was younger I actually got to experience the old fashion PARTY LINE (nosey line) with a rotary phone. I’m not saying the technical age isn’t the way to go, but I just wonder what my grandchildren will be using and I think about the simple things in life they may miss out on.

Some of you may say I’m being hypocritical, because any time you see me, I’m on my phone or on Facebook. A lot of my life is conducted through my electronic device…yes, when I don’t have it I feel lost, but one thing I haven’t lost sight of is how God wants me to use this for His good.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrew 13:8

One thing never changes, God’s love and concern for us. The world changes, circumstances change, we change, but God’s word never changes.

Heavenly Father, help me to know how far you want me to go with my life in spreading Your Word. Let me not lose sight of You and Your love for me. Please be there with me when life circumstances change for the good and the bad. Help me to guide my grandchildren to know Your love and to teach them to appreciate and enjoy all the simple things in life. In Your name I pray, Amen.

May 25 - "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2

The above verse tells us the importance of living a prayerful life of observation and thankfulness for all things.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

God will give you everything you need when He sees you are ready to receive. God is abundant and is only waiting for you to make yourself ready to receive what you truly need. Think now what can you do to make yourself ready?

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” (Patience) Psalm 29:11

May 23 - Sorry for the lack for messages this week. It’s been a busy week, but that’s no excuse for not posting for my faithful readers. I’ve kind of been in an uneasy mood the past couple of days, but as I read “Jesus Calling” this morning I feel God is trying to get me back on track. He reassures be that even the devoted faithful servants can still have those kinds of days and weeks…This is from “Jesus Calling”, I’ve rephrased it a bit.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12

APPROACH EACH NEW DAY with desire to find God. Before you get out of bed, the Lord has already been working to prepare the path that will get you through this day. There are hidden treasures purposefully placed along the way.

Some of the treasures are trials, designed to shake you free from earth-shackles. Others are blessings that reveal His Presence: sunshine, flowers, birds, friendships, answered prayer. He has not abandoned me in this sin-wrecked world; He is still richly present in it. Today I will be searching for the treasure as I go through this day. I’m looking so forward to finding Him along the way to put me at ease and comfort me.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. - 1 Peter 5:6

Dear Lord, Please be with me today as I recognize all those things You’ve placed around me. For a number of years I’ve asked you to carry me through sickness and other life situations and of course, you have. I admit there are some days though that I need a little extra lift, when my patience and understanding is weak. I’m very anxious to get into this day going to see what you have in-store for me.

I know there are many others that may feel this way daily, but none of us need to worry, because in due time you have the best plan for us. In Your Loving name I pray.

May 19 - I found this topic in two of my devotionals today. There must be a reason God is wanting me to pass this along. As regular ordinary people we have a tendency to thank God when things are going right, but remember the rough and tough times are being used by God to build our strength and character.

Whether it’s in our relationships, our finances, our careers, or in sickness and death God has a purpose for all of it. I need this reminder from time to time.

God promised He would always be there, He did not promise it would always be easy. My hope is that my faith in God changes me from being ordinary to being exordinary!!!

“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  - Hebrews 11:1

God is with you, whatever circumstances you find yourself in today, whether you’ve just celebrated an uplifting, mountaintop experience or stumbled through lowest valley situation of your life. Know the same God on the sunny, clear day is the same God through the lowest, scariest times. May we be encouraged to find and strengthen our faith through God during the good times and bad, finding all the courage and strength we need through the SON.

Scripture says in Isaiah 7:11, "Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights."

Lord Jesus, You are my Rock and my Redeemer. Thank You for the sweet times when I can feel Your presence so easily and know Your purpose for me. Forgive me for doubting You in the foggy times. Thank You for testing my faith and refining me. Please help guide my every step. Help me do what You call me to do, even when I’m scared of the darkest hours and the scariest circumstances of my life. I am Yours. You are mine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Give thanks in all circumstances (good or bad); for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

May 15 - “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

When your mind is caught in a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, be as still as a lake. Calm the waves of your emotions with patience and faith. The storm will pass - and your mind will settle…you will find peace.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:22

Remember spending time with God is necessary in order for us to grow in faith and security. He is the One that will make the storm blow over and where will can find peace.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, - James 4:7-8

May 14 - Many people today are crying out for comfort, but don’t know where to find it or how to receive it. The many difficulties of life have left them confused, depressed, and desperate. But we need to remember that the Lord comforts His people with a reminder of His promises and Love.

God always has a reason for our trials, and we’ll never have to go through them alone if we’ve trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior. Because God has placed the Holy Spirit within us to be our Guide and Comforter, we can be reassured that our trials will make us stronger. By building and strengthening our faith, God makes us even more useful for His kingdom and for our greater plan.

Even though our situations are ever changing we have the promise that God’s love and promises are never changing and stand forever. Even at our deepest, darkest, weakest hour, when we feel no one is with us or no one is listening to us, our Lord and Savior gives us the strength and courage to move forward. He strong loving arms will carry us through.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

May 11 - “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” - 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Faith is facing reality without being discouraged by it. You know that God can change a situation. You can build a family on faith, but you can’t build it on fantasy. You can build a business on faith, but not on fantasy. You can build a life on faith, but not on fantasy.

I thought this analogy of our circumstances describes it perfectly.  The key is to look beyond your circumstances. Circumstances are like a mattress: Get on top, and you rest easy. Get underneath, and you suffocate. When you start looking at your problem, you’re sunk. But if you look at Jesus — if you look toward your Deliverer rather than the difficulty — you’ll make it.

When things get difficult and we are anxious for a solution the Bible says in Luke 18:27, “What is impossible with man is possible with God”. God specializes in the impossible. It’s called a miracle, and he can do it in your life! He is ready to turn your dead-end into deliverance. Surrender it all to Him, live it one day at a time.

May 8 - From Jesus Calling, Daily Hope and a little bit of me.

"Do not long for the absence of problems in your life. That is an unrealistic goal, since in this world you will have trouble. You have an eternity of problem free living reserved for you in heaven. Rejoice in that inheritance, which no one can take away from you, but do not seek your heaven on earth.

Begin each day anticipating problems, asking Me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is My living Presence, My hand that never lets go of yours. Discuss everything with Me. Take a lighthearted view of trouble, seeing it as a challenge that you and I together can handle. Remember that I am on your side, and I have overcome the world."

“This small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.” - 2 Corinthians 4:17

When we go through difficulties in life, the first thing we try to do is blame somebody else. But it doesn’t matter where our problem came from — God still has a purpose for it in our life. Even when we do stupid things, God can use it. Even when other people hurt us intentionally, he can use it. Even when the devil plans bad things for our life, God can bring good out of it.

God’s purpose is greater than our problems and our pain. God has a plan! We need to look past the temporary pain and look instead at the long-term benefit in your life.

God wants us to learn something. Every difficulty is for our development, but most of us are slow learners. If we don’t learn something, God will bring it up again in our life, because God is more interested in our character than he is in our comfort. He is more interested in seeing us become more like Christ than he is in making things easy for us.

Just think when we seem to continue to have bad luck – it’s not really bad luck. It’s God trying to teach us something!! Amen to that.

May 6 - “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” - Galatians 6:9

When you go through the delays in life, don’t get discouraged. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up! But don’t settle for less than God’s best for your life. If that means going through a tunnel of conflict, take the tunnel. In the middle of the tunnel, it will be dark, and you will want to run back to the light. But you’ve got to keep going until you come out on the other side into the light.

Instead of getting discouraged, be persistent and pray. Don’t settle for less than God’s best for your life. If that means going through a tunnel of conflict, take the tunnel. In the middle of the tunnel, it will be dark, and you will want to run back to the light. But you’ve got to keep going until you come out on the other side into the light.

Instead of getting discouraged, be persistent and pray. Jesus said in Luke 18:1, “You must always pray and never lose heart”

If you pray continually, you will not be discouraged. If you don’t pray continually, you will lose heart. You will get discouraged by the problems and pressure you’re facing in your life — whether it’s at work or school or in your family. You’ve got to keep on praying!

May 2 - This devotion is from Jesus Calling…

YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS. If I am truly your Master, you will desire to please Me above all others. If pleasing People is your goal, you will be enslaved to them. People can be harsh taskmasters when you give them power over you.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24.

If I am the Master of your life, I will also be your First Love. Your serving Me is rooted and grounded in My vast, unconditional Love for you. The lower you bow down before Me, the higher I life you up into intimate relationship with Me. The joy of living in My Presence outshines all other pleasures. I want you to reflect My joyous Light by living in increasing intimacy with Me.

When we get involved and busy in so many things in our lives we can quickly start to slip away from the One who makes all things possible. Being pulled in every direction to make money, and please others become what we do. Being an shining light, by helping and guiding people should be a priority in our lives, but thank you God for guiding me to quickly pull myself back to where I need to be and to who I need put first.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. – Psalm 16:11

May 1 - We are only human, right? And it’s ok to have an off day, right?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” – Luke 12:25-26

Well, yesterday was my off day of feeling like I wasn’t doing my best. I felt inadequate in some areas of my life and in others I could feel God telling me it’s ok, keep pushing forward. And this morning “Jesus Calling”, hit the nail on the head.
May 1st…YOU ARE ON THE PATH of My choosing. There is no randomness about your life. Here and now comprise the coordinates of your daily life. Most people let their moments slip through their fingers, half-lived. They avoid the present by worrying about the future or longing for a better time and place. They forget that they are creatures who are subject to the limitations of time and space. They forget their creator, who walks with them only in the resent.

Yesterday was a very busy day for me in a lot of aspects of my life. But yesterday I kept forgetting that I am on HIS path that HE choose for me and as long as I’m not neglecting or harming anyone else I should be pleased with my life.  I can’t do everything I want or sometimes need to do every day. I need to remember that God is who I need to please. That’s hard for a people pleasing person like me, I want to make everyone happy and not let anyone down.

As for yesterday, which is in the past, when I look back at what I did accomplish I should be very please, because I’m sure He is. Honestly without Him and His great healing power I couldn’t have cleaned our church with my wonderful mother, she vacuums and I do the rest. Purchased a bassinet for my new grandbaby to be. Ran a few errands, cut my lawn, attend a continuing education class for Make a Wish. Made a few calls to people I truly love and care about regarding being healthy.

Thank you God for my life and putting all things in perspective. I know I can do all things through You, but maybe just

Apr. 28 - Today's message inspired by Rick Warren's - Daily Hope

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” - Ephesians 2:10

If you fret over what your purpose in this life is and feel you’re wasting time figuring it out, you’ve got to look at what you’re good at. Why would God give you certain gifts, abilities, and talents and not expect you to use them? That would be a waste. You are a work of art. You are unique. There is nobody like you! We all have a uniqueness, but are we using it for God’s good?

God gives you Spiritual gifts, Heart/Passions, Abilities, a Personality, and Experiences (SHAPE) that make you unique, and when you take time to figure out how God has shaped you, it gives you direction for where you should go with your life. Ask yourself these questions, “What am I good at? What do I love to do? What is my passion? What turns me on, and what turns me off? What is it that people affirm in me? How can God use those abilities for his Kingdom?” Keep in mind it may take stepping out of your comfort zone and making a few sacrifices, but know that God will be with you every step of the way.

God said, “I’m going to make this person and give him certain gifts, abilities, and talents, and I’m going to allow him to go through certain experiences — some good, some painful, and some educational. I’m going to bring all of these things together, because I want something done in the world that will take that kind of person to do it.” It took a lot of praying and surrendering after my surgery to step away from what I thought I was good at…then low and behold God took over.

One day you’ll stand before God and he’ll ask, “What did you do with what I gave you?” If you don’t use your experiences and your shape for what God intended, you missed the point. We are saved to serve. It’s called having a ministry — using your talents and gifts to help other people. Fulfillment means being whom and what God meant for you to be. I know I’ve been made to be a giver, because receiving is very hard for me. I’m working on being better at that.

The Bible says, “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other” - Peter 4:10a

Apr. 26 - Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who HOPE in the Lord.  – Psalm 31:24

As I think back to the day I was told about my cancer and hearing my surgeon say she was sure I had Glioblastoma. I remember saying, Cancerous? She said for sure, and told us not to google it, because we’d only see and read grim stories. I think back to the surgeon saying one month without surgery and possibly 12-24 months with. I’m very stubborn and I remember thinking, “Nope, God I’m not ready. I have too much left to do. I’ve raised my girls, but now I need the gift of grandchildren.”

I could have completely lost it!!! I should have had some sort of feeling of being afraid or at least scared and in shock of the unknown, right? But I can’t recall having any of those fears, I don’t think I even had a real good crying session and I know for sure I didn’t have any pity party. Right now my life was in God’s hands for Him to do as He needed.

In my heart I know that once God realized I was giving it all to Him and with lots of prayers from family and friends, even if it once was Glioblastoma, I believe a miracle was performed and He changed my cancer to something more manageable. There was HOPE!! Hope and an opportunity to do His work and tell other of His LOVE for us. Hope for me to see all the things we live for, our children, grandchildren, a great family and friends. He knew I’d be determined to beat this, after all He made me!!

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. – Romans 5:5

You all are probably wondering why I tell this story again. Well, it’s because back then I knew when I had to be strong and I leaned on Him. It was my time to shine like a beacon in the night and know that all would be ok. Knowing I had the Faith, Hope and Love for my savior, the greatest Physician there is.

After last week’s fabulous news of only having post-treatment residual left, I’ve finally had a good cry…Amazed and feeling privileged knowing that God has taken me on this journey, which could have gone two totally different ways. I believe I was put to the test to see if I’d take the challenge and now He has used me in this amazing experience to honor and spread His word. I pray I’ve not let Him down in any way.

Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects, therefore do not despise the chastening of the almighty. - Job 5:17

Apr. 25 - Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically - Romans 12:11.

God uses our work, whatever it may be, as one of His tools to mold us into who He wants us to be. Stress comes when we view our job as our main life mission. It isn’t. It is the God-given opportunity to provide the tools we need to accomplish our life mission.

The apostle Paul writes, “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love” - Acts 20:24

Sometimes I feel like Paul, a man of many jobs, but with a defined purpose, which is God’s purpose for me. You know our jobs can change throughout our lives, but His purpose for us never changes. When we feel sluggish many of us want to change everything about what we are and what we are doing…Usually you don’t need a different job or have to make a change. We just need an attitude change and a new point of view about the job we have.

Attitudes never sit still. They constantly move and change, but it’s how we use them that makes our work worthwhile.

Lord, thank You for providing for me through all my life experiences. I praise You for the opportunity to serve You and others through my life. Let me see those in need and reach out to them in Your name. I pray that others are able to see You through me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Apr. 24 - What a spot on God timing devotional this is!!! This is from Wisdom Hunter. I know a number of you get this daily, but my excitement on this subject is boiling over. Because now this pertains to me!!! My life has been filled with God as long as I can remember, than as a parent I’ve passed that blessing along and now it’s time to do the same with my grandchildren. I’ve witnessed my parents making sure their grandchildren put God first. My body overflows with His love.

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

There are privileges to maturing in age, one of them being the gift of grandchildren. Like a king and queen’s crown, they are exceptionally valuable and are to be displayed proudly. You look at their hands and feet praying for them to handle life prayerfully, and to walk wisely with the Lord. You gaze into their innocent eyes and see glimpses of God’s glory, and you pray for them to look often to the face of Jesus and know He loves them.

Grandchildren are gifts from God that invite love and unify families. They are reminders that the Lord is at work extending His legacy. So as you love these little ones make sure to sow into them the Word of God, modeling for them grace, love, forgiveness, and fear of the Lord. Teach them to keep their eyes on Jesus, for He will never let them down. Godly grandparents invite trusting grandchildren into their lives.

“May you have the privilege of seeing your grandchildren as they grow” - Psalm 128:6

Involve them in your daily routine so they can see you relate to people with patience, encouragement, and accountability. Invite them into your home, so they soak in how you unconditionally love and respect their grandmother or grandfather. Make sure they catch you laughing out loud every time they visit with you. Call them on the phone; send them emails and birthday cards; take them on trips; buy them ice cream, clothes, and their first Bible. Make their memories with you bring a smile to their face. If you ask either one of my girls they’d say these are the memories they have

Lastly, if you are a parent, honor your parents by allowing them to be in the presence of your children. Take a break from parenting and let your mom and dad spoil them. If you are a grandparent, be extremely grateful to your children for the opportunity to invest in their children. Honor your children by respecting their way of parenting. Work with them, not against them. Indeed, your children still need your time, money, and wisdom

Thank you Lord for loving me enough to give me this opportunity. Nearly two years ago we weren’t completely certain I’d see this day. But I know surrendering my life to you was what you needed me to do. Also, thank you for the opportunity to shine my light for you that others see You through me. In Your name I pray, Amen

Apr. 23 - Okay, this is what a call a fabulous day and is why I always surrender it all to God. I'm doing my part by being health conscience, but He's the one that makes it all work together. The picture you see below is from my MRI's over the past 12 months. Focus on the circled area.

The doctor says that we can now just concentrate on the little tiny spot circled in the lower picture. The dark area surrounding the circled spots is where the tumor was removed from, called a subarachnoid cavity. The brain will not shift back in that area, so the area is now filled with cerebrospinal fluid. So maybe when I get a little spacey, I'll really have an excuse.

I'm not sure what I would have done without my little sister and partner through this whole journey. I love you Janice. Thanks for always being thee for me.

Hey Cancer!! We'll be keeping an eye on you!!!

Apr. 22 - I love the plans God has for me. Nearly two years ago God changed my life. It took a little convincing for this stubborn, I can handle it, independent women.

The wake up call of a cancerous brain tumor called, Mixed Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma, wasn't what I was expecting to wake me up, but who would. I've come to realize, over the past two years, that our life is all what we make of it and taking care of my body, with the right nutrition and positivity is my number one goal.

If I was granted one wish it would be that the world and people I love and care about would give it a try and join me!! #onesimplechangeatatime #yourbodymatters #doitforyou #doitforthosewholoveyou #surrenderingtofaith

Apr. 17 - Whoever is wise let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord. Psalm 107:43

Wisdom is being aware of the works of Almighty God. God gives us new wisdom every day. That wisdom and learning can be as huge as He wants or as small and simple as the existence of a five-leaf clover.

My cousin posted a picture of her daughter who found a five-leaf clover…I had no idea!! Obviously, someone was already aware of such a thing, because when I googled five-leaf clovers I learned the five-leaf clover is a mutation like the four-leaf clover that does appear occasionally, but less common than the four-leaf clover. There are six, seven and other multiple leaf clovers that sometimes occur. When I was a kid just finding a four leaf clover was a thrill!!! - Thanks Donna for sharing Julie's clover.

So now it looks like when I go hunting for clovers with my grandkids this grandma will be and this story and looking for 4, 5, 6 and 7 leaf clovers.

We are never too old to learn new things. God’s world is filled with more things then we’ll ever know about, so why not open your eyes and ears and soak in what you can of this beautiful world. Learning these simple facts are a great thrill to me. I'm hoping that if I can’t find one here on earth that someday I’ll find one in Heaven and continue learning of all of God's gifs to us.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance. - Proverbs 1:5

Apr. 15 - I just received a timely email as I was sitting here finishing up something I’ve been working at for weeks. I had set my goal to been done with it by April 15th. Well I’ll have to carry this attempt over for a few more days. I believe God wants us to know that sometimes courage speaks in a small voice of quiet determination and encourages us to return tomorrow and try again. I’m determined to do this right and I’m not giving up.

I pray that He shows me the right path and that by leaving all my worries at His feet He’ll guide me in my next step. I trust you Lord that this is a sign to start fresh tomorrow. Lots to do, and Lord all I do is to Your glory.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Apr. 14 - Here are a few things I run through my mind every morning and before I go to bed. Even on the bad days, these affirmations pull me back into reality and that with God all things are possible.

1) “My life has a purpose. My story is important. My voice matters. I was born to make an impact.” All of these points are from God, without Him none of this matters.

2)”I am growing through what I’m going through. Everything in my path is working for the highest good. I trust in my Lord.”  There is no other person on this earth who you can really trust on…even when someone tells you they have your back. Remember they have their own best interest on their minds as well. Not too many are going to truly cover you when they have to choose between themselves and you!

3) “I recognize , believe and trust in my God-given talents and abilities to meet all that lies ahead. My life is wonderful.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:16-17

Apr. 13 - Mistakes In Our Lives – James E Sweaney

Our mistakes won’t irreparably damage our lives unless we let them. It is said that…”in making Persian rugs the artist stands before the rug while a group of boys stand behind to pull the thread after the artist starts it. If one of the boys makes a mistake, the artist adjusts the pattern accordingly so that when the rug is finished no one can tell where the mistake was made. The same kind of adjustment will take place in our lives if we only can let go of the mental thread of each mistake and let God weave it into a successful, orderly, unique pattern.”

You all may have read this before, but I feel it needs to be mentioned again. The fact is we continue to make mistakes and beat ourselves up over things we can’t change. We must accept the fact that God loves us anyway and always…Life goes on and if we don’t let go of our mistakes (experiences) they will keep us from moving on to the great things God has in store for us. I’m just saying!!!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:19

Apr. 11 - “You (God) shaped me- first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb... You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit... Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; ALL the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day!” - Psalm 139:13-16

All of the lessons for your life are there in your experiences; you just have to spend time examining them. When you do, you’ll see that in every failure are the seeds of success — if you learn from them.

“From where he sits God overlooks at all of us on earth. He has shaped each person in turn; now he watches everything we do.” - Psalm 33:14-15

Maybe God’s taken you through an unexpected failure that you didn’t understand at the time, but now you see that it shaped you into who you are today. Maybe you’re in the middle of something like that right now. Trust that God will use your circumstances to show you what he shaped you to do and how you can use your life to serve him.

Also know that your circumstances also help others in ways you may never understand or know, so always lead a Godly life with morals. I pray that all my mistakes, failures and accomplishments have helped my girls to be what they are today and forever. Thank you God!! You are always good.

“Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something!” - Galatians 3:4

Apr. 8 - “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.”  -1 Peter 4:10

Meaning matters more than money. When you get to Heaven, God isn’t going to ask you, “How much money did you make?” He’s going to ask, “Did you make your life count? Did you express the talents that I gave you?”

We were made to make our lives count. People are happiest — I am my happiest when I’m using the talents God gave me for something greater, which gives my life meaning.

The greatest cause in the world is the God’s Kingdom. It is the Church and her people. The whole reason the world exists is so God could build a family that one day will live with him forever. There is nothing more meaningful and purposeful than giving your life to God.

Don’t waste your life. Ask God to show you the work he wants you to do, and then use your gifts to make the rest of your life the best of your life.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13

Apr. 6 - Ok, I'm confusing...I haven't had caffeine for a few weeks. I had a couple small cups at church this morning and felt like I was bouncing off the walls. I thought wow, this is crazy!!! I felt like I could have run a few miles. My thinking this is weird this has never happened before.

But as I think about it now, I'm sure it wasn't the coffee alone that gave me that boost. I'm sure it was the joy and adrenaline of knowing that Jesus died for me and has risen from the dead. Hallelujah!!! He is risen indeed!!

Today’s Easter service was over the top, but then Andy's services always are. Our Bridge Faith Family is so blessed.

In order to live in the abundance of resurrection life, are we willing to first be buried into the death of Christ? I am.

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. - 1 John 5:4

Apr. 3 - I can’t believe Good Friday is already here. This year is going by fast, but in my mind this day for our Lord and Savior had to have seem to last forever. Wednesday evening and Ashleigh & I watched “The Passion of Christ”…What agony and suffering He went through for all of us!! No greater act of love has ever been given. The thought of that gives me chills.

I found this explanation and educational reading in a “Preparing for Resurrection Sunday” written by Billy Graham. This 8 day reading from Palm Sunday to EASTER morning is taken from the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, as he mentions this is the “resurrection chapter” –probably the most thrilling passage in the all the New Testament.

Today’s word comes from 1 Corinthians 15:44-49

Here’s Good Friday by Billy Graham.

Good Friday celebrates the day our Lord died for our sins on the cross. I have often sat by the hour and tried to imagine the agony and suffering He went through because of our sins. At one point He said from the cross, “It is finished.” – John 10:30. He meant that God had accepted His work on the cross as the penalty for our sins. Christ’s death on our behalf is the reason God can forgive us and still be just. And His death teaches us the depth and breadth that there should be in our forgiveness of one another. While that holy Friday was tremendous, it was only a prelude to Sunday morning when He was raised from the dead. Godly women had come to see His tomb, but angels made the glorious announcement, “He has risen!” – Luke 24:6. His resurrection guaranteed that we, too, will be raised, if we are believers and obeys of His Word.

As you celebrate the truth that Jesus came from Heaven to redeem you, are you reflecting His likeness to those around you?

Apr. 1 - When people tell you nice things, stop shrugging them off as if they are nothing. The sincere compliments you receive are your gifts from God, - accumulate them in your heart, - they express the beauty of your being and can lift you during challenging times. Never say 'oh, it's nothing' or shrug your shoulders when you hear a sincere compliment. Pause, breathe it in, and really feel its meaning…And say thank you!!

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. -  Psalm 100:3

I was just talking about to my friend, Ronda about this at church Sunday. I basically told her it’s been very hard for me to accept a compliment, but I’ve learned is that when you down play it you could very possibly be hurting the person’s feelings who’s giving the compliment.

Acceptance of ourselves can be a hard thing to change, but I learned that maybe that person is seeing something about me that I don’t recognize and accept about myself. Before my journey the past couple of years I believed that on the outside I was just this ordinary person going about living life, doing the right things….loving God, working hard, raising my girls, and helping others. But what I’ve learned and accept now is that God loves me enough to be His Child and that He wants me to think more of myself and the plan He has for me…and you!!

The next time someone compliments you, graciously accept it and simply say, “Thank you!!’

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16

Mar. 30 - I’m quickly working on getting my month end orders in. The dog keeps whining at me and my password needs to be reset, frustration is setting in. Calling customer support and it appears that everyone else is having problems too. I’ve been on hold now for 30 minutes. I just want to get this done so I can move on to something else in my busy day. Grrrrr!! Ok, I think maybe I’ll work on my message for the day. God’s always in the right place at the right time!!!

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. - Proverb 3:6

The first one I choose is Proverbs 31 Ministries. This message is from Lysa TerKeurst…I love this women. This is what I found.

There are many ways I can choose to react when things happen each day. I can choose the way of “it’s my right to be frustrated.” I can choose the way of “does no one listen to me around here?” I can choose the way of “do you know how this makes me feel?”

Or, I can choose to let God teach me His way.

My way leads to all kinds of runaway feelings that take me away from the truth and into an absolute pit of yuck.

His way leads to calmly finding a solution without all the anger and frustration. His way leads to me being able to extend grace - the same grace which I so desperately need myself. And His way leads me to the truth.

EXACTLY!!!  Thank you Lysa. I think I’ll head out for a walk instead to ease my frustration, as well as the dog’s.

It’s simple, as scripture says in 1 Peter 5:7, Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Mar. 29 - Happy Palm Sunday!!! So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel! – John 12:13

This is my most favorite time of the year. The reminder of the refreshing of our bodies and minds. The reminder of what God’s Son JESUS dis for us. The beautiful sunshine makes everything in world fabulous!! I’m so excited to worship today with all my faith family and friends.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17

The spring weather and the season puts a smile on my face, but what truly puts a smile on my face is knowing that it’s Easter and the season all year around. Every day we rise is a day to be happy and feel blessed. The forgiveness from Jesus’s death and resurrection can be felt daily. He suffered many grueling hours to pay the price for us and His grace is enough for us to live with Him in paradise forever.

May God bless your Holy week.  Keep your light shining for our Savior and the eternal life you will receive!!

Thanks be to God!! …. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. - Mark 16:16

Mar. 27 - "We love because he first loved us." 1 John4:19

"Real love bleeds." I found these words in one of my devotions today. Loving people can be hard work. It can be even harder when the love you give requires the very core of who you are to flow through wounds caused by the ones you want to love. Sometimes instead of being willing to "bleed" for the ones who need it the most, we find ourselves just becoming unconcern with them.

There can be times when caring for and loving others doesn’t feel good and, it’s easier not to love or care. There can be days when we want to avoid all the things and people around us, just because it’s too much work to strike up a conversation.

On those very rare days after I’ve avoided someone, I feel the guilt of knowing God isn’t very proud of me. I’m saddened as I realize that the very love Jesus continually offers me, I may not be continually offering to others.

We are to follow in God’s footsteps, following “the golden rule” of life. In scripture He says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" John 13:34

The question is, when real love results in personal discomfort or even a heart-wrenching level of pain, are you willing to love well anyway?

Father, thank You for Your love — a love that never fails and never gives up on me. You are the perfect example of a great love — a love that is offered full-strength even when love is not given in return. Help me to love like You. I want to honor You by doing my best to love others in the way You have loved me — even when it hurts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Mar. 25 - Grace is the gift that keeps on giving, because one of the benefits of grace is eternal life. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”

Have you ever wondered what Heaven is going to be like? It’s going to be a wonderful place! And it is God’s gift to you. We will receive daily all we need.
The Bible tells us that Heaven is going to be these four things:

1. A place of reunion, where we are reunited with other loved ones who have accepted the grace of God.

2. A place where we are rewarded for the character that we developed and the way we served other people here on Earth.

3. A place where we are reassigned to do new work based on our SHAPE. We will be given new assignments that we love to do and that use the gifts God has given us.

4. A place of release, where we’re free from all pain, suffering, sadness, sorrow, grief, depression, and loneliness.

There’s one catch: You have to accept it. If you get a gift and you don’t unwrap it, it’s a worthless gift. You need to realize that Jesus Christ makes this grace gift available to everybody, but it is also customized specifically for your life, because God knows exactly what you need. It’s very hard for me to accept gifts, I’d much rather give them, but this is a gift I graciously accepted a long time ago.

Mar. 24 - Certainly intent has its place in this world. But your gut is that hidden part of yourself that knows exactly what is right for you. And often times God speaks to you through that subtle but true gut feeling.

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” – Romans 8:16

When I have that gut feeling about someone, I’m usually dead on. A person actions and the way they carry themselves is usually a dead give-away. We sometimes say a “women intuition”, but I believe men have that instinct as well and God can speak to all of us in this manner. If you feel it’s wrong it usually is.

“I tell you the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit …” Romans 9:1

Never apologize for trusting your intuition- your brain can play tricks, your heart can blind you, but your gut is always right.

The Holy Spirit will transmit the knowledge He wants you to have on something as a strong, inner knowing (intuition).

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the simple ability to follow our gut. As a child of God we all have that intuition and conscience to know right from wrong. Who knew He'd make it so simple!  Help those that haven’t found that additional gift you’ve given us and to help them to use it in the way you’ve intended. I pray in your Holy Name, Amen.

Mar. 23 - Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track." Proverbs 3:6

"Whatever you are facing today might feel like it's stronger than you but it's never stronger than Jesus.” - Nicki Koziarz

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:27

Our amazing God will never give us more than we can handle. The only reason we may feel that way at times is because we don’t allow Him to help us through the storms and rough times. Take my word for it, once you figure out how to surrender everything to Him, you’ll be asking yourself why haven’t I done that before? God wants you to ask for help, He wants you to be curious about life and all the things He’s created. He wants you to be curious about what’s to come when we get to our eternal home.

Each day we can look forward to His invitation to leave our plans behind to join Him in His wondrous work through small steps of obedience.

Dear Lord, today I will embrace what You have for me. I will step out in faith because Your ways are higher than mine! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Mar. 21 -"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge." Psalm 19:1-2

What a glorious, beautiful morning!! The dog and I were awake at 6:00. We were ready for a walk, until I realized it was only in the 30’s. I enjoy walking, but I’m not that faithful. He’ll be ok with waiting…give him a little treat and everything is good. There’s lots to do today, and what a beautiful day to do it in.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad1 in it. – Psalm 118:24

The Lord takes pleasure in all He has made, so let us experience all the beauty of His creation. Be sure to give God all the glory He deserves.

Dear God, thank You for creating the heavens to proclaim Your glory and the skies to proclaim the work of Your almighty hands. Help me to have a greater awareness of Your creation and to pause throughout my day to celebrate the majesty of it all. For You are worthy of all glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Mar. 17 - “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18…Be intentional to express your joyful, grateful faith to God and others.

Praise Him for His perfect faithfulness, for His wonderful works and for His plans He established long ago—just for you. Thank the Lord for healing our hearts spoiled by sin, sorrow and death. Grateful faith keeps you from taking for granted God’s blessings. The Lord’s completeness in your life gives you the capability to love and thank others. You are blessed to be a blessing. You are forgiven to forgive. You are accepted to accept others. Your grateful faith qualifies you for completeness with God.

“Giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”  - Colossians 1:12

Heavenly Father, grow my grateful faith so I can grow into a healthy Jesus follower.

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” – Hebrews 12:28

Mar. 16 - "And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:5

We may find ourselves disappointed with life, a lack of friends and crabby kids, let’s face it — life is hard. But in Romans 5:5 we’re reminded that true hope does not disappoint because God has poured out His love within our hearts through the Holy Spirit. This is His hope-filled promise to us, and He never disappoints.

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." – Romans 15:13

Lord, thank You for being our solid source of hope. I pray You will add to our hope, joy and peace, as we believe in You and Your many powerful promises. Please help us through the days when everything seems too hard to handle on our own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Mar. 15 - The Bible teaches that everything you see right now is temporary. Your body will not last. Your house won’t last. The trees and the rivers and even the mountains won’t last forever.

All the things you see right now are temporary. The things you don’t see right now are eternal realities.

The truth is, the things that are going to last forever are things we can’t see. We can’t see God, the Holy Spirit, the angels, or Heaven. According to the Bible, those things are going to last forever. Scripture says in 1 Corinthians13:12, “What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face.”  The really good news is that God created us to last forever and we get to choose where we spend eternity.

One day your heart’s going to stop, and that’s going to be the end of your body — but it’s not going to be the end of you. The Bible says God wants you to spend eternity with him.

Here are some realities of life: God made you to love yourself; God created us to last forever; He prepared two places where we can spend eternity, Heaven or Hell! We get choose where that will be. I choose to live forever in Heaven with God. There is no second chance after you die.

Today is the day to decide where you will spend eternity. Open your heart to Jesus Christ, and accept His gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven. The choice is yours!

Mar. 14 - "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." Matthew 5:14

I have mentioned this topic many times. Shining our lights for God. This one friend of mine always has the smile, a beacon of shining light. The other day she drove passed my house when I was walking the dog, she honked and gave me that big smile. I instantly thought I need to let her know how that affected my day. I got busy and forgot. Today I saw her car at the convenient store in town and immediately sent her a Facebook message and here it is…

“I meant to send you a message yesterday right after you drove passed my house. I just want you to know I love seeing your smiling face and that warmth I feel from you. You're one of those people who always has that shining light of God beaming bright.”

We all like to hear when we brighten someone’s day. I felt God talking to me through her and my step got a little peppier.

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” - Proverbs 15:13

I recently started a book by Lysa TerKuerst, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. One of the things she mentions is that every morning before she gets out of bed she prays this simple pray, “God, I want to see You. God, I want to hear You. God, I want to know You. God, I want to follow after You. And even before I know what I will face today, I say yes to You.”

Through my friend’s bright smile I saw Him. It’s very important to always have the most positive attitude you can. You never know who you will touch today.

Mar. 12 - “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7.

A lot of Christians go through life living under guilt, thinking it’s the voice of God. But it’s not. That’s the devil!

Faith comes from God. Guilt and shame comes from the devil. The purpose of having faith is to correct something maybe out of whack in your life. The purpose of guilt is just to put you down and make you feel miserable and guilty and ashamed.

God will give you a specific area of your life where something is out of whack. Then, he gives you the solution. Bring all your worried to God, and the feeling of anxiety leaves immediately.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus”. God will never attack your value. If you hear a voice that says, “You’re hopeless! You’re worthless! You’re unlovable!” you can know that is not the voice of God.

These verses tell us that worry and guilt is never from God. It only creates burden in our lives. These verses also give us an incredible promise: Take your worry to God, and leave it all in His court. Listen to his voice. It will bring peace if you only obey it.

Mar. 11 - When you are feeling anxious, remember to breathe. Allow yourself to breathe in and out slowly. Allow your breath to bring you to a place of calmness.

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7.

I’ll be trying this calming method this week. Vacation for few days was just what I needed, but now it’s back to doing my daily routine.

“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.” – Proverbs 1:5.

God always puts so many interesting people in our paths. If we are still and pay attention to our surrounding we can learn and grow from those whom God puts in front of us. I’ll be researching more ways to serve our Faithful God!! I’ve got a lot more inside of me to give.

Dear Father, thank you for a few days for helping me to refresh my mind. I know I have more to give in Your honor. Please guide me to use my mind and ability in a way to please You and help others. In your name I pray. Amen.

Mar. 4 - "…See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut…" Revelation 3:8a

People hate making decisions. Mostly because we’re terrified of making the wrong one. Choosing excites us. Choosing scares us. Choosing can be permanent? When we truly choose, we have no one to blame and nowhere to hide. And that can be downright terrifying.

How do I know if he/she is "the one"? Which college should I go to? What should I major in? Which job should I take? Which church should we attend? Should I change careers? Now that the kids are grown, should I downsize? Is now the right time to retire?

Life is full of tough decisions.

In a way, we do the same thing with God. Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, "What is Your will for my life?"

But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and judgment to make our own decisions through His Word, and to have the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?

In Philippians 4:6 scripture says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

I will be taking a break for a little rest and relaxation until Tuesday.

Mar. 2 - It was a busy weekend and I missed wishing my dad a very Happy 75th Birthday on Facebook. He was busy as usual, a couple b’day parties, plus Dad and Mom hosted six girls with the Concordia High School choir.

My dad always says, “If you’re thinking about retiring, you need to find something to do when you retire.” He retired from his career job with Moorman Feed Co. and number of years ago, but has never slowed down. He’s involved in a wide variety of things and I think I follow him in that accept of my life….giving definitely feels good, and feels even better when you expect nothing in return.

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. - 2 Corinthians 9:7

Giving isn’t always about monetary gifts, giving is knowing what to give when someone is in need. Even when just being there for a friend or even a strange is all you can do or when it’s your home for a night stay. My father has taught me so many things in life. I’ve been taught to work hard and God will take care of you!! Most definitely, I feel more blessed to give than receive. Thank you Dad!!

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” - Acts 20:35

Mar. 1 - How do I know when God is speaking to me? Often when people ask this question, they are talking about an audible voice. And God can do that. He can do anything He wants. He’s God. Why then, can’t I hear God speak to me clearly, someone might ask? God treats each of us as unique children. None of us are cookie-cutter Christians. Because of that, God doesn’t “speak” the same way to all of us.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. - Psalm 16:11
The Bible is not clear as to how someone may feel God speaking to them and how He works is one of those things we just accept. I do think “hearing God speak” may mean different things to different people. To some, it may suggest, “I need answers for my life, or this particular crisis.” Another may say, “I’ve asked God for (a particular thing) but He never answers me." Other may feel Him through is Word, through song, through other believers or even though the world around them. Since we are unique, we all have different needs and He knows how to reach each of us.
When God came to me at night in the hospital He knew I needed that reassurance that He “had my back” and all I needed to do was trust and surrender to Him. What an experience it is!! I pray that everyone can find a way to feel God’s presence. In Psalm 46:10 God says, “Be still, and know that I am God;”

Feb. 28 - Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. – Proverbs 14:29
Patience inherits the promises. Trusting God often requires not knowing how God is going to accomplish what needs to be done and not knowing when He will do it. In God’s time and according to His plans everything will be accomplished.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." – Proverbs 3:5, 6

Feb. 27 - Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Psalm 86:2-3

Has life caused you to feel trapped? Perhaps life was smooth sailing, and you were just coasting along, but then a hiccup disrupted your plans. You know you need to make a change, but you’re not sure where to start.

Thinking you’ve had it all under control, you’ve not felt the need to turn to God in a long time. Fortunately, you have a heavenly Father who wants you to come back and ask for help and receive His good Grace.

He wants you to know you should move toward the light. He will never turn you away, even when you turn away from Him.

When life happens He wants us to pull together in prayer and receive new life from our loving Lord! When life happens, we still have abundant life in Christ.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” - Ephesians 2:8-9

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your stability through life’s unpredictable moments. Amen

Feb. 26 - “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”- Luke 8:15

How do you bear fruit? One way is to pass it on. But sometimes we find ourselves to busy and we find we’re giving God your leftovers. He gets shuffled to the sidelines, and the weeds start choking out your spiritual life. We find time for church, but are we really giving God everything we have.

There are times when our busy human lives don’t make God the top priority in your life. We know far more than we’re living and how we’re living it. We’re not having a quiet time. We don’t go the extra mile and get involved in a small group discussions. He deserves every bit of our attention in order to increase our spiritual roots.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. – 1 Peter 4:10.

Dear God, I want to learn to hear your voice. Help me take these steps of prepare and develop an open mind. I want to set aside time to just listen. Today, I commit to having a daily quiet time with you. Help me to remove the interruptions or the weeds in my life. I want to work together with you. Before you even tell me what you want me to do, I’m saying yes in advance to you, Jesus. I surrender my life to you. I pray this in your name. Amen.”

Feb. 24 - I found this today in a devotion I don’t look at much. For all that know me will be shocked that I’m referring to birds, but this is a great comparison.

“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” - Isaiah 40:5

Each kind of bird has a uniquely-shaped beak, wings, and even feather shape so that everything about it is perfect for the lifestyle it lives. The various wing shapes allow them to dart after a bug, soar miles above a field, or fly for months over the ocean. Just as God cares enough to give each bird exactly what it needs, so you have been given the exact talents and personality to live the life God has given you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Feb. 22 - God sees every wrong that’s been done to you, every disadvantage, every hurt. If you’ll not use it as an excuse to feel sorry for yourself, He’ll take what was meant for your harm and use it to your advantage. One of my favorite verses …Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Faith-filled thoughts always draw in God’s goodness, His blessings, and His favor! The scripture says in Proverbs 4:23, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

Learn to think better and living better will come natural. The scripture says in Philippians 4:4 , “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

Dear Lord, help me to remember happy thoughts and making the most of everyday is what separates us from those who may not know and love you. Help me to smile and be that beacon of light you want me to be. Here’s to a positive new week. In your name I pray, Amen.

Feb. 21 - Do you ever feel like you can get nothing done and when you sit down to work on something someone needs you? I remember when my girls were growing up I felt like they hollered “MOM”, a million times a day…I’d find myself saying, “I’m right here, what do you need?!?” Now days I miss that time. My life now consists of the dog whining at me when he needs or even doesn’t need attention.

With all of our busy, crazy schedules sometimes we just need that time to ourselves of refreshing our body, soul and mind… In reading Psalm 23 we can get that refreshment we need.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever."

This quick reference reminds us that God is always nearby and we need not fear or feel alone...
He gives me all I need. (v1), He lets me rest. (v2), He leads me. (v2), He renews me. (v3), He guides me. (v3), He keeps me company. (v4), He protects me. (v4), He raises me up. (v5), He honors me. (v5), He pursues me. (v6), and He will spend eternity with me. (v6)

Amen, on this beautiful day and all the glory to God!

Feb. 19 - I took this quote from Albert Einstein… “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle.”

This inspiration came from John O’Leary’s inspirational email I receive. His story was regarding the miracle of the young boy in the Lake St Louis area, who was playing on the ice with friends and he was trapped under water for 15 minutes…Medically there’s this no explanation of how he survived. The doctors about to take him off life support and his mother came in to see him one last time. She started praying very loudly to God to not take her Son.

When I saw the story on the news, I believe she even said she was “loudly yelling” at God. In a nutshell, moments later his pulse returned…Not only did he survive, but the boy who was not expected to live is now completely fine. Even the doctor aren’t able to explain how this boy lived. We can’t explain why prayers are sometimes answered. We can’t explain why miracles happen and yet they do. If you are looking for miracles, they will occur repeatedly in your life.

We all experience miracles daily, but some are so small that they just become our way of life. Yet some days the miracle is larger and gives us new life and faith.

Open your eyes. Look around. Count the blessings. Life is a gift. It’s all a miracle. And the best is yet to come. Unleash your faith.

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs (miracles). – Mark 16:20

Think about what miracles you’ve experienced in your life. Witness your testimony to someone that may have doubts, so they can start their journey with Christ. #‎faithmatters #‎lifematters

Feb. 18 - You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" ~ Psalm 139:16

I am glad to know and have comfort in knowing that whatever tomorrow holds for me, God holds me in the palm of His hand.  Knowing what I know and have experienced why would I not put all my FAITH and trust in Him. There have been so many things I had seen and experienced that are way beyond my understanding; and He's the only explanation!!

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. – Isaiah 49:16

As we know, our days have already been written? God has already planned every part of your life from the beginning to the end. He knows every disappointment, every loss and every challenge. The good news is that even though we've had some challenges, even though we've faced some setbacks, our story ends in victory. Our final chapter and everything in between includes fulfilling our God-given destiny and experiencing His eternal restoration.

Such simple reminders in my daily devotions. Life can be very complex at times, but with God by our sides or carrying us there should be no worries!! Just be still and know He is your God!!

Feb. 16 - Today is my wonderful, talented, caring, loving mother’s Birthday Day. How blessed our family is to have a mom and grandma that’s always there when you need someone to talk to. She always hold everything you say close to her heart and promises never to tell anyone. My kids always said, “Boy, grandma has a lot of secrets to keep.”

Another sayings around our house when we can’t figure it out is, “Bring it to grandma, She’ll figure it out, she can do it.” What a blessing she is. I pray that’s how my grandkids look at me someday. God creates families and gives mothers an exclusive place in that family.

Have a Happy Birthday, despite all the snow. I love you very much Mom.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” – Proverbs 31:28-29

Feb. 15 - Praying for God’s will is a Spirit-led prayer: it involves praying the will of God, not the will of man. It is impossible to pray the will of God without knowing and believing the Word of God, because that is His will.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." - John 14:27

One things that used to scare me was being asked to lead in prayer. Fear is a reality of life. It is true for believers and anyone else. However, those who are grounded in faith and spirituality, find that they have God to lean back on when the going gets tough. We don't have to let fear defeat us. We can triumph over it and feel safe.

As I more deeply study His word that fear is getting less. My faith is helping me to overcome the fear of public prayer. I have complete confidence that God will not allow me to fail. I know God hears me when I ask Him to help me speak His Words of truth and when I open my mouth that the Words have great meaning to others.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  - 2 Timothy 1:7

Feb. 11 - A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. – Proverbs 15:13

People have said to me, “You always have that uplifting smile. How can you be so happy? It can’t be that easy after what you’ve been through.” I say, “It’s because of what I’ve been through that makes me this happy.”

My comment is that it’s not that hard. I remember a time when I felt that I never was completely happy. It could or could not have been the tumor affecting me. But now I look at it as I have no reason to be sad. I’m well, with a great family, and loving friends…and mostly because I’m God’s child. Besides it’s all about how you react to the day. The people around you would much rather see HAPPY than SAD.

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. – Number 6:25

I admit some days aren’t as easy as others, and it takes a conscious effort. God is the giver of the greatest joy a person can ever know. When we make Him our lives, He can work within us to fill us with this abundance of joy. All we need to do is allow Him into our hearts. When we are truly filled with happiness and joy, the whole world can see it. Those around us will notice that we are not like everyone else, and there is no more powerful testimony to the power of God than a smile that cannot be taken away. As my Dad says, “I smile is universal.” You can never go wrong with a smile.

Fill my heart with Your joy, O Lord. Change the light of my expression to happiness so that everyone will know the effect You have on my life. Wherever I go, help me to spread joy and love. I praise You for Your gracious gift of joy! Amen.

Feb. 10 - "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James1:2-4

Some days are just difficult. Life can be hard. And many of those difficulties happen at the most inappropriate time. However, let’s not forget that it’s in the most difficult places where we derive our deepest life lessons. Even from hard spots beautiful things grow. We can plan, prepare and put our best foot forward, but sometimes life just happens.

Thankfully, bad days don’t have to dictate our response or the ultimate outcome. We get to choose to be happy and to make others happy. So always, choose joy! Our outward joyful appearance is a shining light to someone, probably to many.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy—but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.” - Leo Rosten

Father God, Help me rise above my circumstances, choose joy and find something to smile about. Even in the midst of a difficult day, Lord, help me have a joyful heart while the experiences you allow build character in my heart and produce beauty in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Feb. 7 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

God has a perfect plan already laid out for each of us, but we will never enjoy it unless we allow Him to work in us. Our mind needs to be renewed with His Word. We need to surrender to His thoughts and ideas about all things. It’s important to remember, until the day we die our story is still in the making.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” - Romans 12:2

Feb. 5 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. – Proverbs 1:7

When words of truth and faith come from the heart, they reach people and provide a true, rich blessing. It is important that we ask God to guide us when we speak. When we allow God’s words to spring from our mouths, we become true disciples for His glory here on earth. I’ve always freely spoke of my God and had no issues asking people of other denominations of their beliefs. The only difference now is that I ask God to help me speak the right words to those that may be craving His word. I try to use that gift He’s given me wisely and with His help to the best of my ability. I love telling real-life experiences and do my best to find the proper scripture to connect everything back to Him.

The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. – Proverbs 10:21

Lord, thank you giving me an opportunity to spread Your word. Please be with me always and guide me in what Your people need to hear. Use my simple words and make them Yours. Make my words what people need and are craving to hear.  Your followers, like myself connect with real life words and stories.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” - 2 Corinthians 5:18

Feb. 4 - What's the key to life? Living it for something greater than yourself. Jesus says we find life when we give Him control of ours. May we surrender our lives to Him and come alive! (Sandi – Joy FM)

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. -Matthew 16:25

Sometimes we lose sight of God when we think we can do it on our own or we’re looking to make a name for ourselves. Very likely it will not turn out the way we had planned. But when you love God and fail.....He is still faithful. God is there when you fail and He can even use it for His glory.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

“For the thousand times I've failed, still His mercy remains.” What a gift to know He will pick me up and I have the privilege to try again…no questions asked and no expirations date!!!

Feb. 2 - I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." Ephesians 3:16-17a

While the world around us obsesses with external makeovers, our weight, our looks, our stats in the community!! These are just material things we may possess in order to fit in or put on a front to cover our hurt and loneliness. But God desires to begin His work on the inside. God does His b...eautifying work from the inside out.

The above verse tells us He wants to strengthen our inner being with the power of His Spirit and out of His glorious riches. When God is the One at work in us and when we join Him by changing our focus from external perfection to His internal perfecting, our beauty will come from our truest, God-created self. I remember a friend telling me once.

“I can tell you’re a Christian and have Jesus in your heart just by the way you carry yourself.”
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:9

Trying harder, doing more or behaving better isn’t what we need. Those are the things we do to try to create perfection, shining ourselves up on the outside. Jesus’ clean-up, His perfecting process, it isn’t about our work. It’s about taking one step of faith and asking Him to dwell in our hearts.

Only then can Jesus fill us up on the inside with His strength, power, love and light. Only then will our outside glowwith the beauty of what’s within.

Lord, please forgive me for focusing too much on the externals of my life. I invite You to dwell in my heart so You can do a work in me from the inside out. You are beautiful, and I want to be like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Jan. 29 - This is a memory of my Mother-in-Law, Lucille Bailey who went home to be with Our Maker:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

What will get me into Heaven? Just Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. And believing that His birth … His death … and His resurrection actually happened are the greatest gifts ever. So priceless, we could never buy them.

Your healthy relationship with Jesus gives you courage to discuss death. A heart warm to the Lord prays for courage to have loving talks with family about dying. Funerals are not avoided but held in order to honor the dead and to be reminded of what’s really important in life. A soul content with life in Christ and is able to walk with Him through the valley of the shadow of death. Dying can be unpleasant and scary, but beauty awaits Jesus believers.

"Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” – John11:25, 26.

We are all dying. When we are young we may think we have a lifetime ahead of us, but in reality we could be gone tomorrow. So, we should always keep our eternal life in the forefront of our minds and be mindful of Christ. We should get our Christian relationships in order with God. Our heavenly Father loved his Son before the creation of the world. It is a privilege to die in Christ and to live with Him forever!

It’s not about what good things we do, or even the bad things we avoid, but about what Jesus has already done. Two thousand years ago, He gave His life in death on the cross so we could have life after death, which is the best gift we could accept in our lifetimes! What it boils down to is that we died right there with Him and then rose again with Him having the forgiveness of all our sins.

John 6:47, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."

Dear Lord, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life. Your birth and death and resurrection are the greatest gifts of all time. I’m so thankful that all who accept You will be with You again one day in heaven. I know Lucille, my mother-in-law, is already sitting at the spades table and cutting up with her loved ones, who have gone before her. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Jan. 27 - A friend of mine sent this great story to me. I believe I've read this somewhere before, but what a great daily reminder...

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg , Tennessee.
One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet meal.

While waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests.

The professor whispered to his wife, “I hope he doesn't come over here.” But the man did come over to their table.

“Where are you folks from?” he asked in a friendly voice. “ Oklahoma ,” they answered.

“Great to have you here in Tennessee ,” the stranger said... “What do you do for a living?”

“I teach at a seminary,” he replied.

“Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you.”

And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple.

The professor groaned to himself, “Just what we need.... Another preacher story!”

The man said, “See that mountain over there?" pointing out the restaurant window. "Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother.

"He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question,

'Hey boy, who's your daddy?' "Whether at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?'

"He would hide at lunch time from other students, and would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad.

"When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. The boy avoided the preacher in case he asked the question, 'Who's your daddy?' "But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast that the boy could not get out the back door quickly enough, and the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, 'Son, who's Your daddy?'

"Everyone got deathly quiet, and he could feel every eye in the church looking at him and now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy?'

"This new preacher sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy. 'Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God." With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, 'Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.'

"The boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, 'I'm a Child of God.'''

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, “Isn't that a great story?” The professor responded that it really was a great story!

As the man turned to leave, he said, “You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!” And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, "Do you know who that man was that just left that was sitting at our table?”

The waitress replied “Of course, everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's governor of Tennessee !”

Someone in your life today could use a reminder that they're one of God's Children! “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.” ~~Isaiah 40:8


John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in him would not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him"

Jan. 26 - Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. – Proverbs4:25

This verse is one to remember that we, as Christians, should definitely learn to follow. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will do fine. It’s when we are distracted, when we lose sight of God in our lives, that we get ourselves into trouble. The rule is a simple one: “Let thine eyes look right on” –Proverbs 4:25 –right on Jesus Christ our Lord

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37

When things start going good and we’re coasting through life with no problems, thinking we have everything under control, we tend to take our eyes off Jesus. We then try something a little more challenging and then it hits us square in the face….A question we may ask is where is GOD!! Why did He allow this to happen to me? God didn’t allow this to happen to you, there are just something’s that aren’t possible without God by our side.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2

Thank you God for pulling me back in when my stubbornness and perseverance gets out of control and I feel I can do it all by myself. My heart knows that I need you right beside me as my teacher. We all work better as team and I’m blessed to have you as my partner. In Your Holy Name, Amen.

Jan. 24 - Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. – Psalm 127:3

This morning I had the pleasure of attending the Franklin County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children, breakfast with my family. What a blessing this organization is!!! You may not have heard of them, but they have been organized in Franklin County for 20 years. Missouri CASA in 2013 served 3309 children, with 1364 dedicated volunteers putting in 85,000 volunteer hours. Missouri has 21 CASA programs with 22 Judicial Circuits being served. To learn more go to

Franklin County’s statistics – The CASA office in Franklin County represents the 325 children in the foster care system in Franklin County in our community. 97 of them have a CASA. They have a voice and a personality. That means 228 children are in foster care without a voice.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Our guest speaker, Jackie Davis who was part of the foster care system much of his life and finally at age 13 he was adopted…the abuse, mental , and physical challenges he’s experienced have been something we want no child to endure. It breaks my heart to hear of situations like this. There are many ways to get involved. Child Advocate, Admin Assistant, Cleaning the Office, Recycling, Fundraising, Provide refreshment for volunteer training meetings, Scrapbooking, and Public Relations. Think of your skills and reach out to God to give you the desire to help these children. None the hardships they are going through are their fault.

The Franklin County CASA office is located in Union, MO.

I know this message to day was a little different, but God needs us to do His work for the not so fortunate children. I thank God for making me aware of this organization and I thank my dad for asking me to join him today. Life is all about giving back and paying it forward.

Jan. 23 - Believing is much simpler than doubting. Kind of like smiling versus frowning. Doubt brings in confusion and often depression. It causes us to speak doubtful and negative things come out of our mouths.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:16

Believing, on the other hand, releases joy and leaves us free to enjoy life while God is taking care of our circumstances and situations. Find the Joy in believing.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – John 6:29

Jan. 22 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

I think back at how much less stressful life would have been if I would have figured out this surrendering it all to God in the past. We all are surrounded by things daily which cause us grief, worry, anxiety or pain. For those that are at the edge of giving up…know that He never leaves your side and heart if you just let Him in. Surrendering it all is a very hard thing to do, you have to take a chance on God. I’ve been forced to surrender and I’m telling you it works!!!

There are some people who feel hypocritical going to church due to things in their past. I promise them they aren’t the only ones feeling that way. We all are a mess, but until you accept the FACT that God has already forgotten about your wrong-doings. He’s begging you to come back and allow Him to make your life glorious!

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” – Psalm 46:10

This song by, Plumb…”Need You Now’… (How Many Times) was my inspiration today. Here’s the chorus.

How many times have you heard me cry out, "God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?
Oh I need you, God, I need you now.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for hearing us when we surrender to you. We all need you now and always. I personally thank you for helping me to finally get what true surrendering is. In Your Glorious Holy Name, Amen.

Jan. 21 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. – Romans15:13

Keep believing. We may become tire, discouraged, but DON’T give up on your future. In the past I thought my purpose was solely to get up go to work and provide for my family. But I’ve learned that sometimes it takes time to find your purpose and the reality is that it may have been right in front of you the whole time.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” – John 5:30

This morning when I stepped out the door, I felt my purpose was to smile at everyone I met and enjoy the glorious sunshine. Then my purpose was to be available to take my grand dog to the boarder. Now my purpose is to compose a message to spread God’s word. This afternoon my purpose will be to help my dad ditch all of the junk I found de-cluttering my house. I guess what I’m trying to say is if you wake up in the morning, after a night’s sleep to restore your body, YOU HAVE PURPOSE.  God will never be separated from us, and His will and purpose for us could be different daily, depending on the situation.

The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. - Proverbs 16:4

Thank you God for giving me another day of purpose. It may not be the bold, flashy thing that my mind was thinking of, but I trust you to put me there when the time is right…in Your time!! And if it's small things that have meaning, I accept the challenge. In Your Holy name. Amen.

Jan. 20 - Here are a few quotes that made me think…

It takes a mature person to say, “I’m okay with being invisible, I’m secure enough in who I am that I can be comfortable behind the scenes.” When you have that kind of attitude, you are sowing a seed.

The scripture says, “Your gifts will make room for you.” – Proverbs 18:16. If no new doors are opening, don’t get discouraged. Develop your gifts in a greater way. Improve your skills.

The scripture says in Matthew 6:4, “What you give in secret, God will reward you in the open.” When you’re behind the scenes, invisible, helping somebody else shine, God sees what you’re doing. And when it’s your time, He’ll get you to where you’re supposed to be.

You can’t out give God. The scripture says, “Give and your gifts will come back to you, pressed down, shaken together, running over.” – Luke 6:38

Lord, help me to continue to give, big or small in whatever way I can. Sometimes being that shining beacon is all others need. Thank you for choosing me to know You and to spread Your Word! Amen.

Jan. 18 - “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

With his weekend’s great weather I found myself ridding my house and garage of a lot of the stuff my girls had left awhile moving in and out. I’ve loaded up the trailer to be delivered to the junk yard sometime this week.

One thing though that gives me the creeps are the spider webs that seem to accumulate everywhere. They are so hard to remove, you swipe them with a broom, when they’re stuck to the broom. And don’t dare walk into one …you’ll feel like you’re covered in them.

As I was reading back through a few devotions I came upon this. Have you ever noticed that in the summer when you try to spray one down that’s in the corner of a window sill no matter how close you get and no matter how much direct water pressure you apply they just don’t budge!!!!

The article mentioned that this is what our spiritual encounter with God should be like: a faith like that spider web … a faith that can withstand pressure: low, high and nearby.

It is not uncommon for a spider web to be 20 times the size of the spider building it and strong enough withstand a lot of pressure. I want a faith bigger and stronger than I am so when the difficulties in life come along, I won’t be crumble. I want the strength and courage to withstand anything. Deep down I know I’m not able to do that on my own, but with God as my protector and teacher all things are possible. I am learning to surrender all to Him

Lord, You have used Your small creatures to teach me something new. Help me build a faith like the spider builds a web. Strong and flexible, yet immovable in my Faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

Jan. 16 - Yesterday evening the Women’s Ministry group at The Bridge started a six week series on “Made to Crave.” (Craving God, not food) Food is one of the examples used, but our craving is really any habit or addiction you may have other than God. This year seems to be the year of the health/life revolution. Please jump on the CRAZE for the CRAVE with us on Thursday evenings at 6:30 at The Bridge Lutheran Church in Washington.

The below devotion is from the very author of the series, Lysa TerKeurst, I just had to share.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. – Romans 8:26

“Some days I wonder if I’ll ever get it all together. Weak places. We all have them. Places that make us feel incapable and inadequate.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. – 1 Peter 2:11

My weak places frustrate me. What’s your weak place? A money situation, a marriage issue, a temper that flares, or maybe it’s an issue with food.

Can I breathe a little life into your weaknesstoday? We don’t have to have all the answers. It’s okay to be so tired of our weak places that we run out of words to pray.

Maybe we need to sit still for just a momenttoday without trying to figure everything out. We aren’t weak we’re dependent. We are dependent on the only One powerful enough to help us - God.

Our circumstances, finances, and confidence in these things is not sufficient, but God is and always will be.” - Lysa TerKeurst

Please read the scripture from Matthew 19:16-26. Verse 26 is what we all need to hear and live by… Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” When everything fails because we not perfect, all things are possible with God.

Jan. 14 - Finding your sweet spot means embracing the God given talents you already have rather than the ones you wish you had. – Ruth Soukup.

Each of us has different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8.

Our sweet spot is that place where our greatest passions and our talents or abilities come together. It’s that special place where we feel most called, that thing we love, that thing we’re great at that makes life worth living and makes us most equipped to do God’s work. Find your sweet spot and ask God to help you use it to the best of your ability.

Some of us excel in leading, while some encourage others or successfully serve in the background, giving, or organizing. And while some gifts might appear flashier or more important than others, they’re all important. Your sweet spot is yours alone.

The truth is, all gifts come from God: "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us," - 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

My Faith Family is involved in taking personality tests at church. We are discovering who we think we are and how we appear to our Faith Family. It’s a way for us to discover those who may have talents that we’re not aware of. We’ve laughed a lot and have discover a lot about ourselves during this process….Great bonding!!!

Jan. 12 - Very truly I [Jesus] tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. - John 16:23

At times, I find myself praying what I feel are incomplete and ineffective prayers. I find myself drifting in the middle of my prayers, thinking about things other rather than staying focused. But I still say at the end of my pray—“In Jesus' Name” feeling my prayers gain God’s ear when I ask in Jesus' name. I find myself telling Him that I’m sorry I drifted off and ask Him to kno...w what’s on my heart and to provide what I need to serve Him.

“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” - John 16:24

There is a completeness of joy that comes from praying in Christ’s name. As we pray in Jesus' name we trust in the Lord to move hearts to accomplish His will. We rest in peace and joy knowing He will handle whatever comes our way. Our heart can be heavy with sadness while our soul is lightened by our heavenly Father’s love. Prayers in Jesus' name make our joy complete!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” - Romans 12:12

Heavenly Father, keep me focused on praying in Jesus' name for His name is above all names and makes us complete. You know when I’m stuck in a thought or have drifted to something else on my mind. Help to learn how to pray more complete and always, “In Your Name”. Amen

Jan. 10 - "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." -Colossians 2:6-7

Each year as the New Year arrives, some people feel the need to make some resolutions or maybe avoid them? On one hand, there’s the excitement of starting fresh and the hope for better year.

This year, I’ve taken a different approach, relying on the principle in scripture that helps me look at things differently. This year I’m excited about the things I’ve chosen and look forward to attacking them daily with hope instead of doubt. The verse above gives us a plan for our future with a focus on gratitude. This verse reminds us of our firm foundation in Christ that cannot be shaken and the strength to keep going by our faith and being always thankful for our present and even for our past.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

Thank you Heavenly Father for my parents who raised me in a home where we loved God. For all the hard times that have made me the person I am. For the Sunday school teachers who have taught me those stories and for the blessings You have poured out along the way: family, jobs I’ve loved, jobs I’ve disliked, home. I know I don’t say thank you enough, but I’m very grateful You’ve been by my side. In You holy name. Amen

Jan 8 - "Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. - 2 Thessalonians2:16-17

There is nothing like the grace of God. "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Psalms 84:11

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5 22-23

Let us pray: Father in the name of Jesus, we thank you for giving us another chance to wake up and give you the glory and the praise you deserve. Lord, while we have entered into a new year, we still have old circumstances that are surrounding us, we ask that you continue to work on our hearts and minds, and show us what we need to do to make things right in your sight. We continue to surrender our will, in exchange for yours, and we ask that you continue to shine your light on any dark paths that may be ahead of us. We do not know exactly what we need, but you do. Lord, we put our trust in you, and know that you will do what needs to be done. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Jan. 7 - What a great verse….”With God all things are possible. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” - Philippians 4:13

Today I visited my Chemo Oncologist. As I got closer to the lab area I saw an older man with a grocery cart filled to the top with a variety of things….The item that caught my eye, of course was STL Cardinals bag. He appeared to be homeless and was collecting items. I immediately thought what was is he doing up here? But walked right passed him.

I registered at the desk and when I turned around he was gone. When I was getting my blood drawn there was a women in her late sixties very teary eyed and almost crying. She was talking to the nurse drawing her blood and every couple of seconds while sighing she’d take her hand and put it to her forehead. I thought maybe she wasn’t feeling well.

After the nurse left she asked if I had seen the man with the grocery cart. She called him by name, Jerry. She mentioned that they had gone to school together and that at one time he was brilliant, a complete genius, but that he had suffered brain and well as physical damage from a horrific bicycle accident. She was clearly shaken up. I told her that I’d pray for him and that God does have a plan for him... She didn't comment.

Do you ever wonder why God puts concern people at concern places for us to see? Janice said she had seen him there before, but also wasn’t sure why they allowed him to wonder around. As I think about it, God could have placed him there for all of us to see that even when we’re down and out, sick from cancer or even poverty, that everything is possible with Him. I know in my heart that God has a special place in His kingdom for Jerry. Always take what He gives you and be gracious, for you could be the shining light others see.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Jan. 5 - So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. – James 4:17

Have you ever messed up so badly that you just knew God wanted nothing to do with you? If your answer is "yes," then you’re not the only one, because we all have. We’ve all made poor choices and bad decisions. A bad decision can cost you your marriage, job, friendships and even your peace of mind, but never your free ticket to Heaven.

When we’re willing to admit our mess ups, we’re just the type of people God’s looking for. He specializes in ministering and comforting messed-up people. One of the many things I love about Jesus is that He looks for those who are down and out, feeling their life is over. We’ve all heard the saying,

“If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck.”  This isn’t about luck or coincidence!!  God has you right where He wants you. There is nothing we do that God won’t forgive and make us clean. Every morning we are given a new clean slate to create a beautiful day!!

We need to know that the ordinary, everyday sinner can grow into a significant person with meaning when we let Jesus clean up our mess-ups and deeply change our lives. Jesus wants to clean up our mess-ups so much that He will break down every possible hurdle to do so. That’s something we cannot do without Him.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16

Jan 3 -A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22

For most of my life and even today I struggle with knowing and excepting what my healthy weight should be. I have found that committing to a healthy lifestyle and feeling healthy is much easier to accept when trying on clothes that fits more comfortably. Scales are for the birds, and do more harm to our self-esteem than it’s worth. I have yet to find any accuracy from on to another.

We all want something to instantly fix our bodies, and most of us don’t want to work very hard at or our will power isn’t very strong. So over the past few months I’ve lost a few pounds (nothing significant) and have kept it off, I’ve realized that there’s no fast way to ditch those pounds, unless you eat those foods which God has provided for our bodies. It may not be a fast process, so even a few pounds is a huge victory.

We should start our journey by daily asking God to provide us with all we need to nourish our bodies and thank Him daily then for His guidance.
We don’t need a long list of resolutions, like we resolve to every year. After all, that list seems to be the same one from the year before.

Year after year it’s the same old thing… but 2015 is the year for a New Revolution of Healthy Living. So, just pray this simple prayer: “Unsettle me and help me honor this one body You have given me.”

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians10:3

Jan. 1 - Wow!! Definitely need to setup up a website for 2015. This is a long one, but something I’m needing to say with tears of happiness. I pray you all can find this gift from God.

I’m so sorry for being MIA the past couple days. It’s been a busy couple days, one whole day of doctors’ appointments, to end 2014 on a great note. My scan looks great and actually this time I could see a decrease in the area we’ve been focusing on. My radiation oncologist was happy with the results and told us that this is the way the future scans will probably look, so now we focus on monitoring for no new growth. My future is in God’s hands as it always is. My job is to continue to keep my body and mind as healthy and clear as I can. Here is to a happy healthy and prosperous 2015!!!

This whole journey has been in God’s hands. There have been many times when I’d question my feelings about this CANCER thing…sometimes not feeling I was taking this all seriously?? But then I was reminded the other day that my FAITH in God and surrendering it all to Him was basically my adrenaline and God’s adrenaline in me was freeing me of all fear. WOW!!! That must be it. As many times as I have passed that along to you all, I just wasn’t recognizing what these Faith-God driven messages were actually doing for me.

I found this from a message I Posted in 6/14. ”By my God I can leap over a wall.” Psalm18:29

The Bible confronts us with our moral independence within ourselves and our spiritual dependence upon God.

David says in Psalm 18:29, “By my God I can leap over a wall.”  You know when our adrenaline gets flowing and we’re at the top of our game we can jump over some walls in life by our own will. God has not left us completely helpless, but some walls and tasks are so high that we need more…we need God!!  There are some can only be leaped over with the help of God.

If we try on our own and continue to fall short we become discouraged. But that's the way God wants it, this is when God wants us to ask for His help. These obstacle could be a variety of things, a relationship, the project at work, and even just finding it in ourselves to trust Him to take control of the situation.

Pray. Relax. Let go. And let God take over.

“He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in the wisdom of our God is kept safe.” – Proverbs 28:26

Happy New Year!!! Lookout 2015!!!

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