"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
- Robert

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Monday, September 27, 2004

Are You Fruity?

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4 niv

Have you seen the commercial with the slogan, “What’s in your wallet?” That campaign has been so successful that the credit card has vaulted into one of the most recognized in America, with a 95 percent national awareness among consumers in some surveys.

Are you recognized as a Christian 95% of the time?

Sometimes I think of my Christian life as a basket. I’ve watched a basket weaver on one of the shopping channels. He takes long wooden slats and weaves them together for a beautiful wooden basket. The container of my life is woven together with faith and works. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith.

“…the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:8-9 niv

Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees to ‘produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8 niv) I’m not saved by my works, but the fruit of the Spirit will be a natural result of my identification with Christ. Others cannot see your faith. They do see your works.

According to the apostle Paul, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Are these fruits present in your life? Do you carry these fruits as a result of faith and works woven together in your life?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving me. I pray my faith will be evident in my life. Help me to be a fruity Christian. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

One Moment In Time

I got quite a scare tonight. I pulled into the church parking lot and saw a young man, Matt, riding his bicycle. He looked as if he had an obstacle course set up, swerving in and out between the cars and vans. I pulled around to pull into an open spot and just as my wheels turned, I heard the sound of a body colliding with a car – my car. It took a second for the thought to register. Matt had tried to get past my car before I turned. He miscalculated the amount of room he needed and ran right into the side of my car.

Thank God for collapsible mirrors. I managed to screech to a stop and give him room to recover. My mirror needed to be put back into place, but Matt didn’t have a scratch on him.

As I took my place on the piano bench a few minutes later, I thought how quickly two lives could have been changed in one moment. What if I’d been driving a bit faster or taken a sharper turn?

A lot can happen in a moment. A friend of mine lost control of her car on the interstate. Before she knew what happened, she crossed the median, cut across three lanes of on-coming traffic and wound up on the other side of the highway. Her car was damaged, but she had no physical injuries. Her mind took quite a beating though. For weeks afterward, she could play the accident over and over in her head, each time thanking God once again for His protection.

The apostle Paul spoke of a moment when a tremendous change will take place.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. I Corinthians 15:52

How fast does an eye twinkle? That’s how fast we’ll be changed. Our corruptible bodies will be made incorruptible, a suitable dwelling for our souls in heaven.

We have this promise because of a decision we make that only takes a moment. “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." How long does it take to acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Savior? Only a moment. But in that short amount of time, you pass from death to life. Your name is written in the book of life, and the angels begin to rejoice. What a moment!

I hope you’ve taken the time to make that decision. Every moment for the rest of your eternal life depends on it.

I’m going to take a few more minutes tonight to thank God for protecting Matt.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul, and reserving my place in Heaven. I praise You! In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Coming Home

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11 niv

A stray puppy followed my husband home today.

I woke up this morning to the words, “We have a situation.”

In my barely coherent state, I heard Don saying something about a dog, a really friendly dog, a sweetheart of a dog. After the third ‘dog,’ I sat up and muttered, “So where is this dog?”

“He’s in the garage.”

The fact that the puppy is a ‘he’ jumped out at me. We have three dogs, all female. “Well, thank God you didn’t let him in the house.”

We went down to the garage, and my heart melted at the sight of this mass of quivering, wagging, excited puppy all wrapped up in short, black fur. This puppy belongs to someone as evidenced by his healthy state, his friendly demeanor, and the tags on his collar. He has a transmitter on, too, so someone went to great expense to keep him in his yard, but I know from experience these transmitters aren’t worth a penny if the batteries die.

Have you ever heard the song “Lord, I’m Coming Home”? It’s frequently sung during an altar call. The first verse says, “I’ve wandered far away from home. Now I’m coming home.”

Jesus referred to us, not as stray dogs but as sheep, who before we are saved through Jesus Christ, are astray from God. Jesus proved His love for mankind when he died on the cross. He came into this world of darkness and evil to rescue people who are lost. Jesus said in Luke 19:10 nkjv, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Jesus said He is the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep to save them. “Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.”(John 10:15 niv)

He will also seek after those who already know him and have gone astray. If you are not in a right relationship with Jesus Christ, if you do not know him as your Lord and Savior, or if you are a Christian and have gone astray, The Holy Spirit will draw you back into the fold. Jesus is ‘calling you home.’

My husband called the number on the puppy’s tags, and hopefully someone is eager to have him back and will come for him. We do not have room in our house for another dog. I’m so grateful the Lord always has room in His family for one more person.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for Your convicting Spirit Who drew me into Your fold. Thank you for loving and watching over me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

*Update on puppy in 'comments.' - Donna

Monday, September 20, 2004

Immutable God

For I am the LORD, I change not. Malachi 3:6 kjv

Today is my 29th wedding anniversary. I posted a wedding picture a while back, and several people commented that it didn’t look like me at all. A lot has changed in the past almost-three decades. I grew up, and managed to nurture two children to adulthood. My husband and I have changed in many ways, and the world around us has become drastically different than the one on which we stood and made our vows.

I’m thankful that even as the world and people around me change, the Lord does not. He is ever faithful, not subject to whims and changing times. There are many things beyond my control, and at times, I may have difficult adjusting. That’s why the stability of God is so important.

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

God’s love does not waver. His Word will stand forever. His promises are sure.

I talked to a young girl not long ago, and in the course of the conversation, she mentioned a cartoon she liked. I could relate as this was one I watched as a child. She said, “Donna, does it make you feel old when you realize the cartoons that were new when you were a child are on Vault Disney?”

“Vault” Disney? I didn’t even know of such a show! And yes. I did feel old. But only for a moment. Most of the time, I still feel like the young woman in my wedding picture, determined to be the best Christian, wife, mom, and minister for Jesus that I can be. I pray that’s one thing that will never change.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for Your love has saved me, and sustains me. I praise You, and rest assured in Your constancy. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Bird Nerd – Part 5

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Luke 12:6 niv

As I write this, I’m so thankful I can walk with relatively little pain.

My penchant for observing the hummingbirds got me into big trouble. We were going to eat, and my husband had already gone to start the car. He opened the door and yelled, “Come see what’s in the garage.”

I ran down the two steps into the garage, and saw a tiny hummingbird fluttering around the ceiling. Since I spend considerable time waiting for them to come to the feeder, I stopped to watch in awe as its wings flapped so fast they blurred, an almost imperceptible hum emanating from its fluttering. Then I remembered their need to eat every few minutes, and since I didn’t know how long this one had been trapped in the garage, I got concerned. I went back up the two steps to reach in and turn out the lights it seemed to be so enamored with.

I turned around, and still focused on the bird, I went down the first step, and you guessed it, totally missed the next one. I landed on the cement floor on both knees. Crack! I cried out in pain, and flipped myself over to start massaging them. I yelled for my husband to go get ice, and began to pray.

Even with knees throbbing, I still managed to get up, go get my feeder, and tried to get the bird to come to it. Instead, he fell. I hobbled over to him, and picked him up. His little body quivered, glistening far more beautiful than I’d ever seen in a photograph.

While I held him, I thought of the verse in Matthew. Jesus said, “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” (Matthew 10:29 nlt)

God keeps track. He knows when each bird falls. As I thought of this, it occurred to me that He knew about my fall, too. I said another quick prayer for my knees, and, I admit, for this tiny being. The hummingbird took off! I hope he found his way back home and to find nourishment.

My knees are sore, but I’m ambulatory. Thank God! After my ordeal, I took off – to go eat, too.

Prayer: Thank you, God. I rest in the promise You watch over me, and nothing in my life happens without Your knowledge. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Blogging for Jesus

I’d only heard about ‘blogs’ a few short weeks ago. Now I’m participating in two. I’m amazed at the number of people who blog. There is no editing and many times, no planning involved with the posts. It’s fun to get a glimpse into people’s lives.

I’ve used my personal blog to post devotionals. Because I’m using it in a more formal way, I suffer from ‘blog angst.’ Right before I hit the submit button, I think - Is anyone going to read this? Will anyone care to read what I wrote?

I’m constantly making notes, jotting ideas down, making observations. I ask for the Lord’s leading, write up the piece, and then almost chicken out. But God is faithful, and in this new endeavor, I have felt His leading.

One of my goals is to put together a book of devotionals, but I also have a slew of children’s poems I’d like to compile. Oh, and a couple of early chapter books, and I can’t forget the picture book, and …… See what I mean? I also need to be careful I don’t spend hours reading the blogs, too! It’s difficult to balance all my responsibilities. I feel like I got a late start on all this (and no, I’m not telling my age) and always playing ‘catch-up.

My intent is to take one day at a time. It’s easy to get caught up in planning far into the future. After all, if I had a book accepted for publication today, it would be many months, possibly years, before I would see it in print. Instead, I focus on today. I don’t want to presume upon tomorrow.

Jesus said, “He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:33-35 nlt)

I'm seeking the face of God, and want to please Him. I pray that as I write, I’ll glorify and exalt Him. That alone is enough to be looked on as an accomplishment for the Kingdom. What are you doing today that will glorify and show your love for the Lord? Let’s praise the Lord!

Prayer: Lord, I lift Your Name and give You glory. Thank You, for You alone are my provision. My desire is to draw others to You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
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