Saturday, April 30, 2005
It was my privilege to be a contributing writer to Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul, Honor Books, April 2005. For more information, see the sidebar on the right.
Thank you to everyone who sent congrats and shared in my excitement. God bless you.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
This month InspiredMoms.com features inspiring daily devotionals written by their team of Inspired Moms writers and guest writers. The title of the series is Mom, You Have Character!
I wrote one for March 31st called Training for Life. Click here to read!
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? - Galatians 3:3 niv
This morning when you started your day, did you have an agenda? Many people, at least the more organized ones, begin by consulting a ‘to do’ list. In our society, being goal oriented is viewed as a good attribute.
It seems as if I fight a continual battle to get and stay organized. I make out my list, marking off the more important tasks, dividing them into categories, and putting a checkmark beside each task as I complete it.
Many times, I barely get the list compiled, and I need to crumple it up and throw it out. Each day is an adventure, and some days I have to give up my goals and let God decide.
I love the way David described life in Psalm 139. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and “all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Did you know that God ordained your life before you took your first breath? Ordain means to put in order by virtue of superior authority.
When life throws me lemons, I try to squeeze the adversity out of it, and let the sweet Holy Spirit calm me while I sip my ‘spiritual lemonade.’ In my distress, I do my best to remember that God is in control. It’s difficult to surrender. Our nature is to try to control, but when we surrender, we give up the goals, and let God decide.
I’ll continue to write my lists. God is not the author of confusion. I desire to set goals that reflect godly priorities, and depend on God to direct me on this path through life – even when my day doesn’t pattern itself after my ‘to do’ list.
When I think of the book mentioned in Psalm 139:16, I wonder what my book of life looks like. How many chapters does it have? I hope it’s a nice, thick book!
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the very breath of life. I pray that I will live this day as You direct and guide. Help me to live according to the Spirit, submitting my will to Yours. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead. -
I John 3:14 nlt
Do you have a favorite restaurant? What makes that particular eatery different from the rest? Each restaurant specializes whether it’s a hot dog stand or a fancy French restaurant. You won’t get a fantastic piece of fresh salmon by going to a local pizza place, but you can probably order lasagna with homemade sauce or thick crust pizza piled high with the ingredients of your choice.
I added a new place to my list of favorites – a small, locally owned restaurant. I go there for one reason alone- their homemade creamy maple vinaigrette dressing – a concoction so delicious I tap my foot and grin the whole time I eat my salad.
Every Sunday, we drive past many churches to attend the one of our choice. What makes your church different from the rest? Is it the worship style you prefer? Maybe the doctrine lines up with your beliefs.
Each church is different, but one uniting factor should be present in all Christian churches – the desire to lift up the name of the Lord in praise, and to draw people to His Son, Jesus Christ. Churches do not exist to be social clubs, dating services, or community outreaches, although they can and do serve in this capacity, but a church’s goal is different from secular organizations formed for these purposes.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
Hopefully when we attend church, we go for the right reason – not out of obligation or guilt, or to make business contacts. I pray you go to praise the Lord, pray, receive Bible-based instruction, and to recharge your spiritual life. The Church isn’t perfect being made up of imperfect people like you and me, but in a healthy, Spirit-filled church, you can gain strength from the Word of God preached, and from other Christians.
Let us do as Paul said and exhort one another. When we recharge spiritually, we will with boldness witness of Jesus Christ to those in our circle of influence.
In the same way I look forward to sitting down to a dinner with friends, I look forward to the fellowship and strength found in the presence of other Christians. Is your spirit as hungry for the Word and deep, intense fellowship with God and your fellow Christians as your physical body hungers for deep-dish pizza?
Speaking of hunger – I haven’t had a salad with creamy maple vinaigrette for a few days. I think I’ve figured out where I’d like to eat dinner tonight.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for commissioning the Body of Christ, and the ministry of the local church. I pray I will be faithful to minister to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and fulfill my purpose as part of Your Body. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
For your children and grandchildren (and even grown-up children at heart!) - Click here to get on board the Inspiration Station - a new children's magazine! I have a poem called Concrete Map on the Poetry Page.
If you'd like to leave the editor a comment, click here!
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Recently I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Nancy C. Anderson's book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage.
Nancy writes about a confusing time in her life with such vulnerability, she draws the reader in. She shows how being out of the will of God brought her nothing but heartache, and then takes us through her journey from chaos to the cure. Her practical tips and spiritual insights inspire her readers to work on their own relationships. Recommended reading whether struggling in your marriage or you want to make a good thing better.
Available at Amazon and Christian Books.
Friday, April 01, 2005
“Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." – John 4:10 nkjv
The church service began as usual with our singing a few choruses followed by a time called “Select a Hymn” – a favorite with the members of our congregation.
As the pianist, I’m challenged when this time rolls around. I never know which hymn will catch someone’s eye on any given evening. Some nights, I know them all. At other times, I’m at a loss, but since I can play ‘by ear,’ some of the songs I manage to pick my way through without sounding completely tone deaf.
At one point, the guitarist, Amy, said to the drummer and me, “I’d like to sing ‘As the Deer,’” but we were so busy trying to keep up with the current selections, she didn’t get a chance to request it.
The song leader seemed ready to wind the session down when he said to one man who had been very persistent in raising his hand, “Which number did you select, young man?”
He stated the hymn number, and out of over 500 hymns in our book, he had chosen “As the Deer.”
Amy’s face lit up. The three of us praised the Lord with her as we sang the words in Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”
I thought how wonderful it was that the desire of her heart to praise the Lord with a certain song was granted. How many times have you prayed for something and the Lord answered with a resounding, “Yes!” to your request?
If the Lord knows the number of hairs on your head, He knows the desires of your heart. Of course, sometimes God says, “No” or “Not now,” but isn’t it wonderful when a prayer is answered so quickly? I loved it!
I have found through personal experience if I drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, I’m thirstier the entire day. I’ve also discovered if I read the Bible, pray, and seek God first thing in the morning, I long for even more time to spend alone with Him. As the deer pants for the water, my soul thirsts for God, the Living Water.
How about you? Are you thirsty?
Prayer: Lord, I praise You and long to draw closer to You. I thank You for the Living Water that becomes a fountain springing up into everlasting life. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.