For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sowing the Seeds

1 Corinthians 3:5-9
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Early this morning I went outside and dug a little ditch behind our lilies. In the row I sprinkled seeds, zinnias and forget-me-nots. The seed packets suggested I plant them in April, where they would grow in full sun. Zinnias have filled my flower beds with color before. I love the bright reds, pinks and yellows. The blue forget-me-nots will be pretty with the orange tiger lilies. Hopefully in a few weeks, I'll see little green sprouts pop out of the ground.  But, all I can do now is water and wait. I can't make them grow. That's up to God.

As Christ followers, we may plant the seed of God's word and truth in the heart of a friend. We may even do a little watering through prayer and compassion. But God is the one who brings growth. He's the one who causes the sprout to burst through the ground and mature in to a blooming flower. He's the one who leads our friend on the path to him. We have a purpose, in planting and watering, but God has the ultimate task of bringing growth.

When I was a young Christian, I thought I had to win people to Jesus all by myself. My heart ached when I couldn't find a way to bring someone completely to Christ. I even found myself getting in God's way. As I grew in the word, I began to understand my purpose. Once I figured out that I was a planter, a sower of the word. I found peace. As a Jesus' follower, plant the seed, sprinkle the water, and allow God to do the rest. He knows what he's doing!

What seeds do you like to sow?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good, Good Father

 Luke 24: 1-6a
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!"

I don't think it's an accident that we celebrate Easter in the spring, the time of new life.

Two places bring me closer to the Lord than any other. One is the ocean, the other is the woods. Tim and I hiked through one of the local wildlife preserves on good Friday. And I couldn't help but think about Jesus. I spied trillium as blood red as the blood Jesus spilled. White trillium reminded me of Jesus' forgiveness and how he will make us whiter than snow. Patches of purple dwarf larkspur wore their royal robes, like those of the King.


As we walked, the peacefulness of the forest calmed my busy mind. With worries and stress quieted, the beautiful song "Good, Good Father" whispered in my ear. At one point I closed my eyes and let the music fill my head. God is a good, good father and without doubt he loves every one of his children. So much so that he sent his own son to save us from sin and offer us the road to heaven.  

Spring is the time to rejoice in new life. The flowers, the greening up of the trees, but most of all the resurrection of Jesus.

Let's celebrate Jesus this Easter. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Where the Spirit of the Lord is...

This week we remember Palm Sunday as Jesus trekked through the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey. The people met him and waved palm branches and sang, “Blessed is the king of Israel!” In Jesus' humble way he knew his future was death and his celebration meant freedom for all who followed him.

He knew the road led to torture and sacrifice, yet he took the path anyway.

Why would this man who understood his destiny walk right into death's door? 
Because he loves us. He knew he offered the only means to forgiveness and eternal hope.

Jesus death and resurrection offer a freedom like no other.

Freedom from the weight of worry.

Freedom from the love of material things.

Freedom from anxiety.

Freedom from the opinions of politicians and Hollywood stars.

Freedom from society's values.

Freedom to pray at any moment of the day.

Freedom from sin.

Romans 3:23-24 ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 

Jesus is the only road to heaven. He gives forgiveness, freedom, and hope.

On this Palm Sunday weekend, know that Jesus died so everyone would have an opportunity to live in freedom. Praise the Lord for his Son!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Don't Lose Sight

Matthew 24:42-44 
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Tim and I drove to a local lake to walk the dogs. With spring weather, we hoped to see some of the blue herons that nest in our area. As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed two of them resting nearby. I lifted my binoculars and took in the sight of a male great blue heron on one shore and a female who perched on a limb in the water. As I watched them, I wanted to keep my eyes on both at the same time, an impossible task. Just as I turned toward the female, the male took flight. He didn't go far, but I missed his majestic rise into the air. I'd lost sight of him in a blink. That's all it took to miss my chance to watch one of my favorite birds glide above the water's surface. I wasn't ready to sit and wait on the him.

So many times in my walk with Jesus, I'm preoccupied. My mind is on anything but serving the Lord. In Matthew, Jesus spoke to his disciples, who were often sidetracked and sometimes confused. I mean—they spent every day with the Lord, but sometimes they just didn't get it. In Matthew, Jesus laid the future out for them. He warned them to keep watch, because once he died and rose again he'd be back. We wouldn't know when, but he promised he'd return "with power and great glory."

Last week God gave me three words to think on, "Don't lose sight". I wasn't sure why at first, but I truly believe he was reminding me to be prepared. He wants me to keep my sights on him and be ready for his return. I have no idea when Jesus will come for his followers or when I might leave this world. But what I do know is, I want to be ready. I pray we'll all be prepared to meet Jesus when he comes.


Praise God for Jesus!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Divine Appointment

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Galatians 5:25
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 

I love it when God makes an appointment for me. He sets up a time for my path to cross that of another person, without my knowledge. On Thursday, I was meeting family for dinner and I had a little time before our meal. As I drove into town, I stopped by the local library for a restroom stop and just to browse. As I wandered among the shelves I heard a familiar voice. A dear friend, and fellow librarian, was sharing some fun book titles with a young lady. I peeked through the shelf and sure enough there was my good friend. Neither of us work in this library, yet here we both stood. We hugged and had a great conversation God knew I needed.

You see, I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to stop at the library. I could have gone to a gas station or even the restaurant for a bathroom. But God knew I needed to go to the library and talk with Sharee. One of my daughter's will be traveling out of the country soon. I'll be honest—I've been nervous about the trip. Sharee's daughter had traveled to the same country my daughter intended to go to, so she had knowledge of the area. She messaged me later after she'd looked up the target mission. Her words and information gave me great comfort and reduced the stress I'd experienced about the trip. I know without a doubt, the Holy Spirit nudged me to stop by the library. I had a divine appointment with Sharee. I love this about Jesus. He knows our needs and meets them, no matter how small. It's my job to listen and respond to the Spirit's prompting. Now I am excited for my daughter and the mission she's pursuing. I pray for safety and that her team can help those in need and touch the people with Jesus love. Pray with me, if you would.

Praise God for divine appointments!