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

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's What We Do

Psalm 31:24
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Romans 5:5
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

A few years ago a commercial played talking about “verb-it’s what you do”. The people in the ad ran on a beach and tossed a ball. As a writer I am often reminded to show not tell; use action verbs, make the characters actions tell the story. Of all the wonderful verbs I read in the Bible, my favorite is ‘hope’. From this word I conjure up an image of God reaching out his hand to lift me up. Hope draws a picture of a person bent in prayer, praising God, the love of a parent smiling at their newborn and the joy of a friend when good news finally comes.

God’s word brings hope to all nations, all people, all generations. Where do we find hope? The Holy Spirit reveals it to us in the stars on a black night, in the sunrise on a foggy morning, in a friends hug on a tough day? God delivers hope in the darkest times through his word and his Spirit. Hope-it’s what we do.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dressing in the Armor

Ephesians 6:10-18
10Finally, be strong in the Lord… 11Put on the full armor of God… so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground… 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 …take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…

Recently, two of our granddaughters dressed up for Crazy Days at school. They wore colorful mismatched clothes and fun and unique hair styles. (Of course they looked adorable.) As a child I enjoyed dressing up and pretending to be a cowgirl. My mom has pictures to prove it. As much as I liked putting on dress-up cloths for pretend, I have an overwhelming desire to put on the armor of Christ.

Living for Christ often draws unwanted temptations, ridicule, and despair. With his shield I deflect the temptations, with his belt of truth I stand firm in his word, and with the helmet of salvation I know I am protected by God. With the Holy Spirit as my guide through prayer, I live each day as a child of God knowing that he gives me the endurance and hope that I need.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I Corinthians 12:4-6

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

On my drive home the other day, I noticed two trees entwined, one held petals of pale pink, the other bright white blossoms. I thought how wonderful it was that the two trees, so very different on the outside, could stand side by side with their branches crisscrossing, showing the beauty of creation.

Like the trees, God made each of us individual, with our own fingerprint and DNA. He gave us similarities, yet made each of us different. As a follower of Jesus and a member of his church, I have an opportunity and a calling to allow God’s plan to bloom in me. He created me with a purpose and gifts, through prayer and Bible study I seek his will and follow his path. Side by side I stand with other believers declaring the glory of the Lord.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Love the Mountains

Psalm 21: 1-2

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

As we've traveled to visit my daughter, Hannah, in the mountains of South Carolina, I look up at the peaks covered with pines and oak trees to see the majesty of God. He is evident in the solid granite, the blooming rhododendron bush, and the tiniest woodland flower. Looking to the mountains renews my faith in God, who dwells everywhere and watches over me.

When I am troubled or sad I know that I can close my eyes and picture those majestic mountains and know without a doubt that my help comes from God.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Darkness Came

Luke 23:44-46
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Good Friday is the day we set aside to contemplate the death of Jesus. Over the years, images of that day have been painted to portray the beauty of Christ on the cross; a man who gave all, God in the flesh. What about the ugliness of that day? What about all the sin that swirled around that cross as Jesus hung there to die an excruciating death?

Jesus chose to hang on a cross for people he had never met, people like us. As he hung on the cross, the Holy Spirit did not repeat to him his sins, he had none. Instead he heard the sins of everyone else; Father forgive the cheating, gossiping, murder, adultery, lying, drunkenness, and on and on the list cried out. But Christ took them on, all of them. He loves us that much. He loves us enough that he created a path for us to God. He paved a way to heaven. He gave us hope.

As Easter approaches where are you? Are you at the foot of the cross, or on a far away hill watching from a distance?