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, September 30, 2011


Isaiah 40:26
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: 
   Who created all these? 
He who brings out the starry host one by one 
   and calls forth each of them by name. 
Because of his great power and mighty strength, 
   not one of them is missing.

A friend noticed that I often write about nature in my devotions. The truth is—I find myself closer to God when I sit by a flowing stream, watch the ocean ebb and tide or admire my neighbor’s flower garden.  I love the natural world that God created. The stars that glow at night remind me of the hope I know in Jesus. The ocean and the roaring tide make me recall the strength of my Lord. The moon reminds me to reflect in his Word. His colorful buds and blooms show me that God has an eye for color and that he created each person with different gifts. Green trees that turn to gold show me that he desires me to grow and change then grow some more.

Recently my daughter captured a remarkable photo of two of our young grandsons. They stood by a body of water on a beach of pebbles, their eyes fixed on the sky. One little guy has his hands reaching out in front of him while the other gazes in fascination. Their little faces speak volumes. My daughter later told me that a flock of geese grabbed their attention. I have to tell you, the amazement in their faces could only be brought on by God’s own creation.  I have often had that same admiration and fascination in my heart when I look upon something that God crafted. He not only built every living thing on earth, he also gave his handiwork purpose. Praise God for his incredible world.

Friday, September 23, 2011

We Plan God Laughs

Psalm 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, 
   but the LORD establishes their steps.

Over the years, I’ve realized that when my day follows a rhythm I am more satisfied with the results.  When I catalog books at work I follow a routine, repeat my actions and complete the task. Unfortunately, anomalies in the type of book or record I’m using throws off my tempo.  I’m not saying that I am not flexible or that I can’t regroup and make the best of the situation, but I am saying that I work far better when I follow a plan.

God created me with his plan in mind. He molded me with purpose and knows what he wants me to accomplish. Fortunately he supplied me with the Bible, a how-to manual, that answers many of my questions and lets me know when to be patient and have faith.

When I get out of step with Jesus, I’m a walking disaster. I really should go back to bed or better yet to my knees and spend time with my Lord. There is nothing sweeter than knowing I am walking beside my Savior and he matches me step for step. I am at my best when my spiritual rhythm syncs up with God’s desires for me. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

God's Radiant Gift

Revelation 21:18-21
The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

God dipped his paint brush in violet and coral and splashed the morning sky. By the time I arrived at work the violet faded to lavender and the coral to pink. As I looked at the sky the stress and weariness of the week faded away. The splendor of the morning sky brought a calming hope to my soul.

As I looked across the sky I was reminded that Jesus, through his love and sacrifice, invited me to heaven. As beautiful as the sunrise appeared, I cannot imagine the brilliance of heaven. In Revelation John describes the streets with earthly elements, but just think, heaven is not earth and the elements of our God spill over onto everything. The radiance of heaven shines out an invitation to anyone who will follow. Praise God for this amazing gift.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Teach them Well

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

In 1970, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young shared their parenting wisdom through the song, Teach Your Children Well. The lyrics, written during the Vietnam War, warned parents to teach children from the lessons they learned in life. I find it interesting that the Bible gives that same advice.

God created the family unit to work in sync with his plan. Parents teach children and grandchildren and children teach their children and grandchildren and the circle rolls on. As a mom I strive to show my children how God wants me to live, and I pray that I might share what I know about life with my grandchildren. God wants me to remember the lessons I’ve learned along with the wisdom I’ve gained from his word and pass that along to the next generation. Even if you do not have children, God may put a child in your path who needs your experienced voice and example. And if you are like me, as I teach a child I learn as much from them as they do me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

God's Renewal Plan

Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives strength to the weary 
   and increases the power of the weak. 
Even youths grow tired and weary, 
   and young men stumble and fall; 
but those who hope in the LORD 
   will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; 
   they will run and not grow weary, 
   they will walk and not be faint.

One thing I’ve found in my recovery from surgery is that weariness seems to envelop me. By late afternoon I’m ready for a nap, most of the time I don’t get one. But, I know from experience that my physical tiredness will be restored over time. The weariness that concerns me more comes from my soul, that spiritual exhaustion from serving God and people. Sometimes I just cannot keep going.

What I can do however is pour myself out to God in prayer and read his word to gain insight. He may direct me to step out of my ministry for now or lead me in a totally new direction. God lets me know when I’m finished and when I need to begin again. I love the verses in Isaiah that promise me that God renews my energy and shows me what direction to fly. He has plans for me, as I have hope in him.