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, December 28, 2012

My New Year's Goal

Proverbs 16:2-3
All a person’s ways seem pure to them,

    but motives are weighed by the Lord.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

I never count on being awake late on New Year’s Eve. Some years my husband and I watch the ball drop with Dick Clark (for many years) or Ryan Seacrest and some years we fall sound asleep long before midnight chimes. While many folks make resolutions, I’ve learned from experience that I might as well write them down then run them through the washer, because I’ll either lose them or simply not do them. But, I do set at least one realistic goal.

Last year for Christmas my sister-in-law gave me a journal where you answer a question everyday and repeat the process for a span of five years. I looked at my January 1 entry from this year and found that I had set the goal of finishing my novel. I did finish the rough draft. So this year I’d like to edit it to fit into the Christian romance genre.

I know that God is with me as I challenge myself to complete the task he put before me. You see, I know that God called me to write. He gave me the story and he wants me to finish. With every step, he’s provided people and resources that I need to complete the story. I’m excited that he’s set this before me, but sometimes I’m a bit fearful that I will fail. But I am reassured by the words in Proverbs. I’ve committed the writing to God and I seek his help. He knows my motives and he sees my heart. I thank God for his constant assurance. Do you have a resolution or goal for the New Year that you want to talk over with God?

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:6-7 NIV

One of my favorite Christmas decorations from childhood sits on my bookshelf. I remember this particular piece of memorabilia being one that I was allowed to pick up and look at. The hard brittle plastic that was formed into a nativity scene features baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The roof, adorned with glitter, holds a star and an angel. A few animals stand near the manger, along with the wise men (who actually visited a few years later) and a pine tree. To me this symbol of Christmas represents “the reason for the season.”

My quest for Christmas begins in October, when I prepare lists of what I hope to accomplish. I can barely wait for Thanksgiving weekend, when we put up the tree. The ornaments hold so many memories. The lights and decorations bring a joy to my heart that only comes at Christmas. But as much as I enjoy the fun festivities, the holiday will not be complete until Tim and I worship in church this Sunday, and celebrate the birth of our Savior. Whether Jesus' real birth date is December 25 or some date in the spring, I’m thankful that we designate a day to praise him and celebrate his life.

May God bless you with peace and joy this Christmas season.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Meteors and Angels

Luke 2:13-16
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

This time of year I enjoy the fresh, crisp air in the early morning and the stars in the dark night sky. When I heard that the December Geminid meteor shower would be visible, I wanted to see the flash of light for myself. As Tim and I walked the dogs, I stood on the sidewalk in the park and watched the sky.  Within minutes I caught sight of a meteor as it streaked across the night. 
The tail followed and faded into the dark. Before I went into the house, I saw a second one. I stood amazed at God’s creation.

As excited as I was to see the radiant glow streak across the sky, I can’t imagine how the shepherds felt when the angels flew before them and sang out about Jesus’ birth. There they stood in the middle of a field, minding their business, mingling with the sheep, when a heavenly host of angels shined before them. Not only did they see angels, they traveled to the stable to see the Prince of Peace. Jesus. They must have stood in awe. I want to capture that amazement and adoration as I think about the birth of my savior. The meteor was exciting but Jesus is eternal. Praise God for the gift of his son.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

His Humble Servant

Luke 1:45-48
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! (Spoken by Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, when Mary visited her.)
And Mary said:
  My soul glorifies the Lord
  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
  for he has been mindful
  of the humble state of his servant.

Have you ever been totally surprised by the blessings of God? Time and again I am amazed at the way God works in my life. He provides opportunities for me that I never imagined were possible. As a child, my shyness stood in the way of accomplishment. I cringed if I had to read out loud in class. And my anxiety kicked in if I had to stand in front of the room and recite. But, God worked in my life and has given me the courage and confidence to stand before women and speak about his amazing love.

As much as my anxiety and shyness bothered me, I cannot imagine how Mary must have felt when she was told that she’d carry God’s son. A young teen, engaged to Joseph, living a simple God-fearing life and all of a sudden she’s pushed into the spotlight. Not just as Jesus mother, but as an unwed mother who brought embarrassment to her fiancĂ©— not because she’d done anything wrong, but because she served God. Yet, she chose to praise God for her blessings. As Christmas draws near and I think about the miracle of Jesus birth, I praise God for the people who allow God to work in their lives so that I might better understand his grace and glory. Mary’s willingness to follow the Lord brought Jesus into the world. Praise God for sending his love to us.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Generosity of Saint Nick

Matthew 6:3-4
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I still enjoy the mystery of Santa Claus. No, I don’t expect a jolly man dressed in a red suit with fluffy white fur to climb down the chimney. But I do appreciate the story surrounding the real Saint Nick. Legend says that a man named Nicholas was born around A.D. 280 in the small town of Patara (Turkey). As a believer in the Bible, Nicholas showed great compassion for others. When he left gifts, he gave them in secret. Eventually someone figured out that he sneaked into homes and left presents, but history says that he remained humble until his death. Eventually, Saint Nicholas became an icon of generosity.

Jesus encouraged believers to give to the poor, take care of widows and orphans and be generous. He wants me to do this without boasting or calling attention to myself. Even as I buy or make gifts for my loved ones, I want to keep a humble attitude and honor the recipients. “It is better to give than to receive” is so true.  A large part of the joy I experience at Christmas time comes from giving. With this attitude I don’t worry anymore about getting just the right gift. Instead I focus on the pleasure of giving.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

His Light Shines in our Hearts

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts
 to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Lying on the floor, elbows bent with my head propped up on my hands; I watched the color wheel reflect light on my Aunt Rosetta’s aluminum Christmas tree. In the 1960s the shiny metal tree made a big splash during the holidays. As the wheel rotated, the color on the tree changed. Red, green, blue and yellow lit up the branches. I told my husband how much I enjoyed the tinsel tree and a few years ago he surprised me with one. My silver tree came with lights attached. Every year when I set it up, I think about my aunt and the joy that we shared from that beautiful light.

Throughout the Bible, the writers refer to God’s light. He created light, so that the world wouldn’t remain in darkness. The scripture reflects the light of knowledge, the light that gives life. John reminds us that Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” During the Christmas season I enjoy all the lights hung in celebration of the light of the world. Each one reminds me that Jesus came to earth and gave his life for me. Praise God for sending the light of life.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful: a poem

Colossians 2:6-8
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
 continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

A friend asked for thanksgiving posts for her blog. As I thought about the many people and things I’m thankful for, I composed an acrostic poem. I want to share that as my wish to you to have a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Thankful for:

Treasured time with my husband.  
Houseful of children—now grown.
Amazing grace—Jesus love.
Knowledge and wisdom.
Family— immediate, extended, church, work, friends.
Unconditional love from my dogs.
Lovable grandchildren.

And so much more. What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vitamin D

John 17:1-5
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

A few months ago I found out that I needed more vitamin D. My muscles ached, bones hurt, I felt sad and depressed and I wanted to sleep more than usual. When I finally made an appointment with the doctor, she took blood tests and found out that my vitamin D number was very low. I had no idea that the lack of a vitamin could make me so miserable. The doctor explained that vitamin D comes through exposure to the sun, certain fortified foods and supplements. Since I work at a computer all day, I don’t have many opportunities to bask in the sun. So she subscribed a dose of the vitamin. I feel a lot better.

As much as I need the sun to live a healthy physical life, God’s Son, is essential to my spiritual life. Without Jesus I grow weak in my resistance to sin, become grumpy and uncaring and think too much about myself. Just like vitamin D, I need to supplement my spiritual diet with Bible reading, devotions, prayer, and the words of other believers. I’m also uplifted by inspirational fiction and God’s beautiful creation.  Praise God for his son, my savior. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Light in the Storm

Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Many times throughout his ministry, Jesus reminded people of how they affected others. He didn’t tell us to live in a cave and stay away from the world. Instead, he encouraged his followers to care for each other and for the people they met along the way. This week Hurricane Sandy swept through the eastern states. In Ohio, we woke up to snow. The hurricane changed our weather even though we live several hundred miles away.

Life has a ripple effect. When a pebble falls into the water, the rings roll out across the pond. One person’s actions bump into the next person, until a chain reaction erupts. Jesus declared to his followers that they were the light of the world. The light shines on everyone in the house. That’s how he wants me to live. My heart needs to glow for him so that the light shines on the people around me and hopefully, that light moves out of my circle and on to others. I hope that my devotions go beyond the folks I know and touch the hearts of people I’ve never met.

Let’s pray for the folks without electricity and the ones who need Jesus’ light. I’m sure that there are many ways to help those affected by the storm. Reach out where you can.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jesus Grew in Wisdom

Luke 2:51-52
Then he went down to Nazareth with them
 and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

I love to watch things grow. As a mother and grandmother, I’ve enjoyed watching my children and grandchildren mature and change. When I planted flower seeds in my garden, I enjoyed seeing them go from sprouts to blooms. Tater came into our lives as a sweet little puppy. Believe me when all ninety pounds of him jumps in my lap, he’s not a puppy any more.

To know that Jesus grew in wisdom and in favor with God gives me hope and joy. As I observe the maturity process in myself and the people God surrounds me with, I am blessed by those who grow in Christ. Like a farmer who plants the seed and fertilizes, God’s word is a seed for my heart. Once that grain is planted in me, he cultivates through life experience. The older I get the more I rely on God for wisdom. Through his word, I find the tools I need to grown on this journey.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rest for the Weary

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Last week I cleaned out my small flower bed. The zinnias that bloomed glorious colors from June through October drooped toward the ground. The peony’s leaves turned brown, and the euonymus bush needed a facelift. I cut away the dead foliage and tossed the frost bitten leaves into a box for disposal. When I finished, the bed looked empty and kind of sad.

In God’s wisdom, the change of seasons allows the soil to rest through the winter. But, he didn’t just consider the flowers and soil when he created a quiet time to slow down. After he brought the world into being, painted the sky, petted the animals and breathed life into man, he rested. The seventh day, he put down his tool box and took a break. When I am weary and need a respite, I fall into his loving arms, seeking calm and peace. Praise God for taking my burdens and offering me rest.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Red or Yellow

Colossians 3:12-13
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

I love to hear children, with their natural instincts, support the word of God. After a meal at Frisch’s, my son-in-law asked his son and niece what color suckers they’d like. He brought back a red one for Eli and a yellow one for Dylan. As children do, they got into a fun conversational battle of which was best, red or yellow. As they laughed at themselves, Eli put on his serious face and looked at his cousin. “I know, you will like yellow and I will like red.”

I may not like the same color car as the person waiting to pull into traffic, but I need to show kindness and let him out. The mom with noisy children in the grocery store might get on my nerves, but I should ask if I could help in any way. I may not agree with the political views of the person who sits beside me, but I respect the person. God created all of these people. As a Christian I want to show them kindness and compassion. Agree or not, God wants me to love others as he does. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Rock

Isaiah 26: 3-4
You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

On my drive to work, I enjoy the season’s transformation to fall. Green leaves turn golden, scarlet and orange. The sky’s brilliant blue with wisps of autumn clouds, create a beautiful background for the new color palette. Cooler temperatures bring relief from the heat of summer and the occasional rain sounds soothing as it beats on the roof. The changes of fall bring me joy.

As much as I love the variation of the seasons, I am not a fan of too much change. Quite often, I adjust my day to fit the need. Sometimes I don’t want change, but I know it’s necessary. Other days, I find myself frustrated by the adjustments I have to make. As much as change aggravates me, I know for sure that one person stays the same. God never varies. His word remains steadfast, full of truth. Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not waver. I trust God to always be my rock, the one I pray to, the one who has my back and holds my life in his hands. Life circumstances change, God never does. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gotta' Love the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 2:10-13
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

Working in the college library, a hodgepodge of ideas, beliefs, and philosophies cross my desk every day. Much like the people of Corinth, the students seek answers to life’s “big” questions, along with research for assignments. Knowledge and wisdom reach a high level of value. They become the ruler that beliefs are measured against. As a writer, I strive to use words and ideas to the best of my ability and pen truth based on my measuring stick, the Bible.

As a follower of Jesus, God blessed me with the Holy Spirit who works in me and helps me understand the Bible. There are spirits of the world that want to confuse me. They throw out convoluted ideas and promises that oppose God’s word. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit clarifies the chaos and guides me straight to God. All I need to do is pay attention and listen. Praise God for the Spirit who speaks his truth. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Prayer Warriors

Romans 15:30-33
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.  The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

The apostle Paul journeyed across continents to spread the truth about Jesus. He spent time with churches, helping them to ground their faith in the Lord’s word and the glory of his resurrection. Many times he shared how to live life as a Christian. Quite often Paul coveted their prayers.

As Paul prepares to travel to Jerusalem, he seeks prayer from the church in Rome. He trusts that his friends will lift him up to God. Once he asked them to pray he trusted that they did and he moved forward in his travels. Many times I ask for prayer. I send a message to my family and friends to lift up needs or praises to our heavenly father. I trust that they’ll talk to God on my behalf. But sometimes, I still mill over the problem or worry about the outcome. I want to be more like Paul and let go of the need and move forward in faith knowing that God hears the prayers.

Thank you God for all the prayer warriors in my life!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Leap for Joy

Psalm 28:6-8
Praise be to the
    for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people,
    a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

When I planted my patch of zinnias, I read the seed packet and found that the flowers might grow to about three feet tall. I’m not sure what happened, whether the soil had been fertilized or the hot summer called them upward, but they raised their heads about five-and-half feet towards the sun. One evening the rain pounded and brought the flowers to their knees. They drooped across the walkway to our door. Until I could buy a bit of fencing to correct the problem, I tied the giant stems to a couple of dowel rods. While I worked on the greenery, I spied the tiniest frog. He couldn’t have been more than a half inch long. He sat there is his beautiful green skin that camouflaged him on the leaf. I watched him for a few minutes, until he disappeared into the flower bed.

That little creature, even in his fleeting travels, brought joy to my heart. I am amazed at God’s creation over and over again. As I thought about that little guy living in the beauty of the colorful blossoms, I was reminded of God and the joy that he planted in my heart when I chose to believe in him. Sometimes the joy is overshadowed by doubt or anger. There are times that I forget the joy. Then God reminds me once again that his joy overcomes my distress. I want to leap for joy like the little frog leaped across the leaves, with an appreciation and praise for my awesome God. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

That Precious Word

Psalm 33: 4-9
For the word of the
 Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, I’ve enjoyed listening to the speech development of our three grandsons, Max, Eli and Zeke. Because they were born a few months apart and live in different households, each one has his own vocabulary and expression. I love that they verbalize in their own style. Sometimes they speak in a whisper, other times in a wail. Most of the time, they grab my attention first and make sure I’m listening. Their words are precious to me.

As sweet as the words of my grandchildren sound, God’s word echoes joy, hope, and life. His word carries power and gives being to an otherwise empty world. When I walk outside, I am amazed at the beauty his word created. John 1:1 says that the Word was with God and that Word is Jesus. He not only spoke the world into being, he brought the hope of heaven to earth. God’s word moves mountains and calms storms, he comforts the broken and rejoices with the blessed. I thank God for Jesus and the hope he brings to life.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Blue Heron Under the Blue Moon

Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning
 God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Tim and I walked our dogs by Grant Lake on the night of the blue moon. As I followed Olive along the bank, Tim asked me something, but I couldn’t hear him. He pointed at the lake. When I turned around, across the inlet a great blue heron sat, occasionally dipping his head in the water for a drink or minnows. I watched for several minutes, fascinated by this ominous bird. As darkness covered day, he blended in with the shadows. Tim called me to where he stood and the light cut in just enough that the bird stayed in view. As we watched this bird flex its wingspan, another one caught our sight. A few yards away, on a log, another heron sat watching. I hoped that the great bird would lift off and fly across the lake, but it must have been their bedtime. Quite often we see one sail across the water. They hover over with power and grace. I see them as a reminder from God that he has control of life, even in chaos.

Like the great blue heron, the Holy Spirit hovered over the water as God created earth. He accompanied God, just as Jesus did from the beginning of life on earth. What a blessing to know that God doesn’t maintain distance from his people. Instead, he moves over the earth in Spirit. He dwells in his people and loves through them. The Spirit lives with me every day. He nudges me in to service, he speaks to me and gives me direction, he comforts me when I am down and rejoices with me when I am blessed. Praise God for the Holy Spirit! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Here's a Band-aid

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Recently a co-worker and I attended training for certification in first-aid, CPR and AED. I’ve had opportunity in the past to take the classes, but never did because I’m not medically inclined. My children can tell you, when they were young and didn’t feel well, my general answer was “go to the bathroom” or “here’s a Band-aid.” Now, with some maturity and a refreshed desire to lend a hand, I am thankful for this chance to learn some basic skills that might help save a life.

Thank goodness, Jesus never hesitated to save lives. He not only healed the people around him, he died on the cross to save the lives of anyone who would follow him. John 3:16, a verse that I learned in Sunday school, tells me that Jesus came to earth so that I might go to heaven. As much as I love that truth, I appreciate verse 17 and the fact that he didn’t come to condemn me but to save me. I may never need to use my new skills to save a life, but Jesus saves lives every day. Praise God for his salvation! “We have heard the joyful sound, Jesus saves, Jesus save. Spread the tidings all around, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.” *

*, Priscilla J. Owens

Friday, August 17, 2012

Beautiful Again

Psalm 145:9-13
 Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.

Recently, Tim and I canoed on the Little Miami River. A pleasant breeze drifted across the water as we worked our way downstream. Several other folks enjoyed the day as they drifted along in canoes and kayaks. Many greeted us with smiles or words of encouragement. The stretches that were less populated allowed us to take our time and enjoy God’s glorious creation. A great blue heron flew overhead and a couple of mallards preened on a log. Dragonflies buzzed the canoe and a squirrel pulverized an acorn on a rock.

When I witness nature, I cannot help but see God’s glory. He not only created interesting animals and foliage, he made people. With care he breathed life into every individual as he molded each one in his image. Not on the outside, but in the heart. No matter what I look like, if I am not compassionate toward others or faithful to God, I don’t look like God. Sometimes sin gets in and makes me ugly, but God’s grace erases the scars and makes me beautiful again. I praise God for his compassion and his kingdom.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Like a Child

Matthew 18:2-4
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)

Last Sunday, a young boy stood in front of the congregation and talked about the mission trip to Mexico. He traveled south with a group from church that included his parents and sisters. With joy on his face, he spoke about overcoming fear, instilled by folks who did not want him to go, and grasping the faith and courage he needed to make the trip. Adam’s parents prayed with him and talked with him about the journey. They didn’t force him to go. He chose to go because he knew the people needed Jesus. He played with the children his age, worked beside his parents and talked to people about his love for Jesus. His faith shined through.

On Sunday evening, I witnessed a group of children praising Jesus in response to a week of Vacation Bible School. My granddaughter, along with young folks of all ages, gathered in the aisles of the church. They sang songs, clapped their hands, waved their arms and sang at the top of their voices about Jesus. What a blessing to witness all of the children rejoicing. I knew that God blessed me as a witness of the love and joy that Adam and the VBS kids poured out. Jesus words tell me to be like a child— humble, trusting, and faithful. Praise God for the sweet faith of a child.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

He's in Control

Proverbs 16:3
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (KJV)
Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans. (NIV)

Recently I read Proverbs 16:3 from the King James Version of the Bible. The words resonate with me. As I write devotions every week, I pray that God crafts my thoughts so that I might share his word. For the last two years, I’ve been writing a novel. I never dreamed that God would call me to do that. What God intends to do with the story once I finish, I don’t know. But, I do understand that his call demands trust. Whatever door opens, that’s where I’ll go.

As the KJV brought to mind the arts and writing, reading the verse in the New International Version reminds me that no matter what I do, I need to trust God’s lead. Sometimes prayers go unanswered for a long time. And that may be the case once I send my story out to the publishing world. I’m sure that I will fall into frustration if it goes too long. That’s when I need to remind myself that God establishes my plans. His timing is perfect. He’s in control. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Now about your love for one another
 we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Every day I wake up and start out with the same routine, as most people do. Monday through Friday, I prepare myself to go to work. At work I clock in, check email, look at my list of things that I want to accomplish, find out what my boss wants me to do, redirect what I thought I might be doing and then get started.  I do this so that I might win the respect of those I work for. 1 Thessalonians 4 remains one of my favorite scriptures. I appreciate that Paul gives us a hint of what the life of a Jesus follower should look like.

God made me to work with my hands. I am fortunate that he’s given me the ability to create beautiful things as well as author writings. He gives each of us gifts and strengths and asks that we use them and do it in a humble manner, that we might gain respect from others. The reason~~~so that the people around us will see Jesus. No matter what I do or how I spend my day, I want to reflect my savior and his love. I want to be like him.