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, March 31, 2012

Rooted in Him!

Colossians 2:6-7
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.

I stepped onto a smooth, paved path as I walked around the lake at Look Up Lodge. Without concern about stumbling or falling, I gazed at the beauty of spring. A blue heron sailed across the lake, white dogwood trees waved among the fresh green leaves. A few early butterflies joined me on my journey. Then about a fourth of the way around, the pavement stopped and I found myself stepping over roots on a well-worn dirt path. A bit more cautious, I took my time and avoided the ones that might trip me up. I picked my way along the rough terrain, until I found straight, even pavement at the end of the trail.

The roots made me think about how often the devil lays a stumbling block in my path. I may be walking along, fine and dandy, and he rolls out in front of me like a snake and tries to trip me up. Paul reminded the Colossian church to live their lives in Jesus and be rooted in him so that they might not slip into Satan’s snares. Being in his word and praying fertilizes the roots that are planted in Jesus. Those roots strengthen my faith. I am thankful that God guides me on my path!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Roy G. Biv

Genesis 9:12-16
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

As a child in elementary school, I learned the colors of the rainbow by associating them with Roy G. Biv. R-Red, O-Orange, Y-Yellow, G-Green, B-Blue, I-Indigo and V-Violet. I remembered the colors and recited them to the teacher, but I did not see every color together in a rainbow until today. Each color shined bright and clear across the sky. From the glowing red to the lovely violet, the bow shimmered among the clouds.

As Tim and I enjoyed the sight, he said, “How can people see that and not believe in God.” I agree. Our amazing God created so much incredible nature. Every spring, when the daffodils, forsythia, tulip trees and redbuds bloom, I am humbled by God’s amazing creation. His presence surrounds me. I thank God for the beauty that covers the earth.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Name

Psalm 147:3-5
He heals the brokenhearted 
   and binds up their wounds. 
He determines the number of the stars 
   and calls them each by name. 
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; 
   his understanding has no limit.

My grandson, Eli, has been trying out a variety of names for me. Over the last few months he has called me Babaw, the name my granddaughter, Dylan, and her brother, Zeke, call me.  A few times he’s called me grandma or mama. Last night he looked at me and said “Hi, Grammy Penny.” That name rolled off his tongue like sweet sugar. Whatever my grandkids call me pleases me, because they say my name with love.

As much as my grandchildren love me, my heavenly Father loves me so much more. I cannot begin to comprehend how much God cares for me. When I read in the Psalm that he knows every star by name, I am astounded. So many twinkling lights, and he knows every one of them. When I am out and about and see all of the people that I do not know and think about the huge population of the world, I wonder how God keeps track of everyone. But, he does. He knows and calls me by name. He hears me when I pray and recognizes my voice. Praise God for his love and his desire to know me by name.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Ephesians 4:15-16
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

A young man dressed in silky shorts and a sleeveless shirt runs up the floor dribbling a basketball. With a toss, he passes the orb to a teammate. In a flash of the hand, the ball swishes through the hoop. The crowd cheers. Welcome to March madness!

I’m trying to imagine what kind of a team Jesus’ apostles might have made. Thomas would question his teammates moves, Peter might change his mind in the middle of a pass. The Sons of Thunder would need to keep their tempers in check, and Judas might score one for the other team. I know it is kind of ridiculous to think about Jesus followers playing basketball. But, every day I am asked to be part of Jesus’ team. He is my coach, and I have a vast number of teammates. Like the basketball players who practice and work to learn plays, I need to exercise my spiritual muscles by reading the Bible and praying. Sometimes I need to pass off to another player by asking for prayer and help. Jesus planned for his followers to work together.

Praise God for those who stepped up to help the recent tornado victims. I’ve seen and heard of many churches reaching out to the local need. Continue to pray for the folks who lost so much and seek ways to help where you can. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Yellow Crocus

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Every year my daughter, Maggie, sends me a picture of the first crocus of the season. I love that she shares that first hope of spring with me. A long cold or rainy winter can be a difficult time for people who battle anxiety and depression. Although I enjoy a snowy winter, I still find myself in a dark place some times. If I could change one thing about my life, I’d remove my moments of anxiety that cause negative stress. Since I can’t do that alone I ask God for help.

I try not to allow the anxiety to take over. Instead, I seek times to rejoice and praise him, and I pray and seek his guidance. Sometimes my anxiety may still envelop me, but I know that God is with me and that he brings hope with him. When the stress passes, I find a peace that only comes from my Father in heaven. God guards my heart and brings me peace. I praise God for his love and understanding.