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, May 26, 2012


Acts 1:6-8
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them:
 “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Hurry, hurry, hurry. On weekday mornings traveling on state route 32 drives me crazy. Are people really that anxious to get to work, or have they forgotten to give themselves enough time? Throughout the day, I have to clock in and out, meet deadlines, and accomplish goals on time. Even when I’m not at work, I am programmed to finish this, complete that, or plan something else. I am always aware of the time.

So were the disciples. They wanted to know when Jesus would return to them and restore the kingdom. Not so fast, he told them. You don’t need to know that. Just trust me. Instead of giving them a timeline, he sent the Holy Spirit to work through them as they showed Jesus to the world. As his followers, we can also depend on the Holy Spirit to guide. I find that I need to slow down and take the time to listen to the Spirit. The days I stop and pray and listen, I accomplish more for the kingdom, than the days I just fly through in a hurry. Trust Jesus to lead through his Spirit. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Feed My Sheep

John 21:15-17
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Most people have a desire to accomplish something in life. Perhaps a family, career, education, artistic pursuits, other people, or service projects keep us engaged in life. For most of my life, I’ve wondered what Jesus wanted me to do. He’s led me to work in libraries, care for my family, and given me opportunities to pursue artistic endeavors. That’s all well and good, but not enough. You see, I love Jesus and I want to serve him in all that I do.

Whatever I choose to do, and whichever avenue Jesus guides me down involves people. Whether at work, at home, or in the marketplace I need to minister to his sheep. Peter did not understand what Jesus wanted him to do; he thought loving his Savior was enough. When Jesus asked him to feed his sheep, he wanted him to take care of people, to minister to them, to bring them to him. Feed them, physically and spiritually, take care of their needs, physically and spiritually. It’s not enough to just follow Jesus or to just say I love him. He wants me to give my love for him to others. “Do you love me?” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thanks, Mom

Proverbs 24:32a
I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw…

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned from my mom. Time and again I’d find her reading a book. She enjoyed reading and learning. Often, I found books in my Easter basket or in gift boxes under the Christmas tree. I thank Mom for sharing her love of reading. In my teen years, I realized that my mom was an artist. We had paint, brushes, yarn, fabric, just about anything I needed to learn crafts and art. Thanks, Mom for giving me the creative bug.

The most valuable gift that my mom showed me was Jesus. As a young adult, I attended a Bible study that my mom taught. Her love for Jesus and enthusiasm for the Bible encouraged me to seek him more. Mom modeled reading, shared arts and crafts, and gave me opportunity to grow as a child of God. I learned and applied to my heart what I observed. Thanks, Mom for your love. Happy Mother’s Day!

I thank God for the women who encourage, pray, and share their love for God. Whether a mother or daughter, you are valued and appreciated. God bless.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Voice of Truth

1 John 4:1-3a;4-6a
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit,
 but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.
We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.

Sometimes my husband teases me and tells me stories that may or may not be true. After a few minutes of me guessing whether the tale is grounded, he tells me the facts and we have a good laugh. We enjoy the back and forth banter involved and sometimes share it with our children.

But in life I hear too many falsehoods. People sometimes flat out lie or spin tales for their gain. Many people tell stories about Jesus and his kingdom that sound convincing, yet are not grounded in truth. The lie may be an out and out falsehood or may fall in the category of an untruth due to omission. In other words they only tell part of the story. Learn to recognize truth by relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Measure everything against the word of God. I thank God for the written truths he gave us through his followers.