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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Song of Solomon 2:12
Flowers appear on the earth;

    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.

In the summer, I enjoy the tiger lilies that spring up in the ditches. Often accompanied by Queen Anne's Lace, and chicory, they dance in the breeze and nod as I drive by. The vibrant orange trumpets shoot from the slender green stems as if they want to sing. And why not sing?

God created such an amazing world filled with incredible colors, shapes, and textures. Sing for the joy of summer. Sing for the beauty of the earth. Sing for Jesus love. Sing to praise the Lord!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Father Provides

Acts 14:15-17
“Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

My dad worked hard to provide. We lived in a comfortable home, ate nourishing meals Mom prepared, and didn't want for anything. I know there were lean times as well as plentiful times, but I'll always remember my dad coming home after a day of work. He smelled like a mix of oil and metal with the grime and grit of a man who worked with his hands. His provision brought our family comfort  and the ability to live our lives for God.

Paul reminds the people in Lystra and Derbe they have a father who provides. God gives more than we imagine. He pours the rain and shines the sun. His love fills hearts with joy and peace. I've earned nothing, all I have God has given.

Recently, my husband and I drove along a country road as the sun beat down. We passed by a field and he noticed cows huddled under a row of trees, along a fence. God gave them a bit of shade in the midst of the heat. He's a generous father to all of his creation. Praise the Lord for his giving spirit and provision.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Be Aware

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

On Thursday, I spent the day with colleagues in the beautiful surroundings of the local nature center. We met for a day of learning and team building about the nature of character. Our speaker expounded on the forty-nine character traits important to being a good person. I'm guessing I could find them all in the Bible. Sure enough the very first one-alertness is mentioned several times.

Alertness-- "being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses." Peter warned the elders to be alert. Pay attention. The devil is lurking. That's what he does. He hangs out until he can find a foothold, a thin area to poke and prod. Peter's advice, stay in tune with what's happening. Be alert! Then stand firm in faith and resist. Send up a prayer and engage the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation. Know that we're not alone and pray for one another. God has our backs.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Where's the Beauty on Serving?

Galatians:5:13 ...serve one another humbly in love.

To serve. To wait on another person. To be of use. To answer a need. I heard a minister talk about an aspect of service I hadn't heard before. "Job crafting"-- expanding a job in order to make a difference and serve others in a beneficial way. In other words, whatever vocation a job crafter is in, they intentionally look for ways to meet the needs of fellow employees, and find ways to make a difference at work.

I'm busy at work. But according to Paul in Galatians, Jesus expects me to take the time to serve. Maybe something as simple as taking a cup of coffee to an office mate, or sharing a skill with a co-worker. Service is part of obedience to Christ. 

How do I know what someone else needs? Listen, observe, be aware of my surroundings, and I'll see the needs of people.  

Whether you're a stay-at-home mom who takes the kids to plant flowers for an elderly neighbor, the person in the office who knows how to unjam the copier and does it with a smile, or a construction worker who listens to a co-worker at lunch and gives him a word of encouragement, you make a difference.

The examples may sound obvious, but how many times do we get caught up in our projects, issues, or problems, and forget the people around us.

Service requires hearing the message between the words, seeing changes in attitude, and watching actions of other people. Then seek a way to help, no matter how small.

Because no service is too small when done with a caring and open heart.