Welcome Readers!

"Hello" to all my regular readers and those who are here for the first time!
I hope that this blog enlightens and encourages those who read it but I also hope that it will wake up those who have been asleep to the clock that is ticking within our beautiful nation and within the body of Christ. It is my goal to glorify our Lord and share the Truth with anyone who will listen!
I pray that the Lord will give you strength and courage each day to do His will and to glorify Him. It seems to be getting harder and harder these days to keep our heads above water, but He does promise us that He will not allow the waters to overtake us! Praise Him for that promise!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Passenger

If you have ever been a passenger on a motorcycle, you know how important it is to become "one" with the driver. As the bike leans to the right to take a sharp corner, the passenger needs to be leaning into the corner as well. Commonly the natural reaction is to sit up straight or maybe to lean a little bit to the right, but in order for the driver to have the most control, the one on the back needs to fight the urge to fight the bike and just "go with the flow"!

This summer I was able to go visit my family and I always enjoy going for a ride on the back of my brother's bike. He tends to take me on an exciting ride, to say the least and it usually takes a little while before I get relaxed enough to become "one" with him as he speeds down the road. The ride he took me on this summer was on a great little road that sways and swerves through some really pretty countryside, but the corners are sharp and numerous. As I was swaying and swerving with the bike I was thinking about how this illustration fits life when we are living our lives with God when He is the driver and we are passengers.

Life isn't a straight road. At times there are straight sections, but they are mixed in with a variety of curves, hills and bumps. As we travel this road called life the outcome really does depend on how well we become "one" with Jesus as we allow Him to take control and handle the less-than-straight sections! Do we fight the corners and try to keep the bike upright because it feels funny to lean into the curves? Do we try too hard to see over His shoulder so we know where we are headed? Or, do we relax and just enjoy the sways and swerves of the ride? If you are like me you probably don't enjoy the ride near as much as you should or could.

Joy amidst the circumstances of life is a commonly mentioned idea in the New Testament. The Apostles faced many trials and tribulations, yet through them they mention finding joy in them. James even considers it pure joy when you face trials. How could they maintain such positive outlooks? They became "one" with the Lord Jesus in the work that God had prepared for them to accomplish. They leaned into the direction of the curves and didn't worry or strain to see over God's shoulder. They never cared where God was taking them only that God would be there with them! If we can adopt this attitude God will be able to take us so much further in the work He has planned for us! Will you examine your "ride" with Jesus and see how well you are doing being the passenger?

Do a word search for "joy" to help you find more joy in your ride with Jesus! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Storms

I don't know about you, but I absolutely love a good summer storm. They have a certain smell and feel and they are so invigorating. If they include thunder and lightning, they are even better!
Recently, I took a trip and ended up in a big storm as I was traveling. I was by myself and was in unfamiliar territory. It was a little scary but exciting all at the same time. I knew the Lord was with me and that gave me the confidence I needed to keep going. The road I was headed down was a little two lane highway and I was climbing a nine-thousand foot mountain pass. As I drove, the thunder and lightning crashed above me and the rain came down in torrents. The road continued to climb as the storm intensified. It was amazing! I have been in some pretty good storms over the years, but this one was certainly in the top five. Just as I reached the top of the pass, the storm started to break. I pulled over for a little break myself and to take in the scenery and as I stood there a rainbow appeared. It was such a comfort as I remembered God's promise of His Covenant.

This summer has presented me with an opportunity to lean on the Lord in a way that I have never done before. The mountain storm I encountered was such an illustration of how God is with us through it all. The storm of my life has left me feeling alone and scared at times when I allow my flesh to overcome me. But as I drove this little mountain road, I realized that just as He was with me in this real storm, He is always with me in the storms of my life. The emotions I was experiencing as I traveled up that mountain were quite mixed but the overriding ones were excitement and joy. When I truly seek the Lord in prayer and through His Word, I experience those same emotions even in the midst of my "storm". What a comfort He is!

The apex of the mountain also brought a reminder that there will be a cresting of my storm as well and that He will see me through. As I stood on the mountain top watching the storm move away from me and the "bow" in the sky appearing, I was filled with an amazing amount of peace and awe at the mighty faithfulness of the Lord. Again, He comforted me with that thought knowing that He will do the same as I walk out of the valley of my life's current trial. God is the "All Knowing" and "Ever Present" God of Lights and He will carry us through day by day and moment by moment. In Him, we can trust.

This summer I have been reading through the Psalms and there are so many that comfort and exhort. Take time this fall to browse through them and to see God in a new way. Pray that He will reveal a new aspect of His character to you and believe that He will!  


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are We Havin' Fun Yet? Part Two

Last week I mentioned a couple of reasons that JOY can be lost or missing in our lives and today I will share one more. Hopefully you have had some time to look deep within to see if you are filled with the JOY of the Lord and if not, that you have allowed the Lord to show you where it can be found in your life.

As we grow closer to the Lord, we want to become the holy person that He designed us to be. At least that is what my goal was and is, however, I have realized that the pendulum has swung a little too far on the side of legalism. I am not a bubbly and light-hearted person by nature. I actually tend to be serious and even skeptical at times. This, compounded with the very serious topic of eternal judgment, I have become even more serious and almost pious. 

It is important to stand for the Truth and to live a clean life so that God can use us and be glorified through us, but we can't be all doom and gloom or goody-goody while we are serving the Lord. We need to be real, which should include, laughing and having fun. God did ask us to live in a certain manner, but He didn't tell us to do it with a sour or negative attitude. We should be filled with JOY as we live on this earth. If others see Christianity as gloomy and serious ALL of the time lacking any fun and light-heartedness, it probably won't attract too many people. Don't get me wrong here, we DO need to take things seriously when it comes to sin and rejection of or disobedience to the Lord, but there are times for laughter. 

A friend of mine pointed out that the sin in the world does make it difficult to have fun because the world laughs at sin. When we laugh at the things of the world, it may give the impression that we approve of the sin and that is a line that I have been avoiding. It is much easier to just not laugh than to risk having people think that I am laughing with the world. I intentionally don't watch sit-coms anymore because the funny parts are usually directed at sin; a disobedient child, a lazy husband, a sexual encounter that is immoral and the list goes on. It is my preference to just not go there. However, I have gone too far in that I have been shutting out the world as much as I can. There are parts of it that we can still enjoy. That will vary for each of us, but I am realizing that for the sake of my relationships, my emotional health and for the picture that I paint of Christianity, I need to seek out opportunities to laugh and have fun. I suggest that you do the same if you find that you are taking life just a little too seriously these days!!  

I bought a few Christian comedian DVDs recently and am taking time to laugh on a more regular basis. If you haven't seen or heard of Tim Hawkins, I suggest you check him out. He really is funny!    

Monday, May 16, 2011

Are We Havin' Fun Yet? Part One

Can you remember the last time that you really had fun? I mean REALLY! The kind of fun that you will remember forever, think of often and share with others? I can't. I do remember having fun in my past, but to really recall a time where I was rolling on the floor laughing or giggling like a schoolgirl, is difficult. Recently God has been showing me that I have become a little bit of a "stick in the mud". And to be sure that I got the message, He allowed that truth to come from someone I dearly love! Have you fallen into the mud as well? I think that it can be very difficult to find enjoyment and laughter these days. Times are financially difficult for many, relationships are strained everywhere you look and overall the outlook is grim nationally. Sin abounds and we live right in the middle of it! Should these things kill our ability to have joy? Not according to God's Word! Recently I have spent some time seeking God's plan for joy in our lives and this is what I have discovered.

As I was doing my BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) study this past week I came across the verse in Isaiah, 61:10a that states: "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God." Over the years I have read a number of verses that tell us that our joy comes from the Lord, but I have never really taken that to heart. I know that happiness is fleeting but joy lasts forever and that J.O.Y. is when we put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. Sure it all sounds good, but how do you apply it to your life? I thought that I was in good shape. I pray, study His Word, go to church and try to be obedient to His calling and to His will. So why would I be told that I am not too much fun? Well, after much prayer and searching His Word for answers I have come to a conclusion. The answer is multi-faceted so I will take one issue at a time.

Over the years I have began understanding the true freedom that comes from a relationship with Jesus. It changes our lives and transforms us into godly people and the blessings that come from this transformation are abundant and truly indescribable. As I see people ache from the choices of a worldly life, also known as sin, I have become overwhelmed with grief and sorrow for those who don't know the Lord. It even frustrates me at times, to know those who outright reject Him. I have taken the situation so seriously that I have forgotten the joy in rejoicing over the fact that I am no longer one of the "lost"! Yes, this is a serious matter, but I can't carry the weight of those who are choosing to build up their treasures on earth. Obedience to share the truth with them is part of my job for God, but at the end of the day, I need to leave the "work stuff" at work and enjoy the freedom that I have in Christ.

Joy can also be lost in the daily grind of our own lives; the bills stacked high, the relationship that is strained or even broken that we can't get off our minds, dreams that seem to be dashed, health problems that touch everybody on some level and the list goes on. If this sounds familiar is it even possible to find joy in each day? Sure we have salvation but what about the here and now? This is a tough thing but if we really trust God to be in control of ALL things and we trust Him to have our best at heart then we should be able to find joy in those things alone. Easier said than done! I have recently realized that I have been saying those things to myself for years, but I wasn't living like I believed them! There was a disconnect between the knowing and applying.

As I continued to pray about my lost joy and continued to search His Word, I found that the same theme permeated from the Scriptures: Delight in the Lord and His Law. I asked myself over and over, "Aren't I doing that? I serve Him and love Him." But graciously the Lord revealed to me the missing link. I had an idol in my life and God was not my first love! Therefore I was not delighting in the Lord and His Law because His Law states to love Him with all my heart, strength, mind and soul. It also says that He is a jealous God and will not tolerate affection to another god AND He says that we cannot serve two masters. I was in offense for all three of these! I am sure that there are more, but I had to stop looking! I just couldn't take any more evidence against me! If joy is found when we delight in Him and His Law, but we are not abiding in Him or His Law, then ... ta-da, there is no joy! It is simple math!

There are more causes for the absence of joy, but I'll save that discussion for another time. I do suggest that if you find yourself to be "joyless", do a word study for yourself and as you seek God's wisdom, He will reveal your missing link. Some of the verses that speak of joy are; Deuteronomy 12:7, Psalm 1:2, Psalm 5:11, Psalm 119:24, 35 and Proverbs 8:30b-31, just to name a few!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Are You an Arsonist?

If you have ever lived in an area prone to wildfires, you know how much damage they can do and how quickly they can spread. Literally within minutes they can destroy homes, property and lives. It doesn't take much to start one either. A small spark, lightning, or an act of carelessness can set the tinder box ablaze. When a wildfire gets going, it can be almost impossible to put out quickly, especially if there is a wind and the environment is arid and hot. Considering the damaging power of fire, have you ever considered that we have that damaging power within ourselves? It is called our tongue. This is what God tells us in James 3:6 regarding our tongue: "And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself." (NLT) WOW!

Over the years, I have set many fires with my tongue and some of them burned for a very long time. Along the path, there was much destruction and in a few instances ... death; death to love, trust and relationships. If you are living and breathing, you too, have probably started a fire or two. All it takes is a spark; a simple word. Add to the environment a little heat of emotion and the arid air of bitterness or self-pity and you have the ideal situation for a raging, out of control wildfire. The sad part is that by the time the spark is ignited, you usually know that you have set into motion something that will soon be out of control.

So, how do we combat this evil lurking within ourselves? We start with allowing the "Living Water" of the Holy Spirit to live in us. He then provides us with the tools that we will need to help control the spark from being ignited but in the event of a fire, He also gives us the equipment necessary to douse it quickly. The main spark arrestor is self-control. If we seek the Lord's help to enable this tool many fires will be prevented. However, if our flesh takes control and the tongue is let loose, then God still provides the equipment necessary to douse the flames before they get too far. Things such as humility, forgiveness, love and patience, just to name a few, are the pieces of equipment that the Lord provides, not only for the arsonist, but also for the one in their path.

Wildfires are very real AND very scary. I used to live in a region that was very susceptible to them, but as humans, we live every day with the threat of starting one right where we live. How many have you started this year, this week or today? We need to be aware of the damage that we can do in a very small amount of time and be sure that we are prepared to apply the use of our spark arrestor the minute we feel one coming on!

Read James chapter 3 to see God's warnings about the power of our tongue and Galatians 5:16-26 for tips on proper firefighting techniques.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tumbled Rocks

A number of years ago my sister bought me a rock tumbler for Christmas. I have an affinity for rocks and she thought that I would enjoy polishing them. She was right! It is a long process to polish rocks to a "wet look" finish, but they are so beautiful when they are finished. The process starts with heavy grit sand which you allow to tumble for up to three weeks. You then change out the grit for one that isn't as harsh and the process starts all over again. After three to four different sized grit sands, you end up with a polished gemstone.

As I was listening to a teacher recently, the thought of tumbling rocks came to my mind. The topic was on temptations in our trials and as she was talking I realized that our temptations are multi-dimensional. What I mean is that just because we think that we have conquered a temptation in a certain area of our life, there may be another dimension to that situation of which we aren't aware. For example: Let's say that you are tempted to get irritated by other drivers as you are headed for work. You pray for God's help to overcome and over the next few months or year, you realize that you are getting better and you think that it isn't really a problem for you anymore. But, you now find that you are irritated with people at the supermarket being in your way or too slow at the register. God has just revealed to you that the original sin of irritation on the road hasn't been completely overcome, and there is another dimension to your sin that needs to be addressed.

I personally had this revelation recently in an area of my life. I had submitted something to the Lord and really, truly was "over it", but low and behold a different aspect of the same problem was revealed to me and I realized that I truly hadn't submitted complete control over to the Lord. As I listened to the teacher talk about trials and temptations it made me see how we are in God's rock tumbler. He uses different grit trials to grind off certain sins, but even though the sin appears to be gone, a different grit of trial reveals that it is still embedded in us. Rocks require longer periods of time in the tumbler depending on their hardness. So too, it is with us, that the more stubborn we are to submit to God in repenting and laying ourselves at His feet, the longer He has to allow those trials to confront us. If we are a "soft" rock, less time is required for our sins to be tumbled out of us.

So, what needs to be polished off of you? Are you a "hard" rock that seems to go through the same trials over and over? Maybe you have had victory in an area of your life that you think you are "done with"; if so, ask the Lord to show you if that is the case. He may bring to light another dimension of that sin that needs to be addressed. It is exciting to see the rocks as they are transformed into beautiful gems. I am always amazed that something that looks ordinary and even not all that pretty can look so beautiful after being tumbled for awhile. We are the rocks in God's tumbler! What stage are you in, on your way to being God’s gemstone?

Read the book of James for encouragement to persevere. It isn't a long book, but it is full of wisdom.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What IS the Root of Evil?

So many times we hear that money is the root of all evil. Unfortunately, that is a common miss-quote of God's Word. He tells us in First Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (italics added). It does seem to ring true doesn't it? Money is a source of trouble for many people. If you have too little and even sometimes if you have too much it becomes something that is quarreled over, cried over and coveted. But is money really the major source of evil? God tells us that it is a root of all kinds of evil, not the root. If there were a "top ten" list for sources of evil, love of money would be on it for sure, but what other things would make that list? I believe pride would be pretty close to the top. 

What was the first sin of all time? A quick response to this may be disobedience to God in the "Garden" but the first sin ever was when Lucifer, a beautiful and worthy angel desired to be equal to God Himself. That was the first sin and it was PRIDE (see Isaiah 14:10-14). As I was considering an area of my life that has an ongoing unresolved issue I realized that pride was at the root. This started me thinking about sin in general.

What is the cause of most sin? When we lie to protect our reputation; isn't that pride? What about when we speed or run a red light; aren't we saying that our agenda is more important than the law or even the lives of those around us as we do these things? If I cheat on my taxes because I don't think that it is fair that the government gets as much as it does; isn't that an indication that I know better than those God put in authority over me? Complaining or grumbling about our stressful life situations, like work or relationships is also pride because we are not considering that God, who is Almighty, has control over these situations and He could change them in a flash if He chose to. Complaining and grumbling indicates discontentment and discontentment indicates ungratefulness which indicates pride because where we are in life isn't good enough for us!

If you do a word search on "pride" in your Bible, you will find that God talks about it quite a bit! I found over 100 verses (using the words; pride, proud and haughty) that refer to pride in a negative sense. Most verses either refer to the destruction that comes from pride or teach that it is a sin. Pride is what caused God to allow the Israelites to be exiled by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. They would not turn to God because they had their own plans and ideas. A walk through the Old Testament will paint a clear picture of what disobedience through pride will do. It isn't a pretty picture at that! 

So what sins or struggles do you have that are rooted in pride? If you don't know if pride is the root, start with prayer and then do a word search of your own. You may be very surprised at what you find! Pride isn't a worse sin than any other, but it is an indication that we view ourselves higher than we ought. Many times, once we determine the cause of our sin it is easier to break free from it! I pray that the Lord will show you exactly what you need to see and then give you the strength and wisdom to confront it.

Read Isaiah 14:10-14 to learn about the "fall" of Lucifer.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Aretha Franklin sang these words: "R E S P E C T find out what it means to me". They have been quoted repeatedly over the past few decades. You may have even stated them yourself; I have! The topic of respect is something that my friend and I were recently discussing. The question was posed: "How do you respect someone?" I have considered this question for the past week and this is what I have concluded.

The Biblical ideas and truths regarding respect start with our respect for God. The phrase, "to fear God" is used in His Word too many times for me to count. Many times this phrase is viewed as a negative term. Thoughts of being fearful and afraid come to mind and therefore can cause us to picture God as an angry and scary God. While there is truth to the fact that His wrath is something to fear and to tremble at, the term actually refers to having a healthy respect for Him. I don't "fear" the highway patrolman that is behind me (unless I am disobeying the law), but I have a healthy respect for his authority to give me a ticket if I stray from the roadway rules. God is not only worthy of our respect, but He tells us in Malachi 1:6 that it is "due Him". So from God's own Words, we are instructed to respect Him.

What about respecting those around us? Do people have to earn it or are we also required to respect them by God's law? Let's take a look and see!

As I was searching the Scriptures for verses that give us direction regarding respect, I found much more than I had expected. In Leviticus 19:3 we learn that we are to respect our parents and in 19:32 the elderly. Paul teaches the Thessalonians’ to "respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord". First Peter 3:7 tells us to "...be considerate to your wives and treat them with respect..." but here is the kicker; Peter also instructs in 2:17 "Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God and honor the king." Evidently, respect is something that we are to do because we "fear God" and want to abide in Him. Not because they have earned it or it is "due" them, but because it is "due" God.

During my research of "respect", I did find a few verses that refer to earning respect. Proverbs 11:16 tells us that a kindhearted woman gains respect; First Thessalonians 4:11-12 instructs us how to live so that our daily lives may win the respect of outsiders. These verses however, don't tell us that it is only by doing these things we will be respected but that by doing these things we will allow others to respect us more easily.

I have come to the conclusion that we are instructed by God to respect others because we respect Him. There truly isn't anyone, other than Jesus, who throughout their whole life has lived worthy of complete and total respect from everyone they have encountered. Respect is a gift that we offer to those around us so they may glimpse the grace and mercy God has offered us, even if, in our eyes, they don't deserve it. God answered Aretha's query by telling us that R E S P E C T means L O V E. Amen? Who do you need to respect today?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Event Horizon

My husband loves learning about astronomy. The ideas of the space-time continuum, dark-matter and distant galaxies intrigue him. As he has shared with me the things that he has learned I too, have become interested in them. One of the concepts that has caught my attention is the black hole. I find it hard to imagine such an event but it seems to be something that science is proving to exist. The "event horizon" of a black hole is the point in which its gravity has captured an object and that particular object is lost to the black hole forever. There is no hope for escape from the crushing grip of the black hole's power. As I was considering a certain area of my life recently, I realized that the lies of Satan can be just like this "event horizon".

Ever since I can remember, insecurity has been a common struggle in my life. I tend to question peoples' motives and actions in my life which in turn generally lead to suspicion. All of this is completely because of insecurity of who I am. As I am growing in my relationship with the Lord, I am learning that I am a person worthy of love and that even if no other person out there feels that way towards me, God does! He truly IS sufficient for me! God doesn't make mistakes and therefore, I am perfectly and wonderfully made. However, Satan would love for me to deny this truth. I still find from time to time that thoughts of insecurities invade my mind but I now recognize them as lies from the enemy: Hence, the "event horizon". It is when they enter my mind that I have a choice; to allow them to be captured and sink into my spirit or to kick them out before they reach a point of no return. Lies usually don't travel alone, either! Where there is one there are usually far more and if one is allowed into the black hole of your mind many more will follow!

Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have the power to reject these lies and replace them with God's truth. The lies that Satan is trying to push beyond your "event horizon" may be about relationships in your life, a situation at work, the future of your children's lives, the future of the world and the list goes on. Does he tell you that you aren't good enough for God to love you? Maybe he tells you that you are just fine without God and that you don't truly need Him. Many people struggle with just being "good enough" for society; having a good job, being physically attractive, fitting into the trends of today and being technologically "hip". Whatever area(s) in your life may be prone to the lies of the world, be aware that the minute one crosses the line, it is almost impossible to reject.

The good news is that unlike a black hole's "event horizon", the "event horizon" of our mind can be over-powered...by God. It is through prayer and knowledge of God's Word that will give you the power to kick those thoughts out of your mind. Negativity is not of the Lord, but of Satan. Depend on the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind the truths that you have read and to bring the comfort of God's love.

Read about the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Unequally Yolked?

Over the years, I have heard this phrase being used to describe a relationship or business venture that involves people who are not like-minded in regards to spiritual things. It never really dawned on me why the word "yolked" would be used. I pictured in my head an egg, of course and thought "Well, I guess like the egg, you have the yolk and the white and they are not the same. One is healthier for you than the other"...and the list continues of their differences. OK, get a good laugh; go ahead, I'll wait here until you are done! I can't believe that it has taken me this long to "get it", but of course the word used is "YOKED" not yolked! Now this makes perfect sense!

As we read in God's Word, the image of oxen being yoked together is given many times. With the proper word in place, being yoked to someone who is not on the same page spiritually would be a problem. Can you envision two oxen yoked together with one wanting to go to the right and one to the left or worse yet, wanting to go in reverse? This just would not work! When we are engaged in relationships, either marital or business, being unequally-yoked IS a burden. For those of you who are in an unequally-yoked situation, you probably know the strain that can develop. If you are submitted to the Lord's will for your life, yet you are also committed to another person who isn't submitted to Christ, there is a serious conflict in the choices that you may make and the way that you come to your decisions. It is no wonder why God would instruct us to be certain that in those committed types of relationships, we be yoked to someone who is being led by the same Spirit.

Jesus says in Matthew that we are to "take His yoke upon us...for His yoke is easy and His burden is light". Even if we are submitted to the Lord, being yoked to a non-believer will lend to a heavy burden at times. God knew this and instructed us accordingly so that we wouldn't experience this conflict. Yes, equally-yoked relationships have their moments of stress and frustration, but that is because our flesh gets in the way from time to time. However, if we are submitted Christians, the yoke of our Lord will lead us to resolution. If you are considering an unequally-yoked relationship, study God's Word and allow Him to reveal to you the dangers and warnings. Usually we move forward in these relationships because we get impatient. We "love them and think that they will change" or we "know that this deal will set us up financially". If love or security is where God is leading you, He will do it according to His Word and His timing. Don't get in a hurry and bind yourself to someone that will become a burden God never intended for you to carry.

In 2nd Corinthians 6:14-18 Paul teaches the new Christians about the dangers of being yoked to non-believers. These verses speak the truth about the dangers involved, but I do want to point out that we are supposed to mingle with non-believers so that God may use us to show them His love and glory. It is in tight personal relationships that we are to steer clear of commitment with them.

Read Matthew 11:28-30 and 2nd Corinthians to see what God’s Word says.