Friday, December 19, 2014

Welcome Judy Glenn!



I am so excited to have my sweet friend, Judy Glenn, as my guest on my blog today. Be sure to check out her links, she is an awesome photographer! 

Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 has been my favorite verse for as long as I can remember. I have hung my hat on it throughout my life.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NLT)

Everyone has struggles in their lives. We are not promised life will be easy. Instead the Bible says: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33, NLT)

I have been through so much in my life, but Jesus has always been there to help me get through. I don’t worry because I know the Lord has the perfect plan for my life. I just need to be obedient to what He has asks me to do. 

My husband and I had to close our business a few years back. Closing the shop was like a death to me, and I grieved over its loss. I loved it as it was what I did everyday. The shop was a part of me.

After the shop closed, the Lord allowed me to focus my attention on another passion of mine….photography. Since the shop closed, I have devoted myself to it basically 24/7. I have tried to learn and hone my craft. I still have so much to learn and perfect.

The Lord is starting to open doors for my photography, and I can see His hand at work. Starting this past October, I started a photography blog on Guideposts.org. I did not seek out this endeavor. The Lord opened the door!

I don’t know what He has planned for me next. I just keep putting 110% into my photography and revert back to my trust in His word found in Romans 8:28.

As we are diving into a new year, we need to trust in His plan for our lives. We may not understand it, but it is the best for us!

Judy Royal Glenn is a wildlife and nature photographer from Athens, Georgia. Jesus is behind all she does as a photographer. 

You can follow Judy’s photography on Guideposts, Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, Pinterest and Twitter.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas - Just One Word: Jesus





"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." John 1:14


  • The powerful Word who spoken into blackness, "Let there be light."
  • The glorious Word who filled the temple with fire.
  • The tender Word who spoke to Mary and Joseph.


This power, glory, and tenderness became flesh and walked among us.

I love these beautiful truths expressed by Ruth Rosen of Jews for Jesus:

"How amazing that God became less, in order to be like us...
so that we could become more like Him."

"It is said that a picture paints a thousand words.
And yet, with just One Word, God painted a thousand pictures."

God's light come to earth, now shining in His children.

How have you experienced God's light in the 2014?

Jews for Jesus  Mission Statement: We exist to make the messiahship of Jesus and unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide..
I've been blessed to support them for over 30 years.

Photo credit: Names of Jesus

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ready to Harvest

Photo credit? JamaL1977a

When I drive around these days, I'm surrounded by trucks hauling huge cotton bales to the gin for processing. As two passed me this morning, I thought of Jesus words about the harvest.

He [Jesus] told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Luke 10:2

The weather been's strange this fall - a severe cold snap and lots of rain have delayed the cotton harvest. Now, trust me, we NEVER turn down rain out here but it did throw the schedule off.

But, the farmers hung in there. They prayed and trusted God. When the time was right, they worked together to harvest everyone's field. 

What can we learn about the Lord's harvest from the farmers all over the country?
  • Sometimes, our desire to harvest is railroaded. We don't look for excuses, really, but we do take any opportunity to put it off. Most of us don't like to go out into the field and talk about Jesus. When obstacles come, we need to spend the time drawing closer to God and praying for the right words to come at the right time.
  • Like the farmers, we can hang in there. There have been many times I felt like I should speak to someone about Jesus but I kept my mouth shut. Other times I was convinced I should talk but God never gave me the opportunity. But I keep on keeping on. I know I'll get it right because God gives me new chances everyday.
  • Prayer and trust - how crucial! God doesn't necessarily call all of us to boldly witness, but we are all called to pray. Pray for the lost and pray for those who go out and talk about Him, God doesn't want anyone to perish so trust Him to reach out to each person and to call them by his love (2 Peter 3:9).
  • I love the way the farmers work together. The crews move from field to field, helping each other bring in the crop. If you look out on the massive harvest and feel overwhelmed, remember: God walks with you and many Christians around the world are working with you and praying for you
So go out and join the workers in the fields because they are white and ready to harvest. 

This is a wonderful time of the year to talk about God's Son. 

How has God used you to reach out to a nonbeliever or to pray faithfully for one who is out in the fields?


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Four Promises: Hope In the Desert



"I am with you and will watch over you wherever 
you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will  
not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." 
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, 
"Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." Genesis 28:15-16

Water in the desert...hope...That's what Jacob needed. He fled for his life - his brother, Esau, vowed to kill him. So Jacob ran. When he stopped for the night, out in the middle of nowhere, the Lord surprised him with promises that encouraged and strengthened him.  

We desperately need hope when we're roaming in deserts of loneliness, pain, or loss. We need water in the desert. And to us the Lord says:

1. I am with you. When I was laid off a year after I lost my Mom to cancer, I certainly doubted that God was around. "Where are You? Don't You see what's happening to me?" It took me a while to become aware of God's voice when He said, "I am here." We don't always hear Him. We don't always feel His presence. But here's a promise we can cling to: He is with us.

2. I will watch over you. "Don't you care? Why aren't you dong something?" Have you ever prayed those words? It's hard to believe that God watches over us when our lives are falling apart. I couldn't believe He'd take my job away but, as I look back, I see that He saved my life. Sometimes we can only see His love and care from the other side of the valley.

3. I will bring you back to this land. No one wants to dwell in sorrow, frustration, or despair. I've sat in many a pit, losing all hope that things would ever change. We might wonder if life will ever be normal again. But God never leaves us where we are. He reaches out to take our hands and to lead us back to peace and joy.

4. What I have promised you. I wish God promised to give me what I asked for, don't you? He doesn't promise to keep us happy. He doesn't promise an easy life. Scripture says He always has our best in mind. That doesn't make any sense when we're stuck in the desert. We define "best" as the world defines it, not as God defines it. He works for our eternal best: to mold us into the image of His Son. His presence, His love, His work to restore us - these promises sustain us.

When Jacob woke up, his circumstances hadn't changed. He was still running from Esau. He was still out in the middle of nowhere. But one thing had changed: He knew God was with him. He was stunned to realize that God was there, even though he'd been blind to it.

Most of the time, our circumstances don't change. We curl up in hopelessness and forget that God's with us. But His voice breaks through and He lifts us up with His promises. He won't transform our circumstances but He does transform us.


When have God's promises provided stability in your life when your circumstances shook you to the core?

Photo credits: 12

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Done Any Grumbling Lately?


And in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, 
because he has heard your grumbling against him. Exodus 16:7

Moses said these words to the Israelites who were grumbling like crazy - again. God delivered them from slavery in Egypt and they saw Him perform miracle after miracle. But, when it came time to eat one evening, they started complaining again.

"We wish you'd just left us back there in Egypt. We were slaves but at least we had lots to eat. What good is being free if we starve to death?"

Moses' first words?  “And in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD.”

We can all agree with that. Sunrises proclaim His glory. I might even stretch it so far as to say a cup of steaming coffee declares His glory.

Who do you suppose the “you” refers to?

Someone who seeks Him. Someone who walks with Him every day. Certainly someone who’s obedient.

Not so fast! Read the rest of the verse, “because he has heard your grumbling against him.”

He chose to show His glory—His mercy and grace—to the very same people who complained, who didn't trust Him, and who doubted His provision. He didn't zap them into pieces of coal. He understood their weak faith and and revealed Himself to them in a way that would bolster their confidence in Him.

I'm one of those people. We all are.

We've seen God do some awesome things but, at the slightest hint of trouble, we grumble.
We don't trust Him. We doubt His love.

It’s amazing that our Father God responds to our lack of faith and our grumbling with love rather than to thump us on the head (my Mom’s favorite mode of scolding).

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, 
abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

When did you last praise God for His infinite patience?

When has He shown you grace when you deserved a thump in the head?

Photo credit: 1,

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lenda Blackmon: The Blessings of Luci

I'm excited to welcome my sweet friend, Lenda Blackmon, to post on my Final Friday Friends blog. 



I have many favorite verses but the ones about love speak to me the most. The whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 is very special to me. Especially the last verse.

"But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (New King James Version)

When I think of the greatest example of love, of course I think of God sending His only Son to die for us and of Jesus being willing to die for us. If not for them, where would we be?

Do you sometimes need a visual of that kind of sacrificial, unconditional love in the here a now?

I do. And God gives me one every day.

A dog, yes, a dog. Her name is Luci, a gift from my daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

She has been our hairy baby for six years now. She has the face and markings of a Yorkie, the body of a Dachshund, and the ears of a Chihuahua.

Luci loves us unconditionally; she doesn't care what we look like, what we smell like, or what our station in life is. We could be cruel masters and she would still love us.

Every day when my husband returns home from work, that little dog goes crazy. She wiggles and runs around and around him. Then she will run and get a toy and bring it to him. She wants to play.

She wants to be with him and love on him.

We have the opportunity to love like this every day, whether it is a rebellious teenager living in our home or a homeless person on the street.

To show them Christ's love in a way that will give them hope. .

Everyone wants and needs to be loved and, because He first loved us, we can love.

Now, I'm not saying that we should run around and around in circles and wiggle all over when we have our time with God. Although I'm sure He wouldn't mind that on occasion. What I am saying is this: we should have that same kind of eagerness and desire when we go to sit at our Master's feet to fellowship with Him and feast on His Word.

To love on Him and let Him love on us.

Love Him, with such abandon, holding nothing back. Just like He loves us!

Luci is my daily visual example of how I should loved unconditionally. What's yours?

Do you dare to be a Luci for God today and love unconditionally whoever crosses your path?


Lenda Blackmon is a homemaker and lives with her husband Eugene and their dog Luci. She has 4 children, three are married and she has 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She loves spending time with her family, playing games and crafting. She is very active in her church and has published several articles on Faithwriters.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

M.D. Anderson Life Lessons



This time of year we all have many things to be thankful for, and family usually tops the list.

I went to work at M.D. Anderson straight out of college. I was young, idealistic, and death seemed far away. But God used my time there to teach me some valuable life lessons.

I worked with in-patients; most of them at the end of their lives. As I talked to them, God used those conversations to teach me some important truths about life.


During my six years there, I never heard:
  • I wish I'd spent more time at the office.
  • I wish I'd met my goal to be CEO of my company.
  • I wish I''d earned enough to have a bigger house or a Mercedes.
  • I always wanted to travel to Europe.

I did hear:
  • I wish I'd spent more time with my kids when they were growing up.
  • I wish I'd shown my wife how much I loved her.
  • I wish I'd been closer to my parents.
  • I wish I'd focused less on my career and more on my family.

Yes, I am thankful for my family.
  • For a marriage that's built on the Lord as our solid foundation.
  • For the strong love my husband and I share during the ups and downs of life.
  • My husband who's been a wonderful provider and companion. 
  • My two daughters who've grown to be such wonderful, responsible young ladies.
  • My two grandchildren who are my pride and joy. 
  • And, as silly as it sounds, the greyhounds who have shown me unconditional love.

And I am thankful for each of you. Without you, I would have thrown in the towel years ago! You are my friends - you encourage me, hold me accountable, and pray for me.

My prayers to you and your families and to all who are precious to you.

Photo credit: Gratitude via Creative Commons

Friday, November 21, 2014

Get to Work!!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

The King James Version says it this way:
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Most of us understand that there's no way we can be good enough to earn God's grace and forgiveness. It's only because of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection that we are called the children of God.

But...

I still struggle with the idea of unconditional love. That doesn't come naturally to us humans. No matter how hard we try, there are limits and expectations that define our love. 

We assume God's the same way.

So we ask ourselves -
What do I need to do to ensure that God continues to love me?
If I want to grow in my faith, how do I work my way there?



Serve on a committee, sing in the choir, teach a Sunday school class, be there every time the church doors are open...I have to stay on God's good side, don't I?



Praise the Lord, No! His love is truly unconditional.
We don't have to earn it or work to keep it.
We can serve God until we're exhausted but He won't love us any more or less.

Rejoice in these words: Jesus is the author and perfecter, or finisher, of our faith.

He loves us. He works in us to strengthen our faith.

We don't have to show up in the boss' office for the dreaded once-a-year job evaluation.
We don't get a report card that we have to show to our parents.
He doesn't sit on His throne and rate our performance.
He doesn't leave us on our own.

We spend time with Him.
We pray.
Read our Bibles.
Worship Him.
Gather with other believers.

He uses these things to strengthen our faith.

He finishes it. He perfects it.

That doesn't mean we can flop down in the nearest easy chair and nap all day long. Jesus works in us because we hunger for Him. Because we desire to live for Him.

He satisfies our hunger by increasing our faith.

You don't have to spend your days afraid that God is judging your every move.

You don't have to work to stay on His good graces.

Trust Him, relax in His love, seek to know Him, and leave the faith-building to Him.

Photo credit 1  2

Friday, November 14, 2014

God's Love in the Desert


Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert 
and speak tenderly to her. Hosea 2:14


I discovered Hosea 2:14 when I was wandering blindly in a desert of loneliness and isolation. Things are better now so I set it aside, put it out of my mind. Isn't that what we always do? God uses a verse to guide us through a difficult time and, as soon as things calm down, we forget the words and the healing He brought to us. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.

A couple days ago, I read David Brannock's latest post on his blog Set Free to Soar. God brought this verse to mind and I remembered how He'd used it to help me in a hard time. I share it with you now because I believe it will encourage you when you're roaming in the desert. 

Allure...lead...speak tenderly

These aren't words we typically associate with the desert. A desert is dry, dusty, barren, 

We've all wandered in the desert. 
  • A desert of pain because of a broken relationship. 
  • A desert of depression. It all seems hopeless, helpless, so we try not to feel at all. It's better to hide in the desert rather than face life.
  • A desert of fear because financial problems, a rebellious child, or an illness leave us in shock.
  • A desert of waiting when nothing seems clear and life seems purposelessness. 
  • A desert of our own making. Hard consequences often result from our actions.
Into the desert comes the words of Hosea 2:14

Allure - think about that word for a minute. To entice, attract, fascinate. We usually think of temptation but is that how God is using it? Yes, He draws us in, not to tempt us but to love on us. He can't minister to us when fear, pain, or hopelessness deafen us to His voice. In the quiet of the desert, we can hear Him.


He leads - purposefully. . Intentionally. Away from despair to a place He chose. No distractions, no panic. We see the stars - and maybe a glimmer of hope. We notice a few green plants that thrive, even in this harsh environment - maybe a bit of relief begins to grow. Days go by, maybe weeks, and slowly we begin to strengthen.

Speak tenderly - There's a story in 1 Kings 18 about a man named Elijah. The Lord used him to pull off a major victory. Elijah should have been on cloud nine. But - there's always a but, isn't there - his enemies heard about it, they vowed to hunt him down and kill him. Poor Elijah didn't even think about trusting God, he ran into the desert in fear and hid in a cave. God came and met Elijah in the cave and revealed Himself by a whisper.


I've hid in a few caves in my time. But, God showed up to see Elijah and He shows up to see me. He speaks tenderly about how He loves me. He reminds me that I am His child and He is my Father. Hardship comes, pain comes, consequences come but God is always there, speaking tenderly.

He draw us out into the desert, lead us to the perfect spot, and whispers to us. Love, comfort, peace, forgiveness. We can't hear Him in the midst of our problems. Sometimes it takes a desert experience to be healed. 

How has God used deserts in your life to draw you closer to Him?

David's blog is a blessing; I encourage you to check it out.

Photo Credits  123, 4

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I remember...



Because of my experiences as a child, growing up overseas in the military, I am fiercely patriotic and feel a deep sense of gratitude to the men and women who have sacrificed to ensure our freedoms.

I remember...
  • Huge celebrations on holidays that honored America - Independence Day, Memorial Day. No matter which country we were in, the base opened up and welcomed the citizens of the country to join the festivities. Fireworks, airshows, parades, ceremonies of pride and patriotism. And, of course, ice cream. 
  • Soldiers in green berets who were always treated with utmost respect. I didn't know about special forces then, but I thought the insignia on their berets were awesome.  
  • In Morocco, being air-lifted from the Air Force base outside of Casablanca because the communists overthrew the government and began to kill Americans. To a 10-year old, it was all very exciting - I had no idea of the danger.
  • In Spain, when Mom and I shopped on base, occasionally the sirens wailed and pilots dropped everything to tear out, leaping over a young girl who had the good sense to stand still. As the air filled with the sound of the scrambling fighter jets, I knew I was safe. 

And then there was the flag. By order of Spain's dictator Franco, the American flag couldn't be flown unless it was flown under the Spanish flag.

Excuse Me??? 

Of course, the flag was flown at the command building on base but it didn't fly at each security entrance or in off-base housing where we lived.

The main exception was in downtown Madrid atop the Hilton Hotel. Money talks, right?

Occasionally, my family would pack a picnic and go to the park by the hotel to see the flag. Can you imagine the impression that made on a young girl? A special trip to see my flag. It became a sacred symbol of America and our freedoms.

Please remember, friends, that you are safe and free because of the men and women who have served all over the world and here at home to protect our country.

Hug a family member who has served. Send a letter to a family member or friend who is stationed overseas. The next time you see a veteran or an active-duty soldier, stop and say, "Thank you."

Photo Credit 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Katy's favorite: Psalm 107:9

Today's guest post is by my friend, Katy Kauffman, sharing her favorite verse in Scripture. 




“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9, NKJV)

If there’s one verse in the Bible that I would want to share with other people—besides John 3:16—it’s Psalm 107:9. It describes what God does for those who believe in Him. He satisfies our souls. We need love, we need joy, we need peace. We need strength for life’s tasks and burdens. We need to belong to someone. We need relationships. Our relationship with God is the one that will give the most contentment, the most satisfaction, because we were made for Him. Our hearts were created with a God-shaped hole. When we believe in Jesus and start a relationship with Him, we will come to know true satisfaction and fulfillment. We will know the One that we were created to know and love (John 17:3; Mark 12:30).

If your soul is looking for a peace and a joy that will last, seek after God. He will be found (Jeremiah 29:13, James 4:8). He has been seeking after you all along (Jer. 31:3). I know by experience that Psalm 107:9 works. I can’t imagine my life without God, and I wouldn't want to. He has been a heavenly Father to me, a Best Friend, a Shepherd and Guide, and the Captain of my soul. He gives good things—the best things. The best thing I could long for is to know Him and spend every day with Him. Knowing Him is an adventure, and sharing Him with other people is the best mission in life. May God be your soul’s satisfaction, and may you find rest in His great goodness.

Katy Kauffman            © Copyright 2014 by Katy Kauffman

What a beautiful verse, Katy. When we're longing and hungry, God is there to satisfy and fill us with goodness.

Psalm 107 describes the emotions of those who are crying out for deliverance. We've all felt lost, defeated, and longing for peace. In this verse, longing means to run about, to rush, to run to and fro. Does that ever sound like me! When I feel desperate, I run around, rushing from this idea to the next, trying to find what I crave: peace.

This verse reminds us that God is with us and He alone is able to satisfy our needs. When we hunger for strength, joy, comfort, and peace, we can turn to Him and He will fill us with His love and goodness. 

When has God met your needs and filled you with His goodness?

Meet Katy

Katy Kauffman is the author of 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, a Bible study on how to win the spiritual battles of life and ministry. She is a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies and a graduate of Luther Rice Seminary. Her heart’s desire is for people to know and love God, understand the richness of His Word, and fulfill His plan for their lives. She makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. 

Contact Katy at
Blog: http://lighthousebiblestudies.com/katy-kauffman-blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatyKauffmanAuthor
Twitter :https://twitter.com/KatyKauffman28

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dancing the Can’t Can’t



For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

I have a confession to make. When God calls me to do something, I immediately say , “I can’t! Even if it’s something I've done before, it doesn't matter. “That was a fluke. I was just lucky. I’ll never be able to do it again.”

If it’s a new challenge, I really freak out. “I've never done this before! I’ll make a fool of myself.”


When God calls, we all panic, don’t we? We assume we can’t - No way. No how. No chance. 

We’re unqualified, incapable, and not smart enough.

We measure our abilities and failure is a given. 

But we forget to factor the Holy Spirit into the equation. What we lack, He has.

He is infinitely qualified, completely capable, and the source of all knowledge.

There’s a saying: If God calls you, He equips you. Isn’t that what Ephesians 2:10 says?

We were created by God, created specifically for the works He prepared for us before we were born. When He formed us in our mothers’ wombs, He designed us with those works in mind. He shaped our strengths, weaknesses, and personalities to match the life He planned for us.

And then He placed the Holy Spirit in us to empower us.

When we say, “I can’t,” what I’m really saying is, “Holy Spirit, You can’t.” 

“I’m not qualified.” means “Holy Spirit, You’re not qualified.”

“I’m not capable” translates to “Holy Spirit, You’re not capable.”

It’s true, We can’t do anything on our own. It’s also true, With the Holy Spirit, we can do anything. 



What a mystery: God places Himself inside our weak vessels.

What a privilege: He chooses us to serve Him.

What a joy: He works in us and through us to accomplish His work.

Forget the “I can’t,” and rejoice in the “He can!”

For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37


When has God called you out of your comfort zone? How did He enable you to accomplish His purposes?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Zephaniah 3:17 What’s your favorite lullaby?



He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Remember what you used to do when a baby wouldn't sleep?

  Soothe the cutie who screamed in the nursery.

  Quiet your precious little angel who howled half the night.

  Reassure the toddler who cried because there was a monster in   the closet.




Remember rocking chairs and lullabies?

But no one’s there to rock us or sing to us when we’re all grown up.

We lie there, eyes wide open.

Worried about something we did or experienced that day.

Anxious about what might happen tomorrow.

Afraid because we can’t see any way out of the pit we’re in.

Excited about something fantastic that’s happening or will happen.

I've tried closing my eyes and doing some calm-me-down routine.

I've quoted verses in my mind.

I've counted my husband’s snores.

Nothing worked – until I found Zephaniah 3:17

Now, I close my eyes and imagine my Father delighting in my day, bathing me in His love, and singing to me.

What does He sing? I can’t understand the words but I relax as I envision the tenderness on His face.

Before I know it, I’m asleep!

The worries, anxiety, fear, and even the jazzed-up feelings fade away.

And I sleep.

Do you lie awake?

Find quiet in His love and peace in His singing.



When you can’t go to sleep, how do you quiet your mind?

Peaceful sunset unsplash.com
Frightened child  corepics via depositphotos.com
Frustrated woman ruigsantoo  via depositphotos.com

Friday, October 24, 2014

What Time Is It?





Beautiful roses. Older blooms with a rich color, new blooms with vibrant hues, and buds with tips of pink showing, ready to be the roses of tomorrow. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Three simple words.

Yesterday.
Today.
Forever.

These words give my feet something solid to stand on when days are difficult or uncertain.

When I look back at my walk with God, I see His faithfulness. He has never left me. He has never ignored me. He has never forsaken me. My yesterdays are full of the blessings He’s showered on me. 

  • Peace when I was confused. 
  • Comfort  when I was overcome by sorrow. 
  • Strength when I felt as though I could no longer function. 
  • Hope when I was drowning in hopelessness. 

Over the years, His presence has grown my faith.

When my alarm goes off each morning, I usually have a plan for the day, but I also know Who’s in control. The future is an unknown but my Father is a firm foundation. His care for me Yesterday brings me confidence in His purpose for today and tomorrow. I stand on His promises, His love, and His faithfulness.

Yesterday’s faith is a lifeline for the unknowns that await me.

The most beautiful promise is bound up in the word Forever. A forever of being with my Savior, praising Him, and serving Him. All of my yesterdays will fade from view and my tomorrows will be spent in a place of unimaginable beauty, worshiping eternally with those I love who are believers.

Are your memories of yesterday full of His love and grace?

Are you confident in His presence as you walk through all your tomorrows?

Are you rejoicing in a forever spent with Him?

If not, He is waiting to transform you. You – not your circumstances. He doesn't wipe away all your concerns and difficulties with your new faith. But He does strengthen, comfort, and surround you. 

Tomorrows come. Your choice is not what they bring but how you walk through them.


Do you know Jesus as your Savior and Friend? If not, please go to a believing friend or a pastor who can show you the path to a Forever with Him.


If you do know Him, how have His promises of Forever sustained you through your yesterdays and given you hope for your tomorrows?


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do You Need a Real Word?




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. John 3:16


Many of us know this verse. It might be one of the first we memorized.

It’s called the gospel in a nutshell.

I, for one, am encouraged to know I can talk to someone about Jesus with just these few words. I've heard about the Roman Road of witnessing (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:13, Romans 10:9-10) but my sense of direction is so bad, I get lost in a ditch somewhere along the way.

But that’s not why I love John 3:16.

I wasn't raised in church. When I was 16, I listened to Billy Graham one night and his simple description of the love of Jesus penetrated my heart and drew me to Him.

I didn't understand much, only that God loved me, that Jesus came as a man, and that He died to offer me forgiveness of my sin – and I had plenty of sin to forgive! I didn’t understand the fullness of the cross and resurrection but I knew enough to give my life to Him.

Not long after I became a Christian, a wise lady taught me the beauty of making Scripture personal. And this became a lifeline to God’s love, So John 3:16 speaks directly to me.

For God so loved Sherry that He gave His one and only Son, and because of Sherry’s belief in His Son, she will not perish but have eternal life.



Please remember that I personalized this verse.

The King of Kings gave…

It’s hard to wrap my mind around it.

When I give someone a gift, I do it because I love them – pure and simple. I don’t say, “If you do so-and-so, I’ll give this to you.”

God gave His Son to die for me, out of His love for me – pure and simple.

He doesn't make any demands on me. He doesn't say, “Sherry, if you clean yourself up, I have a gift to give you.”

He simply offers me the gift of salvation through the death of His Son.

The gift of salvation and the joy of spending eternity with Him.

The richness of God’s love became real to me because His Word became real to me.

John 3:16 is a beautiful expression of God’s love for me – a love so deep that He was willing to give me the gift of His Son’s life.

When you are gripped by fear or doubt God, bring His love to life by making His promises your own!




Are there any verses in God's Word that have spoken personally to you? If so, how did it encourage you?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Which Bird Are You?


 
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3

Believe it or not, there are hundreds of birds mentioned in Scripture.

Eagles –Isaiah 40:31 says we will be like eagles: strong and able to soar at amazing heights (sounds like Superman). They are symbols of power and strength.
 
 
Doves are small, usually white birds that coo a lot – all night long! Matthew 3:16 says the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. They are symbols of peace and serenity. 

Ravens are large black birds that feast on dead animals. In Genesis, Noah released one from the ark and it didn’t return. It probably got distracted, eating bodies. Gross. They symbolize cruelty and Satan.



Peacocks are one of the most beautiful birds; they love to strut and show off their magnificent tails. No wonder Solomon was captivated by them. They are symbols of glory, pride, and the all-seeing eyes of God.
 


Ossifrages are huge vultures with a bite so strong it can break bones. It doesn’t symbolize anything – I just had to throw it in here because I’ve never heard of it before.
 
And my favorite:
 
Sparrows are small, nondescript  birds, They’re not worth much because they’re everywhere.
A dime a dozen.
  • I can’t be an eagle; I’m not strong and powerful.
  • I’m certainly not a dove; I’m hardly ever serene.
  • No way I’m a peacock; I’m have nothing to strut.
But I can be a sparrow: insignificant, nondescript, nothing to set me apart.
 
Except to God.
  • To Him, I am his child, forgiven by mercy, saved by grace.
  • To Him, I am precious; Zechariah 2:8 says I am the apple of His eye.
  • To Him, I am unique, gifted, one of a kind.
I am so special to God that I have a place by his altar.
  • He is King of Kings yet I am welcome at his throne.
  • He is Lord of Lords yet I live in the shadow of His wings.
  • He is Almighty God and yet Deuteronomy 32:11 says He cares for me with the tenderness of an eagle caring for her young.
Heavenly Father, let me never forget that I am loved!



 
How does God show His love for you?
 



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Cones We Wear

 
This is not a favorite verse; it's a favorite story. But, as I read it today, I felt convicted!
 
 
She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."  Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment. Matthew 9:21-22
 
I love this story. The woman had been bleeding for several years and the doctors couldn’t heal her. Her faith in Jesus was so strong that she pushed her way through the crowd to touch Him. Jesus immediately turned to her, spoke to her tenderly, and healed her.
 
There are many reasons to love this wonderful story but, as I read these familiar words, I see myself mirrored in the life of this woman. Jesus loves me so much that He died for me. He embraced me, a filthy sinner, and healed me. Even more, He was willing to take the risk of being identified with me, His enemy.
 
What risks did Jesus take as He ministered to this woman?
  • A Jewish man would NEVER speak to a woman in public. To do so would bring him ridicule. But Jesus didn’t seem to care about that did He?
  • To be touched by a woman who was bleeding, even without his knowledge, would render him unclean for seven days. Unclean! The Son of God unclean? Jesus didn’t seen to care about that either.
What does this have to do with poor Ruby? As I looked at her sad face, peering out of the cone, I was convicted about the cone I wear every day.
 
Who did Jesus relate to day by day?
  • Common people.
  • Poor people.
  • Sinners and taxpayers.
  • Prostitutes.
  • Women caught in adultery.
  • Lepers.
  • Young men possessed by demons.
What about today’s Christians? Who do we relate to on a daily basis?
 
Our activities center around the church. Our friends are all Christians. We live within the safety of people just like us.
 
When was the last time I deliberately reached out to someone I view as “lower” as I am? Someone I judge as being a bigger sinner than I am?
  • A homeless person.
  • A prostitute.
  • A person with AIDS.
  • A homosexual.
  • A person in prison.
We have tunnel vision, peering out of our cones. We only associate with people who pass our “standards.”
 
Jesus’ love for His people far superseded desire to cling to social moirĂ©s.  
 
I have to ask myself: What about me?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Path out of a Wasteland: Isaiah 43: 18-19


Nothing is more powerful than God’s Word. It transforms us – if we lift its truths off the page and into our lives. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite verses and those of friends and family. I pray that, as you read how His Word has ministered to us, you'll find a favorite of your own.
 
 
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I [the Lord] am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

This verse has encouraged me through many a hard time
 
We’ve all walked through a desert or been lost in a wasteland.

We’re parched with hopelessness and fear.

Look at those words: See, I am doing a new thing!

God is with us; He is at work.

He holds out a new tomorrow, if we trust Him.

He promises to guide us along paths of hope and to fill us with confidence in His presence.

He brings us to streams that quench our thirst and renew our strength.

He's in control and He has a plan to redeem our future.

These words assure us that we're never alone, never abandoned, never forgotten. He is with us, to guide and nourish us, no matter our circumstances.

But, wait a minute.

What’s that bothersome first part:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

God’s promises depend on our willingness to walk with Him.

Sometimes we pitch our tents in “yesterday.” We choose to live there – tents don’t pitch themselves.

We love our pity parties.
We long for the “good-ole-days.” 

That’s where I’ve been the last couple years – camped out in yesterday. I carefully hung pictures on the walls of my heart: scenes of wonderful times, portraits of friends and family I left behind.

I didn’t want to be content in my new home. I refused to be happy. I just wanted to go back to yesterday.

(Isn’t that a Beatles song? Yesterday…all my troubles seemed so far away…)

There’s a key question in those verses:

Do you not perceive it?

I was blind to the things God was doing.
 
I kept my feet planted and refused to walk down His path.

There were refreshing streams running right by my tent and I refused to see them.
 
And I wondered why I was miserable!

When I finally chose to trust Him, He opened my eyes and I was amazed at what I saw.

My life is busy, full of things I love to do.

Weekly Bible study with a godly group of ladies, a morning filled with wisdom and laughter.

Part of a team that works to improve our libraries and how they serve the community.

I’m even involved in the Garden Club – a fact that stuns everyone who knows me.

And, most important, a church home where people accept me and Charlie with love.

And friends? Boy, do I have friends! I’ve got new friends everywhere. Friends to have fun with and to pray with.

Why didn’t I see the joy in my life before now?

I was clinging to yesterday with both hands, burying my face in the past.

The truth is, we can’t see the new things God's doing as long as our eyes are fixed on yesterday.

His paths of guidance run right in front of us.

His streams of refreshment flow right beside us.

How I praise God for His amazing love. He continued to minister to me even in my blind stubbornness.

Praise God He’s led me into the joys of today!

When has God encouraged you when you were stumbling through a wasteland?
 
Photo Credit 1: mdurinik
Photo Credit 2: blackregis2