Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Be a Spark!

Photo Credit: Kelley Bozarth via Unsplash photos

"The people living in darkness have seen a great light." Matthew 4:16

What an absolutely breathtaking picture!

A spark in the darkness.

Jesus is the spark that awakened our hearts and drew us to Him.

Ever wonder how many people you meet each day are walking in darkness?

Some stumble in the blackness of sin and need the light only Jesus can bring.

We might be the spark that catches their attention and fills them with the hope of a way out.

Some try to find their way through depression or sorrow.

A smile, a kind word, even the question, "How can I pray for you?"

These can lift the gray fog a bit and light a match of joy.

Many, as I did for so long, struggle with worthlessness. I felt




You have no idea the spark that is lit by a compliment, a brief conversation that means nothing to you but all the world to them, a word of gratitude.

Such small things can bring a person to Christ, lift a heavy heart, or restore a sense value and purpose.

We might never see the results of our brief encounters but we will be blessed by knowing we touched someone with Jesus' heart.

I challenge you: Watch for opportunities to be the spark in someone's day.

Josh Wilson - Pushing Back The Dark

When has God blessed you with an encounter that lit a spark in your day?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Do We Forget to Say Thank You?

I am so excited to have Cynthia Lovely as my guest blogger for July's Final Friday.
There are times we send forth prayers from the deepest parts of our hearts, petitioning the great God of the universe to intercede on our behalf.

We pray each day, focused and with great fervor, reminding the Lord of our need.

 And God answers.
  • The problem is solved.
  • The solution makes sense.
  • The worry is gone.
At this point in time, how much effort do we make towards saying,

Thank You?

Do we toss up a casual, "thanks, Lord," and go about our merry way,
Forgetting all about the miracle of answered prayer?
Jesus took care of a situation for me recently.
 I prayed for two weeks straight, trusting in God's faithfulness and mercy.

Yes, He answered.

All good.

I am determined to go back again and again and thank Him.

Placing the same effort and commitment as the initial prayer - in my giving of thanks.

I imagine God is pleased with us when we respond in this manner.

Let us be a thankful people, rejoicing in our great God!

Has the Lord answered a special prayer for you this week?
How often how you thanked Him for it?
Have you offered up thanks with the same fervency of your initial request?

Check out Cynthia's blog Lovely Lane  You'll be blessed!

Cynthia A. Lovely lives her own version of happily-ever-after in an old farmhouse in upstate New York with her musician-techie husband, her greatest encourager. Publications include Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, newspapers and periodicals including Tea Time and Romantic Homes. She has completed a contemporary woman’s novel and her current WIP is a romance. Cynthia is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and a staunch supporter of Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She has been actively involved in church music ministry, drama, and public relations. You may contact her at or

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ever Been Frustrated?

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
I had good intentions.
I got up, ate breakfast, got dressed, and walked the dog. 

Pretty normal day so far.
I had several tasks rumbling around in my head, 
  • Write Tuesdays blog post.
  • Review 3rd chapter of my new study and send to the editor
  • Work on 4th chapter.
  • Laundry
  • Supper
  • Miscellaneous things
So I sat quietly and talked to God about my day. I went over my list with Him and asked Him to plan my day.
I didn’t really mean it

Here’s how the day went
  • Laundry
  • 3 phone calls
  • Two package deliveries
  • Two conversations with the homeowners insurance office trying to get that straightened out
  • Lunch
  • Nursery guy building 3 raised beds in the backyard had a question – couldn’t get him to shut up
  • Snack
  • Get the mail
  • Take out the trash
  • Neighbor called
  • 2 more conversations with the homeowners insurance office
I sat frustrated because I haven’t done anything on “my” list
I had a gripe session with God
I was reminded that I did ask HIM to plan my day.
By then it’s 5:30 and I plopped down to watch the news
 I wonder why God’s plan didn’t match mine?
I had a perfectly good plan.
Then I remembered:
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
I wonder what He plans for tomorrow?
When has God vetoed your plans?
Photo credit: monkeybusiness via

Friday, July 18, 2014

Do You Need God's Restoring Rain?

Let my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
as raindrops on the tender herb,
as shower on the grass. Deuteronomy 32: 2

For several years, the land in west Texas has been parched.
We prayed, even begged for rain.
The past few weeks, God’s blessed us – and the transformation has been remarkable.
Overnight, the bare, dusty fields exploded in green of every shade.
Life returns, seemingly out of nowhere.  
Many times in the past, my life has seemed parched.
  • The loss of the Columbia crew with whom I had worked for three years 
  • The deaths of my mother and father-in-law within a few months
  • The loss of my job
  • The move from my long-time home to a new area
During these times, I prayed
  • For rain to soothe my heart
  • For dew to refresh my spirit
  • For a shower to wash away the stubbornness that created a dry, dusty life
God answered my prayers, when I opened my heart to Him.
Let me repeat that: when I opened my heart.
God never forces His healing on us – but, because of His great love, He enables us to desire healing.
He flooded my heart with mercy – undeserved but given freely to me
He refreshed my spirit with grace – the riches of a relationship with Jesus, my Savior
He showered my life with the truth of His Word – restoring my faith and joy
Was it overnight?
It was a slow process; with every step I hungered for more.
He became my
  • Companion,
  • Guide,
  • and Friend
 Every day with Him is sweeter than the day before.
Does your heart feel parched?
Pray for His rain of mercy

Is your spirit aching with grief, anger, or bitterness?
Pray for His love and grace to cleanse you and fill you with joy

Is your life dry and hopeless?
Pray for His Spirit to fill you with the truth of His Word and to restore your faith.
How God has ministered to you when you were desperate for His rain?
If you know someone who might be encouraged by this post, please share.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Do you need confidence in Christ?

What I wrote to post yesterday just didn't feel right.
So I didn't do it.

I came across this when I sat down a bit ago to write.
I knew this was what He wanted me to post.

It lifted my heart - I pray it lifts yours.

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day John 6:39

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. John 10:29

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am. John 17:24a

You are a precious gift, given to Jesus by the Father!

Confidence Declaration

I am a precious gift from God.
I will live a life of knowing my place in this world because
I walk in the true confidence of who I am in Christ.
I release every regret and every painful memory from my past
And now choose to step into the glorious future God has for me.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
I will be thankful for all God has done, is doing, and will do in my life.
I press onward in faith knowing my Heavenly Father loves me.



Do you have confidence in His love for you?
If not, please find someone who will pray with you.
If so, how does this knowledge enrich your life?

Photo Credit: God's Love

Friday, July 11, 2014

On the QT: The 5 W's - When?

This is the third post in my series on quiet time.
If you missed the first ones, check them out: Who? and

Now comes the toughie:

Checked you watch lately?
Days fly by and they’re over before we can say jackrabbit.

It’s hard to find any time when it’s quiet – and stay awake!

I’ve always heard
  • “Spend time with God first thing in the morning.”
  • “Give God your best – before you start your day.”
  • “The day goes better when you start with God.”

I heard it so much I thought it was the 11th commandment:

Thou shalt have quiet time in the morning.

But what if that doesn’t work?

The truth is this: God doesn’t punch a time clock.

He loves us and wants time with us – whenever is best for us.

If you work fulltime, early morning might work for you. It might not.

Some of us settle in with Him in the evening after things calm down. I fall asleep.

When your kids are down for a nap?

In the car? (Remember to pray with your eyes open!)

Maybe you grab spare minutes, catch-as-catch-can.

That’s ok - We have a 24/7 Father.

He welcomes you anytime, anywhere!

Do you have a set time every day? Fantastic!

Do you try to focus on Him for five minutes every day, whenever you can? Great!

If you desire to be with Him, He’ll work out the schedule.

Give Him what you have, when you have it, and He’ll bless you.


It’s hard to find time for God. How do you fit it in?
Do you have a schedule that works for you?
Share it and it might help the rest of us.


Share a comment and you might win a copy of Storms of Life!


 Photo Credit: pinphoto via Depositphotos 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On the QT: The 5 W's - Why?

Why should we carve out time in our busy days to spend with God?
Why should we give up a few minutes of precious sleep?
Why should we give up the few minutes we can grasp in a day for this instead of settling down with a good book?
The first W in this series was "Who?" Check it out here.   
Now we ask "Why?"
Oh, there are the obvious reasons: 
  • Build a stronger relationship with God.
  • Get to know His Word.
  • Be able to tell everyone how faithful you are to spend time with God every day. 
Oh, you can deny that last one, but I know better! I’ve done it myself.
But there are lots of other reasons that draw us to God.
You don’t have to read 25 verses of Scripture.
Quiet time with God is just that: Quiet time with God
Perhaps you need a bit of peace: 
  • Sit with Him in silence before the kids get up and peace evaporates in the bedlam. 
  • Let Him calm your mind before the “I have to…” list overwhelms you. 
  • Take a minute to revel in your blessings and say, “Thank You!”
  • Ask for His patience when you know it’s going to be a rough day. 
Maybe you have a desperate need to feel His Presence:
  • Be wrapped in His love when you feel most unlovable.
  • Close your eyes and feel a sense of hope only He can give you.
  • Soak in His grace when you need forgiveness.
  • Rest in His healing when your heart is broken.
And then there are times when God’s Word is exactly what we need.
Within its pages we find:
  • Wisdom to answer our doubts.
  • Words to comfort a hurting friend.
  • Guidance to make a difficult decision
  • Truths to soothe our fears and heal our hurts.
The “Why” of time with God doesn’t have one answer.
  • He sits with us when we need the quiet.
  • He laughs with us when we are happy.
  • He speaks to us through His Word.
  • God is there to meet all the ‘whys’ in our lives.

Why is your time with God precious?

Remember, comment to this post and you might win a copy of my Bible study, Storms of Life
 Photo credit: Denise B. Scott

Friday, July 4, 2014

On the QT: The 5 W’s – Who?

Remember, if you comment to this post, you could win a copy of Storms of Life!

This is the second post on the 5 W's of Quiet Time. For the first post, go to On the QT: The 5 W's

The first W: Who?
This should be a given - but is it?

It’s where we must start.

For a Christian, quiet time is spent with God.

In Conversation!

Me and Him. You and Him.

Time to talk to Him – to be thankful for blessings and to talk about problems.

Time to listen – To hear His voice as we pray. To open God’s Word and let Him speak to us about His love for us.

Time with God

It’s not quiet time if we sit blankly and stare at the wall – although I do that sometimes.

It’s not quiet time if we sit and make demands – I do that a lot.

So I ask myself, “Who am I really spending time with? Who am I really worshipping?”

Sometimes, I sit down and immediately tell God what I want Him to do.

And how I want Him to do it.

When it comes right down to it, I’m spending time with myself, worshiping my wants.

I’m using God as the vehicle for getting what I want.
Am I forgetting who's God and who's not?

We have the freedom to approach Almighty God, Lord of Lords, King of Kings and talk to Him as His child.

Because we are!

  • He is the Name above all names - yet He know us by name.
  • He is King of kings – yet He came to be a servant, to die on the cross for us.
  • He is beyond understanding – yet He bends down to talk to us and teach us as we read His Word.
  • He is Almighty God – yet He showers us with the love of a Father.

He calls us to visit with Him.

He waits for us, eager to share our day and to give us His wisdom

He loves you more than you can imagine.


Our Father and Savior.

What an honor and a precious privilege.


What does it mean to you that the God of the Universe wants to spend time with you?

On Tuesday: Why?


Photo credit: Reading with Jesus The Surprising God

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On the QT: The 5 W's

 My desire in all I write and teach is to encourage others to bring God's Word off the page into their lives.
  • Apply it.
  • Live it.
But how do we do that if we can't set aside time with Him and His word?
Who has time?
How do we have a successful QT?
If you’re a nurse, you know it’s dangerous to use the Q word (quiet).
As soon as someone says that word, patient alarms go off everywhere, the emergency room fills up, and you’re on the run until you collapse.
It’s the same at every job, including working at home. Speak that horrible word and suddenly
your teenager has a crisis,
your toddler flushes a toy down the toilet,
hubby calls to say he’s working til midnight.

I don't know about you but, as soon as I settle down for prayer time,
that neighbor who talks without taking a breath calls,
the washer goes off-balance over and over,
someone drops by for coffee.
The phrase “Quiet Time” is an oxymoron.
Time and Quiet can't co-exist..
Yet our desire is to have undisturbed time with God.
I wish I could give you a magic formula but that ain’t happenin’.
I don’t have one.
But there are some myth’s that make QT a burden rather than a joy.
Hopefully debunking them will help you find your way to a meaningful QT.
Over the next few posts, we'll tackle the 5 W’s of QT:
  • Who?
  • Why?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?

Time with God.
So precious, so needed, so hard to do.
Come along with me and we'll find the freedom to meet with Him in the way that's best for us.
Come along and we'll learn together!
Have you struggled to maintain a quiet time?
I have!
If you've been able to establish one, we'd love for you to share your ideas over the next several posts.
Photo Credit: Clogged Toilet 
Photo Credit:Gabbing woman