Tuesday, October 5, 2010

With a Grateful Heart

Lord, it is with a grateful heart that I come to You this morning. You do so much for me that tends to be overlooked. I know that You know that I don't purposely ignore You and all that You do, and perhaps I've no excuse. But, there are days when it seems that I'm so busy that I don't remember to say 'thank you', even if I remember what it is that You've done.

Maybe that's why You tell us in Your Word to 'Be still and know that I am God." When I find those quiet moments in which I can be still and reflect upon You, I realize so many things. I remembered the prayers which were prayed and I see what Your answers were. When I look around me, I realize all that You have granted me in my life, which makes my life more comfortable. Even the fact that I can sit and 'listen' to You in stress-free moments is a wonderful gift. The word and meaning of 'stress-free' is also a tremendous offering from You.

The world around me...the colors, the views, the amazing environment....it's all so overwhelming, when I sit back and think about it. All You had to do was 'think' it into being. Not only did You think 'tree', You made each type of tree....fir, pine, disiduous. Not only did You think 'color', You spoke hues and shades of each color. What Your thought resulted in was an overwhelming beauty that we might notice, but not offer thanks for.

Lord God, Creator of all things...I give you thanks. Not just for the creation You spoke into being, but for everything that You have brought into my life. For every pain that I've endured and You have allowed, for it has brought with it some meaningful lesson. For every moment that You've kept Your hand upon me, enveloping me in Your care even when I was unaware of it, I praise You. So many things, Lord, swim through my thoughts right now....and I thank you for each one.

More than all else, Father, I lift my gratitude for Your love and Your tremendous plan of salvation which You made known to me. Without that message, without Your plan, I'd be wandering lost and alone, but because You made a way, I belong, eternally, to You! And, my heart is full of thanksgiving. Bless God...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let Go....

Lord, why do I stress over things? Why do I think there's something I can do about them, like I'm in control? Time and time again, I've done something with that idea in mind, only to fall flat on my face. I can NOT fix it! But....I know Who can!

I'm learning. I've been praying for almost as long as I've been breathing. Somehow, I always knew that You were there, and listening. Of course, my early prayers were more like playing "Let's Make A Deal" with You and most often those prayers were answered in a way that I was happy with. As I grew older...and a little wiser...I learned to pray in a different way, but still hoped things would turn out my way. Now, these days, this old lady has learned that YOUR way is the best way, no matter what I might ask for or think I'd like to see.

I've figured out that there's really not one thing I can do about anything, and that worrying is such a waste of time. When I pray, I know You hear. I know You are not sleeping or inactive. I know You are interested in doing what is best, and I know that no matter what I want, You will have Your will. So....I'm learning to let go.

Thank you, Jesus, for always doing what is best. Thank you for helping me to Let Go and turn it over to You. You've already got the controls, but You do delight in hearing me say, "Go ahead. You drive. I'll just sit back and watch the scenery."

I love You, Lord! Drive on.....and I'll try not to be a back seat driver.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lord, I'm having one of those Goliath moments. You know....the ones that are too big to think of without some heart pounding and some mind racing. No matter what speeches I give to myself, the fears continue to rise.

Yes, I know, Lord. There's no sense getting stressed out about the unknown future events. But that's exactly what causes the stress....the unknown! When you know what to expect, you can prepare yourself to deal with it. But there's no dealing with the unknown.

I guess that's where trust in You comes into play. Why would I need to trust if I knew what was coming and how to deal with it? So, I determine to trust You in this stuff, and stop trying to figure these things out. I make a decision, here and now, to place this in your hands and not take it back. I place it in your hands and leave it there. You know best how to untangle the knots and make straight the entanglements that cause confusion and mess. I don't know how to handle anything, and anything I do would not accomplish anything, for I don't know what I'm facing in the future. And....what can I do about it, anyway?

Here, Lord. Take these stresses, these fears and this giant moment that weighs on me. I ask that You might refill those spaces within me with peace and knowledge that You've got it all under control. I know You do....and I will practice trusting You for whatever I'll need today and in the future days. You know that I love You, Lord and I know that You love me. Together we'll get through the known and the unknown.

Thank you, Lord....for....everything.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Lord, so often I hear the news of some trial or huge challenge that one is facing. My heart fills with compassion for that one, and my words form in prayer, asking You to give all that the person needs in order to come through victoriously.

I am blessed to be able to help in such a way. I've had situations that were too big for me to handle gracefully, and You've always answered my prayers and those of others who pray on my behalf. Thank you for providing for me...grace for every situation. You never fail us.

I am blessed to have that gift, and the knowledge that You never leave us or forsake us. You love your children and care for them without measure, without discrimination, without condition.
Lord, thank you for that love and care. I don't deserve such love, not because of anything I've done, and yet, You freely give it, not in payment for my behavior, but because You are God.

I am truly blessed to be one of Your children, and as long as I live and breathe, I pray that I will be a well-behaved child. I hope that when I see You, face to face, that You will say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I don't want You to say that because it will be a reward for me, I want You to say it because I pleased You. I want to please You because I love You and because You have blessed me in so many ways, I want to give back.

Thank you, my precious Savior, for every blessing You have showered upon me. Help me to live my life in such a way that You are blessed by my life, and that others, too, will be blessed by my love for You. Amen

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Doing Battle with Goliath

This week, my devotional assignment on vision, comes from 1 Samuel 17: 26 & 27. in regard to David and Goliath. I have yet to figure out how to write that, but in thinking about them:

I came to realize that Goliaths are in our lives all the time. Sometimes they are quiet and the SON shines in such a way that we don't see the shadows. We go on about our lives without much thought of them. At other times they are huge and noisey and the shadows overtake us, lying over our lives in darkness. It is at those times when we must work to get out of the shadows, taking a leap of faith into the Sonlight. We need to look for God in those times. We need to do battle with our Goliath, not in our own strength, but using the strength provided by God. One of those strengths, no matter how week it "feels", is TRUST. Another is surrender to the knowledge that God never fails us. No matter where we are, no matter what our circumstances, God knows best where to take us, and how to take us through
to work things out for our BEST and for HIS glory!

Do battle with your current Goliath, and don't shiver in your shoes. Stand tall, stand firm in your faith, and walk in complete surrender to the Lord. He will bring about your victory!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Awesome God

Lord, last night I lay awake between midnight and 3 am, and many thoughts wiggled around in my tired head. I thought about You.

We call You an "awesome God." Well, yes...You are awesome, but what does that mean to us? (Not what does that mean for us.) The word 'awesome' has been watered down as it has become a part of our daily useage, and though it does define You in a very real way, I'm not sure that the word has the impact that it ought to when describing You.

If we were truly in awe when we think on You, or pray to You, or lift our praises to You, how could we possibly stand in an upright position. Should we not be thrown to the ground with an over-whelming realization that we are in the very presence of the only true and living GOD?!
Shouldn't we feel, as in the Old Testament, that we were not worthy of uttering the very name of God with our lips?

What amazes me, puts me in awe, is that You want anything to do with us, whom You have purposely created to be Your children, when we have wandered so far from what You desired us to be. We have disappointed You, and still, You adopted us into Your kingdom, made us 'blood relatives' , cared for us, and called us Your children. Even then, as we disappoint You, ignore You, choose our own willful ways, when we are ready to repent, You receive us, forgiving us again, as if nothing ever happened. That puts me in awe!

You do inspire awe within my heart and mind, Lord. It is no longer what You have made. It is not even what You do. It is WHO YOU ARE that causes me to know deep within my soul, that there is no other like You! I want to physically lie down on my face and rest in the thought that You are my own! And You are awesome!

Monday, March 1, 2010


For the last week, I have beens suffering the pain of a pulled muscle in my back. If I get into position, I'm as comfortable as is possible. I can sit, I can stand, but the getting to either position is so painful that moans escape from me without warning.

The other day it occured to me that I should call for help. Oh, yes...I have been praying for myself and my condition, but the Word of God tells us that we should pray for one another and our needs. James 5:14 tells us that if any are sick among us, we should call the elders to annoint us with oil in the name of the Lord and to pray over us, and the Lord will restore us.

I have not seen this practiced in our church in the year that we have been there, although I have heard it mentioned that the men were going to do this for a shut-in. I approached the Pastor and asked if the elders would please annoint me and pray, that this back would be healed. Yesterday, after our alter call, the elders and the congregation gathered around me, laying hands upon me as the Pastor placed oil on my forehead and prayed. There were many speaking out in agreement as the Pastor prayed for the Lord's blessing of healing on my body. I believe God will do what His Word says. I am already healed, although my back still feels the twinges of pain.

When the prayers ended, one man took my hand and he said, "Rise up and walk." With difficulty, but with a smile, I said..." I will walk...and I'm praising the Lord....but I'll have to wait for the 'leaping' part of that verse."

Do we believe in what we cannot see, or only in what we do see and experience? I don't. I beleive God's Word which tells me that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen." (Heb 11:1) I believed when I asked for prayer that God would answer. I believed after the prayers that I have been healed. But, having said that, the pain goes on. I choose to believe, still, that what was requested has been accomplished. Even though the enemy would taunt me and tempt me to listen to his lies that if there is pain, there is no healing, I believe the Truth over the lies.

I am healed... I will faithfully wait upon the Lord for the evidence.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Sometimes it's hard to be all that You want us to be, Lord. Thankfully You know us well enough to know that, even if, even when, we fail at our attempts, we really do try to obey You.

When I look in the mirror, I realize that I'm so imperfect, according to what Your Word tells us. When I look deep into my heart, I recognize that my love isn't quite strong enough, and when I glance into my head, I see thoughts that are so displeasing to me...and definitely to You!

I long to be as perfect a human being as I can possibly be...without any negative thinking or judgements or sin anywhere within me. In my spirit, I wish I could go back in time, and erase everything I've ever done that caused Your death or Your disappointment. But I cannot do that, so You did it for me. What a wonderous love You have brought to me! When I was a wayward soul, walking far from You,
did You give up on my return? No...instead, You whispered again and again, calling me back to You. You tugged on those cords that held me to You, an anchor in my self inflicted storms. I took a beating in those days, but the Anchor held strong, and I wasn't left to drift alone in the life-threatening waves. You held on, even while I didn't.... and eventually, when I was ready to hear Your whispers above the storm, You told the storms to "Be still"... and I returned home to You, like the prodigal.

Lord, You are so good to me! How can I help but love You? I have grown enough to know that, and to desire nothing more than walking closely with You. Stay near, O Lord! And guide me as I go, that my feet would never again wander from the path You've set me on.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Snow on Me...

This winter I've heard many weather reports of snow and much grumbling from those back home who've had enough of it this year. They are ready for Spring.

When I think of the beauty of the snow I'm missing here in the south, other thoughts come...spiritual ones. I think of how the snow falls, covering the earth in a silent, gentle, yet effective, way. Isn't it just like the way You come to us? In a gentle, silent, yet very effective manner, You cover our cold hearts with a blanket of pure love. We are cleansed and our hearts lie under the covering You provide.

In time, the light brightens, the sun warms the ground, and the snow melts away. The pliable soil jumps forth in the blossoming of Springtime. Much like that, our lives are warmed by the true Light of the Son, and we awaken to a newness of living. The dead in us has been tossed away and the earth of our hearts has become softer, ready to bloom in all glory!

Thank you Lord...for the way You teach me simple lessons. Warm me, work with me, Lord, until I am fertile for the seeds You've planted. Then, Father, let me grow and blossom that the world around may see that I belong to You.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Messages in Song

What is it that encourages us in our lives? For me it is singing old-time hymns. From the time I was about three years old, I've been singing hymns and Christian songs. There are messages in these hymns that reach deep down into the heart of us, if we listen. There are words of comfort for a broken heart or a hurting soul. There are words that uplift and encourage us to keep going when we're weary. There are songs to be sung of praise and thanksgiving to a God who knows it all and holds us closely in His keeping.

I know of nothing else, other than the Bible, that speaks so loudly to my spirit. Whatever the emotion within me, there is a message that comes to me in song. In the wee hours of the darkness, when sleep doesn't come, a song will play through me, soothing me as a lullabye, giving me rest. When there's joy unspeakable, a song will rise from within and float across the air to my ears, bringing even more joy to my life.

I am so grateful to those who have put their words on paper, with melodies, that hundreds of years later, I might sing those very words to myself and to others. What a wonderful blessing and a marvelous tool the Lord has bestowed to us in His gift of music to us!

May I sing to His glory every moment, whether audibly or silently within the confines of my heart. Thank you, Lord!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hurting Souls

Lord, after this week with the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, there are so many hurting souls. There are those who still await a miracle in the finding of friends and family members. Others grieve the loss of their loved ones. Some have been rescued, but their bodies have suffered irrepairable damages and their minds will relive these days for many years. There are those who may be seriously injured and frightened, as they lie beneath the rubble of toppled buildings.

We, as a country, watch the televised reports, and ache for the devastation and massive death. We send aid and join those from far-reaching corners of the earth who have gone to help in any way they can.

Father, so many are hurting for other reasons. There is so much difficulty in lives, whether it comes from illness, injury, bereavement, loss of work or some other reason. When I first met You, someone told me "if you've got a problem, God is the answer." You have proven that to be true so many times in my life.

Now, I lift the hurting souls to You. Whatever their problem, be their answer, Lord. Be strength to the weary and the weak, be love and companionship to the the lonely, be guide to the wandering and seeking, be guardian to those who are fearful.

When my children were small, I would hold them and kiss their wounded flesh. It comforted them. But there are so many hurts which cannot be healed or comforted by a kiss. Father, touch those. Wrap them in your loving arms. Hold them on your lap, like a loving Daddy. Kiss their hurts and comfort their hearts,as only You can. Be their answer, Father...be what we cannot be, no matter how much we hurt for them.

Whatever the problem, You are the answer.