Friday, April 25, 2008



Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16


Where do you find inspiration? What makes you take out your Bible and look up a Scripture?

Last Saturday, I received a call reminding me I had devotions for our Evening Circle, Monday at church. I hadn't completely forgotten. I just had forgotten that it was April instead of May. I assured Elsie I would have something. But what? As I worked, I thought of this. Then that. Sunday morning I still was not sure. I wasn't sure until I started reading the paper.

Have you ever found inspiration in the Sunday paper? Me neither! Not until last Sunday. I always start with the cartoons and right there, in living color, was a cartoon that made me think of a scripture. Ah, ha -- I would use the paper.

Sunday evening, I took the paper and sat down with sticky notes, pen and scissors. I cut out the cartoon. Then another. Then I turned to the front page. Oh, that article would work. So would that one. The obituaries. The most wanted of the week and an article on war. Even ads. I cut. I snipped. Then I reached for my Bible.

Now, if I had a better working knowledge of the scriptures, this might have been a quick task, but as I have said before, God has a sense of humor. "Mary, since I have tried to get you to read the Bible for years and you have put it off, you will now have to look it up."

Look it up, I did. What I thought would take, maybe, a half hour, turned into two and one-half hours in God's word. An amazing time. Know what I came up with? I will not give you all of them, but will give you an idea.

Everyone who comes is fed. This article was on a food pantry. There was also an article on students collecting canned goods and volunteers helping a couple with quintuplets. This scripture was easy: Matthew 25: 35-40.

Crime Stoppers. Active warrants and solving crime - where would I find a scripture for this? Psalm 140:4

New unrest in Iraq. When I read this article, I realized that my generation (those 60-year-old baby boomers) has never known peace. The end of WW II, the cold war, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and many wars until the War in Iraq. Where would I find a scripture for this? Psalm 140:1-2

There was a picture of a baby learning to eat. We are learning: Luke 6:40. There was an ad for a camera to record and relive your memories, your way. We have memories to record: Psalm 79:13.

The cartoon that started this process was Heart of the City. The characters were discussing a "You Tube" video where people laughed when a guy smashed into a brick wall. They wondered when people getting hurt became entertainment. Are we like the world? Do we laugh? The scripture: Romans 12:2.

The Evening Circle seemed to enjoy the fruits of my work. I know I did. Those two and one-half hours flew by. Those two and one-half hours guided me from the Old Testament to the New. Those two and one-half hours proved - once again - that God is everywhere!!!!!


Where do you find inspiration? This week I would like you to try this. Take a newspaper. Or a magazine. Find articles. Stories. Cartoons. Ads. Then find a scripture that celebrates good news or helps you understand bad news. Or use a word out of an ad (A word like path or door.) and find scriptures with that word in them. Use the concordance and have an amazing time in God's word.

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Giver of the Word, What comfort and peace I find in your word. I find guidance to help others and I find words to call upon for protection. I find words to set me free and words to make my heart sing. Oh God, let me walk in your word. Let me feel comfortable with the Bible. Comfortable so that when I hold the Bible in my hands, I feel a desire to discover more about you. Instill in me a desire to learn and read. A desire to understand. A desire to ………… Amen

Friday, April 18, 2008



O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:1-2

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. Revelation 8:3-4


The sun is shining today. Thank you Lord! The rain and dreary skies were getting depressing. I just hope this is a sign that spring is finally here. I know one thing -- It is a sign that I can get out the bubble stuff.

When the grandchildren come to visit, they head straight for the bubble-blowing bucket. It is full of different sizes of bubble wands. We can blow big bubbles and small bubbles. We can fill the sky with bubbles. All reflecting the light in every color imaginable. I enjoy blowing bubbles as much as the kids, maybe more. And bubbles have been good therapy.

I can remember when our children were small and they had behaved less than admirably. Or days that were less than perfect. Some days were downright lousy. Or times when things broke, like the washer, just when I needed them. Or times when -- You know what I am talking about -- Stress! Pressure! Frustration! On days like that, out came the bubbles.

Bill used to say that if he came home and I was sitting on the step blowing bubbles, he knew he better go around the block a few more times.

Bubbles as therapy? You bet. I would put that ole bubble wand into the bubbles, take it out and blow. At first, I would blow hard. Bubble after bubble. Those bubbles would race toward the sky. Up. Up. And then it would happen. I would blow slower and watch. The bubble would drift up and float away. Then another. And another. I would suddenly realize that I was no longer stressed. It was if the bubbles carried my troubles with them. I would always blow a few extra. Then I would put the lid on, tight, so there would be no chance of spilling my therapy. I would take my new attitude, get up off the step and face life again. Bubbles as therapy? Yes.

I am 61 and I still blow bubbles if I have had a really rough day. The scripture tells us "smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand." The bubbles are my incense. I first blow hard and send my frustration upward. I send up my concerns. I watch the bubbles rise. Taking my stress with them. Then I lift my hands high as I blow more bubbles and watch them slowly ascend. A calm, peaceful rising toward heaven.


How do you relieve stress?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


My refuge and my strength, Sometimes life just doesn't go as smoothly as I would like. People will just not cooperate. And the phone keeps ringing. And now -- If only. If only. Oh, Lord, help me when I get frustrated. When I feel stressed. When I feel pressure. Teach me how to send up bubble prayers. Prayers that will rise to you. Prayers for calm to come into my life. Prayers to be understanding and patient. And when I finish my prayers, allow me to arise and face life. Face life full of the knowledge that you are my refuge and my strength. …… Amen

Friday, April 11, 2008



(The Lord said to Samuel) "Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate."

So Samuel asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest (David)," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."


In June, we are moving from the country into town. This decision has been a long time in the planning, but when things began to fall into place, everything happened at once. The one thing we did not consider was that our dog would not be going with us.

Gretchen, a Rottweiler, is used to watching cars, trucks and tractors go down "her" road. She is used to watching the cows. She is used to having the barn to roam in and has her favorite spot in my flowerbed. She is used to being our office assistant. (Sleeping by our desks.) She is used to an invisible fence keeping her in "her" area.

One day we were looking at what would be our new home. My husband turned to me and said, "We cannot bring Gretchen to town." Yes, we could put in an invisible fence to keep her in the yard, but as loving as she is, Gretchen is not used to having close neighbors. Or other dogs wondering in and out of her yard. We could not take Gretchen to town. We had to face it -- Gretchen is a country dog.

What would we do? Could we find someone to take Gretchen?

Yesterday, a fine young man came to meet Gretchen. Know what? I think Gretchen knew. I think she realized her life was about to change. She went right to him. She sat and let him pet her. Gretchen has always ridden in the back of a pickup but, when it was time for her to go; she got right in the car. Along with her favorite rug, her dog biscuits and toys. She got right in the car. She knew she was leaving.

We hope Gretchen is happy in her new home. With a new family.

Life constantly changes and we really have no idea what tomorrow might bring. When Gretchen got into the car, she had no idea how her life would change. But she got in. When he was summoned, David had no idea how his life would change. But he went.


Is your calendar filled out for the year? Do you know what you are doing this evening? Tomorrow? Fifty-seven days from now? Do you really know? Or do you just know what you have planned? Are you open to change?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Lord of yesterday, today and tomorrow; I admit I have my time planned. I know what I want to watch on TV. I know what I want to wear to church Sunday. I have written my life on a calendar. Let me change. Let me be open to your calling. Let me be willing to change my life when the opportunity comes. Let me be willing to …… Amen

Friday, April 04, 2008



Noah did everything just as God commanded him.


In this part of Indiana, we are having our share of rain. We now have water standing on water. And it is raining again. I wonder if it is time to build another ark.

All of this rain got me to thinking about Noah – Now things were not going too great on earth. Wickedness. Evil. All sorts of bad stuff. So God was ready to wipe out everything.

Genesis 6:7-8 says, “So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe out mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

“Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” What about in the eyes of others? Can you hear it? I imagine it went something like this --

Mrs. Noah probably said, “You’re going to build what?”

And I am sure he heard from his neighbors. “Noah, what are you doing? If you keep this up, the property values will go down.”

Noah’s son Ham was in for some teasing also. “Ham, your daddy doesn’t have both oars in the water.” And Ham would have come back with, under his breath of course, “Maybe not now, but you wait and see who floats and who doesn’t.”

Then there was the trip to the local hardware. When Noah told the owner what he wanted, the owner would have wondered if he heard the order correctly – “You want how much cypress wood? You need how much pitch? I will have to order that in." Rubbing his hands together and, with a wicked grin, he most likely asked, "Will you be paying now or later?”

Think of the strength of character Noah needed to stand up to the looks. To the questions. To the laughing. And yet verse 22 tells us, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

Noah had courage. He listened to God and had the courage to do just what God commanded. We can learn from Noah. We can have courage.


In a Bible Study, the author pointed out that when Noah shut the door, he would have been leaving family, friends and neighbors to drown. They would have been pounding on the boat. They would have been calling to Noah. Think of the courage it took to "do as God commanded."

Has God ever asked you to do something that made you choose His will over family, friends or neighbors? Have you ever taken a stand and then been laughed at or criticized? Have you ever taken a stand and then wished you had not, because the pressure was so great? Have you ever just walked away and then felt ashamed that you were not strong enough? (Remember, God will never ask us to do more than we are capable of doing. And He will give us the strength we need. We just have to trust Him.)

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Glorious God, I am so thankful that you found Noah worthy. And that he listened to your commands. Let me learn from Noah. Let me first listen and find my strength in you. Then let me do everything you command. I do thank you for being patient with me when I am weak. When I do not listen. I ask courage when I feel you leading me. …… Amen