Friday, July 31, 2009


I have wonderful news – Praise the Lord news. The two young girls hurt on the 4-wheelers are both home. They need rest and to regain strength. These two girls still need prayers, but are on the way and much better than ever expected. THE POWER OF PRAYER AT WORK!!!

The young lady that was to be married is okay. She is moving one day at a time and, for now, that is what she needs to do. Continue to pray for her too.




Look, he is coming with the clouds


I do not know if you use My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, as a devotional, but if you were looking for a devotional, I would highly recommend this. I am reading this for the forth time and I am still finding new insights. This happened again on the July 29 reading.

"In the Bible clouds are always connected with God. Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. "The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet." The clouds are a sign that He is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come along with God! God cannot come near without clouds, He does not come in clear shining."

I had highlighted parts of this in previous years, wrote in the margin, "Learn more from troubles than from easy times," and thought I understood this days reading. Then the next paragraph jumped out at me.

"It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials; through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn something."

What? I am not supposed to learn. I am supposed to unlearn. Now that makes no sense. One thing I am learning as I read and reread My Utmost for His Highest is that I dig deeper each year and Oswald Chambers can be deep, but unlearn. I always thought I was to learn from my experiences. What could I unlearn?

I could unlearn self-reliance. Hate Distrust. Bitterness. I could unlearn having an un-forgiving spirit. Fear. Disobedience. Prejudice. I could unlearn -----

Light bulb moment: I have to unlearn all these things (and a gazillion more) so I never allow anything to injure my relationship with God.

This week - Go forth and unlearn!!!


Did you ever think about it this way? What do you need to unlearn? Think you are alone when you study and do not understand something? Never fear! You are not alone!!! We are all learning. Seeking. And, hopefully, understanding more.

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


Unlearn. You want me to unlearn? Lord, I know you are with me during trials and rough times. I know you understand and that I can draw upon your strength. But I thought I was supposed to learn. I never thought about unlearning. Help me look at my life and determine what I need to unlearn. Help me work on ________________________.

Help me unlearn so I never allow anything to injure my relationship with You. Amen

Friday, July 24, 2009



And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.


This last weekend was difficult for the members of our church. And yet it did an amazing work in our church. (For privacy reasons, I will not use names, but this happened on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19.)

Saturday was a beautiful day, in our part of Indiana. Sun was shining. A cool day. Rain maybe later in the day, but Saturday started great. Until --

A young lady in our church was to be married Saturday. The Friday night rehearsal went great. Saturday, the bride-to-be posted on facebook, "This is my wedding day." She had planned this day. She was going to be a bride. Until -- Until her fiancée died. Yes, you read that correctly. He died. This Saturday started great. Until.

As our minister was giving comfort to this young lady, another tragedy was taking place. Two young girls were riding 4-wheelers. We all know kids will be kids and they were having fun. Until -- Until the 4-wheelers hit head on. Two girls were flown to the nearest hospital. Two girls who are in serious, but stable condition. This Saturday started great. Until.

I want you to know that there were so many prayers being said. Prayers for comfort. Prayers for peace. Prayers for understanding. Prayers for healing. Prayers for faith. Prayers for wisdom as doctors and families had to make decisions. Prayers. Prayers.

Those prayers continued Sunday morning when blankets were blessed and taken to the young lady who would soon be burying a loved one and to two young girls who did not know when those blankets were laid on them.

The amazing work it did in our church: Sunday during the blessing of the prayer blankets, you could feel the Holy Spirit in our church. Every person was united. United in their love and compassion. In their tears. Every person was united in prayer. United because they knew their prayers were being offered to a God that IS. A God that IS alive and listening. A God that IS there for each person. A God that IS strong when we are weak, confused and lost.

We all have faced or will face a "Saturday started great. Until day." We all have faced or will face a day that brings unspeakable tragedy into our lives. That is when we need a strong faith foundation. A foundation where we have a solid footing.

I pray that each of you have a strong faith foundation. And that you build on that foundation. That your cornerstone is Jesus. That the walls you build are built on the Word of God. That the strength of the cross is placed at the center and that the Holy Spirit fills you.


Have you had something happen in your life that made you need the prayers of others?


Please pray for this young lady and all who loved her and her husband-to-be. Please pray for these two young girls. They need your prayers.

Pray for a strong foundation in your life.

Dear God, Take all that is in my heart and know my prayers are honest and sincere. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen

Friday, July 17, 2009



The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.


As I worked in my flowerbed, I began to think of all the scriptures I had heard that referred to gardens. Planting. Flowers. Vines. As I deadheaded flowers and pulled weeds. As I cut fresh flowers to brighten our kitchen. As I worked, I thought how much these flowers and Christians had in common.

Some of the flowers have deep roots. Deep roots that will hold them tall and will draw water and feed from the ground to make their blooms full and colorful. These deep roots keep the flower firmly planted when the winds blow and reaches deep when the weather is dry. Many Christians are like this. They are rooted in the word and have a strong faith. A faith that stands when life throws them wind and dry spells.

Some of the flowers do not have deep roots and they have rather flimsy stalks. These flowers do not fare too well unless conditions are perfect. They fall over when anything more than a gentle breeze blows. They wither. Their flowers do not last long. Many Christians are like this. They believe. They think that is enough. But when life doesn't go just as they think it should, they don't know what to do. They have no strong, deep faith. So they fall over. They wither. They do not last long.

Some flowers have bright, big, beautiful blossoms. They almost glow in the dark. They have energy. You cannot miss them. Some Christians are like that. They just beam with joy. They have energy to sing in the choir, fix dinner for a shut-in and say yes every time they are asked to help. They are big, bright and beautiful.

Some flowers are delicate. They are soft. They fill in all the empty places. You almost do not notice them. Some Christians are like that. They are just there. They fill in all the empty places. They just do their job.

I do not have the green thumb my mother had. I just do the best I can. Bill puts on fertilizer and waters. I cut some here, thin some there and hope for the best. I enjoy the flowers but the care these flowers get is not even a drop in the bucket to the care God gives the Christians in His flower garden.

God knows just how to tend each flower. He knows how to make the deep roots even deeper. He knows how to help and nurture the flowers that have not developed deep roots. He knows how to celebrate with the big, bright and beautiful outgoing flowers and He knows how to gently appreciate and cultivate the delicate, soft flowers that just do their job.

You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. How wonderful to be a flower in God's garden.


What type of flower/Christian are you?


Today, say your own prayer. Ask God to tend you. To give you strong roots. To give you His living water. Tell God you want to be planted in His garden.

Friday, July 10, 2009



Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.


Have you ever watched buzzards? I used to think they were extremely ugly, gross birds. I still think buzzards have an appearance that only their mothers can love, but they are not gross. Not only do they serve a purpose, they are so graceful. Okay, they are graceful in the air.

The other evening, we were sitting in the back yard watching one buzzard. That ole bird was just using one air current after another to fly higher and higher, until it was just a speck. Then down it came. Ever so slowly, floating down. Down. Down. Then that buzzard just flew off to the east. So, I quit watching the sky.

Shortly, something caught my eye and I looked up. There came the buzzard and it had brought friends. A full dozen. Overhead were 13 buzzards. Circling. Some high. Some low. They would be in a group and then scattered. I would think they had flown off and they would appear again. Thirteen buzzards circling. Over my head.

As I sat there watching them, I wondered if they were watching me. Had the first buzzard gone off to get its buddies because I was such a strange looking human sitting there? Were the buzzards trying to figure out why I was not up flying around? Were they laughing at my blouse? Did they wonder why I wore shoes?

If those buzzards were watching me and were going to report to the King, what would they say? Would they report that I was being lazy, just sitting there? Would they report that I was enjoying the trees? The breeze? Would they repeat my words? What I say?

This got me to thinking. When people watch me, do they see a child of God? Do my actions reflect the King? Do my words ring true? Can they see the love of Jesus?

Darn! Shouldn't have thought about that. Now I need to see my actions through the eyes of others. Do I need to pick my words more carefully? Do I need to smile more so people can see the joy of Christ? Do my actions -- oh, I can see this could be a very long list.

While I work on my list, you have a great weekend.


Have you ever watched a buzzard? Have you ever looked at your actions and words and realized that you are an inspiration to others?

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


Dear Jesus, Help me live my life in such a way that others want to come to you. Amen

Friday, July 03, 2009






Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.


There I sat. Watching a Little League baseball game. Why? That is a good question, but there is a good answer. I had promised our grandson, Nathan, I would attend at least one game. I tried last season, but, every time I could go, it rained and the game was cancelled. Then this season I have been sidelined by surgery and, again, rain. The other night I ran out of excuses. Just so you know. Nathan's team did win and Nathan slid into home plate. That boy sure does love to slide and the holes in the knees of his pants prove it.

It isn't that I don't like to watch the games. It is the parents. Little Johnny or Susie is up to bat and wham, dad and mom kick into super mouth. Yelling and giving instructions louder than the coaches. Swing. Run. Slide. Stay. "What? WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO UMP? SAFE BY A MILE!"

The sad part is that Johnny or Susie was excited to be up to bat. They picked up that bat and swaggered to home plate. Took their place in the batting box. They were ready. They knew they were going to hit it out of the park. Then, strike one.

"Watch the ball." dad yells. Then a ball. Then strike two.

"How many times have we told you to step into the ball?" yells mom. Then strike three.

I hate that time. That is when Johnny or Susie turns away. As they walk out of the batters box, they hang their head. There is no longer a swagger. There is no longer a sparkle in their eyes. They do not want to look at their parents. They know they have let them down - again.

I used to play sand lot ball. Kids getting together at the school diamond to play baseball. Someone would bring a bat. Someone always had a ball. I don't think we all had mitts. We just got together and played. It was fun. If you struck out, your side encouraged you with, "That's okay. Next time." If you hit the ball, your side jumped with glee. One time, I hit the ball through the school window. That game ended quickly and I never told my parents about that.

The thing is we had fun. No parents. No umps. Just kids calling balls and strikes. Changing sides. Playing. You knew you did good when you got a hit, caught the ball or got someone out. You knew you messed up when you struck out, missed that easy catch or threw the ball too low. The difference is, no one yelled at you. No one made you hang your head, loose your swagger or take the sparkle from your eyes.

It seems like kids can't just play a game. Have a good time. Tell each other "See ya tomorrow." Then go home. And tomorrow get together and do it all over again.

Sports are fun. Sports are good for us -- if we are headed in the right direction and after the right prize. 1 Corinthians tells us to "Run in such a way as to get the prize." Then it tells us "we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

We have a coach - God. We have sideline coaches - the angels, the saints and all those that have gone before us. We have the rules - the Bible. We have training - studying the rules and prayer. We have the playing field - our lives.

Batter up. Keep your eye on the ball. Swing. Connect with the ball. HOME RUN!!!!!!!!


Are you ready to play? What games are you playing with your life? Are you running after the crown that will last forever?

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


A Coach. Sideline coaches. A Bible. Study and prayer. My life. I am here God. I want to play on your team. Pick me. Pick me. I want to play and I want to win. Be my coach. Teach me the rules. Give me the support of the angels. The saints. Loved ones that are watching over me. As I hit the ball with my life stamped on it, let it be a home run. A solid, over the fence, no question about it, out of the park HOME RUN. A home run that that ends at home plate with you, my coach, taking me in your arms and saying, "Welcome home." Amen