Friday, January 29, 2010



Please read Matthew 20:1, 2, 12, and 15

(Verses 1-2) "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard." (Verse 12) 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' (Verse 15) "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?"


An ad announced that, if you opened a new checking account at a local bank, you would receive a Snuggie Blanket. Sounds pretty good, but it got me to thinking.

What if I was a long time customer? Would I get a Snuggie? What if I went in and asked if they would give me a Snuggie for not changing banks? And if not, would I be upset? Shouldn't I be rewarded for being a customer?

I have seen this same incentive used in other ways. "Are you a registered nurse? Then come work at our facility and we will give you a $1,000 sign on bonus." "First time buyers receive free shipping." "First time buyers receive a discount." "Order in the next 24 hours and we will not only send you one, but two."

What if I was a nurse and worked at the facility for years. Why shouldn't I receive a "stay on the job" bonus? And what if I order after 24 hours, am I penalized and only get one?

Did you read all of Matthew 20:1-15? The complete parable tells that the person hired to work all day received a denarius. So did the person who started work at the third, sixth, ninth and eleventh hours. No matter how long they worked, they received a denarius.

The notes say, "This parable occurs only in Matthew's Gospel. In its original setting, its main point seems to be the sovereign graciousness and generosity of God extended to "latecomers" into God's kingdom. It is addressed to the grumblers who just cannot handle this amazing expression of God's grace."

Wow. I get it. God is so loving. So gracious. So generous. God offers His Kingdom to all that believe. Those that have believed for their lifetime. Those that find faith in their 30's. In their 60's. In their 90's. God offers His Kingdom to those that believe in the last minutes of their lives. He offers His Kingdom to all!!!


Are you a grumbler? Do you complain or wonder why someone receives the same blessings as you do, when they have only been a Christian for three hours? Or six hours? Or nine hours? Or even those that believe at the eleventh hour?

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


Loving, Generous, Gracious God, Thank you that the kingdom of heaven is for all believers. Those that came early into faith and those that came late. I thank you for all those that came early into faith. They have been role models for me. By watching them, I have learned to walk through my troubles with the knowledge that You are with me. Thank you that they are there to celebrate my Christian life. Thank you for all those that came into their faith later. They show me childlike faith. I thank you, gracious, generous, loving God, that you are patiently waiting, eager to give each of your children their reward. Thank you for waiting for me. Amen

Friday, January 22, 2010



And the heavens proclaim his righteousness for God himself is judge. Psalm 50:4

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37


I love to go to Yellowstone National Park. In 1980, I saw my first buffalo and the buffalo has been my favorite wild animal since. They have attitude. They are big and, when they walk, they swagger. As if to say, "Go head. Cross my path. I will come out on top."

When I saw my first buffalo, I also saw an extremely stupid man. Picture a buffalo. Standing there minding his own business. Munching on grass. Now picture a man crawling toward the buffalo. YES. I said crawling. He kept getting closer and closer. Then he stood up and -- are you ready -- took a picture. He turned his back on the buffalo and walked to his car. If that buffalo had sneezed, the man would have been in the emergency room. Just plain stupid!

Of course, I never do stupid things. Okay, maybe once. Or twice. Okay, many, many times during my life. But I would never do anything that stupid.

I never try to read, text or put on makeup while I am driving. And I might slip and say a small, insignificant swear word, but I would never use those big swear words. And ---Better stop here. This is not going where I want it to. I just remembered that I have a lead foot and seem to disregard speed limits. And the other day I shocked my grandson when I used one of those small swear words.

The scripture tells us, "God himself is judge."

Do not judge. Do not condemn. That is so hard. I really do want to judge others and I want to condemn them. Why? Because I want to make myself feel like I am not as bad as "that person." Or "him." Or "her." I want to feel like my sins, my stupid mistakes are small ones.


Do you judge others?


This week say a prayer from your heart and soul. Ask God to give you a loving heart full of compassion and forgiveness. Ask him to teach you how to love yourself enough that you do not have to measure yourself against others.

Friday, January 15, 2010


If you know me, I know what you are thinking. "Well, she has never been all there, so what is new?" I am not talking about me. I am talking about the pictures on our office door.


These are four of our grandchildren. They are good-looking boys and I am sure they have inherited their looks from their mother's side of the family. They range in ages from almost six to thirteen. They are "all boy" and love to roughhouse, give snakes a few bounces on the trampoline and have yet to learn the concept of keeping their rooms clean. They get those traits from their father's side.

But something is missing from the door. Or I should say four things are missing. Pictures of our other four grandchildren. They range in ages from nine to almost fifteen. (A disclaimer here: I AM NOT OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD GRANDDAUGHTER. On second thought, I am.) I need pictures of the other four.

Each of our grandchildren has a unique personality. Each has a special place in my heart. I do not want to miss even one of these special children.


Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous person who do not need to repent."

NOT ALL THERE? My door will not be complete until all eight children are there. God's "door" will not be complete until all of His children are there. God wants every one of His unique children to be with Him. God does not want even one to be lost.


Are you on God's "door" or are you lost? If you are lost, do you realize that all you have to do is turn to God? He is looking for you! God does rejoice every time a lost sheep comes home!!!!!

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


My dear Shepherd, Thank you for including me in your flock. Thank you for coming to find me, when I have wandered away from the safety of your care. No matter where I wander. No matter where I am on my faith journey. No matter that, the ninety-nine are safe, I know you rejoice when I turn to you and say, "Here I am. Please lead me back to your flock." Amen

Friday, January 08, 2010



How do you say anything that has not already been said about a new year? So I decided to break it down.

NEW: 1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The footnote tells us "The unrestrained hunger of a healthy baby provides an example of the kind of eager desire for spiritual food that ought to mark the believer." Is there anything sweeter than a baby? And the feeling of holding a sleeping baby, as you rock in the old creaky rocking chair, is like no other. Especially when that baby is well fed and content. Wouldn't that be great to feel that way? Safe in the care of someone that loves us. Well fed. Content. God loves us. God's Word will feed us.

YEAR: Genesis 1:14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth."

God sure did put thought into his creation. Think how terrible it would be if the world was always light. Or, even worse, always dark. When would we rest? How would we tell time? But he separated our days and nights. Our seasons. Our years. And with each new day, new season and new year, we have the chance to begin again.

OPPORTUNITY: Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Before us is the year 2010. What will we do with it? Will we face it with a smile? With fear? With worry? Before us is the year 2010 and Galatians tells us that "as we have opportunity" we should do good. Opportunity is a big word that comes in small situations, like offering a smile. Or sometimes a kind word. And sometimes we have a really big opportunity, like offering a smile. Or sometimes a kind word. No, I am not confused. A smile or a kind word may seem like such a small thing. A natural reaction or the least we can do. But that one smile or that one kind word may be just what someone needed to get them through the day. Or even through the next second.

SNOW: And where does the snow fit in? That is what I see outside my window. Snow that is light and fluffy. Glittering like diamonds. A world made beautiful by white, pure snow.

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."


Are you well fed? Are you full of spiritual milk (the Word of God)? How are you facing 2010? Are you excited about the opportunities ahead of you? Have you turned your sins over to God and allowed them to become white as snow?

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


Dear Lord, I am thirsty. Give me wisdom and understanding as I read and study your Word. I see 2010 in front of me and will try to face this year with excitement and appreciation for the days and seasons and years you have given me. And I will turn my worries and fears over to you so they do not consume my joy. I will look for opportunities to do good. To smile. To encourage. To give your love to others. I thank you for the blessings of 2009, for making my sins white as snow and for opportunities ahead of me. Amen