Sunday, December 19, 2010

What is Christmas?

Is it tinsel and presents? Food and fun?
Is it parties and programs? Or being with everyone?

Is it shopping and bustling? Busy or not?
Is it trees or caroling and what have I forgot?

Is it saddness and tears? Is it inside yearning?
Is it wondering who will be waking up hurting?

Is it fear and darkness? Is it loneliness and pain?
Is there anything that can keep us from going insane?

Yes there is! I know what it is!
It is the true meaning of Christmas, please lend me your ears!

For Christmas is not about taking and getting. Christmas is about sharing and not forgetting.

That the Lord sent his Son, the greatest gift of all, to be born as a baby, then die for us all.

That was His mission, the reason He came and the message is not different, it is still the same.

He loves us that much that He died so we could live. He suffered, bled and He cried. But most of all He forgives.

He forgive us when we're busy. He forgives us when we stray. His love is always with us, every hour of every day.

So this Christmas when your gathered with the ones you love, remember that His gift is looking from above. Remember that the Savior has come for set us free and that He loves us forever, eternally!

Merry Christmas- Julie

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mary or Martha?

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42

I love to entertain. I LOVE IT!- I am the woman who starts planning and plotting for a family holiday, MONTHS before the actual holiday. I love to entertain. I am the woman that will spend endless hours on the intranet, searching for the perfect menu and perfect recipes. I love to entertain. I am the woman that will search Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Jeffrey Allen and every holiday magazine and holiday cooking TV show for the perfect centerpiece, the perfect napkins, the perfect dishes, the perfect flatware, even the perfect name plates. I love to entertain. I am the woman that will have her menu posted a month before, and her table sat the week before. I love to entertain. I am a Martha. I'm ashamed to admit, but I am. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, wanting everything to be "perfect". On more than one holiday I've worked hard to have the perfect table, the perfect menu, to be the perfect hostess, but is it all in vain? Are you a Mary or are you a Martha?

I should ask myself-"If Jesus was attending my holiday event, would my preparations be the same?" I know I would want things to be perfect-after all I'm entertaining the King of Kings! But what would be truly important?-that my napkins matched my centerpiece? That I served the most delicious meal? NO-what would be important is that I would be in the presence of God! Should we spend time running around or should we be sitting at His feet? Should we be a Mary or a Martha?

We do this in our spiritual lives as well. How many times have I thought to myself, “I have to set “this perfect time” aside and I have to read the perfect devotion book? Jesus wants us to take a long deep breath and just relax. He wants us to breath and allow His Spirit to envelope us. Please don’t get me wrong, I believe we should set aside precious time every day to spend just with Him. We get discouraged easily and slack off or even give up when it comes to personal time with Him. I know I’ve been guilty of that. Mary didn’t even know at the time, that her time with Jesus on earth would be ending soon. But still she sat at his feet, just worshiping him in all His glory.

I need to take a lesson from Mary. Jesus isn't concerned with the fancy frills- Jesus isn’t interested in how many pies I’ve baked or if the marshmallows are melted perfectly on my sweet potatoes. He's looking at the inside-not what's on the outside. Mary knew the importance of every minute she was in His presence and she didn't want to waste one second.

The next time I host a holiday, I'm certain His Spirit will be there. Sure-I'll want it to be nice, but I will remember Mary and her satisfaction of the simple things and I will thank God that I have what's important around me-my family and friends and I will be content.

Father, thank You so much for holidays! Thank You for family and friends- for old traditions and new memories, for the opportunity to be grateful for all You have bestowed on us. Help me to relax this holiday season and truly remember the meaning and what's important- YOU.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Fog

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge Him
and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5 & 6

I drive around a low-lying bend of riverbed on my way back and forth to work every weekday. This morning in the early hours, even before the sun had rose, the fog was heavy in this particular stretch of road. As I went around the curve, I realized I couldn't’see the road, but because I travel it every day- I knew there was a curve there and I should slowly veer to the right. On both sides of the road are guard rails and beyond that the embankment drops and then hits the current river below.

I looked out over the fog and it seemed I was on top the clouds as I drove along and I was marveling at God’s handy-work and all the aspects of weather He has provided for us to enjoy, when I had to stop and think about the dangers of this fog- the inability to see and only because I was accustomed to this road- did I know I was safe to continue traveling ahead until the fog had lifted.

My life- our lives are like this sometimes. We’re enjoying everything around us, admiring our lives and our surroundings when lurking ahead is danger we can’t see because our heads are in a “fog”. We may or may not be in familiar territory, but that doesn’t change the aspect or threat of a very real danger- SIN. Make no mistake- sin is sin even if we see it coming or we don’t. If you’ve ever driven in the fog, you know you can’t see something until you’re right up on it and it can take you by surprise- sin is the same way.

When our heads are clear and fog-free- we can focus on what’s ahead with great expectations. We can navigate ourselves around dangers- around life’s curves and pot-holes. We can see clearly the road and keep straight and safe. But when sin fogs our heads or more importantly our hearts- we’re in unfamiliar, very dangerous territory and don’t think for one second satan doesn’t know this. He is a low-lying snake that is just waiting to pounce when he sees the opportunity to misguide us. And he’ll strike before we even know what hit us.

Friends, no matter what you’re dealing with in your life- let’s keep our eyes on the Road- Christ. Even when life’s circumstances come at us from all directions and we’re unsure of the road ahead- keep close to Him- relay on the Road you know- the True Path to safety. Fix your eyes on Him- don’t take them off and He will guide you safely home where He’s waiting for you and me to be with Him forever.

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for being my Road. Thank You for Your guidance when I'm misdirected and lost. You know I have been lost so often my by own doing and I praise You for always guiding me to the right path. Thank You for never giving up on me!- AMEN


Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Am Never Alone

16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Kings 6:16-17 (NIV)

Do your eyes need to be opened? Mine do. I need to be reminded that I am not alone- EVER. I never walk into a home, a church, a workplace, or a store that I am alone. Because the Spirit of my God lives within me- I am NOT alone-EVER. Praise the Lord! I’m going to say that again- PRAISE THE LORD!

I want you to hear me with your whole heart because what I have to say is powerful- it can set you free. Free from pain, free from insecurity, free from whatever might hold you captive at this season of your life. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Elisha was facing a war- he and his servant were facing a mighty battle with the enemy, but he knew the secret. His servant panicked, and all Elisha had to do was pray for God to open his servants eyes so he could see that that although they were surrounded by the enemy, they were more importantly surrounded by protection from the Lord. Elisha said – they might have a lot- but we’ve got thousands! They might have the boat- but we have the Ship. They might have the pistol, but we have the Machine Gun!- Do you get the picture?- They had Him- His protection- His shield!

Because we live in this world, we live as Christians in a world that is filled with pain and suffering. Every day we face some sort of enemy. God never promised us moonlight and roses as long as we’re on this earth. But He did promise protection- security and we will never face anything alone. I don’t know about you, but for me- that alone is worth getting out of bed for. I have lost sight of that at times. I have allowed my own insecurity to consume me and as a Christian I should known better- shame on me.

I have had to be reminded of that very recently and I am so thankful for His Words- powerful Words of promise and hope, Words that can make the difference in my life, my actions and my witness. When I feel surrounded by the enemy- whether it be a person or a situation- I don’t face that trial alone. I face it with the security that He is with me and loves me and will and does protect me! How cool is that!?!

My prayer lately has been that my eyes will be open to the evil around me. And although I know that we are all made in His image and there is good to be found in everyone- the devil is alive and well and sometimes is sitting in that chair next to you- walking up behind you, or may even be living under your same roof- I pray for the ability to see that. I want my eyes to be opened. I want to know who my enemy is and that’s not always obvious. We’ve all trusted in someone- confided in someone- loved someone that has hurt and disappointed us. I can’t be shielded from hurt my entire life and it’s through some of my hurt that I learn, or am reminded that yes,- there will be pain, there will be tears, there will be loss- but I don’t face it alone.

I guess the bottom line for me is- I can’t escape pain or evil- but Lord- open my eyes so that I can see You. So I can keep my eyes fixed on You- and know You are with me and that I am NEVER alone!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

No, You Can't Do It By Yourself!

"The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of whom shall I be afraid?"
Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

It's that time of year- the kids are going back to school- the weather is still hot and the Illinois State Fair has come to a close. Phil and I took two of our grandchildren the final weekend and while were waiting on some other friends to meet us, our 4 yr old grandson, Mayson wanted to get on some rides. So Grandpa purchased tickets and we made our way through the people trying to pick out the best one that would satisfy him.

He was determined as he walked through the people, like he was a (little) man on a mission. He came to a stop in front of The Octopus. Now,... he had been to the fair the night before and I was told he rode it with his dad. I looked at Phil, walked Mayson to the device that checks to ensure he's tall enough to ride, turned to my big brave husband,Phil and asked if he wanted to ride it with him. I got "the look"- and he gracefully declined and said he's stay there (grounded) with the little sister.

So we waited our turn and while we stood in line, Mayson kept telling me "Nana, it's ok- I can do it myself" "Really, Nana- I can do it myself". I watched it turn one way, then another. Then it went up and down and I lovingly said to this FOUR year old, "Oh no honey, you can't do it by yourself".

Now, I have said numerous times that I love a thrill. I love the excitement of roller coasters and rides that flip and turn you, so I really didn't think twice about jumping up into the seat with him and watching as the man pulled the front towards us and locked us in. We were the first ones on, so it took awhile for the entire ride to start, but as we sat at the top and the seat swayed back and forth, I'm saying to myself... WHAT WAS I THINKING???

Let me say that the only saving grace of this entire fiasco is that because we got ON first- we got OFF first. The ride started and we went up and down and round and round and one way, then the other and I can honestly say- I thought he was going to die. I held on to him with a death grip and just kept saying "Hold on baby- just hold on!"

When we finally had our feet planted firmly on the ground, I looked down at him and he looked up at me and said "Nana, we just about fell out!"... I said, "yes honey, we just about did" I don't mind telling you, this was probably one of those times in my life when I was really, really, really scared. I was shaking as we walked away and thanking God we had lived through it.

I've been reminded several time since then when I recall the memory of that evening- you can't do it yourself! None of us can. We can try, we give it our best effort, but we really can't do it ourselves. We need to rely on God. We need to prepare ourselves for battle against the enemy, stay as close as we can to Him and hold on for dear life! I have to ask myself if God sometimes feels like I did when I was trying to hold on to Mayson and make sure he was safely out of harms way- I'm sure He does. I'm sure He's been with me on my wild ride of life and He's said "hold on baby- just hold on"

I've done things in my lifetime that could have cost me my life. I've been reckless and out of control. I've been so caught up in the thrill that when the danger approaches so fast- I'm totally not prepared. I praise God that I have parents that prayed me through those wild years, because I might not be here today if they hadn't. I know how much I love Mayson- how much I love ALL my grandchildren and the thought of him or any of them being hurt breaks my heart. I know I can't always be there to protect them- but praise God we have a Savior that calls down his angels to protect us during those hours of need. God loves us and He never leaves or forsakes us. He's with us 24/7- isn't that awesome?!? Think about it,... we're NEVER alone- His Spirit is always with us- IN US, protecting and guiding us to a safer path.

It'll be awhile before I'll try that little stunt again with Mayson- or anyone for that matter. I guess my age is mellowing me out some because it wasn't nearly as thrilling as I thought it was going to be- at least not the good kind of thrilling. I'm ready to slow down and enjoy my life a little more, bounce my grand-kids on my knee more than swing them through the air on a silly carnival ride.

God tells us in His Word that we can't do it by ourselves and give us the Handbook and the tools through prayer to face any and all wild rides that life can dish out. I'll always be thankful that He's with me and that I can't to do it myself!

Father, I thank You for always being there with me- through it all- the good and the bad, the calm times and the scary. I praise You as my Savior and Protector. Thank you for Your Word and for the promises that it holds for my life. Help me to remember You're only a prayer away. - Amen


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sin Stinks

14But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

II Corinthians 2:14-16

I drive past a hog shed everyday to and from work. As you approach- and some days are worse than others, but it STINKS. There are also a few houses along that road and I've often thought to myself- "I would NOT want to live in one of those houses and smell that everyday". The farther I drive, the smell goes away but some day's, it can almost bring tears to your eyes.

Growing up, I had a great uncle that raised hogs. When I would visit a few times a year, he would let my cousins and me go in and see the new little pigs. When you first stepped in, again- it STUNK, but the more you were in there, it because bearable, and sometimes you almost couldn't even smell the stench.

I was thinking about sin this week and how sometimes it's so obvious- it's like a stink you can't get rid of. And other times, it's gradual, you get used to it and at times you tolerate it and hardly know it's there. God HATES sin and He never gets used to it and neither should we. The farther we are away from God in our faith, the more we can't smell the stench of sin. We almost become immune to it and that's deadly, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

In II Corinthians 2:14 it says: "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. When we belong to Christ, we don't stink- we smell like Him and others around us saved and unsaved smell it too. When we're saved, our sin still smells to us sometimes, but that smell is not from Him- it's from satan, wanting us to remember our mistakes so we can continue in the sin or dwell on it and not be fragrant for Him. Don't allow satan to fill your nose with the foul smell of sin.

Sometimes we need to smell it to remember how bad it was and how we don't want to be caught up in it again. The stink should remind us to get as far away as we can and draw close to Christ- He cleanses us from ALL sin. But we should never wauler in it like a pig.

Father, I praise You. Thank you for the forgiveness you always extend. Thank You for the sense of smell and that to You- we are a sweet fragrance. In Jesus Name- AMEN


Sunday, August 1, 2010


We talk a lot about hats and the different ones we’ve worn in the past, we currently wear or will wear in the future. I look back on my hats and I can visualize them. Some were comfortable, some were not. Some were fun, some were not. Some were protective, some were not. Some were practical, some were not. And some were pretty, attractive or trendy, and some were not.

I do like hats (not as much as purses) but I like hats. We hosted a Kentucky Derby party at our home this year and the ladies all wore hats- including my infant granddaughter, Kamryn. No matter how old or how young- we all have hats. Some of my hats have included:

A Fun Hat- maybe a baseball hat or a jesters hat at times. Growing up I was active, was involved in my church and in my school. At times, it felt like I didn’t have a care in the world- I could laugh and enjoy life because I was going to live forever… we think that when we’re young, don’t we? Like we’re invincible- we can conquer the world if we had the chance. I remember my mother telling me “these are the best years of your life”. Being young and carefree was nice, but then came,…

The Vail- I got married, it draped down my shoulders like a protective shield. It was shear and light, it was quickly replaced by a soft handmade cap for our new son and then a daughter. Yes- becoming a wife and a mother soon brought hats that filled my life. Sometimes I wore,…

A Bakers hat- I was the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, A Chauffer hat- I was the taxi driver getting everyone where they needed to be. And most of the time I felt I was wearing a Hard Hat- I was the disciplinarian and had to make rules and make sure they were followed. Life started speeding up. The situations and circumstances came flying by like meteors, dodging and ducking out of the way to not be hurt. I’ve worn a Nurses cap, used more band aids and peroxide than you can imagine. I’ve wore a Maids hat- cleaned and tidied up behind everyone.I currently wear a Sun hat when I garden, I still use the Chef and Maid hat as well, but my Chauffer hat has been up on the shelf along with Nurses hat, which I still use occasionally.

I wouldn’t trade any of these hats. They’ve all served their purpose and fit me well throughout the years. But there is one final hat I plan to wear and it’s one I’ve been looking forward to my entire Christian life- the ultimate hat- a Crown- My Crown. The Bible says we’ll receive a Crown of Righteousness.

“And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:8

Are you ready for this final Hat? I am!

Father, thank you so much for all the hats and responsiblities You've allowed me to have throughout the years. I was so blessed to wear each one. I thank you for the lessons that came with each. I ask you continue to bless me with many hats and that I use each one for Your glory and for Your praise. I ask these things in Jesus Name- Amen


Sunday, July 4, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

"This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…"

I wasn’t sure what the correct word was for the item that actually extinguishes a flame. But, thanks to the intranet, I now know it’s called a “Snuffer”. According to Wikipedia :

“In modern times, a candle snuffer is an instrument used to extinguish burning candles. This is accomplished by smothering the flame with a small metal cup that is suspended from a long handle, and thus depriving it of oxygen. The use of a candle snuffer helps to avoid problems associated with blowing hot wax. Candle snuffers are commonly used in homes and churches."

If you Google it, you’ll find all shapes and sizes of them. Snuffers.

Snuffers- “extinguish burning candles... smothering the flame …depriving it of oxygen.” do you have “Snuffers” in your life? People that put out your flame- your enthusiasm, your fire for the Lord? Maybe you work with one. Maybe your neighbors with one. Maybe you’re related to one. Maybe you live with one… ouch! That’s a little too close to home! We all have at least one- I’m sure many of us have more than two or three “snuffers” in our lives. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he writes:

"6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

2 Timothy 1: 6 & 7

When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. When the disciples first witnessed the Holy Spirit it came like a flame.

"1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. "

Acts 2: 1-4

I also found it interesting that in Wikipedia it said:

.. The use of a candle snuffer helps to avoid problems associated with blowing hot wax...

I feel sometimes like my "snuffers" see my faith as a "problem" and they feel that when I share my faith I'm "blowing hot wax" as if it would harm someone instead of help to save them. I think Satan feels that way. I think he doesn't want us sharing, loving, teaching or even trying to spread our flames and igniting the people around us.

Finally, Wikipedia stated:

"...Candle snuffers are commonly used in homes and churches."

Now that final sentence hit me right off the start- do we have "snuffers" in our church's also??? Oh yeah- ALIVE AND WELL. Every day we see and hear about church issues. Disagreements that sometimes split churches right down the middle. How sad is that! If we allow Satan into our churches, we're in big trouble. He can be there like a stealth bomber, just coming in under the radar and then WHAM- attack when we least expect him to. When we allow things like what color the paint the men's bathroom, where to place the communion trays or getting our feelings hurt because someone didn't include us for an event, we're allowing Satan to have a field day!

Friends, don't let Satan do this. Don't allow him to "snuff" our faith. Don't allow him to extinguish our flames but allow His Spirit to fan the flame and make it stronger than ever so everyone can witness it.

"Won't let Satan (snuff) it out- I'm gonna let it shine.
Won't let Satan (snuff) it out- I'm gonna let it shine.
Let is shine, let it shine, LET IT SHINE!"

Father, I so thankful for your Holy Spirit. I'm so amazed at Your awesome power and flame that rises in us when we allow You to fully work in us. Help us to not allow that flame to be dimmed or even extinguish by satan. In Jesus Name- AMEN


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beauty Routine

"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him."

1 John 2:27 (NIV)

A few months ago, I decided after almost 30 years to change my skin care. I had only used one specific brand of skin care and it was something that was introduced to me at the tender age of 15. My mother had attended a skin care class and told me if I would use it, she would buy it. Now, let me ask you- what 15 year old is going to say “no” to makeup??? So began my love for this product and I was actually faithful and vigilant in using it daily.

Over the years I have followed a routine of skin care twice daily- when trouble areas have arose- there was a special product to help. If (and now when) wrinkles appeared- there was a product to help. When there was an age spot- there was a product to help. This skin care line seemed to have all their bases covered.

I honestly can’t remember why I decided to switch to something different, maybe out of curiosity- but I stepped out to try something new and see what would happened (if anything) At first I was very impressed with the new product, it seemed to adjust well and handle my problem areas. I was pleased with the results I was getting. Things were looking up and I was a little boastful that I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone.

Stick with me here men because I can feel the eyes rolling and the “what does this have to do with faith…it’s just makeup for crying out loud”. J I ran across one of my old products this week and thought to myself to try it again to see if I could actually notice a difference. BOY DID I! Not that the new products didn’t work, but I found that the old was better for me and my needs. Maybe my skin was just so used to the old routine, I don’t know but it made me think…

Our faith is a daily routine, it is something that we need to vigilantly and faithfully follow. It isn’t something to be “experimented” with. The Bible is God’s ONE True Word. It’s our handbook, our Leader Guide and Compass. I love to read books by bestselling authors such as Max Lucado or Beth Moore. However, these books are not the Bible. They should be an addition- not a substitution for regular Bible study. I find encouragement and insight from Max and Beth, but draw Divine Intervention from studying my Bible.

Studying our Bibles on a faithful schedule helps us with ANY problem area s that may arise. It’s not a superficial solution- it’s the Ultimate Health Treatment. Try it, I can GUARANTEE you’ll love the results!


Father, thank You so much for the privelge of daily walking with You. I praise You that all I have to do it ask and You are there. Being with You daily is what keeps me in Your perfect care and without it, I am truly flawed, inside and out. In Jesus Name- AMEN.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Conscience Stricken

3When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the middle of the court and put the case before Him.
4Teacher, they said, This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery.
5Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such [women--offenders] shall be stoned to death. But what do You say [to do with her--what is Your sentence]?(A)
6This they said to try (test) Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger.
7However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.
8Then He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger.
9They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court.
10When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?
11She answered, No one, Lord! And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.
John 8:3-11 (Amplified Bible)

I chose the Amplified version of this scripture because vs. 9 interprets the scribes and Pharisees actually being “conscience stricken”. The first few times I studied this story, my focus was on the accused woman. I can only imagine the men shoving her into Jesus’ presence, maybe even throwing her down at his feet on the dusty dirty floor. I imagine her with her head hung low, not even being able to look up at Him in shame. I imagine she thought “this is it- I’ve been caught- everyone now knows what I am and I’m going to pay the ultimate price”.
I have done so much to be ashamed of in my life and sometimes the guilt has been so overwhelming… well let’s just say it’s hard to focus on anything but that. I can’t even imagine how much worse I would actually feel if I was physically in front of Him- having to face my sin. But this woman knew that guilt. We live in such a secular world- that when we sin, we sometimes forget Who we will face and answer to. I bow my head when I pray- sometimes it’s out of humility and reverence and sometimes it’s out of guilt and shame. I cannot express how much His Mercy and Grace have and continue to mean to me in my life. Without it I would continue to be lost. But praise God- I am a forgiven child of His!
My second thought while studying this story was that of the scribes and Pharisees- they were the accusers. They were trying to trick Jesus, but got a wake- up call BIG TIME. I relate to the accused woman, but I also relate to these accusers. How many times have I picked up rocks to throw at people? How many times have I played judge and jury? I’ve been guilty of jumping to conclusions, not having the facts and not going to the source. What about the times I have “shared” something I shouldn’t? Whether or not the person knows I said it- God knows it and I’m still discrediting myself and them.
We get so focused on being the victim that we sometimes forget we’re the victimizer too. We play both roles- we all do it. It doesn’t make it right, but we do. How many times have we sat in church and listened to a convicting message only to be thinking to ourselves, “I wish (fill in the blank) was here to hear this!” My point is- WE need to hear it too. We need to be reminded that we are sinners too and God has forgiven us. Forgiveness is hard-period. It’s a work in progress sometimes, but we always need to be working towards that forgiveness so we can, in turn be forgiven.
The next time I pick up a stone (a wrong thought about someone, a negative comment, a dirty look) I will remember Jesus stooping down and writing on the ground- maybe He’ll be writing my sin to remind me to look at myself first before I decide to pick up that stone and prepare to throw it at someone else. I pray that image is engraved on my heart and in my mind- and that you will too.

Father God, thank You so much for forgiveness, for without it, we are all lost. I praise You that You loved us so much, You sent Your Only Son to die for our sins. Help us to always remember the sacrifice You made so that we can have eternal life with You. Help us to put down our rocks and to get on our knees. In Jesus Name- AMEN

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tune In

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

John 10:27

My wonderful husband loves talk radio. Now as most of you know, it wasn't that long ago that it was pretty much limited to an AM radio station. Turn on the TV now and we have channels designated solely to news, commentary and just about anything you can possible think to talk about. He loves to listen to heated debates regarding politics, current events and religion. He travels all day in a vehicle so this is his only link for outside communication most of the day. But his love of talking isn't just limited to the radio, it has now migrated onto the TV when he arrives home.

Please remember above I did call him my "wonderful" husband :) I have a confession- I don't like talk radio or television. To me, it's like remembering as a child trying to tune in an AM channel and only getting static. I would rather listen to completely nothing than to listen to static, even if it's just in the background. I even work in a building that actually pipes in "white noise". It's subtle- you have to really concentrate to hear it, but it's there.

I become really frustrated when I hear these heated discussions- everyone fighting for position, everyone wanting to be heard. People interrupting, raising their voices and pointing their fingers. To me, it just sounds like static. It's hard to distinguish what the point of the discussion is because everyone is talking at the same time or not being allowed to finish their statement.

When I do sit down and listen to the local news or something that's not a debate, I really enjoy it. I can concentrate and really absorb the content. I find myself totally in tune with what the person on the other side is saying. I understand them, hear them clearly and learn something new most of the time.

Are our spiritual lives like this? When we allow ourselves to be too busy, too preoccupied we're not tuned in to what God wants to tell us. Sometimes we're too busy trying to get our point across to listen to what He has to say. We're consumed with our side of the day or the situation. Listen to ME- Hear ME- Tune ME in. It's all about ME.

Let me tell you something that I can say with 110% confidence- I am more tuned in and hear more when I am quiet than when I'm fighting for position to be heard. When we allow His Spirit to just quiet our hearts and minds- His Spirit moves in us and we hear all kinds of none earthly static! It's a Peace- a calming of our spirit. I want to challenge you this week to take time to tune OUT yourself and tune IN God. Find a quiet spot, if only for a few minutes and just stop thinking about everything on your heart and allow Him to tell you about His plans and promises. Ask for His Spirit to just overtake the static- all the worldly distractions and just dwell for a few priceless minutes on Him. You won't be disappointed!

Heavenly Father, I praise you for giving me a voice. I praise you for allowing me to be heard. I praise you for all the times you listen to it being all about ME. Help me to stop, tune in and listen to You. I ask for Your Spirit to lead my heart away from my concerns and bring me to your side where I can be at peace and have complete rest. Thank you so much for the promises I have in You. Thank you for tuning me in and tuning out the static!- In Jesus Name- AMEN


Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Can't Fix It

I run for dear life to God, I'll never live to regret it.
Do what you do so well:
get me out of this mess and up on my feet.
Put your ear to the ground and listen,
give me space for salvation.
Be a guest room where I can retreat;
you said your door was always open!
You're my salvation—my vast, granite fortress.

Psalm 71:3 (The Message)

I’ve struggled for many years with a sense of “I can fix it” syndrome. When my life took turns and detours, my first thought is “I can fix it”. I’ve allowed myself to have this false sense of ability. To believe that if I was the one to mess it up, I was the one that was going to fix it. – I had to, it was my mistake.

Very early in my years I was involved in a relationship that took a wrong turn and ended up very badly. The other part of the relationship took a total nose-dive and not only went down the wrong road, but completely “derailed”. They made mistake after mistake, went though one disastrous relationship after another and all the while, I sat back and thought to myself “I can fix this”. Or “I should have fixed it”. I had moved on but their destructive actions haunted me because I played the “if I would have…” “if I hadn’t had…” card over and over again in my mind.

Fast forward several years- my life goes on but I still have this “I can fix it” mind-set. I continue to make mistakes, watch others around me that I love and care about make mistakes and my first impression is “I can fix it”. That’s always my first thought- what can I do to help? How can I help fix it? I’m not sure how to shut it off but… I am guilty of trying to hold onto it and fix it myself because my mind is telling me that I’m the one that made the mistake in the first place. I feel really guilty scooping up the entire heap of wrong rubble and handing it over to God to fix- it’s like handing a broken toy to a parent in hopes that they can make it right. By laying our mistakes at His feet and allowing Him to have it- He does more than fix the situation- He fixes US.

Friends- it is NOT our job to “fix it”. It is our job as Christians to pray, listen, support and bottom line- GIVE IT TO GOD to handle. If it’s a mistake that we’ve made or another that we’ve inflicted intentionally or even unintentionally- GIVE IT TO GOD. We can NOT undo the past. We are NOT saviors. There is only One Savior and He’s more than willing and capable of fixing it.

Something I heard recently that I really needed to hear and has helped me immensely is this: We all have made mistakes, hurt others, and been in situations and relationships that have been lethal at times. And whether it was our choice to be in them, we mistakenly got involved or even volunteered for the heartache, and it turned out to be one big huge mistake- we don’t have the ability to fix it. It’s our job to confess, repent and give it up to God. Regardless of what happened or who was hurt, if we give it to God to fix- He will make something good of it, regardless of how bad we made it to begin with. Let me say this, it is important that we take responsibility for our actions- I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t say we’re sorry and apologize. Sometimes that can really help the situation down the healing path, and once we’ve done that- allow God to have it because only He can fix it perfectly. I can't fix it.

Father, I praise you that you are the Utlimate "Fixer"! You are and always have been the One person who has seen me through every mistake, every wrong turn, every wrong path and still You allow me to be within Your Mercy and Grace! Thank you for loving me through the mistakes, and for the knowledge that I have in You, that even when I fall- You will always be there to fix it if I give it all to You. Help me to always remember that. In Jesus Name.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Years Resolutions or New Years Absolution?

This Devotion is solely to glorify God and to further His Kingdom and to Him do I give ALL the glory.

I chose this email address because it was on Nov 1978 that I invited Christ into my heart-and since that day He and I have had a lifetime of memories, some good and some not so good- but He's never left me- He's been in every second of every day. And everyday I face with Him. It is my prayer that these devotions touch your life and that you will forgive my human heart at times, but please know it's my desire for these words to bring you closer in your relationship with our Father.

Thank you for allowing me to share my heart with yours.

New Years Resolutions or New Years Absolution?

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" Hebrews 13:8
We talk so much about New Year's Resolutions. What we will do to make the next year better than the one before. How will we live differently than the year before. We make lists and promises to ourselves. I'm sure they are all made with good intentions, but let's be honest-how many do we actually follow through? I have had a few resolutions that I have actually followed through but even more that I've failed in seeing all the way to the end. This year instead of focusing on the resolutions I can make about the coming year, I want to focus on the absolution of the coming year. Let's see,... what do I know is absolute?

First, I am absolute in the fact that God's love for me never changes. He loves me when I succeed and when I fail. He loves me when I'm joyful and when I'm sad. When I'm loving and when I'm bitter. When I'm fake and when I am real. My attitude and reactions change, but His love for me never does.

I am absolute that His love is endless. His love stretches as far as the East is from the West. Which is a little hard for me to comprehend since I live in the "Midwest". I'm more central than one or the other-the distance is closer than if I lived on the West Coast and traveled all the way to the East Coast. His love spans that entire distance and as a matter of fact, His love covers the entire globe and then some. It has no boundaries, it is endless.

I am absolute that He is perfect. And because He's perfect, I'm sure I am not. It literally blows me away to think about how perfect He is. We recently had a beautiful snowfall and getting out of my car one evening, I could see the moon's light reflecting on the new snow and it had a sparkle to it as if it was laced with diamonds. And it was so perfect I had to just stand there and admire it for a minute or two until my cold toes reminded me where I was. But as I walked in the house I was reminded how perfect God makes things for us and how we- with man's own hand sometimes ruin them. Just like that beautiful snow, if it was left untouched, would have continued to be pure. But the foot prints of man (and snow plows) soon make it very unattractive. We do that with His plan for our lives when we don't allow His Will to work- He is perfect.

Finally, I am absolute that He is coming back for me. I believe that He is preparing a new home for me and it will be beyond my wildest imagination. I am absolute that by His blood I am saved, because of His sacrifice. And it is only by Grace and Mercy that I will live in eternity with Him and finally be free of all the superficial promises this earthly dwelling place is offering me now. How wonderful to live in the presence of my Lord and Savior forever, how ABSOLUTELY wonderful!


Are You Ready?

I had a dream. I was walking on a side road and came to where the road made a “T”. There was an empty field in front of me and I looked into the clouds. I could hear a very distant music that was more beautiful than I have ever heard in my entire life. Little by little the music became louder. I did not recognize the words or the music but it was mesmerizing.

Still staring at the sky, one angel appeared in the distance, and then there where three, and then 12 and they continued to multiply until the entire sky was consumed and they were all singing the same wonderful song. The music continued to get louder and the angles continued to multiply and draw closer. I knew in my heart that this was the Glorious Appearance and Jesus would soon appear surrounded by the angels. I could not take my eyes off that sky- I waited with the greatest anticipation I have ever felt.

Out of my peripheral vision, I could see to my left that the ground was shaking and opening up. I could see way down into the earths core and it was full of flames. I could see the flames and feel the heat. People I knew were gathering around the opening earth and one by one falling to this lake of fire. I knew them, but not their names- but I know I knew who they were and I was scared and sad.

All the while I refuse to take my eyes off the sky because at that time, I was aware this was a dream and I just wanted to stay asleep long enough to see Jesus’ face. I remember starting to wake up slowly and almost pleading to keep within the dream, but I woke up and I have NEVER forgotten what I experienced.

I don’t know when the Lord will take me home- none of us do. But I do know I want to be ready. I want to be prepared as much as I can be. I want my loved ones there with me. I remember feeling so sad because I knew the people who were perishing and I couldn’t do anything about it in the dream, but I can do something about it now that I’m awake.

We had a song that was sang at church camp called “I Wish We’d All Been Ready”- it’s about the second coming of Christ and how some will be taken and some will be left behind. The chorus says “There’s no time to change your mind, how could you have been so blind? The Father spoke, the demons dined, the Son as come and you’ve been left behind”. I’ve read books on the Rapture, I’ve watched movies about it and I’ve heard many a good sermon on the subject. Some might call this “scare tactics” and yes I admit, I hope I scare you and make you think about your salvation.

Friends, we are NOT promised tomorrow. There are NO guarantees. There will be NO second chances. God loves us and wishes for NONE of us to perish. But some will. It might be people you know personally that will go hell. Could it possibly be you? How sure are you about your salvation? How ready and prepared are you for that day? There will be no where to hide and there will be no excuses. Are you ready to stand in judgment before God?

If you’re not sure, please, please contact me and we will discuss it so you can be. There’s no greater subject to write about, there’s no greater subject to sing about, there’s no greater subject to talk about- it’s the subject of eternity. The next time you’re outside- look to the clouds, envision what it will look like to see angels and hear music, anticipate His face and ask yourself- Am I ready?

“If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown in the Lake of Fire”

Revelation 20:15


Authors Note:

God gave me this devotion last week- the next day I was thinking over it and sorting it out in my mind. I logged onto GodTube and the first video I came to was this below.

Pray for Each Other

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:10-12

I had a dear friend tell me this week that she prays for me every morning. I can not tell you how much it meant for me to know that she lifts my name to our Father at the very earliest hours of the day. I didn’t ask her to pray- but she prays for me. I didn’t mention that I had a prayer concern- but she prays for me.. I have not been ill- but she prays for me.

I have not stopped thinking about it since she told me and I will tell you this- my friend has had a very hard year. Her faith has been tested and her heart broken, but her love and devotion for God has grown tremendously through this trial. To think of her taking the time to say my name before God when I know she has so many things that she needs to talk to Him about is, well the most selfless thing she could do in my eyes.

How often do we have people approach us with prayer concerns? How often do we write prayer concerns down at church or in Sunday School? How often have you known of someone that was sick and needed prayers? How many times have you told someone you would pray for them and then forgot? I’m guilty of that. I’ve had the very best of intentions- but I’m human and I have forgotten at times. I’d like to believe that’s one of the reason’s God created the technology of Microsoft Outlook to keep my calendar updated and to throw a reminder at me when I need to do something. It works J-and yes it has been full of prayer requests at times just so I can remember.

It is SO important that we pray for each other- and not just when we’re asked to do it. We don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life. Maybe they aren’t comfortable sharing it verbally and it’s not important that they tell us because God knows their hearts. When we speak to friends and walk away thinking to ourselves “something just doesn’t seem right”- pray for them. When they mention in passing that they’ve been feeling under the weather or their spouse or child is ill- pray for them. People give us signals without directly coming out and asking for prayer so be alert- be ready to lift them up in prayer. Ask God to bless them in a way that only He is capable of. Ask God to make you sensitive to the needs of others- to use you as an instrument of prayer. We all can pray. To some it might seem like a small token but to God, it’s the time He cherishes with us most. When we come before Him and pour out our hearts to His, He can meet every need we can think of and more.



Do you know what it feels like to not be forgiven for something or by someone? What does it feel like to tell someone how very sorry you are- only to be shut down and turned away? It stings. There's no getting around it- it hurts. As bad as you want to take away the pain you've caused, you just can't. You desperately want to sit that person down and tell them why it happened, maybe the circumstances surrounding it but they don't care to hear your pleading apologies. Maybe you've tried but they've responded with hateful words- words that cut you like a knife. Words you'll never forget.

We've all hurt people- we're human, we make mistakes and our parents tell us early on to "say you're sorry". Sometimes people forgive and sometimes they choose not to. That's really the bottom line- they have to choose to forgive. Choosing to say "I forgive you" is hard sometimes. I have known people who say they will never forgive- they say they can't- it's impossible. It's hard for me to hear people say they'll never forgive because I know what the Bible says about choosing not to forgive. And I'm going to tell you in case you don't know.

Matthew 6:14 & 15 says "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins".

I think that's pretty black and white, don't you? I know you might be thinking, "but you don't know what this person did…" Let's be clear- there is no "but "clause to Jesus' statement. He doesn't give a loop hole. There are no exceptions to this rule. Do you want to be forgiven?- sure, we all do. I'd love to be able to 'rewind time" and do a few things in my life over again- but I can't. One thing I've learned over time is I can't take my mistakes back but I have really learned from them. God has used my indiscretions to mold my character and just let me add- He's not even close to being done with me yet.

When I think of the forgiveness Christ has bestowed on me- I am so humbled. I am so thankful that the Bible says we are "new creatures" and "whiter than snow", that His love "keeps no records of wrong". Can you imagine being able to forgive like that? And what He went through to show us that forgiveness- that's another whole devotion!

When you know you've been wronged it's OK to be hurt- it's OK to be angry- but remember those are all parts of the cycle- forgiveness and acceptance should always be the last step in the grief process- without it our hearts become empty and hard. Sometimes I think we justify holding on to it so we can make the offender continue to suffer. But who does it really hurt more? - ourselves. As long as we're holding on to the hurt and pain- God can't heal us. The healing process can be so hard sometimes but don't you want to be forgiven for your mistakes? Can you remember the mistakes you've made that God paid for with His sinless life? He was perfect- and He forgives us. If He can forgive us- can't we forgive too?

The next time someone really hurts you and approaches you to ask forgiveness, see Jesus smiling face. Picture Him telling you how much He's forgiven you- how much He loves you. Forgiveness is liberating- it's empowering and it's free when we ask for and accept it. We will make mistakes- we will hurt people and be hurt- forgiveness is a bridge in the shape of a cross- the cross of Jesus.


Remodel or Rebuild

"The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in the form of man, of man in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine."

Isaiah 44:13

I've never understood why at times fast food establishments and other restaurants completely demolish established stores just to rebuild them at the same site. In my mind it would be better to just remodel than to rebuild-obviously construction is not my occupation.

I have remodeled a few structures in my life and even oversaw an office being constructed once. When I was younger, my family spent an entire summer tearing down the first house my parents lived in. I remember my dad taking a sledge hammer to the plaster walls. All the lathes, the dust, the debris- it was a MESS. We were tearing out the old and salvaging the frame work to build an addition onto our house. It was my brother and my job to pull the nails out of the boards and stack them to the side. When the summer ended, my dad doused the rubble with gasoline and the remains went up in smoke.

I have been told that in the choice to remodel or rebuild a structure, you must weigh all the factors- is the present structure sound? Does it just need cosmetic changes or does it need to be gutted and totally rebuilt from the floor up? And who determines what's salvageable or what's better to completely demolish? The answer to those questions is, someone who is an expert- someone who does have construction as an occupation.

How about our lives? Should we be remodeled or rebuilt? How firm is the foundation we are built on? How strong are the supports in our lives? Do you need a total overhaul or just a paint job? Will a little spackle do it or shall we bring in the bulldozer? And who should we allow to judge this task? God of course. He made us, He is the Master Builder our Earthly Creator. Who better to answer these questions? Isn't the One that made us in His own image the same One that should remodel and rebuild us?

My life has been like that old house my family demolished. Parts of it have been strong and are worth keeping and others... well let's say there are parts that have needed to have a match and gas can taken to them and God has done that at times in my life. There have been trials in my life that I could see coming and I corrected, made the right adjustments and got away with a little "cosmetic touch" and others that He brought in the wrecking ball to fix.

I believe that our God is Sovereign. That He knows what's best for us and wants that for us, even if it takes major renovations. I encourage you to look at the rooms in your physical house, ask God where it can be strengthened, where can it be fixed or even where it needs to be totally torn out and rebuilt. He knows us better than we know ourselves and He's ready to complete us.


Football and Faith

I’m pretty sure that Jesus didn’t have football like we do- at least not the full structured game. And I have to admit, I don’t watch sports like I use to in the past, but I do watch the Super Bowl (mostly for the commercials). And when I think about the concept of the game, the team work that’s involved, the discipline it takes and the strength and determination to fulfill the outcome- I can understand a little better how God works and expects us to interact with each other.

Bear with me here for just a minute, because I know Chase (my son) is reading this and saying “MOM, you don’t understand the first thing about football, and he’s right- I have never played the game, but the skeleton of the game I understand.

I understand that there is a draft at the beginning stage. That coaches select players according to their “abilities”. The Bible says that God chose us before we were born.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb”
Psalm 139:13

I think that makes us extra special because God doesn’t wait to see if we “make the cut” before He decides if we’re good enough.- We’re good enough just because we belong to Him.

I understand there’s conditioning and strengthening exercises that football players endure. The Bible says we are to treat our body’s as temples and fully use them for His purpose.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”

I Corinthians 6:19

I understand there are many different pieces to a football uniform. They are to protect the players from serious injury. The Bible says as Christians we are to:

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:11-17

I understand that there are a lot of different players that make up the team- each one has a job that is specific to their gifts and graces. Without one, they won’t play in harmony and to the best of their abilities. This is a lot like the body of Christ. The Bible says:

"For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly:if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."

Romans 12: 4-8

I understand that victory comes to those that play the game successfully- As Christians, the Bible says:

"It's not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by the Messiah Jesus."

Philippians 3:12

So, see- there are some similarity between football and being a Christian. And I may not have played football, but I like to think of Christ as my head coach. I know He cheers me on, prepares me for what’s coming- gives me the tools to be successful and never stops believing in my abilities. Thanks Coach!


Oh Be Careful

As Christians, we must always be aware of our surroundings and the influences we have on others- fellow Christians as well as Non-Christians. We are held accountable for causing others to stumble. The Bible says:

”It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

Luke 17:2

I am now a Grandmother- the mistakes I made as a mother, I do not plan on repeating with my grandchildren. I realized it’s impossible to be perfect but I have vowed to be a better influence and example for them.. I praise God that I feel I’ve been giving another chance to get it right. For those of us that are older and understand what I’m saying- go for it!- for those of you who are rearing small children, please listen to my warning. Everything you do and say is an influence to that child. They are walking-talking tape reorders and everything you do or don’t do correctly goes straight into their little memory banks. My children remember things that I don’t- I think I’ve mentally blocked some of my mistakes out- but even now, they remember.

One of my greatest passions is my grandchildren- God has blessed me with this “new moldable clay”. One of my grandson’s loves the song “Oh Be Careful” and as I think of those words, it should apply to adults as well as children.

“Oh be careful little eyes-what you see. Oh be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above, is looking down in love- so be careful little eyes what you see”

Then of course it goes to little ears, little tongue, little hands and little feet..

We sing that song and he points to each part and when we’re finished he claps and says “YEAH- I did it!”- when we look back on our lives, wouldn’t it great to be able to say “YEAH- I did it!”? I want my grandchildren to grow and see Jesus in my actions, my words and my heart. I want them to remember that I loved God above everything else. To accomplish that I need to be careful what my eyes see, my lips say, my ears hear, my hands do and where my feet go.

I can not express how gracious God has been with His Grace and Mercy in my life- the opportunity He has bestowed on me is so humbling, because I am so unworthy at times. But because He loves me and believes in me, I have the chance to help steer and guide the little people in my life down His path. I will make mistakes- you will make mistakes, but we can always be a positive example and even an example of forgiveness as well. Never miss the opportunity to teach, model and influence someone in a positive way- the benefits are out of this world!


Collateral Damage

According to the USAF Intelligence Targeting Guide, the term means:

“[the] unintentional damage or incidental damage affecting facilities, equipment, or personnel, occurring as a result of military actions directed against targeted enemy forces or facilities. Such damage can occur to friendly, neutral, and even enemy forces".

When I think of Collateral Damage on a non-military level, I think of mistakes or wrongs that not only have affected myself, but others around me- they’re like the “ripple effect” One mistake can have a major impact on the people around us. Sometimes I think we feel our mistakes will only have a repercussion for us-but many times that is not true.

I personally don’t like to live in the past- it’s too painful. I praise our God who is my Deliverer- deliverance from painful mistakes that have forever altered my life- mistakes that only He can totally forgive me from and only He can totally forget happened. This is a very hard truth that I have to come to understand for my life. As Christians we are to forgive each other – we’re commanded to, but we can never totally forget- it isn’t possible to totally erase that part. God gives us the ability to see past the hurt and most of the time I don’t remember it unless I pull it from the shelves of my memory library intentionally.

Collateral Damage- it can be unintentional and intentional. When it’s unintentional, is it any less severe or painless as when it’s intentional? Both cause scars- both do damage, both can alter relationships, destroy families and friendships. I have regretfully said things in anger that as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I wish I could snatch them right back. I can be SO quick tongued- that is not a welcomed attribute to my personality and that’s just a little something He’s still working on in me. I LOVE Proverbs, it has so many passages that speak to me:

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment”

Proverbs 10: 19-21

Collateral Damage- it can affect others and our spiritual realms as well as our physical ones. The Bible is very firm on where we stand when we offend our brother spiritually..

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

Proverbs 6:16-19

Collateral Damage- to friendly, neutral or even our enemies. When we love someone and hurt them- wow- that really hurts us too. Love is such a tender emotion that has a wide sense of being. But what about when we don’t actually love someone and hurt them? Maybe we don’t even really like them but hurt them. Or what about the person you have in your life that you just wish you didn’t have - you know who I’m talking about… let’s be honest, we ALL have them.. When you do something to hurt them, do you enjoy it or do you regret it? Or let’s go one step farther still- our enemies. You might be saying “I don’t have anyone I really hate”…- do you? What about the little things we do, we might feel are innocent or come natural like “road rage” or maybe it’s a prejudice we have – someone of a different race, someone with a different social background, someone with a different religion…??? Just because we don’t actually say we “hate” someone doesn’t mean it can’t play out in our actions, after all, I’ve heard it said “Actions speak louder than words” and isn’t that so true!

As Christians, Collateral Damage should be kept to an absolute unintentional minimum. We should always be aware of our surroundings and who it could affect. When we have to correct- it should always be constructive and loving- never like dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. It shouldn’t be intentional or devastating. I know this will sound funny to some people but when I find myself at the point when I want to lash out and say something I know is going to be hurtful and wrong, a lot of people say “Count to 10”- I could count to 1000 and that wouldn’t work for me, so I sing. Yes SING- for some reason I find it difficult to sing and be angry at the same time. Try it sometime; it might just “defuse” you.



I realize that I have a number of men that receive this devotion every week and yes, this is for you too. I LOVE to receive a pedicure. I don’t normally get them but in the summer when I wear sandals and I love them. There’s something about someone washing your feet that is SO relaxing. I think it’s the ultimate in pampering!

Pedicures take awhile to have done. It’s a process, but when they are done correctly, your feet will never be the same! The last time I was sitting in the chair soaking my feet, an older man came in, gray hair, bib overalls- he looked like he had just came in from feeding the livestock and behind him walked what I assumed was his wife. She like him was well on in her years and he lovingly and gently helped her into the big chair to start to soak her feet. As I watched him, I realized he was helping himself into the chair next too her. I remember thinking to myself “surely he’s not going to get a pedicure too”- Yep, he put his feet down in the warm bubbly water and together they enjoy a pedicure. Now, there’s a sight you don’t see everyday!

Did you know that Jesus gave pedicures?

“(4)so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. (5)After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

(6)He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
(7)Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
(8)"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
(9)"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
(10)Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

(12)When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. (13)"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. (14)Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. (15)I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (16)I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (17)Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

John 13: 4 -17

What I find incredible about this story are a couple things. First, I’m sure that the roads were very long, dirty and dusty- they walked everywhere. I can visualize the disciple’s feet as less attractive then I’m sure the reality was. Now, I’m not a huge fan of feet; I just don’t believe I’ve ever seen pair that are attractive. Even when they’re all softened and nails painted, they still leave something to be desired in my eyes. I can only imagine how dirty they were at that time in history. I’m sure that Jesus didn’t have all the fancy nail clippers, emery boards, fragrant bath oil and toe separators like they do at salons. But did that stop Him from kneeling and washing His disciple’s feet? Nope. And he had an entire table full of feet to wash- and He washed each one by one.

Secondly, I’m totally in awe of the example He gave us by washing the disciple’s feet. The Bible says He washed ALL of the disciple’s feet, not all but one- He washed ALL of them- He washed Judas’s feet too. The man he knew that within hours would betray Him into the hands of his enemies- He washed his feet. The man that He loved and had trusted as one of His chosen twelve- He knelt and washed his feet too.. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind washing feet, mine or anyone else’s that I love and care about, but my enemies??? Someone that’s betrayed me??? Get on my knees and serve them??? What an example of pure, unconditional love. That is a picture I want to always keep in my mind. It’s a quality that I need to practice daily. Not on special occasions, not when I’m feeling generous, not when I have all the right thoughts- DAILY. How much better would the world be if we all would remember to serve our brothers and sisters, our family, our friends, our co-workers, and yes, even those that we find hard to deal with on a daily basis? Jesus was our example- He washes our feet every time we fail because He loves us. Whose feet can you/will you wash today?


Satan Spends-Jesus Saves

Have you ever heard someone say “Being a Christian means giving up too much”? When I hear this it stops me in my tracks. “Give up too much”? GIVE UP? Being a Christian is all about GETTING-not material possessions but eternal privileges. Let’s look at the facts:

Satan is a Spender. The Bible says he roams the earth looking for souls to mislead, to lie to, to devour. He takes and takes from us. He robs us of everything that is pure and holy. He’s spending our precious time when we’re too tired to get up and attend church on Sunday. He spends our self esteem when he makes us believe we’re unworthy. He spends our pride when we feel we’ve been cheated and we're wronged. He spends our money when we buy drugs or alcohol. He spends our attitude when we’re angry and bitter, when we refuse to forgive. He spends our peace when we have inner turmoil. He spends our patience's when we lash out and hurt those around us. He’s a SPENDER. He does not care about our money, our lives or our families – He’s a user and a fake! Have you ever tried to take something back to a store for a refund because you decided you didn’t like it, couldn’t use it or it didn’t meet your expectations only to have them tell you that you couldn’t have your money back, but you can have store credit? That’s what Satan does to our hearts when he tell us by following his way- we’ll be happy and content, but when we realize it’s not what we expected and ask to change it, he says “no, I won’t give it back to you, but you can pick out another sin and exchange it and by the way-since you realized what you were doing was wrong- I’m going to give you some guilt and shame as a bonus”.

Jesus is a Saver- He saves us. Jesus saves our lives everyday by giving us His Spirit to lead and guide us. He saves lives, our relationships, and mostly our hearts. And He’s saving the very best for last-Heaven. I like how The Message interprets 2 Thessalonians 2:9:

“The Anarchist's coming is all Satan's work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they're so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it—gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they're banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take comfort in God rubbing sinner’s noses in their transgressions. But there will come a day when this whole drama on earth will unfold and God will return and there will be no more “I’m sorry”. All the people who feel like they’d be sacrificing too much to follow God, will stand before Him and answer because of it. If you’re someone that feels like you just don’t have the time, the strength or the inclination to be a Christian, let me assure you right now- the clock is ticking. The gifts we get from God are so precious and priceless I guarantee you will never want to exchange them or asking for your old life back- and better yet, His Grace and Mercy covers all the shame and guilt of that past so there’s no need to even look back. You don’t have to wait for a “sale” or a “blue-light special”- God’s always ready and waiting to give you the deal of a lifetime- or better yet, a deal for all eternity!


His Time

Isaiah 40:31 (The Message)

27-31 "... God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind. "

I was honored to speak at a woman's breakfast this past week and it was the first time I had actually spoke "without a net" (without looking at my notes). And as I was criticizing myself, after the fact, one of the things I felt I did wrong was talk too fast. I'm used to writing, not speaking and my fingers work faster than my brain most of the time and now I know, I guess my tongue does too. How often do we get in a hurry about things that we should savor? I can think of a lot of ways we do that in our lives.

As humans, we tend to hurry. When I was 15 years old, I couldn't wait until I was old enough to be out of high school and on my own. I'll have to admit, being a wife and a mother wasn't in my immediate plans but I wanted to spread my wings and try things on my own. I can see from even farther back than 15 now, that God had a plan and was beginning to work it - but in His time.

Once I did get married and start a family, again- I was in a hurry. "I can't wait for my children to be out of diapers".. "I can't wait for my children to walk, run..." and so the cycle began. And sometimes, I don't' think I've still learned the lesson of waiting on the Lord- waiting for His time.

All those precious years slipped away in what seems now like an instant, forever in my memory, which my daughter so graciously told me a few days ago is now failing me too :) Why are we in such a hurry? I put my grandson down for a nap the other day and as I watched him sleeping so peacefully, I could have just laid there for hours just taking that moment in. His mother was laying on the other side of him and I teared up just thinking about how completely precious he is and seeing Paige there next to him brought back so many memories that I had in my haste, forgotten about until that moment. How blessed am I and how the years had somehow slipped away so quickly. Why was I in such a hurry? It's all about His time.

We get so caught up in everything our lives throw at us. We juggle so many responsibilities and duties everyday that it's so easy to just go through the motions without even giving it a second thought. And at the end of the day we drop, dead tired and then get up the next day and start the cycle all over again. The older I get the more I understand how important it is to wait on the Lord. How important it is to just sit sometimes and enjoy the silence-just sit and listen for His voice to speak to my heart. When I give Him that time, He does speak and how it has impacted me- I wouldn't even begin to have the vocabulary to explain!

Waiting isn't such a bad thing. And wouldn't it be better to just take the time to enjoy the little gifts of time He does give us? What if every time we had to wait on someone or something, we used that to just listen and think upon Him? What if every time we waited in a line at a market, or waited sitting in a Dr's office, we just silently had time to listen to Him? It's His time anyway. He gave it to us and He's using it all in accordance to His plan- His time.

What a blessing His time has been to me and I'm sure has been to you! Every second of every minute of every hour- what a true gift from Him!! So let the clock tick- let the tides come and go because ever second that goes by brings me closer to His plan- His time!


…and now a word from my Sponsor

Have you every wondered what it would be like if Jesus did commercials? I mean, if every time we sat down and watched TV, there would be little pauses in the programs to give a Message? They might sound like:

“Want to know how to get to Heaven???- Well let me tell you about a new way to GUARANTEE your place in Salvation! By just simply surrendering your heart to the Lord- you, yes YOU- could know for sure you’ll be on the way to those pearly gates someday! No need to dial a number, or even use your credit card- just get down on your knees and repeat after me… Don’t wait another second- the Lord is standing by waiting to hear from you- Act Now!


“…(Loud alarm)… this is test, only a test. The sound you just heard was the brought to you by the Emergency “Eternity is Forever” Bureau- If this had been an actually emergency, it would have been followed by Gabriel and his boys playing their trumpets and singing as they appeared in the air. Remember, this is only a test… this time.”

Wouldn’t it be so cool to have Christian commercials? - advertizing all the perks of the future. Do you think it would make a difference if people were constantly reminded of what’s to come? Or do you think they’d still get up and walk away to the kitchen to get a snack? I would like to think they would pay attention but when I truly think about the past and see how our society has progressed up till now- I kind of sadly doubt it.

God sent his One and Only Son to earth to be the Ultimate Example - yet still some rejected him. He actually walked the earth, spoke auditable to people, touched them with His hands, knelt and prayed with them, performed miracles, rose from the dead and some still didn’t get it. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that people today still don’t get it- even if they saw it on the TV on a regular basis. Some people sit in church every Sunday and still don’t get it.

We need to be reminded daily what He’s done for us and in our lives. We should praise him constantly just for being the Lord He is! We should wake up stating “Yes Lord” and go to sleep saying “Thank you Lord”. The next time you’re sitting and watching TV and a commercial comes on- instead of jumping up and leaving the room, try saying a small prayer of thanksgiving. Acknowledge Him- Praise Him- Worship Him. I’ve heard it said the more we acknowledge him with praise, the more likely He is to do an encore.

Exodus 15:2 (New International Version)
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.


Like It, Love It, Gotta Have It

Like It, Love It, Gotta Have It

My favorite ice cream store has three choices for serving sizes: “Like It”- “Love It” and “Gotta Have It”. I’ve always requested the “Like It” size because it’s more than enough for me. This quantity is perfect if you want just enough- and not too much.

The “Love It” size is significantly bigger- you can really tell the difference between the “Like It” and “Love It” and I’ve been tempted at times to try the “Love It” size but I’m just worried it would put me over the edge and I’d feel miserable afterward.

But I’ve witnessed other customers with their “Gotta Have It” mound of cool cream decadence. It literally flows over the sides of the containers it’s so huge. I can’t imagine finishing something of that magnitude without becoming physically sick- but I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes and the recipients seem to enjoy every bite.

My question to you today is – What size is your faith? Do you “like it”, “love it” or “gotta have it”?

Are you satisfied with “like it” faith? Do you just get enough to make you feel full and don’t worry about over indulging? Maybe you’re content to spend a couple Sunday’s a month at church or an evening or two reading a Christian book or magazine. Do you worry that if you show more interest that it will jump up and grab you and you might look like you’re enjoying it too much?

What about “love it” faith- who would that represent? Maybe someone that is devoted to being an active member of the body of Christ- maybe they teach Sunday School or sing on the Praise Team. They attend faithfully and live their faith outside the walls of the church and beyond Sunday mornings.

Or “gotta have it” faith- the kind of faith that oozes at the seams- that can’t be contained because you’re literally over flowing with joy and the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. You’re so contagious that people don’t have to hear you say a word, they know by your actions that you love Jesus and serve him with every breath.

What size is your faith? What size do you want your faith to be? The Bible says:

“(15)I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! (16)So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Revelation 3:15 & 16. (NIV)

We are to be on fire in our faith- live it every day- breath in His presence so in everything we do we reflect Him. We “gotta have it”! We can’t just “like it” or “love it”- we “gotta have it”! We have to overflow with our love for Him- the walls of the church should not contain us- we are to flow out to our neighbors or co-workers, our families, our friends, even our enemies. We are to reach the lost- don’t settle for “like it” or “love it”- over indulge this time and go for the “gotta have it”!


His Passion

This entire week as been what we consider "Holy Week"- the week Jesus was crucified, buried and arose. It's the week that we celebrate our most precious of holidays as Christians-the week that Jesus forever changed our future.

I remember when Phil and I went to see The Passion for the first time- when we walked into the theater, a local church had put a basket of Kleenex at the entrance door and I knew then, I was in for a tear-jerker. If I remember correctly, I cried through almost what seemed the entire movie.

It seems the older I become the easier it is for me to separate reality from Hollywood- or at least what they would like to interpret as reality. I don't know if it's me aging or just being a little more discerning but I see a lot of movies and think they are so far fetched and disconnected from reality.. There's so much computer graphics and stunts that you know physically- some of what they do, well-that's just not possible.

As graphic as The Passion seemed- I believe in reality, it was probably a lot worse than Hollywood could even interpret. I was reared in church- I don't ever remember NOT being in church. Seems every time the church doors were open- we were there. So I've had a lifetime of mental images of what I interpret Jesus final days on earth to be like and though my own images were graphic at times, Hollywood gave me some new images that I had not realized- or maybe didn't want to realize-haunting images.

Personally-in my life, Jesus going through His final days for me is something I want to remember every single day I breathe, and actually even after I stop breathing. I believe because of that final week- my days of praising Him will not end when my life on this earth does. Because of this week, I will forever be able to remember His selfless act of love that will follow me well after I draw my last breath- I will be able to forever praise him for all eternity.

Sometimes being human means that we have limits to our thought process- we have boundaries - "comfort zones" that we stay within, sometimes just because we don't want to think "outside the box" and sometimes because we think it's too painful to think more about it. But the reality of this week is that if Jesus had not been betrayed, put on trial, beaten, crucified and arose- we would have NO future. There would be nothing and I do mean NOTHING for us to live for.

I have had bad things happen to me, or at least bad from a human perspective and I didn't know they were coming- I didn't expect it. Jesus knew what would happen to Him and He did it anyway.. He knew all along the coming pain and anguish. He knew every person that would betray Him- people he had held close to Him- friends- people He trusted as His chosen. Haven't we had and will continue to have people in our lives that have and will betray us? People that we have loved and trusted? How did Jesus react to those that forsakes Him? Did he "write them off"? NO- He forgave them. And most of those didn't even ask to be forgiven- they didn't even acknowledge they had done anything wrong- He forgave them because He loved them. He forgives us that way-unconditionally.

That concept is SO FAR BEYOND me sometimes. It's physically painful at times for me to forgive, I'll admit it. I don't like confrontation or to harbor ill-will towards people, even when I'm angry, but I have had to forgive people that have not asked me for forgiveness, people who didn't care that they had hurt me. We will have people like that in our lives- we just will, it's a very painful part of who we are, and we can't control at times the pain that is inflicted upon us, but we can and should control how we react to that pain and hurt.

When I think of the pain that I have caused Jesus just in my lifetime alone... I'm so ashamed, humbled and in awe of His Mercy and Grace. When it comes to mistakes- I feel I've made some really big ones. And if I'm going to be honest, I've made some really big ones and more than once! I can get caught up in a sea of self pity and selfishness that Satan has a field day with me. That's Satan's "forte"- he loves to show us our faults so we want to throw our hands in the air and say "I give up"- "being a Christian is just too hard"- "I'm never going to be what God wants me to be, I just can't"- THAT my friends, is a LIE! Satan is a liar and a thief- he scours the earth just waiting for a little sense of insecurity to set in and BAM!- he's on us like Tar Baby on Briar Rabbit. And he can be a hard character to shake once he's got his hands on you.

Because of this week- as Christians, we have the hope and promise of eternity with God our Father. Regardless of our past, regardless of our mistakes, regardless of our sin- that is His promise to us. God give us our salvation, it's a FREE gift. We do not earn it- we believe, confess and obey and it's FREE- no strings attached. Don't let Satan pull your stings!- there are NO strings! So don't let him tell you otherwise.

My friends, it is my desire that you will reflect on this past week and rejoice in all we have to look forward to as Christians. Remember that just like Jesus, the grave is not the end for us- it's the beginning!

(1)After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
(2)There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. (3)His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. (4)The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

(5)The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. (6)He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. (7)Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

(8)So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (9)Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (10)Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.."

Matthew 28: 1-10



(1)Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (2)After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. (3)The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
(4)Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'[a]"
(5)Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. (6)"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'[b]"
(7)Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'[c]"
(8)Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. (9)"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
(10)Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'[d]" 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Matthew 4:1-11

Have you ever thought you were being tempted beyond what you can endure? Have you ever promised God you would never repeat a sin only to fall right back into that same sin? Have you felt such a pull to sin that you told yourself “It’s ok”- or “I’ll repent and be forgiven...God understands”?
As the above scripture tells us He does understand but it doesn’t mean He fell for it and neither should we. Satan can be SO sneaky that I’ve actually done something and didn’t even realize I had sinned only to be hit in the face with it after the fact, and then had to live with the shame and seek repentance. I’m speaking of what some might consider a “small sin” like walking out of my office building with a company pen in my purse (and yes, my supervisor is on this distribution) or taking the sugar packets from a restaurant. You might feel those are harmless but are they?
I read a book last year by Beth Moore titled “Get Out of that Pit”. She addresses three ways we fall into sin (pits).

1. We accidently fall in
2. Someone can push us in
3. We can jump in.

I remember an illustration a preacher gave one year I was at church camp. He held up a large black “L” and said it represented the big lies (sin) we do. Then he held a smaller white “L” and said it represented our “little small white lie’s” (sins). But when he put the two, one on top of the other- they really were the same exact size, the black one just appeared larger.
Isn’t that so true of our sins? Sometimes what we feel is small or insignificant really isn’t in God’s eyes. Or something we do that’s accidentally turns out to be HUGE and hurts everyone around us. It becomes a mess so fast we don’t even know what hits us. Sin is Sin- Small or Big- Black or White- it’s SIN.
Satan is a master at making us believe we can justify our wrong actions. What are we to do when we’re faced with a sin? Let’s look again at how Jesus reacted.

He quoted Scripture
He stated the facts
He rebuked Satan

We are promised:
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Another translation The Message puts it this way:
"No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it."

Isn’t that an awesome promise!?! When Satan lies to us- we can and should call on these scriptures and he (Satan) will flee from us. How empowering is that!?!

Maybe today you’re dealing with a temptation/sin that has a death grip on you. Maybe you’re feeling like there’s no way out. That you’re stuck and beyond hope. Please don’t believe that- Please don’t give Satan that power over you. If you’re so overwhelmed you don’t even know how to pray- write down the scriptures above and read them to yourself when you feel hopeless and defeated. Soak in His promises.

Jesus does understand sin because He was tempted. But by His example we can overcome sin and be free as He made us to be- Free in Him. Temptation will always be here- but it doesn’t have the last word- God does and He says “Flee from Me”!