Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bitter or Better?

"Hardship makes people either bitter or better."

I have dealt with bitter people.  People whom I love dearly who have become so very bitter because they have gone after what they wanted and lusted after.  It has not made them winners, but great losers because they are not happy people at all.  They are full of anger and bitterness and my only conclusion is that they have not chosen to follow God's will, but their own so their lives are actually empty and void even though they seemingly have everything they wanted.

Bitterness is so ugly.  If you are struggling with anything, even if you are struggling with a long term agony ~~ choose to let go of it into God's faithful arms.  Your circumstances may never change, but He will help you release and let go of your bitterness.  Praise God!

Wounded reader, your sorrow may be so great that bitterness is still hiding in you even as you give it to God.  Do not give in or give up!   Continue to give it to God each day , and also each time it arises in you.  It will lesson in time and you will be a victor because of His strength in you!  What a testimony in a world full of bitterness.

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Chirst also has forgiven you."
Ephesians 4:31-32

"Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled..."
Hebrews 12:14-17

Monday, June 27, 2011

God's Will

"Where There's a Will, There's a Way, if it is God's Will."
---Josh McDowell

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pain has a way of Screaming for our undivided attention

From April 3 of Diamoinds in the Dust, a devotional
by Joni Eareckson Tada

Sow in Tears

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."
Psalm 126:5-6

What a promise!  Think of it.  When you sow in tears, what a marvelous and abundant return you will enjoy on your investment.  "But," you may be thinking, "when have I ever gone out weeping, carrying seed to sow?"

If you have ever reached through an invisible wall of pain to embrace God with willful thanks, you have sown in tears.  If you've ever been rejected by a dear one and yet turned the other cheek in love, you have sown in tears.  If you have patiently endured physical affliction, or responded in love through a difficult marriage, then Psalm 126:5-6 could be your life verse.

Think of the pain young Elisabeth Elliot must have felt as she continued to serve as a missionary to the very South American Indians who had murdered her husband!  Truly, she sow the seed of God's Word in tears, but oh, the songs of joy that ring from the millions who have been touched by her testimony.

When you hurt physically or emotionally, it's hard to muster a patient or godly response. Pain has a way of screaming for our undivided attention.  But when you either offer a sacrifice of praise to God in the midst of your hurt, or respond in faith to a heartbreak or hardship, you are sowing in tears.  Take heart, for one day God will reward you with sheaves of joy--- all because you were faithful through tears.

Lord, thank You for the hope and help You offer me through my hurt.  Help me to remain faithful even though my tears sometimes blind my way.  May I remember that for every tear, there will be a song of eternal joy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

At my house that would be the cat, but when I say, "Sweetie," everybody thinks I am speaking to them. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

by Laura Story

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28 NAS

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pray, but also act

PEANUTS by Charles Schultz

As handmaidens for the LORD we must remember to open our eyes to actually see what the needs are of the people around us.  As women we are able to evaluate and then interact where we can best help others, but our lives are also full now days so it is easy to say we will pray.  Hopefully we will follow through and actually pray for them. 

But what can be done right then?  Let's begin to pay close attention so that we can meet people where they are and minister to them in solid ways along with our prayers.  How beautiful it will be to see what the harvest of our ministering will be in glory!
"If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?   Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."
James 2:15-17

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reliable Principles for Finding the Right Mate

A friend passed this to me from an article she saved so long ago she no longer had the author.

These principles from the word of God can save so many heart aches:

Genesis 24

1) Hear and Heed the counsel of godly parents (v. 1-9)

2) Saturate the whole process with prayer (10-14)

3) Look for qualities that reveal character (15-20)

4) Study silently. Think deeply. Proceed cautiously. (21-27)

5) Notice the relationship between immediate family members. (28-33)

       A. respect for parents and harmony with siblings
       B. open communication
       C. fun and freedom in family gatherings
       D. willingness to include other people
       E. sensitivity to others

6) Determine if there is mutual interest in Spiritual things (48-60)

7) Establish a solid foundation for your marriage (61-end)
       A. wholesome anticipation (61-64)
       B. reciprocal expectations (64-65)
       C. guarded communication (66)
       D. intimate and comforting affection

In conclusion:


1) Always pursue God’s will with greater intensity than your own will.

2) Always be honest throughout the courtship and throughout the marriage.


1) Never rush into anything that will lead to permanence

2) Never rationalize around the importance of sexual purity


1) Heed any "red flags", "uh, oh" feelings, and misgivings concerning your relationship

2) Heed the counsel of godly people - even their own "red flags" concerning your relationship

"Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed."
Proverbs 15:22

Monday, June 13, 2011

If only you would trust me!

Below is a wonderful post with an analogy of trusting our LORD from a dear missionary friend of mine from Wednesday, April 20, 2011:

From Cyrstal who lives for the LORD in Mexico.

"I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."
Psalm 146:2

If Only You Would Trust Me!

Hi Everyone!

I am enjoying this little guy!  I've decided to call him "amarillo" or "rillo" for short!  It is the Spaniah word for yellow.
There are a couple of things that "Amarillo" doesn't know.  I bought him for a special purpose-the purpose of having fellowship.  Every day I tell him three things several times. They are:

1) you are beautiful
2) I love you
3) I wish you would trust me.

I bought him for so much more than just sitting pretty in his cage.  He doesn't know that growing up our family had cockatiels--and I know how much fun they can be once they trust you.  He doesn't know that there can be a whole nother level of fellowship and enjoyment.  As I gently put one finger in his cage, hoping he will eventually realize that I am not going to hurt him, I realize that I can not make him trust me--He has to be willing---infact he may never get to the point of trusting me-but I am filled with hope that maybe he will one day....I must be patient regardless.

My favorite times are when he dares to come down from his perch and eat food while I am sitting by his cage.  Why are these my favorite moments?  Because they are when we are in the closest proximity to each other.  For sure I know two things-I will always think he is beautiful--and  I will always love him.

Maybe it sounds odd talking about a bird like that---but all of this makes me think of something SO much greater.  It makes me think about how GOD created us for the sole purpose of having fellowship with us---how after Adam and Eve sinned, God later made provision to pay for mankind's sin through the sacrifice of his perfect and Holy sinless Son, Jesus Christ.  And for us to have fellowship with His to simply TRUST in what Jesus Christ did for us when He took our sin upon Himself, died in our place, and rose from the grave.  And in even a greater way, God must see those who do not yet trust Him and say, "If only you would trust Me!"  He longs to have fellowship with us.  What is HE saying to YOU today?  He is patiently waiting for you to trust Him.

Thank you, Crystal!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I would rather read a real book.

I can't help it.  I would rather read a real book with real pages and real pictures than ever read a nook.  I would rather give a real book as a gift to any child so they will learn how wonderful real books are even in this age of electronics.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trust is Hope with Gray Hair

“A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.“
Proverbs 16:31 NAS

I began to have a random gray hair after I turned twenty-five.  What was that about?

By forty years old it was really beginning to be more than a random thing.  My Beloved called my gray hairs “silver,” as he honored and loved me. 

I suppose it has been our culture that has affected me concerning my gray hair because it still bothered me to be changing from my natural brown locks.  I needed to change my wrong thinking.

Just about 5 years ago I had stopped at a store and, as I walked in, an employee gave me a 25% off coupon when I noticed that others did not receive one.  I was excited to have been in the right place at the right time! - until I went through the check out line and I was told that I had a senior citizen 25% off coupon.

I love seniors and plan to be one someday, but I was not ready to be called one while being under fifty!  Obviously my going-silver hair put me into the senior citizen category, and so I was given a coupon; it had nothing to do with being in the right place at the right time!  It had all to do with my hair going naturally gray---or "silver"--- in a culture that doesn’t want to look old.

When the cashier told me about the senior citizen coupon, I was a bit shocked because I did have over a decade to go before that even happened. But 25% is still 25% ~~ so I humbled myself without saying a word and took it like a silver-haired woman!  It certainly began to change my way of thinking to more right thinking.  If I was willing to take a senior citizen coupon for my silver hair, then I needed to just relax about my hair naturally changing color.

Since then I am even more silver.  Just like a dear, silver-haired friend from decades ago, I can look into the mirror and sometimes wonder who that person is!  I must remember that my silver is my crown of splendor, my glory.

Recently I made 20 jars of strawberry jam with my hair up in knot with the inevitable wisps flying around my head.  By the end of the day I had these beautiful jars sparkling on the counter as well as some sticky, pink strands of silver.

Then it came to me.  Instead of a Strawberry Blonde ~~~ I had a Strawberry Silver head of hair!  Heehe~~

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”
Proverbs 16:31 NIV

Another dear friend with beautiful silver hair recently sent me this quote from her stash of notes:

"Trust is hope with gray hair.  A little older, a little wiser, still waiting, still anticipating, still hoping ~~ but believing at the same time.  Believing in the order and the good even when it can’t always be seen.  Trust is the older sister of hope who lives with quiet confidence, standing tall in a world that she doesn’t always understand.  She teaches us to close our eyes, click our ruby slippers and whisper, “there’s no place like hope.”

“Life” in this world is tough.  Don’t let it overwhelm you.  Run to The Strong Tower!  He is your hope if you surrender your life and trust in Him.
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.”
Proverbs 18:10 NAS

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just as I am: a simple hymn

From The One Year Book of Hymns devotional

Charlotte Elliott seemed to have everything going for her as a young woman.  She was gifted as a portrait artist and also as a writer of humorous verse.  Then in her early thirties she suffered a serious illness that left her weak and depressed.  During her illness a noted minister, Dr. Caesar Malan of Switzerland, came to visit her.  Noticing her depression, he asked if she had peace with God.  She resented the question and said she did not want to talk about it.

But a few days later she went to apologize to Dr. Malan.  She said that she wanted to clean up some things in her life before she became a Christian.  Malan looked at her and answered, “Come just as you are.”  That was enough for Charlotte Elliott, and she yielded herself to the Lord that day.

Fourteen years later, remembering those words spoken to her by Caesar Malan in Brighton, England, she wrote this simple hymn that has been used to touch the hearts of millions who have also responded to Christ’s invitation to come just as they are.


Jesus said to them. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.”
John 6:35-38 NRSV


Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, tho’ tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind,
Sight, riches, healing of mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken ev’ry barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea Thine alone,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, the height to prove,
Here for a season then above,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Charlotte Elliot (1789-1871)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


"But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.  For we have brought nothing into the world, so we canot take anything out of it either.  If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content."
1Timothy 6:6-8

Monday, June 6, 2011

Does your shoe fit?

“If the shoe fits; wear it”---but if it doesn’t fit, then check out why.

The weather can change quickly in this area, so when I leave the house to spend the day far from home, I usually pack a change of clothes which includes my hikers.  This spring was cold and rainy, but when it became warmer, it was summer heat like it is today.  Around here you just need to wait a few days for a change, and so it was back to cold again and then hot, etc.

On one of the cold days I dressed for it, and as I put on my hikers, I felt something was not quite right.  I took the shoe off and found a set small footies smashed in the one hiker toe.  They had obviously been packed at one point and found their way into that shoe’s toe where I pushed them farther in as I put the hiker on.  I could have worn that shoe all day long with just that gnawing feeling that it wasn’t quite right, but I chose to check it out first thing.  I was glad to have discovered the problem and not deal with the consequences.

This can be an analogy with our Christian walk.  If your walk is uncomfortable in some way, you need to check it out first thing.  Don’t continue to live thinking it is fine when you have this gnawing feeling that something isn’t quite right.

There is much falsehood in Christianity today.  Some of it is extremely subtle.  A good percentage of these teachings have God’s truth in them and this gives them credibility even though they have falsehoods mixed in.  As Christians we want to follow God’s truth which is in His word.

So let’s continue to search the scriptures daily to see what is true; not true for me or for you but real truth, God’s truth.  If it doesn’t “feel right,” stop and check it out so you don’t have to deal with “consequences” later.

Does your shoe fit?

Friday, June 3, 2011

God's Creation

Connect to this Link to see time lapse photography of God's Creation by TSO Photography.

"The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of His hands."  
Psalm 19:1