Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I turned on my air conditioning bothered that it was taking so long to get cold. I adjusted the radio station and thought, “Hey…what am I complaining about, I’m actually going to have air this summer and a radio.” God blessed me with a brand new car but I already forgot what I faced just a few months ago. My old car had some electrical issues that caused the radio to stop working and the air had a leak so it didn’t work either. I drove around like that for about four years. I never seemed to have the extra money to get it fixed. So I learned to just deal with it. But let me tell you, on those summer days when I had to drive inland, away from the coast, I suffered! 100+ heat in a black car with hot air swirling around inside is miserable! I’d arrive at my destination dripping with sweat, exhausted from the heat and grumpy because of it.

God blessed me with my new car. I can blast the cold air, crank up the radio and arrive at my destination feeling refreshed and happy. I need to remember that!

That got me thinking how quickly we forget the blessings in our lives. We go through difficulties and pray, crying out to God for His help. Once we receive it…we forget about it and move on.

It’s important write down when you receive answers to prayers. God blesses you and helps you overcome tough times and it’s important to remember that. I‘d like to challenge each of you to keep a My Blessing’s Book,” it doesn’t have to be anything long just a place you write down when God blesses and helps you. Be sure to write the everyday things (ie: when He’s given you peace during a tough time, comfort in mourning, strength in trials, trust through prayer, increased faith etc.) When difficulties come, as they always do, you can open your own personal Blessing’s Book and reflect on God’s faithfulness to you in your everyday life. It’s easy to forget if you don’t write it down. It will make a huge difference in your growth, trust & faith. It will serve as an instant reminder of how much God loves you and is faithful to show it!
A sign of God's faithfulness, promise & love
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6 

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Can You Sing in Dark?

I closed my eyes, praying for sleep to finally overtake me at 2:00 a.m. As I waited, out of the darkness rose the sound of music. Not instrumental, "human" music, but the songs of nature, birds singing rhythmic patterns cutting through the normal silence of the night. I listened until the melodic sound eventually lulled me off to sleep.

I awoke with a "To-Do" list a mile long running through my mind. I had so much to accomplish that I instantly felt a heaviness. I knew I needed to "gear up." I prayed, read my Bible and devotional, and headed out the door feeling lighter. But as the day progressed...I began to feel burdened, anxious and frazzled. Then it hit me, the memory from the night before, the birds singing in the dark. The Lord wants us to learn to sing His praises even when trials, struggles and darkness comes into your life.

The birds can sing even at night. They're secure that when the light comes, the Lord will once again feed and care for them. They do not worry about what's happening tomorrow. They sing even in darkness.

Pray for increased faith and wisdom to be able to sing, thank and praise the Lord no matter what's going on, good or bad. This shows that you have faith in God, the Maker of Heaven and earth. It will renew your strength and ability to trust Him. You are made in God's own image (Genesis 1:27). He holds you in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16)...you are secure. Thank Him. Praise Him. Lay your problems before Him and free yourself up to sing His praises today. His plans for each of us are perfect, even when they are painful. His ultimate goal is for us to spend time and all eternity with Him. Don't waste today worrying about tomorrow, "His grace is sufficient for you." Cling to Him as He draws you into the comfort of His loving embrace. He will supply ALL your needs according to His good and perfect will for you.


"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?" Matthew 6:26-20

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


"Watch that tone!" Was a constant phrase I heard from my parents growing up. I was often referred to as, "The Mouth" because I had trouble controlling it...A LOT! I quickly learned that it wasn't always the words I said, but the tone in which I said it. I could relay the same feeling using my tone as effective as biting, cutting words.

This morning as I came downstairs to feed my dog, I asked her, in a high pitched, upbeat happy tone, "Are you hungry?" Her tail quickly swung back and forth, as she jumped up and came to me with a skipping like two-paw hop. I fed her and went upstairs. Then a thought came to me, "Was it my words or my tone that got her so excited?" She definitely knows certain words...especially hungry, nummies & bye bye. So I went back down to test out a little theory...does my tone make a difference to even a dog? In a low, stern tone I asked her, "Are you hungry?" She got up, tail between her legs and went away from where the food was. She curled up next to the front door with her ears back trying to figure out what she did wrong. And before you say, "How mean!"...I quickly repeated the exact same question in a cheerful voice, which once again produced a skipping-like effect as she came to me.

Hmmm...so even a dog can react negatively to my tone.

Now ask yourself: "How many times have I spoken to my husband/wife, parents, kids/siblings, friends/co-workers, etc. with the wrong words and/or tone?" We need to remember to be mindful of not just of the words we say to people but our tone as well.

It matters.

The Bible says, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."James 3:9-12 

This has been a personal area of struggle for me over the years and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

Starting this week, try to work on not only the things that you say to/and or about people, but also the tone in which you say it. Let's try to bear the "fruit" of Christ in our lives so those around us can see the difference; as we pour out His "life giving water," to others.

"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." James 3:3-6

Pray for help each morning and throughout the day as you struggle in this area.

"The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away." Isaiah 50:4-5

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Feeling Discouraged, Defeated & Broken?

I pulled up to church and parked my car in front of the park. After a couple of steps, I noticed four young boys playing baseball. As I walked up I thought, "If that batter gets a hold of a ball he could potentially hit my brand new car." I hurried to get inside and set my things down and go back out to move my car...all the while my eyes were glued to the batter.

First pitch, "Strike." Second pitch, "Ball." Third pitch, "SMACK!"...a deep fly ball, going...going..."THUD" straight into the side of my car. I dropped my things on the ground and hurried over to check the damage and move it immediately.

Sitting directly in front of my car was the young outfielder, his knees drawn tightly into his chest and his face hidden deep in the pocket of his glove. I knew he was upset because he missed the fly ball; the possible damage to my car was the farthest thing from his young mind. He felt like a failure. Upon seeing his distress, my new, possibly dented car faded into the background as I stopped and told him, "It's okay, it's only one missed ball...you'll catch the next one." His head turned ever so slightly, a single tear filled eye blinked at me from inside the shadow of his glove. I smiled and cheerfully said, "You'll get the next one, you'll see." His head lifted from its hiding place; sweeping his arm across his damp face, he dried his tears, stood up and got ready for the next ball.

Do you ever feel like you're getting hit with life's "baseballs" or missing the opportunities you feel you should be "catching"? Do you find yourself becoming discouraged, defeated and broken? Are you finding it hard to get back up and move forward?

Just like that little boy, each of us face disappointments and failures; but you have a choice in those difficult times. You can continue to hide your face in your "glove" (wherever you run to be alone and feel sorry for yourself) as life's "home-run's" pass you by. Or you can look up from the darkness, brush yourself off and head back out onto the "field" knowing that today's failures are only momentary.

God has a perfect plan and purpose for your life. He will give you daily guidance, direction and encouragement. He'll make today's failures...tomorrow's successes. You are being refined. Let him work in you and through you. Remember...you are a tool in God's hand. Pray and renew your hope and faith in Him today. Allow Him to complete His masterpiece...you!

"We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 1:3

"May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance." 2 Thessalonians 3:5

"I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices, my body also will rest in hope because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence." Acts 2:25-28

"No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5