Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions '10



I'm trying something new. I'm forcing myself to start another blog. Well not really forcing...but the force part comes because I'm actually trying out Word Press for my new blog. As of right now, I'm not convinced I like it's format so much compared to Blog Spot. It's early though and all new things have to be figured out fully before a valid opinion can be made, spoken, or written.

My Word Press blog will be a bit different. It's name...Resolutions '10. Why? Well I think I've come up with some God inspired New Year Resolutions for 2010. They are not your usual such as losing weight, eating better, or exercising. No these are matters of the heart, hands, soul, and mind. They are about getting closer to the Lord, but in a very unselfish way in which I plan to share my Father's love with those I know and those I don't know and have yet to meet.

Please visit my new blog at www.resolutions10.wordpress.com and read all about my plans for the new year! Please excuse the dullness of the blog as a whole at this point as I am still trying to figure out how to fully load pictures and do other things to make the blog more interesting. I hope you will be inspired to maybe do some of the same things or think of some other great resolutions for yourself for 2010. I would love to hear what you think and the ideas you have for the new year as well!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Time Again


The morning was a bit crazy because of the kids two hour delay due to snow, ice, and rain that fell from the evening and early morning sky. I had the best intentions to get a lot of things accomplished around the house and maybe a bit of Christmas shopping done. But then a small remembrance came to mind…it was Wednesday… and at 10:30 am a Bible study which I have wanted to attend was scheduled to meet.

I quickly pushed the thought to the back of my mind. But as much as a tried to squelch the conviction to visit this gathering of believers, the more the thought pressed forward urging me give up my agenda for His. It was not an audible voice, but an embrace of sorts which nudged me in a certain direction. I was left with a choice. Would I choose to listen or choose to ignore and continue to do my own thing? I am happy I choose to listen for many blessings awaited me in the smiles and love I received from eight individuals God personally wrapped to give to me this day.

It’s Christmas. There are presents to buy, gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, cards to send, and trees to decorate. In the hustle and bustle of the season, have the gentle whispers from your heavenly Father gone silent? He beckons you to come, but you can not hear because you choose not to listen and instead choose to be busy. Matthew 11:28 states,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Come to Him this day and sit at the feet of Jesus and have a quiet moment with Him. He longs to love you if only you will let him. He is crazy about you and delights in your love for Him. He has many gifts which wait for you to unwrap just as He gave me today. But it is your choice. Will you choose Jesus?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hearth and Mantel

My magazine article is in print...check it out at http://www.exemplifyonline.com/ . It teaches you how to decorate your mantel for Christmas and beyond! My profile is on page 32 and the article appears on page 46.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Traditions - Book Signing


I'll be at the Starbucks in Beaver, Pennsylvania (my hometown) Saturaday, December 5th, to sign the book "Christmas Traditions" in which my latest story is published. I will also be at the Borders Book Store in the Beaver Valley Mall the same day from 1 pm - 4 pm signing again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who's got Purpose?


This thing called “purpose” can be difficult to understand. Some days I feel very purposeful and then other days the monotony of being a stay at home mom gets the best of me. I get anxious I might be missing some greater calling. I get angry wondering if others who know me best see my potential being more than doing a load of laundry or knowing how to cook a great meal. I struggle with loneliness chased by busyness and the two combined leave me exhausted by the end of the day wondering who won the race.
Actually, no one wins. My heart just loses, because what I lost was my focus. I took my eyes off the prize and came up empty handed with an anxious soul longing for love, understanding, and meaning.

I crashed last night on my couch and my eyes cried like a river. I sat slumped in posture and my hands lifeless at my side. I didn’t even bother to wipe the overflow of tears that ran swiftly down my cheeks. Through the blur of the tears I saw my son’s Bible sitting on the coffee table. I reached for it and just opened it unknowingly to Psalm 116. As tears spattered on the thin pages, I wiped my eyes so I could clearly see where I had opened to.

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live....Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you…” Psalm 116:1 & 7

The more I read the less I cried and I knew the Father saw my tears and shed some along with me. I felt His awesome presence and begged for His forgiveness of my wretched soul. I am but a poor sinner who put my Jesus to death on Calvary, but I thank God He loves me enough to save a miserable soul as mine. He thinks I’m special. He knows every hidden talent others may not see. But most of all He loves me for me. Not matter how much I strive for perfection in the wrong things or the countless mistakes I make…HE STILL LOVES ME!

Now my eyes are focused once again beyond the everyday mundane tasks. His whispers speak a calm tranquility giving me worth amidst my frailty. I praise my Maker once again and speak aloud, “Be at rest, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Visit Me At The Well

Ruthie and I shortly after her diagnosis.


I'm excited for all of you to visit a wonderful site today. Please click, http://www.titus2atthewell.com/ and read my guest contribution today about my wonderful God who blessed me with a beautiful daughter Ruthie despite the challenges of Autism. May you be blessed immeasurably and I pray the peace of God be with you all today!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Dove Set Free

To be real is to be transparent. When one allows another to see the inmost part of their being…without fanciful decorated edges as that of a wedding cake, but the messy stuff that ensues when a one year old child celebrates his birthday….that is real! It’s easy to pretend we have a perfect life, but then again perhaps not. I would think it more difficult to portray the person we are not, rather than the person whom we truly are and which God made us to be. But why is it we fight to the end to expose the realness of life that has happened to us. Why do we care what another thinks, when we should only care what the Great I Am knows…and He knows all…sees all…nothing is hidden. Yet hide is the very thing we try to do just as Adam and Eve after their sinful endeavor into the luscious, juicy, forbidden fruit.

It is sad indeed and often irks one to the core when encountering an individual who prides themselves in the appearance of perfection. For beneath the glitz and glam is a poor soul longing to be real…to be transparent…and share the pain this life has brought. No one who walks this Earth has a perfect life, but each carries imperfections made perfect through one solitary life…Jesus Christ. He makes all things good. He works the bad for good even when good at the time of the crisis can not be seen. Only peace can come to the soul in bondage and become like a dove set free from its cage…receive whole heartily the gift God has given in Jesus Christ…and open your wings to fly freely without guilt and condemnation, but with mercy and love.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Sweet Love Song

It remains one of my all time favorite songs. It brings me to tears each time I listen to its somber and humble words. When I hear the song it reminds me of two people…Billy Graham and my beloved Grandmother Bowser. She often talked about the great preacher of peace and salvation. It was watching this revered man of God that a Lamb captured the soul of a child’s heart in the quietness of her childhood bedroom amidst a family in turmoil. He hugged me sweetly and He has never let go since the tender age of 10 years old. No one was there. It was just me and my Abba. He reached down from heaven that cold winters night as the wind whipped and the naked trees scratched at the window panes; He touched me.

We’ve become very close, my Jesus and me, since He stole my heart 32 years ago. He has been there when I left home at 18 years old, the death of my dear grandparents in college, depression, celebration of marriage, divorce of my parents, birth of my three children, and the diagnosis of autism for my beautiful daughter. He reminds me daily of the power I have to overcome because of one simple fact. I am His child! He sings daily in the sweetest of voices just how much He loves me through the glory of His creation as the sun beams upon my face. I ask Him, “Why?” I know I do not deserve such love for I am the one whose sin brought Him to suffer death on the cross. He replies, “That’s just how much I love you!”

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My If


I have pondered this word “if” often.


“If I knew I couldn’t fail…what would I do?”


No answer seemed to fit or make sense to me.


You see, I don’t believe in living with “if”. To live on, “What ifs”, would keep me from being the person God created. But then I realized, I am living my “if” life right now. I am a Christian who seeks a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know I’m going to fail and that’s o.k. It’s in my failures God refines me and then molds me more into the person He intends for the purpose of His kingdom. Think of this, Babe Ruth struck out more than he had home runs, but became one of best hitters in baseball.


Even though I say I am a Christian, I’m not perfect. I will make mistakes and “strike out” and walk away with my head low and bat dragging behind me. What I’m saying is….as a Christian I have Jesus…and ask his forgiveness those times I fail. He lifts my chin, brushes the dirt away, hands me my bat, and then pushes me to home plate to swing again.


You’ll never do your “if” without failure in pursuit to fulfill God’s dream for you!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Give Me Jesus


I’m listening to the song, Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus by Michael W. Smith. It is a beautiful rendition which starts with a violin playing through the first verse with no words. Then the voices come in and sing. It ends, as it began, with the peaceful, calming, vibrato of the violin.

I never thought things would be so different this year than last year. Once again, I am faced with change. I’ll be honest, I hate change. I’ve had to do it so many times with all the moving my family has done in the last nine years. Each new place we arrived at, I worked endlessly to make my house a home and give my children stability as quickly as my physical body would allow me. The great thing is no matter where we were the sun always rose in the East and set in the West and my Jesus…He was always with us too.

I will look back on the struggles of these past few months and know God stretched me and molded me more into the person He desired so I might do His work and spread His love which He alone has embedded upon my heart through His endless love in the life He gave on the cross at Calvary. I beg Him for His healing rain every day and amazingly He offers His grace and mercy so I might walk with my head lifted soaking up every once of Shekinah glory.

Now Fernando Ortega is singing, Just Give Me Jesus. “You can have all this world, but give me Jesus…When I rise…give me Jesus…When I am alone…give me Jesus…And when I come to die…give me Jesus.” I came to know the Lord at a very young age. I choose Jesus. I will always choose Jesus. He is my life and He knows my heart better than anyone. You can have all this world…just give me Jesus!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Birthday Girl

The flames flickered on the five candles which stood tall atop the fanciful cake. The chin of the birthday girl rested upon her hands as she stared with a broad smile at the sweet treat. The orange flames glowed brightly as others around her sang...happy birthday...and they watched the candles light dance in her jubilant hazel eyes.

The picture was so clear and the colors so vivid. The joy could be felt and love could be seen even though I was only the dreamer. I was in a close up frame watching a birthday celebration for a five year old according to the candles on the cake, but the birthday girl...she was much older indeed with a familiar sense as if I should know her. She was stunningly beautiful and perfect in every way from the strands of her long hair to the white of her manicured nails.The Giver of the dream panned the camera out so I might capture the view from a further distance. As the picture grew larger, more birthday cakes began to appear, more candles flickered, and more birthday girls but also birthday boys sat in front of their specially prepared cake. The room was massive unlike nothing I had ever seen. There was so much joy...so much glory I could hardly take it all in.

I scanned the room and my eye caught hold of Him. He was donned in a purple robe, crowned with gold and diamonds, and breathtakingly beautiful. It was my Jesus! He lifted his arms with definitive gracefulness in an upward motion and delightfully said,"Happy birthday my children!"I knew it was heaven and Christ the King was celebrating the anniversary of the day some of his children finally came home. I realized this must happen every day for every day new souls enter His presence.The camera panned back in for a close up of the first birthday girl in the beginning of the dream. This time the picture focused on the name which appeared on the top of the cake. It said,"Happy Birthday Mayme!"
~
I still grieve with a heavy heart some days the loss of my grandmother,
Mayme Dominica Bowser, who with no doubt walked through the pearly gates nearly five years ago. Unfortunately, I realize it is for my own selfish reasons that I wish she were still here with me. I realized through the image of the dream I was looking at the anniversary of her death all wrong. I should not mourn, but celebrate the anniversary of her birth to heaven's home!
I love you grandma and can't wait to walk the winding river holding your hand and sit under the tree of life and talk awhile with you!

Friday, September 11, 2009

James Brian Reilly Tribute 9-11

His gentle hands dipped down to the mother’s arms to pick up the swaddled baby. The closer baby Katherine came toward his body the broader his smile. He would hold his goddaughter’s head in the crook of his elbow and look upon her with adoration, coo to her, and stroke her soft cheek with the tip of his index finger. The smile and the love Uncle Jimmy rained on Katherine will never be forgotten.

James Brian Rielly was on the 89th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the first plane hit the north tower at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001. He called his two room mates and his father to let them know all was well with him. But unbeknownst to James, a second plane, United Flight Airlines 175, was in flight and slammed into the South Tower at 9:02 am on national television for the world to watch with astonishment, shock, and awe. James Brian Rielly, the young, bright, 25 year old bond trader who worked for Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods was never heard from again.

I did not know James Rielly, but today I remember him and the young life that was lost this day ten years ago. May we all remember those lives that were cut short that fateful day, September 11, 2001.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray for those today who are still grieving the loss of a friend or family member who's death was sadly brought upon them on this day ten years ago. Please hold them close beneath the shelter or your loving arms and let peace arise in their heart amidst the heart ache and pain. Please shed a full measure of your grace and blessings to the hurting souls who mourn in remembrance of this day.
~Amen

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's your Treasure?

Treasure=wealth stored up..something of great value...keep as precious.
There is a treasure in every trial.
So let's look for the treasure,
don't complain about our circumstance,
and praise God all along the way!
Let us rejoice in God's word,
as one who finds great treasure!
For where your treasure is
there your heart will be also!
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for who you are and for the life you gave that I might have abundant hope which leads to everlasting joy! Help me realize the manifestation of Jesus in my own life as a believer in You! Even though trials will come...and they will come...I can not be crushed, I can not be destroyed, and I will not be left in despair for my Redeemer lives! Help me to see and understand the treasure in the trial...that despite the difficulty...You keep me as precious though the growing pains at times seem unbearable. Let me desire the treasure of my life to be You and hold You as precious and dear in every action and utterance as You lavish Your love upon me! For where my treasure is there my heart will be also! Help me Abba to always treasure You...honor You...love You! Fill my cup to overflowing that the abundance of my heart would spill joyfully into the lives of others sharing Jesus Christ with one and all!
~Amen
My true treasure is the gift of Jesus Christ!
"I rejoice in your word as one who finds great treasure."
~Psalm 119:162
"For where your treasure is there your heart will be also"
~Matthew 6:21
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body"
~II Corinthians 4:7-10

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Beginnings

I'm linking my blog with the Titus 2...at the well today. The topic for today is change. I shutter at the sound of the word. But let's put a positive twist on change and say... change is the equivalent of new beginnings. My family and I our currently going through a huge unexpected change in finding a new church. It is no what we desired at this time, but feel led and pushed to do so.

Change is also equivalent to the word adjustment. Most of us are getting our children ready for back to school. Perhaps for some, today is the first day or your kids have already begun. It's time for new wake up and bed time routines, stricter rules for TV watching and Wii playing, and making sure they get out the door with a good breakfast and some prayers from mommy.

Change can also equal stress or more trust. We can choose to "stress out" or we can choose to "trust God" in every circumstance believing and knowing He always has our best interest in mind.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and
lean not into thine own understanding,
but in all thy ways acknowledge Him
and He shall make thy paths straight."
~Proverbs 3:5-6
Lord, I pray for each person who reads this today that they would take just five minuets and sit quietly in your presence. May they hear your sweet songs, feel your deep compassion, and leave desiring more time alone with you. May they trust you and not themselves to make it through yet another change! ~Amen

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mind Tug of War

I’m in a battle between the dark spaces of my mind and where the light seeks to push through the darkness. The light is there…I know it is…but why has the bleakness of humanity squelched my drive to find the light. I hear the taunting laugh of Satan as he pulls his end of the rope thrusting my body forward. I mumble through my clenched teeth,

“I’ll never return. You can not have me!”

I regain my grip though my hands sweat with blood and feel the strength under my feet return. I pull with all of my might, but only to gain such little ground. My hair drips with sweat, my chin nearly touches my chest in defeat, and my arms tremble with infinite weakness as I fear I must give in and let go.

When my burning hands released their grip from the rope…another set of hands come from no where. They are the hands of my Master. The Prince of Peace. Satan’s cackle becomes very faint as if falling into a hole that reaches the center of the Earth. Before my body flings to the dirt in gut wrenching pain, His hands, they pick me up. They cuddle me. They brush the dirt away. The gentle hands of my Healer made my wounds disappear. He held me for a long while and sang over me. His sweet voice soothes the battle within my mind.

Prayer
Lord, please help me with the battle that rages from time to time within the confines of my mind. Satan loves to put me down, tell me lies, and make me feel unworthy to be called a child of God. Remind me to fight the fiery arrows of the evil one with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and not with my own strength. Please catch me when I fall and then sing sweetly over me and replace confusion with your sweet peace!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Danger Ahead

After reading the piece, "Danger Ahead", at the Titus 2 ministry blog, I've linked up with them today to also let parents and even grandparents know how important it is to plant seeds of Godly truth and wisdom into our children and grandchildren. It is equally important to protect their heart and minds from a sin sick society whos norm has become sexually explicit and violent.

My own kids have gotten angry at me for not allowing them to watch certain TV shows or movies. I have strict rules and guidelines. I am always aware of what they are watching and have never allowed a TV in any of their bedrooms. I hardly ever buy magazines any more and if by chance I see one of interest and do buy it...I go through the entire magazine taking out any ads that might influence my boys mind in a bad direction. Even simple ads for bras or underwear can make a mans mind wonder into shameful areas of sin.

I remember when my kids were little, Disney movies were all the rage, and probably still are today. I use to think if it was put out by Disney it must be family friendly. Don't be dooped as I was many years ago. Upon watching "101 Dalmatians" with them, after the first twenty-five minutes of the movie the words dumb, stupid, and idiot had been repeated so many times between the characters in a mean and derogatory manner, I had to get up and turn the movie off and declare it unfit for my children to watch. My children did not like my decision, but it did not sit right with my spirit for them to continue to watch this movie.

My oldest son is now fourteen years old and a freshmen in high school. He is a gentleman who does love the Lord and knows as a man he needs to protect his eyes from things that are unbeholding to the Lord. A book I would like to suggest for mothers of teen boys to get for their sons is, "Every Young Mans Battle" by Stephen Arterburn. Mr Arterburn has also written an adult men's version called, "Every Mans Battle".

None of us has all the answers on how to raise our children. Each of us will make our fair share of mistakes. But one thing I know for sure, God does have all the answers and I must seek Him daily and ask Him for the wisdom in guiding my children to grow in the knowledge and love for the Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank You and Hello


I reached high in my bedroom closet for the fire proof box. We keep all our important papers in this box. I specifically needed my youngest son’s birth certificate for proof of his age for football. When I opened the box, I saw first, a yellowed letter with the date February 20th, 1987. It is one of my most prized possessions. It was my 20th birthday letter from my most precious grandmother. The letter reads…

Dear Shannon,

Are you having your birthday with Scott (my oldest brother)? I was with Scottie when you were born. Also I saw you before you were born and knew you were a girl. And you had a Gold Star shining over you. I don’t think of it often but the Lord brought it back to my memory this morning as I got your card ready.
Shannon, if you commit your ways, your studies, and works unto the Lord, He will direct your every step – “literally”. Romans 8:28, “And everything; everything works together for good to those who love God.” The Living Bible says; “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plan!”
I love these scriptures. God is ever faithful and never leaves nor forsakes us. He is a very present help in time of stress. May he ever be with you Shannon, and keep you!
I pray all is well with you Shannon and that you have a blessed birthday.

Always with Love,
Grandma Bowser


I praise God for the wonderful gift He gave me in my grandma Bowser. She didn’t have much, but she was very wealthy because she knew Jesus. She prayed often for me. She encouraged me through these wonderful letters my entire life until she went home to be with her Lord six years ago. I miss her. I miss her prayers. I wish she were here now so I could talk awhile with her.
~
I thank you Lord for my Grandmother’s influence in my life before her grand entry through the gates of glory. I know it was not by accident that I opened that box on this day. Her letter penned over twenty years ago brought encouragement to my soul when my soul needed it most. I miss her Lord. Please tell her thank you and hello for me this night. Amen.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My oldest son has got me hooked on Jeremy Camp a Christian contemporary vocal artist. This song, over the past month, has become one of my favorties! I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting for God


They were jealous of the “little dreamer” and wanted to kill him, but decided to throw him in the cistern. I’m sure Joseph was terrified, bewildered, and asked God why as he sat in the empty pit. At the time, Joseph just didn’t understand the plan God had for him to become King of Egypt.


We all have also been in the cistern from time to time terrified, bewildered, and asking God why. We need to realize that God puts us in the cistern not to do us harm or hurt us, but to rejuvenate us with his refreshing rain. He desires to fill us up with “spiritual rain” and when He is ready…He brings us out of the cistern more capable to walk through the challenges, trials, and joys this life brings our way ready and able for the work God has planned far in advance for us to do…just like Joseph.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Don't Forfeit Grace

I sat, eyes still tired from the restful nights sleep. I was a groggy soul, but the smell of the fresh brewed coffee lifted my eye brow. The aroma pulled me up and drew me to reach for my favorite cup, add cream, and then pour the hot java into the mug. I am convinced the coffee bean was one of God’s greatest creations.

I returned to my chair and after a few sips of the morning brew, I set my cup on the table beside me. I reached for my Bible to begin my day in some quiet moments with my Lord. I truly did not know what to read. I flipped through the pages of my Bible and considered Zephaniah, but realized I had already read this wonderful book. I flipped to Jonah. Who hasn’t heard the story of Jonah? But I hadn’t ever read the book of Jonah. So the decision was made…Jonah it was.

Now everyone I’m pretty sure knows Jonah was trying to run away from God because he didn’t want to do what the Lord had asked of him. Run away from God…yeah right! Jonah what were you thinking! He got on a ship with some men and out to sea he went. A terrible storm hit. All the men thought they were going to die and realized the cause of the storm was because Jonah was running from God. They threw him out to sea, the storm calmed, and Jonah was swallowed by a “big fish”. Three days and three nights Jonah was inside the stomach of that fish. Could you imagine the slime, goo, muck, smell, total grossness of this situation? I for one would probably loose myself self control and freak out, but Jonah prayed to the Lord. I’m sure Jonah learned some pretty important lessons during his time in the belly of the fish, but one lesson he said in his prayer struck a cord with me.

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
Jonah 2:8

Do I really need to say anything more?

Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray this day you would make me aware of the things in my life which I have made an idol over you. Help me to see the chasing of worthless things are not your desire for me and when I do selfishly run towards worldly treasure, I forfeit your grace in my life. I need you Father and ask for forgiveness of my sin sick heart. Please bless me this day with a full measure of your grace that peace may abound in my heart.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

By God...For God

God gave each of us unique characteristics. We are unlike anyone else in this entire world. Each of us is different and exclusive in the eyes of our Creator. The way we love. The way we walk, talk, smile, and write…the way we praise, worship, and adore our Immanuel is special and unequal to each other. Only you can give back to Jesus the unique traits He blessed you with. If we could only understand, this is why He created us! We were created by God…for God! He longs to hear from each and everyone of us; because… what He gave you… can only be given back to Him by you!

Please take the time to sit at the feet of Jesus. Give back to your Savior in response to His great love! In this precious time spent with Him, you will taste the victory of Heaven’s home and enter His presence in moments of solitude. He longs to be adored with the sweetness you can only give. He waits to lavish His grace and love upon you if only you will sit awhile with Him and breathe in God and exhale Jesus!

May we praise our Lord and say as Job…

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and
the Lord has taken away; may the
name of the Lord be praised.”
~Job 1:21

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kindled Light

I’ve got this candle in my kitchen which I purchased from Cocalico Creek while shopping with a great friend of mine. I fell in love with the smell…oatmeal raisin cookie. I brought it home, put the big cake candle in a primitive candle holder, and decorated it with a berry wreath. I placed it in the kitchen at the small round cafĂ© table at the bay window.

I hardly ever light the candle since the purchase…usually only when I know company is coming because I want to save the beauty of the lit candle for special occasions. As I cleaned up the kitchen the other evening, I moved the candle to wipe beneath the place it sat. I had a thought, why not light the candle. Several minutes passed. No one was coming over for a visit, but I decided to light the candle and admire the beauty of the flickering flame and take in the sweet smell.

I stared quietly at the candle with a warm cup of java warming my hands. Why do I wait for guests to light the wick? The glow of the candle brought a tranquil moment to my otherwise busy day. It was peaceful and soon became a God moment as my eyes glazed over in a day dream state staring at the illumination of kindled light. It was a sweet time between me and my Lord and I thank Him for the inspiration to light the flame and spend some precious time with Him!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Who Am I by Casting Crowns

Friday, June 19, 2009

God's Chisel

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Please Pray for Jake


I’m just writing. It’s been a stressful day. The day didn’t start off stressful, but has developed into a sick gut full of angst. At one point, I just had to walk outside and tell myself to breath and when I exhaled I shot little arrow prayers up to heaven; angry little arrow prayers full of frustration.

Nearly one year ago we moved to Pennsylvania from Iowa. In Iowa, we owned a beautiful home, The Taft House, steeped in history. We had no idea the real estate market would take a nose dive due to the economy last summer. We still have not sold the home. Even after $50,000 dollars worth of repairs this spring due to a pipes breaking in the second floor of the home, it still has not sold. We thought we had a buyer last week, but they decided on another home. We are in the process of my husband’s company buying the home from us, but know in doing so we will take a VERY big loss on top of the financial loss we have suffered thus far in not selling the home for such a long time.
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A few hours have passed.
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I have just gotten off the phone with my cousin. Her son has been sick and they have not been able to diagnose him. She took him to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh last week and a team of doctors took on her son’s case and are playing live “House” (TV drama about a doctor who tries to solve medical mysteries) on him. Yesterday she found out that her son may have had strep go through his entire body and damage his heart in the process. He will be a senior this year and will be 18 in December. Tomorrow he goes to get and echo-cardiogram to determine if there is damage and the extent of the damage if any is found.
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I’m such a schmuck for even stressing over the money. God has always taken care of us and I don’t think He will stop now.
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Money is nothing. A young life is everything. Please pray for Jake!



Monday, June 1, 2009

Do you have a hard time accepting compliments from others? When someone gives you an accolade do you turn around and put yourself down in the very next breath? I know I do this to much and too often. I have come to realize this is just as much a sin as it is for one to be prideful in themselves, talents, or gifts.

Think of this...God sends someone to build up and edify the very gift He gave to you. Through this person, God encourages us to continue on the good work which He has set upon our heart to do. Immediately, we take and tear down exactly what God wanted to build up in us...confidence. We rip to shreds the unique creation God made in His own image.

I once did this very thing after receiving a compliment from a pastor's wife at a church in Iowa. She really liked the outfit I had on and the way I had done my hair that day. I quickly spoke and put my body down, the clothes as old rags, and my hair well it just wouldn't cooperate. I'll never forget what she said to me,

"Shannon, just say thank you ."

As women, we are hard on ourselves. We always seem to think we just don't measure up or we could be better. How about we stop putting ourselves down and making our Heavenly Father cringe with disappointment. Let's accept a compliment with a simple...."thank you" and then also thank our God for who He made us to be...His wonderful creation!

Thursday, May 28, 2009



I’m in a good place at the present time. I sense God near whispering softly to my soul. I want it to last forever, but I know forever won’t last in this earthly vessel. Trials will come. When they do, I’ll sit unwavering in the eye of the storm where peace still abounds as the winds blow around me. I’ll breathe deeply with my eyes lifted to the sky for my help comes from the Almighty. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He began a good work in me and will see it to the finish. But along this journey I now trod, I will rest in the presence of the one who makes my yoke easy despite the difficulties. For I am grafted into the power of the One who’s blood was shed for me…Jesus. I will rejoice in the victory He has already won. Christ’s love story for me is this; He defeated sin in His death to bring me life. So I will call Him my forever love and become a slave to righteousness which brings me freedom. Righteousness will lead me to holiness. Holiness points toward eternal life. Holy, holy, holy, art thou O Lord God Almighty! Worthy, worthy, worthy, is the Lamb that was slain!

“…but now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Romans 6:19-23

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rheumatoid Arthritis Healing Powers

This writing is off the cuff. No edits. Just purely from my heart.
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Aug. 29, 2007 -- Rheumatoid arthritis patients on Remicade or Enbrel have a small but higher risk of skin cancer, a new study confirms.
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In late January 2009, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I could not button clothes, help my children tie their shoes, open a jar, and many other simple tasks became nearly impossible to do. I'm only 42 and became a bit down thinking I was to young for such a disease. They say there is no cure and medicine with horrible side effects, including cancer, would be my only option to slow the progression of the hand and feet deforming sickness. It took me six weeks to get in to see a specialist and once there I had another round of x-rays and blood work.
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However, I had a much greater Physician on my side. I knew Doctor Jesus, as my faithful Grandma Bowser would often refer to Him as, could do anything...even heal me. I began to pray as did many of my brothers and sisters in the Lord that God would rain down His healing touch. I cried out to the Lord many nights when my hands hurt so badly,
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"Please Lord take this pain away!"
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It took me six weeks to get in to see a specialist and at that time in mid April 2009 they took many more x-rays and did more blood work. Prior to this appointment I had been feeling very good. In fact, even told the doctor I was not having any pain for the past four weeks. But given the fact the previous x-rays had shown deterioration of my bone structure in my left hand, the additional tests were done.
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I had done a lot of research on some of the suggested medicine for RA and had decided before going back to the doctor's for a follow up after all the tests...I was not going to take any of the medication, but trust my Lord to continue to heal me. I even took four sheets of printed off material to argue with the doc about why I shouldn't take the medicine. Needless to say, none of the arguments I had planned were used. The doctor said the blood work showed no RA and my x-rays showed no deterioration as previously diagnosed. WOW! It felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders and a huge smile came over my face. I looked at the doc and said,
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"That is a sure answer to prayer!" as the doctor smiled in return.
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I'm so ever thankful and grateful to my Lord! I am so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who loves and cares for me so much! I just praise Him this day for healing my body and making me whole!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fragrance of Grace



The windows were open and the lace curtains pushed back off the frame dancing freely in the spring air. The smell of the crisp soft gale was clean and rejuvenating from the rain that spilled from the heavens the night before. I stood in front of the opened window. The curtains almost touching me and the gentle wind swept softly against my cheeks. I took a deep slow breath trying to capture the beauty of the morning air. At the height of my inhale, I held my breath and closed my eyes seeking to hold onto the sweetness of the moment for as long as possible. I slowly exhaled and opened my eyes. I looked beyond the frame of the window to the pasture. I marveled at the color pallet of the brilliant green set against the peaceful blue sky.


I whispered softly to my sweet Savior,


“Thank you Lord for this piece of heaven revealed to me today. I’m grateful for the smell of your sweet presence in the refreshing rain and the touch of your gentle hand in the quiet breeze. Remind me of this moment today and quicken me to love others with the same love you have touched me with in the beauty of your creation!”

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

He Loves Us!

There is never a question whether the Lord Jesus loves us. He loves us! He loves us! He loves us! He loves us despite our bad choices, judgemental thoughts, gluttony, and all other sin we commit daily.
Even though He loves us lavishly and unconditionally, He still longs endlessly to hear our sweet voice. He desires silent solitude with our thoughts focused on Him alone. He wants the chance to lull your tender spirit into rhythm with His. His heart beats with the pitter pat of love as He waits for your acceptance of His invitation to dance with Him. He is sad when He is rejected by the one He truly loves, but then again, He is use to rejection. He remembers two words..."Crucify Him!"
When we forget about Jesus and all He did for us, we crucify Him all over again. Let us not put our Lord through such pain and anguish. He suffered enough to build a bridge to God for us. He longs to love us! We have a choice every day to let Jesus rule us and have peace or allow the world to dictate hurt and pain upon our soul. Sing this...
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me.
Don't forget how much Jesus loves you and desires to bless you with the best of everything! All praise, glory, and honor to Him forever and ever!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Field of Daisy's

It's nice to know our Savior sits and thinks about us. It seems pretty impossible that He would have the time, but He does just so...gives us His time. He lays in a melodious field of daisy's and picks the petals off saying...
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"She loves me...she loves me not."
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It's a sad thought, Christ pondering this question, but I'm sure we leave Him wondering by the lack of devotion we show Him on a daily basis. Do we take the time to show Him the praise and adoration He truly deserves? Do we spend time to sit awhile with Him, talk to Him, and allow Him to whisper sweet nothings in our ear? Are we to busy with our list and "to do's" to even hear Him speak and tell us how special we are to Him.
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I'll leave you with this image...
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Jesus lifts himself up from the field of flowers and begins to walk towards the sunset. The tips of His fingers gently graze the top of each daisy. The yellow pollen displaces itself upon the hems of His robe. His hair dances back from His shoulders. He turns and looks at the trampled path He has mad and amazingly the flowers arise as if untouched. Christ then turns His entire body around and begins to walk backwards motioning with His gentle hands to come along my love...come along with me this day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Submission, Surrender, Obedience


The word submission, surrender, and obedience often confuse me. Individually they can all stand alone, but they also connect to one another as well. When one states they have surrendered all to Jesus they could also exchange surrendered for submitted or obedient. So do they all mean the same thing or does one come first and then the others follow?

Upon looking up the three words on http://www.dictionary.com/, I found all three words have commonalities. All three definitions contain the word “yield”. The word obedience is defined as submissive and the word submit is defined as obey.

So here is my take on the three. You must first submit to the Lord God Almighty. When you submit you defer to another. In this case, you defer to God’s judgment and opinion. Then you make the conscience choice to surrender yourself to Him based upon the opinion of God and abandon or give up control of your life to live for Jesus. Once this is achieved, which by the way needs to be done on a daily…moment by moment basis, one can become obedient and yield to the whispers of the Holy Spirit and comply with the Lord’s desires for their life. Confusing? Yes, I will admit it is a bit.

Think of it this way. It is like the braiding of hair. You need all three strands woven together…one on top of another…all crisscrossing and intersecting until beauty is achieved. When you submit, surrender, and obey to the will of the Lord a flame of fire occurs…a kind of combustion when the three come together. They cause a blaze of intense zeal and passionate love for Jesus. One will glow and shine brightly. But the most amazing thing is... we in turn serve our risen Lord and become His host or hostess offering and distributing his love to others in hope that they too will catch the flame and become a blazing fire for Christ Jesus as well! Therefore the circle of life continues to abound and expand in Christ's victory of deaths sting...ultimate beauty is acheived!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Body is Failing Me

I’m tired today…really tired. I awoke at the normal hour, but left by 7:50 am for a doctor’s appointment. Ginny went along with me and her soothing voice which guided my way gave me a calm assurance I would reach my destination on time. Today’s visit to the doctor was all about my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I had to see a specialist. There were a lot of questions, pokes, prods, and the question,

“Does this hurt?”

My left hand has been highly affected by the RA. Around Christmas and through mid March, I had severe pain in this hand specifically the index finger. I was unable to do the simplest tasks such as tie my shoe, put a button through a button hole, or open a jar. It was hugely discouraging to say the least to be face to face with this disease (RA) at forty-two years old. After all, arthritis is for old people…right?

When I left the doctor’s office today, I had a prescription in hand and then traveled across the street for blood work and x-rays. They just didn’t take one, two, or three valves of blood…nooooo…they had to take six! Then it was off to x-rays. They just didn’t take one, two, or three x-rays….get this….they took twenty-five! I guess it is imperative for the doctor to have something to compare my joints to in future years. Needless to say, I was glowing as I walked out the exit.

I drove home thinking this is it…I’m officially old! My body is failing me. Rheumatoid Arthritis is actually an auto immune disorder which causes your body to attack itself. No one knows what causes it or how to cure it. You’re just prescribed drugs to lessen the long term affects such as disfigurement of your hands and feet. My body is failing me. All the blood work was done to rule out other deficiencies so they can know what medicine to give me or not give me. I don’t even know if I want to take the medication. They all have such bad side effects. My body is failing me! They really have to take into consideration my four leaky heart valves which were discovered in September this past year. I was diagnosed with Aortic Regurgitation Disease. I need an echo cardiogram every year to watch the progression of my valves. I’m told I’m looking at valve replacement in future years. My body is failing me!

Even though I had my friend’s soothing voice to guide me to my destination, which by the way, Ginny is my GPS system. I had another much calmer voice settle the fear within me. The Holy Spirit made his presence known and whispered softly telling me…even though every day my body fails me…I’m one day closer to being home! What marvelous peace it brought to my countenance. I love knowing my friend and Savior Jesus and the hope He brings to me each and every day despite life’s difficulties!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grass to Milk

This story is about a field trip I took with my daughter two years ago while we lived in Indiana.
I went on a field trip with my daughter the other day. We went to a dairy farm called, Fair Oaks. At first in the midst of about forty or so third graders on a school bus, my thought was….why did I do this to myself? After arriving and beginning the tour I was so glad I went. It was very interesting how they could make cows such a fascinating topic. Did you know that many great scientists have tried to make milk out of grass and have failed, but the cow knows how? The whole grass to milk concept never occurred to me, but then again a lot of things just don’t occur to me.

Anyways, we got to go on this bio-free bus tour and actually drove right through the middle of two different cow barns. Then the bus pulled into the milking barn. We walked up the stairs to a huge window that looked down on a rotating circle of 72 cows and then watched a short clip about what happens which we can’t see as the cows move slowly around the circle. It takes about 8 minutes for them to go around the moving carousel and be milked and they do this three times a day.

However, the most interesting thing that intrigued me and many of the children was, without any prodding the cows walked onto the carousel and backed themselves off when they rotated all the way around. How in the world did they know to get on and off, for Pete’s sake they’re a cow! The tour guide said that the cow is a “creature of habit”. In 72 hours the cow learns all he needs to and just does it. Yowzer, I thought to myself! It was just amazing to watch these cows back in and out at precisely the right time again and again and again.

I drifted off in a daydream state for a few moments as some of the other children continued to ask questions. I asked myself, “Why can’t we be the same “creatures of habit” when it comes to our daily devotion to the Lord? I mean really, I was looking at cows. I only found a few references to cows in my Bible…Pharaoh’s dream in Genesis, two references were about sea cows native to the Red Sea for the hides, and the last one in I Samuel which they hitched two cows to a cart. I’m thinking cows aren’t to smart and haven’t invented much….oh yea….grass to milk….forgot already!

Lord help me this day to be more devoted to you. Help me to thirst for you and long and desire to sit at thy feet when the sun rises and the night time falls. Let me listen to the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit when he beckons me to walk awhile with you. Help me to be a “creature of habit” longing for what only you can give! Amen.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Praise be to Jesus!


Lord, let me be reminded this day of all the pain and suffering you endured for me. Please give me a contrite heart, but also a thankful soul in the sacrifice of your life for my sin to set me free. Thank you for the victory you won in committing yourself to the Father in obedience and love for me. Thank you for your love! The chains of bondage are broken and released and hold me captive no more. My soul finds rest in you alone. I anxiously look forward beyond the cross, beyond the tomb, to one solitary life which rose from the dead on Easter morn. Halleluiah! The stone will be rolled away and my Savior will arise defeating death forever more! Praise be to Jesus!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Royal Foot Washing

The crushing blow of Adam’s sin and the seductive tone of Eve haunt the human way of life. So horrible are we with such sinful lives. At times, we don’t even realize the ugliness we have committed to ourselves and to others. My own heart is sick within. I’m so unworthy, so unclean, and so unfaithful to my Lord in so many ways. My mind is downtrodden and my spirit crushed because the perfectionist anal achiever in this woman’s body knows I can never be what I’d like to think I am while I walk this Earth. I’m human. I am sinful. I need Jesus!

My eyes were fixed upon the cross which stood boldly draped in purple cloth. I listened to the sermon and my soul was hushed to humbleness as the passage of Jesus washing His disciple’s feet in the upper room was read. The gentle hands of my healer which would soon bear the piercing pain of the nail and hammer, took a moment to be the slave and serve the imperfect sinner. I wonder, did His hair touch there leg as He bent to cup His hand to bath the dirty sandal clad foot? Did He lock eyes with the ones He washed and did the shadow of the cross reflect in His pupil?

But then it was time, time to do to one another what Jesus had done with His disciples at the last supper. As I entered the candle lit room, nervousness fell upon me. Wash the feet of another and let another was mine? Did I shave? Would sock fuzz be stuck between my toes? But then those anxious thoughts dissipated as voices began to sing in the quiet silence. The sound of trickling water poured on one another’s feet, kneeling, washing, hugging, and tears could all be seen and heard. Peace, what glorious peace did abound!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Red

Red is an amazing color. It’s my favorite. I have a red couch and love seat in my living room, red accents, and just recently chose a red shower curtain and red rugs to match for a bathroom in our new home. It’s a beautiful, bold, courageous color.

As I put the shower curtain up, I began to think about all the things I know that are red. My favorite bird, the red bird, is red. Red was my precious Grandma Romigh’s favorite color as well. The colors of Indiana University are red and white. But the most profound thought that brought tears to my eyes was that of the blood of Jesus shed for me. His blood was definitely red.

As I went to bed last evening I wondered, God made us and God chose every detail about us. He could have chosen for us to have blue, green, yellow, or even purple blood. But he didn’t. He chose the color red. Why? That’s a question I’m going to ask him when I see him some day. But for now this is my answer. The courageous blood of Jesus dripped like sweat from his brow when he surrendered all to the Father in the garden before the soldiers took him away. The blood of Jesus trickled down his thorn pricked head as he boldly carried the cross to his death. The beautiful blood of Jesus fell from his nail pierced hands to pay a debt he did not owe.

The color red is courageous, bold, and beautiful just as my Immanuel. No wonder I love the color red! Thank you Jesus for dying for me that I may have hope of a life everlasting!


“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly,
and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Luke 22:44

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I just want to welcome all who have come her via the internet cafe. Please enjoy my writings and know above all things, Jesus loves you! He never leaves. He never forsakes. He is an ever present help in time of need.
If you didn't come via the cafe, please visit the cafe using the following link to catch my devotion!http://www.internetcafedevotions.com/

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Walk in the Clouds!

The half moon sings in the radiant blue sky.

Even amidst the shadow of the clouds.

The Lord reminds us of His death.

And in His death He gave us life.

The Lord's eye sees all things.

Even His angels protect and guard.

Then He gave me a rainbow.

Brilliant!

Breathtaking!

Not just one, but two!

I went for a walk tonight and the radiant clouds caught my attention. When I returned home I got my camara and walked all around my yard and started snapping pictures of the clouds. At the time I took the pictures, I didn't really see any certain formation. But when I came inside and looked at them on the computer...I was amazed at what I saw which you have now seen with me.
An hour had passed and my family and I were sitting at the table eating dinner. My husband looked out our kitchen window with the sun shining brightly and said,
"Hey is it raining?"
Indeed it was! I jumped from my chair and grabbed my camera and I said,
"Maybe there is a rainbow!"
Thank you Lord Jesus for such a marvelous show in the beauty of your creation!







Rainbows or Rain Clouds?

God has truly blessed my family with wonderful homes. One home in Chesterton, Indiana had a beautifully lit entry way with natural light from a half oval shaped window and an elegant crystal chandelier. As the sunshine flowed through the window, it bounced off the crystals and reflected to the wall a fantastic array of little rainbows.

Often times when we talk of rainbows or see a rainbow after the storm we are reminded of the covenant God made with Noah; God’s promise to never again destroy the Earth by flood. It is a symbol of God’s mercy and compassion to all of us.

When Christ penetrates the very depth of our soul, we become free from the chains of bondage to ourselves and to others and live life because of God’s mercy and love for us. Our lives need to reflect the image of Christ. His love needs to “bounce” from our hearts and “reflect” a gracious love toward others and the merciful love that Christ has shown to us.

In Proverbs 27:19 it states,
“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects a man”.
Is your heart reflecting a life lived with love, mercy, and compassion? When the light of Christ “bounces” from your heart toward others, are people seeing rainbows or rain clouds? Ask for the heart of Christ today in prayer to enable you to love with the grace that Christ has loved you.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
II Corinthians 3:18

Monday, March 30, 2009

My If


I have pondered this word “if” often.

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“If I knew I couldn’t fail…what would I do?”

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No answer seemed to fit or make sense to me.

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You see, I don’t believe in living with “if”. To live on, “What ifs”, would keep me from being the person God created. But then I realized, I am living my “if” life right now. I am a Christian who seeks a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know I’m going to fail and that’s o.k. It’s in my failures God refines me and then molds me more into the person He intends for the purpose of His kingdom. Think of this, Babe Ruth struck out more than he had home runs, but became one of best hitters in baseball.

Even though I say I am a Christian, I’m not perfect. I will make mistakes and “strike out” and walk away with my head low and bat dragging behind me. What I’m saying is….as a Christian I have Jesus…and ask his forgiveness those times I fail. He lifts my chin, brushes the dirt away, hands me my bat, and then pushes me to home plate to swing again.

You’ll never do your “if” without failure in pursuit to fulfill God’s dream for you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Walking Lesson

It was such a beautiful day. I put my MP3 player on, ear plugs in, and off I went for a brisk walk today which rejuvenated my senses. The smell of the fresh crisp spring air put a bounce in every step and the beat of the music kept me going. The bright sunshine seemed to sing of hope as it warmed my face.

As I came near to the end of my time of exercise, I smiled and waved to someone in a neighboring driveway. Then I noticed the dog with a bright orange vest, the long walking stick, and the fact the woman was wearing big, dark sunglasses. She was blind. The dog seemed to wave his tail in a kind hello back, but boy did I feel stupid. I waved to a blind person and didn’t utter a word. She may have heard my footsteps crunch atop the left over gravel from winter, but she couldn’t see that I had waved or smiled. I walked up my front yard to the porch of my home looking around from left to right to see if anyone else had noticed I’d just waved to a blind person. It seemed as though I was safe from watching eyes and no jokes would be made over my fatal mistake.

It’s funny how God can bring a story to my mind from my failures to help me learn a little more about Him. He hit me in my weakest link as a Christian…opening my mouth to witness for Him. I often say,

“They’ll see Jesus in me by my acts of love and service. I’ll just wait until they ask me why I am the way I am….then I’ll tell them about Jesus.”

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

When I don’t open my mouth and talk about Jesus when the opportunity arises, it’s just like me waving to the blind person. The person who does not know the Lord is blind. In me waving kindly, Jesus goes unnoticed and unheard. His message gets lost amidst the footsteps in the gravel as I rush to get to the next thing I feel I need to accomplish. I play it safe and say nothing, so no jokes will be made by others about my boldness for Christ. I need to speak up so the blind might see…see Jesus and be free!
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you."
~John 15:24

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Mind Conspiracy

He entered the room kicking the dust from his sandals against the frame of the doorway. He looked behind him down the path he had just walked, hoping that no one knew he had just come from talking to the priest. He wondered if any one suspected his plot. Could he carry out the plan he thought to himself? He seated himself at the table to feast and dine in the fellowship of friends. His mind was split in two. The evil one pulled him down drowning his thoughts with lies and half truths.

“You need the money!” he would spew in a raspy whisper from the depths of darkness.

Then the other side, the one of goodness and truth, would utter in love with a soft and gentle air,“He loves you more than you know!"

"Don’t listen to that sweet voice, listen to mine!” uttered the raspy whisper. “He has not done enough for you!He really doesn’t love you as much as he claims!”

He looked around the room at all who were there and truly hoped that none knew of the conspiracy that brewed within his mind. He was shaken from his deep obsession by a hello of a friend who made his place beside him. As he began to chat, the shadows of darkness began to swirl within his mind.

“Don’t trust this person. He is not your friend. I’m your friend. Listen to me! This man will never do as he says…he is no different than you. You will be held up high and him in lowliness if only you listen to me!”

He took his bread and dipped into his soup catching only partially the conversations around him amidst the controversy within his own head. As he waited for the main dish to appear, he crossed his arms and lifted one hand and tapped his lips with his fingers remembering the kiss that would come soon.

I can only imagine the conspiracy within Judas Iscariot’s mind as he sat at the Last Supper. When Jesus announced that someone in that very room would betray him, I wonder if Judas really heard Christ or did the voices of evil drone out the spirit of light.

We all have those voices from time to time that bid us to the choices we make in life. Where the mind is the body follows. Where is your mind today? Is it clothed in the armor of God to defend from the arrows of the evil one? (Eph. 6:10-20) Or does the spirit of depression and loneliness rule over the Prince of Peace this day? If you are troubled today and your mind is at battle, claim this scripture….pray this scripture…

“Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23

Monday, March 16, 2009

Embedded Handprint


Has someone ever broken your heart into a million pieces? Maybe it was your first break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend that brought tears to your eyes. Your feet were stuck in a thick mud puddle as you desperately tried to pull yourself out of the muck. Your mind seemed unable to think straight as you wallowed in your sorrows and mom baked your favorite cookies to try and cheer you up. Eventually you got over it, but at the time it was all happening life seemed so unfair. The sun came out and life was good once again.

Did you ever think that God wants to break your heart into a million pieces? Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t think God does bad things to us to cause us hurt. But when life deals us cards we don’t like and we are in the valley seeking the mountain top, do we rush to put the broken pieces back together the way we see fit? Or do we allow the Master to pick the pieces up and put our heart back together the way he desires?

I ask of you today, let God rebuild your heart. Let him be in control. Let him move the broken pieces of your heart to fit together in perfect harmony. He alone will get you through the valley and rebuild your heart to wholeness once again. The view from the mountain will be breathtaking as you see his plan revealed. In return for giving him reign, the hand print of Jesus will be embedded in your heart and shall forever remain! How great the Father’s love for us!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Return to Me

The human body slumped in a heap of pain, sorrowful tears of tiredness pitter pat to the white knuckles, and puddle to floor. The wet hands are raised; cupped together to cover the face, to steady the mind for the Earth upon which they sit spins to a dizzy state of unbalance.

“Why, O why my Lord? How much longer must I endure? When will tranquility befriend me once again?”

Return to me…return to me.”…is uttered in a soft whisper from deep within the grieving soul.

“Return to me…return to me… as I begged my people many years ago.”

“Return to me and your heart will rise in splendor as the lily in full bloom.”

Return to me and be renewed just as the fresh rain feeds the Earth and sprouts new life.”

“Return to me…return to me…return to me………”

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Sometimes when troubles arise and God seems so far away; it is not He who left, but us who turned away. Seek the Son this Easter season and choose Him as your sweet adoration and not the things of this world.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
~James 4:8~

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tug of War

I’m in a battle between the dark spaces of my mind and the light seeks to push through the darkness. The light is there…I know it is…but why has the bleakness of humanity squelched my drive to find the light. I hear the Satan taunt me with his laugh as he pulls his end of the rope thrusting my body forward. I mumble through my clenched teeth,

“I’ll never return. You can not have me!”

I regain my grip though my hands sweat with blood and feel the strength under my feet return. I pull with all of my might, but only to gain such little ground. My hair drips with sweat, my chin nearly touches my chest in defeat, and my arms tremble with infinite weakness as I fear I must give in and let go.

In that infinite second, when my burning hands release their grip from the twisted braid…another set of hands come from no where. They are the hands of my Master. The Prince of Peace. Satan’s cackle becomes very faint as if falling into a hole that reached the center of the Earth. Before my body flung to the dirt in gut wrenching pain, His hands, they pick me up. The cuddle me. They brush the dirt away. The gentle hands of my Healer made my wounds disappear. He holds me for a long while and sings over me. His sweet voice soothes the battle within my mind. After some time He spoke and said,

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have OVERCOME the world!”
John 16:33
~
We all battle from time to time within the confines of our minds. Satan loves to put us down, tell us lies, and make us feel unworthy to be called a child of God. It is in these times we must fight with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and not with our own strength. We will gain little ground over Satan when we go it alone. Now you know why this verse headlines my blog...
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you he will quiet you with his love, he will
REJOICE OVER YOU WITH SINGING."

I pray God will bring solace to those who find their mind a battlefield.



Friday, March 6, 2009

Epic Proportions of Brotherly Love

I have often referred to myself as the wondering nomad. We have lived at seven different addresses since the birth of my youngest son. He is seven years old. I joke sometimes and tell friends, “God wants me to know my home is not here on this Earth, but my forever home awaits in heaven.”

When it was time to prepare to move to a new destination, I usually had a garage sale or give away to get rid of items which we had not used or could do without. It always felt good…really great…to unload so many things. After all, it meant less for me to unpack upon arrival to our new home. I liked it best when I had the opportunity to truly bless someone with an expensive item they needed. We have given several refrigerators, a stove, microwaves, and washer just to name a few. We have always felt God’s blessings upon us. He has taken care of us every step of the way. We in turn choose to pass along our bounty to others.

I often sit in the quietness of my home after the children have gone to school and look at all the things we own and think…we have too much. And yet, other times I want to buy this or that to make this look a certain way. Why? I can’t take this stuff to my future home in heaven.

This is when I realize I need to prepare for my final destination…heaven. I need to have a heart give away and allow Jesus to cleanse me from the inside out. When I unload my heaviness and sin to the Lord, it feels good…really great…to be free! After all it means less for me to unpack when I reach my final destination.

Although I can not take material things with me to heaven, one thing I can take which I intend to develop here while I walk this Earth…fellowship. The relationship with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will continue in heaven’s home. So for now to prepare for then, I will offer my hospitality and love. I’ll begin cultivating genuine friendship with as many who will allow me to encourage them knowing full well it is just the start of everlasting epic proportions of brotherly love which will continue in the glory of the Father!