Friday, December 28, 2012


...whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.
For what is your life?
It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
James 4:13-15
The vapor...mist, moved in quietly this morning.
Covering the hills behind our house...the trees.

An hour later it picked up and moved out...gone.
It's hard to think of life as being like vapor, but the Bible says it is.
My mirror says it is.

Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Psalm 39:4-6
If life is truly a vapor, let us live each day of this new year
and every year beyond, to the fullest...
for the One who trades our fleeting days here 
in exchange for eternity forever with Him.
Let's spread out and cover some ground!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Song of Praise


     He sat there on the grape vine singing his song. The overripe grapes still hanging on the vine, free for the taking. The Bluebirds had their fill and left just moments before he landed, now it was his turn to eat.

      I used to watch the birds more often. Busyness has crowded them out of my time and replaced the watching with working. But there are things within the working that are worth watching...and there are songs being sung there too. People being fed, blessings being picked from the vine of God's love; daily manna feeding His children just as surely as He feeds the birds. (Matt. 6:26)

      It's not so much the watching in life that matters, but the seeing. Not merely watching the happenings around us but seeing God revealed in them, working in and through them. Touching lives, providing nourishment, and listening patiently for our songs of praise to rise up as "thank yous" for His many blessings. For eyes to look upon the fruit growing on the vine and acknowledge that His hand is opened to us.

      So much of the time I think we see what isn't there...what we don't have, when God has poured into our lives blessing upon blessing. Are we watching days go by or are we seeing all that He is doing within each moment? If we intentionally look, we will see.

      Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but really, today is thanksgiving, yesterday was thanksgiving...and every day! Our lives should be a song of praise to Him from where ever we sit ; on the vine, the couch, or office chair, as we reach out to take the abundance he offers us. The birds know this, and He has made us so much greater than birds.

1 Thess. 5:18

Friday, November 16, 2012

Who is that Woman in the Mirror?

(I'm sharing this again since the theme is Thanksgiving. First published on Laced With Grace)

The sacrifice that honors me is a thankful heart.

Psalm 50:23(CEV) 

I was listening to a praise song as it sang, “Give thanks with a grateful heart…”

A grateful heart?  What exactly does that look like? The question kept popping up in my mind.

      I know what an ungrateful heart looks like. I’m sure we can all think of that person who seems to always find something wrong with most everything…the “cup is half empty” sort of person who walks around with a dark cloud hovering overhead. But what does the person look like who truly has a grateful heart? Is the sun always shining above her…does she always have a smile on her face?

      Not only do I want to recognize her when I see her, but I want to be her. I want to look in the mirror and say, “There she is!” I’ve been intentional lately about practicing gratitude, and I must say, it does not come natural for me. At first I thought I needed good reasons to be thankful, like my day going smoothly, things going well with my family, friendships, and such. But when they didn’t go so well, and I made myself thank God for them anyway, something wonderful happened…I became truly grateful for them. Not because of what they were of themselves, but because of what God was doing in the midst of them…and what He was doing in me.

      Many times what we practice with our lips becomes embedded in our hearts – whether good or bad. We start believing what we hear ourselves saying. The more I looked for reasons to be grateful, the more I saw. Things I never thought of as blessings started looking different. I started seeing that the world is filled with blessings in disguise. They are only visible to those who look for them.

      I keep going to the mirror hoping to see that grateful woman looking back at me…and some days she does, other days she forgets… or is lazy.  A life of gratitude has to be intentional, it has to be practiced and lived out on purpose. It’s not easy, but it is possible…if it weren’t, God would not ask us to do it.

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

How about you? Are you seeing that grateful woman (or man) in your mirror?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Please join me at Laced With Grace today...

I've posted the devotion, "He gives us light!"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It is enough!

If this day produces no more than the beauty of itself, it is enough.

If the gentle breeze accomplishes nothing more than to softly touch my face and then be gone, it is enough.

If the hawk I see gliding among the clouds flies over distant hills and vanishes from sight, it is enough.

If the brilliant sun that warms my porch is hidden by the darkness of a passing storm, it is enough.

If the many birds I hear singing in the trees should cease their merry songs, it is enough.

If I see the twinkling stars but for an instant in the night sky, it is enough.

The changing of one season, a hummingbird pass by, a budding rose…..

It is enough to behold Your glory, Your majesty in these.

If I should see no more, hear no more, touch no more. These would be enough for me to say, “I have seen the Creator, I have seen God!”

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1 NAS)

God's glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.
Their words aren't heard, their voices aren't recorded,
But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
(Psalm 19: 1-3 The Message)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  (Romans 1:20 NAS)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Morning Glory

(It just so happens that my Morning Glories are blooming!)  
Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.
Psalm 143:8

      There is a revealing of God’s glory in the morning that is different than any other time of day. It’s in the morning that the first fruits of the day are brought to the altar and sacrificed. It’s there we meet Him at the door of time and take His hand to enter into new opportunities and receive strength to stand in old trials. In the morning hours of a new day is where new chances are born, where the dark turns to light, and we awaken to the dawning of renewed hopes and dreams. At that moment when the sun peeks up from the horizon – darkness flees the day and God’s good plans spread out their rays across the paths of men.

      In the cool of the day is where Adam and Eve walked with God…before the heat…before the sin. They came naked with only their childlike hearts, and He spoke with them there. Something has been lost in the hours between the dawn and when we finally make time for Him. The grains of sand pouring from the hour glass of time are subject to the gravity that pulls them into motion. God’s plans tick away, minute and hour hand circling the face of the clock as it moves forward, like the earth rounding the sun.

      My soul yearns to meet Him there, in the cool of the day, but my flesh is weak. The two wrestle and I am torn. But on those days when my heart wins and I come, though dragging a weak and tired body – a pitiful sacrifice to lay before Him – I find He is there waiting for me. He accepts my meager offering and envelops it in His glory…His radiance, and I realize He has allowed me to be a witness and receive something from Him that I could never give – I see His morning glory…the first glimpse of Him to touch the day, and it remains lighter and brighter than if I had not gotten up to meet Him.

 How about you? Are you seeing His morning glory?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Please join me at Laced With Grace where I've shared the post, "Living Water."

You just may get wet!




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Count it "all" joy?

      Through her tears she sobbed, "I will not give up!" I could see in her eyes she meant it. It was our last Thursday morning at Women’s Bible Study, we had just finished the lesson for the week and were writing down our prayer request. But when the sheet of paper came back to me, her name was not on it. She had already done her business at the throne of grace and a quiet resolve took the place of her request. She was still struggling with sickness, but her struggle with God had been replaced with an inner peace.

Today, my mind was drawn back to the first day of study when I read these words -

 "Count it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." James 1:2-3

And with the knowledge came the trials - one after another. God's word was poured into the walking of our lives, every step a realization that patience was having its perfect work within our struggles.

      When God teaches, His lessons go deep. This was not going to be just another Bible could it be when it started with those words, "count it all joy when you encounter trials!" Joy in trials? We sit here now at the end of our long study together, and we have made it through the hot fire of many trials, each in our own way, and in varying degrees. Did we find the joy?

      I would not have thought it possible in past days of my life but now I see it...I believe is possible. I see it mostly in them, the other women sitting across the table, their trials that came in the hardest places. But God's words remained true as they always are, and we learned firsthand that joy triumphs over trials. We learned to not give up. To count it all joy!

      The trials can be tiring, draining, and we sometimes fall victim to them and forget about the joy. But we have learned it and now we must own it...and He will remind us. He will strengthen us, and we will endure...with joy.

      With those simple words spoken, "I will not give up!" she unknowingly added the "Amen" to the prayer we had started weeks before when we first opened our Bibles to the book of James and bowed our heads to pray. Now we close with the answer to that prayer.

...knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience, (we will) let patience have its perfect work. That we may be perfect and complete lacking nothing! James 1:3-4

I see it in them, the other women, and I am encouraged.

      Are you going through something difficult...some trial? Is your faith being tested in some way? God may not choose to take you out of it, but he will give you joy in the midst of it. Joy is not dependent on the happenings in our lives…it is dependent on Jesus in our lives. With Him, we really can – “count it all joy!”

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lord...Am I Back?

It's been too long since I've been here to say hello and write a few lines. Much has happened to keep me away from my computer...and you all. I need to dust the spider webs from this blog and move it into the summer season before it's over. Was it really Spring when I was last here? Does anyone visit here anymore?

 In case you thought I wilted like a flower on the hillside and went to be with Jesus...I didn't...yet.

Lots of things have happened. Two of my grandsons had birthdays... turned two and seven, granddaughter turned five...there were parties, my father-in-law was sick (and still is) so I went to help him, one son came back from guarding the border - yeah!, I got sick...twice...and got well...twice, there was a suicide and a memorial for one too young to die, my sister-in-law moved close by with her husband, two grandchildren came for a visit, I helped with VBS (which some insist on calling Kid's Camp), and my last but not least (youngest) son registered for college. I watched two mommy turkeys raise fifteen babies from start to finish...they are now almost the same size as their moms. Every day they walk through our yard eating bugs and grass. Sometimes they lay in the shade under a tree. They come by to remind me that time is passing quickly...quick enough for them to be full grown!

I'm sorry to say the condition of my blog is a direct reflection of my life this summer. I've sat a few things on the shelves here and hope to return to them when time allows (Lord willing!). But what I learned from the turkeys and the suicide is some things need priority in life, others can be set aside for a time, and it is wise to not confuse the two.

I'm so glad God is in control...even if things seem out of control! He is working all things out.

I would love to hear from you...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dancing the Victory Dance!

From a previous post...

      Those who know me well know I cannot dance. Not because I don’t want to, but because I have two left feet, and I don’t know what a beat is, let alone how to keep it. Yet today I went into my front yard, in the middle of the driveway and did a victory dance. There is no question whether I looked like a fool or not, I am sure I did, but I did not care. I danced, and it felt good! I danced and I sang out there in front of God…and the dog. The reason I danced is because today became a historical moment in my marriage.

      There has been a thorn in my flesh and my husband has had the power to remove it, but would not… until today. The thorn was big and it was ugly, and it was parked in the driveway, right where it had died four years ago. To my husband it had almost become invisible. I think he may have even seen through it as he passed by it each day to enter the house, occupied with other things on his mind. Not me, I could no longer bring myself to park in the front of the house because I would have to look at it, so I began parking in the back.

      It became a sore spot between me and my husband. We didn’t agree on what to do with it, so nothing was done with it. It just sat there year after year melting in the hot sun, paint cracking, and tires deflating. It took its place in all our Easter pictures, though I tried to angle the camera in a way to keep it out. My grandchildren didn’t understand the concept, and they thought it looked like a good place to hide eggs.

      I started feeling like one of the characters in a red-neck joke and it wasn’t very funny. I wanted it out of my life and gone! I was upset with my husband for not making it so. What was he waiting for, decomposition? I began harboring a grudge over this silly green van. Perhaps that is exactly why it would not leave.

      God has a way of knowing how to uncover the worst in us. Things we may not even know we are hiding come creeping out of our hearts. The van wasn’t the ugliest thing parked at my house, my attitude was. I had an attitude of pride and I was letting it come between me and my husband’s relationship. I was embarrassed and worried about what other people thought of me more than I was concerned about loving my husband.

     One day he just said to me, “OK, get rid of it.” I was shocked! “Are you serious?” I couldn’t believe after all this time he finally agreed to have the van removed. This year we have been married 25 years. Had I finally worn him out? I began feeling a little guilty. Victory didn’t taste as sweet as I thought it would. So what did I do? Absolutely nothing; I did nothing for several days.

      I did nothing until he asked me why I hadn’t done anything. That gave me the opportunity to find out if he was really OK with me getting rid of the van, and he was. I think while God was working on my prideful heart, he was working on my husband’s bend toward procrastination, and in the end we both learned some things. We also found out that we would still love each other whether the van left or was buried with us at the end of our lives.

      Today it was time for the van to leave. It was kind of sad watching it be cabled up onto a tow truck, all four tires flat. The wheels moaned as they rolled backwards. While I looked at it, I realized how much we had worn it out with all our school field trips and vacations. Its seats hold the memories of my little boys bottoms; never sitting still. There is a soda stain on the floor in the very back, and coffee spilled up front; christened on our many drives together.

      For a moment I hesitated to let it go for fear all the wonderful memories of days gone by would leave with it. Before I realized what I was doing, I started waving good bye as though it was an old friend I was going to miss. I watched the tow truck drive away and the green van disappear from view and that was about how long it took me to snap out of it!

      It felt good to stand in the driveway, unobstructed; physically and spiritually reclaiming the space. The words to a hymn came bubbling up into my mind and before I knew it I was singing, “There is victory in Jesus!” The old van had taught its lessons and was now gone, with it went the heaviness of disagreements and grudges. My heart was light and I was ready to let the dancing begin!

Friday, April 27, 2012

I posted a devotion on Laced With Grace today
if you would like to stop by and visit.


Monday, April 2, 2012

A While Away...

I'm going to be gone for a while.

Lord willing, I'll be back to post here before too long.

His peace and grace be with you,


I will leave you this poem I have posted before.
It was written on a beautiful sunny Spring day like today.
Everywhere I looked, God's amazing fingerprints were visible.

Your Glory
By Charlotte Foster

“Show me your glory,” I dared to say,
As I walked along the road today.

Then as I spoke a cloud passed by,
A soft white pillow in deep blue sky.

And gentle breeze of such degree,
Not hot or cold as it touched me.

More like a touch from someone’s hand,
Softly passing where I stand.

A bird high in the old oak tree,
Sang his tune so happily.

And then I realized all around,
Your voice was heard in every sound.

In every wind and passing cloud,
Revealing of yourself out-loud.

For all to see - Yes you were there,
In every song or breath of air.

In Your creation loud and clear,
Are signs of you so very near.

And when I stopped to ponder You,
I saw Your glory fresh and new.

The earth declares the glory of God!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Storms of Life

I stood and watched gray clouds roll over the snow capped mountains from my window upstairs. I saw the rough waters of Lake Tahoe darken with their shadows. What had been a beautiful sunny morning had changed in a matter of hours to a dark, cold, windy afternoon. The change taking place outside seemed also to be taking place inside of me.

I felt the darkness entering my mood like the clouds covering the sky. How quickly my attitude can change. How easily the storms enter into the calm of my heart. My joy seemed to disappear with the disappearing of the sun.

I thought of God and how He is not changed by the darkness, for there is no darkness in Him, only light. He sees through the clouds in our lives and uses them for His purpose. Without them, the rain would not come into the dryness of our souls. Without the darkness, we would not yearn for the light.

Though my plans for the day have changed due to the change in weather, it has taught me a good lesson about trust. I am reminded God commands the wind and waves within our lives just as He commands the elements without. The trust comes in the darkness, knowing that behind all the clouds He is still there in control of it all, and soon the sun will shine again.

Storms of Life
I feel the rain beating down, the wind blowing strong.
Standing in the storm of life, so many things seem wrong.

 In the dark I cannot see, how will this all work out?
Tested faith is holding on, and trying not to doubt.

 Are You still here with me Lord? Are those Your arms I feel?
I want to keep my trust in You; this darkness seems so real.

 I can’t see You next to me, but in my heart I know,
The bright light of Your presence, warms me in its glow.

 Showing me the way to step, to keep on solid ground.
Till the sun shines bright again, and renewed strength is found.

 You will never leave me here, alone and in the dark,
But let me questions just enough, for faith to leave its mark.

It’s in the dark and stormy times; Your light becomes so real,
A beacon calling out to me, to stop and rest and heal.

 You’re a shelter in the rain, a place to run in to,
Where life’s cold winds cease to blow - standing close to You.

 The clouds may hide the sunshine, yet for a day or two,
But You’re still here within the storm, helping me get through.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run into it and are safe.
Psalm 18:10

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Log In My Eye

     This morning as I cleaned the bathroom and picked up other peoples things, I found myself getting irritated with their messiness; dirty towels, an empty collection of deodorant bottles, and a little pile of things dumped out of a pocket and left homeless on the counter. “The nerve of them” I thought, “To leave this mess here for me to clean up!”

      As I began feeling sorry for myself and wondering where I went wrong in my parenting, I came across another collection of debris – my husband’s! “Ah ha, the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?!”  And in my mind I began preparing a three point sermon on the importance of being a good example (for you-know-who) when I happened to round the corner from the bathroom to the bedroom, and what do you suppose I saw? Another mess! On the dresser right in front of me was a pile of books waiting to be given back to the lender, Easter candy still waiting to be given to one of our sons, borrowed videos, an old cell phone with all its accessories, and a pile of jewelry. I’m embarrassed to say…it was my dresser!

      I was just about finished forming that sermon (thinking it was pretty good) when somewhere deep within my heart, a still, small voice whispered, “You have a log in your eye. Why don’t you remove it first then talk to the others about their messes?” And just like that…my sermon was given a new title, and it was addressed to me!
"And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the log from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye."

Luke 6:41-42

Joining other Christian bloggers at
Spiritual Sundays


Faith Filled Fridays

Friday, February 3, 2012

To Speak or Not to Speak?

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips
Psalms 141:3

      Do you ever have difficulty knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet? I do. I haven't always had that difficulty. There was a time when I chose not to speak no matter what. It was just too risky, and I was afraid to take risks.

       When I open my mouth now, people don't know all the work God did in my life to pry my lips open. They don't know the fears He freed me from, and how He taught me to trust Him when He asks me to take risks. My words may sound to them like just words, but to me they have become a testimony of God's goodness and a demonstration of His power over the strongholds in my life - like fear.

      The older I get, the more I want to jump in with my "words of wisdom," especially when I see someone heading down a dangerous path that I've traveled down before. Isn't it my duty to save them from pain and suffering if I can? Well, perhaps sometimes it is, but more times it's not. Often the only words God wants to hear out of my mouth are prayers, as I lift the situation or person up to Him. That's the hard part of freedom - knowing the difference.

      It was easier when I was afraid to talk, because the choice was already made. But there was no growing or stretching involved in that, no discernment learned. Now I am responsible for my words...all of them. As a mater-of-fact God is keeping a journal and He will hold me accountable for every silly one I speak. Since God is keeping an account, I need to make sure my words count for something more than filling the air or a notebook. I need to keep a guard on my lips, not out of fear but out of obedience.

      The kind of words I'm sure God never tires of hearing are those of love that exhort and encourage others, and bring praise and glory to Him - spoken from the heart.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.
   Philippians 4:8
      When we meditate on these things it's amazing how they travel from our mind to our mouth and help us speak those words which are pleasing to God.
Buttoning my lip...for now.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Getting caught up in the headlines...

Come on over to Laced with Grace where I'm posting a devotion,
"Getting Caught Up In The Headlines"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Joy in Trials?

     I was looking forward to Beth Moore's new Bible study on the book of James...but then I got my study guide and read this ~

"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials." James 1:2

      What? Is that what it really says, I'm to be joyful in the midst of trials? But trials are hard and I don't really like can I be joyful when I fall into them? I wasn't sure I wanted to go on. After all, if James starts his letter with these words what could possibly be next.

      I've been through a few trials lately and am actually in the middle of a couple at the moment. I can't say I have counted them all joy. But perhaps that is the very reason I may need this particular Bible study at this time in my life. God is good about giving us what we need when we need it, and I can plainly see that the joy has been missing from my trials. So I read further...

"knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." v.3 it makes more sense. I can count it all joy when I fall into various trials BECAUSE when my faith is tested, it will produce patience. But it didn't stop there, it went on...

"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." v.4

      Perfect and complete...lacking nothing? Wow, that's a tall order. No wonder it takes something hard like trials to fill it! I can see how faith and patience have worked together in the trials to strengthen my trust in God. When things get hard I pray, I cry, I ask God why, I question, I fight...then I remember...who He is, what He's done for me, what He can do...that He can do all things. Then my faith grows stronger, the trial that was once huge becomes very small and insignificant in comparison to who He is.

      I think it will take an entire life time to let patience have its perfect work. And for being perfect and complete, lacking nothing ~ that sounds like Jesus doesn't it? If the trials in my life make me more like Him, then they are all worth it and I truly can "count it all joy."

I think God is going to teach me a lot in the book of James!

Are you finding joy in your trials?

"Untested faith is unreliable." ~ Charles Stanley

Friday, January 6, 2012

Twas the Month After Christmas...

Twas the month after Christmas
And all through the town,
People looked tired
They seemed really down.

 Christmas was over
It was all packed away,
No lights, no more sparkle
Just regular days.

 The holiday feeling
Had faded and went,
Their pockets were empty
The money all spent.

 They looked rather hopeless
With heads hanging low,
The parties were over
They’d nowhere to go.

 Forgetting the good news-
The Holy One’s birth,
Can’t change with our actions
Or seasons on earth.
 Remind them that Christmas
Can never depart,
If Jesus – the Christ Child
Is born in their heart.

      After the Hebrew people celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus went to the temple early in the morning to teach. The lamps that were hung up through the city for the celebration were probably being removed that morning. I can imagine how people must have felt as they cleaned up the streets and put things away...kind of like we feel when putting away our Christmas decorations?  The party was over. But as they were taking down the lights that morning, there, in the temple was shining the Light of the World...right in their midst. He was the fulfillment of all the celebrations, but they could not see Him because they were focused on the party, not the person.

      What if it was always Christmas? Not the Christmas with Santa and shopping, but the kind that reminds us everyday that Christ was born...He came...He lived...He died for us...He rose again...He sits at His Father's right hand...and He is coming again!

      I don't know what Jesus was thinking as He watched them take down the lights, but I know what He said..."I am the light of the world, He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." ~ John 8:12

      If the Christ child is born in our hearts, then we have His light, "the light of life" within us every single day. Let's shine brightly for Him, as we celebrate Christmas even after the tree is taken down, the twinkling lights are removed, and all the decorations are stored away in the attic. Everyday is a party for His followers, as we dance and sing praises for Him...celebrating the Light of life.