The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Have you ever noticed how contagious a bad mood can be?
Someone in the house is grumpy and then it begins to spread. And if Mom catches it, look out, because she can outdo anyone else. 😬
Really any kind of negativity can bring down those around you. 
Ever hear of a "wet blanket" or a "stick in the mud?" 
A wet blanket refers to putting a wet blanket on a fire to smolder it. It acts as a damper to the flame. 
A stick in the mud originated from animals and wagons getting bogged down or mired in clay. 
Can you see why these phrases might be used to describe a discouraging person?
People don't want to be around that in the same way we don't want to be too near a contagiously ill person. We might catch it. 
God even gave laws considering a discouraged soldier. 

The officials will continue to address the troops, stating: "Is there anyone here who is afraid and discouraged? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, his comrades might lose courage just as he has."
Deuteronomy 20:8 CEB

Can you imagine if discouragement spreads throughout the army?
As a child we sang, I'm in the Lord's Army. 
As adults we sing, Onward Christian Soldiers. 

Dear Lord, help us to not be afraid. Help us to be bold and courageous. Keep our faith strong in you. We don't want to be put out of Your Army, Lord.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tied Together

This morning at church we sang the song, Bind us together. And my imagination wheels started turning.
I wondered how the young ones I had just finished teaching would act if I tied them altogether and left them that way throughout the lesson time. I believe it wouldn't be a good idea.
What if we, the adults would literally be bound together? 
I wonder.
Do we really want to be bound together with anyone?
Married couples don't even stay bound together for very long.
Church members aren't much better either. Very often we forsake unity. We forget to daily deny ourselves. We don't look a whole different than the world. In fact, all too often we look just like the world.
Don't believe me? Put your imagination hats on. Can you imagine being united, bound, tied up with, the members of your congregation? For how long? A few minutes maybe. It might even be funny. But within an hour some would want loose. Some would begin to lose their sense of humor. After a few hours we would be squirming our way away from each other. After a whole day, I don't think we would want anything to do with each other.
But the song, Bind us Together, is not talking literally being tied together. It is a unity of our hearts, beliefs, goals, and spirits. We are to be one. We are all to seek God's purpose and direction.  We are to bear one another's burdens. We are all part of one body. Our arm would not drop off because it didn't feel good. Our nose would pop off because it was mad at the big toe. We are one body.
What are you willing to do to keep unity in the church body? 

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB

BIND US TOGETHER, Lord, Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together,
Bind us together with love.

There is only one God,
There is only one King;
There is only one Body,
That is why we sing

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Prayer request

This morning early, I received a nice message telling me that a friend was wondering how I was feeling. She knew I had been under the weather. 😷
She added, "I have been praying for you." 
And that touched me. 
How nice that someone thinks of you when they talk to God. It's like they are in their own personal converter station with the greatest Listener of All and they stop and say, "Oh yeah, and I have this friend that means a lot to me, let me tell you about them."
Isn't that great?
How nice it is to be thought of my someone. It's better yet when they check on you and better still when they talk to God about you. 
Lord, help me to be better in this area of lifting people up to you. What a blessing it is for them and for me. 

PS: thank you, Dear Friend

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,”
Ephesians 1:16 ESV

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Giraffe Gazing

Everyone seems to be obsessed with giraffe watching. They are tuning their phones, computers, IPads, etc into baby surveillance as that wait for labor to begin. 
It's crazy the stuff we entangle ourselves with. 
Are we so bored that this is what we do? And we watch eagerly in anticipation. 
We did the same things with the eagle eggs awhile back. 
I wonder, do we watch for Jesus to return as eagerly? Do you have anticipation while you wait and watch? 
My hope is that the Lord finds us alert and ready. 

“"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.' And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Matthew 25:1-13 ESV
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Psalms 27:14 ESV

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

 Ugh! There are donuts in the break room today. And not just any donuts, but Krispy Kreme!!😱😬😣
Can you imagine what that does to someone like me that struggles so hard with food temptations?
With me it is not just a matter of will power. I have shared my issues with all of you. I have been enslaved by food. It has been and continues to be a great temptation for me. 
Lucky for me I don't have to go into the break room. I can eat my lunch at my desk. 
So if I go in there, it is because I choose to. 
Today I choose not to. 
Today I will avoid the break room. 
I will eat at my desk. 
It is hard to go past there to the restroom or kitchen without lifting the box lid. But if I lift the lid then what? 
I have to fight off every temptation. I cannot "flirt" with the donut box. 
Being tempted is not sin because even Jesus was tempted. 
God does not do the tempting but He allows the tempting. 
But God does provide a way out of temptation. Always. And He will give you the strength to fight off any temptation. 
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

High hopes

Discouragement is a huge factor in why so many of us lose our hope. A small seed of discouragement can sprout into doubt and then doubts can grow buds of fear, worry, wants. Before you know it you are living in the shadow of hopelessness. 
People become discouraged when their trying and their efforts don't match up to their own or someone else's expectations. 
Often instead of hearing encouraging words, people hear discouragement. And very often it comes from members of their own families or people they care about. (Remember Job?) "Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
Job 2:9-10 ESV

A lot of times we get a mindset that it would just be easier to throw in the towel than to keep on fighting for something. We tend to give up or give in rather than face the struggles. 
We will take the easiest way out of problems even if the easiest way isn't what's best for us. 
Satan loves discouragement. He will plant those seeds by any means he can. He will bring them to sprout and grow. Because discouragement takes our eye off the prize. 
We need to hang on to hope. Look to the only One that gives us hope. We need to talk down those that discourage us even if they think "it is for our own good."
Have you ever heard, "Don't get your hopes up?"
Well what good are low hopes?
Why shouldn't we get our hopes up? My hope is in the Lord. How much higher can they get?
Be an encourager. Lift each other up. Build up someone's hope. 
Why not?

Monday, February 20, 2017

God calling

If the President of the United States called you and ask you for some of your time, just to come spend some time and hang out, would you go? 
How would you act? How would you dress? What would you want to talk about?
Would you be excited? 

God is calling you to fellowship. He desires your company. He longs for your presence. He wants you to meet His Son and have a relationship, no better than that, an heirship with the Son. Will you come?
What do you want to talk to Him about? How do you act? Are you excited?
Just come. Say yes to the invitation of fellowship time with the Father and Son.