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

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Very often the preacher will preach a sermon that tramples all over my toes. Ouch! 
But when that happens, I need to examine myself according to God's word and work on becoming what God would have me to be. It is the preachers job to preach the word. 
The elders job is to tend the flock, shepherd the sheep, that is you. Their tender loving care sometimes includes rebuke or correction.
Sometimes a woman that's more mature in the word will pull me aside and instruct me in a way that could help me grow stronger in the faith.
Sometimes there are those that get upset about something at church and instead of examining themselves, they begin a campaign against those they think offended them. 
They begin to whisper to others, seeking and gathering those they can and before you can say, "satan came to steal, kill and destroy," there are factions and divisions in the Lord's church.
I have been through a split that began by someone whispering around and building an army and eventually 27 people got mad and left the church. How sad that they didn't scripturally try to mend offenses, but instead lies and deceit was spread around.
Now after more than 3 years, at least half of those that left do not attend church at all. Wow! 
Now hear me on this, here is the problem: those that started this vicious whisper campaign will be held accountable as stumbling blocks to those that went away.

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this-not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. (Romans 14:13 NASB)

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6 NASB)

God gives us in His word a way to handle these issues. It is found in the book of Matthew.
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17 NASB)

God's way is always the right way. You cannot do things your own way and think that it is better than God's way. 
If you are at odds with someone at the assembly, if someone there hurts your feelings, be faithful and courageous enough to deal with it God's way.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "V engeance is M ine, I will repay," says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NASB)
God does not want us being vengeful and mean and spiteful

You do not "win", no ones wins when the church is broken and people stumble away from God.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

World Tottering

Sometimes as I view the people and places of this earth it seems as if everything is out of control and spiraling downward fast. 
But then I read,
He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. (Psalms 104:5 NASB)
And I realize that God has this all in His marvelous control. Nothing escapes Him or catches Him by surprise. 
If you read the whole chapter of Psalm 104 you will see His greatness and His majesty.
I am very grateful to Him. I will praise Him to the end.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. (Psalms 104:33, 34 NASB)
But the sinners of this world will get their justice.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth And let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord ! (Psalms 104:35 NASB)
Hopefully, through our praise, worship and witness others will turn from sin and join us in bringing glory to our Creator.

Be joyful for this wonderful earth that He will keep from tottering forever.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Be joyful

Why do the times of Thanksgiving to our Lord for all His generous blessings and the season of celebrating the birth of our Lord and savior bring such feelings of stress, sadness, lonliness, depression, and fear?
Shouldn't this be a time for joy and gladness? What has perverted it? Why not lay aside all the "I need to" and "I have to" and "we still ought to"s and just be thankful and just be joyful?
Why do we have to decorate like Martha Stewart and cook like Paula Deen and buy for our kids like they are the Kardashians?
Why do we aggravate ourselves with so much influence from society?
Let us praise the Lord for His blessings upon us including the Most Blessed One of all and not put too much pressure on ourselves or too many expectations on our family members and just be joyful.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalms 34:1 NASB)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Are you playing?

When my kids were small they would ask me to play hide and seek. Sometimes I was busy and would tell them that I would play later.
"Oh, Mom, come on." They would whine.
"Ok, go hide." I would tell them.
Then I would continue washing dishes or whatever I was doing. Every minute or so I would call out. "I can't find you, still looking."
Playing this way usually bought me enough time to finish my task. But it wasn't "real" playing with my kids. I wasn't sincere in my efforts. They knew it and I knew it. It didn't feel right for any of us.

I wonder how many of us seek God in this way. "I'll look for You, God, later when I'm not so busy with living my life."
We pretend to seek Him by doing things halfway or half-heartedly.

God knows the difference. We need to be sincere in our faith. Our efforts in worship need to be earnest. 

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NASB)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Precious to Me

If something is precious to us we want to take care of it. We want to guard it and keep it close to us. We protect it. We enjoy it. We cherish it.
God says we are precious to Him. 
Believe it today.

God says, "Fear not!"
Why does He say that? "Because you are Precious to Me and I love you. And I am with you."

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you,
 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. 
Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, 
 Fear not, for I am with you.  (Isaiah 43:1-5 ESV)

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I am feeling fine now, but wanted to repeat this for the benefit of others.

I sometimes suffer from depression and/or anxiety. Although I now believe that I have had this even as a child, I was not diagnosed until 25 years of age. 
It is an invisible illness. Most people would not be able to see that you have it even while in the midst of the worst of it.
But it can be just as debilitating as any other illness.
And too many people suffer in silence because it is such a misunderstood illness. People that do not have it many times cannot understand that it is a physical illness as well as affecting you mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. 
It wears you out physically. You really get fatigued while going through it. A lot of the time you won't eat or you don't eat right so your immune system fails and you get sick.
I do not know what causes it, but I have learned some of the things that could trigger it in me. There are many medicines that can help. Talking with a therapist can also help. There are coping skills. 
It usually affects smart people and influential people, people most others would consider strong,  but it  knows no social or economic or cultural barriers.  Here is a list of some of the symptoms that I get.
Anxiety/depression symptoms:
Startles easily
Heart feels strange,  like to close the speaker at a concert
Ears throb, like hearing a heartbeat 
Creeping up my neck
Function normally, but no recollection of performing tasks
No concentration
Extreme lack of patience with others
Desire to be normal to the point of OCD
Bad dreams
No excitement or interest in anything
Doesn't want to be alone
Feels alone in crowds
Panics in stores or theaters or restaurants (cannot stand or wait in lines)
Loses confidence in your abilities
No sexual desire
Crying bouts
Hates loud noises
Does not want to be touched
Does not want anyone too close to you 

It is very hard and embarrassing to admit to and I usually don't ever want to talk about or even want people to know that I have it. That is because of the reactions and comments by those that don't understand it.
I once had a very well known and highly respected evangelist tell me to "quit ruining things for your family." Other well meaning but ignorant people will say things like, 
Just get over it!
Why don't you  pray about it?
Well, what's bothering you?
It's all in your mind, Quit thinking that way!

Really?!? Does anyone think that I want to bring affliction to my family? And nobody wants it to end as much as I do, but I can't just "turn it off" or I surely would. And I have spent more time in prayer over this than any can imagine. 
I honestly am not just trying to get attention. I could think of more creative and less painful ways to do that.
Look, I don't want your pity. I don't know why I am writing this and putting it out there. I guess I just want you to know me and understand me better. I am not using it as an excuse to get out of doing things, Or to manipulate anyone else. The guilt of that would make the anxiety worse for me. Maybe I just want everyone to know and understand that we all have burdens, we all have issues, we all have needs, we all have concerns. Each of us have loads that we must carry through this life. 
Even the people that seem the strongest, even the people that appear the happiest, even the people that look like they have it all, we all have our burdens and problems. 
We need each other. We need The Lord.
Pray for me, please. I am praying for you. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Faith Bridges

I think most of you know of my fear of high bridges. And that is really a nuisance in my job as a truck driver.
I am getting a little better with that fear though. It is getting easier for me to drive across without the heart pounding anxiety that I used to have. Although the Beckley Bridge in WV still causes that anxiety every time.
I recently had to cross it in the fog. Oh my! This meant that I had to keep driving and moving forward through my fear even though I could not see very far in front of me or had no idea when I would reach the other side. 
I slowed way down, but I kept going forward. And I made it! I did, in time, come out on the other side.

That reminds me of Faith.
We sometimes have to slow down and just keep moving forward, knowing and believing that we will come out on the other side.

I know that the more faith bridges that we cross, the easier it becomes to KNOW that we will make it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Go for a walk

I love going for walks. That is a time when I can clear my head, refocus my thoughts and get a good grasp on things, without the distractions of the tv, the telephone, or whatever. Going for a walk is real "me time."
But I also enjoy walking with friends. I love a slow stroll with a cherished friend. That is a time to talk, to catch up, or work through problems together. When you take a walk with someone else you can really get to know that person.

I used to go for walks with a friend and when we got done with our walking and got back to our cars, we sometimes weren't done talking to each other so we would stand at our cars and continue to talk.
And then there were times when after standing there talking we would decide to go get a cup of coffee and talk some more. We enjoyed each other's friendship and conversations.
It is nice to have friendships like that.

But not all associations are good.
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; (Psalm 1:1 NASB)
 Do you see how the progression works in this verse?
1.The sinner will walk in the counsel of the ungodly,
2.  then he will stand with the sinners (or hang out with them), 
3.then sit in the seat of the scornful.  Now he's fully with them.  
Bad news!
  How many times have you heard someone say, "Well, he just got in with the wrong crowd."? 
 Beloved, blessed is the man who does not get in the wrong crowd!
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." (1 Corinthians 15:33 NASB)

With whom are you walking?

When we walk with The Lord in the Light of His word, what a glory He sheds on our way.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This morning while scrolling my Facebook feed, because of it being the month of naming your blessings, I saw a woman being thankful for those people that helped her during a really hard time in her life. In her thankfulness of those people, she was very aware that it was God that brought these people to her at the right time. Beautiful! 
Her story turned into a testimony.

Do you know that it is God that does things through others for you? Do you give Him the credit? 
Our scripture today says, Make known His deeds among the peoples, Make them remember that His name is exalted.

I love this month because everyone is counting their blessings but let's give the credit to The Lord. He is the giver of all things. He is Lord! Praise His name.

Share your testimonies. Share your stories of God's goodness. "Let this be known throughout the earth."

And in that day you will say, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted." Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. (Isaiah 12:4, 5 NASB)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lesson of the Sharks

This article was sent to me by a good friend. He is the son of a minister and an Elder at the Evers Road Christian Church in San Antonio, TX. 
Pat is a genuine, faithful, and true servant of God. I am honored to know him.

I was flipping channels or TV surfing the other night and stopped on the Discovery channel and watched a show that caught my eye about sharks. Some idiot was under water in a shark proof cage and a great white shark tore up the cage and almost got the guy—so much for shark proof—but the guy was brave.
I have attached a picture of a shark that I took. I was not in a cage and the shark was in an aquarium.
For sure sharks are amazing creatures. Mostly they are just eating machines.
Did you know; Sharks will not out grow their environment. Put a shark in a small aquarium and the shark will stay small—12 inches long.
Put that shark in the ocean and it will grow to 12 feet long.
In a similar way: spiritually some people never grow and they stay small due to their spiritual environment. You cannot grow spiritually in a small dull lukewarm or dead church.
Of course I have always felt that dull people like a dull church and do nothing people like a do nothing church.
I have noticed that people, who have not grown spiritually, never achieve anything significant for the Lord because they lack faith and are afraid of failure. Remember it takes faith to get in the water with sharks just like it takes faith to try anything that might be risky.
Look up the word "fail" in a thesaurus and you'll find terms like: blunder, break down, fall, fizzle, flop, flounder, fold, lose out, and disappoint. These are strongly negative words, and sometimes we're so afraid of them we don't move forward in the endeavors or possibilities that God has for us.
Question, what would you do today that you aren't doing if you knew you could not fail?
When fear of failure keeps you from moving forward in faith, fear has won—fear has then beaten you and kept you from reaching your full potential.
While we can't guarantee that all our projects and ambitions will end successfully, as we define success, we can be certain that God's plan for our lives will be fulfilled as we trust Him.
Speaking about the future of Jerusalem, Zephaniah 3:5 says, "The LORD is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails."
Don't worry about success or failure. Concentrate on trusting God and obeying Him. Move forward, knowing He never blunders, breaks down, falls, fizzles, flops, flounders, folds, loses out, or disappoints.
So what will you do knowing God never fails? Maybe get out of the boat and get in the shark cage.
Always remember, our mighty God never fails.
By Pat Pennington, San Antonio, TX


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sing Praises

I remember when our kids were little and sick their dad would rock them, pat their backs and sing into their ears.
No matter how uncomfortable they were this soothing comfort brought them rest.
People sing for all kinds of reasons, but no singing will bring you more comfort than when your bring a sacrifice of praise to God.

Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. (Psalms 47:6 NASB)

What song are you singing today?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Clay Jars

I once owned a small terra cotta jar with a cork for a lid. I would pour scented oils into the jar and cork the jar.
By the next day the oil would have permeated the porous jar and scented the entire room.
That was the purpose of the jar, to be used as an air freshener. Everyone could smell it but no one really noticed the little terra cotta jar.
It worked really well and because of the strong smell of the fragrance, other unpleasant odors went unnoticed.
If I had wanted to contain and save the oil, I would have kept it in the original glass bottle in which it came. But for the product to work as intended it had to be put into the clay pot.

God works like that inside of us. We are clay pots. He is inside of us. Because we are weak (porous,) His power fills us and seeps into us and out of us. Everyone around us will be aware of God.
We can be so filled with God that people hardly notice us at all, only the Power that we have inside. Because of God in us, the unpleasantness of this life can be overcome.

We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. 
We often suffer, but we are never crushed.
 Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up.
 In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again. 
We face death every day because of Jesus. Our bodies show what his death was like, so his life can also be seen in us. (2 Corinthians 4:7-11 CEV)

You can be a glass bottle, filled with God but your lid screwed on tight with no way for His essence to permeate and be known by many; or you can be a jar of clay. 
I pray you choose to be a clay jar. Share what you contain.
But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we also believe, therefore we also speak, (2 Corinthians 4:13 NASB)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cut up

People often say, "don't judge me." 
They feel, I guess, that when you try to warn them, or correct them that you are looking down your nose at them. 
But really it is the Word that judges. 
The word of God (the Bible) is the rule, the measuring tape by which all of us will be judged. We will be held accountable for living up to it and pleading ignorance will not be an excuse. We are told in 2 Ti. 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 

The word will be our judge.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NASB)

The word is a living and active thing that will get inside of us, to our core. It is so sharp that it will divide our soul from our spirit. Wow! 
The word of God is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of our heart. 
I think then, we should be careful about our thoughts. Did you realize that even your thoughts will be judged?

It will be a painful thing to be cut, pierced and "butchered" by the word of God. But that pain could save you from the pain of eternal separation from God. And what is more painful than that?

Don't worry, I am not judging you, the scripture will do that. However, we are to hold each other accountable and encourage each other to do what is right. 
Therefore I will not be offended if you bring your scriptures and show me when I am doing wrong.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Even the Darkness is not Dark

Yesterday my kids and I went on a day trip to West Virginia. It was a day of fun and adventure for us. We rode horses up a steep mountain to the top of Seneca Rocks. Then we took a scenic drive through the Dolly Sods. Then we made a stop at Blackwater Falls.
We had breakfast before we left and then stopped for supper in Keyser, WV.
We had originally planned to include a tour through the caverns, but because of time, we left that part out yesterday.
I was not disappointed to leave out the caverns, we have been through them before on a previous trip. It is dark and chilly in there. And at one point the guide turns off all the lights to show you what true darkness looks and feels like. 
And darkness IS a feeling.
I have been at such dark and desperate times in my life that I feel like I was in a pit of darkness. It was a hard time and I felt despair everyday. Only God's grace and mercy got me through those times. He truly is my savior.
God is bigger than any problem you encounter. He is not afraid of the dark. Give your fears, worries and desperations to Him and trust Him to take care of you.

Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. (Psalms 139:12 NASB)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Trust God

Each day I see so many people that are asking for prayer. There are requests for every kind of need from sickness, to attitude changes, to financial needs, to fears of job loss or rebellious children, character faults, etc.
We are human and these kinds of things affect us. We are all touched by some kind of concerns all the time and we fear the outcomes.
Today my prayer requests are that we read the following verses and take them to heart and then trust God with our fears.

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8 NASB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NASB)

Friday, November 1, 2013


As most of you know finding a penny brings a reminder to me of a great promise from God. So I love finding these little browns gems. I always pick them up and save them. I am getting quite a collection and I'm not sure what I will ever do with them but I am sure when the time comes He will show me.
Yesterday I found a penny in the parking lot. It had been run over so often that it was mashed  into the asphalt and I could not dislodge it. I tried, and tried some more and even got out some tools to try to pry it out, but finally had to give up on it. 
As I gave up I noticed a man sitting in a vehicle watching what I had been doing. And after I was back inside our truck, still wondering how to get that penny, I saw him walk over to the spot, look to see what I had been digging at, shake his head and walk away.
He probably thought I was a nut to waste so much time and effort on a penny. To most people there is no value in a penny.
But to me, the promise it contains is priceless.

When God looks at us, He sees our value. He sees our promise and our completeness. He cherishes each of us. Isn't that great to know?

Do you think you can find one person today that needs to hear they are valuable? Do you think that you might say something to help them know that they worth so much to God?

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6, 7 ESV)