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

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Last Sunday in Sunday school a young man explained how he believes that most people keep God in a box and only open that box on Sunday for an hour or two and then put Him back inside and stick it away until next Sunday.
What are your thoughts?
Is today the day that you let God out of the box?
Do we compartmentalize our faith? Is it a separate part of the rest of your life?
Can God truly be living in you then?
Can you say that you abide (live with) Him then?
Boxes are for old clothes and stuff we no longer want.

Scripture tells us to clothe ourselves with Christ, or Put on Christ. In other words, wrap ourselves with Him. Know that we are empty shells without Him.

Put the boxes away, but leave God out. Wrap yourself in Him. 

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27 NASB)
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Romans 13:14 NASB)

God doesn't belong in a box! He is not just a mere part of your life. HE IS LIFE!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lukewarm, blah!

We all know someone who loved God and served Him and then turned away. 
I was chatting with someone yesterday who once was very inspirational to me. Someone that I respected and turned to when I needed guidance. This person admitted to me that they know longer care and won't discuss it at all.

It is hard for me to understand how someone can stop loving God.

I can understand losing trust in church people. I can understand being frustrated with decisions that involve the congregation. I can understand how missing a Sunday or two can lead to not going at all. I can see the reasoning behind most people's excuses for not attending worship. I really can. 

But I do not understand losing a relationship with the savior, willingly leaving the love of God. How does one person stop caring about what Jesus did, what He suffered, on our behalf?

God's church is made up of imperfect people, like me. It is governed, led by, imperfect people.  You are being preached at by an imperfect person too. In fact, there is not a perfect person there. But we all love God. And we love Him enough to want to be with the others that love Him like we do. We want to worship and praise God as a group. 

The main reason for church gatherings, according to the scriptures, is for encouragement of each other and to be equipped to teach others. Please come. If you aren't getting encouraged, then you be the encourager. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shine on

Anyone who knows my husband can probably tell you right off that his favorite scripture verse is Matthew 5:16.
He is always telling people to let their light shine.
People should be able to see you and know that you are different. Your behavior, words and demeanor all should be godly, all the time.
It isn't easy to be a light in this dark world. Everyday circumstances will try to drag you down and suck you up.
Stay strong, stay bright. You will shine brighter too, if you are around other brightness. Choose your friends wisely and encourage each other to shine on.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NASB)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I pray that YOUR eyes are opened

Last weekend my husband was telling Starla about having to walk to school. "Yeah, uphill both ways." I joked.
Isn't it funny how when we describe our own trials that we often remember them as tougher than they were? Or when faced with obstacles they seem numerous and high?
Elisha and his servants were sent to deal with the evil Arameans. The servants became afraid when they realized the size of the army that they saw. 
Elisha told them not to fear, "our army is bigger," he said. Then he prayed that God would open their eyes to see. And God did.
The servants saw horses and soldiers in fiery chariots surrounding the hillsides. 
You can read this account in 2 Kings chapter 6.

You see, yesterday we spoke of spiritual battles. But we often forget that we too, have heavenly spiritual forces fighting for us and with us.
I pray that as you dress in your spiritual armor today that God will open your eyes to "see" that you are not fighting alone. You have a spiritual army on your side. Now, get out there and fight!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prepare for Battle

Just before I went to bed last night, it was announced that America bombed Syria. This caused me all kinds of emotions. 
I have a grandson in active duty overseas and I worry about his safety. And the safety of all of our forces. 
I think of those that were brutally murdered by our enemies and the family members that grieve for them.
I am concerned for leaders of our country and whether they will make decisions based on wisdom. And leaders of other countries, will they be allies or turn away from our country?
I wonder if anyone fighting is perhaps someone that I have had contact with because of my job and I know that some of their gear, equipment, arms, ammunition, and other supplies could possibly have been on our truck at some point.
Isis is an enemy of our country. There is no doubt about that. But did you realize that God is not willing for them to perish in eternal damnation, although many people would prefer that. God gave the life of a His son for those scoundrels as well. 
Could they, will they be converted to the truth of God's love? Have they already had the opportunity and turned away? I do not know.
What I do know is, Satan is the real enemy. Our enemy is spiritual. We need to be ready to battle, if only on our knees.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)

Get prepared. Put on the full armor of God as laid out in the rest of Ephesians chapter 6. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do something

I have a friend that never calls me and every time I call, I hear, "I was just thinking about you and was about to call." That statement was kind of hard to believe after about the third or fourth time hearing it.
Yesterday there was a very skinny, dirty, ragged, old man standing on a corner at a stoplight. He was holding a sign that said that he was hungry and homeless. We had no cash. We rarely carry cash. And at a stoplight I didn't have time to grab him some of our food. The light changed and, sadly, we drove on by. 
I hated that because we usually try to help people. I have learned that it is not my place to judge them or question their motives or intensions. 
In my job at the nursing home I met a lot of lonely people. Many didn't receive family or visitors, but all brightened when someone, anyone took the time to speak to them. And even if someone only spoke a few sentences to them, it seemed to make a big difference for them.

You understand it doesn't take much, not much effort, time, or money to make a big difference. But what it takes is, "the doing part." 
Thinking about doing something, or wishing you had done something, doesn't get it done. 
What can you do today to brighten up someone else? Be a flicker of brightness to somebody. Shine your light on another, even if it's only a small spark.
You, too, will receive a blessing.

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' (Matthew 25:35, 36 NASB)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

For the Birds

Yesterday while parked at a truckstop in Missouri, I watched this little sparrow. 

It was feasting on a pizza crust that someone had tossed out.

I kind of think that I could see the little bird's joy in finding such a huge meal.

I am sure that some days life for the bird is not as rewarding.

You know, it is the same with us. Some days we struggle to find our blessings and other days we seem to be abundantly blessed. But it is the same God that always provides. 

Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread. And if we do so, then we need to trust that God knows what He is doing on the days that we seem to be looking for a little more. 

He loves His creation, right down to the most insignificant of the birds. He loves you too. Hang on to your hope in Him. Maybe your pizza crust will be there tomorrow.

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? (Matthew 6:26 NASB)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hot water bottle

"Mom, do you have a hot water bottle?"
"Where is it?"
"I have no idea, but I have one."

"Honey, Where is the hole saw bit for my drill?"
"I don't know."
"Could you help me find it? I know I have one."

"Rhonda, do you have a bobby pin?"
"No, I don't."
Later... From my young nephew, "Noni, what's a bobby pin?"

"Are you ready to go?"
"Yep, I have my purse, my keys and my phone."
"Then we are ready."

What is it that you consider important enough to "have" in your life? What is it that goes with you everywhere you go? 
And just because you think you have it, or once had it, or know what it is, DOES NOT mean that you have it.
If you "have" something, it is in your possession, it is on you, it is with you.
Again, what do you consider important enough to have in your life?

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:12 NIV)

Two into One

In marriage a man leaves his family home and he and his wife unite and become one flesh. They are joined together, bound, yoked together, until one of them dies.
That is the way it is.
Remember yesterday when We read in Proverbs 3:5 that God is absolute and it doesn't matter if we understand His ways or not, what is does and says is Truth? It is the same way with marriage. God sees "one," no longer two. And no matter if you change, if your relationship changes, if your circumstances changes, God still sees just one.
Marriage is not to be entered into lightly or on a whim. This is the person that, in God's eyes, will truly be your other half. Choose well. Choose wisely. Make it work.

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Matthew 19:6 NASB)


For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14 NASB)

Who among us does not sin? 
"Oh, but what I do is not nearly as bad as all that."
To God, sin is sin. Whether it is a small, little white lie or rape, homosexuality, and even, murder.
We all sin. None of us are righteous.
Our only hope, our only redemption from eternal death is the forgiveness of God which comes through Jesus.
Yet how can you want, no, expect forgiveness from God but not want to forgive what others do to you?
I'll admit that is is so very hard to forgive someone who is not sorry for their wrong against you. And some will continue to cause you hurt and pain. In this case understand that You will have to separate what they do from who they are. 
Forgive their actions and love their soul. But you may have to remove yourself from their presence and range of hurt.
Forgiveness is not easy because we want the other person to do what is right in our eyes. 

Is it I?

Have you ever said to yourself, "I sure hope that I didn't do or say something."? Statements like this are often made when it is evident that someone has been offended and no one understands or knows what happened. I believe it is human nature to reflect and consider whether you have made the offense.
We often don't intend to hurt another person, yet sometimes, perhaps unknowingly, we do.
When Jesus mentions that He knows that one of them has betrayed Him, they each say, "surely, it is not I?" Now this was not said as a statement but as a question. They were wondering, Have I unknowingly said or done something to hurt my Lord?
Judas knew his own actions yet for whatever reason he too asked the question but without calling Jesus Lord. He called Him Rabbi, or teacher. 
Jesus then said that it was the one that dipped in the bowl with Him. But all or most of them had done so. So still they are left wondering.
Eventually Judas left the room without his evil intentions being discovered. 

Questions for your thoughts or meditations:
1. Why did Jesus even mention this to those in the room?
2. Why did Jesus not point out Judas as the one?

And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself." (Matthew 26:25 NASB)

Man or God?

A woman asked me the other day why she is getting so many complaints for speaking about her faith on Facebook. She was hurt by the criticism and wondered if she should stop.
I told her that I couldn't tell her what she should do, but I asked her why she was doing it. Was she doing it to bring glory to herself or to Jesus? 

Why do we post our experiences with faith? 
We are to let our light shine before men. By doing so, we will bring honor to The Lord. But sometimes by doing so, you will not be popular and will be criticized.
Are you willing to do it anyway?

Paul says:
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 NASB)

Desire for more

Money IS NOT the root of evil. No, that is not what the Bible states. But, the LOVE OF MONEY is the root of evil.
To love money, to love the power of what money can accomplish, to love all the material things that money can buy, that is THE ROOT of evil.
Selfish desires have always been what brings us to sin. Remember the fruit in the garden? Eve didn't really want the fruit, she wanted to be like God knowing good and evil. She wanted more than what God already blessed her with.
How often do we desire to have more than what God blesses us with, whether it be material things, health, wealth, power, children? 
And often the desire for those things turn into yearnings, cravings. And perhaps our yearnings turn into sin as we covet and seek ways to bring our desires to reality.

We often wonder why Adam and Eve couldn't have left the temptation and been content with being so blessed already.
We often shake our heads at the stubborn selfishness of the wandering Israelites. How could they not just have enough faith and trust in God to give them exactly what they needed?

Look in the mirror. Do you see a person that is trusting God for your daily bread or do you want and desire to gather more for yourself?

 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 NASB)