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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


On Sunday I was given a precious gift. It is a ring, made of sterling silver, and the metal of the ring is bent and twisted into a word. And the word is...grateful.
On this particular Sunday I was feeling anything but grateful. I was in the middle of a pretty raging party. Yep, a pity party. One I was hosting for myself, but I wanted everyone invited, because, you know, I didn't want to be the only one pitying me. 
I know it sounds kind of funny and maybe I am over doing it a little, but let's just say, I had lost my focus.
My husband and I were invited to visit friends. Very shortly after coming through the door the wife handed me a little box and told me that it was a gift for me. I opened it and there was the ring....grateful. I slipped it on my finger and it fit just like it was made for me.
We had such a nice visit. It was so pleasant to get away from what had been dominating my mind and just relax. And I kept looking at the ring all throughout the evening. And every time I did, I smiled in my heart, and thought to myself, I am grateful. I am grateful for friends that love God as much we do. And I'm grateful for their hospitality.
Later, during the night when the earlier worries took away my sleep, I sat in the dim light of the living room. The dim light caused a flash on my hand.....grateful. I began to think about my worries and I wondered why we have so many sometimes. And then I think, worries rob me of gratitude. So it makes sense that gratitude can overcome worries. It just depends on which attitudeI choose. Do I choose to be miserable or do I choose gratitude? And I began to get sleepy, and rest came.
Off and on since then I have looked at the ring and smiled in my heart. I want to remember that gratitude can overcome doubt, fear, worry, and negativity.
I do not know how or why this gift was chosen for me. But I know it came from a friend, a godly sister, at just the time I really needed it.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Search me


Thanksgiving day I gave away 2 $20 bills. I am telling you this to make a point. 
The first one was afternoon Thanksgiving, when Bill and I went out to eat. 
We are on the road, far away from home, away from our loved ones, and it was Thanksgiving. We had been given a gift card for Cracker Barrel and they were open and serving turkey dinner. So that is where we went.
We waited until 2pm thinking it would be less busy. But when we got there, we noticed the line was out the door. 
We went inside to give our name and prepared to wait. However, we were seated right away. The tables for two were readily available.
Our waitress came. Her name was Linda. She took our order for the turkey dinner and brought our coffee. She was rushing around from table to table. I told her not to rush for us that we weren't in any hurry. I asked her what time she had come to work and she told me 1 o'clock. Then we talked about her getting off work at 5pm to go shopping with her daughter. 
Many of the stores were opening for huge sales that evening.
I then asked if she was shopping for anything in particular and she named a few things. Then she told me that she really wanted to get to Sears. They had women's boots on sale for $20 and she really wanted a pair.
We enjoyed our meal that included, turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, stuffing, 2 corn muffins, pie and coffee, all on special for $11.99.

Our bill was brought to us when we were nearly finished. As I said we had a gift card. It was for $25, our Bill total was $25.60. 
It was a very nice meal.
Our waitress passed as we were leaving and I handed her a $20 bill. I told her to buy herself a pair of boots on us. She hugged me and thanked us.
It felt great. God has truly blessed us and we wanted to bless someone else.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB)
Later, we did some shopping of our own, walked 3 miles for exercise then relaxed the evening away. 
During the night I awoke. I was restless and couldn't fall back to sleep for some reason. So I got up and quietly made myself a cup of tea. I sat in the driver's seat and sipped my tea as I read a book on my Kindle. It was 4:30am.
I saw a police officer drive a circle around the rest area and then leave.
Someone knocked on my door. There was a man standing outside. I lowered the window. He told me a story of locking his keys in his car. He called the police who came to help but wanted his car towed, a locksmith called, or a breakage of a window to get into the car. He went on to tell me that he only had $22 on him which he showed me. He told me the tow truck driver wanted $140, the locksmith wanted $40 and he didn't want to break his own window. He asked if I could spare him the $18 he still needed to pay the locksmith. 
So, I gave him a $20 bill. He promised that once inside his car, he would drive up to the next exit to an atm, get some cash and come back to pay me back.
Now I know that he was probably feeding me a line of untruth, but I also reasoned that maybe God had woken me up to help this man regardless.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2 NASB)
Of course that man never returned. 
The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives. (Psalms 37:21 NASB)
No ones likes to be taken advantage of. Way too often human beings will prey on the generosity of others. 
I knew when I handed that man that $20 that I would never see him again. And I believe that he knew in his heart that he was never going to return. God will deal with him. And God also will bless me. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Not fair!

What SHOULD I do if my family fights?

I cannot stand it. I cannot understand the behavior. I don't want to divide or take sides. It seems that the closer I get to God, the further away my family is. Why can't we all just love each other?

Even your own family has turned against you. They act friendly, but don't trust them. They're out to get you, and so is everyone else. (Jeremiah 12:6 CEVUS06)

Unfortunately, there is truth in this verse from Jeremiah chapter 12.
Jeremiah, the prophet is questioning God. He wants to know why it seems that sinful people seem to prosper and have a good living while he, Jeremiah, is trying to live the best he can live as a godly man, and never seems to get ahead.
Jeremiah cries out in v.3 of Jer. 12, "I am faithful to You, even in my thoughts and my heart, they aren't even real in their worship, yet they prosper and I don't." Paraphrase

God goes on to answer Jeremiah. He tells him that ungodly people will not "win" in the end. Only the faithful will.

We all know and cling to this hope in God. 

Lord, my heart is so black sometimes when I feel wronged by others. I despise myself when I have bitterness toward people that don't act the way I think they should. And yes, very often, I would like to see a quick justice brought to those that are mean and selfish. Lord, I wonder about the same things as Jeremiah, why do You allow bad people to seem to be prospering? Where are your lightening bolts? Why doesn't the ground open up and swallow them? Why are the generous hearts wounded by the selfish? Why do good people get walked over? 

God told Jeremiah, Continue to live godly. Continue to do what you know to be right. Strengthen your own faith. The time is coming, and you must still be found to be godly.

God expects the same from us. We cannot be distracted by the troubles and distractions that Satan brings to our lives, even when, especially when, he plops them into our lap. 
Even in our daily struggles, people need to see Jesus when they see us. Believe me, I understand the struggle, (see the above paragraph about the black heart? That was part of my conversation with God last night.)

Pray for me, pray for each other. Encourage each other in faithful living. I love you all. Hold the faith.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Recently a friend told me how she was searching for something that she knew she had but couldn't remember where she had placed it. Then when I asked her about it later she said she found it. That it had been in the wide open, she was just not seeing it.
That reminded me of a bedroom in a house that I used to live in. The people that lived there before us had put an old fashioned wallpaper up. It had a pattern of big, ugly flowers. But at the time, we couldn't afford to change it out, so we learned to live with it. And to be honest, after awhile, we didn't even pay attention to it. 
Romans 12:2 says: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 
Sometimes Christians struggle in this world because our culture tolerates every person's ideals and feelings. And anyone who doesn't is intolerant, and unloving. The big, ugly pattern of this world is shoved upon us and if we stop paying attention, we will find ourselves getting so used to it that we won't even see it anymore. We will find ourselves conforming to the world. We just won't notice the big, ugliness of it anymore.
It takes other Christians, sound teaching, and the Holy Spirit to renew our minds and transform (change) us.
The rest of that chapter goes on to tell us the character of those that are transformed. It's the kind of person that I would like to be.

Lord, I pray that You keep me from being content. Keep me searching your word and seeking Your will. I know I must be diligently hungering and thirsting for Your righteousness. Because, Lord, Without You, I am nothing. Transform me into what You want me to be. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

King David

King David is known as a man after God's own heart. Wow! What a distinction! Can you imagine if you were remembered for thousands of years by that title? What a wonderful man he must of been.
And then I compare myself with people that I know in the church and I find myself falling flat. How can I ever be pleasing to God? How can He even care about me, let alone, love me?
Well, take a look at a story, just one chapter in the Bible, 2 Samuel 11:2-27. Take a moment and read that account of King David.

Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, "I am pregnant." Then David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet." And Uriah went out of the king's house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing." Then David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord's servants, but he did not go down to his house. Now in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. He had written in the letter, saying, "Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die." So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men. The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David's servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died. Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war. He charged the messenger, saying, "When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king, and if it happens that the king's wrath rises and he says to you, 'Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?'-then you shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.'" So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. The messenger said to David, "The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we pressed them as far as the entrance of the gate. Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall; so some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead." Then David said to the messenger, "Thus you shall say to Joab, 'Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it'; and so encourage him." Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD. (2 Samuel 11:2-27 NASB)

Now scripture says that we are not to compare ourselves with others. No, God created us as individuals, unique. 2 Corinthians 10:12
But David's sins are recorded in scripture so that we can see that God really does love us and that He forgives a repentant heart.
David was speaking to his right hand man and counselor, Nathan. David said, "I've sinned against the Lord." 
Nathan replied to David, "The Lord has put away your sins." 

God can and will forgive. We are never too far away. If we make one step toward Him, He will run to us.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Ostrich

I have been struggling with my annual bout of anxiety and depression. 
I must admit that I have been coping much better in recent years by catching it earlier,noticing triggers, practicing coping skills and throwing out unrealistic thinking.
Sounds easy, right? It isn't. It is constants work. 
Stress is high and that's a trigger for me. Work has been difficult lately with trying to get through that training and getting our truck passed too. 
Then I have friends that are hurting for various reasons and this makes me hurt.
And I have good stress to like upcoming vacation,a new grandchild, and a new daughter in law.
Recently I have allowed my self confidence level to drop. I listened to the deceiver tell me that no matter what I will never be a good enough wife, mother,  grandmother, worker, Christian, etc.
 And then I did the worst thing, I started to compare myself to those that I admire in those areas.
This is where I had to slam on the brakes of my thinking. I had to destroy those thoughts entirely. I may not be the same as so and so, or as (fill in this blank) as so and so, but I am unique. God made us each differently. And what makes you special, might not work for me. 
This reminds me of a word picture from the Book of Job about the ostrich. 
The ostrich is a bird. But it cannot fly. It is not a very smart bird for the most part either. Well, just listen to what Is written:
“The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, though they cannot compare with the wings and feathers of the stork. She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand, unmindful that a foot may crush them, that some wild animal may trample them. She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers; she cares not that her labor was in vain, for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense. Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, she laughs at horse and rider. (Job 39:13-18 NIV)
So, what can I take from this illustration?
I do not have to be like everyone else. If I live according to my gifts and talents, I will have no reason to hide my head in the sand.
Pray for me, please.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The deceiver

The call from my friend reminds me of how often Satan whispers into our ears and how quickly we believe.
We believe him for many reasons and in many circumstances. 
We believe that God won't take care of us...
We believe that no one likes us....
We believe that we can't accomplish that....
We believe that there will never be enough....
We believe.......very often, everything he whispers.

For many years, I lived inside of a prison that I locked myself, the prison of insecurity. I kept myself away from many people, places, and blessings because I didn't feel like I should have good things.

Scripture tells us not to do this. There are many verses that teach us of our value and worth to God. There are many verses that teach us to trust, hope and wait. 
My favorite is:
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB)
I have got to destroy thoughts that go against what God teaches. If He teaches trust, I must destroy worry. If he teaches value, I must destroy insecurity. If He teaches patience, I must destroy haste. If He teaches courage, I must destroy fear.
And I must work to capture any and every thought that  is not in alignment with His will.
I hope and pray that if the deceiver is talking in your ear, that you battle against that and destroy the enemy.
In any case, pray for each other. We all battle something.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Consider the Ants

Bill and I are on a load that could not deliver Friday afternoon. It is now scheduled to deliver Monday morning. This was unexpected and we were unprepared.
And because of the nature of the content, we can't just sit anywhere. We are actually parked behind a fenced in area with a locked gate.
We were permitted to stop at a store so that I could run in and get a few things. It will be great. No noise, lots of movies, nice and quiet. And safety. We can deal with that.

Anyway, we got here and pulled up to the guard shack, we signed in and he told  us where to park and even told us HOW to park, nose in with back doors facing the lot. 
Ok, there were a couple of trailers parked beside where we were told to park, so I tried to pull in far enough so that our back doors were even with the trailers in the row. 
We were facing a bank of pine trees. 

We have good tv reception, plenty of food and water, lots of privacy and quiet. It was a good evening.

The next morning I woke up and started to make some coffee and breakfast. I also wanted to shake our rugs because we had tracked in some sandy dirt. When I picked up the first rug I saw ants. Hundreds of teeny, tiny ants. Where did they come from? How did they get in here? 
I carry a big can of bee spray (don't ask), that we kept very handy. So I grabbed it and sprayed the ants. Instantly they were dead.
I got out of the truck to see how they were getting in or where they were coming from. 
When I walked to the front of the truck I noticed a huge ant hill that I hadn't seen in the dark when we parked. And the nose of the truck had disturbed the hill when I parked.
If you have ever kicked over an ant hill, you don't have to ask why they are called an army of ants. They instantly go into actions, some attack, some defend, some begin the rebuild. And it all happens with no bosses, no policies, no board meetings,and no power point. It is just every ant in action. 
So apparently when I messed up the ant hill by parking over it, they saw an enemy, a really really big one. Yet, they didn't cower. They did what ants do. 
Scripture teaches us to be "wise" like ants. 
Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, (Proverbs 6:6 NASB)
The ants are not a strong people, But they prepare their food in the summer; (Proverbs 30:25 NASB)

What can I learn from the ants? 
*When troubles strikes, rush into action.
*Be prepared to attack your troubles
*Defend what's important
*Fix what's broken
*Do not consider the size of your enemy, face it with determination.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Time machine

While driving today I was listening to an audiobook. In the story a family was traveling in their car. Their young son was talking about making a time machine that would take you back to your most favorite thing you remember. Each family member reminisced and talked about their favorites days.
So I clicked off my book and began to think about what time I would go back to.
I have good memories of my childhood, one or two really come to mind.
I have some good memories of my high school friends.
I remember when first dating Bill and meeting Frankie for the first time. I think I loved him from the first minute. He was such a cute little version of his dad.
I remember the day I knew that I was in love,and the day I got married.
I remember vividly each of the births of my 3 kids.
I remember watching my niece being born.
I remember the day we moved into a house that we bought.
I have so many good memories. And as I tried to choose which one was my favorite, I realized that I don't need a time machine to take me back to that one day.as long as I have a memory I can revisit each of these days anytime I want.

Remembering is a good thing. And it is always nice when two or three or more people can remember the same thing. 
Good memories always seem better over time too.

Jesus tells us to remember Him. He tells us to do it often. But what He tells us to remember is not the most favorite day. 
No, He tells us to remember His death.
and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:24-26 NASB)
On the first day of the week, every week,the apostles and the New Testament church shared a communion meal in remembrance of the death of Jesus. In the same way the church of Christ still continues to do to this day. 
Why would Jesus want us to have this memorial?
Just as the Israelites held fast to Passover which memorialized their freedom and salvation from their chains of bondage as slaves in Egypt, we too, recognize that Jesus broke our bondage of sin. His death gives us victory over that bondage as well as hope of eternal life with God, if we obey the gospel.

Yes, this is a remembrance that I will gladly go back to each and every Sunday and share this memorial with others locally and all over the world as believers come together in remembrance of His death.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Someone recently asked me if I ever let people get me down.
Oh yeah,the things people do and say often drive me nuts. And especially if they are in the Lord's church. 
But what I try not to do is get entangled in other people's "stuff."

I believe that people want friends but don't know how to be one.
People want to feel loved and accepted yet do not love and accept others.
People hate to be lied to and then aren't completely honest or forthcoming themselves. 
Some want to "fix" other people but flinch when anyone tries to "fix" them. 

Be the person that you want as a friend. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How to stop being anxious

Is there anything causing you to feel anxious? Maybe financial difficulties, rebellious teenagers, illness, running late, sarcastic spouse, ruined plans or any number of things.
This scripture reminds us what to do.
*Rejoice! Yes, rejoice. Give God praise even if it seems like not the right time for praise.
* Be gentle. Whatever your circumstances let people see you handle it calmly, as a person who knows that God is still in control. Don't be a grump.
* Remember that The Lord is near. Act as if He is bodily in your presence.
* Pray. Pray thankfully, with the assurance that your Abba (Papa) will take care of you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Be bold

Speak the Word of Truth to others. Be bold. 
Their lives may depend on what you have to tell them.