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

Monday, February 29, 2016


What do baby tears do to you? Do they pull at your heart strings? 
There were times when my kids were small that their tears would break my own heart. Especially when I didn't even know why they were crying. Or if they were sick and I could do nothing more than comfort them.
At other times I have had friends cry in front of me, maybe because of grief, maybe because of hurt feelings. 
What is your reaction to the tears of friends?
Sometimes I cry. Maybe it's a sad movie. Maybe Someone hurt me. Maybe I'm missing my family. When I cry, my husband holds me close to him.
What are tears? Why do we cry? 
God knows how important tears are. God knows how important you are to him. How do your tears affect Him?
The Book of Revelation tells us that in Heaven there will be no more tears but until then. God will continue to collect your tears and hold you close.
God is your comfort.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My grasp

  1. Have you ever tried to pry something from the hand of a child? Maybe it was a toy to small for them and they wanted to put it in their mouth. Maybe it was something sharp or harmful. Children, even babies, can really hold on to what they want.
  2. One by one you open each finger until you can get the object from them. And then, usually the crying begins. They did not comprehend the harm, they only saw the attraction.
  3. Sometimes I see myself this way. I grasp hold of something that seems to have some importance to me. God sees the danger and wants me to give it up freely. I squeeze all the harder. Why God, why? But what if? What about? I will do this instead if only You... 
  4. Bargaining with God is not good. Of course He will not pry anything from my fingers. He wants me to give things easily. 
  5. Yet all too often I sing, I surrender all, all the while really meaning I might give up some, maybe.
  6. In all honesty, I would like to think that I would throw away anything and everything that God would want me too. I know he has given me way beyond all that I could think or imagine. He gave His son in my place to take my punishment and yet I am still reluctant sometimes to let go of some things.
Please pray for me as I need to let go of so much. 

  1. And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. (Luke 18:18-23 ESV)

  1. I want to be able to sing with sincerity.
  2. 🎼🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶
  3. All to Jesus I surrender,
    All to Him I freely give;
    I will ever love and trust Him,
    In His presence daily live.
    • Refrain:
      I surrender all,
      I surrender all;
      All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
      I surrender all.
  4. All to Jesus I surrender,
    Humbly at His feet I bow;
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.
  5. All to Jesus I surrender,
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.
  6. All to Jesus I surrender,
    Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    Fill me with Thy love and power,
    Let Thy blessing fall on me.
  7. All to Jesus I surrender,
    Now I feel the sacred flame;
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What? What? What?

What does God want ME to see?
Have you ever noticed that in scripture some thoughts are repeated? For example there is, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4 ESV) The writer wants to emphasize our need to rejoice.
And again, throughout Psalm 119, the writer repeats over and over again, how important it is to follow, obey, and keep the precepts of God.
I understand repetition, I am a mother. I understand repetition, I struggled with piano lessons. I understand repetition, I am a teacher. I understand repetition, I am hard headed, (only sometimes.) But, yes, I understand that when you want someone to grasp hold of something, you repeat it until they get it.
This past Sunday morning I listened to a really good sermon on the biblical story of Zacchaeus. It was such a good message that as I took notes I thought to myself that someday I might bring a lesson on Zacchaeus. I was listening with my "teacher ears." The ones I wear when I realize that I am hearing a message that other people need to hear as well.
And when the service was over, I tucked those notes away for "someday."
But then this morning My devotional reading was Zacchaeus, another person's viewpoint on the same biblical account. 
In 3 days time I got 2 very important viewpoints, 2 very accurate out takes, and 2 very good lessons that are not meant for "someday" or "someone else's" ears.
So....with God presenting Zacchaeus to me two times in three days I realize there must be something here that He is wanting ME, YES, ME, to see. What is it, Lord?
Here is the Biblical account. 
He (Jesus) entered Jericho and was passing through. 
And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. 
He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 
And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 
So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 
So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 
And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. 
And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10 ESV)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pigeon Holes

Homing pigeons amaze me. They can be transported anywhere and will always fly home to their roost.
Before our wonderful technology they were used to send messages. Nowadays they are mostly only used at wedding celebrations.
They not only know to fly home, they each know their own particular roosting space, called a pigeon hole. 
A pigeon hole is also used to describe cubby holes or spaces in a desk or work area. This way we can sort our work into orderly stacks based on priority.
It amazes me and makes me proud because as a mother, I take great pride in the premise of "a place for everything and everything in it's place." I kind of live by the "pigeon hole theory." I like to know where things are. I often joke that I like to be able to locate any item quickly in the dark, if I had to. Although I can't imagine any scenario where it is dark and I might need my serrated scissors or staples for the stapler or the green wash clothes. 
I call it being organized.  (my family would use other words.)
However, I strongly believe that in relationships we get in trouble and a whole lot of hurt if we try to "pigeon hole" people into neat little categories.
I recently spent time with a person that was very hurt because they were in a place where there were opportunities open in 3 specific areas. This person clearly specializes in one of those ares and has a passion for a second area yet they were offered and strongly encouraged to take the third opening. The person was not even being considered for their passion or skill. That "pigeon holing" crushed a spirit. 
How often have I tried to mold someone into fitting my expectations? Have I wounded feelings because I want people to do what I want them to do?
Many years ago at church a paper was passed around with certain services that needed done in the church building. You were encouraged to sign up for something. By the time the list got to me the only job left was nursery. 
Well, that job is not really in my skill set nor my passion. To be blunt, I am not nice enough. Nope, I'm afraid I would offend parents and kids wouldn't like me. I just have different expectations of little kids and less patience than some other people. However, I am great at organizing, planning, mowing, cooking, and other things. So, should I sign my name beside Nursery duty? Or don't sign up at all and then automatically go into the "doesn't want to serve" pigeon hole? Argh! I did want to serve.
I have heard it said that you don't have to be qualified to be called by God, God qualifies the called. 
Yes, I believe that,  but was He calling me to nursery duty?

I wish I were wise enough to have the appropriate, encouraging words to offer my friend. I would like to think and believe that your church would recognize and appreciate the talents and skills of the people and use you where you would love to serve.  

Well, what did I do? I did not sign up for nursery duty. I signed my name in several other places even though the spaces were already filled. I did get to serve and work alongside others in areas where I feel I have the most to offer. 

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:14-31 NASB)

We are not pigeons.

PS Too often people quit church because they do not know how to effectively communicate their needs. It would be awesome if each and every church member were perfect and could intuitively know each need. But elders, and preachers are not given mind reading gifts, neither is any church member. People can only respond to needs if they are aware of the needs.
Yes, it's true that most people come, at first, because they are broken and hurting. 
We, as church members, maybe should be better at communicating with the new people.