Friday, December 31, 2010

A Lot to Learn

I learned a lot this past year. I learned about God, and discovered I have so much more to learn! I also discovered that I need to learn more about myself and about others! I love to learn. That is a good thing when there is so much that needs learning!

Learning is a faith filled and disciplined task. To learn I must walk into uncharted territory. I do not know what might lie ahead in the search for understanding. I find that I often take small timid steps when I sense that the new knowledge will shake me to my bones or knock me off my feet. I need a strong faith to face what may come as a result of new knowledge. It also takes discipline to learn. Not all lessons are learned the first time I am exposed to them. I must take the lesson, do homework and repeat the new knowledge over and over to make it become a part of me.

The things I've learned in 2010 will be a foundation for the coming year. If the foundation is weak, I will walk through the lessons again till I make the structure of my knowledge of God, myself and others strong enough to support the new truths God reveals. I want that firm foundation. I want to live my life learning, believing, and trusting God for all truth, knowledge and wisdom.

Father, Author of Truth, Your wisdom and knowledge come to me when You are in Your rightful place in my life. I confess that though I love to learn new things I sometimes pride myself in the learning rather than setting You as the awesome Creator Revealer! Forgive me Lord. Knowing You is my deepest desire. I thirst to know You. Teach me Lord. Open my eyes and ears to You and I will be filled with Your knowledge and wisdom to be used for the sake of Your kingdom! Thank You for touching my life in deeper ways and with the nearness of You.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I've been thinking back over the past year today. I thought it interesting that my memories did not begin with events, but with people. I would think of someone and my mind would drift into a memory. I think God likes us to start with people, not events. Jesus wanted us to break bread and take the cup of wine in remembrance of Him.

Most often the word communion is used in the context of the Christian ritual of taking bread and grape juice (or wine) in remembrance of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross for us. Communion to me is a sharing of thoughts, emotions and memories. In this context we can have communion with friends and family by sharing those times in our lives we remember together.

Making time to have communion with our loved ones is a nice way to end the year. I may just need to give some people a call!

God with us, You ask us to remember Your time here on earth through communion. You asked us to do this at dinner the night before You paid the price for our sins. You united Yourself with us in communion by Your death. We join in that communion through faith in You. Thank You for the communion we share. I love You. I will remember all that You have done for me!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Step Forward

If we take two steps forward and one step back, we are actually taking one step forward.

Looking back over my last year, I am happy about the challenges I've faced and overcome. I am sad, however, that in some of those victories I've lost a little ground. It wasn't my intention to step backwards, but I did. Maybe it was out of fear, or maybe I just was not sure of what I was doing. It could also be the simple fact that breaking a habit takes time. Old habits creep in to take away a bit of the new and, well, I am sure you know how it happens. We all slide backwards now and then.

I remember learning to drive a stick shift and finding myself on a hill where I would roll back before I could get my foot to the gas peddle. If someone was behind me I would panic and hit the gas hard, causing the car to die. It was a hair raising situation, but somehow I never did hit the car behind me! I soon learned the delicate balance of brake, clutch and gas. I guess it is the same when starting a new habit. We need to learn to balance.

If taking two steps brings us off balance maybe the best thing to do is to take one step back. We have still made progress and kept ourselves in balance. I think I'll try to remember this when I find myself sliding backwards into an old way of doing things. I'll take a look in the rear view mirror and determine that I will take one step forward in balance!

My Lord God, Heavenly Father, You lead me with Your Spirit and keep me looking ahead! Thank You for forgiving my slide backwards. I trust You to keep me in balance. I need You to surround me and deliver me before I go back to where I do not want to be! You are good!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Family Tree

Last night I began transferring birthdays from my old calendar to the new. In doing so, I discovered that I was missing a few names. New babies have arrived and I have forgotten to include their little leaves on the family tree. New spouses have come into the fold too. It isn't just the names that are important to me. I like to keep the birthdays and anniversaries as well.

I guess I will be updating my address book, family file as well as the calendar. I like doing it, but finding the time is a problem. This could be a year long project if I let it be, but it does not need to be completely updated as long as I do have names.

Filling up the family tree reminds me of the genealogy lists in the bible. Many people overlook them and consider them boring. For me, I read through them with care. I don't always find interesting bits of information in those lists, but sometimes I am surprised. Mostly, I just read names. Names of people long dead, but real people none-the-less. Like the credits at the end of a movie, God wants to give credit where it is due. Because God is interested in the people behind the names, I feel I should give them at least a bit of my time.

By taking time to read the lists, I have become aware that God is interested in individuals. He knows us by name. He wants our names written in the Lambs Book of Life. He does not need us to be famous or well known to consider us important. I try to remember those things when I work on the family lists. Each name is important and each person is loved by God.

Father, Creator God, Your name is above every name! Knowing that You know my name and call be by name into Your presence and Your service is a great honor! Thank You for considering me important enough to know my name. Help me to be mindful of others who would like me to remember their name, too! Teach me to value what You value and love the way You love!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Week Before New Years

There are times when the week between Christmas and New Years Day is like climbing a mountain. I strain for the next day to get here, bogged down in lists of things I want to do before the new calendar begins. Cleaning up from Christmas and cleaning away the old years paperwork top my list. Each day I tackle another chore, and each day it seems as if I have progressed only slightly. The New Year arrives with me worn out and never organized enough.

Then there are other times when the week zips by me like a down hill sled! I race to catch up to all the things I want to get done in time for the clock to strike twelve. I never get organized until about February! Like my Dad used to always say, "The faster I go the behinder I get!"

I don't know which kind of week before New Years I prefer. Both are heading in the same direction. Both eventually get me to a place of semi organization. Maybe the way I get there tells me a little bit of how my year will be.

If I start the year in a race that goes in circles my year could dance rings around me, and I would need to find the discipline to stop the merry-go-round and hop off. If I step into the New Year certain I am on the right track, then I need to keep my focus and not let those pesky dancers on the sidelines, grab me into the dance half way through the year. Both demand discipline. The question is where do I get it?

I have, in the past, been able to rustle up some discipline of my own. I push myself and demand my life to be in order. But I have found that the discipline of simply obeying God is all I need. Whatever happens this week before New Years should be in line with His plan for me. That means that if I find time to organize I should. If I find outside influences taking my time and speeding me toward the countdown clock then I should relax and enjoy the ride, all the while while using what time I do have wisely.

Father of Endless Ages, You hold time in Your hands. Time continues towards eternity, and You are Eternal God! Thank You for the times of my life. Thank You for the changing seasons and the times I can start new. Forgive me for the time I waste in trivial and selfish pursuits. Redeem the time that passes too quickly and make my days fill up with Your plans. Teach me to number my days, Lord.

Friday, December 24, 2010


It has been quite a long time since Christmas came into my life. Jesus was born in my heart the day I received my confirmation at the age of 11. Since then He has never left me, nor forsaken me. No matter how far away I tried to run He was there. Jesus walked with me never giving up on my sinful nature that battled with Him over control of my life. Even today He is with me.

This is my story of Christmas. I was raised in the Catholic Church. My Mom was a strong Catholic and my Dad was a non-church goer, yet he encouraged and supported my Mom as she raised us all in the church. I attended Catholic school until Mom and Dad could no longer afford the tuition. Thus I was immersed in the theology and tradition of the church throughout my day until I was 15.

God, Himself, brought me to believe in Him. The teaching I received from the Catholic Church was mostly concerned with sin, being good, and working hard to make it into heaven. As a child I was very afraid of hell and wanted desperately to go to heaven and to please God. My heroes were the saints I read about and told to be like. To me they seemed to know God in a real way and I became very hungry for that in my life!

As I walked forward to be confirmed in the church, I prayed in my heart telling God that I wanted to be a saint and to go to heaven when I died, but I knew I wasn't good enough. I asked Him to change me. He did. Though the Catholic Church never taught me that Jesus would come live inside me outside of a communion experience, I knew that Jesus came to live in my heart for good! Somehow I knew He wasn't going to leave me! Though I had been taught that Jesus would take me to heaven only if I was good enough I knew that my home was in heaven because I believed! Though I had never been taught to study the bible, I wanted to read it for myself. That was my Christmas Day! That was the day that God came to be with me. He was my Emmanuel!

And so, I come to this Christmas Day 2010. God is still with me. God has entered into His creation and has changed it and continues to change me to be more like Him. He saved me. God is still my Emmanuel!

Emmanuel, God with us, You are my Christmas! Thank You for speaking to me and teaching me Your word. I love Christmas, not just the Christmas of family and friends, nor just the Christmas story of long ago. I love the Christmas You make in my life every day! Touch those around me that do not have Christmas. Let them see Your heavenly star shine over the lowest of places here on earth. Let them hear angels sing Your praises in the darkest hour of the night. Let them be filled with faith, hope and eternal love!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Surprise Certainty

There is not much I can be certain of in this life. Life changes quickly, and sometimes the unforeseen takes me to places I never thought I'd be. Each day holds surprises and the mystery of each day unfolds sometimes slowly and other times with great speed. I feel comfortable with a plan in place. I don't particularly like surprises.

I was very surprised with our fourth child. I did not expect a baby to be added to our family. When I discovered the pregnancy I was not happy. It took a long while to prepare myself and to enjoy the surprise. Our son, Joseph, has been a delight to us. Oh, he has given us moments of worry, but God is with him, and he is a surprise worth having in my life! He has taught me that some surprises are good.

Christmas is a day when surprises are the norm. We want to surprise our loved ones with gifts they love but never thought about asking for them. We ourselves are surprised with the gifts we receive. The Christmas miracle of God with us is a surprise to all men. Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, Magi, and even Jesus' disciples were surprised that He was God coming to be a part of His own creation. God will surprise us again when Jesus returns to earth as a conquering King.

The bible does tell us of a few who were not completely surprised at His coming. Simeon and Anna, waited their entire lives in the temple courts waiting for the Messiah. They sought Him and were blessed to see Him just as they expected. They were not surprised! There will be seekers looking for His second coming that will not be surprised when He appears in the clouds. I want to be one who expects to be surprised.

Great King of the Universe, You will come again in glory to bring Your people home and conquer evil forever. You are matchless in every way! I don't like surprises and yet, with You, I expect to be surprised. I anticipate the joy and awe that will envelope me in the expectant surprise of Your coming! Thank You for making the truth known to me so that I can keep watch. Open my eyes to see the signs of Your coming and help me to be ready with my light shining brightly to welcome You!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Gift for Jesus

Our family has a tradition that we give gifts to Jesus on His birthday. For me, the offering of a gift to Jesus is very serious and sometimes very costly. I don't mean that I give him material goods. However, I do try to buy a little trinket to put in our Jesus Gift box so I remember each gift I have given in the past. The costly gifts are most always something I have struggled with over the past year. Jesus has usually invited me several times to let Him take control, but I have thought I could do it my way. Those gifts are the ones I am sure makes Him smile.

I have discovered that giving gifts to Jesus results in a year long experience learning and growing in the area from which the gift was given. For example, one year I gave Jesus my desire to be beautiful. It was amazing to me that He returned the gift by showing me over and over again throughout the year that He saw my beauty and He was enthralled by it! Now, I am not a fashion model, nor do I claim any magnificent physical beauty. But I wanted to be different than who I am, and so I gave it to Him. That year convinced me that Jesus thinks I am beautiful. If I am beautiful to Him then I really do own beauty inside and out! I can never outgive God!

This years gift is another costly gift, and I am struggling to pay the price. I cannot tell you the secret yet, but it is a life changing kind of gift. It is a gift that I imagine wrestling with the Lord throughout the year. But in the end, like Jacob (see Genesis 32:22-32), I want Him to win, even if it leaves me with a permanent dislocation of my life reminding me that I belong fully to Him! Pray for me that this might be done.

Lord Jesus, My Lord, My Savior, You are worthy of the best gift I could bring to You honoring Your birthday here on earth and submitting to Your lordship over my life. There are many things I could choose from because my life is filled with struggles to follow You. I do not relinquish this gift easily. I want to please You, but I have held on so long that it is very hard to let go! My desire is to let go of the gift and hold onto You until You bless me! Thank You for being patient. Thank You for completing the good work You have started in me!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Want You, Lord

When tough times come what do we want? We want someone to help us. We want someone to fix the problems so that we can be free of the stress worry or burdens that keep us from enjoying life like we would want.

In our family we have found this Christmas to be a tighten-our-belts type Christmas. I've heard many others in the same place. It is hard work to have a celebration without the freedom to give freely or to host the parties with a feast. It is, however, these kinds of situations in which we can get down to the foundation of what we really want. It usually is revealed to be a filling of an empty part of our hearts or our spirits.

What do we want for Christmas? We want that joy that lights our world in all circumstances. Like a perpetual flame, that kind of joy can never be snuffed out by the want or plenty of this world! Joy, like that, can only come from a loving and good God who sent His joy to earth as a tiny baby. He was sent to teach, serve and sacrifice to make sure that joy would never end.

We need a Savior to free us from our burdens and fill us with joy. The good news is that He has come! He did free us from sin and He has sent His Spirit to fill us with joy! Do you know Him? Do you have His joy? The first step of faith may be hard to make. It is the release of all our efforts and the accepting of His. Even if you have His gift of freedom and joy, ask again! He will fill you again and set you free for today!

This Christmas I pray that you will enjoy freedom in Christ and be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory! You can have what you really want if you just ask! Go ahead and ask!

Father, You sent Your joy to us as a tiny baby, but He grew up to save us and fill us with joy. I want that freedom and joy every day. Thank You for being a constant source of my deepest need. I do ask You, Lord, to lift up the hearts of those who are hurting because of want and need this Christmas. Help us who know You to be a light for them so that they might see You as their Savior who frees and fills with joy! May joy reign in our hearts forever!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Finding the Lamb of God

During church yesterday I took notes. I always do, but yesterday was a bit different. Pastor John Hampton had a wonderful sermon. Shepherds: Choosing Spiritual Reality Over Temporary Treasure was the title. His words made me think, and so I not only wrote down what he said, but also my thoughts and rabbit trails! I think the Holy Spirit was in on the conversation too!

John spoke about the shepherds leaving behind their jobs to find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. They left their comfort zone, and their experience changed their lives.

My thoughts ran down a trail as I imagined the shepherds standing guard that night over the Lamb of God! Their job was to take care of the lambs sometimes used in sacrifices. What greater job could they be given than being watchful over the one and only sacrificial Lamb?

The Holy Spirit reminded me of Jesus' parable of the lost sheep. He asked His followers who would not leave the 99 sheep to find the one that was lost. The night Jesus was born, the shepherds were called to find the Lamb of God who had left His heavenly home. Jesus, the Lamb of God, might not have been lost, but He was found. The shepherds left their flocks to find the one who would save them from being lost! It was the shepherds that were found that night. Their faith lead them to the place where they were found. Their trip to the stable was their act of faith that something miraculous had taken place.

The bible does not tell us much about the shepherds visit to the stable. It does tell us that the Lord sent angels to tell them about Jesus. They knew He was special because the angels said of Jesus' birth: Glory to God in the Highest and peace to His people on earth.! I imagine they asked Mary and Joseph questions, just like we do when we visit a new Mom or Dad. We ask about the birth and what they know of the child. The shepherds left, maybe with not all the answers, but knowing Gods' presence in their lives.

Lord Jesus, I love the thought that the shepherds might have come to find a lost lamb, but they found their Savior instead! I, too, have been looking for something in my life. Instead I have found a closer walk with You, a greater understanding of who You are. Thank You for finding me. Thank You for showing me Your light so that I might follow You through the darkness of this world to a home with You forever! You are the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Daze

You may have noticed that I did not post a blog yesterday. I did not plan it that way, I simply found myself in one of those Christmas daze days.

It began with my regular Saturday morning routine. I cleaned house and then got dressed to do some last minute errands and gift shopping. I did not anticipate the traffic being so congested. As I sat at green traffic lights (yes, they were green) waiting to move forward, I sang carols and tried to be patient. The lines at the stores were not unbearable, but I did find myself shopping longer than expected. The time back home was met with a bit of a rush to get to a party. Rain throughout the day gave the experience a soggy feel.

In all of that I was truly glad that my crazy day was not the norm for my Christmas journey. In the middle of all that hustle I took time to sing praise to God and to enjoy the special music of the season. I took time out for friends, and my heart was filled with gladness to honor my friend at her birthday party. The daze appeared only after I saw that I missed my blog. I thought I had written it and really had, in my head. Christmas got in my way.

It is a good thing to let Christmas take over my life and let me live a life of love and joy. The bad part of it all is letting my attitude snuff out the Christmas Spirit. It happens far more than I would like to admit. Yesterday was an exception!

Yesterday, Christmas happened. I received no gifts, but received the pleasure of putting others before myself. That is what Jesus did. He put us, His creation, ahead of Himself. That is Christmas. That is the best way to enjoy Christmas!

Loving and giving God, You surprise me with the strange way of making things work. I cannot fully understand how Your plan could work so well when it seems so opposed to my thinking. Humility lifts me up. Giving gives me more. Death awakens life in me! Thank You for knowing what is best. Thank You for sharing Your best through Your word! I want Your teaching to change me and take me in a new direction. Teach me, Lord!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Humble Obstacles

Would you believe that a fussy baby could be the key to getting a nap? I wouldn't either except today it happened to me!

Abigail was fussy and wanted to be held, so I sat down with her in my arms. I was thinking of all the things I needed to get done. I knew she was tired, but if she didn't sleep I wouldn't get my work accomplished. As I sat rocking her in my arms, I looked into her tired eyes and hummed a little song. She softly relaxed, and I thought I could now lay her down. The attempt failed so back to the couch I went. As she became heavier I adjusted pillows all around her, and then I, too, began to relax. I nodded off quite a few times. I caught a much needed nap at her insistence!

There are many times when we think that the obstacles in our way just need to go away. The truth is that sometimes those obstacles are exactly what we need. Sometimes they bring that much needed rest, like mine with Abi today. Other times the obstacles to our work will take us in a new direction or make us think of a creative solution.

Mary and Joseph faced the obstacle of no rooms left for them to bed down. Their obstacle created a new way for us to understand our God. His birth in a stable revealed to us His humility and love. He did not grasp for the best or richest of the earth. He loved us so much that even in His birth He would place himself as the least of all men so that He could raise us up.

I can imagine Mary, tired from her journey nodding off to sleep with a quieted and sleepy baby Jesus in her arms. The work that needed to be done was just beginning, but there was time to take a rest. Have you taken time to rest today?

Dearest Lord Jesus, You are above all but so humble! You chose the place of lowest position even at Your birth. I struggle often to put aside my pride and walk humbly before others. I want them to know how smart or accomplished I seem to be in my own eyes. Forgive me, Lord. Thank You for being my teacher. Teach me humility and then give me strength to pursue it, only because in doing so I would pursue You! I humbly bow to You!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank You

Yesterday, I met a young man waiting with me at the check out line. He was wearing what I assumed was an army jacket so I asked if he was in the service. He told me he was not, but that he was a law enforcement officer. I then thanked him for putting his life on the line for us. I mentioned the young officer killed this last week during what seemed a routine traffic stop. We both agreed that it was senseless but that the stresses of the holidays tend to make people do incredible acts of violence out of frustration and pain. He mentioned that there is a marked increase in domestic violence, armed robberies and other crimes during this time of year. Instead of being a joyous time of year, many suffer.

I began to wonder if the way we celebrate has a hand in the pain of so many?. Is our preoccupation with gifts and outdoing our neighbor with the riches of our Christmas celebration made our world a much sadder place at Christmas time? The real question is, what can we do about it?

I would suggest we become more likely to give than to receive. We can also simplify our giving. I have heard some people give only three gifts to their children because three gifts were given to the Christ Child. It could easily be lessened to one gift in honor of the one and only Son that God gave the world. Handmade gifts are also a way to minimize the commercialization of Christmas. Whatever we can do to make Christmas shine for those who are in a difficult place is exactly what I think Jesus would want for His birthday, don't you?

Dear Jesus, You voluntarily came to earth as one of the poorest of the poor. You did not seek riches, but sadly we have made the day we remember Your birthday into a day where the price tag reigns supreme. Forgive us, Lord! Thank You for giving us the opportunity to share our wealth with others just as Your Father shared You, His richest gift. Open our eyes to see You in every needy person. Give us the strength of generous hearts for those who need You now more than ever. Bless our law enforcement officers and keep them safe throughout the year! Come Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

His Presence Demands Change

The presence of God in our lives demands repentance. We cannot stay the same as we are now when we stand before the God of creation and our Righteous Judge.

Today I had a doctor appointment. It was just a regular exam, nothing unusual happening. Like almost all doctor visits there was a weigh in, and blood pressure check. It is very much like standing before a judge. My body was being judged on its health today. In some ways I am faced with truth that demands repentance of some old and difficult habits to break. My weight is not where I want it to be. I have tried to lose but have not succeeded. I need help.

The great physician is ready to help us with all of our problems. Sometimes He sends a helper and other times He does the work in us Himself. It is the awareness of His presence in my life that makes me want to change. It is His presence that gives me the power to do what it takes to change.

Great and righteous Judge, you are also my healer. I need help to change what I cannot change. Thank You for being present in my life and for giving me power to make the changes necessary. I submit my body soul and spirit into Your hands. Heal me Lord!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


He is present with us......
walking the shopping malls,
trimming our tree,
baking cookies,
wrapping gifts,
going to parties,
and all other Christmas time activities.

In fact He is here with us every day and every hour.

He is here with us....
when we celebrate the milestones of our lives,
when we sit alone wondering if anyone cares,
when we are sick or dying,
when we have lost a coin or a loved one,
when we have found our way
when we need anything or when we think we need nothing,
He is here. He is present. He is Jesus God.

Where are you today? What do you need? He is the gift given that is ever present.

Thank You Lord for being the all present God. Thank You for being the gift that really does keep on giving! Thank You for always being with me!

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Mistletoe

Yesterday I shared about my vision of God kissing the world and Jesus was born. After contemplating the kiss I have a few thoughts to share again on this subject.

Mistletoe was known as the peace plant in Scandinavia. When enemies met in the forest under a tree with mistletoe, they would lay down their weapons for a day of peace. Today we kiss under the mistletoe. Kissing is also a sign of peace. Though mistletoe is interesting and its history and folk lore are a captivating read, God does not need this parasitic plant to entice Him to peace or kisses.

Gods' kiss on the world, even without mistletoe, was meant to bring peace between Himself and His creation. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. God is willing to kiss us with Jesus the Peacemaker! Jesus was willing to be betrayed by a kiss so that we might have His peace. Are we willing to lay down our arms and receive the peace and love He offers?

Prince of Peace, God of love, You need only Your true self to pour out Your peace and love upon us. I enjoy the mistletoe tradition and pray for peace with those I am estranged when I see it hanging from the trees or hang it at Christmas time. I know that I do not need the mistletoe to make peace. I need only You. You have made peace with me and I should do the same. Thank You for the symbols of peace in our warring world. Thank You for the kiss of Jesus. Teach us to live peacefully with our neighbor. Fill us with peace this Christmas and throughout the year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Tonight I enjoyed the Singing Trees production of first Baptist Church Orlando. It was delightful! I came away with a special feeling. During the performance I would watch the lights twinkle and glimmer all around the faces of those in the choir. The voices sparkled too! It was a night filled with light! I felt lightened!

It was during the singing of the favorite carol, Silent Night, that a most unusual thought came to me. I closed my eyes and listened to those many voices blend in harmony and I imagined Jesus' birth as a kiss from God to the earth. Yes, a kiss. The vision was of God, holding the earth in His powerful, creative and gentle hands, and lifting it to His lips in a kiss of a Father loving his new baby. Jesus became the kiss of love, Gods' expression of love to the world.

The thought brought tears to my eyes.

Father, thank You for loving me! Thank You for loving the entire world! You are a good Father. You deserve my love.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meaningful Gifts

The giving of gifts has become one of the most significant part of our Christmas celebrations. Most Christians would say we give gifts to remember the gifts given to Jesus from the Magi. I do wonder if our giving really does imitate those men who traveled far to worship a child king. Is there wisdom to be found in the giving of gold, frankincense and myrrh?

It may not be easily discerned, but the gifts the Wise Men brought to Jesus were carefully chosen. In my research I discovered that their gifts were meant to honor the role Christ would play, not only as a future King, but also as Savior.

Some interesting points I learned about the gifts are:
Myrrh comes from a root word meaning bitter. It is a cleansing and purifying agent. It was used in embalming and as incense. The picture I saw of the plant resembled the thorns depicted often in the crown Jesus wore at His crucifixion.
Frankincense causes slow breathing making it an aid to meditation. Pliny has said that frankincense was an antidote to hemlock, a powerful poison. In Exodus 30:34 it is called levonah which in Hebrew can be Lebanese or white.
Gold is well known to most of us, but we might not know some of its properties that describe our Lord. Gold never tarnishes or rusts. No other metal is as ductile or malleable as gold. It has the ability to be used in a wide range of everyday applications. It is used in electronic processes to remove the heat from easily harmed instruments. Gold seems to be everywhere but it is difficult to mine in most substances and so it is valuable.

I hope you can easily see that in these gifts, the Magi offered their belief in who Jesus was. He was the One destined to die for the sins of the world. He was the pure sacrifice that would cure our sin disease and overcome death. And finally Jesus was eternal, the all-knowing, all-powerful God.

There is wisdom for us in these gifts. First that we must also give our belief and trust in Jesus. The Magi lead us to the truth of Jesus. The gifts Jesus truly wants from us is to believe in Him. Secondly, as we give to others we should make our gifts memorable by giving presents which makes the receiver say, "You believe in me! You know me!"

My good friend, Carol Leff, once shared with me her list of why we should give gifts. These reflect the giving of the Magi. I hope they live in my heart as well.
Give gifts
to build someone up
to recognize their place in your life
to honor them
to fill them with joy and pleasure
to cause them to do unto others.

Giving and Generous God. You have given the most meaningful of gifts by sending Your Son. The Wise Men saw and believed. I, too, believe! Help me when I struggle to believe! Thank You for the opportunity to give as You have given. Teach me to love like You do!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Favor with God

Finding yourself favored by God can be a challenge. Look at the young girl, Mary. She was one of Gods' favorites and she was asked to be the mother of Gods' Son, Jesus. She would face shame, danger and heartache if she accepted the task. She said, "Yes."

Mary was favored because she believed in Gods' promises. She said, "Yes" because she had a servants' heart. Like Abraham, she trusted God even though the road looked impossibly difficult. She let God make the plan for her life. She obeyed each step of the way even though she was honest enough to question. She allowed God to answer her doubts.

We can learn much from Mary. We learn to believe, seek Gods' favor, accept Gods' challenge and trust and obey!

I am being challenged as of late. I never thought this job could be that I have been chosen by God because I have been favored. In this challenge my first thought is that I cannot do it! Mary couldn't do her job, either. Not without Gods' power in her life. It is the same with me. To face my challenge I must rely on Gods' power working through me. Could I mess up? Sure. I can take it and do the job in my own strength and my own way. I don't want to, though. I want to make an impact for God in this world. If He chooses me to do it in this way, I will obey. I will offer my doubts and questions to Him. He has all the answers!

Father God, You are the challenger! You want to do the impossible through Your people, Your favored ones. I admit I am sometimes uncomfortable being called favored of You. I want to be favored, but I also know my failures. You know my sins too, and still You show me favor. Thank You for using me! Thank You for empowering me to do what You have asked. Give me wisdom and strength, Lord!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Christmas Song

"Glory to God in the Highest!" The angels sang. I believe they continued to sing glory to God though He had stepped down from His throne and came to earth. I am almost certain the song continued throughout His stay on earth even though the song was silenced to men.

Glory to God was sung with each miracle Jesus made. God's glory was never more evident than at the cross and empty tomb! Angels singing "Alleluia! Glory to God in the highest!" continue with each sinner saved. Without the angels song our God could not be celebrated as He must be.

Every year I buy at least one new Christmas cd. I have many different artists and many songs to celebrate Christmas. I admit some are secular, but even those have lifted my heart and made me rejoice at the God who would stoop to become a man destined to die for my sins. I want my home to be filled with songs that join with the angels!

Another thought about singing angels is that they left the holy place to sing His praises in the world. We, who are saved, have even more reason to join in the songs of Christmas as we walk in the world. I remember last July when I was browsing in K-Mart, a young woman came past me singing a song I know well because we sing it often in church. Instead of stopping her and telling her it was nice to hear her sing. I joined in and we finished the song praising God for the unity of the Body of Christ.

We need not be the best of singers. We need not worry that we are on key. We only need to let our hearts sing and our voices be the speaker to broadcast the wonderful Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Blessed be Your Holy Name Lord Jesus! Thank You for Your Holy Angels who sing and make continual music at Your throne and throughout our world! Your works must be celebrated, and I am happy to sing Your praise whenever the Spirit leads me! Glory to You God! You are the Highest ! You are King and Lord! Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit forever and ever AMEN!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Broken Wall

There is a great divide between God and man. The divide was caused by sin. Christmas was God's wrecking ball on the wall that kept us far from Him. He broke down the barriers. He united us as one in Jesus.

I have often wondered if Jesus ever had a cold or the flu. Did He suffer any of the growing pains we feel or was His suffering delayed until His time had come to bear the cross? Because God came to be fully human in Jesus, I must believe that only those diseases and injuries that would have deterred Him from His mission were spared Him. I also believe that even with a headache, cold or the flu, He pushed onward toward His calling. Maybe the times we read about, where He went off by Himself, were the times He didn't feel well and needed to ask His Father to heal his body so He could go on.

It is my desire that Jesus did not suffer before His passion. He certainly suffered enough at that time! Whatever the situation was, it was meant to be a place of connection for us to our Father God who loved us so much to be one of us!

Father, Your love is so strong it broke down all barriers to our relationship with You. Your strength is never over powering to us, but the power to lift us and carry our burdens. Thank You for being eager to live in the midst of our sinful world so that You could set us free from its bondage. you are amazing to me! I need You in my life!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

God Man

When I think about babies, words like little, innocent, soft, gentle, vulnerable, and a host of others like those come to mind. I certainly do not think of words like power, majesty, or God!

It is almost impossible for my limited mind to put the words baby and God together unless, of course, I use the name Jesus. It is only in Jesus that the fullness of God and the fullness of man can be expressed.

The song, "Mary, Did You Know?" is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It makes me take a good long look at the baby in Marys' arms and try to understand the truth that the baby is God in the flesh. In that tiny package lived THE awesome, majestic, holy God. Every hungry cry, soiled diaper, and sweet slumber cuddled in His Mommy's', or Daddy's', arms was an act of love from a hugely humble God. He loved us so much! He wanted to be like us in every way!

Our God, who spoke the worlds into being, would cry until He learned how to speak. This amazing God, who formed man from the ground, would learn the lessons of obedience and truth from His earth-born parents. God, who holds all power and authority, would be the most vulnerable of those He came to save. My feeble brain cannot fully understand. I must believe. I must receive by faith. God and Man in one life, for one purpose, made the first Christmas a holy and humble day.

Holy God, I am without words to describe You! I am not worthy to be near You, but You come near to me! You enter my every day and become all I need. Thank You! Thank You.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Majestically Humble

The Bible does not tell us that Jesus was born in a stable. It only tells us that He was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger. Mangers could be in a stable or outside. They are simply a feeding trough. I believe it is possible that Jesus was born under the stars, just as much as born in a humble shelter meant for the animals. I suppose that we want Mary to at least have the luxury of a stable to give birth and so we add to the story told in the word.

We know there was no room in the inn and so we assume the innkeeper would offer his stable for shelter. But the Word does not tell us about any such kindness. We assume it was cold because we celebrate His birth in our winter time, but we do not know the true date of His birth. Our story of the birth of Christ is filled with many imaginations. There is nothing wrong with a good story told to share truth, but it is interesting to take only the words of the bible and imagine the story just as it is told.

What would it have been like for our Lord to have been born under the starry sky? His humble birth would have taken place in the majesty of His own creation! Does that idea give you pause as it does me? For me, that thought makes me see Him, not only as humble but also as God of all creation. He needs no human shelter because He owns creation.

Silent Night. O Holy Night. The starry sky waiting to be ablaze with angel song is a fitting place for The Creator, Our Lord, Gods' humble revelation to the world.

Jesus, humble Creator and Lord, You surprise me in so many ways! You are a humble master, a magnificent sacrifice, a quiet voice announcing Gods' amazing love to the world. I can only bow before You. You are Lord. You are King. You are Savior!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Week #2

Once, when the time was right, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to live with us here on earth. Christmas is the remembering of that special first night. God entered into His creation. It was a magical and awesome moment!

Angels, shepherds and Magi rejoiced and worshiped at the feet of a boy child. God had created a passage between heaven and earth. The gate of His entrance into our world was a womb and the gate of His entrance was a tomb. It is through the gate of Jesus Himself that we enter His eternal and heavenly world.

I imagine that our entrance into His world will be met with jubilant rejoicing of angels! Jesus and The Father will set out a feast for our eternal union with our Bridegroom!

I remember my dear husband standing at the altar as I walked the aisle to meet him for our vows to be heard by witnesses. He had tears in his eyes and later we celebrated with laughter and joy! Can you imagine with me Jesus standing ready to welcome us to the wedding feast, with the Father beaming with great joy? It will be the greatest of joys! God will be with us in a new way and forever!

My Dearest Lord Jesus, You are the Lover of my soul. You are my Bridegroom. I am preparing myself for the day You call the church to be Your bride. I can only imagine it to be beautiful, awesome, deeply satisfying, and joyful beyond words. My heart yearns for You to come soon when I think about that day. There are other days when I am having too much fun and so many blessings here that I hope You will wait. Thank You for allowing Your Father to decide. He will certainly know the right time for all of us! Until then, Lord, I need You to prepare my heart and my soul. I need Your Spirit to be strong in me so that I might show others the love You have shown me! Today I want You to come soon!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cleaning House

Preparing for Christ to come makes me want my house in order. Not just my physical home but my soul home.

Today is house cleaning day for me. In my youth, Mom insisted that we clean the house every Saturday in preparation for Sunday, our day of rest. We also would go to confession on Saturday. You can see the connection, I am sure. I helped mom clean up the house, and then I took time to clean my soul from my sins at the confessional. The ritual has stayed with me.

Saturday is my day to prepare my house so that I can rest on Sunday. I have changed my Saturday confession time to a daily and sometimes hourly ritual of asking forgiveness for my sins. I do not need a priest to confess my failures because Jesus is my priest. He washes my sin stains away.

In these days preparing for Christmas I dig a little deeper into my cleansing routine. As Christmas decorations go up, the hidden corners reveal their dust and dirt. I believe it is Gods' way, that as I seek to put on the Spirit of Christmas, He reveals the dust and dirt on my soul. Both clean up jobs need to be attended to so that I can enjoy my celebration.

"Prepare ye the way of the Lord" was the cry of the prophet. How do we prepare for Jesus Christs' coming this Christmas or when He comes again in glory? We must prepare our hearts with His forgiveness, and maybe even make sure our house is clean in case He sends angels ahead of His coming and we are to entertain them.

Glorious Lord, You wash us white as snow! We cannot prepare our lives for Your coming without You! I have many places that need to be cleaned up in my life. Thanks for forgiving me and washing them clean. If You send an angel to visit my home tonight, it will be clean and I will be ready. Tomorrow I will worship You with a clean heart and a mind seeking after You. I expect our time together will be sweet!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Busy Day

Today is a busy day for me. I am caring for two babies and a semi-disabled husband, making last minute preparations for our Life Group Christmas gathering, and sneaking time here and there to make today meaningful for my journey of the season.

My Mom used to use the expression "Like a chicken with your head cut off" when we would be jumping from this task to the next and back again. Well today I feel like that chicken! I have been lead by my list and not sat down to use my head (that seems to be lost). It is these times especially when I find it absolutely necessary to put God first.

What do You want from me today, Lord? I am at Your service. Instruct me as to Your wishes and I will do my very best to please YOU. From this time on I will use this day to see my chores as opportunities to minister, and grow in being more like You. Thank You, Lord, for today and the babies, my husband and my to-do list, even if it never gets finished! Turn my eyes to You, Father, because You are my help!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Last night I watched a program I had recorded from the History Channel. It was titled The Real Story of Christmas or something close to that. Unfortunately the real story of Christmas was discussed for only about one minute, with the rest of the history of Christmas being filled with Santa stories, origins of our Christmas tree, and other traditions. I learned some things I did not know, but though not surprised, I was again disappointed that God with us was of so little importance to the makers of this show.

One of the interesting, yet disturbing, elements of the show involved the influence of a few men in changing the focus of our celebration from Christs birth to a family holiday that is merchandised more than enjoyed.

I am not anti-Santa. I allow him to be in our family celebrations with limits. He is not the central figure, nor is his actions allowed to over shadow the act of love God showed when delivering His Son to our world for our defense against sin. Santa is a believer in Christ in my home, and his good deeds are his worship to God for his own salvation.

I am also not against times of celebrations with family. Anytime is a good time for me to enjoy my family and celebrate Gods' goodness.

My decorated Christmas tree gives me much pleasure. I love the lights and the ornaments that hold wonderful memories of blessings from God.

The difference between my Christmas and the worlds Christmas is Jesus. Christmas comes to me whenever God reveals Himself in a new way. Just as He showed us His love, mercy and grace through Jesus, beginning on that First Noel, He comes to me. I am a simple vessel just like the manger. I am a place for him to be revealed to the world. It is through my good works that Jesus can be high and lifted up.

God of Glory, You once came as a helpless infant and lived a life never grasping for the glory that is rightfully Yours. It is even now, when men, and even I, have pushed Your amazing truth into the back ground, that You humbly make Yourself known as God with us. Forgive me for forgetting You when the world crowds into my thoughts. Thank You for being patient as You wait for me to visit Your humble abode. Shine Your light so that I might see the place Your glory dwells. I humbly bow to You!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He is the Promise

Every parent knows the excitement and wonder of the possibility that is wrapped up in the little baby they hold in their arms. They dream of great things their child will do to influence the world. Their coos and goos are imagined to be the next singing sensation. Their dexterity is interpreted as athletic ability worthy of a gold medal. Parents hold in their arms and their hearts, high hopes and dreams for the tiny gift given to them from God. It takes years to unwrap the gift.

God the Father had high hopes and dreams for His Son, too. He knew from the beginning what Jesus would do. He knew how He would change the world. I wonder if when the angels sang "Glory to God" over the stable if God, the Father, wept knowing what His Son would suffer. If I knew what my children would have to suffer along life's' way, I would weep. I have been spared the knowledge of future pains, but God gave His Son knowing He was given to save the world from sins destruction by suffering horribly under cruel men. God spared us the pain and gave us hope, dreams, and possibilities.

I hold my grandchildren and dream good and wonderful days for them. The best of those days is the day they receive the Promised Son of God. Jesus is our promise. Jesus is Gods' "Yes!" to our dreams and hopes!

Rest, little ones, He promises to care for you because He is love and Love has sent His promised Son. He is your gift every day, not just at Christmas.

Loving Father, You have given the greatest gift of hope and possibility to us who will receive. I want that for my children and grandchildren and for myself! We do not deserve this gift. Because You love I will take it! Thank You for Your promise. Thank You for Jesus!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Expecting a Pregnant Christmas

I love being pregnant! I loved being full with my children as I carried them in my womb. I also love meaningful and significant times of my life when I am full of the expectation of something new. To be pregnant, it takes a seed, the seed of a man placed inside a woman, or the seed of God placed inside our hearts.

Jesus spoke of His word as a seed, and told a story to illustrate the importance of the soil. It makes perfect sense to me that I must prepare the soil of my heart for the seed God wants to plant there. Again, it begins with expectation and the anticipation of the seed.

The first Christmas was Gods' planting of a seed into the world. Jesus was the seed that was buried and yet rose again producing many seeds and filling the earth. I am one of many seeds. It is my calling to die to myself and be planted in Gods' perfect garden for me so that I might grow and produce more seeds for His kingdom. It is time to be filled with God. It is time to be pregnant with the real meaning of Christmas.

Dearest Lord Jesus, You came to earth as a tiny baby. You rested in Mary's womb and let her mother You. I want to be filled with Your Spirit! I want to allow You to birth good works in me, works that will point others to You and become the seeds that will grow Your kingdom here on earth! I expect Your seeds to be planted within me and in anticipation I prepare my heart with good soil. Thank You for using me to spread Your word.

Monday, November 29, 2010


What do you expect from your Christmas holiday? Every year I wait in expectation of a new revelation of Christ. I want to know Him in a new way. My theme often takes me on a journey to see Christ in a new way. I expect my searching to bring me to a treasure, and He never disappoints.

What did Mary expect when the angel Gabriel appeared to her? Her expectations came from God's message to her. She expected that His word would be fulfilled as promised. God had promised a Savior to come to His people, Israel. He promised it would come to a virgin. Did Mary expect that promise to be made full in her? We don't really know.

We do not know her thoughts before the encounter, but we know she was ready to say "Yes" to God. She was prepared to give herself. I think she expected God to use her. It may have been her lot to be used in a small way, but instead God asked her to be used as the mother of His only Son! I believe she expected God to be with her either way. And He was.

I search my heart wondering if I expect God to use me? Will I expect those little things to which He calls me to be a fulfillment of His plan for me and the world? I confess I sometimes don't expect Him to use me. It is in the expecting that I keep my eyes on Him, ready to see His vision, hear His voice. In the expecting I become pregnant with His work and bring forth the fruit He has meant for me to birth. I must expect Him in my life if I am to be ready to say "Yes!"

Father of Promise, God of expectations fulfilled, You are my expectation. I expect You to reveal Yourself to me and use me. When I forget to expect You to be present in my day, turn my thoughts to You. I give You thanks for for Your wisdom in how to use a frail and faulty vessel such as me. Use me as You see fit. I am expecting You today!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1st Sunday of Advent

It is time to prepare for the celebration of Christmas. In the tradition of the church, Advent is the time four weeks prior to Christmas. It is the time of reflecting on His coming as an infant to save us from our sins, rest in His presence now, and preparing for His return as King and judge of the earth. I love preparing my heart and renewing my mind in Christ for the celebration of Christmas. Will you join me as I blog each day my thoughts, questions and meditations?

Each year I choose a theme for my Christmas meditations. This year my theme is "God with us." My theme is my focus in my every day devotions and in my preparations of giving and planning the seasons gatherings of friends and family. I find choosing a theme helps me to make Christmas real. It draws me deeper into Gods' truth.

I love Christmas! I love the lights, decorations, songs, giving, and all the rest! I love it most because, for me it is all about Jesus coming to fix all that is wrong in me and the world! He promises that evil will someday be wiped out, and I trust His word. His promise will be made true.

Christmas is promise. God promised a Savior and Jesus arrived as a little baby. He lived among us and revealed the love of God to us. Jesus promises that He will be with us always. He lives with us every day in our hearts. He also promises to come again. The question is, am I ready? Will I give up all I hold dear in this life to meet Him in the air? My promise is that this Advent season I will make preparations in my heart, soul and life to give Him all I have when He comes.

Emanuel, You are the God of promise! You are faithful to fulfill Your word. You deserve my promise and my faithfulness, but I cannot do it without You! Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit who dwells within me! It is only because of You that I have hope to celebrate this Christmas growing deeper in You, and eternity forever giving You praise! I am Yours, Lord.

Friday, November 26, 2010


There may have been some misunderstanding about my earlier blog. I am in no way against going shopping and getting the deals offered on Black Friday or any other day. I am not making a judgement over all the shoppers. I was making an observation of what I saw on tv last night. I was not judging them to be unchristian.

I am sorry if I mislead anyone to think that I was passing a blanket judgement on all participants of the day. These are simply my thoughts and opinions. I do not and will not claim to be right all of the time, nor do I think everyone needs to agree with me.

Thank you for understanding and reading even when you might not agree.

From Thanks to Gimmies?

Black Friday. Even the name sounds depressing. Yes, I know it is meant to pull the retailers out of the red and into the black, but it still does not sound like a joyous event. Watching those who participate confirms that the Giving of Thanks has passed and a time of Gimmes has arrived!

Last night the news reported that there were even some people who decided to forgo the "Thanks" and jump into the "Gimme this for Christmas" plan. I like a good deal just as we all do. It is hard to resist even when our pockets are squeezed. The stores draw us in hoping we will do some impulsive spending, picking up a few extra bargains. I have been known to be a sucker for that, so I stay away from this impulsive shoppers credit black hole. It is more than the grabbers at my checkbook that keeps me away though. I desire more from my holiday experience.

I do not want my Thanksgiving to be all about food, neither do I want my Christmas to be all about what I want or even what I can give. I want my mind to be aware continually that my Heavenly Father has given me all I need and even most everything I want! He gave me His Son. My holidays are to be a blessing to Him.

This reminds me of what I heard a preacher say as I listened in the car yesterday. He basically said that we cannot bless God without Him first blessing us! What a wonderful thought. When we go to God, asking for His blessing, our prayer includes that we will give Him the praise if what we want is given! We need Him to give to us so we can have what we need to give back to Him the praise. I guess it all starts and ends with Him, as it should!

Giving God, You are the one who blesses our every day. You give good gifts to us Your children, and we can only give You back what You have first given us. It is because of this that I know my holidays and every day should be my gift back to You. Thank You for all You do for me. Thank You for being with me always! Help me lead others back to You through my gifts and my celebrations! You deserve it all!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


How long is your list? My list of things for which I am thankful is very long! I am a blessed woman. When I take time to reflect on all that is good in my life, I realize that God has poured out a flood of goodness over me. I am thankful!

My gratitude extends from the simple act of breathing and experiencing this marvelous world through my senses, to the enormous gift of salvation through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

What more can I say but Thanks, Father God, for all that YOU have given me through Your generous heart. You are good and Your goodness fills my life! You are my only hope and my heart longs for You! I know that there are times when I do not see Your blessing and fail to thank you. I am glad to have a day of Thanksgiving for remembering all those ordinary days with everyday blessings that You have bestowed on me. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You. My heart is open to receive all You have for me. Let my hands be willing to reach out to others ready to give what I have received! I want to be like my son-in-law has said: Happy in thanks and giving! (Thanks Cliff.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day for us in the U.S.A. It is meant to be a day of gratitude for all our blessings. Sadly, I think it has become a day of stuffing ourselves in a festive way to begin the Christmas rush. I've already heard friends and family, even my own thoughts, wish the day were over and their Christmas to-do list completed. If we would pause for a moment and take the time to really look back over the past year and see the blessings we have enjoyed from a new perspective, could we enjoy celebrating with patience ?

Patience is not always a happy word. We want others to be patient for us, but seldom think about when others have to wait for us. We want patience, or so we say, but we do not want to wait for it! I think Christmas is a very impatient time of year. The anticipation of all its promises makes the waiting hard.

In the Catholic church where I grew up, we took time to celebrate Advent, the four weeks before Christmas. I like Advent because it causes me to slow down. I take time to empathize with those who waited so very long for our Savior, Jesus Christ, to be born. I consider our wait for Him to return in glory. Advent helps to fill me with patience for Christmas.

This year Advent begins on November 28. Until then, I will take a moment to pause and give thanks to my Father in Heaven for the richness of His grace and abundance of blessings. I will remember all the family and friends who have shown me love and forgiveness throughout the year. I will not jump into the busy rush that the world demands. I will be patient. I will consider Gods' patience with me.

Father God, You are the Master of the fullness of time! You have set the sun, moon and stars in place and march them across the sky to help us mark time and seasons. You set the pace, and yet, I try to rush through to the future. Forgive me for not enjoying Your plan. Forgive my impatience. I don't want to wait for Your best, sometimes. Thank You for all my blessings! You have given me much to be grateful. My list is long and I need time and patience to wait on You and tell You how wonderful You are to me! Fill me with Your Spirit of patience as I enter this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make my every day a day of gratitude and the spirit of unconditional love. Hold my time in Your hands forever!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I had every intention of blogging when I got home last night from the hospital (Patricks' surgery), but I was very tired. Though I did send out some emails and posted Patricks' news on FB, I quickly decided that I'd wait to blog.

Surgery is a blessing for which I am thankful! Surgery is needed when a decision is made that we can no longer live with things as they are. This includes the emotional and spiritual surgeries that we undergo throughout our lives. Cutting ourselves off from activities or people that prove to be detrimental to us is a surgical exercise we do under the supervision of our God, the Supreme Surgeon!

I am grateful for Patricks' surgical team. They studied many years and have done everything humanly possible to extend Patricks' healthy and active lifestyle. In the same way, I am filled with gratitude to God, my surgeon, who cares for me when I need soul surgery. He prepares me and then with my consent, removes the offending action or bond with the wrong sort of person, and then surrounds me with rehabilitating chances to change. It is all for my good. It is the only way, sometimes, that I can move on to a healthier and more productive life in Christ.

Supreme Surgeon, Healer of all my diseases and Savior of my soul, You are to be praised! I give my praise and thanksgiving to You alone for the times of successful surgeries in my life! I need Your forgiveness for the times in my life when I choose not to let You help me and refuse the surgery needed. Please continue to open my eyes and hound me with Your truth that brings me to my knees. It is there where I will submit my will into Your loving hands and allow Your two edged sword pierce my soul and separate the good from the bad. I am hear today to listen.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Aging Gracefully

My Mom is moving! She has decided that her house and yard, though small, are too much for her to handle. She is moving into an independent living center. We were informed this week. She already has her key and will begin the move as soon as possible!

This was a big surprise for all of the family only because even at the age of 80, Mom is already very independent. She has a job with AARP, volunteers at her church, and bowls regularly. She has, until recently, been determined to stay in her home. Her decision has brought out another round of discussions with the family concerning Mom and what should happen as she ages. The discussion is good, not only for Mom right now, but for me to look ahead into my aging experience.

Aging is not an easy process. Never is! It is especially difficult when it becomes apparent that we will continually lose more than we receive as we age.

We will all face these same issues, and we all will react differently. Some may fight to the bitter end to hold on to things accumulated throughout our life. Some may jump at the chance to get rid of it all and step into the simple life. It may be unfair of us to think that everyone will think or feel the same way.

People have long wanted to put a cookie cutter stamp on each stage of our lives. Those who resist make us smile with their out-of-the-box determination to live fully on their terms, or cringe at their battle against the status quo.

The important thing to me in all this is that my Mom has decided for herself. She has chosen the security of the independent living center, along with and the freedom to come and go as she pleases. She knows her limitations. I am happy for her, and I love her courage to make this decision. She gives me hope that I will be strong in my later years to make the decisions that keep me living abundantly, and release my family from burdens of my making. I want to have the strength and fortitude to release my life accumulations a little at a time and let only love and memories remain.

Ancient of Days, You are the author of life. You have a plan for each of us. It is Your desire that we live fully in Your plan making the most of each day given to us. We, Your creation, find it difficult growing old. We fight it until we can fight no more. I am sorry that I would rather fight than live in peace with myself and You. Thank You for my Mom whose courage and wisdom are examples for me. Thank You for leading her. I rejoice with her and ask You to bless her with peace and contentment. I want her to know You are with her all her days! Thank You, God our Father!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Our church is participating in the Operation Christmas Child of Samaritans' Purse. We are filling shoe boxes with small gifts for the children who are needy and will not have much for Christmas. Patrick and I are excited to give what we can. It is fun to imagine what a child might enjoy when they have so little.

Shopping for our shoe boxes has given me an appreciation for all we enjoy. Walking through the stores I was again amazed at the abundance that surrounds us. Huge stores with shelves piled high are not the exception. We have many stores to browse for our many items with various styles, colors, sizes, etc. Sometimes it really is too much. I have found myself standing before the shelves of some product and find it difficult to choose the item I want. Too many choices makes the choice difficult.

Are we losing something by having so much? Are our hearts hardened to gratitude when our every need is met with an array of choices?

As Thanksgiving approaches I want to remember those little children who delight in a shoebox of little gifts. When we need to tighten our belts this Christmas because of the economy this year, I want to remember that even in our meager gifts, we have so much more than we really need. Every day we should give thanks to God for the riches He has generously given us.

Generous God, You supply me with every need. In fact You provide me over and above what most of the world has. I have often forgotten Your blessings. I have not always appreciated Your abundance in my life. Forgive me! Thank You for opening my eyes to truth through the ministry of the shoe boxes. Soften my heart to give and to be grateful. Make me like You!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yo-Yos and Roller Coasters

Weighing myself is often an up and down experience. I don't weigh myself every day, but I still am surprised when I step on the scale to find it lower or higher than I expect! It is not only the scale that swings like a pendulum. My eating and exercise join in and are the reason for the unexpected yo-yo or roller coaster ride.

I know I am not alone in my struggle with weight. I look around and can see others who either are fighting or have given up the fight. I am not proud of my lack of discipline. I am not happy with how I look or the number on the scale, even when it is lower than I thought it would be. Because of my discontent, I try very hard to control my cravings and to get my body moving. The sad part is that I am not perfect, and I have not reached the place where those changes have become my lifestyle.

Every day I enjoy small victories, and mourn my defeats. I keep trying, even if the goal seems so far away. I always can count on God to push me, comfort me, and love me right where I am.

The Christmas season looms ahead with all its activity and delightful tastes. My goal for this holiday season is to stay in balance. If I get off balance I will try again. I will remember that Christmas is not about the food or about the fun. It is about Jesus. I think He wants us to celebrate, so I will. He also wants me to let Him be the LORD of my life, so I will, even in this struggle.

God of the harvest, You have created our senses and the things that delight them! We celebrate with memorable tastes, home-spun aromas, beautiful sights, and sounds that fill our souls with joy. But we sometimes over do or allow these delights to push You away. Forgive us, Lord. Thank You for sending Jesus so that we can celebrate the Good News of Your salvation! You are our reason to rejoice every day! Help us all to live in balance and in glory to You! Help us to enjoy the Seasons of our lives fully with You at the center!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Living Will

With all that has been happening with my Mother-in-law, we have had the experience of reviewing her living will. It is a simple document that expresses her wishes about life support should she need it. It has me thinking about what I would want my family to do on my behalf.

Talking it over with some of my children and their spouses evoked some strong emotion and maybe even some misunderstanding. If my will does not conform to theirs, someone must be wrong. I think that I should own my will and they can own theirs. The only place I see it crossing is if the situation itself is a grey area that could go either way and others, not myself, would need to make the decision.

My definition of Living Will is a persons' decision about how they want to die when death seems near. The fine line between euthanasia and a persons right to refuse care cloud this issue with heavy dark thunderous storms. While we walk in the land of the living, giving little thought to the process of dying, none of us would say we want to be trapped in a body that can do nothing, causing pain for our loved ones, and entombing them in financial and emotional burdens. We all want to live strong and we may, on this side of the walk, set our will to stopping life that would be lived in that state. The problem I see in this mind set is that the person responsible for making the final decision must agree to terminate your life and conscious mind. It would be different, however, if there was not brain activity to indicate the presence of the person lying in limbo.

Complicated? Very! Not every situation can be covered in detail by a document and even so there may not be time to review the paperwork before a decision must be made. Thus we have devised a simple basic statement that still leaves the family members to decide what should really be done and what the final wishes were.

Christians believe that a heavenly home awaits us through Jesus Christ. We have nothing to fear of death. In fact, it sounds faith filled to tell our family to just let us go and be with God in heaven. Is it? Is it faith to choose for ourselves when we meet our Lord face to face? Isn't faith trusting in God not ourselves?

When I have thought about a Living Will, I always hear Jesus cry out to the Father, "Not my will, but Yours be done!" As a follower of Christ should not my will be Gods' will? Should I not let God decide my fate? I am not saying that we do not need to direct the outlandish efforts made by good minded people who sincerely hope for the reversal of the death process. I am saying that we can let our wishes be known, making sure they do not cross over the line of playing God for ourselves, and then trust God for the grace we need to fulfill our life as He has determined.

God, Giver of life, You have numbered our days. You have chosen the way for us just as You did for Jesus. My mind cries out to understand. I would like to be sure and yet with our new technologies we are forced to make decisions meant only for You. Thank You for letting us see Jesus' struggle in the garden. It make our struggles real and gives us a model to follow. Let Your will be done! Let us love the life You give even though it may not be perfect. Let Your will be done!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nothing New

Ecclesiastes 1:9 states: "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." (ESV)

This topic is very difficult to write about. My mind wanders to the news stories of children kidnapped and forced to do unspeakable acts for the pleasure of those bigger than them. I am reminded of the anger displayed by those who use weapons to speak for them, even against the innocent. I think about the perversions we have embraced as a society by our silence or tolerance. All of these things and more are weighing on my heart today. But there is nothing new in any of it. We may think it is new because we have made sure it was hidden in the darkness for a long time, but it was there waiting to be set free by popular demand.

My thoughts all began when I started thinking of Christmas. In that silent night long ago we would like to think that the evil resided only in the King Herods and Roman soldiers of that time. I've learned from history that much of what we see in the news today was also rampant in the time of Jesus. That is why He came! That is why He still offers Himself as Savior to everyone.

My friends and family who follow Christ agree with me that the world seems to be more evil. Maybe we are wrong. Maybe the evil has been there all along and we were strong enough to keep it in the dark. Maybe we have been too lax in our spiritual warfare. We have closed our eyes and refused to see the enemy working to bring down the walls that kept them bound.

God, Our Father, Righteous Judge, Forgive us for not standing firm against the enemy! We have allowed him a foot hold in our nation and we seem powerless to rein him in. Thank You for providing us with the weapons that fight against the powers and principalities effectively. Thank You for prayer. As the world seems to be filled with evil let Your people rise up, stand firm and never give up our territory, our souls. Keep revealing Your truth so that we will not be deceived. We need You now, Lord!

Friday, November 12, 2010

No Excuses

My husband, Patrick is a middle school teacher. We have many discussions about the young people in his classes that choose not to learn. They are capable, even if it is difficult, but they choose not to put forth the effort. They "tune out," not listening to the lesson. They push aside the work before trying to think it through. It is frustrating for teachers and very sad for the students.

One of the things we often hear, not only with students in school, but also with Christians making excuses about not reading their bible, is "I can't understand it." It may be true. It is hard to understand new concepts at the beginning, but it need not stay that way. When we make excuses, we essentially begin the fulfillment of our own prophecy of being ignorant. Excuses prevent us from using the tools given to us. I heard a quote today that tells it plainly. "Losers make excuses, Winners find a way." (Author unknown)

If you have ears, hear. If you have eyes, see. Jesus told us to hear and see so that we would know. He could have easily have gone on to say, "If you have a brain, think!" Even those who cannot see, hear, or who have suffered the loss of some basic abilities most of us enjoy, have proved that we can learn. We can know.

Knowledge of our world or our God comes to us if we are teachable. The way has been provided. We must not let excuses block our path to knowledge.

What are your excuses? Are you willing to be teachable? If you have ears or eyes, Jesus says to hear and see!

Dearest Lord Jesus, You are the greatest of all teachers! You made the Good News known to us through parables wanting us to hear and see just a little deeper. I can find many excuses not to learn. I know that hurts You. You want me to know all that I can. I am sorry. Thank You for teaching me to hear and see Your word and Your world fully. Take me deeper into You so that I might know the truth. Break my excuses and help me find a way!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Happy Veterans Day to all our men and women who have served and are now serving our country. I am humbled with gratitude for their daily protection of our rights and freedoms. They and their families have offered sacrifices both big and small.

Leslie Wayne Williams was my boyfriend in high school. He joined the Marines and was sent to Viet Nam. He was one of our great service men who gave his life in the service of our country in 1969. His family gave their only son, and brother. They are all remembered today with a grateful and saddened heart.

Without our soldiers we would be at the mercy of evil men who would strip us of our God-given rights and freedoms. Without our soldiers we would lose more than we can possibly imagine. We need our soldiers.

In the same way we need to be soldiers against our spiritual enemy. Those who are disciples of Christ have been enlisted into an army of soldiers ready to do spiritual battle. We are commanded to take up our armor and use it wisely for our own protection and the protection of others.

*We must be honest with God,
*Apply to our lives what we know is true from Gods' word,
*Understand the Good News of the gospel,
*Hold up our faith having total trust in God; who He is and His plan for us,
*Being sure that we are freed from the bondages of sin,
*Know what is written in Gods' word.
With all of this, and in His authority we can stand firm against our enemy who is tough, but already defeated.

I give thanks for those veterans who have fought for our country. I also give thanks for those brothers and sisters in Christ who have taken up their postions beside me to help me fight the enemy through prayer. The battle rages. We need good soldiers. Chrisitans, we need you!

God the Almighty, You are Commander in Chief. Our orders have been given to put on our armor and fight the good fight. I am ashamed to say that I have not always been willing to fight. I have let down my guard at times and felt the fiery darts of the enemy. I would like to think that I do not need to fight this enemy, but I must. Thank You for giving me a vivid picture in our countrys' veterans who would prefer not to fight an enemy but obey their authority for the good of all. Thank You for supplying me with all I need, including a victory already won! Thank You for teaching me that, "We do not fight 'for' victory we fight 'from' victory"* Jesus, I give You thanks today for our many veterans of both the U.S.A. and Your spiritual army.

*This quote and much of the insight in this blog is from Chip Ingrams' study: The Invisible War. This blog shares my notes and my understanding of what Chip taught. Ephesians 6 is the basis of his study.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On the Brink

Picture this: You are standing on the edge of a cliff. The drop is far below your next step. You look out at the beautiful sky and the amazing landscape. You stand there quite still in apprehension of the possibility of falling over the edge. In fact you know that there is no going backwards. You can only step out and fly or fall. You are not in control, but you believe that the faith you carry with you will get you through.

I feel that way today. Today demands a step of faith. In truth every day demands it! I know that I cannot control the direction of my next step. I can only hold fast to my lifeline, my parachute, my kite, whatever God has prepared for my next journey. He is faithful. I can trust Him.

If my step begins a fall into a trial, I am sure My God is with me all the way and He will pull the rip cord at the right time for a safe landing. If my step is a leap of faith that finds wings to carry me upwards and on to an amazing journey, My God will be the "wind beneath my wings!" My part? "Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not unto my own understanding. In all my ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my paths!" (Prov. 3:5-6)

There is amazing joy and a sense of being loved deeply when I rely on Him and His faithfulness. Today as I stand on the brink of something new, I can praise Him before my first step is made!

O, God of power and might! You are Faithful and true. You are just and righteous! You are the God in whom I trust! As I stand on the brink of my step of faith for today, I am apprehensive, not fearing that You will fail me, but that I might stand too long, or might falter in believing in Your goodness. Thank You for whispering encouragement, and declaring Your ever lasting love for me. Your word is my strength and shield. You are with me and I thank You for Your nearness. Lead me to You and Your heart! I love You, Lord!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Do you want to know a secret? I will tell you if you promise to not tell anyone else!

Nobody is perfect!

The funny thing is that not many of us are eager to let anyone else know this secret that really isn't a secret! We go to church, work, or even family gatherings and pretend. We put on a mask of being better than we really are. I know, for me, my mask includes not sharing my honest self with others at times. I withhold my opinions and my ideas, for fear that I might be rejected or thought strange. Since everyone else is doing the same thing it really isn't a secret, it is just a poor disguise of a secret.

People are very good at pretending that we are not afraid of what others think. We are very willing to say what we think others think we should say, or act as if we agree with others when we really don't.

What would the world be like if we let the secret out about ourselves? Would we feel free, or would we feel afraid of the quizzical looks and misunderstandings that would follow? I've tried it and I feel both. I feel free that I am being my real self, but when others stay hidden behind their masks I feel vulnerable and afraid. Sometimes I worry, that if people saw me for what I really am, they would not like what they see. It makes me want to hide again and it takes a bit of prodding to come out from behind my mask again.

I guess God really is the only Truth. He tells us outright that all have sinned and come up short. He not only reveals Himself in scripture but He reveals our true selves also. We must unmask ourselves before Him alone. Until we do there is no good that can come from revealing our secrets before men.

Holy Father, You see all things. The darkness is not a place where I can hide from You. It is only a place where my fears and insecurities breed. You are the God of Truth and Light! You do not hide Yourself from those who seek You. I need to come to You often during my day letting Your truth and light shine on me. I need You to reveal my secrets so that I may never be afraid to let my secrets be known to the world. Thank You for fixing Your all-seeing eye on me. Thank You for opening my eyes to know You. Take my mask. It is useless before You.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Breathing in the New

Life begins with a birth process and ends with an eternal birth process. Both are a death to a previous life and an entrance into a new existence! Both involve a struggle to break free from the bounds that hold us back from the next step in the process of giving God Glory.

There are times when the birth process into eternity comes way too soon. Some find the process quick and others find the process a long and tedious labor. Those who watch and wait may find the process an emotionally draining event. There is a mixture of joy, wonder, fear, sadness and heartache. There may be a deepening of faith or a new found faith in walking through these shadows.

Our natural birth is marked by the taking of a breath. Our birth into the eternal is marked with the expiration of this worlds' breath and the breathing in of a new. Christ followers believe that the new breath will be forever. It is a breath of the Spirit of God. We leave the womb of this world and enter the heart of God. His presence is our breath! His heart is our heavenly home. His life is our life.

Father and Eternal God, You have birthed a new spirit in us who receive Your Son, Jesus, as our Lord. You lead us along the way to our birth into eternal life with You. Please forgive us, Lord, for not seeing beyond this world into the true life that You give us. Thank You for each birth into this world, the birth of their spirit when they receive You, and the birth of Your children into their Heavenly place within Your heart. I pray today, for my Mother-in-law who may be struggling towards that beautiful place. If You would choose, I ask that she have just a bit more time here to enjoy the family who has lived so far away for so many years. If You have other plans, Lord, we will be glad in You and in the breath of life You give her. I trust You. Thank You, Lord for life!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Every day is filled with news. We follow the news of family, friends, local and even world news. Some news is good. It often surprises us. Some news is bad and it, too, can surprise us even if we are prepared for the worst.

This evening, Patrick and I will be traveling to Ft. Meyers to visit family. We had planned to go later this month, but news of his Mom being in the hospital made a change in our plans. We are preparing ourselves for the news of what is causing Mom's symptoms, praying for the best and hoping that the signs we are seeing are not what they seem to be.

News of what might be or what actually is, brings me to my knees. Messages of tribulation happening in the lives of our loved ones or even in our own lives are a call from our Heavenly Father to come and receive strength, hope and comfort. In fact He sent a special messenger to bring Good News to all the world! Jesus held in His nail scarred hands the strength, hope and comfort we need for our every day news.

What news is confronting you today? Have you heard the good news? Do you know the one who brings good news? Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him alone? If you know that He paid the price for every failure you have made, then you can live with Him forever in heaven!

We all have failed to live a perfect life. The good news is that God entered our world to live the perfect life for us. The good news is that we have been offered a free gift. God, the Son, took our place and our punishment. It is good news that we only need to believe and receive. Good news indeed!

Does this kind of news change your life plan? It should! It should bring a debt of love and gratitude to the One who made this news possible. Our lives can change when we hear and believe the GOOD news!

Lord and Savior, you are the source of all Good news! You even can make bad news work for our good. You deserve our trust and faith because You have done great things for us. Thank You for changing my life with the Good news. Thank You for changing the lives of my loved ones too. Thanks for letting me be a part of spreading the good news to others. Today i pray that You will be our good news when we see Patrick's mom! We trust You!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Today I am writing my 500th blog! It seems almost impossible. I still feel like a novice in the blogging world. 500 blogs is a milestone that I want to celebrate!

I have achieved some milestones in my life that were worth celebrating. Graduating from college, becoming a published author, and mothering four children into adulthood are some of the big ones. There are little milestones, too, such as finishing a cleaning project, organizing my closet, creating a craft project that makes a wonderful gift.

When I began this blog, a picture of the woman in scripture who found her lost coin after cleaning and searching her house popped into my head. It may have seemed a small feat to most of us, but to her it was momentous and worthy of celebration. Well, my 500th blog is maybe small to my readers, but to me it is a big deal.

Why is it so important to me that I've blogged 500 times? It is important because in the steps it took to get here I had to find persistence, commitment, purpose, and sometimes courage to go forward. I also recognize that in doing this blog, God has been with me whispering in my ear and revealing Himself to me. This blog is a gift to me, and I hope it is to my readers and to those who happen upon my ramblings.

My Lord and My God, You are the giver of good gifts. I am honored, humbled and blessed to be chosen by You to write Your message to the blogger world. I am among many that You have called, Lord, and I know that without You my work is futile. Thank You for calling and equipping me to do your will. Thank You for using me. If You choose I would like very much to continue for another 500 and beyond blogging messages. May they be from Your heart through mine.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One Vote

Yesterday I cast one vote out of millions. On the surface my one vote should not matter much.

Like a drop of water in a bucket sloshing around with many other drops, my vote seems to disappear. But what would the country look like if I chose to not cast my ballot, or did not share my views with neighbors and friends? I am not saying I am always right in my choices. I, too, fall prey to the ads or the voices of others'. I am saying that in our country the speaking out with our vote is more than saying we like this person to be our leader. We cast a ballot in union with others of like minds so that our collective voices might make a difference in the direction our country heads.

My one vote joins me to fellow citizens. My one vote makes me part of the living and breathing body of government. We are a government of the people by the people and for the people. My one vote is a privilege of my position as one of the people.

In the body of Christ, I only get the vote of joining. Even that vote was purchased by Jesus. My one vote for Jesus Christ as my Savior has admitted me into His body. My one vote does not change Gods' direction for the body but changes my direction to follow Him! With my one vote I have a privileged position as God's child.

Did you vote yesterday? Have you cast your vote to be saved? I pray you did and you have. One vote can make a difference!

Sovereign and Saving Lord, You have my vote to govern my life! Thank you for offering me the choice to be one of your children. Thank You for allowing me to live in the U.S.A. where my one vote counts. Help me to choose wise and virtuous leaders who look to You for vision and guidance! You are LORD!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


We have all seen the amazing domino constructions where, after hours of work, one little push makes everything tumble! I felt that way yesterday.

After working on the bathroom floor for two days, I placed the final peel and stick vinyl tile into place. My knees hurt from the hard floor and my back hurt from the bending. I was ready to finish up and clean up. We had a new toilet seat to replace the old one, and so we tackled that, thinking it would be a simple task. Unfortunately the rusted bolts burst our balloon of tired frustration and a hard tap of the hammer not only loosened the bolt but broke the toilet.

Renovation Realities! If something can go wrong it will! We bought the new toilet, but the installation stalled with wrong materials. So we wait and share one bathroom with six people for one more day....we hope!

The day did not end with only the renovation problems. A call from Patrick's sister informed us that his Mom is in the hospital for tests. The dominoes continue to fall all the way into the weekend. We will be going to see Mom in South Florida two weeks earlier than planned. More plans need to be changed.

Plans are changed everyday. Many are simple adjustments, but there are days when our plans fall like dominoes. It is hard to keep a good attitude in those times. I think it helps to remember that we might make our plans but God will direct where our steps will lead. (see Proverbs 16:9) Our plans my be laid out perfectly and yet, in Gods' sovereign way, He can help us grow in character and more like Christ through the plans we so carefully made falling over like dominoes. We may plan a bathroom renovation. He plans an exercise in patience and humility. We may plan a weekend of many activities. He may plan a memorable visit and time with those we love.

What are your plans for today? Are you willing to let the Lord lead you through those plans, even if it means a misstep in your estimation? The Lord is good and His ways are perfect. Look for the lesson to be learned and smile at His teaching method!

Rabboni, You are my favorite teacher, even when the lessons are hard. You are wise and good and I know You teach truth in all things. I don't always find myself being a model student. My spirit is sometimes unteachable. Please forgive me! Thank You for always being ready to lead and guide me through my plans. I want You to establish my steps in truth and on the solid foundation of Your word. Make me a teachable student!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I cannot count how many times in my day I intercede for someone. It isn't always in prayer, though most of the time it is. A few words can turn a squabble between my Grandladies into a laughing spree or just a quiet acceptance. A few words in prayer can calm the fears of a friend, opening the door for her to receive peace in the middle of her storm. Just a few words, and a caring heart makes one an intercessor.

The heart of an intercessor is never closed to the hurt of others. They see, hear, and feel what others are going through. A prayer warrior has no power of their own. They receive the direction of the prayer from the parties concerned. They go between as a communicator with no power to change the situation for others.

A few days ago I received an email from Master Media Ministries. They minister to the top executives in the media and ask people to pray for two people by name each day. I am happy they are sending out their names via email now. I do not need to refer to a printed sheet lined with three months of names for which to pray. When I got the email this last week, I felt a tug on my heart for all my family members. Some are going through a tough time. Others have no clue as to why they need Jesus in their lives. Still others are very opposed to the ways of Christ. My family needs an intercessor.

The idea was born. I would make a calendar of family names. Praying specifically for two members of the family every day. I asked my sister if she would like to join me, and she responded with enthusiasm. The list of names is complete. The calendar is being made today. My hopes are to see Gods' hand move and the hearts of my family to be moved also!

Do we have a few words to spare? Do we care for someone enough to use those words on their behalf? Do we care enough for God, our Father, to speak out His love to those at odds with Him? It really only takes a few words spoken in love.

Father, You gave us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf. You have given us Your Word so that we might be reconciled to You. You anoint us with a call to pray and intercede for others. I don't want anyone to fall through the cracks because no one cared to pray. I am sorry to say that I have avoided prayer for some people who I thought would not want prayers. Forgive me! Maybe they don't want prayer, Lord, but You do. Thank You for calling me to prayer. Thank You for the honor of speaking to You on behalf of others. Thank You for the privilege of speaking to others in Your behalf! Open my ears to hear Your words for them. Open my eyes to see them as You see them. Open my heart to care enough to be faithful in prayer.