Friday, January 29, 2010

Youthful Contentment

This week, our family have had a few firsts. Especially with Allie. Nothing dramatic, nothing major, well, yeah I guess the first one is major in all our lives. Tomorrow, I am going to take Allie to get her temporary license to drive! Uh, maybe it will snow and I can postpone this? No? Well this is a right of passage, isn't it? The other first is one that both Allie and Timm are interested and dreaming of. Allie brought home from school a packet for a class ring. Did you get a class ring? I did. It cost me $186. I remember that because I wanted a gold one and my parents would only pay half of it. I had to come up with the other half. Which brings me to my next question. Doesn't that mean i was older and had a job? I still have that beautiful ring. I can even still wear it. The prices are ridiculous for rings now days, but the settings, engravings and effects are pretty awesome!

The kids were dreaming, I mean, looking at the packet this morning, saying, "I am going to get this stone, and my friend and I want to have our nicknames engraved on the inside." Okay, but who really wants the nickname Stinky forever engraved on something? For clarification, that is Allie's friend's nickname, not Allie's. Her nickname is Dingy, if you didn't know. That's for another time.

So what does all this have to do with a devotion? I honestly am not sure. Maybe it's just a day to ramble for me. I keep thinking of the plans that Allie and Timm are laying out for their futures. The hopes and dreams that make us keep going when there is sadness around us. Maybe this devotion is to show that the youth still have the same dreams that we all had when we were teenagers. A lot of things have not changed in 50+ years. Kids still dream of driving, class rings, graduation, college, getting married...not all that different from when you were there.

Last weekend we saw the movie The Tooth Fairy, starring Dewayne Johnson and Julie Andrews. It told the story of the man who let reality hit him hard and wipe all his hopes and dreams away. He made sure all the people around him (especially kids) know that you can not aim high because there is always someone bigger and better to knock you down. Sad, isn't it? The moral of that story is that it doesn't matter what the other guy does, dream for yourself and be content with where you are and what you have.

Proverbs 13:25 The righteous eat to their hearts' content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

Philippians 4:11-13 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Are you keeping up with your daily Bible reading? I am trying, but I confess, I am not doing the one set forth by Michael Dawson, our Associate Minister*. I have been reading through my Bible on a two-year plan, I am at Proverbs 8. It is an interesting chapter about wisdom. It starts out on what King Solomon says about wisdom and ends as if wisdom was talking to us.

I like that wisdom is described as being with God during the creation of the earth and how it rejoices with God and delights in us. Since with God "all things are possible" (Matthew 16:26 & Mark 10:27), how can we deny that wisdom is not important? How can we say that "ignorance is bliss"? To not want to learn about things and have that knowledge to use when you need it, is like denying God. We can not help people and situations if we do not know what kind of advice to give. God gives us the choice to learn and use our brains and helps us with the words we need to give sound advice, but do we have ability to think quick enough to get out a situation or diffuse a situation. Use wisdom. It comes with time, experience and God.

Proverbs 8:10 - 12
10"Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11"For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Proverbs 7:1 - 4

My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.
2Keep my commandments and live,
And my teaching as the apple of your eye.
3Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
And call understanding your intimate friend;

Aren't these verses interesting? How do you keep an inanimate thing close to you as your sister or a friend? That was my first reaction to reading this chapter. But, my next thought was, the things you are taught by your parent or in the Bible should not be just words, they should be part of your life, just as your heart beats, your breath; it should be living through you as naturally as tasting or hearing.

I like that you should see them as special (apple of your eye) and that you should remember them (write them on the tablet of your heart). Doing God's will, the right things of every day life should not be something you think about. You should know what it is. I am talking about the common sense things. Some of us realize that others do no have that. When my dad, Allie and I were on our D.C. trip, one of the boys in our group was hyper and crazy. My dad looked at him and asked, "Do you have any common sense?" Tyler answered, "No, I admit I don't." It was funny, but it made us understand why he did what he did. My dad just shakes his head at that memory. Most people without common sense do not even realize they are without it. They need more guidance and help in sorting out the right from the wrong. That is what these verses want. Everyone to listen to their parent, teacher, or elder and keep the teachings close, remembering them until they are like an old faithful companion.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Be an Ant

Proverbs 6: 6
Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise,

Who is the busiest person you know? We all know this person. They work full-time, run their kids to practice and friends houses, go to church, are on committees, and finding time for their friends. At least we assume they are doing all this. How much of this is applies to you? Are you seemingly busy all the time? Do you keep going at a quickened pace? Do you ever slow down and do something for you? When you keep busy, do you at least keep to what needs done and not what happens to get in the way?

Where do you draw that line? I try and set priorities. I try and put God and family first, then my job. But in the process, certain things don't get done like I think they should. The house is usually a mess, or at least dusty and in need of something. I have a stack of mail that needs attention, and I seem to lack in sleep. On the other hand, I think I have a pretty good family life, I am still learning to be a Christian, and I still have a job. I think I am really busy, so when I do get a quiet moment, I take it. I spend it in prayer, or in a book, or just having quiet time for myself. Take last night for instance. After taking Timm to the chiropractor (shout out to Dr. Hakes!), I came home and began fixing supper. I changed into my jammies, did dishes, a couple of loads of laundry and then I just sat down for a couple of hours. I tried to finish a book, watch my favorite show on tv, and relax. I had no place I needed to be, so that was my relaxing. It doesn't sound like much, but it was nice.

Being busy is good, but having that quiet time or the down time is good too. I think I prefer being busy. What about you?

Today, pray for Jim Cox, Jack Wetzig and the Betty Jeffrey family.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Do You Have Talent?

Yesterday, Larry Peek kinda inspired me. During his meditation, he brought in a lot of song titles and verses to what he was saying. It is a fun way to get your point across and have people actually remember some of what you said.

Larry quoted the chorus from a song the choir is going to do, Then I Met the Master. Tracy looked at me and realized she recognized it and asked me, "Has the choir sang that yet?" I laughed and told her not yet. It is a good song that tells how the singer is no longer the same because of the change that took place when they met Jesus.

When we practiced this song in choir, it reminded me of another song I had heard. It is called The Touch of the Master's Hand. It actually a poem written by Myra Brooks Welch. The poem talks about an old, worn violin that was going up on the auction block, how the auctioneer didn't think it was worth anything until a musician played it. Then everyone wanted to buy it. Because the master had shown them what it could be like, what it was worth. People in the crowd didn't understand why the change had taken place, but the only reply they got was "The touch of the Master's Hand." Isn't that what we all want? We want God to touch us and to open other's eyes to our abilities. But in honesty, is that what it should be? I am sure people think I get up and sing to show off my talent. I don't look at it that way. I look at it that God gave me this talent and if I don't use it correctly, God will take it away. I look at it as a pleasure to sing to God and if someone else appreciates it, then what a blessing! I thank each of you who let me know you appreciate my voice. I hope to keep singing for God and entertaining you.

So I urge each of you to use your talent wisely. Whether it is teaching, singing, fixing things, listening, encouraging, do that. Find a way to praise God for your talent. It doesn't have to be a public display. A lot of my singing is not public. I always seem to have a song on my heart that I will singing in my head, or to myself in the car. Sending someone a note, or doing them a favor will be a wonderful thing.

Psalm 30:11 - 12

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jesus Has a Rocking Chair

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

I love this passage of scripture. My favorite parts of this is the verses 14 and 15. I love to think of little babies who are yet to be born and know that God has fearfully and wonderfully made them. That they are seen by God in the "secret place". God saw you before you were ready to see him.

This coming Sunday is known as Right To Life Sunday. I mourn the children that never had a chance to be able to see this world, to know earthly, loving parents, or just breathe. I sing a song about a young girl who aborts her child because she didn't have the guidance and was confused. But in the end, she knows that she can be forgiven and Jesus loves her and her unborn child. Jesus, the greatest parent a child could have. The song portrays Jesus as a loving parent, who sits in a room with all the children that have gone on to heaven and rocks them to comfort them and love them. A room, with nothing in it but a rocking chair. I can see, in my mind's eye, my picture of Jesus, holding a baby, cooing to him/her, and slowly rocking back and forth.

"Jesus has a rocking chair.
And he holds that little baby
With oh, such tender care.
He takes the place of Mom and Dad,
He's the greatest parent a child could have.
Don't worry about the children there,
Jesus has a rocking chair."

lyrics by Tony Greene

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rainy Decisions

Matthew 5:43 - 47 You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?'

Today is a gray, cold, cloudy, rainy day. These days are to be expected in Ohio, in the dead of winter. There is a whole month of winter left. The rain got me thinking about these verses. God doesn't care who we are or how we are. He loves us and he wants us to know that he loves everyone. Judgement is going to be for all of us. If you don't know the Lord, he won't know you. He won't save you if you don't accept him as your personal Savior.

Sometimes we think of ourselves as God's chosen people. We are, but, I think he actually chose everyone. We are the ones who decide whether or not to go with God. We choose God and that puts us in his family. He wants us there, he is just waiting for us to make that decision. So are we really God's chosen people? Do we really have that right to call ourselves that? Yes! We all have been hand-picked by the Lord. But it is up to us to do what needs done. So let the rain come and the wind blow, God's love and righteousness is forever.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Am Free

Easter is fast approaching! The choir is starting tonight, to practice for the Easter Cantata. The very first song is called I AM Free. It talks about how through Christ's love for us and our acceptance of all he has done for us, we are free to do anything; dance, run, even live for him. In this country people say nothing is free. Well to show your faith and to show your love is free, if you let it be.

Freedom is part of our every day lives and most of us take it for granted. We run around, during our daily living, spouting off that we love God, that we go to church and that God loves everybody. We know that we can do this freely and that most of the time, people will not bother us about it. But how about the people who feel trapped and in despair. Are we really living our lives that show we are free? That if we trust God and through him we can feel free. We can be joyful and in doing what he wants us to do, we are able to freely offer to others what God has offered to us through Jesus. The free gift of eternal life. So, are you free?

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Smile! God Loves You!

I took the day off yesterday. Actually I used a sick day. To top off an incredibly stressful week, something happened to me that had not happened in 25 years. Some of you know this, some of you don't.

In third grade, I received a new bike for my birthday. It was yellow and white and it had a plastic basket with flowers on the front. I really liked that bike. On May 28, 1977, my father's parents were in town visiting. I was showing my grandpa how I could ride my bike and how cool I was popping wheelies. I would come back to him and say, "Did you see that?" And he would tell me no, go try again. So I did.

Unfortunately, one time I didn't come back. My dad asked my sister if she saw me and she said something like, she was lying on the ground. From what we can tell, I popped a wheelie and when the came down, it bounced back up and I lost control. I flipped over the handle bars and one of the handles hit me in the side of the nose, somehow digging in and knocking out a front tooth, root and all. I also landed on my face. I was bleeding from my forehead, my nose, my chin, my mouth, and both knees. I was not a pretty sight to behold. My dad picked me up, and with help from my grandmother, they cleaned me up, all the while I kept asking them "What happened?" I still to this day do not remember the accident. My mother had left for a wedding and my grandfather, the minute he realized I was hurt, took off.

Now those of you who have been in Cincinnati for longer than 20 years know what that date sounds familar. That weekend, was the weekend of the third deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. My story is from the night before it burned. Why I remember that is because my dentist was down at the club the night I knocked my tooth out. It was actually the night before it burned. My dad called him and he did call back and told dad exactly what to do to save the tooth. And it did for a while. I finally had to have a bridge put in twice. Well, after a 25 year smile, it finally loosened up and came out. So I did what I could. I put it back in place and called the dentist. Bless his heart! He offered to meet me on Sunday and put it back in or I could come in on Monday. So, I was a bit stressed about it. I didn't want the bridge to come out or anything.

I took for granted this bridge. It has been there and done it's job for so long that I rarely thought about it not being real. I can honestly say that it was one of the most dependable things in my life. I can also honestly say that the second I realized that it was out, my pride took over. I ran to the bathroom of the school, and put it back in myself. I just stuffed it back up there and hardly anyone knew what had happened. It made me feel ugly and very self conscious. I wasn't want to open my mouth for fear it would fall out or would show the world what the true me, the one behind the fake teeth and smile really looked like.

Isn't that a truth for all of us? We don't want the world to see the ugly side of us. The inside of our brain that thinks those thoughts about others that are unkind and unflattering, all the while making sure we put on that fake smile and show those fake pearly whites. God wants you to show people the real you, but he wants the real you to be beautiful in his creation. Whether you have a crooked smile, large ears or tiny feet, God loves all of you and expects you to love everyone else the same.

1Peter 3:3 - 4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rest in the Lord

This has not been a happy week. many of my friends and acquaintances are going through a lot of awful things. Death, divorce, name a few. And it has wore me down. Yesterday, my emotions got the better of me at times. I was melancholy, teary, and tired. By the end of the day, I just went home, sat on the couch and tried to sleep it all away. That doesn't work, but it did make me feel a little better.

This morning, I got up and am in a much better mood today. Sleep is a good thing. Rest is something that the Lord says we can do in him. My motto usually is, "I can sleep when I am dead."

Psalm 55: 4 - 8

4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death assail me.

5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.

6 I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest-

7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;

8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm."

I look at our church building as a place of shelter. A place where I can go and get away from all the horrendousness of the world. I pray that you will find peace with all that is going on in your life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Last night after supper, we were sitting around the table, just relaxing, waiting to go to choir practice. It was me, Mike, Allie and Timm. Allie pulled out a small book and started talking about it. At first, she started talking about rules of the road and things that should be checked out. Then she starting talking about safety rules with motorcycles and mopeds. She didn't say mopeds, and thought it was something else.

Listening to her excitement and how carefully she is trying to read through this, I giggle. I don't remember being that enthused about driving. In fact, I believe my mother forced me to chauffer her and my sister almost everywhere we went. I am not sure why I was not wanting to drive, but obviously, now I am glad I do. I am in my vehicle a lot, over two hours a day most days. Back to Allie, to be young and have your whole life still ahead of you is exciting. In just a few short days she will be 15 and a half. So all of you on the roads, I have two words for you. WATCH OUT! Another new driver will be on the loose.

Last night at church, my father asked me if I felt better. I told him I felt fine. Then I asked him why he thought I feel bad. He told me my devotion yesterday. I told him, I felt fine, but everyone around me seems to be having a lot to deal with and I felt the need to pray. I still do. Things seem to be getting worse for some and my heart is heavy with sadness.

Today pray for the Lambing Family, the Greer Family (co-workers of mine), the Arnold family, the Fox family, the Peek family, Ashley, the people of Haiti and the people trying to get in and help the Haitians. Right now there is so much strife in the world. I am trying not to dwell on it.

Psalms 55:9 Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city.

This is from Barb Grever, who has worked with NW Haiti Christian Mission: If you want to send a donation, please sent it to either the address listed or Matthew 25 in Blue Ash (Channel 19 has their address listed on their website). Please do not send donations to the Red Cross or any other organization because the money will not get to the people who really need it.

Northwest Haiti Christian Mission

P.O. Box 829

Versailles, KY 40383

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Prayer for All

Dear Lord,

Today I come to you Lord with a heavy heart. Many people I know are grieving over the loss of a loved one. I pray for each of them that they may find comfort in knowing you and that your will has been done. Each of these people lived good, fulfilled lives and are now abiding with you. Please help their families cope and do all they can for each other.

I also pray for those individuals that are sick and for their families. May your healing hand be upon them and that you will help the physicians and nurses watching over the sick to be able to comfort them and help them with the healing process. May all of them heal quickly and completely.

In Your Son's name,


Luke 6: 17 - 19

17He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, 18who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, 19and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What a Blessing it Could Be

Sunday, seven members of our church went down to the Mt. Healthy Christian Home to put on a service for residents there. I am going to be honest with you. I had a nice time. The people were pleasant and appreciative, the singing was good (if I do say so myself!), and the preaching was very good! There were many in attendance that just love the Lord and the hymns we sang.

It is worrisome that more people do not help out in this area. It is a once a year service that we are asked to put on. I understand that it is not every one's thing, but the seven of us there were so blessed. As my mom and I sang "If Jesus Goes With Me I'll Go Anywhere", this sweet lady with whom I believe was her daughter, sat in her wheelchair and sang the whole song, all three verses! Her daughter was smiling and encouraging her. It was something both Mom and I will remember for a while. Mike and Dad served communion and took up an offering for them. What a privilege it was for us, and a blessing. The people who were there were thankful and as a Christian, we all being a part of God's family, I am glad that I could help out those who just couldn't get out to church.

It is something I think we should encourage more. We should help our homebound people and those feeling poorly. We should try and figure out a way to step out of our comfort zone and show some kindness. Taking a couple hours out of one day a year doesn't seem like a lot, does it? I don't think so. I think we can even take each one that attends the service a little something to show them that we are glad they came out and that we love them.

1 Timothy 5:1 - 5

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. 3Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.

1 Timothy tells us what to do. Let us be faithful in this. Verse 3 and verse 5 really hit home for me. I am not trying to shame anyone. Please don't take that message as what I am saying. I don't always go or want to go to this extra services. Sometimes I am tired, busy, or just want to do something else. This is really just food for thought for all of us. The next time the church asks for us to go sing somewhere, or help take someone a meal, or take someone to an appointment, we should jump at the chance and be willing to serve our fellow man. My heart goes out to those who live there and to those families who take time to visit them. The ministries that could happen, even if it is our seniors going to visit other seniors that are in a retirement home or just not able to get out to church, especially during the winter, what a difference that could make! Not just in their lives, but in yours too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Did You Hear What I Heard?

Update on my dad. Friday he went to the radiation doctor (I think). Doc was not happy because his scales have shown that Dad is down six pounds. He is going for another PET scan on February 2nd. So keep Dad in your prayers.

Yesterday, our preacher had a good message on what was suppose to be El Elyon, God Most High. And it actually was, but that is not what my husband came away with as the important part of the sermon. LOL. Actually the sermon was based in Genesis 14, where Abram (before he was renamed Abraham) went to war and two kings, one from Salem and one from Sodom wanted his help. Well, actually the the one from Salem, Melchizedek, who was a high priest, gave Abram food and drink and blessed him. This made Abram feel good and he gave the high priest ten percent of all he had.

Genesis 14:17 - 24

17Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).

18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.

19He blessed him and said,
"Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand."
He gave him a tenth of all.

21The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself."

22Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,

23that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, 'I have made Abram rich.'

24"I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share."

Mike took away from that sermon, that giving a tenth of all you have is an answer to a question he has had for years. Anyway, later in the day, I was telling our preacher that I appreciated his sermon and that Mike took this away from it. He made a comment about not being happy with the sermon. We talked about how sometimes, we critic ourselves and how we need that so we can do better. But what Preacher was wanting to get across to us, was lost and something entirely different was born. God totally works in mysterious ways. He always gives each of us what our heart needs to hear. I bet those of you at church with us took something totally different away from that sermon. Can you tell me what you got out of it? Email me!

Friday, January 8, 2010


As an friend, Cheryl Russell, came through her surgery fine. She text me sometime last evening and said that all went well. Then at 3:40 AM, I received another text from her. She finally got into a room and was doing okay. Thank you all for your prayers. I am going to call her later and find out what the doctors have told her.

Today, nine of our church family is leaving for Tennessee Christian Teen Convention (TCTC, for short). pray for a safe drive and that the 6 kids involved (and 3 adults) will be blessed. This brings me to my next point. This weekend is a chance for Mike and I to relax, not run the kids every which way, and to get caught up on some projects, like putting a bed together, taking the Christmas decorations down, getting the garage back in working order so my car can go know the honey-do list. But it will also be a chance for us to talk. As parents, a lot of you know how hard it is to keep up with the family activities, work, and whatever else you are in to. Sometimes, it is just nice to reconnect. I am not very good at this. I try to keep him in the loop, but with his work schedule, and my brain going 50 different ways. I forgot to tell him about Beckie and Scott Sloan being pregnant (BTW, Congratulations, you two!). Luckily, he is a forgiving man.

Ephesians 5:24 - 33 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

So today, think about your relationships with your spouse (if you have one) or with the closest person to you and your relationship with Christ. Are you being the way you should with them? I know that I am guilty of this. I am trying harder, though. Prayer about it. God will help you through it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Please don't fight these hands that are holding you"

I had a little extra money the other day, so I bought two cd's at the Family Christian Bookstore. I purchased Casting Crowns and Tenth Avenue North. The first you may have heard of, they have been around for quite a while. The second, well, they have a couple of songs that I really love. One of the songs is called By Your Side. This song has pierced my mind and soul. It is sung from God's point of view and it asks you why isn't He enough for you?

Which brings me to my point today. When someone says they love you and will be there for you and want to help you, why do we resist? Why do we think we need to handle everything alone? Why aren't we willing to let someone else help us? Why do we think and feel that if we don't do it ourselves, that everyone will think we are weak? We are weak. We are frail humans that usually mess up most everything we try to fix. If we don't learn to lean on each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, then what is the point of our church family?

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

This means, that besides us learning to receive help, we need to not judge and learn to give help. If someone comes to you and says that they needs help, most of us shy away of giving someone else the time that we selfishly covet for ourselves and family. I am guilty of this, as is many of you. No matter what situation Jesus was in, or where he was going, if someone asked him to come heal someone, he went, or miraculously, he just took care of the situation. He didn't tell them that he would do it on these terms or that he was too busy, or that he actually was thinking about "how to get out of saying yes." Now, I am not saying that if you are busy or preoccupied with some other opportunity, to say no to someone, but truly, are you that busy you can't pray with someone, or take three hours and paint a bathroom or something?

Here are the words to the song By Your Side by
Songwriters: Donehey, Michael; Ingram, Jason David; Larue, Phillip

Why are you striving these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away.

Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?
To where will you go child?
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run.

'Cause I'll be by your side
Whenever you fall
In the dead of night
Wherever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you.
My hands are holding you.

Look at these hands and my side.
They swallowed the grave on that night.
When I drank the world's sin
To carry you in
And give you life,
I want to give you life.

And I'll be by your side
Whenever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you.
My hands are holding you.

'Cause I, I love you.
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go.

'Cause I'll be by your side
Whenever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you.
My hands are holding you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Are you anticipating something? I believe at the moment, most of us in the Cincinnati area are anticipating a winter storm that could bring a lot of snow to the tri-state area. While we are not on pins and needles, (most of us aren't, I think), we are making preparations for this storm. Many of us will go to the grocery store tonight to make sure we have enough supplies, such as water, bread, milk. We also need to make sure we have gas in our vehicles, and de-icer for our sidewalks and driveways.

Mike has asked that Timm go to the shed and get the gas can for the snow blower. I am going to ask Timm to put in the smoker and grill that are sitting outside the garage and maybe put the garbage cans in the garage. I want to make sure there is enough wood for the fireplace too. All of this in anticipation of a storm that is being predicted. Now let me assure you that this is not set in stone. The National Weather Service and the weathermen and women say it is coming, but they have been wrong before. We can not be sure of the promises they are making. They know that and we know that.

What we can be sure of is the promises of God. Every promise that he has put to us has come true so far. Some have not, but that is because it is not time for them to come true. When He is ready, they will be. How can I say that, you ask? Well, there has not been one promise that has been predicted by a true prophet of God that has not come true. All through December we talked about how Jesus' birth was predicted hundreds of years before he was born. You can be positive that is God said it, it will happen!

2 Corinthians 1:20 states "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."

So anticipate this storm if you want, but mostly, anticipate and prepare for Christ coming back someday. What do you need to do to get ready?

Don't forget to read for your daily Bible reading!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Last night, I watched most of a movie (I had a headache all day, so I did fall asleep for about 15 minutes of it). It was called A Perfect Stranger. It is based on the book Dinner with A Perfect Stranger by David Gregory. I really want to read the book now. This is based on the premise that Jesus invites a lawyer to dinner. They talk, the lawyer full of doubts and questions everything. The movie itself is only an hour long and definitely worth watching again.

What would you do if you got an invitation to dinner at a nice restaurant with Jesus Christ? You know, you actually do have that invitation. Jesus asked us to remember what he did for us. His body on the cross, punctured, bleeding, and his blood, that spilled down the cross, staining it as it flowed down to the ground and being soaked up by the earth. Can't you just imagine the image of what was left after they took down his body? The wood, darkened by the stains of his blood. The ground, also stained where the blood dripped from his hands. Not a pretty picture, is it? But a necessary one for each of us to have in our minds. Who else would go through that kinda of torture for you? Who else would love you enough to take sin's weight and put it upon his shoulders? Only the most perfect person in the world. So, take the invitation. Come join us for supper.

1 Corinthians 11:23 -32

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My friend

Acts 3:1 - 10

1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Today, my heart is heavy. I have a very good friend who is undergoing surgery. I only heard about this last night. She has cancer. They think it has been caught very early, which is wonderful. She seemed upbeat, but I can only imagine what she is really feeling. Adele and I go back to my days as a kid at church camp. Her family was the caretakers and she and I were in the same room. Her first name is Cheryl too. We went to camp together whenever we could, celebrated birthdays and graduations, were in each other's wedding, have supported each other when our children were born and just kept in touch.

Adele is one of my longest-running friends. I know that the doctors and nurses are going to do everything they can for her, but we all need to pray for her. She is divorced now and lost her mother last year. Her dad is close by, and she has two teenage children who are going to help her. She says her church family is going to bring in meals too. Thank goodness for them.

Like the passage above, through the doctors, they will do everything God wants done for Adele. Hopefully it will be enough to heal her. She is in God's hands, now. Praise you, Lord!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

Well, 11 hours into the new year and counting. Just kidding. What are we counting? Most of us that aren't working are surely not counting the hours and minutes we have to go back to work or school. Some of us may be counting down to that special event like a vacation, wedding, birth or maybe even the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl (go Ohio State and Cincinnati)!

God tells us not to worry about anything.

Matthew 6:25 - 34

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So live each day for the day, not for tomorrow. If you worry for tomorrow, you may miss the blessings of today. Have a great day!