Monday, January 31, 2011

Praise God

Psalm 68 has a lot of praise for God.  Here are some of them.

Verse 5:  A father to the fatherless. a defender to widows
Verse 9: refreshed your  weary inheritance.
Verse 19:  ...who daily bears our burdens.
Verse 20: Our God is a God who saves;

This Psalm is one that mentions lots of aspects of God.  He is the father to the orphans, and defends those who have no one to take up their cause.  He made sure that the land he was giving the Israelites was ready for them.  He takes on our worries and cares, but most of all, he is our Savior!  Praise God!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Psalm 67

Some days you just need a prayer and a blessing.

Psalm 67
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
   and make his face shine on us—
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
   your salvation among all nations.  3 May the peoples praise you, God;
   may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
   for you rule the peoples with equity
   and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, God;
   may all the peoples praise you.
 6 The land yields its harvest;
   God, our God, blesses us.
7 May God bless us still,
   so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

He is Listening

Update on my Dad.  He had a blockage in the back of his heart that was 70 - 80%.  The doctor put a stent in and he is as good as new, well, as good as Dad can be.  He had to stay overnight in the hospital and will get to go home today, barring no complications.  Thanks for all your prayers.  He was already giving the nurses a hard time last night before I left.

As I read Psalm 66, I kind of feel that way about how Dad's procedure turned out.  Praise God!  He answered our prayers.  The last three verses kind of sums it up.

18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
   the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
   and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
   who has not rejected my prayer
   or withheld his love from me! 

 But don't forget, there are so many others to prayer for and with.  God will hear you, you have that confidence.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jesus Has a Rocking Chair.

Yesterday at church, I was reminded that Saturday, January 22 was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  I am not here to judge.  My story may be similar to some. 

My husband and I lost a baby eighteen years ago.  It was a tubal pregnancy.  That week we went from elation to be devastation, so quickly.  I had pain, found out I was pregnant and we were excited.  But I knew something was wrong.  I had pain.  Quickly, I found out that my numbers were not tripling, but going down.  Not a good sign.  We ended up in the hospital, having a laparscopy.  But, in the middle of that God was already at work.  When my fallopian tube burst, my bowel came over and covered the area that had burst.  I believe to this day that God's hand was there guiding my body to do what it had to to keep me alive.  My tube burst on Thursday evening.  I had read all the pamphlets and knew that the sharp pain in my shoulder meant that.  But by the time I got the hospital, the pain was gone.  The doctor really didn't do anything, but told me to see my regular OB-GYN the next day.  I did and that's when I ended up at the hospital. 

So I ended up with a c-section cut, but no baby.  We were saddened that this baby would never be part of this world.  We couldn't see, touch or hear him/her.  We have to wait until we get to heaven.  It was hard, but Mike and I realized that this was God's will.  We honestly didn't talk much about it, but we seemed to just accept this and move on.  Some people were amazed at our attitude.  They were surprised by our reaction and how we talked so candidly about everything.  But our faith in God got us through because we realized this child wasn't meant to be.  For those of you who have lost a baby due to complications, illness or any reason, may this song be a comfort to you.

Jesus Has a Rocking Chair
Written by Tony Greene
Sung by The Greenes

Many hopeful moms and dads, try to have a child of their own.
Some never get the chance, others do and see them grown.
Still there are those who are expecting that precious baby soon,
But then it's gone before it ever leaves the safety of it's momma's womb.

Jesus has a rocking chair.
And He holds that precious baby with oh, such tender care.
He takes the place of mom and dad,
He's the greatest parent a child can have.
Don't worry about the children there,
Jesus has a rocking chair.

There are those who have a boy or girl, a lovely gift from God.
But illness or a tragedy takes them from their parent's arms.
Mommas wish for days going by,
Daddys long for that lost child.
But children are not lost when you know where they are.

She eighteen and not married, expecting her little one.
In a  time of confusion, she took the life of her son.
Since the, Jesus forgave her, and He took all her sins away.
She still cries missing her baby, but she hears the angels say...

Jesus has a rocking chair.
And He holds that precious baby with oh, such tender care.
He takes the place of mom and dad,
He's the greatest parent a child can have.
Don't worry about the children there,
Jesus has a rocking chair.

I hope those of you who have been in this place, find comfort knowing that Jesus is there taking care of your little one.  God bless you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

He Did it!

I'm a little out of sorts today.  Against my better judgment, I went to work.  The roads were and are still terribly covered with ice and snow, though the sun is shining brightly.  It is so cold that most of the treatments does not work.  In fact, our city sent out an email telling us that not much will get done in the way of clearing off streets because of the weather.    I didn't have any problems, it just took two hours to get from my house to my place of work.  It should only take me 25 minutes.  I am tense, irritated, and tired.  The one thing I almost forgot to do was say a prayer of thanksgiving.    I told God when I got in my Edge, "Well, it's you and me, and I'm depending on you to get me there safely."  He did.  I sighed a little prayer.

Psalms 65, verses five through seven remind us that,
 5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
   God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by your power,
   having armed yourself with strength,
7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,
   the roaring of their waves,
   and the turmoil of the nations. 

God is the one who made the weather do what it does.  God sent us the snow and the freezing temperatures.  When I was a little girl, Dad and Mom would take us to Dairy Queen or United Dairy Farmers for ice cream after Sunday evening church.  Sometimes, friends of ours would go with us.  We were all sitting in the back of the Wagoneer and he swerved or stopped suddenly and her ice cream spilled.  She hollered, "Lew did it!"  We laughed about that for a long time.  Blame gets you know where, especially with God.  No matter what comes our way, we can't blame God.  He will give you the guidance and knowledge to get through it.  So when something does happen, you can holler, "God did it!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Be Right Side Up

Psalm 64:10
The righteous will rejoice in the LORD
   and take refuge in him;
   all the upright in heart will glory in him.

This is the verse that stuck with me today.  The upright in heart.  Upright means right side up.  Is your heart where it should be with God?  Are you harboring ill feelings toward someone?  Is your heart not in the right place?  Do you need to confess something to God?  Then do it!  Ask him right now to forgive your sin and start finding refuge in him.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Craving God

This morning, as I drove to work, I was listening to K-LOVE, a national Christian radio station.  The morning personalities were talking about a new book titled, MADE TO CRAVE by Lysa Terkeurst.  Have you heard or read it?  If so, give me a review.  Anyway, from what I have heard, it's basically a book on eating and dieting, but the author tells us that we are made to crave God and that is who we should turn our attentions too.

Then, I was listening to an interview with a musician who was talking about how he use to read the Bible every day, just to get through it.  He then said, "but now I read it to change me." (That's a paraphrase.)  That statement really impacted me.  Are you reading the Bible through in a year, or a month (like my Dad), just to say you did?  Or are you really diving in to the Word to see how it can impact you?  I think for some of us, putting a time limit on how long to read or what section to read, can have a negative affect on your reading.  But if you approach your devotion time with God as, 'What are you telling me today? attitude, then maybe you will start craving your time with God.

Psalm 63:1 says,
1 You, God, are my God,
   earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
   my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
   where there is no water.

How appropriate for today! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Psalms 61 & 62

Friday was so busy for me at work, that I didn't get to post a devotion.  I do not like it when I get so busy I can not get a devotion out to you. Both you and I need the encouragement from God's word.  It was a long, week for us at church, especially with the illnesses and sadness that we ended with.  Many of you have expressed your sorrow for our Christian Sister, Iona, who went to be with the Lord.  I always, always think that they are the lucky ones.  They don't have to deal with life.  They get to rest now.

In Psalm 61:3  the Psalmist says, For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.  

God is where we turn to in these times.  He is a our strength, carrying us when we can't go on.

Psalm 62:5 says, Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 

We can find rest in God.  Our hope in everything is because of him.  Amen, and amen!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Win!

Psalm 60:12

 With God we will gain the victory,
   and he will trample down our enemies. 

Isn't it nice to know that having God on our side assures us of winning in the long run?  Knowing this, we should be able to trudge along in our daily activities and know that the outcome will be for Him!  Miracle after miracle happens, do you see them in your life?  Every little win is a victory to celebrate.  Someone goes into remission, a sinner turns to God, it's all because of God, not us.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God is Your Fortress

As I read Psalm 59, the words that jumped off the page at me was the first and last verse.  I am finding during these psalms, that the psalmist is doing a lot of, not necessarily complaining, but telling God his troubles.  I know this is what God wants from us.  He wants us to tell him the low points in our lives, as well as the high ones.    But through it all, the author tells God that he is the protector of his life.

Psalm 59:1
 1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
   be my fortress against those who are attacking me. 

Psalm 59:17
 17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
   you, God, are my fortress,
   my God on whom I can rely. 

Tell God about your day.  Tell him the good and the bad and thank him for being your fortress.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Only God's Judgement

This morning, I was looking over some of the news clips that comes through my email and this headline from USA Today caught my attention. 

Church of hate thanks God for Ariz. deaths, will picket funeral

Church of hate?  That alone will raise a few angry eyebrows.  This group protests funerals of soldiers and just recently they picketed Elizabeth Edward's funeral.  Now they say they are going to picket the funeral of the nine-year-old girl that was shot in Tucson on Saturday.  Seriously?  This group says that all this violence is God getting back at America with all the terrible things that are going on; cancer, shootings, war, anything we deem as sad and bad, they are saying is purposely reigning down his judgment now.  If you want to read more on this, look up Westboro Baptist Church.  

All this comes to mind the Psalm I read this morning.  Psalm 58.  Read for yourself.  The psalmist is saying that people set about to do their wicked deeds no matter what and God will stop them.  God's judgment is all we need to worry about.  Not those of the Westboro Baptist Church who have twisted things to the point that they are picketing a little girl who was brutally murdered randomly? 

Do you rulers indeed speak justly?
   Do you judge people with equity?
2 No, in your heart you devise injustice,
   and your hands mete out violence on the earth.
 3 Even from birth the wicked go astray;
   from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.
4 Their venom is like the venom of a snake,
   like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,
5 that will not heed the tune of the charmer,
   however skillful the enchanter may be.

 6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
   LORD, tear out the fangs of those lions!
7 Let them vanish like water that flows away;
   when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,
   like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

 9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
   whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.
10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
   when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then people will say,
   “Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
   surely there is a God who judges the earth.” 

I hope you are praying for all involved in Saturday's shootings.  The families still need lots of that.  As for the protesters, I know they have every right to be there, but I don't have to agree with their logic or antics.  They will have to answer to God for themselves.

Monday, January 10, 2011


When I started writing this devotion almost two eyars ago, I never thought of it as a spiritual gift.  It started as a way for me to keep others informed of how my father and mother were handling his throat cancer and documenting how our family was dealing with it.  But today, as I listened to our Associate Minister talk on the spiritual gift of prophecy, it hit me.  This devotion is kinda my gift.  It's a gift from God to me and (hopefully) in return, a gift to you. 

The spiritual gifts are important things.  You can describe them as doing what you love to do and are passionate about doing, all for bettering God's kingdom and bringing him glory.  That's a mouth full.  It should be what you are interested in and where your heart lies.  Each of us have many talents such as singing, writing, baking, teaching, encouraging, whatever you are good at.  Yes, you are good at something!  For me, I am good at music.  I have an ear for directing, helping someone with music.  I have a passion for it.  I love to learn new songs, and sing them for others, so they too may hear and understand that story that is being told.  But I also have found in the past few two years that I may just have a gift I didn't realize was a talent from God.  This one, in writing and giiving a different insight into God's Word.  That excites me! 

I am encouraged by the different encouragement I get from people.  In these busy times, it's nice to know when something I wrote has touched you and maybe drawn you closer to God.  That is what I hope, that through my words, you will be encouraged and feel closer to Him.  I'll never be a Beverly Lewis or a Gloria Gaither, but that is okay.  If I was them, then I would not be me.  God made me my own unique self.  If I was someone else, that would not be as much fun, I think.

Today I am encouraging you to step up to your passion, your talent.  Take a look at it and see what you can do to further God's kindom.  Can you make cookies and bring a smile to someone's face?  Can you help someone out by teaching a Sunday school class?  How about starting a small group Bible study?  Or just send a card to someone you noticed wasn't at church this week.  Let someone know you were thinking about that.  Using your talents will not only show someone you care, but bless you too!

I Corinthians 14:12
Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

Friday, January 7, 2011


As I was reading Psalm 57, I was struck by two things.  First, verse 6 tells that your enemies set traps for you, but they end up falling in them, not you.  Doesn't this give you hope?  It does me.  If I keep doing what God wants, Satan surely will keep attacking me, using everything he can.  But it will all fall away and likely make my enemies look bad. 

The second thing that I spotted right off is that no matter what, the Psalmist praised God.  Be exalted I will praise you. For great is Your love.  No matter what, he praises God.  He still tells him he loves and depends on him.  Do you do that when you are being persecuted?  Do you praise God for your sickness or in spite of your illness?  It can't be easy at times.  So as brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to see and share those burdens as we can.  Send a card, tell them you are thinking of them.  Visit them.  We have several that are in our midst that need our encouragement right now.  I urge you to go see them, take a meal, send a card.  It will uplift both of you!

 1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
   for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
   until the disaster has passed.
 2 I cry out to God Most High,
   to God, who vindicates me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
   rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
   God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
 4 I am in the midst of lions;
   I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
   whose tongues are sharp swords.
 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
   let your glory be over all the earth.
 6 They spread a net for my feet—
   I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
   but they have fallen into it themselves.
 7 My heart, O God, is steadfast,
   my heart is steadfast;
   I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul!
   Awake, harp and lyre!
   I will awaken the dawn.
 9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
   I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
   your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
   let your glory be over all the earth

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reaching Out

The other day, I decided to start listening to K-Love.  You know, the Christian music station.  A lot of you listen to this station.  This month they are promoting to listening to nothing but Christian music for a month and tell them how it affected you.   I like the concept, so I decided to give it a try.  So far, I have heard a couple of new songs that I like.  This one below being one.  It's called Reaching For You.  It's a good song to start a service with.  I imagined, when I heard it, some movements for it that kids may enjoy doing.  It's that kind of song, you know, a get-up-and-move kind of song.  But more than that, the words moved me.  Then I read Psalm 56.  The last couple of lines to the psalm reminded me of this song.  Here is verses 12 and 13. 

I present my thank offerings to you..., ...that I may walk before God in the light of life. I reach out to God.  I love him and want to always be with him. 

 12 I am under vows to you, my God;
   I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
   and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
   in the light of life.

Reaching For You
Songwriters:  Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster
Performed by Lincoln Brewster

You created me inside Your great imagination
You're the One who gave me my first breath
You have overseen my life and brought me to redemption
And I know that You're not finished with me yet

I'm reaching for You
I'm singing to You
I'm lifting my hands to praise You
I'm lifting my voice to thank You
I'm reaching for You
Jesus I need You
I'm giving my heart to know You
I'm living my life to serve You
I'm reaching for You

You're the one who spoke the Word of life to light my darkness
You opened up my eyes 'til I could see
Jesus You have promised to complete the work You started
Faithful to fulfill Your grace in me

Pour out Your love from heaven
Fill me until I overflow Lord I want more
Reach down Your hands from heaven
Pull me closer than ever before Lord I want more
Pour out Your love from heaven
Fill me until I overflow 'cause I want more
Reach down Your hands from heaven
Pull me closer than ever before Lord I want more

Oh I'm reaching
God I'm reaching for You

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Psalm 55

Psalm 55

1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
   do not ignore my plea;
 2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
 3 because of what my enemy is saying,
   because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
   and assail me in their anger. 

What do you do when someone tries to spread rumors about you and turn the whole world against you?  You know that they are just trying to be hurtful, it does hit the mark.  As with most rumors, they are lies. 

  4 My heart is in anguish within me;
   the terrors of death have fallen on 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.”

You want to punch, scream, cry, escape from the barrage of lies that you feel you are facing every day.  But you can not.   You have more self-esteem than that.  You are the bigger person, aren't you?  God listens to your prayers, especially when you are in the heat of a battle like this. 

 22 Cast your cares on the LORD
   and he will sustain you;
he will never let
   the righteous be shaken.

He will listen to you.  He loves you.  Thankfully, in this case, the person that is the target, is doing their best to ignore them, and as luck would have it, most of the time, the lies are so far-fetched that no one would believe it.  Oh other attacks are sure to come, but this Christian will do their best to keep their head high, and quietly let the truth overcome.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

He Listens!

This year, I am participating in my church women's group as a prayer pal.  I haven't done this in quite a while.  It is like a secret pal, so I can't reveal anything, but already, I am encouraged because I feel like I am praying more.  I am not one who does a lot of outloud prayers, but I do, during the day will lift someone up quickly and quietly.  For example, I hear a siren in the distance, I pray for the situation, usually because I assume it is an accident.  Most of my prayers for my family is on my drive to work.  Now maybe I should be praying for myself and the other drivers, but being alone in a car, where it is dark and quiet and I can concentrate on what is going on in my husband and kid's lives.

I feel that the covering of prayer is extremely important.  If I am anxious, or know that someone is facing something terrible, then I lift their situation up to God.  I have great faith that he is listening to me.  In fact, I read yesterday in Max Lucado's devotion that  "Your voice matters in heaven. He takes you very seriously. When you enter His presence, the attendants turn to you to hear your voice. No need to fear that you will be ignored."(1)  I totally love that thought.  When you pray, everyone who listens turns and looks at you while you are speaking.

Psalm 54:2

2 Hear my prayer, O God;
   listen to the words of my mouth. 

(1) from Max Lucado Daily:  Everyday Blessings.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Psalm 53

Psalm 53:1

 1 The fool says in his heart,
   “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
   there is no one who does good. 

 I have heard a lot of foolish things in my few years on this earth.  But it does not make sense to me why someone would doubt the existence of God.  There are always a lot of things that do not make sense until you put God in the middle of it and then, BAM!, everything is right with the world.  How can you not feel love and wonder about how you have it.   How can the doctors say that something is wrong and then not be able to explain scientifically that the illness or tumor is no longer there?  I know logically that explaining what God is and does is hard.  But I also know that a life without depending on him is crazy.  I can't imagine an hour that I don't think on Him and leaning hard on Him.  Do you believe that there is a God?  Do you lean on Him?  I hope you start out the new year leaning on him every day.