Thursday, June 30, 2011

Had It Not Been

Psalm 124

1 “Had it not been the LORD who was on our side,”
Let Israel now say,
2 “Had it not been the LORD who was on our side
When men rose up against us,
3 Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger was kindled against us;
4 Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The stream would have swept over our soul;
5 Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.”
 6 Blessed be the LORD,
Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
7 Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper;
The snare is broken and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth. 

 Many times, we say "Had it not been for the grace of God..." How true that statement is.  Had it not be for God, where would you be right now?  Probably not reading this devotion.  I would not be where I am today without the grace of God.  Thank you Lord, for your saving grace.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Psalm 123

1 To You I lift up my eyes,
O You who are enthroned in the heavens!
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the LORD our God,
Until He is gracious to us.

 3 Be gracious to us, O LORD, be gracious to us,
For we are greatly filled with contempt.
4 Our soul is greatly filled
With the scoffing of those who are at ease,
And with the contempt of the proud. 

How often do you ask God to be gracious?  Don't we just assume he will?  He gave us his grace the second we accept all his gifts and began to follow him.  Are we so scared that we aren't in his good graces that we need to keep reminding him?  Of all the people who forget something like that, God isn't one of them. I will forget what I did yesterday, but God will remember.  He is gracious.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Come to Church

 Psalm 122:1
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.” 

Last night was the start of Vacation Bible School.  This is the first year that my kids have not been able to attend most of it.  Last night Allie had marching band practice and Timm had a basketball game.  But, as soon as that was over, they both came.  Timm wanted to come and be a part of it, because he likes the leaders.  I didn't expect him to come last night because of his game, but he really wanted to.  Allie, who loves to help with the music, called me after band and asked if she could come.  I told her I didn't care, so she popped in with only 40 minutes to go in the night.  It warms my heart that my kids love VBS so much.  It encourages me that they want to be apart and they see that their parents are active in the church.  So come out, see what's going on.  There was a lot of kids last night.  I hope there are more tonight!

Monday, June 27, 2011

...He will keep your soul.

Psalm 121

 1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever. 

One of my favorite verses is from my all-time favorite movie, The Sound of Music.  Maria, the nun, has realized she is in love with her boss, and runs back to hide at the abbey, not sure what she should do.  Mother Superior helps her see what she needs to do, by facing her fears, reciting the first two verses of this chapter. 

If you go on in this chapter, you see that God is your protector.  He won't let you fall, he will let you rest in peace, he will shade you from the hot sun, and  keep your soul.  We all need that reassurance.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Psalm 120

Psalm 120:1

In my trouble I cried to the LORD,
And He answered me.

I am so thankful that this verse is true. Every time I have come to the Lord with my problems, he has answered me.  Sometimes I didn't like the answer, but always, it turned out to be the best answer for the situation.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

James R. Reese

This is the last post about the men that have touched my life.  I have had fun reminiscing with you about how they have touched me.  This last man, was the minister at my church when I turned my life over to Christ.  He was a big, burly man with white hair, a commanding voice and a smile that was as big as he was.  He was passionate about God, his family, and his church.

I was in 5th grade when I came into the family of God.  Jim came to our house and talked with me and my parents.  I am a very emotional person, so I cried when I tried to ask if my Dad could baptize me. His years with our church are some that I will never forget.  He was there when lightning hit the steeple and it ended up in the middle of the santuary.  It was fun to watch him sing "On The Wings of A Dove".  His wife was very supportive and a strong Christian woman herself.  When news came of my Grandpa Rainey having six weeks to live, I cried and cried.  I was immediately sent over to the Reese's house, along with my sister so my parents could  make arrangements for us to go to him.  I found comfort, love, acceptance, and fun all in one place. 

Psalm 119:169 - 176
169 Let my cry come before You, O LORD;
Give me understanding according to Your word.
170 Let my supplication come before You;
Deliver me according to Your word.
171 Let my lips utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.
172 Let my tongue sing of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness.
173 Let Your hand be ready to help me,
For I have chosen Your precepts.
174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD,
And Your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live that it may praise You,
And let Your ordinances help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chester L Rainey

Chester L. Rainey

Psalm 119:161b  But my heart stands in awe of Your words.
One person I have not written about this month is my paternal grandfather.  Some people you hide in your heart and never publicly talk about.  He was one that loved me more than I knew when he was alive. Though he lived 2,000 miles away, he had great influence over me.

When I was about 9, they doctors found cancer and took 1/3rd of my grandpa's stomach out.  I understood that because everyone in my dad's family (it seemed at the time) died of cancer.  So when he came in to see us, dad went to the airport and picked him and grandma up.  By the time they got to the house, I had been waiting on pins and needles for them to get there.  I ran out onto the porch to give him a big hug, but he stopped me.  He ripped opened his shirt, pulled up his t-shirt and said, "See this scar?  You can't hug me like that."  Well, that ended my excitement right there.  Today, thinking about it, I understand why he did it, but I just shake my head at him for that.  He must have still had great pain and was trying to save himself.  We chuckle over that today. 

Because I didn't spend a lot of time with him, we made every day we were together count.  Psalm 119:161b is how I felt of Grandpa.  It is also how I feel about my heavenly father, though I talk to him everyday.  This morning, the K-Love DJ Lisa, said she remember something from a sermon from fifteen years ago.  The preacher asked this question.  "What if you drove to work every day with your best friend, but never said a word to him?"  This got me thinking about how much I pray on my way to work.  I pray for my family, for whatever situation I know is happening that day, for what is troubling me, and I feel better by the time I get to work.  Who do you stand in awe of?  Who do you not share about because it's all you have or that special?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Robert Wright, Sr.

Robert Wright, Sr.

Psalm 119:160
The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

One of my favorite people in our church has always been Robert Wright, Sr.  For many years he was our treasurer and a great friend to my dad.  He loved to eat at our church dinners, saying that he was just "having a taste" of each item.  He loved his coffee and he loved talking history with my dad.  The board members used to joke about him.  Every month, especially when the budget was not met, the bills still got paid.  He could not understand how that could be.  He would explain that he would add up the bills, add up the budget and they did not balance, yet the bills would be paid. He was a good mathematician, so this boggled him.  I would always giggle because with Christ, you can't think normally.  If you are in Christ, doing his work, he is going to provide for you in his way, whether your columns add up or not.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our Protector

Psalm 119: 145 - 152

145 I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD!
I will observe Your statutes.
146 I cried to You; save me
And I shall keep Your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I wait for Your words.
148 My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances.
150 Those who follow after wickedness draw near;
They are far from Your law.
151 You are near, O LORD,
And all Your commandments are truth.
152 Of old I have known from Your testimonies
That You have founded them forever. 

All of these verses make me think of the our protector.  I cry to You; save me and I will keep your testimonies.   I rise before dawn...I wait for Your words.  Each of us have a protector, our dad, our mom, a sibling, best friend, spouse.  Whoever it may be, they are the one we seek out when we messed up, when we need advice, or when we feel we have been wronged.  God is our main protector, though and we need to seek him and his advice before anyone else. He has given us his advice through the Bible, but most of us do not take the time to read it.  I urge you to start doing that today. By doing so, you can come on some incredible examples of what God wants us to do and what happens to those who do not follow his words.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Psalm 119: 137-144

137 Righteous are You, O LORD,
And upright are Your judgments.
138 You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness
And exceeding faithfulness.
139 My zeal has consumed me,
Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words.
140 Your word is very pure,
Therefore Your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have come upon me,
Yet Your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever;
Give me understanding that I may live. 

As I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my dad.  I went to the bowling alley with him, tagged along when he went to the store, running errands, and to the ball park to watch him umpire.  When I looked at these verses from Psalm 119, it reminded me of an umpire.  An umpire is the person in charge, sets the tone of the game.  The umpire's word is law in the game.  You better obey his rules. Your game may not go any easier, but you will get through it. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Tale of Two Uncles

Robert Rainey and Mike Kinsworthy

Psalm 119:129
Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul observes them.

Today, I'm going to talk about two opposite uncles.  First, there is my dad's other brother, Bob.  Bob is a wonderful Christian man who has a trait that amuses almost everyone.  He can tell a tale.  Most of his tales are fiction with just enough fact in them to confuse people.  As a child, I never knew whether to believe him or not.  I just knew that he was so very funny and made my dad laugh a lot.  I also knew that he loved God and his family.

The other uncle was just the opposite.  My Uncle Mike, was a man of very few words.  You knew he loved his family, his church and his friends, but not because he told everyone.  He was there to support when ever he could.  He was the big man, standing back observing everything quietly.  My Aunt Lexie, his wife, would tell us things he would say, but I never once heard a cross word or a complaint from him. 

From each of these men, I have learned that sometimes I need to just be quiet and observe in the background, watching life go on.  Other times, I need to be out in the front talking, entertaining, spreading the word of Christ's love.  Thanks to each of these men as they showed all those around them how much love there really is.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Someone is Watching You

James Bush

When I was a young, Cincinnati Christian College (then Cincinnati Bible College) had a quartet of young men that traveled around putting on concerts.  There were called  The Sons of Light and they were wonderful!  One of the men, some of you may know.  His name is James Bush and he use to live over in the Hillsboro area (I'm not sure where he is now).  He volunteered as a camp counselor, and he would put on concerts.  His ministry showed me that he walked the walk and talked the talk.  He was an encourager, a teacher, and seemed just an all around great guy.  I so appreciated knowing him and though I didn't have a lot of contact with him, what I saw of him impacted me.  So even though you may not know it, others are watching.  What do they see of you?  Do they see a seven-day-a-week-follower of Jesus or a Sunday only person?  What do your children see?

Psalm 119:121 - 128
121 I have done justice and righteousness;
Do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Be surety for Your servant for good;
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation
And for Your righteous word.
124 Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness
And teach me Your statutes.
125 I am Your servant; give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.
126 It is time for the LORD to act,
For they have broken Your law.
127 Therefore I love Your commandments
Above gold, yes, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything,
I hate every false way.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Uncle John

Psalm 119:120
My flesh trembles for fear of You,
And I am afraid of Your judgments.

Is there anyone you were afraid to make mad?  My Uncle John was that person.  He was a fun-loving guy who always tried hard to make our times together memorable and usually did, even without trying.  I have more stories that make my family laugh than you can shake a stick at. John had a way of seeing the world that no other person could.  I always considered his humor what my son's humor is now.

When my Grandma, Uncle John and Uncle Bob all came in to have a graveside service after that passing of my Grandfather, I made him really mad.  He eventually got over it, but I knew then that having him upset with me was not something I wanted to happen often.

Our shower in our house was down in the basement.  Thirteen narrow steps.  No one was home except my sister, my grandmother and me, and Grandma wanted to take a shower.  So Sue and I put Grandma between us and we slowly inched down the steps, slowly, because Grandma's knees were awful and it was a lot of strain.  She could have fell and broken something.  But we made her go slow.  We were there going down and coming up.  At the time, it wasn't that big of a deal.  We were teenagers and we knew we had to keep her safe.  When the rest of the family got home, I guess Grandma told them that she took a shower.  John, being the hot-head, jumped all over us.  He listed all of the things that could have went wrong, he yelled and then he left.  I talked to my parents about it, and my dad tried to explain how John felt responsible for Grandma, more so than the rest of us.  I was most upset that I had upset John.  But dad apparently went and talked to John, trying to explain that we were careful, Grandma was fine and that he needed to chill.  And somewhere in the rest of that week, he tried to apologize.  His apologies were kind of, take what you can get and just let it all go.  And that's what we did.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Son

Pledge to the Bible
I pledge alliegiance to the Bible, God's holy word. A lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, it's words will I hid in my heart that I may not sin against God.

As I was preparing for this devotion, I read Psalm 119:105-112, whih begins with 'Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). My son was standing there when I started reading and stated that that was the exact verse he read in Sunday School this morning. I asked him what he got out of the verse. He said that "God's word will lead me in the right direction (my paraphrase). I know he doesn't always remember that. But I hope it is coming more and more apparent that it is true.

This kid has had a major impact on me. I had a lot of boy cousins around, but not a lot of experience withliving among them, you know, in the same house, 24-7. When he was born, my first thought was, What am I going to do with a boy. Well, it didn't take long for him to let me know. He has always been quick-witted, quick smiling, and quick with the comebacks. He told his first joke at a year old. He has had us all in stitches (for the most part) his whole life. We tease him about how he use to hit his head up against the wall and that is why he is as he is. But this son, has made me more cautious of how boys perceive girls, how important a Christian father is, and how it is hard for me not to love him. He takes words, turns them around and figures out how to make the most of them. I pray everyday for him, that his actions will reflect that of God, and that of love. I pray that he will grow up to know that God's word is a lamp for his feat and a light to his path, where ever he may go.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mr. Day

Mr. Day

Psalm  119:102-104
I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.
 How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
 From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way. 

I am terrible in math.  I was very lucky that my dad could do math and teach me how to do it.  When I was in ninth grade, I had a math teacher, Mr. Day.  Mr. Day got through to me.   He taught me algebra.  I understood it, I liked it, and I rarely asked my dad for help.  My dad even went in and thanked him for helping me.  Mr. Day touched my life in a way most people couldn't.  I am not even sure how he did it, but what he did made sense to me.  Maybe he was like my dad. Maybe I was primed and ready.  All I know is that is the only class I had in math, that I did well in.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Elery Williams

Elery Williams

Psalm 119:89 -90
89 Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.
90 Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations;
You established the earth, and it stands. 

My maternal grandfather was a kind and loving man.  He was a farmer all his life.  I loved going out to the farm and helping with the harvest, or sitting in the yard under the crabapple tree eating watermelon with family and anyone who would come to visit.  These verses reminded me that my grandpa taught several generations about good work ethics, how to save money, and always have a sense of humor.  He worked the land, shared with friends and family and was a wonderful grandpa.  Because of him, my dad, my Grandpa Rainey, and my husband, I have a wonderful vision of how a father should be and I think that helps me relate to God as my father, not just some judge and jury of my actions and life.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Husband

Mike Fox

Most men I know seem invincible.  I know that isn't necessarily true, but we all know the men in our lives want us to think that.  But how many men do you have that show their weak sides?  Verse 81 of Psalm 119 says, "My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word."  I read verses 81 through 88 today and thought, "Who does this sound like?  I couldn't come up with anyone.  But then, I looked up the word languish and read that verse over and over.  The world languish means to grow weak.  I think of this verse as not as much as a being weak, but vulnerable.  So one of the most vulnerable men I know is my husband.  I love his sensitive side.  He doesn't usually show it, especially to the kids, but he is a big, ol' softy.  We can watch a movie, and I look over and he is tearing up.  He let's me know where he needs help, where he needs improvement and he is always wanting to do things to better our situation, or his situation.  I do love him! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Henry DeBord

Henry DeBord

Psalm 119:73
Your hands made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. 

With each section of Psalms 119, I am beginning to love it more.  And the minute I read verse 73, Henry DeBord came to my mind.  When I was a very young girl, maybe six or seven, Henry and his lovely wife, Elizabeth, were members of our church, with Henry being an elder.  He was a tall man.  I don't remember what we were doing, but one Sunday, I think I handed him a bulletin and realized that he was missing fingers.  As a little girl that frightened me.  He was different.  I looked up at him and he patiently told me how he lost his fingers.  He held up his hand and I realized that no matter what, he was still Henry, a wonderful man of God that had lots of wisdom, humor and character.  Henry was in construction (I think) and this verse brought him to mind.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chester Rainey

This month, I will be writing on men that are special to me.

Psalm 119:72

The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Chester L. Rainey

In the late 70s, early 80's, my dad invested in silver.  Every night, I'd watch the news, waiting for the stock reports and for a report on if silver was up or down.  I'd watch as it seemed that silver kept going lower and lower, until, it was nothing more than mere cents.  Then I'd giggle and tease dad about what a great investment he made.  But he actually made much better investments than that little bit of silver he tried to invest in.  He invested in our family.  He lived his life as a good man, an upstanding citizen and a great father.  Dad has invested his time, his love, and his teachings of what he has learned in me, my husband, my kids and all that know him. That is better than gold or silver.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Light Keeper's Ball

The Light Keeper's Ball, a story by Colleen Coble makes me say, more please!  This book explores the a young woman living in the early years of the century, as one who is asking questions of her sister and father's deaths and wanting answers.  We see glimpses of flight before it was more than another means of travel, of a time when grand balls, character and manners were still a way of life.  A time when a woman tried to protect her virtue and class and status meant something.    But this was more than just a story down history lane.  It was a mystery that when everything was said and done, totally surprised me!  It was pretty suspenseful from the get go.  To be in that era and see how society handled certain matters made me sit up and take notice of how I handle things.  I immensely enjoyed this book and can't wait to read others by Ms. Coble.  I give it two thumbs up and hope that  you will also choose it.  I plan to give my to a friend to read.    I recommend The Light Keeper's Ball to anyone who would like to read a good era piece.

Find Your Footing

 Psalm 119:59

59 I considered my ways
And turned my feet to Your testimonies.

When you  want to throw a baseball, you step toward the object you are throwing at.  When you pass a basketball, you turn toward the person, and step toward them.  When you want to follow God, you take a step out into that aisle and walk toward the front.  Your feet are facing where you are going.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Be a Messenger

When I am down, don't know where to turn, or just agitated, I try and quiet myself to listen for God.  That may be through a song, through His Word, or through someone being his messenger.  Today, I think we do not hold much regard for messengers of God, AKA prophets.  But As we learned in the beginning of the year through the spiritual gifts lessons, you can be a prophet.  You may not hear God's voice telling you exactly what to say, but you may be able to talk to them about what they are going through using God's Word or your own experiences.  This makes verse 50 of Psalm 119 interesting to me.  God's word can comfort us and renew our spirit.  Your words of encouragement can be used to lift someone up. 

Psalm 119:50
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
That Your word has revived me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God's Word is Trustworthy

This section of Psalm 119 is personal and made me think of speaking out for God.  Do you do that?  When you see a wrong or something that you know is not the right way, do you speak up?  Do you do the right thing when given the option, or do you go with the flow?  These verses tell us that the author seeks God and his truths.  I am at fault with not opening my mouth because I don't want to argue.  I also always think I don't know enough to have a good "argument".  I need to be more like verse 42; So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, For I trust in Your word.  Do you trust in God's word?  That is a goal, to always trust in his word, no matter what.

 41 May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD,
Your salvation according to Your word;
42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I wait for Your ordinances.
44 So I will keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed.
47 I shall delight in Your commandments,
Which I love.
48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.