Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Marvel.....to feel surprised, be amazed or wonder...........when was the last time you "marveled" at something?  Or, felt like you came across a phenomenon or miracle that you stood in awe of and wondered - how did that come into being???

I was reading a devotion today which spoke about the person who had gone to a retreat only to be instructed to leave the cabin where the attendees were staying in and to go "marveling!"  What a wonderful concept!!! 

Think about it!  Where would be the perfect place to explore and enjoy God's marvelous creation be to you?  Would it be a mountain retreat, a forest, a nearby lake, a beach, or a local park?  What would you find?  A feather, a beautiful leaf, an odd shaped branch from a tree, a seedpod, a wildflower, a dandelion, or a rock?  What would you choose to be mindful of and reflect upon for a sunny afternoon?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, there are so many wonderful things to "marvel" at in this world, yet our lives are so busy that we miss them!  Honestly, anyone can go "marveling" anytime or anywhere - why not do that today?

There are brilliant red, orange, gold and pink sunsets to catch!  There are birds who sing a tune without our looking up once to see what kind of bird is singing!  There is air that smells so wonderful from the fresh cut grass your neighbor just mowed this weekend!  There are snowfalls and fluffy clouds that billow in the sky above and yet, when was the last time you tried to see what the clouds were forming in the sky???  There are new crocuses and daffodils that are blooming right before your eyes!  The signs of Spring are "in the air" and yet we disregard this beauty in lieu of getting to work on time!

What stories would the objects you find while out "marveling" tell?  Would they be ones your children will remember?  What if you spent an entire day "marveling" with someone you love?  What would you find?  What would you discover?  What would you celebrate and say thank you for and praise our incredible Creator for???  Read Psalm 139:14:  "Marvelous are your works!"  It is oh so true!!!

Go "marveling" and enjoy every minute - forget your worries and your cares!  Set aside your busyness and go on a journey of discovery!  You will "marvel" at what you find!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sisters in Christ....

Sisters in Christ.........women who believe in Jesus Christ and strive to live a life worthy of the calling of God in this crazy world - do you have one or two?  Or, an entire army of these sisters?  They are truly angels in your life!  And, having a band of angels to help you through these turbulent days is a present you can give yourself!

To have a sister in Christ means that I have someone who understands my flaws, my heartaches, my challenges, my obstacles, my sorrows, my disappointments, my triumphs, my successes, and my joys in this life!  A sister in Christ listens to you, lifts you up when you feel down, is a shoulder to cry on, a sage advisor in times of indecision, as well as, holds you in her heart and prays with you! Sometimes they pray for you because your heart cannot...

Do you have a sister in Christ?  If not, I pray that you will ask God for one.  They are an incredible gift from God!!!  They are there for you when you need someone most.  A physical presence and a listening ear.  A helping hand when the load gets too heavy to bear or an "Angel of Joy" when you want to share something wonderful!

These sisters in Christ are not a substitute for turning to Christ in times of need or praise, but rather an extension (in a sense) of His love.  They are needed, valuable and wanted in our lives - they are vessels of love, friendship and accountability.

I happen to have several wonderful sisters in Christ as well as two wonderful biological sisters!  Just today, I was burdened with an very difficult situation in my personal life and what did they do?  They listened, they cried with me and most of all they prayed with me!!!  I could not ask God for a better gift to myself....it is wonderful and also humbles me to the core of my being that God would bless me with such wonderful women to turn to in times of need.

And, I have a bonus in my life:  My "real" biological sisters are also my sisters in Christ - WOW!  How lucky can one girl be???  Very, very lucky.......at least I believe so!!!

If you by chance, don't have a sister in Christ at this point in your life - you have NOT done anything wrong...........James 4:2 says:  "You do not have because you do not ask...."
Don't wait - ASK!!!  God is more than willing to provide you with one of these incredible angels........just ask.  Simple, easy and FUN!

And, James 1:17 says:  "Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights." 
Ask.........it's worth it!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Afflicted, but not crushed....

Have you ever felt afflicted? Perplexed? Persecuted? Struck down?  Well if so, you are in good company!  Our precious Lord, Jesus Christ was all of these and more........for us!  Each one of us and the good news gets better:  We are NOT crushed, driven to despair, forsaken, or destroyed when we suffer!  Why not?  Because of Jesus!  Read 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 and see what I mean..........

We have the most incredible gift with Christ:  Eternal Life!  Eternal means forever....without beginning or end....lasting.......timeless!!!  WOW!  If only we turn to Him and trust Him with our whole hearts..........Have you ever thought of looking forward to spending Eternity with GOD?  The Creator of the Universe?  That is quite a concept to wrap your head around as we say in today's day and age.  ETERNITY.........whew!  It blows my mind and fills my heart with awe and wonder.......and immense gratitude.

Why this topic?  Why this night?  Well, I felt a little bit of affliction, perplexity, persecution and being struck down tonight as I discussed some "old" issues with my son about his dad.  Today is his dad's birthday and despite the fact that we have been divorced for 13 years, I still get a little melancholy around his birthday.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want to get back together with my ex-husband at all for any reason, but I was totally committed to the man for 19 years.  And, sometimes, it still hurts...........I really wanted to be married to one man for my entire life - I wanted to beat the odds and have a marriage that other people said: "Wow, they have really got a great marriage!" 
Well, that obviously did not happen.  Divorce happened instead.  And, while God's incredible grace has sustained me throughout this ordeal, I have grown an enormous amount over the past 13 years!  But, I still regret the fact that I am divorced and that my son had to be the brunt of the disaster and learn skills I never dreamed I would have to teach him on how to cope with separated and divorced parents.  There were a lot of tearful days and nights when we first split and for that I have regrets.......

Trying to be the mediator between my son, his grandparents on his dad's side and my ex is quite a feat!  Listen to this story:  Over the years, I have stayed in touch with my son's grandparents because
I did not want Matt to miss out on having  both sets of grandparents because his own parents could not get their act together.  So, in trying to be nice and invite my in-laws to KC from Ohio so that they might see Matt play baseball this summer I extended the invitation.  Then, in an effort to be open, honest and direct with my ex, I sent him a text to let him know I had offered them to stay at our house if they came for a visit.  Well, guess what???  The ex and his girlfriend got all bent out of shape and made a fuss thus creating havoc for my son with his dad.  UGH!  What is that saying: "You can't win for losing????"  Well, in dealing with this matter, it happens to be true!  And, to boot, I was made out to be the bad guy in trying to make my ex look bad!  Go figure..........I am perplexed!!!

Does anyone see how persecution goes???  And, this is the minor leagues compared to what Christ went through!!!  So, in coping with the after affects even 13 years later, it feels like I am being struck down once again.  Defeated by trying to be nice.  Destroyed because I wanted to extend an invitation for the sake of my son.  Can you imagine how God felt when Jesus was betrayed???  Whew.........it humbles me to the core of my being.

Again, the GOOD NEWS is this:  We will spend Eternity with an amazing, wonderful, glorious God who loves us even when we mess up or are perceived to mess up by others!!!
Isn't that amazing???????  It is to me and so, I stand in awe of an Amazing God, Amazing Son and Amazing Holy Spirit who saves me from all of the destruction of this world. 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Never Leave a Wounded Lamb....

I read the most intriguing article this morning in Charles Stanley's In Touch magazine!  It was called:  Never Leave a Wounded Lamb....and of course in the scriptures, Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  The article was referring to those
people who used to go to church, but have wandered away for many reasons.  Jesus talks about feeding His sheep and lambs many times throughout the Bible.  The story of the lost sheep is one where the owner discovers that one of his sheep is missing.  He goes away, leaves the 99 sheep still in the fold and looks for the one missing.  Compelling isn't it?
Why would a sheep owner leave 99 sheep to find just one?  And, why should a church search out members who have drifted away from the church?  Or, why would a friend contact someone they haven't talked to in years?  Think about it.........who in your life have you lost touch with?  Is it because they or your feelings were hurt?  Is it because something was said in anger?  Was it because pride led the way and no one would say "uncle?"  Every person is important to God.  Every one.  So, why should we make judgements and tell others they are not important? Or, that their lifestyle isn't correct, or their choices wrong?  In the church, every part and every believer of the church body is necessary.  With our bodies, every part is important and needed.  Would we cut off our ear because it is a minor part of our body?  No, it is important though small, and necessary for us to hear. 

What part of your life have you cut off?  What friend do you no longer associate with?  What family member did you leave in the dust?  What church do you no longer go to because something was said to make you leave?

Are there wounds that need to be healed in your heart or another's that you know?  Would it be possible to put down that pride and approach that person?  Or tell someone how hurt you are and why you no longer come to church?  We all need grace sooner or later..........and most likely sooner!  Scripture tells us there is no condemnation in Christ, so why don't we call that brother or sister or friend or relative and ask them to lunch?  Why not reach out to someone who is hurting even though you may be as well?  Every missing lamb matters.
Every one.

Become a shepherd today and go out to search for that lost lamb.........be the one to make the decision to heal an old hurt.  Allow the love and mercy and grace of our incredible God to heal your heart today.......reach out......take a chance.......see if you cannot see the sunshine through that rainforest.....look for the rainbow!  It is just waiting for you to look up!!!