What Am I Trying to be God Over?

I have been reading a terrific book. It’s Ann Voscamp’s latest, “Waymaker”. It’s one that has so many rich insights, I can hardly take them all in. It’s definitely one I will read again, or at least read all my highlights! My prayer has been that God would help me to remember these insights so that I can apply them to my life!

I am led to share one truth that she wrote about. It’s about fear, which is something we have all felt from time to time, I am sure.

Remember when Jesus is out on the boat with His disciples? A huge storm blew in. The disciples were full of fright. They woke Him up and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Then Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea and the wind, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Then He said to them (and this is the part I want to focus on today), “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

Ann Voscamp goes into the topic of fear so profoundly. She says….

“Jesus asks US to examine why we are so afraid because He knows: Fears can turn and burn our hearts so they ignite fight-or-flight responses, making our fears masquerade like anger, like control, like perfectionism, like procrastination, like self-harm, like a thousand other masked faces. God knows no question may matter more than asking ourselves why we are so afraid, which is exactly why God commands us, more than any other command in scripture, “Do not fear.” Because God knows, and I’ve been slow to know and slower to admit: Fear is about losing what we love. As Augustine wrote: “Fear startles at things….which endangers things beloved.”

Wherever one is afraid, one is afraid of losing what one loves.

As Augustine also pointed out, “We fear nothing save to lose what we love.” So, in other words, our deepest loves drive our deepest fear.

Jesus asks, “Why are you so afraid”? I think, examining under all the layers, that maybe at the core: Fear is love of self. Jesus asks us to explore what we are so afraid of so we can see what we love more than Him.”

Whew! This insight from Ann Voscamp is weighty…..but this weightiness has brought me a new level of freedom in Christ. Praise be to God! I am so thankful that God is never finished with our sanctification till it’s time to meet Him!

I named this devotional “What Am I Trying to be God Over?” because what I have gleaned from this truth from Ann V., in a deeper way, is that whatever I am trying to be God over, brings me fear and reveals a love of self. My expectations of anything or anyone, my timing of anything and everything, my concerns about the future, my disappointments (which means I had expectations), my over-thinking things, my thoughts not aligning up with God’s…….my, my, my. Ugh.

What have I been trying to be God over (which means I haven’t been trusting the sovereign God of the universe!) and it’s given me fear and reveals a love of self? I will share one example.

If you watch any news at all, you are aware of the thousands of flights being canceled lately. We have a very important trip coming up the end of July to CA. to celebrate my Dad’s life. (he passed 4/17) I have such peace over it all now because I have given up the fear that our flights may be canceled. God is in complete control and if He wants us all there, He will ‘part the Red Sea’ to get us there. I trust in the character of God and He is good and all-loving. And if He doesn’t allow us to get there, I have to trust there is an good, unknown reason and His love is keeping us home. Debbie is off the ‘throne’ and not trying to be God over this event!

This is just one example. Ann V. recommends we all ask God daily; what am I afraid of and see if God reveals anything so that we can be free and not live in fear and get ourselves off our minds and stop trying to be in control.

A dear, dear friend of mine passed into glory a few weeks ago. I will always remember what she would demonstrate with her hands. We need to live palms up and surrendered, not palms down, clenched in control mode. Love that and am trying to live that out.

May the grace of God fall afresh upon you with a new freedom as you stop trying to be God over something/someone and be delivered from fear!


God is So Close

God, my Father. Jesus, my Savior. Holy Spirit, my Helper who lives inside of me.

Notice I used the word, my, in each of those sentences. He’s all of these names to me because He first made Himself personal to me in all of these names. He is the one who first loved me so I could love Him. (1st John 4:19) God is the initiator of setting His love on an individual.

Please let that sink in. The God who created the whole world, the whole universe chose to set His love on me. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, He did that for you as well!

My oh my. I am so impressed today to share how deeply, deeply our Father, our Savior, the Holy Spirit- Helper, wants us to depend on His unfathomable love. God is LOVE. (1st John 4:8) His love is the foundation of all of the graces that He showers upon us. Such as His help for any situation we are in. His mercy. His comfort. His strength. His wisdom. His guidance. His forgiveness. His empowerment to accomplish what He calls us to do in His name. His filling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. His protection from the evil one. His care on our death bed. ALL of these and so much more have as it’s foundation the LOVE of GOD.

We are never out from under the ultimate Source of LOVE, God’s love. No matter how we may FEEL, the love of God is holding onto us. We’re never out of His sight. We’re never going to surprise Him by where we are or what we are doing. He sees it all and is surrounding us with His love and lives inside of us with His love.

We don’t need to fear anything. God’s got our backs, fronts and insides.

We may not understand the whys of what God allows, but we have to trust Him in the unknowns. Why should we do that? Because God only operates out of a heart of love.

I am convinced that countless Christians do not take ownership of just how deep and wide the love of God is for them. We still look for approval from people instead of basking in the love of God and the security that brings. (been there, done that) We still look for something else or someone else to validate us. It’s a trap from the evil one, that ‘s for sure. That robs us of the peace that God died to give us. It robs us of experiencing all that God has in store for us by His love. We stifle the love when we don’t depend on God’s love.

Dearest readers…..no matter what you are going through this very moment, I want to encourage you to look for ways that God is manifesting His love towards you. Open your eyes afresh to look for how the Holy Spirit is loving you; helping you. He’s close, so very close. You can pray that God would open your eyes to see His love each morning. He longs to reveal Himself to His own children in ways that you and I will recognize Him. He’s a very personal God.

The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in me and in you. We are His address! He longs to have an ongoing relationship and conversation with us! And one that love is expressed by us to Him and one that overflows with His love to us. It’s a love-love thing! And a win-win thing!

God is close-so very close.

This entry was posted on May 5, 2022. 2 Comments

How to Handle Our Fears

(This devotional was one I presented to a group of dear men and women in a nursing home that our church serves once a month) 

The topic of this talk today is how to handle our fears.  We all have fears, don’t we?  But the big question is, how do we handle them?  We all handle them.  Let me repeat that…. we all handle them.  But the big question is HOW do we handle them?  Let me list some ways that we may handle our fears in the wrong ways.

  We isolate ourselves.  We numb ourselves and there are countless ways we attempt to do that.  We talk about them over and over with people but don’t take any advice seriously.  We may read God’s word and read what His counsel is on how to handle our fears, but we don’t ever put it into practice and obey it.  We deny our fears and don’t address them.  We project our fears onto others.  These are just a few ways we may handle our fears.  

None of these ways of handling our fears are helpful.  All of these methods are unhelpful.  None of them are helpful because none of them involve the divine Helper, the Holy Spirit of God.   A famous Christian author named Oswald Chambers said this, “All our fret and worry are caused by calculating without God”.  You see if we leave God out of handling our fears, we just hit a dead end.  We just continue to try, try, try in our own way and get absolutely nowhere.  The fears continue and we miss out on the peace of God that He wants us to live in! 

Did you know that the most repeated command of God in His word is Do Not Fear?  DO NOT FEAR!  In fact, I’ve read that it is stated in one form or another, around 365 times, and that is equal to one for every day of the year!  That tells us that God knows just how much we will battle fear and just how much He doesn’t want us living in fear!  Let’s talk about the way that God wants us to handle our fears. 

In the bible in the book of Phil chap. 4 vs. 6 and 7 God says this. “Do not be anxious about anything, BUT in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let all your requests be made known to God, and then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”    You see God has given us a way, a sort of recipe if you will, as to how to handle our fears and to have His peace rule over our hearts and minds.  Allow me to paraphrase what God is telling us here….He tells us very directly, do NOT be anxious about anything!  BUT, please pray to Me and lift up your prayer needs to Me, surrender them to Me, give your burdens to ME, do it all with thanksgiving, and when you do that, then you will experience My peace that will guard over your heart and your minds.    You see it’s an if/then thing.  If we pray about our fears and put them into the hand of God, THEN His peace, which passes all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds.   This is God’s way, it’s His recipe in how to HANDLE our fears!

Let’s talk about a few more things regarding fear.  You see, God is NOT the source of our fears.  He is not the author of our fears.  He is not the cause of our fears.   The bible says in 2 Tim. 1:7 that “God has NOT given us a spirit of fear…”   So, fear is NOT from God.  Fear comes from within ourselves OR from the evil one who plants them into our minds.  This is so important for us to understand.  This helps us to remember that we need to put into practice the recipe that I described before about going to God in prayer and giving him our fears, putting them on His almighty shoulders so that He can free us from our fears.

Another truth that has really helped me over the years regarding fear is found in 1 Jn. 4:18 and it says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”    Let that sink in.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  You see the love that is being described in this verse is the love of God for His children.  The love of God is the only love that carries with it the ability to cast out our fears.  That’s because it is the highest, greatest love that we could ever, ever have; it’s perfect love.  And if we truly take ownership of His perfect love for us and apply it to our hearts and minds, then fear is cast out because I am standing in the love of God! 

 The love of a spouse or friend or family member or neighbor has no power to cast out our fears.  Do you know why?  Because their love is changeable, their love depends on how they are feeling that day, their love may have impure motives behind it, their love is not always available or reliable.  So, if we are depending on their love to help cast out our fears, we are up a creek with no paddle. 

It’s only the love of God that can cast out our fears.  Why?  Because God’s love is pure.  God’s love is constant; steadfast; immovable.  God’s love is never affected by circumstances.  God’s love is sacrificial.  God’s love is trustworthy.  God’s love always has our best interest at heart.  And because of these kinds of descriptions of God’s love, it is the only love that has the power to cast out and overrule our fears.  The assurance of God’s love for us gives us such a security that when applied to our hearts, it can cast out our fears.  We just need to ask the Holy Spirit for His help to live, loved!  This is a wonderful, rich answer to handling our fears, and that is to live loved by the God who created us and created everything around us!   

There is a Christian lady named Corrie ten Boom who along with her sister, Betsy and her father, are known for how they hid the Jews in their home from the Nazis.  They were eventually captured and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp.  She survived it but her sister and father did not.  She went on to write books and speak all over the world.  I love this quote from her.   “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”   I love that!  We have absolutely no idea what tomorrow holds but we have a God who, according to Hebrews 13:8 is the same yesterday, today and forever.

God is already in tomorrow.  He is already there to meet us with His mercies, His grace, His love, His power, His comfort, His guidance, His help, His care, and His provisions.   We can trust our unknown future to our known God!  Pastor and author John Piper has an incredible book entitled, Future Grace.  I can’t recommend it enough…..I love it because that is exactly what we are banking on, it’s God’s future grace! 

As the hymn says, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone.  Because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living, just because He lives!”


This entry was posted on March 18, 2022. 2 Comments

The Fruit of Humility

I’ve been thinking and pondering about the great value of humility. Having humility certainly describes Jesus! He is always our go-to example for anything worthy in character development. And, oh my, did He ever bring forth fruit by His humility! He humbled Himself all the way to the cross in order to reconcile man to Himself. Because of His humility, we can live with God forever, now and in eternity and be forgiven of our sins. THAT is fruit!

Was it easy for Him? Far from it. But, His love for His Father and His obedience caused Him to do the unthinkable, to die a horrific death for sinners. And because of that, we get to enjoy the fruit of His humility!

According to the dictionary, humility means “freedom from pride or arrogance; the quality or state of being humble.”

Some synonyms of humility are: down-to-earthness, lowliness, meekness, modesty, submissive, deference.

Some antonyms for humility are: arrogance, conceit, egotism, presumptuousness, pride, superiority, haughtiness.

Such opposites in the synonyms and the antonyms!

The truth that I want to express in this devotional is that God is in the business of honoring humility everyday of the week! All throughout scripture we find examples of how God honored someone because they chose to take the humble path; the submissive path; the lowly path. And all throughout scripture we find examples of how God dishonored those who walked in pride. The humble bore fruit; the prideful did not.

What is the main fruit that God wants us to produce? Yes, the fruit of HIS SPIRIT. Humility is the underlying position/posture we have to take if we are going to bear His kind of love( loving the unlovable; loving with no expectation of love in return), His kind of joy (joy even in midst of trials and disappointments), His kind of peace (peace even when things seem out of control), His kind of patience (patience even when circumstances are so hard) etc…

Humility is the KEY to bearing and experiencing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Humility says, “not my will but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42) Humility submits to the sovereignty of God. (Ps. 115:3) Humility waits on God to answer prayers, trusting that He is for us and not against us. (Rom. 8:31) Humility enables us to rest, knowing that God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Is. 64:4) Humility puts us in a position of being lifted up. (James 4:10)

Humility truly, truly is the common denominator of experiencing the life of Jesus that lies within all believers. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Humility of heart and mind will allow Christ to live His life out through us. Pride will stifle His life being lived out through us any day of the week.

So, in closing, I know for myself, I must be continually asking myself, what does humility look like in this moment? If my peace (His peace) is missing, what do I need to submit to Him? If things aren’t moving along at my preferred pace, what do I need to trust unto God? Essentially, when any of the fruit of the Spirit are lacking, where/how do I need to humble myself? These kinds of questions will definitely help me!

Humility brings freedom to the soul! I want that. I know ya’ll do too! (remember, I live in TX. now!)

This entry was posted on September 18, 2021. 3 Comments

Yielding to the Lord

The Lord has put on my heart the word, yield, in a fresh, new way. On our kitchen blackboard, I have had this for over a week: Yield to the Lord in all things. As I pass by it throughout the day, it strikes me as a very good mantra to filter the Christian life through.

All day long we make ‘yielding‘ choices. As Christians, we yield to either pleasing God, pleasing self or pleasing people. I know I truly want to please God, but these others can sneak in, much to my regret.

Matthew 6:13 says, “And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one.” NLT

I like this scripture because it states so perfectly what we are doing when we yield to anything or anyone other than God. We are yielding to a temptation. We are faced with temptations all day long to temp us to please self or people-please!

Pleasing self has temptations such as putting our comfort, our pleasure, our schedule, our likes, our wants, our enjoyment, first and foremost. People-pleasing has temptations such as doing things with impure motivations; wanting to get ahead, wanting to be held in higher esteem, wanting to be liked, wanting to be praised.

The difference between yielding to pleasing the Lord and yielding to pleasing self or pleasing people is tremendous. Yielding to the Lord brings peace, joy, comfort, encouragement to the soul and a sense of the fruit of the Spirit flowing. Yielding to self brings anxiety, shame, discouragement, hopelessness, and no real sense of the fruit of the Spirit flowing in and through us. Yielding to people pleasing yields discouragement due to unmet expectations, frustration, discontentment and a lack of peace and joy.

As it says at the end of the verse in Matt. 6:13, “rescue us from the evil one.” Yes, the evil one LOVES to temp us to yield to self and to yield to people pleasing. We need to remember we are in a battle all day long, full of temptations from the evil one, but we also battle our own hearts desires. Our own “disordered loves”, as St. Augustine has correctly stated.

We desperately need the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts desires so that we choose pleasing God over pleasing self or others. It’s a spiritual work. It’s a God-thing, as they say. We simply won’t choose God without our great Helper, the Holy Spirit’s, enabling power.

Perhaps this devotional brought to your mind something you really need to YIELD to Jesus Christ. Something that has been a temptation or thorn in your life for way too long. Something that steals your peace and joy and the enemy is getting too many victories. I just want to encourage you to do whatever it takes to yield to Jesus in that thing that is on your mind. Pray fervently, seek an accountability partner, ask others to pray for you, get involved in serving Jesus Christ in a fresh new way, keep a prayer journal, start a new Bible Study…..do whatever it takes to successfully YIELD to Jesus, the One who loves you more than words can describe!

Yes, when we yield to the Lord, we experience the true life that Jesus died to give us. It’s a life of freedom, and who doesn’t want that!

This entry was posted on August 22, 2021. 6 Comments

Where to Find True Satisfaction and True Joy

Today I am led to write about two key scriptures regarding satisfaction and joy.

Psalm 90:14 “O satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

These two scriptures shout to us as to where we can find true satisfaction and true joy! O dear readers, why do we/I look for these precious graces in counterfeit places?

We think satisfaction and joy will come if I could just have ________. We think satisfaction and joy will come when ______. We think satisfaction and joy will come if God would just _________. We think satisfaction and joy will come if I could just be _________.

Ugh! As long as we are living with any of these mindsets, we totally miss the satisfaction and joys that God has ordained for this very moment! Life is, as they say (whoever ‘they’ are), DAILY. And God is ever so daily because He owns the days! He desperately wants us to be present in the present, because He is in the present! And because He is in the present, He has complete ability to provide exactly what He says He will provide in these two scriptures; satisfaction by His love and fullness of joy!

If we want to experience these two marvelous graces in our lives, we have to make every effort to press into the Source of true satisfaction and true joy; Jesus Christ! And if our ‘wanter’ is not wanting to do this, we need to ask God to resurrect our ‘wanter’! He is the only one who can change our heart to want Him and all that He has for us in Christ.

Our flesh gets hung up on relational things, material things, job things, money things, church things, travel things etc. We can find ourselves so easily looking for true satisfaction and joy through any of those avenues. They will always leave us searching for the real thing.

As long as we are living with the mindsets stated in the second paragraph, we say goodbye to satisfaction of soul and joy. We say hello to anxiety and discontentment. These things are not at all what God has in His heart for us in any present moment, on any given day.

I just want to encourage us all to pray and see if there is any place in your heart where you are not allowing Jesus’ presence and love to satisfy your heart; is there any counterfeit way that you may be seeking to be satisfied or joyful?

He will meet us with all of who He is if we allow Him to! He is so personal, so daily personal, sitting on ready to “satisfy us in the morning with His steadfast love so we can rejoice and be glad!” It’s “in His presence where we will find fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore!

Bless you!

This entry was posted on June 24, 2021. 3 Comments


Peace. Who doesn’t want peace? Peace that overrides and sustains us in troubles. Peace that overrides and sustains us in disappointments. Peace that overrides and sustains us in a difficult diagnosis. Peace that overrides and sustains us as we wait for salvation to come to those we love. Peace that overrides and sustains us as we wait for God to answer our most heartfelt prayer. Peace that overrides and sustains us in concerns about ________. You fill in the blank.

This kind of peace will not be found in this world because this kind of peace is supernatural, not natural. This kind of peace can only be found in the Creator of peace; the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 9:6) It’s only by Him, through Him and in Him that we will ever find genuine peace; the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

So, we can tell from this scripture, we are instructed to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. This is the will of God. He wants us living in peace, His peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do no let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

So, the million dollar question is, how do we get this peace that Jesus has left for us?

The bridge from anxiety to peace, the bridge from fear to peace, the bridge from worry to peace, the bridge from anything to peace, is PRAYER. Jesus is the only one who has the peace we are all searching for so we must go to the Source. We are the ones who allow peace to lose it’s position in our lives, so we are the ones who must turn to Jesus by prayer to restore peace to it’s rightful place in our hearts. This may need to be done a few times a day or every hour or every few minutes, depending on what we are allowing to steal our peace.

It is so easy to lose our peace. Everything from people, circumstances, words spoken or not spoken, closed doors, loss of job, unanswered prayers, unmet expectations, being over committed, health issues, problems in church etc. have the potential to rule over our hearts instead of the peace of Christ.

Two things that go hand in hand are the peace of God and our faith level. We are in a daily fight for faith. Faith that God knows what He’s doing. Faith that God has allowed such and such and is sovereign over all. Faith that God is our Provider. Faith that God is our Defender. Faith that God is faithful to His children. Faith that God knows all things and is always available to His children. Faith that God is our FATHER and has our backs! Faith that God is exactly who He says He is!

When our hearts are full of faith, we are full of peace. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and PEACE as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Again, when our hearts are full of faith, we are full of peace!

In 2 Tim. 4:7, the apostle Paul is nearing his death and he says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” I love this. It so clearly reveals that it is a fight to keep living in faith. It is a fight that we have every single day of our lives. And only God’s grace can help us to fight the good fight and keep living in faith and have the peace of God reigning in our hearts. It’s all a GIFT out of His enormous love for His children.

So, if we want to have the peace of God reigning in our hearts like we are instructed to do, we have got to do whatever it takes to keep our faith level UP and fight the fight. Remember the bridge? Prayer is always the bridge from lack of peace to having peace. God’s peace is a fruit of the Spirit so we have to pray and ask God to help us to see what we are doing or not doing that is disrupting His peace in our lives. God will show us if we ask! Maybe we need to surrender something. Maybe we need to repent of something. Maybe we need to forgive someone. Maybe we need to follow through on something that the Spirit has been nudging us about for too long. Maybe we need to reach out to that person who is hard to love. Maybe we need to just accept something that cannot be changed. Maybe we need to start being thankful for what we DO have and not always looking at what we do not have. God will show us where we left His peace!

God is faithful. He wants us to press into Him for His peace through prayer and a stronger level of faith in Him and His ways. He will grant the peace because He is faithful to His Word and cannot lie!

Bless you!

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”. This verse is from Nehemiah 8:10. Nehemiah was a Jewish leader who supervised the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the mid 5th century. He was trying to encourage the Israelites as they were overwhelmed by the reading and understanding of the Law.

This verse is powerful. And the enemy of our soul, Satan, knows it too. He knows that if he can steal our JOY, then our strength, our motivation, our oomph, is zapped.

We Christians have the Holy Spirit living within us. JOY is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Most of us know this truth. But, what many of us don’t realize is that we are in a spiritual battle everyday of our lives. And in this battle, Satan is actively trying to steal our JOY one way or another. And this leaves us without strength, somehow, someway.

Satan knows what areas of vulnerability we have. He knows how to push our buttons. He knows how to dismantle us. He is always looking to see whom he can devour (1st Pet. 5:8)

Here are just a few of the titles he has in scripture:

The tempter (Matt. 4:3) The evil one (Matt. 13:19) The accuser (Rev. 12:10) The devil (which literally means slanderer; Matt.4:1) The enemy (Matt. 13:39) The father of lies (Jn. 8:44) Prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2) The adversary (1st Pet. 5:8) And so many more……

All of these titles reveal to us just how powerful and evil the enemy of our soul is. And everyday he is using his evil schemes and character to attempt to dismantle our JOY so that we loose our strength.

This causes me to examine and maybe it will you as well, to examine what am I really banking on for my JOY? What is supporting and propping up my JOY level? What is my “street – level” god that I am depending on for JOY. When I say, ‘street level”, I mean, what am I honestly dependent on for JOY to reign in my soul?

Here are some samples that I believe we can all call our street-level god on occasion:

Good health, praises from others, shopping, lots of ‘likes’/’followers’ on social media, drink, our plans to succeed, bank account, material stuff, climbing the ladder, successful children, being in control, spouse living up to all that you envision, a good response, a thank-you, expectations and on and on it goes.

All of the above can ebb and flow in a nano-second. All of the above are on shaky ground. And if we are dependent on any of those things for our JOY, the enemy knows it and is out to zoom in to wreck havoc on us, forthwith! And boom, our JOY has left the building and we are without strength!

Truly, unless our JOY is grounded on the Rock, the Lord God Almighty, our JOY is upon shaky ground. Even if it is on the solid Rock, the enemy will temp us to waver away from Him, just like he did Jesus in the wilderness.

I just know I need to make sure, daily, that I am doing all I can to be filled with Jesus and if I am, I am filled with the fruit of the Spirit and JOY has the best chance of ruling over my heart. The evil one has less of a chance to rattle me with his schemes and ploys. We have to be alert though, just as it says in 1st Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded, be watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

We must remember 1st John 4:4, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he (Jesus) who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world!”

The JOY of the Lord is your strength!

God bless!

This entry was posted on April 11, 2021. 2 Comments

God or Me?

Today I heard one of my favorite Pastors, Dr. Timothy Keller, say this: “It’s a melancholy burden to believe we know what’s best for us.” In other words, it’s a melancholy burden to our souls to try to be in control over things and people.

I had never conceived the thought, before today, that my thinking I know what’s best is a ‘melancholy burden’. Melancholy is a word for the gloomiest of spirits; sorrowful.

My oh my…..this causes me to take pause and to consider how many times I may have felt melancholy due to the fact that I am not in control or not getting what I think is best for myself (or for others for that matter).

A melancholy burden. Who wants THAT!? NOBODY.

So, the truth is, God is already in control! And in His control, He orchestrates in these ways:

He is orchestrating all things for my good and His glory.(Rom. 8:28) Things that people do to us or that circumstances do to us, God means for good and not for evil. (Gen. 20:20) God has only good plans for us; plans for welfare and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11) God does not withhold any good thing from us if we walk uprightly.(Ps. 84:11) God’s steadfast love extends to the heavens and His faithfulness to the clouds.(Ps. 36:5)

The question is, do I/we believe these truths? Does our heart carry around a melancholy burden because we simply disbelieve the above truths? Are we fighting a downcast spirit because we think we know what’s best? I truly do believe that this is a common dilemma for a lot of Christians and hence, a lack of freedom. A lack of joy. A lack of peace. A lack of comfort. In other words, a lack of the fruit of the Spirit showing up in our lives.

We just don’t want to give up control! We get caught up in our own thinking of, why this? Why now? When, God? Really, God? How long, God? And in this kind of thinking, we are trying to be in control. It’s about ME, not GOD.

I’ve heard author and bible teacher, Beth Moore, say, “Unless we submit all things to the AUTHORITY of GOD, we will have no peace. Without authority, there is no peace.” So true. And without God’s peace ruling, we are probably going to have a melancholy burden in our lives.

So, we have to ask ourselves, where am I trying to control life’s circumstances? Who am I trying to control? Is there an area of flat out disobedience in my life? (another huge reason for a melancholy burden)

If we belong to Jesus, if we have given Him our hearts and call ourselves Christians, then our life does not belong to us any longer! 1st Cor. 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are NOT YOUR OWN, you were bought at a price……” We’ve been bought with the precious blood of Jesus. His love pursued us and rescued us from sin and eternal separation from Him. So, if He went to such tremendous lengths to buy us, why do we think He doesn’t have what’s BEST FOR US, His sons and daughters!

Melancholy burdens….…may we be set free from carrying these because we choose to believe God is FOR us and NOT against us!(Rom. 8:31) Remember, Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:30). If we give Jesus authority over all things and all people, we can eliminate the melancholy burdens and have lighter ones because Jesus is carrying them for our good! Let’s try to allow God to wrap His loving arms around us and deliver us from ourselves!

Blessings to you!

This entry was posted on March 22, 2021. 3 Comments

How Can I Serve the Person in Front of Me?

Lock-down from the virus continues in so many ways. It’s a period in time of history that hasn’t happened in a VERY long time. It’s hard sometimes to get a sense of what normal really is. We’re all adjusting to it or …..not so much.

Whether we are adjusting or not adjusting, God is still on His throne and His sovereignty rules over all! He is still with us and for us! He still has plans for us and not just for the future, but for today! He still wants His children to be a light to those around us. He still wants us to be His instruments of love and encouragement to those around us.

We may not be around nearly as many people as we used to be before Covid hit, but we definitely see the people in our family, in our home or nearby, or people in our neighborhoods, or the people at the doctor’s office, or the people at the grocery store etc. Running into folks in these places seems to be the prominent way we see other people these days.

The title of this post is, “How Can I Serve the Person in Front of Me?” Phil.2:7 says, “Jesus emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant.” I believe that if we take on the attitude of Jesus Christ, we will experience all kinds of opportunities to serve folks right in front of us and bring joy to them. Let me give you two examples that just happened this week.

  1. I was talking to my dear sister who lives near Seattle and she told me about talking to a receptionist at the doctor’s office. She could not believe how helpful, kind, considerate and gracious she sounded over the phone. (this can be unusual but even more unusual in Covid days). My sister hung up the phone and almost cried. She could not believe how this lady sounded (I told her maybe she was from Texas-ha!) She couldn’t believe her experience in talking with this lady. This lady truly ministered to my sister in a very needed way that morning and I am sure my sister told her thank you so much etc.

2) Yesterday I was on my walk around the lake near our home and came upon a gentleman with two golden retrievers. Because I love dogs and we had a golden retriever for fourteen years, I told him what a great breed these dogs are and that kicked off a minute of conversation about dogs. As I was moving on and said to him, “Have a great day!”, he replied, “You too and thank you for talking!” Wow. Thank you for talking. It was pretty clear that my taking time to chat with him for a minute, served him in some way. I have felt that way too when others take a minute to engage in conversation but I don’t think I have told them thank you for talking. He blessed me just by saying that.

That experience really spoke to me about the ministry of just serving the person in front of me. We tend to think that we need to serve in some major way in order to feel like we’re making a difference for the kingdom of God. Not true at all. God is looking for our availability and our faithfulness. He’s looking for our attitude of serving whomever He puts in front of us.

The very word, Christian, means ‘little Christ’. Well, I need to (and perhaps you do too) continually think, “how am I being Christ to this person in front of me?”

Yesterday I set a reminder on my phone that comes up every morning at 8:00 am. It says, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15 I want that continued reminder every morning because it will help my focus on serving others and not self. I am asking God to help me to be aware of how He would have me to serve people right in front of me.

In Acts 20:35 Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” So true! This is how God designed us! He knows that if we give of ourselves in any way, we are the ones who feel so blessed! Encouraging others, brings blessing to our souls. Just imagine the joy in the heart of God as he gives and gives and gives and gives all day and all night long!

If we are feeling stuck due to Covid or due to any other issue, we should try giving of ourselves to the person in front of us and just see what that does to our own soul!

Bless you!

This entry was posted on February 3, 2021. 2 Comments