Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Get What You Give

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12).

A truck driver stopped at a roadside diner for lunch. He ordered a cheeseburger, coffee, and a slice of apple pie. As he was about to eat, three motorcycles pulled up outside. The bikers came in, and one grabbed the trucker's cheeseburger and took a bite from it. The second one drank the trucker's coffee, and the third wolfed down the apple pie. The truck driver didn't say a word. He simply got up, paid the cashier, and left. When he was gone, one of the motorcyclists said, "He ain't much of a man, is he?" "He's not much of a driver, either," the cashier replied, "He just backed his truck over three motorcycles." 

Well there you have the worlds way of dealing with 'you get what you give'. How exhausting to have to live that way.  I don't want to spend my days thinking up creative ways to 'run over motorcycles', live angry, or in a payback existence. So hopeless!

The life of Jesus is the best guide I know on how we’re to treat others.  It's a beautiful way to live and think and be.  When Jesus began His ministry on earth, He didn’t come saying, 'I am God, serve me and do as I say.' When Christ came, one of the many things He showed His disciples (including you and I) was how we’re to treat others. He forgave sins and past mistakes, showed mercy and grace to those who didn’t deserve it, prayed for and served others, helped the poor, healed the sick, reached out to sinners and so much more. If you’re treating people with the love of God, people will not only see your good deeds, but they will also see Christ through you and begin praising Him because of the love of God they’ve experienced through you.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you’re treating people with anything less than the love of God, people will begin to see your angry flair up and selfish behavior. If you say you love God and have asked Him to be Lord of your life (born again) then you are representatives of Christ here on earth, those witnessing and experiencing your angry moods and self serving actions may begin to have negative thoughts about God.

A pearl to string: How you treat others is a reflection of your relationship with God. You cannot have a growing relationship with Christ and continue to treat people with anything else but the love of God.  The more you read the word of God and the closer you are to Him, the more compassion, love and respect you should have toward others.

'let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven' (Matthew 5:16). 

Be blessed and encouraged in Jesus name
and know you are loved.


Monday, February 18, 2013

by Lizza Baro

Matthew 16:24-26.
Then Jesus said to his disciples,“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life
will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Jesus did not say we should take up His cross but our own crosses. We deny ourselves when we choose God's will rather than our own. Eventually we will loose our old way of selfish living and find the new one the Christ makes for us. Deny self does not mean forcing your self to do things you hate. It means doing things that God loves. It brings delight to you and more importantly God. We find joy and peace when we in step with Him.

My grandmother always used to say my father was her cross to bear. She was a woman after Gods heart. Even though my father did things that hurt her and caused her much pain she continued to love him.  I remember her telling me that "sometimes our cross was our trophies." Things in life that mean the most. Things were proud of. Things we don't want to give up. She always told me "be careful what you put in front of Jesus. He will take it away not to be mean but so we can focus on Him". She was a wise woman. I leaned a lot from her.

We all have our own things that is our cross, that we must carry and endure the pain. sometimes I just feel like throwing it to the side and walking away. But other days I leave it at His cross and say your will be done. I surrender it all to Him. It's a lot easier to just walk away but I would not be learning the life lesson that God wants me to learn. He wants to grow me into His image. Thank you Jesus for pruning me and making me more like you. May I never forget your cross. You gave it all for me. Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Our Heart is God's Garden

In the Old Testament, it is clear that God created the garden and He created man and put man in the garden. In the New Testament, God doesn’t put man in the garden; He puts the garden in man. God made man out of the dust of the earth and God made our hearts the spiritual soil from which we grow. Our hearts encompass our spirit and soul.  When we are born again our spirit is changed instantly into the image of God (John 3:3-8) but our soul is changed in process. 

Our soul includes our mind, will and emotions   Our soul learns through our senses (sight, hearing) so what ever enters our soul by seeing, listening, reading or speaking changes the nature of the soul. First step to change our soul that thinks like the world instead of God is to change the way we feed our soul. Our mind, will, and emotions were all trained by our experiences, our parents, our feelings, our church and our school, the movies and our cultural mores. But what we need to do is to renew our soul. It has to be changed, reprogrammed, re-taught and retrained. We need to teach our soul to obey God and to think in agreement with the Word of God.   After becoming a Christian, the Bible instructs us to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). 

“A man out of the good treasure of his heart is going to bring forth good things, but a man out of the evil treasure of his heart is going to bring forth evil things.”  (Matthew 12:35)  So, whatever we sow is what we are going to reap. Our heart is going to produce the issues or the harvests of whatever it is that we put into our life. “Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:18-20)   

A pearl to string: Christianity is not just another religion.  It is the life of God abiding within and flowing out of the believer. Other religions leave you the same person you were before.  But the wonderful thing about the Christian life is that it will completely transform us.  That's good news to me since I have what my Grandma called , "a wild hair".  My soul needs Jesus. 

He has set eternity in our hearts
Keep growing in Him,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

His Truth

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6 

Oh I love that Scripture verse.  It's so practical in my own life. More often than I care to admit I am tempted to rely more on my own understanding than on God. Sometimes I speak too soon; other times not soon enough! Simple, sweet opportunities to be used of the Lord are missed when my focus gets locked on me, me, me, my schedule or routine! And then who do I call?  You got it. Help me Lord! There are times I put limits on God by leaning more on my fears than God's faithfulness. Life can just come too fast and my natural instinct is to figure it out based on my feelings or “what I think”.  That's a dangerous zone to be in for it limits understanding down to life experiences.  "Truth" does not count when scaled to "want".  "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death". (Proverbs 14:12) 

A pearl to string: God has not left us without resource when it comes to understanding His heart and His truth for our lives. He has given us His Word. When you read God's Word you'll have a variety of experiences. There may be times when you study God’s Word that it makes so much sense to you and you find your self congratulating God on His brilliance. Every so often however, studying the truth of God’s Word will just slam you against the wall and wake you up out of your drifting towards spiritual amnesia. Occasionally God’s truth is frustrating because it is such a contrast to your perspective or the perspective of others. Now and then, your tendency might be to lean just slightly into God’s truth….as long as it fits your needs or gets you what you want. Some days it sparks a lot of questions and will disturb your complacency just enough that you will delve deeper into the scriptures around a particular topic.  

All in all, it is that day to day encounter with God’s Word and the power of His Holy Spirit working through that encounter that challenges, encourages, disturbs, inspires, and shapes your heart after God’s own heart.  

God's heart is for you...
You are loved,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Here After

The preacher came to call the other day. He said at my age I should be thinking of the hereafter.  I told him, "Oh, I do it all the time. No matter where I am - in the bedroom, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement - I ask myself, 'Now, what am I here after?'" 

The kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3), the kingdom of the Father (Matthew 13:43), life everlasting (Matthew 19:16), the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:21), great reward (Matthew 5:12), the kingdom of God (Mark 9:45), the kingdom of Christ (Luke 22:30), the house of the Father (John 14:2), city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebr., xii), the holy place (Hebrews 9:12; D. V. holies), paradise (2 Corinthians 12:4), incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25), crown of life (James 1:12), crown of justice (II Timothy iv, 8), crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4), hereafter - the time yet to come, kingdom come, in the sweet by-and-by, following this in time or order or place; in a future life or state. In other words: life after death is everlasting life... eternity. 

Ecclesiastes 3:11  "God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end". The point Solomon is making: Since we were made for eternity, the things of time cannot fully or permanently satisfy. 

James 4:4 Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Francis Chan said, "Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers."  

The interesting thing is the Bible is not just a nice book to read in your spare time as some might think. It's not an encyclopedia of religious information, it is not a collection of moral parables, nor is it an assembly of stories about the distant past. The Bible is God's written revelation of Himself and man's relationship to Him through the Covenant bond He establishes with those men and women He calls into a unique relationship. While covenant blessings and curses in the Old Testament were temporal, covenant blessings and curses in the New Covenant in Christ are eternal. 

A pearl to string: Blessings do not depend on your performance but rather on Jesus’ performance.  And because His obedience is perfect and His work is perfectly finished, the covenant blessings for you are guaranteed! You can not be good enough, holy enough, compassionate enough nor can you love enough to be in covenant blessing.
There is nothing left for you to do, but to believe. Don’t try to work for your covenant blessings. Rest in the Son’s finished work and receive them by faith! 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) 

We're all in His love,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Do you hear what I hear?

Five Englishmen travelling across Europe in an Audi Quattro arrive at a border crossing.
The Customs agent stops them and says, "It's illegal to put five people in a Quattro."
"What do you mean it's illegal?" ask the Englishmen.
"Quattro means four," replies the border official.
"Quattro is just the name of the automobile," the Englishmen retort disbelievingly.
"Look at the papers: this car is designed to carry five persons."
"You can't pull that one on me," replies the Customs agent.
"Quattro means four. You have five people in your car and you are therefore breaking the law."
The Englishmen reply angrily, "You nut case! Call your supervisor over.  I want to speak to someone with more intelligence!"
"Sorry," responds the official, "he can't come. He's busy with two guys in a Fiat Uno." 

Life can be frustrating when you are dealing with people who do not make sense to you.  Because you believe differently does not give you the right to dishonor others. We don't all come from the same place in our thinking, in our reasoning or in our life experiences. We react and self talk more than we listen.  The tendency that seems to prevail judges others by their actions and words while we generously judge ourselves by our intentions. Our intentions however do not qualify any of us to judge the heart of another. 

Like the men caught on the stormy Sea of Galilee, have you ever been reeling in the waves of a storm desperately seeking Jesus help?  Then discover you are the storm? The squall of business? The fixer, the controller, the talker? Are Jesus’ words to the wind for you? “’Quiet!  Settle down!’” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass.”(Mark 5:39The Message). 

A pearl to string: Too many people talk to impress and impose their point of view on another. They drain the life out of their audience and eventually become the old lonely person.  It's possible to actually spend a lot of time with people but unless you spend time listening, you can not know anybody.  A serious result of not listening is boredom for it is really the death of love. It seals people off from each other more than any other thing. 

Listening is the first step to successful communication and the secret component to close relationships.  Listening is an act of love, it is honoring, it refreshes the other person, and more encouraging than a thousand words.  

With a new year upon us it is the perfect time to hone our listening skills with intentionality.

In him we live and move and have our being, (Acts 17:28NIV)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Together 50 Years

Last July our children and grandchildren gathered a few friends around Denver to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.  They did such a fantastic job they could start a business and be millionaires. We had such a fun evening and couldn't stop smiling for.... actually we're still smiling.  Our wedding day was December 29th and we are still amazed that we have been together 50 years.  We feel blessed and protected by the Lord. 

I was 19 years old when we were married and very ready for the responsibility of home, family and a loving husband that did everything my way.  Shoot that 22 year old hunk must have missed the memo.  What I wasn't prepared for was a husband who didn't have a clue how to live out those vows.  

(Malachi 2:15)  "You were united to your wife by the Lord. In God's wise plan, when you married, the two of you became one person in His sight".  

As you can see it turns out good but we did have a little trouble getting to "ONE" in His sight. We started off with "I got my eye on you". But after the wedding day that quickly turned into "don't tell me what to do".  The years of the power struggle were and I for and I. Then life got busy with children and work and we spent many more hours apart than together.  We both misread the 'no time together' and 'lack of conflict' for a good marriage.  I have to laugh - how many people does that happen to?  Naive, not schooled in relationships, just doing the best we could to do good to each other. I took my helpmate role quite seriously and I set out to take care of everyone in this family. Of course I gleaned my wisdom from my own family experience.  It never occurred to me that my husband's wisdom from his family experience would be so contrary to my view. Yikes that caused serious trouble through the years and bad names formed in my brain towards my husband.  That's not healthy. We were both church people but neither of us had ever known to ask Christ into our lives as Savior and Lord. Through the Holy Spirit it becomes a living relationship with our Creator.   

Now you are probably thinking ok now that they have the Lord they are fixed.  Not exactly.  We seem to have a recurring pattern: we've got our eye on you Lord, not real comfortable being told what to do, an I for an I struggle, Bible studies, Christian family camps, church and community service kept us busy.  We both misread that full and busy life for being a good Christian family.  We were changing, we were growing but we were also missing something much needed. 

A pearl to string: Receiving the Holy Spirit and being filled by the Holy Spirit are not functionally identical. All Believers receive the Holy Spirit at salvation but you don't get filled just one time and ride that out for the remainder of your life. In Ephesians 5:18 the Greek word for 'filled' is a verb (present passive imperative) that, based upon the tense, speaks of a continual process of filling.  In other words, the filling of the Holy Spirit involves a continual process in the Believer after salvation.  When you are full of the Holy Spirit, you are led by the Holy Spirit. When you are led by the Holy Spirit, people see the attributes of Jesus Christ flowing out from you, the "fruit of the Spirit." (Galatians 5:22-23) 

And that my precious friends is beautiful
it's what we aim at and pray for in our walk with the Lord and in our marriage
My handsome husband I love you with my life and I am so proud of you. Treasuring
our 50 together Immersed in His love

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Other Side of Christmas

Love is in the air, giving is in the heart, gifts under the tree, lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us in the streets?  Ahhh.... traditions!  Is this really Christmas? 

For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. It's a hard time to feel Christmas cheer if you're still reeling over sickness or the recent loss of a loved one. Sometimes, until we heal, the full holiday effect is just too much for our wounded spirits. If the whole “Christmas experience” is overwhelming to you, try narrowing your celebration down to simple worship of God for the gift of His Son.

True Christmas is all about Him instead of us. It need be nothing more. We make it far too complicated because we center its significance on people, not God. I hear people say all the time, “Christmas is all about the kids.” Well, it isn’t. It’s about Jesus. If it’s not, we’re setting ourselves up for cruel disappointment. Kids will grow up and leave home. Sometimes loved ones die. Divorce happens. A lost job will leave your pockets empty with nothing under the tree—if you can even afford the tree! When the people and things we love leave us or let us down, it crushes our love for the season; but when we focus on Him, however, as rightly we should, other things are small and less significant in comparison.

A pearl to string:  Please don’t despair, for paring down your expectations and shifting your priorities can make this season a time of joy again. Your return to sincere worship will not only shut out the noise of the things that cause you pain, but your Heavenly Father actually hovers close to those who praise Him. Don’t take yourself into the places where you haven't healed. Take a break from that part of this season and just go back to Jesus. There's no sadness associated with His birth, and that's where our true celebration begins. Peace will permeate the hurt places in your life.  With Jesus as the centerpiece of this holy day, you need never hate or dread Christmas again. All the other things which make it a dreadful time for some--shopping nightmares, stress, shortage of money, painful memories--these have nothing to do with Jesus. Stay focused on Him. The pure simplicity of His birth doesn't require anything more than a grateful heart; so whatever else tries to crowd out your Christmas spirit, push it away from the center of your life and just rest, like the baby in the manger, in the infinite goodness of a God who was willing to give His very best--for YOU.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."   (Isaiah 26:3)

Merry Christmas for real
"Above all, love each other deeply..." ~1 Peter 4:8
You are loved,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


How do you know when you've botched a burglary?  When all the guns are pointed at you. Report in the DFW News 12/5/12 Springtown, Texas:  A suspected burglar called 911 after the owner of the home he broke into caught and held him at gunpoint as he sat in his pickup truck parked in their driveway.  Awkward!

I'm sure that guy would like to start his day over again.  I've had days like that.... well I have never been in a pick up truck with guns pointed at me but I've been under the shadow of darkness because of my chosen behavior.  I'm the one responsible for my actions and reactions and I hate to behave in a sinful manner. Charles Spurgeon said,

"The door of repentance opens into the hall of joy."  What a gift God has for me and for you. (Psalm 32:5) "{When} I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD'—and you forgave the guilt of my sin."  

A pearl to string: With Christmas approaching rapidly the thoughts of joy flood my soul.  It's not the shiny new Christmas gifts under the tree that bring lasting joy. Once the newness of the gift wears off, the joy starts to fade. Presents get lost, toys get broken, and dreams of long-lived happiness begin to evaporate. The truth is, nothing in this earthly life offers unending joy.  It's not the presents... it's His presence! The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." All sin, all unrighteousness—past, present, and future—is washed away by the blood of Christ when we confess our sins and receive his cleansing salvation. Our souls are forever freed from the crushing weight of guilt, thanks to the loving sacrifice of our Savior.  

I've been praying for you that the challenge of going through a negativity fast last week would set you up for repentance.  If you've walked through the door of repentance, then you've awakened into the hall of joy described by Charles Spurgeon. This is the message of the gospel that we celebrate at Christmas—God's pronouncement of everlasting joy to the world! 

Merry Christmas
His birth is our gift of JOY everlasting


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No Joy Theft

It's December!  As if you didn't know that fact.  We are all knee deep in Christmas groundwork .  I discovered some years ago a secret ingredient to Christmas preparation that freed me from experiencing joy theft while getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  CLEANING! Not the house although I do recommend doing that. A winter-cleaning for the soul: A Negativity Fast!  That’s right a Negativity Fast.  What pray tell is a Negativity Fast you ask? Refrain from a negative thought for 24 hours.  It may take a whole month to achieve – well it took me a whole month!  Every morning I’d wake up, stretch and say good morning Jesus, then my brow furled and a negative thought formed in my upper brain and traveled down the back of my head and with centrifugal force came into fruition. Coffee stain in my sink I’d think loudly.  Ugg!  I hate coffee stains in my sink.  My feet would hit the floor running and I’d get to the sink and sure enough –there they were – coffee stains in my sink along with the realization that I had a negative thought before my feet hit the floor.  Drats !!! More negative thoughts. Oh double drats !!!  I immediately start to blame my husband, 'Oh Lord why can’t he clean this up'?  I shout inside my head.  Then I’d remember his idea of clean and my idea of clean wouldn’t even appear on the same calendar in a year.  I remind myself how lovely it is that he brews delicious coffee every morning and the other thing that occurs to me: the world would never understand murdering a husband cuz he left coffee stains in the sink!  Oh my, that is as stupid as killing one of those husbands because they squeezed the toothpaste in the middle. Better to focus on the good news that he used toothpaste.  I’m sunk Lord and I stink at a Negativity Fast.  Can I start my negativity fast after everyone leaves?  That might give me a running start. !!!!!!  As you can see it's easier said than done.  Give it a try... just 24 little hours but the blessings will continue beyond the fast.  

A pearl to string: God's Word tells us: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ".  (Colossians 2:8/NIV) 

An animal trainer will take a stool with them when they step into a cage with a lion.  Why?  Because it calms a lion better than anything else except maybe a tranquilizer gun.  When the trainer holds that stool with the legs extended toward the lions’ face, the animal tries to focus on all four legs at once.  And that paralyzes him.  Divided focus always works against you.  "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you".  (Isaiah 26:3NKJV) 

Our negative thoughts allow satan to get a foot into the door of our hearts.  You don't want to be forced to run satan's errands (Timothy 2:26/MSG)  "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour". (1 Peter 5:8/NIV)   

The measure of a woman is when she is facing her tribulations to eradicate their influence from her life’s story. For I, says the Lord, will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst. (Zechariah 2:5) Blessed is the woman to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no negativity. (Psalm 32:2) 

May the celebration of Jesus' birth be a living joy in you
You are loved

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Got My Goat

Did someone get your goat last week?  Odd little saying isn’t it - maybe even odd and old.  For all the young whippersnappers reading this – it means someone made you mad. 
While researching the origin of this phrase I came across several explanations. The one written about most often I have not witnessed but then I didn't go to horse races at the turn of the 20th century. Please .... I wasn't even around at the turn of the 20th century.

Horses of a high-strung nature were often accompanied by a goat (or a sheep). It was a way of calming a horse down, especially a thoroughbred horse before a race. The legend has it that rivals and crooks deliberately betting against that horse, would steal the goat, resulting in the horse being upset and less able to run a victorious race. The thief would thus have "gotten the horse's goat."  That would make everyone mad when the horse lost the race.   

They may not house race horses with goats these days but after this past election I'd say there were quite a few people who got their goat stolen. Not to fret the good news is anger managements classes are available.  Even better news God's Word addresses the issue of unbridled anger. 

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)   

The verse tells us that we have “this treasure” in earthen vessels. Who is the treasure? Christ! Who are the earthen vessels here? You and I! For patience when facing goat theft thank God the treasure is in the earthen vessels.   

A pearl to string: If you pray for patience and you want God to give it to you right now be aware trials will commence.  If you listen real close you will here God whisper "are you there yet?" after each test.  That taught me to pray for wisdom knowing that patience is the result.  And no tests! Then wisdom taught me to thank God: “Lord Jesus, I thank You that You are my patience.” 

When we rest in and depend on the strengths of our Savior we become the overcomer of the adversity facing us. So don’t get frustrated when you see your “earthiness”. You will always be “earthen” as long as you are in your mortal body, but remember that Christ the treasure is in you when you invite Him into your heart.
You are loved,


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


A story a friend sent along this past week really got me thinking about the things I have whole heartedly pursued along my life road.  Through the years there were changes, growth, lessons to be learned and struggles that would realign my thinking as well as my activity.  Some of those experiences I welcomed and….. some I treated like an ugly bug crawling up my leg.  Freak–out!  Prayed like crazy!  See where your thoughts take you. 

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.  Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - Porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.   

 After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress." 

"Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups...and then began eyeing each other.  Now consider this: Life is the coffee and the jobs, houses, cars, things, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us." 

A pearl to string: In Matthew 6 we are encouraged to seek God first and our most important needs will be met.  In Proverbs 1 we are advised to acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.  In 1 Corinthians 13 we learn that love never fails and it is the greatest of all God made characteristics.  I’ve learned that when my life is contained in the cupped hand of God I don’t spill out all over the floor. Learning to choose the right cup is joy.  

Sipping with Jesus,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sparkle and Shimmer

Ever find yourself mesmerized by the shimmering of the aspen tree leaves? Isn’t it amazing how God shaped their leaves like little hearts, made them a vibrant green on one side and a soft shade of green on the other. As the breeze flutters through, the leaves sparkle and shimmer like no other tree.  Their beauty catches my breath.   

I love gazing at the slender trunks of white and autumn yellow leaves against the back drop of rich dark green pine tree across the face of a mountain. Simply spectacular! It brings joy to my heart.  

Feeling the depth of God’s creation brings precious glimpses of God’s delight over each one of us. Even a gloomy Gus day cannot dim the reality of happiness I have in Jesus’ love nor the joy He has in each one of us.  

We are His treasured jewels, matchless, inimitable, each one of us uniquely defined by God.  When the breeze of God’s Holy Spirit blows on us and through us, we sparkle and shimmer and amazingly reflect God’s joy in us. 

A pearl to string: Try not to dissolve like a human bouillon cube when hot water bubbles around you – Persevere!  God in time gives life to your dreams in a way that surpasses your hope. The Message translation illuminates God’s reality for us in Luke 8:15: “But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest”.  Remember the two shaded aspen leaf shaped like a heart sparkles and shimmers even in the rain? When you lean in and trust your creator - you do too! 

Know In His grace we will thrive,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I see erosion of God's Word everywhere.  I see it in people I love, trust and admire.  It's scary to watch.  I'm not talking about evil people... I'm talking about loving people.  People who have a kind heart and care about their fellow man. It's a truth trickle.  Just a little bit of God's Word is discarded and replaced with man's truth. Coach Wonderful calls that cherry picking the Bible - choosing what makes sense to you. The soul can wither with man's compassion for it is only for the season in which he lives.  I know it could happen to me.  I know I could easily be swayed into the world's system of thinking.  So often it seems so right. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.  (Proverbs 13:12)  

I've developed a little test for me. It scares me to think I could fall so easily. If I think something is right and I have not lined it up to the Word of God then I'm wrong!  I need to "Search for the LORD and for HIS strength; continually seek him". (Psalm 105:4) God is my strength: "O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God". (Psalm 59:17) 

If I am reading God's Word everyday then I can live the biblical principles Christ taught:

You have to plant to reap; that is the seedtime harvest principle
You have to serve to lead; that is the Golden Rule.
You have to lose to win; that is God’s game strategy.
You have to give to get; that is God’s investment portfolio.
You have to die to live; that is God’s life insurance policy.
You have to wait to advance; that is God’s proficiency exam.
You have to be last to be first; that is God’s promotion plan.

You have to believe in what you cannot see, in order to see what others cannot believe; that is God’s faith test. (credit: Pastor Dana Gammill, Canton, Ohio)

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) 

A pearl to string: I've discovered that if I slack off or skip reading God's Word because life gets so busy and full it becomes easier not to study.  When I fail to study I fail to seek.  When I fail to seek I fail to find.  When I fail to find I falter to follow and find myself leading the way which makes me fodder for sin's snares. My only hope in growing in love with Jesus is to be in His Word to walk with Him and talk with Him daily.  It's easy to say you love someone but to actually love them will cost you something.  It cost Jesus his life... that's how much He love you and me.‎

"Busyness in the Kingdom does not make up for neglect of the King."
Don't ever forget how much you are loved

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hear I Grow Again

..... faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of God. Romans 10:17 

Calm down I spelled 'here' incorrectly because I wanted an ear in it. The society we live in has brain washed us into thinking difficult times are bad, life should be fair, love is getting your own way and peace is the lack of problems. After making that statement I think I am hearing a chorus of choking angels.

Have you read the Bible? I'm not talking about the parts you understand and use to pontificate your great spiritual intellect. I'm talking about reading God's Word to be in relationship with Him. There is no where else I have ever been able to learn what love is or how to love another.  Where does love start? Have you ever noticed how you respond to anyone who loves you? Love is a blessing that started with God first loving us. (1 John 4:19) How does He do that?  Have you looked in a mirror lately? Are you lovable? Well I'm sure you have your moments just like I do but God sees all. Ugg! 

Jesus’ existence didn’t begin with His birth or conception, but pre-existed Creation, as made by Him and for Him. Jesus was both with God and God Himself. The plurality within the Godhead makes it possible for God to be intrinsically a ‘God of Love’.
In Jesus, God took on human nature, so He could die for our sins as a fellow human, taking the penalty we deserve for our sins. In fact, this was planned from Eternity, as the names of the Redeemed were already written in His Book of Life from the foundation of the World.  When Jesus took on humanity, this was an addition to His divine nature, not a subtraction of His divinity. He first loved us.... He died for us..... He shows us the way! So to love others first we have to die?  We can't do that!  Yes, yes we can.  We don't have to die dead.... we're not saving anybody.  We just need to die to our selfish ways so love can live. 

A pearl to string:  It has been said that first Corinthians 13 is the love chapter.  God is love and verses 4 thru 7 are His characteristics: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and Love keeps no record of being wronged. Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 

Replace the word "Love" with your name. When you read it out load with you name, does what you read have truth?  Reading God's Word is a life long adventure that brings you closer to God's characteristics as your faith in Him grows. 

His eye is always on us
because He loves us with His life

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Two Three

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”  Lena Horne 

I thinks of the load in one's day as a pile of irritants that I gritch & moan about but a burden is a deep pain in my heart.  Most of us shoulder our burdens alone and share our loads with friends but God intends for us to share our burdens and carry our own loads.  “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”(Galatians 6:2)  In this verse burden in the Greek translates into boulder; a boulder is something that is too heavy for an individual to carry alone. Scripture also says: “ … for each one should carry his own load.” (Galatians 6:5 ) Load in the Greek translates into knapsack; a knapsack is something that each individual is responsible to carry on his own. So, there are boulders and there are knapsacks. We are to help carry one another’s boulders but not one another’s knapsacks. When we carry one another’s knapsacks we get in the way of their maturing process.  

Among the new verbs created out of nouns, “efforting” won't be found in your dictionary but it seems so appropriate here.  It means struggling unnecessarily in an effort to do something. It could be illustrated by pushing a car to your destination when it would be much easier to start the engine and drive it. When I find myself “efforting,” I think of Jesus’ invitation to let Him take the heavy part of the yoke, leaving me the lighter side. He does not necessarily say that He will carry all of my baggage. Yet, He does promise that when we accept His invitation, He will gladly lighten our load.   
(Matthew 11:25-30) Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”  Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”   The Message 

A pearl to string: God gave us the formula in His Word. First, turn to Him, second give up control, and third trust Him and follow.  

First: He said, “Come to Me.” There is no peace outside of Christ. Too many Christians are living with one foot in Christ and one foot in the world. There will be no peace for those who do not come completely to Him. Second: To take up the yoke of Christ is to give up control to Him. The yoke is a symbol of partnership. Christ is right next us, yoked with us to help us with our load. A yoke is also a symbol of guidance. Yoked with Christ, we can only move in His direction and at His pace. But we must give Him first place and give up our control. Third: Giving up control always leads us to trust Him. If we let Christ guide and control us, we trust Him. Without trust, we can not follow.  

In His grace
You are loved,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Law of the Garbage Truck

This is just one of those anonymous stories that has a good word for each one of us. One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.  So I asked, "Why did you just do that? That guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"  

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."  He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage -- frustration, anger, disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.  Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.  Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.  The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.  Anger, hatred and resentment that lives within us is destructive and counterproductive.   

A pearl to string: There are many places in life where we get the opportunity to live
the "....forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" part of the prayer our Lord taught us to pray.  (Matthew 6:9-13)  

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Love the people who treat you right.
Pray for the ones who don't.
Because you are loved,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Some years ago in a Bible Study group a lady told me I had the 'gift of reciprocity'.  I like that gift... it's a very cool sounding gift I thought to myself.   As I pondered  the lady's words over and over in my mind in connection to serving the Lord I began to wonder..... what the heck does that mean?  I discovered a very interesting detail in my study. The Ethic of Reciprocity or the Golden Rule is the one maxim, ethical code, or morality that all religions and philosophies have in common with God's Word. (Lev. 19:18, 34, Matt. 7:12, Lu 6:31)  Of course the variation is vast but the meaning is the same. As a green wordsmith I guess I'm not understanding what that lady intended by 'gift of reciprocity'. I don't really want to treat others the way I want to be treated.  I want to treat others the way God treats me.  

I've always been drawn to encouraging wives and mothers. I learned the hard way husbands and children don't come with a set of directions. Too often women find themselves operating in crisis mode.  I found myself in those crisis modes many times in my life.  As a terrified child running from abuse I would crawl into my imaginary cave and close the opening to where I could see out but no one could see me. Even as a grown woman my natural instinct is to hide.  It's just plain safer in my imaginary cave because I'm not alone.  Jesus was always there with me.  Eventually one learns that there's nothing better than a few crisis in one's life to strengthen the soul.  Then one day, I think it happens to everyone in some form, calamity hits your life and no amount of previous experience or coping mechanism will suffice.  You need Jesus and no one else will do. 

Life has road signs: warning signs, regulatory signs, guide and information signs, temporary traffic control signs, school signs, railroad signs and emergency signs.  I even came across a sign that said, "no traffic signs".  Oh that has to be the worst.  How are we suppose to know what to do or where to go?  That is just where I feel called to encourage and share..... not what my life experiences have taught me but what I learned when I gave the pain to Jesus.  Is that the 'gift of reciprocity'? 

A pearl to string: When you feel all alone in the midst of a crisis and no one is coming to rescue you that's where any individual can find the Lord.   When your whining and complaining end. When your screams and curses dry up. When you run out of tears.  When the silence is deafening. That's when you can hear that faint knock, knock, knocking at the door of your heart. Anytime you come to the end of yourself.  His smiling face and open arms welcome you.   

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me".  (Revelation 3:20)  Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  (John 14:23) 

Oh how He loves you and me

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


(Mark 7:15 NLT) "It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”


We get so hung up on externals, appearances, and facades.  It's not just a matter of taste, or maintenance problem.  Fashionistas, compulsive exercisers, workaholics, social butterflies, sports nuts, extreme dieters, the primal urge to splurge shoppers, or excessive decor revolutionists.  All the over the moon habits are  intense needs for control in our lives and become the breeding ground for perfectionist pathology.  Not everything is beautiful from every view point. Healthy people organize their enjoyable activities around their lives, whereas control-dependents organize their lives round their excessive activities. Horace, the Roman poet, sums it up: "Clogged with yesterday's excess, the body drags the mind down with it".   

"Jesus said to the crowd, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"  (Luke 12:15)  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Luke 12:34)

Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when the Father has to pry your fingers open!  Corrie Ten Boom

A pearl to string
: Jesus cuts to the core of God's concern -- our spiritual heart condition. He wants us to not only focus on what we put in or on our body, but what we allow to grow in our hearts and simmer in our heads. The inner world is what needs our most earnest attention.  

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) 

Our weary hearts, our wayward hearts, our broken and fearful hearts - our inner selves need a Savior.  Whatever brings our hearts to Christ brings us near to God. 

Count your blessings and
know you are loved,