4/1/24 – Sail

When you don’t know for sure, it’s hard to move forward. But sometimes, taking a step into the unknown is required to get the ship out of the port. I mean, Do you want to sail or not? I knew the wife of a boat owner who would spend weekends on the boat (in port) refusing to get out on the water. I’ve seen countless boat owners clean and mop the deck of their vessels knowing that their chances of removing the slip and actually sailing off were slim. We bought the boat and we want to sail, but we don’t. Our beautiful ship is no match for the anchor of excuses weighing us down: It’s too much work. It takes too much time. Gas is too expensive and the weather isn’t great. Besides; it can be downright scary. What fun is that? (Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19; I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8)

3/29/24 – Lack

Many people verbalize that which they lack, and let’s face it; we’re always lacking something. There’s never enough praise, profit, or peace in our lives. But what we’re really lacking is wisdom. The one thing that will get us what we need and what we want is wisdom. Think of Solomon in the Bible. The thing that mattered most to him was wisdom, so He asked the Lord for it. And guess what? He received it and quite a glorious amount of it. He was considered the wisest man in Israel. The acquisition of wisdom will bring all the other things you need, discernment, insight, and understanding. Wisdom is the basis from which everything that really matters in life stems. If you don’t have that, you really don’t have anything of value. Ask the Lord for it and see what happens. (If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5; How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. Proverbs 16:16)

2/15/24 – Well

We all want a happy ending, don’t we? We all delight in a fairytale, and not necessarily the ones on the Hallmark Channel, if you know what I mean. I think of the main characters in some of Dickens’ classic novels, who, trudging through the mud and mire, finally secure their rags to riches successes. Maybe you’ve reached that pinnacle, that happy ending. You are with the one you love, and desiring nothing else, feel all is well with the world. Until it isn’t. Folks, things aren’t really well with the world as I write this blogpost. Go ahead with your glitz and glamour; live the life you’re living now, because in time, like the classic line in Titanic, …all this will be at the bottom of the Atlantic. The people living the good life on that ship had no idea what would become them as they stepped on it that fateful day, April 15, 1912. The great thing is that we, as born again Christians know what’s ahead. We can prepare for it. Get ready. It will happen. (And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. Matthew 24:6; And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14)

2/13/24 – Wiser

Who is wiser than the Lord our God? Who sees what we try to conceal? Who knows the motives, the intents of our hearts more than the Lord our God? The rich get richer and poor get poorer; yet, the Lord only sits and watches from above taking it all in. He looks on as His people fight for their freedom and doesn’t interfere. He watches as criminals continue their scheming, their destruction. He allows evildoers to continue corrupting the streets, the corporations, and the homes of decent people. Does He not care? Does He not love us? The answer seems to be no. In our measly minds, most assuredly the answer is no. But when we seriously contemplate His omniscience, His omnipotence, His omnipresence, we must know better. We know there is an end to all this evil. And we know who wins in the end. That is no mystery. (I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33; He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4)

2/12/24 – Trip

How long does it take you to prepare for a trip? I suppose that all depends on the length of your stay. Planning for a week’s vacation is much different than just the weekend. If you’re anything like me, you can grab what you need in an afternoon and be on your way the next. However if you’re completely uprooting and moving to another location, then you can expect a longer and perhaps a more detailed time of  preparation.  When we’re planning for our journey to the next realm, the preparation is quite different. Whether you’re dying or waiting to be raptured, the only thing that matters is your destination, as you can take nothing with you. Where are you going? There are only 2 choices. After your last breath on this earth, where will you go? Many say there’s no way to know for certain. Not true. The only way to be assured a spot in heaven is to have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, as He’s the only way. It’s that easy. Prepare before it’s too late for you. (Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36; Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6)

2/9/24 – Letter

If you know me, then it’s no secret that, when the anxiety level is high, I’d rather write a letter to express my feelings than have a face-to-face meeting; but that’s another topic. A few years back, I wrote a letter to someone I knew quite well some 40 years ago. Writing the letter, however, doesn’t mean that I sent it. Have you ever written a letter without sending it or, after having written it, burned it, like professionals in the field of psychotherapy suggest? I have no intention of burning mine; it’s not that kind of letter. It isn’t a letter of confession or apology. It doesn’t list regrets or hopes for the future. It is simply a letter of condolences. Truthfully, I conjured up a reason having heard of a loved-one’s passing. A letter of condolence with a teaspoon of “catch-up” made sense at the time. We have a distant past but no present, and the future is unknown. It will continue to be pending until the recipient decides to respond should I, the sender, send. I probably won’t send it, but if I do, you’ll be the first to know. After all, what do I stand to lose? (If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5; And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?… 1 Kings 18:21)

2/7/24 – Trusting

I asked the Lord for something a good while back and saw no progress. I reminded Him on occasion (His hands are full at the moment) and heard nothing. While I was driving home from work a few days ago, radio blaring (yes, I still listen to it), the song, Trust in God played. To be truthful, when I heard the familiar introduction, I rolled my eyes and said, “Oh no,” because that song can get stuck in my head for days. But THIS TIME, during the chorus, God answered me! Finally, He answered me. I sobbed while singing “I sought the Lord and He heard and He answered…” at the top of my lungs, and He answered! Know what His answer was? A big, fat NO. I heard it as clear as if He were in my car sitting next to me. NO. Then He seemed to explain, “That won’t work for you anymore. Trust me, as the song you’re singing says.” Appropriately, the weather was foggy, so to continue crying at that point would not have served me well, so I sang on. Are you really trusting in God? Even when the answer is clearly, no? (…be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5; For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11)

1/26/24 – Border

This issue at the Texas border has become an emergency as of late. Do other countries have this problem? I mean, I had to all but give my left arm at the Canadian border just to secure a Nexus card. Why is our country so soft? I’ve heard from fairly reliable sources that the current administration is planning to allow non-citizens to vote in the upcoming election. Is that even legal, and is that why they’re allowing terrorists to walk right over the line, no questions asked? It’s all demonic, if you ask me. Satan is desperate to secure his own border at this late time in history. Choosing him over the Lord, Jesus Christ, will place you inside the gates of Hell with no chance to escape. Is that what you want? The Texas border nonsense is nothing compared to that. (Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8; My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. Proverbs 3:21-23)

1/25/24 – Preparation

I bought an inflatable mattress some months back. I have 6 enthusiastic grandkids who, on occasion, like to spend the night at Mimi’s. I already had a twin size, so I added a queen to the mix. Sad to report that the queen ended up feeling more like a hard floor than a mattress, so I purchased a 2-inch memory foam topper. It’s inflating now. Not sure I’ll ever be satisfied with its level of opulence, however, I am prepared. How much comfort do you require? When your area loses power, do you as well? I’m sure we here in the good ‘ol US of A have no idea what it’s like to live outside of our level of comfort. Not really. We say we do, but our discomfort usually doesn’t last longer than a week. What would you need in the long-term? Might want to think about that in the coming months…(Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8; The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. Proverbs 20:4)

1/24/24 – Motivation

All these new drugs for weight loss are making me crazy. Granted, I don’t need to lose a ton of weight, so my perspective may be slightly slanted. I can, however, loosely relate it to my desire to become a jazz musician. The professionals say it takes a beginner like me, a classically trained pianist with an ear for improvisation, a whole year of dedicated training to become a pro. (I can’t imagine how long it takes the untrained.) Now, as a private piano teacher, I can play most anything with or without music, yet when it comes to jazz, I am the new girl with little to no experience. What it’s going to take is first, a purging of all my excuses. (I could go on and on here.) Then, I must dedicate a slot in my day to train and to work hard. If after seriously practicing each day for a year, the jazz enthusiasts say I will be proficient. So to you folks with major weight issues, ditch the excuses and get motivated. Make some changes in your diet and start using a bit of honest to goodness elbow grease to finally achieve that goal. I’ll let you know when I actually commit to a whole year, and perhaps we can begin together, you on the treadmill and me on the piano. (Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3; But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal…Philippians 3:13-14)

1/23/24 – Important

When you think about it, how important is it? In the scheme of things, does it really matter that people don’t like your Instagram post? How about if someone forgets your birthday? Did you get someone a gift for Christmas and they failed to get one for you? What about a snub from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences? Then there’s that donation you gave and didn’t receive a thank you. Are these things that important? Some would respond with a resounding yes; they matter a great deal. Others couldn’t care less. What’s at the heart of it mattering or not mattering? What’s different about these 2 types of people? I’d say, the self, or some might call it, the heart. How okay are you? In the extreme, the rejection Jesus received certainly mattered to Him while hanging on that cross and dying for the salvation of all people. But His goal wasn’t for people to like and respect Him but to choose Him. And not for His good but only for theirs. (Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:3; We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…1 Corinthians 4:8-9)

1/18/24 – Linked

Is that lingering, annoying cough linked to your air passages liked an unwanted follower on your social media page? You’d hoped it moved on to someone else, and doggone, it’s back. I’m wondering if those thoughts and feelings of guilt or rejection from a breakup that occurred years ago are still hounding you. It’s all normal. That cough probably won’t totally clear out until Spring. And those mucky feelings that keep biting like a pesky mosquito probably won’t stop either until other, more fulfilling relationships step in. Slip a cough drop in your mouth and go to church. A new and exciting connection might be waiting for you there. If not with God (because you already have one with Him), you’re sure to discover other human beings with whom you’re already spiritually linked. (For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10; Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25)

1/17/24 – Entitled

To what do you think you’re entitled, deserving? A job? A seat at the boss’s table? Supplies in the company’s closet? Food in your parent’s pantry? Information about people close to you? This happened to me just yesterday. I felt the strong sense of entitlement. I am the mother of my family, so I felt I deserved to receive information about any issues before anyone else, or at least somewhere close to the top. When I discovered that I was #5, I suddenly felt unimportant, disqualified, and outranked. Pride is at the root of any feeling of injustice. When we feel we deserve more, we are dealing with the sin of pride. We need to breathe, acknowledge our sin, and ask for forgiveness. But will we? Even debating about whether we will or won’t is pride all on its own. (For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…Romans 12:3; Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 26:12)

1/15/24 – Dependability

It’s your canceled flight when you’re ready to board the plane. It’s the snafu that occurs when you’re about to sign the real estate contract. It’s the awkward conversation with your employee who works fewer hours than his pay reflects. It’s the road closure when you’re already late. These frustrations, and many like them, can crop up when we rely on anything or anyone to follow through. Dependability is a character trait that often goes unnoticed. Why? Because when someone is dependable, we count on it. It happens. No need to ever think otherwise. We trust they’ll come through for us because they always do. In my world, God is that Person to me. Regardless of the situation, He has my best interests in mind and is my total dependence. He never makes mistakes, even though at times, I don’t agree, nor do I think He’s listening. Who are you depending on today? (Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10; And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10)

1/12/24 – Unfair

Sometimes life isn’t fair. It should be, but it’s not. A clearly guilty person should be held accountable but gets off. A more suitable candidate running for election loses. We witness the “unfair” even more than either of these examples in our sports competitions. It can seem unfair when praying to God for something seemingly good, it doesn’t go our way. We ask questions like, how could God not heal the dying pastor who gave his life to the ministry, yet the murderer goes free? How could God allow a lying money launderer to be given immunity? What’s hard to remember when the verdict is in, the election is over, and at the end of the game is that there are 2 sides, the side we know and the side we don’t, the things we see, and the things we don’t see. If we could only, in the midst of our sorrow or anger, trust that God is in complete control of everything in our world, if we could only reassure ourselves that His choice is best, we’d experience a lot less worry and angst. (For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18; As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…Genesis 50:20) 

1/11/24 – Weakness

We never know what will come knocking at the door of our life. Sometimes, it’s good news, what we’ve been longing to hear, and we’re so happy. More often than not, though, it’s the news on the other side of the coin that has us bewildered. It’s the devastating news that appears out of nowhere, the dreaded health diagnosis, the revelation that a significant relationship isn’t what we thought it was, or that our work is no longer needed. Our initial reaction to the news probably isn’t much different than someone else’s would be; but it’s our reaction in the long-term that sets us apart. The lyric of a popular tune comes to mind; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s so true, isn’t it? We haven’t died, now, have we? But are we thriving? Are we better for having survived it? Has God’s grace been enough? Sometimes, it’s all we have left. (But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9; And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19)    

1/10/24 – Thief

A thief comes only to steal, to take what doesn’t belong to him. When we think of a thief, we may imagine someone dressed in black, masked, and armed breaking into our home. Although that is an accurate description of a thief, they manifest in other forms. How about that dead-end job that’s stealing all of your time and talent? What about the significant other who’s abusing you? Maybe narcotics or alcohol is the thing on which you depend day after day. How about a false religion that’s leading you down a foreboding path? Remember this: The father of lies, the original thief, comes only to kill and to destroy. He knows you, your patterns, your weaknesses, as he has watched you from the beginning, and he’s in no hurry. With mindful manipulation, trickery, and careful planning, he uses that which is precious to you to destroy you. If you’re feeling any angst at all, he may already have his hands cuffed around your ankles and set to pull you down. Open your eyes! Feel his grip before it’s too late! (The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10; Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8)

1/9/24 – Double

The experts say that most people don’t even know they’ve been traumatized. What is trauma even? According to the mental health professionals at CAMH, trauma is defined as the lasting emotional response that often results from living through a distressing event. Think about it for a moment. Have you ever experienced any of these? A serious car crash? A natural disaster? The death of a loved one? Relational abuse from a spouse or parent? A devastating health diagnosis? God says that no matter our traumatic experience, and we have all had them, He is making all things new. He advises that we not look back at what was but to look forward to the new thing He’s doing now. Even though we may not see it, He is making a way, right now, through our wilderness. He says that He will repay us with a double blessing for all we’ve suffered. Double! Think of it! I’d be happy with only one, wouldn’t you? (Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double. Zechariah 9:12; Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19)

12/12/23 Changed

If a person has truly changed, you will know. There will be evidence. Definite differences in his or her speech, actions, and attitude will emerge like bubbling lava, uncontainable. Like a “What happened to him?” scenario. And “She’s so different.” And folks, it goes both ways, bad to good, and good to bad. Mostly, however, people don’t change. Don’t be fooled. Unless the person of interest has an encounter with God or the devil, he or she will remain the same until that last breath. (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”Jeremiah 17:9-10; A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7:18)

10/9/23 – Signs

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have wished we could know what lies ahead. Rather than solve the mystery our God-given brains, we wish we could simply step into a time capsule, close the door, and punch in the date. Then we’d know. As if the mysterious FEMA test on 10-4 wasn’t enough, just 2 days ago, Israel suffered a sudden, major attack in which the terrorist group, Hamas, is taking responsibility. Many Israelis were killed or taken hostage in the southern region of Gaza. Now, it’s war. To say we are in the end times is an understatement. Because we do not know the future and cannot ever know it, the time for believers to be watching for the signs of the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ is now, friends. They’re all around us. Wars, rumors of wars, and natural disasters are only a few. Believe in Jesus and accept Him as your Savior now, for you, like the people of Israel, don’t know what tomorrow will bring. (For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2: He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20;

10/4/23 – Future

The future is a mystery. The minute after this one is unknown. If we knew the future, would we really be any different? God planned, from the beginning of time, that He alone would know and dictate the future and that His creation would not. In His infinite wisdom, He knew that this set-up, this plan is the only way to accomplish His purposes. Not our purposes, His purposes. What is His purpose anyway? His purpose is to bring Israel, His chosen nation, to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ before His pre-determined allotted time runs out. That’s all. If we want to know anything about the coming end of that time, we must keep our eyes on Israel. It’s not about us here in the good ol’ US of A. We’re not even mentioned in Biblical prophesy. The United States’ Emergency Alert System conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is issuing a national alert today at 2:20pm. Why today? Why to all US devices? On 10-4? To my knowledge, a NATIONAL alert like this has never before been issued. Something big must be on the horizon. Are we to be worried? When God is in control of it all? No. His plan will be accomplished regardless of what’s happening in our neck of the woods. But it wouldn’t hurt you to buckle up. (He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. Acts 1:7; So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Luke 21:31)

8/30/23 – Situation

We are an impatient lot, are we not? I have been praying for something longer than I care to admit, and finally, I can say that the Lord is changing, not my situation, but He’s changing me. He works that way many times. We pray for our situation to be different, to be more suitable to our desires, while the Lord is more interested in changing our hearts and minds to be more like Him. Besides, our situation is, most times, the consequence of our actions. We don’t learn anything when our situations or our consequences are taken away. It’s in the deep ocean of our situation that we learn and then, hopefully, we change. It’s a slow process, but when the darkness finally begins to dissipate, our mood becomes little lighter, a little more hopeful, and our life more survivable. Take heart. If you’re striving to be more like Christ, your situation will change right along with your heart and mind. And when it does, it’s a really good feeling. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28; You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3)

8/7/23 – Jeopardy

I just booked an expensive week-long trip, and I’m leaving in 5 days. I would say that spontaneity drives me. I have to be careful though. After making a significant decision like this, I usually second-guess myself as I’m doing right now. My blood pressure is probably high, my heart rate is faster, and my stomach is in knots. Do you suffer like this as well? I suppose it’s due to a lack of confidence in my abilities that I put my finances in jeopardy. There are so many what-ifs. What if I don’t like it? What if the plane is delayed? What if I become ill? I’m somewhat of a risk-taker, but it shouldn’t be this difficult, should it? But when I think of the thousands of dollars that are invested, I suppose it should be difficult. I do have the right to cancel, as it’s only been a few hours since I made the arrangements. I’m waiting on a few items. Waiting. Ironic, isn’t it? But if I was honest, it’s because I can’t make a decision too far in advance that I end up waiting until the last minute. On the other hand, sometimes it’s a good thing to wait before diving in, to give it time, to reason it out. One thing, however, that shouldn’t wait is the affirmative decision to become a Christ-follower. Putting your eternity in jeopardy by waiting, now, that’s a risk nobody should take. (From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17; You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Luke 12:40)

7/18/23 – Unfinished

Do you have some unfinished business? Is a lost relationship robbing you of peace? Are you lying dormant in your current job? Do your children seem to be moving in the wrong direction? Maybe you have an outstanding debt that needs to be paid. Is an elderly parent or sick spouse draining all of your energy? Maybe you have an incurable disease. Is there something you need to close out once and for all? Are there loose ends to tie up? Is there something that needs to be said or done? Is there a behavior that needs to be cut off at its root and thrown into the fire? Only you, my friend, can do it. The Lord can walk with you and hold your hand, but whatever it is, you must say it; do it. Yourself. Time is getting away. Pray for wisdom, understanding, discernment, and insight. Pray with vigor for these things. Cry out. Plead. Claim His promise to help you. (I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 122:1-2; Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10)

6/14/23 – Pray

Has someone asked you to pray about something? Did you agree to pray? Did you remember to pray? Unless you’ve been labeled a prayer warrior by your peers, it’s not easy, this prayer thing. We get busy, don’t we? We get caught up in other matters, and if we don’t set a reminder, we forget. When we finally do remember, the event has often passed and no longer needs our attention. And then, we feel guilty for not having followed through. We had no hand in the healing. We had no role in the resolution. We felt uncomfortable having heard the prayer had been answered. And why shouldn’t we? We didn’t pray. Not one word. Have you been there? I have. It’s a dangerous world out there, and we need to be better. People need our prayers. We need the prayers of others. Maybe we don’t pray because it rarely resolves in the way we desire. Or, perhaps we don’t really believe in its power. What’s your excuse? (Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16; You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13)

6/1/23 – Much

I love you so much. I don’t know how much more I can take. There’s so much to say. The word, much: an outpouring, an overflowing, like the water gushing over the falls at Niagara, it must go somewhere or burst. As the water at Niagara, the heart sometimes has so much love that it cannot contain it. Thus, the excessive tears flowing from extreme happiness or tragedy or the laughter, rapid pulse, and racing heartbeat upon approach of that first drop on the rollercoaster. Hearing joyous or unpleasant news day after day, we cannot simply sit there unaffected. It’s just too much. How much is too much varies from person to person and depends on the body’s ability to handle whatever comes along. When there’s too much of a good or bad thing, something has to give. How will you handle it? (Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13; Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8)

5/15/23 – Mothers

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. You mothers out there; did you feel celebrated? Loved? Admired? It’s a hard thing we’ve done and continue to do, right? The worst thing is that we don’t always get it right; however, the best thing is that we were chosen. We’ll never stop being someone’s mother. Our children will always need us at whatever age we are, at whatever age they are. It’s a curious thing, isn’t it? The way we mother when perhaps it’s unnecessary is an innate capacity we all share at the moment our offspring is conceived until it’s buried in its grave. The Lord is so wise, so creative. Like it or not, we’re in it for the long haul. (Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:25-26; Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6)

5/9/23 – King

The king’s coronation on Saturday was a delectable spectacle of royal pageantry slathered in all the pomp and circumstance you’d expect from those proud Brits residing across the pond. As I watched some of the ceremony snippets, I couldn’t help but imagine how much more magnificent to be in heaven as Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords welcomes his followers home. The Creator of the entire universe in all His glory will be standing in front of me and will hopefully speak the words, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Let me be worthy of those words, Lord Jesus, in whatever language I will understand. (On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:16; But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33)

5/2/23 – Review

I was recently asked to write a review of the accommodations at a property I visited. In order for the owner to see the truth and to make positive changes, I had to bare my soul about the place. While I don’t enjoy barking about the empty paper towel roll or the rock-hard mattress, the guy’s going to lose money if he isn’t made aware. Most of us don’t like to hear the truth about ourselves because it hurts to be told that we’re impatient or rude even though we probably already know it. As a born and bred people-pleaser, I like to make things as easy as possible for others, so submitting a negative comment or review is hard for me. But really, it all comes down to pride. My pride. Because I want people to like me, I seek to please. See where it suddenly becomes all about me and how I feel? Telling and receiving the truth isn’t always easy, but it is profitable in the long run. (Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17; Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. Proverbs 15:32)

4/18/23 – Intelligence

There are some really smart people in this world. Our eyes bulge and our heads shake when they speak. We say, Wait, waitwhat? You’re likely thinking of someone, in or out of your circle, someone who’s at the top of the list. It might even be you! I was watching an interview of such a person just last night. Ironically, the wisest people, those who receive their wisdom at birth, don’t believe that someone bigger or wiser bestowed that gift upon them. They don’t believe it because they can’t see. Because they can’t prove it and can’t make sense of it, it cannot be true; thus, the atheist is born. To me, it’s the saddest story ever told. The devil has used the sin of pride that will crumble them in the end. You watch. (Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 1 Corinthians 3:18; Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 26:12)

4/17/23 – Bothered

If we’re bothered by the daily news feeds, we can simply take a deep breath. It’s a start. I recall a situation in the New Testament of the Bible when Martha, Mary and Lazarus’s sister, was distracted by her self-induced workload. She missed a beautiful experience with the King of Kings by choosing to be bothered by the unimportant. The news media and all its fuss is nothing more than a daily dose of distraction to pull us away from what’s really important. All the events happening in our world today were prophesied many years ago. God is surprised by none of it, as He controls it. If we believe Him, we can bathe in His peace, and then experience the comfort and relaxation He offers in these end times. (But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 40-42; Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27)

4/9/23 – Unsee

We can’t unsee. Once our eyes and brains have captured the unwanted image, it’s stored and ready to be recalled at a moment’s notice. No matter how hard we try to erase it, it remains lodged. We can attempt to replace it with other, more pleasing and positive thoughts, but it will creep in again at some point. Unless we call upon our Heavenly Father to mercifully help us deal with the seen, it’s virtually impossible to save ourselves from its continued effects. The devil is the author of such set-ups and celebrates his successes. Beat him at his own game by refraining from that which is toxic to the mind desiring to be at peace. (“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6: 22-23; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Psalm 101:3)

4/9/23 – Hallelujah

Hallelujah! Christ has risen! No news is better than this. In all we know, there is nothing more valuable, not rubies, diamonds, or gold, than the gift of knowing we will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus. Praise Him for this most wondrous offering! Like a plant’s root that has been grafted into another to grow as one, so we, as Gentiles, have the privilege to grow together with Israel, God’s chosen people. Like the children of Israel, we also, as Christ-followers, have the hope that one day, we will see Him as He is, and He will take us to our eternal home to live with Him forever. (But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:5-6; For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. Romans 11:24)

4/8/23 – Comfort

As Christ-followers, we are not to be biting our nails and fretting about anything. Anticipating the antichrist’s appearance, the collapse of the financial system, the breakout of WW3, or the apocalypse is just what the devil wants. If he can move our attention to these joy-stealers instead of what really matters, the spreading of the gospel message to as many people as possible, he’s rubbing his palms together in deadly delight. As we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection tomorrow, let us reflect on the wonderful gift of salvation He offered to make our heavenly eternity possible, and then let us comfort one another. (After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Therefore, comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:18)

4/4/23 – Interim

When people don’t respond in the timely manner in which we desire, symptoms of anxiety, feelings of fear, and sometimes, even anger can bring about insecurity build-up, depending on who it is. We, often times, don’t see the bigger picture when we’re standing at the high-jump line. Do we make that call? Do we send that email or text? Or, perhaps we lay low for a while. Let it be. The interim, however, can be excruciating. That’s when we turn to the Lord for our security. We pray and ask Him for wisdom, understanding, discernment, and insight into what’s really going on. We pray for peace in the vast unknown. That response we’re waiting for will break through the darkness at some point, and we will be ready for it. (If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13; Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6)

4/1/23 – Account

This week, I have been reading both Matthew and John’s account of Jesus’s last days on the earth. I have to think that the Holy Spirit led me down this path for a reason, as I’ve never done this before, subsequently reading the same story told by different people. I suppose the point I’m making is that these daily readings have been preparing me for next week’s celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, the basis of my faith. Today’s account will be that of Mark, the second of the four gospels. Each account has its differences and similarities, but all four gospel books exhibit the horrific nature of the crucifixion and the glorious discovery at the tomb three days later. Read at least one account, will you? Before Resurrection Sunday? I suggest that you begin with Matthew chapter 26 and see if leads you to read the others. (And saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Matthew 27:40; And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46)

3/31/23 – Cracks

The devil’s number one goal is to climb into the cracks in your head. If he manages to see any size, he’s in. The Kin Crack. Is your family more important to you than Jesus? The Career Crack. Is your job more important than Jesus? The Creed Crack. Is the religious act of following all the rules of your church more important than Jesus? The Country Crack. Is your patriotism more important than Jesus? The Contribution Crack. Is serving others by giving your time, talents, or money to an organization more important than Jesus? Don’t get vulnerable, folks. These cracks might be considered good cracks, but to the enemy, they’re even better. (Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2; Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8) 

3/18/23 – Fathom

If we understood, then we would do it, wouldn’t we? It’s because we don’t fully fathom God and His ways that we don’t obey Him or even consider Him during our day. We’re human, is our excuse. We can’t be like Him because we’re not Him. Granted; we are sinners, but must we sin? Is it possible, in all our humanness, to be obedient to our savior? I say it is possible, but it’s not common. Even Paul, the apostle, had weaknesses. He did things that he shouldn’t have done and didn’t do things he should’ve. That, I fathom. Communication with God is the most necessary when we are weak. But after we’re up to our necks in the quicksand and no longer strong enough to climb out, it’s a nearly impossible situation. Stay close to your Heavenly Father and see if your sinning subsides. (No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9; Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:6)

3/15/23 – Swap

I’m about to swap my old bathroom faucet for a new, trendier model. In my research, I’m finding that I will not be totally satisfied attaching a new faucet to an old vanity, so the whole thing will need to go, vanity and all. Reminds me of the parable Jesus shared concerning the problems that ensue when new fabric is used to mend an old garment. Once we’re truly born again, our old, sinful habits need to go; otherwise, the new person cannot thrive. If he is not totally committed to Christ at the onset, the old behaviors, like the old tear in the garment, will likely become worse over time. (“No one sews a patch of new cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.” Matthew 9:16; For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13)

3/13/23 – Subsequent

What’s next? What will be the subsequent incident today? Up until this moment, most every day for the past 3 years has brought forth some new catastrophe. Everyone over the age of 12 is seeing it, hearing of it, or is experiencing a direct hit now. These are but the pains of birth, which Jesus spoke of in the New Testament. Like the final stage in the birthing process, uncomfortable, worldwide events will become more frequent and will increase in intensity. You may try hypnosis, acupuncture, or a warm bath to cope with the pain, but friends, the baby is coming. If you are a Christ-follower, you know. You aren’t surprised by anything on the ticker at the bottom of your screen because He already told you about it. You were privy to it. Still though, you are surprised. You are caught off-guard. Why? Why do our eyes bulge at these flashes of bad news? (And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. Mark 13:7-9;  Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28)

3/11/23 – Failure

The second largest bank in the US suddenly collapsed yesterday. Little rumors about its failure traveled through the bank’s grapevine like an ignited rope. Those California rains. They’re nothing compared to the flood of people running to rescue their fortunes from the burning building. The bank wasn’t really on fire, but the persons at the heart of this collapse might as well have doused it with fuel and lit a match. It’s hard to rebuild after a failure of this magnitude, mainly because trust has been broken. So, before making a bad decision and ending up like this poor, unfortunate bank, think. Think BEFORE you act. Get away from the devil who’s enticing you with pleasures lasting only a moment. Don’t be labeled a failure for a lifetime. (Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7; No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13)

3/10/23 – Idle

Funny how we heal. The moment the blow is received, we think we’ll never recover. But we do. Most of us do whatever it takes to walk, eat, think, or love again. Why? Because the Land of Idle is fertile ground for all sorts of mischief. It’s where unhealthy relationships are planted, risky behaviors are performed, and where rationale goes missing. This idle interim might be your perusing the menu at a greasy spoon, gazing at the shelves in a liquor store, or sitting in the parking lot of a strip club; it’s the fork in your road. If you land in Idle, consider your options, clear your head, pack your bags, and move along before it becomes home. The fog will lift as you head out. (Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8; Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16)

3/8/23 – Another

You’ve heard it again and again. You’ve probably said it once or twice yourself. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I hate negativity, but like Tourette’s; you just have to say it. Here we are, all sprawled out in our semi-free country enjoying all the comforts we can afford, receiving the semi-adequate medical attention we need, and lounging in our tub full of social media sludge. The American Dream Reboot. Do you like it? I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m in the minority who answers, no. It is here I must remember that this world is not my home; I’m just passing through. To say that I can work to save it is, according to the Bible, nonsense. There will eventually be a new one, so why put my energy into saving something that won’t be saved? Saving people, on the other hand? Now, that’s another story. (But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:10; He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit… Titus 3:5)

3/7/23 – Accomplish

I struggle with this love thing a lot. Do you? It’s no secret; if you’ve been in touch with this blog, you’re not reading anything you don’t already know. I’ve cantered down the counseling road with pastors and licensed professionals and have taken odd forks that led me to examine, not the way I love others but the way others love me. Weirdly, I think I may have been lost in the woods. If I choose to love lavishly, truthfully, and wholeheartedly, everything else gently falls into place. I hear that the Spirit of God can accomplish that in people. Do you desire it as badly as I do, the capability of loving others more than you love yourself? Is it just me, or do you also get the feeling that there’s nothing either of us can do about it in our flesh except to pray and to obey God? Now, that, I can do. Can you? (Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23)

3/2/23 – Succeed

The Lord wants me to succeed. I’ve got a lot going on and He’s coaching me these days, giving me pep talks through His word and in my spirit. Why? Nothing gives Him more pleasure than seeing me do the right thing at the right time. I have to imagine Him smiling at me and hugging me when I help someone in need or when I talk about Him and what He has done for me. These are the lasting victories for which I long. Of course, an audible atta girl or a well done every now and then would be so nice, but don’t you hear it in your spirit when you’ve hit the mark? I don’t often succeed, but when I do, there’s nothing quite like hearing Hooray! from my Number-One Fan. What do you hear Him saying to you? (My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:1-4; …observe all that is recorded in it, for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8)

3/1/23 – Lenient

The act of being more merciful or tolerant than expected is the quoted definition of lenient in the Oxford dictionary. Lenient describes me to a fault. I put up with a lot of nonsense longer than most. Do you? There’s a fine line between being lenient and being a pushover. I suppose leniency is a positive trait but can also be a negative one depending on how lenient you are. If you’re a businessman, leniency will leave you penniless, but if you’re a murderer, it could save your life. Jesus said, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. We all need it at times, don’t we? But the question is: How much is too much? (Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7; Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4)

2/28/23 – Wrath

I didn’t experience the wrath of my father, as it was never directed at me that I recall; however, I did see it, only my mother or some deranged driver was his usual target. His temper wasn’t always heated, but when it was, it could peak quicker than I could blink my eye. I think of the wrath of God, my Heavenly Father. I don’t believe His has reached the boiling point yet, but it has to be close. The book of the Revelation explains everything. It’s hard to believe He could be so angry, but it’s also hard to believe the behavior of His human creation! I’m certainly angry at what I see, and I only know what I know. He knows everything. Get ready. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet! (But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. Romans 2:5; He also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Revelation 14:10)

2/27/23 – Tradition

How are you doing? It’s day 6 of the Catholic tradition of Lent, and many folks across the globe have decided to give up something near and dear until sundown on Holy Thursday (the day before Good Friday, or 3 days before Resurrection Sunday). Just curious: If you participate in this sacrificial season, what was your choice, and how is it going? Are you suffering yet? Did you repent of your sins, or is that something you do regardless, no matter the season? What is your focus now that you’re not eating doughnuts? Maybe you decided to give up nail biting, and instead, you’re praying for people. After this 40-day ritual is over, will you return to your normal habits or might you discover a new normal? After all, studies say that it only takes 21 days to form a habit (not the habit nuns wear, just to be clear). This is the goal, isn’t it? To become a better person? I wonder how many people actually change as a result of Lent. The results might be surprising. (In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! Mark 7:7-9; Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24)

2/25/23 – Lent

If I cannot love like Jesus loves, I cannot serve like He served. Trying is not it. I should not have to try. If my heart is right, the desire should be as natural as breathing. The 40 days before Easter is called Lent in the Catholic religion. People tethered to Catholicism are now in it for the long haul. Catholics are asked to go deeper with God by abstaining from something important for 40 days and to replace it with prayer and fasting. Now, certainly, I am not opposed to prayer and fasting, as I participate in both. I am not Catholic nor do I practice Lent. As a Christ-follower, I believe the time of sacrifice and repentance should be in operation 365 days and not simply the 40 days prior to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. But what I believe and what I do are two different things. (For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it…. the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17; Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15)

2/24/23 – Cannot

I’ll never be able to attain that. The love I have in my heart for Jesus Christ is nothing compared to the apostle, Paul’s love for Him. I don’t know if I can love anyone like that, seen or unseen. I can list excuse after excuse, but the truth is, I cannot love apart from the love Jesus puts inside me. Whether my upbringing is the culprit or whether my sin impedes it, my love for God is not overflowing like it should. Oh Lord, my prayer today is that You would show me how to love properly, the way You do. I know there is nothing You cannot do, but is that even a possibility for me? (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9; I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26) 

2/23/23 – Blessed

I am so grateful today. We had an enormous ice storm last night, and so many are without power. I, on the other hand, am blessed. The lights flickered a bit, went off for about 10 seconds, and then came back on. God is good. However, even when I am not experiencing peace, joy, and goodness, He is good. I am blessed with this good health (as I know it), warm shelter, food, and water. The weather is unpredictable, but God is constant. We can depend on it, even in the throes of darkness. (Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8; Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17)

2/22/23 – Right

Do you think we were right? This question was posed by Lance Corporal, Harold W. Dawson to his attorney, Lieutenant, Daniel Kaffee in A Few Good Men, the movie I’ve seen at least 10 times. Kaffee’s response was this: I think you’d lose. Dawson’s reply was so poignant. You’re such a coward. I can’t believe they let you wear a uniform. A few people in my circle have asked me a similar question. Do you think we’re right? Do you think that believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is right? I have lived almost my entire life believing, serving, and having faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Kaffee’s answer wasn’t meant to be hurtful; he simply didn’t want to give the lad false hope. Dawson only needed Kaffee’s belief and trust that he’d done what was right, whereas Kaffee needed proof. In the end, concerning Jesus Christ, will it only matter what you can prove? (Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29; And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6)

2/21/23 – Holes

When we feel we must prove our love to someone who cannot love for whatever reasons, that proof we offer often goes unseen and we are left feeling empty. The limitless meals we cook, shopping trips we take, or gifts we give are never enough. Their hole is too big, too deep. Then we must question our motives. Why do we keep on? When our strength is waning and our joints are failing, why are we still out there shoveling? Perhaps we have empty holes of our own. (Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. Song of Solomon 8:7; Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13) 

2/20/23 – Hug

I had a dream about my dad last night. He seemed glad to see me. We embraced and cried a little. We weren’t in heaven but on earth. Not sure where exactly but perhaps an event, as he was dressed in a suit and I in a dress. He hadn’t aged, which leads me to believe this dream was only a gift in the night from my Heavenly Father, a nice surprise for a fleeting moment. It wasn’t a prediction of some future event to take place or a prophetic sign that I would soon be dying and entering heaven. It was only a gift, a supernatural hug from my loving, earthly father. Thank you, Heavenly Father. And thank you, dad, for the hug. Maybe somehow you knew I needed it. (For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…2 Corinthians 4:17; He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3)

2/19/23 – Adamancy

If your mind’s made up, that’s it. Or is it? Are you a wobbler? Are you swayed by the wind and tossed about after making a decision? Are you second-guessing every other minute? After listing an item for sale, are you a pushover? Can the buyer easily persuade you to lower your price? I know it all depends. But in your life situations where much is riding on your ability to stand your ground, do you fight for what you want, or do you settle? Are you quick to give in, or do you battle it out? How set in stone are your beliefs, your convictions? Or are you wishy-washy depending on who’s asking? Jesus said, Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Adamancy is a difficult character trait to manufacture, but we can with practice. If you like the crunch of toasted bread, keep it away from the milk. (If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6; All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37)

2/18/23 – Ending

When there’s an ending, remember; a beginning is on its way. A tiny seedling that was never planted can take root inside a pot of dirt. Soon, unbeknownst to us, we see the fruit of what actually happened down deep in the soil. When we choose to go, we find a new spot to stay. When we finish the project, a new one starts. When a disaster levels the land, stronger buildings emerge out of the ruins. Rarely does an ending produce nothing. In your ending, know that something new is beginning even though you may not see it now. God won’t allow His followers to flounder in their endings. If an ending has come knocking on your door, say hello, get to know it, and then kindly escort it out. Don’t let it become a squatter. (There is an appointed time for everything…A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4; Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6)

2/17/23 – Respect

It’s a matter of respect. We attend funerals, birthday parties, retirement parties, church services, vigils, and memorials out of respect for those offering the opportunity to physically remember or honor his or her loved one. There is usually no question of should I go? You go. You weep with those who weep, and you rejoice with those who rejoice. Do we weep? Do we rejoice? Or are we annoyed that an unfortunate event has bumped into our best-laid plans? Do we rejoice when our friend is honored for a job well done or when he inherits a large sum of money? Check your heart. See that no wicked or vile motive corrupts the most loving part of you. (“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12; Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3)

2/16/23 – Step

Life is hard. It’s good, but it’s hard. Sometimes all we need is a little push, someone to say, You need to do this, or Get moving. As a pianist, I’ve had many challenging songs to learn and only a few that were downright dreadful. Add the task of memorizing and performing them in front of thousands into the mix and I’ve suddenly morphed myself into a scene from Mission Impossible. The time will come when we must do the hard thing. The task seems impossible, but when we step out and play the song, then the Spirit of God will step in and lift us up. When we drive to our first meeting, then the Spirit of God will open the door. When we begin packing up, then the Spirit of God will do the heavy lifting. It’s When and Then. Now, get going. Step out and do the thing, and then watch what happens! (Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. Exodus 14:15-16; Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” John 5:8)

2/15/23 – Advocate

I’ve had only a few occasions where hiring an attorney or an advocate to fight my legal battles was necessary. Unfortunately, we can’t always fight alone. If we feel we’ve been wrongly accused or exploited, it’s a must to have, at the very least, adequate representation. After we’ve done our homework and all the facts are presented, it’s up to the acting judge to hand down the final ruling. I’m so glad that I have the best judge. He sees and knows everything and has my best interests at heart. I must put my trust in the God of the universe to fight for me. Whatever decision is handed down in the end is what He allows; I can be sure of that. Even if I lose this small battle, I’ll be victorious in the end. (What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31; For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. Psalm 18:39)

2/14/23 – Interrupt

Keep quiet and listen. How many times do we interrupt someone when he’s speaking? How can we learn unless we listen? When we talk, we only hear ourselves, but much more can be gained by listening. Some people in my circle interrupt me as I speak, and I tend to steer clear. Nobody wants to converse with, let alone, confide in someone who’s always inserting his opinion or his experiences before it’s time. I want to hear God speaking to me, telling me His whole story, His truths through scripture, although I often interrupt even Him. If we were truly listening, really intently hearing and wanting the truth, we’ll know the truth we’re seeking. And those truths need no ifs, ands, or buts from us. (A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in expressing his opinion. Proverbs 18:2; Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28)

2/13/23 – Reminding

Have you ever awakened from a dream that left you feeling disturbed throughout the morning, if not the entirety of your day? That is, your normal process of awakening was different because you had this dream. As is faded away, and it always does, it delivered subtle hints or questions on the doorstep of your mind. Hints or questions you couldn’t help but to bend down, pick up, and contemplate. I am doing that now. I’m contemplating. A person’s true character has again been revealed to me. Because He loves me, I believe the Lord gives me this dream to remind me that nothing has changed. I need frequent reminding in whatever form it comes. Do you? We hope so desperately, don’t we? We beg for change but change never comes. Then we beg for complete release from the chains. And that too, never comes. Not totally, for we’ve done it to ourselves. All we can do is rest in what God has provided for now. (For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men…Job 33:14-16; For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11)

2/11/23 – Want

When some of you read this blog, you may think, Sure, that girl has everything she needs, so, of course, she’s content. But what about me? I’m over here drowning in debt and have lost my job. While you might be in a precarious situation at present, it won’t last forever unless you allow it. It seems you’re at the bottom of your mountain, and the thought of the climb up to Contentment or, at best, Reasonable is too far out of reach. Well, I can say from experience that you’ve probably stayed too long. It’s time to get going. It may be the most difficult thing you ever do, but you can do it if you want to. The hard truth is that we do what we want to do. Do you want to get out of debt, a toxic relationship, or a house full of clutter? Do you want to move out of a life of sedentary and unhealthy eating? Either you want to or you don’t. The devil will tell you it’s too hard or too late. But I say, it’s not if you want to. (I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8; Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3)

2/10/23 Tomorrow

The grass withers and the flower fades. As I look out upon my front yard, I see this is true. I, like you, friend, am also withering, fading, merely a vapor, a mist, here today and tomorrow gone. I am only a speck, barely visible on the timeline of our God. Nevertheless, He chose me. I have a purpose, still. Oh, Lord, thank you. I pray for strength to soldier on. I pray you’ll find me doing your work when you return. I hope that when my life is over and we meet face-to-face, you’ll smile at me and tell me that I did a good job. Though I’ve made many mistakes, I pray you’ll forgive them, look past them and say, Well done, thy good and faithful servant. (Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14; You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16)

2/8/23 – Opportunity

The many people rescued from the rubble in Turkey and Syria have another chance, another opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and to accept Him as their personal Savior. Think of the thousands who don’t. Never again will they have an occasion to hear, believe, and receive. It’s over for them. They’re already in their eternity. But it’s not over for you. You are still living and breathing here on this earth. If you’ve not accepted this free gift of eternal life, do it now, for you never know what a day or a night may bring forth. (Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24; Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6)

2/7/23 – Pressing

This recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria really has me feeling upset. Can you tell? I wrote about it yesterday. US mainstream media continues reporting on the creepy Grammy awards, which fully promoted the devil and his goons. It continues to babble on about the also creepy State of the Union address happening tonight. We already know what state our union is in, and if we don’t, we’re senseless. The more pressing subject is the loss of human life. Were these people who were killed born again Christians? If not, they’re all in Hell. It breaks my heart. If we’re not reporting what we know about eternity and how it’s fast approaching, we’re as bad as the US media. Yikes. (But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. Jeremiah 10:10; For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16) 

2/6/23 – Report

The mainstream media surprises me more and more each day. While thousands of people are suffering from the effects of perhaps the most massive earthquake in a century, some US media sources report the winners of the coveted Grammy award. While scores of Turkish and Syrian people run for their lives, US news reports whether or not to increase our ceiling of debt. While occupied buildings are collapsing by the minute, we wonder why our groceries are so pricy. Wake up, people! There are more important things to talk about today, no? (Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18; Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42)

2/4/23 – Morning

Still feeling it? Still feeling the pressure or pain of your situation? You may be, but I’ll bet it’s not quite as bad as yesterday. It doesn’t make any sense sometimes, but come morning, our trials can seem more trivial, our sorrows a little more insignificant. Bathe in the joy the morning brings. As the Bible says, Sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. What happened yesterday is gone. Eyes that were wet with tears last night are dry this morning. Hands that were trembling yesterday are calm today. Wave goodbye to what was and nestle yourself in the new. (Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Psalm 126:5; …weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5)

2/3/23 – Misery

As I said yesterday, everything will be all right. Everything that’s falling apart in your world will be okay. It may not be right now, but it will be. Fires don’t burn forever. Storms don’t rage on and on. They just don’t. Think back to a terrible time in your life. It improved, didn’t it? When you thought you’d never live through it, your situation slowly took a turn for the better. Remember? The bumps in your road were removed, either by you or someone else. Heavy loads became lighter. Holes were filled. The common healer here is time. The Lord, in His time, makes all things beautiful. Look around. In all your misery, see the good things you have today. Focus on those. Thank the Lord for them because tomorrow, you may not have the chance. (“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. Hosea 6:1; Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19)

2/2/23 – Reliant

If I am totally devoted to Christ, if I am fully reliant on Him, bad news should not have an ill affect on me. No cancer diagnosis, no receipt of divorce papers, no fire, no loss of life, no eviction notice, nothing should cause me to fret. But the word should is the operative word here. Because I am human, bad news naturally delivers fear, sadness, or anger to the front door of my psyche. Any negative news produces at least one of these feelings in me. But then, something happens. A whisper. A nudge. The Holy Spirit gently reminds me that Everything is going to be okay. And it is. Eventually. That’s a comforting thought, isn’t it? We will get through whatever storms may come. Why? Because Jesus said so. He said we would have trouble in this world. But He also said that He has overcome the world. Do you believe it? (I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33; Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6)

2/1/23 – Dedication

Oh, to be as dedicated to the cause of spreading the gospel of Christ as was Paul, the Apostle. There aren’t many out there declaring the good news of Jesus the way he did. His reason for living, his destiny was to give the gospel message to as many as would have ears to hear. Let’s back up a bit, as this supernatural calling came later in his life. While murdering countless Christians for the cause of Roman rule, God saw an extreme passion in him that He could use. By human standards, Paul was one of the worst sinners of that century. But because of his miraculous conversion, he literally saw the light of Jesus. He was saved by the same grace as I, yet his devotion to the Lord cannot be compared. I can say, Well, I was not blinded by God as Paul was, nor have I been gifted the same communication skills. Both statements are true, but both are also excuses. What’s yours? (For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21; For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16)

1/30/23 – Deaf

I am deaf. Not all of the time but sometimes. I may even confess that most times I am deaf to the Lord’s voice. Unless I am walking with Him all the day long, I am deaf. Unless I am one with His spirit, I am deaf. Unless I am reading and meditating on His word to me, I am deaf to anything He would tell me. Being deaf to God’s voice is separation from Him. Satan would love nothing more. (Behold, their ears are closed and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it. Jeremiah 6:10; He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9)

1/29/23 – Haste

Haste makes waste is the familiar proverb we all know and hate. At least, we who are impatient hate it. We hate it because we know who we are. We are in a hurry and most times end up swimming in our own pool of mediocrity. On the other hand, being in a hurry isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s the product of it, the result that most times ends up biting butts. When someone says, You were in too much of a hurry, you know you’ve created the haste that makes waste. Taking the time to do it right by avoiding short cuts that lead to dead ends, will likely deliver the success and satisfaction of a refreshing and timely outcome. (The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. Proverbs 21:5; Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19:2)

1/21/23 Result

The consequence. The effect. The outcome. The verdict. I find myself biting my nails, or I might fidget while watching a movie, not really paying full attention to it as I’m waiting for the result of some test. It’s how we behave before the results are known and posted or before the verdict is handed down that shows our degree of trust and belief. Trust and belief are not needed afterward until the next time. It’s usually a 50-50 shot or an It could go either way scenario. It’s something we can’t help, this unbelief of ours. Even the sick child’s father standing in the presence of the Healer Himself in Mark chapter 9 of the New Testament had his doubts about what Jesus could do. Once we’re in the know, once we get our answer, we either rejoice or we drown in an ocean of disappointment. Isn’t it more serene if we trust beforehand? If we let it go before we know the truth? Aren’t we more at peace if we trust that we’re not sick or that the jury will side with us? (Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24; Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29)

1/19/23 – Faithfulness

In my effort to avoid mediocrity at all costs, I sit here and write another Word for Today entry. When I began this blog back in 2020, I was determined to produce a website that would allow me to express myself and also one that would help others identify issues needing to be addressed. I have been faithful to it, writing mostly everyday and only taking the necessary breaks. My relationship to my Heavenly Father is quite similar to my relationship with my blog. It has its ups and downs, but not Him. He is always faithful to me, every moment of everyday; I am in His capable hands. Thank you, Lord for your faithfulness. (The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23; He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24)

1/18/23 – Mediocrity

Doing a shoddy job just to get things done, to check the box, robs us of a real prize. The sale of a home, a fully risen loaf of bread, or the snagging of the Newberry Award for excellence in children’s literature are a few examples. Why won’t we take the time to clear the clutter, measure the ingredients properly, or fine-tune the plot, grammar, and the characterization? The word that slaps me again and again is mediocrity. Instead of asking, Is this the best I can do? I often times decide, It’s okay the way it is. This character trait of mediocrity stands between success and me more times than I want to admit. No sale, a puny loaf of bread, or the letter of rejection from the publisher are all outcomes that I don’t desire. So why do I settle? Because I am impatient. Impatience most always breeds mediocrity. In this new year, I have vowed to my Heavenly Father to make this matter of mediocrity a thing of the past. (A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4; Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10)

1/17/23 – Drive

Drive. Ambition. Motivation. Do these words describe your character? Do you do whatever it takes to get the job done, to make your dreams a reality? I think of Richard Branson, a dyslexic and rather awkward boy growing up in the 60’s. He might have been labeled the least likely to succeed by his professors in school, but this man, because of his drive and complete dedication to his values, achieved much more in his life than anybody would hope to achieve in 5 lifetimes. I believe it wasn’t because he wanted to be rich. It was because he believed in certain things so desperately that if he didn’t attempt them, he’d have probably died. Granted, most of us don’t have that much determination, or we’d all be rich and famous. But we can ask for it, can’t we? Drive? Motivation? We can ask God for His wisdom and ambition, the kind that created everything from nothing. We can ask for the wisdom and determination that his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ had when he was alive. He had one mission, one goal and accomplished it no matter the obstacles in His way. I don’t know about you, but I want that. (If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5; Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20)