Mercy, Not Reason



I Peter 1:3-5

As I sit on my patio, the sunshine is warm and comforting. This is good, I need comforting right now. Prayers for understanding have been futile. Leaning back to let the soothing warmth of the sun bathe my face, I try to focus on my Lord’s provision instead of life’s trials.

With forced effort, I remind myself that it is often easier to see God’s presence in the aftermath than it is during the storm. Closing my eyes tight, I struggle to run ahead in time and view today from the rearview mirror of tomorrow. No revelation is found. A yard lizard crawls out of the shadows and crouches on the leaves in the sunshine.

If I could just “pray through,” as the old preachers say, if I could just “grab hold of the horns of the altar and not let go”—I would find relief. But, exhausting prayers have been made– to no avail. Perhaps, after all, there was no lesson that could be had?

Could there be no spiritual truth to be gleaned; are some things in life simply events? The lizard looked up at me, as if it heard my silent questions. I angrily threw a wadded up tissue at it, but, as it seemed with my prayers, was ignored for my effort.

As I sat, spent from crying, exhausted from the pain of questioning a silent God, I watched the lizard sit still in the sunlight, soaking up the heat.  In weary resolve, I set aside the searching and in silence, watch the yard lizard stretch as his body warmed.  In introspect, I begin to realize that I don’t have to know “Why?” all I have to know is that—God is. He said it Himself, “I AM.” (Exodus 3:13-15)

Why must I demand to know answers for everything? Exhausted with the vanity of searching; I simply let go. No more looking for reason; just simply, a cry for relief.  In total surrender, I no longer seek logic, just—- mercy.

As if a floodgate has been opened, my pain is released!  The intimate, Spirit led, awareness that He is God and He does not have to explain Himself to me washes away the confusion. The release from my emotional pain is — stunning.

He is God and He does all things well, working them for my good, not necessarily so that I “feel good.” The lizard, warmed by the sunshine runs off into the grass.  And I, warmed by God’s sovereign presence, finally—rest.

I Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Prayer:   Father, help me to realize that everything in my life doesn’t have to be understood by me. Give me insight to understand lessons that are to be learned out of every day experiences. Show me how to worship you for your sovereignty over all things, whether I understand them or not. Thank you for your great mercy. Amen.

Scripture references

Exodus 3:13-15  Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

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Granny and Puss Harvey



Granny and Puss Harvey

Galatians 6:7

One afternoon, my son in-law’s Granny was watching a TV evangelist while holding her cat, Puss Harvey, on her lap. Puss was sick and Granny was deeply concerned. The TV preacher’s sermon was very timely; how important our pets are in our old age.  He said that God even cared for the sparrows, so it was scriptural that God cared for our beloved pets.

The TV preacher announced that if your pet was with you and sick, hold it against the TV screen and he’d pray for that pet.  Granny grabbed Puss Harvey, held him against the television and agreed in prayer for healing.  The prayer finished, the Televangelist proclaimed that if you REALLY wanted to INSURE that your pet was healed, send an offering of $100.  Granny pointed at Puss Harvey and said, “Puss, you gonna DIE!”

Of course, “Granny” did take her pet to the veterinarian and was faithful in her monetary support of her local church where she attended.  It’s so easy to get the wrong attitude toward giving; especially when we rely on televangelists to interpret the scriptures for us. The scripture does say, in both the Old and New Testaments, to tithe and to give offerings. (Genesis 14:20, Genesis 28:20-22, Leviticus 27:30-32) (I Corinthians 16:2, II Corinthians 9:7)

The tithe is such an important part of our covenant with God that not only are there instructions to give the tithe, but specifics about how the tithe is to be used and cared for. (Numbers 18:21, Deut.12:5-11, Deut. 14:22, Deut. 26:12, Nehemiah 12:44.) In the Old Testament, we also find what happens when the tithe is misused or neglected and the blessings that ensue when the tithe is used properly and given faithfully (Malachi 3:8-10)

In Hebrews 7:5-9, Abraham’s tithe is used to illustrate the significance of changing over from the Old Testament priesthood to the New Testament blood covenant. The New Testament mentions tithing as a part of what is required but specifically states that the tithe is not the ONLY thing that is required of God’s people if they want to prosper (Matt. 13:23).

The ‘tithe thing’ is one of the most often given grievances people have against the church.  Yet, people have no complaint against social clubs, gyms, recreation parks, and organizations that require money in order to attend, participate or join.  Oddly, people agree that cost is part of upkeep for having a nice facility and great programs; but they have issues with funds being requested at a house of worship. (?)

Unlike worldly gathering places, God does not say if you don’t tithe, you can’t come to church. The scripture does say if you do tithe, you will be blessed and if you don’t you remove God’s blessings. The choice is ours, either way; we are still covered with the blood of Jesus, forgiven f our sins and welcomed into fellowship.  Since I want all the blessings God offers, I pay my tithes plus more.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Prayer   I love you, my Lord. Open my eyes to see that everything that I have comes by your blessings. Help me to understand the principle of giving and to give with a willing and thankful heart. Teach me to be generous and to realize that it is impossible to out give your blessings.

Scripture References:

Genesis 14:20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Genesis 18:20-22 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God  and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Leviticus 27:30-32 “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD.

I Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

II Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Numbers 18:21 I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.

Deuteronomy 12:5-7 But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.

Deuteronomy 14:22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

Deuteronomy 26:12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

Nehemiah 12:44 At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites.

Malachi 3:8-10 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Hebrews 7:5-9 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, their brothers—even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,

Matthew 13:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

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Got My Back?



Galatians 6:1-2

When I was a child, we used to play a game called, “Got Your Back.”  Two players, one wearing a blindfold, would stand back to back. The other team would try to attack the blindfolded player with a squirt gun. The person with the open eyes was to watch out for the enemy and whirl the blindfolded person around, keeping them out of the line of fire.

The same “got your back” principle should also apply in spiritual things. Thanks to the devil and one of his favorite tools, the blindfold; it can be easy to be caught “blind-sided” by sin.

We are to be concerned for each other in our daily walk. James 5:16 says to confess our sins to each other and pray one for another. Praying for each other is an important part of fellowship ministry.

The Bible doesn’t say that we are to ignore sin. It says we are to deal with our OWN sin first (Matthew 7:4-5).  There is no scripture found that tells us to ignore sin, in our own lives or the life of others.

In Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus personally gives instructions on how to approach a believer who is in sin. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 goes so far as to say we should “judge” each other within the church.

Galatians 6: 1-2 instructs me to be alert and reach out when I see a brother/sister stumbling and restore them lovingly. Galatians even warns that I should use caution because I could fall prey to the very same sin I see somebody else doing.

I Corinthians 10:13 says that we are ALL tempted, temptation is common. It is important to hold behavior up to the light of the Word; letting the Spirit bring conviction. Whether in my own life or the life of others, it is God’s Word that “judges”, not my personal “take” on sin.

Maybe, we should re-think our approach?  Stop worrying about the perception of “judging” and start actively helping to keep each other away from the enemy. We can watch each other’s back through prayer, loving counsel and the revealing light of God’s Word.

Perhaps all the hoopla over “not judging” has been satan’s way of numbing us to the awareness of our responsibility to each other? I hope you “Got My Back.”

Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin; you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Prayer: Father, God, help me to always be aware of satan’s tricks. Help me to first examine my own life and attitudes and then keep a discerning eye open for satan’s attempts to trap my friends and loved ones. Give me wisdom and make me sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that I know how to speak to those who are being deceived without making offense or hurt. Remind me to cover my friends in prayer, knowing that they face the same temptations that I do. Amen.

Scriptural References:

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Matthew 7:4-5 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 

Corinthians 5:9-13 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.  But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.  What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”[

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

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Sometimes, I Just Feel—Beat


Sometimes, I Just Feel—Beat

II Corinthians 4:16-18

Baking a cake is brutal.  The first thing you do is to take a wire whisk and beat the sugar into the eggs.  From the inexperienced view point, that seems a bit overdone. If the sugar is not beaten into the eggs till the grainy feel is gone and the batter is smooth and light, the texture of the cake can be coarse. The experienced baker knows that every step is a necessary part of the process no matter how tedious it seems.  

Of course, that is just an analogy, but, sometimes, we look at the circumstances of our own life, or the life of somebody we love and we think that they (or we) are being brutalized. Feeling battered and bruised, we cry out to God, “Whyyyyyy?” In the Old Testament, we see the patriarchs rising above hardship, tragedy and, sometimes, even their own shortcomings, to emerge as mighty people of God.   

In the book of Job, we see a righteous man taken from prosperity to the depths of suffering and back to prosperity; illustrating God’s sovereignty through circumstance. The New Testament saints were beaten, persecuted and lived in poverty so that the knowledge of Christ could be spread.  

When we study the scriptures; there are far more references to overcoming, conquering, standing strong, working hard and being responsible than there are about comfort and abundance. Sadly, today’s Christian is often more focused on the sweet rewards of serving God than the hard truth about everyday life.

Satan’s goal is to separate me from my Lord. Whether the devil chooses the tools of temptation, sickness, circumstances or bitterness; his ultimate goal is to lessen my relationship with Jesus.  

Make note that satan’s success relies on my participation in his plans! When life is difficult; I choose whether I turn to my Lord or turn away. Satan can try to influence me but he can not control me. Serving God with all of my heart is a moment by moment decision.  

We serve God faithfully, even through hard times, because we know satan’s schemes and we choose to walk strong in Jesus. The events in our lives that hurt can come from various directions. Sometimes, I do things that cause my own pain, other times; somebody hurts me.

Now and then, circumstances just work against me and cause me discomfort. Walking strong means forgiving those who have hurt us (II Corinthians 2:9-11) and growing through those things that satan has meant to defeat us.

When bad things happen, God has a plan to turn even the worst circumstances to our favor. (Genesis 50: 18-20) God’s plan is to use everything that happens in our life to work to our good.  Romans 8:28 doesn’t say everything that happens in our life will feel good at the moment. But, rather that all things work FOR our good.  

More importantly, life isn’t just about “here, now.” Life is a preparation for eternity, where we will rule and reign with Christ— so, stand strong even when you feel like you have been beaten. Always remember, God, like the master baker, knows what it takes to make His creation—-beautiful.

II Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Prayer: Lord Jesus help me to keep my eyes on the goal of eternity with you. Give me grace, wisdom and mercy to handle every situation and circumstance that comes against me so that in all my attitudes and ways, I honor you with my life. Amen.

Scriptural References:

II Corinthians 2:9-11  Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,  in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Genesis 50: 18-20 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him “We are your slaves,” they said.

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.




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I Love Old Bibles



I Love Old Bibles

I love old Bibles! One of my most treasured possessions is an old, very old, small Bible that was given to me by my husband.  He paid only a few cents for it at a country sale held alongside the road in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. According to the dates etched in calligraphy on the presentation page, the Bible was presented in 1886.  

Inside of the old Bible are carefully penned hand written notes and meticulously underlined favorite scriptures. It took planning, a fountain pen and an ink pot to write notes on those pages. Faded by the ravages of time, some of the markings are almost illegible. 

In my mind, I can imagine the owner of this small Bible sitting at her kitchen table each morning, reading inspiration (by candlelight?) for the new day in the pages of God’s Word. It is very moving to gently flip through the pages of this treasure and read the verses that encouraged a dear saint who had gone on to be with Jesus before my own great grandmother was even born. 

Odd as it would seem, the young woman struggled with the same problems, temptations and failings that I struggle with today. Our modern technologies haven’t changed the fragile human condition with all its weaknesses and trials. I can tell by the worn, dog eared pages that some of her favorite chapters to read are also my favorites. Someday, when I’ve gone to be with my Lord, I hope to meet this gentle soul who lived so strong for Christ. 

My heart can only hope that one day somebody who loves the Lord, hopefully my own grandchildren, will find my old Bible and be encouraged by the markings I’ve made in its pages as I’ve read. What an incredible testimony of God’s faithfulness; to leave a Bible, well read, marked up, worn out and earmarked with tear stained pages.  

One of the underlined verses treasured by this dear saint, “Anna,” whose name was so similar to my own,  speaks even more clearly, now, to me, as I read God’s Word, than it did when she read it in 1886:

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


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Making Healthy Choices


Making Healthy choices

II Peter 1: 4-9

I love going to the big warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco!  My favorite time to go is on the days when they have vendors set up with little cooking stations. One reason this is a favorite time to shop is because they have new and creative ways to prepare old favorites alongside samples of food I’ve never eaten.

As I pass by, the vendors offer me tasty morsels to sample. I love learning new methods and experiencing new tastes. However, there is also a “down side” to shopping on this “sample it” day.

The whole idea of this presentation is once I have a taste, I discover that it’s so good I want to have more. Since I shop here often, I’m aware of the temptations and make sure I’m satisfied with healthy food before I get there so that the samples are eaten sparingly.  

Food is one of my weaknesses, I dearly love yummy food. An important part of being a mature adult is that I have the wisdom to know I should turn and walk away when I’m tempted. When I discipline myself to make healthy life style choices, I reap the physical benefits.

Now and then, I blow my plan totally, but I know how important it is to pick up and keep on going. Stumbling is not failure; the only time I fail is when I don’t get back up and continue on. The Bible says that the fruit of the Spirit is SELF control. (Galatians 5:22-23) And Proverbs 24:16 says though I stumble, I will get up. Even though the verse refers to spiritual stumbles, I reference it for my physical fallings as well. God cares about EVERY area of my life.

In the same manner, when I discipline myself to make healthy spiritual choices, I reap the benefits of being spiritually stronger, healthier and more alert. I need to plan for Bible study and prayer the same way I plan how I will turn aside and walk away from temptation.

Life is about discipline, anything worthwhile requires discipline and planning to make it a routine part of my life. Just like physical exercise makes my body muscles strong, Bible study and conversation with my Lord exercises my faith and makes my spiritual muscles strong. (Romans 10:17)

The discipline of choosing healthy food choices makes a healthy body.  The discipline of spiritual choices makes a strong, effective witness and a successful life.  Make a plan, stick to the plan, reap the benefits; it’s ALL good, “gotta get me some more of THAT!” 

II Peter 1: 4-9 

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.


Lord Jesus, help me to discipline my life so that I make healthy choices both spiritually and physically. Open my eyes so I’m aware of temptation and can respond quickly with the fruit of the Spirit, self control. Help me to be strong and healthy in every area of my life. I love you. Amen

Scriptural References:

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Proverbs 24:16

Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up,but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

Romans 10:17

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

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Like I Ache for Cake


Like I Ache For Cake

Psalms 63:5

The other day, I baked an extraordinary German Chocolate Cake. I’d toasted the pecans and the coconut before I put them in the special icing. It was, beyond any doubt, the most delicious German Chocolate Cake I’d ever made, bar none.

Later that night, I was lying in bed, when I remembered those layers of chocolaty sweetness; enrobed in a blanket of sweet coconut and toasty pecans. Once my mind started thinking about that cake, it’s ALL that I could think of. I wanted a piece of that cake so bad; it was like an ache in the back of my throat!  Mercy!

The Psalmist, David, wrote in Psalm 63:5 that his longing for God was satisfied like his body is satisfied with fine food. What an illustration! Thankfully, unlike aching for a piece of cake, the desire for intimacy with God is a good thing that has no down side to be regretted later.

In Psalm 34:8, David said, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” To be so intimate with the presence of God that you recommend that others “taste” it; what an incredible place to be.  I love it when the Word uses everyday experiences to illustrate spiritual truth.

God longs for intimacy with us so much that He sent His only son to die so we could know Him. (John 3:16) But, wait, there’s more! God sent His Holy Spirit so we could have not just a relationship but intimacy with Him.  We were created not to just “know” who God is but for personal relationship.

There is no other god who wants a relationship with us!  Out of that personal intimacy comes an awareness of who He is. We can’t help but to worship in acknowledgement of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great and Almighty God.

The more time I spend with the Lord through prayer and Bible study, the more I long for more of Him.  Like when my throat aches for cake; when I think of my Lord, my throat aches to praise Him!

 Psalms 63:5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

 Prayer: My Lord, you are a great and mighty God. I can’t even imagine how you love me so much that you want to spend time with me, to talk with me. Help me to never forget what an honor it is to be in your presence, to read your Word and to be loved so completely. I love you and thank you. Amen.

 Scripture References:

 Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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The Stranger in the Mirror


The Stranger in the Mirror

Luke 18: 9-12

One day, while cleaning, I put my full length mirror in the hall way so it wouldn’t get broken. Maddy, our Basset hound, came running down the hallway, floppy ears dragging the floor, tongue hanging out, eager to be wherever I was.

As Maddy rounded the corner she saw herself in the mirror and came to a galloping halt.  Not recognizing herself, she barked at the “stranger” in the mirror until her doggie voice was hoarse. I laughed till I could laugh no more.

The scripture in Luke 18 (the Pharisee on the corner, beating his chest and proclaiming how good it was to not be like everybody else,) is in every preacher’s book of sermons. We always focus on the poor sinner who stood and humbly prayed; confessing his own frailties and sinful nature.  In our hearts, we know—we hope– we are like him and not the holier than thou Pharisee.

But, let’s look at the prideful Pharisee for a moment. He obviously thought himself to be a good example or he wouldn’t have been standing on the corner reciting his virtues.  Comparing himself to others, he figured he looked pretty good, all things considered.  He thought himself to be a righteous man, doing all God required.

Since he was so certain of Godly virtues, he must have been faithful in attending synagogue (church) or he would have had no awareness of a standard. He was a man who attended church, did good works, even paid his tithes—yet he knew nothing of the heart of a servant.  He had no concept of the need for a savior, even though he was, himself, religious.

My own heart needs to be examined. Do I have a servant’s heart, daily seeking how to lift up, encourage, help out and do the inconvenient, UNnoticed tasks?  I must ask myself, if I rounded a corner and suddenly saw “me” in God’s spiritual mirror—would I recognize myself?

Luke 18: 9-12 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable, ‘two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” “

Prayer: Father, help me to fully understand that there is nothing that I can do that would make me worthy to be your child. All that I have, all that I am, is because of your great love and forgiveness that took place at Calvary. Thank you for loving me, for saving me and for sending your Holy Spirit to direct me. Amen.

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Life Comes at You Fast



John 16:33

One morning, my daughter looped the leash of their full grown Great Dane, Toby, around the table leg so he’d be out from under foot while she did household chores. She headed upstairs; certain that he’d not be able to follow her.

When Toby saw her start upstairs, he decided he’d go with her. When he took off running, the table followed as far as space permitted then slammed into the kitchen counter flying into pieces.

Hearing the crash, she looked up to see BIG Toby sliiiiiiiding wildly across the kitchen floor ON HIS BACK, feet waving wildly. She dropped the laundry she was carrying and ran to see what had happened. The kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off!

The kitchen table was in a heap, broken in pieces. The laundry was everywhere. The trash can had been knocked over and there was trash all over the floor. She listened; silence. Toby was nowhere to be found.

She called for him, no answer. Fearing he had been seriously injured, she started going through the house softly saying his name. She found him in his sleeping crate, with his front paws over his snout, eyes big as saucers–trembling. Toby, having NO idea what happened, figured he had been a very BAD dog and had run to his sleeping crate to hide.

Sometimes, these unexpected events are humorous, at least in retrospect. Other times, life’s unplanned interruptions are much more painful. The unexpected serious illness of a loved one, a tragic accident, a sudden financial reversal; the list of possible crisis is endless. Satan often tries to use these hard life experiences to destroy our faith.

So often, like Toby, when disaster strikes, we run and hide, figuring we have somehow caused the tragedy. When “stuff” happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have been bad.  God isn’t punishing us; He isn’t angry at us for some sin we have committed unawares.

The scripture says that bad stuff will happen. The important thing to remember is that God loves us and no matter what happens, the Holy Spirit will direct us and comfort us. Where we have a problem is when we run away from God instead of toward God. Even when we hurt and are confused, God has answers for our every need.

John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.

Prayer: Father, help me to realize that you are sovereign and that you work all things for my good. Encourage, direct and comfort me by your Holy Spirit. Help me to keep my eyes on you, even in difficult times. I love you. Amen.


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Book List for purchase

All my books are available for sale on Amazon.  Most are published in both paperback AND Kindle format.  Here is a list of Amazon links for your ease in locating them. Remember, books are always a great gift for ANY holiday!  Please enjoy, and share!

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The Grandma Chronicles (fictional,humorous yet thoughtful; illustrated)

An often humorous look at “Grandma life.” Always young at heart, her story is filled with discovery, laughter and humorous personal insight on the aging process. Grandma’s chronicles explores everything from the joy of grandchildren, to adventure, and personal loss. Through it all, she tries to live a life outlined with God’s mercy and filled with His grace. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will love Grandma.


whatcha got coverWhatcha Got? God Has Answers! (devotional)

A practical devotion book for anybody who has ever wondered “OH, wow, how do I deal with THIS?” Or if you ever wanted to know what you’ve “Got” to have to live a clean life in a dirty world. Written with humor and based on sound Biblical principles, there are 42 devotions. Why? Because–well–sometimes, we have so much STUFF we have to deal with that we just need more than 30 devos to get us through the month! No matter WHAT You Got, GOD has answers.


Buffalo Breath COVERLife Is Like Buffalo Breath (devotional ; illustrated)

A delightful collection of Christian devotions that uses humorous and poignant stories about animals to illustrate Biblical truth. Thoughtfully llustrated with photographs of pets and nature, this unique devotional will make your heart smile as you grow in faith and knowledge of God’s Word.


Diabetes cover 001Sick Is An Attitude, Living WELL With Diabetes (self help)

Living “well” is so much better than merely living “with” Diabetes. Annie was diagnosed as a Type I Diabetic when she was10 years old. Now, after living well for 50 years as an insulin dependent, this author gives personal insight into how to live a fulfilling and active life as a Diabetic. Annie is NOT a doctor, NOT a health care professional; she is simply a person who tells about how to live well from her personal experience. Her writing has humorous life antidotes and includes personal insight, LOTS of practical information and encouragement. If you are, or know of, a person with Diabetes, this book will be a great read.

38 recipe cover for rubberFood for Body and Soul (devotional COOKbook—devos with recipes NOT available on Kindle)

Cookbook has all 38 Devotions from the popular devotional book, “Food for the Soul” PLUS 70 of the author’s favorite recipes, cooking tips and interesting food facts. Jesus often used food as illustrations of Biblical truth; probably because EVERYBODY eats. In this unique devotional, favorite recipes are matched with each devotion. A thoughtful gift for cooks who love the Lord and a great addition to your own cookbook collection!


kindle cover ready 1563 pixels x 2500Food for the Soul (devotional –devos only, no recipes)

In scripture Jesus often used food as illustrations; probably because food is something that we all understand. “Food for the Soul,” is 38 daily Christian devotions using food and humorous cooking experiences to illustrate Christ’s love and direction. Also to be available as a cookbook with devotions included, “Food for Body AND Soul.”


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