Devotions

TRANSITIONS

Posted by on Jun 30, 2019 in Blog, Devotions, Journal, Uncategorized | 6 comments

A recent “significant” birthday has made me feel a lot older than I did last week. I decided not to dwell on the fact that I can’t do, and shouldn’t do, some of the things I did even a year ago. I’m thankful for reasonably good health, the ability to do the activities I enjoy, even if at a slower pace. I learned a long time ago, my attitude determines how I navigate through life’s transitions.

Webster’s defines Transition as “a passage a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.”

Many friends are going through their own transitions, whether it involves downsizing, moving, an illness, job change, or the death of a loved one. Some of us embrace changes and view them as new adventures, while others find unexpected developments in their lives difficult. But transitions are inevitable.

“Change is always in your favor when you’re walking with the Lord.”

Words from a wise friend

The Bible is filled with stories of how God’s people journeyed through transitions, and it resulted in transformation.

God told Abraham in Gen 12:1-3 to “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”

God didn’t reveal where Abraham was to go, just to trust Him for the outcome. Over time, and not without some poor personal choices, Abraham listened, obeyed, and learned to trust God.

In Deuteronomy 31:7,8 we read, “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Job, was full of transitions, mostly losses, but it was a picture of Job’s faithfulness despite his struggles.

Ruth’s left the land and idolatry of Moab to travel to Naomi’s homeland and embrace Naomi’s faith in the one true God.

Daniel’s and Esther’s stories are dramatic transition and transformation stories where they journey from places of insignificance to positions of great power.   

in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 Solomon tells us:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:                  

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing                                a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”    

Our Heavenly Father offers courage and direction for all situations. Carol Stratton, the author of Changing Zip Codes, says “When we do our part and take the first step, He will watch our back and take away our fear. We need to take the first step.”

“The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can trust God to guide us for every transition we face.

“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

And in His equipping us experience transformation.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

What season of life are you in? Are you enjoying the fruits of your labor, or dealing with discouragement, decisions, disease, or depression? Perhaps you are enjoying reflection, renewal, and rest.

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MUSIC THAT LIFTS THE SOUL

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | 1 comment

There is something about music that draws us closer to God. So many hymns, as well as more contemporary pieces, touch my heart and intensify times of worship.

To celebrate Holy Week last year, I gathered an eclectic selection of music to listen to throughout the week, picking out special selections for each day. I had such fun doing this that I shared the links on my Facebook page. I share it now hoping it will bring you joy and draw you closer to Jesus this week.

Palm Sunday ~ All Glory, Laud and Honour  ~  King’s College Cambridge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHN8UAk6Yow

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

http://praiseandworshiplyricsandchords.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-redeemer-lives-mullen-music-and.html

Monday ~ In Heavens Eyes ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389e0aLJJzU

Shine Jesus Shine by Hillsong (with Lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OIwSQmyCg4

Tuesday ~I Can Only Imagine  ~ Bart Millard Mercy Me

https://www.facebook.com/icanonlyimaginemovie/videos/10156154869184810/

The Prayer ~ Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb8Z_6HVutk

Wednesday ~ The Lord of sea and sky  ~ National Youth Choir of Scotland-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcL9S5a3weU

I’ve Just Seen Jesus  ~ Sandi Patti Larnell Harris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yLgtd_kkxw

Thursday ~  For Zions Sake ~  Marty Goetz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtKBZRJcEVM

Mary Did You Know 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPsgIhlYQmM

Friday ~Via Dolorosa  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7asEdmZsSPo

The Lords Prayer sung by Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50dLkv7v2TQ

Saturday ~

Jesus through the Bible !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upyJ6smkv9g&feature=youtu.be

Messiah Hallelujah Choir ~Naval Academy Glee Club

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTWQnsYARm8

Sunday ~ Crown Him With Many Crowns  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLXRU1Vdauw

He’s Alive  ~  Dolly Parton

https://www.facebook.com/DollyParton/videos/10153640169959755/

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15dmjnB8FZU

 

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THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING ~ A CHRISTMAS ALLEGORY

Posted by on Dec 22, 2018 in Devotions | 2 comments

THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING

Over thirty years ago, I first read THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING by Mabel Lee Cooper. In the years since I’ve heard this Christmas allegory read by Paul Harvey, the well known American radio broadcaster, famous for his “‎The Rest of the Story” broadcasts several times. I’m sharing it now with you.  I wish you a blessed Christmas.

It was Christmas Eve. Outside the wind howled and the snow was falling; a dreadful blizzard was on the way. Inside his little house by the side of the road, a great philosopher sat comfortably by his warm fire with his books for companions. This philosopher was very wise. Many people found their way to his door to seek his advice and help. Not only was he wise, but also very kind; he loved all living creatures, and for his great kindness and wisdom he was beloved by all who knew him.

As he sat this stormy night by his warm fire he thought of all who might be out in the blizzard. He arose, raised his curtains high, and put a bright light in his window, saying, “All who must be out tonight can find shelter and warmth and welcome by my fire.”

As he stood by the window, suddenly he heard the sound of many voices singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men!” It was the little band of Christians singing in their chapel nearby.

“This is Christmas Eve”, thought the philosopher to himself, “the night the Christians celebrate the coming of God to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Now this philosopher, being in the habit of understanding the things he believed, had not joined the band of Christians. He thought the Christians’ way of life was the best way, but he could not understand the many mysteries of their faith. Above all, he could not understand the Incarnation. Why was it necessary for God to come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ? How could it be? Because he could not understand these things he would not become a Christian.

As he was thinking, suddenly he heard a noise at his window, caused by a flock of half-frozen birds beating their wings against his window pane. The poor birds had been caught in the blizzard as they journeyed southward to a warmer climate.

Birds in the Snow

The heart of the philosopher was touched, for he loved birds.  He opened wide his window, thinking the birds would fly in where there was warmth. But the birds didn’t understand, and would not fly in. Putting on his warm fur coat, he went outside, determined to save them if he could. He tried to force them into his room, but they resisted. Several times he tried to clutch them in his hands, but they eluded his grasp. Then he took bread crumbs and scattered them on a little place he had cleared in the snow. The half-starved birds devoured the crumbs, and then, with renewed strength, tried to fly again.

The philosopher thought of his barn where the birds would be safe in the warm hay. He placed a ladder leading to the door of the barn and covered each round of the ladder with bread crumbs. He succeeded in attracting the birds to the ladder. They ate the crumbs on each round and reached the open door of the barn. But they wouldn’t fly in! How hard the philosopher tried to force them inside, but they didn’t understand; and in spite of his efforts he saw the birds drop, one by one, frozen to death, with a haven so close at hand.

The philosopher looked sadly at the birds he had tried so hard to save. “The great difference between the birds and myself,” he thought, “is that I know where a haven is; they did not. They did not understand that I was trying hard to save them, and I could not make them see that the haven was close by. There was only one way I could have saved them ― only by becoming a bird could I have made them understand!”

As he mused, suddenly he heard again the Christians singing: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

Then a great light seemed to come to the wise philosopher. “O God,” he cried, “there was no other way for You to make men understand ― no other way that even You could lead them and make them understand, save by becoming one of them!”

And then, in the drifting snow, he fell upon his knees and uttered from the depths of his soul, “I believe! I believe!”

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THE CALL

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Blog, Books, Devotions | 10 comments

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

I received the call — the one every writer waits for. My agent, Linda Glaz, called to tell me that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas had decided to publish my first story. This was an answer to decades of prayer. My “millennial in the basement” was finally given wings to Be-Light-logo_v2fly out into the world.  

It was December 23, 2015, and my oldest son and his family were visiting us for the Christmas holidays. I called my youngest son and shared the news with him. We could not tell anyone else until after the contract had been received and signed. Tears of joy were shed and my family celebrated with me.  

I’m humbled. I know in this current publishing market, it is difficult for non-published authors to be picked up for publication. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was taking a chance on me.

Signing first publishing contract

                    Signing first publishing contract

Back in the eighties, two major Christian publishing houses considered this story seriously, but in the end, their rejections were added to the others.

In the nineties, my life changed, and for years I needed to put my writing aside. After I remarried, my husband encouraged me to return to writing and to once again seek publication for this story.

In the intervening years so much had changed in the fiction market about what publishers wanted to publish and how they wanted the stories presented. So I studied more about the current style of writing fiction and then began significant editing to the story.  I also attended writer’s conferences, networked with many amazing writers, began blogging and established a website. I’ve also been blessed with a wonderful agent who is a friend and mentor. It has been and continues to be a learning process.  Now I was days away from receiving a contract.

The timing of this acceptance was not lost on me. Only days earlier I’d been reading Roy Meet Me in the Meadow coverLessin’s Meet Me in the Meadow devotional; December 15-20 were devoted to Waiting For God’s Time.  He wrote:

 “Seasons of waiting on God and listening for His speaking often precede everything significant God will do in your life. God waits for you to wait on Him.”

“God, like a master weaver, does a creative work within us during the waiting times in our lives. . . . Before He gives us what we are waiting for, He wants to give us more of Himself. In the waiting times we are strengthened with His strength and the fiber of His character is worked within us.”

“It is important to understand that waiting times are not times of denial but are times of preparation. When it is God’s time to bring something into our lives, He will often do it after He has prepared us to receive it.”

“During our waiting times, expectation helps to keep us spiritually moving ahead instead of becoming passive and indifferent. Expectation moves us from twiddling our thumbs to exercising our faith.”

“Waiting times are growing times and learning times. As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace…as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength…as you lay down your will, you hear His calling.”                                    ~  Roy Lessin

(Used with Roy Lessin’s permission  http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com)

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who works for the one who waits for Him.”   Isaiah 64:4                                                                          

A Heart Set Free will be released December 2, 2016. I look forward to sharing more about this story with you in the days ahead.

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Our Security Comes From God

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Blog, Devotions | 4 comments

I find myself shaking my head a lot lately. With everything that is going on in our nation, whether it is a society bent on violence, this strange political season, the loss of long-held beliefs, values, and even our basic freedoms, it is easy to become discouraged, fearful, and cynical. But that is not how God has called us to respond. He wants us to pray for our nation and to look beyond the circumstances and trust Him.

Meet Me in the Meadow coverI’ve shared before that I enjoy reading several devotionals along with the Bible. One of those devotionals is Meet Me in the Meadow by Roy Lessin. And he has generously allowed me to share some of his work.

From August 3rd

“God has not made the earth and abandoned it. He has not retreated somewhere in the universe and gone into hiding. He is today where He has always been, on His throne. God sees all things, knows all things, and is all-powerful. God is all in all. He is above all. Nothing is above Him or equal to Him. There is no king or ruler that has more authority than God; there is no political figure that has more influence than God; there is no nation that has more control than God. No one can out-think Him, or out-smart Him. He is God Almighty. He has all authority in heaven and earth. His enemies are under His feet. He reigns and rules. He is the majesty on High.”

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of Thy kingdom is a right scepter.”

-Psalm 45:6 KJV-

“God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.”

Psalm 47:8 KJV

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So I’ll work harder at keeping my focus on the Lord and not be anxious about the craziness that is going on in our country and the world.

     Joshua 1-9

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

Proverbs 29:25 ESV

“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 ESV

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1Peter 5:7

The Bible Reminds us what to do.

And I will continue to pray for our nation.

Heal our Land

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SCRIPTURE VERSES FOR THE MILITARY AND THEIR LOVED ONES

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | 2 comments

To honor and remember all those who gave it all in the service of our nation throughout the ages. And to give thank for those who now serve:

SCRIPTURE VERSES FOR THE MILITARY AND THEIR LOVED ONES

ANGER James 1:19,20

 

 

Ephesians 4:31,32

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

 

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

COMFORT Nahum 1:7

 

Matthew 11:28

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

COURAGE Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
DEATH Psalm 23:4

 

 

Romans 8:38,39

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

ENEMIES Psalms37:40

 

 

Proverbs 3:25,26

The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

 

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

ETERNAL LIFE John 3:16,17  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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
FAITH 1 Cor. 16:13

 

Heb. 12:1,2

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

GOD’S

FAITHFULNESS

Psalms 19: 89,90

 

Psalms 9:10

Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

 

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

FEAR

 

 

 

 

 

FORGIVENESS

Psalms 46:1

 

John 14:27

 

Psalm 23:4,5

 

Mark 11:25

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

GUIDANCE Proverbs 3:6

 

Psalms 32:8

in all your ways submit to him,  and he will direct your paths

 

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

GUILT 1 John 1:7

 

 

1 John 1: 9

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

HELP IN TRIALS Psalms 32:7

 

Psalms 91:10,11

 

 

Psalms 18:2

 

 

John 16:33

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 

no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

 

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

 

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.

HOPE Col 1:5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel
HUMILITY Proverbs 22:5

 

1 Peter 5:6

In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

LONLINESS Genesis 28:15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
LOVE 1 John 4:10

 

Eph 6:24

 

1 Cor 2:9

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

 

Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

 

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him—

OBEDIENCE Romans 8:28

 

 

1 John 2:17

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.

 

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

PATIENCE James 1:2-4

 

 

 

Romans 5:3,4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

PEACE

 

 

Isaiah 32:17

 

John 14:27

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

PRAYER Matt 7:7,8

 

 

Jer 29:12

 

Mark 11:24

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

 

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

 

Therefore. I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

PRIDE Proverbs 8:13

 

2 Cor 10:17-18

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

 

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

PRISONERS Psalm 146:7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free,
GOD’S PROTECTION Psalms 121:7-8

 

 

Psalms 27:1

 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

 

The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

SEEKING GOD Jer 29:13

 

Acts 17:27

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

 

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

SERVING Romans 12:1,2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
SUCCESS Proverbs 22:4

 

Jer 29:11,

Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

TEMPTATION 1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.
WISDOM Psalms 119:105

 

James 1:5

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

 

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