Oh my goodness, it has been way too long!!! As some of you know, we have been moving my mom for the last couple of months. She officially moves in this weekend. I am sitting on the floor going through boxes of papers that I have stuffed in my closet and I came across one of my earliest Coffee Breaks.

What a sweet reminder of the purpose of our home as my hubby and I begin this new adventure in our lives.

So grab a cup of coffee and let’s visit!!

My sweet daughter stopped by with two cups in hand…a grande cup of coffee and a no water Chai for Mom:-)

She just put her youngest down for his morning nap and is snuggling in the front room with her two-year-old looking at a birthday party video on her cell phone.  Naomi is singing “Happy Birthday” right along with the video with her head titled back laughing as pleased as punch with herself.  Daughter and granddaughter are enraptured with one another and loves fills the room.

I’m smiling as I watch.  What is it about laughter and tickles, hugs and kisses that makes the world go ’round?

When I visit my girls there are toys on the floor…stuffed animals, books, and lots of colorful cars and trains.  Oh yes, and pictures of family everywhere and little munchkins.  What I notice is how I feel when I walk into their homes, it oozes with love!  You can feel it when you walk in.  Whether it’s a tent, an apartment or a mansion our home is the place where we live and the space God gives us to have dominion.

Doesn’t He say that He has made us in His image to rule over His creation?

Right smack dab in the beginning of His written revelation, He speaks the world and everything in it, the galaxy and the entire universe into existence. That is a spectacular demonstration of the power of His word!  Then He creates man and woman in His image and gives them authority to rule over what He has made.

So, what does that mean to me as a woman?

I suppose, If I were to isolate three things that we can do as women…daughters…moms and grandmas in that space that He has given us to have dominion, I would include these things:

1.            Fill it with love.

God fills the earth with His love and wants us to fill “our space” with the same kind of love.  He says in Ephesians, “Be imitators of Me and walk in the same love in which I love you”.  What kind of love are we talking about?  The kind that is sacrificial.  Hello?!  Like Christ who loved us sacrificially who gave Himself up as an offering to God.

“Offering…sacrifice”…not quite the words I was thinking about.

In other words, It’s more about how I act than how I feel.  Ouch!!   Let’s just say a certain someone, whom I will not name, hit on one of my pet peeves.  Don’t I have the right to pout, growl and maybe stew…just a bit?!  This is hard.  Sometimes I like to grovel in my self-pity, but I have noticed that the longer I’m in that place the more damage I do and the harder it is to get out.  Maybe that’s why Scripture says, deal with your anger quickly and don’t let the sun set on your wrath.  I am soooo grateful that the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is in me, helping me to do the hard things.

God doesn’t just tell me what to do.  He models it first… by loving me sacrificially to the point of death.  What can I say? You don’t understand what it’s like to be misunderstood?  To be betrayed, to be hurt, etc., etc.??  “Father, forgive them”, He said, while He hung on the cross writhing in pain.  “THAT’S the kind of love I’m talking about!”

So, what’s a woman to do?  Guard her heart and her emotions, and let truth lead.  Remember there is power in the words of God.  If God can create the stars and the worlds with His words,  they also have the power to transform our lives!

2.            Splash it with beauty.

I’ll just spend a moment here.  I love seeing how my daughters have transformed their cute little apartments with garage sale and Craig’s list finds.  A cute little chair here, a pot of flowers over there.  I went to Ross with my one daughter to help her buy matching curtains for her front room and I helped my other daughter carry furniture down a couple of flight of stairs. Both my daughters are fond of color.

It’s amazing what a bucket of paint will do:-)

Whether it is beautiful table settings, flowers in the front yard or matching towels.  The important thing is to look at what we have created, as God looked at His… and say, “It is good and it brings me pleasure.  I love my home and I’m glad you’re here!”

3.            Bring order to chaos.

This is a tough one.  In all honesty, I’m still working on this one.  In fact, if my husband saw this he’d be laughing right now.  So, please don’t show this to him…I’d hate to see him die laughing.  I find that there is so much distraction and so many things to do.  The trouble is, many of them are good things.  I  just can’t do them all.  AHHH!!!!

Now, I’m laughing…because I keep trying!!

Let’s just say this, God is a God or order.  He is the one who separated the light from the darkness, and the land from the sea.  He created boundaries.  He is the one who put the stars in the skies for signs and seasons, and who created the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night.  He not only created the planets that hang in space, but also the orbits they follow.  He keeps them from colliding.  He is Creator and Sustainer.  He holds it all together.

So, what does that mean for me?  Trying to create some sense of order in my life…daily routine, discipline of children, meals, paying bills and finding keys. Ha!!

No doubt, we have a hard act to follow:-)

As objects of His affection…we are made in His likeness!   As children of God we are empowered by His Spirit!!

My home…our home is the place where we live. It is the space God has given us to have dominion. By the grace of God, may we fill it with His love, splash it with beauty and to the best of our ability try to have some sense of order.  Ha!!!


New Jeans

There were racks and racks of jeans. My daughter insisted it was time for this “Mimi” to get a new pair of jeans…something about my jeans being outdated. What?!! Me outdated!! I love the stuff from the sixties. Okay, maybe I wasn’t crazy about the seventies and come to think about it, I wasn’t into the 80’s either. But I did begin to warm up to the nineties once styles and colors became more eclectic.

Do I hear any “amens”?!!

Once I found a pair of jeans that worked, that was it. Why bother looking anymore??

Not to mention that trying on jeans is not an experience I would equate with drinking Chai’s, reading a good book or anything remotely fun. My daughter selected about ten pairs of jeans and insisted I try them all on while she and her two girls waited in the dressing room. My two g’daughters played in front of the mirrors while their Mimi had “fun” trying on jeans. Every now and then there was a gasp that came from the dressing room…like, “EEEEKKK, I can’t believe these are too small”… “I would never be seen in public with these”…”Does anybody make these things for real people?!!!”

My daughter calmly said, “Mom, just try on the jeans.”

Well, “lo and behold” we found two pairs of jeans from the 21st century that actually worked!! I thanked my daughter profusely for waiting patiently while I tried them on. It takes a real friend to sit and wait in a dressing room while a girlfriend tries to find the perfect pair of jeans. Ha!!

And yes, there is a spiritual lesson here.

The process of trying on jeans is terribly humiliating. No need to say why. Those of you who have tried to find the perfect pair will know. As for the rest of you, just wait until you’re a Mimi:-)

Just like trying on new jeans, one must go through the uncomfortable process of seeing ourselves as we really are before we can be clothed with the righteousness of Christ.

According to Romans 5-6…because one man sinned, death entered into the world and spread to all men. Therefore, all have sinned. Nevertheless, because of the obedience of one man, the God-man Jesus Christ the “second Adam,” many are made righteous through HIS obedience. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD.

In the wake of the death of Billy Graham, it is good to remember the simple, yet profound power of the GOSPEL.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Yes, that includes me. I can always find someone worse than myself or better. But in the quiet of my heart, I know I have fallen far short of the holiness of God. I have cried many tears and often lamented, “O LORD, I am a such a grievous sinner!!!

The other day, while I was praying and lamenting once again this very fact, these words came to my mind…”Yes, that is true. You are a grievous sinner. BUT you also have a glorious Savior. Both are true!!!!”

Yes, I am a sinner, but God has provided a way for me to approach a holy God. I can do that when I am covered by the blood of His Son.

Ravi Zacharias tells a story of an Indian actor who just happened to be in a hotel when terrorists stormed the building. He and his friends were eating dinner when one of his friends pushed him under the table while the terrorists went through the restaurant shooting indiscriminately and spraying bullets as they walked. In telling the story, he was amazed that he survived. Remarkably, he was the only one at his table who lived!

The BBC journalist asked, how is it that you survived?

“The only thing I could figure,” he said, “was that I was so covered with someone else’s blood, that they took me for dead.”

Dear friends, this is the gospel. Because God put on flesh and became a man, He was able to satisfy God’s requirement for righteousness. His shed blood on the cross covers us when we believe what God says is true. It is a simple act of faith.

“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…but God prepared a body for His Son. After offering up His body as a sacrifice for our sins, He now sits at the right hand of God.” Why is this significant? Because it demonstrates that His sacrifice was accepted by God.

That’s why Jesus was able to say, “It is finished”…the work is done.

To those who want to be washed clean, He gives a promise. “Receive the LORD Jesus and believe His message, and you will be given power to become the children of God.” from John 1:12

As Billy would say, we are all sinners and have turned our backs on God. Repent…turn away from your sins and turn to God. Believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient for your sins and that it is through His blood you are covered!!

I love my new jeans, but even better…I am so grateful for the tears of repentance that have led me to the cross. Now, I am covered by the blood, the precious blood of Jesus Christ!!

Walking with God

Two believers gathered up their belongings and hurried out of town. Things were not turning out the way they had expected. It seemed like God was in their midst, and now this…where is He? If God was with us, why would He allow a righteous man to suffer?  How could such a good man suffer such a horrible death?

It doesn’t make sense. Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

“Why God?!! Where are you in all of this?” Cleo groaned.

They quietly, but hurriedly left town discussing with themselves along the way the things they had seen and heard. Surely they missed something in all of this. What did they misunderstand?!

“I don’t get it,” the one said to the other, “If God can speak the worlds into existence, stop armies in their tracks, cast out demons and raise the dead, where was He? Wouldn’t this have been the perfect time for Him to display His power?!! Why didn’t He?”

For once, the other disciple was silent. He felt as though his heart was broken. His hopes were dashed. In his heart of hearts, he was questioning his own faith. It just didn’t make sense!

“Maybe…maybe we missed something?” and once again they began to go over the events of the last few months, when a stranger appeared and started walking next to them.

“What are you discussing with such heavy hearts?” He asked. And like a dam holding back water, they poured out their hearts upon this stranger.

Right here, in the midst of their suffering and misunderstanding…He pointed them to the Scriptures and showed them that the suffering was necessary.

Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He began to explain to them how these things had to be and showed them how God was in their midst the entire time working out His plan!!!

They reached their destination and begged Him to stay with them longer. So, He did.

By this time it was close to evening and they sat down to eat. The stranger reached over and took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it He began giving it to them.

Immediately, their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. It was the LORD Jesus. The very one who suffered and was crucified!! Then, He vanished from their sight.

Bubbling over with excitement, they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road and while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

They arose that very night and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven disciples and the others who were gathered together.

They could hardly contain themselves. “We saw HIM!!!” they cried, “The LORD has risen and appeared to us just like He did to Simon!!” And they began to relate to the others their experiences on the road. These disciples were not the bold disciples we read about in the book of ACTS, they were afraid for their lives, confused and hiding behind closed doors. Then, right in the middle of their story…He appears in their midst!!!!

I love how God saw fit to include this account in the Scriptures. I can so identify with their confusion and misunderstanding. How many times have I asked, “Where are YOU, LORD? We are hurting, we are confused and we need YOU!!”

Oh, how I have longed for Him to come alongside me and explain the Scriptures, to help me sort through my confusion…and walk me through my suffering.

Then, I realized He does!!! He gives us this beautiful picture, right here in this story to show us that HE DOES!!

Before Jesus was crucified and rose again, He told His disciples that He would send ANOTHER Helper. We often focus on the word Helper, and forget that He said “another Helper.” Rankin Wilbourne  tells us in his book “Union with Christ” that He is referring to ANOTHER helper…like who?!!! LIKE HIMSELF!!!! The Holy Spirit that He sends to be in us, to walk with us, to comfort us, to teach us…is another Helper, like Jesus.

This is powerful stuff!!!

For the Scriptures tell us that those who are the children of God have the Spirit of God in them. That means every place we go and every fear we face, we take Him with us!!! There is no problem that we face or any hurt that we feel, that He does not know. He knows and walks with us!!!!

This story that the LORD has included in His WORD has brought me such comfort.

Let us draw near to God and walk with Him, listening as He explains the Scriptures in the midst of our confusion and find hope in the resurrected LORD!!!

Wishing you all a very precious and meaningful season of Lent as we prepare our hearts to reflect on all that Easter means.





I know this is cruel and unusual punishment. Who would dare to write about chocolate with Valentine’s Day right around the corner? First of all, let me say that I was really not into chocolate as a kid. I mean why buy one chocolate candy bar when you could have a whole package of chewy little SweetTarts or ten red Twizzlers?!!

But something happened once I turned forty. It was no longer an option, I HAD to have my chocolate.

A-ha!!! I know why this has happened. It’s a CONSPIRACY.

The chocolate people all over the world got together and said, “I know the perfect way to get people to buy our products…semi-sweet chocolate morsels, Christmas colored M&M’s, chocolate hearts and chocolate bunnies. We’ll create holidays!! And from Thanksgiving to Easter there will be no lack of chocolates in the home!!!”

You sneaky people. Do you think I’m going to fall for your conspiracy?!!!

By golly, I am declaring that it is TIME TO PUT DOWN THE CHOCOLATES!!!

No sirree. I’m not falling for that delicious looking chocolate cake, chocolate pecan pie or homemade chocolate peanut butter bars. It is TIME TO PUT DOWN THE CHOCOLATES!!!

Years ago, while putting my hubby through school I worked as an Administrative Assistant to the Comptroller of a property development company in downtown Dallas. There were financial reports, government filings, personnel meetings and quarterly reports. Certain times of the year were stressful. I remember running out during lunch to grab an ice cream cone. One of my co-workers remarked that I knew how to treat myself when times were stressful.

I took it as a compliment. Thinking it’s a good thing to do every and now then.

Nothing like a bit of ice cream, a bar of chocolate or a hot cup of Chai to bring a little pleasure into my day.

The problem I found as the years went by, is that the “every now and then” has become a bit more frequent. I remember standing in the grocery line when my children were young thinking…I can actually afford that candy bar. Hmmm…should I or shouldn’t I? Remembering the time when I couldn’t afford it and that was my reason for not buying one. Now I can, but should I??

That opened up an entirely new discussion.

What should be my reason for buying a candy bar or not buying a candy bar??

In fact now that I’m an adult, opening up that door took me into an entirely new room of possibilities. No longer having my mother peering over my shoulder, I can eat what I want, go to bed when I want and do the dishes when I want, and the list goes on. Every now and then, I think…”Mo-o-o-m, where are you?!!”

Then, I remember I’m an adult and responsible for my own decisions.

So, in a sense I have found myself “mothering” myself!! “You don’t need that candy bar right now! You better go to bed. Morning comes awfully early and you’ll be tired if you don’t. I know you don’t feel like doing the dishes right now, but in the morning you’ll be glad you did! No, money does not grow on trees and you cannot buy that right now. Now, go ahead and give your sister a hug and tell her you’re sorry!!! Ha!!!!”

Isn’t it amazing, the simple things we learn as kids that we need to take with us into adulthood?!!

Therefore, I am letting the whole world know that it is TIME TO PUT DOWN THE CHOCOLATES!!  That’s right, no more chocolates!!!! …just as soon as I finish the last bit of peanut butter M&Ms my sister gave me for Christmas, I would hate to hurt her feelings!!

Katherine and Jay looked up at the ceiling, totally spent after a day of running to the drugstore than to the doctor to find out that they were expecting. The newly wed couple had their lives planned out. This little one was not supposed to arrive for another SIX YEARS!

But God had other plans.

While they wrestled through the normal roller coaster of emotions, they realized…”this was not the plan, BUT it was their plan now.”

Who would know that a little more than a year later, their lives would once again be turned upside down. This time, Katherine had a stroke. It was so severe that her doctor debated whether it was worth the effort to attempt to save her life. Would she survive…and if so, at what cost? Would she ever walk again, eat again, or even be able to talk?

This beautiful blond-hair, blue-eyed model and actress lay on the gurney while her husband, Jay, tried to piece together the events of the day. Suddenly, “the self-preserving mechanisms of shock and grief gave way to love.”

The surgical assistant had handed him her ring and a small bag of her belongings. The ring had to be cut because her finger was too swollen to remove it.

His mind flitted back to their wedding day when his dad held up the rings. “These look like pretty great rings,” he said. “They’re made of the strongest most valuable metals around. Each time the sun glints off them or you feel them twist on your finger, be reminded that marriage is made of something even stronger and more beautiful.”

So Jay held the two half-circles in his palms and his heart shuddered.

And then it was as if he heard the same wedding day dad say, “She may be broken, but you’re going to help put her back together again.”

Broken “earth-suit”, loss of beauty, unsure future, physical exhaustion at just doing the normal stuff and piercing soul-pain.

This is the true story of Katherine and Jay Wolf. It is a remarkable story of overwhelming loss and overwhelming love!!!

So, what happens when life throws you a curve? What happens when the plans you have so carefully laid out go awry?

Have we not all cried out at one time or another, “NO!!! LORD, this is not what I expected!!! This is not what I want!!!!”

What do we do when HE changes the plan??!!

Can we say like Katherine and Jay, “this is not the plan, BUT it is my plan now. It is not what I would have chosen, but it is what God has allowed.”

How can a book that tells someone else’s story, hit me so hard?!!!

It is because that’s where I wrestle.

When God changes the plans or doesn’t alter events to my liking…I find myself whining or throwing a pity-party.

Is God sovereign? Does He intervene in human affairs? Can He and does He orchestrate events according to His purpose? But what if evil men have the upper hand and I find myself a victim?? Or worse yet, I am the victim of my own stupid choices?? Does this thwart God’s plan???!!!

I don’t have the space to address this in length, but I would like to mention two things to consider.

1. Consider the nation of Israel. God made a covenant with them beginning with a man. His name was Abraham. He promised him a land, a blessing and descendants numbering the stars in the heavens. At the time, he was an old man and had no children…not even one. Let me ask you, where are his descendants today? Despite many persecutions beginning with Pharaoh in Egypt and ending with Hitler in Germany…THE NATION OF ISRAEL IS STILL HERE!!!

God has given them a land. God has blessed them and made them a blessing, and  the descendants of Abraham are innumerable.

All of this, in spite of evil men and in spite of their own disobedience!

Why, because God is faithful. He will do what He says!!

2. Consider Joseph. Sold into slavery by his brothers. Lied about by his master’s wife and thrown into prison. Anyone looking at this story would say, surely he got the short end of the stick. He was at the mercy of wicked men. Where was God in all of this?!

Listen to what Joseph says when he confronts his brothers, “Do not be angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for it was God who sent me…it was not you who sent me here. It was God.”

Though his brothers couldn’t see it, Joseph did. He believed that God intervenes in human affairs and in spite of the actions of evil men, God will accomplish His purpose. More importantly…he believed God was good and what He does is good.

He trusted God with his life even when the plans changed!!!

Wow!!! I am still chewing on this one. The above story is from HOPE HEALS by Katherine and Jay Wolf.

Spy Chicken

Okay, so it really wasn’t a chicken . It’s a brown and white stuffed turkey that gobbles and wobbles from side to side when you press it’s foot. The kids love it!!!

On one particular occasion, when the two oldest were fussing about something…I had them sit in the front room and told them to zip-it. That means no talking!! I set the timer for fifteen minutes and left the room. One sat on the brown rocker, while the other sat caddy corner on the sofa. It was one of those, “okay I’ll sit here!” but their folded arms and puckered bottom lips gave them away.

After about ten minutes of this, I figured it was time for SPY CHICKEN to come to the rescue.

So, I grabbed the chicken a.k.a. turkey, and crawled on the floor behind the sofa propping up the chicken and said, “Oh yeah, you may have thought I was just a turkey. Well, you’re wrong!! I am a chicken. Not just any chicken, I am a SPY CHICKEN!!!”

And with all the passion of a sinister diabolical spy chicken I proceeded to unravel an evil plot that desperately needed help from two children.

In a matter of minutes we were all laughing.

I got to thinking as the kids forgave each other and gave each other a hug, that a little bit of humor goes a long way when there is tension.

Is there humor in the Bible? You betcha.

Take Elijah on Mount Carmel surrounded by 850 false prophets and an angry King who wants his head on a platter. He is totally outnumbered. The tension is high. Due to the wickedness of the King and his “lovely” wife Jezebel, the people had become wicked and had forgotten the God who delivered them from Egypt, who had parted the Red Sea and miraculously fed them manna for forty years while they wandered in the desert. They forgot God.

They forgot His word and they forgot His mighty deeds.

Elijah prays a simple prayer asking God to stop the rain. God hears Elijah’s prayer and stops the rain for three years!!!

The King is not in a good mood.

Elijah, too, is tired. Tired of hiding from the King during those three years, and tired of the people waffling back and forth from loving God to serving Baal.

“Make up your minds”, he shouts.  “If the LORD is God, serve Him…if HE is not, serve Baal!!!!”

“How about a test?!!  Let’s put a sacrifice on the altar and the God who answers with fire, will prove to be the true God.”

You know the story. The priests of Baal jumped up and down and cut themselves to show their devotion.

They call upon their god from morning until noon, even getting upon the altar and jumping up and down. By noon, Elijah starts to mock them. “Maybe you aren’t shouting loud enough? Maybe he went on a trip or is asleep and you need to wake him. Shout louder!!!” So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their tradition with swords and lances. Imagine this…blood was gushing everywhere.

But there was silence.

Then Elijah calls the people to come forward. He repairs the altar of the LORD which had been torn down. He dug a trench around the altar and laid wood upon it. Then cut up an ox and laid it upon the wood. Then, he did the unthinkable. He poured water over the sacrifice, over the wood, and filled the trench with water that surrounded it.

By this time, it was evening and time for the evening sacrifice.

Elijah came near to the altar and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are the true God and that I am your servant and have done all these things according to your word. Answer me, O LORD, that these people may know that you are God, and that you have turned their heart back again.”

Then, the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the offering, the wood, the stones of the altar, the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench!

This mighty man of God was a man of prayer. The Bible also tells us that he was an ordinary person, just like us!!!!

And this mighty man of God also used humor to diffuse tension.

Hmmm…the Bible does say that ”a cheerful heart is like good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22

Hard times, conflict…and even tension can sometimes be diffused with a bit of humor.

Now, where did I put that chicken??


Manna for the Soul

If you’ve been to my house, you will see bookcases. Yep, bookcases in my office, bookcases in the front room, a twenty-three foot long bookcase in the game room AND a bookcase in the bedrooms…all three of them!!!

Yes, you guessed it. Upon those shelves are books. Many books I’ve read, and many more books I have not read, and hope to read some day.

The other night while my hubby and I were relaxing just before bed, we were watching a new TV series that my sister and her husband introduced to us over Christmas. Those sneaky writers have a way of ending each show in such a way that you can’t wait to see the next one. Sooooo…we ended up watching THREE in a row. (Believe me, this is not our worst, but I am trying to save a little face, here. Lest you think I am a totally hopeless cause. Ha!!!!)

It occurred to me, that if I keep watching all of these shows…how am I going to read all of these books? It’s never going to happen!!!

Somehow telling myself that all these books that I bought with such good intentions, were NEVER going to see the light of day…brought out the feisty in me. “Who are YOU to tell me, that I am never going to get this done?” I said to myself.

So, we had this little chat. And I decided to show the other me, YOU just wait and see!!

I am laughing as I write this.

Every year I start with good intentions!!!

My house, my bookshelves AND my recipe books give testimony to the many things I would like to accomplish. But life just slips away like water through a sieve. It goes so fast. The older you get, the faster it goes:-) And yet, God tells us, “to be careful how we walk…” to consider, guard and take heed to our steps, and make the most of our time. From Ephesians 5:15-17

I have two thoughts as we begin the new year. No, let’s make it three.

1.            Let’s take stock of the road we are on. If we keep doing what we are doing, where will that take us? Let’s just fast-forward five or ten years from now. What do we see? Is that where we want to be? If we don’t like the destination, then we need to get on a different road!

Moses reminds us in Psalm 90 that God scrutinizes our paths and His judgments are sure. Therefore, he prays, “So, teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.”

2.            Unread books can be like ideas. I like ideas, like I like books. They’re fun to have. But I don’t always put them to shoe-leather. My ideas can sit on a “shelf”…unused, but good to look at or pullout whenever the occasion calls for it.

So, my challenge to myself and to you, if you want to join me… is to be intentional about allowing the truths of God’s word to transform us. Based on what we know to be true, what change can we implement in our lives today? It doesn’t have to be huge. It can be small.

Remember, if nothing changes…nothing changes.

So, for me…I’m going to be a bit more intentional about my evening hours.That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good movie every now and then. I love a good story!!! I just want to use a little more discretion and restraint:-)

3.            As for keeping God’s thoughts before me, I picked up a good devotional to help me and keep me on track. Years ago, I read “Daily Bread.” I loved it. It was food for my soul. Like the manna, that the Israelites picked up DAILY…it provided the sustenance I needed for my day.

Over the years, I have found consistency to be key!!!

I don’t always do it, but when I do…it makes such a difference. Not only in my outlook, but also in my ability to respond.

Priscilla Shirer in her new book, “Awaken”, reminds us that the Israelites had to get up in the MORNING and GATHER the manna. Interestingly, God did not throw the manna into their tents. They had to go out and get it!! Not only, did they have to go out and get it, there was a time-limit. If they didn’t get it in the morning, it would melt in the heat of the day!!

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful picture God gives us.

Before the heat of the day begins its work of melting our hearts, let’s “go out and gather the manna” and eat from the sustenance that God provides!!!

For the LORD Jesus has said, “I AM the bread of life…” I AM the manna for your soul!!  John 6:35


The Search

I had searched everywhere for my “Family Celebrations” book that I use for the Advent season.

Years ago, I made a green felt Christmas tree on a large red banner that would hold 25 handcrafted felt ornaments. Yep, moi!! It was a simple craft that involved scissors and a hot glue gun. But don’t let that fool you!! I still look at it with pride every year I climb up into the attic, open the box and put it up.

When my children were young we would read a story a day…or three or four stories IF we were catching up:-)

When those wonderful teen years came upon us, I found it a bit more difficult for us all to gather around my felt Christmas tree. But that didn’t stop me!! Sometimes, I would just read it to myself. With my Bible and hymn book in my lap, I would sit in my front room contemplating this wonderful story of redemption that has unfolded before us!!!

The seed, the branch, the root of Jesse, the shepherds, the carefully recorded Judaic lineage, Mary, Joseph, the magi, and the star…

Like a beautiful puzzle that stretches across the millennia, God strategically places each piece into the picture…allowing those of us in the latter years, to gain a greater glimpse of this mystery He has revealed to us.

In recent years, come Christmas time, I could never find the book!!! So, I would grab another Advent book or reread the Christmas story… over and over again.

How many times have I prayed asking the all-seeing God to help me find my keys, my purse or my books:-)

“O LORD, it’s me again. Goodness, I would loose my head if it wasn’t attached!!  Would you please help me find my book?”

And then the search would begin.

Two thousand years or so ago, a few wisemen from the East also went on a search…not for a book, not for a set of keys or anything that is temporal, but for the Promised One. The Messiah, God in the flesh who would be King of the Jews. One who would rule over them, not like the kings of the past or the present…but like a shepherd who tenderly cares for his flock!!!

When did their search begin? How far away did they have to come? What preparations were necessary as they loaded their camels and prepared their caravan?? And what questions stirred in their minds as they made their long journey??!!!

We’re told very little of their story.

Were their families supportive or did they think they were crazy? Did they encounter danger along the way?!! Did anyone try to steal their treasures? What did the star look like? When it appeared…how was it different from all the other stars? And how did the star LEAD them?!! Did anyone else see it??

All we’re told is that they went on a search. And when the star stood over where the child was…it stopped.

Their search ended with Jesus!!!

Hmmm…something good to ponder as we begin the new year.

Is there a longing in your heart, a search for something? Follow the star…it stops with Jesus.

Are you afraid of the future and what lies ahead? Follow the star… it stops with Jesus.

Does life seem fragile? Do you long for a hope that transcends this life? Follow the star…it stops with Jesus.

Do you long to be loved? To be known??  To have strength for the day and the task that lies ahead?!!  Follow the star…it stops with Jesus.

And so, I sit here smiling as I end my post. I thank God for the hunger He put in my heart that sent me on my greatest quest….not for books, or keys. But a search that led me to Him!!


Indescribable Glory

My hubby and I sat down to watch a DVD that we picked up from Mardel’s by Louie Giglio. It’s called “Indescribable” which contains four talks from the Passion conference that he has taken around the country. They’re particularly fun to watch because Louie’s enthusiasm is contagious.

By the time we sit down at the end of the day, it’s usually late in the evening. A perfect time for grabbing a cup of hot tea, propping our feet up on the coffee table and snuggling under a blanket.

This time of the year we have our fireplace going which makes it even cozier. And in case you’re wondering, yes, our house is covered with stockings. We have twenty-two stockings hung from one end of the room to the other. Ha!!!

If you were to peek in our window, you would find us either reading a book, watching a good video…. or snoozing while attempting to do either of the aforementioned. Ha!!!

For four days in a row, we listened to Louie describe the awesome power of God displayed in creation. Night after night, I went to bed pondering the indescribable power of God flashed across the “screen of life” for our eyes to ponder. Sitting in my front room I gaze at a 2’ by 3’ screen and gasp. Yet, God has placed before our eyes an entire universe that is trillions of light years away expanding beyond our capacity to see or even comprehend…and splashed it with stars, solar systems and galaxies for us to ponder.

Oh my goodness, if God is omnipresent…does that mean He fills the entire universe?!!! If so, just how BIG is God??…

This is mind-blowing.

Several things in particular stood out as I gazed at the wonder before me.

In one of the latest photos sent back to us from Hubble is a picture of the Whirlpool Galaxy which is 30 million light years away. (Go ahead and pause. See if you can wrap your mind around this number!!) Tucked away inside the galaxy is a black hole which is so big, that its size is equal to about 1 million of our suns. Get the picture? It’s huge. What’s so amazing about this huge black hole is its shape. Scientists call it the X-Structure. But if you tilt your head a bit, it looks just like a cross.

Right there in outer space stretched out for millions of miles is a cross!!!

Do you get this? The cross was in God’s mind BEFORE He created man. Before human history. Before the fall of man and before the plan of redemption unfolded as we know it.

Now, think with me for a minute about the Creator becoming a man.

He who created the universe with the power of His word, puts on flesh and enters into human history as an infant born of a virgin. Eventually, allowing those whom He created to reject Him and His message, put Him on a cross and kill Him.

This plan was already set in motion before the foundation of the world was laid.

There would be a cross and it would involve suffering, but through it would come the redemption of mankind. Through the pain would come great good!! All who put their trust in Him and His plan will be restored to a rightful relationship with God and will enjoy Him forever.

Suffering is not easy. It is difficult. No one wants to go the way of the cross.

Knowing this, Jesus paved the way for us. He showed us how to suffer and went through with the plan. He entered into human history and took the way of the cross!!!

He tasted suffering. He knows how we feel when we hurt…not just because He is omniscient and knows all things, but because He is the God-man. He put on flesh which means He knows the limitations of the flesh. He understands when we feel overwhelmed and overcome with sorrow. He wept. He was hungry. He was rejected, humiliated and suffered an extremely painful death.

He knows, dear friend, He knows how it feels when we hurt.

But praise God, this is not the end of the story!!!

Today, Jesus sits at the right of God. We are to fix our eyes on Him and on the hope that lies before us. Why?  Because that’s where we will be one day.

This is the Christmas story. Immanuel, God with us.

And there in a galaxy far away is a cross. A reminder that our God who fills the entire universe has a plan. Though His plan may take us the way of the cross, we can rejoice because on the other side is glory…indescribable glory!!!

Do Something!

Recently, I received an email from my daughter with an urgent prayer request.

Due to war in a particular country of the Middle East, the price of food has tripled. Another country has stopped the transport of goods and those inside the country are facing starvation and famine.

I wept when I read the email, then fell on my knees and prayed.

I’ll never forget my trip to Oxford. A few years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Westminster Abby and touring Parliament. Baroness Carolyn Cox was our guide.

We sat in the seats of famous men and parliamentarians like William Wilberforce who fought his entire life to abolish the slave trade in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. She led us to a room where we were provided lunch and treated like royalty. Afterwards, she spoke of her work in Africa. She showed slides where entire villages were wiped out by the AIDS epidemic, children were left orphans and we saw places where an entire generation of men ages twenty to forty where nearly nonexistent. Though many humanitarian organizations attempted to meet their needs, corruption, guerrilla warfare and terrorism kept the much needed food, medicine, and supplies from arriving to their destination.

To ensure that the recipients received their intended goods, Baroness Cox traveled with the supplies to the villages of Africa with armed guards.

A hush fell over the room as we watched picture after picture pass on the screen before us. Seeing the vacant eyes of children, the dead rounded up and burned in heaps, women who survived the AIDS epidemic standing in the doorway of huts with hopelessness in their eyes, as loved ones were starving to death was more than we could handle.

The room was dark and throughout the room you could hear the quiet sobs.

Baroness Cox flipped on the lights and shocked us all when she said, “Do not weep…do something!!!”

Her words have stirred in my heart since then.

I cannot go to Africa, but my daughter is going. And you know what I’m doing? I’m watching the kids so she and her husband can go and I’m also praying!! As I sit here writing, I remind myself that  prayers can go where we cannot. They can go behind prison doors, they can travel across the seas, and they can follow my daughter to Africa!! Our prayers can call upon the hand of Almighty God to protect, provide and heal.

I’ve also noticed something else that happens when we pray. Something happens to me.

In prayer, I turn my face to the One who holds all power in His hands. As I press in closer and closer to Him, it is though I begin to hear His heartbeat and He impresses upon my heart… and on ours, what is on His.

I write this, because it is hard for me to stay home. I want to be boots on the ground!!

It is hard to read about the suffering in the world and not want to get on a plane and stamp out corruption, bring medicine for the sick, feed the hungry and share the hope of the gospel.

I cannot go. But I am reminded as I sit here, that God has parceled out His heart to His people to cover the needs of those suffering in the world, not only overseas… but right here in our own neighborhoods.  I am to do my part, and as God moves my heart to feel compassion, I am to act as I am able… whether it is to give, pray or to enable those who can go.

It is the time of the year, when our mailboxes begin to fill with the needs and suffering of the world. As we see the hurting around us, let us draw near to God, so we can hear His heartbeat…and not just weep, but DO something!