The Power to Encourage

The Power to Encourage

  Encouragement is powerful.  It’s incredible.  It inspires, it motivates and it lifts people up.  On the other hand, discouragement is just the opposite.  It put people down, it hurt and injure them.  And for some, it stop them in their tracks and keep them from moving forward. In the book of Acts we are told of a man by the name of Barnabas.  While there are many aspects of his life, it is specifically noted in Acts [4:36] that he is called the “Son of Consolation.”  However, Barnabas was certainly good at “lifting another’s spirit”. Consequently we see the …

Fall Devotions

Fall Devotions

Day 3 The temperature is changing and the mornings and evenings are cool.  I LOVE IT!!  This weather makes perfect camping weather.  One of my favorite things to do is to go camping with my family and then get up early in the morning and grab a blanket and my bible and sit by the still smoldering fire and gaze over the water in front of me.  I LOVE blankets!  There is something comforting about being wrapped up in a blanket.  Although there are good blankets the ones that are soft, thick and fluffy and then there are the ones …

Fall Devotions

Fall Devotions

Day 2 Fall – to lose the old, to have its proper place.  This is just part of the many definitions of what the dictionary says “fall” is.   What is crazy is that the dictionary is talking about fall like ‘I fell down’, not fall like ‘the season’ and yet how appropriate the definition is. I love fall!!  The color change, the weather change, the smell change…..its about change.  But to change means that something must go. As I sit here looking out the window with massive trees all around my back yard, I see it happening right now.  Leaves …

Abundant Grace

Abundant Grace

  Okay, I admit it – I am a people observer.  My cousin, Stephen Smith, is a professional photographer and lives in Alaska one day he posted this to his Facebook page and I was immediately drawn to the sign the man is holding.  It is a piece of cardboard with the following written in Magic Marker – “Need 13¢”. I began going through a gauntlet of questions in my mind and kept asking why just 13¢?  The photo was taken in Alaska and that amount of money will not go very far in today’s economy.  Driving around town on …

Call To Me

Call To Me

March 19, 1997- a date that is indelibly etched in my memory. From 5:00 pm, to 1:00 am, our little son cried without stopping. He was two months old, and we figured that this was his bout with colic. My hubby and I tried everything, rocking, singing, walking him around, nothing worked. I even prayed, with tears streaming down my cheeks. Little James wouldn’t relent. At almost 1:00 am, he slipped into a sleep of exhaustion. So did my hubby and I. I was so upset. I asked God to calm me and the baby down, so we could get …

Valuable Lesson Found in the Summer Rest

Valuable Lesson Found in the Summer Rest

  Mark [6:31] “And he said unto them, come ye yourselves apart*into a desert place, and rest awhile: for there were many coming and going and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Summer time for a teacher is thought to be a time of rest.  Rest from lesson plans, state requirements, students who depend on you, team meetings, workshops or staff development, parent/teacher conferences, to name a few. While summer can be just that, it can also be costly.  When I think of summer I think of it as being a great time to gain back strength …

Valuable Lesson Found in the Snow

Valuable Lesson Found in the Snow

  Spring is here and winter is just a memory.   I find myself thinking of the seasons trying to decide which one is my favorite.   As I think of one and declare it my favorite there is something that comes to mind about another and it suddenly becomes my favorite.  I have come to the conclusion that each one has something special that makes it my favorite, at least for a season. As a pastor’s wife I find myself making spiritual applications to the things I come in contact with.  Seasons are no exception. As I remember winter, I think …

Sweet Release

Sweet Release

  Family curses are real. My family tree is a tangled up mess. Generations have battled depression, bitterness, shame, sickness and more. For years, when I thought of my paternal grandparents I couldn’t even bring myself to say a prayer. When I knew they needed prayer, I delegated. I asked my husband or my children to do the work because my heart couldn’t find the words. I’m not sure how, but I didn’t see this as unforgiveness. God knew my limitations though. He understood that years of rejection had left me speechless and hard. There had to be grace for …

Praise God Throughout Your Crisis

Praise God Throughout Your Crisis

  A 6-Day Look at a Desperate Dilemma From 2 Chronicles 20 Overview Passage:  2 Chronicle 20:1-30 Today’s study:  2 Chronicles [20:18]-30 “Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord…. As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah and they were defeated….. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on …

Seek the Lord Together

Seek the Lord Together

  A 6-Day Look at a Desperate Dilemma From 2 Chronicles 20 Overview passage:  2 Chronicles 20:1-30 Today’s Study:  2 Chronicles 20:3, 4, 13, 18 “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord, indeed they came from every town in Judah to seek Him…. All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.…all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.” Churches all over our nation opened their doors on the evening of September 11, 2001 as millions of people came together …

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

DAY ONE: Lamentations is a book I understand.  There are days when “my soul is bereft of peace” and “I have forgotten what happiness is” just as Lamentations [3:17] says.  No matter how many good churchy words I hear or say, they do not change the fact that I do not have the energy or the desire to pull myself out of bed. I know that I have a God of miracles.  He has done things in my life that only could be classified as such.  I know that He is good…all the time.  He blows me away with His goodness.  …

Knowing To Who I Belong

Knowing To Who I Belong

When I participated in a spiritual parenting class at my church, we were challenged to come up with a mission statement for our family.  It took years for it to be revealed, but I finally settled on Be All God Created You To Be!  When I drop my girls off at school each morning, I encourage them to Be all God created them to be, not their peers.  My prayer is that they discover their true identity in God and live up to who He created for them to be. God uses our natural parental relationships to demonstrate the relationship …