Praising God at All Times

A favorite scripture passage of mine is Exodus 15. It is the song of Moses and the Israelites after they crossed the Red Sea on dry land. Verse after verse paints a vivid picture of God’s unfailing character. I especially love verse 11 that says, “Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” The Israelites experienced God’s power first-hand as He parted the waters, allowed them to walk through on the floor of the sea, and drowned their Egyptian enemies. It’s interesting, though, no sooner than the praising …

Running Buddies

Perhaps you’ve never ventured into the world of running and races. Maybe you don’t even want to! But even if your toes never see the inside of an athletic shoe, I want to suggest that you make sure you have some amazing running buddies in your life! As the cooler weather descends and the trees unveil their decadent autumn foliage, it seems only right to start turning our hearts toward gratitude. And I, for one, am grateful to the point of being humbled for the group I call my running buddies. Let’s be clear from the start. I don’t actually …

Sacrifice of Praise

Hebrews 13: 15 “through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.” The phrase “sacrifice of praise” has been ringing in my ears and lingering in my thoughts for weeks.  Over and over again I hear these words “sacrifice of praise” as I struggle to understand what the Lord is teaching me.  And in true fashion, today He revealed it to me and even gave me a song to sing!  No, don’t worry I will not record my voice and make you listen.  I will, however, as part …

Thanks in Action

It’s Thanksgiving season again. The time to reflect on our lives, gather with family and consider our history as a country that was birthed by the drive to live in a new world where freedom and liberty set the foundation for society. As Christians, many of us take time during Thanksgiving to refocus and prepare our hearts for the impending celebration of our Savior’s birth. We will reflect on blessings and hardships, explore areas of Christ’s intervention or answered prayers over the year, and we will look intently and intentionally at what we have. There will be many Facebook posts, …

Pure Joy

Stress. That would be the single word that best describes the last few years of my life. So much so that when we rounded the corner into 2014, I began to pray, “Lord, will You please grant me a season of rest?” I was so weary that it didn’t seem like a selfish thing to ask for. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep going without some time to re-energize. Maybe I just wasn’t specific enough in my request… ‘cuz I was kind of thinking about several months, maybe even a whole year of rest! And initially, it …

What If?

I keep asking myself the question, What if I lived my life as if I believed everything the Bible said is really true? What would THAT look like? I actually do believe that, but I know that through the years of life’s experiences I have unwittingly allowed little lies to creep in or built up protective walls to defend myself that can also be a barrier to real truth. Life seems to have brought one trial after another the last several years and this week dropped another bombshell. My initial reaction was not a calm reflection of the truth I …

Praise Him through the Storms

I once thought that God didn’t give us more than we could handle but I now believe the opposite to be true…He gives us more than we can handle on our own so we have nothing left to do but cling to Him. We cannot do it without Him. I have learned that He will provide if we just let Him and He will calm us so much during the storms that all we can do is praise Him. Exactly one year ago, my family weathered some storms. The details of those few months will be saved for another day, …

From Grace to Gratitude

Have you ever had a word from the Lord? I mean a literal word. As I was reading my Bible and several of my devotion books, the Lord kept showing me this one word. It seemed to keep popping out of the page into my face. That word was “gratitude”. And like most words I had to stop and think about what the word meant. Well, of course I know that it means being grateful or thankful. But I wanted to know more. What was it again; a feeling or expression of being thankful or appreciative. Hmmm, so being grateful …

It’s All About Jesus

  An evangelist friend of ours coined a phrase “It’s all about Jesus” for his region several years ago. Although we’re not in the leadership of this evangelist anymore, we still use the phrase often. Especially times when we feel that things are chaotic or we get into issues. Breathing this simple phrase can be a prayer of sorts to remind us, “It’s all about Jesus”. Oh beloved, for the believer “It’s All About Jesus” is more than a phrase. It’s our banner! It’s our comfort, our shield and our fortress. When the gates of hell whisper prevail we say …

Becoming a Slave and Gaining Freedom

Freedom is, by definition, the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Slavery is, by definition, a relationship where one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty and fortune. As a teenager I had been engulfed in a life of sin. I was captivated by its lure and enticed by its stronghold. I was a slave to sin, until freedom pursued me and I began to allow God to draw me to Him. As I entered adulthood, I aspired to be happy. I longed for all the normal …

We Were Made for More

“We aren’t made to live on mountain tops” are the words I heard uttered from a friend not too long ago. When I first let these words penetrate my thought closet, I was in a place where I so desperately wanted this to not be true. I knew the feelings I had on the top of that mountain. I felt so close to God. I felt clothed with His Spirit…I felt worthy and wildly obedient. At this point in my life, I had spent what seemed like years climbing through thick brush (my life’s storms and trials) to get there. …

Eyes on Jesus Brings Joy!

Since it’s spring break I took the afternoon off to go fishing with one of my daughters and her kiddos. It was a beautiful afternoon. We all had our fishing equipment and we tried several spots around the lake. My daughter caught a nice bass. She cast out, almost hit the walkway with the lure, jerked it into the water and boom she retrieved her prize! No one else caught a fish, nor did we even get a bite. Did the day turn sour? Did the sun quit shining? Did we run home with disappointment and agitation that she was …