Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11 “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and no for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

There is a phrase from a song running through my head “do you know where you’re going to? Do you like with life is showing you...”  I would be surprised if a week goes by where someone doesn't ask me if I plan to home school forever or when I will put my kids into regular school.  I get occasional nudges and encouragement from people to remind me that maybe I ought to be working on my book in a more regular fashion, preparing it for publishing.  I have all kinds of encouragement coming at me to change what I eat and drink to become healthier and more natural in my nutrition.  Sometimes I feel my head spinning with all the input I receive and I do not know where to begin.  This passage reminds me that I do not need to know.  God has a plan for each of us, for our person, our neighborhood and our country.  The next verses tell us when we call to Him pray to Him, He will hear us.  He reminds us to seek Him with all our hearts and we will find Him.  Take a deep breath and release whatever lies heavily upon you to the Lord.  He has a plan.

Thank you so much for this relief.  I know in my mind that you have a plan and it is good to receive this reminder to my heart.  Guide me in prayer and action.  When I look into my heart, let me find you there gently reminding me that your plan is unfolding and I can trust in you always.  Amen.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2 Timothy 2:23 “Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.”

Just yesterday I found myself picking apart words that were said to me.  I didn't jump in and spout out words that would have escalated the situation into a quarrel but I could have.  I watch these senseless controversies happen every single day in my home between my children and sadly even in the news and on social media.  I have even, inadvertently, been an instigator recently to one of these senseless controversies and it surely did breed quarrels.  Isn't it amazing how someone can take what we said and twist it around to something completely different? They actually do not hear the same thing we meant even though the words are not changed.  I have seen it and experienced it and it is strange and troublesome every time.  This verse calls us to step back from those moments.  Do not jump from the frying pan into the proverbial fire.  I know the only way I can manage to keep myself from getting burned is to keep my eyes and heart focused on Love.  Maybe then, I can be a guide for others to keep away from these follies too.

We sure do like to be right and sometimes that desire gets in the way of truth and love.  Hold us back from stepping into trouble and being a part of a silly or senseless quarrel.  Guide our hearts and our words so we are careful with them; so that our actions and speech honor you and your love.  Amen.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Luke 18:16-17 “But Jesus called for them and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.  Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’”

As I was sitting in my rocking chair trying without success to sit and simply listen and be in the presence of the Lord, I heard the familiar thump, thump of my little boy coming down the stairs.  I sighed because now my quiet time was effectively over even though I was not done.  Right then is when this passage came to my heart.  When children are small they come without reservation, fully expecting to receive what they need and never doubting that they will be taken care of.  They are untainted by the world of nuance and innuendo so when they speak it is in their truth.  Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said these words to his disciples.  Children come with pure intentions, pure desires and pure faith that it will happen.  How would our view change if we would come to the Lord in that same way?

Our vision is clouded by the disappointments of this world.  When we look beyond this world and see the truth of your love and grace we are ashamed at our lack of trust and faith.  It is clear that you have never let us down; you have always given us everything we need and much more.  Help us see clearly what you have for us so that we can truly lift our hearts in praise.  Thank you Lord, thank you!  Amen.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!”

I love watching the sun come up over the horizon.  Even as I type that I am astonished at my own words.  I used to relish sleeping in and it would take me a couple of hours to really wake up and be present to the day and there are still moments I can see the luxury of sleeping in.  However, there is something about the freshness of the morning that cannot be replaced.  The birds start singing their songs; the sun brings gentle light to the sky and gradually brightens to gleaming gold pouring out over the landscape.  The air is crisp and cool after a soothing night of rest.  I can almost hear the grass and trees stretching their voices of praise to God for another day of life.  As spring continues to unfold its wings the buds of the flowers and the buds on the trees unfold their petals and leaves in glory, singing songs of praise and honor to their Creator.  On this glorious spring day, I encourage us to stretch and unfold our hearts to our Creator as well.  Listen to the earth singing and join in your own song of praise for God is great and with our breath we are called to lift praises to Him!

When I look at all of your creation I cannot help but lift my voice in praise to you.  Your world, the universe and all beyond are so glorious.  Thank you for the gift of life and the gift of your love.  I praise your name this day for all you have done and all you will do.  Amen.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mark 6:42 “And all ate and were filled.”

How many times have I read and heard the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand?  I cannot count them.  I know this story from childhood so when I was led to read it again this morning I wondered what the purpose was.  What would God bring to my heart from this story today?  I woke up this morning with the thought “I am sufficient for you” running through my head and I know there are verses in the bible that talk about that.  This verse leapt off the page when I read it because it says the same thing to me.  Have you ever eaten until you were so full you hurt?  Sometimes we use food to fill the emptiness that is not hunger for nutrition.  Have you ever been at a meal where the conversation and company is such a blessing that you hardly ate and yet you were satisfied?  I picture that scenario in this story.  We need food for fuel and to sustain our energy and bodily health.  We need God to sustain our spirits and our souls.  When our souls are filled our needs are so much less in any other part of our lives.  Join me in seeking to be filled with the presence of God and only eating enough to sustain our energy and bodily needs.  Allow God and His word to be food for your soul.

Help me place food in proper context today.  You are my true sustenance, food is simply fuel.  Help me enjoy the food you have provided and help me enjoy the fullness that your Spirit provides to my soul.  Thank you for your word today.  Amen.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Genesis 1:29 “God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.’”

I am becoming more and more aware of the food I eat.  Our society talks about it all the time, the shelves of the grocery store are stocked with all kinds of new and improved, healthier, etc...  We have junk food in our house though.  I am disappointed with most cereal, bread and crackers.  The additives that are put in these foods are amazing.  I have not come to the point of justifying the cost of eating all natural, and it would cost a lot, but I need to do something more.  This passage is the story of creation.  In this perfect world, even the “beasts” are all given grass to eat.  I have reduced the amount of processed food I eat (a little).  As I read and meditated on this passage I realized I need to study this much more before I stop eating anything but vegetation.  I am encouraged to stop eating store bought cookies and ice cream though.  This will be a very gradual change for me but I will move to a healthier and more holistic diet.  What is one food item you could drop that is not on the natural food chain?  Are you willing to give one thing up to move closer to the Eden God wanted?

You know my weaknesses and you know what is in my pantry.  Remind me of this verse and my desire to treat my body in a better way.  Give me strength to resist “junk” and replace it with good food.  I ask this in your name.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Psalm 34:5 “Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.”

I love the picture this verse draws in my mind.  I see our faces lifted up to the rising sun, glowing with joy and warmth.  There is no shadow of sorrow or grief on anyone’s face and there is not a cloud of despair to be seen.  Someday this will be our reality.  The good news is we can have experiences like this even now, today.  As I take the time to let go of all my prayers of concern and petition, let go of all my plans for the day and thoughts that crowd my mind, it is then that I can truly look to Him.  When I have released all those things my vision becomes clear and I can see Him without anything getting in the way.  At those moments, I am certain that I am radiant because I am simply filled with His love and light and there is no greater joy to experience.  When we acknowledge and feast in the presence of the Lord, we glow; we radiate His love.  Take a few moments today to look to (not at) the sun and ponder the bright light and warmth it provides to us each day and then remember that it is nothing compared to the light and warmth God provides.  Hold that feeling in your heart and radiate it through your day to all those around you.

Thank you for your presence, thank you for being there when we finally look to you.  Empty us of darkness and despair, sickness and fear and fill us with your light and love until we are truly radiant.  Lift us into your light and love so that we are beacons of You in this world of shadows.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

1 Peter 3:14-15 “But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed.  Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord...”

I spend a fair amount of time lamenting over the state of our world.  On the surface it would seem I worry or fear for the world and maybe to some degree I do.  I see the suffering and the brokenness everywhere.  I know most of that is needless but we are blind to the Divine love that waits to fill the world and bring everlasting healing.  In this verse Peter reminds that that we may not be free from suffering during our lives here but even in our suffering we are blessed.  I know the suffering this world is enduring is temporary just as any suffering I may go through.  God has a plan and He has sent His Spirit to live in us and encourage us.  Regardless of the sufferings we endure, we know in our hearts that Christ is Lord and He is the ruler of our hearts and our world.  In this we can hold on to the blessings we have been given and release any fear we may harbor.  In all things we can praise His holy name as ruler of all!

Forgive my short sighted vision; it seems to come back again and again.  I hold your hand and your hope in my heart as I go forth into this day filled with your love and your blessings.  Thank you for all you give us and thank you for the reminder that we are simply called to sanctify you, the Lord and the Christ.  Strengthen our hope in you today.  Amen.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Psalm 78:5-6 “He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children.”

As I begin another week of school I lift up the kids that are homeschooled around the nation and the world.  I also lift up the children that are sent to schools outside of their homes around this nation and the world.  I lift the kids that are not sent to school or not allowed to be schooled for whatever reason and I lift the kids that are too sick to go to any kind of school.  These children are the same children this passage is talking about.  The decree of Jacob, the appointed law of Israel is for all of God’s children.  It was for our ancestors and has been handed down through the generations in hopes that we and our children would be better able to keep them.  The hope would be that we would learn them well and our children even better so that our hearts would be steadfast in the Lord.  From bible times to now, we all still struggle with our faithfulness to the Lord but today is a new day and I am encouraged as each of us chooses to read the Word and strives to live it.

Strengthen our hearts and our minds as we delve into your Word and your decrees.  Help us live as you have taught us so that we are teachers to others.  Help us learn to love and be faithful in our love to you.   Amen.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1 John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another.  Whoever does not love abides in death.”

I recently read a story about degrees of light and dark, degrees of warmth and cold.  The argument was that there is no darkness or cold there is only absence of light or absence of warmth.  The less light or warmth we have the closer we are to the complete absence of light or warmth.  When I read this verse I could apply that theory to this statement as well.  If we live in love we have fullness of life and as we have less love we have less life.  Death is the complete absence of life.  If I watch the news or read news stories on the internet it seems the world can suck the life right out of me.  It is a slippery slope from being informed to abiding in death.  Our world does not ooze love and light – according to the news stories I see.  God clearly calls me, all of us, to be agents of love and life.  Seek to please God, seek to live in the flow of his everlasting love and life will abound.  In this world of snuffed out light and dampened life, I encourage each of us to be one to spreads life and love, leading our hearts and those around us away from the absence of life in to the fullness of His life and love.

Forgive the destruction I have caused by drawing others away from love and light.  Direct my words and my deeds in love and light so that your kingdom is strengthened and we step ever closer to eternal life with you.  Amen.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

John 8:7 “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Apparently I am a rabble-rouser.  I posted what I thought was a thought provoking video on Facebook yesterday and the next thing I knew some of my dear friends, who disagree with each other, began degrading each other’s character and calling each other names.  I am so distressed by this but, unfortunately, not surprised.  We are a passionate people and we believe what we believe with all our hearts and souls.  Just as these people believed the women who was caught in adultery did not deserve to live because of her sin, we often slam and dehumanize the people we disagree with until we have stoned them to death.  Jesus calls each of us to review our own hearts before we condemn someone else.  When we run into a democrat and we are republican, or vice-versa, or when we run into an unbeliever and we are a believer should we condemn them because they are “wrong” or misguided or...  Join me today in asking the Lord for forgiveness of our close mindedness and hard hearts.  We all struggle with these things at times.

Please forgive my lack of love for my brothers and sisters.  Help me see you in them, regardless of our differences and open my ears that I may hear what they really have to say instead of picking apart their words and their hearts.  Help me be an agent of love for you.  Amen.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

The lavish abundance is amazing to think about.  When I picture the table the Lord would prepare for me and for you, I picture a table laden with delicious and beautiful foods of every kind.  I picture a feast fit for a king laid out just for me.  It is a clear statement to my enemies that I am treasured and important, loved and honored by my Lord.  It is enticing and as I prepare to sit with my Lord at this lavish table of abundance, He anoints my head with oil.  He lovingly pours his healing, cleansing and sanctifying oil over me making me new; renewing me.  As we dine together, basking in the love and light, I am reveling in the overflowing blessings I receive from my Lord.  He completely satisfies my every need and every desire.  I invite you to come and join in the feast of the Lord.  His presence, His word and His love will fill you and complete you like nothing else.  Through this abundant love, He fills us up and prepares us to go into the world remembering we are His beloved, his treasured children.  He is always by our side- guiding, protecting and loving us.  Truly, my cup of blessing overflows every day.

Thank you for your lavish love spread out and poured out for each one of us.  Help us come to you and receive the blessings you so freely give.  Let us remember how treasured we are in your sight today.  Amen.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ephesians 3:5-6 “In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise of Christ Jesus through the gospel.”

I love a good mystery.  I have been known to sit up into the wee hours of the night reading to get to the end and find the solution to whatever that mystery holds.  When I am up late, burning the midnight oil, I tell myself only one more page or just to the end of this chapter... then then next thing I know I have past that stopping point without realizing it.  I get so involved in the story it is nearly impossible to put it down.  What would it be like if we read the mystery of the gospel with such voracious appetites?  Why is it so easy to set this story aside and move on with our day?  Is it because the mystery is so big it is beyond our full grasp?  Is it because it is so familiar that we do not see the mystery that still exists?  God is a God of mystery to me.  He reveals what He will and in His time.   God is also a God of faith.  I cannot prove to others what I believe but I know He has revealed and so I go into the day of mystery.

Help my sense of adventure guide this day.  There is no mystery in the fact that your love is steadfast and true.  You leave no question of your Almighty power and presence among your creation.  Help me find you today.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Colossians 1:11-12 “May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

I love to watch the Spirit at work in the world.  Just a couple of days ago, bombs exploded in Boston.  People were killed and many were injured, another senseless act of violence in a seemingly ever growing sea of violence.  The love and beauty that poured out in that moment overcame any darkness that loomed.  Even before the smoke had cleared marathon runners and bystanders alike were running to help the people affected by the explosions.  They were not running away from danger, they were running to help each other.  God gives us each the strength we need to endure whatever comes.  When we allow His Spirit to guide our hearts we are filled with his power and patience so we are able to move forward rather than run away.  We are able to see the beauty from ashes and give thanks to the Father for that beauty.    We can rejoice that the violence is not the end, darkness does not overcome and we, the sons and daughters of the Father revel in the fact that we will remain in his light and love forever.

Thank you for your healing love.  Thank you for the bravery that was shown in Boston and is shown around the world.  Your light and love remain.  Hallelujah and Amen.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hebrews 13:8-9 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace...”

A few days ago it was sunny and 60 degrees, this morning I look out my window and see about 3 inches of snow and icy frozen streets.  This is Colorado in the springtime.  Who am I kidding?  This is Colorado.   There is a saying here:” if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”  The one constant in this life is change.  It seems nothing stays the same.  Change can be a good thing, when we allow change in ourselves, we grow. When we embrace change we learn to be flexible and allow others to grow.  The important thing to remember is our foundation.  Regardless of our growth and flexibility there is one thing that remains constant and keeps us grounded.  Jesus and his teachings from the beginning to the end have remained constant.  As we reach out to others and embrace change and growth, let us keep our feet firmly on the teachings of Jesus, the Christ.  Love God, love one another and enjoy the changing world around us for the wild ride that it can be.

I am simply an extension of you.  You created me and I am here to serve you with my life.  Help me not lose track of you, my rock and my redeemer, as I seek to serve.  Thank you for your steadfast love and constant presence guiding and teaching even today.  Open our ears to hear you.  Amen.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Psalm 68:4 “Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds – his name is the Lord – be exultant before him.”

Yesterday afternoon was a time filled with music for me.  One of the groups I ring handbells with participated in a fund raiser and we, along with several other musical groups, provided a concert of vocal and instrumental music for a grateful audience of donors.  There is nothing that lifts me closer to the Divine than music.  My soul cannot keep still and I find myself transported to a different place of beauty.  The feeling is hard to describe but what I can say is that when I sing or ring to the Lord, I feel Him lifting me up.  All peoples of all nations have music and through music there is understanding beyond words.  How does music move you?  What kind of music do you prefer and what message does it have for you?  Whether you have a voice of gold or a voice of tin does not matter to the Lord.  Whether you shake a tambourine or bag a pot with a wooden spoon, it can still be a joyful noise.  Listen to the sounds of the world around you today and allow the music that flows among those sounds fill your heart with joy.  Lift your heart and your voice in song to the Lord, the creator of music, the creator of all.

Thank you for the music you place in our souls.  Open our ears so that we can hear it clearly and open our hearts to sing songs of praise back to you in every moment of this day.  You have blessed us, let us be a blessing to you.  Amen.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.”

The last couple of days I have been battling a cold to beat all colds.  I haven’t done my exercises, my sleep is not as good and I have not been as diligent in my quiet time either.  This morning I turned to this verse and read it along with verse three and four.  I lifted a prayer for the people sharing the word of God today in churches all over the world and then I plopped into my rocking chair.  A little nudge about faith came to me from Hebrews then and so I had two passages to ponder in my sleep deprived heart.  I admit I went back to bed and got a little more sleep.  Now that I am slightly more awake, I can say what I received in these verses.  There are many things that can get in the way of our time with the Lord.  Sicknesses, bad nights of sleep, busy days ahead...  When I don’t spend time with the Lord I feel it.  I have been reminded so I remind you as well- be faithful and devote yourselves to prayer.  Give thanks for all we have been given through the love of our Lord and His faithfulness to us.  This morning I lift a prayer for each of you to be healthy in heart, body and spirit, thanking God for the blessings he has already given each of us.

You know my heart and through your strength I persevere through the distractions and excuses to find time with you.  Thank you for being there when I finally come to be with you.  Thank you for giving us prayer.  Amen.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

2 Chronicles 5:13 “It was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord...”

This verse comes from the story of bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the new temple.  When I read these stories it strikes me as odd that there is so much ritual in what they do.  I do not think the church I attend has very much ritual but someone from the outside may see that differently.  We have a specific order to our service.  We stand when we sing and for certain prayers.  We have specific responses to the worship leader based on what they say and the list goes on.  I used to think ritual was just pomp and circumstance and if not treated properly it could be.  Rituals serve to bring us into focus.  The rituals here serve to remind everyone that the Holy of Holies was coming to be among them.  The rituals we observe in church serve to call us into the presence of that same God.  We can do it by rote or we can do it with intent.  As I go into this day of bell ringing and music making, I go with the intention of praising and thanking God with music.  I encourage you to go into your day with intent.


Help us be present in our lives today.  It is easy to slide through the day without thinking or feeling anything.  Guide our intentions so that we serve and honor you in whatever we do.  Thank you for the rituals that draw us to you.  Amen.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Joel 2:1 “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain!  Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near –“

I haven’t been downtown in quite a while but I can still remember seeing someone preaching to repent for the end is near.  Back then I thought they must be a little off of their rocker and maybe they were.  I wonder how many people thought Joel was off of his rocker.    It seems like the people of old, in the times of the Bible, took notice and to a degree respected prophets.  I do not know of one nation’s leader that has called on a prophet to tell them what they should do.  Do we no longer have true prophets in this world?  Has media grown so vast that word of mouth is no longer effective?  There was a poll on the news recently that 40% of the people polled believe the end of the world will happen within 40 years.  People have thought that for thousands of years now but here are two things I am sure of.  The “end” is closer than it was and it is the day of the Lord, so this will not be the end for me.  Let’s all continue to turn to the Lord in every way we can so that when this day comes we are ready to be embraced with open arms.

I know you know the perfect time to come in all of you glory.  Let us not sit idly by waiting but help us continue to do your work and spread your love to others until that day we see you face to face.  Amen.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

1 Peter 4:10 “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.”

It must be time for a stewardship drive in my life.  My husband and I recently talked about changing our pledge amount to our church.  We received a pledge card from a church he has been attending off and on and now this passage comes to me.  There have been other signs I have received as well.  I am not talking about money but about the gifts Peter is talking about in this passage.  What are your gifts?  We all have them; things we are good at and enjoy doing.  I have always enjoyed writing and felt like I was pretty good at it.  I have the ability to put my thoughts down on paper.  I never imagined I would use this gift to benefit God’s kingdom and serve others but He had a plan and here I am.  I really enjoy teaching and at one point in my youth thought I would teach elementary school.  I never dreamed I would be teaching my own children in homeschool but God had a plan.  Search your life and see if you are using the gifts God gave you.  Allow Him to guide you forward in the process of becoming a better steward of His grace, using your gifts to serve Him and others.

Thank you for calling me back into focus.  When there are days that do not go as planned, I tend to get derailed and this verse has put me back on track.  Help me use what I have been given for your glory and to serve your children.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Psalm 135:3 “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious.”

It does not bode well for a quiet day at the Garwood house.  Both kids are not feeling very good and both were up before I even got up for my “quiet” time.  I started my prayers with laments to God about the lack of quiet and missing my alone time with him when this passage was given to me.  I could barely utter the prayers asking for healing of my children’s colds knowing there are children lying in hospital beds with deadly illness ravaging their bodies.  I turned my heart around pretty quickly after that.  As I sat in meditation I felt the grace of God settle into my soul.  In the midst of this little Garwood chaos, He brings peace.  He will bring healing and rest to my children and all children.  We cannot know His ways or His time but I know He is good and He brings wholeness and blessings to His people.  As the sun breaks over the horizon I am singing praises to the Lord.  He has removed the dark cloud of selfishness and replace it will the sunshine of love and blessedness.    I pray that you are filled with this light and love from God today as well.

Open our hands so we will release the struggles that keep us down.  Let us see your goodness in our hearts and in our world so that our voices cannot help but to sing praises to you for you are, indeed, good and gracious to us all.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

As I write there is a very light blanket of snow lying on the ground outside and snow is still falling.  The flakes are powdery light and so gentle.  The forecast is a blizzard with several inches of snow.  Schools are cancelled; lots of people will stay home from work or end up coming home early.  This puts a wrinkle in my schedule and if you know anything about me you know I like a schedule.  All day yesterday and some this morning I am praying for the snow to be less than predicted, I want... I want... I want.  This verse and passage came to me as I was lifting others in prayer and it hit me like a gentle snowflake on the head.  Oh, how I need to gain perspective.  I can begrudgingly accept the changes in my day or I can embrace them.  We need this snow so badly and my children, most children love to play in it.  Soup will be cooking on the stove later today and blessings will abound.

Thank you for perspective.  Help me release my agenda and embrace yours.   Open my eyes to see what is honorable, just and pure.  Open my mouth to acknowledge what is pleasing, commendable and excellent.  I lift my heart to praise you, for you are worthy of praise forever.  Amen.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Psalm 119:76-77 “Let your steadfast love become my comfort according to your promise to your servant.  Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.”

As I was sitting in my prayer time today I was compelled to lift the people and situations in my prayers journal in love.  When I pray I ask God to be with them, to heal them, to guide them... whatever they have asked for in their requests.  It is the pure love of God poured out onto and into us that brings us what we need.  His Divine Love brings comfort, healing and guidance.  His steadfast love holds us steady when we falter and brings mercy to us when we fail.    He is always there with us, never leaving our side.  He is truly and honestly steadfast in His love for us.  I delight in his law because his law is Love.  Love Him, love each other.  Today I lift my prayers to the Lord in love.  I surround those people and situations in Love and I go into this day filled with the steadfast love of the Lord.  There are many struggles all around but if I can feel the love of God with me and pray for the love of God to fill those struggles, I will be able to continue in delight of the Lord and His law.  Love to you all.

Let love songs fill my heart today and as I sing away, let each of them draw me to you and your Divine Love.  Fill my heart and my home so that it overflows into my neighborhood and my world, bringing your love and mercy to all.  I pray all this in your holy name and to your glory.  Amen.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

1 John 1:6-7 “If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

I was wondering this morning – where do I draw the line?  I really wanted to include verses 5-10 and then go into chapter two because this whole section of 1 John was leaping off of the page into my heart but alas, if I included all that text on this page of devotion, there would be no room for my meditations and that is important for me to write as well.  I would encourage you to read this passage and see what speaks to you.  God is light.  As the sun breaks over the horizon this morning I am rejoicing in the Light.  He dispels all darkness and brings light and love into the deepest darkest places.  He brings healing and grace to those places of hidden secrets; the dungeons of our souls.  Open the creaking doors and allow the light to come in.  Do not fear; He is our comfort and our friend, our Healer and our Savior.  As He comforts, soothes, forgives and heals, the light will flood the darkness and we will all rejoice in truth and love at the beauty.

Thank you for all you have done for me and every reader, for all those who do not read.  I cannot abide in your light by my own strength. I do not have what it takes but because of your love and sacrifice I call on your grace and forgiveness and step into the light once more.  Hallelujah! Amen.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

John 14:5 “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going.  How can we know the way?’”

This morning I have been thinking about all the different paths that I see people on.  There are so many different religious practices out there, even more than I can imagine.  In the bible Jesus is referred to in many ways.  He is called Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Light of the World, King of Kings, Lamb of God and the list goes on.  As I lift people I know and love in prayer to God because I do not know that they see Him in truth, I realize I do not know their heart or their path.  Only God can know who they are, who they will become and what their path is.  I do not know the heart of God or the hearts of others, I only know the desire that all would be with Him in the end.  I trust His word when he says He will seek out even one lost sheep, his desire is that none would be lost.  I trust His power that he reigns over all this and is omnipotent.  I believe that He is so much bigger than I can fathom that I will turn my prayers over to Him, and allow Him to do the work He knows needs to be done.  He is the way, I choose to follow and trust Him to lead.

So often I feel blind to your ways.  I know you are at work in the world I have seen evidence of it and yet I struggle.  Help me let go, placing my prayers for my friends and this world in your mighty hands knowing that you will prevail.  Show me the way and I will follow you for you are Light, Love and Life.  Amen.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Romans 13:10 “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Today feels like a day of foundations.  We are at the end of our spring break week, getting ready to settle back into a school routine.  The kids and I will join some friends and visit a conservation center that depicts living in the plains in the 1800’s.  I woke up with the words “in Christ alone” running through my head over and over again.  Now I am led to this verse in Romans.  All of these things seem to point to a bottom line, to my roots; the foundations.  There are many places in the bible where we are told to love God and love our neighbor.  We are told that if we love like this, the law is not abolished but completed.  How can we love like this?  In our human eyes, we see differences and separateness.  We see aversions and dislikes.  In Christ alone, we are able to see our neighbors in love.  In Christ alone, we are able to come to the God of all and love as He taught us to love.  Let us break down barriers and simply reach out in love.  Search for the deep love of God in your heart and soul then let that love reach out to others. 

Thank you for teaching us how to love and how to live.  Fill us up with your love and grace and guide us out into this world today to spread these precious gifts to those around us.  Let us each be a beacon of light and lover of souls.  In this way, we fulfill your law and further your kingdom.  Amen.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Psalm 34:22 “The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”

Yesterday morning the sky was gray and a fog was looming in the air.  I was looking forward to sunshine and warmth but trying to find the joy in the moisture that the fog and coolness was bringing our grass.  Fog envelopes the trees and the houses around.  It closes around us like a blanket.  I resigned to the fact that we would have another gray and cold day.  I don’t know when it happened because I was busy and not paying attention but the clouds lifted and the sun came out.  The kids were playing outside with water and sand by the end of the day.  Spring arrived!  This is how I feel when I revel in the refuge and redemption of the Lord.  I take refuge in Him and I am enveloped in his arms of love, grace and forgiveness.  When I have been restored I go out into the world fill with light and life through Him.  As spring comes out in all of its glory, let us each take hold of the newness of life that is granted to us.  Let spring flowers like crocus and tulips be reminders to us.  Let the singing birds and the budding trees call to our hearts... Life is new again! 


Thank you for your sacrifice and your grace.  I praise you today for all the blessings you give us.  Through your death and resurrection we have all been given new life.  Guide me today as I seek to honor the life you have given me in everything I do.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches.  Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”

Have you ever tried to make coffee without plugging in the coffeemaker and turning it on or tried to cook a pot of soup without turning on the stove?  Let me tell you from experience, that these things do not work without their power source.  When I read this passage this verse jumped out at me.  I thought about electricity.  Can we accomplish daily tasks without electricity?  Yes, but things are so much more efficient with the power of electricity to help them.  I liked this analogy for a bit but then I came back to the one Jesus used to begin with.  As much as electricity is necessary for certain tasks and certain appliances, God is more than that.  We need more than to be plugged in with God, we need to be intertwined; we need to be one with Him.  The branch is not a separate entity plugged into the vine; they are a part of each other, one in each other.  Do more than plug in, allow yourself to grow in God.  Become a part of Him and allow Him to be in you.  This is how we will be fruitful people.

As we go into this day, open our eyes to see little reminders of you being in us.  Whether it is a coffeemaker or a tree, a bush or a computer, remind us that we are useless without you and that, with you, we can bear much fruit for your kingdom.  Thank you for being our life source.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple God will destroy that person.  For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

My spouse works for a company that has an incentive plan to be healthy.  They encourage their employees and the spouses to eat well and exercise as well as seek counsel for habits and struggles that keep us from optimum health.  As I log the foods I eat and the amount of water I drink it causes me to be more conscious of what I put into my body.  As I log the amount of exercise I did and choose what kind of exercise I do, it makes me more conscious of how I treat this body.  I printed out a spring cleaning checklist from the internet last week and I have plans to use it this month to clean the things I don’t think about.  As I go through this process in my home, I also plan to go through this process in spirit and body as well.  As I meditated on these verses and the passage right before them, I thought of the people I see in society that do not seem to honor their temple.  The question I ask myself and I am led to ask you is this:  How can I bring light and love to my temple and then in turn share that light and love to build up the temples of others?


Thank you for reminding me that we are your holy temples.  You abide in us and we are called to build these temples with care and love.  Guide me in building so that the building is strong and well built upon your foundation.  Amen.