Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It is the season for Vacation Bible School around here.  Many churches have their banners displayed encouraging people to come.  My church is hosting VBS this week and it is in full swing.
I knew my kids and I could not attend for the full week and I was struggling to find a reason to go for only two of the five sessions.  I am glad I relented.  My kids had a great time both sessions that they attended.  My daughter loves the music and singing, my son loves the games and activities, they both had a great time.
I was “volunteered” to lead the VBS bible story yesterday and as I read this passage this morning it struck me: this is one way we provoke others to love and good deeds; this is one way we encourage others!
As the kids and I embark on another annual star-gazing trip with my Dad, I will keep this passage tucked in my heart.  I pray I will encourage others and provoke love and good deeds in whomever I meet.


Thank you for outreach by the churches to the communities around them.  Help me reach out as well.  Let this scripture compel me to action even more through your Spirit.  As the Day approaches let me be loving and encouraging to others.  Amen.

** I will be out of contact from now through the weekend - please watch for Word for Today to appear again on Monday - until then,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

God is good.
There are so many things in this world that can distract us or lead us away from abiding in God and this morning I was reminded how those distractions usually end up.  In the past when I have discounted the power of God, or chosen not to let him lead my steps, I have invariably suffered pain, loss, and humiliation.  Looking for love and fulfillment in man has been a dismal failure.  Human love will never fill my heart or make me complete in the way I need to be.  It has taken me way too long to discover this and the sad part is that I still search for fulfillment in man.  It is human nature to seek fulfillment.
I believe God put that desire in our hearts so that we would search for him and find that we are complete in him.  How many times will I fail to remember that only he can give me my heart’s desire?
“The Lord is near.”  He is with us waiting to be called on to fill our heart’s desire and to bring wholeness back to us.  It is in his fulfillment that I am able to go forth, showing gentleness to
others.  He is so gentle with me; I cannot help but rejoice in him.


I praise your name and rejoice in your love!  You are near; your love and peace are here to restore and sustain me.  Fill me up Lord.  I want to share the gift of gentleness in this world today.  I do everything in glory to you.  Amen.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mark 8:18 “Do you have eyes, and fail to see?  Do you have ears, and fail to hear?  And do you not remember?”

Do you pay attention?  I am sad to say I think I do not, at least most of the time.
I think of countless times my kids have asked me if I saw or  heard something and I am often humbled when people say do you remember when... The truth is, I did not see, hear or remember what they are asking about.
If I am going through my days on “auto-pilot”, not seeing, hearing, or remembering, it makes me wonder how often I do this spiritually as well.
When I really open my eyes I see God all around.  When I listen with intent I know I hear him clearly.  I need to pay more attention; turn off the auto-pilot and be in the moment.  Just as I need to see, hear and remember in my daily life, I also must strive to do this spiritually.
More important than what I see and hear with my body is what I see and hear with my soul.  These are the things I need to remember.  When I do, I am able to serve and glorify God as he intended, in body, mind and spirit.


Forgive my self-inflicted blindness and deafness.  Remove the fog of forgetfulness from my mind. Remove my blinders and earplugs so I am no longer able to ignore what you want to show me and what you want to tell me.  There is much to see and hear.  There is much you want me to remember, I ask for your help in this so that I am able to be the servant you intended me to be.  Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Isaiah 55:2 “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”

Pick your poison – a phrase I have not heard in a long time...
As that phrase came to mind I thought “an interesting choice of words”. Why would something we want be poison?
Isaiah asks why we spend our money for that which is not bread and work for that which does not satisfy. It seems many I know, myself included, spend our money and time and labor searching for something that will fill us and leave us completely satisfied. We are invariably disappointed with our attempts. Bread may satisfy our bellies for a brief time but we will need to eat again. We work until we are bone tired and then have nothing left to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
When we stop working and spending for our own desires and listen to the Lord more carefully he will satisfy our needs and desires beyond our imagination. When we eat of the Lord's table we are able to delight in rich food, food that will not leave us in want.
Do we spend our money for spoils and things that leave us feeling empty? Does that new gadget or “toy” finally fulfill our desire? Maybe for the moment, but not for long. Do we work to save for that vacation we so desperately need but then have no time for vacation because we only know how to work? Stop and listen carefully to the Lord.
He will guide your labor and your investments. Allow him to feed you what is truly good and delight in his rich food.

Help us see beyond the material desires and seek your spiritual nourishment above all else. What we can provide for ourselves leaves us empty. Please fill us with your rich food so we are truly able to delight in it and you always. Amen.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What is time anyway?
I have thought about time and our measurement of it off and on for quite some time now and when I came to this passage in 2 Peter, I paused.  One of the commentator writings in my Bible states that we, in the western civilizations, struggle with the concept of time not always marching forward like the ticking of our clocks.  How true is that?!?  I love my calendar and my watch and my clocks, I practically live by them.  I have mentioned in past writings how they threaten to take over my life sometimes.
The Lord our God did not create time as we see it, I really believe this.  So when I read these words of Peter, they make sense to me.  There is ebb and flow in nature and I suspect there is ebb and flow in the passage of eternity.
I do not know how this works but I do know this.  Love transcends time and God is Love.  We have an unknown window of time to share this love with everyone we can until that moment when he comes again.


We get so locked into time as we know it that we struggle to understand what is taking so long.  We thought you would be here again by now.  Help us hear the words of Peter as you would speak them to us.  You are bigger than our concept of time, you will come.  Until then, let us love as we are loved by you.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When I read this psalm this morning, it took a little bit of persistence and perspective.
The first three verses are all the same; “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Then every odd numbered verse states that his steadfast love endures forever.  The final verse of this Psalm tells us once more to give thanks for his steadfast love.
On the surface the verses seem very disjointed and disconnected.  There is hardly a complete thought before this mantra steps in again.  It is tempting to just skip over that repeated part and just read the other parts but I would be missing the point, I think.
Intertwined with all things; all activities, all doings, all thoughts there is an underlying truth.  When I am doing dishes, shopping for groceries, mopping floors, teaching, making music, whatever it is, the underlying truth remains that God is good and his steadfast love endures forever.
No matter what today holds, let’s give thanks to the Lord.  He is good and his steadfast love endures forever!


Thank you for this mantra.  My soul can whisper these words all day and all night.  When other thoughts begin to take over, help me undergird them with this one.  At the core of everything is this truth I hold in my heart today.  I thank you Lord, for you are good and your steadfast love endures forever.  Hallelujah and Amen!  

Monday, June 16, 2014

My son has a song stuck in his head.  He learned it in preschool and sings about being in the Lord’s Army almost daily.
Whether we like it or not we are in battle.  We are deep in the trenches of war and the enemy is wily.  He comes in like a double agent, befriending us and drawing us in only to destroy us.  How can we fight this foe?
Nowhere in the Bible does is say we fight with our own strength.  It does not tell us to use our best tactics and trust in our own ways.  We are soldiers in the army, not the General in charge.
I am not well versed in battle, I have only played a few board games to win battles; I have never even seen war with my own eyes.  I cannot trust in my own understanding, I have none.
I read these words of Paul’s and visualize putting on the spiritual armor he writes about.  We have the armor – truth, peace, salvation, faith, the Word.  It is with this armor, given by God, that we can battle through him and for him.


Help us see the enemy clearly so we know where we stand.  Remind us that you are there with us, we do not battle alone.  Help us put on the armor you have given us and eradicate any enemy infiltration so we may stand firm in you and celebrate in victory with you today and forever.  Amen.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I rejoice in the Word of the Lord.
As I read 1st John this morning I was so thankful for the words written so long ago that still speak to us today.  Throughout history people have been inspired to write about their experiences, their visions, their insights so that others could benefit and gain spiritual wealth as well.
The Bible has many writings from many different writers contained in it, but the writings are all from one Source.  Everything in the Bible is written because of and in the Spirit of God.  What a gift to pour over the writings of thousands of years ago and still be touched, challenged and inspired by them!
I rejoice in the people who still write and I am blessed to be one who is inspired to write.  I know from what I feel compelled to write that I join the voices in this passage.  I write these things so that our joy may be complete, that one day we will all be in fellowship with our Lord together.


Let the words of scripture draw us nearer to you.  I pray that your light and love will fill us to overflowing.  Inspire us to work and play and worship in your holy name.  Guide our fellowship to be inclusive so all may join together celebrating your love and grace today.  Amen.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My son told me his friend said God cannot live in our hearts or we would be fat.  Then he asked me if that was true.
When I try to explain God to people who are concrete thinkers it can be a challenge.  We are so accustomed to using our five senses that it seems strange to think about any other sense.
I use the wind as an example of something we cannot see but we know exists.  We hear it, we feel it, we see what it does but we cannot see the wind.  God is like that.  We hear him, we feel him, he moves in and through us so his existence is evident but we cannot see him. 
The next time I see this young boy who thinks God does not exist (I have heard this from both of my kids) I think I will talk with him about the wind.  Maybe it will not change his mind, but it will give him something to consider.  In the meantime, I pray for all those who do not see, do not hear and do not know.
“...there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house...”


I have known you so long it is hard for me to imagine that you are not real.  I witness the miracles you work in the world and in people’s hearts even today.  Help me live as an example, drawing people in, so they too may hear, feel and know you as I do.  You are I am.  Hallelujah!  Amen.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I am also known as distracto-girl.
I get so wrapped up in the things I need to get done and my agenda for the day that I easily become worried and distracted like Martha.  I know this for many reasons.  One tell-tale sign is that both of my children knew the word agenda and what it meant by the time they were two.  People thought it was cute to hear my toddlers saying “what is on your agenda” and I liked that they used the word properly but maybe they should not have known it quite so well...
Yesterday was busy enough without my help.  I knew we were going to run an errand that would take a few hours but I had to cram a few more errands into the morning first.  We were running late for the remainder of the day.  Why do I do this?  I am like Martha.
Today I clear the agenda.  I will do my best, with God’s help, to sit still and listen.  I want to hear the bird song, feel the breeze on my face and enjoy the moments of the day.  I want to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen.


Help me let go.  Take my hands and hold them in yours until they stay still.  Take my heart and quiet it, take my mind and calm it.  Help me do only what you ask and nothing more today.  Help me sit and listen.  I ask this in your holy name, Amen.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Some people are easy to love and some, not so much.
The Lord does not call us to love only those who are easy to love but to love all as he loves us.  Ah, this can be hard.
I give my petty cans of food to the homeless, I donate to the church food bank and I donate clothes and toys to be sold at thrift stores.  How tidy and clean for me.
Even closer to home, I let my hurt feelings drive a wedge between my kids and myself or my spouse and me.  I put my needs before theirs and yet I claim to be a disciple of Christ?  I need a do-over.
I sit and remember the love of Christ.  I think of how he lived and died in love.  I will strive to live like this a little more each day and in doing that I will be strengthened by him.  He will grow my heart and soul in holiness so that by the time I come to him or he comes to us, I will be blameless in the love of Christ.  I hope fast to this promise in Christ today.


Please forgive my selfish ways.  Heal the wounds that keep me down so that I can move freely in your holy love.  Give me strength to move into the world with your love flowing through me.  I ask this in your name, for your glory.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It has been a crazy spring for weather in Colorado.  I live east of Denver and we have had torrential rains, numerous hail storms and a few tornadoes.
It has been a daily task to pick up the leaves that have been knocked off of the trees, check the garden for damaged plants and, for some people, pick up severed tree limbs and branches.
These branches were healthy and flourishing in the springtime until some powerful wind swept through and tore them from the tree trunk.  There is nothing that can be done with them once that happens.  Now they are chopped up into little pieces and discarded.
This is what Jesus says happens if we are not abiding in him.  We flourish and grow well when we abide in him but if we let go or are pulled away, we are no longer fruitful.
I do not want to be like a broken tree branch lying on the ground, useless and dying.  I choose to abide in Christ so I can bear much fruit in his kingdom, as he calls us to.  Ingrain yourself with him, we will grow together!


What a beautiful vision it is to see us as an extension of you.  Help us grow ever more in you so that we never become severed for any reason.  Help us be fruitful branches of you spreading Love, peace, joy and more to a world of storm damaged branches.  I praise your holy name.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

There are times I read Paul’s letters and I struggle with his words or what he is saying – this passage is not one of those.  It is a beautiful prayer; I only wish I had room on this page to list the remaining verses.  I encourage you to look this passage up and read through verse 20.
What is it that causes you to bow your knees before the Father?  When do you choose to come to him in prayer?  My church is holding special prayer services over the next couple of weeks to seek direction from God in the next steps we need to take.  This is a beautiful and unusual step in my little Presbyterian church and I am so glad someone stepped up and make a plan from the nudging of the Spirit because I received that nudge and didn't do a thing about it.
I soak in the words of Paul today.  “Be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit...grounded in love... power to comprehend...breadth and length and height and depth...filled with the fullness of God.”  Amen!

Forgive my stubborn streak.  I thank you for the ears and hearts that listened and did what you asked.  Move the hearts of many to come to you in prayer, I know the power of prayer is much more than I can imagine.  Thank you for Paul’s prayer and the balm I received from it today.  All glory, honor and praise to you, Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The people were weeping because they had just heard and understood the law as interpreted by the priest.  I can understand this.  They likely felt a heaviness on their hearts like I sometimes do when I think of how I have misinterpreted something.
Lately I have had a familiar hymn about the joy of the Lord running through my mind.  I have thought more about the words and how I interpreted them when I was growing up and how I see them now.
Is the joy of the Lord his joy in me or my joy in him?  Does the thought of making him rejoice in me give me strength?  Absolutely!  Does rejoicing in him give me strength to do as he asks?  Indeed!
There are two sides to the quote “the joy of the Lord is my strength” but whichever side I focus on it remains that I am strengthened by joy – his joy in me and my joy in him.
Go forth and celebrate in strength and joy!


Your joy is my strength.  When I am weak I feel your love pouring into me and I am renewed.  I feel the joy you have in me and I rejoice in you.  Thank you for your everlasting love and peace, thank you for joy.  Help me share these gifts with those people I see today.  Amen.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Israelites had seen some pretty great and awesome things with their own eyes, for sure.
When God came to rescue them they saw plagues and pestilence put on the Egyptians.  In the desert they saw a pillar of smoke and a blaze of fire to guide them.  They were given manna from heaven and water from a rock.  They saw the glory of the Lord shining in Moses.
What have I seen?  What great and awesome things has God done for me?
He has given me a family and friends of faith that strengthen me and help me stay on true on the journey of my faith – he is my pillar and my fire that guide me.  He has sent protection and destruction to the things that kept me in chains – he is my deliverer.  He has provided nourishment for my body and soul, even in the midst of spiritual desert.  He is my provider.
He is my praise and he is my God for he has done great and awesome things – do you see what he has done for you?


Thank you for all you have done and all you have given me, your wayward child.  Just as the Israelites, I wander, complain, moan and fall apart.  You pick me up, dry my tears, and love me back into your presence.  Thank you for deliverance, redemption and grace.  Through these I am able to come and praise you, my praise and my God.  Amen.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Are you a singer or a dancer?
I can tell you I am a singer and not so much a dancer.  There have only been a few times where I felt the urge to really let go and move with abandon to music of any kind and when that urge came, I quickly pushed it aside – a dancer, I am not.
I love to sing.  I sing to the radio, I sing to a CD in the car and sometimes at home.  When I ring bells, I sing the songs internally most of the time.  Often, when I wake in the morning there is a song in my heart and I sing it all day.  Songs, words put to music, are beautiful to me.
Whether we sing or dance there is only one thing that gives us the desire to do it.  The well within our souls is what moves us and that is the living water of our creator, God.  He is the headwaters and he never dries up, his living waters flow forever.
We may need him to clear away some debris in the riverbed but once he does, all flows freely and we cannot help but sing and dance to the music of the soul.  Feel the spring of the Lord flowing in you and rejoice in his living waters.  Sing and dance in the Lord today!

Thank you for the unending nourishment you give our souls.  Refresh us, clear away the debris and let our love in you flow free and clear.  I lift my voice and my heart in praise to you, my holy God, my Redeemer, and my Life.  Amen.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Why here and why now?
I have asked myself these questions occasionally over the years and maybe only have glimpses of the answer.
Why was I born into the family I was, in this spot of the world and in this time of eternity?  Am I a random drop in the sea of time and space or is there a plan at hand?
When I look at all of creation it seems very clear to me there is no randomness in it.  Everything that exists has been created and placed by careful design.  So I must believe that we, too, are created and placed by God in just the way he designed us to be.
It is amazing to talk with other people about their journeys and see how God used experiences in their lives to bring them to where they are right now.  It confirms, even more, that we are all called to our lives for just such a time as this. 


We like to give ample time for someone else to step forth and take on the challenges we do not want.  Thank you for the story of Esther and Mordecai to remind us that your purpose will prevail but we are called to step forth and do our part to serve in your plans.  Give us the courage and strength we need to serve you today and all days.  All glory, honor, and praise to you my God, my King.  Amen.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This morning I reach another bench mark in my fledgling career as a writer.  I have my first book signing party.   How is this possible?
I still shake my head in disbelief that there is a book out there with my name on it.  I get words of congratulations and praise but I do not know what to do with them.  I did write the words but I do not take credit.  It only happened through the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I began writing to encourage my family and close friends and make daily readings of the Word of God easier.  Getting into the Bible daily had changed my life and I wanted to share that incredible blessing with those I love.  As I practice my signature and what I will write in each book I sign I thank God for all he has done.
I pray the words I send out via email and on my blog encourage others.  I pray the Word of God keeps all of our hearts abiding in the living God, today and all days.


I am humbled in your presence this morning.  Once again I am reminded that I am weak but you are strong.  Thank you for blessing me with writing and thank you for blessing others with my humble words.  I pray your Spirit remain in us and we in you as we encourage one another.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Noise gets on my nerves.
The kids have toys that make noise and depending on my frame of mind I might be able to tolerant the noise for a little while but, usually, it is not long.  Sometimes they barely begin to play and I tell them to take it somewhere else or put it away.
What noise do I make?  I rise each morning and spend time with the Lord.  I write my little devotion and send it out.   Where do I go from there?  When I am teaching with a voice of frustration, when I am nagging my kids to get their chores done, when I am lamenting to friends about some random bother, do I have a voice of love or am I am noisy clanging gong?
I need to take a breath or two.  I need to allow the love of God to well up in me.  Only then am I able to teach in love, discipline in love, and fellowship in love.
When I allow the love of God to fill me am I a vessel of his love and only then can I send sounds of love to the world around me.


Soften my heart to be more like you.  I receive your love and I pray for many in love but when I get to the mundane things of everyday life, I become a noisy gong.  Help me see and do with eyes and hands like yours.  Keep love flowing in me like an ocean so that it never stops, ever.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

For the time is near...
I know we, as people, have been hearing that for a very long time.  We read it in a book that was written thousands of years ago and yet, we wait.
The masses seem complacent in our time.  Most are happy to do whatever they want, seek self-promotion and climb the ladder of ambition to glorify their own work.  This is definitely something easy to see.
There are many who strive to seek God in our time as well.  Scriptures tell us many will be deceived and led astray in the last days.  They will believe they follow the truth but they are deceived.  How can we be sure we are not deceived and led in denial as well?
John tell us we are blessed if we are ones who read the words of the prophecy aloud, and we are blessed if we hear and keep what is written in it.  The word of God is given to us as a guidebook to Truth.  The Holy Spirit is given to us as a moment by moment guide and protector from deceit.  Let us all be blessed to hear and keep what is written, for the time is near.


There is an underlying sense of urgency in my soul and I know you put it there.  I pray for those of us who seek and hear Truth to stay the course.  I pray for those who are lost and deceived to find Truth and embrace it soon!  Amen.

Monday, June 2, 2014

In the middle of the night last night I was thinking about captivity.  Moses and the Israelites came to mind along with the words of Moses to Pharaoh when he told Pharaoh to let his people go.
During my quiet time I was led to this passage in Ephesians after reading a portion of the Exodus.  Paul quotes Psalms 68 in this passage; captivity is a battle throughout time.  From the beginning and even into today people have been held captive.  In recent news there are kidnapped girls that the public is crying out to bring home.  It does not take much to find oppression and enslavement in the world today; just as it did not in biblical times.
We claim our freedom strongly in this country but I pause this morning and search my heart.  I may not be bodily enslaved or captive but what about my soul?  How do I ensure freedom for my spirit?
I claim freedom through Christ!  Just as God freed the Israelites in the Exodus, he frees us today through the redeeming blood of Christ.  Hallelujah!


Open our eyes to see what oppresses or enslaves us, what keeps us from truly worshiping and celebrating with you.  Raise our hearts and our voices to shout in your name and claim the freedom you graciously offer to all.  Help us shake off the chains and sing in glory to you today!  Amen.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

As I begin or restart, as the case may be, a journey to a healthier body this verse shouts to me.
How do I treat my body?  I am ashamed to admit I do not treat it as a temple or a sanctuary of the Lord.  I try to eat healthy but there are so many temptations and so many excuses for me that it seems hardly a day goes by where I really treated my body well with food.
I also don’t work my body like I need to.  Stretching the muscles and ligaments, strengthening the heart and lungs; these are ways of building the sanctuary that is my body.  I am more apt to sit and read a book or drink another cup of coffee than to go for a brisk walk.
The Lord is working on me, something has to change.  I have been coasting along, it seems, and I feel the challenge to step it up.  I have asked the Lord to help me grow closer to him, to become a better disciple, but that will not happen unless I am willing to move away from my fleshly desires and more deeply into the Spirit.  I ask the Lord to help me again.


Please forgive me for trying to do this on my own, or hoping it would just happen without work.  Thank you for the continued whispers that encourage me to seek help in becoming a more holy sanctuary for you.  Help me deny the flesh and live in the Spirit more and more each day.  Amen.