Category Archives: personal

$10

This was my Christmas present from Jase.

He and I saw it at the Goodwill.

We’d run into town one morning, because his last pair of pants had a hole.

We are praising God for his growth, he’s actually been changing sizes pretty regularly!

However, it means we have moments where he’s out of clothes.

I’d taken him to a department store first, only to discover they don’t carry children/youth sizes.

We chatted about what to do as we headed to the car.

We agreed to try Goodwill next.

Not only did the Lord bless us with two pairs of pants for him, he bought me this little end table.

When we’ve had time, we’ve been working on it.

He does the sanding and I do the painting.

My husband already promised to do the top coat since I can’t handle that.

Today, we hope to get it finished.

Then, it will go up for sale in our booth.

Jase and I are excited to see the end product and hopefully it will go from someone’s very warn, no longer wanted furniture, to a useful and attractive piece.

Because it’s actually not in bad shape at all.

It was made well of good material (solid oak) and it has a lot more years of service left in it.

Infact, it feels like an opportunity to turn this $10 table into something someone will use and enjoy.

Most of all it reminds me of Jesus.

When God made the world it was good.

Well made, of good materials.

Then sin entered, by the choice of mankind, and the human race has become scared and ugly and often times feels unwanted, unloved, warn out…

but Jesus!

He’s work cleans and refurbishes our broken weary soul.

He’s carpenter hands know exactly what each heart requires to be restored.

And He’s never “finished” caring for each one.

We are never put up for sale.

God bought us with His Son’s blood on the cross and we are His cherished possession.

In fact, He’s continually working on the heart, polishing and removing the stains of sin, death, hurt.

Sometimes it’s rough, like sandpaper over our soul, but it’s always good.

His ways are perfect and He knows what is required to bring our hearts into a beautifully restored creation He intended from the beginning.

I’m so thankful to Him.

Thankful He paid such a high price for me.

Thankful He is working on my heart.

Thankful for all the seasons, including the rough ones.

Thankful for His gracious and enduring love and patience.

It’s wonderful.

He’s the one who is patiently hopeful.

He’s patiently restoring my heart and He has confident expectation that His work will be completed.

Praise God!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for all You have done and are doing in my life and in the lives of others. Lord Jesus, each day is a new gift, full of opportunities to love You and love others. Lord, please forgive me for allowing circumstances to cause me grief and fear. Thank You for reminding me that each day is worth living, just because You live! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Pain

Matthew 26:48 NKJV — Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”

When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
Matthew 27:29‭-‬31 NKJV

Mark 15:15 NKJV — So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

Just three portions of scripture, but they contain such incredible pain.

He was betrayed for money by one of his closest friends.

Jesus was beaten after being questioned by the religious leaders. Luke 22:64

He was scourged and beaten by the Roman guards.

He was hanged on a tree and yet had done nothing wrong.

Jesus knew pain and suffering.

And incredible as it is, the truth is He chose it to save mankind.

Thus pain and suffering was the short term cost, but the long term gain was life eternal.

For those who are called by His name, let us take heart when dealing with pain and suffering.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to  be  compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18 NKJV

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Pain and suffering are part of this life and Jesus experienced an enormous measure.

But the hope we have in heaven is sweeter by this understanding of the cost to Christ.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalms 34:19 NKJV

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and  be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:3‭-‬4 NKJV

Dear Reader, whatever pain, suffering, or fear you may be walking in or struggling with this day, I pray you realize this world is not the end and for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ there is a marvelous hope, heaven and eternal life.

Pain is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for being our payment for sin and death. Lord, thank You for suffering and experiencing pain to save us. Lord, please continue to help each one of us to look to You in all things. To realize nothing is beyond Your touch if we will simply surrender it to You. Lord, no matter the future, or the ways of this world, thank You for being our rock, our shelter, our provision. You alone are worthy of praise. You alone are the One Who saves. You alone are the security for both this life and eternity. Thank You. Amen.

Kindness in a stranger

This picture is of the empty parking space where they had been.

I didn’t really think about it until they were gone.

I’d not been sitting in the car for very long when she pulled into the space next to me.

My husband is feeling better, but not well enough to drive, so I was playing chauffeur.

Since, I’m not allowed inside the doctor’s office unless there’s a medical reason, I sat in the car.

I’d decided to sit in the back seat where there’s more leg room to crochet.

I’d gotten all comfy when she pulled in.

It was an SUV, so I could easily see the driver, a young woman.

A bit later, movement caught my eye and I saw her carrying a baby boy.

I love babies!

I smiled.

She smiled too.

As this young mother left, I figured she was taking her little one to the pediatrician’s office in the same building as our doctor.

Time passed and they returned.

I smiled and she saw me.

She smiled back.

I was a bit surprised, she just hopped into the front seat with her baby, but it’s not my business to spy on people so I returned to crocheting.

Not long afterwards, I noticed movement again.

She had gotten back out of the driver’s seat and was standing next to the car window.

She was holding her baby so I could see him.

Through the glass we both were smiling at one another.

I told her he was adorable and made a motion with my hand for the sign, “beautiful”.

She understood and grabbed his little arm and waved at me.

I asked how old he was.

She carefully held him as she put up nine fingers.

“Nine months old,” replied this sweet mother.

Still smiling I nodded and that was the end of our conversation.

It’s a bit chilly out, so I wouldn’t have wanted to keep them out in the cold.

I also couldn’t think of more to say other than, “he’s adorable!”.

She soon backed out of the space and drove away.

And it suddenly seemed a little colder.

Some how this mother and baby had brought such warmth that I missed them when they left.

How does the kindness of a stranger touch my heart like that?

I am certain, it’s Jesus.

I thanked the Lord for this little moment and I prayed for this mother and child.

I thought of our grandson and then our granddaughter and prayed for them as well.

Pausing briefly, in my crocheting, I looked at the empty space and thanked God again for this sweet moment and these two strangers.

I returned to my crocheting, but continued to pray.

The space remained empty until right before it was time to leave.

It was another young woman who pulled in and as I prepared to back out I smiled at her.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for mother and baby boy. Please put Your hand upon them and watch over them. Guide their lives and direct them into the path of peace. Lord, thank You for the young lady who pulled in as I was leaving. Place Your truth into her heart and mind. Lord, please let those who are called by Your name be lights that shine brightly. Help us to love as You love, to walk this Earth interested in those around us more than our own wants and desires. Lord, help us live open handed, willing to smile and wave to a stranger. Please be glorified through us. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

The hummingbird feeder

No birds at the moment as I scared them away by getting too close!

I love how God uses things in my day to teach me truths.

Not long after it began getting colder our hummingbird feeder began to gain a lot of attention.

Since we hung it up this spring it’s been busy with two or three hummingbirds.

Of course they refuse to share, and although there are several areas on the feeder to drink from normally we only see one at a time because they run each other off.

But lately we’ve had four to five birds chasing each other around the feeder, back and forth across the yard.

One morning I got up to check the amount of food in the feeder because of the fervor I was witnessing from my bedroom window.

The feeder is just out of sight, but the birds flying round and around were not.

As the kids and I watched the birds land and then fly off again as another flew at them in an effort to gain a seat on the feeder, I commented.

“It’s crazy, I wish they could understand that no matter how many of them drink at the feeder I’m going to continue to refill it. If they’d just all share, they’d have enough.”

I suddenly realized that’s exactly what God would say to me.

He will provide.

I don’t need to “horde” things, but to generously share with others as I’m able and to trust God to refill my “feeder”.

Because, there is no lack with God.

Jesus fed the five thousand. (John 6:1-13)

He caused a huge catch of fish.(Luke 5:1-7)

He healed the sick, raised the dead, surely He can and will provide for my need. (Matt. 8:16, Mark 1:34, Luke 4:40, Luke 7:12-16)

Philippians 4:19 NKJV — And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The hummingbirds at our feeder can’t understand that I care about them and have no intention of letting them starve.

These are God’s creation and He cares for them.

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29‭-‬31 NKJV

God’s love is incredible and I can rest in His provision.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for these little birds and joy our family has of watching them and feeding them. Lord, please help us to be wise and to follow You in all we do. Lord, thank You for the reminder that You are our provision. Please help me to be generous and to willingly give as You lead me. Lord, shine Your truth into my heart and mind and teach me Your ways, that I might not sin against You. Lord, thank You for the birds and the lesson I have each day just outside my window. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Because He is…

All knowing, the Lord had us rearrange our plans and set up our booth one day ahead.

I’m so thankful He did.

Since, I wasn’t feeling well all day, my husband chose not to stop, but to drive us straight back home.

Which was definitely the Lord’s guidance, not long afterwards my husband experienced terrible dizziness.

He nearly fell over.

He was able to get into bed and has been there since.

Until 3 this morning when I helped him to the car so I could drive him to the E.R.

What a blessing to live only ten minutes away from a hospital.

What a gift from God these dedicated medical professionals.

My husband has vertigo and is on a medication to help.

Because He is…

my strength and my provision…

The migraine I’ve been suffering for days with was gone, only leaving a slight headache.

Although I was concerned and “rushing” a bit to try to remember everything (which I didn’t) I had peace throughout.

I knew God would be with me and give me all that was truly required.

Because He is…

In control, I can have joy.

As I drove away from the hospital I said, “Praise God” and my husband echoed, “Amen”.

We don’t know why he’s struggling with such awful dizziness.

We don’t have a quick fix for him.

We do trust God to touch and heal him, to walk with us both as we walk through this.

We’d appreciate your prayers.

May God bless and encourage you, because He is…

God and He is good.

Prayer works both ways and I’d be happy to pray for anything you’d like to leave in the comments.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for Your care and provision through all this. Thank You for guiding and directing us. Lord, we do humbly request healing, that my husband might be free from this severe vertigo and find peace while he awaits the restoration of his internal calm. Lord Jesus, we love You and we praise Your holy name. Amen.

God is so faithful

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. Psalms 42:8 NKJV

I read these words this morning and was surprised at how they perfectly reflect my day and night.

They speak so clearly to what the Lord is doing.

His faithfulness is incredible!

As you probably know, our family’s desire is to see God’s Word shared around the world.

The Lord blessed us with a season of travel, where one, some, or all of us were able to go to other countries to share the love of Christ.

Now that travel is no longer an option, we are looking to support others who are living on the mission field.

My husband felt God would have us sell furniture.

After prayerfully considering the best platform for us, we rented a space at an antique mall.

Yesterday, God blessed us with safety as we traveled down and set up the booth.

He blessed us with help.

First our son-in-law lent us his trailer, then got up early and helped my husband load the trailer.

They drove down with us and he helped unload the trailer.

Two other young men, friends of ours, also came to help unload the trailer.

Since I’ve had a migraine for several days, I evidently wasn’t clear when explaining where I wanted the furniture and they had to rearrange things several times.

When all the furniture was in place Anne, Jase, and the young men patiently unwrapped all the small things and helped me place them.

My mom came down to meet us and took pictures of it all.

Since the booth is a few hours away, she’s offered to check on it regularly.

When it was finished, we packed up and headed home, as I was feeling worse.

To my surprise I realized I hadn’t taken a single picture of the booth.

I texted Sis and not long afterwards I received a bunch of lovely photos.

They had returned to take pictures.

My mom sent me hers as well.

My heart was so full of gratitude to the Lord for all the help and blessings.

And during the night I was able to praise Him and pray for those people who came to mind.

Such quiet and deep times with the Lord are those watches of the night

And then I read these words:

“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime…”

Yesterday, it was unmistakable God was blessing us greatly.

Truly, each day is full of God’s lovingkindness.

“And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.”

This was exactly what my night was, singing praise in my heart and prayers.

As I read these words this morning I just had to share how good and how faithful God is.

His ways are perfect and His Word is truth.

His lovingkindness is incredible.

I am so thankful to Him.

I’m so thankful for all the people who helped us.

And I pray that your heart is encouraged.

I don’t know what you are facing today, but I do know Who is wanting to walk you through it.

May you feel the love of Jesus Christ as you walk into 2021.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all the ways You bless me each day. Lord, thank You for the food I eat, the clothes I wear, and the tasks at hand. Lord Jesus, I want to lift up the broken, the hurting, the lost, and I humbly request that You touch them, guide them, bring them to Yourself. Lord, the innocent, those in bondage, the orphan, and the widow, please provide and protect. Lord, for those who are called by Your name, please help them to live wholeheartedly for You in every area. Lord, show them how to live, give them discernment and provision. Please, return the prodigal. Lord, Your lovingkindness is amazing. Your grace and mercy are incredible. Thank You for Your faithfulness. I love You. Amen.

The power of praise

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
Luke 2:13‭-‬15 NKJV

As I listened to a sermon about this section of scripture the pastor said something I’ve never heard before.

“What were the angels there for? They were protecting the newborn babe.”

My heart suddenly asked, “Is there protection in praising God?”

God used the shouts and sounds of trumpets to knock down the wall of Jericho.

Joshua 6:20 KJV — So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

King Jehoshaphat experienced God’s protection from the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir through praise and worship.

Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
II Chronicles 20:22 NKJV

Yes, God does use worship.

In my own life I have seen how worshipping the Lord has brought me comfort and protection.

It is not uncommon for me to experience nightmares.

I’ve learned the best way to handle waking up from a disturbing dream is to praise God.

I thank Him for His goodness.

I praise Jesus for His salvation.

I tell the Lord all the things I can think of about His wonderful attributes and worship Him.

Then I go back to sleep in peace.

The same is true for when I’m struggling with fear or pain.

I worship God by listening to music which praises His holy name.

I speak to Him about all the good He has poured out on me.

I praise Him for everything I can think of.

And He drives away fear and brings me joy in the pain.

Yes, praising God is powerful, because it brings me to a place of humility.

It turns my attention to Him and it reminds me of what is really important.

The power of praise is in the heart fully submitted to Jesus Christ.

What a beautiful thing!

To worship the One Who is so worthy of praise!

Our son-in-law recently said something so true:

“Man was never made to receive worship only to give it.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for teaching me about the joys and blessings of praise and worship. Thank You for holding me in Your hands and walking me forward into Your truths. Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise. Your name is great and Your way is perfect. “Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.”* Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

*(Psalms 67:3 NKJV)

Christmas Eve

The day before Christmas!

If you will allow me, I would like to take today to tell you who Jesus is to me.

As a small child in Sunday school, I was struck by the story of Jesus and as the teacher put it, “Becoming King of my heart”.

Since that time, I’ve known Jesus as Savior.

As I grew older, I understood Jesus was also the Creator.

In my youth, I struggled, I was searching for someone to cherish and value me.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I realized Jesus as “the One my soul loves”, because He first loved me.

As I walked through a season of loss, first my father passing then others, I learned that Jesus is my Anchor.

In my middle twenties and on into my thirties I learned Jesus is my Provision.

At 34 my life lesson was Jesus is my All.

I realized that I can do nothing without Him and all my “abilities” are actually His.

Jesus is my Sustainer.

After this, I learned Jesus calls me to trust Him completely.

It’s not my job to “fix things”.

Jesus is in control.

With this lesson came another opportunity to learn to forgive others.

Throughout my life, I’ve learned forgiveness is a command.

In this portion of my life I learned Jesus is the judge, not me.

These last few years of change I’ve learned Jesus is incredible.

He’s my support, my provider, my friend, my Master, my value, my inheritance, my refuge, my strength, my healer, my King.

He is all I have ever needed.

Jesus is the greatest most wonderful relationship I will ever know.

And I’m still learning.

He is salvation, kind, faithful, gentle, strong, good, pure, righteous, all knowing, understanding, compassionate, gracious, merciful, and loving and…

I don’t expect to ever come to the end of His attributes.

I once heard a preacher say, “He’s indescribable…”

I agree.

This Christmas I’m praising God for His gift of life and love.

Nothing compares to it.

Merry Christmas!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for all You are. Thank You for all You have done and are doing. Lord, thank You for showing me Yourself and teaching me so much. Lord, I never want to stop learning about You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your birth. May we never forget the reason for this season. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Complete surrender

It was dark and cold.

I pushed a wheelbarrow in front of me, trying to contain the emotion which threatened to bubble over into a froth of rage and anguish.

My heart was so hurt and my mind kept screaming at the Lord, “Why?! Why are You letting this happen? This isn’t what I want…!”

And I hope I never forget what happened next.

Why are you angry?

The words were a whisper in my heart, but they blew away the self-absorption I’d been focus on.

I stopped filling the wheelbarrow with fire wood

and cried.

Tears of surrender.

This was years ago, but the affect of seeing myself from God’s perspective has been a lasting one.

Because the truth of why I was outside in the dark and rain gathering firewood was me.

I hadn’t realized this, but it was because all I was seeing was my own needs, my own priorities, my own opinions on life.

But in that moment God showed me I was suffering due to my choices.

I had not surrendered anything before Him, instead I was trying to fix it, to manipulate or work harder to get what I thought was needed.

Instead, what was needed was for me to place it all in His hands and trust Him with the results.

How our lives have changed since that moment!

And I’m so glad.

Although, I’m still learning complete surrender, (I expect it’s a life long lesson in learning) I have found such peace.

No, I can’t say everything is always good, infact life had been hard and didn’t get easier, but I could live in the difficult with a completely different outlook.

And that is what complete surrender is about.

It’s living life unto Jesus Christ alone, without personal stipulations.

It’s a servant who lives for what their Master gives or tells each day, without concern as to the future or personal sacrifice.

When the master is Jesus, the service is a pleasure of daily learning and serving the greatest, gentlest, most caring Master of all time.

Every person serves a master of one sort or another.

It could be self, a job, a hobby, a status, an addiction, the list is long, but only one master is worthy of our service and He is such an incredible master.

Matthew 11:28+30 NKJV — “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Do you know why His yoke is light?

It’s because He carried it Himself, all the way to Calvary.

All we have to do is follow.

Complete surrender to Jesus is the best decision I’ve ever made and I plan on making everyday for the rest of my life.

I pray you have found freedom in this choice as well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for salvation. Thank You for that moment in the woods which got ahold of my heart and taught me how I was struggling to do life on my terms. Thank You for setting me free from that and for showing me how much better it is to live in Your will. Thank You for speaking so clearly to me. Thank You for forgiving me for the years I tried to serve You “my way”. Lord, even now I realize it wouldn’t take much for me to slide backwards into doing things in my own strength. Please keep me from that. Please keep my feet firmly in Your will. Please keep pride far from me, that I might not sin against You. Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of all praise, all honor, all glory, and I love You so much! Thank You for saving me. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.c

Sometimes…I think we might be…

crazy.

It’s not the first time nor do I expect it to be the last.

But about a month ago my husband surprised me.

He called me from work to say, he’d purchased some furniture.

I didn’t know what to say.

Although, I happen to love furniture and I find refurbishing furniture really fun, I wasn’t expecting this.

If anyone knows my hubby, they can tell you he’s one of those guys who does things.

He’s rarely (if ever) hindered by indecision.

He can make choices and move forward into change far better than I.

This was one of those moments.

He explained that he’d been praying.

With my health, I’m really restricted to what I’m able to do.

So, he’d been praying for something we could do together.

We have been praying as a couple for opportunities to teach our son new skills and to that end my husband has been doing some woodworking with Jase on the weekends.

The other thing he’d been praying about is our desire for missions.

We want people to hear about Jesus, both here and around the world.

Since our family won’t be traveling, we’ve been praying for any opportunities to use our talents to spread the gospel.

The purchase of furniture was the action upon our heart’s desire.

We’ve decided to redo furniture and sell it.

Our focus is to make money for missions.

Of course, we are going to sell anything we can in this endeavor and be as wise as possible with our purchases.

It’s already given our family lots to do.

We’ve spent hours cleaning and researching various things.

We’ve prayed extensively about the best way to handle this.

Along with the furniture, we also got home furnishings and so we’ve opened a booth on Bonanza.

My husband’s idea was to name it Hope’s Treasure Chests Booth.

(He loves the play on words and of course, he loves me so…)

But the name for the spreadsheet is Matthew 19:21.

Because that is why we are doing this.

Although, doing this seems crazy, I know that God is the reason we are.

Therefore, I can trust Him with the results.

May He be glorified in us today!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for stretching me. Thank You for teaching me how to take baby steps as I learn to do something new. Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. Please help us to hear You clearly, to see Your plans, to obey You in all things. For we do not want to waste a moment, but we want to live unto You alone. Thank You for all Your blessings. We praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.