Wednesday, March 15, 2023



Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

—-James 1:17, NKJV

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Don't Give Up!

 Tears filled my eyes as I watched a video a friend had sent me of her one-year-old grandson, who was teetering and tottering as he walked a short distance across a room in his house. I admired his determination to walk on feet and legs that weren’t accustomed to standing and walking.

Unsteady though he was, he was laser-focused on making it to an area that contained some of his toys. That cute little “knee high to a grasshopper” fellow knew what he wanted. He went for it. He tossed aside his doubts and fears. He didn’t criticize himself for not walking confidently and quickly like the adults around him. Nope. He chose to do the best he could do and to move toward what he wanted.

Less than an hour later, while paging through a magazine, I came to an article about the true power of senior dogs. The accompanying pictures touched my heart, one in particular.

It depicted a chihuahua wearing a metal brace that was strapped across his mid-section and extended past his hind legs. The assistive device had wheels and looked as if it weighed about as much as the little dog. The caption said, “Despite their health woes, senior dogs never give up. They adapt and move on with life.” 

That photo brought to mind a brave little dog my son-in-law found after the dog had been seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver. My son-in-law took the dog to the vet.

Miraculously, Buddy survived and appeared happy, even as he limped along for a couple of months before having to have one of his rear legs amputated. For several years, he stayed active. But he finally needed to be carried up and down the steps that led to their backyard where he loved to lie in the lush green grass and bask in the sun while watching the other dogs run and play.

Even as his health deteriorated to the point that the vet said the merciful thing to do was to put the dog down, Buddy remained his sweet, easy-going, cheerful self. As always, he seemed to smile at everyone and to enjoy life, despite being in pain.

As I thought about the little boy walking on wobbly legs, about the dog pictured in the magazine, and about Buddy, I realized they were giving me an example to follow: Carry on, despite your circumstances. Adapt. But don’t give up—no matter how hard you must struggle to get to do what you desire to do and to get to the places you want to go.

Dear Reader, are you dealing with something that you feel is too hard for you? Do you want to curl up and give up instead of keep on going? Please don’t give in to those feelings. 

Your friends and family still need you. Even as you struggle, you can still inspire others to continue on—no matter how hard it is. Those around you need you to show them that it is possible to go on. Then when they encounter difficulties, they will remember and follow the courageous example you set for them.

Let’s resolve to live fully during all the days the Lord gives us. Whether we’re young or old, whether we’re well or weak, whether we’re confident or afraid, let’s move forward, thanking God for the gift of each day, for His presence with us, and for the strength He gives us to deal with whatever challenges we face.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Mind-boggling Love of God

Sometimes we hear a truth that is mind-boggling, don’t we? For example, according to John 1:12, everyone who has received Christ has been given the right, the privilege, of becoming children of God. Imagine that! We are children of the Almighty God. Children of the One who made heaven and earth and sustains everyone and everything. Children of the One who loves and cares for us far better than even the best of the best earthly fathers ever could love their children.

And…the additional information provided in John 17:23 is also mind-boggling: He loves us as He loves His Beloved Son (Jesus), even though we are “messed up from the floor up.” Even though we break His heart when we ignore Him. Even when we fail to return His love. Even when we sin greatly (and often!) against Him, as well as others.

The Reality of His Love

Can you comprehend such love? I can’t. But it’s a reality for it’s mentioned all throughout the Bible. For example, Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Yes, God loved us before we had even tried to get our lives “together.” As 1 John 4:10 (NLT) says, “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”

The Eternality of His Love

God won’t stop loving us—no matter what. He said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you [to Myself]” (Jeremiah 31:3). Centuries later, the apostle Paul wrote this in a letter to the Christians in ancient Rome: Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. To expound upon that truth, Paul mentioned several strong forces that try to separate us—-but cannot. For example, tribulation, distress, persecution, and other things that involve great suffering and grief. True, such difficult things can cause us to doubt that God loves us. But even if we doubt or distrust God—or become angry with Him—He continues to love us and care for us despite the emotional distance we place between ourselves and our Father.

An earthly picture of our heavenly Father’s love is found in the parable Jesus told about an earthly father and his prodigal son. Despite the son’s rejection and the rebellion and other unwise decisions he made, the father continued to love him and to long for him to return home. And when that son finally came to his senses and headed home, his father welcomed him with open arms. (Read Luke 15:11-32.)

The Joy of His Love

Knowing that we are fully loved—and fully known—brings inexpressible joy to our hearts even though others may not love us—or even like us. When we believe that He loves us, we can endure loneliness, aloneness, mistreatment, misunderstandings, rejection, and much more. We can smile (through our tears) and lift our heads, knowing we are greatly loved children of God.

May you and I rejoice in His abundant, constant, and eternal love every day.

Monday, January 16, 2023

New Beginnings

Note: I wrote the gist of the following in my journal in December 1997. However, the message remains true and applicable to us today. 

As I reflect on all that happened last year, I also look toward the New Year and wonder what it will hold. None of us knows what's ahead, not even in the next hour. But I take comfort in this sentence I read in a little booklet as I waited for an appointment: “Every ending holds the promise of a new beginning.” 

I like that, don't you? Whether the ending is a good thing or a bad thing, it does hold the promise of a new beginning. Perhaps it holds an opportunity to start over.  Or an opportunity to experience growth of various kinds—emotional, mental, financial, spiritual, social, leadership, etc.  That’s exciting!

On the other hand, new beginnings can be scary.  However, there’s much wisdom expressed in an old song, these bits and snatches of which came to mind as I thought about what might be ahead:

“I don’t worry o’er the future.  I just live from day to day.  I don’t borrow from its sunshine for its skies may turn to gray.  I don’t worry about tomorrow.  It may bring me poverty.  But the One who feeds the sparrow is the One who stands by me.”

How wonderful to know that—no matter what changes (i.e. new beginnings) are ahead —God stands by us! Yes, by you. And by me. And... aren't we glad that we do not go alone into the new beginnings? That we get to hold His hand as He leads us into tomorrow, into the time of new beginnings?

To listen to the entire song, please click here.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

God Is Still in Charge!

 My heart was heavy as 2022 came to an end. I was thinking about so many dear ones who have problems that are heartbreaking and have no obvious solution. But as my husband and I traveled toward a friend's house on New Year’s Eve, we noticed the sky was a vivid orange near the horizon, making it appear as if a fire raged behind the trees.

My eyes filled with happy tears at the awesome sight before us. I said to my husband, "This reminds me that God is still very much in charge of this world." 

And, indeed, He is. He's in charge of the natural world. He's in charge of every living thing, including the human race. He's in charge of the things that happen and those that don't.

As I reflected on those awesome truths, I recalled these words written by the psalmist David:

But the LORD is in his holy Temple;
the LORD still rules from heaven...
~Psalm 11:4, NLT

Other Scriptures point out that God is in charge, even when we think He isn't. Even when we think He has forgotten about us. Even when we think He is never going to do anything. Granted, He may not resolve the situation in the way we want Him to, but whatever He does will be the right thing.

As we wait for God to act, we can remind ourselves, as did Moses as he was speaking to God's people centuries ago:

Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.

~Deuteronomy 7:9. NKJV

As we enter a New Year, let's remind ourselves daily to trust God in every situation. As the centuries-old hymn says:

Simply trusting ev'ry day,
Trusting thro' a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small, 
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger, for him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
~Ira D. Sankey, 1876

Listen to (and sing along with) that beautiful song here:

If we'll trust Him, we can have a happy new year, despite our circumstances. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

‘Tis the Season

The theme for a meeting I attended recently was ‘Tis the Season.

Those words come from  Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, a Christmas carol written in 1881. However, the phrase ‘Tis the Season didn’t begin appearing in magazines and newspapers until the 1970s.  Now, that phrase is used throughout the year, as in ‘Tis the season for spring cleaning. Or ‘Tis the season for flu and strep throat.”     

Thankfully, ‘Tis the Season is most often used to draw attention to the Christmas season. By filling in the blank following ‘Tis the season______, we can mention whichever aspects we enjoy. For example, ‘Tis the season for giving. ‘Tis the season for decorating. ‘Tis the season for enjoying Christmas lights and music.

But amid all the things we enjoy about the Christmas Season (or the Holiday Season, as many prefer to call it), have we lost sight of the real reason for the Christmas season? Have we gotten so busy with all the shopping and the decorating and the baking and the partying and the singing and such that we have forgotten that Christmas is the time set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus? Are we so busy that we forget to think of Him, much less talk with others about Him?

A friend of mine has not forgotten Jesus. When she and I talked recently, she told me how thrilled she is to have purchased a manger scene to display inside her home. Why? She knows that when her four-year-old granddaughter visits, the child will ask about the odd-looking components. Then, my friend will tell her granddaughter as much as her young mind can absorb. 

My friend seeks ways to tell her granddaughter (and others) about Jesus. She wants to make sure the child knows about the gift of God’s Son. Therefore, she talks about Jesus in hope that one future day her beloved granddaughter will choose to receive Jesus and invite Him to be her Lord, as well as Savior.

May this current season be the season you and I also love the Lord Jesus and look for opportunities to tell others about Him. Moreover, may we realize that every season is the perfect season to do that. No matter what month it is, may we understand that the present time—whatever the season—is a wonderful time to say, “‘Tis the season to experience awe and joy, to give generously, to praise God for all that He is, and to thank Him for all His amazing gifts, especially the gift of His Son.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

On the Way!

An online merchant sends me a notification that my order has been shipped. In most cases, I also receive a link I can use to track the package. On the day the order is to arrive, I receive another notification that the item is out for delivery.

I like having access to that information. Once I know the item is on its way, my anticipation builds. And when I receive an “out for delivery” notification, I listen for the noise of the delivery truck. I go to the door and thank the delivery person. If I’ve been away from home on delivery day, upon my return, I check the front and side entrances to the house (or the mailbox) to see if the package was delivered.

This morning, I received an “out for delivery” notification. [See photo.] I clicked the link to the tracking information. As I looked at it, I realized afresh that while I’d worked at my tasks and while I’d slept, people had been working day and night to get the item to me. Other people had been involved in the manufacturing and marketing processes before it could be shipped and sent to me. A virtual army of people had been used to provide the item I wanted.

Realizing that so much goes on behind the scenes reminds me to wait patiently for God to act. He knows, even though I don’t, what’s going on and when and how and through whom His answers to prayers will come. And, oh, the joy when His gift arrives.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Whatever the Weather


I opened my eyes at 7:23 a.m., delighted by the bright light streaming into the master bedroom of the condo. I hurried toward the great room. It, too, was bathed in light so bright that I squinted my eyes when I looked toward the east-facing section of the floor-to-ceiling windows that surrounded the room on three sides. The only sound I heard was the gentle lapping of the surf against the shore.

Last Night

But last night... Oh, my goodness! The wind shrieked around the exterior walls. It shoved two of the lighter-weight balcony chairs against the windows and banged them until my husband fought against it to bring the chairs inside. The wind created white caps on the normally calm waters of our portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Lightning flashed in the inky black sky. Rain pelted the windows. Even the water in the toilet bowls swirled slightly as the storm raged against the high-rise condo--as well as against everything and everyone in its path.


Thankfully, after several hours, the storm passed. By God’s grace, my husband and I are safe and are anticipating a beautiful day here at the beach.


The storm and the stillness, the darkness and the sunshine, the fear and the calm…are part of life, aren’t they? Whichever one we're experiencing at the moment will, at some point, be replaced by its opposite. By God’s grace, we transition from one to the other, trusting Him to be with us no matter life's current “weather.”

As I reflect on that, I remember a quote I'd read the day before the storm released its fury:

 I am not in control, but I am deeply loved by the one who is.

--Glenn Packiam

And I do believe, as I hope you do, that God has everything under control, even the storms of life. And as my mama used to say, “Whether He spares or shares, He will be there.” His presence with us makes ALL the difference—whether we’re experiencing storms or sunshine.

Note: To read my previous posts about storms, click here and here.

Monday, October 24, 2022

What If…?


Jesus said unto him [a Pharisee], Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Matthew 22:37-38, KJV).