Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)

12 -14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Today is a day of strength.  We all have battles to endure, sacrifices to make, and some sort of laboring. describes strength as:  the quality or state of being strong and  synonyms include:  power, force and might. In our current world situations; strength, power, force or might will be the determining factors in turning things around.

As I begin many of my days I get that cup of coffee and jump start into whatever needs to be done.  My strength seems to dwindle as the morning progresses and I am reminded of the need to power my body with food.  In many cases, we can see within ourselves the need for power from the Holy Spirit when we become more focused on solving our own issues than in releasing our burdens to God.   We think that we have the power to accomplish some things, but ultimately we are weak and powerless without the force, might and power of God.

During this next school year, it will take teamwork to accomplish many things for our children, educators, and community.  Teamwork is defined as:  cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause. In some cases, teachers have retired, lost their positions and others have made efforts to work together to make sacrifices of themselves  for others to insure that children can learn and will learn.

Sometimes taking second place can turn out to be much more rewarding than first place in many cases.  It’s the ability to see that what we once thought was the best possible answer to a problem could ultimately be the “best seat in the house.”  It puts you in a position of power, force and might in some cases to make the first place seat a little easier once you get there or it helps you to learn and make changes for good if and when you reach that first place seat.

Being able to say, “I’ll take second place” in some cases means that you are willing to wear love instead of “claiming the prize.”  In many cases, the prize isn’t worth the battle and love conquers all.   If you are willing to wear the cloak of love, then you have all the strength to win in any battle.   Love also means letting go.  Once you let go, you are free to receive.

My prayer for you today is that you wear the cloak of love.   That you receive more than you’ve ever given because of your ability to let go and that you find strength and power through Christ.


Passage Proverbs 6:12-15 (The Message)

Always Cooking Up Something Nasty

12 -15 Riffraff and rascals talk out of both sides of their mouths. They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet, they cross their fingers behind their backs. Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty, always stirring up trouble. Catastrophe is just around the corner for them, a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.

As I sit to write this devotional,  I am reminded of circumstances that are upcoming in my own life.  A true battle that only God can handle since it’s been ongoing for some time now.   It’s been an emotional summer filled with anticipation of things to come and of probabilities that could only be trusted into God’s hands.   As the time draws near….the anxiety starts to rear it’s ugly head, the stomach aches, the fear of defeat, all those things that the enemy plants before battle.

As I began my morning, I felt the hand of God upon me.  Reminding me that fear is not of him.   FEAR= False Evidence Appearing Real.  What a coward Satan really is.  He tries to plant the past in the present, he tries to remind you of the things that God doesn’t remember, and then he uses other people as his pawns.   How disturbing that one would want to be a pawn for something so horrible and wicked, yet many do not understand that is what they have been doing.

I like the interpretation of The Message for this particular scripture in that it states, “Riffraff and rascals talk out of both sides of their mouth.” I can remember many times saying that same thing about someone who tries to be deceptive in using my own words against me.  THANK YOU GOD for reminding me that I am your child always and that you are a living God, and you show me the way to freedom and righetousness.

Today, I pray for those who are planning evil against us.  I pray for those who do not know Christ intimately and only use his name when it’s convenient for them.  I pray for those who try to use others words against people in harmful ways, (including myself) and I pray that God will show mercy to each one.

Confession is truly cleansing to the soul.  When we look deep within ourselves and decide that we have some undiscussed areas of sin, God is gladdened and eager to hear us.  Matthew 6:14-15 states, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” A reminder that in order to be forgiven, we must also forgive and in order to receive we must also give.

My prayer today is one of forgiveness, reaching out to those who need the hand of Christ and one of strength for all who are about to go to battle.    That your conflict or struggle will be made easier because God has prepared the way.

2 Timothy 2:15
15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Casting Crowns is one of my favorite groups and a song called Voice of Truth seems to be stuck in my head this morning.  After a restless night, these words seem to comfort the busyness of other thoughts raging through my mind.

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

At this point in the morning, I’m whining…….and I have a NO WHINING sign posted on my desk!  Why do we do that?  When we are so blessed and we just seem to forget to give thanks for all that God has done for us even while we are sleeping.  We are so unaware of all the work in the heavenlies and yet we continue to try and control every situation around us.

There are times when I question, “Why do I have to be this way?  Why is it that other people can do this and I have to do that?” I am reminded of the voice of my Mother who would always says, “Because I said so.” What an incredible woman she is and has been for the past 76 years.  I have learned so much from her and sometimes I hear words come out of my mouth that are much like my Mothers.   What a woman of faith she really is.

Sometimes God says that same things to us, “Because I know what is best for you.  I created you, made you and will sculpt you to become all that you were created to be.” It’s a lot like “boot camp” with God.  We go through that time when there’s a lot of conditioning and sacrifice before we reach a destination of rest and accomplishment.  We are beat down and yet when nothing else makes any sense, there it is…..the voice of truth.

Sometimes when all else seems impossible or life seems to just kick you in the gut, you open your front door and there’s a little surprise hanging on the door.   A bag of peaches from a secret friend or neighbor.  The reminder of God’s family and that we are not alone in the fight, but that the voice of truth has once again said, “Do not be afraid!”

My prayer for you today is that you hear the voice of truth.  Listen for the small voice, see his love in whatever venue today and remember that “it is for his glory!”

Matthew 9:22 (NKJV)

But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.”  And the woman was made well from that hour.

As I sit here wondering what the Lord wants me to write about, I am reminded of what he is trying to say to me.  Faith, the one thing we cannot touch, feel or see.  Much like the wind, we know it’s there and we enjoy the cool breeze when it comes and we respect the harshness of the stormy winds.  Faith is like that.  It fills our soul with happiness one minute and sorrow the next.   But just as the winds destroy, God can rebuild and make things new.

Recently I went on a short beach trip with my sister and niece.  We were headed back home and encountered several small storms along the way.  As we would drive down the road, you could see the rain ahead in the clouds.  I would  see it coming out of the clouds and then within a mile or two, you drive through it.  The downpours were intense and visibility was next to impossible.  As each storm approached, I found myself praying for our safety and that we would be able to learn something from it.

Once we came through the last shower, I made the comment, “Isn’t it funny how one minute everything is bright and beautiful and within minutes, you’re in a major storm and then you return to the beauty just as quickly?”  I guess it was a teachable moment and one that God wanted me to learn as well as my family.  What seems so impossible one minute can change within the blink of an eye!  I am grateful for the small storms and the lessons they teach.

I keep thinking about the woman and her ailment that had continued for many years.  She had made a decision to get to Jesus and that if she could only touch his garment, she would be made well.  Just a little tiny piece of him, just a “little faith” would make her well.   Many times in our own lives we don’t think we have the strength to carry on, but Jesus is all we need.  Just the mention of his name can change a circumstance or make life worth living.

I may have self-doubts, but I have no doubt about Jesus.  I will trust him to see me through all my circumstances, even when the storms are raging all around me.  Sometimes the storm is to see what you’re really made of and whether you really believe.

My prayer for you today is that you find Jesus.  Trust in him to see you through the days that are stormy and the ones that are bright and beautiful.

Hebrews 6:13-15 (NIV)

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

Have you ever waited on God for an answer to a question? Have you prayed with such heartfelt sentiment only to feel that it was not heard or that God wasn’t working fast enough in whatever situation or circumstance? Sure, we all have. In many circumstances or situations in my own life I continue to pray and ask God for answers or revelations, only to continue to wait and find that the one thing God is trying to tell me is, “Patience my child.”

One of my favorite definitions of patience is: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. I think about all the times I’ve had to be patient and wait or I have been delayed for one reason or another. Many times I have weathered the storm and there have been times that I have acted irresponsibly and pushed things ahead. In my attempts to make some thing happen, some things haven’t always turned out the way they should have. And in many occasions the perseverance and patience have paid off with excellent benefits.

I am a huge fan of T. D. Jakes. In a recent telecast he made the following statement about change, “You can’t make a great decision based on your emotions. You have to change! God is waiting on you! Don’t go back to where you came from, change your method of where you are.” I started to realize that in many circumstances of waiting and anticipation that I needed to change. That I was not being honest with God about how I was dealing with some issues of change. I kept hearing this small still voice say, “Let go! Just let go and see me work! Faith…it’s your answer to all your questions.”

When I started writing this devotion I knew it was about faith. This is the second day of trying to complete this somewhat simple task. I just couldn’t put it together and in waiting, God revealed the whole purpose of this devotion. It was to remind me of the path that he wants me to take, the answers of most of my questions are answered in his timing, his way and that I may have to make my own changes in order to receive the blessings that he wants to give me.

Today will be one of those days. Believing in people, trusting in their words and believing they will keep their promises are some things that are really hard for me, based on prior circumstances in my life. He also has said to me, “You are not here for another person, not a people pleaser, but a God pleaser.”

Whew….God is really tough on you sometimes, isn’t he. But I would rather have the truth, than some watered down, sweet Southern rendition of “Honey, everything will work out.” God gives me manna. He gives me the truth in a way that only I can understand. Just like he gives the truth to others in their own way. That is why we are all created differently and uniquely. I am grateful for that uniqueness and the relationship I have with the Lord. I am grateful for friends who can express the truth in love.

My prayer for you today is that you continue to have faith. Know that he is faithful, he is always there, he is waiting on your change. Just be patient and courageous.

Mark 13:28-30 (New International Version)

28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I’m not really sure where to start. The past couple of years have been a whirlwind of sorts. Learning so many new things, new people in my life, a change in who God was creating me to be, just lots and lots of things that took me away from writing. I can say that it was always in the back of my mind but God wasn’t giving me the words to write. I guess he knew better and that I wouldn’t be able to put to words all the things that were happening at one time.

When give your life over to God, it’s a real struggle at times. We are so accustomed to “doing our own thing, in our timing and what we want” that when we pray about God’s will for our lives, we forget…..he has total control. Like the scenario of getting rid of baggage…we drop it at the altar and then a few days later we miss the baggage and we pick it back up again. It’s a vicious cycle, a rollercoaster of emotions and just not healthy. Every time I’ve done that same thing, I’ve picked up that baggage once again and started that cycle over and over and over. I decided that when I start “missing the baggage” that I ask God to show me the “ugliness” of the baggage instead of longing for something that really has no place in my life right now.

Sometimes you just have to walk away from something you’ve always known, including people, places, reminders of bad times/good times and start fresh. Don’t you just love the smell of clean sheets? Boy, I do! Seems like you get a better nights rest, you are more comfortable and the anticipation of feeling them against your skin. That’s exactly how I feel when I come to God and ask for discernment of events, of circumstances and asking him to heal me of emotional pain, physical pain or just to hear my cries. Knowing that he will work within me to make me clean and help me to feel fresh and new.

I know that God has many plans for my life. I know that he wants me to continue to write and photograph his beauty. I know that he wants me to continue to learn his ways, worship him and to fellowship with others. He also wants me to branch out into uncharted waters and to love others as he loves them. I know that he is preparing me for many things in the future and that he will always be there for me and never leave me, nor forsake me. Just as he promises. Sometimes we have to be willing to listen, learn and be taught. Sometimes the argument isn’t worth the breath that you put in it….but the stillness of a small voice can make a great change in all circumstances.

My prayer for you today is that you find peace, contentment and joy in your life today. God is always present….even when you may think he’s deserted you. Continue to love and have faith….it’s worth the battle.

Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

In viewing a recent Joyce Meyer telecast, she spoke on being a difference to others and that when we are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, we are different. She made a statement that has really rang true to me, “You are Not Everybody Else!”

There are times when I wonder why I can’t do what other people do and why I have to live the life that I do, but that same sentence comes to mind and it’s a reminder from God that we are called to be different.

I can remember times when my Mother would fuss at me in regards to some friends I had made at school and she would be upset at something I was doing, or just being the loving, caring Mother she was and she’d have the same sort of sentence, “You are not somebody else, you are who you are.” I used to think, well, why can’t I be like everybody else? Now I realize more than ever that I was called to be different even in my youth.

As I look back and see where I have made many mistakes, I know that God has used me to teach others or that he has put me through something so that I can be a witness to others. I so enjoy my fellowship with the women at our church and our group studies. We grow together, we share our lives, adventures, sorrows, pain, tears, joy and laughter. When you find those whom you can truly be yourself with and you don’t have to explain your whole life to, then you’ve really found good friends.

Sometimes we don’t need to hear the whole story, just where you are right now and just being your friend. Sometimes the whole story reaches the right person and they can relate more, because they too, have shared in that similar pain.

My prayer for you today is that you become connected to a group. That you find a place of fellowship with other believers and that you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Originally written 7-28-07