Category Archives: God

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

This is the third day in a row. Lord, are you trying to tell me something? A book, a social media post & today’s email devotional had the same message–the difference between peace keeping & peace making.

Peace Keeping

*remain silent

*stuff/hold it in

*go with the flow

*be compliant

*avoid risk

But, a maker makes things. Making things requires effort and action. Taking action often means initiating a much needed conversation.

Peace Making

*overcome fear

*open communication

*solve problems

*move forward

Yes Lord, I’ll take a deep breath & be a peacemaker. Season my words with love and wisdom. Give me patience to listen and understand. With your help, love and peace will win.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

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A Memorable Break

At seventeen I had a lot of questions–few answers. Questions about life. Questions about the future. Questions about God. Was He real? Was there more to being a Christian than going to church and trying to live a good life? Yes, I had questions and a summer job. My title? Assistant Head Dining Room Girl. Where? Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian, Texas.

Dining Room Girl duties included setting tables, serving food, serving second and third helpings of food, cleaning tables, washing dishes and mopping floors. As Assistant Head Dining Room Girl I had to make sure all the tasks were done and help solve any problems that arose among the eight of us. Consequently, serving three meals a day, plus a night-time snack to staff left little time to enjoy camp activities. Until one day, just before supper, the dining room girls were asked to step outside.

“Everyone take on of these folded slips of paper from the basket,” the Camp Director said. “After you’ve drawn one, walk over to an area by yourself, sit down and seriously think about what you’re reading. Stay in your spot until you hear the dinner bell.”

I reached into the wicker basket and took one of the white papers and walked to a nearby tree and plopped beneath it. It felt good to sit outside, even if it was July. I leaned back against the tree and opened my assignment.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I looked up to the sky then down again to what became 2 of my favorite Bible verses.

Yes Lord.

I will trust.

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Precious Good News

Years ago a man went through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and northern West Virginia greeting folks by saying, “Hello! I have good news from heaven.” His name was John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. This pioneer nursery man saved apple seeds and sold them for a penny each. He sold young sapling apple trees for three cents each. He wanted our country’s settlers to not only have a food supply for themselves, but for future generations as well.

John Chapman was quite an evangelist too. He told stories to children and preached the gospel to anyone who’d listen. The Indians referred to him as someone touched by the Great Spirit.

Our forefathers saved and stored seed year after year to sustain them. Seed had to be preserved, kept safe and when the time was right, planted in the earth. Seed was precious . . . valuable. 

We too have valuable, precious seed—God’s Word within us.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126:5-6

Are there any Johnny’s or Johnette’s out there? Did you do some sowing this week?

We have good news from heaven!

 

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Onesimus, A Profitable Servant & Brother

 Paul, the author of the New Testament book, Philemon, encouraged Philemon to take back his run-away slave Onesimus and receive him as a brother (v. 16). Why? Because Paul had instructed Onesimus in the gospel and felt his life had changed. Paul went so far as to guarantee Philemon he would right any of Onesimus’ wrongs and pay his debts. In other words, he would to whatever it took to have Onesimus in good standing–ready to start a redeemed life.

Interestingly, the name Onesimus means profitable. Paul knew Onesimus had been unprofitable, (v.11) but saw past his past, focused on his potential and became his advocate.
 Lord, Thank you for your grace that forgives and changes lives. May I follow Paul’s example and actualize the value of every soul.

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Heavenly Signet

brown paper envelope on table

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

May my heart be soft

As you make your impression

Heavenly Signet

I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33

signet- a small seal, especially one set in a ring, used instead of or with a signature to give authentication to an official document.

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October 31, 2018 · 9:35 pm

Jairus’ Joy

I see the Master and fall at his feet.

“My daughter is ill. Touch her,”I plead.

I motion for Jesus to follow me home.

The disciples join in—we walk then hear moans

of mourners who gather, their wails and their shouts

turn to sneers and mocking as Jesus cries out.

“She’s not dead, only sleeping. Get out. Leave,” He says.

We walk to the room where my little girl lay.

He holds her limp hand, “Daughter arise.”

She awakes and I see—she is alive!

Oh the Master’s word. The Master’s touch.

Revives. Brings life. Savior thank you so much.

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A Crow’s Nest, An Oak Grove and An Apron

The inner chamber, a phrase from Isaiah 26:20, means any place apart. For Edward Wilson, it was the crow’s nest on the ship Terra Nova. He’d often climb to it during his expeditions to Antarctica. He called it his private chapel.

Vesta Mangun’s father, Royal Gibson would slip away to his favorite place of prayer–a secluded oak grove not far from his house. Many miracles and healings occurred throughout his ministry. He knew that power with God came through unwavering faith in His word and in the power of the name of Jesus.

Susanna Wesley, (1669-1742), mother of nineteen children including John and Charles Wesley, would sit down and pull her apron up over her head. Her children knew to be extra quiet during this time so they wouldn’t disturb her time of prayer.

What does this have to do with outreach? Everythng! John 6:44.

We must pray until~

This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize
And shout while passing through the air
Fare well, fare well, sweet hour of prayer.

(Last verse of Sweet Hour of Prayer)

Selah

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The King’s Favor

The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favor is as dew upon the grass. Proverbs 19:12

It happens every time we go camping. In stillness, quietness and obscurity, after the moon and stars appear. Atmospheric water vapor condenses into droplets. By sunrise, the ground, picnic table and anything left outside is covered with glistening beads of moisture–dew.

And so it is with The King’s favor, and favor with people (Proverbs 19:12). It happens softly, slowly, in ways we can’t see, yet we know when His favor is upon us.

Jesus,
Bless my friends with favor wherever they go–jobs, stores, gas station, drive-thrus and neighborhoods. May your presence draw in souls. Your promises are true. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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A Glorious Morning

cropped-christmas-07-in-ok-004.jpg

Many Christmas seasons have passed since the ten days we spent devoid of electricity and modern conveniences.

On New Year’s Day, our family, along with many other northeast Texans, awoke to see fields, roofs, trees, roads and powerlines covered in a two-inch thick glaze of ice. An unexpected overnight storm of sleet followed by freezing rain paralyzed travel, business and most of all, my college break. Linemen worked as fast as they could to restore power in cities and towns. But, we knew it would be a while before they reached our rural area. Dad, mom and I spent our days huddled by the fireplace, our only source of heat, and our nights sleeping beside it.

Six days later roads were still hazardous. Since we couldn’t go to church, Dad decided we’d have our own church at home, by the fireplace.

“Luke chapter two,” Dad said opening his Bible.

What? The Christmas story? Christmas was two weeks ago. Oh well. Wish I had a quilt. Three layers of clothes, a coat and two blankets aren’t enough. Brrrrr. Dad read. Mom and I listened.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (Luke 2: 6)

No room for them in the inn. Probably warm there. Sent to a stable. A drafty, smelly stable. No heat. No bed. Is Dad’s voice cracking?

I glanced upward and watched him take a white handkerchief from his pocket. I could count on one hand the times I’ve seen him cry.

Manger.

Swaddling clothes.

Such harsh conditions. I pulled the blankets closer to my face.

Mary.

Joseph.

The baby.

Jesus—the Prince of Peace. A newborn prince born in a stable, placed in a feeding trough. I’ve heard this story all my life but somehow, today it’s . . . I never really thought . . . tears gushed as I placed myself within the primitive birthing room. I sobbed and bawled and felt foolish for feeling sorry for myself, for being grumpy about the cold and disrupted plans.

Shepherds.

Angels.

Dad closed his Bible. I folded the wet corner of my blanket and wiped my face. Forever changed.

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A Memorable Break

At seventeen I had a lot of questions–few answers. Questions about life. Questions about the future. Questions about God. Is He real? And is there more to being a Christian than going to church and trying to live a good life? Yes, I had questions and a job as the Assistant Head Dining Room Girl at  summer camp.

My duties included setting tables, serving food, serving second and third helpings of food, cleaning tables, washing dishes and mopping floors. As second in command of the eight Dining Room Girls, I had to make sure all our tasks were completed and help solve any problems among us. Consequently, serving three meals a day, plus a night-time snack to staff left little time to enjoy any camp activities.

However, one day before supper, we were invited to step outside and join the campers.

“Everyone take on of these slips of paper from the basket,” said the Camp Director. “Now walk to an area by yourself, sit down and think about what you’re reading. Stay in your spot until you hear the dinner bell.”

I reached into the wicker basket and took one of the folded white papers and meandered to a nearby tree. I plopped beneath it feeling grateful to sit outside a few minutes, even if it was July. I leaned against the tree and opened my assignment.

 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine      own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6

At last–an answer.

I peered at the sky then down again to what became my favorite Bible verses.

Yes Lord.

I will trust.

 

 

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