February 29, 2016

Not A Cookie Cutter

A long time ago, probably early or mid-80’s, I was listening to a Sandi Patty CD. Or maybe it was a cassette tape? Yes. It was a cassette. It was a long time ago… 

Between songs she spoke about the days she was going through voice training and her instructor asked her if she wanted to sing like Barbara Streisand or Karen Carpenter or someone else whose name I can’t remember. Sandi Patty said she wanted to have her own voice. She didn’t want to merely imitate someone else. She understood she had her own God-given individual and unique style.

That always stuck with me. Not because I have a singing voice, not at all. But every aspect of life can take you down that road of trying to be like someone else instead of being yourself.

Did you ever try to be a better mother by modeling someone else’s style even when it didn’t fit you?

Ditto on being a better wife, homemaker, better cook…being a better fill in the blank__________.

For me the blank would be being a better writer.  I have to resist thinking I should try to be more like other more popular writers and stay true to the vision God has given me for my writing.

We have to resist the temptation all the time to beat ourselves up because we don’t have the flair or talent this person or that person has.

What it comes down to is being our own person. After we have measured ourselves against what others are doing and how they are doing it, we must realize that it is time to be ourselves and be good with that.

It is time to appreciate how we have been made and what our strengths are. It is time to understand that our uniqueness comes from God and it isn’t going to look like anyone else’s uniqueness.

I am not the product of a cookie cutter. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a masterpiece, a workmanship created for good works. 

Psalm 139:13-14
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

Ephesians 2:10 
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

February 23, 2016


I woke up today and I felt small. Why? It was because I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. 

I doubt that I am the only one that does that. You might also be feeling small, insignificant, and maybe even invisible sometimes. I have felt all of those at one time or another.

But I reminded myself that my Bible that tells me different. I have read how God worked in the lives of insignificant and invisible people in a mighty way. I could easily think of five men who God moved from a place of insignificance to a position of great ranking.

David was invisible and God handpicked him while a young shepherd and anointed him to be the king of Israel.

Joseph was invisible while falsely imprisoned – until his appointed time when God promoted him to second in command to Pharoah in Egypt and was used by God to save the people from famine.

Moses was invisible, feeling defeated and done on the back side of the desert until God burned a holy bush and called him to let His people go.

Nehemiah was invisible during his captivity as a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes and God enabled him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Gideon was invisible as he hid threshing wheat in a winepress when the Angel of the Lord appeared and called him a mighty warrior and God gave him a victory in battle with only three hundred men.

Recalling the accounts of each of these men assured me that God sees me. He sees you. We are not invisible to Him. But if you feel that way today I would suggest you read about David, Joseph, Moses, Nehemiah and Gideon. Let their stories tell you what they told me today. We are not invisible.

David: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Joseph: Psalm 105:16-22, also see Genesis 41:39-41, Moses: Exodus 3:1-10, Nehemiah: 2:4-6, Gideon: Judges 6:11-12

February 21, 2016

Crooked Paths

Psalm 37:24
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
Like myself, have you beat yourself up lately because in all your best efforts you still didn’t get it right and instead, messed things up and made things worse? Are you still lecturing yourself on the ten ways you could have handled that situation more smoothly?

In our own human frailty we often make mistakes. We don’t always get it right. But the good news is that our heavenly Father will lovingly smooth them out or correct them. Through His mercy and kindness He redeems our mistakes and our failings and then He turns them into a place of growing and learning.

We are often frustrated, but in God’s sovereignty, we will find that He uses all the twists and turns we experience to build our faith and teach us life lessons that will help us farther down the road. With our valuable lessons learned, we can help others as they navigate their own journey through life. This is an important value of a lesson learned, passing it on to others.

God doesn’t expect perfection from us, but He does want our yielded heart, and He wants our faith and trust placed solely in Him. He will ultimately lead us where we are supposed to go, even when the journey often takes us down some crooked paths along the way.

Why do I stumble and fall? Why does He pick me back up?
Why do I falter and can’t find my way? Why is He patient with me?

Why do I follow the fork in the road when He wants me to go straight ahead?
Why do I stop when I hear Him say yes? Why is He patient with me?

Why do I ask what I already know? Why do I question His ways?
Yet, He’s always kind and merciful and He’s always so patient with me.

February 17, 2016

Blue Skies And Cloudy Days

Blue skies and abundant sunshine -that is my kind of day. When the skies are cloudy and gray, I must remind myself…the sun is still shining right where it was yesterday when skies were blue.

Of course the sun is still there on the other side of those gray clouds. God perfectly placed it there a mere ninety three million miles from earth just where it needs to be to sustain life on this planet.  The sun has not moved.

So is God, still shining, still working, still doing what He does.

Don’t forget that on your cloudy days, He is still there!

Of course we prefer blue skies and sunshine. Of course we love a more visible evidence of His presence and working in our lives.

Here is the truth, for our faith to stretch and grow we must believe He is still there even though there are days when the clouds may appear to block our view.

This is so important to understand. God is still with us on the days when the skies are not blue. There is not a cloud that can dim the brightness of the sun, or cloud or storm that can lessen the power of our God. 

“For the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 

What is the cloud or storm in your life? Health issues, financial matters, marital problems, family problems, trust issues, fear? 

We are incapable of moving those clouds one inch for the sun to come shining through again.

But we can move the clouds of fog in our mind that make us feel like He has moved away from us. We must choose to push them away with the truth of God’s Word that He goes with us and never leaves us, whether it is blue skies or a cloudy day. 

February 14, 2016

At The Edge Of The Earth

I rarely fly by myself but recently I did. The number on my boarding pass was B13 which meant I still had a good chance of getting a window seat which I really wanted. If I had to sit next to strangers, I want the window.

I secured my window seat and in the other seats were two very big men. I was scrunched up against the window but thankful I wasn’t between them. The one to my left was reading Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly, and the man on his left was reading a newspaper. I was reading Audacious by Beth Moore.

And raising and lowering the window blind. The afternoon sun was bright, but open it made me feel less claustrophobic. Until I noticed everyone was lowering theirs because it was just so bright. So to be courteous down came mine.

I peeked every so often though and raised it very briefly. First we flew over mountains. A few covered in snow. Then it was flat.

The murmur of soft voices filled the cabin and the readers turned the overhead lights up. Seats were tilted back for those who just wanted to sleep.

I think everyone must have dozed as the cabin grew darker, darker because that bright sun had dropped over the horizon. It wasn’t bright anymore and I could raise the window blind.

I grabbed my phone quick. It was beautiful as we approached Dallas with the evening sun setting right outside my window. I started snapping pictures and then I just put my phone down to watch. In flight it really happened fast and it was my delight to see.

What I saw was an amazing sight.

I saw God’s glory at the edge of the earth from my window seat.

Looking out the window at earth and sun and sky, I wondered to myself, how could this amazing creation all just be a swirling accident as some would have you believe, but I know the answer. 

The answer is…
It’s not.

 Hebrews 11:1-3
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

February 7, 2016

The Most Important Walk

Lately, I have been asking myself about the messages in my writing. Will my words remind you of the importance of the relationship you can have with the Lord built on daily drawing near, walking with Him and making this a priority?

These are not words lightly written. This relationship I am writing about is with a Holy Almighty God. In all seriousness, let’s be reminded of some of what that includes.

As a believer, our life is lived unto an unseen God who works mysteriously in our lives through the work of His Holy Spirit, the Comforter given to us when Jesus ascended to heaven following his death, burial and resurrection.

His presence is known in our lives and His work is evident as we journey with Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit given to us at the point of salvation, when we receive Jesus as Savior and believe on Him for eternal life, having repented of our sins and asked for His forgiveness.

Do we appreciate the magnitude of a living God that dwells inside of us?

Hebrews 2:1-4 tells us not to neglect so great a salvation.

That is my encouragement to you today:  Do not neglect what we’ve been given.

As I daily write, I am just touching the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve been given through His love, grace and mercy in our lives.

But I am blessed to write of Him and explore this relationship from whatever inspiration God gives me to do so. He’s given me words and I am on a journey to write of Him and let the words flow from my heart and hope that as I am inspired to write them, that you are inspired to examine what they mean to you and where they fit in your walk with God.

The most important walk we walk is our walk with God.

Let’s not neglect what we’ve been given.

Hebrews 2:1-4 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?