Saturday, February 28


"I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds [us]." Ephesians 4:1-3

I've written about a sermon on this verse before, but I read it again in my quiet time this morning and it spoke to me a little differently, or maybe I should say more personally, today. Taking this verse seriously should have me re-evaluating everything I do. Am I loving and respecting my husband in a way worthy of the calling I've received? Am I loving and training our children in a way worthy of Christ? Am I the kind of friend/daughter/neighbor that's worthy of Christ?

Even more than that, am I doing all these things (and more) with humility and gentleness? With patience? Do I truly accept others in love, even the ones that don't think exactly how I think? I need to be helping the keep peace and unity within the body of Christ, remembering that we all serve the same Lord and Father.

It's a big calling, but He's a big God.

Sunday, February 22


"Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."
-Psalm 86:11

This verse doesn't give me any wiggle room. I must have an undivided heart. Undivided. That's not easy. Keeping God first in my life sounds like a challenge, but still possible. But this is even bigger. There should be NO part of my heart, no part of my life that doesn't belong to the Lord.

The good news is that this verse also tells me how I can do this. The Lord will teach me how, and then I just walk with Him, follow Him. If I let Him teach me and lead me, He will give me an undivided heart.

Wednesday, February 18


"And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

It's raining today, and I'm glad for it because we've been in a drought for so long. Many of my plants died last summer because we didn't have enough rain, and we weren't allowed to water. All of those that died were fairly young; they were not yet established and hadn't grown strong roots. The older plants, unless already sick, survived because their roots were deep enough to find what little water there was.

A friend told me recently about a large tree in his yard that fell in a windstorm and barely missed his neighbor's house. He said the 90-foot tall tree looked healthy, but it's roots had rotted, and when a big wind came, it pushed that tree right over and exposed the rotten ball of roots.

Even after we've accepted Christ as Lord, continuing to follow Him--truly submitting ourselves to Him--is something we must choose to do anew each day, and sometimes moment by moment. When the hard times come, or when we're faced with temptation, that's the time we find out what kind of roots we have. Are they strong enough and deep enough to withstand both droughts and storms? Are we rooted where we need to be -- in Christ? Those deep roots will only come by spending time with the Lord in prayer and by learning His word and planting it deep within our hearts. By doing that, not only will be grow those deep, strong roots of faith, we'll also be overflowing with thankfulness for all that He's done for us, but most of all for who He is.

Friday, February 6

Love His Children

"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent also loves his child." 1 John 5:1
Before Ken and I were married, we knew that our kids came with us as a "package deal." Initially I loved Brandon because he was Ken's son; at first Ken loved Kathryn because she was my daughter. After a while, I came to love Brandon and Ken came to love Kathryn because of who they are as individuals, but it started out simply because they were the child of the one we loved.

Since I love God, part of how I show my love for Him is by loving His children. All of His children. And if I keep my heart open and pray for eyes to see those "children" as their Father sees them, then what starts as simple obedience will grow to a feeling of brotherly (or sisterly!) love as I see past their quirks and such.

Thursday, February 5

The Good Things We Do

"And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it." Philemon 1:6

If you want to feel accomplished about reading a whole book of the Bible, try Philemon on for size. Just one chapter. I usually have my HCSB and my Message Bible both in my lap as I spend my quiet time (or whatever I'm going to end up calling it) with God. In this case, this verse in the Message really jumped off the page at me.

In my last post, Kathy (katdish) said that I'm an incredible person and she wants to be like me when she grows up. Now, I admit I like those kinds of comments, but what I really hope (and I do, for the record, believe she sees this) is that anybody who thinks those kinds of things about me will see that it's not ME! I want people--as the verse above says--to recognize Christ in all of it. Being like me would mean being obsessed with organization & getting grumpy when the house is cluttered; it would mean being lazy about getting up in the morning; it would mean worrying too much about things that I know the Lord has under control. It's ONLY when I manage to get out of the way and let Christ work that *I* do any good thing.

All of us believers have this faith in common, and I pray that in any good thing that any of us do, that people are able to recognize Christ in all of it.

Ooo, bonus verse! Today's "verse of the day" on my sidebar goes right along with this:
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." James 4:10

Tuesday, February 3


"Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27

I've read this verse many times, and it is one of the ways the Lord has spoken to me about our plans to adopt a child (or maybe a few). Last week, I was really asking myself and God some tough questions about a whether or not I could become the mama to a child with some potential health issues caused by a terrible case of abuse. I couldn't remember where this verse was located. (I am good at remembering the overall idea of a bit of scripture, but often have difficulty reciting the exact location of the verse.) I had finished my scheduled bit of Bible reading for the day, and then offered a very brief thought-prayer to find this verse to re-read, and I flipped right to it. This time, however, one particular --a part I'd never paid much attention to in previous readings -- caught my attention:
" their distress..."
Distress is "great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble; a state of extreme need." A few synonyms: agony; misery; torment; anguish; grief; calamity; adversity.

I'm not called simply to look after orphans and widows when they are doing well and have things pretty much under control; I'm not called simply to care for them in ideal circumstances. I am called to care for them in their affliction, pain, sorrow, trouble, and extreme need.

I don't think the Lord could have answered my questions more clearly.