Tuesday, December 24, 2013

O Holy Night!

"For where the treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matt 6:21 NKJV

Today I opened a Dayspring Christmas card I received.  The words on the front say:

'Wise men came with the treasures of earth in their hands.... and left with the Treasure of Heaven in their hearts.'  Inside it says, 'Celebrating this Christmas because Jesus still gives us the greatest treasure of all--Himself!  Blessings to You.'

What a beautiful sentiment!  Tears filled my eyes because it is so simple.  They came with earthly treasures for the Child, treasures of the most valuable things on earth-- gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they but left with the greatest treasure of all, having seen and worshipped the Savior of the world, the Messiah! 

We also come to Jesus giving what to us is the most valuable thing we have -- ourselves.  In this world of  'me, me!' that is what we consider to be the most treasured of our possessions, our own lives.  In reality, our lives are a filthy and totally inadequate gift for the King of kings.  But it is the best we can do; and a celebration of God and heavenly hosts occurs when we offer our lives to Jesus!  God our Father rejoices for every single person who gives their life to Christ.  He actually sings!  God sings!!

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

And the angels throw a party! 

"Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she'll call her friends and neighbors: 'Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!' Count on it—that's the kind of party God's angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God." Luke 15:10 Message

This Christmas, when the world seems to be going down the drain in a whirlpool of sin and idolatry, why not rededicate yourself to Jesus of Nazareth, to Emmanuel, God with us.  Let Him take your dirty heart and cleanse it in the blood He shed for you.  Let His life be your example.  Stop rushing, instead allow someone else to go first.  Lend an ear to someone who needs it.  If you see someone who looks lost in a store ask if you can help them.  It's so easy to be kind, and it makes you feel better.  Pray for those that hate you, as strange as it sounds, you will feel so much better! You will release all sorts of stresses that may be ruining your life and health! 

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven;" Matt 44-45 NKJV

Dear Reader, if you have not given your life to Jesus but you want to, or if you have gone away and wish to rededicate yourself, let today be the day that you do.  It is Christmas Eve 2013.  You will receive a treasure worth more than anything and everything here on earth--your promise of life everlasting in Heaven with the King of Kings!  So be renewed, be born again, for "Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3 NKJV

Please pray this prayer with all your heart:

Heavenly Father, I come to You admitting that I am a sinner.  Right now, I choose to turn away from sin, and I ask You to cleanse me of all unrighteousness.  I believe that Your Son, Jesus, died on the cross to take away my sins.  I also believe that He rose again from the dead so that I may be justified and made righteous through faith in Him.  I call upon the name of Jesus Christ to be the Savior and Lord of my life.  Jesus, I choose to follow You, and I ask that You fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit.  I declare right now that I am a born-again child of God.  I am free from sin, and full of the righteousness of God.  I am saved in Jesus' name.  Amen 

Welcome (back) to the Kingdom of God and eternal life!  You may want to find a church tonight or tomorrow morning to worship and fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ.  You have a very large family now!   Merry Christmas and God bless you!

Please enjoy the link below:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas in Heaven

What a year this has been.  There have been many children die this past year in different ways.  Sickness, stillborn, miscarriage, car accidents, abuse, and violence have taken what is so near and dear to us.  I can't even begin to imagine the loss of a child and what Christmas is like for a family without them.  But there should be a peace in our hearts knowing that God has our little loved ones right there in His Kingdom.  He is a loving God, and is taking good care of them.  He did not abandon them at their death, whatever the cause, indeed His word says that to be absent from life is to be present with the Lord.  What a comforting thought!

So if you have lost a child, as I know so many have, please know that you will see them again.  They have moved to their place in eternity, and are fine, they are safe in the arms of Jesus.  I pray for you this Christmas season, that the peace that Jesus left with us overtakes your sorrow and one day brings a smile back to your face in remembrance of your baby. 

For each life that ends, a great hole is felt in the heart of those left behind asking 'why?'  Only God Himself knows why someone dies, especially a baby or young child.  But just knowing that a child is singing with the angels is very comforting.  Our God is a good God, and He places us under His wing and He rocks us gently and comforts us.  We'll understand why someday, when we are reunited with those we lost, but until then, just know that He understands our pain.

I wonder what Christmas in Heaven is like.  I think it must be awesome.  I think that Almighty God must look down and see us worshipping; and when he looks around at His loved ones that have already gone before us, those that are part of His very own choir, I think He must smile broadly!  I think He is happy that we still celebrate the birth of His only Son even when our hearts break.  I think it shows how much we trust Him, that it shows our belief that the enemy will not and can not defeat us!  And I think that makes Him glad.  We are here but for a moment, after all, and our eternity will not be filled with sadness or grief.  There is no sorrow in Heaven, there is only never ending joy!  God bless you!

Please click on the link below:


Friday, December 20, 2013

When Angels Appeared to Bring the Good News

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  
       “ Glory to God in the highest,
         And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."
Luke 2:8-20

Can you imagine being one of the shepherds that holy night?  Can you imagine taking care of your flock (as this Child would one day) and being interrupted by an angel of the Lord?  And then a 'multitude' of heavenly host appear and in heavenly choir sing praises of glory to the Lord?  Can you imagine the depths of wonder your soul would experience?  In the light of the stars and moon and in the glory of the angels, you must be unbelievably scared!  But you are told to not be afraid but instead to know that a Savior is born and He will take care of you forevermore!

So after the angels disappear, imagine standing there in the field with your sheep and your friends and wondering what was going on!  Your life is changed completely!  You didn't see just one angel, as Abraham and Jacob did, you saw a multitude of heavenly host!  A multitude!  How do you catch your breath after that?  After the honor that was bestowed on you to be a witness to such a miracle!

And then you do what they told you and you journey to the cave that houses an infant who will save the world!  How do you even comprehend all that?  You see His young mother cradling the Savior of the World and His earthly father watching nearby, protecting them both.  You fall on your knees and you worship the Babe.  You tell about what the angels told you, and you see His mother listening intently.  What an amazing honor to be chosen to be one of the first to see this and to bring a message from heaven to Mary!

You know how when we see a newborn baby we always marvel at the perfection of their lips and their eyelashes and tiny fingers?  Can you imagine seeing Jesus just hours old?  Knowing, because the angels told you, that He would save the world?  That He was the King of kings?  Do you dare to touch His little hand so that His fingers rest around yours?  What would it be like to touch the Son of God? 

Dear Reader, we can touch the Son of God anytime we want to!  He is in each one of us.  He is in your wife, your child, your husband, your friend, your co-worker.  He is in the guy down the street that doesn't bring his garbage can up right away.  He is in the homeless, he is in the downtrodden, he is in the teacher, the fireman, the executive, the secretary, he is in us!  Bless someone today with a hug.  If that is too uncomfortable for you, than bless them with a smile right from your heart!  Think of that person as Jesus, your Savior!  Love your fellow man; today do something extra special for someone you don't know.  Let the angels sing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men." 

Have a beautiful day, and God bless you today and always.  Wrap yourself in the miracle of Jesus' birth!  Please enjoy the link below.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Eight Seconds to Eternity

Pastors Terry and Jan Whitley

Pastor Steve Timmerman
 On 10 October 2013, in Pflugerville, Texas, just north of Austin, three people I love lost their lives in a tragic one vehicle accident on Texas Toll Road 130.  These were people who had a love for God and for their families, and for the church that they pastored.

Pastors Terry Whitley 65, his wife Janice 63, and Senior Associate Pastor Steve Timmerman 56, were killed when a tire blew out and the church van flipped several times and came to a stop.  They say it was all over in eight seconds.  The news sent shock waves that stunned our congregation.  Each person went through their own time of meditation and quiet disbelief.  "How could this be?"  "No, not all three!?"  "Tell me it's just a bad dream."

Dear Reader, news like this could cripple a congregation, but that isn't what happened to Grace Christian Center in Killeen, Texas.  Pastors Terry and Jan started Grace Christian Center with a handful of worshipers 33 years ago.  As the congregation grew, they moved to bigger facilities, and finally built the current church that houses about 2,000 weekly congregants.  It is a world outreach center, and has built and planted churches in many far off lands.

On the night after that terrible accident, the church opened the doors for what was to be a two-hour period of prayer.  The worship team was going to play three songs.  One of them, Majesty, written by Jack Hayford, was Pastor Terry's favorite.  My husband and I arrived late, closer to 8pm.  We were astounded at the amount of cars in the neighborhoods, on the grass at the church, and the packed parking lot.  When we entered the church, the halls were filled and the sanctuary was packed with people standing and worshiping.  What started out as three songs continued for two solid hours. The congregation, with tear stained faces, through smiling lips sang praise and worship to the Lord of hosts, the Great I AM, Jehovah, the Living God.  As the crescendo grew louder and louder and the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable throughout the building, I saw for a moment the huge gates of heaven thrown open from the sincere and heartfelt songs from the earth.  I could imagine our Pastor Terry saying, "That sounds like Charles!"  (Charles Reid, our Music Minister)  And Pastor Jan saying, "I hear Emmanuel!"  (Emmanuel Hernandez, our Worship Leader), and Pastor Steve recognizing Carolanne McLean, another of our Worship Leaders.  Then in my heart, I could hear them say, "That's our church!  They know exactly what to do in times of great trial and sorrow!  They know to worship the one true God with all their heart!"

And so we did!  I have never felt such an enormous and sweet Presence as I did that night.  As we cried and hugged each other we knew that our loved ones were gazing into the face of the Almighty God Himself, and that we were not alone here without them.  The local news reported on the strength of the people of Grace, and how through our sadness there was joy, for the reward was so great for our Pastors. 

The following week was a time of grief and honor for them.  The memorial for Pastors Terry and Jan was attended by several thousand people that knew and loved them.  Killeen, being right outside Fort Hood, was home to many, many soldiers over the years that were stationed here for two to three years and then they got orders to go elsewhere.  Many flew in just to honor the pastors they loved, the ones who taught them who God is and what the Bible says.  The friends and 'family' listened as close pastoral friends and the children spoke of the love they had for their parents, and the love their parents had for the congregation and community, and the country.

Pastor Steve was the Chaplain for the Killeen Fire Department for ten years.  As Senior Associate Pastor, he was a man without equal.  He was not only the Chaplain (Killeen has 8 fire houses), but he was the head of the Helps Ministry at Grace, which includes several hundred individuals; he handled the baptisms, baby dedications, and did hospital visits from Houston to Dallas.  He served the Pastors well, and often led the Sunday and Wednesday night services in their absence.  He belonged to the Patriot Guard Riders of Central Texas, who honored him with an escort to the Central Texas Veteran's Cemetery. 

On the day of his funeral, all the City of Killeen Firemen and women and EMS workers lined the inside of the church in respect to him.  The front of the church was not only packed with cars, but fire trucks and equipment.  Receiving the honors of a fallen firefighter, his body was placed in one of the fire trucks for his last ride to the cemetery he had performed many services at.  At the entrance to the cemetery were two ladder trucks with the ladders up and an American flag hanging from the arch it made.  The firefighters and EMS and equipment were able to attend because many of the surrounding towns loaned equipment and manpower to Killeen for the solemn occasion. 

Today would have been Pastor Jan's birthday.  She is very happily celebrating it in heaven with her beloved Terry and their Armor-bearer.  Though we miss them, we are stronger because of them, and we know what we are supposed to do.  All that we were taught for these last 33 years twice a week is in our hearts somewhere, waiting to be called upon when the moment is needed.  We won't be sitting back watching, we will be doing.  What is a legacy but to be lived?  We trust our Board of Directors to find the Pastor that we need.  He won't be a carbon copy of those we lost, who would want that?  But he will have the same vision as Grace Christian Center has, and he will love the diversity of our congregation, and will not seek his own agenda, but like our Pastors, refer to themselves as Under-shepherds to Jesus.

Until that day arrives we learn from the best, the Pastor's Pastors, the close inner circle of godly men that prayed over, for, and with us many times.   We watch our Associate Pastors rise to the occasion with a word in due season, and see the strength that our Lord has given them as they carry this unexpected mantle.  God has blessed us more than we can say.  I am not so sad that I lost them, because my gratitude of having had them is so great.  I smile when I think of them.  They were unassuming, devoted to God, and as transparent as glass, as I hope I always am.  They leave behind children and a widow.  Our love and prayers for their comfort are daily and fervent.  I know they are strong, and I know that through this tragedy they too will rise, like Grace Christian Center.  I believe the next 5 years will far surpass the last 25, because our house was built on a solid Rock foundation. 

I say 'Go With God' to them.  It's where they should be, it is a just and deserving reward for three wonderfully blessed individuals.  May God's grace shower upon their families like healing rain. 

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."  Psalm 30:11-12 NKJV    


Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Word of God is Powerful and Can Change or Save A Life

Dear Reader,

My life has taken many turns these last six years or so since I came back to the Lord and got baptized.  My old life is in the past.  I am still learning from it, but I vow to never repeat it.  I am so different, and walking in a light that is visible to anyone who takes the time out to open their eyes and seek it.  Once you see it, you want it more and more and more.

I have been very blessed in the last few weeks since my last post.  I have received tips from readers of where to get pictures, hopefully the kind I need.  I have told you that my devotional begins at Week 6 Day 1 - Trust.  There is a reason for that.  Six weeks pregnant is really only four weeks after conception.  But it is how the doctors plan on a date because the actual moment or day of conception is unknown.  Let me try and make this short, but share a little story with you about how God works.

Earlier this week I saw Divine Intervention at work.  On Wednesday, a friend sent me a text early in the morning saying simply, "love you".  I thought that was so nice and so I texted her back and told her how it made my day blessed and extra special.  A few hours later another friend texted and said "Good word, please pray for a girl considering abortion."  Without even thinking, I asked, "Is there a way to get my devotional to her?  I will pray for wisdom."  She in turn referred me to someone else who was in touch with the young woman.  When I called her, she began with how wonderful the text I sent her was and how it was in due season!  I was flabbergasted.  "What text?  I didn't send you a text" I replied.  "Yes you did, it's right here, 8:31 this morning, from Deirdre Tolhurst.  "No, I was walking with my husband at that time", I said.  But she was looking right at it on her phone and insisting that I sent it, and it was exactly what she had been telling this young woman.  We spoke about how she told this girl that she knew that God had something planned for her and her child.  We then made arrangements for me to send her the devotional day by day.  

Dear Reader, this is exactly what I was saying in my last post.  That if we could get the word of God through this little book into the hands of someone considering abortion, that perhaps it would change their mind, and a life could be spared.  She has decided to keep her baby!  Praise God!  This is because she saw that there were people there that reached out and showed her that they cared, and that they were willing to listen and walk her through those moments of doubt and fear.  She knows the Lord loves her, but don't we know that the world can be very loud in its lies sometimes.

We need to pray for these women and lift them up to the Lord.  Things happen and consequences follow, but we are not to judge lest we be judged, and who of us could throw the first stone?  Certainly not me!  God wants these children to live.  He loves each of us and has a plan for us.  Who is to say that the next child born isn't going to be an amazing man or woman of God?  I prayed over my granddaughter every day before she was born, I wrote the devotional for her mom.  But while writing it I read it.  I said it, and felt it in my heart.  My granddaughter will be a strong woman of God.  She will lead many to Christ.  She will minister on the playground, because I have dedicated her spirit to the Lord Jesus.  I have no doubt that what He tells me is true!  

Back to that text that my friend received.  The night before or early on Wednesday I received a text from a wonderful woman I know.  It had a scripture and said that God was blessing me and that I needed to share this with a few other women.  So I hit forward and sent it to about eight of my girlfriends.  Almost immediately I got an error message back, repeating exactly the same thing for the number of people I sent it to.  So I did it again.  And again the same thing happened.  So I gave up and deleted all those and went on my way.  

Later that night I saw my friend in church and she showed me the text.  It was the one that I tried to send twice but it didn't go through!  More absolute amazement in how God works.  The next day my best friend calls me and tells me she meant to call me the night before but knew I would be at church.  She wanted to tell me about a conversation she was having with a fellow coworker about her prayers that morning on her way into work.  She was telling her about how there were things that she hoped for, but that she was perfectly happy submitting to God's will because no matter what, she knew that she knew that she knew that He had a plan for her and would reveal it to her when the time was right.  In due season.

So even though (I believe) the enemy tried to thwart my efforts of forwarding that text, God turned it around and made it work for His glory!!  Let's see, there was confirmation that what was counseled was from God.  A young Mom decided to keep her baby (Praise God a million times), and a friend received comfort knowing that her heart was indeed in the right place.  Only God Himself could do these miraculous things.  A miracle indeed, and I was blessed to be a part of it! 

What was the word that reached into the hearts of these women? 
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.""  Jeremiah 29:11

Please join me as I pray for those women who are lost.

Dear Father God, 

You are all mighty and all powerful and see every detail of my heart.  You are glorious and lovely, and always faithful and trustworthy.  I believe in the power of the Name.  I believe in the power of Your written word.  Please show those women that are lost or alone or afraid that Your love overcomes anything we may face.  Please always place a laborer in their path, send your heavenly messengers to them to minister in Your name.  Bring them through their hurt, disappointment, or shame to a place of light, and love and truth.  Help them to know that they are never alone, and that the child they carry is a child of Yours first.  You chose this time and place to bring that child into this world.  It isn't a mistake, it isn't wrong.  There can only be love and light and joy in the presence of the Lord.  And while You are within them, help them to see that only You have the right to give life and to take it away.  We are the stewards of all the things You have blessed us with, and I ask that You give us diligence to nurture and take care of those things and to follow Your word and live righteously.  I ask You to bless these women and the men who are now fathers, to follow Your word and step forward and take responsibility for the most precious and worthwhile gift in the world, that of being a parent.  Thank You, Father for hearing my prayer of faith.  I love You with all my heart, and I pray in the name of Your own Son, Jesus Christ, Lord of Heaven and Earth, Sustainer of Life.  Amen

After the heartache, there is joy in life.  May God bless you all, always! 




Thursday, August 29, 2013

My New Book is Almost Finished, But I Need Your Help!

Dear Reader,

I have been very busy writing my next book, Dear Child of Mine, a devotional for pregnant women to read out loud to their unborn child.  These last almost 12 months have been a blessing to me.  When I found out that our daughter was pregnant, the Holy Spirit told me to write a devotional for moms to be.  I had to rely on Him to lead me, as this is not an easy task, and it has been 30 years since I was pregnant and going through changes in my body, heart, and mind.  But I went into it with enthusiasm and joy of heart, and each day I would write something and email it to my daughter early in the morning.  She in turn would read it out loud to her baby.  My first grandchild, a beautiful little girl was born last January, a few weeks earlier than her due date.  I had to finish writing the devotional through 40 weeks.  When that was complete, I had to go back and start at the beginning.  But where would the beginning be?

I thought week 8 would be good, because by then a woman pretty much knows she is pregnant, and may pick up a devotional at that time, or receive one as a gift.  But....  when I started to research and found out what was going on with the developing baby at week six (four weeks gestation), I was astounded!  Did you know, dear Reader, that the heart is the very first organ to begin functioning?  Yes!  Would our loving God start anywhere else?  No!  The heart, a place we associate with life and love, valentines and joy would have to be the first working organ, it just makes sense.  The brain is also starting to function in the sixth week, and you would be amazed at how quickly Jesus forms the baby.

I truly believe that Jesus Himself, who resides in us believers, is right there in the womb speaking life into the child.  I believe the first words a child hears are those of its Creator, and that the first thing it touches is the mighty finger of God Himself!  Just a tiny little hand wrapped around the finger of God Almighty!  Oh yes, I can see that so clearly, can't you?

I have written from Week 6, Day 1 through Week 40, Day 4, ending with You Are Here!  I have pretty much completed the introduction and most of the epilogue, but I want to add a little synopsis at the beginning of each week to state what happens that week in the baby's development or the mother's changing body.  The most important reason I want to add this synopsis; however, is to add pictures of the developing baby in the womb, but I am not sure where to get those pictures with permission.

The enemy does not want babies to be prayed over.  He doesn't even want them born, and tens of millions have died by abortion in this country and around the world.  No matter how the baby came to be, God was behind the creation.  I understand that an unexpected pregnancy may cause fear in young women.  But abortion is taking from your body something that is a part of it.  What some women may think of as a mistake, is not what God had in mind.  He doesn't make mistakes, ever.  Every child is a blessing in His eyes, and it should be that way in our eyes too.  We were all born when we were for "a time such as this."  God declared that we were able to do His work even in the worst of times.  Perhaps because they are the worst of times.  We have wars, and rumors of wars, tornadoes and earthquakes, all those things that are prophesied. 

Who knows who that child would have become!  Could it have been this generation's Billy Graham or Joyce Meyer?  Who are we to silence the mouth of God's child?  At seven weeks, five gestational, the baby has arm and leg buds, a lower jaw, a mouth, and vocal cords!  It has a closed spine, a beating heart, ears, optic pits, and it is developing blood cells!  And possibly, a woman hasn't even skipped a period yet! 

So you see, I need to get permission to use pictures of the baby in the womb (like the kind in doctor's offices) so that women who are contemplating abortion for whatever reason will see that there really is a baby in there.  I didn't have any morning sickness, and no 'symptoms' of pregnancy.  My dear husband had that for me.  So I know that even though a woman knows she is pregnant, she perhaps doesn't feel it or show yet, that it makes it that much easier psychologically, I think, to get an abortion.  This devotional in the hands of some of these women may change their mind.  The Holy Spirit may speak into their hearts as He did into mine to write it.  I would love to see Pregnancy Centers all over the world give this book to unsure mothers.  Whether they accept it or not, they ARE someone's Mother, Mommy, Mama now, long before the baby is even born.  So my first hope is that lives could be saved by someone receiving this devotional.

I believe that women that aren't sure about God will fall in love with Him through this devotional and come to know Him better, perhaps even get saved.  Christian women who don't pray over their baby and read scripture to it will now do that.  I prayed that my own daughter would be healthy with ten fingers and toes, but I didn't pray over her every day. 

Each day has a word to the child.  The child is told each day that they are loved.  Then there is a prayer, expressing love and thanks to God for this wonderful miracle.  Each day's devotion ends with a scripture.  I have heard from women that I have sent it to that the baby reacts when the mom or dad reads the prayers aloud to it.  That is an amazing thing, to me a sign that the child already knows the Lord.  Also, after the child is born, I believe that  when it hears scripture it will find it familiar and comforting.  It does matter what our unborn and born children hear.  If they hear death they will speak it.  If they hear life, they will speak that.  There are devotions for the baby's development, it's eyes, ears, feet, friends, trust, grace, mercy, pancreas, heart, brain, mind, and many more.

Please pray for me, dear Reader, that I am able to get the pictures I need and the endorsements to reach the most pregnant women possible.  It is not for my own gain, but for the glory of God that I want to see success with this book.  How many can come to the Kingdom is known only by our Savior.  If you have comments, please leave them and I thank you for being faithful to my postings.  May God bless you and keep you.

By the way, my granddaughter, who I call Grace (her middle name), easily falls asleep when listening to worship music.  She is comforted by the words that must be so familiar to her.

Thank you for your prayers, may God bless you!  And to Him goes the glory!

"I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I ask of him."  1 Samuel 1:27 NIV

"I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."  Psalm 9:1 NIV

"I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me."  Acts 27:25 NIV

"I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord."  Habakkuk 3:2 NIV

"God made everything, and you can no more understand what he does than you understand how new life begins in the womb of a pregnant woman."  Ecclesiastes 11:5 GNT

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."  Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Thursday, August 1, 2013

NO one!

Dear Jesus,

I read a scripture  today that is resonating in my heart and mind. 

"No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."  Joshua 1:5 NIV

The words no one keep repeating in my heart.  NO ONE.  I understand it doesn't mean that no one will ever come against me again, just that I don't have to feel the giants are going to win.  The Creator of all things is on MY side!  Like David, if all I am armed with is a rock and my God, the rock is inconsequential, an unnecessary weapon.

It wasn't so much the rock that slew Goliath as much as the presence of God in David's heart and life!  His faith in the truth kept him from being afraid.  It was what made him run forward towards the enemy, lest the enemy make any more progress in David's life or his words cut David down.  I too must run immediately towards that enemy, with such haste that I don't have time to even feel fear!  My God is beside me always!

I understand that I need to remember that You promised that you will be here for me like You were with Moses All the Days of My Life!!  Never leaving me or forsaking me.  Jesus, You are my shield, my faith, my hope, my desire and my love.  I will never be without You.  NO ONE can stand up against me ALL the days of my life!  You are with me.  I adore You and I thank You for loving me!  Amen.

Dear Reader, take heart when troubles are smothering you.  The bills, the children, your health, your relationships.  Our God is a strong and mighty God!  His wish is for you to come to Him and believe and trust in Him, and He will always, always, take care of you.  When you feel you just can't make it anymore, that the road is too rough and the day too long, remember, He will bring someone to hold your hands up so that His glory will be seen!  Hallelujah!  Give your praises to God for His love and mercy!

"And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.   So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword."  Exodus 17:11-13

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Which Way Do I Face?

Dear Reader,

Right now at this time in my life, I see myself in God's mighty hand, a safe place where I can curl up , sleep, and rest.  But where is the face I seek?  Do I stand on God's great hand facing away from Him?  Do I look at what is before me unobstructed ready to go forward?  Is that wise?  Look again.  I am facing away from God, even though I am safe in His hand!  How often I tend to move before He does.

If I turn around; however, I can see His face.  Am I facing backward?  To where I have been?  Seeing the past?  No!  I am putting my trust in God!  If my future view is obscured because His face is so large I can't see beyond it, let me delight in knowing He has already been where I will sometime go!  Let me take joy in the beauty of His smile, and trust in His eyes filled with love!  Shouldn't I wait on the Lord to decide when it is best to move forward?  In the meantime, I should just rest. 

Dear Reader, don't run, don't be misled that our adventures awaits where the view is unimpeded and the vista magnificent!  Storms could easily arise out of nowhere and darkness could fall on the earth.  Will we ever want to be in a position to look 'back' and see God?  I don't think so!

He will let us see what we need to, but I want Him to be before me, yet cradling me in the safety of His palm!  I will move by faith, not by sight.  How about you?

"The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you."  Numbers 6:25

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Prayer from Isaiah 58:9-11

Dear Lord,

I call and You answer!  I cry out and You are here.  Help me to remove the yoke from my midst, the pointing finger, and my wicked speech.  Help me to extend my soul to the hungry and help the oppressed.  For only then will my light dawn in the darkness so that my darkness will be as bright as the noonday sun.

Guide me continually, O Lord, and keep my soul fed and watered with Your guidance and love.  Strengthen my body so that I can do the things You wish.  Let my joints be moist and my teeth strong in my gums.  Let me be as a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 


Taken from Isaiah 58:9-11 New King James Version

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring – A Time of Love

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.   It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

“Love never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.  Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.  Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first," doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.”  Message

I’m not sure which version I like better, so I put them both.  This particular scripture is so often used in weddings.  When we get married we are more in love with that person than we ever thought possible.  There is nothing in the world that could change our minds on that beautiful day.  Then it’s off to the honeymoon and then home to start a new life together!  Oh, the plans we have! 
Why is it that reality sets in not too long afterward?  “Why isn’t she wearing makeup anymore?”  “When is he going to take a shower, or shave on the weekend?”  Why are we fighting?

I can’t speak for anyone else but me, dear Reader, but I know that I have gone through a lot of surprises in my marriage.  There were times when it seemed to be just not what I expected.  We had a fight and I was heartbroken and disillusioned and all I wanted to do was get out of there.  Has that ever happened to you?  God spoke to me of this very thing, and I wanted to share it with you.

Do not lose faith, His will is being done.  It may feel like winter, dead and cold, but the preparation for spring is here.  This is the time to bid goodbye to all that is gone, and to throw away the old hurtful things.  Make a choice not to live in the past, only learn from it.  God used that time and gave us trials to give us strength and wisdom.

What we learn about Him, each other, and ourselves is key to surviving.  He takes the bad and makes beauty from ashes.  He refines our hearts and fills us with agape love for each other and forgiveness for each other those in the world do not understand.  He shows us our own failures and faults, not to condemn us, but to open our eyes.  We need to see where and how we have walked off the path.

We need to be reminded that all we have, our lives, our marriage, our possessions, our health—it is all a gift from Him, not to be taken casually, but to be appreciated and cherished.  We are granted wisdom and knowledge from the Holy Spirit so that we can understand that!  Nothing we have is throw-away stuff.  God wants us to see how giving He is, and sometimes, how ungrateful we are.  Not to condemn us, but to remind us where it all came from.

His purpose and His intentions for our marriages are for good and to serve Him in faith, together, holding each one up and moving forward, not to think about ourselves first.  Our purpose is to help others in our life, to reach others in the name of Jesus.

God loved us enough to give us someone to begin with.  He gave us one person that we fell in love with, one person to give us friendship, admiration, respect, and love so intense it can make us cry.  He started us out with one person to reach for Him with.  He knows it would be easier serving Him if we had support.  He sent His disciples out two-by-two, partners to spread the word.

He determined our best partner, the one we are most comfortable with, to spread His word.  The one we fell in love with so very long ago.

Satan closed the door on our transparency and made some of us stop being open and honest about our feelings.  He hardened our hearts and caused great damage to the union God had so carefully created.

But in His wisdom, God allowed the pain and sorrow of what we thought was failure to open our own eyes to see we can overcome failure!  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13), and with God, all things are possible (Matt 19:26)!  Those of us who are suffering with separation (not because of abuse, but because things aren’t what they expected) should not think their marriages are in vain.  They are going through the fire. They are suffering, yes, and may have forgotten what their vows meant to them years before.  They have grown older, but perhaps not wiser.  But all the time they are under God’s watchful gaze.  He has never taken His mighty hand off their marriage.  He has showered them with His mercy, new every day.  He has forgiven them their transgressions.  Why?  Because they asked, in deep despair, from the core of their being, in humility.

They must cast out the spirit of fear that is over them.  They must be bold, put on their armor and stand together against it.  Each themselves and together as one united in Christ!  They must deny the enemy to keep them separated, for apart they cannot do what God has planned for them to do together.  He will chase their enemies and they shall not come near them.

God has granted them favor, and strength in their numbers.  He has heard their prayers and He has blessed them.  He is united with them, and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.

They must fight the demons in hell who wish to keep them apart.  They must share with each other what they learned with eager hearts.  They must see the strength they have together.  They needed to learn apart, separate training camps, each being honed in their best gifts of grace.  But they must come together to do battle.  Each has a piece of the weaponry they will use to defeat Satan’s army.  Each has a testimony that together, with the blood of the Lamb, will overcome, not just for them, but will inspire others to fight for what God gave them, what He blessed them with.

Then truly, this will be a marriage made in heaven!  The time to come together to share what God has said is near.  Be prepared.  It may not be easy at first, but it will get easier as their trust grows together!

Spring is here!  Renewal – life once again!  A time of new growth.

He gave us one special person to journey with – one we know better than anyone else does.  One whose faults and defects are part of the package we accepted on our wedding day.  He made us be comfortable with sharing our hearts, souls, and bodies with just one.  We have shared things with that one that nobody else will ever know.

This is God’s wisdom – two become one to serve His purpose.  He sent them out two-by-two, not alone, not randomly, but as one couple that will bring out the best in each other.  Couples whose differences complement each other. 

He has opened their eyes to many things.  They will be better and stronger together because of it. Faith!  Hope!  Trust!  The three main ingredients, along with Love, that God uses to make a blessed marriage.  Don’t throw out the gift.  You can’t see its beauty (the beauty of the season) while it is still in the gift bag.  He is ready to take it out and show the world!

He does nothing by mistake.  We just need to see His purpose.  In faith, with trust.  Be prepared, there is a great day on the horizon, and the season of renewal is near!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fear and Trust

Psalm 56:3:

"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You."

This is very profound in it's childlike innocence.  It doesn't give any stipulations, it's straight to the point.  Whenever I'm afraid.  Whenever!  All the time when I am scared and not so confident or sure, I will trust in God.  You know, dear Reader, this is actually a very decisive statement.  What is it saying?

I will trust You to take away my fear, to calm my soul.  I will trust that I find peace and assurance that our God is near and He is willing to help me fight.  I trust that God will give me strength to win the battle over dread and worry.

I will find my courage through Jesus.

"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." Psalm 56:3

What does it mean to you?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And the Lord Said...

"I love you!  Good morning!  I bless your day today.  I bring you favor and wisdom.  I address your day today.  I command blessings on your life.

"Be astute and wait for Me.  Do not attempt to do things your own way today.  Understand that I have already placed the special moments of your life in your path for you to walk into.

"As you come to each one, raise your voice and give me praise!  Know that I am God everlasting, and have written your name on My hand!

"Be blessed as you seek Me in the hidden places of your heart and mind today.  I am here, I am everywhere you will be.  Even if you go back in time and remember a day long ago, I too was there.  I know the memory.  I know each one of your memories, the details and the way your heart responded to each one.

"You don't have full recollection of all of them, but they are still part of you today.

"You have always walked in My presence.  You always do, and you always will.

"Do not worry.  You know that worry only wastes time.  Most things people worry about never come to pass anyway.  It takes time away from being in My presence and giving Me praise.  It is just another way Satan has distracted my people.

"Believe Me when I tell you that I will direct your path.  I will lead and guide you.  I will not place you somewhere that will entrap you.  And best of all, I will stay in each place with you."

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Message to My Daughter

Deirdre and Mary 1982
A Message to my daughter....
Dearest Mary,

I want you know that I cherish your hugs today just as much as when you were a toddler.  I still find myself thinking of your kisses and feel your arms around my neck just like when you were small.  I will still gladly take the time to listen to how your day was, and see what you may have learned from it.  I will always take your burden and give you a kiss in return. 

I pray that your day today is filled with sweet moments that you can store in your heart's memory box and take them out again someday when you are old.  I hope there is a smell that reminds you of this day years from now and makes you smile.  I hope that the sun shines on your face and warms your soul.  I hope that the coos of your precious child sound like a melody you will always want to hear.  I hope that you never stop thanking God for gentle touch of your loved ones’ embrace.

God blessed me with you, and although we are farther apart than I almost can stand at times, I just want you to know that you mean more and more to me with every single day that goes by.  You are a mom now too, and my hope is that I raised you with so much love that you will pass that along to your own little girl.  You will love in two directions, to me for what was, and for Makayla for what will be.  We are all three generations tied together with and by the love of God.  He is always by our side, helping us to help each other.  I love you more than you will ever know, my sweet and precious Mary, and I always will.  Have a day of joy, and know that the Most High God shares in it! 
Love, your Mommy  xoxox
“Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” Psalm 127:3 CEV
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”  Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God Saved My Life Today

God saved my life today. 

On most mornings for a good part of the spring and fall when I leave for work the sun is just rising.  As I pull out of my driveway the sky is starting to turn pink and orange and yellow while the sun is still hidden beneath the horizon.  As I drive westward, I sometimes pull over just to see the beauty of the sunrise.  I have gotten out of my car and cried and praised God for the magnificence of a new day.  To me there is nothing better than a Central Texas sunrise anywhere.  I am always amazed at the people that I pass.  They are driving towards the east with the sunrise on their left and they are oblivious to the glory and the indescribable beauty of God's majesty!  It reminds me that Jesus is our bright Morning Star!

The weather has been dreary the last few days where I live, but I still find joy in the fact that it is the day the Lord has made, one that I have never lived before, nor will I ever live again.  There is still beauty in gloomy days if you look for it.  When the rain falls as a constant mist and the fog is beginning to settle on the land, it is as though there is a blanket that has been laid on us to keep us warm.  We are limited in what we can see, so we have to focus on the here and now so to speak, not on what lies ahead.  We must be careful in what we do, making each step count because we don't know what is before us.  Although we can't see the sun, we know it is there, rising in to the sky, once again filling the earth with light and warmth. 

As I said earlier, it has been dreary outside these last few days, and I don't enjoy driving in gloomy weather when I have an extremely high deer population to deal with.  So it was this morning when I kissed my husband goodbye, waved, and shouted "I love you" and as I drove away, I prayed that God would keep all the animals off the road for me.  And I threw in a caveat, to please let all the drivers know what they are doing, as a matter of fact, Lord, please let me pass as few cars as possible.  While driving I began to pray in the Spirit, something I do many mornings.  The thought occurred to me how we can hear God much better when we practice praying in the Spirit as much as possible. 

I pulled out of my neighborhood onto the 60mph county round and was picking up speed when another vehicle came up behind me.  I saw that he was in a hurry so I pulled over to give him free access.  All it cost me was about five seconds of my time and the comfort of knowing that someone wasn't riding my tail lights.  I thought to myself, "maybe I'm supposed to slow down."  Usually when I get a very slow car or truck in front of me, I resign myself to knowing that I will be working a few extra minutes that afternoon because of the time I will be losing in the morning.  I also feel in my heart that maybe God placed that driver in front of me to keep me from some disaster down the road.  Maybe it's a deer running across the road that I will never be aware of, or maybe an accident just up ahead.

About three miles drive up the road, a car was traveling in the other lane towards me.  For some reason the driver just started coming over the line in my direction.  I don't know if he (I don't know if it was a man or woman, so for ease of reading I will refer to the driver as 'he') was texting, talking on the phone, having a heart attack or anything else.  I only knew that I was traveling at 60mph and he was probably going about the same.  It was a small car, white or silver, and that is about all I can tell you.  I hit the brakes and was going to pull to the right side of the road, but he kept coming in that direction, so I steered ahead, still traveling, but with considerably less speed.  My car skidded forward on the wet road, and as the approaching car neared, he must have seen me or realized what was happening and pulled his car over into his own lane.  The miss was close, but just the same, it was a miss, and I was safe in God's hands.  As I watched the driver proceed by way of my rear view mirror, he once again went way over the line and corrected.  Thank God there were no other cars behind me. 

I immediately thanked God for my protecting my life.  I thanked him for the angels that surrounded me today.  I had prayed specifically for safe passage this morning, and God showed Himself faithful.  He saved my life today, and I recognize that, and am thankful for it. 

So, if I hadn't pulled over for the first car, who by the way was now past the point of where any impact would have been, where would I have been on the road?  Was I lucky?  Not at all.  I was blessed!  I had asked God to show me mercy today, and He did.  I went about the next 30 minutes of my drive thanking God and singing worship songs.  When I was about five miles from work, although it was still drizzling, the sky became very yellowy bright, as if the sun was just behind a thin cloud wanting to burst forth.  I had a good feeling.  I knew that my Savior was beside me.  My Bright Morning Star, Jesus, my salvation. 

I pray that your day is as blessed as mine, dear Reader.  Take time, enjoy the beauty of every single day, rain or shine.  Know that the sun will come out again, that the clouds are only temporary.  Don't let the fog steal the beauty of what God has placed in close distance to you.  Focus on what is right at your hand.  And when He saves your life in those little moments, be sure to thank Him!  Have a blessed day!

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”  Revelation 22:16

"You’re my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide. Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you. I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me, you’ll never let me down."  Psalm 31:3-5 Message


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Very Inspiring Blogger Award


Dear Reader,

I have been gone for quite some time, and will be back soon.  Right now I just wanted to share with you this wonderful award given to me by Pat Garcia, an amazing writer and friend who lives in Germany.  She has brought me inspiration so many times I can't begin to tell you.  So I will let you see for yourself in her blogs at  http://www.patgarciaschaack.com and http://garciaandwalkon.me.  Please visit and leave her a comment if you get the chance, I promise you will not be disappointed! 

This new award requires me to post seven things about myself.  Here goes:
  • I miss having big dogs but on the other hand enjoy the freedom to stay out late.
  • I love listening to oldies (50s, 60s, 70s) while I clean.
  • I love ice cream, and many nights that is what I have for dinner.
  • My favorite wine is Moscato, white, pink, or red.
  • I have a new found enthusiasm for working outside this spring.  I haven't felt this way in several years.
  • I would love to have a swimming pool.
  • I want to visit some friends this year that we haven't seen in way too long.
I thank Pat for this award, and I hope you agree that my blogs inspire.  May God bless you today and always.