Monday, December 24, 2018

O Holy Night

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

I recently 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 over you!!

"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 hatred and sin, 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 2011.  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!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

This is the Day!

Today is the day You have made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it! I begin my day in praise to You, Lord. You are Almighty, You are Sovereign, and You are Beautiful, Healer, Teacher, and Deliverer.

You took me from the pits of Hell and brought me to Your place at the right hand of God. You smiled upon my life and I was drawn with a strong desire to have You in my life. I needed You like a baby needs its mother. I could no longer live without You in my heart. My time of living the world’s way was no longer fulfilling, I heard death knocking at the door. My Spirit did not want such an ugly thing, I knew there was something, Someone, better.

And You didn’t turn Your back on me when I reached out to You. I was so ugly and filthy and full of disease and death. And You took hold of my hand and brought me to a place on a hillside and showed me a cross. You spoke only two words, “For You.”

In my shame and embarrassment I searched Your eyes for deception, “who would die for me? Surely not You, I don't even know You!” All I saw in Your eyes was forgiveness and a deep and powerful love. There was no deception, no hidden motive, only love, pure and holy. I could tell that although I didn’t know You, You knew me.

I fell on my face in the dirt where Your blood still stained the earth, and I wept, so undeserving was I to be in this place. I found that I was already changing; my arrogance was being replaced with humility, my fear with trust, my anger and hatred with love.

My hard and stony heart was softening, and as I cried tears of humility, I felt the burden of death released from me. My tears mixed with Your blood as I surrendered my life to You in exchange for eternity. We became one. I knew in my heart that death no longer owned me. I knew I would spend eternity loving You, with a joy in my heart I was unprepared for. I never knew this feeling of joy, the lightness of my soul, the peace of being safe.

You took my hand and helped me up. You brushed away my tears and told me I was Yours. You smiled and kissed my face and held me in Your loving arms. All the angels in Heaven smiled and shouted ‘Hallelujah’ because I had given my life to You.

I knew this is where I belonged, and I became light, just as You. I was no longer filthy or filled with rage, I became whole as I walked hand-in-hand with You, Jesus. I am never alone, and only You could make me feel this way.

Oh yes, the dark world still wants to bring me back,  Its grip on my life has been severed forever, yet the ruler of this dark world can’t stop his relentless pursuit to at least trip me up. When I find myself out walking alone, when I have not walked with You, I feel the darkness grabbing hold of my ankles, trying once again to steal my new found faith and joy.

But at those times that I am lost, You hold me even tighter, and reach down in love when I fall and scrape my knees, and You remind me that I must trust You, and believe You. I must obey You, because You know the right path, the only one to Heaven’s Gate. I can easily get distracted by the false beauty of the world, and by seeing my own reflection in the lake. I must remember that only You are the Truth, the Light, and the Way.

So I surrender my life to You, Jesus, my Savior. I confess that You are God and came to earth and was born to a virgin. I believe You suffered and died for my sins. I believe that You rose and beat death once and for all. I believe that You are my Lord and Savior, and more than anything that You died that I might live, so great is Your love for me! I thank You, Lord Jesus, and I gladly throw away the old and put on the new! My life is Yours, You cleansed and saved me. I believe I am a child of God, no longer lost or unloved. I am a sinner, and You are my Savior. I love You, Jesus!

So let me enjoy this beautiful day that You have made for me. Let me bask in the warmth of Your ever-present love! I praise You! I worship You! You are GOD!!! And You love me!

dft ©

Monday, October 22, 2018

We Saw Him! We Touched Him!

"We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw Him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life." 1 John 1:1 NLT

This morning I find the beauty and wonder in this verse. What a thing to behold for new believers so long ago. These men saw, heard, and touched the Creator of all things known and unknown by man. They dwelt together, laughed, cried, maybe played some kind of game, worked, and prayed in each other's company.

I wish I could see the apostle's faces when it really hit them who Jesus was. Things that didn't make sense before must have started falling into place. One 'ah-ha' moment after another! I wonder if they regretted not acting differently while in His holy presence. If so, I'm sure the regrets were short lived once He returned. But then, seeing, hearing, and touching Him again must have filled their sad hearts tremendously!

What indescribable joy! Enough to jump out of the boat and swim to shore as fast as possible. No time to turn the boat and pull up the nets, breakfast with the King was waiting! Their hearts must have been beating like drums in excitement!

And there must have been a twinkle in the apostle's eyes as his focus went back to the days of fellowship, that faraway look one has when reminiscing. The listeners must have been on the edge of their seat waiting for more. Oh to have seen their faces and heard their questions! What a glorious thought!

Dear Reader, when you pick up the Holy Bible, try reading it with the ancient's perspective. Become part of the story. Count yourself in with those excited and enthralled by what the apostles had to say. The story is the same today. Let it come alive in you!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

My First Love

I don't remember anything at all about those nine months so many decades ago. Those 270 days were the most influential and important time of my life, and yet I have no recall of even one minute. I don't remember all the knowledge and wisdom you imparted to me. I don't remember your words of love, or the touch of your hands that brought me so much joy and life. I don't remember your eyes, their color, or the sound of your voice. I don't remember even one word you ever spoke to me then. I have forgotten the sound of your laughter. I don't remember holding your finger, or smiling at you as you smiled at me. I don't even remember your sweet embrace.

I've read the words you wrote me over and over again. You called me yours. You said I was your beloved, that I was your bride, and that I could do anything if I would just rely on your help. You told me my history and my future and all about that magnificent mansion where I would someday live. You cautioned me about dangers in my way, but left me instructions about how to fight all my battles.

You said you had a great and lovely plan for me and explained my entire life and how I could get the most out of it. You taught me about life and love and compassion and grace. You shared your life story and your life with me.

I've read the words you wrote many times, and even though I don't remember those nine months back in the day, those words help me to feel close to you. So I keep returning to them and reading them while holding them close to my heart. They have made me laugh, and cry and smile. They have made me yearn for you.

I know I can't go back to that time when we were together 24/7 when you knit me together in my mother's womb, but I am living the journey of love you have me on. I love how I know you are here. I love that you still smile in delight and sing and dance at my spiritual growth. I love that you still look at me with love in your eyes and that you still hurt when I am wronged. I love that you are jealous for me. I love that you haven't given up on me, but instead keep encouraging me. I love how you pick up the pieces of my broken life and gather each one of my tears. I love that I will be with you always, even until the end of the age.

You were my first love then, and you still are. I love you with every cell of my being. My breath is from and for you. I cherish you. I adore you. I am yours forever!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ending of New Book?

Dear Reader, although I am nowhere near finishing up this book on trusting and hoping in the Lord, as a matter of fact, I've barely just begun; some words I wrote three and a half years ago seem to be a good last paragraph to sum things up. I will be posting tidbits here and there as time goes on. I hope that you like what I have posted thus far, and your curiosity is  being nudged a little. I would love to hear what your thoughts are. Please comment below by clicking on the Comment button. To leave your name, just click and in the line that says URL/Name, just put it there. You can follow me by clicking on the above right under Follow by Email, and you will automatically receive an email each time I post. Thank you for being here, it comforts me, and reassures me that I am doing what God wills me to do. Have a very blessed day!

Meanwhile, the end:

Let my heartstrings play a beautiful melody and let the sound ascend into the heavens and nestle themselves at my Father’s ear! Let His smile, so radiant and glorious shine throughout the universe and touch me on my face! I can't wait until we meet in the world of tomorrow, where eternity is the keeper of time. Let the angels sing and the saints rejoice! I am one with the King of kings!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New Book Tease

Dear Reader,
It has been quite some time since I have last blogged. I have been busy, however, writing several things that I hope will eventually become books. I will try to keep you up to date with my writing, which I know is a big change from my normal blogs. I intend to continue with my blogs as they were as well. I will do my best to keep it up better than I have been.
In the meantime, I am writing a book on trust and hope, two things that the enemy loves to steal from us. He fills our minds with thoughts that are totally out of line with what God says about us. This book will be filled with stories of how God showed me His faithfulness and His enormous love for me. When He does these things that go completely against the norm of our human nature, when there is no other explanation except for "it's a God thing," then we take on a stronger confidence in knowing that He is beside us and has our best interests at heart, whether it's to our liking or not.
The following is just a 'tease' as to what the book will be about. I don't even have a name, and that's not really important. I write as He directs me, always collaborating with the Author and Finisher. I pray that what He reveals to both you and I through these pages will fill our hearts and spirits with inspiration and hope.  God bless you, dear Reader. May your day be filled with joy and wonderment. The kind you can only know through your belief in Him. Please comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!
And now, the 'tease'.

You’re Going to Be Okay

 I, like you, have had many life-altering moments. Certain things happened in my life that caused my rebellion, my torment, my independence, my brokenness, and finally my redemption. I didn’t know it at the time, but each moment, each cold lonely moment, each persecuted and grievous time, each occurrence where I begged for death to steal me away, had a purpose. It was all part of God’s grand plan.

Most times in my life I stayed stuck in the moment. From not being included when choosing sides for field hockey during gym or not being invited to someone’s birthday party would make me feel left out and troubled. Even at a young age, to not be noticed at all or to be noticed for the wrong reasons, like being the tallest girl in the class with frizzy hair could devastate me, and usually did. How could I just shrug it off and go on as if nothing happened? I stayed in the moment, sometimes for weeks on end, sad and lonely, feeling like nobody liked me. To be accepted is all we ever really want, is it not?
God accepts us. He knows us and He loves us. He took us from the pathway to hell and gave us a chance to be with Him in Heaven forever more. He chose us! 1 Peter 2:9 NLT says, "But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light."
And  2 Timothy 1:9 NLT says, "For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus." 
This book is about some of those moments meant to kill me, meant for evil gain. Oh, but God!

The Dark Can’t Stand the Light

The light is much more powerful than the dark. The dark has no choice but to flee when light is near. Darkness is defined as the absence of light. And don’t you know, it doesn’t stand a chance to even a match in the desert night.

My husband and I live in a subdivision in the country where the houses are spread at least 100’ apart. On some lots the houses are not at all visible because of the woods around them. There are houses on my own street I have never seen in the 20 years we’ve lived here. We used to walk our dog at 5:30 every morning. In the winter months it was very dark out so we had our flashlight. But even when there was no moon or streetlights and everyone was sleeping, we could see the tiny light of a neighbor’s doorbell from over 300 yards away without any other source of light available.

Have you noticed how most people react when the electricity goes out at night, maybe even you? Some are upset because the TV or computer just died. Some had dinner on the stove or in the microwave. But usually the next feeling is a little bit of a panic. “Where is the flashlight?” “Where is my phone?” “I can’t see a thing.” It’s like we are at the mercy of the darkness. Have you ever noticed that while you’re trying to locate a candle in a closet and you are reaching out your hands in front of you seeking the wall to use as a guide, if you have a dog he will be standing somewhere in front of you, or lying down in your path, not a care in the world? So you trip over him and go flying cursing the dark? There is something about the dark that we seem to be naturally repelled by. We don’t find it nearly as safe as the day. Even the sounds of darkness can be ominous.

When you are outside in the dead of night and have no light, sounds you don’t notice during the daylight can make you uneasy. There is a strange rustling, or a nocturnal animal scurries by. The sound of a Little Owl or a fox or bat can scare the living daylights (no pun intended) out of anyone. The badger’s sound is quite disturbing. The things that lurk in the dark of day are oftentimes predators. If you are stuck somewhere near woods it’s very hard to venture out.

Then there are those absolutely beautiful nights that I love so much. The ones when the moon is so bright that everything is lit up with a peaceful silvery glow. Flashlights are not needed on those nights because everything is visible to the naked eye, just different. It’s not scary like when a storm is going to come and everything gets dark all of a sudden, that’s a scary kind of darkness to me. The thoughts of how bad the storm may be run through my mind. The skies at that time are filled with dark threatening clouds, pulsing like a sick heart when the lightning within them flashes. But the nights of a bright moon, not always a full moon, are so peaceful, and so beautiful to me. It's like being between two worlds somehow.

At the very beginning of the Bible, in Genesis 1:3-4, God said, “”Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.” Verses 14-18 go on to say, “Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, and to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.”

It was good. God placed His own stamp of approval on it. ©

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do You Need an Arborist in Your Life?

It looked more like a dead tree than a live one. Most of its leaves had fallen away from the trunk that could no longer support their life. Their former brilliance a glorious green, vibrant and alive, had withered and died. The leaves had turned a sickly shade of yellow and then the edges curled into themselves as brown took over, cutting off all the life they once had. It seemed to have happened suddenly, but it had actually taken quite a bit of time. Not so fast that anyone would notice, until of course it seemed to be too late to heal it.
They fell to the ground, one by one. They didn’t glide down caught on a breeze, they fell like stones. And soon enough the branches began to be exposed. And before long it was no longer a safe haven for birds from predators or the elements, so they left. The tree stood almost bare. The branches that once might have held a rope swing had suffered one too many storms. It was obvious that there was little life left. Only a few branches still had greenery on them. It was time to cut it down, cut it up, and use it for firewood.

The arborist came and immediately saw what was wrong. The tree had never been pruned in any way whatsoever. There were suckers where branches had been that broke off in storms, leaving gaping tears in the bark. Disease ensued, causing death to its limbs. Insects infected the rotting wood. The arborist began the process of removing the dead branches while softly humming a sweet melody. He immediately disinfected the saw blades after each cut so disease could not spread. He took care to apply black paint to the open wound at the collar cutting off any entrance for moisture and insects to penetrate.

He worked carefully for hours, occasionally stepping back at a distance to admire his work the way an artist does. When he was done it seemed that 80% of the tree was gone. It was shocking how pitiful it looked. How could the cost of this versus just cutting it down be justified? Why did he bother to prune more than he left, and how was that ugly thing going to live? Why, he even cut back the branches that had leaves on them!

Fall gave way to winter, and once again the spring warmed things up and new life began its arrival over the land. As the days grew warmer and the rains soaked the earth, new growth appeared on the tree. Branches grew and leaves began to bud. Slowly but surely new life was prevalent on the formerly dying tree. Birds returned and nested and squirrels once again played tag in its branches. All because the dead wood was cut off and the good branches were pruned.

We are like that tree. It’s painful to let things go sometimes, even things that are hurting us, but our God is the Master Arborist. He sees the beauty in us even when our lives are not so handsome. He sees fullness when we feel barren, He sees hope when we see despair, and He sees success where we see failure. He sculpts each one of us, and if we allow, gets rid of all that is destructive to us. And what’s still good inside us He multiplies and makes even better. So when it seems all is lost and impossible to save, please remember that He is working for you, not against you. He will heal all the hurt. Do you need an arborist in your life?

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, so that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2


Monday, May 21, 2018

Ladies, We Are All Princesses!

As I get older I find such pleasure in letting little girls know how special they are, and that they are princesses in the King’s family.

To see their young faces light up because I am telling them that they are the most beautiful and delicate of God’s creations is worth all the pain of not having heard that myself at their age. 

Each one of us needs to know how important we are to this world and to our Father.  So if your childhood went by with no accolades or if you were wrongly told you were nothing, don’t let one more day go by without telling another little girl those things you yourself longed to hear. 

The joy and peace that will fill your own heart will astound you, and the smile on their precious young faces will heal your scarred heart.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”  Proverbs 31:26 NKJV


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Endure in Faith!

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT

My Dear One,

There are times when we feel like all that we are doing amounts to nothing. It seems like all our work is in vain. And it’s a good thing we’re doing and it’s hard to understand why we don’t seem to see positive results.

You must not lose hope and abandon your task! This is the time to put your trust in God, because He has always brought you through. He is watching as you do these things that bring Him glory. So just keep perfecting what you are doing, do it for the right reasons, and know in your heart that the day will come when He rewards you. Remain in His will and do it for Him, not for yourself.

Keep the faith, and remember that you must continue to act in faith while you wait, otherwise all your work is for nothing. As it says in James 2:17, “Faith without action is dead.”

So don’t stop doing God’s will, and don’t expect to see the reward immediately. Although sometimes God does that, most times He wants us to learn to trust Him through patience. So continue on, my dear one, the reward is promised!

Father, I will continue to serve You in faith and know that You are perfecting the works of my hands. Thank You for all You will give me. Amen.

Monday, February 19, 2018

NO One

Dear Reader,

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 makes any more progress in David's life or his words cut David down. We too must run immediately towards that enemy, with such haste that we don't have time to even feel fear! Our God is beside us always!
We must understand and remember that He promised that He will be here for us like He was with Moses all the days of our lives!! Never leaving us or forsaking us. Jesus, You are our shield, our faith, our hope, our desire and our love. We will never be without You. NO ONE can stand up against us ALL the days of our lives! You are with us. We adore You, and we thank You for loving us! 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 that 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