"Be still and know that I am God." God ~ Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I received the following in an e-mail a while back and found the message so powerful that I hung onto it. I take it out and read it every once in a while, and it always nourishes my heart and spirit. I wanted to pass it on in hopes that it will lift you up as well:

You say: 'It's impossible'
God says: All things are possible 
( Luke 18:27) 

 You say: 'I'm too tired'
God says: I will give you rest
( Matthew 11:28-30) 
You say: 'Nobody really loves me'
God says: I love you
( John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 ) 

 You say: 'I can't go on' 
God says: My grace is sufficient
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15) 
You say: 'I can't figure things out'
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5- 6) 
 You say: 'I can't do it'
God says: You can do all things
( Philippians 4:13)

You say: 'I'm not able'
God says: I am able
(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say:'It's not worth it'
God says: It will be worth it
(Roman 8:28 ) 

 You say: 'I can't forgive myself'
God says: I Forgive you
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1) 

 You say: 'I can't manage'
God says: I will supply all your needs
( Philippians 4:19) 
 You say: 'I'm afraid'
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
( II Timothy 1:7)
 You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
(I Peter 5:7) 

 You say: 'I'm not smart enough'
God says: I give you wisdom
(I Corinthians 1:30) 

 You say: 'I feel all alone'
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you 
(Hebrews 13:5) 

 Consider passing this on. You never know who may be in need. The first sentence is pretty powerful!

Father, God, bless all my friends in whatever it is that you know they may need this day! And may their lives be full of your peace, prosperity and power as they seek to have a closer relationship with you. Amen. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Create Your Own Beatitudes

VERA'S BLOG: Create Your Own Beatitudes: "Last Friday, I attended something called the Spiritual Spa at the Carondelet Center in St. Paul . I was hoping to get some time to just rel..."

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday ~ What It Means For Us

Today is Good Friday, and I believe it to be a solemn day, but also one for having a grateful spirit. So, in contemplating what I could write today, I wanted to say something that would give meaning to the sacrifice that Jesus made so that we could have eternal life. I finally decided that the scripture in John 19:17-30 said it best, and I am reprinting here for you:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Paradise Reopened ~ See How to Get Your Foot In The Door

This is the holiest week of the year, yet we often go about our lives without paying much attention to it until Easter Sunday, when we bring out the dyed eggs, the Easter baskets, and celebrate the Easter Bunny. Wait a minute...the Easter Bunny?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Overwhelmed? Here's Hope!

Are you overwhelmed with the difficulties of life: a financial crisis; a relationship falling apart; the loss of a loved one; or any one of the plethora of tribulations we are bound to encounter at some time in our life. I am currently dealing with one of these issues myself, and while I don’t much believe in the “stick your finger anywhere in the Bible and God will give you an answer” theory, this morning I have renewed faith in the thought that God knows what you need, when you need it. This is why:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Here's the Truth About You

In reading Hebrews 9 from the New Testament, I was reminded of something so fantastic that the words alone can lift us up, bolster our self-esteem, and allow us to soar to greater heights in all that we seek to accomplish. It also happens to be one of God's enduring truths. Reflect on this:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Guaranteed Salvation or Judgment ~ Which Is It?

The Bible teaches us that if we believe in Jesus as the son of God and that he died on the cross for our eternal salvation, we will have eternal life with him in heaven. That is God’s promise to use. It is written:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

This is God’s grace; it’s given to us freely. It is only through our belief in Jesus, that he is the Way, the Truth, and Life that we can redeem his promise. Nothing else we do can get us to heaven.

Okay, we might get that, but then what about this verse:

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Friday ~ Finish Well! See How

 While reading my devotional pamphlet "Portals of Prayer" this morning, I noticed that there were prayers at the back of the booklet for each day of the week. Reading Friday's offering it occurred to me that I had more things to finish today than I had initially planned. This is what it said:

"Forgive me for not completing Your assignments and thus delaying blessings that others would have received."

What struck me about this was

Monday, March 28, 2011

Complacency vs the Great Commission

Photo of Church This is part 3 of a 3-part blog on complacency. In Part 1, we looked at how being complacent keeps us from having a closer walk with Jesus. In Part 2, we found out what happens if we are complacent in our tithing. In Part 3, we will look at reasons for complacency in bringing others to know God.

In the Bible, it is written:  “He (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 15-16 This verse describes what is referred to as the “Great Commission”.

Still, it can be a bit scary to stick out our necks for God, especially if we are unsure of another’s view on the subject. We don’t want to appear as a “Jesus Freak”, being a freak in the worst use of that term. I know what that feels like. When I was a teen,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Complacency in Giving vs. Our Commitment to God

Tithing can really test our commitment to God; it also can hurt us financially ~ and I don’t mean that by giving we will have less money, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

It tests our commitment to God because, per biblical scripture, we know that giving is something he’s outright asked us to do, yet we often find it difficult to part with our time, talent, or money for the benefit of others. But if we think seriously about our faith, many of us follow God and believe in Jesus because of the tremendous love we find in him. God is over-abounding with love, and his wish is that we also are over-abounding with love. Let's see what that means.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Complacency ~ How it Hampers Faith

The heart of the discerning
acquires knowledge
Prov. 18:15
Complacency. The word came up in a church council meeting this week, regarding how easy it is for us to fall into it when it comes to our faith.

Oddly enough, the word traveled through my dreams last night. Over and over again I heard it, coupled with thoughts about finding a way to write about it. So here goes:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Praying for More Miracles ~ Baby Found in Japan Gives Hope

A soldier smiles as he holds a four-month-old baby who survived the Japanese tsunamiPray for Japan! Pray for more miracles like this one. What a beautiful story!
The Lord saves those who are crushed in spirit 
Psalm: 34:17

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sometimes there are no words...sigh...there are no words to describe the sorrow that we feel for the people suffering from horrific tragedies, as we see in Japan today ~ an earthquake big enough to create a potential tsunami in the United States.

We don’t understand why these tragedies happen; why innocent people are lost. We have no capacity to understand. The only words that come to mind are from my bible:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5


“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Renew a Right Spirit

As a Christian, I am thankful for the fragment of verse in Psalm 51:10 ~ “Renew a right spirit within me.”

As life would have it, we can sometimes get a little grumpy. It could be the old cliché that we woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, the sky is too gray for us today, or the dog peed on the carpet (again!). Sometimes we are grumpy because we feel we’ve failed someone, or even ourselves.

That last one is a double whammy. For example (and I know of this from experience, but I’ll try to keep this in the all encompassing “you” perspective):

Monday, March 7, 2011

Holy Spirit Rocks Church to Save Children

I'm still high on it! Yesterday, my church (Servant of Christ) held a special service and outreach for the NSAMBYA EX-STREET CHILDREN ORGANIZATION (NESCO), an organization that is working hard to save children, orphans, from living on the streets of Uganda.

These children, out on their own with no one to care for them, their parents either dead from AIDS, or long gone, eat out of garbage cans, doing anything they can to survive. To some of these children, it is the only life they can remember having. There are 2.9 million orphans in Uganda. So what happened yesterday was a miracle!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How Well-Aquainted Are We

The Christian poet, Evangeline Fedor, in her “For Prayerful Reflection” collection said, “The Lord is acquainted with all our ways.” I read that just as I was considering Psalm 139, in which David speaks of how well God knows us. It’s like a parent who knows and loves her own child ~ and you can imagine how deep and far-reaching that is! ~ but God’s relationship with us goes far beyond that love and knowledge.

And like an earthly parent, God loves us unconditionally, guides us, protects us, and doesn’t give us everything we want ~ because it might not be good for us. When our prayers don’t seem to ignite an immediate answer, it could be

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Using Strengths to Overcome Fear

A lot can be said about overcoming fear, and as I studied my devotion and the bible this morning, I felt that the Lord wanted me to write more on it. Yesterday, I talked about my daughter and her fear of giving a presentation at school. As a follow-up on that subject, I’m happy to inform you that she suddenly, surprisingly, developed a whole new attitude. She decided that she was, “just going to do it and get it over with.” She seemed to have resolved the issue in her mind and become confident enough to move forward. I had prayed that God would talk with her, because she didn’t appear to be listening to my advice. Apparently, he did just that!

Still, being the mother that I am, I reminded her that she already had a leg up on presenting because of other skills she possessed and performances she has done—training and competing in gymnastics with many, many people watching, or at a piano recital. It seemed to further boost her confidence.

Isn’t it the same for us adults? We have experiences, strengths, and talents that God has already given us; attributes that we know about ourselves to be true. In facing our fears or any uncertain circumstance we can rely on those things and move forward, even going head on into the uncertainty (the abyss?), trusting ourselves for that which we can and relying on God for the rest. (See yesterday's blog, "God Takes Hold", for bible verses of God’s promises for overcoming fear.)

If only we ask God for the wisdom and courage to pursue that which scares us, he will provide it. But we must ask for it. One small challenge may be the stepping-stone to a greater one, but with each experience, we become more prepared to handle the next. Thank God for experiences, good or bad, and know that they are the gist of building our character and spiritual maturity.

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, I know you are here for me, to love me and guide me, unceasingly. Forgive me in my humanness that sometimes keeps me from believing whole-heartedly in the power of your love and ability to provide for me in all things. Help me to seek and find comfort in your Word, to trust in you, and to use the strengths you’ve already positioned in my life to the best of my ability, relying on you for the rest. Thank you, Lord, for being with me as I face all uncertainty, and like a child, I will move forward in that confidence. Amen.

May God bless your day!

Monday, February 28, 2011

God Takes Hold

My daughter (12) must give a presentation at school tomorrow and is worried about getting up in front of her class and speaking. I understand the common fear, and I've been trying to give her some words of advice and encouragement. To which she has no intention of listening.

It worked when she was younger and had a piano recital that she was quite nervous about. At that time, I'd shared with her two bible verse that I always keep close by:
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Isaiah 41:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13
I told her to imagine God holding her right hand and walking her to the piano bench, and then sitting right there with her as she played her recital piece. I told her that God would help her through it. She said, "Okay, Mommy." (Not the response I got this morning.)

I love these two verses, and they have given me courage and confidence many times as I make my way through this life. I've said to God: you promised to help me through and I'm depending on your word. I've visualized God holding my right hand and think of the power in that gesture. (In the Old Testament, the left hand wasn't all that useful so they always referred to the "good" hand, the right hand. Which is a little disconcerting because I'm left-handed. Anyway...)

I so want to help my daughter be more confident with her presentation tomorrow, but she's at an age where she doesn't believe everything I tell her anymore. I guess she doesn't want to hear, If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 right now either. Do you think?

You know how it is with mothers and daughters, and I'm sure that this is just one of those things. If someone else, say her confirmation guide, would share these verses with her, she'd have a nice chat about it and decide to hold onto those thoughts. But, as I see it, my best option is to hand her fears over to God, and ask him to talk to her. That, and help her practice the presentation tonight. If she'll allow me. Probably not.

But if you are ever feeling fearful or anxious, go to your bible and read these verse, believe in them, memorize them, and just see if you don't imagine God giving your right hand a good, confident squeeze.

May God bless your day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Creative God

God's creative spirit is all around us, although we often might take it for granted, or not consider it at all. And really, if we spend time pondering the magnitude of his creative expression, it's difficult to grasp! Thankfully, God does not require us to grasp it, only to thank him for the beauty of our earth, as well as for the way all the elements work together~the sky, earth, moon, sun, mountains, streams, seas, tree, flowers, animals...we could go on and on. It's incredible to think about, isn't it?

Creation is beyond our understanding, so maybe we should just take a fresh look at our surroundings and marvel in the earth's beauty, the sky's mysteries, creatures big and small, every child born, the person next to us, the rivers that flow, the leaves that fall on time, the puppy asleep at my foot, and for the creativity, talents, or wisdom he has gifted us with.

Read Psalm 104 for an eloquent, powerful, reminder of God's creativity and care for this world. The author is anonymous, but he/she is clearly in awe of God and is heartfully praising him for all that he's done.

I'd personally like to thank him for not leaving any of it up to me. (You may share this thought as well.)

May God bless your day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When the Holy Spirit Speaks

Hey everyone,
I've often felt confused about what I'm supposed to be doing vs. what I am doing. Ever felt that way?

The confusion stemmed from not trusting God to do the guiding that I've asked him to do. It's as if my asking fell into a deep hole or on "deaf ears". But the empty hole and deaf ears were mine, not God's. He is listening.
As it says in Psalm 4:3 ~ the Lord has set apart the godly for himself, the Lord will hear when I call him."
God uses people to answer our prayers, but he also uses the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and minds. The Holy Spirit does not speak to us on his own, but relays only what he hears from God (see John 16:13). He guides us in our knowledge of Christ and directs our steps in the purpose of our lives.

I'm coming to find that this is not meant to be difficult, and we needn't worry about it. If our minds are open to God's guidance, we will be guided in all ways. Don't worry about thoughts or ambitions, they are put there for a reason. Constantly walk in God's light, and see what happens with the desires of your heart.

This isn't meant to say that if we ask God for guidance in becoming rich and famous, he's going to automatically answer that request. :-) But he will guide your steps, place the right thoughts and people in your life, to get where you need to go as his child. And as his child, he wants to protect you from harm and keep you from going astray in your walk with him. He's got your back, and your best interest at heart.

I will leave you with a verse that has a lot of power; it lets us know that God is listening. We need not worry over our decisions because God has a plan for you; what you are doing right now, if you are including God in your plan, is where you are supposed to be.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29: 11-13
May God richly bless your day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Blog ~ Fruit on the Branch

Hello everyone,
I've been thinking about writing this blog for some time ~ that is to say that I'm sure God put it in my heart to use my gift of writing for Him, and I'm finally doing it!

I've read the bible (beginning to end took me about 1.5 years) and I've been studying and learning the word for quite some time. And now I want to share it with you!

The reasons for doing this are many, but the main reason stems from what is probably my favorite verse in the bible:
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit ~ fruit that will last.  John 15:16 
In the first part of the verse, I love that God chose me to be "his". I'd never felt completely "chosen" before and the thought of it, of someone wanting me, loving me, exactly as I am, is the coolest thing ever! I know that my words sound rather childlike in my description of how I feel, but it seems that my relationship with God has finally become one where I recognize him as my father. That was a long time coming and we will discuss that in another post.

It took me a long while to recognize the second part of the verse, being the self-centered child of God that we can be, but in my maturing, it smacked me in the head like a wet tomato. He wants me to bear fruit!  That requires doing something. It requires being in service to God, which could mean a lot of different things: using our gifts, telling others about Jesus, helping others, reaching out to the orphans and widows, etc. Doing any of those things in the name of Jesus bears fruit on the tree of life.

So, I hope with the good grace of God to do just that. Thus, the title of this blog is "Fruit on the Branch". And I want to hear from you: your thoughts, questions, concerns, the fruits you are you bearing.

Let's connect today; I'm looking forward to hearing from you! May God bless your day!