The Truth

Who will Tell pic

She knew the truth as soon as she saw His face.

“Oh, God!  It’s true isn’t it?”

“Yes,” he said simply.

“This can’t be happening.  Why is this happening?”

He quietly shook his head.

“God, this isn’t fair.  I’ve always tried to live right.  How can this be happening to me?”

His kind eyes looked straight at her.

“Is there any hope at all?  Isn’t there something I can do?”

“It’s too late,” he said.

Her numbness began to be replaced with pain.

“I never had a chance to come to you.  And now you say it’s too late?”

“I reached out to you.  Many times.  I could have given you life.”

Her mind flooded with memories.  She saw the chances she had passed by.  The people she refused to listen to.

“But I’m here now.  Can’t I be healed now?”

“It’s too late.”

She felt like she was sinking.

“God!  Why did this happen?  I didn’t do anything to deserve this!”

“You were born with this condition.  I could have given you a new life.”

“I always felt something was not right.  But I had too much to do.  I wanted to live life to its fullest.  Oh, God!”

He looked sad.

“Don’t you see?”  She felt the pain increasing, as she sank lower and lower.

“Wasn’t life meant to be lived?  Wasn’t it?” She was screaming now.  But she wasn’t sure if it was from pain or fear.

“I came to give you life more abundantly, but you refused.”

She began to shudder with another thought.

“Oh, God.  You said I was born with this.  My family too?”

“Yes. Everyone is,” he sadly said.

“I need to tell my family.  If they come to you, can you help them?  I need to tell them!”

“It’s too late for you to tell them.”

“Don’t you want them to know the truth?”

“I’ve reached out to them, too.  Just as I did to you.”

“But they need me to tell them.  They need to know I was wrong!  They will listen to me!  I know they will!  Please give me another chance!”

“I’ve told them.  And my children can tell them.”

“Oh, God! This can’t be happening!”

She felt the pain intensifying even more.  It was growing darker.

“Please do something!”

“I did.  I gave my all.  I gave my life for yours.  For everyone.  But you refused Me.”

It was getting harder to breath as pain ripped through her body.

“But you know me!  I prayed to you!”

He looked at the book in his hand.  “I never knew you.”

“Sure you do!  I asked you for many things and you always gave them to me.”

“I gave you many things but you never accepted Me.”

The pain was becoming unbearable.

“God!  God!!”

“Depart from me.  I never knew you.”

She cried out again in anguish.

“God!  Help me!  My family!  Help them!”

“Depart from me.  I never knew you.”

The darkness consumed her while the pain grew beyond anything she could ever have imagined.


As the family gathered around her bed, they saw her once lifeless hand reach up.  They thought she was trying to speak.

“Look, she moved,” her daughter said.

They all came closer.  Her hand dropped back to the bed.  She took her last breath.

They were silent for just a moment.

“She passed peacefully,” one said.

“At least she’s not hurting anymore,” said another.

A chaplain came to the door.  “Can I help in any way?”

“She just passed,” said her son.

“Was she of a specific faith?” he asked.

They all began to shake their heads.  “She was a free spirit.  She’s probably soaring with the eagles right now.”  They tried to smile.

“I would love to talk with you about that.  Can I share with you how Christ can give us an eternal life with Him?”

“No, thank you.  We’re fine.”  They turned from him back to the lifeless body on the bed.

“If I can help with anything, please call me.  I would love to talk with all of you.”  The chaplain turned and walked away.


“Call him back!  Ask him! Ask him about God!”

But her cries from hell never reached their ears.

“Please, someone tell them!  God, please!  Make them hear!”



This is, of course, a fictional story.  But the truth is that God is real.  And He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  He was crucified, taking on the sins of every single person.  He died and was buried.  But He rose again and now lives to give us new life. 

I you want to learn more about how to be a Christian, please read The Plan of Salvation on this site.

And if you are a Christian, her family needs to hear the truth.  Will you tell them?


Dilly, Dilly

Trading crown



I’ve never been a big fan of commercials.  They have a way of interrupting a good show just when something exciting is about to happen.  Of course, it’s getting harder and harder to find really good, decent shows to watch anymore.  But that’s another subject.

I was recently watching TV when a commercial came on advertising an alcoholic beverage.  I think we can all agree that, although I do not promote those commercials, they are often cleverly made.  In fact, depending on which website you look at, there are two alcoholic beverage companies that have produced commercials which are listed as the number one and the number five most expensive commercials of all time.  On the polls that do not list them as #1 and #5, they are still within the top 10.

But when this one particular commercial aired, I was absolutely stunned at the truth in the commercial.  A truth that needs to preached in every pulpit and that every believer in Christ needs to share.

It begins with a medieval king, sitting on his throne with his queen by his side.  In front of him is a wizard, surrounded by a crowd of witnesses.  He is pointing at various things and turning those things into a stack of the king’s preferred beverage.  At one point the wizard informs the king that he is capable of performing other feats.  Such as putting a curse on his enemies. Or granting the king immortal life.  The king contemplates for just a second before telling the wizard to proceed with turning the designated item into his flesh’s desire.

As I said, the moment I saw that, I was filled with awe at the truth.  And deeply saddened.  How many people are trading in the opportunity to spend an eternity with a loving, forgiving God for the temporary pleasures of this earth?  Talk about great discussion starter!

I looked up the phrase that is used in that commercial.  “Dilly” means, “something or someone regarded as remarkable, unusual, etc.” also says the origin of the word is sometime between 1930-1935., and was probably the shortening of the words delicious or delightful.

Let me introduce you to SOMEONE who is truly delightful and delicious.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)

Many people think that having a relationship with Christ means giving up everything that may bring them fun, joy and happiness in this life.  But once we give ourselves fully to the Lord, we can experience more joy than we can ever imagine.  And not only does it bring us happiness, but we are fully blessed.  Not so with the unbeliever.  Read the following passages that contrast the blessings of the believer from the fate of those who refuse to have a relationship with Christ.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither;  And whatever he does shall prosper.  The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”     Psalm 1:1-6 (NKJV)

“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:1-4  (NKJV)

 And not only can we find delight in the Lord, but He can be delighted with us!

 “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their ways are His delight.”  Proverbs 11:20 (NKJV)

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,  and He delights in his way.  24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;  For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24 (NKJV)

 Going back to the commercial, what did the wizard say he could offer?  He said he could curse the king’s enemies and give him immortal life.  Our delightful Savior offers that and more.  And He is far more powerful and greater than a professing wizard.  Not only are we blessed as mentioned above, but when we accept Christ as our Savior, we have the assurance of spending an eternity with Him.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.   18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”    John 3:16-18 (NKJV)

 And Jesus, Himself, says this in a prayer He was praying to His Father:

 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  John 17:3 (NKJV)

 So if you think that choosing the temporary desires of this life is worth whatever fulfillment it may bring in the moment, let me go a little further.  What if I told you that not only will we spend an eternity with God, we will rule and reign with Him?

“And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  Revelation 1:5-6  (NKJV)

“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.  12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.  If we deny Him, He also will deny us.”    2 Timothy 2:11-12 (NKJV)

 And as for our greatest enemy:

“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  Revelation 20:10 (NKJV)

Everyone may say that it’s a wonderful that the devil is going to get what’s coming for him.  But the sad thing is, that the devil is not the only one to be thrown into that lake of fire.

“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:15 (NKJV)

 A lot of prayers are lifted up to God asking for this and asking for that.  I think even unbelievers pray for good things to happen for themselves.  But imagine Christ standing before you after you have asked Him for this blessing and for that desire.  What if He tells you that He can give you more?  What if He tells you that He can defeat your enemies and give you eternal life?  How would you reply to that?

Dilly, dilly indeed.

The Wrong Side of The Rope


My husband and I, along with three other couples from church participated in a Toy Run.  We rode motorcycles to Asheboro where the Toy Run was originating.  Everyone was asked to bring a toy or make a monetary donation to the Baptist Children’s Homes.  Once we got to Asheboro, we found ourselves in a group of over 2100 bikes.  All the toys were loaded into a tractor trailer truck.  At exactly 1:30, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus started out on their bikes and everyone fell in behind them heading to Thomasville.

It was amazing seeing the number of people involved.  After the first bike left, it took our group 15 minutes before we could pull out and there were many bikes still waiting behind us.  Along the way there were people parked at different locations watching.  It was as if we were in a parade as people waved and took pictures.

When we got to the Children’s Homes, we went to the gym.  The bleachers were filled and people stood all around.  The gifts were separated into small piles on the gym floor with the name of a child beside each pile.  When the children came in they found their name beside their pile and sat down.  I’m sure they were told ahead of time to wait until they were told to open their presents because they all sat down quietly.  I did see one little boy eagerly peeking into bags as he slowly scooted around the wrapped gifts.

Someone told the Christmas story and people involved with the Children’s Homes were introduced.  Then finally, what the kids were waiting for, finally happened.  They were told they could open their presents.

As I watched the children, I was filled with so many different emotions.  It’s always exciting seeing children opening their presents.  One little girl was thrilled to get a pink bathrobe.  She held it up as high as her little arms could reach, struggling to determine the top from the bottom.  One of the workers came over and helped her put it on.  The little girl kept it on as she then turned back to open up some more gifts.

The children ranged in ages from 15 month old twins, to teenagers.  Even though it was fun to see the kids having fun, it also broke my heart.  The area of the gym floor the kids were in was roped off.  We could watch from behind the rope line but I wanted so badly to go hug on those kids.

Of course we weren’t told the situation the kids were in.  We didn’t know how long the kids had been there.  We didn’t know if their family had any contact with them.  So many questions were running through my mind.  Having my own children and grandchildren, I can’t imagine not having them around me at Christmas.  To see my grandchildren laugh and squeal with delight as they excitedly open their presents brings such joy.  And being able to hold them in my lap means the world to me.

But as I stood there on the wrong side of the rope, I just wanted to cry.

Santa ride

The crowd was thinning out all around us as the children finished opening their gifts.  Our group went back to our bikes to prepare to leave.  We had a great day.  We had our picture made with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  We had pictures with a lot of bikes in the background.  It was a really nice day for a motorcycle ride.  When we left the Children’s Homes we went to eat supper and then headed back home and to Sunday night service at our church.  We had a lot of laughs and had joked around.

But I couldn’t forget the kids. And I keep thinking about that rope.  It wasn’t so much the physical barrier as the emotional barrier I was feeling.  My heart went out to them, but all I had been able to do was provide a toy.  No opportunity to hold them, love them, protect and care for them.

There was once another child that received gifts from strangers who travelled a long way.  That child was around two years old by the time the caravan of wise men found their way to Jesus.  They presented their gifts and worshipped at His feet.  Then they returned to their own country.

We aren’t told if those wise men were aware of the boundary that was between the Christ Child and everyone else.  Angels had sung about Him.  Shepherds had ran to the stable to worship Him.  The wise men travelled many miles to seek Him out.  But did anyone really understand that there was so much more to the Child born that Christmas morning?

Then I think of the procession, a parade of types.  Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  People were waving and cheering.  I imagine that in today’s time, people would have their cell phones out taking pictures.

But there was still a barrier.

There was another procession.  This time people were shouting and jeering as they watched Jesus stumbling under the weight of a cross He was trying to carry up Mt. Calvary.   Then on that cross, Jesus died.

But the best part is that He rose again!  He broke the chains of sin, death, hell and the grave!  And now He is seated at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.  And He is looking down from heaven and sees every person.  He sees everything we do.

He sees us unwrapping treasures the world offers.  He sees us struggling to decide by ourselves the right side from the wrong side of things.  He sees us roping Him off, keeping Him at an arm distance away, while He longs to love on us, hold us, care for us and protect us from an eternal separation from Him.

What side of that rope are you on?

Mountain Ride

Mountain Trip 2 - 9.30.17

I did something the other weekend I never imagined I would have done.

My husband had a motorcycle when we were first married but when I became pregnant and life started changing, he sold it.  But after a period of 30 years, he bought a Harley Davidson back in April.

So one weekend, we joined five other couples from our church and took a bike trip to the mountains. Five couples rode bikes and one of the couples, who normally would have ridden their bike, drove their car due to his recently having surgery.

My first worry was how to pack.  Two people.  Two small saddle bags.  One back pack.  Right.

We met for breakfast Saturday morning.  I admit I was a little nervous.  I had never ridden for more than an hour at one time.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the other ladies helped me a lot.  One lady let me borrow some chaps.  Another thing I never imagined would be a part of my life (or on my 53-year-old body.)

We left Richfield around 9 AM and headed to Morganton to meet up with some other people.  We made some pit stops along the way.  I felt like I was doing pretty well.  The only thing I haven’t liked the whole time Ken has had the bike is the fact that I can’t see directly in front of me so I always lean slightly to the side, enough to see around the left side of his helmet.  So my neck and shoulder was really beginning to ache by noon when we stopped in Morganton.

When all of the other people showed up that we were meeting, our group of five bikes became a group of eleven.  I felt like a nervous little kid.  We rode up toward Lake Lure and Chimney Rock.  We rode the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Whenever we pulled off to stop and then start to get back on the road again, our couple in the car would pull out when nothing was coming and then sit and let us all get out on the road safely.

As the day started getting later, we stopped and got our heavier clothing, our chaps and gloves back on to handle the falling temperatures.  Some of the ones who had joined us earlier started leaving the group and we headed to our motel in Cherokee where we had reservations.  To be completely honest, the winding roads, the darkness, the falling temperature, my tired, tight, aching neck and shoulders had gotten me to the point where I was just ready to stop.  I was trying to be a big girl, but I really just wanted to cry.  Not to mention I really needed to pee and I had chaps on.  What!?!

We finally got to the hotel around 7:30, although it felt like midnight.  The couples we were with are all so much fun to be around.  There was a restaurant across the street so we all walked over to it to eat supper.  The laughter, the sharing of stories and lives, the joking, everything that makes sharing life with friends good, helped adjust my attitude immensely.

Sunday morning was much better.  I got up an hour early and was able to stretch out my body to prepare for the long day of riding.  We met at 8:00 and went across the street again and ate breakfast.  Again, it was another meal eaten surrounded with laughter and fun.

After eating and getting all packed up, we all prepared to leave.  It was a cool, crisp morning.  We all had our chaps, leather, gloves, and coats, anything warm on.  We left out around 9:30.  A couple from the previous day rode with us, so seven bikes and our personal “Pilot” car headed through Cherokee and then to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

We got out of the touristy areas and I settled back to enjoy the ride.  I had a totally different attitude that morning.  My sister-in-law, who has her own bike and rides a lot by herself, says she uses her rides alone to talk to God.  I had started doing that some on the short rides Ken and I had been on.  But on that Sunday morning on that beautiful mountain road, I couldn’t help but start pouring out my heart to God.

Mountain Trip 3 - 9.30.17

As I looked up, the sky was a gorgeous, beautiful dark blue.  Perfectly clear, not a cloud to be seen.  The road we were on was following the creek where the crystal clear water was streaming over perfectly smooth stones of all sizes.  The road was curvy, but instead of tensing up and straining to see around Ken, I relaxed against the back seat and swayed along with the bike.  And I prayed.  I thanked God for His love.  I thanked God for His Son.  I thanked God for loving me so much that He allowed His Son to die for me.  And then I thanked God that He raised Christ from the dead so that I now have that hope of everlasting life with Him.  When we see the beauty of nature, we are without excuse in believing in our God.

As we continued to ride, I continued to pray.  And just as the bike swayed from side to side going around the curves, my prayers wove in and out from petitions to praises to repentance to awe and all the issues of life flowed from my heart just as the water flowed over the stones.

It never ceases to amaze me that so much of everyday occurrences parallels spirituals matters.  Just as we were riding along those curvy mountain roads, we all are traveling along in our spiritual journeys.  We have twists and turns.  But I’m learning that instead of straining to looking ahead, instead of looking around the obstacles in my path, I need to just relax, allow the Holy Spirit to have full control of my life, to Pilot me through every circumstance.  By doing that, I can look at the wonders He is performing all around me instead of worrying about what I can’t control before me.

As the day went on, the sky that had been a beautiful dark blue, paled and became filled with thin wispy clouds that took away from the clearness of the day.

We stopped for lunch at a family style restaurant that was very good, but it took a long time.  It was becoming clear that we were not going to be able to get home before dark. So we headed to the interstate.  Suddenly, the leisurely pace we had been taking on the back roads and parkways was over.

Ken and I had been at the back of the group when we got on the interstate and when the group sped off, we fell even further behind, but our faithful Pilot car was still behind us.  I found myself hunkering down behind Ken.  I didn’t try to look around him.  I didn’t even try to look from side to side because of the wind blowing so strongly against my helmet.  After several miles of going pretty fast, we all pulled off at a rest stop.  I was shaking with fear when we stopped.  My lack of experience at riding was definitely showing again.

We had pulled off because the hour was getting late and the sun and temperatures would be descending before the next anticipated stop.  Everyone once again bundled up in preparation for the last leg of the journey.

When we got back on the road, I began reflecting again over all I had experienced.  After having spiritual highs in life, how like it is to experience a trying, mad rush, a trial, and a period of testing.  A time that may be filled with fear and confusion.  When the feeling of complete trust and peace that had just been enjoyed is forgotten.  But if I had bothered to look back, I would have seen my Pilot, my source of Comfort was still there.  He was still watching, was still ready to pick me up if I needed Him to.

All I ever need to do is just hunker down in the Word, recall God’s promises, remember how He’s always been with me and that He always will.  I just need to put on my armor and re-enter the race more fully prepared.

After we got off the interstate I did relax a little more.  I began to look around once again.  The sun was mostly below the horizon and that’s when I noticed it.  Those thin, wispy clouds that had taken away the beauty of the blue sky were now a deep, beautiful pink and crimson.  The pale blue, now a beautiful aqua.  It was breath-taking.  Isn’t that how it is in life?  We dismiss something, thinking it as less than beautiful.  But in God’s hand, it becomes more than beautiful.

When we were about 30 minutes from home, we stopped one last time at a service station.  This time it wasn’t to gas up or potty.  It wasn’t to add more layers of clothing.  It was just to say goodbye to one another.  We all hugged and told each other how much fun we had.  That we needed to do it again.  It was almost as if we were not going to see each other for a very long time, but in reality we would see each other in three days at the Wednesday night church service.

Then we gathered in a circle, held hands and prayed.  Again.  I haven’t mentioned that yet.  But our trip had been bathed in prayer.  We prayed each morning before we started our journey.  We prayed over every meal.  Our petitions had not been just the routine, ritualistic Christian thing to do.  They were the kind of prayers that were prayed with believing hearts and the fruits of those prayers were being gathered right there in the parking lot of that gas station.

As we rode on toward our home, the moon, God’s “lesser light,” was shining in the sky, lighting up the road before us.

Our spiritual paths are not always brightly lit, either.  We rely on God’s Word to guide us.  We rely on His wisdom and knowledge to help us make right choices and decisions.  And as Christians, we surround ourselves with awesome prayer warriors, they’re called friends, who can give wise counsel.

It had been a wonderful trip.  I was ready to call it a night.  But my body wasn’t.

When I laid down, it felt like my body was still vibrating, as if I was still riding on the back of the motorcycle.  And the next morning, my body was sore.

But that is a lesson, too.  When we have had a personal experience with our Lord, it should have a lasting effect.

And, yes.  I’m ready to do it again!

Just Hold On…..


If there is anything I learned when my Dad went through his battle with cancer, it was that nothing ever stays the same.  Things can change in a second.  Or less.  The Bible phrases it as, “in the twinkling of an eye.”

We take so much for granted.  Things may be going smooth, life is good and we are complacent.  We tend to think that things will remain the same, at least for our foreseeable future.  But that’s just the problem.  We cannot see the future.  We don’t know what next year, next month, tomorrow or even the next moment holds.

All during the time my Dad was sick, I kept having this feeling that things will never be the same.  I trusted and held on to my faith for Dad’s healing and God graciously answered the prayers of the hundreds of people who were praying for him.  But even as that healing came, he will never be the same.  I will never be the same for watching him go through his battle.

I keep thinking about the fact that so many of us just take for granted that our lives will remain just as they are.  It’s almost like in some part of our mind we know that things can change at any moment, yet we live as if they won’t.  We really don’t expect a change.  We have a head knowledge that nothing lasts forever but until we truly experience a change, the fact that things can change remains an aloof possibility.

And so it is spiritually.  So many people have that head knowledge that yes, there is a God.  Yes, He sent His Son to die for us.  Yes, Jesus resurrected from the grave.

Satan believes all that, too.

But it is not until we let those facts become a heart changing experience that we can really know what it’s like to truly believe.  That head knowledge changes into a life altering intimacy with a personal Savior.

I’ve always heard that as Christians, we are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or going into a storm.  If I’m really honest, I’ve never liked hearing that.  It’s no less true, but it’s always been scary to me.  No one likes the storms of life.  It would seem that the best place to be is out of the storm, free from all of the emotional turmoil that being in a storm or headed toward one can bring.

But then I got to thinking – which is sometimes dangerous for me.  When life is going good, it can be compared to the absence of storms.  Blue skies are above.  The sun is shining bright.  It’s great to be able to get outdoors and just enjoy it all.  We start taking the nice weather for granted and no longer appreciate it as much as when we just got through some rainy, stormy days.  But when our world goes for too long without the rain, drought comes.  Everything starts drying up.  The blue sky becomes hazy.  The sun bears down unrelentingly.

We start wishing for the evening storms to bring refreshing rain.

When we start becoming complacent in our lives, expecting all to continue to go well, we can start experiencing a spiritual drought.  We can take God for granted.  Reading the Bible becomes a routine instead of the soul longing for a fresh word from our Lord.

But when that storm comes, when we can experience the Word of God pouring out like rain to sooth our broken, worried, confused minds and hearts, it’s then we appreciate that storm.

I still have the sense in my spirit that things are going to change.  But I’m learning to think that all change is good.  Losing a few pounds would definitely be good!  But even the changes that in the beginning start with what we consider a storm, in the end are for our good and for the glory of God.

The biggest change I am looking forward to, the change I find my soul longing for more and more with each passing day?  It is when my UNCHANGING Lord changes me from mortal to immortal, where my soul can forever spend eternity praising the One who is charge of all the changes in life.

So dear friend, whatever situation you may find yourself in today, good or bad, just hold on.  Amazing changes are a comin’!

I Just Want To Go Home

If you stopped by because you read my devotion June 22, 2017, over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!



Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John 14:1-3 (KJV)

My home is ten minutes from my work.  Once I get to work, I change vehicles and drive 35 minutes to my current work location.  That doesn’t really sound like a lot.  And it is better than the hour I had to drive on my last work assignment.

The morning drive I don’t mind.  In fact, I enjoy it.  I listen to music and preaching on the radio.  I love looking at the morning sky.  Most days I like my job.  But the drive in the evening bothers me.  It seems to take longer getting back home than it took to get to work.

There are days when I get back to my main office that I have to run errands or go to appointments that prevent me from going straight home.  By 7:30 or 8:00, though, I feel like I have hit a wall.  I just want to go home.  I not only feel physically tired, but mentally tired as well.

There’s just something about being home where I can totally relax.  Even if I have household chores to do once I get home, I just want to be home.  I want to shut out the noise.  I want to shut out all of the talking and people.  And if I’m totally honest, I just want to be able to stop putting a smile on my face, pretending all is well.

I often feel the same way spiritually.  Sometimes I get so tired of living in this sinful world that I just want to go to my heavenly home.  I want to worship at the feet of my Savior.  I want to be able to feel the complete peace and freedom from the trials of life.

But it’s the getting there that’s tiring.  I know I’m headed for heaven, but the drive seems awfully long sometimes.  We have to live in this world, working and handling all of our responsibilities.  And the longer I travel through this life, things seem to be getting worse.

Do you know, though, that God has given us errands to run?  Appointments to keep?

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen”.  Matthew 28:18-20  (KJV)

As Christ ascended into heaven, He gave us the Great Commission.  We are to use our time in this world sharing the message of salvation.  We are to teach people, disciple people.  We are to love as Christ loved.  We are to be busy going about doing our Father’s business.  And we can have joy in our heart as we do those things, fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives on this earth.

But then one day, we will get to our limit.  The number of days ordained for us to live in this world will come to an end.  And then, as believers in Christ, we will have the joy of going home.  Once we get there, we can totally relax, being free from all worries.  And we won’t have to pretend we’re happy because for the first time, all will be well for all of eternity.

Are you ready to go home?  Christ came and died for us so that we can have a personal relationship with Him.  He will bless us in this life, even in the midst of problems.  He gives us peace and comfort even in the busyness of life.  He gives us joy when we are in His will.  And ultimately, some day, He will call us home.  I long for that day when I can just go home.

Heavenly Father, sometimes I get so tired of this life.  Yes, there are times of joy, and I thank You for that.  There are times when I know You are using me, and I humbly praise You for that.  Then there are times when I just want to go home.  I long for the day when I can spend eternity with You.  But in the meantime, help me to be faithful to You.  Help me carry out the tasks that You have given me to do.  And help me live a life so that others can see You, and along with me, want to come home to the place You have prepared for Your children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It Hurts Me More

If you stopped by because you read my devotion June 6th over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!

“Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law.”Psalm 94-12 (NIV) (2)

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.  Hebrews 12: 9-10 (NIV)

“This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.”

Have you ever heard that?  I can’t really say that my parents said that to me, (I was the good kid), but I have heard others speak of their parents saying that to them.

I didn’t understand that saying until I had children of my own.  When our babies are born, they are perfect.  Every little smile, every “coo” is deeply embedded in our hearts.  But then they start growing.  Even very young toddlers have to be disciplined.  Some children learn quickly to listen to what they are told, but others seem to push the limits.  Even after being told not to do something, they will look at the one disciplining them in the eye while reaching their hand out toward the forbidden object.

When I had to discipline my children by spanking them or setting them in time out, it did hurt my heart.  I knew they needed to be corrected but the deep sadness they experienced made me want to cry along with them.

When I was very young, I would sometimes fail to be still and quiet in church.  Once home, my dad would talk to me first.  He would point his finger at me as he talked.  I remember thinking that his finger had to be 3 feet long as it was pointed right at my face.  Then I got spanked.  I always thought the “talking to” was a lot worse than the spanking.  I don’t remember that happening too often.  (Like I said, I was the good kid.)

As Christians we learn that it takes discipline to keep a regular time of Bible study and prayer.  It takes discipline to walk a consistent life of obedience.  But discipline can also be God correcting us.  He talks to us first.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”  2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

Sometimes that discipline is painful.  We can experience pain and guilt when we are disobedient and commit sin.  We can suffer consequences that may be temporary or that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.  We can feel abandoned by God.  But God doesn’t want us to stay that way.

“Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”  Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)

That discipline may include striping us of things that caused us to fall away from God.  It often involves us losing the peace and joy we can feel when we are in a right relationship with our Savior.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) 

The discipline we receive should cause us to turn back to the loving, forgiving arms of Christ.  I’ve noticed that about disciplining children.  When the time of discipline is over, they want to be held.  They want to be loved.  When I had to correct my girls or grandchildren, I couldn’t wait to hold them in my arms.  Our Heavenly Father is the same.  He corrects us because He loves us.  But He also can’t wait to have a close fellowship with us once more.  If we could ask Him how it makes Him feel to discipline us, I think He would say:

“It hurt Me a lot more than it hurts you.”

And Jesus has the scars to prove it.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving us so much that You will discipline us when we are disobedient to Your will.  When the time of reproof and correction is hurtful, let me remember that Your heart hurts too.  Help me to be quick to repent so that I can be in sweet fellowship with You once more.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Crying Out In Brokenness

Sand dunes

Have you ever been brokenhearted?  It’s not something we like to feel.  It’s not something we like taking about.  But unfortunately, we do experience brokenness in this fallen world.

I love reading the Psalms of David.  So many of them are filled with nothing but praise and worship of God, for who He is and for what He has done.  But there are many of the Psalms where David is crying out, brokenhearted before his Lord.  He cried out when his enemies were pursuing him. He cried out when he was betrayed by his son.  He cried out because of sin he committed.  He cried out to God when he felt all alone.

There were times when David felt God was far away and didn’t hear his pleas.  He cried out in Psalm 13:1-2 (NIV):

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

But he was saying by Psalm 13:5-6 (NIV),

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

David cried out in Psalm 6:6,

“I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.”

But by verses 8-9, David said,

“Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.”

There are also times when we can’t even put our pain into words to cry out to God.  However, we are assured that the Holy Spirit that lives in us will pray for us.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26

I once experienced that verse.  My heart was hurting so bad that the only words I could say were, “Oh, God!  Oh, God!”  But those words, coming from my broken heart reached the ears of my Father.  I felt God’s Spirit wrapping His arms around me, picking me up, and just holding me.

David was faithful to praise God even in the midst of his pain.  That’s not an easy thing to do.  The Apostle Paul knew pain.  Imprisoned, beaten, ship wrecked – in every situation, Paul said to give thanks.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Give thanks?  What is there to be thankful for when the pain is so unbearable that it’s hard to take the next breath?

Giving praise and thanks to God doesn’t always mean that He takes us out of the situation causing the pain.  We still may have to endure the circumstances we are going through.  But praising God even in the midst of that pain somehow eases the burden.  In some unexplainable way, we find the strength to keep going, to keep breathing.  We keep trusting that God’s plan is being fulfilled.  We have faith that we will get through whatever we are enduring.

Are you experiencing pain right now?  No matter the reason, whether it is attacks from our enemies, betrayal of someone we trusted, sin we have committed, or depression pulling us down – we can cry out to God.  He knows our pain.  He knows every aspect of our circumstances.  He’s just waiting for us to call on Him.  Like David and his Psalms, we will have songs of praise in our heart mixed with the songs of pain.  But the songs of pain can end in rejoicing as we cry out to our Lord.






Lean In A Little Closer

If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!

God's Whispers Shouts Of His Love.Joan Walker Hahn

“And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”    1 Kings 19:12b (NIV)

Have you ever been on a spiritual high?  A place where you were seeing and feeling God really move?  But then, there’s a sudden crash.  The wonderment of God’s presence suddenly turns to a feeling of overwhelming fear and oppression.

Elijah experienced such a situation.  God had been using him in mighty ways.  Following the direction of God, Elijah confronted King Ahab and the people who were following the Baals.  The false prophets and all the people assembled to watch the showdown between the false god and the one true God.  The prophets of Baal built an altar and cried out to their god to answer from heaven with fire to consume their sacrifice.  All day long they cried out, but their god did not answer.  Then Elijah built an altar before God and prayed.  Fire from heaven consumed the sacrifice and altar.  All the people cried out, “The Lord – he is God!  The Lord – he is God!”  1 Kings 18:39 (NIV).

However, after that awesome display of God’s power, Elijah fled.  He went to the wilderness and cried out for God to let him die.  But God didn’t let Elijah stay in that state.  The angel of the Lord brought nourishment to Elijah, twice.  Then Elijah was told to go up to the mountain to see the Lord.

Once Elijah got to the mountain, the Lord spoke to him, telling him where to stand to see the Lord pass by.  Then there was a powerful wind, but the Lord was not in the wind.  There was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  There was a raging fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  But then … then came a gentle whisper, and the Lord spoke to Elijah.

Have you ever noticed that when someone is speaking quietly, we lean in a little closer, concentrate a little more deeply and hang on their every word?  I think that is why God whispers.  He wants us to lean in a little closer, concentrate on Him a little more deeply and hang onto His every word.  When we do that He can then reveal to us how He’s been there with us all along.

The Lord listened to Elijah tell Him what was bothering him.  But then He told Elijah to go back the way he came.  God gave him another assignment and the strength to carry out that assignment just as He had equipped him in the past.

Do you get weary doing the Lord’s work?  Are you weary because you are not doing what He’s asked you to do?  Either way, what do we do when we feel oppressed or tired or useless?  We listen.

Am I saying that I always hear Him speak?  No.  Sometimes all I hear is the wind blowing, the fires roaring and feel my world shaking.  But even then, God is there.  During those times when we can’t hear His whispers, maybe He is waiting for us to call out to Him.  Then when the storm is over and He sees we have leaned in a little closer, are listening a little more intently, He can speak.

So when you are going through things and find yourself tired, physically, mentally and spiritually, go to the Lord’s mountain.  Allow Him to nourish and feed your soul.  Tell Him how you are feeling.  Allow time for the noise to cease as you just wait before Him.  And then lean in a little more closely and listen for His whispers.

Heavenly Father, thank you, Lord, for Your love.  Thank you that even during the storms, even when I can’t hear or feel You, I know You are there.  Thank You for patiently caring for me when I feel alone.  And in those precious moments when I do hear Your gentle whispers, I praise You, Lord, for speaking.  May I always keep an attentive ear so that I may always hear what You want to say.  I love You, Father.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.




Leaving A Trail

Leaving a Trail

I have a thirty minute drive to work and I often find myself enjoying the morning sky.  The changing colors in the sky as the sun rises always amazes me at the beauty of God’s creation.  My husband can assure anyone that I really am not a morning person but when I get out the door and see how God is telling me good morning, my attitude changes.

I was driving to work one morning when the air was crisp and I saw several contrails crisscrossing the sky.  Contrails, short for “condensation trail,” are the white streaks planes leave behind when the hot exhaust from the plane escapes into the cold air.

Seeing the contrails allowed me to know that the planes were headed in all different directions.  I only saw the evidence of a few of the thousands of flights that take place each day.  People are traveling in opposing directions all the time.  I then began to think of how it is the same spiritually.

People are headed in all different directions spiritually just as they are physically.  So many various teachings and religious ideas are rampant in our world.  People are told that there are many ways to heaven.  People are told that God loves everyone and that everyone is going to heaven when they die.  People are told they are their own little god and they can live life however they want.  People are told God will accept them if their good deeds outweigh the bad.  People are told there is no God and that this life we live is all there is.  I could go on and on about the different things people believe.

But, my friend, there is only one truth and one God.  There are not many ways to heaven.  The airplanes that are going in different directions do not and cannot all land in the same place.  A plane headed east does not land in California.  A plane headed north does not land in Florida.  A soul headed away from Christ does not end up in heaven.

In this day of divisiveness, it’s not always easy to speak with people about spiritual things.  Everyone believes their thoughts and opinions are superior to others.  I admit that in my stubbornness I also have at times thought that if everyone would just see things the way I see them then everything would be better.

God’s Word reveals to us how much He loves us.  But God’s Word is also divisive.  So many people focus and preach about the love of God, (and He is a loving God), and they fail to teach about the judgement of God.  He will one day divide those who have trusted and accepted Christ as Savior from those who have rejected Christ.  Those who have accepted Christ are headed to an eternity in heaven with God.  Those who have rejected Christ are headed to hell.

Which direction are we heading in?  Have we heeded that truth for ourselves?  Are we helping people to know that truth?

Or maybe another way to put it, which airplane are you riding on and are you leaving a trail that will point the way to Christ for others who are watching your life?

Beloved, do not believe every spirit [speaking through a self-proclaimed prophet]; instead test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets and teachers have gone out into the world. By this you know and recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ has [actually] come in the flesh [as a man] is from God [God is its source];and every spirit that does not confess Jesus [acknowledging that He has come in the flesh, but would deny any of the Son’s true nature] is not of God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and is now already in the world. Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind]. They [who teach twisted doctrine] are of the world and belong to it; therefore they speak from the [viewpoint of the] world [with its immoral freedom and baseless theories—demanding compliance with their opinions and ridiculing the values of the upright], and the [gullible one of the] world listens closely and pays attention to them. We [who teach God’s word] are from God [energized by the Holy Spirit], and whoever knows God [through personal experience] listens to us [and has a deeper understanding of Him]. Whoever is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know [without any doubt] the spirit of truth [motivated by God] and the spirit of error [motivated by Satan].  Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath]. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], we also ought to love one another.             1 John 4:1-11 Amplified Bible (AMP)