Friday, June 29, 2012

Friends That Make You Better

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

They've come into my life in varied ways.

Sometimes they arrived at the most interesting times and unlikely places.

I wan't looking for them.

But God knew I needed them.

And He has sprinkled them over my life like sugar and cinnamon on buttery toast.

The "Barbie Doll" in the bikini at the pool. My daughter's cheerleading coach. The girl that looked like me at church. The sweet young thing from Mableton, Ga. Co-teachers and assistants in schools where I taught. The exotic "red hot mama." The ever sewing, food dehydrating, cutie with the pink stripe in her hair. The perfect teacher and future playwright. The college professor. The prayer warrior that just seems to know when I need her to pray.

Some that I might have shyed away from. That were way out of my league.

The blonde beauty that leads Holy Land tours. Accomplished writers and speakers...and those that teach others how to write and speak.

I'm way beyond blessed by friends that make me better. That encourage me in my walk with the Lord. That pray for me. That speak Truth into my life. That stick with me through thick and thin. That sharpen me like "iron sharpens iron."

I encourage you today to be on the lookout for those that God is placing in your path to walk this earthly passage with you! Pray for God to send them. Pray for your heart to be in tune.

Father God, we come to you humbled that You love us so much that You would see fit to place such amazing women in our lives. Lord, they are tangible evidence of Your love that is beyond our ability to fathom. Thank You. Thank You for the gift of friendship, the gift of girls that "get" us as we are, and that urge us to be more like You. I love You, Lord.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Worship~Smelling Coffee

"I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the LORD." Psalm 104:33-34 (NIV)

I've always loved this song by Chris Rice. It's just one of those songs that makes me happy. It has filled my mind many mornings lately as I smelled my morning coffee and enjoyed the song of the birds outside my window.

Because the song is over a decade old, I had a little difficulty finding a video. I came across this one and was struck by this young girl's enthusiasm and adeptness at sign language.

I pray it will bring blessing for you today!

May you enjoy those mercies streaming in with the morning light!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Meditation~Immeasurably More

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...." Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

Do you need that "immeasurably more"?

Or have you already received it?

Would love to pray for you or hear your testimony!

Lord, You are so much more than we can fathom. Your love, Your mercy, Your power are beyond our understanding. How often do we fail to ask or dare to imagine all that You desire for us? Help us, Lord, to seek Your face. To bend the knee. To trust in You. And to receive with thanksgiving.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Things I've Learned So Far

"I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw..." Proverbs 24:32 (NIV)

Eight minutes.

That's how long we had to write down "the things we've learned so far."

After receiving the assignment from our fearless leader, the members of my writers group put pen to paper, our hands in motion like inchworms across the page, only at lightning speed.

Here's my list...just as I wrote it. Unedited. (Hence, the order may not be that of true priority.)
  • Laugh more. Even at myself.
  • Forgive. And forgive. And forgive.
  • Sometimes life's not fair. Instead of asking, "Why me?" ask "Why not me?"
  • We tend to think everyone else's life is perfect. It's not.
  • Be brave. Take risks.
  • Hope. Believe. Trust God.
  • Work at what you hope to accomplish.
  • Naps are good. Sometimes you need to write (or work) instead.
  • Nurture friendships.
  • Love lavishly.
  • Don't let the disappointments rule your thoughts.
  • Wear comfy shoes...and clothes.
  • Buy one pair of "statement" shoes and a "statement" purse.
  • Spend time with those you love. Cherish the moments...even the hard ones.
  • Sometimes it's best to be silent.
  • Listen more.
  • Be alert to people God's placed in your path. You never know what friendships might develop.
That's it. Eight minutes worth of what I've learned so far.

Actually, I need to emphasize that I've not mastered these. I'm a work in progress, still trying to apply to my heart, mind, and actions what I've discerned from my observations along the way.

Now it's your turn! Set the timer for eight minutes. Go!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Worship~Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

Keith and Kristyn Getty are modern hymnwriters from Ireland. To hear Kristyn read Scripture and sing is like hearing the voice of an angel. I pray that you will be blessed and encouraged as you join in worship with the Gettys.

Oh, may treasures be formed within us as we go...treasures that we will one day leave at His throne.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Meditation~Living Proof

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

I'm living proof.

Of the flesh being weak, that is.

All it takes is a Chocolate Chunk Cookie at Chick-Fil-A.

I don't know that my affinity for chocolate chunk cookies is prayer worthy, but I do know that there are many areas of weakness in my flesh that scream for watchfulness and prayer.

Help me, Lord.

The verse for pondering today comes from the passage of Scripture where Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane just before Judas betrayed Him and "the crowd armed with swords and clubs" came to take Him away. He said to Peter, James, and John, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." The weakness of their flesh at that time was to sleep...instead of keeping watch...or joining Jesus in the anguish of His prayer, beseeching the Father to take "this cup" from Him.

We might be quick to judge and murmur, "How could you, guys? He's been warning you that this was coming? How could you even think about sleeping at a time like this?"

I fear that we fall into the same apathetic slumber.

For us, we should be watching for His return! And praying to resist the temptations of this world that hinder our readiness for that glorious day.

Lord, we cry out to You, asking You to open our eyes. Keep us from laziness and instead, help us to "Be alert and of sober mind . [Knowing that our] enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Father, You know our individual tendencies toward "the sin that so easily entangles" us. Help us to wake up and "run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author [pioneer] and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Wow. I just have to share this. Oh, how I love when God works to share His Truth in multiple ways! I just watched this clip from Steven Furtick. I'm not anywhere even close to his league in sharing God's truths. But I love how God speaks to each of us and affirms it through others.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Worship~How Great Thou Art

Too often what we see on TV these days is not really worthy of our time.

Then there are wonderful moments like last week on Duets when Jennifer Nettles and John Glosson sang How Great Thou Art.

Let's spend some time today in "awesome wonder" considering how great our God is! Oh my friend, He is so worthy of our praise!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Monday Meditation~Early & Book Giveaway~Hurry!

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed." Mark 1:35 NIV

I don't necessarily think that we need to leave our house...or that it must be dark.

I do believe that early in the morning we need to follow Jesus' example, spend time in a solitary place, and pray.

We need to seek Him first (Matt. 6:33), yield our hearts to Him...and ask Him to be Lord over our day.

Lord, draw us into Your presence early each day. Help us to yield our hearts and our days to You. Help us to trust You, Your leading, and Your will. We love You. Amen

NOW...for the Book Giveaway!!!

The book is Life Lessons from Dads, compiled by Suzanne Williams and Tracy Ruckman and published by Write Integrity Press. It is a beautiful gift book and lovely tribute to Dads. The opportunity to honor my sweet Daddy in this book is such a tremendous blessing to me! You will enjoy each story, such precious testimonies. (See cover in sidebar.)

So, here's how you might win!
  • Leave a comment that includes your email address so that I can contact you and get your mailing address. (If Google is being persnickety or thinks you're a robot, you may comment on my Facebook page.)
  • I hope you'll take time to browse around. If you should decide to become a "follower", I'll throw your name in the hat twice! (In your comment, state that you did so.) I hope you will check back soon as I plan to add a Speaker page with information for booking for your women's events, MOPS groups, or writer's conferences.
  • If you subscribe by email, let me know that too. That could earn your third chance!
Now, the deadline is Monday night at 10:00, so don't delay. I want to be sure that your gift arrives in time for Father's Day.

I'm praying that your day is blessed beyond measure!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Worship~Steady My Heart

I don't have to worry. I know that you've got me right inside the palm of Your hand.

Life is good...but often hard. So thankful to know the One who can steady our hearts.

Thank you, Kari Jobe, for reminding us so beautifully!

And thank you, Jesus, for being the lover of our souls and healer of our hearts.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Meditation~Prayer and Giving Thanks

"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers...." Philemon 1:4 (NIV)

"Are you praying for me today, Mommy?" my youngest daughter inquired.

"Of course I'm praying for you today. I always pray for you. Why do you ask?"

"Well, you're drinking out of the cup I gave you," she said.

See, my sweet young girlie knows that many of the coffee cups in my cabinet serve two start my day off with some yummy deliciousness, and as a reminder to pray for certain friends. For instance, my friend, Joyce gave me a cup from Sonny's Grill in Blowing Rock (a precious reminder of a fun trip we shared). Whenever I drink from this cup, I pray for Joyce and her dear family. Likewise, I have cups from my friends Marsha, Cindy, and Tara, and they are prayer prompters too. I have a cup from Wingate University that keeps me praying for a lovely group of professors that blessed our lives and our daughters' lives while they were there.

Now I have other items in my home that also serve this "praying" purpose, Willow Tree angels, photos, and so on. My feeble brain needs a little help in remembering oftentimes, and these conveniently serve as triggers to shoot that prayer up!

I just love how my daughter made that connection when she saw me drinking out of a special cup that she gave me, purchased with her own money from a collection of Writers novelties at Starbuck's.

Yes, I told her that I was praying for her, and with a heart overflowing with thankfulness that God saw fit to bring a beautiful baby from China to bless our lives beyond measure!!

I also told her that her cup is my "go-to" cup when I'm in the midst of a serious writing project. It inspires me! I think that made her happy. I just love seeing those almond-shaped eyes light up!

What a privilege we have to pray! We have so much to be thankful for!! And how amazing to have the Creator of the universe listening and responding to the prayers that we offer up to Him.

I am praying for you today...even without a cup...that God will bring wonderful blessings on your day and in your life.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, June 1, 2012


Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Seven pairs of shoes (including my slippers).

For a four day trip.

That's what I loaded into my car today as I headed back home.

And will probably reload into my car on Tuesday.

I'm burning up the roads between my home and Charlotte these days. My Grandbaby needs me. smile. I was packing up, I put those seven pairs of shoes back into the shoe travel bag and uttered, "What was I thinkin'?" And then almost in the same breath, "Well, at least I was prepared." A girl just never knows what she might need...for a trip to Starbuck's with a friend...or alone to write...or for a cookout at your daughter's house...or a little shopping trip...and of course for church!

I took way more shoes and clothes than I could have possibly worn in four days. But I was prepared.

I have to admit, I take being prepared pretty seriously. I make lists...days ahead...adding to it as necessary. Yes, I like to be prepared.

Today as I repacked those seven pairs of shoes (chuckling...that's the "perfect number", right?), my mind shifted gears. I wondered, "Do I prepare this carefully for those things that really matter?"

Like starting my day with a word from the Lord? And giving my day to Him?

Preparing my mind "to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that [I] have" as the key verse states?

Do I prepare my heart for the time of worship and teaching that await me on Sunday?

Am I preparing myself spiritually, mentally, and physically for the work that God has called me to do?

Doing these things will aid me in my quest to "be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." 2 Timothy 3:21 (NIV)

"Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true; with thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for you." (Sanctuary by John W. Thompson)