Thursday, May 28, 2015

Life Jacket

Life Jacket

I will lift my eyes to the hills – From where comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

This past Memorial Day weekend was a busy time on the waters. Boaters know to take extra care and special precautions to ready their boat to be sure it is seaworthy and equipped with everything needed to ensure a great experience. Life jackets are required to be on board. No ifs, ands or buts. It is a must. It is the ultimate backup plan to protect those on the boat if there is trouble aboard or on the water. I like the idea of a life jacket. It makes me feel secure, safe and gives me confidence to venture to places I’ve never been. It is nice knowing there is something to help me if I need it.

Spiritually, this is a good question to ask, “Where do you turn to for help when you need it?” I know for certain that we can find help in the Bible. The Bible is filled with love, direction, wisdom and guidance. We can ask for help and it will be revealed on the pages. While God may send help we don’t have to be powerless while we wait for it though. We can seek it and find it. It is the greatest source. I bought a little book recently and it contains all of God’s Promises. For anyone needing help and wisdom in what to do, how to react, what to believe, we can find His Promises in His Word.  It is like clothing ourselves in a spiritual life jacket!

This week I have heard of several people that are hurting whether emotionally, physically or spiritually. Life isn’t easy. Things happen. Each circumstance has been an occasion for calling out to God for help. And He hasn’t failed. Whatever your need is, whatever your concern, take it to God. Is there anyone that can go it alone? No. Would you walk by yourself in an unfamiliar place, in the dark not telling anyone where you going? Of course not. It is too risky, it is unsafe. But there are so many that will travel the roads of life without anyone to help them, guide them or light the path. They try to do it by themselves. Our help comes from Him. So does our strength and our ability to keep going. Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7

Reach out to someone that has crossed your path that needs to lean on you a little bit. Help to make their time of trouble a little easier. Share a prayer, a scripture or just a simple smile. Offer them a life jacket of hope and help. Let God show through you to them. God will finish what you have started. And when you shift your focus from your own problems over to helping someone else through their trials, you may find that your own burdens and worries don’t seem quite as heavy anymore. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

Thursday, May 21, 2015



This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12

This week on a trip to the grocery store, my grandson helped me to unload the cart at the register.  When we played baseball he would volunteer to get the ball after he batted it. Learning to golf, at the driving range he likes to tee up the ball for both of us. He is learning to put others first before himself. This week, I fell off of a ladder to the pavement. In a quick moment, a kind gentlemen came to my rescue and helped me. Only a sore ankle remains and I count myself blessed.  In a world where it is so easy to become self-absorbed and look the other way, it is refreshing to see people helping people. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 1 John 3:17

How many times do we reach out to God and our faith tells us He is there for us? We depend on Him. Count on Him. We surrender to Him.  Yet, what if He turned away from us? We couldn’t bear it. We don’t have to. Because we know that He knows all our needs and burdens and He provides in His own timing, in His own way.  He is our example to follow. I want to be the person that has a keen eye and notices those in need and then does something about it. Let us open our hearts and our eyes and resources to a ministry to be God’s helpers. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

Wednesday, May 13, 2015



Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. 1 John 3:24

Well I should have invested in obedience training for my pup. It’s probably too late now. He has trained us in his ways and we are obedient to him!! Obedience is a big word with big meaning. We are meant to follow the rules for a reason. It puts things in order and without order there is chaos. Another way of saying it is “to submit to authority”. Ouch! Not so easy to do at times. Just ask a teenager! The end result of obedience and the willingness to conform is respect. It has been said that the fruit of faith is obedience.  But the greatest test of obedience is to God. There is no way around it. You cannot comply just a little bit. It is all or nothing at all. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;” Isaiah 1:19

What does it mean to be obedient to God? It means we can live in freedom through Him. Our life can be joyful and we can live under His Authority knowing He will bless us and reward our obedience. What does our obedience prove to God? That we are being faithful and that we love Him. And those two things are giving praise to Him. Well, how would you start to obey God? Get a Bible and start to read the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. Let the words fill your heart and begin to put them into practice with every thought and action.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:17

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

First Mother's Day

First Mother’s Day

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 NIV

I have been reminiscing this week about Mother’s Day and the memories have come flooding back.  I told my daughter this story and she said I should share it as we laughed together. The very first recollection of Mother’s Day was when I was five years old. It was memorable for several occasions: not only was it Mother’s Day, but my mother was in the hospital, and had just given me a new baby sister. While my grandmother was taking care of us in my mothers’ absence, I asked her if I could pick a few buttercups for my mother and the new baby to arrange in the nicest jelly glass we had. She smiled and said it was a splendid idea. It took no time at all to fill up that jelly glass. Yet, it seemed such a shame to let our entire front yard that was overflowing with buttercups go to waste. So, after setting the jelly glass aside and getting a big brown grocery bag instead, I began to work feverishly in the hot May sun to fill it up. Handful after handful. My grandmother kept an eye on me and offered me popsicles under the gumball tree. At first, I tried to lay all the buttercups in the same direction, but halfway through I gave up and decided quantity would override beauty and began to fill the bag to the top. Realizing that I could fill up another bag with all the remaining buttercups, my grandmother said with reassurance that one bag would do nicely. I taped up that special grocery bag and decorated the outside with crayon drawings and stickers. I presented it to my dad who said he would hand deliver it to the hospital to my mother and our new baby! I was so excited when she called to say it was the most beautiful bag of buttercups she had ever received and it made her so happy.  Buttercups still makes me smile!

Many years later, when I became a mother, my most treasured gifts were those that were from the heart or homemade.  I still have a soft place in my heart today for a brassy gold circle pin (circa 1960’s) that was missing a pearl the day I received it, about 25 years ago. Most of my Mother’s Day gifts from my young son came from the rounds he made on his bicycle to various yard sales in our neighborhood, using his allowance. My daughter preferred to give coupons for her services, like setting the table for dinner, dusting and watering plants. Time goes by so quickly, yet thankfully some memories never fade.

I equate Mother’s Day with love. Both giving and receiving it. Being doubly blessed to have wonderful relationships with both my adult children, Elizabeth and Marty and being richly blessed to have my mother, Helen to talk to each day, to laugh and pray together. Everyone is just a phone call away.  

No doubt that we all want to excel in this role of motherhood. As a mother, many times we are sought out for our wisdom, yet where do we go when we need wisdom or someone to listen to us!  I know when I need to talk, God is always listening. There is much written about how to be a good Mother. The best words I know to share are these:  follow the examples of the godly mothers in the Bible, which are always based on purity of heart, peace and much love.

I heard it said once that when a mother reaches Heaven, she must face God with her record of accomplishments. If she's done a good job of caring for her children, she'll get the most sought-after position in heaven, that of rocking baby angels on soft white clouds and wiping their celestial tears with the corner of her apron. Let today not end without reaching out to all mothers, to honor their role in our lives, either by phone, card, email or in person. And if she has crossed that doorway into heaven, lift up a word of praise and thanksgiving in her memory. To honor our parents is godly and God promises to notice.