Today's Blessing

I encourage you to read through the book of Proverbs in the Bible, one chapter a day. Providentially there are 31; you will read through the whole book in a month. This book will make you wise, give you direction and if followed diligently, will keep you from all kinds of trouble. Study, memorize and live by the wisdom of the Proverbs.

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 8:10,11, NIV)

I was reading this morning about character, and concluded, you can never rise above your character. Your behaviour and disposition is who you really are. Often we think, “I acted so poorly, that just wasn’t like me,” when in actually fact, it was. Hard to face the truth at times, however, there is help! To overcome ourselves, be honest with God and receive His wisdom to change. Character matters dear reader, character matters.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11, NIV) 

P.S. (If you would like to receive quick daily emails like the one above, send me a DM and I’ll sign you up! Bless you today!)

The destroyer is like a roaring lion, prowling around, circling your wagon, as it were. His ultimate hope is to steal your faith in God. He wants you to think that God doesn’t care about you and you’ve made too many mistakes in life, to go forward in victory. He’s actually quite vicious in his attempt. However, read the verse below. Jesus defeated this enemy and shows us how to as well.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.
(1 Peter 5:8,9, NIV)

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The Highlighting Miracle

The Highlighting Miracle

When my daughter was in grade 12, she visited a home for orphans in Kenya. She was chatting with them about school in North America and when she took out her books to keep caught up with her schooling, they were fascinated with her Highlighters.

“What an idea” they thought. “Sure must help with studying”.

The following year I made the trip as well.

Since Highlighters were such a hit – I went to our office supply store and bought every Highlighter package the store had and stuffed them in my bag.

Once there, I mentioned to the teacher I brought Highlighters for the grade 12 students. I assumed I would just give him the bag and he would distribute them. However, this was a considered a “gift” so they had me sit at a table under the mango tree and the students file in front of me. I was to give them a Highlighter and they were to thank me personally.

“Dear Lord” I quietly said to myself, “I hope I have enough. I never counted the Highlighters or the students!” I semi-panicked … hum … fully-panicked is a better word.

The students kept filing by me and I kept reaching in the bag, smiling and praying loudly in my mind, “Dear Jesus, HELP ME!”

And He did.

Would you believe, 68 students walked before me and I had exactly 68 Highlighters.

Now what are the chances of that happening?

Only God knew the number I needed a month before and about 13,000 km away.

We serve a great God. He cares about every detail of our lives; and those our lives touch everyday.

I am always humbled by the goodness and personal attention of a truly remarkable God.

“You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do…
You go before me and follow me…such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand”. Psalm 139:3-6

“Even the very hairs on your head are all numbered”. Matthew10:30

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”. 1 Peter 5:7

Today’s Prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father, truly you are amazing. Thank you for constantly showing us your care and inviting us to believe that you care! Forgive us for not trusting you more – You are a good good Father!

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Sweet Mom,

Avoid the pitfall of comparing for no two journeys are the same. If you have been thinking that someone’s life looks easier than yours, do not be deceived; there are always things you know nothing about. Settle into God’s will for your life and be content. Comparing how we look, our family, our homes … is just not wise. A thankful heart, makes a cheerful countenance, and changes everything.

“We do not dare …  compare ourselves… when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”.  2 Corinthians 10:12 

forgetting the past and looking ahead

Forgetting the Past and Looking Ahead

“Forgetting things behind you” Philippians 3:13 The writer of this truth was the apostle Paul. He sure needed to forget what was behind him. Perhaps you know his story from reading the New Testament.

Paul was a dreadful persecutor of those who believed in Jesus. He hauled believers off to prison, had them beaten and even killed.

He was one angry, bad dude.

However, God had a plan for Paul. He knew what he could become, so he didn’t leave him who he was.

Much like us really … God knows what we can be so He won’t leave us where we are … it’s called “mercy”.

Once Paul became a believer, he never looked back. In order to move forward … well, he writes it better than I could say …

“But one thing I do; forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead …”. Philippians 3:13 

Paul focused on this “one thing”.

Maybe we focus on too many things.

There is simply no other way to move forward. Only in forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead … can we move on.

As Paul, He depended on the grace of God to wash away his sins and we can confidently do the same.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard”. Romans 3:23

 “Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, rescue us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:12

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, how I need to do this. Stop beating myself up for my past. I ask you to forgive me and change me from the inside out. May I remember to simply do “one thing” today, forget the past and move forward to what is ahead”.

 

Mom, God sees you ...

It had been a busy day and I kept moving from morning to night, actually, with a new baby in the house, I was moving in the middle of the night as well.

It was bedtime for my other two and I had just tucked them in.

Completely exhausted with my third child now asleep in my arms, I sat down to catch my breath.

When I revived enough to make it up the stairs, I tucked my infant son in his crib and tiptoed down the hall to check on my two little girls. They were breathing softly in sleep.

“Good” I thought, “I’ll scoot to bed now”.

However, as I lingered at the girl’s door watching them in their beds, the weight of raising them hit me.

The responsibility of their lives overwhelmed me. Did I have what it takes to raise them?

Up to this point, God had entrusted me with three eternal human beings. Three people that would spend eternity somewhere, and I was their mother. Their teacher. Their nurturer. At this age, I was everything to them.

I slid down the wall in the hallway and sat on the floor and cried, “Oh God, help me to be a good mother to these children. Teach me how to raise them to serve you”.

I understood I couldn’t do it on my own.

I knew I needed God in a big way.

When no one notices the sacrifices you make, the love you give or the patience you display day after day – remember, God sees you. He cares for you sweet mom. Trust in Him today.

I encourage you to memorize these verses. Write them out and carry them close. God will help you.

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him”. Psalm 127:3

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young”. Isaiah 40:11

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me”. Psalm 16:8

Today’s Prayer

“Dear Heavenly Father, I too am overwhelmed at my responsibility. I’m pulled in all different directions and feel like I’m about to fall apart. Please help me. Let me see the children you have placed in my care as gifts, rewards from you. Give me everything I need to be a godly mother. My trust is in you. Please help me”.

 

The other day I heard someone say, “This is just God’s intermission.” Made me stop and ponder.

God’s intermission?

There has never been a time in history were the whole world has shut down. Think about it? From the tiniest island to the biggest land mass – we are all in the same boat, as it were, together. Our planet as we know it – has abruptly stopped – except for our essential workers of course, and to them we owe a deep sense of gratitude.

Intermission actually means, “a pause or break”. Quite interesting isn’t it? From the CEO of Apple, to the lowest of jobs, it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do, what country you live in, or what house you call home, it makes no difference if you drive a car, own a bike or walk – the order is still the same, STAY HOME.

STAY HOME?

In this fast pace society, we don’t stay home much. We travel world-wide, commute to work, eat out, play sports, attend concerts, who stays home for even a whole day? Almost unheard of anymore. We work five, shop for one and then collapse on the first day of the start of another hectic week. STAY HOME? It was virtually impossible, that is until about March 12th or so this year.

God’s intermission.

When faith replaces fear, and health, not wealth becomes of utmost importance – and family, not friends is all you have… when finding food trumps window shopping and reading outdoes movies… life’s intermission can teach us some important life lessons. One’s we shouldn’t forget.

You see, life isn’t just about making a living, it’s about making a life worth living. It’s about keeping our priorities right… loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – and our neighbour as ourselves. Jesus said, this is the first and greatest commandment.

I challenge you, to take this interruption of life itself, this “God intermission” and come out better, for having gone through this time. Only you know what you need to reprioritize, to make this intermission – oh, so eternally worthwhile.

By God’s grace and His protection over those you love from this virus, He will see us through this time. I’ll leave you with my favourite blessing. Be encouraged today with God’s truth.

“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, may He lift up His countenance upon you – and give you peace. Amen.”

As a young child, whenever my parents were hit with a calamity, they went to God’s word and asked Him, “Lord, what are You saying about this situation? because, they knew, the Bible had an answer for everything. This practice was so successful in their lives, that I have carried this custom over into my own.

The calamity in our global world right now is the coronavirus.

So, how can we as believers in Jesus stay strong and positive throughout this crisis? What does God’s word say?

 In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.  (Psalm 57:1)

So, do not fear, for I am with you. (Isaiah 41:10)

 If the daily count of this virus is upsetting you and causing fear, I would encourage you to listen to whatever the experts are suggesting, which is only common sense, and then, count up the people in your family, and pray God’s word over them all.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. (Psalm 91:9,10)

 My loving parents have made this their daily practice for longer than probably any of you have been alive, throughout all the viruses and other world calamities in their 80+ years – and Jesus has brought them through everything. Remember our enemy heaps on a spirit of fear, but again, God’s word says: that He (Jesus) will give us power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Talk to God today, as my parents do every day. Stand on God’s truth and when you do, be assured, your foundation will not shift or move. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It had been a busy day and I kept moving from morning to night, actually, with a new baby in the house, I was moving in the middle of the night as well.

 It was bedtime for my other two and I had just tucked them in. Completely exhausted with my third child now asleep in my arms, I sat down to catch my breath.

When I revived enough to make it up the stairs, I tucked my enfant son in his crib and tiptoed down the hall to check on my two little girls. They were breathing softly in sleep.

 “Good” I thought, “I’ll scoot to bed now.”

However, as I lingered at the girl’s door watching them in their beds, the weight of raising them hit me. The responsibility of their lives overwhelmed me. Did I have what it takes to raise them?

 Up to this point, God had entrusted me with three eternal human beings. Three people that would spend eternity somewhere, and I was their mother. Their teacher. Their nurturer. At this age, I was everything to them.

I slid down the wall in the hallway and sat on the floor and cried, “Oh God, help me to be a good mother to these children. Teach me how to raise them to serve you”.

 I understood I couldn’t do it on my own.

 I knew I needed God in a big way.

When no one notices the sacrifices you make, the love you give or the patience you display day after day – God sees you.

God did help me to raise these three to adulthood, plus two more. He’s such a Faithful Father. You can trust Him to help you too.

He’s a Faithful Father.

I encourage you to memorize these verses. Write them out and carry them close. God will help you.

 “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him”. Psalm 127:3

 “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young”. Isaiah 40:11

 “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me”. Psalm 16:8

 “Dear Heavenly Father, I too am overwhelmed at my responsibility. I’m pulled in all different directions and feel like I’m about to fall apart. Please help me. Let me see the children you have placed in my care as gifts, rewards from you. Give me everything I need to be a godly mother. My trust is in you. Please help me.” 

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Dear Mom,

This year is almost in the history books and what’s done is done. The good news is: you can start fresh tomorrow and to ensure change, commit to forgetting the past – both good and bad. The good has a tenacity to make us proud, and the bad, well, that can keep us miserable. Commit to letting last year go and looking ahead to tomorrow. I pray for an extraordinary, victorious, successful, surprised-with-God’s-goodness, kind of year! “Lord, let it be so! Amen.”

But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13, NLT)

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The Night Everything Changed

As darkness fell, nothing was out-of-the-ordinary. The shepherds were in the fields with their sheep, possibly reclining with their back against a rock (uncomfortable!) – watching, like every other night.

Can you imagine their surprise, when right before their slumbering eyes an angel appeared? And I wonder why to them? During the last week, there were lots of important people milling around Bethlehem. The king had decreed a worldwide census; which meant, everyone had to make the trek back to the town of their birth to be counted. Can you imagine the chaos across the country with everyone on the move?

No doubt the shepherds were content to simply be in the fields away from the hustle and bustle in town.

And “suddenly” the angel revealed to lowly shepherds …

the greatest birth announcement ever!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”. Luke 2:11

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”. Luke 2:13

Literally, the sky burst forth in angelic chorus with a “multitude” singing – announcing the birth of the Christ child.

No one expected anything to change on the –

“night everything changed”.

I wished I could have been there.

I love it when God brings about a “suddenly!”

Do you need a “suddenly” this Christmas? An answer to prayer that “suddenly” bursts out of nowhere?

Allow me to encourage you today – trust in God with all your heart and don’t try to figure everything out, be anxious for nothing, pray about everything – and watch for God’s “suddenly”.

The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “nothing is impossible with God” and indeed, a short while later the scripture was fulfilled, “and she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger …” (Luke 2:7)

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Be encouraged this Christmas. Immanuel, “God is with us”, He sees you, cares for you and came for you!

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I am watching for my “suddenly”. You can do more than I can think or even imagine and I trust in you today … nothing is impossible with you”.

Doing Good

There are needy people all around us.

You don’t have to look far to find someone to encourage.

While on his way to work one day, my son saw a man sleeping on a park bench.

A quick thought entered his mind, “I should leave him my lunch”.

Now when you’re in your early twenties to give your food away is a biggie! However, he didn’t debate this “inkling”, he just followed through with his first thought and left his bagged lunch by the sleeping man.

When his stomach growled around noon, my son went to the lunch room just to get a drink; and to his surprise saw a mountain of sandwiches on the table – leftovers from a morning meeting.

I know everything doesn’t always turn out good when we do something good, however, the point here is, God sees everything we do.

To Him, everything we do is a big deal.

We are Christ’s representatives on earth. He only has us.

Kind of sobering really – to think we are all He has.

Actually that’s really sobering.

Years ago I remember seeing a teenage girl sitting on a park bench with her head buried in her hands, obviously distraught. I had a couple of little kids in tow then and I didn’t stop. Yes, I was busy – but that busy? I still remember her.

Maybe she just needed someone to say, “God loves you, He cares for you”. I missed that opportunity and now decades later, I still remember and feel bad.

God’s word teaches us. “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone …”. (Galatians 6:10)

Of course we have to use common sense and in this day and age of terror, I know we must be careful – however – our smile or kind word might be the only gesture someone receives which says, “you matter”.

Today’s Prayer:

Help me Lord – that whenever I have the opportunity, I will do good to everyone …”. (Galatians 6:10)

Amen.

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This day shouts, “start over” the old is gone and the new has come.

The apostle Paul in the Bible certainly understood the concept of “the old is gone and the new has begun”. He needed a “do-over”.

Read his story and you are quickly aware of his early beginnings. He was full of anger, pride and selfishness; he was one bad dude. Paul was so adamant against Christianity, he made it his goal to destroy as many believers as possible.

He stood by as the apostle Stephen was killed and did nothing. Consented to it actually.

He shut up followers of Jesus in prisons, he had them beaten and killed.

However, even someone like the apostle Paul can change, and change He did. Jesus saw something in Paul, and if channeled correctly – would turn the world upside down. Jesus met him in a vision and changed the trajectory of his life. We are still talking about the life of Paul.

Do you need a directional change? Need a “do-over?”

Like Paul, we cannot change the past, but we can change our end story. Paul dealt with his past in this way, “… but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”. Philippians 3:13 (NLT)

Did you catch that, “this one thing?”

One thing, he had to put the past behind him and he said, “forget it” and moved on.

Are you dwelling on the past? Failures and wrongs? Even though Paul did despicable things, Jesus pursued him, saved him and gave him a future.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Paul repented of his past and accepted Christ’s forgiveness … and you can too. I would encourage you today, surrender all your life to Jesus, past, present and future.

It’s the only way to live.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive my sins and prepare my heart for eternity with You. Make me new – inside and out. I choose today to let the past go and keep my eyes locked on what lies ahead. You have only good plans for me!” Amen.

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Dear Mom,

Is anxiety knocking at your door today? It happens sweet mom. God says, “Give me your cares and I’ll give you my peace.” To be honest, waiting for some answers to prayer can be agonizingly painful and to remain at rest in the process, is contrary to our natural way of thinking. Nonetheless, God tells us not to be anxious, worried or troubled. I remind myself often:

“Do not be anxious about anything… God will make a way.” I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27, NLT)

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Dear Mom,

After a very tiring day of meeting everyone’s needs, Jesus and His disciples escaped to the “peace of the sea”. At some point during the night, a storm arose and with Jesus so exhausted, He didn’t hear a thing. Sweet mom, can you identify? I’m sure you can. Once Jesus went to sleep, He stayed asleep. He was so drained. Isn’t it wonderful He understands our weariness? Jesus understands everything.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. Mark 6:31

 

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Dear Mom,

Children often ‘act out’ as their only means of expressing “something is not right in my world.” As mothers, our reactions must be more mature than their outbursts. I heard a quote once that carried me through many troubles, “Blessed are the children whose parents have already grown up.” We need God every moment to keep us calm, sane and not act like a child ourselves. Whisper His Name next time you feel done in. He is right where you are.

“Love is patient and kind … is not irritable … endures through every circumstance”. 1 Corinthians 13

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Dear Mom,

A teenager’s cry: Who will love me just for me? Does anyone care? Can I ever be forgiven for being so dumb? Will I make it? Do I have what it takes to succeed in life? Dear sweet mom, you and I have both been there … be compassionate with your child. We are “training” them – they are not there yet. It will take 18+ years to complete your assignment, and then some. Love them with no strings attached and see what God will do.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” I Corinthians 13: 4-7

 

 

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Dear Mom,

I encourage you sweet Mom, refuse to be weighed down with past sins, failures and wrong choices; and don’t waste another minute feeling guilty. We beat ourselves up for things we should have done the, “woulda, coulda, shoulda” mentality. To move ahead – if it’s possible – ask forgiveness of others, embrace the present, and sprint towards your future. It’s a new day – fix what you can and move on. Choose the path of peace.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24, NIV)

This World Is Not Our Home

This World Is Not Our Home

In the last few years’ peace around the globe has vanished. You don’t have to look far to realize, this world is not our home.

It seems every week there is another attack somewhere on our planet.

Where does one go that is safe anymore?

I have a husband who travels globally, yes, the world is a different place then even a few years ago.

How do you make sense of it all? How do we continue to live in such a volatile place with hostile people? People who cheat, steal, kill and lie.

And we know where lies come from … Jesus speaks directly to those who oppose the gospel in John. Kind of a harsh text but will explain a few things.

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies”. John 8:44

Sums up who is at the crux of evil – the father of lies – the evil one.

As followers of Jesus, we should not be afraid. Jesus speaks to us:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid”. John 14:27

A few years ago we had an overseas friend visit us for supper. She had lived through the civil war in Uganda and after the meal as we chatted over tea, I asked her, “How did you make it through such fear, suffering and terror?”

Softly she replied, “The just shall live by faith”. She simply believed she would live by God’s grace and did whatever it took to survive.

In our new age of terror – we do not have to be terrorized.

Jesus lived in an age where there was great upheaval as well. One day He comforted His disciples with these words:

“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

May you too be comforted as you read the words of Jesus.

Faith is keeping an unwavering confidence in God regardless of what is going on worldwide, or in our personal lives.

My friend was right.

“ … the just shall live by faith”.   Habakkuk 2:4

Today’s Prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking peace to Your followers and for promising to be with us no matter what. You see what is going on in our world and in my life – I choose to live by faith, You will never leave me or forsake me.

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Dear Mom,

Life is full of delays of one sort or another. Be it a late start, crying babies, a red light or the dreaded irritation, the slowest line at the grocery store – something is always forcing us to slow down. Jesus says to us – rest awhile. As a busy mom, it’s almost impossible some days to find a minute to stop… however, if you don’t come apart – you’ll fall apart. Spend a few moments every day in God’s presence.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. Mark 6:31

Lake Louise

Dear Mom,

While it is excellent to have a wise mentor or friend, God extends a friendship to you that is beyond compare. He listens intently, cares completely and knows what you should do in every circumstance. He has all wisdom, keeps your secrets and gives full support to your successes. There is no one more faithful. Express your love to Him while you drive to work or take your lunch or make lunches for your little people. Imagine you can see Him – He’s right with you.

       “Trust in the Lord at all times … pour out your heart before Him”.  Psalm 62:8 

 

Summer Rest

Dear Mom,

This summer, take a little time out to recharge. All too soon schedules and the oh-so-daily-routine will begin again, so take time to slow down. It would be nice to just float around on a catamaran, however, chances are that’s not possible 🙂 so … take the kids to a park or have a coffee and sit quietly on your lunch hour… your body and mind need to coast. You’ll never live this day or have this summer again. Enjoy.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven …”. Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Dear Mom,

As I trekked along a dusty path in a needy nation, my heart was steadily breaking. I could not help but think that Jesus came to set every captive free, bring relief to the afflicted and love to the downtrodden. In your world today sweet mom, there are women all around you that need a glimmer of hope. In your busy-ness, do not overlook them. Just a smile tells someone “you matter” – behind every heart is a secret sorrow, it’s so important to be kind.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” I Corinthians 13: 4-7

Shepherd - Psalm 23

The Shepherd’s Psalm – Psalm 23

This Psalm has been a favourite to millions.

I memorized this Psalm as a child and have never forgotten it.

Sheep and shepherds are referred to over and over in the Bible. In Genesis 4, Abel was a keeper of flocks. In Matthew’s gospel, Christ’s birth was announced by angels to shepherds.

Often Jesus talked about sheep. Once He looked over the multitude before Him and was moved with compassion – they looked “distressed and helpless” as one version puts it, like “sheep having no shepherd”.

In simple terms – mankind cannot make it on their own. Something deep inside us cries out for guidance, a helper, a shepherd – someone to make sense out of life.

I sat beside a gentleman on a plane recently and he was chatting away. I sensed a searching in his heart and when I said, “Jesus loves you”, instantly tears started flowing down his face. The more I told him God cared for him, the more he cried.

Hearts in every city, every country, all around the world are hurting… we need a Shepherd.

God created us with a “heart vacuum” that can only be filled by Him.

I would encourage you to pray the 23rd Psalm often. Here it is in my own words …

“Dear God, you are my shepherd.
I know with you in the lead, I have everything I need.
Since I rarely slow down on my own, I see you have brought circumstances into my life that have caused me stop. You have my attention – please restore my balance.
The path you laid out for my life is the right one. Even if it means walking through uncharted valleys, I know with you up ahead, I will not be afraid.
Your gentle smile and soft nudges comfort me.
Even if enemies surround me, by your very presence I maintain peace; I sense your overwhelming support.
May your kindness and compassion be my mantle for life, until we meet together in heaven forever. Amen”.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being my Shepherd. Truly I have everything I need to live my life. With You by my side, I need not worry about anything. I will follow you dear Shepherd of mine.

 

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Dear Mom,

There is a story in the Bible concerning a leader facing an impossible situation. Baffled as to how to conquer his battles, he prayed and God showed him what to do. Perhaps today sweet mom, you too are bewildered about the best way to handle your child or what to do about a situation troubling you. Allow me to encourage you today, ask God for a solution and keep asking until He shows you what to do. He cares for you and your family.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you”. 2 Chronicles 20:12

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We had hoped this day would never come, however, when we heard the sound of the horn, we knew it was time to go. King Nebuchadnezzar had constructed a statue of himself and everyone, unbelievably, was to bow to his image. There was no way we were going to bend, or bow as was the case, our convictions were solid; we would not move.

The consequences were severe – being thrown into a burning furnace. However, we set our faces like flint, looked straight ahead and stood. Tall.

“No movement” said one. “We will stand together and if need be, we’ll die together”.

Perhaps you know this story. For their faith they were thrown in the flames, however, the Bible says, “a man like unto the son of God” moved about in the midst of the fire and they were not even burned.

Miracle of miracles. Even the men who threw them into the fire couldn’t stand the heat and died – nothing is impossible with God.

Perhaps you are in need of a miracle today?

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

The Old and New Testament testifies to an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God. He never changes.

Allow me to encourage you; dig in your heels and believe like these three guys – your God is able and He is on your side. They believed in God, whether He saved them from certain death or not.

Faith isn’t in the saving – but in the surrender.

With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible”. Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

In spite of what we face, our Heavenly Father blesses us with Himself – exactly like He did with the “boys” and then reminds us, “nothing is impossible with God”.

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, you are truly all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-together wonderful. Please answer my prayer. I need a miracle as well and I come to you. I believe you are fully able!”

Start Fresh - Farm Cows

Start Fresh

One day we had a herd of cows delivered to the farm.

It was suppertime and I expected my husband home any minute, however, the delivery truck arrived a few minutes early and I shuttered, “Oh noooooooo, I need the delivery guy to wait for my husband before letting the cows out!!!”

I knew I shouldn’t ask that question as they don’t have time to wait – so the delivery/farmer guy looked at the electric fence we had and said, “no problem” and opened the back of the truck.

What happened next was wildness. Out barged the cattle stampeding like wild animals!

They bolted recklessly through the electric fences and into the farmer’s fields nearby. It was complete madness.

My husband arrived home shortly after to utter chaos. One look at me and then the hind end of all our cows and he started running – chasing them, trying to coral them back.

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After a significant period of time and the repairing of broken fences – thankfully, we found all our cows …

You probably know people similar to our cows, taking no thought to consequences they barge through boundaries. If the truth be told, we all have been like the cows as well, ignored what we should have done, and did what we wanted… and… suffered the consequences.

However, we don’t have to keep “barging!”

Every morning we can start fresh with the help of our Creator … when we ask forgiveness, He wipes out our mistakes from yesterday and helps us start again … He’s so kind.

“… Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, Great is Your faithfulness”. Lamentations 3: 22,23

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations”.  Psalm 100: 4,5

 Today’s Prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father, teach me to obey you first thing. It is so unnecessary to always be learning the hard way. Thank you that Your mercies that are indeed new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.

 

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Dear Mom,

Life is similar to a relay race; along the way you will “tag” a range of people. Some mom friends stay with you briefly, while others keep in step for a while. And then there will be a few who will stay long term, but only one friend has been with you from the beginning and will accompany you to the end, God your Heavenly Father. Maybe you need this truth today… your Creator will never leave you, ever. He sees you and cares for you.

“The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore”. Psalm 121:8

Dear sweet mom,

Every married couple stood at an altar and made a covenant before God and people. They vowed to stick with their sweetheart, “Until death do us part.” Marriage is a commitment like none other, and even if we receive the worst or were interrupted with sickness or are just plain poor, we vowed, “That’s ok with me, I’ll stay by your side.” Makes you stop, and think doesn’t it?  What’s happened? If you are struggling with your vows today, talk to your Heavenly Father who instituted marriage… He cares for you.

 “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”. 1 Peter 5:7

babiesDear Mom,

Dirt and diapers. Some days that is the extent of a mother’s day – changing diapers and sweeping up dirt. Sweet mom, allow me to remind you – things do not always appear as they seem! The eternal little soul you care for is not just ordinary and neither are you. You were hand picked by God to be your child’s mother. Let that truth sink in today – hand picked… you… and with God’s help… you can raise exceptional children. God is with you!

“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart“. Psalm 37:4

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When God Delays His Answer

What do you do when you pray and do not receive the answer you were hoping for?

How do you cope when your prayers go unanswered?

When your world goes dark, how do you keep trusting in an unseen God?

Where is the “song in the night” when life isn’t fair?

Let me answer your questions with this story.

Jesus loved Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. In fact, He often went to their home for a meal, just for fellowship; which is quite amazing when you think of it – just hanging out, having supper with Jesus.

They were friends. Obviously pretty close friends.

As Jesus was ministering in another town, word came to Him that his friend Lazarus was sick. The sisters must have sent for Him. It doesn’t matter how many times I read this story, I am always surprised at Jesus’ response. He didn’t rush to them, He didn’t immediately fix the situation, He simply heard the messenger and kept doing what He was doing.

We don’t see – what Jesus sees.

He knows and observes and completely understands – the big picture.

In a couple of days, He would go to Mary and Martha and show Himself strong on their behalf – but for now, today and a couple of tomorrow’s – they didn’t understand, their world went dark.

And sometimes ours does too.

When you pray and seemingly do not receive an answer, delay does not mean denial, as was the case with Lazarus. In God’s timing and when His purpose had been accomplished, their prayer was answered in the most loving, caring and miraculous way.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

Dear one, God sees you. God hears you and one day, He’ll answer your prayer.

You’ll have a resurrection story.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine”. Isaiah 55:8

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him”. 1 Corinthians 2:9

“Call to me and I will answer you …”. Jeremiah 33:3

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, even though I do not understand your ways – I trust you. Please answer my prayer and give me a resurrection story. I am putting all my hope in you and the promises I treasure from your word. I rest in you today”.

Dear sweet mom,

May the Lord bless you today, on this Mother’s Day. Speaking of mom’s, can you imagine the young mom Mary, being chosen as a teenager to participate in such a remarkable story. She was chosen, and we are too. We too, have a specific assignment to fulfil. Your children need YOU! Your personality, your gifts – everything about you is perfect for them. God never makes a mistake where He places children in families. They bear your mark forever, so love them dearly! God will help you be a good, actually no, a great, mom!

Well done, good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your Lord. (Matthew 25:21, KJV)

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Dear Mom,

Wisdom comes from following God’s pattern for living, having plenty of common sense and doing what is right. Your actions and reactions have an affect on your home’s thermometer. When I was in my intense mothering years, and perhaps feeling a bit discouraged, I would ask myself, “Am I doing better than this time last year”? If my answer was “yes,” then I just kept plugging along; however, if I answered “no,” then I knew I needed to change something. Ask God for help dear sweet Mom, whatever your age and stage in parenting, because, everything matters and everyday matters too.

But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.  (Philippians 3:13, NLT)

Dear Mom,

God’s mercies are new every day. He does not reprimand you for yesterday; never writes you off for wrong deeds, does not give you the silent treatment nor does He make sure you pay for messing up. Sweet Mom, every morning God simply waits for you to come to Him and talk. As you pour your coffee, “Good morning Lord,” is a great way to start your day. A relationship with God is our initiative; He’s a perfect gentleman.

“… because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, Great is Your faithfulness”. Lamentations 3: 22,23

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Dear Mom,

I listened to a young couple talk about their first-born child who had Downs Syndrome, and the shock they had the day of his birth. Listen to the dad’s thoughts a few years later: “My young son’s birth was the worse day of my life and also the best. I have leaned more about life, love and God through Him, than I would ever have had without him. Truly God knew. This child was His gift to us.” I was inspired listening to this father. Truly God’s ways are nothing like our ways and His thoughts, nothing like our thoughts. Every child is precious is His sight.

” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11

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Dear Mom,

As I listened to a young soldier recall the ‘explosion,’ and how he has had to come to terms with the amputation of his leg, my heart was so saddened. I concluded, there is what you call outer strength and then there is another kind, a gripping inner tenacity. This young warrior, undoubtably, had both. Often when life throws you a curve sweet mom, enormous courage is required to carry on.

 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29, NKJV)

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Dear Mom,

Do not lose control of the only person that you can control – yourself. To give into anger or resort to resolving a conflict in an uproar will only cause more loss of control. To stay in control when everything is out of control takes divine control. God is with you sweet mom, and will give you the wherewithal to handle situations in a composed manner. When I was young and pushed to the limit, I’d lock myself in the washroom, pray and calm down long enough to act like an adult and then carry on… and if you ask God to help you… He will help you too. Talk to Him in every crisis; He knows how to solve them.

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

 

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Dear Mom,

The psalmist David had been discouraged; in fact, he describes himself as having perplexity of mind and in despair. Mothers can relate; some days you feel like you are loosing your mind – everyone wants a piece of you! From your job, to running the kids here and there, the doctors, the dentist, the parent/teacher interviews – YESSSSS mothers can get overwhelmed! In David’s needy state, God reached out to him and picked him up; for you, He can do the same. Please don’t stay downhearted sweet mom, God will help you. Talk to Him and read His word. Ask for the PEACE of God.

“My tears have been my food day and night… By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me”. Psalm 42: 3,8

 

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Dear Mom,

Hope is unwavering faith. It is seeing in your mind’s eye a promise, something not yet a reality. It’s visualizing your children staying on the right course; it’s seeing a dream come to pass. Hope is a steadfast confidence of expectation, and staying hopeful pleases God. It conveys to Him the exclusive loyalty of your heart, “I’m trusting in you alone.” Whatever you are facing today, do not lose hope. God will see you through.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Dear Mom,

We just don’t like it when our kids complain about making their beds, or emptying the garbage or some other chore you ask them to do. Did you know the Bible says to do everything without complaining? It actually says that… and maybe we should do it ourselves! God’s word is so practical; even down to doing things without grumbling. What a great principle for ourselves and to teach to our children.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. (Philippians 2:14,15, NLT)

A Minute For Moms

Dear Mom,

Philippians could be named the, “Mental health book of the Bible.” I heard it said, “Read Philippians every day for one month and your discouragement will disappear.” Why not try it? Skip scrolling through Instagram and read Philippians! Ponder the truths in this remarkable book and be encouraged. Surprisingly, this book was written from prison.

Rejoice in the Lord always. (Philippians 4:4, KJV)

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Dear Mom,

My last child of five is now married. After almost four decades, they all have their own address. My first goal for them: to know Jesus as their Saviour and serve Him – pure and simple. Sweet mom, make every effort to reflect the Christ you love and want them to serve. Continue to sow good seeds, regardless of the cost to you. Even if you don’t see a harvest today… keep sowing. Interestingly, a great work is often accomplished in us, as we simply keep sowing for them. It’s God’s law of the harvest.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”.                                                                                Galatians 6:9

Are you are discouraged today? Perhaps a dream has been shattered? Maybe your future looked bright, but all of a sudden uncertainty loomed like an angry sea.  Being ‘discouraged’ simply means you have lost your ‘courage’. From  time to time we all lose courage, because… from time to time life is hard. Talk to the Lord today about everything, and your heart will be encouraged. God cares and He sees you.

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV)

Glaciers are magnificent giants standing like statues against a backdrop of the sea. As we inched our way towards this seemingly unmovable mountain, with just a little wind and a warm day – even these unyielding glaciers are no match for the heat of the sun. Perhaps you have a problem in your life that appears as gigantic as this glacier. Try as you might, you have no solution on how to solve your difficulty. Dear reader, with a little prayer, even a heartfelt whimper – God can shift anything. 

Call to me and I will answer you.  (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)  

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