The Mountaintop and the Valley


Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

 Have you ever been at the point in your life when you thought, “I can’t handle one more thing?” It’s been that kind of a year for me and my family. But James tells us that when you face adversity with God, spiritual growth occurs (my interpretation of James 1:2-4).

Our life with Christ can’t always be a mountaintop experience. To grow spiritually, we must spend time walking with the Lord. And that walk may take us through a valley, or even many valleys. How we react when we are in the valley can show our spiritual maturity. Do we use our time in the valley to walk closer with God, or do we try to get off the path we are on and take matters into our own hands? We should remember that when we are in the valley, we are protected by the mountaintops.

Let God order your steps. In Psalm 119:113 the psalmist prays, “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.” God knows better than we do. If we follow Him, through the mountaintop, and the valley, and all the plateaus in-between, we will arrive at the destination He set for us. It’s in the journey that we grow the most.

 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:6-9



Yes, You Can Do It!


Sometimes we go through difficult seasons in life when we just don’t know how we are going to manage. Going through that difficulty seems impossible at the time, but somehow, with God’s help, you do make it through. That time for me was the month of August. My husband was sent out of town for work, for 4 weeks. Ok, so I knew I could manage the kids and back to school stuff on my own. What I wasn’t prepared for was all the things that were about to become more difficult.

First, I hurt my back so I had to add physical therapy to my routine duties. It’s been slowly healing, but first I had a set back and spent a day in bed. Second, the air conditioner died. I came home to a 93 degree house on a typical August afternoon. Fortunately, the repair man showed up by 9:00 p.m. and the part was a simple battery pack. He replaced it and cooler air started pumping again. Third, my son was driving his dad’s car. It was hit. Fortunately no one was hurt, but dealing with the insurance and rental vehicle was another time consuming task – one that my husband would normally handle. And then there was the internet, home phone, and TV that decided to stop working a few nights ago. Working with the AT& T technician on the phone was tricky, and the troubleshooting over the phone didn’t work. We had to wait for a repairman to show the next day.

Why do I tell you all this? While it was a tough time, I see God’s grace in every difficulty I had. The time alone with my kids was a chance to get a little closer to them. The day I spent in bed with a hurt back was time to pray and read my Bible. The air conditioner was a simple fix; we didn’t have to buy a new compressor. No phone and internet allowed me and my children some together time. And friends from church took care of us, both in prayer, and by bringing in a few meals when my back was causing the most problems.

God gave me the strength and ability to get through a very difficult month. All along the way God was taking care of my family, not allowing more than I could bear. What a great and loving God we have! You can do all things with God’s help!

Philippians 4:13
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

When Pain Is a Blessing

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” Mark 6:31-32

For several months now I’ve been too busy to write, or have I? An increase in work responsibilities, summer activities, a soon-to-be senior, and my husband being out of town have made it difficult to find time to write. And I miss it. I prayed for some time to write, and it appears God has answered my prayer in an unusual way.

Somehow I injured my back. My physician has diagnosed me with a bulging disk. Wow. Now I’m limited on what I can do as I let my body heal. I’m not able to participate in physically strenuous activities, and some housework won’t get done for a few weeks. Now I find myself with time to write again.

I haven’t looked at my current project for at least three months. This morning I opened the file on my computer and began to read and write. When I write I feel connected to my Lord in a very special way. Oh how I have missed this precious time alone with my Savior. There is something refreshing and spiritually healing about solitude with God. This time is not just precious to me, it is necessary for my spiritual growth.

We can’t let the busyness of life get in the way of the necessities of life. Some of the tasks vying for our attention may seem urgent, but are not really necessary. Take a moment to decide if there are any urgent requests are taking time from what is truly important.

 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5


Blessings on your day.



Coffee With Jesus

 coffee for two


We’ve all heard this question before, but I wonder if we have really given it much thought?

 If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone from history, who would that be and what would you want to talk about?

Your answer reveals a lot about what you are interested in, and where you are in your faith journey.

My answer is Jesus. But being in the presence of my King, I’m not sure I could speak at all. Perhaps I would just listen like Mary did when she sat at Jesus’ feet. If I could speak, I would ask Him if I am following Him the way He wants, and if I should be doing anything differently. We all wonder about that from time to time.

Today I am having coffee with Jesus. He may not be visibly sitting across the table from me, but He is here. I can talk to Him any time, not just in prayer.

It seems strange to just talk to Jesus, like I talk to a good friend; after all, I can’t see Him. But when I relax and seek Him, I can tell him what’s on my mind, what’s troubling me, and what my hopes and dreams are. I can ask for His guidance.

This is a wonderful, spiritually refreshing experience. Consider going somewhere to just be alone with Him. Clear your mind and let your spirit be recharged as you have a “conversation” with your best friend.

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25

Blessings on your day.

Dealing with Disappointment


“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk 3:1-18

 Something didn’t happen for me this past week. The situation seemed perfect, and I did everything right, but it still did not come to pass. I did ask God, “Why not?” because I can’t help but be disappointed. But I trust in the Lord. My prayer from the beginning was for God to close doors I’m not supposed to walk through. This door closed.

 When we are disappointed it is easy to assume God didn’t answer our prayer. We must remember that God does answer all prayer; sometimes that answer is “No.” Recall Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This verse tells us that God is working for our good. We just may not be able to see it at the time.

I talked to God about my disappointment, but I trust Him for something better. I can’t imagine something better than this particular situation, but God can. When we are disappointed, we must move on, and ask God for a new goal, His plan for our lives.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

 Part of our disappointment is that we are an impatient people. Remember that God’s timing is best. I’m finding comfort in knowing this truth from Scripture.  Joseph experienced a great deal of disappointment. He must have been disappointed in his brothers for the way he was treated. Being accused of something he did not do must have been a big disappointment. Joseph must have wondered what was going on during the years he spent in prison.  In all phases of his life, Joseph continued to trust in the Lord. Eventually, God’s plan became clear.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Are you disappointed? Don’t be discouraged, for God has a plan.

Blessings on your day.



Image: Google Images


Freedom – In Christ



So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36


Thinking about July 4th always brings up patriotic images, thoughts of freedom, and thoughts of summer fun. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I think we take our freedoms for granted, and perhaps, even abuse those freedoms.

In the fifth chapter of Galatians we find the Apostle Paul discussing freedom in Christ more thoroughly. God does not want us to be in any type of bondage, which is sin. That bondage can be worry, financial issues, addictions to drugs or alcohol, eating disorders, bad habits and other sin. But we are free to ask God to release us from what we find ourselves entangled in. It will take work, and prayer, but Christ can and will lead us to freedom.

Christ alone gives us all the freedom we need. We have the freedom to enjoy Him, and be free of enslavement to sin. Is there something that is weighing you down? Have you spoken to our Great God about how to free you from the captivity of sin?”

 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1


Blessings on your day.




A New Lifestyle

My life style has changed recently. My husband did find a job, but the job requires a lot of overtime. I rarely see him anymore. I’ve spent what time we have together with him on the weekends (when I used to write). Now he’s been told he will be required to work weekends and have two days off during the week. That leaves us even less time to be together.

This new lifestyle leaves me to take care of all the household obligations and dealing with our children’s activities. My evenings are filled with making dinner, doing chores, and running my children to their various functions. Gerry and I used to split those duties. The end of the school year was especially difficult. Hopefully this season of our lives will pass quickly.

It occurs to me that for single parents life is like this all the time. The single mom or dad raises their children alone, rarely if ever, getting a break. Too often we characterize single parents as making a poor choice. That may be the case – but we all must live with the consequences of our actions, whatever those may be.

We all know single parents. Reach out to them. See if we can take some of their burdens. Even a kind word will be welcome.