Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.

Jeremiah 18:4 The Msg

Hello Friends!

Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas and enjoyed a wonderful holiday with those who matter most to your heart. Like you, I enjoyed my Christmas and have now turned my heart and mind towards the new year. Can you believe that 2014 is about ready to be added to the history books? YIKES! I can’t.

Where did the time go?

Lets be honest. Most of us already have our minds in 2015. We’re already contemplating making it our best year ever. We’re ready to lose those unwanted pounds, start new ventures and careers, and we’ve promised ourselves that we’re going to get ourselves together so that we are the best “me” we can possibly be for the coming year.

Say amen if I’m telling the truth.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but while watching one of my favorite HGTV home shows the other day, a thought came to me. One that I wanted to share with you my Sister Circle. Something to help us focus our hearts and minds as we look to our new year.

Use what ya got.

Let me explain. I love watching home decorating shows. And while I enjoy watching people shop for new homes in exotic places and the journey that comes with buying and decorating new homes, my favorite shows are the ones where a homeowner needs to give an old house a new look. They’re not interested in starting over as much as they want to start anew.

Using what they already have.

A little re-painting, re-positioning of some things, and some re-imaging of what their home could be, and these homeowners have a home that is showcase worthy. And even though new furnishings and accessories may have been added and updates made that added newness to the home, whats more amazing to me is that the “new look” was already there.

It was simply hiding within the “old look” of the home.

It just took someone with an eye for the details to recognize it. To reveal it. To release it. Someone who looked beyond what was present and saw the possibilities. Someone not afraid to use what was already there.

We have Someone like that in our lives too.

Someone who knows us from the inside out. And loves us in a way that everything He placed within us, He can use for our good and His glory.

As you look to the gift of this coming New Year dear friend, keep that excitement about the “new” things you want to do and accomplish, and even those new mindsets and attitudes you want to take on in the new year.

Just know that like those houses in need of a makeover, “new” is already in you. And I promise if you let Him, God will call out those things He’s already placed in you. So that like those old homes you too can live a life that is showcase worthy.

For Him.

Happy New Years!

By the way, I’m going to keep watching my HGTV, I have some projects I need to get inspired to get done in my own home. But I’m also going to keep watching my G-O-D too. I’m looking forward to all that He’s going to make over in me for 2015.

How about you?

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 NIV

A Morning Song

And each morning and evening

they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him.

1 Chronicles 23:30 NLT

Good morning Friends!

Fall has definitely landed here in the midwest! Mornings are frost covered and cool, and our light fades much earlier with our new fall time change. But in spite of the chill in the morning air today, I heard one of my favorite sounds, a sound that I generally associate with spring or at least warmer temperatures.

It was the sweet sound of a bird’s morning song.

I’m not sure what it is about birds and their singing that reaches a place in me.

  • Perhaps its because they offer their song as a part of who they are and what they were created to do.
  • Perhaps its becuase they offer their song unconditionally, without thought, hesitation or agenda.
  • Or perhaps its just because its sweet, just because its pretty.

But whatever the reason, this morning when I heard that familiar trill, my heart smiled and my soul opened up. It set the tone for my day.

A tone of worship.

A tone of thanksgiving.

A tone of gratitude.

So join me this morning friends as we sing to our Lord a song of PRAISE and THANKSGIVING!

Let’s make our living a beautiful song of worship to our God!

Will you join me?

A Sister's Circle

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

Psalm 23:2 NIV

I’ve always loved the 23rd Psalm.

Maybe its because I’ve always had this affinity and heart for animals. I often joke that instead of blessing me with a houseful of babies, God entrusted the care of animals to my heart and hands. So its easy for me to read this beautiful passage of scripture and see God’s heart as The Good Shepherd (John 10:10) and the loving care He extends to the sheep He attends to. Only a shepherd with a heart for his sheep could care for them in this way.

But I asked a question of my text group, I’d like to ask of you Sisters:

Who is God to you?

David saw Him as a shepherd . Maybe it was because David himself had been a shepherd boy and understood…

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Lightening Bug Lessons

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

Fire Fly.

Candle Fly.

Glow Worm.

Lantern Fly.

Fire Worm.

Lightening Bugs.

So many names. One little bug. But no matter what name we know them by, just the mention of this little bug with his big light takes most of us back to our childhood memories.

You know… those memories of summer nights spent giggling while trying to grasp those ever elusive blinking bugs so you could hopefully capture them (and their light) and watch them illuminate your hands (or jars) with their bright, glowing light.

But the other night as I watched these small, winged beetles twinkling in my own backyard, it wasn’t their light I found myself trying to grasp, but rather it was the lesson they were teaching me right before my eyes.

Let your light shine.

No matter how dark times get. Regardless of how many others are shining around you. No matter who or what pursues you. Regardless of what name gets attached to you. No matter where you are. Regardless of time or test.

You were born to shine, to fill the world around you with the light that lives within you.

As I grasped that lesson that night it filled a place in my heart that needed it. A place that needed the light of a lightening bug to illuminate the God who made it and who lives within me.

So as all lessons are meant to be, I share this one with you in the hope that together we can add some much needed Light where we are. Like the lightening bug. Firefly. Candle Fly. Glow worm. Lantern Fly. Fire Worm. We too can let our light shine.

In the season we’re in. In the life we’re living.

 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 150:6

When Love Comes Calling

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”     Samuel 3:10

Knock-Knock.

Who’s there?

Me.

Me who?

God.

Ever receive one of those knocks at your heart? At 2 a.m.? When you really wanted to sleep instead of pray?

I have.

Received one just the other night in fact. At a time when I would have normally been fast asleep, God called for me. And you know what?

My soul had no choice but to answer .

Its not that I’d been guilty of not studying His Word. Or that I’d stepped away from the assembly of the saints. It wasn’t that I’d stopped teaching His Word. Or that I’d failed in any of my obligations towards Him. It wasn’t even that I’d stopped praying.

So why did God feel the need to call for me during time set aside for my much needed hours of rest? (Some of us need many hours of beauty rest & I’m one of them)

The truth… Because I’d stopping reaching for Him in my waking hours.

How can that be you ask?

Because… Sudying His Word isn’t the same as speaking words to Him.

Beacuse… Going to church is no substitute for going to Him.

Because… Talking about Him and talking to Him, well they aren’t the same thing either.

It had been a while since we talked, really spent time with just the two of us. No agenda. No schedule. No interruptions. And I found out He missed me. He loved me.

And He wanted me to know that.

In our heart to heart that morning I re-learned that nothing, no matter how good, substitutes true intimacy with God. The thing He desires the most from me isn’t found in just how I fill my time for Him.

But in the time I fill with Him.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for a love that calls for me. Regardless of the time. Regardless of what I’ve done. I’m humbled by Your faithfulness to me inspite of me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

 

A Song In The Storm

 

 
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26 NIV
 
Above the roll of thunder that night I heard it. In the flash of the lightening I saw it. And though the rain fell and the wind blew, still it refused to be silenced. And even when darkness moved in and covered the sky, it refused to be swallowed by the absence of light.
 
It refused to surrender to the storm.
 
And as I listened that night to that lone creature serenading the storm, my heart was encouraged, my spirit was lifted. For though I found it odd that it did not seek shelter from the storm, I realized too that God had something to say to me about weathering my own storm.
 
I realized it wasn’t the force of the storm or its threatening presence that mattered.
Storms of any kind can be a loud and intimidating presence in our lives.
 
It wasn’t the down pours or heavy rains that mattered.
Sometimes life storms threaten to drown us with their downpour of problems that seem more than we can bear.
 
Nor was it the darkness in the storm that mattered.
Dark times do come with the storm.
 
But listening to the song I heard in that storm, I realized that what mattered wasn’t the storm at all. It was the song. And the willingness of the soul to sing it.
 
Inspite of the storm.
 
If a sparrow can sing thru its storm, why can’t I?
 
And as if He’d signed a permission slip with my name on it, I knew God had spoken. That He’d given me something I was overlooking in my own storm. My joy, my peace, my happiness had not come from the storm, they were gifts God Himself had given me long before the storm was ever on my horizon. They didn’t belong to the storm, so I could not surrender them in the storm.
 
And so as that song did for me that night and as God reminded me, I pass on to you my sister, my friend. Don’t give to your storm what it doesn’t deserve. Refuse to surrender to it. Hold on to your joy. Abide in His peace. Rest in His happiness. Sing your song.
 
Inspite of your storm.
 
 
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:7 NIV

Take Me To The King

Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.

Luke 5: 18 NIV
 
Take Me to The King
 
The other morning I saw a peculiar sight.
 
A man was being helped from a vehicle who was in a wheelchair. Now it wasn’t peculiar that he was in a wheelchair. The sign he held in his hands read that he was a war veteran and was hungry. So I assumed, that if his sign could be believed, that his inability to walk was a result of a wound he’s suffered in combat on behalf of his country. Many military women and men come back to us injured with both visible and invisible battle scars, so it wasn’t peculiar that he was in a wheelchair.
 
But what was peculiar was the person who lowered him from the vehicle.
 
Stationing his wheelchair where passersby could be sure to see and notice him, he positioned an American flag on the bag of this veteran’s wheelchair and assured him he’d return for him later.
 
Hidden in my heart came a remembered story from the bible.
 
I thought back to another lame man and another group of friends. Friends so concerned for their lame comrade and his inability to walk that they were willing to do whatever it took to get him some help. The right kind of help. Not help from the pity of strangers. Not help from a well placed position. Not help from misplaced or misguided compassion.
 
But the right kind of help.
 
Unable to make their way thru a crowd to get him to this Help, they saw their way clear to cutting a hole in a roof. And lowering their friend from a high place of love they positioned him for the help he really needed.
 
They lowered him in front of Jesus.
 
And friends thats my prayer for you today, that you would be surrounded by the love and compassion of true friends. Friends who know and see your needs. Friends who don’t abandon you at your lowest point. Friends who get you to The Friend.
 
Jesus.
 
I didn’t have money that morning for our friend in the wheelchair, but just as I did for him, I do for you today. I took his need to Jesus.
 
And I’ve done the same for you.
 
Be encouraged my friend that somebody took your name and need to The King named Jesus!
 
God bless you!