In the World, Not Of It



When listening to my Father’s call

the world attempts to use disguise

to lead me into my downfall

when lies are truth and truth are lies.

The Gospels lift me up to soar,

and daily mind and heart restore.


The words of Jesus free my thoughts

and bring me back to God’s embrace

to focus on the things I ought;

on love, compassion and His grace.

He came not to condemn but save

and all my sins expunged, forgave.


Abiding in the Spirit shows

me how to be and how to live.

Christ’s light from Living Water flows;

this fact holds no alternative.

The truth from fruit’s essential seeds

is God’s great source from which He feeds.


Because I sustain nourishment

from my Savior’s bread of life,

His voice of love is sweet assent

which melts and calms the daily strife.

God always is my Number One;

His wisdom never is outdone.


So say your truth, but I know His.

I am to open heart and hands,

to welcome all, and more than this;

to care for orphans, widows and

to reconcile the world, employ

God’s grace and wisdom, love and joy.


“I guarantee this truth: every believer has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” (John 6:47-48)

“For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who cares for the truth hears my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38)

And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Sufficient Grace!

Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NKJV

Many people are under the notion that when they surrender their lives to God all will be well.

And it is well, but not in the manner most people initially think. Salvation provides no guarantee for a stress free and smooth existence.

In fact, choosing to submit to God often brings us to a point of doing things we don’t want to do for people we don’t even like!

That annoying friction many of us encounter day to day is there to smooth out our “rough edges.”

Sometimes we wonder why what looks like the worst of circumstances has come our way, oblivious that the very situation we despise will make us stronger.

Gold is purified in fire.

We, being more valuable than gold will ultimately find ourselves in hot situations as well.

Pride, idolatry, and selfishness are often burned away when God allows some of our hardships to mold us.

True compassion and patience are often learned after receiving such. We tend to judge less when we have our own personal failings to serve as a reference point for viewing others.

God does not give us problems, but He can surely allow our circumstances to teach us valuable lessons and provide clarity we would never receive otherwise.

Even when we are doing all the “right” things, storms will come.

Our trials and circumstances don’t have to defeat us. In fact, they are often the very stepping stones we need to propel us into our Divine purpose and Glorify God in the process!

God always imparts what we need to get through our situations. He never pushes us into anything He hasn’t prepared us for. Now, some of our “preparation” is often “on the job training,” yet we can rise up to our challenges instead of falling before them.

sufficient grace b is for blessed devotional 1-2016 The apostle Paul is credited with writing a fair share of the New Testament. Persecution, imprisonment, and shipwreck didn’t lessen Paul’s resolve for doing what God called him to do.

Paul even suffered a “thorn” in his side that God refused to remove. I’m sure we can all relate to Paul’s plight. God’s answer to Paul’s plea for relief was “My grace is sufficient.”

And it is sufficient for us as well. When we resolve to stand strong and walk out God’s plan despite the pain, we ultimately fulfill His purpose for our lives.

And in doing this, we are blessed.

 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 NKJV

Wait For It…

“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint”  Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

As I was in the yard today, a beautiful hawk flew overhead. The first time it flew over me I was in such awe I forgot I had a camera hanging around my neck. I told God how beautiful it was and He sent it back to me not once but twice!

Usually when I hear hawks, I must search for them to get the shot.

But I didn’t have to do that today.

It came to me.

This was a great reminder that sometimes the things we long for, pray for and even struggle for, God will send to us.

We don’t always have to chase them!

I’m very much a work hard and earn it kind of gal. I try to instill that ethic into my teenagers. Yet, sometimes I can become so blinded by the work mentality, I don’t give myself adequate room to receive God’s grace.

Today’s hawk reminded me we don’t earn the grace God gives us. He freely sends it our way. Sometimes we can become so fixated on a painful past we fail to envision the new thing God is trying to give us!

I have managed to provide my kids with the things they need. However, I also enjoy surprising my kids with the things they want. This is especially true when they work hard or give something their all.

I don’t know why is it often so hard to grasp that our Father is willing to do the same for us as well? When we seek God, we please God. 

I’ve tried harder lately to seek God so I can see God all around me. This has not become a chore or a “to do” but rather treasured time that has given me more than I ever imagined.

So, two weeks ago when God gave me an unexpected gift, I embraced it.

I won a prize in a writing contest. I did not ask a million questions. I did not over think it. I just said “thank you.” The prize offered a solution to a dilemma I’d been pondering for nearly two years! My prize was a gift of favor and it was also a gift of encouragement.

Then last week God gave me another gift.

I’d lost something a while back and decided to just be grateful for all the other blessings in my life. I was determined not to focus on what I lost.

But God gave it back to me.



God offers a season of favor after a season of struggle. Just as spring follows winter, new life, new hopes and new opportunities follow our cold winters and harsh storms.

Yet, if we become accustomed to the struggle of the storm, especially a lengthy battle, we may fail to embrace the warmth that ushers in new life.

YLW DAISY 2 BLESSED DEVOTIONAL 2015   Our storms never displace the sun. It is the Son/sun that dries up our rain.

We’d all do well to abide sometimes instead of constantly strive.

Allow yourself that undeserved grace.

Fuel your faith like never before.

Wait and see what God brings to you…

Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Isaiah 30:18 NKJV

Grace Under Fire

“And God [is] able to make all grace abound to you, that you always having all sufficiency in all [things], may have an abundance for every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV

Often when we seek God or commit to study His Word, we may find our pursuit seems to open us up to chaos. As we make spiritual progress we will meet opposition.

It may appear that we lose more than we gain.

But by God’s grace we are empowered and not overcome.

Through God’s love for us we can receive and exhibit “grace under fire.”

Like soldiers we may face grenades, a hail of bullets, or even sniper fire.

Some attacks are large like a failed relationship or the death of a loved one. Others are like a hail of bullets, smaller shots that in combination cause great distress…deadlines to meet, financial struggles, or family obligations that collectively wear you down.

And then there is “sniper fire.” Those situations that come of of nowhere! The IRS bill after you depleted your savings on a house. The child you raised is now a stranger. The medical results are not good. One day you’re financially responsible and the next you are unemployed.

Our God does not guarantee a life without trials.

However, we are provided the grace that we need. Not just for eternity, but right here and now.

For every attack, God provides the body armor we need. It is our responsibility to put it on! 

Bullet-proof vests don’t stop the shooter. Yet, the vest keeps the bullets from penetrating.

God’s grace prevents our trials from penetrating us! 

We may be surrounded but not overcome. God’s grace gives us what we need to stand our ground.

We exhibit grace when we do not rant, rave, curse and complain during our crisis. We pass the test and mature when we are respectful and peaceable in the worst of circumstances.

How do you treat people the heat is bearing down?

How we react under fire demonstrates how much faith we have in God and not ourselves. Resolving to be civil, sane and even to bless others in the midst of our trials not only glorifies God but builds us into the people He created us to become.

The next time you face a crisis, are you going to put on the whole armor of God with grace, or will you let a temporary situation rob you of a permanent blessing?

God gives the grace we need to pass every test. Like the armor of God, we just have to pick it up and put it on!

“Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11 NKJV


Sour Puss!

I have another blog, God,Autism and Me where I posted months ago about how a stray cat we named “Lucky” made quite an imprint on our lives.  “Mr. Lucky” has been with us ten years this month and was not at all impressed when another cat recently made her way to our front door.

“Greystone,” as my oldest son calls her, appeared roughly a year ago. She didn’t start off as a permanent fixture, but rather dropped by occasionally at her leisure.

I wasn’t going to fall for it again. I don’t even like cats. I remind our one cat in residence of that fact constantly.

Well “Grey” had kittens. I noticed her in the neighbor’s yard across the street over a month ago. She was lounging in the driveway with four kittens romping about happily.

Then I didn’t see them again for nearly a month. I figured maybe someone took them in and they had been adopted. Later, I worried that something happened to them. Guiltily, I put food out “just in case” they were homeless. Sometimes the food was eaten, other times it remained. I wasn’t quite sure what was eating the cat chow I’d put out but I finally caught her in the act of eating. But there were no kittens in sight.

Today I saw Greystone and she wasn’t looking so hot.  She now has only two kittens with her. She is definitely malnourished even though I suspect I’m not the only person in the neighborhood trying to help her out. I’ve tried to coax her closer on other occasions and she has maintained her distance until today. She came up to me, purred, rubbed and contemplated actually coming inside the house until…Lucky hissed at her!

Greystone took off running!

I could have slapped that Lucky cat!

Now before all of you animal lovers come a calling I did not.  I did, however, pick him up and give him a good talking to about his inhospitable actions! I have absolutely no doubt he understood every word I said. His behavior made me think about how we humans behave with our “selective amnesia”.

You see, Lucky appeared on my steps years ago one October just like moma cat. The very steps he chased Grey down today are the very same steps he crawled up one morning desperate for food. Lucky was once cold, hungry and lost just like her.  Now, years later, Lucky is warm, comfortable and considerably overweight due to his life of luxury. You would think he would want moma cat to come inside too.

Just like my cat, many people, “religious folks” especially, tend to forget that they were once shut out, downtrodden, dirty and homeless in some form or another once the years distance them from their prior circumstances. Some people may not have been physically homeless or broken in body, however, the mind, soul and spirit were once just as battered! Often when a person finally get’s his or her life “somewhat together,” instead of showing people the same door where they found grace, there is instead presented gossip, rejection and disdain.  Unfortunately, many people tend to reject others with the very same traits once found in themselves.

Sometimes when we are comfortable in our accomplishments and are no longer in the state we once were, our comfort turns into condescension.  Some people having attained a certain level of accomplishment, success, or recognition (especially in religious circles) tend to forget what it feels like to be where they once where. Their hearts become hardened as their memories and the pain once suffered fade away.

Where there should be an open door to welcome the “unchurched,”  the less fortunate and people who really could use an encouraging word, there is often a closed door that reads, “do not disturb,” “I made it so why can’t you,” or “I’m too busy right now.”

This isn’t the case for everyone, but it is a reality for far too many.

Time can surely dim our memories but we shouldn’t allow it to harden our hearts. We are to encourage one another which means that we should actually do something in the circumstances where we can made a difference.

“Thus also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead,”  James 2: 17 NKJV. 

Those of us who say we should “keep the faith” need to actively “keep it”  by actually doing those things or works that make a difference! Opening the figurative doors of grace and mercy, showing empathy for others who are now where you were, and allowing  your battle scars to teach you compassion is one way to do that.

I will continue to keep an eye out for Moma Grey and her kittens and attempt to get them to the vet… as soon as I can catch them!

But in the meantime, I will allow this afternoon’s adventures to remind me to keep an open door to my heart and the memories of my trials and failures always near. May I always remember that I am blessed by God’s grace and mercy. He took ME in!

Prayerfully, I will do this, less I become as guilty as the cat!

“Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy,” Matthew 5:7 NKJV