Abide in The Light

“Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”  1 John 2: 8-11 NKJV

Goal Oriented!

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” Philippians 3 13-15 NKJV

Let The Son Shine!

“For you were once darkness, but now [you are] light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,” Ephesians 5:8 NKJV

Today, I spent a few hours in the sunshine cleaning up the remains of my broken pear tree. My husband and two sons did most of the work. All that was left for me were a few stray branches obvious only to my woman’s eye.

My roses which nearly suffered a catastrophe are looking better than ever!  It appears they are enjoying the overwhelming sunlight now available to them. In addition, the increased light allowed my veggies to perk up with new vigor!

I prayed for that tree not to fall. God didn’t answer that prayer. However, with the tree’s size cut by half (we’re waiting to see if it will indeed survive) I’m reaping benefits I hadn’t thought of before.

This little event was a great reminder of how God doesn’t give me what I want but indeed what I need!

I wanted to enjoy the privacy the shady tree afforded my deck. I needed more sunlight for my roses and veggies to thrive!

Just like me and my tree, we often fail to allow God’s light to shine in some situations because we don’t want to be inconvenienced. We may convince ourselves we didn’t hear Him correctly when God’s directives don’t align with our desires. Or, we can fail to embrace God’s light all around us when we don’t understand our circumstances or find ourselves at a loss.

There are even times when we fail to let in God’s light because we don’t recognize it coming from people who don’t think like us or look like we do. How many blessings have we allowed to walk right past us because they were not packaged the way we “thought” they would be? Friendships? Opportunities?

God is faithful. God is merciful. However, I have yet to find Him predictable!  DSC_6310 (2)

Giving and receiving His light requires that we open up our hearts and minds to endless possibilities that are available through our God. The things we think are the least likely to happen are often the most remarkable of miracles.

Illuminating God’s love requires us to redefine who is “lovable.” If that only applies to your family and friends, your light isn’t going to shine too far. View other people not as they appear to you but as people created in God’s image.

The person you cringe at now may be the very soul that saves you ten years down the road! We are all changing and hopefully for the better. However, everyone goes through their own unique cycles of development. Some are longer. Some are harder.  Only God can see the our end from the beginning.

Even if you don’t bring yourself to expand your light beyond a small circle, don’t block other people from expanding theirs. A critical spirit rarely illuminates little more than a narrow mind. Don’t dampen the light in others. Dare to illuminate it. Multiply it!

Shine your light outward and draw others in.

“He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” 1 John 2:10 NKJV

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:15 NKJV

**And in case you thought I forgot, next post is for the Sunshine Award 🙂

Perpetuate Peace!

 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification,” Romans 14:19 NIV.  

In this verse, Paul was speaking to Christians who were debating dietary restrictions. Paul saw their argument as insignificant, teaching them instead that God’s kingdom is more than food or drink and is of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

How many times do we get bogged down in nonsense? Sometimes we are so determined to be right that we fail to realize when an argument is irrelevant to what’s really going on!

We often get caught up in details (or distractions) and fail to see the bigger picture. Paul teaches that we should make every effort to be peaceful and do what leads to “mutual edification.” We are implored to build one another up, not tear each other down.

We can surely go to extremes to prove a point or have the last word but is that really satisfying?

Are you drawing people near to God with a peaceful demeanor, loving actions and kind words? Or do you drive people away with a compulsion to prove them wrong? Are you reluctant to even listen to what others have to say, let alone respect their opinion?

Master the art of silence. We don’t always agree with everyone but should we really jump on every opportunity to voice our disagreement? Are our words helpful? Can they change the situation? Do we choose to exploit the faults of others so we can feel better about ourselves?

Sometimes what we don’t say is more significant than what we do say. When we choose not to condemn, criticize or gossip we perpetuate peace, not chaos.

“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body, It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell,” James 3:5-6 NIV.

Every situation does not need our commentary. How often can we reflect God’s love by keeping quiet? Instead of commenting on what other people do, what if we pray for them? How about we focus on our flaws instead of magnifying those of others?

Can you find common ground with people and build upon it? Can you choose relationships over “religion?” God commands us to love Him and our brothers and sisters.

It is easy to love God. Loving some of my brothers and sisters is indeed much harder. “My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you,” John 15:12 NIV.

“As I have loved you.” Jesus showed compassion for people. Jesus forgave the very people crucifying Him and prayed for them. Jesus didn’t cast stones. Jesus met people right where they were, imperfections and all.  It isn’t always easy to love like Jesus.

But, shouldn’t we at least try?

“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God,” Matthew 5:9 KJV

 ***And if you thought I forgot, here are my nominees for the Inner Peace Award. These blogs provoke inner peace when I read them or the author exudes inner peace on the site.

Good Stewardship

Light and Salt

Chronic Conditions and Life Lessons

Osborne2029 (just found this one!)

Just Me Being Curious

Simply Blessed

I Give God All the Glory

I am very aware that not everyone has the same opinions when it comes to these awards. If you don’t participate, I’m not offended. I often nominate sites I suspect won’t “accept” but feel many of my readers will connect with. So to those nominated, no pressure!

I have found some of my favorite blogs in this manner and I’m very grateful for readers who have found my site and enjoy as well.

Have a great week and B Blessed! 🙂

Inner Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

 If you check out my sidebar, you’ll see I’ve been nominated for a few awards in the last several weeks. I’m going to accept these a bit differently than most so bear with me. You have been forewarned, there are acceptance speeches forthcoming!

Eric who blogs at Hunt for Truth nominated me for the Award for Love and Kindness this week. He also nominated me a while back for the Inner Peace Award. I’m not going to admit when, you’ll have to check out his site to find out. Let’s just say that one kind of slipped by me.

It is ironic that I was nominated for the Inner Peace Award because I hadn’t really felt inner peace for a long time until I began a number of writing projects last year including this blog. I was inspired to develop this site as a way to encourage others and in doing so I surprisingly encouraged myself.

I’ve always loved to write. Yet due to life, I wasn’t really in a position to pursue this passion. Last year, I decided to stop trying to control my life and surrender it instead. I made a conscious decision to be at peace with my present and not drive myself crazy trying to orchestrate my future.

Guess what? I’m much better for it. I’m not nearly as anxious, frustrated or disappointed.

Previously, I hadn’t met some personal goals due to other obligations. That left me dissatisfied, angry and bitter. Sad, I know. I was confident about my salvation but I needed to get a few things straight here on earth!

When I began to write again, I allowed God to take it over and me over. I began this blog as an act of faith. I knew zero about blogging.

This blog began slowly. Very…very… slowly. I’m an introvert. The very idea of commenting on someone’s site terrified me. Technology and I are not friends. WordPress widgets still drive me bonkers!

However, the bloggers I’ve met and responses received about faith and  other experiences have been such a blessing to me. Blogging and sharing with others actually helped me derive a sense of purpose I was missing. I definitely serve a purpose in other aspects of my life but this one is satisfying to me.

I think we are all restless until we discover the purpose God has planted in our hearts. Unless we explore the talents we have been given, I don’t think we can be at peace. I believe so many people are frustrated and miserable because they are not doing the things they were created to do!

If you feel like you’re missing something, why not search it out? My dream was deferred twenty years. Yet now, I know God is allowing me walk out my purpose in His timing.

I have inner peace first and foremost because I have God. Knowing Him means I don’t have to be anxious for anything. I have finally realized that I don’t have to control my life because… I can’t control it!

I can respond appropriately to the events in my life. I can pray for guidance and discernment in decisions I make. I can hear and obey to save myself a lot of headache.

I am not alone in anything I am forced to face in this life. God is with me. And with God, anything is possible.

And I find peace in that.


**And if you think I forgot, my nominees for the Inner Peace Award will appear in the next post!


“Jesus said to him, “If  you can believe, all things [are] possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 NKJV”

When Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb, His friends and family were devastated. It looked like His ministry was over. Jesus spoke to His disciples of the very events that would take place. However, His disciples didn’t “hear” Him. His friends and family couldn’t see His death in its proper context. They only saw an ending. They had no vision for a new beginning.

How often are we guilty of that very same thing?

We often face situations in life that appear dead. Joy may be gone. There may be no light shining on a particular situation. Even though God has spoken a dream into you, you can’t see any imaginable way it can come to pass.

Abraham and Sara didn’t see how they were ever going to physically produce a child in their advanced age. They didn’t see it but, they believed.

Noah couldn’t imagine just exactly what a flood was but he obeyed and built that ark anyway.

Joseph was sold into slavery and later thrown into prison. He couldn’t from his lowest point imagine his brothers bowing down to him. Yet, Joseph held fast to his faith and his dream become reality.

There are so many more examples in God’s Word of dead situations that looked hopeless but God wasn’t done.  God had a plan. God has plans for us as well!

The above photograph is of an Oak Leaf Hydrangea. I planted it years ago in remembrance of my father. It has grown beautifully over the years but now it is crisp, dry and lifeless.  Or is it?

  hly wk 2

If you merely glanced over this plant you wouldn’t see the small buds of life breaking forth. I think one of the reasons I actually favor this plant is because it is resurrected year after year. In fact the more “dead” branches on the tree, the greater the potential for blooms.

Now if God will do that for a plant, how much more will He do for us!

Believe that God cares for YOU! Believe that your life does matter! Don’t give in to fear over faith!

Resurrection is available for us!

Dare to believe because…He’s… NOT… dead!

Worthy is The Lamb!

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever” Revelation 5:12-13 NKJV

Beauty for Ashes!

“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified,” Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

Isaiah 61 is probably one of the most comforting chapters in the Bible. The very first verse begins with good news preaching “good tidings to the poor,” speaks of   heal the broken-hearted,” and proclaims “liberty to the captives.”

We have all at one time or another been in need of good tidings, healing or freedom from bondage. This chapter provides hope of change or rather an exchange of what we have for what our God is willing to give us instead.

God’s love for us allows us the opportunity to give Him those things that are painful and receive from Him beauty, joy and relief from oppression. These things He gives to us not only for our good, but that He may be glorified in the process.

We all suffer wounds along our way. We have losses and people we mourn. There are things we’ve held dear that have been reduced to nothing. We’ve all felt overcome by fear, doubts, and even the duties of daily life. But we don’t have to stay bound by any of this!

The cherry tree pictured below has been wounded. The gouge in the trunk was not created by nature. So great a wound could have killed it. Some of the things we experience can kill us too.
But God! This damaged tree yet blooms! And we can too!  DSC_2960


We can rise up and above our losses, regrets and missteps! God enables us through the anointing and blessing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus died for us that we may be freed from the pain and suffering sin brings. When we choose Him, He exchanges what we have for what can be.

Choosing God allows us to be planted and restored as His people; strong, beautiful and useful. We have a purpose to serve!

If you are feeling wounded, don’t give up! Instead, give yourself over to God. He can take what is left for dead and give new life! He restores us! He can even equip us to restore others! God can take our pitiful selves and through us to do the miraculous!


God’s blessings aren’t always “in your face.” His blessings often start small and grow. Like a seed, God’s blessings can evolve into more than we can even imagine. What is at first naked to the eye can develop into something so large there is no doubt God has caused it to thrive and prosper.

Isaiah preached of what was to come.

The God Isaiah spoke of is available to us now. Accessible. Ever present. Healer. Redeemer.

The key to receiving the beauty of God is having faith in not only what He has done but in what He can do for us. Now.

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalms 90:17 NKJV

Dead Things

The leaves pictured above and attached to this tree are no longer beneficial to the tree. They are utterly useless. Dead. These leaves no longer produce food or nutrients to sustain the tree. They are simply hanging on until a harsh wind blows them away. And when they are gone this tree will later be covered in green, life-sustaining leaves.

Unfortunately, the things that are dead to us don’t just always fall off or blow away. Sometimes we have to remove them. This requires that we recognize our own “dead leaves” and shed them ourselves so we can make room for the things that will allow us to grow and thrive.

Just like leaves, many things in our lives are productive for one season only. We may often try to hold on to things long after their usefulness has past. We may attempt to cling to relationships after God’s purpose has been fulfilled.

Sometimes we wonder why certain things we once did don’t work as well as before. Or perhaps, things we once found entertaining appeal to us no longer. It may even be that a once engaging friendship has simply evaporated.

As we grow and mature there will be old things we should cast off in order that we may grasp what God has for us now. Many people suffer from a syndrome of hanging on to the glory days of the past oblivious that God is offering something different but better now. Many people often fail to see their potential “new thing” because their focus is on what was and not on what is.

Other people fixate on past disappointments, failures or regrets. Pondering these things will not nurture you but instead suck the very life out of you! It is wise to consider the lessons learned from these things yet take the lessons learned and move forward.

Our relationship with God should be ever-growing and ever-changing us! We should be ready for a new life with Him which may require that we let go of some dead things. These may include some of our habits, relationships or even opinions that are holding us back instead of propelling us forward.

Give a little thought to a few changes you can make in this year. Some may be monumental. Others may be quite small. Yet, in determining what you can shed and making room for “green leaves” later, you may actually find 2014 to be your best year yet!

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:11

“Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; [So does] a little folly to one respected for wisdom [and] honor.” Ecclesiastes 10:1

The Dead of Winter

Pictured above is one of my favorite hydrangea plants. I planted it shortly after my father died over ten years ago and its beauty and vibrancy has brought me great joy. But it doesn’t so hot right now. In fact it looks very much dead.

Dead. Dry. And lifeless.

There are times in our lives when we have situations or circumstances that also appear to be dead. All of the energy we have placed into a project or even a person appears to have been wasted. The harvest we may have once anticipated from seeds sown may be non-existent.

The good news for each of us is even when we are in “the dead of winter,” spring will eventually come.

When we are at a loss, God is not. He has answers and solutions for problems we can barely comprehend, let alone solve. His love for us doesn’t stop and He never fails to provide and intervene on our behalf even though we can’t see it. With God, things are not always as they seem. That’s why we have to see with eyes of faith His promises and not simply view things as they appear before us.

As with my plant, some situations may look like they are ready for the trash pile. But never lose faith in the resurrection power of our God. It didn’t just stop at the tomb. His power is available to us now. We need only have faith for it and believe there is nothing too hard for our God. Even our most barren winters, He can use to benefit us.

Winter is not usually the season people are drawn to. It’s cold. Activities may be limited. There’s not as much “fun in the sun.”

Most people love the promise of the harvest in the fall. The warmth and beauty of spring and summer are also favorites. But after Christmas has past, many of us become afflicted with the winter “blahs.” If you happen to live in an area that is hammered by cold and snow, you often can’t wait for winter to simply pass.

Yet, in the winter things that look dead often are not. Life continues, still. In our personal “winters” God is still in motion, still moving, working, creating and saving.

Do your finances look dead? Is it a friendship that could use some new “life?” It may your own thoughts or mindset that could benefit from a resurrection.  A job situation? A marriage? Maybe even your relationship with God could stand some new life!

I have learned that for my hydrangea to bloom, that old dead wood is necessary. In fact, if you cut it away, the tree will again turn green, but it will not bloom. The old wood is necessary for new blooms.

Sometimes our “winters” are necessary for us to bloom as well. We may need time to be still. We may require the cold and quiet time to cultivate those things within us that will allow us to bloom later in due season.

If you are frustrated, weary or impatient in your current winter state, have faith that you, too, will bloom. Like my hydrangea, the apparent death is merely an empty illusion. Life will spring forth once again.

With God, even death holds promise for the future.

“Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3 NKJV

“For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him,”
Luke 20:38 NKJV

“Therefore, He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14 NKJV