Wednesday, December 31

A Stone of Remembrance


Ebenezer? Who is that? No, not Scrooge. This Ebenezer was a what, not a who. In the Bible, Ebenezer means stone of help. It’s purpose? Let’s see…

At one time in Israel’s history, when they faced the Philistines, Samuel and Israel fasted, prayed, repented, and offered a sacrifice. God answered their plea by confusing and defeating the enemy that pursued them. To commemorate the fact that Israel was victorious and recovered all the territory the enemy had taken, Samuel set up a stone as a marker of remembrance.

When he did this, he exclaimed, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” (1 Samuel 7:12 NLT) Samuel, whose name meant heard of God, knew the Lord would hear them and be on their side in the future.

The Lord’s hand remained against the Philistines as peace reigned throughout the land. The enemy never came into the territory of Israel again all the days of Samuel.

Did the enemy pursue you this past year as he did me? In the midst of all the raging storms against my life, God’s hand was evident to me. Did you experience the Lord’s presence with you? I felt His canopy of caring covering me. Were you aware of it over you? Did He provide shelter and sustenance, even if in quantities less than desired? Yes, He did for me.

Through all the contrary times, through sickness, through loss, through poverty, through grief, through trials, through temptations…the Lord has provided up to this point.

May we not halt or destroy God’s plans for the future, for, out of the old, a newness arises through His regenerating grace, creating all things afresh, as God said through Isaiah, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Is. 43:19 NKJV)

Will there be room in the New Year for the Lord to do a new thing in our lives, or will we be filled with last year’s leftovers? Therefore, let us not carry into the New Year the baggage of regrets, unforgiveness, resentments, failures, ungrateful hearts, or disappointments in others or in ourselves, all of which weigh down our usefulness.

As He stands in the present, He is poised, firmly fixed between the years, His presence casting a shadow over the past year, concealing its troubles, sorrows, and disappointments and transforming all the old…the old attitudes, the old habits, and the old ways, into something new.

As the light of His guidance beams across the New Year, illuminating the passage into the land of the unknown, His road will take you through each dry wilderness to streams of fresh, flowing water.

Will you stand bravely at its threshold, ready, willing, and obedient to follow the Lord, no matter where He may lead? Will your attitude be to enter His portal with thanksgiving, remembering His goodness over the past year, and to ask His blessings over the coming year?

Instead of resolutions, set goals and ask yourself these questions:

* How many lacking souls can I replenish?
* How many heavy-ladened spirits can I encourage?
* How many grieving hearts can I console this year?
* How many lost ones can I introduce to salvation?

To commemorate your year of the Lord’s goodness and your victory and recovery of all the territory the enemy has tried to take from you, set up an Ebenezer stone…the Lord, “The Stone of Israel,” the Rock of your salvation.

May the Lord’s shadow of forgiveness conceal the disappointments and troubles of your year now past, while His light is cast as a beacon of guidance to His safe haven of the days yet to be explored. May His hand be against your enemy and His peace reign all your days.

As “the LORD Himself watches over you,” I pray that the His hand will be upon your household “from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year,” that His comfort and blessings fill every room of your home so that the sounds of joy can be “heard far in the distance,” and that He will “preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”

May His servants Goodness and Mercy pursue you throughout the days to come.

Have a very happy New Year!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, December 28

New Year's Blessings



To all my sweet readers...

I pray health and peace will greet you and your family at every turn of the New Year. May blessings overtake you, as God’s servants Goodness and Mercy pursue you throughout the days to come.

May the Lord’s shadow of forgiveness be thrown over the disappointments and troubles of the year now past, while His Light is cast as a beacon of guidance to His safe haven of the days yet to be explored.

May the Lord “make you have a surplus of prosperity” and “bless all the work of your hands.” May His eyes be upon your household “from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.”

May blessings fill every room of your house and the sounds of joy be “heard for a great distance.”

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Friday, December 26

Safe at the Last


Today's devotion is taken from the old devotional book God At Eventide. The Lord says...

"Safe amid storms, calm amid a world-unrest, certain amid insecurity. Safely through the year.

The only safe way is the sure way of Divine Guidance. Not the advice of others, not the urgings of your own hearts and wills. Just My Guidance.

Think more of its wonder. Dwell more on its rest. Know that you are safe, secure."

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Used by permission.

Tuesday, December 23

A Christmas Word from the Lord


Today, I share with you a message from the Lord to me some time ago. I pray that it will touch your heart this Christmas and bless you...

“My dearest one,

This is the season for giving thanks for the greatest Gift ever given, My One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. In Him is to be found all the gifts of the Spirit. All His gifts are truly yours, if you are truly Mine. You must present yourself as a gift given humbly to Me. This is the great Gift Exchange. Only when your heart is truly given to Me can this exchange be utterly completed.

The Holy Present was first given and made His home in a lowly manger in a barn. The Holy Present is now given to make His home in the hearts of men, but His home still needs to be a humble dwelling place. This Holy Present cannot live in a place where man wants to be the ruler. There can only be one Ruler of each heart.

The Gift was given in order to bring peace into the heart of the recipient, but only when one gives all of oneself back to the Giver can this Gift Exchange take place and peace be found.

Peace came that Holy Night and filled the world with wonder and joy. Its Light not only illuminated the entire sky but it also lit the way for the entire world to be saved, if they would only have eyes to see.

Remember this Christmas, when all the presents are under the tree, that the Greatest Gift of all drew His first breath of life in a manger made from a tree, and drew His last breath of life on a cross made from a tree. So, when you look at your Christmas tree this season, see it as a cradle of love and a display of agony; both held the true Gift, the Gift of Life.

He came into this world as the Gift of Life and gave back that Life as a Gift to all mankind.

Oh, My children, do not miss the true Spirit of Christmas, My Gift to you. Whether you have presents under the tree or not, the True Presence shall be alive in your heart, if you will just receive your True Gift.”

May all who read this know the joy of the True Gift of Christmas...Jesus!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, December 18

The Checkout Lane


With the parking lot full, finding a space was almost impossible. Shopper after shopper filed in the store’s front door, lists in hand, and most lacking the Christmas spirit.

The checkout lanes stretched halfway through the store. As angers were on the verge of erupting, loneliness carved a swath through the throng of shoppers, fighting for a place in each line.

“Why don’t they have more checkout lanes open?” complained one shopper.

“I don’t know. This is so depressing,” grumbled another nearby.

Each lane had its share of Grinches and lonely hearts, each moaning over all the congestion. In one lane stood a mother with three small kids in tow, all whining and wanting everything in sight.

In the next lane stood another mother with her three little ones, all in a joyous mood. Six year-old Olivia asked her mother, “Mommy, why is everyone so grumpy?”

Lowering her voice so others wouldn’t hear their conversation, she whispered, “I’m not sure, dear. I think everyone is in a hurry and they don’t know the meaning of Christmas.”

“Don’t they know it’s Jesus’ birthday?”

Trying to shush Olivia, she lowered her voice again, “I guess not. Some people just don’t know.”

“Well, why don’t we tell them?”

“I don’t think this is a very good time, dear.”

“Why not, Mommy? Didn’t you say it’s always time for Jesus?”

“Well, yes, I did, but…”

“Well, let’s tell them.”

Overhearing their conversation, those standing near this family began shifting their weight from one foot to another, uncomfortable as to what they might hear next.

The mother began to silently pray, “Oh, Lord, if You desire others to know it is Your birthday that they’re supposed to be celebrating, then please resolve this situation.”

Olivia bowed her head and thought for a moment. Then, a very soft, little voice began to sweetly sing…

“Away in the manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”

Silence fell on the checkout lanes. All that could be heard was the whirring of the cash registers. No one said a word.

Then, that sweet little voice began to sing again…

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.”

Just as a place was made for baby Jesus to be born so many years ago, a place was made for Him in the checkout lane. Smiles erupted across the stone-cold faces of the Grinches. Peace swept across the store, carving a swath through the crowd of shoppers and banishing loneliness, and the Grinch, from the checkout lanes.

May the Lord bless you with a special Christmas.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, December 14

The First Christmas Carol


What is one of the best elements about Christmas, aside from the obvious of Jesus’ birth? The presents? The tree? The food? Nope! For me, it’s the music!

I love all the Christmas music. So many wonderful carols have been written over the years. Do you know which one is truly the original?

It’s the Song of Mary, which is called the Magnificat and it is found in Luke 1:46-55.

Mary’s song starts out with these beautiful words in verse 46, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

I don’t think we fully understand what magnifying the Lord means. The Old and New Testament words mean essentially the same: to grow, to make great, powerful, or important, promote, praise, increase or enlarge, esteem highly, lift up, exalt, extol, and so on.

The English dictionaries define ‘magnify’ as to increase in actual size, enlarge, exaggerate, amplify, intensify, to extol, praise, glorify, to make seem more important, and so on.

Did you catch those last three? Praise, glorify, to make seem more important.

As the result of our praising God, we enlarge His image and His power, intensifying them more than our circumstances. The disciple John said it most succinctly, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 NKJV)

I know there are things you praise God for - your family, your friends, your home, your job, but do you thank Him for the things you have that millions of people around the world do not have? Like your haircut, your toothpaste, your nice, hot shower, your mattress, your shoes, your make-up, your razor, your TV (which is questionable!), your car, your cell phone, your computer, your dishes, your washer and dryer, your dishwasher, your refrigerator or even the little bit of food you may have in it?

We are so much more fortunate and blessed than two-thirds of the world, and yet, we whine when our new shoes pinch our feet!

Paul commanded the Ephesians to sing spiritual songs and to make music to the Lord in their hearts. He knew how to do that despite his circumstances.

When the stream of joy dries up and disappears, do as Paul told the Philippians to do as he wrote from a Roman jail, saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4b NKJV)

The one rejoicing unlocks the dam built by negative thoughts, words, and circumstances. He waters that dry, rock-bed stream and joy flows once again, for he “will have rivers of living water flowing from his inmost heart.” (John 7:38b Phillips)

The impetus for regaining that joy is not triggered by material things given to the flesh but by praise given from the heart.

The hosts of heaven, praising God, ushered in the birth of Christ, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV) If Christ lives within you as your Saviour, do you sing of His glory as Mary did? Do you sing praises to magnify His presence as the angels did? What kind of music does your life make to the Lord?

Being thankful is easy when everything is hunky-dunky, but the praise that emanates from a pain-ravaged heart, which presses on despite sickness or loss, is the sweet-smelling sacrifice of holy incense that rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet. This is the sweetest praise of all, for it is based on the love of the Lord.

Sing any tune, make up any words, but sing to your Beloved. Sing the praises of the One Who deserves them. It will make a difference in your attitude and in your circumstances.

I know many are having great difficulties this season, but do your best to sing along with Mary and me. May the Lord bless you immensely as you sing the first Christmas carol…

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Wednesday, December 10

The Meaning of Bethlehem


Today, we will look at the etymology of…

Bethlehem.

Biblical names have always held great significance; so, what is Bethlehem’s history and description? This is very interesting.

Bethlehem’s original name was Ephratah, sometimes used in the shortened version as Ephrath (meaning fruitfulness or fruitful land). Located about five to six miles south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is nestled in the district of Judah (meaning praise).

Tucked in among the fertile hills of Judah, the land of praise, laid this quiet little village, which later became known as Bethlehem-Ephratah and eventually became Bethlehem (meaning house of bread).

In the surrounding fields, a shepherd boy would pasture his father’s flocks and sing them the praises of his God. Much later, heavenly songs of praise would ascend above the fields, filling the atmosphere with angelic voices, welcoming the Redeemer of the world born here.

Do you see anything in all that? If not, look again. The House of Bread dwelt in the fruitful land of Praise! As the lineage of Christ came through the bloodline of Judah, the land of Praise birthed “the Bread of God” from heaven. Praise unveiled the Bread of Life.

David said to God, “But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].” (Ps. 22:3 AMP)

This is where our spiritual food, the Living Bread, dwells: nestled in our hearts’ praises!

May Bethlehem live in your heart, filling it with sweet praise in this season of Christ’s birth.

~Blessings, Lynn~~

Saturday, December 6

Immanuel...God With Us


The Advent season is upon us once again. It comes more quickly each year. I know, I’m just getting old!

Since we’ll soon hear the amazing story of Jesus’ birth being told from the pulpit, I thought we’d take a look at two words from the account: Jesus and Bethlehem. Two seemingly separate words yet intertwined in a surprising way. We’ll look at Jesus today and discover the treasure hidden in Bethlehem next time.

In the Old Testament, God’s name and His presence were virtually synonymous, which was evidenced in His name Jehovah-shammah, meaning the Lord is present or there.

Jehovah-shammah, dwelling on the throne of heaven, lowered Himself to earth to be born in another form, to live personally with His people. His name? “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6 NKJV)

In the New Testament, Jesus was Jehovah-shammah, as Matthew, quoting prophecy, said of His name, “‘They shall call His name Immanuel,’ translated as, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23b NKJV)

When Jesus came to be with us, He threw off His robe of celestial royalty and dressed Himself in a tiny, pink suit of humanity, and from the birth-manger to the death-tomb, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14 NKJV) The original Greek says that Jesus “tabernacled” among us.

That Divine Flesh was known by the name of Jesus, which the Word says is a “more excellent name” (Heb. 1:4) and the “name which is above every other name.” (Phil. 2:9b TLB)

Calling on that precious name has opened the portals of heaven and shut the gates of hell bringing salvation to lost souls, turning away tornadoes, averting disasters, saving the lives of those in car wrecks, healing people of cancer and AIDS, giving the lame the ability to walk, hearing to the deaf, and sight to the blind, delivering those oppressed by demons, and even bringing some back from death’s grip. Dependence on that name is essential.

The last thing Jesus said to His disciples was, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20 NKJV)

Jehovah-shammah. Immanuel. God with us. Always!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Wednesday, December 3

"And the Word Was Made Flesh"

Advent King in straw-lined splendor,
swaddled gently at mother’s breast,
God incarnate in a pink suit,
not knowing yet His future test.

In the gentle hush of silence,
soothing sounds of cattle lowing,
angel hosts sing Him their praises,
all creation in glory knowing.

Destiny pressing upon His life,
as crossed shadow falls on His face.
The miracle of the manger
now filled with man’s future grace.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, November 30

The Blessing of Proximity


A couple of days ago, I received a tweet on Twitter from my sweet, new cyber-friend, Deb Burton at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take. Deb has a wonderful blog full of suggestions for parents on teaching children to desire to walk in God’s light. Please visit her blog. You will love it.

She bestowed on me the special honor of the Proximity Award. This is a first for me. I was so overwhelmed that tears streamed down my cheeks. Thank you, Deb, from the bottom of my heart! May the Lord truly bless you.

The award is for PROXIMITY, which is explained this way:

“This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

My problem now…deciding on which eight to choose! This has been very difficult for me and has taken a while to do because I have met so many precious cyber friends and wonderful bloggers that it’s almost impossible to choose eight over the rest. I hope no one is offended. It is so not in me to offend anyone.

Therefore, some I’ve chosen and some I’ve randomly drawn from my list. All are my favorites! And I’ve gone out on a limb and expanded the list. Forgive me for bending the rules. Most of the others are listed in the right hand column. They are all special to me, but the award goes to these, in no particular order…

1) Victoria Gaines has two sites: Light for the Writer’s Soul and devotionals at Windows To My Soul. In Vicki’s own words, she is a “Freelance writer, retired nurse, friend to the broken-hearted. Out of sync with the world; utterly dependant upon God.”

2) Linda Yezak at 777 Peppermint Place I call her “my favorite redhead.” We are both aspiring writers and share the same heart for writing and the Lord. Love everything she writes!

3) Donna Shepherd at Donna J Shepherd Donna has written extensively, in many areas, including several children’s books. Check them out! They’re awesome.

4) Lisa at Consecrated To Him serves the Lord with her pen, er, computer keys!

5) Lorrie at Grow Up Deep We both started blogging about the same time. Love her!

6) Romantic Walk at Romantic Walk has the best romantic writing ever!

7) Marja at Sacred Sabbath has written three books. Her latest is Breath of Life, written from the perspective of an unborn child. Cool!

8) Tanya Dennis at In the Dailies says, “Join me on a journey of finding and recognizing God in the dailies; in the ordinary, everyday points of life.”

9) I put these three great poetry sites together because I cannot do one without the other:
* Keith Wallis at Wordsculptures
* Colin at Colin's Faith Inspirations
* Connie Arnold at Connie Arnold

10) Mari Taylor Mari's Morning Room is a “Lover of the Word and the Lord and not afraid to tell it or write about it.” She also does book reviews.

11) Cami at Lindenville A treasure of devotionals hiding just around the corner. My friend, Cami. Love her!

Please take time to visit these blogs. I know you will be blessed.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Monday, November 24

Thanksgiving


Today, I was reminded of a story in the life of Corrie ten Boom. If you’ve never heard of Corrie, she was a young, Dutch Christian living in Holland as she and her family helped the Jews to escape the Nazis in WWII. Hence, the title of one of her books, The Hiding Place.

After being betrayed, they were imprisoned in two places, one in which their father died, before she and her sister were sent to the notorious concentration camp Ravensbruck near Berlin.

Life in this camp was intolerable. For one thing, their cabin was infested was fleas, which fed on the prisoners by biting them constantly. However, Corrie and Betsie managed to have a daily Bible study with the other women, many of whom came to the Lord.

At first, they were afraid to conduct these meetings, but, each night, they became bolder, as no guard ever entered their cabin, which baffled them.

One night, as they read scripture about praising God for all things, Betsie turned to Corrie and said they were going to praise God for the fleas. Corrie absolutely refused. Betsie insisted and Corrie finally gave in. They all got down on their knees and thanked God for the fleas.

Years later, Corrie found a journal of one of the guards that had stood outside their door. He wrote that he would never set foot inside because it was so infested with fleas.

Betsie died while imprisoned. However, when Corrie was released, she found out it had been “a clerical error,” as all the other women her age were killed a week later.

Written to the Ephesians by Paul while imprisoned, he told them, “…making melody with all your heart to the Lord, at all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” (Eph. 5:19b-20 AMP) To the Thessalonians, he wrote, “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT)

Just some thoughts to ponder…ask yourself: For what do I give thanks this year? Do I have an attitude of gratitude in all things? Do I thank God just for things, things that can disappear in the blink of any eye? My job, my house, my family, my possessions? Or do I thank the Lord for the things He keeps from entering my life? Am I thankful that He is Who He says He is? Am I thankful for all He does in my life? Do I thank Him for His grace and mercy, His righteousness and justice, His supply and protection, His comfort and peace, His love and care?

With all my heart, I pray for each of you to have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, November 20

Are You Sonning Yourself?


Lily Tomlin once said, “I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.” I love that line. Makes me laugh every time.

We all want to be “somebody,” someone of worth and recognition, someone accepted and honored. Some want to be important in the field of literature, the film industry, or the financial, music, or political world.

In what do they bask themselves to reach that place of somebody-ness? With what do they fill themselves? Self-gratification of applause, power, money, or physical enhancement? What values then do they project? What image do they reflect?

As “they” bask in outward indulgences, in what do “we” as Christians bask? Do we want to be accepted and honored? What values are we trying to project? What image do we reflect?

If Christ “is the image of God” and spiritual rebirth makes us a new creation in Him, placing His Holy Spirit within us, do we really reveal His image to others?

Sunning on the beach, one will exhibit the effects of absorbing the sun’s rays. Do we bask in the Lord’s presence, sitting at His feet long enough to absorb His character and reflect His likeness? Do others see the effects of our spending time with Him?

Paul said, “And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NLT)

So, if we, as Christians, stop to think about it, we are some body. We are the body of Christ. When we reflect love, patience, gentleness, Godliness, faith, giving, and all the other Godly qualities, we reveal to those around us a part of the Image within us, an assurance that we have spent time in the Son…Sonning ourselves!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, November 16

Sure Hands of Prayer


“We shall devote ourselves whole-heartedly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”
Acts 6:4 Phillips

One morning in my study and quiet time, the Lord led me to read Exodus 17:11-16…again. You know this Old Testament story. Readied on top of Mount Horeb, Moses lifted his hands and his rod in praise, while Joshua fought the enemy in the valley below.

In my quirky mind, I hear the song from the commercial for Sure deodorant: Raise your hands, raise your hands, if you’re sure! Silly, I know. But that’s the way my brain works.

On the mount of victory with hands of surety uplifted into the air, Moses’ mouth spoke prayers and praises into the atmosphere and Israel prevailed; when he lowered his hands, the enemy prevailed.

However, Moses grew weary and his arms became heavy, so Aaron and Hur came alongside to give support. Because of their assistance, victory came that day.

All the Joshuas who battle the enemy need their Moseses, Aarons, and Hurs in the background praying with uplifted hands. That means you and I need each other’s support. So, in your prayer efforts, do not let your hands be weakened nor your knees go unbent that the enemy not defeat us in our battles.

Hebrews 12:12 in The Amplified says, “So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees.”

Solomon warned, “Through lowering of hands, the house leaks.” (Eccl. 10:18 Masoretic Text) This slackness applies not only to our physical house but to our spiritual house as well. According to the definitions, if through inactivity, negligence, or idleness, we lower our hands from lack of prayer and praise, then the house begins to weep.

In order to counteract this and prove God’s greatness in battle, we need to be diligent as sister and brother hand-raisers and knee-benders in prayer for one another. To ensure a victory in these difficult times, join with me in agreement to this…“We shall devote ourselves whole-heartedly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”

Raise your hands, raise your hands if you’re sure!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, November 13

Tale of a Harpist


“Take a harp…play skillfully and make sweet melody…that you may be remembered.”
(Is. 23:16 AMP)

Suddenly taken ill, a renowned harpist was rushed to the hospital. While tests were being run to find the cause of his illness, he lay in his hospital bed, reminiscing over his life. Seeing himself as a young boy, he remembered his dreams of becoming a famous harpist, even though his family was poverty stricken and could not afford even one string of a harp or music lessons.

Each day, after school, on his way to one of his many odd jobs, he stopped at the local music shop to quickly thumb through the catalogs of instruments, envisioning the day of owning a harp from what little money he saved.

He became great friends with the shop owner who took pity on him and allowed him to purchase, piece by piece, all the parts necessary to make a harp. Each new string added a new dimension of hope to his life.

After many years, he had all the parts and the shop owner assembled the beautiful harp for him. The shop owner’s wife, a music teacher, offered him free lessons, and, under her tutelage, he became an accomplished, well-known harpist in a very short time, thus fulfilling the purpose for his life. He was loved and admired by all.

As he laid there thinking about his life, he remembered the many setbacks and hardships he had suffered. His mother and father, as missionaries in a foreign land, were killed by natives. His sister, whom he loved dearly, was killed in a car accident. World War II took the life of his only son. After many years of marriage, his wife left him for someone else. Now, he was fighting for his life - alone.

As each trial took its toll on his life, he laid his harp aside. Yet, after each respite, he resumed his music, playing his beloved harp more beautifully than before. Each occurrence in his life brought more enthusiastic reviews from the critics.

Now, while lying in his hospital bed, depressed and having no desire to live, he asked the Lord why so many trying things had occurred in his life.

The Lord whispered to him, “You constructed your beloved harp from its many pieces with great love. For it to make its beautiful melodies, much effort and practice time was necessary. To keep it in tune, you tightened its strings every now and then.

This is as your life, for it was put together with great love. Each sorrow, each disappointment, each heartache added a new string to your life. Each event was part of the process to tighten you and transform your life’s music. It was your choice whether it would be played in harmony or in discord. All prepared you to make beautiful melodies, each as a sweet praise to the Great Instrument Maker.”

After the review of his life, the great harpist rested back on his pillow, satisfied and comforted. He closed his eyes, content that he would awaken the next morning to play sweet melodies of praise to his Master - on his harp of many strings.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Monday, November 10

Does My Nearness Suffice?


The Lord is nudging me to share with you something He spoke to me some time ago…

Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence.”
Ecclesiastes 8:3 NIV

When you come into My Presence, does My nearness suffice? When you come with your many prayers, does My nearness suffice? When you come with a frantic request, does My nearness suffice? When you come with your praises and thanksgiving, does My nearness suffice?

Can you come into My Presence, silently, wanting nothing, saying nothing, but just to be near Me, the One you say you love?

When a loving child snuggles up next to you, just to be near you, does your heart not respond with deep appreciation and enduring love so as to bring tears of pure pleasure and great joy? Do you not long for that moment to last forever?

And so this is what I desire from all My children, a heart of deep devotion, of tender love, and unending joy.

Come. Sit in My Presence. Bask with Me in the light you bring to My eyes. Come. Delight My heart with the joy of your tender love of Me. Come, for My heart aches for all who do not know Me. Come, and you shall know the pure joy of the Heartbeat of the world.

Come and share all that radiates from Me. Come and share the beauty of holiness. Step into My glory. Ride upon the waves of victory. Bring Me your worship and honor and praise and I will share all with you.

Let your desire for Me consume you. Let My glorious Presence not only surround you but fill you. Your eyes have not yet seen nor your ears yet heard all that can be found in My Presence.”

What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].” 1 Corinthians 2:9 AMP

Prayer: Lord, let Your nearness suffice every day. Let me be a Mary, to sit at Your precious feet, to seek Your face, Your heart, and not Your hand. I seek not things, but You. Let Your Presence always be enough for me. For that which I worship I become most like. Only Your kind of love can fit within my heart.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, November 6

“Duty is ours, results are Gods.”


Well, this will be a first for me. I do not write about political issues. I rarely even discuss politics outside my close family unit. However, I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me to say something for unity’s sake.

One of the natural characteristics of my personality is peace and being a peacemaker. I’m sure the Lord is using this to nudge me.

This election rubbed me the wrong way. Most elections do. I hate the name calling and insults slung by opponents. And I hate all the negative ads. However, this time, it was different. I have never heard such bitterness and outright vile emotions and comments on both sides. I am so glad the door has closed on this election and the bickering is over. Now comes the real test, where the rubber hits the pavement, as they say.

When I saw this quote, I knew it was perfect for what I had to say. John Quincy Adams said, “Duty is ours, results are Gods.” We have accomplished half of our duty by putting our privilege to vote into action.

We have a new President of the United States. Whether you joined in the jubilation over the outcome or you went into your corner and pouted, you and I and the rest of the country now need to join together and make an effort at unity.

Now on to the second half of that duty…everyone working together, standing shoulder to shoulder in acceptance and kneeling knee to knee in prayer for the President and all his decisions.

Scripture is clear on this. Paul wrote to Timothy, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” (1 Tim. 2:1-3 NIV)

Whatever our leaning…to the left or to the right…we are to first pray for the President and to keep a watch over what we say about the leaders of our country. The Word says, “Don’t bad-mouth your leaders, not even under your breath, and don’t abuse your betters, even in the privacy of your home.” (Eccl. 10:20a Msg)

The Law stated, “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.” (Ex. 22:28 NIV) The consequence of doing so was the punishment of being stoned to death. And no, we can’t go back there!

In reading a number of blogs that have posted on the election, my favorite is by Michael Hyatt, president and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Falling in line with these scriptures, he listed these four things that he vowed to do for the new President…

1) I will pray for him and our country.
2) I will assume his motives are good, giving him the benefit of the doubt.
3) I will not speak ill of him, even if I don’t always agree with him.
4) I will cast off the spirit of cynicism, and be a positive force for good.

I, too, take this stand. Will you join me in doing the same?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, November 4

Cocoon of Circumstance



“My troubles turned out all for the best…” (Ps. 119:71 The Message Remix)

Where can the most beautiful vistas be viewed? From atop the summit of the tallest mountain, after the most strenuous climb.

Which valleys have the richest green velvet pastures and the fullest spikes of wildflower colors? Those that have withstood the greatest drenching rains.

What forests produce the most prolific new growth? Those that have suffered the hot, searing flames of destruction.

Which diamonds sparkle the most brilliantly? Those that have felt the cleaving of the jeweler’s sharp chisel and the friction of the polishing wheel.

An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”

Just as all of nature suffers contrary conditions in order to be expanded, improved, or strengthened, so, too, do we. Difficulties and trials will always be a part of our lives. We cannot separate ourselves from them. And if we ponder it closely, we realize we will not grow as Christians if trials do not come to test and enlarge us.

If we try to wiggle out of these times, we force premature deliverance, frustrating God’s plan. It is like prying open a cocoon before the caterpillar has finished its metamorphosis into a butterfly. Forcing open the cocoon too soon will render the caterpillar deformed for the rest of its short lifespan.

When we manipulate the hands of the clock to align with our own agenda, we destroy the beauty that God desires to emerge from His timing. Through our own efforts to “help” God out with our deliverance, do we come out of our cocoon of circumstance too early and spiritually deformed in some way? Or do we wait for the revealed transformation by God’s hand?

Is our cocoon of circumstance not intended, as for the butterfly, to deepen our richest colors and give us wings of flight, beautifying our character, all which we may not have had before the trial? While in that cocoon of circumstance, we “are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV)

God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within our hearts and only that which is contrary to our comfort releases the precious qualities within us. As Paul said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18 NKJV)

God will work out all our circumstances for our benefit when we fully commit them and ourselves to Him, His Word, and His timing.

After experiencing a cocoon of contrary circumstance, are you able to say, as David, that all your troubles turned out for the best?

Memory Verse: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Rom. 8:28 NLT)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Friday, October 31

Houseguest Coming


I received a message the other day to expect a houseguest, a special friend coming for a visit, someone with deep needs. Since I love giving and love my friend, I was excited at the prospect of helping out in any way I could.

So I did what every woman would do, I started cleaning the house…

Knock, knock, knock! Yikes! I’m not ready. However, I opened the door anticipating my friend but found a dirty beggar asking for a handout. Sorry, I said. I’m busy. Try next door.

…then I started preparing special food…

Knock, knock, knock! Aha! Must be my friend! Opening the door, this time I found a member from church collecting canned goods for the hungry. Sorry, I said. I’m busy. Try next door.

…then I put out the good towels and tablecloth…

Knock, knock, knock! Now what? Irritated, I flung open the door and found a neighbor’s child collecting clothes for homeless children. Sorry, I said. I’m busy. Try next door.

After everything was finished, I was pooped so I sat down to rest. Looking at my watch, I began to wonder what happened to my friend who was in such need. Doesn’t he know I’m waiting here to help him?

No more interruptions. No more knocking. As I decided to just sit there and wait, the Lord began to whisper to my heart…

I knocked on your door three times today but you were too busy to let Me in. I said I would come to visit because I had needs. I sent you the needs but you didn’t accept them as from Me. You received Me not. If you had responded to what I sent, you would have enjoyed sharing a precious fellowship with My people and with Me.”

Hanging my head in humiliation, I listened as He continued…

Didn’t I tell you that when you did something for one of the least of these, you were doing it to Me? Will you turn Me away again next time?”

If He knocks upon your door today, will you open up to welcome Him as your honored houseguest? How will He appear, as the dirty beggar, the church member, the child? Or maybe as the person sitting in the back pew crying, the young father with small children and food stamps, the neighbor down the street dying of AIDS, the single mother working two jobs to feed her children?

Who will you welcome? Whose needs will you meet?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20 NKJV)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, October 28

Hold Onto Your Fork...The Best is Yet to Be!


Years ago, our preacher at the time gave a sermon about a married couple. I don’t remember the details, only the basics. A wife had served her husband a great meal, and as she cleared away the dishes, she announced to her husband her usual comment, “Hold onto your fork. The best is yet to be.”

After the sermon, that saying stuck with me. As we were suffering financial difficulties, I took an old fork, tied a red ribbon around it, and hung it on my refrigerator in hopes of God’s promise of the best is yet to be. I never removed it. It’s been there for years. It reminds me that, no matter what the trial, heartache, or pain surrounding my life, God is still faithful to the promises in His Word.

First Kings 8:56b says, “There has not failed one word of all His good promise.” (NKJV) Abraham knew this. He never doubted, for scripture says he was “fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” (Rom. 4:21 NKJV) He held on and God fulfilled His promise to him of the best that was yet to be.

Even with great faith attached to it, a promise of God sometimes stalls in its appearance because of God’s time schedule. What happens when inactivity occurs, when a promise seems to drift farther and farther away, when circumstances linger incessantly and patience wears thin? Are we more concerned about the problem or God’s promise?

If we hold onto that Word, as that scarlet cord of promise, God will always be faithful to keep it, for the One Who breathes His promises into our hearts will not fail to serve up the sweet ending.

Whatever your trials might be this day, hang on to God’s promises. Go now, find a fork, tie it up with a pretty bow, and hang it on your refrigerator, for...

YOUR BEST IS YET TO BE!!!


~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Friday, October 24

The Mic's On!


Years ago, in another church, where we were members, our pastor told us about a very funny yet embarrassing experience that happened to him.

At his previous church, he tended to fiddle around with the volume on his lapel mic, so the sound crew set the volume and put a piece of tape over the knob to keep him from fooling with it. On dedication day of the new sanctuary, the preacher got “wired,” put on his special robe for the day, and headed out from the old building to the new one.

Only one thing…he forgot the mic was turned on!

As the members sat waiting in the new sanctuary, they heard voices over the PA system. They heard the preacher’s footsteps and his voice as he greeted others. The preacher’s wife, recognizing what was happening and realizing her husband’s routine, made a mad dash for the door to run interference. But she never made it and the preacher continued on with his routine. Entering the men’s restroom, he took care of his bodily function…and flushed!

When he finally entered the sanctuary, he was greeted by a congregation of smiling faces. He didn’t find out until later. Poor man!

As this memory made a recent visitation to my brain, and after giggling for a while, I started thinking about the repercussions of what would happen if we all were “wired” with a hot mic attached to us so everyone could hear our every word and footstep.

What would others hear? Who would suffer from our words we thought were said behind their backs? Would our children overhear us say things we wouldn’t say in front of them? Where would our footsteps take us that we wouldn’t want others to know?

Unfortunately, we speak with a double tongue. We say one thing to others and then walk in another direction. We can compare this to the word ‘antipodal,’ which means with opposite feet, diametrically opposed, opposite beliefs, exactly contrary, as if to “talk out of both sides of your mouth,” (Prov. 4:24 Msg) as Solomon said.

We don’t realize what we are doing. Job asked, “Is there wrong on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern what is destructive?” (Job 6:30 AMP) Apparently not. Talk and walk don’t match up!

Paul told Titus, “Your conversation should be so sensible and logical that anyone who wants to argue will be ashamed of himself because there won’t be anything to criticize in anything you say!” (Titus 2:8 TLB) Or the way…or where…you walk!

Is your conversation above reproach? Is your walk? What sounds would your hot mic pick up?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, October 19

The Unkinkable Hose

Once in a great while, our Kentucky summers surprise us with a respite from the normal hot and humid yuckiness and treat us to a pleasant evening. Recently, my husband and I sat on our patio to enjoy one of these rare evenings outdoors.

Hubby decided to hook up his new, good 100 foot hose to the sprinkler for the backyard. As he did, he mentioned that he wished he had gotten it a long time ago. Why? Because it does not kink and allows a continuous flow of water.

I started thinking about the unkinkable hose. It reminded me of our relationship with the Lord. As He has blessed us lately with some very needed income, I wanted to be sure my husband was keeping up with the tithe since he writes all the checks.

After I asked him about it, I said, “I don’t want to put a kink in the hose!” After we giggled about it, the thought settled into my brain as I started to think about the comparison between the old hose, which always got kinks in it and even the little kinks cut off the flow of water, defeating its purpose, and the new hose, which will never get a kink in it and will always let the water flow properly, thereby fulfilling its purpose.

I wondered…What puts a kink in the purpose for my life? What stops the flow of Living Water? Is it selfishness? Is it pride? Is it murmuring and complaining? Is it other negative speech? Or is it something I’m overlooking or choose to ignore?

Do I have a blind spot when it comes to “little sins” as little kinks? Like nibbling on the forbidden fruit of a little cheating, a little white lie, a little stealing of pens or paper from the company or altering time cards, a little flirting at work, a little dirty joke, a little gossip, a little peeking at this or winking at that?

Whatever sins you allow in your life, they will put a kink in the flow of your relationship with the Lord, defeating the purpose of your life.

When you finally unkink your life, don’t you always wish you’d done it sooner?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, October 16

The Veiled Lady


Today's devotional is a little out of the ordinary. It is written as a story prompt from the picture. Hope you enjoy it...

An empty water jar balances precariously on her head. Her face is veiled not only to avoid the searing stares of Sychar’s society but also to shield her from the rumors of a ruined reputation.

Too many husbands have drained her nuptial well and now she attempts to fill it with another, an unbetrothed suitor. She must go now to the watering hole, to draw from its depths the water to quench her parched thirst, a thirst that lies deeper than the surface of her tongue.

Slipping through the back streets, she shuffles her way out the city’s gate to fulfill her daily duty. As the sun beats down with its heaving swells of heat, she is forced to come to the well of the ancient fathers at the noon hour. The other women choose to draw water during the cooler hours of the day, coming later to remove their veils, to relax, to laugh, and to gossip, usually about this woman.

The heat of the day diametrically differs from the chill of passion that has penetrated this shunned woman’s being. The empty water jug she now carries on her head parallels the emptiness of her heart.

She hides behind a veil of secrecy, as she tries desperately to become invisible. As she approaches the well, she peers out from behind her veil, and, seeing a man who sits on the well’s edge, their eyes meet. He looks deep into the longing of her soul and sees a parched and depleted well. She sees acceptance beyond anything she has ever experienced.

“Give me a drink,” he asks.

“But you’re a Jew,” she says. “Why do you ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”

“If you only knew. I would satisfy your hollow yearning from a living well, teeming with waters of life that never run dry.”

“Oh, sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

“Call your husband to come here also,” he says.

“But, sir,” she says, “I have no husband.”

This stranger, peering into her lifeless eyes hiding within the veil, now seems to know her so well, as he recounts the depth of her past existence.

“Sir, you must be a prophet,” she says. Yet, she discerns him to be more than a prophet, for there is no hint of judgment or condemnation in his voice, only the love of the ages.

Throwing off the veil over her eyes, she sees this man for who he really is and receives the love for which she has so recklessly searched. She drops her water pot by the well and runs back through the city gate to tell the others of the everlasting love she has found in the Messiah.

Have you dropped all to tell others about the everlasting love you have found in Christ?

“Go…and tell…”

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, October 14

Poverty Came to Visit


Poverty kicked in my front door one day and made himself at home. He became an unwelcome resident for many years. Embarrassment rode in on his coattail.

His friends heard of his new home and, like a troop of vultures, congregated in my living room, chasing away all my friends. He invited Depression and Tears to be his all too frequent guests. Hunger became his constant sidekick while Lack and Need were his devoted followers. Deprivation became a thorn in my side.

They all loved to laugh at me.

Have you ever had lack thrust upon you? As the economy has taken a nosedive, the chances of it knocking on more doors becomes increasingly feasible. However, we in this country are more fortunate in our “poverty” than billions of others around the world are in theirs.

Unless you are one who is truly suffering at the poverty level, it is hard to imagine the indignation that others suffer because of their lack of this world’s resources.

This day, thousands of bloggers are posting on poverty, to make others aware of its ugly existence, whether it makes its home in our downtown shelters or halfway around the world in India or Africa.

And whether we have a little or a lot, we are to share whatever we can with others. I wonder what would happen if we did as the early church did, “There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.” (Acts 4:34-35 NLT)

Giving is at the very essence of God’s love. If our hearts are filled with the love of God, we desire to give. Giving is its own reward.

What are you doing to help ease the pain of someone living in poverty? Find a great organization and donate. Help out at your local shelter. Whatever your hand finds to do, do all in the name of the Lord!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Friday, October 10

The Old Gold Miner

One day, as I was bewailing a difficult circumstance in my life, the Lord gave me this vision of His working in my life…

With shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows, an old gold miner knelt beside a sparkling stream of water, bubbling with life. His weather-beaten hands clutched a sizable sieve like those used years ago for panning gold. On it rested a massive amount of dirt and rocks of all sizes, shapes, and hardness.

Undaunted, he knelt there, concentrating on the debris. Shaking the sieve with vigor, then again with tenderness, he continued his apparent mission, as if on a treasure hunt for some mysterious element. The dirt and smaller pebbles slipped through the holes in the screen, disappearing downstream into waters that appeared to have a life of their own. The remaining larger, coarse rocks on the screen grated against each other, altering their appearance.

Tears began to trickle down his furrowed cheeks and fall upon the transformed rocks, washing away the leftover traces of dirt. An all-knowing smile gradually spread across his aged face. His eyes twinkled, reflecting the anticipated precious treasure, the golden gems now resting on the sieve.

He glanced up and whispered, “My Word is the screen sifting out all the impurities of your life, while the Living Waters wash them away. In My love for you, I am ever at work in your circumstances. As they rub against you, they transform you and rid you of those things that would dirty your life and taint your work for Me. As I remove them, you are made into that precious, golden gem, reflected in My eyes.”

Through this vision, the Lord showed me that, no matter what circumstances occur in my life, no matter how relentlessly they rub against me, He allows them all to be sifted through His Word, His love, and His fingers, changing me into His image and that golden reflection in His eyes.

“This means tremendous joy to you, even though at present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident - it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold…” (1 Peter 1:6-7a Phillips)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, October 7

In the Presence of the King

One day, with head hung down, the lowly subject known as Sinner found herself standing in the Presence of the King. He guided her to a rugged cross, stained with blood that had trickled down its post. He escorted her to an empty tomb, where burial cloths lay as evidence of One having been there. As He walked with her into the Garden of Easter gladness, she finally understood and accepted the sacrifice for forgiveness of sins.

Sinner became known as Saint as she daily sought the King’s Presence. Sitting at His feet, she received all the King’s blessings of the Holy Spirit for her life.

Then, one day, she crawled into the Throne Room as Discouraged, seeking answers to her many trials. The King lifted her up and sent her home with His Servant Encouragement to attend her in all her ways.

Entering one day as Faithless, she timidly approached the King. He immediately forgave her and imparted His Servant Grace to fill her heart.

One day, entering as Defeat, she bowed her head in shame before the Throne, asking for the King’s assistance, wondering Him why her life was a failure. He entrusted His Servant Victory to be her advocate in all the matters of her life.

Entering one day as Pride, she strutted in before the King. Shaking His head at her, He assigned His Servant Humility to kneel by her side always.

One day, entering as Grief, she fell sobbing into the arms of the King. He gently placed His hand of Love upon her head and dispatched His Servants Comfort and Peace to wipe away her tears and accompany her to still waters.

Entering one day as Selfish, she shoved her way into the King’s Throne Room, and the Selfless Lamb appeared and stood silently beside her, wrapping His arm around her shoulders and leading her to perform sacrificial acts for others.

One day, she returned as Prodigal, collapsing in exhaustion at the feet of the King. He set her back upright, wrapped a royal robe around her shoulders, placed a golden crown upon her head, and a divine ring upon her finger, sending His Servants Goodness and Mercy to pursue her in all her ways.

In all her subsequent days, she entered the Kings’ Presence on bended knees, with her head bowed in reverence, and her hands lifted in gratitude. Praise and Worship became her closest Companions…forevermore.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, October 2

Taken Aside for a Purpose

“He took him aside, away from the crowd.”
(Mark 7:33a NIV)

Taken aside…In 1666, John Bunyan was imprisoned for unlicensed preaching. What came out of that dark, damp Bedford jail in England? Out of his captivity came Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners and the most famous of all Christian allegories Pilgrim’s Progress.

Taken aside…Out of years of service in Japan and China, as a missionary in the early 1900s, and out of the imprisonment of her husband’s sickness and subsequent death, came Mrs. Charles E. Cowman’s beautiful, classic devotional Streams in the Desert.

Taken aside…Catherine Marshall, at the age of 33, suffered two years of physical imprisonment with a life-threatening bout of tuberculosis. When her husband Peter died, she took care of their nine-year-old son Peter, Jr. Out of her suffering, she authored over 20 books, among them the well-loved Christy.

Taken aside…Paul, imprisoned. The most fruitful period of his ministry. What did he do? He praised God as a prisoner, not of disease or circumstance, but as a prisoner of the Lord. Out of those times came his letters of encouragement to the churches, giving untold generations the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, and possibly Hebrews.

Have you been taken aside by some life-shattering circumstance? Do you trust that God will be with you through it and use whatever imprisonment you might be suffering for the benefit of others?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Monday, September 29

Raspberry Chocolates...Oh, My!

It’s the little things that seem to bless my heart the most…or maybe it’s because I really don’t get the big things in life, so the little things mean that much more to me.

I saw a commercial for one of my favorite chocolate treats in all the world - Ghiradelli’s dark chocolate squares with raspberry filling.

My six year-old granddaughter loves them almost as much as I do, and, a few weeks ago, she finished off the last two I had, which had been a gift from my daughter. This is a treat I don’t often get, so, as they all had disappeared, I have been wanting to entangle my taste buds and wrap my tongue around one of these tempting delicacies.

When I saw the commercial, I said one of those off-hand things to the Lord that we all do once in a while…Lord, Olivia ate the last of my chocolate. I sure wish I had some more. Then, I just sighed, thinking it would be quite a while before my next delectable chocolate fix.

I have fibromyalgia and this day was not a particularly good day. As I sat in the afternoon on the couch, with my laptop in front of me, my sweet husband came in the door, rattling something in his hands behind his back.

“Close your eyes,” he said. To which I obeyed. “Stick out your hands,” also in obedience. “Surprise!”

Oh, my! A whole bag of raspberry-filled chocolate squares! Yummo! What a joyous surprise. In our financial situation, surprises are few and far between, so this was, indeed, a true surprise.

Then, it hit me…and the tears began to stream down my cheeks and I heard the Lord whisper, “They’re for you because I love you.” Oh, Lord, You really do care about my heart’s desires, even the most insignificant ones. What an awesome God You are!

God does reward us, with even the little things in life, when we make Him the love of our lives.

So, I made a cup of coffee, took my little sweet treat, and thoroughly delighted myself in my chocolate raspberry surprise.

May the Lord surprise you with a sweet, delectable treat. “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire.” (Ps. 20:4 NKJV)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, September 25

A Love That Will Not Let Go

On the evening of his sister’s wedding, George Matheson sat alone in the parsonage. Totally blind by the age of 20, this Scottish preacher, author, and hymn writer, who lived from 1842 to 1906, was left to fend for himself, while the rest of his family spent the night in another town.

Born with poor eyesight, Dr. Matheson’s vision had gradually declined over the years until he lost it completely. His sister had always taken care of him and now that she was married, he would be without her.

While sitting there alone, he had a deep wrenching in his soul, a severe mental anguish, which he never confided the source to anyone. Part of the reason for his anguish may have been that, as his thoughts lingered on his sister’s wedding, he remembered the pain of having a sweetheart who, after hearing the doctor’s report that George would become totally blind by the age of 20, could not handle taking care of a blind man the rest of her life, so, she left him.

As he sat there that dark evening in anguish, a song welled up within him from that still, small voice of the Lord, which he quickly jotted down in five minutes time, composing all the stanzas, which included these beautiful words:

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

Though human love has the potential to disappoint and depart from us, God’s love will never let us go. He says, “I have loved you, O My people, with an everlasting love; with loving-kindness I have drawn you to Me.” (Jer. 31:3 TLB)

On occasion, we tend to forget that God really does love us, that He is always present in our darkest hours, and that He has a purpose for everything, for He “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.” (Eph. 1:11b NIV)

When we struggle with physical conditions and wonder why we are not healed, when we wrestle with circumstances beyond our control, when we suffer some heart-breaking pain, we would do well to remember the words of this blind preacher’s prayer:

I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses,
but never once for my ‘thorn’…
Teach me the glory of my cross;
teach me the value of my thorn.
Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain.
Show me that my tears have made my rainbow.

How many of us have this attitude in our darkest hours of affliction? How many times have we endured a trial or difficult period, all the while whining and complaining? How often do we thank God for those things He allows to remain in our lives, as Paul’s thorn in the flesh?

Have you thanked Him for all your disappointments, the slammed doors, the hurts, the answers to prayer He withheld from you, and asked that He would reveal His greater purpose and plan for you?

Just as Paul’s thorn, these prickly briers of life serve God’s purpose, when we rely on Him to show us that intended design. As we trust Him, every weight of a cross will bring glory to God, every thorn will disclose its value, every tear will convert to a rainbow, every Jordan barrier will become an open portal, every pit will have its golden nuggets, and every hill of difficulty will become a mount of deliverance.

Then, we can sing those beautiful words:

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

Sunday, September 21

Through a Mist of Care

“Through a mist of care no man may see My Face. Only when the burden is flung at My Feet do you pass on to consciousness and spiritual sight.” Those were the words the Holy Spirit spoke to two little English ladies in the 1930s which they recorded in the old devotional God Calling.

What do you allow to become a mist before your eyes, as a veil separating you from the radiance of the Lord’s light? Memories? Unforgiveness? Schedules? Trials? Loss? Worries? How often do you ignore Jesus’ command to “not worry about your life”? (Matt. 6:25a NIV)

When we allow all these negative things of life to cause a haze, concealing our view of our precious Lord, our spirits suffer, our prayers languish, and our relationship with the Lord deteriorates.

Though spoken in a time long ago, Jesus’ words are timeless, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” (Matt. 11:28-29 NLT). If we do not drop our cares and leave them at Jesus’ feet before approaching the Throne Room, then our spiritual vision is clouded and we lose our consciousness of the Lord’s closeness.

No godly soul ever grew in intimacy with the Lord or gained sight of His presence by carrying a load of burdens or worries. When difficulties deafen our ears from hearing the whispers of our Beloved and distract us from feeling the comfort of His arms and the peace of His nearness, we relinquish the very thing we seek.

The Lord says, “‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD,” (Jer. 29:13-14a NIV).

What is your whole heart seeking?

Prayer: Lord, may I always seek You with my whole heart. May no cares conceal or hinder my fellowship with You. May I be so close to You that the breath of Your Spirit evaporates all traces of any hindrance. Amen.

Wednesday, September 17

No Power Doesn't Mean No Power!

No power…no lights, no TV, no internet, no computer, no radio, no hair dryer, no microwave, no stove, no garage door opener, no dishwasher, no washer and dryer, no refrigerator.

Two and a half days without electrical power. It disappeared back from whence it came.

We got whipped with Ike’s tail, an F1 storm without the rain. Trees down everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of people without power.

I’m up early, at least, I think it’s early. All the clocks are black. I have to find my watch.
The quiet is deafening.

The only sounds I hear are an occasional truck, the scampering of squirrel feet across the patio as they run beneath the open family room window, and birds? Nope. No birds chirping. Where did they go? Did the hurricane-force wind blow them all to Ohio?

Ah, finally the twittering begins. And now the distant sound of chain saws cutting through the fallen debris.

Today, my quiet time is truly that…quiet! With the lack of power comes stillness. However, the lack of power doesn’t mean I lack Power. The world sees strength in action; in the Kingdom, strength lies in quietness.

The Word says In Isaiah 30:15b NKJV, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” The Hebrew word for ‘strength’ also means victory and power. Victory and Power flow from the Lord as I absorb them from His Presence in quietness and confidence.

No power doesn’t mean no Power! Quiet…stillness…Power.

Saturday, September 13

Would You Give Away Your Last $25?

If God told you to give your last $25, would you give it? I tell you, GIVE IT! Trust me, I know! Years ago, during a very financially challenging time, I was at our bank, taking out about the last $25 we had to buy food.

As I walked to my car, I overheard a man talking to another man, “Now what am I going to do? The bank will be closed until Monday. I won’t have any money.” For some reason, he could not get any money from his paycheck.

Wouldn’t that make you just rush right over and give him some? God prompted me to do so, but I never found out what the problem was, because I got in my car and drove away - to my shame and embarrassment. I thought if I gave him the last of my money, how would I feed my family?

That was before I knew better how to obey the Lord, and to this day, I deeply regret it. I didn’t trust God and I never experienced His hand at work in that situation. God was trying to bless someone through me and teach me something, but I didn’t listen. Blessings were lost for both of us. Don’t let that happen to you.

“If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.” (Luke 6:38 Contemporary English Version)

Sunday, September 7

This Old House

In the neighborhood where I live, I have one neighbor who likes to cause trouble. He picks the fruit from my trees, chops down my shade trees, and mows down my flowers.

He dumps trash in my yard, reads my mail, steals my packages from the delivery man, tries to tell me all the neighborhood gossip about my friends, and does his darnedest to make me mad.

Forever prowling around the premises, he tries to sneak in the windows and get his foot in the door, attempting to steal my belongings. So I put an alarm system on all the doors and windows.

He likes my house and wants to live here, but I’m under a lease contract for a single dweller. He can’t have it and he certainly isn’t going to move in with me! But he still continues to try to take it away from me.

It’s a comfortable old house, though it’s not the most beautiful on the block nor is it the biggest. The landlord was very generous in his lease, so I appreciate what I have, even if a few structural changes are needed.

A few of its rooms have become dusty and overcrowded and need remodeling. Some of the junk needs to be put out with the trash. Some rooms are in a constant state of upheaval; others just need rearranging.

The windows have become a little foggy, so they’re not as easy to see through as before. Some of the shingles are falling off the roof, while some of the fence pickets are missing. A few of the hinges have become a little rusty and don’t work as well as they used to, but the landlord I lease from said he would make all the necessary repairs. I know he will, for he is a man of his word. However, he does have a busy schedule, so I’m just patiently waiting my turn.

I thought it might be time to move, but he says I can stay a while longer, if I do some of the maintenance work. I do look forward to moving, though, because I’ve had my eye on this perfect, little cottage that’s being built. I’d really like to move there some day…there’s no traffic, no noise, the air is clean, great neighbors, the scenery is beautiful, and best of all, no more Mr. Meany!

I’ve called ahead to see if it was ready but they tell me they’re still working on it. Well, I guess I can wait a little longer. I’m not really finished renovating this one!

“For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down-when we die and leave these bodies-we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” (2 Cor. 5:1 TLB)

Wednesday, September 3

Learning to Fish for Souls

Jesus said, “Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here.” Matt. 10:6-7 The Message Remix

Learning to fish was never at the top of my list when I was a young girl. My father and I went fishing only once. He baited my hook. Squeezing those wiggly worms onto a sharp hook was too yucky. We didn’t use any fancy lures or have much knowledge of fishing.

The above verses command us, as Christians, to do the highest kind of fishing, the same kind Jesus taught the disciples to do - to fish for souls. In order to accomplish that, our lives must be fresh bait on the hook of the gospel.

The problem is that most of us don’t like to fish. We cringe at the thought of baiting the witnessing hook. It isn’t necessary to have all the right equipment or knowledge, just a willing heart. When we are willing, the Lord says He will teach us, “I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!” (Matt. 4:19 TLB)

My father and I never caught anything, but my Father and I have! I’m not proficient at it, yet; I’m still learning how to bait my hook.

Prayer: Lord, You came to seek and to save that which was lost. You died for this very reason. May the eternal destination of one who does not know You be of more concern to me than my own inadequacies to witness. Amen.

Saturday, August 30

Heart's Need

On day in my quiet time, I read the following in my favorite devotional, God Calling…

“Never a heart’s need that I could not comfort and soothe.”

I said, “Lord, if this is true, then why do I sometimes feel as though You are not there?”

He answered, “My dear one, I have been here all along, through it all. I’ve been here by your side, though unnoticed. I've been here, holding your hand, though not felt.

I’ve been here, hovering over you like a mama bird over her chicks, even though the rush of My wings went undetected. I’ve been here in the blackest hours, shining My light, though its radiance went unseen because hurt and pain had shut your eyes.

I’ve been here, through the floods of adversity, rowing your boat for you through all those uncharted waters.

I am the Navigator. I know where we are going. It is your job to sit still before Me and trust that I know best. Don’t rock the boat by telling Me where you want to go. Just let Me take you to the place best suited for you.

Ride quietly and trust Me and we will reach our destination much more quickly. Don’t be a hindrance to the One who knows the way. I will not steer you wrong nor will I allow the waves to overtake you. Just trust Me, because I love you.”

“Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still. Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:28-30 AMP)

Tuesday, August 26

Are You a Ready Bride?

He shuffled his feet and wiped his sweaty palms on his jacket. His face twitched, producing a peculiar, cockeyed smile.

Then, the bride began her promenade down the aisle, and the groom’s whole body radiated with delight. They were so anxious and concerned to look their best for each other. All decked out in their wedding finery, he, fit to meet the bride; she, fit to meet the bridegroom.

As I sat in the chapel praying for them, the thought occurred to me: Jesus is fit and ready to meet me, His Bride, but am I fit and ready to meet Him, my Bridegroom? Am I anxious and concerned about the way I am dressed for my divine wedding day? Will He recognize me?

Would you recognize the bride if she came down the aisle dressed as a rabbit, or in a diving suit, or perhaps in a nun’s habit? No, of course not. She would be totally out of place. A bride is dressed in the proper wedding attire and you recognize her the minute you see her, because she has donned her bridal finery.

If Jesus died that the church, His bride, might be without spot or wrinkle or any other defect, then, as part of the Bride, how am I dressed? When the heavenly Bridegroom arrives, will I be dressed in an old rag, spotted with worldly residue? Or will I be a bride beautifully dressed for her Husband in a spotless gown of holiness?

What am I doing to keep myself pure and holy, ready to have my Bridegroom carry me across that heavenly threshold? Will He radiate with delight in me, as His bride? If you have ever been to a wedding, you know all eyes are watching the bride, but I always love to watch the groom.

Just to see the expression on his face, changing from one of nervous disaster to one of pure delight. Love beams from his face, as his precious bride gracefully heads in his direction. The glint in his eye.

And, if you were to look very closely into his eyes, you would see that the glint is her reflection. I ask you…Do you wish be dressed in that pure gown of holiness when you Bridegroom comes calling for you? Will He recognize you? Will you be the reflection in His eyes? Will you be a ready bride?

Lord, Your love spanned the ages, knowing one day I would say “yes” to Your proposal and receive my pure wedding garment of holiness. May I love You enough in return to keep that gown unsullied from the world and meet You in holiness on the day of Your return. May I be that precious reflection in Your eyes and may I be continually dressed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Amen!

Thursday, August 21

The Charlie Brown Tree

“Cut that thing down, p-l-e-a-s-e!” I begged. “It’s ugly. It needs to go.”

But my husband never did cut it down. And so it remained.

Out of the ground sprouted this scraggly, scrawny, little pine twig that must have dropped as a seed from its forefather. It looked just like the Christmas tree in the Charlie Brown cartoon classic and so it got its name, the Charlie Brown tree.

Instead of destroying this diminutive sapling in its infancy, we left it alone to do what it was created to do…be a testament to its Creator.

Year after year, it stood in our backyard beside its progenitor, a towering evergreen that dwarfed its Lilliputian descendant. And year after year, that puny thing struggled to grow. Standing staunch to face the sun, rain, wind, heat, snow, and storms, it faced all the elements, yet protected in the shadow of its forefather. It eventually matured into a beautiful, sprawling pine of 35 feet.

Occasionally, aren’t we this way with baby Christians? So ready to chop down God’s little seedlings of faith, so ready to give up on them as they struggle to grow, mature, and learn. Just because they don’t have all the branches of knowledge, the beautiful foliage of experience we do, or the seeds of future Christian descendants growing in their shadows, we are ready to dismiss them.

However, if we become the staunch support of strength, protecting them in our shadow and nourishing them with our love, they can grow to be a true testament to their Creator, living the life God intended for them.

Lord, may I never dismiss one of children in his or her infancy of faith. May I be a true example of Your love, care, and strength to the one who needs it. Amen!

Sunday, August 17

Gossip...Who Me?

“You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son,” so says Psalm 50:20 (NKJV). The Message Remix version states it this way, “You stab your own brother in the back.”

If you and I were created in God’s image and likeness, and our families, friends, and neighbors were all created in God’s image and likeness, then how do we justify speaking against God’s creations?

Do we not see the face of Christ in others? How can we love God and hate Him in others at the same time? Would you like it if someone said something against your child? Our heavenly Father doesn’t like it either.

Malachi asked, “Don’t we all come from one Father? Aren’t we all created by the same God?” (Malachi 2:10a The Message Remix) Unfortunately, we use our tongue “to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse our fellow-man, who is created in the likeness of God,” (James 3:9 GNB).

If we say God reigns supreme in our lives and we are part of His body, why are we so unloving to His other body parts? Do our eyes hate our polished fingernails for being prettier? Do our teeth covet the gold in our ears? Are our hands jealous because our feet sport new shoes?

You may say that sounds silly, but if we are all parts of Christ’s Body, why does one part behave so unbecomingly, so unlovingly, towards another part? I just don’t get it!

The Lord once said to me, “Do not wound My Heart by saying unkind things about those I love, things you could not say to their faces.” Our love for Christ must prevent us from grieving Him with our criticism and judgment of those He loves.

Let’s bring this closer to home. Let’s say you are in a restaurant and see someone you know, perhaps, your preacher or someone well known eating with his or her spouse. They are having a lively conversation, waving their hands in the air, with determined looks on their faces.

The next day you tell a friend what you saw, but what do you say? “Oh, I saw so-and-so last night, fighting with her (his) spouse in a restaurant. They were waving their hands all around, arguing. It looked terrible. I’ll bet they’re on the verge of breaking up.”

Now, what have you done? You have gossiped and spread rumors of that which you had no knowledge. Matthew Henry said, “Men are most apt to speak evil of those persons and things that they know least of.” They were probably not arguing at all, just having an impassioned conversation on a subject close to their hearts, such as, how do you suppose rumors get started?!

Jesus warned, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults - unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging,” (Matthew 7:1-2 The Message Remix).

We are neither to listen to gossip nor to spread it. Remember, those who gossip to you will turn around and gossip about you! Have you ever felt the hot breath of another’s Judas-kiss upon your neck? Has another felt yours?

Lord, keep my tongue from bringing shame on Your name. Let my words to others be always wrapped in love and lavishly filled with encouragement. Amen.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Wednesday, August 13

In the Cross

In The Cross

In the
Cross
Is set
What I
Cannot
Forget
It is the blood of redemption of the Christ Who came to save
To lift us above a life of sin, to keep us from an eternal grave.
In the
Cross
Is
Joy
Life
Love
Hope
Faith
Peace
Power
Victory
Increase
Comfort
Strength
Holiness
Patience
Kindness
Humility
Tranquility
At the foot of the cross
is where I’ll be.
Will you meet me there
on bended knee?

Friday, August 8

Worship Service

“The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23b NKJV) “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, Him only you shall serve.’” (Matt. 4:10 NKJV)

‘Worship service’ is more than a phrase given to our church assemblies. Worship is service to God, as the priests of old worshipped God by their tabernacle or temple service. In Greek, one word for ‘worshipper’ means a temple servant, or one having charge of a temple to keep it clean and adorn it. Our word ‘worship’ is derived from the old English word meaning ‘worthship.’

We are all temple servants of God, doing our duty by taking care not only of the temple of the church building but also of the temple of our hearts. Paul tells us of the highest form of worship-service we can offer God, “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you…to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” (Rom. 12:1 AMP)

Our godly service then is keeping our temples clean and unspotted by the world, adorning them with acts of service, and having a lifestyle of holy living that honors the worthship of God. In all we do, we should “Worship and serve Him with (our) whole heart and with a willing mind.” (1 Chron. 28:9 NLT)

To worship the God of creation is to bow down in reverence to Him because He is worthy, acknowledging His divinity, to bow in humility and obedience, to bow to His will, His plan, and His purpose by relinquishing one’s own agenda, to bow in service to Him with one’s life, honoring Him as the One True God.

Do we seek the Lord’s Presence or His presents? Do we seek His handout or His hand? Do we always seek something from Him as the multitudes did, or do we lean upon His breast as John the beloved did, just to be with Him, to sit at His feet as Mary did, just to serve Him in worship by pouring out our thanks and tears as fragrant oil upon His body?

How lavish is your worship of the Creator’s worthship?

Prayer: Father, as You desire and seek true worshippers, may my words, my actions, my total life, be a service of true praise and worship that honors and glorifies Your worthship. Amen.