Saturday, June 30

What is Righteousness?


What is it?

Righteousness is holy, upright living, which conforms to God’s standards and is based on His character.

In former days, righteousness was spelled rightwiseness, which is the clearer meaning. It comes from root words meaning rightness, equity, justification, just, holy, or innocent.

*How is it attained?

It cannot be obtained (possessed) or attained (accomplished) by obedience nor by works... It is by grace alone, for “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9 NKJV)

*What does it do?

It makes us right in God’s eyes... We are not righteous because of any inherent goodness; we are righteous because of our identification with Christ by faith. Because of the blood Jesus shed as our sacrifice for sin, we have been justified in the eyes of God. We have been made righteous by Christ’s righteousness within us.

It gives us God’s wisdom... “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30 NIV)

Things are added to our lives... When we seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first, Scripture says, “all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33 NKJV) All what things? All the things necessary for life.

*How does it look/behave?

It is not hypocritical... If our righteousness does not surpass “that of the Pharisees...[we] will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20 NIV)

It hungers and thirsts for more... “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matt. 5:6 NIV)

It produces right living within us... “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” (Isa. 32:17 NIV) We will, therefore, behave in a Godly manner, with peace, quietness, and confidence as distinguishing marks of God’s character at work within us.

Is rightwiseness at work in you?


Tuesday, June 26

What Are You Wearing Today?

What garment did you put on this morning when you got up? Whatever was necessary for the day’s events or chores, right? Were they rags or well-cared-for garments? Did they show off your best or worst features?

You dressed your flesh, for better or worse. But how did you dress your spirit? Was it for better or worse? 

Did you go through the day dressed in the rags of...


...and accessorized with...

*a mean spirit
*a negative tongue
*selfish actions

How did you look? Did anyone tell you, “That looks awful on you!”?

Or did you dress in intricately woven garments, embroidered with the precious threads of silver and gold and stitched together with a scarlet cord? 

This wardrobe consists of...


Did you enhance them with...

*good deeds
*kind words

Did they show off the Lord’s best features? Did anyone tell you, “You look wonderful today!”?

The moment you awaken in the morning, dress yourself properly. Put on...

*the belt of truth
*the body armor of God’s righteousness
*the shoes of peace
*the shield of faith
*salvation as your helmet
*the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:14-17)

Peter reminds us, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4 NLT)

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Col. 3:14 NLT)

Happy dressing!

Today, I’m hooking up with...


Monday, June 25

Wounded Trilogy ~ book tour

Today, I’m happy to be part of the promotion for the Wounded Trilogy books of my e-friend, Lynn Dove. Lynn lives in Canada and has won awards for her writing and been showcased in a few compilation books, the latest being in Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith.

Be sure to check out the end of the post. There’s a link for a giveaway.

How do you describe yourself, Lynn?

I am a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher, and a writer (in that order). I wear so many different hats that I find prioritizing them tends to focus me better. I have been married to my best friend, Charles, for over 33 years and we have three wonderful children: daughter, Laurelle (husband, Matt), grandbaby Jaxon, and we have two live-at-home teenagers, Brett and Carmen.  

I have been a teacher most of my adult life and still substitute occasionally at the private Christian school my youngest daughter attends. I love volunteering and working closely with the youth in our church, blogging, camping, and reading.

Tell us a little bit about your “Wounded Trilogy.”

Shoot the Wounded, the first book of the Wounded Trilogy, is written for youth and young adults. It addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person’s spirit and focuses on relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy, and family violence. The story points the characters, and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ. STW was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards.

Heal the Wounded is the sequel to STW. Heal the Wounded won a Bronze Medal in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards in the Young Adult-Coming of Age category. HTW delves even deeper into the real world of teenagers trying to live out their faith in the midst of upset and struggle.

Love the Wounded is the final and dramatic conclusion to the series as it follows the lives of teenagers Jake, Leigh, Mike, Dylan, and Tim. They face a series of tragedies and events that make each of them question why God allows “bad things to happen to good people.” Released May 30, 2012, the book has already received a five star review from Readers Favorite. 
As bullying is one of the issues I deal with, my books are listed as resources on the largest anti-bullying website in the world,

Why did you become a writer?

I know this is a cliché answer, but I have always wanted to write. I have written poetry and short stories since I was in elementary school. My teachers could always count on me to give a lengthy treatise on any subject. 

I had no aspirations to be a novelist. My debut novel, Shoot the Wounded, actually started as a short story, but 100 pages later, I realized I couldn’t call it a “short story” any longer. It sat in my computer for ten years until, one day, as I deleted files, I came across it again. My husband encouraged me to finish it and get it published.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people?

Since two of my children are teenagers and I write novels for teenagers, I have been very purposeful not to base my characters on them. It would mortify them! Instead, I try to draw on my experience as a high school teacher and as a youth leader working with teenagers. So, each of my characters is composed of a smattering of many individuals, rolling them into one cohesive characterization. 

My kids still say that they see themselves in the characters. I suppose that’s to be expected, but I pray that they see the character as positively portrayed and not otherwise.

Do you have any new book or writing projects now that the Wounded Trilogy is done?

I am working on an autobiographical account of my journey with breast cancer in 2001 called Life Lived. I am also working on a devotional as well as a few more articles set to be published in compilation books.

~Lynn’s books are available on,, and on Lynn’s website.
Readers may also connect with Lynn on Twitter, Facebook, and on her blogs: Journey Thoughts, Word Salt, and on her website Shoot the Wounded.

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway. Here’s the link.


Friday, June 22

The Blindfold

**I felt led to post this rerun. May the Lord bless the one/s for whom it is intended.**

Today, I share with you a story that I received as an email. I tried to find out the author but he or she remains anonymous. This story may be true or it may just be a legend. I found conflicting accounts. Either way, I hope you enjoy it...

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian young male’s Rite of Passage?

The youth’s father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him, and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

During the night, the boy is naturally terrified. He hears all kinds of noises. The wind blows the grass. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. But he sits stoically, throughout the long night, never removing the blindfold.
Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appears and he removes his blindfold. It is then that he discovers his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

Once the youth survives the night, he is a man. When he returns to his friends, he cannot tell them of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

Moral of the story:
Just because you cannot see God doesn’t mean He is not there. It doesn’t mean He is not at work, watching over you.  

We are never alone. When the howling of circumstances surrounds us and the darkness of afflictions blinds us, we can know that the light of the Son is upon us and that the Father watches over us, sitting on the stump beside us.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

Hooking up today with Laura Krokos' Faith Filled Friday...



Tuesday, June 19

Old Familiar Friend

Trying to emerge from a place within,
it bubbles up, desiring to begin.
It fills my soul and leaps into my heart,
bouncing around for a way to depart.

It creeps up my throat and onto my tongue.
It darts out as a song to be sung.
It pokes at my ego, my hands to raise.
Then I recognize my old friend Praise.

He always comes knocking when I’m distressed,
seeking to guide me on a Godly quest.
As his exultations begin to grow,
I give him permission his words to flow.

When I hear his sounds familiar and sweet,
I know they rise up my Savior to greet.
When his handiwork at last comes to rest,
I know once again I’m sure to be blessed.

~ Happy praising!

Today, I am hooking up with...


Saturday, June 16

Blue and White Shards of Promise

My father loved digging...of all sorts. Digging into the soil to plant things. I wrote about his love of the soil and being able to make anything grow in his special soil in a post entitled Coaxed Back to Life.

He also loved digging into the soil to discover hidden treasures of what former generations had left behind.

But his favorite type of digging was plunging into the soil of God’s Word to find hidden treasures, those things the ancient generations left for future generations to find.

He and my grandfather bought a large farm in the late ’40s and, along with my hubby, began developing it into a community of homes, businesses, and churches in the late ’60s. As the houses were built, Dad found many artifacts.

When he and mother decided to rebuild one of the historic homesites on the property, Dad had the students of the archaeology department of the local university to help dig. They found all sorts of shards. Shards of old pottery, bits of colored glass, old marbles, keys.  As shards of hearts once living there.

What he and the diggers uncovered would have filled a small museum. A lot of it has been given to and preserved by the current owner of the home for a small exhibit in the home.

Among Dad’s finds was a large amount of pottery shards in blue and white. Which just happened to be my mother’s favorite colors. She was the blue and white queen!

When my mom died a few years ago, one of my sisters and I had to decide what to do with all of mother’s things, which included things belonging to my dad who had died twelve years before.

I have a box of some of the blue and white pottery shards. For some reason, the box went undiscovered in our garage. I found it a couple of weeks ago and have been trying to decide what to do with the shards. I’ve seen tables, flower pots, picture frames, mirrors, and other items tiled with pottery shards.

I think I’ll do one or all of these things: 1) take one or two of the larger shards and make them into hearts for necklaces, keeping my dad close to my heart, 2) cover a frame for his picture, and/or 3) cover a flower pot or two, since he loved to grow things.

I think the flower pot is my favorite: taking shards of one lovely pieces and remaking them into something useful again, filling them with special soil for seeds of beauty to grow.

In one of Jesus’ parables, He compared the kingdom to a farmer sowing seeds, as some fell along the wayside but the birds ate it; some fell on rocky and shallow soil but, with not roots, lasted until adversity came; other seed fell among thorns where cares and riches choked them out; while “some fell on good soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as he had planted. If you have ears, listen!” (Matt. 13:8-9 TLB)

When the disciples asked Him the meaning of the parable, He said of the good soil, “The good ground represents the heart of a man who listens to the message and understands it and goes out and brings thirty, sixty, or even a hundred others into the Kingdom.” (Matt. 13:23 TLB)

Our heavenly Father can grow anything in the special soil of tender hearts that allow Him to plant His seeds. I want the shards of my heart to be made into something beautiful, to fill it with that special soil and receive those seeds of the Father’s Word and flourish with a harvestful of produce.

Today, because of the seed-sowing of my heritage, I am able to stand on God’s promise (below) and hook up with Duane Scott’s blog hop on God’s promises (Mondays).

Promise: “Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.” (Prov. 22:6 GNT)

Thank you, Daddy! And thank You, Father!

Scribing the Journey with Duane Scott...                                                          


Monday, June 11

Leaning Against a Thorn

Thorns of trials.
Thorns of affliction.
Thorns of adversity.
Thorns of all kinds.

Thorns pricking. Briers sticking. Thistles piercing.

Pricking thorns of...

* abuse
* divorce
* addiction
* a lost job
* failing health
* loss of a home
* financial disaster
* a friend’s betrayal
* a teen making bad choices

The enemy stands ready to prick us at any time with adverse circumstances.

However, sometimes we find ourselves being pricked with the barbs of consequences when we lean into an avoidable situation, something God’s Word clearly states that we are to shun.

If we lean into wrong desires, our hearts will be pricked with the thorns of heartache and sorrow.

If we lean into improper thoughts, our hearts will be pricked with the thorns of guilt and remorse.

If we lean into fleshly lusts, our hearts will be pricked with the thorns of shame and regret.

Sometimes, God will remove the thorns; however, on occasion, He will leave them for our good, as when He left Paul’s thorn to prick him when he leaned into pride.

I wonder if we ever thank the Lord for the thorns? What? Thank Him for a trial, a heartache? All things work together for good, remember? So says Romans 8:28.

The next time a thorny ordeal is pricking you, remember the words of this prayer by George Matheson, a blind Scottish theologian and preacher in the late 1800s...

My, God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. 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.

He thanked God for his blindness. Is that something we would do?

What did David say? “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace.” (Ps. 34:1 TLB)

What about Habakkuk’s attitude? The prophet asserted his faith in God and promised to praise Him, even if all else failed, “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. 3:17-18 NLT)

Being thankful is easy when everything is hunky-dunky, but the praise that emanates from a pain-ravaged heart, pressed by a thorn, is the sweet-smelling sacrifice of holy incense that rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet.

But what of those times when our hearts are pricked with grief?

Once I heard a song of sweetness
As it cleft the morning air,
Sounding in its blest completeness,
Like a tender, pleading prayer;
And I sought to find the singer,
Whence the wondrous song was borne,
And I found a bird, sore wounded,
Pinioned by a cruel thorn.

I have seen a soul in darkness,
While its wings with pain were furled,
Giving hope and cheer and gladness
That should bless a weeping world;
And I knew that life of sweetness,
Was of pain and sorrow borne,
And a stricken soul was singing,
With its heart against a thorn.

We are told of One who loved us,
Of a Savior crucified,
We are told of nails that pinioned,
And a spear that pierced His side;
We are told of cruel scourging,
Of a Savior bearing scorn,
And He died for our salvation,
With His brow against a thorn.

We “are not above the Master.”
Will we breathe a sweet refrain?
And His grace will be sufficient,
When our heart is pierced of pain.
Will we live to bless His loved ones,
Tho’ our life be bruised and torn,
Like the bird that sang so sweetly,
With its heart against a thorn?

~ Author unknown

Do you sing and thank the Lord when a thorn pierces your heart with pain?

Today, I’m hooking up with...

Soli deo gloria...

On, In, and Around Mondays...

On In Around button


Thursday, June 7

It's IN You!

It’s not in me.
I cannot do this; it’s too hard.
I don’t have the strength.
I don’t have the patience.
I can’t conquer this.
It’s not in me to forgive.
It’s not in me to love.

How many times have you said those or similar things or heard someone else say them?

What do you need today? Strength? Power? Patience? Love? A forgiving attitude? Courage to conquer an addiction or thought pattern? Or maybe something else?

Whatever battles you face each day, I’m here to encourage you: you can withstand them. You can be an overcomer! You can win! You can conquer! You can be the victor! If you have welcomed Christ to live in your heart, then all you need is IN you.

* The Truth is IN you.
* Eternal Life is IN you.
* The love of God is IN you.
* The mind of Christ is IN you.
* When all is dark, His light is IN you.
* Through His Word, His joy is IN you.
* If you believe, the word of God works effectively IN you.
* When you abide in Him, His Living Word abides IN you.
* “God is working IN you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” (Phil. 2:13 NLT)
* You can conquer because “The Spirit who lives IN you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NLT)
* God began the good work IN you and will continue until it is “finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Phil. 1:6 NLT)

When Christ is IN you, you can do all things through Him.

Paul said that the overwhelming victory of Christ is yours (1 Cor. 15:57) and you are more than a conqueror through Him. (Rom. 8:37) To be more than a conqueror is to gain a surpassing victory.

How do you gain this surpassing victory? All you need is already IN you, “for the kingdom of God is inside you,” (Luke 17:21b Phillips), because Christ lives IN you (Col. 1:27). All you need to do is make withdrawals.
Christ’s strength has not diminished. He is our Victor! We can have victory, because God “always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ.” (2 Cor. 2:14a NIV)

Be encouraged: Go forward into this day with all the Lord has placed IN you.

It IS IN you! You CAN do it!

“Christ IN you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27 NKJV)

Hooking up with...


Sunday, June 3

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 pursued 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 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, and sent 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 head bowed in reverence, and hands lifted in gratitude. Praise and Worship became her closest Companions…forevermore.

~Thoughts to ponder: What pursues you? What do you pursue?

***Okay. I cheated. This is a part of the blog chain on the topic of pursuit. My brain isn’t working and I did not have a post so this is a rerun.
Also hooking up with...

On In Around button

Beauty in His Grip Button