Daily Bread

Freshly baked bread or toasting bread, it’s still an aroma that fills my senses and makes me hungry.

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.


Proverbs 30:8-9 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me.

If I were to ask you right now, what do you need? What do you need to sustain you? Food, clothing, home or a job?. Dealing with a child, your own sadness about where you are?  Is is physical? Emotional?  Have you thought about what you need spiritually? Is that in the salad bowl of daily need?

He won’t force feed, but He will provide for you to be able to live day by day, scene by scene, in what He has for you and me, waiting on the table of provision.

While you may prefer brownies as a steady diet, coffee, or even meat and potatoes, He could say you need veggies, some of the very ones you don’t really choose or even like.

Father there are things in our daily lives that we need, that we do not want or even desire. Yet, it’s not only that they are good for us, they are necessary to sustain health and create wholeness in who I am.

A few things on my heart that I personally need to swallow as my daily bread. Some taste really good, others, not as much.

Philippians 2:14  Do all things without grumbling or disputing…not a few things or the things I like or the ones I think should be done differently.

Psalm 107:9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.  Do I long for and hunger after His things (like righteousness and truth) or do I long only for how he can make me feel better?

Proverbs 3:3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. This daily dose, I must chew on everyday.

Thank you Lord for words that taste sweet, comfort, fill, and seep into my entire being. Thank you for rest and restoration. Thank you for always being with me. Oh how your goodness and mercy do follow me. I will live with you, forever!

In Love?

In Love?

How do you know you are in love?

All is right with the world, sweaty palms, nervousness, great and elaborate joy, can’t get enough of each other, separation is painful, you tell everyone about this person! Sound familiar? Ever happened to you?

Is this love? I say, yes, or the start of it….

Then comes the everyday stuff. Some of the very things you found endearing, now drive you crazy. Your deep and abiding dear heart’s attention to detail does the financial books and it’s a relief you don’t have to because they don’t miss a thing. Whew. But now they want to know where is the 23 cents they can’t find and you don’t have all your receipts. Maybe you have a laid back lovely that is easy going, nothing bothers them and it’s refreshing. But wait, that same easy going love is always late!

Is this love?

It sure is. It’s learning to accept the differences. Oh by the way, for most of us, when we meet that one person, it’s usually opposites attract.

This brings me to our one True Love.

We have always been loved first.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

Let’s apply the same principles.

You come to know Jesus. There is nothing like it in the world. He has freed you. You have new lease on life. Everything feels right with the world. You can’t stop talking about him.

Is this love? Yes, yes it is, the start of it, on your end.

Then comes the everyday stuff. Some of the very things you found endearing, now drive you crazy. Your covenant, deep and abiding loving God, wants to show mercy (again) to the person who has wronged you (unjustly). Maybe you can’t understand why something is allowed to happen or why something hasn’t happened. And honestly, it feels like God, at least most of the time, is late!

Is this love?

It sure is. It’s learning to accept what we cannot yet understand. There are differences. We are learning to live and walk out truth. Oh and by the way, for all of us, that one person, Jesus, it is opposites attract. He is sinless. And well, us, not so much.

Isaiah 55:9  Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I want to be more like Him. To love others while they are still caught, stuck, rebellious, in their sin. That includes myself. Unconditionally.

The Wait

Most everything in life has a flip side. What’s your preference heads or tails? Sweet or salty? Puppies or kitties? Ocean or mountain? Pick a side, any side! Often in life we eventually are forced to choose and yes, to even compare. Sometimes it’s only about a preference. Me, from the above list….give me something sweet and salty as a combo. Once in a great while you can have it all!

For all practical purposes, today we are going to compare the flip sides of waiting….waiting. Waiting. What’s your first thought on waiting?

A friend of mine recently posted on social media about the differences of gestation periods of birthing.. . Rabbits 31 days and usually have 3-8 little ones.. Dogs 9 weeks and can have 7-13 puppies. Deer 6 months and have 1-3 with twins being very common, Humans or in my house- Usn’s, 9 months and  1 or 2 children most common,  Cows 10 months and 1 offspring.  Horses 11 months with 1.  Giraffes 14 months and 1 little longneck.  Elephant 22 months and yep you guessed it, 1.

So, if we are to compare, the general rule of thumb is the smaller the animal (in nature) the larger number of offspring and more often they can reproduce (shorter gestation). And middle size…yep right in the middle. The larger the animal, the longer the gestation, and the fewer the offspring.

This brings me to a question I was asked a few years back in a meeting where we were asked to ponder and answer this question:

Do you want to be (spiritually) as influence, a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond? Did any of you read this and immediately think I want to be a small fish in a small pond or a large fish in an ocean?

Everyone starts small, learning the waters, following others, and growing in grace.

Whatever place you find yourself, wherever you want to go, the type of impact you want to make, the dreams you have, no matter what or who, there is always the wait.

We wait for strength: Isaiah 40:31 Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.

We wait for God (this is hard because we want it now: Psalm 25:5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

We wait for an answer: Ruth 3:18 Wait, my daughter until you hear how the matter turns out

We wait with patience: Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

And while you are in the waiting periods of life: 2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

Wait on!

Ipod Lessons

The word listen is in the ESV version of scripture 198 times and the  word hear even more at 471. And, the word heard 600!

A few years back, before we streamed everything online, when ipods were popular, my son gave me a purple one for Christmas and filled it with music, from every genre for me. On the back, he engraved Listen up Lisa. Very wise words indeed.

It was a very special gift, one that will be forever kept.

In order to listen to what’s on the Ipod, ear phones are necessary. When wearing them, the rest of the world is muted, if not actually sealed out. This encourages focus.

Listening, not singing along, but actually hearing-paying attention to the music, the rhythm, the different instruments, the lyrics, and feeling the pace of the songs, opens a whole new world. You leave the cares of where you are, what’s happening, and begin to understand different perspectives, learn what you really enjoy, and are able to be transported, if you will, to another time and place.

This listening is not about you. You may be able to relate to it. You may even be able to absorb it as your own. But it came from another source.

Listening is not speaking. It’s taking in, without thinking of what to say or what will occur next. It’s being present in the moment.

Then the song or style we relate to, jive with the beat, cry with emotion, or get encouraged. It has a response!

To sum up listening:

  1. Pay attention to what is being said.
  2. Focus
  3. Be present
  4. Hearing and talking are not simultaneous actions
  5. True listening evokes a response

Proverbs 8:32-33 And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

Luke 9:35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”

Do you know what He says? Are you focusing on Him? Are you present in the moment when He speaks? What’s your response to His word?

Listen Up Lisa (insert your own name)

He is speaking!


Like Father Like Son

Recently we had a very large family gathering. Extended family and friends literally came from all over the globe. Weddings are such joyful occasions!

After more than a few people said things like you look like your mom,  you and your sister have zero rhythm, his mannerisms are just like his dad, I realized how much we compare. Some of it is good and we desire to be like our family (in all the best ways).

Yet more often than not, we pick out the characteristics we don’t like, or a habit, often a trait something like so and so always yelled and I’m just like him or her.  In the end, we give up hope thinking we can change or if we are honest, often we don’t want to change. Not really. We give ourselves the permission to be how we are.

An important few words that have radically changed me say what we make room for, or focus on is what we empower.  We give that thing or thought or action influence over us.

Philippians 4:8 puts it into perspective: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Choice. Every thought is a choice. Every action or lack of one is a choice. Choices. Choices. Choices.

They take focus. Here and now. It’s being present in the moment.

Ephesians 4:23-24 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

If you are His, you are not who you were, you are created in his likeness in right standing and set apart for purpose!

Here’s to focusing on the good, the right, and who He says you are because of who he is. As I think, so I am Proverbs 23:7. I want to think like Him!

The Real Thing

Truth the Real Thing

3 John 1-4 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

The first four sentences of this chapter repeat the word truth, four times.

Gaius I love in truth.

Brothers testified to your truth

You are walking in truth

No greater joy you are walking in truth

This TRUTH is important!

Definition in greek: truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness. True to fact and synonymous to reality (opposite of illusion).

For further clarification what is the opposite of truth?  Falseness, a lie, dishonesty, fiction, and falsehood

Do you want: Truth or Lies? Real or Fake? Honesty or Dishonesty? Fact or Fiction?

Food for thought- You are the real deal. You are of great value. There is no one like you. Unique. The truth is there is only one you.

Do you know what’s real? Have you tested the waters? Do you know real truth or just an idea of it? Are you willing to die for it? If not, it’s probably not truth. If we take the scripture above-

Who do you love in truth- in reality, for the long haul, no matter what comes our way. Do you treat yourself that way?

Who can testify to the truth that’s in you? Would they come to your aid? Would they know enough about you to convict you of that truth? Could they back you up by your behavior? Do you do it for yourself?

The third one was indeed you are walking in truth. Do you live out what you believe? Would others know you by the truth you live out in your life? Do you walk out the real, in honesty, reality of goodness and grace?

Love is truth. Real love does hurt at times. Real love is warm and fuzzy. Real love walks out relationship. Real love stays when others leave.  It’s me walking out truth in love for myself and others.

And no greater joy than to know you are walking in truth. Do we/I take time to encourage one another? Does it really excite me to see the difference and know the value of the person in front of me, even if it’s me looking in the mirror?

The real thing is NOT too good to be true. It looks like the real thing. It sounds like the real thing. It smells like the real thing. It tastes like the real thing. It feels like the real thing.

There is a truth that is real, tangible, and never too good to be true. My desire is to know truth so well, that I would recognize the lie and not the opposite where I know lies so where it’s hard to recognize truth.

Truth is freeing. Truth is complete. Truth is Jesus. Yes, even when we don’t understand. Trust in the truth. Hold his hand. Hear his heart. See with his eyes. Let him hold and hug and love on you.

He’s the real deal. So are you.

Word Up


Growing up, I was the type of child that cried even if my dad gave me the raised eyebrow. Words were not necessary. If a harsh word was spoken, by anyone, somehow I managed to internalize it, and more often than not believed it about myself. Of course, if a good word was spoken about me, often I let it bounce off- the person was trying to be nice to me.

Proverbs 15:23

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,

and a word in season, how good it is!

Proverbs 12:17a

Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,

Proverbs 12:18b

but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12:19a

Truthful lips endure forever,

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,

but a good word makes him glad.

And this one-

Proverbs 25:11-13

A word fitly spoken

is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold

is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

It’s not just the words, it’s the listening ear. I had to learn to choose to that which I was going to listen. Yes, even in reproving, it’s done with grace and seasoned with salt, not compromising truth.

What are some fitting words? What does my heavenly Father say about me?

I am his daughter, he loves me unconditionally, I am worthy, I am his beloved, I am valued, I am precious to Him, I am cherished, I am His bride, I am chosen, I am equipped and gifted, I am righteous, I am lovely, I am honorable, I am known, and I am His.

Knowing some of the things He says about me, and hearing and believing it, what do I say about me?

I am kind, considerate, honest, and loving. I am creative, a learner, beautiful, and noticed. I am capable, graceful, and worthy. I am known. I am a sweet smelling aroma of life and goodness. I am me.

It’s not even easy always to write or believe, but the more I do it, say it, I believe it.

Who  does God say about you?  Who are you in your eyes?

I know you are lovely and a rare and precious find.

Walk and Talk

Ex 33:11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

My husband and I both love the outdoors. It’s a place that the day to day life disappear into the focus of nature and each other. Packs are stuffed with sustenance, water, first aid, and a few other things such as a good pocket knife. We grab the leash and the pup gets beside himself with excitement. Adventure awaits.

Hiking awaits. Walking and talking. Walking. Talking. Silence. Pondering. Walking. Talking. Picnic. Walking. Silence. Talking. Hiking.

Numbers 12:8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord.

Yes, that’s how we chat. Clearly. Whatever is on our mind. Catching up with thoughts and perspectives. Solving the world’s problems. Noticing nature around us. Pointing out flowers or clouds in the sky. Discussing our kids. Talking about the future. Reminiscing about the past. Sharing hearts, with one another. Time seems to be only in the moment we are living.

John 10:14-15a I am the good shepherd(takes care of us). I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.

To know we must be know. Jesus knows us, because He knows the Father and the Father knows Him. He knows you. How well do you know Him? Do you know His thoughts? What is He saying?

John 15:15  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

He walks with me. He talks with me. He spends time, always has the time for me. He notices the little things. He knows my thoughts. He cares. Keeps me from falling. Makes the path clear. Makes a way where there seems to be no way.

He and I have the best walks and talks. His way is love and care.

Father, speak to me face to face as a friend. Walk with me. Talk with me. I long to listen to Your voice, hear Your heartbeat. Today I give you my time. I give you my heart afresh. Let’s share, together.



We all know the meaning of the word weapon- instruments designed or used to inflict bodily harm or damage. If you have not lived through a war, you have heard about them from our history books. You have seen some of the movies. There are all kinds of weapons and war is just one physical type where weaponry is utilized.

The second definition of the word weapon-a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in conflict or contest. The difference in this definition, is you are protecting yourself or trying to overcome that which is attacking you.

There are many examples of this in our world. Good vs evil is everywhere. It happens. It’s real. It’s God vs the enemy. It’s the kindness of a child vs the bully. It can be as real as the unfairness of life. Why me? Sometimes it’s the war that goes on in our own heads, in our minds, right between our ears. It’s not always between people, but ourselves. We use defense mechanisms (a form of weapon) to resist things that occur or to not get into trouble. Even drugs are a mighty weapon in the fight against disease.

Weapons are necessary. Some are meant to protect. I might add, in my perspective, these weapons are for advantage, and that is to heal.

The Word of God says:  2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

So what are some of them?

2 Corinthians 6:& by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left

The weapon of righteousness (God’s justice and approval) in each of your hands with God’s power.

What does He approve of for you and me? What are some of our weapons?

I love this quote from Graham Cooke: Fruit of the Spirit is a more potent weapon against the enemy than the gifts, because the fruit of the Spirit is who I am inside.

These fruit weapons include, but are not limited to:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Romans 12:9-10 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection.

Colossians 4:6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

These weapons will keep me busy, and the more I practice the more I become as God intended. I am changing. I am, through patience and practice becoming more peaceful, more loving, kind words, gentle, and full of joy.

Where there is a will, there is a way! With His help!



One and One

Daily life is full of interruptions. Someone needs something ASAP at work, when your agenda is already full of meetings. You lose your car keys and of course you never know you lost them until needed. Ask any mom of small children about interruptions. Often it is by the minute, not just daily. There are the unexpected phone calls, some that change your life forever. There are good interruptions too, like a marriage proposal or the news of a long awaited child.

It’s the wiggle room of life. How do you make space for interruptions? Would you notice them? Are you willing to be inconvenienced for others? Would you step out in a time of need and allow yourself to inconvenience another if you really needed help?

It’s another part of serving one another. It’s the the good samaritan and the man lying on the side of the road needing medical attention (Luke 10), prodigal son story -you don’t know when they are coming home (Luke 15), or Jesus telling Zaccheus I must stay at your house today (Luke 19).

Thank you strangers in Chicago, who were neighborly, delayed their trip home, and stayed with me to get my car started. I had to ask.

James 4:2b  You do not have, because you do not ask.

Would you ask?

Today, from your Father in heaven, what do you need? From your spouse, what do you want to ask?  Where is your heart? How about from a friend? If you needed help or assistance, would you ask? Do you wait until there in an emergency? How long will you wait? How desperate are you willing to be?

This is the Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falls, and hath not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Matthew 18:19-20  Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The power of one. My pastor has been recently speaking on the difference that one person can make. It is in serving one another, helping another, taking a stand, reaching out, and forgiving.

It’s the hand clasped with each other. You reach out and I take your hand. I reach out and you clasp mine. One and one.

We are better, together.


What do you think of when the word tradition is mentioned?

One family watches opening day of the Cincinnati Reds with everyone wearing a team T-Shirt(yes I live in Ohio). Another plays football on Thanksgiving.  July 4th is always a cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs. Other types of traditions include birthday’s and blowing out the candles. I call my kids at the time they were born for their birthday. Traditions like Friday pizza night. Sunday we go to church. Ham should be baked with cloves and pineapple. Why? Because my mom did it that way.

Tradition! First thought, in my head, is the song from the movie Fiddler on the Roof. And the song goes:

Because of our traditions, we’ve kept our balance for many, many years. Here we have traditions for everything… how to eat, how to sleep, even, how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl… This shows our constant devotion to God.

Go ahead you who know, sing it with me….Tradition!!!!! Tradition!

Tradition brings balance and it is for remembrance.  It establishes who you are, the culture you were raised, and helps to form the unity between the generations. Tradition, is a good thing. New ones, with your own family, friends, church, even yourself are good too.

Are some of them completely ridiculous? Yep…sorta like the polar bear challenge where you strip down and jump in literal ice water (this girl’s opinion).

Are some of them vital and important? Yes, like who my family is and why we do what we do. If you don’t know in your family, you should ask. Some of the answers may surprise you.

Are some for fun? Yep and keeps us connected.

Are some just for you? Yes, like birthday celebrations.

Are some for others? Yes so grandma feels good about the ham you don’t like.

2 Thessalonians 2:15  So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

What were they taught? It’s the stuff that Christianity is made of.

Luke 10:27  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing

Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night

1 Corinthians 11:23-25 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Some of the best traditions are not things, but are how we treat each other and how we treat our God. Pass down to the next generations, kindness, thoughtfulness, goodness, mercy, acceptance, and the one that encompasses them all-

God may we love the way you love us.

One Another

Who is God?

While it would take lifetimes to write about all He is, who He is, all that He has done and is currently doing, discovery is fun and meaningful. While researching (yes for fun), on some of His attributes, the first thing God did for our knowledge was to create.

Genesis 1:1  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

What matters for today, is the first thing ever recorded about God is what He created.

The trees and worlds  needed something, he desired to create in His likeness…you and me!

Genesis 1:26a-27 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

You have 270 bones at birth, 206 by the time you are an adult as some of them have fused together. About 2,000 gallons of blood travel daily through about 60,000 miles of blood vessels. The first heart beat occurs at four weeks of pregnancy. You have at least 50,000 thoughts a day. The tears you shed, whether after peeling an onion, from grief, or joy, each have different compositions under a microscope. Only you, have your own fingerprint.

Things that make you, well you.

You are unique. There is only one you in the world.

You are original. You are the first and only you to exist.

You are irreplaceable. No one can take your place.

We are all human, which binds us together in relationship. The same, yet different.

But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him…and God created woman. Genesis 2:21-22 And so WE begin.

One another….it’s used over 100 times in scripture.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other

Mark 9:50 Be at peace with one another

1 Peter 4:10 Serve one another

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind, tender hearted, forgiving one another

James 5:16 Confess your sins to one another (yes that too)

We are not meant to hide, to be alone, but to be together, uniquely you, fulfilling purpose, loving, and being original.

One another, each other, being you. Created in His image and likeness.

Father I thank you for the ‘one another’s’ all over the world, across the street, those I carry in my heart. Let today be a day to discover who they are anew and afresh. Father that they know you, created in Your likeness and yet uniquely manifest that there is no one quite like each of them. Let this be a day of support, peace, joy, service, and uniqueness. Value for each one as you created them, continuing to work out all things for good within their lives. In Jesus name.



Words and Thoughts

The other day I was wanting to complain about something I did not like. Then as the day progressed, something ‘unfair’ cropped up. Irritated, yes most definitely. After that, I had an opportunity to make a few statements that gave my opinion, my perceptions of how things should be or could be.

It was then, in that moment, that I realized I had an even bigger opportunity.

The opportunity NOT to speak.

The scripture that comes to mind immediately for me is Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

But what I discovered was Proverbs 18:20 (the verse before the one most often quoted): From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.

What I take in, will satisfy my stomach. Feel full. Satiate.

Depending on what I take in, will be what I speak. It brings life and health to me or disease and destruction. Both satisfy-either bitter or sweet.

There is power in not speaking. It saves others from my own thoughts that spill out. When to speak and when not to speak that is the question.

What was my motive? Was it for another to hear my side? Was it to blame another? Make myself look better? Even if I have a right to share my side of things, should I?  Did it cover someone else’s offense? Did it diffuse and make better a situation?

What about my feelings?

Did I take it to the Lord first? Or another?

Psalm 141:1-3 O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Matt 22:39 Love your neighbor as yourself.

I certainly don’t want to be discussed in a negative light. I certainly don’t want to be a part of anything that could be considered gossip (yes, I have).

James 3:8-9 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

If this tongue, is going to speak, how do I tame it…it’s SO hard….

Whatever I put in is what will come out!

Philippians 4:5-8 Let your reasonableness(gentleness, mild, forbearing, fair, moderate) be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Well living Philippians out would take care of most things. Reasonableness! If I can’t be reasonable, I probably shouldn’t speak.

Let’s see next, if I am anxious, go to God and make my request known, not my best friend. After that, God’s peace, will guard my heart and mind (what I am taking in).  Without peace, again probably not wise to speak. Without peace, it’s more likely a rant. When should I  share about something I am wrestling? D0 I know and think on what is true, what is pure, what is commendable, what is worthy of praise…..these things will bring clarity to the situation.

There have been a few times, I wish even more, where I was in a heated discussion, and both parties realized how ridiculous it is, burst into laughter and the whole thing was diffused in an instant.

Thinking first about another, who they are and how God sees them, where they are, changes hearts. Mine.


Can you see?

As much as I would like to think I can see, I know that I have blind spots. Sometimes it’s with myself, sometimes with others. Many times, we, ok I, don’t want to see. It feels easier. You know the saying, ignorance is bliss. It feels that way.

Luke 6:39 Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?

The first example that comes to mind is driving a car. Even with the best mirrors, we are taught to glance back, in the blind spot, before changing lanes. Or how about the passenger that insists they ‘drive’ with run on commentary of what you should be doing? Because we are human, even in what we know, we can get careless or not pay attention, get distracted. Sometimes it’s not even what we do, but we can’t see or know what others will do, like slam on the breaks or cut in front of you.

It’s the same with our personal lives. You can’t see what’s in your own blind spot. You never know when someone else will slam on the breaks or cut you off (personally speaking).

We need each other. We NEED others. If someone is right where you are, they are going to see what you see. Only those who are looking at you, can see if you have something on your face. Only those who are taller than you, can see farther than you can and what’s up ahead. Only those who turn around, can see what is behind you.

So those who see from your same perspective, who are like you, see what you see. That too is good. It’s confirming.

Today, do you have someone who is above you, to see beyond what you currently do?

Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

Today do you have someone who sees like you do? Are you the friend to someone who comes along side?

Ecclesiastes 4:9- Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

Today, do you truly trust and lean on the One True God, the one who will never leave you or forsake you?

Matthew 28:20b I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Proverbs 18:24b There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

He has your back, your next step, and right where you are, in the midst.

Yes please.


Would you rather have a new outfit or someone’s discarded clothing? Would you rather have a new car or buy one that has been well used with high miles? How about a leftover dinner plate from the week before or a freshly made burger and fries? What if you were given the opportunity for a free all inclusive trip to the place of your dreams? Would you say no thanks, I’d rather wait until I can earn it all myself?

Matthew 9:16-17 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

As I read these parables this morning, I realized how often we choose to live our lives in the old. We recognize our need for the Lord. Often though, we want Him to fix something. Put a patch. Pour into the old dry container.

Instead, he is trying to give you something entirely new! His desire is to renew you, make completely new! We have to let go of the old! We get to choose. Take the grace. Own it. It’s free!

Those old, dry, crusty, areas of our life, he takes time to soften, make pliable, literally reform into new life for the new. Grace. Completely regenerated, if we allow Him the place and decide we want what He has to offer.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Ephesians 4:24 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Put on that new self, the new garment. Live in it, get used to it. Let it become your second skin. See yourself like He sees you.

Look in the mirror.

2Corinthians 3:16-18 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed(you can see). Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

You are changing day by day. I see Him in you. Do you see Him in you? It’s a perfect fit!

Spring Cleaning

It’s the time of the year where the weather begins to warm….soon windows will be open and we let the outdoors in. Heat gets turned off and the air outside wafts in freshness and newness.

Along with that comes the spring clean. You know what that is, right? It’s the deep clean.  We have the weekly clean the bathrooms, change the sheets, wipe down counters, vacuum and dust. The deep clean is more like a room a day. Closets get organized, you clean all the cobwebs from corners, move couches, refrigerators, beds and clean in the places you can’t see. Windows get washed and blankets too. Pick your room or item! Beyond that there are basements and attics. One time, I was told, if you haven’t opened a box for over a year, it should go.

Maybe. Those memory boxes stay. Photographs too. Then there are cards and letters. Distractions….just like now. Once I open one of these, forget the cleaning. Let the reminiscing commence.

Today though, we are going to concentrate on cleaning. Instead of closets, shower stalls, and windows, we are going to brush off and look into ourselves. Like our homes, we like the out of sight out of mind mentality. Another way of putting it, avoidance.

What do you have tucked away and hidden that you never want anyone to see? What do you pull out or inadvertently comes out when you don’t want it?

What has piled up in your life that needs some elbow grease to come clean?

Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an attitude, a belief system, unresolved hurt, or a giant you don’t want to face. It affects you, even if you think you’ve buried it so deep even you don’t know it’s there.

What flickers across your mind in that moment, sometimes is the very thing our precious Father God is trying to show you what He wants to touch.

3 John 2  Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

Father, as we come before you today, humbly, knowing you know what’s best. You know every facet of who we are. Bless my friends today as they are honest before you. Hold them as only you can do.  Wash us Lord with Your Word.  Heal. Restore. Let your love that knows no limits be the love today that covers.  And today, thank you for the hug.



My God, he covers me with His wings and protects me with angels, most often when I am unaware.

When a baby is born we swaddle them with blankets and keep them in tight, for warmth yes, but more than that the coverage is for security. They are totally dependent upon us. As they grow, arms and legs stick out. They begin to squirm. Toddlers think they are independent but only as far as we the parent, let them. If we choose, even with loud clamor or even kicking, we can still contain them.

As all of us age, there comes a time when we believe we are free, or should be free to make our own choices. Some of it, as teens comes with age, thinking what we know is best. Others can view this as rebellion, but sometimes it’s the expression of finding out who we are, even if we know there are impending consequences.

As we gain this freedom, we begin to look beyond ourselves at others. Comparison is a mighty powerful tool. It’s a tricky one that takes most of our life to learn. We compare houses, level of hard work, how kids behave, how we were raised. Anything can be compared. Often everything we do not want or lack is compared.

Like anything else, it has it’s good and it’s not so good.  If we don’t compare, we can’t learn from the mistakes of others or society and we actually help history repeat itself.  But what I noticed we should be comparing are things we need more of:

  • Acts of kindness in the everyday life as in the example of people like Mother Teresa
  • Paying it forward as has been the common theme in restaurants and drive thru’s (you could even start it)
  • Or a movie a friend told me about (I need to see) about a football trilogy where the coach encourages a young man who is carrying (blindfolded) another man on his knees. He is there encouraging even when he wants to give up. The goal was 50 yards and he carried him 100 yards
  • What if we compared ourselves to those whose leadership and guidance we admire and strive to be more like them

How does any of this relate to coverage and how this devotion started?

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Comparing is natural and it is also important. It’s not judgment. People like to turn it into judging. How can I get better if I don’t see the gifts and abilities and good things other do? How they are? What’s fun about a toddler and younger child, is the parents are the hero. They compare. They emulate. My hubby fixed a few toys…after that, the kids thought he could fix ANYTHING. What a fun place for them and for him.

His GRACE covers it all. Love covers sin. Jesus needs us to do that for others. As we approach this week and see comparison, let’s be one who covers for others in real truth and love.

Messy Bits

Your house is full of laundry, dishes in the sink, and there are dust bunnies rolling under the furniture. Your scrambling to get kids out the door for school or maybe nursing someone over a sickness.

You are at work, the people around you have a different opinion (repeatedly) or there is that person who really grates on your nerves. Your trying to do your best and others don’t seem to care.

At times, maybe it’s you. The world is spinning around you and you would like it to stop for a minute to catch your breath or catch up. It could feel like that rollercoaster expecting the ride of your life and the ups and downs are taking it’s toll.

Proverbs 14:4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

I bet you weren’t expecting that scripture!

If we want a harvest, if we want health, wellness, abundance, or if we desire a life that produces love and joy and peace, and contentment, there is work to be done.

I grew up in the country. We had a barn. There were animals in the barn. Sometimes too, an unexpected and unwanted critter made an appearance or tried to make a home.  Those animals all produced mess.  It’s part of the process and part of having an animal. It is part of the cycle of everyday life.  Without mess there is no future crop, or milk, or produce. Without mess, no inheritance. Without mess, loneliness and isolation.

How do we handle the barn and animals in our lives?

  1. Take responsibility of what is yours -if it’s in your barn it’s yours. If it is an unwanted invader – get rid of it.
  2. Wear appropriate attire… muck boots, gloves, sun hat.
  3. Expect that which has value and is working hard to produce a crop (whether family life, personal issues, work etc.) cannot clean up their own mess. We all need help. Ask.
  4. Whether it’s the ‘ox’ or the people helping to clean the mess- Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. Ecc 4:9
  5. Digging holes, planting, pulling weeds, watering, harvest time is truly hard labor. Those under strain that are yoked to something, need extra care, rest, good food.
  6. As the harvest comes in, as joy and reward and peace occur, when abundance flows, drink some in, store some to replant, and give it away!
  7. Begin again.

Today if this finds you in a messy place,  ask another for help. If you have peace and joy and contentment, where your barn has recently been cleaned, your ox are enjoying a day in the pasture, or you have a bumper crop, share with another.

Life is the messy bits, a quote from the movie Letters to Juliet.  And it is. It’s a really good, satisfying life to come along side others, letting others come alongside you. We were meant to be better together.


For Goodness Sake

What does the term for goodness sake mean to you? In ways, in my household growing up, it meant- did you really just do that? or you better be good (think Santa) for goodness sake-like get it together kids cause you want that shiny new toy.

What do we actually do in the name of and for goodness’ sake?

The dictionary says good is being desired or approved of, having qualities of a required role, displaying moral virtue, or something enjoyable.

If I say to someone what they did was good….usually, in my world they did the right thing or did a job well done.

One of the fruits of the spirit is goodness. In this scenario the goodness or good is an intrinsic state of being or condition of having God’s kindness. Interestingly it is completely a biblical term, was used 4 times, and wasn’t used in Greek writings!  It is a quality first recognized in believers because Christ lives within them.

So, to repeat the sentiment, what do we do, as an inherent state of being in us, for the sake of His kindness?…it’s easy to show kindness to those we love. It’s easy to do good to those who have done well. How about those who are struggling or irritate you? What about those who don’t care or disagree or  are downright mean?

To do good is different than being good.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

And because you are His, it works both ways:

Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Yes, Lord. You give goodness and that gives us the capability to pass on Your character and heart. Amen

Faithful Friend

Recently, I was under the weather for a few days. When I say under the weather, I mean under four layers of layered blankets, and pretty much prayed that it wouldn’t smother me. That is at least how it felt.

There were few who knew I was ill because as fast as I noticed it descending, I had to cancel commitments. A few found out because I didn’t respond in normal fashion in a timely manner. Some found out through the grapevine. Others not until after I reemerged.

Within my house, I have a constant companion. Without words, He is always there.  When I leave him behind for a time, he is on constant lookout for my return. At home, he knows where I am, even if I don’t always see him at first glance. When I call His name, He comes running. He sits at my feet. Sometimes I even trip over His faithfulness to be so close. He protects me from perceived invaders. Friends he welcomes with open arms. He is a great listener. I’m his favorite. He loves me.

Add to this list, my most recent state of being. This guy stuck so close that I could feel his weight upon me. He literally for two and a half days never left my side. He didn’t eat or drink. He was my protector. Honestly, for most of it, I wasn’t even aware of it. Yet, there he was.

That’s my puppy dog. Jax.

This is also such a cool picture of my Jesus, who does all those same things (and more) when I don’t understand, when I misunderstand, when I can’t see, when I am completely under it. It doesn’t matter if there is injustice, illness, wounds, heartache, loneliness, rejection or abandonment (insert your own).

Matt 28:20 I am with you always.

Proverbs 18:24 A friend that sticks closer than a brother

Psalm 9:9-10 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

1 John 4:8 God is love.

Matthew 20:28 Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Luke 15:20 But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

Jeremiah 29:11-13  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Lord Jesus, thank you for these reminders that you are my all in all, the small and the big, the space in between. I look to you. You are my everything. Help me to call to you, depend on you, and to love you the way you love me.

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