We Are Foreigners In This World

In the parable of the prodigal son, the boy ran away from home. He turned his back on his Father, lost his inheritance, and made a royal mess of his life. When he finally admitted his mistakes to himself, he said: “I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you….. ” – Luke 15:18 NLT

The boy had become like a foreigner to his family, living in a pig pen and scrounging for sustenance, but he was welcomed home with open arms in spite of his actions. This parable is such a beautiful way to describe our relationship with our LORD. When GOD created the earth and all that is within it; when He created the Universe, it was set as the stage – and what a Magnificent stage – for mankind to live in and fellowship with Him. We blew it. We think we are as smart and as good as the Creator. Some of us think that we, humankind – are gods! How wrong we can be! Satan introduced sin to Adam and Eve, and got us thrown out of the Garden, the place we belonged. Home. Subsequently, we have become foreigners, strangers in a strange land that provides us with glimpses of original beauty from our home. Someday, this old earth with be re-formed and re-made (which is scary/exciting!) The good news, though, is that no matter how bad we mess up, GOD is waiting for us with open arms, ready to forgive us, if we will just ask Him.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.” – Revelation 21:1 NLT

When JESUS returns, and the earth is transformed, then we no longer be foreigners. We will once again be first-class citizens, dwelling with our LORD, like the first man, Adam. Until that time comes, Christians, followers of the CHRIST, will be foreigners on this earth. In many cases, we are treated as illegal aliens, second class citizens, even criminals. We need to – have to? – rely on our LORD for our strength. Paul says it like this:

“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the LORD. For even CHRIST didn’t live to please Himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult You, O GOD, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us Hope and Encouragement as we wait patiently for GOD’s Promises to be fulfilled. May GOD, who gives this Patience and Encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of CHRIST JESUS. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving Praise and Glory to GOD, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.” – Romans 15:1‭-‬6 NLT AMEN.

Listen to HOME by Chris Tomlin….

I Will Rest

I opened my Bible app this morning (http://www.bible.com), and the verse of the day brought a smile to my face:

“Whoever dwells in the Shelter of the MOST HIGH will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty.”

The word picture just blossomed open in my mind. What a JOY it will be to rest in GOD’S Shadow for eternity! One of my favorite things to do on a sunny day, whatever the season, is to sit outside in the shade, enjoying the day the LORD made (especially if that shade is at the beach!) Read these verses – I think they will make you smile, too, if you know Jesus. For those who are still stumbling through life without Him, well, there’s no joy in it for them…

“Whoever dwells in the Shelter of the MOST HIGH will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my GOD, in whom I trust.” …. “Because he [or she] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My Name. He will call on Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” – Psalm 91:1‭-‬2‭, ‬14‭-‬15 NIV

For anyone who wants the Peace and the Joy that is spoken of here, let me tell you how simple it is to receive them. GOD created us to fellowship with Him and to enjoy our relationship with our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. Without Him, we will never attain real peace or happiness. Ask for it. He is standing right beside you, waiting with open arms for you to turn to Him.

Jesus said “…. EVERYONE who believes may have eternal life in Him [ the Son of Man, Jesus, Messiah].” For GOD so Loved the world that He gave His ONE and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life. For GOD did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of GOD’S One and Only SON. – John 3:15‭-‬18 NIV

“The Message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart. And that Message is the very Message about Faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” – Romans 10:8‭-‬10 NLT

Simple Faith. Call on Him, and enjoy LIFE with JESUS. Amen.

I Bring You My Tired….

I’m tired. Tired of the physical and financial struggles, tired of hearing bad news through the news media, and tired of entitled, mean-spirited people. Don’t get all freaky; I may be tired, but there’s more that I love about life than what I’m tired of!

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the Everlasting GOD, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding.” – Isaiah 40:28 NLT

GOD never gives up on us, even when we give up on ourselves. Thank You, LORD!!

From “The New Colossus” (the Statue of Liberty), a poem written by Emma Lazarus in 1883:
“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I’m proud to be called a follower of Christ, a Christian, and I’m proud to be called an American. This poem exemplifies to me what the United States is about. I’m proud that our country has been the Policeman of the world because of the aid we give countries in trouble. It makes me proud (not arrogant) that I have been able to help others in my life, and I am humbled in knowing that this what Jesus asks us to do. Whatever I have done, and in fact, a lot of what the U.S. has been able to accomplish, is because of our reliance of the LORD. Without Him, there wouldn’t be a United States of America. Without Him, I wouldn’t be alive. I believe that we, as a country, need to look back at our roots. We should study the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We don’t need more laws, we need to enforce the ones we have. We need to tighten our belts and consider our own citizens, our children, our elderly, our veterans; our country’s needs, before we send our people and billions of dollars to other countries. We must put GOD back at the helm. I support legal immigration – that’s how most my ancestors got here. American needs to be a country united, not divided over political garbage and race and money. Let’s become AMERICANS, and drop all the hyphenations. I can be an Irish-English-Delaware-Cherokee-Christian-American (I probably left something out!), or I can be an American. If I don’t like living here, I have tbe freedom to go elsewhere. Come on, America, we have some work to do.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9 NLT


****Update: my Mom reminded me that we are German, also…. How could I have forgotten that???****

Broken People, Broken Prayers

“For we are GOD’s Masterpiece. He has Created us anew in CHRIST JESUS, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10 NLT

We are so unworthy of GOD’s Love! As we come into Spring, reminders of our GOD are popping up all over the place. Green shoots pushing up through the debris of Winter, bird songs filling the air and the skies full of geese and other migrating birds – my first daffodil of the year just opened. How can anyone not believe in a greater Being than us, especially when surrounded by the new life coming through what appeared to be all dead? Our LORD personifies the renewing of life. From the moment He stepped down from His Throne in heaven to come down to our human level and be born to live as a man, to the end of His life and ministry, Jesus was like a beautiful plant.

“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” – Luke 2:52 NLT

To everyone alive at that time, as they saw JESUS die a human death on the cross and buried as a man in a tomb, it was the end of Him. Like the flowers and grasses that die and are swept away in the winter, our LORD, Jesus Christ, was resurrected from from death. He blossomed as He spoke to His followers and to the crowds that surrounded Him. Nature shows us the Resurrection story every Spring with trees and grasses, and babies of every kind being born. It is a wonderful time of new life. We are broken people. We have hardened our hearts to the point that even when we want to open them, all we can do is offer up broken prayers. I know how difficult it can be to open up that hard kernal we call a heart; to let the nourishing Light and Love of our JESUS in to cover us and allow us to grow.

It is through JESUS that we are healed. It is through His Mercy and Grace that we are forgiven. Never assume that being a “good” person will do any good when we all stand at the Great White Throne on Judgement Day! Read Revelations of John 20:11-15. Let the Light of Jesus, and His cleansing Blood, wash over your hurting heart and broken prayers today.

Listen to Broken Prayers by Riley Clemmons. (Here’s an excerpt)

You want my tears, every messy word
Every scar and every fear
You want all I have
With no holding back
When I’m hurt, at my worst
You meet me there
‘Cause you see the beauty
In my broken prayers
In my broken prayers

How Do You Pray?

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, Who sees everything, will reward you.

When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!” – Matthew 6:5‭-‬8 NLT

Did you grow up in a house where prayer was the norm, or was cursing at God the only ‘prayer’ you heard? I was taught that the ‘correct’ way to pray was to sit with head bowed and hands clasped in front of me, or on my knees with eyes closed and hands clasped; praying out loud, beginning with ‘Dear Heavenly Father’ and always ending with ‘Amen’. This definitely helped with my focus as a child, but do you think this is the only way to pray? We want to be reverent and humble when we pray, but I submit that we can pray anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. Prayer is simply having a conversation with the LORD. Prayer can happen while we are driving or working, in the classroom, or in any social setting, and I’m not talking about the ‘OH. MY. GOD.’ we frequently hear today.

Prayer; praying out loud, has its place, whether in church or out, but my focus here is really about conversing with GOD. Just talking. As I grow in faith, I realize that talking to GOD doesn’t need to be formal. I don’t need anyone else saying prayers for me in lieu of my own prayers (but I’m always happy to know that people are praying for me!) I just need to be having conversations with my LORD. Before getting out of bed in the morning, a quick “Thank You LORD for another day, Your Will be done today” helps my day start in the right direction. I whisper inaudible prayers all day – “LORD, I believe; help my unbelief” is one that I pray when faced things that are out of my control…. which is frequently! “Keep me safe on the roads.” “Bless [insert name]” ….. I actually try to pray this whenever my mind strays to someone who has hurt me. God knows quite well that what my human side really wants is to hurt that person back, but by asking Him to bless that person, I can receive God’s forgiveness and Grace.

Prayer shouldn’t be any more difficult than talking with your best friend. It shouldn’t stress us out, but thinking that we can only approach Him in a formal way, or through a priest or pastor, keeps us from knowing GOD and His will for us/me. Just talk to Him. I’ve started many conversations with Him by admitting I don’t know what to pray, that I don’t have any words. I know that’s okay, though, because even when we don’t have words, the Holy Spirit carries our groans, our needs to the Father. To teach us how to pray, JESUS gave us this, and we call it ‘The LORD’S Prayer.”

“Pray like this: Our FATHER in heaven, may Your Name be kept Holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly FATHER will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your FATHER will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:9‭-‬10‭, ‬12‭-‬15 NLT

There is tremendous power in prayer, whether it is you, alone by yourself, or together with fellow Christians, and regardless of whether words are spoken out loud or silently. Remember what JESUS said to His followers: “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.” – Matthew 18:19‭-‬20 NLT

My prayer is that my words today can help ease us all as we struggle through this life, because old or young or in between, prayer works. Don’t let selfish pride get in your way, thinking you’ll somehow do it wrong or embarrass yourself in your praying. That’s just the enemy trying to separate you from GOD! Amen.

Continue reading “How Do You Pray?”


It’s interesting to hear how that word is used by different people. For one person, having a crisis might mean not having enough cash to get their morning coffee. To another, it could mean losing everything they have in a disaster. To a child, a crisis is, well, anything that doesn’t go their way. Is your current crisis a danger or is it an opportunity? By definition, a crisis is a turning point, an emotionally significant event, or a decisive moment. We all have crises in our lives, and depending upon our emotional and physical states, they can vary in intensity. Jesus tells us:

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:34 NLT

Believing that GOD has our every need covered (note: need, not want) is hard, sometimes. When your child is throwing a fit, or when you are facing personal loss, or it might be that you are obsessing over how you are going to survive with no job or income, it’s not easy to let it go and let GOD handle it. (Guilty!) The one thing I know for sure, the Peace I have in my heart, all stems from the crisis I had when I realized that without JESUS, my LORD and SAVIOUR, I would die and go to hell. Our lives get jambed up all the time. The thing that seems trivial to someone else may constitute a major crisis to me. For me, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see daily life as a crisis …. and that’s a good thing! (Don’t be fooled. I still have meltdowns!) Everything on this earth; every person on this earth, will experience crises in their lives. I’m quite sure I will experience and witness crisis-induced meltdowns throughout the rest of my natural life. It’s normal; it’s human.

When you are faced with the insurmountable and the odds are against you, switch your focus from the mountain and look to JESUS. Whenever I can’t waĺk, He picks me up and carries me. He wants to help you in the same way. Whatever crisis you are dealing with today, remember that this, too, shall pass. Eternity is forever. Human life is fleeting.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:33‭-‬34 NLT

What Is Your Cross?

“Then He {JESUS} said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.” – Luke 9:23 NLT

What is your cross? I feel like mine changes with the seasons of my life. For now, it seems to be a combination of things. Not having a companion, lack of financial stability, physical issues. Looking at my life, though, I know that these things that feel so heavy to me are really minor in view of the world. I know that these are more “crosses” because of my wants, not because of any real needs. I may not have a spouse to share my life with, but I have wonderful friends and family who love me (in spite of me!). My financial state is somewhat precarious, but in spite of my lack of preparation in life, I have a house – a warm, secure home – and somehow, I have enough to live, day by day. The physical issues are being addressed, and I understand that even though the pain and discomfort may never go away, nothing is life-threatening. So then, what is my cross?

My cross is insecurity and fear of the unknown of life here on earth; my cross is giving up the control I think I have over my life. News flash to self : there is NO control when I am in charge of things! Giving up control is at the heart of what JESUS said. “…. you must give up your own way ….”

But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard [for those who trust in riches] to enter the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” – Mark 10:24‭b-‬25 NLT

That’s pretty clear, but we humans are hard-headed. We want, if not millions, then enough money and things to be comfortable on our terms, not God’s. Like the Apostle Paul, I have had plenty, and I have had nothing. Unlike Paul, I have not been very thankful in my circumstances! Followers of Christ need to recognize that our lives may be, probably will be, less than comfortable in this life, even difficult and painful to the end.

JESUS said “…. I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for My sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have Eternal Life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” – Mark 10:29‭-‬31 NLT

Listen to “Gracefully Broken” by Matt Redman