Set Apart From the World

“You can be sure of this: The LORD set apart the godly for Himself. The LORD will answer when I call to Him.

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.

Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD. Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”

Let Your Face smile on us, LORD. You have given me greater Joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.

In Peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.” – Psalms 4:3‭-‬8 NLT

I know, and have known, many angry, bitter people. It controls them, and it eats away at them inside. I know this, because I was one of those people. Being angry and bitter put me on medications to stop my stomach from hurting, and heavy doses of pain killers for my migraines. Who did I hurt with my anger? Me! It kept me from being content, and caused upheaval in relationships and in work environments. I have a friend who is very angry and bitter. Trouble and discontent follow him. He claims to be a Christian, but he has no peace. He is unhappy, and ‘hate’ is one of his most used words. That was me, too, until I finally – FINALLY – figured out how much I was hurting myself, and that JESUS was patiently waiting for me to let Him have all that mess. It’s absolutely amazing how much better I am when I’m not carrying all that junk inside. Do I still get upset? Of course; I’m human, and I am very flawed and broken. I have found that when I let other’s attitudes flow around me i stead of into me, life is so much more pleasant. Your anger and your bitterness may hurt me or disappoint me, but I don’t have to take it on myself and react to it in a negative or hateful way. Sometimes I struggle, but I know that with the help and support of the Holy Spirit, I can move past it. The ‘crazy’ driver who cuts me off, the person who is rude to me, the one who calls me a ‘b**’ or other unflattering names…. It’s their problem, not mine. I can react, or I can take a breath and respond. It’s my choice, and as long as I let the LORD take the issue, it’s an easy choice. No one can make me angry without permission. Satan no longer has that hold over me! I give thanks daily to my Saviour for releasing me from my bondage of hate and bitterness, and all the ugly that goes with it.

As Christians, we are supposed to be set apart from the world. The greed and possession-hungry ‘ME’ attitude, the anger and hatred that seems to permeate the world…. it’s not for us. I admit that I enjoy my home, and having the kinds of food I like to eat; I am happy to have a vehicle that I picked out. I have done with much less, and I could again, although I would like to stay where I am. I acknowledge that I am blessed beyond measure. My prayer is to be thankful for having enough and not to be greedy, and that I not be like a stranger, a foreigner in my LORD’S eyes. I am His child, the daughter of the Most High. Don’t be like the lepers who were healed by JESUS. When He heals us of our brokenness, give Him ALL the GLORY. When I come face-to-face with my LORD, I surely don’t want Him to deny me because I refused to recognise His Power and Mercy in my life.

“Has no one returned to give Glory to GOD except this foreigner?” – Luke 17:18 NLT

Listen to Chris Tomlin sing Amazing Grace. My chains are gone; it’s right where I love to be, in the Amazing Grace of my LORD. I know I am Forever His! AMEN.

I Will Rest

I opened my Bible app this morning (, 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.

Reserve, Retreat, Regret

I’ve done that most of my life – reserving myself, staying behind the wall I constructed around my heart to keep from getting hurt. Oh, by the way, it doesn’t work. When I retreat behind my wall, all it does is keep me stuck, resentful, and angry. While I simmer in my reserve, regret for what I imagine coulda-shoulda-woulda happen overwhelms me. I am the prisoner, not whoever or whatever I happen to be upset about. I still get caught up in the cycle, too, but it’s not how I want to live my life. Billy Graham wrote a story about Bill Borden. Mr. Borden was a very wealthy man who went to China as a missionary for Christ, in spite of the opposition of friends & family. After just a few years he died of an oriental disease. While he was dying, he wrote this: “No reserve, no retreat, no regret.”

“Then He [JESUS] called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.’ ” – Mark 8:34 NIV

How many of us as Christians can say the same? “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” – Galatians 5:25‭-‬26 NIV

Easier said, than done! Can we live without reserve, retreat, regret? I don’t believe it’s humanly possible to do on our own. Listen to what JESUS says about living without reserve, retreat, or regret.

“They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to GOD. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:2‭, ‬33 NIV

Without JESUS, and without the SPIRIT, we are hopeless and helpless againt the world. With JESUS, and the SPIRIT, we can conquer. For as long as we are on this earth, our lives as Christians will never be comfortable or pain free. If they are, then I would say that we are not living the Way. As long as we have JESUS in our hearts and the Holy Spirit over us, we will at least know where we are going. I am no perfect. In fact, I am completely flawed and broken. With Christ in my life, I can’t afford to be invisible. Can we be more like Bill Borden? “No reserve, no retreat, no regret.” Amen.

Fear Is A Liar

Going through life with fear is not a way to live. Fear takes away hope and joy, and living in fear prevents contentment. Being fearful can ruin us; it can keep us from any fulfillment, and from enjoying what we have. When we spend our time being afraid, it affects our entire lives. We worry, because fear fosters worry. It can lead to ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. We can be plagued with headaches, insomnia, and depression. Phobias are born out of fear. Heights, the dark, water, driving, closed-in places, meeting new people…. even going outside. Some are organic, but I believe these fears can almost always be traced back to some event in our lives.

“But all who listen to Me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” – Proverbs 1:33 NLT

Are you ready to break the cycle of fear? There is an answer!

“Each time He said, “My GRACE is all you need. My Power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the Power of CHRIST can work through me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

The LORD doesn’t promise nothing bad will ever happen to us after we accept His Son, JESUS the CHRIST, as our Saviour. He does promise us Peace. It’s difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced the Peace that GOD offers, but once you have, it’s amazing. In my life, I have a number of struggles facing me, financially and physically, even emotionally. I desire the finances to live comfortably, and not to wonder how the mortage and utilities will be paid each month. I would like for my shoulder not to be so messed up, or my my head not to hurt, and to be able to breathe normally. I wish for a companion who loves the LORD more than he loves me, someone who would be a partner. There have been many hours spent worrying and crying over these worries and fears. Hours that have become days and rolled into years. Now, rather than wallowing in that fear and worry, I strive instead to give it all to my Saviour and to let His Peace wash over me. It is possible to have peace in the midst of the junk! To paraphrase a popular saying – Know fear, no Peace; Know JESUS, no fear! All true and abiding Peace comes from the LORD. Accept Him and banish the liar from your life.

Listen to “Fear Is A Liar” by Zach Williams.

Living In The Past


(E/A, I hope you are reading this!)

“Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things.” – Corrie Ten Boom

This is an immensely powerful statement, coming from a woman whose entire family died in a Nazi concentration camp, and who almost died there herself. Could I find the Joy she speaks of if I were put in her circumstance? Could you? We can’t achieve either true Peace or Joy on our own, without JESUS – Giver of the Peace that passes understanding….

“Then you will experience God’s Peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His Peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7 NLT

When we spend our time looking back, holding on to the sorrows of our past, we can’t obtain the Joy or Peace Jesus is offering us, because our eyes are clouded over by the regrets. There is a time to mourn for what was and what could have been. People are gone in the space of a heartbeat, and whether they are an unborn baby or the most elderly person, or anyone in between, it hurts when they are gone. I find that many of us romanticize the loss. With babies, it’s especially hard, I think, because of the lost potential, and the lost love. Now, with tbe LORD at my side, I can finally rejoice over the losses of babies in my family and my friends, along with the countless billions who have been murdered through violence, abortion, and disease. How, you ask? Two reasons:

1. Those babies don’t have to grow up in the flawed, sinful world (HALLELUJAH!), and

2. I will see them and hold them in heaven – we get to spend eternity with them! How cool is that?

All of the regrets and what ifs and could haves and should haves will never change the past. It is past, over with, passed through, gone. DONE. Remembering can be good when done in a positive manner. When we lose a spouse or other loved one as an adult, it’s easy to only remember the good, even though we know the flaws. There is absolutely nothing wrong with remembering. The “wrong,” if you will, is in dwelling in the past and wallowing in self pity for all that was lost. I can play “coulda shoulda” with the best, but to what end? Satan loves it when we start the game! Next to suicide, that wallowing is most damaging to our families and our friends. It’s SELFISH to the extreme, shutting everyone out and dragging them down at the same time. I have done it myself, and I have experienced it in people I care about.

God doesn’t want us mired in the gunk of the past. God LOVES us! He wants to give us JOY, and He wants us to have PEACE. He is the Rock we can cling to when the storms of life threaten to sweep us up and drown us. His Arms are the ones that hold us when we hurt, and He is the One Who carries us when we can’t go on. It isn’t easy to let go of the past; the shoulda coulda’s. With prayer – i.e. just TALK to God – and immersion in His Word, with counseling by a pastor or other Christian professional, and a doctor to help us with medicines if needed, we can emerge from the muck and gunk Satan has buried us in. All you need to do is lean into the LORD. Talk to Him first, before spewing your guts to someone (again, I’m guilty of all this, too!) If you don’t know what prayer, just say JESUS. Cry out to Him. He knows.

Listen to “Live Like You’re Loved” by Hawk Nelson, and read “Finding Joy in the Heartache” devotion by K-Love radio Pastor David (10 March 2018.)

Protection From Danger

If I write about the responsibility we have to protect our children and elderly and those unable to help themselves in light of recent tragedies, I could make this a highly charged political rant…. and in fact, at some future point I probably will. Today, though, is about God; my GOD, The GOD. He is the only realistic and lasting protection we could ask for, and yet, millions deny Him every day. I want to be like David and Solomon, calling on the Name of LORD for protection and relief from oppression, and for wisdom in my decision making.

“(1) The LORD is my Light and my Salvation — so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my Fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? (4) The one thing I ask of the LORD — the thing I seek most— is to live in the House of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s Perfections and meditating in His Temple.” – Psalms 27:1‭, ‬4 NLT

When I focus on the LORD, rather than on the troubles I face, there is a peace that comes over me. When I acknowledge that the LORD has my future in His Hands, I remember that worry pulls my future from HIS hands and into my grasp. Not good. FACT #1: When we let go of our lives, and we relinguish control to the LORD, we will have Peace in our hearts. It may be chaos on the outside, but it is total relief on the inside. FACT #2: When we don’t let go, and we try to keep control of our lives, we are actually handing it over to the enemy. Remember the adage “You cannot serve two masters?” It’s true! Something is going to be at the top.

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve GOD and be enslaved to money.” – Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13 NL

When you look for protection from life’s ugliness, who do you call on? Are you depending on the One, the Almighty, or on yourself? In the coming battle, I pray that you will be on the right side, between the arms of JESUS and under His protection. FACT #3: Without His protection, your future and your ETERNITY will be unbearable…. and yet you will have no choice but to bear it. FACT #4: JESUS, LORD, Savior, is waiting beside you, ready to put you under His Protection in the space of a heartbeat. Call on Him, today. Once He’s got you, He will never let you go!

Listen to ‘Point to You’ by We Are Messengers

Doing Right

“He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” – John 15:2 NLT

I love to garden. I picked it from my Grandma, and I can hardly pick up my garden tools without thinking of her. Some of my best memories of childhood involve her, with her vegetable garden, her flowers, and her grapevines. She made the absolute best grape jelly, too – move over Welchs and Smuckers! At the time, I didn’t really grasp the concept of pruning and digging and work that attended to all of this until a few years ago when our county extension agent showed me the necessity of pruning branches and vines to get a better crop. We had purchased a place with an old garden spot that included three apple trees. That first year I was too busy with other things to really look at the trees until the apples got ripe. There were bushels of fruit…. but they were all really small. (I made a lot of applesauce and apple butter!) I wanted to know how to get bigger apples because they were heirloom and delicious. The agent came out and looked and said, take out a third – a THIRD – of the branches this winter, and next year do the same.

That’s a LOT of pruning the branches!

Because of all the work, we were rewarded each fall with bigger and better fruit. JESUS does the same thing with us. When we neglect our LORD in favor of our own wants, He has to come in and prune back the branches we have sprouted. Things like self-absorption, refusing to follow His Will; ‘doing our own thing,’ putting anything above our relationship with Him, prevents us from growing properly. The fruit of our lives can become tiny and lose its sweetness, and it can become wormy, without His touch. It can hurt when the LORD has to come in and discipline our branches. I know!! The benefit of submitting to His pruning, cutting out the diseased parts and removing superfluous branches, is having a happier, more peaceful life. It allows for the fruits of the Spirit to shine forth. My life been like those old apple trees, unpruned and neglected because of my choices. GOD has done some serious pruning, and I have no doubt that there will be more! It may sound strange to some, but I am grateful that He loves me enough to want to prune my branches. It’s really very simple, and it boils down to this:

“Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the LORD swore to give your ancestors. For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the Commands the LORD our GOD has given us.’ ” – Deuteronomy 6:18‭, ‬25 NLT

“If you love Me, obey My Commandments.” – John 14:15 NLT

What are His Commandments? Again, JESUS cuts right to the chase with His response.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the First and Greatest Commandment. A Second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37‭-‬40 NLT

Listen to Hillary Scott and the Scott Family sing Thy Will, from the album Love Remains.