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.

Patiently Waiting

Patience my ass, I want to kill something…

In my more bohemian days, that was something I think I said quite often. Then, my patience was very short – nonexistent, much of the time. Later, I was talking with a pastor and he said something quite profound to me. He said not to pray for patience, because when we do, GOD will provide us with plenty of opportunities to learn it. I realized I’d been going about it all wrong. Instead of praying for patience, I began to pray for strength and perseverance, and make it a point to ask GOD to please don’t send me any more ‘opportunities’ to learn patience! Even the great leaders in the Bible, Old and New Testament, felt persecuted and in desperate need of patience. Look at David. Both before he was king and after he became king, David needed patience. I love how his poetry shows his reach for the LORD, and how the LORD sustains him with willingness to wait in GOD’S Strength – patiently waiting….

“I love You, LORD, my Strength. The LORD is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer; my GOD is my Rock, in Whom I take refuge, my Shield and the Horn of my Salvation, my Stronghold. You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my GOD turns my darkness into Light. As for GOD, His Way is perfect: The LORD’S Word is flawless; He Shields all who take refuge in Him. For who is GOD besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our GOD? The LORD Lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be GOD my Savior!” – Psalm 18:1‭-‬2‭, ‬28‭, ‬30‭-‬31‭, ‬46 NIV

If you do a word search for the words ‘patient’ and ‘patience’ in the Bible, you will find many references. James, especially, spent a lot of time talking about it. He only has 5 chapters, but check out how he begins:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds….. ” – James 1:2 NIV

Really? Pure joy for an abusive relationship? Pure joy for financial difficulties? Pure joy for losing a loved one? Patiently waiting my a**. No, I am so far from being patient, it can’t even be measured. The thing I hold on to is GOD’S Patience. Without Him, I am incapable of doing or saying anything good. I cannot fathom patience without His Hand guiding and holding me, and by Him carrying me when I simply cannot go on. The LORD is the epitomy of this scripture:

“LOVE is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….” – 1 Corinthians 13:4‭, ‬7a NIV

Thank You, LORD, for never giving up on me, for being patient with me, and for perservering with me. AMEN.

This Is Not My Home

Heaven – What a GLORIOUS home we are headed to!

This old earth is filled with breathtaking beauty, and I have enjoyed the views – and I look forward to many more years of viewing them. Spending time in the high mountains of Colorado and New Mexico, the Alps in Austria; visiting the Grand Canyon and viewing the canyons and valleys of the U.S. Playing in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, from sandy beaches with warm water to rocks and cold ocean water (the ocean is my happy place 🏖 ) ….. from the high desserts of sage and chamisa to the eery other-worldlyness of the Saquaro “forests” of the Sonoran Desert. BUT, this earth is not my home. I’m just here temporarily, until my LORD sees fit to bring me Home.

Do you ever wonder what happens when we die? Is it just nothing? Are we reborn, as the Hindu teach, or do we ‘become one with the universe,’ as some would have us believe? Do you scoff at the idea of a heaven filled with cherubs floating around on fluffy clouds playing harps, presided over by a grouchy old man with a long white beard?

I tell you plainly, those are all FALSE.

Heaven is definitely a place, and so is hell. We call it by many names: Sheol, Hades, Abaddon, Gehenna; but eternal damnation is the same regardless of the name. I don’t know what it will be like, and if you are really curious, there are quite a few resources to help you describe it. John calls it a place of fire and agony. After the New Testament, look at ‘The Many Names of Hell’ by Dr. Elmer Towns, on BibleSprout. I just know that I don’t ever want to see it. What we call Paradise, or Heaven, that’s what I am looking forward to! Despite our continual sin, the CREATOR, the LORD GOD of the Universe, wants us to spend eternity with Him – He doesn’t want us in Hell, but it is always and forever our choice. Who would choose forever anguish over eternal paradise? Apparently, millions and billions of people would rather live their lives without Christ than with Him, and that choice is their death sentence. Listen to this conversation by a known criminal when he met Jesus on the cross:

But the other criminal rebuked [the first criminal]. “Don’t you fear GOD,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” – Luke 23:40‭-‬43 NIV

What will Heaven be like? I don’t know, except that it will be glorious. The Apostle John was shown glimpses of Heaven, and he tried to put it into words that we can understand – but how do you describe the unbelievable, the indescribable, the unimaginable? I’m pretty excited to get to see it, and to experience it. I pray that you be there, too.

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.)

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.

A Synopsis Of God’s Love For Us

Start in Genesis 1:26…

“Then God said, “Let US make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Genesis 6:5-6…

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that He had made human beings on the earth, and His heart was deeply troubled.”

And Exodus 34:5-7…

“Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His Name, The LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, The LORD, the LORD, the Compassionate and Gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

And last, but very important, John 20:21-23

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” And with that He Breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

That’s a lot of scripture. The point is that GOD, the CREATOR of the Universe, Who made us in His Image and gave us free will, THAT God, Loves us enough to forgive us of our sins. This is not a white, old, man-god with flowing white robes, this GOD, looks like every man. He’s a colorful God! Look at us, and look at nature. Does all of this really make you think He fits only one picture of Himself? He knows our sins; all of them, whether it’s a “little white lie” or horrific torture and murder. Sin is Sin. In God’s eyes, it is ALL equally bad – and still, He Loves us so much that He is ready and willing to forgive us.

Then He (Jesus) said: “If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

I have people I need to forgive. Thank GOD I have His help, because I couldn’t do it on my own! Praise His Mercy and Grace. One of my favorite songs is Victory In Jesus. Love to sing this!
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him,
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood
I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing power revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and brought
To me the victory.