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.

So Good To Me

“…. [For] “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from Me,” declares the LORD.” – Isaiah 54:17 NIV

It is such a joy to get up in the morning to contemporary Christian music! Growing up, we listened to records (yep, real vinyl LP’s, with the occassional 45rpm), of mostly classical music. It gave me a love for the rich, complex sounds of an orchestra, and I find that fullness and beauty in many of the bands today. Combine that with the words of scripture, add in the real life struggles we all face, then put the reality of CHRIST in it – it gives me a constant reminder of how good my LORD is to me; to how much He LOVES me. The struggles of our lives are real, and the songs don’t negate that. They enhance the Power of GOD, and provide respite from pain and worry. I could refer you to so many artists and their songs! I am reminded of His Love, His Power, His Omnipotence. How GOOD is God to me? Let me count the ways! He has rescued me from countless (really; I’ve lost track) life-threatening situations. He has always provided ‘enough.’ He has opened His Arms to receive me back home through all of my rebellion. He has carried me through sickness and heartache and sorrow. He knows me better than any person, and He Loves me enough that in spite of me, He sent JESUS to be my personal Redeemer and Saviour. Amazing!

He is so GOOD to me!

Listen to No One Like Our God by Lincoln Brewster.

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.)


“Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention.” – Isaiah 28:23 NLT
I wonder, wonder who, who-oo-ooh, who

(Who wrote the book of love)
Tell me, tell me, tell me
Oh, who wrote the Book Of Love…

The Monotones made this a a popular song in 1958. I know it wasn’t written about the LORD of Creation, but if you look at the lyrics from the chorus, Who else could it be about?

“For this is how GOD Loved the world: He gave His ONE and ONLY SON, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have Eternal Life.” – John 3:16 NLT

The LORD offers us Life; the LORD knows what we need to fulfill our lives. He knows Who we need – and it is JESUS. It is all about Love, and it doesn’t cost us anything. The price has already been paid in full for us by JESUS. He paid it forward so that we could have LIFE. Listen to this message the LORD gave to the prophet Isaiah.

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free! Seek the Lo6rd while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that He may have Mercy on them. Yes, turn to our GOD, for He will forgive generously.” – Isaiah 55:1‭, ‬6‭-‬7 NLT

The WONDER of it all!

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.

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