Victory Or Pride


A few days ago I came across this question in a study I am journeying through, “In Paul’s day adopted children had the same legal rights as any other son or daughter, which included the rights to their father’s inheritance. Knowing you are a joint heir with Jesus, how might you live differently?” My response is that I think about this often. Why does my head understand that the victory in all situations has already been won but my heart is desperately lagging behind? Is it fear, trust, faith, pride or all of these?

I use to be very competitive and sometimes I still am, but as I have grown and matured in my relationship with God, I have come to believe that competitiveness is rooted in pride. Being competitive was second nature to me. I grew up with four older brothers who played football, basketball and baseball. I wanted the “W” all the time, every time.

When I was in Jr. High School one of my favorite teachers of all time, Mr. Francis, started an after school girls basketball team. We represented our school but didn’t play under our school, we were a part of a recreation league. As I reflect back it amazes me that girls and women were still treated as if our goals and aspirations didn’t include the things boys were able to be involved in. I’m not a feminist by any means and perhaps this is some of that prideful rebellion coming out all these years later that still needs to be reconciled to who I am in Christ. Thanks to a gentle giant of a man, many years later, epiphany hits me; without words this kind teacher taught a group of girls that they mattered and could be what they aspired to become. I went on to play basketball throughout high school as well as being a cheerleader, or as we called it in those days, a rah-rah.

These days I still want the win but I want it because of Christ and for Christ. I want to live out the victory his death won for me on the cross. I want to know it and feel it in every situation and every struggle.

I want my heart to say, “Christ has won the day!” I don’t want to fight for victory, I want to fight from victory.

Precious One, this is the way, walk in it.


He Did This



So many people are gathered, this hill can’t possibly contain them all. And, there He is, gasping for air and struggling to breath. I can barely bring myself to look at him. Women are weeping somewhere behind me, but I couldn’t stay in the shadows, I had to be up close to see for myself. Dogs are barking and above the murmur of so many voices I am acutely aware of others yelling at him. Mocking him and insulting him. It is hot and sticky and the smell of people surround me on all sides. It is suffocating. The taste of dust and dirt linger in my mouth, as if the sandals of a hundred legion of soldiers have just marched past. I am in deep despair that this man, who is kind, gentle, strong, compassionate and loving would allow this to happen. Why? Why did he bring his best friend back from the dead yet allow this to be done to him?

I want to scream, “Come down from there!” But then, there are all those soldiers and an angry mob, would they crucify me too? I’m panicking now, I don’t know what to do. The man who knows all about me, everything I’ve ever done and yet, he stills loves me, is dying. How will I sit at his feet ever again? How will I feel his presence?

Tears are flowing freely down my face now and to myself I cry, “Come down from there, please, come down from there.”

And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.

And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. “HE TRUSTS INGOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. But the rest of them said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

He couldn’t and he wouldn’t come down form there. He allowed this because his love for you is unfathomable. He died so you could live. His death paid your penalty for your sins now and forevermore.

Precious One, the good news is –  He still lives! You can always be in his presence and at his feet. Simply choose to believe.

He reigns.


My Person


Somehow and quite unintentionally, I’ve allowed myself to be sucked into the vortex and lives of the fictional television characters of a certain show. In this particular show one of the main characters talks about having a ‘person’. That person being the one who is for you no matter what; always there day or night, giving advice, counseling and comforting.

Who is your person? As I think about this for my own life I realize I have more than one person. I am blessed to have several ‘persons’ in my life that I share a close, faithful and cherished relationship with. Each of them uniquely gifted to fit into my life where they balance and support me. Ultimately, though, God is my person. He is the one who always has my back and has me covered.

The verses above tell us God graciously gives us all things. Graciously in v. 32, in its original context means to rescue and is from another word that means His grace, his favor, his reaching out to others because it is his disposition to be near his creation. Think about that for a moment; whether you believe in Christ or not, God desires to be near you. The Creator of the Universe and everything in it desires to be near YOU! He desires to rescue and deliver you by faith in his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Not only that he wants to give you ALL things. All of Who Christ is he wants you to have. Think about Who Christ is, He is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, (Galatians 5:22,23a), just to name a few and God wants you to have each of these blessings in their fullness, along with the multitude of other spiritual blessings he has available.

If I’m not mistaken, this world could use a little more love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Precious One, name your Person.


All Sufficient Power


I love the hope of these verses. They remind us to remember God is able. We don’t have to strive, he cares for us and wants His best for us. He gives us the capacity for every decision we make because we are made in His divine image. We simply need to remember to ask. Ah, yes, I know, it’s the remembering to ask. Many times we are so intent on working things out for ourselves we forget to ask God for help. Or, maybe we remember to ask for his help but we have forgotten how to wait patiently for his answer.

A few weeks ago my husband and I needed to make an important decision. The ‘old’ us, from not long ago, would have conferred with one another, and if we agreed on a course of action, would follow through in our agreement, however, one important aspect was left out, we would forget to seek God’s wisdom before making a decision. This particular time we decided to commit our concerns to God and wait for his answer, praying for his wisdom and knowledge on how to proceed. Three days later, he provided exactly what we needed and we felt confident and at peace with the decision we made. Is it really this simple? I believe it is, but many times we might allow our worldly decisions from the past to interfere, or the enemy comes in with lies attempting to discredit God’s integrity and the truth of his word, or we are just plain impatient!

It is a process and we are all works in progress. The word power in the above verse is God’s intrinsic ability at home in us helping us to grow everyday. It is sanctification cultivating us toward glorification! Hallelujah! His power in you is his marvelous work.

You are a marvelous work, that is your identity in Christ, sanctification that is your inheritance in Christ and the choice to ask him for his help is your authority in Christ!

Precious One, live marvelously, live loved, live in His divine image!


Measure Of All Fullness


I use to be rebellious, especially when I was younger. Maybe you know what I am talking about? That self-righteous rebellion, my way or the highway type of rebellion. Rebellion has caused me to say many unkind things and make many wrong decisions. Decisions resulting in outcomes that could have been avoided. Decisions that affected not only my life but the lives of those around me, of those I love deeply. Like a paint can that is dropped and the paint splatters not only on the canvas of my life but the canvas of the lives of others. Thankfully, as I have grown in my relationship with Jesus he has softened my heart and taken rebellion away from me and his Spirit teaches me to be more sensitive to His will.

This morning I came across the above verses in a study that I am journeying through and the beginning verse in this short passage stood out at me.

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:17a.

As a believer in Christ the moment you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior his Spirit filled you and sealed you and marked you for eternity. Why then, was Paul praying for Christ to dwell in the hearts of the Ephesians through faith? The Ephesians were already established as a church. I believe the point Paul was making is when we choose an intimate relationship with Jesus we invite him to permanently dwell within us, choosing His will over our will. Choosing to let go of ‘my way or the highway’ and choosing to be filled to the measure of the fullness of God. Enabling us to resist the temptation to do things on our own or in our own way and trusting God to show us his perfect way.

I am thankful that I am still a work in progress and the splatters of paint on the canvas of my life are not because I have dropped the can of paint rather that God splashes my life with his lavish love giving me daily opportunities to trust Him more and the kaleidoscope of color is his brilliance shining through a life of obedience to Him.

Precious One may you daily experience how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.




Oh Glorious Day


Interestingly, the Pharisee’s expected Jesus to perform a miracle but they were so focused on accusing Jesus of breaking the Law, they missed the miracle entirely. The miracle of God sending his only Son to save them and offer them the gift of salvation and eternity with Him in heaven. I also think about all my own times of belligerence; when I don’t want to trust Jesus because it seems to0 hard or doesn’t make worldly sense. Father forgive me, for many times I truly do not know what I do when I’m not connected to You.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5.

Suffered, punished, despised, stricken, afflicted, pierced and crushed. Crucified. So you and I can have a reconciled relationship with God. So that by his actions – death on the cross – you and I can be forgiven of all our sins and live eternity in heaven with Him.

What have you got to lose? You either believe and find out it is true or you believe and find out nothing has changed. The alternative, however, is not believing only to find eternity in darkness apart from the presence of God. And, then, my Friend, it is too late.

Precious One I pray you choose to believe.


Nothing New Under The Sun


When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a mommy. A mommy who could stay home and raise her children and do mommy stuff, whatever that entailed, in my five-year old mind. In the late 70’s we finally moved into the 20th century and got shag carpet! Think mult-colored carpeting in avocado; brown with shags of gold and tan; and blue. Each room had its own color designation; a true kaleidoscope of color! However, before that time we had hard wood floors with a huge area rug in the living room. I would lay out a blanket and line up all my dolls and play house. Some might say that during that era, that’s what little girls did; played house, but there was something more to that for me. My mom was a stay at home mom, or in those days, housewife. Despite her flaws my mom was really good at her job. So good was her love of being a mom that I wanted that for me too. My mom modeled to me motherhood.

Recently, a dear Friend posted the above picture and caption on social media and it caused me to stop and wonder, “Indeed, when did we get so far from this?” The same morning I began a journey through the Book of Isaiah; this was days ago and I am still only on chapter 1! The method that feels comfortable to me is asking Holy Spirit to highlight words, thoughts, themes or ideas and He never disappoints, because, well, He is the Spirit of God and his job is to reveal to us insights into God’s word. Holy Spirit is really good at his job.

As I was reading through Isaiah chapter 1, verse 4 really stood out at me.

Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD: they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their back on him.” Isaiah 1:4.

As I thought about Isaiah 1:4 my mind connected it to what my Friend had posted. Initially, what came to mind are the words from Ecclesiastes.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9.

When I sat down to journal this morning Holy Spirit brought to mind the words of Moses.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

How did we get so far from what God originally intended? Somewhere along the way and over centuries there has been a consistent breakdown of the commands of God. Rather than adults modeling lives of morals and integrity, we have adults leading innocent children into corruption.

Precious One, be the person you want the children in your sphere of influence to be.



Some Things I’ve Learned

The red from this brain mapping are the area’s, from this view, that are synapses that are closed off from receiving vital chemicals in mood regulation.

One of my new passions is mental health awareness and erasing the stigma, especially within the Body of Christ. I recently read these statements in a Bible study that I am working through.

When we choose thankful prayer over wallowing in anxiety and worry, we are demonstrating an unwavering trust in God.

When God see this type of prayerful, grateful faith, when our mind is squared on Him, the peace of God expands within us. It stabilizes our runaway emotions, centers our minds, guides or footsteps and even overflows into our experience with others. It cools our sharp tongue, dismantles our emotional walls, and keeps us from being so difficult to be around.

And, these statements were made from one of my favorite Bible teachers. I am one hundred percent confident that this teacher did not mean any ill will at all. But, if you suffer or have family or friends who suffer from mental health illness, you know that NOT wallowing in anxiety and worry isn’t any easy thing to accomplish especially when these very real feelings threaten to take over your life.

When someone who suffers from mental illness is in a deep dark place, anxiety, worry, depression, anger and suicidal thoughts are like zaps of lightning in a continuous cycle hitting the one who is suffering.

Many times there isn’t the capacity to understand a prayerful, grateful faith and keep ones mind squared on God.

Holy Spirit has been showing me many things. Here is one insight:

The only difference between mental health illness, high blood pressure or diabetes is the symptoms and the treatment. They are all very real physical ailments. Many times those who suffer from mental illness have swollen or clogged synapses which do not allow important chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to reach the part of the brain the regulates mood.

Yes, there is a spiritual warfare aspect and if you are familiar with spiritual warfare you understand that the enemy loves to attack our weakest area’s. It isn’t any different with mental illness. The brain isn’t functioning at full capacity and that is where Satan will aim his arrows to attempt to keep the brain at low functioning levels. After all, as believers in Christ, we have the mind of Christ and Satan will stop at nothing to keep us from nurturing our minds to Christ likeness.

We abundantly love a child who suffers from mental illness, who attempted three overdoses and who wanted to get into a car accident every time our child was in a car. Praise God he has protected our child in each circumstance. God has put us on a path with modern technology as His chosen instrument in our child’s healing, so our child can be in a place where our child can choose not to wallow in anxiety and worry, our child can come from a place of prayerful and grateful faith, our child can have a mind squared on Him and our child can choose to allow Him to stabilize runaway emotions, cool a sharpened tongue, and to have that beautiful dimpled smile once again and all the time.

Precious One, what is your responsibility? Start with prayer and ask God how to pray for those with mental health concerns. Almost daily, and in my humble opinion what appears to be epidemic, I learn about someone new who is suffering and my heart breaks a little bit more. Learn to be more sensitive to those with mental illness, it isn’t a plague; it can’t rub off on you.

Parents and caregivers learn to strip away your expectations of what you believe your loved ones life should look like and replace it with celebrating the victories and providing a loving, caring and safe environment. And, please, try to remember it isn’t about you or directed at you.

For more information on some of the treatment we are seeking please click here.


#raiseawareness #endthestigma #Churcharise