Sunday, December 23, 2012


I presented the last of the 4 ADVENT lessons today so I'd like to share it with you. I was blessed as I shared the LOVE of GOD with these dear ones.. I am especially thrilled by the lyrics to the included song which is new to my husband and I.. 
This week's candle is the candle of LOVE… What more can we say than, "For God so loved the world that He sent his only begotten Son.." What a wonder... Our MAJESTIC, MAGNIFICENT, MIGHTY LORD ABOVE, would come to us in a little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger amidst livestock, hay, and all else present in a stable.
We are aware of how 'We love because He first loved us.'  Where would we be without his COMPASSION, MERCY, and GRACE?
This year, I've become aware of this wonderful Christmas song :
                        Let This Christmas Be
Let this Christmas be Christ in me
The love of God sent down
For the world to see

Let the grace You’ve shown be evident in me
Let this Christmas be, Christ in me
Creator of the heavens, Majesty unknown
Behold the incarnation in Jesus alone
Fully God and fully man
Lord help me to understand
The knowledge of your grace
Now given to me..
I am so totally blessed, and moved deeply this year, by having taken a closer look at the 4 candles of Advent (HOPE, PREPARATION, JOY and LOVE) as we approach this coming Tuesday's celebration by giving to  others because HE first gave to us! May his LOVE within each of us be the reason  for the season as we desire to give to others! Remember.. What we give doesn't need to be wrapped beautifully, having been purchased at a price because HE has already paid the ultimate price on our behalf!! His LOVE was/is SO great that HE was laid in that mangerthen, hung on that cross… ALL because of HIS deep desire for us to know and access HIM personally as our LORD.                                                                            MAY WE ALL GROW MORE DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH HIM MOMENT BY MOMENT..

Saturday, December 15, 2012


     As this season of Advent progresses, I am blessed by paying closer attention to what it can mean. ANTICIPATION and ARRIVAL  are two definitions attached to Advent. The 4 candles  are said to represent PREPARATION, HOPE, JOY, and LOVE. One thing I've learned recently is how  ROMANS 15:12-13 contains a prophecy from ISAIAH conveying how MESSIAH would make HOPE available to ALL mankind.. no longer only the Israelites..Gentiles are included in verse 12! That's most of us reading/writing this! Not only that, but the point the Apostle Paul makes in verse 13 (which happens to be the one I get the address of this BLOG from!), is PEACE, HOPE, and JOY, are for all who TRUST in HIM.  In the wake of the tragedy in the elementary school recently, many of us may be feeling a lack of these needed realities in life.. I have found when I look into the face of my  LORD JESUS CHRIST, I don't need answers as to 'Why?," but can draw on his endless supplies of comfort.. yielding peace, hope, and joy in spite of 'circumstances.'  Maybe these lyrics to a song John and I LOVE to sing in harmony best summarize just how the birth of one VERY SPECIAL BABY over 2,000 years ago can make such a difference even today!
"What shall we call this man, whose voice has calmed the sea.. this man who laughs with children, and walks with fishermen? What shall we call this man whose love  has pierced our hearts, whose words of life have reached into the depths of who we are?                                                CALL HIM MESSIAH, CALL HIM, CALL HIM YOUR KING..              CALL HIM THE MIGHTY AND MAJESTIC LORD OF EVERYTHING..                                                                          THE HEIR OF DAVID, THE PROMISED ONE..                                            CALL HIM MESSIAH, THE LONG-AWAITED ONE!" 

I pray a blessed CHRISTmas season and following days for all of you!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cheasured and Trerished!

I've forgotten just exactly when and why I tried to speak the words in this title, but it was sure one of those memorable moments when your mouth and mind just don't seem to cooperate with each other!! Of course, I laughed it off as 'one of those moments..'  But, it has me thinking about how often we possibly have 'one of those moments' when our WALK and our TALK just don't 'jive' with one another.  Paul, the apostle, speaks of this in ROMANS 7:15-20.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
As read and re-read this, I noticed how it's a contrast to GALATIANS 2:20 which relates how it is CHRIST who lives in me since I have been crucified with Him. Somehow, I think we all need to 'think before we speak,' so to say.. This way, we'll avoid confusing what we intend to convey to others, as well as, to our LORD!  For, we are truly TREASURED, and, CHERISHED!          

Thursday, November 29, 2012

HE Calls Me His FRIEND!

Yesterday morning, I told my husband about the way this truth has fascinated me this year in particular... Now, let's see... I have been growing in the LORD for over 44 years so I'm sure I've been aware of the fact of Jesus having said this to his disciples... Wow!  It amazes me to see how our Heavenly Father has such a personalized plan for each of us as we 'Go, Grow, and Glow' in Him more each day,week, and year!
Luke 12:4 is where HE says, "I tell  you my friends...." This is only one reference to the familiarity Jesus holds with us.  How wonderful is this? I love the hymn,  COME THOU ALMIGHTY KING since it begins by us addressing his KINGSHIP, but the last line of the last verse ends by calling HIM our FRIEND!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


TRY, TRY AGAIN... At least that's the way the saying goes!  This message was going to be brief because I simply wanted to say when we do things in our own 'power and strength...' We set ourselves up for frustration and fear of failure... But, when we TRUST,  RELINQUISH, and YIELD to HIS wondrous power and ways, we are truly en route to being 'successful' in our endeavors. Well, so much for brevity! Read on! Now, I have never liked that word phrase, 'Successful Christian Living,' because it can suggest another source of potential 'failure,' to any who struggle with such matters... I MUCH prefer, the term, SIGNIFICANT CHRISTIAN LIVING. If you have time to read through the devotionals from several years ago, please do.. Otherwise, just stop to ask yourself if you are truly TRUSTING our LORD for all your needs, and to lead you in a life which pleases and glorifies HIM. Also ask if you are RELINQUISHING  all sense of what you may believe your 'rights' to be.. Our only 'rights' are to the fulfillment of the promises HE has made to any/all of us who welcome his LORDSHIP in our lives.. Finally, examine yourself to see where you may not be yielding to his desires for/through you.. For me, the recent 'flood' in my life is one of asking myself if all of my choices are truly pleasing to HIM... One final thought for now... The only way I fully understand what FAITH is, is by realizing it is fully TRUSTING in HIM and all HE is and intends for us..               Forsaking All, I Trust In HIM, is a great way to delineate FAITH for me.. (see 2nd devotional below)


TODAY’S message will actually address two words that can bother me..  I mentioned in  
   #44, BACK IN THE SWIM that I don’t like ‘success’ because it implies failure is
   possible. (As a Christian, I personally don’t think I can fail but, I can deprive myself
   and others of the fullness of all the Lord intends for/through me.) The other word
   which concerns me is, ‘why?’.  #42, NOT ‘WHY?’ BUT ‘HOW OR WHAT? spoke a lot
   about this…
THE reason I am revisiting these words is because I am ‘facing up to the fact’ of the
   presence of both of them in scripture!  In our study of THE LIFE OF MOSES this
   year, John and I have just read of when Moses was rather flustered as Pharaoh
   insisted on acting irrationally. EXODUS 5:22 finds Moses returning to the Lord asking,
  “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me?” The
   Lord never answers the ‘Why?’ but, He does go on to tell Moses just what He intends
   to do! Check it out, if you’d like!  I’ve said enough about ‘WHY?’- Now, ‘SUCCESS?’
THESE FAMILY DEVOTIONALS  are not being written for any reason other than to help
   all of you as well as myself, develop fuller, personal walks with our Lord. As we do, He
   will be glorified each time someone looks into our eyes, realizes that we didn’t act
   irrationally in times we might have, or otherwise notices a quality of life they may be
   secretly craving?!  I will testify to this by letting you know that within 2 months of me
   having welcomed the Lord into my life, a Girl Scout acquaintance of mine told me she
  ‘wanted what Pam, Debbie, and I have!’
   AT ANY RATE- I see ‘my’ devotion to writing these, NOT as something to be able to
   SUCCEED in, but as something that is definitely SIGNIFICANT, thanks to the feed-
   back which lets me know how HE is blessing through these.
RECENTLY, John and I were reading something said by a Christian athlete, I believe. He
  really “HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD” for us when he agreed that the use of the term,
 ‘Becoming a successful Christian’ can really intimidate someone, thus deterring them  
 from even considering Christ’s desires for their acceptance or fellowship. (That implied
  possibility of failure might cause them to think, ‘I don’t need another area to fall short
  in!) SO- dear one, PLEASE don’t allow yourself to fear failure as HIS, but, do let Him
  use you in ways that are significant for yours and others’ encouragement in Him.  As I
  write this, I am listening to a very old 33 RPM album on which EVIE (whom we named our
  daughter after!) is singing ALL THE GLORY MUST BE TO THE LORD.  Living life with
  this desire will definitely let you succeed in pleasing the Lord, thus being significant!
FATHER GOD, help me live significantly for/through you each day! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!


TODAY I opened a devotional book that I use a lot- The state-
        ment I read simply said, I NOT ONLY LOVE GOD and
        TRUST HIM, I LOVE TRUSTING HIM!  It made me con
        sider if I do or don’t truly TRUST Him IN everything or
        not! I was once challenged deeply by this question—
        “DO you TRUST the LORD as much as you say you LOVE

THIS line of thought led me back to the passage in HEBREWS,
        chapter 10, verses 19-23 that I will refer to for the next
        few weeks as I ‘digest’ it myself…  After 2 verses tell us
        about our SURE personal access to the LORD- (no more
        veil or barrier between HE and us due to the blood of
        JESUS!), the passage continues by encouraging us to

THERE is a song which states  that ‘TO hear with my heart, to
       sing with my soul- To be guided by a hand I cannot hold- To
       trust in a way that I cannot see- That’s what faith must be!’
       It played on my computer as I sat here! I wish that you all
       knew the light-hearted, almost whimsical melody that it has!
       I encourage you all to LET THE LORD lead you to delight in
       trusting HIM more and more each day! Tell him your fears,
        frustrations, concerns, etc… He wants to hear them!

THIS prayer might help--  FATHER GOD, I really DO want to
       enjoy trusting YOU! YOU are my source of TRUE LIFE!
       I love you LORD- In JESUS’ name,   AMEN!                                                          

Saturday, November 10, 2012

3 D

It seems as though one must pay the extra $$$ in order to view many movies today through 3-D  lenses.. I don't know about you, but I'd rather just see the movie in 2-D to save the $3 or so.. but, I know my eyes would rebel! Oh well.. Thankfully, most of the 3-D ones are not ones I want to see anyhow.. So, what's on my mind with today's title???             While praying aloud today for a lady who has spent all of her adult years in what we consider to be a major cult..(not that any cult is 'minor,' mind you.. ).. I prayed against  the DECEPTION, DEPRIVATION, and DESTITUTION of her soul... Those 3 words just 'tumbled' out of my mouth without me thinking of them... What an appropriate set of 3 "D" words for how the enemy wants us to live our lives.. DECEIVED into thinking anything other than the facts of; the HOLY TRINITY, salvation by GRACE- not by any sort of 'works' or accrued 'points,' and man's desperate state apart from the redeeming blood of our LORD JESUS CHRIST shed on the cross. DEPRIVED of all the LORD intends for us if/when we look only to HIM in all of his goodness, compassion, mercy, grace, and, SO MUCH  MORE!  andDESTITUTE, if we let our pride block our acknowledgement of need to humble ourselves in order to  receive the forgiveness which restores us to the wonder of living in a personal relationship with our LORD.
In direct contrast to these 3 "D's,"  I am one who is  DELIVERED, DILIGENT,  and DELIGHTED.. at least most of the time! My LORD JESUS has set me free from man's ideas of how I should live in bondage to lust, fear, low self-esteem, and more! I am more and more diligent each day/week/month/year to ask myself if the choices I am making are PLEASING to my LORD. Finally, there is NO question about the FACT of my delight as a daughter of the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS! 
May each of you pause to consider just which 3-D 'movie,' you are being cast in currently.. I pray it is the second one.. Bright, bold, and beautiful, as is the blue print contrasted with the alarming red used for the first one!! Take care, and be blessed, as well as, a blessing!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

R U A P.O.W.?

This past week presented me with a choice that actual, wartime prisoners of war don't get.. I got to choose whether or not to remain imprisoned. You see, my prison was fear and anxiety over a matter on my job. I was not at all 'pleased' when I received a certain email, so I had to determine to refuse the agitation resulting from its content or, to yield to it.  All of us human beings have feelings that can imprison us briefly or, for the long-term. Blessedly, our Lord has made it possible for us to rise above them through his powerful Holy Spirit. All we need to do is gratefully receive His strength by admitting our need and our desire to do so. None of us is meant to live in bondage to our mind, emotions, and will because we were created in His image... Body, Soul, and Spirit. So, we can either be spiritually dead in our sin which is alienation from the Lord, or, we CAN choose the wonder-filled life of HIM within us as his Holy Spirit supports, and lifts us above negative, unwanted emotions. Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you.. not as the world gives, give I unto you." We mortals can't come up with true peace, hope, or joy.. But, I personally know the ONE who freely bestows  these upon anyone who refuses to be  a  P.O.W.! (To clarify.. The war is between our carnal, sinful nature, and Spirit-filled living as He offers us freedom from empty, futile, fear-filled living.. Ugh!) OH! I was released from that prison of fear and anxiety so when I acted on the email, all went well..Thank You, JESUS!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Hello to you 'out there in cyber-space!' This message is sort of meant to be a 'fun' one..  I have a practice I do whenever we are at a beach.. I love to do 'beach-writing,' as a ministry! Some messages are short.. others are not!  One of the 'best' I have ever done was at our beloved DECEPTION PASS on the north end of Whidbey Island this past August.. I simply wrote,  'JESUS INVITES YOU TO BE LOVED BY HIM.. R.S.V.P.'  Hopefully, the one individual our Lord intended this message for saw it, and gave it some serious consideration... (Maybe there were more people HE was going to lead to read and respond to HIM!) Only our LORD knows, but for me,it  is very fulfilling to know how 'someone out there somewhere,' just might have accepted that invitation by now!  My message to us is.. Do we invite HIM daily..even moment-by-moment, to LOVE us with all He wants us to receive? He wants to carry us through the seemingly impossible circumstances in life, as well as sustain me with the peace, hope and joy He loves to pour out! His children simply need to TURN THEIR EYES UPON JESUS... LOOKING FULL IN HIS WONDERFUL the things of Earth can grow strangely dim, in the LIGHT of His GLORY  and GRACE! May each of you who read this be blessed as you accept his invitation to be LOVED BY HIM.. our LORD JESUS CHRIST! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Most of you reading this have 'no problem' with the reality of the 'invisibility' of our LORD.. We all know there is SO MUCH EVIDENCE of his reality, that we don't even think of HIM as 'invisible!'  WELL-- Recently, I have become truly fascinated by this....  HYDROGEN IS INVISIBLE TO US, as is OXYGEN! So, how can 2  invisible 'gasses,' (that's what my layman's mind consider them to be?) combine to become one of the absolute necessities of human existence? No matter the temperature, H2O is visible as steam, liquid, or ice! How is this possible out of the invisible?  I don't know about you, but I am really having fun as I muse on this..  Most of us have heard the TRI-UNITY of our LORD described as H2O.. 3 'forms' of one molecule. Water, steam, and ice... all the same chemical composition, but definitely 3 visible, tangible manifestations of the combination of HYDROGEN and OXYGEN..(Of course, our LORD is Father God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promised Holy Spirit.. all ONE!) Now, for me, I have 'taken it one step further,' by realizing how the 'invisibles,' are truly  very visible as they become one of the 'staffs of life..' I won't say any more except to encourage you to 'think on this,' with wonderment..

Thursday, September 6, 2012


This past Sunday, I was engaged in another meaningful conversation I'd also like to share with you. This one found the gal and I both realizing, and testifying to, how we KNOW we are CARRIED by our LORD, and how we are DELIGHTED as we receive his care. Whether it's a troubling time, or simply the 'daily doings of life,' He is always there to sustain and empower us! It is truly delightful to relax in his gracious, caring arms so we don't find ourselves bogged down with pending 'doom and gloom.'  Remember the poem FOOTPRINTS as it ends with "It was then I carried you!" (when there was only one set of footprints in the sand!)-It's actually OK to be carried at all times, as I stated above.. We are meant to function in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our own which often fails us.
I'd also like to share how HE loves to pour out blessing upon blessing. (John 1:16 confirms it!) This truly DELIGHTS me! Recently, I was thrilled as my Lord just 'kept on giving to me' as I approached the end of a wonderful summer and headed back into my school setting where I work. An accessible, giant mass of ripe blackberries was discovered by me.. A gift certificate to an expensive restaurant was won by me, and a wonderful ride on the back of my son's motorcycle was had by me! These are just the three BIGGEST ones I recall at this moment... At any rate.. Take time to be aware of, and DELIGHTED by, the ways our LORD is loving you this day... Afterall, Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will grant you the desires of your heart." My soul/heart desires to bring glory to our Lord as I am carried and delighted by him!


                                                                                                      “ by”
                                            Sheila Dean
         A heaviness comes upon me at times,
            causing feelings of being “down and out.”
         When this happens, I find myself wanting to shout,
                                       “Not now, not again--!”
         Blessedly, I have learned to “listen up” as You begin,

                 “Dear one, you may “feel” down, but,
                                       I’m here to lift you up!
                   Not only that, I will fill your cup!
                           I’d noticed it was nearly empty
                                So I’m pouring in me!
                   I’m giving my breath of LIFE to fill to the brim.
                          This way, when you’re ‘bumped,’ others will say,
                                          “She lives for Him!” 
                            It’s a joy to provide Spirit-driven power,
                       as you function throughout your challenging hour. 
               Since my arms are strong, let me carry you along.
                  I’ll hold you closely, as your soul erupts in song!
                  You’ll no longer yield to that heaviness
                           experienced in moments of weakness.
               Discouragement vanishes as I replace despair with
                                           my strength,
                     delightfully carrying you the full length!”                   


                                                                                           Sheila Dean

     Lord, I’ve often heard it said that those who love you are
                               surprised by your way-                               It’s no wonder it seems that way, as we rely upon You
                                                                    day by day!
    Recently though, it has come to me,
                     that you want us to be delighted as we can be!
            You speak to us saying,
               “Dear ones, there’s no end to my displaying
                of peace, hope, and joy directed towards you!
                Observe and receive all that I so willingly do—
                 I don’t desire to surprise you,        
                 For you know my sole sufficiency in all I am
                                                   and have for you!
                 However, I do delight in causing you to rejoice
                            as I enlighten your way of my choice-
                 It’s my pleasure to care for you in every
                                        detail of your daily living.
                 There’s no end to my resources issued forth
                                        as I exercise divine giving!
                              Abundant grace is meant to delight you!
                                   SO, go ahead and be tickled!—
                                      Even giggle a little-(or a lot!)
                 For, as you do, it’s a gift to me to see
                                   you’re rejoicing in whose you’re not!”  

               Lord, I thank you deeply for the privilege of
                                                  casting my cares upon You-
                For, You do delight  me as I realize all You do!