It’s the Best Plan

January 10, 2023 Leave a comment

Do you have a plan this year? A plan to lose weight? A plan to learn a new skill? A plan to pay off your credit cards? A plan to take a vacation? Lots of plans. But what is the BEST PLAN?

The best plan I ever made was to read the Bible through in one year. I chose a method—one that someone else had already figured out—and within a few weeks, I was enjoying reading God’s Word on a daily basis more than I ever imagined.

That was forty-five years ago, and I’ve read the Bible through each year since then. Strangely enough, it still seems fresh every morning. Only the God who made heaven and earth could do that. Only the God who desires a relationship with me could do that.

You’ll find there’s no better plan for your life than committing a portion of your day to discovering God’s revelation of Himself in His Word.

Your life will never be the same.

Find the best plan for you here.

Why Was He Born?

December 23, 2022 Leave a comment

Born to be cursed, not to curse.
Born for sinners, not to sin.
Born to love, not to hate.
Born to accept, not to reject.
Born for failure, not for success.
Born to poverty, not to wealth.
Born for hope, not for despair.
Born for healing, not for affliction.
Born to set free, not to bind up.
Born to reveal, not to conceal.
Born for laughter, not for tears.
Born for compassion, not for anger.
Born to die, not to live.

Born for you.

THE BIG THANK

November 27, 2022 Leave a comment

If I was restricted to only ONE THANK,

to whom would my BIG THANK go?

I’d give it to the ONE who deserves it all.

THANK YOU for being a

grace-giving,

faith-making,

man-saving,

love-providing,

sin-forgiving,

need-supplying,

pride-killing,

joy-flowing,

decision-guiding,

universe-creating,

disease-healing,

sorrow-lifting,

gift-imparting,

eternity-sharing,

GOD

Comfort Food Needed

October 28, 2022 Leave a comment

What’s your comfort food? My husband loves mashed potatoes and gravy. I love bread products. Oh, and chocolate, and maybe some cinnamon rolls thrown in too. And pizza! Don’t forget pizza.

But real comfort food can only be found in the Bible. Here are some of my favorites.

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:24.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” Psalm 33:20-21.

For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9.

Most of all, turn to the ONE who gives comfort.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3

Hidden in Plain Sight

September 26, 2022 Leave a comment

Because I write mystery/suspense/thrillers, I’m always doing research on technology like hidden cameras, spy drones, and everyday objects that can be used for surveillance. Do you know the very best place to hide something? Hide it in plain sight. People tend to overlook things that are right in front of them.

How many people look at a button on a shirt and think it could be a hidden camera? No one but a spy or a thriller writer, which is all the more reason why it’s the perfect spot for one.

But “hidden in plain sight” doesn’t just apply to spies and detectives and hidden cameras. There are all kinds of hidden words for us in Scripture—staring us right there in the face just waiting for us to discover them.

I recently discovered one of these hidden jewels in Jude. Jude? That’s right. No wonder I’ve overlooked it. How often do you read from the book of Jude? It’s the book just before Revelation, so small it doesn’t even have chapters.

Here’s a “hidden in plain sight” treasure from Jude 24-25: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.”

There are several reasons why these verses got my attention, but here are just three of them: 1) God not only helps us as we struggle with sin, He’s “able to keep us from stumbling.” 2) When we appear before Him in His presence, He’ll present us blameless in His sight. 3) When he presents us blameless before His presence, he’ll do it “with great joy.”

Okay, here’s one more: So often, we think of Jesus as our Savior, and rightly so, for his sacrifice on Calvary “saved” us from the wrath of God we all deserve. Yet Jude 25 calls God the Father our Savior: “to the only God, our Savior . . .”

No wonder Jude ends his letter with a praise to Him that we give him “glory, majesty, dominion, and authority . . .”

There you go—a magnificent truth hidden in plain sight for you to treasure and enjoy.

He’s in the Light

August 7, 2022 Leave a comment

I’m a very practical person. I like things to make sense, to be understandable, to be well-ordered. That’s why, whenever I’m reading the Bible and come across a verse that doesn’t make sense, it immediately gets my attention.

A verse that recently got my attention was Psalm 36:9, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”

It was the last part of the verse that got my attention because, normally, when believers speak of seeing God or drawing closer to God or sensing the presence of God, there is an emphasis on the fact that it’s during the dark days, when God is more easily perceived.

However, like many aspects of living in God’s Kingdom, man’s way of thinking is reversed. Living in God’s Kingdom means “the first shall be last.” God says if you want to be great, “be a servant.” He admonishes believers to “repay evil with good” and “love your enemies.”

Thus, even though it’s true that the light of His Presence can sometimes be more easily seen when darkness envelops our world, the more we walk in His Light, the more we see His Light.

That’s because, as John writes in I John 1:5, “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all,” so, the closer we walk toward the source of light, the brighter the light becomes.

Categories: Light Tags:

July 10, 2022 Leave a comment

Voices! We hear voices each and every day. They tell us to order this, pay attention to that, go there, come here.

Other voices post on our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, our social media sites, wanting us to sign this, like that, watch that, play this.

Who merits our attention? Whose voice is the worthy voice?

A crippled old man appears in the gospel of John to answer these questions. (John 5:1-17).

He doesn’t have a name in the gospel, but everyone at the pool of Bethesda knew him. He’d been lying there for thirty-eight years, unable to take advantage of the pool’s healing properties. Then Jesus stopped by one day, and, in one instantaneous moment, He took care of the crippled man’s lifelong problem.

Following Jesus’ instructions, the Man Made Whole gathered up his bedroll and walked away. Later, when asked by the religious leaders what he thought he was doing carrying around his bed on a Sabbath, he told them he was doing what he’d been instructed to do by the man who’d healed him, by the man who had enough authority to make him whole again.

The Man Made Whole was carrying his bed—in defiance of the religious authorities—because he recognized  someone who was able to give life to his withered limbs was someone with authority, someone worthy of his attention.

This same man, this Jesus of Nazareth, healed me one day. He healed me of a lifelong sin problem, a sickness so severe I was doomed for eternal destruction. He did so by taking sin’s disease on Himself and paying the price for it Himself. Now, he commands me to take up my life and live it for Him.

His  voice is a voice worth hearing.

Listen to His words from the rest of John 5, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” (25-26)

A Ready-Made Garden

May 27, 2022 Leave a comment

As I was working in my garden this week, I kept reminding myself of how much I was going to love sitting on my patio this summer surrounded by thriving, flowering plants. I had to keep repeating this mantra because gardening is hard work.

In the midst of one of my many “rest periods,” I thought of the verse from Genesis 2:8, “And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden.” That sounded good to me, especially the part about God doing the planting. When Adam and Eve showed up in Eden, they had a ready-made garden, because God had already done all the heavy lifting for them.

This concept of God “serving” or “working” for His children is present throughout the Bible; yet, most believers are taught the opposite. That is, as followers of Christ, we are urged to find ways to serve Him. While it’s true we are to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2), we are never to think our service toward God is anything He actually needs, that somehow He would be lacking something if we did not render Him our service.

In fact, when Paul was preaching to the Athenians, he tried to dissuade them from having such an attitude. He says in Acts 17:24-25, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.” God doesn’t need anything from us, because he is the Giver of all things; He is the self-sufficient One.

The proper response to our Giver is to receive His gifts with an abundantly grateful heart, acknowledging we have nothing to give in return. Peter tells us to serve “as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 4:11).

The service that glorifies God is service rendered through Him alone.

Don’t Stay Away!

April 2, 2022 Leave a comment

There’s a verse of Scripture in Hebrews that gives me pause whenever I read it. It’s Hebrews 10:22, “Therefore . . . let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”

Drawing near to God sounds like a terrific idea. So, why don’t we draw near? What makes us stay away?

Believers don’t stay away from God on purpose. It’s usually the result of not doing something, rather than actually doing something.

Not confessing sin. 

After the writer of Hebrews described what Jesus did for sinners by his death on the cross, he writes in verse 27, “If we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” Unconfessed sin makes us reluctant to be near the One whose responsibility it is to judge sin. We’re afraid, so we stay away.  

Not knowing truth. 

The writer uses the word,”therefore,” before telling believers to draw near to God. That’s because he’s been explaining great truths having to do with the meaning of the Lamb-like sacrifice and what the shedding of Christ’s blood did for sinners. He says such knowledge gives us confidence to come before God. The reverse is also true. By not knowing what Christ did when He laid down His life for us, we have no confidence and cannot draw near to Him.

Not having faith. 

The writer says we are to come before God “with full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who draws near to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him,” While our faith in God is a gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8-9), we must be willing to act on that faith or we will never draw near to Him.

What happens when we draw near?

Hebrews 4:16 tells us we receive “mercy and grace to help in time of need,” and Hebrews 7:25 says those who draw near to God will discover, “He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Draw near. Take the pathway into His Presence made just for you.

Don’t stay away!!

I Can Do Anything

February 9, 2022 Leave a comment

I love the story of the little girl whose mother found her crying in the kitchen. When her mother asked her what was wrong, she said, “I’m in the kitchen, but I still don’t know how to cook.” Her mother put her up on a kitchen stool and proceeded to help her bake some cookies. Later, as they munched on the delicacies, the little girl observed, “If I let you do it, I can do anything.”

There are times when I’m standing in the middle of life, and I suddenly realize I don’t know how to do it. That’s when I try to remember to do these three things. By doing so, I feel as if I can do anything.

1. Ask God to take over.

Not long ago there was a popular song entitled “Jesus Take The Wheel.” It’s almost comical to think of Jesus of Nazareth in a long white robe and dusty sandals sitting in the driver’s seat and tooling along the highway of life with me in the passenger seat. However, while the picture may be amusing, the concept is theologically sound. John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” You can have peace; He’s overcome all the obstacles. Trust Him.

2.  Allow others to help you.

It’s an all-American ideal to “make it on our own” or to “act independently,” but, that’s not a Biblical concept. When Paul speaks of believers in Christ, he describes each one as part of a whole. In fact, he sees this whole as if it were a human body. He says in 1 Corinthians 12:14, “the body is not one member, but many.” When I ask help from a fellow believer, I’m functioning in the way God intended His Spiritual body on earth to function.

3. Accept the personality God gave you.

Are you an introvert? Then don’t expect to live as an extrovert. Do you enjoy talking? Then don’t expect to stay silent. God says in Psalm 17, “You are the apple of my eye,” and in Isaiah 44:2, “This is what the LORD says– he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you:” Perhaps the best passage for understanding the hand of God upon the life of every individual is Psalm 139. The message in these verses is that God made you the way you are, and you glorify Him when you accept this truth.

Ask God.

Allow Others.

Accept Yourself.

Remember this pyramid with God at the pinnacle. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.

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