Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fun!

I am going to share fun stories on Fridays. I hope that you will join me for laughs. There may not be anything real deep, but laughter is good for the soul. So I hope you will stop in for some good ole fashioned medicine!!!!

Last weekend was a blast!

I was supposed to go to a women's seminar in Kansas City on Friday and Saturday, but Scotty (and the Lord) had other plans. Scotty suggested that we get in the convertible and take a drive down into Arkansas to see the gorgeous trees. Did I mention that it was 40 some degrees when we left home? Well, we began our journey with the top up!

I had free tickets for a Branson music show so we decided to stop there Friday night.
The audience at the show was a lot older than we, but our numbered tickets led us to seats that were close to the only other "young" couple in the audience. It just so happens that they were not Christians........(Who do you think set that up?) We began to talk and laugh and I got to build a piece of the bridge that is leading them to Christ! Are you shouting Hallelujah about that???? Please pray for them.......I don't even know their names and they don't know mine. It didn't seem to matter.

We spent the night in Branson. Morning brought hope for a warmer day. At least the sun was shining which makes the trees much more beautiful. We journeyed around the Branson area........back roads and through the hills. It was amazing! The trees were not in their full glory yet, but they were on the way!

Well, we began to wander down more roads. One little town we found was so much fun! We found a place to eat........mmmmm! It took us awhile to find one, but it was worth the wait.

We went into a little store that was full of rustic furniture made out of trees and left in the rough. I LOVED that!!!! There were bear skin rugs on the floors and cougars on the walls perched on branches. It surprised me how much I loved that store! Having four boys has done something to my decorating taste! I was wishing I had my camera.

When we came out of the store we saw a corvette that was pretty amazing (if you like corvettes). We got closer to get a better look and the license plate said "T-Bunch". Scotty has a brother named Terry! If it is his, he is keeping secrets! Once again I was regretting not having my camera!

We decided to be brave and put the top down. I wrapped up in my black neck scarf (a big one) and Scotty put on his black stocking cap. We both put our black coats on and turned the heat up to 90. You should have seen some of the stares! We looked like Muslims. I am sure that people were praying for our souls as we passed by!

I was ready to buy a disposable camera at that point.

The many hills and curves led us to a little town in Missouri named Crane. We stopped because I spotted a doll shop on the corner and I just wanted to look. Scotty zipped around and found a spot to park.

The doll shop was closed, but the whole town was full of flea markets. Both sides of the street were lined with store after store that were filled with old treasures. We went in every one. Each store had it's own personality. It was so much fun. Scotty would say, "Look at this! I used to have one of these." So cute!

We went into one big store. He went one direction and I went the other. Pretty soon I heard him calling my name. I had just come out of the restroom.......whew, glad I wasn't there when he called. (I would have been so embarrassed!) Fortunately I was in a corner that had books from floor to ceiling. I was drooling as I skimmed the titles. I think there will be many corners like that in heaven, don't you?! Complete with an easy chair and fireplace!

Scotty had spotted a homemade gooseberry pie and wanted me to share a piece with him. Share we did. I got a bite of the most sour gooseberry in the whole pie. I told him it would surely seal my memory of that place forever. Then I went for the crust.

Someone in the town of Crane happened to mention the town of Billings for more flea market grandeur. We went on down the road and soon we spotted the sign for Billings. Scotty began to laugh and said "Where shall we go? Anywhere but Billings!" But he drove right to it. I promise I didn't say a word to influence that decision!

Again we went on a treasure hunt. My favorite find was an old text book from the 1800's that had a girl's name in the front written in the beautiful script of our ancestors, with the name Vilas, Kansas underneath it. Then it said Wilson County. Vilas is a country community that is barely there anymore. It is about four miles from our house. The book was priced at $1.50 so I brought it home with me. I would love to know the story behind the girl that the book used to belong to. I may have to do some research. Has anyone ever heard of Josephine Hagerman from way back in the day? Like a little over a century?

We spent the night in Springfield, MO. We never made it to Arkansas.

Sunday we went to church in Joplin. I had been chewing on some passages for days and the pastor just happened to teach his whole sermon on them. Glory!

The trunk of our car is very, very small. It is pretty full with just our two bags and my pillow inside, so we didn't do a lot of buying, just a lot of looking, laughing, and story telling. It was a very special time and I will treasure the memory of it.

I could have missed the Lord on this one if I had made my way to a good thing, a women's conference, instead of listening to my husband. The Lord totally blessed our choice and we came home with many treasures that cannot be bought.

I hope that your weekend is filled with many happy moments and big smiles!

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Real Friends

I bought a book on friendship yesterday. 

It is all done in black and white. 

The pictures are what drew me right to it. They are pictures from the past.....
ummm I would say the '40s and '50s. The pictures are on one page and a quote and scripture are on the opposite page. Some of the pictures were really funny, like the one of the lady in cat-eye glasses (even more ridiculous than the ones I wore in the second grade). The quote next to her photo says, "A friend sees you through rose-colored glasses."

The scripture next to that one is, "Love looks for the best." 1 Corinthians 13:7 (The Message)

I love this quote: "A friend is someone who can see through you and still enjoy the show."

How about this one: "A true friend is someone who has met your family and is sure you will overcome the law of genetics."

And: "A true friend will bend over backward to give you a lift."
The scripture for that one: "Encourage one another daily." Hebrews 3:13.

One more: " You can always tell a real friend: when you've just made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job."  You should see the picture for that one!!!!

Friendship is a special gift, a treasure, a Divine set-up.

Have you ever had a friendship end? A friendship that was deep and wide, secure and steadfast?
It is very painful. I am not sure you ever really get over it. It is like a death only its not. It is just something that is lost, gone forever, no way to get it back. 

Okay, if you read my last post you are probably saying "take the spoil". And that is right. But some battles leave wounds that take longer to heal than others. I do see great gain alongside my loss........and I do consider it my loss. I miss confidant, my best friend. I thought she would always be there.........You know?

So if you are hurting today, I understand. May the Lord restore your fortune like He restored the fortunes of Job.

Your Friend,


"Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends." Philippians 2:2 The Message

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great Gain

She entered my house with that look on her face. I knew we were heading back to an old battleground. The past was haunting her again!

Her face was draped with a veil of mourning. 

Heaviness entered with her.

She needed to talk about it...........again.

I listened. 

Hurt, rejection, regrets revisited. 

I waited.

She continued. it comes.........blame....... and the if only's..........

"He said this."

"He meant that."

"If only he would have done........."

Old song, new verse............

Finally I had a message for her.

"Take the spoil!"

She looked at me in shock her tearful eyes searching my face for an explanation.

"Take the spoil!" We both needed to hear it again.

There are many battlegrounds in life. We encounter victories and losses in every battle. It is natural to mourn our losses, but what if we celebrated our gains?

The battles I am speaking of are not necessarily huge fighting moments, (oh, but sometimes they are) but are usually small struggles. Little foxes.  You know, discord in the home, the church, the school, at work, or in the community. Misunderstandings, failure to communicate, reactions instead of healthy responses. 

We can get stuck on a battlefield if we are not careful. War continues to rage in our minds and we fear that our opponents were right about us after all. We struggle. We blame them for where we are now.  

After every battle, we must come to a place where we stop licking our wounds. Being thankful for what we have gained will help us to remember that all is not lost! The Lord will bless us with the spoil if we are willing to gather it in.

I turned to my friend.

"Let's look at what you gained there."
Gently I began to count the positive things that I could see that were gained through the struggle my dear friend had faced. 

"Tell me more things that you gained through your experience."

She began to smile as her list grew.

We had a breakthrough! Joy flooded the room. Peace came. We embraced.

My friend left my home with a lighter load.

I swept what she left behind in a heap, giving it to the Father and asking Him to continue to remind her of blessings and strengths she had gained through that very difficult time. 

Lord, thank you for words that set us free. Please quicken my friends to remind me to take the spoil after the battles in my life. We are more than conquerers in You! Thank you for the spoil!

Psalm 119:161-162~
"Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Thy words.
I rejoice at Thy word, as one who finds great spoil."

Isaiah 53:12~
"Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Giver

Standing at the counter, I was waiting for my credit card to be approved. My purchase was small, a little of this and some of that. Groceries, not that exciting of a purchase, unless you happen to be my son who gets extremely excited when the fridge offers him a variety of choices.

She came up behind me and stuck something in my hand. The grocery lanes were full, checkers were all at their posts. Where did she come from? 

I examined the wad that had been thrust into my care and looked at her with question. She had already flown back to her post. I finally spotted her. She was the one glowing. She nodded yes as she said, "Put it where it needs to go. You know!" she said.

Clearly my puzzled expression said to her that I had no idea where she wanted me to put the $10 she had placed in my hand. 

"You know, the church. You put it where it needs to go the most." 

Everyone, myself included was mind boggled by her complete trust to put her money where I thought it needed to go. I looked around at our puzzled audience and nodded my head in agreement, like this was a common trust that had been established for a long time. 

That $10 stayed in my hand for the longest time. I kept straightening it and staring at it, hoping that it would somehow speak to me of it's resting place. Alexander Hamilton continued to gaze off-center not even noticing that I needed some advice.

I finally made a temporal decision. I would not put the money anywhere.......for awhile. I would just wait and see how the Lord would direct me to a need. 

So I crammed the bill into my underwear drawer and let it be.

Should I put it in the church offering?

Missionaries came to visit our church one Sunday, should it go to them?

Suddenly a knowing settled on me. 

There is a single mom that I know that has been very, very ill and has not been able to work. 
She would be the recipient of this kind woman's generosity. 

I gave the offering to the one in need. With a grateful heart she received the small token as from the Lord. 

The Lord has opened my eyes to several applications from this experience, but there is one that weighs heavy on my mind at this time.

It was amazing that someone, she does know who I am, but does not know me well, trusted me with her money to put where I felt it would do the most good. Isn't that what the Lord does all of the time?  He is the One who gives us the power to make wealth, and then He blesses the works of our hands. On top of that He trusts us to be good stewards of that wealth. 

I must confess, I fall short of always being a good steward. My husband and I are faithful tithers and believe wholeheartedly in the promises of tithing. We have seen the Lord bless the tithe on a regular basis. But beyond the tithe, am I using what has been given me with responsible care? Not always. Not like I did with that $10 dollars that was placed in my hand. 

I felt totally responsible to place that money in the appropriate place. With great care and concern I sought the heart of the Lord on the matter. I was not disappointed where He aimed my compassion. 

Ten dollars seems so small compared to the storehouses He has entrusted to me. I desire to be more conscious of where my offerings go.

I know that I will see the giver again and I can hardly wait to report to her where her offering went. I have a feeling that she will be more than satisfied. 

I anticipate another day..........That Day when I stand before Him.......I pray that He will look upon the choices I have made and be pleased. I hope I will be among the ones who say, "When did I do that for you?" and hear Him reply, "When you did it unto the least of these."

I am pondering these things now, but I don't intend to waste this lesson. I pray that my pondering will soon be put into practice.


Monday, October 20, 2008

His Audience

He takes the guitar from it's case and holds it near him cradling it close to his heart. We sit in the darkened room as his fingers began to dance across the strings. Daylight is streaming through the window and rests around him like a halo.

Music begins to melt my heart as peace settles all anxiety. The beauty of his song cannot be described, it has been born in the depth of worship. The kiss of God has nestled into it and the notes are begging to enter the throne room of grace.

I feel honored to be his audience.........the only one listening this side of heaven.
His song is like an offering, a gift, a shared treasure......

Time seems to fly away. Soon he will need to leave and I just want to linger here.
Luke, is so gifted with his guitar as he creates beautiful songs that bless so many. Worship flows from him as he makes melody in his heart to the Lord. And now he is sharing it with me. It delights my soul!

I rise from the blessed moment refreshed.

Something very special has just son and I have just shared a little piece of heaven.

Will he remember this special time, continuing to ponder it as I will? It will probably escape him as he leaves the room refusing to be placed into his memory bank for recalling. However, I will refuse to let go of it, harboring and protecting it from escaping my heart forever.

Humming a new song,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To Be Envied

I hope you have enjoyed meditating on the Beatitudes with me. I feel strengthened as I reflect on these beautiful promises that came from the heart and lips of our Lord Jesus. He saw a multitude and so He took the time to speak on these things. 
It has been an eternal quest of the ages to seek happiness.......real happiness. These promises contain the keys to the spiritual grace of happiness. I believe the Lord wants us to be happy, joyful, complete, lacking in nothing and so He tells us exactly what it takes to achieve this much sought after state of being. 
I love the Amplified Version of these promises. I am going to continue to meditate on them........Selah! Pause and think on them, because I believe they are powerful! The promises that they declare are not only heavenly, eternal promises , but for now, this moment even as I type. They are for me and you to enjoy this side of the great expanse called time. Praise the Lord for His benefits. How great is our God to let us enjoy life now!
(If you are just joining me, please review the past devotions to get a proper balance on what I am saying here.)

When we know we are a blessed people, we will live as grateful people. Gratefulness breeds happiness.........Who can contain it?

So blessed are you who mourn............

who are meek..............

who hunger and thirst after God........

who are merciful.............

and pure in heart............

the peaceful.............

and the persecuted, falsely accused for righteousness sake.......

Blessed, happy, to be envied are you! Thus says the Lord!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Witnesses

I feel tears cloud my eyes as I try to put thoughts together that spring from a deep well in my being. 

My ear is straining to hear the great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) today.........those who have gone on before us who have found their place in the grandstands of eternity. I see some familiar faces there, their eyes fixed on me at the moment, imploring me with all their might to fix my eyes on Jesus. Listening close now, I hear what seems like whispers, the distance drowns the volume, but I can see by the look in their eyes that they are giving it all they've got to cheer me on! 

"Don't look back!" a voice cries out! I am not certain which of my fans has spoken but his words are wise.

"Make haste!" says another. 

"Lighten your load and quicken your pace!" another pipes in.

As I force to look more intently I see a special section. It has been walled off. There are a few empty seats there among many that are filled. They have names engraved on them. My name is not there. Not yet anyway. 

This is a marked off, specially reserved section. There is a sign above it "Endured to the end!" Jeremiah is there and near him Isaiah. John the Baptist?!!!! Yes! It has to be! And Stephen (I really want to talk to him!) And there! Look! Can you see him? It is Jim Elliot. 

I wasn't expecting this vision of glory today. I didn't even ask for it, but having this divine revelation has stirred me with a new run!

I see a family now. I remember their story. A family of five who were buried alive because they refused to renounce their faith in Jesus. Several others have joined them. Witnesses...... those who saw the demonstration of their faith as they sang hymns of praise to the living God until their last breath was stolen from them.........Their faith was contagious and many were added to the Kingdom that day. Some of those who witnessed their last day are now seated with them in this special section. They experienced similar sufferings..........and they are seated with them.

"He will give you grace! Persevere! Sing! He is worthy of all praise! Remain faithful to the end! It is worth it!" they are determined for all to hear.

Persecution is hard, so I am told. I have read Voice of the Martyrs, Foxes Book of Martyrs, and Jesus Freaks. I do not fear it, because I have not experienced it........not really! Small levels perhaps, but do they really count? 

Times of persecution will bring...........

Grace, grace, grace.......... we will be baptized in it! 

And blessings!!!! Promised blessings! Jesus said:

"Blessed......happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous [that is, with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions].......are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. 
Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you."

So if you are among the persecuted, there is a reward awaiting you in a special section of heaven. Your seat is prepared for you! Your fans are waiting for you! Press on!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Seeing God pt. 2

The pure in heart...........

Jesus told a story to illustrate...........

"And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were
righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

'Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer.
The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, 'God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay my tithes of all that I get.' 
But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

Did you recognize the pure in heart?

Grateful for the cleansing fountain!

ps. I will  complete our Beatitude study next week. 
I must chew on the next few verses (promises) a bit.
Scotty and I will be on vacation for a few days. Check back in soon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Seeing God


What a good way to begin! Blessing! 

To be showered with goodness!

Having an umbrella of favor at all times!

God's face shining upon you!


A state of being that most have tasted of, but few remain in........

Enjoying well-being........



Enviably Fortunate!

Others are witnesses of your happiness and blessing.....

Others desire it...........

Eternally blessed with promises that will be fulfilled on earth and in heaven.....

And Spiritually Prosperous!

Having eternal riches stored in abundance........

Wealth that cannot be stolen, killed, or destroyed!

Gain that comes from repentance and fellowship and holiness........

That is,

Possessing the happiness produced by experience of God's favor!

The happiness Mary felt when told she was chosen of God for a special assignment........

The happiness that Zaccheus felt when Jesus said to him, "I am going to your house today"

The happiness that the adulterous woman felt when Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you......."

The happiness the woman at the well could not contain but had to spill on a whole community...

The kind of happiness that can only be possessed by unmerited and undeserved favor!

Especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace!

Oh the precious revelation of His grace!

His divine nature extended to us because of Grace!

Spiritual eyes open wide with wonder!


Ephesians 1:17-19
"[For I always pray] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation........of insight into mysteries and the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints........His set-apart ones...

And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe...........

Seeing what those in the world cannot see or even imagine!

Regardless of their outward conditions!

Regardless of circumstances!

Regardless of conflict!

Regardless of rejection from others!

Regardless of pain and suffering!

Are the Pure in Heart!

"Katharos".........the Greek word for pure. 
Definition: Being cleansed.

A heart that has been washed.........


that is undefiled, whiter than snow, because it has known the cleansing power of the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus!

"What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus!"

"Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7)

"Create in me a clean heart, O God!" (Psalm 51:10)

Justified! Just as if I had never sinned!


For they shall see God!

The purified are privileged.........

They will recognize the fingerprints of their Master........

They will experience forgiveness...............

They will witness the majesty and beauty of His handiwork.........

They will marvel at the display of His Grace and Mercy.........

They will see His works...........but more than that..........they will see HIM!

They will see God! 

They will see Him as He is!

Such special grace to see God!

And so they are:

"Blessed..........happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous [that is, possessing the happiness produced by experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions].........

are the pure in heart................

for they shall see God!"

In Awe~