We are on a journey, sojourners on this earth. Let us share with you the highs and lows of our lives. Heaven is a sweeter place now that we have two beautiful granddaughters waiting there for us.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Hope When Life Hurts


“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3)


As I listened to my elderly friend sharing on the phone, I was surprised by a sense of hope. She had just lost her husband of 67 years and the memorial service was the day before. As she acknowledged the deep valley of grief that she was walking through, she kept thanking God for his faithfulness and his goodness to them as a couple over the decades. “How can I complain when God has been so good?”


I had called to tell her that I was praying for her because I knew she was grieving, but instead she encouraged me. As I hung up the phone, I was reminded of these verses in 1 Peter. Peter is praising God for the living hope that we have in Christ Jesus, but then just a few verses further on he talks about suffering grief in all kinds of trials. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” (I Peter 1:6)


Paul reminds us of the same thing in Romans 5:2-5 when he says, “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us.”


Whether our sufferings are physical, mental, emotional or relational,
God’s promise to us is that through his Son Jesus, we have hope in the midst of it all.
Just like my friend, the grieving widow, you too can rejoice and be thankful that God is walking this journey with you, and he has not left you to deal with it on your own. He has given us his Holy Spirit to live in us, to fill us with joy and peace and yes, hope in the midst of our pain.


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that I can praise you even when life hurts. My life is not without hope, because you truly have given me birth into that living hope that Peter talked about. Help me today to walk in step with your Holy Spirit so that I can truly experience the joy and peace that your Spirit wants to produce in my life. Amen


Throughout this Day:

Are you struggling to experience that hope that we are promised? Why not take the time to read this article to learn about how the Holy Spirit can truly make a difference in your life?(link to


Monday, January 22, 2024

Stir It Up


It was the first meeting of the year and we were sharing with one another what our small group had meant to us over the past decades. As a group of deep-spirited friends, we are committed to praying for one another and our families, and being the hands and feet of Jesus in each other’s lives.  We have seen God’s love in action first hand in the various seasons and challenges of life and as such, it has been both a privilege and a blessing.


Our specific focus this particular evening was Hebrews 10:24, a verse that I had memorized years earlier in the NAS version, “Let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds.” Another version puts it a bit differently, And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (NIV). But as various people shared, I was struck by the same verse in the ESV version, And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works”.


Stir up one another! We often think about love as a feeling and I have even heard someone say, “I just don’t love that person anymore.” But this verse reminded me that love is much more than that! God loves us and we in turn are to love another with that same love. Not only are we to love another, but we are to stir up one another to love and good works. The KJV goes a step further when it says that we are to let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works”.


Seeing God’s love in action in our group hasn’t just happened. It was the result of a commitment that we made to each other but also personally in our walk with God. We want to be Jesus with skin on, living out what it means to love one another, and yes, stirring up one another to show that love to others, both within the group and beyond.


This has been very intentional, and today I challenge you too to be intentional in how you can show God’s love to those around you. Consider it, pray about it, ask God to show you what he has in store for you, and how to pass that on. As you pass it on, you too will be stirring up another to do the same. It could be praying for a friend and then texting them and letting them know you prayed. Or perhaps it will look like a pot of soup or a meal brought to someone who is sick or recovering from surgery. Maybe it will involve a visit to provide a listening ear, give an encouraging word or pray for a need. What is God asking of you today?


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you always intended that we live our lives in community. Scripture is full of the ‘one anothers’ which remind us of that.  Help me today to consider how to be part of the stirring up of one another to love and good deeds. Use me today to be Jesus with skin on to those around me. Amen.


Throughout this Day:

It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges of our day-to-day life. Today ask God by his Holy Spirit to show you how to stir up another, and then just do it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

A Life of Gratitude


Jesus asked, “were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:17)


In this story of Jesus healing the ten lepers, we are reminded that only one “came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him…” (Luke 17: 15,16) It was then that Jesus asked that familiar question, “Where are the other nine?”.


One out of ten, or just ten percent of those healed came back to thank Jesus for what he had done. Only one of the lepers truly experienced the joy of Jesus’ healing of his body and came back praising God in a loud voice! He was healed physically, but more than that, he recognized the hand of God at work in his life. As I often like to say, he saw God’s hand print on his life and couldn’t help but turn that back into praise as he threw himself at Jesus feet.


Giving thanks is not something that is confined to what we do when we celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead, gratitude is a lifestyle that is inexplicably linked to joy and is in reality, a source of joy in our lives. As we recognize God at work in our lives, we are filled with joy, get to know him better and then we too will fall at his feet giving him praise.


As Dustin Crowe says in his book, ‘The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of a Lost Spiritual Discipline’, “Take gratitude out of joy and you don’t have a lesser joy, you lose it completely”. The more you practice returning thanks to God (for that is truly what it is), the more your life will be characterized by the joy of the Lord that Nehemiah called ‘your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10).


How about you? Do you fall in with the other 90 percent that don’t give Jesus thanks for all he does in your life? Or do you more often identify with the 10 percent? The one leper who was so overjoyed that he was praising God in a loud voice and threw himself at Jesus feet? Sounds a wee bit like the crippled beggar that was healed by Peter in Acts 3 who was ‘walking and jumping, and praising God, doesn’t it? (Acts 3:8,9)


A life of gratitude doesn’t just happen, it is a learned response. Maybe you call yourself a cynic, a pessimist, or even just a realist, but today can be the day that you turn that around and begin instead to look for all who God is and all that he has done for you. Only then will you truly experience the joy that he has in store.


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that when I stop to look, I can see your handprint all over my life. Give me eyes to see all that you are and all that you have done for me in every area of my life.  Help me to truly live a life of gratitude. Amen


Throughout this Day:

If giving thanks is not something that comes naturally to you, start with something as simple as finding a place to record things to be thankful for in every day. At first it may be challenging to find one thing, but before long you will find yourself with many more things to write down.


If you need help knowing where to start, may I recommend reading the book mentioned above,The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of a Lost Spiritual Discipline’, by Dustin Crowe

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Time to Refocus


“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story...”(Psalm 107:1,2a))


I was a busy young mother when I heard Pastor Charles Swindoll make this statement almost 40 years ago on his radio program, Insight for Living. Your outlook on life is not determined by your circumstances, but on your focus.” I actually wrote it on the top of my Daily Planner page to think about later because I knew that it was an important concept to remember. Little did I know how it would impact my life!


That particular day was a crazy one, complete with broken glasses, chocolate milk spilled in the backseat of a new car, and cake batter sprayed all over my kitchen when I forgot to put the beaters back in the mixer bowl before I turned it on. At the end of the day, I was able to laugh at myself and remembered what I written down earlier, vowing to try to remember it moving forward.


Learning to refocus when circumstances threaten to overwhelm me has definitely been a learned response. It’s involves turning away from what is happening around me, and reflecting instead on the God who isn’t surprised, who still holds the whole world in his hands, and whose love endures forever as this verse tells me. It’s choosing to daily give thanks on both the good days when it comes naturally, and on the hard days when I don’t feel like it.


Fast forward almost four decades and today I am a grandmother, with aging parents. The circumstances have changed yes, but the concept hasn’t. Almost daily I find myself in that same place of needing to refocus. What is the story that I choose to tell? Do I focus on the challenges of aging parents? Worry about the choices my children and grandchildren are facing? Or do I give thanks to the Lord because he is good, all the time?

I admit it isn’t always easy. But the choice is mine to make and it’s also yours to make today. Regardless of what your circumstances are, choose to focus instead on God. Sometimes I find that music helps me to do that. One song that I have found really helpful in doing this is “Goodness of God” by CeCe Winans. If you too need to refocus today, perhaps start by listening to it and singing along with it.


I love You, Lord

For Your mercy never fails me

All my days, I've been held in Your hands

From the moment that I wake up

Until I lay my head

Oh I will sing of the goodness of God


'Cause all my life You have been faithful And all my life You have been so, so good With every breath that I am able Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God



Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are good and your love endures forever. Help me today to focus on you and give thanks to you instead of being weighed under by the circumstances of my life. Help me to sing for joy and tell my story of the goodness of God. Amen


Throughout this Day:

If you need to jumpstart your attempt to refocus today, take some time to listen to Goodness of God by CeCe Winans here


Reflect on the words and thank God for his goodness in your life.

Friday, August 04, 2023

Don't Shrink Back

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”(Hebrews 10:39)


When we think of the book of Hebrews, our minds often go to chapter 11, the Faith Hall of Fame. In fact, many of us will even be able to quote the first verse of that chapter, ‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’  But how many of us remember the verses that come just before that in the previous chapter?


This spring our pastor challenged us with those exact verses, Hebrews 10: 38,39. In verse 38, the writer quotes Habakkuk 2:3,4 when he writes, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” In the next verse he goes on to say that in fact, we do not belong to those that shrink back.


These verses just seemed to jump out at me over the next few weeks as we worked our way through Hebrews 11. The text presents us with two things, you are either going forward in your faith or you are going backwards. There is no third option, no middle ground, no staying suspended going in neither direction. God has made it clear that he is not pleased with those that decide to go in reverse instead of choosing to live by faith and move forward.


So what was I going to choose in my own life, in the daily challenges that I faced? Would I live by faith? Would I take God at his word and believe him for what I didn’t see? Or would I be counted among those that were shrinking back and displeasing God? When put that way, the choice seems obvious. Then why is it so hard?


How about you? Are you going forward in your faith, taking God at his word and trusting him for that which you do not see? Or are you shrinking back and in doing so, displeasing the one who loves you and paid the ultimate price to pay the penalty for your sin and deliver you from the domain of darkness for all eternity?


Remember, “we are not of those that shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you have called me to live a life of faith, believing you even when I can’t see your hand at work. Help me to never shrink back, but instead to always remember what I hope for and be certain of what I do not see. Amen.


Throughout this Day:

The people mentioned in Hebrews 11 had very different outcomes. Yet they all had one thing in common, they did not shrink back. As you go through this day, be mindful of living a life of faith and trusting God in each and every situation.


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Hope of Heaven


“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

 (Psalm 30:5b)


There are certain months of the year that trigger surprising feelings. For me, April is one of those months. Decades ago, my husband and I suffered through the miscarriage of our first baby who was due April 12. Even though we went on to have three wonderful children who are all married and have families of their own, turning the calendar page to April often brings back the memories of that loss.


And then to compound that, years later our daughter was pregnant with twin girls who we were also due in April! We were so excited…only to be faced with the incredible grief of having them born still at just 19 ½ weeks. But through the tears, heaven suddenly became a reality. Our girls were there!


Though many years have passed, the reality of the loss is still there, but now it is tempered by the truth of this verse, “…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5b) I cannot think of the baby I miscarried, nor our beautiful twin granddaughters without also being reminded that because of the hope we have in Christ and the power of his resurrection, death is not the end.  I can know without a doubt that someday I will meet them in heaven and we will spend all of eternity together.


The older I get and the more goodbyes that have been said, the more I am reminded that heaven is my home and I am here but a little while. Putting today’s tears into perspective reminds me of the incredible joy that I will experience when I see my precious Savior face to face. So yes, there is a tinge of sadness when I turn the calendar page to April, but there is also the reminder that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, death is not the final chapter of our story.


Phil Wickham in his beautiful song, ‘Hymn of Heaven’ reminds us:

And on that day, we join the resurrection

And stand beside the heroes of the faith

With one voice, a thousand generations

Sing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.”


What is causing you to weep today? What loss is threatening to overwhelm you? May the hope of heaven remind you that joy truly comes in the morning.


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the promise that you give me, that though my heart is heavy today and the tears are so very near, that joy does come in the morning. This pain, this grief, will only last for a little while, and then I will have all of eternity to breathe that air of heaven. Remind me when I feel overwhelmed that the hope of heaven is very real today. Amen.


Throughout this Day:

Take some time today to listen to Hymn of Heaven’ by Phil Wickham here

As you listen to the words, ask God to fill you with the hope of heaven in the midst of the weeping and tears that you may be experiencing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Seen by God


“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her; “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me”.”(Genesis 16:13)


As I read the story of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well this week, I was reminded that this wasn’t the only time in Scripture that we hear about God revealing himself to a woman who was an outcast. Hagar was also alone, and having been mistreated by her mistress, Sarah, she fled.


There she was, pregnant and facing adversity, but God was also there. He was there with her and saw her in her time of need. He promised her that he would not only be with her, but also with her son. She recognized that God had met with her in that place and went back to the place she had been so eager to flee. I wonder how often she reflected on that ‘God-moment’ in her life in the years to come.


Her story doesn’t end there. In Genesis 21:14-21 this mother is alone again, wandering in the desert of Beersheba with her son. Her mother’s heart was breaking as she sat and sobbed. Once again God met her in that place of need and this time told her, “Do not be afraid.” (Genesis 21:17) He opens her eyes to see the well of water that would provide for them and we are told that ‘God was with the boy as he grew up’. (Genesis 21:20).


We are often challenged to see God at work in the situation in which we find ourselves. And like Hagar, we may even forget that God has seen us before. We may forget that he has promised us that he is aware, he sees us and he will provide. But let us also like Hagar was, be reminded that we need not be afraid because God has promised to be with us.


What is breaking your heart today? Are you facing financial uncertainty? Are your children or grandchildren making bad choices and you just want to weep?  Remember that you are seen by the God who sees us and he is not unaware. He is telling you today to not be afraid because he is with you and at work in the situation.


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that just like Hagar, you see me today. And like her, I can trust you to meet my needs and the needs of my family. Help me to daily be reminded of that reality and the promise that you are with me so I do not need to be afraid. Amen


Throughout this Day:

When you are tempted to despair or be overwhelmed today, remember that you are seen by God and he is not surprised by what is happening in your life. Ask him to open your eyes to see his provision just as he opened Hagar’s eyes to see the water well.