Thursday, November 1, 2012

We've Moved!

Hello Friends!

God Treasure has a new home at  Please come join us there and sign up to continue receiving God Treasure by email or your favorite feed.

God bless you on your journey with Him,

Monday, August 6, 2012

On Hiatus

Beginning immediately I'll be on hiatus.  God willing (and the creek don't rise), I'll be back.

May God bless you abundantly,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'd Love to Pray for You

A new week is racing down the homestretch (to borrow from the Olympics).  We don't know what the new week holds, but the Lord does.  

As we give our needs (known and unknown) to Him, we give Him permission to enter the circumstances of our lives and allow His wisdom and power to prevail. 

As we do, we are filled with His peace, knowing that our God loves us and desires all blessing to abound in our lives.

If you have any prayer requests, I'd love to pray for you! 

God bless you!

                                              Pray without ceasing.
                                                1 Thessalonians 5:17

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Serenity Now!

The sound of waves gently breaking on the shore.  Seagulls and pelicans flying peacefully overhead.  Iridescent shells lying in wait in the sand.  A thrilling book and surfers as entertainment. 
These are the things I’d been looking forward to for years.  A chance to get away to my favorite place in the world and de-stress, unwind, unravel.  Be still. 

It started the week we were supposed to leave.  My son’s car needed a repair.  And before his was back from the shop, our car decided to join it.  For three or four days, four of us juggled one car for rides to work and back. 

The day before we were to leave on my long-awaited, much-needed dream vacation, my husband’s foot seemed to reinjure (how he didn’t know) and at 2:30 am, T minus 6 hours, he was in the emergency room with an extremely painful, right foot.  It was broken. 

Somewhere around 9:00 am we managed to load up our rented vehicle and hop on the freeway.  Finally, we were on our way.   Here I come, peace and quiet! 

We were out of the city, well on our way.  Traffic wasn’t bad. A pick-up truck pulling a trailer and boat passed us.  I was talking to my husband who was doing his best to drive on his gimpy foot, when I saw his eyes suddenly grow wide. 

I turned to the road to see a tire roll off the trailer and fly up in the air fifty or sixty feet.  My husband swerved to avoid it when we heard something come down hard on the roof of the rental car.  We pulled over and looked.  Something—a nut, a hubcap, something had dented the roof about a foot back from the windshield.  We still have no idea what it was. 

We got back in the car and headed on our way.  At long last, we were headed toward rest and relaxation.  My mind could let go of the world and all the problems that come with it for a little while. 

We finally arrived at our heavenly retreat.  The moment I’d waited for.  Nothing but time spent in the tranquility of the sand and sea.  Nirvana. Xanadu. 

Serenity now!

During our week at our refuge from the world, the garbage disposal broke, a toilet broke, the rental car was dented twice by a huge, square pole sitting in our parking space and while our sons were out on a solo trip to a comic book store, a ladder fell out the back of a truck on the highway and my son was forced to run over it. 

I wanted so much to run away from the world, even if only for a week.  Seven days of peace from bills, pain, work, t.v., the horrid news. 

Seven days with my family.  Seven days to exhale. Seven days to rest. 

And there were some definite times of rest and relaxation.   But I found I couldn’t leave all my troubles behind.  Going away was no magic cure-all.  It wasn’t the answer to my weary soul. 

Jesus is.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus invites us to come to Him to find rest for our souls.  And He is wherever we are. 

It’s not the sand and the waves, or the mountains and stars, or an exotic city where we’ll find true rest.

It’s in the person of Jesus Christ. 

We can lay our burdens down at His feet and know He’ll give us rest, peace, joy and a way through our troubles.  He is the rest our souls are longing for. 

So if you dream of going away on a fancy vacation to get some rest, remember vacations aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.  And even if it goes off without a hitch, it's only a temporary solution to our permanent need for Jesus.  

He loves you and He's waiting.

God bless!

The Treasure:

What's your favorite place to get away with Jesus? 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Freedom We Will Never Lose

Today is July 4th, a day when we in America celebrate our hard-fought independence, giving us freedoms we otherwise would not have known. 

Our country was founded on great and godly principals by men who dared to fight for them.  Over two hundred years later, we still have a lot to celebrate.  We have (and sometimes take for granted) freedoms that other countries can only dream about. 

I still look on our soldiers and all they've accomplished with deep gratitude. I am still filled with pride when I stand and listen to the inspired lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner. I am proud that we are a people still free to use our voices to speak out against injustice.

And I am still proud and overjoyed when I see immigrants who've worked hard to have the privilege to stand in ceremony and receive their citizenship.

I am still blessed beyond words to live in a country where I have the freedom to speak, walk, build, grow, do and be just about whatever I wish.  It’s not a perfect country, but the land we walk on is unique in its vision, birth and development.  And I believe it’s been blessed by God. 

But the full scope of our Founding Fathers’ vision is eroding.  As the government seeks to rule over our country more and more, facing the loss of certain freedoms can get downright depressing. 

The first amendment to the Constitution guarantees us, among other freedoms, the free exercise of religion.  And yet people are spending time in jail for hosting Bible studies in their home.  Kids are told they aren’t allowed to wear “religious” t-shirts or pray within the walls of schools.

And that’s just the beginning. 

That’s minor compared to the persecution Christians face in other countries. But the reality is we don’t know to what extent we will yet see persecution in this country.  We’ve strayed a long way since The Bill of Rights gave us those freedoms. 

But there is one joy we can be sure of.

No one can ever take the freedom we have in Jesus.  We may someday go to jail for speaking about it. For carrying a Bible. For gathering in His Name.  But our freedom will forever be imprinted on our hearts.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Those freedoms were hard-fought for, too.  They cost us nothing, but Jesus paid with His life in pain and suffering. 

No matter what happens to our Constitutional rights, in Christ we will forever be free.

Free from sin. Free from spiritual poverty. Free from condemnation. Free from eternal judgment.

Free to know God. Free to be loved and to love. Free to walk in the Spirit. Free to serve the Lord.

Free to live with Him forever. 

Faith in Action:

While you're out there celebrating at the grill with steaks and burgers and cake decorated to look like the American flag, let's celebrate by using our freedom and tell somebody about Jesus! Let's do it for believers in China and Laos and Iran and other countries where people are not free to openly talk about God.  Where men and women are imprisoned right now simply for speaking the gospel.  (You can read more about the persecuted church at Voice of the Martyrs.) 

And then tell me how it went!

And let’s pray for our country.  It is up to us, the Church, the body of Christ, to lift up our nation before the Lord.  We need His grace and His wisdom.  We need Him to open the spiritual eyes of every leader in this country. 

We need a revival. 

We need to seek our first love—Jesus Christ—in our own hearts first.  Then we need to take the joy of our salvation and fill our nation, one heart at a time, with the love of Christ.

God bless and Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Has Been Abused

In my last blog, The Truth About Parenting (and What Kids Want More Than Their MTV), I talked about the need for discipline from a very young age.  I talked about how kids who are without discipline and training will begin acting out as a way to find the attention and love they crave so much.  

I also touched on the fact that sometimes, despite our very best efforts, our children can begin acting out as a result of getting in with the wrong crowd, or if there's been some type of abuse. Sometimes parents will chalk up the changes in attitude and behavior to adolescence.  But if those changes are sudden, there may be something else going on.   

I wanted to share with you this excellent discussion with Psychologist Dr. Dan Allender on Focus On The Family's website that speaks to this very thing.  Dr. Allender discusses what to do if you notice a sudden and negative change in your child and you suspect he or she may have been abused.  

The only thing worse than having to go through a situation like that as a child is having to go through it alone. But there is help and there is hope. 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3 

God bless, 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Truth About Parenting (and What Kids Want More Than Their MTV)

I was 19 and had already lived on my own for two years. I had worked as a cocktail waitress the year before.  My routine was set: come home late (or early as the case may be), and wind down on the couch watching a brand new cable channel: MTV. In those days MTV was all about the music and the videos were just plain fun. 

Circumstances forced me to move back home temporarily.  Yet my routine stayed the same.  Late at night I’d curl up on the couch with my onscreen friends, VJs (video jockeys) Nina Blackwood and Martha Quinn. 

They’d tell me about the music and the four-minute movies took me away from my problems for a little while.  I’d listen to The Pretenders lament about being back on the chain gang.  Rod Stewart inspired young hearts to be free.  I’d have taken Rod Stewart’s version of life over Chrissie Hynde’s if I could.  

Shortly after moving back, my mother came and sat next to me on the couch for a chat.  And then she just came out with it.

What she said was, “I don’t care what you watch, but I don’t want your younger sister watching MTV.”

What I heard was…she didn’t love me. 

What I heard was…my worthless ways were a threat to my sister.

What I heard was…she loved my sister enough to believe she was still worth saving. 

On the outside I was 19 and a legal adult.  But on the inside I was still a child waiting for her mother to give her the discipline she never had…the love she never had. 

I moved out shortly after.  And for the next six years I behaved as someone who believed she was hopeless. 

The truth is kids want to be disciplined.

God created us in His image with an inward need for order, for discipline.  We desire structure and boundaries.  A well-lived life depends on it. Our flesh may rail against it, but our soul feeds on it.

No matter how much our kids complain about it, they want boundaries. 

They crave boundaries.

With them they find security and peace.

When we discipline our kids, we send the message that they are loved, cared for and nurtured.  That they are worthy of our time and attention.  Without discipline, they are left feeling unloved, inadequate, unprotected. 


Without those boundaries they can begin to act out with erratic or violent behaviors, drugs or alcohol and/or sex. 

Acting out is a flashing neon sign saying:


I see a lot of kids who are craving boundaries making headlines.  Children are brazenly and brutally bullying other children and even adults.  Victims, some as young as 6, are taking their own lives.

Cyberbaiting is the coined term for a new and brazen spin on old-school type of bullying.  It’s become a form of entertainment for bullies equipped with a smartphone. Students will continually harass and provoke a teacher until he or she breaks down.  Students then easily and ruthlessly take pictures and videos of the teacher and post them online.

Sometimes even the justice system backs up the child who has bullied. That was the case in Florida when a student started a Facebook group for people who hated a particular teacher.  She encouraged other students to post comments about how much they hated the teacher, too.  The group was eventually deleted and the child was suspended.  But the student sued, saying her right to free speech had been violated.  She won $15,000. 

These are students.  Children.  How do they go from being innocent babies to such ruthless and destructive young people in such a short amount of time? 

As parents we think we have 18 years to shape them. 

But here’s the kicker: we don’t. 

The truth is we have a good 7 to 10 years to instill discipline.

Maybe less.

God tells us we need to begin early. 

Train up a child in the way he should go, 
and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

The word child in this verse refers to the time between infancy and adolescence.  A child’s character is largely molded by the time they’re 7 or 8. 

So what is discipline? 


Jesus gave us the perfect example. He discipled twelve men for three years.  Through eleven of them and Paul, God radically changed the world.

(Let me just say this as an aside, not because it's less important but because it's off the main topic: the fact that Jesus was the perfect mentor and still one of his disciples, Judas, went astray, is a perfect example that we can be the very best parent possible and yet one of our kids can choose the wrong path.  Sometimes they get in with the wrong crowd.  Sometimes there's been abuse from outside the family.  

If you see a sudden behavioral change in your child, I urge you to not simply chalk it up to adolescence or a phase.  Pray God will show you the truth.  Then sit down with your child and and talk.  They may be reluctant to talk at first, or even for a while.  Keep trying. Hopefully you've had the lines of communication open all along and they'll come around, knowing how much you love them.  Keep reminding them they can trust you with anything they have to say.  If you need to, reach out for counseling.)

Parents, Grandparents, Foster Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Guardians:

We need your children.  A lost and dying world needs your children.  We need them to grow up to be loving, responsible, respectful, hard-working men and women of integrity.

We need children who will grow into adults who care more about contributing to the well-being of the world and those in it than their own comfort and entertainment. 

The truth is we have get back to parenting.

Real parenting.  The kind where we take a real interest in our kids and what they’re doing.  Even if they’re watching MTV.  Parents and kids have gone their separate ways in America for too long.  We can’t be too busy, too lazy or too afraid to discipline our kids…to disciple our kids.

They won’t tell you, but what kids really want, more than their MTV or anything else, is a parent who cares about them...who cares for them.  A parent who loves them enough to be involved in their life.  A parent they can look up to.  A parent they can go to for advice when they don’t know what to do.  A parent they know will have their back.  A parent who’s on their side, for better or worse. 

So what if your child is older?  Say, 19 and beginning a life of rebellion by watching MTV?

Remember: on the outside kids can appear hardened, but it's all a ruse, a protective mechanism.  They don't want you to see they’re vulnerable...and hurt. And a lot of parents don't get that. They don't look past the anger and rebellion to the hurting child they are on the inside. But we have to.  That's what love does.

So what can you do?

Read God’s Word. Daily.  
Pray some more.
Keep praying.
Love through the attitude.
Don’t give up.  Ever.

There is hope.  I am living proof of God’s grace and mercy and redemptive power.  

You can do it.
Let me know how it's going!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lessons Learned ~ An Open Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,

When I saw you last you laid in a comfortable room all of your own in a beautiful home. The first time I walked through it I knew Jesus had hand-picked that home and that room just for you. 

Dad, you would have loved it.  Your room kept watch over a gorgeous collection of plants and flowers in the big backyard. Oh, how I wanted to be able to walk through the gardens with you, enjoying the sunshine and the beauty of every rose and daisy. 

No doubt our conversation would have meandered with the gardens.  We’d eventually ponder much weightier issues like the world’s problems and how to solve them.  We always had the answers, didn’t we? 

And our conversation would have invariably settled on the mysteries of the universe, and of God.  This conversation would have gone very differently than all the others, though.

For thirteen years I prayed for you.

And when we were finally able to enjoy those weekly gabfests on the phone I did my best to steer as many conversations as possible toward the Lord.  I tried to explain to you historically, intellectually, logically and emotionally why Jesus is the only way to salvation, the only way to heaven.  And you’d always say you were trying. 

The end of every conversation would come, and I’d let my words offering you Christ hang in the air as a gift, desperately hoping you’d take them, but you never did.  I always hung up thinking if only I’d said it differently... 

If I could have I would have forced them on you as a parent forces a child to eat his broccoli and drink his milk. 

Soon after you had gone, I realized the mistake I’d made all those years.  And all I wanted to do was grasp one day to do it over. If I could I would have done it all over.  I’d trade in some of those conversations, some of those awkward attempts at apologetics, and take a meal to you. 

I’d take a jar full of jelly beans to your apartment and set it on the table next to your chair. While I was there I would have cleaned your apartment and done some laundry, if you’d let me.  I’d frame some pictures of your grandsons and hang them on the wall. 

I’d buy you a proper journal so you didn’t have to write your soulful words on the scraps of paper and backs of old envelopes we found scattered around your apartment.  I’d have you over for dinner more often so Eric and Sean could get to know you better.  We still grin and tell each other your favorite joke: So a horse walks into a bar and the bartender says, “Why the long face?” I can still hear that high-pitched almost giggle you reserved for jokes you thought were especially hilarious.

I would have shown you the love of Jesus I tried so desperately to tell you about.  I thought I’d have enough time, but I didn’t. 

Time is always short.

You might not have let me do those things, but I wish I had tried.  I wish I had used the short time we had together to show you how much I loved you and how much I appreciated you.  I would have shown you that you were worth loving and you were worth dying for.

I loved our conversations, but I wish I had used the time putting feet to my words, enriching both our lives even more.  And maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t have taken until just five days before you went to be with Jesus to give Him your heart.  Maybe those acts of love would have opened your eyes to the truth sooner.  But they were opened, and I am so grateful.

You taught me that lesson, Dad.  I don’t always remember it, but you taught me that life is short, and sometimes it’s over much sooner than we ever thought it would be.  And sometimes our words are just words until we bring them to life. 
I can picture you now, tending the garden of your dreams and having long conversations with everyone who stops by to smell the roses.  I'll be there soon.  And when I am, I’m coming to your house, Dad, the one prepared just for you.  I’ll clean it, top to bottom.  I'll set a crystal vase overflowing with fresh flowers on your table.  I’ll bring you some jelly beans and we’ll talk. 

Your loving daughter,      @
Dorci                               ~\~

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life's a Crazy, Peculiar, Beautiful Puzzle

Some of us are straight-edged, some are curved on all sides.  Some stick out more than others.  Seems just about all of us have holes.  Some see part of a clear picture, others' are a bit fuzzy-some glitzy and some not.  Some are bright and cheery, others are muted and mysterious. 

But one thing's clear.

We are each an important piece of a grand puzzle, interlocked with countless other lives.  None of knows quite how we fit in or exactly how we'll look when this is all over.  As time goes on, we may catch a glimpse of the picture.  Only God knows for sure.

We are His masterpiece...His magnum opus.

Sometimes we try pushing our way into someplace we're not meant to be. Sometimes we feel like we've been off to the sidelines for a very, very long time. But we're each an integral part of His grand plan.

And if we'll trust Him, and go where He tells us...or trust Him, and wait...

He'll make something beautiful.

Right now things may look like just a jumbled up mess of shapes and colors. Circumstances don't make sense; the people we have in our lives don't always make sense.  But we fit into their picture, and they in ours.

And the final scene will be more beautiful than we can ever imagine.  

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Lord, help us to go where You tell us and do what You've designed us to do. Help us to wait when You want us to wait.  Help us to trust You through all our trials. Help us to love the people You've put in our lives. 

Help us to put our faith in You more and more each day, knowing that You are not a God Who doesn't care.  You love us and You're actively involved in our lives with good and godly purposes in mind.  

You are our Master.  Do with us what You will. 
In Jesus' Name,

Friday, June 1, 2012

Max Lucado on Forgiveness

I found this excellent teaching by Max Lucado on forgiveness, focusing on the life of Joseph.  In true Max Lucado fashion, he pulls together nuggets of truth from God's Word that help us see even more clearly Joseph's journey to forgiving his brothers, and how we can forgive, too. 

He expounds beautifully my last blog on forgiveness, so if you struggle in this area, and I think most of us do, I hope you'll be blessed by it.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Forgiveness is the Key

The room is dark and every surface hard.  A cold chill blows in from the tiny, barred window.  It’s dank, and there’s a constant dripping from the ceiling that echoes through the room as it falls against the unforgiving ground.  It relentlessly interrupts the peace of the one who shares the room.


Someone’s in prison because you put them there. We all put someone in prison when we choose not to forgive. 

In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the parable of a man who owed his master ten thousand talents.  He was not able to pay so he begged for mercy.  The master had compassion and forgave a debt he could never repay.

That same servant then went and confronted a fellow servant who owed him a few hundred denarii.  The second servant also begged for mercy but the first servant refused, and had him thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

In Greek mathematics, ten thousand was the highest possible number.  A talent was worth approximately six thousand denarii, and one denarii was the amount of a day’s wage.  Ten thousand talents would be equal to sixty-million day’s wages, or about 164,384 years.  In other words, it is an impossible debt to repay.

Our debt as sinners to God is impossible to repay.  Not only could we never know the amount to be repaid, but even if that amount could be counted, we would never have the proper currency.  The only payment is death.  So God sent Jesus—the sinless Son of God—to pay our debt in full.  And when we accepted that payment, we were set free. 

And then someone sins against us.  The pain is significant but the debt is nowhere near what we were forgiven for—every sin we will ever commit.  Still, sometimes we stubbornly refuse to forgive.

Jesus finishes the parable by saying,

Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’” Matthew 18:32-35 NIV

You walk up to the darkened room and stand at the barred door. 


You see the shadow of the person inside. Only your forgiveness can unlock the door. 

You choose to forgive. 

The lock snaps free and the door swings open with a creak.  You strain to see who’s inside.  The one you've set free walks forward to greet the light and breathe in the fresh air.  You recognize the face only there's a new joy dancing in the person's eyes and a new love in the heart.

It’s you. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Journey to Becoming a Writer

I loved English.  I loved dissecting sentences and putting them together.  I loved reading novels and poetry and all kinds of non-fiction. But I never thought of being a writer.  I never considered a blank page.

I grew up, got married and had two kids.  I became a Christian and got busy serving at church.  I cooked and baked and painted and sewed and read.  But I never contemplated writing. 

Then I was asked to teach, and then to write short devotions.  But I still didn’t consider myself a writer. 

And then God slowed me down.  He has a way of doing that.  And I found more time to sit at the computer.

A friend suggested I start a blog.  She said I was a writer.  I wasn’t sure if I should believe her.

God slowed me down even more.  I couldn’t stand for long to cook or bake or shop anymore.  Painting was out of the question.  So I began to write.  I remembered the words of my friend, and I started a blog.

I didn’t think of myself as a writer, but God did.  He slowed me down so I could see what He saw.  He wanted to show me some things so I could share them with you.

God has brought me to this place to show me that I am a writer.  He has made me so.  Not for myself or my purposes but to glorify and magnify the Name of Jesus.  And for that privilege I will humbly say, I am a writer!


(This is my submission for the I Am a Writer contest for the blog Jeff Goins Writer.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Glorifying God in the Daily Challenges of Being a Mom

Moms face more challenges than they ever would have expected on the day they first met their child.  It starts out easy--bottles and naps and diaper changes (quick ones if it’s a boy).  And the crying, oh yes, the crying.  One of mine had a shriek that could crack a window pane. 

Then the challenges graduate to making sure every drawer and cabinet and toilet seat is securely locked.  And there are the temper tantrums, in the middle of a store or restaurant no less, with every judgmental eye glaring in your direction. 

Then there are the school lunches, the peer pressure, the homework left until 10 pm on Sunday night.  There are pre-teen crushes and sometimes bullying, either on the giving or receiving end. There’s the time they get lost in the store for a full 7 minutes and 18 seconds. 
There’s the first time your child lies to you.  And the first time they say, “I hate you!”

There are threats to run away to live with a friend who has much better parents than you.  There are struggles about what to and what not to watch on TV.  There are the late nights wondering who they’re with and what they’re doing. 

Sometimes the challenge is losing a child far too soon.

Sometimes there’s shoplifting or drugs or alcohol. You listen for sirens or a knock at the door.  You wonder for long stretches if anything you’re saying is sticking between the ears.
And through it all you love them with a love that is indescribable.  They are not just your child but a part of yourself.  They are your heart living on the outside.  And you’d do anything for them.
It’s a wholly beautiful mystery, this relationship between mom and child. 

And some moms face challenges that others of us will never know.
When the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be with child, being an unwed mom would be just the beginning of the many challenges she’d face. She had no idea what else was coming.  Seeing her son crucified would be the greatest challenge.  But she accepted those challenges with grace and humility as she told the angel, I am the Lord’s servant.” May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)

And in the end, that’s really the greatest challenge of all--to accept the unique challenges given to us in each child every day with grace and humility unto the Lord.  And when we do, and we train them up in the way they should go, and never give up (okay, maybe for a minute or two), we bring God glory.

What you do does not go unseen, dear mom. God sees it all and He smiles on you. What you do matters, and in the end it will all be worth it.  God will make sure of it.

This is the story of another mom who has accepted the challenges of the precious child given to her by God with grace and humility.  I am strengthened by her inspiring story and I think you will be, too.

Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for all you do!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Prayer For Our Nation

National Day of Prayer 2012

Heavenly Father,
We come to you today, not in our strength, not in our intellect or anything within ourselves, but solely on the grace afforded us by the blood of Your Son. We acknowledge our sin before You and ask that You would forgive us.  Forgive us for turning away from You and Your righteousness.  Forgive us for turning away from morals, for justifying our sin.  We ask for Your mercy.  We need You and invite You into our nation and ask that You would once again make us a nation whose God is the Lord.  Woo us back to you, Father. Draw us back into your safe and loving arms.  Turn our hearts back to you.  May we come back to you as a prodigal child returns home. 

Father, I lift up our leaders to you and ask that you would prick their hearts to desire You above all else in their lives. Give them a boldness and courage to do the right things, not right according to our own human reasoning, but right according to Your Word.  Only You know what the future holds and only You know the direction we need to go as a country.  Father, open our leaders’ eyes and may they receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and may you give them Your wisdom. Open their eyes to see the fruitlessness of going their own way.  Help them to make the right decisions for the people of this country. 

Father, make your people sensitive to Your Holy Spirit that we might follow You no matter how difficult that may become.  Light a fire within our hearts again to follow only You rather than the world.  May be we be sick of the world’s ways and come out from it to be a separate people, holy unto You.  May we be of one mind, serving You and doing the work of the kingdom while we still can.  Turn us back to our first Love, that we may love the Lord with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength.

I pray for the people of this country, those who are homeless, without jobs, sick and without healthcare.  Lord, please show your loving kindness to them and help those who earnestly want a job to find a job. Please provide shelter and medical care for those who need it.  Where we, your body, can help, give us hearts to help and the means to do it.  Help us to be known as those who are actively, lovingly reaching out to people in need.  May we set the example to the rest of the world.  I pray that you would raise up well-trained and loving teachers to put in our classrooms and that our schools would be a safe place for our children to learn. 

Father, help us to see how foolish we’ve been.  Give us a vision for the far-reaching consequences of our sin and may we quickly repent of our sins and turn our hearts and families and businesses and nation back to You.  May we seek to glorify and magnify the Name of Jesus in all we do and say.  Father, please hear our pleas through the blood of Your precious Son, Jesus. 
We love You and praise Your holy Name.  Amen.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our God's Alive!

"I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!"
Rev. 1:18
~Jesus the Christ

Happy Resurrection Day!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lessons From the Cross

As Jesus hung on the cross, bloodied and bruised and agonizing, His thoughts and purpose for us remained steadfast.  These are the words He chose to speak as His last before His work was done and just a few things we can learn from them.

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Luke 23:34

He showed us mercy and forgiveness and gave us hope that we can forgive no matter the circumstances, too. 

"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Luke 23:43

            He showed us grace and the hope of heaven.

"Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother."
John 19:26-27

            He showed us His compassionate provision. 

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”   
Matthew 27:46

He showed us that even when we don’t understand we are to cling to the Father in the midst of our suffering.

"I am thirsty."
John 19:28

            He showed us humility.

"It is finished!"
John 19:30

            He showed us His completed work.  There is nothing left for us to do.

"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
Luke 23:46

            He showed us complete dependence and trust in the Father for our
            eternal souls.

Question4U: What lessons do you learn from Jesus' last words on the cross?

Love and blessings,

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Way of Love

Tommy’s taken some time out of his successful life as a doctor, spending the day out on the golf course with his buddies when he receives an alarming phone call from another part of the world. 

His son, Daniel, is dead. 

And all at once, a life that seemed to have every duck carefully placed in a row was upside down.

And thus begins a father’s journey in the movie The Way with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez.   It is a poignant look at a man who has been caught up in the world’s version of success and has, ironically, become somewhat cynical and bitter.  And when the unthinkable happens we see the ensuing inner struggles of a man who suddenly realizes he doesn’t have things figured out quite the way he thought.   

FYI - If you haven’t seen the movie yet, this will contain some slight spoilers. 

The last time the two men spoke they were engaged in an awkward conversation as Tommy drove his son, Daniel, to the airport. Daniel tells his dad about the journey he’s going to make and, in an effort to try connecting with his dad, asks him to come along.  Tommy cynically laughs it off, saying that not everyone has the luxury of taking time off from work to do such a thing. 
And now the time was gone. 

Tommy makes the pain-staking trip to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to retrieve his son’s body and his belongings.  Daniel had just begun his journey on the road of El camino de Santiago, The Way of St. James, a pilgrimage that millions have traveled over the last thousand years.  The journey can begin on any of a number of paths, but the destination is always Galicia, Spain, where some believe the remains of the apostle James are buried.  Depending on the origin of one’s journey, the pilgrimage can take weeks to months. 
Tommy arrives in France and decides to have his son’s body cremated for the return trip.  He begins looking through his son’s backpack at the things he’d chosen to take with him on his journey of discovery.  It’s perhaps the first time in a long time that Tommy had taken a few moments to really study his son. 

And we can’t help but think about how we’re spending the days of our own short lives. 
Tommy decides to honor his son by taking him on the journey anyway.  He throws the backpack over his shoulders, the box of ashes tucked safely inside, and he sets out to make the 500-mile trek in his son’s stead. 

Tommy reluctantly picks up a few friends along the way, each of whom has their own reasons for traveling The Way.  But their reasons seem rather selfish and superficial compared to the heavy burden that Tommy carries. 
The others approach their goals half-heartedly, but Tommy remains steadfast in his mission to do this last loving act for his son. 

As they all reached their destination together, it occurred to me that the only one who successfully accomplished what he set out to do was the one who, in love, set out to do something for someone else. 
It was too late to reconcile with his son, but through choosing this unselfish and loving act he gains much more—a heart of forgiveness, humility, love, and peace.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."  John 13:34

Jesus made this statement to the apostles the evening He had washed their feet.  He didn’t just say He loved them, He became their servant.  That is what God says love really is and this is the way we’re to live our lives. 

It’s love that gives us the strength to do the hard thing--the ability to lay aside our pride and our own lives in order to finish what God’s called us to do. 

We are all on a journey called life, and loving others is what makes life worth living. The specific ways we’re called to sacrifice throughout our lives may sometimes go against all common sense.  Sometimes we may just not feel like it, just like Tommy didn’t feel like going on the trip with his son.  But God says that by choosing to live a life of sacrifice we’ll gain a lot more that we ever gave up.

As I watched the movie I couldn’t help but also make comparison to Christ and the road He walked in our steads, too.  Like the story, while we were dead in our sins, Christ embarked on a journey for us, a journey we couldn’t take ourselves.  He journeyed to the cross and laid down His life for us to purchase our souls from hell. 

It was His love for His Father and for us that kept Him steadfast on the road to an agonizing death.  But to Him, the reward of giving us eternal life made the journey worth it.

Question4U: What is one thing you can do to live your life more unselfishly?

Blessings and Love,

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Arrow Zone

It's my pleasure to be joining a great group of women authors blogging for Inner Fulfillment, a devotional blog for women.  I hope you'll check them out. 

The following is my first installment.  Enjoy and God bless!

The Arrow Zone

Trials seem to come to me like attacks in an Indiana Jones movie: everything is copacetic (or at least doable) one minute and the next I find myself on a battlefield in a barrage of arrows coming from all directions.

A rude word screams in from over there, a rejection flies in from that place, one of the children faces his own crisis, the car and the house vie for which will break best and biggest. Add to that a health crisis and I want to run and hide behind a rock and nurse my wounds.

The attacks catch me off guard every time because my tendency is to get my eyes focused on the circumstances and/or people who shot the arrows. That would be a good thing if I were in a physical war, but I’m not.

I am, and you are, in a spiritual war.

Please continue reading here.