“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15  “Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” Psalm 96:9  “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18 Know what babies do when they’re in their high chairs and they don’t get what they want, and even when they ultimately get what they want, but they don’t get it fast enough, fast enough in their little hearts and eyes anyway? They bang on their spoons. I’m no baby, but I’ve done my fair share of banging my spoons on my high chair through the years, clanking and clunking away with that…

“Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he…

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4 The devil has a three-fold mission, to steal, to kill, and to destroy, and while he would probably love nothing more than to try to prevent people from placing their faith in and…

“And David danced before the Lord with all his might…” 2 Sam. 6:14 “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.” “ John 4:13-14 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” Mt. 5:6 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…” Psalm 42:1-2 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30 “You shall have no other gods…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15 If you are looking for hope, and you need hope, and you can’t seem to find hope, or you feel like you keep finding hope but then losing your grasp on it and are unable to find it any longer, wondering how could it go again, be gone just like that, and sometimes you feel like you’re riding a roller coaster of hope, one day you have it, the next day you have everything but hope, or you feel like you’ve never known hope at all, not lasting hope anyway, or the kind…

“Be my strong refuge, To which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3 “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Ps. 9:9-10 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 The Bible is abundantly clear about the Lord’s command for His followers to assemble together, to love and praise and worship and serve Him, to teach of Him and learn of Him, to give to Him and share with others, both to give to those…

“…pray without ceasing…” 1 Thess. 5:17 NO! A sweet friend told me one day. My friend is a loving, compassionate, godly, giving, and generous woman who is continually finding opportunities to love and serve the Lord and others. I had presented her with a wonderful opportunity to help me with something that probably would have taken no more than an hour or two every month. She would have been a big help to me, but most importantly she would have been serving the Lord with that opportunity, not to mention through her help facilitating the serving of hundreds of people in need. How, and why then, could she possibly say NO!? The answer is plain and simple, and there may well lie herein a message for you. Her NO! had…

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” Phil. 3:8  “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:12-14     I used to un-bury corpses. In fact, if I’m…

 “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26 But I don’t enjoy doing this, I thought to myself. Whine. Whine. I have done this before, and I don’t enjoy it. Whine. Sigh. The Spirit of God interrupted my thoughts. “Is this about your enjoyment or about obedience?” I was speechless. Totally convicted. Of resisting the Lord. Of debating. Of holding back. See, the Lord had made clear over a matter of months – yes, months – that He wanted me to reach out…

“Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” Psalm 105:4 Sometimes we want to leave somewhere, or something, or even someone so badly we can practically taste the leaving in our mouths. We can’t imagine greater relief, greater freedom, greater hope, greater excitement, a greater fresh start, greater possibilities, greater potential, greater success, greater anything at all, than running out the door, saying goodbye, escaping when nobody’s looking, leaving a farewell note, turning in our resignation, finding closure, breaking the contract, putting the house on the market, ending something that’s been really difficult, and challenging, giving up on something or someone that or whom we feel has just been too hard, shutting the door on someone’s face, not answering the phone or door when we hear the ringing…

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.  Depart from me, you evildoers, For I will keep the commandments of my God! Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe, And I shall observe Your statutes continually.” Psalm 119:114-117 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” “ Psalm 91:1-2 When life is…

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16  “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High  shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 A most remarkable thing occurred one day that only could have transpired at the hand of the Lord. I was praying, praising, worshiping, and seeking the Lord as I walked through a beautiful park when I crossed paths with a fellow walker. We said a brief hello at most and kept on. A while afterward, in this enormous park, we crossed paths again. This time she was jogging, but she called out something to me after she…

   “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10      “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Thinking about suicide? I did. For nearly 20 years, on and off, I was plagued with suicidal thoughts. Several times, I decided to go through with it. I thought suicide was the perfect escape. The perfect way to end my troubles. The perfect answer. Suicide is NEVER the answer. Every once in a rare while, a suicidal thought pops into my mind when I’m totally overwhelmed, totally sad, or…

   “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.” Psalm 97:12    “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Phil. 4:4    “Rejoice always” 1 Thess. 5:16 I was publishing my latest little devotional online one day when a happy sunshine-y little weather forecast some organization or business or other had posted caught my eye. I hurried onward to get back to my writing work, but felt drawn back to the super short posting because I so strongly sensed there was a message in it. A message I don’t believe the person posting it had probably intended. “Clouds are clearing…Enjoy the sunshine!”  I absolutely LOVE sunshine, and I LOVE warm weather, and I LOVE a beautiful day, and I…

“that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:16-19 I was walking a trio of the ministry’s dogs – Dancer, Abigail, and Gracie – on an exquisitely sunshine-y and unseasonably warm fall day in Virginia when I heard blaring from a car next to a bunch of outdoor workers the song I knew from years ago by…

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “Do you see?” the Spirit of God spoke to me. What He said next was so profound, and convicting, and powerful, I stopped abruptly on the nature trail where I was walking Esther the English coonhound dog who still needs an adoptive home and wrote down what He said. “You want to trust me based on what you see. I want you to trust me based on who I am.” For about six years, on and off, and sometimes seemingly incessantly in the most recent year, I had cried out to the Lord to provide a safe and loving home for…

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:34 Left to my own devices, I’m a complainer by nature. By my sin nature. I’ve been prone to it for as long as I can remember, and I can fall prey to it in a heartbeat if I am not extraordinarily careful. One night after an extremely long day doing mostly what I didn’t want to do and finally ready to sit down with a bowl of yummy oatmeal (my favorite) at my computer to do the writing I wished I had done hours earlier, I discovered paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon had made a mess after I had changed his diaper. After 20 years of rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing and in more…

   “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6    “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 4:6-7 They stood on the corner. As kids do. Waiting for the bus. The school bus. Beginning of the new school year. I didn’t usually walk…

   “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18    “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Phil 3:8 This may surprise some. But I never wanted to return to Virginia. I grew up in Virginia. I lived in Virginia in recent years for a few years. But I never planned to return. Not that it’s not beautiful. Not that I don’t love being near some special loved ones. Not that the Lord hasn’t blessed me immeasurably since He…

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 Sometimes we need a “kick in the rear”, so to speak, and sometimes we need to give one. Always in Christ’s love. “Get back to your writing!” exclaimed a beloved friend who works in the hotel where I am staying in my first stop out on the road full time for the Lord and ministry. She shared with me how the Lord is using it to reach her. And she made it abundantly clear I should go to my computer and get to work. Less than 24 hours before, I had taken my two paralyzed dogs and their wheelchairs and my beloved dog without eyes…

   “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Mt. 5:16    “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23     “Wipe that sneer off your face!” my dear Dad declared night after night at the dinner table when I was a teen. My Dad didn’t just see the sour and ugly look on my face. He also heard my unkind unloving dishonoring mouth. And above all else he could see my heart. My face was a reflection of my heart. My yucky disrespectful teenage attitude issued from my heart so that my words and actions not to mention my facial expressions showed my disobedience plain and clear to…

   “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” 2 Peter 2:1-2    “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13    “For we…

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:12-15 If there’s one thing I’ve learned about suffering from the Bible, from my own life, and from doing streets ministry and hearing countless people’s personal stories, it’s this. Some suffering is OPTIONAL. The Lord does NOT promise…

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-8    “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3     If you think I’m going to share with you an amazing praise report about how the Lord answered one of my big prayers, I am not. In fact, if the truth be known, the Lord has not answered many of my big prayers through the years the way I desired. Nevertheless I have an amazing praise report about prayer that should you hear and heed the…

God Can Use Your Hard Stuff    “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28    “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18    “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 It may be hard to believe considering how painful the hard stuff in our live can be, but the Lord can use our hard stuff in beautiful and powerful and life-changing ways. If…

Need Some Peace and Quiet?    “He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge;” Psalm 91:4 “I’m sorry Lord. I just want some peace and quiet here, is that too much to ask?” I said to the Lord one afternoon after a particularly challenging day. I absolutely needed to repent. For I had faced the challenges in His love for a good bit of the day, but then, exhausted, overwhelmed by all that I had faced, and the sheer amount of energy it had taken, I had fallen headlong into sin. I needed His forgiveness, but I wanted more than that. I wanted peace and quiet. A lull in the storm. A break in the challenge. A respite from the work involved in…

   “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;” Colossians 4:2    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7     Were you taught like I was that we should say please when we want something and thank you when we’re given it? I studied the Bible and prayed to the Lord for years before I sensed the Holy Spirit leading me to take a closer and deeper look at God’s Word when it comes to being thankful – including specifically when it comes to prayer. When you read the scriptures above, what do you…

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thess. 5:11 I was having a particularly challenging morning. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I had had an amazing week in ministry, and most  importantly had had a beautiful week in my personal relationship with  the Lord. I had been in awe of what He was doing through my ministry work, of the lives both near and far He was reaching for Himself, so no wonder the enemy the devil was coming especially hard at me from an array of different directions. Not to mention  the Lord seemed to be testing me to see if I would actually do what I had been studying in His Word and preaching to others in my writing and…

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks…

“Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.” Psalm 25:4 NKJV I couldn’t have been more thrilled when two beautiful little girls were given permission by the “big people” in their lives – the adults – to start a little meeting with me in the hotel where we all stayed to love and worship the Lord, to pray to Him, to study His Word and learn about Him and how to follow Him, and to share our hearts and seek Him together and enjoy His sweet presence in our little gatherings. Immediately in our first two little meetings we began with my telling them plainly and clearly the Gospel message and that we must lay down this foundation in our lives of repenting and believing in Christ as…

1 2 3 4 66