His Humble Servant


















 I am reminded of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:30 when he gave himself glory for the building of Babylon instead of God. 

Leaders do not build anything, whether a church rises or falls is God’s doing. Any leader who claims “it’s my church, I built it” has a sin of pride. 

Because of pride, James M Boice says of King Nebuchadnezzer, “God caused him to be lowered from the pinnacle of human pride and glory to the baseless of insanity, it was God’s way of saying that this is what happens to all who …take the glory of God for themselves.” 

I find this a bit sobering. As a leader of a church, ministry, family or if you’ve written a blog, authored a book, or created anything really, it’s so important to remember that you and I haven’t built anything. God has given the abilities, the knowledge to do what we are doing. He has brought success or failure. 

There needs to be a humility within each of us that says, “all glory goes to God, I am but His humble servant.” 

Trust God, Not Man


 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8

When I am at a place of actively trusting the Lord in all things I experience peace. There is a calmness, even in trials, because I know God is good. He will not leave me. I know that He has a plan for my life and I can trust that He will work out all the good, bad, ugly, painful things. 

But, when I forget, and place my confidence in humans I experience anxiety. When I trust in leaders, even Christian leaders, I set myself up to be disappointed. What I mean is, I should be able to trust them, but I must trust with the knowledge that they are fallible. They will disappoint. They will make mistakes. They will sin. They are just like me and capable of all the same failures I am capable of. 

I can, however, trust the God who is at work in them. It always comes back to trust in God. God will work through my failures and sin just as He will those leaders who serve over me. The older I get, and the more I see, I realize that my anxiety is at its worst when I begin to trust in man instead of the God. Instead, I need to trust the God who is at work through them. 

Oh, Father, help us keep our hearts focused on You, and You alone. We pray for our leader and fellow man, that Your purposes will be done in and through them. Father, thank you for Your promises to always be with us. Amen

Be A Peacemaker

  The commitment to make peace is highly valued throughout the Bible, but what does it mean to be a peacemaker? 


Biblically, a peacemaker is someone who reconciles people who are in conflict. The heart of Jesus' earthly mission was to make peace between God and those who would come to Him through faith. He did this by offering Himself as a sacrifice. His sacrifice made a way for God and man to have peace.  

As I think about this I am reminded that in order to be a peacemaker we may have to make sacrifices of our own. We may need to lay down our pride. Peace/harmony among believers is of the upmost importance. It shows the world Jesus. 

Conflict always comes but when it does will you be a peacemaker? Will you seek peace or ignore the conflict? Will you fight for unity among the body? 

God’s children should always be on the side of making peace.  

A Lament for Healing

I wrote this a few months ago as I realized that I was not going into remission. My almost 4 year battle with Hypothyroidism, due to Graves Disease will soon result in a thyroid removal. Sometimes healing doesn’t come as we desire. And though I know God could cause me to go into remission or healing me completely so Graves is gone, He hasn’t chosen too. I don’t know why, but I do know He loves me and that His purposes for my life are good. 



Oh Lord how long will I struggle?

 How long will my body work against me?

 Do you see me fight the darkness. 

Where are You? 

I pray for healing but it does not come. 

Why are you silent? 

 

 O Lord I need you!

 I need to feel Your Spirit within me. 

I need to know you are with me

Even if healing never comes. 

Free me from this life!

Show me how to live with pain yet joy.  


Lord God, I know you are good. 

I know your purposes are true and holy.

 You have everything in your hands. 

You rule the nations and keep all things together. 

I know you keep me too.

 

Your purposes are beyond my understanding. 

Your ways are higher than mine. 

I want to be in Your will. 

I will be content in whatever You do. 

Father I pray for healing, 

Yet Your will be done. 

Calm my Heart, Lord

Father, my heart has been so anxious. Thousands of thoughts run across my mind. The questions and concerns. The what if’s. You hear them all. 

I speak truth. You are there. But I long for healing. I long for answers but none seem to come. At least not the ones I was hoping for. I don’t want to be here, in this place, at this moment. I wonder how long, Oh God, will you wait to return? 

As I cry out to You and voice my troubles, my pain, concerns, and doubts, I know you hear me. I know You are good and have a plan for my life. You are trustworthy. You have it all in your sovereign control. 

Father, thank you calming my anxious thoughts. Thank you for Your peace, comfort and grace. Thank you for restoring my joy in You! 

Lament of the Broken

My heart is heavy.


There are so many broken people.

Words alone just aren’t adequate.

There is no comfort.

The losses are just too great.

Tears flow uncontrollably.

Hearts once whole, now broken.


I stammer for healing words.

Does anyone see them?

Oh Father, where are your people?

Where are those with words that encourage?

Oh Father, how long must we wait?

How long until we hear Your healing words  

Your words that bring peace.

Your are the mender of broken hearts.

The healer of our soul.

Oh Father help us to speak Your healing words.

Use us an an instrument of Your hands.

 

The LORD binds up the hurt of his people, and heals the stroke of their wound. Isaiah 30:26

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.  Psalms 55:22

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the LORD. Jeremiah 30:17

O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. Psalm 30:2

When Fear Comes I will Trust


Sometimes I feel fear creeping into my heart. My anxiety begins to rage with a faster heart rate, trouble sleeping and a mind that I can’t turn off. I lose sight of what I know is true and plunge into the pit of worry and depression. It come when life seems out of control, my control. It comes when I lose sight of Who is in control. 

Today I read 1 Chronicles 17:16 which says “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house that You should have brought me this far?” Then a little further I read verse 20 “O, Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears,” 

These two verses remind me this that God has blessed me, He has been with me, He is good, He is God, He is in control and He will always be with me. He has brought me so far in this life. He took a broken, abused, scared little girl and set her free from the demons of her past. He took one on a path of destruction and sin to place her in His Kingdom. 

Who am I that He would be so mindful of me? I don’t have an answer, there was nothing good in me, nothing that would draw a good God to save me from my sinful life. And yet, He loved me, He chose me, He called me and I followed Him. Since that day, 40+ years ago, I have continued to follow Him. It hasn’t been perfectly, in fact some times it’s down right ugly, but He continues to work perfectly in and through my life as I surrender to Him. 

Faced with this reminder, knowing God is in control and good, I choose to focus on the God who has been faithful in my life. He has been good and He has always worked all thing out according to His purposes. He has brought me this far and He will continue to be with me in all my tomorrows regardless of what may come. 

O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God beside you! Blessed be the name of the LORD for I have seen and heard of Your greatness in my life!! Amen! 


#heiswithme #whoami #noonelikemygod #iwilltrusthim #heistrustworthy #thankful #blessed #hiswordspeaks #myheartisfull

A Year of Lament

It was in January 11th that I wrote in my journal the word lament. It seemed an odd word, not like the words of past years. What was God saying? Was it going to be a year of lament? A hard year? Was He trying to prepare me for something coming? Why lament? 

Okay God, I thought, I’ll go with you whatever it may mean. But I still didn’t have a verse, until today. 

Over the past few months since that day I’ve read Lamentations and have studied much on lamenting. I think one of the first things I realized is that I had been in the habit, for a long time now, of writing laments in my journals. My journals are filled with many types of writings but I also use it to write prayers to God. Those prayers are often laments. 

Over and over I cry out to God in complaint and then process through until I end with my eyes upon God and His faithfulness. 

Today, I read Psalm 62:8 “... trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” That’s it! 

As I learn to lament before God, I am being reminded that I can trust Him. He will listen to my complaints, I can take refuge in Him and trust Him with the results. 

I’ve been asking God to help me pray more intimately. To pray better. I’m not sure this is what I expected but I am so grateful to be on this journey of lamenting before God. 


3 Things I've Learned About Community While In Isolation


I’ve always welcomed isolation. At times, you could even say that I’ve longed for it. Isolation, to me, means renewal. It gives me strength, energy and is good for my mental health. I love giving, serving and coming alongside people but it needs to be balanced with time alone. But isolation can have a negative side if I am not careful. It’s my weakness, the place the enemy knows to attack. I’ll isolate from the hurt, pain or sorrow that have come into my life. I withdraw from my community when things get too hard or hurtful. I will just curl up within myself where it feels safe.

I do not always mean to stay in isolation for long periods of time, but too often I just get comfortable. I begin to believe the lie that I can get by on my own, just Jesus and me. But this kind of isolation is counter intuitive. It drains my energy. It does not cause growth but death. Death to my soul. Death to my relationships. It will push people away making me even more isolated sending me on a path toward discouragement, even depression.

During this time of forced isolation I have come to realize that I have grown far too comfortable in my self isolation of the past few years. As I said before, isolation can be a needed renewal of energy but it should be for short periods of time not a lifestyle.

God has used this time of quarantine to shown me why I need to be in community. I am sure there are more but theses are the, not so new, lessons I’ve seen.

Living in community our lies are exposed. We are more vulnerable to believe the lies of the world, our flesh and our enemy when isolated. It’s important to have a community around us that will challenge our beliefs, and speak truth to us when we are believing lies. As others live and speak the truth around us the lies we believe are easier to see. (Ephesians 4:14-16;25)

Community helps me to grow. I can and should have times in God’s word alone. I need to be able to study God’s word for myself, to be able to grow alone. But I also need God’s people to help me process, and challenge me to go deeper in my understanding of God’s word and who God is. (1 Cor 12:24-26; 1 Thess 5:11)

Community is a safe place to be our authentic self. I really struggle with this one but it doesn’t make it any less true. Let’s just be honest here, community isn’t always safe. In fact, community has been a place of great hurt. What God has shown me though is that even in the hurt and pain it can still be safe in Him. It’s here that my brothers and sisters will love, support, pray, encourage, and point me toward Jesus.

They will not always do it perfectly, and neither will I. They will, however, accept me with love and desire God’s best for me. Within the larger Church we can find smaller communities of people that are safe. A group of close friends, a life group, a Bible study can all be really safe communities. They are more intimate and allow you a place to grow deeper, and become more solid in your walk with Jesus. They will hold you accountable to the truth of God’s word. (Hebrews 10:23-25; Gal 6:2; 1 Pe 4:8;)

My challenge (to all of us) is that when this “forced” isolation is over we will pour ourselves out and really love our community. To reach out with abandon asking “how can I best serve Jesus as I serve His people.” We must be willing to go out on a ledge, if needed, in order to rescue our brothers or sisters in Christ. We need to surround ourselves with a group of God's family who love us, point us to Him, keep us accountable and grow us deeper in our relations with Christ.

In Christ’s community, we need to be willing to be rejected, hurt, or misunderstood in order to point our brother’s and sister’s toward a deeper walk with Jesus.


Orginally posted on May 22, 2020 at Women Encouraging Women

Surprised by Motherhood

As I look back on Motherhood I remember those moments of rocking my babies, kissing cheeks, cuddling, singing, praying, and just watching you sleep. 
Who knew that you would touch my heart the way you did? Who knew that a heart could be filled with so much love.

Who knew that one so tiny could change the heart of a young, confused girl and give her the heart of a mother?

Who knew that you would come into my life and change my world?

Even now as I think back over the years I can’t help but be so very thankful for the gift of each of you.

Every moment as your mother has such precious memories. I would not trade those moments. Not even one of them.

Moments forever pictured in my heart.
Moments of laughter and silliness.
Moments of watching you play and grow.

My heart is filled with so many tender moments of just loving you…and…you loving me.

There were  moments of sorrow and pain. Times of struggling between the wills. But there was always love, always forgiveness, always grace.We learned through the hard times and it made us stronger. It made us who we are today.

I made mistakes, a lot of mistakes, but you were always so forgiving so understanding when I came to you and told you how sorry I was.

You may not know it, but you helped me to grow up. You taught me so many things. I learned patience, perseverance and most of all, you taught me about love. Oh how you taught me to love!

There are not words enough to share the love that is in my heart for you, even now, though you are adult men you can still bring such joy to my heart.Who knew that my precious little baby boys would grow up to be such wonderful young men? Amazing fathers.

Boys, yes you both were all boy. Running, wrestling, playing Cowboys and Indians, bringing home snakes, climbing trees, scrapped knees, broken bones, stitches, running into deer, camping, hiking, bikes, basketball, soccer, track, oh and lets not forget the mud and dirt, running in the creek, falling into a frozen pond or loud unexpected noises! You kept me on my toes!

Such memories, so precious to a mother’s heart.

Now you are men with homes of your own, with precious family of your own and I am so proud of you.

My heart is still filled with such love and wonder as I watch the young men before me.

Who knew that a young girl with so little to give, could learn to love with such a great love?

Who knew? God of course!

He knew that by placing two precious little boys into my arms I would grow, learn and love with a heart that is full. God knew that as my love and understanding of being a mother grew my understanding of God would grow.

I am so thankful for you both. I will love you forever and always.

May God be glorified for the work He has done not only in the heart of this mother but what He continues to do in her heart and the heart of her sons.

Adam David your name means “first born, beloved” and you are my beloved first born. I see in your heart a deep love and compassion, even though you try to keep it hidden. I love watching the way you love, care and protect your family. Always remember that you are very much loved. You are so very much loved, not only by your mother, but also by God.  You are so very precious to Him and He calls you His beloved son.

Joshua Mark your name means “Jehovah is salvation, defender” and you are a defender of those less fortunate, you have compassion for the hurting. Compassion and a deep love for your family. Always remember that you are very much loved. Jesus is your salvation and He is your defender. You are so very precious to me and to God. Never forget that God calls you HIS and you are beloved of God.

THANK YOU God for entrusting these two precious boys into my heart. I am forever grateful for the privilege of being a Mother.