Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day 60

Do you feel like your hope is gone today?

“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” Romans 4:18 The Message.

God had promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations not because he was obedient to the law but because he had a right relationship with God which came by faith. Abraham believed God without doubting. Aren't you amazed that Abraham’s faith never wavered even though he and Sarah were almost 100 years old. I, on the other hand, believing God has promised me in His Word certain things in my life have found my faith wavering so often. I’ve often asked myself why my faith is not always as strong as Abraham’s was and found myself praying, “Lord, help my unbelief.”

Many times it is so hard to see beyond our pain and struggles when we are living in the middle of life’s circumstances. It would be so easy to stay in bed with our heads covered up wouldn't it? There have been many days in my life that I felt like doing just that, but I knew I would be giving into the wiles of the devil so I fought against it. We can’t rejoice in our circumstances many times but we can rejoice in our Lord who lives within us giving us strength and hope. Romans 5:3 says, “Moreover—let us also be full of joy now! Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing the pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance”. In verse 5 it reads, “Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”

We have such a wonderful heavenly Father whose love has been poured out in our hearts and lives within us. He loves us too much to allow us to stay in the status quo. He wants to grow us, purify us, correct us when needed but His promise is that we will come forth as pure gold if we endure to the end.

Remember His promise to work all things together for our good. His discipline or testing comes out of His perfect love for us. We must learn to trust His purposes even though we might not understand them. Will you choose to believe God's promises to you today?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Day 59

Love God With All You've Got!

"Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love Him with all that's in you, love Him with all you've got!" Deuteronomy 6:5 (The Message).

We are coming to the close of February, the love month when we tend to focus on our sweethearts, our spouses.  We would be upset if that special one didn't acknowledge their love to us.

I began to wonder what our expression of love to our Lord might look like.  How do I show Him that I love Him everyday?  What can we all give Him as an expression of our love for Him?  Here are some ideas and I urge you to continue the list and show Him unique demonstrations of your love for Him in the days to come:

· Get to know Him in a deeper way as you daily read His Word.

· Pray that Word back to Him from the scriptures.

· Serve others in His name and for His glory.

· Strive for holiness as He is Holy.

· Share His love with others.

· Obey His direction for your life immediately.

· Keep your vows to Him.

Commit to loving Him with all that's in you.  After you make your list post it close to your quiet time space as a reminder and add to the list daily.  He is worthy of our love and praise.  Why don't you find a new way to express your love for Him today.  Maybe you've never just said to Him how much you love Him.   Why don't you just whisper it to Him in the quiet of the moment right now.

Day 58

Are You Operating in the Soul or the Spirit?

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"  1 Thessalonians 5:23.

At one of our ministry Retreats we talked about  the difference between the spirit, soul, and body.  It was a lesson God has been teaching me over the last few years.  His design is that we follow Him from our spirit which if connected to His Spirit helping us to not operate from our soul (flesh).   Take a step back into your spirit man, and ask God what He sees in your life today.  Once He shows you, how will you respond?

Our spirit can identify the spirit of others we come in contact with.  The spirit of another person is never our enemy.  They may have a sweet spirit that we can easily respond to, or their soul may have been well fed and catered to over the years.  So how will you choose to respond if that happens?  I can tell you I would often respond in like spirit and it  never was a good senario.

I remember a man who came into my work place a few years ago and he seemed to be angry at everything I did.  He didn't like it that I was having to take his BP again (which by the way was sky high) or that I was asking him some of the same questions he had just answered in the Dr's office.  He just seemed to mad at the world.

Finally I felt impressed to ask him why he was so angry.  He immediately broke down into tears.  He began to share the many things that he ha been through in the previous year.  It was like watching a pressure cooker releasing steam and when he was done he just sat in a heap of self pity.  

If I had responded to him out of my soul, we would have been in conflict.  Instead, we were able to share positively.  I sensed that something was behind all his anger and God was able to minister healing to him as we shared.  I am very aware that it could have gone a lot different than that.  I could have pushed him over the edge with that question but thankfully the nudging I had from the Holy Spirit was correct and I had a chance to be a listening ear.  Sometimes that's all someone needs, to be heard.

Prepare yourself now to operate out of your spirit connected His Holy Spirit when you face someone who may be angry, argumentative, or accusing.  Choose how you will respond before hand.  If you choose the right approach you might just be able to help someone else defuse and take a look at themselves.  You will feel better and hopefully so will they when you operate out of the spirit.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day 57

What is Your Determined Purpose?

“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him—that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, [perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person] more strongly and more clearly” Philippians 3:10

Ask God to turn the smoldering flame of your passion into a flaming fire as you go out into the world with the intent of bringing God glory through your passion. Allow the passion that God has given you to minister to those you come in contact with. We are to comfort others as He has us!

I think of Paul before his Damascus Road experience. His passion was to kill Christians. He had studied under the best teacher in the world…Gamaliel. He had the head knowledge but it wasn't until he encountered Jesus on the road that he truly became passionate about the things of the Lord. He became fervently devoted to preaching and teaching about His Lord because of his own personal experience.

I was satisfied for so long with my salvation experience and the knowledge I had obtained over the years about God, but it wasn't until I experienced God that my longing to know Him in a deeper and more intimate way caused me to be passionate about that relationship with Him. Once I began to hear His voice from the scriptures and my time with Him, it became such a passion that I was no longer satisfied with the ten minute time I had been having, I found myself thirsty for more of Him. It became a joy to know Him more fully and learn to trust His love and acceptance of me no matter what I did or did not do. He loves me regardless and I can trust His love. If I fail in some way He doesn't love me less. That has changed my whole perspective of what love is. He totally completes me!

My life verses became like Paul’s as taken from Philippians 3:10-14: Verse 10 states: “For my determined purpose is that I may know Him—that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, [perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person] more strongly and more clearly” Amplified. I encourage you to read the other verses and make it your determined purpose to know Him more fully.

Prayer: Abba Father, I pray you will turn our passions into Yours. May we become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You. We worship today on our faces at Your feet. Give us boldness to share with others the difference You have made in our lives, just like a blazing fire. We love and adore You Lord, Amen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 56

What Is Your Passion?

Hosea 7:6b, “Their passion smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire” NIV.

Recently, in my travels, I noticed a large transfer truck with peppers of all kinds painted all over it – bell peppers, hot peppers, and red peppers, yellow and orange peppers. The words “Passion for Peppers” was also painted on both sides of the truck. You sure couldn't miss the message it conveyed.

I began to wonder what it would be like to have our passions printed all over our vehicles or on our person as we traveled through life. What is your passion in life? Has it changed over the years? Probably so, I know mine has.

What does passion mean anyway? Funk and Wagnall’s Dictionary defines it as: “Intense or overpowering emotion; an eager outreaching of mind toward some special object; fervid devotion”. So what is on your mind most of the time or to what do you devote most of your time? Maybe that is what you are most passionate about.

Your passion can come out of your own sense of shame or pain. You might be fervently devoted to anti-abortion issues, or mental illness, or autism, or drug addiction, or a hundred other things by which you have had personal experience. You don’t often have a passion for something unless it has affected you in some way. I know I wouldn't have a heart for the families of prodigal’s/prisoners unless I had walked through it myself. I wouldn't have empathy for those afflicted by mental illness had I not experienced it in our family.

Our passion may come out in words or actions, but it usually does come out. If we give ourselves to our work people may see that as our passion. If we think and participate in sports all the time, that may become our passion. If we give of ourselves to a particular cause that likely comes from a passion. Something doesn't usually become our passion unless we have experienced it or been touched by it.

Examine your heart and pinpoint your passion. How are you living it out on a daily basis? How are you using that passion for God’s plan and purpose to touch and influence others you come in contact with throughout your day?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day 55

 A Spiders Web
“They weave the spiders’ web.” Isaiah 59:5
Don’t you just hate to run into a spider’s web? As I took my little dog outside before bedtime the other night, that’s exactly what I did. Right there on my front porch a big spider was busy weaving his web. When I ran into it the spider came running down to see what big prey he had entangled. Thankfully, the spider’s web can not hold a human but it made me think how much Satan just waits to trap us into his web of sin.
As we are first tempted we can pretty much get out of Satan’s grip but the more we yield to the sin the more entangled we are and it appears there is no escape. For the fly, moth or other insect it is virtually over because you can watch as the more they fight the more the web entraps them and immediately the spider comes down, injects them with his venom and moves in for the kill.
I kept forgetting to go back out on the porch to sweep away the web. We know the web is so fragile it can be swept away with a broom but because of my neglect I continued to run into it each time I went out the front door. All I needed to do was sweep it away but I didn't
While talking with a Mother one night we talked about how we could see our prodigals entangled in Satan’s web, but I wondered later if we could see ourselves in the same type of entrapment? We think, “Oh, I’m, not indulging in any major sin” but if we don't tear it down we keep running into it time and again.
As you examine yourself remember God has made a way of escape from any temptation. We are not as helpless or hopeless as the fly or moth is but we must tear down the strongholds that so easily beset us. Jesus has died to set us free and in Him we can be free indeed.
Take some time now to pray for your prodigal who may caught in their own web of sin. Your prayers can hopefully help them to see the trap Satan has set for them. and avoid getting themselves entangled in the web he spins. Pray that the Holy Spirit will draw them to Himself and reveal the Truth. Sweep away the web through intercession for them.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 54


“If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us” 2 Timothy 2:12

My husband and I recently went on a walk in the hottest part of the day. Not wise! Thankfully I had taken my bottle of water. We walked four miles and toward the end I felt my feet dragging on the pavement. It was like I just couldn’t get up enough energy to take the next step. All of a sudden a song came to mind that I had heard at a conference. It is entitled, Get Back Up and Take the Next Step by Melissa Greene.

I know that you, like me, have often felt you could not take the next step. You are tempted to lie down, pull the covers over your heads and pull away from the world. As one of our loved one’s says, “Sandra, life is too hard”. Yes, sometimes it is and the enemy wants us to believe that nothing will change, but God says, Get back up and take the next step even though the road is hard and rugged. The difference is, He promises to walk with us. Can we hold on to that promise in the thick of our painful circumstances? That is the question.

I think of the word, endurance. Funk and Wagner’s Dictionary defines it as: “The capacity or power to endure; ability to suffer pain, distress, hardship, or any very prolonged stress without succumbing; patient fortitude. The act or experience of enduring or suffering; to tolerate, put up with. To endure is to bear with strain and resistance, but with conscious power; endure conveys a fuller suggestion of contest and conquest than bear”.

After sharing with a wife whose husband is incarcerated, I am grieved because I don’t have the answers for her. I can’t imagine the struggle of financial pressure she endures each day as there never seems to be a light shining at the end of the tunnel. It has been eight years since her nightmare began. We try to be there to listen as she shares her heart and the frustrations she faces. Her children don’t understand why they can’t have what the other children have or go to fun places on vacation like others do. She struggles to put food on the table and comes home weary from working, sometimes two jobs’, to face the struggles her children are having.

So when I get down on my circumstances I see faces like her’s and others we minister to and I know my struggles to take the next step pale in comparison. What does God promise to those who endure? The crown of life! Endure to the end my friend’s. This life is a short period of time compared to what God has for us IF we endure. I want all He has for me, how about you. I must keep reminding myself to get back up and take the next step, not looking into the future but doing it TODAY. After all, that’s all we have, today, what will you do with it?

In 2 Timothy 3:1, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come”. He tells us that the difficulties will come. We all have them but it is how we walk through that matters. Keep your focus on Jesus. He was in difficult places in His walk on earth but He always kept His eyes on His Father doing only what the Father would have Him do. He was our ultimate example; let’s choose to follow His example. He never questioned why, He prayed for His cup to pass, but regardless He wanted the Father’s will, not His own. Whatever you are facing today I urge you to get back up and take the next step.

Sandra Kearns

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day 53

Are You Stuck in the Mud?

My husband and I live across the street from a pond. The geese come over all the time, but on this particular day we also had a turtle visit. As I drove out of the driveway I noticed him attempting to get up on solid ground but it seemed the more he tried the more his back legs produced a mud puddle. He just could not get enough traction to get himself up out of that hole. He needed help. So I got out and used a stick to help lift him up.

Deciding to observe his progress, I sat there watching. Low and behold he worked himself right back down in to the mud. I thought okay I will get out and give him another opportunity to get going. This time his back feet found the solid ground and he starting moving very quickly away from the trap that had had him stuck.

I usually ask God what He would have me learn spiritually from such a lesson. I began to think of all the times I have been stuck in the same sin, the same rut, the same bad habit or wrong attitude. I, like the turtle, have often slipped right back down, unable to get a foothold to get out and move toward the goal and purpose for my life.

God comes along and say’s, “Oh, Sandra, here you are again in the same rut, let me help you”. Praise Him He does not use a stick to brow beat me or punish me for my failure. He gently uses what it takes to move me out of my rut and help me progress to my destination. Sometimes He has to use the refining fire. It may not feel good but He knows just what I need.

Hopefully, I have learned to head straight to God’s designed calling in my desire to make it home to my finished line. The turtle knew where he wanted to go as he walked lickety split across the road and up the hill to the pond where he would receive the water and nourishment he needed, but without a little assistance I don’t know if He would have made it out of the rut.

I have found that it is a whole lot easier to allow God to use the method He needs to help me progress toward the goal of the His high calling for me. You might find yourself in a hard place, feeling as if you are stuck in the mud, not going anywhere. I urge you to remember that God is watching and knows when to arise and push you onto solid ground. Cry out for His help. The more you fight the more mud you make creating no way out. If you wait on Him, maybe the mud would dry up and then you could have that foothold. Let’s be smarter than the turtle and learn to wait on Him.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 52

Are you praying for Divine appointments each day?

“2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

As a nurse I came in contact with many people during the course of a workday. I approached each day with anticipation of who the Lord will bring my way. I prayed on the way to work that He would use me in any way He would see fit and that I would be attune to His leading. I have been amazed at the times I knew in my heart that the patient I spoke to that day was my divine appointment.
One day I knew as I looked into the eyes of my patient that she was filled with pain and sorrow. As we talked and I got her health history the subject came up that she had lost her son in an awful automobile accident years ago and several years later she also lost her husband to cancer.
As she shared tears began to well up in her eyes and it seemed that she was talking about a recent loss but the more we talked I realized that both losses had been years ago. My job was to listen but I found there was another voice speaking. I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to pray with her before I left the room. There have been some times that the Lord instructed me to speak with folks when I did not want to but my desire is to always be obedient, even when it doesn't feel comfortable.
Gratefully, the lady accepted my offer to pray as giant tears rolled down her cheeks. It was the most precious moment as we bowed to pray together.
I urge you each morning, before your daily activities, to meet with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading, asking Him to show you your divine appointment for the day. You will sense the Holy Spirit quickening your heart to reach out to the people He brings, whether it's to pray with them or to speak just the right word they need for that day.
As you pray for your divine appointment they will come but the test will be your response? Will you be too afraid to speak out and miss that opportunity to share the Lord with them or will you choose to be obedient to His leading? We are often quick to be critical of Jonah who didn’t want to witness to the people of Ninevah but then we do the same thing when we refuse to be a witness to those He brings across our paths on a daily basis.

In “A passion for God” by Greg Laurie he writes: “Nothing is more exciting than knowing you’re in the midst of a divine appointment and that God is using you at that moment for His purposes.”

Will you begin, if you haven’t already, looking for His divine assignments? Remember He brings us through things in our lives so that we can bring comfort to others because of the comfort He has comforted us with. He knows your heart and I pray it is loyal to Him and that His eye will find you strong on His behalf.

Day 51

Choosing a Spiritual Mentor

For several years, I have had a picture on the end table with this Bible verse on it: “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4 NASB

This year has been a fulfillment of seeing both our children desiring a deeper walk in the truth of God’s Word for their lives. One has come a far distance from a far country. One has stayed close to home but the desire to draw nearer in her relationship with the Lord, is no less sweet. Our son had a deep personal experience with the Lord recently, surrendering to Him and His purpose for his life. Afterwards, he asked me to give him a daily Bible verse. We have had many opportunities for discussion and sharing because of his new found openness to the Word.

Our daughter recently asked me if I would be her spiritual mentor. What a privilege it was to be asked to fill such an important role. For several years, I have been blessed by my own spiritual mentor… most often I call her my Spiritual Mother. I have been strengthened and encouraged beyond measure just knowing she is praying and seeking God’s Word for me.
What is a mentor? Funk and Wagner’s states: “A wise and trusted teacher, guide, friend, an elderly mentor or adviser.” Sometimes I question my wisdom; but the elderly part sure fits the bill! As we age, we sometimes come to the false conclusion that we are not valuable. Let’s face it, sometimes the worldly realm forces that concept but age is often a qualification for being a wise mentor yet not all elderly are wise.

Several years ago, a friend gave me a handkerchief with the word Mother on it. In her card, she stated that she was looking for just the right thing to send with me on an upcoming mission trip and was led to this handkerchief. She said, “but Lord it says Mother on it.” She wrote: “I said “now what Lord?” And He said, “she is your mother… your Spiritual Mother.” I have carried that card and hanky in my Bible since 2003 as a reminder that God has entrusted me with a grave responsibility as I mentor each spiritual child He sends my way.

Who has God placed in your sphere of influence to either be a mentor to or to mentor you? Your choice of a mentor is critical, chose wisely.

Ruth 1:16King James Version (KJV)

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

You never know when you may be having an impact on someone with whom God has connected you. He may use you to be a mentor to a younger woman either in age or spiritual maturity. It is an awesome responsibility as we show by example what an intimate walk with the Lord can be.
God wants to mentor you and guide you as you submit to Him by His indwelling Spirit but it can be prudent to have a human mentor to guide you also.
When choosing a mentor, follow these guidelines:

Choose someone you have observed for a period of time on their journey with the Lord. Do they practice Godly principles?
Do they wholeheartedly love the Word and direct you to it. His Word is life to us. We don’t need someone else’s opinion but rather a Word from God.
Do they daily display the fruit of the spirit as much as is humanly possible?
Do they have joy in their hearts despite their circumstances?
Do they love unconditionally and listen to you without judgment?

Do they set aside personal time to retreat with the Lord and hear from Him on a regular basis?

Have you observed their prayer life and believe they will remain faithful in their prayers for you?

Are they seeking the mind of Christ through personal Bible study and personal growth?

Are you strengthened and uplifted in your spirit by their spirit as it is nurtured and guided by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word?

Does their passion for the Lord ignite in you a hunger and thirst for God and the things of God?

Pray for those you mentor today. If you need a mentor ask God to show you that perfect person for you. I am so grateful for the Spiritual Mother God brought to me years ago. To know she is praying for me is in itself empowering.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day 50

Follow God Wherever He calls

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" Psalm 32:8

Finding the need to get away for renewal and refreshment after full-time ministry I enrolled for a spiritual refreshment seminar at the Cove.  Little did I know what God had prepared for me there.

As I checked in at the Lodge a conversation  developed on the way to our rooms with a couple on the elevator.  They shared that they were in ministry in the Bronx, N.Y. and I remember saying, "I need to hear your story".  Imagine my surprise as the speaker called them up on stage to give a synopsis of how God was using them a day later.

Their mission was to reach the prostitute, the homeless, the drug addicts, the poor, the destitute, anyone who needed Christ in their lives.  What a demonstration of God's love they were as they shared the passion of their heart.

As I continued to listen to their story I sensed God instructing me to join this couple in their efforts.  He began to teach us what that would look like in the following days to come.  He also promised to counsel us and watch over us as we obeyed His call.

Is God instructing you to step out in faith and follow Him?  Will you trust His promise in faith and follow Him no matter it takes you?  Will you trust His promise in our passage to counsel and watch over you in the way you should go?  In a little over a month's time we were priveleged to join this couple on mission in the Bronx.  God is so amazing!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day 48

                             Get Some Rest

"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" Mark 6:31.

You know how you long for a time you can get away from the everyday grind and just relax? It seemed our upcoming beach trip was coming at the perfect time to do just that. My body, my mind, my emotions were at an all time point of weariness. Minstry needs and demands were seemingly overwhelming so an out of town get away was more than a longing, it had become a necessity.

As my husband and I drove away from our home, I remember the process of unwinding along the way. I say process because it seems to take me a while to let the responsibilities at home go. I knew God was calling us to come away to a quiet place and to get some much needed rest .

Walking aimlessly on the beach together with my husband or on my own has had some marvelous results. The sight and sounds of the ocean have been renewing in mind and body. The ocean seems to accomplish that for me as I look out over the expanse of the water and marvel.

Even the animals walking and running on the beach seemed to sense it. There is a sense of freedom, of letting go of the cares of the world. There's the opportunity to sing along with the music playing in my ears in a space wide open to God's ears only. Then there's the view and the sounds of His great creation which causes me to praise His goodness. the treasures of special shells lying on the beach just for me, the sense of peace, the knowledge of His love for me in light of my sense of smallness.

Maybe you find you are in a place that you hear Him calling to come aside and rest from your busy schedule. Be obedient to His call, you might find it will be worth it. Make plans to get away and be alone with Him. Sometimes it's the only way you can refocus and hear Him. Then you can return home with a new vision of His plan for the future and renewed energy to carry it out.

Day 47

After the Storm

“He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper so that the waves of the sea are still”. Psalm 107:29
When planning a vacation we are often anticipating that the weather will be great each day so we can enjoy our planned activities. When waiting for a recent retreat to the beach we envisioned walks on the beach each day under brightly shining rays of the sun over the waters in the early hours of the day and in the beauty of the sunset.
Most of the days we had set aside to go on that perfect get away had rain and clouds in the forecast. In fact, one day was particularly stormy and we awoke to the sound of high waves crashing on shore.
As evening approached the worse of the storm seemed to be over so I decided to venture out for a walk on the beach. I love walking and gazing over the expanse of the ocean in amazement of God’s creation and the power He has over the boundaries of the ocean. With one word He can cause the waters to ripple as smooth as glass and the next moment He speaks and the waters begin to churn.
this particular day God drew my attention to the shore as I was walking because the waves had produced a lot of dirty foam as they crashed onto the sand. Foam was flying around everywhere as the high winds caught it taking it scurrying everywhere. My thought was how dirty it was but just then as that little ray of sun shone through the clouds, I saw beautifully colored bubbles caused by the crashing waves. There were blues, greens, purples and golden bubbles.
I thought about how the storms of life come crashing in upon us and how we have the choice of allowing them to leave us like the dirty foam, ugly, bitter, unattractive,blown around by the wind. Or, we can allow God to produce beauty in us like the beautifully colored bubbles so that we reflect the rays of the “Son” as we allow His work to be done in us for His kingdom purposes?
Lets chose to praise God for the storms that He has either brought or allowed in our life to grow us, purify us, test us therefore allowing us to walk a closer with Him.
What a difference a day can make in nature and in our lives. One day the waters are calm but many of us know the next can be raging like the crashing of the high waves. How will you respond when the storms come in your life? Will you allow God to do the work in you He wants to and come out of the storm more beautiful? Or will you be found dirty as the foam being blown here and there caught up in the enemies agenda?
Ponder these things and agree with God that no matter what storm comes you will allow Him to do the work in you He desires so that you, as His light shines on you, will reflect His glory where He places you.

Day 46

Engraved on the Father’s hand

Isaiah 49:16a

 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands;.

After a visit to see our son in prison the remembrance of it was indelibly imprinted not only on my mind, but on my hand. As I sat in church the next day preparing for worship I happened to look down and saw the telltale sign of PCI (Piedmont Correctional Institution),which had been stamped on my hand the day before as we checked in to see our son.

I saw many sad things while waiting in line that day with many other family members and friends. Such things as older parents who waited patiently to have those precious two hours with their sons, some with canes, some with oxygen giving them their very breath, yet they made the effort to come visit with their loved one. Those scenes will also be indelibly printed on my mind.
One thing really touched my heart as a family in front of us in line presented themselves at the window to be processed in for their visit with their husband and Father. It took them a very long time and others were becoming very impatient with the wait. After what seemed a very long time, they were turned away because their names were not on the approved list for entrance.
As they turned away from the window I saw the disappointment written all over their faces as the realization sunk in that they would not be seeing their loved one that day. Tears flowed down the cheeks of the young teenage daughter as her Mother explained the situation.
I felt very sad for the family as they made their way back to their car with heads hanging. I also found myself hurting for the inmate who probably was expecting his family for a visit that day. Can you imagine his disappointment and the worry he experienced not knowing why they had not come as promised.
 Our names are engraved on the palm of our Heavenly Father’s hand as promised in God’s Word. Engraved, not just stamped with ink that washes away over time. Our names will never be removed, just like the names of our children cannot be removed from our hearts, no matter what they have done or where they are.
Have you made sure your name is written in the book of life? Don’t assume it is, only to stand before Him one day to discover He has to turn you away. Make sure your name is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life right now if you haven’t settle that with Him. When it is written it can never be removed.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Day 45

The Bride

I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 61.10  NIV

I have a picture of a bride dressed in white, sitting outside on a rock in apparent surrender to her Bridegroom Lover.  The sun is beaming down on her in the glory of His presence.  She is dressed in white with pearls and jewels.  Oh, how I long for the Lord to see me as pure, holy, blameless before Him; totally surrendered. We need to be preparing our dress to wear on that glorious wedding day in Heaven as we meet the Lord face to face.

The preparation begins right here on earth as we surrender to His will in this life on earth.  This is a time of designing our own gown.  We can make the choice of living a blameless, holy, and Godly life which gives us the privilege of wearing a white gown.  Or, we can choose to submit to the lure of the world and arrive in a dirty, bedraggled gown.

Which will you choose today?  Be careful what you watch, what you read, what you listen to, or choose to take in.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day 44

Hearing thru Scripture

“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  Romans 15.4

All of us need encouragement as we walk a hard journey.  Oftentimes we look for our encouragement in all the wrong places.  Hopefully, we have surrounded ourselves with Godly mentors who can give us a word of encouragement, but it’s the Scriptures that we need the most.

Many nights, I found myself falling asleep with the Bible on my chest, praying in earnest for our son who had lost his way.  The words on the page had been written ages ago but they brought fresh promises and hope to a mother’s broken heart.  It gave me spiritual CPR.

As you read and a passage resonates in your heart, meditate on it, write it down, and re-read it often.  Make it your own as it gives you the capability to take the next breath.  The first time God really spoke to me out of His Word became to me an addiction, a love, a longing, a passion, and a desire that nothing else compares to.

My prayer is that you develop the same love relationship with God’s Word.  Read it with expectancy as you listen for God’s voice that sometimes shouts and sometimes whispers, but always speaks!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 43


"For our light affliction which is for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight an glory" 2 Corinthians 4:17.

In the beginning of the journey with our son's addiction we seemed to be glued to our home, afraid to leave except to work. We wanted to be available in case he called or to watch over our home. As we planned an out of state business trip we were hesitant to leave town but were trying to place the situation in God's hands. It seemed that anytime we attempted to go out of town the mischief began. We came back to items missing and our son was no where to be found. I remember sleeping in his bed all night crying and praying for his return.

The next day a friend called with words of encouragement and another brought us a pie saying "maybe this will bring him home." what would we do without friends. About this time I read our key verse. This journey certainly doesn't seem like a light affliction. If you are going through it you know what I am referring to. The promise is that it is working for us a weight of glory. Can you, with me thank God for that promise? It's not easy but it is doable and will help lighten your load.

Give it all over to the God who can use it to bring glory to Him in the end.  It will be a glory that will never cease....eternal.  One day by and by we will be able to see what God was doing in that affliction.  May we ever give Him glory through all things because He sees us to the end.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 42


"And don't forget to pray for me. Pray that I'll know what to say an have the change to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all"  Ephesians 6:19.

Have you ever felt you missed an opportunity to share Christ with someone. How did it make you feel? Recently that occurred to me. We had a water leak from the main street began to leak in the yard


Once the plumber came and surveyed the situation we discovered we needed to replace the pipelines at the spot that was wet. He advised us to replace the whole pipe but it would be a lot more costly, so we just had the leak repaired. While he was  there I sensed the urge to speak to him about his relationship with the Lord.... but I didn't. After he left I beat myself up over my missed opportunity!

A few weeks later the line sprung another leak. We decided to we would have the whole line replaced instead of just repairing it this time.  As the plumber pulled up I noticed it was the same guy. It was like God had given me another chance. You can bet I didn't miss this opportunity to share with him. The thing is that we are not often given that second chance to share with someone so hopefully I learned a very valuable lesson... not to put off the still small voice that prompts me to share my faith. After all it is the most important decision someone may ever make.

 Will you choose to share your faith with someone today? I can tell you it is not a good feeling to know you have missed the opportunity. Tell God's message to one an all!

Day 41

False Guilt

Read the Prodigal Son’s story in Luke 15.

The parents of prodigals often ask the same question:  “What did I do as a parent that would have caused this behavior in my child?”  Many times this comes out of a sense of false guilt.

I am reminded of the story of the prodigal in Luke.  I don’t read in this story that the prodigal’s father blamed himself for his son’s actions.  The father gave the son his inheritance and let him go.  He was always looking for his son’s return, but I don’t remember there ever being a hint of self-blame or guilt.

We are all free moral agents who make our own choices.  Good and sometimes bad behavior comes out of those choices. Our guilt comes from the accuser and he would like nothing better than to keep us ineffective in our self-pity and doubt.  If you find yourself consumed with false guilt over your prodigal’s choices, shake it off and put on the full armor of God.  The armor will deflect those arrows of guilt, condemnation, and shame.

Dr. James Dobson says “We can’t blame ourselves in most cases for the wrong choices our children make any more than we can be prideful that our children have made all the right choices.”

I don’t know about you, but as bad as the journey has been, I am so grateful God loved me enough to teach me some very valuable lessons through

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day 40

The Lost Sheep

Matt 18:11-14

“And I, the Messiah, came to came the lost. If a man has a hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? And if he finds it, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety- nine others safe at home! Just so, it is not my Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”

It is not easy to look out of our own painful circumstance; to emphasize with the heartache of others. There began to surface an obvious need for someone to pray and support many around me who were dealing with prodigals, several of my friends and I began to meet together to share and pray for our prodigals with such a sense of connection. We felt that the Lord took us to our key passage about the lost sheep.

The story talks about the Shepherd leaving the ninety-nine who are in the fold and going to find the one lost. Normally you would think, well the Shepherd needs to stay with the larger group, but no, Jesus chose to leave the ninety- nine and search for the one that was lost. It is not often the concept that most church leaders adopt, unfortunately. Parents have shared with me often that was their experience also.

In my office is a picture that has been there for years of Jesus reaching over the ledge for the fallen sheep who is helpless. Also, in the picture there is an eagle soaring high above.

My prayer was always that our lost sheep would be rescued and one day soar like the eagle. Is that your hope today, to see your son or daughter rescued by someone like the shepherd as the picture portrays? Someone to draw them into their circle of Christian friends? Someone who accepts them just as they are? Someone to love them and help pick them up and bandage their wounds and carry them to safety, Someone with the heart of a Shepherd.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day 39

Come Away

Mark 9:2

“Jesus took them upon a high mountain by themselves.”

On Wings Like a Dove provides retreats twice yearly. In the fall we studied the book entitled  “Hinds Feet on High Places.” The main character, Much Afraid wanted to go to the high place with the Shepherd.

I decided to take our group to the highest mountain in the area, Mt. Mitchell. Just like the character Much Afraid there were obstacles we found along the way but for those on the journey the view at the top was worth the climb. Isn’t that the way life goes?

Often times there are trials, struggles, obstacles along the way but as we keep taking one step at a time we can find ourselves at the top of the mountain. Then we are able to look back into the valley with love and compassion on our family and friends who may be stuck in fear and self doubt.

We are often called aside to come to the mountain to be refreshed and renewed. But we can’t stay on that mountaintop. We must come down to deal with family issues, sorrow, or to sometimes comfort someone else in their pain or struggle. But aren’t you glad God calls us away to be renewed by Him occasionally in preparation as we face our valley experience. After all, He knows what is ahead as we make our descent down the mountain.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 38

All things

Rom. 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

As Christians we have often heard Romans 8:28 and can pretty much quote it, but do we really believe it? How can all things work together for good? What could be good about a sickness, the journey with a drug and alcohol addict, the death of a young child in a freak accident, or the call comes that your prodigal has lost his life to drugs. Now just how can that be good?

But as we read and believe that what the Bible says is truth. We know God does not lie. Is God sovereign? Is God really in control if these things are going wrong in my life today? Does He really care about my loss, my struggle, my burden? Yet our passage tells us ALL things work together for our good.

Will you choose to believe that today? Will you rebuke the lie of the enemy who whispers in your ear; God doesn’t love you, God has deserted you; God is punishing you; God is lying when He claims ALL things work together for those who love Him. It might not look good, but we must believe His word and hold close to his promise.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day 37

Don’t Give Up

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

While at a seminar at the Cove in Asheville, I prayed I would be able to have the speaker, Henry Blackaby pray with me. God opened that door on the last day of the conference.  As I shared the fact that my son was on the streets using drugs and I needed prayer, Henry put his hand on my shoulder and prayed. One sentence that rang in my head for years after… “Lord, help this mother to never give up.”

That sustained me many days and I NEVER did give up. Every time I felt like it, the Lord would remind me of that prayer. Maybe you feel like giving up on your prodigal. Let me encourage you not to give up hope. Our family faced many dark days but we chose to believe God would bring our son home one day. It didn’t happen overnight, but it has happened.

I urge you to pray and find a prayer partner or partners to join you in your efforts. Prayer works. We believe that God hears the desperate cry of a parent and it makes all the difference. Never give up. It might not be the answer you would have liked but His answer is always perfectly orchestrated. His plans are not ours but knowing the whole picture, His plan is perfect. Rest in that fact.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day 36


Proverbs 11:1 “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.”

My health plan at work suggested I visit a nutritionist. I was having a difficult time keeping a steady exercise routine and maintaining a healthy diet. As I talked to the nutritionist he noted my protein intake was not consistent. I tended not to eat protein at breakfast or lunch, with a healthy dose at dinner. He made some suggestions saying, “It’s all about balance.” I needed to eat protein all during the day to keep my levels on a more balanced scale. No wonder I did not have enough energy, I wasn’t balanced. I was like a yo-yo up and down.

Spiritually that also applies; we need the meat of the Word all day so we can stay energized in Christ. I’ve learned to not only read His Word in the mornings but to feed on it all along my day. I’ve learned to listen to a message on the radio, sing along with songs, and read uplifting spiritual books all day to feed my spirit and keep balanced.  How do you feed your spirit and make a plan to stay balanced as you follow Christ? Our goal must be to stay spiritually balanced.

Day 35

Laying your Isaac Down

Genesis 22:12 (MSG)

12 “Don’t lay a hand on that boy! Don’t touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn’t hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me.”

Most of us are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac.  God told Abraham to go up on the mountain and sacrifice Isaac on the altar.  He took Isaac to a place of physical death in order to free Abraham of son-worship.  God calls us to lay our Isaacs down, to let them go, not to walk their journey alone but to find rest and safety in Christ.  As we release them into His care, it frees us to trust Him to care for both of our needs.

As Abraham lifted his hand to bring the knife down to Isaac, God called from heaven… “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy.  Do not do anything to him for now I know you fear ME!”

The thing that struck me as I read the passage was that you can’t hold on to God’s hand if you are holding on to anything or anyone else.  Examine your heart today.  Are you holding on to a loved one, a thing?  Is God testing your heart today?  Have you truly let go? God said to Abraham, now I know I am your priority.  You were willing to give me your one and only son.  Now I can work.

If you haven’t laid down your Isaac it might be time.  When you release your grip then God can work.  There may be difficult days ahead but as God works His plan our Isaacs will begin to take form.  On top of that we might just find His plan for ourselves.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 34

House of Sacrifice

“I have heard your prayer and chosen this place as a house of sacrifice.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer made in this place.  For now, I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”   II Chronicles 7:12; 15-16

In God’s Word, He took me to this key passage when we moved into our new office space.  Don’t you just love it when He speaks so clearly through His Word?  The words were written so long ago but are so applicable to our situations today.

We are grateful God has promised to hear our prayers.  We meet in the prayer room before we begin our work day to pray for the needs of our families and all the prodigals.  If you have concerns for your prodigal know that we are lifting them and you up.

We feel a great burden and privilege as we lift up specific prayers and prayers we don’t even know about to Him.  He promises to answer them all and we believe Him.  Make your home a house of sacrifice today and let’s join in agreement for all prodigals everywhere.  God wants them home more than we do.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day 33


Romans 3:24(KJV)

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

When invited, On Wings Like a Dove are privileged to provide devotions and visitation at our local youth detention center.  Each time we go I am blown away by what these young people have been exposed to in their short life, and therefore the choices they have made.  As they share their stories of drug use, abuse, and crime, it saddens me to the core.  It is like going back in time with our son.  At our last visit we played the song “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave.  He sings about not being who he was because Christ has redeemed him.  Redemption is the purchasing back of something that has been lost by the payment of a ransom.  Christ paid the ransom on the cross as He sacrificed Himself by his own shed blood.  The debt we owed as sinners is not only cancelled but stamped:  PAID in Full!

If you have not accepted His redemption, won’t you stop and do that today?  If you have drifted away won’t you confess that to Jesus today and experience that freedom?

Pray for your prodigal to see their need for redemption today.  Thank God for HIS redemption that makes us a new creature.

Day 32

Worthy Vessels

Isaiah 64:8 (KJV)

8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

Worthy Vessels by Nell Kennedy is the story about the beginning process of firing pottery.  Ladies of old would make their baskets from the reeds in the field and then go pick berries.  The trouble came when they would lose the berries through the holes in the basket.  Eventually, they decided they would line the baskets with the clay of the ground and let it dry.  This provided a container without holes.  One day the women were collecting berries in the fields when a fierce fire started in the field.  The ladies gathered their babies and ran, leaving the baskets there.  Upon return they discovered that the basket had burned away leaving a beautiful vessel.  The berries inside the basket had left a beautiful color.  Pottery was born.  The potter knows just how much fire each individual pot can stand.  He places the piece right where it needs to be in the kiln and he is always there watching the temperature so that the pot can be of use when it comes out.

That, my friend, is what The Lord does with us.  We may have to walk through the fire, but He is right there with us each step of the process.  He knows just how hot to turn up the fire but He is always right there controlling the temperature.  Thank Him for our fires.  It is through them that he transforms us into strong, useful vessels He can use.