With Me

Every day…

Every situation…

Every trial…

The Spirit of the LORD is with me.

In the Old Testament, there were times when God would give his Spirit to someone when he had a tough assignment for them.  We read in Judges 9 that Caleb’s little brother, Othniel, became a judge for the Israelites.  God raised him up to deliver the Israelites from slavery to the King of Aram Naharaim.

“The Spirit of the LORD came on him” and he led the fighting men into war.  God’s Spirit made Othniel strong and courageous.

As believers today, we live under the New Covenant with God.  Now, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of each of us when we accept the salvation Jesus freely offers to each of us.

God’s Spirit is with me every minute of every day.  His Spirit wants to make me strong and courageous, too.

And loving,






gentle and self-controlled.

All of this is inside me – I just need to let God’s spirit have his way in my life.

If you are a believer, all of these great things are inside of you, too.  It’s time to nurture them and let the Spirit show.

Thank you for the awesome gift of your Spirit,  Abba Father.

Stepping In

Stepping up.

Making the first move.

I often ask God to direct my steps.  My prayers regularly include requests for him to show me an opportunity to do something I think he wants me to do.  Because I’ll do it, I just want to know that its his direction and his timing.

And he does it.  Right before my eyes, he will give me an opportunity to do something he wants done or say something he wants said.

Every time one of these opportunities presents itself, I have to take the first step of faith forward, not knowing what the next step is and never knowing how this is all going to work out.

I just have to take that first step and obey.

So the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land is special to me.  God told the priests carrying the Ark of the LORD to go first.  God told them he would make a way for them but, first, they had to step into the Jordan which was running at flood stage.

The overflowing water of the Jordan river was roaring down its path…..

and they had to step in.

An act of faith.  An act of obedience.

As soon as the priest’s feet touched the water’s edge, the water stopped flowing.  They had to commit and then they saw God respond.  In the middle of a rushing river, God opened up a path for them to the Promised Land.

This is significant.  Too often we want to see God move in our lives but we haven’t stepped out in faith.  We haven’t stepped up to the plate in obedience of the things we already know God wants us to do.

Jesus told us clearly, “Love God and love others.”  These are the two main things I need to be about – I already know that.  When I am focused on doing these things,  I see God part the waters for me.  He blesses my last step and reveals my next step.

But the first step of obedience is mine.

Where is God asking you to take that first step of obedience?  Go ahead – step into the water and watch it part in front of you.  It will be worth it.

I believe, Abba Father, so I’m stepping in.


What does courage look like in my life?

What does it look like for you?

What do I need courage for?  What is God asking me to do that a little scary and out of my comfort zone?

I know God is challenging both you and me – it’s his nature.  As our Good Father, he wants us to grow and develop a strong, courageous character.  So he provides opportunities for us to be stretched.

Where is he stretching you?  If you don’t think he is, I recommend spending several hours with him as you read and meditate and listen to him speak to you through his Word.  You will come away from that time challenged by something – I guarantee it.

God gave Joshua a huge challenge by giving him leadership of the Israelite nation after Moses was ‘gathered to his people’.  They were finally ready to enter the Promised Land.  And they were facing the daunting task of conquering the land and taking control.

There seemed to be a lot of  valid reasons to be fearful and worried – except God had already declared victory.  “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you where ever you go.”

God was in total control – there was no reason to be afraid.

Have you ever experienced a situation like this where you knew you didn’t need to be afraid because God had already declared victory?

I had a major experience like this several years ago when I thought I had just caught a weird respiratory bug on a trip to the Midwest but then found out, when I finally went to the doctor and then the emergency room ending up in ICU, that I had a dozen blood clots in my lungs.  While the doctor in ER was explaining to me that this was a life-threatening situation, God spoke into my mind.  He told me that he had already taken care of this – I was not going to die from it.  I was going to have to go through all the tests and months of blood thinners and days in the hospital but God was going to go with me, every step of the way.

I was not afraid.  My doctor was amazed at my attitude – she kept reminding me that I was going through a life-threatening experience.  Four other doctors told me that this should have killed me – they were afraid for me.

God had already declared victory – there was no reason to be afraid.  I obviously didn’t die from it and I realized that God had given me a new story to share about his faithfulness and love and care.  He is still doing miracles today!

It was a truly amazing experience to watch God’s victory play out in my life right before my eyes.

So I have some knowledge of how Joshua must have felt when God told him that he had to lead the way in conquering the Promised Land and God would give him victory.  Joshua was going to have to wake up every day and show up, but God was going to be with him, making it all happen.

Where is God challenging you?  If he’s asking you to do something, he will be right there beside you helping you accomplish it.

Be strong and courageous.  Experience God’s victory in your life today.

Thank you, Abba Father, for the miracles you are doing right now in our lives.

Believe It!

Our world can be so disappointing – people lying to get ahead, just telling you what they think you want to hear.  Often, never actually intending to do what they say they will do.

God is just the opposite.

He always does what he says he is going to do.

He always keeps his promises.

He doesn’t always do things the way that we think he should but – then again –

he is God and we’re not –

he is perfect and we’re not –

we have a 3.5 lb brain while his is infinite and eternal –

we just need to accept that his ways are better than our’s.  I need to believe that and stand firm each day on the fact that God loves me and wants the best for me.

God and I have a personal relationship and he tells me about my part of this relationship in Leviticus 26:3-13.  Let’s all underline this in our Bibles and believe it.

My part – keep his commands and obey him.

God’s response –

He will bless my labor, what I do.

I will have food to eat and a safe place to live.

He will give me peace – I will lie down at night without fear.

He will remove danger and my enemies from my life.  I will have victory over my enemies.

God will look on me with favor and keep all of his promises.

I will prosper.  He will be my God and I will be his daughter.

I need to believe this and move forward confidently – with my head held high and my eyes focused on my Father.

Then I will receive the blessings of obedience.

Amen.  May it be so, Abba Father.


Who is in control of my life?

Who decides what I do with my time?  With my money?  Who is the director of my life – telling me when to go and when to stay?  What to say and how to say it?

The quick answer for us Christ-followers is ‘God”.

But let’s not just throw out this obvious answer and move on.  Let’s ask ourselves – is he?  Really?

What happened to your last paycheck?  How much of it went for God’s purposes?

Why did you rent this last apartment or buy the house you live in?  Did God direct you to make that decision because he has a purpose for where you live?

How about your job – did God lead you to that place?  Is he working there through you?  Or your main hobby – is God using that for his glory?  Or is it taking your time away from a deep, personal relationship with God?

The Israelites lived in a theocracy as they travelled through the desert and into the Promised Land.  God was King.  No one else told they what to do, where to go, what to eat, or how to dress.  God did all of it.

I want my life to be lived in a theocracy.  As I have grown to know God better and I’m able to hear his voice more clearly, he has gradually taken over in most parts of my life.

But not all.  I can’t honestly say he is the King of everything in my life.  I still have areas of self-centeredness and trying to be in control (total waste of energy because I am not and ever have been in control – neither are you, by the way).  Worry, fear and lack of patience with others are proof that these areas are not under God’s control.

I know I’m in the process of becoming what God intended me to be.  I know it’s a journey….

and I’m glad you’re on this journey with me.

I’m getting off the throne now, Father.  Please take your seat.


Hold Loosely


Boxes of stuff.

Rooms of stuff.

Garages and basements full of stuff.

Stuff we’re not using but someone else would use it – if they had it.

Stuff that hasn’t fit us for many years but we still can’t give it away.  Stuff that’s broken and we’ve never found the time to fix it but we still can’t part with it.

God never meant for us to keep all of our stuff for ourselves.

God told the Israelites that their 50th year in the Promised Land was supposed to be a Year of Jubilee.  During this year, all of the poor people who had sold themselves as slaves were supposed to be freed and all property which had been sold was given back to the original owner.  It was intended to be a year consecrated for redemption and freedom.

Does it surprise you that my research shows that the Year of Jubilee was never observed?

I’m not surprised.  Our culture has taught us to hold our belongings and our stuff very close.  We don’t give stuff away.  We worked hard for these things.  We earned them.  They will be ‘worth something someday’.

Well, they are worth something to someone else who has less than us today if we could just loosen our grip on them.

The Israelites couldn’t do it, either, so they lost the chance to see God work in a supernatural way in their lives.  They didn’t experience the joy and freedom of having open hands when it came to their ‘stuff’.

God wanted this to be a holy year for the Israelites where they would see his provision for them as they gave the property back to the original owners and set the slaves free.

But it never happened.

What about me?  What about you?  Are we holding loosely onto our belongings and stuff while we hold tightly onto God?  Are we seeing God work supernaturally in our lives because we spend more time and energy on loving him than we do with the things we own?

Do we own our stuff?  Or does our stuff own us?

Please help us hold loosely to everything that is not about loving you and loving others, Abba Father.


Aaronic Benediction, 2018

“The Lord bless you and keep you,”

I desire your blessing, Father.  Please keep me close to your side.  Draw me even closer when the waves of trials and the unknown try to overwhelm me.  Hold me tightly when the struggles seem too difficult to endure.

“The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you,”

Shine the light of your love and truth in my life each day, Father.  Help me push back the darkness that is all around me.  May your grace overflow in my life to others so they want to know you.

“The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Yes, Father.  I want to know you better and see you more clearly as you move in my life.  Grow my trust in you, Father.  I know that it’s through my trust in you that you will give me peace.

Please give me peace, Abba Father.

Little by Little

One step at a time.

Deciding to trust God’s direction with my next decision even though I have no idea how this is going to work out.

Persevering through each struggle, not losing sight of the Light.

“Little by little”.  Moses uses these words as he is speaking to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land.  “The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.”

Then Moses said, “You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once or the wild animals will multiply around you.”

I’m on my 7th year of reading the entire Bible and God has never bolded these words (figuratively) and stopped me here before. God did not give the Israelites victory over all of their adversaries all at once because the wild animals would have taken over the empty land.

I would love it if God would just take my trials and problems away – all of them – all at once.  Take them all away, Father!

But God doesn’t do that.  Little by little, step by step, he leads me through the struggles.  He draws me closer as together we move through the confusing and dark times.  God does not eliminate all of my issues because then I would be very tempted to count on myself and not on him.  I need to remain dependent on him or wild animals (bad choices and wrong thinking) will also multiply around me.

But little by little is so hard, Father!  Not knowing how it all turns out is very difficult.

Except –

when I’m trusting God.  When I’m breathing and moving in line with my Father God, I only need to keep my eyes on him and take the next step.

Because God’s got the rest.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Gathered to my People

He died.

She passed away.

He was killed.

God tells us in Numbers 20 that Aaron was ‘gathered to his people”.

I like that.  It makes great sense when someone is a believer.  His people are in heaven.  His Father is in heaven.  And his Savior is in heaven.

So – where are my people?

God has blessed me by giving me a family with a very long lineage of Christ-followers.   Many generations of my people are in heaven.

The people I identify with here on earth are also Christ-followers.  These are my people.  They will be with me when I am gathered to my Father – when I am gathered to my people.

I’m tempted to start using that phrase with believers instead of ‘died’ or ‘passed away’.  Some people wouldn’t get it but that’s ok – some people don’t get a lot of things.

How about you?  Are your people in heaven?  Is your Savior in Heaven?  If so, then he has prepared a place for you.

Will you be with me when all believers are gathered to our Father in Heaven?

I hope and pray that you will.

Thank you for always keeping your promises, Abba Father.


Obviously different.

Not rolling with the mainstream of culture.

Not just going a slightly different way on the same road as everyone else – actually travelling an entirely separate road.

A different spirit.

In Numbers, God tells us ‘my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly.”

What an awesome tribute to Caleb!

Can God say that about me today?  What about you?

Have I been transformed deep inside of my soul where my spirit lives?  Have I been significantly changed by experiencing the mercy of God?   Has my thinking radically changed since I let God into my head?  Has my love for God and love for others taken over my calendar and my bank account – does God own my heart?  Are my eyes focused on God or on other people?

If not, I’m not very different from everyone else around me.  Going to church and reading the Bible doesn’t give me a different spirit.  Letting God and his truth rule in my heart and mind changes me.

Please help us have a different spirit which follows you wholeheartedly,  Abba Father.