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.

What’s New?



I am not going to be done learning until my heart stops beating.  There’s a time to stop being flexible and stop being open to new things and that time is when I’m dead.  I have learned a lot in these last 50-some years 🙂 and I have a lot to learn in these next 30 years or whenever my eyes shut for the last time on this earth.

I am challenged to be quicker on the learning end than Gideon was as I read his story in Judges.  The Lord told Gideon directly that he was going to bring him victory.  But Gideon didn’t get it – Gideon replied that he was the least of his family.  So what?  God was going to do this, not Gideon.

Gideon prepared an offering to God and the Angel of God came down to burn it for him.  Are you getting this yet, Gideon?

Then God told Gideon to cut down the pole in town that was dedicated to the pagan gods and build an altar with the wood.  Gideon obeyed but he did it at night because he was afraid.

Really?  God is talking to him and sending angels with fire and still Gideon is sneaking around at night?

The townspeople wanted to kill Gideon for cutting down the pole but a leader in town stopped them.  Who did that, Gideon?

Then God called Gideon to lead the Israelites into battle but Gideon still had to test God by laying out a fleece.  Twice!

When are you going to understand that this is God you’re dealing with, Gideon?

It appears like Gideon is starting to learn and trust God when he lets God limit his army to 300 men.  But then he takes a step back when he’s afraid and has to sneak into the Midianite camp to hear what’s going on before he will attack it.

From what we read, that looks like the final step of learning to trust God for Gideon because we don’t read of him testing God again or being afraid.  Gideon leads the Israelites into several successful battles without testing God first.

He learned to trust.

He got it.

So I have to ask myself – how well am I doing in learning to trust?  Do I get it?

How well are you doing?

Please help us to trust you, Abba Father.

Lost in the Weeds

Going in the same direction.

Moving forward together.

Shared goals.


And it feels good when I’ve got it, doesn’t it?

But unity isn’t an easy thing to achieve.

There is compromise – it doesn’t have to be all my way.  I need to take a look from other people’s perspective – there are other valid opinions.

Prioritizing – is it worth creating an issue?  Wisdom = losing a lot of battles in order to win the war.

And – if this is a battle that needs to happen – much planning and selflessness needs to be included in figuring out how to bring up the issue.  Emotions stay out of it because they cause me to over-react and say things that aren’t helpful.  Just because something is true doesn’t mean that I can say it anytime I want to.  The timing of discussions on difficult issues can determine success or failure.

I can get lost in the weeds.  Details that don’t really matter can derail me when I’m trying to discuss difficult issues, causing any forward movement to stop.  Sometimes I get so lost that I actually move backwards.  Very disappointing!  I know you’ve been there, too.

So unity is not easy to achieve but it’s very much worth the effort.  We read about the joy the Israelites experienced in Joshua 22 when they avoided some serious conflict between groups merely by talking with each other.  One group thought the other group was rebelling while the 2nd group thought the first group was going to try to make an issue of where they were living in the future.  During their discussion, they realized that they worshipped the same God and they were on the same page.


We could use more of it, right?  Where do we get more unity?


As my relationship with God grows, he is able to give me the wisdom and perspective I need to bring more unity into my life – more unity with my husband and family and more unity with my church family.

When we are all looking to God for direction and insight, God provides unity.  It’s his desire for us to live peacefully together and live a life full of joy.

In him, we are unified.

And we find joy.

Thank you, Abba Father.


Sold Out!

What would you sell your life for?

It’s a great question because sometimes we dedicate our lives to things that just aren’t worth it.

We can sell our lives to making money and spending it.  But everything we buy gets old, breaks and requires more money to fix it up or replace it.

Our ‘stuff’ will always disappoint us.

We can sell our lives to work and accomplishments.  We may love it but, someday, that all goes away.  We get fired, laid off or we just get old.  I recently retired which meant giving up a nice paycheck and a lot of rewards and recognition.  I loved working and now I love being retired.  I’m glad I worked long and hard for over 34 years at something I loved to do.  Now I’m very happy to reclaim all of those hours in my week and move on to the next phase of my life.

We can sell our lives to relationships with our spouse, our children, our family and friends.  They are very important but they will also dissappoint us at times.  It’s a fact.  And they all will eventually pass away some very sad day.

In Joshua 8, Achan sold his life for a robe and some gold and silver.  It was too good to pass up.  So he didn’t, probably believing he would never get caught.  Not smart. He couldn’t hide from God.  After getting caught, he admitted his disobedience but that didn’t change the consequences. He lost his life for that ‘stuff’, ending up under a pile of rocks.

I don’t want to end up like that.

So I choose the path of obedience and faithfulness to God.

I choose to be ‘sold out’ to God.

And I’m 100% confident that it’s the right choice.

What is your choice?

I love you, Abba Father.

Control Freaks – Chill!

Her home was demolished.

Everything she knew was gone.

Her city was burned down by foreigners.

All of her friends and neighbors were killed, only her family was saved.

Things didn’t look good for Rahab.

She and her family were still a live but every one and everything else from her life was gone.  Crushed.  Burned.  Now she had to live in the enemy’s camp.  What good could possibly come from this situation?

Well, we know the rest of the story.  Rahab’s name would later show up in the lineage of Jesus!  She was Jesus’ great, great, too many greats to count, grandmother.

God had unbelievable plans for Rahab when he saved her from being destroyed as Jericho burned.  She didn’t know it.  I’m sure there were times as she started up a new life in the camp of her former enemies when she wondered why she was still alive.   Everyone else except her family was dead.  Everything that she had known before was gone.

Rahab had no way of knowing that God was going to bless all of creation through her lineage.

Just like I have no way of knowing what God is doing as I struggle through the twists and turns of life, trying to figure out how to transition from phase to phase.  Looking back, the pieces often make sense.  But it can be very hard to navigate through the maze of today.

I just don’t know.

But God does.  So I focus on him, trusting him to show me the way one day at a time.  Its often one step at a time.  Trying to control the world causes frustration and stress.  Trying to control even my little space in the world is impossible.

This last year of my life really proved this to me.  I ended up in so many places I never thought I would be – never wanted to be.  God is working good things out of the evil that is done.  I am already seeing some of the good things but there will be many more that I will never see.

Like Rahab.

So I will trust you, Abba Father.