You Bring Us Joy!

Psalm 100, 2023

All of the earth shouts because you bring us so much joy, LORD!

We worship you with smiles on our faces!

We sing praises to you because of the joy you give us!

We know you are God.  You made us.  We are yours.  We are your people.  We belong to you.

We are so grateful that we have the privilege of having a personal relationship with you, God!

When we come together in your house, we are filled with praise!

Thank you, Father!

You are so good to us!  Your love will never end.

We praise you for your faithfulness to us and to our parents and our grandparents and everyone that has lived before us.

And we praise you for your faithfulness to our children and our grandchildren and all of those who are yet to come.

We know we can always count on you, dear God.

Here I Am, Lord

Psalm 40, 2023

When I became faithful in seeking you, God, you lifted me out of the slimy pit of my rebellion and sin.  You rescued me from the deep mud of my bad choices.  You pulled me out of the mire I created by trying to do things ‘my way’.

I am now solidly planted on you, my Rock.  I have a new song of  love and praise to sing to you.

I pray that many others will also decided to put their trust in you, God.

Father, you bless those who trust in you.  We are wise when we put you first in our lives and don’t follow the example of others who are only focused on themselves.

You have great things planned for us, the faithful.  You have done many awesome things – there is nothing and no one to compare you to.

You don’t want me to just read the Bible and go to church.  You want my eyes to be open to your truth.  You want my obedience.

You don’t want me to just give my money to the church – you want me to passionately care about the things you care about.

You don’t want me to just close my eyes to pray and start down my list of requests.  You want a relationship with me.  You want a conversation.  Most of all, you desire listening ears and a softened heart.

Here I am , Lord.

I desire to do your will.

Write your words upon my heart.

Psalm 108, 2023

My heart is yours, O God, and my soul sings praises to you. Every morning as I see the sun rise, I praise you, LORD.

Great is your love! It fills the heavens reaching to the skies. You are exalted, God, above the heavens and your glory shines over all the earth.

Deliver us, Father. We know you reign over all the earth. Nothing and no one can stand against you, God.

With God on our side, evil doesn’t stand a chance. Victory is our’s.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 86, 2023

Let’s join with King David in his prayer:

Hear me, LORD, and answer me, I need you.  I am a faithful servant who trusts you – save me.

You are my God, have mercy on me as I call out to you all day long.  I trust you, God.  Please give me joy.

You are so good.  When I walk close with you, your love and forgiveness overwhelm me.  There is no other god like you.  Everything you have created joins together to worship you.  You are great and marvelous.  You alone are God.

I want to learn all about you, LORD, so I can build my life on your truth.  Give me an undivided heart which is focused on loving and honoring you.

I will praise you, God, with all my heart forever.

Each day I feel your great love for me.  Keep me safe.

I am surrounded by arrogant and confused people who don’t believe in you, God.  But I know you are a compassionate and gracious God, overflowing with love and faithfulness.

Open my eyes to what you doing, God.  Have mercy on me and save me.just like you have done for those who have gone before me.  Show me your goodness, LORD, so that others around me will see what a great God you are.

Thank you for your help and comfort, LORD.


He Knows What’s Best For Me

Psalm 23, 2023

The LORD takes care of me each day.  He provides everything I need.

My Father guides me on the right path – he knows what is best for me.  He gives me exactly what my soul longs for as I walk closely beside him.

I can always trust my Father’s guidance.

Even when I’m going through the darkest, most painful times of my life, Father, I have no fear.  You are with me.  You comfort me.

You pour out blessings on my life.  Even those around me who don’t want the best for me see how well you take care of me.

You fill my mind with your truth as I continue to study your Word and grow my knowledge of you.

I am overwhelmed by your love for me.  Your goodness and grace fill all the days of my life here on earth.   And I am 100% certain of what happens when my time here is done.  I will go to live with my Abba Father forever.

Amen.  Hallelujah!

Whatever I Want

Sounds good – let’s all do whatever works for us.   Then we’ll all be happy.

Or not.

“In those days Israel had no king: everyone did as they saw fit”. Judges 21:25. This is how the book of Judges ends.  It may sound good until we scan back a couple of chapters and realize what they thought was ‘fit’ to do. 

Family members were stealing from each other.  They obviously thought this was an ok thing to do.

Family members were kidnapping each other.  They thought this was ok as well.

Family members were killing each other to the point that they virtually annihilated one of the 12 tribes of Israel.  I wonder how they could possibly think this was ok but they did.  They could rationalize anything. Their moral judgement was quickly spirally into total chaos and confusion.

Because they had no compass.

Sounds familiar? Our current culture has many of these same issues. Why?

When I base what is right and wrong on what I think, I’m in trouble.  Then I’m just like these Israelites – doing what I see fit and letting my standards waiver in whatever direction the wind is blowing.

God has been very clear to you and me on moral boundaries. His Word to us is full of direction and guidance. I might not like all of it. You may not agree with all of it. But that doesn’t change his Word to us.

This picture of the Umbrella of God’s Blessing is stuck my head and reminds me that one of my main goals in life is to stay in line with God. When I obey God and follow the compass he has given me, I am placing my life under his umbrella of blessing. When I don’t obey God and just do what I want to do, I am stepping out from under his umbrella. I can’t expect God to bless my decisions and life when I’m not obeying him.

One example is tithing. If we have put our faith in God, we also want to put our money in his hands. This means being faithful with tithing. We can’t expect God to bless our finances if we don’t.

It’s my choice and I choose to stay under the umbrella – every hour of every day.

What do you choose?

Dear Father, I desire to walk in your path of truth.  Please guide me so that your moral standards are what ‘fits’ me best.

My People

He died.

She passed away.

He was killed.

Before Moses died, God told him, “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession.  There on the mountain you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.” Deut. 32: 48-49.

I like that.  It makes great sense when someone is a believer.  Moses was not going to die. After taking his last breath on earth, the next moment he would be in heaven – with his people. His Father was in heaven.  And his Savior was in heaven.

This makes me ask the question – 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.  My son who was a Phoenix Police Officer killed in the line of duty is already in heaven. I recently published a book on Amazon, “Then I Looked Up: Losing a Child, Finding His Legacy of Love.” which tells the story of his death and my painful yet hopeful journey since then.

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 thinking about starting to use this 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.

On the day you have already determined, I will be there, Abba Father.

Blessings of Obedience

Our world can be so disappointing – people lying to get ahead, just telling you and I what they think we want to hear.  Often, never actually intending to do what they say they will do. They don’t even remember they said it!

Or other people intending to do what they said but never doing it. Too busy, no money, couldn’t figure it out, yada-yada-yada.


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 are not –

He is perfect and we are not –

we are limited by our 3 pound brains while His is infinite, all-knowing and eternal.

I just need to accept that His ways are better than mine – in every situation.  I need to stand firm each day on the fact that God loves me and wants the best for me.

God clearly tells what I’m supposed to be doing and how he will respond in Leviticus 26:3 – 13, ” If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will….. “

Okay, my part is to keep His commands and obey Him.  In response, God says

He will bless my labor, what I do.

That sounds great!

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

Thank you, Father.

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

Exactly what I need.

He will remove danger and my enemies from my life.  I will have victory over  the evil that surrounds me.

Yes, Father!

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

You are always faithful, Father.

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

Please help me prosper, Father, in the things that money can’t buy- like peace, joy and love.

I believe this and will do what He asks, moving forward with my eyes focused on Him.  Then I will receive these many blessings of obedience.

Amen.  May it be so, Abba Father.

What is Right?

Do what is right and good.

I am reading the entire Chronological Bible for the 13th consecutive year and I know there is a group of you who are reading it with me. It’s February so we’re still in the beginning of the Bible but God highlighted a phrase to me that we have already read several times, ” Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may be well with you.” Deut. 6:18.

I definitely want things to ‘go well’ with me and I’m sure you are on that same page. God is telling me – and you – that he wants to guide us. He wants to light up our path. He wants to walk beside us when the trials of life on this planet try to overwhelm us.

The part you and I have in this is to do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight.

That’s my goal. I’m not perfect- no one knows that better than my Father God. It’s very clear to me that God doesn’t expect perfection, he desires that I admit my mistakes and sins to him with a humble heart and turn away from them.

I have found that it is much easier to do what is ‘right and good in the Lord’s eyes’ when I am reading God’s Word each day with my eyes and heart open to what he is saying to me. I am also finding a huge benefit from reading the entire Bible – not just a verse here and a chapter there. Reading God’s Word in Chronological order has helped it make sense to me. I tried one of those reading plans where you read parts of the Old Testament, New Testament and then a Psalm or Proverbs. It didn’t keep my attention. I lost my motivation. What I was reading didn’t tie together into a bigger picture.

The Daily Chronological Bible has kept my attention for 13 years. Because it is a Daily Bible, it has dates on the top of the pages which help give me the structure I need to keep going. I sometimes get ahead and other times I get behind but I keep moving forward. This Bible is not good for studying verse by verse because chapters are condensed and combined. But it is a great reading Bible.

Because I am consistently reading his Word, God is constantly talking to me, guiding me and teaching me his truth.

There’s no question in my mind that this is ‘right and good in the Lord’s sight.’

Thank you for your awesome Word to us, Abba Father.

Who Loved Who First?

Did I love God first?

Or did he love me first?

God’s Word is very clear that he loved me first.  Before I was a tiny newly-fertilized egg inside of my mother, God knew me and loved me. 

As I read the words Moses said to the Israelites in one of his last addresses to them before his death, I am reminded of how this verse changed my life.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deut. 6:5.

God challenged me over 30 years ago to put him first in my life.  I was what I would call a ‘cultural Christian’ at the time.  I went to church, served at church, gave to the church and said I loved Jesus.  But there were things in my life – like my family, my career and what I wanted –  that had a higher priority than God.  When I hit 30 and I finally reached all my goals of what I thought I should have and own at that age, I was surprised to find that I felt empty.  Over worked and over stressed.  And very empty.

Then God opened my eyes to this verse and challenged me with it.  I knew something had to change so I did some heavy-duty thinking.

What would it feel like if I loved God with all my heart?  What did I need to change so I could love God with all my soul?  What would my life be like if I loved God with all my strength?  How could I ignore the distractions of this world and the strong desire to do what I want to do so I could love God first?

The emptiness was eating me up so I took the challenge.  One step at a time, God showed me how to change my priorities and put him first.  I gradually put him first in every area of my life and I learned the huge lesson that the commands God gives us are for our own good.  As I moved closer to God, I watched him help me be a better wife, a better mother, a better employee, a better friend, a better neighbor, a better sister, a better daughter…you get the idea.  Everything was better because he was in the middle of it. Everything was easier because he was there helping me. He gave my life meaning and a purpose. Real joy gradually crept into my life.

Is there an empty place in your soul that God is longing to fill?  Are you just checking the boxes in your Christian life or do you have a daily, intimate relationship with God?  Have you made the decision to put God first in your life?

God desires to be first in our lives because he wants to give us strength, peace and purpose for our journey.  He wants to make it all easier and more worthwhile.

Doesn’t that sound good?

Thank you, Abba Father.