Friday, April 17, 2015

Where is Your Promised Land?

I received the following devotional in an email from .  This is where I am in my life right now, this morning, today.  Some of you may be in the same place if you are rejoice in it.  If you are still on your journey, rejoice in it.  Enjoy the devotional and enjoy the flowers in your life.

Their toes were still in the sand of wilderness, but their eyes could finally see the Promised Land.
They knew it was for them.
Just waiting for the taking.
Are you in that place? You’ve prayed and longed for “it.” You’ve waited and waited. Now, all of a sudden, God has placed it in front of you.
I’ve become a little obsessed with the Israelites and their story, from slavery to wandering to being chosen to enter into the Promised Land. I’m sure you can identify, too, on some level.
I feel like our little family is on the edge of what God has planned for us. God has set the place in front of us.
I can identify with the Israelites’ excitement, fighting the fears and asking for forgiveness for all the grumbling I’ve done in the waiting.
I believe you and I have a Promised Land this side of heaven. You might name it your calling, your ministry, or your unique design. My Promised Land has even become a physical place.
I’ve seen the giants, the ones we have to fight. Sometimes it’s the sheer size of the project, the overwhelming need, the lack of time and energy. This place is occupied by things I don’t think I can overcome. Even though the Promised Land is always occupied by a real enemy, these “giants” are small in comparison to the true giants of faith.
“Don’t be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you . . . like He did in Egypt.” {Deuteronomy 1:29}
Just like Jesus fought for you on the cross. Just like Jesus pursued you when you didn’t know Him and didn’t care to. Just like Jesus fought off the ugly voices, the difficult family relationship, the chains of whatever was weighing you down after you met Him. He will fight for you again. Now, on your behalf as you follow God into what He has for you. He has promised it to you. He has planted the desire in your heart, changing you in the process, preparing you for what “is right in front of you.”
I love how God fought for the Israelites when they left Egypt. They did nothing but grab their families and a few belongings and walked out of their chains and into freedom. There was no battle. They followed God out of the gates and into what could have been a special time with the Captain of the Lord’s Army.
Such a wonderful reminder for us to know we don’t have to work for it, fight for it, or wish for it. At the right and opportune time, usually when we least expect it, after a time of purification in the wilderness, God will bring us to the place He has promised.
Let’s cross through the waters and step foot in the Promised Land. He will take care of the rest for you.
Lord, I pray we have been transformed by the wilderness. Forgive us for complaining and griping about the path You took us to get here, the length of our journey and how we initially viewed the Promised Land You want us to occupy for You. Yes, this place You have prepared for us is about You, God, that we might give great care to Your kingdom and people. Silence the giants. Empower us with courage that can only come from the Holy Spirit. Free us from our current bondage and allow us to see Your vision clearly. Let us faith-fully step into possession of all You have promised. Let us continue this adventure guided by You, Lord. Give in abundance, provide all we need, and be the center of our lives in our Promised Land. Be magnified!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Search for a Birthdate Verse, Part 2

I thought I was going to have to change my birthdate.  There are very few 5/19 verses in the Bible.  But, I found one.

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”.  Romans 5:19.  This is really a powerful verse.  Through the disobedience of Adam we were all made sinners and through the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ those of us who believe in Him are made righteous.  Praise the Lord!!!!

Have you found your birthdate verse?  It was a good study for me.  I can also say if you were born after 5/19 the verses are very few.  Most chapter 5s only have 12 verses and several books stop at chapter 4. 

This morning as I sit on the back porch with my laptop and Bible I am in awe of this beautiful Spring day.  The rain from yesterday and early this morning has made the leaves pop from within the branches that were bare yesterday.  The grass is greener and the dogwood trees are in full bloom.  Thank you Lord for allowing me to live in an area of your world where I can see and appreciate the four seasons.  The long cold winter is over and everything has been made new. 

Enjoy this beautiful Spring day and take time to enjoy your flowers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Birthdate Bible Study

Yesterday was my friend Joan Tornquist’s birthday.  She has been part of the Facebook 10 day Bible Verse Challenge and since it was her birthday she used her birthdate for a verse.  She chose “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13 as her verse for the day.

This verse is truly the appropriate verse for Joan.  She lives this verse everyday of her life.  She is a lot stronger than she thinks but she knows from whom her strength comes on a daily basis.  I admire her for this so much.  I am blessed to have her for a friend.

Keeping with this train of thought, I began searching through the Bible for my birthdate, 5/19.  Genesis and Exodus didn’t really speak to me so I skipped over the Psalms 5:19, there were only 12 verses in chapter 5.  On to Proverbs, nope this one is the warning against adultery.  Back to Leviticus 5:19, this one hit too close – guilty of wrong doing against the LORD.  Numbers 5:19 back to adultery again.  Deuteronomy 5:19 part of the Ten Commandments.  Judges 5:19, nope.  Oh boy, the next book is Ruth – no go only four chapters.  But I love all four of them.  On to I Samuel no verse 19.  On to 2 Samuel 5:19 the Lord is handing the Philistines over to David.   I Kings 5 only 18 verses.

Looks like I am going to be doing a lot of looking for my birthdate verse.  It will be a glorious verse when I do find it.

Enjoy the blessings God sends your way today and enjoy the flowers.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Fresh Strawberry Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg...
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in strawberries.
Spoon batter into muffin pans.
Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 400ยบ for 20-25 minutes.
Makes one dozen muffins.

Viral Bible Verses

Have you ever thought about how a Bible verse becomes popular?  I Have.  Did you know that there are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament, making a grand total of 31,102 verses in the entire Bible?  Each is just as important as the next or God would not have included them in His book.

Some verses are more popular than others i.e., John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, Genesis 1:1, I John 1:1 are just a few.  On occasion someone will make a t-shirt with a verse printed on the front or on the back, put a verse on a coffee mug or even on a piece of jewelry.  Suddenly, the verse goes viral and everyone is quoting the verse and talking about it with their friends on how it has impacted their lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this is wonderful because any scripture hidden in your heart can never be taken away.  This is a good thing.  But what about the other 31,101 verses that may never go viral.

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the viral verses but it is not meant to be a stand-alone verse.  Verses 12 and 13 give the instructions on what we must do in order to receive the plan the Lord has for us. “For I have a plan for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, but plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD,” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV). 

To say God is generous is an understatement.  After all in verse 11 He told us He had a plan for us and it is a good plan because we are going to receive something from God.  We receive far more than what we are worthy just by getting out of bed in the morning.  But in these verses God is speaking directly the people of Jerusalem who will be held captive in Babylon for seventy years then He will come for them and fulfill the promise He made to them.  But, before the promise can be fulfilled they must seek Him with all their heart and then they will find Him and He will bring them back to their home.  His promise to the people of Jerusalem is no different than the one we have today and the instructions are the same. Call upon me, pray to me and I will listen. This is not an easy command.  With the busyness of our lives today we often pray on the way to work or in the shower.  Praying is not always the same as seeking and finding the Lord.  Prayers become superficial and for lack of a better term ‘rote – same thing every time’. 

God does have a plan for you but are you seeking Him and  praying to Him.  If you truly are seeking and praying He will reveal His plan for your life to you a little bit at a time.  If he revealed it all at once our heads would blow up from the overload.

When you run across a viral verse always take time to look it up and read it in context for an even richer blessing.

I hope you can understand what I have written today.  Satan did not want it to go out.  The internet has been down three times this morning when I hit ‘post’ it all goes away.  Everything would probably have made more sense if you were sitting across the table from me and we could discuss this over a cup of coffee.  God bless, enjoy the gift of today and enjoy the flowers.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Paul said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through [Christ] who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
The art of being content is a very difficult lesson to learn. Very few people are really content for longer than a few hours at a time. By that I mean you will say you are content and have all you need then a few minutes later you discover an "I need" item. Is it a 'need' or a 'want'? A need is something that is vital to your health, welfare and well being and a want is just something that could make life a little easier. As I look around this morning I am very content with my material life and really there is nothing I desire that I don't already have in my possession.
But then I look at my spiritual life and I am far from content. I long for a closer walk with Jesus not just today but everyday. It is up to us on how we spend the 24 hours God blesses us with each day. Today, I need and want just a few more minutes with Jesus before I begin my day. There is always something I can give up in order to have this time but it is up to me on whether or not I choose to make my time with Jesus 'a need' or 'a want'. Today I am choosing to linger just a little longer on the back porch with my Lord.
Are you content today in where you are in your life and more importantly are you content in your spiritual walk with the Lord Jesus Christ?
Enjoy the blessings the Lord sends your way today and enjoy the flowers.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"What if I Had Been There?"

As I sit on my back porch this morning, on the day before Easter, I began thinking about “What if I had there?”

As a believer, I would have been at the Gate of Jerusalem to welcome Jesus as He rode in on the donkey.  I can see the children waving the palm leaves and I can hear them singing “Hosanna”, their voices are so sweet and innocent.  Not yet marred by the sin and hatred that surrounded them.

I would have been honored to help prepare the Passover meal for Jesus and His disciples.  His slightest wish would have been my command.

I would have been in the crowd at His sham of a trial.  I would have been going from person to person asking for them to save the life of my Savior.  I would have tried to explain to them that His ministry is just beginning and He has so many more people to reach.  I would have explained that He had done nothing wrong- only good to those with whom He came in contact.  They were all frightened by the words He shared because they did not understand.

I know I could not have watched as He was beaten, mocked and stoned.  I would have been there to support His mother, Mary, even though I wanted to run and hide from the horrors I was watching unfold before my eyes.

I would not have been able to watch as the soldiers nailed my Lord to that cross.  I know this because I close my eyes and cover my ears during movies when I hear the hammer hit the iron nails and shutter at the mere thought this happening in real life.

It would have been difficult for me to sit and do nothing as the soldiers continued to mutilate His body and even cast lots for His robe.  The man who knew no sin was dying, for me.  He died for all men but most of all He died for me.

To be the woman my resurrected Lord chose to be the first one to appear before is beyond my comprehension.  Mary Magdalene was given that honor and an honor that words cannot express.  When my friend, Karen Chadick, sings “I Have Just Seen Jesus” all I can think of is – I am the one lying face down on the ground, unable to move or to speak of the one whom I had just seen.  Mary Magdalene would have helped me up and I would have followed her as she delivered the message to the disciples “I have just seen Jesus, He is alive”.

Mary Magdalene is not mentioned in the Bible after this glorious day.  She fulfilled her assignment just as Jesus instructed.  She was never the same just as I have never been the same since I met Jesus, the one who died for me.