Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Front Porch Sittin'

"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling" 1 Peter 4:9

One of my favorite places on earth was my grandmother's front porch. It was perfect. Screened in, with a swing and a glider and a tile floor. No matter how high the temperature from summer in the south, that tile floor was always cool. After a long, hot softball practice you could find me lying on that tile floor. After a huge Sunday dinner we would sit on that porch and swing, talk and play games. The porch was also a meeting place for friends and neighbors. Back in the day people would take a walk down the street and stop and talk to people instead of just nodding and passing on by. Friends would even get in the car and visit people...can you believe it??

You never knew who would show up on a Sunday afternoon. Some would just stop by for a few minutes, others would spend several hours.

I miss those days. With social media we can "like" someone's picture or status and feel like we have contributed to a friendship. With schedules overflowing with things to do, places to be, we don't seem to have time to visit anymore. We have stopped investing our time in people. We need a front porch awakening. I challenge you (and me) to commit to reach out to someone. Once a week or once a month. I'm sure God will bless your efforts and I know the recipient of your attention will be blessed!

God's word encourages us to be a blessing to others...just to name a few...

*Luke 14:12
*Romans 12:13
*Hebrews 13:2

Now go out there and bless someone!!!


P.S. This week's memory verse is an easy one. You may say, "aw, I know that one". Even if you do know it, write it on a sticky note or index card and put where you will see through out the day. Soaking in God's word is always a good thing!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcome to My Table

During my time with cancer I have come to realize the important things I wanted in my life. Some of them I missed - like staying home to raise my children. Those are days I can't get back. I wanted to learn to can or freeze vegetables grown on my land. A throwback to seeing my grandmothers do those things. To live a more simple life, with less THINGS and more TIME. To live a life more focused on God, more focus on helping the hurting, reaching out to the lost.

When I was young my mother's kitchen seemed to be the place where ladies of the neighborhood would gather. I remembered it to be almost every morning, but that may just be my memories version of the truth. They would gather around the kitchen table and drink coffee and talk. I don't know what they talked about - I was too young to care or notice. But I knew they were there and each of these women became a large part of my childhood. Today, during my quiet time with God, I realized that I long for that in my life right now. I long for my lady friends to come to my kitchen table, drink coffee and talk about our lives. I know my friends, I know that we would talk about God and our lives with Him, we would pray for each other and the things going on in each of our lives.

So today I decided I would share my morning devotion with you, my friends. I will share the scripture I read and the songs I listened to during this time. I would love for you to share with me your thoughts on these things or maybe the scripture you've read or songs you've heard that have touched you today...I know with today's technology you can easily access the songs and scripture.

Songs: "Come to Jesus", sung by Chris Rice and, "It is Well with My Soul" Selah

Scripture that I meditated on today: David's Prayer of Praise to God. 1 Chronicles 29:10-19. Read this prayer, then pray this prayer...It is beautiful!

The verse I'm concentrating on this week: "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12

My thoughts on this verse: Each day is filled with opportunities, challenges and choices. The choice to put God first in each day. The choice to not let daily demands and struggles take our focus off God. Why is this the busiest time of year? This should be a peaceful time of reflection and adoration of our Savior?

"I urge you now to live the life to which God called you" Ephesians 4:1.

Thank you for joining me in my morning devotion. I hope your day is one where you gain a heart of wisdom and that you live the life to which God has called you!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

By Invitation Only

If you have spent even just a little bit of time in church or bible studies, you have no doubt heard the story of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding. If you have not read it, you can find it in John chapter two.

Many lessons can be taught from this passage and I have read it a zillion times. I was tempted to just zip through it a few weeks back. I resisted that temptation and read each word carefully. You see, the Holy Spirit can reveal new things to you even when your bible is falling apart from years of use.

On this particular day John 2:2 jumped off the page and into my heart. "and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding". It sounds simple enough, but as I thought of that verse throughout the day it became clear what God was saying to me.

Jesus was INVITED to the wedding. He didn't storm the gates and insist on attending, he didn't sneak in the back entrance and he didn't show up as a "plus 1" on someone else's invitation. HE. WAS. INVITED.

My point...Jesus will not take over your life by force. He won't sneak in your house and teach moral standards to your children. He won't crawl through a window and save your marriage, or steal your password and bless your finances. You have to invite Him in and give him full access.

As Christians we are to become increasingly Christ like. I'm not there yet. You are not there yet. The only way we can get there is to invite him in to be an active part of our whole life.  When we invite guests into our home, we clean or straighten so they will be comfortable in our home. On occasion I have been guilty of hiding toys in the closet and closing doors to messy bedrooms when company is coming. That was my attempt of trying to make it look like I had my house under control when I didn't. We try to do the same thing in our spiritual lives. We clean up the part of our lives that people can see and close the doors to the troubles, doubts and fears that we don't want to reveal. But because of God's grace and mercy we don't have to close any doors. We can fling open the door to our heart and invite Jesus into our messed up lives. He will come in and love us as we are and will give us the strength and the courage to clean up those hidden places.

The thought that Jesus can love me right here, right now in the middle of my mess just blows my socks off!

Extend the invitation to Jesus. He is waiting to come into your life!

Peace out!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Rest for the Weary - Part 2

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me" - Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)

YOKE - (noun) a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or the cart they are to pull.

I love how Jesus used illustrations while teaching. It is so much easier to understand a concept when it is explained in terms which you are familiar. Back in the day, it was common for mules, or beasts of burden, to pull heavy loads. These animals were yoked together, not only to share the burden but to keep them going the same direction.

Jesus wants to be yoked with me. **Mind blown**. He not only wants to carry my burden, he wants me to walk beside him and learn from him. This is an incredible offer than none of us should pass up!

First, when Jesus and I are yoked together,he is shouldering my burden along with me. When things seem to be overwhelming, he is there to help me through it. So many things in this earthly life are burdensome - finances, sickness, relationships - but through prayer and SEARCHING THE WORD, he provides direction.

Also, when we are yoked we are side by side. To me that means he is always there...during treatments, sickness, sleepless nights, and self-doubting days. Always. Not when it is convenient, but always. My chemo treatments now come with a side order of reaction. The first day of each treatment I have a time where every muscle in me seems to twist and contract and my head feels on the brink of explosion. I can assure you I am quite the sight during these reactions. I'm sure I look like a monkey on a jungle gym. I'm hooked up to IVs so my movement is limited, but I try standing and swaying, sitting on the floor, I have even sat backward in my chair with my arms and head hanging over the back of the chair. My body is against me, but my Jesus is for me, so when these pains start, I think of scripture verses that remind me that He is with me, walking on the water and through the fire.

We spend so much time trying to find a person to be "yoked" with - business partners, friends, spouses. When really the most important yoke is with Jesus. Some spend more energy looking for a dance partner than they do getting to know The One that matters for all eternity.

The football games aren't going to be that great this weekend and we are suppose to have some rain, so spend some quiet, indoor time getting yoked up with Jesus!

Love and peace from my deck,


Monday, September 23, 2013

Rest for the Weary

"Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Our lives seem to be filled with many burdens. Everywhere we turn we see the homeless, the hungry and the abused. We see broken marriages, broken bodies and broken spirits. We live in a broken world. It was broken long ago by sin. We weren't meant to live a burdensome life - that's sin's fault. Jesus wants our lives to be lived in peace and in communion with Him. He invites all the weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest (vs 28). He invites ALL who are weary and burdened. No matter the burden or what caused your weariness, He wants you to find rest in Him.

The rest that Jesus wants for us is not a temporary respite from our hectic lives. It is how He wants us to live our lives amid the busyness. This doesn't give us permission to kick up our feet and sit on the sidelines of life. There is work to be done! But it can be done with a restful spirit.

Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.

Come - the invitation
to me - God wants you
ALL - that includes you
who are weary and burdened - that's you again
and I - God
will give you rest - ahhh, sweet peace

Our physical body becomes weary from too much activity, or sleepless nights worrying, or maybe an illness. I have come to understand physical weariness in a way I never had BC (before cancer). Rest for the body requires us to break away from our activities and physically rest. The kind of rest God is offering to those who come to him is rest for the soul. That deep down release of anguish, confusion and fear. I hope this week you will allow yourself some time to rest in the Lord. He is waiting for you and He is wanting you to find peace in Him.

Peace in Him,


FUN FACT: I wrote this blog a week ago. My body was so weary than when I finished typing I laid my head on my desk rather than his the "publish" button.

P.S. If it is the Lord's will this post is part 1 of a short series.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Monday was nine hours of grueling chemotherapy along with two painful allergic reactions. It was a long day and I was so happy to crawl into my own bed and relax. While the day was unpleasant and I know the next five to six days could be worse, there are also bright spots in my days.

The hours at the cancer center are filled with bright spots right there in the middle of all the unpleasantness. As i lay in my bed I reflect on those bright spots. Most of these pleasant memories are clad in scrubs and funky looking shoes. The nurses are compassionate, loving, and concerned. But best of all, they know that I don't take things too seriously, so they joke around with me. The laughs are not only helping me, but it helps them too.

I also have friends and family that brighten my days. Each in a different ways, but all just as bright.

This is not a fancy blog post as I'm still in bed. But I wanted to let everyone know how thankful I am that God has given me the gift of days and the gift of friends to share them with.


Monday, August 19, 2013


It's over. Another week of chemo behind me. While I spend a week in Chemoland I worry that I will not return. To those who have never visited ChemoLand, you won't understand, and that's ok. Chemotherapy takes me to a place where even the bravest fear to tread. It is dark, gloomy and inescapable. The minutes seem to be hours, the days an eternity.

I plead with God to take this away from me, then I think of others that have battled cancer and how many we have lost in just the past year. I don't want it taken from just me, but everyone. Cancer is hard, the treatments are horrible and death is agony. It is a tough road diminished only by the promise of glory in Heaven.

People ask how I have done it for so long. My glib answer is "stubbornness". The ture answer seems cliche' here, deep in the bible belt. I am here because of God's grace and mercy. I don't understand it, I guess I'm not suppose to understand. I don't know why I am here and others are not. I don't know why I'm preparing my heart to say goodbye to another friend.

My friend and I have spent hours talking...talking as only two terminally ill sisters in Christ can talk. That, dear ones, is where the rubber meets the road. We have hashed out cancer, Heaven, God's will for our lives and His grace and mercy. We've compared side effects and our desires to impact this world for God's kingdom. We've confessed our fear in the midst of our Trust in God.

I will miss my sweet friend. I know that when she is seated at God's throne, she will hear, "well done, my precious child". I also know that we will be together again basking in the glory that is so much greater than our present sufferings.

I don't understand The Plan. All I know is that God is faithful. He loves me and will never abandon me. Even in ChemoLand. All He asks is that I love HIM and join HIM in loving others as HE does...not because HE needs my help, but because in doing His work I grow to be more like Him, so that His glory can be complete.