“the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11

Hope: noun. A longing; dream.

Similar words:  Achievement     Ambition     Anticipation     Aspiration     Belief     Concern     Confidence     Desire     Expectation     Faith     Goal     Optimism     Promise     Wish

These are weighty words.  Do I feel confident placing all of them with God?  Do I trust that He loves me so much that He wants the best for me in every word listed?  What about my achievements? My ambitions?  My concerns?  My desires?

Well then do I believe His promises to me?  Can I take God at His Word?

These are big questions, but the answer is even bigger.  The answer is YES.  We can.  We can place every single one of these big words at the feet of Jesus.  God knows we are not equipped to handle that long list and the pressure, stress and anxiety that goes with it.  If we can release it all to Him as He intended and believe with all our heart that He loves us more than we can imagine, then we find comfort. We find our inheritance as a child of God. Our thirst is quenched.  We find mercy. We see God. We find peace.  We find the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, thank you for instilling hope in my heart. A hope to dream and reach for the very best that You have for me!

Psalm 147, Matthew 5:1-12; Hebrews 10:23



Dig Deeply

dig deeply2

“Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain. Psalm 139:23 The Voice

This is a cry for intimacy.  When we share intimate space with someone, we get to know the good, the bad and the ugly (and of course there is a preponderance of beauty as well!).  The bottom line is there can be no secrets.  Nothing can be hidden. There is no room for it.

I love The Voice version because you can hear the pain in this cry “Dig deeply…Put me to the test…watch how I handle the strain.” So when this happens, we get at the truth of the matter. So here is what was uncovered for me: anxiety, doubt, worry, fear of man, unhealthy connection to people, performance, rejection and fear.

This made me so angry!  It was a list I was familiar with.  I was so tired of the same list popping up time and time again. After a growl, I asked the Lord to deliver me.  I was done with it.  I prayed in the Spirit for thirty minutes because I didn’t trust my own heart to get at the ugly stuff that seemed to be hanging around.  There was a shift!  My heart was lighter. My mind was clearer. I had more energy. It was amazing.  I’ve heard testimonies and sermons about praying in the Spirit but this application was even more validating and faith building. Cool. God gives us all the instructions and the tools.  We just have to use them.

Lord, thank you for every piece of instruction and tool You have provided. I pray i exercise them all to the fullest!

Psalm 139, John 14:26


I Am Not Master Of The Universe

i am not master of the universe2

“37 If you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge. If you don’t want to be condemned, don’t condemn. If you want to be forgiven, forgive. 38 Don’t hold back—give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive in the same measure you give.” Luke 6:37-38 The Voice

Have you ever had a morning where everything you pick up points to the fact that you need an attitude adjustment?  I had a morning like that. Everything I picked up pointed to issues around judging others.  Since everything appeared to be pointing that direction, I sat down for some prayer time.  I asked God to search my heart.  Things started to come to mind pretty quickly.  He had a list.

Here is what came to mind:

  • Using opportunities to position myself
  • Self-promotion
  • Striving; feeling like I had to “master” things

Once those were dealt with, it was much easier to operate in a calm, loving, giving way.  The clutter in my heart had been cleared out to make more room for Jesus. When there is more room for Jesus, everything goes more smoothly.  I strive less because I trust Him. I appreciate others more and engage more deeply because I‘m not promoting myself or performing.  I am more outwardly focused (giving, sharing, caring) and less inwardly focused (withholding, hiding, comparing).  It all starts at the heart.

Father, thank you! Thank you for teaching me Your ways.  I know that you are stretching and teaching me Your beautiful ways. Thank you for Your patience, Your grace, Your mercy and Your love. Father, I ask for more wisdom every day to become more like You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Luke 6:37-42, Matthew 7:1, Romans 2:1-2, Romans 14:3-4, 13



Before and After

before and after


“18 They are blind to true understanding. They are strangers and aliens to the kind of life God has for them because they live in ignorance and immorality and because their hearts are cold, hard stones.19 And now, since they’ve lost all natural feelings, they have given themselves over to sensual, greedy, and reckless living. They stop at nothing to satisfy their impure appetites.” Ephesians 4:18-19 The Voice


“22 then you know to take off your former way of life, your crumpled old self—that dark blot of a soul corrupted by deceitful desire and lust— 23 to take a fresh breath and to let God renew your attitude and spirit. 24 Then you are ready to put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.” Ephesians 4:22-24 The Voice 

Hopefully you can see the contrast.  It is very interesting that this message was for believers.  Paul is reminding the believers in Ephesus to shift – leave an old lifestyle behind.  Leave an old hard heart behind. Change. Transform. Renew. Choose a new life.  Obviously we can’t do this alone.  We need to be in a Christian community with a commitment to unity and accountability to accomplish a major shift like this.

It’s not perfect or easy.  As believers we have a model in Jesus.  We have instructions in God’s word.  All we have to do is immerse ourselves in the operating instructions! When we lose our way, just go back and read the instructions again…God is gracious and loving and kind.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.  Just hang on and keep referring to the instruction manual!

Ephesians 4



He Loves Me Anyway

he loves me anyway

“Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain.” Psalm 139:23 The Voice

I read this verse today and thought “Why in the world would I ask for this?” Search my heart and mind and soul and desires and put them all to the test.  Huh.  I really have to think about that.

Then I read the entire Psalm, verses 1-24. What I saw was all the beauty of intimacy and unconditional love and reliance on God. I am foolish to think that I can hide anything from Him. I am also foolish not to realize that He decided to love me long ago… anyway. He knew about every bad decision I was going to make before I did.  All of them.  And He loves me anyway.  He still showers me with love and compassion and His tender mercy.  There are days that I feel like I can wrap my head around a small piece of His love for me but I always know that it’s so much bigger than I can even imagine.  It makes me thankful and gives me encouragement to continue to stretch into the person that He designed me to be.  It also gives me courage and strength to love others the way He loves me….anyway.

Father thank you for Your immense unconditional love. Help me grasp the depth and breadth of Your love that began before time.

Psalm 139





“3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.” Hebrews 1:3-4 NIV

The word radiance creates such an incredible image in my mind.  There is a brilliance and effervescence to it that warms me from the inside out and makes me smile.  It also humbles me.  Jesus is the brilliance of God’s glory.  And to think that we are created in God’s image.  Blows my mind. That is a very scary thing for Satan.  Any way that he can keep us from walking in the “radiance of God’s glory” he will do it.

Knowing who we are in Christ, knowing the power and authority that we have over Satan keeps him from robbing us of our radiance. God’s radiance loves everyone. It doesn’t need a label.  We don’t need schematics to get it right. All we have to do is live like Jesus. He is our example. Don’t get hung up on theory.  Just stay in God’s word and look at the example that He gave us.  Spend time getting to know the miraculous God that created us in His magnificent image.  We are wonderfully and beautifully made!  He says so. Then He sent His Son to die for us to ensure that He could always be with us every step of the way…if we let Him.

Father help me to love others with Your heart. Help me hold firmly to my identity in You. Help me be a radiant reflection of You.

John 1:14, John 14:9-21, Colossians 1:15-20



Building Relationships

building relationships

“3 Wisdom is required to build a house; understanding is necessary to make it secure. Knowledge is needed to furnish all the rooms and fill them with beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4 The Voice

For me, this house is not a physical structure. This house is symbolic of relationships with people. I have many people in my life. I am to be wise with them. Be careful with people – not in a fearful way. Treat them with care. They are not disposable. I sometimes have discarded people as though they were unimportant. Regardless of what might be happening at any given moment, each person is very important to God. I am never to lose sight of that.  Always seek to see them through God’s eyes.  All things with all people have a specific purpose. I do not know what that purpose is. So I will continue to seek God in everything I do. Loving God first so that He can show me the way.

Father, continue to teach me your ways. Show me how and when to be Your hands and feet and speak Your word.

Proverbs 24:3-6