“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



Without A Word

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“1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.” Psalm 19:1-4 NIV

This gave me pause.  When I look at the beauty of the sky, it does speak!  When I look at stars and pictures of the universe, it overwhelms me.  It speaks volumes without a word.  God, Creator of all, You are a Mighty God!

Then I paused again.  You made me too.  Is it enough to be exactly what You made me to be?  What stops me? If I can simply be exactly what You made me to be, can I speak volumes without a word?  That is a humbling thought.

What influences me otherwise? What do I put ahead of that objective on a daily basis?

Lord help me. Take my heart. Make it new. Make it into that beautiful expression of You all over again.  I pray that others can see You in me without speaking a word.  I ask these things in Jesus Name.

Psalm 19, Psalm 8, Exodus 20:4-6



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“So those who…are last will be first…, and those who…are first will be last…. For many are called, but few chosen.” Matthew 20:16 AMP

I have read this verse many times.  However, when I read this in the context of another verse it literally sent chills through me.  The second verse was this:

“23 Then the master said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges and urge and constrain [them] to yield and come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall taste my supper.” Luke 14:23-24 AMP

This made me stop and think.  I’m not the best at an RSVP to invitations. As a matter of fact, I have gradually fallen “off the list” so to speak.  There was a time that my social calendar was very full and it was a priority.  However, there was a shift for me.  It was not my intent to offend anyone.  It just slid down my list.  I still have coffee, lunch and dinner with intimates and associates on a less frequent basis.  My schedule has a much more leisurely pace these days….by design.

However, as I was thinking about this grand feast that was prepared as described in the scripture, the words that were bone-chilling to me were:

“…not one of those who were invited shall taste my supper.”

Have I ever not shown up for God?  Has He ever set a table for me and I made other priorities? I had to sit with that one a while.  A long while.  I’m still reeling a little.  What if in my hustle and bustle I never even looked at His invitation?  Or what if my calendar was so full of other priorities that His fell off my list?

As I step back, I realize that I have to reassess.  That is one invitation I do not want to neglect.  I also want to make sure that my relationships with others reflect His graciousness as well (i.e. treat others with respect and care).

Father, I repent for ever taking Your invitation for granted.  Help me treat You as my first priority.  Help me love others like You love me and treat them with respect and care.

Matthew 19:28-30, Matthew 7:13-14





“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

I have read that faith is a fight.  I believe that is true.  It is a fight to hang on to the promises of God in spite of circumstances and what we see happening around us. This peace supercedes everything.  As I learn to release more to God to manage my life, it leaves me with more peace.  More joy.  It’s settling.  There have been days when I had an agenda all lined up with tasks to complete for the day, check list in hand.  From my perspective, it would be a good, productive day.  Occasionally, I have had the sense that God had other plans.

If I retreat to listen quietly, my plans shift sometimes.  Sometimes it results in a luxurious day that I would have missed if I had rushed to my list.  One day in particular, I had my list and everything already loaded into my car to run errands.  I was actually looking forward to it.

Then I heard a still small voice that was calling me to a much more gentle plan for the day.  It included rest, reading, sipping on hot tea and a long luxurious hot bath.  It was a warm, snuggly day inside. I had to deal with a few twinges of guilt and wondered if I was being selfish.  Then I thought of how excited I get when my daughter decides to spend a day home with me.  It doesn’t have to be full of activities.  I just enjoy being with her.  What I discovered is that God enjoys days like that with us too!  We get so caught up in staying busy that we forget about forging a relationship with Him.

I threw the checklist away for the day.  I took a nap.  I took a long hot bath. I read and sipped hot tea while bundled up in a snuggly blanket.  I sat with my Father that day and enjoyed His company.  There are many days that I can run around and do errands.  Just not today. Today I decided to stay home and spend it with Him.

Lord, I pray I pause to savor and enjoy the moments I can steal away to just be with You.

Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 9:6, John 16:33, John 14:1-3, 6-7



Pick One

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Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.” James 4:8 The Voice

I remember reading this one day and feeling a heaviness on my heart. In the Amplified version it says “[realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].” That is pretty intense. This verse really describes what it looks like to have one foot in the world and one foot with Jesus, still straddling two masters.  Matthew 6:24 says we can’t serve two masters.  We have to choose.

What does that choice look like? I think a lot of people don’t understand how much God loves us.  They think of Him as the Punisher or the Judge. And don’t get me wrong, He is those things too…But most of all He loves us.  Just like a parent has to discipline a child to teach them how to live safely and prosperously and develop in character, God does that with us too.  To teach us His ways.

As a Christian we get fooled into thinking that if we let go of the world’s ways that we will be missing out on something.  Well, we are.  We are missing out on the things that we were never designed to take.  God did not design us to take on worry, anxiety, stress, bitterness, rejection, hatred and all the other burdens that we carry in our hearts.  It makes our hearts hard and heavy and our minds neurotically hyper-vigilant. God never intended for us to live like that.

If we surrender to Him we can let go of all those things.  Just like a parent, He gives us guidelines to keep us safe in His care.  When we are in alignment with His “house rules” our heart has a chance to soften and heal.  Then we have a chance to truly experience the magnitude of His love.  It is a brighter and lighter way to live.  It goes beyond existence and becomes a dynamic experiential relationship with our Creator remembering that He loved us so much that He sent His own Son to die on the cross to mend the relationship gap between us.  There is no greater love than this.

Father, help me embrace a lifestyle that holds me in Your safekeeping. Help me be so comfortable in Your arms that others want to come there too.

Matthew 6:24, Psalm 25:4, John 15:13, Mark 12:30-32



Wisdom From Heaven

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17 NIV

The condition of our heart affects all things.  How we see the world.  How we interact with the world.  How we see others.  I can’t get past how important it is to care for our heart.  The Bible provides so much instruction on how to trust our heart to God, how to guard our heart, how to confess our heart. If our hearts are set on Jesus, they will be open to wisdom from heaven.  The following prayer by James Goll, in a Prayer for Spiritual Eyes, really resonated for me.  I have referred to it several times:

“Lord give me that spirit of wisdom; grant me that spirit of revelation so that I will be captured by Jesus Christ. Release the shafts of revelation light into the eyes of my heart, that I might know the hope of Your calling, that I might know the glorious inheritance that lives inside of me, and that I might know the surpassing greatness of Your power that works in me.”

Father, please fill me with Your wisdom from heaven in all its glory.

Ephesians 1:17-21, Isaiah 11:2, Luke 12:12, Luke 14:26



Go Boldly

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“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

I can’t help it.  “Go Boldly” sends me into StarTrek references. As I walk in faith, there are days that I do feel like I am in uncharted territories. I really have to work at quieting my own voice so that I can hear God’s.  Instead of rushing ahead I have to be quiet and wait.  Sometimes that is a bold move.  Sometimes being obedient is a bold move.  Sometimes standing firm is a bold move.  Sometimes letting go of all that you know that is familiar to you is a bold move.  Sometimes loving and forgiving is a bold move.  Boldness in faith takes on a different look and feel.  It is not brash or self-serving.  Regardless, it is still boldly going where I may not have gone before!

Father, keep me wrapped in righteousness and help me be bold as a lion. No holding anything back from you!

I Corinthians 13, Ephesians 3:17-18, Proverbs 28:1