Friday, June 28, 2013

Wait For It

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary. And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

What do you do when you wait?  

“To wait entails confident expectation and active hope in the Lord – never passive resignation.” (Bible Commentary)

For the last week, I have been praying anxiously to the LORD for Him to reveal His will to me regarding a certain request.  As I was praying today, all of the sudden I pictured a football game where God was the quarterback holding the ball and I was on the field running back and forth waving my hands trying to get His attention so that God would throw me the ball/answer me.  As I had this visual in my mind, I had an “Aha” moment. I said this in my prayer, “God, I get it - just like a skilled quarterback, You know when I will be in the perfect position and the right state of mind to hear Your will for me.  What you desire from me is to actively keep watching You and preparing myself to receive Your guidance and direction.”

Sometimes as we wait on the LORD to reveal His plan and His will for us, we can become impatient and we take things in our own hands which sometimes results in a “fumble”.  I am not a football fan like my husband is, but I know what a fumble is - a fumble is failure to hold or maintain a hold on the ball. 

As you actively wait on the Lord, remember this - at the right moment - just when He knows you will be in that perfect position to hear, His grace will allow you to know His will.  Whatever God’s will is for you in any of your situations, know that if He throws you the ball and you have been obediently watching Him and waiting with confident expectation, it will always result in many yards gained and up to and including a touchdown – WAIT FOR IT!

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31


Thursday, June 27, 2013


“Those who look to Him are radiant...” Psalm 34:5

A very special friend of mine gave me a Christmas gift that keeps on giving!  She used her gift of calligraphy and wrote some of the words of an old hymn by Helen Lemmel. 

Over the years, God has brought my attention to this special gift that sits in my kitchen.  Here are the words:

Turn your eyes upon
J e s u s
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory & grace.

Do you know what I have found? 

Whenever I am disappointed, my eyes are not on Jesus.

Whenever I am anxious,

Whenever I am discouraged,

Whenever I am unkind,

Whenever I am afraid,

Whenever I am selfish,

Whenever I am stressful,

Whenever I am judgmental,

Whenever I am downcast,

Whenever I am worried, my eyes are not on Jesus.

Do you know what is interesting though? As soon as God reminds me to turn my eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face, almost instantly my countenance changes.  My facial expression is calm and I am encouraged from the innermost being.  I also notice that when my eyes are on Jesus, I give more grace, love and forgiveness to others because everything I am expecting others to give me, I receive from HIM.

Has someone or has something disappointed you?  Are you expecting perfection right here on earth? Maybe you just need to remind yourself that everything you need, want, and are hoping for, is in the face of Jesus!

LORD, thank you for being our source of peace.  Thank you for reminding us to turn our eyes upon You. May we reflect Your radiance as we look unto You.  In Jesus’ Name we pray – Amen.

“I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." Psalm 34:4-5



Wednesday, June 26, 2013


In the book, God’s Story, by Anne Graham Lotz, she shares an illustration in the Acknowledgment section of the book using a sail boat and the affect that wind has on the sail.  Anne’s illustration left an impression that has blessed me over the years and I would like to share it with you.

Anne shared about how laborious and slow it was to write her book.  She said, “It was as if she was straining at the oars of a boat with no wind to fill the sails and propel it across the water.”  Later, as she was still straining at her computer, she called her mother Ruth Bell Graham, for prayer.  Her mother began to describe a scene of, “Sailing on a large boat, with the tranquility of total quietness broken only by the loud snap! as the wind filled the sails and the boat shot across the surface of the sea.”  Her mother prayed for, “God’s peace and quietness to descend upon Anne’s heart, broken only by the loud snap! of the wind as the Holy Spirit Himself filled her mind, carrying her swiftly through this project.”  Anne said that within five weeks of her mom praying that prayer, the rough draft of the book was finished!

What a great reminder!  So many times we try to “make things happen” without relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.  Many times we strain and we rush to “get to the other side”. In doing so, we only burn our own energy and we are left discouraged with no results to show and in some cases, in a worse situation. 

In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

There have been many times in my life when I have tried to accomplish tasks using my own resources - but accomplished nothing.  It was only after I prayed and humbled myself that the LORD provided the “wind” to allow me to accomplish the task in His way and through His resources.

Do you need to hear the sound of the loud snap as the wind fills the sails of your boat? What problem is causing you to strain at the oars?  Ask the LORD to send “His Wind”, the power of the Holy Spirit, to answer a prayer that has been heavy on your heart.  May you receive God’s peace and may His quietness descend upon your heart as you wait patiently and listen for the snap!

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Put Your Guard Up

Proverbs 4:23
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

“Our heart – our feelings of love and desire – dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy.  Solomon tells us to guard our heart above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path.” Bible Commentary

The Bible exhorts us to guard our heart.  The word guard is an action word and means to take a defensive position. It is what a boxer does when he uses his hands to guard his chin from an opponent’s damaging blows.  The boxer knows that a well placed punch to his chin will knock him out.

God knows that if we don’t guard our hearts, our opponent, the enemy, will work his way through to our heart.  A good boxer actively looks at the opponent’s hands and quickly adjusts to the blows that are coming his way.  However, our heart is deceitful and does not always allow us to see the punches that are coming our way.  Consequently, the blows to our heart when we are not actively guarding it are extremely damaging to our life.

Life is extremely challenging as it is.  A boxer knows that when he gets in that “ring”, he will not leave without getting bruised. However, if he guarded himself properly, he will be standing at the end of the twelve rounds.

Let us actively guard our hearts so that we can protect ourselves from those critical punches that can potentially take us down!

LORD, thank you for taking the penalty for our sins.  Thank you for giving us all the tools that we need to live victoriously.  FATHER, help us to guard our hearts and if there should be a time when our guard is down, please be our shield.  In Jesus’ Name we pray – Amen.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?  I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind......”  Jeremiah 17:9-10



Monday, June 24, 2013

She Has Done What She Could

Mark 14:3-5

“...As He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard.  Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.  But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.  And they criticized her sharply.”

What Jesus said next in this dear woman’s defense is what I would love to draw your attention to.  Jesus said in Mark 14:6-7, “Let her alone.  Why do you trouble her?  She has done a good work for Me.  For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.  She has done what she could.  She has come before hand to anoint My body for burial.”

Did you catch that?  Jesus said, “She has done what she could.”  This dear woman, Mary, gave the greatest sacrifice that she could offer along with her heart to honor Jesus.  The Bible tells us that the alabaster flask was worth three hundred denarii which would be around one year’s wages for the average person. But more importantly than the price of the gift, is the heart and motive of the gift.  My Bible commentary says it beautifully, “Jesus wanted people to give freely and of their own volition.  No one can coerce a gift from another; no one should criticize another’s gift; and no one can read the heart of a giver.  A giver’s motive is known only to God.”

Jesus’ heart was touched by her offering NOT because it was worth over one year’s wages, but because it was from her heart.  It touched Jesus so much that He not only defended her but He said these words, “Assuredly, I say to you, whenever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

To this day, thousands of years later, we are reading about her unselfish act.  God made sure that what this woman did would not be forgotten.

May I encourage you today by saying that what you offer to Jesus with a pure heart touches His heart!

When you offer your time to cook a meal for a family in need, you touch Jesus’ heart.

When you offer your time to volunteer in His Name, you touch Jesus’ heart.

When you offer your time to pray for someone, you touch Jesus’ heart.

When you choose to offer your forgiveness to a person who has wronged you, you touch Jesus’ heart.

When you choose to open up the Word of God during your busy days, you touch Jesus’ heart.

She has done what she could - let us do what we can!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Well Trained

Hebrews 12:5-11(MSG)

“My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.  It’s the child He loves that He disciplines; the child He embraces, He also corrects.  God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out.  He’s treating you as dear children.  This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; its training, the normal experience of children.  Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves.  Would you prefer an irresponsible God?  We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live?  While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them.  But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.  At the time, discipline isn’t much fun.  It always feels like it’s going against the grain.  Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”

I love these scriptures as they are so true and so encouraging! It is always such a beautiful sight when you see someone who is well trained – maybe that’s why so many of us enjoy the Olympics. 

 In the Bible, God gave us a great example of someone who was well trained by God.  This person endured hardship and never lost his dignity or his integrity.  Through this person’s hardship, God showed us how training and discipline in his life blessed many people and paid off handsomely just as the scripture above says.  I am talking about the life of Joseph!  God had the most amazing plan for this young boy.  God was going to place Joseph in a position in his older years where he would emerge as ruler of all Egypt – second in command.  God had plans for him to be a blessing to many!

The Bible tells us that Joseph starts his life out being loved and favored by his father and hated and despised by his brothers.  His brothers became so jealous of him that they planned to kill him. However, instead of killing him, his brothers decided to sell him as a slave.  At 17 years old Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt without his beloved father ever being aware of what happened to him.  Training had begun for Joseph.

At 17 years old when Joseph thought it was the end of his life, it was actually the beginning of the great plan that God had for him.  When Joseph was sold as a slave, chained and treated as baggage and sold as a piece of merchandise, he was unaware that God was going to use this time in his life to train him so that he could rise to be second in command of all of Egypt and have control of all the resources to keep a family, a nation and the world from starvation. 

During the time that Joseph was in Egypt as a slave, he was given tasks that were menial.  However, he was always faithful to his work, his master, and most importantly to his God.  Joseph’s good attitude, and God’s favor upon him, allowed him over the years to gain more responsibility and more favor from people at much higher ranks even when he was unjustly accused and sent to prison.  One day, his training was perfected and God elevated Joseph from the position of slave and prisoner to the position of Administrator of Egypt, Pharaoh’s right hand man!

Where has God placed you right now?  Don’t undervalue where you are – God is using it for a season of preparation.  Whatever circumstance you find yourself - know that God is preparing you so that you will be a blessing to others.   If you are doing what you consider menial tasks, take courage and work with all of your ability and one day the God Who Sees and the God Who Trains will place you in a position that will bring blessings to many!

 “Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” Hebrews12:11



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finishing Strong

One afternoon, my husband asked me to join him to watch the California State Semifinals Track Meet in Cerritos.  It was late in the afternoon and we did not know if we were going to arrive in time to watch much of the track meet, but we went anyways.  Boy did God have a surprise for us!

When we parked our car and began walking towards the outdoor stadium, we saw that the stands were filled with people.  We “happened” to enter the stadium right where the finish line was.  As soon as I entered the stadium, I saw a group of female runners coming powerfully towards the finish line. I was mesmerized as I saw the focus on the runner’s faces, their perfect running form, the strength that was in their legs and the determination on their faces - I was at the perfect place at the perfect time!  But what happened next is what moved me.  As soon as the first place and second place winners crossed the finish line with power, might and determination, both of them collapsed to the ground in complete exhaustion. As soon as I saw them collapse, I became moved and immediately tears swelled in my eyes. I said to God in my heart, Lord, I want to finish strong for You.  I want to have that same determination that I saw on those runner’s faces.  LORD, should I fall, let me fall on the other side of the finish line.  Let me finish the race you have marked out for me!”

These are the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 

FATHER, help us to run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Help us to keep our focus on Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith - In Jesus’ Name we pray - Amen. 



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The God Who Sees

I have been blessed to have great friends who have given me some great books over the years.  One of my dear friends gave me a book entitled, The Invisible Woman, When Only God Sees, by Nicole Johnson.  It is a small book that has great meaning.  I would like to share a small portion of the book with you, as I am sure it will bless you and maybe you’ll decide to read this great book during your summer.

The book talks about a life of a wife and a mother of two children who has a good marriage but feels unnoticed by her family.  She shares how they notice the hot food on the table and the clean laundry in their drawers but for some reason, don’t notice her.

God speaks to her in a special way through a book her friend gives her on the great and beautiful cathedrals of Europe.  As she was enjoying learning the history and the intricate architect of the exquisite cathedrals, God’s message to her was loud and clear. In the book she wrote about a moving story that captured the heart of this wife and mother.  The following is a direct quote from the book, “One particularly moving story told of a very prominent man who went to visit a cathedral that was being built.  He stopped to watch one of the workers, perhaps a monk.  He saw the worker carving a tiny bird into the inside of a beam that would eventually be covered over by the stone roof.  The man asked the worker why he was spending so much time and giving so much attention to something that no one would ever see.  The builder never looked up.  He never stopped carving as he replied, “Because God sees.”

May I encourage you!   What you do every day as you serve your family is always seen by God.  Every act of kindness, every trip to the grocery store, every load of laundry you wash, every meal you cook does not go unnoticed by Him.  When you create a home that is maintained with love, you are giving your husband, your children and your friends a refuge from the chaos and hardships of life.  But more importantly, when you serve your family and even your community, in the words and theme of Nichole Johnson’s book, “You are building a great cathedral.” 

When you love, encourage, help and respect your husband so that your marriage is held in honor – you are building a great cathedral for God.

When you love, encourage, teach and point your children to Christ – you are building a great cathedral for God.

When you tirelessly and routinely work to keep your home running smoothly so that you can bring refreshment and peace to your loved ones – you are building a great cathedral for God.

If you work outside of the home because you need to help support your family and then come home to be a wife and a mom – you are building a great cathedral for God.

If you are a single mom who works to provide for your family and strives to admonish your family in the ways of the LORD – you are building a great cathedral for God.

My husband and I visited a great cathedral in Cologne, Germany several years ago.  The cathedral took over 600 years to build and has magnificent, intricate and beautiful craftsmanship.To date the cathedral still stands and it is still a testimony to the many onlookers of the sacrifices and workmanship that the craftsmen gave in order to bring beauty and glory to God.

May our cathedrals that we build for God’s glory be seen through our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and their children for generations to come!

“Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees...” Genesis16:13

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A String Of Pearls And Difficult People

One Sunday several years ago, our pastor who is a great blessing, shared about the similarities between a string of pearls and “difficult” people.  It was one of those messages that you don’t forget.  Over the years, it has proven to be a message that has helped me greatly.  I am happy to share this message with you.

In order to maintain the lustrous look of pearls, you must wear them regularly.  Pearls need the oils from your body to keep them shiny, bright and iridescent.   However, if you don’t wear them regularly, they will become dry and brittle.  Pearls were meant to be worn close to the body.

Just like pearls, people are meant to have close contact and fellowship with one another.  When people shun fellowship over time they become irritable, impatient, critical and ultimately a “difficult” person to be around.  When a person is “difficult”, they perpetuate the problem and cause other people to stay away from them even more.

The first reaction we have when encountering a “difficult” person is to push them away and avoid any contact with them at any cost.  However, just like pearls, they need to be brought in close to us so they can enjoy the benefits of God’s design and the beauty of mankind.  Initially, as you can imagine, wearing dry, brittle pearls can cause an uncomfortable feeling to the skin, but in time, the pearls becomes smoother and easier to wear.  The same is true when you choose to deal with “difficult” people and bring them close to you.  Initially, it will be uncomfortable even painful in some cases, but in time the person will become less defensive, less critical and more pleasant to be around. 

Do you have a “difficult” person in your life?  May I challenge you to think about who God may be calling you to draw closer to?  One of the fruits of the Spirit that we tend to want to forget is the fruit of longsuffering (Galatians 5:22).  The definition of longsuffering is patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties.  In order to bear this fruit in our life – our part is in abiding in Him and listening with an obedient heartJ.

LORD, please give us Your wisdom to understand who we need to walk away from and who we need to draw closer to.  Your Word says that Your thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways Your ways.  Help us to know your will as we love people in Your Name.  FATHER, help us to have one desire today – to please You.  We love You and in Jesus’ Name we pray – Amen. 

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us...” Psalm 90:17



Monday, June 17, 2013

What Is In A Name?

When I was in college, I took the required speech class that most all college students need to take.  We were asked to choose a topic that we were interested in learning more about and then share what we learned with the class.  I chose to learn about how a person’s name affects them throughout their lifetime.  The title of my speech was, What Is In A Name? 

My research revealed that a name does indeed have a powerful influence upon how a person is treated, even more than I thought.  The name that parents choose for their children can impact their life experiences as to their careers, social acceptance, and even their confidence. However, I did not know then what I know now - that there is a Name that is above all Names - a Name that impacts all facets of a person’s life regardless of the name that parents chose for their children.   I know now that there is a Name that even impacts where a person will spend eternity.  This Name?  It is the Name of Jesus and His Name is far above all powers, rulers and authorities (Ephesians 1:21).

When I became ill - I called upon the Name of Jesus and by His grace, He healed me.

When I became ill a second time, a third time,... - I called upon the Name of Jesus and by His grace, He healed me and mercifully continues to do so.

When I was troubled and I was filled with anxiety - I called upon the Name of Jesus and He gave me peace.

When we wanted more funds than we had – we called upon the Name of Jesus and He showed us that we already had all that we needed and over time He even provided for our wants.

When we were looking for a house to raise our family - we called upon the Name of Jesus and He provided a home in His perfect timing.

When my husband was being held back at work - we called upon the Name of Jesus and He opened up doors of opportunities that have allowed my husband to be at his best.

When our children had fears - we called upon the Name of Jesus and He drew them near to His heart, placed them under His wing and gave them faith in exchange.

What is in HIS Name?  The power to determine your identity, your future, your destiny, your peace and your purpose!

May I encourage you to call upon the Name of Jesus and become or continue to become enraptured with His beauty, His love, His kindness, His strength, His provisions, His compassion, His mercy, His forgiveness, His discipline and His Lordship!  

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Friday, June 14, 2013

He Lifts You Up

In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, I have a short story to share with you that I heard from a well known speaker.

The story is about a young child who had recently lost her father.   The mom of this child wanted to bring some comfort to her child and thought that a trip to the zoo would be a perfect place to get their minds off of their sorrow.  As the daughter was standing behind a block wall on the tips of her toes, trying to see the different animals on the other side of the wall, a little girl and her father came up right next to them to view the animals as well.  Just like her, the little girl was not tall enough to see over the wall so her father lifted her up and placed her on his shoulders.  As soon as she saw the little girl’s father lift up his daughter, sorrow flooded her heart and she turned to her mom and said, “Mom, I will never be able to see over the wall.”  What a profound statement from a little girl that had a far reaching meaning.   In other words, “I will never have a father to lift me up on his shoulders and show me things in life that only a loving father can teach.” Hopefully, she has learned what I learned in my life, as I had also lost my father when I was very young, that there is a “Heavenly Father” that knows our name and whose right hand guides us and upholds us.

Rejoice if you have been blessed to be able to build a loving relationship with your earthly father! Jump for joy if you have built a loving relationship with your heavenly Father, for He will lift you upon His shoulders and take you to heights that are unimaginable by man!!!    

“For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” Psalm 108:4


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Sweet Sleep

“My daughter, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.  Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble;  when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:21-22

What is the difference between sound judgment and discernment?  When I read what my Bible commentary said, I sat back in my chair and had a moment of reflection.  I would love to share that moment with you.

“Discernment (or discretion) is the ability God gives to many people to think and make correct choices.  Sound judgment, however, He gives ONLY to those who follow Him.  Sound judgment includes discernment, but goes beyond it.  It also includes the knowledge that comes from instruction, training, and discipline, and the insight that results from knowing and applying God’s truths.”

Dear FATHER, your Word says that the first step in learning is to hold your name in awe and wonder. What a reward you give your children when we bow down to your Lordship.  You are not only a Mighty King and Creator,  but you are a tender, loving and gracious Father who delights in giving us the wonderful gift of good sound judgment and discernment.  Lord, pour out your wisdom upon us and help us to be skilled at living today.  LORD, thank you that when we ask and receive Your wisdom, it is like an ornament of grace that is placed around our neck.  In Jesus’ Name I pray -  Amen.

“....when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”           Proverbs 3:21-24


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Well Rooted

“But blessed is the woman who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.  She will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”    Jeremiah 17:7-8

The imagery of a fruitful, beautiful tree is what the Bible compares a woman to who is trusting in the LORD.  She is like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes.  Did you catch that?  The heat will come, the trials will come, and the wind will blow!  But guess what?  The tree is not worried about it because it has sent out its roots over time to the source of provision, to the source of strength and to the source of nutrition.

When we spend time in God’s Word daily, we have not separated ourselves from our source of nourishment.  When we are delighting in God’s Word, we are like a well rooted tree, having the strength for times of crisis and even will have the strength to share with others. 

May I encourage you to spend time in God’s Word today?  When you do, you will be like that tree who sends out its roots by the stream and provides comfort through its “shade”.  You will have no fear when heat comes and you will not worry in a year of drought.  You will never fail to bear fruit for your family, your friends, your places of business and your communities!

“She shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever she does shall prosper.”  Psalm 1:3

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lean Forward

Last week, my family and I had the privilege to go and hear Michael Hyatt, former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, speak at Biola University.  He shared a story with his audience that I would like to encourage you with. 

A friend of Mr. Hyatt, who is an expert snow skier, invited him to join him on the slopes.  Because Mr. Hyatt was a beginner skier, he agreed that he would stay on the green slopes/bunny slopes.  As they entered the ski lifts, he noticed that he was going higher and higher up the mountain.  When they got off the ski lift, he asked his friend where the beginner slopes were.  His friend said jokingly, “Oh, I thought they were up here.”  When Mr. Hyatt asked his friend how he was going to get down the mountain, his friend gave him the news that he had to ski down.  The advice that Mr. Hyatt’s friend gave him next is what I want to share with you.  His friend said, “You will be tempted to lean back as you attempt to ski down the mountain – but you have to fight that temptation and lean forward instead.”  His friend went on to say, “You will fall down - but you will fall down less if you lean forward.”

Mr. Hyatt used this advice from his friend to encourage us to do the same in life.

Many times our fears stop us from all that God wants to do in our life.  Many of us have a natural reaction to lean back.  But instead, may I encourage you to lean forward?  What in your life has God been encouraging you to do?

What does leaning forward look like to you?  For me, leaning forward was taking the step to write a book, A Stroke of Love, and having it published.  My private nature was calling me to lean back.  Being vulnerable was not easy, but by the grace of God and the encouragement of family and friends, my desire to honor God causes me to lean forward - which I am learning to do day by day. 

Leaning forward doesn’t always mean to say yes, it may mean to say no.  Maybe leaning forward for you is saying no to new opportunities that you always are tempted to say yes to.  Perhaps that extra activity in your life is compromising your commitment to your family.  Maybe God is encouraging you to do what does not come naturally but by taking the time for yourself and your home, God can richly bless your family with unity and strength.  Or perhaps the opposite for you may be true.  Maybe leaning forward for you is to say yes to new opportunities that you normally and naturally say no to.

I don’t know what leaning forward looks like to you, but I can assure you of this, following God’s lead will always be the best adventure and journey you have ever had. 

Let God take you to HIS highest level designed just for you – and when He does – lean forward!

“The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:19


Monday, June 10, 2013

This Day

On Saturday, my husband and I attended a beautiful wedding.  At the beginning of the ceremony, the pastor said these beautiful words to the bride and groom, “This day was on God’s calendar.”  When I heard those words, my heart and my mind was instantly flooded with peace.  It was a reminder once again that God knows ALL of our days before one of them come to be!

Does your life seem mundane today?  May I encourage you that God has not forgotten you?  He is so intimately acquainted with our ways, that He even knows our thoughts afar off (Psalm 139).

Sometimes it is only after the events in our life occur, do we then CLEARLY see God’s loving Hand upon our life.

FATHER, thank you for valuing our life.  Thank You for reminding us that you are an intimate God. Please place Your Hand upon us and our precious families today.  Please remind my friends that if we were to count the precious thoughts you have towards us, it would outnumber the grains of sand.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3


Saturday, June 8, 2013


Grace is unmerited favor.  In other words, it is getting what we don’t deserve. 

One day when my daughters were young, they came running into the home telling my husband and I about a small kitten trapped under a large trash container.  My husband and the girls, along with their friends, attempted to let this small kitten free but every time they reached their hands towards the kitten to grab it, the kitten would open up its small mouth and show its fangs and hiss at them.  Finally, with a lot of perseverance, the kitten was set free and the girls begged us if we could adopt it – we decided to name the kitten Lucky.  The first thing we did was to take it to our bathtub to give it a bath.  As soon as my husband dipped her in the water, we noticed the kitten appeared to be bleeding.  The next stop for this kitten was the animal hospital.  The veterinarian informed us that she was infested with fleas.  The bleeding was actually caused by the fleas when they came in contact with the warm water.  After the veterinarian gave it a good flea bath, he informed us that this kitten was wild and that it would take a lot of patience and time to tame it. 

Fortunately, for this kitten, we have daughters that are very patient.  Each day my daughters would work to gain the trust of this wild, little kitten.   But each time we walked by Lucky, the wild side of the kitten would do what she always did, show us her fangs and hiss.  Natalie, our oldest daughter, never gave up on this kitten - she made it a cozy place to sleep and she patiently hand fed the kitten with a spoon until Lucky gained her trust.  It took a long time but eventually Lucky became more comfortable with her new home.   This wild kitten that was once trapped under a trash container, had now been rescued, doctored up, showed a lot of love, and now had become a treasured family pet. 

Did this kitten do anything to earn the favor we gave it?  NO.  Did she do anything to justify the money and time we invested in her?  NO.  In fact, she did just the opposite.  But our family chose to show little Lucky unmerited favor – better known as GRACE. 

This is exactly what God has done for us hasn’t He?  God sent His Son while we were still sinners to rescue us from ourselves.  Through Christ’s finished work on the cross, and our acceptance of this gift, we became a treasured child of God and we were adopted into His family.  This is unmistakable GRACE.

However, the story of Lucky does not end here.  One day, Lucky escaped her safe and loving home. Even though we tried everything to locate Lucky, we were unable to find her – she chose to go her own way.  The call of the wild was much stronger for little Lucky.

Many of us, just like Lucky, resist the love and care that God delights to shows us.     

Let’s not resist the love God wants to show us today.  God has His arms opened wide ready to accept us, through His Son, just as we are, at any time of the day or night, with any conditions, with or without fleas. :)

Do you need more of God’s grace today?  Instead of resisting Him, let’s resist our own call to the wild and we will receive all the abundant life that God has for each and every one of us.
If we will be patient and allow God to refine us, God will bless us beyond our imagination! God has a magnificent plan for your life!!!
“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11-12

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Stroke of Love

Dear friends, thank you for reading my blog.  I have a passion for encouraging women to trust God with all their hearts.  I believe in the power of prayer and the daily seeking of God’s will through the Word of God.  I love to tell others about the love and mercy of God.  At the tender age of three, I lost my father, and that left me with a deep longing in my heart for many years.  But at the age of thirty, by the grace of God, I accepted Christ as my LORD and Savior and entered into one of the greatest love affairs of my life...a relationship with my heavenly Father.  Ever since then, I have been passionate about sharing with everyone the great love that God has for them.  I love to encourage women to cast all their cares upon Him and to rest in the sovereign and warm embrace of the Almighty. 

I have been married to my husband, Guillermo, who swept me off my feet almost thirty years ago.  Guillermo and I have three lovely daughters named Natalie, Alexis and Julia who bring love, joy, laughter and lots of drama into our home :).
During those thirty years of marriage, I had an unexpected stroke that I wrote about in my book entitled, A Stroke of Love.