Do You Need a Sign?

Do You Need a Sign?

The signs are all around us. Signs of celebration. Signs telling us to be merry and have cheer. Signs leading us to the “can’t live without it” gift.

Tis the season of joy, right?

I have already heard people talking about the busyness and craziness of the holiday shopping season. It’s hard not to. I feel the pressure to do more, seek the perfect gift and get things checked off my Christmas to-do list.

But when it’s all said and done, it’s not the gift that we remember. In fact, I can’t name one thing I got for Christmas last year (except for an ornament my son painted of the cover of my book . . . which I recently hung on the tree).

Moments of joy

However, I find joy in the people and the moments we share.

I remember laughing around the table on Christmas day. I love being with friends and family at our annual Christmas party. I cherish Christmas traditions, especially Christmas Eve with my cousins and their families.

I even still chuckle about a huge inflatable Santa I bought for our boys that first Christmas after my husband passed away . . . and all the comments of support that post brought about. (We finally “retired” Santa this year.)

I believe that when we put all the “stuff” and activity aside, when we still our hearts and seek Christ, joy awaits us.

In fact, the Lord pursues us. He wants us to know Him and find delight in Him.

“God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us – to worship Him and enjoy Him forever.” A. W. Tozer

King Hezekiah of the Old Testament did this. Scripture even compares him to King David in doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He sought the Lord and turned Judah back to God. (2 Kings 18:3, 2 Chronicles 31:20-21)

After he re-installed the sacrificial system and festivals like the Passover, scripture tells us both Israel and Judah celebrated as one. Their hearts were in it and there was great joy in Jerusalem.

Why? Because they were seeking God.

Ultimate joy

I spoke with my friend Teresa shortly before her father’s funeral this week. He was a man who sought the Lord. Her eyes lit up as she told me about her daddy’s last breath on earth. At that moment, a look of pure joy flashed across his face. I can only imagine how it must have impacted her.

Thinking about it still leaves me in awe. Mere words cannot come close to capturing what she witnessed.

One day those who know Jesus will also experience unspeakable joy when we see Him face to face. But I’m thankful we can also experience joy right now.

So when you hear holiday greetings, when you see signs reminding you of the Christmas season, let those prompt you — not to do more — but to seek Him more.

No greater joy

Hezekiah sought the Lord. Shepherds and wise men searched for Jesus. Teresa’s dad trusted in Jesus. Let us also seek Him and find joy this Christmas season.

He is no longer a baby in a manger.

No longer the messiah on a cross.

He is our risen Savior, our Redeemer and our King.

There is no greater joy than that.


“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:2 (ESV)



Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

A Changed Heart

A Changed Heart

Matthew 27 tells us a story of a changed heart.

The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. Matthew 27:52-53

Seeing is believing

The centurion and those with him guarding Jesus had a change of heart after they had seen all that had happened. Terrified, they exclaimed “surely he was the son of God.” (Matthew 27:54)

What a sight to see dead men walking – appearing to many people! I’d be terrified too.

As God breathed life into man when He formed him, Jesus’ death gave the breath of life back to many holy people.

You only live once

You’ve heard the saying “you only live once.” Well, there are people who got to live twice on earth. Scripture tells us about many who were raised from the dead. For example,


Jairus’ daughter; and

The widow of Nain’s son.

But what about those who were given new life at the moment Jesus took His last breath? Matthew 27:52 says many holy people were raised to life at that moment.

I wonder what they did from the time they were raised until three days later when they went into the holy city.

I wonder how they honored God when they came back to life. Were they able to finish unfinished business this second time around?

What would you do if you had a second chance at life on earth? If I had a do-over, I’d try to correct past mistakes, and be more mindful of my words and actions.

The Bible also says we are dead in our sins before we come to Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1) The apostle Paul goes on to say that because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.

Breathing new life

So, in a sense, we are like those dead men.

Once Jesus breathed his last, they breathed new life. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we come out of a spiritual grave to walk into new life. We breathe new life and are told to walk in it.

Can you imagine the families of those people? How excited they were – and maybe a little afraid – to see them again.

What about us? Here on earth, our loved ones (in most cases) rejoice in our new life. But not only that, the angels rejoice too. They rejoice when a sinner repents. (Luke 15:9-11)

Walking beside them

So what can we do to help new believers walking around in new life?

Walk beside them.

  • Teach them what we’ve learned in our walk of faith.
  • Encourage them to stand strong in their faith.
  • Pray for them to grow and seek Jesus in the big decisions in life as well as the small.

If you don’t know Jesus personally, don’t let his suffering and last breath be for nothing. He rose again into new life, conquering death before He returned to the Father in heaven. He did so that we might live through Him and spend eternity in heaven.

The centurion got it right that day. You can too. Today, receive His gift of life, His mercy and grace, and show many people what your new life is like. What a great time to begin a new life, and astonish others with your boldness and faithfulness.

 To learn how, you can go here.

What are you boldly believing God for in 2023?

What are you boldly believing God for in 2023?

He looked at them with compassion and touched their eyes. (Matthew 20:34)

I have read the story of Jesus healing the blind beggar several times over the last few months. Today, though, it encouraged me in a different way. As I think about the approach of a new year, I want to be like these two who spoke their request with boldness and faith, then put their faith into action. The Bible says they immediately received their sight and followed him.

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-34)

Healing faith

They played a part in their healing, too. Mark and Luke’s version of this story says that it was his faith that healed him.

That faith reminds me of another set of verses that tell us to believe and move mountains. (Mark 11: 22-26).

Also, Luke 11:8-10 tells us much of the same. It describes a man who knocks on his friend’s door asking for bread. His friend refused to get up because he was already in bed, however, Jesus said “because of the man’s boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”

What is your mountain?

That, my friend, is a lesson for us as we enter 2023. What is your mountain? What are you boldly believing and asking God for in 2023? What are you putting your faith in God to do for you this year? Whatever is ahead, let’s

  • Be bold. Make the ask.
  • Believe and have faith.
  • Praise Him big.
  • Follow Him. Serve Him big.

We play a role in our results as well. In each verse, they believed. They had faith. They knocked.

If I ask God to fulfill my dream, I must put in my work, too. If I ask God to heal me from a physical condition, I may have to change some patterns or habits to get there.

So, my desire for myself and my encouragement for you this new year is to be bold. Boldly believe God and ask him to move that mountain. Boldly dream the dream. Work hard to achieve it. Praise God for it. Serve Him through it.

I pray the Lord will bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He turn his face toward you and give you peace in 2023.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9


Celebrating a Promise Fulfilled

Celebrating a Promise Fulfilled

After returning an item at a local store, I began to wander around – not knowing what I was looking for. Then my mind also began to wander, thinking about Matthew and how I miss him this Christmas.

Next, I headed to Sam’s to buy supplies for Christmas day, and I remembered how we used to go together to shop for Christmas. Our boys were much younger, and we enjoyed finding gifts that would surprise and delight them. Matthew was such a big kid himself.

How do we survive the holidays when our hearts are longing for more time with our loved one? There seems to have been so much loss and heartbreak this year. That alone is distressing.

Then I stumbled on this verse in a journal a friend gave me recently and God spoke to my heart.

Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you. Psalm 55:22

It was just the reminder I needed.

Make room for blessings

When we lay our worries and stresses at Jesus’ feet, there’s room to think about the gifts – the blessings – God has already provided. So that’s what I decided to do.

I thought about my boys giving me an early Christmas gift – both thoughtful and touching. Parker made an ornament on a piece of wood, painting the cover of my book on it. I think he got as much joy from giving it as I did from receiving it.

I thought about impromptu lunches with two friends this week — two days in a row — and how each one blessed and encouraged me.

I thought about our Christmas party and how I enjoyed spending time with friends and family.

And I thought about the gift of God’s word (like Psalm 55:22) that tells me I can release my burdens and focus on blessings because of a promise fulfilled.

A promise fulfilled

God made a promise. Then he fulfilled it when he gave the gift of joy by sending His son to live among humankind. 

The shepherds experienced it that beautiful and magnificent night when they were visited by a host of angels.

Mary and Joseph experienced it as they sat in awe and held their baby in their arms — the new King who had come to save the world.

The wise men experienced it when they visited the small family and kneeled before the Christ.

And we can experience it too.

  • As we face dark days. Lonely days.
  • When we trust even though we cannot see ahead.
  • As we sense the secret workings of God in our hearts.
  • As we receive the gift of salvation Christ offers.

While some celebrate Christmas with family, others miss the family member who’s gone. Some celebrate by attending events and parties. Others endure the days alone.

One thing is sure. No matter our circumstances, Jesus will do what he says. God spoke to the prophets about the coming Messiah and His miraculous birth. And it happened exactly as it was written.

And because of that, we can celebrate a promise fulfilled — whether with a large group of people or with only Jesus as our companion. Let’s celebrate Jesus. Let’s worship Him.

Is the spirit of God tugging at your heart today? Give thanks that he gave Himself for us. Give thanks for the gifts He has given us personally. 

  • A time of laughter with a friend
  • A bittersweet memory
  • A thoughtful gesture
  • A scripture of encouragement
  • A moment in the presence of the King.

As the shepherds rejoiced when they heard the angels’ proclamation, then searched for the Christ child, let us also rejoice and be on the lookout for precious everyday gifts.


    When Jesus calls

    When Jesus calls

    The blind man’s shout for mercy stopped Jesus in his tracks. Then Jesus told his disciples to call the man.

    I love what the disciples said next.

    “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”

    The blind man jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

    Jesus knew what was on the man’s mind, but he asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

    “I want to see,” he answered.

    The blind man was bold. He didn’t want to miss his opportunity so when others tried to silence him, he shouted even more.

     “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:52 (NIV)

    Jesus by my side

    This story reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend who is now with Jesus. It was years ago, but it has always stuck with me.

    As she was driving alone, she envisioned Jesus sitting beside her. He asked her these same words. “What can I do for you today?”

    My friend, stop for a moment and call out to Him. I assure you; He’s calling for you and that fact alone can lighten your load and cheer you up.

    When Jesus calls . . .

    • We can rest assured He knows what’s on our mind. He knows the longing of our soul.
    • We can cheer up because the King of the world wants to do something for us.
    • Our faith plays a role in the outcome.
      • We need to believe He is who He says he is.
      • We need to know that He will do what He says He will do.
      • We need to believe he can heal.
    • When we really encounter Jesus, we want to follow Him.

    Oh, how I needed these words today. It has been a week. I’m sure you can relate.

    But I am resolved to put my focus on Him – not my environment or my circumstances.

    The Bible tells us we have not because we ask not, and we have because we ask. Our next move should be to pray until the answer comes. He welcomes our communication with Him.

    Romans 3:20 supports this same message.

    Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

    I want my faith to strengthen as I follow Him. I want that for you too. Today, let’s call out boldly, listen and be encouraged as He calls us and receive the blessings He wants to give us.

    Dare to live in faith

    Dare to live in faith

    The season is upon me.

    The season of deep reflection and wet, burning eyes. The season of remembrance and while not as intense as it once was, a season of grief and loneliness.

    When August begins, so do thoughts about the upcoming anniversary of my husband’s collapse and death five days later. On the heels of that week in September, his birthday month of October approaches. We celebrate Matthew for the man, the father, the husband, the son and the brother he was.

    Of course, the holiday season follows October, bringing with it all the events we now celebrate without him. Until January rolls around, life just seems out of kilter.

    Faith in action

    It is during this season I must decide whether my faith is real or not. It is a true test of my faith.

    In my head, I know that since Adam’s entrance on earth, God has never failed anyone who places their trust in Him. In my heart, I know He loves and cares for me more than any human ever has or ever will.

    The book of Hebrews reminds me that faith is believing and acting on something I cannot see. It describes stories of how people responded to God in faith. These stories encourage us to have faith in our situations too.

    They remind me that my story and my future are not based on what I can see, but what I cannot see. And that is God.

    Faith depends on Jesus

    Faith fully depends on Christ.

    As A. W. Tozer shares in his devotional book Mornings with Tozer, “How many professing Christians boast in the Lord but watch carefully that they never get caught fully depending on Him?”

    I don’t want to live my life with a “way out” in case Jesus fails. I want to depend fully on the One who gave His life for me.

    I pray all of us will “get caught” fully depending on Jesus.

    Dare to live for Jesus. Fully depend on Him in your tears, with your memories, with your loneliness and grief, and as you celebrate life’s moments.

    Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)