Jesus, Candy and Rocks

Jesus, Candy and Rocks

Squeal with delight

Jesus. Candy. Hats. Soda. Road. Trees. Rocks. Water. Grass. . .

I ran across this note in a journal from years ago. My youngest son Parker scribbled these words along with others in response to my assignment to think of things we were thankful for. I can still hear his low raspy voice reading his list. His scrawled notes took me back to a time of sweet innocence and little boys’ imaginations.

Road trips often became a teaching ground for my three sons. In times like this, one child would act as a scribe. Many times, we volunteered Garrett because he had the best handwriting. This time, it was Parker’s turn.

For trips taken late in the year or the beginning of a year, I’d ask them to think about goals — family goals and individual goals. I think they enjoyed offering up a goal or two for their brothers more than thinking of one for themselves. I’ve kept some of these lists as tender reminders of simple, more carefree days.

They also prompt me to express gratitude more in my life.

Overcome with gratitude

Luke 17 recounts the story of one who showed gratitude for being healed of leprosy. Ten men were healed that day. One expressed his gratefulness.

When this man saw that he was healed on his way to show himself to the priest, he came back praising God in a loud voice.

I’m trying to imagine this scene. At some point on his way to the priest, he looks at his skin, sees he’s been healed and turns around heading back to Jesus. I imagine he even sprinted back. His heart must have been amazed and overcome with gratitude because scripture says he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.

Speak gratefulness daily

When I think of what Jesus has brought me through, I am amazed at His goodness, mercy and grace. But when did I last throw myself at His feet in gratitude?

Wouldn’t our lives be different if we made it our practice to speak gratefulness daily? Maybe we should make a list of how we’re

  • Thankful for the little things;
  • Thankful for the big things;
  • And all the things in between.

What are you thankful for?

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan,” (Luke 17:15-16 NIV).




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.


Squeal with Delight

Squeal with Delight

Squeal with delight

I love the picture my friend Sarah paints with this devotion. I share it with you in hopes you will find joy like the delight a child finds on the playground.


Delighting. Committing. Being still. Lent is such a special time. It gives us time to focus our hearts and minds on God. In Psalm 37, David talks about taking delight in the Lord and giving everything we do to Him.

When I think of genuine delight, I think of children playing outside squealing and running. You can tell they are truly happy and joyful. I think this is how we are called to worship — with delight! How often do we find ourselves feeling like a kid again, running on the playground in worship? True delight is not something we experience every day. We have to fully commit everything that we do to the Lord.

Delight in the Lord is a daily choice we make. Wake up. Give your day to Him. Those decisions you make, give those to Him. Give it all to Him. For those of us who like to be in control, let go and give it to Him.

Don’t let being busy get in the way. Everyone you talk to is busy, with family, with kids, with activities of all kinds. They are busy with work. They are busy with the community. Everyone is busy. It’s almost like if you aren’t busy, you aren’t doing life right.

The busyness of life and our choices to only walk with God when it’s convenient interfere with our ability to delight in the Lord. During this Lenten season, let’s slow down and focus our hearts. Be still. Choose to commit yourself to the Lord.

Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust in him, and he will help you,” (Psalm 37 NLT).


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.


Paving the Way to Bigger and Better

Paving the Way to Bigger and Better


Our dog escaped from the backyard last week. I was moving leaf bags to the front so they could be picked up. With that opening in the gate, he bolted past me.


I chased him for 40 minutes until my son and a helpful neighbor backed him into a corner. I was concerned he would either attack another neighbor’s chickens or get hit by a speeding car. No matter how many times (and there were many) I called his name and said the magic word “here,” he only darted the other way.


He ran across the street and back multiple times, into neighbors’ yards and then just simply ran 30mph down the street.


That experience was not supposed to be a part of my day.


He was once trained, but little by little, he began to ignore the rules. I, of course, was only trying to protect the guy from harm. What he doesn’t understand is that small acts of obedience pave the way to bigger and better things.


Acts of obedience

Two thousand years ago, a group of shepherds acted on the guidance of an angel of the Lord. They were rewarded big for it. In a surreal display of magnificence, the angel announced the Savior of the World’s birth and told them how to find Him. They could have marveled at the spectacle before them and praised God for the angels’ appearance. They could have reminisced about that experience the rest of their lives.


But they didn’t stay. Following the angel’s instructions, they left their flocks and went seeking the Christ Child.


The shepherds heard. They obeyed. They expected to see great things.


They definitely saw bigger and better. Because they obeyed, they were likely the first to see the Savior of the World. Because they obeyed, they couldn’t keep this great news to themselves. Scripture goes on to say they shared with the others what the angels had revealed about Jesus.


The greatest news ever known

My friend, we have been given the greatest news ever known to man. Jesus Christ came to earth in the form of a baby. God with human skin. But let’s not miss the second part of this greatest news. Jesus came so he could make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.


Most of us have heard this good news. How have we responded? Are we full of wonder at what was done for us? Do we enjoy God’s blessing of people, experiences and things we’ve been gifted, only to go back to our daily routine?


Or do we respond and obey? Like the shepherds, do we share the good news? Do we go to where the Holy Spirit leads us? For me, I have found that I need to be obedient to what God already has said before He reveals something new. I believe that one step of obedience at a time opens the door for God to speak more.


Step by step

I think we can learn from the shepherds.

  • They stopped what they were doing, obeyed and went to see Jesus.
  • They returned to their fields glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

Today, we too can act upon the word of God.

  • Stop what we’re doing and recognize the splendor of that event 2000 years ago. Keep the awe and reverence of that moment in our hearts and minds and glorify Him.
  • Recognize the gifts He gives us every day.
  • Follow in obedience — one simple step at a time.

When we obey and seek Jesus, we can’t help but return glorifying and praising Him.

And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20 (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.


What Keeps You up at Night?

What Keeps You up at Night?

I woke up to blessed quiet. It had been many weeks — almost two months — of noises in the attic awakening me or scuffling between my office walls and the outside brick frustrating and distracting me. My sons and I couldn’t determine its identity.

One morning the noises sounded like someone moving furniture. Several days the sound of a golf ball repeatedly dropping and rolling tested my patience.

We set out to find an opening and finally found a hole under an eave in the roof, assuming the squatter must be a raccoon. Upon further inspection, we found the insulation had been patted down by the critter’s many trips across the attic floor. Plus, the air duct was detached in two places! So, instead of cooling my house in the 107-degree Louisiana heat, I had been cooling the attic for our attic resident. I can just imagine him sitting up there in between the two sections of the air duct and enjoying all that cold air.

After patching up the hole, we set a borrowed trap in the attic. After a week and even one instance where the raccoon outsmarted the trap, he unexpectedly took the bait and landed in raccoon jail. Our unwanted visitor was then taken to his new home in the woods.

That attic situation was quite the experience.

So I’m grateful for a quiet house on a lazy Saturday morning. I’m grateful for cool air and a son who didn’t complain even once about checking the trap three times a day.

What’s in your attic?

What’s in your attic? Hopefully, it’s not something wreaking havoc and causing destruction.

However, sometimes, it’s our own thoughts that do exactly that.

What keeps you up at night or awakens you in the early morning hours? What is that constant worry that keeps you in a state of disarray? What is the fear that won’t give you peace? Or the nagging voice that distracts you from your life’s purpose?

Jesus brought calm to the chaos and peace in the storm. He spoke healing to the helpless and provided plenty to the hungry. He spent time with the outcasts as well as the prominent. He made himself available to men and women alike, and cherished children. He taught, he prayed, he wept, he loved.

And he does that for us too. We can rest at night knowing that He is in control and He’s available.

Who fights your battles?

There is an account in scripture that reminds us where to place our trust. It’s an unusual one to discuss trust, but I love what King Jehoshaphat says when enemy armies were about to invade.

2 Chronicles 20:12

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

That is the answer for us too. No matter the pressure you’re feeling in life right now, put your eyes on Jesus. If the walls seem to be closing in, or something is causing destruction in your attic, remember He is there.

2 Chronicles 20:17 also reminds us of God’s provision. When facing a battle, He told the people of Judah not to do anything.

You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, tomorrow go out against them and the LORD will be with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17 (ESV)

And I love their response. They praised and sang BEFORE the LORD delivered them. God caused their enemies to destroy each other. By the time Judah got there, all they needed to do was pick up the spoils. Don’t you love that?

I do not know what battle you might be facing, or what the Lord might require of you, but I do know this. With Jesus by your side, you cannot lose.

Ordinary People

Ordinary People

As King David stays hidden from his son Absalom, two men risk their lives to report to David Absalom’s plan to take over the kingdom. (2 Samuel 17:17-21)

Because they had been seen leaving the city, a man in Bahurim allowed these messengers to hide in his well. His wife placed a blanket and grain over it to stow them away from their pursuers. She then sent Absalom’s men in a different direction.

Available and willing

We don’t know much about this couple other than these few scriptures. They were likely just two ordinary people God used for a moment in time to protect his anointed. Did they sense that they were part of a bigger picture?

When they got the news David’s messengers needed a hiding place, did they “push through” their fear of possible punishment? I can imagine the wife’s rush to fling the blanket over the well in time. Did her heart race as she pointed the pursuers in the opposite direction?

One thing seems clear. They were available and willing, and God used them to protect His messengers and David.

Abide in the Word

I attended a women’s conference this past weekend — Abide in the Word — hosted by The Vine of NELA. The words amazing, inspiring and encouraging best describe our eight hours together.

The thought occurred to me that while we all came from different areas, different backgrounds and different churches, we were all just ordinary people with our problems, fears, mistakes and our sorrows. But together, as we stood singing and praising the Father, the presence of God filled the room and amazing things happened in our hearts.

We each fulfilled various tasks and responsibilities from listening, lifting a hand, putting an arm around a sister in support, organizing, praying, speaking and singing  . . . and making sure there was plenty of coffee. 

The two from Bahurim played a role in protecting David. What about us? Our lives may seem ordinary in our own eyes, but God can use us — He wants to use us — to accomplish His purpose and His plan.

Let’s be available and willing to answer the call, and to complete the task . . . no matter how large or small, or daunting.

Seek the Lord. Trust His Word. Ask Him to draw you close and teach you to abide.


Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

Taking Down Walls

Taking Down Walls

One of the hardest things I have ever done was tell my three boys their daddy had gone to be with Jesus in Heaven. The task seemed insurmountable. I was already numb from the news myself; how could I ever speak it to them?

It seemed a wall loomed ahead, threatening our way of life. Somehow, I had to make it to the other side and begin an unwanted and unfamiliar future.

Walls can be daunting. However, I believe there are two essentials to tackling the walls that stand in our way.

  • Our faith
  • God’s power

A promise fulfilled

As described in Joshua 6, a wall stood between the Israelites and the place God had promised them. That wall surrounded the city of Jericho and God had a plan for Joshua to defeat the city.

(Jericho was the first city conquered by Israel after crossing the Jordan River and occupying the Promised Land. Joshua 5:13-6:23)

I feel certain the plan to circle the walls of Jericho seemed bizarre to the people. But Joshua listened to God, then executed the plan exactly as God had laid it out for him. And the people followed Joshua’s instruction.

When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20 (NIV)

The power of praise

The walls of Jericho fell – not because of human strength or skill – but because of the faith and shouts of praise of the people. That, my friend, is the power of praise.

Because of their faith, they saw the power of God in action. And with their faith, they accomplished the task as God intended.

Oh, that we would approach our walls – or mountains – before us with that same faith accompanied by praise. When we say “I can’t do this” or “I won’t do that,” we limit God.

Joshua was a man of great faith. And he saw the limitless power of the Lord. Verse 27 closes out Chapter 6 with this about him.

So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land. Joshua 6:27 (NIV)

I have witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. It was only through faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that got my family to the other side of that wall during those dark days.

Do you have a wall standing in your way? Or a mountain before you? Sometimes fear can be that barrier that holds us captive. Or grief could keep us bound and not able to move forward.

Let’s cling to our faith to move those mountains, tear down those walls and see the power of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives, working on our behalf.