From Christ to circumstances

Isaiah 26:3
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.
Oh, How I needed this today! I need reminding that Satan can and will throw at me everything he has in his arsenal of schemes in order to get me off track and move my focus from Christ to my circumstances.
More than I care to admit ~ I’m terrible at staying focused. It seems I fall for Satan’s tricks every time ~ will I ever learn!! Something happens and before I know it I’m at full speed chasing my cares and concerns down endless roads, running after the wind. My peace flees and anxiety fills my heart.

When I finally realize that I’ve lost my true focus I stop ~ exhausted and ashamed. He is there, He never left my side. I couldn’t see Him because I had looked away. He never is angry at my leaving, spewing condemning words at me. He only awaits my return and speaks to me soft words of peace, security and love.

I turn and cast my gaze once again upon the keeper of my concerns, ask forgiveness and He melts my cares into peace and stills my anxious heart. Our slow purposeful walk resumes. He is here, comforting, guiding, speaking life words into my heart and asking me to abide, just stay ~ close to Him. He calls me to lay aside the cares of the world, they only trap and He wants to transform, mold and shape me to be more like Him. If I will only fix my focus on Him ~ He will.

Do you ever find yourself chasing after your cares? Running headlong down roads that lead nowhere? We can both take comfort in knowing Christ is right there in the middle of our cares. He wants us both to turn all of our cares and concerns over to Him whenever they show up in our hearts and minds, and sometimes on our doorstep. All we have to do is turn toward Him. It’s an outward expression of our inward faith in Him to keep His promises.

1 Peter 5:7
…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Lord, help us (me) to stop chasing after the cares of life but start casting them on you and let us (me) just stay, resting in You alone.

Falling Down

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

I have 3 cats: Cocoa, Gracie and Sweet Pea. They all like to be rubbed and petted as most cats do.  But Sweet Pea is special.  Almost every day she’ll be sitting in the front of the house waiting for me to pull into the driveway. When she sees me coming I’ll see her small form as she start to make her way over to where I park. Once I step out of the car she’ll run in front of me and fall down at my feet and I’ll bend down and pet her. I know you may think that’s nothing special and that your cat does the same. Sweet Pea is the only one of my cats that does this. She is my special cat ~ because I rescued her from a life of starvation and a 4x4 cage. She falls down because she knows I’m the one who saved her, the one who has taken care of her, the one who feeds her and loves her.

The simple act of this small animal reminds me that I too should be falling down at the feet of Jesus and worship ~ the one who rescued me, the one who provides for me, the one who saved me from my sins, the one who gave his life for me and the one who loves me.

I fall down because He is worthy of my worship.

What else do you need before you fall down to worship the one who came to take away your sin, my sin, a world full of sin?

Behold! The Lamb of God!

Sacrifices of Righteousness

Psalm 4:5
"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord."

What are the sacrifices of righteousness?  Here are a few on my list....
~take time daily to read and meditate upon God’s word
~radical obedience
~keep the Lord’s commandments
~sow seeds of His word to those around me and around the world
~live a quiet and peaceful life
~show mercy
~allow for grace
~judge no one
~have patience
~show kindness
~pray without ceasing
~give freely of what God has given me
~give thanks to the Lord in all things
~do the right thing

…..what’s on your list?

"Come, see a Man"

John 4
“Come, see a Man”

The story of the Samaritan woman and her encounter with Jesus holds within itself many stories. It is the story of God’s love and redemption for mankind, it is a story of prejudice, it is a story of spiritual blindness and indifference to those around us and it is a story of sowing seeds for God.  That is my focus today ~ sowing seeds of God’s word.

The encounter with Jesus at the well changed the life of the Samaritan woman. It gave her hope and another chance to step out of the life she was currently living, one of self degradation and destruction and into a life filled with acceptance and worth.

But the change in her life didn’t just stop there. God’s word tells us in

John 4:28~29
The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city,
and said to the men,
COME SEE A MAN, who told me all things that ever I did.
Could this be the Christ?

What happened next is the power of speaking God’s word to others ~ sowing His seed.
John 4:30
Then they went out of the city and THEY CAME TO HIM.

John 4:39
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF THE WOMAN WHO TESTIFIED, “He told me all that I ever did.”

John 4:42
Then they (the Samaritans) said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

They “came to Him” “and many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified”. How powerful God’s word is to draw mankind to Himself. Could God do this on his own ~ draw people to Himself? Absolutely! However, God in His matchless love and mercy allows us to be involved in the plan of His redemption for mankind. He places us here ~ right where we are ~ to sow the seeds of His Gospel message to those we encounter every day.

That is what the nameless woman at the well did. She was doing what her normal daily routine demanded her to do ~ go draw water from the well. And while there she drew from the well of the love of God ~ she left behind her waterpot and returned with The Living Water and poured it out on the men of that city.

Her simple act brought many people of that city to the saving knowledge that Christ, the Savior of the world had come.

Now, let me ask you. Who will come to Christ because of the words you sow? God’s word in Matthew 28:19~20 tells us to: “Go, Make, Baptize and Teach”. This isn’t something Christ is suggesting for us to do when and if we feel like it. It is a command. The fields are white for the harvest ~ are you going?  Will you go and sow the seeds of His saving grace for those who are thirsting to death for His Living Water?

Lord, let me ever be mindful of those around me who are so desperate for your water of life. I pray for the Christians in America, and all over the world that we would stand boldly for you and let your life giving water pour out of us and revive the souls who need to drink the water of your saving grace.

Servants To Obey

I have a favorite devotional book by Dr. Charles Stanley titled “On Holy Ground”. I read through its daily devotions every year. A recent devotion resonated with me. In it Dr. Stanley talks about particular sins that plague us and we need to recognize them for what they are ~ “an offense against a holy God that can only be removed by the blood of Jesus”.  How true that is.

One of the things that I finally recognized in my “particular sin” is found in Romans 6:16. Paul tells us “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” One morning I realized I was obeying my particular sin ~ yielding to it! To me that was key! The Lord showed me that I was first yielding to it in my mind and then, I was placing myself in the path of it. Did you get that? I was intentionally placing myself in the direct path of it!

Once that was revealed to me I had a decision to make ~ just as mentioned in Romans 6:16. Was I going to obey the sin and be servant to it or was I going to obey my Heavenly Father and be servant to His righteousness? The decision was all mine. God didn’t force me ~ he just showed me the truth, as ugly as it was ~ and let me make the decision.

That morning, with God’s help, I intentionally chose to remove myself from the path of that sin. Was it difficult to do ~ absolutely! I liked it! It made me feel good about myself! Satan never wants to let go of a stronghold he has you in ~ he will fight you every step of the way! Does that sin still waffle through my mind? Yes, but now I can recognize it for what it is and take that thought captive to Christ and let him deal with it. And let me tell you ~ I do that quickly! I don’t allow it to hang around in my mind. If I did, I would start to thinking about it to much and start heading right back down that path, and I don’t want to go there! I know all to well where it will take me!

Only after I had made the decision to turn away from that sin could I then rejoice in the next two verses ~ Romans 6:17~18 “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”

What about you? Are you struggling with a particular sin? If so, ask the Lord to reveal the reality of it you ~ show you what it really is and where it is taking you. Then, make the decision to walk away. No matter what you think you are giving up, how good it seems, or how good it makes you feel right now ~ get rid of it! Loved one let me tell you from experience ~ at the end of that road is death! Maybe not physical death but death of self respect, your credibility, your testimony and a million other things that you are placing at risk. Satan’s scheme isn’t worth it ~ don’t listen to him!

Walk away and ask the Lord to cleanse you from it with his blood and rejoice that you have chosen to obey your Heavenly Father.

Lord, thank you for showing me the sin I was allowing in my life. Let me see my sin as you see it ~ no matter how ugly it may be. Thank you for your faithfulness to forgive me. Help me always make the decision to follow you.

Ann Voskamp

If you have never heard of Ann Voskamp nor read her blog you owe it to yourself to connect with her for she is most assuredly connected with God.  I had the privilege of meeting her at a recent conference.  What a humble sister in Christ.  I know you will be blessed by her writing.    This is a recent quote from her blog.

"What if we woke up this morning
with what we thanked God for last night."

Thank you Ann for sowing seeds of His grace for us.

Precious in His sight

Psalm 116:15
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”

A few years ago a friend of mine was tragically killed in a car accident. I had known him for more than 30 years. I had gone to high school with him and he had married one of my best friends.

If there was ever a married couple that I have known who really loved each other and were totally committed to one another it was them. From the time they met everyone could tell that they were meant to be together. And together they were, for 31 years.

On Nov 30, 2008, the day of their 31st wedding anniversary, while out shopping for Christmas presents for local needy families they were stopped at a traffic light and another car plowed into the rear of them. The SUV that hit them was estimated traveling at 95 miles per hour. The impact was so forceful that it pushed the car carrying my friends over 400 feet. The impact killed my high school friend instantly and sent his wife, my other friend to the hospital where she remained in critical condition for weeks.

Time has now passed but in those first few weeks that followed the accident when my friend was in hospital and her husband gone I struggled with God on this passage of scripture. I cried for my friend and the hurt I knew she was now going through and would continue to go through. I just didn’t understand how God in all his love and mercy and kindness could call something as tragic as this ~ “precious”. It just didn’t make sense.

One night in the early hours of the morning God woke me up, spoke directly to my heart and said to me (my interpretation of what my heart heard) “You want to know why I can call this situation precious, get up, I’m going to tell you”.

I went to another part of the house where I could be alone with God, got on my knees and started searching the scriptures. This is what God revealed to me.

The word “precious” means costly. God told me that He was the one who paid the high price for my friend to be one of His saints. He is the one who made the sacrifice, who shed His blood who bore my friends sins so he would have eternal life with Him. He was the one who died for my friend and spared his soul for eternal separation from a loving God.

That’s why God can call the death of one of His saints precious. Because it cost Him All He Had.

From that moment on God gave me peace about it and I never again asked why. I know my God is faithful and trustworthy.

If you've lost a loved one God will help you deal with the pain of loss if you go to Him and let Him carry it for you. Why, because you too are precious in His sight and anything thing that He calls precious ~ He keeps close watch over it.

Lord, thank you for my family and my friends.  I pray your protection over each one.  And when it's your perfect time to take one home to be with you let me still be able to take comfort in your love so pure that even in death you see it as a precious thing.


"Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them ~ the children of Israel. Joshua 1:2

More times than I care to admit I sit back and say "Lord, I need your guidance in this" (whatever "this" may be at the time) and then.... I wait ~ nothing comes. So I wait some more ~ still nothing comes. No moving of the spirit, no booming Charlton Heston voice saying "SIT STILL KATHY AND SEE THE DIRECTION OF THE LORD! Nothing!

Yes, I want the Charlton Heston voice booming loud in my ears so I will know for certain I'm doing what He wants me to do. That would be nice ~ wouldn't it? Absolutely! Nice and Easy! However sitting still isn't what the Lord would have us do when we need guidance. It isn't what He wanted for the children of Israel and it isn't what He wants us to do. God has so much more in store for us than just sitting back and taking the easy route. He wants us to have the adventure!

In today's passage the leadership baton has just been passed from Moses to Joshua. God doesn't allow Joshua time to sit around and say "Lord, I need guidance". No, God plainly tells Joshua ~ Moses is dead, now it's time to Arise and go...! If there is one thing I've learned about God it is that He doesn't beat around the bush.

The Lord wanted Joshua and the children of Israel moving ~ stepping out ~ trusting Him that no matter where they were headed God would make certain they were moving in the right direction. That is exactly what God wants us to be doing ~ moving, staying focused on Him and trusting Him to guide us. He has promised to guide us but He can't do it if we refuse to take a step of faith.

Notice in the passage the Lord says "arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them". The children of Israel did not have the land yet ~ they had to get up and go get it. God said He was "giving it to them" but they had to obey His command to "arise and go".

It is the same with us. We can either stay where we are and wander around the same "Lord, I need guidance" desert and never get anywhere ~ or ~ if we want what God is giving to us we can strap on our traveling boots, take up our shield of faith and "arise and go" (get moving) trusting God to guide us.

Yes, we do need to wait on the Lord. God's word tells us plainly to "wait patiently" for the Lord. However, we so often connect "waiting" with "doing nothing" and that is not true. Waiting does NOT mean ~ doing nothing.
Is there something in your life that you need guidance and direction on? First, ask the Lord for His direction and then "arise and go". God has promised to guide you but as long as you stay where you are ~ doing nothing you will never receive what God is so willing to give to you. He wants you moving forward and trusting Him for every footstep you take. Are you afraid of making a mistake? That's ok! Of course we will make mistakes, we're human. God doesn't expect us to be perfect. We serve a BIG God who can even take our mistakes and turn them into days of divine instruction for our good and His glory. He has a wonderful adventure just waiting for us, so let’s get moving.
Happy Father's Day!
You were our living fruit of the spirit.  Holy life lived out and laid down in front of us.  Late night lights reading your Bible in the back room with the wood stove.  Margins filled and a hundred places marked. (Psalm 139)  Road maps placed in each heart and mind so we could find our way home.

Timber felled, logs cut and piled on the truck, tobacco planted, making donuts in the snow in your old red Chevy truck and us all laughing until we cried.  Church on Sunday and Wednesday seated and watching hands folded behind you when the pastor asked " Brother Arthur, would you lead us in prayer?"

On bent knees at bedtime ~ Doug, Randy, Sandy, Diane, Ricky, Greg, Kathy ~ all names called out before God for protection and guidance.  Words that will ring true in my ears for a lifetime. 
A humble man, a humble life spilled out for family and now spilled out and present before God ~  and Mom, Randy and Diane. 
I can't wait to see you again!
The greatest gift I ever had, came from God... I called him Dad!
June 14, 2011

Isaiah: 60:12
For the nation and kingdom which will not
serve you shall perish, And those nations shall
be utterly ruined.

Lord, we thank you for your kindness, mercy and goodness that you have so lovingly poured out on America.  We thank you for our country and the flag that represents the freedom that is founded in her. May she always freely wave over this nation and may we be a nation which remains under God.


The Ark of the Covenant had been in Obed-Edom’s house for 3 months and it was time for it to come home. It was time for it to rest in its rightful place in the City of David, a place that David himself had made (2Samuel 6:12-19). Can you imagine how full David’s heart must have been, knowing that at long last the ark of the Lord was returning to its people ~ the Lord’s chosen people ~ David’s people. The story tells us that David sacrificed burnt offerings before the Lord and when he had finished he blessed the people, gave them gifts of wine, meat and bread ~ for it was a celebration. Then everyone went to his own house to celebrate in private if they chose to do so.

In the midst of this celebration, with his heart full of love and awe for his Lord, David pens Psalm 15:1~5. David, filled with the spirit fully sees the awesomeness of his God, the splendor of His Holiness and in the fullness of this knowledge he asks two simple questions:

“Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? (Psalm 15:1)

The Lord replies: (Psalm 15:2-5)
2: He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who
speaks the truth from his heart
3: and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and
casts no slur on his fellowman,
4: who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who
keeps his oath even when it hurts,
5: who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against
the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.

I have to confess when I read those words my heart ached. The sharp sword of His truth stabbed my heart like a dagger and my eyes clinched together as if to say ~ Lord, don’t show me anymore! You see, God doesn’t require that I attain great wealth, notoriety or have a long list of letters after my name. No, He simply says:

• live your life so others will know you are a follower of me,
• keep your tongue from speaking lies and gossip,
• love your neighbor,
• do what you have said you will do,
• don't follow those who have no respect for me, my name or my word,
• give honor to those who serve me,
• give to others without expecting anything in return,
• protect the innocent

So how can this seemingly simple list provoke such a reaction? Because the condition of the human heart is sin sick. It’s the old “lust of/living in the flesh” that raises its head and demands to have its way. In my own flesh I cannot abide by these simple rules even though they may seem easy. However; Galatians 5:16 tells us “ This I say then, Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”

There is the answer: I need to do more spirit walking and less flesh living! How about you? Do you find yourself being led away from God’s truth by living in the flesh? Things that may not be wrong but we waste time focusing on them. That’s Satan’s trap ~ to keep us busy and not focused on kingdom work. Let’s be in agreement that we will start today doing as David did ~ focusing our attention on Christ and drawing near to him.

How is that accomplished you ask? By praying and listening for God to speak to you; by reading His word daily and by living a life that is pleasing to him.

Lord, thank you for hearts that are open and ready for your touch. A touch that can cause us to realize the path we are traveling, a touch that so lovingly guides us back to you. The world is very quick to offer exactly what our flesh wants, but Lord only you offer us exactly what our sick hearts need ~ you! Fill us with your spirit Lord so we will walk (live) in it and not be guided by our own selfish desires and motives.

Sowing Seed

I don't usually comment.  I'm just shy like that, not wanting to intrude in the sacred holy moment of another.  But when I read Ann's post and read the pictures, especially the one with the hand holding the seed, my heart swelled and I knew this one was different.

Sowing Seed is what God calls/commands all of His children to do.  It's what I'm called to do and it is what you're called to do.  We have a percious commodity ~ the living seed of God's Word.  The only hope of a lost and scatterd world.  

Lord, let us always be going forth sowing your seeds of love, mercy and redemption into the dry cracked heart soil of lives that are without a shepherd.  Give us your strength, your power, your love and your direction to step off the comfort of the shore and into the deep waters that are rich with a harvest.

He speaks through Her...She Speaks

Ladies, another scholarship is graciously being awarded by
 Ann Voskamp for the Proverbs 31 Ministries
She Speaks Conference.

 Details follow the post.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel back to a place where I had not been in 24 years, my first overseas military assignment; Hahn Air Base, Germany. What I write now is a snapshot of that journey taken from my journal, July 2009.  From my heart to yours...

My ride to Germany ~ Thanks to the
dedicated men and women of the
United States Air Force!
 I can hardly believe it is happening. After 27 years here I am at Charleston AFB manifested on a flight bound for Germany. Now as then I’ve left behind all that is familiar; family, friends, personal belongings, routines and have stepped out of the secure boundaries of my life and headed off on this journey. Now as I sit strapped into a web jump seat inside a military aircraft I wonder ~ how did Jesus feel when the Father came and told Him it was time for Him to embark on His journey? Not one that would parade Him around Heaven in His entire splendor but one that would leave him helpless, vulnerable, a babe in a manger. Did the Father console Him, put His arm around Him and reassure Him? Did He say His good-byes to all His friends? Did Michael and Gabriel stand before Him pledging their allegiance to Him, dressed in full armor prepared for any battle He may call them to just like a true and faithful friend? Did He take one last look around Heaven, and even then get home sick knowing he would be leaving behind all that was familiar? Did He breathe in all the beauty and splendor of Heaven one last time before He surrendered His majesty and radiance to the Father and wrapped Himself in human flesh to come and live among the created? Laying down His majesty and glory He set out on a journey penned according to the Father’s will. A journey that only He could take to fulfill a destiny only perfection could fulfill. Was there a tear in His eye or a pain in His heart ~ maybe, after all He created emotions. Regardless, He freely stepped through the veiled and was born to the visible. Deity clothed in flesh. He knew the purpose and plan of the Father and He would see it to completion until He would come full circle and return to His rightful place ~ seated on the throne of glory at the right hand of God.

I too feel as though I’ve come full circle, returning to a place I knew so well many years ago.

We arrived at Hahn in the early evening. A cold blanket of rain had settled in over the German countryside ~ typical German weather. The base had long since been closed and was now a small airport. Many of the buildings I was so familiar with had been torn down to make way for parking. Why should I think my building would be any different? But to my surprise as we rounded the curve and drove past the tree line there in the fading sunlight stood my building of long ago. It was beautiful. Strangely my heart swelled with emotion. It was like seeing an old friend. A friend who had been standing patiently in the wings of my life just waiting for me to once again come, pull back the curtain of time and take a look.

The flurry of activity that had once surrounded this building immediately came back to life in my mind. I could see everyone who worked here ~ all present and counted for. How busy we were back then. The base was a bussell of activity ~ everyone hurrying about accomplishing the mission.

But that wasn’t all, there was something more. There was something God was doing in my heart, something I needed and hadn’t been aware of. It was healing, a healing that only God could bring. In those few minutes of time looking back at the past God reminded me of James 4:14 - "For what is your life (Kathy)? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” God’s words to me that life quickly passes and yet there is still work He has for me to do. Reassurance, that He had not forgotten me or left me on a shelf never to be used again. There in that brief moment of time, standing in a parking lot in Germany, God dipped His finger into my heart and began to write into my life another path for my feet to walk, un-furrowed ground to discover, a new journey to begin and mission to accomplish. It was good to be back in this place, to be able to pull back the curtain of time and take a look. But most importantly, to know that God could use an ole country girl like me to do a work for Him.

Time has now passed since my trip back to Germany and with its passing God has unfolded part of that work He had for me ~ teaching His word. To break it down and dig out the gold that is burried in it, and grasp the behind the scene story.  Then, to sow those seeds of His word into the soil of the lives of others.  Like a farmer planting his seeds in hopes of a bountiful harvest seeds of God's word must aslo be sown if souls are to be harvested for God's glory.  In Matthew 28:19~20 Christ commands us to "go" into all the world sowing this gospel seed and teaching of His love and redemption.  That's what my mission is both in the Sunday School class and on this blog.  There is still more to be accomplished, more of His work to be done.  I anxiously await the next step in this journey with Him.

Let me send out a word of encouragement to anyone who may think that God has set them on a shelf and will not use them. Yes, He can and Yes, He will. He doesn’t require that you have a flair for writing, a wonderful singing voice or be a skilled motivational speaker. All He is looking for are those who will make themselves available for His work and will allow Him to be their sufficiency to accomplish it. God does have a work for you.

If you have every felt unusable, unworthy for God’s work or maybe your heart needs healing (as mined did) let me invite you to join us July 22~24 in Concord, NC for the She Speaks Conference. A conference directed by Proverbs 31 Ministries specifically focused on assisting women involved in, or who want to be involved in accomplishing God’s work.

A scholarship for the cost of the conference is graciously being awarded by Ann Voskamp, a keynote speaker for the conference. For details concerning the scholarship click here. Your entry must be posted not later than April 2, 9:00 in the morning, Eastern Standard Time.

I hope to see you there as we open our hearts, pour out the vision of His work in our lives as He pours into our lives a renewed spirit, fresh ideas and new found friends.

Lord, how grateful I am that you are a God who can and will use simple people . Father, I ask you to quicken the spirit of those who think they have no usefulness and give them purpose. Awaken their ears to hear you calling them into your harvest fields, set their eyes on the tasks you have for them and send them out in your strength and in your power.

Prayers for Japan

The images coming out of Japan are mind boggling.  So much so that they seem like something out of a Hollywood movie instead of real life.  However, real people have lost their lives with thousands more in desperate need of food water and shelter.  Please join us in praying for the people of Japan, that they would know God has not forgotten them and has not deserted them. 

Please join us also in donating to Samaritan's Purse as they assist this devastated country in their hour of need.  Pray as they demonstrate God's love in ministering to their physical needs that Christ will be seen in the midst and spiritual needs will be met. Only God can use this disaster and turn it into a divine display of His love for the people of Japan.

Click on the link below to donate.

Thank You.