fellowship with God · Refreshment · Spiritual Refreshment

Headed to The Wilds!

I’m excited to have the blessing of speaking at The Wilds ladies’ retreat this weekend. There are 19 or 20 of our church ladies attending and I’m so excited to share this weekend with these precious sisters in. Christ.

Springtime at The Wilds!

The van is packed and we’re headed to do some shopping and enjoy lunch out before getting to camp. This will be full, fun day!

I pray your weekend is full of seeing God at work! I’ll be anxious to share all the details of the weekend very soon!

I pray you’re making plans to be in a Bible preaching church on Sunday!

organization · Spiritual Refreshment

Time To Unclutter

There are seasons that just make us want to dive into our areas of clutter and begin a donate campaign. The beginning of the new year, springtime, or a move all give us that proverbial shove to get rid of our piles!

We tiptoe into closets that are brimming with things we’ve stuffed inside, perhaps because we didn’t know what to do with them, or we were in too much of a hurry to put them in their proper place. Lurking on shelves, in shadows and under stacks, we find so many items that are no longer useful. Oh what freedom comes from filling bags with all the undesirable bits and bobs!

Early one recent morning I walked into my closet – my walk-in clothes closet where I also pray. I grimaced at the little pile I had hidden placed behind the door, but I ignored it, shut the door, and knelt to pray. It was then that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind that there are areas of clutter that are far more serious than that pile in my closet. It was so easy for me to see.

Oh yes, Lord! In my life I look around me and recognize the hording that slows my spiritual progress. It deadens my sensitivity to Your Spirit. It makes my testimony ineffective, keeping my eyes on earthly things, rather than the heavenly treasures.

A “pile” of spiritual clutter that came to my mind is found in Colossians 3:

  • sexual immorality
  • impurity
  • passion
  • evil desire
  • covetousness, which is idolatry
  • anger
  • wrath
  • malice
  • slander
  • obscene talk

Before you raise your eyebrows and think I’m living in immorality, (I am not), I was reminded that this list might sound like it’s directed to the “really bad sinner.” But the Spirit of God reminded me that if I allow any of this to enter my closet door through means of someone else throwing it in there, it’s still cluttering my life. That means I may need to “toss out” people I follow on social media that promote their sinful lifestyle. Comedians that laugh at what God calls pure may need to be added to the trash pile, and “entertainment” that uses profanity, promotes obscene language or nods “yes” to things God clearly condemns all must be added to the “donate pile.”

I also see that filling my minutes/hours/days with useless things is even more cumbersome to my life than hanging onto the sweater I loved but has a hole in the sleeve.

As I continued in my prayer time, I heard the Lord giving me directives on what to “toss” and what to add to my spiritual closet. Confessing my spiritual clutter was the only thing needed to unload the mess. I rose from my knees with a sense of peace. This time was needed. The shadows had revealed the lurking loads that were now clean, fresh and ready for enjoying, rather than sighing with the burden of knowing it is all there, but not dealing with it. It is gone.

Lest you think this is a boast of legalism where we have to “follow all the rules,” I must add that in Christ we are free. We are free to choose the path of righteousness that will lead to greater spiritual fruit, or we can choose the way that gives a short-lived satisfaction but yields only weeds and thorns that we will regret. We live with eternity in view , knowing that Christ could come today. I want my “closet” clean and ready to receive Him. I want others to see the joy of walking with Christ. I, too, love the precious things the Lord adds to my life each day. You know the happy feeling of dumping all that load of junk at the donation center? This is far greater!

If you ask the Lord to show you the clutter that needs to be removed from your life, He will faithfully reveal those things to you. Humble yourself before Him and be ready for the peace and joy that comes from your obedience.

Praise God for removing the clutter!

Hope · Spiritual Refreshment

Blow Off the Dust

See the dust coming from the top of the page?

It was early Sunday morning and I had gotten my coffee and journal and cozied myself on the sofa where I could read my devotions and enjoy the warmth of the sun on a cold November dawn. Looking around, I realized I had left my Bible in the other room. I glanced over to the bookcase beside the sofa, and I spotted one of my old Bibles that I had “retired” quite a few years ago. I pulled it off the shelf and seated myself once again. This Bible was like an old friend. It’s pages are worn, curled and marked, but oh, so loved.

I flipped the pages to go to where my Bible plan had brought me. It was II Peter 1. As the page opened, I saw flecks of dust dancing in the sunlight! It was proof that this Bible had been unused for some time, but when I read its pages, it said,

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue

My heart swelled as I read those words. How precious that the Lord has given us everything we need for this life in Christ, and where do we find it? In His word.

  • When my heart is overwhelmed, I can get strength from His Word.
  • When I am filled with fear, I can get faith from His Word.
  • When I am sad or worried, I can get peace from His Word.
  • When I feel alone, I am reminded of His presence in His Word.

To neglect the Word of God is to reject all that we need to do more than merely survive the day. I’m pretty sure we’re all interested in more than “just making it.”

It’s easy to get too busy, too involved in other activities, or too tired that we neglect God’s Word, and when we finally come to ourselves, we find our souls more dusty than the Bible’s pages.

If you’ve “fallen off the wagon,” in your reading plan, go get your Bible and open its pages to find just what the Lord wants to teach you about Himself today. It’s truth is deeper than the dust. It will show you
the Way to go,
the Truth you need to hear and
the Life to guide you on your way…
and all that is found in our Savior,

If you’ve neglected God’s Word, blow off the dust and dive in. You’ll be refreshed and strengthened for your path today.

Bible study · Christian growth · Spiritual Refreshment

Hang Onto Every Word

Enraptured. Listening to every word spoken from His lips.

That’s the way the crowd at the temple listened to Jesus speak. He had just cleared out the money changers. They were the ones who had turned the temple of prayer into a place where robbers lurked. The Scribes and Pharisees hated him and only desired to kill Him, and what do we find Jesus doing? Teaching there in that temple. He spoke with such authority in simple words they could understand with Truth they had never heard before.

Luke 19:48 says…

All the people were very attentive to hear him.

In the Greek it says that they were “hanging on to His lips.” We have a saying that is similar. We would say, “they were hanging onto every word.”

What a contrast His words were to the formal, boring, dry, powerless and over-their-heads teaching from the scribes! Jesus’ words were life-giving and life-changing!

They still are.

Is your ear bent down close to your Bible so you can hear Him speak to you each day? Oh that we would say with the psalmist in Psalm 119 ~

 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

When you get in your car and “tune in” to a radio station, you can only listen to one station at a time. When you open your Bible to read, or when you are sitting in church listening to God’s Word being taught, are you “tuned in” to only one station – that of hearing from God? Or are you trying to tune in to several stations at one time – your text messages, your email alerts, your Facebook notifications or other distractions?

Oh that we would love God’s Words so much that we would “hang on to every word” so we won’t miss a single thing He wants to say to us!

Refresh the way you listen to the Word today. Stay tuned in to only One voice. What precious words did He speak to you today?

Home making · Kitchen Tips · Meal planning · Spiritual Refreshment

Mid-Week Kitchen happenings

Kitchen is a busy place – not just when you’re cooking. It takes daily work to keep things organized, efficient and well-planned. This is an important part of the work in the kitchen.

I was away last week and then have been quite busy since returning home. That means things were lacking in the kitchen. I have been working to get things straightened up, freshened up and planned for the week ahead.

I love to gather inspiration for meal planning. I find lots of good ideas in the Relish magazine that comes in the Sunday newspaper.

How cute is that board full of fall treats? I’m definitely going to make a version of that this month!

These sliders look so good, too! They’d be perfect on game day, if you have some football fans! They would also be good for a weekend supper.

If you’re in a menu rut, pull out an old cookbook and flip through it for some fresh inspiration. You might even find an old recipe you haven’t made in a while that you need to recreate! Go to the library and check out a new cookbook or a food magazine like Taste of Home. You’re sure to get some good inspiration there! I know the Internet is full of great ideas, but sometimes I find it easier and more fun to use a printed form.

I am freshening up some kitchen decor. I’m removing all the red items in my kitchen and the last things to go were my red rooster canisters. I found clear glass jars at Home Goods and they were exactly what I was looking for! The opening is large enough for a cup measure to fit inside – a must, in my opinion!

I also took some time to clean out the drawers in my island and while I was at it, I changed out the drawer liner. It’s amazing what a little addition like that can do!

I love being in the kitchen, and keeping it inviting is important. It keeps me motivated and happy about being in there!

Let’s use all this to make a spiritual application. It can be so easy to be busy doing all the things that followers of Christ do – attending church, serving others, teaching a class, and attending a Bible study that we forget to maintain our own walk with God. Things get “messy” and overlooked. We must intentionally take time to just be with God. Spend longer time in prayer just enjoying communing with Christ, hearing from Him as you sit quietly and allow Him to speak to you. Sing. Confess. Worship. Fellowship with the God who loves you and rejoices over you because you are His child. You’ll find that you are energized for the spiritual works before you.

So, what is the mid-week activity of your spiritual life looking like? Are you too busy? Stop and focus on the Lord so then you can move forward in your tasks with purpose and joy!

In your kitchen, are you planning and also staying motivated for meal times? Are there areas you need to freshen up? It’s worth it to spend a little time taking care of those needs. You’ll probably find you’re more productive! But if you can only focus on one area, start with your spiritual needs and then ask the Lord to guide the work of your hands.