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Win the Argument



My husband and I have been arguing again. You know how that goes. It’s over a topic we’ve discussed before – serving one another. The conversation went something like this:

Me – Let me do that for you.

Him – No, I already took care of it, but thank you.

Me – I can never seem to find a way to serve you: you always beat me to it! You do so much more for me than I do you.

Him – Hon, that’s not true! You do so much for me. Goodness, I couldn’t do what I do on a day without you!

Continue reading “Win the Argument”

Christian Life · ministry · Prayer

If It Hadn’t Been For the Lord…

I am a perpetual list maker.  I always have been.  It makes my days run smoother.  It makes me see that I’ve accomplished something.


But sometimes that habit becomes a stumbling block because it can cause me to run on “auto-pilot.”

Breaking that down, it simply means that I run on “Denise’s ability”  rather than God’s. 

Here’s how Denise’s list goes:

  • Blog post  – I get a “great idea” in my head and type it up without praying about it.
  • Make bread – I made our bread and freeze the other loaf without asking God with whom I could share the extra bread.
  • Grocery shopping – I buzz through the store, with little thought about having a Gospel conversation with a shopper who speaks to me.
  • Dry Cleaners – The worker looked worn and worried, but I didn’t ask how her day was going and how I could pray for her.

Everything got checked off, but it was done in my strength and with my limited abilities.  Nothing extraordinary happened as result.  Denise’s abilities revealed.

This week I read Psalm 124:1 -3

 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;

 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

 Then they had swallowed us up quick…

Israel had victory and they could say, If it hadn’t been for the Lord we would have been swallowed up by our enemy!  God interrupted their day!

That verse made me stop and ask myself – “What happened in my day yesterday that I would say, If hadn’t been for the Lord who was on my side things would have turned out much differently!”?  Did I look to the Lord to break in and interrupt my plans? Or did I do everything in my own strength instead?

Oh, that every day I would allow God to interrupt my plans.  It might look like this instead:

  • Blog post“If it hadn’t been for the Lord, I wouldn’t have thought to post that!”
  • Bake Bread“If it hadn’t been for the Lord, I would have missed meeting the new family up the street, but He reminded me I needed to take them a loaf of bread and introduce myself!”
  • Grocery Shopping“If it hadn’t been for the Lord nudging me to invite the sweet lady at the store to my church, she may never have visited!”
  • Dry Cleaners“If it hadn’t been for the Lord nudging me to pray with the worker at the dry cleaners, I never would have known that her husband was diagnosed with cancer recently.”

Do you see what a difference depending on and surrendering to the Lord makes in our day? His abilities are revealed! I have missed out on His blessings so many times, simply because I was not relying on His Spirit and power to work through me to do what only He can do.  How sad.How empty.

But today is a new day to surrender.

This situation is another opportunity to give my plans to Him!

Today’s list is another chance to see Him step in and do what only He can do!

What happened in your day yesterday that would make you say – “If it hadn’t been for the Lord THAT never would have happened!”?  How much of your day yesterday was empowered by the Spirit of God and how much was done in your own strength?  God wants to use us as His instruments, if we’ll only surrender our wills (and our lists!) to Him.

Thankful for His grace,

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Christian Life · Godly Character Traits

The Blurry Vision of People-Pleasing


Yesterday I picked up my new glasses.  I hadn’t had my prescription updated for three years.  I wear contacts most of the day, so it didn’t affect me that much – until recently.  I knew it was time to make the change when I had my last exam and he told me my eyes weren’t working together and that a prism would fix the problem. “Well, let’s do it!” I was fitted and the order was made.

Yesterday when I got home with the new glasses, I took my contacts out and put the new frames on my face.


It literally reminded me of when I would visit my grandma – she would set her glasses down and I would slip them on.  I couldn’t see a thing then and I sure wasn’t seeing yesterday!  It felt like one eye was going one way and the other eye the complete opposite!  I was trying to figure out where to look so I could even read. Right now I’m wondering if my brain is ever going to adjust to this!

This reminds me of another area of my life that gets completely out of focus – it’s that of serving “as unto the Lord.”

You see, I get double vision.  The desire to please people and the desire to please God often have a tug of war in my members.

My heart says, “Please God!”

My brain says, “What are people thinking?”

Oh how I hate it when I realize how important it is to me that people applaud, yet it is there.

“Did she see?”

” Does he approve?”

It’s in my heart far too often, and it goes against everything we read in Scripture, for our labor is to be done, not as men-pleasers, but as servants.

 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

The fear of man bringeth a snare… Proverbs 29:25

Trying to please people will ensnare me.  It traps me into trying to fit into a person’s mold, rather than my Savior’s.  It fills me full of fearing…

  • Not being good enough
  • Not doing enough
  • Not measuring up to what someone thinks I should do
  • being rejected
  • being disliked

Yet, my Savior served to please only His Father.  Christ went against everything man would have done.  He was unconventional in His methods and only had the desire to obey the Father.  Why then, do I worry about what others will think?  Why am I concerned about my reputation, when Christ gave me the perfect example to follow?  Why do I fear when He tells me what to do, how to do it, and then even gives me the strength and ability?

Last night I Googled, “Getting used to prism glasses.”  The encouragement was to “put them on and leave them on and don’t go back to your old lenses!”  How did they know that’s what I’m wanting to do?  They are comfortable.  I’m used to straining and making the adjustment!  But no, I must follow what the doctor has prescribed.

So too, I must keep on the lenses of servanthood, rather than trying to please people.  It will take adjusting my attitude, but in time, my spiritual eyes will see correctly, and I’ll have my eyes on Christ and no one else! That’s spiritual vision that is 20/20!

Do you ever realize that you’re being a men-pleaser?   Look only to the Lord, for He that sees will also reward us when the work is done for Him!


Any typo you find in this post is a result of… you guessed it – these new glasses! The words are literally jumping all over the page! :0


Christian Life

One Requirement

So you served at your church yesterday?  How did you do it?  I’m not asking at what skill level you played the piano, or taught the children’s church lesson – I mean, how was your attitude and your mindset about your service?

Paul tells us in I Corinthians 4:2 that the only requirement is FAITHFULNESS. That rules out the need to be perfect, flawless, captivating or awesome.  Those are characteristics of our God – not ourselves.

What are we to do?  Just be faithful.

  • Show up
  • Be there on time
  • Be prepared
  • Be enthusiastic

Faithfulness also rules out being

  • Hesitant
  • Half-hearted
  • Obligatory
  • Cynical

When we realize how much we have been given from our Savior, we realize that we have so much to give in return.  It’s our blessing to GET to serve God in any small way – just out of the gratitude of our hearts.  If you serve, yet…

  • no one sees when you miss hearing the preaching because you’re in the nursery again, cradling a crying baby so his mommy can hear the Gospel.
  • You try to convey to the junior age class that God wants them to stand firm like Daniel in this next school year and you wonder if they heard a word you spoke.
  • you sat alone in the service again becuase your husband was serving on security in the church parking lot on this 90+ degree day.
  • no one else saw all the work you did to you prepared a meal for any visitors that might come to church so you could invite them to join your family afterwards.
  • you practiced that offeratory 100 times, and still messed up on that hard part in the middle, but you had to play it because of how that song ministered to your heart during the week.

Be comforted that God sees and knows of your faithfulness – the one characteristic that he requires of us when we serve Him.  He will reward you for it, and it will be worth any small sacrifice we may have made!

Keep on serving faithfully.

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