Saturday, December 10, 2022

December 10, 2022

I saw a picture of a painting by Trisha Robinson, my favorite Christian artist, depicting a girl taking a gift to baby Jesus. I immediately thought about the wise men and their gifts to Jesus and why we give gifts during this time of year. It seems that God is the one who is the gift giver. He blessed us with the gift of Jesus as our Savior and the fruits of the Spirit, but he also gave us spiritual gifts. Those gifts are our offering to Jesus, and we should present them to him as often as possible. Paul gives us clear examples of the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians, but there are other mentions throughout the Bible. 

For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10

These gifts can manifest differently, but if you trace them back, they will probably lead to what Paul mentions here. One example might be music; it can be healing to the soul. Think about how a beautiful instrumental song can soothe your anxious feelings. Singing can be prophetic. Have you ever heard words to a song and knew it was God speaking to you? Many other gifts will relate to the spiritual gifts mentioned throughout the Bible. We must give these back to Jesus and use them to benefit his Kingdom.

Friday, December 9, 2022

December 9, 2022

After spending the night at the cabin, we breathed in the crisp mountain air, met with the contractors, and made the 8-hour trip back home. We had some important events that we needed to attend and couldn’t stay as long as we would have liked. I prayed for our safe return trip home, and thankfully we can count on the Lord hearing our prayers because we nearly ended up in a crash that would have probably included fatalities. A semi-truck stopped on the highway, and no one saw him until it was almost too late. Brakes were screeching, and a car came into our lane but corrected and ended up going around the truck in the grass. It happened so quickly that we could have died without knowing what happened. My one prayer for safety not only saved our lives but also saved the lives of other travelers. You do not need to be a preacher or prophet for God to hear you. The Bible says that Elijah was a regular guy like us; God listened to his prayer and stopped it from raining. When he prayed again, it rained. The point is to stay in constant communication with God. Talk to him about everything! He loves us and hears us when we pray.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. James 5:17-18

Thursday, December 8, 2022

December 8, 2022

We spent yesterday traveling to North Georgia. It's been a while since we visited the cabin in the mountains, and we needed to ensure it was still there. We've come up a couple of times and found that someone had been living in it and left it a mess; believe me, it wasn't Goldilocks! Every time we go, we fear having to clean up the filth. All day Tuesday, I prayed that we would find it the same as we left it without any intrusions by rodents, human or otherwise. Before we got there, I reminded Richard to pray because God seems to answer our request when we pray together. I almost cried when we walked in to find it exactly as we had left it. I only had to spray air freshener because it was musty from being closed up for so long. We are meeting a contractor today to make some improvements so we can rent it when we aren't using it, which will help us to keep it maintained. It will be the perfect vacation rental because it has a soothing waterfall and a view of a gristmill. I plan to spend a few minutes by the waterfall today; it was so rainy yesterday that I couldn't. I feel much closer to the Lord when I'm in the woods, and that fall is the perfect thing to wash my cares away and realign my thoughts. The point of today's message is to pray with your spouse or another trustworthy Christ follower; there is great power when we pray together.

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:19-20

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

December 7, 2022

I am nearing the end of the book of James. It filled my belly with rich and tasty morsels and opened my eyes to glorious truths. Though only a few verses remain in this book, the words are impactful and meaningful. People are suffering from many diseases and need a touch from the Lord, and James gives us explicit directions to follow regarding receiving healing. 

Several years ago, I broke my leg and had to have a titanium rod surgically placed inside the tibia bone to put me back together. Everything I read online said that most people who have to have a rod end up with a limp. I was determined not to limp, so I fervently prayed and maintained my faith. Not only did he keep me from having a limp, but I had a rapid recovery and never had to go through physical therapy. Praying with faith and determination was key to my healing, but not only that, my life group prayed over me! Your church is an essential part of healing. Read what James says.

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:14-16

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

December 6, 2022

I’m ready to start writing about Christmas, but I can’t escape the lessons learned from the auction. Most of the cars we sold had been stored in a barn or garage. Once the thrill of the acquisition was over, they sat unused. That old saying, “use it or lose it,” applies because each one of them will need a few repairs before they are road worthy. It’s the same with anything. Think about your latest cellphone; if you bought it and didn’t use it for several months, the updates alone would cause it to be unusable. 

Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. James 5:2-3

Your acquisitions and material things may comfort you for a time, but staying steadfast in your faith in the Lord is the true blessing. Stop saying you are blessed because you got a new car, purchased a house, or anything else because anything related to material possessions is not a blessing. The true blessings come from standing firm in your love for the Lord and staying loyal to him. It’s okay to be thankful for your possessions, but our faith in Jesus is the real blessing.

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:11

Monday, December 5, 2022

December 5, 2022

Yesterday, as we were getting ready to go to church, we encountered a family of sandhill cranes. They were friendly and allowed me to get too close, but having them in my bubble was incredible! For them to feel comfortable around a human probably means people have been feeding them. Hmm, that’s interesting; I wonder if that works on people. God’s word is an edible delight, but most people don’t realize how tasty it is. Feed them a little at a time. Share some life-changing verses, like sweet bits of Proverbs or a filling Psalm. My sister-in-law does that every day, and she has thousands of followers through her page on Facebook called Redeemed. We each are responsible for feeding Jesus’s sheep, so if you don’t know where to start, begin by providing them with the sweet nuggets of God’s word. After they get a taste, they will want more and seek you for a solid meal. 

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. John 21:17

December 4, 2022


We had a fantastic auction! The emotions of our family were all over the place. We laughed, cried, reminisced, and in the end, we were all exhausted but encouraged. Selling those old relics may have been the point of the day and the reason most people were there, but for us, it was about giving our beloved the kind of send-off he would have loved if he were here. He dreamed of displaying all his treasures but became so busy adding to his collection that he never got the chance. There was an added factor in what we did, Jesus. We didn’t leave him out of our day but included him at every opportunity. We prayed and prayed again. People that think you can’t have fun when you have Jesus have got the wrong idea. He has given us joy that goes beyond happiness and is something we feel even when we are sorrowful; that may not make any sense to the unbeliever, but I’m sure most of you have experienced this interesting emotional phenomenon. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so make sure you live every moment giving glory to the one who loves you the most, Jesus.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15