Saturday, November 22, 2014


Does your situation, circumstance or outlook seem too big or overwhelming and your "lunch" too small today?  Well, I know I've often found my tent in the same campground! But a sweet young boy had this lesson that offered a fresh perspective on the provision of God in times similar to ours. 

Being a lay person, I do not have or claim to understand all the words God left for us to ponder but, I was reminded recently of what Jesus did with a little boy's lunch many years ago.  You remember?  The boy had two fish and five loaves of bread--not much, but just the right portion for a young lad.  Yet this boy's lunch meant a tummy-full-of-difference for a whole lotta folks that day! 

Take a look with me at John, chapter 6. Jesus, knowing how the events of the day would transpire, wanted to test His disciple, Phillip, and asked him, "Where shall we buy bread for all these people?" (You remember it was 5000 plus spouses and children, making the number closer to over 10,000 hungry people.)  Phillip answered that it would take half a year's wages to feed all of these people.  At this point Andrew steps up and points out that a young lad in the crowd has two fish and five small barley loaves. WHAT?!?!? You've got to be kidding, Andrew!  Do you really think all these people are going to be fed with just that tiny lunch?!  Yet as we see later, this small lunch is the starting point, the seeds if you will, of an amazing miracle.

Could the disciples still have needed convincing proof of the power of the Savior?  Better yet, do we?  Sometimes we can only see the huge, massive crowd-of-a-problem that's staring us in the face, not really knowing how it's all going to work out.  What do we do? Do we say, Lord, send "the crowd" away" ? How about, "But Lord, we just don't have the resources for this."  Whatever our weakness, God. Beginning with a tiny seed of faith in the One who can do miracles, would be a great starting place for facing our own personal "crowd".  

"Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, 'Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.'  So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten." (v.11-13, text) 
So, I ask again, does the situation, circumstance or outlook seem too big or overwhelming today and your "lunch" too small?  Remember, one little boy had a tremendous lesson for us all--Give it to Jesus.   

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's a New Day!

Feeling needed today? How about validated? I believe both are necessary ingredients in experiencing a healthy self image, an image likened unto our Creator's.

I recently read of a mother who, bless her heart, took her own life. Being a mom personally, yet not knowing the specifics of this woman's circumstances, I want to say, " I feel her pain".  Life can be tough, and apparently this dear woman couldn't and didn't find a healthy balance.

 We've got to realize, remember and remind ourselves that God gifts each of us with many qualities and talents.  Don't compare!  There is only one you!  He has specific assignments designed for each us that only we can fulfill.  Problem is, we sometimes don't feel needed or validated by those were ministering to or by those closest to us.  Truth is though, when that occurs the intensity of the emotion seems amplified simply because...we're not looking in the right direction.

Hey, I'm not saying I have it all together, sometimes it's quite the opposite.  Sometimes the mountain of negative debris  the enemy has strewn in my way seems impossible to surpass.  But "nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37)!  Stay in His word, change up the schedule a bit,  breathe in His life afresh and anew.  Baby steps are better than no steps here! 

Okay, so for starters today, if you are a child of God and still breathing, your life is necessary!  His very Spirit resides in YOU! He wants you know and to share His love with others.  And two, what more validation do you need?  You are a vessel fit for honor! WHATEVER your hand finds to do, do it heartily as unto/for the Lord! (Col. 3:23).

In Christ, you are: FORGIVEN, WORTHY, VALIDATED, NECESSARY, LOVED! Ready then?!  Me too! It's a new day! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wedding Anniversary Musings

If you know me, I'm not one to make many decisions on a whim.  I like to view a decision from many angles before finally making my choice. But one decision that didn't take me long to make was when Mike asked me to marry him!  Not to say that his character did not go through vigorous screening beforehand, lol! He passed the test with flying colors!  Hey, a girl needs to know pertinent information upfront, right?! Amen!! (Yes, guys need to know important facts too, but I'm writing from a girl's perspective, lol)

We were young and somewhat naive to much of what marriage is all about, even in our mid/late twenties. Seriously, I read a lot of books before we married, but living out the principles laid out in those books was and remains quite the task!  After all, we are two imperfect individuals who have as much in common as not. We've grown through many of the struggles that newlyweds encounter, and we're still learning 23yrs later!  Lordy!

I've always considered the "becoming one" process a whole lot more than just the physical aspect.  But it's a concept that has also baffled me from the beginning.  Since reading from God's word that God created marriage I've believed it to be a good thing and so determined to work through the differences with prayer and personal change for the betterment of both of the union.

Although divorce has never been an option for me, I've at least considered murder, suicide, abandonment and long car rides to wait out some of those surges of change that were taking place in our characters, LOL!  God's grace though, has remained sufficient in every circumstance.  Slow learner that I am, it just takes me a while to see His hand. 

Yes, Mike and I are celebrating 23yrs of life together as a married couple on Saturday! But I must say that if the next 23 are anything like the first, I will surely lose my mind!!  Agh, maybe that's a good thing.  I need the mind of Christ more than the mind I was born with anyway!  

In all seriousness, to God be all the glory, for truly He has done great things!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Handcrafted Nepali Scarf Giveaway!

Hello, Friends!
I wanted to share a wonderful ministry with you!  Trades of Hope has a vision to give women an opportunity for a better life.  "Each woman has a story, and with Trades of Hope's help, their story has changed from pain and struggle to a story of HOPE!"   

If you'd like to enter for a chance to win this lovely Nepali Aqua Scarf  (pictured below) handcrafted by one of these precious women,  please enter by using your email or Facebook account on the entry form below.  Only one lucky person will be the recipient of this beautiful scarf!  The winner is randomly selected  and will be asked via email, to supply address  for shipping. The winner will have the gift sent directly to their door.  I hope it's you!  Last chance to enter is August 31st!

Photo courtesy of Trades of Hope.
Picturea Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 22, 2013

Use YOUR Gift!

Comparison, it's one of those almost instant human reactions/responses that can hinder us personally from walking in the fullness of our unique calling from God.

Not all are called to go to Africa to share the Gospel. Some definitely are.  But we ARE called to go ye into ALL the world and preach the gospel.  Not wanting here to limit God to one emphasis, that being only what is labeled "foreign missions". The mission field BEGINS in our hearts. God's love needs to be planted there first.  The understanding of that love starts to grow as we develop in our understanding of  knowing and being known by the One who created all.  It's truly indescribable in human terms. At times we can hardly keep from sharing this joy with others.  And  too, where else is such hope a confirmed reality?

Some will be called to be a pastor, teacher, missionary, an accountant, writer,doctor, politician (eek! special grace here!)firefighter, chemist, police officer, farmer, lawyer, trucker, server,homemaker, musician, artist, etc.   Would you agree that if we are not careful, our occupations could keep us very OCCUPIED for the short time we're on this earth?  Indeed! 

So, then the question to ask is how will we share Christ with those who don't yet know Him utilizing our gifts and talents most effectively? You'll recall the list of gifts in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-30.  Why not determine what your strengths are,  "and having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us USE THEM:..." 

Personally, as many of you know,my first responsibility is to be the wife I'm called to be, then our children, after that it's however I can navigate around without hindering my primary responsibilities. Whether it be teaching a class for our homeschool group, working in the church nursery, volunteering really in any capacity, or even holding down a part-time job. Discover your God-given gifts and abilities and with God's grace use them for His the home, in your neighborhood, and EVERYwhere HE calls you to go!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

On Being... Mom

From almost the very day of conception a mother's body is well aware of the life that is now growing inside of her.  Our bodies change and even take on a new shape, as if we were ever content with the one we started with! Ha!  Diet, exercise, sleep patterns, daily chores and routines take on a whole new meaning both during and after pregnancy. 

From what seems like the endless changing of diapers, to strolls in the park, and using silly voices for story time, to driving, dating, first jobs, and college entrance, being a mom, I've gained tremendous insight into how IN-capable of success I really am!  That is, without God's welcomed hand of mercy upon my life.  And oh, how I've regularly welcome His presence and mercy!

Being a mom is never a job that one can just quit when you get tired of either.  Once a mom, always a mom.  Oh, I've wrestled with the possible prestige, wealth and fame I may have received had I chosen some other occupation.  But the Lord confirmed to me that, Linda, for you, My plans are the best.  Earthly fame and wealth fade.  The lives that I've chosen to come through your womb are eternal! 

I am blessed to be called "mom".  The world's view of being a mother is sometimes marred due to perspective, or the lack there of.   For instance, graying hair could  represent the signs of aging, but for me, they represent every prayer uttered on behalf of my children.  The extra pounds? They're from the fun times we spend lingering around the table together, the dark circles under the eyes are from staying up late playing UNO rounds with the younger kids while waiting for older children to arrive safely home.  No, I don't have time for the gym, but instead I create an outdoor classroom of gardens for the lessons of life, etc.  

It's not about me and being a mom.  It's about, somehow in all of my weaknesses, helping others to taste and see that the Lord is good <3

Warm wishes for a day filled with  clanging dishes , laughter ringing out, and conversation on the porch!  After all, these are the things life is made of!   Happy Mother's Day!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Who Do You Call Friend?

Friend-noun---1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

Friends.  Interesting term by definition.  Like many other terms of endearment, it has many different levels of meaning to those who use it.  Think with me.  Would it be more appropriate to classify those folks in our lives whom we only know as business associates, neighbors, church family, etc. as "acquaintances" (Acquaintance-noun---1. a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.) rather than "friends"?  Proverbs 18:24 is the premise for today's blog.  Let's read that together:

"A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (NASB)

Allow me to also include the definition of the term "brother" for clarification purposes:

Brother-noun---1. a male offspring having both parents in common with another offspring; a male sibling.

With the terms defined and God's perspective included, would we honestly divulge intimate personal information and/or concerns with an acquaintance or for that matter, ANYone that's considered a friend in today's definition of the term?  Most likely, the loose definition we are all familiar with today, would not deem it wise to do so.  Not to negate, but also be aware of gender safe boundaries also. 

We are social beings and are created for relationship.  Friends make life a most interesting adventure and usually bring out the best and possibly, at times the worst in us as well. But seek to become a friend and to have friends. (Okay, at least be friendly.)  Some of those we meet we may naturally gravitate toward more so than others because of commonalities, and that's okay. We're in this together. Viva la difference!  

Also, and most importantly, don't miss out on the dearest of friendships anyone of us could have on either side of heaven, and that being with the One who gave His life for you!  His name is Jesus.  The best friend you'll ever have the privilege of knowing!  

I've included a link  for Selah's version of "Wonderful, Merciful Savior" as you ponder today's blog on friendship.  Be blessed! 

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Picture of Love

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, the theme of LOVE is definitely in the air!  Even I have a few surprises for those loved ones in my life that I want to express love to.   I want not only share my feelings of appreciation for them, but to also say to each of them that he or she is very special to God, which quite honestly, is more valuable than any emotional thrill a box of candy, a bouquet of flowers or gift that I could give.

Love can be such a vague term in today's standards.  We say we LOVE our bright, new, pink socks and then, using the same word, we express our love for family, friends, food, and God, etc. But when I research to determine the meaning of just what love is, I find that even Jesus used the term to refer to how we should live our lives in this world:

"Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:37-40 NKJ

Sometimes I remind my children that the Bible says 'to love God and to love one another'. Of course, that usually comes after an offense of some sort, either shown by a lack of knowledge of God's word and or a grievance toward a sister or brother. But what does it really mean to 'love one another'? 

Without going into much detail with the Greek terms for love, which are: eros-physical love; phileo-brotherly love; and agape-the love God shows us. I will only reference the Old Testament where the Ten Commandments are laid out for us to see. No, we won't find Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner there, but we do see on those tablets of stone that Moses received from the Lord, what may very well be a working definition of what it means to love God and one another.

When we turn to Exodus 20, we'll see that those Ten Commandments teach us that to show love, first to our heavenly Father, we are to worship no other gods, ie., idolatry in any form, and to keep His commandments.   We also see that to love  others we basically are to honor our parents, stop murdering, committing adultery, stealing, lying and coveting.  Simple, huh?

Read this on your own for more detail and ask the pertinent questions about loving God and others.  Questions like, if I truly loved God would I...continue living in my favorite sin? Or in loving another, would I steal from him?  Would I murder (even someone's reputation?), would I commit adultery against, lie to or covet another and his things?  Let God be our Judge.  

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  John 15:12-14

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Let His Light Shine!

Recently, singer, songwriter, author, and speaker, Kathy Troccoli tweeted that: "the lord will take a flashlight to your heart if you let him..."  In total agreement, I believe that 'flashlights' are good!   Living in a part of the country where thunderstorms and hurricanes can come from seemingly out of nowhere, I've reached for one on many occasions!  So my usage of flashlights has generally been during crisis situations. Think about it, how often does one reach for a flashlight when the lights are on?  Or when the sun is shining?  Generally speaking, we tend to need that light when the power goes out!  When the flashlight switch is turned on, that light can make a welcomed and needed path through the darkness, granting the possessor the ability to navigate with greater skill.   

Without wanting to add to or take away from Kathy's intriguing comment,  I do want to say that I have and do allow Jesus to shine His light in my life. I have to! The Bible says that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;" (Jeremiah 17:9a)..."Who can know it?" (Jer.17:b) Only He can truly identify those areas that still need to be yielded to Him. Make no mistake, He already knows the content of my heart and yours, the what and the why of what we do--"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.(Jer.17:10)  Being the Light of the world, Jesus makes a path for us to navigate through life optimally, yet granting grace when we fail--"Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)   

Yes, flashlights are good...especially in, but not limited to, e M e R g E n C i E s!  So when the choices and decisions of life beckon to tempt my heart to act like it's old (wicked) nature (Jer. 17:9a), I will need to turn to the Light of life for direction, wisdom and strength.  If need be, recall His plan for mankind, in general. More specifically, His plan for me. Whatever it takes to regain my attention and to align my will to His once again.

With a heart like mine, the 'flashlight approach' is my only hope!  In fact, most times it is a welcoming, comforting place to be; in the spotlight of His loving scrutiny. He re-DE-fines and RE-fines a heart's motive--“If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15).  Am I acting out of love for Him?  Or is something else the driving force?  Isn't the reason for following Christ, one that desires to live in His presence always?  Even forever? As believers we do and will! (John 14:1-3).

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."(1 John 1:7)..."these things we write to you that your joy may be full." (1 John 1:4)!!!

Let His light shine!