God’s Pleasure

I am a prolific reader and as such, I have frequently read the phrase, “I serve at the pleasure of the king (or president or governor).” But I have never heard anyone say that they serve at the pleasure of the Lord. Maybe because we don’t often consider the Lord’s feeling because we are so busy pleasing ourselves and others close to us. I am happy to have discovered this verse in my Bible reading this morning because it gives me insight into God’s character. God gets pleasure from those of us who fear Him. We honor and revere Him because He is God. He takes pleasure in those who hope in his love that is always steadily fixed on us. No matter the circumstances, we have hope because we have God. That unwavering belief gives God pleasure. That’s a good thing to know and a good thing to work on in my life!

Have a blessed day and I hope that it is one in which you are aware of giving God pleasure just because you love Him so much!

Never Forget

It is quite easy to be caught up in the busyness that is part of this season. There is cooking, planning, shopping, wrapping and then the get-togethers. It boggles my mind how every year it all seems to get done and then there is the end of the Christmas season and all goes back to “normal.” What if the normal thing was to dedicate the season to the Lord, just remembering all that He has done for each of us? What if the gifts, big meals and all of the other trappings of the holiday took second place to the King of Kings, the real reason that we celebrate?

Every day should begin with a praise to the Lord and a reason why you are thankful that day. I have to be purposeful in my thanks because I have a tendency to jump right into what I need instead of praising Him for what He has already done and is still doing. That is particularly true during this busy season. I have to slow down and take time to just be grateful for all He is doing in my life.

This has been a hard season for me, with only a short time at home, enjoying the quiet and the solitude that I crave before I jump back in my duties in another state. But, in this, too, I am thankful that I have my health and strength and can provide help when it is needed. The circumstances may not be my first choice, but I believe that they are God’s first choice for me, to show me how I can be useful even at my advanced years.

The second part of this verse truly speaks to my heart. God is absolutely trustworthy and has always been faithful and kept His promises. I am so thankful that I know Him as He is, the God who came down to mankind and reached out. And He is still reaching out to me and to you and to all who recognize His sacrificial love.

Have the best blessed day ever, remembering all of God’s promises and faithfulness to you. He is worthy to never forget!

Finding Joy in the Hard Times

I haven’t written a lot about what has been going on in my life recently because I didn’t want to share how hard things suddenly became for me. We went to our son’s house on Thanksgiving and I ended up staying for two additional weeks to do childcare, similar to what I did last year. The difference this year is twofold: one, I had not prepared to stay, so I did not have a lot of my warm things with me; and two, the infant is now a very active toddler and my seven decades have difficulty keeping up with him. I have been home this week as my son and his family celebrate at Disney. I am so blessed to be home for almost two weeks, spending time with my beloved kitty and my even more loved spouse, taking care of errands and just settling comfortably into my chair with a warm blanket tucked around me. Next week I return to Maryland and my duties there. Yes, the work is harder for me than I want it to be, but God is allowing me to be a witness for a season, so I am trying to approach the situation with joy. My husband will be with me for Christmas and then he will come back to Virginia for the month of January while I remain behind.

One of the offshoots of my stay there has been higher blood pressure, a condition that my nephrologist wants me to get under control because of the effect on my single kidney. So one of the first things I did when I returned home was schedule an appointment to see my cardiologist. I saw the physician’s assistant instead and received a prescription for a new medicine to add to my Beta blocker. Unfortunately, I reacted badly to the medicine with some rough side effects, so now I am awaiting word from the doctor’s office about what, if anything, I should do next. Meanwhile, I am praying and hoping that the high blood pressure will pass and I will level out again. As my husband said, I am anxious about my numbers as I take the reading each day, so it is not a surprise when they are higher. I am trying to control my thoughts and thus my hypertension, but I’m not too good at it.

I read in Dr. Denison’s Forum today about joy and was happy to discover a quotation from Henry Nouwen. I hope that it speaks to you as it spoke to me. I encourage you to follow the link to Dr. Denison’s post and to sign up for his Forum. He gives a refreshingly Biblical insight into current events! Dr. Denison’s Forum

Henri Nouwen observed: “Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the world. It does not depend on the ups and downs of the circumstances of our lives. Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live is shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. Jesus says it loudly and clearly: ‘In the world you will have troubles, but rejoice, I have overcome the world.’

“The surprise is not that, unexpectedly, things turn out better than expected. No, the real surprise is that God’s light is more real than all the darkness, that God’s truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God’s love is stronger than death.

Joy is not based on circumstances, but on the unwavering truth of God’s Word. And that is a fact that I can live with!

Have a blessed day and may you find joy and peace in your life, no matter the circumstances.

God Sees Me

I have always been fascinated by the story of Hagar in Genesis. First of all, she was an Egyptian slave to Sarai and Sarah used her to accomplish a goal she wanted to achieve. She gave Hagar to Abram so that Hagar would conceive a child for him since Sarai when Sarai was barren. Instead of waiting for God to fulfill His promise, Sarai jumped the gun and inserted Hagar into the picture. Hagar was pregnant with a son who should be named Ishmael and Sarai became so jealous that she treated Hagar cruelly. Hagar then fled from her and out in the desert an angel of the Lord came to her and told her to return to Sarai and to have her son Ishmael there, that he would be a great nation, too. This story amazes me because Hagar was an Egyptian among the Israelites. She was not one of God’s chosen people, yet He took the time to reassure her of His presence and His plan for her. This is where the Scripture comes in that is my focus today.

God sees me all the time and I am thankful for His being there for me when I am feeling lonely or afraid, as Hagar was. I am an introvert and tend to withdraw into corners during large gatherings. Usually, after a while has passed, my husband will notice that he hasn’t seen me in the crowd and come to find me. But I know that the entire time, God was right there with me. When I felt alone all the times my husband was deployed, God was with me. Now that I am in Maryland while my husband remains in Virginia, God is with me. He sees all of my circumstances and meets me where I am, offering comfort, wisdom and help whenever I need it. It is not a small thing to be seen by the Creator of the Universe. I’m just a small speck down here on earth, and yet I know He always has His eye on me. That is a verse worth remembering, isn’t it?

Have a blessed day and remember to look up to the One who sees you and thank Him for being there with you all the time.

Thankful for Joy

First of all, I had to get over the idea that joy is simply happiness and a smile on my face. According to the site http://www.biblestudytools.com, joy is “extreme happiness as the believer contemplates salvation and the bliss of of the afterlife.” It is described as rejoicing over unexpected benefits. And very importantly, joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. So, I am thankful for joy and for the discovery that it’s not just a feeling but it is so much more. It is a constant sense of knowing that you belong to the Father and therein lies great joy. I have discovered in my aged wisdom that joy comes from within. Things, people and places don’t give me joy. It resides deep in my heart and is indeed a special gift from God. I may fleetingly be happy but I can always have joy if I choose to acknowledge that it’s a gift from God and not just a feeling. Joy bubbles up inside me at the most unexpected times. I may be thinking about a friend who has passed away or a circumstance that seems overwhelming. And suddenly, there is the joy bubbling around inside me as I contemplate the good times I had with my friend or the fact that circumstances change but God doesn’t.

Crying and weeping are a part of the natural order of things in life. We get sad due to circumstances beyond our control or due to our own poor choices. But joy is there, always waiting for us to recognize that it never left us; we just had it on “simmer” for a season. I look forward to the day when there is no more sorrow or weeping, but until that day, I am thankful for joy and the fact that I can acknowledge that God gives me joy just as He gave me His Son as my Savior and His Spirit to guide me.

May your day be blessed with joy!

Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory

My Steps Are Directed


I don’t know how you all are feeling about life right now, but I have been buffeted by some heavy storms lately and I needed this reminder. I may not know what God is doing, but I can rest assured that He knows. He knows my heart is hurting because of what is happening with my grandson. We were told on Friday that his Bible that I had bought him to take to boot camp was stolen. He has no access to computers or the internet so that was his only access to God’s Word. I’m going to write him later today and tell him to ask the chaplain for a Bible and hope he can get a new one that way. My sister who has lived in the area (less than an hour from me) is moving to North Carolina today for health reasons. We share our love of books and will still be able to talk on the phone, but I cannot get to her easily if I want to because she will be almost four hours away. Finally, my daughter called and both of her dogs, the friendly faces that greet me when we go to visit, died this week. Her children are rightly upset which tears at this Nanna’s heart. Yes, they were old and they died peacefully, so there is that to be thankful for. It was just “one more thing.”

In spite of (or maybe because of) all of these events, I have been weepy and more that a little discouraged. I pray, I worship, I read and I write. Then, on Thursday, I ended up at my doctor’s office because I was having difficulty breathing. The usual for me..sinus infection and bronchitis with prescriptions for steroids and antibiotics. The good news is that our planned trip to Maryland and Pennsylvania to visit our children and grandchildren can still happen. I just have to take my nebulizer along and use it regularly. Was this part of my plan? No, of course not! None of the above circumstances were part of what I would plan for me. But God is in control and the final word is that I trust Him, completely and without reservation. He has the road map and I only have a small part of it that He shows me as He needs me to know. All of my crying and dismay is not for nothing because I have been pouring my heart out to my Heavenly Father, getting closer to the Only One who can lead me through all of this. He knows what is going on and He has comforted me and sent me words of hope and encouragement like those above. Meanwhile, I would appreciate prayers from each of my friends online for strength and for renewal of my spirit. I appreciate you all more than words can say because I know that wherever you are, you will pray for me and my little road bumps. I will go on in fellowship with God, believing that He is working all things out for my ultimate good.

May God bless you with a straight path that you can walk in victory.



As I read this verse today, I applied it to what is making me wring my hands in despair these days. Although the President does not make Godly decisions, although Congress is corrupt, although the Supreme Court is undependable, although my state government is liberal to the extreme, and although the pandemic is still around, I will rejoice. It is a choice! We choose to rejoice in our circumstances, giving the circumstances and the worries to God to deal with and rejoicing because God is still on the throne. The sun that He created still came up this morning. It’s a new day to rejoice in the Lord!

Be blessed with the knowledge that the earth is the Lord’s and He is in control!

Circumstances Don’t Change Who God Is

Everyone talks about it. It’s on all of the social media pages and the news daily. The global pandemic is changing the world and how people in the world live and operate. Businesses have been forced to close and file bankruptcy. People are in long lines to get food from food banks. Elderly people are dying in nursing homes without saying goodbye to their loved ones. And the latest news is the new strain of the virus that affects young people. All bad news! Nothing good is being talked about.

Well, I’m here today to offer hope and encouragement. This pandemic did not catch God by surprise. He did not say, “Well, I’m taking some time off and just letting these sinful humans work out how to survive this pandemic on their own.” Not in the least! God is the Lord of all, including this world that is suffering though a viral crisis. The God who came to the earth in the form of man and who was crucified, dead and buried and then resurrected is the same. He has not changed! Whatever is going on in our lives, God is still God and is close to those who call on His Name.

One of the things that we should be talking about is our testimony of what God has done for us. It is in this way that we encourage one another. For me, He saved me when I had no idea that I was lost. I was just starting a new job as a teacher in a new place, on my own for the first time. I had moved into a tiny one bedroom apartment, but it was the first time I had been alone, so it was a big deal to me. My next door neighbor, a lady named Verna, talked to me daily outside our adjacent entrances. Daily, she spoke to me about Jesus and salvation. She ended up giving me a copy of THE HOLY BIBLE and told me that I should read the Book of John. Well, as everyone who knows me could tell you, I am an avid reader, but I had never thought about reading the Bible. Nevertheless, it was Friday night, and I was all alone, so I went into my bedroom and began reading. I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but by the end of the Book of John, I was on my knees and sobbing before the Lord, repenting of my sins and asking for His forgiveness. The next day, I told Verna what had happened and she invited me to church with her. I accepted the Lord as my Savior on February 28, 1973. That was the day that I was born again and my life changed. What is your testimony? How did your relationship with the Lord begin? Every story has a beginning, and that was mine.

God didn’t just leave me there, alone in that apartment. He allowed me to develop a loving relationship with my husband and to have three healthy children. He has brought me a long way from that little apartment in Smithfield, Virginia! I have always been shy so it has been difficult to meet new friends and to go to new places. Guess what? My husband was in the military, and we moved twenty five times. This girl who hated new places learned to depend more on God each time we moved. I had to come out of my shyness shell and speak to people in order to find my way around in my new world. You see, what generally happened when we moved is that my husband would be deployed for training or a military excursion soon after we arrived. And there I would be in a new place, with children to take care of and no family there. So, I did what God was giving me the courage to do. I went to a church and I met people there. I told them I was alone, and I met other wives who were like me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and introduced myself to new neighbors. God did not ever leave me to do a solo flight in a new place! He was there the whole time! When has God shown you that He is there with you, in new places or challenging times? God doesn’t change and He isn’t bothered with new places and new faces!

I have also had health challenges my entire life. I was born with asthma, so that means that I have difficulty breathing sometimes and I get bronchitis and pneumonia easily. In fact, when we lived in Maine, I got pneumonia six times in the four years that we were there, resulting in multiple hospitalizations. However, God took care of me. He taught me that He breathed life into me to begin with and He was giving me the breaths that I needed each day, each hour, each minute. God was faithful to me during some of the weakest times in my life! When I had my stroke three years ago, the school nurse tried valiantly to reach my husband so that he could come and ride with me in the ambulance. Not able to reach him, she and the school resource officer helped load me into the emergency vehicle and reassured me that I would be okay. I was feeling anything but okay. I couldn’t move my right side at all and I couldn’t speak. So, as the paramedics did their thing with IVs and instruments, I was praying. That, I still could do…silently between myself and God. I didn’t know how or what to pray, but the Holy Spirit did and so I prayed during my very fast ride to the nearest hospital. My husband met me there and the diagnosis was a massive stroke. We had my daughter on the phone and the neurologist who was diagnosing me via Skype said that I could receive the TPA clot busting shot. It could kill me or maybe help me. We prayed together (me silently still) and I decided to have the shot. Well, the shot was a miraculous answer to prayer. I can do everything now that I could do before the stroke. I am a little slower at some things, but I can do them! God was right beside me, in the hospital, in rehab and during the long months of recovery. He never turned away from me and told me that I was a lost cause, that I had too many health issues for Him to deal with. He was there for me, and I’m sure that you have a testimony of all the times that God was there for you.

God has always been my provider, too. As a teacher, moving did not correlate well with my vocation. Each state that we moved to, I had to pass a new test and get a new teaching certificate. Discouraging? Well, honestly, yes. But there was never a time when I wanted to teach that God did not provide a job for me. In the state of Maine, there is an enormous county named Aroostook. In that county, there was one Spanish teacher. “Coincidentally,” he retired the year that I arrived in Maine with my family, so I was able to teach there for the next three years. I put “coincidentally” in quotation marks because I know, and I hope that you do, too, that God prepared the way for me.

I have written today’s blog just to remind everyone that God does not change. The world changes. The circumstances in our lives change. But God does not change. He is with us all the time, no matter what we’re going through. He doesn’t always calm the storm happening in our lives, but if we ask Him, He will calm us so that we can hear His voice telling us what we are supposed to do next. During this pandemic, I hope that you are listening to His voice and remembering all that He has done for you. The Lord God is sovereign and He can get us through this crisis, too!

Ever Be by Aaron Shust

He Is With You by Mandisa