Waves of Doubt

I have been faced with a lot of doubts during my long life. This failure to believe in others started when I was very young and watched people around me fail time and time again. My grandfather was an alcoholic, my father ended up being a drug addict after years of being idolized by me and my mom, well, my mom just didn’t know how to love herself or others. So, I doubted that others could or would help me through the storms of life; thus, I was determined to succeed on my own. That is, until one day I was introduced to Jesus and He has made all of the difference in my life.

I am not even trying to compare myself to Peter when he got out of the boat and walked on the water. Rather, I am saying that we all get afraid sometimes and take our eyes off of the Lord. That’s when we start to sink because the doubts overwhelm us. I was sinking in a sea of doubts when Jesus came to me the first time, held out His nail-scarred hand to me and convinced me that He would always love me and be there for me. Did He appear to me physically, like a vision? No, He appeared in His Word and made Himself known to me, in all of His power, glory and humility. I trusted His love and still do.

I will freely confess that sometimes circumstances overtake me and I take my eyes off of Jesus and put them on the problem, focusing on the issues instead of on the problem solver. Then, I read this verse again and it strengthens me. Notice that the verse says “immediately.” Jesus didn’t let Peter flounder around in the water for too long. He IMMEDIATELY reached out His hand to Him and held him. That’s what Jesus does to me over and over again when I start to flounder in the sea of doubt in which I used to be accustomed to dwell. He immediately reaches out to me as soon as I call on His Name and holds me securely in His loving arms, letting me know that the times may be tough, but He is there for me through it all.

Why do I doubt to begin with? I just don’t know the answer to that question. I think it has a lot to do with a lack of trust. I have to go back to the basics of my relationship with the Lord, know without any hesitation that He is totally trustworthy and call on Him to rescue me…again! The wonderful thing is that He has never failed me when I call on Him. He is always right there, close by, reaching out to assure me that He will take care of me. His Word is hidden in my heart and I find the comfort I need through the many verses He brings to my mind just when I need them.

Have a blessed day and remember that it’s okay to doubt and reach out to the Lord. Just don’t linger there lest you drown in that sea. God loves you and will always reach out to lift you up, again and again and again!

The Gifts Are Opened…Now What?

So, the day after Christmas and all of the gifts have been opened, exclaimed over and thanks given (I hope, at least) for the time and effort that the giver put into choosing the gift for you. In order to truly appreciate a gift, one needs to be aware of the effort and time that the giver put into the package that he/she gave you. Now, take that thought and apply it to the gift that God has given each of us.

The time God put into offering His Only Son as a sacrifice for our sins…well, He planned it since the beginning. So, more time than I have ever put into a gift, for sure! The effort God put into the gift…well, He gave up His Only Son for each of us to be able to have an eternal relationship with Him. Jesus left His home in Heaven and came to earth, suffered and did. That’s a lot of effort for sinful man, many of whom don’t accept or appreciate the gift. The gift of Jesus was costly and showed an unbelievable amount of love from the Father for each of us, His children.

So, now what? With gifts from family and friends, we express our thanks, sometimes write a thank you note and may or may not actually use the gift. With God, the gift is so wonderful that we need to spend time on our knees thanking Him for it and then we need to spend the rest of our lives dedicated to serving the One who made it possible for us to even exist, much less in a relationship with the Sovereign God and Creator of all. The what next part is giving our lives to Him so that He can then reach out to others who need to know about the gift that they were given but may not have received yet. It’s important that we carry through with sharing the testimony that God has given us so that others can know the same freedom, joy, hope, love, mercy and grace that we have. God sent His Son for all…an indescribable gift that should never be taken for granted but should always stir up thanksgiving and the urge to tell others about what God has done.

May you always know the peace and love that come with the gift of the birth and sacrifice of Christ! Have a blessed day, my friends.

Fourth Sunday of Advent: It’s All About the Light

God first separated the light from the darkness, noting that the light was good.

Jesus is the light of the world who shed His loving light on all mankind.

As Christians, we are called to shine our lights, reflecting the light of Jesus to a dark and dying world. The end result is to give glory to the Father who created the light to begin with.

Darkness cannot conquer light but is dispelled by it. That is why it is so important for us to continue to shine in a world that is becoming increasingly dark.

Jesus came as a man and displayed God’s glory to all. Can we do any less if we say that we are but reflections of Him?

Hallelujah! I am a child of the light and so are all who know Jesus as Lord!

Praise God for the fourth Sunday of Advent because being a light gives each of us a purpose and a mission. Have a blessed day!


I am an overcomer, and so are you if you are a Christian. Following in the path that the Lord has prepared for us, we cannot always expect the way to be easy. But we can know without a doubt that Jesus goes before us. Since He overcame all that life on earth and Satan threw at Him, we can, too. It takes faith, perseverance and steadfastness, but we can do it!


Have a blessed and glorious day in the Lord!

Great Joy

I’m especially happy today because I’m going home for a couple of weeks! Even if that were not the case, it is the season for joy. Because Jesus came, we can have joy in our hearts regardless of circumstances.

Happy Third Sunday of Advent and remember that Jesus is the ONLY REASON FOR THE SEASON!

Thankful for God’s Gifts

In this season of Thanksgiving, many people who do not regularly thank God take the opportunity to acknowledge that what they have in their lives is from a “higher power.” Others continue on with their lives and call Thanksgiving Day “turkey day” or some other name that means that they are all about themselves and their own ego trip, refusing to acknowledge the Creator and the Savior. I call it Thanksgiving, it’s one of my favorite holidays and I am thankful for all of God’s gifts.

Of course, the first gift that comes to mind is His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, without whom I would not have a relationship with the Father. I am also thankful for the Holy Spirit, the One who guides me and helps me to stay close to the Lord and to understand His Word. Ultimately, I am thankful for all of God’s creation: the beauty in the changes of season (we saw snow yesterday!), the rare beauty that is all around us if we just look for it (like the cardinal hopping in the snow) and the beauty of the children and grandchildren that I am blessed with. God is so good to His children. It seems to me that we need more than one day to be grateful for His gifts, for all He has done and continues to do for us. The season is one of Thanksgiving and I am thankful to be counted among His children because of His grace and mercy.

May the Thanksgiving season be the start of thankfulness in your heart and life. Every gift is from God! Have a blessed day of counting your blessings.

Thankful for My Encouragers

I used to watch Fred Rogers with my children and then repeats of the show with my grandchildren. He always had such an optimistic, encouraging attitude and with his soft voice, he would tell the children to “look for the helpers. They are always there.” I think that someone who is an encourager is a helper, in one of the best ways possible.

I have had many encouragers in my life, mentors in my Christian walk as well as friends and medical professionals. There are some who stand out in my memory and I am so thankful for them.

My mentors in my Christian walk have been ladies of the church that I was attending who saw my youth and inexperience and encouraged me to dig deeply into God’s Word and to pray daily. I enjoyed Bible studies with them, long discussions about what I believed and why, until ultimately, I was better able to understand what I was reading and to mentor others. They led me to the understanding that I may not have a lot of knowledge to share, but I had some and I just share that seed so that other seeds would then be sowed into my life. It has always been in reaching out to others that I am touched myself. After all, this is the principle of reaping and sowing that God taught me in His Word and that my sweet mentors demonstrated for me.

I haven’t had a lot of friends that I would say are extremely close to me or me to them because I am such an introverted person. But the friendships that I have formed have been with people who spread positivity and encouragement in front of the path that I am following. One such friend was Heidi. She became a mentor to me at the high school in Virginia where I taught for twenty years. She opened her door and her heart to me, answered all of my questions and just spent time reassuring me that I was going to be okay no matter what the parents and the administration threw at me. We laughed a lot as well as cried a lot together. Heidi had a really rough life for a long time, with a philandering spouse and a friend who betrayed her, but she never once made me feel that I was encroaching on her time. I learned from her how to love life and live as though every moment matters. Heidi passed away in 2017 after a long illness and to this day, I can still look at her photo across the room from me and hear her laughter and see her smile that reached all the way into her eyes and never failed to make me smile in return.

Finally, there are all of the medical challenges that I have faced and the encouragement that I have received from various medical professionals. None stands out more than my physical therapist. I met Tim after my knee replacement surgery in 2004, many years ago. My rehab was extremely painful because I am allergic to opioids and could not take pain pills before the exercises that I had to do to get my knee moving properly again. My husband would drop me off early in the morning before I went to teach since Tim said that at the end of the day, my knee was too swollen to exercise well. Then my husband would leave because I literally screamed in agony as Tim manipulated my knee to bend and flex. All the time Tim was working, he was speaking quiet words of encouragement to me, “You’re almost there! You can do it!” Over ten years later, after my stroke, there was no one I wanted to go to for PT except Tim. He assured me that he would do the best he could to help me with occupational therapy, which I needed in addition to PT, but that was not his field of expertise. Tim purchased a white board for me to practice writing on and had me practice daily. I had lost my ability for language when I had my stroke, so I stuttered and stammered and forgot words frequently. I also forgot how to read with comprehension and how to write. Tim set up exercises for me specifically to work on the skills that I needed to recapture. I am thankful that when I was melting in pools of frustration, Tim always threw me a lifeline telling me that he had confidence that I could do it.

I would be completely remiss if I did not mention the greatest encourager in my life, my daughter Hope. Anytime I need prayer, she is right there, on the other end of the phone. When I had my stroke, she left her four children with her husband and a list of who was doing what for each child on each day and then Hope drove over nine hours alone to be with me. She encouraged me to try to live my best life, to walk and talk and to read even when I had difficulty doing those simple tasks. I didn’t like eating because it tired me, and the food was not tasty since I wasn’t allowed salt. She taught her dad how to cook tasty meals for me that had soft foods that were easier for me to swallow and plenty of protein that I needed. She took me to the grocery store and patiently walked beside me as I slowly made my way around and she instructed me where to find the foods that I can still eat. In short, she encouraged me to want to continue to live, even though my life had radically changed. She also encouraged her dad in ways to help me to learn how to be independent again. The result was that in three months, I was back at work part time. Of course, God had a lot to do with that miraculous healing, but I also credit Hope and Tim for the encouragement to embrace my new life.

My encouragers have inspired me to try to be more of an encourager myself. I look for opportunities to sow positive seeds into people’s lives, going against my old nature of being negative and deliberately thinking of positive things that I can say instead.

There are a lot of disheartened people in the world today, and some of them are in my world. They need my encouragement, just a word or two that acknowledges that they are important and that whatever they are going thorough is not a surprise or too big a challenge to God. I am sure that you can find someone to encourage in your daily journey through life, too. The cashier who is weary, the waiter who is overworked and overwhelmed, the young mom with crying children who just needs a smile and a word that she is doing a fine job with them.

All of the encouragement that I have within me to give to others comes from the message that Christ has written in my heart, one of love and gratitude.

I leave you today with this verse of encouragement and pray that the God of all positive things will walk close beside you today. He is and always has been our greatest cheerleader and our hope.

Thankful for My Intercessor

Many years ago, my husband and I attended a Bible training school called Youth with a Mission. I don’t recall a lot that we studied there, but at least one truth we learned and book that we studied stuck with me through the years. The title was THE INTERCESSOR by Norman Grubb and it relates how to be an Intercessor like Rees Howells, a man of God who made a difference by praying for others. If you want to perhaps purchase the updated version, here is a link to do so:

Christian Book

The reason this book made such an impact and stayed with me is that this true story of a man who believed in prayer and made a difference with his petitions to God was amazing to me. Since then, I have strived to be an Intercessor for others, but I have never reached the heights of Rees Howells, not even close.

Today in my devotional, the verse that jumped out at me was about Jesus’s being my intercessor.

I cannot imagine Jesus sitting at God’s right hand and speaking up on my behalf, but that is what the Holy Bible says that he does. The tense used is one of the present ongoing tense, not past, not done, but rather still happening. I remember when I was a child that my father was my mediator with my mom. She had a heavy hand of punishment and I seemed to be always in trouble for one infraction or another. It was my father’s soothing voice that calmed her down and prompted her to think before she dealt out severe blows to my legs. I still got punished, but the punishment was not half as severe as when daddy wasn’t there to intervene. Now, I can put that into the context of Jesus speaking to God on my behalf and letting the Father know that I am His and the price has already been paid for my salvation. Yes, I still mess up, and there are consequences to actions, but Jesus’s intercession is there and the Father has shown me mercy and grace over and over again.

If you get a chance to read THE INTERCESSOR, remember to put it into the context of Jesus interceding for you, on a daily basis and every time you need it. He is right there, always ready to go to bat for each of us because He loves us so much. Yes, He is the King of Glory, He is the Lion of Judah, and He is also the Great Intercessor who speaks to the Father for us, always operating with unfailing love and forgiveness. I want to be like Jesus, in Intercessor for others, and I am thankful for His example and His sacrifice that makes Him the Intercessor for me and for each of His children who know Him as Savior.

May you be blessed today with the knowledge of how dependable an Intercessor Jesus is for you and be confident in His love, grace and mercy.