November 29

Recently while traveling I passed a gas station that had the cheapest gas I had seen in years.  I made a mental note to make sure I stopped and filled up there on my return home.  When the time came to return, my plan was to make one stop for gas, water and bathroom break.  Before I got to that stop, I saw another place that had gas even cheaper.  So of course that is where I stopped.  This place was not one you really wanted to go in and use facilities or purchase a drink, so I filled up with gas and figured I would just have to stop again.

Now, having to make two stops does not help the quickest return time record you always try to achieve, however, it was in the best interest of my travel crew that I find a cleaner place to stop for the other needs. When I was about 15 minutes from home, traffic came to a dead stop.  Obviously there was a problem as there were many fire trucks, ambulances and lots of flashing lights ahead.  When we were able to move again, the reason for the delay became clear.  A car had caught fire and exploded.  It was completely gone except for the frame.  There was no question that had there been cars passing by at the time this happened that they too would have been involved.

My mother, who was with me, turned and said "If we had not made that last stop, we would have been right there when that car exploded".  I was reminded then that God puts us where we need to be and does so in His time.  She was right, the timing would have been exact and we would possibly have been victim to that accident too.

God knows where we are, He knows where we have come from and He knows where he is leading us.  Never doubt that you are where you are for a reason and that regardless of that place, there is something God needs us to experience. Sometimes He just needs us to slow down and sometimes He needs us to be reminded that He is always with us, protecting us from things we could not have foreseen.

Thank you God for your guidance and for putting extra pit stops in our path that cause us to avoid tragedy.

2 Corinthians 2:14

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 


November 27

T            Time for relationships
H            Hearts to embrace  
A            Answers to prayers
N            New possibilities
K            Keys for living
S             Spirit-filled lives

Our Father,
T-H-A-N-K-S, for your direct involvement in our lives; ever present, ever steadfast, everlasting.



November 25

Remember to be observant of the beauty of God's great creation. It is obvious whenever you see something put together in a special way, that an intelligent being, a human, created it. A house for example. It didn't happen by accident. It was well planned out and carefully detailed so that someday it could serve a higher purpose.

In the same way the creation of the earth and all the unique and exotic creatures of it was in no way just an accident. The emergence of intelligent life forms was again no mistake. We were created by an all powerful all loving God to serve a higher purpose in his eyes.  


November 23

God’s “More”

Dearest Father,

                In this season of Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for Your steadfast love and Your endless blessings. And I wonder, what more can I do for You?

I look at other people’s ministries and they seem so dramatic and important and life-changing. I compare them to my own and always find myself lacking. It can get discouraging and downright exhausting.

The frenetic mental exercise I engage in goes something like this:  I want to do Your will and expand Your kingdom and be the woman You created me to be, and be the best mom and the best wife and the best friend and be accomplished in my job and in my home and use my spiritual gifts and not lose myself while I am juggling everything – and trying not to drop any balls. What does doing more than all of this look like for me? If I figure it out, how will I find the time to do more? Will I get it right? Won’t someone just tell me what to do?

 I pray to You for peace of mind; for guidance in what Your “more” might look like for me. I pray that I can stop, take a deep breath, and see myself as You see me – a person You loved enough to create and establish a relationship with – not the person filled with self-doubt I see looking back at me in the mirror.

Today, I will take another deep breath and invite the Holy Spirit in to order my next steps. I know that when You call us, it is with a positive energy.  The negative voices and thoughts are not Yours, and I ask the Holy Spirit to help me turn them off so I can hear the call of Your “more”.  
  Your loving daughter


November 19

OK- I admit it: I adore chocolate.  I also enjoy chicken noodle soup, fuzzy slippers, stars on a cold night, a good book, finishing a project, and hugs.

Almighty and personal Lord,
Thank you for the many wonderful things which you put into my life.  Thank you for the many wonderful people in my life.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


November 17

When I was a child, my mother would sing a little song, which you might know:
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day!

Yet, when I was grumbling about the rain today, someone else replied that we need the rain right now.  It has been too dry.  Funny how our perspectives will give different meanings to the same event.

Gracious Lord,  please help us to see our lives, our decisions, our circumstances  through your perspective.  Let how we speak and act be filtered through your love.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


November 15

My grandmother lived in a small town that had old maple trees lining many of the streets.  In the Fall, the leaves would pile up in the corners of the sidewalks and against bushes at the edges of yards.  I used to love shuffling my feet as I walked along, kicking up the leaves.  The sound of the leaves rustling and the smell of the dry leaves as they swirled and fell lifted into the crisp sunlit air of a perfect autumn day.  Isn't it marvelous how God chose to design the world?

Almighty God, thank you for creating seasons and rhythms to mark our lives.  Thank you for giving us senses so that we can enjoy your creation.  Thank you for surrounding us with the evidence of your loving care.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


November 13

Psalm 62: 5(CEB)
“Oh I must find rest in God only, because my hope comes from him!  Only God is my rock and my salvation - my stronghold! – I will not be shaken.  My deliverance and glory depend on God.  God is my strong rock.  My refuge is in God.  All you people:  Trust in him at all times!  Pour out your hearts before him! God is our refuge!”

What is trusting God? It may be as simple as believing God loves you, God is good, and has the power to help you. We trust in so many other things, but why is it so hard to trust God?
 God wants to be first in our lives. Do we put our confidence and trust in God all the time, in everything? When we go beyond what we want, what we think and what we feel, and do what  God guides us to do, we come to a place where the blessings of God overflow in our  lives.


November 11

I was away for a few days.  When I returned home, I discovered that my dog had been spending time on an old sweater I had left on a chair.  He growled and fussed if someone tried to move the sweater and insisted on curling up there.  If only I were as attached to the things of God!  If only I were as fiercely protective of my space to be with God.  If only I longed for time with God as much as my dog longed for time with me.


November 9

Solitude is an important discipline for our spiritual life. The busyness of our lives makes finding time for solitude a challenge.  Our daily schedules are filled with work, family responsibilities, various appointments, social activities, etc. We think that when life slows down, we will have time for solitude and time to spend with God.

Don't wait for that time; it may not happen any time soon. We need that  time to be alone with God. Quiet time without disruptions allows us to listen to God. Jesus often withdrew into solitude and silence to be with pray and listen to Him. Solitude and silence are important in strengthening our relationship with God. Schedule that solitude into your life. It could be 15 minutes before the rest of your household wakes up or a weekend away from all your responsibilities
where you are alone and quiet, so you can listen to God.

Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left
the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed.  
Mark 1:35

Dear Lord, Help to find that quiet time alone with you, so I can listen.


November 5


Opportunities come our way everyday.  There are some we like; then there are some (at the time) we don't like.  To call them all blessings ... seems weird.  But when you look back at the good and the not so good opportunities, we see that we gained.  With each opportunity there is an experience, and maybe a lesson, maybe a new friend, maybe information about a friend that you learn they weren't really a friend after all.  A bad opportunity could lead us to learn more about our self, maybe it means we need to take a class or seek help.  A good opportunity could lead us into a new direction.

God blesses us when we don't think we need it, before we need it, and continues to bless us, not because we deserve it, just because.  Wow.  Pretty cool.

Thank you, Lord, for seeking me out, for hanging in with me even when I don't think I deserve it, and before I even get out of bed in the morning!  Stay close to me, hold me, and wrap me in your arms.  Please do the same for others.  And, please continue to seek out those who don't know you, yet.  Amen.


November 3

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in  me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

            Years ago there was a section of the beltway I traveled regularly where the sound-blocking walls had just been completed. There had been some small plantings put in place for landscaping, but as yet the walls were rather stark in appearance.  Then one day I noticed a small slip of a vine that obviously was growing on the  other side of the wall where I could not see it.  But a small branch had found an opening in the wall and was growing through.  Over the months that followed it got bigger and longer, at last spreading out to give some green and some grace to the walls’ appearance.  I was glad that no one on either side of the wall had chopped the vine or the branch off.  It was doing on the highway side of the wall what the vine was meant to do on the opposite side where it had been planted—give the kind of character to that bland, brown wall that only living things can do.

            How like that branch of that vine our lives are!  Jesus said as much:  “I am the vine, you are the branches”, he said.  When we are in relationship with Christ, our lives are energized to love and care as he did; even when we find ourselves having broken through a hole in one of life’s walls, we can grow and flourish with the love of God in Christ. 
And if the  connection with Christ is broken and we stop abiding in him, we are like a vine branch broken off from the vine’s main stem.  We cannot do what we are meant to do as God’s people in Christ.

            Lord, let me so abide this day in your life giving presence that I may know the joy of your love shared with the world around me.  Amen

Read John 15:1-12


November 1


      I was privileged to hear Rev. James Lawson speak recently.  He is a retired United Methodist pastor, now in his 80‘s, and living in California.  He was a close friend and colleague of Rev. Martin Luther King and served as one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.  His talk was inspiring in that he focused on the spiritual aspect of their work together for freedom and rights for all people.  

     He said that they understood themselves as followers of Jesus Christ first.  They recognized that forces of violence and prejudice were strong and could not be addressed simply by means of social and political action.   As a result, they spent a lot of time in prayer and Bible Study.  Prayer kept them strong and focused on the dream rather than on retribution for the enmity that came at them.  

      Rev. Lawson went on to say that the need for prayer and Bible study, in order to be renewed, challenged and strengthened by God’s presence and Word, is even more critical today even than it was back then.  This is a time in which we are in danger of becoming complacent and to discount the power inherent in our faith. Prayer offered individually and collectively is the greatest resource there is for our own freedom and redemption as well as for others. 

     As we recall and give thanks for our saints on this All Saints Day, let us also remember what it was that made them saints.  For the leaders of the Civil Rights movement, flawed as they were, they did what they needed to do in order to stay in close partnership with Jesus.  Saints are not perfect people.  They simply know from whence their help comes - their help comes from the Lord who is the maker of everything.

    We give thanks for our saints today, those who are living and passed, who continue to point us toward you, O God.  May we find in our time, the courage and fortitude to keep moving towards you even when we feel lost and confused.  For you are the light and hope not only for us but for all people.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.