Be still and know that I’m with you
Be still and know I am


Those are words from this song entitled Be Still by The Fray.  Take a few moments before reading these thoughts to Be Still with the Lord and be blessed by His presence through this song.




Take time each day to be still

Get away from the hustle and bustle

Even if for five minutes

Spending time basking in God’s love and presence. Continue reading “BE STILL”


Have you ever been in the middle of a storm in your life when you were just so devastated, that even though you possessed great faith, it was a struggle to even pray?

It seemed like the burden you were carrying was overpowering you?

Maybe you even felt distant from God even though you really knew in your heart that He is always with you?

Continue reading “LIFT UP”


In our life, I think it is a good thing to take time to reflect on our journey, what can be improved, and what changes we can make to become better people.
As Christians, I think the season of Lent provides for us a good time to do that.  Lent can provide us all with a specific time to refocus the direction we are headed. But, we certainly don’t need to wait until Lent to make changes we feel are needed. Anytime we feel inspired to change is a great time to start doing things differently.
 Photo credit by brett jordan under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0)
Are there changes you can make to improve and deepen your relationship with the Lord?
Are there changes you can make to help you be a better you?
Would reflecting on the supreme sacrifice that Jesus made for you make you more thankful?
Some ways to help us refocus can be:
Repenting of our sins
Spiritual discipline
As Christians, it is a given that our salvation is based on our acceptance of Christ as our Savior. Participating in the above actions are things we can do to grow closer to Christ in that relationship. Doing these things will not get us to heaven but they are more of a by-product to enhance our relationship with Christ.
It is interesting to note that Christ fasted, would take time out to pray to God, His Father, and helped the poor that He encountered.  If Christ did these things, can’t we learn from His example?  He spent 40 days in the desert where He fasted and was tempted by Satan, yet He knew the Scriptures and defeated Satan each time with Scriptures.
I love celebrating the holiest of days reflecting on the events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and then Easter which are the pinnacles of our faith. For me, it is the most special time of year.
Thinking of how Jesus washed his disciples feet at the Last Supper was such an act of being a humble servant….commanding us to do the same. Reliving the Last Supper, where He sacrificed Himself, is always a powerful event for me.
Thinking about Jesus carrying the cross on Good Friday is such a humbling experience….to feel the agony that He endured for us.
And then there is Easter Sunday when He rose on the Third Day! He was victorious over sin and death in order to set us free!
Photo credit by Art4TheGlryOfGod under Creative Common License (CC BY-ND 2.0)
So, I view Lent as a time to make us more aware of things we can do to grow closer to Christ…a time of reflection, growing even deeper in our relationship with Christ, and becoming better people following in His footsteps. And then when we celebrate that glorious Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead, we can join in His victory over death and truly be Easter people!
For me, being Easter people means sharing in Jesus’ resurrection and the joy that comes with knowing that He paid the ultimate price for our salvation! We have the privilege of proclaiming and sharing Him with all we meet by the way we live our lives. Knowing that we are also filled with the Holy Spirit who is always there to encourage us and give us power is a huge blessing.
I pray that you may have a blessed Lenten season growing in your faith, and then on Easter Sunday be filled with the love and joy of the Risen Savior!
Jesus said to her (Martha), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  –John 11:25-26
Here is a link to a new song by Third Day entitled Victorious. It sums up what Jesus’ death did for us all.


Can you think of a time in your life when despite a rough, stressful season you could still see God working and helping you through it all? Maybe you would consider it a time of grace in your life?

In the last year and a half there have been three times where relatives have been in the hospital for extended times, as well as relatives being in the ER for various reasons. I’ve come to know my way around the hospital pretty well. Being there also brings back memories since it is the same hospital where I used to be a candy-striper/volunteer for many years back in the day! That was certainly a highlight in my life where I got to meet many people and help others.

Times when loved ones are in the hospital and there are so many unknowns of what is going to happen are tough. It is definitely an opportunity to pray for the person individually and to ask others to join you in prayer for your loved one.

During times like this, it can also be stressful to be there to support the person yet be there for your immediate family. But, they can also be times of experiencing God’s grace and love. This was definitely what I experienced this past April and May.

My father in law was in the hospital for a total of 32 days followed by 7 days in a local rehab place. He ended up having two abdominal surgeries within 9 days.


The first surgery seemed to go really well, and he was even up and walking the same day! But, as time went on, things weren’t progressing as expected internally, so they did the second surgery.

The second surgery did not go so well. The doctors were really only able to open him up, and shortly after, just stitched him up, because he started bleeding too much. The doctors were unable to see well enough to do anything. That was pretty devastating to think they couldn’t fix him anymore, and we were unsure where that would leave him.

We really thought we were going to lose my father-in-law this time because they couldn’t do the second surgery and because his mind was not functioning properly after that surgery. He was “seeing” things that weren’t there….like mashed potatoes hanging from the ceiling! He was not too coherent and couldn’t remember too much. He even thought he was on a boat! We really thought his mind was not going to be “normal” again. This went on for many days.

Thankfully, he gradually came back around to the guy we knew. It was really hard to see him struggle so much, lose his strength and especially his mind for so long. But, somehow he bounced back slowly. He was so weak that he had to go to rehab for a week to regain some strength. We were truly blessed that there was a local place that had an opening for him. Finally, he was ready to try returning to home with the help of a walker.

My in-laws have a total of seven kids, three of which are local, one about 1 1/2 hrs away and three in Massachusetts. It is always so remarkable to see all through the years that all the families get along well and support each other, especially in being there for their parents to aid them in whatever way they can.

With the local families around, it seemed people were always there to support my in laws and try to help pass the long days in the hospital. It seemed someone was always there visiting my father-in-law, trying to fill his time and eventually to try to get his mind working again. We would bring trivia questions to help stimulate his mind, ask him crossword puzzles, since he couldn’t even write at the time, and the likes.


Celebrating Mother’s Day 2014 at the Rehab Courtyard.

Things were slow going when he was finally able to come home, and we still wondered if he would return to a normal lifestyle, but we are so thankful that he was pretty much back to normal after a good three months. It has really amazed us all to see how far he came. Family members took up the mowing and house duties that he was not able to do.

For me, this time of grace seems magnified because I was able to share it with a friend as well. It was really one of those God-incidents that at the same time my father-in-law was in the hospital, I ended up finding out a friend’s mother, who I had never met, was in the same hospital. A little prompting inside me had me go visit her mom’s room once I found out. Quite the opposite from our situation that had lots of local people to support them, this friend was really the only one there for her mother. Her one sister lives out of town. So I really felt compelled to visit my friend most every time when I would visit my father-in-law. Being there to listen to my friend and share in her journey and show I cared really blessed me. It was kind of a special bond that strengthened our friendship. It was also a joy to meet her mother who was a very special, sweet lady. I felt blessed to have met her even for such a short time. Every time I would visit, she too, would ask about how my father in law was. Despite her condition, she cared about someone she never even met.

When my friend’s mother went to a nursing home for a few days before reentering the hospital a second time, it just didn’t feel the same not being able to visit her. It was hard to see my friend’s mom’s health decline before our eyes and at the beginning of May she ended up dying. But, I feel my life was enriched and graced through knowing her for such a short time. Meeting my friend’s sister was also a blessing and it seemed like we’d known each other forever. It was my privilege to attend the funeral for this family and try to show my love and support for what they were going through. The same day of the funeral, I was suppose to go out of town to attend a conference, but I knew I wanted to share in the funeral instead. I truly was so blessed through being there and the luncheon after with the family.

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Photo credit by DRAMOS19 under Creative Common License (CC BY 2.0)

It was special to see how my friend was there all the time for her mother….to see that special bond between a mother and her daughter. I know it was hard for my friend to leave her family and three children home so much during her mom’s hospitalization, but she did what she had to do at the time…be there for her mother. I know their Easter was not quite the same this year, but my friend was sharing in her mother’s journey at the time.

I am so thankful for this time of grace that accompanied the sharing of the hard struggles of seeing people suffer. Trying to be there to support one another and help in whatever small way are such blessings in our lives, and God is always there to provide what we need.

Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. –Hebrews 4:16


I am learning that we need to be more open to others, and not be so concerned with ourselves.  It is so important to be there for one another.  You can learn more about yourself and God in reaching out to others. It can help you gain confidence in yourself, and it is a great feeling knowing you are helping to build God’s kingdom on this earth.

Ultimately, people need to put the Lord first, then their families and then others. But, all our attention should not be fixed on one thing; there should be some balance.
We have the responsibility to love others and to be there for them. It might not even be someone that you  met in person, especially today with the different kinds of social media. It can be a great tool to touch another’s life.  Be aware of the people God puts in your path each day, whether in physical contact or through another avenue.
One example of the blessing of social media in my life was in following my favorite Christian band, Third Day, on social media.

Because of our mutual following of Third Day, I became “friends” with a lady & her husband who had been at a Friends & Family camp hosted by Third Day in Georgia. I saw the couple at the camp but did not really talk to them there. She reached out to me on social media after the event. Her husband had some medical issues so she would be asking for prayer sometimes, at which point I would pray for them and try to encourage them. One day, it was amazing as she happened to post something saying her husband collapsed and to pray. I thank God that I saw that post a few moments after she posted it, so I started praying. It was very sad to hear the next day that he ended up dying.  But, I thought how special it was that people were praying for them so soon in their time of need. To this day, the lady and I keep in contact, and I try to offer support to her when I can.

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From left to right: Members of Third Day: Mark Lee, Tai Anderson, David Carr, & Mac Powell, along with some special, long time fans.

Take a moment to see how you can be open to the needs of others, at least once a day….

  • Maybe it’s giving a smile to the mom you see who is trying to calm her screaming child.
  • Maybe it’s sending a card on the anniversary of someone who has lost someone special.
  • Maybe it is asking the store clerk how her day is going and taking time to listen to her.
  • Maybe it is giving up your seat on the bus to someone else.
  • Maybe it is helping an elderly person unload their shopping cart when you see it would make it easier.

We should take every opportunity to reach out and make a difference in someone’s life, before it is too late. You never know when it will be the last chance, or when someone needs it in their most desperate moment. You might end up with a new friendship or help someone bear a burden that was heavy on their heart.   Maybe a small sacrifice on your part will be just what someone else needed.  In reaching out to others, your life will be made more abundant and blessed from above.


“And the King will answer them, “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” –Matthew 25:40