Grace Teaches

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, (Titus 2:11-12 ESV)

Many times when I am reading and something grabs me if I can’t quite figure out what I think the Lord is trying to tell me that is when I start digging. First I will usually go to other translations such as The Passion Translation or The Message. I do like to read out of the ESV or CSB for my daily reading but I also like to back it up with these other translations as I am asking the Lord for clarity on a particular verse or subject. (Remember my simple brain)

We are exploring Grace this week so the word grace is what grabbed me here and I started reading and re-reading these verses. Then I went to The Passion Translation and I truly loved how it read.

God’s marvelous grace has manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. This same grace teaches us how to live each day as we turn our backs on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2:11-12 TPT)

First thought here is put plainly God’s marvelous grace, manifested in Jesus brings us salvation. The further thought here is “this same grace teaches us how to live each day”. I LOVE THAT!! God’s grace was manifested through Jesus. The grace that Jesus exhibited to us by coming to earth and dying on a cross is what our salvation hangs on. But His GRACE goes beyond that. His Grace is ours every day to train us and to lead us and to guide us through every day. We can’t do this thing or at least I can’t without His Grace. I know that I have salvation but I want my salvation to mean something daily not just where I’m going when I die. There is a Psalm that many times in my life when times got hard and life seemed to be throwing me a curve ball or two I have had to cling to. And I truly believe it to be true.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13

This doesn’t mean that life will always be perfect but I do believe that life is meant to be good. And it’s His Grace which is training me how to live that is going to also train me how to see His goodness.

Please pray for your pastors and church leaders today as they are figuring out how to open things back up.

Gifts of Grace

Today I was reading in Ephesians chapter 3.  I want to highlight a few verses here.

For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles — assuming you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that he gave me for you. (Eph. 3:1-2 CSB)

I was made a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. This grace was given to me – the least of all the saints – to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ, and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. (Eph. 3:7-9 CSB)

In this chapter and particularly in these verses Paul is saying that he has been given the power to preach and to proclaim by the gifting of God’s grace. Now I know I can be guilty of thinking of Paul as someone who is way up there on a pedestal. Paul was the author of most of the New Testament and so many of our direction of how to live this christian life come from his writings. So I can tend to put him way up on a pedestal as someone who I can have nothing truly in common with. At least Paul after his conversion, that is. But Paul was just a man, we are not meant to put him on the pedestal. Truly verses like this where Paul points out that his preaching of the gospel is nothing more than a gifting of God’s grace on his life is what validates this point. So if Paul’s writings are meant to give us direction and to give us purpose in this life what can we glean from these passages.

Again, I come to you as a simple minded woman but I do believe that if God can gift Paul with grace to preach that God is gifting me with grace for something. And I believe that this means that God gifts all of us with grace for — something. I believe that sometimes God has to gift me with grace to love certain people. God gifted Paul with grace to love the gentiles, some of the very people he had persecuted in his former life. Can God gift me with grace to love people that maybe I, in my humanness do not find very lovable. Paul states here that God gifted him with the grace to proclaim Christ to the gentiles. God gifted him with his calling. I believe God is gifting me with the grace to do things for Him that I, again, in my humanness would not feel qualified to do. And I truly believe that if God is gifting Paul with grace to love the gentiles and to accomplish His will that He will gift me with grace to love others and to accomplish the things that He has called me to do. I believe He will also gift you with grace to love others and to accomplish His will!

Please pray today for educators and students! Summertime is upon us! School years are wrapping up, however different it seems. It’s truly time to start looking ahead!

By Grace you have been saved!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Eph 2:4-8 ESV)

So what is this grace? This grace we receive from God. Webster defines it as unmerited favor by God. When Paul says “By grace we have been saved” it is because it is nothing that we have done. We are only offered this gift of salvation because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Oh we have to accept the gift, we have to receive the gift. But that is our only action in this transaction. God is lavishing us with the “exceeding riches of his grace”. He has as much as you want, and more. He is begging us to receive His grace.

Have you ever been given a gift that was unexpected. Maybe at Christmas or your birthday, or just because. And you were a little embarrassed because you didn’t have a reciprocal gift to give back. But what do you do? Do you refuse the gift? Or do you take the gift and show appreciation for the gift? Or do you go on and on about I wish I had something to give back. It can be an awkward situation. But with God the gift of Grace that he lavishes on us, the exceeding riches of his grace, well the only way to show our appreciation is to accept the gift. We can never in a million years truly repay the gift of Grace that he lavishes on us. We can however, accept the gift, and live in the gift, and relish the gifts of his Grace.

Please pray today for our medical professionals and front liners. We include nurses, doctors, paramedics, the drivers, the clerks, the housekeepers at the hospital. Lord we pray that they will be seen and lavished with your grace today!


Every year I ask the Lord to give me a word for the year. This year he gave me 2. We are going to explore one of them this week. In years past He has given me words like Peace, Restore (where I came up with the name) and Hope! The year that he gave me the word Restore was all about renewing my heart and mind and when He was giving me back my confidence in Him and who He is and joy in my own salvation.

The year he gave me the word Peace did not exactly look like I thought it would, but what it did for me was gave me something to hold onto when circumstances and things going on in my life did not feel very peaceful and hopeful. The word and scripture related to the word held me during some pretty rough times that year. So I have learned that when He gives me a word not to put all my eggs in one basket so to speak. I have learned to set aside my own expectations of what it means and just trust Him that He will guide me.

Hope was my 2019 word and it was definitely a year where Hope was more paramount than the prior years and it set my feet on a better path and gave me Hope in what God was doing, in what I could do and for other circumstances in my life.

So the word this year is Grace. The verse that He attached to this word was:

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2.Cor. 9:8

What did I think at the beginning of 2020 when God gave me this verse? I guess in a way I thought that His grace would help me to work for Him. I was thinking very simplistically. Which tends to be my way. What have I learned thus far in 2020 about Grace? I have learned that not only do I need His Grace in my life every day that I need to extend Grace to others every day. We are hearing a lot about things opening back up and a lot of people saying it’s too soon.  We are hearing it’s a conspiracy and we are hearing some say how real it is. Some days I am not absolutely certain where my heart lies in all of it. I miss my friends, I miss my church, I miss being social and being able to go shop when and where I want. And let’s face it I really really really want to get my nails done. But I also do not want to get sick neither do I want to go out and then bring this virus home to my husband. I worry about the economy, and when things will be “normal” again. Some days I really don’t know what to feel or to think. But what I do want to do more than anything, is to give Grace to others and to receive Grace! I want His Grace to overflow to me and I want to let mine overflow to others. When I encounter someone who is not sure where their heart lies or even someone who knows their mind better than I know mine and they are steadfast in their thinking, I want to extend my Grace to them. We are all living a very different life than we did a few months back or than what we envisioned. We all have to process it in our own ways.

Lord help me as I give Grace! Lord bless me with your abundant Grace overflowing!

Please pray for our leaders in government today. Our President, our Governor and everyone in between who are making decisions!

Keep stepping!

PNG image-B25C2AE93D1F-1But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirt you are not under the law.  Gal 5:16-18

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Gal. 5:25-26

Finishing up in Galatians chapter 5 today. When I first started reading Galatians I thought it was a hard book to read. (That may show how truly inept I am at this.) But this week when Galatians 5 grabbed me and I decided to dig in a little bit to this chapter and break it down I came to realize that this chapter anyway is really very simple and it is summed up right here in these verses. I actually read verses 16 – 26 but the whole theme of this chapter and really our christian walk are summed up in verse 16 and in verse 25. At least as far as my simple mind can see. Paul is saying here very simply “walk by the Spirit, live by the Spirit”. So what are some practical ways. we can do that? Well he addresses that as well when he says “keep in step with the Spirit.” When you are keeping in step with the Spirit it becomes easier to think like the Spirit. Kind of like a married couple or friends who spend lots of time with each other. The more time you spend together the more you tend to think like the other person. I have a friend that we spent so much time together when our kids were younger that we truly reached a point where we were finishing each other’s sentences. We even found ourselves carrying the same purse on 3 different occasions and we were never together when we made that purchase. When you are spending time with the Spirit, with Jesus then you start to walk in step with him and the other stuff that is mentioned in these passages just start to happen. You begin to put away the things of the world and the fruit of the Spirit within you begins to grow.   Walking in step with Him is letting Him direct your life and your steps. I am not saying all in the world will be sunshine and lollipops but when you walk in step you have the helper, the Spirit to guide you and to show you the way and yes, even to carry you through the hard times.

Please pray for our service industry today. There are so many people who are hurting financially during this time. Please pray and if you need something or you can, please buy from the local shops. If you are not ready to sit in a restaurant or if your community is not open, please get takeout and be sure to tip well. (if you can)

Run well – Gal. 5:7-15

IMG_1683“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who call you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve on another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Gal. 5:7-15

Apparently the church in Galatia that Paul was writing to had started out well on their faith journey but they had allowed false teaching in their midst. (v.7)  This was upsetting to Paul as he was trying to warn them that you let a little “leaven” in and eventually it can run through the whole batch. In other words if you let one person in to teach and they are teaching false doctrine then next thing you know they are leading the whole bunch of them and it is negating what the cross did for them. But he is also encouraging them when he tells them “I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view”. (v10)  In other words he is telling them I know you know the truth and I know that you will follow the truth. I was thinking this can be a scary fine line because we are supposed  to be open to others and welcome them to the church. But before you allow them to lead you be sure they are leading you to the cross. Paul even ends this part of the passage with loving your neighbor as yourself.  (hmm we’ve heard that recently) We have freedom in Christ and we do not want to be judged “by the company we keep” but what I think Paul is saying to them is to remember the cross. Remember who called you and the freedom to which you were called. He says don’t let this freedom be an opportunity for you to sin. Again don’t think of it as a list of do’s and don’ts. But also don’t think I can do whatever I want and keep asking forgiveness. But realize that legalism leads you away from the cross and freedom leads you to the cross. When you run well, when you run toward the cross with all you have, you will serve one another and you will love one another without the backbiting and judgment that legalism can bring.

Please pray for the pastors and for our churches today. Many churches are trying to figure out the best way and when to open back up!

Sunrise Surprise!


Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for a good sunrise!  This morning I thought I was not going to get a particularly pretty sunrise as it is a little cloudy here at the Lake!  But as I was sitting in my chair reading this morning, I suddenly looked up and here peeking through the clouds very prettily was the sun! It was almost like God was saying “SURPRISE!! Here you go!” I got out of my chair and immediately walked out onto the deck so that I could share it with you! (This has nothing to do with the devo!)

Today I read through my Bible reading and I pondered and asked the Lord what He wanted me to write on today.  I have been reading through the gospels over and over this year but I am also reading in Galatians right now. I kept going back and forth to the passage in Galatians, because well quite frankly, it bothered me a bit when I first read it.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law, you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. Gal. 5:1-6

This part that says “Christ will be of no advantage to you” is what really bothered me. So I kept digging. I wanted to see what Paul meant by this. You see I really want to hang onto Christ so that He is an advantage to me. I want my faith in Him to be what carries me because if it is not then where am I. When I dug into this passage that is precisely what it is saying. You see if I am only living by a list of dos and don’t in the world then I am not living in the faith that what Jesus did on the cross is enough for me. If I follow all of the lists of rules or the law to the letter of the law and I do not lean into Christ and who He is and what He has done for me then the laws that I keep mean absolutely nothing! The laws and the rules are the yoke of slavery. I have seen people and I would say I have been there myself that get so caught up in the can’t, and shouldn’t, and don’t do things of this life that we forget about Jesus. The last verse of this passage says “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision (the rules, the laws, the list of dos and don’ts) count for anything, but only faith working through love.” (verse 6) Lord let me not get so caught up in the rules that I forget the faith that works in love!

Please pray for your educators and students today (combining these 2)!

Mark 4:1-20 The Parable of the Sower

You are probably like me and have read those verses many times before. Maybe you thought about them and knew what it meant and maybe you didn’t. As I was looking today I was really wanting to dig in to this one. One of the commentaries I read pointed out all of the many different ways that the crowd may have perceived this parable. The farmer may have thought “I should be more careful”, The salesman may have thought, “I can sell this Farmer something to help him not waste so much seed.” What was Jesus’ point in teaching this parable to a wide diverse audience? The disciples asked him later what it was and lucky for us he explained it and the author of Mark decided to include it for us. In verses 13-20 Jesus explains to the disciples that the seed here is the word of God and the ground is people and how they perceive the word. I don’t want to be the path that lets the word blow away in the wind or the rocky ground that has no root at all and lets the cares of the world choke out the word.



But I want to be the good soil, I want to dig in, I want to be one who bears fruit. I have to admit that I wonder when I think of this why Jesus would have taught this parable this way. Why doesn’t He want to just tell people what He means instead of saying it in a parable. Well for me personally, I have to say that I retain more when I dig more. I like to plant flowers this time of year. I don’t necessarily have what you call a green thumb. You know some people it seems can just put a seed in the ground and it is going to grow. My mother in law used to grow the most beautiful plants and flowers and when I would comment to her how beautiful they were she would always say well I just stick it in the ground and wish it well! And it would grow! I was amazed and I have to admit I do not have that gift! But I have learned a little bit. I have learned that the soil that you use matters. You need good soil for things to grow well. You need good soil for the roots to grow deep and grow strong. The better the soil, the better the roots and then the more beautiful the plant. A plant that is growing in good soil that has deep roots can grow healthy and strong and beautiful. I want my mind to be good soil for His word. I want my heart to have good roots so that when my mind digs into his word that it takes root in my heart and then I want my life to bear much fruit. I have also learned that sometimes things can appear dead on the outside but the roots are there, they just need to be watered and loved on so that the plant can flourish later. In Isaiah 55:11 it says “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” If you know someone or love someone that you have been praying for and they seem to have the rocky soil and the cares of the world are choking them out, grab hold of that verse in Isaiah and keep cultivating the word in them. Send them encouragement, let the words take root in their heart and dig deep in your own so that we can all bear fruit. I believe this gift of time we have been given is a good time to cultivate new things in our own hearts and to reach out to others and sow good seed in the heart of others.  

Pray for our medical professionals today.  It’s been nurses week this past week. If you know a nurse, hug them, virtually of course, send them a word, or a happy to make their day and let them know we appreciate them.  

Mark 3:1-5

I read this morning in Mark 3. The passage tells us that Jesus entered the synagogue again and there was a man there with a withered hand. It says that “they” watched Him closely to see whether or not Jesus was going to heal the man. They is the Pharisees and the religious leaders of the day. First of all this right here proves that they knew that Jesus had the power to heal the man. Jesus told the man to come forward and then He asked the question of the Pharisees “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save a life or to kill?” (v. 4) My first thought was that they didn’t know what to say. How do they answer this man who always asks these questions. Jesus was very good at His questions and well basically causing them not to speak because His questions were actually pointing something out to them. But when you read the next sentence. “But they kept silent.” And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts. (v. 5). Ouch! I wonder how many times do I grieve Jesus with the hardness of my own heart. How many times have I thought, “Lord, that person is too far gone, too mean, too bad, too much of a sinner. There is no point in even praying for this or that person because I don’t see that they will ever come around. Or worse, “what are they doing in church!” Yes, I know that in this passage Jesus was healing the man’s withered hand. But in many of Jesus healings He points out that not only is He here to heal the body, but He tells many of the people that He heals that they have been forgiven or to go and sin no more. Jesus was frustrated with the Pharisees. He was giving them the opportunity to come to Him in belief and to change their minds. Yet they were holding on to their own thoughts and their old ways and the law and weren’t willing to look at this man who needed healing with compassion. They weren’t willing to look at Jesus and realize that He is the Messiah. I pray that God will give me a compassionate heart and that I will not grieve Him with my hardened heart when I look at His people. I pray that I will allow Jesus to change me.

Please pray today for our President, and our government leaders who are making the decisions!

HAPPY 2020!

I spent a little time this morning doing what I do every January 1.  I have my quiet time and in it I like to reflect on the last year, and think of what’s working, what I may have learned and what I might need to change.  I don’t like to call it “resolutions” because those are just meant to be broken right?  But I do think that the turn of the calendar is a good time to revamp things in our lives. In 2019 I chose a different way to do my “quiet time” last year.  I liked some of what I had changed but I had done too many changes and I am revamping again.  Kind of meeting in the middle of my “old” habits and my 2019 habits and working on new habits for 2020.  I am a creature of habit in a lot of ways but I also think that reflecting, revamping and renewing things makes for keeping things fresh.  I know for me doing the same thing day in and day out can also mean too much routine and then I wonder if I’m even paying attention.  Where in the world do we find the balance?  I guess that is what I am trying to do by paying attention to the turn of the calendar and that by doing so, I can keep things interesting.  Keep my brain engaged and keep pressing on.  


Every year I ask the Lord to give me a word for the year.  A word that I can focus on that will speak to me throughout the year.  At the beginning of 2019 I had been through about three years that were gut wrenching in many ways.  I had a lot of loss between 2016 – 2019.  I had endured a lot of pain and heartbreak that had rocked me to the core.  I had spent a lot of time on my knees.  Some of the loss, I did not see how God could possibly redeem but I was begging him for the last few years to Restore my soul.  Those years were some of the hardest I had ever endured in my life.  The word that God gave me for 2019 was Hope!  The verse He attached to that hope was: 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”   Romans 15:13

Over the course of the last year as God gave me Hope for restoration He showed me the Hope that I could feel every time I looked into the eyes of my grandchildren.  He gave me a new hope for the future of my son.  He fulfilled some of my hopes of moving to the lake and showed me hope for the future that Ed and I would have together.  He has fulfilled some of my dreams, He has also told me no and He has changed some.  He has told me later on some as well.  But overall.  He fulfilled the hope that He gave me and I can honestly say that my relationship with Him is on a different plane that it ever has been before.  No I don’t want to relive the pain that I have been through but I can honestly say I know my Savior better than I did before and I know that He will always carry me through whatever comes my way.  And through it all I have Hope for a better tomorrow.  Now I’m not saying that these tomorrows will ever be free of pain and suffering.  God never promised that.  In fact quite the opposite.  He tells us that this world will have trouble but that He has overcome the world (John 16:33)  When I say He restores He is not going to bring back my sister or even my friend.  I have had friends, close ones who have had to bury their child, I have watched one of my best friends as she succumbs to Alzheimers and her precious daughters are losing their mama way too young.  God is not going to restore these situations to prior like we wish He would.  But I have learned that if I give Him the heartbreak and the pain and the hurt that He can make something beautiful of it while we are here on this planet!  AND we have an eternal Hope that we will one day see these people again.  When I lost my sister three years ago, I asked God “if it’s going to hurt this bad, please Lord use this pain, don’t let it be for nought.”  That’s where hope comes.  Do I wish I could have a conversation with her again?  Sure I do.  Do I wish that I could sit down with my friend and giggle and laugh at our grand babies together and compare them to our kids when they were little?  Of course I do.  Those things are not going to happen, but if I hand God my pain and I ask Him to use it then I have seen Him give me a Hope for good tomorrows and I have had Him show me the ways that this pain and this heartbreak can be used for His glory.  


Resolutions – Goals: 

As I said earlier I don’t really like the word resolutions.  I think those are made to be broken.  However, I do like setting goals.  But you even have to keep those in perspective.  A goal is something you strive for.  Sometimes you reach it, sometimes you don’t.  But if you strive for something and you gain some ground then you need to count that as success.  I do like to set goals every year and sometimes I reach them, sometime I surpass them and sometime I just gain a little ground but the end result when I set goals and I truly do strive is always growth!  

I’ve been asking the Lord to give me my 2020 word for the past couple of weeks.  He may have given me 2 this year.  

The first is Grace!

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.    2 Corinthians 9:8

I am asking God for 2020 for all grace.  All that He wants to give me.  I am asking Him to give me this grace so that I can abound in the good works that he has for me.  And I am asking him to give me Grace and to give me the ability to give grace to others.  I want to give Grace for people when I don’t feel like they measured up to what my expectations were.  I want to give grace to not have expectations of others.  I want to give grace for our humanness.  Mine as well as others.  I want to give grace and truthfully I want to receive His grace!  I want to sit with an open hand and say Lord give me all the grace you want to.  Lord I pray this will be the year of your Grace.  

The other word the Lord gave me is Declare!! 

I had been looking for a verse that would go with the word Declare for a long time and this morning during my “quiet time” 

“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ,…. Col 4:3

I want to declare what He has done.  I want Him to use me as He sees fit to Declare what He has done.  The mystery of how He has restored my soul even in and during a season of heartbreak  That is one of my goals for the year.  I can’t tell you how that will look, I can’t tell you where He is taking me (the mystery) but I can tell you my heart is in a good place today.  Do I think this year will be void of heartbreak?  No I am not living in a fantasy.  But I do know Him who holds my heart and who holds my life together.  I know Him who writes way better story than I do and I am asking Him to carry on and write my stories.  

I won’t share my goals for the new year here.  But I will write them down in my journal so that in a year I can reflect and see what my growth was.  I encourage you to do the same.  Reflect on the last year, what worked and what didn’t?  Where did you grow and what can you do to capitalize on that growth?  I encourage you to set goals.  Not resolutions to be broken, but goals to strive for!  I encourage you to be more intentional this year that you were last year and to see where you can Declare His Grace!  

Love you all and if you made it through this very long post, I pray that it encouraged you and inspired you!  

Declaring His Grace in 2020!