God is Near

Jeremiah, the prophet, had a difficult life. His family and friends were ready to rise up against him. They threatened to rise up against him if he continued telling about God.

I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.” They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.” Even my old friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. “He will trap himself,” they say, “and then we will get our revenge on him.”
Jeremiah 20:10

But, there was something burning inside of Jeremiah, he simply could not keep quiet. He is what true ministry looks like. We are called, just as Jeremiah to speak the word of God when given the opportunity. We should not keep quiet, but speak boldly, just as Jeremiah did. Jeremiah knew that the Lord was with him.

But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. The will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. There dishonor will never be forgotten.
Jeremiah 20:11

Jeremiah’s faith let him see the nearness of God. He was in despair because he lost his friends, but his faith kept his heart on God. Above all else, he knew that God was with Him.

What an example Jeremiah is for us. When we feel fear, we need only to remember that the Lord stands beside us like a great warrior.

Sing A New Song

Lately my sister and I have been sending lots of Instagram reels back and forth. The theme lately has been old worship songs. Many of these songs are songs that I know and love, but it amazes me how much songs have changed over the years.

I learned from a speaker many years ago about the power worship music can bring to your home. Since that time, I continually have worship music playing in our home. I may not be actively listening, but I might hear one phrase that lifts my spirits and changes the course of my day. I can even reflect over the past 54 years of my life and remember worship songs that made an impact during all the different seasons.

In today’s reading, we are instructed to sing a new song.

 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song.                                   Sing his praises in the assemble of the faithful.
Psalms 149:1

The word “new” does not necessarily mean that the song has never existed before. It is more of our heart and attitude that makes a song new. Every day is a new day. God’s mercy is new every morning so each day we are refreshed and renewed. God loves and forgives us each and every day. This gives us the reason we can sing a new song to Him each and every morning.

I can attest that you do not want to hear me singing my songs to Jesus. But I know that He loves to hear our praise when it comes from our heart. When we sing we touch a part of God’s heart that only music can.

What new song is in your heart today? Sing it to Jesus.


Do you ever remember playing a game called Mercy? All I recall is that you were really trying to hurt the other person by grabbing their hand and pushing/squeezing them as hard as you could. When you couldn’t handle the pain and were ready to give up you yelled “mercy.” When you said “mercy” the other person had to stop and the game was over. The other person had mercy on you and stopped the pain because you asked.

Today in Psalm 123 we read that God has mercy on us.

I lift my eyes to you, O God enthroned in heaven.
We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, Just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt.
We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.
Psalm 123

The first thing this chapter in the Pslams tells us to do is to lift our eyes to God in heaven. This means that we take our eyes off of ourselves and look to God. To put our trust in Him and know that He will give us mercy in our time of need. This is an opportunity for us to tell God who He is, to thank Him for all that He has given us.

God is the one enthroned in Heaven. He is the one who is above all and in control. He has absolute power. We can look to others to help us through a tough situation, but people are human and have their faults. God sits on the throne and is the only one who has mercy on us when we look to Him.

When we keep our eyes looking to God in heaven we allow Him to guide us through all of life’s challenges. We can look expectantly and ask for favor from the Lord our God and He will respond with mercy in His time and in His will.

I am with you ALWAYS

Today is the last day of our “summer.” My middle daughter begins her second year of teaching and my oldest and youngest fly back to their homes in Las Vegas after a week at home. I am savoring these last few hours in their presence. I will send them off with prayers and good wishes, knowing that God willing, I will seen them again at Thanksgiving.

These last 5 days with my adult children have been irreplaceable. I had the days planned out so we would be able to relax and make memories. Of course it did not all go as I planned, but being together as a family of 5 for a few days was lovely. Tomorrow morning I will give them the last hug, the last look, and probably one more piece of encouragement as they walk into the airport. I want them to walk away knowing that the last few days were memorable and that they are loved more than they know.

Today, in Matthew 28 we read about The Great Commission. This is Jesus’ last earthly message to his disciples. He wants them to remember this message…

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20

He tells them to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES! The disciple’s had been with Jesus for the past 3 years. They had been learning from him and doing as He did. For those 3 years they did not have to do ministry alone or without his oversight. For the first time they were being commissioned to go the nations and tell the Good News by themselves.

This might have made the disciples fearful, to go alone, but Jesus gives them His assurance at the end of this chapter. He is quick to assure them that He will ALWAYS be with them, even to the end of time.

They would not be alone as they shared the Good News with others. Jesus would be with them through their doubts and fears. This would be their first time to go and share the Gospel without Him, but they did not have to do this alone.

We have this same confidence, we are not alone. Jesus assures us that He is always with us. He is with us in our highest highs and our lowest lows. He is with us in our doubts and fears. Jesus is always with us, helping us, guiding us and pouring into us.

God’s promise to always be with us is a powerful truth that we can hold on to. No matter what we are facing, we can trust that God is with us and giving us strength. As we step into this new season and life changes before us, (saying goodbye to children for me) let us remember that God is always with us as we share His love with all those we encounter.



When my children were little they trusted everything I told them. They ate the food I put in front of them, trusting that it was what their bodies needed to grow big and strong. They trusted that I would take care of them during a storm or when they were scared. When they didn’t know what the next day would look like, they trusted that I would take care of all the details.

It is amazing to me that a child enters this world totally reliant on his/her parents. Even without being taught, children learn to trust their parents. Nobody had to teach their child to trust them.

This is the exact kind of childlike faith that it takes to get into the kingdom of God. Unlike our children that are born to us, we are not born with that kind of faith. This is why Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 18.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:1-3

It still surprises me when I read this verse and realize that Jesus wants my trust to be that of a little child. He doesn’t care about how much I “try” or learn…he just wants my trust. It is such a good reminder for me in times of trouble and struggle that I need to trust (like a child) that God will provide.

Jesus wants nothing more than for us to trust Him fully. Knowing that He will always take care of us no matter what.

Hosea 7-10 and Matthew 18


As I sat behind a mother and her baby at Church this past Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but smile at the way the baby cooed in his mother’s arms. The way he would look up at his Mama and just look so content. It took me back 20+ years when my kids were that little. How quickly time passes, but that feeling of caring for my babies feels like it was yesterday. I long to still provide that calm and quiet for my children. This is the same calm and quiet that God desires for our soul.

Lord, I have given up my pride and turned away from my arrogance. I am not concerned with great matters or with subjects too difficult for me. Instead, I am content and at peace. As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms, so my heart is quiet within me. Israel, trust in the Lord now and forever!
Psalm 131

Our hope resides in the ability to turn to God with childlike trust. So many times we believe that we can do things on our own. We tackle projects and issues with people without prayer or even considering what God might have planned. But the Psalmist notes here that we can only be content and at peace when we trust in God.

We have a choice to make when we feel we are anxious or out of control. The world is loud and the problems we face are many, we can focus on that or we can remind ourselves about the truth from this Psalm, God is in control and He is in charge. He is in command of our destiny.

God wants a relationship with us. In order for that to happen, it takes us putting down our phone, turning the tv off, sitting quietly and being content in God’s presence. Only when we spend ample time with Him will we experience His peace and contentment.

God’s Mercy

He saved us because of his mercy, not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5

I will never forget the shame I felt after hanging up the phone with a lady from a new church I attended. She asked me if I believed in Jesus and did I believe I would go to Heaven. I said Yes and she asked me why I believed this. The first words out of my mouth were, “because I am a good person and I do good things.” The woman immediately followed up with, “well, that is fine, but you only get to Heaven because Jesus died for your sins, not because of anything you do.” I was mortified. I had just graduated from a Christian College, I had spent years in the Church…why wasn’t that my first answer??? As hard as it was to realize that I had answered in the wrong way, it has been one of the greatest lessons and reminders in my life. Jesus died for ME because He Loves Me! Not because of ANYTHING I have done or will do!

This is the message from Titus 3:5. Not because of any good things I did, but He saved me because of His mercy. There is nothing we can do to become righteous. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to transform us. It is our job to ask and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us. It is up to us how much we want to submit to Jesus on a daily basis. It is an everyday decision to draw close to Jesus and allow Him to transform us.

The devil wants nothing more than to make us feel like a failure. Just as I did when I hung up the phone with the lady from the church I visited (my stomach still churns when I reflect on it). I could have easily turned into myself and got wrapped up in my bad answer…BUT…that is where His mercy shines through. It is only because of Jesus that I can mess up and start again. He loves me and You that much! Jesus always has mercy for us and our slip ups. He continually calls us back to Him. We just have to be open and turn back to Him time and time again.



Is there something in your life that you are committed to? Maybe it is a form of exercise, eating a certain way, doing a daily Bible study, or spending time with a specific person. To be intentional in areas of our life, it takes a certain level of commitment. I will be the first to admit that I am not very good at following through on commitments. When life gets busy and I get tired I can easily talk myself out of following through. But, I also know people in my life that are very determined and committed to things in their life. It is different for each one of us. But, there is one area that we are called to be fully committed.

“And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”
I Kings 8:61

Above all other commitments in our lives, we are to be fully committed to the Lord our God. This was Solomon’s message and prayer for his people as the temple had just been completed and dedicated to God. His prayer was that the people would know God and His commands, and have hearts that were fully committed to Him at all times.

While all the people were gathered and excited about the temple for God it was probably easy to believe that they would always be committed and excited about following the Lord. It is easy to be committed in the beginning or while surrounded by other like minded people. After time passes and people begin to lose their motivation and excitement, the commitment begins to fade.

This might be the same issue we face. Sunday morning Church may get us excited and light a fire in us to share the love of Jesus with others and we are sure that we will follow through during the week. Then, as the days go on we slowly forget what we were so excited about. So, how do we continue to keep that fire and commitment outside of the Church walls? It is only by a consistency of spending time with God. This is done through prayer, reading God’s Word, praise, and spending time with others who have the same commitment to loving God.

When we fully commit to the Lord, follow his decrees and obey his commands we will receive blessings. Even when life gets hard.

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and he will help you.”
Psalm 37:5

“Commit to Him and he will establish your plans.”
Proverbs 16:3

Praise The Lord!

When was the last time you read an entire chapter in your Bible?
When was the last time you memorized an entire chapter of your Bible? Well, if it has been a while since you accomplished either of those 2 questions, today is your day!! You can read an entire chapter and memorize it today!

If you open your Bible and turn to the exact center, you will find Psalm 117. This is the shortest of all Psalms, and the shortest chapter in the entire Bible.

Praise the Lord, all nations!
Praise him, all peoples!
His love for us is strong,
and his faithfulness is eternal.
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 117:1-2

The beginning of this chapter and the ending of this chapter command us to Praise the Lord! This is what we should do all of our days. But, it is the middle of the chapter that has the best reminder for us.

No matter what we are facing in our day, the Lord’s love and promises for us will never change. His love is strong, faithful and eternal. His love will endure no matter what crisis we are facing. No matter what confusion is ahead of us.

The Lord’s love and faith endures, because Christ endured. He endured death on a cross for you and for me. We can praise the Lord because He endured. Begin and end your day with Praise the Lord, and then remember all throughout the day that no matter what you face, His love for you is strong and His faithfulness towards you is eternal.



1 Kings 2, 1 Chronicles 29, Romans 7

Up until the beginning of 2023 I had been a faithful subscriber to a meal delivery service. Every week I would choose 2 meals to make for my family. Tuesday afternoon would bring a box of food and precise instructions for me to follow. I have to admit, the step by step instructions and having every ingredient needed helped me produce a delicious meal for my family. Over the past 5 months as we became empty nesters, I decided that the meal delivery was not necessary as I have more time on my hands and only 2 mouths to feed. What I am surprised at is that I am much better at finding my own recipes and following directions now that I did it faithfully for 3 years. It is amazing when we put the time and effort in, results will follow.

In the book of 1 Kings we read about the end of David’s life. David has named his son, Solomon, as the next King. As David prepares him to take the throne, he has some instructions for his son. Words of wisdom that will be useful when he takes over the kingdom.

Be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God; to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgements, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.
I Kings 2:2-3

If I were to send you instructions on how to follow what David is stating here, I would say the following:

1- Be Strong – David truly understood what it would be like for Solomon ruling the kingdom. He knew he had to have a heart to follow God.

2 – Prove yourself a man – Solomon was still a young man. He did not have the experience of fighting battles that David had. He had so much to learn. David wanted his son to be courageous for God.

3 – Keep the charge of the Lord – David wanted Solomon to stay true to what the Lord had called him to do. Being the next king came with a huge responsibility.

4 – Walk in His ways – Israel (just like the world today) had a struggle with following what everyone else was doing and worshipping false gods.

5 – Keep God’s statutes, commandments, judgements, and testimonies – David had already learned these lessons and wanted his son to remember what happened every time Israel turned from God and did their own thing. He also wanted Solomon to remember the testimonies, all the wonderful things God had done for Israel, each time He had provided and protected the nation.

6 – That you may prosper in whatever you do and wherever you go – Of course David wanted his son to prosper. He knew that this would only happen if Solomon walked in obedience to all that God commanded.

What great instructions David gave to Solomon that we can use for ourselves. Just like following directions for a recipe, this is the recipe for our lives. The more we follow the directions the better we get. This does not mean that life will always turn out perfectly, I had and still have many dinners that have flopped, but overall I have fewer and fewer flops. When we follow the instructions of the Lord, blessings will follow.

Great blessings belong to those who don’t listen to evil advice, who don’t live like sinners and who don’t join those who make fun of God. Instead, they love the Lord’s teachings and think about them day and night.
Psalms 1: 2-3