Live In the Present Tense …

amen and ehmen!

Writer’s Note:Two things you might notice in my devotional today: The use of the word “ponderment” and the lack of a capital letter on “satan.” Both are intentional. Ponderment is a word (or non-word, as the case may be) I like to use to describe those special times that I spend pondering during my morning God-time. I guess you could say it’s a cross between wonderment and ponder, because I always wind up being amazed when reflecting and communing with my Lord and Savior. And, as for satan, I have tried not to use a capital S on his name since a dear friend of mine told me years ago that she doesn’t feel the little poop deserves the respect that a capital letter denotes. I loved that and whole-heartedly agree! Have a great day, y’all! (P.S. Denny, I did use a capital letter in the one instant that I started a sentence with satan’s name. The grammar freak in…

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Cutting Through The Weeds of Life


It’s not just a lawnmower. It has a name and that name is…

The other day, a friend was telling me that he gets his inspiration while riding his motorcycle to which I quickly quipped that I got mine on my riding lawnmower. And while I said it jokingly, it’s really very true. Indeed, sometimes God speaks to us in the strangest places—and, for me, it is quite often over the roaring of a lawnmower engine. Perhaps He finds that it is easier for him to “cut” to the chase as the rapid revolutions of the engine and blades drown out all the other noise of my world and I become more focused on Him and His creation. It really is a special time during which, over the years, I have received a lot of great insight.

This past weekend, for example, as I carefully and—I like to think skillfully—maneuvered my fire-engine red Craftsman mower with shiny chrome wheel covers tightly alongside the landscape timbers that separate the grass from my flowerbeds, I felt him nudging me to take a closer look inside the beds. Much to my dismay, what I saw was more weeds than flowers. It is then that I heard these words in my heart; words that flowed melodically and in perfect harmony with what was now just a backup hum from the mower.


Your Heart is like the flowers

The most fruitful of seeds

It will die if not tended

Choked out by weeds.

Stopping the engine, I immediately hopped off the mower and started tending that flower bed. I pulled, plucked and tugged every weed. And, with each weed I pulled, it was if God breathed new nuggets of wisdom into my soul. He explained that the enemy has one play in his playbook—to plant weeds anywhere He Himself has planted seeds. In the case of our own hearts, the weeds represent things like sorrow, regret and shame. The evil one knows all too well that if he can keep us focused on the weeds, he can keep us from growing into the creations that God intended.

But, oh no, you devilish one, you are quite mistaken. God is the gardener of my life. And where you sow a crop of weeds, God is always standing by to pull, tug and pluck every single one. In fact, Matthew 15:13 promises us that “every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.’”

Indeed, as children of God, we should forgive ourselves and each other, just as God forgave us through His son, Jesus Christ. By forgiving, we pluck the weeds of sorrow, regret and shame and free ourselves to give love to and receive love from God and others, just as we are commanded in Matthew 22:37-39:

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

By forgiving, we free ourselves to be more fruitful—to grow more and more into His image, the image in which we were created in the first place.

Ah, sweet Jesus, I have held this teaching close all week and, today, as I prepared to do my weekly mowing once again, I noticed those flowers and plants which I tended last week have bounced right back and are full of life. My heart is feeling pretty full of life, too. Thank You for loving me; for never giving up on me; for forgiving me through your Son and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; and for always being willing to tend the garden of my heart. Please help me to do my part so that I can produce fruit that will make You proud. Now, I’m off to hop on the lawnmower. You know, I’ve been thinking. Perhaps, I will give the ol’ Craftsman a name. Harley. That way I can tell my motorcycle friends that I, too, find my inspiration when riding my Harley! 🙂 Amen and Ehmen!

Have a blessed, weed-free day, y’all!

Please let it be so…

This is a short excerpt from a conversation with a dear friend who was going through a difficult time and seemed to be struggling a bit spiritually. About the same time, I was being nudged, sometimes not so gently, out of my comfort zone as I  began to see the fullness and the cruciality of the purposes and plans God has laid out for me. Stumbling upon the words tonight, it reignited something deep inside of me and I felt compelled to share it. It is in its original non-edited state, spoken from the heart, and shared tonight just because I’m learning not to question…

“You are still living much of your life based on feelings and emotions….flesh….as do many of us… still don’t trust God…at least not completely. You are still a little upset with Him….or maybe I should say disappointed by Him….We are both still trying to live in the Spirit, but to do so by dictating the parameters….by what we want, instead of what He wants.

It has really shook me to my core….knowing that God has this beautiful calling on my life….this mantle of spiritual leadership….and that I keep walking away out of fear and doubt,

THAT is what I want to fall in love with….overcoming fear and doubt and stepping into everything that He has for me. For there….in that place….I know that I know fear and sadness will be replaced with joy, and loneliness with the fullness of life.

I want to please Him. I don’t want to fear anything but Him.

I want to serve Him. To Glorify Him.

Please let it be so. Amen and Ehmen…

The Sweetest Voice

God talks to us in the stillness of the night.nature shot at stone mountain

When all is quiet in the world and nothing remains but the rhythmic beating of our hearts and the steady, calm sound of our breath.

If you can just learn to listen; to take pause and really listen, you will hear the sweet, sweet voice of God.

God also talks to us in the midst of our busy lives.

When the world is crazy; everything around us in a whirlwind; beeping horns; people talking and pressing engagements.

If you can just learn to listen; to take pause for even a moment and really listen, you will hear the sweet, sweet voice of God.

Oh, how I have always longed for those moments and am thrilled to finally realize that those moments can be anytime, anywhere. My how much better life is and how much clearer my path now that I am finally leaning to listen with my heart; now that I am finally hearing the sweet, sweet voice of God.

I pray you can hear Him, too. Amen and Ehmen!

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them,

and they follow me.

John 10:27


Same God, Same Plan…

Writer's Note: Another page from my personal "Dear God" Journals. Though this was from a few months ago, the lessons learned will last a lifetime...and beyond. Here's praying that we all spend more "Me and Thee" time. You don't have to spend hours. This exchange took about 20 minutes. :)

April 2, 2015 6:27 a.m.

Good morning, Father.

I was just re-reading what we talked about yesterday. Thank you for teaching me from your word. I dear godcouldn’t stop thinking about the fig tree yesterday and listened to three sermons on it. The really cool thing is that the information I got there simply added detail to what you told me. Oh, how I love these times together and learning directly from the teacher. Please continue to teach me and please let me say tuned to You so that it is Your voice and Your voice alone that I am hearing and so that I can discern right teaching. And thank you especially for the one preacher I listened to yesterday afternoon that gave facts on the fig tree as fig trees are not part of my everyday life. Just to recap so that I can remember: fig trees grow really tall, as tall as 50 feet; they grow even wider; they have many leaves and make great shade trees, providing protection from the elements; they were very common in Israel and Palestine; and, though, it was not the “season” for figs, there should have been evidence of the fruit to come on the tree in March when this occurred. What Mark meant by “not the season” was that the fruit did not ripen for harvest until around June. The tree represented Israel, just as you said, and it is still a symbol that applies to us all today. Lord, I pray with all that I am, do not let me become like that fig tree, looking the part on the outside, but bearing no fruit. To be dried up from the roots means that the tree is no longer drawing life from the Father. Lord, please help me to always stay rooted in you and connected to you. I need you today and every day and will re-commit my life to your plan and purpose every single day that I am allowed to wake up. What do you have for me today? I love you, sweet Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen and Ehmen.

“Oh dear, dear child, I am so proud of your commitment to My will and purpose, and, as long as you stay committed to that, and keep living in relationship with me, you will never have to worry about disappointing me. The roots will grow deeper and you will grow more and more beautiful and fruitful. Will there be others who still stand by the wayside and look like that Fig Tree that is no more? Yes. But, together, you and I will warn those who are going in that direction so that they, too, may “turn a new leaf” before it’s too late. Child, there will always be some that have hardened their hearts, but that day will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that I am the Lord. I am the only One that ever was and that ever will be. I am the same One that Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David and Jesus prayed to. Yes, child, you pray to the same God! And, you serve the same God. You are a part of the same plan that was put into play before the dawn of creation. My plan hasn’t changed just because the world has changed. It remains and will remain even after the end of time. It IS just like I AM. Yes, there will come a day when the world as it is will pass away and those who know the world and things of the world only will pass away with it. But, those, like you, who know Me will live forever by my side in glorious eternity. I love you, child…with all My heart….and I AM the Lord, Your God.”

Whether we realize it or not, He is ALWAYS there…

Thurimagesday morning as I was getting ready for work, God began whispering in my ear. While it may not have been audible, it was undeniable nonetheless. He spoke gently and lovingly in that still small voice that I have come to not only recognize, but absolutely covet.

The difference in this and most other occasions where I have heard from God, was that, on this day, I wasn’t purposefully praying or listening for Him. I was just getting ready for my day. I’m sure I was thinking, but I’m not sure what. The truth is I’ve had a lot of things on my mind lately and, while I haven’t really kept it from Him, I suppose I’ve let it keep me from Him somewhat as I spent more and more time pondering and wondering instead of praying and trusting. I guess it was time for an intervention—one of those times promised in the Word of God when the Spirit intercedes and lets the Father know what we need.

So, as I stood in my bathroom, drying off from my shower, I started hearing His whisper. The following is a synopsis of what I heard. And it was definitely something I needed.

“It’s not about speed, it is about endurance. It’s not about talent or works, it’s about obedience. It’s not about you. It’s about Me. And it’s not about pleasure. It’s about MY purpose and the utter joy and peace that comes with a purpose fulfilled…with ME and for Me. If it’s in My Will, it is what is best for you. You may not be perfect, but My will for you is perfect. Trust in this. You don’t have to figure anything out for yourself and I will never leave or forsake you. Lean on Me. Trust in Me. Rest in Me. Breathe in Me.”

Oh, Abba, why do we so often forget how much You love us and just how close You are at all times? Whether we are paying attention or not, You always know just what we need and exactly when we need it. I’m just so thankful that even when my human nature lets me get wrapped up in my problems and worries that You are always willing to gently draw me back. You never get mad at me. You just comes closer and shower me with even more love. I don’t deserve You, but I am eternally thankful that You think otherwise. Thank you, Abba, from the bottom of my heart. Amen and Ehmen.

And the Word of God Says:

Hebrews 10: 35-36: Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.

Romans 8:25-27: But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

2 Samuel 22:31: As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Isaiah 48:17: This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

Inviting the Enemy Out to Play


We live in a fallen world. The enemy prowls and surrounds us on all sides. He is shrewd. He is cunning. He is devious. He twists the facts and distorts the truth. He comes to you wearing sheep’s clothing and, if you are not suited up in the full armor of God, you will be deceived.

Then, just like that, before you even know it, you are dancing with the devil. What started out as a little flirting has ended in you inviting him into your home, your job and all the places you hold dear. You invite him out to play where he is more than happy to go to work, spreading evil from corner to corner of your life. You give him an all-access pass to your life and then wonder where in the world you went wrong.

Good news! We are never too far away to be reached by God. He is always near, but you must reach for Him. God is a giver. Realize he gave you what you have. He doesn’t need anything from us…he gives us breath….we are in the place god always meant for us to be….puts us in circumstances…so that men will seek him and find him….God is God…always in charge!

He is a sovereign God….a sovereign guard….he guards and guides us….

Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, you know the needs of this day. I will do my part and clothe myself in the armor that You designed. The belt of truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The Gospel of Peace. The Shield of Faith. The Helmet of Salvation. And, the only offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Please open the eyes of the spiritually naïve, Lord, so that they may suit up and STAND as well, at all times, but especially today when it seems the enemy is being called out to play. Amen and ehmen!

And The Word of God Says:

Ephesians 6:10-18New International Version (NIV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

God is Real!

Writer’s Note: I just love these little reminders of how much our God loves us and is ALWAYS in ALL WAYS there for us. This was a little praise report I posted on my FB page on August 3, 2012 as my only child headed off to college and I prepared myself for an empty nest. Oh, and by the way, my nest is far from empty. My daughter is back at home, at least until next year when she gets married, and my beautiful mom has just moved in. God is good. All heart isaiah 46.4the time.

Oh, my, how great is our God! I have to share this with you, but please bear with me as I try to convey this before completely processing it all. It’s just so incredible to me, I can’t wait. As I was struggling a bit tonight with my impending empty nesthood, I did a little google search for an article that might help. The one I chose was about single parents struggling to find their purpose when the kids they focused on for so long were now leaving the nest. Towards the end was a scripture that really caught my eye. Isaiah 46:4 “I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Oh, how I needed to hear that! So much so, in fact, that I got up and went in the other room to get my bible so that I could read it in context; really study it. As I sat back down and opened the bible to begin my search, my eyes rested on a scripture. I noticed it was 46:4. No way, I thought! Then I looked up and saw the Chapter Title. Isaiah!!! Oh my! Out of 2600-plus pages in my bible, 31,000-plus verses, my bible opens to that page and my eyes fall on that verse. Coincidence? No way. Thank you, God!!! I asked you earlier today for sure signs. Thank you, God, for being so patient and thank you for making yourself known to us in such undeniable ways. Can I just say, you rock! Amen and Ehmen!

Isaiah 46:4: New International Version
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.