Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Inspiring Music Video Debut - Giving Tuesday

Hey Friend,

Today is GIVING TUESDAY!  Giving Tuesday is a movement in response to all the commercialism around the holidays (Black Friday, Cyber Monday).

I'd like you to meet Ava, the adorable daughter of Amy who is on our Board of Directors with Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.  Ava made 53 custom (with beaded names) friendship bracelets for the children, Director, and teachers at our school in the Middle East.  

Ava "gets it" that Christmas is about GIVING not GETTING!

We need your help to EXPAND the school so that other orphaned and destitute children can find safe haven within the doors of our Christian School.

Would you consider matching Ava's giving heart with a donation to Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. today or during this Advent season??

You can read more about us at our website:

We have also just released our MUSIC VIDEO!!  For security and safety reasons we don't post it on uncontrolled public domains, so, please view it, but we ask you NOT to post it, share it, or forward it to others.  The security of the children is our first concern.  


Checks can be made out and sent to:

RCF, Inc.
103 Silver Lining Lane
Cary, NC  27513
(checks must be postmarked by Dec. 31st)

** RCF, Inc. is a registered 501c3 ministry and tax receipts will be sent year 

Thank you in advance...be blessed!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Year We Ate Thanksgiving Dinner on a Card Table (guest post)

Hey Friend,

Today, as I prepare for Thanksgiving, I have mixed feelings because it will not resemble a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.  Someone will be missing from the table.  I get trapped in the notion that all has to "feel well" in order for things to "be well" with my soul.  My friend, Brenda, beautifully addresses this in her post today.

I invite you to click over to one of my favorite devotional websites (in)courage where my very good friend (who happens to be an awesome writer) is sharing a "must read" post today.  She also happens to be a NC gal y'all :)

While you are dishing out the sweet potato casserole this week, I invite you to take time to dish out some sweet grace upon your soul. It may just be the best gift you give yourself.  

The coffee is sweet and hot and I welcome you to join me with Brenda Ottinger over at (in)courage.  

Also, if you are burned out already with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the commercialism onslaught, I invite you to join me at the Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. website.  TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH IS GIVING TUESDAY.  

Would you prayerfully consider making a donation (any size makes a big difference) before you leave the website??  Donations can be made by check or credit card and tax receipts will be sent out.  Will you give, this Christmas, to those whose NEEDS are so much greater than your WANTS???  

Let's fashion this Christmas after the greatest gift that was given to us...

May you be blessed this Thanksgiving and always...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Why My Eyes Are Focused On The Future

Hey Friend,

With all the things going on in our world, including the election, now more than ever I have my sights set on the future - my eternal future.  I'm not going so far as to be, as my mother would say, "So heavenly minded that I'm no earthly good."

As I get older, and I've witnessed the atrocities happening in our world, I feel less and less like I belong here.  I see the Word of God being shoved farther and farther into a corner and the lump in my throat grows.  

If you feel at home, content, comfortable in this world....I challenge you to ask yourself if something is wrong with this picture??  We are not meant to feel at home here because, frankly, as believers, this is not our home. We are citizens of Heaven.

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us.  Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.  (1 Chronicles 29:15)

Not that we aren't supposed to make a difference in this world, but we are not to treat this life like this is all there is.

Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and exiles (temporary residents), to abstain from the desires of the flesh, which war against your soul.  (1 Peter 2:11)

Let's face it - while we are on this earth we are continually at war with our earthly flesh and the temptations that beckon to it.  

So why do Christians rarely talk about the Rewards that await us in Heaven??

Contrary to popular thought, we will not be sitting around on clouds strumming our harps...there will be jobs to be done, commands to be carried out, and joy and fun to be had. Eternity is forever and I would certainly get bored with doing nothing for infinite days on end. God has great plans for us and He has a method in mind for handing out rewards and assigning jobs and tasks.  

No, we can't earn our salvation.  We know that "By grace we are saved by faith."  By believing that Christ died for my sins, His righteousness is imputed to me.  

But, once we are saved, this is not the green light to simply switch on cruise control.  

No, nothing will ever separate us from God or our salvation, but we are commanded to "work out our salvation".  

We want to buy into the popular concept that our righteousness is like filthy rags before God, which in a manner of speaking it is - if you are talking about righteous acts in order to earn our salvation. 

But once saved the rewards we will receive in Heaven can and should be a motive for our obedience.

But wait, shouldn't we just be obedient out of love for what Christ did for us?

Yes, but Paul states it quite plainly...

"But each will receive his own reward according to his own labor."  (1 Corinthians 3:8)

Believe it or not even Moses was motivated by rewards...

"He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." (Hebrews 11:26)

We have been convinced that our obedience after being saved really doesn't matter.  We like "Once saved always saved" and so we rest on our laurels.  One day, however, we will need to stand before the throne of God and account for all our deeds (good and bad) and we will need to give an account of how we have labored to advance the Kingdom.  

God will look upon our acts of obedience.  Yes, we'll fall woefully short of His perfect standards, but the question will be did you try?  or did you simply do nothing?

Will our obedience and labor be despised in this world...you bet!!  Will we be hated and even persecuted....the Bible pretty much guarantees it.

But the rewards....the REWARDS!!! The Bible also promises they will be great indeed.  

The obedience of the believer really does matter...and Yes, God is watching.  The more we practice obedience, the more He unleashes His Holy Spirit to work through us, and I believe He will work in us that which is pleasing in His sight.

Be encouraged if you feel like this world is not your home...it isn't.  Be encouraged if you labor heavily in ministry and toil for the glory of God and the cause of Christ.  

Let Paul's word's resound in your ears:

"Your labor is not in vain."  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

And God will say:

"Well done, good and faithful servant!!"  (Matthew 25:21)

I can't wait to put on the crown of victory and glory knowing that I ran the race before me.  I did my best to be obedient to his Word.  I worked out my salvation and sought to bring glory to Jesus Christ.  

No, it won't be perfect (it can't be), but it will be pleasing in my Father's sight and that's good enough for me.

Do you feel "at home" in the world or do you feel like a foreigner passing through?  If you are saved, how are you "working out your salvation"?  What do you think Heaven is going to look like and how do you envision your role in eternity?

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you and thank you that you knew there was no way for me to earn my salvation (all my attempts are filthy rags) and so you sent your Son to die for me.  Thank you for guaranteeing me a place in the great, great House of God in Heaven for eternity.  Thank you for cleansing me through the blood of your precious Son, Jesus.  Lord, help me not to switch on cruise control. Keep my eyes focused on the future glory to come.  Help me be obedient to your Word and to love you and work out my salvation through obedience to you.  Like Moses, keep my eyes focused on the rewards to come...let that be the prize for which I run the race before me.  Grant me perseverance and hope as I walk through my days on this earth. I claim your promises you have given me in your Word.  Be with me now, O Lord.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...

ps.  Thursday, Nov. 24th is Thanksgiving.  Friday the 25th is Black Friday.  Monday the 28th is Cyber Monday and TUESDAY NOVEMBER 29th is GIVING TUESDAY!!!

Instead of putting the focus on commercially driven buying and receiving, will you help us put the emphasis on GIVING??

If you'd like to donate to Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. by check or credit...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A New View Of God

Hey Friend,

Ever since I was a little girl in Sunday School, I've always had a positive, warm and fuzzy feeling about Jesus.  I remember, vividly, in our illustrated Bibles, the picture of Jesus seated and beckoning all the little children to come and climb into His arms and His lap.  He smiled kindly as He spoke...

But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them!"  (Matthew 19:14)

Exclamation points are not often used in the Bible, so the fact that Jesus made this a very emphatic statement has always stuck with me.

I have to admit that my way of seeing God, as being so kind, was through Jesus' statement to Philip...

"Anyone who has seen me sees the Father."  (John 14:9)

Okay, so if I see all the love that Jesus pours out - saving sinners from being stoned, washing others' feet, inviting doubters to touch his scarred hands, healing lepers, etc., then I could transpose those warm fuzzies from Jesus onto God.

Even still, I had this lingering doubt that God could be so loving and forgiving. After all, I'd read about the plagues, and His anger with the disobedient Israelites, and the Great Flood.  I could still envision God sitting on His throne, making hash marks on His great tally sheet of how many times I'd screwed up. 
You too??

Well then I invite you to join me in meditating on a segment of scripture that I've been allowing to sink in.  I encourage you to read it slowly and linger on the words I have put in bold print.  Let's look at it together...

Ephesians 1: 3-14:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us.  With all wisdom and understanding he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment - to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works our everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who ARE God's possession - to the praise of his glory. 

Look at what God, himself, has done...

He blessed us with every spiritual blessing...

He chose us to be holy...

He predestined us for adoption to sonship...

In Him we have redemption for our sins...


I especially love the word choice here...He didn't give us His grace, no, He lavished his grace upon us.

Lavished (perisseuo in Greek) means:  to have in abundance, more than enough, overflow, to have an excess amount, to abound, to bless abundantly, to bless or excel. A great degree of excess!!

God, in His great love for us, drenches us in His grace.  Picture yourself standing under a rushing waterfall of His love and grace pouring down upon you... completely soaking you...blessing you abundantly and never ceasing.  Getting the picture??

He made known to us wisdom...

He purposed His good pleasure...

He brings unity...

In Him we were chosen, predestined, and included in Christ...


Our simply "being" (no doing required) brings praise of His glory.

You were marked with a seal showing His ownership....

Your inheritance has been guaranteed...

You ARE His praise-worthy possession.  

Now and Forever...

I hope you see the smile on God's face when He looks at you...YOU, his daughter...his son, in whom He delights and takes great, great pleasure!

He rejoices over you with singing for YOU are His prized possession...so much so that He has marked you with the seal of the Holy Spirit so that no one, no thing can snatch you out of His loving hands.  

He didn't begrudgingly give, nor did He dribble or drizzle His love and grace upon you, no, He LAVISHED it upon you.  He poured out all of himself - the very blood of His Son Jesus - so that He could live with you forever in eternity.  

He sent His Son to die....rather than to live without YOU!!!

If this doesn't speak of a God who loves you, then I don't know what does???

What hinders you from seeing God as loving you?  How have you characterized God?  Do you believe that He loves YOU with an unceasing love?  If not, would you pray with me to receive the TRUTH of His mercy, grace, and love?

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for the misconceived notions I've had about you.  Help me to remove the human traits I've placed upon you. Help me to understand that you don't get disappointed in me.  You don't lose your patience with me.  You won't ever give up on me no matter what.  Thank you God that you are unchanging and that means your love for ME is unchanging too.  Enable the Truth that you want to LAVISH your grace, mercy, and love upon me to sink deep into my spirit.  Help me to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am your prized possession - your child in whom you are well pleased.  I claim a new view of you God - one that beckons me to come to you and one that holds me in your everlasting arms.  In the precious name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...