Monday, July 29, 2019

The Lord Keeps His Promises

Hey Friend,

I remember, vividly, as a little girl, when friends would break their promises to me.  I remember a neighbor promising me that she would play with me on Saturday.  When Saturday came, I hurried over to her house and she was already playing with someone else.  "But you promised," I pleaded...and then, dejected, I turned and slumped my way back home.  Broken promises hurt.

Perhaps your spouse promised to love, honor, and cherish you until death did you part? Only, he stopped loving you or found someone else, and promises disappeared like vapors in the wind.  Broken promises hurt.

Human beings break promises every day.  

I have to give it to Jacob, in the Bible, when He boldly goes before God.  One might say that Jacob had "chutzpah".  In other words, Jacob had some nerve.  He had supreme self-confidence to go before the Lord and to remind Him of just what He had promised.

Jacob's conversation might have gone something like this, "Lord, remember that promise you made to me?  Well, I'm here to call you on it!"  Pretty gutsy, huh?  I probably wouldn't have been so bold for fear the Lord would strike me down, but God did just the opposite.  He blessed Jacob because of his boldness. Wow!

Jacob's boldness reminds me that God wants me to pray His promises.  His promises build my faith and give me hope.  They help me to remember God's kindness and give me strength to go on.  God's Word makes it clear that His promises can be trusted.

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill?"  (Numbers 23:19)

God always keeps His promises.

Like Jacob, I want to pray what "you have said."  After all, you promised, Lord!

You said, "I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."  (John 14:13-14)

**Asking in the Lord's name means asking in accordance with His being and will.**

For a long time I have been praying a repetitive prayer for my adult children.  I know that if this prayer was answered it would bring glory to the Father, and not just comfort to me.  I admit that I forget to ask in the Lord's name and my prayers can lack faith and not be very fervent after awhile.

You said Lord, Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."  (Mark 11:24)

It's hard at times to hang on to God's promise that "everything is possible for him who believes."  (Mark 9:23)

Thank you, Lord, that I can rely on your Word because you are reliable!

You said about your Word, "It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."  (Isaiah 55:11)

Praise that I can trust in God's Word.  Help me, Lord, to diligently study the Scriptures in order to know you better and love you more.

Then I will keep finding promises to pray, and praise you all the more when you keep them!  

In Jesus' precious name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Are you lacking boldness to go before the Lord in prayer?  Do you believe that if you pray the Lord's promises, He will be faithful and reliable?  Dare to trust, and pray His promises right now and wait expectantly for His response...(His timing is sovereign).

Be blessed...

Ps. Next week I will be the guest writer at (in)courage - a daily, devotional blog published by DaySpring.  My post will appear on Aug. 7th. here and at (in)courage.  I hope you'll stop back then?!  It's a re-write on a subject that resonated with you, my wonderful readers.  

If you like what you've read here today, might you want to Subscribe to my weekly posts?  Just go to the "SUBSCRIBE" tab above; enter your contact information, and then be sure to click the Confirmation Link that you get in your email inbox.  (Check spam filter if it doesn't appear)  Thank you.

Monday, July 22, 2019

From Trash to Treasured

Hey Friend,

Can I share a story with you that gives me goosebumps?

For those of you who don't know, seven years ago, I founded Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. which promotes sharing the love of Jesus Christ with orphans and destitute children as well as giving them the hope of an education. Our focus is in hard to reach countries.

I can't even name the country in which Redeemer Christian School operates on the world wide web because of concerns for the safety of our children and staff.  Let's just say our school blesses these impoverished, yet precious, children in a Middle Eastern country that is ranked in the top 5 for persecuting Christians and in the top 2 for the degree of violence and cruelty with which they persecute.

Missionaries are not allowed in this country.  Many who shared the Gospel there have been jailed, tortured, bombed, or executed.


In our daily conversations, the Director of Redeemer Christian School (RCS) told me about two little girls who he had been watching, for a couple weeks, going to the massive trash heaps to sift through putrid garbage in search of food.

One day, he gently approached them so as not to frighten them and offered them something to eat and sanitary water to drink.  Upon talking, their story started to unravel before him.  Their mother had died and their father worked various menial, labor intensive jobs to try to put a leaking roof over their heads.  It was the girls job to go to the trash heaps and search for food for the three of them to eat each day. Their clothing was torn and filthy.

Their family is of the Muslim faith and so our Director was very hesitant to ask the father's permission to let his girls come to a Christian school.  This is against societal norms and once again, he'd be risking his own life.  But, when someone is starving and a kind person offers food and drink to satisfy an empty belly, the doorway to the heart is opened by satisfying basic physical needs.

Meet Salma and Adina.  Their father agreed to let them begin attending school with us.  Both girls are sweet and shy and are definitely not used to such acts of kindness.  Shunning of lower castes is common in their culture.  

Their eyes lit up when they each received a colorful backpack filled with school supplies to call their own.  This is the first personal possession either of them have ever had.  Thanks to donors funding our "Clothes Closet", the girls were each fitted with a clean outfit.  Salma's eyes misted over as she remembered their mother who used to sew their clothes. 

For the first time in a long time, they felt treasured...

When it was time for the daily meal at school, the girls hung back anxiously in the rear of the classroom.  Never had they been served a meal.  Hunting and foraging in the trash had been their mode of survival.  

Two sets of eyes lit up with unbelief as they marveled at a computer for the first time.  The teacher guided them through some basic computer skills as they looked at each other and giggled with delight that this dream was really happening.

After about a month, the girls' father approached our Director and said, "I owe you a great debt for what you are doing for my girls.  I am indebted to you with my life for the kindnesses you have shown us. I do not know your faith, but I have seen your goodness and kindness toward us."   (goosebumps)

The table has been set for the unfathomable message of grace and forgiveness, that is unique to the Christian faith, to be passed as a candle in the dark, from one heart to the next.

Salma and Adina have already heard about the wonderful Christmas Program that the school sponsors each year.  Every child who attends the school receives: a personalized present of clothing, a toy, and treats.  They also participate in the Christmas Program which re-tells the story of the Nativity and features skits, dancing, singing, and worshiping.  All sit down to share a hearty meal at the end of the program.

Would you like to see that Salma, Adina and many others with stories similar to their's receive the only present they will get this Christmas?  Would you like to be part of bringing Christmas Joy to this dark corner of the world? Would you like to pass on the Good News of the Gospel message to hurting and hungry hearts?

If your answer is "YES" will you join us for our "Christmas in July" campaign?  Just $35/child will provide a student with all that's listed above.  We need YOUR help to reach our goal!


Mail a check: RCF, Inc., 103 Silver Lining Lane, Cary, NC 27513 *you will receive a tax receipt.

Do it today and know that you've blessed one or more children with a Christmas they will never forget.

RCF, Inc. is a registered 501c3 with GOLD SEAL status with GuideStar - the "go-to" source for tracking financial integrity of non-profits.  

A tax receipt will be generated automatically for online giving.  


God has already done amazing things through RCS...I have a feeling that more hearts will be won over by Christ's amazing love.  Visit our website for more stories of life transformation:  

I plan to write, in the future, of how God continues to orchestrate events in order to keep drawing the hearts of Salma, Adina, and their father to Himself.

Be blessed....

Friday, July 12, 2019

When Your Plans Get Hijacked

Hey Friend,

My husband, Dave, and I were looking forward to this summer.  It would be the first summer in seven years that I wouldn't be having surgery or recuperating from it.  We'd planned some trips and one day excursions.  Memorial Day was on the horizon and we had plans to kick off a great summer season.

That was until we discovered a leak in our crawl space that had been shooting upward for a period of weeks causing 20K in damages to our house. The kitchen (the hub of any household) had taken the brunt of it.  That was our "Day of Memory" (aka Memorial Day).  

Cancel, juggle, rearrange, make reservations, ask for help, and move into our "cozy" efficiency for twelve days.  I'd like to share some lessons that God has been teaching me since our summer plans were hijacked that fateful day.

1.  The Grand Entrance (Humility/Humor):  

Needless to say we were all a little rattled having thrown our bags together to move into a small efficiency in town, closer to Dave's work.  Our sensitive beagle got noticeably more anxious with each bag that was carried out to our cars.  Were we going to leave him behind??

After pulling stuff out of our cars at the hotel entrance (much like the clown car act), we loaded up two luggage carts and made our way to the reception desk.  I was on dog and luggage duty while Dave checked in.  The lobby was full of all sorts of people.  Topper pulled me around in circles as he did what all beagles do, sniff everything imaginable.  I silently prayed the check-in process would go faster.  It didn't.  Then it happened....

Our sweet and obedient dog, who'd not had an accident indoors since he was a pup, did the "dirty deed" right smack dab in the middle of the lobby.  All eyes were focused on us.  Looks of disgust, pity, horror; as well as chuckles and audible laughter came rushing toward us in waves.  

Like all good dog moms, I happened to have a poop bag in my purse.  I apologized profusely to the folks behind the desk and asked if they had Lysol wipes and paper towels and I would quickly clean up the mess we'd made.  I knew then and there that we'd been labeled as the "Fecal Family".  

Lessons Learned:  God loves a humble and contrite heart.  If we get too haughty, He can easily level the playing field.  Humor is beneficial.  May we never take ourselves too seriously.  Laughter IS good medicine.  We have a fabulously funny story to share about our adventure.

2.  Friendly Port in a Storm: (Gratitude)

Since, Topper (our beagle), will howl pitifully if left by himself in the efficiency, (and we can't afford another incident lest we get tossed out); wherever I go, the beagle goes.  

Some eating establishments along the busy streets post in large letters, "No Dogs Allowed."  We pass on by.  I'm getting hungry for something to eat and I am hoping we can walk in an establishment, order, and wait outside.  I poke my head into the next eatery to inquire if we can come in?  "Sorry, no dogs allowed unless they are service/therapy dogs."  At this point I need therapy, but decide not to push my luck.

Really hesitant by this time, I crack open the door of the Crepes and Coffee Shoppe.  "Might we be able to come in," I ask.  "Sure, come on in," the young lady with braids twisted upon her head beckons. "Your dog's so cute.  What's his name?  Can he have a treat?"  

She gleefully put Topper through his paces with tricks for treats.  She even filled a dish of cool water for him.  It felt SOOooo good to feel welcome.  We'd found our port in the storm.  Topper and I sat outside and he blissfully munched dog biscuits while I savored a blueberry muffin and a delicious cup of coffee.  Ahhh...we were finally welcome.

Lessons Learned:  For all the bad out there, look for the good and stay focused on it.  When God grants you a port in the storm, don't forget to offer thanks and show gratitude. 

3.  The Omelet Station (Patience/Mercy)

Dave and I traded off heading downstairs (return to the scene of the Grand Entrance) to get our complimentary breakfasts.  As usual, I headed first to the omelet station and put in my order with Clarice, the omelet gal.  Then I meandered around getting coffee, oatmeal, and fruit.  It was a busy morning so the omelets were taking longer.

One man, obviously annoyed and in a hurry, asked three times if his omelet was ready.  Another woman took five minutes to explain all the special ingredients her omelet required.  Then, as I turned to see that my omelet was finally ready, it was swooped out from under me and, in halting English, the eager eater poked a finger at the spinach in the omelet and said, "This not MY omelet...has spinach!"  

The young omelet maker, perspiring over three omelet pans, responded with amazing kindness, "That's because it's not your omelet; it's hers," pointing to me.  In a huff, the omelet snatcher complained that the omelets were taking too long, then turned and left. 

"I'm so sorry," the poor young woman apologized.  "I'll make yours right away," she continued.  

"No problem," I said.  "You're doing an awesome job under not so great circumstances," I said with a wink and a nod to all the vultures lurking around her station.

Lessons Learned:  In an "I gotta have it right now world," a little patience goes a long way.  When you can, show mercy.  After all, you've been given the greatest gift of mercy.  Give what you've gotten.

We still have a week to go and I'm sure there will be more stories.  Things might not be going as planned, but boy do I have an appreciation of my home and all the blessings God has given me.  Maybe my plans needed to be hijacked in order to build my character...or maybe "Life" just happens??  

Either way...let the next story unravel...with God, I've got this!

Dear Heavenly Father, First, forgive me for when I take the everyday blessings for granted - like a familiar roof over my head.  Let me come before You with a humble and contrite heart and let laughter be my default mechanism when times get tense.  Keep anger and frustration far from me.  Let me have an attitude of gratitude both before and after blessings you bestow abundantly.  Let me be a messenger of mercy and build my character with patience and perseverance so that my response to "Life being Life", will bring YOU glory.  Thank you for always being there even when the road gets rough.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Have your plans been hijacked lately?  What lessons has God been teaching you?  Is there any way of responding or reacting, on your part, that needs adjusting?  What is your prayer?  I'd love to pray for you...

Be blessed....

ps.  If you've enjoyed what you've read here today, why don't you SUBSCRIBE to my weekly blog?  Just click on the "Subscribe" tab, enter your information, AND be SURE TO CLICK THE LINK IN THE EMAIL THAT APPEARS IN YOUR INBOX to confirm your subscription.  If it's not there, check your spam filter.  Thanks in advance!!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Summer Fashion Fun: Guest Post and GIVEAWAY

Hey Friend,

In May, I had the pleasure of joining, Jodie, my good friend and fashion blogger, on her website.  I wrote a guest post re: "Can Christians Truly Have Mental Illness?" in honor of Mental Health Awareness month.  The ribbon color for this illness is lime green. 

The lovely ladies of "Jodie's Touch of Style" all wore fun fashions in lime green to support the cause.

Did you know that animal prints are considered fashion "neutrals," that metallic sandals can be one of your most versatile shoe options for summer, that "No white before Memorial Day" is passe, or that a cardigan or shrug can transform a sleeveless summer dress into a spring/fall option?  

I subscribe to Jodie's blog and I have learned so much about fashion and how to diversify my wardrobe, and have fun with it on a budget.  Jodie, her mom, and step-mom give three decades of fashion options and they do it with fun and flair.

"After being a cosmetic dentist for over 20 years, Jodie is having a blast blogging with her mother and step mom. The biggest thing she has learned in this process is it's never too late to look great. While women grew up with rule after rule about fashion and style, she's finding it's time to start having more fun with our outfits and life in general. The best part about the site is there are 3 different decades of women with 3 different body shapes and styles. Something for everyone." - Jodie, Jodie's Touch of Style

I invite you to join Jodie for her latest post, "Styling an Outfit of Red and White Different Ways."  If you follow the link to her blog and SUBSCRIBE, you will be entered in her Monthly New Subscribers Giveaway which is a box of fashion, hair, and makeup goodies. 

Isn't Jodie's mom gorgeous in red and white?!  For other takes on this Summer Fashion color combo, will you join me and read along? Subscribe to be included in her July drawing...

Styling an Outfit of Red and White Different Ways

I know I’ve heard many women say they would never consider wearing an outfit of red and white because red is too bright. And I get that, but I’d like to give some ways to make the color combination work too.

Quote of the day: There is only one danger I find in life—you may take too many precautions.” Alfred Adler

While I also believe in the adage better safe than sorry, style and clothing are two of those aspects in life in which it's safe to take a risk. Even if you put together an outfit that doesn’t work out, it’s not a permanent thing...

Be blessed...and please leave Jodie some lovin' in her "Comments" section...