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Saturday, January 18

I've been memorizing some beautiful and practical scripture...this is awesome!!

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, along with every form of malice. 
Be kind and compassionate with one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ
God forgave you."

*Ephesians 4: 31-32*
  NIV

Sunday, April 14

what dreams may come...

dearest child of mine,

may you meet the man destined to become your husband...

a man whose greatest wish is make your dreams come true...

a man who loves God with all his heart and soul and is then teachable by the Holy Spirit in how to love you and the children you will one day have...

a man who is strong without being cruel
forthright without being domineering.

the spiritual 'head of the household' and only does this under the lordship of Jesus Christ...

a man who would no sooner hurt you than hurt himself.

a man who understands completely what sacrificial love is, does and costs.

a man who listens to what you say and what you don't say, are afraid to say, dare not say.

a man who is your humanly "safe place", while you journey together in this life.

a man who doesn't just see you, but rather, he sees through you, with the loving and uncondemning eyes of Christ.

a man who will never leave, give up on or abandon you, regardless of the circumstances.

a man who will never attempt to replace you with another.

a man who can't forget you, who will always love you...no matter how much time or distance has come to pass...

who will fight for you with every breath he has...
who will 'fight tigers for you'...

and lastly, please know you can believe, dream of and always reach for true love...
it exists because God, our beloved Father does.
and because He is Love.

this is my prayer for you, dearest child of mine...

with all I am and ever hope to be,

your Mama-muu...

Wednesday, April 10

"Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You don't have enough faith." Then Jesus stood and gave a command to the wind and the waves. The wind stopped, and the lake became very calm. The men were amazed. They said, "What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey him!"

Key Thought:

There is nothing that can stand in the way of Jesus. 
No enemy has the power -- he simply casts out the demons. 
No teacher or skeptic can stump him with a question. 
No disease can withstand his call for healing. 
Not even nature can baffle or threaten him. 
He is not just a man. 
He is God's Son. 
He is Immanuel, God with us. 
But until we can fully understand who he is, we can be secure that he will care for us and bring us to his home!
Fear is not just being troubled with circumstances;
it also is the uncertainty about what will ultimately happen to us. 
Jesus shows his disciples that their safety, their destiny,
is under his command and nothing can withstand his grace offered to bless his disciples.

Today's Prayer:

My God, Almighty Lord, please act with your strong power to still the storm in the hearts of those I love. 
Give them peace and calm and lead them to know that Jesus is not only their source of help,
but that he is so much more than a mere mortal man. 
In the name of Jesus my Lord I pray. 
Amen.

(this original devotion, by Phil Ware, can be found at www.heartlight.org)

Dear Father, the one real and only God,

Give me more love and humility than knowledge, for "Knowledge puffs up but love builds up."

People know lots of things, but they let it go to their heads. 

Help me, Father, never to imagine that I know everything, because I know that I do not yet know as I ought to know. 
What I want is to love you as I should, for if I love you, then I am loved and known by you. 
All the things that men and women pursue, O God, seem to have no real existence when compared to you. 
There is no God but you, the one God.

The world is full of "gods."

But for us Christians there is just one God, you, from whom all things come and for whom they exist, and there is just one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

In the name of Jesus and by his authority I ask these things according to his will. 

Amen.

(this original devotion, by Eldon Degge, can be found at www.heartlight.org)

Sunday, April 7

what His peace does...

"...present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Thought

What guards your heart?
What protects your mind?
Did you know that the peace of God can stand guard over our hearts and minds?
That's the apostle Paul's promise to us in this passage. 
If we will present our requests to God, with thanksgiving, then God's peace
that is greater than any explanation and that transcends our ability to comprehend it, will stand sentry over our hearts and minds. 
You want an example of how this is true?
Look at the book of Job. 
All that befalls him. 
All that wounds him. 
Yet still he doesn't become hard of heart or go insane. 
What is the key to his survival?
His ongoing conversation with the LORD.
He will not relinquish that relationship no matter how badly he hurts,
how much he is confused, nor how badly he is ridiculed.

Prayer

Father, I need your peace. 
There are wounds that pierce my heart,
but I don't want it to become hardened and callused. 
There are times my mind is so confused that I fear I may lose my rationality. Dear Father, I trust that as I cling to Jesus, and as I speak openly with you about my life and your grace, that you will bless me with your peace and will protect my heart and my mind from destruction. 
Thank you, dear Father, for the reminder that even as I struggle with my troubles, I also need to give you thanks for all the good things that you have blessed me with in my life and my walk with you!
In Jesus' name I pray. 
Amen.

(this original devotion is from http://www.heartlight.org)

Sunday, March 10

Jonah...

i love Jonah...i really do...
(he and peter are my favorite 2 men in the Bible!)

i love him because i can relate to him...
at times he's a real chicken, proud, stubborn, self-pitying and completely ridiculous!

God comes to jonah and gives him a task to do.
He wants jonah to go and warn the ninevites to repent, to turn from their evil ways.

instead of going to nineveh, he tries to run away from God...
this is so funny to me, i gotta say - trying to run away and hide from God!!

you see, jonah, the israelite, was sworn enemies with the ninevites and had no wish to warn them to repent...he didn't want them to be saved and he sure as shooting didn't want to be the messenger!

so this silly man tried to run away from God...
have you ever done that?
knew what our Father wanted of you...knew what the right path was, but you just turned away and did your own thing and went your own way?

i get Jonah...i totally do...i've been just like him...

stubborn, self-pitying, arrogant and rebellious...

so let me save you some time and effort...
you can never truly run away from God...
it can't be done...
ever.

you can ignore Him...
resist Him...
deliberately do the opposite of what He's asking you to do...
but you can't outrun or hide from Him...

and when we stop running, when our knees buckle and we're struggling for breath, if we just look up, we can see His hand outstretched towards us and after we put our hand in His, we'll wonder why we were ever running to begin with...

as always, please feel free to email me with any questions or comments:
laineyrose7@yahoo.com.

God bless to all!!

Sunday, February 24


i don't really know why there are days when it feels as if Nattie just told me you were gone, Ernzy...

why the pain feels brand new and i'm drowning in it...

why listening to your favorite song by Neil Diamond makes me feel as if you're in the room with me...
or the last time you sang it to me...
"love on the rocks"...
it's a perfect song for you, my Ernzy...

there's an actor that starred on SVU once...
he looks just like you, Ernzy...and this year it hurt just to look at him.

i really need you to come back to me, Ernzy...i know you can't...but there's stuff on this planet that doesn't make sense without you.

and our good memories are choking my heart today and i want to visit you, but i haven't been back since the memorial/burial.
not once, Ernzy and i need you to know that it isn't because i don't want to...i just can't go there...i can't do it...

i love you so much, Ernzy, so very very very much...

i know we'll see each other again when i go Home - but until then, beloved brother of mine, please know this song's for you...for today...for all the yesterdays we had together...and for all the tomorrow's we will have in Heaven.

your Lainey forever and ever and ever. . .

Thursday, February 14

ever thine...


for those of us who love someone and are loved in return -
measure for measure,
we can call ourselves blessed...

for those of us who love someone who does not love us back -
if we've truly given of ourselves,
we can live without regret...

and for those of us who love only ourselves -
in the end,
we are the lonely ones...

for myself,
i'd rather love with all my heart and be turned away -
than never take the risk at all...


Happy Valentine's day to us all!





Monday, February 11

"What great blessings there are for the people that give mercy to other people! Mercy will be given to them."Matthew 5:7 (ERV)

Key Thought:

God has treated us much, much better than we deserve. 
That fundamental, undergirding spiritual truth is the reality of grace. 
He has seen us in our sin and had mercy on us because of his great love for us (see Rom. 5:6-11). 
Even though we have repeatedly proved unfaithful and undependable, both individually and as a group, God has been gracious and merciful. 
He has repeatedly offered forgiveness, help, redemption, and salvation when we least deserved it. 
Rather than dealing with us strictly as law would demand, God has dealt with us as a loving father does with his children.
This conditioning reality must show up in us. 
How can we claim to be his children and not be merciful?
How can we call for retribution against our brothers and sisters, when fairness would demand we pay a great penalty for our sin?
In the Kingdom Family, mercy rules. 
When that mercy is forgotten by us, then God has promised to use our standard of mercilessness when he judges us. 
Yet as long as we are merciful to others, God will show us mercy.

Today's Prayer:

Holy and righteous Father, I confess that I often want justice when I am violated and mercy when I sin. 
Thank you for not treating me as I deserve, but instead providing Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice that extends your mercy to me and fulfills your justice on my behalf. 
Soften my heart that I may reflect your grace and mercy in my dealings with those who have injured me. 
In the precious name of Jesus I pray. 
Amen.

(the original devotion can be found at www.heartlight.org)

Tuesday, September 11

across the chasm...



i want to tell you something silly...

i don't know if you're familiar with the Mission Impossible movies.
my favorite is MI 3, (which i watched again last night).

it's my favorite because of how genuine and beautiful the love is between Ethan Hunt and his fiance, Julia.
they're absolutely perfect for one another.

there is vulnerability, honesty, fervent love and true devotion...

the most recent sequel, MI: Ghost Protocol, broke my heart.
in fact, i cannot think or talk about the film without crying...

isn't that silly?

a love that simply cannot be.

and that breaks my heart...
that no matter how deep they love each other, no matter that time cannot change
how they feel about one another,
it still cannot be.

there is no crossing that gap,
that chasm.
and watching it actually hurts my heart.

i've been there before.
it was a one-sided love on my part,
that no matter what i said or did
i couldn't cross that chasm between me and the one i loved.

maybe that's why tears stream down my face every time i even think of the film.

isn't that silly?

to pour yourself out for a love that will never be?

that's just 1 of a million reasons why i love our Father so very much...

on His own, before i was even born,
He made a plan with His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit,
that He would save me,
that He would find a way to cross that chasm...

He bust through cruelty, despair and death to find and save me.
His precious Son, Jesus volunteered to be the bridge between us and Them.
between earth and Heaven.
between Life and death.

the precious Trinity did it.
for me,
for you,
for us all.

unconditional and absolutely requited Love..
He poured Himself out for a Love that will always be.
it cannot be tarnished, destroyed or forgotten.

Jesus holds out His hands to us all today...
scarred, pierced and ever-reaching,
He wants us to know that the chasm hasn't just been crossed -
it's been destroyed.

He lets us know daily that we are loved beyond description -
that He'd rather die than lose even one of us.
which is exactly what He did...

and that's not silly at all.
 

Sunday, September 9

(this is the music playing in the background...
it breaks my heart for God and lifts me up at the same time...
let's listen together...)

"kiss Your feet"

all i have in this world
is more than a king could ever wish for
all these crowns leave me cold
for i was born to kiss Your feet

all i have in this life
is all for a King, you know i live for
and Your crown bears my name
for i was born to give You praise

isn't He beautiful
isn't He beautiful
isn't He beautiful

take this life, take it all
i'm breathing the dirt, but i have clean hands
so i'll run with my boots on
for i was born to give You fame

isn't He beautiful
isn't He beautiful
isn't He beautiful


yes, You are beautiful
yes, You are beautiful
isn't He beautiful


yes, You are beautiful
yes, You are beautiful
yes, You are beautiful
isn't He beautiful. 

Thursday, September 6


dear Father,

Help me to have respect for rulers and authorities, to be submissive and obedient.

Help me to be ready for any honest work, and to speak evil of no one.

Help me to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy to every one.

Help me not to be foolish, disobedient, or led astray.

Help me not to be a slave to various passions and pleasures,

or to pass my days in malice or envy, hating others or being hated by them.

In the name of Jesus,
the all-wise and blessed Savior.

Amen


written by Eldon Degge
original post can be found at: www.heartlight.org

Wednesday, September 5

"Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?"Job 38:16
 
Some things in nature must remain a mystery to the most intelligent and enterprising investigators.

Human knowledge has bounds beyond which it cannot pass.

Universal knowledge is for God alone.

If this be so in the things which are seen and temporal, I may rest assured
that it is even more so in matters spiritual and eternal.

Why, then, have I been torturing my brain with speculations as to destiny and will, fixed fate, and human responsibility?

These deep and dark truths I am no more able to comprehend
than to find out the depth which coucheth beneath, from which old ocean draws her watery stores.

Why am I so curious to know the reason of my Lord's providences, the motive of his actions, the design of his visitations?

Shall I ever be able to clasp the sun in my fist, and hold the universe in my palm?
yet these are as a drop of a bucket compared with the Lord my God.

Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but spend my strength in love. 

What I cannot gain by intellect I can possess by affection, and let that suffice me.

I cannot penetrate the heart of the sea, but I can enjoy the healthful breezes which sweep over its bosom, and I can sail over its blue waves with propitious winds.

If I could enter the springs of the sea, the feat would serve no useful purpose either to myself or to others, it would not save the sinking bark, or give back the drowned mariner to his weeping wife and children;

neither would my solving deep mysteries avail me a single whit, for the least love to God, and the simplest act of obedience to him, are better than the profoundest knowledge.

My Lord, I leave the infinite to thee, and pray thee to put far from me such a love for the tree of knowledge as might keep me from the tree of life.

written by Charles Spurgeon
original post can be found at:  www.heartlight.org

Tuesday, September 4

"I will; be thou clean." — Mark 1:41
 
Primeval darkness heard the Almighty fiat, "light be," and straightway light was,
and the word of the Lord Jesus is equal in majesty to that ancient word of power. Redemption like Creation has its word of might.
Jesus speaks and it is done.
Leprosy yielded to no human remedies,
but it fled at once at the Lord's "I will."
The disease exhibited no hopeful signs or tokens of recovery, nature contributed nothing to its own healing, but the unaided word effected the entire work on the spot and for ever.
The sinner is in a plight more miserable than the leper;
let him imitate his example and go to Jesus,
"beseeching him and kneeling down to him."
Let him exercise what little faith he has, even though it should go no further than "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean";
and there need be no doubt as to the result of the application.
Jesus heals all who come, and casts out none.
In reading the narrative in which our morning's text occurs, it is worthy of
devout notice that Jesus touched the leper.
This unclean person had broken through the regulations of the ceremonial law
and pressed into the house, but Jesus so far from chiding him broke through the law himself in order to meet him.
He made an interchange with the leper, for while he cleansed him, he contracted by that touch a Levitical defilement.
Even so Jesus Christ was made sin for us, although in himself he knew no sin,
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
O that poor sinners would go to Jesus, believing in the power of his blessed substitutionary work, and they would soon learn the power of his gracious touch.
That hand which multiplied the loaves, which saved sinking Peter, which upholds afflicted saints, which crowns believers, that same hand will touch every seeking sinner, and in a moment make him clean.

The love of Jesus is the source of salvation.
He loves,
he looks,
he touches us,
WE LIVE.

by Charles Spurgeon
from the original post at www.heartlight.org

Sunday, July 22

i surrender all...

(i woke up with this song in my heart...)

it is a very old song that was played almost every sunday in church.
at the end of the church service, there would be an altar call,
where the pastor asks everyone to close their eyes and raise their hand
if they'd like to ask Jesus into their heart,
and then asks all those who raised their hand to come forward, down to the altar,
where there would be someone who would lead them in prayer.
sometimes the altar call was for those of us who had
'forgotten their first Love'
and wanted to renew their intimate relationship with Jesus.

but, regardless of why we raised our hands,
regardless of how nerve-wracking it was to walk down the aisle
in front of everyone else,
regardless of how much easier it would be to just stay in your seat...
once you get there, once you reach the altar,
you never want to get back up again.
and you just can't believe how you lasted this long
without that precious relationship with our divine Brother, Jesus.
does this sound familiar?

did you walk away from Jesus to pursue another path?
when you're the only one still awake at night and you feel
a familiar ache in your heart of hearts, but you just can't place it,
do you feel regret for the choices you've made?

the thing is, if we've just met Jesus or if we desire to renew
our relationship with Him all over again,
He is right there at the door to your heart,
waiting for you to just open up.

no human being can ever fill that demanding void within us...
it belongs to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
and if you've just met Him and asked Him into your heart to be
your Lord, Savior, Brother and closest Friend,
or you really want to but don't know how,
please feel free to email me at: laineyrose7@yahoo.com -
i would love to pray with you...

and if you already know Jesus but have walked away from Him,
please remember it is not too late to turn around...
He's right there, He's still right there,
He's always there...


I SURRENDER ALL
"All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In his presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to thee,
my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me Jesus,
take me now.

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to thee,
my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

Lord I give to You
All I ever had
And everything I was
And everything I am
And now I lay it down
I lay it at Your feet
To Your grace
To Your power
I surrender all...
God i give myself to thee...
fill me with thy love and power...
let thy blessings fall on me...

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to thee,
my blessed Savior,
I surrender all...

All to thee,
my blessed Savior,
I surrender all..."

Wednesday, July 11

on bended knees...

Please, dear Father,

heal Your children...
heal the hurting
heal the broken
restore us unto You
re-build
renew
and refresh
we need You so desperately, dearest Father...
unite us
heal us
gather us together once again
'once for all'
wash our hearts
til they are white as snow
mend our broken bones
and broken spirits
help us see Your hand outstretched
help us drink from Your cup of cool water

and like this song -
help us surrender all
on bended knees
with humbled hearts
and listening ears

You, who is the only One who truly knows and loves us...
we freely admit that we can't live without You...

help us remember:

just as i am
refiners fire
upstairs prayers and Bible studies
sharing tears and triumphs
coffee and silly philosophy
kneeling before the Great I Am
keith green
worship-team
praising You, our One and greatest First Love
united, not divided
found not lost
hopeful not hopeless...

we love You, precious Father of us all...
we love You, dearest Brother Divine
we love You, blessed Holy Spirit

and in the end,
we belong to You all

we are Your children and we need You Father 
today, tomorrow and for always...

Monday, July 9

where He is...

Today, my morning devotional reminded me to do a lil self-inventory
and remember all the wonderful things God has done and been in my life...
to look back and remember all the prayer requests He has answered.

and I am thankful...
there have been many times that my prayer requests have been answered.
all sorts of requests as minute as helping me with my yard work all the way to
keeping my children safe and sound in His arms.

sometimes when we pray and pray over a particular request, and we don't see
any results, we can start to become embittered towards our Father.

we ask Him:

why won't You help me???
You can see what this means to me -
You can see my absolute heartache -
you can see my overwhelming weariness!

we want to yell into the vast silence:

WHERE ARE YOU, GOD ???

so, I write this for us all...

He is there...He is alive...and He loves you so very much!

our Father is honestly doing so many things
"behind the scenes"
that we simply cannot see or comprehend.

He is not sleeping, on a coffee-break or vacation.
He is not indifferent to your cries, pleas or heartache.
He feels everything you feel...your joys and sorrows both.
He has not forgotten you or any of your petitions before Him.

He is our Father...
Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient.
(All-powerful), (All-present - yesterday, today and tomorrow) & (All-knowing).

He loves you.
you can trust Him, with your dreams, fears and your very life,
because all you are and ever will be,
lies within His all-capable hands.

He'll never turn His back on you.
He will always forgive you when you are repentant.
He will always protect you when you need protecting,
save you when you need saving
carry you when you need carrying
and encourage you when you need encouraging.

Whatever trial or circumstance you're going through right now,
please know your Father is right beside you every moment of every day...

because that's just who He is.

Sunday, July 8

if you've given up...

I know there are children of God who have given up...
who've lost their way and lost their faith.
and who somehow have come to believe that God has lost his faith and given up on them.

i just want you to know that it's not true.
no matter where you are today or where you'll be tomorrow, He is still there with you...
wherever you may go.

please don't give up...

if you've come to Him and prayed and prayed over something or someone who's broken your heart -
and you've yet to see any results,
please know that any delay in answered prayer is only because His timing has to be extraordinarily precise.
He hasn't forgotten you, your prayers, your sorrows or your pain...

Let me say it again...
He hasn't forgotten you.

He loves you and will never leave or forsake you...
so, if you've 'had enough', walked away and are too weary to pray anymore...
that's okay, because He hasn't.

He's got strength enough for the both of you.
lean on Him, today and remember,
if you feel forsaken, forgotten and unseen
the proof of His enduring and everlasting love is right there for all to see and remember...

He watched His blameless, spotless, only begotten Son, die -
so that we might live in eternity with Him...

and He did that
                         just
                               for
                                    you...

Wednesday, March 7


Naaman was an important man.
He was head of the army of one of the major world powers.
The Bible tells us that God had used him to win great victories for his king,
the king of Syria.

Naaman was brave.
Naaman was influential.
Naaman was very, very sick.

He had what the Bible calls leprosy.
This can mean any of a number of
skin conditions, not just Hansen's disease
(the scientific name for modern leprosy).

Leprosy was taken very seriously.
It was thought to be extremely contagious.
Because of this, people with leprosy lived isolated lives,
cut off from the rest of society.
For a public figure, this was especially tragic.

Then someone told Naaman that there was a prophet named Elisha
who could cure him of his illness.
Naaman traveled to the land of Israel to find this prophet and seek to be healed.

When Naaman arrived at Elisha's house, the prophet didn't come out to
greet his visitor.
Instead, he sent a servant to inform Naaman that he
was to submerge himself seven times in the Jordan River in order to be
healed.

Naaman was outraged!
Not only had the prophet not received him personally,
but the holy man had the gall to suggest that Naaman dirty
himself in the filthy waters of Israel.
If Naaman needed a bath, he could use one of Syria's mighty rivers.

Servants convinced the military man that he had nothing to lose by
trying what the prophet had told him.
Naaman swallowed his pride and went to the Jordan.
He went down one time, two times, three times...
and when he came up the seventh time, his skin was clear.
He was healed!
(You can read the whole story in the fifth chapter of 2 Kings)

I'm like Naaman at times.
God wants me to do what?
He wants me to go where?
That doesn't even make sense!

God's instructions don't always make sense.
Love my enemies?
Don't worry about tomorrow?
Eat bread and drink wine to remember His Son?
Submerge myself in water in order to be cleansed?

At some point, we have to decide who is going to rule our lives.
Will it be God?
Or will it be common sense?
Will God tell me what's right and wrong?
Or will logic be my guide?

Am I willing to have faith that God is good enough, wise enough and
powerful enough to do what's best for me?

Today I want to encourage you to trust God, to build your life around
Him, even when you can't understand every detail of what is going on.

Follow God, even when He doesn't make sense.

(Original post found at www.heartlight.org)

Thursday, January 19

When you love someone...

When you love someone you'll do anything
You'll do all the crazy things that you can't explain
You'll shoot the moon, put out the sun
When you love someone...

You'll deny the truth, believe a lie
There'll be times that you'll believe
That you can really fly
But your lonely nights have just begun
When you love someone...

When you love someone you'll feel it deep inside
And nothin' else can ever change your mind
When you want someone, when you need someone
When you love someone...

When you love someone, you'll sacrifice
You'd give it everything you got and
You won't think twice
You'd risk it all, no matter what may come
When you love someone

You'll shoot the moon, put out the sun
When you love someone...


*originally recorded by bryan adams for the motion picture ~ "Hope Floats"*

Friday, December 16

without a word...

Treachery Behind the Scenes

They said again and again, "But Jesus is making trouble with
the people! He teaches all around Judea. He began in Galilee,
and now he is here!" Pilate heard this and asked if Jesus was
from Galilee. Pilate learned that Jesus was under Herod's
authority. Herod was in Jerusalem at that time, so Pilate
sent Jesus to him. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very happy.
Herod had heard all about Jesus. So he had wanted to meet
Jesus for a long time. Herod wanted to see a miracle. So he
hoped that Jesus would do a miracle. Herod asked Jesus many
questions, but Jesus said nothing. The leading priests and
teachers of the law were standing there. They were shouting
things against Jesus. Then Herod and his soldiers laughed at
Jesus. They made fun of Jesus by dressing him in clothes like
kings wear. Then Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate. In the
past, Pilate and Herod had always been enemies. But on that
day Herod and Pilate became friends.

-- Luke 23:5-12 (ERV)

KEY THOUGHT:

The trials of Jesus were a mockery. None of them was about justice.
The Sanhedrin was not supposed to meet secretly at night.
Pilate pronounced Jesus innocent,
yet kept the legal proceedings going for political expediency. Herod had no desire to do the right thing; he was determined to do the politically correct thing. This was nothing more than treachery.
Jesus was not treated fairly. He did not receive justice.
What was done to him was what God decried throughout the Old
Testament through the prophets -- there was no justice in the courts
and those with money and power misused their influence. Sinners and
traitors convicted Jesus. He was the innocent lamb led to slaughter.
He was the perfect sacrifice for all who are sinners ...
even for us and those who put him to death.

TODAY'S PRAYER:

Father, it breaks my heart to see your Son treated with such treachery.
While it angers me, it also helps me bear those times that I am treated
unfairly. I know that Jesus is with me in those times and that he more
than understands my emotions. Thank you for walking in our unfair and
often cruel world as one of us so that we can share eternity with you.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.

*originally from www.heartlight.org*

Wednesday, December 7


he didn't mean to do it...
he really didn't.
if you'd asked him just yesterday, he'd have told you twice.
"i won't deny You, my Lord - i won't!"
and we would have believed him.

see, peter was all about passion. . .
passion to fish, passion to fight and passion to love.
a huge burly figure,
peter never did things in a small way.
when his Lord and Savior beckoned to him to come
he put his roughened feet into the salty water
and went without a thought.

how about you?
is there something you've done -
something so awful, that you'd give
anything just to make it right again?
ever want to give up your place in the pig's trough
and run home again?
did you ever feel like you had passed the 'point of no return' -
that you'd sinned too much - and that this time it felt like there
simply wasn't enough grace for your Father to forgive what you'd done?

peter did...
he knew what it meant to deny and to run away from the only One
who would never deny or give up on him...
and when all was said and done and peter heard the rooster crow,
"he went outside and wept bitterly".

but Jesus wasn't done with peter...
no matter what he had done,
Jesus was compassionately moved to reassure, reinstate
and remind peter, that He knew this fisherman's heart,
and loved him no less for what he had done.

today, our precious Jesus, offers us this same sin-defying Grace.
and it is this same question that every human being will inevitably
be given to answer for themselves:

do you love Me? He asks. . .
how could we not?


{Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will."
"Peter," Jesus replied, "the truth is, this very night, before the
rooster crows, you will deny me three times."
"No!" Peter insisted.
"Not even if I have to die with you!
I will never deny you!" }

*Matthew 26:31-35*

Wednesday, November 9

what she left behind...

This obituary of a 79-year-old woman ran on August 16-17, 2008,
in the Vallejo, California, "Times-Herald."
It was placed there by one of the deceased's many daughters.



"Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7,
2008. She will be met in the afterlife by a host of family members.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely
shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of
her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very
few tears will be shed, and there will be no lamenting over her
passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will
remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling
times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her,
and perhaps we will think of those times, too. But I truly believe
at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never
had—a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I
hope she is finally at peace with herself.

As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of
a time of healing and learning to be a family again. There will be
no service, no prayers, and no closure for the family she spent a
lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see
to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their
goodbyes. So I say here for all of us,

GOOD BYE, MOM."


Help us all, dear Lord, to be the very best of ourselves that only You can make of us...
help us leave behind a legacy of Love.


original story from:
http://www.heartlight.org/articles/201111/20111108_religiousjargon.html

Monday, October 24

can't You hear me, God?...

some of the most painful questions my children have ever asked me are:

"how come when i pray and pray and nothing ever happens?"
"why isn't God helping me?"
"why isn't He listening to me?"

they're not the only ones who have wondered those very same things.

i've asked God those many times as well...
but this is what i've ultimately learned and passed onto my children, family and friends:

God never sleeps
He's never on vacation or on a coffee break
there is nothing too trivial or insignificant to bring to God in prayer.
if it matter to us, it matters to Him.

and though we are human beings with finite vision, God is not...
He is always working on and for His children...
for our own good and for the glory of His eternal Kingdom.

the truth is, we can't even see enough ahead to know what will happen in the next 5 minutes of our life, yet alone, all the secret and divine work that our Father is doing on our behalf.
that doesn't mean that He isn't working with all His power and might to heal and restore His children...
He is.

and yet again, as everything in my walk with Him seems to come down to just one vital question, i hear His tender voice in my heart:

"elaine, do you trust Me?
with your life and the lives of your children and loved ones?
do you trust Me with all the fears, hopes and dreams in your heart?"


and though trusting comes hard for me...He's helped me trust Him more,
bit by bit and day by day.
i've prayed often: "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
*Mark 9:24*

i don't pretend to understand His timing or why He answers some prayers quickly and others have yet to come to pass,
but i believe i can trust in His ultimate plan for us all...

"“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
*Jeremiah 29:11-14*

Friday, October 7

i just love that kid!

(this is originally published at www.heartlight.org)

I Love that Kid!~by Rubel Shelly

I don't know Josh Ripley, but I love that kid! Let me tell you why.

Sixteen-year-old Josh is a junior at Andover (Minnesota) High School.
He was running a 5K race on Sept. 16 in a field of 261 competitors.
With the race less than half done, the 6-foot-5-inch runner heard a
scream and saw a runner he didn't know crumpled against a fence --
holding a profusely bleeding ankle.

The injured athlete was 5-foot-5-inch Mark Paulauskas, a freshman at
Lakeville South High. Here is Mark's account: "He just picked me up
without saying anything and started carrying me and trying to calm me
down. He said, 'It's going to be OK. I'm going to get you to your
coaches.' ... I think it's amazing."


Sure enough, with his own coach trying to figure out why Josh hadn't
passed the halfway mark, he spotted him. "I was wondering what was
going on, why was he so far back,"
said Scott Clark. "Then I see Josh.
He's got the kid in his arms."


Josh Ripley carried Mark about a quarter mile! He handed him off to his
coaches and family and then -- dead last in the field of runners now --
sped off to resume his race. He passed 50 kids to finish 211th out of
261 runners. No excuses. No disappointment. No explanation. He just
finished what he had started -- only to be asked by one teammate why he had fallen so far behind. "He just humbly says, 'Oh, I picked up a
kid,' "
said sophomore Simeon Toronto. "And I'm like, 'Dude, you just
picked up a kid and carried him?' That's incredible!"
Then added
Toronto: "It was just so typical Josh."

I love that kid!
And while most of the news reports I tracked down cited this as a
supreme example of sportsmanship and compassion among
athletes, I think they missed the real force at work in Josh's action.
The details make it pretty clear that it was the unfolding of a very
practical faith that Josh embraces.

He does volunteer work at Living Word Christian Center and -- by both
Mark and Josh's account -- prayed over Mark as he ran with him in his
arms. He prayed for Mark's pain to stop and for him to be all right. He
even asked Mark's permission before he started the prayer! And Josh
seemed honestly bemused by all the attention being paid to him later.
He insists he did "nothing special" -- but said he was just thankful
God let him be there for someone who needed help.

Mark's ankle needed 20 stitches to close the gash some runner's spikes
accidentally created. Blessedly, there were no damaged ligaments or
tendons. He should recover fully, after he gets out of a walking boot
and off his crutches.

Josh has reminded me again that there are wonderful people out there
who are always doing kind and good things with no expectation of being
noticed or rewarded. Great kids who aren't threatening teachers or
doing drugs. People whose faith is not a banner or excuse, but a daily
lived reality.

I just love that kid! Don't you? And I want to be more like him.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may
see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
(Matthew 5:16)

a perfect prayer...


(this prayer is found at www.heartlight.org)

this prayer perfectly expresses my heart...

O Lord God, I appeal to You in the name of Jesus to have mercy on me.
Have mercy on me for my weakness, hypocrisy, and sin.

Lord, please do not just forgive me, but strengthen me
and enable me to be a more sturdy and faithful disciple.

Have mercy on me in my time of confusion and need.
Heal my illnesses, mend my broken heart, and still the storms of my troubled mind.

Have mercy on me as I try to decide Your will for my life and as I try to discern the path You want me to take in the decisions I must make.

Have mercy on me as I seek to minister
and as I need Your strength, wisdom, and compassion to touch others.

Lord God,and Jesus my Master in whose name I pray, have mercy on me.

Amen.

Thursday, September 22

We miss you, Elliot...



12 years ago, my family began watching Law & Order: SVU...

my daughter, B. became Mariska Hargitay's greatest fan and we've been hooked ever since.

Watching a television program for that many years can alter your life.
You can come to care for the characters, actors and
the stories can open your eyes and touch your heart.

Christopher Meloni has done just that.

Last night was the premiere SVU episode for their 13th season and Christopher wasn't there.
For the first time in 12 years, Elliot Stabler was no more.

and we mourn him...
we truly do.

not just him, but his wife and children that we've come to know and care for.

It may seem silly to some, but we've been mourning the loss of him,
hurting because we never even got to say goodbye to the character and man that has been a part of our lives for a very long time...

We watched the premiere episode anyways and his absence seemed to take the sparkle out of Mariska Hargitay...

i know things can never stay the same, that change is a constant in this universe and that letting go is just a part of the lives we live...but it hurts just the same.

So, we say goodbye to our Elliot and pray that God will watch over and bless the man behind the character...

Thank you, Christopher ~
you've inspired us, made us laugh and made us cry...
but most of all, you've reminded us just how fragile and precious our humanity is.

We miss you deeply,

Elaine, Bronte' & Alexandra

Wednesday, August 10

When we RAGE...



i call it "hulking".
there's a difference between rage and raging.
rage is something you feel
while raging is something you do.

rage comes from deep, intense pain.
first we feel the pain then we make a choice.

i love the Incredible Hulk as an example.
he has triggers,
moments before he hulks,
stepping stones that lead him to the worst of himself.

for those of us, and there are so many of us, who have
lived through trauma/abuse, if we don't deal with the pain
we can easily slip into the 'hulking'...
it almost feels effortless.
that's a great word for it, because it actually takes immense strength to stay
still with the pain and not let it move past the pain into full-blown rage.

'staying still with the pain'...
allowing ourselves to relive the past or experience the pain of what someone
has just done to us or to those we love, without acting on that pain in a angry/violent manner.

because rage comes from trauma, what we suffered through often made us feel powerless.
and when we 'hulk', we feel powerful...just the opposite of the overwhelming helplessness
we endured.
when i have chosen to rage in the past, i know personally that i experience a certain
fearlessness that feels wonderful in the moment.
i am unafraid.
i am powerful.
i can destroy anyone or anything in my path.

but it's a lie,
a myth,
an illusion
or delusion.


when i rage, i am not powerful....i am weak.
i am weak when i choose to lose control.
and the damage i wreak is beyond description.

here are some basic things i've learned over the course of the last 8 years...i pray you find them healing and helpful:



~the #1 reason i am a 'recovering' rager rather than a 'practicing' rager~

is GOD and GOD alone.
He is the only one that can truly change me from the inside out.
any success i've had so far, is directly attributed to our Father.
i praise Him for healing, renovating, and teaching me all about rage
and how to manage and heal it.

Father, i give all glory and praise to You...



~triggers - all ragers have them~

name calling, cursing, pointing, yelling, speaking after becoming angry, threatening, interrupting, sarcasm, staring/glaring, throwing things, aggressive touching, re-living our 'glory days' of former raging episodes, eye-rolling, criticizing and angry driving.
(taken from http://www.rage-anon.org/RA_What_to_do_right_now.htm)


~though i've often felt like a monster when i have raged, that doesn't make me a monster~

or someone beyond which cannot be saved, someone who is incapable of change.
i'm different now...new...healing...striving...and i am lovable not condemned.



~my 'complaint department' is open at all times for those i've wounded~

i don't make excuses or place blame on others if the blame is only mine to take.
i am responsible for any raging and damage i've done...i fully 'eat and own' any wrongs i've committed in anger.



~every day is a brand new start...a new beginning~

i'm grateful for God's forgiveness and His ability to give me another chance. i am responsible to make the most out of the time afforded to me.


~"no repentance - no relationship"~

a quote the Holy Spirit gave me.
it means that if i have wronged another or they have wronged me, unless there is true repentance there can be no true healing and therefore no relationship.
without sincere repentance, there is nothing to say and nothing left to do but pray and love them from 'afar'...
this is true for us all.



~there is always hope!!!~

regardless of past ragings/failures, there is always hope of healing and recovery...
noone can take that hope away!


"For surely there is a future and your hope will not be cut off."
{Psalms 23:18}

Tuesday, May 17

God of deliverance...

{a devotion from www.heartlight.org}

Dear Father, great and gentle one,

When I am utterly, unbearably crushed so that I despair of life
itself, when I feel as if I have received the sentence of death,
remind me that I am to rely not on myself but on you, the God who
raises the dead.

It is only you who can deliver from deadly peril. I have set my
hope on you. You deliver me again and again and again. How faithful
you are!

I pray for my many brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the
world, that they will experience relief from suffering, deliverance
from peril, and comfort after grief and despair.

Grant bountiful blessings to your people, my God, in answer to
many prayers. Please receive this one and make it count among the
many others! Thank you, Father. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Spirit.

Jesus has taught to besiege you with constant prayer. Here we are
again, coming in his name. Amen.

Monday, April 25

Reunion!

Jesus walked to the coffin and touched it. The men that were
carrying the coffin stopped. Jesus said to the dead son,
"Young man, I tell you, get up!" Then the son sat up and
began to talk. Jesus gave him to his mother.

-- Luke 7:14-15 (ERV)

KEY THOUGHT:
Jesus speaks to the dead young man and makes him alive.

Then Luke says it so beautifully,
"And Jesus gave him back to his mother."
Despite death, Jesus brings reunion!
Despite the sorrow, Jesus brings back the joy.
This one event is a preview of our future in Christ.
One day, all those who are dead in Christ will hear his voice
and rise from the dead with immortal bodies and join Jesus.
Those believers who are still alive when Christ comes
will also be changed and go to be with the Lord forever (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
This event will be a day of great rejoicing as all Christians
will be reunited with each other and united with their Lord.

TODAY'S PRAYER:
Father, thank you for the promise of reunion

with those that I love who have died before me.
Thank you for their faith and Jesus' power over death that insures us reunion.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Tuesday, April 5

true humility...


"Humiliation of soul always brings a positive blessing with it.

If we empty our hearts of self God will fill them with his love.
He who desires close communion with Christ should remember the word of the Lord,
"To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word."
Stoop if you would climb to heaven.
Do we not say of Jesus, "He descended that he might ascend?" so must you.
You must grow downwards, that you may grow upwards;
for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone.
God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,"
with all its riches and treasures.
The whole exchequer of God shall be made over by deed of gift to the soul which
is humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud because of it.
God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do.
If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one.
If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety.
When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a
grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him.
Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to
deal efficiently with our fellow men.
True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden.
This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of life, and you will find an improvement in every case.
Whether it be prayer or praise, whether it be work or suffering,
the genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess."

*written by Charles Spurgeon and originating from www.heartlight.org*

Monday, March 14


{dedicated to my 3 favorite people on the planet...my children...
i love you, R, B, and A, with all i am and all i ever hope to be!}

Tender Comfort...

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you"
(Isaiah 66:13).

"A mother's comfort! Ah, this is tenderness itself.

How she enters into her child's grief!
How she presses him to her bosom and tries to take
all his sorrow into her own heart!

He can tell her all, and she will sympathize as nobody else can.
Of all comforters the child loves best his mother, and even
full-grown men have found it so.

Does Jehovah condescend to act the mother's part?

This is goodness indeed.
We readily perceive how He is a father;
but will He be as a mother also?
Does not this invite us to holy familiarity, to unreserved confidence,
to sacred rest?
When God Himself becomes "the Comforter," no anguish can long abide.
Let us tell out our trouble, even though sobs and sighs should become
our readiest utterance.
He will not despise us for our tears; our mother did not.
He will consider our weakness as she did, and He will put away our faults,
only in a surer, safer way than our mother could do.

We will not try to bear our grief alone;
that would be unkind to one so gentle and so kind.
Let us begin the day with our loving God,
and wherefore should we not finish it in the same company,
since mothers weary not of their children?"

Tuesday, March 8

Once more...


i am utterly amazed at how God brings everything full circle...
friends from my past seem to be re-surfacing and the joy of hearing from them again is such an unexpected blessing!
a relationship that had seemed to turn to dust just blossomed again, like wintered trees that find themselves in spring once more.

It's moments like this that keep me grateful and praising our Abba...He is so majestic!
always knowing what i need, knowing me more than i know myself - He is truly the best Father anyone could ever have...

i love You, dearest Abba...beyond words and beyond measure.
thank You, for bringing precious friends full-circle and back into my life...

Tuesday, October 26

Rescue in Process: Hold On!,
by Rubel Shelly

Thirty-three Chilean miners are telling an unlikely story. After being
trapped half a mile underground for 69 wretched days, they were brought
to the surface one at a time in a cigar-shaped steel capsule that was
only slightly larger in diameter than a grown man's shoulders are wide.

In a rescue process that combined the efforts of the Chilean
government, NASA, a Pennsylvania drill company, and so many others, an
ahead-of-schedule operation brought the men out in a flawless rescue
operation. Each took the 15-minute journey to freedom from the longest
underground entrapment in history.

From the pre-commercialized reports that have emerged so far, it seems
clear that there was an early time of extreme fear and deep
discouragement. In the first 17 days, the men huddled in an area no
larger than 165 square feet. They had no contact with the outside and
knew nothing of what was being done above ground to rescue them.

Reports say that some of the younger men in the group threw themselves
on the ground and refused to get up. They appear to have resigned
themselves to death. Then the first bore hole penetrated their tiny
space, and hope soared. Bodies that had started eating muscle were
provided with food, and tainted mine water was replaced with pure
drinking water. Things improved dramatically.

But there was still a long wait to be endured. Even with good food and
water, what about the emotional health of the group?

The men organized to live. Everyone was assigned a job. Nobody was
allowed to isolate himself with his fears. One report of the experience
I read contained this sentence: "They functioned like a family -- a mix
of love, dependence, frustration. But there were never thoughts of
turning on each other."

As we wait, never doubt that heaven is furiously active on your behalf.

Then I thought this: What a microcosm of heaven, earth, and church! And
how much we could learn from the experience.

The "rescue work" we call salvation is going on above. No more than the
miners could know what was happening a half-mile above them, we cannot
know all God is doing for us in our times of weakness, failure, and
discouragement. We know of the cross in history, and we have the
promise we will never be forsaken.

The "holding-on work" we do as the church is our task while trapped in
the dark and threatening environment of a world where sin has done its
best to trap and destroy us. No, we can't climb out under our own
strength. We wait instead with all the patience we can muster, keep
hope alive, and trust the promise. Refusing to turn on each other, we
encourage one another daily to keep the faith.

As we wait, never doubt that heaven is furiously active on your behalf.

The beautiful words that Zechariah spoke over his son, John the
Baptizer, are as real for us today as they were then:

"For you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to
give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness
of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the
rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in
darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the
path of peace"
(Luke 1:76-79).

Wednesday, August 18

I cannot truly express how much the following text means to me...It's from a devotion by Charles Spurgeon and can be found at http://www.heartlight.org/.
I pray it blesses you as it has me...



MORNING:

"The mercy of God."
-- Psalms 52:8

Meditate a little on this mercy of the Lord. It is tender mercy. With
gentle, loving touch, he healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up
their wounds. He is as gracious in the manner of his mercy as in the
matter of it. It is great mercy. There is nothing little in God; his
mercy is like himself-it is infinite. You cannot measure it. His mercy
is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great
lengths of time, and then gives great favours and great privileges, and
raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God.
It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved
mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the
sinner's part to the kind consideration of the Most High; had the rebel
been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the
doom, and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a
cause, for there was none in the sinner himself. It is rich mercy. Some
things are great, but have little efficacy in them, but this mercy is a
cordial to your drooping spirits; a golden ointment to your bleeding
wounds; a heavenly bandage to your broken bones; a royal chariot for
your weary feet; a bosom of love for your trembling heart. It is
manifold mercy. As Bunyan says, "All the flowers in God's garden are
double." There is no single mercy. You may think you have but one
mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole cluster of mercies. It is
abounding mercy. Millions have received it, yet far from its being
exhausted; it is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever. It is
unfailing mercy. It will never leave thee. If mercy be thy friend,
mercy will be with thee in temptation to keep thee from yielding; with
thee in trouble to prevent thee from sinking; with thee living to be
the light and life of thy countenance; and with thee dying to be the
joy of thy soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.



EVENING:

"This sickness is not unto death."
-- John 11:4

From our Lord's words we learn that there is a limit to sickness. Here
is an "unto" within which its ultimate end is restrained, and beyond
which it cannot go. Lazarus might pass through death, but death was not
to be the ultimatum of his sickness. In all sickness, the Lord saith to
the waves of pain, "Hitherto shall ye go, but no further." His fixed
purpose is not the destruction, but the instruction of his people.
Wisdom hangs up the thermometer at the furnace mouth, and regulates the
heat.

1. The limit is encouragingly comprehensive. The God of providence has
limited the time, manner, intensity, repetition, and effects of all our
sicknesses; each throb is decreed, each sleepless hour predestinated,
each relapse ordained, each depression of spirit foreknown, and each
sanctifying result eternally purposed. Nothing great or small escapes
the ordaining hand of him who numbers the hairs of our head.

2. This limit is wisely adjusted to our strength, to the end designed,
and to the grace apportioned. Affliction comes not at haphazard-the
weight of every stroke of the rod is accurately measured. He who made
no mistakes in balancing the clouds and meting out the heavens, commits
no errors in measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine
of souls. We cannot suffer too much nor be relieved too late.

3. The limit is tenderly appointed. The knife of the heavenly Surgeon
never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. "He doth not afflict
willingly, nor grieve the children of men." A mother's heart cries,
"Spare my child"; but no mother is more compassionate than our gracious
God. When we consider how hard-mouthed we are, it is a wonder that we
are not driven with a sharper bit. The thought is full of consolation,
that he who has fixed the bounds of our habitation, has also fixed the
bounds of our tribulation.