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Monday, June 30, 2008



I’m addicted to water. Nothing makes me happier than a tall glass of ice water. I will admit, however, that I’m a bit of a water snob. Tap water just doesn’t cut it for me. Although it looks just like other water, with its clear look, one sip reveals the chemicals and who knows what else that lurks in it.

Before children arrived in our home, I only drank bottled water. See, I told you I was a water snob! If the day came that we ran out, I would refuse to drink tap water. A trip to the store quickly fed my “bottled water only” addiction.

Now that children grace the floors of our home and money is much tighter than it once was, I have lowered my standards…a little. I now drink filtered water. The house we moved into last year has one of the greatest inventions next to the Internet and blogging…filtered water that magically comes from the refrigerator door!!

Once in a while, however, a terrible thing happens to that water. The filter that takes all the terrible chemical tastes out of my beloved water stops working. The result is a less than appetizing liquid that tastes like…gasp....tap water!!

Thankfully we have a spare filter that, if quickly changed, restores order to our otherwise tranquil, water-loving home.

That filter has an incredible ability to remove the impurities that pollute the water. It restores it to its original pure, clean state. As a result, my taste buds are eternally grateful.

It’s easy to settle into life as a “tap water” Christian. It can even be accidental. You look the same on the outside but deep inside there are impurities that linger, only to leave a bitter taste to your spirit.

Things like unconfessed sins and impure motives pollute our hearts. They seem innocent enough in the beginning, but eventually they actually rob Jesus of the intimacy that He craves with us.

Throughout my walk with Jesus, when those little things crept in, I viewed them from a perspective of how they affected me. While they do have a dire effect on my spiritual health, I’ve also come to realize they rob my Savior of something He wants more than anything. A clean heart. A close relationship with me.

Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
1 John 3:3

When we allow things that don’t honor Him to creep in and take up residence in our hearts, He tries to come in for a visit with us but can’t even find a spot to put His sandals!

Just like that water filter that I compulsively run my water through each day, we need to go to His feet and throw out all of the things that are floating around in our hearts that deprive us of the connection we both long for.

So often we make our walk with Him so complicated. We’re too tired for church on Sunday. Prayer and Bible study can’t be worked into our hectic schedules. Our choice of TV programs is questionable. Putting His priorities first in our lives seems impossible. Little by little those impurities creep in and we are left with nothing but a “tap water” walk.

He grieves, longing to clean us like no other filter can.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14

Question for Reflection:

What things are “floating around” in your heart, robbing Jesus of the intimacy with you that He so deeply craves?

Daily you can find Robyn and her water at her personal blogspot, Overflowing Grace.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Psalm 51:10-15, The Message Bible

"God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile; put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise. "

I remember standing in a Macy’s department store, trying on jewelry and out of the corner of my eye catching a glimpse of a young woman across the aisle. I instantly loved her outfit and thought, “I would totally wear that!”

Turns out, I literally would wear that. The glimpse I caught of the woman was actually a reflection of myself in a mirror across the way. Can you imagine? There I was trying on gorgeous bracelets, locking eyes with some girl and for a split second the girl staring back at me seemed like a stranger in a cute outfit!

My reaction when reality dawned was priceless. I laughed for the next two days over that ‘blonde’ moment and blamed it on low caffeine counts in my blood. (Although, you should know, I am not blonde and am rarely without caffeine!)

I wonder if you have ever come face to face with yourself and not recognized who you saw. Perhaps not quite as ridiculously as I that day, but have you ever just sat back after doing something regretful and thought, “What was that? Who am I becoming?” or “How could I have just made that decision?”

Sin has a way of staring us down. It wants us to know just what we have done and how ‘bad’ we are. The enemy has a real knack for tempting us into something wrongfully appealing at the time and then turning it around into a blame game the moment we have given in. He is titled the Accuser for a reason. Day and night he not only accuses God before us, he accuses us before God!

Psalm 51 is my go-to Psalm when I am feeling a bit unfamiliar to myself. The words are painful to pray because I feel they break the heart of my Maker…but there is beauty in redemption, this I know. There is healing in forgiveness.

The most humbling of moments in my life have been when I am sprawled out face down on the floor speaking to my Savior, “Make a fresh start in me. Shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life… breathe your holiness into me…bring me back…I will praise you.”

There is something to be said about raw honesty before the Lord. Take David for example, Psalm 51 is his prayer plea after having murdered a man because he had impregnated his wife! Come on now – talk about poor decisions!

The powerful reality of the Cross of Christ is that we are never too far-gone for forgiveness. It is still just as accessible this day as it was on the very first day Christ arose. What was offered to the disciples is offered today to you. The sinful cords that once entangled us are still broken! Death has been defied. Christ is alive. And there is nothing that can separate us from the redeeming work of Christ Jesus, overflow to the many.

I encourage you to be honest before the Lord. Open up and tell Him your struggles, where you feel you are missing the mark and ask for a fresh breath of His holiness.

These days I am finding I don’t want to recognize myself in the mirror. Every day I am praying I look more and more like my Savior and less and less like a woman of this world. Let us find our identity in Christ. It is my very heart’s desire to see us whole and holy before Him.

Father God,

So many times I miss the mark and fall into sin. Breathe your holiness into me! Create a new beginning in {this area} of my life. Help me to embrace your forgiveness and live out the promise of redemption you have given me in Your Son, Jesus.

Before You alone my lips let loose praise. Lord, I thank you for your life-giving ways.

Questions for reflection:
~What “identity crisis” moments have you had lately? What lies would the enemy have you believe about yourself?

~According to Scripture, who does
Christ say you are?

~In what ways today can you focus your mind on the redeeming power of the Cross and the forgiveness Christ’s blood has made available to you?

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Internet Cafe is serving up a GIVE~AWAY!!

If you haven't already entered....please do!
The contest ends tonight (Sunday at 9pm CST, that's 8 for gals like me!!)

A Basket Filled to the BRIM, you might say overflowing,
with all you need for your own "Quiet Time" with the Lord.

The "Time with the Lord" basket includes:

  • Handmade Journal for your quiet time thoughts
  • Beaded Silver Cross Bookmark
  • Pomegranate candle to help set a 'quiet mood'
  • assorted Scripture Cards and 9 "Forever Postage Stamps"
    (to send to those you pray for during quiet time)
  • 3 handmade silhouette cards for sending or framing
  • 4 colored pencils for highlighting
  • Clear Tumbler with single packets of lemonade and raspberry lemonade mixes for a quiet time refreshment and 2 Caribou Coffee bars
  • Jumbo Sticky Notes, a Believe Magnet for inspiration and a silk flower to bring serenity to your space.

Regardless of whether your space is a closet, a corner or a castle, in this basket you'll find everything you need to create "YOUR" space for Quiet Time with the Lord...
We ALL could use a little more 'Quiet Time,' right??

There are three ways you can enter:
1. Sign up for our daily devotions email then leave a note in the comments letting us know that you did.
2. Post about this giveaway on your blog then leave us a comment with the link to the post.
3. Leave a comment telling us which Woman in the Bible you'd like to sit and have coffee with.

You will most certainly be included in the drawing three times if you complete all three ways to enter! The contest will close on Sunday, June 29th at 9 PM CST. The winner will be announced before Wednesday, July 2nd.

Thanks Ladies
Amy B and Lori M


(Sort of) Sold out to God

The internet Cafe wants to Welcome Mary Snyder!! We are blessed to have her as part of our devotional team!

(Sort of) Sold out to God

Sort of sold out to God – sounds strange doesn’t it? How can you be sort of
sold out? It’s like being “sort of” dead – you either are or you're not. So much of
my life I've been “sort of “ sold out to God – not all the way, just
sort of. Not completely, just sort of. Last Sunday night I led a Bible study and we contrasted the life of Judas with the life of Mary of Bethany – how powerful.

Using the scripture below (along with Mark 14:6-9) we looked at these two very different
people who lived and walked with Jesus while He was on earth.

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages. " He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

John 12:3-7 (NIV)

– Mary loved Jesus and gave to him with all that she had. She didn’t worry what others thought, she was completely focused on Him.

--Judas walked with Jesus for three years and he never truly knew the Lord. He focused on his own selfish motives.

Look at the difference in these two people – one was right there with Jesus daily, but Judas was more concerned with money than with His Lord. Mary was with Jesus on a few occasions, but she loved Him deeply without holding anything back.

Judas didn’t see Mary’s heart; he only saw the money being poured out. Judas wasn’t interested in helping the poor; he wanted the money to line his own pockets. Judas had an agenda.

Mary took her alabaster jar of perfume – possibly the most valuable item she owned – and poured it over her Lord. She then took her hair down and wiped His feet. She didn’t care what those around her thought, she just wanted to serve Jesus. Mary had a heart for the Lord.

Judas had an agenda. Mary loved the Lord with all that she had.

That’s what I want to do – love the Lord with pure abandon. Be completely selfless and totally dependent on Him. I want to worship Him and not worry what other people think about me. I want to let my hair fall down and I want to fall at His feet in worship. I want to be completely sold out to Him.

I’m turning my back on the “sort of’” lifestyle. I don’t want to be “sort of” anything. Starting today I will strive to be completely “sold out” to God.

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June 28, 2008 Cafe Chat

Today we are talking about LIES. Most of us are or have been plagued by lies, some from just being a woman. Lies are destructive and defeating. Lies about priorities, marriage, family, emotions or sin invade our spirits if we let them.

What is a lie that you have believed in the past (or even currently), and why do you think you believed that lie? Find a verse in God’s Word to combat the lie.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

No Pain, No Gain!

No Pain, No Gain!


That’s what I remember hearing myself say, as I climbed out of bed one recent morning. I had just been greeted by a familiar friend from years ago: Old Miss Pain.

She’s the kind of friend you hate to see coming, but know that it’s a “good thing” when she does. She usually comes the day after a good, hard workout. Eeeyup! That friend. She visited me recently and nearly cramped up every moving body part.

I tried to keep things in perspective as I knelt to pray. “Ouch!” I said again. A tiny spasm in my calf muscle threatened to turn into a horse named Charlie and knock me onto the floor. Then I heard another voice whisper to me: “No pain, no gain!”

That relatively minor “pain” I was experiencing was a result of my weak muscles being torn down, so that they could grow bigger and stronger. Suddenly, I was grateful for Old Miss Pain. Her presence encouraged me to keep up my regimen at the gym. She reminded me that I am making progress.

They’re growing pains. I know that my body has to go through this process in order to achieve better heath and fitness. It’s for my good.

“No pain, no gain!” I said back to God. “Thank You for helping me to grow stronger!”

As believers, we often experience growing pains that help whip us into spiritual shape, too. They’re part of God’s process for helping us recognize areas of weakness in our ways of thinking and acting. God loves us, so He allows the pain—regardless of our whining and crying—so that He can tear us down to grow us up bigger and stronger in the spirit:

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:6-11, KJV)

No pain, no gain—in the natural and in the spiritual.

Praise the Lord! Yes, there have certainly been times when I have felt the pangs of spiritual growth, as God exercised some spiritually immature or underdeveloped area of my life. Whether it was some negative behavior that had become second nature to me or some long-overlooked character flaw, my initial response was always the same: “Ouch!”

But, just like I have learned to accept my visits from Old Miss Pain after a physical workout in the gym, I now realize (and accept) the agonizing spiritual discipline that comes with being loved by God. It’s a necessary process to help me conform to the image of Christ, as is God’s will for all of His children. It’s for our good.

  • Do you feel that God is exercising you in one or more areas of your life?
  • Are you resisting the pressure or going with the flow?
  • What steps can you take to quickly recognize His efforts to get you in shape and fall in line with less opposition? No pain, no gain!

Father, I thank You for helping me to grow stronger, both naturally and spiritually. Thank You for continually working on, in, and through me, for my good and Your glory. May Your will be done in all things. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

May God bless you with a little “pain” today!

A South Jersey resident, Genikwa R. Williams is a born-again believer, a worshipper of God, and a servant to His people. Professionally, she is a Christian freelance writer and a ministry communications professional.

Copyright © 2008 by Genikwa R. Williams

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Tree Planted...

A Tree Planted...

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says;

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit."

Psalm 1:3 says;

"He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper."

These passages of scripture remind me that a tree has a time of rooting. If a tree doesn't take rooting, the wind and storms will take it up. As believers, if we are not rooted and grounded in His Word we will be shifted by every wind of doctrine. The storms of life will sway us back and forth.

As a tree needs to be rooted in it's soil we need to be rooted in His Word so we can handle the fruit bearing season and whether the storms of life.

The branches from trees stretch out because they can't survive only on water. They also need the sun as we need to be under the Son, Jesus Christ. You will see the results of the power of the sun on a plant, as you will see the results from the power of sitting under the Son, Jesus Christ.

Getting under the Son, is getting in His presence. Staying in His Word, living a life of holiness, and letting others see Jesus Christ in us! Others, will be able to see if you have been basking under the Son by the fruit you bear, just as the trees bask in the sun and the beautiful green leaves begin to spring forth!

Questions for reflection:

1. What kind of tree are you?

2. What fruits do you have?

3. Your leaves, what color are they?

4. By looking at these pictures, are we acting like we are dying or are we vibrant and in full fresh bloom?

A cascading waterfall, flanked by flowers.


Dear Lord,

Help me to be like the tree planted and rooted so when the storms of life hit, I will be strong and I won't vacillate and be uprooted! Thank you, Father for your patience, kindness and holiness! You are such an awesome Friend!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008



In order to win their souls "[God] relies on the troughs even more than the peaks;...He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles."
C.S.Lewis "The Screwtape Letters"

I dislike the troughs of life, don't you? The times of fervent prayer, of desire to do God's will no matter what, the zeal for early morning devotions eventually give way to dryness and valleys and spiritual emptiness. Even in the midst of mountaintop experiences there lives the faint knowledge that they can't last, mustn't last, if we are to learn and grow. How else would we share our radiance?

I have had times in my life, more in my thirties than my twenties, when I have felt God has let go of my hand. I flounder about, wobble a bit and fall over.

"Why did you let go?" I shout, "I need you!"

"I'm here," He says quietly from behind me, "but you must take a step on your own."

Again, I reach out and try to balance myself within the storms life throws at me, and again I stumble, disappointing myself; I'm certain God must be disappointed too. I look back to see his reaction, and He is smiling gently, forgivingly, as I push myself back up. I get strength from that smile. I know I'll fall yet again, but this time it doesn't feel quite so hopeless...

Zachary, our one-year-old, is learning to walk. He took his first tentative steps a month ago but still preferred to crawl or be carried. It took him a couple of weeks to decide to practice a bit more and this week has really caught on. A couple of days ago he spent twenty minutes taking steps around the room from me to the table, to the couch, to the window, to the chair and back to me. Each time he fell (which was quite often), instead of getting up where he was, he would put his head down, cry out in frustration, and crawl back to me before starting again.

I'm the place he wants to start from. He needs to have me at his back to begin, I thought as he crawled to me for the fifth time. To be that safe place for him showed me how God feels about my stumbles and mistakes.

He wants to be the origin of our every journey.

Yet how often do I start somewhere else? How often do I, the memory of a recent sin fresh in my mind, dust myself off and get back up without checking to see if He's at my back? For Zachary, it is second nature to begin at his source of confidence- me. Oh, how I want to see God as that source for me, not just in theory but in practice!

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.
Psalm 71:5

Do you have sins you fall into on a regular basis? Do you have trouble believing God can forgive them yet again?

Are you frustrated by the times when it feels like God has let go of you? How have you grown in those times?

Christine can be found daily at her personal blog:

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Like Water off a duck's back...

Like Water off a duck's back...

Matt and I celebrated nineteen years of marriage this past week. Celebrated is quite an exaggeration of what we did on the date of our wedding anniversary! The funny thing is that it was okay that the day wasn't anything special. Nineteen years of ups and downs has taught me that as unfortunate as it was that a down day fell on a special date, there would be many more ups to come... and probably many more downs.

Matt and I are very different. I can literally do ten things at one time. I can cook, carry on a conversation with both a child and someone on the telephone, pay a bill online, run back and forth to do Izzy's therapy, switch out the laundry, run the list of what I need at the store over my brain, and whatever else needs to happen. Matt on the other hand... he can pretty much do one thing at a time. Period. I've come to accept this and even be okay with it. I know many husbands aren't great multi-taskers, so you probably have a one track mind guy at your house too!

I tell you all that to explain what happened to set off a bad day on our anniversary. The day before our anniversary I was driving down our road, toward home. I noticed a really fast turtle practically running across the road. I immediately thought about our church's vacation bible school next week. One evening they are having a turtle/frog race. I saw Matt park and called his cell phone from my car and had him walk down to see this speed racer turtle. He was impressed, but thought it was too long before VBS to capture him. So we left him to run away and went home. Our breaker box had an issue earlier that morning and Matt had purchased a part to fix it. He went straight to do that while I went in to get dinner on the table for him. All was well with the world.

Fast forward to the next morning. Matt has a basket to keep all his pocket stuff in when he comes home, because he loses things often! It simplifies life for all his things to be in one place. He loads up all his stuff (2 cell phones, pager, pocket tool thingie, little notebook, pen, blah blah blah) and realizes that one of his two sets of keys is missing. I jump up to help him start looking. He is getting more and more frustrated. He really hates to lose things! No keys. It's pouring down rain outside, even thundering loudly. We both look outside in his vehicle. He walks down the road where speedy was and on the other side of the house where he was working. No keys. So I took him to his office where his work vehicle was. It's only about a mile from our house.

Our anniversary up to this point had not been mentioned and while you might find it a little mean... I said, "Happy Anniversary." as I dropped him off at his office. In the rain. With no personal keys. He looked at me and I knew my words had hit the mark.

I found the keys when the rain subsided, in the grass on the side of the house. He was very happy. I ordered Matt a book he wanted and had it sent overnight so he would have it for an anniversary gift. It was "God's Master Plan." We fussed on and off that day. We didn't go out to dinner or anything special, but it was still a special day to me.

I think one of the most important things to remember when you are married to someone is that even when things are not great, or happy, or perfect...

You remember that a lot of the time they are great. That when your spouse is having a bad day and it's raining and they lose their keys... you pray for them. You pray that God will be with them and that He will guide you and help you be a loving wife in spite of circumstances. Even when it's not your favorite time of the month. Even when he didn't say the right thing. God will show up. He will smooth it over and soften your heart, and his heart. Prayer for Matt has never failed me.
Questions for reflection:

Have you had times in your married life that you prayed and God has changed your heart, and your spouse's heart?

How has prayer helped your marriage?

Annie can be found daily at her personal blogsite,

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Monday, June 23, 2008

My Time With Martha

My time with Martha

I headed down the dusty path. I'd waited a long time to visit her. She greeted me as I expected, in an ankle length tunic with worn leather sandals. She opened her arms and hugged me as if we'd know each other a lifetime.
"Come on in dea
r. I'm so glad that you found your way here. You mentioned in your note that you wanted to talk to me." She gently led me inside to an open air courtyard and offered me a drink sweetened with honey and a pita-like flat cake.

"How did you do it?" I quietly asked.
"Do what?" she lifted her head from the jug that sh
e was pouring out of.
"Change your spirit," I asked.
She giggled, and looked almost embarrassed by the question. "I had a feeling that you weren't here for my fig cake recipe."

"Well dear, I had some help." A look came over her, the kind of look one gets when they are recalling a fond memory.
She continued, "You see honey, I remember that day clearly. We were sent word that HE was coming and I did what I'd always done. You know, I did what I was born to do. I swept out the courtyard, I fetched water, I pitted olives, I pressed olives, I rinsed the stone dish, I prepared the honey and figs and if I had one of those fancy things that you call a "tub" I'd have scrubbed it too. I was prepared for this visit. I enjoyed it when HE visited, it was an honor to be in his company. HE could have chosen many homes to come and sup at, but HE chose to come and be with us, and I simply wanted it to be perfect."

She glanced over into my eyes and we exchanged a look that said, "I understand."

She went on. "I have to admit that by the time he walked up the path, I was READY, well my home was ready to receive HIM, but dear, my spirit wasn't. I don't even remember greeting HIM that day. I know I did, but I wanted it to be perfect, so back to work I went. I did everything as I'd always done, bringing out some fruit and water for HIM. I was still working and SHE just sat. I made it clear, as sisters will, just WHO had done all of this!"

"Do you know what I mean dear?"

I replied with a smile, "Oh yes I do and it's exactly the reason I wanted to talk with you Martha. You see, I have a spirit like you. I too am a first born 'do-er' myself. I'm afraid that sometimes I hear your voice amidst mine. I came here to find the balan
ce that you have found." She smiled back at me.

"Honey, I had many visits with HIM, but that one stands out. Not just for me, but for everyone that read about that day. I was a bit bothered by that for awhile. All those people reading about what I had done. But I learned so much that day and I'm pleased that HE chose to use me in that way." Martha moved closer to me as if she were going to reveal her heart. "We have been commanded to be hospitable, welcoming to all, to friends and strangers alike and full of grace. What I often forgot was how to stop. Does that make any sense to you.?"

I was tempted to stand on my stone and shout, "girlfriend, you have NO idea." I refrained and simply nodded.

"That day HE spoke to me the way only a true friend can. You know the kind of friend who can tell you that you have been a real "whiner" and say it in such a way that you "hear" what they are saying. That is what HE did that day."

She recalled HIS words clearly.

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her”.’ (Read Luke 10:38-42)

Martha continued on, "I have to admit, I was taken aback for a moment, but it was the way that he said it, not as a scolding parent but as a loving friend and teacher. I had been missing precious moments. I'm not sure that any of this makes sense to you."

"Oh, YES Martha it does. What did you do?"

"That night, what you don't get to read is that we sat and talked long into the night. He told me how much HE loved me and how much the FATHER loved me, and that because of this love they wanted my heart.

HE told me how he NEEDED me to sit and listen at his feet~
HE needed me to listen because HE needed me to hear~
HE needed me to hear because HE needed me to share~
Share what I'd heard at his feet.

That is what HE wants you to know too. HE wants me to remind you to not STOP being you. I have to tell you I still prepare for His visits, but not just with the chores that have to be done, but with my heart as well."

As I listened, I understood. She spoke in a way I understood. She spoke in a "kindred spirit" kind of way.

"Honey, I want to tell you one last thing. Hospitality, service to others and graciousness are gifts that come from the Father. Don't confuse what I'm telling you. HE wasn't telling me to change EVERYTHING that day, HE was just lovingly reminding me what was most important. Between you and I, nobody can make fig cakes like mine. I've simply learned how not to let the demands and distractions interfere with my spirit."

As I rose, we hugged. I knew I'd love her. I knew I'd love her spirit, her spirit to "hear." She saw where she needed to make changes, heart changes, spirit changes, not abandoning who she was, just adjusting her spirit. It was a lovely afternoon and I felt peace.

As I walked down the path, I turned around to take one last glance at my kindred spirit, and just as I suspected, she was back to pressing olives. There was work to be done. I smiled, knowing that she was preparing in more ways than one for her next visit with HIM. Martha revealed such wisdom that day. She helped me understand the Martha in me and what a special gift that is. As I walked I felt something in my pocket, I reached in....Martha's Fig Cake recipe! I gripped that recipe tightly and smiled!

As I walked alone, I prayed...

Father, thank you for teaching me through those who have walked before me. Those who struggled in ways that I know. Thank you for gently revealing to me how I can change my spirit to be more like your Son, Jesus. Thank you for speaking always to me, for kindly guiding me on my journey.

Questions for reflection:

Would you and Martha have anything in common?

What would you ask her if you had the opportunity to sit and visit with her?

You'll find Lori most days over here...learning how to live as a "Martha."

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

“Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all of their heart.”
PS 119:2

Have you ever lost something that was really important to you, and spent hours, or even days looking for it? It seems like this is becoming a way of life for me these days. Lost keys, cell phones, earrings, you name it and I've misplaced it. The other day I thought I lost my car keys, only to find them just where I left them. In the ignition of my car where I parked it …and it was still running! Now you have to admit it doesn’t get worse then that. OK, this is really bad.

When we loose or misplace something of real value, do we simply walk away and forget about it? I don’t know about you, but I surely don’t! No way. I immediately begin to dig in my purse (be careful…this can be dangerous), my desk, or my “whatever” and search for it until I find it.

Just the other day as I was looking for my address book with all my most important numbers and was frantically looking for it when I stopped and paused for a moment to ask God to help me find it. It was in that brief second He reminded me about an amazing lesson I had once learned.

As my mind started racing to where I last saw my address book, I begin to think about the parable of the woman who lost her gold coin. I felt her anguish as she sought for that coin, and remembered the joy she had once she found it. The emphasis of this parable was on the fact that she searched and searched until she found it. There is no hint of indifference, only diligence. This coin was valuable to her and she was determined to find it. The Lord asked me that day as I was searching for those keys, “Is this how you seek and search after me and my word?” I had to stop and search my heart.

In Proverbs 2, Solomon gives instructions on how we should seek after wisdom:
"My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver, and seek for them as hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord and gain knowledge of God.”

Have you ever wished that you would have the same kind of passion Solomon describes in this verse to seek out wisdom from God's word? I want the desire of my heart to be like one who fervently searches for those hidden treasures of the Word. I genuinely desire to have wisdom and go after understanding with the same kind of zeal I would have if I had lost something “very” valuable.

Hidden treasures are waiting, but it is up to us to begin searching to find those precious jewels. We have every provision we need for our lives in the Word. Like the woman who was not content with the nine coins, she passionately sought after that one coin that was lost. We cannot grow satisfied with where we are now. There is so much more God wants to open up and reveal to us about His kingdom. I pray we will be seekers, and those who cry out daily for insight and instruction. With such effort, we will not only find wisdom for practical daily living, but we will also find Jesus Christ himself, the living Word!

"…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Col. 2:3

Lord I pray that you would give me an ever-increasing hunger for more of you. Let me long for your presence and time alone with you. I desire to know more of your truth, and a love for your word. I pray for all the women who may read this as well. Let us thirst and hunger after you each day. In Jesus name, Amen.

Points to Ponder:

Are you passionately pursing God’s word each day?

When is the last time you discovered a hidden treasure in God’s word?

Join Susan daily at her personal blog,

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Silent No More

The Internet Cafe is thrilled to welcome April Watters!

Silent No More

I recently had a friend over who is about my age and also has a few children. As we were visiting about life and all that goes on in it she made the comment that she just isn't made like other moms; Isn't that the lie of humanity? It is such a deceiving and isolating lie! To believe that you, or I, are made totally different from every other person, every other woman, every other mom.

I could relate to my friend's thought. My struggles are mine. Unless I have a dose of reality in God's ↑↑word then I will miss out on the truth that nothing has tempted me but what is common to humanity. (1 Cor. 10:13) Nothing. In the bible we are encouraged to confess our sins to one another and pray for each other. I admit that I am not the first person to call a friend and tell her I just disciplined in anger and maybe a bit of rage. But this is exactly what I need to be doing!

“ Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be
James 5:16

There are the temptations that bring me just frustration, then there are the ones that I give into and sin becomes mine. Most days I am not wallowing in it, but there are mornings when I wake-up aware that the day holds a potential for strife. One moment I am on dry land, the next moment I am knee deep in the waters of temptation and before I see it I am being pummeled by a wave and drug out to sea in the current of my own sin. Ouch!

The enemy wants to isolate us and would have us to believe that no other woman or mom we know could possibly relate to our struggle, to our sin. We re also believing the lie that the LORD just can't handle this sin one more time. But that is not the truth at all. In fact in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament we are given a beautiful picture of exactly what the LORD's stand is...

“ For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”
Hebrews 4:15
First we read that as fully God and fully man Jesus felt the weighty struggle of trying not to sin. Let that sink in for a moment, Jesus felt the full weight of the struggle with and the pull of temptation! Dear sister, He knows what you are going through! He knows it because he has lived it.

The next nugget we read tells us that Jesus is able to help those who are being tempted because he himself was tempted in every way, and was without sin. Wow! That should dispel a lot of lies right there. Nothing you can possibly do or face is going to shock the LORD. Nothing you have done is an unknown temptation to him. So here is where you sitting at home, work or in the car, facing the tormenting thoughts of your latest or greatest sin comes to an end! Jesus knows where you are and is able to help you out, literally! The enemy wants us to live in fear of confessing to one another. He wants us to feel shame, defeat and hopelessness and he wants us to believe that NO ONE out there could possibly handle the truth, especially the LORD.

“Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16
Now we know better! So, as the word says let us confess to the LORD and then call a trusted friend or family member to pray with us. Lets be women who aren't shocked about the sin of another while we keep our shame under cover. And let us remember that the LORD knows where we are and he is able to help us out.

Encouraging you to seek Him,
April Watters

Visit Me At My Personal Blog!

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June 21, 2008 Cafe Chat

As Christians we read in Ecclesiastes 3

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance

Knowing this, we are aware that there will be times when our hearts hurt and break. Each of us has experienced that heart break in one form or another. Thinking back on your life, what makes your heart break, and why?

If you are participating today in our CHAT, please leave your link below~




Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Will Be Your Legacy?

What will be your legacy?

What we do in life echoes in eternity.--General Maximus, Gladiator

I've been thinking about legacies a lot lately.

No, not the material kind. I've been thinking about how a person's life affects his or her children...and even their children's children.

It all started with the 55th anniversary of my father-in-law's pastorate. It's pretty amazing for one man to pastor one church for 55 years! He is 83 years old now, and undoubtedly one of the most godly men I've ever known. The effects of his life and ministry will no doubt be felt for many years after the Lord chooses to call him home.

Then there was Father's Day. I thought about my own father, who was also a pastor, albeit in a much smaller arena than my father-in-law. He passed away in 2004, but his faith continues to live on in his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren.

Both my husband and I can truly say with the psalmist, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."--Psalm 16:6

Last Saturday, my husband and I attended the 50th anniversary party of a dear couple in our church. As we mingled and enjoyed refreshments, a slide show of family photos ran continuously on a gym wall. My husband stopped at one point and exclaimed to me, "I just thought of something. All of this--" and he gestured toward the couple's grown children, families all serving the Lord and impacting their own spheres of life--"all of this was possible. That blows me away."

I grasped instantly what he meant. Because two people chose to love God, serve God and teach their children to do the same, how many lives are going to be impacted? Eternity alone holds the answer.

How many lives will be affected by my life? Even if my influence extends only to my children and grandchildren, that is a truly staggering thought!

On the radio show I co-host, we do a daily "Fun Poll." Today's question was "What's your favorite movie quote?" One of the first callers responded with the words of General Maximus in "Gladiator," as the general, played by Russell Crowe, rallies his troops to battle: "What we do in life echoes in eternity."

How true that is, and how often similar thoughts are emphasized in Scripture. What will my legacy be? What kind of an "echo" will my life have, after I'm gone?

I leave you with the lyrics of a 4Him song that I think really says it all. (You can listen to part of the song below:)

For Future Generations - 4 Him

"For Future Generations"

The signs are obvious, they are everywhere
All that we hear about is the gloom and despair
Too many would be prophets saying
"It’s the end of it all"
‘Cause mother earth can’t take much more
The hammer’s gonna fall

So nature has its needs, that’s a lesson learned
But it appears to me there are greater concerns
‘Cause we can save the planet
Thinkin’ we will somehow survive
But father time is calling us
To save somebody’s life

So I won’t bend and I won’t break
I won’t water down my faith
I won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been I cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
I must be a light for future generations

If we could find a way to preserve our faith
So those who follow us
See the price that was paid
Then maybe when they question
What it’s gonna take to survive
They’ll find the strength to carry on
In what we leave behind

So I won’t bend and I won’t break
I won’t water down my faith
I won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been I cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
I must be a light for future generations
Lookin’ in the eyes of the children
Knowing that tomorrow is at stake
When the choice is up to them
Will they have the strength to say

We won’t bend and we won’t break
we won’t water down our faith
We won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been we cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
We must be a light for future generations

--Cindy Swanson

Visit Cindy's personal blog:

Jesus, My Personal Trainer

Jesus, My Personal Trainer

June. It’s the month that takes Summer by the hand, gives her a Popsicle and a beach towel, and says, “Come on outside and play.”

It is also the month which hosts something most dear to me.

~Vacation Bible School~

You mix Jesus, orange drink, cheap crafts, music and fun decorations and it just doesn’t get any better.

Over the years, I’ve helped out in VBS, teaching, directing and decorating. I’ve painted life-sized postcards, murals, and t-shirts. One year a kid even painted me.

Last week, with large sheets of bulletin board paper spread out across the living room floor, I painted ocean waves for this year's Hawaiian theme. I’ve done a lot of shading and apparently, a lot of bending and stretching; the backs of my legs are sore.

It appears that I have used muscles that have not been used in quite some time.

I was walking through the grocery store with achy legs, wondering if I should go ahead and look for the aisle with Ben Gay, when I thought to myself, “It hurts a little now,but these muscles will be stronger. They’ve been stretched.”

~No pain, no gain~

Our family is going through some trying times right now, too. My heart knows that God is always faithful, but one could say I am having to stretch some faith muscles that have not been used in a while. When I feel the “burn,” I am to be joyful. That achy faith muscle means my relationship with God is growing.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:2

God is in the training business. He allows trials to enter our lives so we can stretch and strengthen our faith in Him. Unlike physical training, our personal faith training cannot be done alone. Only with God and through God are we able to build a personal faith “program.”

Through Jesus Christ, our strength, we can endure any race, any faith work-out and we are assured of a prize at the finish line.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1-2

In Christ,

Questions for Reflection:

When have your faith muscles been stretched?
How was your relationship with God strengthened?
Are there areas in your life where you feel the stretch more than others?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Fourth Man

The Fourth Man

“Suddenly, King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound hand and foot, in the fire?...But look! I see four men walking around freely in the fire completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of gods.” Daniel 3:24-25

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in King Nebuchadnezzar’s castle on this day. To see these three Hebrew boys talk smack (respectfully and boldly) to the king and take a stand for God would have been amazing. Just reading this story fuels my faith. Doesn’t it yours?

I can just imagine King Nebuchadnezzar enjoying the sight of everyone bowing down to him, only to have his vain moment of glory interrupted by these three Hebrew boys who refused to worship any god other than the one true God, Jehovah. They are called out by the king and he “graciously” gives them another chance to bow down to him at the sound of the trumpet, to which they confidently told him that the band didn’t even need to wet their whistles. They had already purposed in their hearts where their devotion would be and they weren’t budging. We know the story, Nebuchadnezzar had these three boys bound and thrown into the fiery furnace, which was turned up seven times hotter than normal. I am not real sure why it says that it was turned up. I mean when you think about it, fire kills no matter how hot. Anyway, suffice it to say, the furnace was hot! So hot, in fact, that the Word of God says it consumed the guards that threw the boys in.

Can’t you just see it? Just as the king began to relish in the “I showed them” thoughts, he catches a glimpse into the window of the furnace. Once again, his heart skips a beat and he “jumps up in alarm”. (vs. 24) Not only does he see four men walking in the fire, but we are told that they were “walking around freely and unharmed”, and the fourth man obviously had a distinct look of deity because he says, “the fourth man looks like a son of gods”.

In the middle of these three boys’ darkest hour, God showed up and walked with them. Oh, they were full of faith, but I don’t think for a minute that they were any different from you and me. I don’t think the story is meant to portray three boys of incredible bravery and unquenchable faith, but rather three young men that had a powerful Source as the object of their faith. They believed that either way, in life or in death, God was able to see them through and get the glory through their obedience.

Don’t you want to have a life like this? We all face furnaces in our journey of life and some are “hotter” than others. It may be a financial furnace, relational furnace, a physical furnace that deals with our health or that of a loved one, or even death. Whatever it may be, we can look at the fire and say with confidence, “My God is able!” We aren’t walking through the fire alone and there are always people on the outside watching our journey. Some may simply get a glimpse into our furnace and others may stop long enough to actually peer inside and observe the drama unfolding. It is my desire to walk through the furnaces that God allows in my life in such a way that those passing by will be able to see the “Fourth Man” walking with me!

Lord, thank you that you are Able. Thank you that we can trust you and, whether you lead us around a furnace or straight into the fire, we can follow you with confidence that you are with us every step of the way. Enable us to walk in such a way that others can see You walking with us and the freedom, peace, and ultimate safety that comes from only You!

You can read more from me and the Steps In Our Journey Here

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Word Please??

A Word Please??

I simply cannot express how it pains me to begin this devotional. Why? Because to do so, I am forced to use a phrase that I'm not ready to use. Just . not . ready. I
know that I am a mother of 5 children. I am aware that 4 of them are teens and one is halfway through college! I understand that I am no longer 20-somethin'. (Heck, my marriage is 20-somethin'.) But knowing these facts deep inside my brain, and saying them out loud, are two different things. However, in the interest of becoming more mature and less vain, (and in the interest of finally getting to the message) here goes . . .

Almost 20 years ago, (That's the criminal phrase. How in the world has it been that long? Seriously? How? - sorry) . . . Almost 20 years ago, (sigh) I sat in an obstetrician's office, nearing the end of my first pregnancy, in the process of having my excitement exchanged for fear.

Week after week, the doctor continued to comment about my not gaining weight. It seemed that my weight gain had stopped progressing at about 7 and 1/2 months, and every week, she commented about it. Every week I tried to tell her that my fat-girl pants and skirts were getting noticeably tighter around my noticeably bigger belly, and at the same time, my arms and legs were getting thinner. (Think Mrs. Potato Head.) It made perfect sense to me. My baby was growing, while every other part of me was shrinking. All I had to do was look in the mirror - it was seriously, very obvious. It seemed that my body was losing weight at the same rate that the baby was gaining. The doctor ignored my non-medical school observations and only cared what the scale told her. Since it was my first prego experience, I wasn't sure enough of myself to protest.

Every week, after weighing me, she wrote secret doctor things in my chart. On this particular day, however, with only one week until the due date, she dropped the bomb about her secret.

"Since you haven't gained any weight for the last six weeks, I must assume that the baby is not growing. Because he/she should be gaining more weight at this point than at any other time during the pregnancy, there must be something wrong. I'll send you for an ultra-sound to determine if the baby is even big enough for me to induce labor. (Apparently, babies under 5 pounds don't fare well in the induction process.) If he/she is anywhere near 5 pounds, we'll induce. If not, the baby could die."

Bedside manner was not her specialty.

I remember little of the following week except fear and tears and tests. There were ultra-sounds that suggested that the baby was "approaching" 5 pounds and therefore "medically viable for induction." There were forms to sign giving permission to " induce labor despite blah, blah, blah . . .". Suddenly, nine bliss-filled, medically uneventful, eat-all-you-want months turned into a nightmare that I was not prepared to process. So I did the next, hormonally logical thing. I blamed God.

God, what's the matter? What have I done wrong? What's going on? Are You here? The doctor said . . . The ultra-sound technician said . . . Why is this happening? Can't You do something? What if . . . There's no reason for this God! What good can possibly come from this? Are You listening?! Do You hear what they're saying?!

In the midst of my desperate, faithless, whining, I heard God's still, small voice speak 5 words that changed everything:

Those are not MY words.

In an instant, everything changed. In an instant, I knew that He was in control and had not left the throne. In an instant, I understood that I had swallowed fear in massive doses without once consulting Him - the One who has the last word on everything.

The next few minutes featured a very pregnant short girl on her knees. I repented and promised God that I trusted Him with the outcome. I trusted Him to equip my husband and I to handle whatever happened. I asked Him to speak louder in my head than the doctor's words. I began to realize that, though this situation had caught me completely off guard, it had not surprised Him at all. I forced myself to stop mentally reciting (worshiping) the doctors' reports.
Those are not MY words

Two days later I was in the hospital holding my new, over 8 pounds, perfectly healthy, perfectly perfect, perfectly lookin'-like-his-daddy, baby boy.

Don't you just love it when God knows what He's talking about?

Those are not MY words.

How incredible is that? No 5 point sermon. No lengthy, guilt-inducing speech beginning with, "Oh, woman of little faith!" Just a gentle nudge to remind me that I had forgotten whose words I should be seeking and listening to and meditating on and trusting. A short but powerful glance at myself from His perspective.

God has much to say about each and every aspect of our lives. Whatever burden you are carrying - voluntarily or otherwise - He knows about it. I am convinced that He has a life-giving, burden-lifting, eye-opening, soul-healing, joy-imparting, world-changing word for E*V*E*R*Y setting we find ourselves in. And the bonus is that HIS words are not simply sweet little doses of encouragement - they are power and life and healing and deliverance and peace and so much more! And they are available to us as believers . . . simply for the asking.
Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)
This book of the law (Your Word) shall not depart from my mouth, but I shall meditate on it day and night. (Joshua 1:8)

The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)

I will make known to you the path of life. (Psalm 16:11)

I know the plans I have for you. . . (Jeremiah 29:11)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. (Psalm 32:8)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  • Which situations am I ready to bring before my Father - expecting a life giving word?
  • Are there any places in my life where I need God to change my 'words' and thus my perspective?
  • What untrue 'words' of the enemy am I believing? Is it time for God to expose them?

In Him . . .

Visit Darnelle at her personal blog: All Things Work Together

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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Prayer Chain

The Prayer Chain

1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.”

Most of us understand Paul’s admonition to pray without ceasing as something more than a command to stay on our knees every waking hour. We know that maintaining a lifestyle of prayer in all of its facets, e.g., thanksgiving, supplication, praise, confession, intercession, meditating on scripture, adoration, and listening for his voice, etc. is how we pray without ceasing. Prayer is often as basic as breathing for believers. Unfortunately, sometimes we take prayer for granted much like we do inhaling and exhaling.

Recently, though, I’ve been thinking of a new word-picture to help me follow Paul’s directive to pray without ceasing: the prayer chain.

Many of us associate that phrase with a phone tree (flow chart) used by churches to share prayer concerns efficiently throughout a congregation. But I’m speaking of a highly personalized concept that helps me see my days, and often my nights, as one long, continual conversation/friendship with God.

Here’s how it works:

I visualize the prayers that I think or say throughout the day as links in a chain, interlocking with yesterday’s prayers and those I will offer tomorrow. From my first “Thank you for this day, Lord,” to the last “Keep my loved ones safe in your care tonight, Father,” I am growing more conscious of the continuum of communion with the Lord.

Back to the breathing analogy: Imagining the prayer chain is like taking time to breathe deeply, noticing how my lungs expand and then empty and marveling at the respiratory system. With the prayer chain, it’s like taking time to notice the moments of my day that I’m intentionally sharing with Jesus and marveling that he desires to interact with me--that He even set up this whole system of personal prayer.

I have a friend who is in dire need of comfort from the Lord right now, having been given a discouraging prognosis about her future. Nevertheless, as weak as she is in body, her spirit remains strong. She told me this week that when she lies awake at night (due to pain and the effects of chemotherapy and incredible insomnia) she prays almost the entire night, adding that she also prays for me. I am extremely humbled and blessed by this.

My heart breaks for my friend, so I find myself fashioning many links for her throughout the day. Since she must endure suffering right now, I try to imagine her night vigils as forging the longest, strongest prayer chain possible. I picture her, although she is unsure of her footing sometimes, holding onto that chain with both hands and using it guide her to the throne of God, where she sees Jesus constantly interceding for her as no one else can.

The Creator loves your unique voice so much that He never grows weary of it. He wants you and me to live in the spirit of never-ending prayer, always talking to and listening for him. May we always be cognizant of the great privilege He has granted us--He has called us his friends (John 15:15).

Question: Chains often have a negative connotation. How can a chain represent something positive and strengthening?

Question: Do you live your life in the spirit of unending prayer?

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Honey Baked Delight


A few years back my husband’s company was empty of business. As we waited on new clients, we scrimped every penny. We didn’t know when the next check would come in. Feeding five children and keeping a roof over our heads felt like an ominous task during this time. It was another opportunity to see Papa show up.

Have you ever had those moments when you remember something you ate years before with fondness? The remembrance is so strong that you can almost taste it. I hadn’t thought of the honey baked turkey since the couple brought it to us when Samuel was born, years before. But one day in the midst of the financial famine, it was fresh on my mind. So fresh I could taste it. If I could just buy one of those turkeys.....

The calculator in my brain started adding up bills. Maybe I would find some leftover change. After all we could eat it for a several days. Though the longing was calling out to me, I just couldn’t reason the twenty-five dollar expense. It was too costly. So after much deliberation, I gave up my desire. I didn’t tell anyone about it, not even God. I just let it go.

A day or two later a friend called to invite me to lunch. Would it be OK if she brought her teenage children to baby-sit mine. How fast could I say yes?

After all, life had been pretty hard. Five children 10 and under, and a husband’s business failing was taking it’s toll on us all.

She showed up with her teenagers and home made cookie dough. Her children wanted to treat my kids while she treated me. As we drove down the road she mentioned that she had left dinner in the refrigerator for me.

Could the day get any better?

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch where she listened to my heart allowing me to reveal my weariness. She understood. Her husband had been in medical school for years, working odd jobs, to keep their family of 6 afloat. Having the opportunity to talk to someone who understood lifted my heart.

Time passes too quickly in those getaway moments. Before you knew it lunch was over and we were headed back home to my reality of small children and tight finances. She gathered up her teens, gave me a lasting hug and headed out the door. I headed to the refrigerator to see what we were having for dinner. As I opened the door, there it stood. You know what it was, don’t you? A honey baked turkey.

I had no words, only tears. How did she know that just days before I had longed for just one piece? She didn’t know, Papa did. He lavished His love on me in a way that rocked my world. It was a moment that is still ripe in my mind, now ten years later. I savored every bite, delighting in the revelation of how intimately I was loved.

I didn’t ask Papa for a honey baked turkey. I didn’t pray an eloquent prayer. I didn’t even verbalize my desire. I just longed for it. I didn’t even have to ask. He saw. Papa God had seen the longing of my heart and He had provision already in the working before the desire was even birthed in me. He saw, He knew....He loved. I saw God’s love in a tangible way that day. It changed me for all eternity. I am intimately and deeply loved by my Papa. He bought me a honey baked turkey.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

What gift has Papa God given to you that speaks to you of His love?

Do you see how much He longs to love you in tangible ways?

Papa, thank you for your beautiful gift to me 10 years ago. I can still remember as though it were yesterday. Thank you that you care so deeply even for the simple things that matter to us. Thank you that you long to give us the desires of our heart. Thank you for your deep, intimate love.

You can visit Julie at her blog:

Jewelz Sightings

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