Midweek Morsel: Find Shelter in God

16630003164_7cd84ffeb2_zAnyone in a need of a shelter, a refuge from the storms of life? When we’re faced with difficulties, pain, stress, and heartbreak, there’s no better place to go than to God and his Word. May this passage from the Psalms give you comfort and strength today, my friends!

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
     will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
     my God, in whom I trust.’
Surely he will save you
     from the fowler’s snare
     and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
     and under his wings you will find refuge;
     his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:1-4

Thank you, Father, for your faithfulness. Thank you for being our refuge!

*When have you found refuge under the wings of the Lord?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Moyan_Brenn, Creative Commons License

Fruit in the Land of Suffering


“‘God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’” Genesis 41:52b

Some of the most well-known people in the Bible knew great suffering, and Joseph is among that group. By the time he was thirty years old, he had experienced great grief and trial more extreme than many of us might experience in a lifetime.

At age seventeen, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to live in Egypt, a foreign land. While serving his master, he was unjustly accused of a serious offense and thrown into prison. During his prison stay, Joseph helped one of Pharaoh’s officials and had reason to hope that this official might be able to secure his release. However, the official forgot him, and then Joseph had to endure another two years in prison.

Finally Joseph came to the attention of Pharaoh. Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph’s God-given ability to interpret dreams that he put him in charge of all Egypt. By God’s power and blessing, Joseph went from being a slave in Egypt to being in a position of great power, second only in command to Pharaoh himself. God then went on to use Joseph to bless the entire nation of Egypt as well as the surrounding nations during a time of severe famine. Joseph remained humble, however, and gave all glory to God, saying, “‘God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’” (Genesis 41:52b)

Many lessons can be drawn from the life of Joseph, but today let’s focus on the fact that even during times of suffering, God can use us and bless our efforts.

I’ve seen this happen in my own life. For example, during periods when Don’s mother was extremely ill, I had very little time to give to my writing. I was in a land of suffering, so to speak—a place I hadn’t chosen for myself, a place where I was frustrated by my lack of time to get pieces written and submitted. God took the little in my life, though, and blessed it. He allowed some of the few pieces I did have submitted to be accepted for publication. Another example unfolded when I was grieving my mother’s unexpected death. Years of work came to fruition as I was offered agent representation. That’s right, God blessed me with fruit in the land of my suffering.

If any of us are currently in a land of suffering, let’s be encouraged—God can make us fruitful even now. Whether physical fruit we can see and touch or spiritual and emotional fruit in our lives or the lives of those we impact, God can and will use us and bless our efforts, however small they may be. Yes, friends, he’ll make us fruitful in the land of our suffering.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

*When has God used you or blessed your efforts in a time of suffering?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by CaptPiper, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: A Prayer to Our God for All Times

IMG_0526 (2)

I’m so thankful that God is the God of my past, my present, and my future. He is my God for all times. Won’t you thank and praise him with me today as you join me in the following prayer?

Thank you, Father, for being the God of my past. Thank you for the family and the heritage you gave me and for drawing me to yourself and accepting me into your family. Thank you for teaching me and guiding me and for never letting go of me, even when I made mistakes. Thank you for loving me then.

Thank you, O Lord, for being the God of my present. Thank you for being my rock and my refuge, my Savior and friend. Thank you for walking with me day by day and being my peace, my joy, my comfort, my song. Thank you for helping me make wise choices, and thank you for the doors you open and also the ones you close. Thank you for loving me today.

And thank you, Father, for being the God of my future. Thank you for the assurance I have of your faithfulness, of knowing you’ll never leave me or forsake me, of knowing your provision and your strength will be enough for whatever the future holds. And thank you, Lord, for the home you’ve prepared for me in heaven and the welcome I’ll find in your arms. Thank you for an eternity with you and for the great reunion I’ll have with loved ones who have gone before me. Thank you for loving me forever.

Yes, thank you, Father, for being the God of my past, my present, and my future. Thank you for your great love!

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

*Which of these aspects of God’s faithful presence in our lives resonates the most with you today?

*My photo

Miracles All Around

IMG_3145Some things just beg to be expressed through poetry. Miracles are among those things. Be blessed today, friends, through the poetic. Be blessed through the miraculous!

Miracles All Around

Some people say we don’t see
many miracles anymore.
But I see them every day
and all around
when I take the time
to turn a glance into a gaze
or bring a fleeting thought into focus.

I see miracles in perfect tiny infant lips,
in precious fingers and toes,
in pink ribbons across the evening sky
and petals dotted with morning dew.
The miraculous unfolds before my eyes
as leaves turn from green to gold,
as snowflakes waltz to winter’s song,
as the call of a cardinal captures attention.

Miracles greet me in a friend’s hearty laugh
and surprise me in the written word,
they meet me in a chance encounter
they show up in answers to prayer.
The miraculous happens when forgiveness is given
when a kind deed changes a day,
miracles shine when the lost are found
when hearts are forever changed.

Yes, I see miracles all around
I see God’s handiwork every day.

“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” Psalm 29:2

*What miracles have you seen recently?

*My photo

Midweek Morsel: One Quality Gives Rise to Another


“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Psalm 85:10

Some things just go together, don’t they? Peanut butter and jelly, green eggs and ham, cake and ice cream. The list goes on—and includes much beyond the realm of food, by the way.

As I read the verse above not long ago, I noticed some qualities that were joined together, partnered like perfect pairs. Love and faithfulness, righteousness and peace. One giving rise to the other.

Where love reigns, we’ll also find faithfulness. When righteousness shines forth, peace will be nearby. Isn’t it wonderful how other blessings will be ours when we love and live rightly as the Lord instructs? May we each one see these perfect pairs shining in our lives!

“. . . shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life . . . “ Philippians 2:15b-16a

*Can you think of other qualities where one gives rise to the other?

*Flickr photo by menteblu61, Creative Commons License