Archives for January 2012

Cool Cash for a Hot Date Giveaway!

Anyone thinking about Valentine’s Day yet? With February almost upon us, allow me to start the Valentine’s Day fun with a little giveaway designed to get you out of the house with your special guy or gal. Could any of you use some cool cash (though not a stack of it like above!) for a hot date about now? I thought so :)

Because I’m in the mood to play Cupid this year, I will give $25 cash (or check or Visa cash card) to one lucky commenter. I’ve got my arrow poised and ready. Now all you’ve got to do is get in the line of fire :)

To enter this super fun Cool Cash for a Hot Date Giveaway, leave a comment on this post by noon (CST) February 12 to be included in the drawing. If I don’t know you personally or can’t contact you via your own blog, you must include your email address in your comment to be eligible for the giveaway.

If you have time for some fun, tell me in your comment about one of the best dates you’ve ever had. I’ll go with something fairly recent so I don’t have to strain my brain too much :) My husband and I love to go to the movies, but last fall we saw a live comedy show (a gift from our daughter Kristin and her husband Shawn). We LOVED it. Now I’m thinking we may have to change our date-night destination from the movie house to the stage a little more often! :)

As we think about dates with the ones we love, let’s remember to make special dates with the Lover of our souls as well. Let’s spend time with Jesus, the One who gave His very life so we could have fellowship with Him. Lots of best dates are on the horizon with Him!

“[Jesus] said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'” Mark 6:31b

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out later this week. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by AMagill

Life on a Higher Plane

Living in small-town Mid-America, we don’t usually have to worry about air traffic control. Shoot, we don’t have to worry about ground traffic control :) However, one morning not long ago when I looked out my front door, I couldn’t believe the activity overhead.

My upturned gaze spotted the jet stream of no less than five planes as they criss-crossed the cloudless blue sky. All of a sudden, another world—a busy world I don’t usually think about—captured my attention.

Since we live about seventy-five miles from the nearest major airport and don’t have many visual reminders of airline activity, the day-in and day-out business of flying the friendly skies isn’t often on my mind. But the sight above me that morning changed all that in an instant.

I got a peek at life on a higher plane (excuse the pun :) ), and it evidently is not only a friendly place (if we believe the ads) but a busy place as well. What’s more amazing is that what I saw is just the tip of the iceberg.

If we had eyes to see and conditions that allowed it, we’d see that this busy scene overhead is taking place across the entire country—and even the world. People are on the move. Life is happening above us at all times.

Another world high above—a heavenly world—captures my attention daily as I worship the Lord and come to Him in prayer. But sometimes I forget about all the activity going on around Him. Life is happening there. Angels and saints must be on the move at all times. They most certainly are experiencing life on a higher plane.

What’s even more amazing is that if we’ve placed our faith in Christ, if we’ve asked Him to be our Savior, we will one day join that heavenly world. We, too, will live life on a higher plane. And that’s some overhead activity I don’t want to miss. That’s the kind of busy I won’t mind!

“Then the angel showed me. . . The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. . . There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:1a, 3b, 5

*What are you particularly looking forward to in heaven?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right. I’ve also added the option to receive my blog posts by email as well as RSS feed now. See right sidebar.

*Flickr photo by Al Pavangkanan

Sowing in Tears

13153221935_58034d137e_z“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

What does it mean to sow in tears? I’m sure there’s more than one way to interpret these verses, but one thing I think of as I read them is prayer.

We sow seed as we pray for those who have never come to faith in Christ. We sow as we pray for those who have drifted away from God and as we pray for the needs of our churches. But how earnestly do we intercede for these deep needs?

When was the last time our tears flowed or we experienced internal anguish as we prayed for a family member, a friend, or someone else’s loved one to give his or her heart to the Lord? When was the last time we wept over a people group deluded by a false religion? When was the last time we sowed in tears?

If we’re not careful, our prayers can be half-hearted or superficial. To sow in tears we must take time to care. We must open our hearts and love people. If we do this, their separation from God for eternity will surely drive us to our knees — and to tears.

So yes, we will feel sorrow, but the Word tells us we will also “reap with songs of joy.” And when it comes to the salvation of a soul, one song of joy will be worth a thousand tears.

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers . . .” Romans 9:2-3

*Have you had the blessing of reaping with songs of joy after sowing in tears for someone?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right. Also have added the option to receive my blog posts by email as well as RSS feed now. See right sidebar.

*Update: Due to an unexpected family situation, I didn’t get to go on the Beautiful Feet Mission Trip I told you about in my last post.

*Flickr photo by MarLeah Joy, Creative Commons License

Revisiting Beautiful Feet — Again!

*Update: A change of plans. Found out late Thursday I would be unable to go due to an unexpected family situation. Will be praying for the team and would appreciate your prayers for them as well!

Even though my feet are pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself!), this post is not about my tootsies. Some of you may be disappointed with that news while others of you are, I’m sure, extremely relieved :)

No, this post is about so much more than pedicures or foot scrubs. It’s about a beacon of hope where one is desperately needed. Beautiful Feet is a church that ministers to the homeless and inner city population in Ft. Worth, TX, and if you’ve been following my blog for a couple of years or more, you may remember me telling you about it before.

Once again, I will be joining others from our region on a weekend mission trip to Beautiful Feet. I feel blessed to be a part of their ministry occasionally, but I also feel challenged.

Little fears and personal worries about traveling with a group, the less than stellar sleeping conditions, and what I might encounter or how I might fall short during ministry opportunities all try to steal my joy and enthusiasm about going. I’ve had similar concerns before, and the Lord has always seen me through. In fact, my hymn for the day a few days ago was “God Will Take Care of You”. Isn’t God good to give assurance just when we need it? You’d think I’d learn not to worry, huh?

Please pray for me and the many others who will be ministering at Beautiful Feet this weekend. We’ll arrive Friday afternoon and go practically non-stop until we leave around noon on Sunday. I’ve posted it several times before, but in case you’ve missed it, here’s what Beautiful Feet is all about. Enjoy!

Beautiful Feet

There’s a place in Ft. Worth called Beautiful Feet
A place known by all who live on the street,
A hot lunch for free can be found there each day
After food for the soul is served up some way.
You see it’s not just a place, instead it’s a church
Where many find themselves beginning their search
For some shred of hope, a way out of their pain,
For love and acceptance instead of disdain.
Beautiful Feet is a light in a dark lonely world
A beacon of hope like a flag unfurled
For God’s people show love to one and all,
For Jesus is the One upon whom they call.
There are those who serve faithfully day after day,
And those who come yearly to work, share, and pray.
Each one sees God’s power heal and redeem,
The lost and the hurting become part of the team.
Each year Kansas comes the talk is who is blessed more
Those in Ft. Worth or the Kansans galore.
They truly feel like family, the bond is oh so sweet
For God is the Father at Beautiful Feet.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah 52:7

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

*Also have added the option to receive my blog posts by email as well as RSS feed now. See right sidebar.

Fresh Worship with Old-Fashioned Hymns

Remember in December when I suggested we carol our way to worship by singing all the verses to well-loved Christmas carols? Well, as January unfolds, I’ve discovered that Christmas carols aren’t the only way to experience fresh worship. Old-fashioned hymns work just as well.

In a New Year’s post, fellow writer and blogger, Julie Gillies, challenged readers to ask God to show them one thing they could do to draw closer to Him this year. After fighting a bit of fear (silly and showing a lack of faith, I know, but sometimes I worry about what God might ask me to do), I asked God to show me if there was something that might help me draw closer to Him. Soon an answer came.

“Sing a hymn each day—the way you did with Christmas carols,” God impressed on my heart. My spirit leaped at the thought. Yes! I would continue the fresh worship God blessed me with during the Christmas season by simply singing through our hymnal this year. (When will I learn not to be fearful of what God might ask me to do? It always brings blessing, and He always empowers me to do it.)

Since we have a piano and I already have a hymnal at home, I jumped right in (singing, not playing; my piano skills leave much to be desired :)). The very first hymn was “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”. Can’t get much better than that, huh? As I sang all four verses, not only did I lift my voice to the Lord, my spirit sang as well.

Each morning now I look forward to seeing what my hymn for the day will be. With anticipation, I wonder what message I’ll meditate on as I sing to the Lord. I’m so thankful He showed me a new way to draw closer to Him this year.

Anyone with me? I encourage you to find a hymnal and let some old favorites lead you to fresh worship today. Sing with me, won’t you? “Joyful, joyful we adore Thee . . .”

“I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:5

*What’s an old favorite you love to sing?

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

*Also have added the option to receive my blog posts by email as well as RSS feed now. See right sidebar.

*Flickr photo by j2wade, Creative Commons License