Dylan rocks, but God’s paper covers it

Bob Dylan performing at St. Lawrence Universit...

Bob Dylan performing at St. Lawrence University in New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. – James 1:17-18


Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. I always have a hard time knowing what gift to give him that he will really like. I gave it to him already, so I’m safe sharing it on here. He is a big fan of Bob Dylan and I came across a set of DVD’s with a book on his tour in 1965. John loves the classics and really was enthusiastic about the set opening it up and looking through the book … talking about his friend, who is also an enthusiast, being jealous (kids and their toys).


Perfect gifts are not a problem for God. He knows exactly what we need and when. One of his best gifts is the Bible. He shares truth that is perfect for everyone. We can open it up with expectant hearts and delve into the pages of life written just for us. No one needs to be jealous for it is available for all.


Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for my husband. He is a perfect gift for me. Your truth is the one gift that keeps on giving … throughout eternity. Amen


Faith Tip: Relive the excitement of opening God’s message for you today … he has something to say to you.


Making the sale

Casey the car salesman

Casey the car salesman (Photo credit: misterbisson)

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  – Genesis 3:1-5

Watching a Dave Ramsey video about how sales people work, he said that when a perspective customer asks a question, the sales person should answer it with a question to get more information and make the sale. For example, if the customer asks about the gas mileage of a car, the sales person could ask, “Do you travel a lot?” The information given from a question like this would enable the sales person to point out more benefits of the car that will meet that perceived needs of the customer. The more desires they realize, the more the sales person has to work with to meet those needs.

The world tries to woo us with questions of how we should live and what we really want from life. The doubts that rise from the questions make us wonder if we really are moving in the right direction. Something we have learned as truth from God may become distorted in viewing it through the world’s lenses. Unless we keep our God glasses on, and see things his way, we can be filled with doubts and fall off the road meant for us to travel.

Prayer: Lord, I pray for your wisdom to help me walk through today. The pure truth I desire only comes from you. Amen

Faith Tip: Read God’s word first and live it in the world; and not read the world first and try to fit it in the Bible.

Be wrecked for Jesus

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

I know how to live a physically healthy lifestyle. If I eat lean meats the size of my palm every day, focus more on fruits and veggies and less on chocolate and ice cream, and get 30 minutes of exercise a day, I would be in great shape. For some reason, my conscience believes this will happen by osmosis … that I really don’t have to do anything, just know about it, and it will happen.

Our spiritual life is like that, too. We can gain infinite Bible knowledge, listen to a ton of sermons, recite the creeds, but unless we put our beliefs into action, we are not producing a healthy spiritual life … we are just getting fatter. Following Jesus means to be doing, going, praying, caring, helping and more. It is a faith-active lifestyle. God wants us to be spiritually lean machines and he tells us how to do it in his bestseller, the Bible.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, when I am not keeping fit in faith. I pray that I can overcome all hindrances and follow you freely and gain the spiritual fitness you have in mind for me. Amen

Faith Tip: One great resource for a spiritually healthy life that recently came out is Jeff Goins’ book Wrecked. I recommend reading that along with God’s word.

Being full and content

Biscotti og kaffe

Biscotti og kaffe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4

I seem to connect food with activities. If I am writing, I like coffee or tea and biscotti. If I am meeting someone to discuss something, I like to usually go to a coffee shop or meet for lunch or breakfast. I have experienced that the best conversations with people are usually in the kitchen. Although the food is usually satisfying, later I feel hungry again or just want the “food experience” with what I’m doing.

God’s word is also known to feed us. It feeds our inner soul and spirit and it tastes so good. The fullness of the word keeps us content for a long time … eternally. It builds us up and makes us strong from the inside out … stronger than what the flesh builds on from regular food. It never wears thin and there is always room for more. If our spirit is running low and thirsty for a cool drink, we need to intake more of God’s daily bread to be satisfied. It’s always ready to eat.

Prayer: Your word, Lord, is the best meal of the day for me. I praise you for your provision of the Bible. Amen

Faith Tip: Daily take in some of God’s food. He has it ready for you.

Feeling protected?

"Old West" character - Parada del So...

“Old West” character – Parada del Sol – Scottsdale (Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ)

I am surrounded by trouble,
but you protect me
against my angry enemies.
With your own powerful arm
you keep me safe.

You, Lord, will always

treat me with kindness.
Your love never fails.
You have made us what we are.
Don’t give up on us now! – Psalm 138:7-8 CEV

Protection – I started to think about what that means to me. Is it an absolute or a feeling of being safer? What are the things that make me feel protected? My husband does in knowing he loves me, so my heart feels protected. My dog, Charlie, is my overzealous protector. Money in the bank helps me feel safe from being destitute. I know these examples are not absolute. Life happens and circumstances can turn on a dime.

God’s protection is absolute. No matter what happens in this life, we are protected by God’s love for us. He has us in the palm of his hand and nothing will separate us. He has all the power so we can truly rest in his strong tower.

He wants us to know that so it is written repeatedly in the Bible. Look for all the verses that refer to fear such as fear not or don’t fret. Don’t be afraid to trust God and his word.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise you for who you are … you are my strong tower of power. I pray that I can live as evidence of your great love. Amen

Faith Tip: Fearful about something today? Look to God’s absolute protection to get the peace he wants you to experience.


Wanting to give good gifts

Gift Card

Gift Card (Photo credit: 401K)

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13

Looking for the perfect gift for someone has always been tricky for me. I want to give them something that they enjoy, but would be useful to them at the same time. It’s easier with a person I am with more (except my husband … he’s always tough to buy for), but with someone I don’t see very often, it is more difficult. I have relied more on gift cards during the last few years, but have recently found out that some were never used. Now what?

I’m glad God knows exactly what we need and usually gives us more. His gift of the Holy Spirit is a perfect fit for everyone. We can take it everywhere, it never wears out and it is more powerful than any technical device. It may even help us find the perfect gift for someone … prayer is always helpful here.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving perfect gifts to me. Knowing the joy I receive from your gifts, I want to bless someone else in some way. Guide me, Holy Spirit, in being a joyful giver. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider the gifts of God for you today. Be thankful and pray about how you can reflect God’s generous giving.

Why do you ….?

Fernley, NV, January 12, 2008 -- At a Red Cros...

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. – Hebrews 6:10

I often ask myself, “Why do I write?” “Why do I mentor?” “Why …” As I set priorities in my life and recognize the reason I do what I do, I am more likely to reach the goal set before me. I believe that my goal was ultimately set by God. From what the Bible says, I am important to him, my transformation is essential, our relationship is vital, and his kingdom is significant. Knowing what is important to God helps me to use my time in a manner honoring his goals for me.

We often think we are wasting time when we are working at something and don’t see improvement, or ministering to others and the same problems arise, but it’s not time used carelessly. God has a purpose for us to be where we are right now. The opportunities given to us to show love to others reflects the love we have for God. He will not forget this … ever.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I pray that I can keep your goal clearly in front of me as I schedule my days. Thank you for allowing me to serve you. Amen

Faith Tip: What is it that God has for you today? Does it involve showing love to people? Consider it a joy.

Power in Beauty

A spot in night sky seen with the naked eye

A spot in night sky seen with the naked eye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth. – Psalm 33:6

“Are those planets or stars?” my husband asked one clear night. Looking up into the beautiful dark sky, we saw two lights that were brighter than the other stars. It was amazing to think we could see with the naked eye other worlds. These are moments when the troubles of the world fade for awhile and God’s handiwork is the focus.

I think we sometimes forget that God made it all. For God, it took but a breath and a word. With all the chaos in the world, we wonder how we will make it through. But remembering the power of the Lord in comparison to the world’s power is really no comparison at all. God wins hands down.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of your creation. I pray that I am awed by the works and never take such power of yours for granted. Amen

Faith Tip: Focus on the beauty of God’s creation and today and be in awe.

We’re Covered

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, – 2 Timothy 1:9

Wedding hugs

Image via Wikipedia

The past couple of days, I was part of a Bible study taping for a DVD that will be offered by Zondervan. I reconnected with some ladies I met two years ago when we did the taping for Made to Crave, and their hugs of reconnecting were wonderful. I imagine it will be like that when I get to heaven. I will walk into the throne room and recognize people from my life and the hug fest will begin … starting with Jesus.

We do not have hope like this because of anything we have done. This wonderful hope comes only from Jesus. His grace covers all that we have done in life that was not honoring to God. We could try to list everything, but it is humanly impossible to remember and know all of our sins. Don’t fret though. Jesus has it covered.

Prayer: Lord, I am so thankful for your grace that covers all of my bad choices. I pray that I live into the hope you have given me. May there be evidence of that in my life today. Amen

Faith Tip: Live a victorious day today … Jesus has purpose and grace for you.

Effective Scheduling

Calendar Module and iCal data

Calendar Module and iCal data (Photo credit: m.gifford)

The mind of man plans his way, 
But the LORD directs his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

I have three calendars that I use to help me stay organized. One is online, I also have a planner for the purse, and a large calendar that John and I both use. Even with all these calendars, there are times when days get overbooked or items missed. I try hard to plan each day to make it most productive and not too busy, but my plans are only a shadow of what God has planned for me each day.

If we pray into each day for guidance from God on what we should be doing, allowing the Lord to plan our calendar rather than us, it may look very different. The steps of faith we take each day need to be directed by God if they are to be impacting for the kingdom. The details make the difference. God has all the details in his righteous right hand.

Prayer: Lord, today I want to follow your plan. Thank you for creating today and for the plans you have made. I want to honor and glorify you in each step I take. Amen

Faith Tip: Look over your plan for today and pray about it. See if the Spirit moves you to make any changes, or if you have opportunity in your plans to glorify God.