Deep as it is Wide

Psalms 91:11-12

For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Thought for the Day:  Listen and hear, God’s love for us is as deep as it is wide.  

I am a “car singer”. There, you have it. I have always been and always will be one. Since I was a young girl I have had numerous 8-track tapes, cassettes, compact disks, and now mp3s to play as I drive. The Christian music I have always listened to and sung to have formed a great base for me to hear the words of faith through Christian artists. As I have aged and have had children, that time comes less often so when I get a chance to drive by myself, I start to sing. Sometimes a song or particular lyric in a song will catch my attention and I will play that song over and over again, and will sing the song louder and louder. Recently, an Amy Grant song, “Deep as It is Wide”, has caught my attention. It has the message that God’s pure love as “deep as it is wide”. One line, a very special line in the song has given me a peace: “And there’s a breeze from the angels flying overhead”. In the uncertainty of where God is leading my family in this moment in time, these words give me the assurance that He is taking care of us in the deepest and widest of ways, even sending his angels to watch over us at all times.

God gave me the time alone in my car to listen. In listening, I heard Him, I heard His voice telling me that His love for me is as “Deep as It is Wide.” His love for you is as “Deep as it is Wide.”

Prayer:   Father, thank you for putting us in the place to listen. Thank you for bringing songs to us that help us understand what you are telling us in a clear way. Thank you for the pure love you have for us and for sending your angels to watch over and protect us. You are amazing, God, and I am ever thankful. Help us find you in special ways today. Amen

Prayer Focus: CAR SINGERS

One With God

John 17:21-22

“Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”

Thought for the Day:  God wants us to feel so close to Him that it feels like we are one.

My Daddy and I became very close when I was in my late twenties and early thirties. There were a lot of life events that took place during that time when I needed my Daddy and my Daddy needed me, so we became almost one in our thoughts. My Mama was not well the last few years of her life and we didn’t know that even a few years before her death that she had cancer inside her. We just knew she was on a lot of medication for different ailments. One day, I had driven to their house some distance away to help her pack for an upcoming move and my Daddy was actually visiting someone in the hospital near my home. The time came for me to begin home but I left in concern for my Mama. As I approached the interstate entrance that was about halfway, I felt the nudge to pull into a gas station and park my car. Within two or three minutes, I looked up and saw my Daddy coming off the interstate and pulling in beside me. This was before we had cell phones so we had not called each other. We just knew the other would be there. That gave us both a little time to chat and pray for my sweet Mama and to have time with each other that in that moment was needed. Even today, I will look up to Heaven and say, “Daddy, I have no idea if it works this way, but if you could ask God to help me in this, I would really appreciate it.”

God wants us to be in closeness with Him just as I felt I was with my Daddy. In John, Jesus prayed for his disciples saying, “they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me- so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” How close do I feel to Jesus? Do I feel that we are one? I believe this is a lifetime challenge and a lifetime commitment that we work everyday to feel one with Him. Today, I will strive to feel God in the closeness that I felt my Daddy on that day we met each other in the parking lot near the interstate. Because, well, because He is actually closer than that at this very moment.

Prayer:   Father God, thank you for being a Daddy who is close to us at every moment. Help us understand that closeness and to allow ourselves to feel you in the way you desire for us. Amen.



God May Seem Silent But He is Here

Jeremiah 29:14

I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you in to exile.

Thought for the Day:  God is with us always, but is sometimes silent.

Last evening as I had just gotten our youngest son to sleep my cell phone rang and I noticed it was from my oldest son who was at a Boy Scout Campout. When I answered the phone he said he needed me and that he couldn’t make it through the night. He has never done well staying the night away from home and away from us, but this time was a time that he had to stay there in order to get a requirement for camping. I did the hard thing of telling him that he had to stay or he would not get the requirement. I went on to tell him that he would make it fine through the night and that he would make it until I picked him up at the end of the campout. As we chatted, I reminded him of how he would feel if I came to pick him up and his friends made the requirement and he didn’t. This satisfied him, but I could tell he was still upset. As a mother, this was a tough phone call. My heart tugged at me to say, “I’m coming”. But my wisdom said, “He has to stick it out”. He texted me a couple of times after our talk, then sent a video of the music around the campfire. This morning, I have done my devotionals and know that he made it through the evening.

The devotional I read this morning was based on several scriptures in the Bible where there were times when the people felt that God was right there beside them, and then there were times that God seemed distanced from them. In our lives today, we go through periods of time when we can clearly see His hand leading us down the straight path and then there are times when we wonder where God is in our circumstance. As a parent, I felt that I had to distance myself from my son last night where he could make it on his own. Is this how God is with us when we feel distanced from Him? We know God is with us, as my son knew my thoughts and prayers were with him last night, but maybe God is waiting for us to believe in ourselves knowing that He is still silently with us.

Prayer:   God, thank you for being with us even in silence. Help us to know You are always with us even in those times when you seem silent. Amen


The Next Step

Jeremiah 1:5

The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

Thought for the Day:  God knows the plans He has for us.  He knows us…he really knows us.

Years after my brothers passed away I married my husband, Mark, and we became a team as we attended our Annual Conference for the Memphis Conference. Since I was the daughter of a United Methodist pastor and Mark was not only an ordained Deacon but also the son of a United Methodist pastor, we were quite known to many. We sang together several times and he led music for the Annual Conference a couple of times and took part in the proceedings of the conference. Since it had been years since I attended Annual Conference with my parents, I had the special delight of seeing people and sharing stories with them. I felt known. However, a couple of people made the comment that went something like this, “I knew your parents had two boys because we saw them in their wheelchairs, but we didn’t know they had a girl.” I know they meant well, but my heart seemed to say, “Ouch!” and I wasn’t sure how to respond.   I wasn’t as “known” as I thought. I had to rest in the knowledge that so many did know me and reacted to me in very positive and loving ways.

Today, I reflect on two scriptures that came during my devotional reading this morning. Psalms 139:1-4 acknowledges the fact that God searches me and knows me. He has known me since before I was born and even knows the words I am going to speak before I speak them. The Lord said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Today, I began diligent prayer for God to lead me to the next place in my journey, and to get my family together as we are in transition with my husband in one place and my children and me in another. I believe today and I pray today that He brings us to the “plans He has for us.”  God knows me and I know He already has a plan.

Prayer:   God, thank you for scriptures that help us remember that You have a plan for our lives and that You deeply know us. You know where we are going and how we are going to get there. So, as we question and pray, please bring those plans to light that we can begin the next step in our journey.


God is Strong Through Our Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

 Thought for the Day:  Through our weakness, God can be strong.

I read devotionals every morning and think about what they mean to me in that moment. Yesterday I read a devotional that talked about “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say rejoice.” It gave me a perfect start to my day and I rejoiced in many things that happened. This morning, however, I awoke to feel a heavy burden along with a lot of worry and fear. When I opened my devotional book I saw “Rejoice in the Lord Always, and Again I say rejoice.” I thought that was strange and when I looked more closely I realized I had read ahead yesterday and had skipped today’s devotional. So, I went back and read it. Amazingly, it was exactly what I needed to hear on the day when I had a heavy heart.   It spoke that our weakness is no problem to God and that God uses our weakness as a “golden opportunity” to show himself strong. It stated that through our weakness God can do His work with less hindrance. Those words spoke to my heart and I started praying that God would take the lead today in my life and would lead me to where my life is to go.

God gave me exactly what I needed yesterday in reading the wrong scripture for the day that gave me the exact scripture and message I needed today in my weakness. Isn’t it amazing how God gives us exactly what we need at the moment we need it.

Prayer:   God, thank you for always giving us what we need when we listen and follow you. Help me to give over my weakness to you where you can do your will in my life today. Amen.


Field of Dreams

Galatians 3:26

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Thought for the Day:  The big show awaits.

My favorite movie is “Field of Dreams.” Growing up with my brothers, Ricky and Coble, meant that baseball games were on television everyday during the summer. Ricky, a St. Louis Cardinal fan, and Coble, a Baltimore Orioles fan, scored many games meaning they kept scorebooks for the games they watched on television. Ricky actually scored a Cardinal’s baseball game the night before his death. So, when I watched “Field of Dreams” the first time, I was hooked. The part of the movie that gets to me every time in a very emotional way is when I see the players “coming out of the corn field” to play on the field of dreams. All of them had either played Major League baseball and events happened to prevent them from continuing to play, or they had dreams of being in Major League baseball but were not able to play for some reason or another. My mind goes immediately to Ricky and Coble. I can easily imagine them “coming out of the cornfield” to take their place on the field and take their place on the team. I imagine no wheelchairs, just those boys running out onto the field playing their hearts out.

Recently, our pastor preached a very thought provoking sermon. He loves baseball and he uses baseball illustrations often. But today he said, “I want to be in the big show”. He reminded us that all of us are sinners and all of us are saints, but all of us have the goal to be with God in that great family of faith, in Heaven. We all have to work hard and we all have to be accepting of others, as someday we will all be together in that great multitude of believers. So, our “Field of Dreams” awaits and we will all be together playing as the saints we are in Heaven.

Prayer:   God, thank you for great pastors who preach great sermons. The thoughts we have in our hearts and minds because of the spoken word come from you. It is awesome how Your words mean something different and something special to each listener. Amen.


He’s Just Like His Daddy

1 John 2:5-6

But whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him; he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Thought for the Day:  My goal in life at this moment is to be like Jesus.

One evening this week, the boys and I took a few minutes to pick up items left around the house and to clean because Mark was coming home for the weekend. After a few minutes of working and making the house more presentable, I heard loud percussion music coming from Jonathan’s room. I looked into his room and he was placing some electronic musical drumsticks on top of a video tv he has in his room. “Jonathan, whatcha doin’?”, I asked. He replied, “I’ve got to have music while I’m working.” I then watched as he picked up toys on the floor and put them into place. I was reminded of a day many years ago when I came in from a teaching day. As I pulled into our driveway in Dyersburg, TN, and opened my car door I heard the loudest, strangest sound coming from our house. I slowly walked to the back door and noticed all the windows were opened and I found my husband, Mark, inside cleaning. As I came in he looked surprised that I was already home and then he realized what it must have sounded like as I was approaching the door. He said, “I’ve got to have music while I’m working.” Just as Mannheim Steam Roller was playing as I drove up that afternoon, percussion music was playing as I walked toward Jonathan’s room. That night I thought, “They are so much alike.”

Today, I am reflecting on how much I am like my Jesus and how I am lacking in so many ways. Do I love the way my Heavenly Father loves? Do I do the things my Heavenly Father is asking me to do? My biggest question today is, “Do I forgive in the way my Jesus forgives?” I want to be like Jesus and I want my life to reflect Jesus in the way that others will make others want to follow Him as well. As Jonathan is like his Daddy in so many ways, I want to be more like Jesus in every way.

Prayer:   Father God, thank you for sending us Jesus Christ to show us how to live. Help us become more like Him every day where we will be able to show Him to those around us. Amen.



Our Protector

Mark 4:39

And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still”.

Thought for the Day:  God is our true protector.

My family inherited a German shepherd dog when our neighbors moved a long distance away. Cindy was the best family dog for us. She was a protector. One day as my brother, Coble, was playing with a little boy the little boy began to bully him. Cindy was nearby and without hurting him, grabbed him by the seat of the pants and held him until help could come for Coble. Throughout the years several instances happened similar to this. Later in her life was when we really noticed her protection. She was scared of storms so when storms came, she scratched on the door until we let her in. After she got in and we went to bed, she went into her protector mode and started making her rounds. She started in my bedroom where she laid on the floor beside my bed for a few minutes. Then, she made her way into my brothers’ bedroom and stayed between their beds for a while. After that, she went to my parents’ room and stayed there for a bit. She continued making the rounds until she felt everyone was safe then she finally got comfortable and slept for the night.     We loved Cindy and I have thought of her often, especially during storms.

Today, I look to God as my protector who will protect me from bullies who come into my life and will protect me from the storms. I have recently seen one bully who has been held by the seat of his pants until someone could come and help, and I have seen God protect us from many storms.

Prayer:   God, thank you for those wonderful memories of courageous pets who have protected us and that we have loved, but thank you more for the protection you give us every day, even when we do not know you are protecting us. You are our awesome protector and friend.  Amen.


Love the Lord Your God

Mark 12:28-30

“Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your should, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’”

Thought for the Day:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and strength.

When I was growing up there was never a thought in my mind whether my parents loved me in an unconditional way. I never felt I had to do anything for their love and although I know I disappointed them a few times, there was never a doubt that I loved them.   Today as I look at myself in the role of parent, I know my love for my husband and children is unconditional and no matter how difficult a day may be because of schedule and attitudes the love is there. And, I know, even though my children may look at me in a harsh way because I have said no to them or because I have disagreed with them during a discussion, that they love me unconditionally as well. It just might take them a moment to remember that.

Today, I am reflecting on the love of God that is written in the Bible and I wonder how well I am loving in that way. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Does that mean we do not love our children and family? Does it mean that we stop sharing time with friends? Does it mean that we have to give up all we are doing in our lives? No, as my devotional stated this morning, ”It means feeling passion for Him because He is worthy of our passions. It means expending all our emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical energy for His sake and not our own. Though we still relate to others and have activities in this world, everything is now in reference to His central role in our lives. As our greatest love, He takes His place at the core of our being.”* Wow, as I read this my heart jumped in better understanding.   Today, I want to change my way of thinking. I want to begin looking at everything around me through loving God and asking Him to show me how to relate to everything going on in my life with him as my CORE AND CENTRAL LOVE. That is how I will be able to fully love my family in an even stronger way – through God’s love reflecting through me.

Prayer: God, thank you for scripture and thank you for those who take scripture and write devotionals in a way that helps us understand the scripture better. My heart leaps today I understand better how to love you with my heart, soul, mind and strength.


*The One Year Worship the King Devotional”, by Chris Tiegreen

Through It All

Ephesians 5:20

Make melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Thought for the Day:  Love and worship God through it all

My children are very outspoken and ask quickly for things they want, and they become upset if they do not get what they desire. The human reaction to disappointment is natural and as a parent I sometimes hurt for my children when I have to say no to something they want. I remember, however, how the children become very needy and wanting of me when they are hurt or sick. When they get hurt, they immediately run to me. When they are sick, all they want is my comfort and love to determine what is wrong with them and to get them the help they need. Their times of illness are times when I feel their affection and love for me stronger than at any other point in their lives. At that point, they truly need me and nothing else in that moment will do.

Is that how God feels with our relationship for him? We ask over and over for things we want and only give him our true affection when we are in a crisis or are sick and truly need His love and care. God is always there, as a parent is always present for their children, and longs for His children to want and need Him at all times. He wants us to worship and praise Him through it all. How must He feel when we wait until we are in a crisis before we call on Him?

Prayer:   Father, thank you for loving us through all aspects of our lives and for being there even when we are self-serving and only wanting things for ourselves. Thank you especially for the times you are there during our times of crisis and illness. Help us to look to you at all times and to worship you through it all. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THROUGH IT ALL