Everflowing Stream

Psalm 36:8-9

They feast on the abundance of thy house and thou givest them drink from the river of thy delights. For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light do we see light.

Thought for the Day:  Prayer is the equipment needed to clear our thoughts to hear God.

Each afternoon when I get home from work, I get my children settled doing some afternoon activities and I sit outside. I love listening to the creek that flows beside our house. The sound is light and gives me a peaceful feeling inside. However, over the past few days, I have become concerned because the flow of the water has not seemed as strong as before. At the same time, my husband and I have noticed work equipment across the street from our house and later a distance from our neighborhood. We wondered about the equipment because we knew both locations were upstream from the creek that runs by our house. Last evening, I looked out the window of our house and noticed more water flowing in the creek and quickly opened the door to go outside. I immediately heard the sound of the water and became excited when I saw more water flowing through the creek. I then opened the windows where we could hear the creek from inside the house. What a beautiful sound!

Obviously, the equipment we saw as we looked around our neighborhood had been used to dredge and clear debris upstream from our part of the creek. As I awoke this morning and heard that beautiful sound through the window, I thought about the debris I have in my mind and heart that keeps God’s voice from flowing clearly within me. I then realized that the equipment we need to dredge out that debris is prayer. Today, I ask God to dredge out the debris that blocks His voice from being heard by me and I listen for that clear and ever-flowing stream.

Prayer: God, thank you for the sound of a stream and its reminder to listen to Your voice. Please come into our lives and help us clear the debris that clogs our minds and hearts from hearing You. You are Awesome, God, and we praise You. Amen

Prayer Focus: Those yearning to hear God’s Voice



Brotherly Love

John 13:34-35

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Thought for the Day:  Love your brother even in the storms

I sat on our back deck that overlooks our backyard and is near the creek that runs next to our house. I watched my youngest son play in the backyard which includes a wooded area. I noticed him pulling limbs that had fallen into different places imagining bridges and swords as he played. He then ventured to the steep side of the creek bed and I could tell by his excitement that he wanted to take the limb and make a bridge at the creek. Of course, as a good mama, I called down for him to be careful and told him that he didn’t need to put that limb in the creek. But, as a five year old boy will do, he continued down toward the creek during his exploration. As the creek is not deep, I let him play and watched. A few minutes later I heard, “Mama, my clothes are a little wet”, which really didn’t surprise me. He continued to play and then I heard, “Mama, I need help getting out.” I made sure he was okay and then called for my oldest son to help him get out of the creek bed. I watched for the next few minutes as they tried different ways to help my youngest get out, and then it finally happened. The youngest handed the oldest the limb he had carried down to the creek. My oldest climbed to the top, held the limb against the side of the steep creek bed and the youngest used it to hold onto as he climbed up. As he reached the top I heard him say in a very sweet voice, “YaYa (as he calls his brother), thank you for helping me get out.” My heart just melted when I realized that these two boys who are typical, arguing brothers, worked together showing an amazing love for each other.

Jesus calls us to love, that is the new commandment for us. As we go through our days, we sometimes find that obstacles get in the way of us loving in the manner Jesus would love. But, as these two boys showed on the edge of the creek bed in the view of this mother, when push comes to shove and when a brother needs his brother, love shines through in the way that Jesus calls us to love. “This is my commandment, that we love one another.”

Prayer: God, thank you for sending Jesus to earth to show the most powerful of all love. Be with us as we learn to love in the way Jesus taught. Help us show that awesome love to others. Amen.

Prayer Focus: Showing Love



Equipping Us for His Plan

Philippians 1:6

And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Thought for the Day:  God will equip you for what you need for His plan.

God shows us our gifts and talents as we need them.  In the time after my husband, David, passed away there were many moments when I did not know what I was going to do with my life.  I questioned God on many things and tried to listen the best I could.  One day, I was in our school library sharing time with my good friend, the librarian.  A gentleman from our school system came in and began talking to her.  As he spoke, he said, “Kathy, we need to find someone to create the school’s webpage.”  Before I knew it I heard myself say, “I’ll do it.”  That began the process of learning something very new and at that time very complicated.  I spent many nights, even into the morning hours, learning the language and attempting to make something show up on the page.  A few days later, I was back in the school library when my first sentence finally showed up on the webpage screen.  “You would have thought I had created ‘FIRE’” in the way I reacted.   From there the school webpage was designed.
Two years later, I met and was later engaged to a wonderful man, and I began looking for a teaching position in the town where he lived because we were to be married that summer.  As we talked to the superintendent of schools, we found that they were planning on hiring someone to design their school system webpage as well as teach computer in their local intermediate school.  I got the position so I began teaching and working for that school system one month after we were married.
Doesn’t God work that way?  I had no idea when I said, “I’ll do it” on that day sitting in the library that two years later I would be getting married and would be creating webpages for a living and teaching computer to third-sixth grade students.  But God knew, and God gave me the tools and talents to be able to accomplish the job.  I look back today and stand in total awe for what God led me to on that special day.
Prayer:   God, thank you for having a plan for our lives and for equipping us before we even know where you are leading.  Help us feel your presence today Lord where we can start training and learning skills for that plan.  Help us listen, God, for your voice and help us know where you are leading.  Amen.



Mary’s Love on Good Friday

John 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag’dalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother,”Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Thought for the Day:  All she could do was to love Him.

As parents, we see our children through their times as babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers. We pray for our children and promise to protect them, to hold them, and to love them through everything. When our children hurt, we hurt for them and want to take away any hurt and pain. I know Mary prayed for Jesus and gave him the same assurances as we do as parents today. On Good Friday, Mary couldn’t do anything about the pain and suffering Jesus endured as He went through the trial, persecution, and suffering on the cross. She could not hold him and keep him from that harm. All she do on that day was to love him as he hung on the cross and as her heart broke for him, the son she brought into this world in a manger, raised through the toddler years, early childhood years, and teenage years. She then witnessed him as he called His disciples and showed His ministry to the world. She loved him she was his mother.

Two years, I was privileged to sing, “Pieta”, from the cantata, “The Power of the Cross” by Mark Hayes. This piece so clearly showed the agony Mary experienced as Jesus went through his suffering on that day. The more I rehearsed the piece, the more I visualized Mary as she followed Jesus through the day and then to the cross. She could do nothing but to follow him holding on to the only promise she could fulfill, to love Him.

Prayer: Our most gracious Father, how difficult it must have been for you to send your son, Jesus Christ, to earth knowing that he would be sacrificed for our sins in such a terrible and painful way. But you loved the world so much that You sent him, that whoever believed in Him would have eternal life. Thank you for loving us in such a powerful way. Amen.




Jesus Abides in Us

John 6:56

“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”

Thought for the Day:  Jesus abides in each of us.

Mixed emotions stir on this Maundy Thursday as I enter the day.  Personally in my life I continue  to struggle with my voice which I know is not going to heal without some vocal rest that will not come.  Going through an Easter Cantata singing only a few of the notes and then going into our Maundy Thursday service and Easter Sunday services with continued voice struggles is difficult.  However, today is Maundy Thursday and as I awoke this morning and read my “Upper Room” devotional, I went to other thoughts as I read the words on the page and my struggles became less important to me.  The writer reminded me of the importance of communion on this day and that as we eat the bread and drink the wine, we are taking in Christ.  We are putting Christ inside us.  He looked at the scripture, “Jesus said, ‘Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.'”  Wow, when I take in the body and bread of Christ through communion, Christ is “in me”!  The writer went on to say that Jesus taught us through His life to be like Him and that means that when we do the things Jesus taught then we are also taking Him in.
Today, my thoughts have turned from my struggles to the words of Christ on Maundy Thursday, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, AND I IN THEM”.  As I go though this day, I will remember the “Last Supper” of Jesus Christ with His disciples and the words He spoke to them.  He spoke those words to me and He spoke those words to each one of us.  Today I choose to “Take Jesus In”.
Prayer:   God, thank you for abiding in us each day.  Help us recognize that you are present in our lives and teach us how to live as you would have us live each day.


Extraordinary Effort for God

Read Colossians 3:23-24

Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ.

Thought for the Day:  Serve God with Extraordinary Effort

My husband, Mark, is a wonderful Minister of Music and Worship. God led him to this ministry when he was young and has blessed him with the talent to create worship experiences that are extraordinary. In his ministry, Mark can be found searching hymnals and music libraries for the perfect songs and anthems to bring direction to the scripture. He brings people into the scripture with extraordinary altar and entry designs that focus them as they walk into the worship experience. He writes beautiful litanies and lyrics that direct ones spirit to the message God has given for the day. Mark leads the hymns and songs with such energy that people in the congregation feel an extraordinary need to sing. The most passionate and extraordinary thing Mark does is to bring emotion and perfection into the choral direction. Choir members find themselves following Mark’s spirit as they sing anthems, tearing up when they experience the look on his face during songs of passion. They smile as they sing anthems when he exuberates joy through a piece. Mark’s face shows the emotions of the moment that lead the choir members to the emotional place for that song. All of these gifts are extraordinary gifts that God has given Mark as he created this minister of music.

As I read a devotional this morning about giving extraordinary effort, I thought of Mark and the worship experiences I have witnessed where the spirit has led him in the full design. God wants us to go through our days putting extraordinary effort into the areas of our life where He is leading. Today, I want to strive to put extraordinary effort into the areas that I know please God, especially in my prayers for where God is leading today. God is extraordinary and requires us to put extraordinary effort into loving Him and following Him.

Prayer: God, help us follow where you lead with extraordinary effort today. You are our amazing and loving God and you deserve only our best….our extraordinary effort. Amen.




Holy Week Passion

Mark 15:40-41

There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Mag’dalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salo’me, who when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

Thought for the Day:  Feel the passion of Passion Week.

In 2000, I was given the opportunity to sing one of the solos in our church’s “Living Last Supper” presentation telling about the life of Jesus. My solo, “The Day He Wore My Crown” was sung during the time in the presentation when the soldiers took Jesus off the cross after the crucifixion and placed his body in his mother’s arms. From my point of sight, I was able to see the image better than anyone else in the room. My emotions took over as I sang because in my heart, I was witnessing Jesus’ death, and then was observing Mary’s face as His limp body was placed in her arms. Since that time fifteen years ago, my Palm Sunday into the Passion Week has taken on a different and stronger meaning. Up until that time I went through the motions of Holy Week, but since that time I have visualized my memory of that presentation when I looked straight into the face of Jesus as He was laid in Mary’s arms, and when I looked into Mary’s face as her “baby” was placed in her arms.

What do we do each year to bring Holy Week into a new meaning in our lives? We can start by reading the scripture, Mark 15, with the trial through the Crucifixion of Jesus. That reminds us of that day. Then, we can visualize the scripture and in our minds feel the words in that passion story. Personally, I see Jesus’ face and the agonizing look in Mary’s face. That puts my mind into the story of the Passion and helps prepare me for Holy Week and Easter.

Prayer: God, as we go through Holy Week this year, help us feel closer to you by remembering the passion. You gave your only Son to die on that cross for us and He gave his life to forgive our sins. You are awesome God. Amen.




Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

Matthew 21:10-11

And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Thought for the Day:  Jesus is Here. Hallelujah!

Remember it, remember going to that parade as a young child. When I was a little girl, I remember the excitement I had when I went with my family to Christmas parades. The excitement built each time the next float or band appeared. Then the clowns appeared throwing their candy that had us running trying to get every piece. The ultimate feeling was when Santa’s float would come around a corner. Do you remember? As exciting as that was, can you now imagine being there on that day when Jesus came riding in on the donkey. People around you are throwing down their cloaks and palm branches in his path to celebrate that this man was coming. People were asking, “Who is that?” Can you feel that warmth in your heart when you hear, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Today, we can feel that warmth because we know that the man who entered on that donkey was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This was indeed the Son of God who was sent by his Father to save us. Remember it, remember the time that Jesus came into your heart, into your town? Remember the love you felt in your heart. “The parade is coming….Jesus is coming! Hallelujah!”

Prayer: God, thank you for sending Jesus to us. Help us remember every day the excitement we should have in knowing your Son, Jesus, and feeling Your love as we go through our day. Amen.





Beautiful Day

Revelation 4:8

…”Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

Thought for the Day:  God is always with you.

Finally, finally, finally!  When we looked for houses and found the one that would be our home, we were thrilled and excited about many possibilities.  One of my biggest plans was to sit outside on our deck to hear the creek that runs beside our house and to hear the other sounds of nature.  We moved at the end of December so for these first few months it has been cold and dreary.  As the weather became milder I came out during the daytime but for only short moments of time.  This morning, in the darkness, I walked outside thinking it would still be too cool but to my surprise it was very comfortable.  So I gathered my coffee, my blanket, my Bible, and my computer and sat down in my chair on the patio.  Ah, sweet peace.
So now, as I sit outside in the darkness as the light is beginning to awaken the night, I hear the creek, that creek I have been longing to hear.  The sound is peaceful and reminds me that, even though I didn’t sleep well during the night, that God will bring me peace.  I see the silouettes of the trees as they cascade above my head and surround me that God will bring me protection.  Then I hear the sounds of the birds singing and as I listen I  hear a lot of birds, but the ones that stand out in their calls are the ones with the same sounds I heard when I sat outside in our previous home.  That reminds me that God has been with my family all the way through and that He is with us in our new place.
God is here.  God has always been here.  God brings us peace.  God brings us protection.  I praise Him today that in this new place and in this new life that He has reminded me of His glory and has reminded me that He is with me, has always been with me, and He will be with me every step of this live that He has given.


Prayer:  God, thank you for loving us and showing us everyday that You are with us.  Help us open our eyes to see Your glory….for it is beautiful.  Amen.




A Peace Just Came Over Me

1 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Thought for the Day:  God is the One who bring us peace.

As I awoke in a TICU waiting room twenty-one years ago today, I felt hopeful that my husband, David, would have shown some sign of improvement during the night. And, I was hopeful that when his parents and I saw him, things would already be getting better. That changed, however, to anxiety and concern when the nurse called us into a special waiting room closer to the TICU. My parents were present with us during this time. All of us were very anxious and all we could do was pray. After a few minutes, I felt something in my heart that I could not explain. But, I turned to my mother who was sitting beside me and said, “Mama, a peace just came over me.” She did not respond but gave me a very loving and calm look. The doctor came in a few minutes later to tell us that David did not make it and that he had died a few minutes before. I believe that my mama knew when I felt the peace that David had died but didn’t say anything. I believe that at the instant I felt peace was the moment he passed away to be with God. God gave me the feeling of peace to let me know that David was at peace with Him.

Today, looking back, I know that the feeling of peace was indeed God’s way of telling me that David was with Him, but He was also telling me that I was going to be okay. Throughout the years following David’s death, I have felt God’s presence through finding a new love and husband, adopting two beautiful little boys, and mostly finding a closeness with God that I had not felt so completely before. God has walked before me, beside me, and behind me all my life but it was through that time that His presence was made so clear to me.

Prayer: God, thank you for giving us peace during times of grieving and hardships. Help us to feel you walking with us everyday, just as you have throughout our lives. Amen.