Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Moment in Time



Agendas, lists, plans—we all have them. We make preparations for an hour, a day, a month, a lifetime. And we move forward, attempting to reject interferences that threaten to dismantle our plans. 

Like many of us who marry, Mary and Joseph dreamed of a perfect life together. But an unexpected pregnancy changed their idea of a “normal” existence. One moment in time altered their plans. They followed God as He guided their steps. Responses of praise and thanksgiving flowed from their hearts.  

The shepherds out in the fields were guarding their sheep. Suddenly angels appeared and disclosed an amazing happening in Bethlehem—a special baby born. An unexpected event changed a night at work. One moment in time reshaped their lives. They followed God as He guided their steps. Responses of praise and thanksgiving flowed from their hearts.

The wise men or magi were learned men and knew the Scriptures. They didn’t miss the sign from heaven—a star—that proclaimed the birth of a Savior. This moment in time fulfilled the prophecies they have studied. They followed the star and allowed God to guide their steps in search of the Christ Child. Responses of praise and thanksgiving flowed from their hearts.

What are your plans? Do you know the Scriptures? Would you allow God to interrupt your agenda?

Don’t miss a moment in time that could change your life forever. Trust God to guide your steps. Let Him lead you to the Christ Child. And offer praise and thanksgiving. 


“For now You number my steps,
You do not observe my sin.  Job 14:16 (NASB)

Follow the steps of the godly instead, and stay on the right path,  Proverbs 2:20 (TLB)

The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take.  Psalm 37:23 (TLB)

“But oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!  Psalm 81:13 (TLB)

I cling to your commands and follow them as closely as I can. Lord, don’t let me make a mess of things.  Psalm 119:31(TLB)


Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  Matthew 16:24 (TLB)


Chris Tomlin - I Will Follow......


Offer praise with this beautiful Christmas song.....

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Focus on Jesus


…..fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:2-3 (NASB)


“Merry Christmas!” my son joyously proclaimed to the lady behind the desk at his children’s school. 

“I’ll be glad when all this Christmas is over,” she said, looking forlorn.

Her response compelled him to inquire about her situation. Divorced, deceased parents, no children, alone! It bothered him to such a degree that he called me. We discussed his opportunity to reach out and help a person in need. I began to wonder about the needs within my own sphere of influence. The list is long…..

  • anxiety over an estranged family member
  • divorce  
  • fear of the future
  • heartache from the death of a loved one 
  • dread because of cancer 
  • misery after a devastating accident
  • unpaid bills 
  • weather-related traumas
  • working two jobs to make ends meet
  • frustrations from life’s daily hassles 
  • a single mom with no job
  • your own troubles and struggles

Does life offer nothing but challenges? Add to that list news from around the world…..

  • devastating fires wiping out neighborhoods 
  • floods ruining everything in sight
  • dictators ruling with fear and starving people
  • persecutions of Christians
  • unrest marching in the streets
  • powerful people exploiting other people
  • earthquakes destroying whole villages
  • war and rumors of war

HELP US, LORD, WE’RE DROWNING IN SORROW!

How can we live in such overwhelming situations? Is it possible to experience any joy, even during Christmas? Yes, we can survive and thrive by readjusting our focus. It might sound trite, but we must keep our eyes on our Savior, even as sadness surrounds us. 

Remember when Peter tried to walk on water toward Jesus? The minute he took his eyes off Jesus and allowed the wind to frighten him, he began to sink. “Lord, save me,” he cried. (Matthew 14:28-30)

We suffer the most when our focus is maladjusted. Refocus and recall these facts……

  • We have a God who took on human flesh in order to live among us, to be with us, to completely understand us. Noel—a miraculous birth occurred. 

  • Jesus willingly experienced excruciating pain and death to take away the sins of the world. Savior—redeemer of sin and saver of souls. 

  • He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, to comfort us, to guide us, to give us peace amidst earth’s trials. Immanuel—God with us. 

Readjust your focus. Turn your eyes to Jesus. Cling to Him when all else is crumbling. And help someone else in need. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS. GOD IS WITH US!


God wants us to be victors, not victims;...to overcome, not to be overwhelmed.  ~William Arthur Ward


for King & Country - Fix My Eyes (Lyric Video)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXGuWHb5INk

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus - Hymn Preview Video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SmmtTdOCGA

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Light of Life


Has some of the brilliance of Christmas been extinguished because you are missing a loved one? Is there an ache in your heart that leaves you feeling empty? Do you want to curl up in a corner and allow the darkness to cover you? Know that God sees and hears you. He is with you. 

Yes, yes God is available right now. That’s why He came to earth—to live among His people, to understand every hurt, to wipe away each tear, to sacrifice His life for us so that we may live with Him daily in our hearts and eternally in heaven. He loves you and He loves me, and He cares. God is with us. 

After a death, mourning needs to happen and tears must fall. But don’t allow your own soul to shrivel up and die in the dark. Turn on the lights of Christmas. Allow the Light—Jesus Christ—to illumine your situation. Bask in His loving presence. You will soon feel alive again. 


Below is a link to REFRESH magazine. I hope you’ll take time to read the heart-warming articles. Let the “Light of Life” (name of my article) shine in your circumstances. Rest and be refreshed. God is with you.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

NOEL


Noel. Shout for joy. Sing praise to God on high. A miraculous birth occurred. A glorious nativity emits good news. The incarnate God dwells on earth. God with us, born to take away the sins of the world. Receive Him and accept forgiveness. Celebrate Christmas. 

From Latin to French to English, the origin of the word noel explains Christmas. It is the celebration of the birth of the God who would leave heaven and come to earth in human flesh to live with His creation—God incarnate. The purpose of His coming was to live and then die as the ultimate sacrifice, to take away the sins of all mankind. The King of Israel offers Himself for the whole world. Worship Him and receive forgiveness of sins. 

Bow on bended knee before Him. In humility receive His amazing sacrificial love. Listen with your heart to the birth announcement from His holy Word. 


There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”  Luke 2:8-14 (GNT)



“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  John 3:16 (NASB)


Lauren Daigle - Noel [Lyrics]……..

Thursday, November 23, 2017

GRATEFUL



I always thank God for you because Christ Jesus has shown you God’s good will. Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind.  1 Corinthians 1:4-5 GW





…..be filled with the Spirit by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your own good. Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:18b-20 (GW)



Received with gratitude. Has anyone done something so special for you that your heart overflowed with deep appreciation? It’s a humbling feeling encased in indebtedness. 

The first Thanksgiving in America celebrated a first successful harvest. In reality it was simply a grateful gathering of thankful people. The English colonists called Pilgrims and the Native Americans called Wampanoag celebrated the first harvested crops at Plymouth in 1621. The Indians were instrumental in the Pilgrim’s survival upon arrival in 1620. With beholden hearts, the Pilgrims enjoyed festivities with the Wampanoag for several days. 

Offerings of thanksgiving were part of the Pilgrims’ religion. It involved days of prayer not days of feasting. Thanksgiving was a way of life for them. They owed thanks to God for provision and protection in a new land. 

We all have something for which we’re grateful and someone to whom we owe thanks. But nothing can compare to the gratefulness we owe our Heavenly Father. He created us and through His Son Jesus Christ, He redeemed us. What gracious mercy—forgiven of our grievous sins through the sacrifice of a holy God who took our place—what merciful love!

Receive with gratitude this gift of grace. Give thanks with a grateful heart for your redemption. Won’t you join me in offering psalms of praise and songs of joy with thanksgiving to our Savior God? Give thanks…



I will give thanks to you with all my heart.
I will make music to praise you in front of the false gods.
I will bow toward your holy temple.
I will give thanks to your name because of your mercy and truth.
    You have made your name and your promise greater than everything.
When I called, you answered me.
    You made me bold by strengthening my soul.
All the kings of the earth will give thanks to you, O Lord,
    because they have heard the promises you spoke.
        They will sing this about the ways of the Lord:
            “The Lord’s honor is great!”
Even though the Lord is high above, he sees humble people close up,
    and he recognizes arrogant people from a distance.
Even though I walk into the middle of trouble,
    you guard my life against the anger of my enemies.
    You stretch out your hand,
        and your right hand saves me.
The Lord will do everything for me.
O Lord, your mercy endures forever.
Do not let go of what your hands have made.  Psalm 138 (GW)


Thank the Lord!
    He has heard my prayer for mercy!
The Lord is my strength and my shield.
My heart trusted him, so I received help.
My heart is triumphant; I give thanks to him with my song.
The Lord is the strength of his people
    and a fortress for the victory of his Messiah.
Save your people, and bless those who belong to you.
Be their shepherd, and carry them forever.  Psalm 28:6-9 (GW)


I will praise the Lord, who advises me.
    My conscience warns me at night.
I always keep the Lord in front of me.
    When he is by my side, I cannot be moved.
        That is why my heart is glad and my soul rejoices.  Psalm 16:7-9 (GW)


Give Thanks  (With A Grateful Heart).....

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Applicable Ancient Words



Every generation believes themselves more clever than the previous one. The wisdom of the elderly is discarded as old-fashioned nonsense. Most believe new ideas to be superior to old thoughts. Prior rules and mores are considered archaic. Yet there is nothing new under the sun. 

We may live in the twenty-first-century but the heart of mankind is no different from its origin. Human hearts are full of sin. Human hearts need a Savior. Human hearts can be changed. Via the voices of His chosen ones, God has penned a book to guide us through the paths of this world into His loving arms of salvation. It’s called the Bible and it is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.

God’s ancient words, spoken for generations, were given to change hearts for the better. So why do some people still choose to disregard words of truth from God’s own heart? The modern age has traded the intrinsic value of Scripture for contemporary words that permit our chosen way of life. Humans would rather twist rules to fit present-day than have their actions conform to so-called primitive beliefs. 

But these precious words have been handed down to us through hundreds of generations for a reason. They are applicable and true for all people everywhere for all time because the Creator of the world inspired them. They are words to live by every day come what may. 

God’s heart hasn’t changed—He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our hearts can be changed because of His love through Jesus Christ. And His Words can be found in the holy Scriptures. 

Read and heed the words of Christ. They have been imparted to us to help us make our way through this sinful world. They change us, transform us, and make us like our Savior, our God, and our Creator. Take to heart these ancient words. 


Uncover my eyes so that I may see the miraculous things in your teachings.  Psalm 119:18 (GW)


Open my eyes, so that I will see wonders from your Torah.  Psalm 119:18 CJB


Generations come, and generations go,
    but the earth lasts forever.
The sun rises, and the sun sets,
    and then it rushes back to the place where it will rise again.
The wind blows toward the south and shifts toward the north.
    Round and round it blows. It blows in a full circle.
All streams flow into the sea, but the sea is never full.
    The water goes back to the place where the streams began
        in order to start flowing again.
All of these sayings are worn-out phrases. They are more than anyone can express, comprehend, or understand.

Whatever has happened before will happen again. Whatever has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun. Can you say that anything is new? It has already been here long before us. Nothing from the past is remembered. Even in the future, nothing will be remembered by those who come after us.  Ecclesiastes 1:4-11 (GW)


Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers. Rather, he delights in the teachings of the Lord and reflects on his teachings day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 GW


Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you mistaken because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power?  Mark 12:24 (GW)


Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. Think about how their lives turned out, and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Don’t get carried away by all kinds of unfamiliar teachings. Gaining inner strength from God’s kindness is good for us. This strength does not come from following rules about food, rules that don’t help those who follow them.  Hebrews 13:7-9 (GW)


Michael W. Smith - Ancient Words......

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Trust in God = Peace



PEACEFULLY STILL

I glimpsed a patch of radiant light
Among countless clouds of gray.
The peace that swept over me 
Will keep me all the day.

The circumstances in my life
Appear at times so bleak.
Refusing to accept the stress,
I choose my Lord to seek!

He yearns for me to come each day
And sit upon His knee.
Desiring a personal relationship,
He loves and cares for me.

He offers spiritual nourishment,
The blessings of daily bread
He knows exactly what I need 
And goes wherever I tread.

I choose today to walk with You
And listen for Your will.
The way for me to know You:
Sit quietly and be still!


Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Romans 5:1 (NLT)

But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.  Deuteronomy 4:29 (NLT)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Give us today the food we need...   Matthew 6:11 (NLT)

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
    and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
    Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! 
A river brings joy to the city of our God,
    the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
    From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos,
    and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
    and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress. 
Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
    See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
    He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress.  Psalm 46 (NLT)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Place of Peace



He Himself is our peace.  
Ephesians 2:14 (NKJV)


We long for peace. In a distorted world where chaos and confusion reign, we yearn for peace. Hearts, homes, churches, communities, and cities lack peace. Does it even exist?

Oh yes, peace exists. In fact, peace dwells within souls who believe in the truth of Jesus Christ. He is the Prince of Peace. When He entered earth as a baby, a host of angels declared the peace He would bring to earth, saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  (Luke 2:14)

While He lived on earth, He demonstrated a life of peace amidst the turmoil that surrounded Him. To those who believed in Him then, He offered peace on earth and peace eternal. To those who would believe in Him now, He offers peace on earth, even as chaos exist, and eternal peace forever with Him. 

Where He reigns as Prince of Peace, there peace is. And within that place of peace, His blessings abound. As children of God, saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, we can live in His place of blessing, even in the middle of chaos. 

Is your heart filled with anxiety? Do you long to find peace in this world? Allow Christ Jesus to pour His peace, which exceeds all human understanding, into your soul. Where He reigns as Prince of Peace, there peace is.



Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Kindness Softens Hearts

To be kind is to be selfless. A friendly, generous, and considerate soul reveals a kind disposition. Kindness conveys compassion, gentleness, and understanding. Kindness is a virtue. 

There seems to be an insufficient amount of kindness in our world. Tolerance and patience are rarely exemplified while arrogance and hatred intensify. Increased evil amplifies the voices of judgment. The hate-filled offenders are wrong, but are those who judge them any better?

The city of Rome looked much like today. The church in Rome received a letter from the Apostle Paul confronting the growing wickedness in society. Not only were men and women committing heinous acts, those who considered themselves innocent passed judgement upon evildoers. Paul challenged those who condemned others with a question about kindness. He said:

Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance (Romans 2:4)?

Because he had experienced the kindness of his gracious Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, Paul understood that children of God were to represent the essence of God. He believed a godly life could turn sinners away from their evil ways into the arms of the Savior. Being filled with inspiration from God, Paul wrote powerful words to the Romans. He hoped to influence a change in society.

Paul knew conversion was possible because he himself had reaped the benefits of the kindness of God. Previously known as Saul, he determined to destroy believers of The Way by murdering them. On his way to kill Jesus followers, he experienced personal transformation after meeting the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). 

Being an educated man, Paul immersed himself in learning all about the life of Jesus on earth. Adding to his conversion account were many other transformations. Surely he must have known about the story of the woman caught in adultery and those who condemned her (John 8:1-11).

The story goes like this……

So Jesus was teaching an assembly of people at the temple when a gang of scribes and Pharisees dragged in a woman and set her right down in the middle of everyone. She had been caught in the act of adultery and they planned on stoning her according to the law of Moses. But first they wanted Jesus’ opinion on the matter—what would He do and say about an adulterous woman. They actually wished to trap Jesus so they could accuse Him of breaking the law. 

Picture the woman’s shame as she stood not only in front of accusers, but also in the presence of Jesus with His followers. Her disheveled appearance must have heightened the embarrassment. With her head hung low and shoulders slumped, she lost hope amidst the noisy chatter. She expected to die. Then.....

Silence. Probably could have heard a pin drop. Jesus said nothing. He only stooped to write something on the ground.  

The scribes and Pharisees broke the silence with their persistent questions. Jesus finally stood up. He looked directly at them and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (v 7)

A hush descended upon the crowd. No words. Only deafening silence as Jesus again crouched down to write something on the ground. 

Surprisingly, one by one, each of the woman’s accusers walked away. Slowly she looked up and saw only Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (v 10)

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (v 11)

Compassionate, forgiving, generous, kind—Jesus poured His grace into this scandalous woman with one request. Go now and leave your life of sin. 

“I don’t condemn you,” He said. “Now go and leave your sins behind.”

Can you imagine the freedom she must have felt when Jesus offered love and forgiveness instead of condemnation? Scripture doesn’t say, but I believe Jesus’ kindness led her to repentance. 

What about the woman’s accusers? Did they feel shame when confronted by Jesus with their own sins? Do you think they stopped to consider the worth of the kindness of God? Is it possible that the encounter with Jesus ended their moments of being judge and jury? 

What about the Romans who received Paul’s letter? Did they heed the words of Paul about the kindness of God leading to repentance? Have I? Have you? 

Whether you are an accuser or the accused, God offers His kindness to you. With love and grace, He stands ready to forgive you of all your sins. Will you allow His kindness to soften your heart and lead you to repentance?

A desperate world needs to experience the kindness of God through you.  


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  Matthew 7:2-4 (NASB)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

God's Will

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Imagine the beauty of this world if God’s will reigned on earth. 

But it doesn’t. We live in a fallen world where sin and disobedience seem to increase daily. Even though Satan rules this world, believers in Christ Jesus have access to the power of God that enables them to fulfill His will in any situation. So how do believers begin to bear witness to the contentment of obeying Heavenly Father’s will?

Start by praying. Prayer opens the lines of communication with God. A deeper relationship with Him grows from a daily habit of prayer  With humble hearts and open ears, listen for God to speak through His Word and use His Word to communicate with Him. Soon His decrees will become part of your life, and hopefully spread like wildfire throughout your family, church, community, and eventually the world. 

Maybe you’re unsure what to say in prayer to God. If so, you are in good company. Jesus’ disciples knew He corresponded with His Heavenly Father through daily prayer. One time after He finished praying, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11). Jesus’ answered, “When you pray, say … and right away He began to pray.

The prayer Jesus prayed was simple yet complete. It’s a model prayer, not only for the disciples, but for all people for all time. In sincerity with humility, let’s us pray together The Lord’s Prayer.

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]  Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)

‘Our Father who is in heaven,

Heavenly Father, who created heaven and earth, You are Father to us all, loving us more than we can even imagine. Thank you. 

Hallowed be Your name.

You are a holy God. Your name is holy. You are worthy to be worshiped and adored, revered and honored.

‘Your kingdom come.

Only Your kingdom, Lord God, can bring true peace to this world. May we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors, friend, and even enemies. 

Your will be done,

Jesus, You humbly submitted Yourself to the will of Your Heavenly Father, and You desire that we follow Your example of true humility. 

On earth as it is in heaven.

May Your will be lived out on this earth though us Your followers until You come again to bring everlasting peace.

‘Give us this day our daily bread.

You daily supply our needs. May we daily trust You through Your holy Word with offerings of praise and thanksgiving.

‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Lord God, if You forgive us like we forgive others, would we be forgiven? Jesus, help us to offer to others Your merciful grace and forgiveness, and then graciously receive Your forgiveness.

‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

As we seek to draw closer to You, Mighty God, deliver us from the temptations and evil of the devil. 

[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, O God, and to You be all the glory. 

And all the people shall say, “AMEN” (let it be so)!




The Lord's Prayer - Jackie Evancho.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PyInyZn_0M