“Beauty For Ashes!”

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Messed up.

Tore up.

Jacked up.



Upside down.

Turned around.

Mind blown.

Thoughts, hazy!


Life crashes.

Dreams smashes.

Walls cave.

Crumbled messes!


Hope gone.

Pressure on.

What now?

Lord blesses!


Picked up.

Restored again.

Enemies –

God smashes!


Joy back.

Despair sacked.

Exchanged now,

Beauty for ashes!


“To give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness . . .,” Isaiah 61:3


Glass of Water

Tired from holding on to the hurt, stress and worries of this life? Learn to put the glass down. Don’t know what I am talking about? Click here to read more.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
June 26, 2006

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of…

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“By Chance?”

I had no knowledge at the start

When my life began with that conceptive spark.

Did life happen instantaneously?

What’s the real story all about me?

Am I here by chance?

Has every road taken come by happenstance?

Am I just a flash in the pan?

What is the true story of who I am?

Here’s the deal, the real story.

I was created for His glory.

I am created by design

With His perfect plan for me in mind.

I was fashioned with special care;

My life, my eyes, and sometimes frizzy hair.

To be His workmanship here on this earth,

To use my gifts till I return to dirt.

To be the life that He can work through;

All of my parts, all of me . . . and my special hue.

I am designed specially by His hand,

And nothing about me was left to chance!

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10

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“What Ever Happened to Thank You?”

My Project 238-001


The city I live has been declared as one of the cities with some of the rudest drivers.  I’d have to admit that this is very true.  Riding home the highway the other day I let a driver pass in front of me.  The driver proceeded and then drove on as if no one had done anything for them.  No hand gesture of thanks, a nod or anything.

This isn’t the first time this has occurred (and this isn’t the only act of rudeness shown, hence how we got the title of a rude city for drivers).  It seems that common courtesy is a lost art among many today.  A simple thank you goes a long way (not that’s our purpose for doing things for people).  It shows that one appreciate even the simplest act of kindness one is shown.  I believe if it is expressed more often our world would be a better place to live.

Why is so hard to show one’s thankfulness over anything in life?  I have always believed that no one HAS to do anything for you and if they do, then one should express it with a heart of gratitude.

With this in mind my heart focused on Jesus and the time when He healed the ten lepers:

“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.  And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’  So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’  And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and feel down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.  And he was a Samaritan.  So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’” (Luke 17:11-18, NKJV)

A miracle had been done for the ten; something that seemed impossible was made possible through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Their direful situation was healed and now, because of His blessings over their lives, they could resume normal societal activities and functions, for now they were made whole again.

Yet, only one seemed to appreciate it enough to say, “Thank you.”  How sad is that.  In their desperateness they cried out for mercy and our Lord being the compassionate Savior He is, rescued them and showed the mercy they humbly sought.  But, after their healing that humility seemed to have quickly faded as they went forth in life as if no one had done anything for them.

There is a great danger in forgetting to be thankful, especially when it comes to recognizing the great work that God has done in our lives.  Jesus appeared a little shocked that only one recognized the marvelous thing that was just done for them, recognizing it enough to show appreciation anyway.

When one fails to appreciate what is done for them they of themselves can begin to get prideful.  Simply refusing to acknowledge that there was outside help to raise them out of a situation can make one think they have delivered themselves of their own accord and power.  Being thankful means being grounded.  It is recognizing that we don’t have it all together as we think we do and we need the assistance of another to help along the way.

Jesus didn’t have to stop and help them, but He did.  The human side of me wants to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe they were too excited that they forgot to come back and say thank you.  But, I can’t because even if that were the case, Jesus explicitly pointed out their refusal to come back with an attitude of gratitude.  To Jesus, there was no excuse or it would not have been recorded in the Bible this way.

Twice in Colossians 3 we are commanded to be thankful.  Verse 15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful,” (emphasis mine, NKJV).  Also, verse 17 commands, “And what you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him,” (emphasis mine, NKJV).

1 Thessalonians 5:18 makes it super easy for everyone to understand if they should ever wonder if the situation calls for being thankful.  It says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (NKJV).

How much kinder would the world be if we were all a little more appreciative to all that has been done for us?  How much would God love to hear from you and I a simple, “Thank you,” throughout the day, showing Him our appreciation for the events He has covered us in our lives by His sovereignty?

God is so gracious to us; let us not take Him for granted.  We may slight our fellow man once in a while (which we also need to continually watch out for and learn to do better), but don’t slight God.  Give Him His due.  Is it really that hard to simply stop during the busyness of our day and say, “Thank you?”  Does it really cause us that much extra work to simply acknowledge what has been done for you and me with an attitude of gratitude?

What ever happened to thank you?  Each of us can make an impact on our society by ushering in kindness many have seemed to have forgotten.  Let us bring politeness back as being popular and do away with rudeness.  Most importantly, let us NEVER forget or take for granted what God has done for us.  “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness,” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV).

When the leper’s cried out for mercy, Jesus thought about them and healed them.  God bless us with new mercy every single day.  Let’s not forget to thank Him for that and live a life that is appreciative of all that He has done for us.

“Why Are We Fighting One Another?”

My Project 236-001


Yesterday was Father’s Day; a time to celebrate the dads is our lives and to give them honor for their service to their families.  Yesterday was also the day, on this very occasion, that my family and I went to a restaurant, one that we had never been to before to celebrate my husband.  What happened when we arrived kind of blew my mind.

After arriving the first hostess asked us whether we wanted to be seated outside or inside.  Since we were by the water and the day wasn’t terribly hot we thought outside seating would be nice so that we could watch the boats come in and out of the harbor.  She then proceeded to direct us to the outside seating host.  This is where our pleasant day turned unpleasant.

The outside host asked us how many and we told him five.  Looking to a member of our party who was dressed in his military uniform, the host began to take cheap jabs at him; asking him don’t you want to come over to our branch of the military?  He politely stated no.  After another attempt and another no, this host then turned to other customers and started to make a derogatory remark concerning the branch of the military the member in our party was representing as opposed to his.

Needless to say, we were all pretty dumbfounded at this arrogant and rude host.  Here, we came to this restaurant to eat and one of the members of our party, unprovoked, gets verbally attacked by the employee who is supposed to be serving us just because he is in a different branch of the military than he.  It was a bit unsettling for a time when we were supposed to be celebrating.

This got me to thinking how often we do this in the church.  How often are we found fighting amongst ourselves, in our own congregations or even with different denominations because they serve differently than we do?

John, the disciple of Jesus said one day, “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we fobade him, because he followeth not with us.  And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us,” (Luke 9:49-50).

Instead of rebuking the one who was accused that “he followeth not with us,” Jesus set the record straight among His own disciples that they should not be focusing on some sort of reason for division, for Jesus said, “For he that is not against us is for us.”

Too often great emphasis is put on how one group may do things differently as opposed to another group or how one may work that gift that God has given them over another.  One may not care for the way another does something for God’s kingdom but Jesus Himself said, “For he that is not against us is for us.”  If he or she is working to build up the kingdom of God, don’t forbid them just because they are not following what you are doing.  Don’t forbid them just because they are not in your clique.  Don’t forbid them because they worship differently than you do.

There is no room for division in the body of Christ.  There is no room for in-fighting amongst the members of God’s family.  The Apostle Paul put it like this by saying, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12).

In 1 Corinthians 1:12-13, attempting to squash division, Paul said, “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”

Over and over again we see the Bible proclaim unity among God’s people and division to be put away with.  Jesus Himself prayed, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me,” (John 17:21).  Is this why the world can’t see the Christ in us and believe because there is too much in-fighting?  Does our rejection of another who “followeth not with us,” push the world away from believing in the Christ whom we proclaim?

In regard to the Scriptures and Jesus’ own prayer, I would have to say, “Yes.”  Let us learn from our Lord and say, “For he that is not against us is for us;” and let us work to build up God’s kingdom together.  We are all fighting in the same war.  Let’s edify one another and not tear down.

“Your Tears Matter to God”

“For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping,” Psalm 6:8, NKJV

Tears have always gotten God’s attention.  Our God is a compassionate God.  He cares about the struggles we go through in life.  When we mourn, He mourns. When we hurt, He hurts.  When we are upset, He is upset. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities,” Hebrews 4:15.  In other words, He knows how we feel!

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy,” Psalm 126:5.  It might not feel like it now, but soon the suffering will be over, the pain will dull, and “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away,” Revelation 21:4.  It is only permitted to stay around for a little while. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning,” Psalm 30:5.

Your “liquid prayers” have gone up before your heavenly Father.  He lovingly has every one recorded that moistens your eyes and falls from your heart of despair. “Put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalm 56:8.

Take confidence today that your sorrow is not dismissed by God.  As with David, He is paying attention to the “voice of your weeping.”  “Your Tears Matter to God!”  Let your “liquid prayers” roll down before Him.