Archives

14

1 Peter 3:2-4 – ” While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

It’s a big weekend – my daughter turns fourteen on Saturday. We are going out to a nice dinner tonight and tomorrow, she & I are going for a manicure and pedicure. 

But as she is growing and learning to be a woman, there is one thing that I want her to grasp and understand – beauty is not only skin deep. 

Beauty is something that comes from the inside. Beauty is a light that shines inside of you. It lights up a room. It can calm a situation. It brings warmth to a conversation. It is something that can’t be replicated in a doctor’s office. It isn’t something that can be taught. It has to be grown inside with diligence and patience. 

As my daughter faces even more challenges as a teenager via her peers and social media, I want her to appreciate what God is doing in her life. He is growing something special in her that He can use down the road to bring Him honor and glory. 

Yes, her hair is long and beautiful. Yes, her button nose is too cute. Yes, her freckles bring joy to my heart. And yes, her laughter is contagious. But it is her heart for others, her joyful spirit, her tenacity, her spunkiness and her love love of life that I don’t want to fade or grow dim or ever be cut off. 

Life takes it toll. Time marches on. But I pray that her beauty that truly lies within will never change. For that is what makes her my beautiful daughter. 

Revisit – A walk in the dark

Flashback! Hope you enjoy it!

Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

My daughter had her 5th grade promotion ceremony Friday night. It was very sweet and special. The man who is the youth pastor at the church where her school is at gave a little devotion to encourage the kids. He is amazing. He has such a way with words and Biblical examples.

Anyway, he made this statement to the kids: Remember what you have learned in the Light when you are walking in the darkness. That made me stop, grab my phone and quick punch it into my notes. That was good.

We are all walking in darkness. It is all around us, even at noon. The things that we and our children encounter in this old world is pure darkness. There are so many people out there with malcontent in their hearts. So many people looking for a way to take advantage of someone else. So many people looking for an opportunity to mock or criticize someone else. Darkness.

But princess, we have something special. We have the Light. I once heard the verse above described in a very vivid way. Back in Bible times, they didn’t have flashlights (duh, Melissa!). So they would light tiny lamps and attach them to their sandals. Cute, right? But think about the fire hazard! The point is this – the Word of God is supposed to be the lamps on our feet as we walk through the dark. The Word has been preserved all these years to show us the Way. His Word lights our path. But we have to choose to light the lamps.

I know I have been on a kick lately about choice. But I can’t stress it enough. I think too many times in our society we are too quick to blame someone else for our woes when all along it has been our choices that have led to the problems we have. Well, enough! If you choose to leave your lamp unlit, then man up and walk alone in the dark. It is your choice. I know that sounds harsh but there comes a point in time when you either run with the big dogs or stay on the porch.

Princess, Jesus does not desire for us to walk alone in the dark. He wants to walk with us and hold our hand. He stands today with hand outstretched waiting for you to take hold. Won’t you walk through this dark world with Him?

Bright Light

John 1:6-9 – “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Yesterday was our final lesson in Sunday school on Bible heroes. I can’t believe that November is coming to an end and we will soon be starting another year. Man, time flies! But I digress…

We studied about John the Baptist yesterday. What a great study. The focus of the lesson was the fact that John was a reflection of Jesus. He wasn’t the the Light, rather he was a reflection of the Light.

Have you ever been outside when the moon is so bright that you could drive your car with no headlights? The moon, in and of itself, has no light, no brightness within itself that would make it illuminate. It reflects the sun. The sun will shine on it at just the right angle and the sun is what gives the dark moon an amazing light.

This is the same way we are supposed to be in our walk with Jesus. He never asked us to be Him exactly. He did not ask us to be a mirror of Him and reflect Him perfectly. He is, however, asking us to reflect His Light.

Just like John, He is asking us to spend time with Him, to learn from Him and to get to know Him in an intimate way. And then, along the way, He is asking us to shine His Light into the lives of those around us. We don’t need to hound them. We don’t need to badger them. We don’t need to intimidate or otherwise scold them. We need to reflect Him. We need to live in such a way that we shine His light and show His love.

Today is a new day. You have a choice to make today – are you going to be a bright shining light for Him or are you just going to be a glimmer of hope? Both are good but would you rather have a spotlight when it’s dark or a pin light to light your home? When it is dark, I want the biggest and brightest light I can find. Friends, the world is dark and getting darker. We need that big, bright Light.

Spectacular!

Psalm 62:5 – “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

Last night, we were sitting around the dinner table having our typical Sunday dinner of leftovers when my husband says, “So, what are you going to do this week that is spectacular?” Totally took me off guard. Wasn’t expecting that one!

He asked the kids first. They said things like “I’m going to ace my 23rd Psalm this week” and “I’m going to really good on my presentation”. Then he asked me. I told him that I wanted to work on writing more of my devotional book this week. To which my darling son replied, “Haven’t you been working on that for like two years?” Yes. Yes, I have.

Anyway, what are you going to do that is spectacular this week? Too often we just settle for the same old, same old. We don’t expect great things to happen. Why is that? Do we think that we don’t deserve it? Do we think that as long as life goes according to planned that we will be okay? Why? Why do you want to live that way? Why not expect God to do something amazing in your life?

Have you ever seen “The Incredibles”? Love that movie! There is one part where this little guy is sitting on his tricycle watching Mr. Incredible get out of the car. Mr. Incredible says, “What are you doing kid?” The kid says, “Waiting for something amazing to happen!” He was expecting it. He had seen it once before and he knew it could happen again.

Haven’t we all seen God do something amazing in our life? Shouldn’t we be anxiously awaiting Him to do something amazing again? I mean for land’s sake! We are talking about the One who walked on water, who calmed a storm and who turned the water into wine – just to name three!

So this week, princess, let me encourage you to expect something spectacular in your life. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. When you see it coming, grab it by the horns and hold on and enjoy the ride! God’s blessings are meant to be enjoyed. They are meant to be treasured. And they are meant to be shared. God doesn’t expect us to walk around all sad faced and gloomy. He wants us to light up a room. He wants us to show Him in all we do. Jesus didn’t live a boring and solemn life. No, He was vibrant and expectant of things. Just another reason why we need to live more like Jesus.

The candles in the window

Matthew 5:15,16 – “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

My husband and I visited western Pennsylvania these last few days. It was a beautiful and relaxing trip. It was dark by the time we reached our resort. As we were driving on the winding roads in the dark, I was looking at the houses we past. Many of them had a candle in the window. In fact, they had one in every window facing the road.

I have heard of some cultures where this is common practice. For some people, they place the candle in the window to keep the evil spirits away from their home. Now, I’m not saying that this is the reason that people have them in their windows in western Pennsylvania. I think it makes the home look very welcoming.

But it made me think of the verse I mentioned above. People do not light a candle and then hide it. They put it out to provide light for everyone around it. Likewise, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are supposed to put it out there for everyone to see. We are encouraged to be different. We are encouraged to love others.

Is the way that you live your life enough evidence to convict you of being a follower of Christ? Or have you put your candle under something? Do you only bring it out when problems arise? Do you only peek at it when you have a question that needs to be answered?

Princess, I want to encourage you to put your candle in the window for all to see. Let them see how welcoming your Savior really is. Let everyone see the bright spot on a dark night. Give them the opportunity to be warmed by His Light.

Shine on, sister!

Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

I had some trouble coming home last night from revival. God was putting on quite a light show and I was driving. There was a storm going on north of us and the lightning was AMAZING! It wasn’t the kind of lightning that looked, from where I was at, to be doing a lot of damage. I’m sure somewhere people were taking cover. But the backside of the storm was quite the show. Every time that the sky lit up, you could see just the outline of the clouds. You could tell that they were some serious looking clouds yet you could hear no thunder. That’s how far away the storm was.

Anyway, the whole scene reminded me that this is how we are supposed to be as followers of Christ. The world is dark. I mean super dark. And we are called to shine our light. By shining our light, we show others Jesus. Just like the lightning showed me the clouds brewing around the storm, we are to show others Jesus by the actions that we live out.

But the whole lightning thing made me think about this as well – our light should not be surprising and short lived. Our light should be a sustaining light. The kind that stays around and lights up everything.
Our light should also be bright. Some of the lightning was not as bright as other strikes. Our light needs to be super bright. Another thing we have noticed this week is the brightness of a green light on a stop light when it is dark. There is this one stop light that is usually red when we approach it. And when it turns green, you are momentarily blinded by the brightness. Our light should be so bright that others have no doubt of who we belong to.

So today, princess, how is your light? Does your light brighten up a dark world? Is it short lived or long lasting? Is the brightness of your light skull piercing or just barely there (like a nightlight when you are trying to sleep)? Jesus said that we need to shine our light before men. This light will show others your good works that you have done for your Savior. And when people see your light, they should glorify the Father, not you. You see, God doesn’t want us to shine our light on ourself, but rather, He wants us to shine our light on Him. Because He is the True Light. And He is the Light from which all others get their light. Shine on, sister!