I Got This


“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Oh, the joy of raising children! (any story that begins this way must be good, right?)

I must admit, there is never a dull moment in our house, especially since the kids are growing up and beginning to spread their wings just a bit. All three of them are at an age now where they are beginning to assume more responsibility. This means learning to do new things around the house. The boys, being older than sister, are the first ones to learn how to do things for themselves and to help me out when I need it. One favorite for the boys right now is learning to do things in the kitchen. (Yes, I let my boys help in the kitchen. I believe that it is good for them to know their way around. Plus, I am sure their future wives will thank me one day.) Both of our boys really seem to enjoy learning to cook, and they are pretty good at it.

Learning new tasks does not always go as planned. We have had a few mishaps along the way.

The latest adventure for the boys has been learning to “make the coffee pot” as we call it in our house. ( I think that is a southern term.) Each night before we go to bed, we get the coffee pot ready and set the auto-start for the next morning.

Last night, as I was cleaning up the kitchen and putting things away, I remembered that I still had to set the coffee pot. When I turned around, the younger of our two boys, Little D, was already there working on it. When he realized what I had come over to do, he looked up at me and with that big boy, take charge tone, he said, “I got this.”  This is something new for Little D, so I was reluctant to leave him with the task. He was so sure of himself , however, that I decided to let him do it all by himself. I went on about my business and never thought anything else about it.

This morning when I walked into the kitchen, still half asleep, I saw my husband bent down looking at the coffee pot. As I approached the scene I could see Daddy B wiping down the coffee pot and the counter top. When I asked him what had happened, he told me that coffee was all over the coffee pot and the counter. While I examined the situation, the image of little D “making the coffee pot” came back to my mind. The image of  him standing there so confident and saying, “I got this,” played in my memory. After further examination, I discovered that he had failed to replace one of the pieces. Instead of running into the pot, the coffee overflowed the filter, filled the reservoir and ran  down the sides of the machine. Needless to say we had quite a mess on our hands. Thankfully I was able to clean the coffee pot, remove most of the coffee grounds, and make another pot of coffee so that Daddy B could be on his way to work.

After everything settled back down and I had a moment to reflect on the situation, I could not help but chuckle at what had happened. After all, these are the things of  which memories are made.

As I thought more about what had happened, I could not help but hear Little D’s voice over and over in my head saying, “I got this.” He was so sure that he knew what he was doing. He wanted to prove to me that he could handle this task all by himself.

Friends, how many times do we treat God this way?

How many times do we face a task, a trial, or a new situation and say, “I got this,” to God?

You see, it is human nature to want to handle things ourselves. From the time we are just little children we want to do it ourselves. We want to do it our way. It is as if we have something to prove. As if we feel the need to be self-sufficient.

In our lives, God gives us tasks to do. He allows us to face trials, and new situations in order to teach us. He wants to help us grow through these things. Why is it then that we refuse to listen to His guidance? Why do we insist on doing things our way? What is it that makes us so confident that we say, “I got this,” to God? It is our carnal nature. It is the part of us that still believes that we can make it on our own.

So many people are stumbling through life. They are making one mistake after the other. They are failing and can not figure out why. It is because they are trying to do it themselves. They are confident that they “Got this.”

 God does not set tasks in front of us planning on failure. He is not sitting back waiting on us to fall on our faces. No, God wants us to succeed. He wants to see us grow and learn, but He knows that we can not do it without Him. He has told us over and over in His word that we need to depend on Him. God, however, is a gentleman. He will not force us to follow His will. He will not force us to depend upon Him. He will allow us to fall. He will allow us to fail. Yet, the entire time He will be calling to us. He will be whispering to our hearts, ” Let me have it. Lay your burden on me,” and He will be there waiting with open arms when we are ready to surrender our lives to Him.

I want us to realize something today. We can not make it on our own. We can not figure it out. Outside of God’s mercy and grace we are hopeless. The only hope we have in this world is Jesus Christ. If we are going to have any hope of succeeding in this world, we are going to have to learn to depend on the One who created us, the very One who spoke our world into existence. When we turn our lives over to God, when we allow Him to show us the way, life will begin to make sense. This does not mean that we will not face trials and troubles. It simply means that we will have God to lead us, to guide us, and to help carry us through even our toughest times.

God loves you, friend. He wants to see you succeed and grow. The question I want to leave with you today is this: Will you turn your life over to God, or will you say “I got this,” to Him?


The Joy of the Lord is my Strength


“Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 

Has life knocked you down?

Have you lost your joy?

Friend, all throughout our lives we are going to face trials. These trials will try to steal our joy. They will take the wind out of our sails.

When we find ourselves in these situations, we often wonder how we will ever get back up, how we will ever survive.

I want to encourage your heart this morning. You are not defeated. You are not alone.

Today’s verse tells us that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

You see, life is more than we can handle. The day to day struggles that we face are too much for us. The sudden blows that come from the devil will surely knock us to the ground.

The good news is that we do not have to stay there. We have a source of strength, and His name is Jesus.

When life hands you a situation that you can not bear alone, Jesus is there. The joy that can be found in knowing Him and serving Him is enough to pick us back up and dust us off.

Having Jesus in our hearts does not guarantee us a life free from struggles. However, knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him brings a peace and a joy that can get us through these difficult times.

Do you know Jesus?

Do you have the joy of the Lord in your heart?

I want you to know, today, that Jesus loves you. He is standing, with arms stretched wide, waiting for you to run to Him.

Will you choose Jesus today? Will you let the joy of the Lord be your strength?

Warning: Danger Ahead


“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

1 Thessalonians 5:2

 If you and I were walking in the woods and I said, “You need to be careful because I have spotted a bear here in the woods before,” what would you think?

What would happen as we walked along if, on the ground, you saw signs that indeed a bear had been in this area?

If I suddenly yelled, “RUN! There is a bear,” what would you do?

Would you run, or would you tell me I was crazy? Would you wait around to see just how close that bear would get to you before you would begin to run away?

 It is absurd to think that you would stand and wait for that bear to reach you before you ran. It is crazy to think that you would turn around and face it head on as if you could battle it alone.

Hopefully you would heed my warning. Hopefully you would trust me enough to run when I told you that you were in danger.


Friends, I am here this morning to warn you. I pray that you will heed my warning. I pray that you will trust me when I tell you that something is coming.

I am here to tell you that if you are not a Christian, if you are not covered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then you are in grave danger.

I firmly believe that Jesus is coming back very soon. Too many things are happening and too many signs are being seen to believe differently.

Just as you would never chance being chased by a bear, or just as you would never try to fight it alone, please do not think that you can handle being left behind. Please do not think that you still have plenty of time to get it together.

Today’s verse reminds us that we do not know when Jesus is coming back. His coming will be instantaneous. It will take everyone by surprise.

My question for you is this: Will you be ready? Have you made preparations to leave this world behind and be taken up in the clouds?

There will be no time to make this choice when Jesus does come back. It will be too late when you realize that friends and family are missing and you have been left.

The time to prepare is now. The time to get it together is this very second. We are not promised tomorrow. We are not even promised our next breath.

Will you heed my warning today? Will you trust me when I tell you that something is coming? Will you take the time right now to seek out God’s forgiveness and gain the assurance that you have a home in Heaven when that time comes? Only you can make that choice. No one can do it for you.

The good news is, it is simple to do. Let me tell you how:

1. Realize that you are a sinner. ( Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)

2. Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”)

3. Believe that you have been saved. ( Romans 10:9-10 “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”)

Once you have done these things, Jesus will begin to work in your heart and in your life. He will begin to grow you into the person He wants you to be.

If you follow God’s word and listen to His commandments, you can be assured that when the Lord comes back for His children, you will not be left behind. You will not have to face the many terrible things that are to come. You will have a home waiting for you in Heaven.

I pray, today, that you have taken these steps to prepare for what is to come. I want to know that I have done everything I can to warn and prepare those I love.  It breaks my heart to think of friends and family left behind.

Remember: The Lord is coming back as a thief in the night. I pray you will be ready.

Loving “Prickly” People

Cactusville_USA                           ” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. ”  Matthew 5:44

I have many fond memories from my childhood as an MK (a missionary’s kid).

One memory that sticks out in my mind is the many trips we would take to Arizona from our home in New Mexico. A few times a year my parents would have to travel there for a series of meetings. Most of my trip was spent listening to my Walkman, ( do kids even know what those are anymore?). I would also color or draw, anything to pass the time. My favorite part of the trip, however, was when we would cross over into Arizona. As a child I can remember watching intently for one specific indication that we were almost to our destination: cacti.

As we would travel I could see the landscape change and I would impatiently wait until I could see the cacti begin to appear. One here, another a few miles down the road, then suddenly they seemed to be everywhere. With my childlike imagination I pictured them as men, soldiers, standing at attention, waiting for marching orders. Sometimes they would even come alive, as their “arms” stretched up to the sky. I would imagine them as dear friends just waiting for my embrace.

It is funny to me the things that kids think and remember. Now, even as I write about these memories, I shake my head at my innocence. Cacti as men? Can you really imagine HUGGING a cactus?

As I pondered this memory in my mind, I thought to myself, “We encounter prickly people daily.” Think about that for a moment.

I am sure that as you take time for this thought to sink in, someone, maybe even more than one person, comes to your mind. Sadly, we all know prickly people. These people are the ones who bite at us with their words or actions. These are the people who no matter how hard we try to love them, it never seems quite enough to shield against the barbs that prick our hearts. No matter the reason behind the prickly cover ( and I assure you, there is always a reason) it is still very painful to love people with this kind of personality. The barbs that we encounter from these people often come from insecurity, pain, or abuse. Nonetheless, they are quite painful if we are not equipped to handle them.

You may be asking the question, “What then do we do?”

You have to make a choice. Do you walk away saying, “You are too difficult to love,” or do you love them in spite of the barbs.

I will offer you this piece of advice: It takes a true “God love” to love prickly people.

It is not a love that you possess in yourself. The only hope you have of loving a prickly person is to let God fill you with His love. When you do this, you will find that God shields your heart from the painful barbs. You may even find  in loving prickly people that God uses you to minister to them. You can show them what God’s love can do in even the prickliest heart.

The next thing you can do is to pray for them. God is the only hope for prickly people. He alone can heal the hurt that such people have experienced. They, however, have to want it and ask for that healing. Pray that God will show them the error of their ways and begin to sooth the hurts they feel.

If you are dealing with a prickly person let me encourage you today. Do not give up on them. Do not walk away. Pray for them daily and allow God, through you, to give them the love they need. God may have brought you into their lives to minister to them. You may even learn something new about yourself in the process. Pray and ask God to show you what you can learn from this situation. Sometimes God uses difficult situations to grow us.

Are you a prickly person? Do you ever find yourself meeting people with painful barbs rather than kindness? Do your words sometimes bite or tear?  I want to encourage you to search your heart and find out why. You do not have to stay this way; there is hope. His name is Jesus Christ and He can heal even the deepest hurt. You see, when we have been hurt, abused, or made to feel insecure, we learn to protect ourselves. Unfortunately we often do this by becoming hard, and prickly. God wants to heal that hurt and to make you the person He wants you to be.

He Whispers Sweet Peace to Me.


Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

There are days, quite a few in fact, when I look around and feel very overwhelmed. Pulled in so many directions at one time, I almost feel as if I will come apart at the seams.

My heart is burdened for the world in which we live. People are hurting, loved ones are struggling with one thing or another, and the world seems to be in chaos.

My heart cries out, “God, are you here? Do you see what is going on?”

God whispers to my heart, “I am here, my child. I see.”

Just as a cool summer breeze sweeps across a dry and weary land, I immediately feel a calm come over me, a peace that only God can bring.

A hymn we sing in church comes to mind. It says this:

“Sometimes when misgivings darken my way,
And faith’s light I just can not see;
Then I asked the dear Lord,
“Please brighten my way”,
He whispers sweet peace to me.

He whispers sweet peace to me,
He whispers sweet peace to me,
When I am cast down in spirit and soul,
He whispers sweet peace to me.”

Friends, let me encourage you today. When life seems more than you can bear and the load you are carrying seems too heavy, let God speak peace into your soul. Sometimes the answers we are looking for do not come in a loud crashing boom, but in a small whisper from the Lord. Turn your burdens over to Him and allow Him to minister to your heart.

Will you allow God to whisper sweet peace to your heart?

My prayer for each of you today comes from Romans 15:13:

 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”