Anything God has ever done at any time He can do now. Anything God has ever done anywhere, He can do here. And anything God has ever done for anybody, He can do for you!

A. W. Tozer

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas: 1 Corinthians 13 Style

I was cleaning out some old files today when I ran across the following. Thought it was a good reminder for all of us. Merry Christmas to all of you and may it be a 1 Corinthians 13 style one...

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorationg to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

Author Unknown

From Debbie's heart...


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Devil Made Me Do It

Picture a chain…a heavy chain like the ghost of Mr. Scrooge’s partner (Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol) is pictured as dragging around and shaking. 

Think about how heavy that chain would be…  Now picture yourself with many different chains wrapped around your body…being weighed down so you can barely move.

You wonder how anyone can move with all that weight.  But, if the chains are added one link at a time, can you see how one can get used to the extra weight without even noticing the chain is growing.  One link of the chain probably doesn't weigh much but the accumulation of many becomes a heavy burden to carry.  Believe it or not, you and I both have “chains” that we voluntarily drape ourselves with every day!  We actually pick up our chains as we get out of bed every morning and wrap them around ourselves.

There are many types of “chains” we can carry.  These chains aren’t physical, obviously; but they are there just the same.  Those chains are forged one link at a time by you and me as we act in and react to life out of our emotions.  God has given us emotions to signify we need to pay attention to what is going on around us and to deal with each accordingly.  Positive emotions, as well as, negative emotions can trigger inappropriate responses.  Yes, positive emotions can become a “chain”!  Each time you and I act and react out of an emotion in an unbiblical manner we are creating a “link” in whatever chain is being built.

One of the chains I have carried (and you probably have as well) is called “blame”.  Another name for it might be “victim mentality”.  Many times it is easy to spot in others but not so easy to spot in ourselves.  We blame everything wrong in our lives on someone or something else!  Here are a few of the “scapegoats I have had in my life:  my dad, my husband, my job, friends, family, the devil, and on and on and on.  You get my point!

I’m choosing this particular “chain” to look at and discuss because it is so common to all of us and is, I feel, a serious deterrent to our spiritual growth.  Besides, Jesus has actually freed us from our chains; but, we don’t realize we are free and we “pick up” our chains and drape them around ourselves!!

So, let’s take a look at the Blame Game (the devil made me do it), shall we?

Read:  Genesis 3:1-13

The blame game has been around since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.  Neither Adam nor Eve took responsibility for their choice - they blamed each other. Adam even blamed God by reminding Him that He had given him the woman!  We all have blamed others for the consequences of choices we have made; but, have you ever blamed God?  Are you still blaming God?  How about others?


When you look at these verses, you see King Saul made his own choices.  When confronted by Samuel, Saul made excuses.  We see Saul cared more for the opinion of the people than the opinion of God.  Have you ever said "I'm sorry but..." and then proceeded to give all sorts of excuses for what you said or did?  Isn't that exactly what Saul did?


Do you see the difference between King Saul and King David?  David did not make any excuses...  He did not blame anyone...  He took responsibility for his own choices...  Most importantly, he acknowledged his guilt to God in an attitude of repentance!  Are you ready to do the same?


Read:  James 1:13-15 

We don’t like to admit this to ourselves but our own desires and choices have consequences - both for good and bad.


Read:  Genesis 50:20 

What does this verse say to you about what other people may have done to you?  God is in control of ALL things - even those things we perceive as bad.  There are no surprises to Him!


Bringing it home:  No more victim mentality...  No more blame game...  No more "pity parties"...   No more "if only this hadn't happened" or "if only I hadn't done this".  It is not what you do or have done or what has been done to you that makes you who you are.  It is how you respond to those things that will mold you and change you.  You have choices in what you think, say and do.  Own those choices - good, bad or indifferent.  Praise God if a choice is good.  Repent and receive His forgiveness if a choice is bad.  Forgive those who have hurt you - for your sake because unforgiveness keeps you reliving the hurt over and over again – forging more links onto your chain!  You are more than what someone may have done to you!  You are more than the bad choices you have made!  You have been set free...the chains have been broken by Jesus...  Start living like it!!!

From my heart,


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Do you remember playing the flower game as a child?  You know, where you pick a flower and then proceed to pull the individual petals off reciting “he loves me” with one and “he loves me not” with the next until all the petals are removed.  How happy or sad you would be when the last petal was removed depending on which one you ended with!  Sometimes you even tried to manipulate the outcome before you even started pulling the petals out by mentally identifying whether starting with “he loves me” would end the way you wanted. 
Silly game; but, how many of us have carried that mentality over into our adult lives and relationships?  Even into our relationship with God.  I know I did!

The very foundation of your relationship with God needs to be on the solid ground of knowing in your heart God loves you.  Not head knowledge; but, heart knowledge.  So, let’s take a look at a few Scriptures to see what God has to say about how He loves you, shall we?

Read:  Psalm 139:1-18

God is everywhere you go, He is always with you, He thinks about you all the time, He delights in you (His beautiful and wonderful creation), He formed you in your mother's womb (how you look and your personality).  Don't just read the words but feel them deep in your heart! For those of you who are parents, do you remember when your child was born?  Do you remember how you felt as you gazed at your baby for the first time?  The joy and wonder and the overwhelming love coming from deep within you as you looked deeply into your baby’s face; counting their fingers and toes.  Can you see the corresponding feelings God has for you in this Scripture?  I hope so!

I want you to see His love for you is personal.  Yes, God loves all humanity…  That’s the general sense of His love expressed in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…”.  I’m talking about the individual.  YOU.  Personal.  One on one.  That is what He is telling you here in Psalm 139.

Read:  Romans 8:38-39

What is able to come between you and God's love for YOU?  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!  Look at the list of things identified – neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation. Pretty much sums up everything doesn’t it?  Try to think of something that doesn’t fit in one of these categories; can’t be done J

There are so many Scriptures that talk about God’s love for you.  I chose these two for focus.  But, you might ask, “How do I get this truth down into my heart (inner being)?  How does it become alive in me?  Not just an intellectual knowledge but a truth that changes how I see myself and the relationship God wants with me?”


Read:  Hebrews 11:1 (the whole chapter is good and reinforces the first verse, so feel free to read it)

TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD!! That is faith...believing what He says.

Bringing this home...  By faith you receive God's word telling you He loves you. YOU personally, the individual.  Not just in a general sense as in John 3:16 which says "God so loved the world...".  But, in the most intimate sense, as in He gave you your body shape, the color of your eyes and hair, your personality, your intellect, every ability you have.  You are no surprise to Him.  What you do or don't do, the choices you make or don't make, the friends you choose, your secret thoughts and desires...none of these are a surprise to Him.  Nothing you do, say or think will make Him love you more!  Nothing you do, say or think will make Him love you less!  Take this into your heart, which is the deepest part of you, and start really believing this truth!!  This truth is sealed in His blood...

Once you really get this, it will change every relationship you have.  Especially the relationship you have with your husband (if you’re married).  Just as you accept by faith God's love for you, so you accept by faith your husband's love for you.  Ultimately, it is trusting in God's love for you that allows you to trust in the love others express for you.  Trusting in God's love for you also frees you to love others.

From my heart,


Friday, February 3, 2012

It's All About Him!

I have a heart condition! Most of the time I live my life oblivious to it though. I go about my daily life engrossed in those things or people that mean something to me. To be sure, once in a while I might have a passing thought about my heart condition. But, unless I feel pain that grabs my attention, I pretty much live my life like everyone else.

Oh yeah...guess what? You have a heart condition too!

There are many symptoms of this heart condition that we share; such as, selfishness, self-centeredness, self-sufficiency, self-promotion, self-willed, self-focused and a whole bunch of other "self" adjectives to boot!

It started back in the Garden with Adam. Adam became focused on himself... How do I know? Because he chose to disobey the word of God. Now, this wasn't the written word that you and I today call the word of God. It was God's expressed will for Adam given directly to him by God himself. So, Adam was the first to choose himself over God.

The whole Bible, which we call the word of God, is full of people who placed a higher priority on themselves than they did on God - even the great heroes of faith such as David. How do I know? Because they disobeyed God's expressed will!

You see, we love to make this life all about us! Me, myself, and I - or the big "me" as I call it. Even our Christian walk is full of it... "I" accepted Christ... "I'm" doing this or that for the Lord... "I'm" fighting this battle... The list could go on and on.

There is a "cure" for this heart condition though ... it is Jesus! Our focus should be Jesus focused. According to Romans 5:19 which says "For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Jesus] the many will be made righteous."

Jesus is the one... He had the perfect heart condition! When tempted by Satan in the desert, he quoted from the written word of God - what we call the Old Testament. He did this to show Satan that it was God's expressed will that he was committed to. He put God in first place - not the big "me" as I called it earlier.

When Jesus was tempted in the Garden of Gethsemane, three times He prayed the same thing. (See Matthew 26:36-43) He prayed for God's will to be done. Three times He had to purposefully put His focus on God's expressed will for His life. Obedience!!

We love to (and I include myself in this too) quote from Ephesians 6:14-17 as our rallying cry. We personalize it ... "I" put on the full armor of God. "I" am battling "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms". Where is our focus when we read through the list of battle gear? On ourselves!

Have you ever looked at the first nine verses of that same chapter 6 in Ephesians? It's all about obedience. The transition in verses 10-11 says "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." It is through the obedience of Jesus that we have our protection from the enemy. Jesus trusted the promises of God and that is why He was able to obey. We stand our ground (see v. 13) in Jesus - the focus is on Jesus here.

I was reading Psalm 91 during my devotional time the other morning and verse 4 literally "lit" up for me. It says "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfullness will be your shield and rampart." I immediately thought of the shield of faith in Ephesians 6:16. I always thought the shield of faith was MY faith; but, now I think it is about His faithfullness. I started looking at the other "pieces" of armor mentioned and started seeing it was all about God's promises to us! His Truth (Jesus) given to us, His righteousness given to us, His peace (reconciliation to Him) given to us, His faithfulness to His promises and to us, His salvation given to us, and His Holy Spirit given to us by Jesus (the Word of God made flesh).

It is all about Him!!!

We have turned it all around and put the emphasis on us when we read Ephesians 6. I wonder how many other Scriptures we have done the same thing with? Maybe not purposefully and intentionally; but, have we?

When we "put on" the armor of God and stand firm, we are resting in and confident in the promises of God. That is how we battle! The focus is no longer on us but it is now on Him. Let's take the big "me" out of the picture and make EVERYTHING about Him.

Here's the bottom line... It is through the obedience of Jesus that we have the ability to stand firm in God's promises; which is our protection from the schemes of the devil!!



Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Return!

It has been just about 15 months since I last posted! I have missed visiting all of you and have especially missed writing...  So much has happened in the last year...way too much to highlight here...but mostly lots of growth in my spiritual life! Thank you Lord...  Welcome 2012 and welcome back writing!!!

From my heart,



Words To Live By

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death... Philippians 3:10 (Amplified Bible)

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