Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Ours was never a sappy love story. The boy meets girl and in an instant they both know their love will run deep forever. Nope, nothing like that for us. Instead, we spent three week painting “Joy Busses” for the church we attended.
Somewhere between taping and painting we discovered we had lots in common. Both of us had a deep desire to serve the LORD. We both had very firm ideas of what a marriage should look like and both of us had the same views on roles within a marriage. He went on to his next duty station for the Air Force and I went to the local Christian camp serving as the waterfront director.
We spent the summer writing back and forth. He surprised me and flew home and proposed. I accepted and we were married August 29th, 1977.

Imagine getting married to someone you have only spent three weeks with! Years later we both discovered that the morning after the wedding we each woke up, looked over and realized we had just married an almost perfect stranger! We each prayed something like, “Dear God, what have I done?” That began the adventure that has last 33 years now.

Today I am grateful for a godly husband who seeks to serve the LORD. Not one day is guaranteed so I am thankful that I have my husband for today and that is enough.

What are you thankful for? It would be an encouragment to hear what you are thankful for.

"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up"

Monday, August 30, 2010

Good morning to each of you. I hope you spent some time worshipping with other believers this weekend to honor and glorify our Father.

We have been talking about strongholds the past couple of days. I hope you have given some thought to the concept. When I think of being in a battle (which we are in every day if you are trying to follow God) then there are times that we ask to be delivered from our enemies.

When I picture being delivered I think of running towards the fortress in the first picture I showed last Thursday. If we receive deliverance from God then I see him scooping me up in his arms in just the nick of time so the enemy can’t snatch me. Hmm, just the nick of time. God truly is my deliverer. When I try to run towards the fortress on my own the enemy ALWAYS catches me because I don’t have the strength alone. There is only one who can deliver and that is our Savior.

Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
Psalms 144:1-2 (ESV)
God will deliver us sister. It might not “feel” like it right now but truly he is worthy of all praise because he is our deliverer.
Think of that today. Tomorrow is Gratituesday. Please be thinking about what you are thankful for and tomorrow go to the website and post what you are thankful for.
In Christ Alone,

"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Strongholds Part 2

Good morning to each of you. I hope you spent some time thinking about the word stronghold yesterday. The picture to your left sits a stones throw away from the cannon. It is our little towns memorial to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free. The names are all listed in the center.

When my husband was telling me about strongholds from a military point of view he told me that the cannon of yesteryear represents one soldier. You see, it only takes one to make a stronghold. You would agree that a cannon is a powerful weapon in any day and age. It has the power to rip through walls. Most people don't want to mess with a cannon if it is aimed at them!

Jesus is that one for us. Jesus is at the center of the fortress. It is because of the ultimate sacrifice, one person at a time, that gives Him all the power. Jesus, our ONE stronghold where we can run to when the bullies are trying to punch our lights out. Jesus, who will grab us tight and surround us so that we have refuge from those bullies.

Do we believe this truth? If we believe it then we will find the power in this truth. So many don't live a victorious life because they don't life as if they believe it. Jesus is the stronghold. Why do we insist on running from the bad guys without being inside the protective arms of our stronghold.

For so many years I tried and I tried valiantly to fight the bad guys on my own. I felt like it was up to me to dodge that cannon aimed at me ready to shoot. That my dear sister is a lie straight from the deceiver. It does not matter what you are going through today. Each of us have a choice to live as if we believe Jesus is our stronghold. What are you waiting for? Run into our stronghold Jesus Christ and allow him to be your shield and stronghold.

Have a wonderful weekend.

In Christ Alone,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Stronghold

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
Psalms 18:1-3 (ESV).
The next couple of days we will be talking about strongholds. That word is not one we use very often but by the time we are done Lord willing they will be sealed inside our heart and mind.
Last night our folks were here so we went downtown to the courthouse which is amazing. In front there is the cannon you see above. I asked Rich to give me his explanation of a stronghold from a military point of view. He described a fortress and at the center of the fortress was the cannon. The fortress itself wasn't the key to defending the fort but the cannon sure was.
There are a couple kinds of strongholds and we will be talking about each of them in the next few days. For now, I would like to leave you with this picture in your mind and one more verse.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalms 9:9 (ESV)
Thank you so much Father for being that stronghold for us, in Jesus' precious name and authority, Amen.
In Christ Alone,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More than Conquerers

Good morning everyone. Today I would love to just be an encouragement to you.
Each of us are walking on a road that we hope and pray leads us to heaven. A
Place where we can walk with the Lord. Faith will no longer be necessary. Can you imagine
Taking a walk just you and the Lord? We sing an old hymn about that. I don’t know about you but I love the thought of the God of the Universe wanting to spend time with me.
Sometimes it is just plain hard. There are children to feed, laundry to do, lessons to teach, diapers to change, meals to cook, outside jobs for some. At times it can all seem overwhelming. But just for today, would you consider this verse with me.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

Precious friend, someday glory will be revealed to us. Our faith will turn to sight. Because of that, live today like you believe it!

"Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


For today I am so thankful that the renovations on our daughters basement finally started. We will be moving into their home the end of September. We had to wait for the contractor to finish up another project before starting ours. He started bright and early yesterday. DH and I will have a bedroom with an egress window and then a small living room and kitchenette. We will be getting a 6 foot bathtub that has whirlpool jets in it. We have a hot tub at our house ( 22years old) we are leaving and it has been a gift from God. The only time my hubby is not in pain is when he is sitting in the hot tub. Since we can’t really afford a new hot tub we will be getting a wonderful tub for hubby to relax in.

We were able to get an electric stair climber so hubby can get up and down the stairs. It will be such a relief. Thank you God for always providing what we need.
What are you thankful for on this Gratituesday?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where Am I?

Years ago we were driving cross country to our next duty station and ended up in Los Angeles in the middle of the night. We ended up going round and round on the freeway being very lost. None of the signs made any sense so we had no clue where we were.

Fast forward 25 years and now when we get lost we can have a cool little piece of technology that we can ask that all important question, "where am I?"

That is such a great question, one we should ask on a fairly regular basis. If we don't know where we are how do we know how to get to our destination? Remember going to a zoo and seeing the displays that show you how to get to the next display? There is a sign that says "you are here". So, we can move forward when we can trace from where we are at to where we are going.

So for today, pretend you are in your car and need to press that button, where am I. Meditate on that today. Tomorrow is Gratituesday so please start thinking about what you would like to say.

In Christ ALone,


Friday, August 20, 2010

Trust Me

When you go to a used car lot, the salesman will say something like, “trust me, this car is a gem”! Now most of us have enough common sense to realize he is a used car salesman and what he says may or may not be the truth. J I have little trust in anyone trying to sell me something that says, “Trust me”. Thankfully car salesmen are not in the same league as our Father.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5
Those first 8 words are powerful. We have been given the key to thriving, not just surviving. When our baby Celeste died I cried out to the LORD. I had to wrestle with the question, “is God trustworthy”? When we don’t get our hearts desire is our God still trustworthy? That is an easy question to answer until you are in the middle of grieving. God says to trust him when everything inside of you wants to scream, “I can’t trust you God”.

When I gave my life to the LORD I surrendered my will to His. I had a childlike faith. That trust has been tested many times and the answer is still the same, yes I can trust him. Several years later I was holding our son David in my arms, waiting for my husband to return from Saudi Arabia. I spent many hours sitting in that chair just holding him and crying out to the LORD. I remember it as if it was just yesterday. “Have I not proven that I trust you LORD”? That was my cry. I told God I would never turn my back on Him no matter how much he took away from me. I begged, I pleaded, I tried to bargain to no avail. God chose not to intervene and David died.

Do I trust Him after all of that, you bet I do. Now my husband is in the battle of his life and the question is still the same. Do I understand, absolutely not. But do I trust the LORD with my husband’s life? The God of the Universe has shown me over and over again that He loves me and I can trust my heart to His. It is a journey, one that I would like to share from time to time. There are no “how to” books to tell me how to walk next to my husband during this battle. So, I read, I pray and I trust like a child that God will never desert me.

Would you consider walking this faith journey with me? Look at the scripture again,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Have a wonderful weekend.
In Christ Alone

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jesus' Hands and Feet

Good morning to each of you. Last year our congregation presented it's members with business side cards that had in big letters RAOK.

We nicknamed them rock cards. ROAK stands for random acts of kindness.

We were asked to go into our communities and help perfect strangers and hand them the card and walk away. That card made me think.

We are supposed to be Jesus' hands and feet. We all know that but how do we put that in practice?

Let me tell you how I put it into practice. I go through the drive thru at McD's when I am alone. I will order something on the dollar menu and a free cup of water. I ask God to help me be wise with the money he entrusts with us. There are times when I feel led to tell people that God loves them. So, when I get up to the money window and pay my bill I ask how much the person behind me owes and then I pay it. When I get up to the next window to pick up my food I tell the person I have paid for the person behind me. I ask them to tell the person that I don't know them but I know that God truly loves them and to have a good day.

I have heard of people paying groceries for the person behind them. I know that seems extreme but that is just one example. People are hurting both economically and spiritually. There are as many ways as there are people. One time when I was with several ladies for breakfast I was the last to place my order with the waiter. I shared that we would be praying over our meal in a few minutes and wondered if there was anything we could pray for him about. Much to my surprise

he bent down, shared his story and bowed his head. I thought he would give his prayer request and move on but he was ready to be prayed over so that is just what we did. It has been over 5 years and still pray for him when he comes to mind.
If we want to think on things above then perhaps we can see what is in front of us as a huge opportunity to be Jesus' hands and feet. THere are lots of ways to do this. My examples are just a few. I bet if you looked you could also find ways to serve people with kindness.
Something to think about today. By the way, the comment button is broken so for all of you who tried, thank you. Hopefully it can be fixed.
In Christ Alone

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My List

Good morning and happy Monday. I hope you spent some time with the LORD this weekend. I challenged you to make a list of things that Jesus thought about on Friday. If we are to be Christ-like then we need to work on thinking like Jesus. So here is my top three list.

1. LOVE If you read the gospels the central theme was all about relationships. When love covers our relationships we behave in a way that would be Christ like
2. THE LOST Over and over Jesus thought about the lost. He spent the majority of his time drawing people to him so that they received the living water he was offering
3. UNITY In John’s account of Jesus’ last prayer before the crucifixion he prayed about unity among believers. When I read the prayer I want to weep. He wanted all believers to be united.
What is on your list? What do you think Jesus thought about?

So this list has got me to thinking. How well do I do loving others? Do I put a premium on relationships? Am I short with others, critical or judgmental? Do I love the unlovable? When I see people who obviously don't know the LORD do I have a heart that aches for where they are in life? Then there is unity. Constant conflict invades our days. God must weep that we have so many churches that just bicker and devour each other. These are things I am going to start focusing on, what about you?

Tomorrow is Gratituesday. Here is how it works. I am going to post what I am thankful for. I would love for you to read it and then comment on what YOU are thankful for. It really is a blessing to read what others are thankful for.
In Christ Alone

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Opthamologist's Instrument

Remember going to your very first Dr. to see if you needed glasses? I was about 12 before I went to my first appointment. I had become a pro at squinting at blackboards, TVs, road signs, you name it. Everything had been blurry for a couple of years. When I sat in the chair and the Dr. put the view finder up to me I was fascinated. The more he scrolled through the lenses I was amazed because everything became clearer. The final lenses he chose was crystal clear and I was so excited. I could see the outline of branches, words on the chalkboard were readable. I was so proud of my new glasses. They were pink frames with what I called cat eyes since each corner of the frame came up into a tip, very cool in the 60's!

Now lets go back to our scripture in Colossians 3:14. We are told to set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth. How do we do that when our gaze does not naturally look up both physically and metaphorical?

Like the new lenses I got at age 12 I need to have a lens with which to see clearly. When I see clearly I remember that this world is truly not my home. We say it but do we really believe it? We sure don't live like we believe it sometimes. Since this world is not my home but just a temporary tent then my lens will naturally look different. What does it matter what kind of home I have if it is only temporary? SO much of our time is spent on the acquisition of "stuff" Will I take any "thing" with me to my permanent home?

We will be moving soon due to my husband's health and it has been enlightening. To put the house on the market we rented a storage unit to put some of our "stuff" out of the way to make the home look bigger. Being a military wife for the first 22 years of our marriage I discovered that living light leads to packing lite which ultimately leads to moving light. We moved 14 times and I can tell you we lugged very little extras along the way. Most "stuff" is truly only a burden.

Setting our minds above challenges us to think like God thinks. The term being Christ like means we are thinking on the things Jesus thought on. Why don't you think about the kinds of things that Jesus thought on and then make a list. Make a list of things that will point you towards thinking above the earth. I will share mine on Monday, why don't you do the same.

Have a fabulous weekend and remember to honor the One who made this all possible.

In Christ Alone,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

LORD, give me a NEW mind, please!

Good morning ladies, and gents :) We have been talking about our minds this week. Yesterday I shared that the battle belongs to the LORD. I wanted to remind each of us of where our power comes from. We can't mold ourselves. On our own we blow it. I know Americans think otherwise but the truth is without the LORD we are helpless. One of Satan's lies is that we can do everything on our own.
Let me share a really important passage found in Colossians 3:1-4
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."
Would you do me a favor and meditate on this scripture right now?
There have been times in my life when I fall on my knees and say to God, "how can I set my mind above, there is laundry to do, bills to pay, babies to rock, Bible to read, house to clean and food to put on the table, how LORD?
God has not left us without a helper to guide us. Tomorrow let's disect this verse in a practical way.
Till then remember that you are a daughter of the King of Kings and LORD of LORD'S.

In Christ Alone,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Battle Belongs to the LORD

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Battle Belongs to the LORD
On Monday I shared some thoughts on our minds and how Satan is in a great battle to win our hearts and our minds. I remember the commercial that said, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste"One of my favorite Bible characters is David. He was so imperfect! In today's terms we would call him a dirty rotten scoundrel for what he did to Bathsheeba's husband. The God of the Universe saw so much more to David. He saw a man who struggled with lust and poor choices but also wanted to be pure in God's sight.When David went up before Goliath and the Philistines he recognized who was really in the battle. Listen to what he says in 1 Samuel 17:46:

"This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's and he will give you into our hands."

Sister, we are in a spiritual battle with Satan for our minds. So today I would like you to meditate on this fact, the battle is the LORD's.
Till tomorrow
In Christ Alone,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Welcome to Jill's blog called Gratituesday. My hearts desire has been to have a blog where I can post daily devotionals that will not only uplift you but will encourage you in your walk with the LORD.
My favorite brother (also my only brother) John has been working hard to create a blog for me where I can share. I am so thankful for my brother who was willing to put in the time to create this medium for me.
I want to be a blessing to those who come my way. It's not fancy or glitzy which I am neither but it is practical.
Gratituesday is not my brain child but my dear sister in the LORD Laura from Heavenly Homemakers. Each Tuesday she posts on her site at heavenlyhomemaker.com a post of what she is thankful for. We will link to hers and find out what God is doing in the lives of others sisters on Tuesday's.
Please share your comments with me on the comment block. I would love to know what you are thankful for.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Molding and Shaping

Good morning to each of you this morning. I am a morning person and love to be up before anyone else. This morning I came downstairs and walked over to my desk where my Bible and notebook were. I have a very busy day ahead of me and limited time to get ready this morning. I literally looked at my computer and looked at my Bible weighing in my mind. Jesus’ words came back to me, “Come away with me to a quiet place and rest”. Mark 6:31. When you listen to that still small voice you obey!

Rest, it is not physical rest in need this morning but rest in the arms of my Father so that He can mold and shape me. You see, the prophet Isaiah said in 64:8 “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter, we are all the work of your hand.”

The longer I live the more important it becomes to me to be shaped by the Master Potter. Not my will but His.
What about you? Did you have a choice this morning like I did? Chose well my sweet sister and you will be blessed with being molded.

In Christ Alone,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Walk, Don't Run

When I was a child I loved going to the local swimming pool. I loved everything about being at the pool. Looking back I have to giggle because I was forever being told to, “walk, don’t run”. It was so hard not to run because it was just so much fun to run and jump as I high as I could into the water. We are never too old to run. In fact if you look around we are all running somewhere.

When my hubby first got sick he had to slow down in more than one way. I would walk next to him and match his steps. He made a comment that has stuck with me. “Jill, things sure look different at this pace.” This was the man who dashed literally between meetings, dashed to finish up the latest project. He was always running from my thing to the next. When he was forced to slow down he liked what he saw. If you stop and think about it, don’t we all need to slow down? For the next couple of days we are going to talk about our pace.

So, get ready for God to stretch you and me.

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

In Christ Alone,