Showing posts from 2019

Come to Jesus

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 Just moments ago I read a message about the things God could have asked of us in order to secure our salvation.   It made me laugh because of course, the point was that grace is a gift. Grace is not something to be earned, thankfully, because none of us is capable of earning it.   It also made me laugh because of some experiences my husband and I have had at different churches.           In our search for a church home we visited a few places. One stands out as we attended there for several months. We were considering becoming members even though we weren’t quite sure it was the place for us.   Very quickly we would find out that it was not, nope, not at all. We met with the pastor and he outlined the things we wou

Losing My Head

    “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42   The little lady in the picture is the true representative of what too many of us feel at Christmas time. Every single year for the past four or five years, she has lost her head. (I was going to include the picture of the headless body but that felt a little gruesome.) Each year when I set up her beautiful town house she somehow falls or jumps to the floor, causing the loss of her head. She has friends on her little perch, a young boy and another woman. Neither of them has ever lost a head or any other body part. They remain serenely on the house while poor Sally crashes to the floor.           I call her Sally because it goes with stress and she reminds me of stress. Sally Stressed is freaking out over all that needs to be done while Susie and Sammy Serene serenade the

Make Room

  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:6-7   No room available.   In reading an Advent devotional I came across this phrase, “Yet when the Son of God came into the world, there was no room for him.” Did you just gasp? I did.   My gasp was not based on events from thousands of years ago but on the state of the world today.   I think it is because of the way the sentence is written, “When the Son of God” (a name/title important enough to be capitalized) “came into the world” (a place in desperate need of help) “there was no room for him.”             No room for Jesus? Why? Who or what could be more important than Jesus? In defense of the inn keeper of Bethlehem, he didn’t know who he was turning away. Can we say the same? No, no we cannot.           Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “I lov

He Say, You Do

  Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” John 14:23   Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 There is a student in our school who never wears shorts, never.   We live in Florida and still he never wears shorts and is quite verbal about it. Even when he knows we’re going on an outdoor field trip, outside all day, no shorts. Or as he says, “No chorts!”           Imagine my surprise when he said, in his heavily accented English, “Mrs. Searsha, look… Chorts!” (Mrs. Tricia, look…Shorts!)   I expressed my surprise and asked him why he was wearing them.           “My God say!” He said, as if that should clear it up, which in retrospect it should have done.   When I asked what he meant, he told me that while he was sleeping he heard God say, “Fernando, wear shorts.” “So I wear.” He said with quite a bit of enthusiasm. “He say, you do!” He told me.           He say, you do. If we all lived that way t


Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, This is a bit of a departure from my normal message style. Something happened that I want to share with all of you, to encourage you to reach out in Jesus’ name.           Yesterday I published a message on positive attitudes.   From that message I received a very heartfelt email from a sweet friend. She and I go back many years. We didn’t know each super well then. I met her because I was close friends with her brother. Through the years and the quick connect of social media, I have grown closer to her. This morning I read a message from her that tore at my heart.           The odd thing is I have been reminded of her brother quite often this week. He resides in heaven now and therefore does not need my prayers, so I focused them on his family, in particular his sister. As it turns out, she does need my prayers.*             The point of sharing this here is to encourage you to give yourselves over to God’s will and timing. There is no way

Positve Attitude

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:5 In our classroom we have a point system for behavior. The things done well earn points; things done poorly or in a negative way take points away and there are things that are just are, neither giving nor taking a point. Recently we added a category to the mix. It’s a potential point earner and the label is, “positive attitude all day/no tattling.”           Our angels love to point out what the other student is doing or has done wrong. They also love to start arguments with each other and complain about our schedule. (Did I mention that they are pre-teens and ours is a special ED. classroom?) In an attempt to deter conversations about opposing sports teams, politic

Keeping Watch

  So do not fear I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 There is a huge difference in being watched and being watched over. Too many people have a concept of God as judge. They see him as standing nearby watching and waiting for the mistake, the sin that will surely come. When it does he will pounce. “Gotcha’!” That isn’t who God is or how he operates. God is omnipresent, yes, but he is here with us to protect us, guide us and love us.           We love the words in Romans 8:38-39.   Nothing can separate us from God’s love. That’s sounds great but does he have to watch every move? Yes, yes he does.           I thought about this the other day when I heard our kindergarten teachers talking about classroom visits from the administrators of our school. For the most part the ladies were rattled. One of the teachers new to our school this year, asked if the

The Important Book

  Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 A year or so ago I gave my grandson Abram a devotional book that had some great science tie ins.   He loved it and when he and his dad finished reading it he told me that he needed another “important book.”   We were pretty close to Christmas so I made sure that one of his gifts was another devotional book.           The other day he told me that his daddy is bad. I assumed my son had said no to something Abram wanted and I was partially right. The night before Abram had asked to read his “important book” and his dad told him he would have to wait. Abram has two younger siblings, one of whom is just a few months old, and he made his request right at bed and bath time on a night that dad was home alone with the kids. Abram is six and has the tenaciousness that is unique to boys of that age. Dad’s delay was not an acceptable situation.           The end of the story is that dad did read from the book after

God Only Knows

    Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again; Rejoice! Let you gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7   Anyone who knows me, know that I am very skeptical of anything that presents itself as a formula to get closer to God. It’s as if we have to follow certain steps in a certain order to get His attention or receive His mercy. I am much more an advocate of crying out from the naked, transparent depths of my heart. Trusting that the God who created me and loves me is not checking the order of my steps as I run to Him.           Today I’m going a little bit of a sidestep from that. This morning while praying three phrases came to my mind and heart and immediately I knew they weren’t just for me. Som

A Pain In The Neck

  Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. 1 Corinthians 15:33 There is a season for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 For the last several days I’ve had a lot of pain in my neck.   This isn’t the first time I’ve had this and I know eventually it will ease up. This morning while we were praying my husband prayed that God would take away the pain in my neck.   I absolutely appreciate his prayer and I am so grateful and thankful for his support but the first thought that went through my mind was, “Well, there goes somebody.”           My Bible Babes and I have had a few discussions about toxic people. It is so hard to get rid of them. Sometimes because of them but just as often because we won’t let them go. As much as we complain and bemoan the toll that they take on our lives we have myriad excuses why cutting them off feels wrong.           I promise you I fervently hope that my hubby’s prayer is answered.   I am

Son Bathing

  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 This very clever play on words is not mine. I am borrowing from Brennan Manning. Given what I know of him, he would be happy to share it with me and let me share it with you. After all that is the whole point of “Son bathing.”            It seemed very appropriate that I would come across this term in a season when those of us who live in the sunny South are exhibiting signs of outdoor activities. We see glowing skin from days at the beach or pool as well as tans from hard work in the great oven that   is Florida in the summer. We see these changes in complexion and we comment, we inquire.   Have you been to the beach? Pool?           How lovely it would be if as a result of our Son bathing people were seeing, commenting and asking? You look content in the light of all that is going on around you. Why is that? What a great opener for u

Open Arms

  Bur concerning Israel he said, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” Romans 10:21 This morning in prayer I was reminded of one of my most difficult students. This little guy had a hefty side dish of autism in addition to his more obvious syndrome. He could easily become violent, growling, hitting and scratching, with little or no provocation. On the other hand he had the sweetest smile, the best laugh (when it was a true laugh, not an evil one) and I believe a kind heart. I absolutely loved him. Still to say that I was a bit terrified of what he could do to me is not an understatement. Oh my boy!           There were so many times as he was gearing up for destruction of property or persons, that I thought,   if I could just grab him and hug him close he would calm down. Not so. On rare occasions he would let me give him a hug. Admittedly I was leery, as we never knew when sweet would end and brutal would begin.   Still when he wou


    Saul answered “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” 1 Samuel 21 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15 Discouragement is an ugly, insidious disease.   Looking around and feeling that all you have attempted has failed, that every effort is met with defeat, every relationship a fraud and all hope just slightly out of reach is completely debilitating.   That being true, think of what a fine tool discouragement is for our enemy.   If we can only see what we can see and not what God sees, we sometimes, too often for many of us, have to ask, “Why bother?”           For a long time Gideon has been one of my favorite citizens of the Bible.   He is quick to say to God, “Not it!” Like Moses before him, Gideon is pretty sure God has t

More Than

  God rejoices over you with singing. The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 1 John 3:16a   Years ago I played a game with my oldest grandson, Joey. The game was “I love you more than….” And we filled in the blank, each time upping the prize a little until Joey would say his current favorite thing, soccer, the Pooh movie, French toast or whatever he dearly loved at the moment and I would say, “You win!”           This morning I was reminded of that game while in prayer.   I felt the deep love of my Savior and I thought, no matter how much I love God; he will always love me more. More. More than…..

What’s Good?

  Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 …speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Ephesians 5:19a Trendy phrases are not usually my friend. I love words. I take great delight in clever uses of words and phrases. Rarely do I ever embrace a trend that minimizes the meaning of great word or maximizes a small one. I’m still struggling not to cringe every time I hear the word, “selfie.” Lord, deliver me!              So, imagine my surprise when I was taken by a new and somewhat odd greeting. “What’s good?” I heard it first on a television show and was right in step with the character who, on receiving that greeting, needed it explained to her. At first I just found it odd. “What’s good?” sounds like something you ask a server in a restaurant. “So, what’s good

Leaving A Legacy

  One generation will commend your works to another and shall declare your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4   A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. Proverbs 13:22 A legacy can be many things I guess. When I looked up the actual definition it said, “a gift or bequest.”   I’ve heard people refer to their legacy in terms of how they want to be remembered.   Never have I given much, if any thought about my legacy, until the other day that is.           A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting my son’s church on a week when he was leading the worship portion of the service. My son, Jeffrey, is a very talented musician in many areas. He’s good at entertaining people but when he steps up to lead worship it takes his talent to an entirely different level. To say that he is anointed is not an exaggeration.           So there I was at that service singing along with my boy (keep in mind he’s a foot taller than I and in his mid-thirties, my “boy”)

Love Child

  I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 Many years ago there was a Supremes song called “Love Child.” It told the story of children born to parents who had not bothered to get married before conceiving them. There was a lot of shame and humiliation implied in the lyrics. The singer is saying that she will not make that mistake or cast that shame onto her own child.           Those lyrics may seem a bit odd in these days where children born outside of marriage are pretty much the norm. Still the message is there, we aren’t good enough based on the facts or circumstances of our early life. Sad. The sins of the parents should not determine the value of the child. Thankfully they don’t. Nor do our own sins determine our value to our Father.           Read the verse above again. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” It doesn’t say, “I have loved you, the child born to the two happily married people, the chil


  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you; Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Matthew 5:43-44 It’s love day, Valentine’s Day, hearts and flowers, chocolate and cards day. People will spend too much money on things that will cost less tomorrow to prove the depth of their love today. Is that what love looks like? Candy? Cards? Dinner? Flowers? I guess those can be symbols of love sometimes.   Real love however, doesn’t usually look like cards and flowers. Our example of real love comes from Jesus. It isn’t covered in glitter or chocolate. It doesn’t come in a pretty vase or at a candle lit table.   While all of those things are beautiful and can touch our hearts, they aren’t love Jesus style. Turning the other cheek, ignoring the insult, praying for the offender, helping a person whose beliefs are in complete opposition to our own and whose life view turns our stomachs, that is what Jesus love

No Bootstraps

  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15:4-5 I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday. We haven’t really talked in far too long. In catching me up on her life she shared some hard things that are going on in her family.   At one point she mentioned that her husband had told her that another family member should “pull herself up by her bootstraps.” Uh-oh! While I get hubby’s perspective, the only answer to the disaster which is currently encompassing their loved one, is Jesus. My friend knows that and is trying to help her dear one to see it as well. In our conversation I quoted the above verse to her. Bootstraps aren’t going to get us anywhere. Oddly during the conversation my friend had to refasten the stra