Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at https://www.lovinggodministry.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Blizzard Conditions

Have you ever driven in a blizzard?  I was driving in a blizzard recently on my way to a wedding, of all things.  This drive took me down scary highway and frightening roads, including ten miles of either going up a steep hill or going down one.  The visibility was awful, and my wipers kept collecting slush and ice so they didn’t clear the quickly accumulating snow well at all.  I pulled off at a coffee shop, whose parking lot was not yet plowed, and wondered if I would get stuck.  The wedding was in the woods up the mountains, and while it was a late start, it was beautiful, full of God’s people with the presence of the Spirit of God in the midst of that place, snow and all.  A union of a man and a woman still took place.  I was the pianist and singer, and nothing was going to keep me from being there.  Playing that baby grand piano in that sweet little chapel for two hours while waiting for guests to arrive was so serene.  I’ve been at weddings that had bad weather, including one with winds so harsh the window to the reception hall broke.  But this one was one of my favorite weddings, even though the fear of having to drive home back up and down those ten miles of steep hills lay before me, as it was still snowing.
Have you been in any storms in your life that seemed to have peace in the midst of them?  Did you feel like you didn’t even understand why, but there was no where else you’d rather be?  You felt courage, which is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to endure while you face those fears.  The Spirit of God could be palpated He was so close, and your heart was filled with joy.  Others around you might not understand, and even think you are crazy for standing strong in that situation, but wild horses couldn’t keep you away.  Missionaries often feel this way when on the field, bringing their sweet, precious families into the midst of the unknown and even known dangers.  Family members may question the validity of their call.  But while they realize those dangers are real, they are ready to face them with sweet assurance that they at least are not going through it alone, but with their loving heavenly Father, who has a plan and a purpose for their lives.
Next time you stand at the threshold of something scary that you know you need to cross over for the next chapter in your life, or a new challenging task, make sure God wants you there, and if so, cross over with joy and confidence, enjoying the sweet peace that comes in the midst of that trial, with all the waves and the winds, and yes, sometimes the snow blowing all around you.  Looking back, it may be one of your sweetest memories.
Psalm 46:1-3, 10,11: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Redd Harper (Mr. Texas) - I am Satisfied (45 LP)

I just love this guy!  Share this with the children in your life.  What a great little chorus!

Confronting Difficult People in Your Life

Am reading a great book called, Setting Boundaries with Difficult People by Allison Bottke, published by Harvest House Publishers. I wanted to share some things from her book that touch my heart, as maybe they will touch your heart, too. I will do this for my next few blog posts as I read through the book.

On pgs. 23-24, she mentions some notes she took from her preacher that were really meaningful.

"When opportunity knocks, we need to have courage to overcome fear. There's a difference between understanding what you should do and choosing to do it. The tipping point takes us from knowing what we ought to do to making the decision to act."

"God will direct our paths, but He won't take the step for us. Some of us will stop on the journey. It's not just knowing - it's going. Often, there is a gap in the middle between knowing and going."

"Life is a parade of "now" moments, not a series of tomorrows. No future moment is more significant than now."

Is this your "now" moment? She goes on to talk about the importance of confronting difficult people, or issues in your life, or moving on and letting it go. It takes courage to walk through doors to freedom. Yes, identifying what those doors are is an important step, but then walking through the door is the courageous act that will set you free to solve problems and have peace and joy.

She mentions a book called, A Woman's Passionate Pursuit of God by Karol Ladd. She talks about how the author commented on the book of Philippians, and how the Apostle Paul wrote of his resilient joy, consistent contentment, and a peace that passes all understanding while being beaten and imprisoned in a dungeon for doing what was right. She quotes this:

"Have you ever thought you were following God's guidance or leading and found yourself in a real mess of a situation? It can tend to make you want to doubt God and question His work in your life. Did I really follow God's direction? Does He really care about my situation? Why should God allow this to happen to me if I am following His will? The questions are valid, but we will soon see that God often allows the difficulties in our lives for a greater purpose. He will not leave us in the midst of our troubles. The important thing is to learn to react to our situations and challenges with faith and not fear."

Here are some questions to ask yourself, as a challenge:

"Who are the difficult people in your life? With whom are you hesitant to set healthy boundaries?"
"What keeps you from setting those boundaries?"
"Which growth action - standing up or moving on - are you willing to take with the difficult people in your life so that you are no longer stuck in neutral?"

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Comfort in the arms of Jesus

For you strong women who sometimes need to cuddle up in the arms of Jesus, enjoy this song by Twila Paris. Even Jesus needed time apart from the crowds to pray. Matthew 14:23: "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone."

Isn't it a beautiful solace to know we can run to Him anytime we need to? Feel loved, my sisters. I know I need that time; our souls crave it, so why not embrace that comfort He offers? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRNFf3ykQvM

Psalm 55:22: "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
1 Peter 5:6-9: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."
Notice it says, "that he may exalt you IN DUE TIME?" Get your rest first. He has more plans for you, but get your rejuvenation back first; don't worry...He will sustain you so that your foot will not be moved.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Christmas Fair Vendor

I know this is a Christmas song, but I wanted to post it again. Sadly, my publisher has gone out of business. I'm not sure where that will leave me in my writing career, but as you can see from this video, I have worked very hard, and had a very fun, exciting run.  I have loved interacting with people at vendor fairs and book signings, and while my heart was often crushed when doors closed to me that were once open or no one showed at a book signing, it was a really cool experience.  I have given it all to the Lord, and whether I never write again, or if He opens new doors for me, I want all to be done for the glory of God, not myself.  I hope those of you who have purchased my items indeed have been very blessed. <3

Monday, February 6, 2017

Personalized Plan of Care

I was thinking today about how the Lord establishes our goings.

Proverbs 16:9: "A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps."  
Psalm 37:23: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way." 
Psalm 25:12: "What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose."

I was thinking about how broad it is to read God's Word and get wisdom, but how individualized it is when the Holy Spirit corrects and guides us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves, and His plan of care for us is personal.  It's like when you go to the gym and you have a personal trainer who measures you and gives you goals that are specific for your body type, your health, and your strengths and weaknesses.

It's one thing to read a heath magazine, but an entirely different thing to have a health care provider see you face to face, hear your complaints, and individualize a plan of care for your optimal health, wellness, and healing. 

It's wonderful to read a self help book, but to go to a counselor who will listen to you and guide you down the right paths to restore your relationships and sanity based on your particular situation is a much better, specific treatment.  What's so powerful about it?  The wisdom and knowledge of the counselor, the health care provider, and the trainer.

Who knows you better than God?  He will guide you into all truth and goodness.  Read His Word, and then pray, listening to His still, small voice as He guides and directs you each day.  You can know the answers to your difficult questions, and which path to walk down.  Follow Him.

Psalm 119:105: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Psalm 18:28: " For you will light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness."

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Loving Correction

I was reading Proverbs 3:13-18 recently about the benefits and value of having wisdom.   Read this, and think about what those benefits are:

Proverbs 3:13-18:
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

I went back to read it again the next day, and I noticed a couple verses I had underlined in my Bible just above this passage.  In vs. 11-12 it says:

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Then it goes on to talk about the value of wisdom.  I thought about how it hurts sometimes to be corrected.  My pride is damaged, and I feel embarrassed.  When we feel like that, we can easily come into bitterness and resentment, and harden our hearts toward the things of God.

OR...we can humble ourselves, and realize that just like with any loving parent, our heavenly Father seeks to correct us...why?  So we can have all those benefits of wisdom He tells us in vs. 13-18!  EVERYONE has to go through a time of learning before they can reap the benefits of wisdom, so you are not alone.  We are not to despise the chastening of the Lord, or be weary of His correction.  That means if we keep failing and the Lord has to keep getting our attention, don't fret!  Don't get exasperated!  Try to learn so the Lord doesn't have to keep correcting you over and over for the same thing.  Be humble, learn your lesson, and move on to greater challenges ahead, remembering that if you are being chastened by the Lord, it's proof of His love for you, and that He delights in you because if He didn't, He wouldn't bother with you.  He would let you go down those paths that will lead you to destruction and an unfulfilled life.  Isn't the Lord's love for us a beautiful thing, even if it hurts a little sometimes?  Be humble and bask in His love for you today.

Hebrews 12:6: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”