The Riches of Life

“But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10 NLT

Money. I’ve often wondered how different my life might be if I had enough money to buy everything I wanted and travel to the places I desired to see. I wondered what I would do if I ever won the lottery, though I have never played any lotteries. I thought I would bless the church, pay off my children’s debt, as well as mine. But these things were only fantasy.

I grew up with everything I needed, and a few things I wanted, but my family was like most then, living from paycheck to paycheck. After getting married and having children, I remembered having a dollar and change to go to the store and buy bread and bologna so my children could have something to eat. If I had $25.00 to spend for weekly groceries, it was a good week. I learned how to fill family bellies with what God provided.

As time passed, and the family grew with a new marriage, we still struggled. I couldn’t afford to buy the leather school jackets for my children who were in high school so they could dress like their peers. Life was difficult and work hours were long. But we made it through without suffering because God always provided.

Today I am a widow, all my children and most of my grandchildren are adults. I still live paycheck to paycheck, though they are monthly now, not weekly. I have learned how to distinguish between want and need, mostly. I realize nothing I have is mine. It is all provided by God through his goodness. As I look back on my life, I see how rich it has been without having a huge bank account. I have been truly blessed by the things that really matter. And I’m grateful.

What do you dream about? Do you believe money will solve all your problems and make you happy? What if you are looking for happiness in earthly treasure instead of realizing the treasures God offers?

Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to remember not to place my trust in worldly things, but to trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


The Battle Is Not Mine

“Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ “

I’m a diabetic. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2016. At the time I was shocked, frightened and worried. This disease is silent and no one who looks at you realizes you are affected. I corrected my diet and tracked food and even lost weight.

But as the years passed, I grew impatient and gave up on tracking what I ate and slipping into old patterns of comfort food. The numbers told the truth no matter how I tried to justify my choices. Why did this happen?

I’m a carboholic. I’m always hungry for carbs and I have turned to them for comfort in this stage of life where I’m spending my life alone. I rarely speak during the day, but my mind is constantly working. I began to turn to the “comfort” foods I’d grown up with. What I forgot is I cannot win this battle alone. I need to turn to Jesus. He can fill me with the comfort I seek and need. I need more God and less processed carbs. I need to trust that God will go to battle on my behalf if I trust Him and listen.

The Battle is Not Mine.


Why Did He Come?

Luke 10 NLT “Jesus responded, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

What a relief it is to know the real purpose for which Jesus was born of a woman and walked this same earth I walk upon. He came to seek and save the lost.

So what does that mean for me now that I have accepted Jesus as my Savior and have been saved? I believe it is now my purpose to continue His work by telling others about how my life has been changed by having a relationship with Jesus. He is my constant companion. He fills my heart with hope and joy and I want this to show in all I do and say. I want to plant seeds of hope. It is not my job to save. That belongs exclusively to Jesus.

I’m a sinner. No matter how I’d like to never commit a sin again, I can never reach that goal until my body dies and my soul rises to heaven. But I can be a better person today than I was yesterday. Every day is a new gift from God. A new day to do better, to be thankful, and spread kindness.

Are you lost? Do you believe you are too mired in sin to be forgiven? Jesus already died for those sins. The price is paid. All you have to do is ask Jesus to forgive you. Ask Him to help you become a better person, for your life to be changed. Give thanks for His love. And believe.


When Anger Flares and Patience is Forgotten

“…But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him,” (Luke 15:20b NKJV)

I have always had a temper. Through following Jesus, I’ve learned to be more patient and to not let the anger escape when it serves no purpose. Yet, I’m human. I make mistakes I’m not proud of. A few days ago, my companion cat, Finnegan, was in need of my attention. I was busy and wanted him to be patient.

Cats do not understand patience. While Finnegan understands certain words, mostly because of my inflections, he does not understand human language. He wanted me to stop what I was doing and play with him. I ignored him.

When this happens, Finnegan turns to ways he knows to get my attention. Usually this is knocking things off the desk or other high places. This day he chose to push the magazine holder at the side of my desk to the floor. What a clatter! The books inside fell out of the holder, but luckily the plastic holder did not break. But it fell in a space where I could not easily retrieve the items. I lost my temper. I yelled at Finnegan saying things I didn’t mean. Horrible things. I even said I didn’t know why I had decided to give him a home!

And then, instead of taking time to move a storage unit on wheels so I could get into the spot, I tried to bend over to pick them up. Of course, I lost my balance and wound up hanging percariously with no way of righting myself. I had to turn to prayer. I began asking Jesus to help me as I struggled to brace against the wall to get back to my feet. Jesus answered my prayer and I wasn’t hurt. All of this because of my anger in the moment. I did move the cart and retrieved the books and magazine holder.

Finnegan was hiding behind the big plant in the kitchen watching me. I felt awful. Why had I let my anger get so out of hand over something I could have prevented by giving a little attention to my cat?

The sermon at church yesterday was on The Prodigal Son. I began thinking of how God wants all of us to repent and turn around and come home. I had sinned. But like the prodigal son, God was waiting for me. I confessed, with tears, and asked for forgiveness. I know that God had been waiting with open arms for me. He already knew what I would do when I ignored my cat. And through this experience, He taught me once again the need to learn how to be patient and how damaging a temper can be.

Do you get angry and then feel guilty?


When Trust Falters

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5 NIV

I set up a window bed for my cat, Finnegan, several months ago. It has been his favorite bed in the entire house. He is able to perch there while I’m writing, blogging, Skyping, coloring or working on puzzles. He likes it because he can look outside at the birds and people walking their dogs while I’m busy. It keeps him close to me without having him sprawled across the keyboard or on my coloring page. But it fell off the windowsill last week. I fixed it with new velcro strips, but he doesn’t trust it now.

It reminds me of how we can lose trust also. Maybe we are praying for a loved one to be healed, and we trust God will answer. Sometimes he answers in a way that causes us deep pain and sorrow. We don’t see the good in what has happened. We ask God why? And we can waver in our trusting Him with future prayers. If He let us down this time, He might do it again.

We become like my cat, who stares at the bed, wanting so much to jump to the comfort he once felt but doesn’t trust it will hold him.

Dear readers, I assure you God is trustworthy. We may not understand the why of our unanswered prayers or mis-answered prayers. We look at things from a human perspective through our own disappointment and pain. But if we take a step back from the darkness around us, we will see our loved one is alive and completely healed. This is God’s love and promise fulfilled. What cannot be healed on earth, can be healed in heaven.

Are you struggling with trusting God? Can you take a step forward and reach out in prayer for Him to remove any pain or anger and to heal your heart?

Father, forgive me for doubting You and leaning on my own understanding instead of trusting in You. I know I am a broken human and I need You to show me how to trust again. I know there is a reason for what happened and that I may never understand the why. Help me to accept this and move forward in trust. In the trustful name of Jesus. Amen.