Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Get Your Sparkle On!"

Of all things to break during the Holiday times, my vaccum has sucked up its last dust bunny.  With each attempt to use it, the motor revved louder and louder.  I knew something was up.  Then it made a sound like...cough, cough...gasp, eeeerrrreeesputter  sputter  thump thump.  (No, that wasn't the bunny).  It's history.

So, today on Day 6 of my Christmas decorating, I noticed the carpet after spreading out my handrail garland and untwisting the ribbon and greenery.  It glitters like gold, which just happens to remind me of a devotional I wrote last spring. Since I am a day late on my Friday postings, I thought I'd work this in today.

Here's hoping you all will all get your "sparkle" on this Christmas, ...and don't be too quick to vacuum or sweep it all up. 

Glittering Steps
Revelation 21:18 -21 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.  The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

 Each step lit up, sparkling and shining, so brilliant, I looked forward to more steps up the sidewalk.  Usually, my shoes are trying to avoid a fresh wad of chewed gum or worse as I walk through my workplace, a high school campus.  Today though, because of some ceremony for graduation or more simply, a club making a big sign, spilled glitter salt and peppered the walkway as I traveled from the administration building across the campus quad to the library.  All colors were represented; blue, green, red and then of course the silver and gold.  Shining brightly that day, the sun reflected off the sparkly embellished sidewalk of glitter, almost half the distance to the library.  Disappointment came to my heart as I ended my glorious walk down my glistening pathway, imagining another roadway.  

“Is this a little glimpse of what it might be like in Heaven?”  I thought.  

We can only imagine and then it can never compare to God’s brilliance and His Glory. 

Lord, thank you for this reminder that my walk is towards eternity and though we may only catch a spark now and then, let me continue to be ever present of the treasure that awaits me in your time, thus reflecting to those in my pathway. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Event Planner--Supreme

Psalm 139: 1-3 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
         You understand my thought afar off.
  You comprehend my path and my lying down,
         And are acquainted with all my ways.

My thoughts drifted all day to my upcoming group fellowship, to be held that evening.  Without transportation and failing to prepare the night before, I tried to formulate a plan in my head how I was going to get my “stuff” together for this event. In frustration, I even contemplated not going so I would not have to inconvenience others and avoid the hassle.

…But God goes before me
  I find that thoughts are like having an open mic in heaven. Never did I “bow my head and close my eyes” and talk to God about my dilemma. Why would God intervene in my silly, unorganized logistic problems?

The Event Planner—Supreme

My “T-mail,” my thoughts, are heard, and because God in omnipotent, omnipresent and just loves me to pieces…He makes a way.

Well...It wasn't this dramatic, but still...

Surprised to see my good friend Cathy waiting at my house when I got home from work, she had a situation of her own.  She knew I needed a ride, but she wanted help to make her big apple baked dessert. We gathered up a few things we needed including me and we were off. Going to the store together, we purchased the ingredients for my salad and then headed to her house.

In a team effort we sliced up fresh apples, rolled out a crust from scratch and made an unforgettably delicious apple bake. That was fun and fellowship in itself. Going on over to the gathering of friends that  I spend every other Monday night with, we  celebrated the oncoming Christmas season in dinner and blessings.  How could I have missed this night?

Thank you Lord that You are intently listening, granting me grace, and making a way for me.  I pray that I can do the same; continue to listen to you intently, be grace-full, and be a servant when You allow me to be a part of an “event” in someone else’s life. Amen. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stitched and Patched

 Ecclesiastes 3:7a   A time to tear and a time to mend…

“Put that in the ‘to be mended pile’,” my mother would say. 

An expert seamstress, nothing remained ripped or torn for too long.  She used what looked like a plastic Easter egg to darn holes in my dad’s socks,  sewed back buttons and slip-stitched my girl scout patches on my sash.  Every formal dress for my high school dances, she carefully put together to my design and color, especially paying attention to detail.  I learned to sew as well on the same machine, double checking all my seams to make sure they were the standard 5/8’s inch; if not, I had to do some “ripping out” and a redo.

Reminded of where my sewing ability came from as I finally got around to mending a pillow whose stuffing peeked out, I opened the same drawer of the sewing machine my mother used; now sitting in my own bedroom. Still filled with a multitude of threads and sewing accessories to complete the job, I reached in and found the perfect color thread to stitch together the torn apart side of the pillow. 

 When things in our life become ripped apart, torn, shredded and in need of mending, God just doesn’t throw us in the “to be” pile.  He reaches for that perfectly matching thread of grace, love, mercy and wisdom.  With tender care, we rest in His arms and allow Him to make us like new, and more than likely, stronger than the original.  God is seen in the intricate details of our life; a fabric of forgiveness, a silk-lining of service, a needlework of worship, a pattern of prayer; hemmed in humility, to bring glory to the Designer. 

Father, today I thank you for creating me with your divine thread of purpose.  Though at times I may become a little frayed, You still renew me with your perfect detailed stitches and patches of love. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Arms of Love

Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)

 The eternal God is your refuge,
   and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,
   saying, ‘Destroy them!’

My friend’s daughter serves in the U.S. Military, stationed in Iraq; she tends to the wounded in the wind-blown tents of uncertainty. Her two sons also serve in active combat duty, somewhere in the Afghan wilderness—three children in harm’s way.  My friend shared her news with me that her daughter and son-in-law received leave and planned on traveling from Texas, their base,  to California. Excited to reunite with her family, my friend still holds the same concern for this journey as well; not quite relaxing until her daughter’s physical presence arrives and she can wrap her arms around her. A woman of great strength and obvious sacrifice, she trusts God for her children’s protection. 

Our Heavenly Father cares for us in the same way; as His children. In the battlefields surrounded by enemy fire in a far off land or the familiar surroundings of home or work, God is ever near. He longs to keep us close, share in our journeys, rejoice in our homecoming and hold us safe in His arms. 

Heavenly Father, thank you for your protection from the enemy and for the prayer warriors in my life who trust You to intercede for me and many others. Your arms stretched out across a wooden cross, and now reach down and embrace me each day. 

In memory of my friend, Debbie Wilson, whose life story inspired this devotional. God Bless America and the Wilson family. 

Veteran’s Day Prayer

Dear Lord,
Today we honor our veterans,
worthy men and women
who gave their best
when they were called upon
to serve and protect their country.
We pray that you will bless them, Lord,
for their unselfish service
in the continual struggle
to preserve our freedoms, our safety,
and our country’s heritage, for all of us.
Bless them abundantly
for the hardships they faced,
for the sacrifices they made
for their many different contributions
to America’s victories
over tyranny and oppression.
We respect them, we thank them,
we honor them, we are proud of them,
and we pray that you will watch over
these special people
and bless them with peace and happiness.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen.

                           By Joann Fuchs                             


Friday, November 4, 2011

Holy Highway

II Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Peyton Avenue crosses north and south through Chino Hills; the major road to reach the high school, post office and city hall. Once a country road with horse trails connecting to ranch properties; the swelling suburb demanded a transformation of the road to a major thoroughfare. The morning traffic approaching the high school is difficult enough, but the second week of school, construction started on Peyton to widen the area directly in front of the school. Today, nine weeks later, the new lane opened up for traffic. Although not complete and perfect, construction graders and hard-hatted workmen still visible; cars traveled, following the new painted lines directing the flow. Smooth asphalt lay under the trusting tires and it functioned well. 

Sometimes, we don’t feel ready to open up God’s improvement project in our hearts, until we feel it is totally complete.  Our orange cones of fear stay in place while we continue to wait for God to smooth out our rough edges and fill up our "pot-holes" of weak faith. But God is our mighty road engineer, wanting to work through us in our imperfection.  When you hear God tell you that the barricades need to come down, trust that He wants to widen your purpose for His Glory destination. 

Lord, I am humbled to know that even though I feel inadequate and insufficient, you fill me with hope and strength,  that I can do all things through you.  May you always receive the glory. Amen.

Monday, October 31, 2011


(This is a little late because of internet problems...but I believe God's timing is always the best)

Ephesians 2:8-9 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. 

A night out with friends at “Knott’s ‘Scary’ Farm,” my adult son, Corey, came home with a gianormous prize after playing a carnival game.   Luck or pure skill?  Finding that out later, the first question involved space; this thing needed its own room!  
"Bumblebee" the Transformer

Examining their life, some think doing enough good deeds, being a nice person, raising an honorable family, having success in this world; awards one a multitude of tickets for God’s favor in the eternal game. All the skill in the world, all the nice tries and even luck-- born in a “Christian nation,” cannot guarantee one will possess the winning ticket.  God’s winning ticket is torn from a book called Grace, and the tickets are endless.  A reach out in humble faith, he awards us only one ticket and it is the winner!  God already bought each of us a chance. One needs only to reach out and accept it.  Oh, and what a prize!  His gianormous blessings fill up the living spaces of our hearts.  

I asked Corey how he managed at the park carrying this overstuffed icon from the movie “Transformers” around.   He said it wasn’t that much of a burden, despite it looking ominous, it was light and many people inquired about his winning. 
When Jesus begins to make a transformation in our lives, many will wonder and see the difference and want what we have.  Awarded a gianormous prize, don’t hide your blessings away in some closet.  Celebrate the fact that not through your doings, but Christ alone can we be victorious.  

Lord, thank you for the many gianormous blessings I can hardly count in my life.  Because of your Amazing Grace ticket, I am victorious and a winner in your eye. Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Yet Shall We Live

Romans 6:11 (NIV) In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
I read a story this week of a very elderly couple who after a tragic car accident, lay in a hospital ICU room next to each other; their arms extended out holding each others hands.  The husband passed away first with other family members close by. He no longer took a breath but the heart monitor continued to record a heart beat.  In an explanation to his son, the doctor said the heart beat of his wife, registered through her hand to the hand of her husband she still held, and the monitor reflected it on the screen. 

This is a picture of Christ.  As we submit our lives to Him, our old self dies with Him on the cross.  He holds on to our hands and His life giving pulse through His resurrection now becomes our own for others to view on the monitor of our faith. 

Thank you Heavenly Father that your purpose for me intensifies my heart beat.  Though I am weak and even through death, your life giving hands touch me with hope and strength.  Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Folded Favor

Isaiah 42:16b I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.  

"Why do you always like to fold up your papers?" asked the teacher.

The student replies, "I don't know; (another teacher) asked me the same thing." 

"It's sad."

"Why is it sad?"

"Because it's now all wrinkled."

"It's not wrinkled, it's perfectly fine. It just has a crease."


Do you think Adam might have had a similar conversation with God? 

When sin entered in, our perfect world became wrinkled, a visible crease crossing creation.  Separation from the Creator; it was there--no denying would make it brand new.  

"I am sad, said God; but I have a plan to make this all perfect again."

When we take our folded up lives and turn them over to our great Instructor, He smooths out the furrows with his nail-scarred hands.  God looks upon us as what we were intended to be, and gives us an A+ in His grade book.  Don't let the dog-eared pages of your story keep you from completing His assignment.  

Father God, thank you that you reach down and pluck up our wadded up lives and restore us to a beautiful manuscript, written in the blood of forgiveness.  Amen.


Welcome to the first posting of devotionals, a brief insight sparked by the Heavenly Father to remind us of scriptural truths.  May His Word capture your heart and encourage your day. 


Ephesians 5:1 (NIV) Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

On my walk this morning, I strolled under the freeway underpass, the soft dirt showing impressions of u-shaped marks grouped to indicate the trot of a horse.  I don’t know about you, but when I think about a horse, images of beauty and strength come to mind as well as a healthy fear and respect for a majestic creature. 
Can you picture footprints of someone special God has placed in your life? And what about you? What character traits might one assign by the footprints you leave along the path of someone else?

Lord, some people’s lives I step into for a little while and then step out; others Lord, I walk alongside for most of my days.  May each step, each impression I leave, be shaped to your image Lord, an impression unmovable by the winds of time.  Amen