Day 28 | Remember What He Has Instructed–Serve Others

day 28Don’t Be Ridiculous


It was around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, when my son, Troy, and I entered the library. Immediately, the wonderful smell of musty old books caused a wave of memories to pass over me.


When I was a little girl, I used to walk to the library to check out books or attend the special programs offered there.


When I was in high school I went to the library for the resources needed for reports or research papers.


When I was in college, I studied best in the “stacks” of the library.  I have spent many hours in libraries over the years.


On this day, we were there for one purpose—to get a library card for Troy so that he could get 5 extra points in English class.  As I looked around, I was surprised at the changes that had occurred since my library days.  The center of the room held table after table of computers.  Every one of them was occupied.


We chatted with the librarian as we waited for the card, and we were surprised to hear a loud scream break the quiet atmosphere.  A four-year-old little boy held tightly to a thin book, as his mother pried it from his hands.

“But I want to take it!” he screamed.

“I will get it for you tomorrow, “ she patiently said.


As they left, I thought what a good mom she was to bring him two days in a row to the library.  “Do they come here a lot?” I asked the librarian who seemed to recognize the pair.


“Everyday,” she replied.

“Wow!  Everyday?” I asked.

“Everyday, all day,” she said.

“All day?” I couldn’t believe it.

“Yes, the Salvation Army makes them leave at 7a.m. and they can return at 5 p.m.”

“They’re homeless?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes.  Many of these people are homeless.”  I shot a look around wondering which of the people surfing the Internet didn’t have a bed to sleep in at night.




In my perfect, little town?


When we got in the car, I paused for a moment before I started the engine.  I looked at Troy and said, “Honey, your mama is ridiculous.”  He gave me a look that said he didn’t understand, so I continued.

“I complain because I have to clean my house, but I have a house to clean.  I complain because of the loads and loads of laundry I have to wash, but we have clothes to wash.  I am ridiculous.”  He nodded like he understood and like he shared my sentiments for himself, as well.


So, what am I to do?

How will I let this tiny glimpse into the window of another’s struggle change me?

I am not sure yet.

But I will change.

It would be ridiculous not to.


 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

                                                Matthew 25:40


Today, ask the Lord how you can serve Him by serving others.

Day 27 | Remember What He Has Instructed–Praise

day 27You’re so cute!


Sally has been with us for a year this week.  For having heard only Chinese for the first 22 months of her life, she has done a remarkable job of learning English.


Recently, I was convicted that is was time to teach her to pray.  We have prayed over her daily for a year now, but it’s time for her to learn to say the words herself.


I have been amazed with how she has responded.  We call her the “Prayer Police” because she directs us all in our dinnertime blessings.  She makes sure all heads are bowed, hands are folded, and eyes are closed.  Of course, she hasn’t clued in to the fact that the only reason she knows if someone is not complying is because she herself does not have her head bowed or her eyes closed.


At nighttime, we say our standard, “God bless Mama, and Daddy, and Katie, and Ellie, and Joseph, and Troy, and Joshua, and Sally.  And God bless all my family and all my friends!”  She always has some particular person she wants to add:


“God bless Gran and D!”  How did she know they were both sick today?


“God bless Uncle Martin!”  How did she know he had a big presentation and needed extra prayer?


“God bless Owey!”  How did she know he needed extra encouragement?


She just knew.  She is not so busy with life to forget to listen, to forget to pray.


My favorite Sally-prayer began last week.  She raises her hand toward heaven and says, “I love you, Jesus!”  Every night, that is the last thing she prays.


But then she began to add something precious to it:

“I love you, Jesus!  You’re so cute!”


Every night she says this to Jesus.  It must make him smile.  I never thought to tell him that He is cute, though I am sure He is since He is everything!


She has learned the basics of praise—telling God who He is, not because He doesn’t know who He is, but as a way of telling him that we know who He is.  We taught our older kids to praise by filling in the following sentence:


God, You are so ____________________!












And even cute!


Will you praise Him today?  Will you tell Him who He is to you?

I would love to hear your responses.



Praise the Lord, O my soul;all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

 Praise the Lord, O my soul,and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion, 

who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

                                                                                                Psalm 103:1-5


Day 26 | Remember What He Has Promised–His Promises Are True

day 26For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

       2 Corinthians 1:20


All the promises of God are yes and amen.

All the promises of God are mine through Christ.

But I forget Him and His promises.

And this tragic forgetfulness leaves me feeling powerless and poor.


I once heard a story about a homeless man who sat year after year on the streets of New York City, barely scraping by, living off the handouts of passersby. When he was found dead, obviously having perished due to the cold and exposure that he daily encountered, the police were shocked to find in his possession about $30,000 in cash.


My husband’s own grandfather lived in fear of overdrawing his account, each time he wrote a check.  However, at his death, we discovered $75,000 in his checking account.


If I should receive a million dollars, placed into my checking account, what if I never wrote a check?  What if I never took advantage of the gift?

It would not change the fact that I was wealthy, but I certainly could still look and act like a pauper.

And that is what Satan cunningly plans for us.

Our enemy does not want us to remember who we are and Whose we are.

He does not want us to tap into the riches of God’s promises.  And he certainly does not want us to invest our riches in the lives of those around us, reaping a tremendous gain for the Kingdom of God.  In fact, as long as he can keep us living with a slave mentality, we cannot reach our full royal status.

We need to sharpen our memories, because we quickly forget Him, His Love, His Power, His Almighty Dependability.  We must remember that His promises are true.

Day 25 | Remember What He Has Promised–Guidance

day 25I was new to the country, new to the language, new to public transportation. I had to catch the public bus in San Francisco Dos Rios on the East Side of San Jose, Costa Rica, and take a 30 minute bus ride to Hatillo Dos, on the west side of San Jose.  I saw many things, which were different from my culture…including chickens riding with their owners on the bus.


I was a nervous wreck about the whole public bus situation.

What if I get on the wrong bus?  I had that experience in another foreign country, and I did not want to go through that again.

What if I got off at the wrong stop?

How do you even say “Bus Stop” in Spanish?

With the bus being so crowded, what if I can’t get to the front of the bus in time to get off, if indeed, I guess the correct stop?

So many fears surfaced as I waited for the bus to arrive.  The first few days were spent dreading the ride to work.

But that all changed in an instant when I saw it…the cross.

There was a cross on the roof of the church, where I taught English.

The positioning of the building, and the height of the steeple made the cross stand out above all the other buildings packed closely together.

I found that the cross could be seen, even when I was still far away.

I found that once I saw the cross, I only needed to keep my eyes focused on it, then I would not miss my stop.

Even when I learned the secret of the cross, I could still travel on the wrong road, if I got distracted and did not keep my eyes on it.


That cross became a great comfort to me…I no longer dreaded the journey.   I began to feel confident riding the bus, even experiencing the culture, all because of the cross.


I still felt like a foreigner. I loved the country, loved the experience of living among those beautiful people, but I still did not totally “fit in”.  But I had found contentment with where I was, and I had found the way to overcome my fears, so that I could really enjoy and savor what little time I had in Costa Rica.


One day, I was riding along, looking for the cross, and when I saw it, I felt a wave of relief.


“Yes, there it is!  I am going in the right direction!” I thought to myself.  And with those thoughts came the next:  This reality in the physical sense was also reality in the spiritual sense.  The longing that I felt when I was looking for the cross was so like the longing that I felt when I was looking for the carrier of the true cross.


Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

                                                                                                Hebrews 12:2


Day 24 | Remember What He Has Promised–New Creation

day 24Springtime burst forth in my own life one year in a very dramatic way. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, I taught 1st grade at a small Christian school in Memphis, Tennessee.  The children were a great source of joy to me, and often, I learned more from them than they did from me.  I had been teaching the children in our daily devotions to pray about everything, and that yes, indeed, God did hear and answer our prayers.  Often I allowed different students to come forward in the class and pray aloud for the concerns that we had discussed.  As is often the case, my lessons were soon put to the test.

A precious little blond-headed girl named Coley, came to class one morning with a beautiful butterfly in a jar.  We all ooed and awed over the magnificent colors of the butterfly.  Coley was quick to point out to everyone that the butterfly had a broken wing.  Upon inspection, I could plainly see that a large portion of one of the wings was not just broken, but completely torn off.  We placed the jar with the butterfly on the shelf, so that everyone could see it.  It remained there for most of the morning.  During my break, I went to the prayer room at the church.  I locked the door, and knelt before my Lord, and poured out my heart.  You see, I was in a winter stage of my life.  One of those cold, lonely times when you can’t see clearly how God could possibly bring about all those great and wonderful things that He promises to those who believe and follow Him.  I don’t even remember all of the details of that hard time, and it has been so completely healed, that the pain is only a distant memory now.  On that day, however, I felt pain and confusion so greatly that I spent my entire break kneeling before the Lord, begging to know His presence in my life.

When I returned to the classroom, we began our Bible lesson.   One of the children suggested that we pray for Coley’s butterfly.  Not wanting to retract my admonition that we should bring every concern before the Lord in prayer, I consented to a prayer time for the butterfly.  When I asked for volunteers to come forward to pray aloud for the butterfly, ¾ of the class quickly stepped to the front, ready to pray.  As the children began to pray, my heart started racing.  I shot up silent prayers like:  “Lord, get me out of this!  Give me wisdom in explaining this to these dear children!”  You see, the faith-filled prayers of those first graders were:  “Lord, please heal the butterfly!” and “Please help the butterfly to fly again!”

When all had prayed, and were returning to their seats, one little boy suggested that we let the butterfly “get some fresh air”.  Why I consented, I will never know, but before I even realized what was taking place, the whole class had stepped outside to the grassy courtyard right outside our classroom.  When Coley emptied the butterfly from the jar onto the grass, I felt immediate regret in having allowed this to take place.  The butterfly just jumped around on the grass.  The sight brought pity and sadness and regret.  I quickly ushered the children back inside, leaving the butterfly in the grass.  I began a math lesson to try to take their minds off the butterfly, but I kept seeing various children glancing out the window, checking on the still-hopping butterfly.  I was in the middle of the very ineffective math lesson, when one of the boys stepped away from his seat to look out of the window.  He gasped and yelled, “Look!”  Everyone rushed from their seats to the window, just in time to see the butterfly lift off the ground in flight.  The children began to yell and scream and laugh and cheer and hug, all in pure joy of seeing answered prayer.  One of the other first-grade teachers came rushing in to see what all the commotion was about.  All I could do was point out the window at the butterfly, which was now flying all over the courtyard.  We stood looking in amazement until the butterfly flew over the wall of the courtyard, past our visibility.  Then, I once again asked for volunteers to pray.  Everyone joined in this time, me especially.  We thanked God for His miracle of love, and healing, and answered prayer.  And for me, my winter season of life began to quickly lift.  You see, I felt like a butterfly with a broken wing.  I was a Christian; I had already obtained new life, which is so allegorically portrayed through the life of a butterfly.  But painful circumstances had rendered me incapable of flying to the heights that God had planned for me.  I, too, needed the healing touch of the Great Physician.  I needed to see and feel His Presence.  And when I surrendered to Him in the prayer room, when I trusted Him, despite what I could see, He showed me His Presence in a way that was far greater than I could have ever imagined.  Are you a butterfly with a broken wing?  Call upon the Father, the Great Physician, to heal you, so that you can fly to the heights of His beautiful plan for your life.

Everyone has scars.  That is Life’s reality.  That will continue to be Life’s reality until Jesus comes back, or we head to our heavenly home.  But scars can fade with proper healing.  And no counselor, no self-help book, no medication, can heal completely…only Jesus, the Great Physician.  When you surrender to the Lordship of Jesus in every area of your life, the surrender does not give you a barrier from the pain or the scars.  But it does give you automatic access to the Great I Am; To the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace; To Emmanuel, which means “God With Us”.  Jesus is always there to comfort and to heal and to assure us that we are not alone.