Tag Archive | Faith

Fly Swatter Faith

Ecclesiastes 10:1 “As dead flies give perfume a bad smell…”

We’re supposed to be the aroma (perfume) of Christ in the world, but flies buzz about (temptations) that, when allowed in, stink up our testimony. How do we swat the flies? The same way Jesus did.  When He was tempted by Satan, He would smack him with the Word of God.  Look up Luke 4 to see for yourself.

That’s why it’s important to know His word, to have it at the ready like a fly-swatter hanging within reach.  You never know when you’ll need it.

Here’s some sample flies and how to swat them.  They may or may not be the ones I struggle with, I’ll never tell.  [ok, they’re mine, but don’t tell me I told you. 🙂 ]:

click pic for Flickr source

Fly: drink too many beers when the family goes out for pizza (3 instead of 1 or 2).

Fly Swatter: Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.> Proverbs 20:1

Fly:  Make my life as comfortable as possible.  Sure, pray for peeps in need, sometimes, when it’s convenient, but only help enough to appease my guilty conscience.  Keep it comfortable.

Fly Swatter: “The love of Christ compels me, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died, and one died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who loved them and gave Himself up for them.”  >2 Corinthians 5:14

See how it works?

Click pic for Flickr source

Let’s pray:

Father, thank you  for the Bible, Your Word, that is sharper than a two-edged sword, able to pierce as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow and able to lay bare the thoughts and intentions of our hearts before Your eyes. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Help me to know which verses would make the best swatters for all the temptations and doubts that buzz around my head and heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know the One who knows you better than you do? (does that make sense?!)   Click the pic below for a quick introduction:

see below for pic source


Crutches Faith

Surprise! You will now be a shut-in for several weeks. Do not pass "Go". Do not collect $200.

Although my feet are not my best feature, I thought it was appropriate to take a picture of my ankle brace next to the geraniums I might not be able to plant as soon as I’d like because of …(dramatic music builds)…an ankle sprain!

Ok, it’s not that dramatic, but it it has been a pain in the, well, ankle, and has dramatically changed my life.

Been there?  Done that?

Until two days ago at 11:30 I was an active,  fit 4o- something year old (47 – Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.) training to be an RPM instructor at my local gym.

RPM = group bicycle spinning class = hard, sweaty challenging fun with a lot of sweating.  Did I already mention the sweating?

RPM!! click pic for source

So, when I suggested to my 16 yr. old son that we jog as we were hiking along a local nature trail, it was no big deal until my son heard me screaming behind him and saw me sitting on the trail yelling incomprehensible things with a “colorful expression” thrown in that no self-respecting devotional blog writer ought to be saying.    sigh…

And just like that, Fit 40-something meets Hobbling Grandma.  sigh again…

I could easily give in to despair…

but I’ve decided to pull myself up by my biking shorts and make the best of it.

Afterall, the Lord of the trails allowed this path to fall before me, or me to fall on it, and though it looks a bit crooked and scary at the outset, I’m trusting that I will end up in a better place than when I started.

Here’s some verses I’m going to lean on while I recover to help me walk a little stronger, faith-wise.  Each says something encouraging about ankles, or paths. 🙂

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”  (Psalm 18:36)

” All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.   Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”  (Hebrews 12:11-13)

click pic for source

Let’s Pray:

Father, you are my coach, my trainer, my instructor, my Lord, and my friend.

Even though I’ve shed a few tears bawled, I thank you for this trial because I know from the Bible that hardships grow us up and teach us to persevere. (James 1:2-4)

Help me to trust in You at all times, even on crutches.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Wanna meet The Coach?  His name is Jesus, and you can lean on him when you’re feeling weak, like a crutch, only better. 🙂  Click the pic below for a quick introduction:

me, 2nd day on crutches

Bike Across America: Tumbleweed Faith

Biking the roadways in the southwest means heat, more heat, and dodging  LOTS of tumbleweeds.

Tumbleweeds  aren’t native to the southwest, ya know.  The prickly thistle is a Russian immigrant.  Da! (yes, in Russian)

The seeds were delivered to the west via the Transcontinental Railroad, attached to burlap bags from Russia.

Transcontinental Railroad, click pic for source

Well, no matter where they come from, I’ve decided I don’t want to have tumbleweed faith.  Nyet! (no!)

I don’t want my faith in God’s goodness to be bounced around by every wind of doubt and my ever-changing circumstances. Nyet, spotzeebo! (no, thank you!)

I don’t want a heart that follows God today

because everything’s going my way,

but, if tomorrow pain I feel?

says, “Move over, God, I’ll take the wheel!”

And do you know why the tumbleweed tumbles?

Well, after a short time of flowering:

click pic for source

the round, prickly plant develops a tough layer of cells at the base thus cutting itself off from the root, and off it goes…

Hmmmm…maybe that’s why my faith takes a tumble sometimes, too.

Maybe by skipping out on reading the Bible and forgetting to pray too often, my heart develops a tough outer layer and I cut myself off from the Root,


my heart’s REAL desire.

Then, off I go

tumbling about in the dust

snagging myself on barbed wire.

click pic for source

The Apostle Paul didn’t want his disciples in Ephesus to have Tumbleweed Faith, either, so he prayed this prayer for them…

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,

to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;

and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may be able to comprehend with all the saints

what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

and to know the love of Christ

which surpasses knowledge,

that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14)

And did you see how big that root of love is?  (“How big is it?”, remember the old Johnny Carson show? :] )  It’s so big, we need help from God to “comprehend” the” breadth and length and height and depth” of it.  Now, that’s alotta love, and you and I HAVE to stay anchored to it, to Jesus, to grow.

Russian Thistles (Salsola Collina), before they become Tumbleweeds, click pic for source and to read more about the Tumbleweed from Blue Planet Biomes

Let’s pray:

Oh, Father in heaven, I want to know, know, know that love, that is beyond my ability to understand in my human fraility.

Fill me with ALL of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22]

In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!

Do you have an anchor for your soul? Click on the pic below to meet mine.  You’ll be glad you did.  You’ll say, “spat-zeebo” (thank you), and I’ll say, “Ne-za-chto” (don’t mention it.)

P.S. We’ve logged another 100 miles in New Mexico on our (virtual)  Bike Ride Across America (confetti, horns, hip-hip-hurrays!!!!)

The hot, dusty road brings us to the little town of Deming.

(not really, just pretend.  we’re actually riding around our midwestern town, and up in Door County on our vacation, my husband and I, and we’re logging our miles on a Google map as if we were riding from the Atlantic to the Pacific across the south and southwest.  Click on the map below to read about our crazy adventure)

 Deming, NM(map from epodunk.com)

Bike Across America: New Mexico

New Mexico! “Land of Enchantment”.  After a tiring 85 mile ride we finally crossed the border from Texas to  New Mexico!

Click pic for source

(Not really, just pretend.  My husband and I are on a virtual bicycle tour of the southern states.  We ride around our corner of the midwest and log our progress on a google map as if we really were riding through Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and now New Mexico.  We’re hoping to dip our front tires into the Pacific by October.)

When I think of New Mexico I think of the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Photo by Imran Mansuri, click pic to see more of his lovely photographs

For nine days, colorful balloons of all shapes and sizes fill the blue skies above Albuquerque, NM.

I’ve never been up in a balloon myself but someone said it is SO peaceful up there in the air; no noise, just beauty all around and PEACE. All  problems seem to melt away up in the sky.

Balloon Fiesta! an Imran Mansuri photo. Click pic to see more.

That’s how I want to be, faith-wise.  A Hot Air Balloon!  I want to be just filled with faith.

I want faith that floats!

Stop! Drop! and Pray!

Let’s Pray:

Oh, Father in heaven, thank you for loving me.  You are the “author and perfector of faith”, the Bible says.  (Hebrews 12:2)

Please fill me with faith.

I want Hot Air Balloon faith that lifts me up into your arms where all is peaceful.

And, speaking of “lifting up”…

Psalm 25 encourages me to lift up my soul to you, O Lord.  So, I will lighten my load, by lifting up my soul to you right now.

I know fears  weigh my faith down, Father, so I’m going to toss them out of the basket to You so I can fly higher with You.

I’m afraid of this:____________  and this:_______(fill in the blank. Just spill out your heart to the Lord.  Tell him what scares you, what keeps your faith on the ground instead of “up in the clouds” with him.)

And I’m worried about this:_______ and this:________

You told the disciples, Jesus,  “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27) I want to be filled with Your peace, Jesus.

Thank you, Father, for lightening my load and filling me with your peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~~ John 14:27

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ~~ 1 Peter 5:6-7

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”  ~~ Psalm 56:3

Do you know the Lord? Click on pic below for quick intro.  God’s like the Balloon Fiesta, only instead of balloons, He accepts people of all colors, shapes, and sizes 🙂

Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon created by Benoît Lambert. See link below to read more about it.

**Darth Vader Balloon story

**Special thanks to Imran Mansuri for allowing me to use his lovely balloon pictures!

**Praying Cat from HERE

Koala Baby Faith

“Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him.” ~Psalm 42:5

I’m taking a sign language class this summer at my local junior college.  I like how the signs that the deaf use to communicate actually look like real things.  It makes it easier to remember.

The sign for “hope”, for instance, is:

"Hope", from Deaf Missions (click pic to see more and visit their web-site)

To me, it looks like hanging onto something.

And what is the Christian supposed to hang onto?

God, of course.

Like it says in that verse above, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him.”

We’re supposed to hang onto Him like a Koala baby:

Koalas! Click pic for source

And when human daddy’s give their kids piggy back rides, they have to stoop down first to be at their level so he/she can climb on.  Then the daddy can lift the child high into the air.

Which reminds me of this verse:

“…You stoop down to make me great.” ~~Psalm 18:35

God bent down to our level when He sent Jesus to us.

He stooped down from all his glory in heaven, so His children could climb onto His shoulders.

And He lifts us up,

out of the darkness

And carries us into the light.

Piggyback! Click pic for source

Let’s Pray:

Father, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your ways so much higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9)

Yet, you humbly bent down to our level, so we could climb aboard and ride out eternity with you.  Thank you, thank you, for saving me out of the miry clay (Psalm 40:2)

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay.  And He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to my God…”  ~~ (Psalm 40:2-3 NASB)

Need a piggy back ride?  Click on the pic below to be introduced to the One who will gladly oblige.

The pic above is gratefully borrowed from HERE

Faith when your tires are flat…

my husband and son changing a flat on a windy day.

Why doesn’t life behave itself?!

I mean, getting a flat on a bike ride isn’t bad enough. Sometimes, like today, you have to get two!  That’s what happened to my poor little Lance-Armstrong-wanna-be husband this morning when he was out riding in the country, far, far from home.

And, sometimes — even worse –good people die horrible, agonizing deaths.

And, sometimes — whether we like it or not — and no matter HOW HARD we try, we have a bad hair day.  (Hey!  You have your tragedies, I have mine.  Don’t judge.)

That’s life.


BUT, like Chip Ingram ** (a pastor) reminded me on the radio yesterday, “Life is hard, but God is good.”

And, like the song says, “If you can’t trust His hand, trust His heart.”

God has a gooooooood heart:

God IS love, the Bible says. (1 John 4:8)

And who does he love?


I don’t why, but He does!

He does!!

He does!!!!

Stop, Drop, and Pray!

Let’s pray:

Oh, Father, you so loved us that you gave your only Son so that whoever would dare to believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life with you.  (John 3:16)

You comfort us when we’re down, and, not only are you compassionate toward us, but the Bible says you are “The Father of Compassion”.  ( 2 Corinthians 1:3)

You stoop down to make us great. (Psalm 18:35)

He strengthens the weak ( Ephesians 3:16) and You love children (Mark 19:14).

may we “have power… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of [You].” (Ephesians 3:18-19)

You are able to do way Way WAY more than we anything we could imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)  In Jesus’ mighty, powerful, loving name, AMEN!”

“..to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:21

Do you know Jesus? Click on the pic below to be introduced…


**(click on Chip Ingram’s  name above to hear what I was listening to.  See the audio list? Click the second one, June 10th, 2010)

Soul Anchor

False security.  That’s the topic for today.  Why?  Because last night when I finally made it to bed after a long evening, a storm hit.

As the winds raged through the woods about my house and the rain beat against the window above my head I buried my face into my nightly source of comfort.  You might think that would be my husband, and I suppose he is to an extent.  I mean, he keeps my feet warm, but I absolutely can’t sleep without my “snuggly robe”.

Me in my snuggly robe

I have a huge, soft robe that I wear sometimes during the day, but always sleep with like a teddy bear, at night.

And, of course, I cuddled in closer next to my sleeping husband, as well.

So I fell off to sleep, then,  cozy and secure,  missing the storm at its worst, complete with tornado sirens.  My son informed me about it next day.

Funny thing is, although I felt “cozy and secure”, if a tornado had hit our house, me and my snuggly-robe would have been sucked right out the nearest window!

What’s your snuggly-robe? What teddy bear do you cuddle in closer to when the storms of life hit?

I think it would be better to hang onto something that wouldn’t blow away so easy, something with roots.  Don’t you?  A soul anchor, perhaps…

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain…” Hebrews 6:19

And what is this “firm and secure hope anchor for the soul?




“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25

And what does he save us from?  Ultimately, eternity in hell, but daily?

Only Jesus can save us from the storm that howls about us and threatens to suck us right out the window every day, every moment…

our sin.

He saves us from our selfish own selves:

“Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” Hebrews 7:26

So, again I ask, what are you clinging to?

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”  Jonah 2:8

Thing is, we can’t hang onto Jesus with dirty hands.  So, here’s some verses I’m clinging to today.  You might want to hang on, too:

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with God’s people who are in need.

Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.

Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12:9-21

Do you have an anchor for your soul?  Click on the pic to meet mine:

Say What?!

“…habitual weakening of the flesh.”
~Colin Smith, pastor.

I heard that phrase on the radio this morning.  The pastor was explaining, with a charming Irish accent, about strongholds, sins that have a death-grip on our souls.

He explained that each time we say “no” to the flesh we weaken its grasp on us.

Saying “yes”, of course, strengthens the flesh, and makes it harder next time to say “no”.

Sometimes a stronghold — like alcohol, pornography, or anger — can seem too big a monster to resist.

Like a shark circling around us, it’s just a matter of time before we’re  lunch.

So, we offer ourselves up to it again and again.

“Here, fishy, fishy…gulp!”

flickr photo from "OnlybyGrace"

But, to resist, we need only look down at the step in front of us, not all the steps ahead.

Just focus on this moment.

We can say “No”, this time.

And next time it’ll be easier….

and the next..

.and the next.

Baby steps…

“Step by step You’ll lead me

And I will follow you all of my days.”

~~Rich Mullins

And I wonder if it wouldn’t help to imagine God walking on ahead of us.  (I’m on a beach here in my mind.)

Imagine God walking on ahead of you in the sand

Look down at how big His footprint is and put yours firmly inside.

Like a child following along behind his/her daddy.

“And I will seek You in the morning

And I will learn to walk in Your ways.

And step, by step You’ll lead me

And I will follow You all of my days.”

"The Best thing about Sand...God made every grain" photo by "OnlybyGrace"

Let’s go for a walk:

Oh, Father, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Yet, in the end it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)

You said, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” (Revelations 3:19)

I do earnestly repent, Father.  Here’s the sin that I’ve been saying yes to so often lately:______

But, thank you, Father, that, although You DO rebuke us and discipline us, like in that verse above, You also promise NOT to leave us to suffer alone.  You come alongside and help.

You promised that in the very next verse, in fact:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelations 3:20)

I’m opening the door right now, Father.  Come in.  Bring Your Son and Your Spirit, and let’s have a REAL party!

In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

Have you opened the door?  Wanna meet the One on the other side?  Click on the pic to be introduced:

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock." Rev. 3:20

Storm Faith

storm damage

See that hollow limb above?  It was blown off its tree by strong winds the other day.  My husband and I came across it on a hike through the woods.

On the outside it looks like a strong enough limb, but notice its hollow insides.

Made me think, “How are my insides?”

Am I strong enough to hang on in a storm?

It’s what’s inside that matters.

Read these verses from Matthew and answer for yourself what makes a person strong enough to resist the wind:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”  ~ Matthew 7:24-25

Notice those highlighted phrases?  It’s all about hearing and putting into practice — that’s the difference between strong or hollow faith.  It takes faith to obey, and when we obey, our faith gets stronger. It’s a circle, like a tree ring!

Unfortunately, I tend to treat Jesus like a genie in a bottle, rubbing the lamp when I pray, saying, “Here’s my plan, now bless it.”

Where His pleasures cross my own, I choose my own pretty much every time.  Obedience-schmedience!


Maybe because, sometimes, it hurts to obey…

Pastor Mark Brown, from Australia, put it this way on his blog:

“I want to follow my will, my desire, but this is plain wrong.  I must submit myself to the will of Christ, and push through the pain.” ~ Journey Deeper into God’s Word

I like the way he put that — “push through the pain.”

And why in the world would I choose to push through the pain rather than enjoy immediate pleasure…


That’s what Jesus did.  He chose joy:

“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

And that’s what Jesus taught. He taught his disciples to choose joy:

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”  ~ John 15:10-11

Stop! Drop! and Pray!

Let’s pray:

Father, I want the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay!   So, help me to obey all that You say.  Not just the commands that go my way. ( Anyone else notice this rhyming?)

You are THE way —  The way to peace, the way to happiness, the way to JOY!

Please show me, Father, how I’ve been choosing my ways over Yours.

Here’s some ways that come to mind: (This is where you confess…)

Father, thank you for being faithful and just to forgive me when I confess my sins to You. ( 1 John 1:9)

And when your pleasures cross mine, help me to choose Yours every time.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Do you know the One who made the trees?  Click the pic below to meet Him.  Come on!  Go out on a limb. 🙂

~~ Gloris Young

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em…

image by Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, click on the pic to see more.

My most popular post these days is Snowflake Faith Say what?!

I thought by April we were through with that stuff and good riddance!  I guess the weather’s always a little cheerier on the other side of the thermometer.

Oh, well, if you can’t figure ’em out, join ’em, I say.  So, click HERE
to read Snowflake Faith for yourself.  Brrr…