A prayer of thanksgiving

Praying Woman“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16

Father God, to me every day is a day for giving thanks. You have blessed me beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.

But, America sets aside one day each year as a conscious reminder of how we are blessed to live in America. You brought us to this country so that we could worship You freely and without condemnation.

So many others around the world do not have this freedom and I want to lift each person up to You for guidance, safety, and fulfillment of your promises in their life. Some will be martyred today, before the sun sets on them, for their belief in the One true God. Others will continue to live in fear as they gather in secret to worship and learn more about You as they study the Bible and pray.

God, I pray that someday, around the world. that each country will have a designated thanksgiving day. A day when they were given the freedom to worship You and share their faith with others.

And Father God, let every American start this Thanksgiving Day on their knees, truly thanking God that we live in America. Let their focus be on all that You have freely given to us and let the Holy Spirit speak to each Christian on how we can give back to You this coming year. Ask us how to live life in a way that is not taking our freedom for granted, but using it as a means to live a life reflecting your Son, Jesus Christ, who provided that freedom. Let us come together as one Christian body. Bring a revival to America, Lord, and let it begin in me.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,



God is Greater

Devastation of man.jpg“Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man.”

Job 33:12

Last year our beloved Smokey Mountains were ablaze with fire. The devastation that man’s carelessness caused broke my heart as I traveled around Roaring Fork Trail and captured the charred remains of  age old trees. I wanted to cry. But as I hiked up the side of the mountain and looked out over the scene before me, my focus went from the burned stubble to the new life springing up all around. Sprigs of pine trees dotted the mountain floor and other green vegetation poked sturdy heads above the earth. I took this picture, because it spoke God’s life into me.

I sat down and prayed. I asked God’s forgiveness for only seeing the charred remains first. I asked God’s forgiveness for the individuals who caused the fire. And I found peace that in the midst of the ruins, God is greater.

I’ve been through many trials in my life. Some so bad that there will always be a scar. But the thing about scars is that the wound itself is healed, the scar is mark on me is a reminder of God’s deliverance.

I saw that in the forest. There were scars all around, but the healing was in the new growth. The healing was in moving forward and trusting in God who cares more about the foliage than I ever could. The Creator is greater.



Saved, now what?

how to receive the holy spirit - good news unlimited on Image Of The Holy Spirit“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

John 14:26

Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples. This time was not always spent in walking, fishing, and telling jokes, although I’m sure they did their share of that. Most of Jesus’ time was spent in teaching lessons that the disciples would need after he left them. Lessons on how to talk with authority when you don’t agree with them, lessons on how to show love to the unlovely, and lessons on repentance when you fall short of God’s expectations.

I have a heavy burden for those who accept Christ and are not taught the “what’s next” of a Christian life. My burden was given to me from God and through that burden I wrote “From Self-esteem to God-esteem.” These words on paper are a guideline to listening to the Holy Spirit in the “what’s next.”

When we accept Christ as our Savior and acknowledge that he has forgiven, and always will, our sins, we are free. We are free to be whoever we want to be. But as we are told in Psalm 37:4 that if you, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” our desires will be the same as God’s. Dwelling in the relationship with God is where the Holy Spirit comes in, and also where we fall short in mentoring new Christians in their walk.

Our strength to walk with God comes from the strength of God in us. Jesus did not leave his disciples, or us, to their own devices. He left them with an indwelling Holy Spirit that provides a way to continue walking with Christ. The Holy Spirit teaches us as Christ taught his followers: talking, loving, and repenting. He gives us wisdom and understanding for living in a sin-full world. He  teaches us meaning when we read the Scriptures, and he reveals sin through discernment.

We should never neglect the Holy Spirit power in us. I spent many confusing years trying to do it on my own, because I was saved through a denomination that made me feel like the Holy Ghost was a dirty word. I didn’t realize that I had all that I needed right with me from the moment I accepted Christ to live a Christian life. I worked, I studied, and I did. And I searched for something I thought was missing.

What a revival we could have if we would only take the time to mentor Christians and show them through God’s Word the power against the world that we have inside of us. My pastor has been giving out the “From Self – esteem to God – esteem” book to new converts at the time of their salvation. But we need more. That book is only a stepping stone to helping each other draw on the wisdom, strength, and power of the Holy Spirit living inside each of us.

Who can you mentor today?


The moment you begin praying

 prayer-warriorsWhile I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.”                                Daniel 9:20-23a

I have often wondered why I should pray. I mean, God is sovereign; He knows all and directs all and is all. How can anything that I say to Him change things?

First, let’s think about God. What are His thoughts? What does He stand for? What is His desire for us? God will never change from Who He is.

  • God cares about us
    • He listens to our prayers and answers when we pray for anything that is good for us. Matthew 7:11
  • God is good
    • God hears us and responds favorably when we ask according to His will, because if we walk with Him, our will is aligned to His. Psalm 37:4
  • God is patient
    • Praying in the spirit is praying with understanding of God and His desires. Prayer that God answers line up with His ability to know the proper timing. Romans 12:12
  • God is eternal
    • Prayers that affect another person’s eternal life are always heard by God. He will supply what is needed for each person we pray for to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So when I pray for my family to receive Jesus as their Savior, He will provide a way for them to know Him. John 6:27
  • God is jealous
    • God provides our needs; He hears and understands what it takes to live on earth. God will not answer a request to provide anything that He knows will take the place of Him in our lives. Praying for a new job, but the answer doesn’t seem to come? God may know that this new job would take up so much of your mind that we put God at the back of our thoughts. 1 Corinthians 10:21-23
  • God is righteous
    • God answers all prayers for righteousness. Matthew 5:6
  • God is merciful
    • Our prayers must be merciful. We can take anything to God that is from a forgiving and contrite heart and know that He will answer. Isaiah 57:15
  • God never gives up
    • We may think that God does not hear us, because it is taking so long to see the answer. God never gives up in doing good. He never stops offering His way of life to our fallen self. Until the end, God will respond to our prayers for goodness, mercy, and salvation. But remember, God also gave us a free will and how we or our loved ones respond is not something we can control through prayer. We can pray for a softened heart and many times that happens because of the testimony we see in front of us. God never gives up. Colossians 1:23
  • God is holy
    • Our requests must align with God’s holiness. He is ready and willing to answer all requests that glorify Him and His holiness. Romans 12:1

Does God answer prayer? Yes. He responds to every prayer offered within His attributes. When I fall to my knees I will ask God to create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me before I start asking. And I know, that as soon as I do this, God will send the word out for action.


You never know how God will supply

cashier“I (Jesus) have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33


I went to the ENT doctor today for a checkup on the medication for COPD. The visit went well; I am showing great improvement in breathing and the medication is not causing any side effects. It went well, at least until the end. The doctor turned to his assistant and told her to order a more comprehensive PFT at our local hospital. I was a little taken aback, but didn’t say anything. We discussed the refills for my inhalers and then the doctor explained that the last time I was in I was in pretty bad shape and he wanted to make sure that no other damage was done to my lungs. He then smiled and escorted me to the exit.

I say in my door-less Jeep for a few minutes letting the soft breeze blow through and cleanse me of my apprehension at the words “in pretty bad shape.” It didn’t work. Now, I’m not one to worry, but any human is going to have at least a little bit of fear of the unknown in situations like this. I drove out of the parking lot and turned on K-Love, my favorite Christian radio station and let my mind focus on the praise coming across the airwaves.

I decided to stop at our local grocery and pick up some cleaning supplies. I usually use the self – check lane, but today I rolled my buggy into the cashier’s lane and smiled. She greeted me with a typical, “How are you today?” And I responded with my usual, “I’m blessed, how are you?” What followed next was a pure Jesus moment.

The cashier responded with, “I am beyond blessed!” And she proceeded to tell me how just a few months ago she was at death’s door with asthma and COPD. Even the oxygen she had been on for so long could not help her breathe and she was ready to join her husband in their heavenly home. But just before she crossed over, her husband met her and told her to go back, “God’s not done with you yet.”

The doctors are amazed, but I’m not. She stood there in front of me, smiling, healthy, no oxygen, and telling me of all that she is now doing in her church: teaching Sunday School, driving the Sunday morning bus, and sharing her testimony. God is not done with her. And He is not done with me.

Jesus gave me the desire to pull into that checkout lane and He gave this precious lady the words that He knew I needed to hear. I can have perfect peace, because my God knows where I am, what I am going through, and what my next step should be.

Someday I will cross that river into glory, but for now, I have a peace that passes all understanding. And I pray that I can be just as much of a blessing to someone today, as the cashier was to me.


God’s Word is Unchangeable


“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”              Revelation 22:18-19

The Word of God is true, unchangeable, and written for all people yesterday, today, and forever. But the Bible, the pages themselves, is merely a guideline to what God wants us to understand as we read it. We get wisdom and understanding from the Words that we read by allowing the Holy Spirit inside of us to interpret each word.

My husband and I watched a TV show the other night that centered around a cult leader who had taught his congregation that homosexuality was the ultimate sin and that it was mandatory for a proclaimed lesbian to be cleansed from this sin by having a man  from the congregation to rape her. Needless to say, this inspired  quite a conversation between my hubby and me as to  how someone could go so far in misinterpreting God’s Word. First of all, no sin is greater than another except in people’s eyes. Second, sin can only be cleansed through confession to Jesus Christ, one – to – One, and repentance (turning away from the sin through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us).

Now, maybe you are thinking that I’m being simplistic, but as far as I, myself, am concerned, if how I live doesn’t align with listening to the Holy Spirit inside me as I read God’s Word, then something in my life is wrong. I try to live by my birth verse Galatians 5:25  “If we live by the Spirit, then we must walk by the Spirit.” I can’t separate my Christianity from the way I live; they are one and the same.

The above is a pretty strong example of misinterpretation of the Scriptures, but it is no less wrong than some of the denominational examples we see on a daily basis. Man cannot make rules that either adds to or takes away from, God’s complete Word. As a Christian community we are called to pray for the Holy Spirit to interpret as we read and  prepare to apply God’s Word.  

After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to the disciples, “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”                                                                                         John 20:19-22

I was raised in what I call a “Bapti-costal” family. There were several preachers both representing the Baptist and the Pentecostal beliefs. I can remember the family gatherings after church on Sundays and hearing the banter of  beliefs. “You know you’re going to hell showing up in church with that red lipstick on!” “You know nothing I do can keep me from Heaven’s gate when I die!” “A guitar in church??? God forbid!”  “Women can’t pray out loud, only men.” And on and on. Differences in beliefs. Differences in interpretations of God’s Word. Differences in allowing us to serve God in a way that we want to serve God and making everyone else feel guilty if they don’t serve as we do. That is not God’s plan. God’s plan is that we receive the Holy Spirit at our conversion, our believing in God’s plan for salvation through Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

Okay, I’m going to stop for a second and address “receive the Holy Spirit.” We are given access to the Holy Spirit the moment we accept Christ as our Savior. Nothing needs to be done to prove that we have the Holy Spirit. BUT!

I get excited when I receive those boxes from Amazon that are delivered to my front porch. But the real gift is still in the box. I have that gift in my possession, but it’s not doing what it was intended to do until I open the box and take the product out. Are you following me? We have a gift inside of us that opens the door to understanding God’s written Word. We will never misinterpret the meaning of the passage we read today if we first pray and invite the Holy Spirit to show us what it means. And that meaning will be different not just from person to person, but for one person from day to day. And that is why we know that our Bibles are living, breathing, Words from God for us throughout eternity. They will never grow old or unnecessary to read if we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us each time we open our Bibles.


The example I opened with is a television script. But think about all of the cults that have led people down the path to destruction. All because one person was using God’s Word as a book rather than the inspired, Holy Spirit interpreted, living, breathing, guideline for our lives.

Today, sit down, open your Bible and breathe in the Holy Spirit. Open that gift and use it for God’s glory.


From Self – esteem to God – esteem: Introduction

Introduction – From Self esteem to God esteem

“From Self – esteem to God – esteem” is a book that was written to help new Christians find their way from salvation to righteousness. It is also for more mature Christians who are looking for a deeper relationship with Christ.

Join with me as as I read each chapter; don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss a segment!

And if you would like to have your own copy, go to the Christian Writer page and order your own copy to write in as God reveals His plan to you.