Alone in a Boat

Have you ever had that picture come to your mind that you were alone on small row boat? You didn’t want to be alone, but you were. You desperately wanted people to hop into your boat with you, but they couldn’t.
This is how I felt when our family moved and took only some of our very special belongings in six to eight large rubber made containers to the Philippines.
God gave me the picture of me being in a row boat alone in the dark. I didn’t want to be alone, but there was no one there who was in our stage of life when we moved to Manila. We were different than all the people on our team. We were American and had two young children. The three other American team mates we knew had been in the Philippines for decades. It had been a long time since they were new to the Philippines. They knew the language, culture and had adjusted to living in a mega city. We on the other hand were newbies.
Adjusting to a new culture, way of life and language is tough when you feel like you are doing it alone. As much as some team mates tried to fill us in on the ways of life in Manila, it hit tired ears. This is because as I adjusted to a completely different way of life, I just needed someone to understand and empathize with me. I longed to hear these words. It’s hard coming to a new place so foreign to what you have ever known. Wow, having little ones in a new culture must be hard for you. I’m sorry it’s been so difficult to adjust to so many people when you came from a much smaller city in the United States.
When you are going through a crazy adjustment like we were, you don’t always know how to express what you need. So others didn’t know how to really help us. We had our office mates that we worked with, a large group of people in the U.S. that were praying and financially supporting us, and then we had an international missionary school that our kids went to for our 9 year stay. This was our only support system until we found a good international church and then got connected with a Filipino house church a few years into our stay.
Feeling like we are not alone is a big thing for everyone in the world. It’s a natural human need to feel understood when you go through difficulties. We were never meant to walk through life alone. We weren’t plopped down on earth with no one else there. We have family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and sometimes we have a church community.
Are you feeling lonely today? Do you feel like no one really understands what you are experiencing or going through? When no else seems to be there or understands you, know for certain that God does. He knitted you together in your mother’s womb. He knows all about you. When you lie down. When you get up. What you think. How you feel. God really cares for you. You are precious to him.
Go to him today. Tell him how you feel. Tell him what you need. He will meet you in a special way. Whether it’s in nature, a card in the mail from a friend or through a book you are reading. God always cares! He is always with you!


What Is Love?

In this world, we grow up learning much about love by watching our parents, tv shows and movies, and also by the books we read.

I think I was disenchanted and confused about love as a young girl. I didn’t see my parents show much love and affection in front of me. They struggled like many marriages today to communicate well with one another. Often hurtful words were said to wound the other. Though I knew they loved me.

My parents often showed love to me through quality time. I can remember many nights before I went to bed, I would ask my Dad if he wanted to play a game with me. Many times he said yes and we’d play a game of Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land. This ministered to me deeply and made me feel loved.

One day, I came home from elementary school with a bad grade. My Mom could tell by my long face that I wasn’t doing well. That afternoon she sat me down at the kitchen table and gave me a cookie. Then she listened to me share about my sadness. My Mom wiped my tears and and consoled me. This communicated a great deal of love and care.

Time went on and I saw many movies and shows that displayed affection and love. One particular movie that spoke to me positively as a teenager was called, The Karate Kid. It’s about a boy who is uprooted from his home. He moves to California with his mom. He is bullied and treated poorly by other teens. The boy meets an older man who maintains and fixes broken things in the apartment complex. This man takes a special interest in the boy who is struggling with transition, friendships, and feels like his life is threatened by bullies. He becomes his friend, a Father figure, and his karate teacher.

Years passed and I turned 20. This is when I first began to comprehend God’s Love! It was a game changer. Before that time, I didn’t understand that God loved me unconditionally. I didn’t have to be perfect or do or say all the right things. I finally grasped for the very first time that God loved and accepted me no matter what. He was for me, had great plans for me, and knew me better than even those very close to me. God accepted all my flaws, inadequacies and bad days. This was life altering for me. Remember, no one can love us better than God!! Knowing His great love for me drew me to want to commit my life to God.

What views have shaped your thinking about love? Do you look longingly for love from the world? Have you met God, the lover of your soul? The One who knows you intimately, loves you deeply, and accepts all your flaws and bad days? He is always there waiting for you to accept His free gift of salvation and love. “For God so LOVED the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” God is a giver! He gave us His one and only beloved Son so that we could have a love relationship with Him, a meaningful life on earth and a forever life with Him in heaven. Wow!!! Let’s not only receive God’s love but give His love away freely without charge or expectation of any return. LOVE is an extravagant gift!! ❤️


In The Morning

The Lord reminded me this early morning that I once wanted to do a bible study on the “in the morning” verses and see what I could find out about the Lord in each one. Did you know that the phrase “in the morning” is found in the bible 76 times? Here are some ways that it is used in the Old and New Testament.

God called Moses to Mt Sinai to stand before Him in the morning. Ex. 34:2

Pharoah was confronted in the morning by Moses. Ex. 7:15,8:20

Ruth was redeemed in the morning by Boaz. Ruth 3:13

God hears our requests in the morning. Ps. 5:3

The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel in the morning. Ez. 12:8

Jesus prays early in the morning. Mark 11:20

Jesus teaches in the temple early in the morning. Luke 21:30

Jesus stands before Pilate in the very early morning. Mark 15:1&2

The women brought spices to the tomb of Jesus in the early morning. Luke 24:1

Early in the morning Jesus stood on the shore and calls the disciples to throw their nets on the right side. John 21:4

What things does the Lord do in the morning in own your life? God tends to speak to my heart in the morning as I’m studying the word and praying. The morning is a crucial time that God lead his leaders to act. Just look at the example of Moses. He was called by God to confront Pharoah in the morning. Probably before he did anything else, he obeyed the Lord and went to Pharoah and spoke the words God gave him. We see in Exodus 34:2 that God called him to Mt Sinai to present himself to God. God had a special thing he wanted him to do. This was to chisel the 10 commandments in stone. Our best hours are usually at the beginning of the day.

Then we see Jesus using his first hours in prayer and teaching the word in the temple. He modeled a life of obedience to the Father and wanted to share what God revealed to His heart. He also used the morning to speak into the disciple’s lives when they had been fishing. He had them cast their nets on the right side. They listened and caught more fish than they could carry.

How are you listening to the Lord’s leading in your life? Do you take time to listen to Him in the morning hours? If not, how could you begin to spend time in His wonderful presence. Just as God lead Moses to do certain things, God wants to lead us also.

May you be satisfied IN THE MORNING with God’s unfailing love, that you may sing for joy and be glad all your days! Ps 90:14


Armor of God

I recently faced a big battle with my anxiety.  My anxiety level shot through the roof.  I couldn’t keep a clear perspective of what was happening.  My fears seemed to have taken over. All that I thought or imagined came true in my mind.  Those fears were guiding my thoughts instead of the Word.  I was in a complete battle and it felt like the enemy was winning.  

Today as I look in retrospect, I am reminded of these verses in Ephesians 6.  First we are commanded to be strong in the Lord.  We can’t be strong in and of ourselves.  We need God’s strength to uphold and help us.  The 2nd command is to put on the full armor of God!  The Lord helped me to see that I face battles with very little armor.  This gets me beaten up and bruised by my adversary.  We are supposed to be wearing the full armor of God, so we can stand against the schemes of the enemy. 

The pieces of the armor are, the belt of truth, breast plate of righteousness, shoes for the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit.  Each one makes a collective effort to enable us to stand in a fight we are facing.  I’d encourage you to read over Ephesians 6 and see which elements of the armor you might be missing today.  Choose to put them and see how God will ready you for battle.


God My Refuge

This is a passage is one that I keep coming back to.  Did you know the word refuge is in the Psalms 25 times?  God is our refuge, our place of safety, shelter, and protection from the storms of life.  

This shelter brings personal aid and relief to His children.  We are covered with His feathers and sheltered by His wings.  This speaks of a nearness and an intimacy God has with us.  And lastly His faithful promises are our armor and protection.  

This is one of my favorite pictures.  God’s faithful promises fasten themselves around me like armor that protects when I meditate and hide his truths in my heart.  

What truths are you clinging to and finding hope in during these challenging and difficult days?  Share them with me and someone else that they too may be encouraged.  Oh how we need one another!  Let us encourage and build each other up!  1 Thes. 5:11