Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300I’m joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. All of us writing on that same word.

Today’s prompt is …. Table.

Thanksgiving.  The day when tables are prepared and set for a day of feasting. Turkeys, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, gravy, pies – on tables everywhere to celebrate one day.

Yet this morning, I read the prompt and one verse came to mind. Quickly opening my Bible, I read the words in front of me …

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”  (Psalm 23:5, NIV1984)

He – our God – prepares a table in the presence of my enemies. I sat reading those words over and over, wondering what I was missing.

In the stillness of the morning, the image shared yesterday came back to mind – a friend beside her mother who was in her hospital bed, sick with cancer.

There are days our enemies surround us – cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, addictions, loneliness. All very real enemies, longing to spin our souls into despair and despondency.

Those very enemies attempt to convince us it is hopeless. Those enemies spew their lies, telling us our God has left us alone.

And right there, in that very place – our God prepares the table, His table. He tends to us like we would tend to a guest at our earthly tables.

He supplies for our needs, nourishing our souls. He refreshes us and assures us of His Presence in the demands of life.

And then I read the words in the commentary of my Bible ….

“A feast demonstrates the Lord’s care and mercy toward his people. Although enemies can watch, they cannot trouble the guests.” (NLT Study Bible)

It is at His table that we find – He honors us. How amazing is that! He displays His hospitality and care towards us, His people.

It is at His table, He causes our cup to overflow.
And for this, we give thanks.



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Today I am joining … Five Minute Friday and Faith Filled Friday and Grace & Truth and #DanceWithJesus .


We Shout “Encore”



Shout your praises to God, everybody!
Let loose and sing! Strike up the band!

Round up an orchestra to play for God,
Add on a hundred voice choir.

Feature trumpets and big trombones,
Fill the air with praises to King God.

Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause,
With everything living on earth joining in.

Let ocean breakers call out, “Encore!”
And mountains harmonize the finale –

A tribute to God when he come,
When he comes to set the earth right.

He’ll straighten out the whole world,
He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.
(Psalm 98: 4-8, MSG)


I open the pages to read this, yet again. I have read it several times over the last few days. The words draw me in each time, causing me to return repeatedly. This time I dwell on two words … applause and encore.

Applause has been defined as, “hand clapping as a demonstration of appreciation or acclamation”.

Every living thing on earth is being called forth to give a round of applause to its Maker and Sustainer. God is not in need of our applause. We are the ones who need to offer it. The very act of applauding causes appreciation to well up in our souls. As applause is offered, it often increases in volume and gusto, lengthening in time. As applause continues, hand clapping seems no longer sufficient. We begin to shout and whistle.

And then it happens. No longer able to contain ourselves in our seats, we rise to our feet. We demand an “encore”.

Encore … a demand made by applause for a repetition.

In offering our applause, we recognize our desire for more of the same. We want to experience greater depth, more meaning and longer duration. We simply do not want it to end.

It’s been days in which I have been dwelling on all of this. And to be honest, I cannot even fully put it all into words. But this I can express …

God is good.

God is faithful.

God loves us more than we can comprehend.

God is worthy of our thanks. It is we who need to offer our thanksgiving. We need to applaud Him for all He has done in our lives. And then, let’s shout to our God, “Encore!”

As we shout, “Encore” ..

He might just show us more of Himself …

again and again.


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Today I am joining … Three Word Wednesday and Tell His Story and Wedded Wednesday and Women With Intention and #DanceWithJesus .



What a Difference a Day Makes



It’s Thanksgiving week. Preparations have started here at our house with at least the food shopping being mostly done. This morning I have found myself humming a song, the words floating through my thoughts …

What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain.
(from the song, What a Difference a Day Makes by Renee Olstead)

This is what occurs when you have grown up in a home, with parents, who enjoyed the variety shows which were on television years ago. As I hummed, my heart was filled with gratitude for the faithfulness of our God over this past year. Truly we can say, “What a difference a year makes!”

As Jesus is brought before the high priest to be charged, He is asked, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61, NLT) And He replies:

“I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

In that moment, Jesus did not only state who He was or who He will be. He stated who He is. He used a verb tense which means continually and presently. In saying, “I Am”, He declares:

  • “I am the same God who was with Moses and the people in the wilderness.”
  • He will be seated at the right hand of His Father.
  • He will one day return in all of His glory.

Today it is His first declaration which is filling my heart with deep gratitude. He is the very same God, who was with Moses and the Israelites as they traveled in  and through the wilderness those forty years. They may have felt like they were alone but the truth is – He was with them every step of the way.

And He is the same today.

He is with us in our wilderness. He is with us when we feel like we are alone. And He gives us exactly what we need to come through …

“You sent your good Spirit to instruct them, and you did not stop giving them manna from heaven or water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing.” (Nehemiah 9:20-21, NLT)

He will be the “I AM” throughout every single generation throughout all time. Who He was to them, He is to you, and will be to our children and grandchildren.


And He makes all the difference in our lives!


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Today I am joining … Testimony Tuesday and Unite and True Story and #RaRaLinkup and Reflect .

Rest Here


She sat playing with her dollhouse, totally unaware I was watching and listening. Her voice was animated as she spoke to her dolls, moving them through actions familiar to us as we do them everyday. It was then she said gently to the doll ….

“What do you mean you don’t want to do it?

You are a big girl now, you can do it.”

A rush of emotions flooded me as I watched her three year old self take on the role of speaking like the mother. It was then I realized she fully understood what was expected of her but often refused to do.

Very gently, the soft voice of the Holy Spirit began to remind me ….

“God has told his people, “Here is a place of quiet rest; let the weary rest here. This is a place of quiet rest.” But they would not listen.” (Isaiah 28:12, NLT)

God speaks into our lives through His Word, our circumstances, and others to give us direction. We often don’t listen. We know we should. We know what it is we are to do. But we continue to do things our own way because we just won’t listen. In His graciousness, God points our problem out to us several times more …

  • “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15, NLT)
  • “This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, “No, that’s not the road we want!” (Jeremiah 6:16, NLT)

See what I mean? We don’t listen. We continue to go our own way.

We are living in a world that is spinning so quickly we cannot keep up. New technology and advertisers beckon us to stay on the cutting edge and in so doing, we are the ones being cut up into pieces.

Our lives are becoming fragments, little pieces of purpose instead of being full of the purpose He has for us.

And we’re tired, worn out, and emptied of energy. So what are we to do this time of year as we are being beckoned to go, and do, yet even more?

Instead of our frantic pace, our rescue lies in returning to Him and the pace He has set for us. As we let Him teach us to rest, we will grow in our knowledge of Christ and in our purpose. And it is there we will find rest.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29, NLT)




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Today I am joining … Playdates With God and Sharing His Beauty and #WordsWithWinter and Inspire Me Monday and #SmallWonder .


We Humbly Give Thanks



We humbly and wholeheartedly thank you, O loving Lord God, and give you all praise, honor, and glory for your great kindnesses and fatherly faithfulness, and for your tremendous gifts and mercies that you show us now and forever. We also give you heartfelt thanks, gracious holy Father, for all that you have created: heaven and earth, the sea and everything in it. You keep faith forever, and you bring justice to those who have suffered injustice. You have saved all those who cleave to you, those who have believed in you, trusted in you, faithfully served you, and forever remained in awe of you. Amen.
(from Amish Prayers, compiled by Beverly Lewis, page 39)

“The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.” 
(Psalm 91:14, NLT)

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Today I am joining … Still Saturday and Word of God Speak and Scripture & a Snapshot .

5: Of Emotions, Questions & Thanksgiving


It is so hard to believe Thanksgiving is just days away. The days ahead will be busy ones as we all prepare for turkey and family and gathering together to remember the goodness of God over the past year. Perhaps when you need a break, you will pour yourself a hot cup of tea and sit to read a bit:

  1. Our God is able to provide. Greg bring this reminder about our God .. “He alone takes our scarcity and turns it into abundance by taking, blessing, breaking, and giving.”
  2. Jealousy, often called the green-eyed monster, is a damaging emotion. In this post we are reminded, “There’s nothing attractive about Jealousy,and the nest it looks to build is repulsive.”
  3. Often fear can hold us back in life. Shawn asks the hard question, “What would you do, how would you live, if you weren’t afraid?”
  4. We’ve all said or written things we later regretted. Lisa brings us 5 questions to ask ourselves before we’re quick to post.
  5. Thanksgiving. We will celebrate. But more so may this be a verb displayed in our life. In this post we find the much needed thought … “The one thing we must pray to be great at is thanksgiving — because it’s the one thing that makes God great in our lives.”


With a thankful heart,



Today I am joining … Weekend Whispers and Faith ‘N Friends .

Brave Enough


I am not sure the word “Brave” is one which would ever be applied to me. Truth be known … I scare easily and am a little scared – all the time.

Getting out of my comfort zone does not come easily. Not ever. And it probably would not take much to convince me to live in a bunker {{just kidding, lest my kids think I’m serious}}.

But here’s the thing – I don’t want to live in this manner. I want to have courage and move through my days bravely.

“Here’s a not-so-hidden secret: We are all a little scared.” (Nicole Unice)

These words bring the largest sigh of relief. A freedom, which permits me to relax in my lack of bravery, fills me as I let these words settle in my soul.

There is no need to struggle and strive, trying to do more, be more, and change into someone I am not.

41-Anhhlg4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_In her book book, Brave Enough, Nicole Unice explains:

“The courage to change doesn’t have to mean cliff-diving out of your comfort zone. This courage is about being brave enough – for yourself, for God, and for your calling – right where you are. A brave-enough life is one lived fully and confidently, free from the weight of worry and the burden of trying too hard.”

Brave Enough is a call to become brave by fully embracing who God has created each of us to be. She challenges us to be courageous to journey with God on the unique path He has set for each of us.

“Grace teaches us that Christ, who is in us, is stronger than our deficiencies, and together with him, we will prevail. True grace means we are not who we once were, and will continue to be different tomorrow.” (page 73)

Grace, it is extended to us each and every day. God’s grace, poured out on our lives, will have an impact. God’s grace changes us. God’s grace breaks us out from those thoughts and habits which would hinder us. It is His grace which makes us brave.

Fear keeps us stuck; grace whispers freedom.
Fear makes us suspicious; grace makes us generous.
Fear shouts doubt; grace sings peace.
Fear murmurs, Look out for yourself; grace whispers, You are not alone.
Fear shouts, You’ll never make it; grace replies, You already have.
Fear screams, God is against you; grace laughs because love always wins.”
(page 75)

“By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.”
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

His grace will change you.
It will make you Brave Enough.


This is a book of learned and gained wisdom, stories, and practical helps which will infuse women with courage to live in such a way to impact others. Brave Enough will help every reader to realize they are, indeed, brave enough.


***Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am disclosing this as required by Federal Trade Commission.


Today I am joining …. Faith Filled Friday and Fellowship Friday and Grace & Truth and Booknificent Thursday and Literacy Musing Mondays .