Construction Zone: Building Inspector


A buzzword that we give lip service to. But do we allow others into our lives to hold us accountable? Could not having accountability open the door for sin to creep in and flourish in our lives? I didn’t find the word “accountability” in the Bible, but the concept is mentioned in Hebrews 10:24-25 where it says

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

And why is that so important?

If you haven’t figured that out in your own life, I’ll tell you from my point of reference. We humans can lie to ourselves. We excuse ourselves. We trivialize the known sin in our life. We play the victim and blame others for our choice to sin. And we’re lazy – we just don’t bother to do the good we know to do, and that is sin. (James 4:17)

how-much-building-inspections-costWe don’t need to be lone rangers only doing self-evaluation. We need each other. We need encouragement, accountability, and open honesty with a few whole-hearted believers to keep each other walking in righteousness and to offer correction and help when we step off into sin. We need a building inspector to come through our spiritual house we’re building and call us out on it when things are not up to code. A building inspector keeps the builder accountable.


Think with me for a moment about King David, a man after God’s own heart. We know of many noble, godly, victory-filled moments from his life. But we also know of his great failure: his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. Let’s look at that moment of weakness and failure.

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. “Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant. So, David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. …David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” … In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.” 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 10, 14-15

What are the simple lessons we can draw from his experience?

First, David set himself up for disaster by not being where he was supposed to be.Kings were supposed to lead their army into battle. This particular spring David did not do that. We don’t know why. Often in my life when I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing it’s because of pride or laziness. I either think I’m “all that” and don’t have to do what I should be doing (which a king could easily think) or else I’m just being self-indulgent and irresponsible (also a likely temptation for a king with many servants).

Second, David took a second look.Sometimes we can’t help seeing a temptation. Satan throws them in front of us to trip us up. Are we wise enough to look away? First David saw her. A temptation. Simple. But then, it says “The woman was very beautiful.” At this point he had to have taken another longer look to determine her beauty. The temptation was not sin, but this second was. I think David did become wise to this after the fact, because in Psalm 119:37, David is believed to have penned these words:

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

David had learned that his spiritual life hung in the balance when he deliberately chose to take that second look.

The third step in the process – David’s sin went from looking to speaking to acting. After the 2nd look, he asked about who she was and then went on to send messengers and have her brought to him. The sin moved from sinful thoughts to sinful words and then sinful actions. And David’s choice to sin caused Bathsheba to sin as well. Often, our sin rubs off on those around us.

How did this happen?

The fourth thing we observe is that David had not surrounded himself with godly truth speakers.His servants knew what he was doing but didn’t speak. Joab knew of the murder plot and didn’t speak. Why had the king’s advisors not spoken up in the beginning when he chose not to go to war with his army? We don’t know. We do know that at other times in his life he was surrounded by men who offered Godly counsel. Had the king become so great in his own eyes that others feared offering him wisdom? Had he shunned wise friends for a time to do as he pleased?


It has been said that a wise one learns from others’ mistakes. So, as we inspect the lives we are building, what can we learn from an inspection of David’s failure and then apply it to our lives?

  1. Be where we are supposed to be, doing what we are supposed to be doing.
  2. Resist the temptation to take a second look or dwell on a sinful thought that pops into our head.
  3. Catch our sins and “nip it in the bud” as Barney Fife says, while they are still in the thought stage, before we sink to deeper levels of speaking and acting on them.
  4. Seek accountability. Look for a mature Christian who is willing to speak the truth. Or two or three people. People with whom you will make yourself be totally open and honest. Commit yourself to be more concerned about how the Father sees you than what these people think of you. Share with them your struggles, temptations, and failures. Pray with each other. Don’t isolate yourself but congregate with other believers. And consider how you can spur one another on toward love and good deeds and encourage each other.

He’s the God of Wide Open Spaces

I recently found myself on a field trip with my first grader. Quite honestly, a field trip I had been dreading every since the paperwork came home with the details. The trip was to Rickwood Caverns to explore the cave, do some gem mining and eat lunch. Sounds easy enough, right? Well let me tell you a bit about the writer of the blog post you are reading. I am EXTREMELY claustrophobic, like really extremely.

photo-1536883968402-cb7250da4a8d.jpegThe day was beautiful and the kids were super excited! I was a terrified mom looking for a way to avoid going in the cave! We made our way to gem mining and talked with the guide about the things we would see inside the cave. The guides were very detailed in their list of rock formations we would see and then came the talk about bats and what to do should we encounter one of these little creatures. We began our walk up a hill to the entrance of the cavern. I will have to admit that I was lagging behind on purpose! I was hoping my sweet little girl would ease in the cavern with her friends and her teacher and forget that mom was there for a little while. Not so lucky. Just as the group was making their way in, my little one spotted me and motioned for me to come with her. We had talked at home about how mom might have to stay outside so she was somewhat prepared for me to wait for her and then it came… the puppy dogs eyes, the soft voice… “Mom please come with me, it will be fine.” Who can say no to that? Not this mom!

nature-france-rocks-cavesWe entered the cavern and it was just as I had anticipated… TIGHT and dark. I made my way to the back of the group and left a substantial amount of space between myself and the pack of curious little people. There was a very kind gentleman named Hank that was the rear guide who was so kind to accompany me step for step along our journey. He was kind enough to tell me when we were about to enter an especially tight spot and he gave me plenty of space as we made our way through. He kept saying, “Ma’am you are doing great, you are almost there.”

Hank was very encouraging and had given me a piece of advice “Don’t look up, focus on the space where you are.” What Hank did not know was that I had scripture rolling through my head the entire way! The scripture that I kept repeating was from Ps. 23 “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.” I will be honest at that moment THAT was it, green pastures… WIDE OPEN SPACES!! Do you know what claustrophobic people need… WIDE OPEN SPACES! The rest of our journey through the cavern led to walking 175 feet down (a tidbit of information they could have pexels-photo-803106kept to themselves!!!) We made our way to the steps to the exit and we were informed that there were 110 steps to the exit. Hank looked at me and asked me if I was going to be ok to make the steps to get out. Um, yes!!! My reply was “Hank, if it’s your job to keep up with me, I am going to be taking those steps two at a time so hang on!!”

You are reading this blog so you obviously know that I made it out alive (barely)! So whats the take away? I put myself in a place that I really should not have been, but God met me there in His faithfulness and grace and literally walked me out of darkness. I kept repeating over and over again as I navigated my way through “You are the God of wide open spaces.” I said it over and over again until I could breathe and focus on the steps I needed to take. I could feel peace wash over me. I could feel HIS peace wash over me. God is faithful even when we are not. He is good even when we don’t deserve it. His word does not return void and there is power in scripture, MUCH power. He is the God of yesterday, today, tomorrow… and yes, He is the God of wide open spaces!!!



Don’t Look Back

(Photo by Roman Bintang on Unsplash)

Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:14-17, 23-26

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Lot’s wife. I’ve been trying to imagine myself in the midst of all the sin she was surrounded by and the feelings of anxiousness I might feel. I would want out, and fast. I would want my family protected from all of that.

God, with his amazing mercy, allowed them to leave the land before he destroyed it. This was it! This was her chance to flee, to take her family to a better place. What relief. She was given one command, “Don’t look back.”  Seems easy enough, right? I mean it was horrible there, I’m free to leave and rescue my family, so why in the world would I look back?

Yet, as she was leaving the land, human nature was more than she could bear. She turned and looked back.

Why? I have several assumptions… We can never really know, because she was turned into a pillar of salt, so no one can get her thoughts. There was no interview to be had because, well, she wasn’t able to speak. My mind could only imagine a few reasons why she may have looked back.

Maybe she was afraid of the unknown. What she was living in was horrible, yet she knew it. She knew what to expect, and she may have gotten comfortable with the sin around her.

woman-looking-away-1493398138zofMaybe she was afraid for the people left there.

Maybe she made relationships and she didn’t want harm to come to them.

Maybe she was hoping God would change his mind and give them one more chance.

Maybe Satan said to her, much as he did to Jesus, “Did God really say he would destroy them?”

Whatever the reason was, I’ve often thought about how many times in this life I’ve looked back.

There are times in my life when I’ve wondered if I made right decisions, questioned myself when I knew I had heard God, looked back and wondered why I took that new position or why I moved to a certain place. Was it me making those decisions? If God spoke to me and told me to do these things, would I have trials? Would it be this hard?

Friend, we have to make the decision today to stop looking back. He never said everything would be easy if we followed him. In fact, he said we would encounter trials along the way, but to consider that Joy because our faith would be stronger. Whatever you hear the Lord telling you to do today, do it. Don’t look back. Even when you are tempted to question, keep your eyes focused on Christ and the prize laid before you. Don’t be a pillar of salt, be salt and light to the world. Keep moving forward with Christ in the lead.


Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

Seek the Truth

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ear they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:4

 Most Saturday mornings I try to steal away for a few hours and go on a long walk by myself. Sometimes I’ll just talk to the King, and sometimes I’ll enjoy a virtual companion or two, usually some of my favorite Bible teachers. On one particular long-walk morning last fall, I found myself wrestling with some tough questions. I’d immersed myself in the Word, studied it prayerfully, and the Spirit began to resolve some of my issues. But I found myself needing some extra help sorting through the weeds to get to the good fruit. I knew it was time to seek out some solid counsel.  

pexels-photo-1708936.jpegI have learned over the years to be exponentially cautious when it comes to reliable sources on the Bible. I’ve dubbed my “go to” pastors/teachers the Fab Five. They are people I have put to the “truth test” and have found, though, and probably most importantly, because they aren’t perfect and don’t claim to be, they truly do ask hard questions and see the Word as the infallible, inerrant TRUTH. I started pondering what made these particular men and women stand above the rest, and I discovered they all have these characteristics in common: 

1) They are humble. They recognize they don’t have all the answers and they still have much to learn. They even go so far as to course correct teaching they believe they were mistaken on in the past. This is typically on a nonessential (not pertinent to the truth that Christ is the only WAY to salvation), possibly something that has shifted in them as they have grown in their understanding of the Word, or they’ve simply matured as a follower of Christ. But it’s their desire to live in integrity, in the way they teach, and in the way they rightly handle the Word of truth, that I believe is a vital quality for a Bible teacher.

2) They consider the Bible as the most valuable commentary on the Bible. Every point, every idea, is supported with scripture, and seeking the whole counsel of God’s Word is preeminent in their ministry.

3) They focus on the preeminence of Jesus Christ. Not on a church or on a ministry or a denomination, but on the absolute beauty and power and grace and profoundness of Jesus Christ crucified, died, and risen again for our salvation and sanctification. 

4) They encourage their listeners to examine the truth for themselves. They never teach that their way is the only way to interpret the scriptures, they encourage their listeners to keep them accountable and reassure them that if they have the Holy Spirit as their guide, they have all they need to examine the scriptures. 

5) They don’t try to make the scriptures fit what seems “right in their own eyes” but let the scriptures speak—in context and in power and sometimes in mystery (Deuteronomy 29:29). 

If you are seeking to walk in the truth, be discerning and prayerful about who you go to when you are wrestling with the Word. Go to teachers you know you can trust to equip you and point you directly back to the inspired, inerrant Word of God. Seek out men and women who will pass the litmus test of 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” And remember the truth that follows directly after it in 2 Timothy 2:16 “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.” (Gross!). Don’t be afraid to stand firm on truth and put Biblical teachers to the test. Because you too, want to be counted among those who are not ashamed, but are seeking to rightly handle the Word and think on what is true.


Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32




Ain’t Nothin’ Like a good Yarn

There’s a hymn I like. I like the words “I love to tell the story….something, something” I forget the rest but then I hum the tune. I like it because the words resonate with me. I do indeed love to tell a story. I love to hear a good story too.

Once in the third grade I learned another name for story was yarn. I underlined that vocabulary word, yarn, put a dash out beside it and defined it as a narrative of adventures, or in other words, a fabulously told story. I’d already had much experience with such things. I come from a long line of yarn spinners, and by the time 3rd grade rolled around and provided me another name for a story, my love of one had already been declared.

240_F_174659593_Jt21ciyKWDwmmTcreU84GRrwon5WPkQZMy Aunt Sis, yep that’s a thing, an Aunt Sis, a for real person, who can spin a yarn better than most. She filled my 9-year-old ears with tales of the poor Hinkle children barefoot and stair-stepped playing for hours in the woods. She told of me about adventures long since passed and mostly forgotten, adventures that’d’ve even made Huck Finn jealous. I reckon the love of a good story comes from deep within the roots of who I am.

Part of a good story is the teller. The narrator of the story has the power to make or break it. I practiced my yarn skills growing up and to this day when my story gets a little heavy on insignificant details, a little long on the verbiage my mama will often, in an exasperated tone say “For the love!!! Land this baby!!” That means, I’ve talked too long and it’s time to wrap it up. Sometimes I can hear her in my head when I am posting on the Facebook, writing out a Blog post, recounting my day, any number of storytelling mediums. I can hear her saying the same “For the Love! Land this one already.” I’ve just a mind to do that.

There is a particular Storyteller who happens to be one of my favorites. I love how he carefully weaves his words together to produce such an accurate picture I can almost smell those biscuits his mama cooks or feel the air of the Alabama mountains. Unlike another one of my favorites, I’ve never met this guy. He’d likely say, “Amy Martin who?” unless of course he coincidentally knew one of the other 900 Amy Martins in the state of Alabama.

He regularly writes for 2 of my favorite periodicals. I asked mama just the other day if she’d gotten her latest edition of the issue to which she holds a subscription. His writings require trips to the library for me to catch up on his wordsmithing publications. However there is one, that like many Southerners, my Mama holds a subscription. She reads it and places it on the coffee table knowing I’ll make my way there to read it. I will often head to her house, make myself a Pepsi on ice, settle in my favorite chair, flip to the next to last page of the newest issue and find his article. We meet regularly, the Author and I, having settled in for a one-sided conversation with an old friend. It is a few moments every month I truly enjoy.

So when recently I inquired about the location of her latest issue to my dismay she said, “No, I let my subscription run out.”

photo-1469708105586-50396e970312I debated going to library or even the dreaded Big Store of Confusion to see what my friend had to say for the month. But as it would happen, after a drive in a torrential downpour, peering through foggy windows and a safe arrival 10 minutes late for an appointment, I looked on the waiting room table and there he sat, as if he were waiting for me to come in from the rain. In that long-awaited issue, He talked of New Orleans and beads and hotdogs. I mused at his statement about the men in Dr Seuss hats, “because you couldn’t get snockered enough for a Dr. Seuss hat, even if you had not grown up Congregational Holiness.” The King must’ve known when he prompted its placement on a table, I needed it desperately. A little something just for me. It was in fact, a reminder that the King knows the little things and the big things and is concerned with the details of my life.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:1-4


Construction Zone: Illumination

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4

The focus of our women’s ministry this year “Rooms Full of Riches,” is based on the verse above from Proverbs. The purpose is to equip us to build our lives and homes on Biblical wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. In our winter session we dug into the wisdom of Proverbs, applying God’s Word to building our homes and lives. (In fact, that concentrated study on home-building is what prompted this series of “Construction Zone” blogs.) So, if you are reading this and find yourself desperate for wisdom and instruction in your day-to-day life, the collection of wise truths from the book of Proverbs will most likely have something to illumine your situation. scripture tells us in the book of Psalms that His word is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path. (119:105) dark_street_195913

According to, a proverb, in general, is “a saying popularly known and repeated, usually expressing simply and concretely, though often metaphorically, a truth based on common sense or the practical experience of humankind.” The book of Proverbs from scripture does just that, it expresses God’s truths simply and concretely. And since we Believers accept God’s Word as The Truth, sayings from the book of Proverbs carry much more weight than secular proverbs we hear in life, such as “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

The introductory words of the book of Proverbs explain its purpose this way: 

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7


I want to gain wisdom. I need wisdom. Life is hard, and sometimes I just don’t know what to do. I need insight and understanding. I want to receive instruction for how to know what is right and to help me figure out how to live in this fallen world. Don’t you? And I want the real stuff – real wisdom – not the “wisdom” we get from well-meaning acquaintances telling us what we want to hear that’s not necessarily the truth. Wisdom that will help me dig out from under my junk and really deal with life instead of adding more confusion or complications, that’s what I want. You know what I mean?

Currently, I’m reading through Beth Moore’s Portraits of Devotion each morning this year, and this verse from the book of Proverbs popped up:

light_lamp_196504For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life. Proverbs 6:23 HCSB

That’s what I want: instruction that lights my way as I journey through life. The kind of wisdom that comes from scripture and is lived out in those obedient to His Word. We can have that wisdom! How? James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault. If we do that wisdom will be given to us. Have we asked for wisdom lately? Or are you like me? Are you more apt to ask God to rubber stamp your opinion of what you wish would be done in a situation? If we get to the point we really want what’s best more than we want our way, all we have to do is ask, because “The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6)

Have you ever prayed, “Lord just write it out on a sign and tell me what to do?” I have. But I’ve never had a real billboard show up with it spelled out for me like my friend Amy has. What I have experienced most often is one of those Proverbs 6:23 flashlights shining on a dark, scary path and illuminating only about 3 steps in front of me at the most. But guess what? When I take those three steps, the illumination spreads on ahead of me to show the next 3 just like our verse above talks about! And it doesn’t just shine light for that path, but it teaches me and corrects me so that the next time I’m on a dark path I’ll remember the lessons learned and walk through that path with more peace and strength. So maybe it’s best for me NOT to get a road sign. Maybe I learn more how to live. Then it’s not just a temproary fix, but a teaching, growing experience.

dark-forest-landscape-1.jpgI’ll never forget one particular family trip to Virginia. We had left Alabama in the wee hours of the morning and found ourselves exiting the interstate at dusk. Darkness came on us quickly as we drove up the winding road to the cabin we had reserved online. There were other cabins along the deserted road, but they were spaced far apart on mountain peaks just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. By the time we reached the gated, dirt road to our cabin it was near 9pm and pitch black. My husband jumped out, unlocked and jumped right back in the car, the thought of bears and rattlesnakes unspoken between us so as not to alarm the kids. A mile of steep, bumpy clay “driveway” and we were at our destination. No lights. No moon. 4 kids. Luggage. The unknown. The fears. We managed to get all of us, and items necessary for the night, into the cabin and collapse into bed within the hour.

Next morning, we awoke to the sun streaming in. The cabin was delightful. The view was amazing. The fears were gone. Nothing had changed about the cabin and its surroundings, except that it was now illuminated by glorious sunlight. That week was one of our best vacations ever. The funny thing is, after days full of vacation fun, every night we came back to our home-away-from-home about 9pm – in the dark! But guess what! It wasn’t scary any more. Once the dark road had been illuminated, the fear was removed.

As you travel through dark times of life, seek illumination from God’s Word. Proverbs is a good place to start. The book of Psalms works too. The Gospels, Paul’s letters, it all brings light to our life. It instructs. It illumines. It reassures. We are reminded of Jesus the Light of the World, who has conquered darkness.


A Word of Hope to Moms

To the mom whose kids are grown and gone and you’re now caregiver for your sweetheart of many years – God sees you!

To the mom who is bleary-eyed and greasy-haired and in the midst of a cluttered house nursing a sick baby – God sees you!

To the mom who is a mother at heart but not physically a mother yet and desperately yearns to be – God sees you!

To the mom of the addict that leaves you fearful to hope, struggling to maintain your faith, and desperate for relief – God sees you!

To the mom of a child put in your care because his own biological mom isn’t allowed to have him right now, who puts in hours of prayer and caring and playing and guiding – God sees you!

To the Spiritual mother of many tender souls, who has a purpose greater than you realize – God sees you!

To the mom whose heart is torn, spirit is beaten down, and fears abound every single night – God sees you!

To the mom of a chaotic houseful, running here and yon and burning the midnight oil – God sees you!

To the mom of a child that struggles with physical, mental, or emotional trials that make your life seem anything but “normal” – God sees you!

To the mom of a grown woman who you worry and fret and pray over, longing for her to come fully into God’s purpose for her life – God sees you!

To the mom who feels abandoned, unseen, forgotten – God sees you!

To the single mom doing it all with a tired body, a tight budget and no real help – God sees you!

To the mom of a rosy pink newborn who finds herself overflowing with joy, but also with doubts and fears she’d never imagined having – God sees you!

To the mom waiting to adopt – longing and choosing and knowing that she is Yours, but waiting for the red tape to make it real – God sees you!

To the mom to many, the matriarch of the family who has seen many changes and ups and downs through the years – God sees you!

To the mom who is on her knees every morning for that wandering, lost child that you fear will never turn back to his heavenly Father – God sees you!

To the mom of teens trying to trust enough, be protective enough, sleep enough, guide them enough, be patient enough… God sees you!

To the mom of that child who has cut you off from a relationship with them and leaves you with more questions thatn answers – God sees you!

To the mom of preteens in the midst of a whirl of emotions that can turn on a dime, and a whirl of technology that you can’t seem to keep up with and protect them from – God sees you!

To the mom outcast, or with an outcast child, grieving for loss and friendship – God sees you!

To the mom watching your child slowly die, feeling all hope draining away as life is draining away. – God sees you!

He sees you.

He knows you.

He loves you.

Jesus loves you.

Yes, you!

“She [Hagar] gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’  for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ ” Genesis 16:13

“Since ancient times no one has seen, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any god besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4

“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Incompatible with Life

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18


I have been following the blog of a little girl named Lavendar for about and year and a half now. Lavendar was born with a condition called Trisomy 13. I have read posts written by her mom as she chronicles life with this little blessing. One of the first posts I read detailed the first meetings with the doctors as they discussed the baby’s life and what her prognosis would be. Lavendar’s mom and dad were told that she was “incompatible with life.” Imagine hearing those words describing your baby.

I have read many posts but for some reason those words “incompatible with life” have stayed with me. God has used these words to show me that this is exactly what satan seeks to render each and every believer as we seek to follow God. For every step forward we take, satan schemes to pull us backward and tries to convince us that we are not worthy of the life God has given us. God has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives and gave His son freely so that we might not only have life but that we might have abundant life. Christ came so that you and I could live our lives in the freedom that salvation brings. No condemnation for past mistakes, no condemnation for future mistakes, but freedom. If satan can convince you and I that we are “incompatible” with this life, this abundant life, he has paralyzed us in our Christian walk.

The blog posts chronicling Lavendar’s life are so encouraging. Her mom is a constant source of joy and is so quick to see each obstacle they have faced as an opportunity to move forward, to seek the joy in her situation and even though her little girl may not be free of the tubes and monitors that her condition brings, she is content. She speaks frequently of the struggles they face but there is an undertone of gratitude in each post. It reminds each time I read them to find the joy, the contentment in knowing that this life and all the struggles we face is just a vapor compared to the peace that is to come. True peace comes when our hearts and minds are stayed on him and He is our joy. Circumstances change but God never does. He is constant even when I waver, He is faithful even when I am not. One day sin and sorrow will give way to worship and praise and the thought of shedding a tear will not even enter our minds!

I am thankful for a God who saw me for what I could be and not what I was. He looked beyond the scars and the hurt and said “this one is worth saving”. He saw my heart as a place He could reside! He looks at you and me and sees a life that He can use! Life that is in tune with His heart and ready to be used for His glory!!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

Respect is Learned by Example

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:17

We lost another policeman.

I used to ask where did this one happen but it doesn’t really matter where, although this one was close to home. We are losing too many.

I knew the funeral was planned and that there was to be a processional, but I was going to be out of town. When we were headed back to the airport, my daughter showed me a picture that brought tears to my eyes. The picture was of a female deputy in her uniform, standing at attention in the rain, saluting as the procession of her fallen brother went by. 012419-wabc-umbrellaphoto-imgA gentleman had stepped up to hold an umbrella over her to shield her from the rain. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at this picture. To many she is a face without a name, but we know her name. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a deputy. I have loved her since the day she was born. I realize that I do not understand the depth of her loss but I love her dearly. She was not able to go to the funeral but took her break during the funeral procession. As she saluted the procession in the rain, a gentleman opened his umbrella to protect her from the rain. What respect he showed to her. To the dear sweet face in the picture, my prayer for you is that the Lord will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8).

Greater love has no man than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 ESV

I am so thankful for our men and women in uniform whether it be military, first responder, or police officer. I have honor and respect for each of you and your family. I know there were others standing along the procession route in the rain. I am thankful for the respect the man showed this young lady in uniform to hold an umbrella over her to shelter her from the rain. To this young lady whose name I know, I love you and I pray that The Lord will continue to “bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 ESV

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” Psalm 144:1-2 ESV

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.“ Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV

I Salute You.


But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

National Day of Prayer

Jesus Himself calls us to be people of prayer in Matthew 21:13 he tells us,

“It is written,” He said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer.”

Today, on the National Day of Prayer, let us focus on praying – pray alone, pray in groups, pray at your house of worship. Pray for your nation, your state, your county and city, and for your local church, neighbors, friends, and family. Scripture reminds us why to pray, what to pray, how we should pray, for whom we should pray, and even results we can expect.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. Matthew 26:41 

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6

 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:22-25

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:28

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:18

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I praythat you, being rooted and established in love. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 3:16-20

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Philippians 1:9

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:6-8

girl-20878_1280Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ. Colossians 4:2-3

Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:25

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 2 Thessalonian 1:11

 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. Hebrews 13:18

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:13-18

Join us at GFBC to pray. The sanctuary will be open. Tune in to the National Day of Prayer services being televised at 6:30 p.m. on the Daystar Network.