Thursday, December 31, 2009



"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."



I do believe God is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and He will be the end. I see God as a Creator when I see the birds in flight, when I wiggle my toes in a creek and when I see a newborn baby. I know God is my Father because Psalm 139 tells me "he knit me together in my mother's womb." I experience God as a judge when my conscious makes me understand I am heading in the wrong direction. I learn from God, the teacher, as I study His word. And I know God loves me. God loves me so much he sent His Son to become a sacrifice for my sins. I also know God wants me to be with Him in eternity. He wants that so much He has a room waiting for me. I do believe God is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and He will be the end.


I do believe in family and have been blessed with a wonderful husband, two children, a son-in-law, a soon-to-be daughter-in-law, six grandchildren and two soon-to-be grandchildren. This is my family but I know families are made up of any number from one to unlimited. A family can be one person. A couple. A single parent with children. A family can include pets. A family can be made up of friends. A family is always changing as people enter our lives and as people are taken away. I believe there are "things" every family needs. Respect. Consideration. Understanding. Forgiveness. The ability to work together. The ability to listen. Families need to know they will never agree on everything. A family needs to know they are safe from harm - physical, mental or emotional. A family needs to love each other as God loves us. When I began to learn the love of God, I learned to love my family differently. I wish I had always understood the love of God and, when I look back, I am sure my family wishes I had too. I work very hard to be a strong link in our family and I now surround our family in prayer and wrap them in the love of God.


Until now, I have kept politics out of my blog, but today I am going to make an exception. I want to end 2009 by taking a personal stand. I do believe in my country. Or I should say I believe in the principles the United States of America was founded on. I consider myself very fortunate to be born in this country. To be a citizen of a country founded on beliefs of freedom: Freedom to worship. To bear arms. To vote. Freedom of speech. Freedom to work in a job of our choice. Freedom to -- This could be a long list. My fear is that our country is being taken apart. I see our Supreme Court telling us what the laws mean instead of enforcing the laws. I see a President turning our country away from individual freedoms and toward socialism. I see Congressmen and Senators forgetting they are elected officials to represent us. I believe in term limits because term limits would end professional politicians and send people to elected positions who know what it means to work and struggle in day-to-day life. I want an end to special treatment, pork barrel or buying votes to pass specific legislation. I believe in the right to own guns. I welcome every person who enters our country legally, but do not believe in allowing those here illegally to stay. I believe in helping my fellow man, but do not believe in never-ending welfare. I want to be able to decide what medical treatments I will or will not have. I believe businesses should remain in this country instead of job after job being sent outside our borders. I believe the executives of companies who send their factories overseas should have to go there to live. I believe businesses should be allowed to prosper or fail. I believe in taxation but I believe those taxes should be equal and fair to all. I believe we, as a country, have been put in the position of defenders of world peace, but I am tired of sending our sons, daughters, husbands, wives or any soldier into a country where our support is not wanted. I know our world is constantly changing, but I cannot take seriously anyone telling me global warming is real or that we should go green, when they are flying here, there and yonder in private jets. Or want us to drop the ball on New Years Eve by using bicycle power while consuming untold energy in the building where people are pedaling those bicycles. I am tired of being a nation who shows up at every disaster and then being told we are not doing enough. I am tired of being trillions in debt because we are taking care of the world. I am tired of being told we deserve to die because we are infidels and that the whole world should be subject to Shariah Laws. I am tired of not being able to express my opinion because I might offend someone but have to listen to others put down my Christian faith.

What do I want for the USA? I want our country to return to the values it was founded on. I want elected officials to listen to the voters and use common sense. I want each citizen to be proud of being an American. An American period. We all have a history. A heritage and should be proud of our heritage, but if you were born here - You are an American. If you chose to come to this country to live - You are an American. I want to know we can live here safely and want our borders, our streets and our travels by car, bus, train or plane to be safe from terrorists. I want companies to keep factories in this country so our sisters, brothers and friends have jobs. I want people to have pride in their work and know life is better because they are a contributing member of society. What do I want for this country? I want this country to return to its values. One nation. One nation, Under God.


Dear Heavenly Father, I am blessed to live in the USA. We are not a perfect country and we have pulled away from the foundation upon which we were formed. God, You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. I pray our country turns back to You. Just like our country, our families are not perfect. For each family I pray they have respect, consideration, understanding, forgiveness and love for each other. I pray each member of a family is first a strong individual who is willing to listen and work with others in the family. I pray each is held safe in Your hand and never experiences physical, mental or emotional abuse. I pray that, if a person does suffer, they will find an earthly friend to help them and they will find comfort in You. I pray for each family - be it a family of one or a family of many - to experience Your love. Mainly, I offer my prayer as a prayer of worship to You. You - the Creator, the Father, the Judge, the Teacher. To You, the one who loves Your children enough to give us Your Son so we can have eternity with You. To the Alpha and the Omega, I say, "Thank You." Amen

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. Celebrate the gifts of Christmas - Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. -- Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas, Mary


(God asking Job, "Were you there when I created the earth?") On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone - while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy. Job 38:6-7

(Upon completing the foundation of a temple) With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while others shouted for joy. Ezra 3:11-12

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24

I bring you great joy that will be for all people. Luke 2:10


Around the base of our Advent candle ring are the words Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Four simple words. Four extreme goals.

I have written about peace, hope and love and how, from the beginning, they were a part of God's plan. This week the simple word is joy. Again, I found joy has always been a part of God's plan.

I never know where God will lead me, as I begin my blog. I thought - Joy, this will be easy and I would be directed to scriptures of praise and singing. Scriptures about joyful noise. But instead, God sent scriptures about cornerstones. And foundations. And a new city.


O God, how you must feel when your children have joy in their hearts.

In Job, the angels sang together and shouted with joy, as You laid the cornerstones of the world. Why joy over cornerstones? Why? Because the cornerstones need to be strong and true to hold your world together. We shout with joy and praise as we consider the world You created.

In Ezra, your people built a new temple and they shouted for joy when the foundation was completed. Why joy over a foundation? Why? Because without a strong and true foundation, the temple would not stand. We shout with joy as we consider the strong foundation of Your church.

In Hebrews, we are given a glimpse of the future. A time when we will be in a city where thousands and thousands of angels are in joyful assembly. Why joy over a new city? Why? Because You have a city of the living God and that city is ready for us. We shout with joy as we consider coming to You because of Your Son, Jesus.

You laid the cornerstones of the world. You have been beside us as we have laid cornerstones for our places of worship. As we laid cornerstones for our lives. For our faith.

All of these must be built on a strong and true foundation. Built on Your word and Your gift to us all.

Listen, O God. We are shouting with joy. The angel told us, "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people."

Listen, O God. We are shouting with joy. Shouting with joy because You sent a strong and true cornerstone upon which our faith can be built.

You sent us Your Son.

Joy to the world. Amen


What started this four-week blog, on the advent wreath, was my annual Christmas writing. If you are not tired of reading, I hope you enjoy this.



Isaiah 40:30 - but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This Christmas experience God's hope. Allow your faith to soar to new heights and you will not grow tired or faint as you walk in the hope of the Lord.


Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This Christmas experience God's peace. Allow your faith to trust the peace of God to protect your heart and mind.


John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This Christmas experience God's love. Allow your faith to accept these gifts of His Son and eternal life.


Job 38:7 - while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy

This Christmas experience God's joy. Allow your faith to be so joyous that you are like the angels and join with the stars in praise.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Luke 2:11

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

He is Hope. He is Peace. He is Love. He is Joy.

Friday, December 18, 2009


This is the Advent Wreath at our church.

advent wreath


JOSHUA 22:5 -- But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses, the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 -- May the lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.

1 John 3:1 -- How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!


Around the base of our Advent candle ring are the words Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Four simple words. Four extreme goals.

I have written about peace and hope and how, from the beginning, they were a part of God's plan. This week the simple word is love.

In my Bible concordance, I counted 519 entries for the word love. And those entries did not include the other forms of the word. Bible Gateway had 697 verses that contained the word love. I think God is very serious here. He definitely wants LOVE to be a part of his plan.

As I looked at these entries, I find that we are supposed to love God and Jesus. We are to love the saints and the church. We are to love the word of God. We are to love our parents, our spouse, our children and our brothers and sisters. It would be easier if the list would stop there. Then the Bible includes neighbors. And our enemies.

This loving thing is complicated. Some family members are hard to love, but they are family. Neighbors? They can be like family. Some are easy to love and others - - - not so easy. Enemies? That is the hard. How do we love our enemies? Or the neighbor that allows their children to play loud music until all hours of the night? Or the family member that tries our patience?

Joshua told us how. "to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."

God's love plan - We are to love God with all our heart and soul. And when we do that, we will also love His children. All of them.


Do you have trouble loving some people? (Remember it says love. It does not say you have to like them.) Do you feel loved? If you are feeling a bit blue or like no one cares, please remember that God loves you!


My dear loving God, Direct my heart into your love and into Christ's perseverance. With this love and perseverance, my goal will be to love you, to walk in your ways, to obey your commands, to hold fast to you and to serve you with all my heart and soul. I am so blessed and humbled, but I do accept the love you have lavished upon me. I am so honored to be a Child of God. As you love me, let me love others.   Amen

Friday, December 11, 2009



"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11-12

remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-12


Around the base of our Advent candle ring are the words Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Four simple words. Four extreme goals.

Last week I wrote about peace and, from the beginning, peace was a part of God's plan. This week, Jeremiah tells us that hope is also a part of God's plan.

There are so many things to hope for. World peace. Riches. Good health. That the paycheck will stretch until the next one. That your parents will not get too old and feeble too fast. (Put that in there for our children.)

But have you ever felt totally hopeless? As if, you were an outsider in your own home or community. Even in your church? Have you ever felt like God was not there? I have. And when I felt like that, I did not know where to turn.

We are all at different stages of our faith journey and I hope you know where to turn. I know now! I know God has plans for me. Good plans. Plans that will give me hope and a future. I know that I can call upon God, in prayer, and He will listen to me. The same is true for you!

Hebrews 6:17-20 tells us that it is impossible for God to lie and to take hold of the hope offered. God does not lie, His words are true and God does offer us hope. Verse 19 - We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Take hold of the hope you are offered. Use this hope to anchor your soul. Anchor your soul firmly. Anchor your soul strongly. Firmly and strongly anchored in God's true word.


Do you remember a time when you were separate from Christ? Where you felt without hope and without God in your world? Do you feel that way now? Find hope! (If you need help, leave a comment.)

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


O, God of hope fill me with all joy and peace, as I trust in You, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Friday, December 04, 2009



A heart at peace gives life to the body. Proverbs 14:30

He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace. Micah 5:4-5

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


The Advent candle lighting service is used in many churches and we do this in our home. Around the base of our candle ring are the words Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. My blogs in December will be based upon these four words. Four simple words. Four extreme goals.

What peace the scriptures give. Peace just a five letter word that completely changes our lives. When the heart has peace, the body has life. A peaceful soul would make the body relax. There would be calm in the eyes and breathing would be deep and easy. Yes, life just springs forth when the heart has peace.

It never ceases to amaze me how the scriptures interweave. How one book ties into another. Isaiah 9:6, long before the birth of Jesus, told of a child. A child that would be called the Prince of Peace. Peace - always, from the beginning, a part of God's plan.

Also in the Old Testament, the prophets knew. Micah told of a shepherd who would "stand in the strength of the Lord and the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And this shepherd would be our peace."

Prince of Peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, because he was at peace with the plan God had for his life. And the peace, given by our Shepherd, is a lasting peace. This lasting peace is not like the short-term peace we feel from earthly pleasure.

Jesus offers peace so our hearts will not be troubled and we will not be afraid. This peace is forever! It is strong! It is ours!


The big question is where do we find peace? Are we at peace when we have oodles and oodles of money? Or someone to love us? Are we at peace when we have children? Or when we have a job? Or enough to eat? Or a place to live?

Yes, these all give peace. Sort of. The peace these give can so quickly be taken away or lost. If these are the only places, we find our peace, what happens when any of them fail?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Prince of Peace, I want the peace you offer at all times and in every way. _(ask for peace in your own words)__ Amen