What is Our Offering? To Whom?

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 The Message
The Offering

1-4 Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.

Do you make offerings in time or money to others/organizations?

What is your offering and to whom?

Are we offering our best and greatest amount possible or are we with-holding our gifts?

I think about these questions from time to time. I got a wide-eyed stare from a nail salon cashier when I left a larger than 20% tip for a girl that painstakingly painted my nails with a gel manicure this week. This young lady drives 30 minutes to work, lives with her family (she’s young), and attends the community college as an ESOL student. She moved here from Columbia and is learning the English language so that she can go to school to become a dental hygienist. I know all this because I talked with Karen instead of watching the TV on the wall or being quiet like most of the other ladies in the salon. Except the older grouchy lady who complained at her nail tech for not making her French manicure just right…that’s another story!

Not My Hand, but a Similar Manicure

Karen deserved a big tip in my opinion. I’m blessed to be a blessing. I can afford to leave a bit tip so I did. I work two jobs and she kind of does too—student and nail tech for her. Preschool teacher and speech therapist for me. My business is booming (in my eyes), and I have a little extra to give. I have plenty for my own pleasure too. I’m still seeking ways to serve God with my gifts. Some will go to our home church too. Offerings are important. Be generous today.

Dear God,

You are the Gift Giver. Forgive me when I forget that it ALL belongs to You ultimately. Give me a heart for giving. Give me time and money to give to others. Grant me discernment in my spending. Love you Lord!


He is Kind; We Can Be Kind Too!

Romans 2:3-4

You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Our Father is kind. He is also stern. We can be kind and stern also.

Parenting requires this.

I struggled on Saturday with parenting and hurt. Our son and I were clashing a bit on Saturday morning. My feelings were hurt. I felt he was unkind, and I was in tears and in a fit of anger with my husband on why our teen son would be so “mean.” In looking back, I don’t think our son intended to be unkind, but it was perceived that way by me. Teens are tough. Teens can be moody (and p.s. Moms can be moody too)! I was short on sleep on Saturday morning, and perhaps he was too. He stays up too late on the weekends, and I often wake up too early. Opposites.

Opposites with kids can make for clashes. Our 13 year old son is a lot different than me, and then in sensitivity a lot like me emotionally. We hurt each other’s feelings more easily than others in our family unit. He and I have a history of hurt. I saw that history of hurt rear its ugly head again on Saturday. I could see that my presence at his tennis lesson was undesired. I arrived late to watch alongside my husband. He fell apart emotionally and a bit in his tennis game. I left because I could sense he didn’t want me there. When we got home and I asked, “Would you rather have dad or I watch tennis?” He said, “dad” in a gruff voice. You see I grew up playing tennis with my dad. I loved the game and that time with my dad. Our son is newer to the game, and he used to like to play with me. Now, he prefers to play with his coach and now with my husband. My feelings are hurt.

I want to be the tennis parent. But, perhaps that is not my role. I have to realize that in kindness I may need to defer to my husband for awhile. My husband said our son was upset because TWO parents were watching. I just happened to be the second pair of eyes. Maybe on a future week I can watch from a distance as the sole parent. I pray that is the case. I pray our son will want to play with me again one day soon. I love tennis, but I love HIM even more. This is a learning opportunity for us both. How to hand emotionally charged situations and people’s feelings. I will be more tender, and I hope our son will be with me also.

Kindness matters.

Sternness matters too at the right time and in the right place with the right people.

Parenting is a lot like our relationship to our heavenly Father. He is kind and stern with us too. He wants to “play” and spend time with us too. He wants our attention and love. It is a two way street. Our relationship with HIM can grow and change through the years that we grow up also. Maturity in faith is a life long journey.

Dear Father,

You are kind and firm. Forgive me when I get upset by your firmness and forget that you are also kind. Give me a heart that is soft and moldable. Help me to come before you with a kind heart also. Help me parent our sons in the way you desire for us. Give me the ability to be less stern and more kind.



Rooted in Christ or Rooted in Sin?

Malachi 4:1

“Watch now,” the Lord Almighty declares, “the day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. The proud and wicked will be burned up like straw; like a tree, they will be consumed—roots and all.

The word of the week for Five Minute Friday link-up is “ROOT.”


I added the word ROOT to the Biblegateway search and this one came up. I tried the Psalms entries but didn’t like those. I don’t LIKE this one much either, but I do LIKE the MESSAGE! Am I going to be judged? YES. Are we going to go to Hell? I Pray NOT! We have a chance because of JESUS.

The Lord Almighty declares “a day of judgement is coming…the PROUD and the WICKED will be burned up like straw; like a tree, they will be consumed ROOTS and ALL!” This is an image I can picture. We have made many fire pit fires and many fires in fireplaces through the years. I’ve watched trees burn. I have watched them be consumed by the fire. Will it be like that in our final days? I’m not really sure.

I pray that because I believe I am saved from this burning. I believe my “root” of life is in my soul. I believe that my soul is saved. I believe that in Christ I have new life. My root will always bloom a flower or bud into a tree because of the New Life in Him. By grace I’m saved. We are saved. You are saved my dear reader and friend. Make the promise to LOVE and OBEY him. Make yourself pure. Follow His commandments, and save yourself from the fire.

Thank you for following me down this train of thought. I hope it made sense!

Dear Lord,

You are the Judge. You are the Almighty. You are our Savior. You are the Spirit. You are on the throne. Forgive me for forgetting about judgement and living in sin. Give me the heart to turn to You. Rain down your water to quench the fires of wickedness and sin. Give us a root in YOU. Help us to bloom for YOU. Amen.

Isaiah 43:1-7

Isaiah 43:1-7New International Version
Israel’s Only Savior

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

In reading my Bible this morning, I stumbled upon a card tucked into the “wrong place.” It was from my sister dated 3/1/2018 “You are so very precious to me! More importantly, you are a priceless treasure to your GOD! I ❤ you.” The bottom had the verse Isaiah 43:4…

When I went to tuck this card into the “right place” I noticed that I had highlighted that passage previously on 6/27/2004. I had written “<3 letter from God…Mom read this to me before my first day of work.” In 2004 I would have been starting a new job at a small rural hospital in Georgia. I was venturing out into a new area of speech-language pathology. My mom knew that. She knew I was bravely trying something new! I love that she was willing to read this to me. I love that my sister used the same verse to encourage me. And, I love that today led me back to this passage to re-highlight some key points in that 43rd chapter of Isaiah.

What verses have you highlighted lately?

Any nuggets or dates placed in your Bible?

I was talking with our small group about highlighting, drawing, and dating things in my Bible. I have many Bibles, but my favorite one is from high school. It was given to me in a “Disciple Class.” I have used it more than any other Bible. It’s circa 1994 gift has given me God’s Truth time and time again…including today. What is your favorite Bible and why?

Drop me a comment!



Show Me My Land Please, Lord

Genesis 12:1

Abram and Sarai

God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.

Nations Online Project

This week’s Five Minute Friday word is “SHOW.”… and GO for it!

6:17 a.m.

I’m sitting in a hotel lobby, and I’m glad I brought my laptop for personal work, email, and blog time! So thankful to sip my green tea and listen to Happy Mix on Spotify. I’ve been reading a book called “Find Your People.” I have a book/Bible study with a handful of women at our home on Tuesdays. It has been great! I’ve really seen God showing me (us) that the land he shows us is right near us! Jennie Allen talks about finding a 5 mile radius and finding 5 friends in that radius…

Who lives close to you?

Who can/do you see often?

Could you call them for a casserole if you were need? Or a ride home from the airport? If so GREAT! If not, maybe you could work on this!

I have a great 5 mile radius of close friends. I’m so thankful for the “land” God placed us in 10 years ago. We live in a community with lovely ladies and families. There are young and old friends in my area that I LOVE to spend time with, and they are nourishing me in life and in my faith.

E, my adopted mom who has tea with me and gives me cookies for the book/Bible study and for our family! Plus homemade banana bread and amazing conversations!

C, my best friend for sharing my heart and sharing our joys and struggles as women, wives, and mothers. We walk slowly together weekly so we have more time to talk!

A, my best fast walking neighbor friend. Longest friend in the neighborhood. Practical. She showed us to our church in this “land.”

D, my medium paced walking friend who has children the same age as ours. Her aging parents and mine share things in common, and we support each other as caregivers.

N, my friend that comes to all my house parties, and has a great sense of humor even when hard times come. She is a gem…a rough around the edges kind of lady, but shines brightly with love.

There’s my 5. Who are yours? Leave me a comment!

Cheers! 6:25 a.m. I’ve gone over. Oh well. Off to eat breakfast at the hotel buffet! It smells great.

Life Verses

I read a link on Ann Voskamp’s weekly weekend feel good email in my inbox this morning! I love how uplifting her articles and pictures are. If you haven’t found her, please do! Today she had a link about Life Verses. I have never picked on verse, but I want to. Have you?

Here’s the three that came to mind for me:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love HIM, who have been called according to HIS purpose.” Romans 8:28

“We have this hope as an ANCHOR for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Hebrews 6:19

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I AM your GOD. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND.” Isaiah 41:10

I think I want to get a second tattoo with my husband. We both designed our own small cross tattoos back in 2008. Now, it has faded. I want a new one on my foot/wrist/ankle of an anchor or a Bible verse snippet. Thoughts?

The first tattoo was so painful, but it may be worth the pain to get a lasting reminder of a Bible verse…of the LIFE in HIM that we have and need to be so grateful for.

Dear God,

You call us, you give us hope, and tell us to not fear. These are such words of Biblical Truth. I love that You speak to us via Your Spirit in the Word. Help me to discern how to learn a life verse by heart and if a tattoo may be a visual and personal way of remembering that verse.


God’s View

Mark 8:32-34 Living Bible

32 He talked about it quite frankly with them, so Peter took him aside and chided him.[a] “You shouldn’t say things like that,” he told Jesus.

33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples and then said to Peter very sternly, “Satan, get behind me! You are looking at this only from a human point of view and not from God’s.”

34 Then he called his disciples and the crowds to come over and listen. “If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them, “you must put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross, and follow me closely.

Today’s Five Minute Friday word prompt is “VIEW.”

Here goes…5:50 a.m. to 5:55 a.m…

Do I look at things from MY view or GOD’S?

I am guilty of trying to see most things through my own eyes. It’s easier…it’s worldly. But, it is not God’s plan or wish for us. He wants us to put away our sinful nature and focus in on what he wants us to view. He wants us to view things in LOVE. To view things in OBEDIENCE to Him. To view things through arms of SERVICE. To view things as HARD being OKAY with Him. To view JOYS as moments to offer PRAISE to Him. To view STRUGGLES as times to BE LIKE HIM…to be like His Son Jesus.

In trying to be a disciple, I know I’ve been called by HIM to love others and myself. He created me and everyone else in this wide world. His love is Deep and Wide as we sing in our preschool classroom. His view is global. His view is of the WHOLE UNIVERSE! He sees EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. He is omnipotent. He is BIG.

Dear God,

You are the one with the widest and clearest VIEW. Forgive me for thinking I have the best view of things. Thank you for giving me this verse to ponder this morning. May my writing and living GLORIFY YOU.


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