Monday, November 23, 2015


Photo: "Leaning" by Sally L. Smith

One of the followers was next to Jesus and was leaning close to him. 
This was the one Jesus loved very much.
John 13:23 ERV

Every day I need to examine how closely I am leaning toward Jesus.  Without Him, I will fall.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Seeing Red...and Yellow....and Orange...and

Photo by Sally L. Smith

He is generous and has sent the autumn....
Joel 2:23 CEV
 Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995
 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.

It has been a beautiful Autumn with luscious

 colors, cool temps and shorter and shorter 

days.  Things are always changing but not 

all change is bad.  God has kept His word  

and is keeping His promise of changing 


My thanks goes to Him.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Guarding The Doorposts

Photo by Sally L. Smith

{Wisdom says:}  Happy are those who listen to me,
    watching at my door every day,
    waiting at my open doorway [guarding my doorposts].

Proverbs 8:34
Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

It was there before the fence was built... guarding what belonged to the owner.  As the years passed, it grew until it encompassed the the post that held up the gate.  It kept growing and flourishing, holding it up, giving it the support it needed to do its job.  It's still here today and thriving.  It's still doing the work given by its Creator.  The gate remains embedded in its heart and nothing can remove it until the tree is no more.  It stands guard at the doorpost gaining strength every day.

Oh, for the wisdom of God that was with God before the creation of the world.  It is that wisdom that gives His children the strength and knowledge of life and of Him.  We, His followers, need that wisdom so we can lead a happy life but how many are willing to stand watch as He shows us the way?  Who actually dares to be wise?  
Excuse me while I go open the gate and allow wisdom to enter.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Live in the Light

Photo by Sally L. Smith

Anyone who loves their brother and sister
 livein the light,
and there is nothing in them
 to make them stumble.
1 John 2:10 NIV

I love how the light shines through the trees and highlights the edges of the branches.  These trees live in the light of every day and depend on that light to make them grow into the tree God intended them to be.  
The same can be said of me if I live in the light of God's Word, love as He intends and depend on what He says to make me into the person He wants me to be.  
Does His Word highlight my life?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Speaking Through the Fog

"Foggy Sunrise" by Sally L. Smith

You don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
 Your life is like a fog.
You can see it for a short time,
 but then it goes away.

Yes, life is like a fog...some days more than others.  Usually I don't awaken from my morning fog until midway through my second cup of coffee.  I'm almost sure James wasn't using this metaphor in this context but reading it made me think how much I live in a fog.  Some of my days are so busy that I run into myself getting from one place to another.  I have to clear my thoughts and rethink my intentions.  I'm so busy in my fog that I walk by an opportunity to serve someone else or miss my chance to share a word of encouragement or to lift a helping hand.

Lord, clear the fog of self and let me see your glory in every person and experience today. Help me know the joy of serving You in every circumstance.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Humble Persimmon

Photo by Sally L. Smith

Make sure there is no man or woman,...  whose heart turns away from the Lord our God;...make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

It looks pretty, doesn't it?
However, looks aren't everything.
If you take a bite of this fruit in its present state, you will be sorry because the bitterness will make the whole inside of your mouth pucker...for a long time.  Nothing you eat or drink will dissolve that feeling.

I find something similar when I look at some people.  Inside the most beautiful ones, you may find one steeped in bitterness.  She may look pretty and seem like she has it all together, but her life's journey has culminated in her contorted outlook on life.  On the surface, she's smiling and looks happy but underneath, because of sin or hurt or dissolution, she is miserable.  She feels alone...among friends and family.  She carries guilt that engulfs her.  What is she to do to regain her true self?

Sometimes taking a look at our relationship with the Lord and returning to our first Love (Jesus, the one who purchased us with His blood) will straighten everything out and give us a different perspective on the life God wants for each of us.  It takes the effort of humbling ourselves before the Lord, turning from lingering sinful ways and thoughts and totally surrendering ourselves to the Lord Almighty who has just the right life for us.  It is not an easy road to purity, honesty and humility but it can be done with God's help.
About face! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Photo by Sally L. Smith

...the joy of the Lord is your strength.

I take pleasure in the little things in life.  I love making little vignettes of items I enjoy...bottles, pretty weeds, rocks, things made by my children and grandchildren, feathers, leaves, rose hips.  I know to the average eye, most of these things should go into the burn pile but not at my house.  My family can attest to my baskets of rocks, collections of buttons, bags of lace and hankies, old torn up books.  Why do I like these things?  I have no idea but re-purposing old and useless things gives my joy.  These things on my window sill may never find a place on my "Re-purposed Items" list but they have a place in my kitchen.  Just looking at them gives me joy and reminds me to thank God for all of his creations.  
His joy is my strength.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Long Life

Photo by Sally L. Smith

For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

These little beauties are some of the first to arrive in Spring and close to the last to exist in Fall.  Though they have a long seasonal life span, they do die...only to arise again the next year.  We all die but it is only those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that will arise again.

I trust in God's Word.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Guide My Path

Photo by Sally L. Smith

He guides me along the right paths
 for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

This is the view of the acorn-strewn path I walked yesterday.  The Lord provides for his creations in many ways.  Food and light come to mind when I view this photo.  He is such a good God and I praise Him for His wonders.

P.S.This is the second go-round for this post.  I decided to edit my photo made from my phone and wound up deleting my paragraph.  I've basically said the same thing except my mind is more tired now than when I only had a half-cup of coffee this morning.  Ahhh, technology and the elderly...but, He is such a good God to get me through my day!

P.S.S. I give up!  I can't get Blogger to straighten out my scripture passage into one font.  Sometimes the Big B won't respond.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Life and Peace

Photo: Sally L. Smith

The mind governed by the flesh is death, 
but the mind governed by the Spirit
 is life and peace.
Romans 8:6  NIV
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

We live in a flesh-world, not a Holy Spirit-world.  We cannot expect the world to be godly but we should expect that of Spirit-filled people.  So many of us profess to be Christ-people but our lives are far from it. Oh, to live a life free from the world, to graze in peace and bask in God's presence free from anxiety and fear of the unknown.  It is only in the solace of His company that we will know true peace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I've Got My Day Planned

Photo by Sally L. Smith

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9 NIV

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica,                                           Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Whenever I read three scriptures in a row about the same subject, I take note.
Today three different devotions (one from yesterday that I didn't have time to read then) was one of those days and this scripture was Number Three.

I'm a list-maker.  When I plan my day, I seem to get a lot of things done but the longer the list, the more stress I feel.  If I let God guide my list, I feel more peace.  I need to pray, "God, if you want me to do these things today, allow me to do them but help me listen to your voice that may override anything I've planned."
When I follow my divine interruptions, I feel like I've listened to God and have a peace about my day that a finished list of worldly things doesn't give.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Best Gifts

Photo by Sally L. Smith

May the Lord bless his land...
with the best the sun brings forth...
with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness...
excerpts from Deuteronomy 33: 13-16 NIV

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God gives the best gifts:
wild daisies, brought in by my grandsons that we keep outside on our deck so the ants don't visit the kitchen.
multiple blue bird families, enough to need two houses for them (my Mom's favorite bird)
tools and a shed/workshop for Bill; his health to do all that he does for us and many more people
a forest behind our house that brings us glimpses of wild creatures on a regular basis
a gravel road that winds its way to a pond, a grand two-mile walk that keeps me in the same sized jeans 
a place up the hill for a small garden that offered us delicious tomatoes, lettuce and green beans for the season
country air by just stepping out on the porch, along with the wasps, spiders and gnats...but who's counting?
a four-mile drive to our daughter's house and her husband and four children...a two hour drive to our other son's with his five children at home and two more within a 30 minute drive from us at college...a six-hour drive to another grandson in college, an hour away from our oldest son and his wife and remaining three children 
a church with wonderful people and young staff who are bringing in loads of young families who enjoy a blend style of worship...and who also provide an organist position for me 
the opportunity for Bill and me to teach our respective trumpet and piano lessons at a Community Music Center
working with pre-school music again at church
living near a city with a variety of musical activities to keep us highly entertained
so many gifts, and more I didn't mention.
Yes, God, the giver of the best gifts, has blessed us beyond what we deserve and it is to Him that I offer my praise.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Autumn Findings

Photo by Sally L. Smith

Rejoice in the Lord your God,
 for he has given you the autumn rains 
because he is faithful. 
Joel 2:23 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Our walks in the woods bring us the wonders of the Lord.  This year it turned up black acorns.  I've never seen black ones before but they were lying on our walking path.  I couldn't resist picking them up and enjoying their beauty indoors as well as seeing if someone else might enjoy them.  I've put a few in my Etsy shop to see if they are as unusual as I think.

This surprise must be due to the kindness of the Lord who provided the many rains we had this year.  They must love His watering.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Just Hypocrites!

Photo: "wells cathedral, the choir" by SEIER+SEIER is licensed under CC BY 2.0

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others."  Matthew 6:2

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others." Matthew 6:5

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting." Matthew 6:16
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission.
 All rights reserved worldwide.

One of the greatest excuses people give for not going to church is that "Everyone who goes to church is a hypocrite. I know who they really are.
Why would I want to be associated with hypocrites?"

That is true but it also includes everyone on earth.  Everyone lies...from stretching the truth and half truths to downright whoppers.  I have never met anyone who can actually claim that they have never lied and I will use that statement to counter such an excuse.
it is a scathing truth that there are hypocrites in the church.  Jesus' words stated that as fact during His time on earth.  Most, if not all, of his comments about hypocrites deal with the Jewish priests and scribes.  Jesus, the most humble of all, never lied.  He told it like it was though and His Word still speaks volumes to us today.  
Serious Christians who really want to be like Jesus actually try to do so buy learning more about Him and what He expects of them.  However, Christians still sin.  Such is the nature of mankind.  The difference between the believer and non-believer is the fact that the believer's wrong-doings are forgiven when confessed and that even in their sin, Christ loves them.  
What a relief!  I don't have to live with the guilt because He forgives that along with my sin.  Oh, if the world would just believe.

Friday, September 25, 2015

To A Ripe Old Age

Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Autumn...the age of maturity.
Cool nights and warm days help the fruit to ripen and the leaves to turn. We've already put up many cans of pear, wild grape and plum jam.  We got a half bushel of Concord grapes yesterday so we're starting on another round of jam today.  It's a lot of work but the results are well worth the effort.
Being ripe is a very short, but sweet period of time.  Fruit will be rotten in no time if not preserved.
God has a plan for our whole life here on earth.  When illness, death of loved ones and friends, inability to do what we used to do and failing memories beset us, it is easy to give up and the temptation is to quit.
God still calls the elderly into His service but sometimes our hearing His call is like leaving the phone on vibrate.  We are moved in a certain direction by the Lord but negate the call because it's easier not to get up and answer.
Gotta go.  I don't want to miss my call.