God Can Use ANYTHING!: Be Alert and Ready

God can and will use ANYTHING to speak to our hearts.  Join me this week as I share one of His creepy crawley visual aids!


Be Alert and Ready

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” 

Matthew 25:13 (NLT)

clouds-5Ever since our uninvited guest graced our clean, freshly painted and well-organized garage, I find myself scanning the steps and surrounding area looking for snakes.  I think I’m obsessed!  It literally took more than a few days to open the door and not feel like my chest was going to explode from a racing heart!  I realize that some of you, dear Readers, probably think I’m the biggest baby on the planet and that’s OK. But it would probably be an accurate assumption to say that there is something that causes your blood pressure to rise and your heart to pound!  I tell you these crazy snake stories so you will know that we’re all in this boat together … these Doses of Encouragement are meant to encourage me as much as they are meant to encourage you!

Not long ago a group of us completed an in-depth study of the Gospel of Matthew, and it was interesting to see how Jesus progressively revealed truth to His followers, specifically to His disciples.  His initial message echoed that of John the Baptist and the other Old Testament prophets: ‘Repent!’ but as time moved closer to the cross, Jesus shared more of what was going to happen to Him and what HAD to happen in order for the Scriptures to be fulfilled.  On the heels of sharing details concerning the end of the age and His return, Jesus had a new message: Stay alert and be ready! 

Watching for snakes is certainly not as important as staying alert spiritually and being ready for Jesus’ return, but I’ve asked myself what my life would look like if I were as diligent about being ready for Christ’s return as I have been about watching for slithery critters.

Would I care more?  Would I give more?  Would I share more?  Would I keep less?  Would I witness more?  Would I judge less?  Would I obey more?  Would I love more?  Would my life be a picture of constant and consistent worship?

What about you, Friend?

From my heart to yours,


What Am I Doing Here?: Tending the Sheep

Having been made in the image of God, our hearts have been set by Him on eternity. Rooted in each heart is a God-given desire to impact the world around us. But in the midst of endless distractions, countless opportunities to live out our purpose can go unnoticed each and every day. Stick around this week as we look at how we live our day-to-day lives in a way that points others to the cross.


Tending the Sheep

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19, NASB

thursdayEverywhere we look, we are surrounded by hurting people. In their hearts are holes that only God can fill, yet we in the church are failing to share the gospel message of salvation with them. We have the cure for what ails them, yet we keep it to ourselves.

Is it the fear of not knowing enough about the Bible? Are we afraid of appearing vulnerable by putting ourselves out there and facing rejection? Or are we so distracted and overwhelmed by the pace of our lives that we fail to make sharing our faith with those around us a priority?

I realize that not all of us are called to be Bible teachers or evangelists, but each of us are called to make disciples.

Abounding with impactful teachings, humble service, and astounding miracles, Jesus’ earthly ministry was nothing short of amazing! He healed the sick, He brought the dead to life, and He walked on water. But in addition to the remarkable, He lived His life out daily alongside His chosen disciples. Working to prepare them to pick up the torch when His time on Earth had ended, He poured Himself into them. He served them, He taught them, and He broke bread with them. He did real life with them and had real relationships with them. It is this group that went on to turn the world upside down for the gospel.

Isn’t that what we desire to do: to turn the world upside down for Jesus? But how will we equip other believers if we aren’t sharing the hope we have in Christ with them? Who will tell them if we aren’t? Unfortunately, many of them are looking to what the world is telling them to fill that God-sized hole in their hearts.

I wonder how many opportunities to share my faith I’ve missed because I wasn’t looking. Or how many relationships I have missed out on because I didn’t think I had time to invest in anyone else?

God has placed people in each of our lives for us to pour ourselves into as we live out this life beside them, pointing them to Jesus along the way. Our children need to know what we believe and why we believe it, but so do our friends, our neighbors, and our coworkers. Everyone need to know because their salvation depends on it!

Each and every day people die and their eternity will be spent somewhere. Wouldn’t it be great to see them in Heaven?!

Pouring out,

Consider the Source

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5, NIV

roots-of-powerWe all know what happens to branches that are cut from the plant: they wither and die. On the surface, this seems kind of obvious, but stick with me here.

The roots of plants draw water from the soil, and combined with the process of photosynthesis in the leaves, create “food” for the plant to survive. The leaves cannot perform photosynthesis on their own, away from the plant, because the water drawn from the soil by the roots is necessary for the process. Branches that are cut cannot produce fruit. They will die because they no longer receive what they need from the plant.

Jesus used this simple illustration in verse five to remind us what our “source” should be. “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” As branches, we are dependent upon the “living water” that comes from the “vine” – Jesus – for our branches to bear fruit. Apart from Him, our “branches” cannot produce any fruit. We must remain in Him, or we can do nothing.

How do you remain in Jesus? Spend time with Him. Spend time reading His Word. Talk to Him. Get to know Him. Spend time with others who know and love Him. He doesn’t care if you have thirty minutes a day for deep Bible study or if you talk to Him throughout your day, thanking Him for even silly things like a good parking spot at Walmart. (Both are great, by the way.) He just wants you to remain in Him! Be aware of His presence in your everyday life. Let Him know you know your “source!”

Sister, if you find yourself in a “fruitless” situation, it might be time to check your source.

Remaining in Him,