Okay Lord, Now I Need … a Piece of Chocolate

“Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews … But we prayed to our God … So we carried on the work…”

Nehemiah 4:1, 9, & 21, NASB

Chocolate ID-10054941I walked into my kitchen and totally forgot what I was aiming to get. (Can this be happening to me already? Sure is … so frustrating!) As my mind scrambled to recall why I stood there, I good-naturedly spoke, saying, “Okay Lord, now I need …” And since I couldn’t recall the item, I filled in the blank with–you guessed it– “a piece of chocolate.” After eating said piece of chocolate, I’m trying now to focus.

Life gets crazy sometimes, and responsibilities bulge like an expectant mom ready to give birth. While God provides the strength and diligence required, I’ve been known to wander in circles before buckling down to work. Distractions, unexpected situations, procrastination–all of these can sidetrack me in my attempts to do what needs doing. Thankfully, God brings me around to the place where I accomplish the necessary. Despite me or life’s circumstances, He always finishes what He begins.

We might face opposition and obstacles on the way, but as long as we press forward with God’s will, we Will. Make. Progress.

Take Nehemiah for example. God called him to rebuild the wall, and he faithfully set about the task. Regardless of others’ anger, belittling, and threats, Nehemiah resolutely carried on his work. He knew what the Lord desired, and he didn’t allow anything to stop him. I’m so encouraged by his example: He prayed … and worked. Prayed some more … worked some more.

Now, I’m not facing anything as daunting as rebuilding a wall. Yet honestly, writing today’s devotion feels like a wall. I’ve struggled for a topic and delayed writing for that very reason. Dishes, laundry, and unpacking have claimed my attention. Then, after finally settling on this passage from Nehemiah, something unexpected–but very worthwhile–arose.

Dear friend, can you relate? What “wall” has God called you to rebuild? Does it stress and overwhelm you? Are others attempting to prevent your progress? We can combat our enemies the same way Nehemiah did: Pray and work. Pray some more … work some more. 

And hey–a piece of chocolate doesn’t hurt either :) .

Love to you in Christ as you labor for His glory,


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


In 1974 Coca Cola came out with a commercial song called It’s the Real Thing. This little ditty took the airwaves by storm for several years and had everybody in the country humming the tune and pattin’ their feet. “It’s the real thing … what the world wants today,” the young people sang. And so it is today. People everywhere are looking for something real …”the real thing.”

Click the link below, pat your foot along with me, and listen to the song. Then click back into today’s Dose of Encouragement as we start our week with a question. How do you know “the real thing” when you see it?



if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

On Monday I talked about the day Jesus blasted the Sanhedrin, the governing body of religious and political leaders of His day, the conservatives, and the liberals. They were misleading the people – speaking lies to them as if the lies were the truth. They considered their man-made laws not just equal with God’s law, but above God’s law. At one point Jesus said they’d placed so many laws on the people it was impossible for anyone to obey them all. And he called them hypocrites for it.

In the process of putting their own laws above God’s, they totally left out the things the people needed most all. In

Matthew 23:23 (NLT) He said,

“…but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith…    

The Sanhedrin was made up of both the religious leaders and the governing leaders. It was the church house and what Americans call the White House all in one. The leaders adopted their own agendas – their own ideas and beliefs that often had no resemblance to the Word – the educational training – that the Lord had given to them through the years. They had adopted their own way and sent God’s teaching down the highway. And in the end, it led to the destruction of the nation.

So, as we go to the polls and vote for our Sanhedrin – let us take our cue from those in the Scriptures who listened to the wrong crowd – and let’s send up a cry for our nation that we would repent and turn back to God and His ways. For as it is written
…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

May we return to Him and see the healing of our land.

Until Next Time,

Your Traveling Partner,



I’m in a new season of life now. Gone are the days wrestling with three little boys. Almost gone are the days of wrestling with six fantastic little grandkids. How sad. However, the memories of stories and time spent – and the lessons learned – will last a lifetime. Join me this week as I share meaningful lessons learned from the children in my life…one of those children was even me.




MASON_WNANA_&_PAPA_JUNE_2009_030“Stay right here in front of Mommy’s chair”, I’d told him. Pointing to the lifeguard and umbrella stand, I said, “We are right here in front of the lifeguard stand so you won’t get lost. Keep your eyes on us, and don’t go into the water without Mommy or Daddy. Ok?”  “Ok Mommy” Brady said. “Four adults and one two year old. How could he have gotten away from us so quickly”, I wondered.

Athletes train for years to try to be the fastest person on earth. But, I can tell you who is faster than the fastest… a two year old with a two-minute head start!

As I ran further south on the strand, I spotted a very tall lifeguard walking towards me with a little boy on his shoulders.”Lord, please…”  Then I recognized my baby’s voice calling, “Mommy! Mommy!”

Jumping into my arms, he cried and told me of looking up from his sand castle to see an umbrella stand down the beach. He thought he had wandered away from us and took off as fast as his little legs could carry him. “I thought I had lost you Mommy,” he cried.

“No son”, I cried with him. “You haven’t lost me – you just ran in the wrong direction because you got confused.”

Jesus is the same way with us. He’s looking for us because He knows we’re lost. He hasn’t moved away from us; we’ve moved away from Him. We don’t start looking for Him until we realize we’re lost.

That’s the only silver lining in being lost.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 

I will be found by you, declares the LORD…”

Jeremiah 29:12-14(NASB)

Just as our little one was tearfully searching for his Mom and Dad on the beach that day – we are to search for our Lord, who loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us so much He was willing to go to hell and back to find our freedom.

Have you been looking for love in all the wrong places, and find yourself lost and alone? Then look for Him today! He’s looking for you too!

To get to know Him today…read more

You’ll be glad you did.

Until tomorrow,

Your Traveling Partner,