Who is in YOUR boat?

Paul experienced quite a STORM in Acts 27. This storm was so violent, it shipwrecked Paul and the entire crew, landing them on the island of Malta. The coolest thing God showed me though, is that He USED Paul's storm and being shipwrecked on Malta for His glory....leading the people of Malta to become followers of Christ.

God will use our storms (when we allow Him) and turn them into "Malta-s", opportunities to WITNESS and share God's love with others.

Jesus also experienced storms....and His disciples.  In fact, they often experienced the storms WITH Jesus.

From Luke 8
Jesus had told the disciples that they were going over to the other side of the lake. They all climbed into the boat and began to cross to the lake. During the sail over, Jesus fell asleep. During this time, a huge storm comes up. "The boat was being swamped, and they were in GREAT DANGER." OK, these guys were fishermen- they were used to life on the sea. They had undoubtedly seen many storms. But this one SCARED them!

They woke up Jesus screaming, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"

They are hysterical. They thought it was "all over."

Now, I had always "read" this as the disciples were waking up Jesus to have him DO SOMETHING. But, perhaps, they are waking Jesus up because they think they are going to have to jump ship....that this storm is "IT"....this is the end for all of them.... Are they waking Him up, thinking "How can you sleep through THIS? We are all going to die!"

Listen to what happens next. (Verses 24-25)

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" He asked His disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him."

If the disciples had known that Jesus was GOD, would they have been scared? If they knew that I AM was in the boat with them, would they have feared? God Almighty...Creator of the universe...Who set the stars in place....Who created the sea.....Who keeps the winds in storehouses.... was with them in the boat! If they realized WHO Jesus was, would they have panicked? Peter had not yet confessed that Jesus was the Christ. And, although they knew Jesus was something NEW....a prophet, a teacher, something very special.....did they know that GOD Himself was in the boat with them????

If they did, would they have been afraid?

And, it made me think of myself. If I truly believed that the great I AM, the God of the universe, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Almighty were in MY boat, would I be afraid when the storms of life come up?

When temptations come, when trials come....do I see WHO IS IN MY BOAT WITH ME?

Do I relax in faith? Do I trust? Do I rest in knowing that in my time of need, the Lord Himself is there, in MY BOAT, as my strength, my Savior, my sufficiency?

Lord, help me to see You for Who You are. You are the Creator of the UNIVERSE! You have created all the stars, the seas, the creatures... You made ME. Give me eyes to SEE You for who You are. You are the great I AM! When the storms of life come up, help me to trust completely in You, knowing that You can calm them with just a word. You are in MY BOAT WITH ME. Help me to get a revelation of that. I love You, Lord! Praise You, Jesus! Thank You for Your glorious Word! In Christ, the Calmer of the Storms, the One, True, Living God's Name we pray. Amen!

Building-Up Words!

My mouth can get me into trouble. Along with my "quick wit", I am also "blessed" with an impulsiveness that can, coupled together, cause an eruption of hurtful words and an explosion of hurt feelings. This Lenten season, I am forgoing the elimination of chocolate or red meat or TV programs, and purposefully and prayerfully eliminating "unwholesome talk" from my vocabulary. Now, you may be tempted to think "unwholesome" means only "vulgar" speech or words that fall into the "swearing like a sailor" category...but God challenges us to get rid of all words that DO NOT LIFT OTHERS UP.

Not just words that are mean or hurtful, but...


Useful words.

Kind words.

Positive words.

Encouraging words.

Words that BUILD OTHERS UP ACCORDING TO THEIR NEEDS. This requires a few things.

1. SHUT UP! (& listen!). Don't just listen, anticipating your response, but listen without any other agenda other than to HEAR the person speaking.

2. Listen with the intent of figuring out their needs. Does the person just need a should to cry on? Do they need help coming up with a solution to a problem? Do they need to know someone HEARS them...that they are not invisible?

3. Speak! "Build them up." Affirm them. Remind them of how AWESOME they are. Notice them.

God has really been dealing with me as I have been purposing to live out this verse.

When I have been tempted to point out someone's mistakes, have an "I told you so" attitude, or engage in gossip...God has been reminding me that I "gave up" harsh words during Lent.  See?  I posted about it here:

Behind my sweet smile, lurks sarcasm & a tongue that can cut to the quick. The Holy Spirit tells me to keep mouth closed but I often choose to ignore that because that little comeback is just "too good" not to get in. Power of life & death are in the tongue. I choose to give up words that kill the spirit & bring death; I choose life-giving words.

Of course I do NOT intend to pick harsh words back up again after Easter! "Eliminating" certain things, be it chocolate or unwholesome talk, is the practice of seeking Jesus during this season and becoming more like Him during Lent and forever.

"Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful to build others up according to their needs."

Lord, may my words be life-giving, encouraging, helpful, kind, & uplifting.❤


As I continue to seek God during Lent, something I chose to "give up" in this season is 

negative self-talk

I tend to be my own worst critic and really hard on myself at times. I will use words that I would NEVER speak to someone else, calling myself names, reminding myself of mistakes. Sometimes I replay failures in my mind, repeating every detail over and over.

So...I am giving up a negative self-image.

I choose to believe that I am His beloved daughter, loved & accepted AND my identity is secure in Him. 

I am His masterpiece, fearfully & wonderfully made.    My WORTH doesn't come from what others think of me, NOT from how successful I am or how successful my kids are... NOT from how clean my house is or what size my jeans are.

My WORTH comes from being created, loved, saved, and redeemed by a good, good Father, the Creator of the Universe...the God of all creation. ❤

As I continue my Lenten journey, I have been asking God to "get my heart right." To change my heart, rip out anything that shouldn't be there...to make my heart more like His.

Today's daily verse was Psalm 19:7: The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

And as I continued reading, it really was the next few verses that hit my heart:
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord , my rock and my redeemer. (Verses 12-14).

And, the prayer from my devotional:
Lord, I give you permission to search my heart today. Though it’s uncomfortable, if there is anything in me that is not from you and in line with your Word, help me to let it go. Thank you for doing it with me. I don’t want anything to hinder our relationship; I want to be fully yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Do you think God is telling me something???Encouraging me to allow Him to search my heart and dig out the junk? Yep, me, too.

Sometimes it is uncomfortable. Sometimes my pride really wants to fight it. Sometimes I think I am RIGHT...JUSTIFIED..to feel/think things are OK to be in there. Bitterness & unforgiveness for someone who deeply hurt me. Judgemental thoughts. Jealousy.

But, God wants to transform me. Mold me. Shape me. Make me more like Jesus.

And...that is what this season of Lent is all about. Drawing near to God & allowing Him to do this work in me.

Lord, thank You. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You that You are transforming me day by day. May I reflect Jesus and look more like Him today.

WHO is JESUS??? (to me???)

As we draw near to Easter, I want my thoughts to focus on Jesus. I will be republishing a series I have done before during the Lenten season- "Who Is Jesus?" Please stop by frequently to join me in thinking about just who Jesus is and what He means to me....

Jesus asked His disciples, "And who do YOU say I am?" It is an important question for all of us to answer....

Once during a bible study, the leader asked us to keep a “journal” of who Jesus is to us, personally, writing down whatever came to us during the length of the study. It was a great "task". I think sometimes I forget to sit and ponder just how much Jesus means to me.

I encourage you to take on this assignment, writing everything you KNOW about Jesus and everything Jesus is to you (for example, He may be “tender” to you…). This is the beginning of my list, and if I were to write everything, you would be here for hours reading it!

Things most precious to me:

Jesus knew He would be Savior BEFORE the beginning of time. Before creation, He knew “the plan”. He knew Adam would fall in the garden. He knew He would have to die for my sin, to BECOME sin for me- the Spotless Lamb- to take away my sin. He would take on my punishment. BEFORE He created me, He knew in order to spend eternity with me, He would willingly, joyfully choose to be my Savior, to take my lashes, to take my punishment, scorn, ridicule, and death on the cross. Knowing ALL of this, He still chose to create me. Wow, that blows me away! The love He has for me.

Jesus is the Creator of the universe- “through Him all things were made- without Him nothing was made.”

He is the Word made flesh. He is the Living Word. He is the Written Word. Genesis through Revelation tells the “story” of Jesus. The Word- the Word that leads me and guides me……

Emmanuel- “God With Us”- Jesus never leaves me, never abandons me, never is too busy for me. Jesus is with me in my trials and my joyful celebrations. Jesus is part of me- “I am in Him and He is me.”

Savior- Jesus is my Savior, saving me from my sins, saving me from myself, rescuing me over and over again……..

Healer- Jesus is my healer, healing me from ALL my diseases- body, soul, mind, and HEART. One of my favorite examples is the leper that says he believes Jesus can heal him if Jesus is willing. Jesus answers, “I am willing.” Those three words bring me such comfort- I am willing. I am willing.  I am willing. I am willing. Jesus, you healed ALL who came to you.

Author and perfector of my faith- my biggest “cheerleader.” Jesus, you want me to succeed, you want me to grow and mature. Jesus, you don’t condemn me, but challenge me, encourage me, guide me and perfect me……..

Bridegroom- waiting in eager expectation to return in glory for ME. As a bridegroom, you rejoice over me with singing (Isaiah 61), Jesus, you are “enthralled with my beauty.”

Jesus is my IntercessorJesus is praying for me every day!

Redeemer, You bought back my life....REDEEMED it! My life is "paid in full"!

Friend, a friend that sticks closer than a brother, my best friend……

Freedom! I no longer am in bondage to anything!!!!!!!!

Lover- Jesus, you love me with an everlasting love that never ends……

Way- Jesus, you are the only way to the Father………..

I love you, Jesus.

Who is Jesus to you?

This was first posted  1/18/08