The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
Psalm 27:1 NLT
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NIV

My oldest granddaughter, Hope, was traveling home from work recently on a very rainy day. She works the night shift at a hospital about forty miles from her home. She had just finished her twelve hour shift and was traveling home on the interstate when her car hit a wet spot and she lost control. She said the car spun around a couple of times, facing oncoming traffic before sliding off the road into a shallow ditch. Miraculously Hope was not hurt and the car was not damaged. The angels had to be surrounding her as it says in Psalm 91…a psalm I pray over my family regularly. The picture at the top of this devotional is an actual picture of the car at its resting place beside the interstate. Please notice the cross in the background. How awesome is that! It’s as though the Lord is confirming His power to protect and deliver in every situation! Glory to His name!

Have you ever thought about how many times a year, a week or a day that the Lord protects us from danger? I travel to work on the interstate each morning and many a time the Lord has protected me from an accident. When He does so, I think to myself, “How many times does He protect me from situations of which I’m not even aware?”

The psalmist says in the above passages that as children of God, we have no reason to be afraid. Our Lord will protect us from danger and trouble. I love the next half of that verse… “He will surround us with songs of deliverance!” Doesn’t your heart just resound with joy when you know that the Lord has delivered you from trouble of any kind? And He does it joyfully…with songs of deliverance!

The Lord is not only able to deliver us from physical danger but from spiritual and emotional troubles as well. This is what the Lord Himself says, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27) And Jeremiah the prophet says this about it…“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!” (Jeremaih 32:17)

In this generation more than any other, we have numerous opportunities to fear…terrorist attacks, unprecedented weather changes, gang violence, home invasions and unstable economy, to name a few. But as I heard someone put it very succcinctly, “When Fear knocks at the door, send Faith to answer!” This is something we need to settle in our minds before the circumstance arises, expected or unexpected…“I will not fear!” When your car (or circumstance) starts to spin out of control, you need to know that the Lord is your Deliverer in time of trouble! You need to know that He is surrounding you with songs of deliverance! Listen carefully. I’m sure you can hear the music.

Lord, You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NIV



Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard
that the everlasting God, Adonai,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
does not grow tired or weary?
His understanding cannot be fathomed.
He invigorates the exhausted,
He gives strength to the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary,
even the fittest may stumble and fall;
but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength,
they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings;
when they are running they won’t grow weary,
when they are walking they won’t get tired.
Isaiah 40:28-31
Complete Jewish Bible

Are you weary today? Are you tired of the “rat race” so to speak? Well, I am. I have to depend on the Lord to renew my strength daily. And you know what I’ve discovered? He usually doesn’t give it ahead of time. He doesn’t give me tomorrow’s strength today. He gives me today’s strength for today and tomorrow’s strength will be there when I need it.

We can spend our entire life anticipating the future and it won’t change it one bit. But if we spend our entire life trusting in God’s grace for the future, it changes everything! Rest follows very closely on the heels of trust. If you are truly trusting, you will abide in rest. There is no place for stress in the believing heart. Oh, you will have opportunity for it, but don’t let it get a foot in the door. When stress comes knocking…send a trusting heart to answer. For once you let stress get a foothold, you have to expend a lot of energy and more stress to get him out. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Let’s learn to just head it off at the pass!

You may be thinking, “Well, God may get tired of me constantly depending on Him.” Are you kidding me?! Our Heavenly Father loves for us to be totally dependent on Him. He wants us to rest in His unending grace, the unmerited favor that Jesus purchased for us with such an awesome price…His own shed blood. And Our Father never gets tired or weary. He’s always there, waiting for His children to call on Him, day or night. But you know what is even better? We can just abide in His grace, knowing that moment by moment He is providing our every need. Knowing that, as an eagle, He will give us the strength…physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally to soar above the temptations, trials and stresses of this life. Hallelujah!!! Now make a decision that from this moment on, you’re going to abide in His grace, rest in His love…and trust Him to help you soar with the wings of an eagle!




Fear not, for I am with you;
      Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you,
      I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Isaiah 41:10

This is absolutely one of my favorite verses…so much so that I even set it to music. Think about it…how many times a day do we have the opportunity to be dismayed? Webster defines dismay as, “to cause to lose courage or resolution; to upset or perturb.” “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy” and might I add, to cause us to be dismayed. (John 10:10) Steal, kill and destroy what? Whatever he can…our peace, our joy, our health, our finances…just our general well-being. Does he do it by cataclysmic occurrences that permanently alter our life? Ninety-nine percent of the time…No! He does it by seemingly insignificant, little nit-picky annoyances that never seem to come one at a time, but in duplicate or triplicate form! Let me give you a perfect example and one that prompted this devotional. (“By the way Lord, why do you keep giving me personal examples? Can‘t I just use someone else‘s?”) Anyway, one morning I was absolutely determined to get to work on time. (Those who know me know what a challenge that is in itself!) I was really doing quite well time wise and so I decided to do something I’d been meaning to do for a while…set off some flea bombs under my house. Yes, you read that right… flea bombs. Although I have no animals in my house, I have a number of cats outside and have surprisingly found a few of the pesky critters trying to invade my domain. I thought since the cats often take refuge under the house, the fleas might have come up from there. I decided I would set off the bombs right before leaving for work. With bombs in hand, along with all of my other paraphernalia, I shut the back door. The open soft drink bottle in my hand slipped and fell on the ground. Before I could retrieve it, half of my morning Dr. Pepper was watering the grass! I picked up the drink, found some Kleenex and wiped off the dripping bottle. “Oh, well”, I said to myself, “I will not be dismayed. I didn’t need but half of that sugar anyway.” I put the remainder of my stuff in the car and refocused on my mission…the flea bombs! It was no easy task since my house is enclosed with siding, but I found a small breach, pulled back the excess panel and after practically standing on my head was able to activate the first can and throw it under. I was making progress. I took the second can, got on my knees to see what I was doing, activated the can and threw it under. It hit one of the air conditioning ducts, bounced back and was thoroughly spraying the cement support nearest the opening. I retrieved it to try again! I have to stick my whole head under the house while holding my breath to keep from inhaling the poisonous fumes. I grab the spewing can and try to take aim so that I don’t hit something else and have it boomerang back in my face. I close the door (with no little effort!), get up off the ground (with no little effort!), dust off my knees and say, “I absolutely refuse to be dismayed!” I then make my way to the car and head off for work. When I look at the clock, I know I will be at least ten minutes late…again!!!

Do you think I meant this to be funny? Of course I did! I thought you could use a laugh today. But do you get the moral of the story also? We have opportunities each day and usually very early in the day to allow “the thief” to steal our joy and peace. It is entirely up to us whether or not he is successful. I could have fussed and fumed and stomped and kicked the cat! (And I’m not saying I wasn’t tempted.) But my day would have pretty much been ruined. So, when the enemy comes bringing circumstances the size of elephants, OR fleas…stand up…look up and declare...“Lord, I will not be dismayed!”




The hand of the LORD was upon me,
and he brought me out

by the Spirit of the LORD
and set me in the middle of a valley;

it was full of bones.
He led me back and forth among them,
and I saw a great many bones

on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.
He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
      I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
Then he said to me,
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them,

‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones:
I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you
and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you,
and you will come to life.
Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ “
Ezekiel 37:1-4

At this time of year children are thinking of what costume they will dress in for what some call Halloween and many Christians call Fall Festival. At any rate, it is the time when stores are filled with skeletons and ghouls and such. As Believers we don’t dwell on the macabre. But there is a wonderful story in the Bible regarding skeletons that is a great story to relate to children or adults in this season.

Ezekiel was a Prophet of God who lived in Old Testament days. The Lord often had the prophets do things that would seem extremely strange to us and probably to the people back then also. If you simply hear something it may or may not make an impression on you. But if you see something, especially something spectacular, you are likely to remember it for a long time. So oftentimes God would have the Prophets give a sort of “over-the-top” object lesson to the Israelites. In this instance, the Lord took Ezekiel to a valley that was filled with human skeletons, the Bible says “dry bones”. Probably it was once a battlefield. Then the Lord asked Ezekiel the strangest of questions. He said, “Ezekiel, can these bones live?” If it had been me I probably would have said, “Of course not, Lord! These people are not only dead, they are fully decayed!” But not Ezekiel! He knew the Lord too well. He said, “Lord, only you know that.” It’s a good thing Ezekiel thought that way because the next thing the Lord said was, “Prophesy to these bones and say, ‘Dry Bones, hear the Word of the Lord. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord!’” The Lord did just what He said He would do and verse ten says, “So I (Ezekiel) prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.” Wow!

The scripture goes on to say that the reason the Lord did this was to restore hope to the House of Israel. They were saying, “We feel like our bones are dried up and all hope is gone. We are captives in a foreign land with no help in sight!” But the Lord told them, “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.”

As born again Believers, God gives us that same promise. Do you sometimes feel as if your spirit is a pile of dried bones? Circumstances of life have left you feeling depleted of hope and you’re in desperate need of a fresh infusion from the Spirit of God. You need Him to breathe upon you. Prophesy to your own dry bones and say like David did in the Psalms…

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?
I WILL put my hope in God! I will praise him again
—my Savior and my God!
Psalm 43:5 NLT



But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run,
and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

As I was having my devotional this morning, for some reason the song entitled “Wind Beneath My Wings” came to mind and I started singing it. When I got to the line, “I can fly higher than an eagle…for you are the wind beneath my wings”, I started thinking about my relationship with the Lord and how it relates to that particular line.

I pictured myself first as a baby eagle learning to fly. Sometimes my tiny wings would tire as I struggled against the elements that surrounded me. I would start to panic as I felt my strength failing and my altitude decreasing. But right in the nick of time, despite my state of chaos and lack of confidence, I felt a strong presence underneath me, supporting me in my weakness, carrying me completely as I shifted the weight of my burdened breast onto the back of the mother eagle.

What an awesome picture of our Father God! He covers us with His feathers. (Psalm 91:4) He upholds us with His Righteous Right Hand! (Isaiah 43:10) Though we fall seven times, He will lift us up again! (Proverbs 24:16) Just like that mother eagle, He watches over us even when we are not cognizant of His presence.

Then we grow and mature and strive to become eagles in our own right…strong in the face of adversity, soaring above the storms of life, resting in the strength of His love. We don’t always soar, however. Sometimes we let the storms overtake us. Sometimes we allow the highwayman of our faith to rob us of our rest and waylay our hope. That is when we need the the blessed Holy Spirit to be the “wind beneath our wings.” Jesus knew we wouldn’t always be strong. He knew that we couldn’t make it alone. That’s why He said that The Father would send us a helper in the form of the Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” (John 14:16,26 AMP)

Whether you are soaring today or whether you are still in the stages of learning to fly, the Holy Spirit is there to empower you. He will be the “wind beneath your wings.” You don’t have to struggle in your own strength, for sometimes it’s just not enough. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring a strong current of the Lord’s grace and lift you above the circumstances that are trying to make you earthbound. Relinquish the care to Him and you’ll find yourself unburdened and mounting up with wings like the eagle, strong and soaring!



Why are you cast down, O my soul?

 And why are you disquieted within me?
  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
  For the help of His countenance.
Psalm 42:5

There are certain mornings that I just awaken feeling  BLAH Small. For some reason, Monday mornings are especially notorious in that respect. I don’t even have to explain myself, because without a doubt all of you know what I’m talking about. There’s no rhyme or reason to the blahs. They just appear out of nowhere like a small, dark rain cloud in an otherwise sunny sky and they seem to have the sole purpose of putting a damper on your day. You don’t really feel bad, but you would love to just crawl back into bed with a good book or a favorite movie playing and pretend for the moment that the outside world doesn’t exist. Can you relate?

Of course it’s not a sin to feel blah. If it were, we would ALL be in trouble! But it certainly doesn’t add credence to our Christian witness. And usually everyone who sees our face knows that something is not quite right. I know you’ve heard the saying, “If you’re really a Christian, you need to notify your face!” Well, is there nothing we can do about those random nondescript feelings? (That’s why they’re called the Blahs…you can’t describe them.) Thank God, He never leaves us without hope! These are a few things that help me to overcome this sneaky culprit at its onset:

1. Remind yourself that these feelings are only going to last a short time. They are not here to stay. (Tomorrow they will probably be gone and forgotten!)

2. Don’t try to figure out why you feel this way. You’ll only get frustrated, more dismayed and filled with anxiety to boot!

3. Think about all of the things that you have to be thankful for. I know that sounds trite, but it works. Nothing chases the blues or blahs away like a thankful heart!

4. Thank the Lord for abiding with you always and ask Him to help you to maintain an attitude of peace and hope until the feelings pass.

5. Praise the Lord for the good things in your life. Praise is guaranteed to dispel despair. And before you know it, the blahs will be history!

Thank you, Father
that my life is not controlled
by what I see or feel
For I walk by faith, not by sight (OR feelings)!
(II Corinthians 5:7)




Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.
Those nations will fall down and collapse,
but we will rise up and stand firm.
Psalm 20:7

The United States of America…Home of the Brave…Land of the Free! Those words still bring a tremendous sense of pride and allegiance to my heart! It makes me feel like I am a part of a nation build on a tradition of strength, loyalty, unity, bravery and fairness. It reminds me of the song Tevye sang in Fiddler On The Roof…“Tradition!” He sang it with such pride and yet it had an air of sadness about it because the tradition that was so engrained in him and an integral part of his life was deminishing…not on his part, but on the part of the up and coming generation. Does that remind you of anything?

This nation was founded on a tradition of Godly principles. The men who founded this country risked not only their own lives, but the lives of their wives and children to cross a vast ocean to get away from a tyrannical government…a government that told them how, when, where and IF they could worship God. The hardships involved were unimaginable, but some of them made it through to form a new government…a government that would eventually be called the United States of America.

I’m of the opinion that our forefathers would literally turn over in their graves if they knew how far our nation has drifted from the principles on which it was established! We no longer declare ourselves to be a “Nation Under (One) God”, but a “Nation Under (No One) God”. Our president himself said, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” But the fact remains that the people who crossed an ocean to form this nation, based its foundational concepts on the Bible, God’s Holy Word and on the precepts of Christianity as related therein. It was NOT Jews or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or nonbelievers who landed at Jamestown, but Born Again Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and Servants of the Most High God! And it was God’s favor and protection that safely brought them here and preserved them in order that they might found this nation on His principles of brotherly love, unity and peace.

But, alas, even as he used a form of pride to deceive Eve in the Garden by questioning God’s authority, Satan has used political correctness to question God’s authority today. “Yes, God said it, but SURELY He didn’t mean THAT!” Satan has perverted our love for God in such a way as to make it seem that it is a form of hate. In other words, if you are a Bible Believing Christian, then you are a hate-monger. You hate homosexuality, you hate abortion, you hate immorality in every form. We DO hate those things, but we DO NOT hate those who participate in them and neither does God. God loves this nation…He loves its people, both those who serve Him and those who don’t. He has no desire that anyone should perish, but that all should come to know Him. He extends every opportunity on a daily basis to take them under the shadow of His love and protection..

As Christians, we have a right to declare that we are Born Again Believers in Jesus Christ! We have a right to believe in the Bible and uphold its principles in our life! We have a right to believe that this nation was founded on Godly principles and Christian ethics! And we have a right to stand up and say with boldness and pride and conviction…GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!



The following was written by a Christian Brother…Jeff Bama Ritch
Jeff Bama Ritch

God has given both his promise and his oath.
These two things are unchangeable
because it is impossible for God to lie.
Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge
can have great confidence as we hold
to the hope that lies before us.
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Hebrews 6:18-19

There have been a lot of changes in my life since my momma gave birth to me in 1959. These changes have been brought on in various ways: Deaths, births, illnesses, accidents, retirement, altered relationships, job loss, marriage, divorce, stupid decisions, bad choices, good decisions, good choices, accepting Jesus as my Savior, etc. etc. As you can see not all changes were bad but ALL were life-altering. In every situation I had to ADJUST and ADAPT to the change at hand. Change is a part of life and we deal with it the best we can.

However there is ONE THING that never changes and that is the promise of God to give us hope in the midst of the changes we go through! In the verse above it describes this hope as a STRONG and TRUSTWORTHY anchor for our souls. An anchor for our souls …. WOW!! This says to me that no matter what life changes we are going through, relying on the unchangeable promises of God guarantees WE will not loose our minds with worry or depression or suicidal thoughts or want or falling into sin or fear or hate or violence. BUT this hope takes you by the hand and leads you (okay picture it) through the curtain…into God’s inner sanctuary where He can wrap His arms around you, hug you close and whisper in your ear, “you’re home, don’t worry, I got this, I PROMISE, TRUST ME!!!”

Won’t you trust Him today with the changes you are facing. It may be the death of a loved one, a baby that is sick, finances, illness, relationship issues or wants, or it may be a change in ministry or a move you are making. Whatever it is TRUST in God and His promises, that strong anchor of HOPE!!  Shalom




But Jesus said to him,
“No one, having put his hand to the plow

And looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:62

Have you noticed how prevalent it is today for people to have an issue with commitment? Even marriage, the greatest commitment of all between two people, seems to be totally conditional these days. “I love you and I’ll commit to you as long as you make me happy. If I become unhappy in our relationshipment, the commitment goes out the door along with your packed bags!” It is extremely rare these days to find a couple that has been married for a long time. It is not uncommon now for couples who have been together for ten, fifteen, twenty years to part ways. And what about commitment to a job, an organization or a church? Real commitment is almost a thing of the past and it is so, so sad. It simply reflects the flighty, self-centered, all-about-me attitude of this present generation.

But when it comes to our commitment to Jesus Christ, there is absolutely no allotment for halfhearted commitment. It has to be all or nothing! Jesus said to The Church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation...“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16

There is a place in scripture where the Lord tells us that, like a builder who takes into account all the costs before he starts building, we should consider the cost of discipleship before we make a commitment. It is not a light thing, for Jesus signs that covenant with His precious Holy Blood. (Luke 14:28) And if we then, deliberately turn away from that partnership, how can we obtain redemption a second time? “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

There was a time in Jesus day when some of His disciples did leave following Him.  He had taught something that was difficult for them to understand, so they just called it quits! So Jesus asked the twelve, “Will you leave also?” Note the answer that Peter gave, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (the message) of eternal life.” (John 6:66-68) Anytime I’ve ever thought about leaving my Christianity behind because of worldly opposition, issues of faith or disciplines that seemed too hard to follow, I think to myself, “To whom or what would I turn if I didn’t have Jesus?” No one else and nothing else holds the key to abundant life on this earth and eternal life in the hereafter. He is my Best Friend. There is nothing I can‘t tell Him and nothing for which I can’t depend on Him. When I’m sad, He has words to cheer me and when I’m glad, He rejoices with me. How would I ever make it without Him? I’ll tell you something, “I don’t plan to try!”



How many are your works, Lord!

In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Psalm 104:24


I was reading something just this morning about the bumblebee, one of God’s more interesting creations, although there are many such creatures. I am just fascinated to see how intricately and precisely He makes each one of them, from the ant to the antelope…from the chipmunk to the cheetah. But back to the Bumblebee…it is said that some time ago a group of aeronautical engineers decided to study the bumblebee. They measured its wingspan, computed body weight, examined its over-sized fuselage and concluded that there was no logical reason why a bumblebee can take off or land safely. Of course, the bumblebee doesn’t know this, so it goes ahead and flies anyway!

Whether or not the study is true, it makes sense in its claims. But the part they left out is the fact that the Bumblebee didn’t create itself. As I said, God created some amazing creatures! What about the ant that can carry a load many times its own weight? What about the camel that has its own reservoir for water retention? I could go on and on, but let me get to the point…

In the same way that God created animals to do amazing things seemingly far beyond their capacity, so He created us to excel far above our own natural ability through His enablement. Glory to God! The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” There are absolutely no exclusions in that verse, but it is understood that we must depend on that strength in order to tap into it. I love this verse in the amplified version… “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” All you can say after reading that is, “WOW!” I can do this thing! I am infused with strength from on high!

Do you need some empowerment today? Does it seem that your wings of faith are too small to lift your body of circumstances? It’s not a hopeless situation, you know. Just tap into THE Source of Empowerment. If He doesn’t change the circumstances, He will increase the strength of your wings so that you can rise above them. You’ll be equal to the task as He infuses you with His strength!

Don’t believe what the circumstances dictate. Don’t believe what the enemy of your soul is whispering in your ear. Don’t believe it when your family says, “You can’t do that!” Don’t believe it when your friends say you won’t make it. Don’t believe your own negative thoughts echoing in your mind trying to derail your faith! It really may look impossible in the natural. But we serve a supernatural God! It may even look difficult beyond your abilities. But nothing is too hard for God! So right now, just determine to have the faith of a Bumblebee. Don’t look at the size of your wings. Don’t look at the size of your body. Look at the size of your God! And when you do, nothing will be too hard for YOU!