“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.
Is there anything too hard for Me?
Jeremiah 32:27 NKJ

When I started to get ready for work this morning, I noticed a granddaddy spider in my bathtub. It is a huge “garden tub”, so I was wondering how he got in there. But soon it became obvious to me that HE was wondering how he was going to get out! I watched for a moment as he tried unsuccessfully to climb the slick walls of the tub only to fall back down again after a few steps. My next thought was to rescue this poor creature from his almost certain doom. So I tried over and again to grab one of his long legs, but he always scrambled from my grasp. Finally I just said, “Hey, I’m trying to help you here!” I grabbed him with my entire hand, took him to the front door and released him into the wild! : ) (How is that for melodrama?)

No sooner had I accomplished my dangerous rescue effort than I heard the Lord speaking to my heart saying… “That’s how it is with my children sometimes. When you have hardships or even get yourself into a predicament of your own making, instead of running to me for help, you start running scared in the other direction. I want to help you! I’m trying to help you! But you are running from me rather than running toward me. My hand is outstretched, but instead of grabbing onto it, you are trying to come up with a solution yourself while climbing the slick wall of circumstances and falling back down again and again.”

I have a two year old granddaughter and she is a great illustration of our human tendency toward self sufficiency. She will be trying to do something with much effort…something very difficult for a two year old. But when I ask, “Do you want Meme to help you?” Her answer is an emphatic “No!” Now, unlike the spider, she usually succeeds in the end through sheer determination. But sometimes it would be so much easier if she would just accept help.

We adults have the same stubborn tendency toward our Heavenly Father at times. Instead of humbling ourselves and going to Him in prayer and dependency, we trudge on with the weight of the world on our shoulders when He has told us to “cast all our care on Him”. (1 Peter 5:7) And Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Wouldn’t it be so much easier to go to the Lord at the first sign of trouble instead of trying and trying on our own to remedy the situation. But often we make calling on the Lord our last resort, after we have exhausted all of our own resources. Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, I guess there is nothing left to do but pray?”…as though it is an admission of hopelessness and defeat. At the first sign of hardship we should not be saying, “God, look how big my problem is!” Instead we should be saying, “Problem, look how big my God is!!!” I’m just saying it makes all the difference in our perspective. And acting on it, makes all the difference in the outcome!

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28




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



And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:13

Have you ever prayed this verse before? You probably have. I know I have.  It’s a part of what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” By the way it’s worded in the King James Version, it  sounds kind of like God would lead us into temptation. Not so! The Bible plainly tells us that God tempts no one…“And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.” (James 1:13 NLT)

The verse from Matthew 6 in the New Living Translation reads this way, “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” And listen to the verse in The Message Bible…“Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.” I kind of like that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed, “Father God, save me from myself!”

I know you’ve heard the old saying coined many years ago…“The devil made me do it!” Well, for one thing, it’s not very likely that the devil or anyone else could make you do something that you sincerely didn’t want to do. Now you may know that it’s not the best thing for you. You may WISH that you didn’t want to do it. You may even pray for the strength NOT to do it. But if you don’t exert some restraint on your part, it’s likely that you WILL do it. Even the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest men of all time, who wrote most of the New Testament said this...“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-25a)

Don’t get me wrong, God will help you if you really rely on His strength and draw from the power of His Holy Spirit within you. Paul plainly says so. But the fight between good and evil is an age old battle that will not be abated until the end of time, when Satan’s ultimate defeat is enforced and he is banned from roaming the earth.

But Jesus didn’t leave us defenseless when He returned to heaven. He gave us weapons of warfare that we can use very effectively. “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:13-18 NLT)

We definitely are in a consistent battle with a very persistent enemy every day of our Christian lives. Some days maybe more so than others. God’s Word tells us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8 NLT) Then He gives us the antidote in James 4:7, “So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 AMP) We resist him by putting on our armor and “having done all to stand, we stand firm!”




What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?
But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground
without your Heavenly Father knowing it.
And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God
than a whole flock of sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31 NLT

Do you feel valuable? If you’re like me, it probably depends on what day you’re asked. Some days I feel valuable and some days I feel somewhat worthless! But know this…You are ALWAYS valuable in the eyes of your Heavenly Father. Matthew gives us a vivid illustration of how much we mean to God.

I can’t imagine how many sparrows there are in this world. When I checked the dictionary, one classification alone had 140 species. And there are several different classifications all over the world. But Matthew tells us that our Heavenly Father knows when even one of them falls to the ground. He also tells us again in chapter six to “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (Matthew 6:26) If the Lord feeds the little sparrows and keeps up with their coming and going, how much more will He take care of us, His children?

I don’t think anyone put it more succinctly than Peter. “Cast the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” (I Peter 5:7-9 AMP) Read that verse again slowly, emphasizing the word “all”…and make it personal. Lord, I “Cast the whole of my care [ALL my anxieties, ALL my worries, ALL my concerns, once and for ALL] on You, for You care for me affectionately and care about me watchfully.”

You are valuable to your Father God! And if He is caring for you, why should you take the care also? Cast it on Him today!



Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:1,6

There are so many people today who say they believe in God. But many of them never mention Jesus. Or if they do believe that Jesus is the Son of God, they haven’t received Him as their Savior and Lord of their life. It makes me so sad, because there are so many good, honest, benevolent, loyal, salt-of-the-earth people out there who think that because they acknowledge God and Jesus in their head, they have a chance of going to heaven. I put it that way because when you ask them if they’re going to heaven, they will usually say, “I hope so.”

But we can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we are going to heaven. “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10 NIV)

Now, does this mean that we can just say that we believe that Jesus is Lord and we are automatically saved? The Bible says “even the demons believe and tremble.” (James 2:19) They believe, but they definitely haven’t made Him their Lord. We have a perfect example of this in a marriage. One can say that they love someone and believe that they are the only one for them. But if they really love them, they will commit their life to the relationship. As a matter of fact, the body of believers is called the Bride of Christ.

I can tell you my own personal experience regarding this. When I was about ten years old, the pastor of the church that I attended came into our Sunday School room and said we needed to start thinking about joining the church. I and several others in the group soon went up front during the invitation hymn. We prayed the sinner’s prayer and by all appearances accepted Jesus as our Savior. I was sincere in what I did and I believed that Jesus died for my sins. But I did not make a total commitment from my heart to make Him Lord of my life. Later on when I got out into the world, I allowed other people and circumstances to influence me in an ungodly way. It was not until I was twenty-five years old that I truly accepted Jesus as Lord of my life and made a commitment to serve Him at all costs. Since that time I have never doubted the fact that when my life on this earth is over, I will go to heaven to be with Him. You can have that same assurance.

If you’re only hoping that you’ll make it to heaven, examine your own heart. Do you have a committed, personal relationship with Him? If you do, you’ll know…and if you don’t, ask Him to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life today. Heaven awaits! And…hey…spread the Good News!

Thank you, Father
That I have an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled
and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for me!
I Peter 1:4



Above all,
love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.
I Peter 4:8

Someone recently sent me this story via e-mail. I don’t know who wrote it, but it brings across a powerful point. It is as follows…When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

 When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.”

 Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides, a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

What an awesome picture of unconditional love! How many of us would have been thoroughly aggravated at such an action, even though it wasn’t deliberate. We often tend to make mountains out of the mistakes of others and minimize ours to the size of a mole hill. I have noticed that at times I get so angry with people for doing certain things and then the Lord reminds me that I do the same things and they don’t seem nearly so bad. Do you think maybe we have a double standard going here?

What about our actions in relationship to the Lord? How many times do we serve Him burned biscuits? We are so tired from work and extracurricular activities that we don’t give Him our best. But He just takes that biscuit, smears the oil of His Holy Spirit on it, adds the sweetness of His love and eats it anyway. His mercy covers our mistakes and failures and gives us an opportunity to make a new batch of biscuits every day. How awesome is that!

Father, forgive me for the times
I’ve served you burned biscuits,
And for the times I’ve been intolerant of others
who have done the same to me.
Help me to sweeten my life and the lives of others
by loving deeply and forgiving freely.