A Ransomed Inheritance

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life your inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1.18-19 NLT). No matter how amazing our childhood and upbringing, we will always inherit a standard that is not aligned with God’s Word. And no matter how horrible our childhood and upbringing, God is more than able to align us with His righteous standard. Through Jesus’ work on the cross, every area of emptiness in Continue reading

Tooth Moral

I gave my eldest son (nine years old) one of my old cameras. He loves to use it to take photos of his beloved plants. One night, my middle child (seven years old) was just about to lose his second tooth. This tooth had been loose for over a week, and I knew it was hanging by a thread – or better yet a root! So I thought I would have a little fun with this tooth. I asked my seven-year-old, Levi, if he wanted me to take out this tooth like grandma used to take out mine. He said Continue reading

Verse Meditation: Isaiah 12.2

Can’t Save Yourself “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12.2 NIV). In our society today, much emphasis is placed on individual strength, ability, talent and determination. These are all great attributes, but they give us very little authority and meaning outside of our relationship with God. When we focus too much on this temporal life and worldly acclaim, we can forget that there’s an eternity to which we belong. This world in which we now live is Continue reading

Internet Cafe: Stuck in God’s Word!

My personal Bible reading time consists of reading through the Bible—Old Testament and New Testament–over and over again. Once I hit the end of Revelation, I head back up to the beginning of Genesis for another read. Last week, I found myself thick in the laws of Leviticus. “Oh,” I thought. “Do I really have to read all these laws again? Can’t I just skip them? Is God really going to show me something new?” I recall that I couldn’t get past chapter five of Leviticus. Every morning I’d wake up and reread it. The entire week was rushed for Continue reading

Prisoner of Hope

“Return to your stronghold, O Prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore you double” (Zechariah 10.2 ESV). Hope emanates easily when glimmers of it glisten over the shadows of our darkest situations. However, when the lights around us diminish and all the good in this life disappear, hope hurts with an impatient ache. Hope halts the closure of disappointment and forces us to linger in wishful waiting. It holds onto an allusive promise hidden somewhere in the impossible, and we must remain—exposed and vulnerable—chained to the tender chains of expectation. God has entrapped us in His promise Continue reading

Verse Meditation: Isaiah 9.2

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9.2 ESV). There are many metaphors to describe Jesus in the New Testament: vine, shepherd, gate, cornerstone, bread, water, word, etc. However, one that Isaiah prophesies in the Old Testament by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and that Jesus testifies to in the New Testament is “light.” Our world is in darkness because the sins of humanity have separated us from a perfect God. We have been given free will to dwell in Continue reading

Verse Meditation: Isaiah 3.12

Righteous Fruits “Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds” (Isaiah 3.12 NIV). It is difficult to walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit and not see the fruit of your work right away. Many times, God allows us to plant seeds in what seems like an arid wilderness, because He knows that His rains of blessings will pour over our efforts in due time. Patience is one of the main testers of our faith. Do we trust God at His Word and continue planting for a harvest that seems Continue reading

Granola Bar Devotional: The Missing Texts

We are getting the Granola Bar Devotional Ministry back into full swing! This ministry is for all women who want to share their faith stories with others. We will be spending the next few months updating the website, and it should be ready by this summer 2014! Please like the Granola Bar Devotionals Facebook page, so you can read the newest devotionals and watch the older ones get a new look! Also, all the new word pics being created for the over 300 devotionals, will be listed on the Granola Bar Devotional Board on Pinterest! Kerry Johnson is our new Continue reading

Internet Cafe: Swollen Ankles and a Pedicure

When I was almost eight months pregnant with my third child, my feet and legs swelled with edema. The areas between my ankles and calf muscles were especially waterlogged. I tried to rub my legs, but my protruding belly made bending over very difficult. Finally, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure. I wanted my toes to look manicured and painted for my impeding date with the hospital bed. Plus, I knew that many nail technicians offer a small leg massage as part of the pedicure service, so I hoped to get a little relief from the pressure in Continue reading

Peace Replaced Flinches

“I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLT). Our mini-dachshund, Rusty, was gifted to us just over a year ago. When he came into our home, he behaved timidly and flinched at all of our moves to pet and hold him. Understandably, he missed his mom and his first home. Our family was new to him, and he didn’t know how to behave or what to expect. A couple of weeks ago, Rusty–now full-grown–leisurely slept on Continue reading