Bible Verse of the Month...

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut 31:6

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Only 5 loaves of bread and two small fish

My reading today included Matthew 14:15-21. A great
crowd followed Jesus and as it grew later in the day His
disciples went to Him and told Him to send the people
away so they could go and buy food.

Jesus said, "Where can we buy bread for these people?"
Philip said, "Eight months' wages wouldn't buy enough
for them to enough have one small bite."

Andrew brought a boy to Jesus. "Here's a boy who has
5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish, but how far will
that go among this crowd?"

Jesus blessed the bread and broke it. The disciples
handed it out and all the people (5,000 men and also
women and children) ate and were satisfied. They even
took up 12 baskets full of leftovers. Amazing.

I happened to think about how we feel that whatever
we have just isn't enough to serve Jesus with. We look
at someone else's talents and say I can't do anything.
What can I do? I don't have any talents or this person
could do it better. We're filled with fear and afraid to
hand over to Jesus our meager offerings.

What do you have today that you could turn over to
Jesus? He can do amazing things with our lives when
we're willing to let Him.

I remember as a child hearing of a woman who didn't
feel as if she could teach someone about Jesus, but she
could bake pies. When someone was new to town, or
illness in the family, or needed encouragement she
took them a pie. She showed Christ through her life of

When we lived in Africa we had a pickup. We had
several of the teachers there who could drive and we
felt confident to let them drive when there was a need,
such as a funeral or a wedding or someone from school
was sick and needed to go to town.

What do you have to give to Jesus for His use? I think
this is a great thought about how to start out the new
year. Start praying that He can use you and that He'll
make clear the opportunities before you.

Remember what a shepherd boy named David did with
5 stones and a sling or how about Moses and his rod.
What's He going to do with your life this year? Wow. I
can hardly wait to see.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Can You Sleep Through the Storms?

Jesus and His disciples were at sea,
a storm arose with crashing waves.
The disciples woke Jesus with a plea,
that He their lives might save.

When the storms of life appear,
and we know they will.
Do we fret and wrestle with fear
or before our Father kneel?

Where do we go when we are afraid?
Can we sleep through the night?
We should turn to the one who paid
for our sins and for us will fight.

He will help overcome Satan's attacks.
God takes care of each of His sheep.
Pray and you will receive strength you lack,
then through the storms of life you will sleep.

Matthew 8:23-27 This scripture made me think
of the times when we have storms in our lives. They
come. Some just stay longer and are much stronger.
Who do we run to?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Focusing on God's Word Today

What is your heart's deepest need for today?
Scripture can help you through the day. It can
help you with changes you need to make.

Are you struggling with your health or getting
through a difficult time? Remember Ps 18:1-2
I love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD
is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my
shield and the horn of my salvation, my

Are you struggling with forgiving someone?
Remember that because of Christ you are
forgiven. Eph 4:32 And be kind to one another,
tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as
God in Christ has forgiven you.

Are you feeling burdened down by struggles
in this life, physical, spiritual or financial?
Mt 11:28-30 Come to me all you who are
weary and heaven burdened, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will
find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and
my burden is light.

Do you feel that God is far way, that He's not
listening to you? Heb 13:5-6 Keep you lives free
from the love of money and be content with what
you have, because God has said, "Never will I
leave you, Never will I forsake you." So we say with
confidence, "The LORD is my helper; I will not
be afraid, what can man do to me?"

Make some note cards with different scriptures and
keep those where you can look at them and focus
on what you need for each day. His Word will sustain

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Can Do All Things Through Christ(Phil 4:13)

I love that verse. It gives me hope. It also seems to be
one of the favorites of our ladies in prison.

What does this verse mean to you? Maybe you can get
through the fears of an illness, yours or a loved ones.
Maybe you can get through tough financial times or
the unfaithfulness of a mate.

We all have different situations that come to mind
when we think of this verse.

For our ladies in prison, it might be feeling like they
have no support. Maybe their families gave up on
them and they haven't heard from them in several
years or maybe they don't think they will ever get
their children back. They want out of prison now,
but they have to wait. Waiting is always hard, but
we're told to wait on the LORD.

I'm waiting to hear about my 2 1/2 month old
Grandson's sleep study. He's had a rough start in
life, but God's with him.

Finances are tighter, but then again they are for a
lot of families and I haven't missed any meals. I'm
sure it wouldn't hurt me if I did. God has blessed
us this past year abundantly. He's shown us He'll
get us through. He will provide "what we need".

With Christ's help I can get through discouragements
in this life. I can overcome fears.

What is your "all things" include today? You can get
through it with Christ. He will provide the strength
you need.

I'd appreciate hearing what this verse means to you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What are your Blessings Today?

A thin layer of ice that caused some problems for
drivers yesterday morning disappeared by afternoon
giving us the opportunity to go to the prison. A
wonderful answer to prayer. Also, God kept us safe
as a deer ran in front of us.

It was the one night of the year that we get to take
goodies into the prison for these women. We took
chips, cookies, and candy. The ladies were sooooo
appreciative. Little goodies that we take for granted.

We got lots of hugs and thank you's. One woman said,
"Do you know how long it's been since I've had
fritoes?" Others enjoyed the cookies piled high with
frosting or the bag of candy they received.

These women in prison are constantly teaching me
lessons. I need to be reminded to thank God for all
the blessings He's given me. I don't want to take any
of His blessings for granted.

This is a difficult time of year for these women. They
are not able to be with their families. So I thank God
that He's allowed us to be their family .

What if you were in prison and couldn't be with
your family? What if you had to dress in gray every
day? What if you weren't able to get the foods you
enjoy as a treat?

As you go about your day today, think about all the
little things of this day. The special blessings He's
given you today!

Mt 6:25-34, James 1:17, Ps 84:11

Monday, December 15, 2008

Forgiveness, How Sweet!


a gift we're given because of Jesus death
brings healing to our hearts and souls
something we can give to others
something we crave from others also.

where would I be without it?

One of our regular ladies in our Bible class at prison,
cries every time we sing Amazing Grace. I think
these women truly are thankful for forgiveness.
They have felt the need for it so deeply.

I need to remember I'm a sinner in need of God's
forgiveness and His grace every day. Judy Wood
is a sinner, but thanks be to God for His amazing
love and gift, the death of His Only Son.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This Day is a Gift From God

What will I do with this day?
This day is God's gift to me.
Will I complain it's too windy, too cool,
I don't have enough time.

Will I waste this precious day,
forgetting that it's a gift.

How will I use it?
Will I thank Him for every hour,
every blessing of this day?

I know He'll never leave me
and He always provides just what I need.
Even through difficult circumstances.

So today I will spend time talking with Him,
thanking Him for this precious gift.

I'll spend some time reading His words
of love to me and hide them in my heart.

I will walk through this day with a heart
full of praise for God, My Father.

I'll savor every minute, every hour
of this day,
as I remember with gratitude
this day is God's gift to me.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Words I Speak

When I open my mouth and speak,
can others tell it's you that I seek?
God, can they see you're number one
in my life and I believe in Jesus, your Son.

Do I hinder other people's walk
by thoughtless words as I talk?
Do I mutter about you and complain
or show I believe you can sustain?

Father, what do grumbling words convey,
but a lack of trust in your provision today?
Do I live my life trusting your power
to get me through each and every hour?

Let me never forget the amazing cost
of salvation or cause someone to be lost.
I want to live and point others to you,
give them hope and a heavenly view.

Phil 4:14-16a
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lessons from Little Children

Children can teach us a lot if we just stop and listen
to them. Listen to the prayers of children. They are
thankful and notice even the small gifts God blesses
them with: blades of grass, smell of flowers, shapes of
clouds in the sky, and moments with Dad and Mom.

Children can also teach us to notice the small things
people do and tell them. Our grandson, Fischer,
was a good example of this during our time with him
the week of Thanksgiving.

Fischer needed some help from Grandpa and then
told his Grandpa, "you're so strong, Grandpa. You're
so strong."

Then Fischer spilled some of his cereal on the table
and I wiped it up. He said, "Grandma, you're a good
cleaner." What a smart little guy!

A couple of things to think about today. Remember
to tell your Father in Heaven thank you for all the
gifts He's given you. If you're like me, you have a
lot that He's blessed you with so be prepared to
spend some time with Him.

Also, notice the small things people do. The way
they bless you by noticing the things you do.
Wouldn't it be great as families if we noticed
the smiles, the food mothers cook, daddies working
hard for families, friends calling us just when we
need it. Little notes of kindness sent.

Too many times we focus on what somebody does
wrong; the times they don't do things like we
would like for them to.

Phil 4:8-9 would be a great text for us to look at.
Think about whatever is lovely, pure, admirable,
noble, true, praiseworthy.

Small children also forgive easily. They don't seem
to hold grudges. Their smiles and hugs are precious.
They love us so sweetly.

Remember lessons from little children. Be thankful
and tell God what you're thankful for. Tell others
the good things you see about them.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Yet I Will Rejoice in the LORD

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.

I can't help but be awed by this verse.
Fill in your own blanks. Though the
_____________ does not __________
and the _____________ doesn't _________,
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD. What difficulty
will come into your life today? Can you say
like Habukkuk did "I will rejoice in the LORD".
It doesn't make any difference about my
circumstances, I'm going to rejoice because
God is my strength.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18. Be joyful always,
pray continually; give thanks in (all)
circumstances, for this is God's will for you
in Christ Jesus.

Today, I want my focus to be on God, not my
own strength. God is going to help me through
any trial in my life. He will see me through it.

If you have any trials in your own life, look
to God's strength. The creator of the Universe
is powerful enough to help you with your

Pray, give thanks, and look to God who loves
you. He's thinking about you today, are you
thinking about Him? Talk to Him!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Daily Bread

Thy Word is my daily bread
Strengthening me as I'm fed.
Treasuring it in my heart,
Let me never from it depart.

I need direction each day
to keep me on the narrow way.
The Bible is the only guide.
Its truth cannot be denied.

Thy Word brings me life,
helping me overcome strife.
Precious Word of God abide
with me as comfort you provide.