cupboardI’m glad you stopped by my blog.  Make yourself at home.  Start meandering by scrolling down…and you can peek into all my cupboards and closets by clicking the side bar.  I know you’ll find some strengthening articles, encouraging resources, fabulous-but-forgotten hymn texts, and perhaps a heartening smile or two.  Most importantly, I hope you’ll be strengthened in your walk with the Lord for the time you spend here with me.  If you do not yet know Him, please click here for a beautiful invitation.  To learn about how He changed my life, click here, and by clicking here you can find out a few more fun and forgettable snippets about me. :)

If I can do anything to be a further blessing to you, in prayer, or by improving my site, please let me know…or just write to say “Hi”!  Please click here for an email form.

Blessings ~Diane

Be a Do-Bee

This morning, while sipping my French Vanilla coffee, still snuggled in my fuzzy Christmas robe, this was the word God had for me:

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

When we pray for God to open our eyes as we read, He will be purposeful in guiding our understanding. He wants us to move far past “checking off the box” that we did our reading. He wants it to affect our living. He wants to meet with us, and change us.

Have you ever looked into a mirror in someone’s house, a department store dressing room, or a thrift store, and things looked a bit wonky? You looked too short, too tall, too wavy, or just weirdly disproportionate. The passage above tells me this–if I look into that mirror of the Word, it will be perfectly accurate in what is reflected. The Spirit will reveal with crisp, clear accuracy exactly what we look like inside.

dobeeMany (many!) years ago, I watched a show called “Romper Room” as a child. From that show, my mom picked up the phrase “be a Do-Bee“. The song says “I always do what’s right, I never do anything wrong.” Well, that’s not exactly realistic, knowing human nature; however, the idea was that I was given information on what was right, and I needed to act upon it. I still try to teach this idea to our children… obedience, right away, the first time they are told. But how am I doing with this?

Today when we read, let’s simply ask God to show us what’s right. He’ll never refuse. Then let’s determine to be a doer of what He shows us.

Using What You Have

encourage3Several years ago, a verse from the Old Testament caught my attention while I was preparing for a ladies retreat session on spiritual gifts. It was not your “typical” passage you see used for this topic:

And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. Exodus 4:1,2

Moses doubted himself frequently. God asked a simple question…”What do you have?”

What is in your hand today, ladies? How can God use it for His purposes? Long ago I discovered that the pen (or keyboard as the case may be) in my hand needed to belong to Him, because He wanted to use it for Himself.

So, every time I see something from His pen in my hand published, there is a feeling I can’t describe. A gratitude-rejoicing-satisfying-validation. Like when a child of ours is given a directive, completes it in a timely manner and to the best of their ability, and they come back to tell us it’s been done. They look for our approving smile, and listen for our words of affirmation.

So today I am blessed to be holding in my hands a copy of the Encouraging Word magazine, which includes a post from this blog.


This magazine, now in its 16th year of publication, is designed for Christian women of all ages. The senior editor contacted me several months ago, asking if I’d be interested in being a contributor. What a blessing to see approval and affirmation from my Father in having my writing published again after so long a season. I’m beyond grateful to be useful.

What’s in your hand today? A spatula? Paint brush? Baby bottle? Story book? Whatever it is, use it for Him.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31

Drinking Milk or Wielding Swords? (and some great, free Bible study resources)

bibleI came across these verses this morning, and I’m thinking about them not only regarding myself, but also regarding what I’m teaching our kids…and the children I’m responsible for in our Jr. Church.

“You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Heb. 5:13,14

Now, more than ever, we need to grow up. We have to have the ability to discern. We must develop our skills in the Word. The “happy thoughts” of scripture are a comfort, but we will need more than that. I think we are prone to go to the easy things when we read God’s Word…the Psalms, Parables of the New Testament, familiar passages from the Old Testament.These passages are excellent, of course. But we are to know how to handle God’s Word:

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15

The Word of God is called the “sword of the Spirit“, and in this same book of Hebrews I quoted initially above, we learn that it is sharper than any actual sword. It is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God in Ephesians 6. Hebrews says it dissects between soul and spirit and discerns our thoughts and intents. A weapon with that kind of power and capability can be very useful, but it can also be quite dangerous. As is true with any weapon, in the hands of an unskilled person, it can mutilate and wound. And, as is also true with weaponry, practice is imperative–for the sake of our own hearts as well as those of others around us.

When hard times come, we need to know God is faithful, that He is sovereign, that He does all things well and is worthy of trust. “Learn of me,” Jesus said. If we want to be able to stand firm in our faith in days to come, we have to be fully, completely convinced of who God says He is. As a Christian woman, I need to be able to open my mouth with wisdom…that means I know God’s Word well enough, I’ve studied it faithfully enough, to speak it and not just offer my own “good advice” or platitudes (which mean nothing, and can also be wrong). God says His Word will not return void. He says nothing of the sort about my words.

Let’s get that Sword out today, ladies. Learn how to handle it gingerly, but with expertise. Here are some places to start:

  • Commit to your best time of day to read. I read in the morning. It just works best for me, and is the most undistracted portion of my day. That may not be true for you. Tithe your time, give Him your best.
  • Choose a Bible reading plan that works for you. At this link, you can read online and you’ll also have an audio option. This year, I’m going through the New Testament in a year.
  • Select a great daily study Bible. If you like to hold the book in your hand,  this one is a great option. We have gifted it to the families in our church.
  • Perhaps you’d like a journaling Bible so that you can easily write your thoughts in the margins while you read. I have this one.
  • Decide (even if you need to start very slowly) that you are going to commit God’s Word to memory. There may very well come a day when we can no longer possess a copy of the Bible. Further, I tell our kids that when we put scripture in our minds, we add to the “tool box” the Holy Spirit can use in our daily lives. Here is a neat, free app I found.
  • Commentaries can be helpful. Some that are easy to read are by Albert Barnes, Jamieson Fausset & Brown, and Matthew Henry. I also really love Spurgeon’s Treasury of David for the Psalms.
  • If you are just starting out in studying, a series like this might be helpful to you. It is free and thorough.  Here is a screen shot:

foundationsHope this helps!

My Prayer Shopping List

shoppinglistOh, I got supremely frustrated with my shopping list yesterday. I was typing it in an old version of Word, and in the middle, the program shut down and I lost it…and all the thought and mental menu planning that had gone along with it. Tried again. Lost it again. Third time’s the charm? It vaporized as I anxiously hit “print”.  Oh dear.

I’m reminded recently about how I come to God in prayer. I write down my shopping list of who needs to be healed (and sometimes I even think I know why…and even how), who needs pain removed from their lives, whose relationship needs some tweaking, who needs a new car, home, ministry…whatever the thing may be.  I think I know.

I don’t. I don’t see the grand scheme of things. I don’t see everything on a massive time line from eternity past to eternity future. I’m learning more and more than I need to give my list a drop kick and shut my mouth…and listen.  Be still.

When I do open my mouth, more and more what I am asking is “God…Your purposes…help me not to get in the way of Your purposes. Help me to know what my part is, and what it isn’t. Help me to know what to say or do…and when to keep my mouth shut. Help me to know when doing is not the answer, no matter how badly I want to fix things.  Help me to know Your word, so I understand Your thinking more and more.  So I can trust You with my ‘list’.”

The Bible says that when we have no words, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. That’s an immeasurable comfort. If you’ve ever had a season when you are so overwhelmed, overcome, buried and pressed beyond being able to think or say anything…you know how this can embrace your soul. The breath of the Holy Spirit can blow away the bewilderment so we can see the things we know clearly. He doesn’t need your list. He simply needs your engagement to plug into His will.

“Speak Lord, for Thy servant hears.”