Are You Sure?

Psalm 34:16

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

But the Lord delivers him out of them all….are you sure? What exactly are we supposed to think about this verse? It promises that the Lord will deliver us from all of our afflictions. And yet people stay sick, people die, and our troubles continue or even get worse.

So it doesn’t seem as if that verse is true. But I believe the Bible and I believe in the truth of the Bible so…then what? Jesus told his followers promised that we would all have troubles but that just as he overcame the world so would we. He overcame the world, but not when he was in this world as a man.

God has a different perspective than we do.  One verse tells us that God’s way are not our ways. And that’s what we need to remember as we experience difficulties in this life. We see things differently than God does. For us, to deliver or to overcome means having the problem go away–to resolve in a way that is positive.

That’s what our prayer is.  “Make it better!”

But that’s not always going to happen. Sometimes deliverance can come in the form of acceptance, in the form of learning, in the form of moving forward in spite of, or in the form of being an example for others.

This is something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. At least I know I do.  The treatments for my brain tumors are “done.” So I want to feel better NOW, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. And I don’t mind admitting I’ve been rather irritated about that this week.

When I read the verse this morning, I was instantly reminded that God’s ways are not our ways, but His way is perfect for us–even when it doesn’t seem so. That’s what faith is all about–believing in God’s love and in His promises even when we aren’t getting our own way.

A good parent knows that it’s not good for their children to always get their own way. Well, God is the perfect parent. His way is the right way–even when we don’t like it.

So am I sure that the Lord delivers the righteous from all their afflictions?







Lesson 5-Have a Little Faith!

Hebrews 11: 6 (NIV)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Way back in July I posted Listening Lesson Four from GOD, LIFE & HULA HOOPS. So yes, I’m a bit behind. If you want to read more, or find out what hula hoops have to do with it you’ll have to buy it! Click here for the link. Now without further ado…




Our spiritual journey begins with faith when we take that very first step to believe and to become God’s child, then faith continues to grow as we mature spiritually, and finally our faith will be fulfilled on that glorious day when we will reunite with our Creator.

But until that day—faith can change your life more than you can imagine.

So what exactly is faith? We need look no further than the Bible for the definition of faith. Hebrews 11: 1 tell us: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. In other words, faith believes without seeing. Faith is believing God’s words and promises before they happen. Faith is praying and then believing it has already happened—even before you see it.

That is the kind of faith that pleases God and the kind of faith He honors.

Believing without seeing!

Believing when it doesn’t make sense!

Believing as long as it takes!

Faith is the key to miracles!

In Matthew 13: 58 it says, “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” No faith equals no miracles. More faith equals more miracles.


It’s not always easy to develop more faith, but it’s well worth the effort. God uses our circumstances to help our faith grow. If we keep our eyes on Jesus during the difficult times, our faith will grow. As our faith grows, our spiritual maturity will too.



Want a different life? Start thinking differently, start speaking differently, and start acting differently. Then wait and see what happens.

Have a little faith—and God will do the rest!



I recently released a short non-fiction book entitled GOD, LIFE & HULA HOOPS: SPIRITUAL LISTENING LESSONS. It’s meant to be light-hearted but with a serious message. Throughout the summer, I’m going to share some of the book with you. Only some–if you want all of it, you’ll have to buy it! Click here for the link.


Proverbs 16: 9 (NIV)

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.


After finally gathering up my courage at age 58 to buy a hula hoop, the next morning I went down to the basement all excited about it I slipped the hula hoop over my neck and positioned it on my waist and I whirled it and…

It fell to the floor. Plop! Just like that.

I sure didn’t expect that!

I stepped back inside the hula hoop a second time and twirled it and that thing just dropped to the floor like a bag of rocks—again. So, I picked it back up and tried again and again.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy relearning to hula hoop. I didn’t expect it to come to me as naturally as it did when I was ten years old. I thought it might take a week or even two before I was hula hooping, but even after a month or so, I wasn’t improving.

I didn’t expect that.

Life is like that as well. The unexpected happens—just when we don’t want it to, right? We don’t mind the unexpected as long as it’s a good thing. But that’s called a surprise, a lucky break; or a blessing.

It’s the unexpected problems that usually throws us for a loop.

Bad things happen.

That is a fact of life. Jesus even promised that we’d have troubles in this life in John 16: 33. Being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t have bad things happen to us. But what it does mean is that when they happen, we have a choice.

A choice to react in such a way to honor God or not?

I’ve been thinking about choices lately. As Paul said, the things he wants to do, he doesn’t; and the things he doesn’t want to do, he does. We’re all like that at times

We’re all spiritual beings but we’re also a physical being. Our physical self doesn’t necessarily want the same thing our spiritual self wants. In fact, most of the time they are at war with each other. That’s the source of much of our conflict.

So when they found brain tumors, I had a choice to make. Live out the spiritual principles I’d been learning or give into the fear and self-pity? Walk the walk or fall apart?

Most of us know the story of Peter walking on the water. Just to refresh your memory, you might want to read Matthew 14: 22:33. When Peter walked on water it wasn’t during calm times at sea. It was during a storm. When he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water in spite of the turbulence all around him.

When he took his eyes off Jesus, he sank.

It’s the same for us during a storm. We can’t always determine our circumstances, but we always have a choice how to react to it.

Keep our eyes on Jesus or sink!

Share a time when you had to make a choice to trust or to sink? What was the result? What did you learn from it?

Until next time… GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!






So last session we talked about the bad news–just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we are immune to difficulties in this life. So today we’re moving forward with the good news–thought it may not seem that way at the beginning.

Do you know what sovereign means? According to it means  to have supreme power or authority. Another one of the definitions I really loved is  being above all others in character, importance, excellence, etc. Between those two definitions is a fairly accurate description of God.

supreme power-yes

supreme authority-yes

above all others in character-yes

above all others in importance-yes

above all others in excellence-yes

above all others in etc…..yes

Let me just fill in the etc. part just a bit–above all others in love; in goodness; in holiness. (NOTE: Help me fill in this list. What would be some other characteristics that describe God?)

Supreme–above all others. That means God makes the final decisions about….well everything. Only God decides the who, the what, the how, the when, the why, and the where of miracles. He can choose to give us a miracle or not, no matter what we do or don’t do.

It’s HIS decision and his decision alone.

And…and here’s some GOOD NEWS… because of HIS goodness, HIS wisdom, HIS love, it is ALWAYS the right decision.

Whether we like it or not!

Whether we agree or not!

Whether it breaks our heart or not!

It’s easy to have faith when life is good, but we honor God when we choose to love him, to trust him, and to continue to serve him no matter what circumstances come against us. And when we make that choice, we begin to mature spiritually.

In Mark 14:36, Jesus said in the Garden of Gesethmene the night before his crucifixion,  “Abba”, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

YOUR TURN:  Don’t forget  to help me fill in this list. What would be some other characteristics that describe God? Next time, I promise more good news!



Any Grinches Out There?

Proverbs 23:7:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, but I know that not everyone did. Some because of circumstances out of their control and some because they chose not to.


Who would choose not to have a wonderful Christmas? Probably not many of us would choose to do that consciously. Though there might be a few. But just because we’re unaware doesn’t mean we didn’t make that choice just the same.

Count me among the unawares.

I’ve beein going around telling people that  I love the Christmas season but not necessarily Christmas Day. I mean really! Talk about a bad attitude. I’d already planned to not have a good Christmas.

And I didn’t mind talking about it either. Talk about being a Grinch. That was me! Just because I’d had not perfect Christmases the past few years, I’d decided I would never have another one.

Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

My attitude and my words were ensuring that I wouldn’t have a good Christmas—this year or any other one.

But God is good!

God’s Spirit spoke to my spirit a week or so before the big day reminding me that everything’s not all about me. I know! Shocking as it was, it was exactly what I needed to be reminded of. I decided to smile and enjoy the day for the people around me—because it was their Christmas, too!

And…. I had a good Christmas! And everyone around me seem to have one as well.

It’s amazing how when you focus on making other people happy, you get a little more happy as well! Well, actually, it’s not all that amazing. That’s another one of God’s principles–you reap what you sow. If you sow grinchiness, then all you reap is more grinchiness. If you sow Christmas joy, then you’ll reap more Christmas joy.

And I’m already excited about next Christmas.

An interesting point is that Proverbs 23: 7 has been one of my anchor verses these past few years as I dealt with my brain tumors. I would remind myself over and over that my thoughts had power when it came to my health. But somehow I seemed to forget all about that principle when it came to Christmas, and especially my attitude about Christmas.

Mmmmm…. I wonder what other unaware attitudes of mine need adjusting….

So, what have you been grinchy about lately?


I Don’t Understand!

Proverbs 3: 5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart not on your own understanding.


Why am I sick, Lord? Why did I lose my loved one? Why did I lose the job I loved?

When bad things happen to us, we want to understand why the bad thing happened to us. But do we really need to know that? In most cases, we don’t. Will understanding the why make a difference? You’ll still be sick, your loved one will still be gone, or you still won’t have that job you loved so much.

I think when we ask why, we are really asking is why me? Why did this happen to me? Are you mad at me? Don’t you care about what happens to me? Don’t you love me?

This is where studying the Bible and, especially, passages relating to God’s love for us will get you through the bad times. Once you understand the depth of God’s love for each of us, then you can trust Him which will lead you to accept His sovereignty.

This is when you have to go back to His Word—His promises. The Bible assures us that God loves us. It says so in so many different ways. If you think of God as your father, then you know that He loves you and wants the best for you.

When you ask why again and again, it will rob you of your peace and joy.

Trusting God means forgetting about the why.

Trusting God means moving forward.

Trusting God means giving the problem to God.

Trusting God means that you believe His promises.

Trusting God will restore your peace and joy.

We don’t need to understand why each bad thing happens to us–unless it’s of our own making. If bad things happen as a result of our own actions, then it’s good to know that and learn from it. But when bad things happen for no reason that we can understand, that’s when it’s time to trust God and His promises.

So today when that why word rears its ugly head. Banish it from your thoughts. Instead, tell yourself and God over and over—I trust you. I know you love me.

It will do wonders!


Need Some Encouragement?

I had a few setbacks this week in my ongoing journey with my brain tumors so I was needing some encouragement. I went to my stack of index cards of  Bible verses. I don’t have a good memory so I write verses that are special to me on them so I can read them again and again. And thus renew my mind and put God’s truth in me.

Anyway, here are a few verses that spoke to me and I want to share them with you, in case you’re needing some encouragement as well.


Proverbs 24: 16: For though the righteous fall seven times they rise again.

Psalm 92:12: The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.

Psalm 91: 2: I will say of the Lord. He is my refuge and my fortress: My God in him I trust.

Psalm 31: 15:  My times are in Your hands.

1st John 5: 4:  for everyone born of God overcomes this world.

 Luke 18: 1: One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.


So whatever you are facing today, pray about it; trust in God’s love for you; and never give up!