Saturday, December 28, 2019


"The eyes of your understanding
being enlightened..."(Eph. 1:18)
One of the sure signs of aging is changes in your vision.  It's very true that things become dim and less clear physically the older you get.

There's not much one can do about that except maybe laser surgery to correct it or trendy eyewear to hide the fact that you're practically blind without glasses!

I've worn eyeglasses since the age of twelve so I'm quite used to an extra set of eyes on my face.  But one thing I am concerned about is my spiritual visual acuity!  The ability to discern spiritually where the Lord wants me to be and stay within the bounds of His will for my life.

 I'd love to say that spiritual acuity improves with age and experience!  I mean, isn't that what they're talking about when someone says: Hindsight is 20/20!  Not necessarily.  You can repeat the same mistakes over and over again without the benefit of gaining wisdom or spiritual insight.   By the looks of things going on in the world today; I don't think we can afford the luxury of dull vision!

I'll be wearing glasses possibly for the rest of my life.  I have both myopia, astigmatism and growing cataracts. But I also have a plan to improve my spiritual vision.   Perhaps sharing it with you today may be of some help to you!


When you go to an optometrist, a technician will put you through a series of tests to assess your current state of vision. More than once you will hear the instruction to focus!  This is necessary to record accurately data to determine the health of your eyes!  Focus helps you determine where you need to be spiritually as well!

Too often Christians think busyness is conducive to spirituality.  The more I do, the more spiritual I am is this mindset.  Actually, if not careful busyness can become an enemy of spirituality.  It keeps us in control of our life rather than God. We plan our days doing what we want rather than what He wants!  Check out this blog post from Truth + Grace!

Busyness the Enemy of Spirituality


This step is actually a subset of the previous one, Focus.
  The inability to manage distractions, even those perceived to be good and spiritual can keep us in a place where we are neither effective nor efficient.  And yes there is a difference between the two!  To be effective is the ability to do things in a way that accomplishes its intended purpose.  To be efficient is to do it in the best possible way with the least amount of waste and effort!  

When I think of Spiritual priorities, my mind automatically goes to the bible story of Mary and Martha. You can read it here in Luke 10:38-42.    Jesus at the Home of Mary and Martha   Jesus summarized it well in His teaching that in every service opportunity there is always that one thing that is really needed! When we can pick our what that one thing is and then do it, we are well on our way to spiritual visual acuity.


Depending on your faith path, spiritual discernment can mean a lot of things.  I simply look at it as being able to see things the way the Lord sees them. This takes practice and above all reading,
meditating and applying God's Word!  The more this becomes a way of life rather than religiosity, the easier it will be to see spiritual darkness in unsuspecting places.  Helps us look beyond nominal requests and address spiritual needs. I  love the way Henry Blackaby, author of the book, Experiencing God puts it:  Christian discernment is to, "Watch where God is working and then joining Him," based on John 5:17, 19-20).

Spiritual discernment also has an element of simple joy embedded in it.  It is the ability to recognize and appreciate the small things in life in a way so many do not.  Things like a beautiful sunrise or sunset.  A cool breeze on a scorching hot day. The smell of fresh baked bread, or the feeling you get lying down on fresh clean sheets after a weary day.


Spiritual expectation is grounded in the Word of God.  Who God is and His promises to His people are revealed within His Holy Writ.  As we learn to interpret accurately and see by faith its trustworthiness, our expectations become more realistic and we are never disappointed.  We can expect that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). That He will answer our prayers (Psalm 34:6).  That He will empower us for service (Ephesians. 2:10) and at the end of our journey here on earth we will have a heavenly home, rewards, and eternal life waiting for us with Him (John 14:1-6

My physical vision may never be 20/20 in Year 2020 (although I'm told that sometimes after cataract surgery it will get better).  But my Spiritual vision can only get better with this year.  Because I'm learning to conserve my energy by focusing first on things that are the most important, saying "No" to worthwhile but expendable things; taking time to enjoy the simple things in life and believing wholeheartedly that God will fulfill His every promise meant for me!

See You Later and Hopefully A LOT Clearer in 2020



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Thursday, December 12, 2019

ADVENT: A Time of Reflection and Preparation

Therefore the Lord Himself will
give you a sign: The virgin
will conceive and give birth to
a son, and will call Him
Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)
December 1 through December 24 is recognized in the Christian faith as the season of Advent.  In Latin the word Advent is adventus or parousia, meaning coming!

Advent is observed in numerous ways but generally noted with beautiful calendars, elaborate candles and special church services.  It is also a welcome relief to the chaos of commercialism during Christmas as we know it.  For us it signifies the season's True Meaning:

The coming of Jesus Christ into the world to save mankind from his sins. (Matthew 1:21)   Advent is above all, the commemoration of His miraculous birth and the bold proclamation of the sovereignty and grace of the Lord that gives Believers eternal life.  


After 400 Years of Silence, God finally speaks to this fallen world and He does it not with vengeance or bitterness but sweet, sweet, grace! A Savior wrapped in love, cushioned in compassion, and displayed  humbly for all to see.  From the potentates of royalty to the smelly shepherds fresh from their herds, God bade them all to come see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. (Luke 2:15) 

Indeed, Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!  But it is also a time to reflect and prepare for Christ's Second Advent! Again, it will be personal, visible, and glorious, but this time He comes not as a Babe in a manger but a King ruling and reigning and setting all in order!  This is the blessed hope that all Christians should be praying for not just in this season but perpetually! (Titus 2:13)

My personal time of reflection and preparation is not limited to Advent!  Several times a year: New Years Day; Lenten period and of course my birthday, I go back and read past journal entries! Yep! I'm one of those Weirdos!  I've been journaling for years.  It keeps me focused and helps me stay abreast of my spiritual needs and growth.

My entries are part prayer requests and answers; part sermon and study notes; part diary, and just personal conversations I've had with the Lord over the years! 

 I record my concerns and fears.  My hopes and dreams.  I vent...alot... finding emotional release pouring my heart out to the only One who really understands; and when God reveals something significant to me in His word or devotionals, I jot those down too! It has been what has kept me mentally stable most of my adult life. 

As the Year 2020 approaches, I'm sensitive to the need to reflect and prepare for Christ's Second Coming even more!  Do you feel me?  I'm experiencing too many historical phenomenas in my life! Would you believe that this is the third time I've witnessed impeachment hearings of a United States President?  Jesus has Got To Be On His Way!

Still, I know that there is much I need to do to prepare for His Second Advent! Paramount to that is Stay Focused On Things that Really Matter!  I'm grateful that I was given a strategy in the leadership meeting I attended last evening. 

My pastor issued a challenge to all of us in ministry to meditate on the following scripture:

"Know well the condition of your flocks
and give attention to your herds."
(Proverbs 27:23 ESV)

That's a pretty good plan don't you think?

My own flock is fairly expansive.  I'm not only the matriarch of my family, but I have a cadre of Sister Saints I keep an eye on as advisor in women's ministry.  There's my Adult Women's Sunday school class, a couple of Millennial sisters, some Older Saints who I counsel and seek advice from and of course,  ANY OF YOU who take time to read this blog!

This particular scripture encapsulated our church's 2020 theme: FOCUS: Faith, Family, Finances, Future. I've learned through years of challenges that FOCUS AND PRIORITY are the keys to weathering any storm!  Faith above all is foundational and will ensure success in the other three areas.  Still you might want to consider the following:

😔  Do you have a personal relationship with Christ?
😔  Where might you strengthen familial relationships?
😔  Are your finances in order? Do you have a biblical/achievable plan to do so?  
😔   Do you have after life plans in place? Estate planning, Living will, Medical
         Power of Attorney, funeral/burial insurance.

Christmas is not often the time one thinks about the future other than, how you will pay bills after overspending for the holidays!  But Advent is perfect!  For Christians our entire life is based on preparation for what will happen not only now but after we leave here.  

What legacy will we leave?  Will our life have mattered?  Now is the time to give those two questions some thought!


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