New Season! Adjust and Embrace the Change!

Know the importance of the season you’re in and a wise son you will be. But what a waste when an incompetent son sleeps through his day of opportunity! Proverbs 10:5 TPT  Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I like the changing of the leaves from green to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. I like to watch those leaves dancing on the breeze as they drift gingerly to the ground.  I like the sound of their crunch under my feet. I look forward to the sweater days, the hoodie days, the light jacket days of fall. A couple of years ago, I even invested in a new London Fog coat—my ease-into-winter garment. I like the gradual shortening of days (Daylight Saving Time disrupts my internal clock). I like “falling back” and the illusion of gaining the hour I never recovered from losing the previous Spring.  Autumn makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I want it to last. I want it to last right into Spring. And if not, then at least through Thanksgiving. So, when I woke early one November morning to sub-freezing temps, saw the still-leaf-clad branches on the trees bending and breaking under the weight of ice, and read the school delays and closures that scrolled across the TV screen, I had to readjust mentally, emotionally and physically. No easing into the idea of winter.  Winter had arrived!  I had to dig out the ice scraper buried in the trunk of the car, buy replacement…

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For Such a Time as This

She sauntered into my seventh grade Language Arts class late and loud, flashing an impish grin. Within moments she had hurled obscenities at another student and had lied to me.  My heart sank as I thought, “Lord, I’m not ready for this.”  And I girded my loins, metaphorically speaking, and prepared to do battle with Adrienne, who in the span of ten minutes had become a thorn in my flesh. Adrienne, brown-skinned tomboy with dancing eyes, demanded attention any way she could receive it.  I soon discovered, however, this troublesome and troubled adolescent was smart, eager to learn, eager to be the best (though, at times it was difficult to determine the best at what). She irritated and delighted me.  She plagued and haunted me.  I was drawn to her—to something deep within her crying for release, drawn to the person God created her that had been buried under the life’s circumstances, drawn to the image of God that was sullied.  She became mine from that moment. Others seemed unable to see the diamond in the rough, that image of God hiding within her longing to shine through.  Soon a conspiracy began to get rid of Adrienne.  She was suspended for two weeks, but out of sight was not out of mind. I found myself praying for her, imploring Father to send someone her way that could redirect her energies, show her a little genuine concern and save her from the streets that beckoned her.  Prayed for her grandmother…

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A Simple Response

On Christmas Eve, my pastor, John W. Stevenson, shared a wonderful message entitled Just Say, "OKAY!"  It reminded me of something I'd  written a few years ago. I thought I'd share it as we prepare to enter a new year to encourage you to just say, "OKAY!" Great acts of God are often preceded by simple acts of obedience. —Steven Furtick I was minding my business, going about my merry way, singing a simple song when I heard the whisper. I knew it was God because the idea wasn’t remotely anything I had ever considered. It wasn’t anything I’d ever dreamed of, prayed for, wished upon on star for. I knew it was God because Deborah wasn’t trying to add one more thing to an already jam-packed life, wasn’t trying to add a morsel to her already full plate. Knew it was God because not only was this something I had never done before, I had no point of reference for it…at all! But I’d heard that still small voice. And once you’ve heard it, you can’t un-hear it. You can ignore it. You can choose to disobey it. You can try to flick it away like a fly. But you can’t un-hear it. And I’d heard. So instead of doing what I’ve done more often than I care to admit. Instead of dismissing it as a whim, instead of offering a litany of excuses why I couldn’t or why I shouldn’t, instead of disqualifying myself, instead of seeking…

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Read more about the article The Prayers You No Longer Pray
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The Prayers You No Longer Pray

This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of him.  1 John 5:14,15 CSB One of my Christmas traditions is reading the accounts of Jesus' birth. I typically  read from the Narrated Bible because  I like the way it takes the accounts of Matthew and Luke and combines them into one seamless story. But, for some reason, this year I decided to read Luke's account from a different version. I've read Luke 1 more times than I can count. But this time as I read I was arrested by one phrase in verse 13. The angel Gabriel is speaking to Zacharias and tells him not to be afraid because "...your prayer is heard." Holy Spirit seemed highlighted those words.  …your prayer IS heard Then I heard Holy Spirit whisper, "Read the footnote." And the footnote indicated that these words could be more accurately translated "the prayer you no l0nger pray" or "the prayer you don't even pray anymore."  Holy Spirit whispered again, "Deborah, the prayer you no longer pray IS heard!" Tears pooled in my eyes.  I can only imagine the number of years Zacharias had prayed for an heir. I can only imagine how he must have felt as years past and he and his wife, Elizabeth, remained childless. Perhaps as they grew older, he remembered Abraham and Sarah. He may have thought and even encouraged Elizabeth with…

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Read more about the article The Best is Now!
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The Best is Now!

Do you know what one of the most misquoted Bible verses is? It's found in John 2. You know, the account of the first miracle Jesus performed? He's at a wedding in Cana and they are running out of wine. His mother, Mary, goes to Him and asks Him to do something about it. At first Jesus seems a bit insolent, but Mary's not fazed by that. She just turns to the servants and says, "Whatever He says, do!" and walks away. Talk about faith! And you know what happens next. The servants, obeying Jesus' orders, fill six large pots with water, and take a cup to the master of the feast. He takes sip of the water-now-turned-to-wine, and says to the bridegroom, "Everybody I know begins their feast with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill, brings in the cheap stuff. But you've saved the best til… " Did you say LAST? Nope, that's not what the Bible says. It says, "You have saved the best till NOW."  (John 2:10—read it for yourself). I love that! He's saved the best until NOW!!! Now (adverb) 1. at the present time or moment: 2. without further delay; immediately; at once; at this time or juncture in some period under consideration or in some course of proceedings described: He's saved the best til this present moment in time! Jesus said to the woman at the well, “The hour is coming, and now is when the true worshipers…

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In the Place of Rest

  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Anyone who knows me knows that one of my happy places is the beach! The sand, the sun, and the waves revitalize me. I always feel such freedom and peace when I am able to just walk along the shore, feel the sun on my face, the sand between my toes and the waves dance around me as they ebb and flow. It settles me, centers me, and gives me a greater sense of God's love and grace. Yep, the beach is my happy place! I am grateful to once again have had the opportunity for some much-needed beach time. The day we arrived on Galveston Island, I must have walked a good 6 or 7 miles up and down the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, listening for the voice God in the waves, in the singing of the seagulls and egrets. It was pure joy to have Him kiss me with the sun and remind me that I need these Divine Pauses to be re-calibrated and strengthened for all He knows lies ahead for…

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