Thursday, December 24

The King of Ages

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.1 Timothy 1:17 (ESV)

Upon reflection of the saving power of the gospel in his life, Paul gives eloquent praise to God. May his prayer echo in our hearts as we praise God for sending the perfect gift, his Son, to earth. Merry Christmas dear friends!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11 (ESV)

Tuesday, November 24

The Peace of God & the God of Peace

When I'm tempted to worry, I think about the first part of Philippians 4:6: "do not be anxious about anything," but rarely do I think about these words in their proper context. Philippians 4:4-9 provides practical steps and comforting encouragement on how to grasp the peace of God given by our God of peace. I will leave further explanation to the apostle Paul since he says it best:

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be a
nxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:4-9

The Lord is at hand dear friends; let us rejoice!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Philippians 4:23 (ESV)

Friday, October 30

Risen & Living!

Luke 24:1-5 (NIV)
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”

God bless you my friends. I hope you enjoy a beautiful autumn weekend!

Embraced in the lavish splendor of autumn I am convinced beyond all doubt of the existence of a magnificent and infinite Creator.

Saturday, October 17


This morning my sister, a friend from church and I went to pray for an hour in front of a local abortion clinic as part of a peaceful prayer vigil. This was my first time praying in front of a clinic so I was somewhat relieved that it was going to be closed during the hour we were there. I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle seeing someone go inside to end the life of their child. As it turned out the clinic was open and busy. During the hour we were there at least four women entered the clinic. Only one agreed to take an information brochure about a local crisis pregnancy center from a sidewalk counselor, but she still went inside the clinic and did not come back out while we were there.

All I could think about when I saw these women was my beautiful baby girl. I felt like I was going to be sick when I thought about all the sweet little girls and boys that wouldn't have a chance to be born because of what was going on inside that building. As I tried to focus on my prayers I was overwhelmed with grief and wept. Today the fight for life became more real to me than ever.

As my daughter snuggled in my lap this afternoon, my soul was comforted as I reflected on Psalm 34:18 (NIV): The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Grace and peace to you my friends.

Sunday, October 4

The Body is One

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12

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Monday, September 28

Sing to the Lord

1 Chronicles 16:23-24 (ESV)
Sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Wednesday, August 26

For when my pride comes knocking...

Every now and then I tell myself I won't bother reading a particular book in the Bible again because I think I already know what's in it. And of course this turns out to be completely false. Ecclesiastes - all I can say is WOW! The verses below were a much needed reminder.

Ecclesiastes 7:20-22
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.

Beautiful in it's time

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Wednesday, August 19

Not Quickly Broken

This week I've been reflecting on the wonderful friendships God has blessed me with and how much each of you encourage me to pursue steadfast endurance.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

My dear friends, I leave you with these words from Paul's letter to the Thessalonians; you bring me so much joy!

1 Thessalonians 3:9
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?

Wednesday, August 5

The Baby...

As a follow up to my previous post, I encourage you to listen to this inspiring message from John Piper.

Friday, July 24

It is in your power to act...

"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."
Proverbs 3:27

As you may have gathered from the title of my blog, protecting human life is very important to me. Please take action today to tell your state and federal representatives "NO" to tax-payer funded abortion.

Whereas I do not believe that government is the solution to all of our ills, I also believe that we are not to remain silent on the issue of abortion. We are blessed to live in a country where we have the freedom to speak up for those who cannot yet speak for themselves. I urge you to join me by visiting Stop the Abortion Mandate today for more information and instructions on how to contact your representatives.

Thursday, July 23


Tonight as I got ready for bed, I yearned for peace, so I turned to another comforting favorite. I pray it will bless you as well dearest readers:

Numbers 6:24-26

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Sunday, June 21

He has Dealt Bountifully

A friend once pointed me to Psalm 13 when I was feeling down and it has become my go-to chapter to remind myself of God's unfailing love & goodness. Whatever circumstances I may encounter, God is always faithful & worthy of praise.

Psalm 13

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him,"
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Sunday, May 31

Sin hurts...

“Sin hurts people so don’t sin. Wouldn’t that definition of sin be good for society?”

In "The Roots of Endurance" by John Piper, he quotes William Wilberforce on this topic. Below are highlights from pages 121-122

“When considering the nature of sin, Wilberforce said, the vast bulk of Christians in England estimated the guilt of an action ‘not by the proportion in which, according to scripture, [actions] are offensive to God, but by that in which they are injurious to society.’ Now, on the face of it that sounds noble, loving, and practical. Sin hurts people so don’t sin. Wouldn’t that definition of sin be good for society?”

Wilberforce goes on to explain that this type of view shows a lack of reverence for God, and references Psalm 111:10 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”

Piper explains that “…without this wisdom, there will be no deep and lasting good done for man, spiritually or politically. Therefore, the supremacy of God’s glory in all things is what he [Wilberforce] calls ‘the grand governing maxim’ in all of life. The good of society may never be put ahead of this. This would dishonor God and, paradoxically, defeat the good of society. For the good of society, the good of society must not be the primary good.

Please let me know what you think. It sure challenged me and gave me a lot to think about. If you’re interested in reading the whole book, it can be found in the Desiring God website’s online book section.

Friday, May 22

There is No Other

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Deuteronomy 4:39

Tuesday, May 12

To Him Be the Glory

I'm currently reading "The Roots of Endurance" by John Piper, and he explains in the introduction that the reason we have been called to do good works is to bring glory to God rather than to ourselves. Below are some of the verses he referenced. My goal is to strive to keep this perspective in mind in all things both great and small.Matthew 5:14-16
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

1 Peter 4:7-11
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

My prayers for all of you...

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:9-11
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Monday, April 27

The Holy One of Israel

These scriptures in Isaiah from God to Israel never fail to give me comfort and peace. What an infinitely mighty and merciful God we serve!

Isaiah 43:1-2 (NIV) 
But now, this is what the LORD says— 
He who created you, O Jacob,
 He who formed you, O Israel: 
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
 I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters,
 I will be with you; 
and when you pass through the rivers,
 they will not sweep over you. 
When you walk through the fire, 
you will not be burned; 
the flames will not set you ablaze.

Friday, April 17

We love because

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

I recently came across a copy of my wedding program and had almost forgotten about one of the poems we included in it:

Because - Adelaide Procter

It is not because your heart is mine--mine only--
Mine alone;
It is not because you chose me, weak and lonely,
For your own;
Not because the earth is fairer, and the skies
Spread above you
Are more radiant for the shining of your eyes--
That I love you!

It is not because the world's perplexed meaning
Grows more clear;
And the Parapets of Heaven, with angels leaning,
Seem more near;
And Nature sings of praise with all her voices
Since yours spoke,
Since within my silent heart, that now rejoices,
Love awoke!

Nay, not even because your hand holds heart and life;
At your will
Soothing, hushing all its discord, making strife
Calm and still;
Teaching Trust to fold her wings, nor ever roam
From her nest;
Teaching Love that her securest, safest home
Must be Rest.

But because this human Love, though true and sweet--
Yours and mine--
Has been sent by Love more tender, more complete,
More divine;
That it leads our hearts to rest at last in Heaven,
Far above you;
Do I take you as a gift that God has given--
--And I love you!

Friday, March 13

Pure Religion

I thought this verse from James was a good complement to the verses from my February 25th post. I highly recommend reading the whole chapter as the rest of it goes well with the verses in my March 4th post. Enjoy!

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Friday, March 6

Spring draws near

Here are some more flower photos to celebrate the arrival of spring:

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

Wednesday, March 4

Everything we need

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 (NIV)

Wow! This verse never ceases to amaze me. It spells things out so clearly. How do I love God? Obey Him. AND His commands are not burdensome to obey. So now I ask myself, what are these commands? They aren’t hard to find when you’re looking, and I’ve included several of them below (I italicized parts that really stood out to me). Initially all of these instructions were a little overwhelming, but guess what?! “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

Praise be to God for His infinite wisdom!

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

…make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 (NIV)

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

Galations 5:22-26 (NIV)

…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I hope you were as encouraged as I was by these scriptures. My prayer for each one of you is that "God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-34 (NIV)

Thursday, February 26

Pretty flower...

For those who were wondering, yes I took the photos that appear on my blog, and no they are not from my garden (update: several of the more recent photos are from our yard). They are photos I've taken on various garden tours. Here's a larger version of the photo in my profile. It's one of my favorites because I really like blue flowers:

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12

Wednesday, February 25

Welcome to Skillfully Wrought!

Isaiah 58 is one of my favorite chapters in the Old Testament. God tells the prophet Isaiah to speak to the people of Israel, because they are complaining that God is ignoring all the “humble” fasting they’ve been doing for Him. Hah! As you can read in the verses below, that is not quite the case. The part where God explains what a true fast is both convicts and encourages me. He is so straightforward about what we should and shouldn’t be doing, that it really leaves no room for question. I love this! I often wonder, what should I, as a Christ-follower, be doing? How do I know what is the right thing to do?

This year my main focus when reading the Bible is to glean instructions for practical application in my daily life. I want to use this blog to share what I find with the body of believers and to ask for your input on any questions that arise during my journey. Let’s get started; wahoo!

Here are the scriptures from my study on fasting and charity:

Isaiah 58:2-11 (True Fasting)

For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.

'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?'" Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Matthew 6:1-2 (Charity)

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Matthew 6:16-18 (Fasting)

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."