God loves you. He has written a letter to you personally. It is a beautiful letter for you, whoever you are. It will comfort and encourage your heart today. Please find The Father’s Love Letter video at
My Ugly Tree
I went for a walk in the woods… the trees were leafy and beautiful. Then I came back to our house and I saw this big ugly tree with no pretty green leaves. “ God, “ I said. “I feel like this ugly tree. My children hate me, I cannot see any of my grandchildren, I have handled all of this terribly, acted in the flesh and have lost many of my friends.” But God told me that this tree is beautiful, that He has plans for this tree- it does not have leaves yet but one day it will be filled with pretty leaves.
What God Told Me
God told me He loves me and I may feel really ugly right now but His love and power can transform me and make me flourish and be beautiful. God still has plans for my life. I shall not despair for I know that my Redeemer lives, that He loves me and has good plans for my life.
What God is Asking You
What about you? Do you feel like that ugly old tree? Does your future look grim and ugly? Have you said and done terrible things- things you deeply regret? My friend, God loves you and has good plans for your life too. Will you trust in Jesus today, confess your sins, ask for His forgiveness? Will you allow Him to transform you into a beautiful, gentle and loving person?
What God Wants You to Know
God tells us in His Word that we are all sinful. He tells us that if we trust in Jesus and confess our sins to Him- He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God has a future and a hope for you today. There is no sin He will not forgive. There is no heart He cannot change. There is no person that is too broken for God to heal. Draw bear to God and He will draw near to you.
Rainy Day Reading
We are supposed to have three days of rain. I decided to do some reading. I am reading a really good book [CONTROL GIRL: Lessons in Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women In The Bible]. The book told me to read some great passages of scripture. One passage told me to delight myself in God, to rest in Him and to fret not. I thought about that. I asked myself- am I truly delighting myself in the Lord?
God’s Message to Me
God spoke to my heart told me I am wasting a lot of my time. I am spending too much time on my iphone [FaceBook, Gmail, Instagram, Words With Friends and a Drawing Game. I also talk a lot on the phone]. God told me I also have areas of wasteful spending. God told me I am eating wastefully. The things I am eating are bad for me. They are damaging my body. God wants me to eat right and take care of my body. Ugh. God wants me to exercise.
After meditating on the passages of Scripture I got out an old Richard Simmons set of 3 DVD’s [HOPE]. I have not worked out in a very long time. I did the beginner dvd. It was hard! A LOT harder than walking! I did as much as I was able to do and a little more. By the time I was finished I was drenched in sweat. I took a cool shower and then God spoke to my heart again. He told me to go for a walk in my woods. In the pouring rain? That is crazy! Nevertheless God wanted me to go for a walk in my woods in the pouring rain.
A Walk in the Rain
I bundled up, grabbed my umbrella and went for a walk in the woods with my Labrador Willow. When I looked at the trees I was amazed. Two days ago it was cold and snowing. When I walked in the woods last time the trees were bare. Today I could see new life and real beauty in the trees, on the ground, and all around me. When I got back to the house I saw pretty birds at the birdhouse and the horses who live behind our house.
Spring Always Comes
Winter is over ( I hope). It will not snow any more this year. We will not have any more freezing cold temperatures. God is bringing back warm air, sunshine, beautiful trees and flowers, pretty birds and green grass. This has been a very long, very hard and very cold winter for my family and I am not just talking about the temperature. But God is going to bring beauty out of ashes, new life, new hope and new sunshine to our souls.
The Storms of Life
When going through the storms of life we see our need for Jesus and we cry out for Him. No matter how much we mess up our lives He loves us with an everlasting love. If we look around us at the blue sky and fluffy white clouds, at the moon and the stars above, at the beauty of a newborn baby we see that God IS good. So if your life looks terrible right now, get alone with God. Bundle up, grab an umbrella and go for a walk even if it is raining. Talk to Jesus. He loves you. He will hear your prayer. He will help you if you ask Him to. He will bring good things out of the worst of circumstances.
Beauty From Ashes
[God] “has sent me to preach good tidings onto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the present to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. “Isaiah 61:1-3
Today I woke up. For that I am thankful. I have so many people who I dearly love that are going through heartbreak and pain. My heart is filled with sorrow, for my daughter, my grandchildren and for several of my dear friends… Life can look so dark and terrible at times. Is happiness possible when you are going through a terrible time of heartbreak, grief and loss?
I went for a walk in the woods this morning. It is spring, winter is over and the sun is shining. The trees are beginning to bud, flowers are beginning to bloom and the birds are singing in the trees. I am filled with hope. The same God who gives new life to the flowers and trees can give new life to my daughter, and her children and to my hurting friends. The same God who is watching over the pretty birds is watching over my precious grandchildren, my beautiful daughter, my hurting friends and me.
God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us. Jesus died on the cross for you. He paid for your sins. You need to truly repent of your sins and put your faith in Jesus. You will receive forgiveness of sins, a home in heaven and eternal life. That is what it means to be born again. If you have already done that you still need to repent of your sins every day. You need to draw near to God. How do we draw close to God? We draw close to God when we go to a Bible preaching church, read the Book bake every day, get in a quiet place, talk to God about anything and everything and listen to what God has to say to you.
No matter what you are going through, there are things you can be thankful for. There is beauty all around you- you just have to look for it. Stop focusing on the problem and focus on the Creator. Look at the flowers, the trees, the blue sky, the fluffy white clouds. Listen to the birds sing. Feel the warm sunshine. Smell the pine trees and flowers. Buy yourself fresh cut flowers. Smell the sweet aroma. Treat yourself to your favorite food or beverage. Taste that wonderful taste.
If you can, drive to the beach, lake, a pretty park, the woods or somewhere beautiful. Enjoy God’s creation and talk to Jesus. Know that you are loved. If you have no friends and no family God loves you. But most of us do have people that love us. We can be thankful for those people.
God is good. Life is good. We have a place to live, food to eat and clothes to wear. We have people who love us. God loves us. The cold winter is over and we can go outside and enjoy warm air and sunshine. Most of us do not have cancer or AIDS or MS or some other terminal illness. Most of us have our hearing and our eyesight. We can think. We can walk and we can talk. We are alive. We can be thankful. We can choose to look for the good. We can choose happiness.
My heart is overwhelmed with sadness today. I cannot tell you why I am sad. I cannot say what is on my heart due to privacy issues. I have learned things. I know things I wish I did not know. But they are things I really need to know. My heart hurts for my grandchildren, my daughter, the children’s daddy, the children’s aunt and uncle, me and Chuck. We are all hurting.
I am giving myself permission to be sad. Why is it we feel compulsion to cheer people up? It is okay to be sad, to cry, to grieve when bad things happen. Later this afternoon I will go outside, get some fresh air, play with my dogs and clean my house. But for now I will feel my feelings.
This morning I am going to watch the Today show (no it is not a sin to watch tv) and then I will continue my study in Romans 8. Today I will be studying “freedom.” I will do some reading, some praying and then go back to my Christian writing course.
I called my friend Kelly this morning. Even though I cannot tell her what is going on right now it was so good to talk to a friend. I had a nice conversation with my sister earlier this morning. In a card for my grandchildren I recently wrote ” God places each person in our lives to love us and help us through the hard times and Jesus is always with us. He will help us if we ask Him to.” I truly believe that.
Jesus please help my daughter. Please help my grandchildren. Please help their Daddy. Please help their Auntie and Uncle who take care of them. Please help me and Chuck who have not been allowed to see them for almost three years. We miss them so much. Please help each one of us. We need you. We love you. We want your help through this heartbreaking time. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”
1. Romans 8:4 commands us to walk in the Spirit. There is no shortcut to learning how to walk with the Spirit. It is not just for ultra spiritual people, nor is it reserved for charismatic Christians. It is not simply trying to do the right thing, nor is it trying to live according to God’s law. Walking in the spirit describes what it means to live as a Christian. [We cannot do this on our own. Our first step is to pray and ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit. We are asking God to control our thoughts, words and actions. We need to do this every day, throughout the day. -Terri]
2. We need to set our minds on the things of the Spirit. She Romans 8:5. How does one overcome the pull of the flesh? This sounds like an old riddle – how can someone extract all the air out of a drinking glass? The most direct way to get all of the air out of a glass is by filling it with something else. You cannot extract thoughts that just please God from your mind. You need to be filled up with thoughts – indeed with an entire mindset that is oriented toward the things of the Spirit. We need to be filled with the fruit of the spirit as seen in Galatians 5:22–23. [We need to be filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We need to ask God to fill us with the fruit of the Spirit- to fill us with love, fill us with joy, fill us with peace and fill us with the other fruits of the Spirit. [My family is going through a terrible, heartbreaking time right now- but God has given me a peace that passes all understanding. He can fill you with peace today no matter what your circumstances are- Terri]
3. We need to put to death the deeds of the body by the Holy Spirit. The person who has been re-generated by the Holy Spirit is not stuck in sin. By the Spirit, the pull of the flesh can be resisted. To put to death the deeds of the body is pretty much the same as saying not to sin, but just saying no by it’s self will not be successful. Just saying no will never allow you to consistently overcome sin. You must say no to the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit. [We need to say no to drugs, alcohol, junk food, pride, envy, jealousy, lust, bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness, selfishness, and more. We can not do this in our own power. The Holy Spirit will help us to say no to our fleshly desires.- Terri]
4. We need to be led by the Spirit. She Romans 8:14. God always leads us through his written Word which was revealed to the prophets by the Holy Spirit. See 2Peter 1: 20–21. Prayerfully, carefully and timely apply broad Biblical wisdom to the situations we face in our lives today. [This means don’t just read the Bible. Do what the Bible tells you to do. This is assuming we are spending time in the Word of God on a daily basis.- Terri]
5. We know the Fatherhood of God by the Spirit of God. See Romans 8:15–17. Without the Holy Spirit we would never know our freedom and identity as God’s adopted children. God has freely given us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does three amazing things. He acts as the go-between who takes us out of a place of slavery and fear and brings us into a place of adoption and acceptance. The Holy Spirit helps us cry out to God our father. The holy spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. [When we are going through a painful time in our lives, we need to remember that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, who is with us, who hurts when we hurt, who rejoices when we rejoice, who wants the very best for us, and who is always available to listen to your prayers. – Terri]
6. We are to pray in the Spirit. See Romans 8:26–28. We are weak when we come to prayer. We often don’t know what to pray for in any given situation. The concern is not the manner of prayer – how to, but the content of our prayers – what do we actually pray about? The Spirit joins to help us when we are struggling to know how to pray by praying for us with groaning. It is not that we should just pray whatever we want since we don’t have any idea. [We ask the Holy Spirit of God to help us to pray as we ought to.] We have hope in the spirit. She Romans 8:22–25. The biblical concept represented by the English word hope is so strong that it is almost a synonym for eager expectation. The focus of the expectation isn’t that life will get better here; it is filled with a gracious life to come. [ If we had repented of our sin, put our faith in Jesus, and asked him to be our Lord and Savior then one day we will spend eternity in heaven. In heaven there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, , no more suffering, no more loneliness, no more goodbyes, no more sickness, no more death, no more fear, no more depression – one day God will wipe away every tear. We will be filled with joy for all eternity- Terri]
The butterfly…. one of God’s most beautiful creatures… the same God that created the butterfly created you and you ARE beautiful….