29 December 2009

ray of sonshine

where's the ray of Son or sun in your life right now?

is it in the holiday season?

is it in the kindness of a stranger?

is it in some much needed time off?

today, as the sun is shining i am reminded of the greater One

28 December 2009


okay stop for a second, after reading the title, did you start singing the song the "way we were"? i just wanted to make sure i wasn't alone here on that one.

sometimes as you go through life, you experience something that triggers a memory. occassionally it's something wonderful that takes you back to your childhood, makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, reminding you of a time when your mom would fix your favorite meal. a time when you felt that all was right in the world. but then there's other times that it brings up something that is buried down deep inside of you.

you know, somewhere no one has ever gone before.

it triggers something you may regret and definitely don't talk about with anyone.

it's a place you don't want to acknowledge and hard as you may try, you push it deeper inside of you.

you know, that memory of a bad choice, bad experience, bad situation.... now, because of one incident, it is something you start to wrestle with.

that's where God's grace comes in. you see, He's there, just waiting.

He wants you to let Him in.

He already knows your pain.

remember He was there with you,
by your side....
through it all.

now let Him take you
as you are

27 December 2009


hebrews 11:1 "now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

today, this verse has been on my heart and in my head. i know with great certainty that it was put there by God. it came when i needed it.

it's as if God is telling me, "have faith beth, I'm in control. it's all going to work out for My glory."

and in those hard times, i know it's difficult to hear God over everything else. today though, His whisper came through loud and clear.

and i'm glad i was paying attention because...

faith in Him,

gives me peace

21 December 2009

reaching out

recently i was talking with a friend and she was explaining to me how she was going through something difficult late at night. she mentioned that she should have called someone, but didn't. and within time, it passed. now it wasn't a life-threatening experience, but it was enough to keep her awake at night, throughout the night.

i'm sure we've all been there before in some capacity. having one of those restless nights, when you just need someone to talk to, letting you know it's going to be okay and reassure you that you're not alone.

but sometimes we allow those life experiences to separate us, more than unite us.

because isn't it just easier to try and forge through something on our own instead of reaching out?

when we reach out, there's fear and vulnerability associated.
it let's people in to see our pain and the reality that we're not perfect.
and by doing that, it shows that we're broken, in need of love and support.

in this already broken world, maybe we can reach out to one another more often,

helping to heal this place,

one person at a time.

20 December 2009

presences or presents?

the holiday time, a time for extra shopping, buying gifts or tokens of appreciation for those you love. purchasing a small gift of thanks for someone who is in your life.

a couple close friends and i have decided not to exchange gifts, for birthdays or holidays. not because we're scrooges or because of the economy. it's because when we buy something for someone, we want it to be meaningful. instead, we allow ourselves to purchase something for each other when we see it in the store and think, "yes, that's just perfect for ...". it doesn't have to be because it's christmas or their birthday, it's just because.

a couple days ago i received an unexpected present, and in it i felt God's presences.

have you ever had a gift like that?

you know the type. when you open it, you feel like God is there in it. you sense the presences of someone greater behind it. and to say thank you doesn't even seem like enough.

for me, it was completely overwhelming....and still is to think about. it was given because of what they saw.

and shouldn't that be the way we feel when we're in the presences of God?

knowing that He is there among us...

sensing something far greater than anyone of us...

being completely overwhelmed.

i pray throughout this christmas season, we can all remember that omnipotent present that wants to be the presences in our lives


giving, seems to be the message of the season. how can you give? what can you give? it’s better to give than receive.

we know these phrases, have heard them, and maybe even succumbed to a few of them. sometimes however, we feel them tugging at our wallets more than our hearts.

and yet, it makes me think of God and how he gave. His heart was in it for us.

He gave

He gave His Son's life

He gave His Son's life for us.

if God can give,
shouldn't i be able to do the same thing?

14 December 2009


okay, now when you first read that, i'm not talking about the 1960s hippy peace, so please remove that visual from your head. what i'm talking about it the message of the Christmas season. and maybe, if you're like me, it might even be a personal mantra. it's how i sign my correspondence because it's a personal reminder to me, but also a hope for the other person.

now take a minute or two to read philippians 4:4-7.

re-read verse 7 slowly, deliberately

focus on those first five words..."and the peace of God"...

"the peace of God"

"peace of God"


paul (that guy who's been in prison) is encouraging us to take that peace and ease our anxiety or anxiousness. to let it cover over us, releasing the tension we hold. he is instructing us to take the peace of God with us. and his message is clear....


it's such a key component to his letters and in worship, but do we take it with us? do we allow ourselves to feel that peace?




begin to feel it, starting at the top of your head, cascading down through you....



releasing tension, anxiety, anxiousness



soon it begins to meet the rhythm of your breathing...




let it cover over you



and let it become your prayer


13 December 2009

just wait, it's coming

today is one of those mornings when i can feel God is with me. so much so, that it even brings tears to my eyes to know that.

it's that time when i feel dialed into God and His presences, even in the midst of my questioning Him, His plan, my life. and throughout it all, i hear God and feel God telling me...

"just wait, it's coming."

"it's going to be so amazing!"

"just wait, it is coming, beth."

how blessed to i feel that even in the noise of everyday life, i can still hear God and feel God.

and when i need the reassurance, i can read this and remember that...




09 December 2009

3, 2, 1....impact

i think it's easy to say, "wow, that song/book/event impacted me." we all can probably list out things that have made a difference in our lives and impacted us. maybe these events have even shaped us into the people we are today.

recently, while volunteering at "feed the children" i started thinking about the impact i have on others. here i am, packing boxes that will be delivered to families/communities in need. what a blessing it was that my hands were able to touch the items that will help someone else. to know that i'm helping someone get food, soap, or other items of necessity.

have you ever been in need of those items?

you see, i have actually been on the other side of one of those boxes. when i was growing up, one holiday season my mom didn't have enough money for food, bills, etc. the church we belonged to found out about this, delivered boxes of food to us, and even provided a little bit of money for bills to be paid. those people who generously gave will never know how they impacted me.

you see though, that's where i can make a difference. someone willing gave and now it's my turn.

about a year ago, someone told me that when they go to the grocery store, they always pick up at least one extra item that they don't need to donate to a food pantry. because when it comes down to it, can't we all spend an extra 50 cents or a dollar on one extra item? and some weeks, all you can afford is one item, but then other weeks it might be two or three items. you bring it home and put it in a bag and before you know it, you have a bag full of food, to donate....

to impact another life...

to feed someone in need.

and all this reminds me of Christ,
who gave of Himself for us,
and continually does so in the Eucharist.

He makes sure we're fed.

so can't we do the same for others?

05 December 2009

all because of what peter said...

excerpts taken from acts 2:38-47

v 41:" those who accepted his (peter's) message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."

v 42:"they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship"....

v 44:"all the believers were together and had everything in common."

v 46:"every day they continued to meet together"..."ate together with glad and sincere hearts,"

v 47:..."and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

wow! did you catch all that? this takes place shortly after the Holy Spirit comes at pentecost. peter calls for people to "repent and be baptized" (acts 2:38) and they did it. not only that, they then continued to gather together because they had so much in common. they wanted to be there. it doesn't say that they occassionally gathered or did so monthly. no, it was done daily.

daily gathering together

praying together

breaking bread together

sharing in fellowship together

all because of what peter said.

can you imagine the pull your heart must feel when you're subjected to something like that?

wanting....desiring....needing to be there, to feel fulfilled.

selling everything to give to those in need.

knowing that there's no other place you'd rather be.

feeling satisfied and content.

and praising God throughout it all.

02 December 2009


it's the season of Advent, a new start for the church calendar, a wonderful season of celebration, a time for preparation.

so what are you preparing for?
-work tomorrow?
-how you'll handle the current crisis?
-having family and friends over?
-a good night sleep?...or maybe just making it through the day...

but what about this....what if we start preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ?

i mean actively preparing ourselves.

it's so much easier said, then done. let's do this together, let's start today, by doing one thing in our own lives to prepare ourselves. then that one thing can multiple, multiple within ourselves and others. it just takes one pebble to make a wave, and i believe that wave can start with us.

so, what change are you going to make?

me, i'm working on love.

loving myself, and loving those who can't love me back

30 November 2009


i'm sure you're like me, you can say, "God, i give you control of this situation." and then you feel at peace with it, successful in your accomplishment. verbally, it's so easy to do. and maybe you're successful, for a bit of time. gradually though, you start pulling back the control a little at a time, until the stiuation is now completely under your own control, no longer trusting in God.

visualize with me...it's almost like playing tug-of-war with God. i give Him the rope (control of a sitatuion). little by little things become uncomfortable, i become vulnerable, and i take pieces of the rope back until i am pulling against God. literally playing tug-of-war with God. pulling, pulling, pulling on the rope. game face is on. anchoring myself to the ground. determined to win this competition.

but today,




this morning, i heard Him loud and clear. He said to me, that it wasn't a game. He's not going to fight me for control. it's all or nothing.

and i know He's there waiting to take control back;

i just have to release it to Him.

29 November 2009

must have music

if you don't already own these, go buy them....

"church music" david crowder band

"alive again" matt maher

you can thank me later


lately i've been thinking how i, okay we, all get stuck in the routine of everyday life. get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, relax, go to bed. repeat five days per week, while changing it up a little on the weekends.

it's routine.

it's easy.

there's no guessing to it.

we interact with the same people. have the same expectations out of everyone, just living our easy, comfortable lives.

but shouldn't there be more to our routine?

if our lives are centered on Christ and the Word, shouldn't it be reflected in our routine? maybe that means going to really tough places inside ourselves and letting God and others in. maybe it means we change up how we talk with one another. maybe it means we reach out to that person we pass by daily, but never acknowledge.

God said, "never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

He needs to be part of our routine.

let's let Him in...

28 November 2009

slow it down

yesterday, i had a converstaion with a fellow believer. we were talking about the "Our Father," and how easily we breeze thru the words without actually thinking about them anymore. it's that part during worship that you know is coming up, you recite the words from memory and continue on with worship.

we started talking about how we need to slow down and think about the words,

"Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name."

to process them,

"Thy Kingdom Come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven"

to use them as a call out to God,

"give us this day, our daily bread."

to apply them to our own lives,

"and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

and know that God is there,

"And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil." Amen.


25 November 2009


mind your manners, isn't that what we're all taught from a young age. say "please" and "thank you". but don't you and i go thru our days without actually saying it when we need to? such as: "Lord, thanks for the food i have before me," or "thank you God that my car started this morning," or "thanks for bringing that to me."

why don't we remember to do that?

take for instance the book of colossians. paul has been converted, imprisoned, and is writing letters for the followers of Christ. check chapter 3, verse 15-17. how many times is thanks or a form of that word mentioned?

wow, so a man in prison is telling us to give thanks, be thankful, have gratitude.

he's in prison and he's telling us this!

do you get it?

paul continually mentions it to make a point.

therefore, that letter that paul writes it to you and i. once our hearts are set in the right place, we can give thanks.

so if he can remember to give thanks while sitting in a cold, dirty prison cell-
can't you and i do the same?

23 November 2009

what if....?

what if we stopped worrying?

what if i lost weight?

what if we all had enough money to pay the bills?

what if we all listened more and talked less?

what if i trusted more?

what if we forgave ourselves as easily as we forgive others?

what if we stopped underestimating ourselves and our God and started living life to the fullest?

20 November 2009

"some people come into our lives and quickly go. some stay awhile and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same." -unknown

have you looked for God deep within your personal relationships?

does He have a presences there?

i was reflecting back this evening and thinking what a "God thing" it was that i have the close group of friends that i do. granted, i can't emphatically say that each one was entirely God led. sometimes, i think free-will was involved because i just don't think i was listening every time God was trying to lead me.

take for example my relationship with my best friend. we both ended up in a summer college class on linguistics. yes, it was as boring as it sounds. the professor spent many a weeks trying to analyze my last name and change the pronunciation of it. anyway, she sat up front, always asked questions, and was attentive. i, on the other hand, was in the back of the room, didn't pay attention, and goofed off (for those of you who know me, you find this hard to believe, i know). the summer passed, with neither of us really acknowledging each other, just sticking to ourselves, avoiding the opportunity to meet new people. the following autumn, we ended up in more classes together and quickly pushed those preconceived notions aside to get to know one another. and the rest is history...

i have comfort knowing that,
God knew i would need her in my life.
He knew she would need me in her life.
i know He purposely put us together.

it comes down to believing that that God puts relationships into our lives for the greater good, His greater good. it's up to us to accept them and in turn learn from them.

because i know, that without certain people in my life, i wouldn't be the person i am today. nor would i have overcome or made it through the things that i have. yes, i am even grateful for the people who have come into my life for only a short period of time.

so it's up to us now to....
look for chances that God is giving you to connect with others (acts 14),
see relationships as intentional,
allow His presences to be known.

grace and peace

18 November 2009

that sucks....

how many times have you and i thought that, "this sucks"?...or something similar to that...

man, this day sucks!

this situation sucks!

etc, etc, etc.

it bogs us down, puts us into self-pity, and inspires more thoughts just like it.

then i began to think of what God thinks, being on the other side of those comments.

for instance, when we complain, "man, this day sucks!" God thinking, "wow, thanks! i thought i was doing good today."

do we actually take into consideration those on the other side of our words?

i know i don't think of it as often as i should.

and so maybe the next time i'm complaining, i can think of the greater One first

17 November 2009


what's the most uncomfortable situation you can imagine yourself in? what does it look like? what do you look like? sounds? smells?

in acts 8 (v. 26-40), philip ends up talking with an ethiopian eunuch. the eunuch is traveling in a chariot and must be someone of importance. he's also found by philip reading scripture. after talking together, philip baptizes the eunuch. talk about an uncomfortable situation in which philip was able to spread the Word.

now go to acts 10, peter is with a roman centurion, cornelius. cornelius is said to be a follower of God (v. 2). then peter is sent to talk with him. they talk, peter baptizes, the church is spread. peter's uncomfortable situation puts him with non-jews and yet he was able to overcome.

this makes me think of a friend of mine, she lives with alopecia. currently, she has no hair (and i must say the most beautiful bald lady i know). i think of her in uncomfortable situations. i know she has more patience than i would when dealing with this. people come up to her all the time wondering what stage of cancer she might be in. for me, this would get old all too fast! i would be frustrated and would want to wear a shirt that says, "i don't have cancer!" you know though, i don't see her doing that. i see her embracing this opportunity to listen to others and then spread the church.

isn't that what it really comes down to?...spreading the church

so i ask again, what's your uncomfortable situation?

can i and will i allow Christ to use me in that situation?

can you and will you allow Christ to use you in that situation?

...because when it comes down to it,

we're just like philip.
we're just like peter.
i'm just like my friend...

16 November 2009

"i wish grown-ups could remember being kids"

this quote appeared on my starbucks cup today and it made me think...about why it's important and if it's worth it. i know that it can be argued either way, and yet i've come to one conclusion. i do think it's beneficial.

it's to enjoy the simple things in life that make you smile.

it's to look at the world through their younger eyes and see things how they see them.

it's because time goes so fast. kids want to grow up too quickly, while adults want to slow time down.

it's to help someone who's struggling with issues the same way you did.

i saw this today in middle school, where kids struggle for acceptance and affirmation from friends. when things are topsy-turvy it's considered "drama". i wish i could give them all the hind-sight for them to realize how this molds and shapes each other. for them to know that you might not always remember what was specifically said, but you will remember how someone made you feel.

and maybe that's the point of all of this. to let them all know how awkward the middle school years are, but to let them know they're not alone. even when they feel the world has checked out on them, there is always one constant in their life.

i'm grateful for that constant in my life...

15 November 2009

...nightmares and faith...

have you had those dreams that haunt you and continue to haunt you hours after you wake up?

what do you do with that?

this morning, i have experienced just that. during the early hours of the morning, i had such a nightmare. hours later, i can still vividly recall details from this dream, events from a childhood trauma (that i have worked thru and healed from). as i awoke i had questions on my mind....i wake up wondering why did i dream this? and years later i still am left wondering from time to time, why did this even happen? was this dream from God or is satan tempting me in my sleep?

i realize that i have to rely on faith. faith that God saw me thru this before and He can see me thru this again. and with that, i am given peace and the weight of this haunting is beginning to lift.

i know i'm not alone doubting or wondering who is in control. peter needed his faith restored from time to time. i think of when he walked on water with Christ. see matthew 14:25-31.

i still don't think i'm ready to walk on water (literally), but i have comfort knowing that when i am, Christ is there to walk with me. until then, i pray "Lord, save me" (v 30).

i pray that He will do just that,...and save you too....