Beneath the Snow


This morning I made a decision. As I looked out at yet another snowfall blanketing the earth, I decided to look beyond what I saw. I did not conjecture about how many days it will take the snow to melt. I did not grumble that the calendar says spring and even my hoodie isn’t keeping me warm. I did not calculate how many snow (and sick) days this winter held. It’s not that those thoughts didn’t hover, I simply chose to replace them.

  • The sun is shining and the pavement is already clear—a wonderful contrast to yesterday’s gray.
  • Sap is flowing through the bare trees—soon they will sprout green buds with the promise of leafy cover.
  • Beneath the snow crocuses and daffodils are pushing upward—their purple and yellow heads ready to break through and dot the earth with color.
  • The dormant grass appears dead, but it’s rousing and will again grow green and lush.
  • Though they now look like bushes of brown sticks, buds are forming and in weeks cascading azaleas will shower yellow flowers.
  • As spring stubbornly presses forward, sweaters, scarves and socks will be traded for shorts, shirts and sandals.
  • Gentle rains and warm breezes will assuredly replace driving snow and frigid gusts.

My choice of thoughts paid off. I feel refreshed, happy. Sweetness replaced my sour mood. Anticipation traded places with lethargy. I highly recommend thought-replacement therapy!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” (Prov. 17:22)

Lord, I always have a choice. When my hopes and dreams are buried beneath blankets of disappointment, remind me that your purposes prevail. Seasons are temporary but you are undaunted. Though I may not see it, you are active beneath the snow.


The Lord is my SHEPHERD…

As a shepherd who is infinitely good, boundless in love, and unlimited in mercy, the Lord supplies my needs.

My Shepherd gives me rest in green pastures and refreshes my soul beside quiet waters. He guides, protects and comforts me.

He provides for me when enemies threaten. His anointing is upon me, setting me apart for His love and service.

My Shepherd’s goodness and love follow me around—every day. I look behind me and there they are, goodness and love!

I will live in His house forever, enjoying unhindered companionship, unrestrained joy and limitless love.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.” I lack nothing as I walk this earth and will be fully satisfied when I forever walk beside Him in Heaven. Oh, He is a very good Shepherd!

*Image compliments of

The Lord is MY Shepherd…


The Lord shepherds a large flock—sheep gathered from every tribe, nation and tongue. Yet, each one is uniquely important and loved by Him. I cherish the fact that He is not only the Good Shepherd, but the Lord is my shepherd. He leaves ninety-nine sheep to find me, to rescue me, to bind up my wounds, and love on me. This is personal.

  • The Lord chose me before He created the world and then He formed me according to His plan and pattern, creating a masterpiece.
  • He recorded every day of my life in His book and prepared good things for me to do, equipping me with the desire and ability to succeed.
  • Then He made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down His life for me so I can be eternally His.

Lord, you are my Shepherd. Please help me to have lamb-like trust, to not wander, to not argue, and to gladly, thankfully walk beside you.

*image compliments of

Go and Leave – They’re not Always Synonyms

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

I was on an unmarked journey, going new places, anticipating new experiences. But somehow there was a disconnect. Thoughts of the past frequently visited my mind and abandoned dreams jumped to the forefront at the strangest times. Though uninvited, memories made me wonder if former dreams still had validity.

I just kind of lived with this perplexity, rather than deal with it, until I had breakfast with a friend. Somehow, talking unravels confusion for me. I don’t set out to clarify a subject, I just talk around it and – voila! – thoughts fall into place. That is what happened one Friday morning a few weeks ago. On the way home from the restaurant our conversation rolled around in my mind. Settling in my recliner, I turned to the next passage in my Bible reading, Genesis 12, but I never got past the first verse. Another Friend met me and this time He did all the talking.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and

your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

Leave… Go… I will show. In that revelatory moment I realized that I did go, but I didn’t leave. Unwittingly, I was still holding on. The go part wasn’t optional, but the leave part? That needed to be dealt with decisively if I was to live in the land God chose for me.

Now, I say to my thoughts, “Sorry, I’m leaving.” Walking away from the past empowers me to take my place in a new land. Jesus’ words in John 8:32 are true – the truth does set us free.

I’m sharing this for one reason: I know I’m not the only one who has gone without leaving. What do you have to leave? A relationship? Position? Dream? Church? Job? There is a land God will show you – just leave.

What’s the Good Word?

Stuart Miles at

No more New Year’s resolutions for me. For the past few years, I’ve found that a single word is enough. Toward the end of December I begin my search for one word that will inspire, focus and challenge me in the new year. Several options vied for attention during my December search but none felt right until, as I prayed about it, my word for the year landed in that soft spot that says, “Yes, I think God’s in this!” I know you’re now at the edge of your seat with curiosity, but let me first say that I would not have chosen this word on my own.

I was thinking about persistence – or devoted – or proactive. Good words, right? They’re strong and motivating! At first glance my word isn’t all that exciting. Ready? My word for 2015 is complete. Are you as disappointed as I was? well, I’ve moved from disappointment to anticipation and here’s why.

I am tired of living in an incomplete state. If I never have one more good idea, it’s okay because I have enough brilliant thoughts sitting on a shelf in my mind to last the rest of my life. I’d like to explore some of them and bring a few to completion. Then there are the projects I’ve already started that are just that – started. It’s exciting to think of actually completing them. I don’t want to live any longer with a stale to-do list. It’s time to finish things off and start anew. (Anew… good word, maybe new will be my word for 2016.)

And then there’s the whole bit about completion in my spiritual life that I’d like to appreciate more fully.

  • This year I want to value my completeness in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10) and stop throwing good-works contingencies on my walk with God.
  • I want to savor the confidence that He who began a good work in me “will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Ah, what peace and joy that would bring! And speaking of joy…
  • I want to treasure the complete joy that comes from abiding in Christ (John 15:11; 16:24) and resist fleshly cries that insist something else is needful to bring me joy.
  • I want my faith to be made complete by action (James 2:22). No more glib words without action to substantiate them.
  • And, like Paul, I want to head for the end of the race, not with woulda, shoulda, coulda, but by completing the task of living as a testimony of God’s grace.

Complete. Pretty cool word, huh?

So what’s your good word? I’d love to hear what inspires you as you head into 2015!

I pray the new year will surprise you with many manifestations of God’s grace,