January 7 – Good Words (Jenny)

boise_valley_wheat_fieldLet me start by saying I don’t get a special letter every day, but I thought these words from a recent note from my husband were worth sharing:   You are truly God’s gift to me. Some days, you are the gentle soft touch that tells me I am loved and cherished. And some days, you are the burr under the saddle that tells me to kick it in gear, it’s time to go! But whatever the day and whatever the message, there is no other place I’d rather be than here doing life with you. You are my wife,  you are my friend.

With encouragement like that, I could climb the highest mountain! Yay!!! Through the process of time, we have lived and learned just a little. There’s been some good, bad, some ‘ugly’ we’d rather forget. We have learned how far gentle words can go. (And make no mistake; a ‘sharp tongue’ has often helped us fall flat on our faces!) No matter what situation we encounter, the tone of voice we choose and the emotions we put to use can make or break each moment of the day.

 In the New Testament, James goes into much detail about the power of the tongue. He really goes into specifics concerning the results of a tongue that’s out of control. I love to see the flip-side of consciously putting our tongues to good use, though. If the product of rough and callous words is unfavorable, how great can the results be when our words are kind?

 I grew up on a cattle and wheat farm. Everything I watched my daddy do involved a complete trust in reaping what he had sown. Our words are like that. The principle of “sowing and reaping” WILL work…for me, for you, for all of us. If you don’t give up, you’ll start to see wonderful results…one “good word” at a time!

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones. Proverbs 14:30 Message

 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. Proverbs 15:1 Message

Biblical Meditation: James 3, Galatians 6:7-9

November 17-Accustomed

Luke 2:41-43 Every year Jesus’ parent went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  

Change can mess you up, if you let it. My oldest daughter loves to rearrange the kitchen and she does it with no warning. The first time she did it, I couldn’t find anything for days! Cups had changed places with bowls, pots and pans swapped space with the storing containers, and Lord knows where the silverware went. Up until that time, I thought of myself as a fairly flexible individual. In reality, I was no different than anybody else when it came to change. I believe it is just woven into the fabric of our humanity to dig ruts and camp out. It happens to us before we even know it.

Going to Jerusalem was a yearly thing for Mary and Joseph’s family and apparently quite a few people traveled with them from their home town of Nazareth. Jesus wasn’t on their minds as one of the youngsters who needed their attention. Needless to say, they were probably flabbergasted when they realized he was nowhere to be found. If you have ever misplaced a child, you are familiar with what they were going through! But add to the equation they had traveled a whole day home before they discovered he was gone!

What happened? How in the world do you leave your child somewhere and don’t miss them for a whole day? You become accustomed to the trip, the people, the event, and even the child. We do this all the time, everyday. Customs have their place, but in the midst of building our daily traditions, it is important to remember everyday is a new day. God is all about showing us something new right smack-dab in the middle of a routine we’ve done for years. So today, keep your eyes on Him and don’t take anything for granted, not even your own kitchen!


Biblical Meditation: Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

November 13- Daddy to the Rescue

For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

My wife told me about a little boy who struggled when it came to paying attention. Although his parents would go over and over their expectations for his room, his toys, and his clothes, he had a hard time getting it. They tried everything to help him, and finally came to the realization their very smart and loving son just had difficulty with instructions. He required extra attention in this area.  As frustrating as this matter was for them, nothing would ever change their love for their son. Right around the same time, there was a neighborhood bully who liked to pick on the boy. One day the torment got so bad, the little guy screamed out, “DAD!” Well, before he could call again, his daddy was “Johnny-on-the-spot!“ The dad looked the bully square in the face and let him know he’d better never bother his son again. You can imagine what this did for the son’s confidence. It is interesting to me how the father didn’t bring up his son’s most recent struggle when the call for help came. No, because the struggle wasn’t a factor; love was! No matter what character flaws the son might have, he was still daddy’s boy! How true this is for each of us. Daddy-God loves us, bottom line. And He knows our flaws better than we do. But when we cry out for Him, He comes running to the rescue. He doesn’t look at our mistakes; He looks at His Fatherly Love.

Choose today to focus on the reality of the rescue. You are not alone in this world. Your Daddy is watching and waiting to hear from you!



October 28- Let the Force Be With You

Colossians 1:15-16: We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.

 After college, I did business daily in management of retail. I tried to treat my daily activities as if I were following every directive ever given by the founder of the company. There was always an unseen force of power backing me as long as I operated within these established guidelines. If someone decided to take issue over the color of the restrooms or the layout of the store, I would simply give them a suggestion card to fill out and mail to the main office. Why? Because my role was to represent the company, not run it.

This is the picture we have of Jesus when He came to planet earth. He came as the visible representative of the Godhead: Father, Son, Holy Ghost. He was the face on the company, so to speak. Although He participated in the creation of everything, He did not come as the Creator, He came as the representative. His job was to connect the creature back to the Creator, so He had to come as a conduit.

Everything He did and said was backed by the force of God. He was the original “company man.” Comb through the first four books of the New Testament and see if you find any place where He operated by His own set of rules. He didn’t do it. Now to all of us who receive His example of obedience, the mission is conferred. We have become His representatives on planet earth.  And He now backs us with all the force of heaven. We do not stand alone when we stand in Him!

December 24 – Then He Parted the Sea

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

We live in a world that denies miracles and begs for evidence and facts. Commitment is no longer a covenant if it’s not convenient.  But God’s light of truth continues through the ages to shine in the darkness, changing hearts from the inside out, whether the darkness likes it or not.  For this Christmas season and the end of an often tumultuous 2014, we had to share this true story of a couple we know and love dearly.  Please feel free to share as you might need to.  And may it make your resolve in an Almighty God solidify into an unwavering confidence that cannot be shaken. 

Merry Christmas!

Lorenzo and Jennifer 🙂

This is a very special anniversary for us and Cindy let me share this because we know someone out there may need it……

In high school I met this cute little cheerleader they called Pigeon. I took her away from a good, safe home and stole 18 years of her life. I didn’t set out to do this, but that’s what happened. We don’t live in a world that tolerates her kind of commitment. We don’t understand it and it makes us angry. When I look back my heart is so broken for her, but she knew about things that I didn’t understand yet. She talked to the sky and I didn’t understand that either, but I was glad she did because she found peace there. I would try to do better, but failed every time.

18 years later we were broke and homeless. I was shattered and I deserved it, she was gone and the only thing I knew to do was talk to the sky. I did and she was right, even without a promise that anything would get fixed, I had peace.

She didn’t know where her prayers would take her, but she always knew they were heard. Maybe for the first time ever, I wanted more for her than myself. I hoped her prayers would take her somewhere safe. They brought her back to me and I have had the most unbelievable, undeserved 18 years humanly imaginable.
Thank you so much God. Thank you so much Cindy for 36 years.

Exodus14:14 God will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” ….Then he parted the sea.

December 4 – “X” Marks the Spot

Counsel in the heart of man is like water in a deep well, but a man of understanding draws it out. Proverbs 20:5
I have no idea where you keep your stuff. The things you make public are only the surface elements that matter to you. But the deep things, the precious things, are hidden somewhere.
I don’t blame you. I do the same thing. And not just with material goods, but “heart” stuff. If we get to know each other, I share some of those treasures when I deem its safe to do so…otherwise, the big ticket items never see the light of day.

However, I must confess, I have experienced unique moments where I was in the presence of an individual who seem to be able to see into my hiding place with abnormal clarity. And in those instances, I either came away relieved or really guarded (just being honest).

I have learned over the years and through biblical excavation, this ability to “see” beyond the seen is pretty special and can bring about heavenly results.

In the case of Abraham, he got old and was concerned for his son’s future. So he sent his head servant back to his homeland in search of the right girl. All the servant had at his disposal to guide him was the words, “The God who directed me to leave will send angels to guide you to the right one.”

Here’s what the servant prayed when he got there:
“O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.” Genesis 24:12-14

Read on and you will find he nailed it. Indeed, God lead him to the right one and Isaac got the girl. But the big deal that speaks to me these many years later is…it is possible to see the unseen. I can ask God and He will reveal the treasures hidden deep down on the inside of the situation.

Only remember, to the one who sees the gold must hold it rightly. If not, its’ brilliance will consume you and reduce you to the lowliest of thieves.

“X” marks the spot!

November 27 – Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

Right now, as I write, winter has come and cold has once again become the description of the morning.

I am in my forty’s and it’s been getting cold around this time my entire life. Therefore, you would think I would learn to put all my “cold gear” up in a safe spot when the cold time is over so I will have it the next year. I can’t find a thing!

Oh well, I guess I’m not the only one, because the store is out of my size in just about everything I need right about this time every year…just saying, fellas.

But finding my soul mate was a bit different than finding a pair of misplaced gloves or a stocking hat (man, how I wish I had paid attention to this when I was young and knew everything). My mate for life wasn’t lost; just hidden.

The Biblical account of Adam laid out in Genesis 2 gives us a clue. God puts Adam in the Garden He made for him with a few important instructions. And then He gives Adam the privilege of giving names to the animal population. But before He does, God states, “It’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a fitting helper for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

The man didn’t have a clue that while he was naming those animals, he was “finding” a wife. He couldn’t have known what he needed, but it was obvious out of all the creatures he saw, nothing “fit” him.

God had hidden his mate in a place he could never look…on the inside of him! I don’t know how, I just read what it says. And that’s the only sense I can make of this thing called marriage.

Try as I did to find the perfect person for me, I fell short. It was when I gave myself to being busy with what He was leading me to do, that I “found” her. “And the man gave names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky and to all the wild beasts; but for Adam no fitting helper was found. So the LORD God cast a deep sleep upon the man and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot.” Genesis 2:20-21

This “one flesh” idea we call marriage derived from the Father of All Creation Himself. And many of us have suffered deep scars trying to figure it out. Believe me, I’ve got a few of my own.

But the sacredness of such a covenant is other-worldly. And nothing in the universe fulfills like waking up to discover the one thing you’ve been missing. I have to say, “wow!”

November 6 – Nowhere to Run

The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to its own end and His own purpose—even the wicked [are fitted for their role] for the day of calamity and evil. Proverbs 16:4 AMP

When I look down, I see a good-sized pair of feet (12 fits so good, I wear a 13!). Looking up, I see brown skin, a modified nose reflective of my multi-cultural heritage, and an average height and stature. And until my latter years, most days found me grumbling unappreciatively about one or more of my “shortcomings.”

I have learned my inadequate self-assessment is rather common. Most of us don’t waltz by the mirror winking and giving our appearance winks of praise or adoration. That’s because we are not responsible for the design…thank God!

On the contrary, our whole existence has everything to do with a Master Craftsman who is the creative Father of all that is. And why He designated us above all creatures to have an opinion is truly beyond me. But He did.

Freedom came for me when I quit fighting with the unknowns and embraced the fact that He tends to think I am significant, as well as all of the other people on this celestial ball. At the end of the day, none of us can hide.
And try as we may to erase the “oops” and “oh no’s” of the past, every stumble, fumble and fall fits beautifully in the overall story.

Today’s Proverb falls at a time when the Nation I call home is in a bit of transition. And many are extremely hopeful and just as many are confused and downright frustrated. But if we listen really closely to the only Voice that truly matters in the grand scheme, we hear ageless counsel that will be the same for generations to come…It says “follow Me, I know the WAY!”

November 3 – Fill My Cup

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,  but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.  Proverbs 15:18 NIV

As you could imagine, with eleven big and little kids, each with their own personalities, disagreements can happen.  Though I’ve been known to blame the barometric pressure or a full moon, the fact remains that quarrels are a fact of this earth-bound life.

And that’s not exempting me and my hubby.  In fact, if we aren’t seeing eye to eye, the possibility of our brood fussing more than usual is almost a guarantee.  (But that’s another marriage-kind of devo.)

For the past nineteen years, I’ve always searched for answers in this area.  After losing my cool, it’s automatic to feel regret and long for a way to “do better” the next time.  Whether with the children or my spouse, I have to admit that I have fallen back on the more common response . . . “it happens,” “I’m just human,” “if only THEY did so and so, I would be perfectly calm,” etc.

Well, who am I kidding?  Yes, I am always going through the process of “getting there” in the patience arena.  But, if God asks us to be patient and calm, then, it MUST be possible!

Here’s a story that sealed this deal for me not many years ago.  I heard a preacher talking about how we as believers tend to “go off” most often on those we love most.  For instance, we can be yelling and screaming at the kids and suddenly the doorbell rings.  (You know the rest.)  We open the door, smile sweetly at the Kirby salesman or our pastor, and say, “Well, hello! It’s so nice to see you! We’re just here reading a book and having a wonderful day! Won’t you come on in and have a cup of tea?”

Ugh.  What a crock! I’ve so been there.  And this story does prove the point.  It IS possible.  When we CHOOSE to, it’s possible to be calm.  Patient. Kind.  All of it! And knowing we can do all things through Him who gives us strength can help produce the willpower we need to go the way of peace.

Let me end with one of my favorite quotes by Amy Carmichael:  “A cup brimful of sweetness cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, no matter how suddenly jarred.”

Lord, fill my cup full of the sweet stuff.  And help me keep the cup right side up!

Jennifer 🙂



October 6 – The Keeping Quilt

Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.  Proverbs 10:12 MSG

One of my favorite children’s books is entitled “The Keeping Quilt” written by Patricia Polacco. The story centers around a special quilt made by a Russian woman who migrates to America that will help her and her family remember their home country.   Throughout four generations, the quilt is used as a tablecloth, a huppa (a wedding canopy) and welcomes new babies.

The quilt in this story is the perfect picture for our proverb.

Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye. It can be so easy to see someone else’s mistake while our own mistakes are piled to the sky. My latest response to a fuss between some of our children was this: “Would you still care about being right if your sister or brother weren’t here? Would you rather be right, or happy?”

I think this line of thinking could easily sum up Jesus’ whole mission statement while on earth.  If I really dig deep, I know there’s a way to see God’s love covering not only my wrongs, but other’s wrongs, too. Thank God that love can be right, no matter what we’ve done wrong. 

Love is the “keeping quilt.” Keep it close and it can cover any offense!

Jennifer 🙂