Taking Up My Cross . . . Daily

Scripture for the day:  Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’”

I read a very powerful message yesterday about the price that was paid for me at Calvary.  1 Corinthians 6:20 says “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

I am feeling the full weight of this scripture today, and my desire is to take up my cross and follow my Lord.  The hard part is to deny self.  There’s always that little “me first” voice in my head, demanding things be done my way, not God’s way.

May I strive to live just today remembering the price that was paid for me.  May I remember that my life doesn’t belong to me.  It belongs to Christ.  For just a few minutes, may I reflect on what that means and then carry it with me as I go about my day.  May I deny self and seek to glorify God.

Song for the day:  “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken”


“Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave, and follow Thee;

Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou, from hence, my all shall be;

Perish every fond ambition, all I’ve sought or hoped or known;

Yet how rich is my condition:  God and heav’n are still my own!”

Let the word despise and leave me, They have left my Savior, too;

Human hearts and looks deceive me, Thou art not, like man, untrue;

And, while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love, and might,

Foes may hate, and friends may shun me:  Show Thy face, and all is bright.

Haste thee on from grace to glory, armed by faith, and winged by prayer;

Heav’n’s eternal days before thee, God’s own hand shall guide thee there;

Soon shall close thy earthly mission, swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;

Hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.”


What a beautiful hymn of praise and dedication!  It is my song for today.


Even Me

Scripture for the day:  Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”

The great commission.  All who call upon the name of Jesus are commissioned into His army to do His work.  We all have a job to do.

I am thinking of an NFL quarterback named Tim Tebow.  He is an amazing young man who boldly speaks the name of Christ.  In all arenas, to all audiences.  He doesn’t seem to get the message about being politically correct and not offending, and I applaud him for that.  He is a role model for many aspiring athletes, and he has a national spotlight.

I have none of that.  I am just a humble housewife in a small town in OK.  And yet I have a job to do!  It matters to God and to His kingdom if I do my job.  I am the only one called to do my job.  Tim Tebow can’t do what I can do, just as I can’t fill his shoes.

And so today I am about my Father’s business.  I am doing what He has called me to do.  I do it with great humility and great joy, for I am a part of His team.  It doesn’t get any better than that, as Tim Tebow well knows.  His NFL days are numbered, but his service to Christ is everlasting.  How amazing is our God and His plan for our lives.  I humbly serve Him today.

 Song for the day:  “A Strange Way to Save the World” by 4Him


God chose Mary to give birth to His Son.  He chose Joseph to be His father.  Jesus came as a humble person, of lowly estate, not as a king with riches and a throne.  God has chosen me, too!  I am a simple person, no special gifts or attributes, and yet He can use me!  I must be faithful to Him today in all He calls me to do, and I thank Him for the opportunity!

Strangers at my Door

Scripture for the day:  Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven, for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

My mother grew up in the 1920’s.  Times were hard.  Men were out of work, unable to provide basic necessities for their families.  My mother talked about hobos coming to their door asking for food.  My grandmother always had a pot of beans on the stove and leftover biscuits or cornbread, so she would invite them in to sit at the kitchen table and eat.  Sometimes they would ask to do odd jobs to repay her kindness, and there were always plenty of things to be done.

My mother made the best lemon meringue pie, and she said the recipe was from one of the hobos that came to their door.  I never remember her telling me that one of the men stole from their family or disrespected them in any way.  I’m sure they were unshaven with a disheveled look about them, but they were never turned away.

How would I react if someone looking like that showed up at my door?  Would I let them in?  Probably not.  Would I feed them?  Maybe.  At the kitchen table?  Probably not.  But what about the scripture from Matthew?

How do I apply that to my life today?  My mother never locked her door.  She was never afraid.  How different from the way I live and feel.  I am not trusting of strangers.  I am suspicious of the unknown.  Too much evening news about all the bad things that go on in my world?  Or is it because I have never truly been in need.  I have never been hungry, without food or a means to get it.  I have never been without a place to sleep.

Has my heart grown cold?  Am I uncaring, unable to walk in another’s shoes, feel their pain and desperation?  I truly don’t know.  I pray that I am a child of God, full of compassion and love for my fellow-man, but perhaps I am selective.  The answer troubles me today.

Song for the day:  “Above All” by Michael W. Smith




Laid behind a stone

You lived to die

Rejected and alone

Like a rose

Trampled on the ground

You took the fall

And thought of me . . . Above all

Look what Christ did for me.  Help me to die to self and to live to His glory.

If That Isn’t Love . . .

Scripture for the day:  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

I’ve had some sad times in my life, some hard times, and a few times when I simply felt like giving up.

I had no idea that I would receive a call from my mother saying my daddy was clinging to life in a Tulsa hospital and probably wouldn’t be alive when I got there.  I had no idea that I would be diagnosed with cancer.  I’ve dealt with depression and days when I felt everything was hopeless.  But I had no knowledge that any of those things would happen.  They just occurred and I dealt with them as best I could.

Jesus knew he was leaving His Father to face death on a cross.  He knew He would be sinless but bear the sins of the world.  My sins.  Yours.  And yet He obeyed and set an example that I can never hope to attain.  I’m glad I didn’t know my father was going to die when I was 23.  I’m glad I didn’t know I would face the diagnosis of cancer.  Had I known, I would have lived my life in fear and despair.  God knew this, and He also knows about tomorrow.  He can handle it; I could not.

So today I give thanks for Jesus who knew what He was going to face on earth but came anyway.  He was obedient so that salvation could be mine.  He gave up His life, and I give Him praise, honor and glory today.

Song for the day:  “If That Isn’t Love”


Jesus left the splendor of heaven to face death on a cross for me.

If that isn’t love . . .

By and By

Scripture for the day:  Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:”


God has a plan.  For Him there are no surprises.  He knows what I will do today because He planned it.

I marvel at the beauty of the life He has created for me.  I had a blessed childhood, full of wonder and love.  I grew under the watchful eye of my parents according to God’s plan.  I became a young adult and had children of my own.  What a glorious time that was, and I treasure the memories.

I am in the final season of my life now, the autumn years.  I still feel young on the inside, but my body is aging.  I am unable to do many of the things I used to do, and so things must be done for me or left undone.  My prayer is for grace to accept this new season.  May I be grateful for those who are willing to help.  May I not be critical of their response to my need and may God grant me patience.  He has guided me thus far.  May He simply guide me home.

I am so grateful that I am still worthy in His eyes.  The world may see me as old and a burden, but God sees potential in me.  He gives my life purpose!  May I work diligently for Him until he takes me home.


Song for the day:  “When the Morning Comes”


“Trials dark on every hand, and we cannot understand all the ways that God would lead us to that blessed promised land; but He’ll guide us with His eye, and we’ll follow till we die; we will understand it better by and by.”



Scripture for the day:  2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

My husband and I built our home about 35 years ago.  It was a labor of love for both of us, and it has served us well.  We worked together as a team, and maybe that was my favorite part.  He built and I painted, stained and decorated.

I stained all of the woodwork and then put shellac on the pieces.  He thinned the shellac so that I applied a very thin coat.  I would then rub it with fine steel wool and repeat the process, over and over and over.  The result was a warm patina, a soft glow from the wood, with the grain and individuality of each piece showing through.  It was a slow process but we were both pleased with the result.

The nice thing about a shellac finish is that it can be repaired.  If the wood becomes gouged or marred, you can start over, repeating the process until it is like new.

Our lives are much like the trim in our home.  They can be “finished” the world’s way: quick, easy, “my” way; or they can be “finished” God’s way:  slow, painstaking, deliberate.  I prefer to let God work on the trim in my life.  He can take all the imperfections, scars, and ugliness and make them disappear.

When I accepted Christ, my sins were rubbed away.  The trim in my life was made new, the old sins forgiven, gone.  Sometimes my trim still gets messed up, and the process has to be repeated.  Through the application of God’s word and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, the trim can be rubbed smooth once more so that the Light can shine.

I much prefer God’s way.

Song for the day:  “All Things New” by Steven Curtis Chapman

Lighthouses Don’t Blow Horns

Scripture for the day:  John 20:31 “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”


I believe in Christ and by believing I have eternal life.  How do I live this earthly life to prepare me for eternal life?  I found two quotes by D.L. Moody that were meaningful to me.  The first, “Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can!”  The second, “A holy life will produce the deepest impression.  Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine.”  My prayer today is that I will completely surrender my life and let God use me as He sees fit.  It has been my experience that He is much more capable than I am in anything.  I surrender all to Him.  My second prayer is that I will not blow my own horn but let God’s light shine through me to illuminate all the darkness around me.


Song for the day:  “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”


“…fill me with life anew that I may love what thou dost love and do what thou wouldst do.”  That is a mighty tall order but that is my prayer.  Lord, help me to see others through your eyes, love with your love and respond in your grace.


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