Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Laying in my bed over the last year, I often felt alone and isolated, even separated from God. With my paralysis and the limited use of my arms and hands, I couldn’t hold a book and soon found myself watching TV and sleeping all day. Friends called and some visited. Many sent lovely cards with words of encouragement. (I still look forward to mail call).

Then in the early days of spring when I still couldn’t get out and I was desperate for fellowship I received the best gift ever, a laptop computer. My husband, Earl, set it up on a tilt table and with my head raised I typed using a rubber-tipped stick in a splint on my right hand.

The joy of writing in my journal again excited me. However, the first thing I did was open my email. A long time subscriber to the Upper Room online for my daily devotions I began reading them again, and God was right there waiting for me.

He continues to meet me via email every morning. I often read a devotion and find that I know the author. Have you considered receiving the Upper Room online? Do you know someone who would benefit from it?

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b NIV).

In Christ Alone,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nothing Before

When my nephew, Michael, was four years old, he asked his mother if he could call me. When we got on the telephone, he began to ask questions:

"Aunt Berta, you can use your one hand, right?"

"No, I can't use my one hand."

"Well, you can use the other hand can't you?"

"No Michael. I can't use my hands."

"Aunt Berta, when God heals you will you ride in my car?"

"Yes Michael. I will."

Then he asked, "Aunt Berta, did you have your accident a long, long time ago when I was a little bitty baby because I don't remember it?"

As I tried to explain to Michael that it happened before he was born, he couldn't understand. You see to him everything started when he was born and there was nothing before.

"Nothing before." It's that way with God. When you repent of your sins, die to self and give your life to Christ you are "born again" and God only sees your new self. Nothing before.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:10-12).

Jesus died for you that you might have eternal life. Gone are the sins of your past. Your future is

"In Christ Alone."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Story of Forgiveness

My father was abusive when I was growing up. When he died, I wasn’t going to attend his funeral but my husband, Earl, insisted I go. Before the service, I walked back and forth from a pew to Dad's open casket crying violently.

“Why didn't I ever tell him how much he hurt me!”

After his funeral, I felt purged of anger and hatred toward him.

I was wrong.

Thirteen years later Earl and I attended a marriage seminar called Steps to Setting Your Marriage Free in Christ (Neil T. Anderson). Going in, we each believed we had a good marital relationship. As we worked through the many issues raised, and as we prayed and asked God to show us the truth, we found ourselves discovering things about each other as well as identifying things within ourselves.

God revealed to me a lifetime of rage, anger, hurt and unforgiveness toward my earthly father. Until then I hadn’t realized how much Dad had harmed my emotions and my spirit. The tears came again, though not violently this time. They were cleansing, relieving, and Earl cried with me. We cried for how all my anger and hatred had tarnished our marriage for thirteen years. When I forgave Daddy that day I felt a peace I had never known before.

Often we don’t recognize the unforgiveness within us. We justify our attitudes. A part of making sure our life is clean and right before God has to do with forgiving other people.

Everything we do in life has eternal value that hinges on two things: loving God and loving others. It’s hard to forgive those who have hurt, offended, or mistreated us, but God wants us to love even our enemies and in the process of doing so He perfects us.

God wants you to move into all He has for you. But, if you don't forgive you're stuck where you are and shutting off God's work in your life. Forgiveness opens your heart and mind and allows the Holy Spirit to work freely in you. It releases you to love God more and feel His love in greater measure.

If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive them their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15).

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).

In Christ Alone,