Welcome to my Devotional Blog

I’m a contributing author of Jesus Talked to Me Today and the recently released Seeking His Presence: 30 Devotions Featuring the Timeless Art of Warner Sallman. I am also a devotion writer for Warner Press, and I love reading the Bible and pondering its truths.

I also like sharing the treasures I find there with my readers.

In this blog . . .

Though I aim to write short devotions that bring scriptural insights to everyday life, I may not always succeed in communicating well. I pray God accepts my humble offering and glorifies his name in my attempts. He’s so good at that.  

I also comment on Bible resources you might find useful, and I share updates on other projects I’m working on as well. 

As a wife, mother, grandmother, foster parent and care provider for children, youth and adults, I’ve observed enough people in my life to know the importance of clear communication. When that special level of understanding is reached, it satisfies something deep in us, like the refreshing that a cool drink brings on a hot day.

So let’s dive in. I’m delighted we can share these moments together.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.”

John 4:13-15 ESV

It’s easy to follow this blog

Sign up below to follow my blog and receive my posts in your inbox. They’ll come your way next time I publish one, and if you change your mind, unsubscribing is easy. You’ll find a link at the bottom of each email.

Happy reading!

Power in Small Things – Isaiah 55:10-11

Seeking His Presence: 30 Devotions Featuring the Timeless Art of Warner Sallman, is available at Warner Press and on Amazon.com.

My second book was released in September 2022 but since I’d taken a break from my writing I failed to make a big to-do about it.

Seeking His Presence: 30 Devotions Featuring the Timeless Art of Warner Sallman makes an excellent gift book with its historic art that will be familiar to people from many denominations. His Head of Christ, the artist’s most well-known work (*see publisher’s note below), hung in my family’s home through most of my childhood, reminding me daily that Jesus is with me.

My contribution to the book is related to Mr. Sallman’s rendition of the morning of the resurrection. In it I explore the depths of the women’s grief as they approach the tomb to care for their dead rabbi’s body moments before their mind-boggling encounter.

If you’d like more book release hoopla you can watch my publishing announcement video on my Facebook Writer page. It will also be pinned for a time to the top of the feed on my personal profile.

My first assignment as a devotional writer involved creating an uplifting scriptural meditation in 150 words or less (Thankfully, in Seeking His Presence I was given a higher word count). I soon lost track of the thousands of words I cut during the process, much like I did as I attacked the weeds in our flower bed last spring, my head down and arms flailing.

This before photo shows weeds that were higher than my head.

If you read my last post , where I mentioned my intent to try managing pain by strengthening my back, you might remember how wimpy my early attempts were. Sitting on a low stool to turn the soil and pull the weeds, I could only clear a small patch of ground inches at a time before requiring a break. A small beginning indeed.

I kept at it, however, and soon found myself able to increase my workload. That meant other tasks had to be laid aside, including my writing, which explains why I neglected to announce the release of Seeking His Presence and to fulfill my self-challenge to post daily updates about my progress. Isn’t it true that in all work there’s the need to let some things go? In our work yes, but not in God’s.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV
This after photo shows a row of healthy tomato plants, space for the next planting, and no weeds.

A trowel is pushed into the earth and a garden is born, or a pinch of seeds is sprinkled and sprouts lift their heads. Dirt gets pressed down over the tubers and blooms appear. That’s idealist talk, I know, but even when life doesn’t always happen in my garden as I hope, the time and effort I invest works wonders in me.

What God speaks always brings the outcome he expects. How delightful that he enables me to share his words with others and often allows me to see fruit from it.

*Quote from the publisher of Seeking His Presence, taken from its Amazon listing: Artist Warner Sallman’s Head of Christ is likely the most widely recognized image of Jesus in the world, reproduced hundreds of millions of times in various forms all over the globe. It has brought comfort in war zones, on death beds, and in everyday trials. Art has great power, and Sallman’s art speaks to us in a language only our souls can comprehend. For the first time, thirty of Sallman’s best loved works―from Christ at Heart’s Door and Head of Christ to The Lord is My Shepherd and Christ, Our Pilot―are paired with meaningful devotions that speak to the message behind each painting.

Starting My Garden With a Little Faith -Romans 12:3

I got a late start on my garden this year. You might say five years late. That’s about how long it has been since I gave up working hard because of my bad back. But there are new things happening now, after years of different therapies and such that I’ve tried.

And today, after removing weeds bit by bit and preparing a small space for the off chance I might be able to maintain a few plants, there are beans and tomatoes and dahlias growing in my flower beds.

Which has helped me get a little stronger. And increased strength has motivated me to tackle the entire flower bed, which has also encouraged me to adopt more plants and tubers to stretch myself even further.

Today’s photo is of a sprig from a bean plant reaching for the sun.

Here’s a closer shot. See it there, crawling up the wire? In today’s Verse of the Day, which I receive in my email, we are admonished to assess ourselves reasonably. The little bean seed wasn’t likely aware that the result of its growing and struggling and reaching would have an impact on feeding a couple of hungry humans. It’s just doing what God assigned it to do. And what I’m trying to help it accomplish.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

Romans 12:3 ESV

And also today, I realize that what started with what I thought might be my last solo date to the dahlia farm last Fall (driving was excruciating) and potentially wasting money ordering five lovely tubers that I might not be able to maintain, is an expression of my faith. In taking that step, I expressed hope that months later I might reach a new level of strength and productivity, and have beautiful flowers to bring into my home.

It’s okay to reach, to struggle, to try. And then rest and reach again. But if you’re worried you might think of yourself “more highly” than you ought, I suggest you visit the scriptures more frequently. That can definitely help keep things in proper perspective.

This month my goal is publishing a blog post every weekday from the Verse of the Day. Think I’ll succeed? I’m flexing my muscles and getting ready. May we both be blessed by God’s words.

Here’s where you can sign up to receive the Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway

Running a Better Race – Hebrews 12:1-3

There is no shame in starting something and not being able to finish it. That’s what I told myself when I decided to learn how to write for publication at what I thought was an advanced age. I didn’t know what my writing path would look like – I just knew I wanted to approach it with gusto.

It’s been a wonderful journey. The writing and publishing professionals I’ve worked with have enriched my life in many ways, and I thank God that he has made himself known through our efforts.

Recently, however, my trail took a turn that had made it clear that in order to proceed I needed to put some of my projects aside.

As I mentioned on the Story Night podcast which is linked in an earlier post, I have a book nearing completion. It brought me finalist status in the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade contest. Editors from three different publishing houses asked to see it when finished.

But now the book is on the shelf, and it may never be finished.

One of my favorite photos of Colby, my sister-in-law, shows her perched on a narrow mountain path overlooking a deep canyon. The trail demands climbers stay focused as they move along single file. When one wants to pass another, both parties keep a grip on the chain with one hand at all times.

Colby said she trained for months before making the climb, knowing that accomplishing it would be worth the effort.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV

At this time I don’t feel I’m targeted by hostile forces, as the verses in Hebrews 12 mention. My struggle is with chronic pain associated with joint issues in multiple sites. In order to run my life race on the course marked out for me, I must lighten my load.

And like my sister-in-law was thankful for the chain anchored on the side of the mountain, I appreciate the limitations that inform me of where my boundaries are. I just pray I remain faithful, and not become weary or fainthearted, that I might continue to work with what God gives me.

While reading Paul’s letters to the believers at Philippi and Colossae this week, I came to the realization that the apostle suffered difficulties in his life’s work, too. Being chained in prison surely wasn’t part of his ideal plan. He planned to take more trips to strengthen the believers in the churches he oversaw, but he was detained.

And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received from the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Colossians 4:16-18 ESV

Perhaps, if Paul hadn’t been restrained in prison, he wouldn’t have written the letters that teach and encourage believers even today. His limitations helped build my faith.

Let’s also remember each other’s chains, and pray for each other. And may we not release our grip unless it’s to help us run a better race, or until we’re secure on the other side.

To help with your study of the Bible, here’s a link to Biblegateway.com’s Bible reading plans.