Shelters and Shields

The baby contentedly chews on colorful balls, rings, and crunchy baby books, and occasionally toddles along inside edges of the expert-approved plastic fencing. A safe area for baby. He’s protected, but doesn’t always view life that way. When he feels the need to ‘break out’ he makes his desire known. Quite clearly.

On the outside looking in stands the dog who wants a piece of the action, primarily one of those ball. He makes his desire known. Also quite clearly. But baby toys and dog toys are not interchangeable, no matter what the dog says.

God is like a Holy Barrier. He provides a safe haven within his boundaries while protecting us from that which threatens or harms.

“He will shelter you with his wings; you will find safety under his wings. His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall,” Psalms 91:4

“The one true God acts in a faithful manner; the Lord’s promise is reliable; he is a shield to all who take shelter in him,” 2 Samuel 22:31

But we often don’t recognize life that way, even as Christians. We may feel confined like we’re being forced to practice narrow-mindedness, intolerance, and anything but genuine love and compassion. At least how the world defines it. But the Bible tells us:

“. . . the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful,” James 5:11b

“Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6

“And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. GOD IS LOVE, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him,” 1 John 4:16

“But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him,” 1 John 2:5

“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth,” 1 John 3:18

“Will you choose to accept and live within God’s protection?

“Dear Sweet Lord, let me never view your boundaries as lack of freedom, but as opportunity to flourish. Thank you, Amen.”

Living Satisfied within the Savior’s Secure Shelter, PJ

copyright 2017 PJGover

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Do You Suffer From EA?

We. Lost. Broadband. Because we bundle services, satellite, internet and the land line, all vanished in the snap of a finger. Misery ensued. Cold, clammy, sweaty, pale. Couldn’t catch my breath. I quickly realized I suffered from EA – Electronic Addiction. Fortunately, I still had my cell phone, the electronic equivalent of methadone. It provided just enough of the ‘good stuff’ to avoid going over the edge.

So sometimes why am I not terribly bothered when I miss Bible reading or prayer time? I catch the Bible verse on the refrigerator magnet and shoot “arrow” prayers – help me find a parking space, please heal so-and-so, thankyoubabyjesus – heavenward, and somehow call it “time with God.” I don’t set out to neglect my Lord and Savior, but that’s exactly what I do. I’m not a bad person. Am I?

Just maybe I’m a lazy Christian – good intentions, even knowledge of right, but no follow through.

“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me,” Galatians 2:20.

If this is true, and I believe it is, then why do I treat my Christian faith with casual ease? And where do I go from here?

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect,” Romans 12:1-2

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it,” Psalm 37:5

After twenty-four hours, all services popped on with great sighs of grateful relief escaping my mouth. But once again, I willingly entered co-dependency with electronics. Will I depend on God, the Almighty, Sovereign of the Universe, even half as much from now on? What about you?

“Dear Lord, Let me walk in freedom from all that drags me away from you. Thank you, Jesus, Amen.”

Daily Depending on the Divine Triune God, PJ

copyright 2017 PJGover

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Have you spiritually decluttered?

Traveling inspires me. When I return sometimes I yearn to drag out canvas and acrylics or tap out deep thought on the computer. Other times I aim to start a new exercise regime or jump into healthier eating. But this trip was different. After six days and five nights trekking cobblestone streets, meandering through historic homes, and wolfing down fishy delights on the balmy shores of Charleston, SC I realized how little I actually need day-to-day. One suitcase, one purse, albeit stuffed, and I’m good to go.

So on the plane ride home my mind latched onto those articles. You know the ones where you grab three containers – keep, donate, trash – before scouring each room or those that encourage keeping only what brings joy. The idea is to pare down possessions and pump up emotions or it is declutter and clear your mind?

But what about my spiritual self? The world is a quagmire of cluttered and conflicted beliefs. Up is down, white is black, and true is false, or so we’re told through political, entertainment, and sports celebs and talking heads. Our souls strive to survive polluted waters of society and global change, but we’re barely holding outstretched faces above crashing waves.

How do Christians stay afloat?

What about tossing the excess and holding fast to the essentials?

Return from your spiritual travels!

“He (God) only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken,” Psalm 62:6

Return to His way!

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma,” Ephesians 5:1-2

Return to Jesus!

“…the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him,” 1 John 4:9

And return to lasting joy!

“Majestic splendor emanates from him, he is the source of strength and joy,” 1 Chronicles 16:27

“Holy Faithful Father, lead me on simple paths along still waters to grow strong and unwavering in your sight each day. Thank you, Amen.”

Be encouraged! What do you think?

Spiritually Simplifying with the Savior’s Touch, PJ

copyright 2017 PJGover

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The Roadrunner and the Snake

In the cool of early morning with steam rising from the rich pecan praline brew, I lounged on the back porch glider when a Roadrunner rushed into view. They grow up to two feet long and one foot high, surprisingly large. Even more startling was the three-foot snake dangling from its beak which was either playing ‘possum or had already make the journey into snake purgatory. I wasn’t checking. The bird paused, jerked his head side to side, and I held my breath. Did I have time to snap a shot? Would I scare it off if I tried? Can it really be this close? This would be an amazing pic.

But in mere seconds it scurried across the flagstone, under the barbwire, and into the northern fields. The moment gone. Nothing to verify my experience except my word in the sharing.

As Christians we have amazing God moments. But we can’t take a photo so we may begin to minimize and question. Can God have worked that out? Can he really be as good as it seems? Did he actually answer my prayer? As time passes our encounter may seem less real because we can’t hold a tangible as proof.

If you maximize these moments and readily share, then rejoice. For the rest of us we can start with remembering our God moments. Then refuse to let amazement shift into apathy or surprise melt into cynicism. And don’t let joy drift out of reach. Shout alleluia! Share with another. Stay amazed.

“And the Lord said, “I will make all my goodness pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name before you…” Exodus 33:19

“For here he is! He formed the mountains and created the wind. He reveals his plans to men. He turns the dawn into darkness and marches on the heights of the earth. The Lord, the God who commands armies, is his name!” Amos 4:13

(God says) “I will commit myself to you forever; I will commit myself to you in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and tender compassion. I will commit myself to you in faithfulness; then you will acknowledge the Lord,” Hosea 2:19-20

“Dear Holy Almighty Father of all, let me never forget. Thank you. Amen.”

Will you recognize God moments, record them on the tablet of your heart, and relate it to others?

Shouting and Sharing our God, PJ

copyright 2017 PJGover

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Happy Resurrection Sunday!

he is risen

He Is Risen.



“For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there,'” Matthew 28:5-7

“. . . truly this was the Son of God,” Matthew 27:54


Amen and Amen.

“Dear Holy God, through your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, let me accept his life with humility of heart, His death with sorrow over sin, and His resurrection with joy in a transformed life. Now and forevermore. Thank you, Amen.”

Celebrating Jesus, PJ

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Where Do You See God?

On the wings of spring breezes, cotton candy puffs raced by the front window. Their urgency ushered in, no doubt, by a warm southern front. Blue skies served as back-drop, the earth’s green carpeting offered an anchor, and soaring specs of avian counterparts brought perspective.

I saw three running horses, a little boy grasping an old-fashioned pogo stick, a dinosaur head with open mouth, the edge of a flying saucer, a resting camel, superman with a Scotty terrier riding his back, a mad beaver ready to gnaw tasty logs, a snow cone, the underbelly of a shark, a polar bear, sleeping giants, lobster with outstretched claws, a curled-up lizard, three-headed dragon, prancing ponies, and a raccoon toting a lunch basket.

So, are cloud formations simply by-products of weather systems? Is what I spied a result of imagination or a celestial Rorschach test that reveals more about my little blonde brain than anything else? Or did God create the natural world to bring delight with its shapes, colors, textures, and variety?

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Genesis 1:1

God is Creator; the natural world displays His strength, power, and beauty.

“The heavens belong to you, as does the earth. You made the world and all it contains,” Psalm 89:11

On this Palm Sunday I will remember His majesty and His design for humankind through the blessed sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I will join heaven and earth in praise for all that he is and all that He does as we enter Easter week.

“Let the heavens and the earth praise him …” Psalm 69:34

“O Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your reputation (Name) throughout the earth! You reveal your majesty in the heavens above!” Psalm 8:1

“Dear Holy God, let me not only stand in awe of your sovereign majesty as I drink in the artistry of your creation, but also nudge me toward others so that I  may point to your handiwork as evidence of your presence. And forevermore place the name of Jesus on my lips. Thank you, Amen.”

What do you see in the clouds?

Praising God, PJ

copyright 2017 PJGover

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Do You Matter to God?

It happened again. Yep, we got another flat tire, except this was caused by an embedded nail and not a utility knife blade. Whatever the  source, the result was the same. The damaged tire was exchanged for its mini-me, and we limped into Big D via an altered, and lengthier, route. Something so little mattered so much.

We may feel ‘so little’, as if we don’t matter. No one cares about our opinions, our words, our lives, or so we think. Our internal pain shoots up, and we shut down, withdraw, and make our emotional footprint as tiny as possible.

But God says otherwise. You do matter. Not as an irritating nail, but as beloved of the Lord God Almighty! Look at these verses:

“The Lord sustains me,” Psalm 3:3

“The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping,” Psalm 6:8

“Because He (the Lord) is at my right hand, I will not be shaken,” Psalm 16:8

“The Lord is my strength … my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,” Psalm 18:1, 2

“I relied completely on the Lord, and he turned toward me and heard my cry for help. He lifted me out of the watery pit, out of the slimy mud. He placed my feet on a rock and gave me secure footing,” Psalm 40:1, 2

“God’s loyal love protects me all day long!” Psalm 52:1

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God, and such we are,” 1 John 1:1

AND God uses you to make a difference. Consider light that pierces the darkness from the flickering of a single candle, the illuminated numbers of a microwave or clock, or even the glimmer from a cell phone. Their brightness provides a clear path through pitch-black spaces. You can too.

“nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house,” Matthew 15:5

YOU DO MATTER! How will you view yourself differently this week and how will you make a difference?

“Dear Lord, help me see myself in the beautiful, valuable way you do and act accordingly. Thank you, In the Name of Jesus, Amen.”

“By God’s power we will conquer,” Psalm 60:12

Mattering to God and Others, PJ

copyright 2017 PJGover



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