Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Gift

We hold tightly with both hands to this life. Whether it's because we don’t want to miss a thing or we are afraid to let go, neither is beneficial to us.

We want to live the way WE want to live and we want to do the things we want to do in the way we want to do them. This isn’t just evidenced by the “Me Generation” but through the generations. It is natural to want things our way. After all who knows better than we what is best for us?

We wander this path called life with the shortsighted, tunnel vision of a sheep. Ignoring bright trails that branch off of our easy path we miss out on the best of life because we have not given all of our life to Him to whom it belongs.

Those who keep their life will lose it, those who lose their life, for my sake will keep it. Luke 9:24

This Christmas why not give yourself a gift by giving away yourself completely to God? Give Him your life, soul, heart, wants, emotions, health, expectations, hopes, love, pain, future, past, present. Give Him every thought, plan, deed, word, need and watch what He will do with it. This does not mean neglecting yourself. You must, with the wisdom He provides, care for yourself in every area so that you will be available for His use and blessing.

Lay yourself at the foot of the manger this Christmas and quietly wait for the joy that is sure to come.

I am ready to lose my life. To give all of it to God so that He might be glorified. This Christmas I can give myself a gift that will, I expect, enrich my life beyond what I could ever imagine.

I wish you all a joy filled Christmas and a year of blessing from our loving Lord.

Merry Christmas
Mary Bell-Foster

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What to do? How to go on?

When the ground is shaken and scorched and burned what can you do but wait on God to repair and bring renewed life?

On this anniversary of 9-11 my thoughts are on healing.

We tend to mourn our losses, for days, weeks, months or years wishing for what cannot be. But if we stop and turn that mourning into gratitude for what we’ve had then the possibilities for a life of happiness, purpose and joy are boundless.

Yes, we have all lost loved ones or at least they’ve gone on ahead as the old timers say. We’ve lost; dreams, faith in mankind, direction, health, love, homes, jobs, etc…. But if we think of all we have because of those blessings then we should not despair but have faith that God will continue, in His goodness, to bless and direct us. If we feel lost and alone all we need to do is seek Him. He has the answer and He knows exactly what we need for every such moment in our lives.

May today be a new beginning for each of us.

God bless.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

We Are Accountable

Jeremiah 17:5-10 NIV

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream, it’s leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

”I the lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

We must be careful what we set our hearts on. Is my focus on what God wants for me or on gaining wealth and possessions? Things only give pleasure for awhile then they lose their appeal.

I am taking inventory of what consumes my thoughts and energies. I must put God first or nothing else will matter. If I am not in God’s will, living as I know He wants, then nothing I do is for good. It will not bear fruit for God’s kingdom and that is what I want.

My heart longs to be closer to God but knowing me I know that I am easily distracted. If I allow distractions and ignore the Lord my days will be filled with useless things. Knowing I must answer to Him I pray that He will keep me on track, in His will and help me to change what I am doing.

Sometimes life takes over and while we are busy just surviving what is being thrown at us we get off track and begin living for ourselves instead of God. It is during those times that my work suffers both housework and writing. It is also during those times that I slip back into the habit of filling hours with shopping and buying things I don’t need. Oh, they are always on sale or clearance. But buying at 50 to 90% off when I don’t really need those things is still a waste of money. Also I must consider the time I waste. Running the roads, alone, keeps me from focusing on the Lord and what He wants in my life.

I must be honest with God, he already knows my heart. He knows what is on my mind. He knows if I am honest, deceitful, hurting, grieving, floundering, etc... Being honest with God and with myself is very important to becoming the person He wants me to be.

Father, forgive me for letting things get in the way of my relationship with you. Forgive me for neglecting you and for letting my work suffer also. Cleanse and heal me I pray so that I may be of use to You. Keep me on your path Lord and use me in some small way for Your glory. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How Can I Deal With Bad Changes?

I’m wondering today, “How did our world change so quickly and for the worse?” Much of what has happened to America started fifty years ago, when I was too young to even know changes were coming.

It would be easy to get distracted by thoughts of what ifs, but I would rather think about what I can do today to make a difference in my world.

Prayer is the key; as I seek God’s will in my life and His blessings and protection for my family I continue in; prayer for His leading in the lives of governing officials, causing them to do what is right in God’s eyes. Prayer for all illegal aliens in this country and those trying to cross the borders of America; that God would save them from sin and use them for His glory both here and in their home lands. Prayer for our elderly; that the people of our country would give them the honor they deserve and allow them the dignity of living a life of peace and fulfillment without fear. Prayer for His ministers over all the earth, that they and their families would be protected and that God would bless their work for Him and use them for His glory. Praying in Jesus name that He may be glorified.

I must keep an open heart and be in constant communication with God so that I don’t miss an opportunity to encourage or help others who may be worried or living in fear because of the economy and the lack of caring of our government officials.

There is hope for America and it begins with God.

2Chronicles 7:14 …if my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven. I will forgive their sins and heal their land.

God’s promises never fail. God never fails. If things are bad we must look to ourselves for the problem and to God for the solution. Let us stand and be counted among the faithful of God.

If more bad change is coming, if we are about to lose our freedoms as Christians, if the end is near then we must pray continually and choose to trust God in all things. May God bless you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today I am reminded of God’s abundant love for us.

While reading my Bible study, “Fresh Brewed Life” by Nichole Johnson, I was struck by the realization that the thing that keeps me from thriving in life is fear. I realized that fear of being unable to shine for Him often holds me back and this also causes other fears to rear their ugly heads.

Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being all I can be, fear of not being enough; etc….. It is strange that this happens, for I KNOW that God is in control of my life. I know that He deserves so much more of me and yet I allow fear to invade and hold me back.

Today I ask God to remove every fear from my life except my fear/awe of Him.

May our God richly bless you as you serve where you are.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why Wait?

God has everything we need and yet we wait, sometimes until the very last moment, to ask for help. We wait until we’ve exhausted every other resource, all our ideas, every other option before seeking Him.

Our God is a gracious God. He watches us, cares for us, loves us and provides for our every need. And yet, He allows us to try it on our own first. Very often, but for the prayers of our parents, grandparents, friends, spouses, siblings and children we would be out of luck simply because we did not ask.

Matthew 7:7 says; you receive not because you ask not…

James 4:3 says; When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

So, I assume that if I am not receiving what I want either my motives are wrong or I have not asked. I long to pray with other warriors, agreeing, for God’s intervention in our land.

May God rule with His mighty hand, may His love sustain us, may His presence guide and protect us. May we be His completely and speak to everyone of His love and abiding faithfulness.

Families, I challenge you to pray together for our nation to return to God. Ask the Father to control our government and cause them to do what is right. Pray for all Christians to be strong in faith and outspoken about God’s love and faithfulness. Seek Him in all things and praise His name all day long.
God bless.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Goodbye Regrets!

If I like who I am, how can I regret the choices I’ve made?

The main characters in Nicholas Sparks’ “The Last Song” find, through their journey that the choices they made shaped who they are. What I have to decide is, if this is true. (Wonderful book!)

And if it is true, since I do like who I am, why should I allow regret to hold me back? I’ve heard it said, “Don’t look back.” But a certain amount of looking back can help us discern where we are and if we are still on track. Looking back can also help us see where our bad choices have allowed us to grow.

Yesterday I decided I will no longer allow regret to hold me captive as it has in the past. Stopping to look and lingering over disappointments or dashed dreams does me no good. If I don’t allow myself some humanity, human failings, and extend the grace to myself to make & recover from mistakes then I will never accomplish the great things I could and I am not able to minister/witness as I should.

So, no more regrets. Oh, I’m not happy that I’ve failed so often but I will allow myself to learn from those things and, move on already! Being held back is so stifling. It stops the creative flow, steals joy, hinders our Christian witness, builds a wall between us & God as well as between us and our family members and is a waste of time.

I am thankful that God put people in my life that He can use to bring me a message. Becky, Carol, Cathy, Shirley, Stacy & Linda share; books, Bible study, thoughts and prayers, give hugs and encouragement……I could go on and on.

Thank You, Lord, for putting Christian women in my life, friends & family who help me as I grow. Bless each one in a special way today and always. In Jesus name, amen.