Hide and Seek

“Who can hide in secret places that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24

As a kid, did you play hide and seek with your friends or siblings? How fun was it to try and fool them and remain hidden the longest! We cannot hide from God, though we may try. I admit… I have hoped, a time or two, that God would look the other way when I strayed from where I should be. But, as His Word says, He fills up heaven and earth, so He is everywhere.

When we are tempted to sin, it is actually a relief to know that He sees everything. It is a good thing that we cannot hide from God, nor can we hide anything we do from Him. He always sees us, because He is always there, caring for us. I have often said that I feel like God is our cheerleader. He is on the sidelines encouraging us to do our best and when we fail, He still cheers for us to get back up and try again. He tells us we can do the impossible with Him.

Whether the sin be pride or selfishness or any matter of the soul that no one else can see, God sees it. It is something to be thankful for. We do not have to play a game to find Him. We just need to seek Him in prayer and He always comes.

Dear Lord- You are so perfectly what I need. Thank You for always watching me and cheering me on. Knowing You are doing so with Your merciful eyes and loving heart, makes me know You love me. Please help friends and loved ones who are going through trials. Won’t you please show me how I can make a difference at this holiday time, for them? Make me their cheerleader. You are the best and I love You so much! Amen

With love from our Father who is our greatest cheerleader and Father, have a wonderful day! Happy New Year to you! With many blessings, Tina

My Favorite Comforter

Cat, Domestic Animal, Sleep

In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comfort delights my soul. Psalm 94:19

Do you have a favorite comforter that you snuggle in, say for movies? Maybe you had a hard day and at the end of the day you look forward to relaxing in the comfort of your favorite blanket on the sofa? Our favorite things are things that are tried and true and work for us. They comfort us like a friend. The dog’s blanket or a towel or a coat won’t do when I am stressed or tired. As old as I am, I still like my own, soft, warm, comforting blanket to relax in.

In the same way, we can relax in Jesus’ arms. He is our greatest comforter! Always available before we even seek Him, He is ready to meet our needs. We can go to Him at any time and get the rest and comfort we need. All it takes is a word from us and we have His comfort at our right hand. His comfort is special and spiritual and soothes the soul. His warmth penetrates our hurts and stress and, if we let Him, He takes them from us. He replaces them with hope and love. Is there anything more comforting than His love? Nope!

We can call on God’s own Son! Does that thought blow your mind? It does mine. I can talk to the creator of the universe and His only beloved Son…and He hears and answers me!!! He does the same for anyone who calls on His name. It is that simple and that amazing. Just say His name…Jesus…and revel in the warmth it brings. Jesus is my favorite comforter!

Dear Jesus, Thank You for being there for me, even before I realize I need You. What a joy to know I can call on You and You will comfort me. Your grace and mercy to me are much appreciated. As I try to do the best I can here on earth, help me to do my best for YOU. You can call on me, count on me to do Your will. Remind me to use the comfort You give me to comfort others. I just love you so much! Amen.

With love from our Father, have a wonderful day and week. When you wrap up in a comforter or blanket next, remember the best comforter ever, Jesus. Love, Tina

Take Five

Sun, Five, Dawn, Sunset, Girl, Hand, Hat

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Good morning! I thought we would try something new! I don’t know about you, but I find that I need verses in the morning to set my focus for the day. God guides us with His righteous right hand, so how about we apply His Word to our hand, one finger at a time? It will be like giving God a high five for His Word that sustains us! I think this will help me and I hope you get benefit from it too!

A- (thumb)All to You I surrender

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. Psalm 25:10

B-(pointer finger)Be my guide today

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

C- (middle finger) Create in me a clean heart

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

D- (ring finger)Do not let me be anxious

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:10

E- (pinky) Encourage me to encourage others

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Romans 15:2

Dear Lord,

Please help me with Your Holy Spirit, to submit all to You and follow Your commandments. Thank You for being my constant help. Create in me a clean heart. This is something I cannot do myself. When I am afraid, remind me that I am listening to someone other than You. Encourage me to encourage others. Help me to see things from another’s perspective and be sensitive to their needs and meet them as You would have me do. I ask these things because I love You and need You and desire to serve You. Amen

With love from our awesome Father to you, may you have a blessed day and week. In the busyness, remember how much God loves you. Love, Tina

On the Way to Forever

Old man climbing heaven's stairs.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 KJV

I came down to my office with a heavy urging to have God help me write something that matters, something that will encourage you and myself, too, something from the Word of God. Just saying those three words…Word of God…how blessed are we to have that resource of truth and hope?! Not only that, but we can have the Word and hope inside us, with us, every second of every day!

As humans, we forget that we are totally provided for and supported by God, especially when the enemy tempts us to fix things ourselves. We need to remember that God is our fix! We should also remember that our current sufferings are just that, current. They will not last forever!

We are on our way to forever and we need to suffer a bit, perhaps to appreciate God’s strength, Jesus’ teaching and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It is too much for our brains to figure out all the whys of this world or life, but God has it all planned. Since we are on our way to forever, we can trust the One who made the forever plan!

Thank you for reading! I pray to the Father that you have a great day and holiday week and you feel the joy and hope of Jesus in your heart for now and always. He was born just for us! Love, Tina

Light Came to Earth

Crown Of Thorns, Jesus, Crucifixion

Today is a poetry day! I was thinking of the Christmas story when I wrote this. Jesus’ birthday is coming up and I just want to marvel in the purpose of His life. He had one purpose…to do God’s will. Isn’t that amazing? He did not come to accomplish one thing for Himself. It was all for us. I hope you know Jesus and also still marvel at His light that changed our world and hearts forever.

Light Came to Earth

Light came to earth by virgin birth, salvation to fulfill.

He took His place. Our Jesus graced a cross, died on a hill.

Death could not stand against God’s plan, so breath and life returned.

God’s success was Jesus’ best, the dark of death was spurned!

Now Jesus lives and longs to give, says, “Please abide in me.”

His birthday’s near, good cause to cheer for all eternity!!

Copyright © 2021 Christina Crute

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for loving me and saving me. Never let me forget all that You did for me, because God wanted You to. Thank You for obeying our Father and help me to do that, too. I love You so much! Amen

With love from our Father to you,

Have a beautiful day and make someone else’s day beautiful, too!

TIna

It’s Time to Praise Him!

Folks, I have been absent a bit and have missed writing. You know how life hits you hard and it kind of stops you in your tracks? Yeah, that happened to us this last month. However…no matter what is going on in our lives, what emotions, doubts or insecurities we may face…it is ALWAYS time to praise the Lord! Why? He has never failed us yet! He always hears us! He loves us! He has a plan for us! He died for us!

So…on that note….

This is a poem I wrote while looking out my office window at a mountain. Mountains always make me think of Jesus and Mt. Calvary. It was just a hill, but oh, what a mountain of clove was spilled there!

My office window frames a scene
scene of peaks with purple hue
hue that brings to mind your mount
Mount Calvary, I love you true.

Upon your hill, the world was changed
changed when Jesus paid sin’s due
due to grace spilled on your mount
Mount Calvary, I love you true.

I long to see you, mountain friend
friend that quaked as mercy grew
grew by volumes on your mount
Mount Calvary, I love you true.

copyright © 2021 Christina Crute

Dear Jesus,

Looking at a beautiful mountain makes me think of the hill you died on. But then You lived again and still do! Thank You for what You did for me that day, before I even knew I needed YouThere are millions of thank-yous I owe You. Please see inside my heart and know how grateful I am. Your birthday is coming up. What can I do for You to show how much I love You? Please bless all my friends and family and church with Your loving care as we navigate a tough time in our country. Help us to still be like You, even more so and love others as You love us. Amen

Friends, have a wonderful Lord’s Day! With love from the Father to you…

Tina

Momma’s Songs

Good morning! Here’s a poem you may enjoy if you grew up on gospel music. I wrote this a few days ago, about my Mom who played and sang gospel music to me for years. She is in heaven now, but I am grateful for her!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_20211126_214703580-1.jpg

Momma’s Songs
I gaze upon the sunshine in the sky
and wonder where it went in eighty-two.
The day my Momma died, it disappeared
and left me in the dark without a clue.

For solace, I began to sing her songs,
for Jesus songs were ones that she adored
and as the notes fell from these lips of mine,
I felt her teaching me about her Lord.

Through her piano keys, she played her part
with melodies that mothered eighteen years.
I now remember every gospel tune.
Each lyric echoes lessons in my ears.

I didn’t know that she would leave that soon
and felt so unprepared to be so strong,
But God knew everything and had a plan
for me to grow up leaning on her songs.

Of course I wish my Momma was still here,
but I can’t fault the Lord for anything,
for if I want the sun to shine again,
He tells me all I have to do is sing.

copyright 2021 Christina Crute

I hope you all have a great day in the Lord, praising Him and singing songs:)

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25

Tina

We Need Each Other

Sunset, Men, Silhouettes, Helping

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13

Friendships are such an important part of life. They sew, or bind, us together into one unit. It’s so important that we love each other so much that we consider what others need physically, but also spiritually. One thing we all need in our Christian walk is a good example of a Jesus follower. When we are having a hard time and feel our strength is gone, we may see someone else under seemingly unbearable circumstances, praising God for His goodness and plan. That gives hope!

Sometime we are the person seeing that example and gaining hope from it, but sometime we are the person that IS the example. Someone is looking at us and wondering how we press on, happily, praising God. Isn’t it wonderful, that in a trial, that we have the opportunity to praise God and show others why we can still sing of His goodness? Only with God, can we navigate trials with hope. He has everything under control! I am so thankful for people in my church that have shown me what hope looks like, by leaning on Him with joy. They show me that God can sustain, always!

I love these lyrics by Brian Littrell, who wrote the song, “In Christ Alone.”

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

From God, to the cross, to us, we do have the power source of hope! May you have a blessed day of friendship and hope!

Your friend,

Tina

A Higher Perspective

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

Yesterday, my daughter made her final selection for a wedding dress! Beautiful day in all ways for family and friends. To cap off the experience, we went to lunch all together in downtown Roanoke. As we walked out of the restaurant, my husband and I decided to continue walking. We saw grand, old architecture, art galleries, vintage shops, bookstores, the farmer’s market and more. The sun was shining and all was right in our world:)

Not exactly…We also saw the not-so-beautiful parts of the city. We saw a few people, homeless, who looked worse for the wear. We heard people yelling at each other. One young man approached us for money, saying he had been kicked out of the mission for fighting. We do not carry cash usually, so we were not a big help to him. It sort of shocked me how young he was. With him on my mind and heart, we continued walking.

John wanted ice cream and funny thing…he just happened to know a place! (I think he scoped it out before we even left the restaurant!) We went to an ice cream shop and enjoyed a brownie-batter cone. Even better than that cone, was talking to the worker there. She was so kind while we waited in line, that she reminded me of my sister-in-law, Suzy. She even looked a bit like her! You know me…I had to tell her that, and we started talking.

She was a sis in Christ! Somehow we got on the subject of the Rescue Mission and she told me that she and her sister, during the worst of Covid, helped to make 7,000 sandwiches for the homeless. I told her how we loved to buy underwear and socks for the Rescue Mission. Not quite as grand as making thousands of sandwiches, but we had a common bond! What a gift to meet her! Thank you, Lord!

That’s crazy! Her selflessness! While many others, meaning myself, were hibernating and enjoying the germ-free interior of my house, she was dong something completely different, serving others. Why? Because someone had to, she said. She had broken her leg last year and still had a lot of pain in walking. She wasn’t working , as the shop closed down for a couple months. She had these excuses NOT to think of anyone else but herself, but she didn’t.

She had a higher perspective than I did! She had a purpose, to make good come out of a tough situation. As we left the shop and walked up on the pedestrian bridge over the old railroad, the view from the bridge caught my attention! (The picture in this devo is from that bridge.) I had a higher perspective there! I could see the beautiful mountains in the distance! Although there were lots of shadows and tracks and gravel and old construction materials below us, the mountains were there, too!

I was reminded that, here on earth, we have the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful. Sometimes we fail to see the beautiful in a tough situation. Our trials are like the shadows that threaten to take away our view of God. There is often lots of stuff going on around us and we lose perspective. But the good news is, the Lord can give us a higher perspective! He makes us see Him more clearly, His will more clearly, the beautiful more clearly! Isn’t He awesome?

Dear Father,

Thank You for showing me what my perspective can be with You, through meeting the homeless teen, the ice cream shop worker and the view of the mountains You made. As I do not always pay attention, nudge me to see the higher view, a view above my own on earth. Help me to see what YOU see, all the opportunity to see and think and act outside of our own circumstances. You are so great and loving and I want to be more like You as I grow up. I love You so much! Amen

With the love of the Father to you, have a great day!

Christina

Filled To Overflowing

Water, Hands, Abundance, Cold, Full

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV

Yesterday we talked about being connected to Jesus. Being connected to Him brings fruit that benefits others and glorifies God. It makes sense and I get it, but something about that connection mystifies me still. I do not get how Jesus can put more love in our hearts than we can handle. When we fully accept our need for Him, in humility knowing we can do nothing without Him, we are in the perfect place to accept as much love as He can give…and that’s a lot!

Love is the fertilizer for much growth. And boy does Jesus fill our hearts with love! He does not just give US love, but He gives us unending love that spills out to others. It cannot be contained and why would we try to do that anyway? Sometimes my heart feels so full that I literally stop and ask Him, “What do I do with all this passion for You and others? How do I control it?”

He tells me, “Keep doing what You are doing. Lean on me. I will show You as I show You.”

What a wonderful joy that comes from knowing we can do something to please Him and glorify the Father! We are self-centered and imperfect but He can still use us, when we use His love. All we have to do is reach up with our hands and hearts out to receive more of Him. On that note… I wrote this little poem just now.

Overflow

Connected by a bond beyond what words can tell,

My Savior’s love for me, like an ocean made to swell.

It would be impossible to keep it to myself.

I have to spill out now and love above all else.

Jesus works that way and fills our hearts completely,

So much, we overflow to those who are most needy.

Take my hands, my mouth, my feet, God’s glory to fulfill.

Make all of me a tool of love that’s sharpened for Your will.

©2021Christina Crute

May you have a blessed day and a heart full of love from our generous Savior and God!

Christina