Thursday, May 26, 2016


John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

John 6:39 This is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:45 It is written in the Prophets: They will all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.

Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with him and he with me.

All the Father gives me will come, no one can come unless the Father draws him…What does this mean? These verses show the sovereignty of God in drawing us to Jesus. We are unable to believe apart from God’s choosing us. John MacArthur says “Those taught by God to grasp the truth are also drawn by God the Father to embrace the Son.”

Think of the story of the Prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32) We will be welcomed as he was welcomed! The father ran to meet him and embraced him. Then he clothed him well and threw a party for him. The scripture says “whoever comes will be welcomed.” We will be treated like long lost children of the Father. We will be embraced and dwell with him.

These are the words of Jesus. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. When we hear his voice we open the door and he comes in and eats with us! This is amazing to think about. What kind of a meal that will be? What will he say? What will we talk about? It will be a feast of pure love.

We thank you for your sovereignty. We thank you that you are in charge, and all knowing, all powerful, and all loving and more. We thank you that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You are holy, holy, holy. You are the Way, the Truth and the Life. And you love us and draw us to yourself. You welcome us and embrace us like long lost children. We worship and praise you!

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Q.  I have days when I feel sad and depressed. When I get this way I don’t leave home and I accomplish very little. I don’t even answer my telephone. When I’m depressed I worry about myself and why I am the way I am. My self-esteem goes down and I feel like I’m in a deep pit and can’t get out. What’s wrong with me and how can I change?

A.  When we suffer a loss it is natural to be depressed and it is normal to go through a period of grieving. If there has been a major loss or trauma in your life, you will need to grieve over a period of months. See blog on normal grief here

Todays blog is not on the grieving type of depression but on normal every day bad moods. Most of us have bad days. We have days when we feel moody, sad or even out right depressed. The ways we handle our bad moods are often not effective; our solutions often add to our depression or even push us deeper into despair.
Diane Tice, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University, studied over four hundred men and women, asking them how they overcame the doldrums. She discovered from this study which strategies worked and which ones did not. Try these strategies the next time you feel sad or depressed:
1. Socialize. The most popular method for overcoming depression was to get out with other people. So, going out to eat, to a movie, visiting with friends or family can help.
2. Change your thoughts. When we’re depressed we’re apt to worry more and to view things negatively. Notice and stop negative thoughts. Automatic, repetitive, negative thoughts reinforce depression. These thoughts may operate just beneath awareness. Learning to notice these thoughts is the first step in stopping them. We may think for example, “It’s all my fault,” or “I never do anything right,” or “No one likes me.”
Learn to challenge the thoughts at the core or your worry. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Challenge your negative thoughts.  Often we’re very critical of ourselves when we’re depressed. Talk back to these thoughts. Is it true you never do anything right? Look for evidence to disprove this. List the things you’ve done well. 
3. Plan fun activities to distract you from your mood. Be careful to pick an upbeat movie rather than a depressing one; a happy friend to visit rather than someone who is also depressed.  
4. Exercise. Take a walk, go jogging, swim or ride a bike. Again, you may need to force yourself at first. Choose a type of exercise you enjoy and begin slowly. Exercise increases brain chemicals which naturally lift our mood. Aerobic exercise is one of the most effective ways to lift us out of a mild depression. The reason exercise works is that it puts the body into a high arousal state; the opposite state it is in when we’re depressed.
5. Give yourself treats or pleasures that soothe. Make pleasurable moments part of every day. Studies show that small happy moments contribute to our being happy.  Take time for the things that bring you pleasure. Relax with a cup of tea and a good book, go for a walk, watch a funny movie, have lunch with a friend. The most common pleasures people use are hot baths, eating favorite foods, listening to music, shopping and hugging someone.
6. Accomplish something. Do something that needs to be done. Taking action will counteract thoughts of worthlessness. Clean a closet, do the dishes, write a letter. You may need to force yourself to act. Once you do, your mood will improve. When we tackle a chore we’ve avoided or complete a minor task that needs to be done we feel successful, thus lifting our mood. Similarly, getting dressed and putting on make-up can help us feel better.
7. Look at your situation from a different point of view. For example, it’s natural to be upset and even depressed if you’ve lost your job. But what are the advantages of having lost your job? 
8. Who has it worse than you? Comparing our own problems with someone who is has more troubles can quickly help us count our blessings.
9. Help someone else. Helping someone in need distracts us from our own problems. It takes us out of our self-centered focus. It helps us see that others have problems, too. This is a very effective way to lift depression. Throwing yourself into helping others is an almost guaranteed cure for depression.
10. Pray. Praise God and count your blessings. When we’re depressed we’re apt to see everything negatively. Seeking God with a grateful heart helps us notice positive things we take for granted. Thank God for the sunshine, for loved ones, for food and shelter. Tice says that prayer “works for all moods, especially depression.”

Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will but my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God! Psalm 42:5

Blessings, Dottie


Thursday, May 12, 2016


This Sunday is the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church. Most Christians know that the birth of the church occurred on the day of Pentecost, but I suspect most Christians don’t know what Pentecost meant to the Jewish people at that time. Pentecost was a Jewish festival fifty days after Passover. Pentecost celebrated the giving of the law to Moses and two loaves were offered to God in gratitude for the harvest. The Jewish law required that no work be done on the day of Pentecost. Crowds of Jews gathered in Jerusalem from various countries to celebrate this Jewish festival.

At the Ascension Jesus ordered the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait. Just wait. Waiting is not easy for most of us but they obeyed. Scripture says:

“They all joined together constantly in prayer.” (Acts1:14)

There were 120 believers gathered together including the disciples, and other followers both men and women and Jesus brothers. They prayed for ten days! Perhaps this is a lesson to us that we need to pray more in order for the church to be in tune with and full of Holy Spirit power.

On the day of Pentecost the disciples were in the upper room praying. Scripture says:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4

Hearing the noise, a crowd gathered. Peter preached to the throng of people. He gave a powerful, convicting message explaining that Jesus was the Christ and was crucified, died and rose again. He was seen by many witnesses for forty days and then He ascended to the right hand of God and sent the promised Holy Spirit.

When the people heard Peter’s message, “they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off— for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 
(Acts 2:38-41)

Following this “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer….And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42, 2:47)

As a result of this small group of Holy Spirit empowered men and women, within a century half the then-known world came to Christ.

There is so much more in the first two chapters of Acts. Read all of it today; learn more and be inspired by the birthday of the Church. And vow to spend more time in prayer and in the Word.

Blessings, Dottie


Thursday, May 5, 2016


 Q. My first husband and I had an amiable joint parenting agreement. The children adjusted easily to spending time in both homes. Everything changed a year ago when my second husband’s job transferred him to another state. We lost a custody battle and had to move a long distance away without my children. I am devastated. How can stay involved with my children? 

A. Losing custody of children and becoming a long distance parent is an overwhelming experience for many mothers and fathers. Divorce often leaves parents hurt, depressed and angry and this is especially true if a custody battle occurs. The “losing” parent may be dealing with mixed emotions about the break up of the marriage as well as the loss of daily contact with their children. Some parents then lose touch with their children rather than make an effort to stay connected. 
This is a huge mistake. Children need two parents. They need to know you both care about them. They need to know that both parents will always be involved in their life. You are to be commended for wanting to find ways to stay connected.
The issues you raise parallel the experiences of Pamela Payne, author of Building a Bridge. Her book is full of information about how to overcome the pain of separation from your children and learn to accept these changes in your life. It’s also packed with ideas about how to stay in touch with your children in spite of the geographic distance between you.
Here are just a few of her ideas about keeping in touch with your children. 
·       Answering Machines: Payne says leave a message even when there’s no answer. “I was driving to work, thought about you and I smiled!  Thanks for the smile!  I love you!  Bye.” Or “The school papers you sent were great!  Just thinking about you!”
·       Address Books: Keep an address book with names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of your child’s other parent, extended family, friends, teachers, school, doctors, and dentists. Give your child an address book with information from both families. Encourage each child to call or write. Include in the Address book stamps and return address labels.
·       Books - Make a recording of you reading a book and send it to your child along with the book.  
·       Calendars - Make identical calendars for you and your child. Include on the calendars the dates you will be together and family birthdays. On page a day calendars you can write notes or write “I love you!”
·       Cameras - Encourage your child to take pictures of friends and activities and send copies to you. You should do the same and especially take lots of pictures of them while they’re visiting you. Give your children pictures of you for their rooms, and smaller ones to carry or to put up in their lockers at school. 
·       Same Time “Stuff”: Watch the same TV program or read the same magazine or book. Then you will have something interesting to talk about when you call.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Let’s remember all the long distance Mom’s especially. No matter what your age or where you live, honor your mother this Sunday! Call her and tell her you love her. She loves you very much.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you.” Proverbs 3:3 NIV

Blessings, Dottie

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

High and Lifted Up!

Scripture tells us that forty days after Jesus resurrection He ascended to heaven. This means that Ascension Day 2016 is this week on Thursday, May 5th. There are accounts of this in Luke and Acts.

The Scripture account in Luke 24:50-52 reports:

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continuously at the temple, praising God.

Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus met His disciples on the Mount of Olives. Imagine their excitement, believing that now Jesus would establish His kingdom on earth and fulfill the great promise the Jews had clung to for centuries. Christ would be king, not just of Israel but of the whole world. Then the moment was upon them; their beloved Jesus was with them. Acts 1:6-12 reports:

They asked Him,” Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times of dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood before them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

We need to take note today of this amazing event in history. Barclay says, “The Ascension was an absolute necessity. There had to be a final moment when Jesus was taken back to the glory that was his.” Barclay notes that the end of his resurrection appearances had to come to a definite end rather than just peter out. Also he says, “If Jesus was to give his followers certain proof that he had returned to glory the Ascension was absolutely necessary.”

There is much to ponder about this amazing event in history when Jesus
returned to glory. And He’s coming back!

Blessings, Dottie