About Me

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I love a new start, a clean slate you might say.  
New Year's day brings that for many people. 
 A resolution is made in hopes of profitable and enduring change.  
We resolve to lose weight, rekindle a friendship, write a book, learn a new language, the list goes on.  
What is a Resolution
According to the Oxford Dictionary
1. A firm decision to do or not to do something
2. The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter

Statistics prove, after three months, many lose steam and do not stick to their New Years resolution. 
 I have done this more times than I want to admit. 
I beat myself up for not finishing the work or achieving my goal (tweet this)  
I felt like I set myself up for failure.  I began to hate resolutions and myself.
That changed.
As a new Christian,  I stopped making New Years resolutions after I read Lamentations 3:22-24 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
     they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
   “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore, I will hope in him.”
I have a fresh start every morning.  
I don't have to wait for a new year to get a clean slate with God. 
 If I fail the previous day, He forgives me.  Scripture reminds me 

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence 2 Peter 1:3 ESV

Each morning I pray, "What do you have for your servant today?"
Many mornings He impresses upon my heart to stick with the daily routine.
Other mornings He places an activity or person upon my heart. I talk to Him all day. 
Whatever, the plan, I know that God is in me, empowering me to complete the work.  

I no longer make a yearly resolution,  I make a daily one.
I want to be like the Apostle PaulFor I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV

The Apostle Paul also stated in Philippians 3:10

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection

God's power is alive and at work in us, as believers.

We no longer need to set ourselves up for failure.
We have daily victory.

Will you join me in making this daily resolution to know nothing but Christ and live in the power He gives us? 
 Join the conversation.

Monday, December 19, 2016


Freedom can be found in a Christmas Carol. 
As a non-believer, I would sing carols without understanding the words. Once God shed His light into my heart and made me His, Chains of guilt shame and fear diminished. Why?
I believed the words of the songs announcing the Glory of the newborn King. Songs declaring freedom.
One of my favorite carols is O Holy Night.

 My favorite line in the song,

"Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother and in His name all oppression shall cease."

Jesus humbled Himself and entered the world to break every chain (Tweet this)
I was in chains.  Chains of self-doubt, worry and unbalanced expectations.

I saw myself as unlovable, worthless, without a purpose. 
Jesus changed me when I believed this truth.

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let's take a look at my favorite verse in O Holy Night and compare it to Scripture.

Chains Shall He break  

He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Psalm 107:14 NIV

I am your servant, LORD, I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains. Psalm 116:16 NIV

For the slave is our brother

 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant (slave), and coming in the likeness of men Philippians 2:7 NKJV

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother Mathew 12:50 NIV

For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source, That is why He is not ashamed to call them brothers Hebrews 2:11 ESV

and in His name all oppression shall cease

Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. Deuteronomy 26:7 ESV

From oppression and violence, He redeems their life... Psalm 72:14 ESV

I still get chills when I sing this song.

I remember the prophecy of Isaiah 61  concerning Jesus 

The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor Luke 4:18-19 NIV

Jesus declared that He is the fulfillment of prophecy. 

I envision people walking out of jail cells with no shackles, leaping for joy at their newfound freedom.
Heads lifted high to greet the sun instead of staring at their feet. Hearts that once craved love now possess complete acceptance in Christ who is Love.

As we celebrate His birth, let us never forget that He is the Messiah.  The promised one.
Emmanuel, God with us. 
The Creator confined Himself to the womb of the created, to deliver us. (Tweet this)
He is the only one who breaks chains, heals wounds, and sets the captives free from the bondage of sin.

My heart rejoices and I want to fall on my knees in reverence and worship.
Let's join the angels and praise the Holy one for all He has done for us.

What effect do Christmas carols have on you?
Join the conversation.

If you are going through a difficult time, don't go through it alone.  Contact me.  I will pray with you.  We can seek the face of Christ together.   godsfruit@juno.com

Monday, December 12, 2016


 I was told if I didn’t tell everyone about Jesus, that person could go to hell. I walked around in fear—invading the privacy of anyone who would listen to me.
“If a house was burning down you would run in and save the person—you have to tell everyone about Jesus or they will burn in Hell.” A friend said to me.
We would knock on complete stranger’s doors to impart our wisdom to them if they let us. 
My nose still hurts from all the doors slammed in my face. 
My friend Karen and I looked for people to witness to one Halloween night. We were in Karen’s car as we approached a group of teens.
“Do you know Jesus?” we said.
“I do, but I don’t know you” One boy responded as he walked away with all but one teen.
“If you were to die tonight would you go to Heaven?” Karen asked the remaining girl.
Her eyes widened and her mouth let out a scream as she ran away.
We were so scared we drove off and hid in a parking lot for over an hour. We thought the cops were after us.
What were we thinking approaching teens on Halloween? 
That girl probably thought we were going to kill her.
I had to rethink my witnessing approach.
Jesus said, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16).  I did not want anyone to be condemned so I had to tell them. Right?
God's number one commandment and expounded upon by Jesus, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mathew 22:37-38). I was not loving God or others by being rude and obnoxious—I acted out of fear. I repented. 
I’ve since found a balance. I listen to the Spirit—He guides me to those who He wants me to speak to. He also impresses on my heart the word I need to speak.
People will not go to hell because of me—I just lose the joy and reward of being used by God to further His kingdom. 
Paul the Apostle stated,  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. (1Corinthians 3:3-9)
What joy, we are co-workers with Christ. He doesn't need us but we have the honor and privilege to be His servant and join Him in expanding the Kingdom. There is nothing scary about that.
Have you witnessed out of fear? Have you encountered someone who does? Join the conversation.

Monday, November 21, 2016


The Spirit whispered to me as I stood in the emergency room. My grandmother fell and hit her head. Her confusion and lack of memory alarmed me enough to call the ambulance.
 While my grandmother was off for some tests,  I watched the hustle and bustle of the doctors and nurses attended to their patients.  I prayed and asked God to use me to bring hope to anyone that needed it. 
In the corner, stacking the gauze, towels, and other supplies was a volunteer.  She looked tired and worn.  The Lord impressed upon my heart to speak to her. 
"The doctors and nurses would be lost without you," I said as I tried to make eye contact.
She looked at me with confusion.  I repeated the statement.  "The doctors and nurses would be lost without you."  She gave me a shy smile. 
 Over the course of our short conversation, I learned that she volunteered a few nights a week after her day job.  I told her how much we appreciated the volunteers at the hospital.
“I have been to this emergency room with my grandmother
more times than I care to mention. Volunteers are the glue that holds this emergency room together. Thank you!”   She smiled.  
"Thank you for talking to me, you are the first person who has talked to me all day.  I was so very sad and angry, I felt like my life didn't matter.  I was going to go home and just cry.  You have made me so happy, Thank you again."
She told me that her grandmother took her last breath in this hospital and that is why she volunteers.
"God bless you," I said.
"He has, you took the time to talk to me." 
She turned and finished stocking the shelves.
God knew this women's loneliness.  
I've felt the same void in a room full of people at church. I usually don't feel lonely, but on this particular day, my heart was crushed after a breakup with someone I thought I would marry.  A dear woman sat with me.  I don't remember all we talked about, I remember how she made me feel. Loved and important.
God notices everything and everyone and wants to use us to reveal His love to them.
 I praised God for the opportunity to show someone the love of Christ.  May I always be ready to Listen to the Spirit.
My grandmother did have a concussion. My sisters and I showed her the love of Christ by singing to her and spending time with her as she healed.
Has God used someone in your life when you were lonely or sad? Has God used you to bring love and joy into a persons life?
Join the conversation.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


"I miss grampa," my son said with tears streaming down his face.
"I wish he never died"
My heart broke as my son sobbed and hugged his bear.
I missed him too.
I prayed and asked God to give me the words to say.
"I also miss grandma Colby, and Terry, and I know you must miss Sue."
My fourteen-year-old son has experienced much loss over the last few years. All followers of Jesus.
As I hugged my son the Spirit impressed upon my heart 2 Corinthians 5:8 where the Apostle Paul states,
Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
I thought to myself,
In the Lords presence, no one is dead. In fact, they are more alive than ever.
"Michael, Their bodies are in the ground, but their spirits are with Jesus. They are all more alive than ever. No cancer or Alzheimer's. "
I silently thanked God for giving me the words to say to my grieving son. I too was encouraged, picturing my loved ones walking and talking with Jesus.
"Do you think they are talking to each other?" my son said as he hugged his bear tighter.
"Yes, I bet grandma and Jesus are square-dancing."
"I still miss them, mom."
"It's ok to miss them, but they do not want us to fret because we will see them again."
"I can't wait to hug them and Jesus."
My son smiled and swirled his bear in the air, the bear danced.
Death will never have victory over a believer (tweet this)
Do you have a loved one in Heaven?  Share a fond memory. Join the conversation.

Friday, October 28, 2016


"I didn't know she was part of our congregation." My husband said as we left the church.
Hotdogs were fitting for our Fellowship Lunch as Wilma Briggs, All American Girls Professional Leauge baseball player, shared her story.
My son was riveted as Willie unfolded her history. Her dad taught her to  bat and field better than the boys. When she wasn't stealing bases she was milking cows.

Pictures and memorabilia were passed around as she gave details about the movie, A Leauge of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall.
"I'm in the scene when the credits roll," Wilma said.
Impressive. A movie star and Professional Baseball player. I thought to myself.
Wilma picked up the antique bat. "I led the league in home runs in 1953,"
So why hadn't I heard her story in the past?
You can find her short Television interview  here.
I gave Wilma a hug and thanked her for sharing her remarkable story.
Am I so caught up in my life that I am oblivious to my brothers and sisters in my church?

I do know a few fascinating people in my church, even if they didn't play Professional Baseball.
Jill came here from the Philippines a few years ago. She
speaks perfect English now and has learned to navigate the highways and byways of Rhode Island. She is a remarkable wife and mom.  She makes her curtains, and I look forward to her cooking at potluck dinners. She spearheaded a book collection drive to send books back to her homeland.  I learned that people in the  Philippines put up Christmas decorations in September . 
We have a security guard who works for Gillette Stadium. He stands shoulder to shoulder with professional ball players and famous singers. 
My congregation has many business owners, and a doctor for the State of Rhode Island. I wondered why this doctor would get up in the middle of service. He has the final say for hospitals to administer certain  life-saving shots.

Each person is fascinating. I want to make it a point to spend time with my brothers and sisters here on earth, Afterall, we will be spending eternity in Heaven with each other.
What fascinating people sit in the pew next to you?
Join the conversation.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


"She needs you to back off, she knows what she is doing. She is too afraid to say anything to you. She loves you and does not want to hurt your feelings."
 Lisa said to me as we discussed our mutual friend Mary and the upcoming Christmas Party.  My heart was broken. 
I was new to the church and wanted to make friends and get involved. I met a wonderful woman named Mary. She was sweet, kind, and had the gift of hospitality (sound familiar).

We decided to plan a Christmas get together at her house.  She was eager for me to help. Little did I know she did this every year and it was the highlight of many people's Christmas.  Being the zealous party planner that I am, wanting to fit in and carry my load I called her to offer ideas and assistance.  The next Sunday we spoke after Church.  The following week I called to say hi and discuss the details of the upcoming party.  She seemed hesitant of my ideas.  I was confused. 
 Are we planning this together?  I thought.   
After my phone conversation with Lisa, I realized that my motive was to be admired. I never inquired about Mary's talents and abilities, I just wanted to show off mine.
I picked up the bible and through tears of repentance, I read Philippians 1:9-11 NIV. 

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

As I prayed to have love and a delicate discernment is all situations, especially with Mary, God gave me the wisdom to call her and apologize.   
She apologized for not speaking with me first.
The party was wonderful.  We sang Christmas Carols, ate great food and thanked God for Jesus.  I understand why everyone looked forward to Mary's party.
Mary and I are still great friends. Lisa too. 
The evil one would have loved us to remain in the unspoken hurt and pain, putting an unseen wall between us. (Tweet This)
When love meets discernment, the fruit of God's glory and righteousness is revealed.
When did you need discernment?   
Join the conversation.

Friday, October 7, 2016


"My life's been on hold for 3 years" my exhausted friend said.  She cared of her elderly parents.
"Now that they are with Jesus I can continue my life, I loved taking care of them, I miss them, but now I can continue with my life."
Another friend stated,
"This  knee surgery put my life on hold for the least six weeks."
I made the same statement to myself as I stood in Trauma Unit one of Rhode Island Hospital. As machines beeped, doctors performed a tracheotomy behind me, and a woman coded in the next room, I stared at my sister laying on a cold metal table in a neck brace.
My sister needs me, I have to put my life on hold to take care of her.
Ninety minutes prior, she was rear ended by a pick up truck that fled the scene.
After examination, the doctor determined she had a small fracture in her neck.
The physicians did not know the extent of the damage.
Thoughts rushed through my head as I held my sisters hand.
How can I take care of her? My book, On Hold. Speaking, On Hold. Coffee with friends, On Hold. 
I felt guilty for thinking about myself and not my sister.
The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart, This IS your life, Your life is NOT on hold.  YOUR plans may be temporarily on hold. I am with you, guiding you and teaching you through this experience. You are here for a
reason. You are here to pray for your sister and others.
I began to pray for those around me. The man behind me now can breath.
The woman in the next room was saved by the electric paddles.
The scared family and friends in the waiting room. I told them I prayed for them, I saw an instant peace as their shoulders dropped and they smiled.
I was part of Gods plan through prayer. (tweet this)
Now, my sister is out of her neck brace and I am back to my schedule.
I thank God for the valuable lesson I learned that day and for allowing me to be part of His plan.
MY schedule may be altered but my life is never on hold.

Friday, September 23, 2016


“You just have to forgive yourself,” my friend told me.  I sinned against God and a close friend.
My heart broke.  I know God forgives, but forgiving myself?  Somehow that did not sit right in my spirit.  However, I would repeat the phrase to others when they felt the lack of forgiveness.

You just have to forgive yourself.
 What does this mean?  Is it biblical?
 Through prayer and study, the Lord revealed to me why my spirit was unsettled about the statement.

As a believer, I know sinning against God is inevitable.   Even the Apostle Paul confessed his struggle.
"For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing" Romans 7:19
What did the apostle Paul do when he encountered his own sin?
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"  Romans 7:24-25
He acknowledged his sin.
He acknowledged the need to be rescued from it.
He thanked God for Jesus' deliverance.

He did not forgive himself.
As I continued to study I heard these questions echo in my head.
Did you hang on the cross?
Was the sin of the world put on you?
Did you endure excruciating pain?
Are you God?
Tears filled my eyes as I exclaimed
“NO! NO! NO! NO!”
You did, Lord, You were the one.”
I remembered the following verses.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;”1 Peter 2:24
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people."  1 Timothy 2:5-6

Why do people say, “You must forgive yourself?”   In my case it was ignorance. I repeated what I learned. 
I claimed 1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But, I still felt tormented by the guilty feelings of sin. I sincerely repented, so why the angst?
A former pastor helped me to understand, "When we sin against God, it leaves a spiritual wound. The wound needs to heal. The feeling is the healing process. God is not condemning us."

I no longer say, "You must forgive yourself". I acknowledge my sin before God and claim His promises of forgiveness and acceptance.
I thank and praise God for the finished work of Christ on the
Cross.   I run into his arms and  receive the healing.  
 I would love to know what you think about this topic.
Have you ever told someone or yourself, "Forgive yourself?"
Join the conversation.