"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Corinthians 12:9b

Monday, September 30, 2013

Look at the Birds - September 30, 2013


We have moved to a new website!  The same weekly devotionals and Verse for the Day, plus a new blog and information about my book, Land of My Dreams, scheduled for release in March 2013!


“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:26, 27

Swinging precariously in the snowy wind, the little bird clung tenaciously to the suet feeder—his source of sustenance in the bitter cold. He had no fear of the swinging height of the feeder, or of the wind. He had no concern about finding food even though everything was buried under a blanket of snow.
I watched him for hours. Every time I looked out the window I would see him going from feeder to feeder trying both suet and seed. Only the blue-jays scared him away. Yet even then, he only relinquished his place for a time, retreating to the snowy patio and going back to the feeders when the bigger birds disappeared.
Even though I know God is sovereign, completely in control of even the things I consider to be problems or hindrances, I don’t rest in Him the way that little bird does. I worry and get upset, I talk to people about problems and possible solutions more than I pray about them. I don’t rest in Him the way I should. I know He will never leave me or forsake me, but I don’t act like it.
I counsel people to put their trust in God, but I fail as often as many of them do. One of the things I desire the most is to trust Him more fully with the circumstances He allows.
The little bird feeding away as the feeder sways back and forth is not swaying in his trust. He goes with the wind, unafraid that it might dash him onto the rocks below, not questioning whether the source of his sustenance will be there tomorrow. He knows no fear.
Whatever disturbs my rest the most I choose today to lay it at the feet of Jesus. I leave it there, knowing that worrying will add not a single hour to my life, but it can subtract a few. Like the birds of the air, I must trust God to provide all I need moment by moment.

© Copyright, by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, December 14, 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Use only by permission of the author.

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 30, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living - 
"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions." Proverbs 10:12 NIV

We have moved to a new website! The same weekly devotionals and Verse for the Day, plus a new blog and information about my book, Land of My Dreams, scheduled for release in March 2013!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Two Fathers - In Memory of My Daddy - September 29, 2013

We have moved to a new website. Please visit us at 
http://www,normagail.com!

On September 29, 1995 my dad went fly fishing with a dear friend on the Quality Waters of the San Juan River in northern New Mexico. He went, in the words of my son, “from fishing on that river in Farmington, to fishing on the river in heaven.” Ezekiel 47:9-10a says, of the river that flows from God’s throne, as in Revelation 21, “Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore…”
I like to think of him fishing on that river. As Christians, we do no grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We will meet again, “on that beautiful shore.” I love you, Daddy!

When I was very little and afraid of the storm,
My father would hold me, so I felt safe and warm.
Silly songs, funny stories, and wild games we would play—
The fun and his love chased the bad things away.
The lightning and thunder were never so bad
When I was held safe in the arms of my dad.
As I grew older and the problems grew more large,
The gentle, patients answers still came straight from his heart.
There was no more important thing he ever had to do
Than take time to show— the important thing was you.
He never gave anyone less than his best,
No matter what the need was, his commitment stood the test.
When lightning struck our house one night,
Shattering the darkness with its brilliant light—
Hobbling on crutches from a broken leg,
He soon had us laughing from the jokes that he made.
Once certain that all would soon be well—
He soon had another great story to tell.
Many things set my father apart,
Not the least of which was his great, loving heart.
People who came to my father in need
Always left knowing they had a friend indeed.
He did much to further the Father’s plan
By the generosity of his giant hands.
My father rose each morning to meet with his Lord.
He loved Him and served Him and cherished His word.
He was a man of great strength—yet gentle and kind
Because he loved the Lord Jesus with heart, soul, and mind.
He would say that if anything set him apart,
It was the presence of the Savior, who lived in his heart.
Then the lightning once again appeared,
Something all in the family but my father feared.
He, rather than seeing something to fear—
Said it showed the protection of God very clear.
For all in the house were both safe and sound
And only slight damage to the house was found.
As the years passed by, the family grew,
The son-in-laws came, and the grandchildren, too.
Each one he loved in a unique special way,
And faithfully, for each one, he daily would pray—
Upon our family, God’s blessings were poured,
Because each day my father spent time with his Lord.
It could have been just a regular day,
But our heavenly Father didn’t see it that way.
A man going fishing—just and ordinary man—
But our heavenly Father had another plan.
Ordinary things, when you live for the Lord,
Can often have bearing on eternal reward.
Once more, God’s lightning entered our lives,
And on fiery wings, bore my father home, through the skies.
The look on his face showed amazement, they said,
And confirmed for us all that he was not really dead.
He had gotten his first glimpse of his heavenly home,
And he knew that our Lord would not leave us alone.
The lessons that he taught us through the life that he lived;
And the Lord that he gave all the love he could give;
Are still here inside us—though he’s gone from our sight
Across that wide river— the River of Life.
He’s sitting there watching—he knows we will come;
And from his side, it really won’t be very long.
If we could just see—each event in our lives—
Is meant just to show us, God is loving and wise.
The traits that I loved in my father, you see,
Are all of the things God will be—just for me.
And so when I long for Daddy’s face—just to see,
I’ll look up to heaven—where two fathers wait for me.
Written June 14, 1996.  In loving memory of my daddy, Lyle E. Thurston, who died when he was struck by lightning while fly-fishing on the San Juan River, in the “Quality Waters” below Navajo Dam near Farmington, New Mexico on September 29, 1995.
Copyright, 2001, Norma Gail Thurston Holtman.  All Rights Reserved.

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 29, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants." Psalm 116:15 NIV

We have moved to a new website! The same weekly devotionals and Verse for the Day, plus a new blog and information about my book, Land of My Dreams, scheduled for release in March 2013!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 28, 2013

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." 
Galatians 6:9 NIV

Friday, September 27, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 27, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living - 
"Each one of us will give an account of himself to God." Romans 14:12 NIV

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 26, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living - 
"What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8 NIV

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 25, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living - 
"Be strong and let  your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24 NIV

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 24, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living - 
"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127:3-5 NIV

Monday, September 23, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 23, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living - 
"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Psalm 42:5 NIV

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - September 23, 2013


“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain…I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:4, 14a

What has grown out of a lifelong fascination with the human body is an overwhelming awe of God. How someone could think the human body gradually evolved from some primordial slime is beyond comprehension.
            Whether assisting with the birth of a child, caring for someone as they heal from a terrible accident or illness, or standing at a death bed, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Read Genesis 2 and imagine the Creator God kneeling, kneading and molding as He “…formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Psalm 139 says, “…you knit me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place…your eyes saw my unformed body.”
            I recently heard of a young man with terrible birth defects who came to know the Lord as his Savior when he heard those words and realized God made him just as he was meant to be for God’s purposes.
            As I stand in an Intensive Care Unit and watch the different indicators on the monitor, I measure how much man knows about the human body, yet truly how much more is incomprehensible. Conception, birth, healing, and death are cause for great wonder. God created something so marvelous, with such wonderful physical and mental capabilities.
            When you feel as if God is far from you, or question His existence, think on the loving care He took when He made you. You are a unique creation, different from anyone who ever lived or ever will live. God is never finished with us here on this earth. If you choose to follow Him, He will continue working to make you like Him throughout your life.
            What God is doing may be too lofty for you to comprehend, but you can trust Him to make all things right when you know that He, Himself, formed you for a special purpose. Seek Him and trust Him with all your heart.


See Nick Vujicic - http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=W5mbldTkruM&feature=share

© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. 
 All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 22, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." Matthew 8:26
NIV

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 21, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living - 
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ..." Titus 2:11-13 NIV

Friday, September 20, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 20, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4 NIV

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 19, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers." Psalm 37:1 NIV

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 18, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise." Ephesians 1:13 NIV

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 17, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us." Philippians 3:17 NIV

Monday, September 16, 2013

No Fear - September 16, 2013

Watch for our new website coming soon!  
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6
               “Make them stop! I can’t see where we’re going!” The ride to the top of the wooden rollercoaster in Elitch Gardens in Denver provided a breath-taking view. When we started down the first descent, I couldn’t breathe at all. My glasses flew over my head. I was certain I was going to die without seeing what killed me. I spent the entire ride yelling, “Stop!”
                I am about as blind as can be without my glasses. The thought of being left helpless is frightening. Whenever I peer over the edge of a mountain cliff or bridge, my hand instinctively goes to my glasses. When something lies ahead, but we can’t see it coming, it’s a frightening feeling.
               Joseph had no idea what lay ahead as he lay in the cistern, wondering why his brothers hated him, fearing he would die, knowing his father would grieve. It is usually a blessing not to be able to see the future. However, we would miss out on many experiences, and spend our lives in fear if we knew what was ahead.
               Spiritual blindness is just as frightening as physical blindness. However, we can gain spiritual insight through daily time reading the Bible, so that we know the One who does know the future. When we have confidence that God is in control, we have no need to fear. The present may be full of trial and uncertainty, but God is holding us with His everlasting arms.
               I can remember my blind grandmother holding the handrail and counting the hallways which led to my grandfather’s room in the nursing home. I never remember a word of fear from her. She spent her days by his side, usually with her crochet in hand, making potholders so she had something to give to people.
              As Christians we have something to give to people who are spiritually blind, insight into the mind and heart of God, hope based on our understanding of His love. We are to trust Him with all of our hearts, so we must become acquainted with His heart. When we know Him, He is able to make our path straight.
              Life is full of uncertainty. It can strike fear in our hearts, but with spiritual insight we have no need to fear. God will make our paths straight.

© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved.

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 16, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty." Proverbs 28:19 NIV

Sunday, September 15, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 15, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted."
Psalms 89:15-16 NIV

Saturday, September 14, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 14, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"As for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, 'You are my God.'" Psalm 31:14 NIV

Friday, September 13, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 13, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19 NIV

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 12, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." Mark 11:22-24 NIV

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 11, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:15 NIV

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 10, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Each of us will give an account of himself before God." Romans 14:12 NIV



Monday, September 9, 2013

Are There Squirrels in Your House? - September 9, 2013


“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.”
Proverbs 22:28

It could have been a catastrophic mistake. I failed to close the screen door of our mountain home. When my husband came in several hours later he saw the door open and a big squirrel sitting on the door step.

Of course I have been teased mercilessly. I’m constantly telling people to close the doors or we’ll have squirrels in the house. Fortunately the curious little fellow did not come in and neither did any of his friends.

I’ve heard stories of the terrible way squirrels wreak havoc in people’s homes. They’re very wily and difficult to catch. They chew things and steal things and make a mess of everything.
Screen doors serve as boundaries to protect us from a lot of pests and varmints. Without them we couldn’t enjoy the fresh breeze bringing in the wonderful scents of our mountain surroundings free from the worry of unwanted visitors. In the same way, God’s word places boundaries in our lives, providing us with the protection we need from things that have the power to destroy our lives robbing us of the blessings of obedience.

Just as I warn my family of the dangers of squirrels in the house, God’s word reminds us of the dangers of allowing things like unclean thoughts, wrong attitudes, bad habits and temptations of the enemy into our lives. The enemy sneaks in when we remove God’s boundaries and whispers things like, “Just this once won’t hurt,” and “If you’re careful no one will find out.” Those little lapses become habits and one day someone discovers the havoc in our private life and everything we have worked for is in jeopardy.\

It is necessary for me to hide the word of God in my heart on a daily basis so sins don’t creep in and destroy all I’ve been blessed with. I hear His voice warning me to keep the boundaries where He set them. I don’t want those bad habits creeping in any more than I want squirrels in my house.
Vow today to close any doors in your life that allow bad habits to enter in. When you keep the boundaries where God set them you will see His blessings.

© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved.

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 9, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
“O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His loving-kindness is everlasting.” 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 8, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day." 2 Timothy 1:12 NIV

Saturday, September 7, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 7, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." John 5:14-15 NIV

Friday, September 6, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 6, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving-kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments." Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Great reading for your mid-school aged readers! Check it out!

ttp://www.eddiejones.org/skull-creek-stakeout-chapter-one/
www.amazon.com/dp/0310723906/ ...

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 5, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another." Ephesians 4:25 NIV

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 4, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 3, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. " Matthew 11:28 NIV

Monday, September 2, 2013

2MefromHim Weekly Devotional - September 2, 2013


Rewards of Persistence

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones,
who cry out to him day and night?”
Luke 18:7a
 
Thud, thud, thud, the noise went on for hours. After listening in various areas of our kitchen and great room, I discovered the source. A young robin sat in the redbud tree right outside the window. Every few minutes he would launch himself off the branch and straight into the window, head first.

As the afternoon sun hit the west-facing window, he would stop. The glare on the window seemed to drive him away, but the next morning he was back. Thud, thud, thud.

People at a local bird specialty shop suggested covering the window with something dark and uninviting, since the bird must find something inside the window attractive. Armed with a stool, newspaper, and tape, I proceeded to cover the window, but as soon as the tape let loose, the little robin began his incessant head-banging again. For weeks, I kept replacing the paper each time it came loose, and at last the young bird learned his lesson and moved on.

What an object lesson in the dangers of persistently pursuing potentially dangerous activities despite the peril. Some people are more prone to addictive and dangerous behaviors than others, but all of us, at one time or another, have pursued something that was not in our best interests.

In Romans 1, Paul reveals God’s condemnation for those who not only persist in sinful behavior, but approve of those who practice such activities. The punishment is for God to refuse to speak to them any longer and allow them to continue in their sinful actions to their detriment.

However, the Bible speaks of another kind of persistence which is rewarded with blessing. We will be blessed when we do not grow weary and discouraged in pleading for justice. The widow who went day after day to beg for mercy and justice from a judge, who refused to give in, was rewarded when he became tired of her and gave in to get her to leave him alone. Her persistence paid off in justice, even though the judge’s motives were wrong.

What do you crave that is causing you to act in ways that are harmful? Are you as persistent in pursuing righteous ends as you are in pursuing sinful ends?

When you determine to persist in holy and not harmful activities, God will bless your efforts.

© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved.

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 2, 2013

Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living -
"In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:8 NIV

Sunday, September 1, 2013

2MefromHim Verse for the Day - September 1, 2013

“My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6 NIV