signed, sealed and delivered

that’s me   . . .  I have been purchased with a price, sealed for a purpose and am being delivered to my destiny even now.

PURCHASED (signed for)

“you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”  (1 Corinthians 6:20)

” . . . You (Jesus) were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”  (Revelation 5:9)


“and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”   (Ephesians 4:30)

”  . . .  Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory.”   (Ephesians 1:13-14)


“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;  . . .  I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”   (Psalm 18:2-3)

”  . . .  I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.”   (2 Timothy 12)

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you (and me) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”    (Philippians 1:6)

I am being delivered daily and will be delivered to the destiny my Heavenly Father is preparing for me.  I cannot get there on my own.  He is preparing my place, He is preparing the path ahead of me that I must travel to get there and He is walking that path with me, even carrying me at times when I am too weak to continue.  He is delivering me day by day.  He is my Deliverer.

“In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”  (John 14:2-3)

yes, I have been signed for, sealed and am in the process of being delivered.  But unlike a letter left to the care of the Post Office, which may or may not reach its intended destination, I am in the care of my Heavenly Father – the One who purchased me with the blood of Jesus and sealed me with His Holy Spirit.  He will keep me safe and make sure I reach my intended destination, the destination He has determined for me and is preparing even now.

yes, I am bought with a price and sealed for a purpose.  I can take comfort and hope and joy in that sure knowledge.

I can rejoice in knowing that I truly am – signed, sealed and delivered!

sincerely,       Grace Day




fully empty or emptily full ?

either way that’s how I feel – I’m a walking paradox  . . .  I am like my car, running on empty much of the time.  (seems like my gas light is always on)  Why am I feeling so empty?  Maybe it’s more than my gas tank that is empty.  My refrigerator is empty, my calendar is empty, my bank account too close to empty for comfort, my nest is empty.  (probably why the fridge is empty now)  There are empty spaces in my heart where people used to be.

Even as I was experiencing this emptiness I was aware of how fully full I felt at the exact same time.  This seems more than a paradox, this would realistically seem to be impossible.  I cannot be both empty and full at the same time.  Can I?  and yet that is my reality.

Psalm 103:5 tells me, “He fills my life with good things.  My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”

Ephesians 1:22-23 explains,  “And God placed all things under His (Jesus’) feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.”

Yes, Jesus fills everything and everyone, including me, with good things because He is good.  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  (James 1:17)

When life has me running on empty I am more open to receiving and able to receive what my Heavenly Father wants to give me.  The more room I make for Him by emptying myself of other things – the more He will fill me with His good gifts and with His best gift, the gift of His Holy Spirit.

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”  (Luke 11:13)

Emptiness that leads to fullness.  That is the paradox.  That is the gospel truth.   (yes, pun on purpose!)  When I am empty of self and striving and selfish desires, I can be, indeed I am, filled with His presence, His power and His purpose – all of which fill me to overflowing, even while my circumstances remain empty of many visible, therefore temporary things.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”   (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Jesus’ tomb was found to be empty, His body was not there.  The emptiness of that tomb was full – full of victory, full of power to overcome death, full of hope, full of life, full of a long-ago promise kept, full of a long-ago prophesy now fulfilled, full of faithfulness, full of forgiveness, full of mercy, full of the ultimate, eternal, everlasting love of the Creator for His creation, those He created in His own image.

The emptiness of Christ’s tomb was filled with the fullness of the Heavenly Father’s love for His children.  The emptiness of my soul is filled with His gift of His Holy Spirit, His abiding presence, never leaving nor forsaking me.  If I am full of myself or full of what the world would give to me, I have no room to receive my Heavenly Father’s presence or gifts.  When I am most empty, it is then that I discover how full He has filled my life, how full He has filled me.  When I am most empty – it is then I am most full – full and overflowing.  I truly am fully empty and emptily full.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”    (Psalm 23:5)

“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”    (Ephesians 3:16-19)

sincerely,          Grace Day






shoe shopping and other contact sports

shoe shopping is not for the faint of heart, anyone who has ever shopped for shoes knows this to be true.  Maybe it’s because we believe that if we can just find the right shoes, that perfect pair of shoes, it will change our life.  After all, it was a pair of shoes that changed Cinderella’s life forever.

Finding the right shoe is important.  I’m sure Usain Bolt would agree, as he found his perfect fit in the Puma Ignite XT training shoe.  They were his “glass slippers”, so to speak.  He won a lot of gold wearing those shoes.  I think his shoe shopping was successful.  He didn’t need to continue shopping for that elusive perfect shoe.

But most of us do.  Why?  Because we haven’t yet found the shoe, the one with that perfect fit – right color, right size, right heel height, perfect for any occasion.  We haven’t found the shoe that fits because we haven’t yet fully found where we fit in the grand scheme of things, where we fit in this world, where we fit in this life.

And so we go shoe shopping, as much a search for our own identity as it is a search to find that perfect shoe.  Do we hope that by finding the latter we will simultaneously discover the former?  Is that what happened to Fred Astaire when he tried on some tap shoes?  If only it were that simple.

Shoe shopping is hard work.  We enter the game unprepared, without proper training or equipment.  We find ourselves surrounded by overwhelming choices in the typical shoe store, every choice imaginable.  We also find ourselves surrounded by our competitors – other shoe shoppers, who like ourselves, are determined to find their perfect shoe.

Hazards are everywhere.  Chief among them is the race ruiner, distraction.  We lose our focus as we find ourselves looking at the shoes other customers are trying on.  We feel envy, uncertainty, even panic as we watch them walking around in various shoes – what if those very shoes are my perfect shoes and my competitor is about to buy them?  Does this mean I will never find my true fit?  Will I forever go through life as a misfit?

Why does my opponent need those shoes anyway?  But do I even know what shoes I need?  My opponent in this shopping competition is probably preparing to walk a different path than the one I am called to walk.  Why do I think that I need the same shoes she is choosing?  I don’t know where her path will lead her, therefore I don’t know what shoes she will need.  I can’t even find my own path.  No wonder I can’t find my perfect, life-changing shoes!

Well, that’s what distraction does.  Takes the runner of the race off her game.  Well played, fellow shopper, flaunting your proposed purchase in front of me – but enough.

Lord, what are you calling me to?  What path am I to walk?  What shoes do I need and do you have them in the right color and in my size?  (are they on sale?)  If I try to fill someone else’s shoes I will fall, I will fall short.

The road is long.  Shoes that don’t fit right because they are not meant for me will wear blisters on my feet and I won’t be able to walk at all.  So – a rule for shoe shopping participants – shoe shopping may be a sport, but it is not a competition. Someone else’s perfect fit is not my perfect fit.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but – we can all be winners at shoe shopping.  I just want my feet to be beautiful  . . . is that asking too much from my shoes?

Then I read in Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ”

“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15)  my feet are fitted in this way so that I can stand firm under attack, Paul explains in Ephesians 6.

wherever my path leads in life, I can trust God to clothe me appropriately, including my footwear.  “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”  (Habakkuk 3:19)

Lord, “take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for thee” (no matter what shoes I’m wearing)

sincerely,       Grace Day



a point to ponder

if procrastination were a sport, I would be an Olympic gold medalist.  In fact, I would have lots of medals by now because, unlike other sports, there is no aging out of the sport of procrastination.  One can participate as often and as long as one likes.

Other perks include the fact that I do not need to hire a coach (I already know how to procrastinate and in fact excel at it) and no rigorous training regime is required.  Practicing my sport on a daily basis keeps me in shape, ready to compete at a moment’s notice.  (and with this particular sport I don’t have to worry about my procrastinating or putting off my daily workout – as doing  this is actually part of my rigorous training)

But lately I am thinking this is a sport I no longer wish to participate in.  Psalm 90:12 tells me, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Proverbs 3:28 advises, “Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ – when you now have it with you.”

Jesus told His disciples, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me.  Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

I want to live with intention and purpose, not with the absence of clarity and calling that procrastination brings into my life.  Ephesians 5:15-16 encourages me to “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

“making the most of every opportunity” – that’s how I want to live!  That phrase is often translated as “redeeming the time”,  which is a favorite phrase of mine.  It reminds me that time is precious, a precious and valuable gift from God and I am not to waste a minute of it.

these words from Etienne de Grellet, a Quaker missionary, often come to mind as I walk my way through an ordinary day:  “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now.  Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

I think it is time for me to retire from participating in the sport of procrastination. Could be all my “wins” were “losses” in disguise.  No more!

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts  . . . ”  (Hebrews 3:15)

Lord, teach me to listen with my heart, teach me to number my days  . . .

sincerely,        Grace Day




today’s observation

it is easier to turn a molehill into a mountain than it is to turn a mountain into a molehill –

it seems that I have no trouble at all turning molehills into mountains – I seem to accomplish this without much effort – those molehills grow alarmingly big, surprisingly quickly, with even a minimum of time, attention, food or fuel.  I blink and I have a mountain standing before me on the very spot where a molehill stood not all that long ago.

now as it turns out, although I have a talent for turning molehills into mountains, I do not possess equal skill at the reverse.  I find it very difficult, if not impossible,to turn mountains into molehills.  Mountains are just too big; too big for me to move, too big for me to shrink back down to molehill size, too big for me to see over or around in order to see what lies beyond the barrier that they have become in my life.

Ironic that I can make them but can’t move them.  Yes, once created, my mountains become this heavy, immovable presence in my path.  By this time I am surely missing my molehills and wishing that I had managed them better so that they hadn’t become mountains.

What I need is a miracle.  I am not a mountain mover but I know Someone who is.

“This is what the Lord says  . . .  ‘I will go before you and will level the mountains, I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.’ ”  (Isaiah 45:1-2)

“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”   (Isaiah 40:4-5)

When I witness the impossible, mountains being moved that only God can move, I see His glory revealed.  I get a glimpse of His glory amid the mountain moving and experience His mercy yet again.

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ ”  (Matthew 19:26)

does that include moving mountains?   . . .  “He replied,   . . .  ‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.’ ”   (Matthew 17:20)   I guess it does!

I just need to hang onto my mustard seed.  Why?  because  . . .  “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?  It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”   (Mark 4:30-32)

I, too, cry out like the man in Mark 9:24;  “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”   In other words,  “I do have faith; oh, help me to have more!”

sincerely,            Grace Day






the last straw

the final straw, you know the one – the one that broke the camel’s back  . . .  that straw.  Now a single straw doesn’t seem all that substantial to me, doesn’t appear all that weighty, but apparently when put together with other straws – its weight becomes   . . .   well enough to break the camel’s back.  (or the donkey’s back, or the horse’s back, or the oxen’s back – why is it always the camel’s back that gets broken?  don’t other animals carry straw as well?)

But the point is, the weight of all those individual straws does add up.  A two-string bale weighs around fifty pounds unless wet, then as much as seventy pounds.  A round bale weighs between one thousand and two thousand pounds.  Definitely weighty enough to break the camel’s back   . . .

or a human spirit – which would explain how I came to be eating a large dish of frozen yogurt complete with toppings in the Verizon store while listening to the Verizon “music for those on hold”.  (they play this music because they value me as a customer and they care about my concerns – so I guess they want me to be entertained while I waste my time waiting to make contact with that ever elusive real person, otherwise known as a customer care representative)

It was a journey of many straws that brought me to this moment.  I had been sent to this particular store because the other Verizon store said they could not help me but the store at this location was “cooperate” and could help me.  (turns out they couldn’t help me, they couldn’t get a real person on the phone either, which is how I came to be waiting in their store while the music played as I waited for the next available “real person”)

Only a few days earlier my insurance agent was a no-show for a meeting and his phone number turned out to be no longer in service.  An unexpected turn of events for sure.  I believe it was that same day I received the news that my neighbor’s house had sold.  We have been friends and neighbors for twenty plus years, so this was a pretty big straw, as straws go.

In the not too distant past one of my high schools had closed, the other had become a middle school.  A bible study group I was part of had disbanded and a local college where I was taking some classes – merged, moved and changed its name. My grocery store closed and my bank went tellerless.  My favorite skin care products simply disappeared, they don’t exist anymore.  We were outsourced at work, which came with a pay cut.  And my favorite bookstore is closing!

Lots of straws – little straws, bigger straws – accumulating over time.  I hardly notice the toll they take, until one day I do.  And that day was the day in the Verizon store.  Faced with the prospect of spending an unknown, but predictably long period of time listening to the music while waiting for an agent to pick up, I informed the nice person assisting me that I was going three stores down to my favorite frozen yogurt place to reward myself for taking care of this business and I would be right back to continue waiting with my sweet treat of frozen yogurt in hand.  (which I felt I totally deserved at this point)

So you can imagine how I felt when I was told, oh this is their last week.  They are closing in four days!  No! not my frozen yogurt place AND my bookstore!  This is too much.  Am I going to have to do everything online?  (well, frozen yogurt doesn’t really work online, now does it?)  But there’s nothing like browsing in a bookstore, paging through book after book, discovering all those titles you didn’t even know you wanted to read.  You just can’t do that online, it’s not the same.

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  These words echoed in my mind as I ate my frozen yogurt and waited for the music to stop.  “at least I got one last frozen yogurt,” I told myself.  I would not have even known the store was closing if I hadn’t been forced by circumstances beyond my control to visit this particular Verizon store on this particular day.

What else?  what other straws could I give thanks for so that they wouldn’t break my back (or my spirit) with their cumulative weight?  I thought about the illustrator for my children’s book who had changed her mind after I had waited on drawings which never came, for several months.  I had just found someone new, perfect for the task, I can be thankful that the delay allowed me to find this person, the right fit for this particular book.

I am thankful God continues to provide me work in new and different schools, even though I miss the old ones.  I discovered my giving thanks to God in everything, really takes the weight out of all those straws accumulating in my life. Oh, they are still there, all those straws, forming into bales.  BUT  –  didn’t the Hebrew slaves make bricks out of straw?  and bricks are good building blocks for roads or buildings  . . .   could my burdens be turned into bricks?  into something useful?  into blessings?  giving thanks seems to be the miracle that turns burdens into blessings  . . .   straw into brick  . . .   transformed before my very eyes  . . .    my burdens grow wings and become weightless  . . .

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.”   (Psalm 107:8)

“I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord.”  (Psalm 116:17)  

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”    (Psalm 100:4)    

thankfully and sincerely,     Grace Day         






a new perspective

seeing the same things in a different way, that’s what my faithful friend, the all weather walker, promised me if I would just take her advice and do this one thing. what one thing?  what one thing could possibly give me a new perspective, a new way of looking at things, a different view?  walking in the opposite direction on my morning walk, that’s what.  This was my friend’s suggestion for me, more like her challenge to me –  that I walk in the opposite direction on my morning walk. Unthinkable! unheard of! revolutionary! mind-boggling! – that I should make such a drastic change!

After all, I am a creature of habit and old habits die hard.  So I continued in my familiar, comfortable walking ways.  Until today, that is.    Yes, today I accepted my friend’s challenge and did something different.  I walked in a new and different direction than before.  As my walk is a combination of walking the golf course and neighborhood sidewalks, I now found myself entering the golf course where I normally exited, and finishing where I usually started.

Very confusing.  But  . . .  the view was different.  My friend was right.  I noticed things I had not seen before.  And I viewed my still familiar surroundings from a different viewpoint, giving me a new perspective.  Particularly noteworthy was the fact that my big, bold, bright blue BUMP letters now came after said bump, so they served no purpose for me as I approached from this new direction.  The warning letters came too late – after I had already encountered the bump, and they were now upside down.  (that is from my new point of view)

I guess perspective is everything?  What had been downhill for me was now uphill and what used to be an incline in my path was now a descent.  I was entering exits and exiting entrances.  The end of my walk was now the beginning and the beginning of my walk was now my end.  I was confused.  I did not know the beginning from the end.

Fortunately, my Heavenly Father does.  “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.”  (Isaiah 46:10)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”   (Revelation 22:13)

I was seeing things differently alright.  My vantage point had changed, changing my point of view along with it.  I was seeing a long familiar landscape with new eyes because of my new perspective.  If only I could gain a new perspective on familiar people, situations and circumstances in my life – I might view things in a different way and gain new understanding.

If I could see things the way God sees them.  Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

God’s view is so much higher than mine.  I can never attain to the position from which He views all things simultaneously.  My perspective will always be limited by my human constraints, tethered to the time and the place in which God has me living my life.  So I will trust Him.  His view of things is much broader, more inclusive than mine.  He has the advantage of Omnipresence and Omniscience.

God’s perspective is perfect.  Better I trust Him than to rely on my own incomplete understanding, which is based on my limited view of my surroundings and circumstances, a view which changes every time I change direction.  But I never see the whole picture all at once.  Every new perspective I attain is still a very limited one.

So I will continue to “Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways I will acknowledge Him, and He will direct my paths.”   (Proverbs 3:5-6)

sincerely,        Grace Day