Sunday, September 29, 2013


But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-7, NASB.

I find myself drowning in a sea of clutter. Thousands are of emails clog my inbox, my to-do list seems to fill my journal, numerous notes go unwritten and it feels like everything and everyone I see is in need of something. Whether the clutter comes from things to do or from accumulating dust or from laundry, I never seem to catch up. Burying myself under the load of responsibility only makes matters worse because tomorrow, there will be more emails that need a response, more things to do, notes to write and more people who think they need my help. Is anyone with me? Lol, don't send me an email!

It is times like this when I need to keep my perspective. In James, God clearly speaks
through His Word. If we need wisdom, we are to ask Him. We don't need to be blown by the wind and become wishy-washy, second-guessing each decision nor do we need to drown in the sea of doubting. We don't need to become paralyzed because we don't know what to do first, we need to ask God!

I find that sitting down and praying over my list brings new perspective. God helps me see what really needs to happen and what I need to act on. Sometimes things have to be left because they are good things but not the best things. I am so grateful to God that He never intended for me to be overwhelmed but He did intend me to ask Him for direction...and to act on what He wants me to do.

Today, let's ask Him for wisdom to that we do the best things and leave the rest!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Artist

"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), 'I am the Lord, and there is none else'" (Isaiah 45:18, NASB).  

This past week, God has reminded me of how He is Creator and the supreme artist. God stands out to me in that He was the first artist. He has proved how He can take nothing and blank and turn it into something beautiful and life-giving.

The way a tree loses its leaves in the fall is eye-catching and beautiful. The richness of its colors, the grace of its falling leaves and the crisp air that surrounds it can make us stand in awe (and want to reach for a sweater). We snap photos, play in its leaves or simply stop and stare to take it all in.

Just like God created the beauty of trees and how they change colors in the fall, He also created us in His image and can renew us to reflect His beauty more.  

Is someone on your mind who doesn't know this great Artist whose works have been seen around the world? Let's remember that He is a miracle-worker, this Artist. He turns darkness into light and makes beautiful things. He can give us fresh starts, as He offers forgiveness without strings attached. He wants a genuine, loving relationship with His people. He can renew our hearts so that we love more like Him.
Kelli Martin

How does God being Creator impact you today? Let's pray and ask God for renewal in ourselves, in our communities and in our world. Let's thank Him for His creation and the work He is doing in the world and in people today. Let's ask Him for fresh eyes to see times we can share with others what it's like to know the
greatest artist of all time.

The band Gungor has a couple of songs that stand out to me about God as Creator. I recommend, "Beautiful Things" and "My Father's World."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mark 6:45-51

"Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away. After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished." Mark 6:45-51

Kari Beougher
My Dad preached on this passage this past Sunday morning and I have been thinking about what he said ever since. This passage shows the disciples in the midst of a storm that seemed unrelenting, and how when the Lord came, they "supposed that it was a ghost" and "were utterly astonished." My Dad made the point that the disciples were not really expecting to see Jesus; they were not expecting His deliverance.
This realization was extremely convicting for me. How often do we, when experiencing what we feel is an unrelenting storm, confidently expect the Lord's presence and deliverance?  The disciples had just seen the Lord perform miracle after miracle; surely they would have believed in and recognized His power to do all things. They had already experienced the fact that "even the winds and the seas obey him."  And yet, how easy it is to be so caught in the midst of our circumstances that our perspective and focus are on the storm and not on the One in control of the storm.

Throughout life, when we feel we are "straining at the oars," may this passage remind us that the Lord always knows and always arrives at just the right time. May we be convinced of His power to deliver us and His faithfulness to provide what we need.

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Never Too Late

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9)

When Jesus was dying on the cross, the thief on one side of him hurled insults at him.  The thief on the other side of him said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42).

At the very last minute, Jesus promises that thief that "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).  Praise God that it is never too late to accept the forgiveness for our sins and know that we have eternal life in heaven.

My brother-in-law succumbed to the addiction of alcohol.  Numerous attempts at rehabilitation failed because the strong pull of alcohol.  He placed alcohol above everything--his wife, his two sons, his job (he had not worked for the past ten years) and everything.  My sister kept telling him that he "needed to get right with God."  I had shared the gospel in person, by phone and by letter in the past year--and he just was not ready to acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God and that he could forgive him for his sins.

On August 20th, 2013, Glenn died in his bed at home at age 51.  A sad life?  Yes!  The last few days? Assuring!  Glenn accepted Christ during the week before he died.  He never had a chance to get out of bed, get baptized or serve the Lord.  BUT--he does have the assurance of eternal life. 

It is never too late for your loved ones or friends to accept Christ. Don't give up praying for them.  It is NEVER too late!   Nor, is it ever too early!  Encourage others not to put off until tomorrow what they can be sure of today.

Sharon Beougher

Monday, September 16, 2013


"15But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility  of their mind." Ephesians 4:15-17, NASB

It was just a week ago that I found myself standing on the school grounds on the island of Taiwan watching children play. Regardless of where I looked, these darling kids were interacting together with little adult interaction. No one needed to step in to break up a fight, no teacher screaming at misbehaving kids and seemingly everyone playing well together.  I could not help but think the heat and humidity may have felt like Houston but it sure did not look like home!
Our friends who took us explained that the children in the yellow smocks were in kindergarten. These smocks tied in the back. From an early age, children are taught to tie each other's smocks and the need they have for each other, the need to work together. In American, we tie our own smocks and are proud of it. I could not help thinking where we would be if only we had learned to work together. 

As a church, where would we be if we worked together? Lord, teach me through these children!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

He will wipe away every tear

Photo from
"Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: 'Look! God's dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away'" (Revelation 21:3-4, HCSB).

Across the media in America yesterday were floods of memories of what happened on 9/11 in New York City. My friend reminded me of God's promises in the verses above. On that day, I remember the shock I felt. It seemed like it wasn't real for some time afterward.

As we honor those who work hard to protect our country and as we pray for them today, let us fully trust that in the end God will conquer all evil. He has power over it. What's more, because of Christ's sacrifice, God can bring redemption, peace and a renewed heart to a world in need of a Savior. How much we all need Him.

Do you know someone who is suffering or grieving? Let's pray for them or with them. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say if we're given an opportunity to help them see more of who God is, this God who keeps His promises and saves.

This reminded me of how Queen Esther may have felt before asking the king, her new husband, to save her/God's people. Below are lyrics from a song about this (produced by VeggieTales actually):

"Mordecai: You wanted to know why you became queen
I told you God must have a reason
Perhaps he put you here, for such a time as this
Perhaps this is the reason.

"Esther: Tell me why, I don't understand 
Tell me why, or show me your hand
Tell me why because I can't see my way through
What now... should I.. do?

Kelli Martin
"The battle is not ours 
We look to God above
For He will guide us safely through
and guard us with His love

"I will not be afraid
I will not run and hide
For there is nothing I can't face when God is at my side"

You can listen to a clip from this song on YouTube here.
You can read this part of the story with Esther and Mordecai on Bible Gateway here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Isaiah 46:9-11

"For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose, calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it." Isaiah 46:9-11
Kari Beougher

We can rest in the sovereignty and supremacy of our God. There is truly none like Him. In the midst of confusion and when we feel like we don't know the next step, we can be certain that God knows everything from the beginning to the end, even the things that have yet to happen. Not only that, but we can trust that there is nothing and no one that can keep the Lord from accomplishing what He has purposed or planned. Therefore, when circumstances or situations seem contrary to His character; when hardships or trials seem hopeless, when we feel uncertain of the future- we can have confidence in the plan of a God who can do all things. 

Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will." Government decisions, work situations and relational circumstances are all within the Lord's sovereignty. None can upset or frustrate His plans. He works "all things according to the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11). We can trust that the promises of the Lord will be accomplished.

Today, may we say with Job, "I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2). May we rest in the sovereignty, purposes and plan of our good and gracious God. May we be comforted that the Lord is the one who directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9) and His purposes always prevail (Proverbs 19:21).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Love Deeply

"Now that you have taken care to purify your souls through your submission to the truth, you can experience real love for each other. So love each other deeply from a [pure] heart. You have been reborn - not from seed that eventually dies but from seed that is eternal - through the word of God that lives and endures forever. For Isaiah said, 
'All life is like the grass, 
and its glory like a flower;
The grass will wither and die, 
and the flower falls,
But the word of the Lord will endure forever'
This is the word that has been preached to you" 
(1 Peter 1:22-25, The Voice).

I like this version from The Voice. As new creations, we are made alive by God's grace as we have turned to put our trust in Him as Lord and Savior. The body of Christ can come together and have a pure love like He does, since He fills us with the Holy Spirit and teaches us more of who He is. He can renew our hearts and help us forgive, reach out to and care for those around us. He can give us new eyes to see others as His precious creations that He can give new life to as well. We have known and have been filled with His love, and so we have the opportunity to multiply the world with a kind of love like God has shown.

Kelli Martin
How can you love someone today or this weekend? Recently, I stopped to talk with a neighbor who has dogs and was shocked to find out she has had recent back troubles. I wished I was there closer to when the troubles first occurred. We exchanged cell phone numbers, and I hope that I can be there for her in the future. Is there someone around you who may even just need a smile or a hopeful outlook of God's purposes? Maybe there is someone near You who doesn't know the hope and peace our God Father and Savior brings.

Let's pray that God fills us with His love so we can extend it to others and point them to God who has shown us the deepest love we've ever seen.

A couple of worship songs: "Bones" and "Like an Avalanche" by Hillsong United (Live in Miami video with lyrics)
Photo from Pinterest and

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

According to the Spirit

Kari Beougher
"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8:5-8

I am currently studying the book of Romans in my personal time with the Lord. One of the recurring themes I have continued to find is the connection between our thoughts and sinful actions. Over and over again, I am seeing that the battle for sin begins in the mind. When our minds are centered on the Gospel, there is life and peace and the ability to obey God's law. However, when our minds are focused on ourselves and on worldly things, we are living in the flesh and unable to please God. Setting our minds "on the things of the Spirit" begins with thinking rightly about who God is and agreeing with what God says about us. 

Today, may we take our thoughts captive in obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and focus our minds on Gospel truths. May we  "put to death the deeds of the body" (Romans 8:13) by walking according to the Spirit.

Monday, September 2, 2013

As you read this, I will be on the other side of the world from most of you. It is amazing how you can get on a plane and in no time, be in such a different culture. I have already been reminded how much we are blessed and how thankful we can be for the little things.

Your prayers are essential as we try to speak through interpreters! Pray that our words will be Spirit-filled and that many will be Gifted2Go when we leave! I would especially like your prayers as I speak to our faithful servants, to a conference for women, and to a young church. May we be an encouragement to those we meet!

After we return, I will tell you all the details. Until then, thank you for being our partners in prayer!

By the way, the spiral bound version of HeartCall New Heart is being printed right now! you can order either version at

You are loved!