What’s next for 365 Days in the Presence…

Every time I finish one devotional I never know if I’ll write another.  To be honest, I’m usually exhausted by the end and ready for a much needed break.  Thus, the reason that I only do them every other year…I don’t think I…or my family could handle this without a year of rest in between.

Don’t get me wrong though, writing these devotionals is a joy and pleasure.  I absolutely love doing it. 

Last week when I was talking to God about finishing the Fountain, and I wondered if I would ever write another one again…I immediately had a vision of a tomb.  A tomb with a large stone rolled to the side…I knew it had been Jesus’ tomb.  Then I heard the title of the devotionals I will write in 2024

I truly hope that you will join me on January 1, 2024, for…

365 Days in the Presence:  Resurrection

The Fountain Day 366: Returning to the fountain

Here we are…returning to the fountain. 

It’s been an interesting year, full of ups and downs…but lots of growth.  We’ve met with God, learned new things, remembered old promises, evaluated our lives, and received healing in our hearts.  It’s been a good year.

As we close out one year and open the door for another, let’s first take a moment to stop, reflect, and say, “Thank You” to God.  He’s done so many things. 

Look at the fountain.  Do you see? 

The waters are stirring.  The fountain is inviting you in with its ripples and warmth.  As you step in, you see something shining in the water.  Bend down and pick it up.  When you lift it from the depths you notice it’s a pearl.  The pearl of great price.  It is your pearl…spent wisely this year in the fountain. 

We took our very best to the Father this year, and He has returned to us so much. 

I will forever be grateful for the year spent searching the waters in the fountain.

Imagine, if you will, that you’re still standing in the fountain.  Walk toward the center.  Can you see?  It’s deeper than you realized…and God is inviting you to dive in…

Are you ready?

He’s inviting us all to the next level.  It’s time to fully dive into the waters and explore the deeper places within the fountain on your own. 

I truly hope that you don’t leave this year without embarking on another journey into His heart…dive deep into the Fountain and see what He has in store. 

Lord, lead me to deeper places within Your heart.  I long to know more about You.  I want to learn You.  To know You so well that I can know Your heart with ease.  Teach me.  Lead me.  Draw me into Yourself.  I belong to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water.  A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley of acacias.”  Joel 3:18

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.  Psalm 36:9

The Fountain Day 365: Reward of perseverance

For some reason, I can’t get past the idea of perseverance right now.  It seems to be heavy on God’s heart.  I don’t believe it’s a word just for me…I believe it’s for all of us.

It’s a Biblical principle that perseverance carries a reward.

“Because you have obeyed My command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.  I am coming soon.  Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.  All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of My God, and they will never have to leave it.  And I will write on them the name of My God, and they will be citizens in the city of My God- the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God.  And I will also write on them My new name. “  “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches.”                      Revelation 3:10-13

If we persevere, He will protect us from the time of great testing.  Oh Lord, yes, protect me and mine. 

If that is a reward of perseverance, then I believe it’s fully worth it, don’t you?

Giving up is the same as forgetting why you are persevering…it’s for Him.  Here we are again at the concept and reality that our eyes must remain faithfully on Jesus.  In Him we find all we need to persevere…and He is our prize. 

Praise the Lord!

So, simply persevere and during this time of darkness and conflict, you will remain protected.  Persevere when life hands you a surprising blow of disappointment.  Persevere when you are questioned, provoked, or attacked for your faith.  Persevere because you know that Jesus did, so you can too.

Come Lord Jesus, fill our hearts with resilience.  Establish us all in Your Spirit.  Give us the grace to hold fast and persevere.  Bless our path.  Give us strength to stand for You.  You are our only Hope, but that’s such a good thing.  Pulse into our hearts and be our life blood.  Let Your heart beat over us so fiercely that we feel calm in all things.  Steady in all things.  Hopeful in all things.  Loved in all things.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.  Romans 8:18-21

The Fountain Day 364: Red cord

I recently saw a video of a man getting into freezing cold water to swim.  This water had a thick covering of ice over it, and he could only enter from a place where they had cut a chunk out for him to get into it. 

I can’t fathom this, but I guess he was into it. 

As I watched the video, I saw him get in and begin to swim while his friends were walking on top of the ice he was under.  You could see him swimming the whole time.  He reached a certain point and suddenly he hits the ice, seemingly trying to break it so he can come out, but it doesn’t.  The person on top of the ice, stomps on it and it doesn’t break.

I then began to wonder, what the heck is going on…until he turns, begins to swim back the way he came, and suddenly I saw him holding a red cord.  That red cord led him back to the hole they had cut, and he exited with ease…seemingly unphased.  I guess it was all part of the plan.

This made me think…

When we are on a journey with God, it can feel like this.  The shock of going a new direction is like the initial shock of that icy water.  When we determine to go under and begin to swim with Holy Spirit, it can seem easy at first, but then there’s inevitably a time when we want to get out…but we’re not in the right spot yet. 

We hit against the ice, trying to break out, but it’s not possible.  Unlike the guy in the video, sometimes we begin to flail and refuse to move any further as we bang against an unbreakable place, over and over again.  Exhausted and unable to breathe, we begin to question it all.  

Before too long, we feel like we’re drowning…and we don’t even realize that it’s because we’ve stopped cooperating with Holy Spirit and have demanded our own way.  We don’t get to have our own way when we are following Yahweh. 

We finally fast and pray, or whatever, and discover there is a red cord.  We take firm hold of it and follow it out to freedom and breakthrough.

The parallels in this story are many.

Without that cord, he could have died in the water.  God never leaves us without a way out…the blood of Jesus made the way and Holy Spirit will lead us.

He is our red cord.

Friend, I too am in the middle of swimming the arctic channel.  I sometimes feel like I will never see the end.  Yet, every time I want to give up, I see the red cord.  I find my bearings and continue.  I pray you do too.  Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.  There is no adequate compromise.  It’s all or nothing. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

The Fountain Day 363: Darker days

As we see such craziness happening all around us…as we may or may not be wrestling with hopelessness, frustration, fear of the future…I wanted to remind everyone…God knows.

Not only have evil things like this happened before, but they are foretold for the future…and God is already there. 

David knew of these times.  Let’s read…

O Lord, rescue me from evil people.  Protect me from those who are violent, those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long.  Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips.  O Lord, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.  Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me.  The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way.  I said to the Lord, “You are my God!”  Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy!  O Sovereign Lord, the strong One Who rescued me, You protected me on the day of battle.  Lord, do not let evil people have their way.  Do not let their evil schemes succeed, or they will become proud.  Let my enemies be destroyed by the very evil they have planned for me.  Let burning coals fall down on their heads.  Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.  Don’t let liars prosper here in our land.  Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.  But I know the Lord will help those they persecute; He will give justice to the poor.  Surely righteous people are praising Your name; the godly will live in Your presence.  Psalm 140:1-13

Listen, there are evil people.  It’s been made clear in scripture over and over…now, I don’t know how God truly defines that because I know Jesus died to save us all…but I do know some people are guided by evil.  Evil desires.  Evil lusts.  Evil spirits. 


Take heart.

God is greater.  He is bigger and able to thwart all attacks.  All. 

There is a great evil in our world.  Denying it helps nothing.  Praying for God to intervene does.  We need Him.  We also need to keep fighting. 

The days will get darker, but we will live in His presence.  Remember that promise.  The last little portion of the scripture we read…it’s honestly, the most encouraging…we will live in His presence…even in dark days.  Hallelujah!!

The Fountain Day 362: Beware of leeches

Are you aware that there are people who are cooperating with a leeching spirit? 

They are the people who are never satisfied; whether it’s access to you, time you spend in ministry with them or working for them, exploiting your giftings, taking your money, etc.  Leeches are very real. 

Those who leech time are so prevalent because the more the enemy can leech from your time, the more distracted from your home you become.  You can’t do it all.  You just can’t.  We weren’t meant to do it all.  It’s a lie we’ve been told, to believe we can have it all and do it all.

The leeching spirit is never satisfied.  No demonic spirit is, but this particular spirit is focused on depletion.  Our government struggles with this spirit, a lot. 

Think about it…the liberal line is never satisfied.  Never.  It always wants more.  There will never be a way to satisfy it.  That spirit is after your freedom.  If it is able to take that, it still won’t be satisfied…it’ll want more.  Once freedom is gone, the arm of control will never stop picking away at your life. 

This is a really big deal.

We must learn to identify and then eradicate this leech.  Then no matter what, stand in opposition to it.  Resist it and pull completely free of it. 

We can’t allow the leeching spirit to take away our children’s future. 

In the church we must eradicate the leech.  We are to serve God, not the leeches hunger.  Our service should be solely at the direction of Jesus, not a culture of busyness.  So many churches take and take…with very little genuine giving.  I’ve also seen too many times, a church culture that demands honoring the pastor’s families and priorities, but not yours.  That’s out of order.  Nobody is more important than others and each family is a priority to itself.

In our friendships we must oppose the leeches.  God, family, and everything else…that should be the order of priority.  Too often, friends come in and demand time that we don’t have.   A true friend will honor your top two priorities.  A true friend will also be honoring those priorities in their own life. 

It’s our individual responsibility to steer clear of leeches.  We would be wise to do so and suffer if we don’t. 

I encourage you to examine this subject in reference to your own life.  If you see evidence of leeches, then repent and cut soul ties with such things.  It doesn’t mean you can’t have relationship with people who have been operating this way (though sometimes you should), it simply means that you will have to put real boundaries in place.  This is so healthy.  So necessary. 

The leech has two suckers that cry out, “More, more!”  Proverbs 30:15

The Fountain Day 361: Fog

As I was praying recently, I felt the struggle and resistance that we are facing.  I saw it as a fog.  Then I heard the Lord say, “The fog is thickest when you are about to get through it.”  I then saw myself standing in the midst of the fog and realized that some of the resistance and struggle I am feeling is a fog…it’s not actually real…it’s the illusion of trouble.

Intimidation.  That’s really what it is.  It’s just like the enemy, to see us right on the verge of breakthrough and then him trying to frighten and discourage us so much that we think about turning back and quitting. 

Friend don’t ever fall for that!!  Push through the fog!!  Press on.  Believe.  Restore your hope.  Cling to joy.  For goodness sakes, don’t give up!!

The fog will always lift, and if you remain in step with Holy Spirit, you will succeed.  

Here we arrive again at….trust.

The crux of our walk with Jesus is trust.  Trust and obey. 

“As for God, His way is perfect:  The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.  For Who is God besides the Lord?  And Who is the Rock except our God?  It is God Who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights.  He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  You make Your saving help my shield; Your help has made me great.”  2 Samuel 22:31-36

Trusting God in the fog, is the same as Peter trusting Jesus as he stepped out onto the water.  He was fine until he lost eye contact with Jesus.  Our lives are the same.  That will never change.  We must lock eyes with the One Who is eternal.  The One Who never changes.  The One Who never loses.  The One Who makes our path secure. 

We must be like horses with blinders blocking out all peripheral sight, as we look only forward to Him. 

Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.  Who is the King of Glory?  The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.  Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.  Who is He, this King of glory?  The Lord Almighty- He is the King of glory.  Psalm 24:7-10

No matter what is happening in your life, lift up your head.  Look upon the King of glory and rest in His sight.  Fight from a position of rest.  Walk through the fog and don’t ever stop.  Never stop moving forward.  If you keep moving forward, then you won’t get lost.

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.  Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.  Proverbs 4:25-27

The Fountain Day 360: His plans

I fully trust God to bring about everything He has spoken over my life and the lives of my family.  I believe Him when He says good things.  I believe Him when He draws my heart to repentance. 

I believe He won’t allow me to miss out on a single blessing.  I believe this because He has proven that He will protect that which He has set into motion.  He will even protect me from my own mistakes.  I fully believe that.  He’s a really good Father.  Far better than we can ever imagine. 

I place my trust firmly and unequivocally in His hands. 

I’ve soared with wings as eagles.  I have felt the bottom of the pit.  I have been lifted up and have been left to my own devices, but one thing remains…His steady love, favor, and protection over my life.

Have you felt it too? 

Have you reflected on all your years and seen how He’s been there in every moment?  Have you acknowledged how His hand has protected you even in the hard moments. 

Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me from the anger of my enemies.  You reach out Your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me.  The Lord will work out His plans for my life- for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.  Don’t abandon me, for You made me.              Psalm 138:7-8

These words remind me that I can count on Him to be bigger than anything I do.  Bigger than anything that can be done to me.  Bigger than any mistake.  Bigger than the enemy.


If I am walking in step with the Spirit and am fulfilling God’s purpose for my life, then I can trust that nothing…absolutely nothing can permanently derail me from it.  I am God’s workmanship; created for a purpose.  I am an intentional creation of God; so are you.  Let’s act like it!

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.  Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.  Ephesians 3:16-21

The Fountain Day 359: No more delay

Have you ever been reading the Word, and even though you’re reading an account of something completely unlike your life, God uses a portion of it…even a couple of words to speak to you?  I mean, one of those times when the words seem to glow and resonate loudly through your head… 

I had just such an experience today.

Let me preface this by saying…The scripture surrounding these words, was originally written in a very different context, but in a way that only the Living Word can do, God highlighted the words separately to me and in a second, I had a full vision of how it applied to my life.  It’s so amazing when He does that.  Yet, I still had a choice…would I receive the Word, or would I look at the scripture surrounding it and say, “This isn’t for me.  I can’t take this out of context.” 

Do I trust the Voice of God in my heart and mind?

Yes…yes, I do.

These are the moments that mark my life…the willingness to simply believe Him…without my having to qualify what He’s said.  Oh, how I hope that you do too!

If I hear, see, or think something that feels like God, I hold it out and ask, “Is this within the character of God?”  If the answer is yes, then I believe it.

You must be very curious about what I read…let’s read the full verse first, then I’ll tell you what was on fire for me today.

He swore an oath in the name of the One Who lives forever and ever, Who created the heavens and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it.  He said, “There will be no more delay.  When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled.  It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets.”  Revelation 10:6-7

As I read over this prophecy of the end times, I came across the quote, “There will be no more delay.”  And it was like a bell rung in my heart.  The words became bright and I paused and gasped.  God was speaking to me. 

For months, and even years now, I’ve been praying that all delay would be removed from our lives.  I have felt the delay so many times.  I wondered about it.  I have prayed about it.  I have searched my life and heart to repent for anything within me that would be causing delay.  At the end of the day, I wasn’t causing delay.  God was allowing it.  But why?

I now see that without the delay we’ve experienced, we’d be far less likely to have come to the place spiritually, emotionally, and relationally that we have come to now.

Chris and I, individually and within our marriage, have been forged in the fire.  God has been creating something stronger.  I can only imagine that it is exactly what we will need in order to move into the full glory of His calling in our lives and marriage.  Our family has been forged in the fire, both individually and together…and what has emerged is we are an extremely tight unit, my children are confident…both in who they are, in our family unit, and in God and His constant care and provision.

We have emerged from the flames as a solid and unbreakable unit.  He’s sealed His promises on our hearts with fire. 

Now we stand with a fierceness and conviction that is unwavering. 

I care not what anyone else says or thinks.  We will follow God.

We’ve come a long way…and now He speaks, “There will be no more delay.”

The Fountain Day 358: Perfect

We have the One. 

The One Who is altogether Perfection. 

The King of kings, Lord of lords…the Perfect One.

Can you fathom it?  It’s so hard to comprehend.  It’s so wonderful.

I will never be perfect, but I hold hands with the Perfect One every day and all the time.  If I need perfection at any moment, I only need to look over at Him.

I can’t tell you how many times lately, that I’ve needed Jesus and have simply looked over to my left side and have seen His Presence.  He is always…always right next to me.  Closer than a brother, nearer than my breath, more real than what I see with my physical eyes…my Jesus.  The Perfect One. 

He comforts me. 

It’s funny, that so many of us think it’s too bold to assume that He is near…but I think it’s bold to think He isn’t.  In my opinion it’s more natural to look over and expect to see Him, than to assume He has no time for me. 

He is my Gift.  He is my Portion.  He is my Forever…is He yours?

He wants to be.

It’s time to lay aside all presumption and embrace the Perfect One.  It’s time to stop running around attempting perfection on our own, and to instead, look to the Perfect One. 

God of Perfection.  The only sinless One.  Oh, Jesus, so often I wonder how you did it.  You are more awesome than I could ever imagine, and I am desperately and whole-heartedly in love with You.

Praise the Lord, all you nations.  Praise Him, all you people of the earth.  For His unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.  Praise the Lord!  Psalm 117:1-2

When we are consumed with His perfect love we can be as bold as lions.  When His perfection eats away all our insecurities, then we are warriors made ready. 

It’s time to be bold as lions!!!

Come to the fountain.  Come and drown in His love.

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.  As for God, His way is perfect; the Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.  For Who is God besides the Lord?  And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God Who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.  Psalm 18:28-32