Monday, March 23, 2015

Why Do You Believe?

Psalm 48: 1, 14

1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
14 For such is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will guide us until death.

Why Do You Believe?

I believe in God the Father, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Spirit and He’s given us new life.  (We Believe by Newsboys).    Do you believe?  Do you believe that Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised as this psalmist writes?  Do you believe that He is Our God forever and ever?  Do you believe that He will guide us until death?

Yesterday, as I read a dialogue between my husband and someone he went to high school with, I was pondering so many things.  Things like, can I defend my faith to someone who does not believe the same as me, can I have a healthy debate and not let my emotions get the best of me and/or can I stand firm in my foundation that I find in Christ?   Have you ever thought about why you believe what you believe?  Is it just because your parents taught you those things or have you done your own research?

My faith is strong but I want my knowledge about the history and theology to be strong as well.  I must begin to take time each day not just reading God’s word but also studying His word and books on theology.  I know that God is great and He should be praised.  I know that He is forever and that He will guide us until death.  How do I know?  I know by the stirring in my soul by the Holy Spirit, by reading His word and by my own experiences that I had to trust Him.  

When you are faced with a friend who is dying, do you believe that He is guiding them until death?  If they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior then there is nothing to fear.  But our human side comes out and we have doubt and fear.  It is this selfish side that doesn’t want them to leave us.  We don’t want to face life without them.  So does that mean that we don’t really believe those things above?  I don’t think so.  God knows how we feel.  He knows we love our friend dearly.  We must remember that He has been there too.  

Today, I struggle with the loss of my mom.  I am missing her a lot.  I think that as I read blogs of dear sweet women who are struggling with cancer it is bringing many emotions and memories to the surface again.  Do you remember Kara Tippetts, from Mundane Faithfulness?  She went home to be with the Lord yesterday and it hit me hard.  Why?  I don’t even know her but I know her story.  Her story of being a mother, a wife, a friend and a daughter.  But most importantly, she was a daughter of the King.  I found myself just crying as I read the post that came across my Facebook feed about her Homecoming.  Thankfully my husband just listened to me and heard my heart for this dear lady that I didn’t even know.  The great thing was he did not look at me like I had lost my mind.  He knew what was driving these emotions and he just listened.  

So today, I cling to the promise that I find on that hill far away, on Golgotha.  The promise of eternal life with my heavenly Father.  So my challenge to you today is to ponder these questions: Do you believe in God the Father?  Do you believe in Jesus in Christ?  Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and that He has given us new life?  Do you believe in the Crucifixion?  Do you believe that He conquered death?  Do you believe in the Resurrection?  Do you believe that He is coming back again?  if you believe then why?  Go discover why?  

Prayer: Father, I pray for those who are suffering with terminal illnesses.  I pray that they know you as their Lord and Savior.  I Pray that they feel your Holy Spirit stirring in their soul.  Please comfort them in their time of need.  Please comfort those who are struggling with the loss of loved ones.  Help my friends who are reading this be able to defend their faith and discover why they  believe what they believe.  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Psalm 42:1-3

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?”

My Longings….

Yesterday, was an adventure to say the least.  My neighbor needed to go to PriceSmart, which is like Sam’s in the States, to get a few items.  I also needed to go to a bookstore to find a school book for a child that we are helping sponsor at our children’s school.  Well, these task may sound very simple if you were living in the States.  However, in Nicaragua, trying to find places can sometimes be next to impossible.  Why?  Because places really don’t have an address here.  Think about it like this.  When your grandparents or great grandparents would give directions to a place it usually went something like this, “When you go down the dirt road and you get to the Pure station take a left, then go past old farmer Bob’s house and take the next right.  You will go a little ways until you see the old oak tree and the house is on the left.”  OK, the problem with this is that the Pure station is not there anymore and you have not clue who old farmer Bob is much less where his house may be located.  Then the old oak tree has fallen so who knows where that house is on the right.  HA!  Well, here in Nicaragua, you have to know all the Rotunda names and the highways that you are on….they all start looking alike when you are driving.  Then you have to pay attention to the landmarks around you because that is how you give directions here as well as telling people that you go so many blocks and turn right or left.  Our blocks are not the same as their blocks here, rest assured.  

The other day I tried to find this bookstore on my own and to no avail came home.  So, I guess it is better to have someone with you who will help navigate and encourage you that you will find the store.  Guess what….yesterday, we found it!  Much to my dismay though they did not have the book I needed so we ventured off to another store, OH MY is all I can say.  At this point…

I longed for my comfort zone.
I longed for the sense of direction that I normally have while driving.
I longed for something familiar.
I longed to be home in a place of security and comfort.

The next place we went was a three story “mall”.  The parking deck gave us the creeps and when we saw daylight we turned the car towards the light and were able to park outside in the open.  Whew!  At no time did I feel in danger, it was just that this was so far out of my comfort zone.  When we walked in the “mall” we must have had the deer in the headlight look because a Nicaraguan who worked there, said “Do you speak English?”  YES!!!!!!   He asked how he could help us and we told him we were looking for the Liberia Gonper (Gonper Bookstore).  He pointed us on our way and we just laughed because I am sure we looked so out of place.  I believe we were probably the only Gringas (english speaking foreigners, especially North Americans) in the place.  

This morning though I realize that not only did I long for those other things, I longed for my Heavenly Father to give me a peace about the entire experience.  I longed to feel His presence.  I long to feel His presence everyday and to know that I am doing the right thing.  I long to be in HIS will and not my own.  Just as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My Will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Do you long for His will and not your own?  Do you thirst for His presence in your life like a deer pants for streams and waters?  I am reminded everyday that God’s plans for my life are far better than my plans.  Why?  Because His plans for my life will bring honor and glory to Him.  SO, those things that I was longing for I can find them in Him. 

God is my comfort zone.  
God is my direction.
God is my familiar.
God is where I can find my home.  

Prayer: Father, thank you for the longings you have placed in my heart.  The longings for Your will, for Your direction, for You as my something familiar and for being able to find my home/my comfort/my security in You.  My prayer is that others will know these same longings in their life.  May they desire for Your will to be done in their life and not their own.  Bring comfort and peace to those who need it today.  In Jesus Name I Pray. Amen.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Integrity, Do You Have It?

Psalm 41: 11-13

11 By this I know that You are pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.
13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Integrity, Do You Have It?

Integrity.  Integrity is such an important word and action to teach our children.  Do you display integrity everyday?  Do you do the right thing even when no one is looking?  When you find yourself in the midst of betrayal, do you desire to display moral uprightness?  Are you a person of honor and trustworthiness?  

I think that so many have lost sight of the meaning of Integrity.  It seems as if “we” are a people who lack integrity.  We do not display the quality of being honest anymore.  We fabricate our stories so they sound so much better.  We do what ever it takes to get ahead.  Our society seems to lack strong moral principles and ethics.  Why are we not teaching our children how to have integrity?  Why are we not desiring for our children to care for the helpless and show love to a lost world?   

I can remember when Noah was 4, we enrolled him in the tiger cub karate class in our hometown.  They teach them about honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, courage, community, strength, ability and knowledge.  While they are in the classes, they not only learn about strengthening their ability to process instructions, focus on objectives and how to interact with their peers but they learn what those words mentioned above really mean.  They learn how to put those words into action.  I see so many of these characteristics displayed in the bible by Gods people.  Even though David had his flaws he still strived to display some of these same characteristics that I am trying to teach my children.  

Our natural instinct is to want to lash back at someone when they have betrayed us.  But we cannot give into our flesh and treat others as those in this world.  We must learn from Christ Himself how we should treat others.  As we are in the season of Lent, we are reminded of the last days of Christ and the ultimate betrayal He endured by Judas.  Sadly enough, we probably have all had friends who we thought were our friends but it turns out they were not a true friend.  Can you imagine the hurt that Jesus must have felt to be betrayed by one of his disciples?  It doesn’t matter if He knew this was going to happen.  That does not take away the hurt He must have felt.  However, Christ in the midst of betrayal still displayed integrity.  

I want to encourage you today and remind you, that it IS possible for you to display integrity in the midst of betrayal and deep hurt from those closest to you.  I am not saying that it will be easy but that it IS possible.  I have to remind myself that I am not in this world alone and that there is nothing that this world can throw at me that MY GOD has not already conquered.  So if you are feeling betrayed today, be encouraged that Christ has already won the battle.  He has conquered the evil in this world and that we (Christ followers) will live in heaven with Him for eternity!  

Prayer: Father, there are so many that are hurting today and feel betrayed even by their closet friends.  Please give them the hope that they need to live another day for You.  Help them to display integrity no matter what they may face today.  Surround them with a peace that surpasses all understanding.  May they feel Your loving arms around them!  In Your Sons Name I Pray, Amen.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Of Those Days

Psalm 40: 1-3

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; 
     And he inclined to me and heard my cry.  
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, 
     out of the miry clay, 
And he set my feet upon a rock 
     making my footsteps firm. 
3 He put a new song in my mouth, 
     a song of praise to our God; 
Many will see and fear 
     And will trust in the LORD.

One Of Those Days~

I think we all have them!  You know those days that we just want to crawl back in bed and hide from the world.  Well, yesterday was one of those days for me.  I find myself doing so good living in another country and then BOOM…it hits me like a ton of bricks.  I have made such great progress living in Nicaragua but then I also see how far I have to go.  

Just in the last few days, I feel like I have been bombarded with more culture than my brain obviously can handle at the moment.  But on the bright side, it took me exactly 71 days to have my first breakdown.  Progress people, progress!  It is the little things here that we learn to appreciate.  Sounds menial but it is a part of our everyday life here.  What I find that I have learned to love about being in another culture is the slow pace and the emphasis on relationships.  If you know me, then you know that I am all about relationships.  I can vividly remember last year longing for a sweet dear friend to be able to share my joys and my sorrows with on the missionary field.  Guess what, just as scripture says, He heard my cry.  I have that sweet relationship with someone who is like my soul sister!  Her name is Susan and we are just alike!  OK, don’t panic!  But the funny thing is that both of our husband say that we are like sisters and a lot like twins.  Kinda scary I know but God heard my cry!  

Susan, my soul sista, called at just the right time last night to hear me at the point of meltdown.  God is funny like that you know.  I had just finished a long HOT shower and a good cry when she called.  As a mom, wife and friend she knows all those feelings that I am experiencing and she just listened.  There were no grand words of advice, just that sweet friend on the other line listening to me and saying I know, I understand.  

My heavenly Father knows and He understands too.  He hears my cry and He is always there to help bring me out of my pit and put my feet upon solid ground.  He puts a new song in my mouth that I may turn my focus back to where it should be…on HIM.  So today if you are having One Of Those Days, find hope in this Psalm.  Be assured that your heavenly Father, hears your cry and will bring you out of the pit and set your feet firmly on the ground.  He will put on new song in your heart so that you will praise Him.  

Rejoice today, that He has you right where He wants you and that no matter what your circumstances, 

He Hears Your Cry.  

Prayer: Father, I know I should not continue to be amazed by You but I am.  When I read your word, I stand in Awe!  Thank you for hearing my cry when I think it is something small, You still hear my cry and answer my prayer.  Thank you for the sweet friend that I have in Susan.  I pray that You hear the cry of those who are reading this devotion today.  I pray that they feel Your presence.  I pray that they know that You are there to bring them out of the pit and firmly plant their feet on solid ground.  Put a new song in the mouth so they can rejoice in You.  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hear My Cry

Psalm 34:17-18
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Hear My Cry!

Yesterday as I was writing my devotion, I was looking up a website to read about something pertaining to my writing.  I came across a video that brought me to tears.  It was a video that produced a short trailer about the life of Kara Tippetts, the sweet mom that is dying from breast cancer.  I don’t even know this precious lady but my heart hurt for her, for her husband and for their children.  Maybe in some sort of way I was mourning the loss of my own mother from breast cancer.  It is so hard to watch your mom die and know that there is nothing you can do about it but put your Trust in the Lord.  

I found myself dealing with some emotions that have not surfaced in a long time.  Oh, to have a few moments with her right now to share about my life, her grand babies and her wonderful son in-law.  Even though she is physically not here with me anymore, I can feel her presence at just the right moments.  I am reminded of the times when we would laugh together and cry together.  God hears our cry and he is near to us during those times.  Just like this precious lady, Kara, He is right there with her in the midst of this storm.  He is holding her hand and comforting her along the way.  She is rejoicing with each new day she has been given.  What an example for all of us to follow!  Rejoice no matter what the circumstance.  

What is it that has brought you to tears today?  Maybe the death of a loved one or the loss of a job.  Sometimes it can be just the daily living that can bring us to tears.  Our kids have made a huge mess and our laundry is piling up as we speak.  But no matter what has you broken today, God hears you.  He will deliver you out of this moment in your life.  I promise there is a light at the end of this tunnel you are traveling.  Give all your cares, concerns and fears to the Lord today and he will save you.  Remember, God loves you and he has a perfect plan for your life that will bring Glory and Honor to Him!  Take a few moments to listen to this song!  I pray it brings you comfort and peace today.

Prayer: Father, Hear my Cry today.  I need You to comfort me in my times of brokenness.  You know my pain.  I pray for Your healing hand to come over me.  I pray for my friends who are suffering from cancer today, may you bring them comfort and peace today.  Give hope to the hopeless and comfort to the brokenhearted.  In Jesus Name, I Pray Amen.  

"If We've Ever Needed You”
by Casting Crowns

Hear our cry, Lord we pray, 
Our faces down, our hands are raised, 
You called us out, we turned away, we've turned away. 

With ship wrecked faith, idols rise, 
We do what is right, in our own eyes, 
Our children now, will pay the price, 
We need Your light, Lord, shine Your light. 

If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out. 

All our hearts, all our strength, 
With all our minds, we're at Your fate, 
May Your Kingdom come, in our hearts and lives, 
Let Your Church arise, let Your Church arise! 

If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out 

If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We're are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out, 
If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out 

We need You now 
Revive us now 

We need You now

Friday, March 6, 2015

Joy Comes In The Morning

Psalm 30:5

Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Joy Comes In The Morning!

I can remember so many times in my life where this verse was so evident in my life.  While I was struggling in my “other life” as I call it, there were many nights I would cry myself to sleep.  I longed for things to be different in my first marriage and didn’t know how to change things.  I was trying to be the best wife and the best counselor at my work but I was struggling to do any of them well.  I felt like my weeping was lasting a lifetime and I could not find that joy.  

I longed for joy in my life.  
I longed for joy in my first marriage.
I longed for joy in my career.

I just did not have that joy.  I was trying to control my joy and I cannot make myself have joy.  Later, I discovered that my joy can only come from God and having that right relationship with him.  This is such a hard truth to discover because of our nature as humans.  We want to have that control over our lives.  But when we finally surrender it all to Him, Joy comes!  We then can see Joy in every circumstance.  No matter what God has allowed to come our way, we can find JOY!

There are so many scriptures that are jumping into my head right now that I want to share with you to encourage you and to bring you some comfort to you, today.  The first one is for you to have joy in the morning you must not “26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:26-27).”  And even when bad things happen to God’s people we should always know that God has a perfect plan.  Joseph’s life is a perfect example of this “20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive(Genesis 50:20).”  

Another example in the Bible is Jeremiah.  He was a great prophet that God used to deliver a stern message to His people.  He had many characteristics that were noted in scripture.  He was called the “weeping Prophet”  (Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17) or the “prophet of loneliness” (because he was commanded not to marry, 16:2).  He was also known as the “reluctant prophet” (Jeremiah 1:6).  But no matter if he was called the weeping prophet or the lonely prophet God used him in mighty ways.  In Jeremiah 29:10-14, it says“10 "For thus says the Lord, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12T hen you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’”  God has a perfect plan for each of us.  Even though we may not understand at the moment why something is happening, be assured that His ways are higher then our ways (Isaiah 55:9).  God does not have plans to harm us only plans to give us a future and hope.  

Read this story about a young lady who was raped at the age of 12 and later was told she was pregnant as a result.  Her testimony is one of complete trust in the Lord.

Joy Comes In The Morning!

Prayer: Father, Thank You that my weeping may last for the night and praising You that Joy Comes In The Morning.  I know for my life that the weeping brought me to a deeper relationship with You and a clearer understanding of Your love for me.  May those reading this today find that same understanding for their circumstances.  May that cling to You during those nights of weeping and rejoice in You that their Joy will come!  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Can You Hear Me Lord?

Can You Hear Me Lord?

Psalm 28: 2

2Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

This week we have been talking to our kids about their prayer time and how we need to listen to what we are really saying to God during that time.  I know children see life so differently than we do as adults but I also know that Jesus gave us the perfect example of a life of prayer.  As children they  tend to pray for the things they want.  Whether it is toys or to have fun at school but we should be teaching our children more about prayer.  There are some great devotional books to read with your children to begin this time of learning.  One that my children are reading now is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  It is a great way for them to begin to learn about having a quiet time with the Lord and learn to read their Bible.  She uses some great stories that are relevant to them.  But we should also be turning to scripture to teach our children about prayer and what God has to say about prayer.  

We see so often in scripture of times where God’s people would pray.  In Genesis 18:22-33, Abraham intercede for Sodom.  He was pleading for God to spare this immoral city because he knew that there were some holy people who lived there.  In this passage we see how we should pray for others and their salvation.  In 1 Kings 3:5-14, we see where Solomon is praying for wisdom.  How often do you pray for wisdom?  Do you pray that God would give you the ability to discern between good and evil.  Oh how badly we need people to be praying this prayer in our sinful world.  We have gotten so far off course that we can’t even see that things are evil because of the rose-colored glasses that we have chosen to wear.  In Luke 11:2-4 and Matthew 6:9-13, we see that Jesus taught his disciples how to pray by teaching them the Lord’s Prayer.  When was the last time you prayed the Lord’s Prayer?  We are taught in this Prayer about praise, forgiveness of sin, petition and submission to God’s Will.  What a perfect prayer!  Jesus also showed by example.  He would go off by himself and pray.  Our prayers are really for the Lord to hear.  Sometimes we get caught up in saying these elaborate prayers and unfortunately at times it is all for show and not really a time of talking with the Father.  

Sometimes though we just don’t know how to pray or what to say.  Last night we shared with Noah about what prayer is and how we pray.  God knows our hearts.  He knows what we are going to say but we believe we should confess those thoughts aloud to Him.  God desires to hear from His children.  He desires to be in relationship with us.  He loves to hear praise.  I know there have been times that I have been upset and angry at God but did not think I could say that.  Oh how wrong I was.  Just look at the Psalms and David’s cry to the Lord.  He pours his heart and soul out for God to fill him back up with His love and His mercy.  Just this morning for the kids devotion it used 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  

Still there are other times that we feel like our prayers are not even leaving the room.  That God never hears them.  Maybe we feel this way because we aren’t getting the answers that we want to hear or nothing is changing in our lives.  Remember, God has a perfect plan for each of our lives.  His timing is always perfect.  We must learn to trust Him and His ways.  He hears your prayers even when you have no hope left.  God will always be there.  Rejoice Always!  Pray without Ceasing.  Give Thanks!These words below brought me such comfort when my mom was dying and also when I was struggling with so many things during my past.  I pray that it brings you comfort today as well.

Prayer: Father, Thank you again for your constant love for me!  Thank you for the time that I have to spend with You each morning.  Thank you for the words that you give others to encourage me.  May I learn to Rejoice Always, Pray with our ceasing and Give thanks!  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.  

Hanging By A Thread
by Jeff and Sheri Easter

A woman needed healing,
Of that dreaded disease.
Her money brought sufficient,
But only Jesus could bring relief.
Though her last thread of hope,
It was worn down to the string.
Her heart held on to faith,
Till she could touch him with her hand.

Cause when you're hanging by a thread,
Still you can climb life's mountain.
Though the cliffs are rough and jagged,
You can cope.
If you should slip and reach ropes end,
You'll find the hem of His garment.
So don't let go of that last thread of hope.

Is that You hanging onto,
A frayed and fragile faith.
Are you clinging to the rock,
Above a canyon of dismay?
Reach out for the lifeline,
It will never break into.
Hold fast don't lose heart,
Once again God will pull you through.

Cause when you're hanging by a thread,
Still you can climb life's mountain.
Though the cliffs are rough and jagged,
You can cope.
If you should slip and reach ropes end,
You'll find the hem of His garment.
So don't let go of that last thread of hope.

If you should slip and reach ropes end,
You'll find the hem of His garment.
So don't let go of that last thread of hope.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Psalm 26:2
2 Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.

When was the last time you had a thorough health exam? I was reading an article about skin cancer and how thorough you must be about examining your body for possible cancer spots on your skin.  Most people do not want to take the time or put that much effort into doing such a thorough exam.  We think that it will never happen to us.  We won’t be the one to get skin cancer or develop some kind of disease.  But we have to take the time to have those thorough exams by our doctors to make sure that all is well with our bodies.  We also must take the time to eat properly and get the proper amount of rest that our bodies require in order to maintain good health.  These habits don’t come naturally so we have to begin to slowly develop them to ensure that they become habits for a lifetime. 

Just like taking a thorough exam of our bodies, we must begin to take a thorough exam of our spiritual life as well.  Unfortunately, this is not so easy to do at times.  We want to sweep our sins under the rug or just completely ignore certain behaviors.  David desires for God to search him, examine him, and try him.  He wants God to “examine his claims to be innocent of the charges of wickedness brought against him by others.”(NASB footnote) But I wonder how often we really want God to examine us and to try us.  To test our minds and our hearts.  Would we really want to know what He finds?  But if we are to grow in our relationship with Him we must examine our minds and our hearts every day.  God knows our hearts.  He knows our motives for doing things and sometimes those motives are what infects our relationship with Him.  We must begin to dig deeper in our understanding of His word so that His word can cleanse our bodies from those bad “infections”.  

Today, will you ask God to examine you and try you?  Will you ask Him to test your mind and your heart?  I know this will be tough because you may not like the results but some exams are difficult to have.  However, the end results can be wonderful.  Even if you discover that you are at fault or that your heart is not where it needs to be, seek forgiveness and God will cleanse you.  The wonderful aspect of God when you accept Him as your Lord and Savior is that He will wash you white as snow.  

Prayer: Father, today, Exam me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.  I need you more than life itself and desire to be a pleasing site in Your eyes.  Show me where I have caused pain or caused others to stumble in their walk.  Reveal to me Your loving nature so that I may show this Love to others.  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.