"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

May 29, 2019


Have you ever laid something down or put it in a "safe" place, then when you need it, you can't find it? I think we've all done that at one time or another. We will search and look everywhere that we can think of, then the longer we go without being able to locate it, the more frantic, stressed, and frustrated we become.

It's always a relieve when we find what was missing. Sometimes we feel silly or perhaps even a bit stupid when we find where we had laid it.

A friend told Jon and me a story about his uncle, who is in his seventies. He called his wife and was frantic because he couldn't find his cell phone. He was needing to go somewhere and didn't want to leave without his phone. He asked if she had seen his phone and had her looking for it. Finally, a daughter overheard the conversation and asked whose phone he was calling from. Oops!! He was using his cell phone! And no, he doesn't have dementia or have memory loss. But he had been busy and distracted, then didn't see his cell phone when he looked for it, and he didn't realize that he had it in his hand all the time.

People have had similar experiences: looking for their glasses when they are either already wearing them or they are on top of their head; looking for car keys that are in their hand or pocket or already in the ignition; or whatever the object may be -- they look for something that they already have.

But then there are times when we need an important paper and know that we put it somewhere for safe keeping, then can't find it when it is needed. We look everywhere that we can think of, places where we've kept such things in the past, and it has seemingly disappeared. The more we search, the more agitated we become. Then emotions set in. We either become angry, or tearful, or start blaming someone else for losing it.

When Jon and I were dating, his dad gave me pearl earrings for Christmas; which was something he liked doing for the women in the family (although Jon and I were not yet engaged and I was not in the family yet!). One Sunday night, I got home from being out with Jon. I was changing into my nightgown and reached up to take off the earrings and one wasn't there. I called Jon to see if he would look in his parent's living room, where we had been earlier that evening. He looked and couldn't find it. I looked everywhere I could think of. I begin to panic and prayed and asked God to please help me find that necklace. I happened to look down, and there it was on the bedroom floor. There was a great sense of relief when I found that earring.

On the other hand, when I first started making quilts I used my sisters sewing room and her equipment. I started making a quilt and had all of the blocks made, but had not yet sewn them together. Before leaving her home that day, I had laid them out on the bed so I could see how the quilt would look when sewn together, then had carefully picked the blocks up and ironed them and stacked them in order. I knew how many blocks I had. Then a few days later, I went back and began sewing the blocks together and came up short three blocks. I looked and looked everywhere. I looked behind the sewing table where they had been laying, in the trash bag where we put scraps, in the bedroom where I'd laid them out..... there was nowhere that I didn't look. My sister looked on my behalf. Those quilt blocks were never found! I have no idea what happened to them. I didn't have enough fabric to make new blocks to replace the missing ones and there was no way to make it so that it would look right, so that quilt never was completed.

Sometimes we have things that go missing in our lives; whether it be joy, peace, misplaced spiritual gifts or callings, talents, anointing, etc. A period of time may go by before we even realize that something is amiss and missing. We may have been busy, or in the midst of a crisis, or just doing daily life, and it slipped away gradually and it wasn't until we needed it that we couldn't find it.

Many years ago when I was in my early-twenties I was going through a stressful time. There were many things that I was dealing with, and really didn't have clear direction on what I should be doing with my life, didn't have very much money or a good job, wanted to be married and have a family, and it seemed as if nothing was going right no matter how hard I tried. I became miserable inside, and it began to show outside through my words and attitude. Someone finally told me, "Loretta, the joy of the Lord is your strength -- that's in the Word of God. When you lose your joy, you lose your strength." I've never forgotten that, and have had to remind myself of those words many times during my lifetime. When I begin feeling anxious, or stressed, or worried, or I find myself complaining, or I find that my attitude isn't as it should be, I do an internal check. Have I lost my joy... have I lost my laughter... have I lost my song? Have I lost the joy that comes from the Lord? If so, then that is why I'm feeling weak, because I lose my strength when I lose my joy. That same principle is the same for us all.

Perhaps you feel as if you have no purpose and aren't useful anymore. Backtrack and retrace your steps to when you started feeling that way. What happened to cause you to think or feel that you were no longer needed or that you had to stop using your talents or that there is nothing that you can do? Each and every one of us has a God-given purpose! There is something that we all can do and we are all needed in some way, for some reason. If you feel that you've lost that, ask God to show you when you started feeling that way and to reveal to you how to live in His purpose and plan for your daily life, and what you can do to accomplish His will. There is always someone whom we can help and encourage. There is something that we can offer that someone needs. We have abilities and gifts and talents that God wants to use.

If you feel that something has gone missing in your life, God will bring restoration. It doesn't matter if you're missing peace, joy, purpose, anointing.... or if you feel useless and that no one really needs anything that you have to offer.... or that you can no longer use the gifts and talents that God has given to you or have no place to use them; or that for whatever reason you've stopped using them and don't know how to do so again.... or you've lost hope.... or you've lost enthusiasm or passion for God and spiritual things..... Whatever it may be, God can help you find what's missing and restore it back to you. But you have to acknowledge that it has been misplaced or is gone, and ask Him to do so.

Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."


So many people won't look to God for that joy and peace. So, they look one place after another, never quite satisfied.

We might assume that Christians wouldn't do that. Unfortunately, we tend to look for joy and peace from the wrong sources, too, till we get a reminder. Hopefully it's a nice, subtle reminder like a newsletter. But sometimes, we lose our joy, and keep seeking for a long time till we get desperate enough to start questioning where we are looking.

We do that with healing, too. We try medication, we try doctors. And if that fails, we try prayer.

Let's start starting with prayer.



2 pounds ground beef

3 teaspoons minced garlic

3 cups water

2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce

2 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes

3 bay leaves

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Saute ground beef in skillet until cooked; drain. Add garlic and saute about 5 minutes. Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.

Add the uncooked elbow macaroni to skillet, stir well, return the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off heat, remove the bay leaves, and add the 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese; stir.


Over the past several days there has been much flooding and tornadoes in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. And there is additional rain in the forecast for the next couple weeks. Many people are in need of prayer!

Over the weekend I was complaining because our yard has had almost continuous standing water in it for several days now; not flooding, but anywhere from a half inch to a couple inches in low places, which makes it impossible to mow. About the time the water evaporates enough so I can mow, we get more rain.

Then I began seeing pictures of people who have lost their homes to flooding, have been displaced, and have lost so much. It made me realize that really, I am so blessed and have no reason for complaints!!


God is not asking you to figure it out.

God is asking you to trust that He already has. - tobymac


We love you!

Loretta & Jon