"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

July 3, 2019


I'm going to give you fair warning..... this devotional may cause you to flinch or offend your sensibilities! But I truly believe if you will read it with an open heart, my message can give you insight and cause you to think. There are certain body parts that we whisper about and don't like to discuss out loud; but here we go!

This past weekend we had a lady pastor from Nigeria speak at our church on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on Sunday morning. The theme of her sermons was, "What do you have in your hand," which encouraged us to find the gifts and talents which God has placed within our hand and to use them. Why? So that our place in the body of Christ will function correctly and we will fulfill God's plan and purpose for our lives.

Pastor Ugah gave an example that has stuck in my mind; which I'm going to share with you, as well as expound upon what God has been speaking to me through that story. But first of all, I would like to share a scripture with you:

1 Corinthians 12:22-25 says, ".....those parts of the body that seem to be less important are indispensable. Those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe with greater honor; and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty; but our presentable parts have no such need. Rather God assembled the body, giving more honor to those who are lacking, so that there may be no division in the body, but so that the parts may have the same care for one another."

Pastor Ugah knows a lady whose baby was born without an anus. There was no hole where the baby could defecate..... or as we more commonly say, "poop". There was solid skin where the anus should have been. So the mother brought the baby to Pastor Ugah. It's belly was bloated and swollen, due to not being able to discharge feces from the body. This was a very serious health problem! So Pastor Ugah prayed, God healed the baby and an anus opened up right before their eyes.

Often we don't truly understand or think about the importance of a body part, until it's not there or not working correctly. We recognize how important our hands, arms, fingers, feet, legs, ears, eyes, mouth.... all of those outward parts that we see and use daily.... are. They are the parts that are visual which we use, bathe, and care for daily.

We wipe our bottom when we pee and poop; but do we actually ever think about how important those parts are to our health? We would if we started having issues and they weren't working and doing their job!

We know that the brain, heart, liver, lungs, stomach and kidneys are vital organs; and know about the importance of veins, arteries, muscles and bones. But what about our pancreas, tailbone, thyroid, larynx, lymph nodes, or spleen? How many times do we really even think about them or their function? Probably not very often, unless we have an issue with them. But each of those body parts are important to the complete function of the body.

The scripture passage that I used above states that those parts of the body that seem to be less important are indispensable. Parts of our body that we find embarrassing to talk about to others, we clothe them in order to be modest. We cover those parts that seem to be less honorable. Yet, when God created the body, He gave honor to those parts that are lacking and unseen. Why? So that there is no division in the body between those parts that are seen and those that aren't. They are all of equal importance and value.

Many christians tend to categorize the importance of the gifts and ministries within the body of Christ. Those who are seen and are leaders tend to be honored as being of the utmost importance in the body. Pastors, evangelist, teachers, and worship leaders are applauded and given honor and recognized as being vital in the kingdom of God. But there are so many others who are either unseen or in the background, that are like those body parts that are so vital, but often not thought about or recognized as being important.

There are janitors, door-greeters, ushers, people who mow the church lawn, nursery workers, sound man, church treasurer, maintenance men, prayer warriors and intercessors, those who buy church supplies (toilet paper being a biggie!), and so many others who faithfully do what God has placed in their heart to do. I've often heard that many times people don't even think about the fact that someone is in the sound booth, until that moment when the sound system squeals or isn't working correctly or a song or powerpoint doesn't play or work.... then everyone in the church will turn around and look to see who the culprit is who dared let such a thing happen!

When we think about which body part we may be, most of us would like to think of ourselves as being the hands, heart, eyes, or something along those lines. But to be the anus?! The purpose of the anus is to allow waste to leave the body in order to keep the body healthy. Perhaps the purpose of the anus in the body of Christ is to have the spirit of discernment to know what needs to be expelled from the body. Perhaps it's to get rid of any unhealthy spirits which might try to enter into the body and cause illness and destruction.

What about being the breast and nipples of the body? The one who is called to nursery ministry in the church, taking care of the babies and toddlers. Another duty may be to give the milk of the Word to new converts in order to nourish them so that may grow.

Each of us has something in our hand that God has given to us to use! If we fail to utilize the gift or talent which He has given us, then the body of Christ can't properly function. You may think that what you do has no value, but if you're not doing your part, it affects the entire body. The body is not going to be as effective and function as well as it should/could if each person is not doing their part.

Here's the kicker.... not every job in the body of Christ is done inside the church. God may have given you the gift to do hospital visitation.... visit shut-ins.... encourage and help those who are going through difficult transitions in their life.... financially help those in need.... read to someone who has lost their eyesight... pick up groceries for a busy mom or someone who is housebound.... babysit for working parents.... sing or play an instrument at senior centers.... prison or jail ministry.... intercessory prayer in your prayer closet where no one ever sees or knows about.... and the list goes on and on and on.....

It's doing what God has given you a passion to do. It's doing what God places on your heart to do, regardless of whether or not anyone else knows about it. It's utilizing what God has placed in your hand; not holding onto it and admiring it or questioning it's use, but being faithful to use your gift so that the body can function well.

I heard an interview with one of Billy Graham's grandsons. He said that his grandfather always said that when he got to heaven there would be a waiting line to see God, and he would be at the back of it. That all of the numerous people who were behind the scenes in his ministry would be in line ahead of him, because he got his recognition on earth and they went unnoticed. Rev. Graham traveled all over the world preaching huge crusades, was on television, visited presidents and kings, and was famous world-wide. Hundreds of thousands of people have heard of him and know of his ministry; and hundreds of thousands were saved in his crusades. But he recognized that there were many, many people behind the scenes that no one knew about, who were working so that he could do what God had called him to do. People who were necessary parts in the body of Christ, but few people knew their name or of their importance to his ministry.

When our attitude is one of wanting to be recognized or applauded for our work in the kingdom of God, then we lose the purpose which God has called us to. Our purpose should always be to bring glory to God and point others to Him.

What's in your hand? What has God given to you so that you can be effective in His kingdom? God never leaves anyone out or skips over or misses someone. Every single one of us has something that God has placed in our hand to use.

God asked Moses, "What's that in your hand?" Moses answered, "A rod." Just a simple ordinary looking shepherds rod! But look what God did with that rod! He parted the Red Sea when Moses stretched his rod out over it.... He brought enough water from a rock for all of the Israelites to have plenty to drink when Moses struck the rock with his rod.... God used Moses' rod to help the Israelites win the war against the Amalelites (as long as the rod was raised the Israelites would prevail).

We may not have anything tangible in our hand, but God has given us all something that we can do for His kingdom. We all have purpose. If you don't know what God has placed in your hand, ask Him to give you clarity. No job is too big or too small. We are all necessary in the health and function of the body of Christ!


I've been on several hikes. I like having a staff to use as a walking stick. It's surprising how uncommon it is to find a really good staff. I wouldn't casually toss one aside, unless it's because I found an even better one. There is nothing magical or particularly special about a staff, especially the second best one you find.

I'm sure Moses felt the same way about his staff. It was good, probably the straightest strong limb he could find. But it wasn't that special. Then, just as Moses was trying to talk God out of sending him, and asked what he (Moses) could possibly have to confront Pharaoh with, God asked Moses what he had in his hand. Nothing. Well, he did have this old staff, but nothing useful. And God turned it into something amazingly useful.

One important point here is that God didn't drop a divine Rod-Of-Miracles at Moses's feet. He took what Moses already had, and made it divine.

I suppose God tried over several decades to tell Moses in subtle ways that he was going to have return to Egypt. But like I would, I expect Moses would have ignored anything subtle. Even when God confronted Moses with no hint of subtlety, Moses still tried to get out of his fate, claiming that his poor speech would only hurt God's cause.

I suspect there are times when God tries to send someone on a mission, and if they refuse, He sends someone else. But this is a case where prophecies had lined up, and been coordinated so Moses was the one, the only, fulfillment of those prophecies. God didn't let him off the hook.

I hope I haven't ignored God's calling on my life. I would hate to have someone else take over for my lacking, or to have to be confronted with a burning bush. I hope each of us will see what we already have, and allow God to turn it into something divine and powerful, even if no-one else ever knows about it.


Heavenly Hash Cake

2 sticks butter

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup pecans

1-1/2 cups flour

1 large jar marshmallow cream

4 tablespoons cocoa

Combine all ingredients except marshmallow cream. Bake 25 minutes at 350 in sheet pan. Spread marshmallow cream on top while cake is hot.


1 stick butter

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 pound powdered sugar

4-6 tablespoons milk

Mix all ingredients together. Spread on top of cake.


Jon and I recently celebrated our fourteenth anniversary. We were talking with one another that yes, we have lots of memories of those years before we met, but our lives have become so intertwined and fused together that in many ways it seems as if we've always been a part of one another's life. It's hard to really remember when we haven't been married. Perhaps that is part of the meaning of two becoming one. Our focus is mainly on our present lives and enjoying each day together. Neither of us miss our single days, nor do we ever wish to go back and relive them.

That's how it should be with Jesus -- our lives so intertwined with His that it's difficult to really remember a time when we didn't have Him in our lives. We don't look back at our past life, before knowing Him, wishing we could go back or talking about the "good old days" and the sinful lifestyle that we lived. We cherish the life that we have with Jesus now and enjoy each day with Him.


Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible. - Corrie ten Boom


We love you!

Loretta & Jon