Planted By God to Display His Glory -Isaiah 61:3

Posts tagged ‘Devotion’

Re-written in Red Ink: Jesus is the Game Changer

Sharing a devotion at Internet Cafe co-written with my daughter:

Much of my life over the last three years has been written in black ink…a dark script of pain, sorrow, loss and loneliness.

And yet, every day and every word of darkness God has edited, rewritten, crossed out, and written over in red ink.


Red-inked words of life rewritten over the black-inked script of our lives.

A truth so beautifully captured in a story my daughter wrote when she was just sixteen:


Imagine an intense checkers game.

You’re the red pieces…and your opponent smiles menacingly as he sets up his black pieces. You start out feeling very confident, thinking that this game will be a breeze. But as the game goes on, red pieces start disappearing and black kings seem to be everywhere you try to go. Eventually the board is totally void of red pieces…except for one.

One tiny, pathetic little piece is cornered by all the black kings. Sweat pours down your face and you think that there is no way you could ever beat your opponent. On the other hand, he’s sitting across from you with glinting eyes and a devilish smile, showing confidence that makes you feel like he could jump up and smash you into the ground.

But then a shadow falls across the board. You both look up, and see a man standing there with a smile on his face. A patch on his shirt says “All-Time Checkers Champion, 33AD.” You look over at your opponent, only to see that his face has gone white. The man gently places his hand on your shoulder and says, “Well, how’s the game going?”  

“Not so well…” You reply. “I’m going to lose.”

The man quickly scans over the board and then looks back at you. “Doesn’t look too bad to me. Anyway, this isn’t your game…”

To read the rest of the devotion at Internet Cafe click here.

©Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved

An Epic Story Sandwich

Happy 21st Birthday to my daughter Sarah! May you have more-than-enough, overflowing joy today!

And a yummy sandwich! 🙂

Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. ”More, more.”  I have God’s more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees. Psalm 4:6-7 (MSG)


It motivates.

That gnawing, I-need-something-to-eat-right-now feeling forces us to seek the nourishment we need to stay healthy. And for 20-something girls with an appetite, that nourishment is often found (with coupons) at the local sub shop…

Last week my daughter Sarah headed out to feed her hunger and brought home more than a sandwich to eat…she brought me another “Faith Lesson My Daughter Taught Me.”

Wrapped in paper and emblazoned with the title “An Epic Story Sandwich,” it goes like this:

We were standing in line to order in front of the glass case with all the ingredients neatly organized in their metal joycontainers. My friend Kassi and I were joking around and I mentioned how funny it would be if you ordered your sandwich in story form. Kassi dared me to do it. So I turned to the guy behind the counter and asked him if I could order my sandwich in a story.

His stoic, greet-the-customer smile transformed into a playful grin. He set up the bread and then positioned himself to act out the story. Josh the sandwich guy was ready to play along…

Click HERE to read the rest of the story at Internet Cafe Devotions!

Sending joy your way today,

© Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved.

coloring life beautiful…

With fear and trembling, I’ve started a new website and blog. This is the first “official” post.
Over time, I will transition from this blog to the new one, and I hope you will continue to share the journey with me there!
God’s been doing amazing things in my life since I started sharing here, turning bad days and lost dreams into beauty and hope…like only He can...

coloring life beautiful

My journal led me here…to coloring life beautiful.
I went looking for a holy experience of beauty in the midst of suffering, and found it…
Beauty Moments

My beauty moment—recognizing that to see the world through a child’s eyes is such a gift. But when the child is gone…and I no longer experience those moments naturally each day…how can I re-discover them again? How can I see life as new every day?

If I put on my child eyes…what did I see today that was new and beautiful?

Hmmm…my first thought is “me.” What a great place to start God. I never would have thought of that, but of course you would!

Click here to read the rest of the post at

May the Lord color your life beautiful today,

©Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved

How I Impressed the Grocery Bagging Guy

I’m sharing a fun story at Internet Cafe Devotions today!

I’m like most women I see at the grocery store—I shop alone.

I plan our family meals, take stock of the bare cupboards, and venture solo to the mega store where, list in hand, I methodically hunt down and gather our food each week. It’s exhausting work doing it alone. Reaching, bending, lifting, carrying, and loading all those groceries into and out of that cart (and later into and out of the car and finally into the cupboards) is a workout!

I’m convinced the reason many women wear sweatpants to the grocery store is because they know how much they are going to sweat!

A few years ago I hurt my shoulder and had to go solo to the store with my left arm in a sling. I soon realized I could never pass the straight-line-cart-driving-sobriety test steering with only one hand, and the more items I put in, the worse it got. Weaving around the store, I became more and more frustrated and less and less in control of my cart. Then it dawned on me that I was going to have to load and unload everything with one hand too. I quickly pared down my list to the necessities and carefully maneuvered my way to the checkout.

I had unloaded about a third of my cart onto the revolving belt before the pleasant young man behind the bagging station offered to help. They usually don’t offer to help me, so I knew one of three things must be true—either I looked like I needed help because of the sling, he saw me drunk-driving my cart, or, more than likely, my slow, one at a time unloading was holding up the sighing impatient line of customers behind me. Usually fiercely independent on grocery shopping treks, this time I was embarrassed and grateful for the help…

Click here to read the rest of the story at Internet Cafe Devotions to discover how an arm injury, a Homecoming dance and a grocery clerk helped me get an important message from God!

Linda CrawfordHave a sunny-side up day!


© 2012, Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up, all rights reserved.

Divine Creativity

It’s officially Spring and we’ve been blessed with warm weather and bright sunshine for weeks now. There’s sure to be more snow and gray days ahead, yet it’s hard not to be inspired by leaf buds and flowers stalks that hint at the promised beauty of the colors yet to come.

Every spring I find myself in awe of the creativity of God–the emerging sights, sounds and colors of the season inspire and challenge me. Birds sing in my backyard, purple crocuses adorn an empty garden, neighbors appear for afternoon chats and doggy visits. Life is stirring again after prolonged hidden-ness and I find myself wanting to embrace and breathe of it anew.

God is so creative. Life is so creative.

We humans are so creative.

Spring has me pondering our human creativity this week.  How do composers create music? Artists paint? Writers write? Singers sing? Designers design? Builders build? Cooks cook? Dancers dance? Actors act? Speakers speak? Mothers mother?

To create beauty–to be a planting for the display of His glory. That’s my tagline for this blog, and the desire of my heart as a writer.

So today, with the sun shining through my patio window and a robin singing in the backyard, I took a few moments to sit and write the desires of my heart for my creative process as a writer.

It started as a seed and bloomed as this:

What would it be like to catch a divine sentence in a butterfly net?

Beautiful, it flutters near to show off its markings, the colors of its meaning, and the rhythm of its movement.

Yet it has no sound to be heard, no melody—until captured and translated into crooked letters that are placed along a path.

Like crumbs of bread the words entice the hungry to eat, to follow their journey, to discover where they will lead…

Once studied, heard in song and transformed into words to hunger for, the divine sentence is released with gratitude to fly back to its creator.

This is how I wish to write.

If only I could capture a tiny piece of beauty, a glimmer of truth, a portion of His love to share in words–to put His glory on display…all the struggles of the creative process would be worthwhile.

Thank goodness I have a book filled with words of beauty, truth and love to guide me…

Every word you give me is a miracle word— how could I help but obey? Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning. Psalm 119:129-130 (MSG)

 They defeated him (the enemy of our souls) through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. Revelation 12:11 (MSG)

The bold word of their witness…

Let’s keep speaking, singing, writing, dancing, painting and creating beauty to put the glory of the Lord on display!

Linda CrawfordHow does God inspire your creativity?

~ Linda

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up, 2012.

Spend Yourself: How Helping Others Can Help You

Sharing at Internet Cafe Devotions today!

…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10 NIV

Helping OthersThis scripture hit me over the head like a two-by-four about ten years ago.
 I was grieving the recent loss of a dear family member and adjusting to a 6,000 mile move back to the U.S. after three years living abroad…then September 11, 2001 happened.

It was too much grief to bear and the darkness of it closed in upon me. To make matters worse, there was no “rewind” button to jump back into the friendships and church community I had left three years before. Things were different, I was different, and my old friends had moved on.

Except for the immediate family of my husband and daughter, I was desperately alone, and in emotional pain the likes of which I never imagined possible to live through.

I clung to my Bible for comfort to help me rest through the darkest hours of night and ransacked the pages during the day, desperately looking for crumbs of hope to live on.

It was on one of those desperate searches one day I found more than a crumb to live on—I found an endless feast of truth in Isaiah 58.

IF you spend yourself, THEN the light will enter your darkness…

Click here to read the rest of my story.

Have a blessed day spending away!  🙂


The Red Shoe Revolution Has Begun!

Why red shoes?

They help me share real life, real love, and real hope with you because Jesus gave me my red shoes, and they set me free to be who God created me to be!

If you’ve been following this blog for the last year, you’ve read about my red shoes and how much they mean to me.

So why a red shoe revolution?

Once I started sharing my red shoe story, an amazing thing happened! First my daughter bought a pair of red shoes, then as more women read my story, or heard me share it, they were inspired to get their own red shoes! Now God’s using my little story to inspire girls and women across North America (and who knows where else) to put on their red shoes and step out in faith too!

It’s a revolution of sharing the love of Jesus with the world!

It’s not just about my story, it’s about sharing YOUR stories, so we can keep encouraging one another to step out in faith.

Amanda’s story is the first to be shared, and already (after one day) it’s been read by hundreds all over the world!

I’ve shared an excerpt here, but I hope you’ll click over to the red shoe revolution site to read her full story and then send in your own to share! Somebody needs to see YOUR red shoes! 🙂

Amanda’s Story

(Amanda is a red shoe sister from California. Her story is written by her Mom, Debbie Walker and was first shared on their church’s girls like me blog.)

I want to share with you a journey my daughter Amanda has been on since September of last year.  To those of you who don’t know Amanda, she is vibrant, talkative, bold, has a beautiful singing voice and a beautiful smile to match.  She sings occasionally on our worship team and people are naturally drawn to her.

This past September, the day before my wonderful granddaughter Selah was born; Amanda was afflicted with a condition known as Bell’s palsy.  Bell’s palsy is the result of a virus that attacks the nerves which are connected to the facial muscles.  It affects only one side of the face.  What that means is Amanda has been unable to smile, has had a difficult time talking, eating and even doing one of her favorite things … singing.

When it comes to this particular condition, science really doesn’t know a lot about it. The thing they do know is that it comes on suddenly; it seems to be connected to stress and that in about 85% of people it goes away just as mysteriously as it came.  The healing in most victims seems to progress gradually. Typically individuals have a complete recovery within three months.

In Amanda’s case, weeks were going by and she had no movement and no signs of any change.  She felt ugly.  She didn’t want to be around people.  She wanted to hide.  And she certainly didn’t want to sing.  She cried a lot of tears…

Click here to read the rest of Amanda’s story.

Share your story by sending it to:


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