Is There an App for That? by Mary Kane

“Jane—is there an app for that?”

I called to my sister from her guest room while was tidying up her office across the hall. We had just returned from the Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference and were brain-storming on how to apply what we had learned to our lives and ministries. During one of ID-100157182my sessions the facilitator encouraged me to use a notebook to organize my writing ideas. I thought a computer would be more efficient than a notebook, so I asked my tech-savvy sister if there was such thing as a writer’s app.

Jane answered, “Yes, there is a writing organizer app for your Mac, but they also have apps for your Kindle.” My Kindle? I purchased a Kindle a few months ago and instantly became a Kindle fan. When I bought my e-reader, however, I thought it was only for reading books. I did not know that I could use my Kindle for other thing such as watching movies, making voice recordings, searching the Internet or editing documents.  I looked with new respect at the intricate little instrument sitting next to me on my bed. I wondered how many others untapped powers and abilities were hidden behind its glossy black screen.  Abruptly I felt my heart quicken as the Holy Spirit nudged my soul. “This is how people often live life … using only one app … John 3:16.”


The wheels began turning in my mind as I thought through what God was revealing to me. We app-ly John 3:16 to our hearts and get saved, but some never move on to live the abundant life. The John 3:16 app is just the beginning. Sadly, many Christians remain unaware of the powerful potential that is hidden within God’s app store, the Bible.ID-100142898


God has countless apps. In fact, God has an app for every need. For instance, if you have blown it big time, download Evergrace at Ephesians 1:7. Perhaps you feel lonely and need a little fellowship—purchase the app Faceinthebook at 1 John 1:3 and start interacting with social media. Maybe you are low on faith–try TheWord 2008, which must be directly downloaded to your heart from Romans 10:17. The best thing about God’s apps is they are free! (Save your coins for your tithe!)

What great need do you have today? Go to God’s app store (the Bible), and download an app (a verse) to your heart. Please remember–God’s apps are meant to be app-lied to your life. The more apps you download, the more you’ll realize there’s no limit to what God can do!

By Mary Kane

All rights reserved. Copyright 2013


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Rest in His Love

Rest in His Love


Jane VanOsdol

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.Matthew 11:28-30


It had been a rough week. Friday rolled around and I could feel the exhaustion of a week settle in on me. My time had been filled with homeschooling the kids, cooking, keeping up with loads of laundry, teaching at the co-op and preparing my lesson for my Sunday School class. I still had to pack all of our clothes for a weekend trip to visit family. As the afternoon wore on, I felt progressively worse and a fever and chills set in. It quickly became apparent that I wasn’t going anywhere.

My husband decided to still take the kids to see their grandparents so that [Read more…]

Mary’s Journey

Mary’s Journey


Jane VanOsdol

I will never forget the birth of my third child. It was early December, and I was 9 months pregnant with my baby. My second child had been born with a congenital heart defect and died shortly after birth. Although the doctors had assured us that everything was fine with this baby, we were all anxiously anticipating the birth. The baby was big, and I was so uncomfortable. I wasn’t able to relax in any position, sitting, standing or lying down. A few days before my due date, my husband and I were driving home. The road was full of pot holes and ruts. Every jolt felt as if it were going to send me into labor on that excruciating ride. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car.

As I was complaining to my husband about the bumpy roads (and probably grumpily about his driving!), a vision of Mary, Jesus’ mother popped into my head. In my mind I transported myself back to her journey on a donkey, of all things, into Bethlehem. I imagined what it would be like to be her. She knew the birth of her baby was imminent, and yet she found herself leaving behind her home, her family, her mother—who would have helped her in the birthing process—to begin a long, tiresome journey to another city.

I could well imagine what it must have felt like to perch atop a donkey as it plodded along, step by jolting step. The dust the donkey kicked up surely wafted around them, clinging to her garments and  scratching at her dry, dusty throat. How her back must have ached from sitting slumped on a donkey for hours, that pain being overshadowed as the force of intensifying contractions gripped her weary body.

I at least knew I would have a birthing room and expert help for my baby. Mary had no such assurances. All the women who would have helped her were back home. She had no idea of where they would be stopping and what accommodations she would have. “How did she do it?” I found myself wondering. By all accounts, she was probably only 14 years old, and this was her first baby. I can only imagine what Joseph felt as he looked back at his young wife suffering on the donkey.

We have the advantage of knowing how this story ends. There was no room in any inn, so Joseph gently settled Mary in the stable with a clean pile of straw for her bedding and the cows and bleating sheep for roommates. They had each other and God and His promises to sustain them though the most holy of nights. Despite the odds against them, God’s plan was not to be denied, and Jesus entered this world with a herald of angels melodiously announcing His birth.

Since that time, I’ve never again glossed over Luke 2:7 as I’ve read through the Christmas story. I allow myself to think about the journey and suffering and sacrifice that went on that night as the Word became flesh. Two young peasants with the love and courage to say yes to God’s miraculous plan found themselves as the earthly parents of the Messiah! And the world has not been the same since.

Prayer:  Lord, we are humbled by the birth of Your Son. We thank You for sending Him to earth so that we can be saved. We look to the example that Mary and Joseph set, and we can only pray for the same willingness to say yes to Your plans when you call on us. Amen.

Copyright 2009        Jane VanOsdol        All Rights Reserved

Seedtime and Harvest

“While the earth remains,

Seedtime and harvest,

Cold and heat,

Winter and summer,

And day and night

Shall not cease.”

Genesis 8:22

Seedtime and Harvest


Jane VanOsdol

Through my adult years, I’ve developed a love for gardening. There’s just something about watching a bare plot of grass transform into a flower-filled haven, alive with fluttering butterflies, birds and bees. Or you just can’t beat popping that first luscious cherry tomato still warm from the summer sun into your mouth.

When my children were little, I tried to get them interested in helping me tend the garden. They would plant a few seeds or help me transplant tender young plants into the ground for a few minutes, but soon their backs would hurt or they would be hot or their attention would wander to a more thrilling activity. And weeding? I never had any willing participants when it was time to take back control of the garden from invaders! Even at harvest time, they weren’t too enthused to help gather the vegetables. Biting chiggers, mosquitos and “itchy grass”–from all the weeds!–sent them slinking off to more fun activities. But, they were sure happy to help eat our tomatoes or beans or lettuce.

You know, I guess we adults aren’t that much different than kids when it comes to our “spiritual crops.” Most of us love to celebrate when a hard-fought spiritual victory has been won–a drug addiction beaten, a troublesome teen sees the light, a friend decides to follow Christ, or a cancer goes into remission. But I wonder, how many more victories could we be a part of if we were willing to “sow more seeds, pick more weeds and water the crops”?

Our verse from Genesis today tells us that there is a seedtime and a harvesttime. I think the time part can be a problem for all of us. It takes time and effort to hold someone accountable for an addiction, to stick by a teenager who is in “rebel-mode,” to meet at the inner-city center and develop relationships with the kids, or to hold someone’s hand while they’re throwing up from chemo. It’s hard, it’s messy and tough love isn’t a lot of fun. But, isn’t that what Jesus calls us to? Being there in the seedtime will increase the chance that we’ll get to see some harvests. Sometimes we plant a seed that someone else gets to harvest, or we get to harvest the seed that someone else planted! However God works it out, let’s think about planting a seed in a life today.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the times of sowing and harvesting that make up the cycle of life. Show us where you want us to sow some seeds this month. Amen.

Copyright 2009                            Jane VanOsdol              All Rights Reserved