Thank you, Mom and Dad, for choosing love and for dreaming big 60 years ago in the face of those who couldn’t see, and didn’t believe.

Thank you for taking giant steps of faith to venture far and wide believing that if we just stayed together life would be good. You have always exemplified perseverance. Even when it looked like there was no way, God was faithful. Thank you for walking through the way that He made.

Thanks for choosing life and commitment and hope for the future because by your example your children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren are choosing these values too.

Because I know you well, I know you never thought you were doing anything grand, but history tells a different story. Somewhere in heaven Hebrews 11 continues to be written. I feel sure a line has already been written, “Now by faith, Gary & Patricia Milford served God and…”

Thank you for being you and you. You’re a true story of how love and commitment and stubborn grit by faith in Jesus can overcome every hardship.
You are SO LOVED!

Here’s to many more years of watching God at work, weeping with joy, whispering gratitude and telling of God’s goodness for the generations!

Eyes on Jesus… You’re shining!


Years ago I purchased this sign at a Cracker Barrel store, and subsequently placed it next to the kitchen door leading to the garage as a daily reminder of some of our family values. I think it is not an exaggeration to write that our family has walked past this sign thousands of times over quite a number of years.

Initially, this prompt was quite effective. Our household of four mostly grown up people was a buzz of activity. We all repeatedly traversed the pathway in and out of that door. And during those few remaining parenting years, the sentiments were referenced and heeded regularly.

So, why did I take a picture of this sign today?

Well a funny thing happened as I assumed my new self-appointed role as daily dog feeding monitor. All three bowls of dog food went down and I took my neutral, but watchful position amongst the pack. Once lunch was served each dog moved to their respective bowl and began to eat. As long as I stay present, the dogs will eat without incident.

Thus, once a day I am stationed in this neutral location, and just today I found myself staring at this sign on the wall. Then I realized I was reading the words. Smiling, I remembered why I purchased the sign in the first place.

Suddenly, I was reminded of our goal to live these values out within and outside our family circle. We don’t get it right all the time, but we value these qualities. And we need to be reminded of all we value.

The act of remembering is something very important to God. As the best good Father, He has always given His children values on which to build their lives. Beyond simply stating His commandments through Moses, however, God Himself wrote them on stone tablets. Furthermore, God charged His children with posting these commandments in their homes and regularly teaching them to their children.

It’s tempting to think that these scriptures are out-dated and irrelevant. Yet all these years later people are still marking significant words on wood, t-shirts, and even skin. It’s normal, we realize, to want to remember words and sentiments that have impacted us in deep ways.

I still believe this sign serves a positive purpose in our home and for our family. The words displayed have not grown old or irrelevant. They accurately describe many of our family goals and values.

But just like the people of old, it’s not enough to read or hear the words once. Our time and effort are required to remind ourselves, to teach them and to put these values into action on a daily basis.

And again just like the people of old, sometimes we need a reason to stop, be still, look around and really see the truths we value. I’m grateful for this recent opportunity to be reminded of these wise words. I’m grateful too that I had this opportunity to be still and look around and see what I had been ignoring for quite some time.

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining,


Scripture references:

Deuteronomy 4, 5 & 6

Exodus 32:16

Joshua 1:7-9

1 Timothy 4:11-13

Purchase my book by clicking here: 31 Days of Gleaning with Ruth by Lisa Brittain

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31 Days of Gleaning With Ruth: Questioning My Way Through a Famine Season by Lisa Brittain.

Enjoy this devotional through the Old Testament book of Ruth with a fresh journal, a new pen and an open heart.

Thank you in advance for your purchase and for helping me help others get into the Word of God. I pray you see Jesus on every page and hear Him as He calls to you, “Follow Me.”

Eyes on Jesus… You’re Shining!


A Mother’s Prayer

2011. My prayer, “Lord, how do you want me to pray for this son?”

This verse was His answer. This one and psalm 107:1 & 1 Chronicles 16:34 { Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. }

I wasn’t sure that was a specific enough scripture to pray for a son. It seemed like a solid general prayer for neighbors, acquaintances & probably co-workers, but possibly not quite adequate for a son.

I questioned God’s choice. I did. If you know me in real life you’re not surprised by that.

You know, parents out there, I wanted a solid promise. An action. A game plan. I wanted a guaranteed conclusion.

God spoke softly to my heart because He knows me best. “Lisa, you want something you can manipulate and control. I Am asking you to trust Me, and simply pray this for the son you love because I love Him more.”

That has been true of His response to me as I have questioned His Sovereign Father guidance over both of our sons.

He continually reminds me to let go. He continually reminds me of His steadfast love. He continually reminds me that He is good.

For 10 solid years I have prayed a very simple prayer,
“I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever for this son and that son and that dear man and me.”

It was always a prayer for me. Father God always intended to teach me about His goodness and His steadfast and enduring love. He continues to pursue me with His love continually reminding me to push away control and manipulation. He encourages me to embrace trust in Him alone.

I’m learning. 10 years in… I’m growing in trust and intimacy with my heavenly Father.

How about you, friend?

What does Father God want you to trust into His good and loving hands? With whom does He ask you to trust?

Have you asked Him for scripture? Let Him show you something of His word to pray for His word is His character. His word is His promise.

Will you pray with me?

“I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever for _____________. Thank You, Father, for teaching me how to pray and trust and know You in a deeper way. I choose to trust Your character and Your good plans for ________________. I trust You to turn my heart from control and manipulation. I choose to trust Your love and goodness for me too. Thank You, God. Amen.”

Eyes on Jesus… You’re shining,


Trouble will knock, but who will answer?

Can you hear Jesus speaking these words to you? What does it mean to “not let” my heart be troubled?

I think I will ponder this active call to obedience today. What does it look like in my life to not let my heart be troubled?

Trouble will come. Trouble tries to break in daily. Trouble knocks loudly on some days.

What does it look like in my life to trade the reality of trouble for belief in Jesus? How can I practice His real presence in the face of trouble?

Right now I’m imagining TROUBLE pounding on my front door. I don’t want to answer the door, but they won’t go away. Perhaps I can ask Jesus to answer the door while I stand just behind Him.

What does believing Jesus and His presence look like, feel like in your life today? And how does that belief translate into action that doesn’t allow your heart to be troubled?

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
John 14:23 NLT

It appears to me that you and I have a choice. I’m choosing to ponder this scripture today looking for active faith.

I’d love to hear what you are pondering with regard to the reality of trouble and how you see Jesus helping you to not let your heart be troubled today.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,


Want JOY?

How many have sown tears in the last year? Surely there’s a harvest of JOY coming!!!

Me. Me. Me. In my life I have sown bountifully in tears. Tears of failure. Tears of sadness and regret. Tears of fear and anguish and despair.

Tears of surrender.

How about you?n the last year, I’ve begun to reap in JOY. Tears of joy. Lately, it seems the tears suddenly bubble up from a deep place. Like a tiny seed, after rooting deep in the soil, sends a green shoot through the crust of earth, these tears erupt through my eyes and down my face.

In the last year, though, I’ve begun to reap in JOY. Tears of joy.

Lately, it seems the tears suddenly bubble up from a deep place. Like a tiny seed, after rooting deep in the soil, sends a green shoot through the crust of earth, these tears erupt through my eyes and down my face.

These deep tears pouring forth are a refreshing. They’re tears of relief. Tears that wash fear and doubt away. They cleanse my soul.


My words for 2021 are watch/weep/whisper and I think I’m beginning to understand.

The more I watch what God is doing all around me, the more I weep over the recognition He’s heard every single one of my prayers for help.

The more I weep over what I’m watching Him do, the more I whisper my thanksgiving to my Good Good God. He is my Shepherd and I shall not be in want.

And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. 

Psalm 126:4‭-‬6 MSG

I give thanks to You, my God, for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever!

Thank you, Father, for letting me live to experience this great harvest of JOY. Hear, o Lord, my songs and whispers and shouts of JOY as I receive Your great harvest. I will testify of Your greatness and love. You alone are good and worthy of all praise!


Eyes on Jesus and Shine,


Chapter 2: Abundant Life

{The Beatitudes of Jesus} Matthew 5:1 – 12

Jesus hands us the keys. Will we try them out to unlock doors to the abundant life?

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,

Blessed am I, enriched in my life, when I recognize my true position before God.

God is God and I am not. He is rich in spirit and I, without Him, am poor in spirit.

As an adult, I joined the American church culture. I watched. I listened. I wanted to learn how to assimilate in the same way an immigrant seeks to thrive in a new country by learning the culture, language, rules and values.

If you had asked me then, “What is the most important aspect of your new life in the family of God?”, I would have answered that I was learning to be a good person. It seemed to me that my surrender to Jesus as Lord meant that I had submitted all my bad girl ways and He was, by way of His people, making me good.

Since I was also the Mom of two young sons, I gleaned that it was now my job to raise our sons to be good. Productive. Jesus followers from birth. Successful in the American version of the glory of God. Thus, I sought with all my being to give them the fullness of the Christian culture of which I felt completely deficient.

And so, here was my greatest misunderstanding as a new immigrant seeking to thrive in the Kingdom of God. I believed I could pull myself up by my bootstraps, work hard, learn the language, rules and values. I believed I could earn my way and become a true citizen of this new Kingdom.

Under this belief, I would do everything within my means to give my children all that had alluded me in the old land of despair. They would be free from a young age, and successful. This new Kingdom was theirs. And I would teach them the ways of their new mother country.

Today, I know that without Christ’s resurrection making me alive, I am nothing except poor. Without Him I am wretched in a sinful soul of flesh. Christ doesn’t make bad people good. He makes dead people alive.

I wish I had learned many years ago that I am poor in spirit.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3

Blessed am I to mourn in my poor estate. Grieved, as I ponder the truth of my sinful flesh.

My strong selfish cravings are visible to me as I correctly perceive who God is and who I am in His shadow.

I am grieved over my lack of self control as my flesh screams to have it’s way. Who will win the battle for first place?

I need You, God. You are rich in spirit. You are comfort for my grief. You win. You can have me.

You are the Shepherd and I am Your lamb.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

Joyful, blessed, am I when I choose meekness.

I am meek when I recognize that I need to be led. My soul needs to be saddled. My tongue needs a bridle. I need to surrender my fallen flesh to my Creator.

You, God, make me victorious. You are victorious and You lead me to the winner’s circle.

“The meek horse wins the race.”

Slow Brewing Tea ~ Randy Loubier

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:5

As I embrace my posture before God, I accept my humanity. I embrace that I am poor in spirit, but God is RICH in spirit. As I mourn over my sin, I become meek in recognition of my need to surrender under the Lordship of Christ.

My desire to live out meekness is fueled by a recognition that God is making me to be an overcomer. It is then that I gratefully submit to His authority.

Blessed, full of joy, am I when I hunger and thirst for righteousness. Naturally, my flesh woman screams for control. I want what I want. I want to obey my selfish desires.

But I am learning that when I recognize my poor estate, mourn my sin, and am willing to be led; then I am actually craving obedience to God’s ways.

This is the true meaning of success. The way of God and His steadfast love for His children. How could I want any less for our seeds?

I hunger and thirst to obey God.

I desire to go His way because I see that His way is the way of life. I go easily with Him because I see clearly who He is and who I am. Clarity. Wisdom. Unity.

Faith and fear do not peacefully coexist

Lisa Brittain

I follow because I’ve made such a mess of pioneering my own trail with my own goals in mind. My very American church views of success in marriage and childrearing had landed me squarely in a ditch of my own making. Only when our teen sons questioned their desire to live as Kingdom citizens did I fall on my knees and beg God for His help.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Matthew 5:6

I am blessed to respond mercifully.

When I, not only recognize, but embrace my position before God, I am filled with joy and gratitude. I am free!

The pressure to perform is off. Dancing and singing fill my soul because, regardless of my circumstances, I don’t have to make things happen. I’m not trying to create anyone in my own image. How absurd that I had ever tried!

Mercy is my response when I can look at another person and see that they are made in the image of Christ. It’s all on Him. He is Creator, God, and I am not!

I can be merciful. In fact, mercy bubbles up as I encounter my family, friends and neighbors because I see myself in my correct position before God. And I see each of them as image bearers of the Creator.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Matthew 5:7

The intentions of my heart are purified in this place of clarity. My goals become aligned with the goals of my King. I see myself as an ambassador to His presence, and a door holder for those who would receive His invitation.

  • surrender purifies
  • humility purifies
  • weeping purifies
  • meekness purifies
  • hunger & thirst purify
  • obedience purifies
  • forgiveness purifies

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”


Then peace follows me.

Peace covers me.

Peace permeates me.

People who encounter me as I walk in the peace of God are moved by His presence. Peace becomes tangible and desirable for those who taste and see. God is good. He allows Himself to be visible through a purified, peaceful life.

I get to live out the role of peacemaker. And others get to choose their citizenship. I get to invite and they get to choose. I get to love and they get to receive.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9

Finally, persecution will come.

As I walk in His ways, I will be perceived as an easy target. Yet, from this vantage point I KNOW that NOTHING will ever be able to separate me from the love of God.

My name is written in His family album. His name is written on my forehead. His seal is upon my soul for eternity.

I am His. He is mine. Forever. I don’t have to prove my citizenship to anyone for He knows His own. And yet, I do have the responsibility to live His Kingdom mandates as His ambassador on this earth.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:10

Eternally grateful. Each time I choose to dwell in this scriptural truth The presence of God, the richness of His Spirit is reality. Unfortunately, this reality of blessedness is not my permanent state of being. Not yet, anyway. As long as I am a sojourner in this fallen world I will lose focus. I will get distracted. I forget that I don’t have to strive for love or work for freedom.

Living intentionally in an awareness of God’s presence is a choice. Walking through the beatitudes is a choice. Remembering my position is a choice. It’s a choice I make more often as I grow up in my true Christ identity. And it is a favored choice because I have so often tasted the fruit of these truths. Intimate living is abundant living, and abundant living is what I’ve always wanted.

I want the fullness of living humble, meek, obedient, merciful and purely peaceful. I want the joy of sharing in the path of Christ even when the path involves walking through the darkest valley.

 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:11

I am rejoicing. I am glad. Not because I desire the broken places or the hurts of love and relationship. I am rejoicing and I am happy because I have faced the broken, and I have traversed the painful path of restoration. I’ve endured the long nights of grieving and then realized one day I could look forward to a new day with hope.

I am joyful because I am never alone. I’ve made my faith walk harder than it had to be, but my Shepherd is kind. He comes looking for me and leads me back to center. He’s reached in to my stuck places and rescued me from myself.

These sons, our seeds, He’s blessed them both with wisdom and discernment. He’s designed them with big, loving hearts covered in manly strength. He created them bold and humble. These are the ones so precious to me because they loved me enough to confront me with truth. If I was the example of freedom in Christ, they would take their chances on their own. Who could blame them in the stark light of truth?

My hypocrisy of talking faith, but fearfully controlling people and circumstances was offensive and unattractive.

God came to earth as a baby. His name is Jesus. And He tells us in His word that He came to bring us abundant life. So many years later, God created two sons and placed them in our home. He gave two sons who would help me find my way to faith without striving. Living without fear. Grace to trust that God is God and He is always good. I am happier and most free when I live in these simple truths of Jesus found in the beatitudes. I invite you to check them out for yourself.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,


Click here for A view of abundant life through the lens of Ecclesiastes courtesy of The Bible Project featuring Tim Mackie

Pondering questions for going deeper:

Take time to read slowly through Matthew 5:1-12. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal wisdom to you. What do you see or hear in the beatitudes that you haven’t recognized before?

Jesus hands us the keys {the beatitudes}. Will we take these keys to unlock doors to the abundant life?

What of these beatitudes catches your attention? What do you plan to do to understand this key that Jesus is holding out to you?

Chapter 1: Truthfulness

Chapter 1 from Everything I know about God I learned from our sons.

The Fish Stick Story… It’s gotta go first!

If you know me personally, you most likely already know the infamous fish stick story. Just go ahead and chuckle. Oh yeah, it’s a story worth repeating. And if you haven’t heard it before, I hope you giggle, but also appreciate the magnitude of this timeless lesson on truthfulness.

Come, Lord God, and teach us what You want us to know about Your character through the eyes and lips of children. Holy Spirit You are welcome here!

As an apprentice in motherhood, I found many aspects of rearing sons challenging to a number of my previously held notions. Trying to creatively broaden the palate of two extremely picky eaters, was (for a time) my most frustrating venture. From my non-picky perspective, a diet of hamburgers, pizza, hotdogs and chicken nuggets was too little nutritional value on which to grow men. And yet, their father, equally picky in his eating habits, had fully developed into healthy manhood.

Peaceful assurance was not out of reach for me if I had been willing to accept that I was concerned without cause. I could have listened to my husband who insisted these two young lads were quite normal. I could have listened to our family doctor, who was not concerned with our sons’ development. I could have chosen a number of other wise paths, which would have ultimately led me to throw worry out the window.

But, truthfully, I thought I knew better. I wanted more variety in their nutritional menu and so, I sought out the opinions of those who would support my cause. Of course, I sought wisdom from other moms!

Through many phone chats during nap time, and much unscientific polling of mothers in my circle of influence, I determined a plan. I would trick these picky eaters into trying something new. I formulated a brilliant plan. I purchased a box of fish sticks during my next grocery shopping excursion. One evening in preparation for dinner, I placed 6 frozen fish sticks on the chicken nugget baking pan along with the usual handful of frozen french fries, and placed them in the oven.

Shortly before pulling the deliciously deceptive dinner from the oven, I called our two sons to the table. “Dinner! Boys, come and eat!” They came running and settled into their seats with forks raised because they already knew what was headed for their plates. One look at the baking pan as I approached the table and our youngest seed (age 4) halted my progress with these exposing words,

“Those aren’t chicken nuggets!”

I froze mid-kitchen. Baking pan hovering between oven and sons, I began to cry. Again, the exposing words of sons,

“Mom, you lied!”

I sobbed. I confessed. I was humiliated. I was caught in my lying scheme.

Yes, that’s right, the mom who daily drilled truthfulness into her childrens’ consciousness. Yes, me, the Jesus following, lover of truth, chose deception and manipulation as my best tool for expanding the nutritional palate of my own flesh and blood.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Proverbs 27:5

I know! I’m not proud of this complete lack of wisdom and just plain loss of common sense. This story (still repeated at most family functions, especially if newcomers are present) details one of my greatest motherhood fails.

Does that sound overly dramatic?

I’m not being overly dramatic. This is a funny story, and I hope you giggled. However, sin is sin. And sin has not-funny consequences.

As much as you might be tempted to give me the benefit of the doubt or think that what I did was really not that bad, my actions were sinful. In our western culture, especially amongst Christ followers, we too easily believe that the good end justifies the means. Let this truthful assessment sink in.

My actions were pre-meditated, planned out and designed specifically to deceive in order that I might get my way.

My big fail includes multiple forks in the road at which point I could have latched onto truth and diverted my path from disastrous results. Unfortunately, I stubbornly careened right into the middle of my own sad and humbling pit of sorrow and remorse. As Billy Graham often quoted, “Be sure your sin will find you out…” {Numbers 32:23}

Here are just a few aspects of my big fail…

  • {pride} I was sure I knew better than everyone who had a different opinion from my own.
  • {manipulation} I wanted my way so I was willing to discount truth.
  • {deception} I was willing to risk the natural trust of our sons in their mother to gain a win.
  • {comparison} I wanted to be considered a successful mom because my children ate a well rounded diet.
  • {fear of man} I sought value in the eyes of other moms rather than finding my value in my Creator

What did these precious seeds teach me about God?

Lessons I have never forgotten.

  • God delights in truth.
  • God receives honest confession.
  • God is forgiving.
  • God allows natural consequences.
  • God is good and kind when I fail.
  • God speaks truth and wisdom through little children

The silver lining of a dark cloud.

The sting of conviction was only soothed by my recognition of God’s goodness exemplified through the words and actions of our two young sons. First, I realized that our young seeds understood what it meant to tell a lie. Second, I recognized that our sons felt comfortable enough in our relationship to confront me with the truth. And finally, my public humbling, my confession of sin, and remorseful apology gave me an opportunity to set an example of what it looks like to repent.

Perhaps by reading my funny story full of big lessons, you are reminded of a big fail. Possibly you have accepted the lie that a good end justifies the means. Maybe the temptation to compare is your biggest enemy. Possibly, you slipped into judgment just now.

May I pray for you?

Lord, Jesus, I thank you that moms, dads and children are Your good idea. And I thank You that You have designed family for community. Help us today as we are reminded that You delight in truth to confess our sin quickly to You and to those against whom we have sinned. Teach us to seek Your wisdom for solutions, and remind us through others that Your ways are not our ways. Lord, teach us to be humble receiving the wise counsel of the family of God even when we are not sure we agree. Rather remind us to take all wise counsel before Your word and allow Your Holy Spirit to sift our thoughts and our words.

Thank You, God, for Your steadfast love and abundant kindness to lead us to repentance. Thank You, for making up for our failures and thank You for restoring our relationships as we come in line with Your character.

We love you, Jesus, and we love our families. Therefore we entrust ourselves into Your hands for growth and service. Be glorified, Lord Jesus.


Eyes on Jesus and Shine,


Scripture references for wisdom and prayer:

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Psalm 51:1-2 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Proverbs 1:8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Watching & Waiting

Eyes on Jesus. Watching His eyes to learn how He loves everyone on whom His gaze rests. Jesus is a Good Shepherd.

Listening to His heart as He blesses, teaches, corrects, and sings with delight over His sheep.

Watching the love and delight in His countenance as He hears the varied and distinctive voices of His beloved ones in worship.

Reading His word back to Him. Singing praise to His name. Grateful to receive the gifts of His hands. Loving the sheep next door.

Waiting at His feet. I choose to calm and quiet myself in peace. I choose to rest. I choose to learn. I choose contentment. Not because I am calm or quiet or content, but because Jesus is.

Eyes on Jesus. Watching. Learning. Choosing. Surrender.

So be it.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,