Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Loved and Not Alone

 




 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV


And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20 NIV

Monday, September 26, 2022

Yes and Amen!


 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Rx for Fear of the Future

 


God is at work in the future.  

Instead of giving way to despair when an industrial park is scheduled to build a multimillion dollar facility less than a mile from my son's property and about 5 miles from his childhood home, we can pray. 

The Lord is at work in the future, and, as Matthew Henry says, "The Lord shall prevent the evil thou fearest, and sanctify, remove, or lighten the evil thou feelest."

Father, we trust that You are at work in the future to sculpt events, people, and decisions for our good and Your glory.  We trust Your provision. We trust Your love.  Guide us to needed action, keep us from fruitless fretting, help us to be diligent in prayer, and always Lord, we place our trust in You.  

Friday, September 23, 2022

Thy Will Be Done...

 


When we pray "Thy will be done," we place our trust in God's love. We acknowledge that we trust His wisdom above our own, and that we are willing to leave everything in His hands.  

The phrase "...thy will be done" comes from the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, commonly known as The Lord's Prayer.  

There is great peace in resting in God's vision and knowledge where our own can't reach.  

Prayer:  Father, we are weary of striving and exhausted from clinging to the right to make our own decisions about how our lives will unfold.  We surrender our rights to the certainty of Your perfect love, power, mercy, and grace. We trust You.  Thy will be done.  




Thursday, September 22, 2022

How to Direct Our Efforts

 


Ahead of organizing our closets, making healthier meal plans, or any other resolution for positive change: focus on God's love. 


Dear Lord, we take our eyes from the material things that distract us, and we turn our eyes to You.  Thank You for loving us right where we are. May we follow You in obedience to Your will and not our own. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Ones God Gives

 


My grandparents were married on this date 100 years ago today. I took some time this morning to honor them with a tribute posted on Facebook. I texted my cousin and we shared memories of our childhood. I indulged feelings of homesickness.  

God provides us companions for our earth journey and He intends us to live in community. However, if we consider our earthly roots to be evidence of where we truly belong, we have forgotten that we are only sojourners here and Heaven is our home.  Over-sentimentality toward lineages poses a risk to finding all our fresh springs in the Lord.  We are not empowered by any earthly heritage and no blood of human relationship speaks so loudly as the Blood of the Lamb.  It is in Him that we live and move and have our being. 

He knew us before we were born (Psalm 139:16, Jeremiah 1:5) and at the end of our earthly lives He will draw us to Himself, with blessed relationship for all eternity to our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, and our brethren who were, with us, bought by His Blood.  Blessed be His Name and how blessed we are to be called by His Name.  

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Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 11:16

 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

John 1:12-13

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Hebrews 11:28



Friday, September 16, 2022

Be Angry and Sin Not

 


Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 

Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV 


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Surrendering All

 


Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

Job 13:15


And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!

Esther 4:16

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Forgive


 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Luke 5:35-37 NIV

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Set a Guard Over My Mouth!

 


Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;

    keep watch over the door of my lips.

Psalm 141:3

Monday, September 12, 2022

Love as You Have Been Loved

 


 When we take our eyes off the Lord and look at our circumstances and the people around us, we'll become insecure, afraid, and discouraged.  The only way we can be free of fear for the future is to look at Jesus, and looking at Him, place our trust in Him, and trusting Him, accept as our reality the fact of God's love.  

We repeat by rote the truth that God loved us so much that He gave His son for us...(John 3:16). 

We commit Scripture to memory so that we can say, "All things work together for the good of them that love the Lord..." (Romans 8:28)...but do we believe it?

Lord, we trust You; help us trust You more. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.  

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Worth the Effort


 We are sometimes overwhelmed by overwhelm.  There is too much to do; our most diligent effort scarcely makes a dent in the vast mountain of detritus of our own lives.  Sometimes I feel I need a bulldozer and I've been given a spade.  

The idea that we can't do very much in our own strength is accurate. What is inaccurate is that since we can't make the needed changes, there is no use trying. 

The instant we set our hearts on obedience, our Father God is at work in ways we can't see to accomplish what we could never have managed in our own strength. The Lord, full of  love, compassion, and mercy, knows how we are made, and He loves us. So when we put even a bit of effort in the direction He wants us to go, we are backed by all the power of Heaven.  

This makes trying worth the effort. Never give up.  

We Have Gained Christ

 


What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. 

Philippians 3:8 NIV  

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Our Rough Edges

 


The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. 

Psalm 138:7-8 KJV

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Expectations of Our Faith

 


"We are sometimes ready to fear that God’s designs are all against us; but as to his own people, even that which seems evil, is for good. He will give them, not the expectations of their fears, or the expectations of their fancies, but the expectations of their faith; the end he has promised, which will be the best for them."

From Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on Jeremiah 29, Public Domain.  

Monday, September 5, 2022

He Works in Ways We Can't See

 


We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. 

 1 John 4:16a NLT

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Nurture the Relationship

 


Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 

Colossians 3:2 NIV

Friday, September 2, 2022

Cautionary Tale

 


My husband and I were once excluded from a small group formed in our church with the explanation that “This is a personal needs group.”  The organizer went on to explain that she did not feel an affinity for me and that her husband did not like my husband and so we were not included.  


To make matters worse, ours is a small church with, at that time, fewer than a half dozen couples in their early 30's. My husband and I were in the correct age group for the newly formed group, and so when I was not contacted I assumed it was an oversight. I can feel the sting of the rejection to this day.


Under the banner of outreach ministry, we must not make  satisfaction of our own needs our priority. In Christ, we are called to find our heart's satisfaction in Him, and then to turn and extend God's love and acceptance to others.  It is not for us to judge one another based on visible measures of their need or, worse, on their potential to fill our own emotional or spiritual needs. 


 We are to find all our fresh springs in Christ and to consider the needs of others ahead of our own. In Christ all are invited.  


Small group ministry can be a powerful tool to express Christ's love on a personal level, but we must proceed with prayerful caution. We are to extend the warmth of God’s love and acceptance to others regardless of whether our own needs seem likely to be met in the relationship.  


 The impetus for every ministry of the church needs to be the all-inclusive invitation Christ issues when He says, "Come unto Me."  

 


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Alzheimer Caregiver Survivor

 


I am an Alzheimer Caregiver Survivor.  

Today a praise song began playing on my phone and caught me by surprise. My playlist had somehow been activated.  

 

I like to be prepared for praise.  It’s as though I carefully tuck grief into a drawer and close it firmly ahead of praising God, because otherwise, in praise of our Lord, I break down into sobs so virulent that I feel in danger of losing myself, of falling to my knees, of falling apart.   

 

I know it is not healthy to suppress grief.  But how is one to function otherwise?  

 

Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the spring of 2004 and died in 2020.  I was her primary caregiver. She was helpless, sweet, angry, vindictive, faithful, inspiring, devastating, and hurtful. I did my prayerful best by her.  Of course, I was not perfect, but an Alzheimer patient who has lost every filter and has a demented perception of reality can, without compunction, inflict injuries that a Godly person who is in their right mind will not parry. I rarely went on the offensive or even defended myself from Mom’s bouts of virulent anger. 

 

As the grief came bubbling up in my heart today, I brought my heartache to the Lord. Maybe only now, over two years since Mom’s death, am I able to begin to bring the injuries I received in caregiving to Him.  I don’t want to hold onto the pain, I want to be healed of it. 

 

Dear Father, lift me from these torrents of grief, heal me of the injuries dealt me by Mom’s rejection and anger, and restore to me the blessings those years of intensive caregiving took from me.  I can’t heal myself but I can acknowledge my need for healing; Father heal my heart.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.   

Trust Him Now for Everything

 


 Trust Him now for everything, and see if He does not do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you could ever have asked or thought, not according to your power or capacity, but according to His own mighty power, that will work in you all the good pleasure of His most blessed will.

Hannah Whitall Smith
The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life
Public domain


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Mercies Renewed

 


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV

Monday, August 29, 2022

God is At Work

 


My daughter and I were praying together this morning and I heard the following words come from my mouth, quite obviously of the Lord and not me:  "We need not to rehearse past injuries as being present truth. When we have cried out to God, we can trust that He has been at work on our behalf, and that He is able to change hearts and circumstances according to His will."  

We can trust God's good, pleasing and perfect will.  

Later in the morning I remembered the before and after photo of our little yellow house above, with the photo on the left taken the year we were married, and the more recent photo snapped in 2020.  I no longer have to live with a ladder entrance to our front door, and the double hung windows that allowed insects and the occasional reptile to gain entrance have been replaced. Project after project over the years have brought steady improvement to the comfort and attractiveness of our home.  To speak of my beautiful little house now as though it were still in the condition we found it when we began renovations nearly 50 years ago would be silly and inaccurate. 

The Lord hears our prayers. That is why it is safe to release past injuries into His hands. His love and power have intervened in response to our prayers, and he is able to renovate not only homes, but hearts.  

Lord we release our memories and past injuries to You, and purpose to live with confidence and anticipation of Your blessing and provision in the circumstances You have engineered for us today.  In Jesus' name we pray, amen.  



Sunday, August 28, 2022

God Will Provide

 


I will bless Zion with an endless supply of all she needs...

Psalm 132:15a The Voice


And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  

Philippians 4:19

Most of us have lost sleep out of fear of something that did not happen.  When we experience God's provision in matters that have cost us worry, we are humbled by the realization that entertaining fears exhibits a lack of wisdom and faith. As Matthew Henry says of those who rest in God's protection, "Wisdom shall keep them from being unduly afraid, and faith shall keep them from being afraid without cause."*

God is with us (Immanuel).  God will provide for us (Jehovah-Jireh).  Blessed be His Name.  

*Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on Psalm 91, Public Domain.   

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Others, Lord, Yes Others...

 


When I was a child, my mom loved music.  Our elegant console 33 and 1/3 rpm player was rarely silent, filling the air with an eclectic mix ranging from light classical to popular music. I grew up with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Rogers and Hammerstein, Perry Como, Mitch Miller and his singers, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and many others. 

One of the albums that played often was a selection of hymns by Ernie Ford that included the song, "Others." The hymn is associated with Tennessee Ernie to this day; I found the lyrics on a page that mentioned him.

This song is a prayer that we might follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in considering the needs of others ahead of our own. Father make us more like Jesus as we work to value others ahead of ourselves.

https://www.songlyrics.com/tennessee-ernie-ford/others-lyrics/

Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for—Others.

Chorus:

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I’d do for You
Must needs be done for—Others.

Let "Self" be crucified and slain
And buried deep: and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again,
Unless to live for—Others.

And when my work on earth is done,
And my new work in Heav’n’s begun,
May I forget the crown I’ve won,
While thinking still of—Others.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Perfection Path

 


We aren't going to attain perfection here and now, but Jesus asks us to travel the perfection path that will ultimately lead us to Heaven and home. It is very important to keep trying. *This "trying" doesn't look like any other goal-seeking effort we carry out in the flesh; it is a falling back rather than a striving forward, a release more than anything to grasp. 

Dear Lord, show me how to obey when I am in pain. Show me how to obey when I am in grief. Show me how to obey when I feel tired and weak, and show me how to be free of the willfulness that rebels against pushing through obstacles in order to be obedient. Please forgive me for the ways my disobedience has caused harm to Your heart and to Your children; please heal the wounds I've caused and allow me the privilege of being a part of the healing process. I trust You, help me to trust You more. Grant me the joy of obedience, in Jesus' Name I pray.

* Italicized portions are quotes from my book, 100 Days to Freedom: Release from the Self-condemnation of Overweight.  


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Sunday, August 21, 2022

It Ain't Easy, Breezy.

 


In Alzheimer's, my mom had a cute habit of reverting to pithy sayings learned long ago in order to comment upon whatever situation she was facing.  One of her oft-used axioms was, "It ain't easy, Breezy." 

She used this observation to state her feelings about everything from being asked to go for a daily walk to putting up with my sometimes inept efforts to help her groom. 

I thought of this saying today as I pondered the difficulty of praying for those who have hurt us.  Jesus clearly states that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).  Vengeance belongs to the Lord* and our job goes beyond just staying silent and bearing with the upset we feel in response to being poorly treated (or, as Mom would have said, "Put up and shut up").  

The Lord asks us to love.  Loving requires more than just enduring mistreatment without telling others what we really think. In fact, love might require us to risk further mistreatment by speaking the truth (Ephesians 4:15). 

In our own strength, we clearly are not able to respond with love, so we cry out to the Lord: Father, heal our hurting hearts, protect us from further harm, and help us to pray for those who have hurt us. We forgive them because You have forgiven us. We love them because we have been loved by You. Please bless them and help them, in Jesus' Name we pray.  Amen.  


*Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19

Friday, August 19, 2022

His Strength and Not My Own

 


 It is God who arms me with strength

    and keeps my way secure. 

Psalm 18:32


When we are discouraged, Psalm 18 provides comfort along with affirmations of God's sovereign authority over circumstances that confound us.  As Hannah Whitall Smith says, "Our part is to trust, God's part is to act." When we cry out to our Heavenly Father for help, we can be certain He will come to our aide with strengthening power, and that He will act in ways we can't see to keep His children's way secure.  


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

It Always Comes Back to Love

 


"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1 NIV).  

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Problem With Resentment


 Years ago I had a vivid dream of two scorpions. The larger was on the back of my right hand, and was labeled "resentment." The smaller one was on the back of my left hand, and was labeled, "anger." When I woke up I had arthritic pain in both hands, and that is how my years of joint and muscle pain began. 

Now, I know that we sometimes dream according to what our bodies are feeling; if we are thirsty, we may dream of being in a desert, or if we are hungry, we might dream of a banquet we can't quite reach. Of course I'm not saying that all arthritic pain has its roots in anger and resentment.  I think I dreamed about those scorpions because my hands were hurting, but the labels they wore sure seems characteristic of the way the Lord sometimes speaks to us. And, at that time I did have a body of anger and resentment that needed confession and cleansing.  

My years of recurrent arthritic pain were probably due to fibromyalgia.  It is interesting that, at this writing, I haven't had a severe flare of this kind of pain for a couple of years. We don't expect any kind of physical ailment to improve with age, but for me, at this time, I have less arthritic pain than I suffered when I was younger.  

Resentment and anger are poisonous emotions not only because they cause damage to our own hearts and minds, but because they effectively blind us to God's comfort and guidance.  

Physical infirmities come to us from many sources, for many reasons of which only God is aware. We can never judge another person's illness or our own, saying, this happened because of sin; remember Jesus said of the blind man, "Neither this man or his parents sinned (John 9:3)."  

 The Lord used my physical infirmity to point out a spiritual ill.  I repented almost immediately but suffered over 20 years of frequent bouts of pain and physical exhaustion that I don't believe were sin-related. 

God is merciful. He uses the suffering we encounter in this world to our ultimate blessing.  We can't understand the "whys," but we can trust that He will work out everything according to His good and perfect will. The Lord hears us when we cry out, is with us in  suffering, and is merciful.  We can always trust in His love.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Perspectives

 


We don't want to be so careful in not trusting our own perceptions of a situation that we put up with things that are not of the Lord. Sometimes it is easier to remain silent, even in the face of an injustice, than it is to speak, and we use "lean not on your own understanding"* as an excuse. 

But we can tell the difference between a Holy Spirit nudge to speak against something that is wrong, and the outrage we feel when our own "rights" are trespassed against. 

Giving up our right to judge a circumstance according to our own finite understanding is a continuing challenge in our Christian walk. 

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Prayer: Lord help us to remember that we don't have to stand up for ourselves because You are our advocate. We are not to judge others because judgment is Your sovereign responsibility and not ours. And we don't have to shut doors to relationship with those who have hurt us, because You are our healer.  

Help us to love others as You have loved us.  Help us to release our rights to You.  Help us to trust that when a situation seems unfair, that You hear our prayers, and You will make it right because You love us.  You will either change our perspective or change the situation, but whatever is done will be done according to Your love and wisdom.  Blessed be Your Name, Amen.  

*See Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, August 8, 2022

What's the Byword?

 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Humility and Courage

 


Dear Lord, grant us humility and courage as we place our trust in You, in Jesus' name we pray, amen.  

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Have Thine Own Way, Lord. (But First I'm Going to Eat This Brownie)

 


I've noticed that it is when my day spirals out of my control that I tend to overeat. Well, a lot of things cause me to overeat but, losing control of my schedule is a dependable trigger for me. 

An unexpected assignment that makes me leave a project undone will end up with me hiding behind the open refrigerator door, grabbing whatever looks appealing, or at least edible, and stuffing it into my mouth. It's as though I'm saying, "I can't do what I want with my time today, but I will by golly eat what I want."  

The ability to switch gracefully from my plans to the Lord's is a skill I need to gain. I know this is difficult for every human being because we are all sinful and we all want to do what we want when we want, but it seems especially difficult for me.  I am linear in my thinking and as I get older this trait is more pronounced. I need to establish a plan and stick to it because if I'm removed from my scheduled activities too abruptly I tend to wander in unfruitful circles, unable to focus and concentrate. I am not great at multitasking; I become flustered and stressed when too much is going on at once. A sudden change of plans elicits the same response. 

Excuses, excuses.  

God knows me through and through. He knows the things that are difficult for me. He stands ready to help at every unexpected bump or twist in my daily path, the one that I would like to proceed in an orderly and predictable manner.   

Father, forgive me for clinging to my own way. Make me malleable in Your hands. Grant me energy, focus, and wisdom to follow Your plans and not my own, even when my day does not unfold as I thought it would. In Jesus' Name I pray, amen.  


Thursday, August 4, 2022

Abiding Makes Obedience Possible

 


As I write these words I'm tired and stressed by the ordinary circumstances of my ordinary day. 

My stomach hurts because I drank orange juice. I can drink 4 ounces of orange juice, maybe even 6 ounces, but more than that, and I get sick.  I've been this way for a long time.  

This morning I drank 8 ounces -- maybe more--of orange juice.  

Why?  Why do I do things I know I should not, even something so innocuous as drinking a full cup of orange juice, when I know it has made me sick in the past to do so?

For the sake of this discussion let's rule out sheer stupidity, although I really think that might be a factor for me.  That leaves sin. I don't like to be told what I can or cannot do, even when I am the one who is telling myself "You'd better not have that second serving..."  And that, my friends, is sin.  

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin" (Romans 7:14-25)

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Throughout our lives here on earth there will be this ebb and flow of obedience punctuated by episodes of shameful disobedience. It is very important not to give up, not to continue in sin just because we know God's grace will cover us; we must keep trying. But when we fail--and we will fail--we have a Savior who, in this age of grace, cleanses us of our sin just for the asking.  

I do ask. 

Prayer: Lord forgive me my failure to abide and obey. Forgive me for not filling my mind and heart with Scripture so that I leave myself vulnerable to sin's power. Thank You for covering my sins by Your grace and by Your Blood.  I praise Your Name.  Help me to do better.  I will to do better.  Amen.  

P.S.  Let me assure you that I am not suffering all this remorse over orange juice. The orange juice was only the one of my many sins that I'm willing to share in a blog post!!  

Check out the Gaither video below; we are greatly blessed, highly favored, imperfect, but forgiven!  



Monday, August 1, 2022

Encouragement for a Weary Caregiver


 A friend posted Genesis 41:52 on her Facebook timeline today, and I immediately thought of my years of caregiving for my mom, who had Alzheimer's. Mama wasn't always an easy patient. She turned hateful toward me the last few years of her life, and although her anger was interspersed with times of loving expressions of gratitude and kindness, the anger took its toll on my heart. 

God was with us. And amazingly, I was indeed fruitful during those 16 years of caregiving, fruitful in ways other than the caregiving which, most days, represented work enough.    

The background of the meme above is a photo taken in my garden this morning. A lens effect created a rainbow, and I immediately knew the Lord was speaking to me; His promises to me have, are, and will come true.  

The year I quit my teaching job to take care of my mom, I found a drawing of a little old lady wearing a straw hat with a flower seed packet stuck in the band. She is poring over seed catalogs and she looks very happy.  All these years later that's me.  I have not just one but a half dozen straw hats--and I do love my flowers.  My mom is safe at home with the Lord, and He has provided me a peaceful, healing place. 

Weary caregivers, think of the ways God has made you fruitful in the land of your suffering.  Know that He has a plan for your future that includes healing for injuries you've received. May the Lord bless and strengthen you, and make you fruitful. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

The O Word

 


It's so easy just to give up when we've struggled with some obedience issue over time. Sins of words (why can't I just be nice?), sins of wasting time (but I'm TI-red Lord!)...there's not room here to list all the sins against which I struggle. But in order to draw near to our Savior, to know more of His love, and to abide in the peace He left for us...we've gotta' keep working on obedience. Lord forgive us disobedience of the things we know You are asking us to do. Thank You for covering our sins with grace and forgiveness, and help us to do better. Help us to know more of Your love. Amen.

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"I f you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:10-14).

Look to the Lord


 When we have obeyed, given our best effort, prayed hard, tried hard and yet some situation that causes us grief and concern has not changed, we must not continue to stare at the situation itself and the people who seem to be in control. It is safe to look to the Lord! In fact, it is the recommended procedure!  We are not waiting to see what other people are going to do, we are waiting to see what God will do! 

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but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:11

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.
Deuteronomy 3:22

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13

 

Friday, July 29, 2022

When We Are Hurt...

 


When we've had a dispute with another human being we might hesitate to bring our upset to the Lord if we fear we aren't completely in the right. But it is always safe to run to our heavenly Father because when we hurt, He feels our pain, and will gently set us on our feet again. He may also provide discipline, encouragement, or whatever the situation requires, but it is always safe to run to His arms.