November 14th, 2017
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.– Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
I’m finding it more difficult to find perfect peace, when so much terror and catastrophes are happening around me. I have gotten riled up because of politics on Facebook, about people on the news being displaced from their homes and livelihoods, and terrorists roaming among us. I always have felt protected in the US, but it’s getting more difficult to bring my Christian values into sync with worrying about my family’s future. Are you left feeling confused, angry, and constantly riled up by others opinions? Will we ever feel peaceful again?
Looking at this verse it shows us that we can find peace from God, not in our mind. We need to trust in His love and care. Our minds are whirling with all kinds confusion. However, peace is God’s response to us, when we look to Him. God’s presence is in all of our circumstances. I know my mind is prone to project the worst circumstances that can happen. If our mind is steadfast on God we are confronted with the fact that God is in control. Renewing our minds with this reality brings trust, and that trust opens our hearts to peace. Only God knows where our lives are moving. Not being in controls is difficult for all of us. We cannot live in the past or fear the future. We need to reach for God’s comfort and protection, whenever our peace is disrupted.
Lord give us an internal and eternal peace in your loving care for us. These are hard and fearful times and we need be assured of peace through it all. Amen
November 9th, 2017
In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.– Psalm 11:1-2 (NIVIt is easy for me to lose perspective when I feel threatened. So many unseen forces are threatening our country and world today. At certain moments, I have trouble remembering that God is in charge. In these scary times what the world needs to see are a people who look danger in the face and proclaim that God is over all that is happening. I am getting better at squashing those feelings without losing the knowledge I have to be vigil. This scripture shows me how even though those around King David told him that he was easy prey and should run for the hills, David responded that God was his refuge. This is what being a witness of Christ is all about. I can only pray I will always place my trust in God. God doesn’t want people whose hearts melt at the first thought of danger. Do you fall apart every time a news alert comes across the TV? I don’t know about you, but I get immediately frightened for those going through the horrors perpetrated and the anguish of their families. However, King David is right God is our refuge. There is no place to flee, except to God. Almost every country is under attack from evil terrorists. Moving won’t do any good. Moving closer to our faith and prayer is the only place we have to go. Be like King David and say “In the Lord I take refuge. Lord, be our Refuge and strength. Like you were David’s refuge and strength, give that to our leaders. Remind us and them to turn to you in prayer. Calm our hearts in times of fear and uncertainty. Thank you for being there for us. AMEN
November 7th, 2017
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 1:7-8 (NIV)
What a great follow-up on my post from last time. I am quick to disqualify myself to be used by God, but reading this scripture let me know God uses those who feel the least qualified. This allows Him to display His glory and mercies through us. I guess that means I qualify, because I feel so unqualified. I am a Christian and I have gone through enough unhappiness in my life to understand what people are going through. I’m beginning to understand I am qualified because He uses my inadequacies. Through all my confusion, He will have His words touch those that need a particular message. He’s got my back.
Do you feel like you are not mature enough or smart enough? Those are not the requirements that God is looking for. What ever disqualifications you or I may put on our service, He is there to help us. He only wants us willing to obey His direction. You know that little nudge you feel to help and you talk yourself out of it, that’s when He needs our help the most. Remember if it is beyond your comfort level, you are the person best qualified for God’s plan. We just need to go where we’re sent, say what he asks, and not to be afraid. He is always with us and will rescue us.
Lord, thank you for using us as we are. Thank you for helping us conquering our fears, rescuing us from our mistakes, and becoming what you call us to be. Amen
October 31st, 2017
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Luke 12:32-34 (NIV)
If God were to look into where my heart is, what would he see? According to scripture, one of the first spots he looks at is how I use my resources. God has already assured me that He wants to give me the kingdom. The way to accept his promise is in giving freely to others. If God wants to know what I really value, the first place he would look is my checkbook. By checking my spending He will see where my treasure is. Do I give to the poor, or do I hang onto my treasure for a rainy day? I am truly fearful of those rainy days. However, He is assures me that the more I give, the more I will have. Not necessarily money, but the goodness I feel in my heart. This is something that can never be destroyed. By keeping my heart and pocketbook opened, I am a happier person.
When you give some of your resources to those in need, you will feel something special in to your heart. By giving to the poor, He will supply your needs. He understands our fears, especially now days with all the disasters around us. He’s asking us to not be afraid for anything and help Him take care of his flock. He will give us what we need. We don’t need as much as we think. He doesn’t care if you give a little or a lot. Many of His flock are hurting right now. Find a meaningful charity and share. Remember each one of our dollars multiplies many times over, each can of food at the food pantry adds up and each piece of clothing given to the Good Will grows. We will be giving ourselves purses that will not wear out or that no one can destroy. Remember Luke says, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”
Lord help us to remember that you are always with us. You are aware of our needs and will take care of us. Help us to depend on you and not be afraid. Amen
October 24th, 2017
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.– Romans 15:4 (NIV)
I recently reread an article explaining that the Bible is God’s gift from the past to give us the endurance for today and the hope we need for tomorrow. When I’m in deep conflict over a situation, I can’t think straight, as I look for a way to make sense of things. Because I have the Bible and my prayer-book, I am not left without a witness of His work on the earth because once I have prayed over it, I can leave the problem with Him. I always get an answer or God points me in the right direction. I am at peace with his answers.
When you are hit with doubt all you have to remember is that anything you are going through has probably happened before. God hasn’t left either of us without a witness of His work here on earth. I never realized that the bible contains 66 books written by 44 authors over a span of 1500 years. That’s amazing and is a lot of witnessing and knowledge. God’s word covers an enormous amount of love, care, healing and knowledge that we all find an answer in and grow from. His word will touch our hearts just the way He wants it to. The writers of the Scripture give us encouragement and hope. God has given this enormous gift to put courage in our souls, as we wrestle with our own opportunities and failures. I have many failures, but He won’t deny either of us because of this and will always encourage us through His word and blessings.
Lord as we read your word, give us an understanding in our heads and hearts. Help us to get through our grief or problems without failing You once again. Give us the strength in this messed up world to continue to reach to you and the others in our life.
October 17th, 2017
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18 NIV
I hate being tempted because it’s so easy to give in because of my human nature. I never have done well on tests. Especially now that I’m retired and there’s no one around to monitor my actions, but me. I know what’s good for me, but it’s so easy to give into that one cookie or helping of chips. It’s a small amount, but they add up. Just like sin. To whisper some gossip or post a snide remark online doesn’t seem important, but it could add to someone else’s sin and I wouldn’t know it. I try to be careful with what I say, but sometimes I fail.
Even though Jesus was fully God and fully man He didn’t give into temptation. We have to call on him daily for His help in this area. It’s so easy to give others a piece of our mind online. It’s anonymous. Thank goodness His Divinity helps deliver us from failure. His humanity brings Him to our side when we need His help. Even though Jesus was God, He experienced the same suffering that we do when we face temptation. He’s aware very of the anxiety and fear that we face. Remember he sweat blood. Therefore run to Jesus when you are tempted-for He has the power and the compassion to help.
Lord help us through our temptations. Help us be godly people and reach to others in kindness.
October 10th, 2017
“Come away alone with me and get some rest,” –Mark 6:31
God is so concerned about my wellbeing that He asks me to stop working and rest. Christ always went to be alone, when he needed to get some rest and pray. God wants me to rest, too. I need to hear from Him before I start a new project or get into a situation that will require a lot of time or energy. I’ve been using my mornings to do meditations and journal about my prayer time. I find the early morning a great time to sit on the front porch (that’s nine or ten for me) relax and be with God. I search for more free meditations for this special time. If I don’t have meditations, I use spiritual music and my special prayer-book. I walk away with a lightness in my heart that carries me through the rest of the day. I can start my writing or housework having pleased God.
We all need to take the time to get away and get this rest. Daily distractions don’t allow our spirit to open to the Holy Spirit. A time comes in our spiritual walk, when we realize any action short of obedience pulls us out of sync with God. God will allow us to wobble through these lessons as precursors to trusting us with more. In so doing, He refines us and affirms us. Like work, rest is important. Jesus did it. God expects us to do it and through it He will help us find our way. How about it? Are you willing to lay down your agenda and rest in God’s love? If you can’t do this first thing in the morning, end your stressful day, in prayer. Lay your worries down in the evening and rest in the love of the Lord.
Lord, even though we know it’s in our best interest to start our day with you, we don’t always take the time. If we hurry through our morning, help us to at least bring our burdens to you at the end of the day. Help us to rely on you and rest in your comfort and care. Amen
July 23rd, 2017
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:17-18 (NIV)
After reading a commentary on this bible verse, I have a better insight about prayer. Elijah is described as a man like us. He didn’t have special prayers. I know God answers prayers, but Elijah’s were answered in such a great manner, it can make one feel their prayers might be lacking. What I read a made me understand that it wasn’t the person who was praying, but it was the fact that he prayed. Sometimes, I can get in a place where I feel that my prayers alone won’t make a difference in our world today. I am sometimes at an impasse in my prayer life, like during my husband’s illness. These times were so confusing. In the commentary it was said, ” Elijah didn’t make the prayer powerful, but what if prayer was the force that made Elijah powerful?” Wow, what an awakening.
Perhaps our prayers will become the force that make us powerful in our life. We’re not alone in praying for the safety of our country, livelihood’s and families. Millions of Americans are praying for the same outcome. This isn’t the time for us to doubt the power of prayer. We need to pray with all out heart. Pray inside, pray outside, with friends, or alone; just pray for peace in all countries right now. We should all pray as soon as we read something disparaging on FB or in the newspaper. I’m sure there will be a lot of prayers about the same situations, if we’re reading the same news. We can’t physically change these problems, but we can pray right away. If we are joined by others who are reading or listening to the same disheartening those prayers at the same moment, it will make us a united force to be reckoned with. Our prayer will be the force to get us through it all. How much power do we think is in prayer? I believe it can turn people like us into people like Elijah! Pray and watch what God will do!
Lord, we are praying for our country and the countries who are under tyrannical rule. All over the world people are suffering and praying for a better way of life. Please be our guide and stand beside us in our times of need. Make our country a Godly and great country again. Amen
July 20th, 2017
For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. Proverbs 5:21
I had a deep love for the Lord from an early age. As a small child it was ingrained in me that God is always watching me. My parents would say, “He knows what you’re doing even if we don’t.” The church and my parents modified my behavior. I was called “Goody Two Shoes” by three my brothers, but if God was watching me I didn’t want to disappoint him. As I grew older, I had those moments where I rebelled. When I did commit what my young mind considered a sin, I immediately said, “Sorry, God.” Even then I knew God would accept my apology. I could start new from that moment and promise to do better. He probably just smiled, because He already knew, I couldn’t help my sinfulness. I am human and he knew I would be back again. And I was. Unfortunately, I let my anger or snide remarks be brought out by Facebook. Bad choice and I’m trying to modify myself, but sometimes it feels so good, but it’s not. Sorry, God.
Did you realize you can’t hide your sin from God? We may be able to hide it from other humans, but not from God. He not only sees what we do, but He sees why we do it. He let’s us learn from our mistakes. Nothing escapes His view. However, all we have to do is to cry out for mercy and apologize. Without this childlike realization, we are still held captive to our sin. We will constantly berate ourselves for humanness, instead of owning up and apologizing. Our connection with Jesus has set us free of sin. But the only way He can release our sinful chains is if we are willing to admit that we have sinned. That’s the hard part for us, but none of us is sinless and we know it.
Lord, help us to realize that even our small sins affect others. Help us come to you, when we realize we have sinned. Give us the courage to apologize and face our wrongs. Help us to be better humans. Amen
March 30th, 2017
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. Psalm 1:4-5 NIV
Do you look at another to be the judge of where they might stand in the eyes of God? I sometimes can judge others without even realizing it. I click a share button, or comment on a post to voice my opinion. Most times I try to give a positive post to change the atmosphere, but am attacked with rebuttals, which I don’t answer. We are a sinful and judgmental society. Some are always looking for something to use to condemn another’s life. We come by it naturally, because of Adam and Eve. They placed sinfulness in our lives that hasn’t stopped.
Jesus changed that. He came to help us through our sinful moments. I have to admit I have used words like crazy and nuts pertaining to some of our women leaders in the government. I could have said she needs help. I have to watch my words in the future, but still get my point across. Sometimes it’s so hard because my emotions get in the way. God is our way out of this sinfulness. When we reach for the share button and hesitate, don’t share. Realize that God is giving you guidance. You can ignore Him and be the chaff in the wind, if you feel compelled. If want to comment and can’t find uplifting words, don’t use any. We need to try the rest of Lent to change our language, ourselves, and others. Let’s see if we can make a change. You might be only one person, but it will spread.
Lord help us to change our words to help others change their words. Nudge us to do the right thing in this electronic age. Help us to lift others up instead of tearing them down. Amen