The Only One

We all have a go-to in life. That something we do when we are upset, or feel bad in some way. For some it may be food, alcohol, smoking, drugs, or other not-so-healthy choices people turn to when trying to escape their own pain and confusion. Some of these activities offer temporary relief. However, the feeling or problem is never really released or dealt with when one seeks to be comforted or numbed by such practices as these.  

I routinely reach for chocolate as a quick mood elevator. Chocolate fixes everything, I always joke! I also love a good run. Running clears my head and releases endorphins into my brain that actually create a feeling of euphoria. These are both also temporary in the way they change my mood, or distract me. Although these both help me and make me feel better, when I am truly troubled there is only one place for me to turn to that offers me complete relief. 

Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He is the ONLY ONE who truly understands each of us. There may be people close to you that get you, but the Lord, He sees your heart, understands your intentions, and knows just what makes you tick. And when we bring our troubles to Him, our pain to Him, our worries to Him, He is the ONLY ONE who can truly calm our spirit completely. I thank the Lord for all He has done in my life. He is the One who has seen me through hard times. 

Even if our circumstances do not change, just going to the Lord with the issue or problem will, in fact, change things up! When we bring our brokenness to Him, He makes things happen inside our hearts. When we allow the Lord to minister to us where we hide and hold our pain, and have that connection to Christ, He provides amazing strength and peace of mind. Going to the Lord surpasses all other habits or resources. 

If you want to truly be set free of your pain, turn to the Lord. All you need to do is ask for His help and get into His Word. A whole new world and life awaits you when you allow the Lord into your life and give him your failures, pain, or whatever issue you are struggling with. As it says in John 8:32, “ Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Wake up Call

As I peeked down the hall stairwell, I saw it too. It was inside our home. And, it was alive and slithering! Surrounded by paved streets, fenced yards, and plenty of neighbors, I had felt a sense of relief. We live in town now… I don’t need to worry about running into snakes anymore. 

I can’t help but realize my own complacency and false sense of security just because things seemed fine. When we lived out in the country, surrounded by wildlife, I was vigilant about praying. I was concerned about the kids running into snakes, especially rattle snakes. I prayed, according to the promises of Psalm 91. I prayed a hedge of protection around our home and the entire property, that the snakes would not be allowed to enter onto our property, that it would be a safe place for us to live, and that we would NEVER have a run in with a snake. When people would show concern or warn me of the possible dangers, I would tell them, they are not allowed here. Period. No surprise, the Lord was Faithful. We NEVER saw one in all the years we lived in rural wooded properties.   

Seeing this snake inside my home has been a good wake up call for me. I have noticed in my own life, that I need to be vigilant in seeking out time with the Lord, especially when things are going well. Praising Him and having a thankful heart is so important! Spending time with the Lord intentionally, without presenting a need or agenda on our part, is just as essential for our growth in Him during the more peaceful seasons of our life. The Lord enjoys our setting aside special time just for Him. He wants us to be purposeful in seeking Him out. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 

On the other hand, when life presents challenges, pressing into the Lord is magnified in our lives as we seek strength and peace of mind. Being in the Word, looking for that nugget of truth to hang onto, knowing in our hearts that the Lord is with us, and that we are going to get through such tough times is imperative. We might fast and pray, and really search out extra time with the Lord. Our prayer life, as a result, is deepened, along with our relationship in the Lord. Beautiful fruit can come from a life of struggles and tumultuous times. Isaiah 43:19 tells us, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

That snake is now outside of our home. But, the memory is imprinted on my mind. I will always remember the shock of seeing it in my hallway. I thank the Lord for His visual reminders that quicken my spirit into realizing just how easy it is to become complacent when things appear to be fine. Pressing into the Lord, especially during the more peaceful seasons in our life, is just as important for our growth and relationship with the Lord. He deserves our praise, adoration, and most importantly, our attention.

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The Truth Is

The Truth is…

We are in the hands of The One True Almighty God. He is the Creator of ALL. And, HE has given us this day…

To live.

To love.

To laugh.

To know Him.

To praise Him.

To talk with Him.

To walk with Him.

To tell others about Him.

Let’s do our part in the place that He has us. Let’s be about the business of the Lord. Let’s focus on Him. Let’s press into Him. He is our Strength. He is our Hope. He has things for us to do. He has given us a life to live.

We each have our purpose. He is in control of what goes on in the world. He is our Refuge. He keeps us safe. We are not to worry. Instead, we are to press forward with Him in our day, and do the things He sets before us. He will not allow us to be overcome. He is our Shield. He is our Buckler. He is The One we trust. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. He gives us peace that surpasses all understanding. We trust in Him.  “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

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Scripture References:

Colossians 1:16 “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Luke 2:49  And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!

Psalm 33:20-22 “We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.”

Exodus 9:16 “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth”.

Luke 12:22-26 “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

Deuteronomy 31:16 “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.”

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Success Formula

It was a dark grey day, the first rain storm after a hot parched summer. As I sipped my warm cup of coffee, curled up under a blanket on my comfy sofa, I didn’t feel like going on that planned run on that seemingly dreary dismal day. I just felt off my game. The neighborhood was unusually quiet as the gentle rain turned into a pelting downpour, and the thought of running down the canyon trails alone, in the wet slippery mud, was a sharp contrast to that of my snuggly spot on the sofa. Bottom line, I just didn’t feel like going. I knew, at the time, I was struggling with my flesh. I knew that not doing what I was supposed to do based on my feelings was, in fact, a poor choice.

Yet, I did it anyways. I went with my feelings, and I skipped that rainy day run.  The desires of our flesh are strong and when our mind decides to partner with our feelings and it comes up with a great justification, we are in real trouble! Basing decisions off our feelings and emotion can have some pretty negative consequences. I admire those individuals who are able to hold steady day after day, doing the right things, steeped in obedience to the Lord.  The result being, a harvest of what is good and right. Bottom line, they make good choices. They seem to have the formula for success, striving in excellence, in spite of difficult or challenging life situations. They are steadfast, even when they don’t feel like it.

How do we overcome our emotions and the temptation of our own self? BUT GOD. Matthew 26:41 tells us, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Often, we are called to do remedial tasks on a day to day basis and get no affirmation or thanks from those we are serving. When our flesh gets lazy, if we can keep our obedience and reverence to the Lord, it can make unrewarding tasks much more doable. Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” There is comfort and strength in that verse. When doing a task that you are less than excited about, doing it unto the Lord with a good attitude can help you get through it. Just knowing we are seeking to please God, and not man, helps tremendously.

A common struggle is that of wanting affirmation and approval from our fellow man. People go to great lengths to please those around them. Often times, however, a person’s kind deeds or actions are taken for granted, or not noticed. When this happens, a sort of frustration and emptiness can set in, which can sway our attitude out of alignment with what the Lord has for us to do. What do we do with such feelings and thought patterns? It helps to put things in proper perspective. Who are we truly supposed to be pleasing? Not ourselves, or others, but… THE LORD! Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” When we seek to please the Lord first, above others, things have a way of turning out for the better. The Lord knows our heart and our desires. Matthew 6:33 reminds us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When we do what we are called to do, in obedience and reverence to God, there is a satisfaction in that. It’s like we skip right over the pain and disappointment that can come from trying to please man, and the Lord then showers us with His own affirmation and blessing. He provides great peace and contentment in such situations. Romans 8:6 tells us, “…to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

What about self-care? We each have certain things we should be doing to take good care of ourselves. Diet, exercise, down-time, sleep, balance and boundaries in our schedule, and much needed time with the Lord all need to be worked into our busy days. These are all incorporated into whatever daily tasks are required of you! It is easy to grab a donut, skip that run, stay up too late, over schedule, and rush through our quiet time with the Lord. But if we don’t make the effort of disciplining our own self-care, it will not only hurt us, but those whose lives we touch. In order to function properly, and well, obedience is necessary. If we can keep the Lord as our priority, seeking to please Him in all areas of our life, He will give us the direction and plan that best suites what we need to be doing to function properly. We are each different, so seeking direction from the Lord for His best for you is the secret formula for success! Being yoked with the Lord, daily, will give us the strength we need to do those things we should be doing, for ourselves, even when we don’t feel like it. And when you do those hard things throughout your day, and you are victorious, give praise to the Lord, for He is your Strength!

Look at this promise from the Lord found in Deuteronomy 30:9-10 “Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.” Wow! What a promise! This verse is so encouraging. Think about it… the Lord rejoices over us!

Snuggling on the sofa on a grey raining morning felt nice at the time, but a short time later I was reminded why I needed that run. Without that run, that release, I was too tightly wound. When my cup was tipped, things spilled out that shouldn’t have. Had I been diffused, I would not have had such an emotional reaction. It is important that we understand God’s best for us. May we not give into our feelings and our flesh. May we have the strength to do the right thing. Seek the Lord’s will for your best and ask for His strength to be obedient to Him. Whatever your struggle may be, you can and will overcome it through obedience in Christ. “… for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4) You and God got this!

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God’s Unseen Best

The sun had set and dusk had given way to darkness. Waiting for the light to turn green, I glanced over at the SUV in the lane next to me. The gal driving was engaged in conversation, and I thought it strange that her SUV was slowly rolling backward. And so, I kept my gaze, until my neck could turn my head no more. All the while, I was thinking to myself… “why in the world is that lady backing up?” As I turned back to check the status of my stoplight, I was shocked. It was my car that had been quietly rolling forward. This is a simple silly illustration but, I have found in this life, things are not always as they seem at face value. Often times what we think we see or understand isn’t really what’s happening at all!

There is a whole heavenly realm that we can’t see, or hardly fathom. Yet, it is there… it is true. Revelation Chapter 4 tells us about the Lord and His throne in heaven. What a magnificent picture! As believers, we have the promise that one day we will be there! However, the Lord is also with us here and now. In the book of Zephaniah 3:17 we are reminded, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”  Even though we cannot see into the spiritual realm, it is real. There is so much more going on around us than we can see. Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Have you ever been running late, only to become even later because some crazy fluke thing happens to you, which delays you all the more? When such things happen, instead of getting frustrated (ya, rightyou are thinking), thank the Lord, for this could very well be in your best interest. Perhaps that delay caused you to miss being in a harmful situation. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. ” (Psalm 34:7) If you are a believer and follower of Christ, the Bible tells us in Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Yes, we have the Lord’s favor wherever we may go!

What about when we need to make a big decision. The situation presents itself and we are perhaps, befuddled. We try to figure things out logically, and think “…this or that would be perfect,” pray about it, and commit it to the Lord. But then, something completely different presents itself. We pray about it and have a conviction from the Holy Spirit, and just know it is from the Lord. It might be totally different from what we were originally thinking would be great. BUT GOD. His ways are ALWAYS THE BEST. He thinks of things we never would. He plans for everything in our lives. We are limited in what we can see and plan in our finite existence, but God is infinite in all wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and power. He sees our entire picture. And, when we step out in faith, trusting in Him, He will surprise us with EVEN MORE than we ever expected. Because… HIS WAYS ARE PERFECT. He knows our hearts desire even better than ourselves! So, trust Him… He is always working on our behalf, even when we can’t see His plans, sometimes, until they actually come into fruition.

How about a day you have scripted out on your calendar. You have your plans, your to-do list, your agenda. But then, everything changes in that given day and nothing you had wanted to do gets done. Don’t fret. (I know… I’m doing it again!) It is best to roll with it. God has other plans for you. He is doing something in your life and if you can rest in Him, you will see, He has your best in mind. Some of my most peaceful down times are when the Lord decides to change things up for me, canceling commitments and deadlines. Someone once said, “write your plans in pencil, but give God the eraser!” Walking closely with the Lord enables us to be more fluid in the way we function, which frees us up, making us more readily available to serve the Lord in our daily walk with Him. I am thankful we don’t have to navigate through this life all on our own! Matthew 28:20 tells us, “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Is there more to this life than what we can see? You betcha! Remember, the Lord is always working on our behalf, for our best. Trust in Him. Rest in Him. Believe and follow Him. And, “look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) So, don’t stress. Don’t fret. Be content right where the Lord has you in this day and moment in time. Breathe. Embrace all that He is doing in your life. And if your day is a little off and you are thrown for a loop… praise the Lord.  God may be doing something unseen that is for your best good!

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The Lord is our Hope in Times of Despair

“As a drain that goes spiraling down into imminent darkness, so is the feeling of despair.” The worship leader’s words hung in the air. With a twinkle in her eye and a radiant smile, she continued on, sharing how her faith in the Lord and her focus on Jesus kept her from going down the tunnel of hopelessness, even though she has felt herself standing at its very edge. It is true. The Lord can save us from such anguish. However, for some, life happens and we do find ourselves in that dark and seemingly lonely place of pain and despair, spiraling down into that tunnel of darkness. We are all susceptible to our emotions, stress, and feeling overcome by life situations. BUT GOD. If we turn to the Lord, He will be our hope and strength. He will see us through the tough time. Our relationship with the Living God will grow in intimacy as we seek, rest, and trust in Him.

When we are in a place of brokenness before the Lord, His strength and provision become very real. When life feels like you are in a snow globe and you’ve been turned upside down and you are shaken and dizzy, not knowing which way is up, remember the words of Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 Jesus tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Being in a broken place before the Lord is an opportunity for us to truly surrender ourselves to Him. Sometimes life circumstances can be so overwhelming, we don’t know what to think, which way to turn, or how we are going to go on. It is then that we must truly trust the Lord in all situations, for His very best. For His ways are not our ways. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Have you ever been stuck in a loop of hardship that just doesn’t seem to let up? Sometimes it seems like trials of the same sort happen repeatedly. However, even in the worst of lives storms, the Lord has our very best in mind. Try asking the Lord, what are you trying to teach me? This puts us in a position of being proactive in our faith and learning what the Lord has for us. Embrace what the Lord is doing in faith, resting and trusting in Him. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Paul, after having an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus was blinded for three days, but later radically healed by the Lord. He received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 9:15-16 the Lord, speaking to Ananias about Paul says: “… he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake. Paul went on to be a most faithful apostle of Christ, but suffered many hardships in life. He learned to be content wherever Christ had him, even in beatings, shipwrecks, weariness, sleeplessness, nakedness, hunger, and thirst. (2 Corinthians 11:22-28) In Philippians 4:12-13 Paul tells us, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

As a Christ follower, He is with you, always. “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”(Romans 8:27) He will never allow anything to come into your life that He will not equip you to handle, through His strength. The God of the Universe puts limits on what we experience, and if He allows something harsh and painful, He has a very good reason and plan. Jeremiah 29:11 promises us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The pain and heartache we experience here on this earth are limited to just that. We are passing through this life, as sojourners for Christ. We have so much more to come! This life is certainly not the end all. Will we understand the why, on this side of heaven? Probably not. But, we must trust in the Living God who loves us more than any one person ever will. “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice. Righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4.)

During hard times, focus in on the Lord and remain steadfast in Him. “… acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you;” (1 Chronicles 28:9). It is important to continue in obedience to the Lord even through confusion, sorrow, and anguish. Know that the Lord holds you in the palm of His hand. Be obedient to Him in the small things of daily life. He will see you through. Even in times of sadness or loss, rejoice in the Lord always. (Philippians 4:4) We are to praise the Lord and give Him reverence no matter what our present life situation, not just out of our gratefulness unto Him, or because we are having an emotional experience, but due to the fact that He is Almighty God, Creator of all things! Jesus tells us in Luke 19:40, “…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

If you feel you are struggling, be encouraged. The Light of Christ will lead you up and out of the darkest of places in life. Did you know that if you light a match in the dark, the fire has no shadow? So it is, with Christ! The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) If you feel you have spiraled down that drain, look up and grab hold of the Lord’s hand! He will pull you out. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) The Lord is SO Faithful. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ. And when you reach the top of that drain with the Lord, you will have an incredible testimony of what He alone took you through, or delivered you from. Then you, like the worship leader, will have a twinkle in your eye and a radiant smile ear to ear, as you praise the Lord for all He has done for you! As you traverse the path you are on with the Lord, remember the promise found in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

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Divine Appointment

While at a public pool, a gal pulled up a chair and joined me poolside. She immediately reminded me of the Cyndi Lauper I remembered from the 1980’s, with her bright skirt, cutoff fishnet stockings, and hair of different colors piled atop her head. Her bright blue eyes danced wildly as she we watched our kids in the water and began to speak. Within minutes, she had spilled out the details of her life to me. She shared her broken marital status, a recent move to the area, her negative opinion of her religious in-laws, and how she refused to teach her children that being gay was wrong. Here was a gal who was being open and visibly transparent about the pain and hardship she was experiencing, along with her belief system.

In the Christian church, the catch phrase Live out Loud or Let Your Light Shine are often used to encourage us to share our faith with those around us, whether it be in word or deed. Billy Graham was also quoted as saying, “The world judges a Christian by his life, not by his belief.” Being socially aware and available, play a huge role in being used by the Lord to share your faith.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, exhorts… “And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. 1:9-11.) As we draw from the Lord’s love, so will it flow from us out unto others.

Being socially aware, simply put, is first of all being aware of your environment and those that surround you. And then, being able to interpret and react in an empathetic manner to the emotions and feelings of those around you. It means being less self-absorbed, and being open to being used by the Lord wherever you may go.

John 14:16 promises us, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” Staying in communion with the Lord is key to being able to hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When you are in tune with the Lord and actively seeking ways to point people to Jesus, you will be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Joshua 1:9 tells you to be strong and courageous! The Holy Spirit will embolden the believer to speak out words of truth, hope, and encouragement. When you put your trust in the Lord, He will provide the words for you to speak out. “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving… that God would open to you a door for the word, so speak the mystery of Christ…” Colossians 4:2-3

Speaking about the Lord our Savior requires faith! Matthew 21:22 reassures us, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” If you ask the Lord to use you to share the good news of salvation and hope in Christ, and are willing to step out in faith, He will provide the message of truth for you to speak out. The Lord will provide the words of hope that person needs to hear at that exact moment in time when you surrender yourself to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit who works in and through you. He will never fail you. We must walk closely with the Lord and be willing to act upon what He tells us to do or say.

Colossians 4: 5-6 tells us to “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” When a person is hurting, often, they are open to receive a word of encouragement or even an offer of prayer, in spite of their own beliefs. Pain can open the door to the heart and allow one to receive hope from the Lord. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

If you would like more opportunities to share your faith with others, be socially aware of the opportunities the Lord presents before you in your day-to-day walk with Him. 2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Each interaction you have with a stranger could be a window of time for you to share the word of truth and hope into a soul that desperately needs the Light and Life of Christ. Be prayerful in your day, communing with the Lord. Be watchful for situations to share the good news of Christ. Step out in faith as the Lord leads you. Surrender and trust in Him, and He will use you at a precise time. Colossians 4:17 exhorts us to, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.

”In closing, I leave you with ONE… MORE… THOUGHT… the Bible reminds us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2 Imagine that!

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The Most Needed Fellowship of All

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The Most Needed Fellowship of All

by Annette

I had arrived a bit early, sinking deep into the soft leather chair. It was a beautiful spring-like day, and I had been looking forward to spending time with a friend. I patiently awaited her arrival at the local coffee shop. While sipping my chocolate sprinkled hot latte, I began to think…hmmm, where is she? It’s getting late.  Moments later, reality set in.  She wasn’t coming. As I pulled away from the coffee shop, disappointed, I couldn’t help but think about the Lord and how often He anticipates our sweet fellowship, only to be let down by us when we don’t show up.

How easy it is to be distracted in this life and rob ourselves of the most needed fellowship of all… that of our Savior. Most of us have good intentions but, often times, the distractions of life just get the best of us. Being rushed or busy can result in us pushing our time with the Lord off to the side.

             “… you left your first love.” Revelation 2:4

It can be difficult when something or someone becomes front and center in our life, but choosing to get back on track with the Lord is well worth it. It is important that we do not allow the demands and distractions of others to pull us away from our fellowship, study, and prayer time with the Lord.  2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

What about making decisions we are faced with throughout our day? When situations and stresses occur, we are to go to prayer prior to making important choices. Matthew 6:6 tells us, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “This can seem unnatural at first, but thinking we have something figured out and making a snap decision often steeped in emotion can result in a negative consequence down the road and can affect our walk and relationship with the Lord, and even others. Life ebbs and flows much smoother when time is spent at the onset of a situation to consult with the Lord. Taking the time to commune with the Lord will also help us to have the peace we need to push forward when we are dealing with an issue in life. Often times the Lord will lead us to a Scripture to meditate upon as a promise from Him. Having the Lord’s wisdom and discernment brings us the peace of mind we need in order to cope with the challenges of life.  Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Bible tells us that we are to put Christ first in all things. Matthew 6:33 tells us “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” That means, setting aside time for Him FIRST when we start the day. That means, going to Him FIRST before making an important decision in life or seeking advice from another. That means putting Him FIRST and not giving in to the distractions of others or things during our time with Him. 1 Kings 2:3-4 says, “…and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me…”.

Matthew 11:30 tells us, “For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” I have found this to be so true! When we are living out our life by walking closely with the Lord, communing with Him throughout the day, He truly does lighten our load. And, along with that, He gives us His perfect peace which surpasses all understanding. Philippians 4:7.

Life isn’t easy, and friends let us down, but the Lord’s love for us never fails. God said in Hebrews 13:5, “ I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I am so grateful the Lord is with us, always. As children of God, we have this assurance.

However… if you have never asked the Lord into your life, Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into him and eat with him and he with me.” And from that moment on, life as you’ve known it will never be the same. You will have eternal security in the Lord. You will NEVER be alone, and will have the assurance of eternal life with our Lord and Savior. Can I get an amen to that?!

 

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Safe in His Arms

It was my son’s second semester away at Bible College. I was still adjusting to the idea of him being out of the house, and as we wrapped up our phone conversation, my son shared that he felt the Lord might be leading him to spend a semester abroad, in Israel. Wow, I thought to myself… my boy may soon be living on the other side of the world.

Sure enough, as the weeks rolled by, an application was submitted and my son was accepted into the program to spend a semester abroad studying and touring the Holy Land. I was thrilled, yet, obviously concerned as mothers instinctively are towards their children. Even though this was uncharted territory, I knew if the Lord was calling my son to Israel then he must go. The Lord’s way is always best and I wanted that for my son. He was 18 years old at that time.

The Lord was so kind and graceful. Weeks prior to my son’s departure, He gave my son a confirmation scripture that was passed on to me. This proved to be the promise that I hung to ever so tightly as my reassure from the Lord. The Scripture found it’s place on my refrigerator, and was a constant reminder to me. I had complete peace that surpassed all understanding.

It was interesting the reactions and feedback we would receive upon sharing my son’s plans to live in the Middle East. Some were extremely excited and supportive, and yet others just seemed to shake their heads in disbelief. In their minds, this idea was completely ludicrous due to the element of danger they believe it involved. However, when that happened, I was able to confidently share with them that the Lord was taking care of my son. He had given me a promise.

There had been much talk in the news about dangerous situations occurring in Israel, such as suicide bombers and missile attacks; a commonplace in that faraway land. To some, Israel seemed riddled with deadly terrorist attacks and eminent danger. And there I was, not only sending my eldest son off to live there, but being totally behind him and supportive in his endeavor.

Just prior to my son’s departure, a strange thing happened. It had been a wet February. The ground was saturated from the heavy rainfall. The kids and I had been cozy in our little home, tucked amongst the tall pines. Although the storm raged outside, we felt safe in our warm beds that night. However, in the morning, upon waking, I pulled up the blind that had covered my window throughout the night. To my shock, as we slept, an enormous pine tree had fallen. There was a gigantic hole and the tree roots stood tall. Following the tree trunk led us to the road below, which was now blocked by this towering giant that had uprooted in the night.

What was truly amazing was, had the tree fallen towards our house instead of away, we would have been crushed under its weight as it would have smashed directly onto our home. It was as if one of the Lord’s angels had pushed it away from us, keeping us safe from all harm. And, THAT, resonated deeply within me.

To me, it was the Lord’s way of telling me that HE is our Protector from ALL harmful situations. We aren’t at risk of being in harm’s way because we are in a more volatile area in the world. That really doesn’t matter. The Lord is the One who keeps us safe. We don’t need to leave the country to be in danger. There are dangers while right in the safety and comfort of our own happy homes! Thinking we are safe just because we are in a familiar place, is a false sense of security. Where is our security found? It is only found in the Lord! Psalm 18:2 tells us, “The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe.”

So, when the missiles rained down on Israel and the terrorist did attack while my son was living in Israel, I was okay. I had complete peace that the Lord was my son’s Protector. I trusted Him with my son’s life. He gave me a promise through His Word and then backed it up with a visual right on my own property. Every morning, when I lifted that shade from my window, there was the fallen pine tree, a constant reminder to me of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in keeping the kids and I safe from ALL harm.

Psalm 121

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber not sleep. The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

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Leap of Faith

Leap-of-Faith-Square-1024x1024[1]Looking down from my vantage point I saw the side of the hard stone edge of the rock. Beyond that, the deep turquoise water that seemed so far away. My legs felt weak, not only because I was afraid, but due to the physical stress and exhaustion I had already been through, getting to the river. People had gathered around to watch this mama bear as she stood, frozen, peering down into the depths below. My teenage son stood confidently at my side to encourage me.

As I stood towering over the side of the cliff-like rock, I had asked Jesus to help me. I kept saying out loud, “I can do this. I can do this.” But, in spite of this, my feet seemed to be glued to the granite beneath them. My son had already jumped in several times to show me just how simple it was. Dripping wet, he stood patiently to my left with his toothy grin and dancing eyes. “Mom,” he said, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed… It’s a leap of faith.” With those words, I took hold of what he was saying. He was right. There was just no way I could make this jump into the water below on my own doing. It had to be a leap of faith. And so, I asked the Lord to catch me, and I jumped into His loving arms there in the dark water below me.

I remember the feeling of crashing into the water and going down, down, down. It was a strange sensation of being completely out of control in the utter darkness. Then, up, up, up I went until, pop! As soon as I surfaced I heard people cheering! Victory! I had done it. What a great feeling!

I followed my son, who had jumped in before me. We swam to the river’s edge and I tiredly pulled myself up the slippery craggy rocks. It was then that I realized we were on the same big outcropping of rocks I had just come from. He wanted me to jump again! Realizing this, I once again went to the river’s edge high upon the rock. As I looked down into the water, I had a realization. I was back right where I started, my feet once again firmly planted beneath me and not moving.

One leap of faith does not make the next jump necessarily any easier. Yes, we have that memory of success and remembrance that we were victorious in Christ, BUT, each faith jump is in its entirety it’s own faith moment. We are required  to trust, obey, overcome fear of the unknown, and relinquish control of the situation and outcome to the Lord our God. However, the natural tendency of most individuals is not that of surrender.

There may be times of darkness in our faith walk. However, we are not really in the dark. It only feels that way to us. When I jumped into the river, darkness surrounded me, but it was only my perspective, and, it was temporary. It was just a matter of time before I was back into the light. Scripture tells us, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:11-12 Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is no darkness.

Our human tendency is a desire to control, influence, or direct people’s behavior, or the course of events. Having authority over our lives sounds like it should be a good thing. However, there is no way of actually managing our world, even if we wanted to. Life happens. Sometimes good things happen. Sometimes bad things take place. But, ultimately God is the one in control of this world. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

We all have things in our life that hold us back. Fear and insecurity can paralyze us to a point of not being able to move at all. It is during these times that we must jump right into our Savior’s loving arms. When we do, we will be victorious in Christ. He will never fail us. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5. With faith as small as a mustard seed, we can take whatever leap of faith that is called for in our walk with the Lord. Do not be afraid. The Lord is waiting with His arms outstretched for you!

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A Sweet Aroma

300c9a5444b41c5b05ca3bf18ef12516[1]The scent of pine needles on a warm summer day brings me back to days of trout fishing with my family when I was a child. The smell of creosol reminds me of the newly built fence that housed my horse as a kid. The smell of a skunk triggers a memory of the time I drove through its spray as a teenager, in my 1965 VW Bug, only to arrive home and be ushered quickly out the back door and told to drop those stinky clothes! All these memories are attached to a certain scent. It is interesting how our sense of smell can trigger memories from our past and even influence our outlook on life. We each have a fragrance that permeates our lives.

One day, I came in from a run. Although I was very hot and sweaty, I ended up dinking around in the kitchen before showering. I was doing some dishes when I picked up a strong stench of what I thought was rotting meat. I figured it was coming from our trash can. Moments later, my son walked into the kitchen and asked, “What stinks mom?” I told him I couldn’t pinpoint it, but acknowledged it sure smelled terrible. As I drew closer to my son he shrieked back exclaiming, “It is you!” Mortified, I realized, he was right! I have since learned that eating large quantities of asparagus can result in stinky sweat smelling like sulfur.

Just as the food we eat oozes out from us, so also will other influences, experiences, and memories we hold in our heart. As a result, we can emit anger or joy, selfishness or sacrifice, cruelty or kindness, hate or love, judgment or compassion. What happens to us during our lifetime will certainly effect who we are. This is why it is so important we fill our minds with the truth of God’s word.

By filling our minds with the inerrant word of God, our hardened hearts can be softened and our minds can be healed. Hurt, pain, and sorrow can be released. The root of anger, hate, and bitterness can be plucked out and replaced by the seed of forgiveness and new life. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

For those who are dealing with some stinky situations in life, be encouraged. Isaiah 43:19 says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” With Christ, we can work through the stench that comes from hurt, pain, disappointment, anger, hate, and bitterness. As we continue on our path of healing with the Lord, the odors that once permeated our life will begin to lessen. 2 Corinthians 2:15 tells us, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” As we draw closer to Christ, we will begin to pick up the sweet fragrance that comes from walking closely with Him.

Ephesians 5:2 tells us we are to, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” Even though we may get hurt in this life, we have the hope of Christ to release us from negative thoughts and behavior, restore our relationship with the Lord and others, heal our minds and bodies, and make new again our very lives! Jeremiah 29:11 is a promise of that. It says, “For I know the plans for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We are to fill our minds with the truth found in God’s word. When we are doing this, we will see changes in the very fragrance or our lives. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

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We CAN Make a Difference

1f4161e8b426d5767fbb679c31371e82“You didn’t do anything to help, mom?” My teenage son’s question hung in the air as we drove. I had been telling him about an employee that fell at a store I had been shopping at. The guy had fallen hard, and as the sound of him hitting the floor rang out, my head quickly turned to see what had happened.

There on the floor lay a middle-aged man. He held his hand to his nose and was not getting up. People quickly crowded around him, as a co-worker ran to the back room for help. A passer-by shouted out, “He needs an ice-pack,” and kept shopping. I knew he needed much more than an ice-pack, as he was not getting up and continued to groan and keep a hand up to his head. I thought to myself. What can I do? And with that thought, I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed for him and his healing, and quietly slipped out the door.

All that day that fellow lying on the floor kept coming to my mind. And, with each remembrance, I lifted him up in prayer. However, as the day progressed and after my son’s shocked response, I began to question myself. Perhaps I could have done something more. And so, I began praying… Lord, how could I have been of assistance? What should I do if I am once again in a similar situation? What are trying to teach me?

I am not typically a take charge type of person, especially in a crisis situation. I am more the soft spoken type who would wait for someone else to jump into action. As I prayed and mulled this over, I realized the Lord was telling me that I am actually very capable of helping. I could have called 911 or sat by his side and offered words of encouragement.  I could have prayed with him. How often do we walk away from a situation due to feelings of inadequacy, believing we have nothing to offer?

As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we can make a difference. We have the Holy Spirit within us. He will provide wisdom and discernment. If we listen, we can help others even when we feel insufficient. “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5. However, it takes willingness on our part to take the risk of stepping out in faith. We need to put ourselves out there and be vulnerable to make a difference in the lives of those the Lord puts in our path.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

We can pray for healing but, their time could be up. As a believer we must realize in an emergency situation lifting someone up in prayer could mean the difference of someone living or dying. And, ultimatley, their eternal destination of going to heaven or hell could be at stake. So, we must choose to be proactive in our Christian walk and faith. We should be alert and ready to be called into action. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:8.

It is easy to cop out during a crisis situation. It is much harder to step out in faith and get involved. It comes down to this. Do we want to make a difference in the lives we touch in our daily walk? If so, we should be active in our faith and living boldly. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 says, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are to be encouraging, comforting, and live lives worthy of the Lord our God.

Since this emergency situation had such an impact upon me I couldn’t help asking about the employee’s condition upon my return visit, the following day. His co-worker told me he was in the hospital with a concussion, a broken nose, and a broken arm. He suffered some serious injuries, but thankfully he will recover in a matter of time. To God be ALL the glory!

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Press on Toward the Goal

pigpen-color[1]I was under siege. I felt like Pig-Pen, but instead of a cloud of dirt surrounding me I had a black cloud of gnats around my head, dive bombing my face and buzzing my ears. I began flailing and waving my hands in an effort to swat them away however, it only seemed to makes matters worse as if it egged them on to attack me all the more. The gnats were so distracting I was having a hard time focusing on my run, and that is when the Lord began speaking to my heart.

I had run this particular trail three times a week for over a year and never had this problem. But, the last few times out, the gnats would overtake me and cause me to bat my arms in the air completely throwing off my running focus. After miles of dealing with this, I would eventually tire. I found that if the gnats landed on my face they would succumb to their death by getting stuck in a pool of sweat and then they would get wiped out permanently, as I brushed their lifeless bodies off my face. I also realized that if I could remain focused on the run, I could actually temporarily outrun them by speeding up. However, inevitably, I would begin to slow down without the constant barrage of gnats pestering me. They would then return to me and continue in their harassment. It seemed the more I focused on them, the worse they got, which is what seems to happen when we focus on the problems in our life.

This brings me to what the Lord was teaching me. Gnats are incredibly DISTRACTING. Gnats are like the distractions we face in life. When we focus on a problem instead of Christ, we will begin to slow down, flail, and ultimately lose our focus, which can be quite costly in this thing we live call LIFE. We must NOT allow ourselves to fall into this trap. Thinking continually about a life issue will only make our head spin in circles and cause massive unproductivity and misery. We must stop pondering and focusing on problematic issues and resist the why is this happening thought pattern. The Lord does not call us to understand all that happens to us in life, but He does call us to trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

The funny thing is, before I was able to put the finishing touches on this post, I went on another run and encountered more gnats! As I mentioned before, I found that if I would just run with the gnats, peacefully without flailing or swatting at them, which by the way is an extremely difficult thing to do, the gnats would land on my saturated sweaty face and I could just calmly wipe them away. This expends much less energy on my part, saving it for the run! And, so it is in life. Giving in, submitting to the way life is, tolerating it, embracing it, and keeping a focus on pushing forward with Christ is the answer and I believe, the way to go! And, so it is with our distractions in life. If we can keep our focus on the Lord, He will take care of our problems. He will wipe them away as we trust in Him to take care of us. Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Instead of us focusing on our problems and negativity in life, we are called to a higher purpose in Christ. We must run fast and hard in life, staying focused on Christ, not slowing down for distractions or allowing ourselves to become overrun by them. We must keep our eyes on Christ, trusting Him completely in all things. If we do this, the gnats, the distractions in our life, will dissipate as the everlasting faithful love of our Father in Heaven floods our minds with His perfect peace. Keep running with the Lord and that distraction in life will soon be a thing of the past as the Lord faithfully puts it behind you. Philippians 3:12 tells us, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

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There is Power in that Music

a-dark-prairie-storm-c2a9-2011-christopher-martin[1]It was a tumultuous time. The genre of country music seemed a refreshing change from the secular rock and pop I was used to. But, listening to it produced  an attitude of melancholy. It seemed like life was being consumed by storm clouds.

I began filling my head and home with as much of God as I could. I was going to church, Bible study, reading books by Christian authors, listening to preachers on the radio, and clinging onto my Bible as a life-preserver that kept me from sinking into the depths of despair. In fact, I would not even leave home without it, as within its pages were my Hope and Security.

It was then that I rediscovered Christian radio. What a God send! Truly! Flooding my head and home with Christian music was powerful. I found that it truly lifted my spirit. As I began to sing along, the depression I was feeling would lift. As I sang praises to the Lord, my soul would rejoice! I began to feel the freedom and victory I had in knowing Christ and that He would see me through this. The joy of the Lord became my strength.

As I continued to choose the genre of Christian music, I realized the power of it. There, embedded within the lyrics of song were Scripture, God’s Word! No wonder listening to Christian music chased my blues away.The-Bright-Sun-Blue-Sky-Clouds-940x587[1] I was infusing my head with the Truth, receiving renewed life and strength for my spirit. It was so simple, and yet, so incredibly powerful!

That was three years ago and I have not stopped listening yet! For me, Christian music is a way of life. It is good input into my soul. It renews my strength. It speaks life and Truth into my mind. It puts my focus on Christ and others, not my selfish self. The Scripture floods my mind with the perfect peace and rest that only comes from knowing our Savior.

I thank the Lord for His redemptive love and the giving up of Himself on the cross for me and my sin, and for all of humanity. I love the choice I have made in my genre of Christian music. It ministers to my soul, lifts my spirit, speaks truth into my heart and mind, and, cultivates the worship of my loving Savior. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

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Copyright 2015 Goldie

 

Rings of Life

skipping rocksAs I sat quietly watching my children throw stones into the river, I began reflecting upon my own life. As I watched the rings that were spreading out from the rocks as they sunk to the bottom of the river, I wondered… what effect am I having on the lives of those around me? Are the rings of my life spreading the love of Christ?

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 tells us, “To aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” Let’s look at these a little closer.

When I think of living a quiet life, I first picture a home that is peaceful. It is a place of order, not chaos. It is a place of refuge and comfort. I also think of relationships that are healthy and kind. The home is quiet and the neighbors observe peaceful living with family members and others within the neighborhood, having a positive influence on family, friends, and even strangers.

Minding our own affairs is something that may sound easy, but when it comes right down to it, simply isn’t. How easy it is to spout-off our opinions about someone or a certain situation. Instead of being judgmental and harsh towards others, we should be compassionate, encouraging, and loving. Before ever confronting an individual we should first pray for that person and their situation, quietly lifting them up before the Lord. We can release the situation to God, trusting in Him, and He will be the One to correct and restore, if needed.

Working with our hands embraces life itself and God’s daily plans for us. Being a mom or grandparent, going to the office or school, being that caretaker… just being about the Father’s business every day. We are to keep our focus on Christ, diligently seeking Him in all we do. Working with our hands also permeates thoughts of wholesome hard work which is admirable and worthy of respect. After all, Jesus… the Son of God, our Lord and Savior and the King of Kings was himself a Carpenter.

water ringsIf we can live by these three principles, we will walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. The Lord will provide all your needs when you are living closely with Him and trusting Him in His provision. By living a quiet life, minding our own affairs, and working with our hands, others will experience the love of Christ, as our lives touch those around us.

 

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Joy Comes in the Morning

morning sunrisePsalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” What a beautiful promise given to us by our Creator.

Why did God create day and night? I believe one important purpose is to give us an end to our day. Sometimes, this is just the mental relief we need to keep on keeping on! As we live our fast paced lives and trials challenge our faith walk, it is reassuring to know we can shut down, allow the Lord to renew our strength, and start fresh again in the morning.

How great it is at the end of a wonderful day to drift off to sleep peacefully rejoicing in the Lord for such a blessed day. On the other hand, if it has been a particularly difficult day, being able to close our eyes and end that day is also a great relief. Whether it has been a good day or bad day, it is refreshing to anticipate a new day. Instead of being overwhelmed or perplexed by an unresolved situation, we can choose to hand it over to the Lord, and trust in Him to help us. He will provide the peace we so desperately need along with new strategies of dealing with things. With each new day we are given the breath of life, we are privileged with the opportunity to do things differently and with perhaps a change of attitude and renewed hope.

Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing is impossible with God.” With our Hope in Him, we are free to live victorious lives with a fresh beginning and clean slate every single day. I am so thankful the Lord gives us new beginnings! 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. Lamentations 3:22-23.

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