Tuesday, January 31, 2012

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

(Psalm 13:5)

I must trust.....I must trust that the Lord loves an unlovable me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
(Hebrews 2:9)

A Christian funeral has to be a different animal than a pagan funeral.  We are saddened, of course, and tears flow, but we are also joyful, knowing that our dear one is with Jesus and joined with loved ones already in Heaven.  Jesus Christ made that possible for us.  I can't quite grasp all that His death meant to the world, but I know that I don't deserve His mercy and grace, yet He gives it to me for the taking. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors.
(2 Chronicles 33:12)

It often takes distress and trouble for us to realize that we simply can't do it alone and that we need to turn it (everything) over to God.  It's sad that it takes distress for us to humble ourselves before the Lord.  We've tried it our own way and we are finally so desperate that we turn to God.  Turning to God should always be our first action, never second, third, or as a last resort. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

(Isaiah 32:17)

Another comforting scripture from Isaiah.  "Quietness" is a word that means a lot to me, both in my physical surroundings and in my restless mind.  When I'm quiet, I'm more receptive to the Holy Spirit and my mind is calm and peaceful.  "Forever" will be here soon and peace and quietness will be standard for me, not just a fleeting moment.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  Do everything in love.
(1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Five commands.  Simple in theory, difficult in commission.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,  keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
(Jude 1:20-21)

Faith and praying builds our character.  It helps us to resist the temptation that is put before us every day.  I still cave in to temptation, but when I go back to the Holy Spirit, my resolve is restored and shored up, ready for the next attack. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6)

I can only give God the glory for helping me avoid a major disaster last night.  Was it a coincidence......? just good timing.....? being in the right place at the right time......?  NO, it was God's timing as He held me up and guided my actions.  Thank you, Dear Lord!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What you decide on will be done,
and light will shine on your ways.

(Job 22:28)

Decisions can be difficult.  If only we knew the future....how will this decision affect us in six months.... a year from now?  Prayer for wisdom is our best defense against poor decisions.  God will light our way if we make the decision based on His direction.  Even if we don't see a specific sign from God, if we are walking in His ways on His path, our decision will be sound.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
(1 Peter 4:10)

I picked this scripture because of the wording "God's grace in its various forms."  Gods' grace is not only unlimited, it comes to us in every way imaginable.  I know that I don't recognize His grace in some instances, which also means that I don't acknowledge and thank Him in those circumstances either.
God wants us....and actually demands us....to serve others, using the gifts that He has given us.  We all have gifts from God and should use those gifts.  I often use illness as an excuse not to serve.  Legitimate as my excuse may be, I also know that God will enable me to serve if I am following His will.
I'm throwing out lots of words that, simplified, just mean that God wants and equips us to serve others.  Just do it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
(Colossians 4:5-6)

It's hard to be "salty" and bold in today's world.  The only way to be saltier is to study God's word and commit it to memory or at least have a good overview and understanding of scripture.  This is a huge weakness in my spiritual growth but I'm working on it.....slowly, but surely.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
(Hebrews 10:24-25)

This scripture came from the front of a varsity gymnastics program today.  It was wonderful to see this scripture right on the front page and even better yet, to see the girls clapping for and congratulating their competition.  True sportsmanship.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
(Romans 15:2)

I know this is not speaking specifically of next door neighbors, but of fellow human beings in general, but today, I'm grateful for considerate next door neighbors.  I've been praying for 13 years for decent neighbors....didn't even ask for good neighbors, just decent neighbors.....and God has answered my prayers.  No one is perfect, myself included of course, but I'm not being tormented and harassed by my neighbors, I'm being helped by my neighbors.  So this morning, my oven is full of mini pumpkin loaves to give to my neighbors as small tokens of appreciation.  And I do hope that it builds them up and lets them know that their actions have not gone unnoticed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.
(Leviticus 19:32)

I'm a baby boomer and many of my friends have faced, or are now facing, taking care of their aging parents.  It's tough to watch those we love losing their health and independence, especially if those we love aren't able to recognize their weaknesses.  They may be angry, belligerent, and just plain ungrateful for the efforts being made to keep them safe and comfortable.  We have to remember what they did for us, the sacrifices that they made for us and now it's our turn to repay them, easy or not.  God commands us to take care of our elders, showing them love and respect.  It really isn't much to ask and it should be a pleasure, regardless of the challenges, to assist them during their final years on earth.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
(Numbers 32:23)

You can run, but you cannot hide.  Our sins will always be revealed to receive deserved consequences.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

(Psalm 139:23)

God tests us every day, whether we ask for it or not.  He also knows that I have many anxious moments which shows my weakness and lack of faith.  I often fail His tests.  Because He knows my heart, I'm comforted that He knows why I fail His tests and offers me guidance and forgiveness to help me pass the next test.

Monday, January 16, 2012

He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
(Genesis 28:12)

I can picture this in my mind too.  A sweet vision of a stairway to Heaven, with God holding my hand and leading me upward.  I don't know what my ascension into Heaven will really be like, but I'm sure that it will be the best journey of my life.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

“Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.”
(Joshua 1:11)

Can you imagine carrying all of your possessions, food, and supplies for a long journey?  Much of this would be carried on your back.  A few would have a donkey or camel to help with the load.  I can't even imagine being limited to the possessions that would fit in my car.  How would I chose what to take? There would certainly be no extras or unnecessary items.  It would actually be heartbreaking to leave my "treasures" behind.
We are blessed beyond measure.  Most of us, anyway, have a roof over our head, a personal car for transportation, and abundant food.  A hot shower is expected in my spoiled world, heat to keep me warm, and air conditioning to keep me cool. 
All of this is from God, who takes care of my needs, not to mention the extras.  Blessings abound!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

He provides food for those who fear Him;
He remembers His covenant forever.

(Psalm 111:5)

Not to worry.....He provides.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

The fear of the LORD leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

(Proverbs 19:23)

I love the nuggets of wisdom that we find in Proverbs.  They force me to think about how they apply to my own life.  Because my faith is not rock solid, I do feel touched by trouble.  It means I'm not turning everything over to God with complete trust.  If I gave my life over to God whole-heartedly, even though trouble would still follow me, it would not bother me as it does now.  I would have faith that it's God's will and that He would resolve it in His own way.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
(Acts 11:23)

I had a lovely day with dear friends today.  I always feel encouraged and rejuvenated when I spend time with my Christian friends.  They inspire me and make me want to be a better person...... I'm grateful for their friendship. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

(Psalm 16:11)

God's path leads to eternal life and joy beyond our comprehension.  For Rosemary, who was laid to rest today, you now know, first hand, the joy that the rest of us can only imagine.  Many will weep for you today but in their hearts, they will be happy that you are at peace with the Lord. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their delusions come to nothing.

(Psalm 119:118)

We certainly are deluded if we think we can stray from the Lord's commands and go our own way without consequences.... negative consequences, that is.  The only way is God's way. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saul and Jonathan—
in life they were loved and admired,
and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.

(1 Samuel 1:23)

Death only separates us from our loved ones for a short period of time.  Soon, we will all be together and reunited in the Kingdom of God.  I'm looking forward to the joyful reunion.  As we grieve the loss of loved ones, there is also the comfort of knowing our separation is only temporary and time will pass quickly on earth as compared with eternity in Heaven.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to Your name, O Most High,
proclaiming Your love in the morning
and Your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.

(Psalm 92:1-3)

Beautiful hymns were sung in church today with a dear friend by my side....simple blessings make a sweet Sunday.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

(Proverbs 14:23)

Sometimes I need a push or a deadline to really get myself in the work mode, but when the task is finished.....and finished well, hopefully...... there is a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.  If you are going to do anything....do it right and to the best of your ability.  God will take notice of your efforts.

Friday, January 6, 2012

We wait in hope for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name. 

May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in You.

(Psalm 33:20-22)

A little birdie friend sent this scripture to me today. (Thank you!) 

Of all of our investments, our hope in the Lord is one of the most secure and offers the best return.  I will continue to make deposits, waiting for my ultimate reward, which multiplies more than I can ever imagine.  God lovingly accepts deposits from everyone and anyone and rejoices every time we praise His Holy name.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.

(Proverb 15:13)

Our face is often a reflection of what's inside.  It's not beauty-based, it's soul-based.  We can put on a smile, but if that smile doesn't match what we are feeling inside, it comes off as insincere and we really don't fool many people.  I'm pretty guilty of trying to put on a happy face, regardless of what's going on inside my heart.  Sometimes I can fool people, sometimes I can't.  I can never fool God.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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.
(Philippians 3:13-14)

I think this scripture lets us know that, although we have made many mistakes in our lives, it is never too late to begin again, to head in the right direction.  We can't undo the past but it's one of the best learning tools made available to us.  So keep going forward, toward God and His everlasting promises.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:23)

My friend Elsie was laid to rest today and this scripture was used by the pastor at her memorial service.  I learned today that Elsie was born on a Sunday and went to church for the first time on the next Wednesday, only three days after she was born......and she never stopped going from birth to death.  That's a lot of church services (she was 89)!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.

(Isaiah 57:2)

Death is a gift to those who believe.  It's the end of life on earth, but the beginning of an eternal life with God.  We are reunited with our loved ones that have gone before us and our frail, human bodies are restored to a perfection that was not possible on earth. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:18)

Our focus should always be on the unseen but it can be hard to keep that focus when we live in the here and now.  Even though our life on earth is the only life we really understand and know, it's only temporary and the best life is yet to be lived.  And I believe in that unseen, unknown life with all of my heart!