Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
(3 John 1:2)

How amazing when both the body and the soul are healthy.  That would certainly be my prayer for everyone, not just my friends, and also for myself.  It may not be in God's will for me to have all parts in harmony at the same time but I know that my day of a healthy body and a healthy soul in tandem will come someday.  I'm ready.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

Sometimes we just need to repeat this over and over........

Thursday, March 29, 2012

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

God gives us His Word.  He gives us nature.  He gives us the Holy Spirit.  He gives us life.  He gives us miracles.  But no matter how many clues, how many books in the Bible, how many helps, it just isn't possible for us to grasp the enormity of God's power and wisdom.  I try to not get wrapped up in understanding all of the details.  The most important lesson is trusting God at His word and knowing that all of His promises will be fulfilled.  The "how" really doesn't matter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

(Job 11:18)

If anyone was put through the wringer, it was Job.  

Even if my house were to fall on me and take my life, I would still be resting safely in God's loving arms.  As long as I have hope, I have peace of mind in any circumstance.  OK....the truth is that I still have my moments of fear and frustration, but a true believer has nothing to worry about.  I continue to work on the total trust that I know I should be giving God.  No doubts, no complaints, no judging, no worries.  Sounds so simple, yet I struggle to apply what my mind and heart knows to be true.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
(Hebrews 12:11)

Although I don't think of discipline as painful, it certainly can be difficult at times.  I'm grateful that my parents were gentle disciplinarians, making sure that I got the message without making their point in a harsh manner.  God makes His point in a gentle manner too.  The more we discipline ourselves to obey the Word of God, the better our life becomes.  We gain, not lose, by discipline.  We learn by being disciplined.  We become better people with discipline.  So don't think of discipline with a negative connotation.  Look at it as a learning experience to benefit and enrich your life.  It's another priceless gift from God.

Monday, March 26, 2012

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
(1 Peter 3:15-16)

No one wants to feel lectured or judged when you present your faith to them.  In fact, that's a great way to turn someone in the opposite direction.  Be soft with your words, be consistent with your behavior, and let God open their minds and hearts to accept His word. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"The poorest person I know is the one who has nothing but money."
J.D. Rockefeller, Jr.

"Greed is the logical result of the belief that there is no life after death.  We grab what we can while we can however we can and then hold on tight."
Sir Fred Catherwood

"Content makes poor men rich: discontent makes rich men poor."
Benjamin Franklin

All of these quotes came from church this morning as we continue studying the Book of James, Chapter 5.  Fifteen years ago, I don't think I would have fully understood these quotes as I made adjustments that I looked at as being "poor me" adjustments while I picked up the pieces after a divorce and chronic illnesses (I still have the illnesses.....).  Money certainly makes things doubt about that, but I'm leading a much fuller life now as a member of the poorer crowd.  My priorities, thankfully, have taken a 180 turn.  And as I get older and older, all of the "things" that I have held onto for dear life no longer have the grasp on me that they once had.  Things are only things and will all be thrown away some day after I'm long gone.

So I try to live each day with gratitude as I sleep in a warm (or cool) home, get a drink of water out of my faucet, a snack from my fridge, and know that the Lord provides ALL that I need. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.”

(Isaiah 6:3)

Today and everyday, may we remember that only God is holy and may everything we say, think, and do glorify our Holy God.  Being sinners, I know this is an impossible task but it's a lofty goal worth attempting every single minute of every single day. 

(I've been off line for a few days due to Internet problems.  When I don't post, I'm either ill or having computer issues.  Hang in there with me, please.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him.

(Jeremiah 17:7)

It's hard to explain this scripture to a non believer.  How can you feel blessed in the middle of troubles and trials?  Once you believe, you receive a wonderful gift of peace of mind.  It doesn't mean that things are easy....that simply isn't possible in this world....but it does mean that you can look at bad things with a good attitude.  No, I don't always see the blessings right in the middle of the pain but if I continue to rely on the Holy Spirit and the power within me, I eventually see that the good things far outnumber the bad things.  Believing is a blessing, filled with more gifts and joys than I can really imagine and understand.

Monday, March 19, 2012

They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.

(Psalm 18:18)

Disasters are waiting around every corner.  Sometimes we can head them off at the pass, other times, they ambush us and we fall victim to the ruin. matter what, God will be by our side, guiding and directing our paths, supporting us and pointing out the learning opportunities and blessings hidden in the rubble. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
(1 Peter 5:8-9)

Every one of us face temptations and the devil knows just which ones are the most tempting and most hard to resist.  He uses that knowledge to worm his way into our lives.  None of us are exempt from the devil's tricks and sneaky tactics but we do have our own super power....that of the Holy Spirit.  Tap into that in that power..... utilize that power..... and make the devil powerless.

Friday, March 16, 2012

When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
 Your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.

(Psalm 94:18)

....A scripture I've used before and will, no doubt, use again.  My footing is always slipping and this gives me the promise of comfort and support from my Heavenly Father.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The LORD reigns forever;
He has established His throne for judgment.

(Psalm 9:7)

He has established His throne for judgment...... I'm not the one that is supposed to judge anyone or anything, but I truly feel that it's my worst attribute.  I'm equally hard on myself, but that still makes it wrong and sinful for me to judge anyone else.  I recognize this shortcoming, even when I'm doing it, yet I still continue.  The day will come when I receive the ultimate judgement and the only one that matters..... and I'll get what I deserve.  :(

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More things are wrought by prayer
  Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
  Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
  For what are men better than sheep or goats
  That nourish a blind life within the brain,
  If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
  Both for themselves and those who call them friend?

"Morte D'Arthur"
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Prayers for friends and prayers from friends are some of the greatest gifts of all.

Monday, March 12, 2012

But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!”

(Psalm 40:16)

And may I always remember to seek His help and not go it alone.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
(Acts 2:42)

I had a wonderful breakfast with several ladies from church this morning.  I had met several of the ladies before, others were complete strangers...... until after the breakfast.  What a nice way to begin the weekend with fellowship and sharing the Word of God with new friends and old friends.  I'm feeling very blessed!

Friday, March 9, 2012

I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
(Philemon 1:20)

In our moments of weakness, it's always nice to have fellow Christians to help diminish our doubts and strengthen our faith.  I'm blessed with wonderful Christian friends who help me when I'm down and point me in the right direction with their own examples of faith and trust.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

(Song of Songs 2:12)

It may seem like it's too early for spring in Indiana, but God has everything in His control, including the blooming flowers.  After all, this IS my Father's world, every inch of it, and I will do my best to see the beauty in every season, in every type of weather, in every plant, and in every creature.  Nature abounds!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf of springtime.Martin Luther

I love this quote and the way it points out the miracles that surround us in any given day.  Nature is certainly one of God's most amazing creations with beauty overflowing every day, in every direction, regardless of the season.  With spring approaching, we always look forward to the new buds, the brown shades turning to grasshopper green, and the promise of warmth and new growth.... new beginnings. 

We may be living in the winter of our lives right now, but God promises us a fresh spring for those of us who believe.  I don't know what Heaven will be like, but sometimes I visualize a kind of Garden of Eden, surrounded by God's warmth and tender loving care.  Whatever it may actually be like, I know it will be perfect beyond my imagination!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge Him.
As surely as the sun rises,
He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”

(Hosea 6:3)

I never doubt that the sun will be shining (even if it's behind the clouds) when I get up in the morning.  It's happened every day of my life and I can depend on it happening until the end of time.  I don't think twice about the sun just will.  That same confidence and trust must also be placed in the knowledge that the Lord will come to take us home.  It IS going to happen, just as the Bible says and just as the dawn promises.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
(Leviticus 19:15)

This scripture is a continuation from yesterdays thoughts.  Even in churches, we see favoritism.  It may be unspoken, but it's still in the air.  Aren't we a bit more proud when we have a sanctuary overflowing with doctors, lawyers, and business men and a little more ashamed when we have many lower class, poorer, members?  Don't we approach and welcome those who most fit our mold of what a church-goer should look like?  God doesn't care what our occupation may be and He doesn't care if we are dressed in the latest styles.  What He does care about is what is on the inside.  Leave your judgements and opinions at the door and don't let them into your hearts.  And of course, always remember that looks can be very deceiving!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Food for thought.  If God judged me with the same standards that I judge others, would He choose me?  This question was posed at church today and really made me think twice about some preconceived notions that I have about others and ways that I judge them unfairly. 

God does not show favoritism.  My love has strings and I certainly have my favorite people and people that I barely tolerate.  I'm unworthy of God's love, yet He accepts me and loves me for who I am.  I'm not sure where I'm going with just makes me feel so blessed that God loves me in spite of my shortcomings and the least I can do for others is give them a fair chance too. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
George Müller

Love this quote.  It came in one of my daily devotions this morning and was right on target for my life and attitude. 

I woke early this morning, around 4:30 AM, and my mind immediately began worrying about one thing after another.  Besides needing the sleep, what was I going to do about any of my worries at 4:30 in the morning?...... Nothing, absolutely nothing.  I wasn't able to get back to sleep and I wasn't able to solve any of my issues.  All I accomplished was making my day harder by being tired.

I'm not proud that I don't always turn my troubles over to God.  Maybe it's an old habit that's hard to break.  God sees it the way it is..... a lack of faith. 

I'm not giving up on myself and neither is God.  I'll keep working on strengthening my faith, praying, and turning everything over to God and His will for me.

Friday, March 2, 2012

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
(Revelation 7:14)

It may not seem like it right now, but we will see the other side of our trials and tribulations some day.  Be strong and shoulder your troubles with the help of the Lord.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

(Isaiah 45:3)

Treasures abound....both in this life and the life to come.  As I study the Bible, I certainly have changed my opinion of what a treasure really is.  Material treasures are great, but will come and go and become virtually worthless.  Eternal treasure is exactly that.....eternal!