If we can just remember that God is the source of all love and wisdom, then we can face any of life’s battles with His grace and peace. The Lord is good, even though all around you seems to be changing, and not always in a good way. God’s love does not change, even though our circumstances do and will continue to do so. First, we must seek His wisdom, found in knowing Him. We get to know Him by studying His Word and meditating on it. Then we can arrive at a place of peace wherein we say to ourselves that no matter what happens, God is love and He is good, always and in all ways. Recently, I have faced the serious illness of some friends from church, and this not long after my best friend succumbed to a long illness complicated by diabetes. Like many, I want to question God about all this…but I go back to knowing that He is Lord and He knows what He is doing. I trust Him because He is wise and loving, and He holds my beloved friends in His hands. It is only be spending time with Him daily that I can trust Him so completely. Do you trust Him, no matter what happens? Do you know that He loves you and desires to give you the wisdom that you need every day for the challenges you will face?
Month: May 2018
An Incredible Book with Valuable Lessons: Review of SHADOWS OF HOPE by Georgiana Daniels
I really enjoyed this book because although it contains a love triangle, it is atypical in that there is an underlying Christian theme. I liked that New Beginnings, where Marissa worked, was a pregnancy center with the purpose of giving hope. I willl always remember the way that Marissa handled herself in the face of her husband’s betrayal. She had to climb a mountain to get there, but she is a good example of how we should behave when others betray us. It was important that Marissa and Kaitlyn have a strong friendship in order to make the story believable and also to introduce conflict and suspense. Colin was not a very sympathetic character, but he seems to be a typical man without Christian values, so he is clueless as to how to love his wife and save his marriage. All readers of romantic suspense will enjoy this wonderful story, and Christians should read it especially so that they can learn the valuable lessons that it teaches.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Taking Care of Family
I live in a world of non-believers, and I would guess that is the condition of many. But one of the most difficult things about being a Christian is to have family members who do not believe and who actually scoff at my belief. But God’s Word says to “live wisely.” So, I try to be a good example, taking a lot of verbal abuse and not replying. I note that during His crucifixion, in the throes of his agony, Jesus took time to care for his mother, whom He saw in the crowd. We, as believers, need to notice those of our family in the crowd and do our best to take care of their needs, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Is this an easy task? Of course not! But neither was going to the cross to die for us. If Jesus could look down from the cross and take care of family, then I can do whatever it takes to have a relationship that helps my unsaved family members get closer to the Lord. I think that is what He would want me to do. Are you in touch with your family members, even those who can be difficult or hurtful? You can’t affect those you don’t contact. Call or reach out to a loved one today, just to be like Jesus. Show that you care.
Learn from Criticism
No one likes to be criticized, but let’s face it. None of us is perfect, so sometimes criticism is necessary and can be helpful. Accepting criticism is a way to change the wrong way that you are going, start on a new path and do better. That’s why I think the Scripture says that you will be honored. You change the wrong path, start a new and better path and your whole life changes for the better. But, don’t just accept all criticism at face value and immediately decide that you must change. You accept Godly counsel after prayer and change as God directs you. You can’t go wrong when you are following the Lord! Do you read the Bible daily and look for ways that God is speaking to your heart and working on you to make you a better person?
God answers prayer.
Have you ever thought about your prayers as little pages with wings, headed up to the Heavenly Father? That’s how I picture my prayers…page after page winging themselves upward. And the good news is that the Father hears and answers, so we don’t need to hold on to our problems and fret over them. God has this! When I went to high school, it was the era before book bags, so I carried all of my books in my arms. Now, I was a skinny teen and not very strong, so some days, it just seemed like my arms were going to break under the load. Now, I think of all those books I carry and compare them to the troubles that I carry around. I want to be strong and handle everything alone. But God tells me to give Him my burdens. Once I do that, it is easier to walk around and praise the Lord for all He has done and is doing for me. Freed of burdens, my arms go up and my heart is lighter. So many burdens…but God can carry them all. Some are unanswered prayers, but I continue to hope, knowing that God answers prayers in His time and in His way. Have you trusted God to take your burdens and answer your prayers?
Remembrances on Memorial Day Weekend
There are so many who have given their lives for our country. As a spouse of a retired military man, I have seen the men leave and known of some who did not return. My heart goes out to the families left behind. My prayer is that their loved one knew the Lord, so he or she is now in a better place. But there are wives who lost their best friend and lover, children who lost their father and parents who lost a child. It is for them that I write this post. I remember the sacrifice that their loved one gave…a life that we will never know how much promise it held. Thank you, USAF, US Army, USN, US Coast Guard and USMC. Thank you for being willing to sacrifice. And thank you to those left behind who know what they are risking each time they say good-bye. Jesus Christ was our example, laying down His life for all of us. We are blessed to be a nation in which we can worship the Lord and for which brave men and women are still willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. May you meditate on what it means to serve and sacrifice, for both the active duty member and the family.
The Path to Eternal Liffe
From my early years, I studied about men who were searching for the Fountain of Youth. I’m sure everyone recalls Ponce de Leon who found Florida accidentally because he was really searching for a fountain that could bring him eternal life. Well, when I finished college, I had a Christian neighbor who told me the way to life, Jesus Christ. There is no fear of death once you accept Christ into your heart. Since I accepted Jesus into my life, my road has not always been a smooth one, without troubles. But through it all, I have known that God is with me and I can depend on Him to get me to the end of whatever is happening in my life. I was terrified when I had my stroke, not really of death, but of leaving my family and not getting to see my grandchildren. But God comforted me and let me know that He was with me. About fifteen years ago, I had knee replacement surgery. There in the hospital, I found out that my body cannot tolerate any medication to alleviate pain. I suffered an asthma attack each time the opioids were administered. So, the medical staff had to administer the opioids with massive doses of antihistamines just so I could get out of bed and be discharged. So what does this story have to do with God? The surgery wasn’t bad because of the medications I was given. But when I got home, the pain was bad. The rehabilitation was a real challenge. But while others took pain meds to get through it all, I prayed and asked God to be with me. And He was. In the darkest moments of my life, when my mother died over thirty years ago and when my father died this past July, God was there to comfort me. Then in March, my best friend died…and I thought I was on a path of darkness, but God reminded me that Heidi is with HIm enjoying the eternal life that we are all promised. So, with that my tears were not tears of total despair, but tears of understanding that I will see her again some day. So, belief in Jesus has brought me this far, and I have no doubt that He will see me through to the end. I hope that you have that light in your life so that you can have the promise of eternal life and peace that He has promised.
All images are courtesy of the You Version Bible App.
The New Commandment
So, just before His crucifixion, Jesus gave us a new commandment. We are to love each other. First of all, what kind of love is He talking about? And secondly, who is the “each other”? The love he wants us to show is unselfish and giving, knowing that the people with whom we are sharing love need it just as much as they need air to breathe. We are to love and keep on loving because that is what Jesus told us to do. We love the lady who quickly snaked into the parking space that we had claimed. We are to love the neighbor who hates us and says so. We are to love the people who make snarky comments to us, both personally and online. We are to love without limitations, because that is how God loves. And the “each other”? Well, that is everyone we meet and have interactions with. Before you curse the person who offends you, stop and remember that God’s commandment is to love, not because of who they are or what they have done to you, but because of what He has done for us. When we love during impossible circumstances, others see that love and are drawn to the Lord because we have shown love. We are known as His followers because of our love for others. So, my challenge to myself and to you is to show love today and everyday, to everyone.
Be thankful every day
First of all, everyone on earth should be thankful to the Creator just for being. We are to bless the Lord because He is always watching over us. Today, as you sit in a your quiet place, think about all the good things God has done for you and be thankful. I am thankful for my salvation, for a Godly spouse who takes care of me, for survival after a massive stroke, for three healthy children and nine wonderful grandchildren. I am thankful for my church community and the friends that I have there. Is there a lot wrong with my world and in my life? Of course! But I am choosing to look at the good things that God has done for me and to thank Him for them. Are you making the choice to focus on the good things and be thankful? You will be a much happier person if you do!
Images are provided by the You Version Bible App.
God answers our prayers.
God does answer our prayers, but not always the way that we expect Him to because He knows more than we do…He knows what is best for us and for the rest of the world around us. God answers our prayer with a “Yes” a “No” or a “Wait.” He is our hope and the only One who cared enough for us to send His Son to die for us. That was an answer to our prayer for eternal life. I have a friend who passed away in March and of course, I faithfully prayed for Heidi to be healed. She was in terrible pain all the time from an infection that had spread to her spine. I did deep breathing exercises with her, praying for God to ease her pain and heal her. When she passed away on March 16th, that was my answer to months of prayer. Did I like the answer? No, because I wanted God to miraculously heal Heidi and let her continue to laugh with me and be my best friend. But God told me that He did answer…Heidi is not in constant pain now. She is at peace, and I would not wish her back into that hospital bed. So, God answers prayer. Sometimes, we want Him to just be like a wizard that we can call on to do our bidding. But that is not God. He is the Creator and Lord of the Universe and He answers prayer according to what is best for not only us, but for others. And for that I am grateful. And I know that one day I will see Heidi again…that is the hope that He put in me when He told me that He had answered my prayers for her. I don’t always understand God’s answers, but I am learning to accept them because He is God.