Miracles

Today I am meditating on the miracles of God.  Starting with creation and moving on to the parting of the Red Sea, the birth of a Savior by a virgin, and the death and resurrection of that Savior, God has done miracles since the beginning of the ages.  But to make it more personal, what miracles has He done and is He doing in your life?  My life seems so mundane these days that I have been forgetting to look for God’s love and the miracles that are all around me.  I sit and have my cat near me.  She is a beloved companion who sits in my lap and comforts me when I am sad.  It is a miracle that I can be around a cat since I have had awful allergies my whole life.  We had a cat previously, but Misty was a “loner.”  She never wanted to cuddle and be petted; however, Daisy craves attention as much as I crave her companionship.  God has provided her for me and has taken care of my allergies so that I can cuddle her.  Seeing the sun come up each day is a miracle.  There was a time in my life when. I did not want to go on because I had had a stroke and I was so discouraged with all that I could not do.  Slowly, God restored my health and worked on my attitude.  He sent my daughter to encourage me, and He showed me that I could live with all of the restrictions that have now become part of my daily life.  A month after my stroke, my youngest son and his wife had their first child.  I remember being in ICU after my stroke and just wanting to live to see and hold the new baby of my youngest child.  God heard the cries of my heart and delivered me from that hospital, helped me though weeks of physical therapy and allowed me to see little Penny three weeks after she was born and less than two months after my stroke.  Since then, I have had the joy of welcoming two more grandchildren into my arms:  little Teagan and little Evie.  I consider each of my grandchildren a miracle, but I especially consider it miraculous that I have lived to see each of them.  God has watched over me for so long that I have begun to take it for granted.   God is a God who wants a relationship with His people; yes, He does miracles.   I remember lying in that emergency room without any feeling on my right side; I remember praying in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.  I remember the percentages that the specialist gave my husband and me that the clot-busting shot would work or it could kill me.  We prayed; we took that chance believing that God could and would do a miracle, and here I am, living  to tell the story of my survival and to thank God for the miracle that is my life and the blessing that I have to spend time with my grandchildren.

 

Let God Be God

A912BF60-188B-49C6-A9F3-FB9CC066EEF2.jpegThere is no God like the God of the Bible.  He is the one true God who always keeps His promises and continues to show His love to those of us who have chosen to serve Him.  Lauren Daigle’s song says that even though the mountain is not moved or the water is not parted or the answer does not come when we cry out, I will “Trust in You.”  My beautiful granddaughters sing this lovely song and are learning at a very young age to trust in the Lord.  What happiness it gives my heart to see these young ones praying and trusting God.  When my youngest granddaughter was very ill recently and having difficulty breathing, I shared with ten year-old Teryn that Evie was very ill and was only a few weeks old.  Her immediate response was that she would pray for her.  I have no doubt that she did so because her little heart is tender towards the Lord and she knows that He will answer her prayers. I want to have the faith and trust of a little child.  Instead, I have the faith that God has instilled in me since I was in my twenties, to know that He is trustworthy and that His love will not fail me.  It is not always instant and totally trusting as that of a child like Teryn, but that is my goal for my faith in the Lord’s unfailing love.

C08D60A4-79F4-4FEA-827C-6BDB2302C4CB.jpegMy hope is in the Lord who made Heaven and earth.  I just read in I Kings 10 this morning that the great king Solomon made 500 shields out of gold.  As he married all of his pagan wives, he seemed to lose his total trust and devotion to the Lord and trusted in his own power instead.  I pray that I will never get to the point where I think that my own power or knowledge can save me from the darkness that is in our world.  I read God’s Word daily for the strength and wisdom that I find it in it.  But I also read it because I want to start each day with peace in my heart,  with the knowledge deep within me that no matter what happens that day, God is in control.  I hope that each of you reading this knows the peace that comes from knowing God’s love and peace deep within your heart.  He truly wants to be your sword and shield.  He doesn’t answer every prayer with an immediate “yes” because He is the God of the Universe, not a genie in the bottle that you wish upon and all of your wishes are granted.  For example, maybe you are praying for a sunny day because you plan to go to the beach.  But someone else, in another house, is on his knees praying for rain because the corn they are growing to make a living is dying from lack of rain.  God, who sees all and knows all, answers the prayer for rain and you think He didn’t answer your prayer and so you get in a huff against God.  God is the Lord of many people over all the earth, and He is wise enough to know when and how to answer your prayers.  Your sunny day will come, but in God’s timing, not always in yours.   So, I have learned through the years to just pray and trust God for the outcome.  I hope that you have learned that valuable lesson, too.  God is our refuge and shield and shows unfailing love to us, if we just let Him be God in our lives.

Only a Little

8D5F6A42-0DB2-4B31-97B2-423D5EFA07CDI have been thinking a lot lately about how little I have on this earth.  I have a lot of books because I read a lot.  I have a home that is comfortable, but it isn’t anything that I really want people to see because it is so shabby and needs a lot of repairs.  But then, I think of the promises that I have for the future.  I will be with the Lord one day for all eternity.  I have the promises of His peace and love and comfort in my life today.  I don’t have to fear death because I fear the Lord.  That word means fear in the sense of respect and reverence.  Of course, I respect the Lord of all creation!  How can I look around when I am outside and not revere Him?  His creation is so beautiful and changes every day.  The trees, the rocks, the flowers, even the blades of grass show me evidence of a Creator.  So, I have fear of the Lord who made me and knows everything about me.  God who created me knows all of the desires of my heart, so He provides for me to have enough to fulfill some of them.    I don’t have wealth by any means, but I have enough.  But money isn’t everything as the world would have you believe.  In fact, money isn’t anything without the Lord.  He gives my life purpose and meaning.  He is my reason for living.  I only have a very little according to the standards of the world, but I am very wealthy by God’s standards because I carry a treasure in my heart that cannot be corrupted by the world.  I carry the knowledge and fear of the Lord God of the Heavens and earth, and that is more precious than all the jewels and money in the world.  Do you want that treasure in your heart?  Do you want more than material possessions that will one day disappear?  It’s as simple as a prayer to have Jesus in your heart forever.  Just tell Him that you want Him there.  You can have the same treasure that I have in my heart.  I hope that today is the day for you to begin to fear the Lord and have a relationship with your Creator!

Being Still before God

6B687E3C-2C49-48BB-8C04-407D815B2948592F1EDE-D89E-481E-ACEE-F5F50613A0B3Every morning when I awaken, I do my morning chores and then I sit before the Lord and do my morning devotional.  Each morning, I am trusting God to get me through a new day.  I must confess that my mind is not always in perfect peace.  For example, we have had bad storms just about every other day here in Virginia.  Each time, the rain starts, the wind blows and the storm is raging…then our electricity goes out.  No big deal, right?  We, of course, have a generator since we live in a rural area?  Unfortunately, no!  We have never been able to afford a generator so when the electricity goes out, always just before dark, we are left to find our little electric lanterns and whatever we can eat without cooking.  Last night, when the electricity once again went out for the fourth time in less than a week, I was very frustrated and my words were not ones of trust and peace.  I declared that I was not happy that Domininon Virginia has a 100% failure rate with us.  I had told my husband at 4:00 that he needed to go ahead and get dinner ready for us early since a storm was moving in.  At 5:15, the storm began and five minutes later, the lights went out.  Minor inconvenience?  Yes, but it is is also a health risk for me because I am asthmatic and have difficulty breathing without air conditioning, especially when the humidity is so high along with the temperatures.  So, I tried to remain calm and prayed that the electricity would not be off for too long.  I wet a wash cloth with cold water from one of the many bottles that we keep filled and put it on my neck since I was feeling so hot so quickly.  Then, when that didn’t seem to work, I had my husband pour cold water on my head.  Finally, I headed to bed, after calling Domininion again and receiving a report that our electricity should be back on by midnight.  Now, where am I going with this story?  God’s power never goes out!  Revelation, huh?  He is always there and he is always trustworthy.  I don’t have to call his 800 number and listen to a recorded voice tell me once again that there is an outage in our area.  There are NO outages EVER when we call on the name of the Lord.  When I trust in Him, I can count on an answer from Him.  Sometimes, His answer is yes; sometimes, no and sometimes, wait.  But I always know that He is only a prayer away. I am doing an online Bible study with Shelia Walsh called “In the Middle of the Mess” and the second scripture comes from that study.  I found out yesterday that “Be still” in the original Hebrew means to “let go, to release” whatever you are burdened with.  Isn’t that awesome?  Just sit in God’s presence and release your burdens to Him.  That is usually easier said than done for me because I am one of those people who gives my burden to God and then as I go through my day and think on those things again, I take up the burden again.  So, I go through a process of giving Him my burden, taking it back, giving it again, etc.  You have the picture.  What God wants me to do is just release it to Him, like a helium balloon released into the air. You never expect to see it again once you let it go.  So, another hot day and another chance of storms and losing our electricity.  I’m releasing this burden to God…He is big enough to take care of it.  I may or may not lose electricity today, but whether I do or not, God can and will take care of me through the storm raging outside, just as He takes care of me during all of the storms of life.  I hope that you readers know this Almighty God who will keep you in peace while the storm is thrashing around you because you have released all things to Him:  your troubled life, your relationships, whatever burdens you have.  Have some quiet time today and release your suitcase full of problems to the Lord.   Have a blessed day, trusting in the Lord and resting in His peace.

God’s Judgment and Salvation

3DDCA04B-7906-4BEE-91B7-EF080BB375B2I I have many relatives who do not believe in the judgment of God.  In fact, I am not sure that they believe in God at all.  I know that there is a God, and He is a God of mercy and grace.  But He is also a God of justice who cannot look on sin.  When I turn on the TV every morning to hear the news headlines, I am convinced that God’s judgment cannot be far away.  There is so much evil in this world that sometimes the sadness and reality of it overwhelms me.  But, there is hope, even for the wicked.

618DA412-89A4-46C0-8681-86112A382A65.jpegGod is a the God of all mercy and grace in that He sent His own Son as the sacrifice for our sins so that we don’t have to die in our sins and be separated from God forever.  I do not want to go the way of the wicked and be condemned to spend eternity in hell, away from the God who created me.  But that is the choice that some people make daily when they deny that God is the Lord and the Savior of our souls.  I do remember a time when I was living my life for myself.  I remember not having any thoughts about God or any consequences for my actions.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I was basically a “good person.”  I didn’t steal or kill or do anything so overtly bad that it would land me in a jail cell somewhere.  Nevertheless, I was a sinner.  I made selfish choices and thought only of my own happiness.  Then, I met the Lord Jesus Christ and came face to face with the sacrifice that He made so that I could have eternal life.  From that day (February 28, 1973) to this, I have striven to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and have tried to please Him.  I have failed, oh, so many times and disappointed the Lord.  But each time, I have asked for His forgiveness and He has granted me the peace in my heart that tells me that I am forgiven and loved.  I don’t like that God is going to judge the wicked because I want all to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  That is the loving Father’s desire, also.  I don’t want any of my family members to be separated from God for all eternity.  But like you, and like me, they have a choice.  They can choose to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and serve him for the rest of their lives, or they can choose to ignore the sacrifice of the Lord and face the judgment of a righteous God who has called to them for years.  One day the earth as we know it will no longer exist because the sin that came into the world by Adam will no longer be there; no more curse on the earth and on man.  God says in His Word that He will create a new Heaven and a new earth, that He will wipe all of our tears away.  I am waiting for that day with expectation but also with the fear that many loved ones will not come to know Him as they should.  I am counting on God’s mercy and grace to do what is right for every being that He has created, sharing with family as they allow me to and praying that God will put others in their paths to share the good news of Jesus’s life and death for them.   I hope that you, my reader, know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  The freedom that comes from knowing that you don’t need to fear death and that you have a friend who is a prayer away is unbelievable!  Come to the altar of the Almighty and confess that you are a sinner who needs a Savior and feel the arms of God embrace you and welcome you home, safe in His arms here on earth and for all eternity.

Review of ALL WE EVER WANTED by Emily Griffin

This book was amazing!  I really enjoyed the family dynamics of the two families represented.  Tom is a single father raising his teen daughter Lyla in a middle-class environment.  Nina and Kirk, on the other hand, are very wealthy and are raising their son Finch in a home of privilege and expectation of more privilege.  When the book begins, Finch has just been accepted to Princeton, so we know that he is intelligent.  But his other character traits are not very admirable.  I will most remember Nina’s reaction to what Finch has done and what Kirk is doing to try to cover up for him.  It is important to remember that date rape is real, and the portrayal in this novel is very realistic.  The book is fast-paced and very entertaining.  I loved the way the viewpoint switched between the main characters, Tom, Nina and Lyla.  I wanted to keep reading to find out what was really going on since there was so much deception .  I was quickly drawn into the tale of a young girl and the parallel story o a married woman who has lost control of her life.  This is such an excellent read that all avid readers should read it and are guaranteed to enjoy it!

Disclaimer

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”

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God is Watching

Have you ever felt so alone that you just wanted to pick up the phone and call someone, but then you realize that it’s the middle of the night, so that is probably not a good idea?  God wants you to know that He is watching over you and that you should not be afraid or discouraged, no matter what is happening in your life right now.  Those words in the Scripture give me encouragement and hope.  I am never alone.  I may feel lonely, but my Heavenly Father is only a prayer away.  So often, I have found myself turning to the books that I read constantly or the TV shows that entertain me in order to fill my gaping hope of loneliness and discouragement.  But God is telling me that He wants me to reach out to Him.  He has been watching all along and knows when I am afraid and feeling low.  I have a friend at church whose husband just got a devastating diagnosis.  Asking friends at church yesterday how this elderly friend is doing, I was upset to receive the report that he is very discouraged.  So, in turn, I got discouraged.  After all, it was Father’s Day and I was already sad about my father not being around any more.  Now, this elderly man whose face shined with happiness when I returned to church after my stroke is in a “bad way.”  The fact is that without the Lord’s miraculous intervention, he will die shortly.  So, I got sad and wanted to rail at God about the unfairness of the situation.  This is a man who had dedicated his life and his music to the Lord (he plays guitar in our church).  But God wants to call him home. Now?  This doesn’t seem to be a good time, not to me or to his family, at least.  Nevertheless, God has brought me to the realization that his life is in God’s hands.  God is watching over him and he doesn’t want me or him to be afraid or discouraged.  What right do I have to tell God that the timing isn’t right?  I am not the Maker of the Universe and I don’t see all that is happening, so I cannot make decisions about the lives of others.  Goodness!  It’s hard enough for me to make decisions about my own life!  So, for today, for now, I am choosing to not be afraid or discouraged because that is what God tells me to do. I will pray for my friend and leave His destiny in the hands of the God who made and loves him.  Is there something in your life that is too hard for you?  God is watching, and He knows.  Just like He told me, He is telling you:  Don’t be afraid.  Don’t be discouraged. God is right there with you.  There is nothing going to happen today that God will not see, and He will be beside you, no matter what.  He is your God, the Lord of your life and your circumstances.  Believe it!

Missing Daddy

D2836DE6-968C-49D8-9FFA-4799470AA482My father passed away in July, 2017.  I wrote in an earlier post that he bought and sold drugs, but that was not the father that I knew for most of my life.  As I was growing up, he was the man who held and comforted me when my mother was cruel.  She used to tell me a lot how ugly I was and that she never wanted me.  Being the second child of five, I never understood why mama seemed to hate me so much and love my siblings.  Nevertheless, daddy would know when I had a bad day and would smile at me in his special loving way or he would bring me a candy bar.  He always told me the story of how when I was an infant, he would sit up with me all night, holding me on his shoulder since I was having trouble breathing.  Since I was born with asthma, that story is believable although I can’t confirm it myself.  Anyway, daddy was my champion, the one who understood and begged me to come home to get married even when mama didn’t want me to marry my husband.  She thought he wasn’t “good enough” for me since he didn’t have a college degree.  Daddy just accepted that Harry loved me and welcomed him to the family.  When I was in my early twenties, my family left Virginia and moved to Florida and did not have any contact with me for several years.  I really missed all of them, but especially my daddy.  When we finally got together again, daddy had changed.  He was addicted to various painkillers and was also selling drugs.  He was unhappy with his life in Florida and was never really honest with me after that.  I couldn’t trust him because of his addiction, so I remember sending him gift cards to MacDonald’s or clothing that he said he needed.  I couldn’t send money because I didn’t know how it would be used.  By that time, my mother had passed away (when I was 31, and we had mended our relationship by then, but that is another story).  Daddy and I continued to exchange letters and talk on the phone.  Four years ago, we traveled to Florida to visit my two siblings who live there and to see daddy.  We took him out to eat and to a museum.  He was distracted and on his phone a lot.  (That’s what people who deal drugs do, apparently.). So, it was a visit, but not a great one.  It was kind of like me just checking on daddy.  For the next four years, I called weekly or he called me, always on a Sunday.  He was getting forgetful and more frail and coughing a lot.  He had been in and out of the VA Hospital and I encouraged my brother to restore his relationship with daddy; he hadn’t seen or spoken to him for about twenty years.  James did that and daddy continued to get more and more ill.  Both of my brothers were with him in the hospital the week before he died.  I had gone to Pennsylvania for a retirement party for me and then I was going to visit my daughter; after that,  I was going to turn around and head to Florida to see my father.  We did Skype with my brothers at my retirement party and again from the hospital.  I was told that daddy was dying and I wanted to head to Florida right away, but my brothers and my children were telling me that the trip and seeing daddy in his failing condition would be too much for me. (I had a stroke in 2015.). So, I continued with my plan to visit with my daughter and her family.  One week later, I got the call from my brother that I dreaded…daddy had passed away.  I had told him goodbye by FaceTime after they had moved him into hospice. James was with him when he died.  I was inconsolable; my champion, my hero had passed away.  No, he did not live a perfect life, but the daddy I knew is the one pictured above, loving and playing with my son Steven as an infant.  I miss my father and I always will.  I am thankful that James was with him and could report that daddy knew the Lord as His Savior and died peacefully.  I love you, daddy.  Happy Father’s Day.

3-2-1 Quote Me!

3-2-1 Quote Me was started by A Guy Called Bloke.  I have been tagged to participate in the fun by Miraculous Smile.

Easy Rules:

  • Thank the selector…Thank you, Christy Istrate at Miraculous Smile!
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated topic of the day.  “Happiness” is today’s topic.
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in the challenge.

My 2 quotes:

”Wisdom is choosing to do now what you will be happy with later on.”-Joyce Meyer

”Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”-Abraham Lincoln

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My three nominees:

140characterchristian.com

Efua

Jessica

I hope you enjoy this.  Happy Saturday to everyone!

Vickie  🤗

 

3-Day Challenge: Day 3

I would like to once again thank Cindy from realchristianwomen.com for the opportunity to share with you these last few days. My final quotation is near and dear to my heart. Corrie Ten Boom was a dear Christian lady who suffered greatly during WWII. You can read her testimony in her book THE HIDING PLACE. It’s an amazing story of God’s love and forgiveness.