God answers our prayers.

11648594-9E40-407B-9759-353AC9854CCDGod 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.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd

F1A645C5-BF22-45F1-9A33-F9153424CEFE.jpegThis promise from the Lord gives me great hope and my prayer is that it wil also give hope to all who read this and believe. Sheep follow the shepherd.  I have been a follower of Jesus for over 40 years and He has never forsaken me, although many times I have tried to turn away and go my own way.  He always faithfully pulled me back into the fold, loved me and forgave me for wandering.  Life with Jesus is an adventure and I invite others to find the same hope that I have found.

Waiting for the Lord

C0FE4F30-2E9F-40F3-ACF5-04A6BB1EEBA4.jpegThe first words of this verse are “I believe.” And I do!  I believe that God is good and that He ultimately will bring good into my life.  I do not fear death because of the goodness of the Lord and the presence of His Spirt in my life.  I am waiting for the Lord, facing whatever life brings with courage.  Almost three and a half years ago, I had a stroke that affected my language and speech center.  Since I was a Spanish teacher, that was devastating to me.  But I waited, just as the occupational therapist encouraged me to do.  She said that the brain has a wonderful capacity to find other routes to do the same tasks I did before.  What she did not say but I knew is that the Bible says we “are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  And my recovery proved it.  I went from stuttering to speech, from not remembering any of the Spanish that I had studied for years to remembering and returning to teaching.  Did it happen overnight?  No, it was days…weeks…months of waiting on the Lord as my body healed and my brain synapses renewed themselves.  I am blessed!  And as I age and watch different parts of my body not work as well, I still say to myself that I am waiting for the Lord in the land of the living!  Do you know the Lord and His great power and love? Are you waiting for Him, too?

God’s Love

14D50E0A-18DF-4D49-91DD-5CDF8BC037BC.jpegSometimes life is messy and the road that we are on is bumpy.  Sometimes we are on a dark path and we don’t know where we are going to end up.  But, we can trust in God and His love for us.  No matter what we are going though, His love is there for us.  I have a favorite chair that I always relax in; that’s what God’s love is to me—like a favorite chair, he is there to comfort me and to hold me until I feel better and strong enough to tackle the next task that life has for me.  How about you?  Do you know and trust in God’s love?

Review of LIES YOU NEVER TOLD ME by Jessica Donaldson

This book is absolutely amazing, with an ending that will blow you away!  Elyse is a shy teen living with a mom who is addicted to painkillers, so she hasn’t been much of a caregiver.  Elyse gets the lead in the new school play, “Romeo and Juliet” and immediately develops a crush on the drama teacher.  Gabe, the other main character in the book, is dealing with a girl who is obsessed with him and will do anything to keep him.  The story of these two teens is told realistically and in a way that the reader wants to reach out and help them in some way.  The book is fast-paced, drawing the reader into a story that is so complex that you will never see the ending coming.  This teen novel is well-written, with excellent character development and short chapters that make it easy to read and fascinating.  

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”

E6A5A2EC-CD0F-4407-8AFD-B3E27FD22F10B81EB537-D1A7-47B7-8F23-B3DF39C21FB4

God calls us to pray and repent.

C45BCCE1-0735-44FF-904E-D5CCA6FA2E44.jpegDo you say that you are a Christian?  Then, you are called by God’s name and this verse is for you.  We are called to humble ourselves before God…to see ourselves as we really are.  We are called to pray and seek God’s face.  Prayer is entering into God’s kingdom.  Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer.  He also includes a praise of the Father (humbling ourselves) and seeking God in His Holy Place.  Then comes the really hard part—we are told to turn from our wicked ways.  You are probably like me and saying, “But I have no wicked ways.”  Really?  I still lose my temper, say things I should not say and do things that I know God would not have me do.  No one is perfect that walks on this earth; so repent and turn away from evil.  Then comes the promise that God will hear from Heaven and forgive our sins.  But, better than that, He will restore our land.  One version says He will “heal our land.”  What does that mean?  I think it means that he will restore our land to the time of belief and dependence on God.  Our nation has become one that is dependent on man, on government, when we should be dependent on God alone.  God is good and does not lie, so we can depend on Him to keep His promises.  But we have to do our part:  become humble before Him, pray, seek Him and turn away from sin.  Not easy, but God wouldn’t ask us to do it if He didn’t already know that it’s possible.

Review of HOW TO WALK AWAY by Katherine Center

This is the most feel-good book that I have read this year, and maybe ever.  It’s the story of a girl with a bright future, about to get engaged to her dream love, Chip.  Then, the unthinkable happens, a plane crashes and she survives, but just barely.  In the hospital and a paraplegic, Maggie feels like giving up.  But she has a cast of supporting characters, including her mom, her dad and her estranged sister Kit who comes back home just to rally her out of her blue funk.  She also has a taciturn physical therapist who doesn’t seem to like her, his job or anything else.  But Maggie keeps struggling on, determined to make the best of the life that she has left.  The book has some parts that left me tearing up and other parts that had me laughing aloud.  The characters are so realistic that it is like watching a movie of a life that really happened.  The sympathy that I felt for Maggie was real: the anger I felt at those who hurt her was just as real.  I can’t say enough good things about this book except that you just have to read it to believe it!  It is insanely well-written!  

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”

79B56E24-F265-42C7-A569-FF56CA97B932B81EB537-D1A7-47B7-8F23-B3DF39C21FB4

 

The Light of the World

0667057E-2E71-4532-8895-34CDB2C4E60F.jpegJesus said that He is the Light of the World and those of us who follow him will walk in the light of life.  What does that mean? I hate walking into a totally dark room, even though it’s my home and I know where everything is.  I stil hesitate when going into a dark room and quickly reach for the light switch.  This is an analogy for the darkness in our world.  Jesus left us to be a light to the world, and people who are in the darkness are reaching for the light that we have within us.  It is up to us to tell others about the good news of Jesus so that they, too, can share in this light and no longer fear the darkness.  The worst darkness is death, eternal separation from God for those who don’t know Jesus as Lord. If we want to help others escape that eternal darkness, we have to share the light.  Then our light spreads to others, and their light spreads to others and the darkness is dispelled.  Dispel the darkness; be the light in the world that Jesus left you to be!

Crucified with Christ

 

What 54FA7275-2F4C-4ABA-AE9F-FD02EE7EB322.jpegWhat does it mean to be crucified with Christ?  Honestly, I think that each Christian needs to answer this question in their own minds and hearts.  For me, it means that I  do a devotional each morning, reading God’s word and praying so I can start my day getting closer to the One who created me.  It also means that I ask God each day and throughout the day what He wants me to accomplish that day.  It means always being in an attitude of prayer so that I am always in contact with my Heavenly Father.  It means that I am Jesus’s hands and feet left on this earth to complete His mission, so I am to tell others about Him anytime I can.  It means that my needs are less important (not important at all, really) than the needs of God’s Kingdom.  It means that I am dying so that Jesus can shine forth in my light. It means that whatever small glory or praise comes my way goes straight to the Father; I thank Him for all that I am and all that I will be and do.   My prayer is that when people see me, they will get a small glimpse of what Jesus was like.  What is your prayer?  Are you being crucified with Christ?