Angels Among Us

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them…Then Elisha prayed: “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha…Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Psalm 34:7   2 Kings 6:17   Hebrews 1:14

Receiving bad news is never a pleasant thing. For me it takes time to process the message. I usually am shocked and respond negatively. Lately, though I am able to process the situation and send a prayer up for discernment. At least, that’s what I know I should do, but am not always successful. What I need do is ask God for wisdom and understanding and a way to cope with whatever the bad news may be in a positive and mature way. Sometimes, He will remind me that He has it covered and I need to be patient while He works in the solution. Patience is not my strongest suit. It just might be, however, that I will learn something new about myself and about God’s presence in my life.

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.”

Psalm 37:5

Love Personified

“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ…Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent…And this is His commandment, that we should believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us.”

Philippians 1:6   John 6:29   I John 3:23

Father, everything with You begins and ends with love. You created us, in Your love, to be in relationship with You and love You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. You have commanded us to love one another in the same way. In this way, we can give testimony to Your love and plant the seed of salvation within their heart. Loving others personifies Your love and brings honor and glory to Your name.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit I pray. Amen

Believers Never Die

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.”  John 11:25

When my father and then my mother passed away, then my late husband, all within a 10 year period, I felt lost. All of a sudden there was no one to answer my questions…my mother about a recipe…my father about some of our ancestors or how to plant something…my husband about getting the car fixed or support for a conflict in the church. There was no one who could fill their shoes I was lost—I began to write. I wrote my memories—then I wrote words that seemed to come from my fingers, for they had not been in my mind—then I gleaned from the Psalms encouraging words that seemed to be God speaking to and through me.

God waited patiently for me to work through my grief and able to stand on solid ground once again. He is my Rock and my fortress. After a few years God opened up a brand new chapter in my life and led me to Del. This is proof to me that I was never alone and that God has a plan and will never waiver from it. When there seems to be no way. God will make a way. Only believe.

Dear Lord, You are the resurrection and the life. With You I am never alone…I may be lonely, but I am not alone! Thank You for loving me so much, undeserving as I am. One day I hope to be in heaven with You. May it be so. Meanwhile, please take care of all my loved ones who have gone on before. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

What Legacy Will You Leave?

“The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even when their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10

I once did a calculation using 80 years as mentioned in verse 10 Psalm 90 and “ one day to us is as 1000 years to the Lord” 2 Peter 3:8. The answer I came up with is our life on earth is but 10 minutes! What could you or I do in 10 minutes that would live on after we ascended into Eternity?

So in answer to the question, “Do we matter?” I would say “Absolutely!” You see, we are loved by God and matter deeply to Him. It is not a feeling of pride but of humility that you and I are chosen by the Most High God to be His children. And we become His children when we accept Jesus into our hearts and live is obedience to God’s commands which call us to love Him with all our hearts, minds, strength, and soul and to love one another. Love is the highest law of the land against which there is no law.

Therefore, the legacy that you and I must leave is love for in loving we matter and give glory to God.

Dear Lord, help me to love my neighbor as You love me. To You be honor and glory forever and ever. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Solitude

“…Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

Sometimes you need to be alone, away from the noise of the world. Just you and your surroundings, preferably engulfed in nature. I use to lie underneath an apple tree looking up at the sky. I would try to determine what shapes the clouds represented. I wondered, “What else is up there?” Years later I came to understand that there was much more to this world than what I could see. And, that something, was “Someone” who had created the heavens, the earth, and all that is in it—even me.

Solitude allows us to find the peace that our souls yearn for and need. It brings us face to face with ourselves, allowing us to understand all that binds us and keeps us from being all that God has created us to be.

Just as I was called to search for something beyond myself in that apple orchard, you too, will understand that you are never alone even when it is just you and the trees and the sky, for God is with you.

We are one in the Spirit.

A Little Talk with Jesus

…His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray…O Lord, You will hear the desire of the meek; You will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear…Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer…the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God…our competence comes from God…You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures…But you, beloved, build your selves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus that leads to eternal life.

Luke11:1   Psalm 10:17; 19:14   Romans 8:26, 27   2 Corinthians 3:5b   James 4:3  

Jude 20

Dear Lord, every day I need to have a little talk with you. Let me understand that prayer is likened to having a good talk with my best friend. I can talk to You any place, at any time. I can also ask You anything, knowing that You will answer whatever is best for me. I praise Your Holy name and give You all the honor and glory. O, and Lord, please forgive me of my sins and deliver me from all temptations and all evil. In Jesus; name I pray. Amen

The Conflict Within

The Conflict Within

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15) For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these ae opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. (Galatians 5:17) For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells, in my members. (Romans 7:22, 23)

The dogs’ ears were stinky and itchy. He whined every time his master cleaned them out. He tried everything to help this poor dog. Then one day someone suggested it might be the chicken. The dog loved his food made with chicken, but the minute his master changed his food, his ears stopped itching and stinking. But still, he begged for any chicken in his sight.

Isn’t that the way with us? There are things that we should not have or do, and yet, we can’t help ourselves?

God, it isn’t easy to walk in the ways You have planned for me as I’m drawn to the flames of my past. But will you ease the pull it has on me? In Jesus’ name, Amen

Happy Easter

Cheers, Jeers, Tears, JOY!

The Hebrew people were suffering in Jerusalem. They were under the cruel and oppressive rule of the Romans, just as their ancestors were under the Egyptians (The Book of Exodus). They needed deliverance. The Old Testament Prophet, Zechariah predicted their salvation, he said, “See your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9) This prophecy came to fruition as we read in Matthew 21:1-10. Then the crowds cheered loudly, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Vs 9) This was a plea from a depressed people to their Savior for deliverance.

However, it wasn’t long before these cheers turned to jeers. Jesus was telling the people how they must act and to whom they must follow and it wasn’t the Scribes and Pharisees! This riled the leaders—albeit, self- proclaimed leaders—and they began to conspire Jesus’ arrest and ultimate demise. The people who had cheered for their Savior now jeered Him because of their fear. They became part of the mob who shouted, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!”(Matthew 27:22, 23) How easily cheers can become jeers. Soon tears would be running down their cheeks.

It wasn’t long before these same people who cheered when Jesus entered through the gate, began to jeer Him, and fear overtook them. The people watched their Savior as He was nailed to the cross and died before their eyes. They realized that they had failed to recognize their God. They had allowed “fear” to be their god. Their eyes welled up with tears and spilled over and ran down their cheeks. Their hearts sank. Still God said, “Be strong and courageous”( 2 Chronicles 32:7). God had a plan and He had vowed to “never leave His people or forsake them,” (Deuteronomy 31:8) Also, on more than one occasion He said, “Do not be afraid or discouraged.” In fact, it is repeated 365 times through-out the Bible! Yet we do not listen.

But, as I said, God has a plan and He wasn’t defeated. At the end of the cheers, jeers, and tears came joy. The Psalmist writes,” …there is joy in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

The morning after Jesus was carried and laid in the tomb, the women came to anoint His body. They stopped short when they discovered the huge stone had been rolled away from the entrance. They looked in and what did they see? NOTHING! IT WAS EMPTY! When the guards who were sleeping outside the tomb awoke, they were overtaken by fear and stood like dead men. But, an angel of the Lord appeared to the women. The angel told them not to be afraid for Jesus had risen! (Matthew 28:1ff)  “Go and tell the others,” The angel said.

As they were running to tell the others the good news, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Good morning.” The women fell down and grabbed His feet and worshipped Him. Jesus simply said to them, “Do not be afraid…Tell My disciples to go to Galilee and there they will see Me.” Joy came in the morning! Do not be afraid. At the end of the cheers, jeers, and tears, there is joy.

God is with you—Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, be courageous. Believe. Turn your fear into faith for the best is yet to come. In a little while Jesus will appear to you, as well.

Dear Heavenly Father, on this Resurrection Sunday I pray, that the family with whom you have blessed us, will see You. Dispel whatever fear is gripping them and turn it into faith in You, Lord, our Living God. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY

It Is Done!

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land.” Matthew 27:45

We watched as Jesus was nailed to the cross. With each pound of the hammer a shiver went up my spine. Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Matthew 28:46) The pain was great. But, it wasn’t the physical pain, although I can only imagine how great that was! Think of it—nails driven through your feet and through your hands holding you upright with all the pressure of gravity pulling you downward. It must’ve been excruciating! But, that wasn’t the pain Jesus was feeling. It was the pain in His spirit because you and I had turned our backs on Him and have sunk deep in our sin. For this He gave Himself up on the cross.

God has forsaken not even one! We are the ones who have done the forsaking. But, there is hope. Even so, Lord Jesus come. Jesus has died, but now He lives! We can hold on to the promise that “God will never leave us nor forsake us.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Do not be lost in your sin—your broken relationship with God. He is waiting for you with open arms. Turn to Him and give up your willful ways. He will appear to You as He did the women who found His tomb empty. Don’t look back, move your being towards the future He calls you to with faith, hope, and love for “joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

Lord, help me to open my eyes that I may see You more clearly. Keep me close to You in the storms of life. Be not crucified in my heart. Let my soul soar as I imagine the totality of life with You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Tears

“Tonight all of you will run away…” Matthew 26:31

It wasn’t long before the people who cheered, then jeered, would have tears running down their cheeks. The heaviness of what they had done began to weigh them down. What had happened? How could something that seemed so right become so wrong? They didn’t take time to think about it, they just joined in with the rest of the crowd. A crowd that was led by a bunch of jealous, glory-seekers.

Think about it. You are standing in the square watching your hero, the one who has come to free you from the imprisonment of your own unbelief. There is great jubilation! You are caught up in the ecstasy of the moment. But, in a few days the mood of the crowd changes. This one who was to be your Savior has been arrested and beaten and spat upon and humiliated! You find yourself hurling insults as you become part of the mob. You have run away from the One who could save you. Now, this thought brings tears to your eyes.

Jesus is remembered on Maundy Thursday as we participate in the Last Supper He had with His disciples—at lease here on earth. This is an example of “the end not being the end.” But, how can you know? Definitely not by joining the hateful mob!!!

Paul tells us in Acts 16:31—“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved; you and your household.” Have faith and believe. There is nowhere in the 66 books, we have named The Holy Bible, that says it will be easy. But, I say, it is the easiest hard thing you could do. Proclaim your faith in Jesus and believe that He is the One, true Savior of the world and let Him lead you through the maze of life into the Promised Land. We are all born and we all die. It is your choice where you will spend eternity. May your tears not fall on dry ground for “there will be joy in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

Dear Lord, keep me safe, keep me true to You the “Word that was made flesh” (John 1:14). Take up residence in my heart. Don’t allow me to be a part of the angry mob. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen