Praise God, Even So

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He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  Job 1:21

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. Genesis 45:5

Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster befall a city, unless the Lord has done it? Amos 3:6

Giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Lord, You mean we are to praise You no matter what? Right now we live in an angry world. I don’t think many even know why they are angry. We have unruly protests, police killings, lootings, angry words being tossed about, I could go on and on. People are losing their homes and lives due to fires and violent storms. And then there is the Covid-19. We may ask, “God why are You allowing all this to happen? But, actually we should be praising You, for You know the future and are getting us ready for it. According to Job, James, Joseph, and Paul, we need to be praising You even in the face of all our troubles, because You have a plan and are teaching us so we will be ready.

Friends, what do you think? Are you ready? Do you have oil in your lamps?

Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts. Give us singing in our soul, for one day we will be coming home. Make us ready, Lord. In Your precious name I pray. Amen

Even a Cup of Water

“…and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42

“…Truly I tell you, just as you did to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40

“For God is not unjust; He will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for His sake in serving the saints, as you still do.” Hebrews 6:10

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Who are the little ones? Perhaps, the elderly man who has difficulty walking and is struggling to get his groceries from the cart into his vehicle. Or, maybe it is the young man checking us out at the grocery store with a look of sadness in his eyes. Or, maybe we are the “little ones” who received help from a passerby who lifted a heavy watermelon into our golf cart.

We offered to help the elderly man and he immediately began to tell us his tale of woe. He had dropped a 5 gallon pail of paint on his foot, it had gotten infected—he needed someone to talk to.

Then the young man with the sad eyes, needed to hear a word of appreciation. When my husband finished talking to him and we both asked the Lord to bless him, he was smiling.

Finally, the man who helped us. We allowed him to help us and we received a welcomed blessing, parting with a feeling of peace.

Actions do speak louder than words. As we depart from our homes to go out into the world, perhaps it would be a good thing to whisper a prayer asking God to lead us to someone who needs a word of encouragement today.

Dear Lord, you are God the Great I AM! Let me remember each and every day, that this is the day You have made and make me glad and rejoice in it. (Psalm 118:24) In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

The Tempter/Temptation

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity…Then the tempter approached Him…”

 I Corinthians 10:13a/Matthew 4:3a

Temptations are everywhere. The tempter also is everywhere. We need to be on guard at all times and in all places. Paul writes to the church at Ephesus, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.” (6:11) Paul goes on the say that our battles are not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. (vs. 12)

My friends, these words are not only for “those people” in Ephesus in AD 62, but for all people in all times, including today! We need to take heed and beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Temptations come in all sorts of forms. They come disguised as work, friends, food, riches, prominence, all sorts of risks, and even fun. Anything that can get your mind off God, Satan will turn on his charms and tempt you. He will even use relationships. We need to use as our example of resistance the words of Jesus– “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Matthew 4:10.

We need to put on the full armor of God—truth like a belt; righteousness like armor on your chest; sandals of peace on your feet; always put on the shield of faith on your chest—(protect your heart); on your head the helmet of salvation (protect your mind); and in your hand the sword of the Spirit (God’s Holy Word, the Bible). Then cover it all with skin—prayer for all the saints (believers). (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Doing all this will keep the tempter at bay. But, be assured he is waiting for a small crack in your armor to enter in. Be on your guard. Live in the fear of the Lord, obeying His commands and spending time with Him every day. Even if temptations do overtake you there is nothing God cannot overcome. His word says, “…He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it. “ (I Corinthians 10:13b)

Lastly, Paul writes to the church at Corinth—and to you and me—“Whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall.” (I Corinthians 10:12) You may like to have fun, there is nothing wrong with fun, but it can also become an idol and turn your face from God. And at this point, it is a disguise to use up the time that you should be spending with God. “Do not have other gods beside Me. Do not make an idol for yourself…” (Exodus 20:3, 4a) says the Lord.

Dear Lord, make me obedient to Your Word. Show me how You want me to live my life. Honor and glory are Yours, Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Memorial Day

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. For many it is beach-time or bar-be-que-time. It is time for fun and sun and relaxation. But, it is much more than that! It is a time to remember. Remember all the men and women who gave their lives, so that we have the freedom to do those things afore mentioned. Just try to imagine what it would be like if they hadn’t sacrificed their lives and allowed the enemy to overtake our land! There would be no beach-time or bar-be-que-time or fun-time or family-time—none of the things we enjoy in our freedom. We must pause to remember!

The same is true of our Lord who gave His life on the cross, so that, we could be saved from the Enemy that seeks to destroy our freedom to love God and one another. We must pause our fun-time to worship and praise His Holy name. We must remember that He lived and died and arose to give us abundant life.

Remember and be filled with joy, peace, and love. There is no other way to be happy in Jesus. He formed us and gave us gifts—talents—to use to love and honor one another and bring glory to His name. As Paul wrote to the church at Philippi—which is still true for us today…

I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 ESV

DO NOT FORGET—REMEMBER

AMEN

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