This will be my last blog entry for 2008! As usual I am thinking of New Year's resolutions, so to speak, ways to improve my life. I know I want to get to know my Savior better in 2009. I have a passion to have such a relationship with Him that I can fully trust Him in all things, all the time. That is what my journey is all about. I am learning almost daily what it means to trust Him and for that I am grateful even when it hurts or it is hard. I am so thankful that He has brought me through another year. I see where I have failed and not been all that He has wanted me to be. I am so thankful that He does not want me to go around living in shame and quilt, but that He has given me the way to know and experience forgiveness and freedom. I love the Lord with all my heart and am so incredibly in awe of all He continues to do for me. So as I end this year, I look forward to serving Him with my whole being, growing, and learning to trust Him more each day in this new year.
Learning to trust Him . . . . More and More. . . . One Day at a Time
This week our Women's Bible study had our annual Christmas lunch at the Olive Garden. Part of or conversation was about prayer. We were discussing prayer and how humbling it is to go to prayer on one's knees. I have been reflecting this morning on Philippians 2:5-11: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." This verse brought me back to our conversation on kneeling, and it it a sobering truth that some day all will bow their knee. I think I need more time to truly reflect on the reality of this verse and the seriousness of it!
Learning to trust God . . . Seriously Reflecting . . . One Day at a Time
We serve an awesome God! Recently Steve and I were out together and it was so evident that God had directed our steps in order for us to meet two people. Through a series of small seemingly insignificant events our paths crossed with these people and it was so obvious from the conversations we had that it was God who had already planned the perfect place and timing for us to meet. He knew our needs and He knew who would help meet our needs. I don't believe in coincidences. Some may say it was by mere coincidence that these circumstances of events happened, but I know it was God. He was again showing us His loving hand and His personal intimate touch on our lives. When we say that Christ dwells within or hearts by faith, we must understand that He is there all the time. He does not pick and choose when He will be there. Thus, in times when we see Him working like this, we should not be surprised. We need to give Him our days, our hours, our minutes and let Him do His work in our lives. So today I am grateful that He loves me so much that He directs me and brings people into my life when I would least expect it to bless me and encourage me. I pray that there are those times in the lives of others that He will reciprocate and do the same and use me in ways that I am not expecting to help build up another fellow believer or to witness to someone in His name.
Learning to Trust God . . . As He directs My Steps . . . One Day at a Time
One thing that I really am blessed by is when I see others growing in Christ. It is an encouragement to me to keep growing in Him as well. On this journey I am on where I am learning to trust Him, I am seeing more and more the need to grow in holiness. I pray for visible and recognizable sanctification in my own life, so that I will bring honor and glory to Him. I have been told that a good way to pray is to ask God to change me into a person who looks like Christ. Wow! I am so far from that goal. I know that God is the One who is doing the changing, but I have to have a part in it! God, through the Holy Spirit does give us the power to do what He is asking us to do. He wants to see us doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, help me to be obedient to what you are calling me to do. Please convict me in the areas where I need to grow and change. Thank you for working in my life and never giving up on me!
Learning to Trust God . . . in Sanctification . . . One Day at a Time
I have not blogged much in the last couple of weeks. I attribute that to being new on Facebook and spending a lot of time over there.
I had such a wonderful time with my husband this evening. We went to historic Ellicott City and walked around. We had an amazing time together looking at all of the Christmas lights and at the shop windows decorated for Christmas. There were so many unique things to look at. Many were antiques. Steve took some pictures and I can't wait to see how they turned out. I have become somewhat of a minimalist by choice when it comes to decorating for Christmas, so I truly enjoyed seeing someone else's decorations. We also stopped in a great little coffee shop and got some hot roasted vegetable soup and hot chai tea and coffee. It was just a fun evening to be out together and I cherish all the times we spend doing something special together and how we are making memories together as a couple.
Learning to trust God . . . and having fun. . . . one day at a time.
Today is Thanksgiving and I am up early this morning, taking a few minutes to reflect on what I am thankful for. I realized as I mentally made my list that it is not so much "what" I am thankful for but for whom I am thankful for. I am thankful for the Lord being in my life, because without Him I don't know where I would be today. My life is truly blessed because of His prescence. I am thankful because of His plan and His will for my life. I am thankful that He has brought others into my life. I am thankful for the way I have seen Him work in the lives of those around me. I am thankful that as I journey along on this path I am doing it with Him right beside me. When I fall down He picks me up and when I am dry He fills my cup! I am thankful that He meets my needs. I am thankful He has given us His Word. I am thankful for His love, His protection, His peace, His comfort and His mercy. I am thankful for His beautiful creation surrounding me. I am thankful for the blessed hope of Christ's return some day soon and I am thankful for the joy that is awaiting me in Heaven. So as my day is beginning to unfold I have much joy in knowing the Lord and I give Him thanks for all He has done for me.
Learning to Trust God . . . With a Thankful Heart . . . One Day at a Time
It is a comfort to know that God is working even when I don't see it or feel it. He has not and will not forsake me. He wants to have a relationship with me. That will never change. My life is being stretched to better understand that He wants me to walk by faith not by sight. He doesn't expect me to go by my feelings and have them change according to what is happening around me. As I am learning to trust Him more fully and completely, I realize that just because there are not always the outward changes that I want to see so desperately, it does not mean that God has changed or forgotten me! It doesn't mean He is not working or that He is not aware of the circumstances. That is where the trusting and the faith come together hand in hand. God's quiet voice is still echoing His promises and I just need to be still enough to hear. His hand is still upholding me and His heart is still loving me unconditionally. He is in control. What a peace in times of uneasiness and doubt!
Learning to Trust God . . . Even When it is Hard . . . One Day at a Time
This morning in church we will be continuing our series through the book of Ephesians. We have come to the portion of Scripture which teaches about being united in one body. It is a good thing to have unity for when there is unity there is harmony. Everyone wants unity in their homes, and with their friends and in their workplace. On a larger scale we want harmony or peace on earth! But what about unity with God and with fellow believers. What about unity within the local church?
In the verses that will be covered today, 2:11 & 12, we will see what it means not to be united with Christ. Words like "seperate" "excluded" " strangers" "no hope" "without God" are all within these two verse. What a dismal picture. The world has not changed. People are still looking for meaning and purpose and something to put their hope in. We are all coming from the same place as these Ephesians were before we had Christ in our lives. The difference is that once we have Christ in our lives, we immediately have hope and purpose for our lives and we are not seperated from Him any longer. We become part of the family of God, the body of Christ and He unites us with other believers. But so often although we are all part of one body and we are united together there is dis-unity and disagreement and strife. Whe we don't agree we can become bitter and angry and judgemnetal. We don't look any different than the world.
As I struggle to understand this in my walk with the Lord, I get discouraged. Things are just not the way they are supposed to be. So as we begin a new week and I walk with God and learn to trust Him more, my responsibility is to understand my position with Christ, and my place in the body of Christ. No matter what others are doing or saying, I must please the Lord and strive for unity among my brothers and sisters in Him.
Learning to Trust God . . . In Unity . . . One Day at a Time
Last night history was made in our country. I was very sad and disappointed about the results of the 2008 Presidential election because the team I supported and voted for did not win. On the other hand I can praise God that our country has elected an African American to be our President. I call that victory! I am filled with an inner contentment knowing how far we have come in the right direction in the area of racial equality as a country. There should be a sense of real pride in this amazing feat for all Americans. It is time to put our personal feelings aside and go forth with prayer and support for the man that has been chosen to be our leader. We may not agree with his politics and there are certain issues that I am very concerned about, but it is just another reminder of how important prayer is on behalf of our leaders. Romans 13 speaks to our responsibilities with regard to those in authority. As we begin this new chapter in American history and in our individual lives, I commit to praying more diligently and in a more concerted manner for our country. Will you join me?
Learning to Trust God . . . For Our Country . . . One Day at a Time
Today is Election Day 2008! It has finally come and in around 12 hours we may know who our next president and vice-president will be. I don't think I have ever prayed so hard for anything political in my whole life. Last night I went to the McCain- Palin 2008 office and made some phone calls on behalf of their campaign. I called approximately 120 people living in Virginia from my cell phone. As I was driving to the office my hands were cold and clamy because this was definitely, without a doubt, out of my comfort zone. What if they hang up on me? What if they ask me a political question and I don't know the answer? I was nervous but felt the Lord had told me to go. A hand full of people did hang up on me, one person actually yelled at me, but in the long run it did not phase me! One lady did start asking me questions about medicare and Rx drugs, which I didn't really answer, but I was able to show her empathy, which is what I think she really needed. And then there was the call I made to an elderly couple. I could hear the "age" in the man's voice. I could hear the "fatigue" and the "lonliness" in his responses. He started to tell me about his wife who was sick in bed. I told him I was sorry she was sick and that I hoped she would get better soon. But he wanted to talk and tell me about his wife who was terminally ill, whom he looked after. He told me of his love for her. I could also hear his "love" in his voice. It broke my heart and blessed me at the same time. I was able to share with him about the Lord. I ended by telling him I would pray for them, and I have. Maybe that is why God had me go and make phone calls last night. (?) Sharing the love of the Lord is really the most important thing. As I am on this journey of learning to trust God, once again I was reminded that when I am lead to do something and step out in faith and "go" He is right there with me, calming my fears and giving me the words to say. I am so grateful to Him for allowing me to have a small part in not only making calls on behalf of McCain- Pallin, but for giving me ears to hear between the words and using me to share of His love with a hurting man on a Monday night.
Learning to Trust God . . . Out of My Comfort Zone . . . One Day at a Time
Yesterday was such a great day! We had a wonderful morning worship time. After church I made a mad dash home and then went over to the jail for the Christian Jail Ministry. You can't be late, or there is no admittance!! The lady who gave the message did a great job of presenting the gospel to the ladies. We talked and shared about what love is. It is such a blessing to hear the responses. We started out by singing "Jesus Loves Me" which was very moving for me under the circumstances. After the message we tried to find some songs in the hymnal that everyone knew which ended up being hard. We did however sing "Amazing Grace" and ended with a Christmas song "Go Tell it on the Mountain." I love the part where we have the opportunity to get one on one (or so) with the ladies and share prayer requests. I love holding hands and praying together. When we are joined in prayer the spirit moves! I always forget where I am (jail) and just concentrate on praising God and petitioning Him on behalf of these precious women. We were actually given a few extra moments together yesterday so we had some bonding time and that was a special gift from the Lord. This ministry has opened my eyes to many things and I praise God for allowing me to be a small part of it.
Learning to Trust God . . . At the Jail . . . One Day at a Time
Last night Steve and I ventured out and did something we had not done for a long, long time! As a matter of fact it was something we had never done together. We went to the drive- in theatre in Baltimore. . . and we saw three movies!! That is also a first for me and it is amazing that I did not fall asleep! We were there for six hours. Normally I would not have thought that would be my idea of fun at all, but actually we had a great time. I would rather spend time with my husband than anyone else, so being together cooped up in the car that long was not that bad! Of course there were the snacks and coffee that helped pass the time as well and give us the perk- up that we needed half way through. The first movie was an animal movie and of course I cried here and there! The second movie was kind of nostalgic and the third had a good message in it. The message was about how what really counts and what truly makes you happy is helping others, and putting their needs before your own.
Today I have a house to clean, groceries to buy, errands to run and a Children's Church lesson to prepare, and I have a feeling I will find some time to take a short nap!
Learning to Trust God . . . Having Fun With My Husband . . . One Day at a Time
I unashamedly believe that I am a sinner, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. I believe He died on the cross and was resurrected on my behalf. I understand that I needed to repent of my sins and put my trust and belief in Jesus. It is all by the grace of God. Because I have taken that step of faith I will live for all eternity in Heaven. I am a member of the family of God and I am His child. These are not merely my "intellectual" thoughts, but they are also my heart's certainty. No matter what happens in this world I will always cling to these truths as reality. No body can take this away from me. I also believe that the Bible is God's inspired Word which is inerrant and infallible. He cannot and will not lead me astray.
I am writing this because there are so many in today's society questioning Christianity and the Bible. They are questioning the claims of Christ and whether Jesus is the only way. For the rest of my life my goal is to pursue Biblical truth. But along with gaining more knowledge and insight I desire to live the Christian life with love and integrity. I want to serve the Lord by worshipping Him and serving others. I know what I believe and I want to live out those beliefs for God's glory.
Learning to Trust God . . . Living Out My Beliefs . . . One Day at a Time
This morning I awoke and went into the living room and as I was sitting on the couch I glanced outside. "When did this happen?" I glanced at the tree across the street from our house. This morning the leaves are all red, and the last time I looked they were still green. After spending a few days in bed being sick, the sight of the red leaves was a real surprise! I looked at the other trees from my window and sure enough there were a variety of colors that I had not previously noticed. The beauty of the world around me seems to be almost exploding! Today even the sky looks bluer. What a beautiful time of year to enjoy the outdoors. In my case it is from a window and from my back deck. I can't help but to think deeply and carefully how God is our Creator. I've reflected on His goodness and His love. This morning I noticed that even the squirrels seemed to have an added energy as they were busy rustling in the leaves. I sat outside on the deck and allowed the warmth of the sun to shine down on my face. For just a few moments I felt as if I were taken far away from my problems and discomfort and I felt totally content and good and happy!
It's amazing what even a momentary "mini- vacation" can do for the spirit!
Learning to Trust God . . . In the Moments of Life . . . One Day at a Time
For the last couple of days I have been a little under the weather! I was able to get an appointment to see my doctor who diagnosed me with shingles. Oh, that's why I've been having stabbing pain, burning, skin aches and the list goes on. NO fun at all! I don't know how long this will last, but I hope it won't be too much longer. So, what does one do when lying in bed most of the day? Beside sleeping, drinking a lot of liquids, taking anti- viral pills, and counting the hours until I can take my pain meds again, I have been pretty inactive. Bored may be a better word!! I want to follow doctor's orders and get better as soon as possible.
In all of my "free" time I've watched a lot of daytime television which I normally don't do. I've seen lots and lots of news programs. I've become familiar with the news anchors, and can almost tell from what political perspective they are coming from by their comments. Many are extremely biased, and report certain news stories with a negative and untruthful slant. I am becoming somewhat of a "political junkie" trying to follow the campaigns and all that is leading up to the election on November 4. Only a couple more weeks (25 days) to go and we will know who our new President and Vice-President will be. The politicians are vehemently trying to move their own agendas forward. They are intense and passionate about their views. These are the policies that need to be brought to the forefront of the campaigns and be nationally debated. Americans need to know the politicians stance on the war and foreign policies, abortion, morality and energy related topics. It is crucial that we have an understanding of the candidate's views. It is also vital that we ask ourselves how these views line up with the Bible and God's mind and heart.
Then there is all the latest with the economy. I know I will never understand all that is going on with it. Our financial system and resources are very confusing to me, despite the fact the media is giving us all a crash course on economics. It is extremely important in the minds of all Americans right now. I am so thankful my life and future is in the Lord's hands. Politics can be fun and exciting and invigorating on one hand, yet I find myself questioning so much of what I am hearing on the news. What is true? Who is being honest? After awhile I just have to turn it off and allow my mind to go elsewhere. I have also been using my time to do a little more in- depth praying about these issues. I've never prayed for politicians and our country like I am right now. They need it and we need it. We all need God's wisdom and His perspective on the issues that face the world today.
My prayer this morning is Maranatha! Lord, come quickly!
Learning to Trust God . . . With "life". . . One Day at a Time
Our Ladies Bible Study is studying different aspects of what it means to us to be able to say "The Lord is My Shepherd." The aim for this week's lesson is to Experience God's Presence With Us. There are several thoughts I have as I have contemplated this aim in preparation to lead the study. One thing that came to my mind immediately is that nobody likes to feel that they are alone. The vast amount of times we are not really alone, but we sense we are. We may be tempted to ask, "Where is God?" We can question if God cares for us and if there are any answers to our problems. Circumstances are such that we don't feel as if anyone is there for us. It is a scary thing to think about being alone with nobody beside you. I know this feeling because I have been there. I know what it is to wonder if anyone really cares. When you feel alone you can't help but to have that underlying feeling of panic. You begin to think what if I have a problem, will there be anybody to help me? Who can I call upon in my time of need? Well, I know very well that in my life I really do have many people who would jump at the chance to help me, and that I really am not alone. Most of all though, I have total confidence and trust in God to know that He is with me. His presence is with me. It is knowing a lot more that the fact that God exists. He is here, yet we cannot see Him. It is by faith that I know His presence is with us. It is having that relationship with Him that comes from trusting in Jesus as my personal Saviour. I know very passionately that God is with me and that He is aware of my situations whatever they may be. He has the understanding and insight into what is going on and what is happening now and in the future. He knows all the trials, sorrows, hard times I will face. This gives me the kind of peace that only comes from a loving God. Again, as I am on this journey of learning to trust God on a daily basis, one thing I can rest assuredly in is that His presence surrounds me and I can experience it by faith. I never have to feel alone again or wonder if anyone cares. I know He is with me, thus I am confident that because the Lord is my Shepherd I can experience His Presence.
Learning to Trust God . . . Experiencing His Presence . . . One Day at a Time
My heart is so heavy this morning. Something just does not seem right. I don't have the peace of God this morning. I am burdened by so much that is going on around me. First I see my own shortcomings and ways I seem to fail. Then there are the sins of others that I am aware of. I also see so much lack of commitment and apathy. On top of these things, many I know are suffering from illness or financial difficulties. Just these past few days I have learned of real legitimate hurt in people's lives. Some are suffering because of the loss of a baby through miscarriage, others through still birth, and others uncertain about their pregnancies. Then there are the marital problem that women and men face every day. Some search for answers and seek help. Others have just given up hope. There are others who are making poor choices in the way they are raising their children. People's priorities are wrong and they don't listen to the truth. I wish people would just be honest and not hide behind masks. When things are more out in the open, we can help each other. We can carry each others burdens and we will know how to pray. Sometimes it seems too much to bear and too difficult to carry. I know God says we are to cast our cares on Him. I am gaining a deeper appreciation of this concept when I think about how truly loving God is to be willing to take this all from us and bear it. Christ who was sinless bore the sins of the whole world on His shoulders as He willingly went to the cross and died for us. That is amazing love. And He is still every day every moment willing to bear everything for us again. He doesn't need to die again. His death meant "it is finished." We are the ones that need to die . . . die to self. Trusting God daily is not necessarily too hard but it is a learning process in which I am called on to give everything over to Him. He does not want me to feel the way I do. He wants me to give this heaviness and weariness over to Him so I can experience His peace. This is a faith walk, as we are not to go by our feelings. They come and they go. I am so aware that we live in a fallen world. I can not point fingers at people in judgement when I have my own sins to deal with. Many times the burdens I have and the loads others are experiencing have nothing to do with personal sin, it is just the consequences of the world we live in. I desperately want God to reach down and take care of me and heal my hurts and disappointments and make everything okay. I want Him to do that for my friends and family members, too. Yet, many times He allows us to go through things to help us grow in our trust for Him. Many times through my hurtful experiences, and difficult burdens, I have learned to comfort others because I have experienced His comfort. Burdens can bring us closer to the Lord if we allow them to.
Lord, help me to cast my burdens upon You, as I know You care for me. Amen
Learning to Trust God . . . Giving Him My Burdens . . . One Day at a Time
I have been thinking about the saying "the power of positive thinking." I have had way too many negative thoughts today that have caused me to be self- absorbed and depressed. I wish I would always have positive thoughts with nothing negative ever entering my mind. That is not reality, nor is the power of positive thinking going to keep those thoughts away. But how can I deal with these thoughts when they do happen? I think the first thing to do is to realize they are there and that I do not want to have them affecting me. It is too easy otherwise to let the negative thoughts consume my thoughts. I can obsess over things that are negative. My mind then becomes continually pre-occupied with thoughts that should not be there. I need to be aware of this pattern and then get rid of them. That is where prayer comes in. I have learned that the sooner I give them over to God the better off I am emotionally and spiritually. When I understand it is all my choice to have this attitude, then will I be free to give the thoughts up. I have to set my mind on Christ and the things above where He is. I need to cultivate the mind of Christ. His thoughts, need to be my thoughts. His Word needs to be so real and so alive in my life that they become so much a part of me that I don't look to anyone else or anything else above Him. People will always let me down, I know that. People will say certain things, or neglect to say things. But what I do with my negative feelings and thoughts when this happens are vital. Again, I must make a conscious choice. Do I love them like Christ loves them? Do I forgive them? Can I just agree to disagree when it is not against God's truth? When people's idiosyncrasies tend to bug me, am I able to let go of them and move on with the Lord's help? Can I just look at them as what they are, mannerisms and certain traits that I don't like, but are not necessarily sins? I need to have the eyes of Christ, the mind of Christ and the heart of Christ. Dwelling on Him will make the difference. Traveling on this path and journey with Him brings me to my knees as I see so many areas that I need His help in. I have so often chosen my way not His when it comes to my thought life with regard to negativity. Having negative thoughts causes me not to be free. One negative thought leads to another. The Lord, however, will replace the negative thought with a positive thought which is from Him. The power of positive thinking can only take me so far, but the power of God's Word can take me exactly where I need to be . . . relying on Him.
Learning to Trust Him . . . With My Negative Thoughts. . . One Day at a Time
Steve and I have been on a little get-away in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. The best part of being away is spending so much time with my husband. It is fun to explore new places together and experience things with one another. We went to several breathtaking waterfalls and I don't know how many times we said "look at that" or "look over there" to each other. It was also fun to drive on the back roads and have the time to leisurely stop and take in the view or snap some pictures! I don't know what the highlight of the trip was, except way up on the list would be that we saw a bear!! We were driving and as casually as ever Steve said, "There's a bear!" We turned the car around to see if we could take some pictures or a better look but, of course, he was gone. He had come out of a corn field and walked across a small road into the woods. Steve said he must have been foraging some corn. Even though we missed getting a picture, the memory will forever be in our minds. I think it was a little surprise from God as it certainly made our evening!! Praise God for His goodness to us. We did take lots of pictures in God's beautiful creation and praised and thanked Him for allowing us to be apart of it together. What a wonderful God we serve! As we were packing up and leaving I saw a skunk. I walked way too close to it with our garbage, but ran back afraid he would spray me!! I had always wanted to see a skunk in the wild, too!! Just another reminder that God loves me and wants to give me joy in my journey! I think it also shows that God has a sense of humor! This time away, shared with my wonderful husband, caused me to be even more in awe of God! The majesty of His creation was everywhere. I am convinced that this is my Father's World!
Learning to Trust God . . . In His World . . . One Day at a Time
Today was one of those days that in one breath I rejoiced in answered prayer and in another breath I questioned why it didn't seem as if God was answering other prayers of mine. Being able to see God working brings so much joy and hope and comfort. Yet waiting and wondering and crying out to God to meet a need and having to wait is very difficult. I desperately want to see God working and answering all of my prayers. But He is teaching me to trust Him. I am on a journey to get to know Him better. I have learned that in the waiting there are lessons to be learned. In the questioning there are things I still need to learn. God wants me to relinquish my will and trust in His timing. It is hard to do that when I am feeling anxious. It is difficult to see others hurting and having no clear direction. It takes faith and patience. Both of these things God is helping me with. I am learning that I need to rest in Him. I have to remind myself that God sees the beginning and the end. He has heard my prayers. He knows what is best. Sometimes He closes doors. At these times we should not try to open them, or even try to peek through the cracks. Other times God opens a door and allows us to walk through. We should never try to force that door open, because in His timing He will open it if it is His will for us. There is no lock or bolt or latch that we have to try to pry open. He has done the work for us and we just have to enter in. I wish it were that easy for me to wait for Him. Sometimes my fears and my anxiety and my emotions just take over. These are lessons I am still learning as I journey with Him. I am thankful He is not finished with me yet! He still has lessons to teach me!
Learning to Trust God . . . In Prayer. . . One Day at a Time
Today I was cleaning out an old notebook full of papers I no longer needed. I started reading some of the things I had written last year. God knew I needed to see and reflect on some of the thoughts I had written in the past, and the things He had taught me. God is so good, that because of His love He doesn't mind bringing these gentle reminders to me over and over again. God is my hope and I realize that true hope comes only from Him. He is my hope in all things; in every part of my life. So today I am not going to write much, but I am going to be thinking a lot about the reality of the word hope. I woke up discouraged, but as I walk with God today and pray and uplift my burdens to Him, I know He will replace any negative feelings and emotions with faith and confidence that He is working! He will help me to remember His truth! Hope is more than wishful thinking and chance, it is a confidence and an expectancy in who God is. It is believing that God keeps His promises!
Learning to Trust God . . . In Hope . . . One Day at a Time
September 11, 2001. Let us never forget this day in history. Our country and the world were profoundly changed forever. Today I am praying for the families and friends of those who personally lost someone in the 9 11 attack. Their loss immediately became our loss. I am remembering all of the brave men and women who unselfishly came to assistance of those in need. It seems like we all wanted to do something for someone else. We wanted to reach out. Our neighbors became our friends, whether we knew them or not. We hugged our family members a little tighter. I am remembering our country with pride as we joined together as citizens, not looking at our political, economical or racial differences, but as individuals. For a moment in time we realized we are not the center of the universe. Our hearts joined with one another as we ached for each other and we cried together as a nation of people who were in shock. We cared for each other on a level we had never known before. We all sought answers to similar questions and did not judge each other for wondering, and not having the answers. As a nation we reflected on the same heart-wrenching issues. The name God was unashamedly used as we looked to Him for comfort not just for ourselves but for our fellow Americans. We all had the same needs. We needed reassurance and hope. We sought for answers. Sacrifices were made that day on behalf of one another, as people willingly relinquished their own needs to serve others. We began to understand maybe for the first time that day, the term terrorist. The words hate and evil became an unfortunate reality. And we learned the concept of freedom in a deeper and more personal way that memorable day, 9 11. Our lives were changed forever.
Learning to trust God . . . as I remember 9 11. . . One Day at a Time
Having God's Word readily available to us is a huge blessing! Imagine if we did not have it! I think we take it for granted too often. I have probably had at least one Bible the majority of my life. But owning a Bible and knowing what it says are totally different. And then, knowing what it says and not knowing the author, God, is another scenario that too often is being worked out in lives today. The sacred writings on the pages of the Bible are beautifully written, but it has to go deeper than just reading them. The words are holy and although they belong to God, they were written by Him for you and for me. God loves us unconditionally and He created us to belong to Him. We need to seek to have a relationship with God, through His Son Jesus. When that happens the Holy Spirit enlightens us and we can begin to have a deeper understanding of the intended meaning of the verses. Yet, we can have that relationship with the Lord, know the words on the pages, yet still miss something along the way. There is the whole vitally important aspect of following what God has written and obeying Him. We need to take what we read, what we hear, what we learn and be doers of the Word. God desires that we put our faith into action. Our lives should be changing. Our thoughts should be falling more in line with His thoughts. As I am on this journey I am constantly challenged with trying to learn more of God's Word and then taking that next step and being obedient to His commands. I fail often and I get discouraged because of my shortcomings. But I have found that I need to pick myself up spiritually, ask God's forgiveness and keep moving forward. I have learned I can't do it on my own. It is only with His help that I will accomplish anything. To read God's Word, continue learning, and to obey is a challenge that is definitely worth the effort. I know that not only will it help me with my daily walk on this earth, but what I will gain is of eternal worth and significance!
Learning to Trust God . . . Being in His Word. . . One Da at a Time
As I am on this journey "Learning to Trust God . . . One Day at a Time" one big thing He is teaching me is how He meets my daily needs. Yes! I have been amazed on how , daily, I see His working in my life. I have kind of adopted the day at a time mentality to the way I spend our money. I realize all that I have is from Him, but He holds us responsible on how we utilize the resources He has blessed us with. Each day I write down how much I spend and what I spend it on. I also like to write down how much I save. It is kind of a "hobby." But I do believe even in this, as I go grocery shopping and utilize coupons and look for good deals, it is His way of leading me. I try to remember to pray each time I shop and ask God to guide me. This is an area that I am learning to trust God in. I know it is God who is meeting our needs. Our resources are not just monetary, but all of the things He has blessed us with. I have been thinking along the terms of "What THINGS do I have, and how can I use them to bless others?'' In some circumstances, I feel the Lord nudging me to give it away. Not only is it freeing to have less stuff, but a true blessing knowing someone else can use something I have to meet a need or give them pleasure! The Lord wants us to practice hospitality. I see a lack of this happening in the "church" as a whole and I know I should be better at it myself. I want to get to the point where I am truly happy to practice hospitality. Sometimes I am thrilled and excited to have people over. But too often I feel the pressure to have to have everything perfect. I realize that will never happen! Truly, I want to have my home be warm and comfortable and safe for people to come and relax, and enjoy fellowship. This is where it will be exciting to see God meet the needs. I want to take what I have and use it for His glory. Whether that be a bowl of ice-cream and games, or "just" a cup of tea, the goal is to welcome others! Other times it may be a full meal. The point is that God calls us to obedience and if I obey His nudging in this area, He WILL meet the needs. He is a great and awesome God who has blessed us so much.
Learning To Trust God . . . Meeting Our Needs . . . One Day at a Time
Tomorrow at church Steve will be preaching from the last chapter of Galatians, chapter 6:11-18. I was reading the verses and am once again so impressed with Paul and his teaching. He always has some kind of encouragement for me and something to emulate in my life. But Paul would be the first to say, don't try to imitate me, but Christ! What an example! Among other things, these verses talk about how Paul sets a goal for himself. We all set goals for ourselves, but do they line up with Paul's goal? His goal as always is to never boast in anything, especially himself, but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! He always puts Christ first in everything. He remembers all that the cross means. He states how through the cross the world has been crucified to him and him to the world. Crucified meaning separated. I know I am in the world, but I am not supposed to be "of" the world. This example makes me look at my life and evaluate where I am in regards to being separated from the world. What areas do I still allow into my life that are worldly? I once heard someone use the term "flirting with the world." Do I tend to flirt with the world? Do I take a little from here and little from there? I would probably have to say at times I do. What about my thought life? I try to be careful with what I watch on tv or what I listen to, but too often there are things that are not filtered out.
Paul was writing to a group of people who were very legalistic thinking they were good because they were trying to follow the law. These people were also hypocrites. These kinds of people are still around today, and so often they are right there in the church. Their behavior does not conform to what they say they believe. But I can't point my finger. We all want to make a "good showing" so that we can have the approval of men and woman. I think we have all fallen into the "trap" (sin) at one time or another of being hypocritical. Saying one thing, but doing another is an example. Another might be, being one way in front of people, and acting another way alone or at home. God knows how we are. He sees us. He hears us. We must listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit to live a pure and holy, sanctified life. We can't do it on our own no matter how hard we try. We can't boast in ourselves. That's where we have to allow Hm to do the good work and give Him the credit. The people Paul was writing to were boasting in the flesh. This is just the opposite of what we should do! What really is important in our life is to live our life as the new creation that we are because of Jesus! He has given us a new life. It belongs to Him! When we do walk the way Jesus wants us to we not only experience peace but also mercy! Paul tells us that peace and mercy will be upon us. Who doesn't want peace? Who doesn't want mercy? God gives us these gifts because of His great unconditional love for us. In these verses everything was made equally available to the Jews and to the Gentiles.
These verses tell us that the legalists and false teachers, sought to impose circumcision. What they were really doing was boasting in their flesh and trying to appear better that those who were not circumcised. They wanted the Galatians to fall back into following the law. None of that really mattered. Yet, Paul experienced what he calls brand-marks. Paul experienced suffering because of his faith. He was shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned, persecuted. Still he praised God and separated himself to Him. He loved Him and chose to serve Him always.
Paul also closes the letter with kind loving words, offering the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to his brothers and sisters. He is showing love and compassion as it has been shown to Him. He truly knew the grace of the Lord.
I love Paul's teaching because it shows me the direction I need to be going. He shows me what my goals should be. The Lord wants me to only boast in Him and not myself. He wants me to remember that I have been crucified with Christ and to live a life separated from the world system. I am a new creation and I must be willing to be persecuted for His sake. As I am on this journey of learning to trust God daily, I know I will experience His peace and mercy as I follow the teaching of Paul. We are justified by faith and nothing else!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit!
Learning to trust God . . . As Paul Teaches . . One Day at a Time.
Today I stumbled on a sandcastle! No, I am not at the beach, I am at home. This sandcastle I found is on the front of an anniversary card. Today is Steve and my 32nd wedding anniversary. The photo of the sandcastle is beautiful and it was perfectly made. This magnificant sculpture resembling a miniature castle, is a replica of a real castle from some far away land! Undoubtedly the real castle has stories of kings and queens, of princes and princesses! It is fun to use my imagination and plot out stories of who made their home in the castle. What events went on inside the walls of the castle and who looked out from the towers and what did they see? Just like the castles from afar, the sandcastle has a story of it's own. A story of someone, perhaps a boy or a girl, who ran back and forth on the beach painstakingly getting water to mix with the sand. Someone must have taken much care to the details of what they were creating. What will happen to the sandcastle? Will the tide come in and will the waves wash it away? Will there be people who inadvertently step on it, or worse purposely stomp on it? In a few seconds what once stood tall could once again be separate grains of sand. Maybe someone else will come along with a shovel and a pail and enough creativity to begin a new statue just as unique as the previous one. I don't know how long the sandcastle on the front of the anniversary card actually remained. Was it a short time, or a day or longer? Nobody really knows, but what we do know is that some person took time to have fun and create a unique masterpiece. Marriage is kind of like that sandcastle! We have to work to build it, and can't worry so much about what tomorrow may hold. We never know in our lives what will happen from day to day and we need to make the most of each day. Sometimes the things we do will be fun and other times they will be hard work. Each marriage has it's own stories. The key is to rely on the Lord and to work together to build a marriage that is honoring to Him. Unlike the sandcastle that may be here today and gone tomorrow, our marriage will always stand strong, even in the hard times, as we remain true to our commitment to the Lord and each other, and build our marriage on Him.
Learning to Trust God . . . On Our Anniversary . . . One Day at a Time.
Another day to serve the Lord! What a blessing! My computer has been having all kinds of strange problems and thus I have not been able to blog as easily as usual. But today I have had the need to write. Nothing profound, nothing really different, just my thoughts from the last couple of days. The Lord speaks to my heart every day and I am beginning to listen more intently! After all, if it is God who is speaking, why would I not want to listen? He has been showing me that He "believes" in me! Yes! When I get down and feel like no one understands me or that there isn't anybody who I can share my thoughts and feelings with, I have to always remember that God is here willingly waiting to have me talk to Him. Of course He already knows me and knows my thoughts, but the point is that He wants me to share them with Him. His desire is for me to cry out to Him when need be, and to have the confidence that He is listening. Last night I really had a need to talk to Him. I confessed my sins. It is a true blessing to know that "When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I never want to take that truth for granted. I was able to release some fears, some concerns, some uncertainties I had been bottling up in my life. I wasn't doubting Him at all as I know He is in control. It was just comforting to know I could talk to Him. I knew He would be there to listen and to care and to love me unconditionally. That is part of having a personal relationship with Him. I belong to Him and He is in my life to guide me. I believe in Him and accept His claims. I know He died on the cross for my sins, and I trust in Him alone for my salvation. I believe He rose bodily from the dead three days after He died and I believe that He is coming back for His own very soon. I also find joy in the fact that He " believes" in me in the sense that He has a plan for me, and a purpose for my life. He has chosen me for a good work and He is perfecting me. Sometimes I don't know why I am here, and what my purpose is. That is usually when I am focusing on myself and not on Him. I don't always know which direction to go in a certain day or see my future clearly. But I don't have to! The Lord reminded me that this life of walking with Him is a life of faith and trust. That is what my journey is all about. I am learning to trust God one day at a time.
Learning to trust God . . He "believes" in me . . . One Day at a Time
We are truly blessed! As I think about this journey I am on with the Lord, I am becoming to understand more and more of how much He loves us and how He truly wants to give us pleasure. Yesterday God gave us a huge surprise and allowed us to have another "mini- vacation." I know it was a gift from Him because He directed our steps! We ended up going to Havre de Grace which is a quaint and unique town along the Susquehanna River. We have always enjoyed the Chesapeake Bay with the water and all the things associated with this part of Maryland. We were able to walk along the meandering wooden boardwalk and behold so much of His creation. The river's edge and walkway were beautiful with all kinds of plants and flowers. We strolled with our camera in hand, taking pictures of the various trees, leaves, butterflies and flowers that we came upon. It was almost like we were on a treasure hunt and we were the recipient of the grand prize! There was so much beauty and we immediately recognized it was a great gift from the Lord that He was allowing us to experience. We are passionate about His Creation! He is the "Mighty One, God, the Lord." He used His might and His power to create the world for our enjoyment. He gives us all things to enjoy. We were able to look out at the river and see sailboats and other boats on the water and anchored in the quiet inlet. We also watched a little tug boat pushing a huge flat barge full with tons of concrete and rocks. It was amazing to see! I immediately thought of the object lesson of how they were " working together" to get where they needed to be! We love the raucous call and sight of sea gulls and there were several of them that we were able to enjoy taking pictures of. They almost seemed to be posing for their pictures! Havre de Grace is home to the Concord Point Lighthouse which we thoroughly enjoyed looking at and snapping pictures of. We had fun taking pictures of each other by the door of the lighthouse. This part of the day was not in our plans, but God choose to bless us with this time together. I love surprises! It is always refreshing to get away for a few hours and enjoy time together and with the Lord. How thankful I am that we walk with Him.
Learning to trust God. . . And have Surprises . . . One Day at a Time
Part of my journaling includes the title " Beautiful Blessings" where I write at least one thing daily that I am thankful for. I've decided to copy these on this blog, just for fun! They are in no specific order or priority, just the way the Lord led me to write them over a period of a month. This list is definitely inconclusive and I could probably add to it daily for the rest of my life as God continues to bless me.
God is my refuge
He is a righteous God who is personal
God is my shield, a shield around me
He is my glory
He is the One Who lifts my head.
For His provisions
For living in freedom.
For the animals who live in my home that bring me companionship and joy
I can call on God and He hears
He puts gladness in my heart
I am His creation
He has given us creation
He knows me personally
I am not forsaken
I trust in Him
He is a righteous judge
He knows me
He strengthens my heart
He helped me as an orphan
He hears my prayers
Even though I do not understand all the future prophecies, I know that He holds the future
I can have wisdom from Him
He woke me up today and I have life
I have water and food
I have air-conditioning
I have an oven
I have a refrigerator
I have transportation
I have a comfortable bed.
Ears to hear beautiful music
Eyes to see His creation.
My washer and dryer
The beauty in the world
I have feelings for others
He knows my feelings
His care is forever
I have hope
I live in peace
I have shelter
A place to serve Christ
He has given me safety on the roads
Freedom to go to church
God's Word teaching me
I have medical care
A light rainfall
Forgiveness from the Lord
Having so much "stuff"I can give to others to bless them
God stretching my groceries
God sees me
God loves me
I am seeing God meet my needs
Coupons for free cat food
People who are compassionate
A roof over my head
A big bag of rice
A nice meal and fellowship with a friend
Learning to trust God . . . Looking at my Beautiful Blessings . . . One Day at a Time.
As I have been on this journey with God, learning to trust Him more, I have been truly blessed. He is reassuring me that I am heading in the right direction as I consciously make the choice to release myself, and allow Him to be my guide along His path for my life. As I am purposely relinguishing my will, I am learning daily how to follow Him and and getting glimpses of His will for me. One area that He has been showing me that I need to follow Him more closely in is to purposely "rest in Him." Physically it is very easy for me to rest and relax. I can sit down with a good book or watch television or listen to uplifting music. But when God says in His Word to rest in Him it means a lot more than a temporary sitting down with a cup of tea and enjoying some quiet time. He wants me to rest in Him and while I am resting He wants me to wait patiently. Resting and waiting seem to go hand in hand when it comes to walking with the Lord. I have found that resting in the Lord does not come as naturally for me as resting in myself. But my Abba, Father loves me and wants to take care of me. Part of His loving plan is to provide times of rest for me in Himself. He doesn't force these times on me, He just gently and lovingly offers them as a gift. Just as I need physical rest, resting in the Lord is vital for my relationship with Him. He has so many lessons He wants me to learn. He has so many things He wants me to hear from His Word. He wants to draw me into a closer and deeper relationship with Him. I desperately need that time of resting in Him. Resting is a good thing, a necessary thing, so that I can be refreshed by His Spirit. It is only then that I can regain my spiritual strength and cease from worrying and being anxious. As I rest and wait, it takes patience, as God's Word states, because waiting takes time. I usually want things to happen in my time, forgetting that His timing in all things is perfect. There are many lessons to be gained by waiting and treasures to be discovered through resting. My faith is strengthened as I learn to trust His timing. When I am resting and waiting God shows me what He wants me to do in situations that appear difficult. I don't have answers but He does. As I pray, God sees my heart and knows my desires. God will reply and work when He is ready for something to happen and when He wants to unfold His answers. Through resting I can learn to believe His promises in a deeper more intimate way and experience peace of mind and spirit that only comes through Him.
Learning to Trust God . . . As I Rest In Him. . . One Day At a Time
Each day is a gift from the Lord. His mercies are renewed every morning. Some mornings I wake up and He is not on my mind. Rather than thoughts of Him, my mind is racing with thoughts of the things I want to do, or the places I want to go and the people I will be seeing. These are the things that are foremost in my thoughts. None of these these should ever take precedence over Him for a second! The priority of my day should be to put God first before I get out of bed, acknowledging Him in prayer above all else. It is so important to express my gratitude to the Lord for allowing me to wake up and for giving me another day to serve Him. How often it is taken for granted! When I do start my morning with Him I love to take the day and give it right back to Him. I commit my day to Him. He knows the things that should get done, and He knows the things He has planned for me. His thoughts need to be my thoughts and His plans need to be my plans. I must delight in His ways. Many days that may mean "just" staying home and spending time with Him as I work around the house and be a helpmate to Steve. These days are just as important in His schedule, as the days when I am busy doing other things. They may be more important because my priorities have to be in place. He also knows when I need to rest spiritually, physically and emotionally. There are other days when He wants me to fulfill commitments that I have made with other people and I need to ask Him to guide me in these areas as well. I desperately want Him to walk along side of me as I venture out into the world. I want to be an encourager, help meet needs and witness to unbelievers; but I can't do these things on my own. I need His power and direction. The whole day is HIS, not mine to be used to serve Him. When I am being obedient to His call I am serving my husband, my family and others as He would want me to.
As we are ending another week and beginning another, my goals will be to be more thankful for my days and to look for ways He is leading me at home along with times He is guiding me to be with others. I don't want to be lazy, I want to make the most of my time. I am trusting Him to lead me and to let me know His unique plans for my life each day. Being on a journey with my loving God makes every day a beautiful gift!! My prayer is I will willingly and joyfully follow where He is leading. "This is the day, that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Let's use our days for His glory!
Learning to Trust God . . . With His Plans . . . One Day at a Time.
Praise God! Our family has been waiting for the DNA results on Josiah's test. It has taken what has seemed like forever to find out the results. They are NEGATIVE! That news was worth the wait. I hope the Lord can see into my heart to know how thankful I truly am. My words can't adequately express to Him my gratitude. Yet, somehow I know that the Lord understands when we don't know how to express our heart's inner thoughts, whether they be great praises, or deep cries for help. We don't have to have the perfect words, or a long elegant prayer for God to hear and know our thoughts. A simple "Thank you, Lord" from the depths of our heart speaks volumes to Him. In the case of a need too hard to express, God hears our simple cry "Lord, Help" or "I need You." He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. He is here with us always, in the troubling times and in the times when we have waited patiently for Him, and made Him our trust! I can't help but to think that God is smiling down on us because He knows our heartfelt thanks to Him, and it pleases Him to see us acknowledge His good work in Josiah's life. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised."
Learning to trust God . . . Thanking Him for Answered Prayer . . . One Day at a Time
"The Lord be magnified!" This morning I was thinking about that verse and what it means to magnify the Lord. Immediately I thought about a magnifying glass. Whenever I have looked through a magnifying glass, it has simply taken something small and made it appear bigger. Then when the magnifying glass is removed the thing is still small in size. As I have looked through my camera lens, the object has been made to look closer than it is to get a more up close picture, but it never really changes. But the Lord is not "small" and He does not need anyone to try to make Him any different than He is! As I get to know Him more, I do realize all the time how great and awesome He really is. So my knowledge of Him does increase. My faith and love grow "bigger." However I realized as I pondered this verse a little more, that magnified probably means to praise Him and to extol Him because of who He is. It has nothing to do with trying to make Him " look" any different. What I desire to do is to intensify my praise of Him, as He alone is worthy of my praise! He alone is worthy of being magnified because of who He is. In the Psalms it says "Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, "The Lord be magnified." So I have to ask myself how I am seeking Him? Am I rejoicing in Him and am I glad in Him? Do I truly love His salvation? Am I continually praising or magnifying Him? These are all areas I want to grow in because I know that it is His will for me. But it is His will for all of us. What a joy it is to come together with others to praise Him. "O Come Magnify the Lord with me."
Learning to trust God . . . and to Magnify His Name . . . One Day at a Time
Today it is very evident that I have to trust God. I am learning to trust Him deeper and deeper every day, but today is one of those days that I am learning even more the absolute necessity of putting my total trust in His omniscience. Trials are difficult to go through and I would like to say this morning that I have perfect peace because I am trusting in Him. But today I don't. I must not listen to anyone else above listening to what God says in His Word. People fail, I fail, but God never fails. I am not doubting Him. I believe in Him. I believe what He says and who He is. I believe that He sees all and knows all. Some days are just harder than others. My inclination this morning is to go ahead of God and try to fix things and try to figure out how things are going to work out. I want to see the end and not go through the process of waiting and wondering. But God has reminded me just to "Be still and know that I am God." With His help that is what I will try to do. I just need to get myself out of the way and trust Him.
Learning to trust God . . . Knowing He is Omniscient . . . One Day at a time.
O lord, Your word says, "A gracious woman attains honor!" (Proverbs 11:16) Help me to be that type of woman for your glory! My greatest desire in life is to please the Lord and bring Him honor! I want to be a gracious woman because that would please God. When God looks at me I want Him to see that I am headed in that direction. I desperately need His help. The word gracious reminds me of how I am saved by God's gracious intervention on my behalf! His divine grace in my life has nothing to do with any merit or good in me, but all to do with His unconditional love and mercy. As I think about attaining honor and being gracious I very aware that I am not there yet. I have not achieved it but my desires are that I will keep growing in the right direction. When I think of ways I can become more gracious I think of being more Christlike, exhibiting the fruit of the spirit. I picture a gracious woman as being kind. That is a work of the Holy Spirit. I think there is more to being gracious than being a pleasant courteous person yet I know those attributes are important as well. A gracious woman is one who shows God's love to others with her words and deeds, even when she doesn't feel like it. She is willing to "Bear one another's burdens, thus fulfill the law of Christ." I know I have had times in my life when I have been gracious. But I have also had those times in my life when I haven't wanted to be gracious. I have chosen to pick and choose my times of being gracious depending on my feelings at the time. God has shown me that I have been selfish and self-centered in my attitudes. Too many times I haven't wanted to bother with someone. I haven't wanted to speak kind words, let alone DO anything. I haven't been attaining honor. It is a hard lesson to learn. It is not easy when God shows me things that I have tried to bury. But I am thankful for this journey in learning to trust Him. He brings my sins to the surface so that I can repent and be on the right path. I can only do this because He is leading me and because I am learning to listen. When I think of His amazing grace in my life, how can I be so selfish and uncaring? I want to be a gracious woman, I want to please Him. I want to attain honor. I have to learn to trust Him to help me become the kind of woman He desires, as I know I can't do it on my own. I am not there yet, but with His help I am heading in the right direction. "A gracious woman attains honor."
Learning to Trust God . . . To become a Gracious Woman . . . One Day at a Time
Today is Steve's birthday! I think I will have to hint for him to take a peek over here so he can read this birthday message. . . :)
I thank the Lord for my you today on your birthday. I am so grateful for your life and how much you mean to me. Today as we celebrate your birthday I am reminded once again how much I love you and how special you are to me and to our family. I could not ask for a better husband. We share so many things, the most important one being our faith in the Lord. It is only through Jesus that we are able to have the love that we share. I pray that today will be a special day as you celebrate and as you look towards the future with great expectation to what God is going to do in your life and in our lives together. I will always be right by your side!
With all my love,
Learning to trust God . . . Loving my husband . . . One Day at a Time
This morning I am up early, in spite of the fact I went to bed late last night. We have been watching bits and pieces of the Olympics from China. On my wrist I am wearing a bracelet from The Voice of the Martyrs that says Pray For China. That is exactly what I have been doing. I think that I could not sleep this morning because I have felt the deep need to pray. But how do I pray for these beautiful people? "For God so loved the world (Chinese) that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him (Chinese) shall not perish, but have eternal life (Chinese)." John 3:16. That's how to begin, to look at China as more than a country and more than another people group, but as individuals loved by God. He sees what is going on in China. It is very sad to think of the persecution that takes place over there and around the world. People are being persecuted for their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. God sees these people and loves them. I hate war and I hate persecution! Watching the Olympics has reminded me that in so many ways we are all the same. We have feelings, dreams, hopes, desires. But in other ways we are different. Our political and religious beliefs affect who we are and what we think. The governments around the world are affecting the actions and outlooks of some, but deep down people have the same basic needs. We all need to be loved. So I will just pray, and as always, God will see my heart and hear my prayers in spite of not knowing how to truly pray for China. I just have to trust Him to work.
Learning to trust God . . . praying for China . . . One Day at a Time
As I journey a long this path of getting closer to God and trusting Him in a deeper and more personal way, I have decided to read the Psalms every day. I actually have a portion in my journal entitled "Beginning My Day With My Saviour" in which I write some of the things I am learning from my quiet times with the Lord, especially what I am learning from the Psalms. Today is no different. My Psalm for today is Psalm 37. David has so much wisdom, and daily I ask God to make me wise! One of my very favorite verses in the entire Bible is found in verse 4, "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart." I am still learning what it means to delight myself in the Lord! For me to delight means to love Him, love His Word, and seek His will. Obedience is also part of delighting in the Lord. My desire would be that I would delight in the Lord more and more, and never think I have arrived! I feel like it should come so naturally, yet too often I "love" myself more, and find myself doing my will not His. Verse 23 also refers to delight. This time it is the Lord who is delighting. "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way." I want to follow and walk in the steps that the Lord has established for me. I never want to go astray, or off of His path for my life. But when I do, verse 24 is such a comfort. "But when he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand."
It is such an awesome thought that the Lord holds my hand. He holds it and does not let go, ever! He wants me to walk close to Him. He wants me to stay on His path. He wants to lead and guide me. He wants to spend time with me, and have me commune with Him, always and forever! He knows the struggles I have and He knows the ugly sin that creeps into my walk with Him. He knows when I am tempted to do it on my own, and when I start out not even acknowledging that He is with me. He is ever so aware when I am not even giving Him a thought. Too often I am only thinking of myself. Yet He is still holding my hand and loving me. From deep within my innermost being I am praising Him for His unconditional love, for His guidance, and that He will never leave me. I am thankful that through everything He holds my hand. He is my Abba, Father. I delight in Him!
Learning to trust God . . . as He holds my hand . . One Day at a time.
Today I had the honor and privilege to be with my husband as he shared the gospel and as he led an older gentlemen to the Lord. There are no sweeter words on earth than those words of a sinner repenting and turning his life over to the Lord. Praise God! Praise God! Praise Him for His amazing grace, for His unconditional love, and the working of the Holy Spirit this afternoon!
Praise God for the free gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life! There is no greater joy!!
Learning to Trust God. . . with a joyful heart . . . One Day at a Time
Today I received some amazing gifts. They were not in boxes or bags. No, these gifts came from my Creator and they didn't need any fancy wrappings or bows. On this journey to learn to trust God, He is constantly reminding me of His love. And today, just an ordinary day, His reminder came in allowing me to see some of His workmanship, some of His love for me. First there were the perfectly spaced rows of corn. They start out so small and seemingly insignificant and yet today they were so green and so tall, so perfect. My Heavenly Father helped them to grow into what they have become today. I was awe struck! A little later I witnessed a field of Queen Anne's Lace. The flowers are so fragile, so delicate, and I could just imagine them in a beautiful bouquet being held by a bride as she walked down the aisle on her wedding day. God made those flowers! What a treasure! What a gift! He also made the Golden Rod, so vivid as it seemed to reflect the sun as it stood growing along the side of the road. It was blooming right where God had chosen to plant it, looking so majestic and bold. What a wonderful gift from my loving God! Another awesome gift I received today was was being able to catch a glimpse of a mother doe with her two fawns frolicking along the side of the road. They looked so peaceful and so fearless as they played together in the warm summer sun. It almost seemed like they were dancing, and God was supplying the music! What a blessing to be a part of their little world for a short time. I was so thankful as I watched a beautiful black and yellow Monarch butterfly flittering around so freely amidst the tall, towering, stately evergreen trees. God's gifts to me today were such a reminder of His love and His workmanship. Thank- you God for allowing me to experience these awesome gifts from You today. My heart is overflowing with joy and thanksgiving, for Your goodness to me today and every day. Most of all I thank You for Jesus my Saviour! Thank You! Thank You! Amen!
Learning to trust God . . . amazed by His gifts . . . One Day at a time.
When I walk into our home one of the first things that I see is a wall that has several of our family pictures on it. Our children, and our grandchildren each have a place on this wall. It is nothing fancy, but it's my wall with my family!! I am blessed! Then as I head up the stairs to the kitchen there are some other things that warm my heart. Of course there are more pictures on the windowsill, but mixed in with them are Mother's Day cards and Father's Day cards. These things give me joy because they are a reminder of God's blessings on my life. They silently tell me that I am loved and cared about. My eyes go to words that speak so loudly to my heart: Wife, Mom, Dad, Husband, Best, Love, Beautiful, Special etc. Our refrigerator door is also "home" for more photos, children's artwork, valentine's, and magnets from places Steve and I have traveled. Each one has it's own story and brings with it memories of times we have spent together, places we have explored and things we have done. There are other magnets and things from friends and family that are another reminder that we are loved, and have been thought of and cared about. There are other little mementos that would probably look like junk to everyone else, but to me they are treasures. God has truly blessed us in so many ways, but today I am especially grateful for my husband and my family.
Learning to trust God . . . loving my family . . . One Day at a Time.
Tonight we have some fun plans to go out for the evening. First we are going to the Hawthorne Pool to get a free meal! With our current budget in place, eating out is almost non-existent , so a free meal sounds good to us! Then we are going to Jeremy and Kim's for dessert and to look at their wedding video, and just hang out with them for awhile. Having to watch every penny we spend is good for us! God is showing us what is important in life and what should take the "backseat" or not even be in the picture. This wonderful journey with Him is teaching me to trust Him that He will meet all of our needs. I have always looked at that more as the financial needs, but I am now seeing along with that it is ALL my needs. I have spiritual needs that He guides me through every day, teaching me new things, reassuring me along the way. He is always with me pouring out His all encompassing love and wisdom to me. He teaches me through His Word. My time alone with Him is a top priority. My emotional needs are sometimes hard for even me to pinpoint. I just know when I am feeling sad or depressed or angry or lonely, but don't always know why. I have come to realize that I so often look to others to meet whatever emotional need I am dealing with. But as much as I need other people in my life, and want them there, I am coming to understand in a deeper way that, again, it is God who is the only one who can truly meet these needs. He understands me more than I understand myself, and far more than any human being can. I just need to remember that. He knows how I am feeling, why I am feeling that way, and He will work in my life in such a way to help me examine what is going on. I need to have this relationship with Him, and am passionately seeking to get to know Him better, as I am on this exciting journey with Him. I see Him working in my life, and I KNOW it is Him, meeting my needs. So as I go about this life, I see that many things I think are needs are really not needs at all. My true needs will be met by Him.
Learning to trust God. . . to meet all my needs . . . One day at a time.
I have been trying to come up with some extra cash recently as things are really tight financially. I found a few pieces of glassware, a plate, a tea set, some jewelry all that I think may be antiques. My big question is where do take these items and how much are they worth? How much money will someone be willing to pay me for my "stuff ?" Or is anyone even willing to part with their hard earned money for something that may not have much worth? I will have to talk to some people and see which direction to go. God showed me something as I was pondering the worth of my things. It is amazing but Jesus never questioned how much I am worth, or where to go to make a payment! To Him I was worth all He had. God gave Him into the world to give His life for me. Jesus knew exactly where He needed to go and that was directly to the cross. He had no questions, He just willingly went to the cross and died upon it for me! He paid the price for my sins. I can hardly contain myself just thinking about that! His love is so deep, so pure, so unconditional. He humbled Himself and paid the price, HIS VERY LIFE, which was everything He had, for a sinner like me.
Learning to trust God. . . knowing He paid a price. . . One day at a time.
Steve and I had a wonderful date tonight. We drove into Washington, DC and went to Georgetown. It is always fun to have a change of scenery and get away on a "mini vacation." We enjoyed each other's company just walking up and down the main street in Georgetown. It has some amazing old, old cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture and there are lots of interesting people to watch! We went into an upscale grocery store where the price of all the food was astronomical! I thought our local store selling bananas for $.59 cents is too much, but the bananas there were $2.00 a pound! We took some fun pictures of each other on an old bridge and then later sitting on, or standing by a big stone lion! Sometimes it's fun just to do things out of the ordinary! And as I am on my journey, of learning to trust God, tonight I was reminded again of the fact that I am so glad God is teaching me to be content with what I have. It is easy to look at stores and fancy food and become covetous of wanting bigger and better and more things. But tonight I was totally content with just being with my husband and knowing God has supplied all my needs, and will continue to do so. He is teaching me to be content and trust Him!
Learning to trust God. . . and be content. . . One day at a time.
This is Saturday. Lots of times on a Saturday my favorite thing to do is to go to yard sales. Today I find myself stuck at home. For one thing it is drizzling out, another I have no extra money to spend, and I have a little bit of a headache! I really don't need to be buying things anyway! I have actually been trying to de-clutter some of my own things, one room at a time. Yesterday we cleaned out half of the garage. Half of the garage now is all swept, dirt and leaves and the junk on the floor is gone ! We didn't actually get rid of too much, but we made it look much more orderly. (Steve is the organizer, not me). But getting rid of the dirt and clutter and the things we didn't need was a big accomplishment! Now everything has a place of it's own, either on a shelf or hanging somewhere. It looks so much better and psychologically we feel a sense of freedom. It is not too hard for me to get rid of things, especially if I know someone else can use them. So now I am asking myself why it is so hard for me to "get rid" of my sins. I want to experience spiritual freedom! Wouldn't it be nice if I could just throw away anger, throw away worry, throw away laziness, etc. I wish I could just sweep them all up, put them in a bag and never see them again. But then keep and hold onto, and use, love, faith, joy, etc. As I de-clutter my house, I am in desperate need to de-clutter my life! There are so many things that I hold on to. I feel like I am giving them away, but taking them back and "using" them again. I have so much to learn, so many areas to surrender to the Lord. I am on a journey with Him and He is showing me how much He loves me in spite of my "clutter." I know I have it, I see it and I experience it. I can't get rid of it on my own, but with His help I can!
Learning to Trust God . . . De- Cluttering . . . One Day at a Time
Yesterday I posted about being crucified and I am still pondering what that truly means! Then last night at our Bible Study at church we were studying in I Corinthians and we came upon the verse that talks about how we "have the mind of Christ!" Wow! How incredible! I decided to "take that verse home" and make it my own. What I mean by that is that I truly have to ponder that thought, too. God is so good to teach us these things in His Word. One thing He has been showing me is that I worry too much. Since I am on a journey to learn to trust Him more, this verse about having the mind of Christ really stood out on the page of the Bible as if it were written just for me. God is so personal in the way He ministers to us. If I want to learn to trust God more, then every time I start to worry, I am going to claim that verse and put it into practice. My mind should not be worrying because I have the mind of Christ, and He does not worry, nor does He want me to worry. He wants me to trust Him. When I start to have sinful thoughts, such as negative, judgemental thoughts about others, I can say NO I am not going to think these things because I have the mind of Christ! Jesus is loving and caring and not critical and thinking the worst of us! I am wanting to walk closer to God, and have a relationship that is not hindered with any worldly thoughts. Part of my journey has been to see God showing me from deep within things about myself that need to be changed. I am grateful for His amazing love for me in showing me these things, and bringing them to the surface. Now I just need to obey and trust Him to show me how He wants me to live according to His magnificent truths! I still don't comprehend how I can have the mind of Christ, but I am determined to continue down this path of learning and following Him.
Learning to trust God . . . having the mind of Christ . . . One day at a time.
When we think of the word crucify, naturally as Christians, the first thing that comes to mind is Jesus and His crucification on the cross for our sins. We should never loose sight of what He did for us, even for a second. Yet, the Bible also says that we have been crucified! "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." God's word also says that we have "Crucified the flesh with it's passions and desires!" Those are some amazing thoughts to ponder. As I go deeper into trying to understand God's plan for my life, I have been trying to understand and apply these verses. I know that God has given me a new life as a Christian. "The old has been put off and the new put on" and that every sin then is nailed to the cross. My sinful nature is considered dead because of what Jesus did for me. So then why do I keep sinning? Why do I fall so often? All I can say is that this new life must be lived in the power of the Holy Spirit and not my own. I think that is part of the problem. So often I forget to pray and I go about my life on my own, not including God in my everyday decisions. I don't include the Holy Spirit into my conversation, my attitudes, my actions. I need to trust Him in all things big and small. It's not that I don't want to trust Him, or that I don't know I should, it is just I forget! I forget to commit the little things in my life to Him, the average walking and talking type of things. Before I know it I am feeling defeated and drug down by my sin. I am feeling that conviction within my soul that I am not right with God. I need to constantly moment my moment live my life remembering I am crucified with Christ, and that my evil deeds have been crucified as well. I am so grateful God loves me and will never give up on helping me grow!
Learning to trust God . . . Crucified . . . One Day at a Time
I am so grateful that I have learned that God is trustworthy. He always keeps His Word. He never changes. He always loves me with His unconditional love. I know I can put my total trust in Him. I also know that whatever happens He is allowing it to happen for His purposes in my life. Today and every day there are challenges and I guess that's just because we live in an imperfect world, with imperfect people, and mostly we are imperfect ourselves! I find it hard to trust others, but I have to realize that they are not God. No one can ever take the place of God in my life. I find that comforting because He is always with me. When I have looked for someone else to trust and have gotten hurt or frustrated, I realize that I was putting my desires in people instead of God. So at least for now, I will look only to Him. By experiencing His love and growing in knowledge of being able to trust Him, then maybe I can grow to become more of a trustworthy person myself. I seek to know Him better, so I can become a better more reliable and trustworthy person myself.
Learning to Trust Him . . . looking only to Him . . . One Day at a Time
I am very excited today because I have been asked to go back to the Christian Jail Ministry this Sunday to speak. As I am learning to trust God on this journey I am on, I am very aware of the fact that I am totally dependent on Him to do this work Sunday. It is His work not mine. I am realizing more and more that I am needing to rely on Him in all areas of my life, all the time, every day, every moment! I am excited to go to the jail and see the ladies. I get blessed when I am there. They are desperate to hear God's Word. I, too, am desperate for His Word. I feel so unworthy of being used by God to bring forth His Word to them. That is because I am unworthy, except through Him. He is worthy. Yes, He IS worthy!! He is worthy to receive glory and honor and power. For He has created all things for His pleasure! He is worthy!! My heart overflows with such love and gratitude to God for all He has done for me. It amazes me that He is continually working in me, in spite of the fact that there are times when I have little faith. There are times when I rebel and sin. Yet, in my unworthiness, He is walking beside me and guiding me as I seek to know Him better. He is revealing Himself to me. I want my desire to be for Him alone. I want to be used of Him. The more I seek His face and the more I see His holiness, the more I then see my self as one who has fallen so short. Yet, He chose me! He died for me! No, I don't understand or comprehend this at all, but I believe it by faith. That is how I have to live my life, daily, by faith, trusting Him to do His good work, through this unworthy vessel. . . me!
Trusting God . . . in my unworthiness . . . One Day at a Time
Today is a new day. I know God is going to stretch my faith today. I am experiencing a glimmer of hope and an inner measure of His peace. With His hand guiding me, I am looking forward to walking with God today. I am so thankful I don't have to walk alone. I am grateful He is taking us on a journey of faith and trust. It is exciting to see where He will lead. It is comforting to know that whatever challenges will be coming our way, He will be with us. He knows what decisions will we have to make. He knows what needs we will have. We need to trust God and we see Him meet our needs. We need to have our faith stretched even if it is uncomfortable and hurts.
There are lots of unknowns, but I have assurance that everything will be okay because my journey is committed to Him. We don't know which way to turn or which path to take. So we ask in faith what God wants us to do, because He alone knows which direction is best. He is all- wise. He is all- knowing. I know our faith will be stretched today, as we seek His will. But the stretching is a good thing because we are growing and learning to trust Him ever so deeply.
Learning to Trust God. . . and being stretched . . . One Day at a Time
Right outside our front door is a flower pot. When we first were given this pot it was clean and very pretty. As it sits outside in all kinds of weather it has become dirty. Not only is it dirty, but I have noticed a huge crack on one side. It doesn't look new any more. I have been so tempted to throw it away or at least put it out in the recycle bin. But as I thought more about this pot, I realize that God is using it to teach me to trust Him more. For I, too, am a vessel, dirty and cracked! As I am journeying down this difficult path, I am becoming painfully more and more aware of how imperfect I truly am. God knows all of my sins and my imperfections. He is showing me ones that have been so deep within me that they have been hard to acknowledge, as they have been brought to the surface. Yet God in His mercy and grace is still using me, in spite of my brokenness. He is walking with me on my journey reminding me of His love and forgiveness. He is drawing me closer to Himself, and teaching me to trust Him fully. I so desperately and passionately want this type of relationship with God. He is using my brokenness to shape me, to sharpen me, to mold me and to help me trust Him. I need to know He can use me.
When I feel useless and unworthy and I don't know where God wants me or what He wants me to do, all I have to do is peek out my window and look at my not so perfect flower pot sitting on my front porch! It is still home to my Mother's Day plant, with a purpose all of it's own. I have also seen a chipmunk digging around in the dirt inside the pot. This is just another way God is choosing to use this broken and cracked flower pot. I could move the plant to another pot and it would probably live there equally as well. I am sure the little chipmunk could find more dirt to frolic in, if I got rid of the pot. Yet, I am keeping it as a reminder to me that God is willing to use me right where I am, as a broken vessel. He sees beyond the cracks in my life. He loves me regardless of my dirt and shortcomings. My trust in His plan for my life is growing, and He is using my pot as a reminder that He is not finished with me yet.
Learning to trust God . . . in my brokenness . . . One Day at a Time.
I read something incredible this afternoon in Psalms! Something I knew before, but now has even more of a special meaning to me as I passionately seek Him on my journey. Psalm 27:13 says that the Lord looks from Heaven; and He sees us! A little further down the page in verse 18, it says that the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him. What a comfort to know that we are never out of His loving sight. He is with us always and knows exactly where we are, so if we are straying He can gently guide us back to where we need to be. He knows how often I've strayed in my trust of Him. He sees us as we endeavor to journey together in the rough and tough and hard times of our lives.
Learning to trust Him. . . as He sees me. . . One Day at a time.
A journey has a beginning and an end. I just started a new journey that began some time ago and I did not realize I was even on it. I am on a journey where I am needing desperately to learn to trust God through some difficult circumstances that we are going through right now. We are discovering that due to some mistakes in the past, and some circumstances in the present, we are headed down a path we would not have chosen in our finite minds. Yet our infinite God is taking us down this path to teach us painful lessons that He knows we need to learn. So for that I can honestly say I am grateful because God is drawing us closer to Himself. This journey is one in which I must daily make a decision to either trust Him and His goodness, or try to do things on my own strength and power, which I have found only leads to worry, heartache and confusion. So I am growing ever so slowly to trust God to work in my life. I am learning what it means to trust Him daily to meet my needs. I am learning to abandon the thoughts and the ideas of the world and to cling to Him even when I don't understand what He is doing, or where He is leading. I just have to trust.
I am learning to trust God. . . One lesson at a time. . . One day at a time.
This is a brand new blog as I am now on a new type of journey! I am learning more and more each day what it truly means to trust God. This journey is taking me deeper and deeper into what it means to surrender my all to Him. I would love to have you come along with me as I share my ups and downs, my joys and sorrows and as I seek a closer relationship and walk with my Saviour.
I need to add that I am beginning the blog again after almost a year and a half. I am still on a journey to learn to trust God and seek to know His will for me. I write mainly for myself, but anyone is welcome to join me on this journey.
married 36 years, pastor's wife, 4 grown children who were homeschooled, 10 grandchildren, most important thing about me is that I am saved by the blood of Jesus. I like coffee and chocolate! I like sunflowers, daisies, carnations and roses. I like the ocean and the mountains! I like all of nature and love the Creator.