May 29, 2017

He Is Good…He Is True

encouragementbloggraphicromans15This post is from 2013. I love looking back and seeing how faithful God has been. He’s never once let me down. And now, 2 years later, I can still say that He is good and He is true and He is always with us. I pray that you too will see all His goodness and glory in the upcoming year! God bless you…

Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble,
and keep on praying.
Romans 12:2

A verse for the new year, don’t you think? As I look back on 2013, I see God’s hand in all of it. I cannot imagine a day without Him, really, and I don’t want to. This year has been challenging for sure, yet my faith has grown by leaps and bounds. There have been times of scarce resources yet God has provided loaves and fishes. My children have not gone hungry and there has always been a roof over our heads. The Lord is so good.

Kyle started a new job this time last year. He has been on the road for most of 2013 and had a lot of time with His Creator. I have had the privilege of watching God grow and mold him into the husband and father that He intended him to be. The marriage that almost ended has been completely renewed  and restored to an even more magical and Spirit-filled marriage, and love for each other is greater than ever. We found a church home and a group of wonderful godly people who love us for us and accept us just the way we are, but love us too much to let us stay content. How amazing when God puts people in your path that actually speak truth to you and help you grow spiritually.

I’ve watched my children grow spiritually through some pretty hard things. But, isn’t that how God works? It’s through the tests and trials that our faith grows and we realize that with God we can do anything. They have seen God do the impossible, too. As much as I would love for their lives to be easy, without hardships and heartaches, their character and faith and relationship with Him grows out of the dark and murky soil.

I wouldn’t change anything. God is good and all He gives is good. We cannot see the big picture so we don’t see how all these pieces fit together. But God does—and He puts the tapestry of our lives together. I love that I can look back with a smile knowing that He WAS  in control; I love that I can step into next year knowing that He IS in control. What would I do differently? Nothing!

So what are my hopes for the new year? For starters, I don’t want to take one step that He does not ordain. And what is the best way to hear what He says about our future? We go to His Word. His promises always come true and His word is more valuable than any amount of money.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect,
but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me His own.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward
the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

‘Forgetting the past,’  ‘pressing on toward the goal,’  ‘for the prize,’  aren’t these amazing words?!  And the prize is the the call on your life—an anointing on your life from your Father.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17

You are a new creation, the old has passed! 2013 has passed, there is nothing that can be done about it now. If wrong has been done, then we repent, ask forgiveness and move forward, right? And that is all that is required. We are forgiven. Grace is ours for free! And there’s more…

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and (spring) rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19

This is actually our family’s life verse. He does make a way in the desert—He always has and He always will. When there seems to be no way, He makes a way. Jesus is The Way.  John 14:6 says, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Friends, if you don’t know Jesus…and don’t know the way to the Father…please read these Scriptures and pray them back to Him. All you have to do is ask Him to come in to your heart and live forever. Then read His Word and begin the most important and amazing walk of your life.

 

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name and you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.
Isaiah 43: 2-5
(to read the context of these promises, click here: Isaiah 43:1-28 )

He has called you by name and you are His!!

Praise the Lord, He will walk into this new year with you and you will start fresh. You have an empty slate, a fresh start…a do over, if you will. All your steps are ordained and He will go before you and make a way for you! Oh…how He loves you and can’t wait to do life with you this year. So let’s take a deep breath, and take His hand and step on into the new year….

Let us pray: Dear God, our Father, thank You so much for this past year, for our successes and failures, for our victories and for trials, for keeping us safe and for loving us always. You are an amazing God, and even the rocks cry out to You. You are our Abba Father, our Daddy, we can crawl up in Your lap and forget the world. Thank You for going before us and making a way for us in the wilderness. Thank You for the fresh springs in the desert and for giving us the victory before the trial. Lord, as we walk in to this new year, I pray Your hedge of protection be around us and our families. Provide all we need, Dear Jesus, and keep us close to Your heart. I’m excited to see what;s in store for us this year! For it’s in Your name we pray, amen!

He Still Fulfills

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In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her,  and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then she exclaimed with a loud cry:

“You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed!

How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me!  She who has believed is blessed because what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!”

Luke 1:39-45

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I remember the months before each one of my children were born…and the excitement and fear all wrapped into one emotion.  And what made it even better?  If a few friends were pregnant at the same time, too.  There is something about sharing those times.  And Mary was no different.

Yes, she was carrying the Savior of the world but she was also just a girl, a simple one at that, excited about sharing this time with her cousin who was also with child.  The children would be cousins and friends.  I imagine their conversations went late into the night.  Talks of swollen feet and aching backs.  Maybe of how ready they were to meet each baby.  Yes, they were ready!

“How could this happen to me, the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  Elizabeth got to touch the belly where Jesus was.  And today, He lives inside of us.  We are the blessed ones.  We are the ones full of joy.  So what will we do with it—this excitement?  Who will we share the good news with?  There is a hurting world that has lost some of it’s hope.  And we know that Jesus is the answer  to it all.

Yes, He  came as a small little baby but grew into a man who would lead a group of disciples. They would love Him so much that they would leave it all behind, just to follow Him wherever He would go. He would give sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf.  He would love the least of these, feeling more at home with them. He loved all people so much that He would ultimately die for each one. Even you!  He is coming again here to earth to take us to Heaven to live there forever. I get chills just thinking about it.

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But there are some who are still lost and hurting this Christmas season.  If this is you, and you don’t know Jesus, I urge you to pray this prayer with me.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I am so tired of doing this on my own. I believe that Jesus is Your Son and that He died to take away all sin, including mine. I will get to live with You forever. Please forgive me for my sins. I trust You now with my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

A New Christmas

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Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from His roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.

Isaiah 11:1-5

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I sit and look at twinkling lights and smelling an apple cinnamon candle burning.  It is a bit cold here too which makes it feel more like the Christmas season.  My eyes wander over to the clay nativity—the true meaning of this whole holiday—and I am teary.  I cannot believe that God the Father loves me this much, that He sent this baby into the world to walk as a man and ultimately to take my place in death, so I could live.  He did the same for you, too!

When you read this, what comes to your mind? Do you even realize the depth of His love for you?  Because of the birth of Jesus, every sin that you have committed, or ever will commit has been forgiven.

There is nothing that you could ever do
that would make Him love you any more or any less.

Read the Scripture above again and see how Jesus is described. “The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him” and “He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear” sounds like perfect grace to me.  And we don’t deserve any of it.  Does this give you hope today?

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I know that there are some today who don’t know much about Jesus. Perhaps Christmas has never been anything more than presents and gathering with family…wreaths on the windows and a lighted tree.  But God wants so much more for you. He wants a Christmas that is filled with Him and the story of the birth of His Son.  Jesus changes everything!  If you receive Him today then your life will never be the same!  Will you accept Him today?  Will this be a Christmas to remember?  If you said yes, then pray this simple prayer with me:

Dear Father, I know that I am a sinner and I need Jesus to be my Savior.  Forgive me of my sins and help me to start over.  I want to be fully alive.  Thank You for loving me enough to not leave me this way.  I believe that You, Jesus, died to save me from myself.   Walk with me daily.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

{If you prayed this today, please comment and let us know!
We want to celebrate with you!}

When You Give Thanks For Everything

encouragementbloggraphicromans15And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He said,
‘Take this, and divide it among yourselves.
For I tell you that from now on I will not drink
of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.’
And He took bread, and when He had given thanks,
He broke it and gave it to them, saying,
‘This is my Body, which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.’
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying,
‘This cup that is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.’
Luke 22:17–20 [also Matthew 26:27 and Mark 14:23]

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And so following Jesus’s pattern, Paul in Acts 27:35 “…took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it…”  ‘Tis the season….What would your answer be?  Yes, this is the beginning of the holiday season.  A time of joy and excitement.  Families gather together at the same table, all over the country and feast on turkey and dressing and sweet potatoes and so much more.  We will eat until we can’t eat anymore…and then some.  The television will be set to football (and probably more than one game at a time will be watched). But I wonder, will we remember the ‘why’ of all of this?

Will we remember that if Jesus had not come to this earth, to walk as a man and perform miracle after miracle, healing the sick and restoring sight to the blind, that we wouldn’t have the kind of life that we have now?  I imagine that joy and peace wouldn’t be present either…but I don’t even want to imagine it, do you?

In the verse above, Jesus gave thanks, before He gave them the bread and wine, at the Last Supper.  Shouldn’t we do the same?  Even if your life is broken, like the bread, giving thanks can change it all.  It might not change the actual circumstance, but it will open up your heart to joy and gratitude.

  • If you don’t get that promotion or that dream job, you can still give thanks…God has something totally for you and better than you could ever imagine.
  • If you don’t marry that man (or woman) that you just know is for you, thank God!  He has someone for you that is so amazing and you may not even know him (or her) yet.
  • If you are at the end of your rope and nothing in your life looks like you imagined or hoped for. In fact, it is not even close to what all your friends around you have…I pray that you give thanks.

Your life is so important to God and He wants so much for you…giving thanks opens doors that you never knew would open.  You are trusting your Father to do what He does best’—and thanking Him is trusting Him.  I heard this saying this week:

Worry and worship cannot exist together
…I choose worship!  What about you?

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Do you know Jesus? If you haven’t asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, then I urge you to pray this prayer with me:

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner.  I need forgiveness.  I believe that You sent Your Son Jesus, to die on the Cross, to save me from my sins.  I ask that You come into my life and live and be my Lord.  Thank You for forgiving me. Help me to keep walking with You and trusting You. Help me to live a life close to You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

I Know He Lives

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I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

I, myself, will see Him with my own eyes.
Job 19:25-27

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This has been a hard week. Tears have been shed by all of us as our family has had to say goodbye to our sweet cats that have been with us for almost twelve years.  And it has me thinking of the awesome place that we will go when we leave this earth…Heaven.

Every one of the characters in the Bible couldn’t wait to see God and Job was no different.  He was in such anguish when He said those words in the verse above.  He knew that one day his body would grow old and die but that He would see God face to face.  And so will we.

As human beings, we will be resurrected, standing, kneeling, walking and talking people. Doesn’t that bring you hope? God is our greatest gift and His presence brings satisfaction.

As a deer pants for water, so my soul pants for You, o God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
Psalms 42:1-2

What do you long for when you have a hard week?  When you think that you cannot do this one more day, what keeps you going? Here’s a story you might relate to….

In 1952, Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, California. She wanted to swim to the mainland. She was an experienced swimmer and had already swam the English Channel. The weather that day was foggy and chilly, and she could hardly see the boats that were along side of her. Still, she continued to swim for 15 hours. When she began to beg to be taken out, her mother encouraged her and told her that she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, Florence stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was aboard the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away. The next day, at a news conference, she said, “All I could see was the fog…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

What if you could ‘see the shore’ on your hard days? What if you could take your eyes off the fog in front of you and strain to see the place where God is. I am pretty sure that we could make it a bit longer, right? We have God cheering us on, all the way, He is in the boat alongside you, telling you that you are almost there. And one day, He will say “Well done!”.  And we will be with Him for all eternity!

I end with an amazing verse…

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

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Let us pray: Dear God, thank You for giving us the hope of being in Heaven with You.  And for all the promises in Your Word that daily get us through the hard stuff.  Lord, sometimes we get our eyes stuck on the fog that is ahead and take our eyes off of You.  Please guide us back to the path that leads to You.  Remind us that there is a beautiful prize at the end of this hard life—and it is You.  We love You and praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Where Are You?

encouragementbloggraphicromans15
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:1-9

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We have heard this story over and over; I think we become numb to it…sometimes.  The serpent, the tree, and the apple are all part of a story we have heard if ever  we have walked in the door of a Sunday School classroom.  But as I re-read it tonight, God spoke to me and asked this question,

Where are you?

Remember, God had made every inch of that Garden and He knew exactly where His people were that day.  See, the serpent—the slithering enemy who still spews lies—had just changed the course of the lives of Adam and Eve by tempting them with fruit.  It was fruit off  of a tree that God had specifically told them they must not eat. God didn’t give them a reason (and He really didn’t owe them one).  His Word was enough.  But Adam and Eve took the fruit and they ate it. After they did, their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked and for the first time the word “shame” came to mind.  And then they hid from God.  Can you even imagine what they felt when they heard His voice asking, “Where are you?”

The enemy, that slithering serpent, still lies to us today. Perhaps you might be right in the middle of believing him.  Like Adam and Eve, you might have just realized what you have done…and the word ‘shame’ fits like a glove.  And perhaps you may be hiding from God, too.  But He sees you.  When He asked Adam and Eve that same question, He knew where they were…He just wanted them to know and see for themselves.  They had to admit to Him that they had messed up and they needed Him still.  God may have banished them from the perfect garden but there was still life outside those gates.  He still loved them and longed to spend time with them.  And, He loves you, too, and wants to help you reclaim your life.  But first you have to know where you are.  Because He knows!

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Dear Lord, You are awesome and wonderful.  Your love for us is never-ending and we are so grateful.  Lord, You have given us a garden here on earth, with beautiful sand and oceans and flowers…beautiful places to spend time with You.  Oh Lord, there are times when we are so far away and we struggle to find our way. I pray today for those who have lost their way and the voice of the enemy has been too loud. Silence it today in Your name and may they hear Your voice asking…’Where are you?’  We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Cord Of Three Strands

“God does not intend that you experience mediocre relationships. He created you for far greater things. Building lasting relationships requires compassion, wisdom, empathy, kindness, courtesy, perseverance, and forgiveness. If it sounds like a lot of work, it is – which is perfectly fine with God. Why? Because He knows you are capable of doing that work and because He knows that the fruits of your labours will enrich the lives of your loved ones and the lives of generations unborn.”

 “30 Essential Lessons from Women of the Bible
Freeman-Smith Publishing

It’s Friday morning…the coffee is brewing, and the front door is open, and women gather together in my home.  We do life together and it truly is so much better.  I have to pinch myself sometimes because of how blessed I am to lead this community group. All of us have different stories and we all come from different places BUT we all have met Jesus and we have been changed.  And what better way to help each other than to share our stories of forgiveness and redemption.  Stories of hope that may lift another up from the pit of hopelessness. Taking someone else’s hand and walking them through the same things you have walked through.  Reminds me of the story of Ruth and Naomi. Here’s part of their story. I encourage you to read their whole story in your Bible.

But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me
to leave you or go back and not follow you.

For wherever you go, I will go,
and wherever you live, I will live;
your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.
Where you die, I will die,
and there I will be buried.
May Yahweh punish me, and do so severely,
if anything but death separates you and me.
When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her,
she stopped trying to persuade her.
Ruth 1:16-18

Have you ever been in such a deep pit that you really didn’t want anyone to save you?  Maybe you are so tired of the way your life is going and it seems like everyone else’s lives are moving forward…But not yours.  You are so down that all you want to do it sit alone and cry.  Well, my friend, that is exactly where the enemy wants you. He can speak so loudly to you there and you might start believing his lies. But God wants so much more for you.

See, He didn’t create us to be alone. He intended for us to walk this life together sharing each other’s burdens.  The reason that we go through some of the hard things is so we can give someone else hope that it will be okay and they will get though it…just like you did.  It’s time for us to step out of ourselves and start being available to others.  Pray earnestly for God to bring you a woman who you can guide and mentor. Someone who needs to hear what you have to share.  For there is freedom is sharing your story and the enemy loses his grip when we are open and honest.  Walls come down and we become a force for Jesus. This world can’t hold us back from sharing His good news!

So which one are you today? Are you the one sitting at home alone, isolating from the rest of the world? I encourage you to pray right now that God will guide you to a group of women or even one special one to share with you. Or are you a woman who has been a Jesus follower for some time and you have so much to share. You have really seen Jesus’s hand in your life and you need to share it with someone else. I join you today in prayer that God will bring you someone to mentor. Friends, let’s do this together!

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated,
but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.
Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

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Let us pray: Dear Lord, You are so amazing and so full of love for us.  You are worthy to be praised.  We love You so much and we want to share the hope that You have given us so freely.  Lord, thank You that You have given each one of us a story to share and You have never left us in one place for too long. Give us the courage to step out and help another one of Your daughters who is hurting.  Give those who are hurting today the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other and the courage to share their burdens. Bring us together, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Don’t Miss His Presence

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So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters.  He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.  As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives!  Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!  Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please!  Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die.  Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.  But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.)

By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.  Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens.  Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Genesis 19:14-26

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Lot’s wife is unnamed. Her only crime, that we know of, is that she looked back…she died for her disobedience.  I wonder…how many of us would be pillars of salt today (if we are being honest!)

Why can’t we just be satisfied and grateful for exactly where we are?  When God asks us to stay in the present, He doesn’t always mean that the past necessarily is bad.  It doesn’t have to be a time of struggle or pain that doesn’t need to be revisited.  God is in the present, meaning He is here now!  The way to spend time with the Father is to stay in constant contact with prayer and to read His Word.  To remain in the past is to miss His presence.

For me, my biggest temptation is desiring to stay in the extremely good parts of my past.  I loved being a mother of littles.  The small hand in mine, the walks in the parks and feeding the ducks with pieces of bread.  We read bedtime stories and said little prayers.  Oh, and the hugs from their little arms, I miss them so much!  But even so, it is wrong for me to want to stay there.  Any time things are hard, trials hit me head on and I want to retreat back to a time when life was easy and days were long and the biggest issue was a child who wouldn’t sleep.

God has so much for us!  But we will miss it if we keep looking back. Lot’s wife could have had a great life and who knows where they might have gotten to go.  The land might have been full of milk and honey and their family might have had the best life ever!  But she will never know—she looked back one time too many.

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Do you need God to help you in this area?

Let’s pray: Dear Lord, I come to You today to praise You. You are the most amazing Father and Provider. You are always the same even when everything else keeps changing.  Lord, today I ask that You help those who are having a hard time leaving the past and stepping into the future that You have planned.  I pray that You give us courage too, to move forward and to keep our faith in You. Thank You for this amazing life that You have given each one of us.  Keep us focused and our eyes on You.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

He Always Keeps His Promises

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The Lord brought His people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold;  and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.  Egypt was glad when they were gone, for they feared them greatly.  The Lord spread a cloud above them as a covering and gave them a great fire to light the darkness.  They asked for meat, and He sent them quail; He satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from Heaven.  He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland.  For He remembered His sacred promise to His servant Abraham.

So He brought His people out of Egypt with joy, H
is chosen ones with rejoicing.  He gave His people the lands of pagan nations, and they harvested crops that others had planted.  All this happened so they would follow His decrees and obey His instructions.  Praise the Lord!

Psalms 105:37-45 NLT

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Praise the Lord!  He is so worthy of all our praise.  Here the psalmist is reminding us of all that God had done for His people then and now.  If you go back and read the whole chapter, you will see that some of God’s heroes are mentioned and what they had done to rescue God’s people from hardship.  He still rescues today, my friend.

We may be walking through a season of little and it might feel like we are in the middle of a desert.  And God reminds us that He was with His children in the desert with Moses.  He met their every need, every time they asked. Even when they complained, He kept on providing. Eventually, they were led into a land of milk and honey.  But there were many adventures along the way.  Oh, and don’t forget the parting of the Red Sea! Could you use something like that about now?

When His children were thirsty, He split a rock and gave them water in a dry land.  Only God, the Creator, could do that!  They had no idea where their relief would come from and couldn’t see any way with their own eyes.  But God could—and suddenly, right in front of them, was water!  How amazing is He?

He brought them out of slavery and into freedom.  He gave them lands filled with plenty.  His people rejoiced and gave thanks to Him for all He had done for them.

Where are you right now?  If you have been delivered, then it is easy to rejoice and sing praises to Him.  Thanking Him for all your many, many blessings isn’t a struggle when you can see His provision all around you.

But what if you’re still in the desert?  You may be asking for provision and He might be sending you just what you need, just enough.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Just manna (literally means “what is this?”).  You may be thirsty for more of His Living Water.  If that’s the case, then He will send a river flowing with plenty of what you need.  All He asks is that you remember to praise Him and thank Him.  Even if your miracle hasn’t happened yet, praise Him because you believe that it will.  He is trustworthy and His promises are always true.

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Do you need encouragement? You have come to the right place. Let us pray over you today! It is an honor to do so. And if you will, leave a comment letting us know that you prayed with us.

Dear God, I am in a desert and I need some relief. I need to be rescued and taken to the land of plenty. Lord, I know that you have a plan for me and it includes many blessings. I am trusting You in this and believing in You. Give me the courage and energy to keep on moving forward. This life is hard, but I am keeping my eyes on You. I love You and praise You for what You are about to do in my life. n Jesus’ name, amen.

If We Keep Quiet

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Hathach came back and related Mordecai’s words to Esther.  Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai:  “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.”  

So Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.  Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.  If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die.  Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”  

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”

So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Esther 4:9-17 NLT

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Esther is one of my favorite books of the bible.  I love the story line and how it reads like a romance novel.  In this chapter of the book, there has been an evil plan that will end in the Jews losing their lives.  Mordecai is Esther’s uncle and he has begged her to save them by going to the king and telling him of the plan.  However Esther knows that if she dares go before the king, without being summoned, she is likely to be killed.  Big risk!

Can you imagine not being able to go to your husband that you have grown to love dearly unless he calls you?  And, in this passage, the king hasn’t summoned her in about 30 days.  She is a little afraid, really.  (Wouldn’t you be?)  She sends a message back to Mordecai saying that it’s too dangerous.  After hearing his reply and thinking more about it, she comes to the conclusion that either way she could die…so why not choose the role of hero.  She also knows that her God is bigger than all of this and she would rather trust Him and obey what she feels He would ask of her.

We all have fears and anxiety.  If we let them, they can consume us and actually keep us from the calling that God has placed on our lives.  And what if we, like Esther, are called to do something big, too.  For this season, in this time, you could be changing lives for the kingdom.  Saving people simply by sharing the good news of Jesus!  And if there is any question in your mind about “if” you are called to tell all who will listen,  then, may you be reminded that Jesus calls everyone to go into the world and tell of Him.  This decision to follow Him is life.

And then He told them,
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”
Mark 16:15

So today, I pray that God will show us those who need to hear the hope of Him.  And that He will give us all the courage to step out and share all that He has done for us.  I celebrate with you today that we have Him as our Father!

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Let us pray: Dear God, we thank You for giving us the opportunity to live in a free country where speaking Your name is not met with punishment but well received.  Thank You for continuing to bless us and for the free gift of grace that is free.  We don’t deserve it; yet You forgive our every sin.  Lord, today, I pray that You will reveal to each one of us those around us who need to hear Your name and the hope that we have in You.  Give us the wisdom and the courage to share this good news so that when You do come back to get us, Lord, we will all be ready!  We love You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.