Caged Bird Free

My stubborn will at last has yielded,

I would be Thine,  and Thine alone

And this the prayer my lips are bringing,

Lord, let in me Thy will be done.

Thy  precious will, O conquering Savior,

Doth now embrace and compass me;

All discords hushed, my peace a river,

 

My soul a prisoned bird set free.

Sweet will of God

Still fold me closer,

Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

 

-“Sweet Will of God” by Mrs. C.H. Morris

 

The Good Doctor

When they saw Him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples,

“With tax collectors and sinners He eats?”

On hearing this, Jesus said to them,

“Healthy people don’t need a physician, but sick ones do.

I did not come to call righteous people, but sinners.”

– Mark 2:16-17

The Hat Rack

Here’s a “post from the past” at my daughter’s request. Blessings! – Faith

Once, when my husband and I were visiting a new church for the first time,  an elderly lady came up to us and invited us to her house for dinner. We gladly accepted, and followed her home after service.  As we sat in her living room, we had a very pleasant conversation, and got  to know a little more about each other. She was a long-standing member of her church,  and well-loved by the congregation.  Although she was elderly, she was vibrant and enthusiastic, and very happy to talk about how much she loved the Lord, and all that He had done for her. She enthusiastically shared some of her many testimonies, and my husband and I  talked a little about our faith experience.  I mentioned how our two children, a son and a daughter, toddlers at the time, had been miracle babies, because I was told that I would never conceive, and even so, I was still praying and believing God for another baby.

She looked at me, with a smile in her eyes, and said, “You see that hat rack over there on the wall?” I answered, “Yes.” she said, “Whenever the Lord does something for me, I imagine that I’m hanging a hat on a hat rack…and every time he answers I just keep adding a new hat.  And the next time I find myself frustrated about something that I’m praying for, I  just take a look at that hat rack, and see all those hats hanging there, and I’m reminded of all the prayers that God has answered, (some that I may have even forgotten), and I am encouraged that He did it before and He’ll do it again.”

I really appreciated this example and made an effort to apply it in my own life. In fact the Lord did answer my prayer and blessed me miraculously with another sweet baby girl!

When I think back on this example, it reminds me of what young David said to King Saul, when he volunteered to fight Goliath…

“David said… The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…” I Samuel 17:37

You see, the lion and the bear were hanging on David’s hat rack!!! He just took a look back, and was fully persuaded, that God would do it again. :)

“Has it been awhile since you took a look at your own hat rack?”

Surely God has blessed you and answered your prayers in the past, and hey, there’s always room for another hat, so

Just take a look back, have faith,  and,  like David, be fully persuaded that God will do it again!

A Clean Heart

Image result for clean heart

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from Your presence; and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation; and sustain me with a willing spirit.”

Psalm 51:1-12

Amazing Grace

The Lord has promised good to me…His word my hope secures.

He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
I have already come.
T’was grace that brought me safe thus far…
and grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

John Newton

Do Good

“Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can,

to all the souls you can, in every place you can,

at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can,

as long as ever you can.”

John Wesley

“For the love of Christ constrains us…”

2 Corinthians 5:14

He Was Wounded, We Are Healed

“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

“Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

Thomas Moore

Here’s to Hugs and Kisses

  Hugs

Reduce harmful physical effects of stress;

Calm deep pressure on children, tantrums, and mellows moodiness;

Help the body’s immune system, cures depression, and induces sleep;

Invigorate and rejuvenate

Increase heart rate and stabilize blood pressure;

Give a positive emotional state;

Bring out a surge of serotonine and dopamine, which are known as “feel good” brain chemicals.

Relieve pain, make you healthier and happier;

Help to overcome fear

 Kisses

Good for the heart, as it creates an adrenaline which causes your heart to pump more blood around your body.

Stress-reliever, lowering your cortisol ‘stress’ hormone.

Endorphins produced by kissing are 200 times more powerful than morphine.

Reduces anxiety and stop the ‘noise’ in your mind.

Increase the levels of oxytocin, an extremely calming hormone that produces a feeling of peace.

Great for self-esteem.  Make  you feel appreciated and helps your state of mind.

Those who kiss quite frequently are less likely to suffer from stomach, bladder and blood infections.

Those who kiss goodbye each morning live five years longer than those who don’t.

Here’s to Hugs and Kisses! OXOX

The Best Education

 “An eternal question about children is, “How should we educate them?”

Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science and math, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams and tests, more certification for teachers, and less money for art.

All of these responses come from the place where we want to make the child into the best adult possible, not in the sense of virtuous and wise, but in the sense of one who is an efficient part of the machinery of society. But on all these counts,the soul is neglected.”

-Thomas Moore

“…So  commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine.(says the LORD)

Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you go to bed and when you get up.”

Deuteronomy 11:19

Take Courage My Heart

He’s In The Waiting.♥

“Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing.”

“Wait for ADONAI. Be strong, let your heart take courage, and wait for ADONAI.” – Psalm 27:14

 

Take Courage Lyrics-Bethel Music & Kristene DiMarco/ Photo- Google Images

Double Blessing

Double Rainbow

“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion,

and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.

And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,

and everlasting joy will be yours.”

Isaiah 61:7

Patient Endurance

“Remember the former days

When, after you were enlightened,

You endured a great struggle with sufferings.

Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten,

Sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.

You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail,

And when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy.

You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord.

Remember the great reward it brings you!

Patient endurance is what you need now,

So that you will continue to do God’s will.

Then you will receive all that He has promised.”

 

Hebrews 10:32-35

Tree of Life Version and New Living Translation

 

A New Day

If life seems at its lowest ebb, because a day’s gone wrong,

 

Let not your heart be troubled, for a new day soon will dawn.

And we can never be quite sure, just what it has in store,

Since each one is so different, than the one just gone before.

As it penetrates the darkness, with its soft and tranquil beams,

It calms even the most restless soul, and brings new hopes and dreams.

So when a day’s been troubled, and the night is dark and long,

Lift up your fallen spirits, for a new day soon will dawn.

-Anonymous

Cast Don’t Carry

“Why carry the weight of the world on our shoulders,

when the Lord our God carries us on His.”

– Faith Carr

“Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.”

I Peter 5:7

 

*Photo- Google Images

My Shepherd

ADONAI is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff comfort me.

 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of ADONAI forever.”

Psalm 23- TLV

Behold, I Am Doing a New Thing, Now it Will Spring Forth

It’s Blooming in the Desert!

After 5 years of devastating drought in southern California, the mountains and deserts of Death Valley are exploding with beautiful blooms and color!

Thus says ADONAI…

“Here I am, doing a new thing; Now it is springing up!”

“I will make a way in the desert and rivers in the wasteland”

– Isaiah 43:19

TLV

Cactus blooms in Southern California desert/Photos- CBS News

“Remember Me”

“And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20

There are many traditions, holidays, and ceremonies, that we observe and hold in remembrance, and many of them in the name of Christianity. We celebrate birthdays, and Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, and that’s fine, they are special days, and it’s good to celebrate, but there is one thing that the Lord has asked us to observe, in remembrance of Him, and the sacrifice that He made to redeem us, saying, “Do this as oft as you will, in remembrance of me.”  II Corinthians 11:25

As we remember the last supper today, we are also reminded of Christ’s sacrificial love for all of us…We are reminded of His tremendous suffering, and the price that He paid to save us, and that by His grace, through faith, we are saved.

Thank you, Jesus.

Two Rivers

Once, when speaking at a Women’s Conference, I began by sharing that I had “cried a River of Tears”.

I knew that there were  women present who could relate, because they too had experienced the pain and disappointments that lead to crying lots of tears. I knew, because I had been there…

Sometimes people, in an effort to be comforting,  may say,” I know how you feel”… but it’s much more of a comfort when you know that someone has actually experienced circumstances similar to your own. As women, we feel things so deeply, and “crying a river of tears” was the best way that I could describe the heartfelt sadness that accompanied me through this difficult time in my life. I knew that I was not the only one to feel this way.

Many mornings,when I was having problems with my health, and praying for a miracle, my husband would wake to hear me quietly weeping, with my head sunk in my pillow. He would try to comfort me, but after a while, I think he just wanted me to let go of what he considered to be an “obsession” with wanting to have a baby.

But I was not obsessed, and I would not let go.

In spite of all my tears, I knew in my heart, that there was another river…

Psalm 46 says that, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble… There is a river, the streams whereof shall make . glad the city of God,…God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early..

Be still and know that I am God…”

Sometimes we need to have a good cry, and that’s OK,… but we mustn’t cry as if there’s no hope… There is true comfort in knowing that God sees our tears, and will answer our prayers. I know because He’s done it for me.

Way Maker, Chain Breaker

“If you’ve got pain
He’s a Pain Taker
If you feel lost
He’s a Way Maker
If you need freedom or saving
He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you’ve got chains
He’s a Chain Breaker”

Lyrics from “Chain Breaker” by Zach Williams

First Love

“Valentine’s Day is almost here, so here’s a “Post from the Past” just for you!”

I met the man who was to become my husband when I was nineteen years old. At first no one took me seriously, because I had never been serious about anyone before. My closest friends teased me and joked that  this new relationship would probably only last for about two weeks and then it would be over, because that’s how it had been for me up until then. But this time was different.

My friends soon became aware of the difference in me as I lit up whenever I talked about him, and talked about him constantly. I began spending less and less time with them, and wanted to spend more and more time with him. When we left campus, for our hometowns in different cities during holiday breaks , I would miss him terribly and  couldn’t wait to be with him again. While at home on break, I would curl up in bed with my  mother, like two girls at a slumber party, and tell her all about him, talking all night long…

In Revelation 2:4-5,  Jesus says to the church at Ephesus, “

... You have left your first love…repent and do the first works…” 

I think about the first works or actions of a person experiencing a first love, and I ask myself,

“Am I still doing the first works?” Do I still light up whenever I talk about my Savior? Do I still  speak of Him constantly? Am I spending more time with Him than I do with less important activities? If I haven’t read my Bible in a while, do I miss it? Could I stay up all night, talking and sharing about His love and His faithfulness? Asking these questions stirs the heart, generates enthusiasm, and awakens a fresh start.

“May the Lord reignite the spark that fueled our first works, and may we continue

to rekindle our love for Him Who first loved us.”♥

 

Can a Mother Forget?

Image result for mother and baby nursing silhouette

Sometimes when we’ve been praying for something for a very long time, we begin to lose heart, and wonder if the answer will ever come. I know exactly how that feels. I remember praying and praying for God to work a miracle in my life, and sometimes, I felt that God had forgotten about me and my situation. Of course we know that God sees us always, and knows everything about our lives, but still, it is true of us as humans, that we sometimes think that our situation may not be as urgent to God as we would like for it to be.

This is so not true!

At one of my lowest points, the LORD gave me a verse which comforted me and reassured me, and to this day, this verse is very near and dear to my heart. In Isaiah 49:15-16, the Lord says, “Can a mother forget her nursing child?… Yes, she might, but I have not forgotten you… I have you engraved on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”  This is how I understood what He was saying to me through this verse:

1. “Can a mother forget her nursing child?” – Naturally, the answer to this question would be a resounding, “No.”  We all know how attached a mother is to her newborn baby, and so we understand the significance of this question. But…

2. “Yes, she might,” – Although it would seem impossible for a mother to forget or abandon her newborn child, it has happened, as unbelievable as it would seem, sadly, it has been the case for some mothers. But…

3. “I have not forgotten you” – God is saying that His love and care for us is even greater than a mother’s love. Infinitely greater. How so?…

4. “I have you engraved on the palms of my hands” – Here, I pictured the palms of my Savior’s Hands, which still bear the nail scars, pierced for me… And then…

5. “Your walls are continually before me.”  My situation and the circumstances that surround me, are continually before Him! Oh, Glory to God!!

Here it is in a nutshell…

God loves you, more than you can imagine, He has not forgotten you, and  your situation is continually, always, before Him.

Hold on.  :)

In The Boat With Us

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,Image result for stormy sea

“Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”

So they took Jesus in the boat and started out,

And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea,

Insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves:

But Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat…

 His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying,

Lord,… “Carest thou not that we perish?”

And He saith unto them,

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea;

And there was a great calm.

But the men marveled, saying,

What manner of man is this,

That even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

Matthew 8:25 and Mark 4:38

-As we “cross to the other side”, through the storms and trials of life,

Jesus cares.

He is “in the boat” with us.

He cares

and He will calm the sea.”

O God, Our Help

“O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home,” -Isaac Watts

Image result for psalm 46 1

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1

I Stand in Awe

“You are beautiful beyond description

Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of Your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God to whom all praise is due

I stand, I stand in awe of You.”

-Hillsong

Heaven is for Real

Because Jesus said so;

“Let not your heart be troubled:

Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions:

If it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again, and receive you unto myself;

That where I am, there ye may be also,”

John 14:1-3

Delay Does Not Mean Denied

Waiting for an answer to prayer can be hard sometimes, but I’d just like to share that although it seems that there  may be a delay, it doesn’t mean that your request has been denied. In fact, it has been my experience that after what seemed to be a great delay, I was blessed far and away more than I was asking for in the first place! 

Here’s an example from  John 11:1-44

A request for healing is brought to Jesus. “…A certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha… Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

 Jesus responds with a delay. ” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Then, after finally arriving in Bethany, Lazarus having been dead 3 days, 

 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.  ” He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”

And he who had died came out,,.. “

“Are you praying for something, and there seems to be a delay in receiving your answer? Just remember that God is working all things together for your good, and He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that you may ask or think… So hold on, the answer’s on its way, and it promises to exceed your expectations!”  :)

In The Secret Place

“He that dwells  in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

Unto You Is Born This Day, A Savior!

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,”

                                            “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

          Luke 2:8-14

And It Came To Pass

nativity

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.”

 Luke 2:1-6

 

Joyful Noise

“Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the new born King

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

Joyful all ye nations rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With angelic host proclaim

Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the new born king!”

 

Charles Wesley

I Love This Story! Please Read It

There was once a man who didn’t believe in God, and he didn’t hesitate to let others know how he felt about religious holidays like Christmas. His wife however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and, His Son, Jesus, The Christ, despite her husband’s disparaging comments…

One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.  “That story is nonsense!” he said. “Why would God lower Himself to come to earth as a man? That’s ridiculous!” So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm.  He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn’t see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese.

Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn’t go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It’s warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn’t seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

“Why don’t they follow me?!” he exclaimed. “Can’t they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?”  He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn’t follow a human. “If only I were a goose, then I could save them,” he said out loud.

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.  He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn–and one by one the other geese followed it to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: “If only I were a goose, then I could save them!” Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. “Why would God want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!”

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese–blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son Jesus, to become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized.

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ, the Messiah had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: “Thank You, Jesus, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!”

Author Unknown

Season of Light- What to Know About This Year’s Overlapping Christmas and Hanukkah Holiday

Bundle up: Wednesday marks the winter solstice, the first day of winter and the day with the fewest hours of sunlight for the whole year. And in a few days, two holidays celebrating light will take place during the darkest time of year, when Hanukkah begins on Christmas Eve. The last time that this exact…

via What to Know About This Year’s Overlapping Christmas and Hanukkah Holidays — TIME

God With Us

“…The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son,and shall call His Name Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23

Between Now and Not Yet

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

You may not realize

You will often forget
That I have a plan for you
Between now and not yet

I have so much more for you
You focus so much on debt
I have plans for you to prosper
 Between  now and  not yet

You’ll walk through the valleys
And fear to take your next step
My plans are not to harm you
Between the now and the not yet

If you’ll slow down and take a breath
Take time to watch My sun set
It’s My plan to give you hope and a future
Between the  now and  the not yet

“The Plan I Know” by David Andrews 

Morning by Morning

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;

There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

-Thomas Chisholm

Through Trials

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.

Only through experiences of trial and suffering

Can the soul be strengthened,

Vision cleared,

ambition inspired,

and success achieved.”

Helen Keller

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

With Thanksgiving

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth:

the strength of the hills is His also.

The sea is His, and He made it: and His Hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”

Psalm 95:1-6

Dancing

” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing:

You have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. 

To the end that my glory may sing praise to You, and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

Psalm 30:11-12

Bold

Proverbs 28:1 says,  “… the righteous are bold as a lion.”  and in Hebrews 4:16 we’re told to come boldly before God’s throne in prayer. This is what Caleb did.

You can read about Caleb in Joshua chapter 14 verses 7-14 , and interestingly enough, the name Caleb means “bold”. Here’s his story…

Caleb was 85 years old when the Israelites reached the promised land. He was one of only two men who had survived the 40 year wanderings in the desert. After being freed from slavery in Egypt, he and Joshua were chosen by Moses to spy out the land that God had promised them. There were 12 men in all, one for each tribe. When they returned from their travels, 10 of the spies were terrified, and reported that it would be impossible to defeat these cities because they considered themselves and  their own people to be too small in comparison.  But Joshua and Caleb believed that God had led them to this good land and had faith that He would give them the victory.

The people believed the 10 spies. God was angry with them and because of their unbelief, they would have to spend the next 40 years walking around the desert until they all died off, leaving only their children and grandchildren to be the ones who would inherit the promised land. But God honored the faith of Caleb and Joshua.

Joshua became the leader of his people after the death of Moses, leading them into the promised land, dividing the Jordan River, and marching onto victory in the battle of Jericho. Caleb now 85 years old had remained strong in faith, and courageous in battle. In the face of battle over the land that Moses had promised would be his inheritance, Caleb boldly responded, saying:

“… the LORD hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake His word to Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now lo, I am now eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: As my strength was then, even so is my strength now… Now therefore give me this mountain,… the LORD will be with me, then I will be able to drive (the inhabitants) out, as the LORD said…Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb.”

He got what he wanted. Caleb was bold in his faith as a young man, and even as an old man. He knew that there was nothing too big to ask God for, and his boldness is evidence of that faith.

By faith, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, and “the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

You Can Count On It

true love

You can count on God’s Word.

If God said it, you can count on it to come to pass.

His Word is absolutely trustworthy.

God never breaks His Word.

In Him there are no broken promises.

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind.”

“Does He speak and then not act?”

“Does He promise and not fulfill? “

Numbers 23:19 

On Life’s Path

“Preserve me, O God: for in You do I put my trust…

I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel: my heart also instructs me

in the night seasons.

I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope…

You will show me the path of life:

In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

 Psalm 16

The Faith Factor

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

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…”Daughter, your faith has made you whole….” Luke 8:48

These are the words that the LORD spoke into my heart, on this day, November 11, 1985. Like the woman mentioned here in this story, I had seen many doctors and suffered many things. I was in need of a touch from Jesus to heal me and make me whole. I needed a miracle.

At sunrise, on that beautiful fall morning , the Lord heard my quiet cry, and  took me from barrenness to motherhood. Little did I know that this was only the beginning. Miraculously, He blessed me to give birth to three children, when the doctors, and the condition of my body, said that I’d never have one.

Forever grateful…

Blessed be His Name!

“He settles the barren woman in her home as a joyful mother of children”

Psalm 113:9 – TLV

 

Turbulence

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A few days ago, a friend of mine encouraged me with these words…

She said, “When a pilot is flying and sees turbulence ahead, he approaches it head on. He does not go around it, over it, or under it; he goes right through it. The pilot can’t see beyond the limited view of his cockpit, so he must rely totally on the instrument panel for guidance. He goes right through the turbulence, difficult as it may be, and presses through until he reaches the beautiful clear sky on the other side.”

This life, as we know, can bring us to turbulent times that cannot be avoided. We’d rather go around them, but we must press through. As we rely on and put our complete trust in the LORD, even when it gets rocky, He will lead us through to the beautiful clear skies on the other side.

With God You Can..

Happy New Year

“Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.”

‘The best of it is, God is with us.”

– John Wesley

Poured Out

“I am poured out like water, … all my bones are out of joint.

My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.”

“Trust in Him at all times; …

Pour out your heart before Him:

God is a refuge for us.”

Selah.

Psalm 22:14 and 62:8

Like Jabez

The bible says that Jabez, a descendant of Judah, was “more honorable than his brothers”and even though his mother named him Jabez (which means pain), he called out to the LORD and God heard him and gave him what he requested. 

This is not a story about getting everything we want, it’s actually an example that there’s always hope when we pray because no matter what we’ve been through, or what we’ve been called, as children of God, we have His eye.

 Jabez may not be as well known as Abraham or Moses but that’s just the point!  God’s love is there for the “little guys”too and the story of Jabez  reminds us that in Christ, each of us is special and uniquely significant. He cares for us and will answer when we pray.

“Jabez  called out to the God of Israel, saying,

“If only You would greatly bless me, and enlarge my territory. Let Your hand be with me,

and keep me from harm, so that I might not suffer pain.”

And God granted what he asked.” 

 I Chronicles 4:10-TLV

The Garden


garden
I come to the garden alone.

While the dew is still on the roses.

And the voice I hear,

Falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.

He speaks and the sound of His voice,

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing.

And the melody that He gives to me

Within my heart is ringing!

And He walks with me,

And He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own!

And the joy we share…

As we tarry there…

None other has ever known.

-Charles Austin Miles

Elected

“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” Ephesians 1:4

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”  I Peter 2:9

“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it to you.” John 15:16

Double For Your Trouble

There isn’t anything that we go through, that hasn’t first been permitted by God. This may be a little hard to accept sometimes, but it’s true, and in the end we’ll see that it was only allowed for our good… And that’s not all.

When it’s all over, the Lord will bless you in such a way that you receive “double for your trouble”, and sometimes even more.

Remember when the LORD told Abraham, way back in the beginning before Sarah was even pregnant, that he would be the father of a huge nation and this nation would be slaves in a foreign land, and that they would be there for over 400 years, but He would deliver them with a mighty Hand and they would come out with great substance?( Meaning they would come out with great riches.) Well 400 years of slavery is a long time for people to spend working for no pay, and the bible says that the morning after the first Passover, the Egyptians just started giving the Hebrews anything they wanted and they “spoiled” the Egyptians. Psalm 105:37 says, “He brought them forth also (out of Egypt), with silver and gold.”  And we all know the story of Job who, after he had so tremendously suffered, received twice as much of all that he had before.

Think about it. Hasn’t God brought you out of trouble and then blessed you? It could be that He blessed you monetarily, or restored your health, or blessed your family, or even blessed you with wisdom, in preparation for the blessings yet to come.

In Isaiah 61:7, the LORD says, ” For your shame you shall have double...” and if God says it, that settles it!

So if you’re going through a rough time right now, be encouraged…

You’re gonna be blessed DOUBLE FOR YOUR TROUBLE!!!!

God of Angel Armies

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

You hear me when I call, You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night, It cannot hide the light

You crush the enemy, Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield, Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear?

My strength is in Your name, For You alone can save
You will deliver me, Yours is the victory

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises… You are faithful

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The God of angel armies, Is always by my side.

From Chris Tomlin’s “Whom Shall I Fear”

In Oceans Deep

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You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise… My soul will rest in your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and you won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

-Hillsong  “Oceans”


Shielded by Favor

“Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:

Let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:

Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou surround him

As with a shield.”

Psalm 5:11-12

Love Is…

“Love is patient, Love is kind…

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

It does not demand its own way.

It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

 It does not rejoice about injustice

But rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

 Love never gives up, Never loses faith,

Is always hopeful, and endures

Through every circumstance…”

“Love never fails”

I Corinthians 13: 4-7

In The Silence

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“You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, and You listen to their cry,”

Psalm 10:17

“And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry…

And I am come down to deliver them.”

Exodus 3:7-8

Trusting God

To trust in God means that He is our confidence; our minds are at rest, as we rely on His word, His integrity, His veracity, His faithfulness, and His unfailing love.

We don’t often hear stories about King Hezekiah, but he is one of my favorite examples of trusting in God. II Kings 18:5, says that Hezekiah trusted God like no other king before or after him.. What a wonderful way to be remembered, as someone who truly trusted in God. In the face of danger, at the threat of war from Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and even after the prophet Isaiah warned him that he would soon die, Hezekiah prayed to God, trusted Him to hear and answer, and God delivered him every time!

King Hezekiah’s sincere, unshakable, trust in God, serves as a great encouragement and example for us today, as we face life’s trials and difficulties. Like him, we too can be assured, that God cares, He hears our prayers,He sees our tears, and will not fail to deliver us, as we place our trust in Him.

Good Medicine

Here’s a funny little story.

Once, our youngest daughter came home from school, and told me that her sixth-grade teacher has a very funny way of cheering herself up. She said that whenever her teacher is feeling low, she pops on a funny red clown nose, takes a drive in her car, and every time she stops at a red light, she turns and smiles at the driver next to her!

I burst out laughing when I heard this and said,” That’s hilarious!

She not only cheers herself up but others too, in the process! “

A cheerful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22 ♥

This Is Only A Test

“In the world ye shall have tribulation…”

“But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus,

after that ye have suffered a while,

He  Himself  will restore, establish, strengthen, settle you.”

John 16:33 and I Peter 5:10

Fountain of Every Blessing


  • Image result for living water Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount!I’m fixed upon it, mount of Thy redeeming love. Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I’m come; and I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood. O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, LORD,take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.
  • -Robert Robinson

The Barometer

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“Circumstances are not the barometer of God’s love and goodness – the cross is.”

“Do you feel as though God isn’t answering your prayers?  Are you tempted to doubt His love and goodness?

When I feel this way, I have to remind myself that my circumstances aren’t the barometer of God’s love and goodness—the cross is. He has shown His love and how good He is by giving His only Son Jesus to die for our sin. We can’t rely on our feelings. But day by day as we choose to trust Him more, we learn to believe with confidence that God is good—all the time.”

-Anne Cetas

When Hope is Frail and Candles Dim

Image result for candle going out

Oh, that I might have my request,

that God would grant what I hope for,

“What strength do I have, that I should still hope?

What prospects, that I should be patient?

I have been allotted months of futility,

and nights of misery have been assigned to me.

When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’

The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,

and they come to an end without hope.

Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath;

my eyes will never see happiness again.

Job 6:8, 6:11, 7:4-7

Good Good Father

Image result for good good father

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As you call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Chris Tomlin

Happy Father’s Day! ♥

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

I John 3:1

A Rock and A Hard Place

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A Place Called Hard
Lord, I have me a mountain,
I need You to remove
I have me a situation
only You can improve.

Lord, I got me a dilemma,
that needs to be resolved
I have me a problem
I need You to be involved.

Lord, I have me a river,
it’s as wide as it is deep
I have me a condition
that I don’t want to keep.

Lord, I have a clear view,
of the storm that’s ahead
I have me an idea
it’s going to be widespread.

Lord, I’m between a rock,
and a place called hard
so I am going to need You
to be my constant guard.

Lord, I’m placing my life,
in the palm of Your hand
trusting this predicament . . .
is just a part of Your plan!

-Deborah Ann Belka

Rescued

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I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Love lifted me. Love lifted me.
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!

James Rowe

The High Place, I’ll Bring Down

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I will make the darkness light before you,
What is wrong I’ll make it right before you,
All your battles I will fight before you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

When you walk by the way I’ll lead you,
On the fatness of the land I’ll feed you,
And a mansion in the sky I’ll deed you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

With an everlasting love I’ll love you,
Though with trials deep and sore I’ll prove you,
But there’s nothing that can hurt or move you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

Although satan in his rage would tear you,
And with all his scheming arts would snare you,
Even down to your old age I’ll bear you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

I will make the darkness light before you,
I will make the crooked straight before you,
I will spread My wings protecting o’er you,
“And the high place I’ll bring down.”

Charles P. Jones

“…I will make the darkness light before them.”  Isaiah 42:16

Reaches To The Heavens

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Your love, oh Lord
Reaches to the heavens
And Your faithfulness
Stretches to the skies

And Your righteousness
Is like the mighty mountains
Your justice flows
Like the ocean’s tide

And I will lift my voice
To worship You, my King
And I will find my strength
In the shadow of Your wings

Your Love, oh Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness
Stretches to the skies

-Third Day

 

Suffering

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Suffering may endure for a season

And we wonder when relief will come.
Is this for a time of testing
A really deep trial for some?

Day by day we endure our heartaches,
Often questioning why,
We don’t seem to fully understand
And we come before God with a sigh!

“Just quiet yourself in My presence,” He says,
“I have blessings for you in store,
This time with me will be precious,
Even more than ever before.”

The wonderful promises in God’s Holy Word
Bring comfort, encouragement and peace,
And as we nestle up close to Him.
Our Faith brings sweet release.

So let us joyfully praise the Lord,
If, through suffering we can learn,
Truths that will help to guide our way,
And His Word more clearly discern.

Elsie K. Young

Happy Mother’s Day!

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“She speaks wise words
    and teaches others to be kind.

 She watches over her family
    and never wastes her time.
 

Her children speak well of her.
    Her husband also praises her,

 saying, “There are many fine women,
    but you are better than all of them.”

 Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you,
    but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
 

Give her the reward she has earned;
    she should be praised in public for what she has done.”

Proverbs 31:26-31 NCV