Praise and Glory

While it seems easier to ask for things in our prayers, we need to remember to praise and thank God for what He does.  God allows us to see some of His work, but I am convinced that He doesn’t share everything He does.  None of us could handle all the work Almighty God performs – even in our own lives. 

God is in control.  He does wonderful things.

Praise and glory to God!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all You have done.  I know Your work is great and You are mighty.  Please help us to focus on Your work and what You will do in our lives.  Thank you for all You will do.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Sleep in Peace

One of the biggest battles we have fought in the last 4 months is fear.  The fears are as diverse as the population.  Much of the fear is turning into anger.  Anger at anyone who disagrees or doesn’t seem to understand.  There are facts, misinformation, and opinions being shared at every turn.  Each of those sway our emotions again and again.

How do we survive times like this? How can anyone sleep at night?  King David wrote Psalm 4. He had experience in many difficult situations, frequently counseling himself to trust in God.  Psalm 4:8 shows how he could “lie down and sleep.”  He knows that God is in control.  God is the means of our safety.  I am all for making wise choices, but no matter how good the choice is we don’t have ultimate control over the results.  With all the disagreement lately, our choices have been somewhat limited. 

Friends, whether we believe it or not…whether we live it or not, God IS in control and will provide safety when we ask.

Dear Heavenly Father, we are facing so much fear. Please help us to turn to You instead of turning against each other. Please guide us in following You.  Thank you for the safety that You provide.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Leading through Uncertainty

There has been a lot of uncertainty over the last 4 months.  Things have changed so quickly and, in some cases, drastically.  People are reacting in fear on both sides of each viewpoint.  There has been bullying on both sides.  There are people who care on both sides.  Many times, in a crisis, true character (or lack thereof) is revealed.  I believe we are seeing a lot of that right now. 

One piece of misinformation that is being spread is the amount of control we really have in any situation.  The book of Proverbs reminds us that God is the one who “establishes our steps”.  We can make plans, but we need to seek God throughout the process of making those plans.

Dear Heavenly Father, please guide me as I make plans for my life.  Please help me to remember that I belong to You and my life is in Your hands.  Please strengthen me as I wait on Your timing.  Thank you for being so good to lovingly lead those who choose to follow You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wait for God’s Timing. Trust God’s Timing.

Another week has come and gone with the usual bruises that go with the challenges of life. As I process the circumstances in my little piece of the world, I found myself drawn to a couple of statements posted on Facebook.  One reminded me that God’s timing is always trustworthy.  The other reminds me of God’s control over and through difficult circumstances.  As I looked for a verse to use in today’s blog, the YouVersion Bible app had Psalm 27:14 as today’s verse of the day. 

I’m not a big fan of waiting.  I would rather keep moving.  Maybe not as fast as the waterfall in the picture my friend sent to me, but at least moving.  However, sometimes God asks us to wait.  His timing is perfect.  He has a plan and will bring it about His way, in His time.  God IS in control, even when life seems out of control.  When I don’t see how things are going to work out…when I start to worry about the big and little things in my life, I need to stop and go to God.  Talking to Him in prayer will help me to be strong and allow me to take courage as I wait on God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always being available.  Thank You for providing the way to have courage.  I claim Your promise to promise to provide courage.  Please help me to wait on You and Your timing for all the details of my life.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Trying to Make a Difference

This week has been a doozy.  We continue to struggle with the “side effects” of the stay at home orders.  As I navigate my piece of this, I have tried to be careful what I read, watch, and share.  However, I have been watching and reading about two doctors from Bakersfield, CA who spoke up with their opinion of our current situation.  They have been under attack.  They weren’t trying to make waves.  Their goal was to take care of their patients and be examples in their community.  That has stuck with me.  I want to make a difference.  I’m not likely to change the world, but I hope to be an appropriate example where I live.  Hopefully, direct someone to the truth.

As I thought about what I wanted to write this week, the news flooded with the story of George Floyd, a black man who died when a police officer knelt on his neck.  Then the city of Minneapolis (and many others) became the site of rioting and looting.  People, who are no doubt hurting for multiple reasons, are lashing out at this injustice.

With all that has been going on and the addition of this horrible situation in my home state, words truthfully seem futile.  I knew that I still wanted to pursue my original thoughts.  Be an example – lead by example – lead towards truth.

I can’t change people’s hearts and minds.  The evidence that George Floyd died wrongfully is overwhelming.  I don’t know the heart of the police officer, but I pray that he acknowledges his wrong and accepts lawful punishment.  I pray that those rioting and looting wake up to their own ugliness and learn of God’s love.  I pray that those who manipulated through the pandemic situation are held accountable.  I pray that we learn and move forward appropriately.

What I can do is to speak the truth of Who God is.  That is my goal with this blog.  He does not force us to choose the right path.  He has the power to change wrong and ugliness, but He has allowed us to choose. The truth is that we all choose sin at some time.  All sin is ugly and deserves to be punished.  The truth is that Jesus died to save us from sin (Romans 6:23).  If we confess our sin and trust in Jesus, we will be saved from the eternal effects of sin (Romans 10:9-10).  We ALL need this.

There are many Bible verses that tell what God does for those who follow Him. I am sharing 3 with this post.  We are facing hard times.  We need to turn to the truth of the Bible to make a difference that will matter for all eternity.

Dear Heavenly Father, it feels as though multiple powder kegs were lit and blew up. We have so much hurt and pain – all based in sin.  Please convict us and forgive us for the wrong each of us has done.  We are in desperate need of Your help.  Please help me as I seek to show truth – Your truth – the only truth.  Please break through the barriers that keep people from knowing You and how much You love them.  Please help me to be an instrument of Your peace.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Gracious Seasoning

Hello, friends.  How has your week been?  I think some places feel a little more normal, some are still facing various limitations.  Based on the advice of a friend, I am trying to get back to normal as much as I can.  Restrictions are being lifted and let’s face it – I still need groceries (and now home improvement stores are becoming a need). 

We are still facing heightened emotions based on all the things we hear and read as well as what we are living through.  Friends who claim to know and serve Christ – we have a job to do no matter what. We need to make wise use of our time and be gracious in our speech.  Right now, it is hard.  We are being hit in areas of our lives that we are not used to.  This scares us.  Fear can push us towards ungracious words and behavior.  We need to keep praying for wisdom and grace to navigate our circumstances in a way that honors the One Who has given us eternal life.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please help me to navigate my current circumstances with wisdom and grace.  I want others to see Who You truly are.  We need the truth to prevail.  Please help me to encourage truth and not get in the way with foolish, ungracious speech.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Easter 2020

As we get ready for an unusual Easter of watching church from home, we need to remember the love of Christ.  Jesus died a horrible death on the cross to save us from our sin.  Our sin – not His wrong, not His mistake, not His issues – ours.  When we place our trust in Jesus to save us from our sin, His love compels us to live for Him.  When we understand the magnitude of Christ’s gift, that compulsion seems so small in comparison.

I pray you know the love of Christ.  If you have not placed your trust in Jesus Christ to save you from sin, then you do not know His love.  I encourage you to seek and find His love.  You won’t regret it.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins.  Thank You that Jesus’ death was enough to save anyone who asks.  I pray that those who do not know You would learn about You this unusual Easter.  Please help me to share the truth of Who You are at all times.  You have done so much for me.  I want to do more for You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Cheer for the Soul

When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalm 94:19 ESV

Let’s face it – this week was rough.  The media often sensationalizes the truth – no matter how big or small it is.  COVID-19 is the news story for right now.  As usual there are numerous opinions – and few agree.  No matter where you stand on the issue – no matter your vantage point, I think you’ll find that mass hysteria and overwhelming fear don’t help anything.  If you study emotions, you will find that emotions can take over our rational thinking.  That doesn’t mean we suppress our emotions; we just need to make sure they are in balance with the rational thinking God gave us.

We all have cares.  There were many things people faced before we heard about COVID-19.  This has added to some of those cares in different ways.  No matter what your cares are, God has comfort and help available.  The best thing to do with any care is to take it to God first and ask for His help.  Then as we are able, we can share those cares with others who can help us.  I have been blessed with a church family that I can pray and share with.  If you don’t have one, I would encourage you to look.  There are many good churches and many resources available to help you cling to Christ.  We need one another.

Dear Heavenly Father, we have so many burdens weighing us down right now.  It feels like the world is in a shamble with the varied effects of this virus.  We know You are ultimately in control and have a plan for us.  Please help us as we wait on You.  Thank You for all You have done and all You will do.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Repetition is the Key to Learning

When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher told us that repetition was the key to learning. Then she proceeded to have us say that numerous times. I have learned the benefit of repetition to learning anything.

God teaches us with repetition in His Word. In Jesus’ Example Prayer, He starts with “Your kingdom come” and then continues with “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Both statements remind us that we need to submit to God’s way instead of trying to live our own.

God loves us so much, that He is willing to repeat over and over again to remind us of what we need.

God is so good.

Whose Kingdom

As we think about Jesus’ Example Prayer, we should also look at Jesus’ life. Jesus is God the Son. He is equal with God the Father, but chose to submit Himself to carry out His Father’s will. Jesus is worthy of worship. We are not. Why do we think that our own will should be put before God’s? Yet how often do we put our kingdom first?

Friends, keep talking to God. He will show us how we need to live. He will make His way known as we seek Him. His way is worth it.