Feast or Famine

I think as Americans we are used to having so much we don’t understand what “the riches of His grace” being lavished on us means.  There are times when according to our definition, we go through famine.  Material wise that might be true.  This passage tells us of the lavish grace that gives us forgiveness.  I wonder if we realize how big God’s forgiveness is.  He doesn’t owe us forgiveness, but He gives freely and generously – a feast. 

I am so thankful for God’s generosity.  I will receive His forgiveness every time I ask (1 John 1:9).

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for lavishing forgiveness on those You have chosen. I am comforted by Your generosity.  Please help me to keep the proper perspective on Your generous forgiveness.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

It’s NOT About Me

Ephesians 1 tells us of wonderful gifts that God has given to those he has chosen.  I think we sometimes become selfish as a result of these gifts.  The point of the gifts is to point back to our precious Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to use the gifts You have given to point others to You.  May You be honored because of Your glorious grace. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Chosen for Adoption

The first blessing we see in Ephesians 1 is that of being chosen for adoption.  Looking at the culture in Israel during Bible times adoption is a great honor.  The first-born son would inherit everything.  God adopts us as first-born sons.  I’m not sure how well it translates into the American culture that I know so well.  In Bible culture this was a very high honor.  I want to allow that concept to warm my heart living in what is often a cold, dark (sin-cursed) world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me to be an adopted child.  Thank You for the beauty of Your love.  Please help me to share this with those who know You chose them as well as those who have not learned of this wonderful gift.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Happy 2023

Hello Friends, welcome to 2023 (tomorrow).  Each year I pick a theme for my blog.  2022 was wisdom/fear of God.  I spent much of the year in Proverbs.  For 2023 I want to focus on a Biblical self-image.  We live in a society that has an “it’s all about me” attitude.   We have added pressure on ourselves to measure up to an impossible and very selfish standard.  The Bible is the only place for us to gain freedom from this prison.

Most of my audience are people who claim a relationship with God based on the gospel (good news) of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.  We need to make sure our life focus is based in the Bible.  I hope to help with that in my weekly posts.

Dear Heavenly Father, please guide me to share the truth of who we are in Christ.  Please let my words direct people to You.  Thank You for all You will do in the coming year.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wisdom, Hope, and Power          

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might 20 that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:17-20

I was pleasantly surprised when I found a New Testament passage that spoke of wisdom and referred to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Just in time for Easter.  I am thankful for the way God brings passages from His Word for encouragement and help.  These verses were a part of the Wednesday night Bible study I attend.  I knew this would fit my blog for the day before Easter.

Here is my shortened version of Ephesians 1:17-20:
Wisdom comes from knowing God.  Those of us who have trusted in Christ have hope.  God’s power works in us – the same power that raised Christ from the dead.

Wow.

God is so good.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the filled treasure chest of thought in this passage.  Thank You for providing wisdom, hope, and power for those who call on You.  Thank You for Christ dying on the cross to save those who trust in Him.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Straight or Crooked Paths

I have found myself being very nostalgic recently.  It has been a year since I received a diagnosis of DCIS.  Those were hard days.  I had decisions to make while feeling overwhelmed. This next week marks one year since I crashed after getting my first opinion.  While I am not a fan of crashing (I have done it more times than I like to admit), I am so glad that I got a second opinion.  I felt so much better about my decision after the calm atmosphere at CTCA in Zion, IL.  I greatly appreciate the expert care I received there.

God allowed what I would consider a crooked and rocky path last year to show me how He can make my paths straight.  I had to pray my way through repetitious thoughts of “I don’t want to deal with this”.   By God’s grace, He kept showing His love time and again as He led me through the situation. I am so glad this part of my story is past.  While I will always have some of the difficult memories and I bear the scar of surgery, I do not want to feel sorry for any of it.  God gave so much grace.  I continue to pray that God’s hand is visible in my life.  Whatever path God leads me to walk in the future.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making my paths straight through tough times.  Thank You that I can lean on You.  Please help me to continue to submit to Your plans.  I want others to see Your hand in my life.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Being Renewed While Wasting Away

Today was the funeral of my uncle who passed away about a week ago.  His life was one of physical difficulty.  I heard from his pastor that my uncle had recently shared Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”  My uncle suffered from the physical problems.  However, he rejoiced that God taught him Biblical truth.  He passed that truth on to his children.  I am watching my cousins working on passing on that truth to their children. What a beautiful legacy.

I do not want to diminish the harsh reality of physical suffering.  I can assure you; I struggle counting my own trials joy.  However, I have seen God use various difficulties to help His people grow.  Growing spiritually is a worthwhile pursuit.

Dear Heavenly Father, please comfort my family as they grieve.  I ask that You wrap Your loving arms around them to remind how much You love them.  Thank You for the spiritual growth You send through trials. Please help us to cling to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Tough Days

This week has been hard on my dad’s side of the family.  Yesterday morning, God chose to take one of my uncles home to glory.  This uncle had many health issues so while the family is grieving, we are thankful that he is no longer suffering.

The Bible tells us we will have difficulties in this life.  Each of us will suffer in different ways.  While I still struggle with the suffering piece of life, I can take comfort in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world.  When Jesus came to earth, His whole purpose was to die on a cross for us.  He came to pay the penalty for our sins.  Jesus overcame death and dying.  Those of us who place our trust in Jesus have hope for an eternal future.  I know that my uncle is rejoicing and whole. 

As you face the tough days in your life, know that you can have hope if you place your trust in Jesus.  He has overcome the world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus’ overcame the world.  Please help me to share the hope that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Running to God in Faith

I grieve that so many in the world do not know about God or have a twisted view of who He really is.  Having the opportunity to please God through drawing near Him in faith is a great reward.  I have battled a difficult year.  Surgery in April and a year of supply chain issues {big effect on my job) is not something I would choose.  However, God has a plan for my life that includes drawing me closer to Him.  I can fight His plan or run to Him.  I can assure you, running to God is so much better than fighting against His way.

Dear Heavenly Father, when life is tough my first response is to run away.  I struggle when things are hard, but I know Your grace is strong enough to bring me through tough times.  Thank You for providing a way for me to draw near to You.  Thank You that You want me to draw close to You.  I am in awe of Your love.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Praise for Daily Help

I survived another week working smack dab in the middle of supply chain.  Things are still crazy due to the upheaval over the last year and a half.  And no, supply chain professionals aren’t going to fix it all.  When you look at many of the reasons behind the issues, we don’t have control over those things.  But I digress.

The reality, no matter the reasons, is that life is still tough.  I am so thankful that God is willing and able to hold me up throughout the challenges I face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing me through another challenging week.  I praise You for the salvation You have so freely given.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.