Complete and Total Trust

This last week I have been fighting a different battle.  The company that manages my employer’s disability policy does not have the information they want to process my claim.  I have been confused and felt hassled trying to be the go-between to get this situation resolved.  I have needed the reminder to pray and trust the Lord completely.  God has this situation in hand, just as He had my surgery and recovery taken care of.

Life is full of various challenges.  God has the ability to take care of us through anything He allows in our lives.  I need to rely completely and totally on God to be able to make it through those situations.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing secure footing when I rely completely on You.  Please help me when I struggle to trust You completely.  I know You are trustworthy. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

All Sufficiency

God’s grace is an amazing gift.  2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us that God’s grace gives us all sufficiency…in all things…at all times.  All is a big concept in a little word.  All or nothing is rarely true – it IS true when talking about God.  Only God can be that consistent. 

When times are tough it can feel like we don’t have enough.  Worry and fear set in and we don’t respond well or do well in trials.  I want to live this verse especially in the next week as I have pre-op appointments and surgery.  There will be plenty of challenges, but my God is bigger than the challenges and my fervent prayer is that God’s name will be glorified through my life. 

Dear Heavenly Father, please show Yourself strong in the upcoming week.  I want to see and show others that Your grace will give all sufficiency in all things at all times.  I know You will as I give my circumstances to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Taking a Break

This week I hit the proverbial brick wall.  I had been to several appointments in 2 ½ weeks and while I had the blessings of many nice people, I think I just reached the point of exhaustion.  There was so much push to start with I felt I had to make a decision and get going.  While I don’t like crashing, it pushed me to seek a second opinion.  I will be heading to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in about 2 weeks.  I like their integrated approach including working with the patient to help them understand and feel comfortable with the decisions being made.

While it is important to work through medical issues without delay, it is nice to have a break.  Taking time to rest is important.  We tend to hurry through life, and it can take its toll.  I will thoroughly enjoy no appointments for a time.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a short time of rest from medical appointments.  Thank You for the encouragement from the staff at CTCA.  They have been a blessing.  Please help me to cling to You and show You to others as I face this journey.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Do the Next Thing

1. From an old English parsonage, down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message for me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
It has, seems to me, God’s teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring,
Like a low inspiration: “DO THE NEXT THING.”

2. Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt has its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus. DO THE NEXT THING.

3. Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing Christ’s hand
Who placed it before you with earnest command,
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings. DO THE NEXT THING.

4. Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, let this be your demeanor.
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
Let the light of Christ’s countenance be your psalm.
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing!
Then, as He commands you, DO THE NEXT THING.

Author Unknown

This poem was popularized by Elizabeth Elliot.  It is loaded with truth.  There are difficulties in life.  We will not be 100% free from them while we live.  God has given us tools to keep moving forward.  He has given us His word and other believers to help us along the way.  All we need to do is cling to Him and “do the next thing”.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing a way to do the next thing.  I ask for Your help as many of us are weary and don’t feel as though we can continue.  Please give us strength and help us to honor You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Faith Over Fear

We continue to see negative circumstances dramatized before our eyes in the news, on social media – seemingly everywhere we look.  I was struck by a statement from a minister from California.

“Fear always attracts the information needed to legitimize its existence.” 

Bill Johnson

Fear is a powerful emotion.  If we don’t keep fear in check, we will see through the cloudy lens of that emotion.  Too often we let biases and emotions take over and we don’t view our circumstances through the lens of the truth of Scripture.  In crazy times like ours, we need to cling to truth.  We need the grace and wisdom of God to guide us through the bombardment of information and opinions.

There are scary things going on.  However, God promises to take care of us.  We are more important than birds and flowers, but God takes care of all of us.  Matthew 6 reminds us of that. So, friend, don’t worry about tomorrow.  Allow God’s grace and wisdom to guide your thoughts and decisions each day.

Dear Heavenly Father, we struggle with fear.  Please shape our thoughts according to Your truth. Thank You for caring for even the birds and flowers as well as us.

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.

Do You Have Cabin Fever, Too?

I don’t know about you, but this has been another tough week living through the effects of this new virus. Working from home hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped.  I’m an introvert – this should be my dream.  There are some fun pieces of working from home, but spending the entire week at home is more than I like.

As I have fought to navigate the barrage of information, media sensationalizing (and negativity), stay at home orders, etc. I have found it difficult to know what to pray. I have my opinions on the situation – my viewpoints based on a lot of things.  And, no, I will not post them here. I will, however, seek to challenge everyone’s thinking.

Before you decide that your research has given you the correct data and interpretation of that data, please know – a small detail can change your understanding.  Before you think you have looked at it from all angles – know that there could still be a perspective you haven’t thought of – or another detail you don’t have.  That is why situations like this are so difficult.  No one has the perfect answer.  I have appreciated commentary that admits we didn’t know much about this virus to start with and we needed to learn.  One doctor said that is why they “practice” medicine – they are still learning.  So how do we navigate these sticky situations? 

Keep silent? Sometimes we should.  Listening is a great way to learn and show respect.

Speak up?  Sometimes we should.  When we fumble through the huge amounts of information (including misinformation) we will make mistakes.  We occasionally need to hear a different view.  Maybe we can give that view to someone else.

How do we know what to do?  The book of Proverbs gives great wisdom.  Today’s verse reminds me to give myself and all I do to God and He will direct me.  That includes how I navigate tricky situations like this one.

Dear Heavenly Father, I have many times prayed that I would be an effective tool to serve You.   I need Your help to navigate the difficulties.  I want to be used for the best purpose possible – to further Your work.  I commit my life to You.  I am Yours anyway.  Please help me to navigate this situation in a way that honors You and shows others Who You truly are.

I pray this is Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Gentle Wisdom for Tumultuous Times

As I tried to figure out what to write for today – another day in the life of COVID-19 changing our lives – I went back to verses I have put on pictures and found this one.  We need to seek wisdom to navigate the changes this virus has brought.  We should pray for wisdom for those making decisions.  We should evaluate the wisdom (or lack thereof) in the “news” that we hear.  None of us will figure everything out.  Only God knows everything – everything that has happened, will happen, or even could have happened.  We can’t even keep track of everything that has happened. Our finite minds and intellect have limitations.

The people that I have appreciated the most – the stories that I have followed are from those who look at the facts and seek to interpret them with a calm and gentle spirit.  Pandemonium doesn’t help our situation.   Gentle wisdom is provided by a God Who cares enough to allow trials to mold and shape us.  Read the book of James.

As you go along whichever path God has you walking, don’t forget to seek “the gentleness that wisdom brings.”  You’ll find blessing even on the roughest parts of the road.

Dear Heavenly Father, please give the wisdom You have promised.  Please help our hearts to be open to the true wisdom that only comes from You. Thank You for all You have done and all You will continue to do in our lives.

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.