Why Do I Love God’s Word?

Today as I looked at “You Have A Memory” on Facebook, a post from two years ago popped up on my screen. I had totally forgotten about the experience or that I had written about it. I have to say that it still holds true and even more so today. I hope it will be an encouragement to someone as I sense the Heavenly Father prompting me to share it once again!

June 2, 2014
Kevin said I should post this; it’s long but here goes…

What an interesting question that was posed today in the current Bible study I am doing! Why do you love God’s Word? It was followed by this proposal…consider a friend or acquaintance asked you this question because they did not understand your love for the Bible and you were too taken off guard to respond at the time. Now, you sit down to write a note or letter to explain. How would you explain? So here goes let’s give it a try…

Dear Friend,

I was taken aback a bit by your question today and needed a little time to process your inquiry because many emotions rose up within me at that moment. Too many to put into words immediately. God’s Word is life and health to me! Without it, I would not be the person I am… I probably would not be alive and certainly would not even resemble the person you know. His Word has been the source of strength to carry on in the darkest of days, when sorrow, grief, and loss were so very overwhelming that easily I could have crawled into a dark hole, given up and disappeared. It has brought comfort and peace in the most frightening of times; it has been my source of encouragement when all seemed lost, when I felt utterly alone; it has been a well of hope springing up in the driest of deserts; a balm to heal my heart when it has been wounded or too heartsick to even move. His Word has been freedom to a soul held captive by her circumstances, and it has flooded joy into a heart teaching me that joy is available even in the times where happiness is elusive and circumstances are challenging. When I have been wise, it has offered me the keys to navigate through every passage on this journey of life. When I have been foolish, He has drawn me back to it to shine light lovingly on the areas that could have been better navigated and teach me better ways for the future. Yes, it is life; strength; comfort; peace; encouragement; healing; freedom; joy; direction; and instruction. God’s Word also displays my Father’s character, shows the greatness of His love, and tells me who I am In Christ. In Him, we are called a friend; son or daughter; beloved; accepted; redeemed; justified; set apart; precious; blameless; chosen; and kings and priests…just to name a few. It contains everything needed to live a victorious life and to avoid the pitfalls life tends to throw our way. It is a precious gift and a much-needed tool for my life. Dear friend, I hope this at least in part answers your question and thank you! for challenging me with this question. It is beneficial to be challenged; to be able to put words to such profound emotions and beliefs and to bring to remembrance why we hold something or someone so dear and precious. It keeps it fresh to us and
prevents us from taking it for granted!
Grace and peace to you my friend!

Why Struggles?

     Over the past few days, I have been looking back at life. You see, my husband and I have been asked to be a part of a relationship conference this next weekend. It will consist of a brief testimony from five couples about marriage and then will be followed by a “rapid fire” question and answer period. The groups will be divided into unmarried, married under ten years, married over ten years. Then all the groups will reunite for an overview and more q&a.  We are blessed to have four couples with over 35 years experience participating!

     I have to say the secret to our longevity in marriage is most likely tenacity. That put plainly; stubbornness.  We are both stubborn people and come from stubborn people. We also started our marriage out with the mindset that this is forever. By beginning from the faith perspective and from a Biblical world view, that means our perspective was to make it work; fix what was broken.  Have we ever felt like quitting? Yes. Thankfully, when one was discouraged the other usually picked up the slack and we muddled our way through by prayer, God’s help and sometimes sheer determination. Has it always been easy? Not at all!  We really were just babies starting out; though we’d never admit it then.  I remember one couple in their sixties who were friends with our parents declaring, “they will never make it! It’s puppy love and they are too young to get married.” I wonder what they’d say today…

     I spent some time this weekend looking back at the things we have been through together.  I was amazed to see how quickly the challenges began in our marriage and how those struggles were clustered together; back to back, and sometimes year after year. Many were heavy duty challenges, not just the typical adjusting to life together or financial issues.  Those can be difficult enough. We experienced a number of deaths of loved ones close in succession; some following long term illness and some sudden.  It was  a little shocking to look back.  It was also pretty gratifiing at the same time seeing all that we have come through and how it changed each of us; how we grew through those times.

     The thing is, often it is those very struggles in life that cause us to grow, mature and strengthen.  They push us to do something other than just get by.  They force us to look for answers, to seek wisdom.  Hopefully they lead us to seek out God; His wisdom and understanding; and godly answers.  Even when that is not the case, we are able to learn what not to do the next time and what does not work.  As we grow and mature through these times, it puts us in the perfect place to help others who go through similar situations.

     “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV  

     I could’t help but feel a little overwhelmed and amazed as I glanced the highlights of the years.  Just the major events, both the good ones and the hard ones.  Would we have ever signed up for this if we’d known what was coming?  I really don’t know. I would hope so!  I have to say as good as the good has been and as hard as the hard has been; I wouldn’t change a thing! There are times we each wish we had done better or differently but the truth is it has all worked together for good to get both of us were we are today.  We are better for those struggles because they have changed us. They have stretched and matured us.  Fears are fewer; faith is stronger. Best of all, our Heavenly Father is so very real and present in our lives.  He is the true reason that we are here today!  If our stories can help others coming along behind us, all the better.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

     By His mercy and grace, we have and continue to hold fast in both our faith and in our marriage.  Love deepens with both the good times and the struggles we face when our hearts are set on Him! He is the unifier and the glue that holds this relationship together on the sunny days and on the stormy seas.

 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, 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 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.” Isaiah 43:1b-3a ESV

May God’s mercy, grace and peace surround you this day!

 

Revisiting, Yet Still Relevant

Today, as I scrolled through old drafts deleting them, I ran across a two year old draft that caught my attention. It stands as a reminder that some struggles just circle back around again and make you wonder…

Amazing how when God is trying to teach me something new in my life or reinforce a truth, He causes it to recur in many different and unique ways, at unusual times,  and from the most surprising sources!! This seems to also happen when I slip into an old behavior that should have been put to death but rises up because of some trigger from the past that is a catalyst for an old fear or insecurity. This morning I ran across a virtual leadership conference and listened in. The first session was on Living in Freedom and began with the scripture from Deuteronomy 2:31b- “Begin to possess it, that you may inherit his land.’  The first speaker noted that one of the biggest hindrances to living in freedom is fear of man; the opinions of other humans. Other freedom topics included others expectations, and personal struggles.  We are all at one time or another subjected to differences of opinion, to the expectation of another person, or to a personal struggle we don’t care to have to face.   I began to think of a recent conversation I had with a loved one struggling because of another’s expectation and the pain it was causing. The following questions arose:  Why is it difficult to live in the freedom that has been given us? Do we allow our insecurities and our fears to affect us too deeply? How is it that some people  feel so free to cross boundary lines and cause havoc within another’s property lines? Could it be the gradual decline in moral absolutes over the years that has caused us to think we don’t need anyone else? Why do some demand that we see life through their lenses but are not willing to try to see through ours?

After thinking about this, I have some ideas and thoughts. Bare in mind that these are merely my musings and I am quite sure that there are as many opinions on each of these as there are people on our planet. When our Creator created man, He desired relationship. Thien He created woman, because it was not good for man to be alone. Humans were created in the image of God and to be relational beings. The serpent  came along as a tool of Satan whose sole goal was dividing and conquering; seeking to destroy the relationship between God and man, and between man and his wife. This is where fear of punishment and bl.aming others entered. Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed Eve initially but ultimately blamed God because He had given Eve to  Adam. From then to now there has been blame shifting, denial, and decrease in personal responsibility when faced with the fear of facing the consequences of our mistakes or our rebellion. Perchance, could it result from the tunnel vision we sometimes get as we deal with life’s injustices and inequities and the pain and brokenness we suffer at our own hands and at the hands of others?

As I revisited the draft today, it brought back some of those old circumstances to mind-some resolved and some not. The truth is many times in the busyness of our lives we do not give healing a proper chance.   Instead of seeking resolution, restoration and wholeness In our times of brokenness and pain. sometimes we toss a small bandaid over the gaping wound. We try as best we can to move on and to forget about it. Usually some reminder comes up and when it does, the bandaid is ripped off exposing a wound that is un-healed and many times infected. When this happens, we can become so wrapped up in our freshly exposed pain that we can become the one who crosses those boundary lines and tramples on others. Our best option is to deal quickly and thoroughly with distructive issues and to keep short accounts so that as much as it depends on us we can walk in heath, wholeness, and peace.

Grace and peace to you!

Your Kingdom Come

     Today, while reading Revelation 5, the following scripture was the focus of my study:  “They were singing a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were killed, and at the cost of your own blood you have purchased for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation. You have appointed them as a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (‭Revelation‬ ‭5‬:‭9-10‬ NET)      Because I have been researching on our identity in Christ a lot lately, these two verses stood out among all the others. Why? In these two small verses we learn that Jesus’ obedience to His Father cost Him His life, which He willing laid down; His blood has purchased people from every nation, language and tribe; Jesus has appointed those people (His followers) as kings and priests to serve God; and lastly that His people will reign on earth.  We have been commissioned to represent Jesus on the earth by making disciples. (Matthew 28:19) What did this look like? When John the Baptist drew the people, he would call out repent and be baptized for the Kingdom of God is at hand. When Jesus began His ministry, that Kingdom, though not what the world has expected had come. (Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20 tell us this.)       Acts 10 tells us this about Jesus: “…37you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39“We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross”      Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and went around doing good. Full of the Holy Spirit, He walked in and by the Spirit. This tells us according to Galatians 5 that His life looked like this: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Then goes on to tell us:  “Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another. (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭22-26‬ NET)      Isaiah 53 tells us this about Jesus… “He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; He had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow Him. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭53‬:‭2‬ NET) I mention this to point out that it was not Christ’s looks that drew them to follow Him according to scripture. Based on Galatians; it was His personality as He submitted His life to the Holy Spirit and walked in the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus went about doing good; teaching; making disciples; healing; bringing deliverance; exemplifying the character of God by walking in the Spirit exuding love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control! He showed mercy, grace and compassion when interacting with people. Consider the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan and a woman. She came to the well in the heat of the day to avoid towns people because of their treatment. Jesus shows her kindness and compassion and strikes up a conversation; a Jewish man speaking to a Samaritan! A woman! How could this be? By the time the disciples were returning, He had confirmed her truthfulness of her lack of a husband and had lovingly pointed out her past. Why do I think it was done in love and compassion? She went back to her town, to people who disapproved of her, and she told them about Jesus and her encounter. They all came to see Jesus. Why would she do this unless it was the fruit of the Spirit is His life and in His conversation with her?  He responded a little differently with the religious leaders who knew God’s Word and taught it, yet did not observe it themselves He was less gentle and more to the point because they knew the Scriptures.      Jesus set the example of what the Kingdom of God looks like and entreated us to walk as He walked.  He set an example of being loving and compassionate with people gently teaching them and speaking the truth in love. This is why they followed Him!  Based on this, I am positive beyond a doubt His success was because He exemplified the fruit of the Spirit! There is absolutely no indication that Jesus used guilt, fear or shame, those are tactics of the enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) Jesus came to give life to us! Kingdom life. He came to purchase us for God, bring us into the Kingdom, empower us with the Holy Spirit and infuse us with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.      Can you just imagine what would happen if all His people choose to walk this way? It seems a little to hard to believe that we could but if we had a revelation of our true identity in Christ, who God says we truly are and walked in that, I believe we would live in a noticeably different world than the one we often see around us. Grace and peace to you! Blessings

Why Do I Love the Word?

What an interesting question that was posed today in the current Bible study I am doing! Why do you love God’s Word? It was followed with this proposal…consider a friend or acquaintance asked you this question because they did not understand your love for the Bible and you were too taken off guard to respond at the time. Now, you sit down to write a note or letter to explain… How would you explain? So here goes lets give it a try…

 

Dear Friend,

I was taken aback a bit by your question today and needed a little time to process

your inquiry because many emotions rose up within me at that moment. Too many to

put into words immediately.  God’s Word is life and health to me! Without it, I would

not be the person I am… I probably would not be alive and certainly would not even

resemble the person you know.  His Word has been the source of strength to carry on in

the darkest of days, when sorrow, grief and loss were so very overwhelming that easily I

could have crawled into a dark hole, given up and disappeared. It has brought comfort

and peace in the most frightening of times; it has been my source of encouragement

when all seemed lost and I felt totally alone; it has been a well of hope springing up in

the driest of deserts; a balm to heal my heart when it has been wounded or too heartsick

to even move. His Word has been freedom to a soul held captive by her circumstances

and it has flooded joy into a heart teaching me that joy is available even in the times

where happiness is elusive and circumstances are challenging. When I have been wise, it

has offered me the keys to navigate through every passage on this journey of life. When I

have been foolish, He has drawn me back to it to lovingly shine light on the areas that

could have been better navigated and teach me better ways for the future.  Yes, it is life;

strength; comfort; peace; encouragement; healing; freedom; joy; direction; and

instruction. God’s Word also displays my Father’s character, shows the greatness of His

love, and tells me who I am In Christ. In Him, we are called friend; son or daughter;

beloved; accepted; redeemed; justified; set apart; precious; blameless; chosen; and

kings and priests…just to name a few. It contains everything needed to live a victorious

life and to avoid the pitfalls life tends to throw our way. It is a precious gift and a much

needed tool for my life.  Dear friend, I hope this at least in part answers your question

and thank you! for challenging me with this question. It is good to be challenged; to be

able put words to such deeply felt emotions and beliefs and to bring to remembrance

why we hold something or someone so dear and precious. It keeps it fresh to us and

prevents us from taking it for granted!

 

Grace and peace to you my friend!

Days of Grace-Day 6

Have you met Hannah? If not, I am pleased to introduce you to her. Today, we will look at another woman spoken of in the Word of God, her name is Hannah. Hannah lives with her husband Elkanah from the hill country of Ephraim. They are mentioned beginning in First Samuel chapter one. One of the first things we learn is Hannah is not Elkanah’s only wife. To make life even more difficult for her, she shared her husband with another wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had been blessed with children; Hannah had none.

    Elkanah was a man of God, we know this because he made a yearly journey to worship and sacrifice to the Lord. When the time for sacrifice came he gave portions to Peninnah and her children, but to Hannah he would give a double portion because he loved Hannah. Hannah suffered greatly because of her inability to have children. If it were not enough, Peninnah made it a rivalry and did not miss a chance to remind Hannah of her lack of fruitfulness. In verse 8 we see Elkanah as he tries to comfort Hannah saying, ” “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad ? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” I am sure she appreciated her husband’s attempt at comfort, but Hannah wanted more than anything to give her husband children. She went up to the temple. Hannah bowed in prayer, weeping greatly in her cries to the Lord.  Eli, the priest saw her there and rebuked her thinking that she was drunk.  One would think that might have been the tipping point for Hannah. Here she is childless, broken-hearted, suffering taunting and provocation from her rival and now she was also misunderstood completely by the priest who thought she was crying uncontrollably because she was drunk. But no, Hannah answered Eli calmly, ”  “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit ; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD.  “Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.” 1 Samuel 1:15-16 Eli’s, response was, “Go in peace, may the Lord grant you your request.” Hannah, in verse 18 responded, “And she said , Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat , and her countenance was no more sad.”

The following day Elkanah and Hannah went early to bow and worship the Lord and began their journey home to Ramah. After a while, The Lord remembered Hannah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel because she “requested him from the Lord.” verse 20.  Not only did our friend Hannah find grace in Eli’s sight, she also found grace and compassion in God’s sight and He answered her prayer. In gratitude, she raised young Samuel, dedicated him to the Lord, and when he was weaned this young boy served the Lord in the temple alongside Eli the priest.  1 Samuel 2:21 goes on to tell us that God remembered Hannah, at least one translation says ‘was gracious to Hannah’ and she had another three sons and two daughters. As for Samuel, he was raised in the temple and called by God to be a prophet in Israel and later a judge over Israel. God heard Hannah’s cries and He had a plan greater than she could have ever imagined. We may not always understand when we go through difficult trying times or times of suffering.  This I do know looking back in hindsight on my life’s circumstances and at the stories we are seeing in this journey. There is always a greater plan and God among all His other attributes is a God of mercy and grace.

Grace and blessings to you!


Continue reading “Days of Grace-Day 6”

Days of Grace- Day 5

     Let’s look at a slightly different view of God’s grace, His grace shown through one of His own people. This particular example of grace comes on the heels of tragedy and much sorrow at a time when its recipients are feeling alone and burdened, perhaps even a bit forsaken. To begin, a little back story is in order.  Israel was in a time of famine, people were suffering. A man named  Elimelech decided it would be prudent to take his wife Naomi and his two sons into the land of Moab. While they were in Moab, Elimelech died. Naomi’s sons also each took for themselves a wife from among the people of Moab; their names were Orpah and Ruth. After about ten years, Naomi and her daughters-in-law suffered the death of her two sons. Naomi by this time had heard that conditions in her own homeland had improved, and being a widow in a strange land, she decided to return home was her best choice for survival. Naomi spoke to her daughters in love and encouraged them to  “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. “May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.” according to Ruth 1:8-9 (New American Standard). Both young women declined and opted to return with her to her homeland but as time came for their departure, only Ruth traveled with Naomi. Scripture tells us that at this point in the story, Naomi was feeling old, used up and feeling that the hand of God was against her. Ruth was dedicated to Naomi and very loving toward her. They began their trip back to Naomi’s homeland.

     Safely back in Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth settled in. Ruth asked permission from Naomi to glean wheat along the edges of a field so they would have food. It was the tradition of the day that the land owners would leave the edges of their field so that the poor could come and gather some of the harvest so their family would have some food. The field where she stopped belonged to Boaz who was a kinsman of Elimelech.  Interestingly, Boaz visited his fields that day and saw this young woman gleaning in the field, he first inquired about who she was from his servants. Next he spoke with Ruth letting her know she was safe in those fields and his servants would make sure she had water while she was working. He asked her not to glean in any other fields and left her to her work. When mealtime came, Boaz called her to eat with the others and when she returned to the fields they were instructed not to insult her and to intentionally drop some of their grain that she might find it.

     At one point, Ruth inquired of Boaz as to his great kindness and favor toward her because she was a stranger in the land. Boaz’s response is recorded in Ruth 2:1-12, “Boaz replied to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. “May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” Ruth had left everything familiar because of her devotion to her husband’s mother after his death. Not only  did she leave her land and family, she had been so touched by this family’s devotion to their God that she wanted to serve God just as they did. Boaz’s kindness and these words were confirmation that she had chosen wisely.

     This beautiful story doesn’t end here, it is just beginning. Boaz and Ruth marry and from that marriage comes a son named Obed. Obed has a son named Jessie, and Jessie has sons, the youngest named David who becomes the best known king of Israel. Grace continues to flow and be traced throughout the generations, even among tragedy and sorrow, grace continues and is found in the new life of Obed. Ruth 4:16-17 says, “Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi !” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Naomi, who had lost her husband and both sons now had a new start with this grand baby, the one who had previously said call me ‘bitter’ had hope, healing and joy through the grace of God shown to both her and her daughter through her kinsmen redeemer Boaz.

Making Room

Today’s Bible reading passage in the plan I am using is Isaiah 54, or at least I thought it was… until I looked later and found I jumped ahead a chapter. Perhaps I was subconsciously eager because it is one of my many favorites in Isaiah. It is right on the heels of another favorite, Isaiah 53 which is the prophecy of the coming Suffering Servant, Jesus Christ. There are great promises for Israel in this chapter, I personally believe there are lessons for the Christian also in these words and perhaps some of the promises apply to us as also. Based on Galatians 3: 13-14 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree ”) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:13, 14, 27-29 NET).

The first attention getter for me was verse two. It says to enlarge your tents, spread out the wall, stretch your boundaries. Then one translations says don’t hold back; another says spare no effort; and lastly another says spare no expense. It goes on to say lengthen your ropes and pound your steaks deep. Many commentaries agree that this refers to the time after Christ when the gospel would be shared with both Jews and Gentile. As I considered the passage this morning I felt impressed that it could also be very applicable in my life and the lives of others. Maybe for our day, it is saying make room for God and all that He desires to do in our lives. Make space for Him, for the assignment He has for our life, and for the blessings He wants to give us. Be diligent and prepare even when it may seem nothing is actually happening right now. Keep trusting God and being expectant of what He has planned for it will come to pass in His timing. His timing is always perfect and right on time. His plans for us are good, believe and trust He is for us!

Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame! Don’t be intimidated, for you will not be humiliated! You will forget about the shame you experienced in your youth; you will no longer remember the disgrace of your abandonment. (Isaiah 54:4 NET). Trials, troubles from the past that cause shame will no longer haunt you, they will be forgotten was my next big take away. We all have an experience or two in our lives that haunts us, one we want to forget. That is exactly why Jesus came (Isaiah 53 & 61:1-4) to bear our sickness, disease, sin and shame. Also He came to encourage the poor, heal the broken hearted, bring liberty to captives, freedom to prisoners, and relief and joy to those who mourn! We are neither limited nor do we have to be defined by our past, we can move past the things that shamed, intimidated, humiliated and held us back in the past!

Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says your compassionate Lord. (Isaiah 54:10 HCSB) Our Heavenly Father loves us and nothing can change that. Those In Christ have been given right standing with Him. His love is unwavering and His covenant of peace will not be shaken!

I also love verses thirteen and fourteen, that our children will be taught of The Lord and prosper and that we can live oppression free and far from terror. Followed up by: ‘No weapon forged to be used against you will succeed; you will refute everyone who tries to accuse you. This is what the Lord will do for his servants – I will vindicate them,” says the Lord’.(Isaiah 54:17 NET) I certainly am no theologian, just a simple follower of Jesus. One who, based on many experiences in my own life, has witnessed the goodness of God and His promises in even the toughest of times and the loss of some of the people dearest to me. I can attest to His great love, His mercy and grace in the hard places in life even in the times He seems absent or silent, He is there working, loving and watching over you. May you be blessed this day and may His goodness and mercy follow you!

Celebrating a Blessing

  Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me Bless His holy name!! For Lord, there is nothing too big for You! You never leave or forsake us and Your ways are always good!  You have a purpose and a plan, a reason for everything that You do and it is always for our good and for our best!

   This morning I awoke from an unusual dream. I am not sure why but in the context of the dream I was very anxious and alone standing near a doorway. A strong yet ethereal hand reached out and drew me toward and then through the doorway and I hesitantly took hold and followed. At the other end of that arm was what I presume to be my Savior… the presence of total and complete love, like no earthly love was all around and overwhelming. It was a place of perfect peace, joy and total well-being, like nothing I have ever experienced. This sense carried over into my waking moments.

    As I carried on my morning, within about an hour, I received a phone call from an Emory phone number. It was my doctor with the results of a CT scan I had yesterday. A little back story, in May my primary physician had me have a test to access my heart because my parents both died from sudden heart attacks at a fairly young age.  This test resulted in finding an aortic enlargement. The finding knocked the breath out of me; I knew instinctively that this was actually what is known as an aneurysm. I also, was very aware how dangerous and life threatening this condition could be and a specialist should be consulted. I did and had additional testing which lead to the repeat CT yesterday and this morning’s phone call.       

     In the meantime, we have been praying for healing and many have joined us!  Before I go any further in my story, I want to explain my thoughts on healing and the Healer. I believe in a Sovereign God, the Creator of all that exists. He is all-knowing, all-sufficient and again Sovereign. He knows best. I fully believe He heals and not always in the same way. Sometimes it is instant, other times progressive. I believe He uses doctors if He desires and in some cases, our healing may be to enter His presence and our heavenly reward if we are His children.  I don’t believe illness is His desire for us but a result of a fallen and broken world because when Jesus walked the earth, He went about healing all who were sick and oppressed.  He desire is for our wholeness: spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally!! He came to set us free and restore what was lost because of the entrance of sin into the earth and we have a choice to make, simply to accept what He offers or reject it. He sets before us life and death, blessing and cursing and asks us to choose life. (Isaiah 61-1-3)(Deuteronomy 13:19)           

     Today, my doctor is puzzled at the differences in the two scans. Based on his words to me, I doubt they normally see the decreasing of an enlarged aorta, but I am rejoicing. My CT results, according to the report, show the aorta at 3.8cm at its greatest dimension which he said was considered normal in some people.  I am standing on the belief that the Lord, Himself is healing this and that what began as a reading of 4.2cm has reduced to 3.8 and will continue until the artery is exactly the size it should be whether that is right as it is or a lesser measurement! I am so grateful for faithful prayer warriors who have lifted and continue to lift me up before the throne of Grace, for evidence of answered prayer and most of all to my faithful and gracious God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit; for the One who never leaves or forsakes us; goes before us; walks with us; and who is our rear guard!

     Would I feel the same had the news been different? I believe I would. Why? Because He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above and beyond all we can ask or imagine. Would I still believe in His goodness, absolutely! Why? Because He provides the availability of medical management of this problem and surgical repair options. Besides, as much as I love my family and friends and  as much as I enjoy living, loving, and serving in this life; I know Who holds my future  and life as we know it here on earth is but a shadow of the real life that awaits in His everlasting Kingdom!!