Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Comfort

Everything in Texas is bigger...including my hair! When I want it sleek, smooth, with a hint of curl at the ends, it becomes giant, it morphs, it gains volume and height approximately 12 seconds after I step out the back door into the humid, morning air. The same amount of time it takes my glasses to fog up, I can see one moment, the next I have the eyesight of Mr. Magoo.  (Another reason I prefer contacts!) I hope someone is old enough to remember Mr. Magoo.

At times our spiritual life is the same way, we ignore the Bible and or prayer for a day and think I will do it tomorrow. Before we know it tomorrow has morphed into a week,  two weeks, or maybe longer. As time passes, the gap between us and God becomes larger. Maybe the gap turns into a chasm because we are disappointed, hurt, and or angry. Life can be hard, many circumstances are not a walk through the tulips. Yet, if we trust Him, the hard times are bearable, He provides love, comfort, hope, mercy, and grace. 

If you find yourself treading water, in a valley, or deep in a pit; find time to be quiet. Listen to the Lord, pray, open your Bible. Our Heavenly Father is waiting for us, His hand is extended, we must reach out and place our hand in His.

The following are a few verses which bring much comfort to me from the ESV:

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

John 10:27-29

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

Psalm 106:1

Oh give thanks to the Lordfor he is good,  for his steadfast love endures forever!






Sunday, May 28, 2017

Summer Bible Study

Anne Graham Lotz is teaching The Daniel Prayer online this summer beginning June 11, 2017. The videos are free. There is still time to order the workbook. The details can be found on her Facebook page and her Blog.

I am looking forward to the study. I believe in prayer, I mean it when I pray, but I know my prayer life has been lackluster the last few weeks.

I don't want it to be lackluster, cold, or lukewarm, I think the study will reignite the fire in me. The ember will become a flame.

Let me know if you are interested in joining her study. We can form an online group.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer 2017

The unofficial start of summer is days away. I am behind on memorizing Bible verses for the year, I am behind on weight loss, I am behind on purging excess items from our home...Ugh!

I have clothes which are too big and many items we do not need I should have donated weeks ago. I need to pretend I am moving, it helps me be brutal with purging and galvanizes me into action, giving books to friends, donating clothes and items to charity, pitching what needs to be trashed. Maybe Saturday will be the day I box up clothes and books, toss expired makeup, make sure we don't have a growing collection of shopping bags, etc. Weird how too much stuff creeps into our house when we are not paying attention. It seems to pile up and affect our everyday life if we let it go too long.

In a spiritual sense, "stuff" can creep in and pile up as well. What may be lurking at our doors, waiting to enter if we are not paying attention?

In my case - to name a few things (in no particular order):

Procrastination - Doing the Bare Minimum
Being Ungrateful
Overscheduling
Being Stingy with My Time
Not Seeking God 1st
Time to Read Scripture or Pray but Not Both

You get the drift. We must be diligent and on guard. We must take the words from I Peter 5:8, seriously: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. John 10:10 tells us: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

When we let sin creep in, we are not living an abundant life, we are living a miserable life even if we don't acknowledge it. We must seek God 1st and abide in Him. John, Chapter 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Jesus tells us about the importance of abiding in Him:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."

Ladies, to live victoriously we must abide in Him and remain vigilant. God bless you and stay in the Word!












Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ups & Downs

Life as a caretaker certainly has its ups and downs, sometimes you feel as if you are on a kiddy ride, other times you feel as if you are on the world's largest roller coaster, your car reaches the top of an incline and you are about to plummet straight down for a few hundred feet before you reach a loop and are hanging upside down. Ultimately, the track levels and you climb out of your car, ride over. As a caretaker, there are times it seems as if the ride will never end.

Thankfully as we experience bumps in the road of life which continues to change, the Lord never changes. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is faithful, His grace and mercy are new each day and more than sufficient.

Late last week, I lost my focus on Him, as a result, my thoughts were anything but godly at times and I spoke rudely to the AT&T man who upgraded my mother's modem and switched the service from cable TV to satellite and then told her to drop off her old equipment at a UPS Store to ship it back to AT&T, if she didn't, AT&T would continue to charge her for it. I did not yell at him, I told him I realized it was not his policy, but let him know in my opinion that was a stupid policy and a waste of customers' time (My opinion was a waste of his time.). My thoughts became more intense as the afternoon wore on, I complained about it to a friend and my husband, and before you knew it, my mood was shot until the next day. Over a cup of coffee, I thought woman, you need to repent and pray which I did.

So the desire of my heart is to stay focused on Him, in prayer, in the Word, and in worship this week. If my roller coaster car plummets down a steep incline so be it, He is with me.

The following Scriptures are a soothing balm to my weary mind:

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”





Saturday, April 1, 2017

Distracted

I seem to be in a season of distraction. For several days, I've been distracted, pulled away from what I started and need to finish. Some of it cannot be helped. I can coexist with it when my attention is diverted from mopping, however, when I do not know what I read 30 seconds ago in a Bible passage because simultaneously the dogs are barking, the phone is ringing, someone is knocking on my door hawking windows and siding, I cannot coexist with distraction.

What can I do to alleviate the problem? Rise from my bed early whether I feel like it or not? Turn off the phone for 30 minutes to an hour? Become a hermit or would that be a hermette? The obvious solution is to get out of bed earlier, drink my coffee, spend time in the Word and in prayer. (Though the hermit idea has merit.) Quiet, peaceful time, the only noise is as the time draws to a close, the birds are chirping as they begin their day.

I almost forgot, today is April 1, it is time for another SSMT verse, I chose Psalm 73: 28 (ESV)

But for me it is good to be near God, I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

So as we go about our Saturdays, I will make an effort to close the door on distractions, dwell in God's presence and peace. I will remember Paul's words:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Let us remain in prayer for people, ourselves, and situations in our own backyard as well as around the world. Discern what is important and what is a distraction...Keeping our focus on the Lord.