Friday, July 21, 2017

The Beginning of Hope

When he came to his senses he said, “How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death?” So he got up and went to his father. Luke 15:17,20(a)

We all have problems and circumstances that may or may not be beyond our control. Yes, I admit when troubles come my way, I do not always focus on my Heavenly Father but try to work through the situation in my own strength. Like the son we read about in this parable I have been guilty of wasting my time and money and then feeling sorry for myself.. That is when I feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit, “I am here. Just trust me.”

I once read “the end of yourself is the beginning of hope.” The reason we so often keep hanging on to our hurts, still looking for the solution in our own strength and making little progress is because we haven't yet come to the end our ourselves. We are still trying to control the situation instead of getting out of God's way and letting Him work in us. If we find ourselves at the end of our rope, we should just tie a knot and hang on because that may be the place God wants us so He can strip our pride and accomplish what He wants to do in us and through us.

The prodigal son came to the end of himself when he realized the pigs he was caring for had more to eat than he did. It was then that he decided to go home to his father. Did his father turn him away?: No! He welcomed him back with open arms..That is what our Heavenly Father will do when we come to the ends of ourselves. He will run to meet us with outstretched arms. What a beautiful picture that is. I can just see it in my mind's eye. Can't you? What an awesome God we serve!

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Bloom Where You Are Planted

For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

The other day I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I had recently lost my job. We should have been able to make it and able to live comfortably on one income. However, we had recently been granted custody of three grandchildren, in addition to, one we have had for most of her life. I do love these children and will do anything to make sure they receive the love and care they need. I must admit that these extra mouths to feed and clothe did create some stress. To add to this stress, our “grown children” are always asking for financial assistance. I lost my job when I received custody of these children. Please don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about this switching of roles in my life but I did feel upset because of the shortage of money to provide the little extras every child wants.

Now my cupboard is bare. I have a mountain of laundry and the sink is full of dirty dishes. I admit I started feeling sorry for myself and started complaining about my life situation. “Lord, show me what I can do to provide what these children need. I love them and want only the best for them. But am I what they need?”

Suddenly a peace came over me and I heard a whisper in my heart. “Go for a walk.” I did not think I had heard right but I heard the voice again. “Go for a walk.” “But God, I have too much to do: I have dishes to wash, floors to sweep and mop and laundry to do. Besides, the kids will be home in a few hours tired and hungry.” “Go for a walk.” “Ok, Lord,” I said as I began putting on my walking shoes.

Wondering what I was supposed to learn, I started walking along a route I had taken before. Suddenly about halfway through my walk, I saw it. It was a beautiful flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk. It was the most beautiful flower I had ever seen. The petals were a beautiful yellow color and reminded me of a ray of sunshine. I looked around but did not see another flower like this anywhere. It was then that God began to teach me the lesson He wanted me to learn. “This is what I wanted you to see. That flower is growing in a hard place but it is growing where the seed fell. It has overcome obstacles like the hot sun beating down on it and people stepping on it. Yet it is still here because I have taken care of it. If I can take care of this flower, don’t you know that I will take care of you? I know you feel overwhelmed at tines and feel as though you are all alone. You are where I want you be at this point in your life. Those kids need you. You are the person I picked that will teach them about me. You are to be an example of my love and let them see me through your life. Don’t worry. Just put your trust in me. Whatever I ask of you, I will equip you. Remember, I do not call the qualified. I qualify the called.” Suddenly, a peace came over me and I knew I was fulfilling His plan for my life. I know that He will be with me and give me the wisdom and strength to accomplish what He wants me to do.

I went back home with reassurance that the dishes, the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning are important because I am doing God’s will by bringing up these children to know God and His love. Just like that flower in the sidewalk, God will watch over me and give me the strength to make it through each day. I know I am important in the lives of these children and they are learning about God through my love and care for them. I still get overwhelmed at times with everything that must be done but I know the work I am doing is the most important work that I can do. I can rest assured that what I am doing today will be passed on through these children and they will know God as their Father.

Today’s Whisper:

Do you get discouraged with your life’s work. Do you ever wonder why you are doing what you are doing? Write about how your life seems to be getting out of control and how a visit with God can set your life on the right track. Just like the flower, we must bloom where we are planted—whether it is as a stay at home mom or out in the work world.

Today’s Prayer:

Father, help me to remember that you are in control of my life and have placed me in the special life you want me to have. Don’t let me forget that you can take care of that flower growing in that hard place and you will always be there to take care of me. I love you and trust you with my life and know that you will bless me while I am doing your work. I know you have plans for my peace and happiness and I claim that promise.

Amen

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Touched By the Master’s Hand

The poor beggar sat by the rich man’s gate

Begging for crumbs that he might eat,

But the rich man showed no mercy

And had him thrown out into the street.

The blind man stared with unseeing eyes

As the people passed him by.

He knew that God had a purpose for him

So he did not question why.

But now the beggar can sit down to feast

And the blind man-- he can see.

For they have been touched by the master’s hand

And from pain they have been set free.

Once I, like the beggar hungered

And like the blind man, I could not see.

But the master reached down His loving hand

And saved a poor sinner like me

Friday, June 30, 2017

Truth or Consequences

The lip of truth shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.  Proverbs 12:19

We all fall for lies sometimes.  Let’s face it—truth is often boring; it’s much more exciting to think our neighbor is a “wanted fugitive” rather than to know the truth that he is just a hard-working father and coach for his kids’ little league team.

Lies can be more believable than the truth.  We can believe lies the politicians tell us or the smooth talking salesman that hooks us in their deception.  Too often we discover  the truth when it is too late.The politician is elected and his true agenda is then made known.  The wonderful car we bought from the salesman breaks down after we finalize the deal.  The man who promised a good job leaves and does not return to finish the job after the money changes hands.  We all learn the truth the hard way and chalk these deceptions up to experience.

I have come to the end of a long and painful battle trying to dispel lies told about me.  Although the lies were exposed and truth was finally reve4aled, more people chose to believe the lies and I am left to deal with the aftermath.  What hurts even more is the fact that two of my family members started these untruths.  I know God is holding me up and has promised He will never leave me to suffer alone.  I can rest assured that although these people continue to prosper and live their lives without obvious consequences, the consequences will eventually come.  It is up to God to deal with them.  I am so glad He is in control.

I Peter 5:8,9 tells us the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith.  We are not alone alone in our struggles.  God is there with us and He will make us strong.

Don’t let satan work his web of of deceit.  If we focus on God’s love and presence, He will give us peace that the “father of lies” cannot take away.

A lie travels around the world while truth is putting her boots on.  Jewish Proverb

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Never Give Up the Fight

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9

"I give up! I can't do this! It's too hard!" Nick slammed his math book shut. I stopped washing dishes and sat down beside him. After helping him for about 20 minutes he hugged me. "Now I understand and it is not as hard as I thought." He gathered up his books and prepared for school the next morning. I sent him to the shower before he went to bed.

After his shower and he had gone to bed, I sat down to relax a bit before I finished my nightly routine. I began to think about Nick and his homework. I realized that I too, want to give up and quit when success seems out of reach. Sometimes when I work on a goal and run into a brick wall I want to throw up my hands in despair. That is when I cry out to God, "Lord, this is too hard! I can't do it. You are asking too much from me." I often feel defeated before I start because I try to work in my own strength. Just when I feel overwhelmed with my endeavors, God speaks to my heart, "Child, I am here for you-- don't forget that you do not have to go alone in your own strength. I called you for a special purpose and I will go before you and equip you with all you need. Don't give up. You helped Nick with his homework and he knew you were there for him. I want you to know that I am here for you."

I would like to say that all my doubts were wiped away but I can't. Doubts still come and I still get overwhelmed at times. I would like to say that I never want to give up and reach every goal I attempt without fear. Again I can't say that. I still have doubts about my ability but when these doubts do rear their ugly heads, I remember I don't have to face them alone. I have a loving and caring Father who will always be with me to help me keep on keeping on.

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on one minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tides will change, Harriet Beecher Stowe

Don't Quit

Don't Quit no matter what!

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

When funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.

Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor's cup,

And he learned too late,

when the night slipped down

, How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are -

It may be near when it seems afar;

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -

It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit. -

by Author Unknown