Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Trusting Him

I’m overwhelmed by sadness when I hear of the terrible things others are going through. I yearn to be able to “make it all better” for them, to ease their pain or—better yet—to make it all go away. But I can’t. However, I can pray for them, and I do.

As I prayed this morning, the Spirit of God reminded me of the words to an old song. He prompted me to share them online and to copy them and mail them to two persons I know personally who are struggling to survive the terrible things that have come upon them. I pray the words will remind them (and you and me!) of the way to experience peace every day, whether life is relatively pleasant or unbelievably difficult.

Read the words slowly, carefully, and thoughtfully. (I've included them below.) Sing them as you listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKQCFJBnXoU and/or https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=I7Mn9UPfC2E). Then do what the words say! Trust Jesus—every day and in every way for He loves us and will walk with us every step of the way through the difficulties.

Trusting Jesus (Edgar Page Stites, 1876)
Simply trusting every day,
Trusting thro’ a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly doth his Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While he leads I cannot fall;
Trusting Jesus that is all.

Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger, for him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting him while life shall last,
Trusting him till earth be past,
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Looking and Finding

A photographer (Mark Hemmings) I follow on Instagram suggests finding faces in nature. I’m having so much fun doing that. And I’m finding them all around. The “eyes” in the photo included in this post are side drains that run underneath a neighbor’s driveway. I’ve seen faces in clouds and in thumbnail-size blooms and in rusty spots and in several other places.

As I’ve looked for faces in unexpected places, I’ve been reminded that we can usually find whatever we’re looking for. This has made me even more committed to looking for—and expecting to find— the good, rather than the bad, in people and in situations. Both good and bad exist, but I’m determined to look hard to find the good and to be thrilled whenever and wherever I discover it! 

Would you like to do that, too?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Like Produces Like

We’ve been enjoying the produce my husband brings in from his small garden. He can count on his tomato plants to produce tomatoes, never peppers. His cucumber vines produce cucumbers, never tomatoes or herbs or green beans. Whatever kind of plant he plants, it bears exactly what it’s supposed to. No surprises. Ever. 

This principle applies to all living things. Lions give birth to lion cubs, not llamas. 

The Bible says that like produces like--not only in the natural world but also in the spiritual world. For example, the Spirit of God who indwells believers produces this kind of spiritual fruit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). People who do not have the Spirit manifest very different attitudes and actions. 

Does the Spirit of God live in you? To find out, take a look at your “fruit.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Lord, I Am Willing

Lord, I am willing
To receive what You give;
To lack what You withhold;
To relinquish what You take;
To suffer what You inflict;
To be what You require.

I found that powerful prayer (poem) in a book a friend gave me for my birthday. Its words remind me of this insightful statement (attributed to Amy Carmichael) that Elisabeth Elliot often shared on her Gateway to Joy radio program: In acceptance lieth peace.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday the 13th...

Friday the 13th—a day considered by many as a “bad luck day.” I prefer to think, as the psalmist did in Psalm 118:24, that this day, like all other days, is “a day that the LORD has made.” Therefore, I choose to rejoice and be glad in it even though I know not what will happen in the hours that remain in it. 

Although I can’t control much of what happens, I do get to choose my responses, as do you.

I choose, in advance, to thank God for the gift of this day.

I choose to thank Him for the gift of His presence with me—and He is with me (and with you!) at ALL times (Joshua 1:9), including Friday the 13th. 

I choose to thank Him for causing all things to work out for His glory and the good of His children (Romans 8:28). 

Is that what you choose, too?

A Time IS Coming...

"...for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice, and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."
(John 5:28-29, NIV)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Tale of Two Farmers

Note: A short fiction story inspired by a Bible verse I read recently. Enjoy. Please comment if you'd like to.

The sun was just coming up as two farmers (dearest friends and closest neighbors) were enjoying their daily early-morning phone call.

JOHN: Looks like a pretty day.

SAM: Yep. What are you gonna do today?

JOHN: I think I’ll clean out the gutters. Been a long time since I’ve done that. I also need to trim the shrubbery. Gotta keep the wife happy you know. And she has been after me for weeks to get some of this stuff done.

SAM: Changed your mind about planting your sugarcane today?

JOHN: Yeah. I just can’t convince myself to do it today. I’m gonna do some little jobs around here instead. Get them off my mind. Free me up to focus on the planting when I get around to it, probably tomorrow.

SAM: Better do it today; it’s supposed to rain for the next several days.

JOHN: Oh, I doubt it’ll rain. That weatherman is wrong about as often as he’s right.

He who works his land
will have abundant food,
but the one who chases fantasies
will have his fill of poverty.
~Proverbs 28:19, NIV

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Encounter

I wrote the poem below after reading the Bible passage (John 4) that tells about what happened centuries ago when Jesus came to a certain town. I urge you to read it for yourself and to believe, as the woman and the other villagers did.

I took this photo during a musical presentation at a local church.

Jesus came to my town one ordinary day
And really surprised me with what He had to say.
He told me who He was and all I’d ever done,
So I believed Him when He said He was God’s Son.

I told all my neighbors, “You need to meet Him, too!”
And we invited Him to stay a day or two.
As He spoke, we realized all He said was true.
Many believed in Him—way more than just a few.

The encounter with Jesus changed many a life,
Though the plain truth He spoke often cut like a knife.
I’m glad He spoke with me one ordinary day
And completely changed me with what He had to say.

Everyone can tell I’m truly a “happy girl”
Now that I know and love the Savior of the world.
To know Him is to love Him, and I surely do!
And there's more good news: He loves ME—and also YOU!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy Birthday, America!

Blessed is the nation 
whose God 
is the LORD; 
and the people 
whom he hath chosen 
for his own inheritance.
Psalm 33:12, KJV