Sunday, May 31, 2020

Troublesome Times

The coronavirus pandemic. Isolation. Shifting of roles. Loss of routines. Suffering of all sorts. Dying—in its various forms. Rioting. Earthquakes and other disasters. Wars. Heartbreak. Desperation....

As I reflected on such things, I recalled these words contained in an old song: “Troublesome times are here, causing men’s hearts to fear.” R. E. Winsett was right when he wrote them in the 1940s. They remain true today.

Troublesome times ARE here—and have been for centuries. Oh, how sin has marred everything. If my heart is grieved, and it surely is, then God’s heart is grieved even more as He sees what is happening to the people and to the world He created.

Even though people have fallen so far from what God wants them to be, He still loves them. He is still forgiving and gracious toward even the most evil one among us. He still yearns for each of us to repent—to turn from our sins and turn to Him, as did the prodigal son who came to his senses and chose to return to the father who loved him. (See Luke 15.)

Troublesome times can and should lead us to turn to our God, to confess our sins and our shortcomings, to ask Him to forgive us and to restore what sin has stolen from us. Once we’re in right relationship with our God, then let’s ask Him to show us what we—each of us—can do to help ourselves and others recover from the troublesome times.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Always in HIS Care

One afternoon I stepped outside to take a look around. I saw beauty everywhere. A male cardinal sat on a leafy bough. An Eastern Phoebe perched on the limb of a crepe myrtle. Bright red cactus blooms, some as wide as a saucer, cascaded from the huge hanging basket on the front porch.
Peach colored daylilies and buds galore caught my eye as I strolled along the sidewalk. Purple and white irises looked so lovely against a backdrop of hydrangea leaves.

As I happily photographed such beauty, I reminded myself (again!) that the Creator God who designed and sustains everything is the One who is in charge of me, too. Why, then, do I worry? 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Sweet Memories

As I’m writing this, it’s Mother’s Day 2020, and there’s a lump in my throat. Although this is my 10th Mother’s Day without my sweet Mama and my 5th year without my sweet mother-in-law who was like a mother to me, I still miss them. Remembering them is bittersweet. Gratitude fills me as I look at photos of their dear faces and reflect on the things I learned from them and the kind things they did for me. And remembering the sweetness of their constant love causes me to miss them all the more.

That’s why the 7th verse in the 10th chapter of Proverbs attracted my attention. I’ve written about it before (see my blog post dated March 5, 2015), but I’m sharing the verse again since I so agree with the truth it expresses. The memories of these dear ones continue to bless me even now as their influence lingers on.

Perhaps you, too, have sweet memories of people who were precious to you. If so, then I know you’ll agree, as I do, with these words written centuries ago:

Sunday, May 3, 2020


When the trail ran cold, I wondered, What happened to her? 

I'd discovered her while searching YouTube for what has quickly become one of my favorite songs: O to Be Like Thee. I'd listened to several renditions, including this one, before I found hers..I liked how her sweet and sincere voice expressed so beautifully the "prayer" written by Thomas O. Chisholm (1897). 

After finding only three more of her videos on YouTube, I searched other Internet sites but found no recent posts. I wondered, Why did she stop producing and posting? Had something tragic happened? Did she simply give up? If so, why? Because she assumed few people truly enjoyed and/or benefitted from her work? 

I've felt that way about my work, as you may have about yours. If so, we know how much we need people to say to us what the apostle Paul said to Timothy, a young Christian who was struggling with the ministry assigned to him. "...use the gift God gave you...let it grow, as a small flame grows into a fire...fulfill your ministry...keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant..." (See various translations of 2 Timothy 1:6 and 4:5).

Since we need such encouragement, let's faithfully encourage others. Our words will rekindle their resolve and, possibly, prevent them from giving up!