Friday, December 2, 2016

For Those Who Grieve

November 7, 2016

Days of difficulty and distress, in life’s darkest times, when God is silent – how do we navigate our life and emotions when we are grieving the loss of loved one, friend, or suffering from a family fracture?  What about a move that displaces us from family and friends?  How do we deal with all the stuff that steals our joy?  What can we do to get through the times of depression, despair, and sadness that sometimes clouds over our whole being? 

There is no timeline for grief.  After the untimely death of our 17 year old son, Johnny, from lymphoblastic lymphoma cancer in 1990, we became all too familiar with grief.  Only later did we discover that grief is a miraculous gift that is given to us by God to help us to heal the pain . . . if we allow it.  Grief always works. Grief always heals.   It had been over a year after Johnny’s home-going, that a dear friend said, ‘You can’t hurry the healing.  You are right where you are supposed to be.’  It was a relief to know that we weren’t stuck in grief but that we were in process of being healed.  We still are.  We are a lot further along now, but we won’t be completely free of grief until we see our beloved son again in heaven. 
What we can do:
* Honor your own loss.  Take the time to remember, reflect, and miss them.  Our youngest son Ben at the time of his brother’s passing was 8 years old.  He was worried we would forget Johnny.   We made a collage of photos and put pictures in albums that we had long neglected.  We hung them up in the hallway where we see them everyday.
* Don’t Judge.  Other people’s feelings are not your business.  Everyone grieves differently; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve.  It does not always play out in orderly, predictable stages.  Try not to take outbursts personally or try to force someone to open up.   We grieve because we love.
*  Strengthen yourself in Lord.  We can strengthen ourselves in the Lord by fixing our thoughts on Jesus, being anchored in God’s Word and promises; knowing that as we hope in God, we can experience His joy on the other side of suffering. 

Lamentations 3:20-25 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”


Romans 8:26-27 In the same way the Spirit helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  

When we are feeling weak or tired in waiting for God - His Holy Spirit is right there helping us.  If we don't know how to pray about something, it doesn't matter.  He prays for us!  He makes prayer out of the depths of our being in groans and sighs.  He knows us much better than we know ourselves.  He knows our hearts and prays for us and keeps us in God's presence and will, as we commit ourselves to love and obey Him.

I am unshackled!  Free from sin!  Free from the law!  Free in Jesus!  No longer am I shackled to sin!  No longer am I trying in my own strength to live under the fine print of the law!  No longer am I bound to generational curses and sins!  I am free to live a new life!  I have freedom in Christ!  The Holy Spirit helps me and prays for me as I set myself to follow after God.  I will pray in the Spirit and groan and sigh when I have no words - knowing my prayers are heard.

O Father!  Thank You for freedom in Christ!  You will never give up on me!  In Jesus Name, A-men.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Obey God & Be Happy!

Jeremiah 42:1-7, 43:1-2
1 Then all the commanders of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people both small and great approached 2 and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please let our petition come before you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, that is for all this remnant; because we are left but a few out of many, as your own eyes now see us, 3 that the LORD your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do.” 4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard you. Behold, I am going to pray to the LORD your God in accordance with your words; and I will tell you the whole message which the LORD will answer you. I will not keep back a word from you.” 5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with the whole message with which the LORD your God will send you to us. 6 “Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of the LORD our God.” 7 Now at the end of ten days the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah.  43:1  But as soon as Jeremiah, whom the LORD their God had sent, had finished telling all the people all the words of the LORD their God--that is, all these words—2 Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You are not to enter Egypt to reside there.’

The commanders asked Jeremiah for a ‘word’ from the Lord.  They said they would listen and obey to whatever God said to Jeremiah.  They preferred, however, to do what they had already made up their minds to do - and even called Jeremiah a liar when he told them what God said.  They were set on going to Egypt.  They decided for themselves what the word of the Lord was for them.  They were seeking God’s approval and affirmation but wanted their way, not God’s.  They would not listen to Jeremiah.  They asked for counsel, but never intended to follow it if it was contrary to what they wanted.  They were determined!  Ten days later, the word came.  Why the delay?  Perhaps to give them time to decide that they really would obey God or go their own way.  God gives us free will to decide – to choose to obey Him or not.

Choose to obey God always. Wait for God and His timing.  Allow God to sort out in my heart what my motives are and what might be best for me. His way leads to life and blessing,  I will obey God and be happy.


I see stubbornness and pride getting in the way of obedience.  Lord I pray that You deal with areas of my heart that should not have any reign or hold on me in regards to doing what You want me to do.  May my heart completely yield to Your will, Your way, always.  In Jesus Name, A-men.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Life Long Learner

Isaiah 50:4  The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue to know the word that sustains the weary.  He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

God's Word is true, and it will sustain and uphold those who are weary, heavy burdened, grieving, downtrodden, sad, remorseful, repentant, those needing strength to keep on going.  'A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.'  

When I read this verse this morning, my first thought was God hasn't given me a well instructed tongue.  Not me.  God gave me a tongue that stumbles over words, and tells the long way around stories.  I have to make myself get to the point.  Get to the bottom line.  
But this morning, God's Word spoke to my heart that He HAS given me words to speak that will help in times of trouble to those who are weary.  It is His Word that I can speak to encourage my friends, my family, the lonely, those who I come across as I walk through my day.  My teacher, my instructor is the Holy Spirit and He does all things well.  I can share what great things God has done for me, share a Bible verse, and encourage the weary with God inspired words.  
For the last 46 years I have a difficult time sleeping in past 6:00 am.  I'm a morning person, usually up around 4:30-5:30 without an alarm clock.  I love reading, and my favorite book is the Bible.  I read a lot of other books too, but a good day always begins with the Bible.  It's God who has been waking me up to spend time with Him, to learn of Him, to read all about Him - so I can share a well instructed Word to a friend.  Cool.

Thank You for Your Word that sustains the weary.  Fill my mouth with words of encouragement, hope, joy, peace, love, and build others up with the words You have taught me.  Awesome God, thank You for using someone like me to deliver Your message to others who need a lift.  I am a life long learner, an eager student, and a willing teacher all the days of my life.

Monday, July 11, 2016

God is With Us!

Isaiah 8:10-17  . . . God is with us.  For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”
Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Observation & Application
These readings in Isaiah sounds like present day happenings.  I'm hearing words like, conspiracy, fear, dread . . . but God says don't follow what the people are doing or saying!  Remember!  God is with us.  Fear God, honor and respect, and worship Him!  He is your hiding place, your sanctuary, your hope!  Stay your ground and read and study the Word.  Preserve the teachings of scripture!  Look to the Lord in times of trouble!

Father God, I trust in You.  My hope is in You.  Whom then, shall I fear?  You alone I look to, and I wait for You.  I honor You and give You all my heart devotion.  I worship and reverence Your Holy Name, the Name above all names.  I choose You to be my hiding place and I stand my ground with the help of Your Holy Spirit power, Your strength.  I will do what You ask or require, and what you speak to me.  I will keep the teachings in scripture; to study, read, search, learn, and obey, and share with others the truths in Your word.  In Jesus Name, for Your glory!  A-men.

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

God's Timing

2 Kings 8:1-6
Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years.
 At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to appeal to the king for her house and land. The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.” Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land.
Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” The king asked the woman about it, and she told him.
Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.'  

God's timing is always perfect!  Think about it!  The woman returns after 7 years to appeal to the King for her house and land.  Gehazi, Elisha's servant, just happens to be there with the King telling him about Elisha and the great things he has done.  Gehazi looks up and says, 'OMG, here she is!  This is the woman I was telling you about.  It's her son that was raised from the dead!'  
For the woman to be there right when Gehazi is with the king - is not a coincidence!  No, it is a marvel, a wonder, it is a divine appointment! 

Have faith!  God sees.  God hears.  God knows.  He has a plan and His timing is always perfect!  Be patient - don't take matters into your own hands.  Trust God for the outcome.  Wait for God!  Be looking for 'divine appointments' where God will show Himself strong in your life and He will remind you how much He loves you.

Father of time and space, Your ways are not my ways, I trust in You and I ask for the faith to believe and follow fully after You.  Open my eyes and my heart and make me aware of Your workings in my life.   In Jesus Name, A-men.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mothers Day - 'Let the little children come'

Matthew 19:13-14  Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray.  The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for such belongs to the Kingdom of Heaven."

Let the little children come to Jesus.   Do not keep them from Him.  Let them go and Jesus will lay hands of blessing on them.  The disciples thought they knew best by keeping the little ones from Jesus.  Were they too young, too noisy, too full of fun and chatter?  Is God just for 'grown ups'?  No of course not.  At what age then can the little children come?  Can a toddler, or infant?  What of the still born or babe who never takes a breath?  What of the aborted, miscarried, or untimely demise?  Who can hinder one from coming to Jesus?  No one.  
Jesus calls and the littles ones immediately hear His call to 'Come' and they joyfully go to Him.   

Because I love, trust, hope, and have faith in God - I let go and let the children be with Jesus.  I read this scripture verse this week and immediately thought of the grief and sorrow I have in my own heart over a recent loss.  Jesus reminds me, "Let the children come to me."  So I open my heart and open my hands once again and release to God, along with the hopes and dreams one has with the promise of new life, and say, 'good bye and farewell little one - I will hold you in heaven.'  

Thank You Lord.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord who gives life and blessing!  Blessed be the Name of the Lord who takes away! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!  A-men.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Precious Promises

Psalms 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.  Selah. 

Isaiah 46:4 even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.  I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

Psalm 71:18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you.  He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

These scriptures are reminders that it is God who is my salvation and who carries my burdens every day.  He promises from beginning to end He will be with me, carry and sustain me, and give me opportunities along the way to share what great things He has done for me to yet another generation.  Not just to my children and to my grandchildren, but to yet another generation - great grandchildren!  

Yes. Indeed!  I need not worry when it is God who is forever with me.  He will carry me through every difficulty, loss, disappointment, and barrier I face.  I trust Him. He is my salvation and has given me precious promises to hold onto.

May You O God be praised for all You have done in me and through me.  May You receive the glory due Your Majestic and Awesome Name!  Your promises NEVER fail.  Lord, thank You for the reassurance and promise You will carry me and sustain me.  Give me the words to speak and may Your will and purposes be accomplished as Your word is fulfilled.  In Jesus Name, A-men.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Ruth 1:20 – 21 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.   I went away full, and the Lord brought me back empty.”
Ruth 2:20 And Naomi said to her daughter in law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living and the dead!”  Naomi said, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers!”
Ruth 4:14-15 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!  He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter in law who loves you who is more to you than 7 sons, has given birth to him.  Obed, father of Jesse, father of David.

Naomi left full and came back empty – she thought!  She had a husband, two sons, two daughters in law, and had made a home, but then it was all gone.  Or was it?  Ruth clung to Naomi even after Naomi tried to send her back to her own people.  Ruth stayed.  God had a hope and a future through Ruth for both Naomi and Ruth and for Boaz!  Naomi didn’t realize that she was trying to send her ‘hope’ away – but Ruth clung to her.  “Your God will be my God . . . your people my people.”
How excited and full of hope Naomi became when she remembered that Boaz was a kinsman redeemer!  And he liked Ruth – a lot.  Naomi had a plan and instructed Ruth what to do – and eventually Boaz and Ruth were married!  They had a baby! A son.  And they all lived happily ever after. 

Hold onto hope!  God has a plan for me and He is faithful!  God will make a way!

You O Lord, are faithful O Mighty Redeemer!  May I cooperate with Your divine plan for my life and never send ‘hope’ away.  I will hope and trust in You, and rejoice and sing that my Redeemer lives!  In Jesus Name, A-men.

Sweet:  Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab.  Salmon, according to Jewish tradition was one of the two spies sent to Jericho who found shelter at the home of Rahab the harlot.  She hid the two spies from danger under the stalks of flax on her roof until it was safe for them to report back to Joshua.   
Read Joshua 2, Matthew 1:5