He is Good

As the sun rises each morning, I am reminded,

 God is good.

Every time I look at the faces of my grandchildren who start smiling when they are still super teeny, I am reminded,

 God is good.

My husband, Dave, and I are celebrating 41 years of marriage next week and I am reminded,

God is good.

My calendar is filled with good times and special moments with people I love and I am reminded,

    God is good.

I am completely confident in this truth –

   My God is good.

During the dedication of the Lord’s Temple in 1 Kings, we read that “The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord.  Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: 

    “He is good; his love endures forever.”  2 Chron. 5:13.

I smile when I think about how  my voice saying “God is good”  joins with an enormous crowd of people who have praised and loved God down through the ages.  When I say these words, I am joining with all believers through all of history.  I hear the angels praising God with us, filling the heavens with gratitude through all eternity.

These words were true back when King Solomon built the temple and they remain true today.  When I became absolutely convinced that God is good, peace filled my soul  The truth is, no matter how bad or crazy or painful things in my life or in your life look or feel, God is good.  Our circumstances do not change this fact.

   God is good; his love endures forever.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 27, 2022

LORD, you are the light of my life.  You have saved me – so I am not afraid.

You protect me from danger.  There is no reason for me to tremble.  When the Evil One and his team attack me, trying to tempt me and distract me, they will not win.  Your mighty army of angels surround me – I have nothing to fear.  Even when my path gets tough, my faith in you remains solid.

The one thing I desire most of all, LORD, is to spend my life with you, enjoying my time with you and listening to your voice.

You hold me close when trouble comes.  I can hold my head high even when trials come my way.

I praise you, LORD, with songs and shouts of joy!

I know you hear me, LORD.  You answer me, showing great mercy.  You say, “Come and talk with me”, and my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

I know that you never turn your back on me in anger – you are always ready to help me.  You never leave me or abandon me, O God of my Salvation!  When everyone else leaves me behind you are here, holding me close.

Teach me the right way to live my life, LORD. Lead me down the path you have prepared for me and do not let me wander. Help me avoid the pain and consequences of rebellion. Do not let me give into the temptation to act as the evil ones act.

I live with the confidence that each day you are walking beside me – loving and guiding me.

Thank you, Abba Father.

No Short-Cuts

I like to get answers to my questions quickly.  I don’t want to spend a bunch of time researching and trying to figure them out.

Who has the time for that?

Can you relate?

If some of the questions you have is “why don’t I hear God speak to me more often?” or “why can’t I ever hear God speak to me?”,  the answer is – it takes having a personal relationship with God to regularly hear him.  The closer I get to him, the louder and more clearly his voice becomes.

Yes, sometimes he will just speak out of the blue to someone who doesn’t even believe in him.  But, generally, getting our communication channels open with God takes time and effort.

We like to take short cuts by listening to the pastor for 20 minutes on Sunday morning so he can teach us something from God’s Word.  We like reading Christian books and devotionals where other Christians share what they heard from God.  Don’t get me wrong – this is good – I’m a Christian blogger, aren’t I?  The Holy Spirit can and does use all of these methods to reveal truth to us.

But I will never have a close personal relationship with God through someone else.  It’s got to be just him and me for many hours, many weeks, many months, many years.  If I really want to know and hear God, spending significant, serious time with him and obeying what I read and hear is the answer.

“God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.”  Psalm 53: 2.

He’s looking down right now.  What does he see?

Please help us seek you with all of our hearts, minds and souls, Abba Father.

Psalm 25, 2022

I trust you, God.

I know you will never let me down.  Everyone who trusts knows how faithful you are.  Those who don’t trust in you pay the consequences.

Help me know you better, dear God.  Direct my steps and guide me into a deeper understanding of your truth.  Teach me, Father.  All of my hope is in you, God, my Savior.

You have been merciful and loving since the beginning of time.  I have confessed my sins and I know you have forgiven me because my guilt has disappeared.

You love overwhelms me.  You are so good, LORD.

I feel you walking beside me as I go through my day, God.  When I listen, you teach me what is right.  You are loving and faithful to those of us who have put our trust in you.

Your grace covers all of my sin and rebellion.

In response to my respect and honor for you, you help me make the right choices in my life.  You give me good things and bless my children.

I need to hear your voice, Father.  Speak to me – I need you each day.

When my eyes are fixed on you, God, you help me avoid the danger and pitfalls that come my way.  I turn to you when I am alone and sad – you take away my worries and stress.  When the trials and problems of this world press in all around me, you are always beside me – loving me and giving me strength.

You are my Rock and Refuge, Father.  Guard my life and rescue me.  I trust in you alone.

I pray that all people everywhere will experience your mercy and strength, God.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 139, 2022

You know me well, LORD.

You know where I am and what I’m thinking about.  You know where I go and when I stay – you know all of my habits.   Before any words come out of my mouth, you know what I’m going to say.  You walk close beside me, with your hand guiding me.

I will never totally understand you – you are too awesome!

I know I am never alone – you are always with me.  Where ever I go – you are already there.  My life is in your hands.  You are constantly guiding me, protecting me and loving me.

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I feel alone and everything seems very dark.  But you are there –

you are always here.

Darkness is not dark to you.  Your light shines through.

I know you created me, dear Father.  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for how unbelievably wonderful you are!

You create masterpieces!  I know – because I am one of them.  You knew me before anyone else.  You saw me.  You formed me.  And you made plans for my life before I was even born.

Your plans are precious to me, God.  Please show me the path you have designed just for me.

I want to spend all my days with you, Abba Father.

(This picture is my littlest grandson- Jackson.  We got to meet him August 1, 2020 and he is a beautiful little human being. It’s a God-incidence that this psalm came up in my reading this week. God speaks truth into our culture.)

Need Directions?

Ever feel like you need arrows pointing to the right decisions to make? How about a guide to light your path on this journey of life that we’re on?

I would be very surprised if any of us said no to either one of these questions.  I know I would like a personal guide for each day.  What would it be like to get ‘Judy’s agenda for today’ from God on my phone?  It would give me a plan for the whole day so I could do exactly what God wants me to do today and make all the right decisions.

The reality is that God has already given you and me a guidebook for our lives. The Bible.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” Psalm 119: 105.

The Bible doesn’t have directions like ‘do laundry today’ or ‘buy groceries’. We can figure out those easy things on our own.

God’s Word tells me the important stuff like what my top 2 priorities are for each day – to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others as much as I love myself.

When we put our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. One of his purposes is to guide us into truth and show us what is false. When we read and study the Bible with our eyes and our hearts wide open, the Holy Spirit highlights the sections of God’s Word that we need for guidance today and he draws our attention to the truth that we need to know to make the right decisions for tomorrow..

God wants you and me to plug into his guidebook each day so we know what direction to go. Through his word he provides a lamp for our feet.

This is my 11th consecutive year of reading the entire Bible and I don’t know how I would take my next step without it.

Thank  you, Abba Father.

Psalm 100, 2022

All of the earth shouts because you bring us so much joy, LORD!

We worship you with smiles on our faces!

We sing praises to you because of the joy you give us!

We know you are God.  You made us.  We are yours.  We are your people.  We belong to you.

We are so grateful that we have the privilege of having a personal relationship with you, God!

When we come together in your house, we are filled with praise!

Thank you, Father!

You are so good to us!  Your love will never end.

We praise you for your faithfulness to us and to our parents and our grandparents and everyone that has lived before us.

And we praise you for your faithfulness to our children and our grandchildren and all of those who are yet to come.

We know we can always count on you, dear God.

Psalm 40, 2022

When I became faithful in seeking you, God, you lifted me out of the slimy pit of my rebellion and sin.  You rescued me from the deep mud of my bad choices.  You pulled me out of the mire I created by trying to do things ‘my way’.

I am now solidly planted on you, my Rock.  I have a new song of  love and praise to sing to you.

I pray that many others will also decided to put their trust in you, God.

Father, you bless those who trust in you.  We are wise when we put you first in our lives and don’t follow the example of others who are only focused on themselves.

You have great things planned for us, the faithful.  You have done many awesome things – there is nothing and no one to compare you to.

You don’t want me to just read the Bible and go to church.  You want my eyes to be open to your truth.  You want my obedience.

You don’t want me to just give my money to the church – you want me to passionately care about the things you care about.

You don’t want me to just close my eyes to pray and start down my list of requests.  You want a relationship with me.  You want a conversation.  Most of all, you desire listening ears and a softened heart.

Here I am , Lord.

I desire to do your will.

Write your words upon my heart.

I love you, Abba Father.

Psalm 121, 2022

When I need help, the only place I can always find it is when I look to my God, the Creator of Everything.  He does not let me stumble.   God watches over me all day and all night – he never sleeps.

How great is the LORD who is always by my side!

I know that God takes care of me – every day –

as I come and go –

both now and forever!

Thank you, Abba Father!

What My Soul is Longing For

What does it mean to be ‘like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season and who leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers.”? Psalm 1: 3.

This sounds really good.

I want to be like a tree planted by a stream – constantly being fed, never feeling empty,

I want to yield my fruit in season – do all the good things God has planned for me to do, always feeling right on target with the purpose God has for me here.

I want to avoid having my leaves wither – how can I live this marathon of faith well all the way to the end? No burnout, no wandering for me?

And I want to prosper – only in God’s eyes. I don’t need money, fame or people’s acceptance. I’ve got an audience of One. He’s the only one who counts.

God is very clear about how to make this happen in my life. Blessed are those “whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night.” Psalm 1: 2.

When God translates this in my brain I hear his encouragement, telling me to continue to read, study and memorize his Word. I’m in my 11 consecutive year of reading the entire Bible and he’s telling me to keep it up, I’m on the right track. I just don’t read the Bible, I blog about it so I have to think about what I read and apply it to my life. I find his truth as it applies to my life truly ‘delightful’. It’s just what my soul is looking for.

I also participate in 2 to 3 different Bible studies every week so I’m meditating on his word on my own in the morning and several times ‘day and night’ with other people during the week.

God has given me a life-long goal of memorizing scripture. It’s taken me over 6 years because I have a really terrible memory, but God and I partnered up and he has written 2 entire chapters of the book of James on my heart. He uses these words constantly to guide me and let me know he is right beside me.

No wonder I have lost that ’empty’ feeling I used to have! I’m blessed as I watch God grow his fruit in my life. I plan to be reading the entire Bible each year for the rest of my time here on earth so I can end this journey well.

And today, I can feel my Father God cheering me on.

Thank you, Abba.