The Hard Truth

I love all the blessings God has showered down on me. I cherish all of the great people God has brought into my life. I appreciate all the awesome things God has given me to enjoy on this earth.

It’s so easy to be happy and praise God when I focus on all of the good things in my life.

But how do I react when something bad happens in my life? The book of Job in the Bible is a great one to study when devastation shakes up our world.

After Satan kills all of Job’s children, Job responds with “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away: may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21 – 22.

Hard, hard truth. All of us at sometime experience ‘the LORD gave and the LORD has taken away’ part of this truth. I didn’t know how horrible this could be until my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016. God gave me Davey for 34 1/2 precious years and then God took him away.

A tragedy. A huge loss that filled my world with grief and pain. It has been a tsunami that continues to smash dreams I had and crush hopes of what my future with Davey in my life was going to look like.

I don’t like it. I don’t understand it. God and I have had many conversations about it and I have come to one conclusion.

I submit. I submit to God’s will. I submit to his purpose. I will never like it, and I probably will never understand it. So I submit.

God is perfect. He is good, all the time. He wants the best for me. He is working all things out for my good. When I filter all of my circumstances through these truths, God gives me peace and the strength to face a future here on earth without Davey.

The LORD gives and he takes away.

May the name of the LORD be praised.

This Explains It All

Why is there so much evil in the world?

Why are our families being torn apart?

Why is there so much anger and hatred in our country?

Why are addictions the plague of our century?

Why are innocent children being abused and killed?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Satan takes the credit for all of this in the first chapter of Job.  He tells God that he just got back from “roaming the earth, going back and forth on it.” (vs 7 )

And Satan leaves a wide path of destruction wherever he goes.  That’s what we’re seeing – the work of Satan.  He has convinced a whole lot of people to ignore the truth, forget about being kind and forgiving, and just focus on yourself – that’s all that matters.

Satan smiles whenever we believe the lies swirling all around us in our culture.  He loves it when we consult Google instead of God when deciding what’s right and wrong, good or bad.

He enjoys watching us wreck our relationships and our marriages with our selfishness.  He encourages us to be impatient, impulsive and immature.

Wow!  He is really getting a kick out of the lack of respect for authority that is growing in our country.  It’s a win-win for him because everyone else loses.

Satan smiles when he can do anything to distract us from our relationship with God.  He’ll even bring good things into our lives if they will lure us away from God.

Satan is roaming……

today…..

everyday…..

going back and forth……

back and forth.

Please use us to overcome evil with good,  Abba Father.

Not Alone

I don’t know how I missed it.  Maybe it was never included in the children’s version of this story.

It’s a well-known Biblical account. Three men refused to worship the evil king’s golden idol so the king threw them into a blazing furnace.  The furnace was so hot that it killed the soldiers who got close enough to throw the men in.

Here’s a detail of the story that I missed until I started reading the entire Chronological Bible each year. The king looked into the furnace and saw 4 men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed.

4 men – not 3.

“Look!  I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”  Daniel 3: 25.  The king called the 4th person an angel.  I believe it was Jesus, sent by God to protect Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  They walked through the blazing fire together.

The fire didn’t stop when the three men were thrown in.

The king didn’t change his mind at the last minute.

An army of angels didn’t swoop down from heaven to save the day.

God had a hundred ways he could have saved these 3 men.  He chose to send a personal rescuer into the fire with them.  Jesus walked with them – just like he walks with us when we are in the middle of the fires in our lives.

Our fires can look like failure….

grief……

disease……

disappointment….

betrayal…..

the list goes on.

My biggest personal fire was when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  All of my expectations of what the rest of my life looked like were destroyed on that day.  The flames of that fire are still burning up pieces of my life, leaving mountains of painful ash behind.

But Jesus was there.   And he is here as I continue to walk on this very tough road piled high with grief and loss.

I have discovered that, as I remain faithful in the fire, God is using this time to grow my trust, grow my perseverance and grow my faith.

My loss and pain will not go away this side of heaven but God has given me peace and a purpose.  I’m thankful for the opportunities he gives me to share what I am learning about God’s faithfulness as he walks with me daily,

in the middle of the fire.

Thank you, Abba Father. 

Really Living

A valley of bones.

Millions of bones.

When God breathed into them – “they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.” Ezekiel 37:10.

Wow!!

Growing up in church, I always thought this vision of Ezekiel should be preached around Halloween because a valley full of dry bones suddenly connecting and standing up is weird as well as a little scary.

How time changes things! Now I love this visual because it’s exactly what happened when I turned over my whole heart to God.  His breath went deep into my soul and – for the first time – I was truly alive.  I have an eternal purpose.  I have been re-created into one of the soldiers in his army – wearing his armor and working hard next to my spiritual brothers and sisters to share the Good News and push back evil.  Each day, I read and study God’s word – getting to know him better and listening as he speaks truth into my life.

Are you looking for purpose? Are you looking for guidance? Are you looking for hope?

God gives me hope.  Not the ‘I wish’ kind of hope.  This hope is cemented into my heart by the promises of God.  I know who is in control and I know he is working everything out for my good.  I know where I’m going when I leave this earth.  I know who wins in the end.

God’s redeeming love has turned my dry bones into something good and useful.  His breath moves in my heart and soul – bringing new life each day.

There are no dry bones here.

What’s the condition of your bones?  Would you like to experience a new breath of God’s spirit in your soul?

Turn to him and ask, he’s waiting for you.

Showers of Blessing

The old hymns bring back great memories for me.

I was raised in a conservative Christian family who were members of a conservative Christian church in the Midwest.  I don’t remember knowing anyone in my little home town who didn’t go to church regularly.

My father was a talented musician who owned and operated a car body repair shop for most of his life.  He had a beautiful, deep baritone voice.  My mother had a nice alto voice and harmonized well.  My youngest brother had a great tenor voice.  Unfortunately, I also sing alto so my family quartet was missing a soprano but there were many good sopranos in our church congregation.  So listening to my family sing the old hymns in church every Sunday morning was a treat – definitely my favorite part of the service.

Those great old hymns reverberated off the walls as my church family sang them with energy and confidence.  And my family contributed a beautiful part of it.

Awesome memories!

My little town also had ‘Hymn Sings’ at the town ballpark during the summer.  We would fill up the bleachers with people from all different churches while the organizers set up microphones and amplifiers on a stage over the pitcher’s mound.  They hauled in an organ (no drums or guitars here) and handed out song sheets.  People would yell out favorites and we would fill the summer sky with praises to God for 2 hours or more.

I would sing harmony with my mom – no music, we sang these same songs in church so often that we had the harmony part memorized.  I realized many years ago that I don’t know the melody of some of the old hymns – just the harmony.  But I know the words by memory and I also have the second and third verses of many of them etched in my brain.

As I now read Ezekiel 34, these great memories come rolling through my head as God says through Ezekiel, “I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” vs 26.

One of the many blessings God has given me is a long family legacy of faith and trust in God which creates beautiful memories like these.

Thank you for your blessings, Abba Father.

How Great!

We are not consumed by our sadness…

or our problems… or the chaos in our world.  Because God is always loving and caring for us.

Great is God’s faithfulness!

One of my special joys in reading through the Bible every year is when I read words that were used in the old famous hymns.  I was raised in a musical, conservative Christian home so these hymns bring back precious memories.

God tells me as I read Lamentations 3 that he will always be faithful to me.  And, as the sun rises each morning, I am reminded of his promises. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every  morning; great is your faithfulness.”  vs 22-23.

He is never late (even though it can sometimes seem that way to me).  He is never tired.  He is never distracted.

Whenever doubts about God enter my mind, all I have to do is look back and it’s easy to see God’s faithfulness to me day after day, year after year.  Even when I wandered, God never left me.  He never stopped loving me and caring for me.

Just like he cares for me today.

And I know I can count on him to love me and care for me all of the rest of the days I walk on this earth…and on into heaven.

Great is your faithfulness, oh God, my Father!

Incurable

Beyond healing.

No remedy.

None of us want to hear these words.  Yet this is what God says to us through Jeremiah who was talking to the Israelites who were in exile –

“Your wound is incurable.  Your injury is beyond healing.  There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you.” Jeremiah 30: 12 – 13.

There was no hope for them.

I am very glad to say the same is NOT true for us.  Between then and now, Jesus was born, lived a perfect life and then offered himself up as a sacrifice on the cross.  Jesus cured our incurable case of sin and rebellion.  He paid the price for all of our sins for all time.

After Jesus was buried, he rose from the grave through his own power.  And now he sits in heaven next to my Father God.

I have accepted Jesus’ free gift of salvation so God no longer sees my sin.  Jesus’ sacrifice covered it.  What does God see when he looks at me?  He sees the daughter he loves with a perfect love.

If you haven’t accepted the free gift of salvation which Jesus offers to everyone, you have an incurable wound of sin which is beyond healing.  There’s no remedy…..

except Jesus.

Accept the salvation offered through Jesus today, be healed and become a child of the King.  There is no better time that right now.

Thank you, Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer.

Branded by the Truth

The truth is etched onto my brain,

it’s written on my heart.

God’s truth has forever changed me.

You and I are the created ones.  God is the Uncreated One.  His old relationship with us was broken by our rebellion and sin.  That’s one of the reasons why the Old Testament is filled with violence and gore.  That’s why there was continual conflict and strife between God and humans in the Old Testament.

Sin was in the middle of everything – messing it up.

But God had an awesome plan to fix this.  He was sending Jesus, his Son, to pay the price of all our sins for all time.  Because of what Jesus did through his death and resurrection, those of us who accept salvation through him can have a personal relationship with God which begins here on earth and extends into eternity.

In Jeremiah, God describes the New Testament relationship that is coming, 

“I will put my instructions deep within them and I will write them on their hearts.  I will be their God and they will be my people.” 31:33,

Thank you, Father God, for sending your Son, Jesus, who offers salvation and freedom to everyone. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit deep within my soul when I put my faith in Jesus. I hear the instructions of your Spirit and I feel the love and strength you give me each day. I love your Word which is written on my heart.

I am so glad you challenged me to get serious about memorizing your Word. Now I am branded by your Truth – thank you for making that happen. It still amazes me how my bad memory can remember scripture.

I am so very grateful that you are my God and I am your daughter – forever.  In the redeeming name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

Under Attack

I feel it. Do you?

I feel that the values Jesus role-modeled for us as believers are under serious attack in our culture. Loving others, forgiving people, and giving other people grace when they aren’t perfect are all getting lost under mountains of political division and widespread judgement of anybody who says they are a Christ-follower.

Other people can share their opinions and perspectives and the culture is very ‘inclusive’. But when I talk about what I believe to be true and it’s different from what is popular in our culture, a negative label gets slapped one me really fast. I guess the ‘inclusiveness’ doesn’t include me?

Jeremiah’s prayer to God echoes some of my concerns. He is praying this while he was confined within Jerusalem which was itself being confined by the Babylonians as they began to attack the city. “See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city,” Jeremiah prayed. “Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it.” Jeremiah 32:24.

I see the siege ramps being built up to take away many of the values that have made our country a great “One Nation Under God’. I see the sword of division, a famine of truth and a plague of fear.

As I pray about this, I hear only one response from God, “I am in control”. God highlights Jeremiah 32:27 for me as I read his Word. “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?’

No, Father. Nothing is impossible for you.

Your will be done, Abba Father.

He is Looking for You

Our country is going crazy, right?

It’s frustrating.  It makes us angry,

bitter,

and disillusioned.

So – what am I doing about it?  What are you doing about it?

Are we busy just talking about it and shaking our heads?  Are we spouting off negativity to everyone around us and filling Facebook with our rants?

Or are we doing something positive to help turn the trend one small step at a time?

When Israel was going down the tubes thousands of years ago, God told Ezekiel, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30.

God was looking for someone – anyone – who would build a wall against the injustice that was happening.  A wall that would help keep out the lies and violence. God was looking for someone to stand in the gap before him on behalf of the Israelite people.  “But I found no one.”

Is this same thing happening today?  Is it all just talk and emotion? 

Or are you and I figuring out how to do our part in standing in the gap for our country before God?

We can stand in the gap by daily praying to God for our country.

We can stand in the gap by putting our feet and hearts into action while working together with God to help turn our country back into the land which was founded with “In God We Trust”. One step at a time. Each of us can create a small ripple that can grow into a wave when we all get involved.

My family and friends have created the David Glasser Foundation in honor of my son, a Phoenix Police Officer, who was killed in the line of duty May 18, 2016. It has been evident right from the beginning that God’s hand is on this foundation. The mission of the foundation is to create and sponsor opportunities for kids and their families to have positive interactions with police officers. We believe if the young man who killed my son had had positive interactions with a police officer, he may have made a different decision on that day. We are passionate about creating a ripple as we continue the legacy of love that my son started.

Not everyone can start a foundation but each one of us can be part of a ripple. God has a purpose for all of us – if we’ll stand in the gap.

I’m here, standing in the gap, Abba Father.