Why?

Why me?

Why now?

Why more?

We often ask these questions when trials and tough issues come our way.

When I ask this question, God gives me answers.  One of the answers is Romans 5.  “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

I have learned to watch for God moving in my life as I’m persevering through trials.  Where is he re-molding me?  What thoughts is he renewing in my mind through this suffering?  What is he washing out of my life through all of these tears?

I know he is building my faith as I persevere because it’s never more obvious to me how much I need him than when I’m going through a painful experience.  And I have watched him strengthen my character as I persevere.  He reveals areas of weakness in my thinking and replaces them with his truth.  He tests my convictions and transforms me as I ask for wisdom in my trials.

Through all of this, he gives me hope.  I can see him working.  My trust in God grows as I watch him bring light out of the dark sufferings in my life.  He has a purpose.  He has a plan as he draws me closer to him.

As I count on him, God covers the pain with his grace and love – every day.

This is why.

Thank you for answering my question, Abba Father.

I Ask

I make requests.

I intercede.

I come to God with my concerns.

I have the privilege of talking with the Creator of the Universe – not because I am good.

But because God is good.

This picture is the wall of my garage – the first thing I see every time I get back to my house and open up the garage door.  It’s a great reminder – something I need to remember every day no matter what my circumstances.

Daniel says in his prayer, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”

I can’t earn God’s love.

I can’t work and save myself.

I can never be ‘good enough’ on my own.

I can’t look in the mirror to see what I’m worth – I have to look to the cross.  Jesus died so that I don’t have to be eternally separated from God because of my rebellion and sin.

This kind of mercy deserves a faithful heart.

This kind of grace deserves a heart that is submitted to His will.

This kind of love deserves a life lived in gratitude.  My life.

Amen, let it be so, dear Jesus.

Where’s the Light?

Evil thrives in the dark.

Greedy, selfish hearts.

Angry, bitter souls.

Cruel minds crawl out into the dark – looking to harm the innocent.

In Exodus, we are witness to an epic battle between Moses and Pharoah – actually God and Pharoah – and Pharoah is losing badly.

By chapter 10, God had sent 8 plagues causing wide-spread disease and hardship for the people, death and destruction for livestock and crops.

And the intensity of the plagues continued to grow.

It’s significant to read that the 9th plague – worse than the other 8 –  was darkness.

Darkness spread across Egypt for 3 days.  It was so dark, they couldn’t see anyone else around them.

Pitch black for 3 days.

Can you imagine the depression, anxiety and fear?  This plague affected their minds – it was worse than the rest.  Because we can’t go somewhere else to get away from our minds.   We can’t avoid thinking.

They couldn’t stop feeling the oppressive darkness – the void where light and warmth used to be.

Pitch black for 3 days.

I love the fact that there was light where the Israelites lived.  I visualize a huge spotlight shining down from heaven onto the Israelites.my-people-live-in-the-light

The light of God’s love.

God’s care.

Light for God’s favorite people.

Bright, warm, good.

Those of us who trust in Jesus live in that light every day.

The light of God’s love and care – his favorite people.

God wants to transform any darkness in my life into light.

He  wants to transform your darkness into light as well.

He wants to fill any voids in our lives with warmth and goodness.

His spotlight of grace, strength and wholeness shines down on me everyday, filling my mind and heart with his love.

I feel it.

Do you feel it?

Thank you for your light, Abba Father.

 

Great Love!

Do you feel it?

I do.

I see it in the gorgeous sunrise as God once again declares his faithfulness to me with the start of a new day.

I feel it in my 5 year-old grandson’s hug.Dec 26 2015 great love

I see it in the smiles of my friends.

I feel it in the gentle touch of my husband of 34 years.

It’s the great love God has lavished upon me.

God tells me in John’s first letter that I am a precious child and he proves that by lavishing his love upon me in a multitude of ways.

It’s very encouraging to realize that the closer I get to God, the more love I feel pouring out from him.

As I’ve been consistently memorizing God’s scripture, I also feel his wisdom pouring out from his Word.  And understanding.  And knowledge.

We are his children!  How much more love and wisdom and knowledge and understanding does he have available for us?

There is no limit!

No end!

So let’s decide to live our lives in 2016 as children well-loved by our heavenly Father.

Let’s make a committment to grow closer to God so that its evident to everyone who knows us that his Spirit is alive within us.

And His love.

His patience.

His wisdom.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Well Pleased

Jesus was just getting ready to start his ministry.

He hadn’t done any miracles yet.Oct 22 2015 Well pleased

He hadn’t talked about what he was going to do on earth.

He hadn’t shared any good news of love and forgiveness yet.

That didn’t matter.

When John baptized Jeus, the heaven opened up and God’s voice from heaven said, “This is my Son whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” ( Matthew 3:17)

Jesus was God’s son and God was pleased with him!

Jesus hadn’t ‘done’ anything yet.

He was God’s son and God was pleased with him.

Let’s rest on that fact for a moment…..

take a deep breath……

and feel the love of God pouring over us……..

hear the voice of God in our souls saying, “This is my child whom I love.  In them, I am well pleased.”

It’s not about what we’re doing for God.

Its about his love for us.

When we accept the salvation offered by Jesus, we are adopted by God.

He loves us not because of what we do for him.  He loves us in spite of our sin and rebellion and disobedience.

For God so loved the world.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Real Love

We humans don’t know how to really love each other. We love each other if the other person is being lovable.  We love each other when the other person looks right, acts right and smells good.  Our love quickly fades – proven by our divorce rates.  Our love quickly gives up when the going gets tough – proven by the number of one-parent families in our culture.

It’s too little, too late, too conditional.

Even at the best of times, our love is just a tiny drop of moisture compared to the ocean of love that God has for us.

We can never understand the depth and the width and the height of God’s love.

But we can believe.

And when we believe, we find the most important love relationship of our lives.Sept 15 2015 climbing a tall ladder

Here is an excerpt from the Experiencing God bible study that I’m going through with my small group right now.  Understanding and believing this truth forever changed how I look at God’s commands. How I read his Word to me.  It blew up my previous perception of God’s love and changed how I lived my life from that day on:

God loves you deeply and profoundly.  Because he loves you, He has given you guidelines for living so you will not miss the full dimensions of the love relationship.  Life also has some land mines that can destroy you or harm your life.  God does not want to see you miss His best, and He does not want your life destroyed by foolish choices.

Suppose you had to cross a field full of land mines and a person who knew exactly where each one was buried offered to take you through it.  Would you say to him, “I don’t want you to tell me what to do.  I have free will!  I don’t want you to impose your ways on me”?

I don’t know about you, but I would stay as close to that person as I could.  I certainly would not wander off.  His directions to me would preserve my life.  He would say, ‘Don’t go that way, because that way will kill you.  Go this way, and you will live.’

That is the purpose of God’s commands.  He wants you to receive life and have it abundantly.  When the Lord gives you a command, He is trying to protect and preserve the best He has for you.  He does not want you to lose it.  When God gives a command, He is not restricting you.  He is freeing you.”

Thank you, Abba Father!

Maybe We Will Understand

Maybe we will turn away from our bad choices.

This is what God wants for us. August 7 2015 maybe we will get it.

He wants to forgive us.

He wants us to know him

– to feel his love.

– experience his peace.

– live in his joy.

– rely on his strength for each day.

– and anticipate all of the good things that are coming to us tomorrow because he is already there.

God wants all of this to happen in our lives.  That’s why he had his wisdom and guidance for us written down in the Bible.

As our Bibles lie open on our laps with our minds actively seeking God, his truth is soaking into our souls, changing us, renewing us.  Helping us make better choices.  Enabling us to build better lives.

This is what God wanted for the people of Judah in Jeremiah 36 when he had Baruch write down all of the words he had given to Jeremiah.  Maybe when the people heard all of these directions and predictions together, they would actually get it.

Maybe they would understand it.

Maybe this would help them decide to turn away from their sin and turn toward God.

God wanted this to happen for the people of Judah and he wants this same thing to happen today.

Right now.

For us.

As we read his word.

Please open our eyes, Abba Father, so we can turn away from our sins and turn to you.

Blessings of Obedience – Leviticus 26, 2015

If you are careful to obey my commands, I will shower my blessings upon you.

You will be fruitful and prosperous.March 6 b 2015 blessings of obedience

I will keep you safe.

I will bless you with peace.  You will sleep well – not fearful of anything.

I will remove all threat to your safety from your life.  Your enemies will fail.

Don’t worry about being outnumbered by the evil ones – I am on your side.  I will look upon you as my favorite child – providing for you and always being faithful.

My blessings will overflow in your life – one on top of another.

I will walk with you and live with you.  I will be your God and you will be my child.

I am the Lord your God who sent my only son to die for you so you might believe and live with me forever.

I gave you freedom so you can choose to stand faultless before me.  You can choose to walk closely beside me everyday.  You can choose to love me and listen to me.

You can choose to obey.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Celebrating The Creator of Love

Our Father God created love for us.

He wants us to feel loved, all of the time.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:2.Roses 2..

The book of 1 John is jam-packed full of truth about love.  Reread it today as we celebrate the love that the Father of the Heavenly Lights lavishes upon us.

“This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16.

Thank you, Jesus.  That’s what real love is.

” This is how God showed his love among us.  He sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”Roses 1

Thank you, dear Father, for showing us your love and giving us life.

God loves us perfectly and he desires to love others through us.

“No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12

Please help us show your love to others, Abba Father, so they can feel it and be made whole.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18.

Please guide our actions and our tongue, Abba Father.  Let them be filled with your love.  And thank you for leading us on this Journey Towards the Truth.

 

 

 

God Made You Special….

and he loves you very much.

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading these words to my granddaughter, Eden, from a Veggie Tales book we own.  She is a fabulous 5- month old 🙂

Eden loved the book.  She was cooing and kicking her legs – really enjoying the pictures along with the little song it plays with the same words.Eden 5 months

And I began to think about how she had just come from God.

She had recently felt his hands molding her in her mother’s womb.

She had felt his power move inside of her when her tiny heart began to beat.

God had just designed her sparking blue eyes and her surprisingly deep and loud laughter.

He had recently combined a calm spirit with a sweet attitude to give her a personality that makes her fun and easy to take care of.

One of my goals in life is to make sure she never forgets how special she is and how much God loves her.

Because we can easily forget how much God loves us, can’t we?  When did the joy and excitement of anticipation  morph into adult worry and stress? As our responsibilities  and concerns grow into adulthood, it’s sometimes hard to remember that God made us special and he loves us very much.

Some of the other words of this Veggie Tales book are – ‘when you look in the mirror, you’ll see his touch.’

So…..go look in the mirror.

See his touch.

Remember how much God loves you.

How special you are to him. Today.  Right now.

We love you, dear Father.