It’s a Plan

I know what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

As I read Psalm 89, my plan jumps right off the page- ” I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever.”  I will tell everyone I know about how I have experienced your faithfulness all my life, Abba Father.

I will talk about your perfect love for me and the abundant blessings you have showered down on my life.

I will walk with you each day, Father, until the day we walk into heaven together, hand in hand.

I will find my peace in your strength.  I will find my joy in your love and faithfulness.  I will find my strength in your righteousness and justice.

I will walk in the light of your presence each day, Father. 

And I will continue to sing of your great love forever.

Amen and Amen.

So Many Mysteries

I will never understand.

For me, one of the keys to having peace and contentment is realizing that there will be things in this crazy world that I will never understand.  There are “things too wonderful for me to know” which is how Job described it at the end of his story in the Bible.

Remembering truths which are very clear and have been etched into my soul by the Holy Spirit helps me be okay about the mysteries that are beyond the ability of my 3.5 pound brain to comprehend.

Here are some of the truths that I review in my mind when I start to worry or doubt or question –

God is good, all the time.

God is all-powerful – nothing is impossible for him.

God is a perfect Father who loves me with a perfect love.  He is always walking beside me.

God is working all things out for my good.  He wants the best for me.

God’s timing is perfect.

Being confident of these truths, I know the best response to whatever happens to me is to trust God.  I can ask ‘Why?’ and God is patient with me, but there is wisdom in making trust my first response, not questions.

I have discovered that my life stays more closely aligned with God when I automatically and genuinely trust him with everything – because there is so much that I will never understand.

I trust you, Abba Father.

It’s a Struggle

Have you been there?

I have.  I am still struggling with the most extreme adversity I have ever experienced.  On May 18, 2016 my world exploded.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on that day.

I have experienced quite a lot of death in my life but this is – by far – the hardest.

Davey was a unique young man who was dedicated to serving his community and dedicated to living life to its fullest with fun, going everywhere and anywhere, while collecting a vast number of friendships. He did all of this with an obvious devotion and love for his family.  My husband and I lived 1 1/2 miles from Davey and his wife and 2 children the last 5 years of his life.  We talked with him daily and saw him almost every day for one reason or another.

I don’t have the words for how painful this last 4 1/2 years have been.  It defines adversity.  Living with the reality is a struggle.

As I read the book of Job in the Bible, I can relate.  Job experiences the shock of getting terrible news.  I can relate.   When people around him started saying strange and wrong things to him, I can relate.   Then, after the first horrible news,  painful things just kept happening.  I can relate.  Job questioned God and wondered why this was all happening to him.  I can relate.  He was overwhelmed with sorrow.  I can relate.

It’s a struggle.

Job was confident that his redeemer lived and – in the end – his redeemer wins.  I can relate.  He knew that God was in total control and all-powerful.  I can relate.

Job committed his life to being faithful to God in spite of his circumstances.  He praised God in the middle of all of the pain he was experiencing.  I can relate.  He knew that is was wise to turn from evil and love God.  I can relate.

Job had a long conversation with God.  I can relate – I have had many long conversations with God about my son’s death.  Job confessed that he did not understand.  I can relate – I will never completely understand this.  Job’s eyes were opened in a new way to the reality that God has a plan and purpose for each of us and that God’s ways are not our ways.  I can relate.

God gave Job peace in the middle of his pain and blessed him.

I can relate.

Thank you for helping me in my struggle, Abba Father.

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 a worldwide pandemic?  Why now?

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.

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 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 an unimaginable number of 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 a fire 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. 

I See the Danger

On my trip to Israel 6 years ago, we visited a village in Nazareth which is set up to show us what it looked like when Jesus lived there.

A watchman was placed high on the hill overlooking the village and the land surrounding it.nn watching over Nazareth

Ezekiel explains the watchman’s duties in his 33rd chapter.  He says the watchman needs to blow the trumpet to warn the people when he sees danger coming.  If he blows the trumpet and the people don’t heed the warning, they are responsible for their own deaths.

BUT, if the watchman sees the danger coming and doesn’t blow the trumpet, the watchman is responsible for their deaths.

What does this mean for us today?

We don’t have watchmen……or, do we?

When I read this, God reminds me that I am a watchman for the people he has placed in my world.  I know the truth.  And I know the danger of not accepting salvation through Jesus Christ.  So I must say something. I cannot be silent.

I wish it was as easy as sounding the trumpet.  It’s much harder today to warn others of danger coming their way.  Our culture is  more independent than that of the Israelites and many people don’t understand that God still holds us accountable for each other.  Those of us who know the truth need to share it with others.  Those of us that know the danger of not accepting God’s free gift of salvation need to talk to the people around us about the Gospel that sets us free – eternally free.

So how do I make sure I’m fulfilling my responsibility as a watchman?  I have a great role model in Jesus who used equal measures of grace and truth.  He didn’t judge people (except for the religious leaders who should have known better).  He didn’t condemn people who didn’t believe he was the Son of God.  He communicated truth with love every chance he got.  He communicated in ways that the people around him could listen.  And understand.  And avoid the danger.

Thank you, dear Jesus.  Please help me do the same.

His Breath of New Life

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.”

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 creepy as well as 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 push back evil.  Each day, I read and study God’s word – getting to know him better and growing my understanding of the things he loves.

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 my soul and brings new life each day.

There are no more dry bones here.

What about you?  Could you use a breath of new, real life from God?

Thank you for your breath of real life, Abba Father.

I Am Accountable

I hear them.  I read them.  I study them.

I even memorize them.

God speaks into my heart and mind as I do all of these things with his Word to me.  I know his truth and I am accountable for it.

God expects me to respond.  Obey.  I need to let him change my thinking and change my actions.

God tells us this as he speaks to Ezekiel, “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice.

Is that what I do?  Is that what you do?

It’s clear that God expects me – and you – to put his Word into practice.  He expects that his Word will be evident in what I say and how I act.

I am accountable because I have read and I have heard the truth.

Dear Father, Thank you for your Word to me.  Thank you for revealing your truth to me.  Please help me put your Word into practice in my life.  Mold me and renew me, Father.  Convict me, Holy Spirit, when I fall short.  Open my eyes.  Open my heart.  In the awesome name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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.  His compassions never fail.  He gives me more love and more grace every morning.

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.”

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.