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 63, 2022

O God, you are my God.  I am searching for you with all my heart.

My soul needs you.  My whole being longs to be close to you in this empty, weary and very confused world.  I treasure the precious time I get to spend with you.

I have personally witnessed your power and glory.  I praise you for your love which makes this life worth living.

I will lift my hands and heart up to you in praise for as long as I live.  Only you can fill the emptiness inside of me and make me sing for joy.

In the darkest part of the night, I remember how much you have loved me in the past and how much you have promised to love me in the future.  My heart sings for joy as I cling to your promises and feel your arms around me, holding me safe and securely to your side.

The Evil One and his team are all around me, Father, trying to ruin me.  But I know you are fighting my battles, God, and you have already won the war.

I rejoice in you, God.  All who know the Truth know you.  Liars will be silenced.

I will lift my praise to you for the rest of my life, Abba Father.

With Me

Every day…

Every situation…

Every trial…

The Spirit of the LORD is with me.

In the Old Testament, there were times when God would give his Spirit to someone when he had a tough assignment for them.  We read in Judges that Caleb’s little brother, Othniel, became a judge for the Israelites.  God raised him up to deliver the Israelites from slavery to the King of Aram Naharaim.

“The Spirit of the LORD came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war.” Judges 3:10. God’s Spirit made Othniel strong and courageous.

As believers today, we live under the New Covenant with God.  Everything changed when God sent Jesus into the world to save us from eternal separation from God. Now, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of each of us when we accept the salvation Jesus freely offers to each of us and make him Lord of our lives.

Jesus is Lord of my life.  God’s Spirit is with me every minute of every day.  His Spirit wants to make me strong and courageous, too.

And loving,

joyful,

peaceful,

patient,

kind,

faithful,

gentle and self-controlled.

All of this is inside me – I just need to let God’s spirit have his way in my life.

If you are a believer, all of these great things are inside of you, too.  It’s time to nurture them and let the Spirit show.

Thank you for the awesome gift of your Spirit,  Abba Father.

Sifted

What does it mean to be sifted?

Ash is sifted to find anything important or useful in it.  Wheat is sifted so the unusable chaff is separated from the valuable grains.

I know what it feels like to be sifted. My world shook when my son, David Glasser, who was Phoenix Police Officer was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016. My life crumbled. All of my hopes and dreams for him were stripped away. His future completely disappeared, leaving gaping holes full of hurt in my world.

What was left?

I had to dig deep…..

very deep,

into my faith and what I knew to be true in order to stay standing in the middle of the devastation.

Harsh sifting.

So Jesus’ words to Peter in Luke 22 stop me.  “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.  But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail.  So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” vs 31-32.

Satan asked to sift the disciples – this is not the first time I have read this but it’s the first time it has sunk in.  Satan knew that Jesus expected the disciples to share the Great News of salvation to world so the disciples became a pivotal target for Satan.

Jesus knew that Peter would deny him three times in one night.  Major sifting.  So Jesus was encouraging Peter that his faith could not only withstand the shaking it was going to get, it was going to become stronger.  Through this experience of denying Jesus, then repenting and turning back to him, Peter would be more prepared to help strengthen his brothers.

I have learned there is purpose in the pain when I let God control what happens next.  God can make good come from evil – he did it in my life. My prayer is that my sharing this with you will help you turn to God when you are being sifted so your faith and trust in him will be strengthened.

Thank you for your truth, Abba Father.

My Plan

Do you have a plan for your life?

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.” vs 1.  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 all of the days I have left on this earth, 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.

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.

Maybe

Maybe we will all understand.

Maybe we will turn away from our next bad choice and turn back to him.

This is what God wants for us. This is what God wanted for the people of Judah when he had Baruch write down all of the words he had given to Jeremiah.  “Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, they will each turn from their wicked ways; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.”

God 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 he has planned for us tomorrow.

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.

I believe that God does not ‘inflicts disaster’ on those that have put their faith in Jesus. But God does let us pay the consequences for our bad decisions hoping that we will learn to turn away from bad behavior. He also lets us experience the negative things that happen from living in a broken, sin-filled world. It’s a great reminder that this is not our home. God walks beside us through all of our negative consequences and situations, loving us, teaching us and helping us mature in our faith.

As my Bible lies open on my lap with my mind actively seeking God, his truth is soaking into my soul, changing me, renewing me. He is helping me make make better choices. He is guiding me through the mess and the lies of the culture around me. His Spirit is alive inside of me, filling the ‘God spot’ within my soul and making me whole.

God hoped that the people of Judah would understand. Maybe this would help them decide to turn away from their sin and turn back to him.

God wants this same thing to happen today.

Right now.

For you and I.

As we read and respond to his Word.

Please open our eyes, Abba Father.

My Path

Life can feel like a roller coaster ride of emotions – up and down and sometimes upside down.

Or

it can feel more like a smooth, level path.

What makes the difference?

A better question is – WHO makes the difference?

God stopped me today as I read Isaiah 26:7, “The path of the righteous is level; You, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.”

I’ll admit, I have had many emotional roller coaster rides these last 5 years since my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty. I have had more crazy extreme feelings of grief, loss, sadness, and heart break than I have every had before.

And I have learned that the quicker I turn to God for his comfort, love and direction, the faster the roller coaster ride slows down. My emotions settle and the fog of pain in my mind gradually disappears.

Just to be clear – I am ‘righteous’ because of what Jesus did for me, not because of anything I have done. God sees me as ‘righteous’ because I have accepted salvation through his son, Jesus.

I know my Father God is walking closely beside me, smoothing out my path and leveling the mountains of emotions. I still have all the feelings but I face them with peace in my soul as I am held, grounded and secure, within my Father’s strong arms.

I have learned to trust God at a whole new level and I am totally confident that he is working all things out for my good.

I may not understand it all, but I know it’s true.

Thank you, Abba Father.

He Loves Us This Much

Seven hundred years before he was born, Isaiah spoke a stunningly accurate prophesy about Jesus.

Here’s my 2021 response to parts of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 53: 2-6 –

Jesus was not a good-looking man.  The pictures we have of him where he looks like a movie star are totally inaccurate.

People despised him but he was used to pain and sorrow – that was his life.  A lot of people ignored him and avoided him when possible.

Yet he took on more pain – the pain that was meant for us.  He paid the price for our rebellion and selfishness and anger – all the sins of all the world.

Some people were confused when they saw all the problems Jesus had – they thought God was punishing him.  Their eyes just weren’t open to the truth.

The truth is that Jesus loves us so much that he took all of the punishment that we deserved…

so he could be our Savior…

so we could have peace…..

so we could be healed.

You and I have sinned.  And we keep sinning.

Have I said anything out of frustration or lack of patience today?  Not yet – but it’s early.

Have you thought of anything unkind or unforgiving today?  God also knows our thoughts – that’s a tough one.

Jesus paid the price for all of our sins for all time….

so he could offer us salvation.  For free.  For eternity.

Thank you, Jesus!

My Peace

He will be our peace.

Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Micah prophesied about the birth of Jesus saying that a ruler would come from Bethlehem, “And he will be our peace.” Micah 5:5.

Notice – it doesn’t say ‘a source of peace’.

Jesus is our peace. Period.

Do you feel that in your life?

I do.

I don’t find peace in the things that so many people here on earth think are so important.

I have not found peace with money and success.

I have not found it in relationships other than my relationship with God.

Buying things has definitely not given me peace since things break and grow old – no longer shiny, no longer ‘the latest’.

I have not found peace in education and achievements.

I love to travel and experience new things but that is not where I find peace.

Jesus is my only source of real Peace. I feel the peace he gives me down in the center of my soul.

I can trust him with everything and he has a perfect love for me.  He has proven his love for me over and over in my life.  He who never sinned became sin for me on the cross so that the price for my sins was paid and I can live with him forever.

My eternal life with Jesus has already started on this earth –

as he fills my life with the peace only he can give.

Thank you, Jesus