Surrounded

“I have a problem with anxiety.”

“I’m going to need to take an extra anxiety pill”

“I get so anxious”

“My whole family has issues with anxiety.”

I’m hearing these statements from people in the world around me and I feel like I’m surrounded by anxiousness.

Don’t get me wrong – I have moments of anxiety. Who doesn’t in our crazy culture?

But then I remember what Jesus says to me in Matthew 11:28-30. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

‘Burdened’ means ‘anxious’ to me. You and I are burdened when we start to worry about all the things we’re not in control of. We are burdened when we focus on all the negatives in our lives. We are burdened when we become afraid of the unknowns – all those terrible things that could happen to us and the people we love.

Jesus gives me rest for my soul when I listen to his voice and lay at his feet all the things that make me anxious. His yoke is easy and his burden is light because he can be trusted. He loves me and has promised to work it all out for my good.

Nothing is impossible for him.

As I keep my eyes focused on Jesus each day, anxiety fades away.

Thank you, Jesus.

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.

Get Ready!

Be prepared!  Get ready!

Stand up and do what needs to be done!

God gave these directions to Jeremiah thousands of years ago as he began his prophetic ministry.  God also gives these directions to you and me each day as we go about our lives.  Always be prepared to love God and love others.  Be ready to share our experiences with the living God with whoever will listen.  Be ready to speak the truth when we get an opportunity.  Stand up against the lies of our culture.    

God tells us that he will give us strength for the things he asks us to do.

I can’t do it on my own.  You can’t do it on your own.  Do you ever feel powerless?  I know I do.

Then I realize I feel that way because I am forgetting to plug into my power source –  God.  I forget to ask for and receive his help.  No wonder I feel powerless!

I need to remember each day to ask for God’s strength..

for his wisdom….

for his peace.

“For I am with you and will rescue you.” declares my LORD.  Jeremiah 1:19.

Please help me remember to ask, Abba Father.

Blinded

I can be so blind!

Blinded by the immediate.

Blinded by what everyone else thinks.

Blinded by my routines and habits.

Blinded by worry.

Blinded by trying to control things in my life.

Do you ever feel this way?

There are times when its a major struggle to open my spiritual eyes…

open my mind….

open my heart…

to the truth….

to a different reality – God’s reality.

Sometimes I can be just like Elisha’s servant in the Bible who was afraid of the huge enemy army which surrounded the city they were in. Elisha wasn’t afraid. He knew something the servant didn’t know. Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so he may see.” 2 Kings 6: 17.

And when the Lord opened the servant’s spiritual eyes, he looked up and saw the hills around Elisha full of horses and chariots of fire. God’s army.

Elisha was not worried – he knew the truth.  God had his back and there was no cause for alarm. Elisha understood and trusted in the power and faithfulness of his Father God.

His eyes were open.

When my eyes are open, I can see God moving around me. I can feel the strength he gives me to face each challenge that comes my way. I can rest in the knowledge that he has his army fighting my battles and he is working all things out for my good. I can see his light guiding me towards the next step of my journey.

He is my powerful and faithful Father God.

Are your eyes open?

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.