The entire world is recognizing the birth of Christ! What an amazing thought! It was foretold so many years ago: " And many shall rejoice at His birth." Luke 1:14. Think about what we are celebrating this Christmas season. God has blessed us everyone!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Our church is involved in a debt retirement campaign right in the middle of the Christmas season! This involves a lot of prayer and soul-searching as to what God would have us give. It is one of the things on the pastors "vision list" that he wants to see God do in his ministry. (The pastor is also my husband.) As you know from previous posts he has pancreatic cancer. At this particular time he is dealing with some issues related to that.
When our church re-located out of necessity several years ago, we saw God provide miraculously through a small congregation of people who stepped out by faith and trusted God to provide. Pastor and I began to pray as to what God would have us give. I am like any other normal person and looked at the circumstances we were in financially. I was keenly aware that we had been unable to do much toward our retirement and that we were facing hefty medical bills. I had also let my nursing license lapse so that I could devote more time to ministry and family.
We did step out by faith and gave beyond what we pledged. Looking back, we have seen God provide for us in ways we could not have thought of. One of those ways was a medication became available for his cancer that turned his life around! He was able to function with more normalcy in his daily life. The drug itself was thousands of dollars per month which looked impossible to attain but God has provided it for 18 months through the company that makes it without hurting us financially.
I could tell you more but this post would be so long. Now we are praying about another financial gift. Things are difficult and uncertain again with the cancer and another drug. My point is that life is all about faith. We cannot see what lies beyond the next minute. We don't look at the circumstances, we look to The Lord for guidance. What would He have us to do not what can I do on my on? He alone knows the future.
God has shown Himself to be faithful time and again and now I need more faith for today. It was 10 years ago this month that my husband was given a short time to live! In that 10 years the bills have been paid on time and a life has been extended to bring glory to God!
What if we would all walk by faith, trusting in a mighty God? What wonders might He do among us? Who knows, maybe I will be posting another blog in a few years about how God has extended my husband's life. If not, I will still remember these ten bonus years He did give and how He provided our every need and more! "For we walk by faith, not by sight." II Cor. 5:7
Sunday, October 21, 2012
There is nothing as wonderful as sitting in my sunroom on a Sunday afternoon, in the Fall of the year, enjoying the beauty of the season, except for........being in church on Sunday morning and drinking in Gods wonderful Word, delivered to us by the man of God, ( who, by the way, could hardly wait to go to church and deliver it to us.)
I sit in church beside a woman who has a hearing impairment. She reads lips and hears, if there isn't any background noise around her. Every service that she comes, she is filled with joy and gratitude to God for all He has done for her. I use my finger to guide across the hymns so that she knows where we are. I also point to the scripture we are reading so that she can follow along. Sometimes she will pat the hymn book or grab my arm and squeeze it when she gets the message of the song or verse. Today was one of those days that she was feeling extra blessed! It was oozing out of her as we talked before the service.
I noticed others who were sitting in church today that didn't have that joy in their countenance. They were there but something was lacking, perhaps gratitude to God for all His blessings this past week. It is easy to forget about the blessings when we choose to focus on the downside of our lives. I am sure each one of us could come in with gloomy faces and something to be sad about if we chose to do so.
What would a service be like if we all came into His presence with thanksgiving in our hearts? I sure would like to find out! I had an extra blessing today in that two of my granddaughters were baptized! I also had news of a great niece born yesterday, safe and healthy. God is so very good to us! What is in your heart today?
Thursday, October 4, 2012
I have been thinking about the story of Hagar in Genesis 16. We have a tendency to focus on one aspect of a story in the Bible and miss some of the details that make all the difference. We do the same thing in our own lives. We look at one aspect of a situation and forget that God is in the details and that they matter very much to Him. Some interesting things to note in this story: when Hagar fled into the wilderness God appeared unto her, He told her to name her son Ishmael which means "God hears." She called the name of The Lord: "Thou God seest me."
We see later in the story that God came and spoke to her again in the wilderness when she thought all was hopeless. He provided for her and her son and showed her He had not forgotten her. All of us have had those wilderness times where we felt forgotten and unnecessary. It's wonderful to know that God sees us and is in all the details that make up our lives. What are you struggling with right now? Don't miss the point: God is in the details. That should give us a certain measure of peace. Take time right now and let go of the burdens weighing you down and allow God to take care of the details.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
"When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace." Thats what the songwriter said. Due to a lack of sleep and some other issues that have come up, I have been sitting in the classroom of grace! God continues to teach me that I must "rest" on His grace. (Interesting that I find myself saying "rest" when I am so completely exhausted.)
I have thought a lot about grace lately because I have become very aware of a greater need for it. Paul said, (and he should know) that Gods grace is sufficient for every need. The only way to become increasingly aware of it is to need it so desperately. Are you in that classroom of grace? Be encouraged to know that you are not alone!
"In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He HEARD me." PS. 120:1
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Shortly after my husband's cancer diagnosis I came across this verse: "My heart is fixed, oh God, my heart is fixed. I will sing and give praise." (PS. 57:7.) We have been asked many times how we deal with all that cancer dishes out. If we didn't have the assurance that God was in control, we couldn't bear it.
There have been many times when I sat by and watched him suffer unable to do anything except pray. I wanted to do something else, but what? These are the times when we realize just what our faith really means. If my heart were not "fixed" on the one that I have been trusting in all these years, I couldn't do it.
No one knows what will happen in the next minute. We literally walk on "fragile ground" so to speak, leaning on the Lord for grace to handle what comes. There is no need to live in dread of what tomorrow holds when our hearts are fixed on Him. "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." (PS 112:7.)
Can you offer anything else to your children other than this in the face of life's difficulties? All the money you can come up with nor the best doctors in the world can fill that void. When life gets very difficult, as it does for everyone, be sure that your heart is fixed on the Lord. Remember to sing and give praise to Him! This song is coming to mind now: "Stayed upon Jehovah."
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Today is my sixtieth birthday! I cannot begin to tell you how blessed I am. I have never had a birthday impact me this way before. It has been an emotional week for me. We heard of the home going of a pastor our son served under in Florida. He was "only" 56. I have also been impacted by news of great heartache in a church in our country that has impacted so many.
I began this day by writing down 60 things that I am grateful for. When I finished my gratitude list God immediately gave me the song "Great is Thy Faithfulness." That song alone was my birthday gift from the heart of my Lord! Listen to this list of things we are blessed with when we know the Lord:
Pardon for sin
A peace that endureth
His presence to cheer and guide us
Strength for today
Bright hope for tomorrow
More than ten thousand blessings
All my needs provided
New mercies every morning
His compassions never cease
He never changes
Can you sing with me "Great is Thy Faithfulness?" I am singing it loud and clear in my study right now and if you see me around town today you may hear that song coming from my heart. What a blessed person I am, to receive a birthday song from the Lord to me! Sixty may be my best birthday yet!