Monthly Archives: December 2011

Face to Faith

Years ago one of my favorite songs, was Face to Faith by Sandi Patti.

David was small but no giant could take him. And Daniel was doomed but there was not a wound when they raised him from the lion’s den. Simon Peter, in chains, brought an angel to the rescue. Paul and Silas, in jail, were guarded to no avail for their shackles were loose and the doors just flew open. “Now, what is the catch?” I asked one day I was readin’; it must be an age old mystery. Then, takin’ a second look I discovered a strikingly clear consistency

Chorus: (It’s) meetin’ disaster face to faith, puttin’ God’s promises into place, tendin’ to trouble with a little taste of what God will do when His people start callin’ His name. He anxiously awaits to give the word to release the power that prayer creates, so we gotta learn to meet every problem that we face to faith.

Now, now, now, now, people I’ve learned that God’s word can be tested. Just trust Him, you’ll see, for those who believe He’s still a God of mighty miracles. So, when troubles hit hard, turn to God and be patient. Just stand strong, don’t run, for there isn’t anyone that He’s ever let down when their lives have been faithful. It’s easy to go half-way and not really do it. But that makes the consequences rough. The more the catastrophe, the sooner you see that you’re so much better off Chorus

He will deliver us if we only learn to trust (We gotta start… ) Chorus 

I learned very much to rely on God in a very difficult situation recently, and God has incredibly blessed. Not in the way I expected, but He used some totally unexpected ways and people to bless me during the troubles.  I want to encourage you to bring your troubles, pains, struggles to God. Continue to trust Him even when a situation seems hopeless. He hasn’t failed to let me know in many ways He’s miraculously in control of all things. When I let “disasters” become the focus, life hits hard, and soon I am filled with worry and doubts. When I meet each struggle with faith in God, I am made stronger in my faith and blessed by how God is at work in all the details.

So, when troubles hit hard turn to God and be patient

Just stand strong, don’t run, for there isn’t anyone that He’s ever let down

when their lives have been faithful  

Praying you are filled with God’s blessings when you meet your “disaster” face to faith ~ Faye

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Love Lifted Me!

God's love lifted me!My husband and I enjoy a walk along the river near our home. However, since God has blessed us with a very nice winter so far, the ground is sometimes not frozen. This has left us sinking in the mud and slipping around on the trail. The mud clings to our boots making it much harder to walk. My husband lovingly takes a stick once we get to the rocks and scrapes the majority of the mud off our boots so our walking is easier.

I woke up singing a mix of a few old songs – “He lifted me from the pit and from the miry clay, He set my feet on a rock establishing my way. … From sinking sand He lifted me, with tender hand He lifted me, from shades of night to plains of light, O praise His name, He lifted me. … Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else would help, love lifted me!” Those songs mixed through my mind and heart causing me to contemplate what God was trying to tell me. Two thoughts seemed to come from those song lyrics:

1) I am a sinner. Too often I turn my back on God. I let anger, jealousy, rejection and worry fill my mind instead of surrendering completely, trusting God to guide me and fill with His peace. No matter how many times I break God’s heart, and get stuck in the mud and mire of sin, He lovingly comes along and draws me close to Him. He tenderly, yet firmly scrapes off the mud of sin that is stuck to my heart and makes it easier to follow Him closely each day.

2) Relationships.  During Christmas we focus on the blessing of Christ’s birth to give us the gift of salvation through His sacrificial death. It seems that the need to tell others of Christ’s love is even stronger. However, with broken relationship and others who don’t want to hear of Christ, it isn’t always easy to share who God is. It seemed like God was reminding me as I walked that He is working tenderly, gently in the hearts of the people I care about who don’t know Him personally or aren’t living lives that put Him first. Instead of worrying over a lost loved one, I kept hearing – When nothing else will help (not my nagging, impatience, anger or worry), it will be God’s love that lifts them to Him. God seemed to be challenging and reminding me I need to be a reflection of His love to those in my life. I also need to be available to be used by God to gently help scrape away the mud and miry clay if He so leads.

3) Also, in my worrying over the absence of a loved one, He reminded me of His ways of turning around a heart filled with despair through David’s Psalm 40

 1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, …

5 O Lord my God, You have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.

11 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let Your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me. 12 For troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage. 13 Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me.

16 But may all who search for You be filled with joy and gladness in You. May those who love Your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”

May you be filled with the abundant blessing of God’s love lifting you from your cares ~ Faye

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas!

Soaring on Eagle’s Wings

Just praising God for His blessings this morning. Went for a 3-mile walk before breakfast with hubby and family. We were blessed to see eagles along the river – God’s magnificent creatures! It was 19 degrees and sunny with just a little breeze. We enjoyed blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers and a variety of other birds and cats.

God so lovingly provides such incredible diversity in His creation. It’s really fun to take the walk with people who study plants for a living. They were looking at mosses, tree-varieties and thinking of the vast variety growth that will be prevalent in the spring.

I am so totally rejoicing and praising God, because just a few years ago I would never had made a 3-mile walk in 80 degrees and definitely not below freezing. God has blessed me with meds that help my body move, and I’m celebrating His blessings.

Isaiah 40:28-31 came to mind after seeing the eagles

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Praying you are seeing God’s blessings in the ways He provides strength physically, emotionally and definitely spiritually. Praying He lifts you high on His wings so your heart may soar closer and closer to Him. Praying that the hope of His coming again and the assurance that Emmanuel, God with Us! blesses you today.

Soaring on the abundant blessings God provides ~ Faye

Filled with True Hope

Not everyone eagerly looks forward to the holidays because of the hurt that comes with family and friend gatherings. Sometimes behind a smile, there can be hidden a heart that is burdened for someone else, over a broken relationship, or grieving a loss.

I was reviewing my journal from December 2009. At the time, I had been reading Psalm 33 and was struck with the thought, “If God is in control of ALL things, how can I question my faith?” Or maybe it should say, “How can I question God?” We were dealing with a long lapse in communication with our son. I had been pouring my heart out to God over the situation when God seemed to break down His word almost verse by verse.

Here’s a portion of what I wrote back in 2009 along with some current thoughts:

vs. 1-3 – Praise the Lord, be filled with Joy! That’s really hard when one is full of worry. Worry is doubting in God being in control of ALL things.

vs. 4 – God is faithful in ALL He does. The New Living Translation (NLT) says, “we can trust everything He does.” He’s in control. He knows what’s going on – all the details. He loves our son so much more than we ever can.

God’s word IS true. We can trust everything He says. God’s word tells us “I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your presence!” (Psalm 139:7) These words give assurance to a mom and dad who worry over their child’s long absence. God is with us! God knew us when we were formed in the secret place, knew us before we were born, and will never leave us. He knows our pain and He knows what is happening in our son’s life.

vs. 5 – The Lord’s unfailing love FILLS the earth. Wherever our loved ones are, God’s love is there reaching out to them.

vs. 8 – Let all the people of the world revere/fear Him, for He is the God who created and ordered all of creation.

vs. 11 – But the plans of the Lord stand firm FOREVER – the purposes of His heart through ALL generations. It seemed like these words jumped off the page. God’s plans are for ALL generations, even an absent child. The NLT says, “His intentions can never be shaken.”

vs. 20-21 – Keep hoping in the Lord. He is your help.  Don’t stop lifting up your loved ones to God, but keep hoping with hearts overflowing with joy as we trust in Him.

vs. 22 – May Your unfailing love rest upon us (surround us), O Lord, for our hope is in You alone. “Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

My  hope isn’t supposed to be on the relationship or the issues surrounding it. My hope isn’t waiting for the phone to ring, or the email to come. My hope is to be founded firmly in the Lord. I’m supposed to surrender my worries and REST in Him; abiding JOYFULLY in God!

Don’t let Satan steal your joy in God. Be filled with His love. Abide fully in God’s word for the truth. Let your Hope be in the Lord, especially when it comes to the difficult relationships and losses you may endure, particularly during the holidays.

Praying you will be abundantly blessed with God’s unfailing love ~ Faye

 

Blessings Overflowing

God pours out His blessings on us every day. However, it seems during the holiday season we notice the blessings even more. I noticed this Sunday how I was blessed with hugs and warm greetings from numerous people, even ones I didn’t expect. I have been filled with God’s love through others since early yesterday morning. Those simple acts of caring were a reflection of God’s love and care and have left me filled to overflowing

There are days when I can be in a room filled with fellow believers in Christ and leave so alone. Was it them, or was it me? A quote I read yesterday challenged me, “…our behavior and heart condition do determine whether we receive the fullness of God’s blessings.” Is my heart and my attitude ready to openly receive? Or do I stay to the fringe of the room, talk to the same people always or keep too busy so that I don’t allow anyone close?

Yesterday God worked through so many people to bless me. And it wasn’t just happening to me.  I saw several small groups gathered listening, encouraging, crying with, hurting for, celebrating and sharing the love of God.

Isaiah 55:1-3 says,

Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to  me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to Me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

I was blessed yesterday to be filled with life, abundant life in Christ; shown through others who believe in Him. I’m not sure if it’s the season, or the fact that we focused on the Lord’s Supper and our brokenness being restored through Christ’s blood. Whatever it was, the Holy Spirit was moving among His people and working at filling them. What a blessing to be filled to overflowing with the love of Christ, freely given to all who believe, and easily shared when we are focused on Him.

May you enjoy God’s overflowing love and presence ~ Faye

Then Will the Very Rocks Cry Out

Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the LORD Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. … God has ascended with a mighty shout. The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King over all the earth. Praise Him with a psalm. God reigns above the nations, sitting on His holy throne.   Psalm 47:1-2, 5-8

While vacationing out West this summer, I was often amazed at the beauty and textures of the rocks. It seems like even the rocks lift their praises to God with the brilliant color and amazing richness of textures. As I prepare for worship services, I’ve questioned myself often, is there enough opportunity to “Shout to God with joyful praise!” It’s rare in our church to hear an “Amen!” shouted out. However, the praises of the people as they join together in singing praise to God is sometimes overwhelmingly beautiful worship. Of course, there are days where I struggle with feeling the depth of worship in my heart. Sometimes I’m tired, my body is in pain, the troubles of the world are distracting and draw me away from giving God the glory.

Years ago our choir sang a piece Then Will the Very Rocks Cry Out.

From the corners of creation, come the people of the Living God. Ev’ry tongue and ev’ry nation gather now to praise the Lord!  If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout. If we fail to praise You, Father, then will the very rocks cry out.

From a world of tribulation come and let your voice be raised. Join us now in congregation. Let the Living God be praised.  If we keep our voices silent, all creation will rise and shout. If we fail to praise You, Father, then will the very rocks cry out.

Words and music by Gary McSpadden, Bill George, John W. Thompson, and Randy L. Scruggs.

A few years ago God encouraged me to share how He had been working in my life through chronic illness and the flood. I argued with Him about doing so. He reminded me very clearly of the passage in Luke 19:40 where Jesus says, “If they (Christ’s followers) kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

Looking at the beauty and splendor in the rocks, I remembered the passage in Luke, and was challenged to lift my voice, AND more importantly, my heart in praise to God, through the good and the bad times. I don’t want the rocks to praise God for me – I want to thank God for ALL He has done. “Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises!”

Praying you are able to lift your hearts in praise to God today ~ Faye

God’s Gracious Blessings

From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. John 1:16 NLT

Christmas is the time for celebrating, anticipating, hoping, baking, cookies, presents given and received, special worship services and parties with family and friends. The holiday season can be a wonderful time with many blessings. But for some it is a time of loneliness, stress, tension, broken relations, unmet expectations and/or loss.

As Satan tries to steal my joy during this holy season with concerns over family relationships and dynamics, I have to continually counterattack him with reminders from God’s word that God knows my hurts.

Think of it. God grieves when His creation sin. He loves us so much and yet we willingly turn away from Him.  God sent His Son to suffer, die, be rejected by his earthly family and while in the depths of hell His heavenly Father. He had to deal with loss and betrayal of friends so He could save us and give us eternal life. Jesus knows personally the pain that comes from broken relationships and sin in this world.

When Satan attacks your heart and tries to steal your spiritual JOY, make sure you turn it around – remember how much God the Father and God the Son LOVE you and understand where you are. God wants to have His children talk to Him, rely on Him, bring their hurts to Him. He will pour out His gracious blessings from His abundance.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.   Romans 5:6-8 NLT

During the difficult times of the holiday season, I pray you will be filled with the abundance of God’s gracious blessings so that you are deeply content. Rely fully on God so that nothing can shake you.

I am blessed by a quote of Nancy Guthrie in her new book, Abundant Life Day Book.

“In the midst of the trouble and struggle and sorrow, you find yourself deeply secure, profoundly content and happy in [God.] To know [God], walk with [Him], and share life with [Him] – that is the essence of blessing.”

Praying you enjoy God’s abundant blessings of grace and peace ~ Faye

Joy to the WORLD!

Sing a new song to the LORD, for He has done wonderful deeds. Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King! Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise! Let the earth and all living things join in. Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy before the LORD. For the LORD is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness.                                                                                                                            Psalm 98:1,4-9 NLT

We were blessed to sing Joy to the World! yesterday in church. Afterwards, a friend said to me how much he loved the slide I had for the background.

He said how much it reminded him that people from every tongue and tribe in churches around the world were gathered together to praise the LORD. His enthusiasm and awe were very transparent and catching. He wondered what it was like for God to hear the praises of His people rise to heaven to give Him glory in a multitude of tongues, hearts bursting with joy.

This beautiful song was written by Isaac Watts. I have a book on the background of songs written by Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace. Osbeck shares the emphasis of this Christmas hymn is the “reverent but ecstatic joy that Christ’s birth brought to mankind.” During Advent we focus on Christ’s birth on earth so that He could save sinful mankind from their sins and enjoy eternity with Him. The last part of Psalm 98 is a paraphrase of Joy to the World! Advent also focuses on Christ’s coming again to judge the world with justice and fairness.

As part of the background, Osbeck writes, “this psalm was intended by Watts to be a New Testament expression of praise.” Joy to the World was originally titled The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom. So glad it was renamed. But I wonder if it were known by the old name if we wouldn’t sing it more throughout the year. We sing it as a Christmas hymn, but don’t the worlds reflect what has happened, what is happening and what will happen. Our Heavenly Creator gave us a Redeemer to pour out His blood for our sins. His grace and mercy wash away our sinfulness. When the LORD rules the world, the curse of sin is broken and truth and grace shine throughout the world. Truly this is a song that should be sung year round because it tells the wonderful story of the Messiah’s coming and His kingdom.

During this holy-day season, when you sing Joy to the World remember two things 1) Christ came for you, to save you from your sins and give you eternal life when you accept Him as your Savior and LORD, and 2) you are privileged and blessed to join with millions throughout the world lifting your praises to the LORD for He has done wonderful deeds, when you lift your hearts and voices to sing

Joy to the world! the LORD is come! Let earth receive her King; let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth the Savior reigns. Let men their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.

Praying you thoroughly enjoy the blessing of knowing the LORD is come! ~ Faye

Content in Waiting

It’s Advent – a time of anticipating the coming of Christ’s birth; actually remembering and celebrating Christ’s birth more than 2,000 years ago.

I just finished my Bible study of 1 John. God loved us so much (even before we were born) that He sent His one and only Son so that we may have eternal life. The Apostle John is so persistent in wanting us to know this that he repeats it in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 3:16a – “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. …” 1 John 4:9 – “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”

John wants us to know all we need to do is believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as our Savior and Redeemer. We will be saved. And one day, we will receive the gift of eternal life.

Advent is also a time of anticipating Christ’s coming again.

I was studying the bride of Christ recently and learned the future groom comes to the future bride’s father and gives a dowry as a betrothal that is a vow/covenant with the promise that he will come again to claim his bride. The man then returns to his father’s house to prepare a home for his future bride. Not until the man’s father says everything is ready for the bride does the groom return. He doesn’t even know when until the Father tells Him.

Comparing the church to the bride of Christ, it struck me that even Christ is anticipating His return. Christ has to wait – actively because He is preparing rooms for each one of His believers when He brings them home to eternal life.  Christ has to wait because He doesn’t know when He will return, only the Father does.

Our waiting should be active as well. I think one of my favorite and goal-setting verses from 1 John is 4:17 – “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” I CAN’T WAIT to see my LORD face to face. And I want to be able to boldly and confidently approach His throne because I have lived for Him filled with His love. There are many days I’m afraid I would be ashamed if Christ returned at that moment. However, if I remain in /abide in /belong to Him, I will live for Him and like Him. That will allow me to be bold and confident to approach His throne because I am filled with His love and humility.

Too often I find myself worrying about tomorrow or thinking of regrets in the past. I need to live in today loving and serving my God and King. I am being challenged by several readings lately to be content. A quote I read recently said “Contentment is a hallmark of living fully in the present, not in the past or future”. At first I totally agreed, especially if looking at the past involves regrets or the future worries. But I believe God has been challenging me to be content in all times.

Content in the past – It’s done. I continue to learn from what has happened.

Content today – Because God provides for all my daily needs.

Content in the future – even with all its uncertainty because I know Christ will return. I live with the anticipation from Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask of the LORD and this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.”

Praying you may be blessed while you wait with anticipation for Christ’s return ~ Faye

Too Busy?

Come and see what God has done!

Am I too busy to notice God? Sometimes it is very clear to see God’s hand and other times it’s a struggle to see Him with physical senses.

We’ve had to tighten our spending habits in the past two years due to a change income source. Part of my “job” is to watch for ways to make the best use of the resources God has provided.  I went shopping for an Angel Tree gift and had a store coupon – spend $50/receive a $10 gift card on your next purchase.

I made my purchases; however, they came to $35. I began asking myself if there was anything else I actually NEEDED to bring the total to $50.  I didn’t. The lady in front of me at the checkout obviously had been Christmas shopping. I handed her the coupon and said, “Merry Christmas!”.  She was very grateful and asked a few times, “Are you sure about this?”  “Yes,” I said with a sincere smile.

I proceeded to talk with God while I waited to check out. It went something like this, “God, You provided that coupon – I thought for me. Obviously I missed the focus, since I thought it was to stretch our dollars, but in reality it was to bless someone else. Thank You for using me.” (I’ll admit there was some, “seriously God” thoughts going on as well, but for the most part, I kept turning them back to thanking and praising Him for an opportunity to bless someone else.)

Well the lady was checked out and just about to leave when she turned to me and said, “Here, you take the gift card, Merry Christmas.” I said, “Thank You,” to her and praising God at the same time! Laughing at how awesome God is in the ways He provides – especially when I surrender my “self” to Him. Now I didn’t have to spend the $50 to save $10 on a return trip! I saved the $10 on $35. He had a better plan for me.

I am sure He put the idea into my head, nudged my heart to give the lady the coupon. Had I been so focused on my finances, myself, the busyness of all the things I had to do, I would have missed an opportunity to be used by God and to have Him turn around the blessing back to me.

Praying that in the busyness of life, especially during the Christmas season, you take time to be with God.

Love One Another

When I married my husband 35 1/2 yrs ago, we had this song in our wedding – “Love one another, love one another, as I have loved you. And care for each other, care for each other, as I have cared for you. And bear one another’s burdens, and share each other’s joys, and love one another, love one another, and bring each other home.” For some reason, that type of love has been relatively easy to share with my husband over all these years. God has blessed us greatly in our relationship.

But oh how I wish I had lived that type of Godly-love for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! There have been way too many fellow believers over the years who are walking-wounded because of my sinful words or actions. Living in a small town the past few years and getting to know many people following the 2008 flood, there have been good and bad times as well. Recently some hurtful words were said about me. As God has been working on healing and restoring, He’s put some of the people who were involved back into my life. I’ve wanted to ignore them or retaliate. However, after studying 1 John daily for eleven weeks, I’ve been reminded over and over again, I’m supposed to LOVE these people with the love of God and the love of Christ because I love God.

GOD’S LOVE – John 3:16-17, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”

CHRIST’S LOVE – Philippians 2:5-8, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Thou He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

God’s love shows us redemption and grace through sacrificial giving. Christ’s love shows us sacrificial giving through obedience and humility to God’s will.

So I’m asking myself, especially with difficult people, “Am I showing them the love of God and the love of Christ in my words and actions?” There are so many times I’m grateful that my thoughts are filtered through God’s love before they come out of my mouth.

By sharing God’s love, something good happens, not only to the people we love, but also in us. God’s abundant love and grace poured out on others is a transforming gift to us.

May you enjoy the blessing of God’s love and grace especially as you share His love with others ~ Faye

Thanksliving Blessings

I am abundantly blessed!  I know this because I’ve just spent some time reviewing my journal.  It’s the time of year to prepare the annual Christmas letter. So reviewing some of the blessings and ways I’ve seen God’s hand has been such a wonderful reminder of His providential love and care.Remembering God's Blessings

For several years I’ve kept a journal in a planning calendar that gives me just enough space to fill in thoughts for each day.  Usually I don’t miss a day unless there are some health issues that keep me from it. There are days where the praise of seeing God’s hand at work just flow on the page. And there are days where I haven’t “seen” God, but I know He is providing for my needs. Thankful for a “warm furnace on a cold day, a bowl of hot soup, energy to exercise, or medicine to help improve lifestyle through chronic illness.”

However there was a period this year where I went from mid-May to July of not journaling. Some of this was because we were abundantly blessed to spend 5 weeks with our active 7 year old granddaughter who took up a lot of time. But most of it was a time of introspection, frustration and anger at God for “not being there,” at least not in the way I wanted Him to answer my prayers and show Himself to me. There were several big changes and losses that had happened from January on. I just wanted God to “give us a break” when it came to health, finances, relationships, etc. It seemed like we were living on a perpetual rollercoaster.

In retrospect I realize I didn’t want to write things down on paper that I was grateful for or ways I’d seen God because I was mad at Him. I was angry that God, Who is in control of all things in my life, was allowing these things to happen. During a time of vacation and rest with friends’ who live on a lake, I did a lot of thinking and praying about why I was so angry at God. I realized that wasn’t how I wanted to continue living. One of the first ways to change that was to pick up my journal and start noticing the blessings again.

Thoughts began with the simple things like “air conditioning, a bed to sleep in, and granddaughter cleaning up”. But quickly came the “see Your hand guiding me toward words of encouragement.” Things didn’t automatically get better because 3 days after starting the journaling, I had news that the meds to help the RA symptoms were potentially damaging my liver, and so had to change meds once again. But this time I stayed focus on the blessings. The first week back to journaling ends with “For the blessings of seeing people worship you – How Great Thou Art!”

We have a great and awesome God. We are abundantly blessed to have God’s Word to fill us, refresh us, encourage us, and draw us back to Him.

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself.  Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.   –  Romans 8:31-39

Thank You God, I am abundantly blessed that You do not leave me nor forsake me even when I turn my back on You in anger. You continue to hold out Your arms for me to come back to You. Thank You!

 Abundantly Blessed by God ~ Faye

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. www.Biblegateway.com

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