Today's Blessing

As I kayaked beside my adult children training for a triathlon, all that came to mind was “endurance”. As each stroke became more gruelling then the last, grit, fortitude and stamina took over. Sweet mom, if you feel like breathing in water today and simply calling it quits, let me assure you, the shore is not too far away. Keep going.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it”. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)

Job and His troubles

Job’s Troubles

If you read the Bible, you will be familiar with the life of Job. Through no fault of his own, he came up against a lot of trouble.

Job had been very successful and served God faithfully. One day, his name came up in heaven. The devil, being jealous of such devotion, actually went to God and asked permission if he could test him. His accusation, “Job only serves You because you are good to him. Take away Your goodness and he’ll curse you”.

What gall. He’s an accuser of the worse kind.

However, God knew his servant Job and granted the devil permission.

When bad things started happening, Job was stunned. Everything was collapsing around him and he struggled to understand. Why would God allow such tragedies to occur in succession? He was in anguish.

We know the end of Job’s story because it’s written, however, if you were living life from Job’s perspective – he didn’t have a clue what was going on. Sometimes like Job, we simply cannot formulate our thoughts and come to a conclusion as to what is happening either.

Bottom line is: God takes care of those He loves. Like Job, regardless of how it looks at the time and even if circumstances are not understandable – God knows what’s going on.

At the end of Job’s life God restored everything. Sometimes your years can be a bit tumultuous, however, if you keep your eyes heavenward … God takes care of those He loves.

It’s a promise.

… the Lord watches over those who fear him …”.   Psalm 33:18                  

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.  Jeremiah 29:11

 “ … I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. Matthew 28:20

 Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, even when I don’t understand your ways, I’ll still trust you. You are a good God and a good Father. My hope is in you”.

a few good friends

A FEW GOOD FRIENDS

I’m sure you have found this to be true, good friends are hard to find. Whether you are in grade school, high school, college or later in life, loyal friends are few.

Often we expect acquaintances to assume a more solitary role, that of a trustworthy friend.

There lies the problem.

We put our confidence in acquaintances who were meant to fill a certain role, for a specific time and then slip out of our lives.

One day, while trying to figure out “who were my acquaintances and who were my friends”, I decided to look at the life of the Jesus; I noted – He had a “few good friends”.

Jesus had twelve disciples who He would say were friends. Within those twelve, He had an inner circle made up of three – Peter, James and John; and within those three He had a bosom friend named John.

Since Jesus has left us an example of how to live in every circumstance – I began to ponder my relationships. Had I mistakenly thought some acquaintances were best friends?

During your lifetime there will only be a handful of individuals who will stick with you to the end. Recognizing this reality will lessen your heartache and disappointment.

Ask God to give you a few good friends.

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray”. Proverbs 12:26

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you”. James 1:5

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, please give me wisdom in the friend area. May I discern the difference between a good friend and an acquaintance. Throughout the seasons of my life provide me with a faithful few. Teach me to chose my friends carefully and stay away from not-so-good people, as your Word says, sometimes they will lead me off course”.

resist the enemy's lies

Resist the Enemies Lies

The devil tortures with fear. He whispers:

“Your kids will buckle when faced with decisions. They won’t stand up for themselves.

They will follow the crowd. They won’t walk away when they should. They won’t have any backbone. They won’t follow God”.

 “You’re a terrible parent. You never get things right. You can’t raise your kids well.

They will never turn out well. You’re such a failure. You won’t even live long enough to see them grow up”.

Resist the enemies lies. Same old, same old.

The Bible says the accuser is the “father of lies”. He tries to paralyze God’s people with fear, however, the Bible gives us advice on counterattacking.

“Resist him and he will flee”. Resist means to fight back.

We fight back with truth. God’s truth.

Here are some facts to counteract his lies:

According to Luke 2:40 “my children will be strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God will be upon them”.

According to Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”.

 I can resist the enemy according to James 4:7. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”.

You are partnering with God to raise eternal human beings. He loves them more than you do. Allow me to encourage you to pray for them often. “Lord, make them strong. Help them to make a good choice right now. Deliver them from evil”.

God is all powerful and He can keep your kids.

That, dear reader – is absolute truth!

 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” Ephesians 3:20

  “God does not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind, completely whole and not confused”. 11 Timothy 1:7

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”. Proverbs 22:6

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me of your truth. I believe your word and will no longer fall into despair because of the enemy’s lies. Thanks you Lord for keeping my kids. I trust you”.

 

 

 

Your Prayer Has Been HeardYOUR PRAYER IS HEARD!

The Christmas season has just passed, however, I love the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

They prayed and prayed for a child – and nothing. Year after year they hoped – and still nothing. Finally resigning themselves to “nothing”, they filed their prayer request “unanswered”.

Then one day, as Zechariah was performing his priestly duties at the synagogue, the angel Gabriel appeared.

“Your prayer has been heard”.

“My prayer?”

Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up praying for a child, they had long ago moved on.

However, what they didn’t realize was every prayer we pray is logged in heaven.

Often we pray and when we don’t receive an answer in our reasonable time frame – we give up. To pray for something, anything – and then wait for God to act – is agonizing. However, this story gives us hope.

Read the angel’s proclamation to Zechariah “ … Do not be afraid Zechariah; your prayer has been heard, your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son …”.

The angel even told them it was a boy.

Truly God’s ways are higher than ours.

Do you have a request you have given up on? Waited for so long you have almost forgotten your heart’s desire?

Let the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth encourage you.

God timing is so perfect. His thoughts exceed even our hopeful expectations, His ways triumph over our most optimistic outlook … He is GOD alone and He always answers prayer.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know”. Jeremiah 33:3

 “With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible”. Matthew 19:26

 The Lord will work out his plans for my life – for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me”. Psalm 138:8

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, you did hear my request! Oh Lord, my strength is renewed – please answer my prayer in your timing and in your way. Not my will but yours dear Lord. Amen”.

 

 

 

 

 

student course mess upCourse Mess Up

What’s a student to do?

When …

The college or university you are attending gives you the wrong information and you end up not having the right courses to graduate?

Or, perhaps you’ve been working on a specific degree believing you have the correct requirements, only to find you are still missing one more credit?

This happens dear student. You do what you can to be sure your credits are in order and somehow, somewhere, a mistake is made in assessing your course load.

 To make matters worse, you talk to the administration and they don’t care.

No one seems to care.

To say you are disappointed is an understatement.

You want to call it quits and forget about school. Who cares anyway?

Sadly, this happens from time to time. All you can do is correct everything the best you can and move forward.

As a student, truthfully, you need inner fortitude to continue in school.

I bless you for being so courageous.

You have done exceptionally well.

 “In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me”. Psalm 86:7

 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you”. 1 Peter 5:7

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. Proverbs 3:5,6

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear God, please help me. I’m stressed and frustrated and just want to give up and quit. I ask for divine intervention. Please fix my situations. Show me what to do today and everyday”.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kids and sportsPlaying any sport forces you to persevere. Playing on a team produces cooperation.

When my five children were young, we encouraged them to play all kinds of sports. Not really because of me, I might add, it was their Dad who loved sports and could play anything.

Dejectedly, when I went to school, I was always one of the last ones picked for a team.

I wanted to play everything, but no one wanted me.

My husband jokes now and says “I would have picked you had I known you back then”.

I know better.

He wouldn’t have!

He likes to win and somehow I didn’t look like a winner! Don’t worry, I have no issues regarding my childhood school yard picks!

Sports though, teaches teamwork, discipline and cooperation. We spent many hours driving to and from all sorts of games.

We celebrated their victories and mourned their losses.

Teamwork teaches them to persevere; not to quit and stay on the team.

Life isn’t always fair and some coaches aren’t either. Allow me to encourage you to make those teachable moments. Sadly, our kids find out soon enough, life isn’t fair and neither are their bosses.

However, playing on a team is still helpful in life. Even though not every child is “athletic” any group activity, sports or otherwise, will teach them life skills. Be sure to spend some time pondering what sport or activity is right for them. Find one that suits your child.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”. Philippians 4:13 

 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven”. Ecclesiastes 3:1 

 Today’s Prayer:

“Thank you Heavenly Father for healthy children who can run and play. Help me to teach them to persevere and not quit when the going gets tough. They can do everything through You who gives them strength. Help me to encourage my children”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

As we chatted over breakfast, a friend smiled and said “I love a New Year. I kind of messed up a bit last year, it’s so great to start fresh again!”

How we all need to “start fresh again”.

Today, we have that chance.

As you are aware, New Year’s Resolutions have proven not to work, however, dreams and goals have a different longevity.

I looked up in the dictionary the meaning of the word “dream” and “goal”.

A simple definition would be: a dream is more long term and a goal is achieved little by little resulting in a desired end.

I believe we can accomplish small daily goals towards our ultimate longer-term dream.

Or simply put: “Live one day at a time and live it well”.

Of course that is easier said than done – however, I have found I can live pretty well for one day. If I pile on the regrets of yesterday and look ahead to my unknown tomorrow’s, one can get anxious, but generally – for one day, we are able to manage our lives regardless of our circumstances, with God’s grace and help.

During a new year, I always reflect on God’s goodness from the past year, ponder each miracle and answer to prayer and then look forward to God’s provisions and His surprises for the next.

Yes, like my friend, we may have messed up a bit last year but that was last year – the best is yet to come!

“… Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, Great is Your faithfulness”.       Lamentations 3: 22,23

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you”. Deuteronomy 31:8

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, I am so looking forward to this new year. Forgive me for past mistakes. I desire to do better this year. Go before me. Keep your hand behind me and around me. Cover me with your grace and mercy every day. Amen”.

 

joy to the world

JOY TO THE WORLD – THE LORD HAS COME!

As Christmas week draws to a close – I trust you have slowed the pace and had a few moments to savour the Christmas story.

It’s full of wonder.

I wonder why would God choose to come to earth as a baby?

Why not a grown man?

A baby is so helpless, so defenceless.

And I wonder why a teenage girl was chosen to be the mother of God’s Son? Why not an older, more mature woman.

I wonder why a young girl?

And what did God see in Joseph to give him such a holy calling? God was asking him to care for His Only Begotten Son on planet earth.

I wonder what was different about Joseph and Mary that God entrusted them with such an assignment?

Then there’s the shepherds. Ordinary folk, out in a pasture, watching their sheep. Their simple field became the backdrop of angelic beings.

What a wonder. I would have loved to have been there …

So many “wonders” to this Christmas story.

If you haven’t had a moment to “wonder”, please do. Even today read the Christmas story in Luke 2.

There are so many wonders surrounding the birth of Jesus.

One day, we’ll talk “Christmas” in heaven.

Hear Mary’s heart: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true”.  Luke 1:38

  “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests”. Luke 2:13,14

  “For with God nothing is impossible”. Luke 1:37

 “Dear Heavenly Father, what a plan. So extraordinary. So miraculous. So wonderful. How can I ever doubt you? Nothing is impossible with you. Thank you for humbling yourself to come into this world to save me. I have no words but thank you. I am full of wonder”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas suddenlies - love

Christmas Suddenlies!

 “And “suddenly” there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men”. Luke 2: 13,14

“SUDDENLY”!

I love the suddenlies.

My uncle affirms, “He’s the “God of the suddenlies”.

“Suddenly” on that first Christmas night the shepherd’s heard the announcement of the birth of a King. Can you imagine the shepherd’s “sudden” surprise as they lingered near their sheep?

They were expecting an ordinary night, when “suddenly” everything changed. A host of angels starting singing – it was quite a night and quite a sight.

No doubt Mary herself was surprised when her precious little one “suddenly” came during their trip to Bethlehem. Imagine Joseph’s shock as his young wife “suddenly” delivers in a stable with just him?

Do you need a “God suddenly” this Christmas? Is there something you have been hoping for, dreaming for, praying for, longing for?

I’m looking for a “God-suddenly” this Christmas.

I know for certain, nothing is impossible with God.

God frequently does things “suddenly”. The Bible is full of the “suddenlies”.

“He’s the God of the suddenlies” … watch for Him!

Merry Christmas!

And “suddenly” there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men”. Luke 2: 13,14

“For nothing is impossible with God” Luke 1:37

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me”. John 14:1

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for hearing my prayer, caring about my dreams and bringing an answer to my longings. As you came to the shepherds so long ago on that Christmas night, come “suddenly” to me this Christmas. I’ll watch for you”.

 

Christmas - say yes

It’s Christmas – Say Yes!

 What if the individuals in the Christmas story didn’t say “yes?”  What if they said “that’s too much to ask, I can’t do it”. Or, “what will people think, what you are saying is impossible”.

I’m so glad there was a:

“Yes” from God to send His only Son.

A “Yes” from Jesus who agreed to come.

A “yes” from Mary, the chosen one.

And a “yes” from Joseph.

Upon hearing the news of the child within Mary, and even in his bewilderment, Joseph said “yes” to the angel. Never before had a child been born in this manner, and never a child since.

Joseph knew his decision would be misunderstood, however, regardless of this consequence, he still said “yes”.

I love that God sent an angel to him “while he thought on these things” to help him – to further explain such an unprecedented event.

Sometimes it is not for us to see the whole picture, as was with Joseph. God just asks us to say “yes” when He speaks. He will unfold his plan. He is for us.

Is there something you should be saying “yes” too? Often God gently nudges, even for a while, to get our attention – so we know what He is asking or saying to us.

Consider this Christmas, saying “yes” to God.

Mary did, and we are still reaping the benefits of her “yes”.

“I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true …”. Luke 1:38

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.  Jeremiah 29:11

  “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”. Romans 8:28

 Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, today I say “yes” to you. Thank you for continuing to speak to me, even in my busy-ness. You are so patient and I thank you. Hear my “yes” today”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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