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)

courage

In Need Of Courage Today?

 How could a blind climber scale Mr. Everest?

I know, I couldn’t believe it to be true either. I listened with fascination as I watched his interview.

To climb Mt. Everest with sight is a gruelling undertaking, but in darkness, with only a rope attached to someone else? His climb took tremendous grit and courage.

What would drive this climber to keep going, despite the hardships, let alone blindness?

A dream. He had a dream to summit Mt. Everest.

He decided to inhale courage and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

He said, “It does not take sight to reach the top of this mountain, it takes vision”.

Interestingly, he used the word vision, when sight is what he was lacking. However, he saw things the sighted person never sees. This gentleman reached deep within himself and made it.

His dream became a reality through courage.

His attitude and disposition in life was noteworthy.

He overcame his “disabilities” with such grace.

So what is it we think we cannot do?

Do not give up today.

Courage. Vision. Determination.

Keep climbing.

“So do not fear, for I am with you …”.  Isaiah 41:10 

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart”.  Psalm 37:4 

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, it takes so much courage to accomplish what this man did. Forgive me for complaining. Would you give me that kind of determination? I need a fresh dose of courage to keep going today. I know I can do all things through You who gives me strength. Thank you for hearing my prayer”.

God Redeems Broken Women

God Redeems Broken Women

Have you ever felt like a broken woman? Thought your life was ruined? Let me tell you the story of Rahab.

She was a broken woman.

Her profession … well, unprofessional.

Though Rahab’s lifestyle was shameful, God saw her and knew what she could become. He knew her heart.

God’s eternal plan would one day weave through her, a broken woman.

You may remember the story of how she hid two spies. These two men came to check out the “walls of Jericho”. They heard the city was impenetrable and they needed to “investigate”. Rahab was kind and protected them from being found and killed. In return, the two spies protected her and her family when the “walls fell”.

Rahab was a completely unlikely “angel” however, God often uses broken women to bring about His plan and He still does today.

Through Rahab, Boaz was born, then his son and their lineage continues all the way to Jesus.

How wonderful of our Lord. He sees right to the heart of all of us. None of us are beyond His redemptive power.

God redeems broken women.

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool”. Isaiah 1:18

“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

 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. Psalm 147:3

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me, even when I have trouble loving me. Like Rahab, you see what I can be and that gives me hope. Forgive me of all my sins. Heal my heart and change me I pray”.

simpler Christmas - Merry Christmas

Awe Christmas.

Snow falling gently, Christmas music playing, baking cooling – isn’t it a shame that everyday doesn’t feel like Christmas?

Perhaps your day looks nothing like this idyllic image. Sure Christmas is right around the corner but as a Mom, you’re stressed to the max.

To you, December means more pressure, more money, more demands and less time.

How do we change this year’s Christmas season?

Simple.

Simply.

Simplify.

I remember the year I didn’t make a budget at Christmas. Instead of sitting down, which my husband and I normally did – and make a plan – for some reason we didn’t that year.

Perhaps it was the year our 5th was born, a good reason, however, when January’s credit card bill came in – my heart sank. Did I really spend that much? On what? Oh it was painful … to still be paying for Christmas presents that summer.

“Never again” I said … and I never did.

How much can you afford to spend this Christmas? Make a list of those you need to buy for and how much you have to spend. Mark off those who, couldn’t-care-less-about-you-anyway or you-always-buy-a-gift-for-them-regardless.

Even if you have the money, does your child really need multiple gifts? Is there a way you could teach your kids the “joy of giving”? Is there a child who could really use the “extra” gift you were going to give to yours?

Making wise choices now, is just that – wise.

Bottom line – God is interested in everything we do.

He will help us be creative with our gift giving … if we ask.

He will help us do all things, His way, simply if we ask.

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

 “For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it”. Ecclesiastes 7:12

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”. Proverbs 3:5,6

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your concern. No one cares like you. Of course you know exactly what I should do in every circumstance, even down to gift buying. I believe you will help me today to make a plan and make it work. You will instruct me and teach me in the way that I should go (buy): You will guide me with Your eye”. Psalm 32:8

 

 

married 60 yearsStaying Married for 60 Years

I was at a wedding recently and heard the very-much-in-love bride and groom repeat their vows. I looked up the actual meaning of the word “vow”; to solemnly promise, to make a pledge or a personal commitment. Powerful words.

“For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health till death do us part”.

“Wow”, I thought. Every couple started out saying these vows, either the traditional one above or ones of their own.

They said they would stick it out for the worse, the poorer or if ill health invades …

My parents recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. On their wedding day, as they stood before the minister 6 decades earlier, he read the following …

“My help comes from the Lord … Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 121:2, 127:1)

 If you could sit down with my parents today, they would tell you, there were times when they did have the worse, the poorer and the ill health … however, they knew their help came from the Lord and with God’s help, little by little, they kept building their house.

How do we keep our marriages intact for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 or 60 years …

My parents would tell you, it’s God at the centre. God’s love, forgiveness and grace, everyday, in every way.

If your marriage is struggling, talk to God – He knows how to put everything back together. He fixes broken things.

“For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health till death do us part”.

 “If God before us, who can be against us”. Romans 8:31

 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” I Corinthians 13: 4-7

“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:

“Heavenly Father, teach me to love like you do. Help me to put my spouse before myself. I repent of my selfishness. Support me as I “vow” to remember the vows I made and keep them. Build our home and marriage I pray, Amen”.  

 

patience

Sarah Needed Patience

Perhaps you have heard the story of Abraham and Sarah in the Bible. God promises them a child and when that child does not come – Sarah takes matters into her own hands.

She doesn’t wait on God’s timing.

We certainly find Sarah’s solution to her problem appalling. To believe another woman’s child, fathered by her husband, was the answer to her barrenness, is outrageous.

Rather than wait on God’s timing and promise – Sarah tried to bring about God’s plan her way …

Didn’t work for Sarah and doesn’t work for us either.

Instead of the joy she anticipated – she received heartache. Similar to Sarah, anytime we try to manipulate matters, we merely complicate situations. God did hear Sarah’s prayers and even though she messed up, in His timing – He did indeed bless her with a child, the promised son Isaac.

Let us learn from mothers gone before us, God will answer our prayers.

May we learn to wait on God’s timing.

Oh how I need to trust Him more and wait for Him to move on my behalf.

 “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

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down”. Proverbs 14:1

“Trust in the Lord at all times … pour out your heart before Him”. Psalm 62:8 

Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, I have to admit I try to take matters into my own hands, thinking I have all the wisdom to make the right choices. Forgive me. May I wait on you, your timing. Help me to continue to trust you with all my unanswered prayers and wait for you to act”.

impossible situation

Impossible Situation

Just like unpredictable weather, there are impossible situations, sudden storms in life, that catch us by surprise.

Perhaps during your educational journey something unexpected has emerged. Allow me to encourage you, God knows all about it and has the answer to your dilemma. He can work out your situation.

Actually, let me tell you about one impossible situation, God did work out …

Since a young girl, one of my daughters wanted to be a physician and assumed upon completion of the required schooling, she would be accepted at a Medical School. However, in actual fact, the medical field has become so competitive; to be successful in this process is nothing short of a miracle. After submitting 27 applications over 5 years, every school responded back with the same heartbreaking response, “negative”.

No room for you.

The mental pain of not reaching your graduate school choice of study, year after year, was sheer agony.

“Okay” she thought. “I’m done applying, I can’t take this anymore”.

Have you ever put your life on hold, hoping a dream would come pass and it never does?

Disheartening, to say the least.

Deeply discouraged, my daughter concluded, “I’ll find a job in the medical field and work there, I’m just not destined to be a doctor”.

After a couple of weeks working in the hospital, she wasn’t at peace. Day to day interacting with doctors became agonizing. She knew, “I was meant to be one of them”.

Mustering up enough courage one October, application month, she decided to try the process again – one more time.

And … would you believe, on the 28th time of submitting applications, she finally received the response she had been waiting 5 years to hear – “yes”.

We want you!

She still marvels at how God has weaved “all things together for her good” in her life.“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

Is there something you should try again – one more time?

  “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

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

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

Today’s prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father, my situation seems impossible too. No matter what I do, I feel like I am going no where. Please make a way where there seems to be no way or change my desires. I will Trust in You with all my heart; and will not depend on my own understanding. I have no one to go to but you. Thank you for understanding and bringing a solution to my impossible situation. (Proverbs 3:5)

forgiveness

Corrie ten Boom on Forgiveness

Not forgiving someone is like having an open wound and never going for stitches. It is breaking your leg and not setting the bones or “having your appendices burst” and hoping the poison will not kill you.

To forgive isn’t easy.

However, not forgiving will prove to be much harder.

Jesus has forgiven us of everything; with His love, He will help us do the same.

Corrie ten Boom, a Holocaust survivor from the second World War, has an emotional story on forgiveness.

After Corrie’s release from Revensbruck Concentration Camp where she was brutally treated by the guards and where her sister had died – she was invited as the guest speaker to a meeting in Holland. Once she finished her talk, many people came up to shake her hand and to her dismay, standing in front of her, was a guard she recognized from the Ravensbruck.

“A fine message Corrie, how good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!” He held his hand out to her, “I’ve found Jesus Corrie, will you forgive me?”

At that moment Corrie says she couldn’t move.

She froze and time stopped.

Memories poured through her mind like a waterfall – that guard had been so cruel, not just to her and her sister, but countless others as well. After what seemed like an eternity, she prayed silently, “Jesus, help me – I can lift my hand, I can do that much but you have to supply the feeling”.

With her act of obedience, God did indeed supply the feeling and she was able to extend forgiveness. Corrie recalls, “I didn’t have the power to forgive, but the power came from the Holy Spirit as it says in Romans 5:5”. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given us”.

Corrie was able to forgive because of the love of Jesus.

 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard”. Romans 3:23

“Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, rescue us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”. Matthew 6:12

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for forgiving me of my sin, everything I have ever done wrong and burying my sins as well, at the bottom of the sea”.

 

raising good kids

PRAY, READ AND BE FAIR

Important truths when raising a family.

Have you ever tried to get everything right and somehow everything seems to go wrong?

When troubles, demands and day-to-day life leave you feeling overwhelmed and in despair, what do you do?

How do you make it through difficulty?

How do you make it through another day? Another week?

How do you successfully raise godly kids?

How do you keep calm in your present situation?

Allow me to give you a few suggestions that have worked for me. Very important truths.

  1. Pray
  2. Read God’s Word
  3. Be fair

Pray

With your husband, kids and all of them having different needs at different times, it is important to know where your help comes from …

“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” Psalm 121:1-2

When you need help from God, cry out, “help me”. Jesus always encouraged me during my mothering years. I felt His strength when I prayed. In fact, some of the sweetest moments in life has come during these times of prayer.

Read God’s Word

You would think that’s a given, however, so many people never read God’s instruction manual. The Bible has an answer for every problem.

It is so important to find God’s answer and apply His wisdom to the situation. Be honest, before God. Admit your failures to Him. He’ll help you be good.

Be Fair

 

Are your children simply acting like kids or are they truly rebellious?

Are they just plain tired? Or are you just worn out?

Unfair treatment will bring deep-seated anger. Be fair. We all make wrong judgements at times, however, let those times be an exception not the norm.

“I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me …”. Psalm 3:4

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him”.

Psalm 127:3 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up …”. Ephesians 4:29

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I know you see me today and know all my struggles. I feel so overwhelmed but come to you in my time of need. I too cry, “help me”. I believe that you will make me good”.

hope beneath the earth

Need a little hope today?

A couple of years ago in the month of October, 33 Chilean miners were rescued after spending 69 days locked beneath the earth’s surface.

Months earlier a shaft had caved in where the miners were working trapping them deep within the mine. It took 17 days for rescuers to even think of how to reach them.

Knowing the hope of anyone surviving after 2-1/2 weeks was slim, however, the rescuers still decided to send a message through a small-bore hole near the shaft, “is anyone alive”? To their shock and amazement a message came back – “yes, yes, we are still alive, we didn’t give up hope”.

Imagine the optimism it took, when all seemed hopeless, to keep believing you may be found when you knew you were completely lost.

Another 2 months would pass, before a newly designed capsule would descend into the earth to rescue them.

What an ordeal for these men and their families. People say there are no atheists in foxholes – I suspect there were none to be found 2300 feet under the earth either.

God always knows where we are. Whether on earth or beneath the earth …

Don’t give up hope … God will rescue you.

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence … if I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me”. Psalm 139: 7-10

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear God, thank you for knowing where I am at all times. Just as you were there for the miners in the middle of the earth, I know you are always with me. Your Word says, if I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there”. It is a great comfort to know your presence. (Psalm 139: 8)

despair, waves too high

In Despair – Waves Too High

My son decided to enter a triathlon and once he signed up, he knew the swimming component would challenge him.

To better prepare for this part of the race and living far from a pool, he trained in a nearby pond for many months. Some days it was cold. Very cold. Every stroke was agonizing, but he continued on. After many months of training he felt he was ready.

However on race day at the end of August, the weather was overcast, the wind cold and the waves were too high on the lake. It was discouraging.

Battling the wind and three-foot swells – even for the best of swimmers, the conditions were rough.

However, in my son’s early years he learned never to quit at anything. That day, he simply did what he had done countless times before, he willed to finish. After his swim was the bike race and then the run. He finished strong.

From time to time it is good to do things out of our comfort zone. Yes, the familiar is easier, nevertheless we grow as a person when we embrace challenges unfamiliar to us … and run with them.

To stretch ourselves beyond what we think we can do, similar to my son and his triathlon swim.

When the wave’s get high … don’t get discouraged and quit. Keep swimming.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up”. Galatians 6:9

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

Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, help me not to quit today but to keep going. Help me, help me, help me is all I can say. I will not be discouraged, but simply put one foot in front of the other and carry on”.

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