Today's Blessing

When world-class athletes gather to compete, their performances are outstanding. Ordinary individuals turn into extraordinary competitors solely by applying three important elements: discipline, devotion and dedication. Are there a few areas that perhaps you need to apply these principles sweet mom?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. (Colossians 3:23, NIV)

The other day I heard someone say, “This is just God’s intermission.” Made me stop and ponder.

God’s intermission?

There has never been a time in history were the whole world has shut down. Think about it? From the tiniest island to the biggest land mass – we are all in the same boat, as it were, together. Our planet as we know it – has abruptly stopped – except for our essential workers of course, and to them we owe a deep sense of gratitude.

Intermission actually means, “a pause or break”. Quite interesting isn’t it? From the CEO of Apple, to the lowest of jobs, it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do, what country you live in, or what house you call home, it makes no difference if you drive a car, own a bike or walk – the order is still the same, STAY HOME.

STAY HOME?

In this fast pace society, we don’t stay home much. We travel world-wide, commute to work, eat out, play sports, attend concerts, who stays home for even a whole day? Almost unheard of anymore. We work five, shop for one and then collapse on the first day of the start of another hectic week. STAY HOME? It was virtually impossible, that is until about March 12th or so this year.

God’s intermission.

When faith replaces fear, and health, not wealth becomes of utmost importance – and family, not friends is all you have… when finding food trumps window shopping and reading outdoes movies… life’s intermission can teach us some important life lessons. One’s we shouldn’t forget.

You see, life isn’t just about making a living, it’s about making a life worth living. It’s about keeping our priorities right… loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – and our neighbour as ourselves. Jesus said, this is the first and greatest commandment.

I challenge you, to take this interruption of life itself, this “God intermission” and come out better, for having gone through this time. Only you know what you need to reprioritize, to make this intermission – oh, so eternally worthwhile.

By God’s grace and His protection over those you love from this virus, He will see us through this time. I’ll leave you with my favourite blessing. Be encouraged today with God’s truth.

“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, may He lift up His countenance upon you – and give you peace. Amen.”

As a young child, whenever my parents were hit with a calamity, they went to God’s word and asked Him, “Lord, what are You saying about this situation? because, they knew, the Bible had an answer for everything. This practice was so successful in their lives, that I have carried this custom over into my own.

The calamity in our global world right now is the coronavirus.

So, how can we as believers in Jesus stay strong and positive throughout this crisis? What does God’s word say?

 In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.  (Psalm 57:1)

So, do not fear, for I am with you. (Isaiah 41:10)

 If the daily count of this virus is upsetting you and causing fear, I would encourage you to listen to whatever the experts are suggesting, which is only common sense, and then, count up the people in your family, and pray God’s word over them all.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. (Psalm 91:9,10)

 My loving parents have made this their daily practice for longer than probably any of you have been alive, throughout all the viruses and other world calamities in their 80+ years – and Jesus has brought them through everything. Remember our enemy heaps on a spirit of fear, but again, God’s word says: that He (Jesus) will give us power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Talk to God today, as my parents do every day. Stand on God’s truth and when you do, be assured, your foundation will not shift or move. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you are discouraged today? Perhaps a dream has been shattered? Maybe your future looked bright, but all of a sudden uncertainty loomed like an angry sea.  Being ‘discouraged’ simply means you have lost your ‘courage’. From  time to time we all lose courage, because… from time to time life is hard. Talk to the Lord today about everything, and your heart will be encouraged. God cares and He sees you.

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV)

Glaciers are magnificent giants standing like statues against a backdrop of the sea. As we inched our way towards this seemingly unmovable mountain, with just a little wind and a warm day – even these unyielding glaciers are no match for the heat of the sun. Perhaps you have a problem in your life that appears as gigantic as this glacier. Try as you might, you have no solution on how to solve your difficulty. Dear reader, with a little prayer, even a heartfelt whimper – God can shift anything. 

Call to me and I will answer you.  (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)  

 

NOT PROMISED TOMORROW

 I will never forget one day in Grade 10. We were sitting at our desks, half asleep, usual for a Monday morning, listening to the hum of the announcements.

Really no one was paying attention until …

The principle came over the loud speaker and with his voice cracking, relayed to 1800 of us, the names of four students involved in a head on crash over the weekend.

No one survived.

I remember hearing his words but they seemed jumbled. We were 16 years old. We looked at each another and quietly replied, “What did he say?”

As the hours ticked by, the reality of what happened settled in over our school. A blanket of sadness fell and decades later I still remember …

No one is promised tomorrow.

Whether you’re young, middle or a seasoned age, eternity is for real. The Bible says life is like a vapour. You see it for a time and then it vanishes away.

Life well today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

Stay right with God.

Listen when He speaks.

Eternity is forever.

The Bible says to remember your Creator in the days of your youth. We are not promised tomorrow. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

 “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”. John 3:16

 “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, help me to live with eternity in mind. Forgive me for my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness, mainly pleasing myself. Give me the courage to make some changes in my life and focus on one thing, my relationship with you”.

 

 

 

 

 

It had been a busy day and I kept moving from morning to night, actually, with a new baby in the house, I was moving in the middle of the night as well.

 It was bedtime for my other two and I had just tucked them in. Completely exhausted with my third child now asleep in my arms, I sat down to catch my breath.

When I revived enough to make it up the stairs, I tucked my enfant son in his crib and tiptoed down the hall to check on my two little girls. They were breathing softly in sleep.

 “Good” I thought, “I’ll scoot to bed now.”

However, as I lingered at the girl’s door watching them in their beds, the weight of raising them hit me. The responsibility of their lives overwhelmed me. Did I have what it takes to raise them?

 Up to this point, God had entrusted me with three eternal human beings. Three people that would spend eternity somewhere, and I was their mother. Their teacher. Their nurturer. At this age, I was everything to them.

I slid down the wall in the hallway and sat on the floor and cried, “Oh God, help me to be a good mother to these children. Teach me how to raise them to serve you”.

 I understood I couldn’t do it on my own.

 I knew I needed God in a big way.

When no one notices the sacrifices you make, the love you give or the patience you display day after day – God sees you.

God did help me to raise these three to adulthood, plus two more. He’s such a Faithful Father. You can trust Him to help you too.

He’s a Faithful Father.

I encourage you to memorize these verses. Write them out and carry them close. God will help you.

 “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him”. Psalm 127:3

 “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young”. Isaiah 40:11

 “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me”. Psalm 16:8

 “Dear Heavenly Father, I too am overwhelmed at my responsibility. I’m pulled in all different directions and feel like I’m about to fall apart. Please help me. Let me see the children you have placed in my care as gifts, rewards from you. Give me everything I need to be a godly mother. My trust is in you. Please help me.” 

 

I love starting a new year. It’s fresh and full of promise – a miracle.

“Miracles are supernatural events that supersedes natural laws.”

Do you need a few of these this year?

Last week I drove by a familiar intersection and a memory came flooding back. Let me tell you about a miracle …

Many years ago, my young son and I had made the hour drive to Costco. I finished my shopping, we hopped in the car and drove through the subdivision weaving our way back to the main road. I noticed the light was red at the intersection; I pulled up, put on my signal and waited for the green light to proceed.

What happened next was an event that superseded natural laws.

The light turned green and I didn’t move. I sat there like a stone. I remember thinking, “What am I doing? The light is green”. Within a split second, a car like a bullet – sped through the red light.

I gasped.

Had I simply moved forward when the light turned green, I would have been hit. Considering the speed the other car was going, I doubt my son and I would have survived the impact; leaving behind my husband and our other four children.

As I made a slow left, I was so shaken, I couldn’t drive. I pulled off to the side of the road. “Dear Jesus, you just saved my life, our lives. You made me stop on a green and kept me there until the car passed. Thank you, Jesus.”

Maybe this new year you are looking for a miracle.

You need one.

A supernatural event that supersedes natural laws.

Allow me to encourage you today; if a personal God watches when lights turn green and keeps you stopped to save your life – then dear one, He sees you too – as you are stopped – because you are in desperate need of a miracle.

Jesus coming to earth – is a miracle. His death on a cross in the prime of His life for us – is a miracle.

God is full of miracles – and I believe He has one for you in 2020!

We can’t make God do anything, that would be a foolish presumption, but we can trust Him in everything and ask with faith believing – for a supernatural event that supersedes natural laws – a miracle.

“For with God nothing will be impossible”. Luke 1:37 (NKJV) 

IMG_6852

Dear Mom,

This year is almost in the history books and what’s done is done. The good news is: you can start fresh tomorrow and to ensure change, commit to forgetting the past – both good and bad. The good has a tenacity to make us proud, and the bad, well, that can keep us miserable. Commit to letting last year go and looking ahead to tomorrow. I pray for an extraordinary, victorious, successful, surprised-with-God’s-goodness, kind of year! “Lord, let it be so! Amen.”

But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13, NLT)

Do Not Worry

The Bible says not to worry about anything.

Ponder that for a moment.

Not-to-worry-about-anything.

That’s intense.

My Mom heard a quote once and when she detects worry in herself (or me!) she says, “Worry is needless, useless and godless”. She’s right.

Worry zaps the life out of good moments and sucks the happiness out of everything.

I conclude, worry is deadly.

According to an article by Earl Nightingale, “The Fog of Worry” he sums it up by saying that 40% of the things we worry about never happen. We worry over our past, things that can’t be changed; which he says accounts for a whopping 30% of our worries, health worries come in at 12%, miscellaneous worries 10%, which brings us to real worries at 8%!

I think you get the picture. Worry is needless, useless and godless, especially if we are believers in Jesus and have the assurance of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want …”.

Of late, I’ve been meditating on this scripture.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things”. Philippians 4:4-8

Pretty well sums it up doesn’t it?

Rejoice, be gentle, the Lord is near. Don’t be anxious, ever. When you pray, present your requests to God and thank Him – the answers are on the way. When you pray God’s way, peace will flood your soul, protecting your heart and mind. Think on things you know are true, decent, moral and pure. Whatever things are lovely and are delightful to hear about, are honourable and admirable – meditate on those things.

Such a good portion of scripture to memorize and to speak out loud, sometimes very loud … try it the next time you’re tempted to worry.

Today’s Prayer

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for worrying. You are God and I am not. I am yours and you are mine. Truly, I have nothing to worry about”.

img_6898

The Night Everything Changed

As darkness fell, nothing was out-of-the-ordinary. The shepherds were in the fields with their sheep, possibly reclining with their back against a rock (uncomfortable!) – watching, like every other night.

Can you imagine their surprise, when right before their slumbering eyes an angel appeared? And I wonder why to them? During the last week, there were lots of important people milling around Bethlehem. The king had decreed a worldwide census; which meant, everyone had to make the trek back to the town of their birth to be counted. Can you imagine the chaos across the country with everyone on the move?

No doubt the shepherds were content to simply be in the fields away from the hustle and bustle in town.

And “suddenly” the angel revealed to lowly shepherds …

the greatest birth announcement ever!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”. Luke 2:11

“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, good will toward men”. Luke 2:13

Literally, the sky burst forth in angelic chorus with a “multitude” singing – announcing the birth of the Christ child.

No one expected anything to change on the –

“night everything changed”.

I wished I could have been there.

I love it when God brings about a “suddenly!”

Do you need a “suddenly” this Christmas? An answer to prayer that “suddenly” bursts out of nowhere?

Allow me to encourage you today – trust in God with all your heart and don’t try to figure everything out, be anxious for nothing, pray about everything – and watch for God’s “suddenly”.

The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “nothing is impossible with God” and indeed, a short while later the scripture was fulfilled, “and she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger …” (Luke 2:7)

sept-11-baby-silas-053

Be encouraged this Christmas. Immanuel, “God is with us”, He sees you, cares for you and came for you!

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I am watching for my “suddenly”. You can do more than I can think or even imagine and I trust in you today … nothing is impossible with you”.

293