Today's Blessing

Forgiveness is more than a pardon you give to others; it’s a gift you give yourself as well. Forgiveness involves honest soul searching – “I too have sinned and God has forgiven me, therefore I extend the same mercy to others”. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us how to pray. I pray the “Lord’s Prayer” several times a week – a good habit to follow.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6: 12, NIV)

Read Your Bible
Dear Mom,

I trust you are reading your Bible each day. Everything you need to be a godly woman is written in God’s Word. Often we surf the net or read all kinds of books, trying to find a formula to live right, when it has already been written – we just need to read and obey. Sweet mom, take time to leaf through its pages and absorb eternal truth. God’s living word will change you.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”. Psalm 119:11

 

Doing Good

There are needy people all around us.

You don’t have to look far to find someone to encourage.

While on his way to work one day, my son saw a man sleeping on a park bench.

A quick thought entered his mind, “I should leave him my lunch”.

Now when you’re in your early twenties to give your food away is a biggie! However, he didn’t debate this “inkling”, he just followed through with his first thought and left his bagged lunch by the sleeping man.

When his stomach growled around noon, my son went to the lunch room just to get a drink; and to his surprise saw a mountain of sandwiches on the table – leftovers from a morning meeting.

I know everything doesn’t always turn out good when we do something good, however, the point here is, God sees everything we do.

To Him, everything we do is a big deal.

We are Christ’s representatives on earth. He only has us.

Kind of sobering really – to think we are all He has.

Actually that’s really sobering.

Years ago I remember seeing a teenage girl sitting on a park bench with her head buried in her hands, obviously distraught. I had a couple of little kids in tow then and I didn’t stop. Yes, I was busy – but that busy? I still remember her.

Maybe she just needed someone to say, “God loves you, He cares for you”. I missed that opportunity and now decades later, I still remember and feel bad.

God’s word teaches us. “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone …”. (Galatians 6:10)

Of course we have to use common sense and in this day and age of terror, I know we must be careful – however – our smile or kind word might be the only gesture someone receives which says, “you matter”.

Today’s Prayer:

Help me Lord – that whenever I have the opportunity, I will do good to everyone …”. (Galatians 6:10)

Amen.

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This day shouts, “start over” the old is gone and the new has come.

The apostle Paul in the Bible certainly understood the concept of “the old is gone and the new has begun”. He needed a “do-over”.

Read his story and you are quickly aware of his early beginnings. He was full of anger, pride and selfishness; he was one bad dude. Paul was so adamant against Christianity, he made it his goal to destroy as many believers as possible.

He stood by as the apostle Stephen was killed and did nothing. Consented to it actually.

He shut up followers of Jesus in prisons, he had them beaten and killed.

However, even someone like the apostle Paul can change, and change He did. Jesus saw something in Paul, and if channeled correctly – would turn the world upside down. Jesus met him in a vision and changed the trajectory of his life. We are still talking about the life of Paul.

Do you need a directional change? Need a “do-over?”

Like Paul, we cannot change the past, but we can change our end story. Paul dealt with his past in this way, “… but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”. Philippians 3:13 (NLT)

Did you catch that, “this one thing?”

One thing, he had to put the past behind him and he said, “forget it” and moved on.

Are you dwelling on the past? Failures and wrongs? Even though Paul did despicable things, Jesus pursued him, saved him and gave him a future.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Paul repented of his past and accepted Christ’s forgiveness … and you can too. I would encourage you today, surrender all your life to Jesus, past, present and future.

It’s the only way to live.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive my sins and prepare my heart for eternity with You. Make me new – inside and out. I choose today to let the past go and keep my eyes locked on what lies ahead. You have only good plans for me!” Amen.

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Dear Mom,

Is anxiety knocking at your door today? It happens sweet mom. God says, “Give me your cares and I’ll give you my peace.” To be honest, waiting for some answers to prayer can be agonizingly painful and to remain at rest in the process, is contrary to our natural way of thinking. Nonetheless, God tells us not to be anxious, worried or troubled. I remind myself often:

“Do not be anxious about anything… God will make a way.” I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27, NLT)

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Dear Mom,

After a very tiring day of meeting everyone’s needs, Jesus and His disciples escaped to the “peace of the sea”. At some point during the night, a storm arose and with Jesus so exhausted, He didn’t hear a thing. Sweet mom, can you identify? I’m sure you can. Once Jesus went to sleep, He stayed asleep. He was so drained. Isn’t it wonderful He understands our weariness? Jesus understands everything.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. Mark 6:31

 

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Dear Mom,

Children often ‘act out’ as their only means of expressing “something is not right in my world.” As mothers, our reactions must be more mature than their outbursts. I heard a quote once that carried me through many troubles, “Blessed are the children whose parents have already grown up.” We need God every moment to keep us calm, sane and not act like a child ourselves. Whisper His Name next time you feel done in. He is right where you are.

“Love is patient and kind … is not irritable … endures through every circumstance”. 1 Corinthians 13

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Dear Mom,

A teenager’s cry: Who will love me just for me? Does anyone care? Can I ever be forgiven for being so dumb? Will I make it? Do I have what it takes to succeed in life? Dear sweet mom, you and I have both been there … be compassionate with your child. We are “training” them – they are not there yet. It will take 18+ years to complete your assignment, and then some. Love them with no strings attached and see what God will do.

“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

 

 

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Dear Mom,

I encourage you sweet Mom, refuse to be weighed down with past sins, failures and wrong choices; and don’t waste another minute feeling guilty. We beat ourselves up for things we should have done the, “woulda, coulda, shoulda” mentality. To move ahead – if it’s possible – ask forgiveness of others, embrace the present, and sprint towards your future. It’s a new day – fix what you can and move on. Choose the path of peace.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24, NIV)

This World Is Not Our Home

This World Is Not Our Home

In the last few years’ peace around the globe has vanished. You don’t have to look far to realize, this world is not our home.

It seems every week there is another attack somewhere on our planet.

Where does one go that is safe anymore?

I have a husband who travels globally, yes, the world is a different place then even a few years ago.

How do you make sense of it all? How do we continue to live in such a volatile place with hostile people? People who cheat, steal, kill and lie.

And we know where lies come from … Jesus speaks directly to those who oppose the gospel in John. Kind of a harsh text but will explain a few things.

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies”. John 8:44

Sums up who is at the crux of evil – the father of lies – the evil one.

As followers of Jesus, we should not be afraid. Jesus speaks to us:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid”. John 14:27

A few years ago we had an overseas friend visit us for supper. She had lived through the civil war in Uganda and after the meal as we chatted over tea, I asked her, “How did you make it through such fear, suffering and terror?”

Softly she replied, “The just shall live by faith”. She simply believed she would live by God’s grace and did whatever it took to survive.

In our new age of terror – we do not have to be terrorized.

Jesus lived in an age where there was great upheaval as well. One day He comforted His disciples with these words:

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. John 14:1-3

May you too be comforted as you read the words of Jesus.

Faith is keeping an unwavering confidence in God regardless of what is going on worldwide, or in our personal lives.

My friend was right.

“ … the just shall live by faith”.   Habakkuk 2:4

Today’s Prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking peace to Your followers and for promising to be with us no matter what. You see what is going on in our world and in my life – I choose to live by faith, You will never leave me or forsake me.

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Dear Mom,

Life is full of delays of one sort or another. Be it a late start, crying babies, a red light or the dreaded irritation, the slowest line at the grocery store – something is always forcing us to slow down. Jesus says to us – rest awhile. As a busy mom, it’s almost impossible some days to find a minute to stop… however, if you don’t come apart – you’ll fall apart. Spend a few moments every day in God’s presence.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. Mark 6:31