Today's Blessing

I was at a wedding recently and heard the very-much-in-love couple repeat their vows. “For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others”. I thought to myself, 'everyone starts out like this and then later, so many call it quits'. I believe I have the answer, “selfishness”. One or both people decided to put themselves first.

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… (I Corinthians 13: 4-7, NLT)

Summer Rest

Dear Mom,

This summer, take a little time out to recharge. All too soon schedules and the oh-so-daily-routine will begin again, so take time to slow down. It would be nice to just float around on a catamaran, however, chances are that’s not possible 🙂 so … take the kids to a park or have a coffee and sit quietly on your lunch hour… your body and mind need to coast. You’ll never live this day or have this summer again. Enjoy.

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

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Dear Mom,

As I trekked along a dusty path in a needy nation, my heart was steadily breaking. I could not help but think that Jesus came to set every captive free, bring relief to the afflicted and love to the downtrodden. In your world today sweet mom, there are women all around you that need a glimmer of hope. In your busy-ness, do not overlook them. Just a smile tells someone “you matter” – behind every heart is a secret sorrow, it’s so important to be kind.

“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

Shepherd - Psalm 23

The Shepherd’s Psalm – Psalm 23

This Psalm has been a favourite to millions.

I memorized this Psalm as a child and have never forgotten it.

Sheep and shepherds are referred to over and over in the Bible. In Genesis 4, Abel was a keeper of flocks. In Matthew’s gospel, Christ’s birth was announced by angels to shepherds.

Often Jesus talked about sheep. Once He looked over the multitude before Him and was moved with compassion – they looked “distressed and helpless” as one version puts it, like “sheep having no shepherd”.

In simple terms – mankind cannot make it on their own. Something deep inside us cries out for guidance, a helper, a shepherd – someone to make sense out of life.

I sat beside a gentleman on a plane recently and he was chatting away. I sensed a searching in his heart and when I said, “Jesus loves you”, instantly tears started flowing down his face. The more I told him God cared for him, the more he cried.

Hearts in every city, every country, all around the world are hurting… we need a Shepherd.

God created us with a “heart vacuum” that can only be filled by Him.

I would encourage you to pray the 23rd Psalm often. Here it is in my own words …

“Dear God, you are my shepherd.
I know with you in the lead, I have everything I need.
Since I rarely slow down on my own, I see you have brought circumstances into my life that have caused me stop. You have my attention – please restore my balance.
The path you laid out for my life is the right one. Even if it means walking through uncharted valleys, I know with you up ahead, I will not be afraid.
Your gentle smile and soft nudges comfort me.
Even if enemies surround me, by your very presence I maintain peace; I sense your overwhelming support.
May your kindness and compassion be my mantle for life, until we meet together in heaven forever. Amen”.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being my Shepherd. Truly I have everything I need to live my life. With You by my side, I need not worry about anything. I will follow you dear Shepherd of mine.

 

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Dear Mom,

There is a story in the Bible concerning a leader facing an impossible situation. Baffled as to how to conquer his battles, he prayed and God showed him what to do. Perhaps today sweet mom, you too are bewildered about the best way to handle your child or what to do about a situation troubling you. Allow me to encourage you today, ask God for a solution and keep asking until He shows you what to do. He cares for you and your family.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you”. 2 Chronicles 20:12

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We had hoped this day would never come, however, when we heard the sound of the horn, we knew it was time to go. King Nebuchadnezzar had constructed a statue of himself and everyone, unbelievably, was to bow to his image. There was no way we were going to bend, or bow as was the case, our convictions were solid; we would not move.

The consequences were severe – being thrown into a burning furnace. However, we set our faces like flint, looked straight ahead and stood. Tall.

“No movement” said one. “We will stand together and if need be, we’ll die together”.

Perhaps you know this story. For their faith they were thrown in the flames, however, the Bible says, “a man like unto the son of God” moved about in the midst of the fire and they were not even burned.

Miracle of miracles. Even the men who threw them into the fire couldn’t stand the heat and died – nothing is impossible with God.

Perhaps you are in need of a miracle today?

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

The Old and New Testament testifies to an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God. He never changes.

Allow me to encourage you; dig in your heels and believe like these three guys – your God is able and He is on your side. They believed in God, whether He saved them from certain death or not.

Faith isn’t in the saving – but in the surrender.

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

In spite of what we face, our Heavenly Father blesses us with Himself – exactly like He did with the “boys” and then reminds us, “nothing is impossible with God”.

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, you are truly all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-together wonderful. Please answer my prayer. I need a miracle as well and I come to you. I believe you are fully able!”

Start Fresh - Farm Cows

Start Fresh

One day we had a herd of cows delivered to the farm.

It was suppertime and I expected my husband home any minute, however, the delivery truck arrived a few minutes early and I shuttered, “Oh noooooooo, I need the delivery guy to wait for my husband before letting the cows out!!!”

I knew I shouldn’t ask that question as they don’t have time to wait – so the delivery/farmer guy looked at the electric fence we had and said, “no problem” and opened the back of the truck.

What happened next was wildness. Out barged the cattle stampeding like wild animals!

They bolted recklessly through the electric fences and into the farmer’s fields nearby. It was complete madness.

My husband arrived home shortly after to utter chaos. One look at me and then the hind end of all our cows and he started running – chasing them, trying to coral them back.

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After a significant period of time and the repairing of broken fences – thankfully, we found all our cows …

You probably know people similar to our cows, taking no thought to consequences they barge through boundaries. If the truth be told, we all have been like the cows as well, ignored what we should have done, and did what we wanted… and… suffered the consequences.

However, we don’t have to keep “barging!”

Every morning we can start fresh with the help of our Creator … when we ask forgiveness, He wipes out our mistakes from yesterday and helps us start again … He’s so kind.

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

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations”.  Psalm 100: 4,5

 Today’s Prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father, teach me to obey you first thing. It is so unnecessary to always be learning the hard way. Thank you that Your mercies that are indeed new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.

 

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Dear Mom,

Life is similar to a relay race; along the way you will “tag” a range of people. Some mom friends stay with you briefly, while others keep in step for a while. And then there will be a few who will stay long term, but only one friend has been with you from the beginning and will accompany you to the end, God your Heavenly Father. Maybe you need this truth today… your Creator will never leave you, ever. He sees you and cares for you.

“The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore”. Psalm 121:8

Dear sweet mom,

Every married couple stood at an altar and made a covenant before God and people. They vowed to stick with their sweetheart, “Until death do us part.” Marriage is a commitment like none other, and even if we receive the worst or were interrupted with sickness or are just plain poor, we vowed, “That’s ok with me, I’ll stay by your side.” Makes you stop, and think doesn’t it?  What’s happened? If you are struggling with your vows today, talk to your Heavenly Father who instituted marriage… He cares for you.

 “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”. 1 Peter 5:7

babiesDear Mom,

Dirt and diapers. Some days that is the extent of a mother’s day – changing diapers and sweeping up dirt. Sweet mom, allow me to remind you – things do not always appear as they seem! The eternal little soul you care for is not just ordinary and neither are you. You were hand picked by God to be your child’s mother. Let that truth sink in today – hand picked… you… and with God’s help… you can raise exceptional children. God is with you!

“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart“. Psalm 37:4

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When God Delays His Answer

What do you do when you pray and do not receive the answer you were hoping for?

How do you cope when your prayers go unanswered?

When your world goes dark, how do you keep trusting in an unseen God?

Where is the “song in the night” when life isn’t fair?

Let me answer your questions with this story.

Jesus loved Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. In fact, He often went to their home for a meal, just for fellowship; which is quite amazing when you think of it – just hanging out, having supper with Jesus.

They were friends. Obviously pretty close friends.

As Jesus was ministering in another town, word came to Him that his friend Lazarus was sick. The sisters must have sent for Him. It doesn’t matter how many times I read this story, I am always surprised at Jesus’ response. He didn’t rush to them, He didn’t immediately fix the situation, He simply heard the messenger and kept doing what He was doing.

We don’t see – what Jesus sees.

He knows and observes and completely understands – the big picture.

In a couple of days, He would go to Mary and Martha and show Himself strong on their behalf – but for now, today and a couple of tomorrow’s – they didn’t understand, their world went dark.

And sometimes ours does too.

When you pray and seemingly do not receive an answer, delay does not mean denial, as was the case with Lazarus. In God’s timing and when His purpose had been accomplished, their prayer was answered in the most loving, caring and miraculous way.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

Dear one, God sees you. God hears you and one day, He’ll answer your prayer.

You’ll have a resurrection story.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine”. Isaiah 55:8

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him”. 1 Corinthians 2:9

“Call to me and I will answer you …”. Jeremiah 33:3

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, even though I do not understand your ways – I trust you. Please answer my prayer and give me a resurrection story. I am putting all my hope in you and the promises I treasure from your word. I rest in you today”.

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