October 29th, 2010
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will
find refuge; His faithfulness will be
your shield and rampart.
We are covered by His feathers.
By Him and To Him.
His faithfulness is our shield.
That which gives us the courage to step forward even when we are being attacked.
Our defense even when we are on the offense.
His faithfulness is our rampart.
Surrounding wall of security.
Place to hide.
Our defense when we are being attacked from any side.
He is before us, behind us, around us, above us, in us, and with us.
What more do we need?
This morning as I look back on a couple of weeks of difficult days and nights, I still see Him.
His faithfulness sustains me, propels me, lifts me, and moves me to higher levels of loving Him and trusting Him.
I pray that you will rest in the shelter of His wings and find not only a soft place to hide but also the confidence to step out knowing that He will also be your shield and your rampart.
Loving you today as always,
October 28th, 2010
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted……
That’s what I have to whisper over and over again today.
Thank you, Lord, for this promise.
Thank you for being faithful.
October 27th, 2010
These benches in Amish country called my name….
Soak up the view in front of you
There’s plenty of room for you on this busy day, because no one is stopping to sit
Please, just stay a while
And be still
But did I?
I snapped a picture and was on my way…….
for more pictures
I wonder what I missed because I passed these benches by?
Maybe a precious interaction between Amish people out for a day in town.
Maybe a beautiful tree glistening in the sun.
Maybe just the quietness of Charm, Ohio, and the sound of horses’ hooves clicking by pulling a carriage.
I’ll never know what I missed when I passed up this chance to be still.
But I know I’ve learned something tonight as I’ve looked at this picture.
I won’t miss the chance next time.
The first thing I want to do if I ever return to that sweet little town is sit on one of these benches and simply “be still.”
So tonight, the thought has occurred to me that so many times in my “real world” I miss these very same chances.
A moment on my porch swing or a quiet moment in a chair.
Just to close my eyes and be still.
That’s what I’m needing and I don’t want to miss what that moment will hold………
Hoping you’ll close your eyes and have a quiet moment too.
Just to be still.
And KNOW THAT HE IS GOD.
October 25th, 2010
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Several of my friends and I traveled to Ohio this weekend to spend some time together in Amish country. It was nice to get away for a bit and be reminded of the simple life of these people.
I admire the Amish for so many different reasons.
Their focused lifestyle is apparent in everything they do and everything they own. I even learned a lesson from their horses!
The first thing I noticed about every horse we encountered was the blinders they were wearing.
In the midst of all of the tourists and shoppers, these horses were able to stay focused on the road in front of them.
Not even distracted by other horses around them.
I want to live a life that is THIS FOCUSED.
I want to fix my eyes on what is eternal and not be side-tracked by the temporary. I want to remember that all of my troubles are “light and momentary” when viewed through the eyes of God, and that they will result in eternal glory.
I am praying the same prayer for you today.
Lord, Teach us to live so focused on You that we are able to remember that everything we “see” is temporary. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
October 22nd, 2010
We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…
It comforts me today to know that no matter what I face, no matter what my family faces, no matter what you face,
we are not alone and we have Someone who…“gets” us.
He walks with us and says, “I’ve been where you’ve been and I understand.”
I understand your fear.
I understand your doubt.
I understand your questions.
I understand your tears.
I understand your pain.
I understand your struggles.
I also came so that you could walk free from all of them.
I want you to grasp your freedom
I want you to embrace joy.
I want you to live fully NO MATTER WHAT.
I want you to trust me.
I want to wipe away your tears.
I want to hold your pain.
I want to fight your struggles for you.
For me, on this Friday morning as I head to early duty at school, I am comforted to know that I do not leave my home alone.
Praying that all of you fill His presence in a mighty way today,
October 20th, 2010
We’ve all felt it.
We’ve all probably deserved to feel it from time to time.
But if we have given our lives to Christ, we know deep down that we have been given the freedom to live “guilt free.”
And yet, many Christians including myself, live with a sense of guilt.
Maybe it’s an ongoing bad decision, sin, attitude, or personality trait.
Or maybe it’s a past mistake that still haunts us.
Whatever it is, the nagging feeling of guilt proves to be powerful and relentless.
I looked up the psychological definition of guilt and found this definition:
“Guilt is an affective state in which one experiences conflict at having done something that one believes one should not have done (or conversely, having not done something one believes one should have done). It gives rise to a feeling which does not go away easily, driven by ‘conscience.'”
Knowing that guilt causes conflict within our minds and yet knowing that God knew we would not have a “clear conscience” without His help, I came to the realization that the devil, once again, has taken something about our created being which can be used for good and twisted it so that it can become a source of pain.
Adam and Eve did not feel guilt until they sinned. The devil brought this emotion out in us, but God had to put it there first. So, the ultimate reason for guilt had to be a good and perfect one.
See, guilt can keep us from making mistakes twice.
It can cause us to be humbled and filled with remorse, changing us into the people God longs for us to be.
But guilt can also eat at us until we are miserable.
It can cause us to lose our confidence, our hope, our feeling of worth or value.
I did a little research and found some great tips on dealing with guilt:
1. Recognize the kind of guilt you have and its purpose.
2. Make amends or changes sooner than later.
3. Accept you did something wrong, and move on.
4, Learn from your behaviors.
5. Realize that perfection does not exist in anyone.
If you’ve lost a friend or family member, you may even suffer from what is called “Survivor’s Guilt.”
You may find yourself asking, ‘Why am I here and they are not?”
If you find yourself asking this question often, please seek help.
When God “knit you together in your mother’s womb,” He ordained the number of your days.
If someone you love has been taken from this earth before you feel it was time, remember this truth about them too.
God knit them together and numbered their days.
Adrienne’s days were numbered to be only 45 short, sweet days.
Nick’s days were numbered at around 4,560 short, sweet days.
Adrienne served a beautiful purpose in our family and in this world. Nick did too.
Their lives are still making a difference.
None of us knows the number of days we have been given, but we do know this:
The Bible says, “Life is but a vapor.”
Whether you live to be 15, 35, or 105, in the end your life will be a series of short, sweet days.
The question has to be this:
What are we doing to live these days for Him?
What are we doing to help us let go of our guilt and find freedom in Christ?
Yesterday, I felt a little bewildered.
Today, I feel empowered.
What has changed?
Simply remembering these truths:
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands.”
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.'”
1 John 4:4
And I believe that if these promises are true for me, then I can live knowing that they are true for everyone I love.
So I will pray them and claim them daily for my family and for all of you.
Thank you for praying for us.
Oh, I love you all so much and I am so thankful for the Hope of Heaven!!!
October 20th, 2010
I always hesitate to be so “open” with pain, but I find myself staring at the computer tonight realizing that if I write anything but the truth then I am becoming a fraudulent blogger.
We are dealing with some things right now in our home that are surfacing from grief……
things I cannot fix
things I cannot control
things I wish I could pretend weren’t that big of a deal
But they are.
So, I come to you tonight as a sad mom who needs her family lifted up in a big way.
Grief has reared its ugly heard, and we are trusting God to pull our family through yet another valley.
Being sad is one thing.
Not being able to help someone else’s sadness get better is another.
Trusting in the One Who Promises to turn our Sorrow into Joy,
October 19th, 2010
I was standing in the kitchen the other day and looked behind the table where our dog Peppy was napping in his bed. I cracked up when I realized that it looked as if my phone charger was somehow hooked up to Peppy’s mouth!!
I don’t think Peppy was any more alert after this nap than any other nap, and I know I’m USELESS unless I stay connected to the only POWER SOURCE that keeps me spiritually charged up.
What keeps you going?
Is it something that really has power?
One of my favorite verses when Nick was fighting cancer was Roman 15:13:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the POWER of the Holy Spirit!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Praying your day is filled with joy and peace as you stay connected to Him,
October 19th, 2010
Last Sunday, Olivia’s friend Sarah (in middle) was baptized before the morning worship service! It was such a special day for all of us.
Sarah’s family had such a traumatic experience during the flooding in our county this past spring. A few months ago, I shared about her parents hanging on to a rock through the late hours of the night as the waters rose rapidly all around them while Sarah and Hannah (to the right of Sarah above) were upstairs in the house not fully aware of the seriousness of the situation below.
I saw this picture and wanted to say publicly, “We love you, Sarah, and we are so happy to have you in the family of God!!!!!!!!!”
October 18th, 2010
I lift up my eyes to you, to
you whose throne is in
I pray every day even though my prayers are usually brief. I find myself lifting my eyes to Heaven often…..
because I can’t make it very long without reminding myself that “this world is not my home.”
But when I arrived at the JFL football field (The Field of Courage named in memory of Nick) on Saturday to receive a gracious gift for Nick’s foundation, my heart kind-of stopped when I saw this lawn chair. I had never in my life seen such a HUGE CHAIR!!
As I thought about how impressive this chair was in the midst of all the “regular” chairs, I couldn’t help but think of how UNIMAGINABLY IMPRESSIVE God’s throne is going to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nick now lives in the presence of God’s throne, the place to which I lift my eyes daily. This time of year is so difficult for both Tim and me. Grief has resurfaced in a painfully vivid way over the past few weeks as we approach the two-year anniversary of saying goodbye to our sweet, sweet boy.
God used a HUGE LAWN CHAIR to remind me, though, that there is a THRONE in Heaven beyond my wildest dreams,and one day I will kneel in front of this amazing throne offering all my praise and worship to Him who gives me the strength to live.
If man can create a chair that surpasses all other chairs of its kind, can we even try to visualize what God has prepared for us in eternity?!?!
I don’t think so!
I lift my eyes to His throne with a whole new feeling of awe and wonder….
thanks to an over-sized lawn chair on an elementary school football field sideline.
Thank you, Lord, for speaking through everyday things and forgive for the many times I do not hear you speaking,