I Made It Home!

Romans 8:18-22

 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us.

1 John 2: 25

And this is the Promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life

A few years ago, my husband and I were blessed to meet a precious couple, E and C.  As we got to know them better, we learned that he had fought  cancer and handled treatment rather well.

We never knew just how precious the friendship would be to us.  C is beautiful inside and out, and E was so in love with her and proud of his “cougar”.  He loved teasing and bragging that he was the younger one them.

A favorite story relating to his consideration for  C was one time when they went to the hospital for an appointment (when cancer returned), he pulled a flower out of the hospital flower bed and presented it to his lovely lady. Although C was mortified that he plucked it from the meticulous landscaping, she knew his heart was entirely devoted to her. He was truly smitten by his bride. It tickled him to tell that story with that mischievous twinkle in his eyes and boyish grin.

E would do absolutely anything for anyone.  If he could not help, you better know that he would find someone who could! A few years ago, I bought something that was too big and he hurled a box, weighing over a hundred pounds into that truck of his like he was that rough and tough football player of his younger years.  When I thanked him as he pulled away, “Glad to do it,” he returned with his gruff voice and sincere smile.           

When my husband was sick, who showed up at the hospital but good ole E,  huffing and puffing, not  feeling all that well himself, telling me to take a break!  Another time he came to assist with a garbage disposal.  E’s version of “help”, was to get down under our sink, turning upside down and sideways until it was fixed! Every time I flip that switch, I can’t help but think of how willing he was to be there any time a friend needed him.

He loved being out on the water. I was honored to get out there with him a few times, soaking up the rays as he navigated the river.  I especially liked the stops for barbeque, sweet Southern tea and fried pies at a local place on the  lake! Not long ago, when he was still making plans for the many things he still wanted to do, he told my husband that we were going to get out on that lake and to bring enough clothes because we weren’t all coming back until the boat wouldn’t go anymore.

E was a great college football fan as well.  He loved telling stories about his youth, going home after school and having a well-known collegiate coach sitting in his parent’s den. He and I were able to “rib” C, being a state opponent graduate.  It was always fun during football season, to go over and show off whatever team colors I was wearing and have him smile, nod and wink.  C just rolled her eyes at us and shook her head.

For all  he had to offer, I think the most memorable and wonderful was E’s great attitude toward life.  No matter how sick he was, as long as he was able, whenever we asked him how he was doing, his usual answer was “great”.  How, I would ask my husband, could someone clearly suffering the way he was, have such a beautiful disposition and positive outlook.

As my husband healed from illnesses and injuries, he made a point to tell E that he was inspired because our friend did not allow his situation and circumstance to impact his attitude and precious disposition.

Anywhere we went with E, it seemed at least one person knew him.  It was hard to tell if who he was talking to was a pal or stranger, he could strike up a conversation with anyone as though they were a long-lost friend.

He loved to spoil his little pets, too.  As his health started to decline more, E decided that he wanted a tiny furbaby to keep him company at his bedside. Of course C indulged his wishes by getting a little puppy.  Although some thought it a crazy undertaking, the pup brought much needed cheer to both of them.

I think it was last week, I felt led to drop by their house, as E’s health was getting worse.  After talking to C and their daughter for a bit, I stopped in for a second to speak to him.  it was difficult to see that once strong manly man, slender and helpless. He was groggy and weak, yet able to recognize who was there and communicate.  I told him we loved him and then gave him what would be a final college battle cry. Don’t you just know it, that darling ,though  a dry mouth, with a weak attempt to smile, his usual strong, gruff voice weakened,  whispered, the same in response. I kissed his forehead and went away, unsure if we would speak again, this side of Glory.

We never know when it will be our last opportunity to see or talk to someone, so we need to take special care of the way we treat others. Also, maybe we can take from this, that we have no idea the impact we make on the lives of others.

In life and even in his passing, E showed love and compassion, determination and bravery.  He knew in Whom He believed and trusted in the Lord, living out his testimony boldly in word and action.

I praise God for  faith to believe in Him for my salvation. For those who also  know Jesus as their Savior, and trust in Him Alone, parting is never “goodbye”.   

 Thanks to God for  every life E touched by warmth and kindness.  Glory to the Lord for how He worked in his life and the example he set for family, friends and strangers alike.

Almighty God and King

Thank You for this beautiful day

We ask your forgiveness for our sins against You, others and ourselves

Thank You for Your beautiful servant, E

For the trust He showed You in life

And the courage he found in You through sickness 

In weakness, You brought strength

We thank You that now he is with You in Glory

That he is healed and whole

We ask comfort and peace for C, his family and friends

That can be found only in and through You

Please let those who may not know You as Savior, look at E’s life

And see the phenomenal example he was wherever You called him

Whatever You asked him to do

Following with a trusting heart and precious spirit

And leading by example

Thank You for each life here, our family and friends

Please be with the leaders 

Please keep watch over our enemies

Thank You for being our Lord, Savior, Redeemer and Friend

In the Name of Jesus

Amen

SONGS

Friends Are Friends Forever

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ped1jYLFtkA

It Is Well With My Soul

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHe_qmo3gX4

10,000 Reasons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXDGE_lRI0E

Blessed Be The Name of The Lord

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du0il6d-DAk

Credits: God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture

E and C S., family and friends who have blessed them by reaching out and praying for them during his illness and who continue to do so throughout the days, weeks and years to come

encouraging words, google, youtube

Obituary of Eddie Keith Swafford

Mr. S.,  passed away in May.  Mr. S was a lifelong resident of __ County. He was a  graduate of ___ High School where he served as Class President. He was a member of his high school football team and went on to play football at  _____ University. After college, he served with the United States Army as a medic and was a paratrooper with the Special Forces. Mr. S retired after 40 years of service. He was a skilled craftsman by trade and enjoyed building and remodeling houses. He also loved boating with family and friends. He was a friend to everyone he met, always eager to lend a helping hand. He was a wonderful husband and dad, and he had a huge heart. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. Mr. S was a Christian by faith and a longtime member of ( (private information)__church)).

 

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Prayer-Unlimited Access to The King of Glory Cost: Jesus-His Life Us-Free Debt: cancelled

Matthew 6:9-13

 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.

 Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever.
 Amen.
 
Okay, I have had discussions with friends before about prayer.  One of the topics we covered went something like this: Since the Lord knows everything, He has determined from Beginning to End Isaiah 46:10-11 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. and God does not change Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed., why do we need to pray?
 
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 
And whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:13
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Luke 6:27-28
 
Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
 
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:14-15
 
Throughout Scripture, the Lord shows us the importance of prayer. Yes, He IS The Alpha and Omega.  We were created for relationship with the Father.  He navigates us through the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “how” questions about prayer.  
 
Let’s take one second to consider how our lives would be different without prayer.  Doesn’t it make you shutter to think what you would have done in times of despair, joy, pain, suffering or anything for that matter?
 
Prayer is so important, as a matter of fact, we need to make sure never to casually tell someone “I’m praying for you”, only to forget.  Do it right then (and later is great, too).  Think about making a journal of prayer requests and answers, recalling and thanking Him for His faithfulness! 
 
Father God
Thank You for this day
Please forgive our sins against You, others and ourselves
We give You praise for the Lord Jesus for shedding His Blood
To give us access to the Throne of the King
We bow our lives before You, Almighty God
And cry out “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY”
To the ONE and ONLY. AWESOME SAVIOR!
Thank You for prayer
For communication with The Mighty Creator
Through the Blood of the Lamb
All power and glory and honor to You! Now and forevermore!
In the Name of Jesus
Amen
 
songs
Power of Prayer
Lord, I Need You
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Mercy Seat (song and signed)
credits: God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture
Bible, youtube, google, https://dailyverses.net/prayer/kjv?p=2, biblehub
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Declaration of Dependence -sprouting what is planted

1 Chronicles 16:23-31

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim His Salvation day after day. Declare His Glory among the nations, His Marvelous Deeds among all peoples. For great is The LORD and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but The LORD made The Heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His Dwelling Place. Ascribe to The LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to The LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to The LORD the glory due His Name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship The LORD in the splendor of His Holiness. Tremble before Him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let The Heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”

Romans 8:8-14

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

There are many examples throughout God’s Word of those who had to be reminded, not only of God’s power, but that in our own strength, we are lacking. He strengthens us through belief and faith in Him. Moses was timid, but found his courage in the Great I Am.  Peter relied on his own resolve and determination, as he ignorantly assured the Savior that there was no way he would betray the Master.  Finally, but certainly not last, Peter faced uncertainty as he took his focus away from the Lord, learning quickly how desperate a situation can get without total reliance on the Almighty.

Society today would have us draw on OUR ‘inner strength” to make it through difficult situations, face turmoil, fight diseases, “find joy” and so on; however, as God’s children we know where our Help is found. Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Who among us can testify to knowing the true power of God living within? The Lord makes it clear that every success, each time I make it through a difficult time without coming off the hinges or realize the true peace, passing all understanding, it is because of Him. (Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.)

At some point today, consider the times you’ve gotten through a period of time you have known absolutely it was ONLY through the strength God gave, you made it through. As I have been typing, He has shown me many, many times He has carried me from the oceans of despair to shores of joy.  Also the occasions in my life I have been filled with a sense of accomplishment, to God be the Glory! All within me that is worthwhile, I attribute to the Father.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

James 1:5-8 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the LORD. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

MOSES: EXODUS 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto Thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

PETER: Matthew 26:35 Peter said unto Him, Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

THOMAS: MATTHEW 14: 25-31 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28 And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29 And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Holy and Precious Father

Thank You for this day

Please forgive our sins against You, others and ourselves

We just give You honor and praise right now

For the blood You shed

You took the punishment for us

Giving Your Spirit to dwell within us

Without You, hope does not exist

We were dead in our sins

Lord, how exciting to know that the Creator of the universe

Breathed His life into mankind!

Praise You, Almighty God

For delivering us from death into life

As ONLY You can

All we are

All we have, is Yours

Thank You for blessing us, Lord

Please also bless both those who love and any who dislikes or even hate us

It isn’t easy, Dear Savior, to pray for Your mercy and peace for our enemies

Once again we look to You as an example

Asking forgiveness on our behalf, even as You endured the agonizing pain of the cross!

But God, You tell us to love one another

In obedience to You

Help us to do just that

Help us to sincerely pray for those who persecute us

We love only because You first loved us

And called us to be Children of The Most High God

In Jesus’ Name

Amen

songs

In  Christ Alone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENtL_li4GbE

I Will Lift My Eyes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te0hy2YcLgg

Amazing Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwoCbcSXlSM

CREDITS God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit Scripture

Bible, encouraging words, google, youtube, biblestudy, biblehub

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We’re Not God’s Puppets

Romans 7:19-25

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

*A little sub-lesson*

A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings depending on regional variations. A marionette’s puppeteer is called a marionettist..https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=FgR2Wtu-OLCD5wKq2bhA&q=what+is+a+marionette+controller+called%3F&oq=what+is+a+marionette+controller+called%3F&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30k1.1141.16955.0.17412.54.40.9.4.5.0.380.5481.3j28j4j1.36.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..5.49.6047.0..0j35i39k1j0i131k1j0i67k1j0i20i263i264k1j0i20i264k1j0i20i263k1j0i3k1j0i131i20i264k1j0i10k1j0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i8i13i30k1j33i22i29i30k1.0.G5Lf1LM-AdI

I assumed the controller would have been called a puppet master.

Before Christmas, my friend and I went shopping for things to sell at my booth.  I prefer a rather unusual collection. One of my findings that particular day was a horse marionette. The pony was clean, its strings and controlling sticks were all in good condition, not wound up or tangled.

It sat there in my booth for  a long while, even put up front at times to keep it protected from kids who eagerly and often times, carelessly, grabbed for other toys.  In my various sales, I never marked the price down because I figured if nothing else, I would keep it myself.  Maybe I could take it back later because the “right person” just had not come along yet.

One day when I was in there moving my things around to amp up interest among my goods, I went to look for the marionette to display in a prominent place, but it was gone.  Apparently a special needs youth came in with her father and saw it.  From the front desk, the women up front heard her talk to her daddy about it  throughout the store .  As her father browsed other booths, she even came up with a name for the horse.  When they finished shopping,  dad approached the checkout and bought it. Walking out, she sweetly promised  the ladies at the store to take very good care of it.  I LOVE that story! 

The young lady will be able to manipulate her horse to do just about anything she wants it to do. To go right, the sticks will lean one way, left, another.  The Lord God, our Creator, is certainly capable of turning His children to the left or right, but as this young girl’s dad allowed her to make choices on the directions she chose, our Heavenly Father gives us free will. 
I have mixed thoughts on free will.  We have capability to make decisions, but is that a blessing or as the Passage from Romans puts it, hard, because our tendencies are not to make wise decisions?  How many of us have gotten our strings tangled and mangled, attempting to follow our own desires? (I confess, my hand goes up on that one) 

Are we repeatedly, dragging ourselves with matted and knotted strings, pleading to be straightened out, only to get right back in another situation?  We follow our own will and wants, yet continually cry  out for rescue.  But  God! Our Sweet Savior is always gracious and loving, there to be our Ever-present Help in time of need. 

It seems as though many unbelievers claim that Christians are simply Christ’s puppets. If that were the case, why would we still sin? Why would there be suffering? No, although the Lord loves us, because He does,  He doesn’t force a relationship upon His children. Unlike an earthly father, who may grow weary of a child returning time and again, picking us up, dusting us off, lovingly, not in anger or judgment, our Father God gently scoops us up, offers forgiveness to a repentant son or daughter and speaks encouragement into our lives.

Following the Lord is not for the faint-hearted.  Through the Power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to forgive ourselves and move past mistakes we’ve made. On our own, yes, sin is (seemingly) the “easier”  choice.  It doesn’t require obedience, just a do as you will action or reaction. Satisfaction and indulgence of the flesh, if we want to admit it or not, is our natural inclination, We MUST lean on the Lord fully, realizing that obedience, just as disobedience, is a conscious decision.  While we have this disobedience down pat, obedience is only possible through the Strength of Almighty God.

FATHER GOD

Please forgive our sins against You, others and ourselves

We give You praise today for Your forgiveness

For the Sacrifice of Jesus to not only save us from eternal damnation

But for the Wonderful Promise of Eternal Life with You in Paradise

Lord, please speak to us when our hearts lean toward wickedness

We ask that You direct us from our own will

To a desire to follow Yours

Please put within us a deep and growing love for You and others

We know without You, we can do nothing

With You, anything is possible
 
We stray, yet You never let us out of Your Sight
 
You cling on to us
We are safe and protected in Your Powerful Hand
 

Please forgive us from wandering away from You, Lord

 
Good Shepherd, You bring us back
Again and again, You set us on sure footing
On Your Solid Ground
 
When we stumble, You catch us
You correct us, because we are loved by You
Even in through the consequences as result of 
Misjudged, unwise disobedience
You show us grace and mercy

 

 

For this, we give You praise!

You are King of kings

Lord of lords

To You go all glory!

In the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

Come Thou Fount
credits: God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture
Bible, google, youtube
friends, encouraging words
Attachments area
Preview YouTube video Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing- world premiere recording

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing- world premiere recording
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Craving God’s Delicious Truth

Psalm 34:8
 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.
*Bosu Body Bar

 THE BOSU PROJECT  When we close the doors for the day, we promise to leave bags outside full of tasty food.. If you see anyone on the streets of Manchester or Didsbury who look hungry, let them know where they can find a meal in a bag.

*40% of All Food is thrown out. The amount of food thrown out in the USA is valued at $162 billion.

*The Way of the Cross Ministries is a Nonprofit Corporation (“501c3”) non-profit. that is committed to feeding those who are hungry, and communicating God’s word through Evangelism and action in Gadsden and Etowah County.

*RIO DE JANEIRO — On a warm night in a fraying neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, far from the lights of the Olympic stadiums, Inez Ignez cautiously works her way around the chefs, mopping the floor of this pioneering soup kitchen.

In a few minutes, the first guests — mostly homeless and poor — will trickle in through the front doors of the Refettorio Gastromotiva to enjoy a three-course gourmet meal, drawing on surplus food from suppliers to the Olympic Village and other events across the city.

What if we were starving and destitute. I do not know if anyone in this group has had such an experience or personally known anyone in that situation.

Matthew 6:26“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Hunger can not only be physical, but spiritual as well. Consider if you will, walking into your house and smelling something delicious. Every sense you have is delighted. Everything  there was made for you to indulge yourself. Would you ignore it and just go about your business, or would you sit down with great anticipation, partaking with great delight?  There it is, right there in front of you, the Word of God!  Take, read, study, see just how fulfilling Scripture can be.  It fills pangs of hunger with Truth and quenches the most profound thirst. 

Our God does not throw table scraps to His children. Each and every day, we are blessed to have a buffet of treasures set before us to enjoy!

Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Smell the perfect aroma of fresh and pure nourishment. Let your heart hear the joy, hope and Truth trickling through the pages. See the Words of Almighty God in your very hands! Touch and feel the freedom of clinging on to your own copy of Scripture. Taste the greatness of Almighty God!

O Lord, our God

Thank You for this and every day we’ve been given

Please forgive us of sins we committed against You, others and ourselves

We give You praise for the magnificent food You give us

Both physically and spiritually

Lord, please direct us in the path to be responsible for what we feed ourselves in both ways

We only want to take from Your Table, Father

There is nothing in the world’s cornucopia able to sustain or satisfy us

Things may seem attractive initially, but they are poison

As the enemy lured Adam and Eve away from You

By his enticing and seductive lies

Today he continues to draw Your children

Down paths that lead to spiritual starvation

We put our trust in You, Father

For the provision of all we need

Not only to survive, but thrive

If we abide in You, Lord

We will continue to grow stronger

Please just give us a distaste for what the world has to offer

Please let our body, mind and spirit

Be intolerant,  sensitive  and discerning enough

To want nothing of anything outside of You

Please cause a  repulsion within us for all things

Counterfeiting our Lord and Savior

Rather, please draw us to crave

Hunger and thirst for Your delicious Truth!

Indeed, nothing else can satisfy!

In the Name of Jesus

Amen

Taste And See That  The Lord Is Good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr7ttZUw2mA


credits: God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture

Bible, encouraging words, google, youtube

Oh Taste and See that the Lord is good.
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From Tragedy To Triumph In The Lord

John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from Above: therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Genesis 37:1-50:26 we learn about Joseph. This is only one of many examples throughout the Word of God, where the Lord took what was meant for evil and used it for His glory!
Throughout history, there have been numerous accounts where the King of kings has been high and lifted up, even through the most horrific circumstances. The best example, in my opinion is how the Father allowed His Son’s Sacrifice to save mankind!
This weekend, we again got to get a glimpse at evil as one man took the lives of many in Orlando.
It is easy at times like this, for Christians to get a bit apprehensive, but these are situations we need to dig our heels in and stand strong in confidence, We need to set ourselves apart by our boldness. We KNOW, regardless of the world’s chaos, our God is in control.
As Jesus says in John, there is no power that God has not allowed! We are not victims but vessels! Our Father pours His love into us. His Children are not designed to hold on or hoard our blessings, but share with others.
There is no possible way to understand how the Lord can take something so grotesque and use it to glorify Himself, Long ago, there was a young man who probably thought the same thing, but through a Divine Providence, helped the very ones who tried to destroy him.

FATHER GOD
Thank You for the day You have given us
Please be with those in Orlando and all over the world who are hurting
Lord, we all desperately need You, our Savior, Redeemer and Friend
Some realize this because the Holy Spirit has revealed it to us
Others are still unaware
Please save them, God
Lord, we are called to be light in this world
And we simply cannot love if we are judging others
Merciful Lord, You look upon us with love and mercy
You extend Your grace to us
We are no more deserving of salvation than anyone else
Please let us see others as individuals, poor in spirit
And not withhold our Most sincere, heart-felt prayers for anyone
Please let us not exalt ourselves above others
Instead, remind us how undeserving we are
That it is ONLY by Your grace we have been saved, and not of ourselves Eph 2:8-9
Please remove our pride, our hesitation to intercede
What if others had thought that of us, Lord
There’s NONE worthy, other than Christ! Romans 3:10-12
Help us, please, to let our hearts go out to all the lost
The hurting
Compassion is not compromise
And True Love is not conditional
Your Word tells us in 1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Please be glorified in the midst of this latest tragedy
We don’t understand why things like this have to happen
But this fallen and broken world
Just as You healed the blind, brought hearing to the deaf, dancing to the lame and raised people from the sleep of death, Your purpose is perfect for such a time as this!
Praise Your Name for Your Wonderful and amazing works!
In the Name of Jesus
Amen
Songs
For Such A Time As This _(Kim Hill)

Give Me Jesus

Mighty to Save

credits: God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture
encouraging words
Peace and comfort for victims, families, friends of the Orlando shooting and (former “Voice” contestant) Christina Grimmie’s family and friends
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What Has You Stuck In The Boat? Eyes On Jesus, Disembark!

 

Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.

29 And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Peter definitely had struggles. It is easy to be somewhat judgmental when reading about the people in the Bible, thinking either they should have known better , or they had the Lord and Savior right there WITH them, how could they be so weak?

Wasn’t it EASIER for them to have faith in Jesus they actually SAW than for those of us who are expected to trust the Invisible Lord?

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

We can’t possibly say that living in the Time of Christ, what our behavior would have been. It has taken me years, and I am still ashamed to admit, I don’t know that I would not have been in the crowd calling out for Christ to be crucified or cowering in a corner somewhere, hoping as Peter did, no one recognized me as one of His followers.

Let’s consider Christ standing there, calling us to Himself. What happens when we step out from where we are, our “comfort zone”, into the unknown? Is it not easy to become distracted and even overwhelmed at our circumstances to the point we focus more on who and what surrounds us than Jesus who is more than willing and able to rescue us from any situation?

Someone responded in Yahoo answers this way, when another inquired about the reasoning a horse sometimes wears blinders/blinkers: A driving horse wears “blinders” on his headstall to keep him focused on his task at hand, in other words, to keep him from being distracted from outside interferences.

Some of the habits I see in my children (and now grandchildren) are a little too obviously from me. One thing that stuck out on this particular day out was Courtney as a little girl with all of us in Hobby Lobby. She told us how badly she needed to potty. Being my daughter, she wiggled down the row toward the bathroom. Before she got half way to her destination, she stopped at a bin of stuffed animals and picked one up, doing the “potty dance” until she had to drop the toy she picked up to run as quickly as possible the rest of the way to her intended target. Sadly, that incident had “Beth” written all over it!

Typically when I go with Jonathan to the store, I will tell him that I want to show him “this ONE thing”. I can’t count (now maybe he could) the times, I stopped fifteen times to point out something else before getting to what I originally wanted to show him. Lately when I want to show him something, I put my hands on either side of my face (like blinders) so I can only see straight in front of me. Although my intentions are good, sometimes my peripheral vision catches something I just can’t resist and I stray back to old habits! Jonathan and I often joke about this little straying by calling whatever distracted me a “bright, shiny object”. It happens much more than I would ever admit! Those who know me, no surprise there!

It is not always easy to maintain focus. Sure, some people may be able to get right into a project without distraction, but when it comes to finishing a book or going to the grocery store, the stray off script.

Perhaps there is a Bible study and some of the attendees get all the questions answered by the second day, while others sit there in the middle of class, scribbling down things that sound the most reasonable. Maybe the latter student, rather than penning deep, theological considerations, spent hours praying and interceding for specific needs family and friends. Was one right and the other wrong? I don’t think so, not if we are acting in accordance to the Lord’s perfect will for us.

Let’s keep focus where it belongs, on the Lord. Let’s not judge one another, but encourage a walk with the Lord. He want’s to be our Center of attention!

Some days life will be calm and serene, then something happens to kick up the “waves”. It can be overwhelming if we allow ourselves to be. Look straight ahead! Keep your eyes on Jesus. Whatever we are going through, we know He has permitted it. FEAR NOT! He is in control.

Call out to Jesus and never let the fear of sinking keep you in the “boat”! Step out with faith and focus! Trust AND Obey! To God be the glory!
Prayer

Precious Lord

Thank You for giving us another day

Please keep us focused on You

Holy God

We ask that You help us when circumstances of life

Seem too difficult to handle

We rebuke anything threatening to steal our joy

We need the Prince of Peace

Stay our hearts and minds on You

You are in control, Father God

Your eyes are upon us always

Let us please take comfort in knowing

We are never outside of Your protection

Please let us learn what You intend to teach

With every situation we face

Please forgive us our disobedience

And help us persevere with understanding

When we face consequences as a result of our own behavior

Please give us grace to endure those things in our lives

We did not bring upon ourselves

Whatever we are called to go through, Father

Please let it result in glorifying You

Please give us that peace passing all understanding

That You, King

Are in control

You know the beginning from the end

And You have absolutely no intention of causing harm to Your children

But seeing that we are delivered

And that You are magnified in all things

In the Precious Name of Jesus

Who was obedient to death, even death on the cross

And God’s children said..

AMEN

SONGS

In the Garden (Daddy’s favorite)

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Oceans

Praise You In This Storm

Trust and Obey

credits: God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture

encouraging words

Peter, Courtney, Hobby Lobby

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