“…and (He) would have passed them by.”(Mark 6:48).

They were in trouble, they were ‘straining at rowing’, in a very familiar story in the Bible when the disciples were following Jesus and were led into a boat where, by nightfall, the wind was against them.

So much for our idea about ‘follow Jesus and you can sing songs like, “Everything’s going my way!” Those ideas are like an old Irish proverb that many of us have hanging somewhere in the house:

“May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face; The rains fall soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

This old Irish proverb  is filled with a lot of ‘warm and fuzzies’ but there is really only one portion of it that remains true, ‘May God hold you in the palm of His hand.’

Following Jesus is not to be confused with a life filled with all ‘warm and fuzzies’! Yes, we will have ‘moments’ like this old Irish proverb, but many of us know that many, many a day the road does not rise to meet us, especially those that have been led to  walk through the wilderness for some time. And many know the harsh winds that threaten to destroy, especially fighting disease when there is not one ounce of strength, not one. And it happens when the sun is hidden behind clouds so  dark and thick that it is hard to remember the warmth of the Son…

This is a time when we forget  what’s true. But, we CAN know that God is watching and we CAN know that He’s aware of all that’s going on. We CAN know that He has a hold on us and we are being held in the ‘palm of His hand’. We CAN know that He is with us!  But our thoughts aren’t clear at times in a trial, and we ‘think’ many thoughts and need to  be reminded to KNOW truth! What is truth? God shows us by giving us pictures:

“Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. (Mark 6:45).

Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.“Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them.” Mark 6:48.

He sees us ‘straining at rowing’ while we are on the very boat that He ‘made’ or ‘allowed’ us to get into!He knows all about the winds and how they often go ‘against us!’

“And about the fourth watch of the night “…(all I know is,  this seems real late – the fourth watch! God is reminding us, that He is NOT in a hurry, even though He knows oft’ times that we are!)

He came to them, walking on the sea,” Everyone knows that He came to them walking on the sea, this is totally familiar, but not what comes next:“and would have passed by …Mark 6:48.

I think over and over again on these words, ‘He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed by…’

He would have passed by? Oh my, that is crazy to me, but I think this is very important for us to  see. How could a God of love simply ‘pass by’ while we are ‘straining at rowing’ in the storm He allowed for us?

But God is  clear in His word and the picture that He is painting! He is there, and He would have passed by, but WHY didn’t He?

“…and would have passed them by But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out…” Mark 6:49.

They didn’t know it was Jesus, but they didn’t know what it was, so, they  were terrified and – ‘cried out!’.

Perhaps,before they got on this boat they might have been a little ‘puffed up’ being part of God’s huge miracle where they fed the 5,000 and even took up 12 baskets full of leftovers? We don’t know, but we DO know that Jesus waited to meet them ‘about the fourth watch of the night’. And they were tired. There was no more self-sufficiency in them, there was no pride, there was simply TOTAL DEPENDANCE on their Savior at that moment! They weren’t ‘self-sufficient’ anymore!

“For they all saw Him and were troubled.” Mark 6:50. I am sure they were!

But just by knowing about the story, we can miss these next words that speak so powerfully,“And immediately He talked with them and said to them,…”Mark 6:50.  He was about to pass them by, but they cried out and NOW He is talking with them, IMMEDIATELY! Don’t you love that word, ‘immediately’?

“And immediately Jesus talked with them.” We can’t know that unless we open the Bible and turn to Mark chapter 6! But when we take time to read His word,perhaps on a day when we can’t even see which way is up, and we are simply a miserable mess- but we take the time and make the choice to  ‘call out His name’ – “Jesus”-we discover that He, the Creator, the Great Shepherd, the Father in Heaven, the I AM everything that you and I need- He TALKS!

Here are His words, (not just for His disciples, but for you and me, for TODAY), “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”Mark 6:50.

How many times do we simply pass our Bible by? Or are we still ‘self-sufficient’ and have no need to ‘cry out’ to Him.

“…and (He) would have passed them by. But when they saw Him walking on the sea…”, we don’t think He’s watching, but He is. He’s waiting for us to respond to His presence. He walks on the sea, for us. He is love, remember? He so much wants us to respond to His love. He so much wants us to know that our ‘sufficiency’ is …in Him. We learn this when we read the rest of the story…

“Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.” Mark 6:51. And we can read in the Psalms as well:

“For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea…Their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:25-31.)God brings a peace that passes all understanding when we cry out to Jesus. He calms the storm within. Then a song returns…

‘Be still my soul, the waves and wind still know, His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below! Be still my soul, thy Best and Heavenly Friend, through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.’  The joyful end IS knowing that yes, God’s got us in His hand. We don’t know that by having some Irish proverb hanging somewhere in our house, we KNOW it by finding ourselves in a ‘turbulence’ and great storm, and making the choice to  call out to Him…

He won’t pass you by then. Oh, the un-surpassing beauty of His word: “Be of good cheer, it is I, do not be afraid.”Despite the present circumstances, immediately, Jesus brings a peace that passes understanding.

Thank you Jesus for giving me a husband , Mike Rypkema that waits on You, cries out to You and trusts You. I have witnessed his immediate peace over and over again. I post this in honor of you, Mike Rypkema because you lead by example, believing God’s word even before the sea calms!

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A child’s version…

remind me again…

See God's Hand

In this fast paced, often overcomplicated and crazy time that we live, sometimes the Love letter written so long ago by our Father who loves the world and gave His most precious possession to suffer for us, tells it best in a ‘child’s version’.

Because, if we are to ‘hold firmly to the hope that we confessed’, believing in God, and being taught that ‘we can trust God to do what He promised,’ (Heb. 10:23), then we ‘best know’ His promises. But when things get all topsy-turvy and complicated and messy, it’s hard to REMEMBER! And we ask, “What did He promise? What did He say? But, I don’t have time today…”

Take time today, to hear what He says, in a child’s version and tuck this away in your heart to keep you ‘cool’ through the ‘heat’ and ‘tribulations’ of your day. We get so ‘dirty’ from the filth…

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“God, I am a brother offended…”

“Yes Lord, You say “Come to Me” when we are weary and heavy laden. And You say that You will give us “rest”. You Lord tell us to come to you as ‘children’ and call You ‘Father in heaven’ and remember that You are not earthly, but that You are holy and the foundation of Your throne is righteousness and truth. Yes Lord, we are even to come to You as a bride. You have sealed our heart with the everlasting covenant of your unfailing love and given us the token of that good and perfect gift of Your Holy Spirit that abides within forever.”

“But God, I am a brother offended. I am ‘crying out for discernment, and lifting my voice for understanding’, (Prov. 2:3). You tell us that if we seek wisdom as ‘silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then we will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”

“God, what is the knowledge of God? This brother is offended! Yes, I have heard that prayer written in Your word that “you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…” (Col 2:9), well, all I say to that is “fill me, fill me, and fill me again, fill me with the knowledge of Your will dear God!”

“Can you tell me exactly WHAT You want me to do?”

‘My child, “It is impossible that no offenses should come,…”Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (Luke 17:3,4).

“Does My word offend you?”

“Though you’ve been provoked and even treated with cruelty, even with frequency and repeatedly, my dear child, I have shown the Way. Follow Me, my dear one and meet your foe with love and you will will ‘overcome evil with good’. My child, please understand that offering forgiveness, and over and over again requires faith!
Pray for an increase of faith. It is written:

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6) “Trust me, my child, with faith I can do a miracle of plucking out a ‘stoney heart’ and transplanting a heart in a ‘sea of life and forgiveness’ and I will make it a heart of flesh able to breathe.” “Yes, pray for an increase of faith!” I will do a miracle of love in you!”

“And in that faith to believe, I provide a grace sufficient! ‘Take heed to yourself’, don’t run off and get drunk with wine or find a harmful way of escape, instead, my dear one, be filled with the Spirit. And speak in a hymn even, one that will remind you time and time again of my grace sufficient, yes, My amazing grace. Please remember that sound – it save a wretch like you. I forgive you over and over, and give you grace to extend that to the brother who offends”
Be at peace my child. Yes, I forgive all your sins-yesterday, today and even tomorrow. So, if your brother has offended you, rebuke him, and if he repent, forgive. But even if he doesn’t repent, forgive anyway.

Keep it simple my child, sing and make melody in your heart, and you will find that amazing grace fill your heart with love and …forgiveness.”

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see…” Our Father, who art in heaven…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
‘I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

“Thank you Lord, “increase my faith! Increase my faith!”

“What do I do? I’ve been misunderstood…

“Lord, I’ve been misunderstood.”
“Be Still and worship Me, I will show you great and mighty things you don’t know.”

“But Lord, I’ve been mis-represented.”
“Be Still and worship Me, I give beauty for ashes.”

“But Lord, there is so much pain, so much grief.”
“Be Still and worship Me, I comfort those who mourn and even give oil of joy for mourning.”

“But God, I feel so barren, so heavy in heart.”
“Be Still and worship Me, I will give you a garment of praise for your spirit of heaviness.”

“I’m so tempted to think on everything that’s bad, I can’t even think on what is good.”
“Be Still and worship Me, my child, delight yourself in Me and the words I speak to you. I will work in you that you may be a ‘tree of righteousness’. Worship Me and you will be a ‘planting of the Lord’ that I might receive glory.”(Is. 61:3).

“But Lord,”
“Yes, But by Me. Yes, With God all things are possible. Yes, But God who comforts the downcast. Yes, ‘But God is faithful.’ He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, I give a way of escape…Be Still and worship Me. Though you may be faith-less,and your heart and your flesh may fail, I AM faithful still.(Ps. 73:26).
“Be still and worship Me for I inhabit your praises. That is where I dwell. I am the ‘strength of your heart’. I will be your portion, forever.”(Ps. 76:26).
“Now, my child, take a pause from your crying and take a breath to give Me praise. Be Still and worship Me and your heart will sing again. Take a breath to sing over Me to discover again, that I sing over you. Your eye will see My very own eye guide you in My counsel.It is good for you to draw near to Me.”

“First give thanks to Me, Your Lord, and pray to Me.” (Ps. 105:1). Can you trust me with this pain? With this ‘scourging’ as it seems, over and over again for the same offense, from man? Yes, I know how you feel. I AM “despised and rejected by men,” I AM “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Is. 53:3).

Remind your soul the words of the age old hymn, “Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side. bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide, in every change, He faithful will remain. Be still my soul, thy best thy heavenly friend, through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.”

I am Your Father in heaven. I know the heart of all men. Worship Me, when men think they control the day, fix your eyes on Me, ‘Holy is My Name’, My Kingdom come, My will will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ Yes, this is your Father’s world.Be still and worship Me with the words of the hymns, “This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget, That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.”

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Nor be disgraced for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, … For you Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the LORD has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God.” (Is. 54:4-6).

“I praise You Lord, and I lift my voice, once again to simply worship You. To simply worship You, all by myself, not in a building or a with a group. No, just by my tired ol’ self, just me and You Lord. I open up the Songs that have already been written, Lord, in these I make a sacrifice to praise.
Not one ounce of my being ‘feels’ like praising, but I remember that I am to sing a ‘new song’, and a ‘new song’ is what I need:
“Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name;…For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens, Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary…Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!…” (Psalm 96:1,4-9).
“OH, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has openly shown in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Psalm 98:1-3)

“Can you see that I am here to seek and to save those who are lost? Can you see that I AM unlike all the other gods, I AM has made known salvation. Can you see that I am merciful? I don’t keep record of wrongs. Can you see that I follow you with goodness and mercy, even if men on this earth do not.

Put on your garment of praise. Cast your burden on Me, I care for you. I have been waiting so very long to bless you with it, here let me take your heavy heart, be still and Worship Me, you will be blessed…always.”
“I love you my child,I AM your Lord Jesus. Be Still and worship.

Worship Me.I am on your side. With a banner of love I have over you, rest in Me, Jesus.”
‘Be still my soul, thy god doth undertake, to guide thy future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake…all now mysterious, shall be bright at last. Be still…’

What Song is God singing?

What if God was singing over us, and we could hear the words audibly, would He be singing, “You’ve lost that loving feeling, oh that loving feeling. You’ve lost that loving feeling, now it’s gone, gone, gone…’,

What a sad song. Even sadder yet, God was singing this song to a church! Yes, recorded for all to see in Rev. 2, (of the church of Ephesus).

Jesus had something against this church. It is recorded that it had it’s doctrine intact, they had good works, they were patient and persevering, and they hated evil, however, here it is, Jesus said: “Nevertheless, …  you have left your first love.” Rev. 2:4. 

In other words, “You’ve forgot ME!” But after that hard rebuke, Jesus tells them what they must do:“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; Repent“, and do the first works.” Rev. 2:5. “Remember the old days when you first loved Me,’ God says, ‘ turn around and come back to Me, I miss you!”

Do we ever think of God missing us? Do we really think that He desires you and me. He isn’t just a vitamin, He’s not just something good for us to do or take, NO! He desires relationship with just me! God, the Creator of the Universe, the One who is concerned with all that’s going on on the other side of the world, the One who knows my name and has thoughts towards me that are good and many.  And He wants you! He loves us. Is this how we are thinking?

Or are we thinking,”But to really love God, the way He asks, with all my heart, with all my soul with all my might, (Deut. 6:5), that is going to cost me a whole lot.”

No, actually, we simply must ‘turn around’ and take notice of Him!  It cost Jesus a whole lot, His very life laid down for each of us personally.  For you and me, we simply need to let go; let go of ourselves and our own  importance and spend time with  Him, to let Him in and color our world again!

“That’s the problem, I don’t have time.” you say. And it’s true, time is taken away from us so, so often. But God is so amazing, He gives us those children’s faces when they have those ‘longing faces’ when they are hungry or tired. We take care of them. Do you see Jesus in their eyes? Look for Him, He is there. Love Him through gently caring  for that child.

Perhaps that’s all we need, is to look at the children, our spouses, the clouds in the sky, the photograph of a family, even the flowers in the stores, and acknowledge Him. to say, “Thank you God, there really is a lot of beauty in my world.”

Bring God into your world, He is there, waiting for you to fix the eyes of your heart on Him. And when you do, you will begin to hear the song He is really singing about you.

Jesus loves us so much! Did you see the beautiful butterfly He brought to your garden? Did you see the brilliant sunrise? Didn’t He paint the most beautiful sunset the other day? I believe He is sharing His love in all those things.

He loves us so. He is waiting for us to respond to His love. And how l-o-n-g-s-u-f-f-e-r-i-n-g He is. Take time to notice today. Take time to ‘talk to God’. Bring Him ‘in’ to your every moment today. Your love for Him will grow and grow! His love…

it’s always been the same…It’s right there! Please, don’t wait until your ‘walking in the valley of the shadow of death’ to discover  that ‘Thou art with me!’ He’s with you singing, “My child loves me, this I know!”“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your countenance, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely.” Song of Solomon 2:14.  Now THAT’s the song our God is singing! THAT is the song He sings.

Turn around, let Him see your countenance, let Him hear your voice, He loves you so…Be still and hear His song: “O my dove, …your countenance is lovely…” Thankfulness will return and so will our song! We’ll be singin’ a new song once  hear the song God’s been  singin’ from the beginning.

A child was born…

A child was born so that this child could know what I’m to be about today. Of which child do I speak?

Just like, when asking a question in sunday school the children always figure, “When in doubt, say ‘Jesus’!” But the answer this time would be- John the Baptist.

You see, this child, John was born to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus. John the Baptist was, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness; Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.” Is. 40:3.And today, you and I have been chosen to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus. He’s coming again, and soon and very soon at that!

Straight from John’s father’s mouth,(Zacharia), he gave prophesy of John and prophesy for us! But we can’t forget that Zacharia was mute for 9 whole months because he didn’t believe the message of God. But ‘seeing is believing’ for many of us as well, and when Zacharia witnessed the birth of his son from his wife Elizabeth, (well, we really aren’t sure that he ‘witnessed the birth’) but when he witnessed his promised child he wrote on a tablet proclaiming the baby’s name to be ‘John’ (just as the angel said it would be,) his ‘tongue was loosed’ and he spoke and praised God!

God still loves those who insist on ‘seeing before believing!’ He just makes them mute until that wonderful day they do believe and then the outcome – Praising God! But this is not the main point God wanted me to remember today in my reading. The point God wants me to hold on to and chew on and meditate and be moved by is, the prophesy given about this child that was born:
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,…” (Luke 1:76).
This is it! These are our ‘walking orders’. It’s all recorded here in Luke chapter 1, and we’ve been given an example, we are to ‘go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways.’ It’s all in black and white the instructions for us today.And the ‘how is given as well:“To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; (Luke 1:77,78).

Perfect! This is the ‘information age.’ We are to inform the people who are weary and burdened and overwhelmed in their own wildernesses to tell them some Good News instead of what the newscasters report. But we don’t just have words to share in this information age, we have a ‘Present’ to give. We get to come with a Present all wrapped up beautiful and tied with a scarlet thread of redemption each tagged with a personal name monogramed on it!

Yes, we get to bring Christmas when there is only winter!

We get to present a ‘Present’ with a personal name on it and tell them the most amazing news that simply by receiving this gift with their very own name on it, that every sin they have every committed- yesterday, today and even tomorrow is forgiven. Yes, FORGIVEN! We get to inform the people that their gift is ready and waiting for them to receive!

Not only are we given a ‘Present’ to present all beautifully wrapped, but we are given a light, “to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,…” (Luke 1:79). And yes, the light will reveal the ‘scarlet thread’ that is tied on the Present. Yes, the light is given so we can shine it on the cross. To inform the people that the cross may be rugged and look dark and depressing, but the message of the cross is a picture of “the tender mercies of our God, with which the Dayspring on High has visited us…” (Luke 1:78).

We’ve got our marching orders to inform, and we are given the Present, we are given the Light,so, we must take a look at this ‘child that was born’ and see that he lived in the ‘wilderness’ and he was a bit strange, but he for ‘those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,’ (Luke 1:79), he prepared the way.

So today, just as this child that was born, may we prepare the way of the Lord, by telling the Good News, and shining our light on Jesus -because He is the One who will day by day, moment by moment -‘guide our feet into the way of peace.’

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)!

But don’t be surprised if you find yourself continually in the desert! Because it is said of this child that was born: “So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of manifestation to Israel.” (Luke 1:80). Despite the wilderness or the desert, may we grow and become strong in spirit! Yes, may we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

and be like this child that was born, preparing the way of the Lord, because He is coming back, and real soon, yes, real soon. Amen, Amen, Amen!

“Come Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart…”

“Tune my heart Lord, tune my heart to sing Thy grace…”

See God's Hand

The words of a familiar hymn have spoke renewal and refreshment to me, “Come Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace…”

This makes me think of picking up my guitar and noticing it’s not quite right. So I immediately start to put it in ‘tune’.  Just like in my own life, I can see all the areas in my thought life and attitudes where I am ‘off tune’ and so desperately need my Master Player to intervene.

But how beautifully this hymn reminds me where the tuning takes place. It’s at His communion table. Yes, the fount that covers me, that has washed away my sin. It is almost too good to be true to think that my Father in heaven sees me…

not agitated, because Jesus took all of that on the cross, not angry at the way things are going, because Jesus took…

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When our cry is: “Don’t let us forget our heroes!”

This is how I remember ‘my heroes’ that lived and died to the glory of God, but this is how I pray for the heroes today – the persecuted Christians, that God would strengthen them to be ‘steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. And this is how I pray for all believers, that they would LIVE TODAY for an audience of 1!

See God's Hand

“Father, this is our cry, “Please don’t let us forget our heroes!” O God, please don’t let us ever forget. There are books written about special Olympians, and great football stars, and successful people, but Lord, our heroes had You, the true and living God,  inside and  You beamed from them on the outside-they were extreme, they were complete-in You. Keep them close to us, please, don’t let us forget.”

“Father, don’t let us ever forget their beauty each and every day. Even though in this world, where You told us we would have tribulation- and they did, in great amounts- and their bodies lost so much of the outward beauty, just as a flower fades, but inside they were so filled with You that every breath was breathed for You and those they loved. ”

“Lord, never, never, NO never let us forget our heroes. They had their pain…

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J-O-Y

A song was written on the strings of the simple ukelele, after a woman expressed what JOY was to her.These words were breathed from my heart from the Lord Himself when I pondered, “Lord, where is the joy? It’s as if, in the simplest tune, Jesus reminded me, “Toni, keep it simple. Keep it simple. You’ll find the joy, you’ll find it’s Me. And I’m right here, right here with you.”
The answer to the question, “Lord, where is the joy?

“Jesus Only You…
Jesus, only You.
That is where I find my joy,
Jesus, only YOU.

You say You love me.
You’ll never change.
Say You won’t leave me, You’re always the same.
You say You see me
and You hear all my prayers,
Jesus Only You.”

“So Lord, take my hand and walk and lead, and may I simply yield to You. Open my eyes that I might see wonderful things in my everyday world, Lord, open my eyes that I might see YOU in anything of beauty around me,
The eyes of a child,
the simple meow of a kitten, the wagging joy of the dog’s tail,
a gentle word,
a genuine smile,
the strum of a guitar, the stroke of paint on a brush,
the bee on the flower, the butterfly … Oh Lord, You live in them all and endless more, because each brings joy,

In the grays and dark cold tones of the day, you bring beautiful things in the simplest of ways to color my world and remind me of joy. I can see it so clearly now that I’ve recovered the fog, Jesus, I see what you show me, I see it today, so the song I choose to speak on my lips is a thank- full one ’cause You’ve colored my gray.

“Jesus Only You!”

Rx for a stressed and anxious attitude -a hymn book?

The best medicine for an anxious heart, the hymn book. I can almost hear the Great Physician say, “Speak in ‘2’ hymns and call Me in the morning, you’ll be just fine.”

See God's Hand

Continually, I find myself struggling with an anxious and negative attitude. How anyone can wake up first thing in the morning with thoughts of dismay and alarm is beyond me, but it’s not beyond me, it’s part of me. But then I remember, and think to myself, “this is a battle, I’m in a battle!”  The first sound that comes out of me is “Ugh”. (I am convinced that no one else in the whole word wakes up like this except me.)

That is the alarm that always leads me to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven…Help me!”

Thankfully for me, my husband and everyone else, I get up early to spend time with the Lord.

A little later,  while getting some lunches ready  for the kids to take to school, I notice that I pack something sweet and something salty, because that is what they like.  And then I…

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