“Trusting God is always the right thing to do.” A happy birthday note to David.

“Trusting God is always the right thing to do.”

It might not always look like the “smartest” thing to do, but as each day dawns, if we seek the Lord with a yielded heart, doing the best we can, slippin’ and slidin’ along the way, He is our support.

His Hand is our hope and stay.

He offers grace, “unmerited favor,” and mercy, “not giving us what we deserve.” God is a faithful Father.

And God spoke from heaven in Luke 9:35, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

There was a day I heard God say those words to me, so I spend time each day trying to do just that – to “hear Him”

 Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14.

Perhaps I’ll spend my lifetime discovering what this verse is all about. But today I write because we celebrate the birthday of my 9th child, David.

Happy Birthday David! How can you actually be 17 years old today?

Born in the year 2000, I will never have to stop and do math to figure out your age. My 2000 baby.

David, you are such a blessing. Words could never express.

From the beginning, well, you did have a bit of a rough beginning, at least from my point of view – you were my biggest baby of the 11 at 8lbs 14 oz.

But for you, it was probably wonderful to be breathing well at birth because you had the chord wrapped around your neck during delivery. Thanks to the best midwife on the planet, Marylou Nalducci,

and our Lord Jesus, (who was watching out for you then and is watching out for you now,)

you recovered it all. The purple blue face for the first few days, all the prodding from the Neonatologist, the tests. And then later, coming home to a houseful of kids who couldn’t wait to hold you.

It is days like this when you can say with a heart skipping with joy, “It is always right to trust the Lord.”

And now to think, you will be approaching your Senior year in high school. And smart as can be. No damage done in that rough beginning, that’s for sure.

“Thank you Lord.”

David, 17 years later your mom and dad will still tell you, “It’s always right to trust the Lord.” We might not always say it with an outward “skip and a hop,” in our voice, but with a deep resound.

But God has shown himself faithful daily. To you, to me, to our entire family. That is why your mom and dad love the Lord so much David. Because He loves us first.

And He blessed us on June 3 with you! “Trusting God is always the right thing to do!”

But you have experienced and seen for yourself, in the 17 young years of your life, that “trusting God” in life is a bit like a marathon. It has it’s ups and downs and dizzy spells and muscle aches.

Sometimes “trusting God” just plain hurts. Especially if you feel you are on mile 17 of the run, or again on mile 26, with rubber knees and bleeding toes! ( I wouldn’t know from running specifically.)

But experientially, your mom and dad can say, David, It’s always right to trust the Lord. You see, He is the One who directs your steps through the rough terrain and the smooth.

He’s there at the beginning. He waits for us to believe. He hears us when we bleed. He helps us persevere. And in Him, He helps us succeed.

Seek His face as you wake. Hear His voice in His word. Talk to Him throughout your day.

Trust God. He is faithful. Always.

David, before you get out of bed, take a hold of your Father’s hand – your Father in heaven, and follow His lead. He will show you the way.

I love you, forever,

mom

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5,6.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8.

“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13.

A Salvation Story. Do I come out of the rain?

God holds the Umbrella that I come out of the rain.

Why the struggle? Why the delay?

God holds the Umbrella. He cares about me.

Did I forget? Or did I simply leave?

Do I find contentment in lies that bring strife? Am I choosing to destroy my very own life?

Can I make the choice to step out of the comforts of despair?

Or do I keep my head down on the puddles, believing lies of being victim. Staying, pitifully there.

He bids me with thunder and lightning to fear and to look. In the Light, through the flash,

I see the hand of His Son.

It’s reached out towards me.

Then I see His face.

His eyes, . . .

are grace.

He calls my name. I hear the words,”Come.” 

Directly in my heart, I feel Him look.

Burning.

Revelation comes, Truth is alive.

He waits.

Immediately, there’s strength that wasn’t there.  Hope to lay down the shame. To cast off the pain.

God is offering me to come out of the rain.

Again, He calls my name.

Do I receive Him and take hold of His hand?

Why is it so hard? Why would I choose to stay out in the cold? To reject the dance. To stay wet in distress?

In an instant I choose.

I lift my eyes to meet His.

In an instant my garments are made new. Gloriously cleansed. I take hold of His hands. With all of my being, I know at last, I have found Love. He loved me first.

He desires me.

The rain is still falling, but I don’t even care. Because Love has captured all of my being. Love has called me. He has lifted me up.

I turn to kiss His cheek. He smiles.

He is pleased.

Everything new, everything possible, we dance, and we dance under the grand Umbrella. The canopy of protection, with a symphony of grace.  As it rains,  Love and I look face to face.

With a long-lost song that returns in my heart, I will sing as I dance, and make day of the night.

Starting over

 

There is a time for “starting over.”

Even when a house is torn down, the foundation is left to build upon.

The foundation old and solid, the building all new. Gloriously new.

The past is the seasoned instruction manual. Not for dwelling deep, but for gleaning wisdom in the forward motions of hope and joy.

Starting over. With revelation of the preciousness of each breath.

I will write for my kids. Because the Lord told me so. Just as He said to Jeremiah so many years ago, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. Jeremiah 30:2.

I frame words already written, tucked away under black leather covers. I bring out to light words in the old song books that are living through the ages of time.

I’m starting over, yet in reality, I’m continuing ahead.

So, I will write with each new day, what the Lord has shown me in His book. I will leave it at that and pray that God draws you near to Him with each moment of each day.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on Jeremiah 30:1-11 writes what I believe God wants to show me, and you, and all the children who take the time in God’s word and take note of what’s been heard:

Matthew Henry Commentary

30:1-11 Jeremiah is to write what God had spoken to him. The very words are such as the Holy Ghost teaches. These are the words God ordered to be written; and promises written by his order, are truly his word. He must write a description of the trouble the people were now in, and were likely to be in. A happy end should be put to these calamities . . .”

How glorious are the old words written! Does this not make our appetites yearn to taste and see the promises within?  Matthew Henry continues in his writings on Jeremiah 30, which encourage us today in the trials we endure:

“Though the afflictions of the church may last long, they shall not last always. The Jews shall be restored again. They shall obey, or hearken to the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, their King. The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, is pointed out in the prophecy, but the restoration and happy state of Israel and Judah, when converted to Christ their King, are foretold; also the miseries of the nations before the coming of Christ. All men must honour the Son as they honour the Father, and come into the service and worship of God by him. Our gracious Lord pardons the sins of the believer, and breaks off the yoke of sin and Satan, that he may serve God without fear, in righteousness and true holiness before him all the remainder of his days, as the redeemed subject of Christ our King.”Jeremiah 30:2 Commentaries

This is it. This is why I write. I write for myself and perhaps someone else will benefit and grow in discovering treasured words under dusty covers.

I’m starting over, but I’m really just persevering on.

May we be faithful to take time to hear His voice. May we be faithful to talk to Him, to wrestle with Him. To seek Him evermore. Start over we will, with each new day.  Let us live the life He has for us.

God’s given us breath. Let us take the next breath He has given and read aloud God’s inspired wisdom:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-17.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

Read these words aloud. They are living: This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life. (Psalm 119:50, Amplified).

 

“Though there be no fruit on the vine …”

Many years ago, I felt God impress upon my heart my life verse: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  

I had no idea then, what God had for me in this verse. Even today, I yearn to grasp the depths of all it means. “What are You saying, Lord, at times like these?”

“What is Your will for me?” “What is Your will for me?” “What is Your will for me?

And He responds, continually, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks …” I had no clue, back then, how very, very difficult these three things would prove to be.

“How can I rejoice in this?” “There’s no way I can pray!” “I refuse to give thanks in this!” Over and over, God allows me to see what’s inside of me. And, quite frankly, it ain’t pretty!

But Jesus. He loves me. He’s gentle. He’s patient. He’s kind and full of compassion. He hears my yelling and faithless thoughts. He sees my fret and knows my every thought.

How can God be so great and mighty as that? To still love me – even after my words and actions and … yes, being a brat!

There is no One like God on this earth.

But, wait.

He reached out from on high when I was in the depth of a pit. He pulled me out of great darkness and I could see, finally, the love in His eyes.

“Receive My love?” I felt Him ask of me.”

“I do, Lord. Come and live in my heart. Restore my soul. O God, don’t let go.”

Now, He abides in me. I’m simply a branch of His Vine. He is mine. He is mine. 

“No matter what you might go through, my child, I am here. And these words are your fortress and refuge. These words are your Rock that you might not slip or drown in sorrow or fear. I am the LORD, and this is my will you.”

“I see the conflicts press hard form the outside. I see the fear that entangles and grips at your very breath. I know the loss, the pain. I know death.”

“This is hard, this is dark, this is excruciating, I know. I am the LORD. I have gone before, I will carry you through. Keep your eyes on me, through this most difficult test, My Word is your life, yes, this is what you are to do: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;” 

I will show you success and help you focus your mind, that you might be victorious one step at a time. Study my Word. Sing the Psalms in your heart. Gain wisdom and understanding, ask of Me and I will give.”

Do you believe … even in this? that I am Yours.  I care for you … now, rest.”

My life verse gives me instant direction. Will I scoff, or will I take the instruction? My response has already been written. I will sing it from my heart to my Chief Musician:

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

 The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Habakkuk 3:17-19. In response to my life verse, no matter what happens – this I pray will be my response. Continually. And with my Love, I will abide for all eternity!

 

 

 

 

The world: “Consider strife.” The Word: “Consider Christ!”

Jesus loves me this I know…” we sing as children sure and fine, yet after time and trial and education,  do we choose to forget our true foundation?

We cry out, “Help Lord!” And then there seems to be no reply.

We hear words from press at our fingertips. We hear media’s clamor and the popular opinion.

But God – He waits, and watches. His love is patient and kind. His love is not like yours or mine.

“Consider … Jesus Christ.” (1) Says His word to hearts hurting.

What are we considering in the course of our day? What you eat, what you wear, what so – and –  so has to say.

“Consider …Jesus Christ.” Thus saith the Lord. This is His way.

He was appointed by God the Father from heaven above. Whether we believe it’s true, doesn’t affect His love. (2) He is the Creator, the builder of the house, (3) He’s the beginning and the End, (4)  He is silent when accused. (5) He is faithful and true.

“Consider …Jesus Christ.

This is God’s response when we cry out to Him. When we cry out for deliverance, for rest, for quietness.

He’s given us choice. Do we listen, do we turn away from the noise? Let’s not wait for the ground to be shaking. Or when darkness is thick, we can’t see our own way. (6)

“Help Lord!”

He hears our cry. He doesn’t need to ask the question, ” Why? Or What? He’s been watching with His eye. (7) He knows if we caused our own pain. He knows if we’ve been wronged again. He knows the tears that fall from our face. He knows, and He covers us.

He laid down His life in our place.

“He is a very present help in time of trouble.”(8) He reveals, He delivers, He mediates, He heals.

His name is Jesus and died on a cross on the hill. So familiar, yet so unknown. So forgotten until the day we groan.

Consider Christ Jesus. He is unlike any other. He is mighty in action and in His word. He is the Son of God. He comes to bring peace, He also comes to bring a sword-

A surgical scalpel to cut away growth of critical spirits, and pride and the rest. He brings division simply in His name. To those who believe He pours out peace and compassion.

“…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”(9) These were His words to the ones who sought damage. To the accusers who cared of rules above love. Who seek after themselves and the reputations they manage.

Consider Jesus: Hardly noticing when others do Him wrong. Never keeping a record of all the damages done. (10) There is none like Jesus, no not one. He is worthy of every love song.

Bowing in our hearts when we see Him as He is.  He reaches His hand down to take mine, to take yours,  and He says with His voice written in words on the page,  ” Don’t be afraid, only believe.”  (11) “I am yours, and you… you belong to Me.”

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so …”
(1) Hebrews 3:1. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.”

(2) Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

(3) Hebrews 3:3,4. “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. “

(4) Revelation 22:13. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

(5) Isaiah 53:7. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

(6) Revelation 19:11.  “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.”

(7)  Proverbs 15: . “The eyes of the Lord are on every place keeping watch on the evil and the good.” 

(8) Psalm 46:1. “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.’

(9) John 8:7.

(10) 1 Cor. 13:4-7,  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.

(11)Mark 5:36, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.” (Holeman Christian Standard Bible).

 

How do we let hurt feelings heal?

How do we let hurt feelings heal?

Don’t revisit! Don’t rekindle the flames! Don’t go back and let the enemy gain. ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His glorious face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.’ (1)

We will pray from our whole heart, broken and torn. We will cry out for  greater faith to see Love through the thorns:

In You O God, I seek refuge. I will put my trust. Let my hope in You not be disappointed. Deliver me in Your righteousness! Bow down Your ear, O God.  Speedily, deliver me!  My rock of refuge, my strong fortress – be!(2)

Do we have neighbor, friend, or even family write us off as evil? We will not be greatly moved by opinion – our prayer has been written. King David cries out to God in his song, Psalm 31, To the chief musician, A Psalm of David, written for us all:

For I have heard the slander of many, terror on every side! While they schemed together against me, they plotted to take my life. But I trusted, relied on and was confident in You. O Lord; I say, You are my God. My hope is in You. (3)

How do we let hurt feelings heal? We open God’s word. We cry out the prayers and the songs that have been written to a living God, “our Father in heaven,” …

“His kingdom come” – He is with you and me – “His will be done” – that we cry out to see, like blind Bartameus, open our eyes, “My times are in Your hand, dear Lord, deliver me from the hand of my foes and those who pursue and persecute me!” (4)

How do we let hurt feelings heal? We will not get our wisdom from philosophy of man, we will follow the King’s steps, we will ‘hide under the shadow of the wings’ of God – we we rest in the midst of God’s  – powerful – right – hand!

“Let the lying lips be silenced! Lips with pride and contempt! Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, or disappointed; for I am calling upon You! O how great is Your goodness” (5) … in my trouble I choose, in the chaos, in the dust, O God, I worship You!

We will be strong. We will let our hearts take courage. “O love the Lord, all you His saints; the Lord preserves the faithful,“(6), those faithful to seek cover in the blood of the Lamb who was slain in great punishment for all the sin of all men.

We will sing a new song, not a song of strife from the past. We will sing as the king, to the King of all Kings: “Oh soul are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness to see? There’s a light for a look at the Savior! And life, more abundant and free.”

“So turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth, …

will grow strangely dim, …

in the light of His glory and grace.”

Psalm 31 verse 5, our ending prayer: “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth and faithfulness.” In You I find my rest –  Selah    (we will pause and consider all of this!)

(1) Hymn: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Helen H. Lemmel.

(2) Psalm 31: 1,2. (paraphrased by me).

(3) Psalm 31:13-15, (with my paraphrase to make rhyme!)

(4) Psalm 31:15.

(5) Psalm 31:18, 17.

No matter what! There remains a song …

…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.Romans 5:20. Comfort is found in writings of old, and stanzas of rhyme reach deep, deep down:

“Child of sorrow, do they leave thee, those on whom thy hopes were stayed?

“Jesus calls, and will receive thee, with a love that cannot fade.

“Hark, he bids thee, seek the home –  for sinners made.”

The pen of C.H. Spurgeon,  attempts to woo us home, as eyes find their way on the written page.

“As for me, in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. By Your favor, O Lord, You have established me as a strong mountain; …” (1)   

These are words, of the Psalm of David. In strength and confidence we turn our eyes from the Living Waters. We confidently moved on from the Fount. But God, in His great love for us allows tribulation, that we might once again turn our eyes to the Mount.

“You hid Your face, and I was  troubled.” (Psalm 30, Psalm of David), “I cried to You, … and to the Lord I made supplication.”

The Psalms, the poems. They are written that we might  – come – back – home:

“Hear, O Lord, have mercy on me, …O Lord, my helper, be gracious to me!” Words breathed from God for us, that we might cry out to Him from our own lips. They are not not just  words for David, these are words for our very own tongues, that speak from the heart, these words to express:

‘You have turned my mourning into dancing … ; You have put off my sackcloth and girded  gladness on me.’ By the power of forgiveness found in God, through His precious Son Jesus, we become changed. All this found in the power of His name:

“To the end that my tongue and my heart and everything, …everything glorious within me may sing …

‘Praise to You!’  I will not be silent, O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.’ (2) O Lord my God, You’ve given me favor!

May we acknowledge His power, this very hour. May we rest our souls on His hope and forgiveness. May we sing the old songs that by His own breath was given. May we dig, deep, deep down and find the song, that was there from the beginning, but was lost somehow.

Here is our song, Here is our story. Today we sing it strong, giving God glory; this is my song, this is my story:

“Though the fig tree does not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vine; though the product of the olive may fail. Though the fields yield no food, though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls” …  thus sings the song of of old:

“Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord! I will lift up the name of my victorious God. He is  my strength! The Lord God is my bravery. He is my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and He makes me to walk, (not to stand in terror anymore!) I walk upon the hills, (of trouble and suffering still,) yet He makes me to walk and watch as He skips upon the hills! And He reaches His hand that I take hold of it forever! And I put my hand in His, … I will rejoice in the Lord from this day forth, and for ever! (3)

 

Is this your song? Is this your story? Shall we acknowledge God and give Him all the glory? Join me today, to live your life for Him? To Praise His name ’cause His love never fails. Shall we join God’s army in these last days – and shout out together:  – ‘All Hail the power of Jesus’ name’. Join me today, to walk in confidence with no shame? Shout out an “Amen!” and let’s go on living a life that praises Him!

 

(1) Psalm 30:6.

(2) Psalm 30:12.

(3) my personal interpretation, my song, of Habakkuk 3: 17-19!

“Can’t I walk a good and wholesome life, and be separate from claiming Jesus Christ?”

“Can’t I walk a good and wholesome life, and be separate from claiming Jesus Christ? Why does Jesus have to be the only way to secure heaven for me? Can’t God see that I’m good and kind and helpful each day, isn’t that enough? That’s my question today?

Questions of man. Big questions too. Asked from man to man in sincerity in truth…

This was me, years ago. Exactly! I wanted to know! (I put exclamation points after the thoughts because I understand if this is you- ’cause I was there…I read of Edward Casey and was out on a limb…), yes, I was there. Confusion and questions everywhere!

So, I must ask, instead of answer, my question to your thoughts:  “Have you taken your burden of unanswered questions to God? To God, do you ask? Have you asked Him directly? He is able to hear.

Just because your eyes can’t see Him, He hears and He speaks…if you really want answers to questions like these,

talk to God and ask Him sincerely…

but you can’t find the answers In the clouds, or the trees…they’ve been written, yes, written words, they’ve been breathed!

If you have trouble knowing what to do, start asking, seeking and knocking on The door of God’s heart. He will guide you out of the dark.

Open His word. Pray to Him. Ask for ears to receive. Open the Book, The Holy Bible. Ask Him what to believe!

God is faithful. God is good. He will show you the way…if you want more than to be understood!

Do you want to be ‘right?’ Or do you really want to hear? Hey, I was in your place with questions like this…But God…

He knew my questions were sincere.

He did more than just speak words on the page…He began to open my eyes to His love and His grace. He brought me to still waters,…

I could see the reflection of me, and my pride and compulsive and impulsive ways, and my resentful and selfish and easily angered sways.

There is peace like a river in His word if you choose.

So,  what about Jesus? He will show you the Truth. God will answer your questions, as you walk with Him through the Gospels of Luke, and John, and Mark, and Matthew!

You can really know someone by the prayers that they pray. ‘Suffer’, ‘allow’ me to share the prayer Jesus prayed – straight from God’s word, the rhyming will end… But I pray you are touched by God… Through Him:

“Father the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

“As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

“I have mane feared Your name to the men whom You’ve given Me out if the world. They were Yours, You gave them to me, and they have kept Your word…”

“I pray for them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me…

“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are…

“O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.

“And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the live with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”(John 17, in part… But please read it in its entirety)…

If you read this far, please let me know – if you believe and receive God’s   great forgiveness, through the blood of His Son whom He sent , Jesus !

He has washed your sins white as snow! How do we know? How can we know?

The Bible!  Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

“Tell me something good.”

“Tell me something good.”

“Are your ears open then? What’s the focus of your eyes? Take a minute to see into your heart, is it bleeding in pain from loss, or even shame? Or is your heart hardened by kicks and pushes and mean looks and lies?”

“I will tell you something good. In your sorrow, in your pain, in your brokenness and even in your  shame. God loves you. The true and living God, the One Who sent His Son, He loves with an everlasting love- and He is forever the same.”

“There is no shadow of turning with Him. He sees your doubts, he sees your fears, he knows the anger and the hurt. He even counts your tears.”

“He doesn’t give up on you. He is waiting… He ‘suffers long.’ He is able to accomplish all that concerns you today. But there is one requirement on your part – oh, not to ‘do good’ and ‘get your act together’, don’t you know the Power of His Spirit will do that in and through you all-together!  No, not that, those you will do in the Power of His name, –

but first, open your ears, and lift up your eyes, and hear and see the Love in His eyes. Can you see His hands reaching out to you? They are scarred just like your life, but they are healed  –  through and through! And if you cry out His name with your willing but broken heart, He will take hold of it and wash the doubt and fear and sin all away. He will comfort and mend and wrap you in compassion…

His name is Jesus. So you ask, “how do you know all this then?”

“Because, this is my story. I just tell you again, what God did  for me when I was broken and torn – even beyond what I thought, any remedy! But He came and He showed me His love, and yes… He reached out His hands-that I might see that ‘He knew’. So I tell you today, because I know deep in my heart – it doesn’t matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done or gone through – Jesus, He is the Good Shepherd after all,

and you His dear lamb, He is calling… you!”

“Can you hear His voice? Ask Him to Help! He will show you truly, that you are His love, and YOU are His choice!”

(“Where do I get all my information? Yes, the Good Word, the Bible! Read it aloud, it will give you great satisfaction!”)

“Not all know Me as their King…”

I was very sick, laying on the couch after my third chemo treatment of some very rough and tough ‘poisons’ that the Medical Professionals chose to destroy the cancer cells within my body… and, quite frankly, only hours after the chemicals were set free to run through my bone marrow, I could ‘feel’ the death of the cells in my body. And quite honestly, I almost thought that this was going to be the ‘death of me!’ BUT GOD…(!)

You see, chemo to me can be expressed by God’s word in many places, one of which is (2 Corinthians 7:5,6). (The other, Ps. 18, which I share at the end!)

Back to 2 Corinthians 7:5,6, Paul wrote in words inspired by God, of his experience, and it resembles my own experience: “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia,” (for me, it’s when I came to the infusion room!), “…our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. (Oh, yes, just ask someone on chemo, they will attest to all this!),  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears, NEVERTHELESS GOD, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” (Only, for me, it was, ‘my flesh had no rest after the chemicals and inside there were fears), Nevertheless God comforted me by His hands and feet and heart and mouth of His Body! The Body of Christ being moved with compassion, to pray and pray hard. Being moved to bake and cook. Being moved to shop for a large family, (even for Christmas!) The Love of Christ moving His  people to send cards of encouragement and love. The provision and gifts- unbelievable!

If one says, “I can’t ‘see God,’ I would like to write right here, “Open your ears and hear the stories, and let your hunger and thirst for truth bring you to a place where His word comes down from the shelf, and your broken and empty and seemingly empty heart, cry out in desperation, and let Him fill it, not in a ‘very long time’ but ‘immediately’ with His love and Spirit! He is alive and He alone can open your eyes, He is Almighty God, He is able to turn a heart of stone into a heart of flesh-beating again with hope and life and light and the greatest of all, love! He can and He will, and He does to all who cry out to Him.

I know, I was one who cried! And one who continues to cry out!

God spoke to me! Not audibly, I didn’t hear a ‘voice’, but I heard the words spoken from a book I had read to my children time and time again, I share this story again and again because it’s true. It’s my experience. And God is a personal God and He personally met me in a very dark hour, one I thought to be my darkest – but He showed up!

My eyes were closed, I ‘felt’ as if I was given too much chemo…I started talking to God, “shouldn’t I be seeing lights? But then in the dark I saw a door, and the door opened and He showed me His nail-scarred hands, and I heard the thoughts: “Not all know Me as their King.”

Right then, I knew I was going to survive this cancer fight! And right then and there, God gave me my marching orders! You see, “the heavens declare the glory of God,…” (Psalm 19:1),  but it’s His word that is “perfect and converts the soul,” (Psalm 19:7).

Yes, I play a ‘one-stringed guitar’ it seems in that I write the same things over and over, but we are sheep, and we need the Good Shepherd! He ‘makes us to lie down’ sometimes because we are so focused on the thorns and the heat that we don’t even notice God is making us to lie down on ‘pastures of green’ and that He is working all for good to ‘restore our souls’. He doesn’t desire ‘happy’ sheep,He desires ‘holy sheep!’

He allows these things in our lives so we walk in light and are enveloped by His grace and in brokenness finally ‘see the LORD!’ “Yea, though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil because He is with us!” (Psalm 23).

“My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part-but the WHOLE! Has been nailed to the cross! And I bear it no more- Praise the Lord! It is well with my soul!”( Hymn: It is Well With My Soul).

I couldn’t say in the beginning that I was thankful for my trials, but I can say now – I am thankful! I will end with victory words from Psalm 18 God gave me way before I was even close to being victorious in heart, mind and body:

“For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me; so that my feet did not slip.”

“I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, so that they were not able to rise; They have fallen under my feet. For You armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued under me those who rose up against me.”

“You have also given me the necks of my enemies…The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.” (Psalm 18:31-46).

This is my story, this is my song! Praising my Savior…all the day long… while it is day…while it is day!

Shall we say Amen? Amen! Amen! and even again, Amen!

That is why I thank and love my Jesus! He rescued me from a powerful enemy! My own doubt and fear and shame! He gave me hope and life forever and ever and ever and ever…to God be the Glory – “HOW GREAT THOU ART!”