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Good Morning Lord!

I awoke this morning before the alarm went off, my to do list the first thing on my mind. I asked the Lord to order my steps throughout the day. As I started to make specific requests I realized; I hadn’t even said Good Morning! Instead, I had begun my needs inventory without giving thanks and praising Him. Immediately I corrected my error:

Thank You Lord for Your goodness! You are Amazing and Mighty and Holy! You are the Creator of the Universe, still, today You will walk with me. Thank You for watching over me through the night. For my husband and family and friends! You have given me so many people to love. I trust You with their lives… and so I continued…

As my feet hit the floor a short time later, my attitude was changed. No longer preoccupied with the heaviness of my cares, my heart was filled with joy.

Today will be an adventure with Jesus. I am so very thankful that He is with us wherever we go! Yes, He wants to help us with our needs, but He desires ever so much more for us. He wants us to take His hand and run with Him! To include Him in everything we do! He wants us to talk to Him as we go about our day! He is right here waiting to be invited! He is a gentleman. He will not push His way in.

Psalm 59:16 NKJV But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble.

Isaiah 41:13 KJV For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Colossians 3:15 NKJV 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Psalms 106:1 KJV- Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.


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Don’t Tell Anyone… But

Psalm 141:3 KJV Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

At my last trip to the hair salon I was asked a personal question about my son, whom my hairdresser also knows. My answer was obviously vague. This is because I try not to talk about other people and their business. Sometimes, I’ve been told, to the point of being ridiculous! This topic, however, is very important to me.  I try to keep what I know about others to myself.  I often keep what I know about myself to myself as well. I have learned that different people have very different definitions of “confidentiality” from my own.

This doesn’t mean that a breach always happens out of intention or with malice. I have told people things in the past with a request that they not repeat it. To my shock, within the next hour I heard them report it to someone else over the phone.  When confronted with that fact, they said they had forgotten.  The truth is, they really had!

In another example, a family member told me that they had slipped and spilled the beans on a confidence. They were mortified and filled with regret as this was a rare occurrence for them.

Others are an open book, and don’t care what anyone knows about their lives.  They simply can’t understand how someone may not feel the same way. Maintaining confidence doesn’t even enter their mind.

Gossip, (idle talk about the affairs of others), is particularly harmful. It most often is intentional, though one can become so accustomed to engaging in it that they are not aware of what they are doing. A bad thing about gossip is that it not only affects the person being spoken about, but it is also a reflection of what is on the inside of the one doing the talking. When we are speaking about others, it is best to check the motive in our hearts.

We have a responsibility not to listen to gossip as well.  This can be difficult, as curiosity can get the best of us. Not too long ago a dear friend of mine experienced a betrayal.   It had really hurt. She asked me to pray for her, which I gladly did. I must admit, however, that I was curious as to who it was who had committed the offense.  Darned thing is, my friend wouldn’t tell me.  My admiration for her Godly Character grew stronger when she declined to answer my subtle hints and inquiries. She confirmed what I had already known about her; she is someone that I can trust my secrets to.

I want to be like her.

I want to be a person who Jesus deems trustworthy. One that can be used by God to bring comfort and prayer to others who are in need. Someone who can help carry the burdens of another. One with a heart that is open, but with lips that are tightly sealed.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Proverbs 11:13 NKJV A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

Proverbs 13:3 KJV He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

Titus 3:2 NKJV 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

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Heavy Rubble

I have a wonderful neighbor.  She is wise, loves Jesus, and loves me, too.  Oh, and she is a very powerful pray-er.  We meet on Tuesday mornings when we are able.  I appreciate her so very much.

This week as we were praying for someone we both know, a picture came to my mind.  She said it might be good to share on ALME in case it would be helpful to someone.  I decided to honor her suggestion.

In this picture there was a person laying under heavy rubble from an earthquake. So much had fallen down upon them that they were completely covered and couldn’t move. 

They had three choices:

1.)  Lay there in hopelessness, giving up in despair. 

2.)  Try to dig themselves out, in spite of the fact that it was impossible.  They would wear themselves out trying, and it would be to no avail.

3).  Or, cry out to Jesus and ask Him for His help.

Life can feel that way some times.  Troubles can make us feel buried.  Broken relationships, addiction, bills, our health or our job.  They can leave us feeling helpless and alone, abandoned and pinned down.  Yet there is One Who is always ready to help us.  We need but cry out to Him and He will come and show us a way when there seems to be none. His extrication methods are often much different than our own, but we need not be afraid. It is His desire that we be free.

Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ …

John 8:36 (KJV) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Jeremiah 32:27 KJV Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

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The Tests

Last week I decided to go to the doctor for a quick check up as I hadn’t been feeling well. It was the typical winter time stuff. Low energy, a stuffy nose, a heavy chest, and so on. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t need an antibiotic because my symptoms had been going on for such a long time. My regular doctor wasn’t available, so I made an appointment to see a physician’s assistant (PA) that worked in the same complex.

After checking in, I was taken to the back room for my exam. As is customary, I gave my “report” to the nurse. When the gathering of my information was complete, she said that the PA would be in after a bit. A bit it was indeed!

They were running late that morning, which is not uncommon in the medical arena. When that happens I simply choose to remember when I have taken longer than expected, and give grace to whoever is in need of extra time that day.

Eventually the PA arrived and introduced herself. She began asking questions to which I responded, however not quite in the manner that she was looking for. In a short amount of time she appeared to be frustrated, bordering on what could have been considered rude as she attempted to determine my circumstance.

Now, it could be that I was overly sensitive because I wasn’t feeling well and rarely go to the Doctor. It could be that she wasn’t really rude at all. Maybe she was feeling rushed because she was a half hour late. We had very different communications styles, which set the stage for potential misunderstanding. While I do not know the exact cause of the tension, I do know that God loves us both.

That knowledge allowed me not to feel embarrassed by my myriad of symptoms or my rambling communications.  Instead, I calmly adjusted what I could, becoming more succinct and patient with her perceived impatience. I said what I needed to say in spite of her hurry, and eventually we both relaxed.

That is a wonderful thing about God’s love. Remembering that we are perfectly loved in spite of our imperfections can keep us from feeling bad about ourselves when others do not understand or accept us.   It can also keep us from becoming angry and defensive towards them when they don’t treat us as we think they should.

Every day we come into contact with people who are different than we are. We each have our strengths and our weaknesses. What we all have in common, however, is the fact that we are loved by God, whether we know Him or whether we do not.

As for the results of my appointment, no antibiotic was needed. All tests turned out fine and I am feeling better this week. I do need a root canal that will take place in the near future. After that, I expect to be as good as new.

Our meeting ended with a pleasant handshake and heartfelt “it was good to meet you” before she left the room. I believe in the end we both passed the most important test of all; the test to choose to love.

Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

1 Peter 3:8,9 (NKJV) 8Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Romans 12:18  (NKJV) If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

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The Serenade

Recently I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Oregon so that I would have a quiet place to work on ALME. It can be difficult to meet deadlines while at home because of the numerous responsibilities that vie for my attention there. The trip gave me two full days without interruption. It was an opportunity to get much accomplished.

On the final morning of our stay, I was taking the short walk back to the room after breakfast. The route was along a beautiful tree lined path. The air was crisp, and there were remnants of the snow that had fallen the day before. It was quiet and peaceful. Deep in thought about what I wanted to accomplish before we left, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. Beautiful music was filling the air. It was a melody that I had never heard before. Searching the trees to locate it’s source, I found the author of the song. A plain brown bird had flown high up into the tree beside me, and was delivering a serenade.

After listening to the gifted soloist for awhile, I had a brief conversation with him. I commended him on the beauty of his tune and thanked him for singing to me. Then away he flew to bring delight to someone else. My heart was full of joy.

Every day is filled with gifts from The Lord. They come in just the right form according to who we are. He may send the perfect scripture you need, or a song that encourages your heart. It may be an unexpected smile or positive words from a stranger. Every light may turn green when you are running late, or a friend may call when you are feeling alone. Some recognize God’s love in the beauty of the sunrise, or in the stars that fill a nighttime sky.

My prayer today is that we would recognize the many blessings that The Lord brings to us. That we would make time to enjoy them when they come. That we would allow ourselves to cast aside the cares of the world for just a moment. That we will truly know, deep down inside, how special we are to Him.

God’s Blessings,
Christine

Psalm 8:4-5  (KJV) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

James 1:17 (NKJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

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For Me?!

God’s Word is a reflection of His character and of His deep love for each one of us.  Yet, at times I have found myself thinking, “Certainly that scripture cannot be true for me”.  I have skipped over the words on the page without allowing their meaning to penetrate my heart.  Words that would strengthen my spirit and build my faith if I would dare to let them in.

God’s Word is true. It is for whoever will receive it. Today, Valentine’s Day, I would like to invite you to choose at least one scripture about God’s love for you.  Maybe you already have a verse that is special to you. Feel free to share it with us!  You might like to use one of the verses on this page.  However you choose, take your verse and remember it throughout the day.  Reflect upon it as though The Lord had written just for you, because indeed, He did!

Happy
Valentine’s Day
Beloved Child of God!


You are Precious to God

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV)
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

When I laugh or when I cry, You find joy in singing over me.

You Are Known By God

Luke 12:7 (KJV)
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

The number is ever changing, but You Lord, still keep count. I do not need to be afraid because You love me that much! 

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect!

Romans 5:8 (KJV)
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Your perfect love covers my imperfection. You love me just as I am.

You Are Worth Dying For

John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

You died Jesus, that I might live. As if I were the only person on earth, you gave Your life for me.

You are Not Abandoned

Hebrews 13:5b (KJV)
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Though others may leave me Lord, You never will.

You Are Forgiven

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Because You love me, You take the scarlet stain of my sin and remove it from my life.

 

 

 

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Liar Liar ; Second Time

The following article, originally published in May of 2011, has been going through my mind lately. I guess it is time for me to reread it and check my “Truth Meter” once again. Perhaps it is time for someone else to read it as well!
(**If you are interested, there is an update at the end of this post on our once discouraged friend.)

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John 8:44 ….. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.(NIV)

I was recently talking with someone who was hoping to acquire a job that seemed like just the “right fit”.  Excitement was high, but they narrowly missed being awarded the position.  This, combined with other jobs that had not come into being led to a deep discouragement …. and the temptation to lose faith in himself, and in God.

I could imagine the thoughts swirling through his mind …. “You will never get a job.  God doesn’t care about you.  You aren’t qualified to do anything.  There is nothing out there for you”.  The list goes on and on and on. 

Now, Satan is a liar and the father of lies. While we don’t want to give him credit for every negative thought that enters our mind, we do need to remember that we have an enemy who wants to tear us, and our faith, down.  I love the title of this entry.  When we were children, we sang the song “liar, liar, pants on fire, hanging from the telephone wire” to the person caught in a bold faced lie. So can we also sing the same song to Satan when he speaks lies to us.  We can turn our back on his lies and counter them with Truth.

I want to invite you to recognize any lies you are believing about yourself or God, and to refuse them.  Turn your back on them.  Counter the lies of the Enemy with the Truth you find in God’s Word.

And as for our job searching friend?:
God loves you.  He has a plan for your life.  He will supply all of your needs.  You can trust Him.  HE will direct your path.  (John 15:13  Jeremiah 29:11 Philippians 4:19 Proverbs 3:5,6)

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Our friend found a job soon after the original writing of this story. Since that time he has experienced a fast paced journey in the world of employment. He has gone from being a job seeker to being a sought after employee. God has a plan for him to build His Kingdom as he works in our everyday world. As it turns out, all of those thoughts of worry and hopelessness were for naught. So Lord:

“I ask You to show me where I am believing lies, about You and about myself. Help me to replace them with The Truth of Your Love, as I look to You and Your Word.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalm 43:3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.



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Our Heavenly Father

In a recent post (My Forgotten Prayer), I described being embarrassed before God because of my behavior. As soon as I realized what I had done, I went right to Him and told Him that I was sorry. I asked for His help to do better in the future. I was forgiven. That story took my thoughts back to when I was young, and to my earthly Dad.

While I loved my Dad and believe that he did the best he could as a parent, his childhood was not easy. He was born the last of eight children, and described his father as being “a mean old man” who had little use for him. He was belittling and provided no example of how to be a good, kind, and loving parent. It left my Dad with wounds.

The circumstances of his early years resulted in his response not always being the best when I made a mistake. Doing something wrong caused me to be fearful and to hide what I had done. I would be quiet about my failures, hoping that my Dad wouldn’t find out. When he did, his reaction was often harsh and his discipline could be unjust. It was not safe to come to him when I had done wrong.

Oh how very different it is, however, with our Heavenly Father! You see, it does not matter the mistakes we have made or the wrongs that we have done. He already knows about them, each and every one. We never have to be afraid to come before Father God. He is good and loving and kind and forgiving. He is a safe place to run when we need help. He will not condemn us. Instead, He desires to help us turn away from our error and to turn back towards Him. We can ask Him to forgive us, then He forgets what we have done. When there are consequences for our choices, He helps us make the necessary corrections to get to the other side.

“Father, thank You that Your love for us is perfect even though we are not. You know all about our failings, and You love us just the same. Because of Your Love, we never need to be afraid to come to You! Help us to run to You quickly for forgiveness when we fall. “

As for my Dad, we had a good relationships in his final years. I believe he is with Jesus now, free from the effects of his wounds and scars. Our God is an amazing, loving God.

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Isaiah 43:25 (NKJV)25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

Psalm 86:5 (NKJV) For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.


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What Ya Lookin’ At?

As I was hurrying home the other day, I noticed an old blue pickup in the right hand lane of the freeway.  There was something large and white in the back that I could not recognize.  “WHAT is that?”, I wondered, trying to figure it out.  Having tied down many a load in our vehicles, I was distracted by the odd shape and curious to see if it was properly secured.

Traveling at 72 miles an hour and still gawking, I was beside the truck in no time at all.  Briefly glancing ahead to the road in front of me, I found myself DANGEROUSLY close. Jerking back into the safety of my own lane I realized, I had drifted where I did not belong.

My goodness!  How did that happen!? That could have been really bad!  After my heart rate returned to normal I thought, “we move in the direction that our attention lies”.

There are many distractions that can pull us away from our journey with Jesus, especially when we seem to be clipping right along! Things that try to pull us away from God’s will for our lives, causing us to end up in an unexpected place. Therefore I am taking pause and asking myself; what am I looking at?

DAm I focusing on my long to do list in the morning, allowing it to draw me from God and from man? 
Are my thoughts thinking on negative things, (disappointments, discouragement or not yet answered prayer), instead of the good things that I have in my life?
Do memories of previous failures draw me to the past, instead of leaving them behind?
Have I drifted towards fear and worry, instead of believing the promises of God?
Am I looking to myself for provision, instead of trusting Him?
Is there a sin that keeps drawing me to it, placing me in a danger zone?

There is safety and peace when we keep our eyes on Jesus, as we travel to the destination He has planned for us!

Hebrews 12:2  (NKJV)   looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Philippians 4:8 (KJV) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 3:13-15 (NKJV) … but one thing
I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 30:21 (NKJV) Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way, walk in it”, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.

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My Forgotten Prayer

Last fall our water heater quit and needed to be replaced.  I am so grateful for a husband who knows how to do such things!  He had a new tank in place in no time. I never even had to miss a bath! What he couldn’t do, even with my assistance, was bring the old tank out of the basement for disposal.  It was too heavy for the two of us.  We would have to wait for family and enlist their help.

A month or so later our son visited for Christmas. He successfully helped his dad load the heavy beast into the back of our pickup. The removal of seven large buckets of water and sediment made the job possible. They were unaware, however, that there was still some water and “gunk” in the bottom of the tank. It had escaped during the removal process, leaving black wetness and goo on several of our carpeted steps.  My husband, wielding a shop vac, handled the majority of the moisture, but the black muck and goo were going to be up to me.

With my best can of carpet cleaner and an old flannel sheet in hand, I said a prayer before beginning my task.  “Goodness Lord, this looks impossible!  Would you please send angels with scrubbing bubbles to help me get this out?”.

Less than a half hour later, I was amazed.  The stairs were clean!  I started rationalizing about how it could have happened.  Great cleaner combined with absorbent rags?  Maybe the goo wasn’t minerals after all but just dirt? Then I remembered … I had asked The Lord for help.

I stood embarrassed before Him wondering how many other prayers for assistance I had prayed, then forgotten? Prayers that I had softly whispered, or shouted loudly toward heaven.  Unspoken prayers heard by Jesus, in spite of my lack of speech. I wondered how many times I had neglected to say thank You and to recognize God’s faithfulness when I asked for His help?

“Lord, please forgive me. Open my eyes to Your answers when they come.
Help me to never neglect to say thank you!!!
When You ask me to wait, please grant me the patience and faith that I need.
Jesus, thank You for Your patience with me! You love me even when I forget and when I fail.
Thank You Lord that You answer each prayer, no matter what that answer may be.”

Psalm 116:1-2 (NKJV) 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
2Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

Jeremiah 33:3  (KJV) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Psalm 18:6  (KJV) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Psalm 116:1-2  (KJV)I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. 2Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

Psalm 136:1-3 (NKJV) Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. 3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:

Psalms 52:9 (KJV) “I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.”