The Right Connection

Jeremiah 33-3

Last week I had to purchase a new printer for my computer.  I had help in hooking it up and we thought everything was okay.  But it would only print intermittently, but most of the time not at all.  After three days of fighting with it, it was time to call for some “tech” help.  After three attempts to load the right program even the ‘techs’ were frustrated as a large X showed on the screen between pictures of the printer and computer indicating “failure to connect.”  It was only after turning it off and on (one more time) that something changed and everything came together and it worked.

Sometimes we try to do things on our own, relying on our own wisdom, strength and ability and it seems like a large X appears telling us this isn’t going good, it’s not going to work.  Perhaps it’s then we  realize we should have talked to the Lord first and asked for His wisdom, His direction and His strength and help.  He never places a red X between Him and us.  Our problem is we just need to remember to  call on Him first.  Prayer is our connecting source.  He’ll always hear and answer.

                  Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and             mighty things, which you know not.”  Jer. 33:3

Don’t wait to connect with the Lord.  Everything runs so much smoother when our prayer line is in use.

Our Shelter

as a hen

What do you think of when you hear or see the word “wings?” This morning a verse in my devotions again addressed thoughts on the “wings of the Lord.”  I immediately thought of a little children’s story I used to tell years ago in my JOY Clubs called, “The Little Red Hen.”  In summary:  a man living on a farm out west on a prairie had a hen with several little chicks in her brood. A prairie fire was quickly spreading toward the farm and mama hen called for her chicks to come to safety under her wings.  One little chick decided not to come and ran away.  Hours after the fire diminished, the farmer went out to look for the hen and her chicks.  He saw a charred hump in the field.  It was the the burned body of the little red hen; but when he moved it, out scurried ten little chicks!  Only one was missing.

What a beautiful picture of what Jesus has done and is doing for us today.  As the little red hen gave her life for her chicks, Jesus gave His life for us that we might live.  But we have to say, “Yes,” to that call and believe in order to be saved.  We don’t want to be like that one little chick who ran away, because there is no safety except under the wings of the Lord.  That’s for salvation but also for other situations in our lives.  There is no safer place to be than under His wings.  He is our salvation, our refuge, our strength, our protection. Don’t be like the Jews who rejected Jesus.  He said of them:

“How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not.”  Matt.23:37

Instead, let’s be like David who wrote:

“Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.”  Ps. 63:7

I am  so glad I can run to Him any time and find shelter beneath His wings.

Under His Wings I will Safely Abide.

 

Do You Endure or Persevere?

Cast your burden

Let’s  start with some definitions:

Endure – to put up with; has the connotation of gritting your teeth, stiff upper lip and getting through somehow

Persevere – steadily going on, refusing to give up, no matter what comes

Now let’s consider the following:

Isn’t it great that the heroes of the Bible were just common, ordinary people just like us?  David, a king, a man after God’s own heart was one of them.  In reading many of the Psalms David wrote we find him crying out and yes, complaining about false friends, enemies after his life and asking God for help, protection and even vengeance on  those against him.  Listen to what he said in Psalm 55:4,5″

“My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.  Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.”

In the next verse (v.6) he says:

“Oh, that I had the wings like a dove; for then would I fly away and be at rest.”

Would he really be at rest?  No, and he realizes this as he writes (v.7)

“Lo, then I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.”

His pain and fears would not be gone; they would only follow him  into the wilderness as he would continue to endure it all.

Instead, he chose to persevere through his difficulties as he writes:

“As for me,  I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.  Evening and morning and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.  He shall deliver my soul in peace from the battle that was against me.”                      (V.16,17,18)

We can run or quit, but that changes nothing and it only keeps us enduring whatever is battling against us.  Or, we can persevere in faith and courage because we know Who is in control of all things and trust Him to see us through all our trials (as David did).

No, life is not easy, but let’s persevere.  And we can as we claim the truth in Ps. 55:22:

“Casting all our burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.”

Don’t give up – there’s hope at our door.

 

 

 

 

In All Kinds of Weather

mixed clouds

Driving home from an appointment one day last week I was awed by the picturesque sky.  From one horizon to the other the sky was filled with dark clouds in part of it, with rain falling from some, clear blue sky in other parts with majestic white billowy clouds, and then the sun’s rays were breaking through in parts of the dark clouds.  It was like an object lesson or picture of every single kind of thing that goes on in our lives.

We love the blue sky and sunshine when everything seems to be going good and we are filled with joy.  The dark clouds, however, come sometimes more often than we like. There are trials and heartaches along with the rain (tears) rolling down our cheeks.  But what I loved to think about most are the rays of sunshine breaking through those clouds.  That’s exactly what God does in our life.  Sometimes we can’t see Him or feel Him when we are surrounded by those clouds.  But in His time He breaks through, giving us that hope and peace and comfort that only He can bring.  It doesn’t matter, however, what the weather is like in our lives because He is always there.  We can trust Him in the dark as well as in the sunshine.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise Him. Ps. 28:7 

Knots

knot

In some more of my cleaning and sorting, I came across a card with a little piece of a silver cord, with a knot in the center of it, glued to the paper.  It was to be a reminder of something special.

A knot can be a negative thing especially if one is found on a gold chain necklace.  But let’s think about a knot in a different way.  Relationships (marriage, friendships, or family) need to be bound together with a secure knot.  There’s an intertwining of lives, personalities, feelings and goals in these relationships.  When there is the right kind of knot, pulled tightly so it won’t come out, it doesn’t matter what kind of trials, or events of life that tug and pull on that relationship, that knot will not give way when tied tightly  and will survive the darkest hours.  Let me add one more thing.  A knot tied around the Lord Jesus Christ in the center makes it stronger.

Let me encourage you to check your knots and make sure they are not slipping.

“…a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Eccles. 4:12

Pain – A Reminder

For which cause we faint not

Pain isn’t fun, is it?  Many of you (including myself) are dealing with some sort of it right now. Mine is in my right arm.  It’s been 3 months since my shoulder surgery for a torn rotor cuff but issues have been getting worse with the muscles in my arm.  Physical therapy doesn’t seem to be helping (at least as quickly as I had hoped).  I’ve had to guard my thoughts and attitude in relation to the whole thing and remind myself daily of some precious verses.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward  man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.              II Cor. 4:16-18

Be encouraged, there is coming a better day; if not in this  life time; in the one to come.

KEEP TRUSTING JESUS.

A Restless Soul

Ruptured Hose

A few weeks ago, there was one night I could’t go to sleep after getting into bed.  I heard a noise.  It was’t normal.  I knew something was wrong.  I was in and out of bed trying to figure out where the noise was coming from and sleep wouldn’t come.  I finally made one more complete trip through the house, both up and down in the basement, finally discovering my water meter was running crazy – red dial spinning out of control and needle flying around in the circle.  Putting on boots and warm coat I ventured outside after midnight and found a spigot to the water hose was wide open and the hose itself had apparently bust and was spewing water like a fountain into my front yard, as well as in my neighbor’s, as I stood in 3 -4 inches of water where my flowers had been.  Mystery solved!

Have you ever had a restless soul?  Perhaps you couldn’t even put your finger on what the problem was and as a result sleep wouldn’t come.  A lot of things can bring this about; but one thing in particular can be the culprit–a broken relationship; it may be with a friend or loved one, your own spouse and yes, even God.  Rest may not come until you discover the reason for the broken relationship.  Asking the Holy Spirit to convict you, confession of sin, forgiveness, acts of kindness and love may be things that will mend the brokenness.  Whatever the reason, it is fixable; just don’t stop until you figure it out and it’s repaired.  Only then will peace and rest come.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”                        Ps.139:23, 24

Your restless soul and night will be changed to a restful soul and a restful sleep.

 

 

 

 

It’s a New Year!

forgetting those things

Have a blessed and joyous New Year, everyone!  Although there is nothing wrong with  saying, “Happy” New Year, I have chosen not to use the word “happy,” because happiness depends on our circumstances and most of us will go through something this year that won’t be happy. But regardless of what’s ahead, we have a marvelous Savior who brings joy to our hearts even in the midst of “unhappy” situations; peace in the midst of turmoil;  comfort in the midst of our  losses.  Keep trusting Him this year, walking one step at a time, with your hand in  His and looking up in anticipation that this could be the year (even the day) the Lord Jesus Christ comes back.  Wouldn’t that be joyous?

“…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things  which are before, I press  toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus….Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice.”                           Phil. 3:13,14; 4:4

Though a Baby–A KING

King of Kings

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!  It’s a great day to rejoice.  It’s the birthday of a king.  That little baby born so long ago is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  No, He wasn’t recognized as such when He came the first time; but some day He will come again and the whole world will know that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But today we can make him King and Lord of our lives.  It takes a yielded life to the  One who was born to be the  Savior of the world.  His gift to us is eternal  life (if we receive it).  Our gift to  him needs to be a life surrendered to Him; loving and serving Him all  the days of our lives.  The benefits are numerous and the end result–seeing our Lord and King face to face one day.

“And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse, and He (Jesus) that sat upon him was called Faithful and True…And He had on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev. 19:11, 16

HALLELUJAH!

Have a wonderful day and rejoice for this special day.

Rejoice

rejoice

Several Christmas cards I received this year have had the word “Rejoice” on them.  I also have placed one of my decorations that is simply the word “Rejoice” on top of my china cabinet.  I really believe that word summarizes the whole Christmas story.

The meaning of rejoice is: to give joy to (news that rejoices the heart); exalt; praise (elevate in honor).

There is no greater joy than to know “The Savior was born and He was born for me (for you), for the purpose of one day giving His life to die on  a cross for our sins.  That rejoices my heart!

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:10,11

Yes, we all may be going through some trying or lonely times right now but the Christ of Christmas can certainly cause us to stop and “REJOICE” for all He has done for us.