He’s Got This!

Does the thought of 2018 fill you with excitement? Dread? Fear?

Staring at a blank calendar for next year, I began to fill in important dates. Birthdays, doctor appointments, end of school (!)

I wonder what the next year holds. Our family has experienced some challenging years recently and I sincerely pray for a year of rest. I recall the year I received a cancer diagnosis. I remember the year downsizing affected us personally. I recollect the year we were told our unborn baby probably had a severe illness.

When you have lived through enough New  Year’s you might approach another year with great uncertainty.

Yet, we know the One who holds that year in the palm of His hand. Nothing, nothing, happens to us outside His command.

He may not have originally authored our troubles, but for some reason He allows them.  He weaves challenging circumstances into good, as only God can do.

I survived cancer, with less than a ten percent chance, I am here almost ten years later. Another job and a different career was found and it turned out to be a true blessing for our family. That baby we prayed over constantly was born completely healthy and is our vibrant ten-year-old daughter today.

As I look at the new calendar I know many important dates are not yet known for me to fill them in. Yet God knows them right now. He knows what this year holds. He knows how He will grow us, stretch us and hold us.

He knows all the concerns, and stress-filled moments that will come. He also knows all the surprising joys and love-filled minutes that will be the highlights of our New Year.

He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a future with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 is God’s promise to hold us and carry us through whatever life may throw at us. It is an often quoted verse, but if you have known it well for years, don’t the familiarity dilute the promise.

God does have plans for each one of us. Plans to help each one of us grow in Him. Plans of great gifts He wishes to bestow upon His children. Some gifts we may recognize immediately. Other we might not see the blessing in for quite some time.

But trust in His promise. Hold Him to it. He won’t let you down!

As you anticipate your upcoming year, rest in knowing whatever this year holds, God’s got this! And, He’s got you!

A Heart Searching

Slamming the trunk closed, Marcy sighed as she walked over to the driver’s door. She was ready to go home for the holidays.

Home.

More than a structure from her childhood. A place filled with people who loved her.

Shaking her head to clear the threatening tears, she slid behind the wheel and buckled up. For the first time in days, she looked at her face in the rearview mirror.

Her eyes looked old. They told a tale of far more life experience than her twenty-two years would suggest.

College was hard. Not so much the academic side, although she’d had to work plenty late hours with the books. No, doing and processing life on her own was not as freeing as she’d once envisioned.

Her declared major threw her into people’s hospital rooms and into their heart-wrenching situations.

She reflected on all the sad scenes she’d not only witnessed but was given a role in which to play. One night she was assigned a young teen in for a simple appendectomy, but was later diagnosed with leukemia.

Another night she cared for a gentleman whose lungs were slowly filling up with fluid. “We’ll keep him comfortable,” the charge nurse had promised his family. Marcy knew her job was to help keep him comfortable until he passed on.

Driving hours to reach home she thought about her childhood.  Why did it seem so easy back then? As a little girl, she’d played among the trees in the afternoons and attended the little white church on Sundays.

She sighed again. Between school and work, she’d dropped her church attendance to maybe once a month.

Yet her heart searched for answers. Answers she thought she once knew. Maybe I need to get back to church. Maybe God has the answers.

She flipped on the radio contemplating if God could help dissolve her disillusionment over life and what she’d thought would be her life’s work.

A bible verse from long ago popped into her mind, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,’” she thought there was more but couldn’t remember it.

“Lord, I truly hope you have plans for me,” she thought as she peered through the snowflakes falling on the windshield, “because I just don’t know anything anymore.”

She settled back into her seat as she sped toward home.

Reflections:

 

Have you ever felt like Marcy? How did you find your way out?

 

This is Part I in a series of three. Return here next Friday (December 15) to learn what Marcy discovers at home.

 

 

When Waiting Seems Impossible

“Did the mail arrive,” our high school senior asked breathlessly as she burst through the door after school.

“Yes,” I answered smiling, “but it hasn’t come yet.”

It was a college acceptance letter she’d been expecting for weeks, anticipating for years.

She knew she was set to graduate in a few short months and desperately wanted to know what God had next for her.

I wonder if Noah ever felt impatient floating around in the ark. Maybe Joseph was a tad impatient to see his dreams materialize. We know Sarah was impatient waiting to become a mom.

Yes, sometimes it is just plain hard to wait. Yet, while we are waiting, God is working. Even if we can’t see it.

Many of us can completely relate to wanting to know now!

But how do we learn to wait, and wait patiently?

One day at a time.

Lamentations 3:25 encourages us, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (ESV)

We don’t want to run ahead of the Lord. He will reward our obedience and help us develop patience.

Psalm 27:14 reminds us, “Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” (ESV)

As we mature in faith, we realize nothing of value comes from diving in without God’s blessing. We can trust God. We can trust His timing.

Even when we can’t understand it.

Even when it’s oh, so hard to wait.

At the end of the day when patience is hard to find, a verse from Jeremiah 29:11 can remind us of God’s goodness, “’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you, not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)

His promises can sustain us while we wait. We know, no matter what, He has only the best for us, and has a reason for the waiting.

 

Surprised But Blessed

I never would have dreamt this, I reflected. I found myself in a completely unexpected position.  Yet God’s fingerprints were clearly evident all over it.

As that situation unfolded, I had continuously prayed, asking God to close that door if I should not walk through it.

Yet, the door swung wide open.

God, close the door if I shouldn’t go there.

Yet, if remained open, refusing to budge.

I felt truly ambivalent about this unplanned opportunity. On one hand it was perfect for me and my family. But… it wasn’t wrapped up in the package I envisioned.

I don’t get to see the whole picture just yet… but God can.

He knows the plans he has for me, plans for my future, plans to give me hope.

After a while in that new opportunity, I knew it was right for me. I can’t imagine I would ever have authored it, but I’ve already been blessed by it.

As I reflect on my surprise, I ask myself, what do I truly know about my future? I can’t see all, know all, or imagine all. But I know the One who does and I trust Him completely.

Even with the unexpected.

 

Reflections:

How can I willingly relinquish my ideas when God points a different direction?

How can I surrender my plan before God, and accept what He does?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, how often do I get caught up in what my wishes demand?  Remind me to simply trust in You, that Your ways are above my ways.  You know the plans You have for me, plans to give me a future with hope, plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I can trust in You. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Lessons From Tipper, Part VIII

“I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” Jeremiah 29:14 NIV

 

One Saturday morning I stumbled onto a precious scene: our second grader was curled up on the floor with a book and Tipper. She was reading aloud and Tipper was listening intently. Her eyes even followed our daughter’s finger as she pointed out the words.

Tipper was choosing to listen.  Even though she probably didn’t understand every word.  Even though she might not like the sound of every word, she sat through the entire story.

I think a few reasons Tipper endured and was even attentive to the reading include:

She loves who was reading.

She trusts who was speaking the words.

She knows our daughter would never hurt her.

What about me?

Do I avoid God’s word, not trusting the One who wrote it?  Am I feeling there’s no possible way He loves me? Do I realize His intentions are to never harm me?  He promises in the famous passage of Jeremiah 29:11 that:

He has plans for me

He knows those plans

Those plans will not harm me

Those plans will prosper me

Those plans will give me a hope

Those plans will give me a future

That’s many encouraging promises I choose to ignore when I refuse to look at or listen to His word.

Tipper is just a puppy. However, she has great wisdom in listening to and spending time with the ones she knows and trusts, knowing we love her.

May I become more like Tipper in this way, trusting when I can’t comprehend and following when I’m unsure, always choosing to listen to God.

Reflections:

What promise or promises do I often forget?

How can I apply the promises of Jeremiah 29:11 to my life?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father,

Please remind me of your promises in Jeremiah 29:11. When I am unsure of events or intentions please remind me that I can trust in Your Word and count on Your promises.

Amen.

 

Thank you for reading! Please return by Monday, November 9 for the next post.

Starting Success With Failure

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 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

“Lord, why did I ever think I should attempt this?” Sara desperately prayed as she stared at the computer screen before her.

Why on earth did I ever think that just because I imagined it, I could actually do it?

Why did I think that God had ordered this path for me?

Why did I assume I would be successful?

Her negative thoughts cascaded through her mind, pounding down her too little faith and flooding over any remains of calling she once possessed.

Her hands trembled as her fingers fought for control of the keys. How desperately she wished those same fingers could control the messages appearing before her, not just going out.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.

Really? That was the verse that popped into her thoughts? At a time like this, when it appeared the whole world was falling apart?

“Plans to prosper you,”

Prosper? This was the furthest thing from it. Prosper in a job loss?

Plans to give you a future with hope,”

Lord, I have no idea what the future holds, and I’m really scared.

That’s why you hold on to Me.

Silence.

Her brain stopped barking back retorts.

What if this failure was really the beginning of the new success He holds for me?

What if this loss was really the start of a greater gain?

Don’t let doubting thoughts dominate your outlook, she told herself.  God does have plans for me.  He does want me to prosper, He does want me to meet the future with success. His success.  The success He has authored for me.

Maybe today, this day I see fraught with failure, is the day He unveils the start to my success.

She accepted His timing, and that He did indeed have a plan as she glimpsed her manager. She accepted the proffered box, packed her belongings, and didn’t cry a single tear as security led her to her car.

Driving from that lot for the last time, she knew God had something else, something better, for her.

 

Reflections:

Can you relate to the story above? Maybe it wasn’t a job loss, but the loss of something very near and dear to what you pictured would prosper your success.

How did you react at the time?

With your 20/20 hindsight, how would you react today?

When impossibilities shower upon us, it’s hard to always claim Jeremiah 29:11. Especially, if that shower is a storm of self-doubt. Especially if we never saw it coming.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Your promises aren’t intended just for good times, times of excited anticipation. They are to be claimed in the bad times too, even when, especially when, the enemy we’re fighting is the frame of my mind, not believing the “big” things You authored could be accomplished by the likes of me. Thank You that You author the best of everything, with only my best interest at heart. Thank You for not listening to my feeble reasoning, and encouraging me on, supplying precisely what I need to accomplish Your plan for the future. Remind me of who You are, and who I am, your servant.  Thank You for always loving me, and never, ever, giving up on me, even when it feels like others or even I myself might surrender to doubt. Help me to always lean on Your everlasting arms, Amen.

Thanks for reading! Please return by Monday, October 20, for the next post!

Clinging to the Unnecessary, Part II

 

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Mark 1:17

Jesus directed Simon and Andrew to drop those nets, drop their lives as they knew them that very moment, drop everything, and follow Him.  When have you been called to leave a comfortable situation and follow the Lord into the ‘Great Unknown?’

Back in 2001, my husband felt a calling to return to school. Ironically, we already each held a college degree and had started our family with one daughter present in our lives.  We had been praying for a second child for several months.

I had many reservations about this calling, and felt certain we misunderstood.  We would need to go into debt for school, we were already parents and had begun investigating adoption, we would need to move away from friends and a wonderful church family, and I was not thrilled with the lifestyle options offered by attaining an MBA.  I envisioned an absent husband, not at all what I had signed up for when I said, “I do,” thank you very much!

But I agreed to pray about it.  We couldn’t even talk about it, but we each prayed about it for forty days.

In the end, he was accepted into two top ten programs, one even offering a small scholarship.

That was God’s answer.

Even when I had the answer, I was not thrilled. But, I was determined to be positive and be as supportive as possible.

Three weeks later we learned our second daughter was on her way!

God had heard the cries of my heart.  I would not question the timing, and while we were making the best choices we could, we knew we needed to rely on God’s provision for the next two years.

It’s been ten years since my husband graduated with his MBA. In that decade we have been relocated three times to unknown cities.  We have lived without him during the week while he traveled for work, added a third daughter to the mix, and celebrated as we repaid each student loan. We fought my cancer and each have drawn closer to Jesus.

In some areas my fears were justified. Yet, God has redeemed every sacrifice, every hardship, working out everything in our favor, just as He promises in Romans 8:28.

During the times of loneliness, I drew closer to God, eventually realizing I really was not home alone with young children.  And when I was clueless, He would somehow provide a key.

The one blessing of my husband’s work I constantly denied desiring or needing, proved necessary six years ago.  His income and his job’s health benefits sustained our family as I journeyed through cancer.

I did not think we needed the corporate life. But God realized that by utilizing John’s talents and gifts, He could then free up my time to raise our children and allow me time to study Him and His word.  It also has given me time to pursue my passion of writing.

I shudder to think, what if, what if I had disobeyed God’s calling on our lives?  The road has not been easy, but He was there each step of the journey.

Reflections:

Monday: When have you been called to leave a comfortable situation and follow God into the ‘Great Unknown?’

Tuesday: What fears did you have, and later realized, 1) they were justifiable, and 2) God dealt with those fears.

Wednesday: Are you currently facing a crossroads where the logical answer just doesn’t seem to be His chosen path? Read Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

 

Thursday: Think about what you hope your future contains.  Have you turned that picture over to God?  Are you willing to let Him make adjustments?

Friday: Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you for sustaining me.  That you for leading me.  Thank you, that in your holiness, you truly have the very best for me, and your wisdom and guidance will lead me down the path you chose for me.  Thank you, that I can trust you, knowing you love me more than I can imagine. Amen.

Thank you for reading!  Please return next Monday, April 14, for the next post.

Jesus Knows, Part V

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Maybe you’ve been told your spouse is having an affair and wants to end your marriage.

Maybe you’ve been told you only have weeks to live.  Oh, to extend the time, now that it seems so precious!

Maybe you are watching a loved one self-destruct, and you are begging God to intervene, but He seems surprisingly quiet.

In Matthew 26:36-45, we witness Jesus knowing that pain.  His future is laid before Him.  To save humanity, He must offer His life.

It will not be quick or easy.  He can’t go down fighting.  He must allow Himself to be arrested, accused, and convicted for a crime He didn’t commit.  And He knows beforehand, each and every gory detail.

So, as we read in Luke 22:39, Jesus withdraws from the people to pray.  There must be another way.

Yet, He told His Father He was willing to go through with it, if He must.

Verse 44 tells us just how dearly His obedient attitude cost: He was in such physical and mental anguish over His upcoming sacrifice that “His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

This terrifying anguish, after an angel had appeared, (v 43) to strengthen Him.

The purpose in studying the events leading to the cross is this: no matter what hardship you face, how deep your fear, how shallow your faith, or how overwhelming your agony, Jesus, the Son of God, understands your pain.

Will you turn to Him?

Reflections:

Monday: Fill in the blank: When I am in anguish, my first instinct is to turn to _________.

Tuesday: Read Romans 8:26 and Hebrews 7:25.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25

Especially when your journey is down a solitary path, are you ever truly completely alone?

Who is with you?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYLoigK4WSI This is a link to a song that says it all.  The couple is from Canada and has an incredible back story I will share on Friday.

Wednesday: It’s OK to tell God how we feel.  He wants us to communicate with Him. Jesus repeatedly told his Father He did not want to endure such sacrifice.

Like Jesus, how must we end our mental and vocal dialogue with God?  (Read Matthew 26:39, 26:42 and Luke 22:42).

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

“He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew 26:42

 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Jesus acknowledged God’s authority and God’s ability.

God has authority over everything.  Yes, He could change our circumstances, but if He doesn’t, there’s a reason.

God has the ability to alter events and to see the entire picture.  He has the ability to redeem everything. (See Romans 8:28)

Who among us can compare?  Who knows better?

Thursday: Sometimes, our struggle, our crises, become all-consuming.  They demand every thought, every moment of our time, every ounce of energy.  The enemy will use anything and everything to distract us from God.  Let us not allow our crises to tear us from God.  Read Hebrews 12:2-3.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3

Verse 3 ends with, “SO you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Whatever your situation, God knows what weighs heavily on your heart.  He wants to carry you through your trials.  By considering the cost Christ paid, we can be encouraged to persevere through our own trials.  And we have Jesus interceding for us, (Hebrews 7:25), and the Holy Spirit praying us through, (Romans 8:26).  We are not abandoned, although the enemy often likes to make us think we are isolated and alone.

When facing a crisis in the future, how would you advise yourself to respond?

Write out your answer and tuck it inside your Bible, so you know where to find it when you need it.

Friday: Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that I may approach Your throne.  You know everything, including Your plans for me, and what it will take to bring me closer to the person you had in mind when You created me.  Please help me always turn to You, not from You.  Please Lord, use my trials as only You can, and continue refining me like gold.  Amen.

I promised you the back story of “Love and the Outcome.”  This couple felt called to serve God through music.  They sold all they had, moved from Canada to Nashville, and lived out of their car for two years, before they hit that big record deal.  They knew God had called them to something, but it was not an easy road there.  I heard their testimony at a concert last spring, and have become a fan ever since.  They are currently touring with WinterJam here in the United States, which is sweeping the nation. That show was here a few weeks ago, and yes, it was worth waiting outside in the cold for hours before the concert.  It is that good!

We are hitting heavier material and deeper, thought-provoking topics this week.  If you need prayer, or would like to discuss ideas you are now thinking through, please feel free to contact me.  You may keep our conversation from being published by sending me an email at Stefanielynn3@gmail.com .

Thanks for reading!  Please return by February 10, for the next post.

The Heart, Part III, Treasuring God

“Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34

The heart.  A simple five letter word.  But I bet most of us don’t see our own hearts as quite so simple.

What are the desires of your heart?  What is really, truly important to you?

Do you struggle with placing material things, or social position, or even relationships with any other, above God?

Do you have a dream, a deep desire to attain or achieve something? Do you want it so much you feel as if you might burst?  Or maybe, you feel as if you can almost taste it.

I have a dream.  I have been working on that dream.  I have also been bathing it in prayer.

As I was driving this week, I was considering what I dream of doing.  I realized something powerful.  If my dream is never fulfilled, I’m OK with that.

Why?

I know that I am exactly where God has placed me, doing precisely what He planned for me. (I don’t always execute it perfectly, but I am where He put me!)

My dream is not really about me.  Or about my success.  My dream is about glorifying God and drawing closer to Him each day.

Recently, I was asked, “Now that you’ve survived cancer what do you want to do with your life?”

The immediate answer in my mind was simple: write.  Not writing just for publication sake.  Not writing for awards sake.  Writing to glorify God.  Writing to hopefully encourage others to draw closer to God.

I was then asked, “What’s in it for you?”

A closer relationship with God. and the unsurpassable satisfaction of doing what He’s calling me to do.

Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind.  “For I know the plans  I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

God has plans for each one of us.  He created each one with the unique talents and gifts needed to accomplish the individual plans He authored.

Each one of us needs to identify and appreciate those gifts, and then use them for God’s glory, not our own.  Each of us needs to step out-of-the-way and allow God to work through us to reach a hurting, lost world.

Simple put: we need to yield our hearts.

Reflections:

Monday: What are your physical treasures? Can you easily acknowledge all material things are from God?  How can you use your possessions to glorify Him?  How can you ascertain that you are not relying on material possessions in attempt to find wholeness or satisfaction? Read Isaiah 55:2.  Only God can fill the gaps!  Nothing else. Study Daniel 5:1-4  What happened when King Belshazzar made gods out of material things?

Tuesday: What are your positional treasures?  This might be a job title, career accomplishments, your children excelling, anything!  Do you allow those things to define you?  Can you separate your self-worth from those titles and simple see your value in God’s eyes.  He made you.  He loves you. Period. Read Psalm 139:13-16

Wednesday: What are your treasured relationships?  People to love and love us are a gift from God.  Do you thank Him for those relationships? Do you ever value them above Him? Please read Exodus 20:3-4. No human can ever fill our need for God.  When we expect someone to “complete” us other than God, we are setting that person up for failure, and ourselves up for deep disappointment.

Thursday: Consider your treasures you have identified the past three days.  Do they hold a correct place in your heart?  Are any overcrowding God’s place?

When stress hits, do you console yourself with other treasures?  Or do you turn to the greatest Comforter, your Creator, God?

We need to seek solace not in His gifts to us, but rather in Him.  God’s presence is the peaceful presence our hearts truly desire, all other things are mere substitutes.

Please reread Exodus 20:3-4.  We need to refuse to allow any idols in our hearts. Consider any idols you may have. How can you change their status as idol? Pray about it, and implement your plan.  Ask a trusted friend to keep you accountable.

Friday: Consider your dreams.  Are your dreams about you, or are they about God?  Pray about your dreams.  Read Proverbs 16:3.  Do your part to make those dreams a reality.  Trust in God’s timing on the accomplishment of those dreams.  Read Psalm 31:14-15

Prayer:

Thank you Lord, for all the treasures you have given me.  May You open my eyes to how I can share these gifts from You to bless others.  May I appreciate Your gifts, but search still more for You, not Your gifts. 

Please help me to keep You as the holder of my heart.  Please help me to continuously yield my heart to You. Please help me not to be so consumed with treasures that I miss an opportunity to serve You or draw deeper into relationship with You.  (Luke 12:35)

Thank you for reading!  Please share your thoughts and insights with us!  Please return by Monday, April 22, for the next post.

Cling to Jesus in the Storm

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Last month, I experienced the perfect storm, spiritually speaking.

First, I missed church four Sundays straight, probably for the first time in my life!  Most of the reason for the absence: my children were sick, with something  new each week.  That culminated in compromising my health.  Due to lack of sleep and a wonderful cocktail of germs in the house, I was so sick I slept for almost thirty-one hours straight!

Next, I was deeply saddened by the geographical loss of a spiritual mentor.

There were also some career stresses in the house, which in combination with all else, temporarily propelled me into a pit of despair.

We are told in Job that satan “roams the earth and goes back and forth in it.” (Job 1:7)   We are not given much information about his methods, but from biblical examples and my own experiences, I believe he studies each of us.  He waits for the perfect combination of events and then launches an attack.  I do not wish to glorify him in any way; it is just wise to know a bit about the enemy’s offense.

It is also good to be self-aware.  When and where am I more likely to give into temptation?  For me, when I am overtired, hungry, and have not spent much time with God, to name a few.

Many times when we are losing ground, we do not realize it.  During the last month, I was praying multiple times a day.  I was also reading my Bible.  And I was oh-so-tired and oh-so-frustrated.

My prayers were almost constant, my voice I know God heard.  And although He was speaking, my mind refused to “Be still and know I am God.” Psalm 46:10

I could not piece together my loss of communion with God until I did finally returned to church and took communion.  I realized, shockingly, I could not keep my mind focused on Christ.

Coming home, I retreated to my closet where I pray.  (My family knows, unless it is an emergency, do not disturb!)  It took awhile, but like Mary in Luke 12:34 I found physical and spiritual rest at the feet of Jesus.

No matter what happens on this earth, God is still on His throne.  Leaders may rise and fall, my body may fail me through disease, and stresses may come and go; but at the end of the day God still reigns, and He still loves me.  He loves me (and you!) so much He sent His Son to build a bridge so sin would not forever separate us from Him.

In the next few weeks, I would like to discuss how each of us might “Develop a Hunger for the Things of God.”

That idea is a chapter title from a parenting book we are doing in a ladies Bible study. (The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian).

Because, even as life happens, when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will always calm the storms within each of us.

Reflection:

1) When have I been in a “perfect storm” spiritually?

2) When did I recognize it, and how did I react?  (With surprise, anger, pride?)

3) Pray for insight into your spiritual temperament.

4) Identify when you are more susceptible to spiritual failure.

5) Identify ways to ward off those conditions.

Thnaks for reading! Please return by next Monday, Novemeber 12, for the next post