Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Woe is me? Or How Blessed I Am?

    O LORD, God of my salvation;
        I cry out day and night before you.
    Let my prayer come before you;
        incline your ear to my cry!...   
       Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
        I spread out my hands to you....
     But I, O LORD, cry to you;
        in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Psalm 88:1-2,9,13 

If you read it in its entirety you will see that the one who penned this Psalm was in dire distress. He felt abandoned by his friends, his best friend, and even the Lord Himself.  But what did he do?  He cried out to God day and night, spreading out his hands in submission to the God of his salvation.

When is it that we tend to pray the most diligently?  When do we cry out to God with the most earnest hopes?  I'm afraid that my prayer life really comes to life when I feel that I am the most in need.  "Help!" seems an easier word to say than, "Thanks!"  "Please," slips off the tongue more readily than, "Praise."  "Woe is me!" appears to be a more often spoken phrase than, "How blessed I am!"

I'm not absolutely certain about this, but sometimes I wonder if God allows trials in our lives so that we will commune with Him.  Would He rather hear our "helps," and "pleases," and "woe is me," than nothing at all?  It seems that eventually those cries to God lead to praise, whether the prayer is answered as we desire it to be or not.  Just spending that special time with Him brings us back to the understanding that He is in control, that He works for our good, and that our Advocate is at hand whenever we need Him.  Praise the Lord!  (You see, just the thought of His sovereignty brings praise to one's lips!)

Today if you have needs, by all means go to the Lord in diligent prayer.  And don't forget to thank Him, to praise Him, and to cry out, "How blessed I am!"  We can go to Him in prayer with our every need.  That alone deserves our utmost devotion and praise.

How blessed I am,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Glorious Things Spoken

Zion Gate

   On the holy mount stands the city He founded;
        the LORD loves the gates of Zion
        more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
    Glorious things of you are spoken,
        O city of God. Selah
Psalm 87:1-3

I try to focus on application without butchering the Scriptures, and I almost skipped this one because I didn't know if I could  find a way to apply it to my life.  But I did, and I will share it with you in hopes that it is meaningful to you, as well.

Glorious, wonderful things are spoken of Jerusalem, the city of God.  Someday He will plant His feet on Mount Zion and call His people home.  Many believe that He will reign there for 1000 years after the Great Tribulation.  There is much focus on this city during the Tribulation, and even now the news cannot stay away from the Promised Land of the Jews.

Who is speaking these glorious things?  Surely it is the Triune God conversing with the holy angels, and perhaps even the saints who have gone before us.  My next thought is, "Are they speaking of me, and if so, what are they saying?"  Are they saying that I am diligent to visit the sick, to provide for the needy, to serve without complaint, to faithfully focus on obeying God's Word, to serve my husband with joy, to pray for and encourage my children and grandchildren in the Lord, to share my faith with those whom He puts in my way?  Do they say that I seek to do the Lord's will in everything?  That I make love for my Savior my motivation in all that I do?  That I do everything as unto God, and not for the applause of man? Is God saying, "This is my beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased?"

Or are the heavens silent?

How can that little passage be so convicting?  If God is to speak glorious things about me, life cannot be all about me.  I pray that my meditations will remain on these thoughts today.  I need them.

Desiring God's pleasure,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mind Exercise for the Right Kind of Food

   Teach me your way, O LORD,
        that I may walk in your truth;
        unite my heart to fear your name.
    I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
        and I will glorify your name forever.
    For great is your steadfast love toward me;
        you have delivered my soul from the depths of sheol.
Psalm 86:11-13 

Sometimes I find myself praying ridiculous prayers like, "Lord help me to lose weight," when I have no good intent to compromise my eating or to get more exercise.  I just want God to help me lose weight, not to starve myself or to get sweaty!  But alas, when I do that my prayers go unanswered.  I'm sure they are in one Holy ear and out the other, and for good reason.  I am not being obedient to the Lord in the area of overeating.  Yes, gluttons are mentioned in the Scriptures!  "For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."(Proverbs 23:21)
As I read this passage in the Psalms I considered the fact that just as I must eat less and exercise more in order for God to help me with my weight, in the same light I must exercise my mind more by reading the Scriptures in order for God to answer my prayer and teach me His way.  He has given me His Word, of which Job said, "I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food (Job 23:12).  The more we condition ourselves to exercise our minds with the daily food of God's Word, the more we will know His way, and the more united our hearts will be to fear His name. Through the Bible, the Holy Trinity in written form, we learn more about this "great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments (Nehemiah 1:5).

He deserves our utmost care in exercising our minds for His spiritual food so that we may know His ways.  After all, He is the One who has delivered our souls from eternal damnation.

On Weight Watchers, by the way,

Friday, February 24, 2012


    Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
        and put away your indignation toward us!
    Will you be angry with us forever?
        Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
    Will you not revive us again,
        that your people may rejoice in you?
    Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
        and grant us your salvation.
    Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
        for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
        but let them not turn back to folly.
    Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
        that glory may dwell in our land.
Psalm 85:4-9

Sometimes I get very discouraged and feel that God has completely taken His hand off our nation, leaving us to fend for ourselves and allowing us to go to the pit of destruction.  And then I read a passage like Psalm 85, and God's compassion for Israel gives me hope.  Yesterday I watched the trailer to a new documentary that will be shown at 500 theaters on March 27, a single showing.  If I can figure out how to put it on here, I want you to watch it and then to encourage everyone you know to find a nearby theater and go to see it.

MONUMENTAL: A Search for America's National Treasure

I think that the link will take you to the trailer.  Please be willing to put up a fight for our nation's perilous situation through prayer, an exemplary life, and through sharing your faith with others.  We are in a perilous situation.

With a monumental task before us,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here Comes the Judge!

 God has taken his place in the divine council;
Psalm 81:1a

That's all that's necessary for us to know, isn't it?  God is the Judge.  Wow!  How does that affect us?  Where do we go with that?  If God is the judge, sitting on the divine counsel, it seems  we must be very responsible for our actions.  The Divine Judge is watching over us!

But on a more encouraging note, we also have the privilege of being able to go to Him with the cares of this world, with our grievances against those who wrong us.  He is sitting on His Divine judgment seat, bringing sentence on those who have wronged us.  We don't have to take vengeance ourselves!

Aren't you thankful that God has made Himself both our judge, which causes us to walk circumspectly, and our Defender, which gives us great freedom to love the unlovely, knowing that we are responsible not to avenge, but to pray for the souls of our offenders.

In the courtroom of life,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm Hungry, Daddy!

  I am the LORD your God,
        who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
        Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Psalm 81:10 

There is just something special about baby birds.  They are noisy, messy, and have a voracious appetite, keeping mom and dad both scurrying for food to place in their wide open beaks.  We have a bird house in a tree close enough to the backyard deck that houses several sparrow families each spring and summer.  There is a great lesson in watching those little birds.
I have never seen one of them reject the food that the parent brought.  They just open their mouths wide and let them be filled.  Their confidence in the parent is unconditional, and their never-ending appetites are filled faithfully by the unrelenting mom or dad.  They don't wander off looking for something better.  (Okay, they can't, but we'll leave that part out for the sake of comparison!)  But I must say that those little creatures seem to enjoy every little bit of worm or seed that they are presented.  They are totally dependent on parents who are committed to caring for them.

Thus so with our God, the Creator of the universe, the Maker of all good things.  He promised Israel that if they would open wide their mouths, He, their Father, their Deliverer, their Protector, their Sustainer would fill them.  But what did they do?

“But my people did not listen to my voice;
        Israel would not submit to me.
    So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
        to follow their own counsels.
Psalm 81:11-12

They didn't like God's food for them!  How can one not like what the Master Chef has prepared?  (We know, don't we?)  And yet I do not understand why we are like that.  Oh yes, God tells us;  we have stubborn hearts.  We prefer the candy of Egypt to the green beans that God has lovingly prepared for us .   Oh, but if we just open our eyes, we will see what the Father has prepared for us.

      But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
        and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Psalm 81:16

I like honey and fine wheat.  Today I must rely on my Father to satisfy me with His food.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Look, Folks, No Hands!

Look, Ma, no hands!

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!
Psalm 72:18-19

Have you ever, just for an instant even, thought that you were very successful in some particular area? Self sufficient?  Independent?  Have no need of others?  Or maybe even God?

Have you ever thought about, on the other hand, what it would be like if suddenly gravity failed?  Or what if the sun quit warming the earth?  Or it moved just a little closer to the earth?  What if the moon did not come out at night?  Or what if vegetation quit growing over the expanse of the universe?  What if the oceans did not contain themselves?

What if God said, "Look, folks, no hands!"  He alone does wondrous things.  He is the Blessed Controller of the universe and all that's in it.  Although we may not want to admit it, without Him we can do nothing.  I've often thought about those people who seem to deny, even revile God and yet are so successful.  It might give one a tendency to think that some are able to do things on their own, without the help of God.  But even there the Lord is working, allowing them the temporary privilege of seeing success.  Only one word from Him could destroy them and a lifetime of privileged income or belongings.  And eternity awaits all who refuse to believe in Him through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our response to our loving Father should and must always be, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory!"   

Amen and Amen!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Race to the Finish!

A large part of my ministry! (minus the newest one)

So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
Psalm 71:18

If you have the time today, read the entire psalm.  What a prayer to pray!  I must go back and meditate more on this wonderful psalm.  But this verse is one that I often pray (in my own words:  "Lord, may I finish strong!")  Some of you are just beginning life's ministry as young moms, perhaps home schooling children, or as daughters who care for their parents and love on others.  Some are in the middle of your time of giving, trying to reach out to those around you.  Some, like me, are in the beginning of the twilight years.  I don't particularly like to think I'm getting older, but you know what?  I AM!  So I must consider that I don't have as many years to make an impact on the world as do others.  So my prayer is:  "May I finish strong!"

What is your goal from this point on in your life?  I have a little different ministry from that of the past, one that I love nonetheless.  God has given me a wonderful husband, 3 children, 3 children-in-law, and 13 grandchildren , as well as some "adopted" ones to share the love and knowledge of Christ with.  He has also given me the responsibility to share with others the greatness and wonder of a Lord and Savior who loves even the worst of sinners who will incline their hearts toward Him.  I don't have an "out there" ministry that impacts much of society.  But I am responsible for what God gives me.  May I finish strong!  And may you, as well.

Finishing strong together,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Is God Angry?

Restore us,O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!
O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

  You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.

You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.
Psalm 80:3-6

 I have been reading through the Bible this year, and recently I have been reading about Moses and his visit with the God of hosts, who caused his face to shine with His glory.  It was so radiant that the Israelites did not even want to look at him.  I don't know for sure, but I suspect that their sinfulness was good enough reason not to look at God's glory in the face of one who had been with Him.

I wonder also if Asaph had forgotten at this point just why God was angry with the people's prayers, why He fed the with the bread of tears and made them an object of contention for their neighbors.  Why did their enemies laugh at them?  

God's promise to Israel was that if they obeyed Him, then He would deliver them from their enemies and give them as an everlasting possession the land flowing with milk and honey .  But what rotten people they were!  They couldn't even get out of the wilderness before they began to worship a golden calf.  No wonder God was angry!  Good thing we don't do those things.........hmmm.

Our nation is in dire need of prayer, but even more in need of repentance--from the unbelieving, unregenerate lost to the church itself.  The church is weak and sinful, and "Christians" are much like the rest of the world in their actions and their responses, just as Israel was.  Where do we draw the line; where do we take a stand?  It's time for true Christ-followers to live as though we have been redeemed from the world system, not to blend in so well that the rest of the world laughs at the word "Christian."  Perhaps we should call ourselves followers of Christ--unless we want to continue to act like the rest of the world.

I want to erase all of this and write something sweet, but this is where God has convicted me.  I want His face to shine on me, and on the rest of Christendom.  Until we repent, that isn't going to happen.

Praying for myself and all who call themselves Christian,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
   will give thanks to you forever;
   from generation to generation we will recount your praise. 
Psalm 79:15 
This is yet another Psalm in which the author begs God for vengeance on the enemies of His people.  And yet once again he is giving praise to the Lord, this time as the "sheep" of His pasture.  (Give me a few minutes; I must look up the characteristics of sheep.)

"They are of a gregarious nature...meaning they love to be with the herd. Sheep must have a leader (shepherd) and must be told what to do and where to go, other wise they'll wander off and get lost."

Characteristics of Sheep
1. timid, fearful, easily panicked
2. dumb stupid, gullible
3. very vulnerable to fear, frustration, pests, hunger
4. easily influenced by a leader, by the shepherd
5. stampede easily, vulnerable to mob psychology
6. little or no means of self-defense; can only run
7. easily killed by enemies
8. the shepherd is most effective, calming influence
9. jealous, competitive for dominance
10. have very little discernment
11. perverse, stubborn - will insist on their own way.
 (From Wikipedia)

Oh, my!  No wonder we need a shepherd!  It's amazing that God didn't cause us to speak with "Baas!"  

All I can say is that I relate to those descriptions of the sheep, and I am so grateful for a Shepherd to guide me, and One whom I can praise from generation to generation for His great care and protection and love and patience and understanding..............and more than I can ever write on paper.  Praise the Lord!

Just trailing behind the Shepherd,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stories of Old

Tea parties--one of the ways to teach the girls

I will open my mouth in a parable;
   I will utter dark sayings from of old,
 things that we have heard and known,
   that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
   but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
   and the wonders that he has done. 
Psalm 78:2-4

 Our grandchildren love for us to tell them stories about when we were growing up.  That is their favorite bedtime ritual, along with reading to them and our, "Goodnight...sleep tight...don't let the bedbugs bite...and don't forget to pray!"  I have to admit that sometimes when I am very tired I don't want to tell stories or read to them.  In fact, I have fallen asleep doing both of those!  But in order to develop a lasting relationship with them, that is important.  Another thing they love is to read the stories that I write for them.  Many times I use their names and relate the story to them or a character quality that I want them to learn.  (Haven't done that in awhile.  It's time for a new one!)

Asaph, the writer of Psalm 78, was diligent to tell the things that God had done to his children.  It's interesting that he told not only the wonderful things that God had done, but also the rotten responses of the children of Israel, how they disobeyed the One who delivered them over, and over, and over again.  

I think there are some important lessons to learn from this.   First, we MUST tell our children and grandchildren what God has done through the reading of His Word, through the telling of His mighty acts, both in times past and in our own lives.  How will they know without someone to tell them?  And secondly, we must be willing to share our mistakes, our failings, with these precious ones.  Asaph didn't just tell of the mighty deeds of God Almighty; he told how the Israelites miserably failed so many times.  We are not perfect, and our children know it.  We must be willing to admit it and ask forgiveness so that they have a role model before God.

Do you have regrets?  I do.  There are things I would love to change.  But thank God, we have a Father who is patient and kind, not willing to throw us away after we fail Him, but quick to forgive.  We must teach that also to our children, because they will make mistakes, sin against God and others, and need to know how to ask forgiveness.

On this day when Cupid shines forth, let's remember that, "We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)  and, "No man has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  (John 15:13)  Our children are those closest to our hearts.  Let us be willing to lay down our comfort for our children, and to tell them of God's wondrous works.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Whenever I Feel Discouraged

Your way, O God, is holy.
   What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
   you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
   the children of Jacob and Joseph. 
Psalm 77:14-15
I have been a little down the past few days.  It seems I pray and pray for those I love who are not walking with the Lord, or for someone whose marriage is weak.  Yet I don't see the results I am praying for.  I know that God desires a strong walk with Him and that we love Him with all of our hearts, souls and minds.  I know that His desire is that the covenant two people make between themselves and God remains intact.  So why does He not answer?

Because God does not answer on my terms.  He is not bound to do what I say; I am bound to do what HE says.  I am not responsible to change the person I am praying for; I am responsible to pray. This morning , Praise God, I have been reminded of the precious song, "His Eye Is on the Sparrow."  
Verse 1
Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for Heav'n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
A constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Verse 2:

"Let not your heart be troubled,"
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth
But one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Verse 3:

Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
When hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
From care He sets me free:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He cares for me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He cares for me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me.
(Lauryn Hill)

I can trust Him, that in His time He will make all things beautiful.  I cannot outguess God, but I do know that He is the God who redeemed that rotten bunch of Israelites out of Egypt, and the same God who can redeem my loved one.  In that I trust--in His time.

Because I'm free,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In a Snowstorm Without a Jacket?

But you, you are to be feared!
        Who can stand before you
        when once your anger is roused?
    From the heavens you uttered judgment;
        the earth feared and was still,
    when God arose to establish judgment,
        to save all the humble of the earth. Selah
Psalm 76:7-9 

What a blessing it is to be able to memorize and meditate on comforting verses like Lamentations 3:22-23:  "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  Doesn't that make you feel good?  Kind of like warm fuzzy slippers on a cold day, or your favorite pooch cuddled up beside you, with a roaring fire in the fireplace and a cup of hot cocoa in your hands.

But to think of God's wrath is like being out in a snowstorm without a down jacket and hat and gloves, or a little more like being in the Sahara without food, water, or shelter.  Not so comfortable.  Why would anyone want to meditate on that?

For a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can know without compunction that God's wrath has passed over us and that we may claim His great mercy in our lives to the point of knowing that we have eternal life. We have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), at the cost of the Son of God Himself, who gave His life for ours.

On the other hand, Romans 1:18 tells us that, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth."  The truth is available through the Bible, God's Word.  There are many passages of Scripture that speak of the wrath of God against those who refuse to believe Him.  And with that wrath comes eternal suffering, a stark contrast to the last part of our passage for the day, when He arises to establish judgment and to save all the humble of the earth.

There is hope for all who are presently under His wrath!  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,"  John 1:12

Great is His faithfulness!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Horn of Plenty

The cornucopia, also known as the Horn of Plenty, is a symbol
of prosperity and affluence and dates back to the 5th century BC.

   We give thanks to you, O God;
        we give thanks, for your name is near.
    We recount your wondrous deeds.
    Psalm 75:1

One of the elders at our church always begins his prayer by saying, "Thank you, Lord, for another day of life."  What a wonderful way to begin a time of communion with the Lord!  A time of thanksgiving.  And why are we able to thank Him?  Because His name, His power and glory, is near.  The only reason we have anything at all is because of Him and His mercy, which is rained on both the just and the unjust.  "For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  Matthew 5:45b

Today I want to recount to you only a few of the wondrous deeds He has done for me.  Time and space would not allow me to name them all.  I thank Him:
  • For giving me life
  • For allowing me to born in a nation that allows me to worship freely
  • For giving me the family whom He allowed me to be born into
  • For teaching me about Himself through family and teachers who were committed to rightly dividing His word of truth
  • For allowing me to grow up in a poor family so that I didn't see the need for excess luxury
  • For giving me a godly mate
  • For loaning me 3 wonderful children
  • For using those children to humble me!
  • For 13 grandchildren, the joy of old age
  • For the privilege of knowing Him for most of my lifetime
  • For the blessings of friends who sharpen me as iron sharpens iron
Oh, I could go on all day!  But I don't want to bore anyone with all that God has done for me; I want you to sit down and consider what wondrous deeds He has done for you.  Let's make this a day of thanksgiving.  Our cornucopia is filled to overflowing!

Recounting His wondrous deeds,

Monday, February 6, 2012

How Long?

The temperature at my niece's house in Siberia.  No heat wave there!
  How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
        Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
    Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
        Take it from the fold of your garment and destroy them!
    Yet God my King is from of old,
        working salvation in the midst of the earth....
    Yours is the day, yours also the night;
        you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
    You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
        you have made summer and winter.
Psalm 74:10-12,16-17 

Sometimes I tend to get discouraged when I see the state of our world.  Even Christendom, which is essentially the standard for righteousness (or at least, was) would rather stay at home and watch a football game and gorge itself with unhealthy snacks than to go to church and hear the Word of God taught and to fellowship with the saints (No, not the New Orleans Saints--they weren't even in the Superbowl!)

I pretty much understand where the psalmist was coming from.  Let's see if we can answer his question, "Why do you hold back your hand?"  The apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 3:15:  "Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him."  Until the last of those who have been chosen for salvation comes to Christ, He will hold back His hand.  He is "working salvation in the midst of the earth."  What a gracious and merciful God!

And we can be assured that He has everything under control.  "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."  (Colossians 1:16-17)  God's Word remains constant throughout, not wavering in Truth.  The psalmist understood this, even in his questioning.

We can be assured through God's Word that He has everything under control.  We may not like what is happening, but we can know that He has not forgotten us.

I anyone happens to read this who does not know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, I encourage you to consider His call to you.  Read the book of John and the book of Romans.  I am praying for you today that God will speak to your heart and that you will receive His great salvation.

Hanging on to the One who holds it all together,

Friday, February 3, 2012


  But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.
    For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
    until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end...
        Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
    Psalm 73:2-3,25-26 

I am ashamed to say that I have had these same thoughts.  Why in the world do God's people suffer so, worldwide, and the wicked either proper or many times carry out the persecution of those who believe?  Why do they have the privilege of conning others and living on their greed?  Why can they take advantage of others and prosper from it?  It's difficult sometimes to remember that their high living is only temporary.

Where can we go when we begin to have these thoughts, that the wicked are better off than we?  To God's Word, of course!  It behooves us to consider:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.1 Peter 4:1-9

We have HIM!  What more can we need?

Praying for grace to understand this without complaint,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

For All Those in Authority

  Give the king your justice, O God,
        and your righteousness to the royal son!
    May he judge your people with righteousness,
        and your poor with justice!
    Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
        and the hills, in righteousness!
    May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
        give deliverance to the children of the needy,
        and crush the oppressor!
    May they fear you while the sun endures,
        and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
    May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
        like showers that water the earth!
    In his days may the righteous flourish,
        and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
        May prayer be made for him continually,
        and blessings invoked for him all the day!
Psalm 72:1-7,15b

Oh, that we would pray this prayer for those who reside over our nation's people!  Can you only imagine what God might have done over the past years if all of Christendom had banded together and prayed instead of criticized or been lethargic?  What might have been gained?

Each Sunday I am reminded during our prayer time before Sunday School to pray for the salvation of our President and those in authority.  I am so thankful for this reminder.  Whether or not I agree with the stand our governing body takes is not the issue; I still have the privilege and responsibility to pray for them.

We have an election coming up.  Whether we feel that the options are slim pickins' or the bet ever, we are yet responsible:  "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."  1 Timothy 2:1-2

Praying for our leaders and future leaders,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Good Reminder of Who Is in Control

    O God, be not far from me;
        O my God, make haste to help me!...
       But I will hope continually
        and will praise you yet more and more.
    My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
        of your deeds of salvation all the day,
        for their number is past my knowledge.
    With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come;
        I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
Psalm 71:12,14-16 

A sweet friend sent me this, and it was such a good picture of the "righteous acts" that our Father does for us every day, that I thought that perhaps you would enjoy reading it, as well.  

Me: God, can I ask you something?
GOD: Sure.
Me: Promise you won't get mad?
GOD: I promise.
Me: Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?
GOD: What do you mean?
Me: Well I woke up late,
GOD: Yes
Me: My car took forever to start,
GOD: Okay....
Me: At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait
GOD: Hmmmm..
Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call
GOD: All right
Me: And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak  my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn't work. Nothing went  right today! Why did you do that?
GOD: Well let me see..... the death angel was at your bed this morning and  I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you  sleep through that.

Me (humbled): Oh...
GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your  route that might have hit you if you were on the road
Me (ashamed): ............
GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't  want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work
Me (embarrassed): Oh.....
GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to  give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let  you talk to them so you would be covered
Me (softly): I see God
GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage  that was going to throw  out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in  the dark.
Me: I'm sorry God.
GOD: Just learn to trust me, all things, the  good and the bad
Me: I WILL trust you God
GOD: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your  plan
Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything  today.
GOD: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I  love looking after my children.

As we "hope continually and praise Him more and more!"