Friday, April 28, 2017

"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. {Psalm 33:6-7}

I don't know about you but I am amazed that North Korea's leader Kim jong-un is only 27 years old! He is the same age as my oldest and I can't imagine that kind of prominence or pressure on such a young man. He has been raised all his life to be the ruler of this nation, treated like royalty, when in truth he is not any different than anybody else. I think he believes every word of it.

The difference between this country's royalty and let's say England's is that the english monarchy is taught that God is the final authority and rules over them, and they are to honor and respect that. Whether or not they actually do, is an individual matter, but at least they are not raised to look at themselves as deity.  Can you imagine this young man being told since birth that he is a god? People must worship him, and do exactly what he says or suffer the consequences. This is so foreign to my way of thinking, and probably yours as well.

As we look at this verse today, I kind of feel a sadness for this young ruler, because he is so far from the truth! Have you ever experienced a harsh thunderstorm or been somewhere by the ocean after one? The water becomes wild and unpredictable. It doesn't take much to realize that we don't have control over such things. I pray that  by God's grace Kimjong-un comes to hear the word of the Lord, and repents of his foolish ways. Please pray that this young man will heed wise counsel and not be puffed up any more. Scripture says,The King's heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. {Proverbs 21:1} This young man has a will of his own for sure, but he is not outside of God's reach. Ask God for mercy on Japan, south Korea and all those in the region. We don't want to see destruction on any side.

Proverbs 20:28 also says, "Mercy and truth preserve the King, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne. This is not our ruler in N. Korea, which could mean that he is not secure, as the people around him may take him down to preserve the nation. Whatever is on his mind, God is ruler over all! We live in tumultuous times, but never are we out of the Lord's hands. He is faithful and true, and for this we praise Him!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another."  {Romans 14:19}

This verse reminds me of the man that Jesus talks to starting in  Luke 10:25. He says, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"The young man was a lawyer and so Jesus answers him, " What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" In verse 27, the man says,"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says, "You have answered rightly, do this and you shall live." And then this guy gets a little testy as many lawyers do, and  he wants to justify himself, so he asks Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Now this is when the man's heart is really put to the test. Jesus shares about the "good samaritan." If you want to read it for yourself, go to Luke 19:30. Samaritans are considered outcasts by the Jews at this time. Some jewish people intermarried with a tribe that was not God's people. And so these people were not considered Jews by the pure bred,  and not considered acceptable by the other people either. For Jesus to mention a samaritan was a foreign thing to do, and then to say that this person was the only one out of a Priest and a Levite to care for this man, boy this lawyer surely must have been overwhelmed by Jesus' answer.

All of us have places in our hearts like this guy, where we don't want anyone to know our prejudices, or unrest about foreigners, and those who we don't understand. If all of the jewish leaders disowned the samaritans, who is Jesus to say we need to be like them, this lawyer might have been thinking? Jesus always wants to stir up the nasty part of our hearts. He wants to dispel the lies and fears that keep us for seeing others just as ourselves.

I wonder what this man did after Jesus finished, did he ponder it in his mind over and over again to look for a loophole? Did he look at others with a little more kindness? Did he just walk away with the thought that Jesus was just some crazy man and would never amount to anything? Oh, I wish I knew
right now what this man did with what Jesus gave him!  Jesus gave him a way out of looking at life from the earthly perspective, and He gave the man a glimpse of His heart.  I may never know what the lawyer in this story actually did, but I do intend to ask when I see Jesus. All I can say for now is what will I do with what Jesus gave?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Thus says the Lord: Heaven is my throne, And the earth is my footstool. Where is the house that you will build me? And where is the place of my rest?"

I can forget how incredibly awesome is our God!  I can get so caught up in my own things and completely think that my problems are all there is to this world! My daughter Stephanie had a really hard time getting through algebra, she took it 4 times, and only got by with a 68. We thought that she would never be a math student, and oh, that would be her lot in life! The uncalled for frustration I went through trying to help her understand it!

Now that she is in 10th grade, she has an 85 average in geometry, and hasn't failed one test., but at the times we got all bent out of shape, when we should have rested in the fact that passing algebra was not the end of the world. {I must say I am glad it's over} Sometimes I did rest, until I started to help her, and she got confused. Why did I get lost in the everydayness of life and forget about the more important things? Teaching her to be calm and in control would have been a better lesson for her to learn.

God is so beyond our minute by minute frustrations. Just in case we ever forget this He has given us the stars. He has given us spacious mountain ranges that seem to go on endlessly. He has planted a lot of us by the ocean, so we can get some idea of the vastness of who He is. He is the "with us" God. I may never fully understand this, but I'm just glad it's true!

"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!
"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising its shame and sat down at the right hand of the Father on high."

Monday, April 24, 2017

I love the colors of these tulips! They are so delicious, and remind me of raspberry sherbet.  Anyway, The month of April has just slipped through our hands it has happened so fast! Two more months and we will be half way through the year! I can't believe it, but it's true. My husband asked me what I did today, and the only thing I have to show for it is laundry. Everyone depends on that laundry, so some may think it is insignificant, but we all know it's Mom who keeps everything running smoothly!

I don't need any accolades, or marching bands because what I do is important to my family, so it is fulfilling a part of my calling as a wife and Mom. No one has to give me a pat on the back or a gift, I know who runs the show, and so do they. What happens when Mom isn't home explains why my job is so important. Kids have to do their own laundry, cooking cleaning and the list goes on.

Throughout history it has always been those who keep the home fires burning, that have enabled others to go out and win battles, or fight for what is right. It is not a lesser job or menial, because it has to get done. The foundational things hold up every other layer.

I am not saying that I love laundry, because at the end of the day, when the piles have to be put away I have run out of steam. What I want you to know is that less is more when God is in it. If God is glorified by my chores then they are more valuable than I know. My attitude is what makes the difference. And I do get bored at times of going to stop and shop just one more time in a week, but I like to eat, and so does everyone else!

"Keep on rejoicing in the Lord at all times. I will say it again: Keep on rejoicing! { Philippians 4:4}
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.  {Psalm 28:7}

Friday, April 21, 2017

I have been meaning to tell you what I have been thinking lately. You are my valued readers, and I LOVE writing to you! It is a gifting in the works, I must say! I am honing my skills, and  and seeking after the Lord at the same time, because it is a new thing, and it's just not what I would do without Him! I keep pressing forward, even when I'm not sure it is making the best sense.

God admonishes us to never give up, and I am not about to do anything of the kind, but I would value your comments from time to time, especially when something speaks to you and causes you to become closer to the Lord. I am in a writers training program, and I am going to the "She Speaks" Conference in July by Lysa Terkeurst and her staff. I am so very excited about that!

Do you ever feel inadequate to fulfill what God says for you to do? Me too. But I know that only He can supply what I need. My Bible Study at church is about a fellow in the book of Judges who felt the same way. Gideon was a regular guy in his own eyes, not the strong or courageous type, but God saw him with different eyes. "And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!"    {Judges 6:12}

I'm pretty sure Gideon did a double take, looked around to see if this guy who is talking was addressing someone else, but no one else was around. Is he talking to me,Gideon must have wondered, since he was hiding in a a wine press threshing his wheat. Valor means great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle. This sure doesn't sound like our guy, does it?

God doesn't see us as we are, but as we will be in His power and strength. If Gideon had confidence in Himself, God would't have gotten the glory for the battle. Gideon knew that it was God, but the Israelite people didn't get the message. What a shame! Pride is always our greatest enemy.

Please Father, Help me to realize your strength and my weakness. I am nothing without you! Nothing that I write is ever going to touch the hearts of these women if you don't work through me. This is my humble prayer. Amen

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The colors of nature are more profound than any other place. Green and violet together, I would't think so, but yet it works! All of it points to the maker and creator of all! If He thinks to put such detail in inanimate objects, how much more does He think about how to finely craft me and you.

"How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.   {Psalm 139:17-18}

It boggles my mind to think that God would think about me at all, but that He thinks about me every day! And the scripture says more than that, that His thoughts are more than the grains of sand, which implies that we could't ever keep track. "What is man that you are mindful of him"  {Psalm 8:4}
Compared to the Majesty and might of our God, why would He ever care for us? He tells us it is because He loves us, and He wants fellowship with us. He actually looks forward to us coming to Him each day in prayer!!! No, I am not kidding, this is the reality of our great God!

It truly does not make sense when we realize how humans are but a second away from becoming dust at any time. No one can say for sure that He or she will be here tomorrow. {Don't be concerned, I know we will all be here tomorrow, just trying to prove a point} If I had a smily face to put in here right now I would! : )   What I am saying is that we can not fathom the great mysteries of why and how God is and does things. We trust Him because He has been faithful to us, in loving us even when no one else will.

He is the friend that Proverbs says, is closer than a brother. No matter whose around me, I can be disagreeable and be hard to like at times. I speak about me, not anyone else. God is not like people, He is far beyond our imaginations, in His patience, love and care. I hope that you will stop and meditate on this at some point in your day. You will be glad that you did!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Don't let the temperature fool you today, it really is spring! I have been seeing robins in the yard, and even a cardinal. It's not time to plant here in New York, but give it a week or two, and the ground will be warm.

The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away!   {Song of Solomon 2:13}

We all need a break once in a while. My husband and I celebrated our 28th anniversary at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania last weekend, so you will be seeing a lot of Longwood in the weeks to come. The tulips were out, and the white lilies, oh , they were so beautiful!

The white lilies are usually a sign of Easter, because they open this time of year. Since their flower is so huge, with delicate lines, and the green stem is so sturdy they stand tall and proclaim the resurrection! They are known as the trumpet lily, and the flower so overpowers the stem in size, but like every thing in nature they compliment each other. If I were to design a flower I would never have thought to do it like that, but God knows His direct desire when giving each creation a specific look.

This ties in with our verse today because every thing in God's universe has a purpose. When the ground warms and the fig and grape vines produces their fruit, singing appears on the earth, as if the produce has a voice! It is singing in its own way, proclaiming the faithfulness of God, and His desire for the earth to go on. God calls us to "come away with me" so that we can see past the temporal, earthly things and hear Him singing over us.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

 "The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."
{Acts 5:30-31}

"Honey, did you pick up the cake for the party?" " What party? "He said. I said, " the party we are having tonight remember for your brother? "'Oh, no, I forgot all about it." "Well, go now before they close. It's paid for, just give them your name."Ok,' he said. " I'll go now."

When Rudy gets to the Bakery, they didn't know his name, and they didn't have a cake for him. He came home empty handed. "Why didn't they give you the cake ! "I said." There wasn't any cake for us, they knew nothing about it." "I said," I paid for it, but I didn't give you the receipt, I figured our name would be enough. It wasn't.

Do you ever feel like something is missing in your life? Everyone else got the message about how to be happy, but your e-mail about that got lost in spam! Grace across the street, boy, she really has it all together! Not me, I guess when God gave out togetherness I was looking in the opposite direction.

When Jesus sat down, at the "right hand" of the Father, He had finished the work that God, the Father had given Him. He had paid the price. It was completed, what was needed for your life and mine. The reason some of us understand this, is because we know the name of Jesus, and our faith in His name has given us everything we need for life. His name will get you in the door, it will get you the cake every time because the price has been paid, and you have the right name.  Give Him the Praise!

Monday, April 17, 2017

This is my family and I yesterday.{We are missing Rachel in this pic.} We had Easter dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Long Island Sound. An unseasonably warm day, was such a treat after the cold and rainy days before. It reminds me of the scripture, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."  {Psalm 30:5b}
I don't think anyone actually weeps over the rain and cold, but the warmth and spring air certainly makes me want to sing.

"He has put a new song in my mouth - Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord"  { Psalm 40:3}

This holiday that we have celebrated is really strange from the world's perspective. If you do not know that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, it certainly seems weird.  I can remember as a child thinking, what's the big deal? The early church got a lot of ridicule and even death for believing that Jesus actually rose from the grave, and lives forever. It can be typical in our society to sweep it away as nothing. They pretend it is about bunnies and chicks.

I know that Jesus probably went to the cross at another time of the year, and not actually in our spring. I can also tell you that a pagan holiday marked this day, and that's where the chicks and bunnies came in. None of that takes away from the actually declaration that the word of God makes that "He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures"     {1Corinthians 15: 4}

No, the truth of the resurrection stands tall on its own, and doesn't need any propping up by other things. No matter when it occurred it is a reality in the spiritual world, and so effects our world, if we allow it to. "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved"  {Acts 4:12} There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain that tries to hold us. "The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you."{Romans 8:11} Oh what glory dwells in human flesh! Only God could have made it this way. Only He could have redeemed our sinful selves by nailing it to the cross. Give Him the Praise!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Soon there will be flowers where snow once was! Change seems to be coming faster than it ever has before. Is it because I'm getting older, because I'm pretty sure it hasn't sped up? To be sure, if you don't like today, tomorrow is right around the bend. When you serve God, you know that hard times will come, but He brings us through them, not around them, and then comes the victory. Jesus knew this would happen to Him. The cross and then resurrection, the thorns and then the crown. I'm sure He was beginning to feel the weight of the cross at this point in scripture:

"I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said."      {John 18:20-21}

Jesus could see clearly that He was being set up! The Jewish leaders want Him arrested, but He has done nothing illegal. He says to them, Really, you are going to arrest me for the things that I have said out in the open, for everyone's hearing? One would think that He could have said, why arrest me now? He knew why it was upon Him, because it was His Father's perfect time. This was the event that all of heaven had waited for, not with joy but with mourning. The angels may have said, "Will the Father really allow His Son to be crucified?"

Jesus always knew His Father's plan, and He knew that no one would stand with Him. He also knew His Kingship, and His kingdom was not of this world, as we read a little further in John chapter 18. I find it strange to read that the Jews didn't go into the praetorium since it was not "legal" and then they wouldn't be clean to eat the passover? But they were right with God? Even though they sent an innocent man to His death? What kind of sense does this make? None, at all, but their eyes were blind. They didn't feel they needed a Savior, because they followed the law, and that was good enough. Truly, they did not see the one and only God, standing before them!

Father God, Help us to see you in every circumstance that you put before us. We don't want to be in the blind camp, we want to be among those who see! May fear be far from us, and let faith reign over us. Let us be full of your Holy Spirit, and capable for every task that you give us. During this celebration of your resurrection, let us glorify your name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This is a poster from the Kingdom Hearts Conference that I went to on Saturday. If you weren't able to be there please try to come next year. It is the only christian women's conference in Suffolk county put together by the women of Long Island. I am glad to support them and give them a shout out! We need to support local ministries. For some of you this is far away, but you can support the work of the Lord in your own back yard.

Our scripture today is from Psalm 68 :18 - "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men,"

The Psalmist is speaking to God about His dominion, and rule. He says something like this: " You are highest above all the earth, there is no one above you. We read about this yesterday in the text from Philippians 2:9-10. We know through out scripture that The Name of Jesus is highly exalted, and glorified.The next part of Psalm 68 :18 takes us to a whole other place.

In order for Jesus to captivate  captivity, He had to go down to the lowest part of the earth, and declare from the very bowels of creation that He is Lord, and that He now has dominion and authority over everything ever created. POWERFUL! This is the finished work of the cross. This is why He came to earth, so that every thing that has tried to hold us captive and destroy us could be under His authority!! Every evil lie, that tried to hold me in depression, it is under His dominion, every fear that tried to hold me back from being more for God, He now has under His feet.

Every lie that tried to convince me that I wasn't saved is behind me, because Jesus took it captive, with His own life, and captured sin and death so that it would no longer have dominion in my life. I will live forever with Jesus after this life on earth, and what will He have me doing in heaven,?  I will be ruling and reigning with Him! How about you, do you want to live forever in His heavenly kingdom where there is no sin, no death, not darkness? No news on the tv of another terror attack or innocent lives lost? No terrible news from the doctor? He is Lord and He shall ever reign, and for those who call Him Lord and King, He will hide us from the terror that strikes by day, and the evil of the night. Tell Jesus that you love him today, and call Him Lord of All!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mary Poppins was the first movie I ever saw. I was 7 years old when my Grandma took me to see it. I still love Julie Andrews. She and her daughter are giving acting lessons in Manhattan. Will you come with me? I don't want to act, I just would like to talk to her, or have tea.

I have been so moved by the scripture I shared yesterday from philippians chapter 2, that I thought I should share some more from that chapter.

" Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of  God the Father.      {Philippians 2:7-9}

Every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. Oh, I left out "should"every tongue should confess, but what do we do if those we love don't confess this truth? Prayer changes hearts, in fact it is the only thing that can! It is so vital that we pray, that God said He would only move if we do it! He has placed this contingency on prayer, not because He needs us to pray, but because He wants us to be a part of it. He can do whatever He wants, and He wants us to be involved.! It is "that "important.

What a wonderful God we serve, that He includes us in heavenly things even while we are still earth-bound. The name that is above every name, is the one that the devil likes to put into the disobedient as a curse, but we know that this name will forever be proclaimed as the one and only Holy Son of God, and nothing can move it from where it has always been and always will be. Give God the praise today for saving you, for loving you and forgiving you of sin. Let the name that rules over all things rule in your mouth and heart! Amen!

Monday, April 10, 2017

I have used this picture before, but I think roses should be repeated as much as possible. Today really is a spring day! Hallelujah! We have been waiting for this all winter, and today we have the reality of what we dreamed of for a few months. God is like this sometimes, we pray and we trust, and then we trust and we pray. We wait patiently and then He brings the reality into our lives, not a second too late or too early, right on time!

What a mighty God we serve! I would like to welcome our new ladies that I met at the Kingdom Hearts Conference on Saturday! It was wonderful talking to ever one of you. Please feel welcome as we adventure into God's word together.With Easter less than a week away, let's look at Philippians 2:5-8.

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation,  taking  the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Can you imagine with me what it must have been like for Jesus to take on human flesh? You are God of all creation, and then you willingly become one of the created! We know that only love could have compelled Him to do such a thing. To be limitless, and then to "put on" limits? To live within a sinful body, and to be God in the flesh. Only love, compassion and great mercy could have kept Him here for 33 years. Patience, kindness goodness was embodied into His human flesh. It seems that it is miraculous that His flesh didn't burst open under the weight of His Holiness. All because of love, for you and I, this is what kept Him here, until His Father in Heaven had Him say,"It is Finished!
What a glorious day, what an everlasting truth, for all mankind! Take hold of it today, because He did it for you!   Blessings and love, Ann

Friday, April 7, 2017

Did you have this toy when you were little? I think I did. Frustration would set in when I got a good long chain and then it would break apart! I try not to allow such things to frustrate me anymore. I can get out of sorts over computer glitches, but I have learned not to go there. It doesn't do anyone any good for me to be frustrated. Now I can step back, and do something else while I curse the computer, {not really.} I find something more productive to do so I can think it through and then come back to it.

Learning to use a computer takes a lot of time, and I guess that is what bothers me the most. I waste time trying to learn how to make it work. But wait, is it really wasted time if I can learn from it? It is all a matter of how I look at it. It can be the same with our walk with God.

If time spent talking to God is productive, {which of course it is,} then it is important time. We can't measure how productive it is with our ways of measurement, but we know that it brings the peaceable fruit of love, joy and self-control. These are things that we cannot gain by any other means, and their price is beyond measure!

 Can you put any sort of price on the peace that fills your soul that God gives you when you choose to become His own? Never. Many have tried to find peace from a bottle, or pill, from sex or from food and they come up short every time. They may feel good for the moment, but that dull pain comes back to haunt them. Please pray for those who don't have the peace of God. He longs to fill empty souls with the truth that lasts forever.

Maybe you are one of those, and you are thinking Ann, I don't know what you are talking about. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and cleanse you from all unrighteousness, and He will come into your life, and make you whole. It may not be instant, but you will feel changed, because you will be.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. {1 Corinthians 9:24}

I finally figured out what I have to do to keep my weight from climbing! Instead of just walking, I have to run. I found this out kind of on accident, when I put music on during my exercise time, and realized I moved faster! Ha, what a big deal! I know you are saying to yourself, why has it taken her so long to figure this out.! We all come to conclusions at our own speeds.

I would rather run anyway, because it doesn't take as much time, and it is more fun, especially with worship music. My entire body has been a little sluggish and along with the right supplements, I think I am on to something! Remember, don't judge me, we all have our own times of revelation!

Don't give up, keep moving, you can do it! Just a little more. Determination to "win the prize" of Christ Jesus is not limited to one person. It is tedious, heart wrenching, an uphill battle, and very sweaty. It comes with perseverance, clarity and will. It is not a prize for earthly gain, but for spiritual, which is what lasts forever. No rust, corrosion, or dust will ever defile it!

Hebrews 10:31 says It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." What on earth have I gotten myself into! I don't need fear in my life for goodness sake. Oh, but His goodness, purity and grace also come with His power and authority.We will be fine, as long as we look through His eyes of grace, and see the completed picture. No, It won't always be fun, but it will be worth it. Keep on running!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This is at the Orlando Airport. Why would I take a picture of this? I like fountains, and well, this is pretty. I like pretty things and quite frankly I think we need more pretty in this world! That is my answer for most pictures. I know that sounds very feminine of me, but that's me! I like me the way I am.

Because I am a follower of Jesus, my opinion isn't as important as His, but I think He is pretty happy with me being who I am. I know He is, because He delights in who He made us to be. He is quite deliberate about what He does. Women who obey His ways and stay close by His side can be the most confident, and fulfilled women in the world.

Only Jesus can fill the empty pockets of our hearts.We get wind blown and tossed as we walk through life, but we don't have to stay there. He is eager to come in when we are completely sure we want Him. Lives won't change if we are ho-hum about a relationship with God. He doesn't do anything halfway. No, He wants all of us, so that His glory and wonder can be revealed to those around us who need Him the most.
"As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. {Psalm 55:16-18}

Dear Lord Jesus, Help me to remember that others are watching and looking to see if you really are Lord of my life, and what that means. I would never want to misrepresent you, and so I ask you to keep me close by your side. This world is more volatile  than ever before, and some may not understand that your care for them looks like harm. The best way has always been the hard way. The truth can hurt, and so help us to listen closely to what you say, so we can understand the whole picture. You alone know the beginning from the end. Amen.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I realize that I haven't shared a lot with you about prayer. This is kind of funny to me, especially since all of my other writing is about prayer! Prayer is the single most important thing you can do to get close to Jesus. I know, reading the Word of God otherwise known as the Bible, is just as important, so we will have to say these two are the most important "things" one could do to grow in God.

Prayer is just a conversation with the one who made the heavens and the earth. Have you ever been to a pristine, beautiful real-life scene in  nature that took your breath away? Jesus is a hundred times more beautiful and awe inspiring than that. And you and I get to hang out with Him! That doesn't sound hard, does it? 

The only problem is that there is someone who is against you and doesn't want you to talk to Jesus. Hum, What a bummer! Actually, if we were not required to push our way through in prayer, we might not ever do it! Even though we have an enemy who hates our guts, we have victory over Him, and need to take our authority over him and this pressing, knocking and moving beyond the natural leads us on to finding the lover of our souls. 

No two relationships are the same. We know this in the natural world. It is also true in the spirit. Just as God tailor-made you the way that He wanted you, your relationship with Him will be exactly what you need. That doesn't mean that your life is perfect, but it does mean that if you are "willing" He is able.

Monday, April 3, 2017

This is summer! Ok, we have a while to go, but before you know it we will have warm sand on our beaches too. I love to pretend that I can smell the salty air, and feel the strong breezes that come off the water. The sunshine glistening on the water makes me so glad that I only live a few miles from the Long Island Sound. I could go there now, but I probably will enjoy it more when it is warmer.

We all like to remember those feel-good moments when we can be in the fresh open air, and be free to walk for ever, or so it seems. Can you recall a special time with God when He spoke something profound to your heart? Maybe He told you that He heard your prayer about a loved one who was ill, or that He was aware of your friend's need to trust in Jesus. Maybe He told you that your worries were over because He was in control of your child's life, or that your husband would give his heart to the Lord. Whatever it was, remember that today.

We can forget about how much Jesus loves us, and how many times He has said, "Don't worry my daughter, I have your world in the palm of my hands. As long as you trust me, I will make it all work for my glory." When we trust as He says to, our body is calm, our blood pressure can be in order, and our stress leaves. He lifts us up on eagle's wings, far above the daily grind, of whose picking up the kids after work, or what's for dinner. In the secret place, of His grace, it doesn't matter that the dog ran away, or that guests are coming for dinner. He calls us to His side, and says, " Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come." Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Can you go to that place with Him right now? Can you block out all the noise, and tell Him that you remember the times He has answered your prayer. Can you praise Him above the noise, and trust Him for the matters at hand. He will see you through!