February 3, 2023

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, And let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, And he turn away his wrath from him.
Proverbs 24:17‭-‬18 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Lord, please help me to remember not to be glad, even when the wicked receives their just punishment. For all mankind was created by You, every person is created in Your image, thus I shouldn’t be happy when people choose evil and the consequences of that choice. Lord, rather, help me to be understanding when I see wickedness increase, recalling Your Word and what is ultimately awaiting those who refuse Your salvation. Lord, help me to hate sin, but never to grow callous to those who fall into it and the destruction they are bringing upon themselves. Lord, please let those who are abusing others for their own gain feel the consequences of their wicked and turn away from such things. Please help those of us who know You to live in such a way as to stand firm in Your statues, but never stop sharing Your name and the gift of salvation. Lord, help me to know how to speak the truth with love. Thank You. Amen.

A new month and a new home

This was taken last night, after Anne finished unpacking her things.

She’s no longer living with us, but in a small rental nearby.

To be honest, I’ve not processed it yet.

However, I’m certain God is in this new step for her and I’m glad.

I had expected to be filled with sorrow at our last daughter moving out, but God has made this journey a blessing.

It’s been a stretch and an opportunity for both our daughter and myself, to lean on the Lord in new ways.

I’ve also learned God’s timing is perfect.

Many moments through this process, I wanted to “make” something happen by pushing others into action, but every time I was tempted to do so, God gently reminded me to trust Him.

His timing is perfect.

Not only did the furniture get moved in easily, the details of where things should go was sorted out quickly.

It came together like pieces of a puzzle.

And I now have another monument in my life to the faithfulness of God.

Even when I can’t see what He’s doing or understand why something is happening, I’m so blessed when I quiet myself and simply wait upon God.

Psalm 131:2 NKJV — Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

This verse used to confuse me until I had children and I experienced it.

The peace of a little child, one who is old enough to simply need the safety of their mother’s embrace to be at rest.

That is what I’m learning to do in my walk with God.

No matter the circumstances or my emotions, I can find security and peace in the assurance of my salvation through the embrace of my Lord Jesus.

Recalling, whenever I’m feeling unsettled, where Jesus stretched out His arms and died for me.

That embrace brings me rest.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. You answered so many prayers throughout this process and You have blessed us through so many unexpected ways. Lord, there are many circumstances in my life, right now, that I don’t know what You want me to do or I’m concerned about. Lord, for those who are experiencing health problems, please be with them and their doctors. For those who have lost loved ones, please comfort their hearts. For those who are being stretched to extreme limits and need hope, please step in. Lord, for those who are ministering people, please supply all their needs. Lord, You are able to do whatever is required to make good from any circumstance. Lord, You know what is best and I look to You for discernment, direction, and provision. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Confess

I was thinking about two people who has been super helpful and loving towards our family, and thanking God for them when I remembered…

A long while back, I had jumped to a conclusion about this couple, which proved totally false.

I confessed my sin to the Lord and asked for His forgiveness.

Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve assumed something about someone and been completely wrong, misjudging them through my tainted perspective.

Thankfully, I not only have confessed each of these moments, as the Lord has revealed them to me, I have assurance that He is going to both forgive me as well as continue to refine me.

1 John 1:9 KJV — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I thank God for His correction and restoration, for through these things my heart is learning the ways of God and He is teaching me to love as He loves.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for teaching us to confess our sins and to turn away from those things which separate us from You and those around us. Lord, thank You for correcting me and showing me my error. Lord, I know You love those around me as much as You love me and You see us with all our failings, yet You love us. Please continue to teach me how to love like that. Please continue to guide and direct me in Your truths and walk diligently in Your ways. Lord Jesus, You alone are able to change my heart and save me from sin. I surrender myself before You and I thank You for Your loving kindness. Lord, thank You for loving me. I love You! Amen.

A time to…

Ecclesiastes 3:2 KJV — A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

This verse came to mind this morning as I was thinking about all that occurred last week.

As our head pastor says, Pastor Eric’s mother was promoted to Heaven this week.

So were two other gentlemen, both related to friends of mine.

And as I read the text message from one friend relating their loss, I looked back at my dining room table, where two beautiful ladies sat chatting.

My heart was warmed by them although grieving for my friend.

These two young women are both expectant mothers.

One is a first time mother and the other has several children.

God used these ladies to remind me that even in the midst of sorrow there is a gift of blessing.

The joy of birth doesn’t eliminate the grief of loss, but it does bring these lines from scripture into a tangible context.

Ecclesiastes 3:2a KJV — A time to be born, and a time to die;…

For me, I’m encouraged by the truth that every person is created by God.

Psalm 139:14 KJV — I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Not only that, but He cares for us.

Luke 12:6-7 NKJV — “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

He died to save us.

1 Peter 1:3 KJV — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Even though, for the believer to die physically is nothing to fear, for it means entrance into Heaven,…

Philippians 1:21 KJV — For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

the death of God’s people doesn’t go unnoticed.

Psalm 116:15 KJV — Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

God still recognizes the pain of loss for those who remain.

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.
John 11:32‭-‬35 KJV

When facing grief it’s important we remember that God is not absent.

He’s perfectly aware of our sorrow.

He understands grief.

He is our best source of comfort in the depths of grief.

Matthew 5:4 KJV — Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

No matter the time we are in, God is where we can find direction, truth, and love.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises, especially for salvation. Lord, thank You for Your love. Thank You that You understand us far better than we understand each other or ourselves. Lord Jesus, You alone are able to comfort those who mourn from the inside, where the hurt is deepest. Please touch those who mourn this day and bring them comfort. Lord, please encourage those who are now trying to live without a loved one and have so much to adjust to. Lord, please bring Your Word to the hearts and minds of those who are hurting, that they might find strength and endurance through Your promises. Lord Jesus, thank You for all You have done and are doing in our lives. For You are perfect in faithfulness. Amen.

January 28, 2023

Psalm 62:8 KJV — Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You that You are completely trustworthy. There is no one nor anything which can possibly compare to Your worthiness to be trusted. For You, Lord, are God and there is none like You. Thank You for being as loving as You are righteous. Thank You that You both fulfilled all that was required to offer us the gift of salvation, You sustain us daily. Lord, may my life bring glory to Your name. Please comfort those who are hurting. Please encourage those who mourn. Please give grace to the humble and patience to those who wait upon You. Lord Jesus, I love You. Thank You for being my refuge. Amen.

To see what is right

“To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.” Confucius

Is it?

Does the person who clearly understands the correct choice, yet chooses not to act is simply lacking courage?

Or is it something more?

Mark 4:19 KJV — And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

It is through the Word of God we find out what is right and what is wrong.

In Pilgrim’s Progress Christian and Hopeful discuss another man named Temporary.

Hopeful: What reason of his sudden change, and why do others backslide in this way? Christian: That is a good question. What do you think is the reason? Hopeful: In my judgement there are four reasons for it: First, though the conscience of some men is awakened, yet their minds are not changed. So when the feeling of guilt wears off, they naturally turn to their old carnal ways again. They’re guilty conscience causes them to fear hell, and the fear of hell begets their interest in heaven. But when the feeling of guilt is gone, the fear of hell vanishes and they lose their interest in heaven. So they go back to the old life for the fleeting pleasures of the world. Pilgrim’s Progress in today’s English by John Bunyan retold by Jamesh Thomas, Moody Publishers, 1992, pg. 145

Hopeful continues to give the other three reasons: fear of man, pride, hardening of one’s heart.

Not doing what is right,

or doing what is right,

are both choices.

Scripture is clear, we are to do what is right.

Proverbs 3:27 KJV — Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

Not only is it wrong to choose sin, it is as wrong to refrain from following through on what is right.

Doing right, following God’s command to do good is not a seesaw for when we feel like it or reserved for those who do good to us.

We are not to play favorites, but rather do good unto all.

Galatians 6:10 KJV — As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Because Jesus is our example:

Titus 2:14 KJV — Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

For our choices reflect upon our Lord.

Matthew 5:16 KJV — Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

1 Peter 2:12 KJV — Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth and clear outline of right and wrong we find in Your Word. Lord, thank You for living in those things, showing us how to apply Your truth. Lord Jesus, please quicken my heart when I’m in error. Show me my danger that I might not sin against You either by doing wrong or by neglecting to do right. Thank You, Lord. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 KJV Amen.

January 25, 2023

Psalm 100:2 KJV — Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the honor and blessing of praise and worship given to You. Lord, may my thoughts and the intents of my heart be pleasing before You. May my mind rest securely in Your Word and the promises You have granted through Your grace. Lord, nothing on this Earth is as valuable nor as permanent as Your salvation. The hope of Heaven and the blessings of eternity spent in Your presence is incredible! Can anything compare? Nothing! For You alone are the Savior of the world. Only in You might I be saved. Thus, I surrender myself before You in adoration and praise. Thank You, Jesus for all Your marvelous works! May my service be with joy and gladness no matter my task. Please, Lord, let my life reflect Your love. Please teach my wayward heart to be steadfast in Your commandments, faithful, patient in tribulation, and always giving You all the glory. For great is Your faithfulness and greatly shall You be praised! Amen.

January 24, 2023

To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion— A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:2‭-‬7 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for wisdom which comes from You. Thank You for the beginning of knowledge being a reverence of You. Lord Jesus, I am so blessed to have Your Word to learn from and be guided by. I am so encouraged by Your truth and guided by Your clearly applicable instruction. Lord, I thank You for this day and I choose to focus my thoughts upon You and to wait patiently for Your guidance. Lord, thank You for the tasks at hand. Please help me to find join even in the mundane tasks, for You have given me life and salvation. May my heart never stop seeking You. May my lips never stop speaking of Your wonderous works. Please fill my mouth with praise and may my heart overflow with gratitude! Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

…the house of mourning…

It was clear, something was wrong when one of our pastor’s began to speak with me yesterday morning.

He was relating the events of the past few days and, to my great surprise, that his mother was put on hospice.

Two weeks ago his parents had visited our fellowship.

At one point, his eyes brimming with emotion, he said, “Mom has her ticket punched, she knows where she’s going.”

I promised to pray for their family.

After service, I went over to speak with our dear elderly gentleman friends.

I greeted Mr. Perry, his first words were, “Did your husband tell you my wife is dieing?”

He withdrew a small picture frame from his Bible.

It held a black and white photo of a bride and groom cutting their wedding cake.

He smiled broadly.

“You know my wife is like you, very charismatic.”

I was touched by his complement and he continued.

“It’s really okay, because she knows where she’s going. I had her for 68 years.”

I just couldn’t find words to express my heart to him, but promised to pray.

Later, the Lord brought a verse to mind.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 NKJV — Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.

Loss, sorrow, and grief are not easy things to walk through, but we should not ignore them.

Instead, we should take it to heart.

Apply the truth of death to our own lives.

Do I know where I’m going?

What needs to be done to bring assurance like these two ladies?

If there’s assurance within, then am I looking to others?

Have I spoken with my loved ones about death which leads to eternal separation from God and the truth of Jesus’s salvation?

Have I shared the assurance Christ’s salvation brings?

Do I live in such a way as to proclaim the gospel daily?

These questions are only the tiptop of this iceberg.

We can learn from God’s Word about taking to heart the end of this life and the salvation through Christ.

There’s no other story of a man dieing which has brought such life.

Jesus Christ, Himself died, but His death is the only one that brought salvation, that bridged the gap between sinners (us) and God’s desire to be with us.

Jesus’s disciples took both His life and death to heart.

Through humility, the wonderful truth of Jesus’s resurrection changed not only their hearts and lives, but many many others through their testimony.

I’m one of those and so are these dear ladies who are passing from this life into eternity.

What a beautiful gift salvation and the assurance of Heaven is.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for dieing for me. Thank You for giving us Your Word that we might find assurance through Your sacrifice. Lord, please help those who are unsure of their future to find peace in Your salvation. Lord, break through the lies which hinder belief and choke faith. Lord, please shine through the darkness into the hearts of those who are empty, lost, and searching for You. Lord, let salvation bring complete healing, for only in Heaven will we experience life without the rot and ruin of sin. Lord, thank You for these dear ladies who are on their way to You. Thank You for Your people whom I don’t know, but are so close to their journey’s end as well. Lord, please comfort their families. Please encourage those who mourn. Please remind all of us to lean upon You and not ourselves. Lord, thank You. You give us hope that for those who believe on Your name and trust in You shall have everlasting life. Thank You! Amen.

Psalm 116:15 KJV — Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Mom and God (a post from a fellow blogger)

I rarely repost, but after enjoying this, I wanted to share it with you.

Please click on the link and go to Bob White’s site and read the entire thing, it’s well worth it.

I pray you are blessed and encouraged.

(3-minute read) Years ago, my brother Bob and I decided to visit my mother, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama. I was living in Pennsylvania then, and Bob lived in New York. On the first day there, Bob kept teasing all day, saying that our mother loved me more than him. He would make up numerous […]

Mom and God