Category Archives: Uncategorized

Memorial Day

As the daughter of a man who did twenty years in the Army, I can truly say, “Thank you.” to those who lost a loved one in the defense of our nation.

As the cousin of a man who died when his fighter jet went down in Vietnam, I can say, “May God bless you.” to his sisters who have lived long past that loss.

As the daughter-in-law to a man who lost his best friend and cousin on the field in Vietnam, I can say, “I’m praying for you.” to find complete healing from the past.

As the friend of a young man currently serving overseas and the neighbor of a lady who is living as a single mom while her husband is deployed I can say, “Thank you so much for your service.”

As a citizen of the United States of America, I’ve seen things I never wanted to and experienced extreme grief over the tragedies of our history.

Despite those things I still feel so blessed to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and I can say,

“Let us each one remember the cost of freedom from the foundation of this incredible nation until now.”

“Let us remember those who died while still supporting those who are serving.”

“Let us look to the Lord for the future of our families, our neighbors, and our nation.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all the blessings I have received by being a citizen of the U.S.A. Thank You for the men and women who gave their lives to defend our rights, our homes, and our country. Lord, please help us to be focused upon You and Your Word, that we might remember we are children of God and walk in Your ways. Lord, please help those who find this a painful holiday, ripe with grief and loss. Lord, please continue to provide and support those who are currently serving. Let them find their strength in You. Lord, please help us to love and serve others as You did while You walked this earth. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your blessing. God please bless America with repentance, revival, and truth. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Let all…

Ephesians 4:31 NKJV — Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

“Let all …”

And His Word is clear, there’s no room for any.

None, nothing, not even a little bit, because He knows what is best and bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking are not.

Because bitterness is simply choosing not to forgive, holding someone accountable for wrong.

Wrath and anger are close cousins.

The Greek word wrath here means fierceness, indignation, wrath, while this Greek word for anger means anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

James 1:20 NKJV — for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 NKJV — Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

Clamor and evil speaking seem to be occurring at a startlingly rate, anyone can observe it’s not godly.

Proverbs 29:22 NKJV — An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression.

Proverbs 10:18 KJV — He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

Instead of these things we are to put on different behaviors, ones that spring forth from a heart forgiven by and surrendered to Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 4:32 NKJV — And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Kindness and tenderhearted, priceless gifts to be given and to receive.

Luke 6:35 KJV — But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Matthew 6:14 KJV — For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Following Jesus means forgiveness.

Acts 4:12 NKJV — “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

For none gave more to forgive than He.

Hebrews 10:10 NKJV — By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Learning to walk in forgiveness is always an opportunity to trust God in everything and to grow, to stretch, to see life and others from His perspective.

Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV — Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for these verses. Lord, I want to live a life of sacrifice unto You. I want my life to be pleasing before You, please help me to learn how, each day. Please help me to walk with You in all things. Lord, help me to understand Your truth and to hide it in my heart. Lord, show me my errors that I might repent and turn away from the things which would ensnare me. Lord, thank You for guiding me and loving me. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your mercy, and Your grace. Amen.

A post for my wife. I love you!

  For 8 years my wife has been writing Patiently Hopeful. She has faithfully posted prayers and thoughts from her morning time with our savior Jesus. For the first time since the blogs beginning my wife will not be posting. Today she lies in bed with a migraine and has asked me to write out a prayer. For my wife (Hope) prayer and praise are her life line. Many nights she will be up praying for hours. She has been on her face before the Lord for our children, and myself many times. Therefore this morning when she asked me to write a prayer for her blog due to being ill I felt it not only an honor but a humbling experience to sit behind the keys. With that said though, my apologies to you the reader it is not every day a spouse will allow a post to go up on their personal blog without reviewing what was written. I feel it necessary to seize this opportunity not to only pray but to allow you the reader into our lives a bit. But before that I would also like to thank you all for supporting my wife Hope. Never have I met a person who selflessly serves others with the zeal my wife does. Every like, comment and repost she praises the Lord for.

  Job wrote “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) This morning while holding my wife’s hand as she vomited into the toilet this verse came to mind. In between the coughs and tears I could hear her voice praising the Lord for the “tent” she has been given. I have been married to Hope for 23 years. With our first child she had torn her cervix. Going un noticed we left the hospital and went about our business only to have the tear worsen causing a hemorrhage. I was told she would have to stay in the hospital over night due to the loss of blood. “God is good” would be her first words in the morning. In the early years like many money was tight. I think this was the beginning of the prayers in the grocery store. Hope would walk through the isles with a few dollars in the account and pray “Jesus your will be done today, how do I shop for my family”. The Lord would bless us with our second daughter while I was in school and working full time at a local mill. I would leave the house at 3:30am to be to work by 4am work tell 4pm only to drive 40 min to make it to my night classes by 5pm. School would be out at 9-9:30pm and we would start it all over the next day. This lasted for almost four years during that time my wife would be taking care of the kids, running women’s ministry at our church and still find time to write prayers down on note cards. I would find them in my shirts, lunch box, school books, and even in my dressers. We would move to England to help in a church. The Lord would teach us what it meant to be humble. We sold everything we owned with the exception of a vehicle. The house, kids toys, clothes, furniture, was all gone. Landing at the airport in Manchester we had only the clothes in our suitcases and money from the sale of the house. We were not allowed to work in the UK and felt that the Lord did not want us to ask for support. God would show us what it was to wait for his provision. The day we moved into our home in England the tenants before left a kitchen table. Walking in Hope began to cry when asked why by one of our children (we had four by then) she said “I asked God for a table like this a few years ago, it took me selling mine to him to provide this one”. We learned so much in England about the provision and character of God.

When we moved back home the sicknesses came. First the women issues and hysterectomy. At one point in the journey, I would carry my wife into the doctor’s office. She weighed just over 90lbs. She had not been able to keep food down for several days, her cycle would last for weeks, anemic, unable to get out of bed she would need help any time she had to move. Hopes prayers would fill our house. We would sit on the bed as a family, she would have home schooling while laying there helping the kids work out problems. All the while quoting scripture about healing, and Gods goodness. During this time I was starting up a business trying to make ends meet. Hope would be in bed often when I left to go to work and still there when I came home. Bible laying beside her prayer journal open. Hope would get better and take on responsibilities at our church helping with the home schooling co-op. She would pray for each child by name every morning, pray for their families, and for our community. I walked into our room to find Hope staring her clothes in the closet. I asked what she was doing and she said “every day I wake up I ask Jesus what he would like me to wear today, I was just waiting for an answer” As crazy as this sounds to some it has become normal place around our house. Now my adult children do the same!

A few years ago when Hopes heath started to decline and she became bed ridden again due to immune issues and asthma our family made a transition. Before I think we prayed for Hope out of selfishness. My prayers would sound something like “please heal Hope Lord we need mom to be healthy”. But now we pray for understanding what the Lord is doing. Excitement of what God is going to teach us. We pray for the ability to like Job say “blessed be your name”. This bout with illness has been the longest yet. Hope may never be physically whole again. But I know she would never trade it for the relationship she has with the Lord is nothing like I have ever witnessed. Praise God for my wife.

Would you please pray with me?

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for this day. Thank you we have the ability to serve you today. We are not guaranteed tomorrow Lord so today please give us the ability to know what you want us to do. Jesus we want to serve you with our whole hearts today. We are nothing but dust Jesus but you are God. You have the ability to use this dust to glorify our Father in heaven. Jesus I so bad want to do your will and to be selfless in what I do please help me today not to think of myself but to be your hands and feet. Jesus please show me what it is to love. How to love my enemies please show me Jesus today how to be a puzzle piece in this broken world that links some of it together. Jesus today there are many people hurting. Our hearts go out to them I pray that you would be the rock, the foundation in their lives. Jesus please help us to lead the hurting to the rock. Father I am broken over the sin in the world but acknowledge that just as I am broken over it I have also been a part of it please forgive me Father and teach me to forgive. Lord many in the world are sick we ask for healing as we know you can. But we also know that you walked by several people that were sick because it was not their time. Jesus if it is not Hopes time for healing I pray we would be able to endure for your glory. Please show our family what you are doing in the spiritual realm. God I know that all things work together for the good of those called to Christ Jesus. I also know that Hope has been called by you, so we are excited to see what good you are doing with her sickness. Jesus I will praise you today no matter what the outcome of today brings because “Naked I came, Naked I return, but blessed be the name of the Lord” Jesus I love you with all my heart and thank you for what you are doing in our family.

Amen

What honor…

“How long, O you sons of men, Will  you  turn my glory to shame? How  long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah”
Psalms 4:2 NKJV

“What honors did the blinded people of Israel award their long-expected King. They gave Him a procession of honor, in which Roman legionnaires, Jewish priests, men and women, took part, and He carried His cross.” Charles Spurgeon from Morning by Morning

These lines of Spurgeon hit me.

With a mental image reflecting the numerous films depicting Christ carrying his cross my heart seemed to melt.

Truly the greatest moment in the history of mankind after Creation was the sacrifice Jesus gave upon the cross.

And what happened just before this momentous moment?

A parade.

But it was far to ugly to be thought of as entertainment.

It was too gruesome to be mistaken as a celebration.

(Although, some were probably glad to see this man suffer for what they thought was blasphemy.)

It was too full of anger, hatred, and fear to be joyful.

Actually the word parade doesn’t really fit.

But it was part of the humility of our Lord and Savior to walk it.

And how great a sacrifice He gave for us.

What a gift to give His spotless, sinless life for mankind, stained by our own choices to sin.

What an incredible opportunity looking at this moment in history.

First, to praise God for His Son, Jesus Christ, and for salvation.

Second, to surrender ourselves to His service.

Third, to see the example and follow.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Matthew 16:24 NKJV

Let’s not stand among those screaming for Jesus’death, let’s follow in His wake.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all You suffered and sacrificed for me. Thank You that I can learn so much about perseverance just be looking at Scripture and Your example. Lord, please help me to speak Your Word, to know when to remain quiet, to follow You no matter the cost, and to bear in humility the trials and struggles of this life. For I know You are working through these things. You are working in these things. You are worthy of my complete trust. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.

Diligent

“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
I Kings 2:2‭-‬4 NKJV

The words of King David to his son Solomon just before David died.

2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV — Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The words of Paul, written to Timothy.

Both these scriptures are older men speaking truth to the younger.

Calling them to be diligent in their walk with the Lord.

It’s a call to any who follow Christ Jesus.

You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.
Psalms 119:4 NKJV

2 Peter 3:14 NKJV — Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

Jesus, Himself called us to be diligent in our walk.

Matthew 16:24 NKJV — Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Taking up one’s cross and following is a choice to be diligent.

Although, difficult, the rewards are well worth the cost.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Matthew 16:25‭-‬27 NKJV

Rewards from God far out weigh any other.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please hold us in Your arms and walk us forward into Your truth. Lord, teach our hearts and minds, that we might be diligent in following You. Lord show us if we are with holding any area of our lives as “untouched” by Your righteous hand, instead let us willingly surrender every area to Your Sovereignty. Lord, as we learn to be diligent, please help us to encourage others in Your ways. Please give us opportunities to share Your Word. Thank You for Your love and care. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your wonderous works. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Trust

2 Kings 18:5 NKJV — He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.

For he held fast to the Lord ; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.
II Kings 18:6 NKJV

These words are written about King Hezekiah.

These two verses are an opportunity to learn from King Hezekiah’s example.

The first tells us of his trust in God.

The next, what he did, how he lived a life of trust in God.

The Bible makes it clear we should trust God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NKJV

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.

What does a life of trust look like?

The life which trusts; holds fast to God, doesn’t depart from following Him, and keeps the commandments.

This can feel a bit daunting until one reads Jesus’s words.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:36‭-‬40 NKJV

This is trust.

Walking daily in complete devotion to the Lord and not doubting His ability or His character.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6 NKJV

To live, holding fast to God, follow Him, keep the commandments, all begins in the heart and flows out into attitudes, actions, and words.

Trust requires choice, practice, and understanding.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the example of King Hezekiah and so many others in scripture. Lord, thank You for making it clear that not only are You worthy of all our trust, we need to trust You. When we try to live without trusting You it doesn’t go well. Lord, please help us to trust You, to choose to cling to You and to follow You and to obey Your commandments. Please help us to love our neighbor as ourselves and to love You more than anything else. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Desires of the heart

It’s been several days.

I’m not even sure when the Lord began talking with me about it.

Yet, His faithfulness is evident in His consistent love.

He’s been pointing out an area of my heart I’m struggling with.

When does the heart set itself upon a particular desire?

How does it suddenly become a treasure you guard and hide?

Nothing should be so important, no desire so attractive, that it begins to be “off limits”.

In other words, the Lord has been pointing out a desire which has grown out of proportion.

He’s been bring it to my attention and saying:

Give this to Me.

My answer: “Yes, Lord.”

But my emotions are less obedient,

And thus I’ve struggled.

It’s so much harder to untwine the tendrils of desire than for them to grow.

Especially, when it’s a perfectly normal desire.

Yet, God is Sovereign.

He knows when a desire has gotten out of line, encroaching upon my willingness to surrender all.

I’m thankful He loves me so much as to show me this danger.

I’m thankful He’s so patient with me and my unruly emotions.

I’m certain He has my best at heart.

So, I’m being purposeful in replacing my overgrown desire with God’s Word.

Psalm 10:17 NKJV — LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,

“Lord, help me to be humble. To understand Your will is best, mine is shortsighted. Please prepare my heart.”

Psalm 40:8 NKJV — I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”

“Lord, please help me to trust You with every detail of my life. Lord, each time this desire, or any other, begins to grow, clip it back, bring it under submission to Your perfect will.”

Psalm 37:31 NKJV — The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

“Lord, please help me to keep You on the throne of my heart. Keep my devotion to You pure. Please be with my thoughts, help me take each one captive. Please be with my eyes, help me be wise as to what I look at.”

Romans 13:14 NKJV — But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

“Lord Jesus, I never want to feed my sinful nature, but instead, I want to put on Your attributes, Your love, Your mercy, Your grace. Please help my heart to follow You.”

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV — Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

“Lord, thank You for this armor. Thank You for protecting me. Please help me to be focused and purposeful each day.”

“Dear Lord Jesus,

You know my heart. You know what I am struggling with. I choose to place all my desires in Your hands and to walk forward into Your perfect truth. Thank You again for showing me this. Thank You for Your patient endurance of my struggle. I know in You my heart, mind, and emotions will line up with Yor will. May Your name be glorified! Amen.

Because, sometimes I make mistakes.

I knew we had to go get some flowers for a project.

Sis needed me to watch our sweet grandbaby during her doctor appointment.

It’s also my shot day.

So, I was in a bit of a hurry at the store.

To my chagrin, my card was denied.

“Try it again, probably just your pin. The machine just got up and running.”

Denied

Then it hits me.

The envelope from the bank which is sitting on my dresser.

It contains my new bank card, because the old one just expired.

I got out of line with an apology to the clerk.

Anne opened her purse.

“Mom, I have some cash.”

I looked and had some as well.

We went through our purchases and figured out what we could buy with the money we had.

The clerk was very nice as we went through the line again.

I apologized again for the inconvenience.

As we drove to the allergist, I thanked Anne for her help and promised to repay her.

She tried hard to console me, thinking that I was embarrassed and upset.

Funny thing.

I wasn’t.

Yes, I verbally admitted my error of not replacing my old card with the new one.

No, I wasn’t upset.

“Sometimes, I make mistakes.”

I used to think my mistakes told things about me.

That in making an error I was somehow less of…you name it, mother, wife, friend, person,…

Walking with Jesus has taught me that isn’t the case.

Mistakes are opportunities.

Something to learn from.

Something to grow in.

Something to keep me humble.

Because the truth is, I make mistakes all the time.

I’ve misread directions.

I’ve missed my turn on the freeway.

I’ve been clumsy and broken things.

And the list goes on.

None of this has any impact on my importance or value.

Jesus loves me.

And that is all I need.

He loves me.

He loves me enough to teach me, at times painful lessons, through my errors.

Which is why I can admit to a stranger, “I just realized it’s my card. The new one is at home, my old one is expired.”

The truth is, the Lord reminded me more than once about my card and I responded, “Right, I’ll do that later.”

So, this morning I knew my moment at the store was a direct consequence of my putting off His direction.

Guess what I’m no longer putting off!

(Yes, my bank card is getting dealt with, but something much more important.)

I’m learning to listen and respond with appropriate action to that gentle leading, especially when it seems like I could do it later.

Just because I made a mistake, doesn’t mean I have to repeat it.

Not if I’m willing to learn from it.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for teaching me and being so very patient with me. Lord, I do ask Your forgiveness in putting off something You told me to do. But I thank You for providing a lesson from it. Lord, please teach my children to listen to You and to learn from my mistakes. Help them to be gentle and easily led by Your Holy Spirit. Lord, thank You for humbling my heart and walking with me through another mistake. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Answers

It’s been several days.

I’ve been seeking the Lord for direction and guidance for our family.

My prayer: “Lord let us know what Your will is.”

The answer came yesterday.

But it didn’t look like what I expected.

It wasn’t a comfortable circumstance.

Yet, our direction was clear.

As I went to bed, I thanked God for His direction, although was still a little emotionally prickled by the form.

I hadn’t realized it until this morning.

Without really thinking about the words my emotions were asking God, “Why did the answer have to come that way?”

With my first thoughts this morning He answered.

You wanted direction and I gave it.

I chose that tool to make it very clear to you and your husband.

And my response had been to be focused on my own discomfort, rather than praising God for answering.

I had to wonder.

Would my husband and I have accepted His guidance if He’d used a different circumstance?

I can say, my perspective changed in that moment.

I began to praise God for His direction and guidance.

My heart thanked Him for His Sovereignty.

I looked at my life and began to see a long series of circumstances which were uncomfortable, some very painful, and I could look back at how God’s hand of direction was in each.

Although I didn’t enjoy walking through those things, I am praising God for them.

He has used trials, pain, and all manner of life’s struggles to direct, guide, and hone me.

As difficult as those things were, I am praising God for them.

As uncomfortable as some things are, I’m praising God for them.

I don’t want to live without Him, and He said to take up my cross and follow Him.

He wasn’t walking to a picnic when He carried His cross.

I shouldn’t expect one either.

Following Christ, carrying His cross, brings so much reward.

His path broke the chains of sin and death forever!

Then He rose, and He walked a little longer with mankind on the Earth.

And now He is preparing a place for all who believe in His name, what He did, and who He is, God’s Son.

Part of that preparation is a wedding feast, the marriage of the Lamb.

Yes, I want to carry my cross and follow Him.

For the days of struggle, trials, and pain are few compared to the joy which eternity holds.

I praise God for His path for me.

And I’ll take a wedding feast over a picnic any day!

Psalm 16:11 NKJV — You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.