March 10, 2023

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; And cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; Let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: For thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people praise thee, O God; Let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; And God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; And all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
Psalm 67:1‭-‬7 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your gift of salvation. Thank You for the hope we have in You. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for shining Your light into our darkness. Lord, continue to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on the earth. That people around the world would turn to You and accept Your sacrifice as payment for their sins, that they would believe on You, Jesus, and be forever changed. Lord, let the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of Your glory and honor and praise You, for which You are so worthy. For there is no earthly wealth which can compare to Your gift of eternal life through Your death and Resurrection! What an incredible blessing it is to know and trust in You! May our lives bring You glory, honor, and adoration, for You are worthy of all praise. Lord, let the lives of Your people shine the truth into every corner of the earth until You return to rule and reign. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

March 9, 2023

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word and the hope You have given us through Your gift of salvation. Lord, thank You for the promises You have given us in Your Word. I love this verse and the promise of the earth being filled with the the knowledge of You! Thank You that when evil abounds, it will not always. Thank You that when immorality is accepted, even encouraged, it won’t continue. Thank You that some day: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Psalm 22:27 KJV Thank You for the reminder that all of creation belongs to You whether people recognize it or not, and someday You will return to rule and reign on Earth. Thank You for the promise of that time when every knee shall bow, every tongue will confess that You are Lord. Until then, Jesus I confess You are my Lord and my God. I will serve none but You. I will worship none but You. May You be glorified through this small life and may You always sit upon the throne of my heart. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Adding to the farm

I’d told my husband, I only want one goat.

Eppie has kept me busy trying to keep her where she’s supposed to be.

In my chair
In the rabbit hutch
In the table

Although, the fence my husband built and the pen our son’s built had greatly helped contain her, I’d decided, one goat was enough.

But, I hadn’t prayed about it.

Until Saturday.

My friend, who sold me Eppie, had a doe give birth to four babies!

I was praying for my friend and her animals, when I felt the Lord’s still small voice.

You could buy one.

“What would Handsome say? I already told him we weren’t getting any more.”

I didn’t continue to argue, instead I decided to keep praying and see what God wanted me to do.

Later, I got a phone call from another lady who goes to our church and we got to talking about the four kid goats.

“I told her I want one, but was thinking I should get two, because they don’t do well alone. Are you going to buy one, too? I know you bought one last year.”

This surprised me and I struggled to respond quickly.

“Uhm…I’m not sure…I hadn’t planned on buying one…but I’m praying about it.”

I got off the phone and prayed again.

“Lord, I’m willing to get another goat, but please make it obvious that this is Your will and not my own.”

Our day was very full and I was only able to briefly mention my conservation over the phone with my husband.

After church, the following day, I saw my husband speaking to my friend with the goats, and wanted to join them.

By the time I got over there, he had gone to take care of other things.

I greeted my friend and we began chatting.

Our conversation eventually turned to the baby goats and she said,

“Your husband mentioned that you might want to buy one of the babies.”

You’d have to know my friend to understand how sweet she is and that her comment was completely in an attitude of helpfulness not salesmanship.

I silently thanked the Lord for answered prayer and smiled.

“Yes, we will take one. Let me know when you’re ready for me to come over and how much.”

She was surprised, but glad.

Yesterday, we went over and got her.

It was extra special because Sis and the grandbabies were with me all day and we went together to pick her up.

Sis and I agreed my husband was going to love this new addition.

Which he did and took this picture.

She’s doing very well and the lambs all like her.

And I’m so thankful to God for His direction.

When I wait upon the Lord and trust in Him for His guidance, things go so much better.

Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV — Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your love and direction. Thank You for answering my prayers as to what I should do. Lord, I know these animals are not mine, but Yours and You have placed them in my care. Just as all I have belongs to You and is an opportunity for me to bring glory to Your name. Lord, please help me to be honorable before You with all these You have entrusted into my care. Please teach me how to be a wise steward, living honorably before You and working diligently daily. Lord, thank You for Your many gifts and blessings which are far more lasting than these temporary things here on Earth. Lord Jesus, I praise You for Your goodness and I thank You for Your faithfulness. May Your name be glorified through my life. Amen.

A lesson from playtime

One of the toys our grandchildren enjoy is my Strawberry Shortcake figures and house.

Our children enjoyed the set too.

I remember having to stretch my memory as the girls asked me the names of each figure.

They were quick to remember that the Purple Pieman was a bad guy who was always trying to steal the fruits from the others to make his own pies.

So, I wasn’t too surprised, recently, when Anne spoke to Faye about the Purple Pieman.

Faye had been having Strawberry Shortcake and Huckleberry give each other a kiss and then she’d turned and had Strawberry give Purple Pieman a kiss.

“Oh no, Faye, Strawberry wouldn’t kiss him, he’s a bad guy,” Anne informed her niece.

Upon this information, Faye turned her little head sideways and made the most incredibly disgusted face I’ve ever seen.

Then, as if she had a mouth full of poison, she proceeded to spit several times.

I clapped my hand over my mouth and put my other hand up to shield my face from her, because…

I was laughing!

I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or her to think I was laughing at her, so I stifled my mirth as best as I could.

I know it doesn’t read funny, but trust me, it was!

Faye’s response to the correction of her cherished Auntie was beautiful.

The incident brought Jesus’s words to mind.

Matthew 18:2-3 KJV — And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

There wasn’t any argument to Auntie over her statement that Purple Pieman was a bad guy.

In fact, she didn’t stop to question Auntie at all.

Faye didn’t ignore the information, either.

Instead, she made a complete and total change to the behavior.

If Purple Pieman was a bad guy, then Faye wanted to spit out even the thought of “kisses”.

How I want to be child-like.

To respond with total disgust to the things God says are bad.

To treat evil as the poison it is.

I want that childlike trust which listens and responds instantly to my Lord’s Word.

Matthew 18:4 KJV — Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the lessons I’m learning by watching my grandchildren. Thank You for Your loving kindness and faithfulness. Lord, please continue to teach me how to be child-like, humble and fully trusting in You. I love You, Lord. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.

A crippled lamb

This is Tamar.

She’s a few days over two weeks old and every day has been, in her short life, a miracle.

For starters, she had to be taken from her mom, because she wasn’t eating.

I got her when she was a day old and although she was able to get up and do things, she wasn’t very energetic or interested in much.

Not a good sign in lambs.

But it wasn’t until she was a week old that she started going down hill, fast.

I’d go out to the barn to feed her and she’d be laying down, slowly get up, and then only drink part of her bottle.

The morning she couldn’t get up at all, I brought her in the house.

The sheep farmer I bought her from had me bring her over and he gave her some injections and sent me home with other medications to administer.

Along with giving her regular feedings and medicine we stand her up regularly and take her outside to walk around, unless it’s raining or snowing, then we do it indoors and clean up afterwards.

She even comes with me when I go to feed the other lambs.

I carry her to the barn and back to the house several times a day.

She’s slowly improving and although I can’t tell if she’s going to make it or not, I can say, it’s been an adventure.

Because throughout these days of doctoring this crippled lamb, I’ve been reminded of my Lord Jesus.

John 10:11 KJV — I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

I am one of God’s, because Jesus gave His life for me.

Along with purchasing me with His own life, He is caring for me daily, for I am often in need of my Savior’s care and healing.

I can easily look backwards at my life and see times the Lord has carried me day after day until I was again strong enough to walk.

Sadly, there have been seasons where I was refusing the very thing I needed the most, yet God steadfastly brought me back to the truth.

Thankfully, I’ve not always been stubborn, and the times of walking with the Good Shepherd have been the best days of my life.

I praise God for His love and blessings.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Psalm 23:1‭-‬6 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for being such a Good Shepherd and caring for me so well. Lord, there are times and seasons I don’t understand what is happening, but I know You are trustworthy. I know all things You work together for good, including these days of struggle with this sick lamb. Lord, I know that the grief and loss which are being experienced by some is not hidden from You, so I lift up those who are struggling. I lift up those who are in desperate need of healing. Lord, I lift up those who are being harmed by others, and I humbly request You act upon their behalf. Please protect the innocent. Please thwart the plans of the enemy. Please let the truth be seen and cause people to humble themselves before You, for there is no greater Master than You, for You love us, You gave Yourself up for us. Thank You! Amen.

Curds and honey

I was listening to my Bible app this morning and this verse struck me.

Isaiah 7:15 NKJV — “Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.”

Fully realizing this verse is part of a prophecy to the children of Israel, this line made me ponder.

The child in this prophecy is clearly pointing to Jesus, yet there was an application here I’d never seen before.

The good food, curds and honey, are given as the reason the child, in these verses (Isaiah 7:10-16) will know to choose the good and refuse the evil.

As a child of God, I too can learn to choose good over evil.

It’s vital to my spiritual growth that I feed on good.

As is true for all those who follow the Lord.

It is through daily feeding upon God’s Word that brings my soul the substance it needs and teaches my heart discernment.

Only in God can we find that which is totally good.

Mark 10:18 KJV — And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

James 1:17 KJV — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

1 Samuel 2:2 KJV — There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

May we, each one, look to the Lord for the curds and honey found in His Word, daily feeding ourselves upon His goodness and learning to refuse the evil and choose the good.

Matthew 6:11 NKJV — Give us this day our daily bread.

Psalm 119:68 KJV — Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word! Thank You for the fullness of good I can find in Your scriptures and the blessings that come to feeding my soul upon Your precepts. Lord, I am so thankful for Your truth which guides me and teaches me to discern right from wrong, good from evil. Lord, I do not trust my own understanding of circumstances, for I’m easily deceived by the lies of the enemy. Rather, I look to You for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Lord, open my eyes to Your truths, open my heart to Your Word and Your Holy Spirit. Let nothing be able to hide underneath the guise of truth, but please reveal what is in the depths of the soul. Lord, I want nothing of evil to be allowed within my heart. Please let the truth be seen. Thank You. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your patient endurance with me, such a slow learner. Thank You for Your miraculous ways, which make each day a beautiful gift. Thank You for today. May my life bring glory to Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

March 2, 2023

Psalm 46:10 NKJV — Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the assurance I have through Your sacrifice. Thank You for the hope we have of a future where You will be exalted among all peoples! How I long for the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess You as Lord. How great are Your works and marvelous is Your truth. Thank You for the hope of Heaven and the life everlasting which You gave when I surrendered myself before You. Thank You so much for this command to be still and know You are God! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Familiarity can breed apathy

“I used to be really thoughtful of your feelings, trying to be careful not to hurt you with my words…What happened?”

His expression was a mixture of conviction and surprise, as he spoke in a tone of apology to his wife.

Her response was lovingly kind as she casually admitted things can happen due to time and busyness.

It’s not uncommon for one or both people in a couple to begin to treat the other with less sensitivity than when they first joined their lives together at the altar.

Sometimes a sense of security in the relationship leads to the attention being drawn elsewhere.

Familiarity can breed apathy.

But it’s not only in marriage that this can occur.

A child defending their poor behavior to a sibling with words such as “it’s only my sister” or “it’s no big deal, he’s my brother” reveals an almost cold-heartedness towards their sibling.

Somewhere, in the child’s heart, they assumed being born into the same family meant nullification of proper behavior towards them.

When, in truth, those born into the same family should love, support, and protect one another.

This apathy; the lack of sincere care, concern, and respect, can also found in one’s relationship with God.

We must be on guard against growing callous to God’s holiness.

Uzza is a startling example of this.

His father’s house was where the ark of the LORD was sent after it was returned by the Philistines.

1 Samuel 7:1-2 KJV — And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD. 2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.

The ark of God had been captured by the Philistines and after being plagued for some time by tumors and rats, the Philistines sent it back to Israel on a new cart drawn by two oxen.

The oxen took the ark of God back without any person guiding them and the children of Israel rejoiced, but it was not taken to where they had kept it previously, instead it went to the house of Abinadab.

Twenty years later and King David decided it should be brought to Jerusalem.

Instead of consulting God’s Word as to how to move the ark of the LORD, they transported it the same way it was returned; on a cart drawn by oxen.

2 Samuel 6:3 KJV — And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.

The ark of the LORD was in the house of Uzza’s father.

His familiarity to this holy item God had told Moses to build, brought about a terrifying consequence.

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 KJV — And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. 10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.

Uzza should never have been the person to escort the ark of the Lord anywhere, but scripture doesn’t record Uzza being punished for his ignorance.

Rather, the punishment came from his putting his hand on the ark of the LORD.

Did Uzza really think God couldn’t keep His ark on the cart without his help?

Or was it simply the lack of reverence due God’s ark that caused him to reach out and touch it.

Whatever was happening in Uzza’s heart at that moment, God judged him for it.

Twenty years of having the ark of God in his father’s house should have brought a great deal of respect and reverence due to the ark of the Lord, for he would have known what happened to the men who looked in the ark when it was returned.

1 Samuel 6:19 NKJV — Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people lamented because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter.

Yet, Uzza allowed his familiarity with this holy ark of God to dampen his fear of Almighty God.

We must not follow in his example, but instead be purposeful about our relationship with God and humble in our hearts before Him.

Psalm 89:7 KJV — God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the warning we see in the story of Uzza. Lord, please help me to be mindful of all my relationships, not allowing apathy to grow my heart cold towards anyone, but especially not towards You. For it is from my religion with You that I am given the ability to love others well. Lord Jesus, thank You for never growing apathetic towards me nor to anyone. Thank You for being so full of genuine concern that You freely sacrificed Yourself for us. Thank You! How great You are and Your wonders are beyond my comprehension. Lord, thank You that You are holy and just, loving and merciful. Your name is great and greatly to be praised! Amen.

An irritant

What causes a pearl to form?

An irritant.

When something comes inside the shell of an oyster or mollusk, it secrets nacre to protect itself.

Although the irritant can be a bit of shell or sand it also could be a parasite.

No matter what the irritant is, by the time a pearl is formed (which can take six months to several years) it has been transformed into a beautiful pearl.

Which is a wonderful example for us in how to handle irritants.

For the Lord makes it clear in His Word we will have trials and tribulations.

How we respond to life’s irritants, either small or great, speaks to others as to the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

An oyster doesn’t simply “live with” an irritant, instead God gave it a way to both protect itself and transform it into a thing of beauty.

He’s given us the same ability.

We have His Word to guide and instruct us on how He has called us to live, which includes avoiding those life choices which are harmful.

‘You shall have no other gods before Me. ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. ‘You shall not murder. ‘You shall not commit adultery. ‘You shall not steal. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’
Deuteronomy 5:7‭-‬8‭, ‬11‭-‬12‭, ‬16‭-‬21 NKJV

He also grants us amazing opportunities to live for Him through difficulty.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2‭-‬4 NKJV

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:10‭-‬12 NKJV

It’s important we recognize the opportunity when we come across irritants, for through them God is glorified.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV — And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the pearl. Thank You for the amazing beautiful You bring out of an irritant. Lord, please let my heart rely completely upon You that I might see the blessings in the irritants and the opportunities in those times of difficulty. Lord, I know that I will not always understand how to respond to trials, tribulations, or persecution, but I do humbly request that You bring Your Word to mind in those, that I might understand how to respond. Lord, please remind me to coat every irritant in prayer, that I might be led by Your Word and Your truth. Lord, thank You for Your ways. Thank You for Your beautiful creation which continually testifies to You, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

February 25, 2023

Job 1:21 KJV — And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word, which gives us exactly what we need no matter the circumstances. Lord, for those who grieve, please help each one to find comfort in Your Word and a future hope through Your sacrifice. Lord Jesus, thank You for understanding us better than we do each other or ourselves. Lord, thank You for the blessing of the body of Christ, please help us to lovingly support and uphold one another. Lord Jesus, please heal our hearts as we walk through another loss. Please heal each heart and bring us comfort through Your Word, drawing us closer to one another in love and faithfulness. Lord, I love that You wept with those who mourned for Lazarus even though You knew You would raise him from the dead. Thank You for being aquatinted with grief and a man of sorrows, for nothing comforts a breaking heart better than one which has been broken. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for first loving me. May our lives bring You glory due Your name. Amen