Tag Archives: truth

History for breakfast

It’s not unusual to see the history book with on our dining table, tucked among the breakfast things.

Our school day begins with prayer and then a history lesson, often while our son eats.

Last fall I discovered that our son’s interest in history grew a great deal if I could relate the people or place we were studying into something or someone he’s familiar with.

So, our American history lessons are often dotted with family.

Like the day after we read about Sherman’s march in the Civil War.

I read through an old family letter which told about my grandfather’s grandpa.

“On November 16, 1864 he enlisted for one year as a private in the Union army, (Company C, 17th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry) at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He joined his company on January 29,1865 at Pocotaligo, South Carolina. At enlistment he had given his age as 18 and used the name John Shuck. Shuck was his mother’s maiden name. (At some point they discovered his real age; 16) he was drummer boy in General Sherman’s army. Atlanta was burned on November 15th 1864, and the march to the sea was started immediately. Sherman entered Savannah in mid-December and started the march North in late January 1865. Through an affidavit signed by Grandpa we know he was on the march from Savannah to Goldsboro, North Carolina. The soldiers still plundered and laid waste the land. It was cold, wet and no tents were provided. Grandpa suffered from rheumatism and consumption in the winter and spring of 1865. Grandpa was honorably discharged on July 14, 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky.”

Although, he was interested by the fact that his grandfather was part of a famous march, Jase wasn’t glad about the suffering it caused to many, nor was he happy to hear about the illness of his grandfather, which marked his life permanently.

He was very glad the Civil War put an end to slavery in the United States.

This sparked questions and he wanted to hear more about Grandpa John.

Our history lesson turned into an extended family heritage study.

This rolled into Grandma Thekla and other moments of history, like the Chicago fire.

Grandpa lost everything he had, but both Grandma and their first child were safe, because both Mother and daughter had been sent back to Germany to visit her family as Grandma wasn’t feeling well with their second child.

Grandma’s doctor had prescribed an ocean voyage to help Grandma’s morning sickness and God used it to keep both Grandma, her expected baby and their little daughter safe.

(Not to mention that my great grandfather was the last of their six children.)

Grandpa John and Grandma Thekla

That day’s history lesson/family heritage were an opportunity.

Learning just to gain head knowledge is of little use, but to be able to look at the experiences of those from another era and see that God was working even then, that is valuable.

As we study history, I pray our son is learning so much more than names, dates, and the accomplishments of mankind.

I pray he understands that people have sin and therefore often harm themselves and others.

I pray he finds identity, not in who his great great grandparents were, but in being a child of God.

I pray he finds inspiration, for history is full of incredible people God used in amazing ways.

I pray his faith in Jesus grows daily, whether he’s studying or working or enjoying recreation.

For life is a gift from God and I want to use my gift well, and I know our son does too.

Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.
Ecclesiastes 5:18 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for those You have used to record history, that we might grow in the understanding that mankind is flawed, but You are faithful. Thank You for using our family to teach both myself and our son. Thank You for the best truth of all, we have hope in Your eternal salvation! Lord Jesus, I pray for those who struggle to see Your hand at work in their lives and the lives of others. I pray that their understanding will be opened and they will be brought to a knowledge of Your goodness, Your mercy, Your grace. Lord throughout history we can see the tragedy of sin and the stain of wickedness, but through Your Word we can see that from the moment people chose sin rather than faith You have been making a way by which we can be saved. Lord Jesus, thank You! Thank You for life and the opportunity to live wholly for You. Thank You for truth and the reality that this world is not all there is. Thank You for Your love which washes away our sins. Thank You for Your Sovereignty, which: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV) I love You, Jesus. Amen.

God’s Word: timeless comfort

Our pastor taught on Psalm 27 this past weekend.

I was deeply touched by the way God has used His Word in other people’s lives as well as my own.

My Bible has writing in it, which isn’t scripture.

Because my Bible was once my husband’s his notes or underlines are part of the thing that makes it special.

How did I get my husband’s Bible?

He gave it to me.

Although he loved it, he was using a smaller Bible more, it’s smaller size made it easier to take with him.

My own Bible, which had also been a gift from my husband, our first Christmas, was falling apart.

When he saw the condition of my Bible, he offered me his.

I gladly accepted and have used it for many years.

So as I listened to our pastor expound the verses of Psalm 27, my heart was instructed all over again.

But it was the story he told of living in Africa as a missionary and the extreme danger his wife got in when he had left and told her not to allow anyone into their compound.

God had used Psalm 27 to calm his wife’s fears.

He also told the story of when his father was extremely sick and had to be in an iron lung, his mother had three small children and God used this psalm to calm her fears.

Then, I noticed my own Bible.

I have many notes in the margins around this chapter, but the one that really touched me deeply was on verse 14.

“Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14

The note says:

“Strengthened me when ill at 3:05 am, 6/7/11”

I almost died in the summer of 2011.

I was literally bleeding to death and we couldn’t figure out why.

God preserved my life and left me this memorial in my Bible.

As I enjoy, yet another healing from God (I’m still able to speak) my heart couldn’t contain the awesome power and grace of our Lord Jesus.

Not only did He use this verse to comfort me and get me through that extremely trying time, He has used it many times since.

So, I thought I would share it with you.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me. Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalms 27:1‭-‬14 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word! Thank You for Your wonderful ways and all the love You bestow upon us. Lord, when I think about how these words were put down for an encouragement and a blessing for generations of people to glean the comfort and wisdom from, I am overwhelmed by Your goodness. Lord, when I think about how far You went just to save us, I am so full of gratitude and joy. Lord, I do not deserve Your love nor Your care nor Your salvation, but I am so thankful for it all and I am so blessed to know that nothing can take away the security I have in You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Good Friday

She was sitting one seat away from me.

Her dark eyes and dark hair were contrasted by her creamy smooth complexion.

She wasn’t looking at me, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that she was talking to me.

She leaned a bit forward with a frown just creasing her brow and asked,

“Why is it called Good Friday if it’s the day Jesus died?”

I was surprised.

I’d only met this girl recently, she’d asked to sit by me while waiting for another practice on the Youth Worship team.

I was sitting, just crocheting and enjoying the music.

So, after a bit of chit chat where I found out what grade she was in, where she lived, and that she was very new to our church, she asked this question.

I smiled and looked right at her.

“That’s a very good question.”

She turned her eyes briefly to mine, questions still creased her face, then went back to watching the adult team practice their songs.

But I knew she was listening.

“I don’t know the history of when or why it began being called Good Friday, but I’ve always been told that it was Jesus rising from the dead that made it good.”

“Remember, Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, all of them, for everyone, and when He rose again on Sunday He gave us the hope of eternal life with Him in Heaven.”

She nodded, “Oh, yeah, I guess that’s right.”

She was still listening although, not looking at me.

“What Jesus did, how He died, and paid such a terrible price for us is hard, and I’m certain the disciples didn’t see it as good at the time, but when He rose from the grave it changed everything.”

“Jesus’s rising from the grave is what makes His death so good, because through it He saves all who trust in Him and put their lives in His hands.”

Her eyes turned back to mine briefly.

The question and frown had been replaced by a look of ponder and she nodded, a slight smile on her lips.

Our conversation turned to other topics and sometimes we just sat silently, but the moment stayed with me and has been a true treasure.

What an incredible privilege to share the truth of Jesus Christ to another!

It makes me wonder if it’s a tiny glimpse into how the women felt who spoke with the angel.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Matthew 28:5‭-‬8 KJV

This Good Friday, I hope we all have the joy of sharing why this day is so good.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your gift of salvation and the privilege of being the ones to share the truth with others! What an incredible blessing that is! Lord Jesus, thank You for this moment with that precious girl from our church. I humbly request that You continue to open her heart and mind to Your truth and that she accepts You wholeheartedly. Lord, help the Word and the music of this Sunday to bring her a deeper understanding of who You are and why You died. Please, let others come alongside her and be there to love and encourage her. Lord, I would love another opportunity to share Your love with her. Thank You for that moment during worship practice. May the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Your holy name! Amen.

Virtuous wife; A look at Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth [is] far above rubies. 

As a woman, this verse can seem a little daunting.

Why is it so difficult to find a virtuous wife?

Does this mean I can’t be one, is it unattainable?

Scripture is always the best place to look for understanding scripture.

And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. Ruth 3:11

Boaz is speaking to Ruth, a Moabitess, who had been widowed. She loved her mother-in-law and the God of her husband’s family so much that she moved to a land she knew she’d be hated, just to help her mother-in-law survive. Her only option to do this was to glean in the fields, dangerous work for any woman, much less for her because of the people she’d been born into.

All of these details don’t seem to make a recipe for a virtuous woman.

Yet, here, Boaz is speaking the same adjective to her that is used in Proverbs 31.

The key is in Ruth’s own words:

Ruth 1:16 NKJV — But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

Ruth was devoted to Naomi’s God, the only God, thus her life makes sense, because the adjective of virtuous is a response to her devotion.

Proverbs 19:14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Both the book of Ruth and this verse from Proverbs makes it clear that the Lord is the reason a woman can and will be a woman of virtue.

It is not an impossible thing, it’s just not common.

For the secular culture paints a very different picture of what a woman should be.

As followers of Christ, our interest should lie in finding out what God’s plan for women is and walking in the guidelines of scripture.

We as women can be virtuous through our walk with Jesus Christ both as women and as wives.

Like Ruth, it begins with total commitment, letting go of anything in our past which doesn’t belong in our relationship with Jesus, and diligently completing the task at hand without complaint or worry over the future.

Because that verse in Proverbs doesn’t end with the question:

“Who can find a virtuous wife?

It ends in establishing something the heart of a woman truly desires, to be cherished.

For her worth [is] far above rubies.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word, for the truth, wisdom and applicable teaching within. Lord, thank You for giving me and other ladies a standard in Your Word to live by, that we might walk with integrity and honor knowing You created us, You know what is best for us, and You are giving us the instruction on how to find worth and value in our actions. Thank You that we are already so precious to You that You left Heaven and lived on Earth to be crucified and rise again to save us. Truly, Your sacrifice shows us just how cherished we are. Lord, let our hearts never forget what a costly price You paid for us. Lord, please help us as women not to get caught up in the world’s standards for, not to be bitter, envious, selfish, crude, filthy, nor seeking the gifts of others, but rather let us be thankful, forgiving, generous, diligent, edifying, respectful, loving, kind, and gentle. Lord, help us to put off the “old flesh” full of the lusts and sin and to put on the “new flesh” which comes through being cleansed by Your blood, washed in Your Word, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. Thank You. Amen.

Good treasure of the heart

Matthew 12:35 NKJV — “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”

The Bible makes it clear our heart is where our responses come from, both in action and in words.

Therefore, if our actions our words and our attitudes are not in line with scripture and the ways of Christ, it’s a heart issue.

Matthew 12:34 NKJV — “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Jesus was very directly with those who supposed themselves both righteous with God and in the place of authority over Jesus.

When they condemned His actions, like healing on the Sabbath, Jesus was straight forward about their hearts’ condition.

Mark 3:4 KJV — And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

Mark 3:5-6 NKJV — And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

These Pharisees we’re blinded to their hearts’ condition, but their actions speak volumes: they were willing to work with Herodias to destroy Jesus because He healed a man.

Although, our own actions, attitudes, and words may not be this obviously off, it’s very important that we not grow apathetic in holding ourselves to the guidelines of the Word.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters. Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. Psalms 24:1‭-‬4 NKJV

Everything belongs to God and our lives, our perspectives need to reflect that.

Philippians 4:4-8NKJV — Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Here are practical applicable steps to walking with Jesus with a pure heart.

For none of these things can be done with sincerity unless Jesus Christ is Lord of our hearts and the only One on the throne of our lives.

What a wonderful gift we have in His Word, that we might not live lies of falsehood.

For although one might be able to lie to others and themselves about the condition of their hearts, God knows the truth and their very actions, attitudes, and words will reflect what’s really there.

Thus, when exposed through our words, actions, or attitudes it’s vital we pay attention, humble ourselves before God and repent.

It can be exhausting, but it’s part of our transformation, part of being made into God’s image.

For the heart that shuns sin and wickedness and looks to the Lord for healing, cleansing, and restoration is a heart secure.

Galatians 6:8-9NKJV — For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Let each one of us stand before the Lord humble, honest, and open for His exhortation, direction, truth, and love.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your truth. Lord, thank You for Your patience in daily working in our lives to hone our hearts, purify our character, and guide us in Your path. Lord, let us not grow weary of doing good, especially when it comes to confession and repentance. Lord, please help us to be teachable, pliable, molded vessels, in Your hands. Willing and joyful to put off the sinful flesh, with it’s lusts, and gladly taking up our cross to follow You. Lord Jesus, it’s not easy, nor is it without pain, but I know You suffered greatly for me and I’m willing to suffer to follow You. Thank You, Jesus for all the ways You bless us as we follow You. Thank You for the best gift of all: salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Like a little child

(Please forgive me for not getting this posted yesterday, but I was super busy enjoying my grandbabies and forgot!)

The older I get, the more I understand.

My children taught me so many lessons about trust, obedience, faith, and the lack of any or all of these.

Now, I’m learning from my grandchildren.

It’s a different walk, because I don’t see them every day.

There’s also the change in perspective and the difference in me.

Of course, I’m also older and have experienced life longer.

With all these differences, the lessons are no less profound.

I was recently struck by how easily a small child can become frightened.

An infant, especially, can be filled with fear just over something unexpected.

How similar I am.

Just an unexpected break in our routine can sometimes cause me to be afraid.

Trying something new, is an area I fight being fearful of.

But these are not the areas where God wants me to be child-like.

Matthew 18:3-4NKJV — and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus was talking about faith.

Interestingly, to have that child-like faith means to trust.

A young child is totally dependent upon their parents for everything, from food to shelter to security and love.

Because their parents love them, they find security in that relationship.

They eagerly run to their parents if separated for a time or in need.

They cling to them with all their might.

They are overjoyed when their parents simply give them time and attention.

Which is exactly what each one of us can have in our Heavenly Father.

He’s proven Himself loving, trustworthy, able, and fully engaged in seeking a relationship with each one of us, individually.

He’s calling each one of us to trust Him, to realize we are completely dependent upon Him, and to find security and perfect love in our relationship with Him.

Once, we repent and turn from our sins, He restores us, giving us a heart of flesh, washed clean by His blood. Eze. 11:19

Child-like faith is found in the heart and is in itself a testimony to the wonders of God and His glorious works.

From our beginning, mankind has wanted to do life on our own, without God’s direction and leading, yet we find so much more when we completely surrender, and look with adoration to our Heavenly Father, Maker of heaven and earth.

Matthew 19:14 NKJV — But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for showing us what our relationship with You should be like by giving us little children. Lord, thank You for creating us, loving us, and saving us from sin. Your truth is amazing. Your blessings are incredible. Please continue to teach me how to have child-like faith and how to pass on these truths to those around me. Lord, thank You for Your patience with me as I learn to be humble and to trust You through all things. Lord, thank You for Your wisdom which teaches me not to rly upon myself and my short-sighted understanding, but rather to turn to You and cling to Your truths and be guided by Your Word. Thank You, Jesus for so many blessings. I love You. Amen.

It’s about truth

I was folding laundry and grumbling to the Lord.

Worry had robbed me of joy and discomfort had robbed me of rest, this my perspective was off and my attitude poor.

As I folded laundry, worship music played, and my heart softened, then humbled, and that was when I heard.

It’s about truth.

Pausing briefly, I pondered this.

“Where is my perspective off?”

Then, as if the hurt and fear were swept up like a curtain, I could see the whole circumstance.

I’d been stewing over a comment, thinking it was a reprimand, when in truth, it was simply stating the facts, but I’d chosen to take the comment personally and allowed an offense.

Ouch!

Just recently, I was telling the Lord how much I appreciate Him helping me not to take offense, but to forgive quickly.

I was this pharisee:

Luke 18:11 NKJV — “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.”

It’s about truth.

I’m as apt to sin as any and my heart must rely upon God’s Word if I’m to remain humble and walk in the truth.

Thus, I looked up some verses about truth and am sharing them with you.

Psalm 25:5 KJV — Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalm 25:10 KJV — All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 31:5 KJV — Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Psalm 33:4 KJV — For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

Psalm 43:3 KJV — O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

For the Word of God is our standard, our boundary line, our direction, and the testimony of the greatest gift: salvation.

Let us, each one, take hold of the truth of God, apply it to our lives, and accept His Holy Spirit that we might live daily with His truth.

2 John 1:2 KJV — For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that You are not like mankind, frail and sinful. Thank You that You showed us the Way and that You are the light of the world! Thank You for teaching me this morning. I needed the lesson and I needed Your correction. Thank You for loving me so much that You chastise me. Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness. Please continue to teach this wayward heart to be humble and to live daily in Your truth. I love You. Amen.

God is holy

“No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”

“Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

The scriptures speak so eloquently.

Though sin has marred our understanding and warped our perspective, we can clearly see, through God’s Word, just how holy and righteous He is.

The truth is visible to those who chose to seek God with a humble heart and teachable mind.

(Above scriptures, in order: 1 Samuel 2:2 NKJV, Exodus 15:11 NKJV, Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV)

God is holy.

Isaiah 5:16 NKJV — But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.

We should revere and praise Him.

Psalm 99:5 KJV — Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

Psalm 99:9 KJV — Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.

He is holy and righteous, merciful and full of grace.

He has made a way for us, those who are stained by sin, to be saved, to be redeemed.

No wonder the four beasts never stop singing!

Revelation 4:8 KJV — And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

Let us join together with those who are around the throne of heaven and say:

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come!”

Dear Lord Jesus,

How great and awesome You are! You are holy and so far above us, yet You chose to dwell on Earth for a season that we might be saved through Your death and resurrection. Thank You! Lord Jesus, please keep me from growing so familiar to You that I forget You are holy. Lord, let me never grow apathetic to Your righteousness and truth. Lord, I want to always revere Your holy name and to live a life of continual praise and worship. Lord Jesus, there is much to distract, there’s are many things demanding attention, please place a guard upon my eyes, my lips, my mind, and my heart that I might not be drawn into worthless things or waste my efforts upon the vanities of this world. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your holiness. Thank You for Your salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Looking deeper

Jase had to get pond water and look at it under the microscope for an experiment in Biology.

He had to find specific microorganisms and draw them in his notebook.

Next, he was to get four jars and place something different in each, add pond water, wrap each carefully to keep out the light and wait a week.

Upon the end of the seven days, he was to draw water from the bottom of each jar and look through the microscope to see what he could identify.

He did very well on each slide, quickly finding and drawing what he found, except for one.

Not seeing anything on the 10x power, he switched to the 40x power and still couldn’t discover any microorganisms.

I’d noticed his struggle, but was waiting to see if he’d find some on his own.

After more effort, he looked at me in frustration.

“Mom, I can’t see anything. It must be they all died.”

I offered to look and he stepped aside.

After seeing nothing on either of the powers 10x and 40x, I switched to 400x.

It took a little longer, but I finally found what he’d been looking for.

“Hey bud, why don’t you see if you can see anything now?”

He looked and focused and was silent.

“Can you see those super tiny things that look like little dots? Watch them closely.”

“Oh! Wow! They’re moving!”

I smiled at him.

He returned the smile and went back to watching these things barely visible at our microscope’s highest power.

It turned out to be our favorite slide.

Upon reflection, I realized that “looking deeper”, the extra effort and time, was what made that slide so interesting.

The same thing has been true for my time in God’s Word.

When I was a teen I read my Bible as a duty, missing the joy and interest of looking deeper into God’s precious gift of His written word.

As an adult, I was convinced I was missing something and began reading through the Bible.

It wasn’t easy and often I’d get discouraged, but as I kept at it, I noticed a change in my heart.

God’s Word had become a joy and a source of strength, direction, and hope.

The richness of scripture had been missed by when I only spent a short time in God’s Word.

It has only been through diligent, humble reading of the scriptures where my heart has found the security and guidance I need.

I’m so thankful for the recent reminder of this truth through our son’s science experiment.

Psalm 119:17-18 NKJV — GIMEL Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Lord, let these words from Psalm 119 speak for me. Lord, please continue to teach me how to seek You through Your Word. Lord, open my heart and mind to Your truths and guide me through Your commandments. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for all Your blessings. Your ways are perfect and Your Word endures through every generation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Through the heart of the young

She’d been looking worried, but I was on the phone with my husband and simply walked past her to continue our conversation out of earshot.

Yet, something had changed by the time I returned to the main part of the house, for she was busy writing.

The paper was handed to me just before bedtime and as much as I wanted to read it, I felt it would be best waiting till morning.

When I read her writing, I was surprised.

I hadn’t realized that my phone conversation about the latest news would engender such fear in her heart.

The first lines spoke clearly of the deep emotion these days of world news are bringing.

As I continued to read I chastised myself for not being more careful with my speech, and for not checking back with her to see how she was processing all that she is hearing and seeing.

At 19, she’s too young to remember many of the circumstances of world affairs, but she’s been taught history and she’s not ignorant of the abilities of humanity to harm one another.

Then, I read:

“I sat at the table, trying to keep from being afraid, that’s when my amazing little brother walked in, set his phone on the table and pushed play on a video.”

“I quickly recognized the Piano Guys playing the Peanuts theme song… Dancing to this song has become something fun we do ever since I moved back from Grandma’s.”

“Laughing, I slowly joined him. My heavy heart started to lighten…The next song he played was by Mercy Me, Greater.”

“At that moment, I felt peace again. I was reminded that I don’t ever need to be afraid.”

“While the world may be falling apart around me, all I have to do is trust Jesus and dance in worship before Him.”

All my self condemnation evaporated.

I praise God for His blessings of truth which even the young can find comfort in.

As I refolded the paper, my heart was reminded of scripture.

Matthew 21:16 NKJV — and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”

Let each of us learn from the simply beautiful faith of the young: all we have to do is trust God and praise Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your truth. Thank You that we can find courage, security, and faith in Your Word and Your promises. Lord Jesus, thank You that this world is not our forever home, but we have a much better one yet to come. Thank You for the simple and beautiful faith of the young. Thank You for the trust exampled to us by a small child clinging to their loving Daddy. Lord, thank You for children. Please continue to teach us how to have child-like faith. As my daughter said, may we walk in the truth, trusting and praising You. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.