Life comes crashing all around me Where is the peace, His love to surround me? Health and healing is slow in coming On Jesus’ strength my body is leaning.
I’m not quite sure where this month has gone. I blinked and we entered the second half of August. The month of July was a blur and I learned that just when I thought I couldn’t get any more sick; Covid hit. It started with a couple of ear infections (thanks swimming pool, I still love you!) and then just when I was getting better, I realized I had Covid. Thinking I could get through this no problem, I rested and waited. But God told me no and off to the ER I went. After a time there, they sent me to the hospital and the room they put me in became my home for five days. Honestly, I believe God put me in there to rest. I basically just slept and slept and slept some more. I was on oxygen and healing and I needed that rest. I don’t sleep much when I’m home and my body was shutting down. I just needed to rest. After a round of meds and some convalesce plasma, I was ready to go home.
This storm, this chaos, this pain I feel My body isn’t mine, it doesn’t seem real. He takes the pain and gives me peace I let all go, my stress and care release.
Sept. 11/21 – Yes, I’m just now getting back to my post. Home from the hospital, I spent at least 2 weeks barely walking from being weak and immobile for 5 days. I didn’t have any desire to write, read, work, etc. I was just existing. Slowly, with help from a daughter who cooked very well and a husband that allowed me to rest; I healed. It was a full month, I think, before I was able to go back to church and as of now, I still come home as tired as if I ran a marathon.
Through the storm and into the calm The Savior’s love so very strong. His healing hand upon my life In rolls the peace and not the strife.
And so, I apologize that I have not been around here and I DO have some ideas for upcoming posts but for now can I ask….what verses help YOU when life is stressful? How does God encourage you?
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2
And David said,…Is there not a cause? I Samuel 17:29
Do we have a cause? David had a cause. He went down to check on his brothers during a major battle and couldn’t believe they were all cowering in front of Goliath. He had a cause – to win the battle. He won, didn’t he? He took his cause and put action to it.
I’ve been thinking of that verse lately and pondering that we, as women, wives and mothers, have a cause! Ours are each independent of the other but they have similarities. We have children to raise. We have husbands to take care of. We have ministries to work in. We have personal growth to step up to. We ALL have a cause.
This also got me looking at women in the Bible that could have said with David, “is there not a cause”. They found out quickly they had a cause – a great purpose in their lives. They didn’t shy away from this purpose or cower in fear. They stepped up and with God’s help and strength, took on their cause and were victorious. Let’s look at some of them!
“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.” Hebrews 11:23
Moses’ mother. Can you imagine how she felt through her pregnancy? The fear and the determination that she would keep this baby. I can imagine it was a stressful 9 months as she prepared to give birth. Then, giving birth and seeing that the baby was “a proper child”, she hid him three months. Babies that young may be easy to hide but as they get older and noiser, what was she to do? She had a cause! She knew God wanted this child to live! When we know God wants us to something – we have a cause. What should we do? We act upon that cause like Jochebed did. She put her baby in a basket and had Miriam watching after him. That must have seemed like a strange plan but she had a cause – keep this baby alive. What a great ending to her story. Her cause was accomplished when Moses grew up and saved the children of Israel. Jochebed, his mother, had a cause that she carried through with and helped the man of God – Moses, become who he was! #ACauseOfGodlyTeaching
“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Hebrews 11:31
Rahab had a cause. Her cause was to save her family (anyone that was in her house) from the destruction that was coming to Jericho. She hid the spies and helped them. Can you imagine how she felt when she believed and saw they were in earnest and that the city WOULD be destroyed? Here was a woman that others scorned and looked down upon but when the spies came she saw she could be rescued. She believed in the God of Israel and was redeemed, forgiven, shown mercy and given grace. But, she didn’t want to keep this knowledge just to herself or be alone in the rescue. No, she loved her family and had a cause to rescue as many as possible. Do we have a cause to rescue our family and friends from the eternal damnation that awaits them if they aren’t saved? Do we have a cause to reach out to them and not thinking about their arguments or the embarrassment we may face being rejected; tell them of God’s redemptive plan? Rahab had a cause and she wasn’t going to stop talking about it. She brought her family in. I imagine she had to convince some of them but she pled earnestly because she loved her family and didn’t want to see them destroyed! #ACauseOfEvangelizing
“Hannah had no children.” I Samuel 1:2 “And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.” I Samuel 1:5
I, personally, believe Hannah had the most difficult cause. She was so sorrowful because she wasn’t producing any children for her husband. On top of this, she had to watch his second wife fulfill this role and bring children into the world. It must have been heartbreaking for her. No wonder she was sorrowful in spirit. Her husband didn’t quite understand this and the other wife was busy with her children. She was alone. She had a cause, though and when at the tabernacle was in such earnest prayer asking God for a child that the tradition of silent prayer was broken. She moved her lips and pled with God. Of course, Eli was thinking she was drunk but when she explained, he saw her cause and blessed her. She went home and God answered her prayer and gave her Samuel. She had promised God she would return her baby to Him to serve in the tabernacle. I can imagine she spent every day with Samuel very close to her side. She not only knew her time with him was short but she knew she had much to teach him before she sent him back to God. I can only imagine how difficult it was when that day came and yet, I believe, she had a peace about it. She had a cause – to return Samuel back to God. Her cause was honored when God gave her more children. #ACauseOfFulfillingAPromise
LOIS & EUNICE
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” II Timothy 1:5
Grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters – we all contribute to the cause of raising the children in our extended families. Oh, we aren’t disciplining our nieces and nephews (aren’t they perfect already?) or our grandchildren, maybe, but we influence them in how we walk and talk and dress without even realizing it. We have a cause. A cause to lay outside our selfish desires and think about if how we are living is affecting those around us for eternity; whether good or evil. Lois, grandmother to Timothy, had a cause long before Timothy was even born. She needed to raise his mother Eunice in such a way that Eunice would then give up worldly values for eternal ones. Sure, when we are saved we have grace and eternal life but is there not a cause to live godly in order to win our children and teach them to be strong and unbending in a world gone mad? We have a cause. Lois had a cause that she instilled in Eunice who then instilled it in Timothy. Were they successful? I think so! Their faith was unfeigned. Unfeigned means without hypocrisy; real; sincere. Do we have a cause of unfeigned faith? Do we act the same around our children 100% of the time in godliness? Our children need to learn our unfeigned faith. The satisfaction of a godly woman is knowing her children are on a godly path of unfeigned faith. #ACauseOfUnfeignedFaith
The challenge now becomes for us to have a cause that is godly. We need our children to see that we are walking in the truth of God’s Word. Is there a reward for us? There is. When our cause is to live godly not only will our home be filled with peace instead of choas but our future reward is fellowship sweet with our adult children and their children. #ACauseForMeToBeGodly
How am I able to put these words together? A couple of weeks ago, Pierre and I noticed we weren’t feeling well. I felt like I had the flu with major body aches. I just figured it was my chronic illness and went to bed for a couple of days. Soon after, we found out I tested positive for Covid. I was not surprised since I figure everyone has to get some form at some point but I was so sick, I also didn’t care. Just let me sleep!
A couple of days later, I noticed I was short of breath and we got a pulse oxymeter to check out our oxygen. Mine was mid-80’s so my brother-in-law (ER dr in Canada) told me to get to the ER. That started this journey into recovery at the hospital for five days. I’m so grateful for the good health care I had. Oxygen was there right away and the medicines I needed (even plasma from a person who had recovered from Covid). I basically slept and let the nurses take care of me. Now I’m home finishing up the recovery process (fatigue is the last to go, I’ve heard) and reflecting on why I didn’t panic and why I’m at peace with all that has happened. NOTE: My husband had it but not as bad and the kids had super mild symptoms so God is good!
What have I learned? These are much more than some godly or biblical truths (those are in here) but also how did I learn to listen to the body (the temple) that God gave me?
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” You know Psalm 16:9 assured me that my flesh could rest in hope. Hope of what? Whether God chose to heal my earthly body or take me home to Glory, I could rest in hope. I also knew that I needed to be consistent in my earthly rest if I WAS going to heal. This has been a bit more difficult to obtain since coming home but I’m working at priorities of that! Our lives today crowd in with so many distractions and things, that we forget to take time to rest. When I lay down even at rest, I can pray. This is consistently resting in Him.
OBEYING MY BODY’S INNER VOICE
I know this may sound a bit cliche or corny but sometimes I go and go and go and forget to listen to all those aches and pains. They are giving me a signal. I need to rest and slow down. I need to be at peace that my body is weak and let it heal. God gave us these signals to help us know when to stop and when to go. Psalm 116:7, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” When I listen to my body to slow down and rest, it then makes my soul rest, too and I can be so grateful for all God has given TO me and done FOR me. God wants me to take care of my body and obey what it is asking me to do!
VENTURE TO PUSH MYSELF FOR SMALL GAINS
Now what did you say? I just talked about resting and being consistent about it? Yes! Once I have rested and I know I am healing then I can push little by little to see my body come back to strength. They say “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” right? I think, though, there is a time and place for venturing. I haven’t ventured from my house in almost a week because I know that I am not ready physically but I am pushing myself to heal (little pushes) so that I can venture to church Sunday! Why? I HATE being away from church. I want to be IN God’s house with my church family. It will be worth it for more than a small gain – for sure! Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Venturing out to the Lord’s house is well worth it!
INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE NO MATTER HOW SMALL
Here is something else I learned through Covid. I DO need to interact with people. I’m generally an outgoing person and like to talk – like A LOT!! But, I’m also an introvert and love to be home doing things quietly at my house. So, when in the hospital, I was quite content to not talk and to just sleep and get well. However, I noticed that if I just laid there and didn’t talk to the nurses and housekeeping and people that came and went; I became a very small package and I seemed to be not as well in mind and body. We NEED people. We NEED interaction and not for us but for them! This is an unselfish experience that we can share with people. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” It becomes very unselfish of us, when we reach out to the people helping us and thank them for their work, labor of love and just generally taking care of our well-being. They may have had another patient pass away or yell at them or just have had a tough shift but if WE are interacting on a non-selfish, humble level, we will then be able to hand them a tract and bless their day. I was grateful when my pastor’s wife showed up with some comforts of life and had included some of our church tracts in the bag. I was able to hand out several. Interacting as God would love us, too, may seem so small in our healing process but it truly goes a long way.
DIRECTING MY SOUL TO LOOK TO THE GREAT PHYSICIAN
Sometimes our focus (when sick) becomes very narrowed to just that point in time and that moment when the pain is great or the stomach is whirling. I know that is how I felt for a few days in the hospital. I admit that I started with just sleeping and praying here and there. My focus of my morning devotions was very narrow because my body was broken and my soul was forgetting the Great Physician. I needed to refocus and pull myself back to God and the healing He could bring. I needed to be strengthened once again in my soul. This was important for me for my physical healing as well. I did! I prayed and asked for strength! I took action like the psalmist in 138:3, “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.” Just because I was sick physically, didn’t mean that my spiritual heartaches were not there anymore. They surfaced and the devil would have wanted me to lose hope if I didn’t take my soul to the Great Physician for help and healing. I did and I can honestly say that peace ensued. Our souls MUST be close to God for our bodies to be at rest.
I learned so much during this time of Covid and my hospital stay. I learned that I can rest in God and my heart can be at peace. Are my heart aches gone? No! Do I have inner struggles and need for consistent rest in the Lord for both body and soul? Yes! Is God the Great Healer and am I at peace? YES! YES! YES!
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
We live in a world today that it’s all about self. I looked up words starting with the prefix “self”. There are hundreds. Does this mean they are all selfish in context? I don’t think so but our world lives to have their will fulfilled.
Paul is reminding us in Galatians that doing good is an opportunity given to all of us. We can go out into the world and do good but we can ALSO and ESPECIALLY do good to our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. How can we do good to all men? How can we do good to other Christians?
First, we can pray for our brethren. ANYONE can pray. No matter where you are, how you’re feeling, whatever is going on in your life…..we can pray! I can pray!! When I’m swinging outside, I pray. When I’m in bed wondering if I can get up for the day, I pray. I’m still working on what I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” You can pray using a list or singing a hymn that expresses your heart to your God. You can pray while you’re walking or biking or even swimming! Find out what your church family’s needs are. Start a list of missionaries who are working afar. Ask your neighbors how you can pray for them today. Prayer DOES change things! #DoGoodThruPrayer
Have you ever had a day when you felt like nothing was getting done, the kids were sick and the house was a mess? As moms, we have many days like this so we KNOW what other moms face. How can you do good to other moms? Encourage them. Reach out to them and let them know you’re thinking about them and praying for them. We never know what is going on in the homes around us. We go to church with people and we talk with them there but we don’t always know what they are facing in their personal lives. BUT, we DO know we can reach out and let them know we are around if they need help. What an encouragement! The book of I Thessalonians is full of great truths and in chapter 5 and verse 11 we learn, “wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” Encourage a fellow mom today. Take her out for coffee or bring on to her! #DoGoodThruEncouragement
In this world, we have so many hurting people. In our churches, we have hurting people. Kindness is a something all of us can find in our hearts to do. Kindness means: good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others. Can you imagine contributing to someone’s happiness. If you can do that, you will in turn be blessed and find happiness. Kindness is a lost art today and yet it doesn’t take much to show kindness. Send a text to a lady in the church who hasn’t been out in awhile. Write a “snail mail” letter to someone who lives far away. When shopping, hold the door for someone (yes, we ladies can do this when men aren’t around) or give a person a tract. I was at the Walmart pick up recently and I gave a tract to the young man who put my groceries in the car and he started to smile. It made him happy. I showed kindness. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:12 to “put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved…kindness.”#DoGoodThruKindness
I have a song I teach young children called “Love is Action”. Love is a lost art nowadays since this word is thrown about so lightly. I think your love is better SHOWN by your actions. When we lend a hand to someone in need or pick up groceries for a shut-in; THIS is love in action. When we bring a meal for a new mother or clean her house so she can rest; THIS is love in action. There are so many little things we can do each day to show love IN action. It’s the little things, really, in life that make us smile and feel loved. When Mellie, my 5 year old, brings me a glass of water or Stephanie, my 13 year old, texts me at night to ask if I need anything (I spend a lot of time resting due to chronic pain so we make use of our tablets, etc). When Tim, my 15 year old, gladly makes lunch; THESE are all love in action. What can we do to show love in action today? Christ lets us know in Matthew 22:39, “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”#DoGoodThruLove
Oh the joys of summer! We get to get outside and plant flowers, cut the grass, pull up weeds and maybe even get a vegetable garden in. Don’t you love summer? I know my friend, Dee, is having so much fun planting flowers around her house and making her house look so pretty. Some people have a natural talent for that and others (like me) are just happy to find flowers at JoAnn’s on sale 70% off to use around the house. You know….the kind that never dies!
In Galatians 6:7 we read, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” I would assume we all know that if we plant peas, we expect to get peas, right? And if we plant tulip bulbs, we are sure we will see tulips when they grow. So it isn’t hard to figure out what Paul is saying here. What we sow in life, we will reap the consequences of; whether good or bad.
SOW KINDNESS, REAP LOVE
To the person that helps us by opening a door at the grocery store when we are loaded down with bags; to the pastor’s wife who reaches out to give us a hug when we are having a difficult time; we all know someone who has been kind to us. It seems that kindness is being lost in America but I think it is more that the media likes to focus on the negative and so we aren’t hearing the stories. People STILL are in the business of being kind. One way we can know this is if WE are kind to others. If we sow kindness, we will reap love. Even the smallest act of kindness brings great love from people. Most people (even the grumpiest among us) can be won over with kindness. The smallest acts can produce the biggest rewards. Romans 12:10 says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;…” I think sometimes, as Christians, we treat each other worse than the world treats us. Sowing kindness we can reap love.
SOW GOSSIP, REAP BROKEN TRUST
What if we decide to sow some gossip. Where will this get us? As Christians, we tend to forget that gossip in God’s eyes is sin and ANY sin has the same punishment – death. God forgave my sin of gossip the same way He forgave the thief on the cross for his stealing! The Bible has much to say about gossip and other forms of idle words because they can do so much damage in so little time. It can break trust with people and cause even broken homes and lives. “A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.” (Proverbs 16:28) What has our mouth said to others? Sowing gossip we will reap a broken trust.
SOW GIVING, REAP GRATITUDE
Have you ever experienced a giving spirit in your life? Have you ever had someone just “randomly” give you what you need for the day? I have many times. Someone who’s life I have intersected with, just giving me words of kindness or some small gift. How did this make me feel? Grateful! I felt gratitude. Who am I that someone would want to give to me? Who am I that someone would want to make sure I was taken care of? For one, if we are children of God, we will want to give to others so therefore, it will be natural for someone to give to me and vice versa. My attitude will then be one of gratitude. As Paul told the Philippians in 1:3, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Gratitude should be the outpouring of giving. Isn’t it more blessed to give than to receive? Sow in giving we will reap gratitude.
SOW BITTERNESS, REAP DEPRESSION
Oh how hard it is to live with bitterness. When a person is bitter, the tongue is biting and the attitude is sour. There is nothing fun, either, about living with a bitter person. I know from experience that once you go down the road of bitterness, you end up in depression. The Bible tells us to rejoice in trials and that they only endure for a season. Have an attitude of gratitude to God that you don’t go through the trials alone but He is there with you. Remember (Psalm 30:5), “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Living with depression is so hard on your health and to live in a defeated attitude means we are not choosing joy as our main stay. Sowing in bitterness will reap depression.
SOW LOVE, REAP LOYALTY
I have been blessed with a sixth child (we had her 8 years after all the others) who loves us unconditionally and oh so thoroughly. This child also knows that WE love her and this has made her SO loyal to her parents. If asked whether she wants to sit with her mom or some friend, she inevitably chooses her mom (now don’t quote me when Emilie, her older sister and second mom comes for a visit!). I have loved her unconditionally and she is loyal to me. Isn’t that how we should be with our Savior. He has loved us unconditionally (think about that – don’t just glide over the words. Think what He saved YOU from) so shouldn’t our loyalty be to Him and what He says in His Word? Shouldn’t we be living to please Him? Sowing in love reaps loyalty.
SOW ANGER, REAP REBELLION
This one is a hard one for all of us, even I have experienced it. At times, we find ourselves angry. Sometimes we are angry at the authority in our lives and we can’t even imagine stepping on our pride and releasing this anger. This builds within us ’til we perceive they have not treated us “fairly” and we start to rebel. Anger is a horrible sin and especially when we allow it to simmer in our hearts. It will build and build until we react by rebelling against THE authority that God has placed in our lives. We reap the consequences then of that rebellion by broken fellowship with said authority. And for what? Is it worth it? It never really is. Solomon warns us about an angry man in Proverbs 22:24, “Make no friendship with an angry man.” Humility and peace are a much better way to go. Sowing in anger reaps rebellion.
I know that I have to be careful what I am sowing in my garden today. What are you sowing in yours?
We sow in our garden a little each day By the things that we do and the words that we say Our lives will be known by kindnesses given Or gossip we’ve heard as we pass it on to them.
If we sow in our garden some seeds of great love We will reap all the loyalty from the ones that we love. Our seeds of great giving will surely take hold In the hearts of our family and friends that we mold.
So whether you sow the seeds of good or of bad You’ll reap some day – your harvest you will have. What kind of harvest are you looking to pull Words of kindness or not, then you’ll hurt someone’s soul.
Is anything simple in life? Is it simple to just trust and let go? I have been singing this song today called “Trusting Jesus” and I’m finding the words speaking to me. I’ve been pondering “simply trusting every day”. Simple? Really? Can I even do this kind of trusting when it might mean I have to stand back and let God take control of a situation? Can I or should I? I think if we explore God’s Word we will find that I SHOULD – simply trust!
Of course the most common verse most of us would know is Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Simple, right? Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart? ALL my heart? What about that little corner that says I can still take control of this tiny bit? When the Bible says “all”, it means ALL!
What is the first verse of this song?
Simply trusting every day, Trusting through a stormy way; Even when my faith is small, Trusting Jesus, that is all.
A simple trust is one that, to me, says to trust every day but even deeper, every moment. There are days when we look down the path and think how are we getting there? But, God reminds us to trust HIM and look only at the step in front of us. We need to trust in the storms and when our faith is small. I have a small faith right now on a particular situation our family is facing. I have very little faith that things will change to be settled in a godly manner. I need to grow my faith, right? Yes! But in this time of little faith, I still have to just trust Jesus, lean on Him and realize that not only does He KNOW the situation, He is already IN the future to know the resolution! #SimplyTrusting
Brightly does His Spirit shine Into this poor heart of mine; While He leads I cannot fall; Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Ah, the Holy Spirit in our lives makes all the difference, right? I love that He is leading me along the way and helping the way be bright even WHEN I’m facing difficult times. He leads, my heart sings and I can not fall. Psalm 31:3 says, “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” If I’m allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me then yes, I can not fall!!! #SimplyTrusting
Singing if my way is clear, Praying if the path be drear; If in danger for Him call; Trusting Jesus, that is all.
By now, you should all know that I LOVE to sing. I am always humming or singing some song. We can certainly simply trust God while singing. Prayer is such a vital part of our lives. Praying while life is tough not only gives us strength for the tough moments but lifts us up into the arms of a Heavenly Father and creates a peace that leaves us simply trusting. He can take a bad situation and place just the right people in our paths to help us out. #SimplyTrusting
Trusting Him while life shall last, Trusting Him till earth be past; Till within the jasper wall, Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Can we trust Him for our life from start to finish? I think trusting Him while we still have the breath of life means that we keep following Him and not giving up! My husband and I are aging (I know profound) and we are seeing the generation ahead of us, so many giving up and not keeping on serving God right at the time of their life when their responsibilities at home are easing and they HAVE time. We do not want to give up ’til the end. Our journey is ongoing! Whether we are here ’til we die or Jesus comes back for His saints, we are going to keep going – serving God. This makes the trust in Him, simple. #SimplyTrusting
Trusting as the moments fly, Trusting as the days go by; Trusting Him whate’er befall, Trusting Jesus, that is all.
And the chorus, can it be any clearer? The older we get the more we see life’s moments flying by. My babies are growing and when I look back at their pictures, I think – where are those chubby babies! Days are going by and are we still trusting? Life is happening and we are living it day by day. Is trust there? I’d like to think that I’m trusting Jesus but I also know that it is a daily commitment to do so. #SimplyTrusting
I’ve done a podcast based on this devotion and you can listen to it here!
Faith – something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and coming to a satisfying conclusion that my faith is most precious to ME but also precious enough to share with others. Peter explains this well and as I read it, I realized fully that I CAN have a peace in resting in my Savior!
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” II Peter 1:1
Here is verse one and right away we see Peter identifying with the Jewish people by giving his Jewish name first (Simon) before the name that Jesus gave him (Peter). He is acknowledging that he is a servant first and foremost to his Savior as well as an apostle. I love that he calls our faith precious. But what is this faith?
True precious faith is an uncommon faith
Think about it. Nowadays as back in Peter’s days; hypocrites and unbelievers are still around in the church and outside the church. Our precious faith is an uncommon faith because it is rare and glorious and not many people have gotten ahold of it. Galatians 3:11 says, “The just shall live by faith.” Precious faith is an excellent faith that takes us to Christ for the milk and meat of the Word. Precious faith brings home the gold tried by fire and remembers the heavenly treasures we have waiting for us. Precious faith puts on the robes of white that are heavenly. Look in Revelations 3:18 at what it says here; “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed,…” So precious faith recognizes that all we have and will obtain comes through the shed blood of Christ on the cross. Precious faith is not hypocritical nor is it ungrateful. Precious faith – have you obtained this faith?
True precious faith is alike to us all
God is no respecter of persons. All my come to Him for saving faith and once saved, all are alike in His eyes. True faith produces the same precious effects in the rich as well as the poor. It unites the weak believer to Christ just as much as it unites the strong believer to Christ. Our precious faith will purify our heart and we will be justified in God’s sight by our faith. Acts 13:39 has a great promise for us all, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” We all have the same precious Savior and the same precious promises. Saving faith for us all – have you obtained this saving faith?
True precious faith is a gift from God
This beautiful faith that is a gift of God, was produced by the Holy Spirit through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The joy that one can have in realizing that our God, in all three of His Persons, gave us this precious faith will keep us praising Him through eternity. What a gift to receive from God. Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” It is freely given and as such we need to accept. A gift without strings attached or conditions to be met. Just accept. Just believe. Just take this faith. A precious faith – gift from God – did you accept it?
True precious faith obtained through the righteousness of Christ
Christ’s obedience to the cross and His righteousness that satisfied for God the covering of the sins of the world; gives faith all its value and preciousness. Therefore, those of us who receive this precious and most valuable faith know that it is of infinite value! And why do we know this? We can understand that Christ, as God, an infinite Being, fulfilled redemption’s plan and made our righteousness in Him complete. Not only that, but, Christ is OUR Savior (for those of us who believe) and because of His great obedience, we have the benefits and advantages of this precious faith! And so, we can declare to each other, as Peter did in verse 2, “grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” Precious faith, full of value – have you benefited from this faith?
And so, our faith is one that can rest in eternal promises of a home in heaven in a place where God abides. It is a faith that isn’t placed on man or in traditions but in a Savior. A faith that is so precious that we want to share it with others and live in glory to God. A faith that has given us a true resting place in Him!
“There is sunshine in my soul today…..” How many people do you know in your life that are cheerful, full of happiness and a joy to be around? I know many and although I have yet to meet Jess in person, I have gotten to know a bit about her from her artwork and I KNOW she is the Rae of Sunshine her company conveys!
Here is what Jess says about her Facebook group. I think her own words describe her best. “My inspiration for my business came when my daughter, Raelyn, was born. I started crocheting dolls, blankets, and clothes for her as I wanted to provide her with something unique that mommy made. Since then, I have expanded my business doing Custom Vinyl, Custom shirts and decals. I am excited to expand my business and fulfil every idea that comes my way!” She is so sweet and cute. What she says about wanting to fulfill every idea is so true!!!! I have asked her for a couple of projects and she did amazing.
I wanted to share some of her artwork with you. If you want Disney pics on a t-shirt of any kind, she can do it. If you’d like something crocheted – she’s amazing. If you’re looking for some home decor; yes she can do that, too!
New baby? Isn’t this adorable? I love it. Jess, where were you when Mellie was a baby! She seems to have such incredible talent so let me show you a couple more things!
She is good about getting things mailed to you in time and she works with you to create exactly what you need!
Now to tell you what she did for us. Years ago, when we had just five children, my mother-in-law had a shirt made up with the cute cartoon faces and the kids’ names under them. It said, “Five Reasons I Love Being A Papa” (He is French so we use “Papa”). Fast forward a few years and God blessed us with a sixth child. Melanie is one of those rare jewels who just fills me with joy every day! Well, whenever Pierre would wear the shirt, he’d point to the missing sixth kid and cry saying she wasn’t on his shirt. It became a “thing” with them! So one year for his birthday, I asked Jess if she could make this shirt but with Mellie on there, too. Here is what she did!
Oh the joy that filled Melanie and Pierre. Now he makes a BIG deal about her being ON his shirt!! Thanks, Jess!
So this year, I knew I had to go back to her when I saw this t-shirt idea. It was about grandpa’s and playing the piano as well as napping. I sent her the idea and not only did she catch on to the idea I had she made it 100x better.
Isn’t this great? If you know my Pierre, he is a piano player like none other. He loves his piano and his greatest joy is taking his children from birth and playing the piano while they listen. PERFECT GIFT. Thanks, again, Jess.
So, I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Jess. If you’d like to order from her, she has an Etsy page that you can reach here and a Facebook group you can join here. Drop me a comment if you have any questions and I hope you find the perfect gift for your loved one through Jess.
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13
Father’s Day. What does it mean to you? To some it is a time to celebrate the wonderful father they have and to cherish him. To others it is harder to celebrate because of circumstances beyond the their control where they lived with fathers less than godly.
However, I know that I have a Heavenly Father Who IS perfect and He is working on me still to make me perfect in love and in all things. But as I was reading the verse this morning in Psalms 103, I had to wonder what the psalmist meant by “pitieth”. So, I looked it up and thought I would share with you.
I started by looking up the word “pity” in the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary and here is how Webster defined it; “to feel pain or grief for one in distress; to have sympathy for”. To me that sounds like a loving, godly father. I live with one of those. My children’s father is very godly and he pities especially those children who are struggling in their Christian life. He loves them and prays for them. I have a Heavenly Father who is taking care and looking after me and He pities me when I am in distress. How kind! How loving! How does a father pity his children today?
HE PITIES HIS CHILDREN THAT ARE WEAK IN KNOWLEDGE
A father that is godly will make sure he gives proper biblical knowledge to help his children grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. Proverbs 1:8 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” When we have a father that gives biblical, godly instruction we can be assured that following his advice will not lead us astray!
HE PITIES HIS CHILDREN THAT ARE FROWARD
The word froward means “not willing to yield to that which is required; disobedient”. This one is a difficult one for a godly father. But, any godly father will punish his child, pray with his child and lead him in the way of truth so that the froward child will turn back to God and be rescued. It may not happen right away and the father may spend years praying and begging God for that child but still a father will bear that burden and show a godly example. James 5:16 is a wonderful promise for a godly father. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
HE PITIES HIS CHILDREN THAT ARE SICK
I think there is nothing worse for a parent but especially a father, to see their children sick and suffering. It is so hard when we can not do anything to “fix” the children. We want them to stop hurting and to be healed. A godly father knows that all he CAN do is pray for the child and make him as comfortable as possible. Luke 18:1 says, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
HE PITIES HIS CHILDREN WHO HAVE FALLEN
It is so hard for a father to see his child fall into sin and not be able to rescue them. Sometimes, this is the case because the child has not come to the end of themselves to ask for help. Sometimes, as hard as it is on the father, he has to let the child learn and be chastised by going through some hard times. Whatever the case, a godly father will lift the child up in prayer and hurt FOR the child while asking God to heal, cleanse and restore the child. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 is reminding us that we need to help restore our fallen children IF they are saved and show them a godly influence.
The godly father who pities his children is not spoiling them or doing them harm but rather he is acting in a godly and biblical manner. This is, then, a promise he can claim from God that he, like the father of the prodigal son, will see his child come home and back to God. The hope that this brings should spur every father on to be as godly and biblically based as possible.
Twenty-seven years. It hardly seems real that 27 years ago, I was a VERY young bride preparing for a life with Pierre. When I think back to those early years and the joys and struggles of learning about each other and living together; I’m so grateful we had God as the center of our home. We couldn’t have made it without Him. It is so true what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” The devil sure tried to prevail but he didn’t win. When God is the center of your marriage, it is a strong marriage.
So we get married and say the vows with love in our hearts and stars in our eyes. We are thinking IN the moment of how blessed we are to be marrying our best friend and how excited we are to start our lives together. Do we THINK about the vows? “To have and to hold from this day forth….”
FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE
Twenty-seven years ago, I was thinking about all the “betters” I was looking forward to having with Pierre.
Far better than houses, cars or lands, Far better than money or things so grand. My betters are babies in numbers of six, And a husband who always on God is fixed.
When things did get worse as we knew they would, The hearts that we had fixed on God they stood. Together we’ve battled the storms of life, God at the helm as we lived man and wife.
FOR RICHER, FOR POORER
Honestly, we were poor when we got married. Pierre even sold his mustang to pay for our wedding reception but we were happy as larks! God worked all things out for His good and we rented our first tiny apartment and started settling in to married life and serving God in our church. We were happy. We didn’t miss a meal and we had so much fun just being together. As the years have gone by, God has blessed Pierre in the work place and for the many jobs he has taken, we have seen an increase. We may not be rich in money but we are rich in love and surrounded by our kids who care about us. I’m good with that!
IN SICKNESS, IN HEALTH
I find it interesting (just my weird brain cells) that in this section the “negative” came first. We have entered the season of our lives where it is more “in sickness” than “in health”. I have a chronic disease that affects nearly every part of my body. He has back and tailbone pain that is hard to deal with on a daily basis. Are we frustrated? Sometimes we are from the pain but over all we look at each other, smile and say “we could be so much worse.” God knows our weaknesses and He knows how much we can handle. He will guide us. So even on my WORSE days, I thank God for my health. I’m breathing, eating, loving and being loved on, cared for, safe, happy…..what more do I need? We look after each other and bear each other’s burdens. Galatians 6:2 is a sweet, sweet verse and it says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
TO LOVE, TO CHERISH
Oh well now this one is easy. We have this one in the bag, don’t we? Not always. We live in a culture where the word “love” is tossed around from, “I love my hamster”; “I love my painted nails”; “I love my spouse”. Get what I mean? The word “love” is used freely today. We DO love our spouse. We SHOULD love our spouse but do we cherish them? When you look up cherish in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary there are two definitions that stick out to me. The first is: to hold dear, show affection for. If we are cherishing our spouse we won’t have time to bicker, complain or argue because we are holding them dear to our hearts. When we are busy being affectionate one toward another, we won’t have time to yell about the burnt toast or the lawn not being mowed. The second definition is: to keep or cultivate with care and affection. I love this because I picture my marriage like a garden of flowers. We want to keep it growing strong and healthy so we take out the weeds (sin and selfishness) and water each flower carefully (God’s Word). We can cultivate so much love, forgiveness when we are being human, care and commitment when we cherish each other.
Vows are not to be taken lightly. Vows are a promise of our commitment together. Do we have a perfect marriage? No! Two imperfect people came together under the umbrella of God’s protection and sought to create an atmosphere of love, commitment and care. Here’s to 27 more years!