December 26, 2016
The future can be scary. No one can be 100% sure, when leaving home in the morning, that they’ll return. Our lives can be changed forever with a phone call or an unexpected event. If we dwell on uncertainty, we’ll quickly spiral down in a vortex of worry and anxiety – to a place no one wants to be.
Thank God, He gives us assurance for the future in His word. No matter what happens, as Christ followers He assures us that…
- Nothing will ever separate us from His love (Romans 8:36-39)
- He goes before us and will never leave us. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- He Himself holds our hand and encourages us. (Isaiah 41:13)
- He renews His compassion and unfailing love every morning, because He is faithful. (Lamentations 3:22,23)
With countless other truths, God gives assurance for the future. If you are anxious or stressed, stand on His truth! And remember… “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11)
As we step into a new year, let’s remember that no matter what, our God gives assurance for the future! AMEN!
(Thank you for following me during 2016 in my quest to know God better. We’ve just scratched the surface, and I hope you keep digging deeper in His word to discover more of Him. God bless you in 2017!)
September 12, 2016
“Simple” is good. Although I love to make homemade pizza, when my schedule is complicated, there’s a simple way to enjoy our Friday night pizza. I speed dial our favorite local pizzeria. Simple!
The Psalmist David also understood that “simple” is good. Take the example of fear. By his own admission, there were times when David was afraid. His antidote for fear was simple: “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4) Simple!
“All my fears” included fighting a lion and a bear as a young shepherd, facing the giant Goliath, being on King Saul’s hit list. (That’s when he was being pursued by 3,000 of the King’s choice men. ) As Israel’s king, David also faced innumerable enemies – including his own son Absalom, who’s evil plan was to dethrone David. Even in those hair-raising situations, David knew that when he sought God, God would deliver him from all his fears. Simple!
When complicated unknown situations fill you with paralyzing fear, follow David’s example: go simple. Seek God, trusting Him to deliver you. If He delivered David from all his fears, he can deliver you from all your fears, because that’s what God does. Simple!
(Join me every Monday of 2016 in my quest to know God better.)
August 29, 2016
What would we do without caller ID? It allows us to avoid scam artists, political campaigns and telemarketers when we don’t recognize the name on the screen. On the other hand, recognizing the name, we usually take the call; the caller is trustworthy and the message may be important.
In Psalm 9:10, David wrote: “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” God’s personal, relational name “Yahweh” is expressed in that Psalm.
In his book Every Name of God in the Bible (one of my favorite books, highly recommended), Larry Richards explains God’s name Yahweh, based on the dialogue between God and Moses at the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3. Mr. Richards wrote: “In essence, the name “Yahweh” revealed God as ‘the One who is always present’ with His people.” (p. 25); that’s exactly what David said: “For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” That’s the important message: God is always present with us.
Knowing God’s name makes all the difference. We trust Him with all of our needs because He is our ever-present God. We praise Him for His faithfulness, because He’s never forsaken us. Knowing His name, we get the important message: Our ever-present God is trustworthy!
(Join me every Monday of 2016 as I share more of my quest to know God better)
July 4, 2016
The four seasons were part of God’s plan, and they are proof of His faithfulness. After The Flood, God’s covenant with Noah included this promise:
“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
and day and night
Shall not cease”
The cold and “s word” that are part of winter are proof of God’s faithfulness. (“s word” = snow)
The renewal that Spring brings to a monochromatic world also proves that God is faithful.
Summer’s long days, warm evenings are part of God’s faithfulness.
The beauty of Fall colors with cloudless blue skies as a backdrop shows us that God is faithful.
The sun came up today, because God is faithful. The stars shine at night because God is faithful.
The list is endless. From Genesis to Revelation we read of God’s faithfulness; in all seasons, He faithfully pours out His kindness, strength, provision, comfort and compassion on His people.
As we look back over our lives, let’s praise our God for His faithfulness in every season. He was faithful in the past, and we can trust Him to be faithful to the end. Worship our faithful God as you listen to Selah sing “The Faithful One”. https://youtu.be/IczlW3QlHCs
(Join me every Monday in 2016 on my quest to know God better.)
June 27, 2016
A guide always knows the terrain and the plan; he is always with the person or the group that is being guided, and won’t leave until the expedition or tour is ended.
Several years ago, vacationing with our son and his family in the Smokey Mountains, we went zip-lining. Our oldest grandson Jehiel was 5 at the time and was thrilled that he was old enough to go zip-lining with us. The guide was key in getting Jehiel from the send-off station to the landing base. After Daddy zipped across to the other side, it was Jehiel’s turn. Equipped with a harness and helmet, Jehiel bravely took off – with the guide’s strong arms around him, instilling a sense of safety. The guide knew the zip and had a plan. He accompanied little Jehiel all the way to the first landing where Daddy was waiting.
Jehiel with Daddy, ready for their ziplining adventure.
Our God is our guide as we zip through life. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 48:14 “For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.” He knows the terrain and He has a plan. His strong arms and presence give us peace, and we are safe with Him. Praise God that He is faithful, starting off with us at the send-off station and staying with us until we land safely in heaven where we will spend eternity with Him, Our God, our Guide!
(Join me every Monday as I share more of my quest to know God better)
June 20, 2016
Legend has it that a proud – but frustrated – owner of a very early model of Ford was detained on the roadside with car problems. A kind passerby, seeing his predicament, stopped to help him, quickly and efficiently resolving the mechanical issue. As he left, the helper introduced himself as Henry Ford, the designer and manufacturer of the early car. Could there have been a better helper? Absolutely not!
Several Psalms affirm the fact that our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Could there be a better source of help than the One who designed and created everything that’s visible and invisible? Absolutely not!
We don’t know whether the Henry Ford story is true or not. But we can be sure that what the Psalmist affirmed in Psalm 124:8 is true: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Next time you, like the owner of that very early model of Ford, find yourself in a troubling predicament that you can’t resolve on your own, stop. Call on God. He is a “very present help in time of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
(Join me every Monday of 2016 as I share what I’m learning on my quest to know God better)
May 30, 2016
Living near one of the largest Amish communities in the USA, we occasionally see a horse-drawn buggy on the roads. The horses, predisposed to distractions, wear small squares of leather attached to the bridle beside their eyes. These “blinders” keep the horses’ eyes focused in front of them and don’t allow them to become distracted by what’s around them. Because horses have excellent peripheral vision, the blinders are essential for the peace and safety of the folks in the buggy.
Like the horses, we need blinders, too; our peripheral vision can distract us. Looking around, we see situations that we can’t control: a health issue, a sudden loss, a difficult relationship. Long, sleepless nights and anxiety-filled days become our reality. But when we focus only on our God of peace, (Romans 15:33) the circumstances around us don’t distract us.
The prophet Isaiah wrote that “He (God) will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” That’s focus. Spending quality time with Him in His Word and surrendering our worry and fear to Him in prayer always brings peace to our troubled soul. Focused with our blinders on, we will experience what the Apostle Paul wrote of in Philippians 4:7: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(Join me each Monday of 2016 as I share more of my quest to know God better)
May 23, 2016
A credential provides the basis for trust: a diploma, degree, certification or experience are all valid. Any cardiac patient would trust his cardiologist rather than his neighbor with health issues. Right?
In Genesis 17, God gave Abram (later renamed Abraham) His credentials before establishing His covenant with him. God also gave Abram promises that would make an impossible situation possible. On that occasion, God’s first words to Abram were “I am Almighty God”. We know that God kept that covenant and every promise He made to Abraham; after all, He IS Almighty God, who makes the impossible…possible! He does whatever needs to be done to do that.
What if we would believe that God has the power to do whatever needs to be done to fulfill His promises in our situation? What if we would preface all of God’s promises with His credential of “Almighty God”?
I am Almighty God. I will forgive you.
I am Almighty God. I will guide you.
I am Almighty God. I will always love you.
I am Almighty God. I will supply all your needs.
I am Almighty God. I will….. (You can finish the phrase with a promise)
Next time you face an impossible situation, meditate on God’s promises. You can trust that the Promise-giver will do whatever needs to be done to make the impossible possible, because He has the credentials. Our God is ALMIGHTY GOD!
(Join me each Monday of 2016 in my quest to know God better)
April 4, 2016
Three-year-old Kayra struggled to make sense of the puzzle. Unable to arrange the blocks to get the duck scene right, she vented her frustration. Fortunately, older brother Jehiel came to her rescue and helped her. Puzzle resolved, Kayra was satisfied with the ducks.
King Solomon must have felt frustrated, too, as he struggled to arrange the pieces of life to find satisfaction. Solomon, wiser than any man and incomparably wealthy, wrote “whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from pleasure.” He had it all and did it all, yet wrote, “the eye is not satisfied with seeing and the soul is not satisfied with goodness.” Disillusioned with his quest for satisfaction, Solomon found that it was impossible for him to make the puzzle pieces fit. (1st Kings 2:11-13; Ecclesiastes chapters 1-6)
Maybe you, Like Kayra and Solomon, can’t seem to arrange the pieces in your quest for satisfaction. You struggle to get the perfect job, build relationships, accumulate “stuff”, pursue fun and entertainment … but the pieces don’t fit. Noting satisfies you.
If that’s you, put down those puzzle pieces and read this: Our God “satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9) Vent your frustrations to God, confessing your inability to find satisfaction outside of Him. Ask Him – then trust Him – to satisfy your longing soul. He’ll arrange all your pieces, because our God satisfies!
(Join me every Monday in 2016 on my quest to know God better.)
March 7, 2016
The phrase “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” suggests that we have the capability of lifting ourselves out of an impossible situation by our own effort. Really? Can we really pull ourselves up?
“…there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” (Luke 13:10-13)
How many times, in those 18 years, did that bent-over lady try to straighten herself up? Maybe every day. Maybe several – or many – times a day. Or maybe she just gave up, resigned to being bent-over forever. Then Jesus showed up and did what she couldn’t; He made her straight.
What impossible situation weighs so heavy on you that it has you bent over? Your calloused fingers constantly tug on those bootstraps, but you’re still bowed down. There’s no way that you can lift yourself up; your impossible situation doesn’t change.
When your best efforts leave you bowed down and bent over, believe that God can lift you up. Let go of those bootstraps! Trust God today to do what you can’t.
“The Lord raises those who are bowed down.” (Psalm 146:8)
(Join me every Monday of 2016 on my quest to know more of God)