Saturday, February 26, 2022

Security in Christ Alone

Lord, how easily I get shaken. Criticism, challenges, changes and losses-all these things rattle me.  Help me to live in the "kingdom that cannot be shaken" (Hebrews 12:28).  Teach me how to build my life every day on Your Word and Your love, which will endure when all other things pass away.  

Lord, I confess that I make an idol out of people's approval.  Let me be so satisfied with Your love that I no longer respond to people out of fear of displeasing them but only in love, seeking what is best for them.  Remove my idols of approval-which can never give me the approval I need.

Father, Your Son Jesus Christ gives me the meaning, value, and security I look for in other things.  I ask that you help me to rejoice in Him more fully than I do.  Break my schemes of earthly joy so I may find my all in Thee.  Amen.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Grace, Gratitude, and Faith


A couple of years ago I came across a Guideposts magazine that I had misplaced in a stack of books and magazines.  In it was an article called "Grace, Gratitude, and Faith."  The article told of Jeff Bjorck's walk of faith, as he cared for his mother with Alzheimer's disease.  In this article Jeff lists four tips for caring for a loved one with Alzheimers.  Below is the link to that article online.  The only difference is that it has a different title than the print edition.  I think you will find it to be a wonderful source of encouragement, if you are caring for a loved one.  Just click on the link below:

Jeff also authored a book called, Twilight Meditations.  It features some of his mother's thoughts about God, as she progressed through Alzheimer's.  I wrote about his book in a blog post that I authored in August of 2017.  In that same article I also reviewed a book by Brian De Jong called Honoring Our Elderly.  Finally, I reviewed my own book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  You can find that post by clicking on the below link:

Jesus Our Divine Valentine

Valentine's Day is considered a day for lovers to express their love for each other with cards, and perhaps candy, flowers, or jewelry.  For some people, however, it can be a day of sadness because of past losses or current trials.

During those moments of sadness remember that the Lord loves you with an infinite love.  He in effect is your Divine Valentine.  He is sufficient.  He alone can give you all that you need.  People may fail you at times, but the Lord never will fail you.  

Below is a poem called Your Divine Valentine.  This poem became very special to me especially when I was a widow.  I still love this poem.  I especially love Jesus being referred as the Rose of Sharon in the Song of Solomon reference, because Sharon is my first name.  (Be sure to check out this verse and all the verses for that matter.)  Sharon is the name of a place and not the name of a person in the Bible, but I still love this verse.  I hope you find the poem and accompanying Bible references a blessing.    

Your Divine Valentine

A Valentine may play a love song for you, but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe.  (Zephaniah 3:17)

A Valentine may give you flowers, but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus.
(Song of Solomon 2:1)

A Valentine may bring you chocolate, but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word.  (Psalm 119:103)

A Valentine may love you for a lifetime, but God loved you before you were born and will love you for all eternity,
(Jeremiah 31:3)

Saturday, February 5, 2022



When we face difficult moments, it may be easy to question God's purpose for our lives.  Yet is there ever a time when God's purpose for our lives is not occurring?  The short answer to that question is no.   Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  In the verse before verse ten God tells us that we are saved by grace and faith alone and not because of anything we do.  Once we are His child, however, He definitely has a purpose and plan for our lives even during the difficult and trying times.

When I look back on my life I can see that clearly, especially during certain periods in my life.  I may not have seen it at the time, but I see it more clearly now.  God had a purpose and plan for me as to when I was born and where I was born.  He had a purpose in the schools I attended, and the parents I had.  (Check out Acts 17:26 in the New Testament of the Bible.) 

God also had a purpose in my coming to the town in which I now live to teach first grade in 1969 and to marry my first husband, Wayne, in 1971.  He had a purpose in us raising three sons and then welcoming grandchildren.  He also had a purpose in me being my first husband's caregiver for over four and a half years.  Those were very difficult years, but it was God's purpose for me during those years.  In fact, as difficult as those years proved to be, I remember having a sense of loss of purpose after Wayne died.  Never doubt the value of what you do for your loved ones, dear caregiver!

Then came the eight plus years of widowhood in my life.  These years although sometimes difficult too had purpose and value.  They along with my care-giving years drew me closer into a sweet relationship with my Lord and helped me grow in so many ways.  These years were also used by the Lord to tell God's story through my book and to my amazement a couple interviews.  God used my previous care-giving experience further at the Gathering Place where I still volunteer.  One experience builds upon another, and nothing is wasted in our lives.  There always is a purpose.  There always is a purpose even in the difficult times.  So if you find yourself a widow especially after years of being a caregiver, know that your life still has vital purpose in God's economy.

Now I am remarried to Bob.  This is not something I had anticipated earlier in my life.  It is a relatively new phase in my life.  As in any phase of life there are joys and blessings.  There are also challenges.  Life is never perfect.  Yet in this phase of my life I also believe God is using me in ways for which I did not plan ahead of time.  He has given me a purpose and placed situations in my life that I did not anticipate, so that I can be used of Him and learn to trust and rely on Him more and more.  

Acts 17:27b-28 says, "He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move and have our being.---"  As children of God there is always purpose in our lives.  That purpose is to glorify the Lord God where He has presently placed us in life.  That purpose is to trust Him and glorify Him in the pleasant and difficult moments.  How that fleshes out depends on our particular situations and circumstances at the time, but the purpose remains the same.  Let's rest in God's will and purpose for us.