Friday, December 29, 2023

Christmas Blessings Reviewed


Christmas is past.  The new year is around the corner.  Let's sit back and reflect on all that we have talked about this month concerning Christmas and Jesus' birth.  We talked about Jesus' mother and the surrender she made to become Jesus' Mom.  We also talked about how we also have to surrender ourselves to the Lord in trust.  That post is found here: 

In another week in December we discussed the wonderful gifts of Christmas, gifts which are more wonderful than the ones that our under the tree.  That post is found here: 

Finally in yet another post we exalted in the wonderful truth that Jesus' birth brought light into a world of darkness and sin.  It brought light into our lives as His children as well.  Also someday  because of what Jesus did for us, there will be no more tears, heartaches and trials.  There will one day be no more night.  You can find that post here:

Saturday, December 23, 2023

No More Night

Shepherds were in the field watching over their sheep.  It was night, so darkness pervaded the atmosphere.  Perhaps there were stars in the sky, but because it was nighttime it was still very dark.  Suddenly an angel appeared in the sky saying to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior had been born to you, He is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10)  Then to the shepherd's astonished eyes the sky was filled with a host of angels praising and glorifying God!  The darkness had been turned to light! 

Because of  our Savior's birth,  His perfect life lived for us, and His death on the cross to pay for our sins;  our darkness has been turned to light as well!   If we have accepted the free gift of His salvation, we stand forgiven.  We are then children of the Light.  The Lord Jesus is then living in us through His Spirit.  His light is in us!  We have a spiritual inheritance and the promise of eternal life!  

Some day the Lord Jesus will return on the clouds of glory for a second time. He will not return to this earth as a baby again, but as our glorious and victorious Lord.  Until the day that He returns, however, we have not yet received our full inheritance as His children.  Although we experience joy in Him already; we still encounter trials, suffering, tears, and heartaches at times in this life.  When He returns Revelation 21 in the Bible tells us that He will erase all our fears, heartahces, and tears.  On that day there will be no more night.  All will be perfect joy in His presence!

As children of the light we need to tell others about this wonderful gift of light and life that we have received from the Lord.  We need to tell others this good news because of our appreciation to Him for what He has done for us and given to us.  We need to tell others so that they too can accept and experience this gift of light.  

Below I have posted a link to the song, "No More Night."  Just click on the link to enjoy and experience this song.

Friday, December 15, 2023



What kind of Christmas do you anticipate this year? Perhaps your Christmas will involve a lot of extra work for you in addition to the challenges and responsibilities of other life activities, or perhaps you are feeling isolated and ignored and all alone this Christmas in your daily burdens. Instead, however, perhaps you will experience Christmas this year as a reminder of your blessings and as a blessed respite from the drama of life's challenges.

Whatever we experience this Christmas and with every gift we receive at Christmas or at any time of year we have to open our hands to receive the gift; or the gift does not benefit us or give us any joy. The gifts we receive which are eternally precious, however, are the gifts which God wants to give us.

The Lord first offers us the gift of salvation which is what Christmas and walking with the Lord is all about. He further offers us the accompanying gifts of joy, peace, and hope. They are ours for the taking; and yes, they can coexist with the pain and heartache which often are present in life. Further, the Lord promises us a happy ending. That happy ending is eternal life. Christian reader, the heartaches that sometimes come in life are but a comma in your life story. They are not the end of your life’s story. They are not the end of your loved ones' life stories either.

We also can all receive other gifts. We can receive the gift of trust in God and letting Him control our lives. We receive this gift by resting in Him and by letting go of anything which we are holding onto too tightly or trying to control.

We further all have to let go of feelings of unforgiveness for people who have not been there for us. We further have to receive the gift of forgiveness for ourselves.  We have to bring to the Lord any true wrongs, and ask for His forgiveness. Further, we often carry around a lot of false guilt about things beyond our control. So whether false guilt or true guilt, we need to let it go. We need to give it to the Lord. Trust and letting go are great gifts to have in our lives.  Receive the gift of releasing it to the Lord.

One great gift we can give ourselves is the gift of acceptance of our situation. We often waste so much energy wishing circumstances were different, but we can rest assured that we are right where we are supposed to be in our lives. Dear Reader, your responsibilities may be emotionally overwhelming at times, but in the measure that you can accept where God has placed you now in your life you will find joy. It is a great gift you can give yourself.

Yet another wonderful gift we can give ourselves is the gift of being still in the presence of God. (Psalm 46:10) Doing this helps us grow in peace, wisdom, and insights. Finally, we can give ourselves the gift of gratitude. When we are grateful in spite of our circumstances our joy and blessings will multiply and resentments will flee.

Would not these be wonderful gifts to have in your life? These are wonderful gifts not just for Christmas but all year long!

Friday, December 8, 2023

A Surrendered Life


"I am the Lord's servant."  Mary answered.  "May it be to me as you have said."  These were the words of Mary after the angel told her that she would become the earthly mother of the Savior, Jesus.   These were words of surrender on her part.  It was a great honor for her to be chosen for this job.  Yet it would involve sacrifice.  Would her family and friends think she had committed an act of adultery?  Would Joseph think that?  Would she be ostracized by the people of her town and culture?  Mary's surrender would also involve great sorrow, as she saw Jesus hang on the cross. 

Mary was willingly surrendering from a heart full of love for her God.  She was not serving God just so she would be blessed, or because she was hoping the Lord would meet and fulfill her secret desires and agenda.  She was also not seeking to serve the Lord out of sense of obligation.  She was serving the Lord out of a heart filled with gratitude, praise, and love for Him.  Her heart was a heart that was truly surrendered to the Lord's will, purpose, and agenda.  Wherever the Lord placed her in her life or wanted her to do, she wanted to be there wholeheartedly serving Him.

Obstacles to full surrender to the Lord in our lives include doubt concerning His sovereignty and love for us, a desire to control circumstances ourselves instead of leaving them in God's hands, not focusing on the Lord, and a lack of thankfulness.  Other obstacles include fear, lack of true intimacy with the Lord, and no experience of the Lord's joy in one's life.

Like Mary, however we can experience the love of God and willingness to surrender to Him in our lives.  Mary Tutterrow says the following in her book, The heart of the Caregiver from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, "We will EXPERIENCE the love of God when we are willing to do whatever He asks us to do, however, He want us to do it trusting Him completely for the outcome.  That is surrender!  It's only when we are doing things His way, for His reasons, according to His timing-not according to our own plans or will-that we can do things we never thought we could do, love people we never thought we could love, overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable, and experience His love and power working in and through us."  

This is the surrendered life that Mary and a host of other Biblical people lived.  All failed and faltered at times, but they also experienced the joy of a surrendered life throughout their lives.  We can experience that joy as well.  

Friday, November 24, 2023


We just celebrated Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  We are also entering the Christmas season.  It is a time of year when we think of God's blessings.  God's greatest blessing to us is that He sent Jesus into the world to pay for our sins and to pave the way for us to have a wonderful and intimate relationship with Him.

We also experience many other blessings from the Lord.  There are material blessings, and there are emotional and spiritual blessings.  Every day God provides good and wonderful blessings to our lives.  We just need to open our eyes to these blessings and to look for them.

In a book called The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Gutherie Nancy points out, however, that blessings do not always come in the form of things we consider good.  Sometimes blessings come in the form of hardship.  This is because trials and hardships can grant us perspective on what is important and meaningful in a way nothing else can do.  This is because they often lead us on a pathway to the Lord.  As we surrender to the Lord in times of hardship, we find God in a new and vibrant way.  In times of trial God often reveals Himself to us.  He also often gives us a peace that we can find in no other way,

In times of hardship and trial God bends down to us.  He enters into our lives and meets our needs in a personal way.  He not only does that, but He reveals Himself and gives Himself to us in unique ways in those times.  It is because of this, in those times we receive God's blessings.  We receive God's blessings in and because of the trials.  We find the blessing in the Lord Himself and not in material outward things or in our own perceived achievements.  Let's thank God for our blessings.

(You may enjoy Laura Story's song "Blessings."  You can listen to it by clicking on the following link:

Also there will be no new post next week.  Use this time to read some of my older posts.  I hope to post again on or around December 10th.)

Friday, November 17, 2023



All of us have so many things for which we can  be thankful.  The Lord provides us with our daily needs which often involves things that we just take for granted, like health, safety, daily food, sunshine, warm homes and beds, loving families and a host of other good things.  We also can thank the Lord for church, His Word, and above all that we know Jesus as our personal Savior and the spiritual riches which come from knowing Him in a personal relationship.

Yet perhaps for many of you the holidays can be a discouraging time, if you or your family are going through difficult circumstances.  It may be difficult to find things for which to be thankful in such a scenario.  Yet a thankful heart opens up blessings from heaven and foretastes of heaven that cannot be attained in any other way. A thankful heart further revives hope and allows us to communicate on a more intimate level with the Lord. A thankful heart does not deny the reality of life's challenges, and life certainly presents a host of problems and heartaches. A thankful heart does, however, recognize the Lord's presence and joy in the midst of those problems.

So perhaps the best place to start is to thank the Lord each day for His presence and peace. Also as you go through the day look for even the Lord's tiny treasures which He has placed on your path. Look with spiritual eyes for His wonders in your life.  Some years back I remember being challenged to write down each day at least three things for which I was thankful that day. That helped me immensely in persevering during a very difficult time in my life.

It is said that a thankful heart takes the sting out of trials and adversity,  Life often facilitates many challenges and trials. Yet we are commanded in the Bible to give thanks in everything. We may not always FEEL like giving thanks, but when we offer a SACRIFICE of thanks in spite of our feelings, God gives us joy in spite of our circumstances.

That does not mean we always feel happy. Happiness and joy are not the same thing, but joy in the Lord and grief can coexist. It may seem nonsensical to thank God in and for difficult circumstances. Yet in the measure that we do so we will be blessed, even though the adversities may remain.  Thank the Lord for His blessings even while going through trials. 

A few years back I read the following thoughts from some correspondence I received in the mail:  If you are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, it is not the bump which caused you to spill coffee.  This is because if you had tea in your cup, you would spill tea instead.  Whatever is in your cup will spill out, when you are bumped and shaken.  So it is with life.  When you face circumstances that shake you in life, what is inside your heart will spill out.  What will spill out of you and I in such times?  Will it be peace, joy, gratitude, and humility that will spill out?  Or will it be bitterness and anger?   Again thank the Lord today for His blessings from a heart full of love for Him because of His grace!

In the United States we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day in a few days. It is a day when we especially try to remember to thank and praise God for the blessings of the past year.  Life is often challenging and difficult. Yet there are many blessings in our lives even in the most difficult of moments,  Thank the Lord for your blessings daily and not just on special occasions. It will lift your burdens and add joy to your life.

(If you missed last week's blog post you can read it by clicking on the link below:  

Friday, November 10, 2023

"It Was Good for Me to be Afflicted"


"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.  The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold," (Psalm 119:71-72)  Really, Lord, it is good to be afflicted?  How does that work, Lord?  Perhaps you as a reader join me at times in the sentiments I just expressed.  Trials and challenges are never pleasant.

So how can afflictions ever be good?  I think the Scripture passage begins to give us an answer to that question.  Afflictions makes God's Word more precious to us.  In times of challenge we run to God's Word for comfort and direction, and His Word becomes more precious to us than gold or anything else in this life in the process.  If one clings to the Lord in times like these, one's faith and relationship with Him aso becomes so much sweeter.  It is also a time when we begin to learn sweet surrender to the Lord's perfect timing and will.  This in turn leads to His peace.

How do I know this?  I know this because I have experienced this myself in my life in many ways.  I begin to experience this when my first husband developed a neurological disease which grandually made him more and more physically disabled until finally he became totally dependent on me and a wheel chair and lift.  I experienced it when I also developed breast cancer during that same time period and endured eight months of treatment.  I experienced it when my first husband died after four and a half years of decline, and I became a widow.  God's promises in His Word and His presence in my life were so very precious during those years of caring for my husband, and they still are in the years since.

I am also experiencing all these blessings, now as I face more pronounced ongoing back issues.  It is further something I am experiencing now as my second husband has been diagnosed with a different kind of neurological disease.  Does this mean that I always feel joyful all the time about the circumstances?  No, sometimes it is a struggle and a cause for sadness.  Becoming a  family caregiver a second time never was something I wanted to do.  

Yet thesse struggles have once again laid on my heart the need for sweet surrender to the Lord and the need to NOT try to "fix" things" in my own way and on my own terms.  It has impressed on me the need to surrender to the Lord and to trust His way and timing.  I fall so far short in this surrender to the Lord, but God is working on me.

I think afflictions and trials can also make us more thankful for all the wonderful gifts we have in our life like sunrises and sunsets, the changing of the seasons, and a host of other things.  It further opens our eyes to how God is using our difficult circumstances to help others and encourge others and for them to encourage us.  I saw that in my experiences with my first husband, and I am seeing it now in my present situation.  Finally, lessons learned in times of affliction and wilderness tend to be remembered the best and the longest.  So yes, as difficult as it can be at times, it is good to be afflicted.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Pray, Wait, Trust

Pray, wait, trust.  Such are the words that I found on a small plaque that I purchased a few mouths back.  Then I found these same words on a gratitude journal I recently purchased.  These are three simple words.  They are simple words yet often difficult to live, or we make them difficult to live by not surrendering all our worries and problems to the Lord.

Pray, just talk to the Lord when afraid.  The Lord invites us to do so.  I Peter 5:7 says,  "Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you."  Yet we so often try all own resources first before turning to the Lord and before surrendering to Him.  The Lord does not want us running around fretting and trying to come up with human solutions.  God tells us instead to "not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanskgiving present your requests to God  And the peace of God which transcends all understanidng will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:6-7)  Barb Roose says this in her book, Surrendered, "When Fear tempts me to flee, fix, or force my way, I will choose to stop and pray."

Sometimes when we pray God does not give us exactly what we want.  He is much wiser than us.  So sometimes He may say, "No." to our prayers.  He also may say, "Wait."  If there is something of value for us to to learn by not answering our prayers immediately, God will make us wait.  This can be a difficult but valuable time of learning to depend on the Lord and grow spiritually.  "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put put my hope."  (Psalm130:5)

Pray, wait, and the third word is trust. The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament says this, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."  (Priverbs 3:5-6)  Trusting in God's leading and following His leading will bring joy and blessing in our lives.  Life may have may obtacles and trials, but leaning on the Lord for direction and strength is always the way to blessing and a life of purpose. Psalm 29:7 says, "The Lord is my stregth and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him with song."


Friday, October 27, 2023

Do Not Fear

Being a caregiver for my first husband, Wayne, waltching him decline in health over a four and a half year period, losing him to death in the end, and my own battle against breast cancer during that time were difficult trials in my past life.  Current very difficult trials are also a challenge.  Knowing I can trust that God loved and loves me and was and is in control in the midst of the confusion and grief of it all made and continues to make all the difference in the world.

God is sovereign and in control. Nothing happens to a Christian or his or her loved ones that is not filtered through His love. This is true even in the most difficult and heartbreaking events of life. This is a difficult truth to accept. When this truth is accepted, however, it a soft place to land when one is overwhelmed with life’s difficulties.

God is good. Circumstances may be bad, but God is good. God is the very definition and essence of goodness. He proved that by sending His son on the cross. He can help Christians who are struggling to keep emotional and spiritual equilibrium in the midst of the heartaches of life.   He can also slowly emotionally heal Christians, when life has handed them the unthinkable.

Joy can coexist in the midst of the deep heartaches and grief of life. This is because joy is not based on circumstances which are favorable or perfect  Sometimes life's trials involve a process that takes much time and deep crying out to the Lord and depending on Him.   At times there is a scar that never goes completely away. Yet, the Lord's faithfulness will be with us all the way, and the joy of the Lord will  always return. Do not live in fear of the future, dear Christian. Never forget that the Lord loves you, and He is good. He is in control.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Unexpected Storms

About five years ago our area was inundated with an unexpected storm.  Television reports and the blowing of the sirens alerted us to it's imminent arrival.  Yet the intensity of the winds and the torrential downpour of rain left me in awe.  I should have been in the basement, as the weather reporters advised.  Yet then I would have missed seeing the power of this storm.

As it turns out this storm uprooted some big old trees and broke off many, many big branches in our village. (I posted one picture of an uprooted tree by the village park below.)   It caused many people to lose electrical power-some for thirty-six hours or more.  I never lost power, but I lost internet and phone service for awhile.  Evidence of the storm were still evident on my village streets a few days later, although some towns and counties around us fared worse because of the storm.

Life is filled with other kinds of storms as well.  I remember the storm of caring for my first husband and watching as his body became more and more disabled over a period of about four and a half years.  The care-giving storm is a difficult storm.  I remember the storm of grief after losing my husband and becoming a widow.  I remember the storm of all the secondary losses as well, and of having to build an entirely new life.

I also remember other storms since those days and I am currently facing storms in my current life.  Sometimes the storms have been very intense and painful emotionally and physically.  Sometimes they have been minor storms which can collectively wear on an individual.  Storms of one degree of intensity or another continue to seem to come.

 Nancy Guthrie from her book, The One Year Book of HOPE., said this in one of her devotions, "Perhaps you find yourself watching the storm clouds gather in the distance, or maybe you are swirling in the center of a storm.  Or perhaps the storm has come and gone and you are picking up the pieces of your life.  God often speaks to us through the storms of our lives.---if we listen, in the midst of the most violent storm we can detect the still, small voice of God, calling us to greater faith in Him."

Often it takes a storm for us to see our need for the Lord and to cry out to Him.  It is often in the storms that our complacency is replaced with a sense of His presence. We then hear His still small voice.  We recognize that He is with us in the storm.  Having the Lord with us in the storm makes all the difference, no matter how tumultuous the storm.

When I was watching that storm of a few years ago from my living room window I felt remarkably calm in the moment.  I was relatively safe in the "ark" of my home.  Imagine how Noah in the Old Testament of the Bible felt when he was in that ark in the great flood, however.  Imagine how fearful the disciples in the New Testament felt when they were in their boat in very stormy weather.  Yet the Lord Jesus is our ark of safety in all the kinds of storms that God allows in our lives.  We may not like the storms, but He is always our place of safety.

Sometimes it is easy to tire of the storms that keep coming and to dread the next one which perhaps can not yet be seen on the horizon.  It is easy to also imagine storms that never will occur.  That only uses up emotional energy unnecessarily.  Instead of looking at the waves in current storms, reliving regrets about past storms, or imagining future storms; the Lord wants us to look to Him.  He wants us to focus on Him and embrace Him, and when storms do come he wants us to step out faith.  He wants us to trust His sustaining power and love.

The only way we can prepare for unexpected storms in our lives is by living close to the Lord and by immersing God's Word into our lives.  We need to obediently build our lives on the foundation of obedience to God's Word and on His precious promises to always be with us.  Yes, we will falter and become afraid at times, but the Lord and the promises of His Word will see us through.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Never Separated From His Love

Sometimes the future can seem so uncertain and fearful. As children of God, however, we have victory in Christ Jesus, our Lord! We need to fear nothing, for the Lord is on our side! Nothing can separate us from the love of God! What an awesome thought, and what an awesome promise! In light of all this there can be overflowing joy in our hearts!

We are secure in Christ for time and for eternity. Sometimes we may feel as if everything is against us, but the Word of God teaches us that the great God of the universe is always for us and is always with us! (Romans 8:31-32) God proved His love for us by sending His only Son to die for our sins. Surely we can trust Him to provide us with everything we need for time and eternity. In the uncertainties of life Christians can rest in the Lord. They have the Lord God on their side, and they are victors in Him!

Nothing will happen to us that is not in God's plan for our lives, so we need not fear.  In fact, Christ is always interceding for His children before God the Father! He is interceding for you also, dear Christian! He knows your heartaches, your challenges, and your fears; and He is praying for you! What a blessed promise!

In light of all this, what set of circumstances can ever separate you from the love of Christ, dear, Christian? (Romans 8:35a) The answer is that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! No matter what hardship, trials or heartaches you or I may be experiencing in our lives at the moment; we are never separated from the love of Christ.

In fact, trials in our lives are part of God's plan and purpose for our lives to mold us to become more like Jesus in our character and attitudes. We are not separated from God’s love by the heartaches of life. Rather, the Lord is with us in a special way guiding and comforting us.

What is more Romans 8:37 teaches us that we are more than a conqueror! One becomes a conqueror through the trials of life by patiently enduring these trials and by being submissive to the Lord's will. One becomes more than a conqueror by using these experiences to grow in our love and service for the Lord.

God always see us through difficult times and brings us to ultimate victory. Victory is always assured for the Christian-if not in this life, then in eternity.  There will be ultimate victory for you too, dear Christian.  At times you may feel as if your life has been shattered in a million pieces, but God will bring ultimate victory and peace for you.

Absolutely nothing will ever separate us from the love of God and the victory we have in the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 8:38-39) Praise the name of the Lord for our victory in Him!

(There will not be a new blog post next week. Use this time to reread some of my older posts.

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Tapestry of our Lives

Romans 8:28 in the Bible promises us that in both the pleasant circumstances and in the tragic circumstances of life, God is working for our good.  It is a blessed promise.  We can rest in that promise and trust in it when the world around us seems to be falling apart, but it is also a promise with which we may at times struggle.

I remember first struggling with the promise of Romans 8:28 when my dad was suffering the excruciating pain of cancer and radiation. I wondered how "all things" could possibly be working for good in this case?  It is also something I pondered when my first husband was diagnosed with a devastating neurological disease. It was something I thought about when I was struggling with the challenges of care-giving, and I saw the effects my husband’s disease was having on his body. It was something I was confused about when my husband passed away four and a half years later.  It is still something I wonder about as I go through some very difficult trials in my present life.

The key to understanding this verse is to realize that not all things are good in themselves. Sin has wracked havoc with our world, and there are many experiences in this world that are not good or pleasant in themselves. God, however, works both the "good" and the "bad" events of our lives together for our ultimate good.  We also must remember that even though God is sovereign and the victor through Jesus's death and resurrection, the final victory when all creation will be made perfect and whole again has not yet occurred.

It has been said that life is like a tapestry. When you look at the backside of a tapestry it does not look beautiful. There are knotted-off ends and threads that seem to have no meaning or beauty. When one turns the tapestry over, however, one sees a beautiful picture or design.

Dear reader, when you see the difficulties and heartaches of your life, you are seeing only the backside of the tapestry of life. God, however, is bringing all the threads or events of our lives together-both the good and bad, into a beautiful tapestry. The Lord already sees the top part of our tapestry of life. The Lord already sees the beautiful end result of what He is accomplishing in our lives. When we do not understand the reason for the difficult circumstances in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones, we must simply trust that the Lord is working out all things in our lives for His glory and to accomplish His plan. He is also working out all things for our ultimate spiritual good.

The ultimate spiritual good that the Lord God is seeking to accomplish in our lives is that we might become more like Jesus in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions (Romans 8:29). In order for this to happen, there must be a conforming process taking place in our lives. This conforming process often can only occur during times of trial and difficulty in our lives. Gelatin is only able to be conformed or shaped to the mold into which it is placed after it has been dissolved in hot water. So we often have to go through the heat of trials and difficulties to become more conformed to the likeness of Jesus. 

God has the pattern for our lives all figured out. He knows and understands the beautiful tapestry that He is weaving for our lives. He knows the beginning from the end. We must trust the Lord to do His beautiful work in our lives, even in times when life's events and circumstances seem very difficult and overwhelming!

If you missed last week's blog post, "His Grace will Lead Us Through"  you can read it bt clicking on the following link:

Friday, September 22, 2023

His Grace Will Lead us Through


I have been going through some issues and trials lately that makes me realize that I need to depend on God's grace and strength alone.  He alone is sufficient.  Through a book I'm reading and in other formats I have been reminded that I need to depend on the Lord to work His plan whatever it may be.  I need to surrender to Him; and I need to let go of  all my fears, anxieties, and my tendency to try to fix things and control things.  That only wears one down to a frazzle.  I further need to put my arms up with open hands each day and surrender to Him anew each day.  He alone can fill me with His living waters of comfort, satisfaction, strength, and joy.  His grace alone can carry me through this life with all it's trials and challenges.

Below is the words to a song we are practicing in our church choir.  I think it says it all.  

"Though the trials come, though the road seems long, it is in the valley His arms are strong.  When we lean on Jesus in all that we do, His grace will lead us through!  His grace is sufficient; He's merciful and true. Till all have heard, we will stand on His Word!  His grace will lead us through,  God's grace will lead us through.

Come with grateful hearts to the throne of grace and see our Savior face to face!  Our help through the ages; our hope to come; His grace will lead us through.  His grace is sufficient; He's merciful and true.  Till all have heard, we will stand on His Word!  His grace will lead us through.

O-grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; O grace, grace, infinite grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin.   Till all have heard, we will stand on His Word!  His grace will lead us through, God's grace will lead us through,  God's grace!"  (words and music by Mary McDonald)

You can hear the the song above by clicking on the following link.  On this link it is sung by a group of young people (not our church choir).

Friday, September 15, 2023

The Valiant Rose


possessing or showing courage or determination.


The dictionary defines the word valiant, as possessing or showing courage or determination.  Our rose bush arbor along the side our deck was full of roses in June. Right now the roses have all but disappeared for the season anticipating fall's arrival right around the corner.   Until a few days ago, however, there was one persevering and valiant big rose, which greeted me every morning when I sat in my sun room looking out on my deck having my devotions.  This rose was there in spite of the other roses' disappearance for the season.   

This rose reminded me that I need to persevere and be valiant in the Lord.  Life can be and is often difficult.  Yet there is blessing in perseverance (James 5:11).  Whatever you or I are experiencing in this life, let us trust and rest in the Lord and persevere in the faith.

(If you missed my blog post of  last week on trusting God's timing and plan you can read it by clicking on  the link below.)    


Saturday, September 9, 2023

Trusting God's Plan and Timing

God is good.  We can depend on that no matter what is going on around us in our world.  God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.  That is easy to see when we think about all our blessings and good gifts that the Lord gives us.  It is easy for me to see when I look around at God's creation when I am taking my daily walks.  It is less easy for all of us to see when our worlds become shaken and when our expectations are not met the way we hoped they would be met.  It is difficult to see when our lives are shattered and even ground to dust.  Lysa Ter Keurst talks about this in her book, It's Not Supposed to Be This Way.  Following is a rather lengthy quote from her book.  It is worthy of our meditation and contemplation when we have difficulty understanding God's timing and plan:

"When His timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention seems hurtful, and His promises seem doubtful, I  get afraid.  I get confused.  And left alone with those feelings, I can't help but feel disappointed that God isn't doing what I assume a good God should do.

There isn't any timing that seems like the right timing to be shattered into dust.  There isn't any plan God could present where I would willingly agree to be broken into unglueable pieces,  I just wouldn't.

And what a tragedy that would be.  My controlling things would prevent the dust required for God to make the new He desperately desires for me.  And isn't that what all His promises hinge on?  Old becoming new.  Dead things coming to life.  Good from evil.  Darkness turning to light. 

If I want His promises, I have to trust His process.  I have to trust that first comes the dust, and then comes the making of something even better with us.  God isn't going to forsake you, but He will go to great lengths to remake you.

What if disappointment is really the exact appointment your soul needs to radically encounter God?"

And yet in the here and now before God has finished His work in us, His recreating in us, life can be painful.  What are we supposed to do in the extremely painful emotional and physical moments, in the here and now?  What if it seems as if God is not answering our prayers?  Perhaps a family member has been diagnosed with a terrible disease in this past year.  Perhaps someone you love or you yourself have experienced physical pain of some sort this year.  Perhaps you have found yourself estranged from a family member in recent months.  Perhaps you have lost a family member to death in the recent past.  Perhaps some other difficult circumstance or all the circumstances above have hit your family this year.  All these things are very painful. 

In all these things, we need to consider that God sees the big picture which we can not see.  We need to trust God beyond what our physical eyes can see.  The pain will still be there, even if we trust Him.  It makes no sense to pretend that we do not feel pain, but in trusting Him we will feel much less fear and frustration.  In trusting Him we will find comfort in His love even when we do not always understand His ways.

We need to let go of our own rationalizations of why God does not always answer our prayers when and how we think He should do so.  We do not have to figure out the whys and wherefores of what occurs in our lives.  We just need to trust that God always acts at the right time and in the right way.  

Instead of trying to explain things and understand things in our own mind, we need to turn to Him.  We need to look to Jesus and fix our eyes on Him and not the circumstances.  That is how we endure the suffering in the here and now.  Also Jesus knew the ultimate in suffering and pain, so He does understand our pain.  Nothing we suffer compares to the suffering He experienced.   

In the process of suffering and trials the Lord is drawing us closer to Himself and into a sweeter relationship with Himself. In this process He is helping us to see the Lord with spiritual eyes and not just knowing about Him on a superficial intellectual level.  The pain process is also preparing us for Heaven.  To quote Lysa Ter Keurst once again, "God is powerfully at work in your life and situation.  What would it look like for you to rest in that truth today?"  

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Sing to the Lord a New Song

So much joy comes into our lives when we thank and praise the Lord, when we sing a new song of joy to Him each day.  We can find joy even in the midst of deep trials in our lives.  A thankful heart and singing helps to facilitate that joy.  The Psalms are a beautiful place to find expression to this kind of joy and thanks. I  have developed a great love for the Psalms.  For this post I will be quoting and paraphrasing Psalm 96 and 97 and the first verse of Psalm 98 in the following paragraphs.

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord; praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. (Sing a new song of vibrant joyful worship each day, a song new in power and joy to us.)  Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among the peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;---Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations.  Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. (Submit to Him.)  Ascribe to the Lord  the glory due His name.---Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns."---He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth.

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.  Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

Fire goes before Him and consumes His foes on every side. (God's presence does and will one day completely burn all that is twisted and sinful in the world and in our lives.  This is the fire of God's holy love, because He hates anything that is ruining our lives.)---

The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.

All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols.  (An idol is anything or anyone we make more important to us than God.) Worship Him.  (Worship the Lord alone.)  Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah are glad.  (God's people rejoice and are glad) because of Your judgments, O Lord.  For You, O Lord, are most High over all the earth.  Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones---Light is shed upon the righteous and joy in the upright in heart (sown in by the Holy Spirit).  Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous and praise His holy name.  Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Name Change

As you may have noticed my blog has a new name.  It's name has been changed from "Dear Caregiver" to "God's Sufficient Grace."  I will tell you why I renamed my blog in a moment, but first I want to give a little history.    

In 2011 I started my blog.  I entitled my blog, "Dear Caregiver," and it was directed mainly to family caregivers.  I had lost my first, husband, Wayne, only a little over a month previously due to a serious neurological disease called, Multiple Systems Atrophy. I had been his caregiver for four and a half years before his death. Caregiving had been a difficult period in my life, as I saw him deteriorate in his health step by step.  Hence, a deep desire had blossomed in my heart to encourage current family caregivers.  Thus my blogsite was birthed.

Then in  2014 I published my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  This book also was meant to encourage family caregivers in their very important God-given but sometimes difficult and challenging roles.  You can order this book from me directly by emailing me and asking for specifics   You can also order this book at Amazon

During the time I published my book and afterwards I have continued my blog as well under the title of "Dear Caregiver."  Yet I know that there are many struggles that we all as believers encounter on this earth.  Hence, I have found that in my blog posts I am gradually broadening out God's message to both Christian caregivers and other believers as well.  

This is true even though I still have a deep love and concern for family caregivers in my heart.  It is also true even though in many ways, I am still a Christian caregiver.  No matter what the trial we are facing, however; God is always refining us, trying to make us more like Jesus, comforting us, and in the process bringing glory to Himself.  In whatever we face, His grace is sufficient, and His grace flows from His goodness.  Hence the new title for my blog is now "God's Sufficient Grace."  Other than the new title you should find the blog to be very much like it always been.  I hope you will continue to read and be blessed.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Chapters Of Our Lives

We have many moments and chapters in our lives.  Some of these chapters in our lives are joyful ones.  Some of the chapters are difficult and challenging.  We tend to look at special dates on the calendar and reflect about the past moments of our lives.  I especially tend to do this.

Seventy six years ago on August 24, 1947 a little baby girl was born.  Her parents named her Sharon Lynn.  She was her parents first child, and she was born two weeks earlier than expected. As you may have guessed this little girl is the author of this blog post.

The chapters in my life included my birth in IA and my growing up years in MN and SD.  I was a quiet introvert type child.  Later came the early adult chapter of my life.  I moved to WI, taught first grade for three years at a Christian school, met and married my first husband, Wayne, and raised a family of three sons.

Later chapters in my life included the marriages of my sons and wonderful grandchildren. One of the difficult chapters of my life was the diagnosis of my first husband's rare neurological disease (Multiple Systems Atrophy) in 2006, my breast cancer diagnosis in 2007, and my first husband's death in early 2011.  One of the more recent chapters of my life was my marriage to my current husband, Bob, a little over four years ago.  

All these chapters in my life were ordained by God.  Psalm 139:16 says, "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."  God has ordained all the days and chapters of your life as well, dear reader.  If I had been able to chose, I would have not chosen the care-giving chapter of my life or perhaps even difficult moments which occurred before that chapter in my life.  I certainly would not have chosen the chapter of widow or some more recent challenges and chapters.

Yet God truly does bring beauty from the ashes of the difficult chapters of our lives.  God says in John 16:33b, "In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart I have overcome the world."  He has overcome the world, and He will use our heartaches to advance His kingdom and for our spiritual growth and even joy.

Dear reader, the Lord is using your difficult experiences to stretch and grow you in dependence on Him and in love for Him.  He is using it to bring new spiritual fruit in your life.  Finally, He is using it in His kingdom both now and in the days ahead.  God wants you to walk with Him holding His hand during both the joyful and difficult chapters of your life.  He wants you to rest in Him trusting that He will lead you through these times in your life with purpose for now and the future.  If you belong to Him; He delights in you, dear reader!

Friday, August 11, 2023

God's Faithfulness

I am currently reading a devotional book authored by Robert J Morgan called Great is Thy Faithfulness.  In one of the chapters that I have already read the author discusses God's wonderful promises to us found in the Old Testament.  These promises include God walking beside us directing our steps each day, hearing our prayers, and being our shield and reward.  The promises include His vow to renew and restore us and to even be with us in old age.  These promises also include His covenant love for us, His blessings, His strength, and his healing each day.  The Lord further promises to be our refuge in times of trouble, to delight in us, and to actually rejoice and sing over us!

Promises are found all throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation even in what we might consider obscure parts of the Bible. For example, in Hosea 6:1, God promises to bind up our wounds, and in Nahum 1:7 the Lord God promises to be our refuge in times of trouble.  Hence, there are amazing promises in the New Testament, but there are also wonderful promises as well in the Old Testament where we may be tempted to believe they would not be found as readily.  

In a world where we often face trials and heartaches it is wonderful to know and treasure the multitude of God's promises to us.  He is always a faithful and loving God.  We can count on His faithfulness and presence in our lives.  We can count on His promises in His Word.

Below is a link to the wonderful hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness."  I have been listening to this hymn frequently in the past weeks, as I I contemplate God's faithfulness.  May this hymn bless you today, dear reader.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Summer Blessings and Trials

July is now past, and August has begun.  How fast the days of July flew past, as every month of the year tends to do.  I am going to take a moment to look back on July, however, and its significance to me.   On July 30, 1971, fifty-two years ago I became a blushing bride for the first time.  In spite of my remarriage eight and a half years after Wayne's homegoing to heaven, I will always remember that day.  I also remember with joy our 39 years of marriage.  On July 13, 2019, four years ago, Bob and I were married.  I look back on the joy each of us felt on that day.  We have faced some new outside challenges this past year, but we remain committed to each other.

These were joyful moments in July in the past, and now this year there were difficult moments in July.  I have had back issues for many years, but in July as in the months before July of this year I have had some more major back flare-up issues.  Through a series of events including contacting my regular doctor and her ordering an MRI, I saw a spine specialist on July 31rst.  I fully expected him to suggest surgery, but because of my scoliosis complicating things, surgery would involve a recovery period that was too long.  

Hence, the doctor recommended doing an epidural instead.  By God's grace I was able to receive that epidural only two days later on August 2nd.  By the morning of the next day I was beginning to notice a difference for the good.  My back is still feeling very vulnerable, and there still are issues, but I am very thankful for God's grace in all this.

There were and are also uncertainties in all this.  Epidurals, for example, are only a temporary solution at best.  Yet God is the God of the unknown.  The future is not unknown to Him and He will lead.  We all need to remember that we are blessed no matter what is going on in our lives at the time.

At this point I am going to quote a fairly long passage from Lysa Ter Keurst's book, Seeing Beautiful Again.  This is what Lysa writes I think it applies beautifully here to our discussion:

"I feel the most unsettled when I'm uncertain about the future.  I suspect many of you are also facing circumstances that have left you feeling caught off guard and unsure about what tomorrow holds---There are thousands of scenarios that evoke these feelings of uncertainty, fear, and exhaustion from life not being like you thought it should be.

Whatever your situation is, you probably feel like you can't change it, but you still have to live through the realities of what's happening right now.  Sometimes you just have to walk in your 'I don't know.'---All this trouble is exhausting.  Walking in the 'I don't know' is scary.---But what if life settling down and all your disappointments going away would be the worst thing that could happen to you?  What if your 'I don't know' is helping you, not hurting you?

The crucial detail for us to have peace in the middle of everything we face is to stay close to the Lord.  We think we want comfort in the I-don't know times of life.  But comfort isn't a solution to seek; rather it is a byproduct we'll reap when we stay close to the Lord.

I wish I could promise you that everything's going to turn out like you're hoping it will. I can't, of course.  But what I can promise you is that God is close to us even in our 'I don't knows.'  God has lessons for us that are crucially important for our future, and we are learning them in the middle of our 'I don't knows.'  God has a strength He must prepare us with, and the training ground is here in the 'I don't know.' This time isn't a waste, and it is definitely not pointless when we are walking with God.

Let's cry out to God, declaring that this hard time will be a holy time, a close-to God time.  And let's choose to believe that there is good happening, even in these places.  Because wherever God is, good is being worked."

(If you missed my post last week about God being the Potter and we being the clay, you can read it by cliking on this link:  )

Saturday, July 29, 2023

The Potter

The Bible teaches us that the Lord God is the Potter in our lives, and we are the clay in His hands. He is in sovereign control of our lives, and He controls all the events of our lives. All the events of our lives are used to make us more like Jesus. God especially uses problems, difficulties, and trials in our lives to mold us into the kind of people who truly reflect the Lord Jesus. The Lord wants to bring us ever closer to the center of His will.  Difficulties teach us to not rely on our own self-effort and devices. Difficult times in our lives teach us to rely and trust only on the Lord. 

This became abundantly clear to me when I was a caregiver for my first husband. His disease was incurable. It was out of my control.  It was also true when I developed breast cancer during that time period, as I spoke about in my blog post last week.  It is further true as I now stuggle with serious back pain.  (I speak to a spine specialist on Monday  Pray for me.) God is also in control even in light of some other discouraging issues which have reared their heads in the past year.   The only recourse I had in the past and the only reource I have now is to seek to rely and trust in the Lord.

Difficulties in our lives further help to remove the impurities of sin from our lives, and they help us to grow in our love relationship with the Lord. When spiritual impurities come into our lives the Lord God recreates and molds our lives to be more in tune with His will. Our prayer to God should be that He will make us into beautiful vessels of purpose for Him. When we fail and allow spiritual impurities into our lives, we need to pray that the Lord will take us back to His Potter’s wheel. We need to pray that the Lord will then reshape us and form us into something more beautiful for Him. From the broken fragments of our lives, the Lord can make us into beautiful vessels for Him!

From experience I know the pressure of family care-giving and other life pressures.  These pressures can feel overwhelming and unbearable at times. We must not fight against or question the Lord’s molding of our lives, however. We need to pray that each touch of the Lord’s hand on our lives will help us to become whom He wants us to become. The Lord knows just the right amount of pressure to put on our lives. We must also remain thankful for how He has made us and thankful for how He is working and leading in our lives! We must persevere in our willingness to submit to the Lord's will. We must be submissive to the Lord even in trials and difficult times in our lives. The Lord has promised to be with us all the way.

Finally, we must also ask the Lord for the filling of the Holy Spirit’s power and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must yearn for the Lord to control our lives completely every hour and every day!  Dear reader, trust you life and your life journey to the hand of the great Potter. He know what He is doing even when the path becomes very difficult.

Here is a link to song about God being the Potter and we being the clay in His hands:

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Peparation for the valley

(On July 18th I became a 16 year cancer survivor, because that was the day that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I will always remember that day, as it was also one of my local granddaughter's fifth birthday.  Following is a chapter from my book:  Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  In that chapter I talked about my breast cancer experience while caring for my first husband.  It is also a repeat of  posts I have published in July in past years.)

"Seeking to provide for my first husband’s needs during my care-giving days could get emotionally heavy at times, but I feel my past experiences helped to prepare me somewhat for the care-giving challenges. One of these experiences actually coincided with the beginning stages of my care-giving days. That experience was my fight against breast cancer.

In July of 2007, about a year after my husband was diagnosed with his disease, I noticed a swelling in my right breast and under my arm. I was able to book an appointment with my physician’s assistant. She sent me for a mammogram and MRI the next day. A couple days later I received the devastating news that I did indeed have breast cancer and that the cancer had invaded my lymph nodes. The tumor in my breast was very large, and my doctor told me later that my lymph nodes were all gummed together.

A few days later I found myself at my oncologist’s office, and after a full body scan at the hospital I began chemo. I began chemo by the end of July of 2007. All together I had 8 chemo treatments in 3 week cycles, mastectomy surgery with all my lymph nodes under my arm removed, and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation daily. Side effects of chemo were fatigue, mild nausea sometimes, food tasting like cardboard, loss of all of my hair etc. Radiation caused some burning, but it was manageable. All treatment was completed in April of 2008!

During the time of my cancer treatments I had a host of people praying for me-even people across the ocean! We also had people from our church bringing in meals twice a week for a long time. I further had church people bringing me to all my chemo treatments and most of my radiation treatments. The medical people at my cancer care center were wonderful.

Cancer treatments would not be a time that I would want to go through again, but at the same time it was a time of blessing as well as hardship. It is hard to explain, but I became more free in my spirit and less concerned about other’s opinions as a result to this cancer experience. I experienced the love of other people, and most of all I experienced the love of my Lord and Savior in a new and fresh way. I learned dependence on the Lord God during those many months, and I grew in my faith. The Lord’s strength and His love to me demonstrated through others helped me through those months.

I still am miles away from having it altogether. Just perhaps, however, I will be able to face today and the days ahead with more of God’s strength, because of my cancer experience and my experiences with the heartaches of care-giving. The memory of those days will never go away. It has changed whom I am forever mostly for the good.

I know that there will always be problems in this life, but I am further certain that my Lord and Savior will be with me all through my life. I know He will give me the strength to handle anything I need to face in the future. Even in hard times God has promised to be with me and bless me and someday take me to live with Him eternally. Dear Christian caregiver, rest in Him."

(Look on the side of this home page for a link to the order page for my book on Amazon. The book is also available at Barnes and Noble and elsewhere online.  If you prefer a signed copy from me directly, just e-mail me at for specifics.)

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Deleting the Negative Emotions

I don't know how you as a reader feel, but I often become annoyed by the number of unwanted e-mails which come into my account on a daily basis.  Even though I have a seperate junk account versus my regular e-mail account, lately I have been receiving quite a bit of unwanted e-mails also slipping into my regular account.  If I did not delete these unwanted emails daily and sometimes many times a day my account would soon be overwhelmed by these numerous trash e-mails.

So it is with my life and the negative emotions such as fear, discouragement, and frustration.  If I do not daily spend time in God's Word and soothe these negative emotions, I would soon be overrun with them.  If I did not allow God to  penetrate my heart with his comfort and strength through His promises in His Word, I don't know where I would be or what I would do. 

 Sometimes life's physical and emotional pains can be very heavy. Serious back pain is one of my heavy life issues right now.  Yet the Lord wants me to delete the negative emotions connected with diffiuclt circumstnaces in my life through relying on His precious promises.  He also wants me to replace these negative emotions with trust in Him, courage because of His presence in my life, and with His joy in spite of circumstances.  He wants me to count my blessings.  He also wants me to remember that everything the Lord allows in my life whether pleasant or difficult is always for His glory and my ultimate good.

So dear reader, let's together reolve to delete the negative emotions through the promises of God's Word and His strength, and let's replace them with the joy of the Lord even if the difficult moments.  Remember the Lord delights in us and sings over us, if we are His child (Zepeniah 3:17)!  

Friday, June 30, 2023


July 4th is Independence Day in the United States.  It is the birthday of our country, and it represents freedom.  I am thankful for the freedom of speech and worship that I have as a United States citizen.  What is even more important, however, is my freedom in Christ that I experience as His child.

Freedom in Christ includes freedom from the penalty and power of our sins.

Freedom in Christ includes freedom from fear in spite of adverse circumstances.

Freedom in Christ is freedom from self and selfish willful ways when we are trusting in the Lord.

Freedom in Christ involves joyful service to others.

Freedom in Christ involves knowing the truth of God's Word which sets one free.

Freedom in Christ means serving the Lord.

Freedom in Christ means I can come to Him anytime with my needs.

Freedom in Christ means the ability to live in a joyful relationship with the Lord.   

Psalm 18:19 says,  "He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me."   What a wonderful freedom we find in the Lord!  Praise Him name for that!

(There will be no new blog post next week.  Use this time to reread some of the older posts.)

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Wait on the Lord

I have a little plaque in our home that I recently bought at a local craft store in my town.  It says. "Pray. wait, trust."  I often look at this plaque and think about its sentiments when I am having my morning devotions.  I  don't know about you, but for me waiting on the Lord and trusting in His perfect timing and wisdom is sometimes very difficult.  Yet there is no better place we can be than in the care of the Lord.  It is a much safer place to reside than in depending on our own puny resources.  We can accomplish nothing depending on our own resources, but even in the deepest trials we can rest in the Lord.  I wrote about waiting on the Lord in one of my chapters from my book which I wrote in 2011, a few years after my first husband's death.  The following post is  is yet another chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.

"About a year after my husband was diagnosed with his disease, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Here are some of the thoughts and prayers that were running through my mind after my diagnosis of breast cancer on July 18, 2007: 

'I don't understand, Lord. You have been faithful to me in numerous times of difficulty in the past. This latest trial in my life seems a bit overwhelming, however, Lord. Was not dealing with the emotional stress of my husband's disabling neurological disease enough, Lord? Did I have to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer also?'

Of one thing I was certain, however. Even though I did not always understand His ways, I knew my Lord did not make mistakes. I could count on His promises in His Holy Word, His eternal love for me, and His infinite wisdom. I could count on these things even when feeling emotionally downcast.  I could count on the fact that God's compassion for me would never fail. He, in His faithfulness, would have new blessings for me every day. One other thing of which I was certain was that I had nothing or no one else I can cling to but the Lord. He alone was able to be my hope. I needed to wait on the Lord to work out His plan in my life. (Lamentations 3:20b-26) I also believed that somehow God would make a place of refreshment and joy out of the deep valleys of my life. He was indeed the only One but the capable One to help me proceed in His strength in facing life's huge hurdles (Psalm 84:6-7).

We have the certainty of the Lord's faithfulness and love even in the harshest of circumstances. In the Old Testament book of Lamentations, the author was lamenting or mourning the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Hence, he was feeling very discouraged and depressed. Have you ever felt like the author of Lamentations?  When we begin to feel like the author of Lamentations felt, we are beginning to focus on ourselves instead of on the Lord. The truth of the matter is that there is always the certainty of the Lord's presence, even in the worse of circumstances.  It is not necessary for our cirucmstances to change to experience the Lord's joy and peace in our hearts and lives.  We just need to take the focus off of ourselves and our problems and focus on the Lord.

When we are feeling discouraged by a difficult set of circumstances in our lives, we must remember the Lord's love for us and the Lord's awesome promises in His Holy Word. The Lord's river of mercy and love never runs dry. People, material possessions, and our own resources will often fail us. The Lord, however, will never fail us! His love and faithfulness is with us moment by moment and day by day. How precious it is to awaken each morning knowing that the Lord will be walking beside us each day, as we face the daily stresses and challenges. Wait on the Lord, dear caregiver. Waiting on the Lord means we are resting our entire trust in the Lord for time and eternity. We can trust completely in the Lord's unfailing love! Praise His name!"

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Father's Day

Sunday is Father's Day in the United States, so I am taking a bit of a break from my regular format.  I am thankful today for my Dad who showed an immense amount of patience and perseverance in his life.  He patiently endured the struggles that most farmers endure.  He always put his trust in the Lord during those moments.  I also saw his patience, perseverance, and trust in the Lord during those years of major health problems.  I still have a postcard that he sent me while he was in the hospital.  He wrote this that day, "I feel a little blue, but there is One Almighty above who loves and cares."  My Dad always read Scripture and prayed at the table as well.  His example helped me to persevere during some very difficult moments in my life like caring for my first husband, fighting breast cancer, and losing my husband to death.  His past example helps me in current struggles in my life as well.  Above is a digital picture of him that I snapped and edited from a printed pictue of him that I had in my possession.

Today I also am thankful for my first husband, Wayne, who was the father to my sons and now lives in Heaven.  His Godly example to his sons and his gentle and loving nature were wonderful examples to all who knew him.  He was a hard worker, and loved his family very much.  He also persevered until his death though some very difficult health problems.  In many ways he reminded me of my Dad.

Finally, I am thankful for Bob who became my husband four years ago this coming July.  He is a loving and concerned father to his daughters and also grandpa to his grandchildren.  He is very concerned about their welfare.  He further loves me.  

Today, dear reader, thank God for the blessing of Godly men in your life.