Tag: faith

God’s Promises

Ever feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you?

fall-g544967aad_640Unexpected illness? Lose a job? Sewer back up? Surprise announcement that doesn’t go your way?

Those things can make us lose our footing and stumble, maybe even fall. It can have a physical, financial, emotional or spiritual effect on our lives in many ways. And may take effort to recover our footing.

One thing that can help is to remember that in Christ, we have a firm foundation, a stable place to stand. And standing on His promises, we cannot fall.

I’m kind of old school…I love singing the hymns that I learned as a little girl. A favorite is Standing on the Promises of God – all the verses. Here’s the second one:

Standing on the promises that cannot fail

When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail

By the Living Word of God I shall prevail

Standing on the promises of God

Russel Kelso Carter 1886

Jehovah RaphaFather we know that your promises are true. And so we claim the promise that you are Healer. Many of us need healing or have loved ones who need Your healing touch. Thank You that we can put them completely in Your hands and trust their lives to You. We do that now, name by name, trusting in Your promise that You have a plan for them. Thank You that You love them even more than we can.

ImmanuelWe claim the promise that you are with us always. Many of us are facing challenges, some so big that our faith is stretched thin and doubt and fear have found their way into our thoughts and emotions. But in reclaiming Your promise to be with us always, we are strengthened. If you would change our circumstances miraculously, we would see Your hand at work and give You thanks and praise. But if You choose to help us abide, bear up under the circumstances, this too will provide the encouragement we are looking for. And we thank You and give You our praise.

HewhobeganagoodWe claim the promise that you who began a good work in us and in our loved ones will carry it on to completion. That means You won’t leave us hanging, and that we can have the confidence that You will do Your part, and will guide and encourage us to do our part.

Thank You for Your promises!

Thank You for Your Living Word!

Now I can stand!

Does it feel like you are missing some blessings?

Sometimes water is let go from a nearby lake and the water level drops. When that happens, the most noticeable thing is there are fewer birds on the water and rocks lay exposed. At first glance the water looks shallow and scummy and the banks muddy and messy. As if the water was the blessing and it had been taken away.

rock-328783_640

Do you feel like some of the blessings you enjoy have been removed? For a time during Covid, many of us are missing comforts we had before.

When we have the blessing of good friends and family close around us, meeting together, celebrating together, we revel in it. We immerse ourselves in God’s blessing of good times when we have them. And so often, take them for granted. It seems to lose even a little of it would not be a good thing. Like the water level dropping in the lake. This was my brief conclusion.

Ducks_'n_trashWhere the trail comes near the water’s edge, I stepped off to have a closer look. From there I could see things… the ducks and geese had gathered in this inlet to feast on algae that had grown on the underwater rocks, now exposed because of the lowered water level.  What a blessing they were enjoying!

Many bottles and cans that had stuck in the muddy bottom were also now exposed, and a couple of kids had made their way down to the rocky edge to pull them out.  So, this “clean up” effort was made possible by the lowered water level.

If these benefits were occurring when water was withdrawn from the lake, could there be benefits in our lives when we feel blessings have been withheld for a time?

Would our examined lives reveal hidden blessings we take for granted, or that we usually don’t even notice?

If we take the time to look, the answer is probably yes.

Like the algae covered rocks, can we feast on the growth of our faith in God that has grown in the depth of His blessings but is not fully exposed until the level drops?  Yes.

Trusting God in the good times is building our faith and strengthening it so that when challenges arise, our faith can handle them. It’s encouraging to learn that the trust we have in the steadfastness and faithfulness of God in the good times will carry us through the harder times.

Have we allowed things into our lives under the covering of God’s blessing, that we need to remove when we see their trashy presence in full view.  Undoubtedly, yes.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.”  And if you are feeling like God’s blessing has been somewhat withdrawn in your life, don’t be discouraged.  You have a wonderful opportunity for discovery, feasting and clean up before you.

Kneeling-in-awe

Take a moment of quiet, and ask God to reveal a new blessing to you in the here and now.

Ask Him to reveal any attitude, behavior or relationship adjustment that needs to be “cleaned up.”

Appreciate that there is blessing in even this time.

And before long, the depths will return. my-lake

Sunlight and Power 2

My last post was about my breast cancer biopsy and how God encouraged me through that.

Now it’s 2021. It’s been 3 years since my diagnosis and surgery. And I have lived in the victory over that challenge.

breast-5472788_640When I realized that I had received 5 notices to schedule my mammogram this year, it occurred to me that I might have been feeling a little anxious about it. There were 3 other good friends who went through the breast cancer surgery and decisions about treatment in 2018. Of those, one was re-diagnosed and had a double mastectomy this year with chemo and radiation. One had a stroke this past year after having been on cancer medication. And the third found a new tumor on her chest wall with her mammogram a few weeks ago.

So perhaps I was a little hesitant in making my appointment. But God is faithful – to them in helping them through their challenges; and to me, in meeting me where I was as I walked into that medical building once again.

armsoutstretchedOnce again. I looked to the sky and began a prayer of thanks and praise that brought me encouragement:

Thank You Father
for the sunlight on my face,
for the power that I feel
as I am entering this place.
Knowing You are with me
overcomes the fear and dread;
regardless where the path leads
or what may lie ahead.
I am filled with encouragement
by looking to my past;
seeing what You’ve brought me through –
the troubles did not last.
I’m a Soldier in Your Army
whatever battles I must face
I know the story’s end…
You put the devil in his place!

Are you facing a difficult challenge? Physical? Emotional? Spiritual?

There are plenty of those going around now.

Again, I suggest you look to God for your sunlight – your Son-light!

Let Him light the way for you and show you how to advance, even if you are afraid. Not knowing what lies ahead is part of the human condition. But God knows. He will prepare you and equip you to deal with it. And He will go with you.

armor-of-godEven if into a battle, He will be with you. And give you armor. And fight with you to give you victory!

Let God’s faithfulness in your past encourage you. Make a timeline of it, write in a journal, or take a page and make some notes or use pictures so you remember.

Put on the Armor of God to prepare you for battle. Ephesians 6:10-18

Appropriate His peace by focusing your mind on Him. Isaiah 26:3-4

He is there for you. As close as a prayer.

My mammogram this year was normal. I am thanking God – for His strength as I went, and for the result.

May God’s peace be upon you. May you feel His strength in whatever trials you are facing. He will meet you where you are.

Sunlight and Power

breast-5472788_640

In 2018 I walked into a medical building for a biopsy after my mammogram showed something. Partly in disbelief, and partly with a “Why not me?” attitude. After all, I had walked through the process with my cousin a couple years before. And within the last 6 months 3 good friends had been diagnosed and were at varying stages of treatment.

cloud-729064_640

It almost felt like God had prepared me for just this by letting me see it up close and personally. As thoughts came to me I looked up to the sky to see a beautiful blue and bright sunshine, and uttered a spontaneous thanks to God for lifting my eyes and my spirit.

The words kept coming as God encouraged me with His truth and power. I spoke them into my cell phone:

Thank You Father
for the sunlight on my face,
for the power that I feel
as I am entering this place
of Unknown futures
that await and lie ahead;
my thoughts become confused
and I sense a sense of dread.
But my spirit soars
over victories I see;
all the many times You fought
and won the day for me.
I am clothed with a power
that I’m confident outlasts
whatever Satan throws at me,
whatever evil blast
might try to distract me
from the peace I know you give
and the confidence and trust I’ve placed
in You the while I live

Are you going through a challenging time?  A dIfficult diagnosis? Facing a hardship not of your own making?

Look to God for your sunlight – your Son-light. Think back to times when God was there for you.

Recall His faithfulness in the past. Write it down.

Ask God to clothe you with His power.

Put on the Armor of God  Ephesians 6:10-18

Appropriate His peace by focusing your mind on Him  Isaiah 26:3-4

He won’t disappoint you.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery got what was there. God walked by my side through the whole process. He gave me peace. And I still have it.

May the peace of God be upon you. May He strengthen you with His power. May He make a way where there seems to be no way. Amen

Are you a Trapeze Artist?

woman-5659144_640

They fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Into the steadfast arms of their catcher. It’s a spectacular looking feat as we watch overhead. But what are their thoughts in midair? What would your thoughts be?

pendulumphysicsIt’s a simple lesson in physics, really. The arcs of two swinging bars affected by gravity and centrifugal force overlap one another in a totally predictable pattern. When started at the appropriate time, there is no doubt that the other bar with your catcher will be in the right spot for transfer when the arcs intersect.

Yet actually letting go of one bar completely, seems to require more than a mental understanding of the physics involved.

What’s holding you back is the feeling in the pit of your stomach; the nauseous excitement that makes your heart beat faster and your palms sweat. That is the reality governing your actions, or inaction, at the moment of letting go.

As I was about to lose my job of many years, I felt like God gave me the vision of being a trapeze artist. I had been swinging on one bar for a long time, just back and forth, easy, breezy. And God was showing me that if I would let go of that, He would be there to catch me from another bar.

I loved my work. It had become a big part of my identity. Yet I felt He was saying it was time to move on to something different. That I would have a new, equaling rewarding purpose. But I’d have to let go of what I had been holding on to.

Is God reaching out to you with something new?

What do you need to let go out so you can grab the next good thing He has for you?

trapeze-2It was hard, but I let go. And in His faithfulness, He was there. With all that came next, it was absolutely the right move, although I couldn’t see it when I let go.

He even gave me a fun song to sing as it was happening.

I’m no trapeze artist

I can’t let go

Clingin’ to this swingin’ bar

Is all I know

What was I thinkin’

Climbin’ off the ground

Grabbin’ onto this ol’ bar

Just to hang around

But the longer I stay swingin’ way up here

It seems to be the natural thing to do

The world has dropped away and the air is clear

And I’m wonderin’ if it could be true . . .

That – I’m a trapeze artist

Can’t wait to go

Swingin’ high up in the air

Oh what a show !

I’m doin’ flips, watch me

I’m spinnin’ ‘round

My God is catchin’ me

He’s my solid ground!

Ask God for the courage to let go when He offers you something new.
He IS your solid ground!