A few nights ago, I woke up with a poem that I knew the Lord had given me to share. Oftentimes, in the still of the night, calmness, and quietness, God will speak to our hearts and reassure us that He is there no matter what our circumstances.
As simple as this poem may appear to be, it spoke volumes to me when I needed His reassurance of His care and direction for my life. My prayer is that you would open your hearts and continue to live by Faith and not by what is supposed to be happening–we do not always see God at work at the time we are going through something–but He is always there.
HIS GUIDING HAND
“His guiding hand, His guiding light
Is in my heart, Day and Night.
So I will trust in His Love
I will trust in His Light…
And In His Loving Arms to hold me tight…
Through hurt and fear, because He promised to be near.”
I continue to read “One Word a week” using the book “Focus” by Cleere Cherry Reaves and every time I re-read the word for the week, I learn something new about “not losing another day to distraction” but allowing God to speak to my heart in all aspects of my life for that day.
Just remember that:
“Everything that happens to you has meaning. Every moment of life has purpose. And God doesn’t step away from you for a single second of the journey.” Dayspring: “God In Every Moment” by Bonnie Rickner Jensen
May the Lord be with you in this New Year 2023 and may His blessings be many and your faith be increased.
The gifts are wrapped and the decorations and food are ready to welcome family, friends, and loved ones during this blessed time of year–the birth of Christ. Families have traveled by plane, train, or car to be with one another during this “wonderful time of year” and to renew and rekindle their relationships.
Recently, while talking to a new acquaintance, he mentioned that he had five children–all adults now but living in different states–who would all be together for the first time in many years. Distance and time were the biggest factors that were keeping his family from getting together every year during the holidays. Even though they all talked on the telephone throughout the year, visiting family and friends in person would be so much more fulfilling. You could see the person’s face, hear their voice, and see their emotional reactions on certain topics.
As we all celebrate the birth of Christ together (via in person, on the phone, text, email), let us remember “the reason for the season” and that as Christians we can celebrate the hope, joy, peace and love that this time of year brings to each and every one of us.
“Hope keeps the heart open to possibility, steady through change, and courageous in challenges ahead. It stands on faith…and that’s the strongest foundation of all.” –“God in Every Moment” by Bonnie Rickner Jensen
Merry Christmas and a very happy, blessed New Year.
Since March 2, churches around the world have been celebrating the lenten season–a time to remember events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. This is also a time of reflection, prayer, and reading of God’s Word to help us be a mirror to reflect God’s love in our lives.
I was gently reminded of the Lord’s presence in my life this week when I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and heard these words: become more. My immediate reaction was to be reminded of hurtful words that I heard several years ago that “you could have become so much more.” These were not comforting words to me at that time, and they were said by someone who didn’t really know me that well. But these words haunted me at that time because it made me feel inadequate, and I questioned everything that I did and had become up to that point in my life. I wondered why the Lord was reminding me of this encounter.
So the next morning I looked up scriptures pertaining to “becoming more in Christ” and to my surprise, I was led to a book by Lysa Terkeurst entitled “Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl” written in 2009. I knew then that the Lord was directing me to read her book and immediately ordered a copy. She is such an accomplished author/writer, is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, and has a number of best selling books.
While reading this book, I was reminded that Jesus is the only measure of my worth. I am not defined by what other people think of me. Proving myself worthy to others should not be the measure of my faith. When I need Christ to be my guide–He is there. When I need Christ to help me forgive–He teaches me how. When I need Christ to help me love–He shows me how He lived and loved everyone around Him. When I need a friend in times of doubt, worry, or fear–He guides me to the scriptures to calm my heart and soul. Oftentimes, He leads another person (via phone call or in person) to just listen and also share their own experiences to help me at the very moment I need them.
During the Easter season, I am reminded of a love far beyond our comprehension–a love so unconditional–that I want this kind of love for my husband, daughter and grand children, friends and other family members to be just that way. Unconditional love that reaches beyond how we are feeling at the moment so that we can look past our circumstances.
Psalm 103:5 tells us that “He fills my life with good things!” God wants the very best for us. He is not looking at all the things we could have or should have done in our lives. He has a purpose for each one of us and sometimes that means that the path He asks us to choose is not going to be the path that others (family or friends) have or want for us.
They say “experience is the best teacher.” What better teacher could we have other than Jesus Christ our Lord. The scripture tells us that “greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.” As we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord, let us be reminded of the love, joy, compassion, and hope that he has given to us all and “become more like Christ” in our every day circumstances.
We’ve all been there–standing in front of the mirror and “what to our wandering eyes should appear” is another wrinkle. You tell yourself that it wasn’t there two months ago but then reality sets in and you realize you are “getting older.” Struggling with aging is not what God intends for His children. In our society we have a tendency to look on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.
Living in a world where social media ads and other forms of advertisements are readily available, we notice “how to become” younger by using certain products to reduce those fine lines and wrinkles, remove all of those dark spots, and color our hair to get rid of all the gray. There are ads for exercise equipment, diet programs, liposuction, and ageless creams to help us achieve that younger looking body and to get smoother, younger-looking skin.
But what is the secret to longevity? According to healthyline.com, you can obtain a healthy lifestyle and live longer if you follow certain criteria to get there. The list consists of: avoid overeating; eat more fruits/vegetables; be more physically active; don’t smoke; prioritize your happiness; avoid chronic stress and anxiety; nurture your social circle; drink coffee or tea in moderation; and develop a good sleeping pattern.
All of the above-mentioned guidelines are helpful in avoiding strokes, heart attacks, and getting a healthier immune and digestive system. However, on January 1st each year people all around the world make New Year’s resolutions to begin another year with new vigor by following a certain diet, getting more exercise, and breaking an unhealthy habit. Unfortunately, statistics have proven that most people fail in their pursuit of “healthiness” by February or March because they tried to focus on too many changes at one time and did not begin at a slower pace.
We are also told by naturallivingfamily.com that “life killers” threaten our health in a bigger way: toxic living; lack of movement; no community; and broken relationships. All of these killers attack our emotional and mental health in one way or another. Living a life worth living, no retirement in an abundant life–being more productive in our latter years–and staying active should help us reach our healthy goal.
In Genesis 5 there is an account of Noah’s line indicating that he, along with his children, lived well beyond in years. Noah built the ark when he was 500 years old and died when he was 950 years old. Adam lived to be 930 years and the oldest man in the Bible, Methuselah, lived to be 969. But then in Genesis 6:3, God decided that man should not live as long by saying, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (NIV) Currently, our median age is 90 years.
So how do we live a long, healthy life God’s way?
Proverbs 3:1-2: “My son, do not forget the teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” (NIV) God’s Word is filled with promises for living a fulfilling life in Him. Reading His Word and applying those principles in our lives every day will help us live a healthy lifestyle and prolong our lives.
Proverbs 4:10-11: “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I will guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” (NIV) We are to hold on to God’s instruction and not let it go because He promises to be with us and uphold us in our life’s journey.
Proverbs 9:10-11: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.” (NIV) Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are the key to a longer life.
Proverbs 10:27: “The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but years of the wicked are cut short.” (NIV) Reverence and respect for the Lord’s provision and to all that He is gives us renews vitality in our mind, heart, and soul.
Proverbs 17:6 reminds us that “our children’s children are a crown of the aged, and parents are the pride of their children”; and Proverbs 16:31 tells us that “gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” (NIV) Allowing the Holy Spirit to live within you (by loving the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul and loving your neighbor as yourself) and allowing God to renew you from within on a daily basis will help us age and mature in Godly wisdom and attain a righteous life.
May the Lord bless you and keep you and may He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace as you follow His guidelines for a long and healthy prosperous life.
In 2021 I excitedly attended a Bill Gaither concert in Tulsa, OK with my sister and niece. One of the songs that the group sang was titled, “We Have This Moment Today.” It was one of my favorite songs. The chorus says, “yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come, but we have this moment today.” This suggests that we are not to worry about yesterday because we can’t get it back, and the sun may never rise on tomorrow so we shouldn’t fret about what we will do the next day or the next. We are to live for today–in the moment.
Today can be considered the “first day of the rest of your life” because yesterday is gone and today is a new, fresh day. The choices and decisions that you make today will affect and impact your life going forward. Will you choose to accept or reject someone in your life today; love or hate your friend or yourself; and forgive or not forgive yourself or others? Life is full of choices and these choices could definitely have a profound affect on yourself and others.
So how do we choose wisely?
With wisdom: Proverbs 4:6-7 says: “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.” It is only through the guidance of wisdom and understanding that we can make those choices that God wants us to make every day.
With certainty: Luke 1:4 says: “…so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” We can make right choices by reading God’s Word, through prayer, and living every day in His promises for our lives.
With passion: Matthew 6:21 says: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” What we are passionate about is what we think about. Are we passionate about living for the Lord and leading others to Him? Or are we caught up with the things that surround us which can also burden and weigh us down?
Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are to believe in God’s grace for the moment of today.
Isaiah 58:11 says: “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
God’s love will guide you with: His Hands, His Word, and His Grace. How will you allow Him to guide and walk with you on your journey today?