Are You in God’s Hands?

A couple of weeks ago as I was on my way home from church, I noticed a question written on the back of a white car as it was passing me: “Are you in good hands?” Allstate Insurance was also written underneath this question.

As I thought about these words, I began thinking about being in God’s hands. Jeremiah 18:5-6 says, “Then the word of the Lord came to me; ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” We are formed and shaped daily in the potter’s hands; created in His image and likeness.

There is a song by Kathy Troccoli entitled, “My Life Is In Your Hands” and the words of first verse and the chorus are as follows:

Life can be so good
Life can be so hard
Never knowing what each day
Will bring to where you are
Sometimes I forget
And sometimes I can’t see
That whatever comes my way
You’ll be with me

My Life is in Your hands
My heart is in your keeping
I’m never without hope
Not when my future is with You

What a wonderful testament to God’s faithfulness because our future is in the one who holds our hands in His.

Another insurance company’s slogan is a jingle: “Nationwide is on your side.” Along with being in God’s hands, we also have God on our side. He is our comforter, our protector, our healer, and our provider in our time(s) of need. His Word tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Just knowing that He is always with us as we go through various circumstances in our lives is comforting to the heart and soul. He is our hope, our joy, our peace, our confidant, our loving Father!

As we go throughout our day, let us remember that we are continually in God’s hands and that He is always on our side as long as we continue to trust in the promises in His Word.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Book Review: “Breathing Room” by LeeAna Tankersley

With so much stress in our lives today on a daily basis, LeeAna Tankersley, author of “Breathing Room”, emphasizes that we should not allow outside forces such as stress to control our lives, and that we need to take responsibility for ourselves.

With an upbeat and positive attitude, Ms. Tankersley shares that being at peace with your inner self and discovering your “soul voice” are very important components in finding your “true self.” Creativity is a big part of who we are; and when we are creative, it gives us a sense of being one with our mind, body, and spirit.

Straight forward, candid, and filled with personal stories of her own struggles from time to time on her journey in life, she encourages us to seek the Creator, the one who gives us grace throughout our life’s experiences.

“Breathing Room” is thought-provoking for anyone who struggles with feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacies. It is truly a breath of fresh air and a worth-while read.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Scriptures to Live by: Praise and Worship

Praise: “To say or write good things about (someone or something); to express approval of (someone or something); and to express thanks to or love and respect for (God).” Merriam-Webster

Worship: “The act of showing respect and love for a god, especially praying with other people who believe in the same god; the act of worshipping God or a god.” Merriam-Webster

Praise and worship go hand-in-hand and these terms have been used down through the ages and are still being used in our churches today. There are many ways to worship, such as:

On our knees or in our prayer closets;
With raised hands as we sing his praises, and/or
Sitting quietly before God listening for His still, small voice.

There is no right or wrong way to worship, but we are called to worship and praise God as shown in His Holy Word.

Exodus 23:25-26: “Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.”

Isaiah 25:1: “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.”

John 4:24: “God is Spirit and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Psalm 68:4: “Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds–his name is the Lord–and rejoice before him.”

Psalm 71:8: “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.”

Psalm 150:1-6: “Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary, praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet; praise him with the harp and lire; praise him with tambourine and dancing; praise him with the strings and flute; praise him with the clash of cymbals; praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Psalm 63:1: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Psalm 103:1-5: “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion; who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Romans 14:11: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'”

Psalm 42:11: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

Let His praise continually be on our lips as we worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Blessings,
Yvonne

ID Approved

A few weeks ago while my husband and I were eating at one of the local restaurants, I noticed the waitress ask for ID’s from two individuals at the table across from ours. She wanted to make sure that they were old enough to drink what they had ordered. This simple action made me think about how we as Christians might be identified by others, and would our actions “speak louder than words” in a positive or negative way.

What if we had to wear an ID around our necks to distinguish that we were Christians? Would our ID identify those virtues and attributes that we should possess, such as:

. Showing others the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives.
. Living to serve others.
. Helping those in need.
. Loving our neighbor as ourselves.

The Song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love” by Daniel W. Whittle expresses that…

1. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord…
2. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand…
3. We will work with each other, we will work side by side, and
4. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come.

They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
They’ll know we are Christians by our love.

God holds us responsible for our lives and what we do with them. He doesn’t want us to hide our talents and gifts from others. Will Christ give us His “stamp of approval” (ID approved) when we stand before Him one day, and will we hear Him say: “Well done thou good and faithful servant?” Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

May Christ find us faithful until He returns, may our lives be an example of His love, and may He be glorified and honored through us as we serve Him.

Blessings,
Yvonne

When We Just Have To Go Through It

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2

When I was growing up, my brothers and sisters and I used to go to a summer camp where we would get to spend one whole week hiking, boating, swimming, making creative projects, etc. Did I say swimming? Ugh! Now that I have your attention, let me explain.

One summer while at camp, I met a girl who loved to swim (and joke). I thought she and I were having a great time in the camp pool, but she decided to float out into the deeper water with me holding onto the plastic raft. My heart began pounding because I did not tell her I “could not” swim. When you can’t swim and you are now in water way over your head (at least 9 feet), somehow one can panic and I did just that. She decided to take my hands off the raft and under the water I did go. I splashed and sputtered going deeper in my struggle to remain afloat. All of a sudden, I felt two hands pulling me up and dragging me over to the other side of the pool. It was the lifeguard. When I told her I could not swim and she assessed what had happened, my so-called friend was reprimanded and I was not allowed to go near the deep end of the pool for the rest of the week. She said she was sorry for taking me out into the deeper water. We still remained friends the rest of the week, just not at the pool.

When I look back at this frightening experience, I realized I could have drowned but I didn’t. God was with me, His hand was upon me, and the lifeguard’s quick actions saved me.

So many times we are tested and we have to go “through the waters” and even the fire, but we can be assured through faith that God is with us even during those times. He is the one who created us and redeemed us for His glory. May the words of Isaiah speak to our hearts and lives when we are fearful and feel alone.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” Isaiah 43:5

May the Lord bless you today and always.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Scriptures to Live by: Repentance

“Repent is to turn from sin and resolve to reform one’s life, while repentance is a reciprocal action or effect.”

When I was 15 years of age, I attended a Pentecostal church and our transportation to and from the church each Sunday was a large school bus owned by the church. I enjoyed attending both Sunday School and the morning services. Eventually, I began attending Sunday evening services, which included a teen meeting prior to the worship service. It was there that I learned how important it was for me to turn my life over to God and repent from my sin. It has been over 50 years, and I am still serving a wonderful living Savior.

There are numerous scriptures that explain why it is necessary and why it is important for those who do not know Christ to repent and turn their lives over to God and to begin trusting Him for the strength necessary to serve Him every day.

Matthew 4:17: “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near.”

Luke 5:31-32: “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'”

Acts 3:18-19: “But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Acts 5:31: “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.”

II Corinthians 7:9-10: “…yet now I am happy not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.”

Revelation 3:3: “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard, obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”

In Revelation 3:3, we are reminded that Christ will come back like a thief in the night and for those who have not repented and “turned from their wicked ways,” they will be left behind. May He find us ready.

Blessings,
Yvonne

A Hospitable Spirit: Showing Love and Charity As Christ Shows To Us

Have you ever tried to get a group of friends and/or family members together for a special occasion other than for a funeral and/or other tragic event? Somehow no matter how much planning you do in advance, it just doesn’t work out. One by one you receive a “no” or non-committal response from those who you had invited. Sadly, a decision has to be made and the event has to be cancelled.

A few months ago, we scheduled a family reunion to be held at our home in PA and it was to happen this weekend. We ended up cancelling it because many of my sisters and brothers could not attend. Those who lived closer could have driven in for the day, but most of them would have had to travel a long distance coming from GA, CA, TX, MO, and NC.

However, one of my sisters who I hadn’t seen in 3-4 years and who lives in GA decided to fly up anyway for a week, and we spent some quality time together just catching up. “Sweet Frog” Premium Yogurt got some of our business that week as we enjoyed going out and about and eating our lunches in various eateries. Despite her swollen ankles and physical limitations as well as having to use her cane for support, she never complained and went to bed each night exhausted.

I must admit that when I first arrived to pick her up at the airport and saw her worsened physical condition, I thought we would not be able to do much of anything but she proved me wrong. We had an enjoyable week together during the day, and spent time with my husband in the evenings. Overall, I was glad she came to visit and that I had opened up my home to her with a “hospitable spirit”.

In Hebrews 13:1-2 we are told to “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Jesus teaches us that we should show love and charity the way He shows to us without grumbling and with a hospitable spirit.

Other scriptures that tell us more about Christian hospitality are as follows:

Romans 12:13: “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

I Peter 4:8-10: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

Let us remember that whatever we do let us do it with our whole hearts for His Honor and glory, and we will be blessed beyond measure and our cups will overflow with love and compassion for others.

Blessings
Yvonne