Monday, December 31, 2012


At the verge of a “new year”… what will I make of it??? December 31, seems to always bring out some sort of self-reflection… how about in you?  The path I could see my life heading down a year ago is definitely not where I am now… love how God has His own idea, i.e. better plan, just around the corner, if we are willing to hear Him and follow!
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  Psalms 18:2

There were many ups and downs in the past year, but I believe what I choose to reflect on will also set the stage for the next year.  Are you looking to “escape” from 2012?  Do you only see the bad things that you never want to see again?  Let me share a couple things that happened in my life this year… my mom has not been well for a couple years.  She spent multiple times in the hospital this year… 2 of which were in the “behavioral ward.”  I just kept praying for her and over her, along with many prayer warriors… at times it really felt like God had abandoned her, but deep down I knew that wasn’t true.  It really seemed like a nightmare at times, but I kept clinging to God’s faithfulness… His Promises.  My family went through this together… we knew no matter what happened God would be our strength to get through it!  This I would say would be a low point of my year… but without this low point I would never recognize the high point.  The high point and what I am going to reflect on… Within the last few weeks my mom has made a miraculous turnaround… my sisters and I had gone through the last year not really having our mom, but now God has given her back to us! Lessons can be so hard to learn but when you come out on the other side… it is so sweet! 

Another thing that occurred in the past year… my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  Even through this diagnosis God had His hand print all over it!  First of all, they diagnosed the cancer before Dad really had any symptoms! Secondly, God had brought an incredible doctor into the picture because of my mom’s illness… this doctor was the one who caught the cancer before symptoms started! With all that my dad had been dealing with regarding my mom… God gave him such peace… if Daddy was worried about it, I never saw it.  Dad went through a month of radiation treatments without any real complications.  Through all this there have been lives touched… all the glory goes to God!  But without the low point of cancer there would never be the high point of a cancer-free biopsy report a week before Christmas!

I don’t share any of this to show you that my life is anymore special than anyone else’s, but to encourage you that even though none of us want to have the down moments of life… it is through those low times we can experience the up moments!  If life was always the same… would we even recognize the miracles God is doing in us and through us?  I ask you to take a few moments and ask God to shine His light on those special moments of 2012 in your life… then give Him all the praise He so deserves!  Maybe you are not on the other side of your down time… praise Him and thank Him in advance for Who He is and what you know He is doing!

Praying a blessedly prosperous New Year for you!

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters,
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift of His Presence...

In preparation of Christmas I was getting out the boxes and boxes of decorations.  Some bring back precious memories, while others are just a passing fad.  I love adding just a little something new every year to keep things fresh though.  Did you ever notice that after the ornaments have been hanging on the tree for a few weeks they are kind of dusty?  Or is that just at my house?  I have an ongoing battle with dust… I hate to dust and I think dust purposely antagonizes me!!!

I was checking my gift list and what we still need to get before the big day… then my mind was drawn to Christ, Father’s Gift to all of us.  The most precious gift ever! It has been a rough year for so many that I care about in so many ways.  But my eyes keep turning back to that original Gift… no matter the circumstances of life the only thing that matters is our relationship with God that started on that first Christmas morning.  Jesus Christ was born in a dusty stable, but from that very moment He started to change the world… He takes all the “dust” and grime of our lives and sweeps it all away never to be seen again, if we just turn to Him.

There have been many questions of why God lets things happen… some feeling like the bad circumstances are a punishment from God.  If you look in the Bible there are so many instances when bad things were happening to people and it was not as a punishment!  Look at Job for instance… what would we do if all our possessions were taken… we lost our job… our kids were killed???  I know for myself, I probably would ask God why He would allow such things… if He loves me so much how could He let me go through all this pain???

We like to understand things… we like to try and fix things… we think we know more of what we need than God does… admit it, we have all been there.  I will admit it… I am impatient… I like to figure things out on my own… I want to live in comfort not pain!  But if everything was “peachy keen” all the time how would I ever grow?  And truthfully, what would I need God for?  God may not bring on any of the distress in our lives but He will allow it… ultimately to be used for His glory!

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

In Job 38 and 39, God and Job are having a “conversation.”  If you take the time to read it you will see that God was letting Job know that no matter what his circumstances were God was still in control!  God created all things… He should know how to keep things going and in order! Hmm… not so easy to remember sometimes.

Getting back to the gift part… if our Heavenly Father was willing to give up His only Son to restore His relationship with us… why would He ever do anything to cause us harm?  He sent Jesus to earth as a precious little baby but He wants us to let Him be so much bigger than we can ever imagine in our lives!  So I guess the question is… If Father was willing to give me and you such a precious Gift are we willing to trust Him no matter our circumstances?

“Blessed are the people who know how to praise you. They walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They find joy in your name all day long. They are joyful in your righteousness because you are the glory of their strength. By your favor you give us victory.  Our shield belongs to the Lord.  Our king belongs to the Holy One of Israel.” Psalms 89:15-18 (God's Word trans.)

Father, I thank You for Your goodness and the precious Gift of Your Son! I praise You for Your presence… that You will never leave us alone!  Lord, You are so faithful! All praise to You!

Rejoicing in Truth!