Saturday, January 11, 2020

Identity and Dependency





Daughteryour faith has healed youGo in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34




         Today's blog is about true identity and dependency, from my perspective.  I want my life to touch God, like the woman literally did in Mark 5:34, and be rewarded in eternity with no suffering.

  Who am I?
 Thankfully over the past 48 years, my identity has changed but my true identity has never changed since I was saved and born again.  My true identity is founded on being a follower of Jesus Christ, a daughter of the King of kings, a redeemed and forgiven soul, a chosen elect of God's family and a witness for the Kingdom of heaven.  Praise the Lord!  My earthly, temporal identity has revolved around being my parent's only child and daughter, a student to many different schools and universities, a friend to many, a wife and ex to one man, a parent to many animals, a relative to quite a few, being a lab tech, and a few more things that were enjoyed in this life but will pass away too.

   How did I get to where I am?
I was raised with expectations and not given a disability excuse to be any less than I could be.  During my school years, I did well, even when other students thought less of me because of my limp walk and braces.  For example, when I had to transfer to a high school with no stairs, I felt the need to prove myself and establish my reputation as a smart kid.  In my world history class, we played Jeopardy the day before a test to prepare ourselves.  Obviously with no one knowing me, the first game I was picked last for a team.  From then on during the school year, I was picked in the first 3 rounds.  How typical is it for us to care how the world around us, thinks of us.  Moral lesson:  Be confident and proud of who you are, regardless of the judging of others that don't matter.

    Did my planned path change? 
Yes, it did.  Ever since 10th grade, I geared my classes and plans toward being a pharmacist.  I graduated 13th in my high school class and then went to UCA for 2 years.  Then I got hit with the curve ball that I prayed for, I got engaged about the same time I was accepted into pharmacy school [twice].  I had to choose because marriage involved moving to Dallas, where there was no pharmacy school, or choosing a career path alone.  I chose marriage because I was so in love and thought it would last forever.  With my knowledge of knowing my disease was progressive, I knew working wouldn't last forever and relationships are more important.  I switched gears, I got married, took a year off from school, then pursued a degree in Microbiology.  In August 1994, I graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology from NIU.  After 2 years of sending out resumes and numerous interviews, I got my dream job with the State of Missouri, Dept. of Agriculture, Diagnostic Lab in Springfield, MO as a Lab Tech 2 with a focus on DNA testing.  This was a job that God knew I could do for just the right amount of time, 5yrs, before having to go on disability.  Moral lesson:  Follow your dreams but don't quit when the winds move you into a different direction.  Follow your heart over money or career, if needed.

    How do you go from an independent life to a totally dependent one?
First, none of us are totally independent.  As it says in John 15:5 "apart from me you can do nothing."  So as strong as you are today, you are disillusioned by your physical strength. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). He supplies our very breath. He also meets our needs “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). God gives and takes away, over time or in a flash, according to His will, not ours. 
  Secondly, I am a woman of action, not excuses.  My disease is one in which there is automatic qualification for disability.  I could have sought out a government paid-off life, but that is not who I am or what I am about.  God didn't give me the brain-power and drive to sit on the sidelines and waste  away.  Happiness comes from growth and purpose.  God has blessed me with true joy and happiness throughout my life.  Sometimes in life, you have to be your own encourager.  I've felt ugly and I've felt beautiful, I've felt dumb and I've felt smart, I've felt weak and I've felt strong.   Guilt and shame come from people, not God! 
  Thirdly, God isn't trying to break me by making me progressively weaker.  God is teaching me to rely on Him and his provisions.  God knows my heart and that if my will was done, I would strive to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.  That's not his will, for any of us. "He doesn’t want our suffering to debilitate us, but when it feels like too much to bear, the promise of eternity and Christ’s presence keeps us from despair "As human beings, we often have a difficult time perceiving what the Lord is doing in our life. We are limited by the passage of time, the confusion of present circumstances, and a lack of understanding regarding God’s goals and His means of accomplishing them."  " The Lord doesn’t want us to simply grit our teeth and bear hardship; He desires that we trust Him and bring glory to His name through our dependence." [intouch.org]
   Fourthly, I am writing these words in this blog mostly for myself.  I feel unhappy because I don't long for or have growth and purpose anymore.  I am gritting my teeth to try to get through each day but trying to stay strong in God's will for me.  It is so hard to be not only blessed by others but to have total dependence as well on them.   God  wants us to grow in Christlikeness, but He doesn’t want to break our spirit.  As this is my last blog, I ask that you pray I will finish strong this journey He has purposefully set for me.  May I live boldly, peacefully, and effectively for His glory.



        

Monday, December 30, 2019

Talented or Not, Just Try


Psalm 66:8-10 "Praise our God, all peoples,
    let the sound of his praise be heard;
he has preserved our lives
    and kept our feet from slipping.
10 For you, God, tested us;
    you refined us like silver."




          Today's blog is about the importance of trying, despite what you think about yourself and how well you do.  "The main end of life is not to do but to become,” F. B. Meyer said. And for this we are being prepared every day.  The refining process may be very painful, but it will not destroy us, for the Refiner sits by the furnace tending the flame. He will not allow us to be tried beyond our endurance; it is for our good.  We may not understand why we have to endure such misery year after year. The ordeal seems endless and pointless.  God is placing us into a crucible in which we acquire patience, meekness, humility, compassion, and the other “quiet” virtues our souls naturally lack.  So don’t be afraid and don’t fret. Your present trial, as painful as it may be, has been screened through God’s wisdom and love." [odb.org]

        I want to be able to say one day, as in Job 23:10,  "When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."  The older I get, the more I see how faithful He has been in not only preserving my life but filled it with goodness, mercy, patience, and grace.  He has also surrounded me with guardian angels, with super-strength wings of speed of protection.



       I want to share a couple of examples of where I've tried, despite my obvious lack of skill and learned from it:

1]  During my 7th and 8th grade years, I played the flute in band.  My teacher said I was so uncoordinated in the beginning that I couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time.  Yet, I improved enough and qualified to get in the marching band in the 8th grade.  I was never 1st chair or very good with my flute, but I do believe it helped my lung strength and capacity at the time.
    For some reason, I don't recall, I went to band camp at Henderson University in Arkadelphia one summer.   Band camp was a learning experience for me, not so much in flute but on physical needs.  I refused to wear my braces that summer, despite all the hills and walking.  I had to try and fail, to prove to myself that I really needed braces.  I realized my need for braces, when I fell and sprained my ankle at the end of the week of camp.  For my good try effort at band camp, I won the 'best camper' trophy.  What a surprise and joyful reward.
     Aren't life lessons often learned by try and fail methods?  God is so patient with us by giving us a new chance every morning when he wakes us up to choose him to follow.  I look forward to waking up with Jesus one day and receiving my everlasting rewards.

2]  During my married years, I gradually learned about computers.  I started out with simple arcade games and advanced on.  A big part of my free time was spent on a game called Acrophobia.   The game involved 3 to 7 letters under a specific category and you have 30 seconds to type in an acronym or phrase with the given letters. The game has 10 players who vote on the best answer.
      My pastime became an obsession, one might say.  I joined a game club, called Cloud9, and soon became the captain of my team.  Being captain meant finding team players, organizing games and running a website.   Captain did not mean best player, but I tried and used other skills to help my team.
      Our hobbies can become idols or a misplaced priority.  We must use moderation in all things.  I definitely overworked my fingers and can only type with accessible modifications now.  Even though I had fun, it was a misuse of some of my time.  God wants us to have fun and live an abundant life within his preordained boundaries and him as top priority.

3]  I attended a church where music lessons were taught to anyone interested, but mainly children.  I was asked if I had any interest.  I had the desire to learn, but didn't know of anything I could play with my physical limitations.  The teacher came up with a hammer dulcimer.  I took lessons for 3-4 years and performed at recitals twice a year.  I learned so much during that season of my life: humility, perseverance, and patience.
     I certainly was never very good at playing, but just taking the chance to try blessed me and others.  Sure I messed up in my practice and live performances, but if I hadn't a least tried, I would've already failed.

       "Christians are tried and purified when God uses difficulty to burn away our self-reliance, pride, and earthly wisdom. If it seems as if God is silent during this process and He is not answering our cries for help, He may be giving us an opportunity to grow stronger in our faith.  Pain and problems can produce the shining, rock-solid character that comes from trusting God when life is hard." [odb.org]

       God is shaping us everyday for his glory, through joy and pain.  "No one enjoys heartache. Yet God uses pain to mold His children. Although times of happiness are wonderful, times of suffering tend to produce more growth. Brokenness can highlight parts of us that try to act independently of God. If we have unsurrendered areas of our life, they may hinder our Father’s purposes for us."  We must try to do our best in this life, with his guiding.  When we try new things that stretch us beyond our comfort zone, you will not be the only one blessed.  Others will see your example and will be inspired, challenged and encouraged in their own walk with Jesus.

God's purpose is that we walk in intimate oneness with Him and serve effectively according to His purpose and will. To accomplish this, He has to break us of our resistance and self-reliance.





Saturday, December 21, 2019

Time..How We Value It's Worth




Ephesians 5:15-16  " Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."


           Today's blog is about time and how we use it, spend it and waste it.   How often I hear from people in my own circle of life, that there isn't enough time for Jesus in a person's life in all different ways.  Although, there are countless hours for Facebook, television, drive-time radio, and partying.  Do you realize God is waiting for a moment of your time to lead, encourage, and bless you and your life?  "The way we use our time reveals what we really believe to be important in life. The Lord Jesus Christ spent time alone with God the Father, no matter how packed His schedule." [intouch.org]  Is your schedule busier and/or more important than Jesus'?  

           How we live comes from who we are, as we cling to the living hope found in Jesus alone, and there we will find strength to persevere.  For the believer, success can be defined as the ability to find the will of God for your life . . . and then doing it!  Success begins with wisdom and the fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins.  When we use our time to seek and know the Lord, we can build our foundation upon him and stand firm in all we do.

        Psalm 74:16  "The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon."
       "He is the Lord of time, and will be so, till day and night shall come to an end, and the stream of time be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity. Let us acknowledge God in the constant succession of day and night, and consecrate both to his honor, by working for him every day and resting in him every night, and meditating in his law day and night." {M. Henry]

           Psalm 106:43  "Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin."
          Just as the Israelites, we have all been at a point of rebellion towards God in our lives.  We have tried to run our lives on our own terms and ways, but we lead ourselves into trouble with that way of thinking and living.  Thankfully, God is full of mercy, truth and power and 'His will' will be done, despite us.  "God can change lions into lambs, and, when a man’s ways please the Lord, will make even his enemies to pity him and be at peace with him. When God pities men shall. Tranquillus Deus tranquillat omnia—A God at peace with us makes every thing at peace."  [M. Henry]


          Psalm 119:20 "My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times."
          Just as David had prayed that God would open his eyes and the law to him, in this verse, he prays for the desire to know God and his mercy.  This is how we should spend our time and reap the everlasting benefits from it.  Also, spend your children's time in ways of teaching them about God and his ways.  If you don't teach your children to love God, the world will teach them not to.  "If you want to be heard, don't follow the herd."

         "In everyone’s life, there tends to be one central issue around which all else revolves. Perhaps it is family, financial security, or a career. In a believer’s life, however, the first priority should be to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33). People sometimes say, “I’ve made Jesus a part of my life,” but that is not enough. Jesus is life for His followers. Without Him, the believer’s life has no purpose or meaning. Seeking God’s will requires perseverance. Rather than simply taking life as it comes and reacting to each situation, we must make our decisions according to the principles of Scripture. Therefore, to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness means we make the pursuit of Christlikeness our primary goal."  [intouch.org]

        "God isn’t subject to time. Because he created time, he operates outside of time. He uses time to test your faith and to build your character. While you’re working on your goal, God is working on you. And God’s much more interested in you than in what you’re trying to accomplish, because you’re not taking your accomplishments to heaven. You’re only taking your character."  [R. Warren]

         As for myself, I see times in my life where God wasn't my top priority.  I, also, see those times as trouble-some and in need of more than I could give myself.  Now, more than anytime in my life, God is my top-priority, always on my mind and my leader in all decisions.  My life goal is to lead and encourage others to use their time in God-invested ways.

The time we have to do God’s work is limited, so we must use it wisely.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Who's Talking To You




Isaiah 26:3-4  "You will keep in perfect peace  those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord,the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal."

Philippians 4:6-7  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Colossians 3:15  " Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

John 14:27  "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

Philippians 4:19  'And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."



          Today's blog is about the voices in our head that we listen to and God's bigger plan.  "Peace is more than a mere word, idea, or feeling. It is actually an awesome gift of God that He gives to those who, through faith in Jesus Christ, belong to Him and walk obediently in His ways."   God provides peace to all believers, but when we feel like we are in a state of chaos, we haven't let his peace rule and govern our hearts and lives.

          "When we doubt His faithfulness, worry and fear will creep back in. We’ll dwell on all the uncertainties, forget God’s promises, and try to carry the burden ourselves."  This is when the devil wants to get in our heads and create lies that lead us to doubt God's goodness for us.  When we allow sin to control our lives, our peace with God is disturbed and our conscience frets.  "We must learn to trust His wisdom and be satisfied with His choices for us because only then will we have His peace."

           "When we depend on Him and l ive in His sufficiency, we not only experience His peace, but we also become a witness to others as they see how God can work in a life submitted to Him.  Courage is the quality of mind or spirit enabling one to meet danger or face opposition or the challenges of life with fearlessness, calmness, and firmness."

           Many situations in life have the capacity to make us feel hopeless and helpless.  Whatever the cause, the most important issue is how we respond to the situation. Perhaps we’d like to give up and walk away or blame God or someone else, but instead of simply reacting to our distress, let’s consider how the Lord would have us respond.  We should 1] Remember our salvation experience and remind ourselves of the trust we have put in God, 2] Remember that God has a purpose for each of our lives and there is purpose in our pain, 3] Remind yourself of the confidence you have in God's love, promises and his faithfulness, 4] Rely on the Holy Spirit within you to help you press on thru the difficulties you face in life, 5] Remind yourself of the commitment you made to live a life for God, as long as he gives you breath, 6] Turn to your believing friends for prayer, encouragement, and truth thru God's word.

        As for myself, I've faced many scary situations in life.  It wasn't until this past year's ordeal with my fall and subsequent brain bleed that I can say I truly felt helpless and almost hopeless.  I say almost hopeless, because I did doubt God's goodness for the rest of this life but I never doubted my eternal life's destiny.  Some say the devil was talking to me and creating doubt thru my pain meds but I only think that was partially true.  I thought a lot about giving up before I said it out loud.  Death is a reality, we will all face but it's not to be spoken of lightly.  I was fearful of the upcoming days because of the pain I had never experienced before but now knew all too well.  I also knew of a place from Revelation 21:4 where"‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”   I was never more ready to be there, even tho I had so much to lose, temporarily.  THANK GOD, I had a God that wasn't done with me yet and a strong support system to remind me daily of it.  God's bigger picture and purposes are so, so much bigger than what we could dream or ask for.

         So, I urge you to expect difficulties in this life but trust in God who is greater, bigger, and more powerful than anything you will ever face.  1 John 4:4  "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."  1 John 4:9-10  "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."


Monday, December 2, 2019

God Gives and Takes Away But My Heart Blesses His Name




          Today's blog is about the things in my own life that God has both given and taken away.  "Though not every physical ailment gets put back together, bearing those crosses opens us to God’s presence. Every time we experience injury and loss, Christ invites us to live without fear, without closing our eyes. Even if things do not go back to “normal,” honest dialogue with God about our weakness brings wholeness that transcends disease." [intouch.org]  In my talks with God during my physical losses, He still encourages me to not only live well, but fully.

          As a baby during child development, I was normal in my growth and progress.  I began walking, just as others did at my age.  At age 5, my right foot began turning in and falling became a too frequent incident.  After seeing orthopedic doctors, I began wearing corrective shoes that led to AFO leg braces.  God granted me the gift of walking, although not flawless, till I was in my mid-twenties.  God didn't give me a sit-on-the-sidelines kind of spirit, but one of a do-what-you-can while you can spirit.  My childhood included bike riding, rollerskating, dodgeball, jump rope and more.  My braces weren't an excuse to do less, but a supporter to do more.

          My voice is a symptom of vocal cord paralysis.  Therefore, my voice has never been 'strong' but as my disease is progressive, so has my voice weakened.  In my early twenties, I felt my voice was a thorn in me, like Paul, and I pleaded for it to be better thru surgery.  As with Paul, God said to me too, "“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”   My surgeries made me significantly weaker, but did not destroy me.  I began wearing sleep breathing aids in 1992, but only began wearing them during the day around 2005.  One might say that my voice did improve in 2011, when I began this blog, angie's that's that.  God does work in mysterious ways.

           God gave me the physical strength and ability in life to accomplish all of my dreams and goals.  One might assume by looking at my physical state now, that my life has been small or not full of my expectations.  That false assumption couldn't be further from the truth.  I have done more in and with my life than many able bodied individuals.  I've  completed college, been married and divorced, worked at my dream job for 5 years, traveled far and wide, and developed countless friendships along the way.  When my strength began to fail me, God didn't forsake me or leave me alone.  Instead, he provided me with a strong support staff to help me accomplish my daily desires.  Since my life has become less independent and more dependent on others, I see that my life is more God-focused and my abilities are used more for his glory.

           This blog is in no way meant to boast about me, but is meant to show how God both gives and takes but never forsakes his children.  What I consider earthly loss, I also consider more of an eternal gain.  "For when I am weak, then I am strong."  God has taught me how to live well, while dying with a progressive disease.  Thank God that I was not only elected and chosen by him, but also that I freely accepted his gift of salvation.

          If you are struggling with loss, illness, or pain, I pray that you seek and trust in God's bigger plan and purpose for your life.  God sent his Son so that you may be set free and live life to the fullest.  Turn your own weaknesses into a learning benefit for yourself and others.  May God get the glory in all things from our lives.


           

Monday, November 25, 2019

Seek and You Shall Find




           Today's blog is about why we should seek to know God.  "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" Proverbs 1:7  "For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."  Proverbs 2:6  How often are we wise in our own eyes, only to be shown to be dead wrong?  Deuteronomy 32:4 says God is "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."  Seeking God should be a daily priority in each of our lives.  Matthew  6:33  "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

           It is not our wrong conduct that condemns us, but rather the fact that our nature is corrupt. Whether good or bad, our deeds don’t determine where we will spend eternity. Apart from the Lord, no one is righteous—not a single person has done enough good to earn a place in heaven. But the Father loves us and wants us to live with Him eternally. So, before the creation of the world, He planned a solution....the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.


          "Perhaps you have been viewing God’s instruction book—the Bible—in a hesitant way. There are those 66 books to read and apply. Then there’s the obstacle of insufficient time or interruptions that distract you. Or, it may seem as if additional training is needed to understand divine truth. Any one of these could cause us to veer away from Scripture. Even mature Christians can find themselves inattentive to the Bible. But when we wander from God’s Word, we soon wander from God and His ways."  [intouch.org]


        ""Many spend years searching out the knowledge of an earthly trifle. What pains, then, should we take in finding out the knowledge of God in Christ! There must be digging and searching for it, as one would search for a vein of silver: 'If you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God' (Proverbs 2:4-5)." [Thomas Watson]


        "The Enemy works to create doubt in our minds. He wants us to question the truth of the Word, and even to feel unsure about our salvation. Once disbelief sets in, as it did for Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1-6), our minds will start to rethink the interpretation of Scripture in order to justify our conduct.   Regardless of what today may bring or the trouble you are now going through, don’t forget that your God is stronger than anything in your life. So, be confident! The shadow of His all-prevailing presence guarantees that His power can turn even the worst situation into something good."   [odb.org]


        If you don't know Jesus, I personally encourage you to seek Him and you will find Him.  "Jesus....The One who will never reject us. The One who knows what it feels like to be rejected — though He should have been the most accepted. The One who will sit with us and remind us rejection from man doesn’t equal rejection from God. The One who whispers to each of us, “The voices of shame and rejection can come at you, but they don’t have to reside in you.”


        As for myself, I was raised in the church with Sunday school, GA's, and choir.  As a young adult on my own, I didn't make God's word a top priority.  Life got in the way, but God opened doors of opportunities within my busy life.  For example, when I went to the University of Texas in Arlington, I parked my scooter in the Church of Christ student center.  I was invited to their bible study there and I accepted the invite.  Another example, most of my co-workers at my job were believers and encouraged me in my path.  Seeking God is a choice and God will provide opportunities to you to learn.


Psalm 53:2  "God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God."

v

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Broken, But Thankful Heart




Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
    I will sing your praises before the gods.

I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.

    I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
    by all the honor of your name.

As soon as I pray, you answer me;

    you encourage me by giving me strength.

Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord,

    for all of them will hear your words.

Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,

    for the glory of the Lord is very great.

Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble,

    but he keeps his distance from the proud.

Though I am surrounded by troubles,

    you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
    and the power of your right hand saves me.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life—

    for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Don’t abandon me, for you made me.


           Today's blog is a combination blog on thankfulness, brokenness, and surrender.  Now that it's November, we will soon celebrate Thanksgiving.  As Psalm 138 states, we should be thankful with all of our heart and all of the time.  Thankfulness isn't limited to the good, fun times of our journey but also, to the hard times that broke us of ourselves.  "Brokenness is a lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of our heart and life, as He sees it. It is a lifestyle of unconditional, absolute surrender of our will to the will of God—a heart attitude that says, “Yes, Lord!” to whatever God says."

         "There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek the Lord more sincerely.  There are some things in our lives that need to be broken: pride, self-will, stubbornness, and sinful habits, for example.  To us, broken things are despised as worthless, but God can take what has been broken and remake it into something better, something that He can use for His glory. Broken things and broken people are the result of sin. Yet God sent his Son, who was without sin, to be broken so that we might be healed.  Sometimes we must be broken before we realize our need. And our deepest need is to be reconciled to God. Only then can we be made whole.  The solution can never come from our own efforts or striving, but comes only from Him. Only when we recognize our need for God are we able to take our eyes off ourselves and focus them on God and Jesus Christ.  Only when we confess that we are broken can God make us into what He wants us to be. Once we let go of self and place God at the center of our lives, everything else falls into place."  [gotquestions.org]


          "Too often people drowning in the world’s fast-moving current refuse to grab onto the spiritual life preserver: Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for all of humanity, but individuals have a responsibility in salvation. A person must recognize his or her own helplessness and acknowledge the need for Christ. That means the new Christian accepts Jesus’ sacrifice as true and personal, believing that there is no other way to be rescued. It isn’t necessary to understand everything about faith and the Bible in order to be saved—God will ensure that His children learn whatever they need from the Holy Spirit. However, it is critical to realize that we cannot save ourselves."  [Intouch.org]


          Psalm 138 should help remind us to personally look back with thankfulness to our own experiences we have had of God's goodness in our lives.  It should comfort us with the reminders of his unfailing love, faithfulness, and promises.  It should encourage our boldness, with our praises and thankfulness, before the world.


        "God opposes the proud, who think, I can do this myself (James 4:6). He pours out His strength to the ones who know that they cannot accomplish the goal but believe that He can do so through them. The Lord wants us to trust Him. He may at times ask us to remain in an uncomfortable situation or take on a task that seems far beyond our capability. In either circumstance, relying on Him will bring us the inner fortitude to choose His way."

[intouch.org]
        As for myself, God has used my health, my desires, and the people in my life to break me.  I praise him for those life-giving moments.  They taught me that I can't do this alone and I need God every hour.  I am not enough, but He is.  May we always let the breaking times of life, make us better not bitter.


        "Lord,  Remind me today of your sacrifice; keep it close to my heart. Make me not only thankful for but a vessel of your grace. Don’t let your grace stop with me, but show it to others through me. Be with all those who do not believe in you and have hard hearts. Let them know the promise of your good news. Thank you for the depth of your love. You sent your Son to die a sinner’s death so that I could be redeemed. Thank you that you want to have a relationship with me through Jesus Christ."  [God Is With You Everyday, M. Lucado]



Daily meditation on God’s Word is the key to courageously accomplishing all that He sets before us. It includes five essential elements.  [C. Stanley]
  • Reading. We must first know what God has said in His holy Word.
  • Believing. Then we should believe His Word and His promises.
  • Absorbing. Next, we absorb Scripture into our thinking so we understand it, and it governs our thoughts.
  • Applying. God’s Word applied directs our way of living.
  • Obeying. Knowing what God has said, we respond with complete and full obedience. This is the goal of meditation.