Tough Day?

I can relate to having a tough day. In fact, I’m in the middle of several all strung together, and I’ve had a lifetime of disappointment and shame. I have been relying on a man for 2 years instead of relying on my Lord, and find myself betrayed, lied to, and disrespected…. again. Still, I choose to believe in and hold on to these verses in the psalms:

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our LORD! His Power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!” – Psalms 147:3‭-‬5 NLT

Knowing this doesn’t make my life, or my day, better. It does, however, bring me a measure of peace. You can know this peace, too, if you want it. Jesus came for everyone, even the ones who have hurt us. He suffered horrible things, and He allowed Himself to be brutally murdered for those who hurt, AND for those who hurt us. That’s hard to hold on to, especially when the wounds (physical or emotional) are fresh.

“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” –
2 Corinthians 5:15‭-‬17 NLT

There are many seasons in life, and it seems that some of us are stuck in the muck and mess of this world when others just seem to skate over it, unaffected. (I know they are affected, bjut it’s difficult to see sometimes when you are trying hard to just keep your head above water.) I’ve stated many times over the past couple of years how blessed I have been to have a man in my life who loved me and (seemly) wanted to spend his life with me. It’s rough to be told it’s over. Despite my feeling of hurt and betrayal, I am compelled to pray peace for him. My human point of view is flawed, so in order to keep from spewing ugliness in my hurt, I have to look through God’s eyes to see His child. Feelings will change and the hurt will recede, eventually.

“King David said this about Him: ‘I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts His praises! My body rests in hope. For You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of Life, and You will fill me with the Joy of Your Presence.’ ” – Acts of the Apostles 2:25‭-‬28 NLT


It’s Snowing!

In central Oklahoma, snow is not the norm for the cold winter months. We have lots of ice, generally, and cold, windy days, but not much snow. Today, it is snowing gentle flakes, coming down with hardly a breeze, and there is a light dusting sitting on my holly bushes by the front windows. I am sitting on the couch, cozily situated with a blanket, my two pups sprawled across my lap, and a steaming cup of coffee at my elbow. The Christmas tree is sparkling across the room, and a fire dances merrily in the fireplace. Cozy and warm. Does it get any better than this?

There won’t be enough snow for a snowman ⛄, and it shouldn’t affect the roads. The kids will be sad, and the adults will be thankful the roads probably won’t be slick. Not like the mountain states with feet of snow, or back east where they have been having blizzard conditions. I am thankful for where I live.

Days like this have me checking my gratitude list. Notwithstanding my lack of a job and the dismal state of my finances, there is much to be grateful for. I have a home that has heat and running water. There is my vehicle, sitting in the garage (I have a garage!), food in the pantry and refrigerator. I get to care for my pups and my cats, and I receive unconditional love and acceptance from them. I have a man who loves me, and family and friends who love me in spite of myself. Most of all, I have a Savior Who gave His Life in order for me to spend eternity with Him. Does it get any better than this? I don’t think so…..

The Day After

Did you survive the chaos? Maybe you are depressed and discouraged by all the hoopla. It’s so easy to lose our way in the aftermath of the Christmas celebrations. The adrenaline rush and the endorphin high are wearing off, and the realization that the bills will soon be streaming in is beginning to sink in. The excitement and anticipation is gone. The kids are getting bored with their presents. It’s too cold/wet/stormy/hot ( 😁 ) to send them outside to play, so they are stampeding through the house and screaming bloody murder. Schools are out until after the new year, and parents are pulling their hair in frustration.

Sound familiar?

“Listen in silence before Me, you lands beyond the sea. Bring your strongest arguments. Come now and speak. The Court is ready for your case. …. Don’t be afraid, for I AM with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I AM your GOD. I will Strengthen you and Help you. I will hold you up with My Victorious Right Hand.” – Isaiah 41:1‭, ‬10 NLT

As difficult as it is to sit still and listen, it is crucial to our well-being that we do it. We don’t have to be in a great cathedral, or even a simple, humble little chapel. To escape the noise, it might have to be in a closet with the door closed, and part of your prayer could be that the house is still standing and in one piece when you come out. Take a few minutes today, and tomorrow, and the next day, Ad Infinitum…. We need the proclivity to continue this practice. I believe that after a few days of spending quiet prayer time with the LORD, you will feel bereft if you try to go through a day without it. The best resolution we can make is to carve out a few minutes of every day to spend with Him. You don’t need any accoutrements, or any specific place. You just need Jesus, and He will do as He promised. He will never leave us to make it on our own, unlike any human man or woman.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Campbell in Big Sur, CA.

Let Heaven and Nature Sing

“For this is how GOD Loved the world: He gave His ONE and ONLY Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have Eternal Life. GOD sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. …. And the judgment is based on this fact: GOD’s Light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil.” – John 3:16‭-‬17‭, ‬19 NLT

Incomprehensible. That’s the best word I can conjure up to explain how I see this.

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him IMMANUEL, which means ‘GOD is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the LORD commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.” – Matthew 1.23-25.NLT

Miraculous, no matter what you think. GOD, Creator, Almighty Jehovah, Yahweh….. left everything to be born into a human family. He went from a place of unimaginable wealth and comfort, to be laid in a manager full of straw, in a stable full of animals. Know any really wealthy people? I do, and the thought of any one of them giving up one of their children to be laid in a stable and raised in poverty….. well, it’s beyond my imagination. They just wouldn’t do it, yet the GOD Who owns the entire universe, the earth, moon, sun, and ALL of the planets and stars, put His Son, His ONLY Son, in just that place. See, it’s incomprehensible. Almost unimaginable, but true.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday, JESUS!!

Mary’s Song

“Oh, how my soul praises the LORD. How my spirit rejoices in GOD my SAVIOR! For He took notice of His lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is Holy, and He has done great things for me. He shows Mercy from generation to generation to all who fear Him. His Mighty Arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped His servant Israel and remembered to be Merciful. For He made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” – Luke 1:46‭-‬55 NLT

What a beautiful song! A young girl, unremarkable, maybe plain looking, and certainly not wealthy, is chosen by the King of the Heavens to bear His Son, Messiah, Emmanuel. I love how He works. He could have chosen an Egyptian princess, or a queen of any place on earth; instead, He chose Mary, a humble young girl in Nazareth of Judea, with a carpenter to stand as His Son’s earthly father. A small town girl, a servant girl, was honored to bear the Son of the Almighty God! Can you imagine? Coming from a small town, I can imagine that the inhabitants of Nazareth were buzzing about this young girl and her claim to be pregnant by the Lord Jehovah! She and her fiancé ignored the whispers and the gossip to follow God’s plan for them, despite the pain and turmoil it must have caused them. Oh, that I could have the Faith and obedience this young girl had!

The question today is, are you obedient to the LORD, even when it causes others to look at you askew and mock you? I confess I struggle mightily with this. We cannot mildly look around us and assume that we don’t need to obey, because He will NOT be mild in His Judgement or punishments. Are you mildly seeking Him, or are you pursuing the LORD with all of energy you can muster?

“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3 NLT

“But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” – Revelation 3:16 NLT

Like Mary, we need to embrace God’s Truth….

Why December?

Why NOT December? Scholars and theologians debate the month, date, and year that JESUS was actually born, but really, why do they think it matters? Do YOU think it matters? For myself, it doesn’t. His actual birth date is irrelevant. The thing we should be focused on is the FACT of Jesus’ birth. Historically, we know He was born in Bethlehem, we know that He entered Jerusalem (triumphantly!) when He was 33 years old, and that He was hung on a Roman cross like a common criminal. History supports His empty tomb, and the multitude of eyewitness accounts support His resurrection from the tomb.

“Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” ” – Matthew 2:1‭-‬2 NLT

“Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.” – Luke 1:1‭-‬4 NLT

No matter when you choose to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, what counts is that you celebrate it. It could be as simple as a single candle for His Birth day, and it can be an all-out decorated extravaganza, as long as we remember the reason we are celebrating. The food and trees, the lights and decorations and presents are all great fun, but the WHY…. that is what truly counts.

Merry CHRIST-mas!

The Blessings of Christmas – Days 4, 5

I am empty. Stressed, frustrated, and feeling hopeless.

Christmas is such a beautiful season where we have the blessings and opportunities to celebrate our Saviour’s birth. I love this time, and I am very aware of how much I am blessed. So why am I empty at such a joyous time? Perhaps it is because I am so overwhelmed with the bills I am facing, realizing that there is no earthly way to meet the obligations that are past due. For the past 21 months, I have operated under the assumption that any day, I would receive a reasonable, physically doable job offer. I have resisted going back to retail due to some physical issues. To get by, I have relyed heavily on my credit card to cover me, and now the house of cards is tumbling. I have not been worrying and stressing, because I know that God teaches us not to. He is in control.

Pray for me.