Friday, May 27, 2011

A Very Precious Thought

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper

you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

I have always loved this verse. Back in 1996, I saw it on an electronic sign at the Christian book store between the university and the main artery on the east side of our town. I passed the business on the way to my dad and stepmother’s to pick her up for her trip to receive her Cancer treatment. My route took me by there three times a day for four days a week.

A young woman at church has recently graduated from high school. She and her brother have been homeschooled, in a Christian setting for a few years. Prior to homeschooling, they attended a Christian school. Her grandmother is a very close friend of mine. My friend told me her granddaughter chose this verse as her guiding verse.

The young woman’s graduation open house is in early June. When she opens the card I chose for her, she find joy and, I hope, blessing from it. All I can say right now is when I saw the card, I immediately thought of her.

Back in January, a man who grew up across the street from us had a major stroke. He has been hospitalized ever since. He’s in his third medical institution, a rehab facility. He recently had a pump implanted to keep the spasticity of his limbs under control. The day before he was to have surgery to place the pump, his wife told him this procedure would give them hope. She wrote in his blog, “He looked at me and said, (in a whisper) “hope and a future.” These words buoy this couple during this lengthy stretch of trial.

When I read what he said to her, I felt joy and peace come over me. So often we find ourselves almost locked into a circumstance and feel that there is no way to move forward back into what we consider ‘normal’. But, God shows us that He will be there no matter what. What makes this so precious to me is He first spoke these words to people in exile.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Great Blessings Abound

Being Blessed through Prayer

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory:

no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11 (KJV)

Our Father doesn’t keep from us any good thing when our walk is blameless-to us when we believe in and live for Him. He scoops out his grace and goodness in large quantities because we belong to Him.

He protects us from danger, provides for our needs, and comforts us when we experience sadness or loss. Our Father instructs us on what needs to be done in our lives.

When God made Jesus Christ King, He did so for all eternity. Had man chosen Him to rule over the people, it would have been for a period of time. When God arranged for Jesus to share His realm, He allowed all of his power to be given to Jesus. We share all the blessings of the Kingdom with Jesus

Reading about God’s blessings for His people has left me with the question: “Do we take seriously our blessings for God?”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

God Blesses Us

Singing Is Praising

“Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.” Psalm 67:57 (KJV)

In my devotional reading recently, I read of God blessing His people. He chooses to bless us in many ways. We seem to take for granted His desire to grant us special times or gifts because we don’t ask.

As I read this scripture passage, I receive the sense of blessings being tied to praise. God blesses His people; they praise Him for what he did for them. He then in turn blesses his people again and again.

Each month in my prayer list, I write praises I receive. My goal has been one praise a day. Some months, I have several each day. I have been going through ‘something’ of late and hadn’t kept up that list this month. On Sunday, I realized I hadn’t posted anything since last Monday. I thought about my week, I found five praises for Saturday alone. Each of these was a blessing from God. When I realized how He had blessed me then, I felt the Holy Spirit in my heart.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...