Friday, January 10, 2014

God’s Shelter

“In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men;
in your dwelling place you keep them safe from accusing tongues.”
Psalm 31:20 (NIV)

David, the shepherd king, speaks here of God protecting those who fear Him. The Lord had protected David from King Saul, and from his own son. David gives credit to God for protecting him from the secret plotting of those whose aim was to bring harm to him.

As followers of Christ, we ask Him to keep us and our children and our loved ones safe from harm. When we hear of a family’s need, we ask God to wrap His arms of love around them. Draw them close, and whisper appropriate words into their ears.

God keeps his children safe because He loves them. He loves us even when we are unlovely. If we were to think about it, we would realize that God has kept us safe many times. The semi that ran a red light and would have hit you, if you had accelerated right after the light turned green for you. The bare electrical wires rubbed against the conduit and arced every time the wind blew. The incident with the semi happened when I by myself. These things happened to us except God was with us.
As I prepare to advance-post this entry, our area of our state is awaiting a winter storm that could dump 12 inches of snow on our area. Then after that front heads east, we are supposed to have subzero temperatures for almost 2 ½ days (the forecasters keep saying 55+ hours.) Our next door neighbor, who also does our handyman work for us, works for a man who clears snow from parking lots and apartment complexes in Indianapolis. My husband and I recently had a conversation about this young man and the things that could go wrong while he does this job. My response was, “Haven’t you prayed to God and ask His protection over him?” Hubby replied that he had.

When we ask God to protect ourselves or anyone, I believe we can trust that God will do what we have asked. We place the situation with God and He takes over. I wish people would learn this and then practice it. We all would be better off if we did. Again, that is my personal thought on the issue.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blameless and Holy in His Presence


“May he strengthen your hearts so you will be blameless
and holy  in the presence of our God and Father when
our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

 1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV)

The Apostle Paul states that God will make the Thessalonians and future readers strong so that they, and we, will be innocent and holy when we all come before God when Jesus comes to reign on earth.

What does it mean to be blameless as we stand in God’s presence? Jesus has taken away our sins, every one of them. He looks on us as we have not sinned.(Justified) We are deemed innocent by Jesus. When we go into God’s presence, we are not kept at arm’s length. God beckons us to come closer. He wraps His arms of love around us and draws us up beside Him.

God doesn’t think of us as anything but His children. He speaks words of greeting into our ears. He makes us feel at home because we are. We feel special. He has set us apart for His Kingdom’s work. We have been used of God while we were on earth; we will continue to be used of God when we enter His presence.
Someone may ask us why God does this for us. The only answer that makes any sense is that He loves us that much.
Dear Father:

               Thank You for loving us so very much. Thank You for taking away our sin. Lord, we thank You for looking upon us as Your dear children. Please guide us through the tough times and help us to grow in knowledge of You. We give You praise. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN

A very special song:In the Presence of Jehovah
Graphic: gardenof

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Book Review Let Hope In By Pete Wilson

Let Hope In

Let Hope In presents us, the readers, with choices that are geared to improve our outlook and our lives. The author presents these options to mull over as we consider allowing our lives to recover from so many hurts thrown at us by the world.

The best way to describe the thrust of this book is to say it deals with healing. We tend to hang onto our pasts with all the mistakes we made, in spite of the fact we want our pasts to be just that- our pasts. Pete Wilson says in this book that when our past keeps going to the forefront of our minds, it happens because we allow it to.

In one chapter, Trusting vs. Pleasing the author concludes with: “I want to live a life where I have to lean on God’s grace rather than trying the journey alone to reach him.”

I would recommend this book to anyone who struggles with letting go of past hurts. This book would be a great study for small groups. I also see it being utilized in a counseling ministry by Christian counselors.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through its Booksneeze program. All they ask of me was that I read it and give an unbiased review.

Monday, January 6, 2014

His Joyful Presence


       “You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalm 16:11(NIV)

When I opened my copy of ‘Jesus Calling’ as I do each morning, I found this nugget of wisdom:
“Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.”

As I reflect on what I initially write here, I am thankful for God’s presence in my life.
His presence with His children gives hope for even the direst circumstance we have. Even when we don’t realize it God is present with us. As God’s children, we have many things to give Him thanks for: for Jesus, for our salvation, and especially for His presence.

In our nation, we celebrate a holiday called Thanksgiving. One way people celebrate that time of year is to practice the act of remembering the many things that they are thankful for. I have read online where people say we should practice thanksliving. I try to do that every day by reflecting on the good things that happen to me each day and look at them as a gift from God.

When I have a questionable day-a day that has something hard or distasteful happen- I have to look to see how God was there. Was there a way that the event might have been worse?
 I keep a list on my portable word processor. I started keeping this list when I read 1,000 Gifts Devotional Book, by Ann Voskamp. A few years ago, I kept a praise list. By keeping a thankful/praise/gift list, we learn to thank God for all things. Most of all we can thank Him for His presence.
Dear Lord God:

Thank You for being with us at all times—even when we can’t feel you with us. Thank You for your protection when we go through troublesome times. I give You praise. In the name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN

Praise Hymn:In Your Presence


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 ...