Friday, May 16, 2014

Fear No Evil

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4(NIV)

Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know how it would end? All you wanted was the best for the principal or principals involved. When you prayed, you didn’t know how to pray, so you prayed for God’s will.

King David tells the Father that he feels His presence in times of grief, stress, and personal crisis. David also tells God that he will not fear while he goes through times of difficulty.

When my stepmother passed on, I felt the prayers of God’s people. They prayed for us because they knew of her lengthy illness. When my dad left this earth almost eleven years later, some of those same people prayed for me, along with those in our new place of worship. I could feel the prayers.

The shepherd king finds solace as God protects him from other things that could attack him as he walks through the wilderness. 

In my life history, at the times of a loss, I had to hear of side issues about the person who had passed on or someone else close to the departed. Sometimes a person would remember something that happened in the family maybe 29 years ago. I found these extraneous stories hurtful. As I have grown closer to God, I know that He will shield me from further emotional hurts during my times of grief.

At Church this past Sunday , a lady raised her hand and asked us to pray for Indianapolis. Her words were sobering. "We can't go out of our houses without someone getting shot and killed."  All we can do is pray. They seem to have a new homocide each night. Please help us pray for this terrible situation. 

Dear Lord God:
   Thank You for protecting us as we go through dark valleys of grief, emotional upset, and fear. We give You praise for who You are. In the name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

No More Pain

“He will wipe away 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.” Rev 21:4 (NIV)

John the Revelator gives us a beautiful picture of what it will be like when we get to heaven.
• God will be there with us, consoling us.
• Death and the accompanying mourning will not be present. We will live forever.
• Crying and pain have no place in the New Jerusalem.
There will be a new order of things; new events will fill our lives. Things that cause us pain will not be allowed once we enter through the gates. God will take care of all these things.

I find hope in these words. In today’s world I see and hear news that try to bring me down. You know the headlines. But you and I both know that God is in control and will bring His children through until we reach the other side.

We don’t know what tomorrow brings for each of us. We have to trust God to be with us and to help us as He walks with us and consoles us in our trials and tribulations. I am reading Radical Integrity: The Story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. When he spent a year in the United State attending Union Theological Seminary in New York, a fellow student took Bonhoeffer a Baptist church in Harlem to better understand the worship of the black people. He learned that those in worship had to feel the Lord or they hadn’t found Him. I was blown away by that thought.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sing Songs of Praise

Is any of you in trouble? He should pray.
Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.”
Jas. 5:13 (NIV)

James shares with his readers the secret to conquering trouble and disappointment; we are to pray. He also tells those same readers how they, and we, can rejoice when happiness is in the heart.
We sometimes forget to pray until we have exhausted every other avenue of dealing with a circumstance. We find ourselves praying after we have worn ourselves out with worry. We should pray first and pray until something happens {PUSH.}
From time to time, I wake with a praise song or a hymn going through my mind. On other days, I have a tune I hum. This one particular tune is from a chorus we sing at church but I can’t remember the words. But God knows the words and I believe the Holy Spirit sings that praise song to God in my behalf.
I wonder. If we each took our favorite scripture passage and found a tune that fit the mood of the words and sang it to God, wouldn’t He be pleased?
While I input this and edited it, I heard our next door neighbor’s voice outside my window. I heard a faint knock on our outer door. When I went to see for sure that they were there, she and her significant other stood on our stoop. He held their pet lizard, called a bearded dragon. I am not one to take to exotic pets. When I saw it on his hand, I stiffened. (I had to struggle to get a C in Zoology in college.) The facts they shared with us were pretty interesting. Hubby had told them I would be skittish around it. I didn’t hold it. Let’s say I was distantly curious. Why is this praiseworthy? They do our yard work and snow removal. We have known him since he was born. The real praise is they wanted us to see it.

I can praise God for this experience because He is in control of my life and my reactions to things that happen to me.

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 ...