Friday, August 5, 2016

On a Pilgrimage

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.”
Psalm 84:5 (NIV)

Pilgrimage-- a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion: a pilgrimage to Lourdes. (1)

When we learn to rely on the Lord God for our needs, He smiles down and grants us favor— His kindness.

As we grow in the Lord, we learn that we walk with Him and He with us. At times, those paths are straight and the going is easy; we enjoy that time with our Savior.

However, we have times when that walk is uphill, maybe just a slight rise. Then we have step hills, small mountains, to climb. We still keep plodding, not really moving forward but we continue to put one foot in front of the other. We become weary and frustration mounts inside of us.

All at once, the path levels out and we can see our destination ahead. We look back and see that area we have come through. We breathe a prayer of thanks and praise to God and we realize that He gave us the strength for the journey.

As I posted this message, I realized that I have been on a pilgrimage, most of my adult life. I can say that God has guided me through so many of those uphill climbs .I thank him for loving me enough to stay with me during those tough days.

1.) /browse/pilgrimage (accessed Aug. 1, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

LORD, Be Not Far Off

“But you, O Lord, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to me.”
Psalm 22:19 (NIV)

Words of David; he was exhausted. His enemies are all around him. He is weak and emaciated; those near him have left him as dead.

            David calls out to God, asking Him to come quickly to his aid. We sometimes feel we are facing a terribly low time in our lives. We do not care about doing anything or going anywhere. We sit in a funk and ‘vegetate’. Then we realize what causes us to fall into these times. We call out to God to guide us. We learn we are stronger than we believe because He is our strength.
            We try to learn ways to combat the low feeling so we can go about our daily plans.

  1.) Better sleep
  2.) Better diet
  3.) Moving around
  4.) Praying for others
  5.) Being thankful for the good days
  6.) Reading Scripture
 7.) Journaling

Each of these seven points has helped me move through some difficult times. King David called out to the LORD. Hannah called out to God. Jesus called out to the Father. That means we can as well.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Review: Praise is my Weapon By Dan Willis

Book Club Network

               Dan Willis is a pastor in the Chicago area. Pastor Willis, in this book, gives us a study that gives his readers new ways to view our lives through the avenue of praise.

               He has composed praise hymns, some of which are included in his book before each new chapter.                                            
               At the beginning of his second chapter, Pastor Willis speaks of receiving a phone call in the wee hours of the morning. The caller, a friend, shared with him that a mutual friend had been murdered. Five hours later, he learned what had happened. He went to his piano and began to sing and praise. Had he not been able to praise God, he might have gone into depression.

               In chapter six, Express it, Pastor Willis gives us information about seven Hebrew words for praise in the Old Testament. Being a writer and somewhat of a history buff, I enjoyed learning about these words. 
               I recommend this book to anyone who suddenly feels his or her worship needs rejuvenation. I also would recommend it to those in the pastoral ministry as a teaching tool.

               I received this book from Whitaker House publishers through Book Club Network and it’ Book Fun Magazine. All they asked me to do was give an impartial review.

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 ...