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Archive for December, 2014

The Lord said to him, “I will be with you.” Judges 6:16

“For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God, I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10

I have some tough assignments to tackle this week (and this coming new year). Why am I hesitating? Why am I anxious? God kept His promise to Gideon, to Isaiah, and to so many others. Has God changed?

No, the Lord God promises He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I can count on Him to be with me today just as He promised Gideon. I can count on Him today to strengthen me. The words in Isaiah reminds us that the victory is God’s. We only have to come rest in Him, and He will handle the day’s challenges.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Each moment of each day, when I begin to become anxious, question or doubt, Lord Jesus, please prompt me that You are present. I only want to honor and glorify Your Holy Name. Remembering that I am not alone really helps today, Heavenly Father. Keep reminding me when I falter, or hesitate, that I only have to take the steps You have asked me to take because the battle and the victory are Yours. Amen

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“The Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel—God is with us.” Isaiah 7:14

“God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. …Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” …You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 2:29-33

The medical doctor disciple, Luke, begins his gospel with the assurance that after carefully investigating all of the accounts of events that took place surrounding the life of Jesus Christ, he is writing to give us a “careful summary for you to reassure you of the truth of all you were taught.” Luke 1:3-4

Is there any greater assurance that God keeps His promises? Some 700 years after Isaiah prophesied that a virgin would give birth to a son and call him Immanuel, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and told she was fulfilling that prophesy.

We can celebrate the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ this Christmas season, but we can also celebrate that God keeps His word.

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“Call upon me,

and I will answer you

and tell you great and unsearchable things

that you do not know.”

Jeremiah 33:3

A conversation with God: What do you want me to write, Lord? I’m stuck, and nothing I think of goes anywhere. I’ve spent the last few days thinking of this topic to no avail. It seems hopeless, and I made a commitment I don’t want to break! Will you help me, Lord? Your word encourages me to call on you, so that’s what I’m doing. Will you please give me words that will be helpful and encouraging to the women who read this? My desire is that it will glorify you Lord, not me. Jesus, I ask this in your name.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,

by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,

present your requests to God.

And the peace of God which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4: 5,6:

Out of the blue, while washing dishes, you brought this scripture verse to my mind. It is one that I have often turned to through the years as guidance when my heart and mind were troubled. Don’t worry, pray and be thankful! Thank you, God. That was clear to me; I asked for wisdom and you give me scripture. Your word is alive, it transcends the centuries and cultural changes to reach and quiet my heart. You are amazing God!

“Ask in my name and you will receive

and your joy will be complete.”

John 16:24

It’s beyond my wildest imagination that you hear each and every prayer, sigh, gasp, plea that is turned to you. You answer with your Holy Spirit, giving truth, peace, knowledge, wisdom, guidance, joy, patience, encouragement, love, acceptance, grace, courage, strength, endurance, hope — I could go on, an on, Your benefits have no end to them! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for your enduring love and faithfulness. I praise You for who You are, and I am humbly grateful for who I am in you… Your daughter.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine,

according to his power that is at work within us,

to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus

throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Ephesians 3:20

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 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.

Psalm 128:1-3

The building of a legacy is something I never really gave too much consideration in my younger years. Due to much strife and difficult circumstances and a very ‘me’ attitude of survival, I was “in the moment” more than in what the moment would mean in years to come. It was not until I truly began my walk with Jesus, and became a Grandma, that I truly realized the importance of a legacy.  How I wish I would have recognized it in my early mothering years! God showed me the importance of a legacy founded in Him! A legacy that leads to a life filled with not only direction, but hope in the outcomes of our generations to come. A legacy filled with love and wisdom that only time can achieve.

In Psalms 128:1-3 there is a promise I hold dear to my heart. This promise speaks of achievement in the labor of ones hands. It reminds me of a clay potter’s works. Carefully and cautiously prepared, spun on the wheel with the vision of its outcome so clear in mind. Although my direction was not all founded in God in those days before, it has been for a very long time now.  It is my prayer that as God’s word is stated in verses 2 and 3, the fruit will be plentiful and for generations to come the children will be as olive shoots around every table!

 

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Over 4,600 miles, several time zones, and one expansive ocean away, lives my sister and her family.

She has served with her husband as missionary in Hungary for over 7 years, and as a single woman for nearly 3 years before that. In those passing years, we have both missed the births of one another’s children. We have missed holidays, birthdays, and coffee dates.

I knew God had called her to mission work when she was only in high school. I knew that I would spend years of my life apart from her, but I never realized that it was her presence that I would ache for in my life.

Sometimes it is weeks or months before we can chat over the phone. Time spent in her presence is limited to once every two years. The distance between us feels immense, and I long to share in her journey more frequently as she lives out her faith in a small corner of a country that needs Jesus desperately.

And, while I miss my sister dearly, there is nothing I crave more than the presence of God. I must admit, nonetheless, that there are moments when He feels lightyears away, moments when I wonder if He is truly near. When I call on Him, is He here with me? I want to share my heart with Him and want to know He hears me… I long for that reassurance that there is no lost connection, no miles that separate us.

When I open His Word, He answers:

“I called on Your name, Yahweh….You hear my plea….You come near when I call on You.” ~ Lamentations 3:55-57

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” ~ James 4:8

Perhaps you too need to know that God is near. His Word promises us that we can experience the presence of God. When we pray, He is near. When we speak, He hears. Many of the psalms reflect craving for the presence of God, and in these psalms we read the benefits of seeking Him. Psalm 16:11 reveals, “In [God’s] presence is abundant joy.” And many chapters later, in Psalm 73:28, we read “But as for me, God’s presence is my good.”

As the holidays fast approach, there is a loneliness that can set in for many. Separated from loved ones, family, or friends, some may feel alone. If this is you, seek the presence of God. He will never leave you lonely. He promises His presence. There is no distance too great for the God of the universe. He will come near when you call.

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