Tag Archives: Bible

A Psalm for Monday.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,

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courtesy of unsplash.comand all that is within me,

  and all that is within me,  bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works vindication
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
    so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
    he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
    on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.“~Psalm 103
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The Word on Wednesday-Straight Paths.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
    and He will make your paths straight.”~Proverbs 3:5-6

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How much do we make our focus wanting to know which path to take? For many of us, we expend a tremendous amount of our thought life and energy trying to “figure things out.” This can bring our hearts to places of confusion. It can bring us to trusting in ourselves and our own abilities to choose and decide. We lose focus of our Creator. Where should our hearts find their first priority? As these verses remind us, we must submit our hearts and our ways to God. We must trust in our God completely. When we submit to Him and trust Him in each area of our lives, He will make our paths straight. Living in a holy manner and in trust will keep us on a straight path to the Heavenly Father and the purpose in our lives.

Highlights of 2016

It’s difficult to believe that 2016 is almost over! I feel as if the year was swift, yet when I look back, it’s hard to believe how much happened!

Let’s start with something that will begin in early 2017. My patron for 2016, randomly chosen through the Saint Name Generator, turned out to be significant. It was St. Ignatius of Loyola. I have been a fan of the Examen and Ignatian discernment for a number of years. It turns out that one of his patronages also became important in my life. He’s the patron of educators and education. This year, I really felt the Lord nudging me to go back to school. After an interesting journey, I was accepted to the program of my choice! I will be starting as a part-time grad student for an M.A. in Counseling, as of January!

The year started out rough. Within the first week of the year I was ill. There was a high

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amount of drama at my workplace. It was a struggle. Through it all, I learned to lean on Christ even more. Reading the Scriptures & knowing my Creator through this became more important to me than ever before.

My city had a lot of victories. In June, I went to the parade celebrating our basketball team winning the NBA title! It was really a great celebration and a show of unity for a city that has had many setbacks and much division. The next month we hosted the Republican National Convention-and the candidate won the presidential election! Months later, the baseball team went to the World Series (though we did not win). In God’s eyes, this city is not “The Mistake on the Lake.” He is at work in this city.

I moved in with a roommate. Financially, this was a great decision. Even moreso, it is a benny-cuddle-2blessing to have a companion on the journey & who is also seeking God. She gets the journey. Not long after moving to the new place, a seeming “super-mouse” pushed me over the edge to adopt a cat. Though he did nothing to help with the mouse, he’s brought much laughter. (And praise God–the mouse (mice?) are gone. May they never return to our home.)

 

For the second year in a row, one of my reflections was published in a book! This time, it was a book written by my very own roomie! It’s a raw reflection about a relationship breaking up, but I pray it ministers to someone who may be in a similar situation.

I visited Africa, finally! It’s difficult to put into words how much this experience affected me and the joys it brought. I am so thankful for the miraculous way God brought it about. The whole trip and all His movements on the trip, too, were truly miraculous! I will be forever grateful.forblog

Truly, this was a year of beauty. Thank You, Heavenly Father. I look forward to 2017 and whatever adventures may lie ahead.

Happy New Year’s to all my readers! May our Heavenly Father bless, direct, and strengthen you in all your ways.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”~Philippians 3:13

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On Faith, Finances, and Being Rich.

Lately I’ve been talking to my roommate about the issue of finances. When we have an opportunity to save in one area, it seems that unexpected expenses arise in another area (or areas). In times when we believe that we’re (finally) going to start growing our bank accounts, it just doesn’t happen.

But you know what? Jehovah-Jireh always provides. It might not be through a steadily growing bank account, but we always have what we need, and more.

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How does He provide? Through a loving friend cooking a meal or paying for your groceries. Sometimes, it’s unexpected money that shows up, like a long-awaited refund, or a side job that you didn’t expect. Or a friend giving you an item of clothing they no longer need, and it just happens to fit.

Financially, I think he wants us to trust and rely on Him continually, rather than storing up treasure. Remember Matthew 6:19-21?

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Obviously, we are called to be stewards of what we do have and not to mismanage our finances. But I think the Lord likes to test our faith in this area. When we trust in the area of provision, it shows that we realize the Lord’s goodness and reliance as Father and Provider. And when we keep our heart set on God, we are seeking the real treasure.

I can’t say that I’m on my foreseeable way to becoming a millionaire, or even

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much closer to not living paycheck to paycheck. But I can say that I’m rich in the ways that do matter–a supportive family, an inspiring roommate (and a place that costs less than half as much as I used to pay in rent!), and a meaningful job that does manage to pay the bills and allow me to serve others. Most of all, I have Jesus, and He promises an eternal life. 

If I have Jesus? I am absolutely rich.

With Jesus, we have everything.

Really, Nothing Is Impossible

Remember my previous post about open doors ? My friends, the power of God is REAL! You never know what God is preparing behind the scenes. You have no idea how your all-powerful Father can literally turn it all around in an instant! No matter where you are in life, God is above it! The circumstances we think are impossible are–if we are thinking on human terms. But with our awesome God, nothing is impossible.

There was a door in my life that I thought was shut.  It was locked tight. I thought that the key

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would not be handed to me for a long time, due to circumstances. I had faith that it would happen…Yet I had pounded on doors, prayed, and hoped for many years. It even brought me to tears sometimes, the hope was so strong. Once again, it seemed that I would have to wait another year, or many more. I felt stuck. The dream seemed to be going nowhere.

 

 

Then…With one conversation, that door OPENED WIDE! I must step through it

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boldly, with praise and thanksgiving. I couldn’t have predicted this in any way. I didn’t do anything to deserve it! I am in awe of the ways our Father is looking out for us and guiding us. Even a month later, it still seems surreal! I will finally be one step closer to pursuing a long-time dream! Stepping through this door will help me further discern my life path and some big decisions.

All I can say is that we have a good, good Father. If you’re continually running into closed doors, don’t doubt Him…It will be so, so sweet when He opens that door just right for you!

All glory be to my Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever!

“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept My word and have not denied My name.”~Revelation 3:8

Miracles of Motherhood

God likes to blow us away with miracles of motherhood. Infertility is so common in the Bible, not only a modern day trial. God performs many miracles and gives the childless a child. Not only that, but God performs a complete miracle to send His only Son to Earth! Jesus Christ is conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit!

There are many women longing for the gift of a husband and children. God’s word speaks to every generation. I believe that the miracles God performed in the Bible relating to motherhood can give hope to today’s generation. Infertility is sadly a very common cross. Additionally, women are getting married older than ever, which can cause some panic regarding the ability to attain pregnancy. Sometimes women feel they have waited too long for a spouse, and with relation to their “biological clock,” settle on the next best person to come along. Waiting on God’s best usually doesn’t come in our timing and can cause fear about the ability to have children. Take heart at the esteem that God has for motherhood, and the miracles the LORD has done for so many women in granting them their heart’s desire.       

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  • The following are just a few of the stories of God making women mothers (against the odds) in the Bible.
  • Sarah is the wife of Abraham. She was very advanced in years, well past the age of childbearing. Years earlier, the Lord had made a covenant with Abraham (then Abram), telling him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. Nothing seems to happen, and still Sarah and Abraham are childless. One fateful day, three visitors come to visit Abraham. One tells him that they will have a son. Sarah is hidden and listening the conversation. She laughs, thinking it impossible for her to have a child. The Lord tells Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (1 Gen. 18:14) Indeed, the word of God comes true, and Isaac is born. It didn’t matter that Sarah was way past childbearing years. God kept His promise.
  • Hannah is a wife of Elkanah in the first book of Samuel. Elkanah has another wife who has children. As for Hannah, the “Lord had closed her womb.” (1 Sam 1:6)  The other wife taunts Hannah about this, and Hannah herself is absolutely brokenhearted at her inability to have a child.  “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.” (1 Sam 1:10) The priest Eli sees Hannah, and thinks she is drunk due to her behavior! That is the extent of her sadness. The priest blesses her and tells her that God will grant her her prayer. The family goes up to worship the next day, and after that husband and wife come together. God opens the womb of Hannah, and she conceives Samuel. Hannah dedicates the child to God. Samuel goes onto become a great man of God.
  • Elizabeth is the wife of Zechariah in the New Testament. Elizabeth was unable to have children. She and Zechariah were very old. An angel appears to Zechariah letting him know that they will have a son named John. “Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I know that what you say is true? I am an old man, and my wife is old, too.” (Luke 1:18) Zechariah is rendered mute until the birth of their son due to his inability to believe. Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ. (And incidentally, also His cousin!)
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Do you think your motherhood is any less important to God than that of the women in the Bible?  Wait on God, and trust Him! Our miracles aren’t always wrapped up like we want them to be. He will work, though it may not come in the form of a positive pregnancy test. Nowadays it often comes in being led to a child (sometimes halfway across the world) who you just know that God is asking you to raise, or filling the important role of mother for the neighbor down the street without a mother figure. Spiritual motherhood is a vital role that women also fill by their prayers and teaching the Lord’s way by both word and example. (Yes, it is a very important form of motherhood in itself–one not focused on very much.) Believe His word and His promises! Be open to the ways He is working.

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”~Luke 1:45

Happy Mother’s Day to all mommas and all those women who are mothers at heart!

Nothing Is Too Small for God.

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“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

Dear friend, you are of immense worth to your Heavenly Father! Every aspect of your being and of your life matters. If God cares about something even as mundane as the number of hairs on your head, He surely cares about everything else. Yes, everything. Your feelings, your strengths, your struggles, your health, your finances, your home, your relationships, your career, and those tiny, unspoken desires in your heart. Everything.

I asked God about His will in a certain area of my life, then wondered if it was silly to pray about it. He gave me the sense that no, it was not silly to pray about. After all, He loves me and dotes on me as a loving Father does. It was God who knit me together, body, mind, soul, and purpose, while I was in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139). It was He who brought me into being, Who knew every moment of my life before I was even created. So that “silly” thing I prayed about? It actually matters to Him, because I matter to Him. Friend, even the hairs of our head are all numbered. That number changes each day as we shed (gross, yes, but true). So if God even tracks that seemingly insignificant detail? Every last detail about you and your life does matter to Him, because He loves you. Bring it to Him, whatever it is.

Nothing is too big or too small for God.