God Knows!

The first thing I did as my mind awoke this morning was pray. This does not always happen but I fell asleep worrying and was a little restless all night.  I probably should have prayed last night.  Philippians 4:6 says something like, instead of worrying pray.  Good advice.

I prayed, God, I don’t know how to help my child…

Our children will face hard things and we will not know how to help them.  I had no idea this would be part of the journey of parenting.  Aren’t good moms suppose to have all the answers and quick fixes?  When friends, family, doctors and even pastors don’t have answers, where does that leave us?
So, we cry out saying, God I don’t know. You know! Help my kid and help me know my part.

In the meantime, even when we don’t know how to help or what the right answer is, what do we do?

~We hang on to the only One who has proven faithful from the beginning. We continue to read about God’s everlasting love and faithfulness. We remember how He has been faithful to us in the past. He is good and He loves us and our children.

~We keep praying! Even if it’s a simple, I DON’T KNOW GOD! Help us! Trust that He hears. Trust that He is for us.

~We keep seeking Jesus. He is the way, the truth and life.  He knows, even when we don’t know.

This is all I know today… Trust in our great God or the alternative is worry and fear. I don’t know about you but worry and fear have proven not to work. I have tried both but today I choose to trust our great God!

I trust You are good, God!

I trust that You hear us!

I trust that you love me!

I trust that You love my kiddos!

I trust that You know all things and You are working them out for good!

So hang on parents that don’t have the answers! None of us do!  I share your burden of not wanting your child to suffer and not being able to fix it.  Keep seeking our ever faithful Savior and keep praying for your children.   He hears you! He knows!  He’s working things out for good!

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”
‭‭ROMANS‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭AMP‬‬

No kidding, after writing this I went to get dressed and this is the shirt I put on.  I looked in the mirror and read:

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Praying we rest in our all knowing God this weekend.

I Desire to Live a Fearless Life

With my heart pounding and reluctance in my fingertips, I turned back to 2 Kings 5:1-14.  I read the story of God healing a prideful foreigner.  The reluctance was because I knew God wanted to change my heart.  There are certain things I just want to ignore and tuck away in hidden places.  Nothing is hidden from the Lord and the more I seek Him, the more He drags out those things I tuck away.  There was a yucky place in my heart that did not want to know about this foreigner and I certainly did not want to write about Him.  Lord, please forgive me.

I just wanted to study the life of our Savior this morning.  I picked up where I left off and began reading in Luke 4:14.  While reading about Jesus being rejected in Nazareth the Lord abruptly stopped me at verses 25-27 and rerouted my study.

“And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the morning reading about a Syrian commander, a forgeigner,  who did not know the one true God.  His story was many years before Jesus spoke the words of Luke 4:27 but Jesus wanted us to recall this story.

I encourage you to read 2 Kings 5:1-14.

Why would God heal a prideful foreigner who did not believe in Him?  There are probably many reasons why God healed him.  But, I spent most of the morning dwelling on this one. Through a young slave girl who knew God (there is much to learn from this fearless one), Naaman, all his company and even Israel (God’s people) would know there is one true God.  God healed Naaman so all around him might know Him!

Here’s Naaman words,

“Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.””
‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭5:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God wants all to know Him.  He has a giant heart for all of us, even foreigners.

This issue of opening our hearts to foreigners scares me.  Don’t throw stones, I am just trying to be honest.  I wrestle with this.  I want to ignore it and tuck it away.  But, I take comfort in knowing that this does not scare Jesus.  There are many accounts of Jesus opening his arms to foreigners.  I desire to live a fearless life trusting completely in our Lord God Almighty.  This is my prayer. This is all I know how to do today.

I don’t know the answers to our immigration problems today.  I don’t even know where I stand on all that.  The Lord has appointed President Trump and other leaders to do their best for all people.

What I know I can do is,

seek the Lord’s guidance through His Word,

pray for missionaries and the people they are trying to reach, and the leaders of our country,

and give to support those loving foreigners in Jesus’ name.

“Whatever we do we must not treat the Great Commission like it’s the great suggestion.”  ~Charles R. Swindoll

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Beautiful Hearts

Besides my family, I couldn’t think of a better group of women to share our home with first.  We had a great lunch and even better fellowship.  I thank the Lord for these precious souls.

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These beautiful hearts

love Jesus,

are always looking to serve,

do things right,

pay attention to detail,

cook from scratch,

check on their friends (oh, how I want to be a better friend),

faithfully attend church,

are faithful to their commitments to the church,

diligent to study the Word,

and diligent to pray.

Some may wonder why I am a part of WMU (Women on Mission), that’s a pretty good list of why.  I gain so much from these ladies that are ahead of me in age and knowledge.

I have learned you can be steadfast and faithful after your husband passes away.  There is kingdom work being done when you bake a cake or casserole for a meeting where someone hears the name of Jesus.  Praying for our missionaries, our church and our community matters.  When someone is in need, serve and serve them well.  Lives are eternally changed when we pray, give and go. They make me want to put my phone down and go follow Jesus.

I encourage all of you to find women like this in your life and hang out with them.  It is refreshing to the soul.  The Lord is so good and patient with me.  I read and study quite a bit and I often wonder, how do I do this Lord? How am I to be a part of the great commission?  As I have watched these godly women, He has gently whispered to my heart, “This is how, love and serve where I have placed you.”

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We are Women on Mission in Holdenville, Oklahoma.  Our mission is to know Christ and to share Christ.  I pray for God’s guidance this year for WMU.  There is much work to be done.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭28:19‬ ‭AMP‬‬

We will go!

Let Your Mind Wander in Truth

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2017!  Awww, my kids are off to school, my hubby is off to check things on the ranch (I know he wonders what I do with my spare time at home 😉 ).  I have just a bit to reflect and write.  I could write about the good and bad of 2016 or a wonderful Christmas break but that is not what excites my heart this morning.

As some of you, I begin this year wondering what to study.  I looked at the stack of books I someday want to read.  I went through the old study books that are on my shelf.  All of which looked appealing.  Then the Lord prompted me to study on in Luke.

I have spent some time in the Old Testament discovering some of the great accounts of God’s faithfulness, pointing us to Jesus our Redeemer the last few years.  I also have spent time with my family this Christmas season reading through and reflecting on Luke 1-2:20 (Jesus’ birth).  So, it only seems fitting that I would have a desire to start 2017 with learning more about Jesus, the One I call Lord!

What happens after the shepherds leave?  What will this baby Jesus do?  Who is He?  What else does the Lord share with us through this writer Luke?  These are the questions that linger and cause me to seek our Savior through the pages of the Bible.

Luke begins the book of Luke with, Most honorable Theophilus.

According to Women’s Evangelical Commentary New Testament, “Most honorable Theophilus (transliteration from Greek, “lover of God”) was probably a person of distinction, possibly a statesman or Roman official or perhaps even a religious leader.  His exact identity is unknown.  The name may also have served as a literary device for addressing all believers, who would be “lovers of God” by virtue of their commitment to Christ” (p. 138).

This address is intriguing to me.  I am going to go with, he is addressing all lovers of God.  That’s me!  That’s us! I am excited to dive into Luke’s accurate account of the life of Jesus. I am eager to know Jesus more. 🙂 He is so much more than a baby in a manger.

Wherever you find yourself in the Bible this year, let your mind wander and question as you study and hear the Word of God.  Ask Him to reveal truth to you.

“so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught [that is, the history and doctrine of the faith].”
‭‭LUKE‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Lord, I pray that You reveal truth to us. Show us who You are.

Helpers

This morning I had the opportunity to take breakfast to the cowboys.  It was impromptu eggs, sausage and cheese thrown in a skillet and wrapped in a tortilla complete with coffee and Dr. Pepper.  This was not on my checklist today but as a servant of Christ, I am learning to be flexible.  😉

As I drove up to the working pens, I was so grateful I did not have to get out in the blistering wind.  The cowboys finished the set of calves they were working and then came to the toasty pickup to warm their hands, feet and bellies.

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I observed these guys for a bit because that’s what writers do, right?  I was very grateful for the helpers we have on the ranch. We have some that are here everyday and some that come when needed.  It takes many hands to keep things running smoothly.  A helper is a person that helps or gives assistance or supports.  What would we do without helpers…

Just as we have helpers on the ranch, I have grown to realize we need helpers keeping the faith.  We need brothers and sisters in Christ that continue to remind us to trust in Jesus.  In the good times and in our darkest days these helpers strengthen and encourage us.  They show up even on blistering cold days.  To be honest, I have gone through times of having these encouragers in my life and not.  As I reflect on the helpers, encourgers in my life, I am thankful for each time they have pointed me back to the One who keeps things running smoothly in my soul.  Some of these encouragers I haven’t seen in years, they are old, they are young, they are family, I serve with them, I read the words they write down, I listen to them from the pulpit, they pray with me, they don’t shy away from the messy parts of me, they encourage me, and help me keep the faith.  Thanks to you all!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Do you have these helpers in your life?  If not, I encourage you to seek friends that do their best to point you to The Helper.

“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭54:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Lord, may we find helpers that spur us on to keep the faith and help us be encouragers to others.

Fruitful Conversations

“Mom! Kate threw one of my ornaments and it broke!”

I had put the kid’s trees up in their room’s and they were anxiously unwrapping each ornament and recalling the history attached to each one.

“I made this in preK.”

“Cousin Ami gave us these.”

“I love this one.”

“This was my first Sunday at FBC Holdenville.”

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Then Kate somehow “accidentally” threw a breakable ornament and as I rounded the corner I saw all the red shattered pieces.

With much worry in her eyes and voice she said, “I didn’t mean to.”

I believed her and as I began picking up the pieces, I told the kids, “It’s just stuff. This reminds me of the scripture that says, all these things will pass away. We won’t take these things to heaven.”

I couldn’t recall the exact scripture but the gist of the scripture was hidden in my heart.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I think this could also apply when your little sister breaks one of your things.

This led us into a conversation about salvation, heaven and hell. How even the best things in this world do not compare to Jesus.

Lathan said, “You should write a blog about this.”

So here I am…

More often than not I get upset and use a harsh tone when my kids are careless and mess something up but thank you Lord for turning this mess up into fruitful conversation. Oh, how I desire to have more and more of these love laced visits in our home. Perhaps, this is the real life application of Deuteronomy 11:19…

“Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
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…or when a shiny red ornament is in a hundred pieces on the floor.

It is only with Your help Jesus. Help us remember that nothing compares to You. Guide us to have fruitful conversations and to talk about Your life giving ways in our everyday lives.

Shine His Light

Due to a busy blessed life, there has been no time for writing.  It is way past my bedtime but as I sit and look at the lights I just wrapped around our Christmas tree, I am reminded of the Light of the world.  The tree was dark and dusty when I pulled it out of the storage closet.  I carefully placed the lights on each branch and plugged them in, instantly the tree became bright and marvelous.  It is even more bright and marvelous as I sit here in the dark.  Our hearts are similar.  They are dark and dusty but when we are plugged into the Light of the world we are filled with light.

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46

Oh, how I am thankful for a Savior that lights the way.  As I have been stumbling around in the darkness for the last few weeks, I sit tonight and remember that even when I have lost my way, I look up and see the Light and He lights the way.  He steadies my feet, corrects me and reminds me of my calling.

“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”  John 8:12

Friends, if you believe in Jesus Christ, you have the light that leads to life.  As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will encounter souls that either have not seen the Light or just might need to be encouraged to lift their eyes to the Light.  This is our calling.  As we look at our Christmas trees this year, may we remember to shine His light in darkness.

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“You are the light of the world- like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

Lord, may your light shine brightly in our lives.  Help us be your light that points our families, friends, neighbors and even strangers to Your unfailing love.