God’s Path

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God’s Path

As I move through the week, I can not help but stop and wonder about how my life ebbs and flows.  Looking back it is obvious to see God’s plan  and how it has worked in my life, yet even looking back, when I look forward, I continue ponder what God has planned for me.  I hear the words from scripture and know that God is in control, yet sometimes it is hard to relinquish the reins to my Father.  “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” from Proverbs 19:21, is a reminder that I might have abundant plans but only God’s plan will prevail. This reminder from scripture to focus and stay tuned to God and realize the path he is paving for me.

Looking Back

The past is full of both good and bad, but always when I look back I see the good that has been in my life and how God has brought that goodness to my life.  In the moment sometimes it is impossible to see God working, but it never fails when I stop and reflect on life that is when I can see all of his handiwork.   I know that he is walking with me by looking back at the footsteps behind me.  When I read the poem Footsteps in the Sand,  (Searching for the Truth) I think first think of how God walks with me, but for me I really don’t see the footsteps until I look back at them in the sand.  I know that the hustle and bustle of life gets in the way sometimes of me feeling God’s presence next to me.  My prayer is that I can find the calm in my life to know he is next to me and make the decisions that are in his plan for me.  May I pick up the lamp and shine my light forward as Psalms 119:105 states, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

God’s Path

As I move through the week and through life, I can not help but stop sometimes and wonder about how my life ebbs and flows.  Looking back it is obvious to see God’s plan  and how it has worked in my life, yet even looking back, when I look forward, I continue ponder what God has planned for me.  I hear the words from scripture and know that God is in control, yet sometimes it is hard to relinquish the reins to my Father.  Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”  is a reminder that my plans maybe be many but only God’s plan will prevail.  I certainly do not want to work hard for naught, so this reminder to stay tuned to God and realize the path is paving for me.

Looking Back

The past is full of both good and bad, but always when I look back I see mostly the good that has been in my life and how God has brought that goodness to my life.  In the midst of life it is always impossible to see God working, but it never fails when I stop and reflect on life that is when I can see all of his handiwork in my life.   I know that he is walking with me by looking back at the footsteps behind me.  When I read the poem Footsteps in the Sand I remember that God walks with me, but for me I really don’t see the footsteps until I look back at them in the sand.  I know that the hustle and bustle of life gets in the way sometimes of me feeling God’s presence with me.  My prayer is that I will seek the calm in my life to know he is next to me and make the decisions that are in his plan for me.  May I pick up the lamp and shine my light forward as Psalms 119:105 states, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Future Path

As I look back at his footsteps and then turned look forward at the undisturbed sand, I again stop and wonder what is the path that God is planning for my life going forward. How will I glorify him?  How will I honor him?  How will I love him?  I will walk down the path he has laid for me because scripture makes me this promise in Jeremiah 29: 11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  As I shine my lamp forward, I long for the future and hope that he is promising me.

Closing Verse:  Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Challenge:   Seek God through scripture and prayer that you might find peace in the path he is paving for you.

 

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Do Something…

Harley Run

Morning Drive

Every morning I spend my ride to work listening to Christian radio.  Starting my day with songs of worship helps me to get started in the right frame of mind!  Many mornings I hear a song that I just have to know who the title and artist is performing the song.  Maybe I should add here that music trivia would not be my speciality, so I don’t always recognize music.  I stop to check who the artist is and the song title so I can share it with my husband, The Music Man, later to add to his collection. Occasionally, I am so touched by a song that I write about it.  Recently, this happened while listening to the song, “Do Something” by Matthew West.  The chaos in our country and world today seems out of control and hard to understand.  As I try to figure out how our country came to this point where we don’t seem to really care about each other, and everyone wants someone else or the government to take care of everyone, I hear this song which reminds of what God’s plan really is for Christian here on earth.

Angry at God

The song begins with a man angry at God for allowing our world to become the way it is and not doing something about it.  He questions God on what he is doing in the world.

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now, thought
How’d we ever get so far down, and
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”

Unexpectedly, God answers with, “He said, “I did, yeah, I created you”.  Hearing this line shocked me at first because I should have known that is what God would say but it was unexpected for me to even hear.  But God did make us to serve others.  Jesus is our role model and Matthew 20:28 reads, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  He gave his life, so what should Christians be giving to God’s world?

Let Someone Else Do The Work

The second line of the song is a typical reaction to any event in our lives or around us.  Many of us just say someone else will do it and become apathetic to the needs of others and how we can truly serve.

I’m so tired of talking about
How we are God’s hands and feet
But it’s easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It’s alright, “somebody else will do something

I know that I can turn from such events, but this song is just one reminder that God made me to serve others not for my glory or for others to see, but just to serve and Glorify God as he called me to serve. The ending of the second line echoes this belief.

Well, I don’t know about you
But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire
I don’t want a flame, I want a fire and
I wanna be the one who stands up and says
“I’m gonna do something

We all as Christian have to see Christ as our role model and just “Do Something”.  Sometimes I get stuck in what should I be doing, but am reminded of the verse in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” This verse reminds me to focus on the gifts God has given me to go forth and “Do Something”.

Using Our Gifts

The chorus of the song brings some closure to any Christian still stuck in the waiting game of letting others take care of what God has called each of us to do.

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something, yes it is, come on
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
Oh oh, it’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something

As you bow on your knees in prayer today, remember to ask the Lord who gave his Son to serve us what gifts do I have that I should be carrying forth into the world to “Do Something”.   God’s word has always taught us that it is better to give than to receive and Acts 20:35 reads, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  We are to work hard to help the weak and give to those who are in need.  If Christians stop and remember these words and turn to the gifts God has provided, he will be faithful and bless our work for his Glory and not ours.

Closing Verse: Matthew 25:35-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ …”

Challenge: Today I pray that each of us will find the gifts from God and use them as we are called to serve this world that is in need of knowing our Father.

Spiritual Strength

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Prayer of Spiritual Strength

Sunday while Irma was making her appearance into Florida, this scripture was read from Ephesian.  It is a Prayer of Spiritual Strength.  Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians while in prison in Rome in the midst of his own turmoil in his life, yet he turned to the Lord and focused on the race to perseve so that he might continue to teach and lead other to Christ.  His great concern at this time was that others would turn new believers like the Ephesians away from the Gospel.  The word of this prayer provided me with the confidence that God was in charge and would provide for not just me but this country, but we must have faith in him to provide this strength.

The Prayer of Spiritual Strength from Ephesian 3:14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

As the words are read, tears filled my eyes and I thought of those devastated from Harvey and the devastaton to come from Irma.  Yet, God showed me he was here in the midst of the prayer.  He would provide more than expected just as he gave his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

Peace in the Chaos

I continued to read this prayer this week which gave me peace as first we waited for Irma, watched her make landfall, and finally the task of rescue and clean up.  It felt like deja vu all over again after just watching the destruction by Harvey, and then I read the prayer over and over for the assurance of his strength and provision.  My prayer was not for my strength, but that he provide strength to the millions of people impacted across our country.  As they begin the recovery and are worried of the future, I pray the words of Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Bow My Knees

The Prayer of Spiritual Strength reminds me to bow my knees before the Lord and he will grant me the strength I need spiritually to be an example of His Glory.  I must open my heart for Christ to dwell there and root himself inside of me in order to be the example of love that shows God’s love to others around me.  Finally, I must remember that God promises “more abundantly than all that we ask or think”.  I must give all my worries to Him!  No matter the fate of this life God promises believers that good will always come, and this is where I find my peace and pray that others will as well.  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.

As I bow my knees today and pray for our country, pray for all the victims of the hurricanes and fires burning in our nation, and pray that God will make me an example of his love and strength for others.  I know that God will answer me because he has told me he would in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Amen.

Closing Verse: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  Matthew 7:7

Challenge: Give your worries to the Lord and pray for your needs, and He will provide abundance in your life.

 

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Devastation

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God is your float

Peace in the Ripples

Not long ago, I shared about finding Peace in the Ripples of Water.  My post shared how water was a peaceful and serene place that I long for in my life.  The slower life that one finds around the ripples of water. Bodies of water are full of beauty and a peaceful stillness that brings the message that God is real and our creator.  Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”shares that water is a symbol of our salvation.  Water is a beautiful thing…. most of the time.

Devastation of Harvey

Over the last week, everyone around the country has watched the horrors of water in Texas.  This is not the peaceful stillness, but the water that left devastation and loss of life behind.  My eyes fill with tears, my heart aches for the people impacted, and I pray for God’s guidance in helping those who are hurting from this disaster from water.   Watching Texas rally together and fold their arms around each other for survival has been the good God has given from this devastation.  Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Texans have proven this verse true.  They have treated each other tenderhearted and God will save.  

Irma’s Fear

As Texas continues to rally and the country supports their efforts all eyes turn to the Atlantic and the biggest storm on record as it roars toward Florida.  Once again we are watching people prepare, flee, and with fear in their eyes and tears on their cheek prepare for one of the possible worst events in Florida’s history.  My heart is hurting as I watch that storm move across the Caribbean and devastate these beautiful islands.  I pray for God to tame the storm and wind as I know he can, but I also know he may choose not calm the storm.  I know that either way he will walk through the pain and heal the wounds as Psalm 147: 3 promises, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  

God’s Promise

God made a promise to Noah a long time ago that he would never destroy the way he did in the Great Flood.  This is the peace that I take into the storm even as it may approach my home so many miles away from the coast. Genesis 8:20-22 shares this promise, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” 

This promise will comfort me through the next week as Irma makes landfall and brings her wrath on Florida and beyond.  I will look to Jeremiah 33:6 as we move past all this devastation and the angry waters recede where it reads, “Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.”  God will heal and provide abundance this is the comfort I have in knowing that God is in control.

Closing Verse:  Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Challenge:  Pray for God’s control as Irma comes on shore.  Pray for God’s healing and provision.  Pray for God’s blessings amidst the turmoil, devastation, and pain.  Above all Pray.

Out of the Box

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Smiling Faces

This past week students came back to school.  Seeing their smiling faces and the attitude of a new year gets me excited about not just what the year holds but their future.  I have been in education long enough to know that many are coming to school seeking a safe haven.  I have always felt blessed that God called me to love all children, and there is nothing like building relationships with young people that last a life time.  I pray that God gives me the wisdom each year to plant seeds that will grow and flourish in the young students that he has brought across my path.   As I meet and greet all these smiling faces I am reminded of the verse in Mark 10:16, “And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”

Out of the Box

This week also gives me pause when I think of all the teachers who have opened their classroom doors across this country to love all of  God’s children.  I am always amazed when I meet teachers across this country at the passion they have for their students.  It is contagious. Teaching is truly a calling for so many who want to love, inspire, and challenge our children to find the best inside of each of them.  These are the innovators thinking outside of the box to challenge our students to reach deep inside themselves and dream big.  Educators across the country are opening their arms and hearts to these children.  Watching educators love children is an example of Christ calling the children to him in Mark 10:14, “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

God’s Blessings

Beginning a new year is exciting and like a rebirth.  The innocence of children and the exciting of a change to start over is a perk to educating children.  2 Corinthians 5:17 reads, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  The old has passed and the new school year has come and may God bring blessings to those passionately educating our future and the children who walk through their doors each and every day.  Jesus spoke in Matthew 18: 1-5, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,” to remind us that we should also be like children as we search for the kingdom of heaven.  Watch a child learn, Have you Forgotten?

Closing Verse:  Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Challenge:  Thank an Educator that has blessed your life or your child’s life.