Death or Life!


New Life

Photograph by Kind Permission of Alana Daly of Innisfil, Ontario

The death of a loved one, whether expected or not,  leaves a ‘hole’ in our lives that cannot be filled by anyone or anything on this earth.

 Onlookers can support and grieve with the families who mourn such losses, but they can only ‘do so much’.  A strong belief and faith in God – really does work miracles:  I witnessed two such miracles over the past weekend, when I attended funeral services for two Godly gentlemen who were ‘taken home’ – one unexpectedly and the other after a long, long illness; I watched each family coping with their grief and was humbled by their strength and their trust in God and all the promises of comfort found in the bible.  The depth of their loss was palpable, their love for the departed family member visible to one and all:  it had me questioning my own values – did I even have what each one of these families had lost?  If I felt that I did not, what could I do about it – and what was missing? 

I don’t know if others were prompted by such questions – perhaps that is what death does to us – it makes us look at our lives and re-adjust where we’re at before it is too late to make changes!  Perhaps one family’s loss can be another person’s gain – and I don’t mean that selfishly – my point is that we can all make changes in our lives – sometimes we don’t know that anything is missing until something, or someone, is taken away from us!

God provides us with the strength to overcome and the comfort to endure – so my prayer is that we will each seek His wisdom, in the Bible and be reassured by its promises.  I witnessed many folk these past two days, literally inspiring others in how they behaved – how they were able to speak of their departed ones, while maintaining poise, grace and encouragement to others, that God, and faith and trust in the guidance found in the Bible,  really is worth our while. 

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”.

Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”.

Prayer:  In all things, in all ways – we trust in You, Lord God, for all our needs, because we know that even in our times of loss, through death, You want us to choose life!   Amen!

The photograph is by kind permission of Alana Daly, a friend and neighbour to the family who suffered the loss of a beloved husband and father – it brought great joy to him as he ‘battled’ the cancer that took his life – but these precious little hummingbird babes (to me) signify that life (of course) goes on and even tiny birds can lift us above the (emotional) pain of our loss, as we choose to slowly begin our new pathway in life.  This nest, by the way measures approximately an inch and a half!

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Strength to Endure


I am blessed with loving family and friends; and yet, in having so many wonderful people in my life, I also encounter many challenges – oh, not with them (well, not often) but through them.  There are instances of job loss, financial needs (really who doesn’t?), family disharmony, loss of a loved one, questionable lifestyles, life-threatening illnesses – the list could go on and on; but in hearing of the trials that others are encountering it certainly puts my own into perspective, and humbles me to be thankful that their trials are not mine. 

I have been hungry, jobless, homeless (temporarily), had health concerns in my years, but none can compare to some of the troubles folk I care about have dealt with or are dealing with now – I cry for them and want so much to take away the very things that are hurting them – but I can only do so much.

In times of trouble, the one constant in my life has been God – giving my concerns to Him, sharing and believing that He can and does make a difference, has been a great source of comfort.  It is not something you can easily explain, or describe to unbelievers – they just have to be willing to try it for themselves.

In 2 Corinthians 22-12:10 – Paul outlines his trials and tribulations; he passionately endeavours to convince us how he endured all that beset him.  A strong faith in a God unseen, gave him strength to overcome the weaknesses that surfaced when he suffered (often horrific injustices and pain) – and gave him a peace to persevere despite his circumstances.

‘I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake.  For when I am weak, then I am strong’.  (2 Corinthians 12:10)

My point here is that God can and does make a difference.  Some of those near and dear to me, who are experiencing difficulties right now, are being helped in ways that they could not have imagined – others could find much-needed peace if they would only trust that God can help, but they won’t entertain the idea of ‘speaking’ to ‘someone they can’t see’.   He moved me from away from people who did not have my best interests in their hearts, to a place of safety; I was (emotionally) battered and bruised; but God gave me a sense of peace in my heart and helped clear my mind of all that was not helpful to me; He was and still is, my source of strength at all times, and comes alongside me in the form of family and friends – usually in the ‘nick of time’ – and so through that I have learned to do the same for others – if I do not share what He gives me, what point is there to life?

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”. (NKJV)

Prayer – Father God, let me never overlook the needs of others.  Help me to know what they need and how I can help.  Help me to share Your Grace in all ways, in all situations – for Your glory.  Amen

Southern Ten Commandments


I thought this really cute – no offense intended – I don’t have the origin, I saw this on facebook and thought it worth sharing

THE  SOUTHERN  TEN  COMMANDMENTS

 (1)Just one God.

(2)Put nothin’ before God.

(3)Watch yer mouth….

(4)Git yourself to a Sunday meetin’.

(5)Honor yer Ma & Pa.

(6)No killin’

(7))No foolin’ around with another feller’s gal

(8)Don’t take what ain’t yorn.

(9)No tellin’ tales or gossipin’.

(10)Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.

Now that’s plain an’ simple. And bless your little cotton pickin heart.

Original author unknown!

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Trust the Word!


The gardens of our minds, can sometimes become choked with weeds; that is a time we can lose our way, because the pathway is not clear – we can make bad decisions – we can place our trust where it will not be honored – it is a time that we need to trust in the ways and the promises found in the Bible: I love the psalms, and in this instance I am particularly thinking of:-

Psalm 91:15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.

What a wonderful message of reassurance!

To Him be the glory, for this beautiful day!

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Casting a Wider Net!


I read the Daily Bread each morning, and today the subject is “Fishing Where They Ain’t”  – an attention getting sentence that suggests, as Christians,  we should make attempts to spend time helping, not only the Godly-living folk of this world, but also get out of our comfort zone and help the “lost” souls, who otherwise have nobody to care for them.  Suggesting it’s no good “fishing where there ain’t no fish” (doing good with only the saved folk of the world – we need to be “casting our net” (of attention) beyond them ) to share God’s love and kindness to those who have not experienced too much of it in their lives, and who are living lives that compromise them in so many sad or dangerous ways.

The lesson is:  to share God’s love not collect it and store it for ourselves.

Mm..m………Point taken, Abba – where do you want me to start?

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Woke Up – Praise the Lord!


Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (NIV)

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue with puffy white clouds … nice temperature … the soybeans and corn are growing … the flowers are blooming. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot already … the grass is dormant … the flowers are thirsty … we need rain. But, I won’t have to mow this week, I can water the lawn and flowers if I want, and I can turn on the air conditioner for my own comfort. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot, hot, hot and very dry … still need rain. But this, too, is a day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is cloudy … the air is humid … autumn comes next when the leaves are beautiful. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — I’ve got a home, clothes, food to eat, family and friends. Rejoice!

Every day is a gift from God. Some days, it’s easier to rejoice than others, but God, who creates every day, also created us. He is our Father; we are His children. God has promised He is always with us; He loves us; He knows our needs; and He wants us to seek Him out. On those days when it’s hard to rejoice and God seems far away, who do you think has moved?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear God, help us to rejoice in each day, drawing ever closer to You. Amen

(Received in an email message – original writer unknown)

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Your Attention, Please!


 

This is a definite “attention-getter”…………………

YOU TOOK MY PARKING SPACE AT CHURCH

One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, ” I always park there! You took my place!” 

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit! You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?” The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, “I took your place.”

Anonymous (received in an email message)

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Teach the Little Children!


1 John 3:2 – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  (NIV)

Robins frequent our garden; for them it is a small haven providing food and refreshment: our lawns are safe for them to feed on, and birdbaths provide them with water to drink and to bathe in.  Imagine my delight recently, upon witnessing a robin bathing contentedly, until disturbed by another robin alighting upon the birdbath.  My immediate response was to expect trouble – being territorial, I expected the first robin to ‘kick up a rumpus’, on having its’ space invaded – however, I was in for a further delight;  both robins began to bathe, one seemingly hesitantly – splashing and cavorting in the water` – and it was then I realized this was a young robin, and it had joined a parent bird and was actually learning to bathe!  It’s flutterings were minimal to begin with – it kept losing its’ equilibrium – slipping and then regaining its’ composure – before it attempted more wing flapping and fluttering!  Little by little, it was getting all the moves right – eventually getting its’ whole body wet, just like its’ parent, and no longer just paddling in a bewildered fashion.  It was learning by mimicking every parental move!

God is present for us, similarly if we will only take notice of His direction.  He welcomes us into His Word refreshing us and guiding us – teaching us all the right moves.  The bible contains all that we need to learn (sometimes, just in the nick of time) to get our lives right – bathing in His Grace and Mercy, and in the water of life that Jesus gives us.  No more “fluttering” and stumbling in dry places, but a complete refreshing in all that a life filled with Jesus, can give us.  Praise the Lord for His provision.

Prayer:  Abba, we thank you that you show us all the right moves, if we choose to copy the examples you give us in Your Word.  We thank you for provision, for safety and for the kind of perseverance and Love, that only You can provide.

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