I will sing of my Redeemer, And His wondrous love to me; On the cruel cross He suffered, From the curse to set me free.
Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer, With His blood He purchased me, On the cross He sealed my pardon, Paid the debt, and made me free. I will tell the wondrous story, How my lost estate to save, In His boundless love and mercy, He the ransom freely gave. Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer, With His blood He purchased me, On the cross He sealed my pardon, Paid the debt, and made me free. I will praise my dear Redeemer, His triumphant pow’r I’ll tell, How the victory He giveth Over sin, and death, and hell. Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer, With His blood He purchased me, On the cross He sealed my pardon, Paid the debt, and made me free. I will sing of my Redeemer, And His heav’nly love to me; He from death to life hath brought me, Son of God with Him to be. Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer, With His blood He purchased me, On the cross He sealed my pardon, Paid the debt, and made me free. Phillip Bliss * Praising the LORD! He paid my debt and set me free! I am free indeed! Glory to His Name!
I am sad, and I am sorry - for myself, but also for you - whoever you are who are suffering in sorrows and agonies. The world doesn’t care, or at least it barely does, and even the church forgets about our pain as life goes on. In some of our circumstances the pain never stops, perhaps only going deeper within us. Other sorrows do tend to wane as life marches on, but the pain is there. In my own agonies I have had certain people become so upset FOR me to where they discount their own sadnesses. But I understand sadness and pain, and I would never discount anyone’s sorrows. Pain is pain. Compassion is a balm for it. Because I know agonies, I know I can certainly make it all about “me”, and sometimes it surely seems like it is all about me. But it isn't all about me. The LORD God Almighty is my God, and soon enough I remember who He is! and who I am in Him. Thankfully, I realize this truth and seek His face. This is when “I” become less of what it is all about, and then eventually I can see it rightly. Yes, I am in pain, but the LORD carries me and He is working. It isn't about me, it is all about glorifying the LORD in my agonies. God is working in me, for sure! because I am allowing Him to do so. God is also working in the people who are causing all the sorrows and sadness, and it is their choice to listen to Him. Sometimes our sorrows are not caused by others, but are just part of our fallen world. There is "no one" else for the LORD to work in to change their direction away from sin. Perhaps our desire is to marry or have children and these desires go unfulfilled. These are real feelings of loss and sadness. You are justified to feel sad, but don't let your agonies define you. Even so, the LORD can be with you when you are His child. When you are His, He will never leave you or forsake you. You are never alone ever again. No matter what happens in your life He is with you and you can count on Him. When our pain and sorrows overwhelm us, let us each choose to seek His face. He counts every tear, He holds us in His hands, He loves us more than we can imagine.
We need to get into His Word more, fill ourselves up with it. We need to preach to ourselves who God is and who we are in Him. We need to remind ourselves that this life is not all about us, but about living our lives to glorify His Name. It is about our merciful almighty God. Praises to His Name! Psalm 34 "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Sisters, wives, mothers, daughters....Allow the LORD God of the Bible to be your God. Search out and know that His Son was your sacrifice for your sins. Find your safety in Jesus. What are your agonies? What are your troubles? He is the only One who can truly help us in our sorrows. Cry out to Him in honest, sincerity and He will hear you. When you are His child and you are at your wit's end, He will comfort you in your chaos. When you are trusting in Him to do His work in your situations, even if your circumstances do not change, it will be the LORD God who works in you, drawing you closer to Himself, and you will have His peace among your greatest agonies. There are no gods like Him. Whatever "rock" is your god, throw it away because there is no rock like our God. “My heart exults in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. “Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. “The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength. “Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, But she who has many children languishes. “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. “The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the world on them. “He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. “Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed.” -Hannah, 1Samuel 2:1-10
Lilies of the Valley with dews drops. This is not my photo of my own Lilies of the Valley, but how incredible! Mine are beginning to bloom. They are a beautiful, unique, fragrant, part of His creation for us. Praises to the LORD!
"As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 1 John 2:24 Abide is an old-fashioned word. I’d never used it in everyday conversation and didn't understand its meaning until I had the opportunity to pet-sit for a friend. “I’m going to change your name to Shadow,” I said with exasperation as Cinderella, the miniature Boston terrier, trotted behind me. While I washed dishes she sat on the kitchen rug. As I ate lunch, she jumped onto a chair. When I sat on the couch, she scooted as near to me as possible. Pressed close against my leg, she looked up at me with her puppy-dog eyes and rested her head on my thigh. Maybe this was standard behavior for a small, indoor dog, or was Cinderella just missing her master? It was a good thing she was cute. Otherwise, I might not have put up with her constant craving for togetherness. But her dependence continued after that first day. When I walked to the mailbox, she happily followed at my heels. If I went into the bathroom, she patiently waited outside the door. At night, she crawled onto the bed and curled up at my feet. She never whined when I walked away or when I pushed her aside to make some space between us. The day before her owner returned, I was reading. Cinderella jumped into my lap and then climbed onto the arm of the chair. Pretending to ignore her, I watched as she gingerly put her front paws on my shoulder and leaned her head close to my neck. She rested her face against my cheek, sighed contentedly, and closed her eyes. All she wanted was to abide with me. I didn’t understand her devotion, but the word abide became crystal clear. Lord, like a dog yearns to be close to her master (or temporary master), help me to abide in You. —-Stephanie Thompson Devotional unknown
This week we have been to a Veteran’s Honor Flight’s return celebration, and then to the next Honor Flight’s Orientation day. Both of these are very well done and quite honoring to the Veterans and their families.
I would say that most people could not truly explain the emotions we can go through as we watch the slide show of the Veterans from World War 2 through Vietnam, and also listen to the patriotic music which was popular during those eras.
Watching the Veterans who are excited and honored to go on a flight to Washington D.C., watching their happy families with ages from newborns to as old as the Veterans themselves, then also seeing the Volunteers doing everything to honor the Veterans and their families, to even the skirl of the Bagpipes is very special, and it is full of a range of emotions for those of us “on the outside looking in”.
It is truly difficult to express the depths of emotions, the patriotism, and the loyalty to our nation and for those who stood in the gap for us. I was contemplating how the love of our country is only a "shadow, a faded picture" compared to the people whose love, devotion, and honor is given to the One and Only God for the rest of their lives for His marvelous grace through Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins. The LORD now calls us His children. We were bought with a price, Jesus blood!
The joy I have witnessed this week on the Veterans’ faces, the Guardians, all the families who love their Vet, the Volunteers - even the other passengers waiting for their own flights who are at the airport and are surprised and touched by the reception and comradery for the Vets - this joy is truly indescribable.
Our joy as Believers of the God of the Universe is far beyond what I experienced this week.
When we meet up with another Believer we haven’t seen for a while, or when we meet a Believer we have never met, or when we meet a Believer we just saw yesterday, we find such unexplainable joy! It is because we are connected to the LORD, we are related, we understand where each of us have come from, where we are in life, where we will be in life when Jesus returns.
Veterans are connected to other Veterans no matter which war or whatever age they are, but Believers have ties to each other that will last an eternity. Our “family” is the Body of Believers. When our human family denies us, we can count on the Body to still be our family, to love and encourage us.
Most of all we have an Awesome God who gave us life - life eternal with Him! This is such a beautiful connection we have in each other. We are safe together no matter where we are in this world. On this earth we have begun our eternal life with Him, but the best is yet to be with Him in glory!
Patriotism in the USA in these last generations is many times “tied” or “woven” into our Christian faith. It was how our culture used to be.
As the LORD’s child we are far and above more, exponentially blessed than being an American citizen. We can praise the LORD for our country which was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but we can praise Him even more for His grace and mercies which He showers on those of us who choose Him! Glory to God!
By Robert Browning Hamilton I walked a mile with Pleasure; She chattered all the way, But left me none the wiser For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow And ne’er a word said she; But oh, the things I learned from her When Sorrow walked with me! * Don't discount your agonies. Don't always say "why, why why?" As you continue to walk with God through them, He continues to give you His strength to continue, His wisdom to handle what comes, and He comforts you and lifts your head. We can do these things we know we can't because of Him, and all the while we are learning to draw closer to Him, and trust Him more and more. Isn't this really our greatest desire after all? Let us continue to abide with Him.
I would say that most of the time the LORD carries me far above these terrible storms of life.
Sometimes He allows me to walk in the muck of life as I learn to draw closer to Him.
– but sometimes - I am the one who forgets to keep my eyes on Him, and then I am “swimming” in the agonies of life, overcome and seemingly being swept away, overwhelmed once again. Everyday life becomes drudgery and difficult with bad attitudes to go with it.
A very important way to keep our minds thinking Biblically is to preach to ourselves. When we read His Word we are filling ourselves up with His truth. Even if we forget or do not have verses memorized, we can search through His Word to find them, be encouraged, and learn from them.
Fix your eyes on Jesus! Then we can preach His Word to ourselves!
Hebrews 12:2 “ fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Over these long years I continually learn to preach His Word to myself, although, I also often forget. This is when “Life” becomes overwhelming and chaotic, until I remember who my God is and how I can always find safety in Him no matter what the trauma or agony.
Before I capture my thoughts though, “it” becomes all about me - if only in my head.
Our lives are not all about us. This life is about the LORD and we are His children who are to be glorifying His name with our very lives no matter if life is easy or the toughest of tough.
We always seem to be shocked when we are suffering, with so many “whys and hows” becoming our questions. *(FYI: It is okay to cry out to the LORD, just do not let this overcome you or your struggles will become all about you.)* 1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”
When we allow ourselves to take our minds/our eyes off of Him and find ourselves floundering in our troubles, we are not trusting Him with our lives. He knows all about each of us, to every detail. He is not surprised at what is happening to us. He has allowed whatever it is into our lives for whatever the reason is. We may never know the reasons until glory, but by that time, perhaps we will not even care.
*1 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Beloved sisters, do not think it strange at the fiery ordeals in your lives. These are the situations in which we can learn so much from Him if we choose to do so. As we draw closer to Him/learn from Him, He will give us His strength and comfort and many times carry us high above the storms.
We were bought with a price so precious, His blood! Let us not forget who we are to Him!
1 Peter 1:17-21 ”If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."
Although I am preaching to you - I am really preaching to myself!
I am never far from our agonies. Just when I think things are going so well ~ emotionally speaking ~ a dear friend asks about "this or that" concerning our loved ones, because no one ever really understands our whole situation; too baffling, too bizarre, too weird (and I am using this by the way of 'witchcraft or evil supernatural'). How could anyone ever really understand? The whole situation is FULL of pernicious evil intentions, conniving control and manipulation, cult-like dynamics, and sinners. We don't even understand it and we have lived it, and are living it. So when someone asks I just answer simple questions with simple answers which they still can not grasp. I sympathize and understand their dilemma and so eventually I have to express that no one can understand, neither can we, and that it is all cult-like dynamics. How can we understand devoted Christians who follow after blatant lies? This is a dilemma which I, myself, have a difficult time wrapping my mind around. Of course, it is succumbing to pride, sin, and choosing to follow after their own desires ~ if only 'for a time'. Romans 8:9-11 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. I understand we continue to sin even though we are saved by His grace. The world is also full of LIARS who live to abuse others for whatever gain it is for themselves. We have learned that anyone can be deceived. Don't flatter yourself thinking you can not ever be deceived. Christians all around us are following after what tickles their ears especially if it has a so called "christian" label on it. Put a LIAR in the midst of humanity and they are masters of deceit. Be a Berean! Check it out! Romans 8:12-17 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. We are ones who continue to look to the LORD in our agonies, we know He is working. He is working in us, for sure! But He is also working in those we love who are caught in the snares made by the LIARS. The trouble is that our loved ones may not be listening to the LORD in His truth ~ yet. And so there may be a 'someday' in which they do listen, they do turn back to the LORD in His truth. And this prayer is always on our lips. "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:18-25 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Our HOPE is totally in the One and Only. He knows every detail of our agonies. He also knows every detail of the LIAR's pernicious plans. He is NOT wringing His hands, shocked at what has happened. He knows and He is working in individuals. It will be their testimony in Him for He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to His purpose. May it be so! Romans 8:26-28 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Praising the LORD for understanding our groanings and interceding!
I finally shortened a skirt and had this beautiful strip of velour left over. It was weeks before Valentine's Day when I had a great idea. I made these burgundy velour hearts and blessed five ladies with them. Thankful!
These are the four scary words for me to say as I begin to speak with my Beloved, my counselor.
Even more scary than this would be, “I was vacuuming today...” which means I was thinking. Thinking while vacuuming is actually rare because we have hardwood floors now.
What is it about holidays?
Oh, yes, memories, happiness, turning to agonies, and then the fighting righteous anger and ugly bitterness. At least I am at the LORD's feet, praises!
These last years I have begun to feel "fine" and be normal the weeks before a holiday, even just the week before a holiday. I even begin to believe that I have overcome the great sadness which clouds any special times of the year.
I think traumas, agonies, and tragedies never really leave your memories, your heart; they only go deeper inside of you. For me, they sure did come out today while "I was thinking."
I was thinking all of the same things, "why, how, when..." which I know there is no answer, only the LORD knows.
I trust Him.
His character is to never leave you, always try to woo you back to Him, never let you go or get away with your sins.
At least I know He is working in me in my agonies, in my life. Just like I counsel other women, though, you can only do your job before the LORD. You can not make anyone else do anything, you can not do their job for them, or make them change, it is their job to listen to the LORD rightly and choose to obey Him.
You can only do your job before the LORD.
Even though my anger is righteous and I am not sinning with this righteous anger, if I dwell on my righteous anger it will lead to unrighteousness and definitely into bitterness.
Working always on bitterness. I can think I am doing well and even doing good at not allowing bitterness into my heart/mind, when just one thing can happen where that bitterness certainly comes out of my mouth, or maybe just in my mind.
This is when I realize that bitterness is like a dried up weed pitched into the compost in the hot dry summer. There is no way that dried up old weed could survive, but sure enough weeks can go by when it rains and that dead weed is revived, and if allowed, it will thrive.
Bitterness is like this dried up dead weed. It is just waiting for a little encouragement and , poof, it begins to show it has a life after all. I have seen bitterness up close and personal in certain people I know. It is gross and it is ugly. There is no way I want to become bitter because I live for the LORD, but knowing what it looks like, and acts like, gives me more than a word picture of horror.
How can we go on when we have such traumas in our lives?
We must always read His Word, preach to ourselves, have someone trustworthy remind us of His truths when we falter. Do not give in to your anger, do not feed your bitterness. This life is not fair, for sure, but God can work in you. This life is not the end all. We have our Hope in Jesus and someday we will see His face and celebrate praises in His freedom!
Find great comfort in these words:
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Do not lose heart, sisters! The LORD knows your sadnesses, He is your comfort and strength. Spend your time reaching out to Him, knowing that He is the One who is carrying you.
Do your job in obedience for Him, and thus, glorifying Him.