August 5, 2015

Glorious Heavenly Father!

 

I feel like a brand new mother who just gave birth…our little caterpillars metamorphosed into butterflies!!! It was only two weeks ago, I saw those eight caterpillars completely covering my parsley plants and devouring them before my eyes. If I hadn’t been teaching a lesson on bugs, butterflies and creepy crawlers, I would have destroyed those pests for eating my plants. But You showed me that there was a lesson in those little yellow and black striped low-life! I just didn’t realize that I probably would get more out of the lesson than my preschoolers!

 

Monday before breakfast I was with the kids out on the playground, we were surprised to see the sunflowers seeds we had planted probably 6 weeks ago were finally in full glorious bloom! Those tiny seeds that were each planted with love grew into giants well above each child’s head! Now we’ve been watching butterflies and bees hang out on the bright cheerful flowers!  To top of that sight, we walked into class and discovered two big beautiful black butterflies with yellow markings fluttering around in our jar! I’m not sure who was more excited- me or the children! After sharing them with everyone, we went outside and set them free…joyfully waving goodbye! We’re always on the lookout for them flying around! We studied how many times those tiny caterpillars eat so much that their skin cracks open and they shed their old skin before they ever form the chrysalis. That shell covers the mysterious miracle that takes that same life and transforms it into a whole new lovely creature that can fly… and spread life from one flower to the next!

 

Father, You have given us such a beautiful object lesson in how we leave behind our old life and are transformed or born again into a miraculous spirit-filled life that soars with You! It requires us to feed on You and Your word until our old thoughts, ideas and way of life cannot be contained with all we have in You! We must keep shedding those old ways and leave them behind as they are no longer needed. As we grow and mature in You, we become new all over again and again until these bodies one day will no longer contain what You have placed inside of us!  Jesus is making all things new…including me! Lord, I want to fly with Jesus!

 

 

 

 

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”                       2 Corinthians 5:17

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should sand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”      Philippians3:20-4:1

 

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ ”    Revelation 21:3-5

July 29, 2015

Most beautiful Heavenly Father,

 

As I sat down in the quiet cool of the morning on my back patio to spend time with You, I was immediately surrounded by You- the Great I AM! Encompassed by Your immeasurable presence, the word “always” kept popping up in my heart:

*You are ALWAYS here! Even when I am busy and involved in work, play, circumstances…You never ever leave me. You are always waiting for me to be still with You and realize who You are. Your thoughts never leave me even when my thoughts wander from You!

*You are ALWAYS the Great I AM! Your power and authority never change or lessen. You made all the gargantuan galaxies and tiniest molecules- even those we have never discovered yet! Everything that is- was made by Your word, and everything that lives came to life through Your holy breath!  Nothing or no one has more power than You- all things must answer to You!

*You are ALWAYS love! Your love is so much more than we can ever wrap our feeble minds around. Your love determines all that You do…for You are love! Your love is far more powerful than a mother’s love, a daddy’s love, a romantic love, a friendship love, a grandparent’s love. In fact, we would never be capable of love if not for You!

*You are ALWAYS at work! You are always making things new; molding and creating us to be all You know we can be- all You designed us to be! Yet You see fit to limit Your power to work within the confines of our free will (which You saw fit to give us!) You are ALWAYS knitting together our mistakes, weaknesses and even the hard situations in our lives to make something far more beautiful and glorious than we could ever imagine or think to ask for!

*You are ALWAYS faithful! You never forget us; never leave us; never reject us; never give up on us…It is Your deepest desire that not even one should perish but have eternal life that You freely give to us even when we were sinners. You long to have every single one of Your precious children with You forever and ever…yet out of love, You give us a choice. You are faithful to us ALWAYS- even when we are not faithful to You.

*You are ALWAYS waiting…waiting for us to realize who made us, who loves us and who completes us. You wait for us to accept the newness of eternal life given through Jesus Christ. You wait for us to grow in maturity and holiness of Christ. You wait for us to stop and be still with You- to spend time sharing our hearts and lives with You. You wait for us to learn through all the circumstances we go through. You wait for us to share Your hope. And You wait for the day we leave this earth and step into the true Home You have prepared for us…where there will be no more waiting because we will share in the unspeakable joy of being with You ALWAYS!

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“And surely I am with you ALWAYS, to the very end of the age.”     Matthew 28:20

 

“Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”    Psalm 90:2

 

“’I am the Alpha and Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’”    Revelation 1:8

July 26, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

Sometimes more than others, I feel really out of place- like I don’t belong or fit in. When it happens, it throws me off just a little because I’ve grown to accept who I am. I am confident in who I am in You, Lord. Yet there are times when the world seems like a foreign world. Sometimes it happens when I watch the news with all the evil happenings in the world. Sometimes it happens when it seems a whole generation finds humor or entertainment in something that seems totally wrong to my spirit. Sometimes it happens when everyone around me seems obsessed with something that seems so unimportant to me. There are moments of temptation where I just want to fit in with the world and those around me. There can even be a whisper from the tempter saying, “Just do it! Everyone else is!”  or “Everyone thinks you’re strange!”

 

Then I recall that Jesus told us we would be misunderstood, hated and mocked just like He was. We’ve been told that when we live for You, we will be like aliens in a strange land. We are travelers passing through this world. Our true home is with You. It is a good thing to be peculiar and stand out from the world because we are living ambassadors for You and Your kingdom, Lord. No matter where we work, live or travel, we should be shining out with the Light of the world. People should be able to tell we belong to Your kingdom! We need to be ready to answer questions about our King and our Home land.

 

Alright, Lord! I’m OK again! It’s a good thing to feel out of place here… because my real place is with You! Thank You for being with me always no matter where I go. My home is with You! My place is with You! So I’m really not out of place…I’m right where I’m supposed to be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus warned us in John 15:18-20: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. ‘”

 

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”    1 Peter 2:9-12

 

Jesus prayer for us in John 17:14-23  “I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that You would take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one. Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”

July 22, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

Only You would have thought of creating caterpillars that turn into butterflies! The kids in my class had already shown interest in insects last week, so I told them we would study bugs, butterflies and creepy crawlers this week. I’m always asking You to lead me in all I do, so I shouldn’t be surprised…but as I was watering my vegetable plants this weekend, I was shocked to see my parsley plants completely covered in bright green with yellow and black striped caterpillars. One plant was already stripped, and two others were being devoured as I watched. There was my lesson! I got a gallon jar and broke off the stems covered in caterpillars and put several twigs in with them, along with extra parsley leaves. It was so interesting to watch them all weekend. Even more so, to take them to share with the kids! We researched what type of caterpillars they were, the life cycles and what type of butterfly they would develop into. They kids gathered round with magnifying glasses, studying their tiny feet and eyes and ferocious appetites. One rough-and-tumble little boy kept saying, “How cute! I just wish I could hug and kiss them!”

 

How incredible to watch such tiny creatures that have hatched from microscopic eggs into crawling caterpillars that eat until their skin repeatedly burst and sheds- until they finally stop and attach themselves by a little silk button and form a hard shell  or chrysalis. If we didn’t know any better, we would think that was the end…but in due time the chrysalis begins to shake as something inside is trying to break out. Out comes a beautiful fragile butterfly that flaps until its wings dry then lightly floats away to lay more eggs! How beautiful and incredibly amazing is the life that You create- no matter how small! At first glance at those caterpillars, I was mad that they ate my parsley! After watching their incredible transformation from chomping my plant to lifting in flight above the earth, I am now so glad I was led to plant the parsley so I could see and share this miracle!

 

Father, You who made all the galaxies and heavens and earth are more powerful and awesome than anything or anyone! You have all power and authority…yet You are intimately tender and loving to care for the tiniest of Your creatures. You not only transform caterpillars, but You tenderly transform us as we outgrow ourselves and shed what is not needed and grow to be more Christ-like. Father, help there to be less of us and more of You! Lift us up so we can soar high above this earth and all our circumstances! Make us new creatures through Jesus Christ!

 

 

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

 

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”     Matthew 10:29-31

 

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”     Isaiah 40:28-31

July 8, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

A class of 3 and 4 year-old children were lined up at the door to go outside. It wasn’t long at all before they started hitting one another. I had to do something quick to get their attention…so without thinking I started singing the first song that entered my mind: “This Little Light of Mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” I don’t know if it’s the shock of hearing my singing or a new song they hadn’t heard, but it worked better than I hoped. They all stopped and quietly listened and then began to join in! After a few rounds, I asked them if they knew how to make their lights shine. I showed them the most dazzling smile I could muster. Then they all showed me their biggest brightest smiles. It was so joyful. The whole group changed from whining, tattling, pushing and shoving to a gleeful explosion! That’s the power of Your Light, Lord!

 

Thank You for giving me Jesus in my heart- the Light of the world and of my soul! How often I forget that I just need to let Your Light shine. This world can be a dark hopeless place with lots of pushing and selfishness. It is incredible how much even just a little bit of Light can make. It wasn’t made to hoard for myself, or cover up so no one knows I have it, or be afraid someone will accuse me of some illegal act. My job is to let Your Light shine through me at all times, in every situation, even if I stand alone. Even one small light makes a huge difference where there is only darkness! Shining out with the Light You’ve put in me isn’t for spotlighting someone else’s sin, or for drawing glowing attention to myself. It is to draw others to the hope and promise of eternal life with You!

 

The light of Jesus Christ has come into this world and into my heart to bring hope, joy, peace and love to all who want it. It is incredibly bright and contagious! It is not from me or any of Your other children. We are simply little candleholders who carry the Light of Jesus to a world draped in darkness. Help me let my Light shine so others might be drawn to the Source of Light! Shine, Jesus! Shine!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”   John 8:12

 

(Jesus said) “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”     John 12:46

 

(Jesus also said)“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise Your Father in heaven.”   Matthew 5:14-16

 

 

 

June 28, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

Since this week is Independence Day for the United States of America, I have been planning lessons and activities to celebrate America’s birthday. I’ve gathered up maps and flags to color, songs to sing, history to read, parade and decorations. It’s a great blessing to live in this country where we have freedom to choose our own leaders, vote on laws, worship, speak out…Our freedom is so very precious. It has been fought for, protected, and died for. It has come at a very high cost starting with those who fought to establish this country to all those citizens who have left their mark up until now. One of my teaching goals for the week is to help children see how they can be good citizens so they can help make an even better nation.

 

However, as proud as I am to be American, I am even more blessed by my eternal citizenship in Your Kingdom, Lord! Someday, it won’t matter that I am an American with certain rights guaranteed by our constitution. That’s OK! Nothing can take away my citizenship in Your kingdom because it’s been paid for and guaranteed by the blood of Jesus Christ…and it is an eternal citizenship. There are no citizenship tests to take. It doesn’t recognize earthly borders or ethnic groups. Everyone is invited to be a part of Your family, Your kingdom. Sadly, many are not ready to accept.

 

I recall coming back from a trip to another country where the government was unstable. As much as I enjoyed the experience, I was so happy to be back in the USA, my homeland, where I knew I had certain rights. Yet even being an American is not a secure thing. But my citizenship in Your kingdom is an eternal security. The day will come when I will take my last breath as an American and step into my eternal Homeland!! I am just passing through this country til I get to my true Home. My Home is with You, Lord! My heart belongs to You! May I live my life so all will know where my citizenship truly lies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”    1 Peter 2:11-12

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”   Philippians 3:20-4:1

 

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”    Ephesians 2:19-22

June 14, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

I challenged each of my friends in the Women’s Bible Study I lead to find some way to lavish You with love the way Mary did when she poured her most expensive oil over Jesus’ head and feet and wiped it with her hair. She didn’t come to Him wanting anything. She didn’t worry about what others thought. She just wanted to lavish Him with love!  I gave them some suggestions, like: sit down on the back porch each morning simply to have a cup of coffee with You, or sing to You with all their heart. So this week I had this challenge in the back of my mind for myself as well. How could I show You my love?

 

My answer came in a most unexpected way! I had a really bad day with an unnamed child who threw a giant tantrum, was extremely disrespectful and fought against me in every way possible. I love this child, so it broke my heart to see the way they acted. I tried every tactic all my training and experience afforded me to no avail.  I tried to explain to them that I loved them and didn’t want them growing up to be mean. Nothing seemed to get through. As I prayed for this child, You showed me Your heart. You seemed to be saying, “Don’t you wish they simply obeyed out of love for you?” It was like You opened the eyes of my heart to see how much it means to You… for us to obey You out of sheer love!

 

Then You followed up on this lesson through today’s sermon. The message was asking us to think of someone who needs You, earnestly pray for them and care about them enough to bring them to You. Of course, this child was on my mind, so I couldn’t help crying and praying for them to find the peace of a life with You…Then I thought of all the other children who will be at Vacation Bible School this week who desperately need You. There is no greater love than to truly care about someone’s eternal life. You loved us so much that You sent Jesus’ so we could have eternal life. If I really love You with all my heart, mind and soul, I will love others enough to pray for them and draw them to new life through Jesus Christ. After all, what You want most is obedience of the two greatest things You ask us to do- Love You and love others!

 

 

 

 

 

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“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.’” John 14:23-24

 

“Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”  Matthew 22:37-40

 

“Again Jesus said, ‘Simon, son of john, do you truly love Me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of My sheep.’”    John 21:16

June 3, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

Yesterday on the playground, a little boy kept getting right in front of my face and staring at my eyes through my sunglasses. No matter where I turned my face, he would move to stay right in front of me! It took me a bit to figure out what he was doing. He was looking at his reflection in my sunglasses! When I took my sunglasses off, he said, “You have pretty eyes!” I never know quite how to respond to that since I had absolutely nothing to do with the color or shape of my eyes. I do, however have control over what I look at…and I believe with all my heart that who and what you look at makes a difference for the sparkle in your eyes!

 

Human eyes are a miraculous creation! Even when I look at the chart in my optometrist’s office that scientifically explains each part of the eye and how it works, I am totally blown away. What we look at near or far away is somehow transported through our eyes and into our brain so we can absorb what we are looking at.  In many ways we reflect what we look at! Wow! That is truly something to think about! Lord, I know that is true, because when I look too long at the world, my eyes become dark and fearful, lacking hope and love… but when I look at You and all Your amazing ways, I can tell it changes my mind, body and spirit! It changes my whole outlook when I look to You! Everything looks beautiful, peaceful and full of love!

 

The more I look to You through prayer, singing, worshipping, reading, hearing and practicing Your word- the more I see You! The more I look for You- the more I find You! The more I gaze at You, the more beautiful and fulfilling life is! The more I look at You, the more I reflect You! I will take that little boy’s sweet compliment about my eyes. I hope he saw You and the love of Jesus Christ in my eyes! There is nothing more beautiful than that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus said: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”    Matthew 6:22-23

 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened  to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7 Jesus also said this!

 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”    2 Corinthians 3:17-18

May 25, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

In some ways, it’s kind of nice to have a saturated Memorial Day! Instead of having a day filled up with fun in the sun, there’s a little more time to think of all those who have fought the good fight and gone on before me. They have each left an eternal foothold for me to keep climbing onward and upward towards Home! As I visit the cemetery, memories flood my mind and soak my soul of those whom I have loved so dearly and others I never knew…all who have left an eternal impact upon me!

 

As I enter the memorial grounds, a monument stands with the names of all those who have served in the military who are buried in that particular cemetery (including the names of several of my own relatives). I can’t help but be incredibly grateful for all those who fought so my children and I could live in freedom. Some gave their lives in the fight; while others lived on bearing the seen and unseen wounds of war. I can’t help but think of the price their families paid for our freedom, as well. Then I drive to the grave of my first husband, who lived life so fully with us and for You, Lord- even while battling a ravaging illness so bravely. He, too, lived and died for me and others to find a greater freedom in You. Then as my mom and I place flowers on other family member’s graves, I see a plaque on my great grandmother’s plot that shows she was a pioneer in the Oklahoma land run. Another plaque is on my great great grandfather’s grave as he served in the civil war and was shot in the leg while climbing a tree to get a better look for his company. The stories of all these lives and so many more family, friends and even strangers whose lives were lived in such a way to make a difference in my life…even the stories of saints in the Bible and in books I’ve read and testimonies I’ve seen and heard. Lord, You somehow use all these others to help make me who I am.

 

Father, You have created us all as individuals yet we are all united through Jesus Christ.  So many of those who have gone on before me, might not have realized how they could possibly impact future generations. They simply lived their lives for You. Yet they are all part of my “cloud of witnesses” who urge me on towards my eternal Home with You! Their suffering, their testimony, their faith in You has left steps for me to follow… None so great as Jesus’ nail-pierced feet that call out to follow Him! He is the way! Makes me wonder, how will the future generations benefit from my life? What kind of footprints am I leaving right now? Does my everyday life follow Jesus so others will see the way?

 

 

 

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”   Hebrews 12:1-3

 

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 3:9-11

 

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself, as the chief cornerstone. In Him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”   Ephesians 2:19-22

May 21, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

I was so mad when I got home and read the book of James! Many years ago, I was going through some what seemed like end-of-the-world troubles. I was a very young adult facing life, so I went to talk to my dad about them. He calmly listened. I’m sure he wished he could take my troubles away but knew he couldn’t. So he suggested I go home and read the book of James from the Bible. I didn’t read too far before I got really mad…because it said “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…”  WHAT?!!! How could I be joyful when I was going through such dreadful circumstances? I was certain no one in the world had ever had to face anything like this before! I might not have considered the challenges joy then…but I sure can now some 30 plus years later!

 

Some of the trials I’ve gone through in my life were a result of my poor decisions; some were unwarranted because I was completely  innocent but still had to endure; some were attacks from others; some were financial, health, relationships, dreams shattered, fire, deaths, loss … but now I count every single one as a joy! Really!! Because of those different trials I had to endure, I can say with absolute certainty that You are with me… and nothing or no one in all creation can come against me and succeed! Because of what I’ve been through, my love for You and my trust in You has grown- because You went through it with me, Lord!  Because of those troubles I’ve gone through, I can look past the present discomfort to the absolute promise of trouble-free life with You! Because of what I’ve gone through, I can comfort others going through hard times with the comfort and hope I’ve been given by You!

 

Since that time long ago, I have come to know, that my troubles are light and temporary and that others have endured far more than I have. Since that time, I have seen many times how You take what our enemy means for destruction and turn it into something glorious and eternal when we love and trust You. I am so incredibly blessed because You have helped me through so much…but also because I see You help others through so much. I rarely panic at troubles (mine or others now) for I know it is a beautiful opportunity for You to make something glorious out of even the most horrible of troubles and trials the enemy throws our way. Lord, it’s been a great blessing lately, to be able to point others to the book of James lately and tell them to consider their trials pure joy! (Even if it makes them mad at first!)

 

 

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed  by the wind. That man should not receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”     James 1:2-8

 

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me,’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed, Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to si; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows.”   James 1:12-17

 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”   Romans 8:28