THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 18, 2023

Yesterday I wrote in part of the entry about walking the high road with Jesus. This was on my mind throughout most of the day yesterday. It was not difficult to know when I stepped away from this high road. Did I want to please me or please Jesus? Who was I going to put first? As I began my journaling this morning I was writing about this. Then when I asked Jesus what He wanted me to know for today, He went on to say that the high road is paved. It is not a mysterious road. He clearly makes our decisions known to us by His Spirit within us. Secondly, it is when we choose to step away that we find the chaos of the unpaved road. There are ruts, diversions, and all kinds of signs which only lead further away from Him. Wow, this made sense as I was writing it out. I hope it does for you too.

The other highlighted piece of this morning came when I started my devotional reading. Some of us in our family got a disturbing “put-down” earlier this week. I met yesterday with the other ones involved to discuss how to handle this. We called the one troubled and set a meeting for next Monday. This morning’s devotional was titled, “A Better Word”. The message was to bless those who curse you. It completely refocused me and I’ll share this with the other family members so we can do just this–bless this one who is troubled.

God is so AMAZING! What man would ever think to bless the one who curses him? However, in so doing, we walk the high road where Jesus always is and is waiting for us to join Him.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 17, 2023

Last night was my time to give my testimony at our Celebrate Recovery. Each time I do this I battle the thoughts that I’ve given it so many times to our group that all it does is fill a gap in the testimony calendar for the year. However, that is never the case. God always uses His Work in our lives to assist others with their own walk.

A gentleman in my share group asked me how I was able to forgive my brother who I said was in heaven after his drowning? He was 36 and I was 26 at the time. The man asking is in the midst of life’s turmoil (ugly divorce). He is struggling to “forgive” those who are making his life so miserable. It wasn’t difficult to answer this question 46 years after my brother’s drowning. God and time is a gracious healer. One of my greatest problems back then was that I wouldn’t talk about what was going on in my life. No help can be offered if the need isn’t expressed. The Serenity Prayer states, “…one day at a time, one moment at a time accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.” I didn’t know any of this back then.

As I’ve reflected this morning on all that was brought forth last night and asked God what He wanted me to know from Him for today, He reminded me of walking the high road. We can choose the high road where our behaviors better match those of Christ Jesus. He told me that on this high road is where He can perform the changes in our lives to live out the life of a new creation. Surgeries are done there to reframe our mind, our thinking and our actions. If I or we keep stepping from the high road to the lower road of our choosing we stop the surgeries and healing processes. I loved this analogy. God is always at work in our lives. Walking the high road of choice has great rewards if we will just keep on it. The outcome is so worth it!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 16, 2023

Most often when I sit down to write this blog I have a message already I want given. Today, there seemed to be several and none were the right one. When I asked Jesus what message He wanted written I felt the nudge to start writing so He could give the message. Yesterday as I wrote about the orderliness of God’s Work, I said I’d be pondering this topic more.

Yesterday in the counseling sessions I heard so much chaos that is going on in each one’s life. Some much more than others. They were stuck and wanting guidance for stepping out of this chaos. I found myself listening to each one and often identifying with the circumstances they were describing. Most often, it seems that our chaos stems from us setting the expectations when God has something else in mind. One young man said he was about to step into a religion that offered him exactly what he was wanting. He knew they didn’t follow Jesus Christ, but Jesus hadn’t given him what he wanted and they seemingly would. When I asked him what Jesus had provided for him in the past 3 months, he looked at me oddly and, after a moment, began to tell all that He had provided. This young man wanted the end result of his wants now when Jesus has an orderly plan in mind that He wants us to TRUST.

This morning I am just amazed at the number of times I’ve done what this young man is doing. I knew the outcome of my life I wanted to have and it didn’t look anything like what I have done in the past 15 years. God wants us to take each of our days and trust Him within them. We will likely have expected outcomes, but I’m finding I need to hang onto them loosely for God may have a very different one in mind which will be so much more rewarding. I wanted my past obliterated so my life’s message would be one man (I) would call “successful”. God wanted my past to be my message so man would know His Way is truly the one called “successful” for in God’s Way is genuine “peace that passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) when we apply the trust.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 15, 2023

Sometimes the day just doesn’t start out in the usual manner. Even though it seemed to start that way, it quickly got interrupted with a very early phone call, a computer which wouldn’t click into gear and then a granddaughter who needed to be picked up from high school–sick. Anyway, here is the post I usually have finished a couple hours ago.

I started reading through the bible the first of this year reading a one year chronological Bible. Not too many days ago the Israelites made a golden calf which they went wild worshiping thinking Moses wasn’t going to come off of the mountain. When he did there was chaos in the camp. Today’s reading was the worshiping of the Israelites once they had made all that God had told Moses to have created for worshiping Him. Each of the 12 tribes followed an exact process for this worship. Even though I know that all that God creates is orderly and extremely well defined, I hadn’t realized how orderly the worship God wanted from the Israelites was. I have never liked chaos and it seems God doesn’t either.

Chaos disrupts good thinking. God tells us that He gives a peace that passeth all understanding. Even when chaos is around us, we don’t need to participate in it and we don’t need to let it bog us down as it often does me. I want to spend some additional time pondering this message. The orderliness of God is very intentional and I want to honor it always.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 14, 2023

Happy Valentine’s Day seems like something in the near future rather than today. Getting back last night, not sleeping well and starting to do the counseling today seems to take away any thoughts of love. I’m trying to refocus into the reality of home. So much took place while we were in California for my sis’s service that I’m really struggling to shift from it to the responsibilities of home. It will happen, but this morning is a moment of real shifting.

I can’t begin to express my deep gratitude for the six days in California with my family. It truly was a trip to remember and to be thankful for. God is so good in spite of our humanness. I know that is why He sent Jesus so that in spite of this humanness of ours, we can have a clear path to Him. Yet, being human, I sometimes wonder just how He does this. His Love is so far beyond any of mankind. I’m sure as we enter into our own eternity someday, we will understand this love on a much deeper level. Until then, I will be grateful for what I do know–God is LOVE!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 13, 2023

Jesus is always the answer! This trip has been such a huge blessing in so many ways. Each one of us, including our sis Bonnie who still lives here, have been together for 6 days and all has been fun and refreshing. I can’t thank God enough for this time!

Today we head home. As I sat down to begin my devotions I started to reflect on all the details of going home and having everything in order. Instantly Jesus reminded me that I could relax as I have throughout the past few days for He has already taken care of the details. All I need to do is take the steps I know to take. He hasn’t forgotten a thing.

The other thing that has been awakening for me this trip is the time I’ve had with these two brothers of mine. I’ve always had an inner sense of insufficiency being with them. They are the ones who can do all the stuff I’ve never been good at. However, this time for the first time, I’ve been comfortable being who I am and not feeling inferior.

God never quits growing us into the image He created us to be. How I love this!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 12, 2023

Let God be Praised! My sis Alice was the social organizer for our family. As I’m writing this blog now, I see why this time in California has been the best social trip we’ve ever taken down here. It should be no surprise that so many of our family came to honor Alice. Because of this we are able to renew so many family connections. I am so grateful for this time.

This week has been like a time warp away from the routine of life. I’m so grateful for it!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 11, 2023

How God works is always so amazing and so touching. Yesterday’s service for my sis Alice was one of the most touching times in my life. All of it went very well and so many of our family members were there. We were able to have connections renewed with members of our family we hadn’t seen for over 20 years. The other touching piece is that today would be my mom’s birthday. Knowing that half of my siblings are in heaven with mom is so sweet.

All I want to do is praise God and thank Him for His love and care. I want to forever praise His Name!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 10, 2023

The day is here. In a few hours we will be celebrating the life of my sis Alice. As I was reading my devotions, journaling and bible reading I was continuously reminded that today is the day to trust. All of the plans are done. We will help set the photo displays, tables for the reception to follow, etc., but all of that is planned, now we just do it. Then, the real part begins at 11:00 am when we will actually honor Alice’s life. It was rewarding to hear the things my siblings are sharing when we went through each one’s part yesterday. My nephew arrived and we were able to also practice the songs being sung. He will accompany all of them with his guitar. Alice was so full of life! The service, I believe, will also be full of life for everything each one shares exemplifies this.

This morning Jesus was reminding me that His Spirit within will complete all of this for He is the same Spirit within each one taking part. He knows how to bring all of this together just at the right time and for all of the right purposes. He knows how to bring this celebration right back to His Honor and Glory. I just need to do my part. He will amply do His.

All praise and honor go to Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. My trust is fully in them and what a blessing it is to get to take part today.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: FEB. 9, 2023

Today is the day before. Yesterday was spent getting the flowers arranged and ready for the d├ęcor at my sis’s service. Her daughter Donna took her friend, my sis-in-law and me to pick out all of the flowers and then we spent much of the afternoon putting the arrangements together. This was a joy for me. My sis Alice and I would spend hours picking out flowers for her yard that I would then plant in the various flower beds she had. I always looked forward to coming down knowing I’d get the opportunity to be with her doing this. Both of us loved these times.

Today my nephew is coming to the place we’re staying to practice the songs for the service. My older brother told me I worry too much, but I want this service to be one that honors God and my sis. Those two are together eternally now and the service is to recognize this and and encourage others to want this for themselves.

When I asked Jesus what He wanted me to know for today He kindly reminded me that He is pleased with the plans and that He has brought together just what He wants to glorify Himself. We can be joyful servants getting the opportunity to be part of this celebration of Alice’s life. My devotional was about faith and as I write this I can see that I need to put my focus on faith rather than the “worry” my brother is noticing. This will be my intent for today.