THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: mAY 3, 2021

The Mending the Soul class I’m leading for the 6 men attending had us doing a timeline of one’s life. Above the line were the blessings of one’s life and below the line are the abuses/hindrances of one’s life. This took the entire lesson time and we still will have one doing his next week. As each revealed his story MUCH HURT was disclosed and with it, a lot of confusion about God’s place in it. I was hearing so much about each of these men and also knowing God was rejoicing that we are getting started into the healing work He gives as promised in James 5:16–“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Yesterday afternoon our family gathered as we have been doing and in so doing there was a good deal of distress shared between one another. It left me feeling somewhat tormented as the day ended and I headed to bed. This morning as I journaled about this God revealed that the words we speak in this battlefield world we live in are seeds. If I plant the seeds of hopelessness for this life I will reap hopelessness. However, when I plant the seeds of God’s promises (HOPE) no matter how hopeless man might feel, God will nurture those seeds and we will reap HOPE which turns into spiritual fruit.

For a moment I saw the men of yesterday morning and then I saw the trouble in my own family and I was about to try and own it and label it. This morning God had me put my eyes upon Him by looking up to HIM. In so doing I could then see the problems outlined yesterday as the seeds of Satan which grow the strangling weeds choking out the fruit of HOPE. God wanted me to plant words of HOPE as He removes these weeds of lies planted by Satan in this earthly land of despair. I planted seeds of TRUTH–HOPE this morning as I prayed!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MAY 2, 2021

I find myself in a very different mind frame this morning. A couple of days ago there were some events that took place which were truly brought about by God’s Grace and timing. I wrote yesterday how wonderful God is for this. As yesterday moved on I received more than one message regarding the after effects of Friday’s events. In this there was no rejoicing as in Friday. There is fear, anger, hatred, regret and more. It is easy to see that even though God’s Work is rejoiced, it can bring about the truth of man’s work when He wasn’t included in it. These emotions of man will hopefully bring about tremendous change and healing. Today, this is my continued prayer.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MAY 1, 2021

One of the wonderful things about this month is that I can plant everything in the garden with a pretty good confidence it won’t freeze. I don’t have to look at the dormant piece of ground any longer. Soon there will be a big assortment of vegetables growing!

Yesterday was a day of God working. I know this happens everyday, but for me, there were several moments when God’s timing and work were impeccable. I cannot thank God enough for the way He works! Now my prayer is that everyone involved will be good listeners to next steps so bonding can take place which has never been known before. God’s bonding is eternal and that is what I pray will happen.

Having no other God before me is something God keeps reminding me to think about. Relying only on Him as He takes the lead and I do my part as He nudges. This is truly a step of learning I want to keep close to my heart and mind.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: APR. 30, 2021

There seems to be “testing in the air” at this present time. So many of the people close to me are being tested right now and being so in tough ways. I am deep into Isaiah right now in my bible reading and God is challenging the Israelites to keep their eyes on Him and Trust Him rather than the graven images man has made.

Today, we may not have the manmade images of the times before Christ, but there are an abundance of things we turn to before we ever turn to God and proclaim His Word over the circumstances we are facing. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

As I was journaling this morning and asking God what He wanted me to know from Him for today, He reminded me that my knees are used best when I proclaim my trust in Him while there. In so doing He then reminded me to look up to see His Face. As I did I could sense my own self being empowered. This empowerment is all in the name of TRUST and FAITH. God is man’s Creator. Every aspect of man’s nature had a Godly purpose which Satan has tried to use for man’s destruction. Yet, I give to God these issues claiming God’s original design to show forth in issues today. I don’t know what God has in mind but I know He does so I put my TRUST in Him and will respond as He nudges me to do so.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: APR. 29, 2021

It is often said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Well, an item which has been of great concern has been laid wide open and it was done with the wisdom of a child. The outcome is yet to be determined, but it can now be dealt with due to the innocent steps of a kid. Matthew 18:4 says, “So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” It is incredible to see the simple trust child has in their Father when they are taught to have Faith. I saw this yesterday and I simply praise this kid for his belief. We adults try to figure out so much when God asks us (tells us) to have the faith of a child). After yesterday I’m reminded what this looks like.

God is so Amazing. My first thought yesterday was what I wrote in the first sentence–God works in mysterious ways. Yet, there is nothing mysterious about what a child did acting on his Faith. I not only need to grow in my simple Faith but I also want to be one who reminds others by my own actions what simple Faith looks like.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: APR. 28, 2021

Last night our quartet sang for a dear lady who is now house-bound. She has been a part of my life for over 50 years going back to when my career started as a teacher. She was part of our school’s PTO, she had been a room mother for me when her youngest was in my classroom. She was instrumental in our church’s worship over all of these years and served on the church board when I also did. I’ve treasured her wisdom and her connection with God. Singing God’s praises for her was a blessed time. Not only was it a blessing in and of itself, I also found that right across the street from her new home location lives another lady I worked with the first 7 years of my career. She is a widow too. We went over and had her join us. It was a beautiful reunion and all in the name of Jesus. I love these opportunities God provides!

There are times when I would like to have God make choices which simply tell what to do. However, it seems that He always wants us to seek Him, but He then leaves the choice to us. I love that He gives us choice–He wouldn’t be the God He is otherwise. I am just perplexed to know if opportunities which come about are ones God wants us to take? I’m facing this at the moment and I don’t have Light shining in either corner. I’m just going to move forward into each day to see if a Light does click on. I do know to Trust and Obey. Sometimes this just takes patience.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: APRIL 27, 2021

Today’s devotional message was one of deep purpose and meaning for me. I had already journaled regarding some issues needing God’s intervention. I know most of them are not in my hands to do anything about except to pray. I don’t underestimate the power of prayer, so I am seeking the real Power of God to intervene. As I journaled and asked Jesus what He wanted me to know for today, He told me to look up. Looking out only allows me to see the problems I already know. Looking up allows me to see well above the problems and to see the God Who not only sees the problems, but He sees well beyond and how the path of the problem leads to Him. This I needed to hear.

As I read my devotional after journaling it took the above message to a deeper level. It asked if when we seek God, do we seek His Hand or do we seek His Face? II Chronicles 7:14 says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The emphasis of the devotional reading was to seek God’s Face. God had already told me to look up. I loved the added message to SEEK HIS FACE. The devotional said if we seek His hands we are seeking things or action. However, if we SEEK HIS FACE, we will see the very GOD we serve. In it we can fully TRUST.

As soon as I read this I felt a peace. The storm which rages can rage. I know it will lead to my Father. All I needed to do is “see His Face” to know I can TRUST HIM. His Face gives that ASSURANCE that I had come to the right place and sought the right source of strength–GOD HIMSELF!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: APR. 26, 2021

Our family has been gathering for a few weeks now every Sunday afternoon ahead of our oldest grandson leaving for the air force. This has been a rewarding time if for no other reason than seeing the grandkids having such a fun time playing with one another. Along with this, it gives me ample time to be with the kids and talk through “life” as they are in the midst of the tougher parenting years. My grandson had told me he wanted us to meet weekly so (in his mind) there would be no wounds in the family when he left. He wanted there to be real peace between all of the family members. It is amazing to me to watch how God is answering a 23 year old’s request.

I am always impressed with God’s leadership. Yesterday in the Mending the Soul class there were only 2 present. One of them was new to the class but someone I know well from Celebrate Recovery and he has decided to join. The other 3 members had said they wouldn’t be present yesterday due to family events. The 2 yesterday were not present the week before so I took the time to catch them up with the other 3 so next week we are all on the same page. I wasn’t sure how we would work this out but God already knew. God is timely and thoughtful. The intimate conversations about being completely honest and open during the class time were able to be done in a smaller setting so next week as we all step into chapter 1, we can do so with a willing heart–surrendered and trusting. GOD IS AMAZING!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: APR. 25, 2021

For several weeks now I’ve been burdened with a heaviness in my soul. I couldn’t identify it except if I paused for a moment I felt it. I would quickly dismiss it as a “presence” fighting the class we’ve started on Sunday mornings: Mending the Soul. I was just enduring it thinking it will go away once we get going. During this time I’ve been tempted over and over to go back to the old habits of the past to salve this evil presence. The voices would say the familiar message like, “you deserve a break so gratify yourself”,

Yesterday I was with my grandson for a few hours as we worked in his yard planting a tree and several shrubs. It was a very rewarding time as we talked through some tough topics he’s facing. Later in the afternoon I was called by two different men in our Celebrate Recovery group who had witnessed God doing abundant work in their lives of late and the one had just happened yesterday when the job he wanted was given back to him now that he is sober. The boss had even called and talked at length with me prior to awarding the job.

This morning God has been showing me the importance of my not enduring a spirit of warfare as I’ve been. He wants them recognized and rejected. Then He wants me to replace them with the self-love, self-appreciation and self-confidence believing that I am worthy of His Love. I don’t need to carry the burden of warfare. I know this weight so well. I grew up with it almost always being present. Yes, it eventually drove me to sinful replacements which God wants me to know once and for it are buried at the Cross if I will quickly follow the 3-R’s and replace them with the 3-S’s. The fruit of this is my peace, but equally great are the magnificent phone calls of yesterday knowing God is working using our story to help others. Wow! God is SO GOOD!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: APR. 24, 2021

Jesus is always at work and He wants us to be part of it as He nudges us. I am reminded of this so often. Our men’s share group in Celebrate Recovery is encouraged to stay in touch with one another during the week when one is struggling or praising God for a prayer’s answer. This hadn’t been happening. I was nudged to create a phone list which we now carry with us. Since getting that done I’ve been contacted each week by different members. We also talk about doing this more now that we have the list. It’s amazing how one little step is all that is needed for others to take an important little step on their part. It all starts with obeying The Holy Spirit’s nudge.

Today is a day of helping my oldest grandson. It is fun to spend time with him these days ahead of his going into the air force. He always has interesting questions and comments which help me understand the younger generation. I well remember having similar conversations with ones I trusted at that point in my life. A good listener who listens to understand is a lot like the wisdom Solomon wrote about in Proverbs 24:3-7.