As a mother and a grandmother it is very important to support my family in any and every way I can. I am only 62 but have learned so much about life and relationships in the last several years. I was pretty average most of my life but God did bless me with a very good life. But when I was just 45 I had a massive stroke and nearly died. I had been living selfishly for a few years trying to get what I wanted out of life. As I look back now I see God’s grace all over me. If I had died I know I would have gone to heaven, but by the skin of my teeth. I would not have been prepared to meet my maker in all his holiness and splendor. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the life I was living. Oh, I was a Christian raised in church and always tried to do the right things. But it was a hollow and unfulfilling life. What did I do to touch my world or to make a difference? If I had stood before God how would I have looked him in the eyes. I believe now that my stroke was the most important thing that ever happened to me. I finally had the time to search out God and the things that I have learned over the last 16 years, I wish someone could have told me beforehand and saved me from a lot of mistakes. I have come to not only believe in my God but got to know him and his character so very well that I realize that I can’t possibly live a minute without him. Nor do I ever want to. I began reading the Bible every day the year after my stroke. And though at times it has been tough, I committed to read straight through from the beginning to the end. The only way you can have a real good relationship with someone is to get to know everything that is important to them and by sharing everything that is important to you also. That’s why reading the Bible and prayer is so valuable. It’s actually better than the best textbook , owners manual, or guide book for life and it was inspired by the very one who made us and knows what is best for us. And how to get everything we can out of life. In the Bible it says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free .” John 8:32. Well, I can honestly say that I have never been more at peace, happier, more fulfilled than I am right now. I am truly free at last. I want everyone I know to know what I know and the joy I have found. Man I could have avoided so much pain and conflict if I had only known. What’s really great is that every day I learn to grow more and it just keeps getting better and better. I may live another 30 years . It could happen and it only gets better. So for the next several weeks and months I will besharing words from scriptures and truths God has shown me.
“In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them.” Isaiah 63:9 NIV
When we suffer he cares. In this life we will have trials. That is a given. But when we suffer he blesses us with his presence. Knowing he is with us can bring comfort. Knowing that we are not alone and that he will help us is important for strength. When we are weak he can be strong. When I am dealing with hard things such as my health and pain it always helps to know he cares and in his time he will bring about what is best for me. His best is always more than I expect. He loves me and as I focus on being the best I can be for him, he wants to bless me. He is always doing special things for me. Whenever I think I am going to need something, a special gift I never expected will show up. Like this week the bag of chocolates I got from Christmas was almost gone. I had enjoyed having a little treat in the afternoons and even though I could do without. A package came from my daughter of a large bag of chocolates. Just God’s way of sending blessings my way. Extra special blessings. I always say thank you. And I feel that he always cares. I had pneumonia a few months back and it came on quickly and strong. One minute I was enjoying time at church with friends and feeling fine. Then at dinner I felt dizzy and nauseous. This has never happened before and I thought I was having a heart attack. I had to trust that God knew what was going on and that he was in charge. But that didn’t happen at first. I gave myself a panic attack first. I felt my heart race and I knew I needed to relax. God helped me fall asleep when I thought I couldn’t. He helped me rest the next few days when my roommate was loud. It took about three weeks before I started feeling myself again. God was with me though. Recently as I prepared to go to a conference at my church I woke in the middle of the night worrying about all the things that could go wrong. My ride being late. Not being able to open doors and get around on my own. I laid awake for a while worrying. I finally said a prayer that he would provide for all my needs. I reminded myself that he had it under control and that I had nothing to worry about. As the conference came and went it went off without a hitch. Better than I expected. I had a great time. Let him have your cares for he does care for you.
What care do you have that you can give to him?
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the darkness.” Nahum 1:7-8 NIV
God is good. He cares for his children and always listens when we cry out to him. Especially at the hands of wicked and evil people. That’s how he is. He always brings punishment on those who are evil, sinners. Eventually punishment will come. Nineveh was a very corrupt and worldly city. Their reputation preceded them. That is why God asked Jonah to prophecy the destruction he had for them. But Jonah said, no way, and ran the other way. God sent a big storm to follow him. God always knows what we are up to. You can not hide from God. When the people found out he was running from God, they had no choice but to get him out of the ship. They still cried out to God to forgive them for throwing him overboard. But the minute he was out of the ship the seas grew calm. God is powerful. They were stunned. Well we all know what happened next. After three days in the belly of a fish yelling at God he agreed to go to Nineveh. He had not wanted to go because he knew God to be merciful and loving. He new if he warned them they would cry out to God and he would stop from sending judgement. They were so wicked that he thought they should pay. Well the minute he agreed to go, poof, he was back on dry land. He headed to Nineveh and poured his heart out to them and all that God had told him. Well you know what happened? They cried out to God for forgiveness and turned from their wickedness. And he forgave them. Jonah knew it. He was so upset he went outside the city to sit and pout. “Just kill me, I knew you would do that, i’de be better off dead.” Well God let him sit there and fume for a little while, but God allowed a small plant to grow up beside him to shield his head from the scorching sun. The next morning a worm came munching on that plant and it died. Well now Jonah was real mad. But God asked him why he was so angry? You didn’t make that plant. It was just a plant so why should you care. You see that city is full of thousands of people that I made and loved. Some were good and some were bad. That is why I had to warn them. Even when we are evil sinners, God still cares about us. If you come to him and ask him to forgive you for the bad things you have done, even if they are really bad. If you are sorry for those sins he will forgive you.
Do you want to be on God’s side?
“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 will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
I have quoted this verse many times. But I never really understood the words till I heard someone preach on it. It meant so much more after I heard what each word was saying to me and I just had to share it. I hope it can bring some light to you too. Lately I have been praying earnestly for an awakening. Many people call themselves Christians, but are they Christ like? People who are not Christians are watching us. Unless they see us as different and special, why would they want to be one? If we live an ineffective life and are unsatisfied ourselves, what kind of example are we? God has shown me that so much more is involved than just praying for our country to be changed. So I decided that just as there are many Bible translations, that I need to update this previous writing. I have chosen to Amplify it. So I will elaborate. “If my people,” this at one time meant the Jewish nation. They were known as God’s people. He had special things for them, his special people. The promised land was a good and rich land where they would be free to worship God the way he wanted. Because they were his people they should want to spend time with him. Especially after all that they saw him doing for them. And in such mighty and awesome ways. We in America have been greatly blessed. We are free to serve our God however we want. Our founding fathers knew how important that would be. That is why the pilgrims come here. But we have not cared for this gift. “who are called by my name,” these were not just any people. These people had a calling on their lives. God doesn’t just call everyone. There are some who will never accept God. No matter who he is or what he does there is evil in this world that will always be there. He is not going to spend too much time on those who will never change. He has too many out there that he can reach, and who he will reach. They are a priority. He doesn’t expect others who aren’t Christians to pray. They are too proud and they don’t need or want any help. Many have made it clear that they don’t need, nor want God telling them what to do. They are their own God and serve themselves. But they also want us to be just like them. They do things that are sinful but since everyone’s doing it, it’s ok. We have gone with the crowd for so long. We can be filthy and not even see it. We have become complacent and lukewarm. We have gotten used to our sins and grown lazy. “will humble themselves and pray,” Get our minds off of ourselves and back on the God of the universe. The one who made us and knows us. The one who can help us. He knows what we need and he always wants the best for us. If we will just turn back to him, if we will see ourselves as God sees us. Totally ungrateful sinners. We are seeking our own pleasures not God. He has done so much for us and given us everything, even his beloved son. Just so we could be free from sin. One day he will ask us why we rejected him when he loved us so very much, but it will be too late. “and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,” we are an imperfect people. On our own we can do no good things. But we are called by him. He wants to help us. He wants us to seek him and want his ways. To help others and to see that their needs are met. We really need to want him in our lives. Because without him, all of him, we will never be satisfied and our world will keep falling. It’s already so bad that I want to hide in my room and never come out. It will only get worse. We need to turn away from sin for it to get better. “then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin.” To make an effort to sin no more. To obey his laws. If we make that effort he will forgive all our sins. See us as righteous before him. The people he died for and greatly loves. We need to change first if we want anything from him. “and I will heal their land.” This nation was at one time founded on the principles of God. We were a very blessed country. He did so much for us, but the sin of his people has brought us down. We are no longer that great and Godly country. Pride has taken over and we have rejected our first love. Younger generations have rejected the God of their parents. Serving themselves above all. They no longer need God. But our country is in deep trouble. So much violence and hatred. We need to wake up. Right now we need a cleaned up world and it needs to start with Christians. We can’t except non-Christians who don’t know him to help. This virus has been a wake up call and we better listen.
Do you want to see our land great again?
“For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NIV
Sin brings death. But all sin brings consequences into our lives. Sin is different to different people. There are sins that we all know such as murder, slandering God’s name, and adultery. But to God each sin is the same. He will forgive one as well as another. A sin is a conviction in your heart that says, ‘don’t do it.’ Or maybe to go do something. You may feel inside that you shouldn’t lie or steal. But it might also tell you to talk to someone. By not listening to that still small voice you are sinning. Sinning is wrong. It may not be wrong to eat something but if you feel you shouldn’t eat that extra cookie at lunch, then for you it is a sin. If you really need to lose weight so you can enjoy the life God wants to bless you with. A healthy, happy, productive life. Then that would be a sin. When we eliminate sin it’s brings so much freedom and peace. I know I read several different things, totally by accident, about eating healthy. About the dangers of hidden sugars. Well I felt like I needed to change the way I was eating and it wasn’t easy but I felt convicted. Not everyone feels that way, but for me it would have been a sin to ignore. After a month I lost a lot of weight and I’ve never felt more energy and alertness. That little bit of discipline helped in my relationship with God, also. I felt like I needed to exercise my arms. I didn’t have to, but it has made me feel better. I’ve been writing a daily devotional. Some days I just can’t write but that’s ok. I feel God has called me to be an encouragement to others and do all I can. When I do write , it comes so fast I can barely get it down fast enough. He will inspire me with things to write about but I need to stay in his word and in prayer to be ready to hear him. Each day I tell God to use me. I will do whatever he asks. As I see God using me I get excited and want to do more. I watched another good movie last night God has so many great plans for our lives and he will do more than we can ever imagine. He sees pictures of us doing things and being apart of something so great but sin can compromise that plan. It showed a man who had been raised right and lived a good life, but he had lost his job and decided to rob a convenience store for money. The robbery went badly and someone had been shot. God kept telling him to turn himself in, but his brother kept pushing him. Finally God convinces him to turn himself in and ask for forgiveness and to turn his life over to God. He was missing out on so much that God was trying to give him. His dad had not been around for him because he was in prison. He knew he needed to be a better person for his family and a baby on the way to raise. He turned himself in and even ministered to other men while he was in prison. His brother even came to know the Lord though his ministry.
What has God shown you that you need to change?
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains a kernel of wheat. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
To produce much fruit a seed must die. Unless it is buried in the ground it will never produce more fruit. If we continue to worry about ourselves and all we need and want, we will not be very productive. God knows all that we really need. He is always meeting those needs. Without needing our help. We need to come to a place where the things of the Father, advancing his kingdom, is more important to us than our wants. When we put his needs first, he will take care of our needs. He has taught us the principal of sowing and reaping. Whatever we sow is what we will reap. If you decide to plant corn, you don’t sit around wondering what will come up. If you are kind, you will receive kindness. If you are patient, then others will be patient with you. If you are harsh, then you probably won’t be treated patiently and kindly. I have a friend who served as a sergeant in the army for 30 years. He is used to barking commands and demanding action from his men. Back in the real world this is not how things get done. He doesn’t seem to understand why he is always treated harshly but he continues yelling. Demanding what he wants. We need to desire to be like Jesus. What would Jesus do in this situation? He never had to raise his voice or be rough. He did everything out of love and compassion. All his Father would want him to do. He did it all perfectly. He also spent time with his Father in prayer, which gave him the strength he needed to do it all. If he needed help then we can accept help. Happy people aren’t always grateful, but grateful people are happy people. To be happy, start naming things that you are happy for. As I pray, I remember how I was taught, always use ACTS. Pray Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and then Supplication. As I state my needs I need to be thanking him for things he has already given me and adoring who God is and his might and his faithfulness. I may need to ask for forgiveness for things I should not have done or said. Remember God knows you best and his desire is to bless you if you are totally following him. Be sure to thank him for his goodness and he will continue to bless you.
Do you want to be happy and blessed?
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? For if we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently .” Romans 8:24&25
Hope is not something we already have or just wishful thinking that we might have it. But hope is a lot like faith because we know it’s ours in Jesus Christ our Lord. To look forward to with desire and confidence.
“In his name the nation’s will put their hope.” Matthew 12:21
Jesus is definitely something we can put our hope in. He died for the sins we have committed. We were lost and hopeless but he has given us hope.
You will be secure, because there is hope: you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” Job 11:18
Now we can rest in him. He has done the work, and he is continually working. Each day he is already ahead of us Everything is prepared for our brand new day. Divine appointments are already set up for us to meet and enjoy just who he has put in our paths. Everything is for our best. We need to make the very best we can of today.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. So that you may overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit..”. Romans 15:13
He has given us the power and strength for today. He’s given us words to speak life. His Spirit will guide and direct us as we trust in him.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Joy is something you choose. Just like choosing sadness or defeat. Make joy a choice you make the minute you open your eyes in the morning God has given you this new day just by waking you up. Go and make it the best day that you can.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Notice how many times you see the word WILL in these verses. God knew how important hope is. He is trying to show us that it is not just possible, but guaranteed. If you will search for him you are guaranteed to find peace and joy. So many promises our ours if we just trust him. Don’t just trust but rest in that trust and see it happening.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
When we have the hope of Jesus in our lives we want others to know it too. Others may not believe us, but we can hold securely to that hope because Jesus will never let us down. One day all will know the truth.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2
So when you boast, boast in him who is worthy and share with all you can.
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.” Hebrews 6:18
History has proven so much of the Bible. Historical facts are provable. Beyond that the Bible has proven true based on thousands of prophecies that have come to pass in exact detail and these words prove themselves true. His promises never fail.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
When I was young my grandfather, a Baptist minister, told me the Bible was completely true and could be believed. The more I believed and did what it said the better my life became. I could see God working.
Trust in the Lord, he is trustworthy. At times when I have had to wait it is hard. Especially because I need help to do most of my personal needs and need my caregiver. They do get busy with others. God wants me to wait patiently. I will get good help when they are free. God will see to it.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
Jesus was raised to life and is now living in heaven at the right hand of God. Now I can know for sure that when I die I will be raised to life to be with him forever in heaven.
I can totally rest in my God knowing that nothing can separate me from him. One day I will be with him forever.
“All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:3
All we need to get to heaven is faith. To believe he meant what he said, that we could come to him and he would forgive us for everything. No limitations. Once we believe we are purified and God sees us just like our King Jesus, perfect.
“You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 NIV
We are so loved. How much? Well let me try to tell you. At one time the world was formless and void. All was dark and there was nothing. God wanted something very special and we were on his mind. Someone who could love him, respect him and enjoy all he is. He began by creating things we would need and want. Every detail was thought out in advance. it had to be perfect and to be able to sustain us for thousands of years. It would fulfill so many needs. He made man as much like him as he could. Able to communicate, think, reason and understand. Not just to exist, but to really live. To leave a legacy for future generations. Everything he made was special just for us. Unique and different plants and animals. Things that we could enjoy but that we could learn about and discover gradually. He walked with the man at first enjoying his companionship, and all was as it should be. No death, no evil, and no wickedness. But we were given the will and freedom to make our own choices. Something an imperfect people will screw up in time. God told man to do only one important thing , but Satan used that one simple thing to put a wedge between us and God. The tree of life. There were tons of different trees all around, yet that wasn’t enough. We always seem to want what we shouldn’t have. Might be missing something. Well from the day that sin came into the perfect garden God had to banish man from the garden. But God did not give up on us. There would be a way for us to be together again and many years later this plan was perfected. Jesus was born on earth to a poor, young couple and began to show us what love really was. He was born for one reason and that was to redeem us. Where we could be perfect once more and he could spend eternity with us. This is how much we meant to him. Though even though we were all messed up sinners his son would come to earth and live a perfect life showing us just how to be perfect and love all. But being human he would understand all we go through, yet still not sin. Then he would willingly be arrested, ridiculed, beaten and murdered for us. Dying in our place he would sacrifice himself for all mankind. What a price. But he did it gladly just imagining that day years away when so many who had accepted this priceless gift would be together with him forever. In a place that was perfect. No pain, no tears, just joy continually.
Do you understand how much he wants you?
We all seek peace and the only true peace is from God so hear are some of what he says about true peace.
God speaks so much about peace and isn’t that what we all really need. If we just listen he tells us very plainly that he wants that for us and just how to have it. I remember at one time thinking how awful it would be to live in an old folks home. But God has shown me that it’s not where you are but how you react and the people you are around. It helps completely knowing God is right there with you and he is the one of ultimate peace. I’m not homeless but I have a huge family here that loves me and I am truly at peace with that now. I love my life.
“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.” Leviticus 26:6
I live in such peace. Things used to really bother me, such as whining and complaining. Residents that were not all there mentally. Rules, regulations, and requirements to follow. But God has given me such understanding and compassion. 2020 is my fifteenth year here and I have been in my room since February and having my own cozy room is nice. It bothered me at first but God has worked in my life so much this year.
“The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:26
I seldom think of this verse. God must smile when he looks toward me because the amount of peace in my life lately has gone through the roof. He is so good.
“Submit to God and be at peace with him: in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21
This is a big way to have peace Submit, seems hard but his ways are now my ways and it just works. Prosperity is not just money and things. Things don’t bring happiness. I have very little money but God supplies my every need and I am very prosperous mentally. More than prosperous. Another aspect of submission is knowing that God is good and his rules and commands are for safety and life. To submit and commit to follow his ways is huge but very liberating at the same time.
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalms 4:8
I did feel nervous when Covid first started. Several people in this building have had it, but God has taken good care of me and if I get it, oh well. I still have my peace and each night as I lay down he gives me such great sleep. I know God’s got my back.
The Bible is such a wonderful book read by so many people around the world every day. It is also the most misunderstood book. It is full of some absolutely astonishing facts and well loved promises. Stories of strength and courage. But it is about completely normal people, even weak people. People like you and me who screw up often and deserve rebuke but are used in some mighty ways. People say, “Oh, that’s impossible.” But what if it is possible, what if it’s all accurate. What if miracles really do happen every day and you are missing out on some of the greatest possibilities that could ever enter your life. People have a hard time reading through the Bible from cover to cover. But by picking and choosing what you prefer you are missing so much. Fifteen years ago after my stroke I was laying flat on my back feeling a little sorry for myself. I had lost so very much in my life. I had been a mother to three beautiful daughters and happily married to my high school sweetheart. I was a pilot just for fun, going here and there wherever I wanted and whenever I wanted. My husband and I owned our very own business that did very well. But after that fateful day I wasn’t able to do much. My body and my mind were broken. Now what? A woman I knew of, and one I greatly admired, came to my door one day. I had worked with her years before. She just felt led to help me somehow. She came in and offered to pray for me and maybe read some scriptures to cheer me up. Well I had grown up in a Christian home so I could have done that for myself but I hadn’t, I was too busy struggling hour to hour. I said sure and decided to see how it went. The words were comforting and she came back a few times. I was being polite to sit and listen but I began thinking. She has since died from cancer but she gave me something special. I decided to start reading my Bible every day, I had plenty of time. I was living at home and getting some therapy but it became apparent that I was going to need way more help than I was getting, if I ever wanted to get any quality back to my life. I agreed to give a care home a chance. One with full time rehab. They would be there for whatever I needed. It was very hard being away from my immediate family and friends. I could not really talk so I was misunderstood. I was so anxious for what laid ahead of me. God speak to me! I began reading every Christian book I could get my hands on. I was searching. I met a woman chaplain who loved God. I wanted what she had. I loved hearing her speak of her and God. They were close. The more I read the more my heart opened. I met someone who came to share songs he had written from scriptures. I began learning so many scriptures and they brought such peace. I began attending church when they offered to bus me there every Sunday. It was a really great church. I met so many great people there. Even though I was broken I belonged in the special needs ministry and got to know so many other handicapped friends. We went to a special camp for a week every summer. We got to do things like normal people. Swimming, playing games, a zip line through the forest, and singing. I loved it, and went back every year. We had an opportunity to try preaching so I tried it. I was pretty good at it. I had written a book about my stroke and all I had gone through. People liked it and encouraged me to write more. Me a writer? But God has given me four books so far and this will be my fifth. I learned that God has a calling on my life to write. I was meant to be an encourager. I gave my books to anyone and everyone. My daughter told me I should have a blog to advertise my writing, so I learned about blogging and started my own. My last book was a year long devotional. I started sharing this daily with people and it was very well received. All of this taught me so much. God has shown me so much throughout. It bolstered my faith and taught me so many scriptures. My life was amazing and my love for God was through the roof. I realized how important reading all God has for us in his word is. I made a requirement of myself to start in Genesis and go completely through taking my time till I got through Revelations, then start all over. It was hard but I have been so blessed through it. I will start sharing the nuggets I have uncovered each week.