“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?
“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?
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.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 NIV
God is good and he wants to give us an abundant life, but it does depend on us also. There are so many great promises in scripture. God has stored up for us more great stuff than we could ever imagine. But our behavior is important. When I had my stroke my life changed drastically overnight. One day I was an active mother of three and very independent. The next day I was 45 and living in a nursing home. I was unable to walk, talk or even take care of myself. I easily got overwhelmed and frustrated. I would cry from frustration. I couldn’t communicate very well so it was a difficult time for me and those caring for me. Now after 15 years I am a much better person and more at peace. God is a very big part of my life and I would do anything he asks of me and I try hard to get along with and enjoy everyone. So when God says persevere I understand. I used to live so differently and many of my struggles I brought on myself. Living for myself and the moment. God wants me to love and respect him. This is the fear of God and that’s important. Until we fear the Lord and will do whatever he asks, we will have struggles. But he wants to get beyond that with us. He loves us and it hurts him to see us that way but this is how we learn. He wants to lavish love on us. I am at a place now where I can see his promises being fulfilled. He is so good to me. Every person in my life is a blessing and I believe God has hand picked them just for me. Even the ones who irritate me. My children, my friends, my caregivers and nurses. I don’t take them for granted anymore. Life is short and I want them all to know how much they mean to me and to God. As my family and friends celebrated my 60 th birthday I can look back and see God’s hand on my life. It was hard at times but God has been so good to me. Way more than I think I deserve. The blessings just keep coming. My God is my greatest champion and he goes before me and with me against it all and he will make me victorious. The best is still to come.
Can you imagine all the great things God has for you?
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his masters business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I have learned from my father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NIV
“…and again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise are futile. 1 Corinthians 3:20 NIV
It is so sad that many so called wise men and women can be so lost in their self centered thinking that they would not even consider something so much bigger and better than themselves exists. Something that could actually benefit them. Well I know no friend who will ever mean more to me than Jesus. His words are not only true, but I have never seen any fail. Something in the back of my mind plays his words over and over in my mind knowing I can never find a mistake. He can predict things that will happen a hundred years from now in the future with precise accuracy. Things that are even humanly impossible. He can say this and that will happen even if they make no sense and they somehow come to pass. He loves to make some events so impossible that we as humans can see that unless someone so completely not human steps in they could never happen yet they do. Why can we not see? God is still in control over them. That’s the irony that some just can’t get. They see themselves as important and wise but they are just clanging cymbals. And some may even have their eyes opened but most will die in their own sin. They will face the Lord after it is too late and bow before him just to spend eternity in torment. We are the ones who could say something that could change their thinking. If they only opened their eyes and realized that we only share because we really care. There is nothing self serving in sharing the good news of Jesus. Those that do it really do care. We may be a true friend by trying to share but even we are not perfect. It is easy to throw up your hands and say, “Oh well, I tried!” You just don’t deserve it anyway. They do deserve it but they just can’t see beyond themselves. They are the big picture and there is no room for anything else. I do understand. I have been so deceived in my thinking that I truly saw myself as being right even though it was warped thinking. It happens and pride is the root. In hindsight it is so easy to see but at the time, blindness happens. The more sin happens the more it takes hold and the enemy can begin to pull the wool over your eyes . It can start slowly but can continue growing as you feed it. More sin, less sight. I would say that someone that walks close to the Lord and does amazing things with God’s help. They could never walk away from him. Well anyone can lose their faith. I’ve seen it happen. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you, but you can leave him. He is a perfect gentleman never staying where he is not wanted. Just look at the state of the world. He says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” If we continue to walk as closely as we can and do everything we can to keep that connection open I know he will too. But sin unchecked can creep in slowly. It can start with simple loneliness. Seeking acceptance and love in the wrong place and with the wrong people. A little sin here or there and we are right where we never wanted to be.
Are you thinking too wise in your own eyes?
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
It does not say to not get angry. We all naturally feel anger when someone is cruel, thoughtless or selfish. It says, when you are angry, do not sin. So being angry is not the sin. But what we do with that anger can be. Holding on to anger is like tying an anchor around you neck. It will only get heavier , dragging you down as long as you refuse to let it go. It really seems stupid if you think about it. I watched another movie the other night. I am sure you can see by now that I love to watch uplifting movies before I fall asleep at night. And I have had some really good nights of sleep lately. The people had some bad things happen to them that should have caused great bitterness , but instead they tried to find love and acceptance for the one who hurt them. Oh, it was not easy. One woman was shot by an attacker who became a very close friend. It turned his life around. Then when he was killed in an accident by someone who was mad at him his father had to learn how to forgive the man who killed his son. But in doing that he built a friendship with this man and his young daughter that was so special. Each person had to come to a place where they could see this anger was only hurting them and that it was giving the devil control. They had to make a decision to forgive. To forgive does not mean you forget, but gives you the peace to move forward. To think of someone with anger is the same thing to God as murder. It harms everyone involved. Anger and hate are wrong and they damage everyone. The devil loves it when we are angry because then he is in control. Whatever you do as long as it depends on you, be peaceable with all people. This is something Jesus said while he was alive and it is very good advice. The world we live in has enough hate and anger and we don’t need to add to it, we need to make this ugly world better and love, love freely. The attitude you hold onto does make a difference in yours and others happiness. Be a difference maker.
Do you need to forgive someone ?
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
I have learned to be grateful for everything. It is very important for your happiness to see the good around you. The world we live in can be very hard and negative, but I have found that the more I focus on the positive and ignore the negativity, or at least downplay it, the better it is. Life has a way of taking over and purposeful thoughts make a big difference. I want to enjoy life. To make the best of every moment. The very first thoughts out of my mind are deliberate and matter so much. I say God, this is the day you have made just for me. I choose to rejoice and be glad in it. This is first because I believe in the power of positive thinking. I choose the outcome I want and reinforce it in my mind. I know that God already has this day all planned out for me. And it will be the best for me. I may have trials and trouble but I believe they are for teaching me and making me stronger. I believe my God is always with me, and will help me. He really loves me. He has divine appointments for me. I will do my part and he will do his part. I take every opportunity to thank him for every good gift. I may really like what’s for breakfast, the eggs are just the way I like them. Or I love raisin toast, thanks! It may not be great, but I always thank him for hot coffee, which I love. I do think he puts ideas in people’s minds when they are planning their menus or their day. I also say it is good because everything coming from God is good even if it’s not great. As I pray each morning I thank him for everything because he has been so good to me and my family. I have a great life but it helps to be truly grateful. I love to have fun with everyone. They may do something I don’t like but I ignore it and find something to laugh about or share that’s good. I compliment others and thank them often. I like to play scrabble a lot and when I play a good word I say thanks. I believe he gives me words. I may be simple minded but it works for me. I will do whatever it takes to have the best day possible. Also help everyone I can to have the best day they can too. To be all I can be. That needs to be intentional to make a difference.
How is your day?
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16. NIV
I heard something very wise yesterday. Those who always see the glass half full don’t realize that the glass is refillable. This says so much. Each morning when we wake up we have a chance at a brand new start. This new day we can be who ever we choose to be. The past is just that, the past. We can’t change our past but we can go forward differently if we want. I deal with many people who have behavior problems and little or no memory, from moment to moment, and it gets frustrating. These people don’t know that anything could be different so they will be the same because they can’t help it. But if you have a working brain you can make it react how you want. There is a lot of things that my body just can’t do anymore. I have many physical limitations but I try hard to have a good attitude. Attitude is everything. Many people let each circumstance rule their day. If they don’t like breakfast then watch out. Their morning is set. Complaining really doesn’t get you far. If you let any and everything control your emotions then they probably be messed up. I have a glass full mentality. But each morning I do remind myself that God gave me a brand new day and I will enjoy it. I can get silly at times but I will enjoy my day. I take extra enjoyment in little things. If breakfast is so so well at least I enjoy my coffee and lunch is just four or so hours away. I won’t get too hungry. It is very important to enjoy little things. At any moment you should be able to think of one thing that will make you smile. I know the Lord and that’s enough for me. But that doesn’t mean my life can’t get better. I can read and learn more. Exercise the body parts I can because that can make me more relaxed and stress free. Watch educational shows. Stimulate your mind and you may use that someday. God is always waiting for you to come to him and change. Let go of that old person, ask for forgiveness and let him know that you want to be a better happier person. He is willing to help and always forgives when you ask. He will take that slate and wipe it clean. You just need help changing that attitude. Lean more on him to show you just what you need to move forward. But I know gratitude will get you farther.
What are you thankful for today?
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23 NIV
God is looking at the heart. What we truly are and think is deep inside of us. Where no one but God can see. We can come across one way on our outward positioning but what’s in the heart is the true person. God has called us to love all others better than ourselves. He has told us that whatever it takes, we should be at peace with all men. That’s tough! It takes a lot of patience to get along with even the best people. It doesn’t take much to get under our skin. To rub us the wrong way. There’s no way in and of ourselves. God has to open our eyes to the way he loves others. He loves with so much passion no matter what people look or act like. He looks deeper to the lonely scared child that wants to be accepted and loved. This person is his. He wants us to be there for others. Brothers and sisters there making it together. This is more important than offerings of things. Money, time, and devotion come in second place to people. That’s why he has called us to take care of widows and orphans, sick, hungry and those that can’t help themselves. We may be their only hope. God can do all things but he uses us. He has given us the privilege of being apart of his bigger plan. When he was on earth all manner of sick, both physical and mental, came to him, their only hope for help. They didn’t know if he could or would help but they had to try. And Jesus had compassion. He saw there very soul and every hurt they had and loved them so. That is why he doesn’t like sin. Because it hurts his beloved children. Those that he greatly cares about. Things like adultery, murder and stealing. All commands affect others well-being or loving God and honoring him. Love covers our every action. If we just love the way he calls us to love we will have it all down. We can not change the way others act, try as we may. Their behavior is between them and God. But if we just take a big breath and ask God for help we can be the best we can be. You never know how your actions will greatly affect those around you.
Will you see others through Gods eyes of love and compassion?
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV
What is Jesus trying to tell us? We know that we need to grow. We can’t stay babies forever. But what Jesus is saying refers to the attitude of our hearts. Something that is very important to God but nonsense to man. Let’s look at a child. They completely trust their parents. To feed them whenever they are hungry, and change them whenever they are wet. Do whatever it takes to keep them safe and comfortable. They know their parents love them no matter what. They are quite comfortable saying just how they feel. There is nothing they can’t ask for. They may not get everything they want , but it won’t hurt to ask. They look up to their parents. They are everything in their eyes. They assume they can do anything. All power is theirs. My dad is better than your dad. They say it and mean it. These are things that God is. God wants us to feel that way about him. We need to get to know God so that we know what and who he is. Once we get to know him we see how capable he is. He is the master of perfect love. No one can love like God does. Everyone will let us down at one time or another. A parent may miss your big day because they have to work. But God is always there. He is always proud of you when you try. Because he loves unconditionally. A parent can get upset when you get bad grades or act up. God just wants to bless you. And he will bless you. He is working on your behalf every minute. He is not wanting you to be rich or famous. But to be the best you can be. To love others and to be loved by others. He is more interested with what you do with your money then how much you have. His power is enough. He can and will meet your needs. Nothing is impossible if you believe. He wants you to come to him confidently. He will honor this. He is a big deal, and he loves it when you see this. Look at all he has made for us. This is a diverse planet and has so much to see of his handiwork. Such cute and unique animals and plants. It does not matter what the weather is right now because it’s always changing. Seasons come and go, so it’s always a great day to love the Lord for all he is.
Won’t you praise him for his excellent greatness?