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.
“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.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move on the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 NIV
I have been learning so much lately about the creation of the world. So many things were explained so clearly. Things I hadn’t really thought about but now made so much more sense. God is awesome. I am so excited about these new incites and just had to share what I have learned. I believe the Bible is 100% true but I had missed so many details, I guess I just never pondered them. Now that I have I can see the whole picture more clearly. As a child I was always questioning things that I learned in school. They just did not always make complete sense to me. And now some scientists are seeing that the Bible really does make more sense. Holding more truths than we thought possible. Well God should know, he was there through it all. Science tried to tell us how things happened that made sense to man. But man is far from perfect and doesn’t understand God’s ways. I believe in a perfect creator that planned everything precisely ahead of time and doesn’t make mistakes. Because I’ve seen him working mightily throughout my life and I believe. He says he made man in his image. That means we are perfect and have everything we need to live an abundant and good life doing all he made us for. We can think and reason even create things with the intelligence he has given us. If we follow him and his commandments I believe we are unstoppable. He did create many animals for us to enjoy and rule over. But did you know at one time we were all herbivores. We all lived in peace together. Animals were for us even dinosaurs could be ours. The weather was moderate so we didn’t really need clothes. We had everything we needed. Water seepage from the earth watered everything and gave us water. It wasn’t till sin came into the garden that things changed. God had to kill one of the animals so he could make clothes for man and the climate changed causing different weather patterns. Animals had to change and adapt to the new climate by growing more fur. Man began eating animals and animals began eating each other which caused them to fear humans. They grew sharp teeth, claws and fangs so they could defend themselves. God still cared for his creatures but life was no longer perfect and hard at times. God gave them defense mechanisms to help them survive. But everything is here that we could ever need. God thought of everything.
Can you see how big God is?
God always wants us to enjoy life. God granted an unbelievable imagination to some for the purpose of entertainment. I heard one pastor say that Jesus was probably at the Canaan wedding because he enjoyed having a good time with people. Imagine this world without Disney, with all his imagination, whimsy and brilliance. He made entertainment what it is today. Moving us from the past of yesteryear to the future. God doesn’t just call people to be ministers and missionaries but to be doctors, lawyers, and entertainers. Joy is good medicine. Something for all ages to enjoy, and all types of people to grasp. Walt Disney is a perfect example. His motion pictures thrilled audiences and still does even after his death. He left behind so much for the world. With his movie’s, television shows, amusement theme parks, cruise lines, memorabilia and so much more he was one of a kind. As a boy he drew on anything and everything, even though his father grew very tired of his choice of easel. The side of the barn was covered with pictures of the characters he drew. Mostly animals and nature. He had a neighborhood doctor pay him to draw his horse. Many neighbors paid for his drawings. He could not understand how these characters could get him anywhere in life. His mother, however, was a big supporter. At one point he talked his younger sister into helping him paint cartoon characters on the side of the house. He met a friend in school who introduced him to vaudeville and motion pictures. He did take art classes in the evenings. He decided to work for newspapers as an artist until his brother Roy got him a job as an illustrator at the age of eighteen for Ub Iwerks. A layoff a little after Christmas lost him and Iwerks their jobs. When he grew older he decided to start his own company. That’s when ‘Laugh O’ Grams’ got started. He was an amazing animator, voice actor and film producer over the years. With a few friends by his side he set out to make cartoons Alice in her wonderland. He joined up with the maker of Felix the Cat. The company soon went bankrupt. He then convinced his brother Roy to put their money together and with the help of a few friends started Disney Brothers Studios in Los Angeles. They had made money by doing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Not in time to save ‘Laugh O’ Grams’ but it sure got their new venture off and running. He had developed Mortimer Mouse but Lillian didn’t like the stuffy name so they soon settled on Mickey Mouse which was friendlier. It became one of his greatest successes. The making of Mickey in Steamboat Willie in ‘28, which was with sound. Mickey’s voice was no other than Walt himself. It gave him such success in the industry. God gave him quite a talent to share with the world. People can be reached for Christ in all areas of life. I went to a play at my church of Beauty and the Beast, and it was so good. But it has a message from God. We are all important and God knows what’s in our hearts not what we look or act like. We need to see people through God’s eyes and he loves us all.
Has God given you a talent for helping others?
“There is time for everything. And a season for every activity under heaven… a time to weep and a time to laugh.” Ecclesiastes 3:1&4 NIV
“Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 NIV
When we were born again our worldly life with all it’s desires for selfish lusts and self gratifying passions died. As we became a new creature the old sinful man left and was replaced with the Holy Spirit and all of Christ’s power and righteousness. We are no longer slaves to sin, fear, negative mind sets, and all those things that Satan has hoped to overpower us with. We have been redeemed. We are now residents of heaven and this world is not our home. We are aliens just passing through temporarily. We should therefore set our minds on our new family and our new coming home. What it will be like. All it has for us. This new family comes with so many privileges. As part of this family God looks at us as his children just like his son. Perfectly! We are no longer flawed, we are perfect just lie his son. He also longs to lavish us with so much. Power is the biggest gift. Power to speak in Jesus name. Whatever we speak in faith believing he says we can have it. Healing in Jesus name, abundance, power. Blessings will be yours to the right and the left. Do you realize all you have been promised ? God can, and will provide. He is not limited by money or things. He has a warehouse full of provision and the more we use it for his glory the more he has available. He will always provide our needs. Our church lives by this principle. ‘Find a need and fill it.’ We have so many ministries to help serve people in need. Those who are hungry, homeless, addicted, hurting and so many more. You would think that the thousands of dollars going out would bankrupt us but everything is God’s and his supply never runs dry. Money always comes in to meet these needs. He also gives extreme wisdom to help meet life’s challenges. What he wants to do next and where. He wants us to focus on moving forward and growing in the process. We need to look forward to the glorious day of Christ’s returning. When we will all be with him in his kingdom. No more trials, no more needs. Our work will be done.
Can you imagine how the hereafter will be?
“The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; The deep was round about me; The weeds were wrapped around my head.” Jonah 2:5 ASV
I remember how I loved to be outside. We had a beautiful patio garden where I spent many hours. I prayed, listened to praise music, enjoyed the peace and quiet, or just sat and watched the sparrows eat, play, talk to each other and fight over the one lone bird feeder. It was a beautiful place with rose bushes of every color, perfectly shaped shrubs and manicured lawns. One morning while I was out there God gave me a vision of a huge field of flowers. They were all different and exquisite. He explained to me that this is how he sees his children. Made in the image of a perfect God we are all perfect. Each and everyone of us. Whether we are perfectly whole or handicapped and flawed. We are all unique and made for a special purpose and he looks down on us and smiles. I learned a lot about God’s love watching those sparrows. They are happy and so free because they know God loves them and will always provide for them. They enjoy themselves every minute of the day in that freedom. They don’t need need anything that God hasn’t given them. Well today I went out there for the first time in a long time, because with the COVID virus I’ve been locked in my room. I almost started crying. Since April or May there has been no landscapers and the neglect and overgrowth was just unbelievable. Weeds as tall as me, dead greenery everywhere, but abundant weeds growing from every crack in the concrete. As I sat there I began to see it as a sign of what God sees in his people. We have not tended to our souls and like that patio we have become polluted with the weeds of the world. It is so thick amongst us that you can barely see green life. It’s there but boy do you have to look hard. We have overgrown from our selfish Me attitude and are lopsided and no longer trimmed. So many of the beautiful plants are burned up and barely alive. No longer what they once were. This is how he sees this once Godly country. We used to be filled with God fearing people who took pride in serving God, our country, and our fellow man. But now look at us now. My heart almost broke. I thought about how God must feel. We may not be the Israelites but I believe America became a very special people to him and that is why we were so blessed for so long. Our complacency has let the enemy destroy us. When people were fighting for their rights it got out of hand. I mean to have the right to murder an innocent, living and precious infant for purely selfish reasons is unthinkable. To absolutely refuse to allow young people to learn respect and love for their country and be able to pray for it. What were we thinking?
Do you know a really good landscaper?
“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer, I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days, be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” Revelation 2:10 NIV
We are in the end times and things will get worse. Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and strange weather, wickedness increasing on the earth. It has been that way for some time. But for children of the Lord there is nothing to fear. One day the trump will sound and we will see the Lord coming in the clouds. It will be a day like no other. For we shall see him in all his glory. The dead in Christ shall rise and his followers shall be caught up with him in the air. And then we will all be in heaven together. But what will happen to the many who remain? There will be many who thought they would go too, but will be left with those that made no plans. There will be hard times ahead. The world will be in turmoil as millions of people just disappear. But they will be crowned with righteousness. Rewarded beyond comprehension. Those who remain will struggle just to survive but if you cry out to God it’s still not too late. If you are alive. Right now minutes will matter so much. Marshall law can not be guaranteed because of all that will be going on. We’ve lived through hijackings, shootings, martyrdom because of the evil around us. But with the good, godly people gone it will be much worse. If you cry out to God you can still be saved from hell but persecution to anyone who finds Christ in this time is promised. But God is trying to give you hope. This won’t be a long period of time, but it will be a hard one. But if you are persecuted stand strong, for God is your strength. If you stand strong you will be rewarded for all that you go through. I have watched documentaries about mass shootings and people who survive targeted attacks like bombings or 9/11. So many people draw strength from these times and their courage brings out good in them. People learn so much from these trials and it does make them better people and more resilient. What is of the utmost importance is whose side you are on when this time is over.
Do you want to meet in the air so you miss this time?
“I have not run away from being your shepherd; you know I have not desired the day of despair. What passes my lips is open before you.” Jeremiah 17:16. NIV
God is always leading and guiding us, he never is too busy for us. Other things don’t consume his time. These are attributes of average people, but never of God. He thinks of us and what we need continually. We are a very high priority. He made us in his image to do great things. And he is always working on our behalf. Even if we are not following him he cares. We have been told so in his word. All his ways are laid out for us. It is not a secret or only available to some on a need to know basis. He wants us to know his ways. What he does, what he says. Good and bad. He does have reasons that really do make good sense if we just get to know him. He is a very righteous God and can not stand sin and evil. Because sin and evil harm good people. Because you are causing trouble or the one hurt by sins caused by another he hates to see it. I will give some examples. My grandson was born a healthy, happy baby , as perfect as normal. But after his first birthday we found out that he had a very rare but incurable disease. Both parents were carriers even though they are perfectly healthy. He was only given three to four years to live. He was such a loving baby. Why did this happen? I prayed every day for him to be healed but just before his fourth birthday God took him home to be with him in heaven. We were all devastated and my daughter got very involved with finding a cure and supporting other parents with children sick with this disease. We lost a great part of our family but God has his reasons. When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel or a murder goes on a rampage, good people get hurt. Sometimes killed. It angers God because it shouldn’t happen. Someone should pay. It can go on a long time before someone is punished. He has warned over and over in his word what happens for sin, but we don’t always listen or care. He does punish eventually and people say he’s not fair. They are only getting what he said would happen. You reap what you sow.
Will you spend some time getting to know his ways?
“Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whosoever loses their life for me and for the gospel saves it.” Mark 8:35 NIV
We will do so much to have a good life. We join gyms to work out so we can have that perfect body. Spend large sums of money on plastic surgery and the latest treatments to enhance beauty and health. We seldom think about anything after our lives are over. Oh, maybe a beautiful burial plot. To save the family money and grief upon our death. Do you realize that we are only on this earth for a short time, but we will spend forever in eternity. Not just 100 years but millions of years. Most people don’t want to think about it. They choose to think that we just go to sleep permanently. No pain, no troubles ever again. The Bible tells us that a wiseman plans for the future. How do you plan for a future you don’t understand? We need wisdom. God has told all those who want wisdom to ask for it. He has promised to give it to anyone who asks. He has also sent his son to save from all we have done wrong. Even if you have lived a good life, nobody is perfect. We are all sinners and our soul needs somewhere to go when this body gives out. people like to think they will all go to heaven when this life is over. God certainly wouldn’t send a good person to hell. But he has told us that the wages of sin is death. No eternal life. Doing nothing and hoping for the best will only bring eternal death and separation from God. People who do bad things just don’t want to think about it. But there is a way to get eternal life with God and it is not difficult. Just admitting that you are not perfect. No one is. And that you know you need the help of a savior, Jesus Christ. Tell him you do really want to be better and ask him to help you follow his ways. Read his word so you will know his will. Do you know that he loves you and wants you to have the best life. He also wants to spend eternity with you. He can give you wisdom and help you to do what he asks but we need to care more about pleasing God than ourselves. But in pleasing God he will help you to have an abundant life. When you seek to help others and honor God he takes care of the rest.
Have you made plans for your future?
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV
In this life there is only one absolute. And that is that 100% of us will die. Nobody gets out alive. Well maybe a few did, but that was thousands of years ago, but we all die. Since sin came into the world our bodies are slowly decaying away. And though many will die of an accident or an act of violence we all need to be ready. Some people assume that because they are young that they have plenty of time. Well I thought that but an unexpected severe stroke stopped my busy life at forty-five. It almost took my life. Frankly I was far from ready to die but our days are numbered. God is the only one who knows the exact number of days we have. From the day we are conceived it is planned. Even how we will die. It should be comforting to know that nobody dies by mistake. If you are meant to die, you will die. Now someone may do something mistakenly that causes your death but God knew that and allowed that. Just as a poor baby can be murdered in the womb, God knew that it would die at that time. We all have a purpose even if someone is only some forty some months old like my grandson. When you die we will all, everyone, face judgement for the life we lived. Many do not want to think about that and others say we just go to sleep and never wake up, and that’s not true , and I’m glad I know in advance. I know because Christ has come into my heart and I have the peace and assurance to all who trust in him that he is coming again with salvation for all those who follow him. But that is a small group of people who are truly ready. Once you are dead it’s too late. You have made a decision whether you know it or not. And you might not like where you end up forever. Christ came to this earth already two thousand years ago. He came as a poor little baby into a struggling young family. He would only live thirty some years and he was rejected by many, he would be arrested for something he did not do, and would be sacrificed on a cross for you and me. He did not try to defend himself, but humbly died so we wouldn’t have to. He is returning again for his followers one day soon. What a triumphant day that will be.
Are you one of those followers?