Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Taking Heart" in Heartfelt Moments!

I have had an incredible 2009 with the delivery of two very healthy grandchildren! There are no words to describe the love I have in my heart for these two babies - one a boy, the other a girl. Actually, I never knew I had this kind of love to give! Oh, I loved my own children with everything I could muster up! But this...this is just something very special indeed. They both have a corner of my heart all their own.
I have experienced many tragic moments in my life. Ones that have left me fearful, worried and shaken to the core! Over time, and as each occurance compounded the issue, I began to fear what could happen in the future. Who would be next? What would happen? Will these events happen again? If I heard sirens I called my loved ones to determine their whereabouts and safety. I could go on and on with many of these examples! Fleeting thoughts could escalate to bouts of tears out of worry and fear...not only about my own children, but now about my grandchildren!
All we have to do is turn on the news and see that more tragedy and and loss is at hand somewhere for somebody. We gets emails almost daily about new virus threats, new terror threats, new ways to be victimized, etc. You know. You've read them. It sets the stage for fear and anxiety!
So how do we fight the battle when trials come? How do we come out victorious on the other side? With Truth! God's Word! Reliance on God's promises. Trust. Faith. Belief.

In John 16:33 Jesus tells us, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (NLT)

Just because we are His Children, we do not have any guarantees against sorrows and trials. But through His death and resurrection, we are guaranteed that Jesus has overcome anything this world can dish out! In the end, Jesus wins! And if we are His, so do we....

Satan likes to use these circumstances in our lives to keep us from living a joyous, productive Christian life! He will whisper lies in our ears - but only if we listen.
Lies that produce sadness, fear, defeat, worry, depression and anxiety. The "what ifs" can drive us crazy. Thinking about all the possible things that can happen are useless and saps us of strength. Wears us out. Why worry about something that may never happen? Instead, pray! And trust...

Matthew 6:34
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." (NLT)

Philippians 4:6
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." (NLT)

Replace the word "anything" in the scripture above with events, people or things you worry or are fearful about. "Don't worry about _____; instead pray about everything." That's powerful! That's personal!

When these sneaky lies start to enter my mind and cause me to be fearful, I immediately start to pray for Jesus to give me peace, to take away the residual pain from the tragedies we've experienced, and for Him to help me trust Him more! I may never understand, but I know for a fact that it can be used for good.

Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes everything to work together [ Some manuscripts read And we know that everything works together.] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (NLT)

So take heart in your heartfelt moments...and trust that Jesus knows your every need, hears your every prayer, and sees every tear that falls. He wants to replace the grief, sadness, fear and worry with unmatched joy found only in Him. Stop listening to the lies and start focusing on Truth. You'll be amazed as I continually am!

Oh believe me, I have already been praying for my precious grandbabies! I have no idea what life will bring their way, but I know Who holds their every tomorrow! And I will continue to pray for them as long as I am on this earth to do so...knowing without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus hears every one and takes it near to His heart.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Love Lifted Me

I got a phone call yesterday from my sister. She sounded a bit distressed and out of breath. The farm dog, Buddy, is aging and has arthritis in one of his hips. He can't walk very far or move very fast these days. Evidently, he chose to go for a dip in the cattle's watering hole...and got stuck in mud! Lori saw him struggling hard to climb out of the pond.
After several attempts to reach our father, who was on a tractor in another field, Lori gave up and went down to the pond herself to help Buddy. She ended up wading in the pond to pull Buddy out and nearly got stuck in the deep mire and mud herself! It scared her...and if she hadn't been home at the time, Buddy most likely would have drowned trying to get out - or his heart could have failed him. He couldn't walk once she pulled him out. Buddy was tired from his struggle. Dad was finally summoned, and he brought the wagon to the pond to carry Buddy home.
Can't we all get stuck in the "mud" at some point in our lives? Our "mud" can be deep and treacherous at times. Deep enough to prevent us from moving forward in our Christan journey.
Our "mud" can make us stagnant. Fearful of drowning in sin and despair. Unable to move. Isolated. Alone. Desperate for help. It can simply wear us out!
There is One ready and waiting to pull us out of the mire and muck. All we need to do is call His Name...Jesus! And He is there...with the lifeline you need to be freed up. Removed from the pit. Never alone again.
Summon Him...He'll carry you home, safe and secure.

"In loving kindness Jesus came
My soul in mercy to reclaim
And from the depths of sin and shame
Through grace He lifted me
From sinking sand He lifted me
With tender hand He lifted me
From shades of night to plains of light
O praise His name He lifted me!"

Charles H Gabriel 1856-1932

Cleaning Out the Clutter!

My sister and I were out running errands one day and stopped by a craft/hobby store to browse. As we walked in the front doors we saw various types of furniture on display. My eye was drawn to a five-drawer chest. As I meandered towards it my sister quickly grabbed my arm and said, "NO! Don't even go look at it! I know what will happen. You'll fill all of those drawers with stuff that I'll have to help you clean out!" She knows me well...
You see, I like to hide my clutter. As long as it's not visible to me or to others, I'm OK. I stuff "stuff" in drawers, cabinets, and closets with the full intent of going back to it and cleaning it out later when I have more time. Many times I've called on my sister to come help me clean out the buffet or kitchen drawers. We'll clean them out and eventually they'll clutter back up with this and that and who knows what. Been there?
But this last time we cleaned out my mother's buffet I was determined to KEEP it that way! And I have, so far...I'm making progress! :)
Jesus wants to clean out all the clutter in our lives. (Sin, pain, fear, worry..the list goes on!) He wants to dig down deep and remove all the dirt and grime. All the junk. All the "stuff." And He wants to keep it clean. Washed clean. White as snow clean.
We're so good at hiding stuff, aren't we? But we can't hide it from the Savior. He knows what's behind closed doors and drawers and every nook and cranny of our hearts and minds. Ask Him to come help you clean your clutter. He's willing and able to help you every time you need Him. And best of all, He'll keep you from RE-cluttering your life! Once clean, you don't ever want to return to the old way of doing things.

2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (NIV)


Welcome friends! Today starts a new blog and series of devotions based on what I experience, do, and see in our day to day happenings of life. Whatever happens, just remember to wrap it around something we can learn from the Master. I've been told many times, "God never wastes a hurt. He sees every tear, and He wants to give you joy in life and living!" May you be blessed by what you read, and remember always...my words will fade away, but the Word of God stands forever!
Lucy Cain