This last weekend I was able to sit with a very special lady as her fiancé was beginning his journey to the heavenly home. Throughout their relationship, I was a witness to unconditional love from both of them. They stayed connected and even when they were in a “disconnect”, they chose connection and kept their love on. We need each other to walk out our destiny, especially in times like this.
This brief journey helped me to see once again that life is a miracle – not one to minimize how God pours out His love to us. Ultimately, love never failed and God had His way.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” NIV
What are we really looking for? Something of great value or just a single experience? Maybe its a promise and a hope for a better tomorrow. Maybe its confirmation that God has heard our prayers. We are all looking, aren’t we? Searching for Gold.
I know I’ve searched most of my life looking for love, hope, peace, joy; something that could confirm my existence. I was asking questions like, “What’s my purpose?” “What is this life all about?” I remember that deep dark hole in my soul that could never be filled. I looked for everything to fill that void BUT came to the conclusion that the world had nothing for me.
It wasn’t until I had a life changing encounter with the Living God. That’s when my life started to make sense. Yes, I was searching for gold alright. The glory of the God filled me up that night. His love, His peace, His joy – something that would never go away! I am so grateful!!
So if you are looking for gold, in the natural or supernatural, know this: It’s not of this world. HIS LOVE FOR YOU IS ALL THAT MATTERS! Ask Him to fill you to overflowing. It won’t slip through your fingers and it won’t ever lose its value.
A friend recently said to me that God had brought some correction to his life by saying: “Son, you are hearing but you are not listening.” He was very good at hearing God’s voice, loud and clear, gentle and soft BUT he was not really listening or obeying the voice. This fine gentleman ended up having a triple by-pass because over the years he had not submitted to the gentle nudgings of the Lord. No, God did not cause the heart attack but believe me, it sure got this man’s attention.
I see so many of us (including me) running here and there, texting, social media, appointments galore and quite frankly, people are exhausted. I think as a generation we have forgotten to slow down, rest, and quiet meditation. Thankfulness and gratitude have to be part of every day living. We have become weary and sick!
I so appreciate this man’s testimony because once again God was speaking to me through him to slow down. So I am encouraging you to do the same. Take a look at your schedule, set your priorities, and spend precious time taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and most importantly, spiritually. Are you listening?
(Photo by Nancy Larson Benjamin)
Hope, expectation, and joy are the emotions that bubble up in my heart when I look at this picture. The dawning of a new day. The promise of things to change. The joy of knowing that I can let go of yesterday and look forward to today with a song in my heart. When I look closer, I can see that the storms of life are over and the expectation of a bright future is rising. I am alive, I have breath and all things are GOOD! My future will not look like my past – it can’t, life was designed like that.
What majesty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What a big, big God who created the universe and painted the sky just for me and others to enjoy!
My heart sings – does yours? Problems – what problems!
Psalm 19: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmaship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word, their voice is never heard, yet their message has gone throughout the earth and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.” NLT
I love how God speaks to us just when we need it. As I was listening to the song, Great is His Faithfulness, I looked out my kitchen window and saw a beautiful robin. She was picking at the ground, looking around, picking and looking, picking and looking. Not once did she seem concerned whether she would find a meal. All by herself…she had such confidence and faith that she never quit until she found her worm. She picked at brush, dirt that was filled with absolutely nothing and then she would dance and hop over to another spot. I saw her try and try again until she got it right. Such faith, such perseverance!
God cares about us just like He cares about that little robin. He feeds us, clothes us, and gives us shelter and all He is asking of us is to put our trust in Him. Sometimes we give up too fast, too early, filled with doubt and uncertainty. Take a minute and watch our springtime robins. They speak to us and show us many things. Great is His Faithfulness!
Frozen, but not forgotten!
This photograph revealed an awesome truth to me. Even though it is very cold, frozen and immovable, there is still life in the branch. The light of God is still glowing and overshadowing its very existence. It may be dark outside and obscure; it is nevertheless, valuable in the sight of the one taking the photo.
Many times in my life I have felt the same way. Nothing seemed to be working and everything I attempted appeared to be frozen. BUT GOD was there all the time! Circumstances were dark, no one seemed to care, and I felt lost and insignificant. BUT GOD!
So if you feel the same way, know that God’s light and life is always with you. You mean the world to HIM!
1 Thess 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus”
Peace and Rest
God created such a beautiful masterpiece in what we call “earth”. At any moment in time, if we are watching or listening, we can see or hear His loving words to us.
A friend of mine took this picture and it really spoke to me about the stillness and peace I can have if I just stop and rest a bit.
The sun is going down, the day is ending, and yet there is a peace of mind that “all is well”. There is nothing I can do to change anything that had occurred. So I can just settle down, reflect and look forward to another day with HIM.
Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Daddies Little Girl
I saw this post today and wanted to re-post it. Life can be hard for little girls who don’t experience the Father’s love as God designed it to be. This inspired me and I hope it will inspire you.
What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew
Tara Hedman 02/02/14 10:42 AM ET
(Used with permission)
I’m spending the morning waiting for my car in the repair shop. Four men in flannel (I missed the flannel memo) and I sit around smelling tires and inhaling exhaust fumes while an enchanting little fairy is in constant motion around her daddy. She climbs on him, giggles, turns around, and then she’s back to twirling on the tile.
She’s bouncing and spinning around in her pink frilly skirt. Her black cable knit tights are sagging around her tiny knees, and her puffy coat makes her arms stand out further than is natural. To top off the ensemble is a shiny crystal tiara. It’s been tacked down to her head with what appears to be about 60 haphazard bobby pins.
She’s probably 4 years old. So little, so vulnerable. She doesn’t seem concerned about it as she sings about teapots and ladybugs in her black Mary Janes. I feel myself tear up as I watch her. I tear up as I watch him watch her. She could not possibly know at 4 what impact this man, his character or his words will have on her for years to come. And, maybe he doesn’t know either.
So, to all the daddies with little girls who aren’t old enough yet to ask for what they need from you, here is what we wish you knew:
1. How you love me is how I will love myself.
2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.
3. I learn how I should be treated by how you treat my mom, whether you are married to her or not.
4. If you are angry with me, I feel it even if I don’t understand it, so talk to me.
5. Every time you show grace to me or someone else, I learn to trust God a little more.
6. I need to experience your nurturing physical strength, so I learn to trust the physicality of men.
7. Please don’t talk about sex like a teenage boy, or I think it’s something dirty.
8. When your tone is gentle, I understand what you are saying much better.
9. How you talk about female bodies when you’re “just joking” is what I believe about my own.
10. How you handle my heart, is how I will allow it to be handled by others.
11. If you encourage me to find what brings joy, I will always seek it.
12. If you teach me what safe feels like when I’m with you, I will know better how to guard myself from men who are not.
13. Teach me a love of art, science, and nature, and I will learn that intellect matters more than dress size.
14. Let me say exactly what I want even if it’s wrong or silly, because I need to know having a strong voice is acceptable to you.
15. When I get older, if you seem afraid of my changing body, I will believe something is wrong with it.
16. If you understand contentment for yourself, so will I.
17. When I ask you to let go, please remain available; I will always come back and need you if you do.
18. If you demonstrate tenderness, I learn to embrace my own vulnerability rather than fear it.
19. When you let me help fix the car and paint the house, I will believe I can do anything a boy can do.
20. When you protect my femininity, I learn everything about me is worthy of protecting.
21. How you treat our dog when you think I’m not watching tells me more about you than does just about anything else.
22. Don’t let money be everything, or I learn not to respect it or you.
23. Hug, hold, and kiss me in all the ways a daddy does that are right and good and pure. I need it so much to understand healthy touch.
24. Please don’t lie, because I believe what you say.
25. Don’t avoid hard conversations, because it makes me believe I’m not worth fighting for.
It’s pretty simple, really. Little girls just love their daddies. They each think their daddy hung the moon. Once in a while when you look at your little gal twirling in her frilly skirt, remember she’ll be grown one day. What do you want her to know about men, life, herself, love? What you do and say now matters for a lifetime. Daddies, never underestimate the impact of your words or needs on your daughters, no matter their age.
(*) Picture used with permission -Leilani Promise, 3 days old in Daddy’s arms
Still “7 minutes older”
Yes, indeed. There is so much to be thankful for. Married 34 years, sober almost 22 years, and healthy. My twin sister, Marlene, and I enjoyed our holidays. But even though she is “7 minutes older”, time has brought great healing and hope into our relationship. Thankful, you bet! It’s not every day someone can say “I am happier than I have ever been” and really mean it.
We both have gone our separate journeys but there is always one thing that has remained, LOVE.
If there is someone in your life who you LOVE but haven’t connected for a while, take the time now. Its never too late! Don’t get so busy that you forget to tell someone how special they are. Be grateful and thankful.