Yours, Mine, and Theirs

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Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I worry. And sometimes I get anxious!

God’s Word tells us “Do not be anxious…” but there are times I am.

I know the truth of God’s Word but we are sinners living in a sinful world. Your sins, my sins, and their sins all can impact us and cause a lifetime of pain and consequences. Life isn’t all about rainbows and fluffy kittens. Some people are living in very hard situations. There are times I look at what some people are going through day after day and I have no idea how they survive except by putting one foot in front of the other and carrying on and clinging to their faith.

But there is more to this life!

Some people are bogged down in difficult life circumstances and others are caught up in the race of acquiring more and achieving more. Sometimes it is easier to hold onto the depths of God’s truths when we struggle because climbing the ladder of success and notoriety takes a lot of time and effort and often some very important stuff can easily be lost in the ascent. Whatever the circumstance,  it is easy to get distracted and disoriented when ugly things happen in life if not grounded in God’s Word and His gifts of grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

God’s words go against what we see in our world today. His promises and provisions don’t follow the ways of the world and I am so very glad! Posted below is the first verse of a sweet hymn. I didn’t grow up hearing this one but it is one I love to hear children sing! It is both simple and complex. As I look back over my life, I can see God’s gentle guidance and provision and I know that He will provide for me as the future unfolds before me!

I am Jesus’ little lamb,

Ever glad at heart I am;

For my shepherd gently guides me,

Knows my needs and well provides me,

Loves me every day the same,

Even calls me by my name!

   by Henritta L. von Hayn, 1724-1782

 

On the Road,

Liz

Old Doors and New Views

 

olddoorwsSometimes we don’t notice the things around us until we see them in a different context or from a new vantage point. How we see things and what we see are very dependent on where we are at the moment and where we are looking. Knowing that about ourselves is important.

When it comes to matters of life and faith, it is important to have a few solid Christians to talk with and get their perspective on tricky matters. We might not be able to see our options. We might not be able to understand how someone we care about could make such terrible choices. We might be unwilling to consider a different perspective on a matter without the help of someone we trust to show us another way of looking at things. We can benefit from one another’s life experiences and perspective, particularly if we are navigating through a difficult time.

It is even more important to consider God’s perspective through His Word and through a healthy, trained pastor. 

Sometimes the very things that have been around us for many years have been overlooked because they have always just been a part of the picture. As you travel through life, look around. Look up. Look down. Take time to absorb where you are. Be open to seeing situations from a different point of view.

Ask God to give you fresh eyes for your circumstances.

And if you chose a verse to ponder, I would love to see it!

On the Road,

Liz

Where are you going?

WHERE are you going?

Where are YOU going?

Where are you GOING?

 

Emphasis makes a big difference in each of those questions. Sometimes we don’t necessarily have an end goal in mind–we are just out and about. Sometimes it’s ok to not know the destination because, truth be told, we often think we have a place where we will end up and we are really disappointed when we don’t ever get there. Or we don’t get there the way we imagined we would.

Sometimes we strive for a goal and find we never get there because we took the wrong path or we had a misinformed goal. For example, if one grows up in a family with a lot of tension or sadness due to money struggles, one might think that amassing a lot of money will lead us to “happiness”. It rarely works that way.

Where do you hope to be and how do you think you might get there?

It is always good to think about our life’s direction in general, but the Lenten season is a great time to consider if we have strayed off the path of forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, service, prayer, kindness, sacrifice, self-control, or [fill in the blank]. Drifting away a bit may not seem so bad when we can see the road but we can quickly lose sight of the road altogether. Sometimes we need to “reset”, get re-oriented, and start again.

GOD’S WORD informs our LIFE and impacts the decisions we make.

So let’s get informed! What does God have to say? Grab your Bible or download a Bible App on your phone. Look for a verse or two you might want to commit to memory during this Lenten season. Write it out on an index card, in your journal, or make a digital image so you can have it on your phone. I would love to see your verse and if you do anything creative with it. Of course, being creative isn’t the point but pondering it is! When we take the time to read God’s Word, ponder, and pray, He changes us. And, we likely will find a new perspective on our travels–both on  where we are going and where we have been.

So, where ‘ya headed?

~ Liz

Quick note: Don and I will be “on the road” and I will be posting things as we travel. We would appreciate your prayers for a safe journey!

 

 

 

PrayerPoints ~Wednesday, March 16th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 49

“Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.” Psalm 49:16-17

People often pursue success relentlessly.  There are many different perspectives on what is considered successful and many of them have to do with money, position, and power. It is very easy to get caught up in the world’s definition of success because we are bombarded with so many messages about what the world considers successful.

Think for a bit about what you consider successful. Then take a few minutes to evaluate the path your are on and how it aligns with what you value. Then take some time to be in prayer and God’s Word to see if there are some adjustments you need to make. For me, it is easy to be swayed to believe what the world says about success because there are so many images and messages that are out there, trying to influence me.

Riches are not the problem….but riches at the expense of others definitely can be.

It is easy to look at others and think about how I would live my life differently if I was in their shoes. It is much more difficult to consider where I am and what I have and how to align my path to the things God considers of value.

I will be praying for God’s wisdom and discernment as I think about how I define success.

 

 

 

 

 

PrayerPoints ~ Wednesday, March 2nd

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 46

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear; even though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”    Psalm 46: 1-3

The imagery in the verses above…wow! it sounds like utter devastation! And, unfortunately, we have some days, weeks, months, and years like that. When you are in trouble, lean into His strength!

There is no telling what you are in the middle of at this very moment in your life but I have a great imagination. You probably do, too. I think it is both a blessing and a curse. If you are anything like me, when you hear some “bad news” you can imagine the worst case scenario in about 3 seconds flat.  But, the potential positive to that “quick thinking” is being able to empathize with others and pray for them as they walk through a challenging time even if I haven’t experienced the same situation myself. When I hear about people who are struggling with something, I immediately think about the needs, the emotions, the fears, or the “what is next?” kinds of things and I cover them in prayer. And the times I have absolutely no idea about their situation but I know there is a need? I honestly leave it up to God to fill in the blanks. At one time or another, everyone struggles with:

  • faith
  • finances
  • fears
  • relationships
  • jobs
  • education/training
  • health

So it is a safe bet that I can pray over each of those categories for anyone and God, who knows it all anyway, hears my pleas.

It’s hard to watch someone struggle through a difficult season. There are times we can only pray and wait. We can’t jump in to fix or solve the problem, but we must hand it over to God, trusting in His work. Sharing God’s Word can bring refreshment to weary bones. God’s Word is always in season, but certainly a source of strength during an anxious and fearful time in life.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”   Psalm 46:10

A special thank you to my friend, Kristin, who has taken these great verses and put them in such a nice setting!

PrayerPoints ~ Monday, February 29th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 34

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

There is so much comfort in Psalm 34. I just highlighted one verse above out of many I draw comfort from. As you read through this Psalm, do you find one particular verse that is encouraging? Write it out and commit it to memory!

What I love about God’s Word is it is always relevant to my life. Sometimes a certain passage in Scripture will remind me of an earlier time in my life because there is a song connected to it or a particular situation that it brings to mind. I can’t imagine traveling through life without God’s Word to sharpen my focus, widen my perspective of His work, provide me with His peace, reminding me of His love, or helping me face my sin.

As you walk through this week, write down a verse that has been important to you in your Christian walk. You might also consider writing down why it is meaningful to you and sharing it with someone. You can post it in the comments section below.

Blessings on your week!

Liz

PrayerPoints ~ Friday, February 26th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 31

“Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.”  Psalm 31:16

David sure knows how to write with passion! As I read through Psalm 31, sometimes it is a huge stretch for me to think about where he has been and what he is writing about because I haven’t experienced his life. But others times, it seems like I have been where he has been–at least that is how  it feels when I read his words. David gives so many examples of the incredible highs and desperate lows that come with life and yet he consistently encourages us to take refuge in and trust the Lord.

Whether you are in that incredible high or desperate low, God is there! May your intentional time in His Word give you His instruction and grant you His peace!