A Time to Gather Stones

Stone building in Eger, Hungary w
Stone Building in Eger, Hungary

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Do you have a collection? It might be something you need or maybe it is just something you care about.

While I don’t have anything I officially collect, there are times I have to gather up courage or strength for a task. Sometimes I need just a little more of something to help me get through an unpleasant responsibility.

God’s Word has so much to offer when I am lacking in strength. His Word reminds me He has strengthened others in their time of need and that He is there in my time of need as well.

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” 2 Samuel 22:33

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” I Chronicles 16:11

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” Psalm 18:32

On the way,

Liz

Peace AND Quiet

With so much unrest all around us, peace can be a difficult thing to find. Some of the unrest is in the world, some of it is in the not-so United States, some of it is in our churches, workplaces, and sometimes it is in our homes. With so many differences in opinion on how things should be addressed sometimes it is difficult to find and agree upon the best approach to resolving conflict.

  • Scientists disprove
  • Politicians agitate
  • World leaders argue
  • Bosses differ
  • Theologians contemplate
  • Siblings bicker
  • Parents wrangle
  • Children bandy

It can be exhausting!

Now I think I understand why my mom would occasionally ask for “peace and quiet”. When things are peaceful, it isn’t always quiet and when things are quiet, it isn’t always peaceful. But ask for both and cover all the bases!

We don’t always have control over what is happening in the world and in our immediate circle but we can look to the Lord for His wisdom and strength as we deal with life’s situations and receive His blessing of peace.

On the Road,

Liz

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Unforgettable Moments

sunsetwIf you are on Facebook, you might have caught a posting or two of adults in the stands at a ballgame snatching a ball out of the hands of a young child and being very satisfied that they had scored the prize. Caught on video, this “moment in time” of someone being jerky gets replayed and replayed and replayed for the world to see.

Ever been so caught up in the moment you cannot believe how you behaved?

I have.

And while there might not be actual footage of it posted on Facebook to watch over and over and over, rest assured, I often hit the replay button in my own mind.

atonewSometimes it is so hard to remember that I am forgiven!

And if I don’t make a point of surrounding myself with reminders, well, I get caught up in the memories of my sins. These painful reminders can be good because they nudge me to be humble and gracious to others who may be struggling because there are times I have a tendency to forget my own sins and get really frustrated about someone else’s. But, if I get stuck in “replay” mode on my own situation, it can be disastrous.

I have some memories that I won’t soon forget. As long as I don’t get stuck there, it can be a good thing.

On the Road,

Liz

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His strength. His peace.

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There are so many people I know and love in the middle of situations that are very challenging and yet they persevere. I know it is because they are relying on God as their source of strength even if it is just one step at a time, one day at a time.

How easy it is for us to think, at least initially, that our strength, education, bank account, or resilience will get us through every situation. “The world” chides us for being weak or dependent both directly and indirectly. If we are indoctrinated by that garbage for too long it can seep into our souls and cause some problems. We might try to “power through” or “make it on our own” but it really can only get us so far.  We might look down on others for needing assistance but, if we live long enough, we will eventually find ourselves in circumstances that can bring us to our knees:

Aging parents. Disabilities. Death. Broken Relationships. Job loss. Natural disasters.

When I am on my knees it seems I am better able to see and hear the things from God that I need to know. I am not quite as distracted by the other nonessential things because my focus is on seeking the strength for the day. In some situations we might find we need assistance from others and it helps us get along. In other situations, we might find ourselves completely alone, with utter dependence on God and His provisions.

When we are smart or strong or physically able or have “enough” do we let God be our strength and our salvation?

strength1wThat is a challenge for me. Sometimes I get confused about how I am making it through life or a certain situation. It is very difficult to shut out the world’s way of thinking that everything is up to me and my efforts. The more resources I have at my disposal the easier it is to think that I am handling it all. Once I think it is all about what I am achieving, I get frustrated when things don’t pan out according to plan. But have I really dreamed up the best plan? It seems rather empty to chase after physical things and try to control all the things that happen in my life. The thought that I have control (and even make the best choices in situations when I can exercise control) is an illusion. Life is not all about me. Life is not all about you. My life is not my own. And neither is yours!

Have you been in a place where the outcome is out of your control and you just need to trust God to give you His strength?

Heavenly Father ~ give us your strength for this day and bless us with your perfect peace! Amen.

On the Road,

Liz

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Delays, Detours, and Disappointments

smallwaterfallpp I love when a new opportunity comes about that I can take advantage of. It usually isn’t something in the original itinerary – more of a last minute addition that we decide to explore. It is usually a fun, little surprise. But unplanned detours and delays are not exactly my cup-o-tea – especially if I have a timeline I am trying to accommodate! What about you?

How do you deal with delays, detours, and disappointments?

Usually, my biggest concern is with losing time and getting off track. I don’t mind being flexible when I have planned for it but when there is a place I really want to get to and I am delayed or, heaven forbid, prevented from reaching the destination altogether, I can get a bit cranky.

But if I am teachable in the midst of unmet expectations, I can learn a lot.

I don’t often knowingly choose the difficult road, though sometimes a life detour takes me there. But a lot can be learned from a delay. A new vision can come from a detour. A richer relationship with God can come from disappointment.

I am thankful God redeems my life. If I look back through the years, some of His deepest provisions for me came to me through delays, detours, and disappointments that were not in my plan.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5 NIV

Heavenly Father—thank you for providing for me in the delays, detours, and disappointments in order for me to see You at work and have a deeper relationship with You!

On the Road,

Liz

PrayerPoints ~ Saturday, March 26th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 130

Today we wait and pray but we know Easter is coming. I am always waiting for the good and bad of this life but may my focus be on anticipating what God is doing (and has done) for my eternity!

Here is a collection of Psalm 130:5 in several different translations. Sometimes waiting is the hardest part!

New International Version
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

New Living Translation
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.

English Standard Version
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

New American Standard Bible 
I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.

King James Bible
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I wait for Yahweh; I wait and put my hope in His word. 

International Standard Version
I wait for the LORD; my soul waits, and I will hope in his word.

NET Bible
I rely on the LORD, I rely on him with my whole being; I wait for his assuring word. 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I have hoped in Lord Jehovah and my soul has waited for his word.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and with hope I wait for his word.

PrayerPoints ~ March 11th, Friday

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 100

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

May God’s peace and joy infuse your day!