Difficult Times

James 4.jpgThere are many times in the life of a Christian that we go through difficult times, and sometimes it seems that at every corner we are being attack spiritual, and it is when we know that we are the words of James comes to my mind. James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you, as well as Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says; Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths; and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Instead of us running from our Lord we need to run as fast as we can towards him, to rest our tired soul. When we are feeling sad, Jesus wants us to anticipate feeling joyful again. This takes the sting out of our sorrows, because we know it is only temporary what we are going thru. Sadness tends to duplicate itself along the timeline-convincing us that we will always be unhappy. But that is a lie! Jesus is telling us to turn away from the lies we are hearing and to turn to him and more important to trust him and all that he has promised us. The truth is, all of his children have infinite joy ahead of them, reserved in heaven, guaranteed through-out eternity. No one can take this away from us, which is wonderful to know. While we are journeying towards heaven, our earthly path has many ups and downs. Through your down times are uncomfortable, they are not worthless. Pain and struggle can be highly productive when we trust Jesus in the midst of our sufferings. Our anguish is comparable to a woman enduring labor pains. Her suffering is very real, and she wonder how much longer she can bear this pain, and this is the way we truly feel at times. However, all this agony produces a wonderful result-a newborn baby. The memories of her suffering retreat to the background of her mind as she begins to focus on her child. While we labor through earthly afflictions we need to keep our eyes on the promised reward in Jesus, and the wonderful joy we do have in knowing him no matter what we are going thru.

Grace and Peace to you My Friends

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More Than Enough

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Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.                        2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Most of us don’t feel like we have a lot to give, especially in the way of finances, resources, or time. Remember the story of the widow who only had enough flour and oil to make one last meal for herself and her son? 1 Kings 17:12-13 As surely as the Lord your God lives, she replied, “I don’t have any bread, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the Land.” And she like this widow we would most likely say the same thing.

What we often forget when God asks us to give of ourselves, is that he has already supplied the means. All God requires is our willingness to participate in his good work. We might think of abundance as exceeding wealth, but it is really saying that we have more than what is needed. If God ask of your time, then you can assume that he has given you more. If he ask of your money, he has given you more than enough. The widow became abundantly blessed by her willingness to give of what she had, and God saw that she was never in want again. Remember my friend God loves a cheerful giver.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends                                                                                                     Eileen

My Inspiration

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I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.                                                                          Psalm 34:1-4

Children often wonder about the face of God, imagining what he looks like and how his voice might sound. I want to see God! Where is he? Where, indeed, beloved? God is in the beauty, showing off for you. When you see something lovely, you are seeing Daddy’s (God) handiwork. When you hold a new born baby, and look up and marvel, “I see God!” truly, God is there.

As a supply Pastor I have been bless to be able to filled in for many different pastor’s while they are away, and I have been doing this for almost five years now. At one part of the service which is prayer time, before I ask anyone for any concerns or what may lay heavy on their hearts, I always ask people in the congregation this question: Where did you see the hand of God at work during this past week in your own life.  And I am truly amaze at the many different answers someone may say, a new birth in their family, the sunrise or sunset, a new job, a new home, a pray that has been answered for them, a birthday, an anniversary, rain after weeks of a dry hot summer, and the list can on for awhile, and even more important that someone they love so much has accept Christ as their Savior and has started to attend church. 

It’s an amazing circle, this inspiration. He gives us so many good gifts, vibrant colors in nature, bursting flavors, comforting warmth, moving melodies, and unimaginable beauty, that our hearts cannot help but respond. And our inspirations pout out in a beautiful offering of worship back to our Creator. Even his commands, his laws, and his guidance are inspiring! Described as right and radiant, his acts of loving and devoted instructions keep us safe. They also draw us nearer to our Father and give joy and light to all of us. My own inspiration that tells me that we have an Awesome God a wonderful creator is all around, but more so when I am spending my quiet moments with God that I am inspired the most.                 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends                                                                                                   Eileen

All Things Are Possible

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The apostle Paul wrote in the book of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.:” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

In the midst of trying situations, there are days when we’re so exhausted we feel we can barley put one foot in front of the other. The thought of creating some semblance of a meal, or even getting out of bed for that matter, seems near impossible. Forget about responding gracefully when people say or do ridiculous things. Forget about the project that was supposed to be finished two weeks ago, Forget about going to the event we though we want to attend. We just can’t keep up.

The good news is God doesn’t expect us to. In fact, he doesn’t even want us to. When we allow ourselves to be weak in our grief filled moments, we give God the opportunity to show his strength, and he’ll take that opportunity every time we give it to him. We don’t have to be “willing and able”; we can just be willing because God is able.

Grace and Peace to You My friends                                                                                                     Eileen

God’s Timing

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We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not have, we wait patiently.

Romans 8:22-25 (NIV)

It’s hard to wait for, well anything. We can have almost anything we want immediately. Sometimes even waiting longer than two days to receive what we order seems way too long. We can gain some great perspective when we think about how life was lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Mail took months to travel, items were all made to order, and food was only delivered to your doorway if it accompanied out of town guests. We have become pretty impatient, haven’t we?

It’s had to wait for God’s timing. Even when we are waiting for good things, we think we shouldn’t have to wait for long. Going on a mission trip, starting a job in ministry, leading a small group, marrying the right person, doesn’t God want those things for us sooner rather than later? Trusting in God’s timing means you believe that God’s won’t let an opportunity slip by unless it’s not the one he wants you to experience. While you are in the waiting stage and waiting on God remember to take the time to “Be Still and Know I Am God.” (Psalm 46:10)  We as humans all seem to believe we know what is best, but the truth of it all God always knows what is best for His children, even better than we know ourselves. Just trust in the Lord, and when you look back on your life you will see that God’s timing was perfect.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends                                                                                                     Eileen

Happy Father’s Day

 

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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.   Joshua 1:9

As Father’s Day approaches once again it can be a difficult day for many to try to celebrate, because of the type of earthly dad you may of have of not being there for you, or because you have loss your through death. As I was reading the Scriptures today what came to my mind was the book of Joshua. After Moses’ death, Joshua, became the leader of God’s people. He commanded the armies that conquered much of the territory in the promised land. This book is the first of the twelve books of the Israelite’s’ history. It is so important as Christians that we continue to read God’s words each day, so when the time comes and the enemy (Satan) tries to attack us, and believe me he will, you recall the words that God had place upon your heart. 

The word Father stirs up at times many emotions, such as dad, faithful provider, a loving husband, and a loving man for his own children. However on the other side someone just might say if God (Father) is anything like my own father I want no part of him what so ever. The God I have come to know and love is nothing like my earthly father was when he was alive.  There are more than two hundred names for God, yet Jesus chose the word “Father” because it is the easies for people to understand. God becomes “Abba” the affectionate name Hebrew children used to address their fathers. We, as sinners, may call the “Great I Am” father and some people call God their dads as well. Those who have no hope left, who have no prospects of a heavenly home, may call Him Father. Whatever name that you choose to call God truly doesn’t really matter, what matters to him is that you begin to have a relationship with him daily, as you journey through life.

I seek to understand my Lord and Savior, it is like standing at the edge of a glorious ocean, trying to absorb its vast beauty, yet knowing I can only see a tiny portion of the waters, that stretches out before me. It is a way to realize what a small portion of God’s infinite greatness I truly can comprehend. This awareness is an invitation to worship God, the “Great I AM” and humbling rejoicing him in his boundless Glory. I know that my understanding of God is so limited, there are no bounds to my enjoyment of him! 

God reveals himself to all of us in so many countless ways, because of his deep desire for you to know him. The prophet Isaiah pictures God saying “Here am I, here am I” spreading out his hands all day long to a rebellious children. In the parable that Jesus told his disciples called the “The Lost Son”, the father (God) didn’t wait for his wayward child to return home repentantly. Instead, he sacrificed his dignity and ran to his son while he was still a long way off, fell on his neck and kissed him. No matter what type of sin that I have ever done in my past or even in my future, and when I did turn away from God, God is always the one to welcome me back home to him with loving arms. When I remember these words from the book of Joshua I remember never to be afraid as I journey in life because I am holding on to my Father’s hand. 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends                                                                                                    Eileen

 

The Word Is Alive

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For is Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.                                                       Hebrews 4:8-13 (NIV)

Have you ever opened your Bible to a random page and been amazed that the Scriptures passage is perfectly appropriate for that exact season of your life? Then at church your pastor uses the same verse as the basis for a sermon. While driving a few days later, a worship song’s lyrics match up again to your life. It’s like God has a spotlight on you and is aligning the world around you to encourage, direct, or teach you wherever you are. His Word is truly alive and powerful.

The Word of God is a marvelously insightful gift. He gave it for our edification, education, and inspiration. Whatever we are going through, the Word of God holds the answer. Whether we are running away from God or towards him, whether we are rejoicing or mourning, however confused or secure we feel, God’s word holds the solution.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends                                                                                                     Eileen

The Faithfulness of God

 

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Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.                                     Hebrews 10:22-23

God is good and he knows all of your needs. He is faithful and he longs to show you more of his glory and beauty. Prepare your heart to say “yes” to his call. Trust in his faithfulness. Chase after his joy.

Your love is pleasing to him because he delights in you. He sings over you, notes and refrains and there as you walk the earth, waiting for him. One day, his song will be complete, and when you hear its fullness, you will run to him! Until that day, trust in his faithfulness. Hold unswervingly to the hope you profess because you have the full assurance that faith brings’; your heart is cleansed and you are pure.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends                                                                                                    Eileen