For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Fan of God

Psalm 104:33-34
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.

My co-workers and I traveled to Chicago for the American Library Conference.  As we rode along Michigan Avenue, a sea of red swayed on the bridge crossing into Grant Park. The Chicago Blackhawks hockey team won the Stanley Cup. Twenty thousand plus fans gathered to celebrate with the players. They waved flags, carried balloons and cheered. Later in the day, we saw the fans all over the city. They supported their beloved team.

On Sunday morning, I like meeting with others who love God. I join my brothers and sisters in song, listen to God’s word preached and meditate on the sacrifice Christ made for me. You could say that church brings God’s fans together to celebrate. Not just a win, but an eternal victory. I like rooting for the Cincinnati Reds as much as the Blackhawk fans enjoy cheering on the hockey team. But, I love praising God and thanking him for Jesus, even more.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nehemiah and the King

Nehemiah 1:1b-5
I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

Children love balloons. My grandson played with a red one in his living room. We batted back and forth as we tried to keep the plastic orb from hitting the ground. As we played our game, he repeated his mama’s warning that “balloons might burst, but it’s okay.” A few seconds later, sure enough, we heard a pop, then red bits scattered across the floor. Eli’s eyes rounded and his little mouth fell into a frown. He sat down and said, “I’m okay.” Then his lips quivered, but he didn’t cry. His heart was broken, but he remained brave.

Nehemiah’s eyes filled with sadness as he served King Artexerxes. Even though he walked through his routine assignment, his heart lay open with pain. His beloved city of Jerusalem fell, and he wanted return there to rebuild. But, he needed to know what God wanted him to do. So much in this world brings sadness to my heart and I want to sit down and cry and frankly, at times give up. But, even in the sadness, I know that I have God. Nehemiah knew this, too. When his heart hurt he didn’t run off, he prayed. He sought God’s guidance and he found peace through the promises of his Lord. Right now my heart breaks for a friend, but I know that many prayers have been sent up and that God’s in control. He will protect and comfort. Praise God for his constant care.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Abba, Father

Galations 4:6
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 

I saw a post on Facebook that asked people to post what their dad had taught them. A strong work ethic and an example of Christian living were the top two answers. I can say that my father certainly taught me a good work ethic. He worked in some capacity until he saw eighty-two years old. Even after that, he stayed busy until he passed away. He also showed me the love and encouragement that he learned from reading his Bible. I remember him sitting in his chair studying his Sunday school lesson. I loved to see him read God’s word. He wasn’t one to pick up a novel, but he knew what the Bible said. I miss my dad, but I am fortunate to have good memories. I am sad when I hear that some fathers were not a blessing to their children. I pray that they can find the fatherly love they missed through 
Grandpa Tim & Aiden

God the Father and through other Godly men.
In Galations 4, Paul writes about the most wonderful Father who wants all of us as His children. Abba, God, the Father. All names for the creator of the universe. He breathed life into every one. I’m thankful that I had a caring earthly father and that I know God the Father. I’m also grateful that my husband, Tim, loves Jesus and shows our children and grandchildren his faith. We are also blessed to watch Adam and James as they father their children. What a joy. Happy Father’s Day! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Overflow with Hope

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I had the opportunity to attend a QPR Gatekeeper training at work.  In the class, I learned how to help a person who might be contemplating suicide. As difficult as this sounds, the class equipped me to help someone in distress. Throughout the session the teacher gave information on the practical things to do. One idea resounded throughout the talk. Give the person hope. When a person has hope, they can step out of despair. With help they can move forward in life.

As the instructor spoke, I thought about how important hope is in my life. There’s no greater hope to look forward to than what Jesus gave when He died on the cross. Through faith in the Savior, God’s children have the hope of heaven. Even as I live my life on earth, I have hope in the word of God, in prayer, and in the people God surrounds me with. The Holy Spirit reminds me that God loves me and has a plan for me. His hope fills me with joy and peace. Praise God for his love and salvation.

Where do you find hope?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Praying to God

Romans 15:30

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

Even the apostle Paul asked his friends to pray for him. Packed and ready to move along on his journey, he sought out prayer warriors, who would take his needs to God. Recently, my daughter posted prayer requests on Facebook for two different families who faced grief.  She recognized that they needed someone to intercede for them. It’s a beautiful moment when the Holy Spirit takes a request to God.

Remember when prayer chains moved across telephone lines, one person at a time? Some still do. But, now some are sent electronically, to everyone at once, or simply posted on a social media site. I’m concerned that the ones posted may be overlooked or forgotten. I’ve been thinking that I should write them down as I see them or better yet, stop and pray at that moment, which I often do. God wants me to seek him in prayer. Not just for myself, but for others. For the burdens of life, praises and joy and to bring others to salvation. He wants to hear the requests, groans and thank yous. So, I urge you to pray for each other. And please do lift a prayer for my daughter’s friends as they need that support. Praise God for listening and answering.