How to Fix the United States’ Troubles

 
We are a blessed nation.
2 Chronicles 7:14 gives the solution to this nation’s troubles.
It all depends on us.

“If my people, which are called by my name,

(Christians)

 

shall humble themselves,

(having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance)

and pray,

(just talking to God)


and seek my face,

(worship, Bible reading, prayer, quiet listening)

and turn from their wicked ways;

(What are you watching on t.v. or movies? What are you reading? Is it wholesome? Are you seeking a clean pure heart? Kind to others, even those in your home? Honest? There are all kinds of sins that some Christians overlook. We need to really seek the Lord and ask him to reveal those to us. We need to be different than the average American.)

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land.”

Let’s do our part!

Thank you God!

 

Through Jesus

 

You know, sometimes we just don’t feel like praising God.  The drain’s clogged, your kid has poison ivy, a black snake is eating your chickens’ eggs, what you plant doesn’t grow, the kids track dirt or whatever in, the car won’t start, the air conditioner is broken, it can be any number of things.  There’s always going to be something, isn’t there?  It’s just one thing after another.  Ever wonder why? 

We truly have had a rough time for the last few years.  BUT GOD has brought us through every single trial.  In fact, He has shown himself so faithful, I just don’t get as upset or angry or worried as I used to.  I know that most of the things I worry about are out of my control.   They are totally in God’s control.  He WILL take care of the problems one way or another.  My job is to pray and let Him be in control. 

So we pray, we give it all back to him to carry, and we praise the Lord even when we don’t feel like it through Jesus!

 

 

Is This Blessing Realistic?

“May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children’s children,
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.”

This is a traditional Irish blessing. It’s a wonderful thought and wish.   We most emphatically want God to be with us and the ones we would bless.  We most emphatically want God to bless those we would bless.  In fact, we most emphatically want God to fulfill all of this for those we would bless.  Is it realistic though?  Is it really the way God works?  I think not, at least not all of it all of the time.

Sometimes I think that we try to boss God around.  After all, how could He know what’s best for us?  We’ve got it all figured out in our minds.  We know how life should be.  It should definitely include for richer, in health, and living long.  Pain should be minimal or non-existent.  We shouldn’t know unemployment, bills we cannot pay, friends or spouses that betray us, children that rebell, mice in the house, ants, clogged sinks, cars that won’t start, lost library books, and all such things.  We would have lots of friends; we would be beautiful and thin; our hair wouldn’t go gray; we would always have money in our pocketbooks; life would be perfect, or would it?

What need would we have for our Creator God?  Would we even acknowledge Him let alone worship Him?  Would we not be setting our own lives up as idols?  Would we not worship self?  Would we grow in grace, mercy, or compassion for others if life were perfect in our own eyes? 

What if our lives are perfect right now?  Not that everything in them is perfect, but what if God is perfectly working in our lives through our circumstances and through other people in our lives to bring us closer to Him?  What if losing the job and not finding another is really a way of drawing us to Him?  What if the arthritis, the heart attack, the pain or the cancer are ways to draw us to Him?   After all, where else can we really go for help?  Do I think that God is causing all of this?  No.  I do think that God allows things to happen that will cause each of us to seek him with diligently with heart, mind and strength. 

That’s what’s been happening with me the last few months.  Lowell’s long-term unemployment and under-employment, our inability to pay bills, my pneumonia, and some other problems in our life have absolutely driven me to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I am reading the Word almost compulsively.  I must read it daily.  I want to read it often.  I am not really interested in reading anything else.  This from a woman who reads fifty or more books a year.  This year I’ve finished two, I think.  God is changing me.  He’s changing the way I think.  He’s changing how I view my salvation and my Jesus.  It’s all good.  I’m finally beginning to really believe “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 and “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”.   Philippians 4:13.   

Bad circumstances bring us closer to our good God.  Run to Him.  He is our strong tower in times of trouble.  It’s not that He will do all we ask; but, if we give ourselves totally to Him, He will help us to pray truthfully, Thy Will Be Done.

Growing in Grace and Trust,

Laura

Sleeping in Peace and Safety at Night

In late December, our pastor told us that he would soon begin teaching chapter by chapter through Genesis. I decided to get a head start and read a few chapters. Then I read a few more chapters, then a few more. God has made His Word alive to me like never before. I begin to understand how precious the Word is. I just finished Esther this morning. I never could have done this without the precious Holy Spirit.  Even the books of the Law, Judges, Kings and Chronicles spoke to me.  I would be reading and ask the Holy Spirit why on earth I needed to read of the sacrifices over and over or of the wars.  He was so sweet to share things with me.  I have a new appreciation for my salvation and for the peace that I live in.  For although our country is at war, I lie down and sleep safely at night thanks to our soldiers and my God who have kept the war on foreign soil.

God bless and keep our soldiers from harm’s way.  May You give them supernatural protection.  May You give our leaders wisdom in action and in timing as well as repentence and salvation.  Amen

1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 

2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Thank you God.

Laura

 

Doing It at Wal-Mart

Don’t be afraid.  What can happen?  So what if you get caught?  Do you think anyone will be shocked?  Maybe.  But you know, I’m sure He shocked quite a lot of folks Himself. 

A couple of nights ago, I was walking through Wal-Mart with my friend Ellen.  We saw a friend and stopped to talk.  She was rather unsettled because she’d just learned that her husband was going on a business trip out of the country the next morning.  Very short notice.  We talked and encouraged.  Then, right there in front of God and everyone, I did it!  I prayed!  No one panicked.  God heard and my friend was blessed and encouraged.  

A little while later, we were passing the electronics department.  I overheard a lady telling her co-worker that her foot was really hurting.  I walked on by; then, I stopped.   It was clear that she needed prayer.  Was I going to obey God and pray with her?  The Holy Spirit gave me the boldness to turn around and ask her, “May I pray with you?”  She eagerly said yes and told me the problem.  I prayed with her right then and there aloud.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  Faith also comes by hearing someone pray for you in in faith.  I hope that faith was imparted to this lady as well as healing power from God through Jesus Christ.

If we don’t start doing things like this now, how will we have the courage to do them when things get tougher for Christians?

Just Something to Think About…

Laura

Verdict Changed

Israel had been going their own way for awhile.  The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant and had recently returned it to the Israelites.  Interesting story there…boils sores and misery, read about it in I Samuel 5 and 6.  Seems no one wanted to keep it because it brought trouble to the Philistines no matter which town it went to.  The Philistines sent it back and it was kept at Abinadab’s house and his son Eleazar was consecrated to guard the Ark.

Fast forward to chapter 7.  Twenty years later, the people of Israel mourned and sought after the Lord.  That is when Samuel sacrificed and sought the Lord for the people. 

“And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, ‘If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.'”

Samuel did, they did, and the Lord did.  Of course, not much later, the Israelites were falling away from the Lord’s will again.  Much like you and me.

What struck me about this story, as I read it this morning, was it’s application to us, His people today.  I found myself asking myself if I truly am seeking God with my whole heart.  Am I committed to the Lord and serving Him only?  Sadly, I can think of times even today when I not only was acting in the flesh but justifying myself as well.  It’s that old pointing the finger thing that started with Adam and Eve.  Does it justify my sinful feelings and thoughts?  No.  Alas, I’m not judged by how someone else is treating me but by how I respond.  Today, the verdict is guilty

Thankfully, I’ve got someone else who served my sentence before I even committed the sin, before I was born.  His name is Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah that Jewish people looked forward to for so many years.  Because of Jesus, I now have a new verdict– not guiltyHe took my guilt and was crucified and resurrected.  He paid the price for me.  I only need look to Him and faith and believe.  I need to return and commit, repeatedly if need be.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”  1 John 1:8-10

I think I need to spend a bit of time in prayer now.  What about you?

Laura

Thankful for the Sacrifice that Changed my Verdict

Being Happy Doesn’t Mean Everything’s Perfect….

I saw this quote on a sign from The Country House.

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect.  It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections.”

How true is that?  I’m absolutely amazed at how happy I am overall in spite of our circumstances.  I guess I’m reaching a level of contentment day by day.  Some days are better than others, of course.  My ideal is certainly to pay all the bills on time and even to get out of debt.  I’ve grown to hate debt with a passion.  Getting a call from a bill collector who hasn’t read the notes about how long your husband has been out of work can be discouraging.  Lowell and I have been listening to Dave Ramsey, a Christian financial advisor.  He says to take care of house, utilities, food and transportation first.  He is so right.  A few years ago, we didn’t pay bills in that order.  We were worried about credit and really messed up things.  We’re going to get it right this time.

God has been good to us.  We are living day to day, depending on the Lord, instead of paycheck to paycheck like most people.  I actually think it’s been good for our faith.  It’s been sobering.  I don’t think that we’ll ever view money and things in quite the same way again.  I know that this is temporary.  I thank God that we live in a country of many opportunities. 

God bless you all as He has blessed us and more,

Laura

Happy When Everything’s not Perfect

A New Year is Soon to be Upon Us….

A  new year is soon to be upon us.  In my olden days I always made my list of resolutions:

1.  Get organized.

2.  Read my Bible through.

3.  Lose weight.

4.  Lose Weight.

5.  LOSE WEIGHT!!!!!

Well, I never seemed to make it throught New Year’s Day let alone January before I started slipping on the weight thing.  Well, here we are again, December 30th.  For most of us, that means resolutions.

I’m in my early forties now.  I realize that for me, resolutions don’t seem to work.  I am hoping to work toward some positive changes.  Guess what?  They’re related to getting organized, reading my Bible and losing weight.  Such is life! 

 I’m beginning my baby steps with Fly Lady again.  www.FlyLady.net.

I’m going to read my Bible daily and not worry about whether I read the whole book this year.

I’m going to work on reducing the processed foods, white flour, and sugar I serve my family.

So, call them resolutions if you want.  I’m not.  If they’re not resolutions, I can’t break them!  ~smile~

Happy New Year!

Laura

Happy at Home