Where are your roots? Do you have spiritual roots? Fortunately, I have both.
This past weekend, in a flurry of activity, my husband and I got to experience both the beautiful outdoor wedding of our great-niece and the 100th Anniversary celebration of the church where we grew up – the Evangelical United Brethren Church, now St. John’s United Methodist. This building became my spiritual home where I learned the basics of my Biblical background, attended catechism classes, was baptized by immersion, attended Sunday School, sang in the choir, was married, and christened both of our sons when we could make it home on military leave. It truly was the physical root of my faith.
Do you have such a foundation? I hope so because it’s good to let the memories take you back to where you started on your walk with God. Even though I accepted Christ at another church as a young child, I grew here where loving adults nurtured and invested in me. They are gone now, but I am so grateful for how they helped me become who I am today. I dedicate this post to them.
Question #1: What happens when your best friend and co-author is also your go-to prayer partner in times of trouble or concern?
Answer: You are richly blessed.
Question #2: How do close friends or relatives handle differences in the “hot topics” of religion and politics?
Answer: Very carefully, listening and speaking your truth based on God’s Word. Did you notice that I wrote listening first? Too many of us, myself included, want to talk, but don’t actively listen. Words impart feelings, feelings can be wrong, error gives you the opportunity to teach using facts, facts take emotion out of the conversation, and conversation, not debate, is what we need. Finally, sometimes all you can do is “agree to disagree” and save the relationship from damage. Deidre and I have experienced many conversations and sometimes areas of disagreement, but have weathered them through the love and respect we have for one another.
The last few years have been difficult for us all. There are so many stories and opinions about politics, the pandemic, the vaccine, wearing of masks, political decisions and mandates in the media and online . . . who do you trust and believe? Once again, I lean on God. Proverbs 3:5-6 urges us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your paths straight.”
There you go: trust God, follow His word, lean on Him, and follow His path.
If you are blessed with a Godly friend as I am, she will support you with her prayers. That makes all the difference.
I just turned the block from 2 to 3 on my perpetual calendar – how is it the 23rd of May? This year is passing rapidly and we have hit the month of graduations, about to be followed by the month of weddings. My family will experience both this year, and that is a blessing. Time passes quickly especially after last year seemed to drag by during our lockdowns.
What did you do when there were no movies, concerts, games, or school events to attend? Was it just TV and reading? I discovered many FB websites that posted daily/weekly updates that I could enjoy on my tablet. I followed bear cubs on Appalachian Bear Rescue, enjoyed farm animals’ antics on the ImaSurvivor posts, and listened to uplifting music (On the bench with Briley) and sermons from many pastors across the nation, as well as following several devotional pages online. My BSF – Bible Study Fellowship – kept going last year via Zoom. It wasn’t quite the same, but we continued our study of Genesis and interacted as best we could. My life wasn’t boring, and I believe I grew spiritually as I trusted the Lord to keep me and my family safe, and prayed for many people as I became aware of their needs from emails and FB posts.
God alone knows what will happen during the rest of 2021. I have learned to trust in Him. Regardless of how it looks in our personal life, nation’s challenges, or world’s problems – He is in control. Rest in that thought.
I’ve been thinking of sharing something with you for over a week, but life got in the way. Two Sundays ago, my pastor was talking about the reality of sin and evil in the world today and who is causing it all. He used I Peter 5:8 as a reference. It reads: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
The word adversary means opponent. An opponent seeks to defeat you, and I believe our greatest opponent today is satan. All you have to do is look at the chaos swirling around us to realize that the evil of disease, corruption, child trafficking/murder, and anti-God rhetoric is inspired by this being who realizes that his time controlling things on earth is growing shorter by the day.
A lion is a fierce predator – the ” king of the Jungle.” You have little chance of survival against such an adversary. However, my mind immediately went to the description of another beast; another lion. This conqueror is known as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and He is the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament – Jesus Christ of Nazareth. What a difference in these two lions. One seeks to devour; the other to save.
I remember going to see the movie “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” based on the C.S. Lewis classic. There I was, a fifty-something, sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to catch a glimpse of Aslan, the Christ-like lion in this wonderful story. He did not disappoint. Neither will my Savior. When he comes again, he will defeat that roaring lion. It’s a done deal.
The account of Jesus in the Bible includes many wonderful stories and one heartbreaking one – His torture and crucifixion. Imagine loving Him, believing in His Sovereignty, and watching Him die. What a lengthy time between Friday and Sunday, when all hope seemed gone. What a lesson for us when our circumstances seem bleak and unending.
Jesus is alive! He has conquered all our hopeless situations, every disease, and all our problems. Knowing that, we can call the devil a liar and embrace the hope that is ours in Christ. Happy Resurrection Sunday – He is risen!