My husband and I have just made it through a very busy month. Preparation and participation in our church’s Vacation Bible School “Concrete and Cranes,” a weekend trip to our hometown (8+ hrs away) for a family reunion, and other family issues have kept us very busy. I kept telling myself, “If we can just make it through July . . .,” and we have.
How’s your summer been? Have you noticed in the midst of ordinary events, our country and the world continues to seemingly spin out of control. I find myself praying more for God to intervene and save us from ourselves. II Chronicles 7:14 comes to my mind often:
“If my people, who are called by My name, will humble
themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their evil ways,
then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will
heal their land.”
We so need God’s healing touch against disease, dishonesty, and hopelessness. He alone has the answer. Please join me in praying for this nation and the world, that more will come to know Him and His ways. As I taught in VBS, Jesus is our strong foundation and is ready to help us in any difficult circumstance. He is only a prayer away.
I have included songs from Lifeways VBS “Concrete and Cranes” below. Enjoy.
If we can’t take a stand in our homes, we can’t do so in society.
Good morning, everyone. The sentence above has been waiting to be posted for a while. Since Deidre and I published our first book in 2004 (For Such A Time As This . . . We Are But Small Voices) and updated it into the 2016 One God, Two Voices, this thought has resonated in our hearts and minds. We still talk about it occasionally.
Are parents instilling Godly values into their families at home? Do they stand for such values in their community, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), or do they remain silent and accommodating to avoid being “cancelled?” We have been called to be Salt and Light to a lost world (Matt. 5:13-16). We do this even in difficult circumstances, speaking and acting in love, not judgement, even though it may be perceived as such. It’s hard because it’s so much easier just to go along with current view on the culture. I would ask you: what does God expect of us and how are we to live our lives?
The answer is that He has called us to be different, to be in the world but not of the world (John 15:19, Romans 12:2). This pleases our Heavenly Father, but doesn’t make us too popular. However, being popular doesn’t bring lasting results for God’s kingdom. Standing for His truth does.
Are you ready to stand, starting at home? Can you say, “no” to clothing styles, violent video games and movies, and current acceptance of all things sexual? I hope so because our children deserve better.
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.