Featured

How Do You Prepare Your Heart?

When I was young I loved spending time with my grandma baking lemon meringue, chocolate pies, and strawberry jelly cake. My mom tossed marshmallows, whipped cream, and strawberry jello into a decorative bowl.  My young sons would drip multi- colored spots all over the tablecloths while dying eggs. We all shrieked with delight when they bounced around the yard discovering the carefully hidden plastic eggs. Taking pictures with the Easter bunny and chasing the lambs at the petting zoo are long behind this mama.

My sons are grown now, but one is home for Easter. So how do I prepare my heart this year in the middle of a Corona Virus Pandemic?

Look for guidance in my bible, my hands turn to the chapter of Luke.

On the day of Unleavened Bread, the same day that the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed Jesus spoke to Peter and John, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover (Luke 22:7).

Even if you missed celebrating the Passover dinner.  All is not lost, you can still prepare your hearts.

Four Ideas to Prepare Your Heart

  1. I’m praying that I will not fall into temptation.

After Passover, Jesus had advised his disciples, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” The disciples had no idea how their life would be turned upside down in the next few days. How they would struggle internally during their sorrow. We should pray that we would not fall into temptation too because we also have no idea what the next days will bring either.  But always remember, Sunday is coming!

Pray that you will not fall into temptation (1)

2. Part of my preparation this year is to learn more about Christ

R. W. Dale suggested reading the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) as suggested by  in Preparations for the Lord’s Supper.

Important Things to Remember about Jesus:

  • Remembering that Christ has lived a perfect life on Earth and “who by dying delivered us” (Matthew Henry Commentary).
  • Being thankful that Jesus chose the following:

Around a table, not a tomb, He willed our gathering place should be;  When going to prepare our home, the Savior said, “Remember me.” And at that table, meeting, and communing with his friends, we may feel sure and can realize forcibly that our living Lord is, in spirit and in truth, in the midst of us (W. Clarkson, The Lord’s Supper).” 

How fortunate we all are to be invited to eat and drink with Jesus.

3. Self-examination:

Self-examination is another important part of preparing for the Lord’s Supper.

We should look for evidence in ourselves whether we are a true or false disciple. To most at that table, even Judas Iscariot, was one of the twelve disciples. No one suspected the turmoil in his heart except for Jesus.

So how do we recognize true disciples?

We recognize true disciples by the amount of their Faith, Joy,  and Love that burns within them.  When our faith, joy, and love is burning faintly, we turn to Jesus Christ and Our Heavenly Father. He strengthens us so that we can abide in Him (W. Clarkson, The Lord’s Supper).

4. Gather in the presence of our Lord

We can still Trust Jesus with our heart, thank him for being our joy and hope especially during this uncertain times (C.H. Spurgeon, The Ordained Memorial).

R. Ferguson author of The Cup of Sneering and of Communion wrote, “When heart communes with heart it is like the mingling dew drops” on the rose petal.

This beautiful picture accurately describes what is happening in our world this year. Friends are lifting up other’s family and friends in prayer – our hearts are communing “like the mingling dew drops on the rose petal” as we wait to see what the LORD will do next.

The Passover is a memorial to an unbelieving world that we believe in Jesus, who lived, died, and three days later was resurrected.  Jesus is alive and still lives at the right hand of God (C. J. Ridgeway in The Holy Communion).

So How did Jesus spend the Passover?

Jesus desired to eat the Passover with his disciples in the guest room of a house.

Not with his family like my tradition. Jesus eagerly desired to eat this Passover with his apostles reclined around a table (Luke 22: 15). He gave thanks with his disciples and breaking the bread, He said to them, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  He continued to explain that “this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you (Luke 22:20).

Jesus is speaking of what is to come but the disciples were focused on other things. They were actually bickering about who was the greatest.

Okay, to be honest…I can’t help but smile when I hear that a dispute began at his table too. I know all the momma’s reading this can relate.  But Jesus is speaking about important topics, so let’s try to re-focus.

Jesus responded to his bickering friends, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).”

Ouch! Are we being sifted like wheat? There are so many distractions surrounding us this year. We’re hunting down toilet paper and wearing masks to the bank. Who would have thunk it?

Jesus knew Simon Peter would be sifted as wheat just as we are being sifted every day during this COVID 19 pandemic. But listen to what Jesus said next, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail (Luke 22: 31).

I couldn’t help but stop and replace his name with mine.  Place your name in the blank below:

“But I have prayed for you, ___________, that your faith may not fail (Luke 22:31).

Jesus knew Simon would blow it big time, in the same way that I have through the years of many Easter traditions. But listen to what Jesus says next, “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed in this moment, this past week, last year, or even all your years.  Jesus knows you will turn back. So, if you have failed like me.  Take heart, because we can always turn back to Jesus.  And when we do, we can strengthen our brothers and sisters.

turn back, strengthen your brothers and sisters

Recommitting our Decision to Christ

  1. You are saved.

Jesus tells us, that He is the door. If anyone enters by Him, we will be saved (John 10:9 ESV).

This year we are socially isolated, but you can still invite Jesus in. The bible says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20).

What an honor to open the door and have Jesus enter your life to dine with us!

In case you doubt that this includes you, the bible says “Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

2. You are a child of God.

The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).

3. You have everlasting life.

The Bible says “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Action Steps

  1. Stand for Christ. Tell someone about your decision.
  2. Read God’s Word
  3. Pray and ask God to reveal His word to you
  4. Find a bible teaching church for worship, discipleship, fellowship, and serving

May I pray for you?

Let’s pray with Dr. Valpy, a Greek Scholar:

“In peace, let me resign my breath, and thy salvation see; My sins deserve eternal death but Jesus died for me.”

I pray that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. That we would all thank Jesus for forgiving us of our wrongs and for appealing to God in his last moments to “Forgive us, for we do not know what we are doing.” In his last moments, Jesus was thinking of us. Let us all this week, not be distracted but deliberately remember Jesus. Let us all turn back and strengthen our brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

I would like to send you follow up items to help you in your Christian life, please click the link so that I may encourage you.

I wrote a poem , “I Am the Way, The Truth, and The Life” and would like to share it with you.” You can send it electronically to others or you can print it.

Jesus_poem

You may also connect with me on Instagram

Maybe you are striving to read through the bible this year. If so, let’s encourage each other. Almost every day, I post my reflection based on my daily bible reading on my Facebook page.  I would love to have you post on my page what you are reading too!

Free Online Bible Study

Join my next online bible study as we read Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Another option is to join a FB group to connect to other women. We will begin reading the same book starting May 11th, but you can join today to find out what I read in the bible today.

Another option is to join my email list to receive weekly emails to encourage you. I just need an email address so I know where to send the gifts I have created for you. Click here to join the list for the online bible study.

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
I am a Hope Writer
Featured

Helping Those Enslaved by Alcoholism

Did you know that young adults are more likely to binge drink?

Or that college educated Americans are more likely than those without a college degree to say they’ve had a drink within the last 30 days?

What if I told you that 13% of people who attend church are binge drinkers?

Don’t believe me? Then, check out the Pew Research to find out if attending church lowers the probability that you will take a drink in the next 30 days.

Experimental Drinking

During my elementary school years, I hid my uncle’s 6 pack of beer in the freezer and often threw away full liquor bottles hidden in the bushes. Even as a young girl, I didn’t like the personality changes that resulted when my uncles drank. I had no idea that their teen experimental sampling would result in a life of addiction or how that would affect my life.

Everyone feels awkward or inadequate at some point in their life and for that reason we sometimes order a glass of wine or mug of beer to give us a feeling of confidence. Teens drink to make them feel like adults in charge of their own lives. Alcohol makes us all feel happy and to continue the euphoria we fill another glass.

Once the influence of alcohol wears off, guilt and depression lies in wait. No one feels good the morning after an all nighter. Not to mention the problems that occurred during the drinking binge.

Maybe you drove home and crashed. My father died driving under the influence the night of his birthday. Or maybe you live through the crash like one of my uncles. While he lived, he permanently lost his eyesight that night. Or maybe you will only have one drink and after it wears off, you drive your girlfriend home. But on the way home a truck slams into your motorcycle resulting in your friend’s death. That consequence is my cousin’s burden.

Even if you never sit in the driver’s seat, there are still unintended consequences. Perhaps you’re a little too friendly with your girlfriend’s husband, and now your friendship is in jeopardy. Or maybe you wake up somewhere you never intended and now you face an unplanned pregnancy.

But if you don’t believe these things can or will happen to you, I challenge you to have a sober friend video you when you are drinking. If you think you remember everything that happens after your first drink, viewing the video will be an eye-opener. And just maybe it will scare you enough to never drink excessively again.

The worse part of alcoholism is you don’t realize when you are addicted. Here’s a survey you can take to see if you are an alcoholic and don’t know it. If you feel the need to cover up your drinking habits…you may be an alcoholic. Anyone who cannot control their drinking habit desperately needs help.

According to Alcoholics Anonymous, “until alcoholics hit rock bottom or admit their life is out of control, there is little hope of any change.” The first step to recovery is admitting drinking is a problem.

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NIV

If you are an alcoholic, there is hope for you. God is able to free you from addiction.

If your loved one is an alcoholic there is hope. God is able to free them from addiction.

“Through the power of Jesus Christ, the LORD will bring your mind and heart into harmony with God through obedience to His will and accepting His forgiveness…In Christ alone there is deliverance from our tortured thoughts and freedom from alcohol which destroys not only your life, but your family members too (Graham, Billy)”.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV

How Do We Help Without Becoming Enablers?

  1. Let them know that you care about them and enjoy talking with them. But only talk to the person when they are sober.
  2. Offer to take them to a detox center.
  3. Avoid being judgemental, after all we all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:8 NIV
  4. Ask if they ever have received Christ as their Savior. Explain how Jesus died on the cross so that He could offer both salvation and restoration.
  5. Ask if they are willing to quit drinking for good. They must make this decision for themselves. Just because we drive them to the rehab center doesn’t mean they will make this decision. But we can share how God will provide a way out if only they will resist.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 NIV

6. Now comes the hard part. They must turn away from all their drinking buddies and even loved ones who hinder the decision “not to drink anyone.” But don’t worry! The LORD is faithful and He will give new friends who support their life changes. The desire to share their new life with their old drinking buddies may be strong, but remind them to allow God to strengthen them first. It can be difficult to walk away from an old way of life, so I suggest don’t walk but RUN! Run away like Lot hurried from Sodom and don’t look back. Christ has a better plan for your life than what Alcohol offers. Christ gives life, while alcohol destroys.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

7. Humble yourself and attend an Alcoholics Anonymous or other support group with your friend. They WILL need accountability and encouragement. Remind them they are not alone.

8. This is the Biggie! Help them find a Bible teaching church where to worship, study scripture, and discover mentors. And if actually walking through church doors scares them witless, then encourage them to listen online.

9. Don’t be surprised if they fall back into temptation. Prepare them in advance what to do if they “fall off the wagon.” Tell them when that happens, turn back to the LORD and confess. Remind them to wake up every morning and recommit every day to not drink. Ask God to remove that desire from them.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

10. Help them find three people at church to pray for them. It’s important to find three people to make certain they are covered in prayer daily. In case you forget, there are two others to lift them up to the LORD each day. While Joshua was battling in the valley, Abraham was on the mountain praying. But when his arms wearied, there were two helpers who held up his arms until the battle was won.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12: 1 -2 NIV

11. Advise them to seek counseling from a Christian counselor, pastor, or psychologist who has experience with alcoholism. Covering up insecurity, failure, or stress may be a reason they drink. Ask the LORD to reveal to them the reason, so they can surrender it to Him once and for all.

Will you Pray With Me?

Heavenly Father, You are our Confidence, our Victory, and our Power. We repent of the place that we have placed alcohol in our society which endangers our children. We ask that you remove the desire to drink alcohol from our children, friends, and family members. Instead of turning to alcohol when we are weary or tired, we will turn to you LORD. Only You provide the rest we seek. Thank you for loving us so much that you sent your Son, Jesus, so that our belief in Christ gives us eternal life. Transform our loved ones minds each hour of every day that Your Power will be enough to give them strength to resist this temptation. In Jesus Name, We Pray, Amen.

Resources:

Alcoholic’s Anonymous (website)

Psycom. Am I an Alcoholic? Test for Alcohol Use.

Christian Churches in the United States (website)

Edgewater Alliance Church (online audio sermons)

Graham, Billy. (2013) Christian Worker’s handbook. A Topical Guide with Biblical Answers to the urgent concerns of our day. Below is an affiliate link for me. If you use the link and purchase anything from Amazon, then a small percentage will be sent to support this writing ministry. Thank you for your support!

Schwadel, Philip. (2019). American’s Drinking Habits Vary by Faith.

Dealing with Suffering

This past week many have suffered in great agony and despair. During times like these we are tempted to wallow in self-pity, bitterness, and even shout out at God.

But let’s not get stuck there. Despite all the despair, let us look into the face of our Heavenly Father and Son, Jesus Christ. May be cling to His eternal love, presence, and be thankful.

 

Christians are not exempt from the tribulations and natural disasters that come upon the world. “But Scripture does teach that Christians can face tribulation, crisis, calamity, and personal suffering with a supernatural power that is not available to the person outside of Christ.”

Billy Graham

What is the biblical response to suffering?

“Scripture tells us that Jesus “learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”

Hebrews 5:8

Is it possible to look beyond our circumstances to see what God is trying to teach us?

Instead of merely asking for relief from our suffering, may we have the courage to learn from it (Christian Worker Handbook).

Through Jesus’ crucifixion, we have learned that death is not final. Christ leads us to victory through our suffering.

May we be faithful in adversity, remembering that God can work all things together for good and that we may be sharing in “the fellowship of his sufferings.”

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are encountering the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Philippians 1: 29

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you”

Isaiah 43:2

The Lord Sees All

You were not created to be oppressed. You were created to be a servant of God.

The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the affliction of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I am aware of their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…And now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have seen how severely the Egyptians are oppressing them.

 

Exodus 3: 7 – 9

God Hears

If you are an unbeliever, the Lord hears you. He can set you free from sin.

If you are a believer who is still living as a slave, the Lord hears your cries. He continues to reveal the path to freedom.

“Both Christians and non-Christians need the saving life of God to liberate them and keep them free.”

Jill Briscoe

When God saw the incredible cruelty His people were experiencing, He showed up. He worked in the heart of Moses who He used to save them from Pharaoh.

The LORD sees the affliction of His people in America, Africa, or where ever else on this globe they reside. God hears the cries of his people and He is aware of our sufferings. He came down through Christ to rescue us and to bring us to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

The cries of His people are reaching Him today and He sees the severity of oppression that exists in our world.

“Whatever mystery surrounds God’s ways at present, he will one day make it plain by exacting a terrible retribution for all wrongs done to the defence-less (Psalm 12:5).

J. Orr

The LORD replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.”

Psalm 12:5

God Comforts His People

God comforts the oppressed and heartbroken. Not one of their tears falls to the ground without the Lord knowing.

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Hebrews 5:7

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him and was designated by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5: 8 – 10

God is deeply interested in His people, He knows their sorrows.

For He said, “They are surely My people,

sons who will not be disloyal.”

So He became their Savior.

In all their distress, He too was afflicted,

and the Angel of His Presence saved them.

In His love and compassion He redeemed them;

He lifted them up and carried them

all the days of old. Isaiah 63: 8 – 9.

Warning to those who Grieve God

But they rebelled

and grieved His Holy Spirit.

So He turned and became their enemy,

and He Himself fought against them. Isaiah 63:10

God Delivers the Oppressed

Because we all are afflicted are oppressed by the Devil. God sent His own son, Jesus Christ, so that we will not perish but have everlasting life.

God is preparing our hearts, minds, and souls for salvation.

“Let us pour out our prayers, and leave them with God. If they fall within His gracious covenant of salvation, they will receive the answer in due time, and as quickly as it is possible for us to receive and bear it.”

G. F. Pentecost D.D.

God’s Message to Us

The Lord is compassionate and merciful. Through His love and grace, he offers us salvation.

Christ himself came down to us in order to save us. It is one thing to know that God is eternal and powerful and quite another to know Jesus Christ as your Savior. Jesus helps us step out of bondage of sin and into peace and joy.

But Jesus knows the sorrow to which His people are exposed each and every day.

Through it all Jesus sustains us.

He sees us in our trials and when we call out to Him, He walks beside us every step of the way. It is important for us to make our sorrows known to Him through prayer!

Questions to ask Him during our prayer time:

  1. What are you trying to teach me?
  2. What steps should I take?

God Will Deliver His People from Sorrow

This is still true even for those who have been suffering for what seems like a long time to us. God is eternal and some day we will look back and see our sorrow was not as long as our everlasting life will be.

“Heaven is the goal, and God is with us all the way.”

J. C. McLachlan, M. A.

“As God knew His people’s sorrows then, so He knows ours now, however infinitely various they may be — however great, however small-whether of body, mind, or soul. The Lord Jesus knows by experience, toil, fatigue, pain, weeping, anxiety, desolation.”

S.P.C.K. Sermons

The LORD himself provides Comfort

The Lord already knows your sorrow, but wishes to comfort you when you lay all the intimate details at his feet through prayer.

Although it may seem like the Lord is taking a long time to comfort us, His timing is perfect. He knows the perfect time for all things.

Through afflictions God purifies our faith. How we choose to suffer as Christians can encourage and strengthen others who are also suffering from sorrow. During our own suffering we can glorify God.

In a time when people were waging war and people were fearful. The Lord spoke to Isaiah, “Calm down and be quiet. Do not be afraid or disheartened over these two smoldering stubs of firewood—over the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.” Isaiah 7: 4

Last week, my own heart was churning with great sorrow, anguish, and anger over injustice in the world. But the Lord’s words to Isaiah spoke to me. Remain calm, quiet your voice, and do not be afraid.

In times of sorrow, we still have confidence in the Lord.

“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.”

Jeremiah 17:7

Brothers, as an example of patience in affliction, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. See how blessed we consider those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

James 5: 10 – 11

Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 

Colossians 2: 6 – 7

Scripture to Use During Our Prayers

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1)

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:28 – 29 ESV)

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37)

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness..Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1: 2-3, 12, ESV).

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferrings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13).

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter…Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” (1 Peter 4:16, 19)

Free Online Bible Study

Join the online bible study this week. We are just now reading chapter 3 in Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Join my FB group to connect to a community who loves the Lord.

I would love to stay in touch. I just need an email address so I know where to send the Zoom invitation for the online discussion. Click here to receive more information about the online bible study

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hope.png
Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blog_signature.png
I am a Hope Writer

 

Important Truths to Teach Your Children

As a young girl I read the bible lesson where Jesus walked on water, calmed the storm, and whispered the words, “Do not be afraid” into my soul. As I grew older I remembered these words whenever bad things happened in my life.

Through the bible, I knew I wasn’t alone. I believed my Heavenly Father and Jesus cared and loved me.

But I didn’t understand why Jesus had to die so brutally on the cross.

I wasn’t raised in a church and family members couldn’t explain. I attended a public school but the bible wasn’t part of the curriculum. Despite these circumstances, The Holy Spirit helped me understand that Jesus’ death was necessary to prove to the world that he was indeed God the Son, Jesus Christ.

In the same way small children run to their parents when something scary happens, I ran to Jesus. Just like children trust their parents to protect them. I trusted God to protect me.

I knew God would protect me because He rescued others from death. He drew a Hebrew baby from the Nile river and placed him into the arms of the Pharaoh’s daughter. Jesus raised a young girl from the dead. And he removed unclean spirits from several children.

Jesus welcomed children to draw near to His side even while he was teaching his disciples. This spoke deeply to my soul because I grew up in my grandma’s house where children played outside all day. Belonging to a large family the children’s table sat separated from the adult table. I heard adult conversation but wasn’t necessarily included.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

Mark 10:14 ESV

Jesus taught me children can accept salvation too. Listen to what Jesus said to his disciples:

“Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

(Matthew 18:3)

I interpreted this to mean that little children are welcomed into the kingdom of heaven. So when our own sons accepted Christ, my husband and I debated whether our elementary school age sons really understood salvation.

When is a child old enough to commit their life to Christ?

If a child can explain the meaning of sin as any thought, word, or action that breaks God’s commands; they are almost ready for commitment to Christ. They also need to be able to explain that Jesus saves us from sin.

Due to my less than stellar bible education as a child, I was extremely nervous explaining a concept like salvation to anyone much less a young children.

If you fall into this category too, there’s no need to be intimidated. I discovered the Holy Spirit is a wonderful teacher who will help a child understand the relevance of Scripture. As long as you have a bible to read and are willing to listen to questions, you are qualified to explain salvation to anyone.

Once a child shows understanding, then they can be taught how to pray to ask Jesus for forgiveness. This is part of accepting Jesus and the child needs to understand that the prayer itself does not save them. If they sincerely asked Jesus to save them from punishment of their own sin, they receive salvation.

Important Truths to Teach Your Children

Mose’s mother only had the time during the weaning process to teach him his identity, who he belonged to, and lay the foundation for his character. In America, we tend to dismiss the importance of the early years between toddler and kindergarten and rely on preschool teachers to teach basic colors and numbers. Abstract concepts are thought to be developmentally inappropriate for young children. But Jill Drisboe in her book, Here Am I Lord, Send Someone Else, counters this thought process by saying, “Never underestimate the Holy Spirit!”

What Should young children learn about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?

As a young mother, I had no idea what to teach. But during years of children ministry, I have learned how to share salvation with children. And even if you don’t consider yourself a teacher, may parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, select one to talk with children within their influence. If I only had a few short years to spend with a child, I would focus on teaching seven important truths.

  1. God created the stars, the jewels of the insects back, and all the wondrous beautiful sights of nature. He also created us.

The Bible says “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good.”

Genesis 1:31

Sometimes children assign blame to themselves when they aren’t at fault. For example as a young child I believed I was the reason for my parent’s divorce. That wasn’t true.

There were other times when I shrugged off responsibility for my actions. Like when I slapped my brother because He broke my favorite China Doll.

2. While I felt he deserved it, I discovered sometimes people even me justify their own sins.

” If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:8 – 9

When we are heavy hearted about all the trouble in this world- unhappiness, evil crimes… our soul hurts because we were created to live in a world without sin.

During these times, I “run back to the garden.” This means I turn off the television, radio, and social media and step outside.

Sitting in nature and listening to the wind rustle the leaves in the treetops calms my soul. Feeling the wind dance across my skin and hearing the water ripple along the shore breathes peace into my inner being. The birds’ melodies sing of God’s plan which is to live an abundant life.

3. In order to live an abundant life, the first step is to accept Jesus into our lives.

“Look! I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me. “

Revelation 3:20

As a young Jesus loving girl, I struggled obeying the ten commandments. I wanted to please God, but his way seemed so hard or “not fun.” I wanted to make my own decisions and do what seemed pleasing to me.

4. The bible shows sin is a problem for everyone.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way.”

Isaiah 53:6

isaiah53_6

Not only did I learn that my own way did not work! I discovered that not following God’s way is sin. And then I worried that I wasn’t really saved because obeying the Lord didn’t come easily to me. I expected everything to be easy after accepting the Lord.

During vacation bible school, a volunteer showed me where the Bible explains, how “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

Romans3_23

There wasn’t anything wrong with me. I wasn’t an evil person. But I was a sinner who cared more about pleasing myself than obeying God.

What to do about my sin?

How can I ever face anyone much less the Lord after what I’ve done?

Sin usually feels great in the moment. But afterwards a feeling of shame rolls over so thick, breathing is impossible. Phrases like, “You’re worthless” and “You deserve to be punished” play in an endless loop until I crumple. Crying until no tears remain in my red and puffy eyes brings no comfort.

But during times of repentance, God reveals how He has solved our sin problem.

5. God chose His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the world’s punishment for sin that we deserved. Sin must be punished. Jesus chose to die on the cross so we all could be forgiven.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

Jesus willingly endured the cross because he loves us all!

6. When a person accepts Jesus, they become part of God’s family.

The bible told me “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.

John 1:12

As a child of God, we are expected to do things God’s way.

So what happens when we sin after accepting Jesus as Savior?

We learn to ask God day after day to forgive us whenever we do something that we know isn’t right.

We pray, ask God and Jesus to forgive us. Admitting the offense is a step forward towards true repentance. True repentance is not crossing our arms, pursing our lips, and shouting, “I’m sorry!”

7. Admitting responsibility for our actions and asking Jesus to help us change from doing this again is true repentance.

“For whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Romans 10:13.

What happens after accepting Jesus as Savior?

Jesus doesn’t plan on leaving us as the same person when we first befriended him. With a friend like Jesus, a desire to be more like Him surfaces within us. Jesus positively influences and changes the way we think, the words we speak, and even our actions.

These changes take place when we read the bible. God spoke and the world was created. His words have power. The bible is the Word of God. Reading these words silently or aloud will powerfully affect your life.

Before reading, ask Jesus to help us learn. Through daily prayer Jesus will help us overcome difficult circumstances. Attending a Bible Believing Church and connecting with people who living according to the Scripture will also help us live in obedience to God.

What truths do you think are important for children to learn?

Leave a comment with a truth you learned as a child that stuck with you your whole life. Or add to my list truths that need to be taught to the next generation.

If you would like to receive a printable with bible verses that even young children can understand, click the link below to let me know where to send it. Below is a image of the document that you will receive by email:

Free Online Bible Study

Join the online bible study this week. We are just now reading chapter 2 in Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Join my FB group to connect to a community who loves the Lord.

I would love to stay in touch. I just need an email address so I know where to send the Zoom invitation for the online discussion. Click here to receive more information about the online bible study

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hope.png
Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blog_signature.png
I am a Hope Writer

5 Reasons to Celebrate Memorial Day

Several years ago my son and I visited a local cemetery to place wreaths and flags on the graves of veterans. It is an American tradition to honor the men and women who died while serving in U.S. Military. My Dad fought in Vietnam and my grandfather served in WWII. So, I’m honored to thank those who continue to serve.

Some families celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries, while others gather their family members close for an outdoor barbecue. Many cities even celebrate the fallen soldiers of their community by hosting a parade.

Why do Americans celebrate Memorial Day?

The Civil War claimed more soldiers’ lives than any other conflict in U.S. history. So many died that the very first national cemetery became necessary.

According to History.com Americans began decorating the fallen soldier’s graves with flowers and reciting prayers at the grave sites.

Did you know that the moment of Remembrance is at 3 pm?

5 Reasons to Celebrate Memorial Day

  1. To honor the men and women who have died serving in U.S. military
  2. To give thanks that the soul does not perish with the body.

Many worry about cancer, financial matters, jobs, family disagreements….the list can go on and on…..

But what about your soul or your loved one’s soul?

3. To give thanks that Jesus saves souls.

If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Savior. He saves your soul. The Salvation of our souls glorifies God.

Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into my presence, so that you also may be where I am (John 14:3 Berean Study Bible).

 

4. Give thanks if you had the honor of fighting with someone who has fallen.

One thing I have asked of the LORD;

this is what I desire:

to dwell in the house of the LORD

all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the LORD

and seek Him in His temple.

For in the day of trouble

He will hide me in His shelter;

He will conceal me under the cover of His tent;

He will set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be held high

above my enemies around me.

At His tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy;

I will sing and make music to the LORD.

Psalm 27 :4-5 Berean Study Bible

5. If you are a current fighting soldier or a family member you celebrate how the Lord has provided for you.  Consider the following:

A Psalm of David.

Blessed be the LORD my strength,

which teacheth my hands to war,

and my fingers to fight:

My goodness, and my fortress;

my high tower, and my deliverer;

my shield, and he in whom I trust;

who subdueth my people under me.

Psalm 144: 1-2 King James Bible

 

S. Conway in his sermon, What the Goodness of God Does for Me, describes how if you stand at the top of a high tower, you can see all of the enemy’s movements. The High Tower guards you from attack.

The Lord is our shield. He turns aside “strokes of swords, thrusts of spears, points of darts, and arrows.”

Just like God taught Gideon’s hand to war, he trained David’s fingers to fight. God gives warlike skills and wisdom that commands success to those who trust in him.

If you have a loved one who died while serving or is currently serving in the military, please feel free to post a picture of them in the comments.
I would love to pray for them, in the meantime May I pray for you?

Heavenly Father, thank you for not expecting us to do big things today.

You only require one small task.

 

To drink our daily living water.

You refresh us every morning we seek your face.

 

Daily you pour us a small cup from your well of salvation.

Knowing you are walking with us ignites joy within.

 

As we bow our heads, your compassion stirs our heart.

To forgive those who have pierced our souls.

 

I choose to trust you once again.

To place our festering hurts into your gentle hands.

 

Each morning, we kneel before you with our heart laid bare before you.

We trust you to knit our severed hearts together again.

 

You are the great healer.

We are thankful for your gift of salvation.

 

Thank you Jesus for revealing your strength.

For releasing your power to overcome the obstacle looming over us.

 

As we rush through our tasks, a new bloom breathes life.

Stooping to admire the red poppy, we feel your loving presence.

 

Your love comforts.

Your love strengthens.

 

Jesus, only you can draw our eyes to look beyond ourselves.

Join a free online bible study this week. We are just now reading chapter 2 in Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else

If you would like to receive weekly encouragement click the link to join my email list.  

Every month you will receive a resource that reminds you of Christs’ Love.  

Blog_signature

I am a Hope Writer

April

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Married to a firefighter, a Mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. I’m a Instructional Designer. My background is teaching Elementary school so I’m a Thinking Math Enthusiast, a Write from the Beginning Believer, and Technology junkie.

 

Rescued to Rescue Others

Have you ever considered that the Lord may have delivered you from your “Egypt” so that you may deliver someone else?  Whatever you have walked through this life whether it is divorce, illness, adultery, or addiction…the Lord can use it all to deliver other people.

Moses was rescued from certain death in the Nile because the Lord had planned for him to deliver many others.  But before Moses was ready to deliver anyone else he needed life experience to cool his temper.  I say this because Moses first attempt to rescue an Israelite from the hand of a Egyptian cruel task master ended in a death.  A death he hid and later forced him to leave Egypt.

But despite Mose’s past, God chose him…just an ordinary person…to do extraordinary things. When God appeared, Moses may have been fearful for his life.

Despite fears and failures, God uses imperfect people embedded in “enemy territory.”  God transforms the transformers. He uses fallible people to share infallible truth. 

The amazing part is through the process of sharing truth, we are transformed. Obedience changes us no matter where we are located. 

Moses gives us hope because we feel inadequate too. Maybe as children we never measured up to our parents and that feeling has followed us to adulthood.

For this reason we never step out of our comfort zone to accept the God size dream or task that God has placed within our heart. You know the one that only He can fulfill. But just because we can’t isn’t an excuse. Because He can!  

So what makes you feel inadequate?

  • Speaking in public,

  • cooking,

  • your boss,

  • parents

  • The list probably goes on and on.  

What do we do about our inadequacies?

  1. Remember that God is with us.
  2. Remember that God has a plan to save people who are oppressed
  3. Remember we will be rescued too.
  4. Afterwards, we will all worship God together.

 

“I will surely be with you,” God said, “and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship God on this mountain.” 

Exodus 3:12

If we are struggling to fight over an “inadequency” that keeps reappearing, one thing we can do is to select a bible verse on that topic and pray about it.

Focus on God’s Promises:

When you feel like a loser.

Remember Jesus defends you.

1 John 2:1 But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

When you feel like no one is listening.

Remember the LORD hears your prayers.

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer

When you feel like you can’t resist the temptation.

Remember Jesus helps you when you are tempted.

Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

When you feel weak.

Remember Lord strengthens you.

Zechariah 10:12 I will strengthen them in the LORD and in his name they will live securely,” declares the LORD.

When you feel that you can’t possibly be forgiven.

Remember the Lord forgives.

Mark 3:28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter,

What bible verse has helped you overcome inadequacies?

Free Online Bible Study

Join the online bible study this week. We are just now reading chapter 1 in Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Join my FB group to connect to a community who loves the Lord.

I would love to stay in touch. I just need an email address so I know where to send the Zoom invitation for the online discussion. Click here to join the list for the online bible study.

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hope.png
Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blog_signature.png
I am a Hope Writer

Trying to Fake It Until You Make It?

While sitting at the wedding feast of my son and his lovely bride, I remembered the wedding parable that Jesus taught. Wearing my plum colored “mother-in-law” dress and looking very matronly, I squirmed just a bit as I considered whether my attire was suitable for this joyous occasion. 

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.”

Matthew 22:2

While sitting under twinkling lights and looking upon the beautiful white flowers, I thought of how Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast. In the parable the king represents God while the son represents Jesus.

A wedding is an important event in our own lives, and I silently thanked God for blessing me to live long enough to attend this important milestone in my son’s life. Not just watching on Zoom but being physically present to hug the bride and groom. What a precious gift I’ve received!

Preparing for the Wedding

A Wedding is not an event that occurs overnight.  Usually there are months of planning the ceremony, finding the perfect dress, and selecting just the right color flowers for the bouquets. 

Just imagine all the preparations that our Heavenly Father has selected to honor His own Son and bride.  In the parable the bride represents “the church.”  If you have accepted God’s invitation and received Jesus as your Savior, then that means you!

A wedding doesn’t take place without a beautiful bride. And the parents, groom, and all who attend eagerly look forward to the first glimpse of the bride in her garment of splendor.  

Who would refuse such a wonderful event?

He sent his servants to call those he had invited to the banquet, but they refused to come.

Matthew 22:3

Imagine that we lived during the time of an earthly king ruling over us.

Can you envision the insult to the king if you refused to attend the wedding feast he prepared for you?

Even if you don’t like whoever lives in the White House, you would think twice about refusing such an important event. 

So why do people so thoughtlessly refuse the invitation that God personally sends?

In Jesus’ parable the invitation to the wedding represents the gospel that Jesus came to earth to live a sinless life so that He could be the perfect sacrifice. Jesus death on the cross was crucial to redeem God’s people into a proper relationship with God. But Jesus didn’t remain in the tomb. Three days later, he overcame death and came back to life! 

For those who refuse God’s invitation, it is an insult to God Almighty. If this category resembles your own current choice, it is not too late to accept His invitation!

At weddings, there may be some people who accept the invitation but do not show up in person on the wedding day. In the parable these people represent the people who eagerly accept God’s invitation but then later may forget to cultivate their daily relationship with Him.

How Do People Respond to the Gospel?

Again, he sent other servants and said, “Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner.  My oxen and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.” But they paid no attention and went away, one to his field, another to this business.  The rest seized his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.

Matthew 22: 4 – 6

Nobody likes a know it all especially if they are right!  Our human nature lashes out with anger at those who are speaking truth because it conflicts with our own personal beliefs.

But this parable gives us the opportunity to reflect on how we respond to those prickly scripture passages that tend to conflict with our own beliefs.

Do we seize the scripture, ball it up in a wad, and say it doesn’t apply to our current culture?

At this very moment I’m tempted to do just that, because there is a painful verse in this parable. I’m not fond of the ending and would rather change it to a happily ever after for everyone.

The king was enraged, and he sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the crossroads and invite to the banquet as many as you can find. So, the servants went out into the streets and gathered everyone they could find, both evil and good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

Matthew 22: 7- 10

What an honor that the King of the Universe does not only invite the most powerful, rich, and famous of our world. Our Savior writes the names of His own on the guest list, which includes poor, powerless, and ordinary people. 

What an honor that Christ desires us to attend! 

Our sin doesn’t exclude us from being able to walk in with confidence. The kindness of God opens his hand and forgives us of all our sins.

But then I’m confused, shocked, and fearful as the parable concludes.

But Jesus is teaching us the most important lesson. While we have been invited to the wedding feast and should shout with joy upon receiving the invitation, we need to realize that we are unfit to appear at the wedding feast in our current sinful condition.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he spotted a man who was not dressed in wedding clothes. “Friend,” he asked, “how did you get in here without wedding clothes?” But the man was speechless. Then the king told the servants, “Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22: 11 – 14

The King has provided a garment of righteousness for His children and it is the expected attire we are to wear.

While God will invite us to the wedding no matter what our present condition is, He doesn’t expect us to remain stained and soiled.  He personally washes our sins away and creates a path for us to draw near to Him.

Those who appear before the Lord daily do not remain in the same condition as when they first accepted His invitation.  God transforms their inner being day by day. He reveals to them a better way of life.

R. Tuck states that the speechless man in the parable is the representation of all who believe they have special favor with God but do as they please. Those who have no faith in Christ, but rely on their own birthright, education, or good works.

We all have been freely offered the garment of righteousness, but this man refused it and instead showed up in his own sinful condition.  He was speechless because he was convicted of his sin and had no excuse.

While I prefer to think of God as loving, He is also a God of Justice. There are consequences here on earth for refusing to obey man’s laws. In the same way there are eternal consequences for refusing to accept God as your Creator and Lord Jesus as your Savior.

I do not believe this parable is meant to frighten the person who has not accepted Jesus as their Savior but meant as a warning for those who claim to be a child of God.

Are you wearing your garment of righteousness?

The only way we can receive it is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who is our righteousness.

I believe this parable is also meant to motivate His people to go out into the streets and invite all that you can find to attend the wedding feast! 

And not just mail an invitation, but to invest the time needed to disciple the person so they can be dressed in Christ’s righteousness too. 

What does this parable speak to you?  Please leave a comment below to share any insight you may have on the prickly parts of this parable. 

Free Online Bible Study

Join the online bible study this week. We are just now beginning to read Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Join my FB group to connect to a community who loves the Lord. We are beginning to read the book starting May 11th, and you can find out how to join our Thursday night discussion via Zoom.

I would love to stay in touch with you and send you a weekly email to encourage you. I just need an email address so I know where to send the Zoom invitation for the online discussion. Click here to join the list for the online bible study.

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hope.png
Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blog_signature.png
I am a Hope Writer

Relieving Stress With Music

Stressors appear in many shapes. Work, financial, and even illness all affect us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. One strategy to relieve stress is listening to music. So this past week as I read David’s psalms I reflected how stressed he must have been when he wrote these psalms.

David played the harp, so this week I listened to the beautiful sound of his instrument. While it’s not the same shape he would have used, it is in the harp family. Even the hand motions while playing this instrument is beautiful to watch. Check out the video below to feel your muscles relax.

Absolutely beautiful to watch as well to listen.

An uncertainty of the future plagued David too. Death loomed at any misstep. And He felt all alone out in the desert. But during those times, He played his musical instruments and sang about all his troubles to the Lord.

C. H. Spurgeon shared, “When you are full of troubles, go to God with them, that is the very time when you most need to pray.” And that is exactly how David responded. Although physically exhausted from running and perplexed as to why events occurred; he did not stay away from God’s grace. Instead he sought God’s grace.

I’m certain the daily news distracted David. Messengers were carrying bits of news to him and it probably seemed as bleak as our media does today.

When we are distracted by work, our to-do list, and worrisome news; this is exactly when we need the Lord to look upon our distractions. When the Lord looks upon us, He places His gentle hand upon our soul and restores us to Himself.

We can never go wrong by seeking the Lord in prayer, that is the correct response to all our problems.

David responded by writing his prayers, playing instruments, and singing. In the beginning it may have been to encourage himself, but it grew to strengthen the spirits of the men who followed him, and throughout all these years to glorify God.

We all have talents that can be used to serve God. If you sing or play instruments, I believe you are truly blessed. I lack that specific gift and naturally am amazed by others’ talents.

However the Lord has blessed each of us with our individuality…with something that only we can accomplish. Something that the Lord accepts and uses for His purposes.

In the 80’s loud instruments like drums attracted me to the Christian faith. But the Methodist church I attended at that time, stated drums were “not appropriate” for the church service.

My brain rationalized if an instrument existed too loud to serve the Lord; then maybe my own voice, dress, and personality clashed with God’s expectations. However that was not true, the 80’s styles only upset the congregation’s expectations. Not God’s.

God created you. You’re not just a noisy gong.

No matter how God created you, the Lord can use you in mighty ways too. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below to see how a loud obnoxious clanging metallic instrument sounds when placed in the hands of an individual God gifted with rhythm.

God uses tambourines for His glory.

 The Lord takes tambourines and places them in skilled hands to create music. Even Drums are now used in many church services and although my favorite Christian Drummer is the News Boys…I’m sharing a different video to make my point how beautifully drums can be played to worship during a church service.

So cool that drums are part of today’s church services!

The Lord used Christian music involving drums to beat a different message through my thick head. Not only did the rock sound please my ear, it calmed me when I felt perplexed about life.

In the same way that music can inspire a nation to fight, it can turn as soft and soothing to rock a newborn to sleep.

Music can be thrilling or it can comfort. It solicits a unconscious response of toe tapping, finger snapping, and humming along with the tune.

Music is the Lord’s gift to us. It is an universal language that the Lord uses to strengthen us when our spirit falters. God inspires us with song.

The interesting thing when you read music is that there is never a single note on the page. Music happens when each individual note speaks up in relation to the other. So every note and every instrument in the symphony makes a difference.

Below is not a symphony but a family where each person plays their own instrument and together they create a beautiful song to glorify the Lord.

Each note, each instrument is important to the song!

But don’t worry if you aren’t musically gifted. I’m not either, but we can still be refreshed by the universal language that God created. I encourage you to turn off the news, the sitcoms, and the movies….listen to music and feel the world’s stressors melt away.

Psalm 81 Rewritten into a prayer

Sing for joy to God our strength;

make a joyful noise

Lift up a song, whistle a tune,

play a sweet-sounding melody.

Allow the Lord to relieve your burden

He will free you

When you call out in distress, the Lord rescues you.

He answers from a cloud of thunder

He answers on bitter cold days

He is the LORD our God

Who brings you out of danger.

When you are hungry, He feeds you.

When you obey him; He listens

He gives new hearts

To follow His ways

Listen for Him.

Follow his steps.

And you will be satisfied with honey from the rock

Free Online Bible Study

Join my next online bible study as we read Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Join my FB group to connect to a community who loves the Lord. We will begin reading the same book starting May 11th, but you can join today to find out what I’m currently reading in the bible.

I would love to stay in touch with you and send you a weekly email to encourage you. I just need an email address so I know where to send the gifts I have created for you. Click here to join the list for the online bible study.

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hope.png
Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blog_signature.png
I am a Hope Writer

Rewriting Psalms Into Prayers

I love reading the Psalms and then adapting it to fit my life’s or world’s circumstances. You too can read David’s Psalms and rewrite the phrases. Keep what matches and change words to align it with your own feelings and situation. Below are prayers that I wrote based on the Psalms.

But before you read you may enjoy listening to the tune of “A Dove On Distant Oaks” which David’s Psalm 56 was originally sung to.

My favorite verses from Psalm 56

Be merciful to me, O God,

When I am afraid,
I put my trust in You.

In God, whose word I praise—

in God I trust.
I will not be afraid.

In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise,

in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
I will render thank offerings to You.

For You have delivered my soul from death,
and my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

By Ori~ – Own work, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8945813

Above is an image of Gath which was where David was seized by the Philistines. To read David’s Psalm “Be Merciful to Me, O God” visit Bible Hub. Then try your hand at writing your own Psalm prayer.

Music for Psalm 121

I Lift My Eyes Up (Psalm 121) – Brian Doerksen

My Favorite Verses from Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;
your Protector will not slumber.

Behold, the Protector of Israel
will not slumber or sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is the shade on your right hand.

The sun will not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will guard you from all evil;
He will preserve your soul.

The LORD will watch over your coming and going,
both now and forevermore.

To read David’s Psalm 121 I lift my eyes to the hills visit Bible Hub. Then write your own prayer psalm.

My favorite verses from Psalm 17

Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea;
listen to my cry.

Give ear to my prayer—
it comes from lips free of deceit.

May Your eyes see what is right.
You have tried my heart;

You have visited me in the night.
I call on You, O God,
for You will answer me.

Incline Your ear to me;
hear my words.

Show the wonders of Your loving devotion,
to those who seek refuge.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings

As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I will be satisfied in Your presence.

You who save by Your right hand

To read David’s Psalm 17 Hear My Righteous Plea, visit biblehub

I hope you enjoyed listening to music while reading my psalm prayers as well as David’s own psalms. If you were encouraged to write your own psalm prayer, feel free to share a few of your own favorite verses in the comments below.

Free Online Bible Study

Join my next online bible study as we read Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Join my FB group to connect to a community who loves the Lord. We will begin reading the same book starting May 11th, but you can join today to find out what I’m currently reading in the bible.

I would love to stay in touch with you and send you a weekly email to encourage you. I just need an email address so I know where to send the gifts I have created for you. Click here to join the list for the online bible study.

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hope.png
Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blog_signature.png
I am a Hope Writer

Seeing the Goodness of the Lord

If your mom is living in an assisted living facility with outbreaks of Covid 19, you can turn to the LORD.

If you need strength, wisdom, and patience while you are taking care of your loved ones, God is near.

If you are caring for children of parents who have been exposed to the disease, you can find refuge in the Lord.

If you have been exposed to the disease while caring for those infected, may God himself be your shield.

Whether you are lonely in isolation or just need a space to breathe, we can still thank the Lord for his righteousness.

No matter how cramped your home becomes, we can still sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Favorite Verses from Psalm 27

May these favorite verses from Psalm 27 comfort you in these unusual times.

The LORD is my light and my salvation—

The LORD is the stronghold of my life—

my heart will not fear;

I will keep my trust.

One thing I have asked of the LORD;

this is what I desire:

to dwell in the house of the LORD

all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the LORD

and seek Him in His temple.

For in the day of trouble

He will hide me in His shelter;

He will conceal me under the cover of His tent;

He will set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be held high

I will sing and make music to the LORD.

Hear, O LORD, my voice when I call;

be merciful and answer me.

My heart said, “Seek His face.”

Your face, O LORD, I will seek.

You have been my helper;

O God of my salvation.

Teach me Your way, O LORD,

and lead me on a level path,

Still I am certain to see

the goodness of the LORD

in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the LORD;

be strong and courageous.

Wait patiently for the LORD!

I love the picture above because it reminds me to wait patiently for the Lord with the expectation that He will show up!

Seeing the Goodness of the Lord

God is at work in the hearts of the friends, family, and even tech companies. According to Good News Network, Tech manufacturers are being asked to “donate WiFi-enabled devices for hospital patients to video chat with their loved ones while they undergo medical treatment.”

And the Lord stirred the hearts of people thousands of miles away to collect donations, distribute devices to hospitals, and manage the shipping and handling. What a blessing! If you would like to donate money or devices, contact Covid Tech Connect.

According to Spectrum News 13 even businesses like Food Supply and Houligan’s joined together to feed 500 healthcare workers at Advent Hospital. And the best part is that the Automall Dealerships delivered all the meals.

Food Brings Hope is an agency that provides food to 1,700 students in Volusia County not counting the families with children who are experiencing hardship due to Covid 19. The community’s kindness has been overwhelming, but so are the needs. This agency needs volunteers as well as donations. Visit Food Brings Hope website if you can volunteer, donate, or provide sponsorship. If you are in need of food scan the QR code below to find a food pantry that is open near you.

Free Online Bible Study

Join my next online bible study as we read Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Join my FB group to connect to a community who loves the Lord. We will begin reading the same book starting May 11th, but you can join today to find out what I’m currently reading in the bible.

I would love to stay in touch with you and send you a weekly email to encourage you. I just need an email address so I know where to send the gifts I have created for you. Click here to join the list for the online bible study.

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above
I am a Hope Writer

Hope for the Hospitalized

It’s easy to follow quarantine guidelines until your loved one is sick. You know you’re not supposed to travel due to the pandemic, but this is an emergency. Isn’t it?

Doubts creep in and you wonder if the Emergency Room is still open? Maybe I should call the doctor first. But they are so swamped you don’t receive a response. Your gut tells you to go to the hospital now, but COVID 19 slows your steps because your loved one is already high risk.

You sort through the facts to help make a decision. He didn’t wake up at his usual time. He answers a little when spoken to, but doesn’t open his eyes. He refuses to drink water or eat a banana.

Strange behavior sounds the alarm and the doctor is immediately called. No return call is equally distressing. So pleading to sit up begins. Emergency room is discussed and quickly dismissed. He’s not a fan of this suggestion. After all he just needs rest.

Not seeing an improvement in my husband’s condition, I decided Covid 19 Quarantine or not….we are going to the emergency room.

When we arrived at the ER, my husband couldn’t even say his name. The nurse wheeled him back and rushed orders to take scans.

The young doctor’s alarmed eyes betrayed his calm voice. I know the scan looks bad. He admits the uncertainty of whether it is brain inflammation or a tumor. Prepares me that surgery is a possibility.

I don’t even blink. I’ve heard this before. The first time I was paralyzed by terror. But I don’t need to be afraid. The Lord restored my husband before and He can do it again.

So instead of spiraling into fear, I pray. I ask my FB friends and family to pray too because The LORD responds to prayer. And well….I’m in a hurry!

Minutes after posting my request for prayer, friends shared my request with their friends and the prayer circle grew beyond the hospital walls. Together “friends of my friends” praised the LORD for what He had already done and honored the LORD by asking for his mercy. Although socially distant, simultaneously we lifted my husband up to the Lord.

For the eyes of the LORD roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is fully devoted to Him.

2 Chronicles 16: 9 BSB

And in the seconds, minutes, hours, and days it took for the doctors to figure out their plan of action. I listened to my husband’s fumbling thought process. I watched his struggle to stand, much less walk. Even speaking took effort.

During these painful moments, I focused on what I’d learned since this brain cancer journey began in 2016.

I remember how my LORD has given me his helmet of salvation, his breastplate of righteousness, and his belt of truth. Feeling very much like a child drowning in my Daddy’s oversized work boots, I also feel His closeness.

I remember how My LORD had been compassionate and gracious to me after his brain surgery, seizures, proton radiation, and even chemo complications.

Closing my eyes helps to focus on the LORD. One of my favorite verses is how the LORD revealed himself to Moses and subsequently to us through his words:

Then the LORD passed in front of Moses and called out: “The LORD, the LORD God, is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and truth, maintaining loving devotion to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.

Exodus 34:6 BSB

My Lord is compassionate and gracious. He loves me, my husband, and my sons. This verse prompts me to pray for my husband’s spiritual healing as fervently as I pray for his physical healing.

Brain surgery is not too hard for the LORD. He can skillfully move the hands of the doctor and impart wisdom to even a young man fresh out of medical school. And despite how terrible the report is from the medical team, the LORD can heal and restore who he chooses even without surgery.

I am the LORD, the God of all people. Nothing is too difficult for me.”

Jeremiah 32:27 GNT

I have learned not to be afraid, but to stand firm and wait upon the LORD to finish his work. The waiting is hard, but I love how the LORD invites us into what he is doing.

The Lord invites us to join him by praying. Wherever you are, you can talk to Him. It doesn’t matter if you pray in a chair beside a hospital bed for several days or from home for the first time. The Lord hears you.

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD’s salvation, which He will accomplish for you today

Exodus 14:14 BSB

Little by little my eyes opened to see what the LORD is doing even before the doctors realized. Pointing out how he can move his leg when just the day before he couldn’t lift it, raised skeptical eyebrows.

But the next day the physical therapy staff returned and agreed, “This is amazing, he has already improved. He wasn’t able to lift his leg yesterday.”

Talk of surgery subsided and a plan to go home begun. In the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks ahead as we wait to see what the LORD will continue to do in my husband’s life. I smile because the Lord is my shepherd and I have all that I need.





The LORD is my shepherd, I have all that I need.

Psalm 23:1

Promises to Remember when a Loved One is Hospitalized

  1. For the eyes of the LORD roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is fully devoted to Him. 2 Chronicles 16: 9 BSB
  2. “Then the LORD passed in front of Moses and called out: “The LORD, the LORD God, is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and truth, maintaining loving devotion to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.” Exodus 34:6
  3. “I am the LORD, the God of all people. Nothing is too difficult for me.” Jeremiah 32:27 GNT
  4. “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD’s salvation, which He will accomplish for you today;” Exodus 14:14 BSB
  5. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalm 23:1
Click here if you would like for me to send you the FREE Hope photo collage above

May I Pray For You?

Heavenly Father, Thank you for moving over the nations of our world looking for those whose hearts are devoted to you and showing your strength to them. Lord you are compassionate and gracious. You are revealing yourself to the world and inviting us all to join together in prayer. To believe that you are the LORD, the God of all people. To believe that nothing is too difficult for you. May we not be afraid, and not fall into despair, but stand firm and watch to see what you will do. For your salvation will be accomplished. You are our shepherd and we have all that we need. In Jesus name, we thank you. Amen.

Free Online Bible Study

Join my next online bible study as we read Jill Briscoe’s book, Here I am Lord, Send someone else!

All you need to do is download the book for free on Hoopla if you have a public library card. Or you can purchase the book via my affiliate link:

Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

Another option is to join a FB group to connect to other women. We will begin reading the same book starting May 11th, but you can join today to find out what I read in the bible today.

Another option is to join my email list to receive weekly emails to encourage you. I just need an email address so I know where to send the gifts I have created for you. Click here to join the list for the online bible study.

Resources:

Below are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase anything through the link. Thank you for your help to keep this website free from WordPress Advertising.

Briscoe, Jill. Here I am Lord Send Someone Else

I am a Hope Writer