Strong

3 04 2020

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

We can live strong and with courage. Our strength and fortitude come from a deep knowing that we are not alone.  Our Creator, our Heavenly Father, is with us, around us, and in us, allowing us to stand strong.  Even in the midst of the unimaginable, we can rest on these truths to help us to endure what we encounter on life’s journey. We can let these words, “I am strong and courageous,” marinate in our hearts and minds.  These words can be a daily mantra and a source of encouragement during a season of struggle.  I am strong and courageous, for the Lord is with me.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 





Peace Comes

2 04 2020

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Peace comes when we focus on the Savior.  I am so thankful that we can pray about everything on our hearts and minds, things big and small, forces in and out of our control.  We can simply talk to God about it with our voices in our own words.  I am thankful that the Creator hears us and that prayer can nurture peace in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit can calm our fears and remind us of all that we have to be grateful for.  The gifts of life, health, and strength set a foundation for us to keep working toward God’s purpose for our lives.  In times of trouble, keeping our focus on the Savior is key to maintaining our peace.  I am so grateful that we can start each day in prayer with a heart of gratitude and experience his peace.

May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.     Numbers 6:24-26





Marathon

1 04 2020

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

This season feels like a marathon.  A long journey that will test my strength and the ability to pace myself to reach the end. It is important to keep pressing forward each day.  We will need to balance the demands of the day while maintaining the stamina to keep moving forward.  Taking it one day at a time, we recognize that even on hard days, new mercies come in the morning.  I am thankful that I don’t have to do it alone.  The Lord is with me and hears my whispered prayers for strength and clarity about the next leg of this trip.  So, we keep pressing and moving forward. We are building our faith muscles and nurturing our confidence that this too shall pass and that we will reach our goal.  We will keep stretching the love in our hearts, reaching out to fellow travelers to make sure that they are nourished and strong. We keep pressing so that we can make it over the finish line together.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13





Sound Mind

31 03 2020

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,  but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

Managing your thoughts is a full-time job during a season of challenge. The news of the day can fuel fear and anxiety that can quickly overtake us, when unchecked.  Now is the time to develop safeguards and practices that keep us focused on eternal truths, God’s love for us, and His promise never to leave us alone.  We can focus on what we know about him, his consistent provision for every need, his continual role as a Healer and a Waymaker. The same God who has guided my life thus far is still at the helm.  He is still in control.  When we focus on these truths, peace comes.  Fear and anxiety are diminished.  When we remember his unfailing love for us our faith and strength are restored.  For God has not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7





In the Storm

26 03 2020

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? Mark 4:38-40

One of my favorite storytellers is Bailey White. She is a gifted Southern writer who speaks with a distinctive raspy voice. She told a story about living with her mother during a warm summer night in Georgia. Her mother often opted to sleep out of the porch during these hot nights to keep cool. This particular night while Bailey was sleeping, she realized that a thunderstorm had arrived complete with high winds, lightning, and rain. She jumped into action, knowing that her mother had planned to sleep outside. When she reached the porch door, she saw the storm’s fury with rain and wind. And then she saw her mother, who was lying motionless on the couch on the porch. She called her name as she feared that her mother was frozen in fear and unable to move in the midst of the high winds. As she approached her mother, she heard a familiar but perplexing sound, her mother’s snore. Her mother was not gripped with fear; instead, she was sound asleep, complete with snoring, in the middle of the storm. She awakened her mother to let her know about the storm. At that point, the mother reassured her daughter that it was just a storm that would pass.

It was a powerful reminder of the ability to be confident and peaceful even during the natural and figurative storms of our lives. No doubt, her mother’s decades of living had nurtured her faith to realize that our lives have cycles of storms that both come and go. We can choose to be fearful, or we can select a path of peace that is rooted in our firm belief that our Father is still in control and that he will never leave us nor forsake us. The familiar passage of scripture tells a similar story of the disciples crossing the lake to the other side when a storm arises that seems to threaten their lives. We have heard before about how the disciples awaken Jesus who was sound asleep in the bottom of the ship. He awakens and commands the waves to be still but also asks the Disciples about their faith. It is a compelling story about the ability to have peace, rest and faith during a storm. Whatever we are facing today, we can stand in faith that our God is in control, providing protection and grace to allow us to reach our destination safely.





Fear Not

22 03 2020

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

Even in times of great uncertainty my trust is in the Lord. I can have confidence in God’s love and concern for me. Fear may come to consume my thoughts but I must resist it on every hand. God has not given me the spirit of fear. God has given me the gifts of love and a sound mind. This is a mantra for meditation and focus when I do not know what is ahead. I can focus on the truths of God’s love. I can have faith in God’s capacity for providing healing in me and in my community. I can be assured by God’s desire for us to live in peace and to experience joy. As I choose each day not to fear, I am listening and open to the steps forward. I am looking for signs of how to nurture and spread God’s love. I am looking for ways for others to see the light of God’s love in me. My trust is in the Lord. I will fear not.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. I John 4:18





Refuge and Strength

19 03 2020

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalms 46:1 NLT

2014-08-25 15.21.39

Our Savior provides a safe place in the time of trouble.  It is a place of peace, protection and rest for our hearts and minds.  The stress and pressure of the season can leave us feeling tired and weary.  He knows and He cares about His children.  During prayer and meditation we can experience respite for our busy minds and burdened souls.  The Lord is our refuge.  In His presence we are rejuvenated with His strength, infused with His peace and surrounded by His love.  We are so thankful for the gifts of refuge, respite and rejuvenation that we have in God.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare about the Lord:  He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

Psalm 91:1 -2  NLT