Tag Archives: Peace

CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

What would we do without the Holy Spirit? Could I live without the Holy Spirit? Can you live without the Holy Spirit?

I had this thought earlier today and it was flack left over from a short conversation I had with someone. In this short conversation I was explaining that I had heard – in my spirit –a promise that God had given me. The promise was a simple but very important one for my life. I explained how excited I was that I can now see the answered prayer and the promise or vision that I had been given coming to fruition by me starting a new job on June 1, 2015. That person almost chided me with their question… “You mean you heard directly from God? You, yourself, heard God speak to you directly?” This person had a bit of a sarcastic tone to their voice and I simply said “Yes, in my spirit. I heard Him talk to me in my heart or spirit. Just like you do, right?” The person never answered me, just changed the subject. Now this person is a Christian – as far as I know – I do know that he is a preacher… so I would hope that he is a Christian… but you know… that is not my call. God is in charge of that, so I will not judge or try to assume anything. But I still love this person deeply and pray for them all the time.

Let me explain a little about what I heard from God last year. You see, I was working in a call center and had been for about two years. I knew it was time for me to move on to a job that suited my skills and abilities more but nothing seemed to be breaking for me. If you have read any of my posts in the last few months you may understand what I am talking about. I have experience in Project Management and Training and due to a lay off in 2009 and the market being flat, flat, flat… I could not get a job and the call center was the first thing that was offered to me after being on unemployment for 2 ½ years.

Now the call center was a proving ground for me, as I have said in the past and at the particular time that I was praying to God for some direction and help with the question… “When, Oh God, am I ever going to get out of this call center and get into a job that suits my skills more?” I was praying with every fiber of my being. I wanted some sort of word or sign or something from the Lord that He indeed had a plan and was going to open another door for me. Well, He did speak to my heart. I heard in my spirit … from The Spirit … “Leah, you will be in another job by June of next year.” Well, that was all I needed. It gave me hope, encouragement and a peace about my near future because “next year” is this year 2015. Tomorrow is the first day of my new job and lo and behold it is June 1st. Yes, I believe that is what God meant when He whispered that into my heart last year.1-Corinthians-3-16-Gods-Spirit

With that said, I will also let you know, if you don’t know already, that I pray throughout the day, as you probably do. I try to stay in constant contact with the Holy Spirit because He was given to us by Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – as the Bible says.

2 Corinthians 13:14

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

I use a great website from time to time to help me with various questions or topics. The website is GotQuestions.org. It has a great article entitled What does the Bible teach about the Trinity”. Click the title to read the article. It helps with scripture too.

Jesus told the disciples that it would be better if Jesus left this earth because the Holy Spirit would come and be our Helper and Guide. Here is the scripture.

Gifts-Fruits-of-the-Holy-Spirit_Website-Banner-1bq9mx8John 16:7-11

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

So you see, the Holy Spirit, to me, is a Helper and Guide in my daily life. Sometimes moment by moment. I could NOT live without the Holy Spirit! If Jesus said He was sending a Helper and Guide, I believe Him. I have experienced it first-hand… the wonderfulness of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is an overwhelming feeling to know that the Creator of it all is listening to my thoughts, feelings and fears. He also talks to me… no not audibly where anyone else can hear, but I hear Him in my heart, or in my spirit. It is a peaceful, comforting voice with compassion and tenderness. To know He lives in me is unbelievable and Oh So Amazing. As the song goes…

You are Amazing, More than Amazing. Forever our God, You’re more than enough, You are Amazing!12    Trust The Holy Spirit To Lead The Way

Listen to this wonderful song and worship this Amazing God! It has the lyrics so you can sing along.  It is a wonderful song about how Amazing our God is.  Just click the link to play the video.

 

The Video – More Than Amazing – Lincoln Brewster

I personally could NOT live without the Holy Spirit and I don’t know how Christians … those that profess to know Jesus and have accepted Him as their personal Savior… live without Him. The Bible says…

John 14:15-18

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Jesus said that He (The Holy Spirit) will “abide” with us forever. He will be with us and in us. So… no, I could never live without the Holy Spirit because He lives in me. Let me add a caveat to that statement… I have lived without the Holy Spirit… yes, and it was NOT living… it was existing. Existing in this “world” just making it through day by day. Holy-Spirit-Blog-BannerNever had the joy and peace I have today! So I guess it would be best stated… I could never “AGAIN” live without the Holy Spirit in my life! I have tasted the sweetness of the relationship with Him. Once you experience that sweetness and fullness of joy, you never … NEVER … want to go back to just existing!

OK, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will “abide” with us forever.

Now the definition of “abide” is:

to have one’s abode; dwell; reside:

or

to remain stable or fixed in a state

Now to put that all together… it sounds like to me the Holy Spirit has his abode or dwells or resides inside us. He remains stable or fixed.slide-52

No, I could not live without the Holy Spirit. I hope you cannot either. He loves you so much! After all, He calls you His beloved.

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A NEW BEGINNING

This post is quite long and very important.  It will tell you a little… well, a lot of what has happened to me in the last 5 years and more.  I have a new opportunity and I wanted to share it all with you, so you will understand why I have not been able to stay on task and write every day, as I had been doing.  I believe I will get back to that eventually.  Please read on.SunRise7777777

One week from today I will be starting a new chapter in my life – A New Beginning.  At this age it is a tiny bit unnerving. However, I keep hearing that so wonderfully familiar, still, small voice in my spirit… “You are a child of the King”

Galatians 3:26

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

and “There is NO WEAPON formed against you can stand.”

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

and “Keep close to Me and I will see you through anything.”

Psalm 65:4

Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.

and “Trust Me for everything.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[
a] your paths.

And I am reminded that …

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

And other things that God whispers to my heart. You see this new chapter in my life is not really a “new” beginning in a w53310-As-I-Look-Back-On-My-Lifeay. I am finally getting back to a type of job that I have done most of my working life. To go forward, let me go back a bit and then I will explain.

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I loved what I was doing. I was a Project Manager/Trainer for a bank software company and learning lots of great stuff. I was writing training manuals and developing classes and learning more about the proprietary bank software almost daily. January would mark two years that I had been with this particular company and I was thrilled to be working doing what I loved to do – almost back to what I had done previously.

You see … I had been working in the telecom industry as a Communications Specialist – which basically was a Project Manager/Trainer. I loved what I was doing and was so fulfilled every day with my work. It was not work to me, it was enjoyment and I felt fulfilled – which is a great combination. Not to mention it was pretty good money. Then the unspeakable happened.

One morning, I was headed to the conference room for our weekly staff meeting and I walked by the break room. There was a small TV on top of the refrigerator and it pointed out towards the hall. As I walked by, I saw a very unusual sight. It was an airplane flying into a very tall building. I thought, “Oh my… how odd that is” and didn’t think much more about it and continued on to the conference room.   When I got there others were talking about the same thing and so the manager said “Let’s take care of some quick business and then turn the big TV on and see what it’s all about.” So that we did. We turned the big TV on just in time to see the 2nd plane go into the World Trade Center and we all just sat there in total silence. remembering-9-11-attacksI just got chills just thinking of that morning and typing these words. It was so surreal. We sat there for what seemed like 10 minutes not saying a thing and all eyes glued to the huge TV screen. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Did that really happen? Did two planes actually just fly into the World Trade Center? What on earth could have happened to have caused that and why on earth would two large planes do that? As we sat there in silence and watched, it became all too clear what had really happened and who and why. A strange fear began to cover the room and each one of us there felt the uneasiness that blanketed the entire country. My manager broke the silence and said, “Those that need to go, GO. Go to your families. Go get your children and go home.” We all scurried around and got our belongings from our desks, turned our computers off and left. There were about 6 of us in the elevator and we all were totally silent all the way down to the parking lot level of the building.   We said our goodbyes and looked at each other and didn’t know what else to say. It was such an odd feeling.

I called my husband and he said “Yes, I am watching the TV. Please take the back roads home. We don’t know what else can happen.” I agreed, said I love you and hung up the phone. It was about an hour’s drive home on the back roads. We lived in a small community South West of the Metroplex. It was a very scary drive home. At this point, most of us knew that America had been attacked! They came onto our own soil and used our own planes to do it! America seemed to be in shock! Everything … life as we knew it … changed that day in America.

OK, fast forward four months. January 2002, I am sitting in my Fort Worth office, carrying on business as usual. I used to split my time between the Fort Worth office and the Dallas office and this was Monday so I was in my office in Fort Worth.   In walks my manager from Dallas. It was very unusual to have her come to the Fort Worth office but a nice surprise. She walked in and sat down in the chair on the other side of my desk. She had a box in her hand that she sat down on the floor. She very gently told me that things had changed so drastically and the company was having to lay folks off and I was one of the ones that had to be laid off. changeThe 13 months with this company had been a wonderful time and I so loved my job. However, it was now coming to a screeching halt! I sat there in total shock … sort of like the feeling I had the day I watched two planes crash into the tall buildings in New York just a few short four months earlier. I felt my world come crashing down. I was speechless, which doesn’t happen very often.   She simply laid it out and said “You can use this box to gather your things.” All I could say was “Ok then. OK…” And she stood there while I loaded up the box. It wasn’t too long after that that I realized that this was played out all across America after that fateful day on 9-11-2001. Hundreds, if not thousands, felt the sting of the change all across America.

The next several months proved to be a trying time for me. I could NOT find another job doing what I always had done – Project Management/Training. All the changes in such a short time in America caused companies to be so very cautious and so conservative. The job market that I was in was totally flat and there was no budging it. It was 16 months before I could land another job. The job was only part time and nothing like what I was doing but it was close to home and a reputable company. I was a teller at a branch bank for a large bank in the area. It was work with insurance. I was a little relieved and then 4 months later I landed another part time job. Now the pay for these jobs together didn’t equal the pay I had been making as a Project Manager/Trainer, but I was happy to be working again. A few months later something good happened. I was asked to come on board with another company that afforded me to use the training skills that I had acquired along the way and a bonus… I got to travel the United States! Wow! I loved that. 040blowupUnfortunately, that only lasted seven months. Then it was back to the unemployment line. Luckily I was only in the unemployment line a few short months before I landed another training type job. Then about two years later another company wanted me to come on board with them. I finally was going to be with a company that I could use both Project Management and Training skills. Finally!

I was learning their software and writing training curriculum and training. I had arrived. Well… I thought so anyway. About 16 months into the job I approached my boss and told him I was going to be moving my folks up here and buying a house and wanted some assurance that my job was secure. He assured me that it was so we went through with all of our plans. Now this was in April and fast forward eight months – December 31, 2009. I am working at my desk as usual. I was planning the annual conference for the company and I was in my element! My desk phone rings at 10:20 a.m. and it was my boss. He asked me to come to his office. This usually meant he wanted an update on the progress of planning the convention. So I took all my notes and was ready to lay it out for him. When I walked up to his office, I saw the HR lady in there. Instantly, I thought “This is not going to be good.” Well, it wasn’t. I was given my walking papers, along with two other employees, that day. Once again, I was rendered speechless. So at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, 2009, I have once again, for the third time, been laid off since 9-11. I was totally devastated. What was I going to do? My mom and dad were at home in our “new” home, how was I going to take care of them, this surely is a bad dream but I wasn’t waking up! Everyone in the office was shocked and speechless. Everyone seemed a bit confused and disheveled that day after the news. No one was expecting this. I regained my composure and gathered my things and made a couple of trips to my car and off I went.dont-look-back

When I arrived at home, I was so sad and mom and dad were confused as to why I was home so early. I told them the news and the first thing my dad did was say this. “Come here, all of us. We are going to pray.” We huddled there in the dining room, with arms around each other. He prayed a simple, yet powerful prayer. “Lord God, thank you for this day. We are here together not knowing what is going to happen with this latest news, but we do know one thing. I believe, Lord, that You would not have brought us this far to let us go. So … like King Jehoshaphat prayed, we may not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” As he prayed I felt a sweet peace settle amongst us. The Holy Spirit’s presence was powerful that day and I will say He got us through the next few days in a powerful way.

2 Chronicles 20:12

12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

The next 2 ½ years, again, proved to be quite trying. One night at choir rehearsal, at church, a new member joined. We made friends quickly and she told me about a job that she just acquired and she encouraged me to go and apply. I did, I got hired and it was the lowest paying job I had ever had since I was just starting my work life. However, the insurance was fabulous and I was covered from the first day I started. I was so grateful and felt revived once again.

Now, this job may have been different than anything I had ever done, after all, I was usually on the other side of the situation, training the folks to do what I was doing. You see, it was a call center. I had never dreamed I would ever work in a callJohn 14 v 27 Marilyn Piche foggy trees center before, but here I was. After about 6 months of wrestling with many things, internally, I prayed to God about my attitude about what I was doing. He assured me that He was with me. I gave into my pride and felt that wonderful peace flood my soul.

Philippians 4:7

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I knew He was trying to teach me something and that is exactly what began to occur. I was humbled in a major way and began to learn so much about myself. I began to also learn more about God. I began to walk closer to Him, because that is the only way I could feel peace and comfort. I searched the scriptures for peace and found exactly what I was looking for. He reassured me, all the time, of His presence.

This past 27 months have been one of the most rewarding times I can remember. Yes, it was low pay. Yes, it was a call center. Yes, it was nothing like I had ever done before. BUT! It was God’s plan. I began to see God’s hand move in my life and others, and basked in His wonderful presence. I had always heard of the daily walk with God but never had I ever experienced what I experienced while I was working in that job. I learned to walk with Him, not only every day, but every minute. I talked to Him all day, in between calls and sometimes while I was taking calls. He has brought me through this time with a gentle hand and His reassuring love. It has been an amazing growth time in my life.

All this time I had been sending out resumes, applying for jobs – for two years. My managers knew that I was overqualified for what I was doing and they kept encouraging me to keep looking. I did apply for 29 different jobs within the company but only received 3 face to face interviews. So I resolved to the fact that I was not to work for that company except for what I was doing.

I received a call, finally, from a company that wanted a personal interview. I went and the interview went great. I was told they would make a decision by the end of January. The next day, I was going to work and I told God that I didn’t think that I could do that job for various reasons and I didn’t want Him to open that door for me. Knowing all along that I probably wouldn’t get the job anyway. Well, it was about 3-4 days later and I went on my last break at work, and there was a voice mail message from the recruiter from that company and it said… “Hello Leah, this is Joe with ABC Company and James wants to extend an offer to you for the job” (actual names are changed). 53310-As-I-Look-Back-On-My-Life  I was astounded! Really? Is this true? I listened again and again. Yep, that is what he said. So when I got off work, I got home and told mom and dad and told them of my concerns, but didn’t think I could really turn this job offer down. They agreed and I called the man back and well… that is what I will be doing in one week… starting that new job.

I voiced my concern to God and He keeps reassuring me that He will go with me no matter where I go and what I will be doing.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

He also told me this… “Leah, you will have to lean on Me and trust Me for your strength.”

Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

And “This will bring you even closer to Me.”

James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Oh my goodness… once again, that familiar, wonderful peace flooded my soul.

So to say the least, I am so excited. This job is exactly what I have done before. It is a training job with so much new to learn. I am up for the task and I will lean on my Heavenly Father for strength for my New Beginning.

Now I know that is a lot of information and a very long post… but I will tell you this, that if you have doubts in your life and wonder how in the world you are going to make it… call out to Him! He is waiting to hear from you and HE will reassure you, comfort and sustain you in any situation you could be in.  After all, He calls you His beloved.

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THE EVERLASTING STAIN – revisited

As some of you that have read my blog before have seen me write about the rabbit trails and fox holes that I get distracted by from time to time, well this time is the same for sure.  I have run into a snag in researching some information on the Tabernacle and the furnishings and will have to ask for some time for the next post which will be Part 5.  So for now, I am re-posting an oldie but a goodie.  I am certain you will enjoy it again.

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Have you ever had a stain that was an everlasting stain?  How about the fruits of the season?  black cherriesThe fruits this time of the year are wonderful. I’m allowed to munch away at my supply of fruits and nuts all day long at my work station and I take advantage of it. I was eating the juiciest black cherry the other day at work and I guess I didn’t have my mouth closed enough when I bit into it and juice went all over the place. I wiped it up off of my desk, monitor and keyboard and it didn’t leave a trace. When I got home I used the Shout to get it out of the shirt and pants I had on and I think I accomplished this on the clothes. The shirt was a polyester blend and so were the pants so it didn’t stick. However, I noticed today, that there was a spot of cherry juice on the cover of my wrist rest (I use this wrist rest along with my wrist supports because of my carpal tunnel problem). So… I have covered this wrist rest with a very pretty type of fabric. coveredNow I brought this fabric covered wrist rest home the other day and removed the cover and washed it. I had not noticed the tiny spot of black cherry juice before I washed it. So today when I saw the spot of black cherry juice on it I figured it was soaked into the fabric for good and never to be removed. Funny how some fabrics never give up the stains and others it seems the stains just don’t stick. I know… I know… certain fabrics have a particular makeup that prevents the stains from sticking… lol So I guess my cover for my wrist rest is of that kind of fabric that things stick to and you can never get the stains out.

Now you know I have a comparison… because that is what I do, right? Well, that is what God does. He usually whispers to my heart about certain topics and this time was no exception. As I am looking at this tiny spot on my wrist rest fabric today I heard God say… “This is kind of like another stain that will not wash away.” “The blood of Jesus will wash over your heart and the stain that it leaves can never, ever be removed.” “However, His blood doesn’t leave unsightly stains, It washes you white as snow.” Oh my goodness… tears came to my eyes instantly …blood I knew God was speaking to my heart and wanted me to share this with all of you! It is an amazing thing to realize the presence of God Almighty – in that way – while I am sitting there at work. The feeling washed over my entire being and I felt such comfort and peace. I knew what I would be writing about for my newest post.

So let’s compare. When you accept Jesus into your heart, the work He did on the Cross seals your soul for the day of redemption. The blood He shed washes over you and cleanses you from all of your sins and makes your heart as white as snow. That “stain” of His blood will never be able to be removed. The Bible says no one can take you out of the Father’s hand.

John 10:28-3028” I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” Healed

Now there are a couple of other rabbit trails I would like to go down along with that one. Another one is how stains hold on to some fabrics and other fabrics just shed them off like water off of a duck’s back. I will go to Jesus’ parable about the sower and the seeds for this comparison (Yes, God gave me this today, too – lol).

Matthew 13:1-9
“On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”the-sower-sowing-the-seed-english-school

Some of the seeds fell on good soil and produced – and my comparison is some stains fall on some fabric that holds on to the stain just as some people’s hearts accept Jesus and everything about Him and hold tight to Him. While other seed fell in places that did not produce… like other fabrics that shed the stain – and other’s hearts turn Jesus away.

So with that said, I am glad I have the heart with the stain of Jesus all over it! Soaked deep into the heart and soul of my being. It gives me peace and contentment. You can have this same peace and contentment. The Bible talks about this peace in Philippians 4:7 …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Some of you probably already know this peace and contentment and I am glad that you have found Jesus. Others of you may not and want to know about this “peace that surpasses all understanding”.7d379c1bb31964111199389c6205f557

If you do not know this kind of peace, you can start with this website (Bible.org) and it will tell you all about how to become a friend of Jesus and have Him come into your heart to give you this peace and contentment. You will never be sorry you sought Him. He can change your life and you will be glad He did. After all, He considers you His beloved.nothingbutthebloodofjesus

I am including 2 songs because I couldn’t decide which was better. Both sing about the Blood Of Jesus! Take time to listen!

 

The Video – O The Blood – (with Lyrics) Kari Jobe (Gateway Worship)

The Video – The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power  –
Crystal Washington & Lillie Knauls (Live) Gaither Homecoming

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THE MEANING OF LIFE

I am wondering, myself, when I will be led to get back to the Prayer series in Exodus, but for now God is speaking to me through other’s writings. I have felt compelled to share other’s devotionals and emails lately and will do so until I don’t feel led to do so any longer. God has His reasons and I am just thankful and humbled to be used by Him in any way.

The below is from an email I get weekly. It is the “Question of the Week” by William Lane Craig. It is from his website “Reasonable Faith”. As this person struggles with what is his meaning of life, we all may have our own similar struggles with the same question. I love Dr. Craig’s answer and I think you will enjoy the question posed by this “Swede” and Dr. Craig’s answer.

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Hello Dr. Craig

I’m writing from Sweden so I hope you can understand the meaning of my questions even if it is not in perfectly good english.

I should start by saying that I am a non-Christian, as the majority of the people in my country and i have listen far too much on you on youtube to be stupid enough to call me an atheist.

Some months ago I started thinking about life, in a way that I had not done before. dead-to-sin-alive-to-God

I started asking myself the big questions. What is the meaning of my life? What is the reason we are here? What makes me important?

Sadly I couldn’t find the answers to these questions and the more I thought about them, the harder it became to live my day to day life.

Everything that i hade loved about life, now felt so meaningless.

At that point I turned to one of my closest friend who is a Christian, to seek some answers.

He gave me a book that you have written (It was actually signed by you) were you defend Christian faith. I read it, and you truly gave me really good reasons to believe in god.

But that did not help answering my questions.

If there is NO God, i die and my life here on earth was meaningless. If there IS a God, I die and my life here on earth was meaningless. I’ll soon explain how I think.
Life with God
With these question still troubling me i started reading the Bible. And it freaked me out even more.

The Bible and Christian faith does not give any meaning to my life. To the life I loved before these questions started to tumble in my head.

The bible tells me that there is a God and that my life only have meaning if I spend the rest of my life to tell other people about him.

That is a pretty hard thing to leap in to as a non-Christian who seeks meaning to his life, right here and now as it is, and who does not have any relations to God.

So the biggest questions I ask my self, and which I now ask you, are: Is the only reason to live life as a Christian to tell others about God? Is that the meaning of life?

And finally, why why why should people who believe in God but lives here on earth under terrible circumstances (poverty, depression, sickness, war) still continue there lives here? Wouldn’t it be better to just die and go to heaven? Gods-goodness

I hope I have made some sense. And that you could clear out some of my troubling thoughts

Best regards,

A lost Swede
Sweden

Dr. Craig responds:

I can certainly sympathize that to a non-believer like yourself, the prospect of spending one’s life telling others about God scarcely seems attractive. But that’s because you haven’t fallen in love with Him yet. A person who is in love wants to tell others about his beloved, to show photos of her or him to others, to think often about her or him. But someone who is not in love is apt to say, “Spend my life telling other people about her (him)? Are you kidding?” ENCOUJNTER WITH GOD 2

In any case, you can breathe easy. For, contrary to what you’ve been told, the meaning of life is not telling other people about God. That’s a misimpression that probably arises from confusing one’s vocation with the meaning of one’s life. Some people, like myself, do feel called to tell other people about God as their vocation. But not every Christian is so called. Some may be called to be an artist or a scientist or a rice farmer. Certainly everyone should always be ready to share his faith when the opportunity presents itself, but that isn’t to say that that is one’s vocation in life.

Whatever our vocation, the fundamental meaning of our lives is to be found in knowing God. In response to the question, “What is the chief end of man?” the Westminster Shorter Catechism answers, “to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” What a wonderful prospect! God is the locus and source of infinite goodness and love, the paradigm of moral value. To know Him is an incommensurable good, the fulfillment of human existence. Only God can forever satisfy our deepest longings.

I’m sure that what you’re longing for is some sort of objective significance for your life, a source of infinite value, and an objective purpose for your existence that reaches beyond the grave. All that is to be found through the knowledge of the infinite God.
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Now once you do become a Christian, God may reveal to you what your vocation in life is to be, and maybe you’ll be surprised to find that you long to tell others about Him and His love. But maybe God has other plans for you. Who knows?

Finally, as for those who suffer terribly, yes, it would be better for them personally to die and go to be with God (that’s true for anybody, when you think about it!), but God may well have good reasons for keeping them here: things for them to do or even people who will be influenced by their lives, perhaps by their courage and perseverance in bearing suffering. The apostle Paul, who suffered much and was facing martyrdom, wrote, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (Philippians 1. 23-25). God may have great things to accomplish through what people suffer. 12336-God-Will-Calm-The-Storm

But, first things first. First, come to know God by placing your trust in Christ for forgiveness and salvation. Then having come to know Him, ask how you should spend your life living out whatever calling He has for you. You may even find the things you once loved in life infused with a new charm and significance.

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It is always my prayer that you are blessed by anything that I post here on my blog. I pray that God speaks to you in some way that it brings glory to Him and a deeper walk with Him. That is what He longs for … a closer relationship with you. After all, He calls you His beloved.

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

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GOD AMAZING – REVSITED

Here it is, quite late, and I have not written anything about the Exodus yet this evening.  I have choir practice on Wednesday nights and this time of the year, we are practicing hard for our Christmas music Sunday.  So, I got started a little late this evening and now it is way too late to delve into the Exodus of the Israelites.  However, I found a really good older post that was posted originally May 3, 2014.  I never tire of telling how Amazing our God is!  This post is entitled God Amazing, and HE IS for sure!

I am going to repost this older post and hope you enjoy it the 2nd time around.  Hopefully, I will be able to share with you tomorrow, just how amazing He was when He brought the Israelites out of Egypt.  So until tomorrow, enjoy!

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Sometimes I think about how God can do all things and is in control of all things and wonder if anyone else ever really thinks about this.  For many years I hSUN STANDS STILLave known that God can even change the course of time if He so chooses.  There was a time in the Bible when time literally stood still.  Joshua 10 tells the story of a whole day where the sun stood still in the sky.  And another time when God caused time to go backwards in 2 .Kings 20.  Since God made time stand still and go backwards from a man’s request, He can surely help with any problem in this life we have!  I know my God can do all things and therefore I should not be afraid of anything that this life can throw at me.TIME WENT BACKWARDS

I have prayed from time to time for God to change my circumstances if He chooses.  I want His will of course and if I have to learn something in the process, for Him to help me in that process.  Sometimes it seems He answers right away and other times I never seem to get an answer.. well, maybe the answer is just “wait”.  I have never been a very patient person but have learned in the last few years that there is really no reason to “hurry” and get all upset and “try to change my own circumstances.”

I have learned that trusting God for my destiny is much better than trusting me for my destiny!  I have tried… I have screwed it up!  I prefer God’s plan now, thank you!  I love this scripture…

EAGLEIsaiah 40:31 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  See the entire chapter here.

I trust that each of you have the same desire.  If you are reading this post you more than likely have a longing heart and seeking spirit for God’s Truth!  And I pray that God helps you in whatever is on your heart and mind; those things that worry you, that bring you down and give you trouble during the day.  There are many scriptures that speak about worrying and fear and peace.PEACE2  Here are a few:

Matthew 6:25-27  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

Matthew 6:34  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Luke 12:25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?”

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Colossians 3:15  “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

2 Thessalonians 3:16  “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

Psalm 55:22  Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved”

And one of my favorites…

Romans 8:31  “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

I pray that whatever God lays on my heart to share with you every day helps you in some way throughout your day.  I know that God is an Amazing God!  His Word is an Amazing Love story to us about His Amazing Love for us!  If you haven’t met this God of mine, I encourage you to read about how He wants to know you personally.  Find it here.

GOD AMAZING

The Song – God Amazing – Charles Billingsley

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10,000 REASONS

I am asking your indulgence yet again.  This is an old post but an Oh So Good One!  I went through all of the older posts and found the one that had the most comments.  This one won with 6 comments!  You all liked it so much and it was originally posted April 29, 2014,  not long after I started this blog.  So, I am re-posting this for today and hope you all enjoy this as much as you did before.  I love sharing what God has shared with me to share with you!  Thank you all for reading!
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The other day my supervisor and myself were talking about how vast God is (Yes, it’s very cool to be able to talk to your Supervisor about God).  He mentioned how everything set in motion just keeps doing its thing every second, minute, hour, etc. of every day!  For instance… let’s take the heart.  I found this on the internet:  “Since the solar year consists of 525,948 minutes and 48 seconds, a quick calculation at the rate of 80 BPM gives us a ballpark figure of 42,075,904 beats per year, give or take a couple mill. A reasonable estimate for the number of heartbeats in a lifetime is about three billion.”  HEART BEATNow that may be a number that is hard for us to imagine.  So if you break it down to daily… it is about 115,200 times a day.  That is without being told to beat.  And that is when you are asleep, or awake.  The heart is one amazing creation.  You can do this type of thing to any number of things in God’s creation.  Each animal has a different heart rate and a different expected longevity of life.  Each creature has blood coursing through its veins and the heart keeps on beating every day, week, month, year.

One of our Sunday School lessons some time back was talking about how vast God is also and how He has thoughts for us.  David said it absolutely beautifully in Psalm 139.  The entire Psalm is beautiful but let’s look at just a couple of verses.

Psalm 139 verses 17 and 18.

 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

I would say that David knew his God very intimately!  The same God that we can know just as intimately.  Have you ever tried to count the grains of sand on a beach?   That is an impossible task that no one could ever do but we all agree that there are countless grains of sand on any given beach.  If God makes our heart beat every second of every day and knows on-gods-mindsandour thoughts and has thoughts for us daily don’t you think He would love to hear from us too!?

There are at least 10,000 (plus) reasons to love God for all He has done for us!  He is our creator and would love to hear from us!  He is concerned with every detail of our lives and wants to share each step with us.  In Philippians 4:6-7 it tells us not to worry… “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   Sometimes you may be afraid to talk to God … Isaiah has this to say in Isaiah 41:13  “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”   Finally David said this in Psalm 121:7-8  “The LORD will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” 

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I am quickly learning that God wants to be a part of every second of my life and I am finally able to say “Come On In!”  I wasted so many years with struggling with all sorts of things.  I am no longer worried about my future because I know God has the Perfect Plan for my 10,000 REASONS 3life and I just have to stay connected to Him through prayer, His Word and daily communication with Him to learn each step of the way.

If you are struggling and are not sure where to turn, turn to God.  He wants to come into your life also.  If you don’t have the peace that you want in your life and you struggle with anything in your life, talk to God.  He wants to hear from you!  He loves you that much!  He calls you His beloved!

The Video – 10,000 Reasons – Matt Redmond

The Song – 10,000 Reasons – Matt Redmond

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THE WIDOW AND ELISHA

I wrote the main part of The Widow and Elisha before I had my blog, but I have added some things that are appropriate for today and for the things that are happening in my life now. It is all about trust, hope and faith in God and that He will provide.  I am sure you will enjoy it, even if you have read it before. Enjoy!101941960_640_1_

I began reading what I had written earlier and immediately, the first sentence jumped off the page at me in light of today’s events and how well my mother is coming along after her “stroke” type symptoms she displayed on Wednesday and yesterday. The CT Scan and the MRI show no stroke but all things pointed to that. She lost her speech 3 times on Wednesday. It came back each time. Then the “big” one happened late Wednesday evening and she couldn’t talk until today! She is still a bit slow to speak but she is talking and laughing and coming back to life!! Praise God! Have faith in God Miracles HappenSo…the reason I said the first sentence jumped off the page is because mom is a “common” person in need of something extraordinary to help her out in a bad situation (but anyone that knows my mom knows that there is nothing “common” about her-she is extraordinary really!). My mother was in a bad way and with hope and encouragement she has worked hard to get to where she is tonight! She – as we all did – put our trust and hope in our God to restore her and my God came through! Yet Again! The folks (Doctors and nurses) at the hospital are exceptional and extraordinary in and of themselves! They have been the “Elishas” in our lives and my mother’s life lately! Anyway, the story … read on…

ELISHA AND THE WIDOW2The story about Elisha and the widow (2 Kings 4) is one of my favorite Bible stories because it is about a common person in need of something extraordinary to help her out in a bad situation!  The video link is a very good depiction of probably how it was back then in Elisha’s  time.  I love any of the stories in the Bible about Elisha!  He was one cool dude!  He had quite the shoes to fill being Elijah’s successor.  Here is an article about Elisha the prophet.  He was an interesting person. Anyway… Elisha was very instrumental in bringing the widow peace and security for the future.  He simply did what God asked him to do… Here is the link to the video about Elisha and the Widow and her oil.  The Widow and Elisha.  (This link went to another video originally but that video link has since been removed from the internet, so this is the story of Elisha, the prophet and the Widow told by a man.  He is quite good in narrating the story and I believe you will enjoy it.)

Elisha never had a look of concern or worry… he was certain that he could help the widow but she had to do her part in the grand scheme of things.  God, through Elisha, gave the widow hope.  Goelisha_the_prophet__image_1_sjpg2178d always provides the “way to hope” but we must use our feet, brains or other resource.  God does not want robots.  He gave us a brain and smarts to use and we must for a good outcome!  We must do what we can with what God has given us.  We may not have much… but it can be used by God!  He will always provide for His people.  You may have read some of my daily posts about how God has provided for my family.  And you will probably read more in the future!  He is always good… all the time!  He wants to help you too in any situation you are having trouble in.  Just pray and seek God’s will and He will show you.  He may bring someone into your life to help you and then again, He may show you what he wants you to do all by yourself.  Just listen for that still, small voice and you will know it’s Him!  He loves you so much! Trust Him today! You are His beloved!e2711039ff012aa36bbf74dd23bfefe5

The Song – Hope Is On The Way – Charles Billingsley (I think I have shared this one before.. but it is so good for this email) Enjoy!

 

 

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ORDERED CHAOS

The stage was set, the house lights were down, and everything was quiet in the sanctuary.  Everyone was sitting in their seats with great anticipation and excitement and there was a hush over the room.  The Orchestra began playing the intro and the excitement began to build.  Everything seemed somewhat ordered excitement but calm.  If you walked just 10 feet behind the walls of that sanctuary on either side, front and back, you would find a different story.  The hub bub of activity would surprise you.  There were children, adults and animals.  Yes, they were waiting their turn to enter into the story of Jesus!  Yes, Jesus and all the people that surrounded Him in His short 33 years here on earth.  There was the woman from the well, there was Peter, Paul, Matthew and Mark.  MARY AND JESUSThere was even Mary, the mother of Jesus and Joseph the Carpenter!  Oh my!  You were suddenly taken back 2000 years when you stepped outside the sanctuary walls!  It was amazing!  It was one of the most exciting times I can recall during my time at Calvary Baptist Church, in Beaumont, Texas.  I was involved in this Christmas time depiction of Jesus’ life.  We would hold many performances, although John Griffin (the Worship Pastor) didn’t like it to be called a “performance” and it truly was not.  It was such a real experience and John Griffin and the folks in charge of the Christmas Pageant were pretty intent on making it NOT a “performance”.  So, all that ordered chaos behind the walls produced a wonderful, exciting time in the sanctuary.  It was hard not to believe some of these characters in this play were not the real ones!  We had wonderful make-up and the clothing was so authentic looking!  This will always be a wonderful memory and I hold it near and dear to my heart!

There is another type of chaos, though, that is not so much “ordered chaos”.  It is one of the person’s heart that has not come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  JESUS CALMING STORMHe alone can make that chaos a peaceful, calm place.  Knowing Jesus on a personal level can change the sinner’s heart in the blink of an eye!  He alone can calm the storm that rages inside one’s mind and heart when you have no peace.  Philippians 4:7 in the Bible, says He offers a peace that is beyond our understanding.  Even through some of the worst times in my past I knew He would see me through that storm of life and I was going to be OK on the other side of it!  I say that I knew, but it was not a conscious knowing, because I honestly don’t know how I made it through some of the days and nights I went through.  During that storm of life,  I didn’t have the mindset I do today on this side of the storm.  But somewhere deep inside, my spirit knew.  My spirit was interceding to the Father for me and that peace was there, although it was deep inside.

There are times that I have heard a non-believer say that they had peace and felt fine.  But I know He alone can calm the storm and when He calms the storm, the storm stays calm.  Oh tContentment Philippians 4hat is not to say that there aren’t times of loss, or times of sadness and maybe even a little craziness!  That is a part of life in this sinful world.  But there is a peace inside that gets you through all of that, if you know Jesus.  Do you have any kind of unsettledness in your life today?  Have you asked Him to calm that storm?  Jesus will not go where He is not invited.  Talk to Him today.  He is waiting to hear from you!  After all you are His beloved!

The Song – Sing of Your Great Love – Darlene Zschech

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PEACE LIKE A RIVER

Yesterday I wrote about Living Water and finding that Living Water in Jesus Christ. I was reading the book “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God this morning before work and came across part of a chapter that goes along with the same idea… River, Living Water, etc.

You may have heard the phrase “Peace like a river.” My dad says it from time to timPeace Like A Rivere when asked how he is doing. He says “I have peace like a river.” He is referring to that wonderful peace that comes from knowing Jesus as his personal Savior and companion throughout his daily walk.

When you see a peaceful river it may look peaceful on the top of the water, but they say “still waters run deep” don’t they? My mother would say.. “whoever they are.” Actually I found a definition on Dictionary.com. It says this:

Still Waters Run Deep definition:

A person’s calm exterior often conceals great depths of character, just as the deepest streams can have the smoothest surfaces.

Now you can probably find more than one definition for it, however, I also know what I think of when I hear the phrase “peace like a river…” There is a song that a man by the name of Horatio Gates Spafford wrote in 1873. The name of the hymn most people will recognize … “It Is Well With My Soul”. See this web page for all details on this great old Hymn. This was written out of a horrific family tragedy. See this article below:

 “Horatio Gates Spafford (October 20, 1828, Troy, New York – October 16, 1888, Jerusalem) was a prominent American lawyer, best known for penning the Christian hymn “It Is Well With My Soul,” following a family tragedy in which four of his daughters died.” Read the rest of the story hereshipinstormysea.whatevermylot

 If there was one man that knew the peace that goes beyond understanding it is this man, Horatio Gates Spafford. Only One Source can give you that kind of peace. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is that Hymn, It Is Well With My Soul.

Now back to the book I was reading that referenced the peace like a river. There is a quote in this book of Lysa’s and I believe it is a Beth Moore quote and it says this: “Peace is the fruit of the obedient, righteous life.” If you look at Isaiah 32:17 I believe you will see the connection …

17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever”

In Lysa’s book she mentions that there is nothing like the “peace that rushes through the soul of the one who is attentive to the Lord’s commands.” Lysa says “God chose a unique word to describe His peace – a river!”

She goes on to say “A river is not calm and void of activity. It is active and cleansing and confident of the direction it is headed in. It doesn’t get caught up with the rocks in its path. It flows over and around them, all the while smoothing their jagged edges and allowing them to add to its beauty rather than take away from.”

The song “River God”LITLE STONES by

Nichole Nordeman is my theme song on my bio page.

 

 

This is my prayer for every day, that God, in His infinite wisdom keeps rushing by me plunging me deep within His depths to smooth the rough edges off day by day. And at the end of my life He can pick me up and notice that I am a little smoother in His hand because I was plunged beneath that flood of His Living Water and He smoothed the edges with His love, forgiveness, mercy and grace, to reveal a heart and soul for God.

Isaiah 26:3 says

You [God] will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”mg_2482

I strive to keep my mind on Him every day, all day. I have found the most peace and comfort there. When I let the “world” come in I find myself becoming anxious and uncertain of my future. I trust the Lord and His plan. I want the peace that comes from keeping my mind “stayed” on Him and staying in the middle of that deep, intentional water rushing by me, engulfing every inch of who I am.

I would like to challenge you to find that peace that flows like a river. The peace of knowing your Creator. The Creator of all that is. He knows you by name and loves you so much. After all, you are His beloved!

I would love to hear about your experiences also.  Please feel free to leave me a comment about this post or anything you would like.  Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.

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WHIZ BANG DASH ABOUT

I am always on the go… very seldom do I sit down and “rest”.  When I was a little girl my nick name was Sugar Bear because I had an uncle that loved Sugar Crisp cereal and I loved them too!  I got caught eating “his Sugar Crisp” and from then on I was called Sugar Bear and he was called Uncle Sugar Bear.  Funny, wonderful memories!
Fast forward about 50 years…as you know I moved my mom and dad up to the Mid Cities area 5 years ago this May, 2014.  They live with me and it has been a journey indeed.  In the beginning when we were finally getting to kON THE GOnow one another again (we had been estranged for 10 years when I was married) I went about my daily routine and I was always doing something.  I very seldom just sat down and rested.  There was always something to do.  My father came up with a new nick name for me… “Miss Whiz Bang Dash About”.  Yep, it stuck!  This was of course before I hurt my back and before I had shoulder surgery, etc….. lol.  I still keep moving a lot of the time though.  When my brothers got wind of the new nick name they just shortened it and called me WBDA.  Oh we had a good laugh about that but you know… it was so true.  I was always on the move.  I am learning – reluctantly – how to slow down … some.

Now if God thinks it’s important to rest, it must be important.  There are studies that show our body replenishes vital elements when we rest and/or sleep.  See “Eat To Sleep…”  article.  It has a lot to say about that along with some great foods to eat at night if you want a better night’s sleep.  I used to have to work on Sunday and some of you probably have to as well, but that is the paramount thing that is a deal breaker for me and any new job now.  I have stated that I WILL NOT work on Sunday any more.  I love my Sunday afternoon naps and it is after all the Lord’s Day.FIND REST  I have been known to do laundry or clean my room or even grocery shop on Sunday but I prefer no activity except church and a good lunch with mom and dad and a nap afterwards.  I have found that if I use my “down time” to rest and connect with God through prayer or music or listening to or reading His Word, it is such a refreshing time.  It actually rejuvenates me and helps me feel so rested.   Some scriptures that reference “finding rest in Him” are as follows:

Matthew 11:28-30   28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Mark 6:31 – “31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

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

I love the visual that the 23rd Psalm gives in the first 3 versus.

Psalm STILL WATERS23

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;”

I have read a book about the 23rd Psalm one time.  It explained each verse as to what a real shepherd does for his sheep.  In the verse that says “He leads me beside he still waters.” … The shepherd would take rocks and dam up a calm pool of water along a stream or larger pond so the sheep would feel safe to drink the water.  You see, sheep are terrified of deep water and rushing water because they cannot swim.  Their wool gets soaked and pulls them down.  So the shepherd, in his love and knowledge of this, would dam up a small pool of water for them to refresh themselves with.  That is such a beautiful picture of what Jesus does for us.  Taking care to make it safe for us to traverse and drink in His refreshing ways.  To drink in the Living Water.  He will restore your soul if you come away and rest.  He is there in the quiet places waiting for you.

Since writing the above I have found another book entitled A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23.  OH MY!!  It is a wonderful book and one that every Christian should read. MEADOW STREAM I plan on doing a series on this one day but I just want to mention that there is no wonder Jesus compares humans to sheep.  We are stubborn, headstrong, can get ourselves into the biggest messes, and so much more.  Mostly though, we need a Shepherd!  We need The Good Shepherd.  He is kind, compassionate, loving and oh so patient.  After reading about what all a shepherd goes through, you either have to be crazy or really, really love your sheep to go through all you have to – to ensure a good, healthy, thriving flock.  This is such a good time to reflect on what Jesus did for us (His flock) to ensure we had a chance to be healthy and thrive.  His death on the cross ensured we would be able to spend eternity in Heaven with Him!  We do have a choice though.  Our choice is to choose Jesus or our own way.  When sheep choose their own way, they perish.  When sheep choose to follow a good shepherd they thrive.  If we choose to follow The Good Shepherd we will thrive if JESUS WITH LAMBnot and choose our own way we perish and are separated from Him forever!  Oh No!  Let it not happen!  Reach for Jesus – The Good Shepherd – today !  He is there waiting to take you into His flock and nourish and love you.  Come away and rest in His Love, Mercy and Grace.