I was blessed with a mother, a special aunt and amazing grandmother. This verse from proverbs sums up their lives.
The True Wealth
13 Happy are those who find wisdom,
and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver,
and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called happy.
Ephesians 2:8-9 [Full Chapter]
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
In my youth I believed that good works would get me into heaven. The thing is, that made getting into heaven up to me. If I was good enough, if I worked hard enough, if I kept on the straight and narrow I could earn my way.
My belief has changed. It is important for me to be a good person and strive to be what God wants me. However, God’s grace has been given to me as a free gift. That is so hard to grasp. Does it free me from responsibility for my behavior? No but I am not perfect and never will be. It is only God’s grace that can save me and it has been freely given.
Thanks be to God!
But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:16 NRSV
I try to remember every night in my prayers to thank God for that day and everything good in my life. I know that God is present in my life even when things are bad….especially when things are bad. It is so easy to remember to call on him when things don’t go right and so easy to forget to give him thanks and praise. Maybe I will try to get up each morning and sing a joyful and thankful song.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,
there is no price one can give to God for it.
8 For the ransom of life is costly,
and can never suffice,
9 that one should live on forever
and never see the grave.
Christmas is coming. In this Psalm we see that nothing we can do can ransom out lives. Nothing WE can do. But coming to us on Christmas is someone who can. Someone sent by God. An infant who was born to save us. Praise God!
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
How often do we stop to praise and thank God. If we go to church we do praise Him there but do we really think about it or is it just habit. Have you ever lifted up your hands in praise to God. Just the lifting of our hands is focusing our hearts and our bodies on God. Some churches are comfortable with this…some not but we can do it at home. Praise God every day!
Prayer: Gracious Lord, you are worthy to be praise with glad voices. We bless and praise your name. We are grateful for you love and compassion. Be with us each day of our lives. AMEN
The past few weeks I have been blessed with what I call “God moments.” These are times when with eyes open we can see God working. One was at a visit to meet a surgeon and schedule surgery on my thyroid. In my experience most surgeons are good at their job but not the greatest at bedside manner. This physician was the exception. He made me feel heard, understood and I could sense his compassion. The surgery is not a difficult one as long as it goes as expected.
Following seeing him I was ushered to someone to schedule the surgery. In her cubicle there were Biblical quotes and words of encouragement.She was kind caring and efficient. My surgery was scheduled for the week following Thanksgiving. She remembered my desire to have it over as soon as possible and when the Dr. decided to work on this Friday called to offer that date to me. I accepted with pleasure that she remembered. She then took the time to pray for me and my surgery.
As another of my friends says “the arangels were at work.” I could see God’s hand in all that has happened and pray for the best outcome. God is present in our lives if we just take the time to see it.
Send your prayers for me on Friday.
Yesterday I experienced a “God moment.” I was at a physicians office and he indicated I needed to schedule some surgery. The surgery is a simple one but you never know what will be found. A woman came and led me to her desk to set everything up. I was moved by the fact that in her cubicle there were wonderful quotes from the Bible and other words of encouragement. I mentioned that I was happy to see those words in a somewhat stressful moment. She and I began to talk about our faith and her compassion and caring were present in every word. Before I left she and I hugged.
We wonder if we can see Jesus in our everyday lives but he is visible in people we meet. He was there with us as we talked and shared. Open your eyes. Jesus is there.
Psalm 103: 1-5
Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
I always cling to this Psalm when things are rough. It is so perfect when I am stressed. What could be better than verses 3-4. I need my sins forgiven and my illnesses healed. David was right on target. This is a God of goodness and mercy. Thank him every day.
Psalm 9: 1-2
1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
When things are going badly we call on God for help. When we are afraid or ill or in danger we Immediately pray for help. When we don’t talk to God is when everything is going well. We just don’t think about it. We are too happy and satisfied.
Somehow I think we have it backwards. When things are going great we need to thank God. We need to jump up and down for joy and sing aloud songs of praise.
I can just imagine the expressions on the faces of those around us. This is not something we see often. Maybe if we did that we would bring more people to our God. At least they would know that we counted on God for good things. Then they would understand that we belong to a God who is alive and well and present in our lives. Someone else may want that.
The only hymn that reflects those who have died for their country is the Navy Hymn
As a tribute here it is sung by military wives.