Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fragile Existence

This was November 12, 2009 devotional from Our Daily Bread written by Julie Ackerman Link. May you be encouraged...

Fragile Existence
READ: Job 1:8-22
We should not trust in ourselves but in God. —2 Corinthians 1:9The geological features at Yellowstone National Park fascinate me. But when I walk among the geysers, I’m aware of how close I am to danger. I am walking atop one of the largest, most active volcanoes in the world.

When I read the book of Job, I feel as if I’m walking through Yellowstone on a day when the volcano erupts, exploding the earth’s fragile crust and bringing disaster.

Like tourists at Yellowstone, Job was enjoying life. He was unaware that only a hedge separated him from disaster (Job 1:9-10). When God removed that hedge and allowed Satan to test Job, his life exploded (vv.13-19).

Many believers live in circumstances where it seems as if God, for some reason, has removed His hedge of protection. Others, also for reasons unknown, live in relative calm, seemingly unaware of their fragile existence. Like Job’s friends, they assume that nothing bad will happen unless they do something to deserve it.

As we learn from Job, however, God sometimes allows bad things to happen to good people. Although disaster can strike at any moment, nothing has the power to destroy those who trust Christ (2 Cor. 4:9). No disaster can separate us from God’s love. — Julie Ackerman Link

Though darker, rougher, grows the way
And cares press harder day by day,
With patience in His love I’ll rest,
And whisper that He knoweth best. —Pentecost

God’s love still stands when all else has fallen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sometimes We Don't Know the Whole Story

I received this as an email forward and thought it was a perfect reminder...







Monday, November 16, 2009

The Childless Man or Woman

An article from Christian Mommies.com of encouragement written by Elisabeth Elliot.

Children, God tells us, are a heritage from Him. Is the man or woman to whom He gives no children therefore disinherited? Surely not. The Lord gave portions of land to each tribe of Israel except one. "The tribe of Levi... received no holding; the Lord God of Israel is their portion, as he promised them" (Joshua 13:14, NEB). Withholding what He granted to the rest, He gave to Levi a higher privilege. May we not see childlessness in the same light? I believe there is a special gift for those to whom God does not give the gift of physical fatherhood or motherhood.

I have known many women (and a few men) who have sorrowed deeply over being childless. My brother-in-law Bert Elliot and his wife Colleen, missionaries in Peru for more than forty years, longed for children of their own. They asked the Lord for children if that would best glorify Him. His answer was no. They wondered about adoption, which would not have been nearly so difficult there as it is in the States. Again the answer seemed to be no, but God has given them the privilege of fathering and mothering hundreds of Peruvians, both white and Indian, in the jungle and in the high Andes, where they bear on their shoulders the care of dozens of little churches.

A woman of about fifty wrote, "Each Mother's Day became a little harder for me as I realized another year had gone by and after many years of marriage I am still childless--the only woman in my Sunday School class who is not a mother. The morning service started... I could not see the pastor for the tears in my eyes. Almost at the end of his message he said, 'I know there are some of you women here this morning who would like to be mothers, but for some reason God has chosen differently. Don't question Him. He has a reason."

Childlessness, for those who deeply desire children, is real suffering. Seen in the light of Calvary and accepted in the name of Christ, it becomes a chance to share in His sufferings. Acceptance of the will of the Father took Him to the Cross. We find our peace as we identify with Him in His death and resurrection.

Look around your church. If you are a parent, look for those who aren't. Might they not be ready to "father" or "mother" you or your children, to be adopted as a grandparent, for example, or an aunt or uncle? My life was enriched by unmarried aunts and friends who paid attention to us children, celebrated our birthdays and sometimes even helped us with homework. The love they would have poured out on their own children had God given them marriage, they poured out instead on us, and we were blessed as we could not have been had they had children. Their loss was our gain, and, as Ugo Bassi a young Italian preacher, said many years ago, we are to measure our lives "by loss and not by gain, not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth, for Love's strength standeth in Love's sacrifice, and he who suffereth most hath most to give."

What of the thousands who have not had the mothers and fathers they desperately longed for while they were growing up? Is not God calling all whose ears are open to Him to recognize the wounds of the world and to pour forth His love to the lonely young man whose relationship with his father seems to have destroyed his fitness for manhood? Or to the expectant mother whose own mother is far away, or indifferent, or dead, who longs for a mother to share her joy? Whose will be the strong shoulder of sympathy (the word means "to suffer with") ready to bear another's burdens?--not with the tepid sentimentality which only weakens, but with the burning love which gives hope and cheer and strength?

My correspondent says God has given her "several kids adopted in my heart to pray for, whose mothers say they haven't time to pray." Another girl asked her to be grandmother to her new baby. "Well, what a blessing and how this has changed my life!" she says. "If I had sat around and felt sorry for myself look at the above blessings I would have missed. What a thrill on Mother's Day this year to get a Grandmother card!"

And what of the young childless woman? Is she merely to mark time, hoping against hope that someday she will be given a child? There are always younger people who need a boost, some encouragement in their struggles against the pull of the world, a listening ear when they face hard decisions, someone who will simply take time out to pray with them, to walk with them the way of the cross with its tremendous demand--the difficult and powerful life of glad surrender and acceptance. As the branches of the wine pour out their sweetness, so young women may see their opportunity, as branches of the True Vine to pour out their lives for the world.

Elisabeth is the author of a number of books, including Shadow of the Almighty, Passion and Purity, A Path Through Suffering, The Shaping of a Christian Family, and Keep a Quiet Heart. For many years she hosted the radio program Gateway To Joy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Post: Pregnancy Lost

Thank you so much Sandra for allowing me to share your story. This is a blog that she orginially posted January 25, 2009

There Will Be A Day...

Today my mind drifted back to the day when I drove home from my appt. I had heard the news from my OB that I was losing you...my little baby

I was listening to KLOVE on the radio and heard a beautiful sung by Chris Rice called "Come to Jesus." Tears flowed from my eyes and I broke down. I pulled the car over to the side of road. I wanted to cry out...I wanted you with all my heart and I did not want to lose another child... In that moment I felt God's love and His arms around me. The words from the song comforted me that I was able to continue to make it home.

In the days that followed, it was the song. "Walk by Faith" by Jeremy Camp that spoke to me. I had my spirit renewed and my faith tested...
I held on to God during our storm. God called you home in July of 2008.. and I kept hope that one day we'd be reunited in Christ.. I still believe...

Months have past since then and my heart thinks of you both in heaven often. This week especially since it would have been my due date. I surrounded myself with work in hopes of moving forward but it wasn't helping... what helped was music.

Music has been a large part of my life for so long. For the Lord to speak to my heart through music is a wonderful gift. It was not surprisingly when today as I sat feeling sad thinking about tomorrow's due date that I heard music speaking to again...It was Jeremy Camp's "There will be a day."

It reminded me of God's word...
Revelation 21:4 (New International Version)
(4) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Romans 8:18-25
(18) I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (19)The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. (20) For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope (21) that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (22) We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (23) Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (24) For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? (25) But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.


I am waiting for what God has prepared for us. I hold on to the hope that when I enter the gates of heaven I will see my children and my loved ones...
Thank you God for drawing me to your light and love... for bringing me your love and word once again to my heart for it is my lifesong that I will sing to you....

I will always love you my baby... God's word promises There will be a day...

Sandra blogs about her life at Little Sprouts and about homeschooling at Monkey See, Monkey Do.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Burden

No one ever sank under the burden of
the day. It is when tomorrow's burden is
added to the burden of today that the
weight is more than a person can bear.
Never load yourselves so, my friends.
If you find yourselves so loaded, at least
remember this: it is your own doing,
not God's. He begs you to leave the
future to Him and mind the present.

George Macdonald