My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – (Psalm 73:26, NIV)
Maybe my mind and body will become weak, but God is my source of strength. He is mine forever! – (Psalm 73:26, ERV)
Lord, so many times I fail; I fall into disgrace. But when I trust in You, I have a strong and glorious presence protecting and anointing me. Forever You’re all I need! – (Psalm 73:26, TPT)
Sundays are bittersweet. The sweet comes through the blessings found in gathering with my church family to worship and hear the word together. However, the challenging portion of Sundays are found in the reminder that my weekend has come to a close, and much of the day is spent preparing for the week ahead. Today is no exception, as I will have to go in to work to take care of things that must be ready for Monday afternoon, and require far more time and energy than my planning period permits. Sometimes, the need to go in on a weekend feels a bit like a failure, as I cannot wrap my head around how people are able to complete all that must be done during the week. I am worn out, and six days spent at work are more than I desire, even if only a few hours extra on a weekend. That being said, God provides what I need, as He grants me the strength and the help as I go. Always He is faithful to meet me in my weakness, and supplies the strength that I need. May we ever trust in the Lord, for His strength and His presence are the provisions we need to rise.
No matter the day,
Or how my heart cries;
God remains faithful,
And grants strength to rise.
Rise up from weakness,
Step out of despair;
Strengthens as He cares.
Our God of all grace;
Our help and our hope,
For now, and always.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we fall short, You are always enough. Thank You that You are our strength and our portion forever. Thank You that You meet us in our weakness and provide the strength of heart required to press on in the direction that You are calling us to move. Forgive us for our frustrations and lack of faith. Teach us to trust in You in all things and at all times; for You are strength and hope and love and life. Show us how to love those around us in ways that encourage and strengthen in spaces where hope is hard to find. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on You to be our strength and provision forever. Amen.
The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – Psalm 29:11
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. – (1 Timothy 1:5, NIV)
The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love – love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. – (1 Timothy 1:5, MSG)
For we reach the goal of fulfilling all the commandments when we love others deeply with a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere faith. – (1 Timothy 1:5, TPT)
Love really is the whole point. When we operate from a heart that is pure and our intent on choosing to love, we are living our faith out loud. Our motivation for all that we do, must be rooted in love. When it is, we are operating in a sincere faith, with a clear conscience, from a heart made pure by He who is love. If we truly love from a pure heart, we cannot envy, hate, boast, be unkind, or the like. Love conquers all. I imagine that is why it is said that “the greatest of these, is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) As we step into a new day, at the start of a new week, may we be open to God with a sincere faith so that we may navigate our days with a clean conscience and a pure heart, and choose to simply love.
Love is the answer,
To all of life’s woes;
For the love of God,
Multiplies and grows.
It purifies hearts,
Makes consciences clean;
Through a sincere faith,
We learn what love means.
The more that we learn,
The more we choose give;
Love from a pure heart,
Each day that we live.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call and command us to love from a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith. Thank You that as we seek You and pursue a life lived according to Your calling, You empower us to love. Forgive us for allowing our selfishness, bitterness, anger or fear to get in the way of choosing love. Show us how to love those around us simply and purely, in a way that demonstrates love tangible to each heart. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pursue You wholeheartedly so that we may love unreservedly. Amen.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. – (Romans 12:2, NIV)
Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect. – (Romans 12:2, ERV)
Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing and complete. – (Romans 12:2, VOICE)
We are called to be exactly who God created us to become; not some ideal that society sets before us. Rather than looking to the world to determine what is popular and widely accepted, God calls us to look to Him and allow Him to grow us in the gifts He birthed within us, as He transforms our hearts and minds to more clearly reflect His own. The more we seek the Lord and allow Him to shape who we are becoming, the better we are able to discern what is good and pleasing to Him. At the end of the day, knowing and doing God’s will is walking out God’s very best for us. He knows the plans, even when we do not, so moving in the direction He is calling will lead us to where we need to go. May we turn a deaf ear to the lies that tempt us to fit a mold not intended for us, and depend on the Lord to continue transforming us into the people that He has created us to become.
God has made mom a fighter, and with the loving support and encouragement of my sister and her family, mom has begun ditching her wheelchair during the day, to rely solely on her walker! This process began on Friday, and already they are seeing terrific improvement. Mark and I will go visit this weekend, and I cannot wait to witness the progress, and to see mom after far too long. We also will have the joy of delivering some of her winter clothing, as we all had a great conversation while Mark and I were gathering Mom’s requested items from her closet yesterday, prior to heading home. It has been equally long since I have seen my sister, so it will be a wonderful reunion for us all.
Do not choose settle,
For what others want;
Instead, seek the Lord,
Our best confidant.
We’re not meant to be,
What the world expects;
But rather we ought,
Do what God directs.
For in Him we are,
Transformed and renewed;
Grown in our purpose,
With hearts He makes new.
So, do not conform,
Rather, seek the One;
Who loves us to life,
In love, get things done.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in You, rather than giving in to that which the world says we ought to do or be. Thank You that as we seek You and know You more, You help us to more clearly recognize Your will and walk it out. Forgive us for the times we seek the world’s approval rather than Yours. Teach us to worry less about pleasing others and more about honoring You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that is good and pleasing unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be transformed and renewed in You. Amen.
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – (Psalm 119:105, NIV)
Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take. – (Psalm 119:105, ERV)
By Your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. – (Psalm 119:105, MSG)
The word of God is alive and active. It is not just some book of words recorded long ago, but rather it is a source of encouragement and wisdom as we traverse life’s journey. So often, when the road is bleak or unclear, I find comfort and peace as I await next steps. Right now, we are in a space of tying up loose ends here and making final preparations there, prior to mom’s move to the next leg of her healing journey. This week, she will have her final in-home appointments with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, as her insurance has to end in Washington in July, in order to begin in Oregon in August. This creates a strange sort of gap in the in-between, but God has been opening doors and showing us ways to keep mom moving forward with her various exercises during the week she will be in Washington without any appointments, prior to moving. Additionally, the whole swimming option has added a beautiful new element of therapy that not even the professionals have been able to offer. God guides and provides every step of the way.
Yesterday was a day of visiting, as the day began with our final hours together with my love before he had to drive home, followed by dear pastoral friends of mom’s at mid-day, and a wonderful evening together with mom’s best friend and her husband, as we shared dinner, much laughter, and taught them our family favorite game. Our fantastic full day led to a solid night’s sleep, with only one wake-up. We both rose at a reasonable hour, rested, and are ready for a full day, as mom has both physical therapy and speech therapy, as well as a visit with friends, late this afternoon. May we trust in God and the goodness of His word, as He lights our path and makes our way clear.
The word of the Lord,
In love, lights the way;
To walk in His truth,
Grants grace each new day.
No matter how rough,
Or bleak the road seems;
The Lord’s love light shines,
All things, He redeems.
The God of all grace,
Can do so much more;
Beauty from ashes,
And broken, restored.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path. Thank You that Your word is timeless and relevant. Thank You that You see us and know us, and You hear our every need. Forgive our fearfulness when we cannot see the path You prepare before us. Teach us to trust You more so that we would seek You and spend time in Your word to discover the path You are calling us to travel. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends grace and kindness and peace, so that broken hearts and lives may come to know restoration and wholeness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You and thank You for Your word that guides us. Amen.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – (Philippians 4:9, NIV)
And do what you learned and received from me – what I told you and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you. – (Philippians 4:9, ERV)
Keep to the script: whatever you learned and received and heard and saw in me – do it – and the God of peace will walk with you. – (Philippians 4:9, VOICE)
God has shown us what to do to walk in His way and know His peace, personally. He has given us His word, the example of His Son and all who followed faithfully before us, so that we may learn and receive from Him. Peace is present, even when things are difficult, as we are certain of the direction we are meant to be going. We learn, receive, hear and see the truth of what we are to know as we earnestly seek the Lord. Christ is faithful to meet us and lead us, so that we know His perfect peace wherever we go. May we ever put into practice that which we have come to know, so that we may grow in wisdom and know the presence of His perfect peace.
The Lord has shown us,
What we’re meant to do;
He’s modeled the way,
To live a life true.
All that we have learned,
Received, heard and seen;
Shows the path to peace,
And what that peace means.
Wherever we go,
And in all we do;
Let us trust the way,
That God leads us through.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace. Thank You that You have shown and given us the ways in which we are meant to go. Thank You that as we do, we are met with Your peace. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to follow the path that You have provided, and have either gone our own way or stayed stuck in the space that we were meant to leave. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would know and understand the ways we are to walk forward with You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that provides Your peace and strength to move forward in the direction that You are calling. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust and follow all that we have learned and received from You. Amen.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. – (Acts 5:39, NIV)
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be fighting against God himself! – (Acts 5:39, ERV)
But then again, if God is in this, you won’t be able to stop it – unless, of course, you’re ready to fight against God! – (Acts 5:39, VOICE)
When God calls us to something, He is faithful to see it through. The people and things that seem to create obstacles will not succeed, as long as we depend on the Lord. This is a great reminder, as the disciples had to face the Sanhedrin, which very easily could have been the end of them, however, a wise leader among them spoke truth on their behalf, leading to their release. What seemed an impossible situation in the eyes of mankind, was already taken care of by God. He is faithful to His word, and will see us through, all that we are called to do. May we not allow our circumstances or that which is seen, deter our faith in the outcome of what is asked of us. If God is for us, who can stand against us?
When we choose answer,
Whatever the call;
God will empower,
See us through it all.
For nothing can stand,
That tries to deter;
Our God is greater,
And true to His word.
Let us choose stand strong,
Keep moving with trust;
God will not fail us,
He’s faithful and just.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to equip and empower us to do whatever it is that You call us to. Thank You that any who come against what You are working to accomplish in and through us, will find themselves fighting against You. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we cannot see how You are moving. Teach us to trust You more, as You are faithful forever to Your word and to those who trust in Your Name. Show us how to love those around us in a way that encourages and helps move people in the direction to which You are calling. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we forge forward in faith in all that You ask of us. Amen.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. – (1 Peter 3:11, NLT)
Stop doing what is wrong, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. – (1 Peter 3:11, ERV)
Say nothing evil or hurtful; snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. – (1 Peter 3:11, MSG)
We are called to walk away from doing wrong, and to turn to God and do the good for which we have been designed. At times this requires a searching for peace within ourselves, in order to love and live well. When we find the peace of God and do what we can to share His peace with those around us, God is glorified and the peace that surpasses all understanding, is made evident. May we turn away from evil and do good, ever seeking the peace that the Lord provides.
Retreat from evil,
Choose turn to do good;
As God intended,
Let’s walk as we should.
Ever seeking peace,
So that we in turn;
Share peace with others,
For His peace is learned.
It comes from within,
For God is greater,
And peace is His plan.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we turn and walk away from the things that we know we ought to avoid, we discover the good that You intended all along. Thank You that as we pursue You, Your peace is present, no matter what surrounds us. Thank You that as we know Your peace, we are able to share it with those around us. Forgive us for not listening to Your leading to guide us away from that which we ought not be near, and toward the good to which You are calling. Teach us to hear Your voice and obey all that You ask, so that we do the good to which we are called, and live in Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Show us love those around us in a way that promotes Your peace through the good we choose. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we turn away from the that which steals our peace, and turn toward You and do good, ever running after the perfect peace that You provide. Amen.
The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – Psalm 29:11
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, NIV)
“Come to Me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, ERV)
“Come to Me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, CEB)
It is good to work hard and complete the tasks that lie before us, yet there comes a point when we have to listen to our bodies and choose to slow down and rest. God provides the time and space necessary for us to rest, if we only choose to do so, and He grants us help and hope and relief when all seems too much to slow down. Often the thing that keeps us from resting is a busy mind. When the day is done and we actually lie down to rest, our mind continues to plan, prepare, and ponder ways to accomplish the long list that is yet to be done, further removing the rest that is so desperately needed. Thankfully, true to His word, when we turn our attention to Him, rather than what needs to be done, peace comes and rest enters in. May we ever seek the Lord in our times of weariness, for He is the perfect Provider of the rest our bodies and minds require.
Jesus is calling,
For He says to come;
All who are weary,
Seek the Holy One.
For He grants us rest,
And His perfect peace;
He loves us to life,
Grants heavy relief.
So, let us draw near,
To our God above;
As He grants us rest,
And fills with His love.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You in our weariness with our heavy burdens, and You will give us rest. Thank You that Your rest refreshes and provides relief so that we can press on in Your strength. Forgive us for not slowing down to rest, even though it is intended for us all. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would take time to rest and refresh in You, as You lighten our load and make our burdens bearable. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps shoulder the heavy loads and encourages rest as it is needed. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come to You when we are weary and heavy burdened, knowing that You will grant us rest. Amen.
He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)
But those who trust in the Lord will become strong again. They will be like eagles that grow new feathers. They will run and not get weak. They will walk and not get tired. – (Isaiah 40:31, ERV)
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. – (Isaiah 40:31, MSG)
With school ending and the wedding drawing nearer each day, I find myself a different sort of busy. I do not rise quite as early, but am still greeted by early morning light, and I find that I am often lying down to sleep after the day has gone dark. The pace of my days is not nearly as hectic, yet they are equally full, as there is much to do in preparation for all that lies ahead. Between moving classroom and homes, as well as less than a month until the wedding, much needs to be done. If I pause and think about it, I am weary before I begin; however, if I rise and set to whatever needs to be done each day, I find that the Lord renews my strength and I am not weary until the day comes to a close. Incredibly, I have found this to be so even in my long-awaited return to running after sustaining a fibular fracture in football. I feared that I might struggle to run even a short distance, yet my best running buddy and I set out and ran nearly four miles on a hot day, on my first day back to it. There was zero pain and I felt as strong as if I had never stopped running. May we ever hope in God who gives us fresh strength for each new day so that we may run without growing weary and walk without lagging behind.
When we hope in God,
Our strength is renewed;
We find wings to soar,
As His path’s pursued.
Each time that we run,
We will not grow tired;
For God is our strength,
All that is desired.
In Him, we can walk,
And not lag behind;
For He shall provide,
Help and hope aligned.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we hope in You, You renew our strength and help us to soar. Thank You that we can run and not grow weary and walk and not grow faint, as we move in the direction to which You are calling us to go. Forgive us for not seeking You in our spaces of weariness or where we feel depleted. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, as You are the wings on which we shall soar. Show us how to love those around us in a way that strengthens, helps and renews others in their spaces of weariness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hope in You forever, soaring in the strength that You alone provide. Amen.
God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6