Say What?

1

We all need to use more four-letter words when we are talking with others. Yes, that is right four letter words. Some of the most important words in the world only have four little letters. The letters by them self mean absolutely nothing, but when placed in a certain order and used properly they can make someone’s day turn from horrible to wonderful.

Take a moment and think about how these four letter words can turn your life around. Love, life, need, want, and hope –are a few of these small little words and yet so powerful. It is the thrill of every parent and grandparent to have the arms of their little ones throw their arms around their necks and whisper “I love you!” Nothing can replace that feeling.

My pastor quoted Jeremiah 29:11 during his sermon recently. Then this morning, a friend posted the same verse on Facebook. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. This is a wonderful promise to each one of His children. “I know the thoughts I have toward you”, God’s thoughts are toward us because of His love towards us. This verse brings comfort and encouragement into our hearts even at the hardest times in our life.

Every man, woman and child need to feel loved and wanted. “I want you in my life”, can turn the loneliest life around. “I need you – not because of what you do, but because without you my life has an empty spot.” We will never know just how a simple word can affect someone else. The events in their life may be harsh, but that one sentence spoken with a simple letter word may be the very thing the Lord uses to turn around their life.

Take time today to speak words of encouragement to another. Allow the Lord to work through you. Be a source of reassurance and hope in someone’s heart. There is no question that as you reach out to someone else, the Lord will use it just as much to encourage you.

Lord, You Trusted Me How Much?

1

Years ago, an evangelist pastor, whom I highly regarded, shared in a marriage seminar words I have treasured ever since. “Women, the more difficult your husbands are, the more God trusts you with them. Glory to God,” speaking in his thick Jordanian accent while twisting his handlebar mustache.

Over the thirty years since, I have never forgotten those few words and often share them with various friends who are going through difficult times with their spouses. It has been a source of encouragement to all. Quite honestly, sometimes my question has been, “Why me, Lord? Why me? Did You really have to trust me this much?”

Yet, it seems in the distance I can hear my Father chuckle and simply say, “In time, you will understand.” However, in the forty-two of marriage, I am slowly acknowledging that if just a few words in this simple statement are reversed the meaning, the opposite is also true. “Husbands, no matter how difficult your woman is, know that God trusted you with her!” God gave him the same trust He gave me.

They say opposites attract. Oh so true! He is a night person, and I am usually up at daybreak. At restaurants, waiters snicker at the opposite condiments on the exact same food. Baked potatoes – him – butter only. Baked potatoes – me – loaded with everything but the kitchen sink. Try Chinese – only if you drag him kicking and screaming and yet I despise his beloved place for tacos with a passion. Then there are movies – war movies are not my thing and he hates my romantic stuff, although we do agree on most sci-fi series (a miracle to some degree.) But, the little things like that I can handle and I guess after all these years, he’s learned to tolerate my ‘weird’ taste.

The thing that drives him berserk is to be an hour down the road on vacation and hear me moan, “I don’t think I turned the iron off!” Once upon hearing my terror, he casually reached behind the seat pulling the iron out of its hiding place. It has taken several years of intense training but he finally has learned to check behind me before we leave the house! Then, there was the time we were three hours away and I suddenly realized I left my pocketbook at the fast food joint just a few miles down the road. Madly racing back down the road, we discovered no one had turned it in I was heartbroken. In it were my keys, identification, and all my mad money saved for my trip. Several hours later one of my brother-in-laws, after checking the iron of course, called to ask us did I know my pocketbook was in the living room.

Once after returning home from a doctor’s routine visit, I shared his suggestion I might need to take up a hobby to which he loudly replied, “Are you crazy, I can’t afford any more of your hobbies!” Of course, the doctor just chuckled knowingly on my return visit. At least writing on the computer doesn’t cost him anything and it keeps me somewhat busy, but I still find time for my other hobbies.

The older we get and the longer we have been married, I am coming to realize the language barrier. I speak good English but for some unknown reason he usually hears bad English. I have yet to figure this out and his response is his hearing is fine. A perfect example happened one day while working on the hose line of the washing machine. I am trying to explain that my original idea of flipping the cold and hot lines would not work because of the switches on the front of the machine. But, what does he hear – bad English! Finally, after several minutes of intense discussion we realize I am saying one thing but he has heard another. There are times I think we are going to have to get an interpreter in the near future to save our sanity.

I am without a shadow of a doubt a trial to his faith, especially when I decide I want to take care of something around the house and then need him to help finish it up. Like when the bathroom sink was draining real slow and I knew the trap needed to be cleaned. But, I didn’t get the ring quite tight enough, and then forgot to tell him to re-check it– oh well you get the picture. Or the time when we purchased a new push mower. I wanted to surprise him and have the grass mowed when he came home. After running out of gas, I needed to refill the tank. No problem, but I picked up the gas and filled away, only to discover later that I used the gas containing oil for the weed eater. So much for that mower! How could I know there is that much difference in the two? Since then he keeps all machinery filled and I have no need to touch the gas cans.

There are the times I accidentally lock the keys in the car, once requiring a thirty-mile trip one-way to rescue me. Let’s not forget the incident when, without my knowledge, a small branch became entangled in the underside of the car. Such a horrible racket and I was terrified the car was going to blow up. Once more my knight in shining armor came to my aide.

He still laughs when he thinks about my episode while reading Frank Peretti’s book “Monster”. After girls’ night out, I sat in the car reading waiting for my daughter to complete her clogging class. Unfortunately, the class ended in the middle of the scene where the kidnapped woman sees the creature’s glowing eyes in the deep dark forest. I had to drive home without knowing the outcome. Then after dropping my daughter off, and driving back home, I see one lonely deer eating across the field. Then I see another and another deer whose eyes reflect ominously in the headlights of the car on that dark moonless night. Upon arriving at the house, of course the key wouldn’t go in the door and without my knowledge, our dog Dingo has deliberately snuck up behind me and hears the glowing evil-eyed creatures across the field. Out of the dark abyss of the front yard, she tears loose in a howl of wicked proportions. Almost breaking my neck to escape the dreadful howling and the glowing eyes of the forest, I finally manage to get the key in the door, promptly jumping in managing to slam and lock the door at the same time. Imagine my husband’s surprise finding me up when he arrived home from work around midnight. Then to add insult to injury, he laughed at my earlier terrifying plight. Then to his total shock and amazement, I once more pick up the book to discover the fate of my new fictional friend. Now I ask you, I couldn’t leave her helpless at the fate of the glowing eyes for the remainder of the night, could I?

Okay, okay I guess I have to admit, I might not be the easiest person to live with. However, I know the Lord has brought us together. Has it always been easy? No way!!! We have had our bad and good, tragedy and sorrow, but without a doubt the Lord has strengthen us and uses us to erode many rough edges in our spirit. Yes, guess my pastor friend knew what he was talking about so very long ago. The Lord did trust us a lot to give us to each other!

Yea, Hurray, Great Job

1

“Let’s give them a hand. Great job!” Often we hear that statement at the end of a special song or maybe at the end of a message by a guest speaker. We want to show in some small way our appreciation for their willingness to share their gift with us. A sincere compliment encourages even the weakest and most fearful.

As Christians, we know that men’s applause really means little in the larger picture. Our substance should and must come from the Lord. He is the Giver of all of our talents and every bit of the praise belongs to Him. Often I see His servants totally refuse any praise giving it all back to their Lord and it is refreshing to know that they are not willing to take any of His glory.

However, to give and give of your best without any acknowledgement at any time from others can be depressing in the life of a believer. Recently, a pastor shared with me that no one from his church ever says an encouraging word about his sermons. He knows that as long as he is doing and giving his best for the Lord that the Lord is pleased. However, in all honesty, a simple word here and there would make a world of difference.

I have thought about this often in the last few weeks since that conversation. On one hand, we know we are not to seek the applause of man. Yet, deep within most of us – we want to know that what we are doing, saying, singing, preaching, or teaching has touched at least one heart. Not for the sake of applause, but to know we are making a difference for someone.

In relation to this subject, I saw something in the Word that encouraged my heart. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, all record Jesus being baptized and the voice of His Father re-sounding through the air. Mark 1:11 “And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. I can only imagine the joy that filled the Lord’s heart at hearing the words of His Father. God the Father was pleased with Him. Those few words were so encouraging, just as the thought of hearing the Father say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

Will you take time today or tomorrow to speak an encouraging word to someone who is willing to step out in obedience to the Lord? The Lord can use you to bring reassurance to another that they are making a difference. Let your words bring life and hope, not for the sake of just saying words, but to truly minister to someone else. Those few words you share may be the very ones that inspire them to keep pressing on.

Just For You

1

At the beginning of time, I planned for you.
Even as the world took form, by name I called you.
Before the sun shone brightly in the morn,
And the moon gleamed in the dead of night,
With the stars twinkling high in the evening sky, My thoughts were toward you.
Of all My designs, in My image I formed you.
At the moment of man’s creation, I breathed My Spirit in you.
As I walked in the Garden of Eden, I looked forward to you.
While waiting for Noah to build the ark, I longed for you.
When Abram stepped out in faith to a new place, I promised a Seed for you.
As Moses met with Me at the tent of the meeting, My presence now meets with you.
Like the children of Israel in the desert, I provide for you.
Hearing Rahab’s cry for a new life, My heart also cried for you.
Truly as the walls of Jericho fell, I tear down walls between Me and you.
As Boaz redeemed Ruth, I thought of the day My redemption would come to you.
Just as Elijah saw My army protecting him, I send angels to guard over you.

Taking on the form of a man, I surrendered My heavenly place for you.
Walking on water and calming the sea; that which seems impossible comes to you.
Giving you a grain of mustard seed, I supplied My faith to you.
Bearing My wounds, I took transgressions from you.
My bruised and battered body carried your iniquity, now gives freedom for you.
Through My stripes, I brought healing to you.
Carrying your sin, I became the perfect sacrifice for you.
As I hung on the cross, I made a way for you.
At the point of My death, I ripped the veil opening the way to the Father for you.
In My death, I took the keys of hell and death, releasing their effect on you.
On the day of My resurrection, I obtained new life for you.
When the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost, I gave My Comforter to you.

The disciples I called in My love, that same love now extends to you.
As clearly as I revealed calls and destinies of others,
Some to be mighty prayer warriors,
Others proclaiming My Name aloud,
In My time My purpose becomes clearer to you.
Just as the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, I opened your eyes for you.
Trust this truth, I have a plan and a future for you.
Sitting at the right hand of the Father, I intercede for you.
With an everlasting love, I love you.
For you are chosen one, My beautiful Bride, and I do cherish you.

Take That Back

1

“I hate you!” “Get out of my house.” “You are a stupid idiot.” “No one could ever love you.” All these phrases have one common theme; they inflict intense pain on the receiver. Just as the knowledge that a spouse has committed adultery. Or, discovering a loved one has lied about a major event. So many vices bring pain to not only our self but also those that care for us. Then we stand filled with guilt from the agony of our actions.

Regret is one of the heaviest things on the face of the earth. It has created chaos and strife in the lives of countless people. It overpowers many and destroys others. Why? We know certain actions can never be taken back. Regret might come from words spoken in haste or maybe decisions made and acted upon. No matter how the event came about, the damage is done, and now you have to live with it.

Think about it, if you say something in anger; once those remarks leave your mouth and fly to the ears of the listener, it is too late to stop them. Maybe the words were critical of a friend. Not a phrase that might help them correct an area of their life but an expression that actually inflicted pain. That one thoughtless act has the power to destroy a relationship.

There is absolute truth in this simple sentence, “There is life or death in the power of the tongue”. We can inflict pain or bring life to any given situation simply by the words we allow to come out of our mouth. One friend shared that as a child, his father wanted a certain tool. The young boy stood over the toolbox. He finally grabbed one, hoping it was correct. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and he stood as his father berated him for his stupidity. Years later, as an adult, he could handle woodworking equipment with expertise and yet, refused to tinker on a car or washing machine. Those words “Stupid!” echo in his mind. He gave up learning a valuable trade because of a few callous words spoken in anger and frustration.

Perhaps the situation is a parent who knows their child is experimenting with drugs. They harp, accuse, and berate repeatedly. Each time, there is a hope that maybe the words they are sharing will reach that child’s heart. When, in fact each verbal attack simply pushes them deeper into the situation. They want to drown out their parent’s words. The heartsick parent grieves that much more, wondering what else to say.

People get into situations all the time that result in total destruction of their life or family. The woman nags her husband until he walks out the door. A spouse plays with the idea of fooling around and finally makes the move to commit adultery. Someone drinks too much and destroys their Christian witness with all their partying stunts. The list of failures is huge.

We have all walked in the shoes of regret. But, how do we overcome? There are consequences in some areas that simply cannot be stopped, as a family divided because of adultery. Trust is destroyed, but with the Lord moving deep within the hearts, forgiveness can be found. We cannot undo our actions, but we can allow the Lord to move in our lives.

Our part is to surrender to the Lord. Seek His forgiveness and grace. Ask Him to bring healing to those who have been hurt. He can mend and heal in ways we only dream can happen. Yes, regret is a heavy chain worn by many, but the power of the Lord is more than able to break every chain. Allow the Lord to move in your life today. Pray for His healing touch on those around you. You cannot change the past, but He is able to help you move past it.

He’s in the Storm (part 2)

1

Other storms come our way not as punishment but to teach us something vital from the Lord.  We must be willing to seek the Father’s heart to know and understand the difference.  Our storms might be found in our marriage, or finances.  It might be with the trials of our child, or maybe another family member.  Another one may be in health issues – ours or a loved one or even the loss of a loved one.

In Matthew 8:23-27 we find the disciples following after Jesus daily.  Jesus climbs in a boat and they are right on His heels. There is no question of their loyalty or obedience.  And yet here is a storm!  The winds are blowing and the waves are slapping at their boat and fear sets in.  They know He is with them and yet there is absolute panic! They have followed Him to this place and yet here is the STORM!  Their attitude is “We are all going to die!!!!!!”

This happens to us also.  We are striving to be obedient and yet here comes the storms of life! And then our emotions often steps into the picture:  FEAR, DOUBT, ANGER, and CONFUSION.   Our heart knows one thing but our head says another.   Our reaction to the storms in our life, too often reveal our fears and lack of faith.

Fear = What is happening? My world just turned upside down!!

Doubt= Why?  Why is this happening??

Anger = Doesn’t God know?   Why didn’t He protect me? I am a His child!

Confusion = Why did He allow this to happen?  I thought He loved me.

These twelve men looked around and there’s Jesus and He is sleeping.  How could He sleep at a time like this?  Because He had absolutely no doubt that His Father was with Him.  He was walking in obedience to the Father.  He knew that place of sweet security of resting in the arms of love.  He trusted His Father to take care of Him in all circumstances – even in the storm.  It is harder for us to find that place of peace and rest.

As human, we have a fear of the unknown.  We like our security.  We like knowing where our next step will take us.  WE DON”T LIKE CHANGE!  AT ALL- IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM.  We especially do not like change, when it comes in the shape of a storm.

Then Jesus simply spoke “Peace!  Be still.”  The disciples were amazed that Jesus was able to control the winds and seas.  They had never encountered anyone that was able to do this.  At once, the waters became still and the winds once more were a gentle breeze.  The storm was over.

In the midst of our storms, we have to learn to walk in trust and faith. Trust that no matter what is happening around us, He is with us.  We need to stand in faith knowing He is in control.  When our son was paralyzed in 1992, the Lord spoke one sentence into my heart.  “Can you trust Me even in this?”  I won’t say it’s easy, or there won’t be days of tears or sorrow but we must realize that He is always with us.  His love is perfect!  We are a work in progress.  We have not learned to walk in His perfect love yet.

His word is true – His perfect love will cast out all fear.  He longs for us to walk in faith.  Yet He knows we are human and the storms of life bring fear into our hearts.  His word hold true – He is always with us and will never leave us.  Amp: Hebrews 13:5 – for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you or give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not]!

Hold fast to this promise today.  He is right there with you, guiding you into His perfect will for His life.  Stand on His word.  Trust in His direction.  Allow Him to stand in the midst of your storm and speak not only to the storm but to your heart. “Peace, be still!”

It’s Just a Small Thing

1

“It is beautiful! I love it.” Many people hear those words when they make a present for someone. The present may be something sewn, knitted, or crocheted. Maybe your talent is woodworking, or photography. Perhaps, your love of baking and decorating becomes your gifts of love. Some have a talent of hospitality, or organizing. Whatever your talent is, the Lord can use you to touch the hearts of many.

One of my favorite women in Scripture is Dorcas from Acts 9. She seems to be such a simple woman and yet many know her acts of love. Men, women, and children were touched by her generosity. They wore the clothing given to them by this precious lady with pride. She did not want or expect their gratitude; she was simply using the talents the Lord gave her to minister to others.

Some have practical talents that allow them to help others in need. A mechanic willing to repair a vehicle for the stranded family, simply for the chance to give to another in small portion as the Lord has given to him. One friend works tirelessly for home of humanity – showing compassion and love in this gift of a lifetime. Another, a photographer makes time of a session of a young mother and her daughter who has cancer, creating memories of a lifetime.

One friend has the gift of organization. He works tirelessly in his church’s food bank. Another friend rides from store to store gathering the items for distribution. One couple consistently takes meals to Hospice to help the grieving families. Each talent is different yet each are part of a bigger picture.

Every person has the ability to give to another in some way. A meal, a plate of cookies, or a dessert mean the world to someone going through a hard time. At times, a card or letter sharing reminding someone that they are not alone. Taking someone to a doctor’s visit or sitting with them for a bit at the hospital sometimes reaches a heart in ways we can never imagine.

“Talent! What talent?” “No one wants my talent. It’s too small.” “I can’t do anything!” How often do we short-change our self and in the process, short-change the people around us? Other excuses are time, too busy or doubt. Yet we find time for the tv or playing on the internet.

Yea, we all have talents and the Lord expects us to use them for His glory. If you know your talent, begin using it for Him. If you are unsure, pray and ask for revelation. Step out in faith. Determine this day that you will become another Dorcas. Be that someone that touches the heart of the lost, lonely, poor and distressed. You have it in you and it’s time to get it out in the open.

Where is God in Our Storms?

1

We all go through storms in our lives.  When we are in these storms we often look around feeling alone. No one else knows how we feel.  They don’t understand what we are going through.  Storms come in all shapes, sizes and intensity. Some are short and not so sweet, like a quick moving summer storms with the wind, hail, rain, thunder and lightning. Others are long and intense – similar to a slow moving hurricanes that brings torrential rains and flooding.  The winds seem to blow at our very foundations.  The flash floods threaten to wash everything away.

But the truth is, storms or trials come in our life for a variety of reasons.  Some storms we bring on ourselves, brought on by our choices we make in life, or someone else’s decisions.  God gives everyman free will.  Too often, we fail to be obedient to the Lord’s direction.  He might whisper in our ear – call Sister Sue, or fix a meal for Bro. Bob.  It might be visit Cousin Louie and share the truth of His Love.  He speaks to our heart to go pray for Clyde.

A perfect example is Jonah.  God spoke to Jonah:  Go – preach – proclaim to the people of Nineveh, they have sinned and judgment is coming!  But Jonah does not obey!  He runs in the opposite direction – not only to escape the call but actually to escape the presence of the Lord.  But you might run from the call of God in your life but you can never escape the Presence of the Lord.

We might not run to a ship but we use other means of escape.  Such as I’m too busy – if you are too busy to be obedient to the Lord then you are too busy.  Or maybe you say: I don’t know what to say – He promises to give you the words.  I don’t know how to pray for them – the Holy Spirit will guide you.  We hide behind things – TV, obligations, crafts, family, people, etc.  Or the best one we love to use is that’s the pastor’s job!

In this case the Lord Himself sent this storm – He stirred up the wind and the waves.  He is determined to get Jonah’s attention and obedience.  The Lord could have sent someone else but He gave this job to Jonah.   If the Lord gives us a job – we cannot delegate it to someone else.  He has given it to us for a reason.  The Lord has something for each one of us to do outside the four walls of a church.  The church will never reach the lost just sitting in their pews.

Jonah was NOT responsible for the outcome of his preaching.  His job was to be obedient, that was all.  The response to hearing the Word is on the listener, just as it was in Nineveh.  One word or sentence spoken in His perfect timing will make a difference in the light of eternity in the life of someone else.  But bottom line is – if the Lord speaks to your heart to do it, then it is yours to do.

Let me give a scenario:  The Lord lays it on our heart to go to a lost loved one.  We share the Gospel and they laugh in our face.  They have no need for it.  They tell us, we are crazy to believe in that old wife’s tales.  There is no God. Religion is just a crutch. Because of this one instant, we make up our mind we are NEVER going to share with anyone again.

Yet scriptures tell us in Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  Like I shared earlier, we are not responsible for the response but just to deliver the message.  Then He tells us to go share again and it might me with that very same person.  And we refuse – which brings on a storm in our life.

Are you in a storm today because you have failed to follow the Lord’s leading.  Realize your mistake and turn back to the task He placed before you.  If you are a singer, then begin singing.  If you are a writer – pick up your pen.  He called you to preach – open your mouth and let Him fill it.  If your job is a prayer warrior – fall to your knees and cry out for those He lays on your heart.  As you walk in obedience, the storm will cease and you will see Him working for His good pleasure in your life

Help Meeeeeeee

1“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”. We have all heard these words on commercials thousands of times. Many of us have probably said those same words joking around with family and friends. But, there are times in our walk with the Lord that is exactly how we feel. Life has a way of slapping us upside the head and the result leaves us feeling emotionally and spiritually, the same way as the poor person in the TV ad.We make a mistake or fall into sin and we feel like it’s the end of the world. How are we ever going to get past this? We know others have been in this same situation, it is different this time because we are the ones walking in those shoes. We stumble, and fall, and we feel like it’s the end of the world. There is no way back. Our failure seems enormous in our case. We beat our self up, berating our spirit with words like stupid, dumb, etc. We will never get back to the place we were.

This scene happens in every single life. We make progress and then “BAM!” We are flat on our face again, wondering how that happened. We didn’t mean to take this route. Now, we feel stuck, stranded in a pit of despair. Moving forward is impossible, going back is out of the question, but standing here will surely bring even more death to our spirit.

Is this where you are at now? You never meant to walk down this path and yet here you are. Where can you go from here? There is only one place to go. Onward to the cross, that is the only place that will ever bring relief. It is at the cross that you can cry out in repentance. Pouring out your heart, you will find His mercy and grace. At the feet of the Lord is the only place that you will ever find the peace you are craving.

Jesus never left you and has promised you He never will. However, when we willfully walk away from His path, we will only find torment and a lack of peace. He promises to forgive you when you cry out to Him. He cannot lie, His words are true and He is faithful. His strength will help you overcome. His wisdom will guide you once more onto the path of His righteousness.

Let go today, those things that hold you back from His peace and rest. Move forward, letting go of the past. Seek His face, as never before, for today is a new day in the Lord. No, you can’t get up on your own but the Lord is extending His hand out to help you rise to your feet once more.

The Rearview Mirror

11

The picture spoke volumes. As she prepared to drive away from the house, she clicked a picture of what use to be her home. She didn’t look back but simply stared at the reflection in the side mirror for a moment. Slowly putting the car in drive, she focused straight ahead allowing the wheels to put some space between her and her not so distant past.

The home/house held a vast array of memories. Some were of an earlier and loving time, but the latter harsh memories far exceeded the good. The car and a truck carried the few bits of furniture she called her own. The one unreplaceable treasure that carried her heart and soul was her child. That much could never be taken away. Looking forward, the young woman knew today was the first day of the rest of her life. She could push aside what was and now move on to the new day. She had prayed, cried, grieved, and reflected so many times over the last year. Finally, the Lord was opening a new door.

How often do events come into our life that effectively close one door and open another? Like the young woman, we go through a gambit of emotions from feeling betrayed, anger, sorrow, and pain. We grieve for what once was, even as we struggle to understand what is happening in our life. Slowly, we come to the reality that this is it. What has been is no more. We await for the “next” phase of our life.

At these times in life, looking back only hinders our forward movement. Keeping our eyes focused on the past prevents us from seeing what is in front. The past sometimes create scars in our heart. However, as we allow the Lord to bring healing and restoration, the scars simply remind us of how He has touched our life.

As this year closes, many are seeing the Lord close one door. You can rest in the knowledge that He will not leave you stranded. He will make a way in the midst of the wilderness. Your part is easy. Glance in the rearview mirror at what was, if you must and then focus on your future. Dwell on what is to come. Seek His path and His direction for your life even as you move forward into His will.

Reflect on the lessons learned. Embrace the healing of your heart. Strive to listen to that still small voice. Let God be God of your life, your heart, and your soul. Relax, sit back, and enjoy the ride. He promised to lead you into His green pasture, and beside still waters. Yes, sit back and enjoy the ride, for it is a new day in the Lord.