Fear Not

FTI Fear not quote pic

Fear not. Fear not. Fear not. This is what the Lord keeps saying to me. However, to say yesterday was a distressing day is an understatement. There were multiple conversations with doctors, by phone and in person, with me asking as many questions as I could to help me decide whether to pull the plug or not on my next recommended surgery…which happens to be today.

Did I let fear overwhelm me? Yes. In a major way.

But, as God does, He spoke again. I came home and just wanted to collapse from the weight of it all. But before I settled into the couch, I picked up the open Bible on the table nearby and settled into His word.

I had it opened to the Psalms but there is a devotional text in this particular Bible that had a quote from Isaiah which seems to be finding it’s way to me through various sources. My eyes landed on this:

“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.” Isaiah 41:13

So, I’m holding onto His hand today and trusting He will help me. If you are going through a trial, this is for you too. God always keeps His promises.

Here’s one of those ways God sent this message to me. This video teaching from Andy Stanley is worth a watch.

 

And The Saints Keep Marching On…

FTI Faith WaterfallWhen life gets hard and it feels like we’re losing battles left and right, it can help to read again the stories of all the brave saints who have gone before us.

To let our minds travel back in time, with the author of Hebrews 11, so that the testimony of the faithful can reignite the faith in our own hearts.

It’s good to remember we’re not alone and that the grace God has poured out on his children throughout history continues today.

 

If you are discouraged, I hope this song by Sara Groves will inspire you to keep marching on.

Sara Groves – When The Saints (Official) from sara-groves on GodTube.

Faith, Flags and Heroes

When Memorial Day rolls around each year, I must confess that often the first thing I think of is what fun will come of this three-day weekend and how we will celebrate this carefree kick-off to summer.

But, somewhere along the way, I pause to think about the why. Why is a national holiday necessary to remind the living to remember the dead?

Maybe because it is all too easy to forget.

And the parades and ceremonies and the colorful flags, they help to raise up memories of our fallen heroes.

I was inspired by this touching article from a woman reflecting on the lessons she learned about heroism as a child hearing stories about the uncle she never knew. It got me thinking about what it really means to be a hero.

I know there are many definitions of that word, but my mind automatically goes to Hebrews 11 and the Heroes of the Faith listed there. Those of whom the scripture says “the world was not worthy.”

And, of course, Jesus, who sacrificed His life for ours – He is the Ultimate Hero!

Because of Him, we can lift the white flag of surrender and be saved from the tyranny of sin. And when we do, we will be like the saints of old, looking forward to the promise of eternal life.

By faith, carrying the flag of true freedom. Hope held high, waving in the wind.

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” Psalm 145:3

Have a blessed weekend!

A Blessing For The Believing

The blinds on the windows are closed today, Nothing much to look at. Just gray skies. A bit of rain. Downright gloomy, you might say.

But I just heard those birds chirping. Seems they decided to sing anyway, to act like it’s spring even when it doesn’t look or feel like it.

FTI Blessed Believers

And it makes me curious. So I peek out, searching in vain for the winged creatures that defy gravity and, at least on this day, common sense.

I cannot see them, but the sound of them lets me know that all is well.

And I imagine the days following Jesus’ ascension into heaven when His followers were waiting behind closed doors, windows shut tight, hearts clinging to invisible hope.

Suddenly, the promised Comforter, The Holy Ghost, God’s Spirit, came upon them, overwhelming their dark with the light of a new day.

But they did not see Him. The first sign of His presence was a sound. The sound of “a mighty rushing wind.”

And the first sign of our faith is the sound of our praise, the songs we sing to God even on dark days.

Listen. Jesus is speaking. His promise still whispers from the holy pages.

“Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Blessed are those who put their trust in God, who hope in things unseen, even when it makes no human sense.

Blessed are the believing.

The sun is beginning to drip from the cloud-soaked sky. Can you hear it?

It is the sound of gloom lifting and doubt falling, making way for spring, the joy of a new day dawning.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2

Heavenly Father,
When life makes it difficult to see you,
let us hear you. May we be assured that you are
bringing something beautiful our way, even
when it doesn’t look or feel like it.
A new day is about to dawn.
Help us to believe.

How To Spring Forward When You Can Barely Move

So here we are again. That time of year when we push the clock ahead one hour and symbolically spring forward into a new season.

It’s usually fun for me. It’s when I start dreaming of planting a few veggies & herbs in the back yard, and filling empty terra cotta pots with mounds of lovely, fragrant flowers and letting the cool air breeze through open windows.

But I have to be honest. When you’ve been “under the weather” as I have this week, that sounds like a lot of work and I’m all out of energy.

So I ask myself, “What can be done when the heart is willing but the flesh is weak?”

Is it really possible to spring forward when it feels like you can barely move?

“From the depths of the earth you will again bring me up”
Psalm 71:20b

Yes!

Because God is still at work in us.

Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

Today, I rejoice in the promise of renewed life. For the coming spring that, even now, colors the world with hope.

And I especially thank God for a faith that, in spite of imperfect conditions, keeps growing.

Keeps nudging me up out of the ground.

Keeps moving me forward even when it doesn’t feel like I’m moving at all.

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