A Sign of Hope

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Like most of us, there are many times when we are faced with fear. For me, one of my fears is going to the dentist. And many of you may share this same fear. With that said, I do want to make it known that the dentist office I go to have never hurt me and have always been understanding to make me as comfortable as possible. Last week, I had a dental emergency. I was stressed!While my husband drove me to the appointment I worked on getting myself more centered. As the Bible is a place where I go for guidance, I decided to google a verse referencing anxiety and fear. Out of the many choices that popped up, I chose Philippians 4:8. I read it out loud – a few times (see verse above). As the verse referenced, my husband and I started to list praiseworthy things. I ended up distracted and in a short time managed my way into the dentist office. Praiseworthy! During this time ofCOVID-19, there is no waiting time and the dentist saw me upon arrival. Praiseworthy! The dentist took one look at me and mentioned for me to try to be calm that everything is going to be okay. Immediately, I mentioned that everything is praiseworthy and being here will be praiseworthy in its time. With saying that out loud, I was provided with an awareness of God’s worth. A bit of calmness did enter my body and the dentist was able to diagnose the issue and reference me to a specialist. Praiseworthy! Before leaving, the dentist mentioned again for me to remain calm that it is going to be okay. I believed him. Praiseworthy!

Final note to share is that my specialist appointment is not until October which had me thinking about Samuel in the Bible. God worked through Samuel because he was willing to be God’s servant. In 1 Samuel 7:12 it says, “Thus far the Lord has helped us”. Thus far the Lord has helped me…over and over again. With clearness of mind,I have set aside the specialist appointment knowing during the wait I am able to remain calm. Praise God!

Our Heavenly Father, thank you that we are able to pray and can refer to the Bible for guidance. By us remembering our crucial turning points in the past we are provided with confidence and strength to help us getthrough the present. Forgive us that we do become fearful. We ask that you can focus our mind on what is good and praiseworthy. Thus far you have helped us! THANK YOU! Amen.

Bookends

Dawn and dusk have no specific time as sunrise and sunset occur differently every day but they are both positioned at either side of our day. Saying our prayers in the morning and evening provide support and keep us upright. Those prayers represent bookends of our daily prayers. They provide equal glory even though they happen at opposite times of the day.

Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father, as this day begins I am focusing my attention on You. I do not know what this day will bring, but at this moment I know “How great Thou art”. When I was looking out the window at the grey view of my surroundings, it was not long before the morning rays of light begin to provide the objects with color. It was within those moments of transformation, “Thy power throughout the universe displayed”. I am peacefully blessed that I am in your care. I pray that you stay with me throughout this day and let me show others your hope and joy.  Amen.

“How Great Thou Art” is a hymn written by Stuart K. Hine. “Thy power throughout the universe displayed” is a line from that hymn.

Evening Prayer:

Heavenly Father, this is a busy time of the day for me and I pray that I can quiet myself to focus on You. It is the right time to thank you for the many blessings I have been given today. It is only through you that I am able to nourish the lives of other people. And for that I am grateful! I would ask for Your forgiveness for the sins I have done and for the sins I may not beware that I did do. I ask that you protect my enemies, acquaintances, friends, family and me during the night. As I sit here in prayer, I am aware that I have slowed myself down by being in Your presence. For that I thank you! Amen.

A Quiet Moment

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” Zephaniah 3:17

 “God created the heavens and earth” Genesis 1:1, NIV. That was what first came to my mind when I was sitting on the beach at Grand Lake looking out at the horizon; I was one in Christ. My thoughts were aligned with God. Wherever I looked on that horizon, God was there with me.

The horizon is the line where the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet. Focusing on the line, I know I am not below or above; I am here. The Lord places us where he wants us to be. “I am here in His midst resting in His love”.

When I looked beyond the horizon, I saw God’s infinite, limitless and immeasurable possibilities. I was joyful but most of all humbled. I know the victories I have received are from obeying and loving God.  He is the Creator!

Sitting there I took the time to look within. God’s horizon is inside of me. I knew my heart was with Him. As I was looking inside, I know my knowledge, experience and interests are limited; but, with God I have made some changes in my heart and in my life. Humbly I sat, and He sang a joyful song of my accomplishments which will provide me with my motivation and courage today and for what I do not see on my horizon. “He exulted over me”!

Our Heavenly Father, thank you that you have given us our worth. Thank you that you give us our place in the Universe. Your love is needed and appreciated! Amen.

Living Wide Open

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” – Psalm 34:8 NIV.

Upon arrival to our cottage, this person (name withheld) was instantly attracted to the field of popular wildflowers. They consumed her interest and enthusiastically she decided to place herself among the burst of purple and pink flowers call Lupines. For years that field has been carpeted with Lupines but it was not until I noticed her positive energy towards them that I too started to be drawn in as well. The Lupines introduced me to the person in a new and glorious way. In the past, I have heard only negative comments about the blooms and decided to do some information gathering of my own.

Before supper that day, this person obtained a vase within the cottage and began filling the vase with some of the Lupines along with some other flowers from the field. Our table was beautifully complimented not only by the wildflowers but also by this person’s joyful presence. I thought I knew this person; however, she is obviously continually showing her splendor.

On that day, God’s love blessed me with a new sacred place and growth in my relationship with this person and God. He wants us to “taste and see” and not miss the obvious. When we begin a relationship with God, our knowledge is partial and incomplete but motivated by love. As we trust him daily, we experience how good he is!

Before the person left our cottage that day, both of us spent time together among the Lupines.

Our Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the ability to live wide open. Forgive us for not always setting ourselves free to explore and enjoy God’s being. Thank you for the people you have put in our lives and for the fields of wildflowers. By sharing our blessings, we ask that others will realize their need for You in their daily lives. Amen.

Live in the Spirit of the Lord

“In him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28.

While gardening in the shade, I notice the sunlight shining through the trees as the wind blows the branches. Down on my knees the sky is so high and blue. From time-to-time the squirrels take their right away through the yard while the birds sing their songs perched on their branches. There are many things to please the soul when we take the time. This time of year, mid-May to late July, there are large yellow butterflies that are commonly seen flying. They are known as the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail. Two of these butterflies were resting on one baby oak leaf which was edging along the side of the garden close to the pond. As I went inside the cottage to retrieve my cellphone, anticipating that they may still be there for a photo.  For your information, they remained there long after I tended the garden.

Seeing both of the butterflies resting there together gave me joy and meaning. Even thou I did not see God He was letting me know that He is here. It was then that I prayed. I thanked Him for wakening my soul as I gardened and for feeling His love and care.

As gardening came to an end that day, I carried with me God’s presence. I walked towards the cottage knowing I had a beautiful photo that will provide me with a delightful memory of my time with God.

Our Heavenly Father, thank you that you are my Saviour, the maker of heaven and earth. The One who is never far away! “Lord, in You I live and move and have my being.” Help me to plant some of Your words into memory so I am able to harvest them to nourish myself and others for Your glory. Thank you Heavenly Father that my sins have been washed away by the shed of the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen.