Friday, June 23, 2017

show me

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  Psalm 139:23-24

Having a weak moment, Bella made a dirty decision.  Left on her own in the backyard, she had some short-lived fun mudding in the wet dirt.  Her white hair prevented Bella from hiding the evidence; even her face revealed the fact she knew she had been bad.  Unable to remove the dried-on dirt, she could only wait for "the talk" and for me to clean her up.  

Sometimes our wrong actions, decisions, or weaknesses are obvious and the pending consequence comes quickly.
Sometimes we willingly make the wrong choice, thinking we can conceal it. And sometimes we innocently go astray.  Whatever the case, we just need to ask God to expose all our wrongdoings and help clean us up.

Thank You, Father, for the washing of Your Word and the pouring of the Holy Spirit into our lives. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

we are loved and chosen by God.
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ surrounded

"... the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the person who trusts in Him." Psalm 32:10

As the clouds surround the earth, so God's love surround us... completely and endlessly forever and ever.

Thank You, Father.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Monday, June 19, 2017

would you stop?

"'...and, Love your neighbor as yourself.'
'And who is my neighbor?'...
'Which of the three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?'
The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.'"
Luke 10:27,29,37

Picture this.  A kind 81 year-old man who uses a cane due to permanent injury from a broken ankle and moves about cautiously because of numerous health issues and whose heart functions at only 40% is stranded on the side of a road... who will stop and help?  My daddy can tell you.

Taking a customer's car to his tire store for a minor repair, it cut off.  He coasted to the side of the two-lane road, pulling off as much as he could.  The narrow shoulder sloped down, causing him to shuffle out on the passenger side. With no house in sight and discovering his cell phone MIA, he commenced to flag down a car.  As a lifelong residence in the small community, local business owner for 50 years and stranded on a road traveled primarily by locals, he trusted help was just around the corner. He motioned for a car to stop... then another... and then another. Fifty minutes and 50 cars later, no one stopped.  Some waved back, but no one stopped. Tired and uneasy, he didn't reach out to the passing motorcycle. It went by, but unlike the others, he came back and stayed with him until help arrived. Finally, a good Samaritan riding, not on a white horse but on a roaring motorcycle, unexpected help from the least expected.
The daughter in me wants to fuss about all who kept going. But instead i'm going to focus on thanking God for a cloudy morning and for an unlikely, unknown hero in a helmet. Just when we might be on the verge of giving up, God is still up to something.

Anyone can do what's expected, but doing what's unexpected, that's the Hand of God at its finest.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

coming up daisies

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

As many of you know, when a loved one lives many hours away, the last day of a visit with them stings your eyes and heart.  I had spent a wonderful week in Alexandria, Virginia, with my daughter and "son". With my departure hours away i wondered, how could i possibly leave with a real smile on my face? Then God showed me.
Next to the backdoor of their townhouse were beautiful daisies, planted by the complex... yet, i prefer to think planted by God.  Daisies are my favorite flowers and had been my mother's too. Seeing them restored my JOY.  I remembered even though i was leaving, i could trust Anna and Chas were still in good hands.  Our heavenly Father, along with my Mother at His side, would continue to watch over them.  

Thank You, Father.  I am so thankful for Your written Word and Holy Spirit for guidance, peace and truth.  But oh! it's extra sweet to receive visual reminders of truth from You too.

...for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal


Extra prayers this morning for all affected by the horrible events in London and Alexandria.  God, the daisies are still coming up. I am resting and trusting You.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ Rock

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

He is MY God and My Rock, but He is big enough for all of us.

Thank You, Father!

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Thursday, June 8, 2017

be there in a jellyfish

"The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." Psalm 46:11

A friend coming over to walk sent me a text.  "Running  a few minutes late -- be there in a jellyfish."  Hmmm... what did that mean? I hadn't heard that phrase before.  Would it be a lot longer, would her arrival be when i least expected it, was there a deep mystery concerning her questionable arrival time?  

To clarify, i texted back.  Then it became as crystal clear as running water. I had misread the message. "Running  a few minutes late -- be there in a jiffyish."  It wasn't an exact time, but i had a much better idea of when to expect her.

Sometimes we don't know exactly what to expect from a person and can become confused with their words or actions. But with God we never have to wonder, guess or doubt what His intentions are.  He is always with us, for us and about our needs.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

money to burn

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things... and be thankful." Colossians 3:2, 15

"Did you know your brother has money to burn?"
After i recovered from the initial surprise, i got the rest of the story.  After setting a chunk of cash on the glass-topped stove for his wife's beach trip, they went to bed. During the night, a strange smell woke him.  Getting up, he found the money burning on the stove.  Sleep walking, his wife had turned the stove on and returned to bed. Thankfully, he found the fire before the fire found them.

Retelling the episode to me he chuckled and was just glad the house didn't catch fire. I liked his main concern.... life saved, not money lost. I don't know if my thankfulness would have exceeded my disappointment as quickly. How easy it is to take for granted the true blessings in life, instead of maintaining a heart of gratitude.

Father, may i remember and appreciate the blessings you have poured into my life, even in the midst of disappointment or disaster.   A spirit of thankfulness is still always possible.  

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal