God Cares About You

“For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'” Acts 17:28 NLT

Sometimes life is pretty exhausting. We get up, we exercise, we get dressed, we go to work, we work, we come home and then have no energy to do anything else. This is how I felt today. It was a pain filled day. I haven’t being feeling well, I think I’m getting the dreaded summer cold. Plus I’m pretty sure I’m having a Fibromyalgia flare and my muscles and nerves are spasming like crazy. And when I got home from my exhausting day, I didn’t want to write a devotional, I wanted to sleep.

I was less than an inch away from giving up for the day and not writing this, but then I thought, “What does God want you to do?” Well, God gave me the idea, so he pretty much wants me to get off my exhausted rear and write.

Do you have days that start exhausting and don’t stop being exhausting? What’s the thing that motivates you to keep going?

 

God is definitely the thing that keeps me going. I have Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, High Cholesterol, Venous Insufficiency, Kidney stones, etc and the only thing that keeps me getting out of bed every morning is God.

For in him we live and move and exist. I don’t know how people make it through their day-to-day without God. He is my rock, he is my strength, he is my strong tower.

We are his offspring.  He made us, we are his. I’m not a mom but I am an aunt to 5 fantastic kids and I love them with every fiber of my being. So I cannot imagine how much more God loves us. He created us from the beginning and cares for us much more than we care for our loved ones, more than you love your kids or your dogs or your nieces and nephews. His loves is indescribable.

He is our everything and we are his.

Has God ever comforted you? Have you ever felt his love pour right into you? If not I encourage you to pray for God’s comfort, peace and love when you need it.

Lord, thank you for spending time with us again today. We are so very lucky to be called your children. We thank you for that honor. Lord you know what tasks get in the way of doing what you would have us do. We ask that you would remove our exhaustion and any other stumbling blocks that are in our way. We thank you that you give us the strength and perseverance to face each day and to keep moving in your will. We thank you for your love for us, for the gifts that you freely give us like the gift of comfort and the gift of peace. We pray that those who need to feel your love, your grace, your peace, your comfort, your healing would feel it now. That they would know without a doubt that their existence comes straight from you and that their life comes from you. We thank you for all that you do in and through us on a day-to-day basis and ask that each day would be a blessing in your sight. We ask for all these things in your precious, loving, life-giving, comforting name, Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.

trust in the lord

Get your print at bluechairblessings.com

Sometimes we cannot pray for God to bring our own comfort and we need a little help from outside sources like my friend Laura. Laura has helped me many times to hear and see what God was trying to say to me and as a Spiritual Director, she can help you too.

 

Advertisements

The Lord Hears You

“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”  Psalm 34:17-18 NLT

Another suicide has hit the media. I don’t know about you, but when I hear that someone has died of suicide my heart weeps. A childhood friend’s dad, died of suicide when I was teenager. A high school friend’s husband died of suicide. My sister’s friend’s husband died of suicide last year. And people I don’t know or hear about are dying of suicide every day.

My heart is weeping for all those left behind. My heart is weeping for all of those who took their lives, seeing no other way out. My heart is weeping for all of those who are effected by thoughts of suicide, even this very moment. If that’s you, please get help. There are lots of organizations available to help you, these are just a few.

Crisis Text Line

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

To Write Love on Her Arms

Please get help. If you had a broken arm you wouldn’t walk around without getting a cast or surgery or medication, please treat your mental illness the same.

Prayer works absolutely but God made the profession of therapist knowing we would need extra help. He made the profession of scientist to discover and develop medications knowing that sometimes we need more than just to talk it out. God gave people the idea to start support groups, understanding that, knowing other people going through the same thing as you helps. God made and gave us all the tools we need to deal with depression and the struggles in this life. Please get help. Please.

Lord, please be with every sad and depressed person who is reading this. Fill them with your love Lord. Give them your peace and push them to seek out help. Lord, please be with everyone who is reading this, that knows someone who is depressed. Help them to be an open heart, an open mind, an open friend that someone who is sad can talk to. Help them to see when talking isn’t enough. Help them to help those that they love. Lord, please be with all those that won’t read this, help them to get help, to seek out a friend, a family member, a therapist, a doctor and you Lord. Help us all, to help each other just a little bit better. Lord, please be with us all, as well grieve and deal with the loss of someone who died of suicide. Lord give us your strength, your wisdom, your peace, your comfort, your knowledge and your guidance as we do our best to be there for each other. We thank you Lord for spending time with us. We ask that you be with us in the coming weeks, months and years as we stand by someone who thought of suicide, who was left alone because of suicide and those that survive suicide. Please be will all of us. We ask all these things in your loving and sweet name, Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

loved

To get your magnet got to Hobby Lobby

God’s Perfect Timing

“So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” James 1:16-18 NLT

Before this passage begins is a discussion about temptation and blessings and basically concludes that God doesn’t give us temptation but it comes from our own desires. So don’t be misled when it comes to who brings about temptation.

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. God is perfect, Jesus was the only perfect man because he was God in human flesh. God is good and perfect, and even though we see our circumstances as imperfect, they are perfect because they come from God.

Sometimes what we see as imperfection is when God wants us to lean on him the most. To turn to him with our hurt, our pain, our frustration, our joy, our happiness, our tears, our laughter, etc. God wants it all, from all of us. So if you, like me are waiting for the perfection in the imperfection, perhaps God wants you focusing on other things. What do you think?

He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. Do we trust God to do what is best for us? Can we trust God in our imperfection? Can we trust him in our waiting?

He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. In the eyes of God we are a treasure to behold. Think about your most prized possession, do you care for it? Do you make sure it’s clean? Do you make sure it has all it needs to keep going? That’s what God does for us all. He makes sure we have all that we need for that perfect moment. The perfect moment is His and it is coming in his perfect time.

Take heart, if your are struggling, turn to God and give it all to him. And know that perfection is coming.

Lord we thank you for your perfection, your infinte wisdom and we ask that you give us patience as we wait for your perfection. We thank you for your good and perfect gifts. We thank you, that you never change and we ask that you be with each of us as we go throughout each day, that you would point out what is coming, that you would remind us that you are there. We thank you Lord that you love us so much that we are your most prized possessions. We thank you Lord for spending time with us and being with us each day. We thank for all that you do in and through us, and we pray all these things in your precious and holy name Lord Jesus, Christ Amen.

God is good

Get your wall hanging at Hobby Lobby.

The Real Super Hero

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldy enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:19-25 NLT

 

Thinking of the Salvation of Jesus Christ can, for believers and non-believers, be a difficult concept to understand. But it is somewhat easier to explain if you think of Jesus as not a God in human flesh, and not just a man but rather a super hero. He comes from the land of milk and honey–a land far far away. He swoops down in his cape and as we all throw light beams of sin on him he catches it all and in the last fight against the devil, he takes our sins with him to the grave. And in his death and resurrection we are given new life.

Does it make more sense now? Now that a superhero with amazing abilities has saved the day? But isn’t that who Jesus is, anyway? He doesn’t wear a cape, but he still heals the hurting. He didn’t swoop down from heaven but was instead born to a virgin. He doesn’t carry light beams of sin but he still died as man to save man from sin. He still rose from the dead so that all may have eternal life. He is our super hero.

This passage talks about how Jesus made us clean, how his death gave us freedom from sin. But it also goes beyond that amazing act to remind us that God keeps his promises. The author wants us to go beyond being saved to encouraging one another and to motivate each other to acts of love and good works.

Isn’t that the whole point of being a Christian? Who remembers that song from when we were kids “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine?” The light is the light of Jesus. It’s the knowledge that we are saved. We shouldn’t hide this knowledge but should rather, let it shine for all the world to see. You should share the salvation in act and in deed like through acts of love and good works but you should also share your knowledge so that all through Jesus Christ can be saved.

Do you have someone in your life that needs to hear of Super Jesus? Do you know someone that needs to be saved? If so pray to God that the opportunity to talk about Jesus will come about and that you will take the opportunity to share God’s love.

Lord, we thank you for your salvation. We thank you for the gift of freedom from sin. We pray that as we go through our day to day, we will find someone to talk to about you. We pray that as opportunties present themselves that we will be open to the opportunity and let you lead. We ask you to watch over us and help us to be better stewards of your kingdom. Lord help us to encorage one another and motivate each other to acts of love and good works. Lord, we thank you so much for your sacrifice for our sins. Lord, we thank you for spending time with us and ask that you would continue to be with us, day in and day out as we do our best to spread your salvation, love, compassion, peace, kindness and good works. We ask all this in your name Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Savior

Get your wall hanging at Hobby Lobby

 

Finding Safety in God

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and will protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Psalm 91: 1-4 NLT

Where do you find your rest? Rest doesn’t mean sleep. It means, where do you go to feel at peace? Where do you go when hard times hit? Do you go to God? I absolutely do. Some one tells me something is going on with them and I say, “I’ll pray for you.” Then I follow that up with actually praying for them. When something is going on with me, I go to God. He is my rest. Worrying about the problem won’t do me any good but bringing it to God and laying it at his feet will. And when I lay my problem at God’s feet I find my rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He alone is my refuge, my place of safety.

He is my God and I trust him. Do you trust God? Do you trust God to be there? Do you trust God to keep you going, to give you strength? Do you trust God to give you love? Do you trust God to get you through the hard times just like he helps you through the easy ones?

He will rescue you from every trap and will protect you from every deadly disease. What do we take from that? I think it’s about putting your faith in God. Believing that he will rescue you from no matter what ails you. But it’s hard to talk about protection from disease or deadly disease because some people get sick, even good and faithful Christians get diseases and die. But what I choose to take from it, is that God won’t leave you in your disease. He will give you peace and comfort and the strength to face it.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Beautiful imagery yet again. We will soar on the wings of eagles and God will cover us with his feathers and shelter us in his wings. When I think of this I see a beautiful embrace or hug. God will wrap his loving arms around you and provide protection, shelter and love. His promises to never leave are your protection and armor in your life.

Can you think of an area in your life where you need to fully trust God? Can you think of one thing that you could lay down at God’s feet and leave there, trusting that God will take care of you? Want to give it a try now? Close your eyes and picture a cross or Jesus standing in a room. Now picture your worry or your fear or your trouble, name it. Now walk that worry or fear or trouble over to the cross or Jesus’s feet and leave your trouble there. Ask God to keep your trouble and to not let you pick it up. Trust God to take care of your trouble and to take care of you.

Lord, we thank you for spending time with us today. Lord help us to lay our troubles and worries at your feet and to not pick them up again. Help us to trust you Lord. Give us your peace and your comfort so that we can feel your protection. Thank you for not giving up on us Lord and for helping us to trust you more. Thank you Lord for meeting us where we are and coming along on our journey. Lord be with us each day going forward and help us to put all our trust in you. Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Trust

Get your own pendant at Hobby Lobby.

Getting Stronger with God

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 NLT

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Do you ever feel powerless? Do you feel weak? If I had to pick an area of my life where I feel powerless it would be my health. I was talking with a co-worker today and we were talking about how we feel like our bodies are letting us down as we get older. Tonight, even after working out and taking some meds to help with pain, there isn’t a joint in my body that isn’t yelling at me. My back is yelling, my knees are yelling, my elbows are screaming and my feet are crying. I feel absolutely powerless when it comes to my body, especially when it hurts.

Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. When I feel powerless or weak God gives me new strength in him. He reminds me it’s not always like this. Some days are better than others and even though today is bad tomorrow might not be. He pushes me to workout when I am exhausted. Reminding me that keeping fit will help, even if it doesn’t help today. I find my new strength in God. I pray for him to give me strength.

The author here isn’t just talking about physical strength, he’s talking about strength to fight the battle or run the race. We put on the full armor of God and can now fight the battle before us. The battle for justice, the battle for love, the battle for being and feeling safe, the battle for God.

They will soar high on wings like eagles. Isn’t the imagery in the Bible just fantastic? Every time I read that sentence I picture an eagle soaring through the sky. Can you imagine soaring over your problems?

They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. God gives us the strength to fight the battle, to fight the illness, to fight the exhaustion, to fight the injustice, to fight for love and to fight for God.

Throughout the Bible and throughout our lives God gives us what we need. He gives us peace and comfort, he defines love and shows us how to give it, he gives healing in many ways, he shows us his strength and gives us his strength when we need it. God is in every moment of your life and is there to give you all that you need.

There’s a saying that goes, if you ask God for patience he will give you more opportunities to be patient. God gives you what you need, the tools you need to live your life, but if you ask for strength be ready for God to give you opportunties to become stronger.

Do you feel exhausted in your life? In your faith? Are you weary? Go to God because he can help you, he can give you power and strength so that you can soar on wings like eagles, so that you can run and not grow weary, so that you can walk and not grow faint.

Lord, please be with us when we feel weak or powerless. Remind us that you are there Lord. Give us what we need in this moment and in all the moments to come. We are ready Lord for your new strength, to soar like wings on eagles, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint. Give us your strength and your power as we go throughout our days, today and every day with you Lord. Thank you for your strength when we need it most it is in your loving and strength giving name that we pray Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Strong

Full Armor

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV

Imagine if you will a battlefield where you stand with your full armor and in front of you across the way is an army that is coming for your soul. Because that’s what the devil wants,  your soul. But you stand there proud because you have truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God. You have everything on your side and they have nothing. You will win the battle.

Now imagine you’re at work or school and the battlefield are politics, religion, TV shows, politeness, racism, etc. Now imagine that army is everywhere. It’s coming at you through your TV, through your friends, through your coworkers, through your teachers, through Facebook and the list goes on and on. But remember you have truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God on your side.

Each day as you get ready imagine putting on the full armor of God so that you can face the day.  And maybe say this prayer as you do:

Lord, we thank you for the belt of truth, for your truth we know. You are the God of Love, the God of Peace, the God of Comfort and we thank you for that. As we put on this belt of truth help us to be reminded of your truth throughout our day and to share it as we are given the opportunity. Lord, we thank you for the breastplate of righteousness for that is what you are. You are right and just and true. Fill us with your righteousness, so that we can see what is right, just and true throughout our day. Lord, we thank you for sandals of readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Fill us with your peace, so that we can stand in the face of evil and fear not. Lord, we thank you for the shield of faith. With our faith we can block any evil that is thrown at us, knowing it is wrong. Lord, we thank you for the helmet of salvation for we know that you are the way and the truth and the light. Lord, we thank you for the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. With the word of God we can fight anything that the devil can throw at us for we know your will and your ways. Lord we thank you for this full armor of God and promise to use it well as we go about our day. We pray all these things in your precious and holy name, Lord Jesus Christ Amen.

Ephesians

This photo is from the artist Christine Kerrick

Overflow with Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

 

Think about a time in your life where you felt like all hope was gone. It could a be a horrible diagnosis, a bad grade that you never thought you could get past, it could be a marriage that is over or a relationship that has ended, it could be that you lost a parent or a sibling or a husband or a child or a grandparent or a friend, it could be any number of things. It’s a time where grief has grabbed a hold of you, where you are so focused on the things that are gone that you can’t see the good things in front of you. These are the times when we have to trust God the most. I know it’s hard. When I heard I had Rheumatoid Arthritis I thought my life had ended, I knew the carefree life I was living was gone and that was hard to deal with. Did I grieve the loss? Of course I did.

But once you grieve what once was you have to move on to what is. I’m in lots of Facebook groups where people often talk about having no hope, of not knowing how they will go on. My heart hurts for these people and I wish they knew my parents, my sisters, my brother-in-laws, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, my friends and my God.

Honestly, on a day-to-day basis God is my strength to keep me going when laying in bed would be so much easier. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.” Isn’t this the first part of grief. It’s turning towards God and saying, “Ok God, this is my new reality help me get through it.” And as you trust in him, your grief lessens, notice I didn’t say it goes away, it lessens. There are still some days when I grieve what used to be but those days are few and far between the days where I laugh my head off or enjoy time with friends. When I have a hard or painful day I pray to God asking him to make the pain less that day. I trust him to take care of me and he has. I can laugh at something truly funny because God has given me peace, because I trust in him.

“So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I have always had great faith and I have always felt the Holy Spirit. It’s a powerful force. Imagine the biggest rush of wind you can and imagine that flowing through you as the Holy Spirit. That’s the hope that lives in all of us. And on days when I meet someone at their darkest hour it helps me overflow with hope to give to them.

Do you have something you are grieving that you need to let God into, to give you hope, joy and peace? Can you think of a time when this was true in your own life, have you thanked God for your hope?

Dear Lord, we ask that you fill us with your joy and peace as we go through rough and difficult circumstances. We ask that you fill us with your hope so that we can fill others. We thank you for your joy, peace, love, comfort and hope in the times that we need it most. Lord we thank you so much for loving us. It is in your name we pray, Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

hope

 

The Fullness of God’s Love

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

Today has been a painful day. Chronic illness sounds about as much fun as it is…..or isn’t actually. My official chronic illness is Fibromyalgia and unofficially because doctors are dumb, Rheumatoid Arthritis and today was painful. My fingers hurt, my shoulders hurt, my back hurts, my hips hurt and my neck hurts. Today my neck hurts the most, more than any of the other hurts.

On my drive home from work, checking for blind spots was not fun, as in “IT HURTS” in all caps because I was yelling every time I had to do it. And I knew when I got home I wanted to find something else to focus on. Something other than the pain. So I finished some projects and when it came time to work out, I decided I would first search for a verse that would give me something else to focus on and avoid working out.

So I turned to Google in my search and found Ephesians 3:16-19 and my heart was filled. I pretty much love this whole passage. Christ dwells in our hearts, and by doing so we are rooted in love and together with the people of faith have power to grasp how wide, deep, long and high God’s love is for us and that this love surpasses all knowledge we have so that we are filled with the fullness of God.

Can we just think about that for a second? God’s love is so huge it is beyond knowledge, beyond comprehension. I think about the love I have for my mom, my dad, my sisters  and brother-in-laws, and then I go a step further and think about the love I have for my nieces and nephews. I love them all lots, so much so I miss them when they are not around. But the love of God surpasses that. God’s love is so huge there is no way I could ever leave it. Think about that for a minute. God’s love is so huge you can never leave it. Even when you turn your back on God, his love never leaves you. Isn’t that amazingly awesome?

So no matter what has gone on in your day today, God loves you. No matter what you have done in your past, God loves you. No matter what you will do tomorrow, God will still love you.

Lord, we thank you so much for your unconditional love. We thank you that it is so huge we cannot understand it. We thank you, that you never give up on us. That you never leave us, that your love is steadfast. We thank you for your love that surpasses our knowledge and we thank you for spending time with us, Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Night

This song has been playing in my head, “How deep the father’s love for us. How vast beyond all measure. That he should give His only Son. To make a wretch his treasure.”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑