It seems we are all growing weary of the politics, untruths, mean-spiritedness and generally the unrest of our great nation. I pray the love of Jesus Christ will shine through and we will be found worthy of His grace and mercy in these days and in the days to come. I'd like to share a beautiful time we shared with our Ohio family on Friday. It brought so much joy to Gary and me....let's hold on to our families and be kind to one another.
I've thought a lot about the concept of truth recently. Seems no one trusts that a media outlet, a newspaper, a correspondent, or goodness forbid a person with a different political view can tell you the truth about anything.
Most people who read my blogs, articles or books has already made a pretty clear assumption that I am a Christian and I adhere to truth as outlined in God's Word. There are many verses in scripture dedicated to explaining the meaning of truth, but if it doesn't jive or agree with another's thought processes or beliefs, then it must not be the truth. Truth today is merely doing what is right in one's own eyes and look where that's got us today.
I found an article that I enjoyed reading from John McArthur, whom I think has some very good points to be made about truth. I have reprinted it below for you to read if you care to spend a few additional moments looking it over. I sincerely believe truth is found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; however, that belief is seemingly becoming a distant thought in the rear view mirror of our increasing liberal society. As long as we continue to think only of ourselves and acting like children in a candy store throwing fits when we don't get what we desire, we will digress as a society. We need the direction of our Heavenly Father, our parental guide, to guide us by His Words and the written examples laid out by His Son. If we can simply learn to lovingly listen before we forge ahead with our own self-knowledge often we will gain more than we expected and perhaps be a much better witness.
Hope you enjoy the article by John McArthur.
Unleashing God's Truth, One Verse at a Time
What Is Truth? Scripture: John 14:6; 17:17; Romans 1:21–22
Ask anyone today, "What is truth?" and you’re sure to start an interesting conversation. Try it on a university campus and you’re likely to receive laughter, scorn, and derision. The concept of truth has clearly fallen on hard times, and the consequences of rejecting it are ravaging human society. So let’s go back to the starting point and answer the question: What is truth?
One of the most profound and eternally significant questions in the Bible was posed by an unbeliever. Pilate—the man who handed Jesus over to be crucified—turned to Jesus in His final hour, and asked, “What is truth?” It was a rhetorical question, a cynical response to what Jesus had just revealed: “I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.” Two thousand years later, the whole world breathes Pilate’s cynicism. Some say truth is a power play, a meta narrative constructed by the elite for the purpose of controlling the ignorant masses. To some, truth is subjective, the individual world of preference and opinion. Others believe truth is a collective judgment, the product of cultural consensus, and still others flatly deny the concept of truth altogether.
So, what is truth? Here’s a simple definition drawn from what the Bible teaches: Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: Truth is the self-expression of God. That is the biblical meaning of truth. Because the definition of truth flows from God, truth is theological. Truth is also ontological—which is a fancy way of saying it is the way things really are. Reality is what it is because God declared it so and made it so. Therefore God is the author, source, determiner, governor, arbiter, ultimate standard, and final judge of all truth.
The Old Testament refers to the Almighty as the “God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 31:5; Isaiah 65:16). When Jesus said of Himself, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6, emphasis added), He was thereby making a profound claim about His own deity. He was also making it clear that all truth must ultimately be defined in terms of God and His eternal glory. After all, Jesus is “the brightness of [God’s] glory and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3). He is truth incarnate—the perfect expression of God and therefore the absolute embodiment of all that is true. Jesus also said that the written Word of God is truth. It does not merely contain nuggets of truth; it is pure, unchangeable, and inviolable truth that (according to Jesus) “cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Praying to His heavenly Father on behalf of His disciples, He said this: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Moreover, the Word of God is eternal truth “which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
Of course, there cannot be any discord or difference of opinion between the written Word of God (Scripture) and the incarnate Word of God (Jesus). In the first place, truth by definition cannot contradict itself. Second, Scripture is called “the word of Christ” (Colossians 3:16). It is His message, His self-expression. In other words, the truth of Christ and the truth of the Bible are of the very same character. They are in perfect agreement in every respect. Both are equally true. God has revealed Himself to humanity through Scripture and through His Son. Both perfectly embody the essence of what truth is.
Remember, Scripture also says God reveals basic truth about Himself in nature. The heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). His other invisible attributes (such as His wisdom, power, and beauty) are on constant display in what He has created (Romans 1:20). Knowledge of Him is inborn in the human heart (Romans 1:19), and a sense of the moral character and loftiness of His law is implicit in every human conscience (Romans 2:15). Those things are universally self-evident truths. According to Romans 1:20, denial of the spiritual truths we know innately always involves a deliberate and culpable unbelief. And for those who wonder whether basic truths about God and His moral standards really are stamped on the human heart, ample proof can be found in the long history of human law and religion.
To suppress this truth is to dishonor God, displace His glory, and incur His wrath (vv. 19-20). Still, the only infallible interpreter of what we see in nature or know innately in our own consciences is the explicit revelation of Scripture. Since Scripture is also the one place where we are given the way of salvation, entrance into the kingdom of God, and an infallible account of Christ, the Bible is the touchstone to which all truth claims should be brought and by which all other truth must finally be measured. An obvious corollary of what I am saying is that truth means nothing apart from God. Truth cannot be adequately explained, recognized, understood, or defined without God as the source. Since He alone is eternal and self-existent and He alone is the Creator of all else, He is the fountain of all truth.
If you don’t believe that, try defining truth without reference to God, and see how quickly all such definitions fail. The moment you begin to ponder the essence of truth, you are brought face to face with the requirement of a universal absolute—the eternal reality of God. Conversely, the whole concept of truth instantly becomes nonsense (and every imagination of the human heart therefore turns to sheer foolishness) as soon as people attempt to remove the thought of God from their minds. That, of course, is precisely how the apostle Paul traced the relentless decline of human ideas in Romans 1:21-22: “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”
There are serious moral implications too, whenever someone tries to dissociate truth from the knowledge of God. Paul went on to write, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:28). Abandon a biblical definition of truth, and unrighteousness is the inescapable result. We see it happening before our eyes in every corner of contemporary society.
In fact, the widespread acceptance of rebellion, and all forms of iniquity that we see in our society today is a verbatim fulfillment of what Romans 1 says always happens when a society denies and suppresses the essential connection between God and truth. If you reflect on the subject with any degree of sobriety, you will soon see that even the most fundamental moral distinctions—good and evil, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, or honor and dishonor—cannot possibly have any true or constant meaning apart from God. That is because truth and knowledge themselves simply have no coherent significance apart from a fixed source, namely, God. How could they? God embodies the very definition of truth. Every truth claim apart from Him is preposterous.
Elaborate epistemologies have been proposed and methodically debunked one after another—like a long chain in which every previous link is broken. After thousands of years, the very best of human philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marx, James, and others) have all utterly failed to account for truth and the origin of human knowledge apart from God. In fact, the one most valuable lesson humanity ought to have learned from philosophy is that it is impossible to make sense of truth without acknowledging God as the necessary starting point. Truth is not subjective, it is not a consensual cultural construct, and it is not an invalid, outdated, irrelevant concept. Truth is the self-expression of God. Truth is thus theological; it is the reality God has created and defined, and over which He rules.
Truth is therefore a moral issue for every human being. How each person responds to the truth God has revealed is an issue of eternal significance. To reject and rebel against the truth of God results in darkness, folly, sin, judgment, and the never ending wrath of God. To accept and submit to the truth of God is to see clearly, to know with certainty, and to find life everlasting.
(Adapted from The Truth War, © 2008, by John MacArthur. All rights reserved.) Available online at: http://www.gty.org COPYRIGHT (C) 2020 Grace to You You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You's Copyright Policy (https://www.gty.org
As we turn back the clocks, the weather turns a bit cooler and the leaves on the trees begin to change, we find ourselves entering October! Each year I have written about Breast Cancer Awareness during this month and used this website as a forum to request we remember and support all the women (and sometimes men) who are fighting this particular cancer. We have come a long way in the fight against breast disease, but there is much work left to do. We need to press forward in pursuit of mammogram coverage by health insurance companies for young women before the age of 40. Because of this stipulation many are finding themselves in a battle for their lives without early detection.
As a two-time breast cancer survivor, this cause is very near and dear to me. Please donate to breast cancer fundraisers and promote any opportunity you have to make others aware of this disease. If it has not touched your life, please know it could happen to someone you know or hold dear; a wife, mother, sister, niece, girlfriend, aunt or even a grandmother. Breast cancer is not selective.
Thank you and may God bless!
Lord, thank you for life and the opportunity each and every morning we have to open our eyes and be in another day. May we use our abilities, resources and finances to lend our support and encouragement to those struggling with this disease and walking through treatments. Help us to always remember the goodness that was granted to us as survivors and press onward so that others can also survive this illness. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Romans 3:10 (KJV)
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
These verses have been swirling in my mind during the past week and the course of recent events in our country. I can’t possibly tell you how heartbroken I am as the country continues to tear one another apart over a difference of opinions and beliefs.
There are numerous concerns for our country during this year 2020. I’m growing tired and weary as persons destroy property, scream, and yell using scare tactics to attain their end goal, while many of us wonder what exactly is their end goal?
Wasn’t our country built on democracy and freedom to choose? Yet when approximately 2,000 individuals left the Republican National Convention in Washington D.C., they were met with angry opposition screaming and yelling to the point of needing police protection! Again, regardless of who you want as the next President of the United States, don’t people have the right to attend a gathering to hear a speech of acceptance and not be in fear they won’t make it to their cars before they are beaten??
Or should media make a spectacle how many individuals did not don masks in one venue when it is clear that many venues have numerous individuals without those masks? Does one group spread this disease more readily than another due to where you stand politically?
Why didn’t the news media put front and center 39 children being rescued from sex trafficking? Can you imagine the celebration of those families as they were reunited with their children and the feel-good story that would have resulted? Instead we learn that the First Lady wore a green dress that acted as a screen where messages could be written. Oh the liberties that were taken to place nasty, though many thought were hilarious writings, on her attire. The First Lady of the United States became a laughing stock…at least to those who oppose her husband. That’s what we’ve gotten to in this country? I don’t care who you like or distain, that was incredibly mean spirited.
And let’s not forget the couple who, because they were supporters of the President, has gained national coverage due to their sinful actions. This situation alone brought the scriptures printed above to my mind each and every day. I’ve often taught that we are living in carnal, sinful bodies. Sin entered this world when Eve took that nice big bite of the apple and Adam followed her lead. As flawed humans, sin lays right underneath our skin. It can happen to anyone at any time and no sin is beyond its reach. Believers in Jesus Christ need to go before the foot of the throne in prayer each day asking the Holy Spirit of God, which came to dwell within us upon our acceptance of Jesus, keep us from falling into the sin which so easily besets us.
I hold close to my heart the words of Colossians 2:8, See to it that no one takes you captive with hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Can these words of scripture detain the ugliness of man’s thoughts and speech? Not without a heart transplant that is enveloped by the Holy Spirit of God. But this I do know, if you are faultless, if you have never committed an act which you would never want screamed from the mountaintops and brought into the living room of every person in the world, then pick up that stone and begin to throw. Jesus said, “Let him without sin cast the first stone,” when a woman caught in adultery was brought before him for judgement. Thus, I hold to my beliefs and openly share my story of salvation. But I am not sin free. I won’t be sin free until the Lord Jesus calls me home. Keeping myself accountable before God is a full-time prayer event. I refuse to take valuable minutes of my day yelling and screaming at others when that behavior presents a non-ending cycle.
It’s time the stones of hatred, mean spiritedness, destruction of property, livelihoods and reputations are dropped from our hands and instead we drop to our knees with hands uplifted asking Almighty God to forgive us and to heal our land. We’ll only succeed in winning souls to Jesus Christ if we become stellar examples of His love. It matters not your background, your skin color, your political standing, or your religious upbringing because when it comes right down to it,
there is none righteous, no, not one.
The blood of Jesus is the only answer.
I don't know about you, but I'm in need of a little positivity! I'm so weary of people attacking one another over differing views; protesting that is damaging businesses and disgruntlement regarding our country. What is a Christian to do?
Once again, I opened the Jesus Calling devotional, and began to read this morning. I have heard the writings penned in this devotional seem to speak directly to your heart and mind when the world and your own personal situations appear out of control. I am convinced that the Lord God could call down 10,000 angels with a nod of his head to take care of our woes. The Israelites thought in the same way. They were under the persecution of the Romans and believed the coming Messiah would deliver them from all their injustices. But God had a different plan. He sent Jesus to demonstrate that we are to be a people who witness of His love, mercy and grace. There will be a time when sin and all the injustices will be set right....consequences will be sentenced. Until then, we pray, we wait, we hold fast to our faith and we love as we are loved by our Lord.
Today the reading reminded me of this very fact. I quote from Jesus Calling, day August 26:
"Trust Me in the midst of a messy day. Your inner calm--your Peace in My Presence--need not be shaken by what is going on around you. Though you live in this temporal world, your innermost being is rooted and grounded in eternity. When you start to feel stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you. Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace.
Seek My Face, and I will share My mind with you, opening your eyes to see things from My perspective. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be afraid. The Peace I give is sufficient for you."
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
As I began to have a time of private prayer in my office this week, I was reminded of the scripture that says, "It is written: As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God." Romans 14:11.
At that point, even with knees that are a bit more sore than in prior years, I knelt on a small rug in the office and began to pray. I don't know why it surprised me because if you ask to meet with God, why wouldn't the Holy Spirit respond? An amazing feeling fell over me as I began to pray and place all my offerings of praise and petitions before the throne of grace and mercy. It was a sacred anointing of peace, power and encouragement as I continued to talk with the Lord, tears filling my eyes. Included in that alone time with Jesus, I prayed that if it were in accordance with His Will I would be able to move my mother into another facility that allows hospice to enter.
The current facility my mother has been a resident for the past two years has shut out all family and outsiders including the hospice medical staff due to COVID. Since I haven't been able to be in the same room with mom since February and her health is declining, I have received approval for mom to be in hospice. I have now found a new facility that allows hospice into their facility and was on the schedule to move her this coming weekend.
Little did I know or realize the Lord met with me to strengthen my resolve for coming information and prayer requests I would receive throughout the remainder of the day, including my request for wisdom regarding my mother's move to another facility. Dire needs were shared with me in confidence and I was privileged to pray over each one. However, one of the calls I received delivered the news a worker at mom's current facility tested positive for COVID. Although this individual is asymptomatic, the facility now needs to undergo testing and the chances of moving mom are becoming slim, at least for now.
I felt crushed to receive this news, but wondered if perhaps this isn't the right time to move my mother. Would I have done more harm than good? Wouldn't her involvement with a hospice staff the best option? Oh, the questions that swirl around in my mind daily since mom's care has been placed upon these small, ill equipped shoulders with brothers that are readily supportive of my decisions.
I picked up the Jesus Calling devotional later that day and read the entry for August 23. I am a few days behind, but really not behind at all since the words of this particular devotional eased my heart and spoke so clearly to me. I share them with you because maybe you are going through something similar today.
May the God of the Universe shower peace within your heart as you read a part of this devotional:
Entrust your loved ones to me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one--as well as yourself.
When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand. As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest. This same Presence stays with you as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do. Jesus Calling, August 23
"Call unto me and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." Jeremiah 33:3 KJV
The picture above of my mom was taken several years ago...she is such a beautiful child of God.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14 NIV
That one scripture verse is driven deeply into my heart each and every day I live and breathe. Maybe it's due to age or perhaps it's due to experience, but whatever I attribute this truth, the fact remains we are not given tomorrow or even the next minute.
We feel lumps or bumps and they become malignant tumors. Our elderly experience falls and it begins his/her earthly demise. We decide to take a jog and never return home due to heart failure, or we stand close to another human being who coughs and unknowingly passes a deadly virus. Bottom line, we haven't a clue what tomorrow holds.
So why in the world am I writing a depressing blog? Because I have some good news. When all these situations and health conditions are brought to an earthly finish line, there is much more coming and it's the best ever! God has already prepared a place for those who believe in His Son. It's going to be a glorious awakening in the Kingdom of God when we close our eyes in earthly death. Satan can no longer tempt you, disease can no longer touch you, tears will no longer stream down your face and anxiety will be a thing of the past. With all heaven and our Lord has to offer, why not ask the Lord to reveal this truth to you if you are not currently a believer?
Don't believe Jesus rose from the dead? Ask him to reveal that truth to you in a way that will have you shouting from the rooftops of his existence! Believe the Bible is a fairy tale? Ask the Holy Spirit of God who scripted every word and used the hands of man to transcribe them, pen those same words undeniably on your heart!
As we enter into the season of fall, let's pray as a united front for the growth of our country as believers; all standing for equality, not tearing down but building up the body of Christ and this great nation. May God spare us, forgive us, and anoint us with peace, quiet our souls and save the innocent from harm.
God bless, my friends!
33 Bible Verses to Remind Us -
We Do Not Have to Fear:
1. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
2. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." ~ Psalm 56:3
3. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
4. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
5. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
6. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~ 1 John 4:18
7. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” ~ Psalm 94:19
8. “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” ~ Isaiah 43:1
9. “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” ~ Proverbs 12:25
10. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” ~ Psalm 23:4
11. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
12. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:34
13. “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-7
14. “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” ~ Isaiah 35:4
15. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” ~ Luke 12:22-26
16. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Psalm 27:1
17. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” ~ Psalm 55:22
18. “Immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'” ~ Mark 6:50
19. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6
20. “'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. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,' declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” ~ Isaiah 41:13-14
21. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1
22. “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” ~ Psalm 118:6-7
23. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” ~ Proverbs 29:25
24. “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” ~ Mark 4:39-40
25. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7
26. “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.” ~ 1 Peter 3:14
27. “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” ~ Psalm 34:4
28. “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” ~ Deuteronomy 3:22
29. “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'” ~ Revelation 1:17
30. “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” ~ Mark 5:36
31. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” ~ Romans 8:38-39
32. “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17
33. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” from Psalm 91:1-16
Be assured, He is with you in whatever you face, in the turmoil and struggles, amidst the anxious thoughts and the worries of life. He is there, strengthening, helping, and He holds you in His hands.
God is greater. He gives us the power to live courageously, boldly, fearlessly in this life, when many things that surround us would tell us to be afraid. His truth whispers strong and sure to the deepest core of our spirits.
“Do not fear.”
It's 8:24 in the evening and I am enjoying a few peaceful, quiet moments sitting on my porch listening as night sounds begin to sing. There are birds chirping faintly and the sun is fading behind the homes across the street leaving in its wake a multitude of hues; peach, pink, purple and blue. A few day lilies remain showing their vibrant colors and the black-eyes susans have begun to bloom. I marvel that day light lingers allowing me visually to enjoy the beauty around me.
There are many times of the year I enjoy, but I would probably surmise that summer evenings are one of my favorites. No sweaters or blankets are needed, only shorts, tee-shirts and flip-flops need to be worn into the night as the smell of newly mowed grass wafts on the slight breeze welcoming the oncoming night.
As the night sounds grow louder I think about all those nights of summer growing up in Virginia. So many of my memories of summer were formed there. As a motorcycle passes by I remember riding with my dad on his Harley. Seems you can't have summer without a motorcycle ride or at least the memory of one. Our rural community was one where everyone knew each other and we all basically went to the same community church. So many great memories...
I pray that all the people in America will remember how blessed we are to live in this great country. Whatever agendas being initiated through civil unrest, division, past faults of historical leaders and generally attacking America, I would ask that we pray for all of those who seek to destroy this nation and its people. There are many vulnerable people being swayed and robbed of contentment which can only be found in Jesus Christ. As Christian believers we need to pray for them as Jesus did; be an example of love, but hold fast to our faith as we live as stellar witnesses before the world.
I would love for all Americans to experience a night of sitting quietly watching as the earth goes to sleep being sung to by night sounds. There is so much more to life than being angry. May God lay His mighty hand on this great land and heal us.
Thought for the Day: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6 (The way my Mama says it)
As most of you know from reading my blogs, I have a mother, 98 years old, in a nursing facility. Numerous times I have mentioned she is blind and is suffering with dementia. Occasionally mom is "with me" and we can have a relatively good conversation, but then there are those moments when I realize immediately I might as well turn around and leave.
With the Covid factor it's been extremely difficult to visit mom. The last time I was in the same room with her was last February. Now, I am fully cognizant many of you are dealing with the same situation and my situation is not unique. It was June before I made the 5 1/2 hour trip from Pittsburgh to visit after all the Covid warnings began in mid-March. The weather at that time was tolerable, mom had five good days in a row for the 10-15 minutes on each occasion, and I was able to see her clearly from a large window.
Last week, in July, we attempted to do the same. With temperatures in the high 90's and the heat index over 100 degrees, it wasn't easy trying to communicate through a window. The facility is still not allowing visitors to enter and the only way I can get her favorite cereal to her is through the postal service! There are no cases of Covid in the facility and for that I am deeply grateful, but this is truly hard to be on the outside looking in.
Mom didn't have as many good days this visit as before, but God graciously gave us a glimpse of yesteryear. On my last visit before heading home to Pittsburgh, I asked mom if she would like to repeat the 23rd Psalm and she immediately began with "The Lord is my Shepherd...". I only clarified her a couple of times. Then I asked if she wanted to repeat her favorite Bible verse. She asked me what it was and I started with Proverbs 3:5-6 and she began, "Trust in the Lord..." and repeated it with very little assistance. We prayed together and I told her I would be back as soon as I could. As I walked away from the window I thought maybe I wouldn't get to be in that room with her again, but I know where mom is headed when she draws her last breath. She's going to be with Jesus, my dad, her parents and sisters and all those who have gone before.
Covid....it's costing us a great deal of inconvenience, but if wearing a mask or being tested would allow me to sit at the bedside of my mother talking, singing, reading the Bible and sharing about being heaven bound, what a small price to pay to touch her hand and let her know I'm there.
In this age of unrest, let's focus on what we do have and be grateful instead of looking back at injustices. Let's begin a new tomorrow by praying for one another, loving one another and rejoicing on being heaven bound!