PSALM 62:1 (NKJV) Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.
Every day brings many opportunities to wait and it's something most of us don't do very well. Waiting for the right person to marry . . . waiting for your spouse to change . . . waiting for an illness to pass . . . waiting for change in a job situation . . . waiting for His direction for your next step. So often we find ourselves waiting, just waiting. Then we get impatient and ask, 'Why should I wait?' When it seems nearly impossible to hold off one more moment, remember that waiting on God is always the right thing to do because . . .
God is All-knowing so He sees the end from the beginning and has a plan for every situation. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV).
God is All-loving and will only allow that which is for your good and His glory as you seek Him.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren, (Romans 8:28-29, NKJV).
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39, NKJV).
God is All-powerful so He can and will orchestrate your circumstances according to His perfect timing. Whether the change is in the situation, or the change is in you, God will create a change somewhere. Things won't always be as they are now.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, NKJV).
If you have put our trust in Christ and been born into His family, then you can wait for your loving Heavenly Father to work, to direct, to go before and open or close doors because you know that He is faithful and will do what He has promised. Waiting, then, is a good thing! You can wait because you know that God is great, and He is good.
Almighty God, help me always to keep my eyes fixed on You and Your greatness knowing that You do all things well. Help me wait when it's so hard to do!
Ecclesiastes 3:1-5To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . .
How long has it been since you've had a good laugh? I mean a really good laugh that was so hard it made your sides ache? Recently I had the privilege of sitting down with some friends and just laughing and having a good time. When we parted we all left smiling-and we all left feeling better than when we arrived.
In the last few decades researchers have given a lot of attention to the study of gelatology, the way laughter affects the human body, and have discovered that laughter is a natural stress reliever. It improves circulation and muscle tone, and it increases your heart rate and certain hormones and endorphins so that you feel better. Laughing usually leads to a brighter outlook on life and is good for the body and the soul.
Isn't it interesting that science has validated what wise King Solomon told us thousands of years ago? In Proverbs 15:13 and 15 he wrote, "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance . . . he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast." One of my professors in college used to say frequently, 'Science is just now catching up with the Bible.' Isn't that the truth!
If laughter is that good for you, shouldn't you make it a point to do it? Pick up a Reader's Digest magazine and read the humorous stories, or purchase a joke book that you can read from each day. Watch a funny movie, or read the comics in your local newspaper. Spend some time with a friend who has a good sense of humor. Make it a habit to share funny stories with your family from time to time. It may be hard to laugh when things aren't going well, but in those very moments something light and humorous may be just what you need to pick up your spirits and help you handle your stress.
Solomon told us there is a time for everything, and certainly there is a time for laughter and rejoicing. My friend, take that time. Take just a few moments to find some bright spot to lift up your day. Take time to laugh.
Father, thank You for the wonderful gift of laughter. Let me never get so burdened down with care that I fail to see the moments of happiness peaking through the clouds from time to time. Refresh my body and mind with this marvelous gift.
Psalms 95:1-3Oh come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
The arrival of the fall season this month reminds us just how quickly this year is passing. Before you know it, we'll be celebrating the arrival of another new year!
Each year and each season bring many changes and challenges. I'm so glad to know there are some things that never change- especially the wonderful, unending, unlimited love of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Every day we can see the evidence of His love in our lives. If we take the time to see and appreciate it, God's love seems to grow deeper and sweeter within our hearts with every passing day.
One songwriter put it this way: "Richer fuller, deeper, Jesus' love is sweeter, Sweeter as the years go by."
Just the thought of that should cause us to burst for in praise to God for truly "the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods."
- By Ann Shorb
Copyright Ann Shorb, 2017
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GALATIANS 2:20 (KJV)I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Get groceries, water the plants, call the plumber, get the oil changed in the car . . . These are the kinds of things I have to remember each day, in addition to the details of running a counseling office. Fearing that I must remember it all and knowing that I can't creates worry and stress, yet it's something that most of us deal with every day. That's why I keep paper and pencil handy. I know my brain won't remember it all!
The good news is that there are some other things that I need to remember every day that don't cause stress! In fact, seeing who I am in Christ, and focusing on some of the things He does for me brings calmness and peace to my heart and mind. Ah! Now that's what I need!
' I am a child of the King. I have nothing to fear. (John 1:12)
' I am freely and lovingly forgiven because of what Christ did for me. (Ephesians 4:32)
' His resources are totally at my disposal. He has all I need for every need. (Psalm 23:1, 6; Philippians 4:19)
' I am loved with God's everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
' I am free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)
' I am a conqueror-an over-comer. (Romans 8:37)
' I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
' Nothing can separate me from the love of God. (Rom.8:35-39)
' All things work together for good, conforming me to the image of Christ. (Rom. 8: 28-29)
' I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)
Remembering these things gives me the boost I need to face any day, no matter how challenging or difficult. They remind me of my true Source of hope, strength and courage. By His Spirit, He lives in me. How do I know all these things? The Bible tells me so-and that's that!
Lord Jesus, it amazes me how much better I feel when I turn my focus away from my problems and challenges and onto You. Help me to remember what you've done in my life. Please saturate my mind today with truths from Your Word today.
- By Ann Shorb
Copyright Ann Shorb, 2017
Scripture taken from the King James Version of The Holy Bible.
Please Tell a Friend
Would you take just a moment to prayerfully consider sending this to two friends who might be blessed by what we've shared today?
Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
We had lived in Pennsylvania a while when I decided to venture out on my own and drive the hour from Hanover to Lancaster alone. I'd been there a number of times and thought I could make it without any problem - and I did. But coming home wasn't that easy.
Recent construction had reconfigured a few of the exits, changing the landscape and removing familiar landmarks. I missed my exit without even realizing it, and had to drive a long way before I could get back on the right road. I sure wish I'd had a GPS that day!
A few weeks later, a couple of friends told me they were going shopping in Lancaster. I cautioned them, "Whatever you do, don't miss your exit on Rt 30. I don't know where that other road takes you, but I know I've been there!
In the Christian life, we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit as our spiritual GPS. God the Father tells Him where we need to be, then it's up to us individually to put ourselves in motion and follow the Spirit's voice as He guides our decisions, grants us discernment, and gives direction for every area of our lives. And if we get off track, we can look to Him to redirect us back to the path God has for us.
God's eye is ever upon me, and His guiding Spirit is ever within me. He knows exactly where I am physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually every moment of every day and night; therefore, I'm never lost. What a comfort that is!
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that even when I don't know where I am in life, You do.
WORDS TO PONDER: "The Holy Spirit is readily available to give us wisdom for our decisions, direction for our future, insights into our problems, and management for our responsibilities."
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV). . . there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
The lady's voice was soft as she spoke. Her words came slowly through her tears when she said, 'I'm surrounded by people every day, so I'm not alone. In fact, I hardly ever have any time to myself, yet I'm still so terribly lonely. Is that possible to be surrounded by people and still feel lonely?'
The answer to that is 'Yes, absolutely!'
Sadly, millions of people everyday experience the same feelings of being disconnected, isolated, and lonesome even though they are not alone. In a room full of people, on a crowded subway, or in a difficult relationship, that sense of loneliness and lack of support can overwhelm you if you feel disconnected and isolated from those around you.
The good news is, if you are a child of God, you never have to stay stuck in those feelings. You can remind yourself that you have His Spirit always with you. Then, like with any other companion, you can enjoy sweet conversation and warm fellowship as you talk to your loving Heavenly Father in prayer'-and you can hear Him speak to you as you pray, read His Word, or spend time in solitary meditation. Even though you can't see or physically touch Him, you can feel His presence, sense His support, and know His love in those difficult times.
Taking the time every day to develop a close, intimate relationship with the Lord provides you with a constant awareness of His presence and a shield against loneliness. If you do these things and still feel an ongoing sense of aloneness, seek professional help from a medical doctor or counselor. There may be some physical problem causing depression or other related illness. God created us with the capacity to enjoy relationships with Him and with others. Don't stay stuck in loneliness.
PRAYER: Abiding Lord Jesus, keep me constantly aware that even when I feel disconnected from others, I can always have communion with You.
WORDS TO PONDER: 'And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.'
2 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV)Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
A couple of my friends are preparing to move soon, and I don't envy them. Moving is never easy. It takes work to sort, to get rid of, to pack, to transport, to unpack, and to put in place'-and then to remember where you put everything!
Actually, I'm an expert at moving. In the first ten years after I graduated from college, I moved twelve times- from Michigan to Pennsylvania to France, to Zaire (now called Congo). Then it was back to the U.S. for more training and another transition which took my family to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, and Maryland. After that we went back to France for a few more years, then once more to Missouri, and finally to Pennsylvania.
Those were exciting years of ministering, maturing, and seeing new places. And with all that experience, I mastered the art of packing and unpacking, but the really hard part about moving so often was saying, 'Good-bye', to places we enjoyed, and especially to our family, and the friends we made.
Most often moving involves leaving the familiar and walking into the unknown, and that can be extremely difficult, and sometimes even a bit frightening. Yet no matter where I lived, whether in North America, Europe, or Africa, one Friend never left my side. He never said, 'Farewell'. He never abandoned me. He never said, 'You go ahead and I'll come later.' No, He never left me alone. NEVER!
As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, what a comfort it is to know that His Holy Spirit indwells me, and wherever I go, He goes. I'm never alone. The God of love and peace is always with me.
PRAYER: Living Lord Jesus, what a comfort to have You as my constant companion no matter where I am, or where I may be going. Your presence is my anchor and hope in all things. For this I am truly grateful.
WORDS TO PONDER:'Constantly abiding, Jesus is mine;Constantly abiding, rapture divine;He never leaves me lonely, whispers, O so kind:'I will never leave thee,' Jesus is mine.'
-Anne S. Murphy,(1877-1942) from the hymn 'Constantly Abiding'
ISAIAH 30:19He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee.
They were in every aisle, every part of the store, and every check-out line! No matter where we turned the other night, young people were grabbing up school supplies and checking off their list of what to bring to school. Many parents helped them prepare for the start of another school year, and some seemed to actually be enjoying their adventure together.
As youngsters all around the USA head back into the classroom there's something all of us can do to help them prepare for the new year. We can pray! Today's kids face enormous challenges and pressures. Temptations abound, and the young person who tries to do right is often the object of ridicule. Let's cover them with our prayers not only as this new school years starts, but throughout the weeks and months ahead.
And don't forget to pray for the teachers and administrators, as well, especially those who are Christians. Ask God to make them not only effective teachers and leaders, but good role models and powerful witnesses for Him.
Would you be willing to commit to pray daily, by name for one or more students, and a teacher or administrator that you know? Several years ago I targeted three Christian teachers in public schools and prayed for them regularly. Several times I heard from each of them how much it meant to know that someone was remembering them before God's throne each day. It's a little thing that doesn't take much time, but remembering in prayer our children and those who work with them brings a rich reward. Heavenly Father, please watch over and protect our young people. Give them understanding of things that are good. Help them to shun evil. Cause them to make wise choices in their friendships and bless them as they grow each day. Bless the teachers and administrators. May they reflect Your love and greatness, too.
Isaiah 45:6-7 (NKJV)That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.
August 21, 2017 will be a remarkable day in American history as we experience the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental U.S. since 1979! This time, though, the 70-mile-wide path of total blackout will stretch from Oregon diagonally southeast to South Carolina, making it the first time a total solar eclipse has traveled from shore to shore in America since 1918.
Although the duration of totality will be only a second or so in some places along its journey, it will last around two and a half minutes along the center of the path. The moon will completely cover the sun and its atmosphere blocking out all light so that it will look and feel like the middle of the night. Even bright stars will most likely be visible. Areas near this path will experience a partial eclipse with some darkness, and the areas farther away may not notice much out of the ordinary.
There are many different views on what this astronomical event means and how people want to spend their day. Many folks plan to celebrate this event with wild parties without seeing God's hand in it, while others will delight in viewing the eclipse as one of His most striking displays of power and beauty. Some Christians view this dramatic act of nature as a message from God calling for America to repent and turn back to Him. There are believers who also feel this is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy signaling the coming of Christ.
In reality, August 21, 2017, should be no different than any other day for Christ's followers. Every day we should acknowledge as a gift from God, recognize His power and total authority over all of nature, and delight in the beauty of creation around us. And at all times we are called to celebrate His goodness and love as we seek to live righteously before Him.
PRAYER: Almighty God, we truly thank and praise You for the opportunity to witness Your awesome greatness in this once-in-a-lifetime event. May it stir our hearts to see anew the wonders of your power.
WORDS TO PONDER: 'To me, this is the most incredible thing in all of creation.'-Dr. Danny Faulkner, Staff astronomer for Answers in Genesis
JOHN 15:5 (AMPC)I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
Mmmm . . . The blueberry muffin I brought home from the store looked and smelled delicious as I placed it in my tin to keep it fresh until morning. I was tempted to eat it right then, but I didn't. It was my special treat for breakfast'-and I could hardly wait!
The next day was a special one, and I was celebrating by making a delicious breakfast. The table was set with nice dishes, fresh fruit, and a pot of steeping tea. Finally, I placed the muffin in the toaster oven to heat while I plated my omelet and sausage. I had timed everything carefully so it would all be ready at the same time, but when I reached for my piping hot muffin, it was cold! My heart sank, as I realized the oven was not plugged in-and without the necessary power, it just couldn't do its job.
While this was a disappointment and a temporary delay, I knew the remedy was simple . . . just put the plug in the socket and let the power flow from the electrical current to the heater and all would be well.
How quickly my thoughts flew to the words of Jesus as He instructed His disciples just after their last supper together!
'I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing,' (John 15:5, NKJV).
Christ pictured for them their essential need to stay closely connected to Him so that His strength, and all of His life-giving resources, would flow from Him through them. Only then could they do the job He gave them to do and produce an abundant harvest of fruit.
Maintaining that vital union with Christ means spending time alone in His Word, in study, and in prayer. It means listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit who not only guides us, but empowers us to do the job for which we were designed. All this takes time, and intentional planning and effort on our part, but Christ alone is the source of our power for daily living. There absolutely is no other!
PRAYER: O Lord, I need You desperately! Truly You are the source of all my strength. I realize that without You, I can accomplish nothing.
WORDS TO PONDER: 'The phrase 'abiding in Christ' pictures an intimate, close relationship, not just a superficial acquaintance.' -Unknown