A Sheltered Spot for You

Tree by a Stream

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

Isaiah 26:3

All we need to do in time of sorrow and loneliness is to stay our minds upon God, to trust Him, to rest in Him, to nestle in His love. We remember where John was found the night of the Lord’s last supper with His disciples, – the darkest night the world ever saw, in the deepest sorrow men ever knew, – he was leaning on Jesus’ breast. He crept into that holy shelter to find quiet.

John was kept in perfect peace during all those terrible hours. Everything appeared to have slipped away and there was nothing that seemed abiding. But John crept into the shelter of love and simply trusted, and was kept in holy peace.

A beautiful story is told of Rudyard Kipling during a serious illness a few years since. The trained nurse was sitting at his bedside on one of the anxious nights when the sick man’s condition was most critical. She was watching him intently and noticed that his lips began to move. She bent over him, and heard him whisper the words of the old familiar prayer of childhood, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” The nurse, realizing that her patient did not require her services, and that he was praying, said in apology for having intruded upon him, “I beg your pardon, Mr. Kipling; I thought you wanted something.” “I do,” faintly replied the sick man: “I want my heavenly Father. He only can care for me now.

In his great weakness there was nothing that human help could do, and he turned to God and crept into His bosom, seeking the blessing and the care which none but God can give. That is what we need to do in every time of trial, of sorrow, – when the gentlest human love can do nothing, – creep into our heavenly Father’s bosom, saying, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” That is the way to peace. Earth has no shelter in which it can be found, but in God the feeblest may find it.  —JR Miller

Out of Darkness

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1 Peter 2:9 (WEB)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence
of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

We are the World! Happy New Year!

Praying for blessings to all of you around the world. May we all come together to find what is best in each of us. Love surely is better than hate. Working together, standing together, loving together will make the difference. If you are upset about something, find your voice. Go on Twitter, Facebook, start a Website, care and share positive ideas and progressive thinking instead of crying in a corner. We can all light the place where we stand and that light will shine enough to change things.

Be blessed with much love, joy, and happiness!

Sharon & Erick

We are the world!

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving

Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

 Are you a “big picture” person?

(My Note: Considering the previous message on the site today, I think this one was also “right on” and meant for me to contemplate today.  Funny how that happens, huh?)

Who but God goes up to the heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fist? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name — and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!

Proverbs 30:4 NLT

Impressive panorama

When people understand events clearly, we often say that they “see the big picture.” This passage in Proverbs makes the point that the clearest view of the “big picture” will always include God. The sequence of rhetorical questions helps us consider the awesome identity and capacity of God. Much like the litany of questions that God showered on Job (Job 38:1-41:34), these push us toward humble and silent worship.

Agur was feeling overwhelmed (30:1), insignificant (30:2), and limited (30:3). But when he turned away from his smallness to contemplate God’s greatness, an atmosphere of confidence filled the rest of the chapter. He began with a little picture, no bigger than himself, but he soon looked at the big picture and forgot that he was weary and worn out. God gave him a new and refreshing point of view.

WISE WAYS  One of the best remedies for a weary and tired spirit is to contemplate the majesty and greatness of God. How have you found that to be true?

Dear Lord, when I look at all you have made, I know it makes me feel smaller, but it also fills me with wonder over how great you are! I worship you.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for January 30.


Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Look up!

God wants you to stop being “absorbed with the things right in front of you.

Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—

that’s where the action is.

See things from his perspective”.

(Colossians 3:2 MSG)

If I ever needed to hear this verse, today was the day! I’m having a rough time facing the fact that my sister’s leukemia has now progressed and she will be starting chemo soon.  Also, it seems, people who are “supposed friends”, just simply “aren’t”.  So I need to look up, and try to see it all in “God’s perspective”.

Obeying God brings great joy

Have you experienced the joy of obedience?

No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what it right. O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

Psalm 84:11-12 NLT

This is what I told them: “Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well!”

Jeremiah 7:23 NLT

We all live in a web of relationships dependent upon obedience to authority. Like a loving parent, God sets standards for our good and to protect us from evil and harm. God desires obedience motivated not by fear but by love and trust. Ironically, obedience actually frees us up to enjoy life as God intended, because it keeps us from becoming entangled or enslaved to those things that distract us and cause us heartache. Even though God’s command is sometimes difficult, or doesn’t make sense from our human perspective, obedience will always bring blessing, joy, and peace.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 1238

Digging Deeper

For more on obedience, see End of the Spear by Steve Saint, Tyndale House Publishers (2005).

Steve Saint was five years old when his father, missionary pilot Nate Saint, was speared to death by a primitive Ecuadorian tribe. In adulthood, Steve, having left Ecuador for a successful business career in the United States, never imagined making the jungle his home again. But when that same tribe asks him to help them, Steve, his wife, and their teenage children move back to the jungle. There, Steve learns long-buried secrets about his father’s murder, confronts difficult choices, and finds himself caught between two worlds.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Have a blessed New Year!

Just wanted to wish you all a blessed New Year…full of happiness, love, warmth, encouragement, healing, discernment, wisdom, praise to our Lord, humility, gratitude, forgiveness, grace, mercy, hope, faith, spiritual growth, victory, and all the good things our Lord has in store for each of us.

 

Sharon & Erick

Merry Christ mas to all of you!

More of Christ!

In Bethlehem, the human being who best understood who God was and what he was doing, is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. As Mary looks into the face of the baby.  Her son. Her Lord.  His majesty—she can’t take her eyes off him.  Somehow Mary knows she’s holding God. So this is he. She remembers the words of the angel.  “His kingdom will never end!”

He looks like anything but a king. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. Majesty in the midst of the mundane.  Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat.  Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter.

God came near!

“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.

Luke 1:33″

~ Max Lucado

It seems today is the day to emphasize “Forgiveness”

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Everywhere I turned today, I ran into new tidbits about “Forgiveness”.  I don’t believe in coincidence, because I believe in the verse Romans 8:28  which reads . . . And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. NIV

So . . . it seems He is trying to bring home to me a truth that needs to be reexamined!

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forgiveness God's promise

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Forgiveness is an act of love and obedience

It isn’t dependent on who the person is, what the person has done or how many times they have done it.

In fact it really has nothing to do with the person who hurt you.

It is all about you and your relationship with God.

I’m so thankful that He loves me enough to command me to do this. Because at the end of the day I know I can say, “God of second chances and new beginnings … here I am again, Please forgive me…

Daniel 9:18

We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy.

Today is your best day

In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever.

Psalm 44:8 (NKJV)

Here are four reasons why today is your best day.

– Today is your best day because you are here. God has placed you in this moment of time for a purpose, and the things that happen to you today will be an unfolding of that purpose.

– What happened to you yesterday, however easy or difficult, was used by God to help prepare you for what He has for you today.

– God will use what happens today to prepare you for what He has for you in future days.

– God has used your past and worked it all together for the good, and He will use this day to add to the good that He has already worked in your behalf.

If you are in Jesus Christ and your heart is committed to God’s plan for your life, it means that today is your best day.

Today is your best day because you can grow a little more in your faith, a little more in your maturity, and a little more in your intimacy with Jesus.

Today you can take another step higher as He takes you from glory to glory; take another step deeper as you grow in His love; take another step further as you obediently walk with Him.

Today is your best day because it has brought you one day closer to the coming of the Lord.

Devotional excerpt by Roy Lessin, from his new book Today is Your Best Day.

Deliverance from Fear

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 34:4

 Prayer positions us to receive the peace of God. It is when we seek Him that we see Him. It is when we see Him that we are secure. As we travel across the choppy sea of life’s circumstances, we can become dizzy and fearful if we look down at the water of wonder. But if we keep our eyes fixed ahead on a stable object, we remain secure and feel safe. Jesus is our immovable object of belief. He is our secure Savior who is there for us when fear assaults our attitude and threatens to highjack our heart. When we seek His face He reciprocates by flooding our countenance with His peace. He replaces our furrowed brow of fear with a calm face of faith. He gives the righteous a radiant face that is never to be covered with shame. The Lord hears our prayers by extending His peaceful presence.

No one has ever been sorry for seeking the Lord. It takes time and effort but it is your best investment. Process your problems with prayer and you will be the most productive. We cannot come to the best solutions in our own strength. One dimensional problem solving only leads to average results at best. Why be satisfied with a perspective limited to your experiences, intelligence and giftedness? It is seeking the Lord that unlocks a treasure trove of truth that leads us to possibilities we would never imagine on our own. The fruit that comes from replacing fear with faith is unlimited. We can rest assured as the Almighty leads us down a new path. This is what may happen in the process of seeking your Savior. He delights in determining a better way for you.

This next season of your life is the Lord’s reward for your faithfulness all these years. You have sought Him unashamedly and obediently. Money has not been your motive. Pride has not prodded you. Fame has not been your forte. You have sought Him with your unselfish service. You have sought Him with your humble obedience. You have sought Him by ministering to the needs of others. Because of your faithfulness in seeking Him, He has grown your faith and marginalized your fears. Therefore, see this next season as an extension of His blessings. There is no need to fear because God is near those who seek Him. There is no safer or more secure place to be than in the process of seeking Him.

Moreover, God expects to hear from you before you can expect to hear from Him. If you restrain prayer; He may refrain grace and mercy. The more you think upon the Lord, and less of yourself, the better off you become. Seek Him, lose yourself, and you will discover the best way. Furthermore, there is no need to fear your next transition as your Heavenly Father has your hand and He is guiding you. There is no need to fear the cessation of this phase of your career as He is in control. There is no need to fear the breaking off of a relationship as He is in the business of mending broken hearts. There is no need to fear provision for your family as God is your provider. Seek Him and He will deliver you from your fears. Seek Him and you will be secure in Him. Seek Him before, during and after trouble comes. Then the process of seeking the Lord becomes second nature to your soul. Then fear fails its mission. Indeed, seeking Him fossilizes your fears!

Taken from Reading #23 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

Prayer positions us to receive the peace of God. It is when we seek Him that we see Him.

Be patient and tough

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalms 32:8
Be patient and tough.
Someday this pain will be useful to you.
You will never realize your true strength until being strong is your only option left.
Until you are broken,
you won’t know what you’re truly made of.
Pain doesn’t just show up in your life for no reason.
It’s a sign that something needs to change –
it’s a wake-up call that guides you toward a better future.
A Sunday School teacher once gave me this same advice.
Whatever we go through prepares us for something
that is going to happen somewhere down the road.
The experience will make us strong enough to stand it.
~ Sharon

Are you filled with Joy?

Are you filled with joy?

I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

John 15:11 NLT

Full Joy

In many ways, we live in bleak times. Millions feel disillusioned with life while millions more feel uncertain about the future — especially young people. Many of you in Generation X have been victims of a great social experiment in which parents who never grew up cast aside time-honored moral values and, in the phrase of the 1960s, did their own thing.

Nevertheless, there is someone to believe in, something to grasp, and someone to trust. You need to go to the next letter of the alphabet, to Y — as in “Why do I exist. Why was I created? And what am I living for?”

According to Jesus, you were created for joy. “These things I have spoken to you,” Jesus said, “that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

The things Jesus spoke of were His teachings about bearing fruit. We were created to bear fruit for God, which essentially means to become like Jesus: His mind becomes our mind, His purpose becomes our purpose. And there’s only one way to produce such luscious fruit, according to Jesus: “Abide in Me” (John 15:4). This is the secret of spiritual growth and the key to overflowing joy. Are you bearing spiritual fruit?

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie (Tyndale House) p 246-48

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Christ in You!

When grace happens, Christ enters.  Christ in you, the hope of glory!

For many years, I missed this truth.  I believed all the other prepositions:

Christ for me, with me, ahead of me.  But I never imagined that Christ was in me.

I can’t blame my deficiency on Scripture. Paul refers to it 216 times.  John mentions it 26.  No other religion or philosophy makes such a claim.  No other movement implies the living presence of its founder in his followers.

Muhammad does not indwell Muslims.  Buddha does not inhabit Buddhists.

Influence?  Instruct?  Yes.  But occupy?  No.

The mystery in a nutshell is Colossians 1:27:  “Christ is in you!”

The Christian is a person in whom Christ is happening!  We sense his re-arranging.  He’s turning debris into the divine, a pig’s ear into silk purse.  Little by little a new image emerges!

God’s Grace!

From GRACE

~ Max Lucado