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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tell The Mountain

"For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he said." Mark 11:23 (KJV)

"Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

"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 (NIV)

At this very moment, there are many people who are hurting physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  At first glance, most of us would never see the hurts of others.  But, if we dig a little deeper and invest some time into another, there is no doubt that we will find that person bearing the weight of some stressful circumstance--either theirs personally, or that of a family member, friend, or acquaintance. In this life, no one is exempt from experiencing tough times.

Many are hurting today because of a lack of employment, thereby creating financial stresses. Still, others are burdened with relationship or health issues. Some lack direction for their lives. For those who do not have financial worries, it would seem that life should be better than ever before. However, so many continue to look for the happiness that is missing deep inside. The world simply cannot fill the void.

In a "happening now" situation, I am personally praying for a young woman whom I have never met.  The fact that I have never met this woman is not unusual, for I often pray for others, both near and far. But, in this particular situation, my heart is extremely heavy because of the circumstances that surround this young woman.  There is a spiritual void in her life, because she has never been exposed to the Truth. Based on the darkness of her circumstance, there is no doubt that she is living a life where hopelessness reigns. I am praying that God's mercy will overflow in this situation.  May He bring hope in the midst of such darkness.

Fervent prayers are also going out for the person who will be ministering to this young woman and who will be the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus.  I am praying that the gentle Shepherd will hold this dear one safe in His arms and that God's protection will be the covering that allows the Holy Spirit to be free to work through His special servant.  I am praying for a willingness on the part of the hurting individual to be receptive to hear about the hope that Jesus Christ offers her. Knowing that with God all things are possible and that He works in ways we don't understand, I am believing, praying, and trusting that God will be glorified in this situation.

What challenge(s) are you facing today? Perhaps, you have a mountain that you feel you cannot climb. Maybe your circumstances are not are dire as the person that I have referenced above, but still you are facing a mountain--health; job situation; relationship issues; or a myriad of other things that are weighing you down. Always remember that God's Word is full of promises that He will take you through every circumstance you now face or ever will face.. He will give you peace as you walk through tough times. There is a light at the end of your tunnel and His name is Jesus!  He will see you through.

Posted below is the song, "Tell The Mountain", by The Collingsworth Family.  Don't ever give up. Don't ever give in.  Always tell your mountain just how BIG your God is! Put your hope in Him, for He will see you through. 

PRAYER: Father, God, you have heard my heart.  You know my prayers for this woman--one of Your own creation who needs you so much.  Please give her mercy and grace through this mountain that she faces.  Dear God, give the dear one who goes forward in faith to minister to her Your supernatural strength.  Give her peace--no fear, no anxiety, and the assurance that she speaks as the representative of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I pray for all hurting individuals no matter where they may be.  Give them the desire to know You and to learn of You through the many promises that are found in Your Word.  Give them the hope that comes from knowing Jesus as their personal Savior.  I pray this in His mighty name--the name above all names.  Amen. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

10,000 Reasons

"A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name." Psalm 103:1

"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name." Psalm 33:21

"My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever."  Psalm 145:21

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice." Psalm 105:3
Tonight I am sharing a message in song. "10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)" by Matt Redman, is such a powerful song; one that is anointed and rich in both lyrics and melody.  By focusing on the words and their deep meaning, this song has brought me into a deeper worship of our Creator ...."ten thousand years and then forevermore."  I hope it will do the same for you. 

PRAYER: Father, God, we worship Your holy name.  You alone are worthy of our praise!  It is with thankful hearts and excitement that we sing the words to this song, all the while, just wanting to convey in some way how much we love You. Thank You for calling us to be Your children.  In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sunny Side of Life

The Rainy Day
THE DAY is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
And at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

In the poem above entitled ‘Rainy Day”, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the last two lines read as follows: “Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary.”  All of us know this to be a true statement, for we’ve experienced times when the going gets pretty tough.  In my own life, there have been some dark days---days when I didn’t feel that the sun would ever shine again.  But, I am so thankful that it doesn’t rain forever.
The seasons of life seem to be somewhat cyclic.  Someone once said that we are currently experiencing tough times, or we have just come through them, or we are about to go into them.  We may experience times of our own trials or suffering, or walk through the same with those whom we love.  There are many twists and turns to life and at times each of us becomes weary and tired, sometimes feeling that we are battered beyond recognition.
So, here are my questions: What kind of outlook do we have about life and how to live it?  What does it take for us to get through the storms of life?  When these storms come so hard that we cannot see through the pouring rain, what do we do?  Where do we go for help?  Do we try and get through these times using our own strength or do we depend on friends to help us make it through? Do we have a spiritual faith as our source of help and comfort?  
In this blog, I want to introduce you to a very special lady.  Although, I never had the pleasure of meeting Una “Nanny” Payne, it is through her grandson Derick, and his wife, Joyce, that I have learned much about her. Nanny Payne was a lady whose philosophy of life needs to be shared, and I hope that I am able to do justice to who this precious lady was and what we can all learn from her legacy.  
Derick and Joyce have fondly and lovingly shared insight into what made Nanny Payne so special. They  have shared their belief as to what caused her to leave such a lasting impact on her children, grandchildren, other family members, and friends.  Simply put, Nanny Payne chose to “keep on the sunny side of life.”
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada, Nanny Payne passed away at the ripe old age of 95 years.  She was a sincere Christian woman, not one given to gossip or hurting others. She loved studying the Bible, especially the Psalms and Proverbs.  Derick stated that his grandmother used to say to him, “You know, there is everything in this Book to guide us through life and thereafter.” Her outlook on life was based on that statement.  She would tell her family, “It’s hard to love those we disagree with, but we must anyway. We are to love others, not demonize them because they don’t fit into our little groups.” She quoted I Corinthians 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” Loving others was something Nanny Payne knew would bring honor and glory to God.
Nanny Payne taught her family that “there is good in everyone you know, but we may have to look harder for the good in some folks.”  She realized that underneath the rough exterior of that difficult person, some hurt may have caused them to seem calloused and bitter.  Even though that might be the case, Nanny Payne chose to find the good in everyone.
Now we come to Nanny Payne’s philosophy in life, which all of us can take to heart.  Because of her strong faith in God, she always said that no matter what our circumstances, we need to “keep on the sunny side of life.” The song by that title which is posted below was her favorite.  She sang it very often. She literally lived the song and left the legacy of its meaning to her family and to all who knew her.
Nanny Payne kept her sense of humor until her dying breath.  On her deathbed, awakening to consciousness, she waited until her daughter and son-in-law were present. She first told her daughter goodbye, and then to her son-in-law she said the following: “Oh, it’s just like Archie Bunker.  We’re all here like All In The Family.” This was in keeping with one of her favorite one-liners, “A day without laughter is a day that is wasted. Laughter is good for the heart and soul.” Nanny Payne laughed until the very end!
To sum it up, Nanny Payne lived by what she believed the Lord wanted her to do. She read God’s Word and she applied it to her life, and she passed these truths on to her family: “Treat others the way you want to be treated; don’t be miserable; keep on the sunny side; laughter is good for the mood, attitude, and soul; say your prayers, and be thankful for the life God has given you.”
Thanks to Nanny Payne, she has left an amazing legacy for her family.  The family members that we have met definitely display her philosophy of life. They carry her in their hearts and they live their lives as she taught them.
Thank you, Nanny Payne, for your words of wisdom. Thank you for the impact you have made on me, even as I write these words. Thank you for causing me to think more about how I want to live my life—always “on the sunny side.”  You have reminded me that life is short and I must live it to the fullest—living and loving my heavenly Father, my family, my friends and those with whom I come in contact each day.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the life and legacy of Una “Nanny” Payne.  Thank You for giving me the words to honor her and her family. Help each of us to learn  and apply her godly wisdom and philosophy to our own lives so that we might be happier, more loving individuals to everyone we meet.  May our actions bring glory and honor to You always. I pray this in Jesus name.  Amen.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Resting Place

"For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." 2 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV)

"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28  (NLT)

"For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing." Jeremiah 31:25 (NLT)

This past Sunday, while on vacation in Canada, we attended a wonderful church service with our friends. The song, "My Faith Has found A Resting Place" was one of the songs we sang. It is an old hymn that I had not heard in many years.

Little is known about either the author of the hymn text, Lidie, H. Edmunds, or the source of the tune other than that it is an old Norwegian melody. The hymn in its present form first appeared in the hymnal Songs of Joy and Gladness, published in 1891. (Source: Amazing Grace, 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions.)

The words of this song are the foundation upon which I base my faith.  The words to the chorus say, "I need no other argument, I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for me." This fact alone is enough for all Christians to rest their faith upon. 

Our faith can find a resting place when we are weary and carrying heavy burdens.  In the midst of trials and suffering we are able to find our rest in Jesus. During tough times, by leaning on the written Word of God, we have the assurance that nothing more is needed.  Our anchor in Christ will hold steady through these times of difficulty. 

Has your faith found a resting place?  Is it enough that Jesus died, and that He died for you?  My prayer today is that this song will testify of your faith in God and that you have already asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord. 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being all that we need.  Thank You for loving us unconditionally.  Our faith is based on the sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us on the cross, believing that He died for our sins, and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. Because we believe this and as we lean on Your written Word, give us wisdom and strength so that we might be good representatives of what it means to be a Christian.  I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence to all of our family and friends who are American citizens, wherever you are.  I am so thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy because of the sacrifice and dedication that so many men and women have made over the years, and still make to our country. We thank you with all of our hearts.

Likewise, and most importantly for me, I am thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross so that each of us might have everlasting life through Him.  Having a personal relationship with Him brings freedom and joy deep within that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

The song posted below entitled, "The Statue of Liberty", has been one of my favorites for many years.  My prayer for America is that we will look to God for needed answers in this time of difficulty and divisiveness, and that we will find peace and hope not only for our great country, but for ourselves. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I thank you for the privilege of living in this great land called America.  Even though we see many difficulties presently and on the horizon, Lord, just continue to bless us and lead us.  Please give godly wisdom to our leaders and help us to continue to be a beacon of hope for those who are less fortunate.  Thank you for all you have done for this country called America.  I pray this prayer with a thankful heart in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.