The Light of His Loving Presence and Care

The Light of His Loving Presence and Care

By: Rebekah Beene

I know I’m not the only wife who has little worries about her husband. The first time I remember thinking my sweetheart was dying was when he had an allergic reaction in the 80’s. The next time was when he grabbed his chest and exclaimed “ow!” while we were riding the motorcycle! That one will get you for sure! Then there were the blowouts on motorcycles. Off and on through the years he’s had some mighty close calls – all of which turned out fine. We are getting older, so when he has heartburn or grabs his back in momentary flinches I automatically say “What’s wrong?” “Are you okay?” and then “Don’t scare me!”

As we sat on the couch together yesterday morning before I headed to work I took his hand and held it. Then I just sighed. He wanted to know why and I told him I just enjoyed sitting there in the quiet of the morning. Holding his hand was so very comforting – that hand I’ve held for many, many years. I don’t want to every quit holding his hand. Together is so very good. Forever is even better.

I also know that no matter what I have a Savior Who promises to hold my hand forever, through all things, in spite of whatever comes my way and even if I find myself without other hands to hold.

Oh beloved, this is how God feels about you. He loves you. He relishes time with you side by side. He wants you to know that He is that constant companion that will never leave you or forsake you. If you are alone, you don’t have to be lonely. Even if you have close ties with a loved one, it is God’s hand that will keep you secure and give you ultimate satisfaction. No other person, place or thing can do for you what God does. His hand of anointing is on you. His hand of blessing is over you. His hand of protection is all around you. This is where your true power comes from. Fear has to leave, worries have to flee, and questions are silenced.

God loves you and He’s for you! Rest in His Presence and let Him hold your hand all the way as you live in the Light of His Loving Presence and Care.

Isaiah 41:10.  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:13. For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

Psalm 63:8 I cling to You; Your strong right hand holds me securely.

Psalm 18:35. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.

Hosea 6:3.  Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.

Don’t Be Job’s Friends by Kari Trumbo

We’ve all been there, that moment when you hear terrible news from one of your friends. The fact is, there are only two outcomes in this scenario, you will comfort them in the knowledge that you are thinking of them and care or you will end up saying something that hurts them. Nothing you say will make the situation better. Your words can not take away someone’s pain, even if you happen to be the cause. That pain will still be there until they can process the situation in their own time with the Lord.

At age thirty-something-approaching-forty, I’ve had my fair share of those Job situations. People do get sick. People die. Friends and relatives suffer terribly. As Christians, as sharers in the hope of Jesus Christ, how can we avoid being modern-day friends of Job? Let’s take a look at what not to say.

“If you pray for release, you’ll get it,” or “If you had more faith, you’d be healed by now.” No one knows exactly how the Lord will answer prayer. He is not some cosmic vending machine doling out a blessing at the drop of His Name. Sometimes we must endure hardship. He never said we wouldn’t. If he did, people would be running to join our ranks in droves just to be spared the tragedies of life.

“God is teaching you through this,” or “He will bless you richly for your suffering.” As much as pain can be a learning experience, it can take YEARS of working through the pit to get to the light and some never do. It comes across as cold and unfeeling. We are called to be loving and compassionate. As to the blessing, yes Job may have been richly blessed after his trial, but I doubt he counted the blessings as outweighing his loss.

“Look at So-and-So, they made it, you’ll be just fine” or “It could be worse” These phrases are not only holier than thou, they also undercut the scriptures which say that we can have our season to mourn. The Lord doesn’t compare our sin to anyone else’s, nor does He compare our hurts. To do that to a fellow believer could lead to the false teaching that He does.

So, if those are things not to say, what can you say that might comfort someone who is suffering?

“I can’t begin to know what you are going through, but I love you and I’m praying for you.” This may sound obvious but knowing people are praying for you will not make it worse. It doesn’t make them feel they have done anything to deserve the plight they are going through, nor is God going to magically fix it, but at least the request is in.

“Can I do anything to help you?” Understand, the person will probably tell you no. If you have a mind to, do something anyway. Bring a meal, send some flowers if they like them, have a book delivered, you could even send a card. You are thinking of them not only right now in the moment, but when you walk away as well.

You could opt to not say anything at all, but not in a cold shoulder way. Perhaps the words on your heart would be best expressed by a hug or a written note. In some instances, a hug conveys more meaning than the floweriest words.

The book of Job used to bother me. I recently read it again and came to an interesting personal discovery. Maybe Job wasn’t written for people who are hurting, perhaps it was written for those of us responding to those who are hurting. Job’s friends did him no favors. If there had been buses in Job’s day, his friends would have thrown him under one. How they responded to Job could give us a clear indication of how not to be a friend of Job.

About the Author:

Kari Trumbo

Kari Trumbo is an aspiring author, freelance editor, wife and mother to 4 vibrant children. She homeschools, teaches 4-6th graders for Kids Club at the Paynesville Bible Church, crafts, and reads voraciously.

Comfort by Heather Bixler

Comfort by Heather Bixler

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; – Psalm 1:1-6

I’ve been thinking a lot about comfort today. It’s been on my mind a lot especially since I had been fasting and praying. Often I can find myself clinging to THINGS that I feel bring me comfort. Today I made a list of all the things I turn to for comfort, some were good, and others were sinful and/or harmful.

I have seen many people be on fire for Christ but in their pursuit of comfort they have turned away from Him. We all seek comfort; we all want to feel safe and secure.

Often when I am uncomfortable I am irritated. I then begin to wonder if the discomfort will ever go away. Will I ever be able to live without the sinful things that I take comfort in? Will I ever feel satisfied in this world?

During the 21 days of prayer and fasting I remember my husband and I having a conversation after dinner. I remember telling him that I was full but not satisfied, and mainly I wasn’t satisfied because I couldn’t have cheese or sour cream on my yummy Mexican food.

I am beginning to wonder if as Christians we are FULL of the Word, truth, grace, and forgiveness, but for some reason we are not satisfied. For some reason it’s not enough. It’s not enough to keep us from sin, or over indulging on the things of this world.

The other night I had a dream that I was in a car looking out into a field of dandelions flying all around. The sun was shining just right, it almost looked like the field was shimmering and glowing. All I could think was how “magical” it looked. I actually thought about going into the middle of the field because it was so intriguing and inviting. But then I thought to myself it would be a bad idea considering I was allergic to dandelions and I would be sneezing the entire time. I was sure to keep the window rolled up in the car and view the “magical” site from a distance.

Once I woke up I began to journal about the dream and it occurred to me that the magical sight was just a bunch of floating weeds. Yes, it made me feel good and I even felt like maybe I could float around in the wind.

But I don’t want to be a floating weed; I want to be a deeply rooted tree that can weather the storms of life because they are sure to come.

I think when we are on a mission to find comfort in all the wrong things we become floating weeds. It may be a magical, feel good experience, but what happens when the wind stops? We might have our highs and lows, but where is our stability?

Often we can become discontent and float from one place to another, uprooting all that we have already planted.

Like in the Psalm referenced at the beginning of this post, a rooted tree bears its fruit in its season! Even if we find comfort in a moment, it is not something that lasts, or bears fruit season after season!

The thing about deeply rooted trees is when someone wants to get rid of the tree they don’t uproot it, they just cut the tree down leaving only a stump behind. Even though the tree is cut down, everyone will know that it was there, a deeply rooted tree leaves it’s mark behind.

If we are going to win this race then we are going to have to endure through our moments of discomfort. In our moments of discomfort we need to find rest in whatever it is God is speaking to our heart through His word.

I think we hear from God often, but we question everything we hear. Yes, we need to test what we hear against scripture, but once we know we have received a vision from God, we need to rest in that promise He has specifically given to us.

I think we need to learn how to find comfort in the season we are already in. That’s the only way because if we don’t then we will be looking around for some temporary fix. We just need to say no to what we desire to indulge on, and instead turn towards God.

I know I do not have all the answers to this; it’s something I struggle with every single day. But I do know that if we are going to find our self living a holy life then we need to find that stable & fertile ground, and start planting some seeds and growing our roots. It’s the only way we are going to overcome our sin and have the strength to not give in to our temptations.

About the Author:

Heather Bixler

Hello, My name is Heather! I am a mom of three, married to a firefighter, and I am a writer. In 2005 I ventured into the online world to simply start an online community for moms. Little did I know the adventure God had in store for me. It has been a roller coaster with many ups and downs, but each step has led me to where I am today. My heart is to share God’s word with you in a loving and practical way. If you are looking to find a way to connect then please check out my upcoming online Bible Studies here:http://heatherbixler.com/online-bible-study/

Out of Focus

Out of Focus


What blurs our vision…

When the venom of hate is slung at us…
When a myriad of voices clamor for our attention…
When self is elevated above the concern for others…
When doubt and worry replace our trust in the Lord…
When heartaches pile up against the door of our hearts…
When daily circumstances whir around us and cause confusion…
When activities and chores on our schedules become overwhelming…
When the pain of gossip behind our backs comes from a so-called friend…
When greed for a bulging bank account pushes its way to be #1 on our list…
When our spouse breaks his/her commitment to a monogamous relationship…
When we pay more attention to how we feel rather than on the truths of God’s Word…
When accumulating possessions to keep up with everyone else becomes our main goal…

…what do we do? We usually go into a tailspin and lose our focus.

When God seems not to be in a hurry to remedy any of the above trials for which we have prayed until we are exhausted, instead of praying as our first priority that God will be glorified in it, we boo-hoo His tardiness for not taking us out of the problem, or we question His faithfulness. We lose our focus.

If we focus more on the stress and limitation of our situations rather than on the peace, power, and comfort of God to rectify them, we will certainly lose our focus and we will give up.

I have no magic bullet list of how to stay focused. All I can tell you is that, in my experience, it is in those times we tell the Lord we trust Him for the outcome and continue to thank Him in the meantime.

Isaiah gives us the solution, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” (Is. 26:3 NLT)

It takes practice, practice, practice to keep our thoughts focused. In regard to those stray and harried thoughts, Paul tells us what to “refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5 Amp)

Solomon warns us in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Masoretic Text) Another version says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” (NCV)

What siphons your focus away from the Lord?


May you recognize those things and practice, practice, practice to keep your focus on the Lord.

 

LynnMosher (2)_cr 2Bio: At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website, Heading Home.

A New Year’s Letter to a Friend

A New Year’s Letter to a Friend

My dearest friend,

The Lord has placed it on my heart to write to you, to encourage and uplift you, and maybe even to inspire you to live your life a little closer to Him throughout the New Year.

Though you stand on the verge of this land of the unknown, you will find this year to be no different from the last, in the sense that life offers no smooth rides. Deuteronomy 11:11a says, “But the land you are about to go into and take for your own is a land of hills and valleys.” (NLV)

Hills and valleys will be present just as they were last year. They will supply an abundance of opportunities, interests, learning, joys, sorrows, and, yes, even testing and discipline.

However, dear one, take courage from God’s Word.
Deuteronomy 11:12 says, “The Lord your God cares for this land. His eyes watch over it from the beginning to the end of the year.” (NLV) And so His eyes are upon the land of your journey, for He cares for it from the beginning to the end.

In your journey, you will encounter lush, green hills of the Lord; stand upon their summits and take in those sweeping vistas, not necessarily as telescopic views into the future but as windows upon the present, to give you a God’s-eye-view of your circumstances, of God’s working in your life.

Just over some of those fruitful mounts may be valley lows and wilderness days. You may feel blighted by the frost of relationships or swept away by the winds of adversity, but the Lord of the hills and valleys walks beside you through each one.

Not all valleys are parched, devoid of verdant beauty.
Someone once said, “The hills collect the rain for a hundred fruitful valleys.” The land of your new year is cared for, watered from heaven and watched over by the eyes of the Creator, and He will make all your valleys fruitful.

How is this to be? As the Lord told Israel through Hosea, He says to you, “All your fruit comes from Me.” (Hosea 14:8b NLT) And Jesus reiterated that assertion, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” (John 15:5 NKJV)

Abide in Him, my sweet friend, in this year’s journey and you will be fruitful through all you undergo.

When you come upon a misty valley of uncertainty, depression, or unforgiveness, do not linger in there. You will miss the beautiful heights of glory just ahead.

And when a mount of circumstance rises up before you, do not be afraid to ascend that hill. You may be dismayed by its height and vastness but one step at a time will bring you to those heights of glory unknown before. And no matter how steep the way seems, keep your eyes on the way before you; your climb will be that much easier.

The Lord will lead you gently through each day, each season, each circumstance. As Jacob said to Esau in concern for the herds and the children in their journey, so you can take this verse to your heart as from the Lord, “I will lead on slowly at a pace which…the children, are able to endure.” (Gen 33:14 NKJV)

The Lord knows the way; He leads on gently.
Not allowing more in your path than you can handle. Do not be disillusioned at the seeming darkness on your path; He will be your Light, your Guide, your Strength, your Peace, and your Comfort.

There are miles to cover this year, tests to take, new things to experience, gifts to discover, moments to breathe in, promises to possess, and sins to release.

May you go forth to possess each gift, each promise, and each day’s delivery of the Lord, to conquer each challenge you encounter, and to be the victor and not the victim of its confrontations. May your journey through the New Year be guided and protected and may it be filled with abundant blessings.

And remember, He will watch over you from the beginning of the year until the end.

With all my love,

 

LynnMosher (2)_cr 2Bio: At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website, Heading Home.