This is my command—
be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the LORD your God is with you
wherever you go.
I love love love how God always keeps the ground level at the foot of the cross…
We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves,
we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
What a relief.
There’s not a single thing I can do that’ll make God love me any more, but thankfully, the inverse is just as true: there’s nothing I can do that’ll make him love me any less.
So, praise His holy name, He provides redemption and offers the miracle beginnings of new creation every single minute—of every single hour—of every single day…to every single one of us.
if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation.
The old has passed away;
the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
And something else I love about the whole thing: it’s a private deal between me and God (and yes, I know that grammatically speaking, it’s “God and I”; but, as I told a good friend, “me and God” sounds warmer to me)
AND the transaction puts me in line for my next truly-out-of-this-world-transformed new beginning.
The timely timelessness of God and His word never ceases to amaze me.
When I was a child, I could close my eyes at night and make myself dizzy; going ‘round and ‘round trying to understand how God didn’t begin, but obviously was, and would also never end.
For years now I’ve emailed a somewhat daily Scripture On The Go and picture to several hundred people. I rarely go hunting for a specific verse, but instead use one of the next-of-many I’ve previously highlighted in my study Bible.
One morning it just seemed right to add the quiet and God-sort-of-obvious blessing I could hear in the verse.
Then several months ago I began sharing them on my webpage and then to Facebook; where I tag each post with a few words that highlight the blessing.
He found them in a desert land,
in an empty, howling wasteland.
He surrounded them and watched over them;
he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes.
The blessing: Blessings of Being Guarded
The tagline: The only true safety…
Then after everything was emailed, shared and posted, I heard the horrible news story of the two young reporters in Moneta, VA; senselessly murdered minutes before, on live television…all while doing their regular morning jobs.
I’ll bet it’s perfectly accurate to say that neither the reporter nor cameraman expected to die conducting that interview.
And I was starkly reminded once again…there is no guarantee of safety in this mortal life…but to be watched over by God, is to be safely guarded for all eternity.
“And I am giving them eternal life,
and they shall never perish,
and no one shall snatch them from my hand.”
Today I have given you the choice
between life and death,
between blessings and curses.
Now I call on heaven and earth
to witness the choice you make.
Oh, that you could choose life,
so that you and your descendants
You can make this choice
by loving the LORD your God,
and committing yourself firmly to him.
This is the key to your life…
Those who are wise
will shine as bright as the sky,
and those who lead many to righteousness
will shine like the stars forever.
Years ago, my cousin Ronnie brought Linda into our big boisterous extended family—where she soon became a favorite cousin-in-law—everybody loved Linda. And the most often repeated comment about her was, “She is SO sweet”.
Always talking, smiling, laughing, hugging, kissing, and encouraging. If something negative was uttered in a conversation with Linda, you could be sure she wasn’t the one who’d said it.
She cried with me after Dan was killed. And often told me that when she couldn’t sleep well…which occurred more and more often as the cancer progressed…that she always prayed for me when she’d awaken during the night.
She’d told me a couple of months after Dan was gone that she was making me something special, but it was going to take her a while because she wanted it to be just right.
Near the one-year anniversary, she brought a shadow box over to my house—and it was just perfect for me—the colors, poem, scripture and even the song she’d added to the back.
She told me she’d bought a beautiful card years ago and promptly placed it in her car’s glove compartment. She said she’d occasionally think she should send it to someone, but never did. Then after Dan was killed, she said she realized why she’d never used it; that it was meant for me—to remind me—that our loved one’s love never ever ends and that we’re separated only for a short while.
The light of a distant star
continues to reach the earth
long after the star itself is gone.
In the same way, the Light and
Love your loved one gave will
continue to shine in many hearts.
And now it’s Linda’s turn to shine bright.
(Linda Head Collier – 7/13/55 – 8/14/15)
“Ma’am, ma’am! Please come here,” insisted a man standing behind a book- piled table in the St. Louis airport.
Slowing my sprint as I headed toward the escalator and baggage check, I turned and reluctantly rolled my bag over to his table.
“I’m giving all the lovely ladies this free book today,” he said smiling; and handed me a beautifully covered devotion sized book.
He continued talking as I skimmed its front and turned it over to read the back cover. Realizing it was a compilation of new-age Eastern religion teachings, designed to help me find my own “perfect path to enlightenment” I laid it back down on the table.
I looked him in the eyes, smiled, patted my chest and said “Jesus Christ” and turned to go.
He said, “What do you mean”?
I said, “He’s in here”, continued smiling and began walking away.
He said, “You still have to find your own path to perfect enlightenment”.
By now I was across the way and about to reach the escalator.
Still smiling, I said, “Oh no, He did it for me and His grace covers me”.
By now, I was on the escalator and his voice was raised to reach me.
“No! Jesus didn’t do that for you! You have to do it yourself”!
I smiled really big, nodded my head, and said, “Oh yes. He did”.
And then the escalator raised me out of his line of vision.
And God was there. Over the years I’ve had a number of specific times when I knew God had just provided the words…and all I had done was open my mouth and let them tumble out.
…God will give you the right words
at the right time.