Category Archives: Encouragement

In God we trust…seriously…<3

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Good morning!

This past week, in two different resources, I was asked the question, “Where do you find it difficult to trust God?” 

One of these offered some areas to prompt a deep-thinking. Suggestions including finances, relationships, and health were listed. 

As I looked over each one, I didn’t feel any strong areas of lacking faith but then, right now, I don’t have any threats in those areas either. 

If I let my imaginings take over, I can paint some “what if’s” but overall I am not currently experiencing trust issues because I do not have lack issues. 

But I have in the past, and the fact that I can get worked up over the possibilities my mind can stir up, reveals that faith is not tested in times of plenty and joy. 

Faith is tested and tried in times of stress and sorrow and hard questions. 

This past week I was working through the book of Job. A godly man who was blessed with all the material and physical things that we still associate with the good life.

He had wealth, a successful business, a good reputation in the community, a big family that got along well together and good health to go with it all.

Then in a game of cosmic proportions that is difficult to understand, all is lost in a matter of days. 

From there we see friends show up to commiserate and then to offer commentary and judgment and some serious sermons on how to fix things. 

As they wrap up their dissertations, Job decides to put God on trial and demand Him to explain Himself. 

Finally the youngest friend speaks up to point out that maybe demanding for God to justify Himself and His character is not the wisest of moves. 

The commentary in The Message suggests that while the last friend’s advice and counsel is probably the best and closest to the truth, when a friend is down and out and wiped out, that may not be the best time to deliver a sermon. 

However, that does not negate the truth of the words spoken by the man and for me, distanced from being Job, I can apply the words of truth to my own tendency to put God on the witness stand from time and explain to me just why He has allowed this or that to happen. 

One nugget of truth I grabbed today was this:

“Here’s what you said.

I heard you say it with my own ears.

You said, ‘I’m pure – I’ve done nothing wrong. Believe me, I’m clean – my conscience is clear. But God keeps picking on me; he treats me like I’m his enemy. He’s thrown me in jail; he keeps me under constant surveillance.’

But let me tell you, Job, you’re wrong, dead wrong!

God is far greater than any human.

So how dare you haul him into court, and then complain that he won’t answer your charges?

God always answers, one way or another, even when people don’t recognize his presence.”

Job 33: 8-14 The Message
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I have cringed numerous times as I have read this book again. 

It’s like a page out of my own journal at times as I have asked God to tell me why this or that has happened to me or to someone I love. 

I have listed all the reasons why we should have been spared, given forth our record and pointed out how others have not done good in His eyes and yet have been seemingly rewarded. 

If you read the rest of Chapter 33, Elihu gives several examples of how God speaks to us all. And as he says, whether we are aware it is Him or not, He is actively involved in His creation, offering us always a means of being reconciled to Him. 

Elihu says he speaks through dreams, through adversity, through a painful health crisis, through consequences for our reckless choices…always in the effort to bring us to the place where we will turn to Him. 

This past year has offered us a global opportunity to witness how quickly and easily all that we were putting our trust in can be swept away. 

I hope and pray we, as followers of Christ, do not glibly toss our masks into the garbage, declare victory over the demon Covid and totally miss that God just gave us a beautiful chance to evaluate where we have falsely placed our trust. 

Repentance and returning are the answer to a life of health, peace and prosperity…not as the world defines it, but as God has ordained it. 

Blessings my friends. 

You are deeply loved <3

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What we can’t see matters much <3

I saw this field on my morning walk. 

We had some pretty hefty rains after the fields were planted. 

Our local farmers have been out assessing what needs to be replanted and what will just have to live as scar tissue until the harvest in the fall. 

In just a week or two the corn closest to the road will have risen up and this bare spot will not be visible to the passerby. 

The farmer knows it is there. 

It represents a loss and the fickleness of weather and while we are watering our lawns, the farmer will be praying for timely rains, no hail, nothing funny on the doppler. 

Today you will pass people who may look fine and healthy and flourishing from your quick glance at them. 

They probably have some scars tucked back behind the smiles and casual exchange of waves or conversation. 

Without knowing it, something you say may trigger a reminder of that empty place back in the corner of the field where a heavy deluge of some sort wiped out all the hard work and investment of time and energy. 

You also may find yourself mid-conversation with a friend or a stranger and something said will expose to your own soul those places that time has covered over. 

Let’s be gentle with one another. 

We don’t have to know each other’s scars and hurts and wounds, but we do know everyone has some. 

So err always on the side of kindness. 

As you greet someone, chat and then walk away, bathe them in prayer.

Love them with the love of Jesus.

See them as precious in His sight.

Listening more than talking, just being present in the conversation, setting down our own thoughts and agenda for a minute and engaging in the fact that our lives have bumped up against another person for purposes beyond our understanding. 

I jotted down a prayer this morning from one of my books so I could do a breath prayer all day:

O God, give me grace today

not to think of what I can get,

but of what I can give. 

John Baillie; A Diary of Private Prayer

May God not only make us kind and compassionate, but may He grace your day with others who do likewise <3

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Three cheers for forty years and a little touching of base with you all to start the week <3

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Haha!

I was looking back through all the photos posted over the years here on the Journey for something that summed us up…and this seemed as good as any.

We celebrated our 40th anniversary this weekend and like many of the others over the years, we spent it at the ball park.

These two had their end of season tournament…

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PC/Rachel Maxwell

They also turned a year older in the past week and I think this growing up so fast nonsense needs to stop.

We sat in yard chairs and sweated and laughed remembering many an anniversary dinner from the concession stand when our three were all playing ball around the area back in the day.

Now we get to see our girl cheer her kids on…

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and we bow low to thank God for the gift of years He has given us.

We do not take it for granted that we have been given much and marvel at the gift of time we have been given.

Rachel arranged for a secret notice to go out on Facebook and surprised us with cards from around the country..

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Please note the letter opener/saber in Emmett’s hands…he is being a pirate…because…well…why not?

So sweet and touching to read all these kind words from friends and family. I may have cried. A lot.

It made me realize how much a card can mean to people and inspired me to do better at sending notes again!!

We ended it all with a little dinner at a small place nearby and then sitting out on the patio with a fire and s’mores…

all and all…

best. forty years. ever <3

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