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Feelings come, but they don’t stay!

Image result for free clip art of music

To the tune of “Jesus loves me” —

Feelings come, but they don’t stay. Feelings always fly away. You might be mad, or even sad but very soon you will be glad. No, feelings don’t stay! No, feelings don’t stay! No, feelings don’t stay!  Feelings fly away!

I cradled my grandson closer to my chest, laid my cheek atop his fawn brown hair, crooned the words softly, and inhaled the clean scent of sunshine. He was, once again, having a hard time being four years old.

A few weeks ago, I had been praying for my grandsons and also studying how to help them handle feelings, a challenge for any preschooler. One morning during devotions, “Feelings come, but they don’t stay … “  floated into my mind, a simple and tender gift from God for them.

I have sung the little song about feelings often to both of my grandsons and have heard big brother sing them to little brother, too. I have sung them to myself while I’ve been studying fear, and getting at the root of the causes of fear in my life. The best thing I’ve learned so far is to meditate upon how much God loves me and to remind myself how powerful God is, that He is the absolute ruler of the universe. That makes the fearful feeling indeed fly away – like a butterfly!

God cherishes us! First John 4:16 says, “And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.” (the Amplified Bible)

Notice the word cherishes. If the One who established north and south, the One who told the waves where to halt, the One who sees each bird of the air and each flower of the field, the One who sent His Son to die for me so that I might have intimate communion with Him – if that One is the One who cherishes me, dotes on me, keeps me in His mind, adores me and holds me dear, how can I not trust Him to take care of whatever has troubled my little heart? Oh, for the heart of a little child!

Jesus loves me! Jesus loves me, this I know! For the Bible tells me so. Little ones, to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong!  Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me – the Bible tells me so!

Image result for free picture of jesus and children

 

 

Strength for your heart

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” (Psalm 73:26, NLT)

Image result for free clip art of the bibleA word in season. I listened to my Audio Bible CD as I stopped the car at the drive-in window of the drug store. “Thank You, Lord,’ I breathed. “I finally get it. That’s the second time I’ve heard that loud and clear this weekend. Thank You for Your reassurance and Your peace.”

Another episode of paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT) had come Friday night. And it lasted three hours this time. During those hours I prayed but I also heard fear hum in my head like swarming bees. The nurse at the cardiologist’s office had said “PATs are not dangerous.” She had told me to take a pill and that I could go to the ER if it did not stop.

Yes, the PAT finally stopped, but the buzzing fear had not – all weekend long. I had prayed, proclaimed God’s Word about healing, asked friends to pray, and tried to keep my mind occupied. I burst into hot tears when I asked for prayer in Sunday School. I was a mess!

Image result for free photo of wind in trees

God is working! But God was working it all out for my good. (Romans 8:28) Today, when I “coincidentally” heard that verse for the second time, something happened. God’s peace came in, slowly and gradually, as He gently reminded me:

  • He would never give me more than I could bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • He would either heal me or give me grace and wisdom to handle it. (Hebrews 4:16)
  • He does not give us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

As I’ve prayed and pondered and sat with the Lord this afternoon, looking at the beautiful wind blowing through the trees, God gave me an idea for a book about overcoming fear. He also showed me how to resume writing this blog, something I had delayed for FIVE months – because of fear.

I have a lot to share in the coming weeks about fear. And this blog will change for the better. Stay tuned! I am going to enjoy seeing God work out this good thing that the enemy meant for evil! Woohoo! Go God!

He never leaves us, never forsakes us, is always for us, always thinks good thoughts about us, always has good plans for us – He is a good, loving, ALL powerful and faithful Father! Praise Him from whom all, all, ALL blessings flow over into our lives, “ … exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all we can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)!

He is the one who gives orders to the morning, the one who makes the clouds rise from the ends of the earth, the one who tells the eagle when to fly. How can we fear, oh we of little faith? Go God!!!Image result for free photo of eagle in clouds

 

My problem is NOT my problem!

Problems, problems. As I type, my knees bump into the four storage boxes residing under the smallish  table I use as a desk. I struggle to tune out neighbors’ voices seeping through thin walls as I try to concentrate. My back and eyes complain after 30 minutes of computer work although I worked at a desk for long hours throughout my life.

I could go on describing the obstacles to working on this blog and my other writing and editing. But, I recently re-learned, as Joyce Meyer so aptly phrased it “Your problem is not your problem!” I typed that, in calligraphy, size 18 font, and put it over my desk. “Help me, Lord! I must remember that attitude makes all the difference.) I look at that reminder now as I type this blog post. And I smile.

I must trust God, not my own strength or resources.  I listen to Joyce Meyer’s daily television show at 6:30 a.m. (See www.joycemeyer.org or the link below for powerful help for everyday life.)

http://bit.ly/2eBwNHC

The morning I heard “Your problem is not your problem!” I was exhausted because loud neighbors had kept me awake until 2:00 a.m.  However, the Word of God, which Joyce Meyer proclaims, is alive and has power to change us. That teaching from the Bible about keeping your focus right changed my attitude.  For too long excuses had delayed working on this blog – fatigue due to new health problems, cramped working space, etc. and etc. and etc. Yuk! I slowly began developing the habit of writing regularly again.

Keep the main thing the main thing. Since 1981, when I became a Christ follower, I have by God’s grace, endeavored to put God first in all things. When I’ve failed, things went badly until I refocused on seeking God hour by hour, day by day. God has faithfully provided all I’ve needed and so much more.  He promises this in Matthew 6:33 “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (New Living Translation)

Free HQ Blue In The Mountains Wallpaper - Free HQ Wallpapers

Seek Him first … you’ll have all you need! He promises! Click on the link below to hear a gentle but life-giving chorus I’ve loved for years.  The majestic scenes of God’s beloved earth that accompany this chorus remind me of Who He is, who I am, how much He loves me, and how able He is to take care of little, insignificant me. Oh, how He loves His precious human beings!

https://yhoo.it/2eBuNzl

 

Hope when you fall down

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Encouragement from 12 words. The picture above is actually a greeting card I found more than 15 years ago. I framed it then hung it in the graduate students’ office I shared with three other students. The picture next adorned the wall over the desk in my own office where I worked as an educational researcher.  Now it hangs next to baby pictures of my two grandsons .  The card reads “I get up. I walk. I fall down.  Meanwhile I keep dancing.”

Returning to school in mid life included hard work, many bumps and many missteps. I needed daily, sometimes hourly, encouragement to persevere! Fortunately, by that stage in life I could find “joy in the journey” so I savored the process of learning , though those years were hard.

“Be strong and courageous”  Potholes and pitfalls also abound on my current path — becoming an established author. I think often of God’s words to Joshua, who faced the challenge of leading the nation of Israel into a land occupied by enemies. God told Joshua “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them [the enemies who occupied the land], for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6, New International Version.

” … hope and a future.”  How wonderful to be reassured that God is with us! How encouraging to remember, too, that He has good plans for our lives, as He says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)  “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  When I remember that God has promised to always be with me, and that He has specific, wonderful plans for my life, I find the strength to get up, brush myself off, and keep enjoying this wonderful life of obeying and trusting God.

Waltz Dance Royalty Free Stock Image

In hard times, keep dancing!  Though I’ve rarely danced , I adore movies of older times when men and women in elegant attire glided around gilded ballrooms, swaying in flawless synchrony to a lilting waltz. I like to think that, when I get to heaven, I’ll dance with Jesus. And our first dance? A waltz!

Hope from a famous horse race

 

Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting? It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray.” (Job 39:19-21, NIV)\

 

Beauty inspires us. Is anything more beautiful than a running horse?  Its muscular chest thrust its powerful legs forward while its mighty hindquarters propel the rear legs in perfect symmetry.  Power and poetry, beauty beyond the telling.

Beauty inspires us. God designed us that way, and He filled the earth with beauty so that wherever we look in His creation, we  see His touch and feel pleasure in what He has created for us. Horses, in particular, inspire me, and one famous horse race in particular never fails to stir the embers of my hope, no matter how discouraged I may feel.

Secretariat at Claiborne Farm

A most famous race. On June 9, 1973, a race horse named Secretariat (or “Big Red” as his multitude of fans called him) won the Belmont Stakes in a world record time of 2 minutes 24 seconds. His record stands today.  Secretariat’s speed averaged 37.5 miles an hour. And he finished 31 lengths ahead of his nearest competitor.

As you watch this famous race at the link below, you will notice that the other horses stayed fairly close to Secretariat at first, but then that legendary horse pulled ahead. Then he was way out ahead, then he was “ … alone … moving like a tremendous machine!”

How can I not have hope? I liken Secretariat’s race to the way the enemy of our souls tries to outrun us.  He may keep up with us for a little while or even get ahead, just as Sham did with Secretariat. But when God’s power surges up in our hearts, we pull ahead further and further and further.  The enemy is totally defeated.  No contest whatsoever. He is not even in the running.

So, when the bills add up, when the body complains, when the everydayness of life gets me down, I watch Secretariat run this race. And I ponder the omnipotence of my loving heavenly Father.  How can I not have hope? The  One who created and sustains the universe loves me beyond the telling, and He is on my side. I’ve read the end of God’s book, the Bible, and we win!

http://yhoo.it/2drKcBD

His gift of hope in love songs

       


“Time, time rolls the hills along, makes the stars go round to the sky’s bright song
Time, time stirs the endless sea. Maybe time will bring you back to me.

The summer was golden, their love young and new, his bold arms her rendezvous,
But now leaves have fallen, and tears fill her eyes, his warm lips a memory
as she sighs.

 Time, time rolls the hills along, makes the stars go round to the sky’s bright song
Time, time stirs the endless sea. Maybe time will bring you back to me.

The snow’s come and gone now, and still, they’re apart. How empty her yearning heart!
But spring brings its promise and old memories burn, while she dreams that with summer, he’ll return.

Time, time rolls the hills along, makes the stars go round to the sky’s bright song
Time, time stirs the endless sea. Maybe time will bring you back to me … m
aybe time will bring you back to me.”

Songwriters: JOURDAN, MICHEL E/CANFORA, ARMAND F A/BASILE, JOE

The encouragement in music. In tender love songs I hear God loving me through the magic of music, the restful resonance of a baritone voice like that of Ed Ames, and lyrics that, like the ones above, make one ponder the imponderables: the hills, the sea,  the stars, the seasons, yearning, and love in its limitless forms.

When I hear “Time, time”, I change the last two lines to “One day time will surely set me free”, free to be with the One I love, my Jesus:

  • Who is the love in love songs,
  • Who paints the sky twice each day for me,
  • Who stirs the sea, moves the stars, and makes the sky sing,
  • Who fills His Word with reassurances of His tender, all-powerful care and concern for me,
  • Who hugs me and smiles at me through family and friends,
  • Who encourages me in the solitary silence of night,
  • Who gave me grandsons to put their warm little hands in mine as reminders of the trust I am to put in Him.

His gift of hope that lives in love songs. Yes, time will one day set me free to be with Jesus but until then I have His loving presence in the magic of music, in His love through people, and in His gift of tender hope that speaks to me in love songs, like this one – “Time, time”

http://yhoo.it/2deNwoj

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How many times can God renew hope?

Shimmering, glimmering leaves in the wind –  let me so yield to whatever You send!

In bright golden times and dark, dreary days – let me so live that my living gives praise!

Running out of hope. This morning, like most mornings, I had coffee while looking at the large oak growing beside the patio door. An early gentle wind of autumn blew through the leaves, making them glint like ripples shining on a lake.

It had been a hard month, with challenging medical and financial news, not one but two bouts with a cold, a flat tire, and on and on I could go with things of the world that had too often stolen my peace.

“Lord, I need Your help every moment now more than ever it seems. This growing older is hard! I am tired of having to work so hard to have a good attitude about it all!  It is so hard not to get discouraged as one thing after another pops up with my health and as I see every day why folks complain about a fixed income.  And then there’s all that is happening in the world …” 

Nature speaks. I carried on like that a little longer. Then, slowly, the beauty and simplicity of nature began calming my pessimistic and destructive thoughts. Those leaves twisting in the wind would soon be gone and replaced next spring with tiny green shoots. Some of the smaller branches in the tree would be blown down by strong winds. The leaves and the branches yielded to the wind, silently playing their part in the grand scheme of nature. The tiny chipping sparrow clinging tightly to the swaying branch would live a few years and then be gone.

Renewed hope. But God says He knows when each sparrow falls. And He says I should not worry because I am worth more than many sparrows.

“Oh, Lord! Forgive me for complaining yet again.  Help me remember that You love me much more than many sparrows, that everyone living has problems, and that You have good plans for my life. Thank You for speaking through creation. Thank You for hope that rises every morning, faithful as the sun!”

“His Eye Is On The Sparrow” by Sandy Patti    http://yhoo.it/2cE2tRd

When you’re tired of hoping …

... male cardinal dsc 0344b Free Wallpaper Male Cardinal Birds Desktop

Freedom from worry?? Late afternoon sun glinted off the pickup truck parked outside my tiny patio. I took a sip of iced decaf, twined my fingers through Barny’s velvety tummy fur, and read, again, Joyce Meyer’s comments on Hebrews 4:3 “Rest is freedom from excessive reasoning, struggle, fear, inner turmoil, worry, and frustration, which develop because of our working to do what only God can do.” (The Everyday Bible, featuring notes and commentary by Joyce Meyer.)

Peace-stealers.  “I am” I said to myself, “once again trying to do what only God can do.” It had been a rough few days.  Some new financial issues had to be researched, paperwork had to be put in order, and consultations had to be arranged – and precisely when I needed new glasses, my back was acting up, it looked like I might need even more dental work, that pesky rash would not leave, and on and on and on.

Reminders of joy. I sighed, kept praying, kept reading the Word. The crimson of the dollar store cardinal caught my eye.  The tiny bird perched on my work table, propped against a beloved picture of my father and daughter.  My oldest grandson and I had had the most wonderful time imaginable last Christmas. He had jumped up and down, putting paper mache soldiers, glittery stars, miniature trees, and much more into our cart at the dollar store. That perky cardinal on my work table reminded me of what was truly important. I felt peace start to bubble up.

God knows what we need. I stroked Barny, my beloved Tonkinese rescue, stretched full length, belly up, across my writing papers.  Like his predecessor, he is my constant, loving shadow. As a long-term single person, caressing his silky fur and holding him close is a particular and blessed comfort.

“I need to be still  and let my God love me.Thank You, Father, for loving me so much, over and over and always and always, no matter how weak and frail my mind and emotions are sometimes. My head knows You are working in all these apparent problems. I know that! You have done miracle after miracle for the 35 years I’ve known You as Lord and Savior. I’m truly sorry for letting doubt and fear settle in again. Forgive me, Lord.

Thank You for reminding me of the love You’ve poured into my life. Thank You for, once again, reminding me that You long to cover me with Your peace and all I have to do is to be still, think about unseen, eternal things, and let You love me.  Just like the song I heard so long ago …

http://yhoo.it/2aMA5Zf

God gave me love . . .

Thank You, dear Father in heaven, for my beautiful plants!  You know how each one delights me as I sit with You at sunrise and again at sunset. I see the fingers of Your dawn through a feathery fern, heart shaped ivy leaves, and the clustered leaves of my poinsettia. I see the last wistful glimmers of sun each evening through the scraggly arms of a plant I found by the dumpster but which has survived. 

And I am reminded of my own life.  You took what was a wrecked and painful heart and made it live and grow.  You gave me love, just like the song that led me to give my heart to You, Jesus.

And dear One, as I look up that song on the internet, tears flow at Your deep and tender stirring.  I remember that night, 35 years ago, as I cried out for help to I knew not who – and You answered with this song by B.J. Thomas on the car radio. 

Thank You, dearest Father, for healing all that pain and  bringing so much joy through all of these years.  Thank You for giving me a place of service, through writing, for others who need your love. Help them see that–though they may feel as undesirable and broken as a plant tossed in the trash–You long to heal them and make them whole and to fill them with Your peace and joy. 

Help them also learn to let Your love shine through them to reach other hurting souls. Show them that Your full love and Your full beauty reside in each heart given to Your service, no matter the outward appearance of the earthly tabernacle in which that heart dwells. 

Dear friend, listen to this song.  You will feel God’s love . . .

http://yhoo.it/29R9U4Z

Leaf in the Rain 3 1