CANDLE OF HOPE
God’s candle blazes in the dark
among the shadows, cold and stark.
It sends its warmth against the chill
of death that lurks, waiting to kill
the seeking heart. But this bright light
draws close to seeking hearts with might
to fill with light where there is none.
It lights the way, bids seekers come
to find the kingdom of Jesus Lord
who fights the dark with Truth’s sword.
The dark dispelled, the light is cast,
God’s hand will hold the seeker fast.
2016

Life is never easy. About the time it settles down, something else happens.

Last December, I totaled my car and dealt with a sprained shoulder. My kind sister gave me her car, old and needing some repair, but got me around. After a couple months, for various reasons, I gave it to my daughter for her son. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful, but decided it was the best procedure for me. I asked my sister if it hurt that I gave away her gift to me. She said no, it had a good home.

Last June, I fell and sprained my right (I am right handed) wrist. It is hard even to write. At times it feels like it is healing, but the past couple weeks, it feels as if the healing has stalled.

The arthritis in my knee and hip have been acting up. I am grateful for the exercises I have. They help.

Now my kind sister tells me she has lymphoma. My baby sister. I lost my dad in 1978, my brother in 2012 (my younger brother) and my mom in 2014. My heart grieves for my baby sister as I pray for her healing.

So what do I do in the face of trials and suffering? It is easy to let the suffering get me down and honestly, at times it does. But I know God has a purpose for it. I live in a broken world. I reflect that Jesus came to a dark world, caught in the enemy’s grip to bring life. Jesus’s suffering gave life to those who embraced Him. Then He rose, and I see His promise to me is real. I am eternal being and He points me to life eternally in joy.

But how does that speak to my trials and suffering? Just as Jesus suffering brings comfort and life because He understands what I am feeling, so my suffering can help others experience life.  I wrote a poem book of my emotions on the deaths of my loved ones. As I give it to people who are experiencing loss of loved ones, they express how grateful they are. One lady said she knew I understood; I had been there. I see life birthing into people’s hearts through my understanding.

I see my own understanding grow when someone ministers to me through their trials as they put their arms around me and give me their love. Or even as I watch their lives and see how they deal with their situation.

It will never get better until Jesus returns and sets all things right, fulfilling His promises to His people. This time on earth seems long to us, but as I get older, I see how short it is. Then He will dry my tears and as I live with Him, I will be able to serve Him in joy.

Meanwhile, I take stock of my blessings and ask God to give me a grateful heart for His many gifts. Key to living through my sufferings.

Sacrifice of thanks

One of my favorite verses from Scripture is Psalm 50:23 NIV:

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way that I may show him the salvation of God.”

I may not feel like saying thanks, of offering my thank offerings, but if I am willing to make that my sacrifice to God, He will honor me. Giving that sacrifice of thanks makes me more aware of the blessings He has given me, which are many. It brings an awareness that I can trust Him, and patience to wait for Him.

More than once when I have done that, I find peace and joy way ahead of the answer to my prayer.

Two Christmases in a year?

P1010894

I am amazed at how fast summer has gone. It isn’t gone quite yet, but as I watch the preparations of my grandchildren to prepare for school, I know the year is progressing far too fast. I think my sister was right when she said awhile back, “Do you suppose if time keeps going this fast that we will have two Christmases in a year?”

I am thankful that God has given us seasons. The changes in the weather remind me of His promise after the flood: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Genesis 9:22).

RED CURLS

 

Mama and Daddy first year of marriage

 

 

I once asked my 90-year-old Mama what attracted her to Daddy when she first met him. “His curly red hair and his cute grin. I was so mad at the Navy when they cut off all those gorgeous red curls.” When he passed away at 76, he still had that cute grin, but his hair was white. Mama still loved him, even without the gorgeous red curls.

SUMMER IS COMING

Summer is just what I want after a cold winter and spring. Finally it is here. But if I had lovely days all the time, would I be grateful all the time? My human nature wants to find something to complain about. So when the days turn blustery and wet when I hoped for a dry warm day, I pray that God would help me to have a thankful heart for the many blessings He has bestowed!

Birthday presents

 


A tiny crocheted guinea pig no bigger than my cell phone (not a smart phone, just a simple cell phone) now lives at my grandson’s house. He is nine. He has so many stuffed animals on his bed that I asked him where he slept. He assured me there was room for him. What does he want for his birthday–next September?  Already he has decided. A crocheted monkey.

 

 

SHADOW

I am meant to cast the shadow of the one who created me. So often I do not. Often, I think the sun shines on me so I can be the one who is the most important. But the true meaning and joy of living comes when I realize that the shadow people see as God’s light shines on me is His shadow–the One who created and loves me, the Jesus whose birth we celebrate!


This Child of Grace

THIS CHILD OF GRACE

This Child of Grace of Christmas fame

was sent to us who fail at life,

who struggle to find peace and hope,

but spend our lives in sin and strife.

This Child of Grace, one sent from God

for love of men who do not know

that through His grace this Child gives hope,

that life with peace from Him could grow.

This Child of Grace, the perfect One,

this Child of Grace, the worthy One,

who left His throne in heaven above—

this Child of Grace, God’s only Son.

(2018)

Who Is This Jesus?

WHO IS THIS JESUS?

Who is this Jesus, He who came

to earth from heav’n in human garb,

proclaimed Himself as one with God,

and died for men. Against men’s barbs

of unbelief, He called himself,

“I am”—the name of God, the One

Creator God who made all things

that now exist. He is the Son,

and He is God who rules all things.

When time is done, His righteousness

will rule and all will bend the knee

for He will end all wickedness.

Who is this Jesus, He who came

to earth from heav’n in human form

to bring true life to men on earth,

to give to all a bright new morn.

(2017)

Merry Christmas greeting

Give thanks always

Thanksgiving Day is over, but thanksgiving never should be.  I posted this picture of Christmas in lights to remind us:  the most wonderful reason to be thankful is that God Himself came down to earth and took on human form. Because of Jesus coming to earth, suffering, and dying, we have access to God through Him. That is the greatest reason to give thanks that I can ever think of!

CHRISTMAS IS
A story of life
A story of death
A story of earth
A story of heaven
A story of hope
A story of life
God’s story to us
The story of Jesus
Christmas is
(2018)