Posts Tagged ‘God’

More in 2013

Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.
Psalm 86:4
New Year’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year.  On January 1, 2006, my youngest son Sterling was the first baby born of the new year in Nashville, Tennessee.  We made the news on four television stations and were highlighted in the area newspaper.  It was a fun time, but what made it even more special was that the date of his birth was an answered prayer.  I had prayed that he would be born on the birthday of my dear friend Dianne.
Another reason I love New Year’s Day is that it is a time for making a fresh start.  Even as a child, I liked making New Year’s resolutions, and once I even laminated the resolutions.  (I still have the list!)  This year, I am not making resolutions; I am choosing a “focus word”.  For me, a focus word defines how I want to grow, what I want to accomplish, and what I want to be like in the upcoming year.  My word for 2013 is “more”.
 – I want to be more aware of God’s presence.
 – I want to be more organized.
 – I want to exercise more.
 – I want to be more patient and kind.
 – I want to have more joy and more peace ….
I know that I cannot have “more” by my own effort.  In John 5:30, Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing.”  So I am praying that God will “be merciful to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 4:2) and grant my request for “more“. 
I would like to invite you to choose a focus word or words for 2013.  If you would like to share what you chose, you can e-mail me at spacious4@aol.com or leave a comment.  Happy New Year! 

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God heals the brokenhearted


But you, God, see the trouble of the


afflicted; you consider their grief


and take it in hand. The victims


commit themselves to you …


Psalm 10:14




The Lord builds up Jerusalem (and those who are grieving)

He gathers the exiles …

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous

and His ears are attentive to their cry.


Cry out to God Most High …

He sends from heaven and saves you, …

God sends His love and His faithfulness.

He does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.


Whoever who dwells in the shelter of the Most

High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under His wings you will find refuge

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Psalm 147:2-3; Psalm 34:18,15; Psalm 57:2-3* slight change

Psalm 9:12; Psalm 91:1,4


Dedicated to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School

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What counts is whether we have been
transformed into a new creation.
Galatians 6:15
My sons enjoy playing with “Transformers”, so I like to tell them that God is the Master Transformer.  I explain that God doesn’t change, but He transforms us by changing the way we think (Romans 12:2).  This transformation is a radical process!
God wants to transform each of us into people who:
These things are only possible through God’s creative power.
On Ash Wednesday, I shared a YouTube video about butterflies to a group of children.  We talked about how butterflies can be a symbol for Easter and how Lent is like being in a chrysalis (a time that God can change us) and how Easter is a time for celebrating God’s life-changing power.  I think the butterfly is the most incredible example of God’s ability to transform.  The caterpillar has to be broken down and reconstructed before the beautiful butterfly can be created.
Please take a moment to watch this video clip about butterflies. My hope is that by watching this video, you will be awed at God’s power to bring about change and reminded that an astonishing metamorphosis can also take place in your life.
Let God transform you into a new person
 by changing the way you think.  Romans 12:2
Dedicated to Lea and Melanie, my book club friends, who inspired this post and shared this video at the Word Made Flesh Advent 2011 Retreat

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My times are in your hands.
Psalm 31:15
As I was filling out paperwork to have my medical records sent to a new doctor I noticed something unusual.  Under “date of birth” was the heading “date of death.”  I could have been clever and written “only God knows”, but I instead I just left it blank and moved on.  But the question made me wonder: what if I did know my “date of death”? Would I be living differently?
Yesterday was the “date of death” for our dear family friend Bill Frey.  Bill helped shape me into the person I am today.  His quiet generosity made it possible for me to go on mission trips to third world countries as a teenager.  These mission trips opened my eyes to a level of poverty I never knew existed.  My mom says I never complained about my clothes again after returning home.  I didn’t know at the time that it was Bill who had provided the way for me to go, but I was aware of many other ways he blessed my family.
My dad worked for a small church in the suburbs of Boston from the time I was ten until I was twenty.  Bill Frey and his family welcomed and cared for all of us as if we were their own family.  Because of Bill, I have wonderful memories of being in their home, swimming in their pool, and going with them on vacation to Nantucket.  They exemplified 1 Timothy 1:18-19:
Command them to do good, be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.  — Paul
Bill Frey made great investments assuring treasures in heaven, and he did take hold of the “life that is truly life.”
 Dedicated to Bunny and Melissa

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Comfort Overflows

For just as the sufferings of Christ
flow over into our lives, so also through
Christ our comfort overflows.
2 Corinthians 1:5
Suffering does have a purpose
Though it hurts beyond words
He endured the pain
All the rejection and shame
Physical – Emotional
His heart was like wax
that melted away
He then died for me
I fall on my knees
His story touches my soul
Takes me to the heart of God
Embraces my pain
Gives me power to love
I seek the silence
When I am quiet I hear
The whisper
Of a love larger than me
Surrounding my soul with joy
Do you hear the invitation
To come and rest in His peace
To drink the living water
Receive Divine Love
Terry S. Smith
my precious daddy
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me ….  But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.  Psalm 22:13-14,19

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Find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:10
 Dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.  It is God’s will that we should be sanctified.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” — Paul
“For them I sanctify myself, that they
 too may be truly sanctified.” — Jesus
This post is dedicated to Angie, my Bible study leader. She inspires me each week and makes sanctification easy to understand by saying things like, “God keeps working and working on us until one day we are in glory with Jesus!” She also reminds us, “God loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.” 
2 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Ephesians 5:8-10,
 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, John 17:19

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Religion that God our Father accepts
as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows ….
James 1:27
Let’s have a Valentine’s Day Revolution!
On Valentine’s Day, it is natural to focus our attention on those we love. However, I would like to challenge us to be just as aware of those who desperately need love.  It is easier to ignore the pain that Valentine’s Day invokes for some people than to enter into the distress of the heartbroken, isolated, and lonely.  Let’s deliberately and intently search for people that we can show God’s gracious compassion and unrelenting love.  We can look for practical ways to demonstrate this love and “look after” those living with a relationship void. 

Help me bring about a Valentine’s Day Revolution!  Please share this idea with your friends: Remember orphans, widows, and the heartbroken on Valentine’s Day. 

Here are three specific ways we can “look after orphans and widows in their distress”:

1) The New Hope Foundation cares for precious Chinese orphans with disabilities.  Click here for more information and to donate. (See comment section for recent information from their newsletter.)

2) Volunteer at a homeless shelter, particularly one that has women and children.  Often, these children, while not actual orphans, are starved for attention and time. (This idea is from my sister Margy who serves this way in Nashville.) 

3) I know of a young widow who needs our help.  This December, my friend Angela’s thirty-four-year-old brother Joshua died suddenly from a heart problem.  His wife Jennie is devastated.  She needs encouragement and financial provision.  Jennie was left without life insurance and with large medical debt.  Any help would be appreciated. 

The Joshua Wilkison Memorial Fund                                      
In the name of: Jennie Wilkison
Cleveland Bradley County Teachers Federal Credit Union
420 Central Avenue Northwest  
Cleveland, TN 37311-4922
(423) 479-6393 (for debit cards)
Via Nancy Trotter
For cards of encouragement:
Jennie Wilkison
c/o Angela Thomas
1727 George Whittaker Lane
Knoxville, TN 37931
If you are reading this and you are heartbroken, isolated, or lonely, please know that there is hope.  God is close to the brokenhearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).  Many encouraging words can be found on my Dad’s blog, Your Story Matters.

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