Healed by God’s Word

“He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” Psalm 107:20 NIV

Our celebration of Easter each spring reminds us that Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 NIV) Praise God for the healing that comes from his wounds! For the price he paid for our sins.

But not only are we healed by his wounds, the verse above from Psalm 107 points out that we are healed by his word as well. When the pain is great, when defeat looms large, when confusion rules, our precious Father sends his word to heal us and to minister to us.

He’s done if for me time and again when my need has been great. He’s sent the healing touch of his word in a variety of ways—everything from my daily Bible reading to a scripture I see posted on social media or to reassurance he whispers to my spirit. The avenue can vary but his word stands the same. And his word heals.

Praise God for the healing that comes from his word!

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name LORD God Almighty.” Jeremiah 15:16 NIV

*How has God sent his healing word to you?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Waiting for the Proper Time

“ . . . you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:15-16 NIV

Like kids begging for candy in the checkout lane, we sometimes tug on God’s coattails with the same impatience and/or insistence. “Please, please, please, God. Please grant my desire . . .”

Don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe that we are to pour our hearts out to God and freely tell him the desires of our hearts (Psalm 62:8). I also remember that Jesus told his disciples the parable of the persistent widow “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1 NIV)

Yes, God wants to hear from his children and out of his great love for us, he will answer our prayers. But many times his answers don’t come when we want them to—or packaged quite like we’d hoped.

Like any good parent—like the perfect father he is—he waits for the proper time to give us our food, our desires. Just as we don’t give a baby solid food before his body can handle it, God waits for the perfect time to bless us with the things we need, the things we desire, the things we plead for. He will indeed satisfy our longings in one way or another, sometimes changing the longings themselves.

God’s timing is always right. I’ve depended on this truth throughout the course of my life and also throughout my writing career. I trusted God for years to bring about book publication at the proper time and he did. And I, along with the rest of our family, clung like a lifeline to the truth of God’s perfect timing as we waited on him in the matter of our daughters and sons-in-law being blessed with the babies they so desperately wanted.

Without a doubt, some answers are harder to wait for than others. Some require an extra measure of faith. But if we continue to trust, if we continue to wait in expectation, one day we will see God open his hand and satisfy our desires. Maybe even above and beyond our dreams, as in the case with our two sets of twin grandsons. And all these blessings—all these answers to prayer—will happen at the proper time.

“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 NIV

*How has God encouraged you during times of waiting? If you’re currently waiting on God’s answer, you might like to read an “In the Meantime” Prayer.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by aloshbennett, Creative Commons License

Let’s Cause Others to Rejoice

“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:74 NIV

Do people rejoice when they see us coming? Does it make them happy to get to spend time with us?

If so, why? If you’re like me, it might be because you carry chocolate at all times. Ha! Hopefully, though, it’s something more meaningful than that. Maybe we always have a smile for others and freely share encouraging words. Or perhaps we’re good listeners. Think about yourself for a moment. Why do people rejoice when they see you?

On the other hand, if people don’t rejoice when they see us, why not? Could it be that we tend to have a negative attitude or are always criticizing others? Are they afraid we’ll slam them with a sarcastic remark or perhaps pass them by, treating them like they’re invisible?

None of us want to become a person that others dread interaction with or try to avoid. Instead I think we all hope to be someone that others are drawn to and want to be around. We all want to be liked.

The verse above from Psalm 119 holds one of the keys to being a source of joy for others. It tells us that if we put our hope in God, people may indeed rejoice when they see us.

This could be true for a variety of reasons. If we’re trusting in God and his Word, we may radiate a sense of peace and joy that naturally spills out onto others. We may have a reputation for honesty and dependability or inspire confidence and hope in others. We may have the wisdom of God’s Word stored up in our hearts, making us a welcome source of encouragement and advice.

I don’t know about you, but I want others to rejoice when they see me. I want others to see the love, the peace, the power, the wisdom, and the hope of God when they look at me. And the only way that can happen is to stay very close to him.

I bet you’d like others to see glimpses of the Lord in you as well. To be honest, we’ll fail at times, but that’s no reason not to try. Let’s surrender our hearts to him each day and let him fill us. Let’s cause others to rejoice when they see us coming!

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” 1 Thessalonians 3:9 NIV

*What do you want others to see in you?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Bridesmaids Gifts: Buy from Ten Thousand Villages!

Mother of the Bride, is your daughter looking for a dynamite gift idea for her bridesmaids? Why not suggest gifts from Ten Thousand Villages? In case you’re not familiar with them, Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer who has been empowering and supporting fairly paid artisans in developing countries for more than seventy years.

Purchasing  bridesmaids gifts from Ten Thousand Villages will allow your sweet girl to be a double blessing—blessing her lovely bridesmaids with terrific gifts plus supporting hard-working, fairly paid artisans around the world.  Can’t beat that, huh?

Among the items that Ten Thousand Villages carry are jewelry, scarves, hats, purses, and other bags—all excellent ideas for bridesmaids gifts. If there is not a store in your daughter’s area, assure her that she can shop for these gifts online. On their website , the pictures of the individual items are large, and she will have no trouble selecting some beautiful gifts directly from the site.

And MOB, as you browse the site, I bet you will find something you’d like to have, too. Go ahead—be a double blessing!

*You might also like to read Polka Dot Nails for the Bridesmaids! and A Prayer for the Bridesmaids’ Luncheon.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by Thien VCreative Commons License

Little Things That Make Us Smile

A cup of hot chocolate. A pretty journal. A sweet comment here or on one of my social media posts. All these things—little though they are—make me smile, inside and out.

I love how little things like this can set the tone for my day—or turn it around if things are going badly. In the midst of all the stresses we face in our lives today, a simple joy can lift our spirits or spur impromptu communion with our Father as we whisper a word of thanks.

One joy I experienced some years ago was the early morning visits of a pair of cardinals. They must have wanted to take advantage of my birdfeeder before any other competition showed up. I wasn’t able to get a good photo of them during that semi-dark hour—and they certainly didn’t wait around for good lighting. They took off as soon as too much daylight intruded on their comfort zone.

But even though I couldn’t capture photos of their visits, I got to see them and enjoy their presence. I’m not sure why, but it made me happy just knowing they’d found my yard and made it part of their routine. It’s a little thing indeed, but they made me smile first thing in the morning. And that’s a very good thing, right?

Likewise, little blessings in our spiritual lives can set a happy tone for our days or lighten our loads on difficult days as well. Like the lift to my spirit the cardinals supplied, even small spiritual blessings can be all it takes to keep us encouraged and moving forward in our walk of faith.

Maybe a song ministers peace or comfort just when we need it. Or perhaps the sun breaks through the clouds when we’re longing for a touch from the Lord. And God’s Word? One sentence or verse can make all the difference on any given day.

Yes, it’s the little blessings that keep us going over the long haul, isn’t it? Let’s thank God today for the little things. The things that make us smile inside and out.

“Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.” John 1:16 GNT
*What little thing has brought you joy recently?

 

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo byJoeLodge, Creative Commons License