Beautiful Feet

Today I’d like to share with you one of my devotionals that was published in A Cup of Comfort Devotional: Daily Reminders of God’s Love and Grace.

Isaiah57-7-FeetBeachSand-sm--AMP

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet
of those who bring good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns.
—Isaiah 57:7

 Have you ever awaited the sound of familiar footsteps? You’re so used to their footfall that you know who they are by the sound of their walk.

That’s the way I feel about my husband. Rick suffered terrible injuries in an auto accident many years ago and still walks with what he calls a wobble. One of his feet strikes the ground harder than the other. The distinctive sound tells me he’s on his way down the hall, shopping aisle, or sidewalk and enables me to sense his presence minutes before his actual appearance.

How beautiful are his footsteps to me! His feet and legs had to learn how to walk again, but he persevered in his physical therapy and is walking proof that God performs miracles!

We’re never alone in our pain and frustration because God is always with us, ready to surround us with His comforting presence.

Rest in the comfort that God’s
plans are better than your own.

,,,,,

A Cup of Comfort Devotional: Daily Reminders of God’s Love and Grace, by James S. Bell and Stephen R. Clark. Copyright © 2004 Abrams Media, an F+W Publications Company, Avon, MA. A Cup of Comfort is a trademark of F+W Publications, Inc.

 

Anna-Coffee2The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

 

Rejoice in the Lord

Today’s devotional goes with Part 3 of my Habakkuk series.

Hab3-17-18FarmlandRoad-sm--AMP

 

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.  

—Habakkuk 3:17-18

When Rick and I lived in the central valley of California, we lived in the midst of a farm belt that feeds the whole country. We lived near groves of almost every kind of fruit and nut trees. Cotton, strawberry and corn fields bordered farms and housing developments alike. I could therefore relate to the words of these verses as I gazed upon field after field of grape vines.

During the summer months, we could see certain fields of grapes drying in the sun to make raisins. And when we looked out into our backyard, there was our fig tree, several weeks past harvest but still in full leaf.

As I contemplated these verses, I wondered about Habakkuk’s strong faith. Here was a man who questioned his LORD’s motives and supposed inaction, yet he also learned to trust and rejoice in Him, no matter what. His joyful attitude makes his words sing.

What about me? Can I still “be joyful in God my Savior” in spite of how I feel each day?

I have spent many years learning to live with chronic illness. In addition to several illnesses, my immune system doesn’t work that well after years of taking too many antibiotics. I seem to fall prey to all the little bugs that are going around, and it takes me more time than most people to recover. I have little energy to complete the smallest tasks in my home; even sweeping the floor seems a monumental project. But in spite of all this, I can still trust that God is taking care of me, that He is still in control, and that I can actually rejoice in that fact.

This season of my life in which I’m struggling with different illnesses is a time when I can complain about the injustice of it, or I can instead be joyful and thankful for God’s presence in my life, no matter what. I choose to be joyful because God promises to be with us in every situation, good or bad.

Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
—Philippians 4:4

Heavenly Father: Thank you for the joy You provide in every situation. Help me to be Your light, joy and promise of hope for others, even during times of pain and frustration. Amen.

…..

Anna-Coffee2

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

What is Unseen is Eternal

2Cor4-16-18-AutumnLeavesWoodsBench-sm--AMP

 

Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal. 

—2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

Anna-Coffee2The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Faithfulness

Today I have another wonderful devotional by Patricia Knight to share with you. This one is from her book, Pure Joy.

BackyardFlowers-sm--AMP

In my garden are many flowers. Oh, it is a beautiful sight, encompassing the whole back yard in the summertime. But, right now, in the deepest of winter cold, there is no evidence of any life under the deep snow and layers of protective mulch. But, I know the flowers, in their dormant stage, are there. I have faith that when warm weather arrives, the snow melts, and the mulch is removed, all of the glorious blooms of last year will return. I don’t understand the cycle. God certainly breathes life back into the seasonally dead flowers.

Heb11-1-FoggyMtnTop-sm--AMP

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Though we have never seen God, we believe in Him because He has given us evidence of His presence. All around us we are surrounded with His creation. Modern science has yet to duplicate many of His sophisticated creations.

As Christians, we don’t assign amazing happenings in our lives to luck. There is no luck, but only God talking with us and walking with us.

Faith is blind. God has a perfect plan for our lives, but He only reveals the details a little at a time. I wonder how many of us could be trusted with the weight of knowing what will happen in our lives in the future? I am predicting, not many of us. That is why faith is so important. God knows what routes and curves our lives will take in the future, but saves us from the burden of knowing. What a marvelous God is He! Each day, He gives us a bit more knowledge, and builds upon it with every succeeding day.

In the Old Testament, there are many “if/then” agreements between God and His people. There was an action, which produced a reaction. “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commandments, I will send you rain in its season”— (Leviticus 26:3). There were conditions to most of God’s promises so that He could build a personal, responsive relationship with His people.

Since Jesus died on the cross to absolve our sins, God commands that we live by faith. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1,2).

By exercising our faith in God, we become faithful, or we make faith a reality in our lives.

We become dependent, obedient, and joyful in our daily walk with God. It is not easy to be faithful. Without God’s help, it is impossible. But, we are told, with God’s help, “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). God is the standard against whom we measure all our thoughts, words and actions. We learn faithfulness from God because God is first faithful to us. When God does what He promised, He is demonstrating His faithfulness to us. When we do what God requires of us, we are showing faithfulness in return. Our relationship is on a personal basis because the sacrifice of Jesus bridged the gap between sinful man and His Creator. If we accept Jesus into our lives to be our Savior and Lord, He only asks for our faithfulness. No other conditions are attached.

As if God weren’t faithful enough Himself, He gives us human examples to demonstrate how faithfulness works among our peers. Think about the faithfulness of Abraham. I still don’t understand how Abraham could even come close to offering Isaac upon the altar. But, he was faithful. He trusted God that He would show a love and mercy greater than Abraham’s would right at that moment. And, God didn’t disappoint him. You know the story (Genesis 22). It rings in our ears of a living example of what a man can do when energized with the power of God.

DanielLionsDen--AMPOr, how about the odds that Daniel faced? In spite of the new law restricting prayer, one really designed to trip up Daniel, he remained faithful to his God, and prayed as he always had. As a result, Daniel was thrown to the lions for his faithfulness. The hungry lions were powerless against his God. Still, he trusted. He remained faithful to God and witnessed to His glory among a savage people. And, God made him a great man.

To be abandoned by his brothers, sold as a slave, graduated to serve the king, and entrusted with a kingdom, only to be falsely maligned and thrown into prison, Joseph remained faithful. God, who had a plan for Joseph’s life, never forsook him. In the end, God rewarded Joseph’s faithfulness.

Do we have any more temptation today than those men of old did? I think not. The temptations were different, but there are no fewer of them. Everyday, we are bombarded with alluring come-ons. We are told to be faithful to our God, and He has promised to give us the power to resist temptation so that “we can flee the devil” (James 4:7).

One of my favorite Bible characters is Job. If anyone endured horrific losses, it was he. I am wondering if I could ever summon Job’s amount of strength? He gives me a challenging example. God gives me the strength. Pain, death, sorrows all plagued Job for no apparent reason. Reading of his triumph over all of it is an inspiration to me. Job remained faithful. I am commanded to do the same. Job was rewarded for his steadfastness when God returned all his losses, plus more worldly riches than he had before.

I know someday I will live in a heavenly home with streets of gold and fertile fields and prolific fragrant flowers. I will be in the very presence of God Himself, if I remain faithful. A pastor friend of mine frequently uses a haunting phrase: “Few Christians finish well.” I don’t want to be one of the casualties. I want to be faithful to the end. “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). May God give you the strength to remain faithful, no matter what the temptation.

“O Lord God Almighty, who is like you. You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you” (Psalm 89:8). No longer does law bind us, but we live by faith. Oh, that someday God will say to me as He did to the servants in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:23), “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!”

Wow! To hear those words at the end of my days is a wish and a dream. May those words of Jesus also spur you on to a greater faith, with a closer daily walk with Him.

…..

PureJoyThank you again, dear Pat, for allowing me to share your heart here!

 

 

Anna-Coffee2The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Quality of Life

HopeDespair-sm--AMP

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 

For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 

So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. —2 Corinthians 4:1-18 (NIV)   Recently I’ve been contemplating the phrase “quality of life.” Here are some of the definitions of quality of life, also referred to as QOL:

  • Wikipedia: is the general well-being of individuals and societies. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income. Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.
  • The Free Dictionary: Noun, quality of life- your personal satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the cultural or intellectual conditions under which you live (as distinct from material comfort); “the new art museum is expected to improve the quality of life” gratification, satisfaction – state of being gratified or satisfied; “dull repetitious work gives no gratification”; “to my immense gratification he arrived on time” [Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.]
  • Medicinet.com: The patient’s ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is an important consideration in medical care. Some medical treatments can seriously impair quality of life without providing appreciable benefit, whereas others greatly enhance quality of life.
  • BusinessDictionary.com: Dailyliving enhanced by wholesome food and clean air and water, enjoyment of unfettered open spaces and bodies of water, conservation of wildlife and natural resources, security from crime, and protection from radiation and toxic substances. It may also be used as a measure of the energy and power a person is endowed with that enable him or her to enjoy life and prevail over life’s challenges irrespective of the handicaps he or she may have.

As you can see, there are differing opinions on what quality of life actually means. Some people use it as a measurement of how happy and fulfilled a person is. Others think of it as a way to gauge how someone can enjoy life in spite of physical handicaps or limitations. And many others consider it to be an indication of how much people have overcome in order to enjoy their life no matter what obstacles they face. Where is God in all of this?

“The world is filled with people trying to adjust to the pain, trying to deal with life without total collapse, break down, burn out, hopelessness, fear, apathy or just giving up. And all of that really is a matter of learning how to endure. And that’s our key word this morning because the passage in front of us gives us the secrets to endurance…the secrets to endurance. How can we endure the pain of life? The profound difficulty of life? The great disappointments, broken dreams, broken bodies, broken homes, broken lives, broken relationships? How can we handle all of that? How can we face life like the Apostle Paul did who said back in verse 8 of this chapter, “We are afflicted in every way but not crushed, perplexed but not despairing, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed”? How can we live like that? How can we be so triumphant?” —John MacArthur, GraceToYou.org

So, how can we think more like Paul? Is it possible to be afflicted and still be triumphant? I have shared with you before that I live with several chronic pain illnesses. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic migraine plague me every single day. Some days are worse than others, but I can honestly count on one hand the number of pain-free days I have had in the last 5 or 6 years and still have fingers left over. And yet I still have more joy than I ever thought possible. Joy-sm--AMP What is true joy? Charles Spurgeon describes it this way:

 “The JOY OF HOPE—who shall measure it? Those who are strangers to it are certainly strangers to the SWEETEST MATTER in spiritual life. With the exception of present communion with Christ, the JOY of a believer in this present state must be mainly the JOY OF HOPE. “It does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He is (OUR HOPE).” (1John 3:2) We thank God that we shall be satisfied when we wake up (from the sleep of death) in the likeness of Jesus! This ANTICIPATION (HOPE) of Heaven makes (the hurt of) earth become endurable! And the sorrows of time lose their weight when we think of the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory (Our future HOPE). (2Corinthians 4:17)”

To me, the hope of joy = the joy of hope. I do not think we can have one without the other because each produces the other. For example, I can have the hope of joy because . . .

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes— I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! —Job 19:25-27

And I can also have the joy of hope because . . .

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:5-6, 13

  Beloved, don’t you see? It doesn’t matter what is happening in our lives as long as we continue to hang our hope on our Savior. That thought alone produces so much joy that it is impossible to stay down or depressed about our circumstances for long.

Choose joy. Yes, joy is a choice that we make every single day. If we have invited Jesus Christ into our hearts as our Savior and Lord, then we have the certain hope of everlasting life in heaven with Him. And if we have that certain hope, how can we be anything but joyful no matter what our circumstances? My Redeemer lives! Please enjoy this video of Nicole C. Mullin singing one of my favorite and comforting songs, “My Redeemer Lives.” I know it will fill you with as much hope and joy as it does me! If for any reason you cannot view the video, read the lyrics here.

VectorPageDivider SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna

WHITE SPACE

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Christ Jesus Our Compass

ChristJesusCompass-sm--AMP

All my theology is reduced to this narrow compass—
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 
—Archibald Alexander

Anna-Coffee2

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

My Hope: A New Message from Billy Graham

In the new short film, “Heaven,” Billy Graham talks about life and eternity. This is an excellent video by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Please share this important message with as many people as possible.

Beloved, the reason for my hope in spite of all the health issues and other problems in my life is because of my faith and tust in my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, who took the punishment for my sins. This is THE most important decision anyone will ever make in their lives!

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
—John 11:25-26

If you have ANY questions after viewing this video, please go here to read more about how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and live with Him forever in heaven.

VectorPageDivider

SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna

…..

…..

The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Grounded in Reason . . . The Four Factors of Faith [GraceThruFaith.com repost]

Photo credit: GraceThruFaith.com

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

—Luke 17:6

Abraham had waited 20 years for the son God had promised him. He and Sarah even had a son with the help of a surrogate mother, but the Lord had told him Ishmael was not the son He had promised.  Finally Isaac was born, the one through whom God would bless all mankind (Genesis 21:12).  But some years later, before any of these blessings came to pass, God directed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. Though heart broken, Abraham took Isaac to the place the Lord had picked out, built an altar there and placed his son upon it (Genesis 22:1-10).

Read the rest here.

VectorPageDivider

SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna

WHITE SPACE


The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Prayer When Dealing With Anxiety

Ps94-19-Anxiety-sm--AMP

Since today is election day, I think we can all relate to this devotional I wrote quite awhile ago for the anthology titled Anytime Prayers for Everyday PeopleThis particular devotional was included in the section titled Prayers of Supplication. 

 

When I’m dealing with anxiety . . .

When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul. 
—Psalm 94:19

 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 
—1 Peter 5:7

 

Anxiety weighs down the human heart,
but a good word cheers it up. 
—Proverbs 12:25 NRSV

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
—Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

 

May God bless you richly and grant you
increasing freedom from all anxiety and fear. 
—1 Peter 1:2 TLB

 

. . . I will pray.

Loving Father,

Edgy, anxious, jumpy—I just can’t seem to get it together this morning. Every little detail seems to be a big deal doing its dance across my mind. I really need Your help, Your peace, Your undisturbed calm.

I’m not sure how I got to this place. Too many newscasts with their dire predictions, too many experts telling me to watch out for this, never eat that, stay away from something else. There doesn’t seem to be one safe spot on the whole planet. Even at church, there are concerns about building funds and nursery workers and doctrinal controversies.

Lord, I don’t want to look at my life through anxious eyes. The world is what it is, but I know that You can give me peace in the midst of it. Right now, I offer all my anxious thoughts to You. I lay them at Your feet. And I ask You to sort through them and nudge me when I need to confront one of them. Until then, I’ll relax and rest in Your love and constant watchful care.

Amen.

 

Man’s world has become a nervous one,
encompassed by anxiety.
God’s world is other than this;
always balanced, calm, and in order. 
—Faith Baldwin

 

[From Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. Copyright © 2006 Bordon-Winters LLC]

AnytimePrayersForEverydayPeople

.

VectorPageDivider

SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna

WHITE SPACE


The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Greater is He

1John4-4-sm--AMP

Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,
because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

By this you know the Spirit of God:
every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God;
this is the spirit of the antichrist,
of which you have heard that it is coming,
and now it is already in the world.

You are from God, little children,
and have overcome them;
because greater is He who is in you
than he who is in the world.

They are from the world;
therefore they speak as from the world,
and the world listens to them.

We are from God;
he who knows God listens to us;
he who is not from God does not listen to us.
By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 

—1 John 4:1-6

 

Lately I have been enjoying “Greater,” a song by Mercy Me. The words have penetrated my mind and heart and I find myself singing this at all times of the day. In this dark and ever-changing world, it is good to be reminded of how much God loves and cares for us and wants us to know Jesus Christ personally as our Savior and Lord.

 

If for any reason you cannot view this video, please click here to see the lyrics.

…..

Beloved, if you have never invited Jesus Christ into your heart as your Savior and Lord, please read What Must I Do To Be Saved? I will gladly answer any questions you may have about this. Simply email me at faithlhj777 at gmail dot com.

…..

VectorPageDivider

SmileyBlackCoffeeAnna

WHITE SPACE


The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.