Blind Faith

pearl-district-2207346_960_720 pixAfter my aunt’s accident, Portland Oregon became my home away from home. I traveled there so much that I went from being one of the ‘huddled-masses’ passengers to a Skymiles® Elite member. Ok, so nobody asked for my autograph. But I did get to board the plane early and had a comfortable seat with a beverage waiting for me. Did this weary traveler appreciate it? You bet I did.

Portland is an interesting place. It’s kind of funky; not dirty sock funky but cool funky. It’s weird, beautiful, weird and busy. Did I mention weird? Yep, it’s weird. That’s ok though, they like it that way. It’s a thing. One of the weird things there is navigating the streets.

GPS
I asked someone where the nearest hardware store was, and I got weird directions. These folks know the lay of the land and are comfortable with the quirks of their streets. Me? Not even a little bit. I turned to my GPS for help. It was bossy and very specific; telling me where to turn, when to turn and when to start merging to turn. We almost came to blows a time or two when I missed a turn. I expected ‘GPS woman’ to call me an idiot when, with raised hands, I yelled, “There is no street!” As it turns out, there was a street. It was masquerading as a driveway. I found it on attempt number three.

auto-3086257_960_720 pixA Bad Rap
After getting off a bridge I was never supposed to be on, my nerves calmed a bit and a question came to mind. “Why does faith get such a bad rap?” It’s a good question. Regardless of what side of the religious fence we’re on, we exercise simple faith every day. We drive in lock-step obedience to a robotic voice in the GPS, trusting it will direct us to our desired destination. We climb onto dentist chairs, into taxis and board airplanes, never fearing our demise. Yet when it comes to moral and spiritual matters, especially eternal ones, we’d rather chart our own course and live and do as we please. Essentially, we presume God to have no right to tell us what to do.

God’s positioning system is well able to navigate us through life and beyond. He knows where we are, where we need to be and how to get us there safely. Many follow for a while, then veer into unwanted territory and lose their way. Circling back time and again until frustrated, angry, fearful, you throw hands to the heavens shouting, “There is no way!” But there is a way. Many are familiar with it; but it’s narrow and offers no semblance of safe passage, so most move on. By faith, some dare pass through that gate only to find it leads to the road they’d been searching for all along.

How About You
Are you on the outside of the Christian faith; watching it work for others but not sure if it will work for you? What about you Christian? Have you been caught up in the flow of life’s traffic and gone so far out of the way you’re not sure if you can make it back this time? You know God can forgive you but not sure if He will. This simple prayer might be of help to you both. Mark 9:24 “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” Many have prayed it and found that God is willing to do just that.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Pictures compliments of Pixabay Creative Commons

Lessons in the Storm

hands-2906458_960_720 pix2018 was quite a year. I’d say bittersweet is an appropriate descriptor. My first post was a New Year’s Wish List. The wishes were for you and I meant every single one of them. I never thought they’d all come true for me; well except excellence. I don’t know what happened there.

My elderly aunt had an accident in her home and wasn’t found for a couple days. It was traumatic and debilitating. I flew out to visit as soon as I could. Since she was alone and I was the only one in communication with her, I became her advocate. I didn’t know what to do and the cross-country trek complicated things. Wisdom was my answered prayer and grace a soothing balm in my hurts and failures. This dear lady became my friend and I developed a deeper love for her and a commitment to her protection. We spent much time together in her final months and seeing her go was a sorrow that I hadn’t expected. I still miss her.

Revelations
Many things were revealed during this time. I saw who I was and what I wasn’t. There were temptations I hadn’t anticipated and provision made for a way out of them. I felt the strong arm and soft shoulder of my God and was blessed to walk this uncommon path. It’s not an easy thing to step into the suffering of others but there is an unexplainable beauty when you do, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Some days I made sound decisions and sometimes failed to be decisive. But it was in the backward glance that hindsight revealed the truth. I wasn’t walking this path alone but was being guided by the unseen hand of the Sovereign. With Him there is no oops or accidents. His plan is perfect and His purpose is perfecting His people through service. That was a privilege for which I am grateful.

ship-117013__340 Sailing pixabay (2)Life’s Lessons
The mettle of my faith was tested beyond expectation and strong winds beat hard against this small ship of my life. I found that…

  • Faith is a sea-worthy vessel, well able to navigate life’s storms.
  • My blessed Savior is both the Captain of my ship and the solid Rock upon which my anchor is moored. 
  • He is well seasoned in matters of tempests; for He once shushed the raucous wind and waves with three small words, “Peace be still.” And, for want of a boat, He tiptoed atop the treacherous sea to save his frightened disciples; with all the ease of one walking on solid ground. This storm of mine wasn’t His first.

How About You
Are your skies blue, seas calm and a comfortable breeze filling your sails? I hope so. Perhaps that’s not where you are now.  Maybe your small bark is sailing in different waters; navigating dark skies and gale force winds? You needn’t fear. There is an anchor upon which you can cast your hope. Hebrews 6:19– “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”  Let me tell you, THIS ANCHOR HOLDS. Turn over the helm of your life’s ship to Jesus and let Him speak peace to your storm.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Pictures compliments of Pixabay Creative Commons

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad

birth-of-jesus-1150128_960_720 Pixabay

On a night so long ago, the Majesty and the Mystery of the ages was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. He came for a purpose and that purpose was you. The greatest gifts do come in the smallest packages!

In all your getting and giving, take time to rejoice in The Gift… Jesus.

Luke 2:11 – For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Merry Christmas!

 

No Ordinary Baby

christmas-634777_960_720

Their eyes were fixed on the screen.  It seemed like forever but it was just a few minutes.  The room was still and quiet except for the occasional click of the monitor. The young couple sat watching, waiting for a sign that the test results were true. A couple more minutes would tell the story. In a moment they moved from wondering to wonder as they became eyewitnesses to a miracle. There on the screen was life; tiny, eight-week old heart-pounding life. It was too soon to tell what the child would be. His gender would be revealed soon enough but it would take a lifetime to know what he would become.

No Common Baby

Over 2000 years ago, another couple waited. Mary and Joseph had no ultrasound to confirm the child’s existence. They didn’t question the gender nor did they wonder what he would do with life. His coming and purpose was proclaimed by an angel and foretold by prophets. This would be no common birth. He would be no common baby.

A Savior is Born

After a slow, tiring journey, the young couple arrived into a crowded city with no comfortable place for them to lodge. It didn’t matter. They took shelter in stable behind an overbooked inn. And there, in the sleepy town of Bethlehem, Mary delivered God’s Son. Deity took on humanity when this child was born and the trappings of His royalty were exchanged for swaddling clothes and a manger. As far as the world knew, He was just another baby. But in that manger was life; tiny, heart-pounding, soul-saving life. That life was born so that death would die, and we are the beneficiaries.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

As we celebrate this Christmas, let us remember that God gave us the greatest gift of all. He gave us Life. He gave us Jesus. Merry Christmas!

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Picture compliments of Pixabay Creative Commons.

Post adapted from a newsletter article from Pregnancy Help Center, Richmond KY.

Is God Good?

key-west-86025_960_720 PixabayIs God good? It’s a question worth considering; and many have in recent weeks. With fires ravaging the west and hurricanes pummeling the east, our nation has been hit pretty hard. Whether you’re waist-high in water or standing near an ash heap; staring at the rubble of what once was your life is painful. And so we wonder.

A Costly Storm
He was stubborn. He said he would be fine. He was wrong. My father remained in his apartment in the French Quarters of New Orleans. I spoke with him a day or two before the storm hit and couldn’t convince him to leave. Katrina slammed hard into the Gulf Coast and the nation felt the sting of it.

The news was frightening and the search frustrating. Phone calls, internet lists and shelter searches led me down a rabbit hole to nowhere. In the end, sometime between hurricanes Katrina and Rita, my father lost his life. His body was found in his apartment weeks after the hurricane, having been missed on the first search. It was taken to a make-shift morgue where it was lost in a sea of body bags. There would be more weeks, more waiting, more searching and more questions.

If God is good, where was He in all of that? He was with me; right where He promised He’d be, doing just what He promised He’d do.  Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” A co-worker asked, “How are you even standing?” My answer, “I’m being held.” It’s true you know.

Measuring His Goodnessfire-89353_960_720 Pixabay
The measure of God’s goodness is not gauged by the shifting sands of our comfort. It is measured by the fixed mark of His sacrifice and discomfort, and all we stand to gain from it. So, regardless of how the wind blows; whether we’re safe and secure or we’re watching our dreams go up in smoke, we can say with calm assurance that God is good…even while our hearts are breaking.

How About You
Are you overwhelmed by all that’s happening in the world? Have the winds of suffering blown hard against your own life, leaving you desperate for hope and a peaceful place of solace? Jesus said, Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The offer is available for whoever will receive it. It’s there for you.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Pictures compliments of Pixabay Creative Commons.

 

Your Life’s Purpose

sign-20170217_150119-1-roxI couldn’t help myself. I found this sign in my local craft store and fell in love with it. The message was cute and the stained pallet-wood was perfect for my country home. I had the ideal wall space for it and I wouldn’t have to re-place anything. It was the connection between the message and the prospective location that made me laugh out loud. I suppose the on-lookers expected to see some silly looking thing. Nope, just me and some painted wood. You see, the location in question was my laundry room.

Envisioned were multiple visits with a therapist for psychological damage caused by that message burning into my sub-conscious while doing laundry: ‘Perhaps This Is the Moment for Which You Were Created’. Don’t get me wrong, laundry is not beneath me. It’s just that I’d like to think that God had something bigger in mind for me; something a bit more grand and glorious than washing clothes. I left the sign at the store.

Placed For a Purpose

crown-759297_960_720-pixabayHadassah found herself in a precarious situation. A new edict from King Ahasuerus transformed every beautiful young maiden into a royal prospect. Hadassah would have to hide her true identity, changing her name to Esther and concealing her Jewish heritage. Each young woman would be presented to the king. One by one they came and went. But Esther found favor with the king and it was on her head that he placed the royal crown. Esther would be queen instead of Vashti. Amazing!

A plot was uncovered that would mean the annihilation of the Jews. Esther received a request to go before the king and plead for her people. But there was a law. Except he hold out his scepter, anyone going before the king unsummoned would be put to death. Interceding for her people might bring about her own execution. She returned word to Mordecai explaining why she couldn’t do it and received this message, Esther 4:14 ”For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther’s purpose far exceeded a crown and a kingdom. It was the saving of her people.

God’s plans are always grand and glorious. It’s just that the details in the working out of those plans can be mundane, seemingly ridiculous and occasionally terrifying. He brings us through places to refine us to get us to places to let us shine like the Son.

How About You

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is? Do you get so bogged down in your duties that you mistake them for your destiny? Are your circumstances so frightening, so dire that a cup of coffee and load of laundry seem like a little piece of heaven?

We may dislike where we are, not realizing it’s just a stopping place on the way to where we need to be. Take heart. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.(KJV) God knows where you are. He has a plan for your life and will see it through to the end.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

You can read more of Esther’s fabulous story in the book of Esther.

Hope For America

white-house-1953465_960_720America just swore in the 45th President of the United States. Once again, we witnessed a peaceful transition of power. No cracked crowns. No military coup. We saw the public display of well wishes, hugs & handshakes and the departure of the previous President and his family. Yet, somewhere between the pomp and the platitudes lies a nation in crisis.

We the People

We’ve heard the words ‘We the People’ spoken in recent days. Our constitution’s preamble begins with these words and it’s not a bad place to start looking for answers. But what if we went deeper & made it more personal? What if we each looked beyond ‘We The People’ to ‘Me The Person’ and asked serious questions of ourselves?

  • Does my desire to be heard supersede my obligation to listen?
  • Is the light I desire to share dimmed by a self-righteous superiority of attitude with which I try to share that light?
  • Have I relegated myself to the comfort of my like-minded friends for fear of clashing with a conflicting culture?
  • Do the words I speak live up to the life that I have been given, or has my life made His words irrelevant to a watching & listening world?

white-house-451544_960_720Steadfast Hope

Our nation’s hope is not dependent upon changing cultural winds or political outcomes.  It was not decimated when President Obama left the White House nor did it arrive with President Trump.  Our hope is in a God who is in control and does not change. Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.

God’s sovereignty was not sideswiped by this vicious election nor is it weakened by the bombastic and violent assertions of people wanting us to know they matter. Psalm 11:4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. God sets up kings and establishes kingdoms according to His purpose. He knows what’s happening here.

How About You

Are you concerned about the unknowns of upcoming days? While it is unnerving to be sure, we need not quiver in a corner waiting for the proverbial hammer to fall. Rather, let’s examine our own hearts and determine what we can do to be part of the mending of our land. Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. While we wait on God to turn the king’s (president’s) heart; maybe we should ask Him to turn ours as well.

God bless you and keep you,

Roxanne

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. ® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.