Author Archives: possesshispromises

Has God used a nuisance to make a difference?

CountryWestern

 

Keith and I enjoyed a Country & Western concert recently. It was a “bring-your-own-chairs and Easy-Up” gathering on the green at the base of our San Jacinto Mountains.

Clapping to the music, I looked over at Keith’s feet, raised up off the grass.

“Ants! Are you about ready [to leave]?”

“Well, why don’t you move?”

“No, I’ll be alright.”

A few songs later, Keith moves his chair to the right of me, and squeezes next to a man we don’t know.

No ants. Just great music.

The man next to Keith places his hands on the arms of the chair, pushes up and falls back. Keith reaches out to catch him and cushions his fall. I jump up and run over, while Keith is still propping him up. Together, Keith pushes, and I slowly pull the 200+ pound man to his feet while his family looks on.

Ants, a little nuisance moved Keith to a different place, a place that probably saved this stranger from injury.

How many times has God used a nuisance or greater to get us to move?

but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; Galations 4:13

God used a nuisance to prompt Paul to preach the Gospel to the Galations the first time.

Think about the nuisances in your life.

  • Has God used them to help someone else?
  • What have you learned from the nuisances in your life?

My prayer:

Father, teach us to look at the nuisances in our lives as redirections toward Your perfect path for our lives and others’. Thank You for using us even when we resist the nuisances. We love You Lord.

Colliding with destiny … Finding hope in the legacy of Ruth, A Review

colliding

 

This book is a must read for women who are in the middle of challenging times. I have read the book of Ruth quite a few times, but I had never approached it from the perspective of a young woman emerging from great loss, isolation, and the unknown.

Sarah Jakes offers practical insight about the possible thoughts of Ruth, the unseen challenges she may have encountered, her faithfulness to Naomi, integrity, and God.

Although this book has not been referred to as a devotional, it is the perfect 30-day devotional for someone who is working through difficult times. With each of the 30 short chapters, Jakes focuses on several verses in Ruth, illustrates the verses with everyday examples, provides thought-provoking questions for the reader to journal about, and ends with a prayer.

Jakes shares her personal collisions with destiny and the guilt she felt over a failed marriage and past mistakes. The book of Ruth provided hope as Jakes walked with this young widow from the land she knew to the land of the Israelites. From following the women in the fields and picking up leftover bits of grain to finding favor in the eyes of the field’s owner, Boaz, Ruth did not give up. Jakes urges the reader to persevere and wait upon the Lord to work.

When you collide with destiny as Ruth did, you will discover a beautiful point of intersection between the longings of your heart, your experience, and gifting, and the opportunities God opens before you.

A beautiful story about the redemption of the church unfolded before my eyes as a picture of the Christian walk through the challenges of life, through the loss of a loved one, loss of job, loss of health, loss of spouse, or loss of possessions.

So often we remember Ruth with Boaz and her ultimate blessing, not with her struggle. This outcome gives me comfort. It means when all is said and done, my legacy will not be what broke me but how God blessed me. Only those who care to see my scars will understand that the blessing did not come without wounds and that I did all I could to survive.

There is hope, and your story is a legacy.

What is your legacy?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.

My prayer

Our Legacy-Maker, thank You for Sarah Jakes and her compelling look at the book of Ruth. Father, enable us to see You at work in our lives, transforming the hurts, the bruises, the scars of our lives into beautiful legacies that touch other lives with the beauty that only You can create. Thank You for being the Great Artist in our lives.

The lyre and the lambs … A review

 

Lyre & Lambs

Sydney Avey’s sequel to The Sheepwalker’s Daughter masterfully walks the reader through the winding path of relationships, faith, and discovery. Set in the sixties, tradition clashes with modernity in one neighborhood. Difference erupted in opposition.

Dee’s mother’s home burned to the ground in The Sheepwalker’s Daughter. Tradition burned.

Dee’s daughter, Valerie, built a modern glass house in its place. After it was built, Dee and her husband, Roger, moved in with Valerie and Andy; two couples living in a glass house. Difference crystalized.

Soon, Father Mike asked the couples if his  “sensitivity group” of at-risk young men could meet in the glass house. Neighbors paced their dogs by and peered through the glass at the boys in their circles during the “sensitvity” meetings.

Then, one-by-one young relatives make their home in the glass house. One from New York. Another from Navarre, a Spanish province. The third from Israel.

Two couples … two generations; three young people … three very different cultures … all living in one very modern house that the neighborhood glared into. Mix with that regular gatherings of noisy young men, and the neighborhood erupts in anger; demands from a City Councilman, angry town hall meetings, and threats become the norm.

Why did we kill Christ? He offered something good, but we couldn’t get past the challenge to be different. If I understood why people are so dead set against what looks different, I might understand what’s behind our neighbors’ opposition to everything we do.

With these clashes, Dee examines her traditional thinking and her judgments of her neighbors, her mother, her daughter, Father Mike, one young man, and herself. The “what if” questions bombard her mind.

One day, a body is found in glass house’s backyard, and life in the glass house unravels.

Lord, I can’t imagine how this will all work out, but You are good. I will watch you work these disasters together for our good, in the way that only You can. Give me courage to face this day.

With the letting go, comes freedom.

The Lyre and the Lambs is an enjoyable read for pleasure and for an insightful look at how we sometimes judge differences.

Avey has included thoughtful discussion questions at the end of the novel as well as resources for parents and concerned friends.

I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. Psalm 49:4

I finished reading and stopped to reflect upon the book’s particularly poignant title. Insightful.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from HopeSprings Books, an imprint of Chalfont House Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.

My prayer

Our Great Shepherd, thank You for leading Sydney Avey as she walked us through the sixties, turmoil on one street, and the growth of Christians as they dealt with their storms in their lives. Bless Sydney with many more books that glorify You. Bless the readers who encounter Sydney’s books, and give them the insight that You would have them glean from Sydney’s writings. Thank You for The Lyre and the Lambs, dear Lord.

Is God working in your life … for good?

Bird

 

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

I’ve used this verse many times to “comfort” myself and others during dark times giving them hope that everything would be all right in the end. I listened to David Jeremiah today on the radio and he pointed out that maybe not everything would end up all right on this side of heaven.

And we know that God causes …

Because of our past experiences with God, because the Bible tells us that God works in our lives and others,
we trust that God causes …

all things to work together for good …

God is good; anything He causes is good. The good and the bad work together, like a cake mix. I love chocolate. Yet, cocoa is bitter until it is mixed with sugar, honey or a fruit. The chocolate works with the sweetener to form a new taste.

When I had fibromyalgia, I trusted God that He would work it for good. However, I did not know what that “good” looked like. I just knew that in the end, it would be a sweet fragrance to His glory. Indeed, the fragrance came in 2010 with a miraculous healing. God has used that healing to give others hope.

for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

This promise is conditional. You can claim this promise if you love God. If you love God, you are called according to His purpose.

Is God working all things together for good in your life? Won’t you share what God is doing in your life?

My prayer for you

Father, Thank You for this promise-filled verse. You are the One who causes all things to work together for good. Thank You for Your work in us. Thank You for the Bible, for hope, for Your promises. We honor You and praise You for who You are and for Your love.

Who do you need to forgive?

“Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. …

 

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. Genesis 50:17-20

Dreamed of the future

Thrown into a pit

Sold in slavery

Accused of rape

Forgotten in prison

Remembered in the palace

Advised because of the dream

Elevated to authority

Destined for preservation

Forgave in love

Healing in family

Foreordained by God.

When your life seems out of control, think of Joseph and thank God that He is in control. Like Joseph, through your trials, you may preserve the life of one or the lives of many. Only God knows now.

My prayer for you

Father, thank You for Your plans for our lives. Thank You for using our troubles to work good for others. Thank You that in our weaknesses, Your power is manifested. Give us the grace to forgive others as You have forgiven us. We love You Lord!

 

 

 

 

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