Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quiet Moments With God -- Wonderment

Nature reminds us of our Creator. Sometimes it's something spectacular like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, but often He reveals Himself to us in the simple things of life--like an egg or a worm. God's creation is everywhere, but we often miss The Creator in what we see as something insignificant. Children give us sight because they see Him. In their eyes the world is new and interesting. They see the wonder of His creation.

Today my granddaughter, Olivia, reminded me of God's wonder. While picking black berries she was thrilled over each plump berry, dropping them into our bowl and eating one every now and then. To her they were more valuable than gold . . . maybe they are.

Along our way, we stopped at the hen house to gather eggs and discovered a tiny egg--the very first one laid by one of our young hens. Olivia was overjoyed at the little hen's accomplishment and thought the small egg was extra special. We congratulated the hen and went on our way to the house.

Before we could wash the berries, Olivia spied what she thought was a small stick, but when she went to pluck it off the berries it moved. She was fascinated by the stick that seemed to be alive. Upon closer examination we discovered it was a tiny worm. When he felt threatened he held completely still and looked just like a stick. I explained that it was his way of hiding so creatures like birds wouldn't eat him.

Olivia was enthralled. We watched him for a few minutes as he moved over the berries. When Olivia put her finger close to him he'd straighten and go into his stick costume. Olivia wanted to show her brothers and her mother and so she set off with her rare find. As she hurried out the door, she talked to the little worm, reassuring him she wasn't a bird.

I enjoyed the berries, the egg and the worm so much more than usual because I saw them through the eyes of a child. They are truly a wonder. We're surrounded by God's amazing creations. There is so much to marvel at. But we've got to look if we want to see. It helps to have the eyes of a child.

Have you seen something recently with fresh eyes?

Grace and peace to you from God.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quiet Moments With God -- See What I Will Do

I've had many memorable days with my sister, Myrn. She and her husband, who live in Alaska, have been here on vacation.

I cherish time with my sister. She lives in a remote area of Alaska and we don't see one another often. While she was here, the weather was spectacular. We had lots of good chats, we ate too much, reminisced, laughed and cried. I'm feeling a bit sad today because she's on her way home.

After saying farewell, my thoughts stayed with my sister and others in my family. And when I read from the devotional, Jesus Calling, the words on the page spoke strongly to my spirit.

"Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. Watch to see what I will do."

I do cling to my loved ones. I'm afraid to let them go and to trust them to God. In my family, it seems we are always have some sort of crisis or other. I pray and ask for God's guidance, His help, His will. And then I worry or come up with a plan to "fix" everything.

Oh how I love the Lord, but I sometimes wonder what happened to trusting Him? I know He loves my husband, children and grandchildren, mother and father, brothers and sisters. And that He knows their every need. They could not be in better hands.

The Lord tells us to pray. What a privilege it is to stand before the throne of God. But too often when my prayer is done that is when my difficulty begins. I want to cling, to manipulate, to come up with a plan rather than trust God to do His work. When I interfere I rob the people I love most of God's specific solution, His gentle and exquisite touch.

Listen for the voice of God. He sometimes asks us to be part of His solution, but often we are to do nothing other than pray and restrain ourselves from interfering. It's glorious to watch God bring about His will in ways we never dreamed possible. I'm convinced God loves to surprise us.

Have you been surprised? Can you tell us about it?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Topic Of The Day -- Can Your Marriage Last?

Today, my husband and I celebrate forty years of marriage. Often people are surprised to hear we've been married so long. In today's world long marriages seem to be the exception rather than the rule. I think that's sad.

So, how did Greg and I make it this far?

It wasn't us. It was God. Without Him we wouldn't be together. Thirty-six years ago, we separated and Greg filed for divorce. He told me he didn't love me and never would. Life was awful. I cried a lot and thought I'd never find happiness.

Greg and I were a wreck of a couple, even from the very beginning. The day of our wedding, I walked down the aisle thinking, "If it doesn't work we can always get a divorce." Clearly I had little faith in us.

But God had plans.

Grieving and trying to learn to live on my own, I found Christ. I started praying that God would restore my marriage. Greg, for reasons he didn't understand, would stop by to see me . . . more and more often. Over several months friendship was restored and Greg discovered that he did love me after all. One surprising day he asked me to return to him. I was scared spitless, but knew that being at Greg's side is where I belonged. We were reunited and only two months later, Greg gave his life to Christ. Since that day, we've followed a Christian path together. There have been valleys to walk through and mountains to climb, but we've stuck together.

There is no magic formula. It's Christ. He is at the heart of our relationship. And when we chose one another for the second time we made a commitment to never throw in the towel. The "D" word was not allowed in our home.

Today, I look back over the years and see a long list of things we've done wrong, but so much of our life has been filled with richness and joy. We love each other more today than we did on our wedding day forty years ago. Greg is a good man and I'm so grateful God placed him in my life. And thankful for God's mercy and His greatness.

Every couple struggles--expect it. But don't give up. Instead give yourselves to God. He's in the business of restoration. Believe in Him and know that He can do it.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quiet Moments With God -- The Power of Truth

Truth is powerful. It is triumphant. It offers freedom and comfort. It will set us free.

Why then do we listen to lies?

Satan whispers--You're no good, You'll never amount to anything. You can't overcome. Your faith is too weak. You're a fool. It's not that bad, everyone else is doing it. God's not real. The Bible is just a book.

What lie are you listening to? I'm still learning to discern truth from lies. Today I accepted a lie--You'll never get better. And then the Lord spoke truth to me and I heard Him.

While it's true my physical condition may not improve as much as I'd like, I will get better. And God has promised that no matter what happens to my physical body, one day I will arrive in heaven with a new and perfect body. While I walk this earth I will grow and I will be transformed. I know this because God stands with me. He will strengthen my will, my heart and my faith. My spirit will grow stronger and I will be better. God uses all things, even suffering.

I'll continue to do all I can to strengthen my body, but more importantly I will continue to pray and to trust in God who created me. I will NOT listen to the enemy. Instead I will remember God said, "He who is in you is Greater than he who is in the world."

Don't listen to lies. The Truth will set you free.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Topic of the Day: Celebrate!

We are rejoicing! Today, our new grandson, Kadin Matthew Ketcham was born. From the beginning of time, God knew about this momentous event. We only learned about it a few months ago. We've waited and prayed and anticipated his arrival. Today was the day.

When I held little Kadin in my arms I was overcome with emotion and couldn't hold back tears of joy and thankfulness. He is an answer to prayer. For many years, my daughter Kristina has prayed for another child. She has hung onto the belief that one day it would happen. Today her prayers were answered. We thank God for His goodness.

Looking upon Kadin's sweet face I see possibilities stretching out before him. Though God is the only one who knows the path he will walk, those who love him will be at his side, loving, teaching, encouraging and disciplining this child--supporting Kadin as he grows into a man we pray has a heart for God.

This is a day of new beginnings. A day filled with hopes, dreams and possibilities. It is a privilege to be a part of someone else's life. Today it is Kadin who is on our hearts, but whether it's a grandchild, a neighbor or a friend God asks us to care for and to love one another. He instructs us to uplift and to pray for each other. It is with joy and a sense of adventure that we set off together with Kadin on life's journey.

You and I are family too. May we see one another with the same wonder and expectation that I feel when I look at my grandson who is so recently from God. Who is in your life that you can join--that you can nurture--love? Whomever it is, rejoice at the wonder of the adventure.

Grace and peace to you from God,