It’s tough watching someone you love suffer and being helpless to help them or to know what to say. We always want to do or say something to lessen their pain, to encourage them and to help them. However, our good intentions can go awry and instead of causing less pain, we can increase anothers pain through insensitive words or timing. We have a tendency to say things that naturally come to us in order to comfort those around us. Our words may be true enough and bring comfort to ourselves but the person we are directing them towards may be caused greater additional pain by them instead of being comforted. Our words touch super sensitive areas of the heart that are bruised, wounded, out of joint, unnaturally exposed and bring others tremendous pain unknowingly to us. We walk away smiling and unfortunately leave those hurting behind grimacing from our efforts.
When dealing with the human heart, it takes precision and wisdom of an experienced physician to bring about comfort and healing. It has been said that some of our greatest traumas and battles are not really those we experience outwardly but those we are experiencing inwardly. Our hearts have been inwardly amputated through loss, they are being smothered by the weight of grief, are paralyzed by fear, are sick with anxiety and worry, are burning with anger, are infected with bitterness, are slow moving being clouded with doubts and confusion. Continue reading
Love this quote from “Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting” by Dave Furman A great reminder that God never forsakes our abandons us. – Continue reading
What does it take to gain God’s attention?
Isa. 66:2b tells us this great secret to obtaining the eye of God on us. There are three character attributes that cause the eyes of God to stop their roaming the earth and to rest intently on those who displays such attributes. Humility, Contrition and the Fear of God. This is the person who God shows regard to.
“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” – Is a. 66:2b
God sees the afflicted. God looks at the poor, the weak and needy. It is those who are bowed down, the lowly who are weighed down, depressed in mind or in circumstances that God shows regard for. His eye does not pass them by but stops and rests upon them. Continue reading
I love this poem by written by Isaac Watts the famous theologian, logician and hymn writer who was born in the late 1600’s. This hymn is one of 750 that he was inspired to write. It is a worship filled reminder of what prayer is and why we pray.
On Prayer by Isaac Watts
Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near. Continue reading
“Let those who have felt this double effect of the Spirit’s teaching bear witness to the marvelous result. The Bible becomes a transformed book. It was before the best of all books, but it is now the Book of God—a chamber of disclosed mysteries—a house of many mansions, in which new doors constantly open into new apartments, massive and magnificent, God’s art galleries, museums of curious things, treasuries of celestial gems. The devout student is filled with wonder, transported with delight. Words open with new meanings until we look through them into depths and heights, breadths and lengths, that are infinite. We are looking at a firmament which was before clouded—but the clouds are parting and heavenly constellations are visible. Meanwhile the eye has become telescopic, and where before we saw a few scattered stars, and an indistinct nebulous cloud, everything is ablaze with the glories of countless and many colored lights.” – Arthur T. Pierson, Lessons in The School of Prayer
I went to an art gallery for the first time early last year at the Dallas Museum of Art. I was just amazed by the beauty of each piece. It was a special showing on French Boutiques and featured such artists work as Vincent Von Gogh, Henri Fantin-Latour, Édouard Manet, and Paul Cézanne. I’m not an art critic but you really did not need to be one in order to recognize and appreciate greatness. Their work itself made them known. It was amazing. The detail in each piece, the more you looked, the more there was to be seen. No matter how hard you starred, you couldn’t take it all in. The perfection of each piece, not one stroke seemed to be out of place. Each line was perfectly executed on top of another and side by side in a rhythm and smoothness that could only be carried out by a master of the art. Continue reading
A year and a half ago, on March 23rd, 2014 my cousin Tessa, age 27, was killed in a head-on collision by a drunk driver as she was on her way home. She died instantly leaving behind 4 surviving children. The criminal case for it ended just last week.
Her death has impacted our entire family greatly, and still impacts us every day with the loss of her laugh, the loss of her voice, the loss of her opinion, the loss of her touch, her hugs. Every day, it still feels like there is something new to be missed and freshly grieved. Every day is full of her absence, in the big things and in the small things.
My husband and I relocated to Dallas 16 years ago not knowing we had any family in the area. Approximately 5 years after our move, I was excited to learn I had an Aunt and three young cousins who lived nearby. They were as hungry for family as we were and soon joined our weekly Sunday lunches after church.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!” – Psa. 139:1
You have searched and known me.
The King of Kings,
Lord of Lords,
the Great I Am,
The Alpha and The Omega,
He knows my name.
You are my God
You are my God, who is always there for me. (Psa. 46:1)
You are my God who sees me. (Gen. 16:13-14)
You are my God who knows me. (Psa.139:1-6) Continue reading
At the Back of the North Wind
“If you can’t see His way past the tears, trust His heart.” – Charles Spurgeon
It is one thing to have wounds inflicted by an enemy, another by your closest friend. At times I felt betrayed by God in dealing with my cousins death. She was so young. How could He allow this car accident? Why would He allow it? Why didn’t he intervene between her and the drunk driver? If she would have left 15 minutes sooner, if the swerve was just a a few degrees further, she might have walked away. Why God? Why did you allow it?
The enemy laughs. He uses my own heart to taunt me, “Is this your God? Your friend? Your high counselor? Is this who you serve? Is this who you have committed your life to?”
“Yes” I quietly respond to the assaults. “Though He afflicts me, yet will I trust Him.”
I admit, I am in the dark. I cannot see. I don’t understand why. I don’t know why He allowed this to happen. Over a year later, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it all. I’ve finally gained enough distance away from that fateful day that I can begin to try to reason again. But I see none.
I try to concentrate and hold on to what I do know. I do know that my God is sovereign. He is aware. He allowed it. He filtered it. He is all good and all loving. He is perfect in all His ways. He could have prevented the accident, He could have spared her life. Just a few weeks prior he had saved and spared her life from another accident. But not this time. This time for reasons I don’t understand, He took her in an instant, in a twinkling of an eye she was taken and we were left. Her place knew her no more, her home knew her no more, her children knew her no more, her husband knew her no more, her mother knew her no more, her sisters knew her no more, her friends knew her no more and I knew her no more. Her life was gone and we did all we could to gather what was left behind of her, to salvage every precious memory and token unless they would somehow disappear too. Yet will I trust Him though I do not understand Him or recognize Him in allowing this.
Praying for an hour may sound daunting at first, but it can actually go by faster than you think. Many times when we spend an hour with a close friend, we look up surprised to see the time has passed so quickly and it’s time to part. This is the way to pray and to enjoy prayer, to see it as time spent with a dear friend, Jesus, who we have all to ourselves in sweet private conversation in our personal hour of prayer.
First, you must set aside a specific time to meet, knowing that God will be waiting for you. Make sure you eliminate all distractions by selecting a private place where you can talk in freedom and without being interrupted by phones and other distractions.
All you need is a quiet place and an eager heart, however you may find other supplies useful for prayer aids. Items such as your bible, a pen, paper for scribbling notes or thoughts that come to mind, a journal for writing your prayer if you prefer, a hymnbook, a favorite devotional book, soft instrumental music or soft scriptural lullaby music, a box of Kleenex, a cup of coffee, tea or other favorite drink, a candle or even an old fashioned oil lamp if you prefer.