Sky Is Falling! Need Help!

When you feel like the sky is falling.

Ever Felt Like Saying, “The Sky Is Falling!”

I am sure that you probably have. Like times when you felt like what you or a friend were going through was too much! And you wanted to cry out, “Why me, Lord?” or “Help me, Lord, I don’t know what to do.” Today, I have that sky is falling feeling for several of my friends. Yet, I know that God is greater than all of this.

I have friends and family who are either facing a recent cancer diagnosis, their own illness or a spouse has taken a turn for the worst. I cannot begin to imagine how they are feeling right now. If it were me, I would definitely feel like things were falling apart. My heart is heavy for my friends.

Personally, I am well and for that I am thankful. Yet, I found myself at loss for words when I went to pray for them. I know that my God is able to do more than I can possibly ask, so I cried out, “Help them, Jesus.” The Bible tells me that Jesus said that there would be trouble in this world but to take heart for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Jesus is my rock in this storm of life and He knows what is going on in the lives of my friends.

I am called to be the one who stands in the gap for my friends, in prayer, trusting that God will supply all their needs (Philippians 4:19). The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. After all, there is nothing my God cannot do.

However, should you feel stuck check out Help, My Prayer Life is Stuck.

A Call for Help!

My prayer for my friends: Dear Merciful Father, hear my prayer. You know the friends that I care about and You love them with an everlasting love. Surround them with Your reassuring presence and increase their strength. Fill their loved ones with Your peace that passes all understanding. May they trust Your all-sufficient grace. I pray that You would supply all their needs according to Your steadfast love. In the name of Jesus.

 

 

Continue Reading

Creed? What is it and Why Do I Need It?

Creed

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and the life everlasting.

This is called the Apostles’ Creed because it contains a summary of their teachings. Where I attend worship we say this most every Sunday. At other times we recite the Nicene Creed and on one Sunday out of the church year we recite the Athanasian Creed which is a much more in depth and a long one. I particularly like the Apostles’ because it is a simple statement of faith. Reciting and memorizing it protects one from false teaching. It explains the trinity being God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you were to attend at my church you would know what we believe without having to ask. There is a certainty here in this statement of faith. The Bible supports this statement.

Why Do I need it?

Because I am a fickle person and my flesh is weak. Without it, I could so easily grow complacent in my faith and lose sight of the fact that I need God. I find reassurance too when it is recited in my church.  We all believe the same and worship in spirit and in truth.

Some may question it or call me foolish but that is their opinion. If according to the naysayers, I am wrong then I have nothing to lose but if I am right in my belief, and I know that I am, then I have everything to gain. I would rather err in believing than to die in unbelief. God has in more ways than I can count proven His love to me. This creed is my statement of faith and nothing can change my heart.

If you wish to know more click this link.

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Continue Reading

Defining Moment Has Come!

Where I find my defining moment

What I Have Learned from My Defining Moment.

Over the past couple months, I have been exploring the “how” God is being worshiped in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the area that I Live. Today, I reached a defining moment when it comes worship.

The LCMS has a particular order to the way worship service is followed. This what is termed the substance which is not to be changed. What may you ask does this mean? There are a number of things that are a part of the substance such as confession & absolution, the creeds, baptism, Gospel reading, communion and the Lord’s Prayer. This is what comprises a liturgical service. The way or order that these follow is what is termed the form.

‘As long as the substance remains the same, the form may change’ is the way one part of the LCMS looks at worship. I have visited a few churches and seen the various forms that worship has taken. From what I have seen so far there was one service that the form effected the substance. There were a quite few parts of substance that were not present. At two other services, the form was different but the substance was present with only one or more parts absent. My home church, I believe, has found a very good balance where the substance remained and the form was altered so that all parts were present.

My defining moment came when God helped me understand that what is the most important is the condition of my heart. Man judges the outward appearance but God judges the heart. If I am worshiping Him in spirit and in truth at my church then I am where I belong.

My Conclusion

I recognize that where I currently worship is right for me because God’s truth is taught through scripture reading and the creeds and He is worshiped in song. It is through confession and absolution that I admit that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I receive forgiveness of my sins through communion.  I am also able to worship Him in spirit and in truth for who He is. Therefore, I am a Christian who chooses to worship in an LCMS church.

Where are you able to worship God in spirit and in truth? Check out this Related Link: 5 Things I Love about my Church!

(1 John 1:8-9, Acts 4:12, 1 Samuel 16:7, John 4:23-24)

Continue Reading

My Home Church Then & Now

Church home

Once My Church Home was Baptist. Now It is Lutheran.

I grew up attending a Baptist church during my adolescence. It was baptized in a Baptist church in Terrell, Texas, that I was baptized. There I felt at home in my church. I am quite familiar with a number of hymns such as “Because He Lives,” and “I Surrender All.” I have often thought of myself as Baptist at heart. Yet I have not been a member of a Baptist church since 2006.

I first attended an ELCA* Lutheran church in my senior of high school. This became my family’s church home. I attended faithfully with my parents. When I later joined the Air Force, I went to the Protestant service which was a Lutheran church service. I have on more occasions said that I am a Christian first and where I worship may change.

After a dispute at our church home, my parents, my son, and I started to attend services at an LCMS* church. I was a single parent at the time due to the death of my first husband. Over the many years since first attending a Lutheran service, I have grown accustomed to the liturgical order of worship.

During my early 30’s, however, I struggled to find my place of worship. I did not feel like I fit in at the Lutheran church where I attended with my parents. Therefore, I elected to attend the Church of the Nazarene. I was there for five years after which I started to attend a Baptist church again. At first, I felt like I had come home, but God had another plan for me.

God brought someone wonderful into my life in 2004 and we were married in 2006. My new husband was a very active member of the same church that my parents were still attending. I became a member once more on the Father’s day before we were married. We have made this church our home until God tells us differently. God’s plans are truly greater than anything that we can plan or imagine.

I have found my church home to be in an LCMS church. There, the truth doesn’t waiver and Christ is taught and worshiped. It is not perfect but God’s Word is the rule. I guess you might say that I once was Baptist but now I am Lutheran by choice.

 

*Footnote: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS)

Continue Reading

Distressed? Call upon the Lord!

David called out when he was distressed.

Who Are You Going to Call?

David Called Out to God When He was Distressed.

When I am distressed, whom shall I call on for help? This is a very good question. I was reading the 25th Psalm during my quiet time. In verse 16-18, David cried out to God in his distress. There are several other places that David called unto God for His distress. David distress often came from the threats of King Saul. Here are just a few of the verses;

Psalm 4:1b You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

Psalm 18:6, In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

Psalm 31:7, I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul,

Psalm 59:16, But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.

David’s tone was different each time he called out to God. Sometimes he pleaded and other times he appeared to be demanding. In Psalm 59:17, I find that David turns to God in distress because of God’s steadfast love and God has been a fortress and a refuge for David. It seems to me that when David was distressed he knew who to call.

Psalm 107, I found four times where David reminds the reader that when God’s people were in the desert, they cried out to God in distress and God heard and answered them. Maybe my troubling thoughts are my thorn in my side to make me aware of my need for God, therefore, when I am distressed or in distress, I will cry out to God who through His Son, Jesus, will deliver me from my distress.

Telephone 1(1)

What about you? Who are you going to call when you are distressed?

Save

Continue Reading

When I am Troubled I Turn My Eyes To Jesus

There is No Better Place to Turn My Eyes

My dear mom reminded me to turn my eyes to Jesus today. Through the past weekend and into Monday, I was greatly troubled with negative and disturbing thoughts. I was one step away from seeking help on a professional level. There were a couple of my go to verses that helped me. Isaiah 26:3, You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (ESV). Here I am told that God will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on Him because I trust Him.

James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. In the Amplified , it reads that So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you (AMP). By first keeping my mind on God then I am to submit to His authority and stand against the devil and he will flee.

Eyes to Jesus

My mom told me that when she is troubled with such thoughts she sings Turn Your Eye Upon Jesus and she reads the 23rd Psalm. This is reassuring because when I do turn my eyes on Jesus my thoughts are restored and my strength is renewed. I do have to admit though that turning to Jesus was not my first reaction to what troubled me. I began to look elsewhere for help.

Forgive me, Heavenly Father for not first turning to You.

Thanks be to God that He does not fail and I have had another opportunity to experience His divine grace and renewed thinking. After all, God’s grace is sufficient for me just as it was for the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9. Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith. Committing scripture to memory has helped me to renew my mind and to focus on Jesus. To God be the glory!

How has turning your eyes to Jesus helped you?

Save

Save

Continue Reading

Mountains Out of Mole Hills?

Mountains Out of Mole Hills

“You are Making Mountains Out of Mole Hills!”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are making Mountains out of mole hills?” If you have not, I assure you that I have this heard more times than I like to admit. I confess that I come from a line of them. I have come to understand this to mean that one has a tendency to make a big ordeal out of something that someone else would consider to be trivial. Some might call this ruminating which is to hold on to a hurt and let it fester. This is also what unforgiveness looks like. God recently brought to light the fact that I was guilty of this and reminded me of a book that I read some time back about steps to forgiveness and reconciliation, Forgiving and Reconciling Bridges to Wholeness and Hope,” by Everett Worthington, JR, copyright 2003.

Romans 12_18

I am also reminded of several scripture verses on forgiveness and peace. Romans 12:18, If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. It is my responsibility to live at peace with others. I must make the effort. Colossians 3:13b, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. There again, it is on me to forgive. Jesus died for me before I asked Him. He forgave me and now I, too, must forgive. With His help, I can choose to forgive because on my own I am not able. Forgiving is freeing because I give up the mental space that making mountain out of mole hills uses. Grace is amazing and I need to turn my eyes to Jesus.

My Sky Pic

I know that with prayer and mining God’s Word for insight I can overcome my tendency to make mountains out of mole hills. This will make me a better person and friend. I pray: Dear Lord Jesus, please help me overcome my tendency to make mountains out of mole hills. Give me the courage to make this change and the grace to forgive. Amen

Save

Continue Reading

God’s Message Back

Gpd's Message to Me

Thank Me for Your Problems & Learn to Relate to Others in My Love

Philippians 4:6; Matthew 11:28-29; 2 Corinthians 12:9 Amp

 This is His Clear Message to Me

In reading my Jesus Calling yesterday and today, I am told that I am to be thankful for my problems and to bring my difficulties to Him and ask Him to help me with them. I am reminded that my focus is to be on Him and not my difficulties. The act of thankfulness changes the focus from the negative and to Him. Lord God, I am so glad that I can turn to you. Thank you for my difficulties. His message was clear to me.
He spoke to my heart and helped me to realize that with His Love, I am to love others most especially when they are not so pretty because He loves me when I am not at my best too. I understand that my love for others is inadequate and I will not love sufficiently. Dear God, forgive me for trying to love others by my power. Surround me in Your love so that out of it I can love others as You love me.
God’s loving kindness and His mercy are more than enough and always available regardless of the situation. Yet, I seem to forget this more often than I like to admit. It takes an uncomfortable moment or situation to bring this to light so this is a perfect moment to say thank you, Lord, for reminding me that Your grace is truly sufficient. He is able to get His message across to me in many ways.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] 
 John 14:27
Continue Reading

Count It All Joy When Facing Trials!

Joy

Joy in All of My Trials, Seriously?

My Conversation with God

 I am not sure about this, God. Let me get this right. You want me to count it as joy when I meet trials of various kinds. This remains a mystery to me. I don’t think it means to be happy about the trials but to be joyful in that the trials serve a purpose, right? Forgive me when I forget to count it as joy and I whine about it instead. Reading a bit further, I see that the trials that I face aim to perfect my faith to be complete and lacking nothing. Lord, help me to see things in a different light and come to understand Your mercy and grace. After all, Your word tells me that You discipline those You love. You also tell me that pruning is necessary. I must admit that I am not so welcoming of the pruning, however, knowing You more I know that You can be trusted. It is well with my soul when I surrender to Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Lord God, hear my plea that I will do my best to consider it joy as trials come my way. Alleluia, Amen. 
James 1:2-3 is the scripture reference. Trials serve a purpose to smooth out the rough edges in us and grow us to be more like Jesus. God does have my best interest in mind and will not give me more than I can handle. He will enable me to withstand the toughest of trials. The testing of my faith produces steadfastness. Therefore, with God’s help I will strive to count it joy in the face of my trails. His grace is sufficient.
There is a hymn that comes to my mind, It Is Well With My Soul.
Related Link: God’s Message Back
Continue Reading

Sweet Serenity, How is it Attained?

Serenity

How is Serenity Achieved?

Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

  I am sure that most people are familiar with the first part of the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
But how many know that there is more to it? The second part is where serenity is truly sought.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

Discussion

It is in asking God to help me live one day at a time and one moment at a time. God helps me to be in the present not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace, now this is another matter. God helps me to understand that the struggles that I go through serve a purpose. No it is not fun nor easy but God has a purpose and a plan for me. 
 
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is. Jesus did after all tell us that there will be trouble. Yet, He has overcome the world. Now comes trust.  I am to trust in Jesus because He will make all things right if I surrender to His will. By my surrender to His will, I will be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next. Again, there is no greater joy than knowing Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may others come to know You more so that they, too, can know serenity. Amen.
Continue Reading