When Heaven Hurts Like Hell


 “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:8


April 12 will always be a day of pain and sorrow, bitter and sweet, a day I love to celebrate and one I loathe its approaching. Four events mark this day in my heart and mind. The birth of Danielle, the passing of my father, the wedding anniversary of David and Candice, and the day our oldest son and his wife learned they were pregnant with our first grandchild. Like I said, April 12 marks the birth date of one of the most extraordinary young girls who have ever graced the face of this earth. It was on this day thirty years ago that Danielle Marie Gould was born the youngest child to our dear friends Tink and Sherrill. She was our daughter Bree’s best friend and what I like to refer to as our fourth child. We loved her like she was are own and yet on August 20, 2004 she went home to be with the Lord and our lives have felt the void since that day. Today she would have been 30 years old and though she is in heaven, in the very presence of Jesus, the pain of her loss still feels like hell. The sting of death is still with us though she is not.


I can relate with what Ben Witherington, who in the book he co-authored with his wife writes, “When A Daughter Dies” writes, “Here is one of the paradoxes of grieving. Grieving, for a Christian, is about you personally. That is to say, we are not grieving because someone is pain-free in heaven with the Lord! That’s cause for celebration! We are not grieving the condition of the Christian loved one who is deceased! For the Christian, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. There is nothing grave in that. No, we are grieving for our own sense of loss, our own sorrow over the sudden departure, our own feelings of being alone. Grief is the self’s shock over what has happened to itself—it is physical and emotional.”

Though the shock over what happened has passed, the emptiness of her loss has not as nothing, no one could ever take her place. So, though the memories of her wonderful life and the lessons she taught us all on how to “Live, Laugh, Love” continue to manifest themselves as we journey through this life by faith, believing like her that without it we can not please God, so we press on with the hope that we will in deed see her again one day.

Death has a way of making one bitter or better and God leaves the choice to us in hopes that we too, like Danielle will hold on to the promise of her favorite verse found in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Danielle’s death as painful as it has been all these years has revealed much beauty too in that it has taught us a very powerful and profound message. God never wastes a hurt. In fact God has taught us that pain really is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world and that though God does desire to comfort us in our affliction, He is more concerned about increasing our threshold for pain and suffering, and to know by experience that whatever God leads us too He will lead us through. She might have only been seventeen when she graduated from earth but she was wise beyond her years and beautiful from the inside out. I can’t wait to see her again one day!

I read a quote the other day that said, “In New York, you’re never more than 20 feet away fro someone you know, or someone you’re meant to know.” It reminded me of today and how inter connected our lives really are, far more than we realize. To think, my daughters best friend was born April 12, 1987 and on this same day in 2014 my dad, Clinton Rettig Osthimer went home to be with Jesus at the age of 81. The difference in Danielle’s death and that of my own fathers is I always thought there would be a day when my father would pass and I would still be alive. That seemed to me to be the natural order of life and death. He prepared me for that. Danielle’s death however, always seemed out of order to me. No parent ever expects to bury their child, especially at the age of seventeen and though Danielle was not our biological child, my wife and I loved her as if she was. Try convincing parents who have adopted a child that their love is somehow less than the biological parents and see what happens.

Though as natural a part of life as death might seem to us, God has not wired us for its experience as death is a by product of the fall of man, not a reflection of God’s desire for us. After all, Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. Death is our last enemy and God is just as appalled by it as we are, actually, He is more. With the passing of both my dad and my mom now, I along with my sisters and brothers have taken on an identity that is impossible to comprehend until it happens. Though all of us are over fifty years of age, we now are orphans in this life which brings with it a sense of emptiness, loneliness, even though we are surrounded by loving family and friends.

I miss my dad deeply, and not a day goes by when I don’t think about him and hold some kind of conversation with him in my head. I can still recognize his voice over my own. With each passing year his words become wiser and his knowledge much more profound. I was blessed with a father who loved me, who showed me and told me. The truest reflection of our Heavenly Father I have ever known.

Then there is the bright spot in April 12. David and Candice Mattison celebrate their third anniversary today as husband and wife. I was presiding over their wedding ceremony when my dad passed away. I had been with him earlier in the day but left to go to the wedding and learned on the way back to the hospital that he had passed away while I was gone. David and Candice are a sweet couple who are just getting started in life and who I am excited to know and be a part of their journey. God has great plans for them as they now have a one year old son Lucas and I am sure more will soon be on the way. Their marriage and family along with the news our first grandchild was coming into this world are my reminder that when one passes away another child is born. Proof that God is not done yet, that death doesn’t have the final say, Jesus does!


“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:57

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"There You Will Be"

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

John 14:3

The greatest love story known to man is found in the Holy Bible. A love so pure, a love so divine, when you read it with an open heart and a thirsty soul you will be satisfied each and every time. I have yet to meet a person who grows tired of being loved unconditionally. When you fathom the depth of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ we can’t help but shake our heads in amazement. To think, someone loves me like this. It baffles the human mind and comprehension. We are so conditioned by the world to perform for love we struggle with accepting the fact that a perfect, holy God would be mindful of me. I don’t know about you loved one, but I am humbled to think God would or even could love me at all but to love me like He does. It blows me away. How soon we forget, heaven is conditional but the love of God is not. He loves us unconditionally.

I love reading Johns Gospel account of the Last Supper that Jesus shared with His followers. He took the opportunity at a meal to share His heart with them. He was preparing them for His departure from them and this earth by way of the Cross and yet His goodbye wasn’t really a goodbye at all because if you hear His words to them that night He tells them that He is simply going on ahead to prepare both the way and the place where they could meet Him again one day. Jesus was going to prepare a place to meet again and not just to share a moment here and there or even a meal, but to meet together and be together forever. Jesus tells those He loves, “where I am, there you may be also”. The words, “There you’ll be” is both an invitation and a promise to the beloved.

“There you’ll be” is an invitation for each of us to put our trust in Jesus. To know for certain that we won’t be stuck in our current state forever. Jesus words are our reminder each day that we are never without hope in this world as long as our hope is in God. There is something spectacular that awaits us down the road if we are looking unto Jesus. “There you’ll be” is also a promise to us that God knows our heart, He knows our needs and Jesus tells His disciples that He is going on ahead to prepare a place just for them. “There you’ll be” also provides the hope we need for the future in the midst of a world overflowing with sorrow and pain.  The hope of “there you’ll be” is what pulls us forward when the world tries to pull us back, its what picks us up when we are down.

We can only imagine what that day will be like when we step into eternity. Like the perfect marriage, the imagery of belonging to Jesus is likened to a groom who adores His new bride so much and though He has been away from her for so long He was all the while with a purpose. He was making sure every provision for her was made and no detail was left undone so that when they meet for the first time face to face there will be no distraction to turn them away one another. Only celebration awaits them. That’s how it is going to be one day!

Let this promise fill your heart today, loved one, and let it soak into your mind as you go through your day. Ponder it long and well. Meditate on Jesus words and allow the Lord to fill your heart overflowing with the hope of what is still yet ahead. Live with your heart wide open today and be ready to receive all that He has for you. Your Beloved is coming, and He is coming soon. Remember, that is both an invitation and a promise. Don’t miss out, be ready!

“The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.” “…My beloved spoke, and said to me: “ Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” “…Let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

Song of Songs 2:8,10,14

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"Last Words"

 

 
“And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last.”

Luke 23:46  

Today my dad would have celebrated his 83 birthday, and as I think back over my dads life my mind has tossed between considering the implications of my dads last words to me prior to his passing away and stepping into eternity and Jesus final words upon the Cross. Today I am reminded of just how important last words will be.

Both my dads and Jesus last words carry tremendous weight in my life and are powerful in there own way and yet my dads are deeply personal where Jesus were as well and all the while His being very public. In either case a persons last words remain with us long after they are gone and tend to be what we recall the most easily to our minds when we remember them.

As some of my family gathered this morning at one of my dads favorite breakfast spots, we each remembered conversations with our father that the others were not as familiar with, if at all. My dads last words to me personally came in the form of a note. A couple of weeks before my dad passed away he had written me a handwritten note and placed it inside a birthday card from He and my mom stressing in it over and over again how thankful he was to God for his family and how proud he was of me and my sisters and brother.

In his last note to me he thanked me for being there for him during the trials of his life and then concluded his note saying, “May God always bless you and your family. We have shared a lot of things in 54 years. I love you! Dad". Those words might not mean much to anyone else but to me they are priceless.

The same thing can be said of Jesus final words that He spoke from Calvary's Cross. To some people Jesus words mean nothing but to millions throughout the centuries they too are priceless. They not only give us something to hold onto as we remember our Savior’s life here on earth, but they as well reveal so much about who Jesus is, and His heart for you and me.

Below are Jesus last words that He spoke just moments before His sacrificial death. Never have so few words said so much about such an amazing life. In these seven statements from the Cross we can sense Jesus love, His care and compassion and the genuine selflessness in which He lived His life and how to the very end of His earthly mission He trusted Himself completely in the hands of His Heavenly Father. Read them for yourself.

1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
2. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
3. Jesus said to His mother: “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”
4. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
5. “I thirst”
6. “It is finished.”
7. “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

A person’s last words are not only memorable, but they can be very beneficial to us too. I know having a note from my dad reminding me that he was proud of me and that he was praying for me means the world to me. Knowing Jesus last words from the Cross are memorable and extremely beneficial to me too.

Each time I read Jesus last words I am reminded of the sacrifice He made for me and you, and I recall to my mind His mercy and His compassion that fail not and are new every morning. As I read about the events of the Cross I can’t help but sense the pain Jesus willingly underwent when He took my place and yours so that we could experience paradise one day! My heart is strengthened as I learn from Jesus how in life’s difficult moments that each of us must face, I can just like Jesus, commit myself into the loving hands of my Heavenly Father, knowing He will receive me into His loving arms just like He did His own Son.

Today, “last words” mean so much to me and bring me much comfort and joy as I think about both my dad and about our Savior, Jesus Christ. To know that my dad, along with my mom and countless other relatives are with Jesus in paradise today gives our family and friends who knew and loved my dad reason to celebrate.

Just think, my dad is more alive today than at any point when he walked on this earth. And the best news still is knowing because of Jesus, I’ll see him again one day! How do I know you might ask? Because Jesus said so! And a promise is a promise! He will come back for each of us who placed our hope in Him, one day!


"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

John 14:1-3


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Someone To Sing About

 

“Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy.”
 

Psalm 33:3

Warren Wiersbe wrote regarding worship, “ Will I make worship the heart of my life or just a part of life”. That’s a great question and one that needs to be answered by each of us. Obviously from reading Psalm 33 we see that David has a heart for worship from not just his head but from the depth of his heart. It has been noted the Psalms are poems for the most part, put to music to be sung and not to be dissected as a dissertation in theology. When we allow the Psalms to flow into our hearts and mind and we seek to understand the heart of the writer at the time and the circumstances surrounding when they were penned it is as if we have a window into the soul of both our Creator and the creation responding in psalm.

The Psalms are where many a believer has learned to pray and where the greatest inspiration to both public and private worship is set in order. The Psalms were the hymnbook of the temple, penned to assist us to express with our lips what our hearts long to say to God. “Oh, come let us bow down and worship” today, “let us kneel before the Lord our God our Maker, for He is God and we are the people of His pasture…” That's an invitation as well as a great reminder.

Make the most of your time with the Lord today, loved one! Get alone with God and worship Him in prayer and sing to Him a new song today. Then, what you do in private seek to make public as you turn your every day work into worship. That’s what David declares here in Psalm 33, and that’s why God said of David “he is a man after My own heart”. We were created for worship, and not just on Sunday. Remember, this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! We don’t just have something to sing about, we have someone to sing about!


“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”

Ephesians 5:19

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Fully Alive


“If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes.”

Job 14:14


Job understands that life is but a vapor, and he believes death is final. Job uses some great pictures to explain to us how he feels. Most of us can relate at one time or another in our life to the pain that all humanity must face until the day we put off our mortality and put on immortality! Job is giving up all hope and he says a tree cut down has more hope than he does of having life. He goes on to say a dead person is like a dried up river and most of us can relate to those feelings of despair that grip our hearts when we feel we are being dried up long before we ever reach the grave. We use phrases like “I’m burned out” or “I’m out of gas” to explain being tired or empty in our current state in life. Job has far surpassed that feeling as you can see in his words. Job simply wishes God would hide him in the grave until He is willing to call him forth and let him speak.

Job scratches the surface of the hope we have in Jesus and though Job himself couldn’t see what you and I have had reveled to us in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ I pray you never forget that there is life after death! Job asked the question that man has wanted to know from the beginning. Who hasn’t at one time or another lain in bed at night and thought, is there life after death? Who hasn’t wondered, “If I die will I live again?” Those are great questions that need an answer if we are going to find peace and rest for our souls in this life.

Job asks the question and the answer comes in the form of a person and not just the comfort of words. Jesus, who being found in the appearance of man came as our special delivery, He didn’t just send a messenger or a prophet, God came Himself in human form to bring us the Good News that there is life after death for those who trust in Jesus.

The Good News of the Gospel Jesus brought Himself and in Himself. God came down from heaven bodily in Jesus Christ to tell us the answer Himself. God wants you and me and the world to know there is life beyond the grave, friend, so He came to tell us the news Himself and to show us what we couldn’t understand if we simply read it, as seeing the resurrection is believing and reveals to us what we couldn’t know otherwise.

There is life beyond the grave, beloved, there is a better place than this planet earth and to prove it Jesus rose again from the grave on the third day just like He said so we could know, so we could be sure, so we could have a future and a hope.  The resurrection of Jesus gives us peace even now in the midst of heartache and pain that there is something better, something more just up ahead. The next time someone asks what you think about an after life after death or if you think man will live again after he dies simply point them to Jesus who not only said there is but He proved not only when He arose but when He caused His friend to rise again too. Oh what a friend we have in Jesus!


Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"


John 11:25-26

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“The Gift Is God”

 

“Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty princes. So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.”

Ezra 7:27-28


In Ezra chapter 7, Ezra travels back and forth from Babylon to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord and is blessed by God in that the heathen king ruling allows Ezra to come and go and even assists him in the beatifying the house of the Lord. Proof yet again that a man might plan his steps but it is the Lord who causes them to come to pass. Ezra collects goods from the people and is able to put together a team from among them to complete the work that the Lord has placed in his heart to do.  

How did Ezra go about discovering the work and the calling of God on his life? The same way you and I do too! Read verse 10, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” That’s it! If we have a desire to be used of the Lord we need to follow the example given to us by the Lord Himself in the scriptures.

Notice the power of the Word of God that we read about in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. Did you see that? All scripture, and not just part of it or just the parts we lean towards or deem necessary. God has said His whole Word; the full counsel of God is good for us and will instruct us in the way we should live and the service we are to provide for Him.

There is a blessing that comes with obedience to the Lord and Ezra understands what I pray you and I come to realize today too. It is God who is working behind the scenes in our lives granting us favor wherever we go when we go in the name of the Lord to perform His will. Ezra discovered that it is the Lord Himself who grants us mercy even in the presence of the very enemies of God.

But, as good as all that is, there is something even better and that is my prayer for you today. I pray that your heart would be strengthened and encouraged because you have seen with your own eyes and experienced for yourself as you walk with God and seek to serve the Lord that His hand is upon you, and upon your life leading you, guiding you, protecting and providing for you. Nothing compares to knowing God is in you and with you! The best gift we can receive in this life is the gift of God’s presence. May you enjoy Jesus today as you recall to your own mind that, “yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, to day is a gift and is why we call it the present.” Make the most of today and enjoy the gifts of God.


“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:6-7

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Rock Concerts In Heaven

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

Psalm 30:12

 
Hit songs are written almost every day in some form of music genre. “Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks unto the Holy One, because He has given us Jesus Christ, His Son” is an old worship song I first heard it back in the 1980’s and it reminds me of what David is writing about in Psalm 30, and it could have easily been penned by the sweet psalmist of Israel. David had much to be thankful for in his life just as you and I do in our own. What an opportunity is before us to join the hosts of heaven and give thanks today as we count our own blessings.

King David discovered what I pray you and I do too, friend. When God answers our prayers, when He heals us or delivers us the first thing we should do is praise Him and thank Him for His great mercies in our life. God is worthy to be praised always and as Jesus said in Luke 19:40, “But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."

The bible tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. I guess you could say God likes concerts too! What that is saying to you and me is God can’t stay away when we praise Him and when we thank Him. As we worship the Lord He draws near to us. When we begin to seek Him we soon discover that He was seeking us too. Oh that we might know the joy of friendship with the Lord. There’s nothing else like it in this world.

Do you have a desire to sense the Lord’s presence in your life a fresh way today? I believe like me you do. Why not put on your own personal concert as it were for the Lord? Try singing to Him a new song, praise Him, thank Him, adore Him and experience for yourself the peace of His presence. Don’t forget His mercies endure forever and they are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. David discovered for himself that there really is joy in the presence of God. Discover it for yourself today as you draw close to the Lord in singing His praises. God loves a good music and when we praise Him that is music to His ears.


“For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.”

Psalm 21:6

 

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“God is There”

 


“The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes”

Psalm 19:8

 

Psalm 19 declares God is everywhere and if you are looking for Him today you will find Him for the simple fact that wherever you look in the universe God is there. David notes that all of creation declares the glory of God, and that even the stars themselves reveal His handiwork. In other words, all a person who really wants to know if there is a God has to do is look up, study the stars with an open heart and mind and not a predisposition. If a person will do that the bible says they will come to the conclusion that there is in fact a God.

Verse 2 says that without even uttering a single word, creation is shouting there is a God, there is a God! But, creation has its limitations and God knows this and is why He gave us His Word, our bible and is also why He sent us His Only Son. Creation can’t explain God, it merely reveals His existence. The bible on the other hand, it explains God, reveals His plans and purposes to the man or woman who is willing to search, to dig in and discover for themselves. And no one made God more clear that Jesus Christ, God's Son, who came to us in human flesh so we could see God for ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I can perceive how a man can look down upon the earth and be an atheist but I cannot conceive how a man can look up into the heavens and say there is no God.” The only way man can miss God is by choice, not by chance. God gave us His Word so that we can know Him, not just that He exists, but that we might know Him personally and confidently.

In psalm 19 David describes the qualities of God’s Word in that it is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, enduring, true and righteous but he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to list the ministry of God’s Word in the heart of the one who dedicates themselves to searching out His truth. David writes that the bible is given to us to convert the soul, to make the simple wise, to cause our hearts to rejoice, to enlighten our eyes and to serve as a warning for our lives. And you thought the bible only told you that God loved you so much that He sent His only begotten Son so that you could have eternal life by placing our hope and trust in Him. The good news just keeps getting better as we dig deeper!

David wants us to know that not only can we know there is a God and that we can know God personally, King David wants us to know too that in knowing God personally, His Word becomes food for our very soul, a taste so sweet that it satisfies us like nothing else can or will. Psalm 19 tells us that the bible not only will wash us from our sins but if we will dig deep into it, the Word of God will keep us from sin. The more we dig in the Word the more we recognize our need for Jesus.

Its not our knowledge that saves us, not our own strength, intelligence or even our willpower that brings us life. That would be presumptuous on our part and setting us up for a fall. God keeps us from sin by pointing us to our Rock and our Redeemer. There is no heaven apart from God, the heavens declare, and there is no access into God’s presence apart from the gift of salvation offered to us freely in His Son that His Word reveals to those who come with a humble heart seeking to find. Once again, that’s good news! We can run and we can't hide as where ever we go, God is there. A fearful truth to the one running from God but to the one seeking Jesus its one of the greatest realizations in all the Bible.

 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8


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“The Object of Desire”

 


“Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

John 1:48

 


Happy Valentines Day! Oh to be desired, oh to be the apple of another’s eye! If you only knew, I mean really knew, loved one, that there is one who adores you, whose eye is on you constantly, whose heart is for you always, and even when you aren’t aware, He is. Oh to be loved… welcome to paradise where dreams really do come true.

Reading from the Song of Songs something that stands out to me is how the Shulamite saw herself. In chapter one of the Song of Songs, the Shulamite with whom Solomon is in love doesn’t see the beauty she possess. But, oh how the beloved does see in her what she can’t see in herself. He sees her beauty physically and as well, he sees the beauty of her soul too. I love how vividly the beloved addresses his love here in the Song of Songs, and how the Shulaite then responds in kind.

From the beloved’s words you can almost hear him say to the Shulamite, “I wish you could see yourself through my eyes” and then he spends a great deal of time and energy making sure she knows just how he feels about her. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and he knew women need to know that they are beautiful. Women need to hear words, all different kind of words that expose and express their beauty. Sure, women like to hear they are beautiful but they need to know why they are beautiful too. When a woman knows she is loved she comes alive. For that fact, men do too!

Ephesians 5 reminds husbands of the privilege they have to wash their wives with their words and especially to wash their wives with God’s Word. Another reminder that words are powerful tools and when they are used positively to build up they can be life changing when they are received. Isn’t it amazing to know that when you and I believe God’s Word about us, that it literally transforms us? Talk about coming alive! God notices you, loved one, and God make’s sure you and I know He is focused in on our lives each and every day as we seek Him. There isn’t a day that goes by when God doesn’t desire to speak to you. All you have to do to hear your beloved’s voice is open up your heart to Him and open up your bible and let Him speak.

Do you need comfort, turn to God and read the 23 Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me”. Do you need strength today, run to Jesus and meditate on Psalm 18:2, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”. Do you need to know you matter to God, read John 3:16 and Jeremiah 29:11? How about loved? If so, read Song of Songs 6:3 “I am my beloved’s, And my beloved is mine”, and most of all read Deuteronomy 32:10 which puts it all into perspective with regard to God’s desire for you and me. “He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.”

If you belong to Jesus, God has His eye on you, and He watches over you and me each day through the eyes of love. We are the bride of Christ, and He fulfilling the role of the husband who sacrificially gave His life for us, His bride. There is nothing more the Lord wants than for you and I know we belong to Him. He created us, He made us, and for His own will and for His own good pleasure we exist. You are loved, you are treasured, you are adored and if you simply allow your mind to take you there, you will experience the glory of God, which is man (or woman) being fully alive. Come alive today, loved one, let the Words of life overflow you. Come to Jesus and allow Him to speak the words of life to you this Valentine’s Day.


“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:“ Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

Jeremiah 31:3

 

I LOVE YOU!

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"A Flower in Life's Sidewalk"

 


"As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country."

Proverbs 25:25 


 

With Valentines Day fast approaching and the cost of flowers going up again this year I have an idea that will far out last flowers in sending a message of love. Have you ever received a text from out of the blue from someone saying hello or that they were praying for you without you even asking for prayer or it even being a special day like a birthday or anniversary? My wife sent me one just this morning from a member of our church family that made more than my day, it made my entire week.

Have you ever received an email or a text message with an encouraging note or even better, a verse of scripture attached to it that is so fitting to you current life situation you just knew it was from the Lord? I think we all would say we appreciate when things like that happen to us. The good news today is, they can. It just starts with me and you.

This morning when I read that text my wife forwarded to me I simply smiled as I read it because It reminded me of what Max Lucado’s calls the “sacred delight”. “It’s like Good News through the back door of your heart. It’s hope where you least expect it: a flower in life’s sidewalk.”

If you think about it, loved one, it doesn't take much to make someones day, probably less than a minute or so to encourage them with a note, a text message letting them know you were thinking of them and or praying for them. There is nothing like receiving a bible verse personally selected for you to remind us of the hope we have in Jesus.

So what are you waiting for? Let God use you today, friend, be a light for someone in this dark world. As someone who is supposed to limiting their salt in take I have come to really appreciate the taste of salt. Be the salt in someone's life today, be the flavor of hope, adding some spice to what might just otherwise be a bland day. Let God use you to encourage and to build up others in a world that seeks to pull us down. It might just be the best minute of the day for you and them, like finding a flower in life's sidewalk.  


"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver."

Proverbs 25:11

 

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“No Substitute For Trust”

 


“Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?”

Psalm 88:11  

 

It has been well said, “God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.” Easier said than done in this life and Psalm 88 is just another proof not everything goes the way we would hope or in this case even pray. Like the son of Korah  here who prayed continually in Psalm 88 for personal healing and yet couldn’t find it, we too grow discouraged when what we seek from God isn’t found.

We can plead with God and He invites us to do so, but He also desires that we trust Him that when He answers our prayer regardless if it is the answer we seek or not, it is for His glory and as well for our own good. Today, be reminded that God is good all the time and that even His ‘no’ answer to our prayers is for our ultimate good as God always has our best interest in mind. Remember, the answers for our “why” questions are often times merely substitutions for trust.

Keep praying, keep seeking Jesus and rely on His Word. Keep this in mind, “A God so small that we understood Him completely would be too small and unworthy of our worship.” Psalm 113:4 reminds us, “The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens” as does Psalm 103:11, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;”

We serve a big God, friend, trust Him! Don’t pray for understanding today, pray instead for the peace of God that surpasses understanding! Don’t try to figure out God, instead, trust Him, resting in the fact…


"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9


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“A Psalm A Day”

 


“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”
 

Psalm 34:1-3


If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, just think what the Word of God can do. Here in Psalm 34 David maps out the clear way which every child of God should approach the day… any day.

No matter what the circumstances of our lives might be the call each and every day is a call to praise. David appears to be in dire straights at the time he penned this psalm and yet he remains steadfast in his devotion to the Lord.

Psalm 34 is one of my favorite Psalms in the entire bible and has been quickened to my own heart on more than one occasion when going through what seem to me to be my darkest hours. Is the call of my life or yours, friend, a call to worry or a call to worship when we face the unknown? I have had to decide on more than one occasion myself. Like many of you, David’s words here have served as my own prayer and become the declaration of my own mouth when my circumstances would dictate to me otherwise. I encourage you to make them yours too when going through tough times.

David’s life is a testimony that when we “will “ to worship the Lord our burdens are lifted and the pressures of this life are replaced with peace, gloom with gladness. If you are under pressure today and it seems as if life is crashing down upon you let me encourage you to seek the Lord, and to cry out to Him. The Lord is listening and He is ready to respond. Notice what verses 4-7 of Psalm 34 say, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” What promises to them that love the Lord!
 
Keep reading Psalm 34 further and your heart will be strengthened to know, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” It’s true, friend, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” Put your hope in God, and I promise you, better still, God promises that you will not be disappointed!

“The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.”
 

Psalm 34:22


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BFF

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity"

 

Proverbs 17:17

 


Dinah Craik wrote a poem titled, “Friendship” that goes like this. “O, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts, nor measure words - but pouring them right out - just as they are - chaff and grain together - Certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them - Keep what is worth keeping - And with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”  

 

Proverbs 17:17 tells us that a friend loves at all times. No matter what we do our true friends remain faithful even when we are not. No wonder friendship is such a rare treasure. I recall years ago something Dr. James Dobson shared on his radio program along these lines, “if you can find one person in this life with whom you can share your heart and soul with and who without reservation or hesitation accepts you without judgement for who you are, you are rare indeed as the majority of people in this life do not have a single person with whom they can confide.”

 

Obviously there are degrees of friendship and what Proverbs is referring must be the pinnacle of the mountain. For each of us the first person who should come to mind when we think about friendship is our Savior, Jesus Christ the friend of sinners! Proverbs 17 goes on to say that a brother is born for adversity. Some interpret this to say our family members cause us grief but that could not be further from the truth of the text. The brother born here is a gift from God who is to be a comfort to us during our troubled times.

 

Do you have a family member or a friend like this? If so, praise the Lord, cherish them, tell them, and seek to reciprocate the same kindness back to them for they are truly a gift from God, a visible manifestation of His amazing grace to you.

 

Proverbs 18:24 teaches us, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” When I read this Proverb an old quote comes to mind, “I went to church to find a friend and found none. I went to church to be a friend and I made many.” If you are need of a friend today let me encourage you to begin by showing yourself friendly! It’s that easy.

 

Determine to take the first step and reach out to others. Take an interest in them; prefer them better than yourself, because that is exactly what Jesus did for you and me. Jesus put you needs above His own. That’s how we know we have a friend in Jesus, a friend that sticks closer to us than a brother even could.

 

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

 

Philippians 2:1-7

 

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Show and Tell

 

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."
 
Proverbs 22:6

 

 

As I read Proverbs 22:6 this morning a quote by Pastor Chuck Swindoll came to mind, “If I could live my life as a parent over again I would do less for my children and more with my children.” I believe that’s the wisdom behind Solomon’s exhortation here.


The above verse is often misapplied by pastors and parents alike believing it is a promise from God rather than a hopeful principle. Some believe that if you as a parent will commit to teaching your children the bible when they are young, though maybe in their teenage years and or maybe even into their early twenties, they may wander from the fold so to speak, one day they will return. Unfortunately, not everyone who walks away from the Lord returns.

 

What Solomon is encouraging parents to do is, "show and tell" your children about Jesus by living out a biblical world view that is made manifest to them by the way you live your life on a day by day basis, modeling a faith that is real in both word and in deed. By word, Solomon is speaking of instructing our children in the way of the Lord by teaching them what the bible says about everything from Genesis to Revelation.

 

Proverbs 22:6 says if as parents we will teach our children the Word of God when they are in their formidable years that when they are older and on their own they wont know any other way to live because hearing about Jesus and seeing Him modeled in every day life by their parents is all they ever knew. We all tend to learn more by what we see than what we hear and why training is the key word in Proverbs 22:6. There is an old saying that goes like this, "The best way to get your kids to go where you want them to go is lead the way."

 

Let me encourage you Moms and Dads, grandparents and guardians today. “Show and tell” your children about Jesus! I promise you won't regret it.

 

Below are some observations from John MacArthur's book, "Brave Dad". In it he shares 10 lessons from the book of Proverbs, chapters 1 through 10 and provides some practical advise as well. I hope they speak to you like they do to me.
 
1. Teach Your Children to Fear God. Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2. Teach Your Children to Guard Their Minds. Proverbs 3:3-4, “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.”

3. Teach Your Children to Obey Their Parents. Proverbs 10:17, “He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, But he who refuses correction goes astray.”

4. Teach Your Children to Select Their Companions Carefully. Proverbs 1:10, “My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent”.

5. Teach Your Children To Control Their Body. Proverbs 2:16-17, “To deliver you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words, Who forsakes the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God.”

6. Teach Your Children To Enjoy Their Spouse. Proverbs 5:15-19, “Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.”

7. Teach Your Children to Watch Their Words. Proverbs 4:24, “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.”

8. Teach Your Children To Work Hard. Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.”

9. Teach Your Children to Manage Their Money Well. Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

10. Teach Your Children to Love Their Neighbor. Proverbs 3:27-28, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you.”

 
I Love You!

 

Pastor Mike

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"Oh Happy Day"

“And the day of death than the day of one's birth”

 

Ecclesiastes 7:1


Like King David we choose today to sing, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Good day or bad, God is good all the time and worthy of all honor and glory and praise. Today is no different.

 

Yes, friends, today is a day of highs and lows, bitter and sweet, beauty and pain as April 12 is a day in the lives of the Osthimer and Gould’s family we would all just as soon forget in many ways.

 

You see friend, it was just two years ago today that my dad stepped through the threshold of this life into eternity. In many ways its seems like just yesterday that he died and its difficult to be believe he is gone. Not a single day passes when he doesn’t come to our mind. I keep thinking he will walk through the door of the house any moment now after being on one of the many vacations he and my mom shared together and we will pick up where we left off but that day never comes. The good news is it will come again one day when we do in fact see he and my mom again, alive from the dead. Its that knowledge that comforts us today as we miss him just a little bit more than on other days.

 

As well, April 12 is even more bitter than sweet for our good friends Tink and Sherrill in knowing that their youngest daughter, Danielle Marie Gould would have turned 29 years old today though our last earthly birthday celebrating her life with her in person was back when she was 17 years old. There is no stopping time. Instead of missing her they should be holding her today, living and laughing and loving one as they enjoy her special day. Every death brings forth pain but when a parent loses a child the pain is intensified as a part of future is taken from us. Our parents are part of our past, our children are our investment in the future, our hope to make the world a better place. It makes no sense to our senses when we lose our children to death.  

 

What we can’t do with Danielle today, we will do for her in honor of her special day, though not present with us, she will still be the center of our thoughts tonight when we gather to celebrate her 29th birthday. Though not with us in the flesh, she will be with us in spirit. We will recall her fun disposition and her desire to get the most out of life. We will laugh when we recall many of the ways she made us laugh doing funny and silly stuff that both tormented you and made you laugh until you cried. After all, she was just 17 when she went home to be with Jesus and she was completely living in high school mode.

 

Danielle was excited about her senior year of school, She had a vision for her relationship with Jesus and was setting out to find ways to minister to her friends about the love of Christ. She looked forward to winter and summer camp, hanging out with friends and dancing her way through her final year of high school. Her future was bright on every front.

 

Danielle was preparing for life the best she knew how. She had a heart for the Gospel, sharing Jesus with both strangers and friends alike and was preparing her own heart praying for her own Mr. Right by first becoming, “Mrs. Right.” Attractive she was both inside and out. And for reasons hidden in the heart of God, He called her home August 20, 2004.

 

Yes, April 12 is a bitter sweet day for the Gould’s and many of their friends who love them and loved Danielle too. So many fond memories to thank Jesus for today and yet so many dreams that will never be realized this side of heaven. Our laughter will at times be done through tears. After all, “if she was worth loving she is worth mourning too.” That's what love does. There is a longing today that nothing this side of heaven will satisfy. The good news of the Gospel is that one day the longing we have will be satisfied when we see her again.

Jesus came to pay the penalty of our sin and to break the power of sin in each of our lives. One day soon He will return and no longer will we have to deal with the presence of sin and when that veil is lifted and on that day all who have believed will be reunited and what a party that will be. For the first time in eternity we will see for ourselves that our death day is better than our birthday because we are finally home with the Lord, back where we have always belonged.

 

Our family will get to see my Dad and Mom and the Gould’s will once again hold their beloved Danielle. Every person who has had a loved one go on ahead who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus will not be disappointed. We will meet again! That's the hope that will get us all through this day!

 

“Who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

 

Philippians 3:21

 

I LOVE YOU!

 

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"Oh Happy Day"

 

“And the day of death than the day of one's birth”

 

Ecclesiastes 7:1


Like King David we choose today to sing, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Good day or bad, God is good all the time and worthy of all honor and glory and praise. Today is no different.

 

Yes, friends, today is a day of highs and lows, bitter and sweet, beauty and pain as April 12 is a day in the lives of the Osthimer and Gould’s family we would all just as soon forget in many ways.

 

You see friend, it was just two years ago today that my dad stepped through the threshold of this life into eternity. In many ways its seems like just yesterday that he died and its difficult to be believe he is gone. Not a single day passes when he doesn’t come to our mind. I keep thinking he will walk through the door of the house any moment now after being on one of the many vacations he and my mom shared together and we will pick up where we left off but that day never comes. The good news is it will come again one day when we do in fact see he and my mom again, alive from the dead. Its that knowledge that comforts us today as we miss him just a little bit more than on other days.

 

As well, April 12 is even more bitter than sweet for our good friends Tink and Sherrill in knowing that their youngest daughter, Danielle Marie Gould would have turned 29 years old today though our last earthly birthday celebrating her life with her in person was back when she was 17 years old. There is no stopping time. Instead of missing her they should be holding her today, living and laughing and loving one as they enjoy her special day. Every death brings forth pain but when a parent loses a child the pain is intensified as a part of future is taken from us. Our parents are part of our past, our children are our investment in the future, our hope to make the world a better place. It makes no sense to our senses when we lose our children to death.  

 

What we can’t do with Danielle today, we will do for her in honor of her special day, though not present with us, she will still be the center of our thoughts tonight when we gather to celebrate her 29th birthday. Though not with us in the flesh, she will be with us in spirit. We will recall her fun disposition and her desire to get the most out of life. We will laugh when we recall many of the ways she made us laugh doing funny and silly stuff that both tormented you and made you laugh until you cried. After all, she was just 17 when she went home to be with Jesus and she was completely living in high school mode.

 

Danielle was excited about her senior year of school, She had a vision for her relationship with Jesus and was setting out to find ways to minister to her friends about the love of Christ. She looked forward to winter and summer camp, hanging out with friends and dancing her way through her final year of high school. Her future was bright on every front.

 

Danielle was preparing for life the best she knew how. She had a heart for the Gospel, sharing Jesus with both strangers and friends alike and was preparing her own heart praying for her own Mr. Right by first becoming, “Mrs. Right.” Attractive she was both inside and out. And for reasons hidden in the heart of God, He called her home August 20, 2004.

 

Yes, April 12 is a bitter sweet day for the Gould’s and many of their friends who love them and loved Danielle too. So many fond memories to thank Jesus for today and yet so many dreams that will never be realized this side of heaven. Our laughter will at times be done through tears. After all, “if she was worth loving she is worth mourning too.” Thats what love does. There is a longing today that nothing this side of heaven will satisfy. The good news of the Gospel is that one day the longing we have will be satisfied when we see her again.

 

Jesus came to pay the penalty of our sin and to break the power of sin in each of our lives. One day soon He will return and no longer will we have to deal with the presence of sin and when that veil is lifted and on that day all who have believed will be reunited and what a party that will be. For the first time in eternity we will see for ourselves that our death day is better than our birthday because we are finally home with the Lord, back where we have always belonged.

 

Our family will get to see my Dad and Mom and the Gould’s will once again hold their beloved Danielle. Every person who has had a loved one go on ahead who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus will not be disappointed. We will meet again! That's the hope that will get us all through this day!

 

“Who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

 

Philippians 3:21

 

 

I LOVE YOU!

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“Oh Happy Day”

“And the day of death than the day of one's birth”

 

Ecclesiastes 7:1

 


Like King David we choose today to sing, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Good day or bad, God is good all the time and worthy of all honor and glory and praise. Today is no different.

 

Yes, friends, today is a day of highs and lows, bitter and sweet, beauty and pain as April 12 is a day in the lives of the Osthimer and Gould’s family we would all just as soon forget in many ways.

 

You see friend, it was just two years ago today that my dad stepped through the threshold of this life into eternity. In many ways its seems like just yesterday that he died and its difficult to be believe he is gone. Not a single day passes when he doesn’t come to our mind. I keep thinking he will walk through the door of the house any moment now after being on one of the many vacations he and my mom shared together and we will pick up where we left off but that day never comes. The good news is it will come again one day when we do in fact see he and my mom again, alive from the dead. Its that knowledge that comforts us today as we miss him just a little bit more than on other days.

 

As well, April 12 is even more bitter than sweet for our good friends Tink and Sherrill in knowing that their youngest daughter, Danielle Marie Gould would have turned 29 years old today though our last earthly birthday celebrating her life with her in person was back when she was 17 years old. There is no stopping time. Instead of missing her they should be holding her today, living and laughing and loving one as they enjoy her special day. Every death brings forth pain but when a parent loses a child the pain is intensified as a part of future is taken from us. Our parents are part of our past, our children are our investment in the future, our hope to make the world a better place. It makes no sense to our senses when we lose our children to death.  

 

What we can’t do with Danielle today, we will do for her in honor of her special day, though not present with us, she will still be the center of our thoughts tonight when we gather to celebrate her 29th birthday. Though not with us in the flesh, she will be with us in spirit. We will recall her fun disposition and her desire to get the most out of life. We will laugh when we recall many of the ways she made us laugh doing funny and silly stuff that both tormented you and made you laugh until you cried. After all, she was just 17 when she went home to be with Jesus and she was completely living in high school mode.

 

Danielle was excited about her senior year of school, She had a vision for her relationship with Jesus and was setting out to find ways to minister to her friends about the love of Christ. She looked forward to winter and summer camp, hanging out with friends and dancing her way through her final year of high school. Her future was bright on every front.

 

Danielle was preparing for life the best she knew how. She had a heart for the Gospel, sharing Jesus with both strangers and friends alike and was preparing her own heart praying for her own Mr. Right by first becoming, “Mrs. Right.” Attractive she was both inside and out. And for reasons hidden in the heart of God, He called her home August 20, 2004.

 

Yes, April 12 is a bitter sweet day for the Gould’s and many of their friends who love them and loved Danielle too. So many fond memories to thank Jesus for today and yet so many dreams that will never be realized this side of heaven. Our laughter will at times be done through tears. After all, “if she was worth loving she is worth mourning too.” Thats what love does. There is a longing today that nothing this side of heaven will satisfy. The good news of the Gospel is that one day the longing we have will be satisfied when we see her again.

 

Jesus came to pay the penalty of our sin and to break the power of sin in each of our lives. One day soon He will return and no longer will we have to deal with the presence of sin and when that veil is lifted and on that day all who have believed will be reunited and what a party that will be. For the first time in eternity we will see for ourselves that our death day is better than our birthday because we are finally home with the Lord, back where we have always belonged.

 

Our family will get to see my Dad and Mom and the Gould’s will once again hold their beloved Danielle. Every person who has had a loved one go on ahead who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus will not be disappointed. We will meet again! That's the hope that will get us all through this day!

 

“Who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

 

Philippians 3:21

 

I LOVE YOU!

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"Who Do You Run To?"

"But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause”

Job 5:8

It was a number of years ago now the Lord taught me a very valuable lesson in life, one I pray I never forget. I was going through a tough season in life and I was praying for someone I could trust, someone I could sit down with and pour my heart out too. As I sat praying the Lord took me to the book of 1 Samuel and had me read the story of David and Saul. As I read I realized both experienced pain in their lives; each one knew what it was like to be chosen by God and to be disciplined by God, and yet there was a huge difference between David and Saul the Lord showed me that day.

When Saul struggled he went to the prophet Samuel and when David struggled he went directly to God. That’s a huge difference. The Lord showed me so clearly that day we all will run to the person who lifts us up in life. Saul went to Samuel because Saul was asked for by the people and so for Saul he saw the people as the solution to his problems while David was chosen by God and was lifted up by God as King and so David went to the Lord when he needed direction in his life, when he needed help. It’s the natural thing to do for each of us. We all will turn to somebody, the question is to whom do we run in times of trouble? I learned that day to turn to the Lord, who, though sought in secret rewards us openly.

I pray you and I come to know like Eliphaz declares in verse 9, “(God) Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.” Yes, beloved, it is God who does great things for us and I pray that today as you seek God and commit your cause to Him verses 10 through 16 will prove themselves true for you too, “He gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields. He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot carry out their plans. He catches the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noontime as in the night. But He saves the needy from the sword, from the mouth of the mighty, and from their hand. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts her mouth.”

These verses are comforting to know and should cause those who trust in the Lord to be at rest. Commit your ways to the Lord and He will establish you, commit your life to Him and He will direct your path, as the ways of a man seem right in his own eyes but its end brings forth death. We all do well to heed the counsel of Eliphaz here and seek God and commit our cause to Him. We’ll be blessed in the end when we do!


“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

Psalm 37:5

I LOVE YOU!

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“You Can Get Satisfaction”

 

“O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.”

 

Psalm 108:1


It was the Rolling Stones who produced the hit song, “I Cant Get No Satisfaction” and that might be a true statement in this life as everything is temporal at best. But the good news today, loved one, is where the world of possibility ends its just the beginning for the work and miracles of God. That's why the Psalmist can sing, my heart is steadfast.

 

In Christ, and in Him alone we can and do find satisfaction. The Gospel is good news for a reason. All the good news of this world is centered in God, His purpose and plans and absolutely nothing can keep Him from accomplishing His will. He overcomes evil with good, and what the enemy tries to use for evil God turns it for good as well. And because God is inherently good everything He does is in both His and our best interest.

 

Yes, friends, today you can be satisfied if you will look to be satisfied with God. Trust His ways, look and lean on Him and your heart too will be come steadfast because God is not only the Rock, but He is our Rock!


“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,”


Hebrews 6:19

 

I LOVE YOU!

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“You Can Get Satisfaction”

“You Can Get Satisfaction”


“O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.”

Psalm 108:1


It was the Rolling Stones who produced the hit song, “I Cant Get No Satisfaction” and that might be a true statement in this life as everything is temporal at best. But the good news today, loved one, is where the world of possibility ends its just the beginning for the work and miracles of God. That's why the Psalmist can sing, my heart is steadfast.

In Christ, and in Him alone we can and do find satisfaction. The Gospel is good news for a reason. All the good news of this world is centered in God, His purpose and plans and absolutely nothing can keep Him from accomplishing His will. He overcomes evil with good, and what the enemy tries to use for evil God turns it for good as well. And because God is inherently good everything He does is in both His and our best interest.

Yes, friends, today you can be satisfied if you will look to be satisfied with God alone. Trust His ways, look and lean on Him and your heart too will be come steadfast because God is not only the Rock, but He is our Rock!


“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,”


Hebrews 6:19

I LOVE YOU!
 
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