Sunday, October 24, 2010

Opposition

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”

One morning not long ago I woke up feeling “defeated”. Well, actually…truth is, I had been spending several days “feeding” on thoughts of all my inadequacies to handle the challenges my life seemed so overwhelmed with. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I would wake up feeling the way I did. But that morning…I was feeling especially vulnerable because I had reached a troubling conclusion concerning my dreams and hopes I thought I would one day accomplish through God’s grace.

Before I even had the chance to pick up my Bible and begin my daily morning devotion time, my thoughts and heart had already decided that I was no longer up to the challenges of pursuing my desire to minister to others through writing or speaking and teaching about God’s faithfulness in all circumstances…especially affliction. After all, really what could I possibly have new to say about God’s faithfulness, love and comfort that hasn’t already been said…and said well, by so many others? There are preachers and Bible teachers who are more skilled and better educated in such matters… so really,what had I been thinking?

I did a quick mental review of my current “talents” and realized rather quickly I do not posses the same wonderful creative styles and oratory skills I have admired in others who are successful in these areas of ministry. I also firmly decided my very limited skills didn’t need to be revealed for others to discover this about me as well! So, that morning, I knew with certainly, I was not “called” to accomplish any of these desires I have felt drawn to and believed God had placed in my heart to do. I even knew that my well- meaning friends who have been encouraging me that these are my gifts have also been blindly led to the wrong conclusion as well. There just has to be something else I am supposed to be doing with my life… I now just have to wait I thought, for God to reveal what it will be.

Soooo, this very defeated soul finally sat down to read my Bible and to pray. The Scriptures I read that morning were from the Old Testament and filled with stories of conflict between God’s people living under oppressive conditions and struggling to maintain their identity in a culture ruled by pagan kings. Many had “given in” to the pagan culture around them and began to even worship idols. It seemed they were willing to ‘try” anything to escape their current situation and feelings of hopelessness…everything that is except turning to Jehovah God…

As I put my Bible aside, I spoke to God that my morning Scripture reading wasn’t exactly helping me “feel better” about myself or about my new realization that I now have absolutely no direction for my life. As I sat in my pool of pity with my eyes focused only on me and what little I will ever be able to accomplish with my life, I felt God wanted me to understand something from what I had just read… but my heart and thoughts could not seem to focus on God’s message for me. I was still allowing those overwhelming feelings of defeat crowd out any message of hope the Holy Spirit was trying to deliver. Although I continued to pray, my thoughts remained in an exhausting struggle. One moment releasing… the next grabbing back… all the things I had envisioned God was calling me to do concerning my desires in ministry. Tired from these tussling thoughts I did the only thing any good quitter would do…I stopped praying! I decided I needed to clear all these conflicting thoughts from my head and just “change the subject”. So I redirected my attention to my In-depth Bible Study lesson I still needed to complete that morning.

WOW! God gained my full attention as I turned to the first page of my study book. Praise God! I quickly thought. Now I see what You were trying to get me to understand as I laughed out loud! That morning’s lesson just happened to be titled; “Opposition to the Anointing” by Priscilla Shirer. This was the Scripture under the lesson title;

“The thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance” (John 10:10).

God knew exactly what I needed to hear and His timing for instruction as always is perfect. It is by no coincidence that this day was the day I would open my study book and be reminded I have an adversary that opposes my obedience to what God has established and also enables me to do through His power…not mine. As I worked through the day’s probing questions I began to realize that the last several days I have been looking at my life and only seeing that which I thought I could accomplish. I also saw that I had created my own image (idol) of what success would look like and feel like. Anything that looked “different” from this image I had assumed must indicate an inadequacy which will only lead to failure.

I soon realized that I was feeling defeated because I had allowed my thoughts to detach themselves from God’s lifeline of power and wisdom through the Holy Spirit who dwells within me. Satan’s lies had attempted to be my truth. Jesus saved me from this devil’s snare by revealing the real Truth found only through God’s Word.

As I set aside my completed lesson, I no longer felt defeated or distracted. In fact I was energized and excited about all God is more than able to do in and through me…abundantly!

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:10b) I got down on my knees to pray.

“Thank you Jesus for you are faithful! Nothing is too difficult for You! Forgive me for not turning to you the moment doubt entered my thoughts. Help me to look only to you Lord as my help in overcoming fears and doubts. May I always keep my eyes on you and find my rest in Your Truth as you accomplish Your perfect work in my life. I love you Jesus. All glory and honor belong to You. Amen”

Kathy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stop! Thief!

Galatians 5:16-26 (New International Version)

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


I hate to admit it…but last week I was a bank thief. Yup… I went into the bank and robbed the teller assisting me…I also was able to rob those working near her. After all…when someone is “robbed” in public those nearby are subjected to the same. Mmmm, perhaps I should explain a bit more before you go check to see how you missed this on the evening news…

The other day I went to the bank to cash three small checks…two of the checks had only my name on it and the other was made out in my husband’s name for $12.30. When Brad was alive (and with his permission) I was able to deposit or cash his checks easy enough since both our names were on the bank account. Since Brad and I had held our bank accounts together for years at this bank it did not really occur to me that when I went to cash or deposit this check that the bank teller would not accept it. After all they had proof in their files that we had been married and that Brad had died two years ago…and it wasn’t like Brad would ever be able to cash it himself. Besides…it was only for $12.30!

Unfortunately… the bank teller didn’t see things the same way I did. When she tried to explain “bank policy” I tried to explain “Kathy policy” and neither of us met the other’s specification! Although I did not say anything that may have been considered inappropriate…my attitude and the way I expressed myself was not appropriate as a follower of Christ.

Once I understood we had reached an impasse on resolving our differences, I coldly conceded the one check would be left uncashed and indifferently accepted the funds from the other two and walked away. Before I could even get inside my car... my thoughts and spirit became unsettled. I began trying to “justify” my response to this bank teller on the short drive home. Wanting to overlook my thoughtlessness towards her, I began going over in my mind any “hints” of fault I could imagine in her actions and responses. By the time I had entered my house though I was feeling an over-riding conviction to go back to the bank and apologize for how I behaved. Yet…right there with the Spirit’s conviction was my own strongly felt resistance to returning… I really didn’t want to go back and admit any fault.

“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” Gal. 5:17

I willingly sought the Lord in prayer and admitted to God that I had been “ugly”. As I asked for His forgiveness, I also prayed, “Please Lord…I don’t want to have to go back and apologize...can this just be between the two of us?” As I sought for my spirit to be quieted, I knew with certainty I had received the Lord’s love and forgiveness, but my spirit remained unsettled. So I continued to pray asking God to release me from how I was feeling… yet as I prayed I knew I was also trying to squelch the urging of the Holy Spirit’s instruction to be obedient to what God’s Word has taught me to do.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your mind; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”. Ephesians 4:22-24

It was clear…I needed to go back and apologize.

I’d love to tell you I got up from prayer and went straight to the bank…but unfortunately, “my old self” still has a bit of fight in her…so, instead, I stayed right where I was and gave God my “list of good reasons” why it really wasn’t necessary for me to go back to the bank and apologize. First on my list, I justified my reaction to the bank teller by telling God I thought from the very start she didn’t display any signs that she is all that nice of a person herself. I also gave serious consideration to the notion that she could likely be a horribly mean person to everyone she encounters. Next, I added to my list, she seemed to lack some real compassion. My argument being after all, she never did express to me any kindness in regard to my losing my husband (…well, ok, my attitude towards her may not have given her an opportunity to do so, but…). Sooo, I added she also lacked warmth. By this point I have really warmed up to feeling vindicated in my reaction to not being able to cash this now very important check and what it stands for…so I continue onto my next point. She was cold, I decided…like how she kept annoyingly referred back to bank policy and what I needed to have with me and didn’t…instead of trying to come up with a solution that would have really helped me the way I needed help! And then just in case none of these reasons held to be true…and because I really do know I should not respond to people based on how they treat me…I argued what I thought was my best reason…“Lord, she has likely forgotten my visit already. It wasn’t really that big of a deal anyway, right? It’s not like I said anything wrong….so she’ll never miss my not coming back and apologizing”.

These arguments were not calming my spirit or convincing the Lord …so I pleaded mercy and gave the Lord my one and only defense … “Lord, don’t you care? I’m still hurting from my loss of Brad and his not being here with me. Dealing with stuff like this can be hard for me. Can’t I just have this one time to be excused from ‘doing what is right?’ I agree I may have been a bit “ugly” about all of this to the bank teller…but Lord, it’s only because I’m hurting…you know how when I’m hurting that it sometimes makes me not so nice... Honest, I’ve learned my lesson today. Let me stay home and forget this ever happened.”

The Lord’s compassion and love filled me as His Word also reminded me that His discipline is for my good…not to harm me, but to prosper me. He kindly revealed to me what my actions had really done that day. He let me know that although I may not have intended to “rob” this bank teller, my actions and attitude did indeed steal something of great value. Instead of bringing her the Lord’s goodwill and gentleness …I held her up with my own “disregard and discontent”. I took away her calm assurance and robbed her of the peace which was hers for doing her job well. And while I was at it… I also stole from those who worked with her. Those nearby no doubt heard or saw what occurred and felt her discomfort as they tried to carry on in work…perhaps even fearing that this may happen to them next. My actions robbed all of them of God’s intended blessing my life is suppose to be towards others. My actions also robbed me of the blessing in being kind.

My debate with the Lord ended with my acknowledging and agreeing with God that regardless of how the bank teller would respond to my apology, it was necessary for me to be obedient to my Father’s Will and return to the bank. Not only would I feel better by doing this the Lord assured me, but more importantly, I would be pleasing God. Honestly…to please God was reason enough for me. So I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. And then you know, something else wonderful happened...although I certainly did not deserve it…Jesus went with me to the bank! I did not have to face my “victim(s)” alone…Jesus gave me the courage and confidence I needed to walk up to her with other people close by and tell her I was sorry for treating her so badly on my earlier visit. I really didn’t expect what happened next…her first response was the look of sweet delight followed by a sigh and a big smile…

My apology was not only accepted but gratefully received. She asked that I wait for her to come out from behind the counter to speak with me. She expressed her sincere surprise that I took responsibility for my actions and reaction earlier. I discovered that my actions had indeed caused her to feel troubled enough to speak with her manager for she said she went to ask for advice on how she could have responded better knowing this was a difficult circumstance. Than she quickly gave way from how she had been feeling and expressed concern for me. She wanted to know if I was “ok too”. She thanked me for “caring” enough about her feelings to return. She also said she appreciated that I wanted her to know I found no fault in her actions. I saw blessed relief in her. I felt it too. My returning to the bank…apologizing and than allowing Jesus’ love for both of us to be evident… changed her day I think. I know it changed mine.

As I left the bank…my tears began to stream down my face as I thanked God for the sweet blessing of relief my soul was experiencing… no longer feeling unsettled. Perhaps you have discovered as I have that it is through obedience that we are drawn into a closer relationship and understanding with Christ. God knew I was sorry for how I had acted toward the bank teller and His forgiveness was complete the moment I asked forgiveness…but, all sin has consequences. Had I remained unwillingness to heed God’s direction in my response to His forgiveness, I would have missed out on the blessing of seeing and experiencing the healing power of Jesus. You know…I even heard Jesus’ joyful laugh as He said to my heart… These blessings from obedience to the Father’s Will are always abundant Kathy. Trust and don’t doubt or fear… for my teachings and my love, they are more precious than silver or gold…

Some lessons can be pretty costly… thankfully, this one could be said to have only cost $12.30.

1 Peter 5:8b -9a "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith”,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How God Feels About Sin

Romans 7:21-26 (The Message)

It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.


Sin. Yikes! Not so easy to examine closely if it’s your own… To be honest, I have sometimes tried to "camouflage" the ugliness of my sins with a coating of "my good intentions" or "my weaknesses" when confessing them to God. Too often I've looked at my sin through my eyes...not God's. WOW... let me tell you...there is a BIG difference in what sin looks like when I do that!

Several weeks ago while reading my One Year Chronological Bible...which happened to be in the middle of 3 books; Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Lamentations...I was thinking, triple yikes! For weeks...I had been asking God what He wanted me to know or understand about Him through these very difficult Scriptures. They describe God's fierce anger and the relentless punishment that He decreed against His people of Jerusalem who had sinned greatly by turning to pagan worship and sacrifice to other gods… they had forsaken the One true God! I even confessed that morning to the Lord before beginning my devotion time that I could hardly wait until "I'm out of this part of the Word!" It’s a tough read...

Anyway, at the same time I'm reading my daily Bible Scriptures I was also involved in completing an in-depth Bible study lesson on the life of David. Yup…you guessed it... I was reading about God's fierce anger towards David's sin. The Lord had my attention!

God had lavished David (as He did His people of Jerusalem), with His abundance of love and provisions withholding nothing! God exceeded any and all expectations David may of had for what is good and beautiful and plenty. David would only need to ask of God ~ and he would have received it ~ according to the Scriptures. Yet,in the midst of this abundance David's eyes and heart sought "something more"... something not of God. David desired something evil in the sight of God and he sinned.

So, I had to stop there...and asked myself..."Have I not done the same Lord? Have I not sat in your abundance and looked around for "something more in life and instead of seeking You...and in doing that, sought something evil?" So I prayed; "Forgive me Lord ~ for every time I have taken my eyes and my thoughts off of you. I have looked for satisfaction and fulfillment where You are not there! I look around me right now...what abundance! ~ all from You ~ all is Yours. Thank you Lord... Thank you! Yet of all the "things" I possess Father, none of it has greater worth than my relationship with Jesus. Without Your presence Lord~ Your faithfulness ~ Your love and promises ~ I would be hopeless... empty... and doomed. Give me your eyes Lord so I see my sin as you do. Break my heart Lord with what breaks Yours. Guide me, so that when I move, I walk with You on the path You have laid out for my feet. I have only to look to You to find all ~ more than I will ever need. I love you Jesus."

You know...we cannot "camouflage” our sin from God's eyes or think that He will "wink" at our sin. He is not willing to "bless our mess" when we sin...how often in the past have I asked that very thing! So, do not look at your sin with your eyes...look at sin with God's eyes. Scripture tells us exactly how God feels about sin.

God is patient with us. Praise the Lord! Our God is full of mercy, grace and love. Oh~ how He deserves our obedience and love... for we have been redeemed and there is nothing of greater worth than this!

With repentance comes forgiveness…and in the process we are being refined by the Hand of God to produce purity...fitting for a King!

Kathy

Friday, October 8, 2010

Don’t Worry…Worship!

Luke 10:38-42 (New Living Translation)
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

One morning as I was sitting in my quiet time, having finished reading the above Scripture…I imagined myself at the feet of Jesus. Suddenly, tears began to fall as my troubling thoughts spilled out…releasing my many concerns and feelings of fear and worry. Then I heard the Lord gently rebuke me as He did Martha saying, "Kathy, Kathy, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed."

It wasn't meal preparations, but many anxious thoughts that distracted me from focusing on the Lord. I had several “suggestions” of how the Lord could respond as I proceeded to tell Him what to do through my tears. I might as well have asked, "Lord, don't You care?”

Then I remembered these words from the Bible:

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace. . . His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT).

I confessed my anxieties to God and claimed His ability to do abundantly more than I could ever ask. My tears subsided as the burdens I had been carrying were lifted one by one into the much more capable care of my Savior… and God's peace filled my heart and mind. My quiet time ended in worshiping and listening to Jesus, my quieted spirit willingly surrendered to a sweeter part of prayer

Dear Jesus, Your peace is always found when I seek to worship You."

Kathy

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dare to Care and You Will See!

Mark 5:1-20 (New Living Translation)
So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from a cemetery to meet him This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”
Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”
And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.
There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”
So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.



This past week during my daily morning reading of Scripture I once again read the above story about the man who was demon-possessed and lived in a cemetery. Whenever I’ve read this story before I’ve occasionally thought about this man’s physical, mental and emotional condition. I’ve also thought about the deplorable living conditions that have him “living” among the dead since no living soul could even dare live near him. His only contact with people is the rare occasion when he is “visited” by some strong but likely uncaring men that attempt to restrain him with shackles and chains…not to protect him from himself, but to make the people in town feel safer. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for him to be so “out of control”…tormented day and night without experiencing a gentle touch or a loving voice of anyone who cared.

I’m so thankful that there is no condition of mankind that is beyond the loving and healing touch of Jesus. This story ends so beautifully with the man healed and wanting to go with Jesus but told to return to his family and “proclaim the great things Jesus has done.”

So, this is where I usually stop in my meditations on this Scripture. I am filled with praise that God is so good and then move on to the next story in my Bible…. but not this time. This time I was stuck wondering about the herdsmen, and the owner of the 2,000 pigs, and what is with those townspeople? I mean, why did the townspeople want Jesus to “go away and leave them alone.”? I began to consider some possible reasons why…

When Jesus gave permission for the demons to enter the entire herd of 2,000 pigs...Wow…I wonder, if after the initial shock of seeing the entire herd of pigs (which were their responsibility to protect and care for, by the way), disappear over the steep hillside and drown in a lake… maybe the herdsmen realized they just saw there job security plunge off a cliff!

Explaining this to their boss was not going to be pleasant. The fact that some local demon-possessed guy who has been that way for years is now free from torment and completely restored may not have held such greater value in these men’s eyes when compared to their jobs and the income they would now surely lose. I’d like to think the miracle they witnessed had some positive effect on them…seeing the power of God personally…but, than maybe they didn’t see the miracle because their eyes were not on what Jesus had done for the demon-possessed man…they were on themselves.

And then I thought about the guy who owned the pigs…Yikes! How long did it take him to acquire 2,000 pigs? We don’t know if he owned other herd of animals or if this was all he had. Regardless, losing a portion of his herd would be considered bad enough…but losing his entire herd of pigs…well…I have a feeling since he wasn’t the one offering the pigs to Jesus to help this demon-possessed guy out, that he also might not be too “happy” with this turn of events.

So, I began to see how the owner, his wife and family might not be too excited about Jesus calling the demons out of some guy they can’t even relate to… by allowing the demons' request to enter his valuable herd of 2,000 pigs, which resulted in all of them being killed! How did this miracle benefit them? But than again I realized, they didn’t see the good that came from what Jesus did…they missed seeing the miracle and only saw the cost.

The news of what happen traveled fast… and the townspeople had to be amazed to see what was once the demon-possessed man now fully clothed and “in his right mind”! Surely, they had spent many fearful and possibly sleepless nights listening to the frightening sounds of his howling and prowling…the very sight of this man strong enough to snap chains and smash shackles. You would think they would be amazed at the power of Jesus to remove completely the demons that caused even them to live with fear each day and night. I couldn’t help but wonder why their response to this healing by Jesus was full of rejection. Why did these townspeople fear Jesus more than they did a demon-possessed man?

The townspeople reaction in wanting Jesus to leave had me stumped until I began to wonder if they feared what it might “cost them” if Jesus stayed. Had they become so accustom and even comfortable in the way they lived their lives with demons so near, that they missed seeing the miracle?

I think the townspeople only glanced at the healing of the demon-possessed man…I think their eyes were fixed on 2,000 dead pigs! Is it possible that they also feared that Jesus would “take” something from them in order to help or heal a person they don’t even know? Is this why they were so fearful and "pleaded with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.” ? Did they also only see with eyes on themselves and what it might cost them if they dared to care?

I don’t know… maybe there is another reason why these people were afraid and wanted Jesus to leave, but all this has caused me to wonder; “Am I willing to give Jesus whatever He requires of me to help someone who needs Him?” Do I dare to care about others as Jesus cares? I pray I do. I don’t want to miss out on witnessing a miracle of God because I had my eyes fixed on what God “took” from me or from someone I love. I want to see the blessings. I want to see the miracles.

All I have and all I am has come from God’s gracious and loving Hand. What an amazing honor that God would want something from me so that His Glory may be seen by a world that needs Jesus. I have learned that God doesn’t ask for anything He has not already prepared us to do and provided us to give.

It is sometimes said that we should give until it hurts. But Jesus teaches that it should hurt when we cease to give.
Ian Barclay

Dare to Care…and you will see and experience a blessing that only can come from the Hand of God’s abundance!
Kathy