Honeycomb

Pleasant words are a honeycomb,

Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

 

—Proverbs 16:24

 

Would you like to bring healing to someone today?

It is quite possible that the kind words you speak will:

Bind up a wounded heart.

Give hope in the midst of despair.

Bring laughter when tears have recently fallen.

Deliver strength to a weary mind–

Pleasant words.

Caring words.

Sincere words.

Loving words.

Words that God would want you to speak.

Would you like to bring healing to someone today?

 

 

honeycomb

Possible With God

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

–Luke 18:27
Yesterday, a miracle we had been praying for occurred. 

A great answer to prayer with truly eternal significance. 

I noticed today as I looked out into my back yard that the first rose of spring had bloomed on my bush. 

New life. 

That’s what miracles are all about. 

God brings us new life!!

Divine Power to Demolish

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.

On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

—2 Corinthians 10:3-4

When discouragement comes my way, I cannot pick up a big stick and hit it.

If regret comes prowling around my heart, I cannot shut a door and keep it out.

When failure threatens to tear down success, I cannot push it away with strong arms.

The wiles of the enemy must be conquered through prayer and the power of God.

As I see strongholds of many kinds tightly binding those I love, I grieve for their condition and I long to help.

By myself, I can do nothing.

With God as my heavenly Father, I can pray and ask for His victorious  divine power to break the chains that hold them captive.

God is our healer.

He is the One who restores.

He makes things new.

He frees us from the ravages of the enemy.

He delivers us from evil.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

strongholds

For God So Loved

After leaving a friend’s house tonight, I was driving home. 

Listening to the radio as I went down the highway, a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a while. 

I had been praying for someone who feels that God doesn’t love them. 

Suddenly, part of the lyrics just struck me:

This is what I’m sure of, I can only show love

When I really know how loved I am

(Steven Curtis Chapman)
The person I’d been praying for needs to know deep within their heart that God loves them. 

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. —John 3:16


Do You Want to Get Well?

Driving home this evening, the sun was on the horizon as dusk was fast approaching.

Another day would soon be past.

How many sunsets have I seen in my life?

God has blessed me with the beauty and grandeur of more than I remember.

Year after year, He has been faithful to me, whether I understood it at the time, or not.

Year after year, He has known the longings of my heart.

He has answered prayers, given me guidance, and restored me from illnesses both great and small.

God has also protected me from dangers that I recognized and from those that I was never even aware of.

He knows the deep desires of my heart for the salvation of those I love and the restoration of broken relationships.

While reading tonight about the healing of a man by Jesus, His question to the man went straight to my heart–“Do you want to get well?”

The man had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

Thirty-eight years…

Then, suddenly, he was healed.

Walking.

Completely whole.

Only the evening before, the sun had set as it had for thousands of times in his life, finding him to be unable to walk.

But not on this day–

This was the day of freedom.

The day of answered prayer for healing.

The day of salvation.

The day of restoration.

What have you been longing for?

Has it been thirty-eight years?

Twenty years?

Ten?

God is able to answer your deepest cries in prayer.

Do you want to get well?

Do you want others to get well?

Continue praying for them.

Tomorrow may yet be the day of healing…

 

~~~~

Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

—John 5:2-8

~~~~

 

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The Message

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

—1 Corinthians 1:18

 

My husband and I drove to a quiet place up on a bit of a hill.

As we sat looking at the scenery, we could see a tall cross in the distance.

The cross is a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made for each one of us.

Some will believe.

Some will not.

What about you?

 

 

cross

Prepare a Place

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.

—John 14:3

 

The water at the end of my driveway reflected the sunset and its colors like a giant glass mirror.

So perfectly was the image of the pastel hues blending with clouds in the sky, you could almost imagine just stepping into the scene and finding yourself in another world.

That sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it?

Another realm of life, just a footstep away.

Although it is a fascinating subject for novels and movies, most people wouldn’t quite take it seriously.

Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, we do take that thought seriously.

Another realm of life, just a footstep–just a breath–just a heartbeat–away.

Jesus said that if He would go and prepare a place for us, then He would come back and take us to be where He was.

The spiritual realm is right with us, but we don’t see it with our earthly eyes.

Our faith is not in what we can touch, but what we are sure about in our hearts.

Heaven is real.

It’s not science fiction.

It’s our future home.

 

 

prepare

 

Before They Call

Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

–Isaiah 65:24
This morning as I walked out to my car to drive to work, the sun had not yet come up. 

The day was bright with the sun’s approach, however. 

As I started to get into the car, I could see a giant cloud, blazing with glorious hues of orange, yellow and pink in the western sky. 

Putting my things in the car, I photographed the cloud with my phone. 

Even though I couldn’t see the sun directly, I could see it’s illuminating effect on the billowing mass of water vapor that rose so high in the distance. 

It was a testimony of what was soon to come into view. 

I have been praying about many concerns lately. 

God knows about them all. 

Even though I may not see how God is working in a particular moment, there are times when I can see His light shining on a situation. 

It is a testimony of His faithfulness and answered prayers to come. 

Hope in His Faithful Love

 

The LORD values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love.

—Psalm 147:11

The only hope that I have is in God.

He is the only hope that I need.

His love for me is continuously faithful.

All my concerns are before Him.

He knows each one.

 

 

 

faithful-love

 

Distress

You know them, just like I do.

Right now–this very day–you could probably name a family member who is struggling in some way.

You’ve likely heard of a devastating car accident in your area, or a house fire.

People that have always seemed healthy now have cancer; some are young.

Some are older.

Maybe just this year you’ve had good friends get a divorce.

Others may be grieving tremendously because someone they loved very much has died.

You know them, just like I do.

As Christians, what are we to say to comfort others who are facing strong difficulties?

I often listen to the radio on my drive to work.

There is a song that has found its way into my heart for quite some time now.

It is titled, “Just Say Jesus” by the group 7eventh Time Down.

Here is a portion of the lyrics:

Life gets tough, and times get hard
It’s hard to find the truth in all the lies

If you’re tired of wondering why
Your heart isn’t healing
And nothing feels like home
Cause you’re lost and alone just screaming at the sky

When you don’t know what to say
Just say Jesus
There is power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words won’t come
Cause you’re too afraid to pray
Just say Jesus

Whisper it now, or shout it out
However it comes out, He hears your cry
Out of nowhere He will come, you got to believe it
He will rescue you
Just call out to the Way, The Truth, The Light

As believers of Jesus, we know that there is power in the name of Jesus.

I think it is very good advice to tell someone who is hurting that they can just speak the name of Jesus as they struggle to even form words in the midst of devastating circumstances.

In fact, I think it is very good advice to remember it ourselves.

When we are hurting, we can just say, “Jesus” and He will hear us.

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.

—Psalm 18:6

 

my cry

 

Plans

My husband has been building a table for our living room the past few days. 

After studying the plans and thinking of all that he would need, he went to the store and bought the lumber and other supplies required to make the table. 

There will be a day when it will sit under the mirror we have on the wall and it will be sanded and stained to a dark brown hue. 

Although it doesn’t look like that yet, I know that it will be. 

My husband could see from the plans what the table was going to look like. 

God had a plan for His people at a specific time in the Old Testament as these words spoke of:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

—Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for us, too. 

Right now. 

Today. 

He wants to give all who will turn to Him a future and a hope. 

He wants to offer us forgiveness. 

He wants to have us with Him for eternity. 

The plans He has for those who love Him are good. 

God can see that His plan is best. 

He knows what we are going to be when that plan is complete in us. 

Hold Fast

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
—Hebrews 10:23

Looking out the bedroom window, I see the plants and bushes as they flourish another year. 

Season after season, God is faithful to renew the plants that grow from the soil. 

God is also faithful to us in every way. 

Cleanse Us

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

The old garage door near the church was surrounded by smooth, nicely painted walls.

Looking at the photograph I took of it, I wonder—why hadn’t the door been painted nicely and repaired?

It looked tattered and worn out—like many desperate people in this world.

They feel dirty and guilty, used up and torn up, stripped and faded, hopeless and lost.

With an outlook tinted with shame, they see what looks like a clean, smooth surface on others’ lives.

No one could accept them in their broken condition, they think.

Family couldn’t.

Friends couldn’t.

Certainly God couldn’t.

After all, they’ve messed things up.

There’s nowhere left to go to escape the mirror of accusation that hangs on every wall they encounter…

In the last two weeks, I have learned of two people I know—both in very different walks of life—who have taken their own lives.

They lived hundreds of miles from one another, but they both shared hopelessness.

For a crucial moment, they failed to look at God’s unlimited power and grace and instead, looked at their own lack of ability to repair and restore.

God can accept anyone in any condition.

Broken.

Dirty.

Guilty.

Used up.

Torn up.

Stripped.

Faded.

Hopeless.

Lost.

Friends may not accept us.

Family may not.

But, God?

He is ALWAYS ready to heal and to forgive!

To CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness!

If we cry out to God from our brokenness, confessing our sin and our mistakes, we will be forgiven.

We can start over.

We can begin again.

It’s not too late for any of us, ever.

 

confess

 

 

 

Save the Lost

I really don’t know how he got there, exactly.

While at work today, I went into a restroom located in a fairly large building, quite a ways from any exterior entrances.

I noticed a caterpillar on the gray tile floor.

Why would he venture from his home in the great outdoors to come into a place where he would surely die from lack of nourishment?

Crawling through a door or window into the out-of-this-world (his anyway) carpeted wonderland may have looked like a dream come true, but instead, that choice turned out to be one to regret.

Without water and green leaves to munch on, life was going to be drawing to a close.

The caterpillar was probably confused at his circumstances, all the while desperately searching for a way out.

It’s likely you know someone like this caterpillar.

For some reason, they have ventured from their good lifestyle into a place where they will surely suffer from lack of spiritual guidance, positive encouragement and the support of faithful friends.

It’s as if they crawled through a doorway into what looked great at the time–the hope of popularity, acceptance, and even love–only to find themselves involved in substance abuse, destructive habits and self-deprecation.

It’s a choice they have come to regret as confusion and hopelessness gain a tighter grip on their day to day existence.

Although they may try to hide it, they are desperately searching for a way out–a way back home where they can be at peace.

I knew what I had to do with the caterpillar today.

Getting a small tissue, I picked him up, bundled and safe, and took him outside.

There, I placed him in the grass where he could begin his “rescued” life out in the open.

That’s a great ending for the caterpillar, but what about people?

We can’t just pick them up and transport them to safety and prosperous living.

Only God can do that.

He can restore and heal.

He can lead the way back.

Back to the place where people can be at peace with God and with themselves.

 

 

save the lost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confident Hope

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
—Romans 12:12

The dogwood trees were blooming everywhere, it seemed. 

For most of the year, perhaps, the delicate dogwoods probably tend to go unnoticed, scattered among other trees. 

Not now. 

With elegant white blossoms, their beauty beckons attention. 

In the springtime, the hope that the dogwood branches would once again be adorned with white is fulfilled. 

In our own lives, we should never give up hoping. 

We should never give up praying. 

In both, we should rejoice. 
  

Pardon

What do we do when we see someone struggling in the water, possibly drowning?

Most of us–certainly nearly all of us–would try to help in some way and do it quickly.

Yell for help.

Find a lifeguard.

Throw out a life jacket.

Maybe even jump into the water ourselves to attempt a rescue.

We would do this not just for our families and loved ones, but even for strangers.

People we had never met.

Imagine the unthinkable scenario of a person in a boat taking notice of a struggling, drowning swimmer.

Amid the cries for help, the man in the boat doesn’t reach for the life ring to throw in.

He doesn’t consider jumping into the water to save the swimmer.

Instead, he shakes his head and calls out, “Didn’t you know that the currents were rough over there?

You shouldn’t have ever gone swimming by yourself, anyway!

It’s your own fault to be in the mess you’re in!

You should’ve been in a boat, like me!”

No compassion.

No understanding.

No help….

It’s horrible just to think about it, isn’t it?

It gets a lot worse if you think about the swimmer as being someone you love.

One of your children.

Your dad.

Your mom.

Your spouse…

Yet, could this be how we think about others that don’t know about the saving grace of Jesus?

If we have found safety and forgiveness in Him, are we reluctant to help others when they are struggling with sin and its effects?

When people we see are drowning in life’s problems, how do we respond?

Do we call out (sometimes silently in our own minds), “Didn’t you know better than to…

get mixed up with drugs?

date those kind of people?

stay out all night?

marry him?

marry her?

take that job?

become an alcoholic?

You should never have done that!

It’s your own fault that you’re in the mess you’re in!”

How do we respond?

Do we try to help and do it quickly?

Do we call to others to assist in helping?

Do we throw out a life ring and tell them that there is a Savior who loves them?

Do we try to jump into the “water” ourselves and begin to really know and understand their problems, all the while pointing them to God?

What if it was your child, your parent or your spouse who was struggling?

Wouldn’t you want someone—anyone—to help?

Look out on the water around you.

Who’s out there?

How will you respond?

*

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.

–Luke 6:37

 

pardon

Let Your Hope Keep You

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How should I love?

What should I hate?

What should I hold on to?

How should I love someone?

How should I show respect?

How should I work?

How should I serve the Lord?

What can keep me joyful?

How should I respond during times of trouble?

When should I pray?

Should I share my belongings?

Should I open my home to people I don’t know?

~

Love must be completely sincere.

Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.

Love one another warmly as Christians,

and be eager to show respect for one another.

Work hard and do not be lazy.

Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. 

Let your hope keep you joyful,

be patient in your troubles,

and pray at all times.

Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians,

and open your homes to strangers.

–Romans 12:9-13

Click image to enlarge.

hope keep final