It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Sunday, June 25, 2006

12th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - My Devotions for Today




Job 38: 1, 8-11

The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said:
Who shut within doors the sea,
when it burst forth from the womb;
when I made the clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling bands?

When I set limits for it
and fastened the bar of its door,
and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stilled!



Jesus is always with us, especially during the storms of life in this world. In his cross and resurrection, he not only triumphed over the powers of darkness in this world: He defeated death itself, our ultimate enemy. Now risen in glory, he offers us countless opportunities to cast our cares on him. Through challenge after challenge, he seeks to deepen our trust in his love and provision. In hope, let us surrender our lives to him

How can we fight fear with faith?

Do you recognize the Lord's presence with you, especially when you meet the storms of adversity, sorrow, and temptation? Whenever we encounter trouble, the Lord is there with the same reassuring message: "It is I, do not be afraid."

Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to us. Believing is only possible by grace and the help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and who opens the eyes of the mind to understand and accept the truth which God has revealed to us. Faith enables us to relate to God rightly and confidently, with trust and reliance, by believing and adhering to his word, because he is utterly reliable and trustworthy.

If we want to live, grow, and persevere in faith, then it must be nourished with the word of God. Fear does not need to cripple us from taking right action or rob us of our trust and reliance on God. Courage working with faith enables us to embrace God's word of truth and love with confidence and to act on it with firm hope in God's promises. The love of God strengthens us in our faith and trust in him and enables us to act with justice and kindness towards our neighbor even in the face of opposition or harm.

Lord, increase my faith in your redeeming love and power that I may always recognize your abiding presence with me. And give me courage to do your will in all circumstances

Psalm 107:23-31
Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters;
they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded, and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men, and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;
he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to the sons of men!


If you have storm clouds in your heart
today, run into the waiting Arms of Jesus.
He will kiss away your tears, hold you in
His Loving Arms, and protect you from
the hurts of this life. Jesus is our Umbrella
from the storms of our hearts


When I do not know which way to turn…
When I do not know the answer…
When I am surrounded by the enemy…
When I face sure defeat…
When my pain and adversity are too much…

I shall place my life in God's hands because
in His hands He will mold me and shape
me according to His sweet will.

All these things I humbly pray in the name
of my most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, my
Mighty God, and my Ever-present
Holy Spirit upon whom I can rely.
Amen


‘On Ya’ -ma

Saturday, June 17, 2006

FATHER'S DAY



Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23


A Father’s Day Story


When the good Lord was creating fathers, He started with
a tall frame. A female angel nearby said, "What kind of
father is that? If you're going to make children so close to
the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won't
be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in
bed without bending or even kiss a child without a lot of
stooping.

And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him childsize,
who would children have to look up to?"

And when God made a father's hands, they were large and
sinewy. The angel shook her head sadly and said, "Large
hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small
buttons, rubber bands on ponytails or even remove splinters
caused by sticks used as baseball bats."

And God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough
to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at
the end of a day, yet small enough to cup a child's face."

And then God molded long, slim legs and broad shoulders.
The angel nearly had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of
the week, all right," she clucked. "Do you realize you just
made a father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child
close to him without the kid falling between his legs?"

And God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father
needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a
bicycle or hold a sleepy head on the way home from the
circus."

God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet
anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself
no longer. "That's not fair. Do you honestly think those large
boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when
the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without
crushing at least three of the guests?"

And God smiled and said, "They'll work. You'll see. They'll
support a small child who wants to ride a horse to Banbury
Cross or scare off mice at the summer cabin or display shoes
that will be a challenge to fill."

God worked on, giving the father few words but a firm, authoritive
voice and eyes that saw everything but remained calm and
tolerant. Finally, almost as an afterthought, He added tears.

Then He turned to the angel and said, "Now, are you satisfied
that he can love as much as a mother?"

The angel shutteth up.

Love can't be bought,
It is priceless and free—
Love, like pure magic,
Is a sweet mystery

Helen Steiner Rice



May our dear Lord Bless and Guide all Fathers -- They do have such an important job to do!


'On Ya' - ma

Saturday, June 03, 2006

TRUST - fhe final chapter of 'A Woman and Her God'





The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble
He cares for those who trust in Him

Nahum 1:7



Sometimes we fail to adequately trust God to be God and to work out His will in His way and in His time. Complete trust is a difficult thing. It requires us to let go and let God.

Often times we trust God as long as the outcome is what we want it to be.

We need to face the reality of life and trust God in all things.

Bad things do happen. We can’t just sweep them under the carpet and pretend they don’t exist.

We need to put away our negative way of thinking and live life with a positive attitude and trust God in all things.

God wants to free us from fear and anxiety God deals with each of us according to our temperaments . Some tend to deal with things on their own, feeling that they can handle things by themselves.

God is the potter, we are the clay. He molds and shapes each one of us into what he wants us to be. Sometimes that molding isn’t easy.

But now O Lord, You are the Father, we are the clay, and You our Potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.

Isiah 64:8


The secret is to yield to God so He can mold us. We have to put our complete trust in Him and allow Him to change us

We must remember God does not absolve us of our our own responsibility and common sense. The combination of prayer and action is essential. The end result is up to God.

The ability to trust demands a high level of confidence in the person whom we are trusting. We have all had painful experiences in trusting someone only to find they have betrayed us. We look for the most competent doctors, reliable bankers the most trustworthy of associates.

How high is your trust in God?

In life relationships if we don’t like our doctor, banker, or associates, we find someone else to fulfill what is needed. However in God we don’t have other options. He is the only option. We cannot fire God. We have to place our heath, finances, relationships, everything in His hands.

Does God deserve such a trust?

All you have to do is spend a little time in Scripture and you can see time and again that God proved Himself faithful to His people. Scripture also tells us that God wants us to trust Him.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you

1 Peter 5:7



The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him

Nahum 1:7



Trust in the Lord; forever, for the Lord is the Rock eternal

Isaiah 26:4



In emotional times, however, it is difficult to remember what God wants us to do.

When circumstances become out of our control, we need to place them completely in God’s hands or loose our minds with worry.

God loves us and we need to trust that He will take care of us. He is BIG enough to handle whatever comes our way.

Sometimes life gets to big for us to handle. Those are the times where we find ourselves crying out to God. When there is not one thing you can do to change a situation, the only way you can function each day is to know that God is there and He cares.

We need to remind ourselves that God is there – He will take care of the situation.

The reality is that often we don’t want to trust God until we’ve tried to fix it ourselves. We might not like the way God fixes it.

Many of us intentionally leave God out.We don’t really comprehend how much God wants to be involved in our everyday lives. He wants to take care of our families, our work, our decisions, but until something big comes up, we don’t give God a second thought. Oftentimes, we tend to react first, think second, act third, and pray as a last resort.

God does deserve our trust. Anyone who has a belief in God recognizes that He is the Almighty God of the universe. We believe that He created all things, we know from the Bible that he worked powerful miracles.

We must trust Him to sustain our lives. We must let go of worry and be willing to commit our issues into God’s hands. Everything from our kids to our nation can and should be placed in His hands.

God is holy , we can count on it. We know that He wants us to be like Him-- to be holy and righteous and just. We also know that sometimes God allows things to come into our lives to shape us (the potter and the clay) and test our characters.

He allows hard things to come into our lives in order to make us more like Him. Not to punish us.

God is BIG, He is holy, He is sovereign. And don’t overlook the fact that He LOVES us. Scripture is full of his Love and mercy.

He wants only good things for our lives.

He has promised so many good things for us. He will never leave or forsake us. He will supply all our needs. He really knows about the stuff that hurts us or frightens us. We all worry, but God had said in Philippians 4:6 not to be anxious about anything, but instead to place our concerns at His feet.


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2Timothy 1:7


Trusting God does not mean everything will work our just the way we intend or that we’ll live happily ever after. Whether you trust God with your life does not change the fact that you still really have no control over your circumstances.

None of us has complete control over our circumstances. We have no guarantee of what tomorrow may bring.

Why then do we spend so much time worrying over things that we have no control over. The true joy of trusting God is the peace He provides when we do. Trusting God to do things His way, in His time, is the only way we can have true and lasting peace.

The outcome will be exactly what God wants for each and everyone of us.

Isaiah 55: 8-9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


God has His own time schedule and that is part of trusting.

Waiting on God is hard, the truth is that God wants us to wait on Him, and while we are waiting, God is working.

It is important to view yourself correctly in order to view exactly who God is.

We are flawed creatures, we all have sinned, we are limited, we don’t know what tomorrow brings.

We can’t add one more day to our lives or one more inch to our height by worry or anything else we can do. What we do have is the ablility to choose how we manage our response to life’s circumstances. Our confidence can only come from God.

Reading the Bible is a start. It has been called God’s love letter to us. He wrote the Bible so that we could know Him better and begin to understand how very much He loves us.

It is important to talk to God frequently . It’s hard to trust someone you never talk to. The more you know him, the more you will love Him and want to put your full trust in Him who has promised to never leave us or forsake us. You will never be sorry that you completely trust in Him.

This is the end of my review of the book ‘A Woman and Her God. I really was blessed to have read it. I pray that your trust in God and mine is renewed and strengthened each day .

‘On Ya’ - ma