Friday, January 28, 2011

God in America Again

When my grandmother sold her house last year, she gave me an old wooden frame with this yellowed poem inside that she had on her walls for years.  In reading it, I was reminded of a time when families made God a priority in their lives, when christian values and character were "the norm"; when people reverenced God and wouldn't dare to disrespect Him.  I'm filled with a bit of nostalgia today.  Was life really so different back then, or have we become so blinded by our freedoms and "toys" of this modern age that we've forgotten our need of God?  May we never forget how fortunate we are to be living in America.  Our nation was founded on our belief in God and when we forget that, we're heading for big trouble.  Let's make a difference.  If you want God to be welcome in your home, pray...pray for wisdom, pray for Him to break the bonds that keep your loved ones from knowing Him...pray for your kids, start teaching them about God...make your prayer/reading time a priority everyday..."sweep" out anything that doesn't glorify God-remove it..make Him feel welcome in your house...Lift up the name of Jesus any time there's an opportunity.  There's a scripture that says .."they'll be won by the word of God and the word of your testimony".  Oh, you may not think you're very important or be one for big speeches, but you are a testimony to those you see those you work with, your children, your husband, your neighbors, they watch your life.  Wherever God has put you, let your light shine.  You can make a difference, right where you are. 

                                                            A Little Place
                                          "Where shall I work today, dear Lord?"
                                            And my love flowed warm and free.
                                                    He answered and said,
                                                    "See that little place?
                                                  Tend that place for Me."
                                         I answered and said, "Oh no, not there!
                                                   No one would ever see.
                                        No matter how well my work was done,
                                                   Not that place for me!" 

                                     His voice, when He spoke, was soft and kind,
                                                 He answered me tenderly,
                                         "Little one, search that heart of thine,
                                           Are you working for them or ME?  
                                                Nazareth was a little place...
                                                        So was Galilee." 
                                                                                            -author unknown   

This is the poem in my grandmother's old frame:
                                                       Bless this house  
                                        Bless this house, O Lord we pray,  
                                                  Make it safe by night and day;
                                        Bless these walls, so firm and stout,
                                                  Keeping want and trouble out;
                                        Bless the roof and chimneys tall,
                                                  Let Thy peace lie over all;
                                        Bless this door, that it may prove
                                                  Ever open to joy and love.

                                        Bless these windows shining bright,
                                                  Letting in God's heav'nly light;
                                        Bless the hearth a-blazing there,
                                                  With smoke ascending like a prayer;
                                        Bless the folk who dwell within,
                                                  Keep them pure and free from sin;
                                        Bless us all that we may be
                                                  Fit, O Lord, to dwell with Thee,
                                        Bless us all that one day we
                                                  May dwell, O Lord, with Thee.
                                                                                  -As heard on the Prudential Family Hour of Stars   
The song in the link below has a powerful message. I hope you'll listen:
God in America Again, by Carman 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ride out your storm

From a very young age, my husband and I were brought up in the same church, going to Sunday School, youth activity, and eventually even joined ministries.  We've always shared a strong foundation in our christian faith. But as we've grown older, and married, storms have come to test that faith and our little boat has been tossed and rocked by the waves.  There have been many times I thought we would capsize and be torn apart as the storms were just too strong.  Yet, today we are still standing.  And I believe that is because of Jesus and the foundation we share in Him.  That anchor keeps us holding fast when the storms of this life rage against our little boat.  I will not lie and tell you things have always been rosy.  We've been tested and tried and faced some severe blows that almost destroyed us.  We've faced temptations and trials, and there've been times we didn't even seem to "like" one another.  There was a time when I thought I'd lost my husband forever.  He had changed so much that I didn't even know him anymore.  The man I thought I knew seemed to be gone.  Everyone told me to give up and find someone else.  But, deep inside, I knew he was still "in there" and I wanted him back.  I couldn't just give up on him, after all, I was his wife and if I wasn't willing to fight for him, what kind of wife would I be.  So, I  took it to God, crying out to Him.  I knew God was the only one who could make it all right.  After all, He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows our hearts.  So, I prayed and cried and prayed some more.  One morning, my husband surprised me by asking me if I would be willing to go back to church with him and believe for God to fix our marriage.  So, we went.  I'll be honest, it wasn't easy and things didn't change overnight, it took time and patience and a new understanding.  But healing began to come.  God began to mend our broken hearts.  And I sincerely believe it is because of the foundation we share in Jesus.  Neither of us could drift too far away from God that He couldn't still reach us. When we face trials today, I remember that struggle and how God brought us through.  Today, if you're facing a storm in your family, I encourage you to take it to God.  There is still hope.  God knows your hearts and He can knit them back together again.  I won't tell you that everything is perfect for us now, we still face trials and temptations like every couple.  But I know that God will be with us through them all if we keep our eyes on Him and let Him direct our path. Don't let the situation you face cloud your vision so you can't see God. He'll be there in the midst of it all and He will bring you through.  Keep your eyes on the goal.   If you're facing a difficult situation, don't give up, take it to God and keep on walking. Sometimes the battle we face is not physical, but spiritual.  Don't put your faith in what you see.  But put it in God. Don't quit. The devil is trying to destroy families anyway he can.  We have to fight him spiritually, and the only way to do that is on our knees.  Prayer will keep your family together and save your unsaved loved ones.  No matter what you're facing today,  don't give up.  Your battle is almost over.  And what a victorious day that will be.