Monday, July 30, 2012

He is still faithful...

Today has been a huge mixture of emotions. My heart feels like it is on roller coaster ride full of unseen dips and curves. I feel like I can't even breath one minute and the next I am marveling at the unspeakable goodness of God.

This morning found me anxiously making my way to the hospital to witness the birth of my oldest daughters newest addition to their family. Baby number five. I couldn't wait to see this new grandson make his grand entrance into this world and the anticipation was a joyous feeling. Another grandchild. New life. The awesome miracle of birth was about to take place again in the life of my family and I was overwhelmed. The sweetness of God was evident all day in that hospital room and I could feel His presence.

It wasn't long before that precious little one emerged from his home of 9 months and was greeted by huge smiles and tears of joy. Our hearts were grateful for the safe delivery of a bouncing 8 lb 6 ounce little boy with a head full of dark curls. The birth of a baby is nothing short of a miracle. Truly, it is miraculous thing to behold. 

My heart was full of such sweet emotion. Seeing that precious baby snuggle with his mama in those first minutes after his arrival was heart warming. He looked so peaceful and content as he nestled close to my daughter and the look on his face certainly reflected joy. 

Later in the afternoon I took my daughters other four children to the hospital to meet their new little brother. Titus is welcomed by 2 big brothers and 2 big sisters. He is a blessed little boy. The older three were so excited to meet their brother. Their faces were filled with happiness and their hearts were full of love for this little one. The youngest one wasn't too sure he was happy to have a new baby in the family but he will adjust.

After a quick visit, we headed home to allow my daughter to rest and enjoy her new son in some peace and quiet after a day full of company. I left there still overflowing with the joy that this new life had brought to me. 

I reveled in the goodness of God. I thanked Him for His mercy and His grace and I was overcome at the abundance of blessings He has bestowed on me and my family. He is so good. He is so faithful.

And then the news came that ripped my heart in two. The news that only days before had been good news and now it appeared that it wasn't so. What we thought wasn't, all of the sudden was and it was devastating. Heart breaking. Faith rattling news.

My precious sister was diagnosed with something that I can't even begin to write. I don't even want to think it or even look at the word on the page. My heart went from Joy to Gloom in about 2 seconds flat. I felt like the air had been forced out of my lungs and I could barely draw a breath. Not my sister. No, Lord. I can't handle this. 

"No you can't, but I can"

But, Lord, I don't understand!

"You don't have to understand my child. You just have to trust. And believe. And find me faithful"

The tears begin to flow and the sobs begin to come. Tears of frustration and tears of sadness and sobs of a heart broken in two. And then I felt the sweetness of my Lord and Savior begin to minister to my heart and spirit. I could almost feel His hand wipe those tears from my eyes and whisper encouragement to my soul. I began to focus on the promises I find in His Word. The things that I know to be true about my God. He is faithful. All the time. Even in bad circumstances. Even in trials and tribulations. God is faithful because it is who He is. 

I know that there are hard days ahead and I know that there will be more tears shed and more frustrations to come. But I know that in the midst of it all, my God is faithful. He is the one who heals and restores. He is the one who decides the diagnosis.  He is the giver of life and the maker of miracles. He can because that is who He is. He is the beginning and the end. The first and the last. And He is everything in between.

I put my trust and my hope in Him. I will take His Hand and let Him lead me through the fires of this trial. And through it all I will rejoice in His faithfulness. And I will give Him all the glory and honor and praise for the mighty work He will do in the life my sister. He is faithful. And I will not waiver.

"If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; He can not deny Himself"
(2 Timothy 2:13)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Opposed? Oppressed? Pray...

Have you every felt the direct opposition of the enemy? Have you experienced the heavy oppression that accompanies that threat? 

Our enemy, the devil, is always on the prowl. In fact, the Holy Word of God tells us that very thing. 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) says, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."

The very real truth in our lives is that the enemy is constantly creeping around looking for ways to oppose us. Looking for ways to oppress us. Looking for ways to sneak into our lives and create problems.

All he needs is a simple crack or crevice and he has a way to get a foothold. And once he gets that foothold, it will be a battle to unarm him from all the ammunition we ourselves have given him! We have to begin defeating the enemy before this happens. 

We need to stay in the Word so that we can keep ourselves armed with the sword of the Spirit. The Holy scriptures are full of battle plans. His Word is filled with strengthening and will build up our confidence and our trust in the Lord when we keep ourselves in it.

In Nehemiah 4:9, we see that the people were faced with opposition from the devil. The first thing Nehemiah  did was to pray. And then he took a plan of action and put it to work. He set up a watch day and night against the enemy. What a huge lesson for us to learn from him. Our first line of defense has always got to be prayer. Always!

Too many times we neglect our prayer lives and the evidence of it can be found in our defeated lives. Fall at His Feet! Cry out! Pour your heart out to God and He will listen to your petition. Consistency in our prayer lives is the key to defeating the enemy. We have to stay prayed up. We have to stay in constant communication with the Lord. It will give us strength in our weariness. It builds up our confidence in the midst of fear. It is the most important part of our defensive stance against the wiles of the enemy.

The enemy doesn't wear out easily so we have to keep ourselves filled up and fortified in the WORD. If we want to be unshaken, it is imperative that we do what it takes to remain steadfast and sure of His power. The only way to do that is through prayer and bible study. Renewing our confidence in God. Reminding ourselves of His promises. Remaining faithful and committed to the One who is faithful and true.

Don't let the enemy devour you. Keep your eyes focused and steadfast on Jesus. Keep your face to the ground in prayer and your heart lifted toward Him in service. The enemy will be defeated.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

He is faithful

When we are confronted with bad news concerning ourselves or a loved one, our initial reaction can be one of fear, grief, disbelief or despondency. Our hearts can ache and become heavy with anxiety or worry. Our spirits can feel extremely burdened and emptied of life. A deep darkness can prevail over us and threaten to take over and trap us in the lair of the enemy. If we aren't careful we can find ourselves plunged deep into a depressive state and sinking fast.

We can allow the seed of fear to take deep root in our minds and wreak extreme havoc with our thought process. If we don't take those negative thoughts captive, we give ourselves over to the enemy and give him a huge foothold to hoist himself up and over and right into our lives.  

When we are faced with hard situations in our lives, we would do well to immediately take it to the Throne of God. Lay it at the feet of Jesus the very moment we receive it. The God of creation is the only one who can do anything about it anyway, so why would we dare take it anywhere but to Him?

Our God cares about the things that concern us. He cares about our lives. He cares about our worries. He cares about our troubles and our fears. 

"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD"
(Psalm 130:1)

"I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait,
and in His Word do I hope"
(Psalm 130:5)

His precious and Holy Word tells us over and over again that He hears our cries and that He listens to our petitions. It tells us that He is concerned with the things that weigh heavy on our hearts and our minds. He knows that we are going to worry, otherwise He wouldn't tell us in His Word not to do so. 

He is aware that in our flesh we can't handle the curve balls that life throws us. But He knows that when we rely on His strength and His power, we can have peace in those situations. Sweet peace from a very sweet and loving God.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, 
present  your requests to God."
(Philippians 4:6)

We can obtain peace through the awesome power of His written Word. He is the peace giver. When things happen that cause us to be unsettled of spirit, the wind of His peace will blow gently over us if we allow it to.

It doesn't mean that the circumstances are always going to change. It doesn't mean that things are going to automatically get better. But it does mean that we can allow ourselves to be unmoved and unwavering in our FAITH during those trying times. Because regardless of the situation or the outcome, God is faithful. His faithfulness is a given. It is not dependent upon a good report or favorable news. His faithfulness is only dependent upon the fact that 'He Is'. 

"Faithful is He that calleth you, who will also do it"
(1 Thessalonians 5:24)

So, when we are faced with uncertainty or when a period of testing comes our way, we can be assured of one thing. Our God is faithful. All the time.

We can lay our burdens at His feet. We can lay our heads in His Holy lap. And we can allow Him to send a river of peace to flow through our spirits. A river that will soothe and comfort that restless and poisonous fear like nothing else or no one else can. A gentle river of faithfulness that will cover our every worry.

No matter what, He will walk beside us every step of the way. Guiding and leading us down the path of His will. Bestowing sweet mercy and grace and peace upon us and proving Himself to be Faithful and True.


God, you are so good to us. You give us far more than we deserve and you give it with such perfect love. You are the peace giver. You are the Faithful and True God. You comfort and soothe us and grant us rest in your arms when we cry out to you in desperation. In the midst of hard times, we turn to you and lift our hearts and hands in praise of who you are. And always.... you are faithful. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

feed my sheep

I get so overwhelmed at the scope of God's love for me. So pure. So sweet. So unconditional and so undeserved.

His love covers me and wraps around me with such gentleness. The warmth I feel is undeniable. He protects. He shelters. He calms.

I curl up in His holy lap and am overcome at the peace that soon envelopes me. His presence is almost stifling and I can barely draw a breath, yet it settles me. The heaviness I feel is welcomed as I know it means that He is here with me. My shield. My portion. My Savior. My God.

As the Lord ministers to my soul, I begin to see the depth of my need for it. I ache to be filled with more of Him. His power. His spirit. His love. I recognize some areas that He is ministering to as places that need His touch. His grace. I hear his voice whisper to my heart.

"Beth, do you love me?"  Oh, Lord, you know that I do!..... "Feed my sheep, child"

I thought I was doing just that, but as I draw closer to His side, I see just how hungry some of those sheep are and I see how I have neglected to nourish them in His name. I see that I have spent a lot of time feeding myself. Edifying my own spirit. Nourishing and nurturing my own body. Filling my hungry soul with His Word and thinking that I was doing good. Singing the right songs and reading the right books. Doing 'this thing' in the name of Christianity.

But I am grasping that somehow I've missed the mark. Veered off the path. You see, it's not just about the songs we sing or about the time we spend in His Word or about saying the right words. It's not just about the time spent in His presence. It's about what we do with all those things. It's about what our Faith causes us to do. It's our Faith in action.

James tells us in verse 17 of chapter 2 that our faith is dead if it isn't accompanied by action. See, all those things we do to grow spiritually are good things. It's important to study His Word (2 Timothy 2:15). It's important to attend church to be fed and to worship. It's important to sing praises to a very worthy Lord and Savior. It's important to sit still before our God and bask in His indescribable presence.

But if our encounter with God doesn't leave fingerprints on our soul, we have only experienced Him. A true encounter with our Holy God will cause us to take our faith and walk it out. It will compel us to be doers of the Word. To put to action all that the Lord has taught us. Otherwise our faith is empty.

In his commentary on the book of James, Warren Wiersbe says, "People with dead faith substitute words for deeds"

Fruitless faith exhibits hypocrisy but a genuine faith is conscious of others. True saving faith results in a changed life and that is always evidenced by works. Always.

I so desire to have the kind of faith that results in doing the will of my Father. I don't want it to be about me at all, but all about Him. I want to grow so I can be useful in God's kingdom, not to make a name for myself. I want His work in me to be profitable for His kingdom. I want to back up my words with works!

I want Him to whisper to my spirit, "Beth, I know that you love me because you are feeding my little lambs. Well done."


"It is faith alone that justifies
but faith that justifies can never be alone"
(John Calvin)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

new every morning...

Are there days when you wake up so thankful for new mercies that morning? Are there nights when you go to bed early because you are anticipating and needing those new mercies so desperately? The very idea of those mercies anew each day is enough to make me shout 'Hallelujah"!

The truth is, those brand spankin' new mercies are what enable us to lay down in peace at night. And to sleep under the shadow of His wing. And to rise in the morning with a fresh slate and a smile of gratitude for an amazing God. 

New mercies.... When God breathed those precious words to the ear of Jeremiah, He knew that we would need them on a regular basis. Sometimes daily. Sometimes I need them hourly. But all of us need them and should be so grateful for them.

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not
consumed, His compassions fail not"
(Lamentations 3:22)

Even when we think the troubles we face are all consuming, we can take heart that they will NOT consume us. When we think we can't handle one more problem, one more piece of bad news, one more attitude or one more hurt, His compassions fail not. Not ever! God's compassion is all consuming. And it covers us through any trial we are facing. It carries us... His compassion to us and for us is enough.

"They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness"
(Lamentations 3:23)

As believers in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are not exempt from trials and tribulations. In fact, we are probably more prone to them because the enemy is on the prowl night and day against us! But the knowledge of His unfailing love and compassion enables us to face these troubles. We don't always make the right choice.  We don't always respond the correct way. There are many times that we walk away and quickly regret the words or actions that came forth from us. But in the midst of our feelings of defeat and possibly failure, we can hear our precious Lord whisper to our wounded spirits, 

"My compassion fails not my child. My faithfulness never ends and my mercies never cease!"

New mercies. Each and every morning of our lives. How great is our God? I mean, really, isn't He the most amazing, awesome, wonderful and sweet God?

His love covers when we lose our cool. His compassion reigns when we neglect to serve in love. When we fail, He doesn't. When we err, He corrects. When we can't see a solution, He is our hope. When we walk the wrong path, He gently eases us back on the right one. In our weakness, He is strong. In our temptations, He is our focus.  In our inadequacies, He is our all-in-all. 

"The Lord is my portion, saith my soul. Therefore
will I HOPE in Him."
(Lamentations 3:24)

Consuming compassion.
New Mercies.
Unfailing Love.

Great is Thy faithfulness!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My babies are home!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within
me, bless His holy name"
(Psalm 103:1)


My soul rejoices tonight in the goodness of the Lord. I was able to see some little faces late this evening that I hadn't seen in 9 weeks... Nine long weeks. My oldest daughter and her husband left Pennsylvania late last night and drove for over 22 hours straight to arrive home in Louisiana safe and sound. Praise the Lord. My heart is full of pure happiness tonight from the many hugs, kisses, and 'I love  you's' that took place at their house upon their arrival.  They called me this morning to tell me that they were headed home and I could barely function today just anticipating the reunion! Rod will have to head back to Pennsylvania this weekend and go back to work, but will be back in a few weeks.

Megan is 4 weeks away from delivering their 5th child and my newest grandson and I can't wait! I am ready to hold that precious baby boy in my arms and tell him how much his Nana loves him.


I have missed Silas so much! He has changed so much in those 9 weeks. He is now 2 years old and is such a sweet little boy! He is beginning to talk more and I can't wait to have some precious conversations with him. 

My sweet Mercie... My little miracle girl. She wrapped her little arms around me and barely let go while I was there. She told me she 'misded me' over and over. This Nana sure missed her as well. She has lost that little baby look and turned into a little girl while she was gone. 

I have also missed this sweet boy.  My precious Eli. Oh, how I have missed that little boy! He is now 7 and he seems so grown up. He gave me lots of good hugs and kisses and I even coaxed a few smiles out of him for the camera. 

It doesn't get much sweeter than this young lady. My Mikaela. She is the most precious, kind-hearted, sweet-natured little girl and I love her so much! I have missed that soft spoken voice, those flashing dark eyes and those amazing hugs she can deliver. I missed that baby something fierce!

I am so thankful that they are home for now. I have a lot of catching up to do with them. We have stories to tell, books to read, pages to color, crafts to make and hugs and kisses galore to make up for! The Lord is good and I am blessed.  

Now, if I could just get my other grandbabies home, things would be perfect!

Bryton, Laylah Beth and Sawyer (in Illinois)