A Hymn Because of a Hem

“And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.’ But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that hour.” (Matthew 9:20-22)

There is a folder on my Pinterest account, “The Calm Home.” Lately I have been pinning so many hymns. I have been increasingly grateful for my parents making church a priority for our family. It was there that I learned hymns and so much more. As I have looked at each one, the tune comes quickly to mind and I envision being back in those precious sanctuaries. What I did not know then is that many hymns have incredible testimonies of sorrow and yet, the writer chooses to praise the Lord with his pen despite the pain.

When I read this scripture this morning, the word hem stuck out to me. This dear woman had spent all she had over the twelve years of her illness. She had nothing let in the worlds eyes, but she had faith. She knew who had the power to heal her and she reached out to Him. Just touching the hem of His garment was a great act of faith. We do not reach out to someone we do not trust. Also, notice her posture. The hem is low to the ground and so was she in humility and surrender.

And then it happens, he saw her and said words she had waited to hear for twelve long years. Jesus, the Son of God, called her daughter and told her she was well! Can you even imagine? In faith she reached out and was given a new identity and healing, not just physically but spiritually as well. How could she not live her life from that moment on as a hymn of thanksgiving? Are we any different?

Friend, if you have tried everything and nothing has worked to make you well, will you reach out to Him in faith today? Reach out and take hold of the only One who can make you well. He can wash away your sin and give you real life. You can be a living hymn. This could be your hour.

P.S. Our oldest babysat last night and the kids asked her to sing her favorite hymn to them as they fell asleep. Now that is the making of a calm home.

Deliverance

I read a few verses in scripture that sounded like a prayer of those yet to be born. And so on their behalf, I am going to pray for them using the words the Lord gave to David. I am praying God’s own words back to Him. “God, hurry to rescue me. LORD, hurry to help me! Let those who seek to kill me be disgraced and confounded; let those who wish me harm be turned back and humiliated. Let those who say, ‘Aha, aha!’ retreat because of their shame. Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, ‘God is great!’ I am oppressed and needy; hurry to help me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; LORD, do not delay.” (Psalm 70)

I am praying that our God will open our eyes to our sin as a nation. I am asking we repent again today of this great sin that is a choice of “freedom” allowed in our land. How many more have to die? Only God can turn us from our wicked ways. Please hurry, God, for we are in great need of You doing only what You can do. Please be merciful to our nation. We have sinned grievously against You. Lord, please forgive us and give us another chance to protect life.

*Picture of our youngest at one day old.

A Heart Intact

I want you to know that when I write it pours from my heart. It is not meant to be boastful or to paint a picture of perfection. For every choice I make that brings glory to God, there is evidence of the many times I do not. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.

With that in mind, I have to tell you a sweet story that happened just yesterday. Our youngest is extremely particular with her clothing. We have gone round and round over the outfits she wants to wear to school. She picked out a skirt and I gave her two shirt options. Neither were to her liking and she chose another. Personally I thought my ideas were better, but it was not worth a fight. She went out the door with her heart intact instead of upset about her appearance. She was only gone a minute before she came running back inside, calling my name. She just had to tell me that she saw two blue birds and one red bird. I love that she noticed. I told her that I loved her and to have a good day. Her response was priceless. She said, “I don’t know how not too.” Aren’t kids just the best?

Calm or Conflict

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18

This is a verse we all need these days. It is such a good reminder about the choice before us. We can stir up conflict or calm a quarrel. We have got to think about what our response will be before we are invited into a conflict. If you click on your social media account, it is highly likely that you will read something that you are tempted to make a comment. Maybe decide before hand, calm or conflict. Does our county really need more strife?

There is so much going on right now and lines are clearly divided. We can be the ones to bring the calm. We can be the ones who are patient in our responses. We can choose to be patient with others on the road, in the grocery aisles, at school and even within the church. What better way to go into the holiday season.

Nineteen

Last weekend was our oldest birthday and I cannot let an opportunity go by to speak highly of her. She has been brave in the midst of so much unknown during this freshman year of college. That has been remarkable, but what stands out to me the most is her love for our God. She has gotten to know Him more in that dorm room and desires to share His love with others. She is involved with some wonderful places to share this love, to serve others and this makes my heart glad. None of this has been without struggle, loneliness and continuing to move forward. How can this be possible in one so young? Where did this maturity come from?

Watching her, I can only come to one conclusion… she lives loved. She knows the gift of the cross, has accepted it and therefore lives accordingly. She is comfortable in her own skin and does not try to be someone she is not. Why would she? It is because she is loved.

May each of us draw close to Him in the days to come. As the holidays unfold, kids come home and much is unknown, may we remember that we too are loved and live like a nineteen year old I know;).

Happy Birthday Maggie!

Nine

One of our boys turns nine today and he is so easy to celebrate these days. That was not always the case and I can give you the details another time. Just know he is unique and one of a kind. The Lord has used him in many ways to shape me into more of His likeness.

Just the other day on the way home from school, this boy was talking about heaven. He loves the Lord with all of his heart and to be with Him in eternity is almost too much for him to wrap his mind around. We talked about how his job until heaven is to tell and show people the love of God. He has been given the good news and loves to share it anytime. He said that people who love each other sometimes hire sky writers to write “I love you” in the sky. He said he would like to write “God Loves You” in the sky so the whole world would know. I told him God does that everyday with the sunrise and sunset. That made his day!

So, if you want to give our boy a gift and you do not know Jesus, would you accept His free gift of grace today? If you do know Him, would you tell someone else about the best gift they could ever receive? I can think of no better way to celebrate than with the angels for, “…there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10).

Happy Birthday Eli!

Reminded

“He forgives all your iniquity…” Psalm 103:3

Sometimes you know you should not say something and yet you do. That still small voice says no, but you open your mouth and speak. This happened yesterday and I am thankful for the conviction that immediately came. As I laid my head on the pillow last night, I spoke to the Lord about it and confessed my sin. He is always faithful to forgive, for Jesus died for all our sin. Then this morning my heart was still heavy over my sin. In this case it means there is more. What came to light was the seed of rejection that was still present. One would think that at this age all would be gone. It is not blamed on anyone, for I know who is behind those seeds. Seeds take root, grow and twist around ones heart. Sometimes a memory can touch that place, but they do not have to remain. Apparently, a weed remained and needed to be taken out.

Because of the Lords compassion, grace and faithful love He used my sin to reveal something He wanted to heal. That is exactly what He did. I am well aware that I will continue to sin until heaven, but I am also very aware of grace. When you know the love of your Heavenly Father, you run into His arms of grace. It is an amazing place to be. Where are you running today?

A Dream

The other night I had a horrible but powerful dream. Two people I love dearly were divorcing that very day. One was against it and the other was moving ahead in full force. I tried reason, then begging and nothing changed the persons heart. I said they would be doomed in court and fell to the floor in such sorrow, then I woke up. I knew in my head and heart that this was just a dream, but the sadness would not lift. Then Election Day came and the sorrow increased.

Trying to sort through my feelings led me to this conclusion. My heart is broken for the state of our nation. It appears that we are making every effort to divorce ourselves from “One nation under God”. Truth is ridiculed, life is dismembered, marriage is mocked and gender is to be determined. This is what happens when we forget that God created, we did not. This will not stand up on judgement day. We will be found guilty of sin and sentenced to hell. The price has been paid and our eternity is secure, but we refuse to accept Jesus. He died for the whole world, but we turn our eyes from the cross, harden our hearts and write our own agenda. Such foolishness.

Our nation is loud right now, demands are being made and truth will come to light. My fear is we will remain in such a divided state until we lay aside our pride, selfishness, greed and immortality and accept our place under God. He is King, ruler over all and His victory stands. I do not care how unpopular following Him, His word and Reign is and I will not sit on the sidelines. I will speak the truth in love because withholding the truth is the most unloving thing we can ever do. So, hear the truth today. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17). The choice is ours to make.

Eyes Open

“And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

A few years ago, one of our boys and I were driving home and the sky was just beautiful. Since I was driving I asked my son to take a picture. He took several and it wasn’t until later that I saw the details. This picture came to mind yesterday and I wanted to share it with you. It seems quite fitting for the days we are living in.

So much is going on and I am praying the Lord opens our eyes. I pray He opens our eyes to the help He daily gives and to His mercies that are new each day. I pray He opens our eyes to the people right in front of us that need an encouraging word, to know they are loved and accepted. I pray He opens our eyes to the deception satan is sliding in at every turn. The way he is dividing families, friends and our government. Is siding with one political party or another really worth the cost of a relationship? It makes me so unbelievably sad and also furious with the enemy. He has overplayed his hand this time and so I am doing what I know to do. Prayer is a mighty weapon and I am using it! Open our eyes Lord!

Pain

There is something I have noticed these last few days, pain can make me self-focused. Maybe because it was ever present, but I found myself thinking about how everything would effect me and not others. This was eye opening and heart revealing. It also got me thinking, could it be that many in our world are in pain?

There are all kinds of pain and a million different stories to tell to go along with each one. When you meet an angry or fearful person, I wonder if their heart is in pain? If the pain never goes away, is never properly healed, what is the long term result? Is healing even possible? I believe it is and only possible with the help of the One who knows our heart. Any other attempt is counterfeit and temporary.

Friends, many people are walking around in pain and living in response to what is going on internally. They might not even be aware of it because it has become a part of them. What can we do? Pointing out the pain probably will not work, but I know prayer will. Who better to talk to about a hurting person than the One who made them? He was there when the pain first began. He is the only One who can unravel the self made bandages applied to these hurts and bring lasting healing. Who could use our prayers today?