All posts by pollyatd

About Me: This is my story! 1. Just so you will know, I am thankfully a Child of God! I love the Lord and desire to introduce you to Jesus if you don’t already know Him! If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I want to encourage you in your walk with Him. 2. Next, I am joyfully a Daughter, Wife, Mother, and Grandmother! I especially love my Grandmother role! Children are a gift from the Lord! 3. God was merciful and protected me all my life even when I did not know Him as my personal Savior and Lord. I was like so many today who have “head” knowledge of Jesus, but don’t truly know Him. But today, I am so thankful to know Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord.

Peace in the Difficulties

There are so many Scriptures that we can turn to and be encouraged when difficulties in this life seem to be overwhelming.  Write them down and write them on your heart.  Pull them out when you feel burdened.  We can find peace through God’s Word. Here are just a few that come to mind, but you can search the Scriptures and find many more.

Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”, according to Jerimiah 29:11.

It is written in Philippians 1:4, 6, “I always pray with joy . . . being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.

John 14:1 tells us, “Let not your hearts be troubled, Believe in God; believe also in me.”

From “Streams in the Desert: “The world says that ‘seeing is believing’, but God wants us to believe in order to see.” The question was asked: “Do you believe God only when your circumstances are favorable, or do you believe no matter what your circumstances may be?”

Be encouraged today and believe God and His promises in order that we may see what He has in store for us. The path may not be easy, but, if you are a believer, you can know that the Lord is walking with you through it all. He always has a way through it, and we should be able to look back and see blessings that come out of our difficult circumstances.

I feel sure all of us know people who seem to have more difficulties in their lives than others. Or we may be the one who seems to have more than “our share” of problems than others we know. There is so much we don’t understand.

Charles Spurgeon tells us, “Many people owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.” I say again; be encouraged in your walk with the Lord. You can be sure Jesus will walk with you. Find Peace with God in your difficulties!

Look Up; Keep your eyes on Jesus!

sharing my heart…………………

Hear my prayer, O Lord!

So many to pray for…… So many prayer requests……… The list is long…… Sometimes it feels overwhelming…….. There are people in need of healing, getting through the loss of a loved one, getting through a difficult situation. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is upside down…. People living as if right is wrong and wrong is right! It makes no sense to me, but God is not surprised by any of of it. He is aware of our every prayer before we ever pray it!!! God is all-knowing, ever present.

So much trouble in our country and in this world! I have many things that are troubling. Each of you reading this have things on your heart that you are going through and are concerned about. Pretty bleak picture of things in the world. But looking back in history, you will find times such as we are living in now. So, take heart. Don’t despair. God is still on the throne, and I do believe that He is in control. God won’t necessarily remove our problems. He will show us the way through them. You know when the Israelites were faced with trying to get away from the Egyptians and were there at the Red Sea, God didn’t remove the Red Sea. He gave them a way through it. Listen, now, this is me sharing my heart with you who are reading this and pouring my heart out to the Lord for His help and guidance!

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every thing, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

SO WHAT ARE WE TO DO? Below is what I am going to do:

1st – Draw Close to the Lord. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

2nd – Delve into the Bible and study the scriptures. “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

3rd – Ask God for wisdom and understanding. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

4th – Pray but pray believing! “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

Dear Lord Jesus,

I just want to praise your Holy Name. You are my Strong Tower, my Provider, my Promise Keeper. I know I can depend on you, Lord, when everybody else fails me. You said you would never leave me or forsake me. You said that in this world that I would have trouble, but you told me to take heart that you had overcome the world. Thank you for your creation, Lord. You created everything in perfect order. Thank you for allowing me to see your Creation through the beauty of it all.

I pray for the lost souls out there who need you and your salvation, who need to not just have “head” knowledge but to have their “hearts” changed, to not just have a “religion”, but to have a “relationship” with you, Sweet Jesus.

I am so unworthy, Lord. I fail all the time in my walk with you. I ask for forgiveness and you forgive. Thank you, Lord. Keep me on the path you want me to be on. I pray that you would be glorified in everything I do. I love you, Lord!

In the sweet and precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Sharing my heart………

The “Darning Egg” – mending the broken and remembering the past!

The “Darning Egg”

If you are not familiar with the above image, it is called a darning egg. The darning egg was used mainly for mending or repairing holes in socks long ago. The large end of the egg was used to repair the heel of the sock, and the small end was probably used to repair the toes of the sock. This particular egg belonged to my husband’s mother, and she did in fact use it to mend her two boys’ and her husband’s socks. It’s probably at least 75 years old and a beautiful piece of wood. Now that we have a little history of the darning egg, let’s talk about what I think about when I see this darning egg.

When I look at the “darning egg”, I think how good it is to remember days of long ago:

  • How we can learn from those family happenings
  • How we can know the times our family has enjoyed and also endured
  • How thankful we can be for those who have gone on before us and possibly made our ways a little easier
  • How badly we need to remember History, to learn from it
  • How blessed we are to have the Bible to learn of God’s creation, all the days of the Old Testament and the New Testament and how God sent His Son to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, hopefully reading and remembering Jesus’ teachings

One of the Scriptures that comes to mind when I speak of the “darning egg” and the relationship of remembering the past is from Deuteronomy 32:7. It says, “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” Another Scripture is in Isaiah 46:9a and says, “Remember the former things, those of long ago . . .”.

When I speak of the “darning egg”, I also think about mending something that is broken and not throwing it away and buying something new. I also think about mending a relationship that has gone awry and can ask for forgiveness and go the second mile. To repair or mend brokenness, we need to know:

  • How to repair the item that is broken or torn or worn
  • How to go about repairing a broken relationship
  • How to appreciate those things and relationships that we have and that they are worth keeping them close to our hearts

Searching the scriptures concerning brokenness, I found James 3:19 that says, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Another scripture is from Proverbs 17:22 that says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” It’s impossible to be joyful when we are broken.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Revelations 21:5 that says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” God doesn’t just throw away our brokenness into the trash heap. He repairs it and redeems us if we will only let Him. Amen!

May God Bless Those Who Pass this Way!

HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING THE GOOD NEWS!

BEAUTIFUL FEET BRINGING THE GOOD NEWS

THE GOOD NEWS AND THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

God commands Christians to go and tell and spread the Gospel. Romans 10:13 says, “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all, and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

The Heart of the Gospel can be found in John 3:16 (NIV) when Jesus said, “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.”

In John 3:17 (NIV), Jesus goes on to say, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.” That is the best news to hear and to believe. Put your trust in Jesus.

Beautiful Feet of Those Who Bring the Good News

To quote Corrie Ten Boom, she said, “How can I not speak when I know the Words of Life.” Corrie Ten Boom is one of many throughout the ages who have brought the Gospel to people all over the world. Her feet and others who have told and are telling of Jesus and His sacrifice in dying for our sins are beautiful!

The prophet, Isaiah, records in Isaiah 52:7 (NIV), “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns.'”

(This scripture is a reference to messengers who left the battle to bring news of the battle’s outcome – the deliverance from Babylonian exile.)

The prophet, Nahum, records in Nahum 1:15 (NIV), “Look on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.”

(This scripture is a reference to the good news of deliverance from the Assyrian threat.)

The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 10:14-15 (NIV), “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'”

(This is a reference to deliverance from sin through the Gospel of Christ, the Good News.)

You, who may be reading this blog post, if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I implore you to come to Jesus and receive Him, turn from your sins, and ask Jesus to save you.

Go to this link for answers: Looking for Answers? Peace With God

Jesus said: “Bring It to me”

Do you have a need today? Some trial, difficulty, emergency?

If so, bring it to Jesus.

In Matthew 18:14, when Jesus was about to feed the five thousand and His disciples had found only five loaves and two fish among the crowd, Jesus said “Bring them to me.” If you have read the story in the Bible, the five thousand men, not counting women and children, were all fed and filled. Plus there were leftovers that filled 12 baskets.

Bring your need to Him, in faith, trusting Him to fill your need. That’s what Jesus wants you to do. Answering your need may not be in the way you want or the timing may not be your timing. But trust Him! God’s timing is perfect and precise. He does things at His appointed time. We must wait on the Lord. Oh, yes, it is a hard thing to do, but we must have faith that God’s plan is perfect! Just believe and rest in His provision!

Romans 8:32 says, “He Who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”

MUSIC TO MY EARS AND SOUL

JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY, DOWN IN MY HEART!!

Some of my memories of growing up are connected to music.  I believe I have always had a love of music.  I have always had the desire to play an instrument or to be able to sing.  To this day, I still cannot sing on key, but I still try.  No one can take that away from me.  I have told my husband and family that when I get to Heaven, I will be able to sing in God’s choir and sing praises to HIM!

As a child going to church, all those beautiful hymns are entrenched in my memory.  I can recall them from time to time when I stop rushing from place to place.  Sitting in church and hearing and singing those hymns told the story of Jesus and how I knew even then that I needed HIM and that HE loved me.  It was not until I was older that I fully surrendered my life to Jesus and put my faith and trust in HIM.  The Lord was drawing me to HIM ever so gently because, you see, He knew the plans that He had for me…..to give me a hope and a future, to prosper me and not to harm me.  Those hymns were like hearing God’s Word in a way that I could understand at an incredibly young age.  Much joy was received from my early days in church!

Junior Choir and Youth Choir in church were especially important.  Even though I could not sing very well, I loved participating.  All of this placed a song in my heart.  When I was in Junior High School, I was able to go to summer camp for a week at Lake Stephens in Oxford, MS.  I feel sure it was a sacrifice for my parents to send me, but it was an experience that I will never forget.  At night when it was time for lights out, the Lord’s Prayer was played over a loudspeaker.  Tears would flow every night.  I do not know if I was homesick or if the Lord was softening my heart.  It could have been a little bit of both.  I will never forget hearing that beautiful Lord’s Prayer played every night.  There was also a place at Lake Stephens that was called Vesper Hill.  There was a trail that led to the top where a large Wooden cross stood.  We would sing camp songs and have a devotional there every evening.  “Kum Ba Yah, My Lord” is one of the songs we would sing.  It means Come by Here, My Lord.  That gave me joy unimaginable! 

One of my sisters played the clarinet in the school band.  This same sister also had a ukulele and tried to teach me how to play it.  I remember getting her ukulele and strumming the tune she taught me.  The tune was “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue”.  That gave me much joy

A neighbor had a piano in her home because her daughter took piano lessons.  This sweet lady would let me play on that piano from time to time.  My parents could not afford to buy a piano or pay for lessons.  But somewhere along the way, I had taught myself to read the notes with my right hand, the melody.  I also learned to play a few little “ditties”.  That gave me joy!

When I was still in school, the band director asked me if I would like to learn to play the bassoon.  I am not sure why he asked me though.  The school had a bassoon that no one was using, and he offered to teach me.  I was extremely excited that he made this offer.  So, the story goes that I tried and tried but just could not play that instrument.  It was difficult to handle.  At least, I tried.  That, too, gave me much joy

After I married and had my own children, one of my relatives let us borrow their piano that they did not use any more so that my children could take piano lessons.  My daughter learned to play and did well.  My son decided to try lessons, too, but it ended up not being for him.  That was okay.  I believe he was glad he tried.   From time to time, I would sit down at that piano and read the notes and play.  All of this gave me great joy!

After my daughter married and had children of her own, she wanted them to have an opportunity to learn to play the piano.  At first, they learned to play on a keyboard before their parents found a piano to purchase.  All three of the grandchildren learned to play very well and will always have that to fall back on when they decide to play again.  I was able to go to some of their recitals, which was especially special to me.  One of the granddaughters still plays well today.  I love listening to her play.  She even plays some of the hymns that I grew up hearing and singing when I was a child.  All of this gives me joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!!  And still does to this day!!

My granddaughter suggested that I bring their keyboard to my house and try to play.  She even gave me some instructions on how to begin, along with some of her early music.  That keyboard is now here in my home, and every now and then, I get it out and play some hymns.  Just the melody, of course, but I am playing.  What a joy that is!

Fast forward to the present, here I am, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and I have no regrets for not having been able to play and sing like other exceptionally talented people can.  All those things relating to music as I was growing up have had a great effect on who I am today.  I especially enjoy listening to hymns being played and sung.  This music quiets my soul and gives me peace in a world that is so torn with strife and hatred.  I can slip away to a quiet place and rest in the Lord.  To say that I am thankful for music is an understatement.  Music is a part of my very fiber.  It is one way that I can worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!  Joy that is unspeakable!!

“HE (Jesus) withdrew………to a solitary place.” Matthew 14:13

Sometimes, in all the humdrum of life, it is a good thing to withdraw in a quiet place and rest. I am constantly being reminded to “Be still and know that HE is God.”

And I can rest in that!  Amen

LESSONS LEARNED and blessings found in 2020!

may our hope in the new year be grounded in Jesus christ!
Photo by Mary Lockett Burcham

I am sure that all of us would agree that 2020 has been a year that has been totally different from any year we have ever experienced. As I have lived each day of this past year, I have learned many lessons and have found many blessings that should help me to be a better person. I hope that I don’t forget the things I have learned and the blessings that I have found from this past year. I pray that I will take those lessons and blessings and remember them in the year ahead.

Never take for granted hugs from friends and family. Always cherish smiles from people you meet and always smile back, even if you have to learn to smile with your eyes. Be grateful for every day we breathe. Live each day as if it is your last because we are not promised tomorrow. Be thankful for family. Reach out to people around you because they matter. Never stop being optimistic. Remember there is a God who never sleeps and who cares for you. Don’t ever forget that HE is still in control. God is not surprised by anything that has gone on this past year. Don’t ever stop praying. Don’t ever stop seeking God’s will for your life. Don’t ever stop studying the Bible and coming to know the ONE who will never leave you or forsake you.

This past year I watched several very good movies. One of those movies had as the moral, Giving Gifts. If I could give you gifts to carry you through 2021, they would be these gifts that came from that movie:

  1. The Gift of Faith that you would have a love for God in your heart.
  2. The Gift of Friendship that you would learn to love others deeply.
  3. The Gift of Peace that you would enjoy life to its fullest and have a heart filled with peace.
  4. The Gift of Family that you would embrace family no matter the circumstances.
  5. And, most of all, the Gift of Forgiveness that you would discover the healing and restoring power of forgiveness.

I pray that I will live this coming year in perfect step with Jesus and that all that I do or say or think will give HIM Glory! Some scriptures that I will carry with me this year are:

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Matthew 4:17, “….Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

May 2021 be a year that you and I live more like Christian citizens than ever before. Amen.

THE GIFT

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.

 ~ Isaiah 9:2

Seven hundred years before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 that Jesus would be born of a virgin: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His Name Immanuel.”

Over 2000 years ago, Luke records the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy in Luke 1:26, 27, 30, and 31: “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary…….. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.”

The Christmas story of Jesus is true, as recorded in the Bible. The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. As Christians, the reason we celebrate Christmas is because Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior of World, was born and was God’s gift to the darkness of this world. Glory to the Newborn King!

God’s gift to you is Jesus, the Messiah, for anyone who would believe in Him. John 3:16 sums up this gift and the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The gift of Jesus is there for you to receive. He is a free gift. My prayer is that, if you don’t know this Jesus, you would come to the knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ.

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PRAYING……………….

What does prayer mean to you?  Is prayer a part of your day?  Do you have people who ask you to pray for them and their petition to the Lord?  Do you say, “Yes, I’ll pray for you.”?  And then do you pray or maybe get busy and not pray?  When do you pray?  Why do you pray?  I have been asking myself those questions lately.  Those are questions that I personally need to answer.  The Lord has been reminding me that I have told people I would pray and then sometime have not kept my word to pray.

A few days ago, I was livestreaming Dan Celia on Financial Issues.  (Just a note about Financial Issues: His ministry is about being Biblically responsible with our money and investments.)  Dan was speaking about the need for prayer especially in our country today.  He was talking about the Scripture of 2 Chronicles 7:14. You are probably familiar with that verse if you read your Bible, and that verse has been posted on social media quite a lot lately.  Dan reminded me that verse starts off with “If”.  The word “If” makes the verse conditional.  I had never thought about it that way.

            2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”  It tells us what we must do if we want the Lord to hear our prayers, forgive our sins, and heal our land.  What Dan said so convicted me about my prayer life and being reminded of the checks in my spirit about praying for requests made of me.  The Lord placed on my heart “what if I’m that one person the Lord is waiting to hear from to answer that prayer”.  I do not want to be that one person He is waiting to hear from. 

            So today, I am answering those questions above and making myself accountable to the Lord.  I know I am guilty of this sometime, but I am forgiven because I asked.

            To dig a little deeper into this passage of Scripture, the Lord appeared to Solomon after he had completed the Temple and had done all that the Lord had asked him to do.  God gave Solomon His stamp of approval when He said in Verse 12b of 2 Chronicles 7, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.”  In Verse 13 of this chapter, the Lord tells Solomon basically that He knows trouble will come because that verse says, When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land, or send a plague among my people,”. That is the time for God’s people to pray as stated in Verse 14.  Then the Lord says in Verse 15 that if His people do as He asks, this will happen: “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

            God wants to hear our prayers.  He wants us to communicate with Him.  He wants us to bring our petitions to Him.  He wants us to bring our praises to Him.  He is always ready to hear our prayers if we are ready to say them.  Pray for our country that God will heal our land.  Pray for the Lord to end this plague of the virus that is sweeping the world.  Pray for those who ask you to pray for them.  Pray for those you know are in need.  There is no greater need in our lives today than to pray.  Make praying and spending time with the Lord a priority in your life.   

Be a Light in this World!

WAITING………………

What are you waiting on today? 

          Are you waiting on news from a family member about a doctor’s visit?  News about a diagnosis after tests have been done? Hoping that diagnosis is good and not as bad as you fear it could be? 

          Relief and peace from your grieving for a family member or friend who has died?  News about whether the lost person you have been praying for has turned his life around and come to realize that Jesus is the only way? 

          News about treatment for an ill friend or family member who is suffering with a terminal disease?  Hoping that a new treatment will provide hope? 

          Angry with God that He has not answered your petitions?  Broken relationships to be mended?  Answers to financial problems?

          There could be enumerable prayers that you are waiting on for answers from the Lord. 

          I am thankful for a sermon I heard Sunday that the College and Young Singles Pastor of my church gave.  My topic today comes from his sermon.  His message touched me, and I felt I needed to share it in my blog for someone who might need to hear it.  I cannot recall the exact title of his sermon, but it is concerned with waiting patiently on the Lord.  If you are a Christian, you know that Scripture tells us that we are to wait patiently.  We are to present our petitions to the Lord, believing that He will answer.  Answers to our prayers may be yes, no, or wait.  If you don’t receive an answer right away, that is where the waiting begins.  I believe that God is working out His plan for our good and others’ good while we are waiting. 

          The scripture for his sermon was taken from Isaiah 40:28-31.  It says, “Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.  They shall run and not be weary.  They shall walk and not faint.”  (NKJV) 

          There were three points that were made in his message.  The first point is to Be Expectant.  Yes, be expectant while you are waiting.  The pastor said that waiting on the Lord is not a passive thing, but it is an active participation in the process that God is allowing in your life.  I believe we must realize that what we are waiting on and what God is allowing in our lives is only part of the big picture. That’s the process! Think about the scripture above.  God is everlasting and He is working out all His plans not only for your benefit but for others who may or may not be directly involved in what He is allowing in your life at this time.  God is asking us to wait on Him.  He is giving us His strength in place of our weakness while we are waiting.  All through Scripture God is reminding us of His power, His Love, His Mercy, His Grace!

          The second point that was made in his sermon is to Remain Empty!  What the pastor said he means by that is that we are to leave room for God to operate.  I know so many times I tend to want to somehow help God, as if He needs my help, but I need to give God space to carry out His plan without my interference.  I believe if there is something that God wants us to do, we can know through the Holy Spirit who lives and walks with us daily as Christians.  Stay close to the Lord.  One of my favorite verses in Psalm 46:10a is “Be Still and Know that I am God.” (NKJV) I thought of this verse when the pastor said Remain Empty. 

          The last point he made is to Stay Engaged.  He said for us not to stop praying.  Continue to pray.  God wants to hear our prayers even though He knows all before we ever speak it.  Tell God how you feel.  Tell Him if you are angry.  Tell Him if you are hurting.  But be thankful for all the blessings God has given to you.  I am not sure what others who heard his sermon received from it because we all can hear the same message but get something entirely different.  I was blessed by his message, and I am sure others were. 

          Hardships, obstacles, challenges, and problems come to every one of us in this life.  No one is exempt.  Jesus said in John 16:33b, “In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  That’s a promise, Christian!  Think about the times that God has allowed difficulties to come into your life.  When you got through those things, have you ever been thankful for having gone through those rough times?  What did you learn from it?  What effect did it have on others who are close to you?  Do you have a testimony from the challenges that you could share with others?

          I don’t know about you, but I am a person who makes notes in the margin of my Bible.  I wrote this note a long time ago beside Isaiah 40:31:The Greek meaning of this passage is to exchange our weakness for God’s strength.”  That is what God can do if we allow Him.  Where we are weak, God is strong!  I want to leave you with this Scripture from Psalm 37:7. It says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”  Praise the Lord!

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