I Remember Them

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4 NIV

Today is officially Memorial Day. I’m looking out my window at the beautiful view God has created for me this morning. I’m thinking about my dad. The dad I never knew, really. He saw me when I was a baby, but then he was gone…off on a ship as a nineteen year old to fight for our country. He never returned. He didn’t have a chance to be a father to me. It’s sad for both of us. I’m grateful he was a Christian who believed Jesus was his savior, so I’m hopeful that we will be reunited in heaven when it’s my turn to be called home.

As I grow older, I think more about heaven and how it will be. I don’t know what awaits me there, but I can imagine it. Just the thought of no more illness, no more tears, no more hate is enough to give me God bumps. I think of these things in the early morning as I gaze out my window and sip my tea. In the moments, before my day really begins.

I made a trip to the cemetery on Friday to place flowers on my husband’s and mother’s graves. My step-father’s ashes were scattered on the ground of the home he loved so much, but we kept a small amount to be placed in Mom’s grave with her. I wish I could also place flowers on my grandparents and my father’s graves. But they are in another state. I doubt anyone ever visits those gravesites and remembers them. I wish I could place flowers on my son’s grave, but he doesn’t have a grave.

Our younger generations have not been raised to visit gravesites, as my generation was. I remember going with my grandparents to visit relative’s graves and watched my grandmother place flowers. My husband, also, wanted to visit the graves of all his relatives when we traveled to his home state. Once he and I found the veteran’s cemetery and visited my father’s grave. But we didn’t know where my grandparents were buried.

The placing of flowers is for the living, really. A sign of respect and remembrance. We know that our loved ones aren’t in the graves. Their souls are in heaven with Jesus. I think of them often, especially on their birthdays. And with my father, I always think of him on this day made for remembering every man and woman who gave their lives for our country, for our freedom. I love you, Dad.


Enjoying a Peaceful Morning with God

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3 CSB

I’m sitting on my porch on a rainy morning, listening to the birds sheltering among the branches of the trees and sipping my cup of tea. The frogs are calling to each other as a gentle rain falls. Mourning doves sound as if they understand the emotions of those who are grieving. I’m not grieving. However, I so would like to have my hubby sitting in the chair next to me with a cup of coffee this morning.

A pair of ducks waddled by. They are so amusing. The female is looking for a place to build her nest, and the male just follows behind her, patiently. It reminds me I don’t need to be as fast as I used to be in this season of life. It is good to walk patiently, waiting on the Lord.

So many peaceful moments I have enjoyed on this porch since moving in almost six years ago. Today I smell the earthy scent of the ground bathed in rain. I noticed the swallows have returned. I haven’t seen them nesting in the spots they have before at the curve of the drain spouts. Perhaps they will return to build nests here soon.

It’s a cool 60 degrees, so even though it is spring, I’m wearing a sweatshirt for warmth. I feel so close to God in moments like this. I see the beauty He has created and can only imagine how beautiful Eden must have been and the new earth God will bring when Jesus returns. I know my years are numbered, but I’m peaceful in the knowledge.

Jesus spoke the words in the verses above to His disciples before ascending to heaven to be with His Father. To me, they are comforting. I know He has prepared a home for me already. I also know loved ones who left before me will be waiting to welcome me. And then I will see how beautiful heaven is, the heaven I have only imagined.

As for now, I will enjoy quiet, peaceful mornings like this one, listening for God’s voice as I sit in silence and know He is God.


The Spiritual Fruit of Self Control

“No one can serve two masters. either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24 NIV

I’ve been doing a forty day fast from refined sugar. Each day I’ve been reading the accompanying devotional in the book by Wendy Speake, The 40-Day Sugar Fast. It was only two days ago on day 36, God revealed something to me in my reading.

In the verse above, the word money can be substituted with any other word. Sugar, being one. But I have also been known to spend money on things I don’t need and can’t really afford. Not just recently, but all my life. So I could add sugar and money. But it isn’t just sugar. It’s carbs. I love carbs and eating them bodes ill for my diabetes. So now I have ‘you cannot serve both God and money, sugar, and carbs. Interesting. What does this mean. This is what God revealed to me:

I do not have the spiritual gift of self-control!

It isn’t sugar or carbs or anything else I’m addicted to. No wonder I have been struggling with my dieting and diabetes for years. I prayed for God to help me stop eating poorly and choose better. And I prayed for Him to bless my finances. Now this isn’t a bad prayer, but I should have been praying for self-control. Why didn’t I see this before?

If I realize that my enemy is myself and my lack of self-control, I have a better chance of succeeding at everything in my life. At times I’ve been a frivolous spender and wonder why my finances aren’t better. Food has always been a problem. I was raised with the idea that food brought comfort.

Friday I had lunch out with a friend and chose a chicken tender wrap and opted for a side salad instead of fries. The salad was delivered first. When the sandwich came the plate also contained fries. I ate half of the sandwich and the salad minus the croutons. I should have taken just the half sandwich home, but I shoved the fries in the box, too. Excuse, no need to waste them. Yes, I ate them—every one. The fries weren’t the enemy, my lack of self-control was.

Lack of self-control has undermined me all my life. I have blamed things other than myself. God sort of whacked me on the head and told me to wake up! I’m so grateful He did. Satan knows my weakness is lack of self-control. He will whisper to me I deserve to buy something, or I deserve to eat something. God revealed to me why Satan is able to sneak into my thoughts. No longer! No more deceiving this gal.

Self-control is a spiritual fruit and God will help me to gain this if I stay focused on Him as my only Master.


BE PATIENT -by Guest Blogger, Traci Jordan (revision)

Apologies to my email readers and to Traci because the link to the song mentioned was incorrect and has been corrected in this repost.

I am humbled to host Traci Jordan on my devotional blog today. She is a wife, mother, and child of God. In addition to working full time, she runs marathons, and praises God by singing with the praise band in the church she attends. Please feel free to welcome her by leaving a comment.

We live in a world where everything is instant and we can all feel a little entitled at times. Often times when we pray we expect our prayers to be answered instantly. When that doesn’t happen some people lose faith. They say things like “God has never done anything for me.” 

It reminds me of a toddler throwing a fit because they didn’t get a toy they wanted.  They have a bunch of toys but they only see the toy they don’t have. We do that with blessings. We overlook what we have because our sight is only set on what we don’t have. 

Let me ask you this….Have you ever thanked God for what He has already given you?  Have you ever thanked Him for the blessings in your life you didn’t ask for or do you only talk to God when you want something?  Do you pray for the same thing everyday or do you trust that if it is His will and it is for your good He will give it you when the time is right? 

I used to ask over and over and think it just wasn’t His will for me if I didn’t get what I wanted in my time.  (The key phrase here is “in my time.” ) Even though I didn’t expect instant answered prayers I still had an expectation on when I thought the prayer should be answered. Then one day as I was listening to music, Nothing Else played.

I heard this song so many times before but this time it hit different. I was convicted by the lyrics and I cried out to God asking for forgiveness. I put all my trust in Him that day. I prayed for this certain thing for the last time. Trusting that if it was His will I would get it in His time not mine.

I have not prayed for that particular thing again. Instead I found myself being thankful for what I had and where I was.

It’s been a couple of years since then and my prayer is being answered. As I look back I can see where God was working in my life to bring me to this place. (Hindsight is 20/20.) Looking back I see that I wasn’t ready for the end result of that prayer back then. I had more work to do and once I trusted and let Him guide me I can see He was answering the prayer all along. It just wasn’t as cut and dry as I thought it was. God is amazing and He works all things for our good. We just have to learn to be patient.


Armor for Spiritual Battle

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV

The main thing I am learning is how my enemies are not the people and situations, like rude drivers, or people who speak ill of me. My enemies are the forces behind the actions meant for evil against me. There is evil all around us. Satan is everywhere spreading darkness and hate, stealing souls. This is what he does in an attempt to be stronger and more powerful than God.

But that battle has already been lost. Why? Because God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us. Once we believe and ask Him into our hearts, confessing that we are sinners, He will forgive us. We become citizens of heaven and not of this world. All the forces of evil at work around us, will not prevail if we trust in God’s Word. The gift of salvation is given to us through grace because Jesus already paid the price for us through the cross.

But this will also make the devil more aggressive in trying to deceive us. So how do we stand battle day by day? We put on the armor of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit.

What does this mean? These are five components of defensive armor and one offensive weapon. The offensive piece is the sword of the spirit, which symbolizes the word of God. We should pray each morning as we put on the armor of God.

With this armor we are geared against the devil’s schemes. The battle is spiritual.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for giving us what we need to stand against the evil intended against us as we walk in this world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.