A sheltered life

Lake Michigan Storm

Lake Michigan Storm (Photo credit: Tom Gill (lapstrake))

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1

It’s been very windy and at times stormy where I live. I am thankful for that because the heat and humidity has been high. The weather in Michigan can change quickly as a new storm comes across Lake Michigan. I feel safe from challenging weather in my home. My house is surrounded by trees, so even if the wind picks up a lot, there is shelter.

God is also a shelter for us from the storms of life. His arms of grace surround us to keep us from falling when the days turn dark and scary. He lifts us up so that we will not drown from the floods of manmade chaos. We can experience true peace from the cool shadow of Jesus. Going to the shelter and trusting it gives us hope that the Son will shine again soon.

Prayer: Jesus, you are my shelter for whatever life gives me. I pray that I always turn to you when I hear thunder announcing another storm coming. Amen

Faith Tip: What storms are you experiencing now? What shelter have you chosen to trust?

Questions

meteo rain

meteo rain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of Godthe Maker of all things. – Ecclesiastes 11: 5

Waiting for our group to begin our walk in the parade route, it started to rain. Many commented that the rain would be very short term according to the weather experts. It rained for about three hours. So much for the experts’ opinion on the weather. In Michigan, it is difficult to know how the weather will be each day for it can turn on a dime. No one fully knows what will come from day to day. 

There are many other things in life that we just don’t fully understand. One example is cancer. The doctors admit that they don’t understand all parts of it and they rely on the studies that are continually being made. 

God’s ways will also never be fully understood until we are in heaven. But we can trust that God has control and does know all the details of everything. He is the maker of all things. It’s comforting to know that God has great love for us and wants only the best for us, which is life with him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving me the best … you. I pray that when I don’t understand something that I run to you first. Your presence will be made known to me when I seek you with all my heart. Amen

Faith Tip: Not understanding something enables us to ask questions. It is by questions that we grow and learn. Ask God about something today that you don’t understand.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Sheep looking

Image via Wikipedia

The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” – John 10:2-5

I met with a wonderful lady this morning at the coffee shop who leads an organization in this part of Michigan and we talked about the possibilities of helping each other serve other people. It was amazing as we shared our stories of how we came to where we are now. We seemed to bond in the purpose of serving. She even asked me about becoming more involved in the organization. With my schedule, my first response normally is feeling I don’t have time, but as she spoke, I felt that the possibilities were very good and I started seeing vision in those possibilities. For me, that is how I know God is calling.

Knowing God’s voice is so important in the Christian life for the plans and purposes he has for us are mostly received through reading the Bible, praying and talking with others. If that is not a normal part of our life, most likely we will miss the call. If his voice is strange to us, we may want to flee rather than follow. Knowing and trusting the voice we hear will bring abundant blessings to not only us, but others.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for calling me. I love to hear your voice and follow the plans you have for me. I pray that I can continue in learning more about you and your ways through delving in your Word, praying to you, and seeing with your eyes. Amen

Faith Tip: Do you know when God is calling you? If so, expand on that by seeking more of God. If not, work on your relationship with God through Bible reading and prayer.

Which Way?

Map of Ohio

Image via Wikipedia

There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death. – Proverbs 14:12

My and I were excited about traveling to Cedar Point for a day of fun. We were sure we knew the way and were confident as the miles passed on the highway going east from Michigan to Ohio. Imagine our surprise when we thought we were close and the next sign we see is an exit for Cleveland. We missed Sandusky somehow and now needed to retrace our steps. Let’s just say that I am very thankful for GPSs.

Our Christian life can go like that too. We are living life in what we perceive to be the “right way” and all of a sudden, we realize from our map, the Word of God, from a message, or some other way God communicates with us, that we are going in the wrong direction. We need to make the choice to turn around. I am also thankful for God’s GPS (Grace Peace and Salvation). Going in the right direction, God’s direction, feels so good.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for the direction you give me through life. I pray that I can tune in to your directions and not go with my thoughts. Amen

Faith Tip: Is the Holy Spirit nudging you today regarding a choice you have made that perhaps isn’t the right way? Pray for God’s direction.

The time is ripe

Whole green beans in a carton.

Image via Wikipedia

Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. – John 4:35

In Michigan, harvest time is evidenced by the abundance at farmers markets and fruit stands. The food that is gathered from the fields looks so good and smells so fresh that its enticement draws us to it. The apples seem redder, the peaches more fragrant and the green beans have more of a snap than if purchased at the grocery store. Farmers know the time to harvest their product. It is devastating to them if they wait too long.

Jesus tells us that the harvest is ready. Like farmers, harvesters are needed to bring in the crop. God has chosen to work through people as harvesters. Since God, the farmer, says it’s time, we are to go out and show the love of Christ and invite them to be part of the family of God. In several Scripture verses, Jesus says there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” of those who are not part of the harvest. Waiting is not an option anymore.

Prayer: Dear Lord, how you have shown great patience to your people to save as many as possible. Forgive me for the times I have not acted on the harvest when you have nudged me. I pray that I can go forth in confidence and share your truth to a lost world. Amen

Faith Tip: Ask God to give you a new perspective on lost people.

Hearts set on pilgrimage

the journey

Image by AlicePopkorn via Flickr

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. – Psalm 84:5

My morning is running a little slow as I catch up on a bit of sleep from a wonderful weekend in Newaygo. This was the Michigan Presbyterian Pilgrimage #17 and as always, is worth doing. With the great team that God put together and the guests that were called to experience the journey, there was no question who was in charge. The rector did a wonderful job in leading, but God was at the controls.

Life can make us feel drained. Whether it is everyday responsibilities or certain challenges that we experience, we get tired. Those on the pilgrimage experienced the life giving Spirit of God as we all focused on what God was doing in us all. We drank in the reflections of God’s love as we served one another and gave gifts of encouragement. Together we were strengthened.

God gives the refreshment, wisdom, stamina, vision, encouragement, love, joy and anything else we are willing to accept from him. It is our choice.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for this past weekend where I can join other sisters and brothers in a journey that brings us to you. It is so refreshing! I pray that I can carry that refreshment will me always to give a drink or a splash of your love and grace to those who are parched by life. Amen.

Faith Tip: Take the time to experience a pilgrimage of faith in whatever manner that may look like.

 

Light of Christmas

Lighted tree

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

I love Christmas lights. There is something about how the lights illuminate the dark areas of night and give a dramatic look to snow. I decided to try solar lights this year thinking that it would be a great green option. It turned out to be a great dark option. There simply is not enough light in Michigan during these months to power solar lights outside. It’s disappointing.

Our spiritual life can be like this if we don’t get energized with God. We may hope to shine a light to a dark world with the truth and love of God, but unless we are getting charged up on a daily basis, the light may be dim if not out, and it will be disappointing to us. Staying plugged into the Holy Spirit will give a constant super charge of God’s powerful love—enough to brighten the lives of people we meet.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the light of Jesus. I pray that light may shine brightly through me as I take time to be recharged by you. Amen

Faith Tip: Take time to be recharged.