Devotions

Our Security During  COVID-19

Posted by on Mar 28, 2020 in Blog, Commentary, Devotions, Uncategorized | 0 comments

March 28, 2020

Within the past few weeks, our lives have changed dramatically. The coronavirus or COVID-19 has impacted society at every level. It’s brought anxiety, confusion, illness, death and financial distress throughout our nation and the world.

How do we resist becoming isolated, fearful, discouraged, and frustrated during these times?

Isolation:

Television and radio entertain and keep us up to date with helpful news (as well as the junk we don’t need). Fortunately, we have access to a variety of technological means to keep us in touch with one another. Beyond telephones, texting, and emails, there is a myriad of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. to help keep up to date with each other. Other tools such as Face Time, Zoom, Marco Polo, etc. provide visual and audible means of connecting professionally and personally.

Fear:

“God is our refuge and strength,  a very present help in trouble.

Psalms 46:1

 “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

He will cover you with his feathers,  and under his wings you will find refuge;
 his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

Psalms 91:2,4-6

fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. 

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:7

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1Peter 5:7

“He says, ‘Be stilland know that I am God;”

Psalm 46:10

Discouragement, and Frustration:

 Roy Lessin has generously allowed me to share from his devotional Meet Me in the Meadow.

From August 3. 

“God has not made the earth and abandoned it. He has not retreated somewhere in the universe and gone into hiding. He is today where He has always been, on His throne. God sees all things, knows all things, and is all-powerful. God is all in all. He is above all. Nothing is above Him or equal to Him. There is no king or ruler that has more authority than God; there is no political figure that has more influence than God; there is no nation that has more control than God. No one can out-think Him, or out-smart Him. He is God Almighty. He has all authority in heaven and earth. His enemies are under His feet. He reigns and rules. He is the majesty on High.”

Meanwhile, we can

Pray:

For all medical providers, first responders, and all service industries serving on the front lines.

           For our families, friends, and neighbors.

           For our nation and the world.

           For our government and spiritual leaders

          For revival in our land

 

“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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Give:

          If possible, be generous with others in service and or provision.

           Encourage others who are even more isolated.

           If able, donate blood since there’s a shortage.

 

Clothe ourselves spiritually:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”     Ephesians 6:11-18 

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St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Posted by on Mar 17, 2020 in Blog, Devotions | Comments Off on St. Patrick’s Breastplate

St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a prayer attributed to Ireland’s patron saint. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting Leoghaire, the King of Tara or High King of Ireland and his subjects, from paganism to Christianity.

 

 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Reminiscent of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (6:11-18) 

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”  

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TRANSITIONS

Posted by on Jun 30, 2019 in Blog, Devotions, Journal, Uncategorized | 6 comments

A recent “significant” birthday has made me feel a lot older than I did last week. I decided not to dwell on the fact that I can’t do, and shouldn’t do, some of the things I did even a year ago. I’m thankful for reasonably good health, the ability to do the activities I enjoy, even if at a slower pace. I learned a long time ago, my attitude determines how I navigate through life’s transitions.

Webster’s defines Transition as “a passage a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.”

Many friends are going through their own transitions, whether it involves downsizing, moving, an illness, job change, or the death of a loved one. Some of us embrace changes and view them as new adventures, while others find unexpected developments in their lives difficult. But transitions are inevitable.

“Change is always in your favor when you’re walking with the Lord.”

Words from a wise friend

The Bible is filled with stories of how God’s people journeyed through transitions, and it resulted in transformation.

God told Abraham in Gen 12:1-3 to “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”

God didn’t reveal where Abraham was to go, just to trust Him for the outcome. Over time, and not without some poor personal choices, Abraham listened, obeyed, and learned to trust God.

In Deuteronomy 31:7,8 we read, “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Job, was full of transitions, mostly losses, but it was a picture of Job’s faithfulness despite his struggles.

Ruth’s left the land and idolatry of Moab to travel to Naomi’s homeland and embrace Naomi’s faith in the one true God.

Daniel’s and Esther’s stories are dramatic transition and transformation stories where they journey from places of insignificance to positions of great power.   

in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 Solomon tells us:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:                  

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing                                a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”    

Our Heavenly Father offers courage and direction for all situations. Carol Stratton, the author of Changing Zip Codes, says “When we do our part and take the first step, He will watch our back and take away our fear. We need to take the first step.”

“The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can trust God to guide us for every transition we face.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Psalm 32:8

And in His equipping us experience transformation.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

What season of life are you in? Are you enjoying the fruits of your labor, or dealing with discouragement, decisions, disease, or depression? Perhaps you are enjoying reflection, renewal, and rest.

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MUSIC THAT LIFTS THE SOUL

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | 1 comment

There is something about music that draws us closer to God. So many hymns, as well as more contemporary pieces, touch my heart and intensify times of worship.

To celebrate Holy Week last year, I gathered an eclectic selection of music to listen to throughout the week, picking out special selections for each day. I had such fun doing this that I shared the links on my Facebook page. I share it now hoping it will bring you joy and draw you closer to Jesus this week.

Palm Sunday ~ All Glory, Laud and Honour  ~  King’s College Cambridge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHN8UAk6Yow

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

http://praiseandworshiplyricsandchords.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-redeemer-lives-mullen-music-and.html

Monday ~ In Heavens Eyes ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389e0aLJJzU

Shine Jesus Shine by Hillsong (with Lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OIwSQmyCg4

Tuesday ~I Can Only Imagine  ~ Bart Millard Mercy Me

https://www.facebook.com/icanonlyimaginemovie/videos/10156154869184810/

The Prayer ~ Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb8Z_6HVutk

Wednesday ~ The Lord of sea and sky  ~ National Youth Choir of Scotland-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcL9S5a3weU

I’ve Just Seen Jesus  ~ Sandi Patti Larnell Harris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yLgtd_kkxw

Thursday ~  For Zions Sake ~  Marty Goetz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtKBZRJcEVM

Mary Did You Know 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPsgIhlYQmM

Friday ~Via Dolorosa  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7asEdmZsSPo

The Lords Prayer sung by Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50dLkv7v2TQ

Saturday ~

Jesus through the Bible !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upyJ6smkv9g&feature=youtu.be

Messiah Hallelujah Choir ~Naval Academy Glee Club

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTWQnsYARm8

Sunday ~ Crown Him With Many Crowns  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLXRU1Vdauw

He’s Alive  ~  Dolly Parton

https://www.facebook.com/DollyParton/videos/10153640169959755/

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15dmjnB8FZU

 

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THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING ~ A CHRISTMAS ALLEGORY

Posted by on Dec 22, 2018 in Devotions | 2 comments

THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING

Over thirty years ago, I first read THE PHILOSOPHER’S AWAKENING by Mabel Lee Cooper. In the years since I’ve heard this Christmas allegory read by Paul Harvey, the well known American radio broadcaster, famous for his “‎The Rest of the Story” broadcasts several times. I’m sharing it now with you.  I wish you a blessed Christmas.

It was Christmas Eve. Outside the wind howled and the snow was falling; a dreadful blizzard was on the way. Inside his little house by the side of the road, a great philosopher sat comfortably by his warm fire with his books for companions. This philosopher was very wise. Many people found their way to his door to seek his advice and help. Not only was he wise, but also very kind; he loved all living creatures, and for his great kindness and wisdom he was beloved by all who knew him.

As he sat this stormy night by his warm fire he thought of all who might be out in the blizzard. He arose, raised his curtains high, and put a bright light in his window, saying, “All who must be out tonight can find shelter and warmth and welcome by my fire.”

As he stood by the window, suddenly he heard the sound of many voices singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men!” It was the little band of Christians singing in their chapel nearby.

“This is Christmas Eve”, thought the philosopher to himself, “the night the Christians celebrate the coming of God to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Now this philosopher, being in the habit of understanding the things he believed, had not joined the band of Christians. He thought the Christians’ way of life was the best way, but he could not understand the many mysteries of their faith. Above all, he could not understand the Incarnation. Why was it necessary for God to come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ? How could it be? Because he could not understand these things he would not become a Christian.

As he was thinking, suddenly he heard a noise at his window, caused by a flock of half-frozen birds beating their wings against his window pane. The poor birds had been caught in the blizzard as they journeyed southward to a warmer climate.

Birds in the Snow

The heart of the philosopher was touched, for he loved birds.  He opened wide his window, thinking the birds would fly in where there was warmth. But the birds didn’t understand, and would not fly in. Putting on his warm fur coat, he went outside, determined to save them if he could. He tried to force them into his room, but they resisted. Several times he tried to clutch them in his hands, but they eluded his grasp. Then he took bread crumbs and scattered them on a little place he had cleared in the snow. The half-starved birds devoured the crumbs, and then, with renewed strength, tried to fly again.

The philosopher thought of his barn where the birds would be safe in the warm hay. He placed a ladder leading to the door of the barn and covered each round of the ladder with bread crumbs. He succeeded in attracting the birds to the ladder. They ate the crumbs on each round and reached the open door of the barn. But they wouldn’t fly in! How hard the philosopher tried to force them inside, but they didn’t understand; and in spite of his efforts he saw the birds drop, one by one, frozen to death, with a haven so close at hand.

The philosopher looked sadly at the birds he had tried so hard to save. “The great difference between the birds and myself,” he thought, “is that I know where a haven is; they did not. They did not understand that I was trying hard to save them, and I could not make them see that the haven was close by. There was only one way I could have saved them ― only by becoming a bird could I have made them understand!”

As he mused, suddenly he heard again the Christians singing: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

Then a great light seemed to come to the wise philosopher. “O God,” he cried, “there was no other way for You to make men understand ― no other way that even You could lead them and make them understand, save by becoming one of them!”

And then, in the drifting snow, he fell upon his knees and uttered from the depths of his soul, “I believe! I believe!”

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THE CALL

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Blog, Books, Devotions | 10 comments

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

I received the call — the one every writer waits for. My agent, Linda Glaz, called to tell me that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas had decided to publish my first story. This was an answer to decades of prayer. My “millennial in the basement” was finally given wings to Be-Light-logo_v2fly out into the world.  

It was December 23, 2015, and my oldest son and his family were visiting us for the Christmas holidays. I called my youngest son and shared the news with him. We could not tell anyone else until after the contract had been received and signed. Tears of joy were shed and my family celebrated with me.  

I’m humbled. I know in this current publishing market, it is difficult for non-published authors to be picked up for publication. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was taking a chance on me.

Signing first publishing contract

                    Signing first publishing contract

Back in the eighties, two major Christian publishing houses considered this story seriously, but in the end, their rejections were added to the others.

In the nineties, my life changed, and for years I needed to put my writing aside. After I remarried, my husband encouraged me to return to writing and to once again seek publication for this story.

In the intervening years so much had changed in the fiction market about what publishers wanted to publish and how they wanted the stories presented. So I studied more about the current style of writing fiction and then began significant editing to the story.  I also attended writer’s conferences, networked with many amazing writers, began blogging and established a website. I’ve also been blessed with a wonderful agent who is a friend and mentor. It has been and continues to be a learning process.  Now I was days away from receiving a contract.

The timing of this acceptance was not lost on me. Only days earlier I’d been reading Roy Meet Me in the Meadow coverLessin’s Meet Me in the Meadow devotional; December 15-20 were devoted to Waiting For God’s Time.  He wrote:

 “Seasons of waiting on God and listening for His speaking often precede everything significant God will do in your life. God waits for you to wait on Him.”

“God, like a master weaver, does a creative work within us during the waiting times in our lives. . . . Before He gives us what we are waiting for, He wants to give us more of Himself. In the waiting times we are strengthened with His strength and the fiber of His character is worked within us.”

“It is important to understand that waiting times are not times of denial but are times of preparation. When it is God’s time to bring something into our lives, He will often do it after He has prepared us to receive it.”

“During our waiting times, expectation helps to keep us spiritually moving ahead instead of becoming passive and indifferent. Expectation moves us from twiddling our thumbs to exercising our faith.”

“Waiting times are growing times and learning times. As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace…as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength…as you lay down your will, you hear His calling.”                                    ~  Roy Lessin

(Used with Roy Lessin’s permission  http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com)

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who works for the one who waits for Him.”   Isaiah 64:4                                                                          

A Heart Set Free will be released December 2, 2016. I look forward to sharing more about this story with you in the days ahead.

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