Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sharing His Beauty Link Up

Please join me this evening for Sharing His Beauty and share the blessing that God is to you in your life. Simply click on the "You're Next" linky below and enter your blog information.

Or, if you choose, you may leave a comment on my post to tell of the beauty you have found in His hands. Be sure to visit some of the other inspirational sites linked up and be encouraged today! 


Blessings, 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Way of Life


Last night I put my father to bed.  This wonderful, once strong man was clutching my arm for support as I helped him in.  Lifting his legs up over the side of the bed so he could lie down to rest for the night, my main focus was to make him as comfortable as possible.  When I pulled up the covers and bent down to kiss him good night, he put his arms up around me and held me as tightly as he could.  The lump in my throat swelled, and as I blinked back tears, I told him I loved him.  In response, his grip around me tightened and he whispered words of love. 

I couldn’t help but notice how the roles had reversed.  My dad… my vibrant, funny, trustworthy dad, was always the one to put me to bed when I was a child.  He would tuck me in, read me a story (quite often a favorite from his own childhood) and kiss me good night.  It was always the perfect ending to my day. Now things are different and it breaks my heart. 

I know this is the way of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  I love my dad.  Seeing him so frail and in pain is incredibly difficult.  I am praying constantly for this man, who was the one to teach me to pray.  But, sometimes the sorrow that fills me is too much to bear.  The sight of his suffering weakens me.  However, I have learned to rely on my heavenly Father for strength.  “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28).  Our God is always faithful!  His presence is tangible as I care for my dad, and it encourages and strengthens me.  I am so thankful.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Are any of you going through a difficult time?  Is a loved one of yours travelling a painful road?  Do not fear!  Instead, to look to the Lord!  He will strengthen you and give you the ability to make it through the Valley.  He is with us in our time of need, filled with compassion and empathy as He guides us along the way.

Clinging to Him,




Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hope in the Rear View Mirror


When I learned to drive a car, my driving instructor taught me to scan my rear view mirrors periodically as I drove down the road.  He wanted to make sure I was aware of any other vehicle that might be approaching so I could avoid pulling out in front of it and getting into an accident.  However, he also advised me to keep my eyes on the road before me.  If my attention were to stay on what was behind me for too long, I would not see what was right in front of me and I would crash.

It is the same in our response to God's forgiveness of our sins.  God promises that when we come to Him with a humble and contrite heart He will forgive us. He will cleanse us and give us a new and fresh beginning. But do we ever have sins in our past that we refuse to release?  Maybe we may think they are too big or too painful to be fully forgiven.  We somehow think that even though our Lord has pardoned us, we need to continually punish ourselves by keeping our eyes on our past.  But, just as when we operate a car, if we keep our focus on the rear view mirror for too long we won't be able to see the beauty that the Lord is offering right in front of us.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stepping Stones

This is a repost from when my father first became ill just over a year ago. But, as his heath is steadily declining, the focus of what is written here is strongly on my mind.  The topic of trials is a challenging one, but, I can see that God's beauty still shines through.  As I travel this challenging road along with my parents, I know that our God is right beside us, helping to keep us steady.  Thank you to everyone who so faithfully visits this blog and links up on Mondays.

In life there are stepping stones much like those meticulously placed in ponds and streams by landscape architects and gardeners. They bridge the gap between one piece of solid ground and another. Recently, I have found myself standing on shaky ground. A loved one is going through a serious health concern and because of that I have come face to face with the fragility of life. It is in times like these that my stones of faith have been laid. Each stone represents an experience in life, a lesson learned, and a step of faith. And each stone has carried me to a place of deeper fellowship with the Lord.

We shouldn’t be surprised when difficulties come our way, but instead, consider them times to better learn to fully depend on Him. When we realize that each of our trials is an opportunity to see God at work and to be a witness of His greatness for others, our faith is grown and His glory shared. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”(I Peter 1:6-7).

Our response in times of trouble is crucial. It is not the time to waiver in our faith, but instead, to turn to Him for support and direction. It is easy to try to depend on our own strength, but we will find that by doing so our efforts are fruitless. We will sink in the stressful moments that are sure to come our way. But, God offers calm in the midst of the storm and stepping stones in the middle of deep waters. “Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm”(Mark 4:39).  And in those calm moments His loving strength is revealed. When we focus on Christ, He will show us the higher ground which leads us over the water.

Are you going through a situation in your life that you can’t handle on your own? Then look to the Lord. He longs to comfort you and bring peace into your life. He is strong enough for all your burdens! With each trial you give to Him, He will lay another stepping stone before you upon which to firmly place your feet while you travel through deep water. I am praising God for the stepping stones of my faith, each lovingly and beautifully placed by the faithful hands of Christ.


Living for Him, 

Joan


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another Week!

Welcome to another week of Sharing His Beauty! It has been an incredibly busy week for us.  After moving into our new home, we have kept ourselves occupied with "feathering our nest"!  The boxes are now unpacked, the pictures are hung and everything is put in its proper place.  I've even had the pleasure of planting some flowers and fixing up a little pond that is in the backyard!  It has been a true blessing and we are so thankful to God for the home He has provided for us.

I'm hoping that things will begin to settle down and I'll be back on my usual writing schedule.  But, that is all in God's hands.  Whatever He places before us, I know that He will give us the strength and encouragement we need to follow Him.  He will be with us every step of the way!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). 

I invite you to link up beginning tonight at 6:00 p.m. to share the blessing that God is to you in your life. Simply click on the "You're Next" linky below and enter your blog information.

Or, if you choose, you may leave a comment on my post to tell of the beauty you have found in His hands. Be sure to visit some of the other inspirational sites linked up and be encouraged today!


Living for Him,