“Hold on tight!” my father yelled. I gripped the roll bar in the back seat of the ’65 Willy’s Jeep, my knuckles white as we ascended a craggy, boulder-laden mountain ridge.
Caught in a dangerous situation, we de-boarded while my father manipulated the Jeep to keep it from rolling into a ravine. I watched helplessly from the sidelines. Filled with worry and fear, I didn't know what else to do but pray. Fortunately, my father was able to inch the Jeep to safety, avoiding inevitable demise.
This week, the unsettling news of the invasion of Ukraine left us feeling helpless, worried, and fearful for the safety of the Ukrainian people. It’s tough to be on the sidelines watching while the travesty unfolds. However, we don't have to feel helpless. There are things we can do:
1)Pray. Prayer is powerful. Together, we can make a difference for those in need.
2)Be a Christian "Soldier of the Cross"
Remember the hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers?” We may not be fighting a physical war in our country, but as Christ followers, we are fighting perpetual spiritual battles. So, gird up: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13
3)Stay the course. “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” – 2 Chron. 15:7, and “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14
4)Be Strong and Courageous. – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
“Fight the good fight of the faith.” - 1 Timothy 6:12(a)
Tough times call for tough measures. The Ukrainian people are fighting for their lives and country, but they are holding on tight. We can uphold them through our prayers, and as "soldiers of the Cross," we can be strong, stay the course, and remain firm in our faith to support those in need.
As the battles rage, let us hold on tight!
A prayer for today: Dear Father in Heaven, You know the needs of the Ukrainian people; we earnestly pray for their safety as they defend their homeland. Strengthen them as they endure hardship in the days, weeks, and months to come. Strengthen each reader of this blog today, and as Christian "soldiers of the Cross," may we be courageous in fighting spiritual battles against the adversary. - In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Photo courtesy of Vecteezy.
What kind of memories does Valentine's Day bring back to you from your childhood? Did you exchange Valentine's Day cards with your classmates or friends?
For years I saved those cards with their simple greetings: "Be Mine," "I'm Yours," "I Claim You," or "Be My Valentine."
In the classroom, we decorated shoeboxes with red and pink paper hearts to create our own personal mailboxes. On Valentine's Day, we'd distribute our valentines to each classmate's box.
It was a wonderful idea; however, there were a handful of times that I didn't receive as many valentines as my classmates. I went home in tears, and the sad experience stayed with me for a long time.
We all need to feel wanted and loved; it's a prerequisite for our survival. Unfortunately, the world is not a perfect place, and sin has a way of messing things up. Then, growing up, many discover that true love is not easy to find
But there is One Love that is perfect, and that is God's love. When I was young, we sang "Jesus Loves Me" in Sunday School. I always knew He loved me, but I think it is going to take a lifetime or more for me to understand the fullness of that love.
So, here it is nearing Valentine's Day. If God sent a Valentine to your mailbox, I imagine him saying, "I claim you!," "You are mine!", "I love you," and "You belong to me!" But, truthfully, God's messages of love for you are written throughout the Bible. Do you know there are hundreds of verses that speak of love? (See below for a few examples).
Valentine's Day is just one day, but God's love is unconditional, 24/7, without ceasing. Every day is a day to celebrate the love He has for us. So, Happy Valentine's Day--and know that You are Loved!
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning..." - Lamentations 3:22-23
"'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has compassion on you." - Isaiah 54:10
"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." - John 3:16
Inflation and sticker shock have hit deep. You've seen the effect at the grocery store, the gas station, and, it's widespread, probably everywhere you have shopped.
It's hard to believe, isn't it, that the things you are accustomed to buying now take a much bigger chunk out of your wallet?
We're living in a changing economy that affects everyone, no matter their socioeconomic status. It's disappointing, upsetting, and frustrating.
In the grand scheme of things, what we are experiencing is yet another bump in the road (albeit a large one). Not to minimize the severity of what is happening, but we must remember a truth: we were never guaranteed to live a life free from trials or tribulations.
Numerous Bible verses relate to this topic. One verse, from John 16:33, is in Jesus words:
"In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
We might grumble about the price we have to pay for the things we need, but God has us covered in a much bigger way. His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, paid the greatest price of all. He gave up His life on the cross to deliver us from sin.
Thanks be to God for His love and grace. It is His gift to us--something we will never need to pay for--and it is free for the asking.
1 Peter 4:12-14 – “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
2 Corinthians 12:10 – “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Prayer for today: Dear Lord in Heaven, Today I pray for every person reading this blog. You know their needs, Lord. Uplift them and keep them secure in your love. I also pray for those suffering due to the economy, that their needs may be met. Father, I also pray for those who do not yet know you, that they may discover your love for them and the salvation that waits for them through Your Son, Jesus Christ. - Amen.
(Photo courtesy of Vecteezy)
Through God's Word!"
Find inner peace through Positive Thought, through Faith in God and through God's Word.