God Sees Differently

My reading this week has been a gentle and kind admonishing for me. I have been reminded that God is God and I am not.

1 Samuel 16:7b … God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Sometimes, I can be quick to pass judgment on another, yet I cannot possibly know what their reasons are for why they do what they do. I am not able to see the motives of another’s heart, but God is able.

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this— not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Romans 14:12-13

What is important is that I am fully convinced in my own mind about how I live my life for the Lord Jesus and that I don’t make it difficult for others to do the same.

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Sacrificial Love

Many people in my life put me in awe of God’s goodness to us. He has blessed my family abundantly with amazing family, friends and neighbors. They go above and beyond, loving us extraordinarily well. Their kind hearts encourage me to go out and love big and to give generously in my own spheres.

Recently, we welcomed a new little bundle. As we approached our home with this freshly baked muffin, I noticed our front porch covered with items for this adventure. Bags chalked full of beautiful clothing, diapers and wipes stacked, a lovely swing and a treasured note that I will hold dear forever. A dear girlfriend did this for us.

John 15:13 says,

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

You see, not only did she love us so well but she was sacrificing herself while doing so. As her friend, I know that this sweet woman has been dealing with a lot lately. In a moment when it is natural to be inwardly focused, she was giving herself away for us.

This mirrors what Jesus did! He sacrificed Himself, He suffered for our greater good.

I want to thank her especially and for the others that bless us continually with their sacrificial love. You are an encouragement, a treasured blessing and a reminder to our family to lay down our lives for our friends. Just like Jesus.

Our Hope

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It has been a very trying few weeks. We had one of the worst virus’s that I have ever experienced and it went through all of us one at a time. Being that I have a larger sized family, it’s safe to say that we’ve been home bound for at least 3 weeks with a few healthy days here or there before the horrid plague claimed another victim! But as I sit here at the hopeful end of this very small trial, I am just amazed by God and so thankful for the hope of salvation.

I start to think about the loved ones I have who have experienced much more dire health issues. Cancers, heart disease, liver failures and drug addictions. I think about my nephew fighting leukemia. I think about the brokenness that drug addiction has brought to our family through blood relations and foster care. I think about my beautiful Mom with her bald head and my Dad and Step Mother with their own cancer scares. And, it goes beyond my immediate family. Aunts, uncles and friends. There is much suffering and much heartache in this life we live. As I look around, I am so grateful that our hope is not in this life but in the one to come.

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As I watch these people walk through their trials with God held high, surrendering their lives and their wills to a Father that is all knowing and loving, I stand in awe. Whether He chooses to heal or to take them home, they are at peace and the Jesus in them shines bright. It is humbling and convicting. Especially after three weeks of feeling sorry for myself over a silly virus. I am so thankful for the reminder that this is not our home. We will suffer much here but He’s already overcome it all.

Being Ready

I was reflecting on the armor of God this week, praying for friends who really need to be equipped with the full armor of God right now. In my head I could quote all the pieces of armor apart from the “readiness of the shoes of the gospel of peace.” I realized that this is something I should really remember, it’s so important to remember to be ready.

Matthew 24:44

“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

We need to be ready for Jesus, living each day for Him. This World is not it! This isn’t the end of the story, this is not our home, our home is with Jesus. We need to be ready to be called home and know that Jesus will say those wonderful words to us, “well done good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)

Being ready with the gospel of peace also means we need to have verses in our mind to use in times of trouble. The devil wants us to feel worthless and alone, he throws his fiery darts at us so that we will turn away from the Lord. But, God’s word has the authority and the power to deal with these attacks.

When our faith is questioned, we also need to be ready with Bible verses to support our faith, we have a hope to share with others and abundant joy in knowing Jesus, but often our faith is dismissed as foolishness.

1 Peter 3:15

“…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

I love this verse, we cannot argue with people to love God we need to tell them with gentleness and respect that we have such a magnificent hope. This wonderful hope we have means we do not have to fear death and the evil of this world because the Lord Jesus is our Saviour. He saves us from this. There is freedom from sin knowing that we can spend eternity with him in paradise. He can make us ready with His gospel of peace for anything this world throws at us.

Look for the Gifts in the Wait

If you hear anyone screaming joyfully from this little town on the coast of Maine, it’s just me!!!! God has provided!!!

He has guided us to a home to plant our family of nine. His sovereign fingerprints have been all over it as the story of how we discovered this home is amazing! It has obviously been God at work and there has even been so many gifts in the wait.

In the midst of the trial of searching, we have had so much to be thankful for. Details wreathed through each of our nine lives, from great job experiences, to our 16 year old being able to work hard and purchase his very first car in cash. Days together, beach days, cousin days, church vacation bible school days. On the fly, my mom will take our teen daughter out for a coffee. Even little Kezia growing to love her papa so much as we have been in their house has been such a gift!

I am thankful that our Heavenly Father goes before us and with us. He sees the big picture and yet the tiniest detail is His. In His power, He manages to take care of all of us. He is in the midst of each of our lives looking out for us and working things out for His plan and His glory, and we can be joyful and look for His gifts in the wait.

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.” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Looking back at the trial of searching for a home these last 3 months, I have realized it is much better to focus on the blessings rather than the hard things. We can continue to choose joy and count our gifts even in the battles. We can look out for the joyous parts while we wait and see that God meant for it to be the way it has been all along.

By It We Grow

A new baby has recently been added to our family. He is an adorable eight pound bundle of snuggles and cuddles. Oh the preciousness!

His life has brought us a new love. With this love also brings all the responsibilities of a baby. That’s right! Day and night, every three to four hours he is hungry. His feedings satisfy him and also cause him to grow. Without frequent feedings, he would not be the healthy little guy he is created to be.

God’s Word tells us we must be just like little babies.

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation. (1 Peter2:2).

If you have ever wondered why Believers read the Bible and talk about Jesus all the time this verse explains it well. Just like a newborn longs for more milk, a Believer longs for more of Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God that became flesh and blood. (John 1:14) He fulfilled every requirement of God through His sinless life, sacrificial death and bodily resurrection.

Knowing Jesus more intimately through reading and studying The Word of God encourages, strengthens and sustains every believer. Just like milk is sustenance for a newborn, knowing more of Jesus sustains hunger to know God. How? Because Jesus is God!

I Will Never Go Back

You could say that I am a bit crazy about Jesus. Though, I have not always been this way. Over the years of pursuing Him, I have seen how incredibly faithful and real He is! I will never go back.

Countless times I have prayed so specifically and then it happens, but with an above and beyond addition of God’s kind of whipped cream and cherry on top! Your jaw drops because you know that you know, He showed up in an absolutely incredible and awesome goose-bumpy way. “There is no doubt,” you say, “God did that!”

He loves to knock our socks off with His love for us. This whole Jesus thing, may sound kind of crazy if you do not believe. The faithfulness of God is like nothing in this world, so sometimes it is hard to trust His love for us until you just decide to.

•He never lets me down– like so many things or people in my life do or will.

•He has been my only constant in a world full of chaos, pain, stress and anxiety.

•Though my heart may wander from Him, His never does from me.

•Nothing, no one, no other pursuit has been quite so fulfilling, like loving Him.

•Understanding that in Him my soul finds rest and fulfillment of joy is everything to me, which has not always been so, because now I know it.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:4)

So today, I am thankful! My life has turned for the better because I chose Jesus. Once you taste and see how incredible it is to love and accept Him- you, like me, will never want to go back. His faithfulness is so good.