Tag Archives: God’s Faithfulness

Growing in Grace

Strong CedarIt is a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises [with musical accompaniment] to Your name, O Most High,

To show forth Your loving-kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night,

With an instrument of ten strings and with the lute, with a solemn sound upon the lyre.

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your works; at the deeds of Your hands I joyfully sing.

How great are Your doings, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep.

A man in his rude and uncultivated state knows not, neither does a [self-confident] fool understand this:

That though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to be destroyed forever.

But You, Lord, are on high forever.

For behold, Your adversaries, O Lord, for behold, Your enemies shall perish; all the evildoers shall be scattered.

10 But my horn (emblem of excessive strength and stately grace) You have exalted like that of a wild ox; I am anointed with fresh oil.

11 My eye looks upon those who lie in wait for me; my ears hear the evildoers that rise up against me.

12 The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].

13 Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14 [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].

15 [They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

~Psalm 92 (AMP)

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God’s Promises

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“For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”  ~Psalm 33:4

There are so many promises in God’s Word for His children.  These promises have been my anchor through the storm.  I have been clinging with all my might to the promises of God knowing that He will never fail me.  So in these next couple of weeks I want to dive in to these promises with you.  Let’s take a look at all that God promises us when we follow Him.  I’m looking forward to this new study with you.

1.  God will bring good through this.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, 

to those who are called according to His purpose.”  

~Romans 8:28

 2.  God has a plan.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord,
‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 
3.  God gives perfect peace.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; 
not as the world gives do I give to you.  
Do not let your heart be troubled, not let it be fearful.”  
~John 14:27 
4.  God provides incredible strength.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
~Isaiah 41:10 
5.  Nothing is impossible with God.
But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
~Luke 18:27 
6.  God holds nothing back.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
~Psalm 84:11
7.  God will meet every need.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
~Philippians 4:19
8.  God has the power to heal.
‘For I will restore you to health
And I will heal you of your wounds,” declares the Lord…
~Jeremiah 30:17
9.  God will wipe away every tear.
“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
and there will no longer be any death; 
there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; 
the first things have passed away.”
~Revelation 21:4
10.  God will bring victory.
“He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”  
~Proverbs 2:7-8 (NIV84)
Dear Father God, I cling to each one of these promises.  I know that you are faithful and true.  You will never leave or forsake me.  I know that you have a perfect plan.  May you continue your good work in my dad and may he have many years left to serve you.  I pray that he will have the strength to cling to your promises during these difficult days and that he will trust you with every step ahead.
Trusting in the Author of Life,
Sarah
~~~~
All the above verses are from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.

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Pressing On

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“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  ~Philippians 3:12-14

One of the greatest moments through this whole journey was this moment above.  A couple friends of Dad’s had asked if they could put a benefit together for him.  Of course we said yes.  They had asked this during their very first visit to see dad in the hospital.  Then they went to work to put this beautiful event together for dad.  Many people pitched in to make this event a success.

This day wasn’t about raising money, a silent auction, or even eating food.  It was a day to celebrate the life that my dad has been given.  A day to celebrate the impact he has made on many people.  It was a day to celebrate the work of his hands and his heart.  It was a beautiful day!

My dad ran marathons when I was a little girl, so we had thought it would be nice to have people lined up on either side to welcome him in.  Of course he was embarrassed as he really doesn’t like attention.  But oh how sweet it was to watch him come in like he had just finished the race of his life.

In many ways Dad’s race is just beginning.  He still has a long ways to go.  Please continue to pray that God will bring my dad healing.  Please pray that God will restore his brain.  We have been told that the healing process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years.  It’s a long process and as we wait we know that God will finish the good work He has begun.  God is just getting started with my dad!

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you

will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

~Philippians 1:26

God will always finish what He begins.  And this work in my dad is just getting started.  I cling to the hope that comes from God alone and trust that He will bring about a full recovery for my dad.  I will have faith because I know that even faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

He replied, “Because you have so little faith.

 I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,

‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 ~Matthew 17:20

Lord, I’m ready to watch You move mountains on my dad’s behalf.  Thank you for the work you have already done in his life and for the promise that you will be faithful to complete this work in him.  Thank you for never being slow in keeping your promises but for constantly coming through for us.  I pray that you will be greatly glorified through this accident.  May your kingdom be expanded, may your purpose be known, and may your truth be declared through this.  Thank you God for always finishing what you start!  I trust in you alone!

Trusting in the Lord,
Sarah

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
~Hebrews 11:1

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Home Sweet Home

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“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”  

~Psalm 29:11

This will be my last week writing on the blessings from my Dad’s accident.  I could continue as the blessings keep to pouring in, but I want to get started on another study with you.

The time had come for my dad to come home.  He came home July 14th.  What a sweet day it was.  My sister Abigail picked dad up from the nursing home in Crosby and helped him get settled in.  Paul, Zion, and I were on a flight to get there by the evening so we could spend dad’s first week at home with him.

There were many sweet blessings that came out of this…

1.  We had several people come to clean dad’s house, weed his garden, and mow his lawn so that it was all ready for him to come home.  10561694_10152558390204889_8039921515983248228_nThank you family and friends for helping us make dad’s transition back to home a sweet one!

2.  It was a huge blessing to be able to spend this first week at home with my dad.  It was an honor to serve him and watch him enjoy the comforts of home again.

3.  Dad’s homecare nurse was a Christian.  That’s always a bonus!

4.  We had a nice family fire one night roasting hotdogs and marshmallows.  It was a sweet time to enjoy just being family.

Zion riding around Papa Ray's yard.

Zion riding around Papa Ray’s yard.

5.  Seeing my dad on his riding lawn mower.  He was like a little boy in a candy shop.  So happy to be doing something independently and without the help of anyone else.  He tore around that yard like it was a racetrack.  It was fun to watch him come back to life a little bit.

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6.  Asking my dad if there was anything else I could do for him.  I really didn’t feel like I was doing enough.  Dad’s communication was still fairly limited and he was pretty quiet most of the time. He looked at me and said, “You are doing just fine.  All my children have really blessed me.”

7.  It was fun to watch dad interact with my son Zion.  He pretended like he knew what Zion was saying and they had a sweet conversation back and forth.  It was fun to watch my dad be Papa Ray.

IMG_43448.  Watching my dad water his garden.  Every simple thing was such a joy to me.  I took a picture of my dad watering the garden and he looked at me with a look that said, “Really?”  It was a big deal to me, but to him it was life as normal again.

9.  Playing cards with dad.  We had some sweet conversations over cards and just enjoyed fellowship time together.

10.  My husband was able to be with us the whole week.  This helped a ton.  We were a team and that made it a ton easier!

11.  My aunt Susan flew in to take care of my dad for two weeks.  She started where we left off.

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My sweet aunts… Dad’s lovely sisters!

12.  The loving touch from my aunts Paulette, Denise, and Susan.  All of my dad’s sisters have been deeply touched by watching their brother go through this and have been a huge encouragement to us.  There is an extra dose of love that they have really poured out on us through this.

IMG_430513.  Watching my dad push Zion on his swing and make him laugh.  Oh, these are the moments I always want to remember!

Have you counted your blessings lately?  What has the Lord done for you?  How will you celebrate God’s amazing work?  Please don’t waste your time worrying, fretting, or being anxious.  Your time is valuable.  Redeem it by finding the greatest things to focus on.  Find the time to count your blessings and see that God is faithful.  He will never fail you!

Dear Father God, Thank you for bringing dad home!  And thank you so much for allowing me to be there for his first week at home.  I continue to be so grateful for your tremendous work in my dad’s life.  May you continue your healing in him and may all of this serve to advance your glory!

Counting My Blessings,
Sarah

 

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Moving On Up

A day in the park with Papa Ray, his girls, and his grandkids!

A day in the park with Papa Ray, his girls, and his grandkids!

Dad’s move to Crosby was a great move.  The first blessing in this move was being accepted in to Crosby’s program.  We were hoping dad would be here because that meant he was a little closer to home and made visits from family and friends just a little easier.  The lake near by and the opportunity to fish didn’t hurt either.  The move to Crosby was a good one and dad continued to receive the therapy he needed to help further his healing.  10437364_10152965648793047_6866206911606870122_n

Here are a few of the blessings from this phase of the journey…

1.  Dad getting in to the program in Crosby.

2.  Dad’s friends Andy and Sue Cairns gave him a good ole fashion fish fry out in the pavilion on the property.  Dad’s favorite food is fish and this really made his day.  Not to mention just the sweet fellowship with his friends.

3.  Dad was a little closer to home and was able to visit home a time or two.

10483275_10152939251508047_6449037074617101007_n4.  My sister Abigail continued to take dad to all his medical appointments.  I’m thankful that she was able to play such a significant role in Dad’s recovery.

5.  My sister Rachel and her kids were able to visit dad at least twice a week while he was in Crosby.

6.  Dad enjoyed seeing his grandkids a little more during this time.

7.  Dad was picked up by his friends and brought to his favorite Bible study during the week.

8.  Dad was able to share the gospel with one of his therapists who is a mormon.  She has since said that she would like to come to church with him and hear more about Jesus.

9.  My brother Caleb was able to get my dad’s garden up and running.  It’s impressive that he put in two gardens this year.IMG_3392

10.  The love, support, and prayers from friends and family continued to greatly pour in.  We were so blessed that people continued to walk this long journey with us.

11.  Dad had a great team working with him and they helped us really understand how to get dad’s home ready for his return.

12.  Abigail and her husband took the time to prepare dad’s house for his arrival.

10352335_10152939250713047_1935407746461485519_nThere really are so many blessings through all of this.  God is faithful!  The toughest times don’t seem as tough when we keep our eyes on Him.  I love knowing that God will never leave or forsake us.  It’s a promise we can cling to.  God will come through.  His timing does look a little different than our own but He also sees things from a different perspective.  His vantage point is much greater than yours and I can promise you that no matter what you are facing right now… God has a plan.  He will come through!  He will be faithful to you.

…because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  ~Hebrews 13:5

Dear Father God, I cling to this promise today.  May I rest in the comfort of your arms knowing that you are doing a marvelous work.  Nothing and no one can thwart the work of your hands.  You are God!  You are faithful!  And in that I continue to rejoice!

Rejoicing in the Lord’s Work,
Sarah

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Do you trust me?

An excerpt from the book "Lead Me, Holy Spirit" by Stormie Omartian

An excerpt from the book “Lead Me, Holy Spirit” by Stormie Omartian

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  

~Isaiah 55:8-9

I read this above paragraph on a very difficult day.  God knew that my heart was heavy and that I needed a breath of fresh air.  This was the day that my dad found out he was going to have to have a feeding tube put in.  At this point, it had been over two weeks since he had eaten.  They first tried the picc line because it was less invasive and they had hoped dad could build his strength up with this.  Unfortunately, dad did not make enough progress.  He just wasn’t able to get his swallow to work the way that it needed to.  I remember dad’s brokenness this day as he responded to his need for the feeding tube.  I watched tears flow from his eyes.  It was so hard to see my dad broken.

The next day I had to go to a court hearing on my dad’s behalf in Brainerd.  My sisters met me there and we took on the responsibility of becoming dad’s guardian and conservator.  We are blessed that the judge quickly granted our petition and even gave his regards to the situation at hand.  As soon as this was over, I headed back to Saint Cloud to be with my dad for his surgery to get the feeding tube in.  I made it just in time to hold his hand before he was wheeled off to surgery.  I held his hand while he cried knowing what was about to happen.  I cried right along with him.  It was so hard to see him hurting.  My heart just ached for him.  I wanted to make everything better but all I could do is just sit and cry with him.  I didn’t even have the strength to say anything.

But I learned that the greatest thing I could do was just be there with my dad.  There were no words!  I couldn’t make it better.  My words would have just failed me.  I had to trust God to take care of my dad.

In fact, that’s the question I kept hearing from God…  “Do you trust me?”  I wrestled with this a lot.  I wanted to trust God but the circumstances made it difficult for me to do so.  But that’s because I had my eyes on the circumstances and not on God.  I can’t trust circumstances.  They are unreliable.  But God is steady and He is more than reliable.  I went to the Word that day seeking to trust God.  I wanted to hand this over to Him and trust Him with the details.  The outcome of my time in the Word is here in a note from my journal…

“Do you trust me?”  This is the question I hear the Lord asking me right now.  I came to Minnesota ready to stay as long as I needed to.  But I’m seeing that I can’t keep my life on an indefinite pause.  My dad would not want me to do that.  He would want me to trust God.

Lord, I know that you are Jehovah Raphai, my healer.  My dad’s great physician.  I know your hands can heal him and restore him completely.  I know that you have a plan and a purpose through all of this and I can trust you!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  ~Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

Lord, I place my trust in you!  Please help me to not lean on my own understanding, but to acknowledge you and trust that you will make my paths straight.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”  ~Isaiah 26:3

Lord, please provide your perfect peace for my heart.  May my mind stay steadfast on Your promises and my eyes fixed on your truth.  I pray that I will live out this current difficult time by trusting in you and your unfailing love.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD.  For he will be like a tree planted by the water…”  ~Jeremiah 17:7-8

Lord, I place my trust in you.  I want to be this tree planted by the water bearing fruit for you!  You are my Rock, I will not be shaken!

“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”  ~Psalm 118:8

Lord, I place my trust in You.  Not the doctors, not the nurse, not my dad, and not the current circumstances.  I place all my trust in you!  For only you have the ability to never fail me!

My blessings through this experience are…

1.  The judge quickly granting our request.  This allowed my sister Rachel to have access to dad’s finances and pay his bills.  This also allowed me to be dad’s voice until he was able to speak for himself with the doctors.

2.  Dad’s sister Susan was able to stay with him while we went to the hearing.

3.  The surgery for the feeding tube went well.

4.  I was able to make it back in time for the surgery.

5.  Extra time in the word learning what it means to truly trust in the Lord!

6.  Dad was accepted in to the physical therapy program at Saint Cloud Hospital.  This was considered the best among our options!

Dear Father God, Thank you for giving me the time that I so desperately needed in the Word.  Thank you for reminding me that I can always trust you!  There is nothing to big for you and nothing that you cannot do!  You are God!  You are faithful!  You are my rock, my strong fortress, and my refuge.  Thank you for being everything I could possibly need!

Counting my Blessings,
Sarah

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How Priceless

“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.”

~Psalm 36:5-9

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Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,

Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

GREAT is YOUR FAITHFULNESS.”

~Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

If you were to take a tour of my home, there would be one thing you would notice on almost every wall.  The Word of God is pretty prevalent in our home.  There are many good reasons for this!  I love words!  And I truly believe that the power of these words continue to transform my life.  It is so refreshing to walk around our home and be reminded of God’s Word often.

This above vinyl wording is on a wall in our bedroom.  It’s right above the door to our master bathroom.  The great thing about these words is that every morning I get to wake up to them.  I wake up to this reminder, this promise from God.  I wake up remembering that God is Faithful and He always will be.  I celebrate this daily!

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Forever Faithful

Keep walking! God's faithfulness is coming through. You never know what's around the corner!

“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– the Lord, who remains faithful forever.”

~Psalm 146:5-6 (NIV)

Lately, I have come across a few people who are hurting in many ways.  There are a lot of tough things going on in people’s lives.  One common theme is a desire to see God come through.  A desire to be victorious!  I think it’s so important to stop for a moment and look at God’s record of faithfulness.  I want to explore how faithful He has been and how faithful He will be.  God has a record of being faithful at least a Gazillion times.  More times than we will ever be able to count.  It’s hard to see His faithfulness at work in our lives at times because we see things from our perspective.  We see things unfinished, full of pain, agony, often bewildered by circumstances, and just frustrated by the lack of control we have.  We need to take our eyes off of the circumstances and put our eyes on the One who is in control!  The One who never steps off the throne, never says He’s too busy, never calls it quits, never says He’s having a bad day, so He can’t help us.  He is always there!  We just have to stop and become available.  Stop and listen!  Stop and allow Him to work!  Stop and get a new perspective on the current situation!  Let’s look at God’s record of faithfulness and compare it to our lives.  Let’s see how He has been faithful!

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Hit a Home Run

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,

a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

~2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

To say that today has been interesting would be an under statement.  I realized that posting a devotional about Jesus Christ being the only way to Heaven would present an open door for people to offer feedback or disagree.  I have had one very interesting conversation take place with a man who is practicing Buddhism.  He feels that Christians are very closed minded and the devotional didn’t sit well with him.  He left a comment for me to find this morning.  This has reminded me of the verse above.

Be ready to hit it out of the park for God!

Be ready to hit it out of the park for God!

I have known that every devotional I prepare needs to be backed up by the life I live and the Truth found in the Word of God.  In the same way, I pray that when you read these devotionals God will challenge you to step up to the plate.  Hit a home run for God.  Don’t be satisfied with sitting in the dugout!  Don’t be okay with walking to first base!  Don’t even be okay with a first base hit!  God wants more, He wants us to live our lives approved by Him.  How do we present ourselves to God as approved?  Well, let’s start with the basics.

“…a workman who does not need to be ashamed…”

Is there anything you are ashamed of?  Is there anything you need to offer to God?  This comes first!

We need to daily give ourselves to God.  Keep the list short of those you need to forgive and those who need to forgive you.  Try your best not to live in the past with thoughts of things that could have or should have been better.  Realize that God is here today and wants to work in You now!  Let go of yesterday, so you can start living out today!  From the time you wake up in the morning, until the moment you lay your head on your pillow at night continue to stay in communication with the Lord.  Let your thoughts be His thoughts, your actions mimic His actions, and your love come from His overflowing love!

For instance, a while ago when I chose an email address I came up with God iz Faithful as the name.  I did this on purpose.  I wanted it to be a constant reminder to everyone I gave it to that God is faithful.  The “s” was taken, so I had to settle for the “z”.  Well, time and time again this email has been the conversation starter for God to come in and show His faithfulness once again.  Today I was able to witness this twice.  I had to give my email address at two different places.  The first one I gave to a lady and she said, “I like that, I like that a lot.”  She said she really needed to hear that.  I asked what had been going on in her life and she started to share her story.  I was able to encourage her and share with her the devotional site.  She said, “you are like an angel for me today.”

In every moment, we have an opportunity to be a witness for God.  Even a small thing like an email can be a witness to someone whose day has gone awry.  Yes, today started with someone whose road is leading in a different direction than my own, but I’m enjoying the opportunity to shine my light for Jesus to him.  It’s an extreme opportunity and at the opposite end of the spectrum are those moments that go unnoticed at times.  Each moment is important to God.  Each moment we need to be prepared for and the only way to be prepared is to constantly be in the Word.

You can only share the Truth of who God is by being in the Word.  When it is all said and done, people want to know the testimony of who God has been to you.  They want to hear what He has done in your life.   They want to feel what it’s been like to live with God as Lord over your life.  They want to get the answers to how, why, when, and where.  They want to touch, see, hear, and experience God like you have.  They don’t want you to lead them to information on the internet, they can do that on their own.  They want the Truth.  They want what you have.  Are you willing to share?  I know that when I talk to someone else about what they believe, I want to know their experience, not the information.  I can find that anywhere.  I want to have a relationship, like Jesus had with people while He was on earth.  Let’s experience God’s faithfulness with people and help them know who God is through the testimony of our lives.

May the Truth of God’s Word be found in the moments we breathe and live for!  The moments that escape with the ticking of time.  The Truth is the only thing that will escape the sand slipping through the hourglass of time!

Dear Father God, I pray that You will teach me how to be an approved worker in the field of writing.  I pray every day that I will live according to Your Word.  May my life follow the Truth I find in Your Word and may I never stray from what I have found in You.

Following Your Truth,

Sarah

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