In His Presence

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

When I think about being in His presence this is the verse that most often pops into my mind. It’s interesting to consider how we perceive His presence, especially while we are praying. For me, He is quietly, patiently, listening intentionally. There’s really not a picture as such, it’s more of a presence in and around me. It’s like Psalm 115 says three times in verses 9-11, God is wrapped around us as our shield.

In the beautiful song, sung by Sandi Patty, In His Presence, are these words:

I don’t think I can say it better there is comfort, peace, assurance, an ever open door, to know our Savior more, In The Presence of the Lord.

Abba, thank You for hearing my prayers, for even wanting to hear my prayers. Thank You for drawing me close to You, for wrapping around me like a shield, for totally forgiving every mess-up! Amen

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I will be doing a series of posts based on Deb Wolf”s 52-Week Devotional Journal. I’d love to have you join me. You can purchase this resource by clicking on the picture at the left.

 

 

 

Thank you to Bible Gateway for providing the scripture links for this post.

 

One Word 2021 — Transformed

Each year I choose one word and one verse to focus on. I do this in place of making resolutions that I’m not likely to keep anyway. This year I have chosen the word transformed with the following verse:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2 NKJ

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:2 MSG

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. Romans 12:2 TPT

From time to time I’ll let you know how this transformation is going.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Ruminate

Do your thoughts race and roll in your mind sometimes? Do you find yourself following other paths when you really need to stay focused on an issue? Mine do. In fact, all of us do that. It’s called rumination and God has some words about it.

 

 

Whenever my busy thoughts are out of control the soothing comfort of Your Presence calms me and overwhelms me with delight. Psalm 94:19

If you read the next verse you’ll find one of the reasons this condition is rampant in our culture right now. However, that’s not where I want to go with this post. My thoughts went somewhere else, again.

Racing thoughts often happen in conditions of anxiety and stress, especially in times like we’re living now. The pandemic, the political/governmental crisis, the uncertainty, and the business of life contribute to thoughts that run helter-skelter.

Paul gave some much-needed guidance on this issue in Phillippians 4:6-7:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And so how do we get our thoughts back into some kind of order? Paul tells us to pray, to ask (supplication), to give thanks. For me, the moment I go to God and talk to Him my thoughts begin to calm and I’m usually able to gain some perspective.

The next thing I do is start thinking of Bible verses I have memorized. My favorite is Phillippians 4:8.

I highly recommend having many verses memorized. Not only will they help when your mind wants to ruminate, but they will also be always there for any situation you find yourself in. In Psalm 119:11 David says, “Thy word will I hide in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

 

Number Our Days

How is it possible to number our days, to know how many days we have? Only God knows that answer but He does want us to use our days wisely. (See Psalm 139:13-16 MSG)

First, we must always keep in mind that God gave us our days and He wants us to use them wisely. Remember that verse we learned in VBS, Matthew 6:33? Seek first the Kingdom of God. We are to always put Him and His plan first. Like, reading His Word and praying first thing in the morning, putting the needs of others first, living the first and greatest commandment –

Then, comes the plan. God is a planner. Look at Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not harm you plans to give you hope and a future. God has planned out every moment of our day every step of the way. And so should we. Keep in mind this is not a way to add more busywork to our lives it’s more about mindfully organizing our days around what is most important.

There is an acronym that fits well here. J O Y 

Jesus first! Spend quality, scheduled time in His presence. Read His Word! Pray! Worship! Study!

Others next! Call the sister or brother that has a birthday, anniversary, or just because. Take time to talk to your neighbor. Have coffee with a friend.

You last! That does not mean we are to leave ourselves and our responsibilities out. Determine what you need to do to keep yourself healthy spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. Include diet, exercise, sleep, learning, chores, and recreation. Unless we keep ourselves in good shape we can’t meet the needs we see around us.

Wisdom is learning, knowing, and applying God’s Word at the right time, in the right place, and with the right purpose. It makes sense that once we have ‘our days numbered’ wisdom will follow.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

All links to scripture are connected to Bible Gateway.

 

Where Butterflies Go – – Book Review

When I began reading this book I saw a bit of the Rachael and Leah story of the Old Testament. You know the one. The father wanted the oldest daughter to marry first but the young man was in love with the youngest. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Lies and gossip are never a good idea and when used to make a wrong right can cascade into a series of events that change lives forever

This story is a microcosm of what it must have been like in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. The author uses very interesting characters to portray the terror of the time. Hiding in stairwells… Always hungry and scared… Physical and mental harm and stress… Work camps… Death camps… Survival was hardly worth it. Reality comes in bits and pieces but it does come. The Jewish people were treated horribly by not only the Nazis but essentially by the whole world.

Finally, our protagonist is able to ‘escape’ from it all. The war is over and she is moved to America. The challenges of this move bring some relief from the deep fear. But, there is more to the story. New challenges, new relationships, and many decisions.

This quote from the book really says it all. It is referring to the people in the concentration camps is incredibly descriptive of the people interred there. “…all of them were taken away over time, like rocks carried off the beach by a relentless tide.”

To discover what the title, Where Butterflies Go, has to do with it you’ll have to read this excellent book.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie