Comfort Is Ours!

Comfort Is Ours!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves we receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 NIV

As I read this, I am reminded of the daily struggles and uncertainty many feel with our current situation in Washington. But I want to encourage all to know, that no matter how dark and ugly things get, know that there are millions of people working to right the injustice that we have endured with a rigged election.

From the beginning–I understood when trump screamed, “it’s going to be rigged! They’re going to steal the election,” I knew he was referring to his team. I didn’t know how, but I knew it would be those who supported him who would help with the election rigging. And I said so, though there were some who tried to convince me I was wrong.

Now, we see unfolding, daily just how it was done. It has already been determined that Russia was involved because they favored trump and hated Hillary. The players–Flynn, Manafort, Page, Ryan, McConnell, Kushner, Burr, Sessions, DeVos and others are all being exposed, one-by-one and it will be revealed how trump conned 63 million people into believing he cared about them.

Don’t despair! Be comforted in the knowledge that truth–not alternate facts–will prevail and even many of those stalwart surrogates are beginning to cave. I watch their body language and even though they try to defend the indefensible, it’s beginning to wear them down. Kingston, Miller, McEnany, Scott, Dennard, and others look frayed as they try to convince–there is nothing to expose in the #trumprussia investigation. We all know by now when they’ve reached the end of their delusional defenses, when they leap to…”but Hillary, …but Obama” refrains.

The end is near (but near is relative in a timeline controlled by others) and we will all be able to breathe a sigh of relief when we get all the con artists out of the White House and put into prison. While we wait–know there are millions praying and actively involved in making sure this type of travesty never happens again. Our phone calls to legislators, emails, postcards, tweets, are making an impact and we will not be ignored. Now is not the time to give up; now is the time to dig in, taking a firm stand against the wiles of the enemy who governs from the WH and reigns on Capitol Hill (the high places Paul warned us about).

Comfort is available for all who stand firm in their beliefs and their actions to fight against tyranny and fascism. We will win–one way or another!

eda

 

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Seeking Comfort?

Seeking Comfort?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.  2 Corinthians 1:3-14 NIV

Whatever it is we need, we can find it in the Bible in order to try to make sense of the daily events that give us cause to wonder–what is happening in our world.

When we need to understand the foundations laid–those events that shaped history and brings us to this point–we find answers in the books of history in the bible.

When we need to understand the achievements and calamities of good leadership and wicked leadership–we look to the history that summarizes how Kings functioned–who made great strides and who represented evil incarnate.

When we need wisdom we seek it in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

When we need a song to soothe our souls or ignite rejoicing–we seek in the Psalms.

When we need to understand how God uses people to warn the masses of impending dangers we look to the Prophets–from Isaiah to Malachi–never forgetting Elijah and Elisha or anyone else God used including Deborah and Esther.

When we need to understand a true love-relationship–we look to the Songs of Solomon.

When we need to understand the Plan of Redemption–we look to the Gospels and for a more personal accounting of the life of Jesus–we embrace John’s Gospel.

When we need to understand what the 11 remaining disciples did and accomplished, we look to the book of ACTS (often analogized as–Acting Christians Terrorizing Satan).

When we need to understand how God intended the Body of Christ to function–after the resurrection–we look to every book in the New Testament up to Revelation.

When we need to understand eternal life–we look to Revelation and seek wisdom from God in understanding the vision God showed John.

Though there are skeptics in the world who refute anything Bible, we can see–if we have understanding and spiritual insight–how God prepared His people to deal with those as well.

Whatever we need–God has already provided and now it is up to us–to continually seek Him to keep us on the right track.

We are indeed without excuse--for we have history to show us what happened when mankind refused to obey God; we have the present to see what happens when those who claim to know God–lie for their own benefit; and we have the future–to plan for our children and grandchildren–teaching them to trust God in all things and to make sure they understand the purpose of knowing history so we won’t keep making the same mistakes. For if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeating the mistakes made in the past and they will inevitably change our present and our future.

The comfort we seek is in God’s Word, not in trusting people–for the sake of a party–when all the people are not the intended beneficiaries of all decisions made.

But change is coming–look for it and be prepared to engage in greatness!

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No Matter What, He’s Still Lord!

No Matter What, He’s Still Lord!

O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9 NKJV

“O Lord, how excellent, how excellent, how excellent, is thy name!” A line from the lyrics of a worship song, aligned with The Word, is ringing in my heart today. When all of the depressing news–we need to remind ourselves of the excellence of our Lord, especially when the events that unfold around us, don’t make sense.

I have prayed, seeking understanding, and none has come forth. The Lord has reminded me that we don’t have to understand all that happens, but we must trust Him. Though my heart tends to sag, just a little, I can and I will allow Him to minister to me through His Word and the melodic tunes of worship that cause my lips to utter praises unto Him.

This then is how we handle the atrocious acts of hatred and bigotry and just dire tragedy. We don’t always understand why a loving God would allow some things to happen, but we must remember that He is the same God–from centuries ago–the God who allowed His chosen to be enslaved, but freed them according to His time-table. The God who allowed children to be massacred, in order for His plans to unfold.

I must reiterate this one point–God allows some things to happen, He does not cause them. Acts of hatred and bigotry are caused by the people who commit the acts; especially when they have no fear of God. They have the same “free will” as the rest of us and God doesn’t force anyone do anything.  Tragedies occur for a myriad of reasons, most of which I do not understand, but have learned that God knows best.

No, we don’t always understand why God allows things to happen, but we must remember–He has a plan and His plan will be fulfilled.

So perhaps, part of His plan for us right now is to remember–just how excellent He is and to know, we can find comfort in His Word when we allow Him to minister to our hearts.

Now, we can sing songs of worship acknowledging Him for who He is and songs of praise acknowledging all His mighty acts and goodness shown to us. Though it may be difficult to understand His goodness and mercy at the point of grief and despair, we will overcome and be stronger for it. Our God is truly amazing and He will never abandon us–whose hope is in Him, no matter how things look.

I’m gonna praise Him! I’m just gonna praise Him! He is still Lord of my life!

Where Are They?

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first .After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV

If we truly want to comfort others when they lose a loved one–we should use God’s Word–instead of our traditional responses that are not based upon truth.

Yesterday, someone told me (in a response to something I said about my deceased mother) our moms are watching over us. Now, I know this is a common response used by people to comfort others or themselves and if I did not know The Word, I’d buy into it. However, since I do know The Word and I know that, “the dead know nothing” I cannot promote an untruth, based upon God’s Word–not my opinion.

When I reminded the person about God’s Word, I was told, “everyone has their own opinion and her mom was watching over her.”

Here’s the thing–everyone does have an opinion about so many things, but when it comes to the things of God–shouldn’t we say what God says and not espouse our opinions? I am, and will, to the best of my ability always say what God says, even when it seems that I’m aloof or a bit cold. I am neither. I’m simply trying to do what I’m told–by God in His Word–and I’m breaking the chains of tradition wherever I find them. If people want to be misled and shackled to traditions–that’s their option. I choose not to do so.

So, while I cannot put anyone in heaven who has gone before me–I cannot say with certainty where anyone is. I know–because of The Word–that when we die, our spirits go back to God who gave them, our bodies return to the dust from which it came and our soul awaits judgment (Ecclesiastes 12)–when Christ returns. I don’t know when we’ll rise after He returns or when we’ll be judged, but I do know–when He returns–those who died in Christ–knowing Him–will rise first and we’ll be taken up with them. Whether I’m alive here or not when Christ returns remains to be seen. I am assured of this one thing and so can others be–my mansion in heaven is reserved and one day–I shall inhabit it as promised in The Word.

I’m praying that soon we’ll be able to tell people the truth and stop lying to them when a loved one dies. We cannot put them in heaven or hell–that’s a judgment call that we cannot make for them–only God can–based upon their relationship (or none) with Him. As much as I’d like to believe my mother is watching over us–I know she’s not and I’m okay with that. I hold her memories in my heart and soon in what I write. Whether I’ll know her or not when we all get to heaven is not as important as knowing we’ll be there–at the same time.

Instead of lying to people (and telling them someone has gone on to glory is a lie), let’s comfort and encourage people with God’s Word. “Though they sleep in death right now, when Christ returns, they shall rise first and we who are yet live shall join them.”And while we wait for that glorious day, let’s keep their memories alive in our hearts to enjoy them any time we want.

 

 

Holding Hands!

“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

Remember when…

After we crawled or scooted to move

From place to place until we found

The courage to wobble and hold onto

Whatever was sound, pulling up into a stand,

Getting ready to take that first step, but

First, someone–mom, dad, sibling–held our hand,

Or both, with our arms raised, hands held high,

We held them tight, afraid to let go, and we heard,

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you, keep going.”

From the cradle to the grave,

We’ve had to move from one point to the other,

Sometimes, fearful–but moving to go forward,

Building our courage and hope in God,

Once we know Him, we know we have no need to fear,

Following His instructions, obeying His voice,

Keeping our focus on Him and using the gifts He gives,

Plotting the path for our success and then we hear,

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Keep going.”

And then sometimes in our golden years,

When bones and muscles tend to yield

To aches of aging and we rely

Upon canes, wheelchairs, and sometimes,

Those who are younger and stronger,

Holding our hands as we cross a street,

And when unable to do so on our own,

Pulling us up, holding our hands, to our feet,

And we hear–if we can–

“Don’t be afraid. I’ve got you. Keep going.”

Remember when…

We first held hands with that special someone in our lives,

Taking that fearful step into romance, standing side by side.

When we first realized that God is always holding our hand,

With the greatest love anyone could offer and then we hear,

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you. Keep going.”

Every once in a while, we need to hold someone’s hand,

Bringing them comfort, reminding them, they’re loved,

And when they’re afraid of life’s events, we can say,

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you. Keep going.”

Grab a hand and hold it–don’t let go,

Someone needs to know today,

They’re not alone and someone cares,

Enough to stand with them, side-by-side,

Reminding them they have no reason to fear,

For perfect, unconditional love, makes no room

For fear or doubt or unbelief, in Him who says,

“I am The Lord, Your God, I’ve got your hand,

Don’t be afraid, I’m here to help you.”

Comforted To Comfort!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4 NIV)

In the midst of being persecuted and treated badly, Paul writes to the Church at Corinth, praising God for being the God of all comfort, for comforting those in chains with him, so they could comfort others in times of trouble!

The best way to “wait on The Lord to learn patience” is to take our focus off our own problems and concentrate on others who are going through trials. If we cannot see the solution to our problems, we should help others and while we’re helping others, God reveals the solution to those problems we face and sometimes, He works it out and we simply see the problem solved. Glory Hallelujah!

There have been so many times in years past that I did not know what to do about situations that arose because of car accidents and mountains of bills piling up. I’ve been rear-ended twice and both accidents totaled cars, but I am yet alive to testify of God’s goodness. The first accident was caused by a sleeping driver and the second accident caused by a drunk driver. I was “in front of them” and they crashed into me from behind. I saw them coming–both times, but had nowhere to go before being hit. Waiting for resolution–in particular behind the last accident–I was in pain, could not see well and could not work. The first attorney supposedly working on my behalf was only interested in amassing as much as he could. I fired him. The second attorney resolved the issue as quickly as he could and warned me that I did not have to take what was offered in a settlement, but it would take years to get what I deserved. This was three years after the accident. I realistically could not wait years, trying to get more, so I settled.

In the three years I waited, I did not work, but God had a plan I knew nothing about. He arranged for my bills to be paid through the kindness of others, who wanted nothing in return. During this time, I encouraged others by helping them do whatever I could. Sometimes, that was simply being available to talk to them over the phone. I assisted children by tutoring them, I did whatever I could to help others because I could not help myself through this ordeal. But God could.

While we’re going through–take heart and be encouraged–help someone else in their time of need and watch God handle your business like no one else can! He is a comfort to us so we can comfort others!

When You See This!

“When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes” (Isaiah 66:14 NIV).

The thirteenth verse of scripture states that, “The Lord comfort like a mother” (paraphrased) and all will see this. Moving on to the next verse, we are told what will happen when we see this.

Our hearts will rejoice–overflowing with joy.

We will flourish like grass–keep increasing year after year and look good (if well-kept and cared for).

Everyone will know that the hand of The Lord guides us and keeps us safe from harm and directs our success.

And…His enemies–those who openly oppose Him–deny His existence and disobey His Word–shall know His fury!

I don’t know about you, but I plan to remain His child and receive His comfort and never, ever become one His enemies!

When we know we are doing the right thing for all the right reasons–we can expect to see His blessings in our lives. But for those who choose not to do what is right, they too can expect–to see His fury.

When I look at our society–on a global level–I cannot help but wonder whether some of the extreme weather conditions we see are the result of His fury–against those who oppose Him. Now, notice I did not say that the weather is a result of His displeasure; I said, I wonder.

No matter what anyone thinks or wonders-we only have to look back at history to understand how God operates–when sin is in the atmosphere, it tends to shake things up and everyone not willing to change their ways–creates an environment that leads to destruction–of many!

So, when we see–the violence that escalates in countries, nation against nation, brother against brother, parents against children and children against parents, disrespect of self and others of such magnitude that children could not possibly understand moral ethics when they do not see any–from anyone–especially those in the public arena. When we see the changes in the environment that threaten the very existence of whole communities, do we understand why or do we just continue to accept sin as a way of life and do nothing to preserve humanity?

The choice is ours–we can receive His comfort or His fury. What are we going to see?

When we see the need to honor and respect--The One who created all things and without whom, nothing was ever created, we will see His comfort–love, mercy, grace and changes in the atmosphere–peace in the land–confirming and justifying our faith in Him.