Learning To Rest!

Learning To Rest!

For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:6-9 NKJV

There are so many things that happen to us in life that are simply not in our control. Some of our life events cause us to be over anxious and frenetic and some have even caused people to seek escape from the problems by committing suicide–which is never the answer, for then we leave those behind to handle those things we refused to face.

Let’s face it–life happens–to everyone, some of it good, some bad, some absolutely horrible, but when we are in Christ, we can rest–assured of His grace and mercy--and know He will work it out for our good.

So when the world is careening out of its orbit–we don’t have to sway into fray–we can lean entirely on God’s Word, the firm foundation of our faith and weather any storm that comes our way. In life–storms come and they go–and we have shelter in the arms of our Lord! Nothing the enemy does--no fiery dart shall ever thwart God’s plans for our lives and if we only Believe.

Believe that He is our comforter when we need to be comforted.

Believe that He is our healer when sickness and disease attempt to make us fearful.

Believe that He is our Father who gives good gifts.

Believe that He is our provider and He will take care of us.

Believe that He is Alpha and Omega–the first and last–and He has us covered with the blood of Jesus.

Believe that when we are weakened by the trials of this world–He strengthens us to endure until the end.

Where does our help come from? Our help comes from The Lord! And when we know that He watches over us–we can rest in the knowledge that He knows all about our troubles and concerns and we can rest in Him–never fearful or over anxious about anything or about what anyone may do.

Now–shake off those feelings of dread or fear or anxiety and enter into His peace and rest–troubled no more by those things we cannot control. For if we can control some things, we should control them and thank God for the wisdom He bestows upon us from on high!

Thanks For The Support!

Over a year ago, I was praying my writing and the Lord showed me that He would have 1 + million readers read my books. Well, of course He didn’t share His timeline, but I’m so grateful to those who are hearing Him speak to their hearts and we’re getting closer each day. My God is an awesome God and He is more than able to fulfill His promises to us and through us!

So, for those who are reading my books–Thank you! For those who haven’t–what are you waiting for–you’re missing out on good, wholesome literature–Mystery with no profanity or violence, Christian Romance with no porn, Christian literature clarifying scripture, poetry, and fantasy for kids–I’m writing so there is something for everyone!

Reading–research has shown–increases literacy and for the older generation, helps to allay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer disease.

So, let’s get away from the television and curl up with a good book.

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Who Can We Trust?

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25).

The real question by the Psalmist here is, who can I really trust, but You, God?  He acknowledges that there is nothing on earth worth having or desiring than God in his life.

Have we come to the end of ourselves and realize that we can do absolutely nothing without God in our lives?  Do we realize that even when we fall short in His eyes, He is yet there to forgive and bring us back into a place where we understand His love for us?

There are times when I look at the things that take place in our society and wonder to myself if Jesus has any regrets about sacrificing His life for us.  So many seem to take life for granted–they do whatever they want to do, treat people any kind of way, are totally thoughtless about the welfare and well-being of others–and they do all of this to make sure they have what they want, no matter how they get it.  I shake my head when I watch the news with the horrors that I see committed against the vulnerable, the poor, and those who don’t look like the presiding policy-makers.

What have we come to when we do not recognize the plights of those who cannot fend for themselves?  Why don’t we make better attempts to educate those who vote for law-makers when we know they do not understand the process?  Why do we who know better, do nothing except complain?

Lord, forgive us for our apathy.  Help us to take on your nature in caring for others and remind us daily that You are really the only One we can truly trust in times of need. Thank You for loving us and giving us chance after chance to get living right before You!  Hallelujah!

 

Enduring Truth

“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures for all generations” (Psalms 100:5)

There are so many wonderful things we could say about The Lord and praise Him for, but the fact that He is good–all the time and all the time He is good–is just one aspect of who He is.  His mercy–His willingness to give us chance after chance to get things right instead of throwing us under a bus the first time we mess up, and His enduring truth–a truth that cannot be changed even though many have tried, but it has lasted from generation to generation.

Although there are many who will say that the Bible is merely a collection of word-of-mouth stories which have been interpreted in various ways time and time again; it is still a marvel that the basic premises of what has been told is still being told.  In the beginning…God–created all things.  Man broke fellowship with God through disobedience. Man’s relationship with God was reconciled through Jesus Christ.  His truth endures–the slander of non-believers; the compromising of those who proclaim belief, but don’t live the life, His truth–endures to and for all generations.  The story will still be told, long after many of us have ceased living and His truth, not man’s (because mankind’s truth changes at the whim of man) will continue to endure.  His truth–we need to be in right relationship with Him and He is the only one in whom our faith should reside. He is the only one who can save us from ourselves.

God’s enduring truth is the firm foundation on which we have established our faith and can indeed look forward to receiving the reward due us for living a godly life–our eternal resting place in Heaven. Thank God for His goodness, His mercy and His enduring truth!

Never Give Up!

encour pstr3There are sunny days, cloudy days, and Son days–don’t forget and don’t give up!

When The Lord Stands With Us!

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth” (2 Timothy 4:17 NIV).

When The Lord stands with us, He gives us strength to do what must be done.  In this passage of scripture, Paul tells Timothy that while the Gospel was being preached, Paul knew the Lord was with Him and that knowledge gave him the strength and courage he needed to preach to the unbelieving.  If God stood with Paul, will He not stand with us, when we do as are told to do?

I am convinced that even though there are many people who would shun listening to the Gospel message, and there is evidence on a daily basis that many will attempt to refute, if I stand firm in the knowledge that the Lord is with me, I can preach the Gospel and convince others to believe without worrying about the end result.

Some people are afraid to preach the Gospel message (without compromising it) for fear that they will lose friends or people will laugh at them.  People laughed at Jesus; they refuted His attempts to get them to understand that He was the Son of God.  I’d rather be in the company of Jesus than those who would oppose Him.

Perhaps, it is because of my nature that I have never really been concerned about what people thought of me.  I know this attitude helped me to overcome the negativity of being a female preacher in many circles.  I know this attitude helped me to overcome the indifference of many who thought I was crazy to go back to school and begin teaching in public schools at 50 years old.  I know this attitude helped me to overcome the “hems and haws” when I first started writing (seriously) at a late stage in my life.  How did I overcome?  I know the Lord was with me and I was strengthened by the knowledge that He would never leave me or forsake me.  I knew that as long as I was doing what He had either asked me to do or given me permission to do that everything was going to be all right. It is because I knew then and know now, when The Lord stands with me, I can do all things above and beyond my finite expectations and if I can, so can anyone else who believes He will.

Do all things that glorify Him with Him standing by your side and you will be victorious!

Not Outwitted!

“in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. ” (2 Corinthians 2:11 NIV).

How does the enemy outwit us?  Don’t fool yourself, he does whenever our defenses are down.

There are five things one must understand about how the enemy works and manages to wreak havoc in our lives.  He is a master of deception, the father of liars, his job is to steal, kill, and destroy.

He is a chameleon–constantly changing to blend in with the weaker saints in order to appear like one.  He masquerades as a ministering angel when he in fact is preparing the path to destruction on which we sometimes follow.

He tells believable lies–mixed with some parts truth.  Usually his lies are 1 part truth and 3 parts lie and when we mistakenly think the 1 part truth is the whole truth, he sucks us into the whole lie. Think about it!  Did he not attempt to convince Jesus to trade His place with a partial lie in the desert? Did he not manage to convince Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit with a partial lie.  Let’s face it.  Any part of a lie makes the entire situation a whole lie.  Don’t be fooled into trying to justify a half-truth–it is a whole lie.  Now, think about current changes in our society–regarding a number of things, including marriage. Is this not a half-truth?  If it is a half-truth, it is a whole lie.

Since the enemy hates God and all of His creation, his job is to steal our joy, by any means possible.  He will speak lies to our minds and can convince us when we are not careful.  He influences us to be fearful and we know that God has not given us a spirit of fear. It is extremely difficult to be full of joy when we are full of fear.

The enemy kills–people literally and loves to kill our dreams and hopes.  He influences others to do his bidding when they are not in relationship with God and we see the evidence on a daily basis.

When the enemy has control over the minds (depression, oppression) of those who choose not to believe God, he is then set to destroy everything that God has created and established that we who believe might have full benefit of His promises. It is not believers, in right relationship with God, who are making bombs, killing people, spreading lies about God’s Word, or instigating hate.  We, who know God and have a relationship with Him, can love unconditionally and have no need to hate people– no matter how different or how opposed they are to right living.  We are capable of loving–even the unlovable–because we are obedient; we love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love others as ourselves.  If we truly love others as ourselves, we cannot conspire to hate anyone, unless we hate ourselves.

To avoid the pitfalls that Satan digs for us; get rest, stay in prayer,  praise God at all times, keep your focus on who God is and all  that He has planned for us, speak The Word every time the enemy raises his ugly head, and don’t be afraid to look the enemy in the eye and let him know–you are on to his tricks and will not be outwitted by him.

Thank You Lord for giving us power (through the Holy Spirit), love (casting out fear), and a sound mind (able to distinguish between the works of enemy and Your voice). Hallelujah for our Risen Savior!