Archive | March 2014

Taking a Hiatus

As much as I enjoy studying God’s Word and writing devotionals I must take leave as my family and I mourn my Dad’s death. We are rejoicing also and will be having a wonderful memorial service on Saturday and military honors on Monday. Hopefully I will return to writing on Monday April 7th.

Thank you to all who follow my blog so faithfully. So until we are reunited “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe”. — Ephesians 1:18-19a

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

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Word of Comfort

Remember [fervently] the word and promise to Your servant, in which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your word has revived me and given me life. — Psalm 119:49-50        When I have [earnestly] recalled Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, I have taken comfort. — Psalm 119:52

Where do you turn to for comfort? Your best friend? Mom? Dad? Brother? Sister?

The Psalmist here prays to God for comfort. He reminds God to remember (or was he reminding himself) His word and promises given to him, His servant. “Your word causes me to hope”. For those with no hope, there is no comfort.

God’s word is able to comfort and revive. It gives life. The Word encourages, inspires, guides, and gives us hope. It tells of a faithful friend who is always there for us, listens to all we have to share with Him — our pains, struggles, anger, hurt, as well as our joys, triumphs, and dreams. He gives us life.

Go to Jesus first. He knows what you need and when you seek comfort He finds just the right way and time to bring you comfort. It may be with a phone call or a visit from a friend. He cares for you more than anyone you will ever know. Let us trust Him with our lives and He will bless it. We will be comforted.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

Unquenchable Joy

You have endowed him with eternal happiness. You have given him the unquenchable joy of Your presence. — Psalm 21:6

This verse was shared on Facebook this past week by a dear friend and I immediately thought of my Dad. God, You have endowed him (my Dad) with eternal happiness. You have given him the unquenchableable joy of Your presence. My Dad is in His presence enjoying the unquenchable joy of being right there in the light of His countenance, enjoying a joy that we could not possibly grasp this side of heaven.

These words were actually written of a king. He was endowed this side of heaven with this unquenchable joy. We can experience this joy by simply trusting in the Lord. How is your trust in the Lord these days? Easy when things are good and going your way or even when things are tough and not going your way? At what level is your joy?

One day my joy will overflow, when my faith becomes sight, but in the meantime “I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.” — Psalm 43:4

Trust and rejoice in the Lord our God starting right now and continuing throughout eternity. Eternal happiness, unquenchable joy. Wow!!!!!

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

Humble, Pray, Seek

“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: — Deuteronomy 28:15

“Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. . . Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. . . The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. . . A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. . . You shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it.  You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them.  You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off. . . — Deuteronomy 28:16, 19, 25, 33, 38-40

So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. . . Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;  therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young.  Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the Lord your God has given you. . . — Deuteronomy 28:45, 47-52

“If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the Lord your God, then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. . . Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Would that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Would that it were morning!’ because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see. — Deuteronomy 28:58-59, 65-67

Sound familiar? Do we have the curses of God upon us? What is the answer?

 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,  and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. — 2 Chronicles 7:13-15

Journeys End

Today ends a one year, six month, and 19 day journey of a lifetime. The Lord taught me so much about trust, dependence, who I am in Him, who He is and how much He takes care of His children. Let me share this adventure and hope you find encouragement, inspiration, and a deeper understanding of God at work in your life.

June 2012: I’m searching the net looking at airline fares. My desire was to go and see my parents. This was a usual ritual of mine every so often with hopes that I would see a fare that was reasonable. Didn’t happen often as I only saw my parents about every three years and most of those times they came to see me. But. . . this particular day I found an unbelievable, outstanding fare and immediately went to the Lord in prayer asking if this was possible and could I purchase these tickets for my husband and me. There was an underlying urgency with this request as my Dad was needing a two vessel bypass and a valve replacement. I wanted to spend some time with him in case this surgery would go bad. I bought the tickets.

I went to my boss at work and told her about my intentions to go see my parents in August. Unfortunately, I neglected to email her this information, even though we talked often of this trip in the office. (Understand I hold no blame on anyone. I believe it was the will of God as you will see soon).

First part of August my boss asked, “when is your trip again?” I reminded her it was set for August 29th. My boss, “I don’t have an email request from you.” I told her I thought I had but would send her one now.

That afternoon things turned interesting. As my boss passed by my desk to enter the office of her boss, I distinctly heard deep inside, “Sharon, you are on your way out of here.” I laughed to myself. After the meeting my boss passed by my desk, went to her office and emailed me a denial for my vacation along with an explanation that if I take the vacation I am signing my own resignation.

When I weigh family against work, family relationships and well being always come first. My Father could possibly be heaven bound soon and I believe God was leading me to go see my parents. I returned an email stating that she could then consider this my notice.

On August 25th I received a call from my mother telling me that my Dad was in ICU in a diabetic coma. God had affirmed that He was with me and I had made the right decision. My husband, daughter and I arrived at my Dad’s bedside on August 29th.

My Dad never did have the surgery. On September sixth my husband and daughter returned home while I stayed to minister to my parents. My Dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) and over the next six months he was in ICU three times, nursing homes three times and home twice. In February 2013 my Dad began to regain a quality of life. He returned to his ministries at church and became active again. All praise due to God, the great healer.

I stayed on after that because my Mom was having health issues that they needed assistance with. January 2014, my Dad is beginning to change. He starts sleeping more. A doctor appointment shows that his liver is not functioning well. Mid February an ultrasound shows tumors in his abdomen. He quickly goes from cane to walker to wheelchair to bedbound. A liver biopsy on February 12th shows cancer.

My Dad went home to be with the Lord in his sleep on March 20th at 7am.

What a journey. I have grown more dependent on Jesus Christ, trusted Him in tough trials, basked in His love, rested in His peace, walked with Him, talked with Him and I love Him more than I ever have before. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

I thank my husband and children for allowing me this time with my folks, for their sacrifice. I thank God for the privilege to follow Him into the unknown (finances cut in half, away from husband, not knowing when or if I would return home), the honor and privilege to serve Him by ministering to my parents, and most of all for His ever present walk with me.

My journey complete with my Dad. Overjoyed with the time I had with him. On with the next journey as Mom and I discover His plan for us.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

For Dad:  For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. — 2 Timothy 4:6-8

The Blessing of a Holy People

All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: — Deuteronomy 28:2                       The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. — Deuteronomy 28:9.                                                                                                     and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. — Deuteronomy 28:14

Obedience comes with discipline. Make it a discipline to be VERY firm in obeying the Word of God. Keep His commandments, not turning aside from His words. Then, and only then you will walk in His ways, not turning to your left or right but focused on the straight and narrow. That will keep our feet from evil.

Focusing on Jesus and the things of God, He will establish us as a holy people unto Himself. That is the blessing.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, — Joshua 23:6

Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil. — Proverbs 4:27

Blessing in the Battle

All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: — Deuteronomy 28:2           “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. — Deuteronomy 28:7                       So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you. — Deuteronomy 28:10.            The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, — Deuteronomy 28:13

There are many battles mentioned in the Bible but one is very well known. The battle between David and Goliath. The battle belongs to the Lord and in that battle David showed great trust in the Lord. He ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David had no anxiety. He had confidence in the Lord and knew He was with him.

The Lord God can be trusted when we face battles, no matter the magnitude of the battle, because the battle is not ours but His. We need not fear nor be dismayed because the Lord will help us, gird us with strength, for the Lord is with us, stand and see the salvation on our behalf. What love.

The Lord our God is with us to help and to fight our battles. He will subdue under us those who rose up against us. He answers our cry in the midst of battle because we trust in Him. The battle is won because we obey His commandments, His ways and we trust the Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

 

and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. — 1 Samuel 27:47-48

“For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. — 2 Samuel 22:40; Psalm 18:39

They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him. — 1 Chronicles 5:20 

Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.” — 2 Chronicles 14:11

and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. — 2 Chronicles 20:15

You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” — 2 Chronicles 20:17

With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. — 2 Chronicles 32:8

Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. — Psalm 24:8