Changing Seasons Ahead

Changing Seasons Ahead

Leaf “peepers” come from all over the country to view the fabulous array of color in New England every fall.   “Look at the leaves”, “Oh, aren’t the leaves pretty”, the speaker said with a grin.  “Friends, what is so great about fall? I’m afraid to tell you everything is dying!”  Everyone replied with a groan.  IMG_6478

Autumn is such a wonderful time of year and yet it is an annual swan song.  While we are enjoying the harvest we are also preparing for winter.  Shorter and colder days require a change of clothing and preparation for the months ahead.  We also need to be prepared for changing days ahead – life is not static. It would be boring if it were!

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.   Eccl 3:1 (ESV)

Besides changing the calendar, what is changing in your life?  Are you in a new season of life?  Maybe you have a new career, new home or new status? You may be in a good or very difficult season of life. We can trust in our loving and faithful God to lead and guide us through every change and challenge we face.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.          Prov 3:5-6 (NLT)

I am in the midst of change.  Our daughter is married, our parents are all gone, I retired (my husband plans to keep working – yay)  and I have health issues that sometimes slow me down.  However, it has been confirmed that He isn’t done with me yet.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?                                        Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

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There is more time for my  ministry of speaking and writing.  I need to be a little more flexible and a lot more tuned in to hear His voice by not being so “busy”and that is not so easy for me. Change happens whether we are ready or not! And so you see dear readers that my new blog is not completely ready to go live.  Please stand by because He’s still working on me!

Trip to the Holy Land

Trip to the Holy Land

Dear Readers,     Yes a post is missing!  On May 24th My husband and I were just returning from a trip of a lifetime …To Israel.   In seven days we saw and learned so much it was like trying to drink from a fire hose.   1500++ photos to sort through and copious notes to compare.   My biblical understanding and geographical perspective has grown enormously.  Teams of archaeologists continue to dig through multiple layers of civilizations all over the country. If only we could build roads to last like the Roman Empire!!!

The country of Israel could fit inside of New Jersey and the landscape is very diverse. Lush areas where the water springs flow and mountainous dessert wasteland . Acres upon acres of plantations were growing dates, olives, lemons, bananas, mangoes etc…. We saw Shepherds herding sheep, goats and camels.  (Not far from the highway) Visiting the headwaters of the Sea of Galilee ,we saw crystal clear water pouring out of Springs. The “Sea” itself is really a lake 13 miles long by 8 miles wide. Our perspective of the actual land size and heights has changed. Above is a picture of us at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

We also saw areas of wealth and poverty; housing slums in the big city and tin shacks by the wayside.  Diverse religious sects live near each other yet apart. It was Ramadan and we heard the Muslim call to prayer while staying in Jerusalem.

This is only a very small preview.  I will definitely be sharing more of what I learned over the next year! Actually seeing the places where ancient civilizations lived,worked and battled is and will be so enriching to my Bible study. To walk where Jesus walked was just amazing and there were times of great soul searching.

Please continue to follow my blog and share with your friends.

 

Roman Cardo

Hope in the Storm

Hope in the Storm

My family and I have been glued to the television and our smart phones watching as hurricane Harvey bore down on Houston and the surrounding area.  Historic amounts of rain came pouring down; howling winds ripped roofs off of houses, while hundreds of people and animals were displaced as the flood waters rose.  Then in the aftermath comes the survey, inspection and calculation of collateral damage.  It is heartbreaking to see all the destruction and loss. I cannot wrap my mind around the enormity of it all.

floodedcarsOne woman among the thousands tearfully said, “I’m grateful my whole family is alive and safe. But we’ve lost our home, we have nowhere to go.”

Often the trials and troubles that come our way are compared to a storm. Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a “storm” of life?   Sometimes you can hear or see warnings that trouble is near and take some precautions.  Other times, a storm hits you  without any real warning and you find yourself unprepared and trying to keep your head afloat. When that happens, where do you go? What do you hold on to?

People sometimes question God’s goodness when tragedy strikes. The Bible never said that life would be easy and carefree. The fact is we live in a broken world and He does allow bad circumstances to happen. But God’s word tells us that He is always good and will never leave us alone in our storms. He also promises that they can be used for good.

I have learned through the various “storms” of my life that God is in control.  Having HOPE, means all is not lost….life will go on and it will be okay – maybe different and not heb619necessarily easy but Okay.  When an anchor is working it cannot be seen. God is always at work and my trust in Him keeps me from crashing or drifting away. Christ goes before the Father on my behalf,  and gives me peace, strength and direction to deal with whatever lies before me.

After all of Jobs’ suffering and loss plus the accusations from his friends, God finally answers. Job says that he has heard and seen God.  Dr Charles Ryrie states, “God reveals Himself in those storms. Unmerited tragedy helps us see God, which is unmerited grace.” Being able to evaluate things through the eyes of faith to see what is truly important builds character.

Have you recently been through some rough seas? Take a look back and ask yourself these questions. 1) Where did I see God’s hand at work?  2) How and what did God provide through this circumstance?  3) What have I learned about God or myself ?          4) What can I change or do better?

If you are going through some difficult circumstances right now, reach out and hold tight in faith to the One Who will never let go. There are so many wonderful songs about God’s love and faithfulness. To encourage you,I want to share the words from the last verse and chorus of:

 “Sometimes He Calms the Storm” by the Ball Brothers

                                    He has a reason for each trial                                      

That we pass through in life

And though we’re shaken

We cannot be pulled apart from Christ

No matter how the driving rain beats down

On those who hold to faith

A heart of trust will always

Be a quiet peaceful place.

 

Sometimes He calms the storm

With a whispered peace be still

He can settle any sea

But it doesn’t mean He will

Sometimes He holds us close

And lets the wind and waves go wild

Sometimes He calms the storm

And other times He calms His child.

 

Securely Anchored

Anchor

Why blog?    Good question!
God has impressed upon my heart to share short devotionals on a bi-weekly basis. My goal is to share observations from scripture, nature, and my own experiences with you, my friends and readers. I hope you will enjoy this journey with me and that it will cause you to pause and reflect on God’s Sovereignty and faithfulness.

Stay tuned…I look forward to having this site up in the fall.