Refuge 

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”—Psalm 46:1

In July I had the pleasure of spending a week in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico-in the Condado Beach area to be exact. One morning I decided to take an Uber and go to old San Juan. I heard it was a sight to see and indeed it was. I fell in love with the colorful buildings and the blue-yes blue, cobblestone streets. 



I wanted to take a picture or two of myself but it was hard to get a good shot solo. I saw a group of ladies on a corner and approached one of them to take my picture. She happily agreed and they all participated and turned it into a photoshoot.  


Afterwards I asked where I could go for breakfast which is where they were heading and they invited me to tag along. The ladies ranged in ages 61-68 and had been friends since they were small children. Maria and Frances still lived on the island. Nell lived in New Zealand and was there to visit friends and her ailing parents. Mary lived in San Antonio and was there for the same reasons as Nina. 


I spent about five hours with “the girls” who treated me to breakfast and taught me a lot about Puerto Rican history and culture as they graciuosly took me on a walking tour. They dropped me back off at my hotel and I left them transformed by their kindness to a stranger. I hoped that we would stay in touch.


Sometimes our lives intersect with strangers and we are richer for it. In light of the hurricanes that hit both Puerto Rico and Texas, I have not stopped thinking about my new friends. I have been trying to get in contact with them to no avail. I pray that they are okay. Through my church we have sent more than $100, 000 in funds to Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. But I wish I could do so much more. I have agonized over this and today God told me to write this post and pray. 


So I ask you all to please help me stand in the gap for “the ladies” as well as the thousands of others suffering due to the storm. Let’s gather in His name on their behalf. Let us pray that they remain hopeful and faithful in their time of trouble. Let their needs be met and take comfort because Help is on the way!  The Bible says that the prayer of the righteous availeth much! 

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Hannah’s Prayer

“O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:26

Today I was reading scripture when I came across Hannah’s prayer. I was really struck by it so I thought I would share: 

My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 

No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. 

Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed. 

The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble. 

The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. He raises the poor from the dust. And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes, And make them inherit the throne of glory. 

For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them. He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in the darkness. 

For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.  

He will give strength to His King, And exalt the horn of His anointed. 


Fear Not

“You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day.” Psalm 91:5

There have been some heinous recent world events. The senseless violence has left many shaken. When I first heard about the attacks in Paris, I felt breathless. Helpless. Hopeless. Devastated. Terrorism is a growing problem all over the world. 

But I quickly encouraged myself by remembering that the Bible says “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes” Proverbs 3:25-26. We are also cautioned that we will face “perilous times hard to deal with.” That’s why it is important that we walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-16. 

So how do we count it all joy? Especially when it seems that the terrorists are winning? The answer is more obvious than it appears. As Christians we know that we can’t look at how things are. We have the hope of Christ which in turn gives us the faith we need to believe for what we can’t see. 

Even with everything going on around us we can still be of good cheer as the Prince of Peace instructs. ISIS may be winning battles, but the Lord will win the war because He has overcome the world. He is the Great I Am. 

But what we can do is pray. And pray. And pray some more. We can pray for the kingdom of God to come. For His will to be done. On earth as it is in heaven. We can pray for those preying on the innocent. We must pray for their forgiveness from the Father for they clearly know not what they do. Woe to them. They have no idea of the magnitude of the repercussions they will shortly face. To borrow the title of a Tolstoy short story, God sees the truth, but waits. That I have no doubt of. 

I pray they we are all able to take heart, brace ourselves, and seek comfort in the Lord. He sees. He knows. He will deliver us in His perfect timing saints! 

He Loves Me

“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere” ~James 3:17, NIV

God spoke to me today via one of my church members. He knows that I have a heavy burden pressing on my heart and sent this message to comfort me. 

I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around and received this note: 

 It reads ” For you this week “Peace Be Still.” Well, God Himself might as well have penned it! I felt so grateful and emotional. If I may be candid for a moment, I still struggle with the notion of how much God loves me. I don’t deserve it yet He is still crazy faithful and loves me with an everlasting love. 

My God. 

Father, how grateful I am that you have found me worthy of your favor, mercy, and lovingkindness.  You know everything about me-even down to the amount of hairs that I have on my head, and yet you love me anyway. I thank you Father for seeing my pain and wanting to provide comfort. I thank You for Your compassion. I thank You for this message that I know was from You. Thank you for using such a sweet lady to send it. Thank You for Your reassuring Word Abba. In the healing blood of the Lamb, Amen. 

 

I Say a Little Prayer

“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55: 6

When I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed by a troubling situation I am going through, I say this “pocket” prayer multiple times throughout the day:

Lord,

Heal my hurt. Lord, heal my heart.

Amen

It’s simple but it works. The Lord hears this prayer the same as He hears all others. The length doesn’t matter; He only cares that our heart is seeking Him.