Trials

Never Forget 9/11

img_4771

It was a typical Tuesday morning. Dylan was playing with his toy trains. At 2 1/2 years old, life was uncomplicated for my little boy. Our peaceful morning was interrupted by a phone call, then another, and another. Call after call alerting me to turn on the news. America had been attacked.

I went into my bedroom and turned on the t.v. The shocking images of the World Trade Center on fire with smoke pouring out did not seem real. The grim reality set in at the horrific sight of the towers rapidly collapsing. Chaos, people covered in dust running, and crying. I was in complete shock like everyone else. Safe America was no more.

Our church filled up that night with people praying. Crying out to God. Looking for answers. Trying to make sense of what happened. Our false sense of security had been breeched. It was the first time I had experienced real fear living in a free and presumably safe country.

Almost 3000 people were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks on America. It’s the largest terrorist attack in world history. Four planes in total were hijacked. Two planes struck the World Trade Center towers, one plane struck the Pentagon, and flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, children, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were gone. Real people who were dearly loved. Those who lost their precious loved ones on that awful day never forget. They can’t.

There are countless miraculous stories from that tragic day. So many first responders ran into the danger to save people, to help. Many gave their lives. Ordinary citizens became heroes as well. Like those who helped bring flight 93 down. Sacrifice, honor, humanity, service, and love are what I think of when all these heroic people come to mind.

One of the most tragic days in American history brought us together. There were U.S. flags everywhere. A new sense of patriotism. Not because we were better than any other country, but because we were better together. What was meant to destroy us, made us stronger.

Churches were filled to the brim. Those of us with faith clung to Jesus, our only hope. Some who had ignored God, started seeking and searching Him out. We were a little kinder to each other, gave a little more grace, and hugged our loved ones a little tighter. Our human frailty confronted us all on that dark day.

May we never forget those cherished lives that were lost on 9/11.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:2

Father God,

Thank you for your grace and mercy. We lift up all the families and those hurting today as they remember their loved ones who’s lives were lost on 9/11. Comfort them, Father. Give them peace and surround them with Your love. Remind them of the good memories they have of their loved ones. Bring love, support, and encouragement to these special people. May they experience your deep abiding love.

We lift up all those who suffered injuries and trauma from those evil attacks. Give them peace, healing, and comfort. Draw each of them to you Lord. May they experience the life changing love from the Prince of Peace, Jesus.

Heal our land, Lord. As we remember 9/11 today, remind us of who we can be in Christ. We cry out to You, Abba, for mercy, grace and forgiveness. Turn our hard hearts back to You.

In Jesus Mighty name,

Amen

Bible

Are You Hungry?

pexels-valeriya-kobzar-8630143

Photo by Valeriya Kobzar from Pexels

Each morning I grab my beat up old Bible from the nightstand. I’m very attached to my old Bible. The binding is taped. Pages are falling out. It’s a mess and I love it. My Bible holds a spiritual legacy. It was my mom’s first Bible when she placed her faith in Jesus. Mom gave me her Bible when I was in Junior High and she bought a new one. It’s the only Bible I’ve used ever since.

Mom’s notes are written in certain books of the Bible that she studied. Every so often as I’m flipping through the pages I’ll see Mom’s perfect handwriting reminding me of her passion for God’s Word. When she got saved it ignited a hunger in her to learn as much as possible about Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. 

I see the craving and passion in Mom’s words scrawled on the pages of her old Bible. She was blessed as a new Christ follower with great Biblical teachers at our church. 

img_4977

I love these notes. It’s Mom reminding me of what really matters.

  1. Remember your Savior.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3, NIV 

  1. Love one another.

 Love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22b, NIV 

  1. Rid yourselves of sin. Malice, envy, deceit, etc. Crave pure spiritual milk.

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:1-3, NIV

As a new Christian my mom was so excited to devour the Word of God. She couldn’t get enough. Mom was spiritually hungry and she was going to the right place to get fed. Mom was feeding on God’s Holy Word. It was filling her up and she kept coming back for more.

We are all hungry. We were born hungry for more. The only satisfaction is in Jesus Christ. Nutritious food for our soul is in the Word of God. We can feast on it day and night and never get full or bloated. We can’t get too much of God’s Word in us. 

If I feast on worldly things that temporarily fill me up I will get queasy, and never truly satisfied. It leaves me empty, so I have made the mistake of pursuing more of the worldly things in hopes of satisfaction that never comes. It’s a vain pursuit. 

When we fill up on God’s word it changes us. God’s words are alive. There’s no other book like it. The entire story of humankind is written in the pages. God wrote the end from the beginning. God’s word stands forever.

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,

“All people are like grass,

    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;

the grass withers and the flowers fall,

    but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 

1 Peter 1:23-25, NIV 

There is a beautiful feast waiting for us in the pages of the Bible. One verse can transform a heart. The more I read the Bible, the more I am changed, convicted, filled with hope, joy, love, wisdom, knowledge, and excitement. God’s words to us are more powerful than any book we have ever read. 

I have to ask myself what am I feeding my soul with? Am I settling for the junk food of the world? Am I sitting at the table with the Lord filled with inexhaustible resources of grace and mercy? I want the same hunger for God that my mom had as a new Christian. 

Thanks Mom for the legacy you left me. Each time I hold my torn up Bible in my hands I am reminded that’s where it all began for you. It continues on for me and I pray the same for my sons. 

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4, NIV 

Love you all,

Meghan 

Father God, 

Thank you for Your incredible book, the Bible. It has the power to transform hearts and minds for it is Your life giving words. Give us a hunger for Your word, a hunger for Your presence, a hunger for more of You in our lives and our world. Help us to make daily Bible reading a priority and a passion. We praise You almighty God!

Amen

Obedience, Prayer

Speak Lord, Your Servant is Listening

img_2824

There are so many voices in our lives telling us who we are, what to believe, what to do, and what to think. Social media, news, podcasts, Youtube, movies, shows, and every form of media give us dozens of different messages every single day.

Like this

Don’t like this

I’m right

You’re wrong

How dare you

You’re not good enough

You’re too good

Your views are wrong

Your views are right

You’re bad

You’re good

You don’t care

You care too much

Do more

Do less

Buy more

Buy less

And it just goes on, and on, and on. 

We are being bombarded in our connected world, with other people’s opinions. Most of these people we do not personally know. Yet, they have influence, and can be quite persuasive. We start to believe everything we read, or hear, or watch on the news about ourselves, and the world, and our future. We need to be very careful what we allow in our head. Of course be informed, watch the news–if that’s your thing. But go to the source, God, before you make a decision on who, or what, or where, or why.

How much time do we spend listening to God? How much time do we spend listening to all the other voices? What influences us and our decisions? If you are a Christ Follower, there is one voice that needs to be the loudest, the Lord’s. 

Many years ago there was a child, who listened to God’s voice, and did what He said. Samuel was just a boy when he first heard the Lord’s voice. According to the historian Josephus, Samuel was around 11 years old. God spoke directly to a kid. He was no ordinary kid though. Samuel was set apart for the Lord’s purposes.

Hannah, Samuel’s mother, had prayed for years to have a child. God answered her prayers by giving her Samuel. Hannah gave Samuel back to the Lord. 

She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.” 1 Samuel 1:22, NIV 

Hannah brings her very young child to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. She then hands Samuel over to Eli, the high priest, to raise him. (1 Samuel 1:24-28)

Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 1 Samuel 2:19, NIV 

Samuel only sees his mother once a year. She must have loved him dearly to leave him at the temple with Eli. I bet Hannah took great care in making those robes each year. 

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. 1 Samuel 2:21b, NIV

And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people. 1 Samuel 2:26, NIV

Samuel keeps growing both physically and spiritually before the Lord. He’s just 11 years old when something remarkable happens. Samuel hears the Lord’s voice. 

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 

2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 1 Samuel 3:1-7, NIV

Samuel hears the voice a third time and goes to Eli again. Finally, Eli realizes that the Lord was calling the boy. Eli tells Samuel to go lie down and if he hears the voice to say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”. Then the Lord stood there and called, “Samuel! Samuel!”.

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:8-10, NIV)

I love Samuel’s eagerness. He ran to Eli the first time he heard the Lord call him. Samuel didn’t say he was too tired, or just ignore the voice. Samuel ran to Eli. He didn’t know it was the Lord at first, yet Samuel was obedient. 

God is personal when dealing with us. He called Samuel by name, twice. I can picture the Lord smiling at Samuel as He called for him. God loved Samuel deeply, and He loves you and I deeply too. 

Years later, Samuel will anoint a young shepherd boy, David, as the King of Israel. Jesus comes from the line of King David. (Matthew 1:1)

It’s pretty easy to take for granted that God wants to speak to us and actually use us in His plan. He sees the big picture. God sees the entire picture from beginning to end. (Isaiah 46:10) What may seem small to us could be one tiny part of something big God is doing.

God wants to speak to us today. Every Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has the gift of the Holy Spirit inside of us. (1 Corinthians 6:19) We also have God’s Word, the Bible. 

The Lord has something to tell you today. Seek Him. Spend time with Him. Run to Him, like Samuel did. Make His voice the loudest in your world. Listen to His voice.

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

Heavenly Father,

You are awesome, Holy God. Thank you that you still speak today. May we hear your voice loud and clear above the noise of the world, above the lies, above the distractions. Speak Lord, for your servants are listening.

In Jesus name,

Amen 

 

Bible, Faith, Trials, Uncategorized

Need A Fresh Start?

silhouette of mountains

Do you ever wish there was a reset button in life? Things are just going downhill and it sure would be nice to start over again. There is good news for you. Today, right now, you can start again. Each day is a fresh start. A gift from the Lord. He knew we needed beginnings and endings, each and every day. Doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem or issue disappears the next day, but it can mean a renewal of your attitude and faith.

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV 

 

I can’t help but think of Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship, when needing a restart comes to mind. Chuck was one of President Nixon’s right hand men, and went to prison for his involvement in Watergate. Chuck met Jesus and accepted Him as Savior, and eventually started a world renowned prison ministry. That’s a spectacular fresh start. Only God would do something so magnificent with something so ugly.

Moses had a few fresh starts during his life. He flees Egypt after killing an Egyptian who had beaten one of his fellow Hebrews. Moses then becomes a shepherd and starts a new life in the desert. Years later God talks to Moses from a burning bush. God tells Moses that he’s sending him to Pharoah to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. (Exodus 3) That is a historic fresh start. Definitely a hard job, that changes the course of history.

Moses was not asking for that fresh start. God had other plans. Sometimes we think everything is going fine. Like Moses, maybe we want to hide out in the desert and give ourselves a fresh start. But God shows up and surprises us. God always has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6, NASB

Is there a destructive habit that needs to stop in your life?

Maybe there’s an ugly attitude.

Is there a strain in one of your significant relationships? Marriage, kids, family, friends.

Do you need to forgive someone?

Do you need to apologize and ask for forgiveness?

I’m not suggesting you can instanly fix everything. Only God can change hearts, minds, and attitudes. And time travel is not an option to go back and make changes.

The one thing you can change is you.

Your fresh start begins the moment you surrender it all to Jesus. It takes humilty to lay it at the Lord’s feet and ask for His help.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10, NIV 

Every single moment is an opportunity to start again.

If you’ve never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you can change that right now, today. God is drawing you to Jesus.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. John 6:44, NIV

If you need a fresh start, it begins right now. You can choose.

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. If you need prayer please go to my contact page and send me an email.

 

 

 

https://www.prisonfellowship.org/
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com
Faith, Trials, Uncategorized

Count Your Blessings

gift-2934858_1920

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

 

We all have Christmas traditions. One of ours is to play the movie White Christmas while the tree is being decorated. I love all the music from that classic movie. Of course the iconic “White Christmas” song by Irving Berlin is one of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time. And I do love that song. But there’s another song from the movie that I love. “Count Your Blessings” was also written by Irving Berlin. He wrote it during a time he was suffering from insomnia brought on by stress. A doctor suggested to count his blessings instead. Good advice.

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my blessings
when my bankroll is getting small I think of when I had none at all
and I fall asleep counting my blessings.

 

I think about a nursery,
and I picture curly heads,
and one by one I count them
as they slumber in their beds.

If you’re worried and you cant sleep,
just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.

christmas-2991508_1920
Worry and stress are exasperated during this “Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. While it should be one of the happiest times, for many it can be one of the hardest. I think of this song often throughout the year when I feel stressed. When I stop and count all of my many blessings it gives me perspective. The problems will always come, but the gifts from our Heavenly Father will come too. So let’s thank Him for all He has given us, for all He has done and continues to do.
The Word of God is clear about what we are to do with our worry. Give it all over to Jesus. Here are just a few verses:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:6-7 (NIV) 
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
No matter what you are facing today, stop and take a few moments to thank God for everything He has blessed you with. Write these blessings down and look at them daily to remember how faithful God is. Let’s count our blessings! Our lists should be so long that we run out of paper. If you are in a painful place, at least write a few blessings down. There is always something to be thankful for. Your list will grow as you begin to think about all the good God has done.
Here is a big blessing to start you off. Jesus came into this world as a tiny baby to save us. Thank you Jesus for the blessing and miracle of Christmas.
When we thank God for His many blessings something happens. We stop focusing on the problems and stress and start focusing on God. That changes our mood and our attitude. Our faith grows, and our praise gets stronger. That’s powerful!
May your load be a little lighter today. May God give you fresh joy and perspective when you think on all He has done.
Love you all,
Meghan
P.S. If you need prayer leave your request in the comments or on my contact page.
Images by monicore from Pixabay