Trials

Never Forget 9/11

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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

God

Known by God

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There are 17,000 Union soldiers buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery. The vast majority of tombstones say “Unknown”. Thousands of grave markers with no name. Were these men really unknown? Of course not. They had mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, wives and children who knew them. Unfortunately the makeshift grave sites during the Civil War identifying these soldiers were gone by the time a national cemetery was created.

I looked at row after row of these unknown soldiers thinking of their families who knew them well. The generals and high ranking officials have grand memorials with statues of bronze, yet the enlisted guys have simple markers with a number. God knew each and every one of them. They were known by a loving God.

Who knows you? Does your husband or wife know you? Maybe your friends know you. Your siblings might know you or your parents. Sure we all have people in our lives who know us better than anyone else, but who knows you the best? God knows us better than anyone, even better than we know ourselves.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.

Psalm 139:1-4, NIV

Our creator, God, knows every single thing about us. He knows when we sit, and when we rise. He is familiar with all our ways. Before we say a word, He knows it completely.

God knows our struggles, our heartache, our deep pain. God knows our sins, and bad choices. God knows our ugly thoughts and our deepest needs. God knows every single thing about us, and still loves us like no one else can. God’s love for us is perfect.

Every person has the desire to be known. There is only one who knows us deeply, perfectly, lovingly. God knows you and He knows me. Do you know God?

There is only one way to the Father, that’s Jesus.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6, NIV

The God of the universe knows you. He made you, and loves you so very much. No one knows you like God. If you are feeling invisible or unknown, please be assured that you are known and you are loved by God.

God is always there, watching over you. Even when you think no one sees or cares, God does. He loves you passionately and will pursue you all the days of your life. God knows you, really knows you, like no other. You can trust Him fully. Do you know Him?

May you feel the deep abiding love of God, who made you and knows you. You are known.

Love you all,

Meghan

Bible

Are You Hungry?

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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. 

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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

Salvation

The Narrow Path

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Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

We wanted to hike to the top of Diamond Head on our Hawaiian vacation. Our itinerary was filled with snorkeling, kayaking, and sight seeing. Hiking to the top of an iconic volcanic crater was a must. The path started out at the ground level smooth, paved and relaxing. Within minutes the path began to curve and wind. No longer paved, it became rocky and uneven.

The trail was not super difficult, yet not super easy either. I had to pay attention since there were numerous switchbacks along the way. There’s a large steep staircase that brings you up 560 feet. I had to stop and catch my breath after climbing those steps.

After climbing another set of stairs there is a 225 foot long tunnel. I am not a fan of enclosed dark spaces. There was no way around the tunnel. I had to go through it to continue on my journey to the top. Once we made it through the creepy dark tunnel it felt like a small victory.

There are several look out points where you can take a break and enjoy the view. When Tom and I finally reached the top it was all worth it. The views were stunning. We could see Waikiki Beach, and downtown Honolulu. Everywhere we looked was absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful blue Pacific Ocean looked like it had no end. Taking the narrow path was worth it.

Following Jesus is the narrow path.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14, NIV

Jesus is the only way to the Father. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV). Following Him is not the easy road. The narrow road can be treacherous, steep, and winding. To stay on the narrow path we must fix our eyes on Jesus. He is leading the way and we must follow.

There are dark tunnels and the only way through them is to trust where He is taking you, even when you cannot see. Jesus will get you to the other side of that darkness. And when you are tired and cannot take another step He will pick you up and carry you.

When you are afraid as you look at the steep drop-offs, He will comfort you, and reassure you that you can in fact make it. The only way to get through the narrow path is with Jesus.

Our faith is tested on the narrow path. We must humble ourselves, lay down our pride, take up our cross and follow Him. The longer we are on the narrow path the more we become like Jesus. Little by little, step by step.

There are blessings along the narrow path, provision, and beauty. The narrow path leads to life. Jesus is life. Our time here on Earth is brief and it will come to an end. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus will be in Heaven with Him forever.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3, NIV

The Broad path leads to destruction.

The road to destruction is wide. There are plenty of people on this path. This road is all about self, and making our own way. Doing our own thing. We have no need for Christ on the broad road.

This wide open path is easy, effortless. There is no thought of the narrow path here. Do what you want. Make your own way. It’s difficult to wander off the wide path. There’s plenty of space to do absolutely anything you want without much consequence.

The way of the broad path is not a happy one. Destruction is where it leads which is eternal ruin in Hell. “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12, NIV)

Jesus is not on the broad path. He is calling us to Him on the narrow road. It’s our choice to make.

I was on the broad path before placing my faith in Jesus Christ. Everything changed once I met Jesus. My eyes were opened to see just how beautiful Jesus is, and how sinful I am. His shed blood saved me and set me free.

Jesus died for all. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2, NIV) But not everyone will place their faith in Christ.

The only path I want to be on is the narrow one because Jesus is there. No matter the difficulties, no matter the hardships, there is no place I’d rather be then with my wonderful Savior. Jesus is life.

Only a few find Jesus.

I think it’s interesting that the island of Oahu averages around 250,000 visitors per day yet only 3000 each day hike to the top of Diamond Head. It’s a great illustration of the ease of the wide path with very few finding the narrow path. Sure, many tourists see Diamond Head and it’s beauty, yet they go right past it not wanting to take that narrow path to the top.

Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 7. He is telling us to choose Him because He is life. What appears to be hundreds of ways to Jesus is a lie. The narrow gate is the only entrance. That means placing your faith in Jesus Christ. All other ways lead to destruction.

There is hope for those on the broad road to destruction. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. He is ready and waiting to answer our prayers. Jesus does not want anyone to perish. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (1 Peter 3:9, NIV)

The narrow path can be lonely and difficult but Jesus is there, and He is leading us home.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer please email me at meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Trials

It’s Been a Crazy Week in the Great State of Texas

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This was our backyard on Monday. It was cold. Very cold for southeast Texas. Our power went out early Monday morning. My husband left for work, and I thought for sure our power would come back on soon. We never experienced any long power outages in the 8 years we have lived in Houston. We have survived crazy tropical storms, and Hurricane Harvey with no lengthy power outages or property damage.

I was sure we would be fine with power and heat returning that day. I was wrong. As the day continued and our house got colder I realized the power may not come back on. My husband found the very last available hotel room so we could get warm for the night. By the time Tom came home to pick us up the hotel had lost power. We all breathed a collective sigh, and hopped in my warm car.

The heat in my car felt incredible. I was able to calm down for a few minutes and relax a bit. As we drove through our neighborhood and down the road, it looked like the apocalypse with absolutely no light whatsoever. Pitch black everywhere until we got farther down the highway. Suddenly businesses were lit up but closed. Why did they have power and we didn’t?

Every restaurant, gas station, and store was closed. We found a 7-11 that was open. It was like an oasis in the snow and ice. We dined on pizza and it was actually pretty good. The hot meal was a blessing. Arriving back at our dark icy cold house was not easy. My husband, myself, and our two sons made the best of it. We layered up our clothing, and blankets, and tried to get some sleep. Tomorrow would be better and the power would come back on, we hoped and prayed.

That night I pulled my chilly head under the covers looking for any amount of warmth. I couldn’t help but think of all the homeless people, and those living in poverty around the world who sleep like that every night in the cold. Thank you Lord for heat.

Day two started out with power and a hot cup of coffee. But it didn’t last. By mid morning the power was back off. We continued to make the best of it, and focus on what we could do as we waited for the power to return. My oldest son and I were in the backyard enjoying the sun when we heard an odd sound. Water was pouring out of the pipe at the side of our house in two spots. Dylan ran to turn off the main water line.

Day three ended with the power coming on and off again for short periods until it finally came back on for good late Wednesday night. We still had frozen pipes but we were warm. Hallelujah!

Our dinners have been cooked on the barbecue grill and camping stove. I boiled water for coffee on the grill. Our pool water has been used to fill up toilet tanks. We have plenty of bottled water and canned food. We haven’t showered all week and we are a bit funky, but we are healthy and safe by the grace of God.

We have hauled so many buckets of water from the pool to the bathrooms it’s like living in another century. When all modern conveniences are gone you have to work a little harder to cook, clean, and use the bathroom. Almost everything is a chore. Each day just trying to keep warm, cooking food, hauling water, and getting through the day is tiring. Thank you Lord for electricity, and plumbing!

I can live without many things like internet, cell phones, and even indoor plumbing. Not sure I would want to live without heat. The cold is very difficult, especially if there is no place to get warm. Being constantly cold in temps as low as 12 degrees was not enjoyable. I have had some very cranky moments this week. Tired of being cold. Tired of no power. And pretty ticked a few times that the energy company purposely made the decision of “controlled outages” to balance out supply and demand.

Another pipe burst today inside our house as the water finally thawed and we turned our water back on. The water is currently turned off as we wait for a plumber to arrive. My husband is very handy and can fix almost anything but he can’t find copper pipe anywhere. He has waited in line at the Home Depot twice for hours only to find all plumbing supplies are sold out. Getting a hold of a plumber right now is impossible. Thank God for a connection through a friend of a plumber. Thank you Lord!

It’s been a long exhausting week. We are just one of millions who went without power in Texas. I kept thinking of all the elderly, and vulnerable people who were stuck in the cold inside their homes. We have been very blessed during this entire crazy storm. God has provided food, water, shelter, and even a plumber for us.

Thank you Lord for modern conveniences. I take them for granted.

Thank you Lord that you are faithful and true. You always get us through the storms in life.

I am looking forward to a hot shower and I can’t believe I’m saying this, doing laundry.

If you have gone without power this week please share your story. I’d love to hear from you!

I am grateful for each of you who follow my little blog and each of you who stop by to read it. This is my condensed story of a crazy week. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer send your request here: meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Father God,

Thank you for taking care of our family through this crazy cold week. Provide for all those who have broken pipes and water damage, and have struggled during this storm in Texas. Bring peace, comfort, provision and Your amazing presence to each home and heart. You are bigger than our storms.

In Jesus Mighty Name,

Amen