Friday, March 20, 2015

Pour Into A Thirsty World

Clean Water- Helping in Jesus' Name
Sponsored by Samaritan's Purse
smiling face used with permission from Samaritan's Purse                                   



  Samaritan's Purse is sponsoring World Water Day, March 16-22 to provide clean water for 5,000 families in Jesus' name.
                    www.samaritanspurse.org/water/pour-into-a-thirsty-world

Think about it, as I have for these past several days. I have asked myself, and tried to imagine how my days would be different without easily accessible water.  How about you? I go to the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the shower every day; yet how often do I thank the Giver for this gift of clean water, which runs so freely in our homes?
O, Lord, help me to use water responsibly as a gift, from You, not to take it for granted as I turn on a faucet, place a tea kettle on the stove, wash clothes, shower, and all the multiple times water is used in my daily activities.

Samaritan's Purse World Water Day has made me more aware of the crucial need for clean water world wide.
"Every day, 6,000 people die from dirty water! An estimated 1.58 million people die each year from diseases caused by unclean water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene habits. The majority of these are children in developing countries."  from Samaritan's Purse

"748 million people don't have access to clean water. Will you help?
 http://bit.ly/1NEqPCx     Please give in Jesus' Name

Think about a time when you were really thirsty without access to clean water. I remember well when I was in Africa, several times we would be out in the villages and precious children would see our water bottles, while I would see their parched lips. Who would not, with joy, give water to one of His thirsty children?






I have never forgotten this young boy's eyes as he held a bottle of water.


                       "Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
                        And the tongue of the dumb sing.
                        For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
                         And streams in the desert..."     Isaiah 35:6

Great Is Your Faithfulness


As I gazed upon His sunrise gift from my window, I lifted up praise for His loving mercies, His faithfulness, His glorious presence among us; to walk this day gift with us, giving strength, wisdom, and loving care to those who call upon the name of the Lord. Oh, to do life with the Creator of the universe!

Thank You, Lord, for daily prayer time, morning and evening, with my prayer partners, lifting up our heart-felt prayer requests before Your Throne. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayers.
Thank You for Prime Minister Netanyahu's victory in Israel
Thank You for family blessings each day
Thank You for a successful surgery for my 90 year old evening prayer partner!
Thank You for a delightful visit with my Chinese friend.





 I first met Christine last year when I was assisting her with English lessons via Skype to China. Our relationship grew stronger with each passing month, and now she is in the States pursuing further graduate education.  Her Spring break days were spent with me and my family.
Such a delightful time we had going to favorite Chinese restaurants!

Blessed to sing with my church choir and have Christine join us attending
Sunday service







An evening spent together preparing for daughter's
 wedding shower coming up soon!











Joy-filled two hour hike at the park with Christine and granddaughter




  


                                         It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
                                              And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
                                              To declare Your lovingkindness  in the morning,
                                              And Your faithfulness every night...
                                                                                      Psalm 92:1,2
 



Saturday, March 14, 2015

"The Morning Prayer Determines The Day"


"The entire day receives order and discipline when it acquires unity. This unity must be sought and found in morning prayer. The morning prayer determines the day."    Dietrich  Bonhoeffer

Help me, Lord, to be an instrument of Your peace, to begin each day in prayer, on my knees, use me as You will, this day, for Your honor and glory.

No one can deny our world is wrought with discord, sadness, unforgiveness, unbelievable tragedies, war, killing, persecutions, accidents, illness, disease, cancer, family strife, natural disasters...
Jesus warned of such times;
"Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us when these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'
And Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of  wars and rumors of war. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
                                                                                                         Matthew 24:3-7
This morning my prayers were for the people of the  nation Vanuatu, experiencing a tropical cyclone, category 5, on Friday. Rescue agencies are now underway to assist this devastated island chain in the South Pacific. www.samaritanspurse.org

Every first Friday of the month, I am privileged to pray with Intercessors for America. Please join in prayer.
www.ifapray.org

Logo for Intercessors for America

This month our prayer focus is on Israel and the upcoming election for the office of  Prime Minister, on March 17th.
We prayed for a strong leader for Israel; for peace in this nation, for our sovereign God to oversee this election, if it be His will to grant Benjamin Netanyahu further leadership as Prime Minister, for God's protection over the Jewish people, and for our Nation and churches to support Israel and the Jewish people.

"May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope. May God bless the State of Israel and the United States of America."    from Prime Minister Netanhayu's speech before Congress
                                                                                                    March 3, 2015
"...Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." Ephesians 6:10












Thursday, March 5, 2015

Be Strong and Courageous. Do Not Be Afraid...

As seen from my window, one lone bird, quietly perched.
All around a blanket of whiteness covers our earth corner.
Day after day, more whiteness upon whiteness falls heavy, and where to put such mountains of whiteness?
Snow plows, shovels, add layer upon layer of white heaviness to mounting mountains of snow.
Day after day of deep freeze temperatures add to day's distress, ice spikes hanging from swollen roof gutters, ice covered roads, sliding wheels, ice patched paths defy one to stay upright, wind chimes clanging in cadence with howling winds.
Such has been our winter days in our corner of the earth. Yet...these days have been a time of reflection on the goodness of our God, His protection during winter's harshness, His bountiful daily gifts, His Word to strengthen weary souls, His gift of prayer; eagerly waiting for communication between the Potter and the clay. Oh, Father, form me, use me as You will for Your honor and glory.Give me a heart like Yours to feel as You feel for those suffering as followers of the cross in a world that is becoming more hostile to those proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Such suffering surrounds our world. Day upon day, crushing news of evil powers taking more captives; followers of the cross, families grieving deaths of loved ones, such heart- wrenching pain.
The earth groans in anguish, yet, His Word says, "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit."  Psalm 34:18

The Lord hears, the Lord is near, the Lord is our comfort, the Lord is our strength - in  total trust shall be our strength.
Day after day of winter coldness, my thoughts have been on His strength in my weakness.
Then came this past Sunday morning, another treacherous drive, making our way to our church worship.
I smiled in hearing from the Pastor's message, my own week's heart-cry for His strength.
"We give our strength, which is nothing more than weakness, in exchange for Christ's strength."

                            "Be strong and courageous.
                              Do not be afraid;
                          Do not be discouraged,
                  For the Lord Your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9


What are you, friend, going through now; illness, disease, heartache, loneliness, pain, depression, sorrow, disappointment?  God knows. He cares and loves you.

                " The weaker we feel, the harder we lean on God- the harder we lean, the stronger we grow."
                                                                                         Joni Earikson Tada

As we drove home from church, on snow covered country roads, high on a hill stands three crosses.
The One who loves you so much that He died upon a cross for you, waits to give you His strength.
This is what Lent is all about- remembering what He did for you and me.
Even in the midst of this world turmoil we can trust our Savior to never leave us.


"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  words of Jesus from John 16:33

"Even so, come,Lord Jesus!"
Maranatha!





Friday, February 20, 2015

Compassion Bloggers in Dominican Republic




Take a moment to click link below and travel to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International Bloggers and feel the love of our God for these people, these precious children, their beautiful land,
and may your heart-strings tighten in love for these children living in poverty.
Is God calling you to open your life to sponsorship of one of His own children?

www.compassion.com/compassionbloggers/dominican-republic-2015.htm 



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday After Ash Wednesday



             "Let the ruins come to life
              In the beauty of Your Name
              Rising up from the ashes
              God forever You reign
                                                               And my soul will find refuge
                                                               In the shadow of Your wings
                                                               I will love You forever
                                                               And forever I'll sing"
                                                                              from Hillsong- Glorious Ruins

I have always loved this season, this 40 day journey into my heart and soul before the glorious day of Christ's Glorious Grace Given for those who would call on His Name, believe He died for our sins, rose from the dead, seek forgiveness for one's sins, and follow after Him.

Weeks before this journey, I pray for God to reveal to me His planned purpose for my changed heart. I pray for endurance to follow through, and not fail, but to focus on His purpose; to be established in the Lord and
His Word.

                  " ... that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."                     Philippians 3:9-11
                                                                           
For the past four years, I have used this treasured, 40 day devotional  to go deeper into the passion and suffering of Jesus. I commend it to you for a rich, soul searching experience.
                                                                              Reliving the Passion by Walter Wangerin Jr.

I pray you'll walk this journey with me, on the road the Lord is leading you to follow. We are living in such troubled times, each day bringing a new heartache and turbulence swirling round our world- we don't want to be swallowed up in fear, for He has told us not to fear- be anchored by His Word alone, our stronghold!

Lenten Bible reading plans at   blog.youversion.com/2015/02/6-bible-plans-to-help-you-connect
I am using the 40 Day New Testament Challenge

God's richest blessings upon you, friends,
maureen

                                             "He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
                                               His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
                                               His heart is established;
                                               He will not be afraid..."              Psalm 112:7,8

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The only place to be...


                                         ON OUR KNEES IN PRAYER

(source:screen capture from new ISIS video)
Since Sunday, I can't stop thinking of these 21 Christians forced to their knees, knowing they would be executed by beheading by the demonic forces of ISIS. I look at this awful sight and wonder, what were the thoughts of these men as they knelt in front of their executioners? Did they pray for them? Were their weeping hearts bleeding in sorrow and anguish of the moment, yet knowing that as their hearts crushed out its last beat, they would be in the presence of their Lord and Savior?

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" words of Jesus in John 11.

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."  Jesus, from the cross.

"And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.'
Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not charge them with this sin.'
And when he had said this, he fell asleep."      Acts 7:59-60

On our knees we must be, seeking You, Lord.
"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:5,6)

 Christ has overcome, by the blood stained cross, carried by the One who came among us to rescue us from the evil grip of this sin infested world. If we but get on our knees and cry out, "Oh God, help me to be free of this sin that so easily besets me. Forgive me, Lord Jesus, I surrender my life to Your Lordship. Oh God, have mercy on us.

I carry this image of these Christians, and those who died at the hand of evil before them, in my heart, and pray for the families they left behind -left to mourn. I pray the arms of the Lord to wrap His comfort around them, and I pray for all of us bearing the name of "the people of the cross", to be bold in our witness, to stand firm in our commitment to Jesus, to be unshakeable, grounded in His Word , gripped by the power of the Spirit,

and constantly on our knees in prayer.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Contemplating Love and Wonder This Weekend


What has turned your heart toward thoughts of love and wonder this bitter cold week-end?

February is hard; it can be unbelievably cold, like this morning, -3.7 degrees F; it can be long even with just 28 days; snow, snow and more snow, icy roads,  biting, howling wind, and long dark nights.
But in this, too, there are moments of quiet and wonder.

I have begun a new, fun craft during cold winter nights called Zentangle, using an inspirational book,
Zenspirations by Joanne Fink. This is my first drawing  from the patterns she has shared to inspire the art of drawing and creating patterns.

"Find a quiet moment each day to renew your sense of wonder."

A sense of wonder and thankfulness this week...

 for His beautiful morning sunrise to warm the sky with vibrant color, putting a gazer  in awe of His majesty. This gift was like God saying," Look what I have given to you as a love gift for today!"


wonder of soft, falling snow from His storehouse in the clouds, creating an earthen blanket; yet I am reminded
that soon spring will bring a flock of birds ready to begin new life in a little yellow house prepared.

Thankful for safety on roads with daughter, as we traveled to appointments for  her soon-to-be
weddings. Excitement overflowing!

wonder and pleasure of feeding bird friends, and
black squirrels!

My daughter and I
spent snowy Saturday evening working on wedding decorations and ribbon wands of gold, sage, and pale blue and bells to ring in joy for the new couple.
Exciting, busy days ahead in preparation for the special day in May.


The wonder of God's love thrills me everyday.
His words of love pour from His Book of Promises...

...I have loved thee
               with an everlasting love..."
                                        Jeremiah 31:3

I am so blessed to share this love with seekers
seeking a God who loves them as they are, with all
their hurts and sorrows and pain. A Savior who has said,
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you..."
                                        John 14:27
m.love.godlife.com 

Share in the joy and wonder of a Savior who loves you, and died for you that you may have everlasting life.
m.4steps.godlife.com    m.forgiveness.godlife.com
God bless you,
maureen

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"A Prayer To Renounce Fear"

Thank you for visiting. Last week I listened to and watched the videos from Moody Bible Founder's Week Conference 2015. You, too, can listen and watch by going to
www.moodyconferences.com/con_mainPage.aspx?id=128473

On February 5th, Dr. Lutzer spoke about rejecting fear and trusting God in our present, troubled, fear-filled world. He concluded his words of wisdom with a heart-felt prayer that he has written, and recited by all in attendance. It certainly touched my heart, and I earnestly pray this, now, every day in my time with the Lord. I want to share it with you.

Father, help me to agree with You that I am not subject to fear, but am a child of Your love. I reject the fear of the future, for I believe that the future is in Your hands.
I reject the fear of evildoers, for Your Word says; "Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident...For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock."
I renounce the fear of rejection, for David wrote in Your holy Word, "For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in."
I renounce the fear of witnessing about Christ, because Your Word warns, "The fear of man brings a snare." Therefore, I choose to fear You more than I do any human being. I affirm, "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

I renounce the fear of losing my property and possessions, for Your Word says, "I have learned that whatever situation I am, to be content... I know the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I renounce the fear of Satan, for Your Word says he has already been conquered "by  the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony."
I renounce the fear of saying "goodbye" to a terminally ill loved one, for Jesus promised, "Let not your heart be troubled...In My Father's house are many rooms; I go and prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also."

I renounce the fear of death, for I affirm with the Apostle Paul,  "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Thank You for the promise, "death is swallowed up in victory."
I renounce the fear of martyrdom, for Your Word declares, "Do not fear those who are able to kill the body, but fear Him rather who is able to destoy both soul and body in hell."
I renounce the fear of loneliness, for we are promised, "Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." And also, I will never leave you nor forsake you." And again, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

I renounce the fear of intimidation, for Jesus said, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world."
I renounce fear of false accusations. I accept this promise, "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
I renounce the fear of being treated unjustly, for of Jesus we read that , "When he was reviled, He did not revile in return, when He suffered, He did not threaten but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly."

I renounce the fear of radial Islam and its desire to intimidate us.
I renounce the fear of political correctness.
I declare that "The truth shall set me free," and I choose to live as a free person in Christ Jesus. I shall speak and not be silent.
I renounce the fear of curses, either known or unknown, spoken against me and my family.
I renounce the fear of manipulation and control.
I renounce the fear of being involved in public or political activity.
I declare that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
I submit to Jesus as Lord of every area of my life. Jesus Christ is Lord of my house. Jesus Christ is Lord of my relationship. Jesus Christ is Lord of my city. Jesus Christ is Lord of my nation. Jesus Christ is Lord above all false gods and religions. Jesus Christ is Lord over all the nations of the earth.
I commit myself to be a living witness to Jesus Christ as Lord. I am not ashamed of His cross. "God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of Christ."

I ask now that You would fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and pour upon me all the blessings of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Grant me the grace to understand the truth of Your Word clearly, and to apply it in every area of my life. Give me words of hope and life, as You promised. Open and bless my lips so that I can speak to others with authority and the power in Jesus' name. Give me the boldness to be a faithful witness for Christ. Give me a love for all people, and a passion to share the love of Christ with them.
Grant that I shall carry Your cross as a badge of honor.
In Jesus' name,
Amen                                      Prayer by Pastor Erwin W. Lutzer, The Moody Church

God be with all of you, friends,
maureen

 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In Bitter Cold Morning Sunrise


Thankful for Your sunrise giving us hope for each new day, knowing You are always here with us


Oh, these frigid winter days can be so
dismal, and seeming to last forever, but as I walk on ice-crusted crackling snow shooting pictures of  Your winter earth blanket - I can be thankful.





Because I remember Your promises...





www.365promises.com/daily-promises/month/february-2015
Visit this site for daily inspiration from God's Word concerning His promises. Site encourages Ebook download and sharing of inspirational photos for God's  honor and glory.


Yes, friend, God knew you before you were born- He is your Creator-Sustainer-Source of Life.
He waits to hear from you today. I'd like to share another site of inspiration from my work with GodLife.com
m.godlife.com/kindness

Have a blessed day in the Lord!
maureen

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Snow, Again....


Desolate, early morning drive to church.
Snow falling softly but ever so steady.
Didn't this happen last Sunday, also?  Yes, and much more snow predicted by early week.

Blessed to begin the week in praise and worship songs, and contemplate the words chosen for today by our Pastor.
1 Peter 1:3-9
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him, and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Powerful words, memory words for me, because of  HOPE- A LIVING HOPE- eternal life!
Our great God is a merciful God providing salvation to sinners who come to Christ and put their faith in Him- being born anew to a living hope- an eternity that awaits the redeemed sinner. Thus, our momentary trials and sufferings are just that-momentary, compared to an everlasting, awaiting home in heaven. The redeemed in Christ are just pilgrims passing through the darkness of this world to "an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you."
As this week unfolds before us, with its sorrows, trials, and joys, may we remember, we don't walk this road alone; He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5


As we drove home, I thought of the week ahead, not in fear but with renewed hope.
How do you see your week ahead?
I pray it is with a renewed sense of hope and a trust in a Savior who has told us not to fear the storms of day or the terrors of night.

"And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea,
'Peace! Be still!' 
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?'
And they were filled with great fear and said to one another,
'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?'"
    Mark 4:39-41



 Don't forget to feed our bird friends!



Friday, January 30, 2015

...For What Is your Life?


"...for what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time,
                                                      and then vanisheth away."    James 4:14

"Nothing takes God by surprise. Everything is moving according to a plan; and God wants you in the plan.The devil also has a plan, and you will have to decide which plan you are going to fit into. Scripture says that God allows us 70 years and some beyond. The first 15 are spent in childhood and early adolescence.
Twenty years are spent in bed; and in the last five, physical limitations start to curtail our activities. That gives us about thirty years in which to live as adults. We take time out for eating, and for figuring our taxes, and we are down to perhaps 15 years. Now suppose we spend seven of those years watching TV. That cuts us down to seven or eight years. Our time is short! The times we can invest for God, in creative things, in reaching our fellowmen for Christ, is short!"
  taken from Day-By-Day with Billy Graham, passage for January 30.

This is one of the daily devotional journals I use in my prayer time each morning. It was our gift to my mother-in-law in 1977 and used by her, daily, through the day she left this short earthly life of 95 years, for her heavenly home with her Savior. That day, I read the passage for January 20th to her.
This devotional was so cherished that all the pages were loose, no binding left. Thus I have put these years-worn pages in a binder; now, for my own meditation.
My friends, this hope for an eternity of glory is offered to anyone who will use the hours left of this earthly life  to seek the One who came to give us an eternal life  in heaven.
Please watch this video by Billy Graham , who so desperately wants to share this hope with you ; and may the Lord bless your days.    In His love, maureen
www.myhopewithbillygraham.org