The Conversation

Isaiah 43:18-21

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old, Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.

Thought for the Day:  As we face new days and thoughts, remember the times God has made a way.

Sharing a conversation with a friend who I haven’t spoken to in many months was refreshing to me.  There are still days when I feel sorry for myself as I still do not have a teaching position and although I am fulfilling a lot of dreams and visions of my heart, I sometimes feel I am not complete.  As I spoke to her about my husband’s ministry in our church and how our children are doing in their school, scout, and church activities my heart seemed to warm.  She stated that it seems that God has definitely led us to this place.  I agreed as it seems that everyone in our home has their place and is happy.  Looking back at that discussion as well as talks I have had with others through the last months has reminded me, once again, of God’s great plan for our lives and that He places us where He wills.  I am still yearning for a  position teaching in a local school, but in the meanwhile, I will continue being in His presence and writing about being in the presence of God.

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way, He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me.  He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side.  With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way.  He will make a way.”  In our lives today, “God has made a way where there seemed to be no way, He has worked in ways we could not see.  He has made a way for me.  He has been my guide, has held me closely to His side.  With love and strength for each new day, He has made a way.  He has made a way.”  I am still watching for God to guide me to my next big chapter, but in the meanwhile, I am thanking God for walking beside me.

Prayer:  Father God, thank you for conversations where we can talk about our faith and where You have led us.  Thank you for the friends we talk to who listen, give words of wisdom, and then pray for us.  We praise You today.  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Seeing where God has made a way

Advertisements

Seeing Through the Fog

Luke 24:30-35

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?”  And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”  Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Thought for the Day:  See through the fog

That is it, that is how I have been feeling.  The Upper Room Devotion this morning was a good reminder of life with Christ, and how we sometimes feel cloudy in where we are in our lives.  Waking up very early on the morning I was to leave my summer job at Lake Junaluska, NC, was a special moment for me.  I left a week early where I could drive back for my brother’s college graduation where he was graduating with Honors from The University of Tennessee at Martin. I looked forward to driving through the mountains as I made my way home.  However, fog set in and instead of the beautiful mountains, all I saw was the fog blocking that view.  That fog stayed with me until I was almost out of the mountains – I missed it all.  But I did see my brother graduate and my mother, in her proudest moment, pushing him in his wheelchair across the stage to be presented with his diploma. During that time in life, I saw God’s face shining through as my brother graduated.  Through the coming years, I had times of much fog in my life but I also had times of much clarity.  I graduated, my brother died, I found jobs youth directing, I realized youth directing was not for me, I began teaching, I got married, I lost my husband in a car accident.  All of these events took me into fog, into clarity, into fog, and back and forth.  I remember after my husband’s death, I made my way back to Lake Junaluska.  As I drove into the mountains, there were beautiful blue skies.  In my car, I played my favorite compact disk of John Tesh music.   It was remarkable.  I felt lost inside during that time, but somehow God’s clear voice spoke through those blue skies and the music.  I was at peace.  Even today, twenty years later, that same music brings a peace whenever I hear it.

Today’s scripture was the story of the Walk to Emmaus when two men walked on the road the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion.  A stranger came up to them and they told him the story of what had just happened.  They did not know, because they were in their own fog, that Jesus was the man speaking to them.  They didn’t know until they asked him to stay with them for the night, and when he broke the bread at supper, that He was Jesus.  They were in a fog not seeing what was right in front of them.  Then they saw clearly.  Isn’t that how many of us are today.  Aren’t we in a fog when we are not sure where God is leading, and then when we look back later, we see Him clearly.  The fog has lifted.

http://devotional.upperroom.org/devotionals/2016-08-26

Prayer:  God, thank you for leading us even we do not see you and we do not understand.  Please lift the fog in our lives and help us see clearly.  We love you today and always.  Amen

Prayer Focus:  Those living in a fog

Bread

John 6:51

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Thought for the Day:  Don’t take for granted food on the table or food for the soul.

I have heard the words of Jesus, “I am the bread of life that came down from heaven.  Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I give for the life of the world is my flesh.”  The Upper Room Devotion today is written in a way that reached into my thoughts to help me understand those words a little better.  In my literal human thought I have often taken those words to mean food for the body, as the writer mentioned, but her words were these: “I am aware of times when I have cried out to Jesus for help and he has kept me moving through each transition, doubt, or loss.  His words of love and forgiveness have nourished my battered soul more times than I can count.”  She went on to say, “That is the connection, just as earthly bread fills and nourishes our body, Jesus fills and nourishes our souls.”  In my heart, my thoughts have always gone to the earthly bread when visualizing Jesus as the bread of life, when I need to look to the nourishment of my soul that comes through scripture, prayer, worship, songs.

In my life, I have been blessed that unless I chose not to eat a meal or I did not eat a meal due to a different schedule, I have always had earthly “bread” to eat.  There are many in the world who do not have bread to put into their mouths for earthly nourishment.  I take that bread for granted.  But what about Jesus’ Bread of Life?  Do I take that for granted as well?  Maybe.  Do I take it for granted and later forget the times Jesus has led me through a storm?  More times than I should.  Do I take for granted my times of reading Scripture, praying, worshiping, and singing songs of the faith?  If I look at myself in the hours past those times with Him I have to say, “Yes, I take that for granted, too.”  So, what do I do to help me remember the bread I receive for my soul for Jesus Christ?  I say with each meal and with each prayer, “Now bless this food to our bodies, and feed our souls the bread of life.”  Those words were prayed at the end of the meal blessing by the father of the Upper Room writer.  Those words thank God but they also remind us of where our “Bread of Life” comes from.  Jesus is the Bread of Life….I do not want my mind to drift away from that and ever take it for granted.

Prayer:  God, thank you for the bread we put on our table each day to nourish our bodies.  But even more, thank you for the Bread of Life you give us each day to nourish our souls.  You are the Bread of Life.  Help us receive that Bread in a way that will help us do Your work in Your kingdom.  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Nourishing the Soul

http://devotional.upperroom.org/devotionals/2016-07-18