“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT https://www.bible.com/116/jer.29.11-13.nlt
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me…If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:4, 7).
Lord, thank You for growing our trust when we daily surrender to You. Lead us to know the Holy Spirit better. Let Your desires be our desires.
Live in the best relationship every day.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV).
Dear Lord, teach us to put You first in everything. Show us how to begin each day with You.
On the morning of December 14th, my sister, Brenda, is rushed to the hospital by ambulance service. Her breathing was shallow. They tested her for Covid-19. The results were negative. Praise God! We were very relieved Brenda did not have Covid.
We knew they were doing additional tests to determine the cause of her breathing difficulties. We were very worried. However, As I was praying, I remembered Brenda had her iPad with her. I felt lead by the Holy Spirit to send her this message:
God is love. He loves you more than you can imagine. Rest in his arms as he heals your health needs. You will be home soon.❤️ Karen 🙏🙏🙏
A nurse from the hospital called and said, “Brenda has blood clots in her lungs. We are going to admit her for further testing in the morning.“
When I called Brenda the next morning she had completed all the tests. She said she was exhausted. “No problem, I will call you back in thirty minutes,” I said. Twenty minutes later I received a call from the ICU unit. Brenda had made a turn to the worst. “Oh, my God, No, please No”, I cried. I continued to pray. Fifteen minutes later I received the second call from the ICU unit. All I heard was, you need to get to the hospital as quickly as you can. Your sister is not going to make it. He was right! Brenda was gone before we made it upstairs to the ICU unit.
The next day my sister, Dorothy, called me crying. It was difficult to understand what she was saying. Finally, I heard Dorothy say, “ I have Brenda’s iPad.” Dorothy continued saying, “ Karen, Brenda never received your message, also the message she sent you was not delivered.”
Dorothy forwarded Brenda’s message to me. I love you all and know I am in God’s hands.
I started thanking God through my tears. Yes, my sister had no fear she knew she was in God’s hands. Thank you, Lord, for giving my sister peace that you can only give. Thank you for the promise your children will arise and meet you in the sky when you return to take them home. You will wipe all tears from their eyes, there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain. Thank you, Lord, for comforting me with the message I thought was for Brenda but was really for me.
“I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”” Revelation 21:3-4 NLT https://www.bible.com/116/rev.21.3-4.nlt
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”” John 13:34-35 MSG https://www.bible.com/97/jhn.13.34-35.msg
Jesus did not ask us to love one another. He commands that we love others the way he loves us.
We always had animals when we were younger. I don’t have a single memory that didn’t have at least one in it. The two dogs that touched my heart the most is a cattle dog named Smokey and a little terrier named Tiffany. These were the most loyal of dogs not only to us but to each other. One didn’t go anywhere without the other and when it was time to sleep they cuddled next to each other as one. Smokey was a digger and every day he would find that special place to dig and make his way under the fence. As soon as the perfect hole was dug out and we were at school or work, he would get out and take himself on a walk for an hour or so then come back through before we got home. Tiffany would always follow him NEVER letting him out of her sight. Even though Tiffany was a petite dogs she had the fight of a much larger one. She didn’t have a little dog syndrome she was just very protective over her brother. One day it was exceptionally hot and Smokey had wondered into a different neighborhood that he was unfamiliar with. Himself and Tiffany made a stop at someone’s house for a rest under a tree in the front yard. The homeowner noticed the dynamic duo and walked out to say hello. Tiffany would not let the man near her overweight exhausted brother. After a while the man had gone into the house and retrieved some treats to occupy them while he read their collars. The man called us and we were able to bring our animals home. Praise God! Many years later Smokey had reached his life’s end and died in our backyard. When we came home we called the dogs in but met without an answer I went to look for them. Smokey looked so peaceful I thought that he was sleeping and there laid Tiffany cuddled up next to his belly. We buried Smokey having a nice funeral. The next few weeks we would find Tiffany sitting where Smokey died when we got home from school. She never really got over the death of her friend and brother. Even after death she never left his side. This reminds me so much of our Heavenly Father. He never ever leaves our side, no matter what and can always be found as long as we seek Him. He is with us in bad times, good times and everything in between.
“Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NCV https://www.bible.com/105/heb.10.24-25.ncv
I woke up, on November 30, 2020, with my alarm blaring. Five o’clock a.m. seems early when you’re retired. However, as usual, I had lots of plans for the day. I needed to be at my sisters home by 6;00 a.m. to bathe and get her ready for the day. My husband recently had back surgery. I told him I would be home by 7:30 a.m.to make him breakfast. As I drove home from my sister’s that morning, my mind was filled with thoughts of how much I enjoyed helping her and the great conversations that we would have.
As I pulled into my garage it brought me back to my plan to decorate the house for Christmas. Yes, that was my plan for the day! What I had not planned for, was falling and shattering my wrist. Even when the unexpected happens and it throws a curveball your way. God is good. His blessings outweigh any troubles that you may incur. Even though Gary could not twist, bend, reach, or lift, And I could not use my right arm. We knew that God would take care of us. God faithfully blessed us more than we could imagine. All our needs were met, cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, and chauffeured to doctor appointments. We were humbled to have our entire family work very hard to ensure we got the best of care. Thank you, Lord, for our loving family.
Friends, may God bless you and your family in good times and through difficult times. Let the love of God strengthen the cords that bind your family together. God bless 🙏