A Scripture Verse



Jesus said, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted", Matthew 5:5, King James Version (Cambridge Edition)











About Our Ministry

Naomi’s Ministry is Christian blog designed to provide encouragement, strength and prayer to individuals who are experiencing loss, grief and recovering from traumatic experiences.

This blog site is to encourage, pray and support persons experiencing a wide range of losses that anyone of us may experience in our lifetime. The parting of a special loved one by death; divorce; the loss of job and financial security; the loss of limb(s) or debilitating illness or disease; the loss of a home or opportunity, are all "losses" and at varying degrees, may catapult you into a grieving cycle or traumatic event. However, we may not be on the road to recovery, if the right resources are not available to give us perspective on our feelings and the changes that happens in one’s life when a loss of any kind occurs. We need courage to grieve and to wait before God for the healing that comes, sometimes, one day at a time.

This is "first" a ministry of encouragement:

Know that what you are going through is normal for anyone who has experienced what you have experienced. Knowing how to go through the process, recognizing when you are grieving and seeking the help you may need will aid in the recovery process.


Know that it is okay that you are hurting. No explanations are needed. Admitting that is a first step toward your recovery. Recovery does not mean that you will forget the one or object of your loss. This also does not mean you will not forget the trauma of your victimization. Emotional healing will allow you to live authentically, freely, victoriously in spite of the event.

Know that you are not alone. Jesus Christ promised never to leave us or forsake us (The book of Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 5). This promise found in the Holy Scriptures is a promise from the Lord Himself that He is always with us, even during our darkest nights. Jesus also said, “I will not leave you comfortless” (The book of the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 18).

 Know that “The Comforter will come” (The book of the Gospel of John, chapter 16, verse 7). The Comforter that Jesus Christ is referencing is God the Holy Spirit, (part of the triune Godhead). As you call out to God in faith during this time of tremendous emotional and sometimes physical pain, the Lord will send His Spirit to minister to your mind, body, soul and spirit. He alone can heal the hurts of loss, grief and trauma. The Holy Spirit will wipe away "your tears". Jesus "is willing" to heal you if you but ask and trust Him in the process of recovery.

 Know one day you will be able to smile again. The sun will shine again and you will laugh again. You will have more good days to come. The Lord knows the thoughts and plans he has for you (Jeremiah 29:11), even if you cannot see it in the midst of this defining moment. If you will trust the Lord’s plans for you, you will come through this season, whole and able to continue on in your life’s journey.

Search out a church home or fellowship, grief recovery counselor/support group. Depending on our needs, we may need some assistance beyond what a blog, book or cards offer. Professional help is available. Pray and ask the Lord to direct you to a place of healing and confidentiality. Check out the resources at your church or another Christ-centered congregation. There are also Christian counseling services and grief recovery ministries and support groups that are of great help. Please do not grieve alone.

The time for recovery is NOW. Just like you would go to the hospital’s emergency room if you were physically in need of medical treatment, so during high levels of emotional crisis, you should not wait to seek help or assistance. DON’T WAIT TO GET HELP. This is the time to admit that you are hurting and it is okay.

Keep talking to God the Father, the Father of ALL Comfort. He knows your grief and the journey ahead. Also believe that He loves you even when you are sad. This ministry is reaching out to you with Jesus' love. We are praying for your total healing and recovery.

If you are interested in receiving bible-based books on grief recovery or one of the quarterly bible studies, please write me at:
jesusislord14@outlook.com. Please do not request money - request prayer or a book.

Please include your prayer requests when you write. We love you and we are praying for you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today was a good day

Today was a good day. I have no complaints even in my grief. The Lord worked wonders through the ordinary events of my life today. I met a great advocate for me today and it brought smiles to my face and laughter to my heart. This person went out of her way to understand what I was feeling and I was able to express entirely this is this and that is that...it was relieving. She took time to think about what I said and did some research (I like that) and didn't provide a quick answer to me just to get me out of the way. I am glad that I was able to share many things OUT LOUD to her and to my own self...yes...there is nothing wrong with affirming what is so you can be healthy, inside and out.

I'm on a journey and I am glad that I have a new partner in that journey. That's what its like when you work with persons who are not perfect, but interested in you and healthy themselves. She did not frown alot either when I told her "the down and dirty" (I was testing her metal on that score to see if she "could" be my advocate). She agreed on a plan with me and I am satisfied that the Lord heard my prayer and that this is a worthy "new beginning" (something you should not say unless it is a God-ordered "new beginning" - smile).

Yep (that's New England coming out of me - a regional thing), today was a good day. I had one "phoney bill" worked out after a few calls and had a great laugh about a "disaster"...ha ha ha....hee hee hee...God is at work and He is the only one who can give me JOY when I should be crying....ha ha ha ha....Oh...what a jolly holiday it has been...met a couple of folks...nothing serious mind you at all and thank God...nothing serious (enough said!).

It has been a good day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Get over it?

The next time someone tells me to get over my grief I'm going to tell them to get behind me in Jesus name. I can and do grieve and it is healthy to do. Besides grabbing the ice cream and shopping to drop methods of overcoming grief, it is really important to try other healing methods of facing the grief we experience. There are several alternatives to consider like keeping a diary, writing on paper or talking to a skilled counselor about the feelings of grief.

Grief is so versatile, moving from anger to sadness to joy, and to anxiety to depression. No one can handle their grief alone-no matter if we journal or use the help of a therapist, we need the Holy Spirit of God to help us on a deep level to work out grief, especially compound grief (multiple or back to back losses). God is good and faithful and He will not allow us to grieve more than we can bear.

I would also encourage you, Reader to take grief as it comes, don't hide it but let it come out timing your expression of it for an hour or two and then put it down for next time so as not to become overwhelmed. Grief is to be experienced and not survived and endured.

Learn the lesson that grief is not bad, but a part that makes us acquainted with our own humanity-remember Jesus wept.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Oh God our help in ages past"

There is a great hymn of the church that is recalled to my mind today and the title alone gives me rest: "Oh God our help in ages past". The first verse starts with that lead and then moves on to say, "our hope for years to come". Yes the Lord is my hope today and for years to come. Merry Christmases are in the air, and my resounding cry is that the God of my help in every stage and generation He is there because He sent His Son Jesus to be my help, my Savior, my redeemer, my help and my Lord. Without His help I could not live a life of joy, peace and unconditional love. Thanking Him today for being my help and for comimg down to  earth on Christmas morn to save a sinner like me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Grief - God is Still Good

God is still good. It is so important to know that in this season while others are merrily moving forward from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Day. Yes, I too, I look forward with wonder to remember Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born in Bethlehem's stable. I also know that while I celebrate the salvation that only Jesus can bring, my heart also mourns the losses of the year, the heavy losses of prior years and especially, my earthly father and brother's passing. You too may be grieving this holiday season the loss of a loved one, a job, a friendship, a career change, a relocation or any other type of "death". During the holidays, we feel grief more acutely than ever.

I ran into a classmate on today who is experiencing the grief of a loved one buried on yesterday. Though she smiled I could see the sorrow in the shadows under her eyes. We embraced and she asked me "How was your Thanksgiving?". "Uh....it was okay" I replied knowing that the holiday that passed had some family challenge I had to overcome. I reciprocated by asking the same. Her reply was that she had buried a cousin and how difficult that can be for the family. However, her face brightened suddenly when she exclaimed, "But God is good". I affirmed that indeed God is good knowing within that no matter how bad I feel inside, God is still good  as some church folk say "all the time". Amen.

So it is...the holidays are upon us and all around us there is celebration, gift shopping, gift wrapping, Christmas luncheons and...our grief, our sadness, our loss to handle. What poignancy there is to celebrate while still crying...laughing and still weeping....burdened with whom to buy for this year and "how I am I going to get through this pain without a total meltdown".

God can help you as He is helping me and as He is helping my friend today. Jesus Christ is the only One who can heal your soul from the pain of sorrow. Reach out to Him and ask Him to calm your fears. Cry your prayers to the God the Father who is so good of a Father that He never tires of your tears or your coming back to Him (even with the same problem). God is helping me today. Won't you let Him help you?

Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grieving Unemployment

Father of Lights, thank you for this day!


I hate to say I'm an "expert" in this field of unemployment and job changes, but alas, the Lord's path of suffering and chastening led me down this path many times of my years of working. Some jobs I left and others "we agreed" in the parting one way or another. But never did I not feel a sense of loss in the leaving. Even in bad situations, including unemployment, we leave a part of ourselves at the place where we once labored.

The greatest losses has been the relationships, the people you meet who made you smile; or the people you meet who ministered to you in a special way. I can remember at each place of employment, a person or two who made a real imprint on my life in some way or another.

I remember the last person in my last job before transferring to a new job. She is a holy woman of God. She encouraged me into "good works" for the Lord and reminded me about my important character traits that please God. She prayed with me often and her office became a "tabernacle" for us. God would show up and I could cry and yes, I could even do my holy dance before the Lord behind closed doors. It was moments at a time, but precious times and memories of the grace of God to bring along some help to me when I needed it the most. She prayed for me through this last transition and we rejoiced at the goodness of God in providing my every need. As only she can say it: "I see God in this".

It is okay to grieve when you lose or move to another job. We miss little things, like getting up a little bit later in the morning. Maybe it was the daily commute into the office we miss, the hustle and bustle of having somewhere to go. Or maybe it was the person we spoke to every morning at the coffee shop on the way to work that made going to work "easier". God knows it all and He is with us even in providing comforts to those small lost pleasures. That's why I love Him. He understands us best.

So if you are unemployed today, go ahead and cry. Mourn the loss whatever it is. God is with you and understands that you are walking "through the valley of death", the death of a job. But God is able to see you through the valley of death back up the mountain of new opportunities. Ask Him today to comfort you. "Blessed are you who mourn".

Verinda and fellow-laborer

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm Angry with God!

Recently, I met a young man in a training group who on the surface seemed to have it all together. Newly married, he was the “life” of the class going through the training, making connections with everyone and being very vocal about his feelings regarding the training presentations. “Raw” is the best word I can use to describe his demeanor and attitude. As I observed this behavior, I came to realize that something else was going on with him and there was a reason for his sometimes, violent or malicious gossip toward the people in the training class.


Later I learned in one of the sessions, a little of what was “underneath” the persona he presented when he proclaimed out loud, “I’m Angry with God”! As my ears were pricked by that singular phrase, I thought “okay, he’s struggling with grief”. I began to pray and ask God for strength, understanding, and forgiveness for him. I had to do this: I’ve been angry with God.

Later in the training, The Lord gave us an opportunity to talk further after he mentioned a second time “that God and he are not on good terms”. I began to share with him that that I know what it feels like to be angry with someone that you really love because of expectations based on relationship. Isn’t that why we get angry with others? As I listened to his statements of “how can God let that happen?”, and “I’ve seen too much”, I realized, I too have struggled with an overwhelming sense of disappointment when God did not stop something bad from happening to me; when I lost something important; or when I experienced the death of a loved one.

Grieving can sometimes disguise the disappointment and bewilderment with anger or angry feelings. Anger gives us power; it certainly is more expressive than the grieving stage of depression, but it is an important stage in the process of recovery. I have learned that much of the anger is tied to this “expectation of God” to do something for us, to stop the pain of someone, or the heartfelt disappointment of losing a job. “Why God” may be the most oft spoken question in the human heart. And yet, sometimes, the “whys” are not answered and that can make us angry with God. It begs examination of our inner self to find out what should we do when we are angry with God, ourselves or someone (some are angry with the person who died). Where does that anger come from anyway?

I truly believe that some of the anger may be based on this human condition of needing to be in control of life and everything that is a part of our life. When a loss or a death occurs, we realize life cannot be controlled and that upsets our view of ourselves, others and God. Isn’t this the same sin problem from the beginning of time? We want to be the controllers, though many of us, especially Christians do not want to admit that fact. Many persons subconsciously believe “we are in fact little gods” able to determine the outcomes and consequences of life. If that belief system is too close to self worship, then we believe that we are “inherently good and deserving”; or maybe it’s the old “insurance policy” at work in our belief system. “Serving God is beneficial” – He can do everything we want Him to do it, when we want Him to do it, including never letting us feel pain, sorrow, grief or disappointment. But that is simply not the reason to serve and have a relationship with God or anyone else. None of us would (or should) want a person in our life for just for what that person (let alone God Almighty) can give us. If so, you are probably a very selfish person indeed.

The case can be made, that loss or death teaches us (without asking us if we want the lesson) that not only are we not in control, we can’t control God! God is more than a personal “genie”. Yes, He is ever present, all knowing and all powerful. He knows and sees exactly who we are and all of the actions and events of every human being. The Holy Bible affirms “He is acquainted” with all of our ways (see Psalms 139, The Holy Bible). At the same time, God has given (allowed) humans reason and free will to exercise good or evil. We may not want to accept the truth that in reality, the world we live in is not a “good world” and in fact, it is full of evil and evil people teetering on destruction. You, Reader, can look around every day or listen to the news to confirm that fact. Must I remind readers of the recent tornados, floods and earthquakes that are occurring all over this world? We are obviously not in control and bad things are happening to good and bad people everywhere. Ask those who are wrongly convicted, or have gone through a divorce or a parent that survived a dying child

So the question I and many of us have asked “Why doesn’t God do something about it” may be found in an answer that is the root “heart” problem of our anger: “God, please don’t let anything bad happen to me or my family because we don’t deserve it”. I have gone through many “valley” experiences, and when I pulled the cover off with God’s help of course, I found out I was really angry, because I didn’t feel I deserved it or that I should have to deal with that level of pain or suffering if I know God and He is with me. Why would He love me and see me suffer so much devastation? As I have grown to discover more and more, that my pain is important to God but it is not unique to the human experience that includes, sometimes death, loss, broken relationships, health issues, or disaster of any sort. We live in a sinful world and some things happen to us or the people we love because we live in a sin-filled world.

But there is a way out of the anger stage and a text of scripture is worth the stating here for study. “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end”, Ecclesiastes 3:1, New Living Translation). “We cannot see the scope of God’s work” – we can’t see or understand all of the questions we may have in our life. God is at work, whether we understand what He is doing by His intervention or what we consider is a lack of intervention by God. We cannot fathom or control the vast wisdom of an infinite God with our limited minds. God is the beginning and the end and He is in control of yesterday, today and tomorrow. We must go to Him in faith and ask Him to calm our mind, give us understanding and comfort our hearts as we process our grief and grasp the wisdom and even the good that can come out of what we have called “a bad thing”. I have seen greater visions of God in the excruciating tests of losses. God has worked more miracles in my life because of my great need for His abiding presence to keep my mind, soul and very being in my grief.

God has also designed that humankind would choose His plan to escape the long-lasting effects of living in a sin-filled world by accepting His Son Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life by taking the sins of the world upon Himself. All who believe that Jesus’ rescues us from the evil of this world by His death and resurrection will, ultimately, have eternal victory over “bad stuff”. The Holy scriptures declare that Jesus Christ, the Son of God has gotten the “victory” over the power of a sinful world, including the power of death. If anyone believes on Him and receive His gift of salvation, he or she can be saved forever (eternity) from the finality of death’s power: “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 15:57 (read entire 15th chapter).Through accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior, even the “the power of the bad stuff” is diminished: “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith” 1 John 5:4. With Jesus, we do “overcome”.

As for the young man who said he was angry with God, I believe he is on a journey of grief that will bring Him to a loving Heavenly Father who is certainly not angry with him. I reminded him to pray and it is my prayer that he begins to talk to God about his anger. Many of us may be like him on our grief journey, but please don’t stay there. God will help you process the many deep things in your heart so you can move from the anger stage of grief to knowing that God may not stop the loss from coming into our lives, but He will provide the comfort and understanding you need to get through it. God is Our Heavenly Father.

Shalom

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Winning by losing

Winning by losing is not a new theme. Many of us have experienced a tremendous personal loss just to receive down the road a new blessing in form of a friend, a new job or a renewed perspective. Coaches use this concept to teach and encourage players to "look at lessons learned" in the midst of the loss; good parents train their children to expect to loss sometime in life and to handle it with grace. And yet, in the midst of tremendous personal loss, especially if the path of grief is long, we forget that in each loss, there is something gained.

I don't know why, but the Lord has put many losses in my path. Now that I'm older, I have experienced more death in my family than I can remember when I was younger. Relationships with others change and there is the grief that comes with the loss of that comfort. Even "good grief" is heartily felt as I transition from one place of employment to another. I'm so thankful for the new opportunity to serve; and yet, the goodbye to the "familiar" brings a sort of sad repose in remembering what has passed.

In the last two days I have been meditating on a wonderful scripture that I hope God the Holy Spirit will reveal some comfort to you if you are in the place of grief today.

"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth ; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" Isaiah 43: 18-19.

In order to move on from the place of grief, we have to practice what I will call "selective remembrance". We should remember the good times we experienced with a loved one. We should memorialize the good they did for us and others in the world. If it is a job, we should journal that "lesson learned" and thank God for it in spite of the loss. But we should not linger on any trauma or pain connected to the loss. This takes time of course. But I believe the Lord who is also our healer will heal the mind from hurtful memories if we but ask Him to do so. I truly do not believe that it is healthy to live in the pain of the past. You can get stuck there and so many do not ever come out of it.

Personally, I am learning to pray more about "how to remember" people, events, situations. They say "perspective" is everything and I agree that how you think about or upon a thing can either bring you to despair or to "winning" attitude. I have asked God many times to remove a memory that was doing me "no good". Some memories must be buried with the loss....I mean really, let it go! I decided recently to make a conscious effort to ask God, "how should I see this or that event, situation or relationship"? It is not easy  - but I am finding a strange relief when I receive God's perspective and release my own.

The comfort in the scripture above also tells us that as we let go..God does something new. Wow! That's wonderful. God will always do something new but we have to look for it. My pastor today said these very words in a different kind of way. He said, "If you are ever in a win-lose situation and you are the one losing, look in another direction". I have to say wow again, right here! God is so faithful, He will never let loss destroy us. That is not "His intention". His will is to be with us, comfort us and walk with us as we process the loss so we can find new meaning in the experience of it to comfort and help someone else. God is always up to something "GOOD" for us. He is GOOD. This whole "black and white" thing is just not as "cut and dry" as it appears. Shades of "gray" is the bain of life...things are never what they first appear to be; neither are we....

The other wonderful promise in the scripture is God telling us that He will bring the water and refreshing we need in dry places. Losses of any kind can certainly dry up your joy and a positive outlook. God understands that. He placed a story about a man who lost everything in the Holy Bible. "In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job..." Job 1:1). Job lost his wealth, his children, his friends and his health but God didn't leave him there. God restored ALL that Job lost double-fold. But there was a greater lesson Job gained in the losing and he declares it to God when he says, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you" Job 42:5. Job lost everything but His spiritual eyes saw who God really is. He lost His children, but He didn't lose God. He lost his wealth, but God was still there. He lost his health to the point of gaping, disease-ridden sores, but God was still there. He saw the greatness of God in spite of his losses. He saw the sovereignity of God. He saw God's all-knowing power!

There is a "win" in the losing...Go to God. Let Him comfort you, love you and teach you. He is Still There.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

When you lose a parent

As a writer it is difficult to remember that I am still on a grief recovery journey...Besides encouraging others, it is so important that I continue my grief talk and hopefully in sharing, encouraging others to talk, pray, laugh and cry out their own grief experiences. So after months of not writing on my blog, I am reminded today to talk about grief because another death has occured in my family.

I am amazed at how selective our memory and thoughts are and why it's important to guard our thoughts and not internalize all of the "noise" that is around us; especially in this media age. I learned this past Tuesday that another matriach of the family, a cousin died, Cousin Lucille Dozier who was married to my grandmother's brother. My own grandmother died about a year ago and then her sweet sister, Auntie Ceola died in the winter. The family is planning a reunion for June and I'm not going due to some other commitments. But now more than ever, may be the time to have short reunions with family members to re-connect as family. In the busyness of my work week and then learning some very exciting news and dealing with some "church mess", I finally was reminded on late Thursday, that Cousin Lucille was gone. What a reminder to slow down - the world around us tries to make  us spin and work up a lather of "things to do". However, if you live like this you miss special moments - everything becomes a blur, even the important stuff. Now that I'm quiet enough to hear myself think, I am ready to talk about Cousin Lucille.

In reality, I have not seen her in decades! My selective memory brought me back to my years as a little girl and my sister and I going to Staten Island to visit she and her daughter, Karen. What fun we had in NY! Vivid memories of interest come to mind:

  • The dog poop! Yep, that's what I remember. Cousin Lucille taking us on walks in the city and my having to "look down" to make sure that I did not get my sneakers or sandals (urghh) stuck in "mess". LOL! I hated going outside of the apartment because of the TORMENT of having to watch out for some dog's poop. And can I tell you, there was ALWAYS some dog poop (the whole owner duty to scoop after your pet was not "thang" back then and NY was full of it).
  • I remember the "girlie fights" we cousins got into all the time. We loved and hated each other at the same time...LOL. We would fight the whole time of the visit and then cry to point of hysteria when we had to split up and I and my sister went back to CT. Can I tell how many "extended visits" we had because we girls knew how to cry, moan and just carry on! It was a show, for real.
  • I remember Cousin Lucille's smile and her wavy, sandy brown hair parted in the middle. She was also somewhat shy, not really loud spoken (we had others who "played that family script"), but you had the sense "she could go there if you pushed her".
  • She loved her husband and her children. I know that...she loved us too!
I hope Betsy and the other children and grandchildren visit this site and do some grief talking...I can say for an assurance, that she will be missed because she was a part of my life. Something was planted in that short season of time and her memory is still with me after all these years....

I remember when I lost my father...the first major loss of my life and I still try to touch him and feel him. I see him often in the men I come across in my life after 6 years of being dead. He is in heaven with Jesus now and that always brings me comfort. But I miss him being in the world with me. I always felt "safe" because he was in the world. How I depend on God to fill that terrible void. My father has become larger than life now that he is gone. This week I spoke about him to a co-worker and I talked, and talked and talked. I'm so thankful that my co-worker didn't get "bored"..He let me talk allowing me to "get it out" if you will. When you lose a parent, you lose the model of what you thought "being an adult" would look like...You have to talk about it so you don't lose those precious memories and special moments. I like to talk about the values my father taught me with his life. He wasn't a big talker either. Now I can reflect on the things he wanted to teach me by how he lived his life. Isn't that the greatest message anyay? How you live your life? Isn't that what people remember?

You will be missed Cousin Lucille...and I pray for your family down here and me, and mommy too. Losing a parent is hard to go through...but God is faithful. He is always so faithful. There is no sorrow that "Heaven cannot heal".

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Charles Spurgeon Devotion Today, March 12, 2011 - I Belong to Christ

If you are Christ's let me advise you to do four things. You belong to Jesus—obey him; let his word be your law; let his wish be your will. You belong to the Beloved, then love him; let your heart embrace him; let your whole soul be filled with him. You belong to the Son of God, then trust him; rest nowhere but on him. You belong to the King of kings, then be decided for him. Thus, without your being branded upon the brow, all will know to whom you belong.

 
 



 

From: wordlot674@hotmail.com
To: verindabirdsong54.lovethelord@blogger.com
Subject:
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 13:20:23 -0500

A word of comfort from the great preacher, Charles Spurgeon (http://www.ccel.org)

 

"In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved."

Psalm 30:6

"Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel." Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy—and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, "I shall never be moved;" and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it.

 

If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream "we stand;" and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

 

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank him for our changes; we extol his name for losses of property; for we feel that had he not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

 

 

"Afflictions, though they seem severe,

In mercy oft are sent."


 


Thursday, March 10, 2011

A word of comfort from the great preacher, Charles Spurgeon (http://www.ccel.org)

 

"In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved."

Psalm 30:6

"Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel." Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy—and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, "I shall never be moved;" and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it.

 

If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream "we stand;" and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

 

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank him for our changes; we extol his name for losses of property; for we feel that had he not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

 

 

"Afflictions, though they seem severe,

In mercy oft are sent."


 


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Finding Faith, Hope and Love - Pentecostal Evangel's Technical Editor, Jennifer McClure

Hello Friends,

I wanted to feature a wonderful article featured in the February 27, 2011 feature of Pentecostal Evangel of two sisters who found faith, hope and love after the death of those husbands who died during a river rafting accident together. Their story of the faithfulness of God is not only inspiring, but tells me again, about the God who not only heals and comforts, but who can bring "good out of evil".

Grief and grieving no matter how dark and difficult, can be a wonderful time to see the goodness of God and to experience God in an intimate place. I have learned personally, that the Lord keeps all of His promises, especially, "He will not leave us comfortless". He will come to you.

Read their story by clicking on to this link: http://www.pe.ag.org/articles/index_2011.cfm?targetBay=ff479279-680e-4b02-ba0b-8f9ff830e632&ModID=2&Process=DisplayArticle&RSS_RSSContentID=18592&RSS_OriginatingChannelID=1321&RSS_OriginatingRSSFeedID=4677&RSS_Source=

You can also go to http://www.pe.ag.org/articles to find the story.

Blessings,

Sis Birdsong

Sunday, February 27, 2011

God is with you in the storm..

Losses and storms are alot alike. They both come at unexpected and inconvenient times.

The other day, I was cleaning up in my bedroom and washing clothes. I had to leave my apartment to go to the wash area and it was unusually warm, with spurts of sunshine.

After a while, a terrible downpour of rain came down from the sky. It happened so quickly it startled me.

Very unexpected.

I had to take some garbage out and when I looked up at the sky, I saw a mass of gray storm clouds passing by...and incredibly, right next to the gray was a velvety blue and white sky. I marveled that in the same panoramic view, I saw light and dark; clear sky and storm sky, all at the same time.

I said to myself or maybe to the Lord, "that is exactly what life is...rainy and sunny days all at the same time". My perspective was changing. I am usually a "black and white" kind of girl. But not anymore. Too much loss and trauma is curing me from these absolutes. It is also helping to heal my image of God. The same God that died for me and loves me dearly, does allow some rain, some terrible storms to come into my life.

This paradox or so it may appear to be, is not unusual. God is always working good out of evil. This is His specialty. While you may be crying about some hurt, God will send laughter to you through a funny movie or a phone call or a funny memory about something that made you chuckle.

And it tells me that God is with me...even in the storms of my life. That's why I love Him more and more these days. I have gone through many losses....the older I get, more people that I love and know are going away. Jobs and job duties are going away and changing. I'm changing...that girlish figure I had for so many years is very rounded now. Loss. Storms. And God.

He is with us even in the varied changes of life. Believe in that today. Will you?