Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

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You may be asking yourself how this relates to the title of this post.  Give me a minute please.

 

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;  for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.  1 Peter 1:22-25

 word = rhēma

ῥῆμα

…that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, a word

God’s Word is powerful.  It touches us in our hearts, souls, bodies, and minds, if. we. let. It.  It is alive, uttered by the living voice of God.  God Word opens us to His ways, teaches us obedience and how to abide.  It grows us to be more like Christ.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17

To us, the words on the pages, those 1300 plus pages or so, are made up of the letters of the alphabet.  Each letter has a name and a sound.  Some letters stick together and make another sound.  Some letters say more than one sound.  The written language must make some kind of sense to the one learning to read it so that he or she can read it.  Those letters make words when placed together.  Then the words are placed together to become sentences, and then paragraphs, then chapters and books.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”  Revelation 1:10-11

John wrote what he saw and heard.  The disciples, the kings, the prophets, the apostles wrote what they saw, what they were taught, and what they heard.  Alphabet becomes God’s Word and we read it and know that we are reading the Truth.  Not every alphabet letter placed into a word, sentence, paragraph, etc. is the Truth.  We need discernment and that comes from listening to and for the Holy Spirit.

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.  This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:4-5

As a retired teacher and children’s librarian, and now a private tutor to young primary-aged children, I teach them how to read.  This is the love of my professional life.  These children begin with the alphabet, progressing from there.  Children are delighted with rhymes and songs and stories.  They learn in all sorts of ways but the day that those sounds become words is the day that the reading light bulb goes on and a whole world is opened up to them.

Bear with me here and then follow me to the end, if you will…  : )

 

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As parents, teachers, and people who care about children, we want them to grow in the ways of the LORD.  We want them to know Jesus intimately.  As adults, it is our task to teach them, not only how to read, but how to love one another, to fellowship with the LORD.

God has called parents to teach children His Word: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-7

 

LORD, we lift up our praises to You for You are Truth.  Your Word is Truth that we can see and read in these times.  We can know Jesus in our hearts, but we were not one of those in the first century to walk and talk with Him, The Living Word.  So Your written Word is for us today and we are ever grateful.  May we look upon each word and know that it is all from You…to us.  May these words come together with the help of Your Holy Spirit that we would then be able to understand, following in obedience to You.  We pray in the Name of Jesus, The Word.  Amen.

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Photo:  http://www.365promises.com/daily-promises/2014/3/3/promise-62-monday-march-3-2014.html

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. & John Archambault:  http://books.simonandschuster.com/Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom/Bill-Martin-Jr/Chicka-Chicka-Book-A/9781442450707

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTX-1cd32Q&list=UUzSLCh1aTTlXStchMnpszvg

Change – 5MF

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I am joining Kate @ Heading Home for Five Minute Friday.  We write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on our blog or post your five minutes of writing in the comments on Kate’s post, or on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page.

This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

The word for Friday, August 22 is …

CHANGE

GO…

Changing can be so much and also just a little.  I can change my hair style or the type of glasses I wear.  I can change the menu.  I can change the bed.  These are things that are fairly simple to change and just a part of a day’s doings. 

But the real changing is in the heart.  My heart was once weak and lost.  It flew from here to there without knowing where or why it was going.  It just went without purpose.  Then, one day, I really met Jesus.  Oh, I had met Him years prior, but I never got to know Him and never knew about asking Him to be my Lord and Saviour.  I guess I just thought He was a special man but not quite special enough for my heart.  UNTIL…I really met Him.  He showed me that life is such a beautiful dance when He is with me.  He showed me the love and compassion that only He can give me.  I had been looking for love in all the wrong places and danced to the beat of a drummer that carried on a tiresome beat.  God knew where I needed to be so He introduced me to my precious husband first and then my future Mother-in-law and THEN… they both introduced me to Christ.  My heart was fearful at first because I felt I was losing control.  I did not want to change in the ways I felt I might need to.  But Jesus was gentle, taking my hand and drawing me in, caressing my heart and soul so that change became a lovely dance with my Saviour. 

STOP!

I must add a bit more, if you will allow that…

Change is never easy, but when it is done in the wake of the Lord, it is just right.  Change moved my heart to be pliable as that clay on the Potter’s bench.  It became His and I became His and He became mine.  Change can be a good thing and change is beautiful when done with the Lord. 

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Faithful and Kind

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The Lord is faithful in all His words

and kind in all His works.

 The Lord upholds all who are falling

and raises up all who are bowed down.

 The eyes of all look to You,

and You give them their food in due season.

 You open Your hand;

You satisfy the desire of every living thing.

 The Lord is righteous in all His ways

and kind in all His works.

 The Lord is near to all who call on Him,

to all who call on Him in truth.

 He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him;

He also hears their cry and saves them.

 The Lord preserves all who love Him,

but all the wicked He will destroy.

 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever.  Psalm 145:13b-21

 

צַדִּיק

righteous, just, lawful…tsaddiyq

חָסִיד

kind, faithful, pious…  chaciyd

סָמַךְ

sustains, upholds … camak

שָׁמַר

preserves, to keep, guard…  shamar

קֹדֶשׁ

holy, apartness, holiness, separateness, sacredness… qodesh

Faithful in Your words, righteous in Your ways, and kind in all Your works…You are perfect, LORD.  I praise You with my whole heart and soul. I thank You for opening Your hand to me.  Your tender loving care is far more than I can comprehend, yet I accept and welcome each stroke of Your Love.  Yes, I bless Your Holy Name, the Holy One of Israel for You are my All.  I pray in the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Tough Decisions in Caregiving @ Soli Deo Gloria Connections

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Over at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Connections, Jen is publishing my series on “Caregiving God’s Way.”  I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share what I learned over the fifteen years of caring for my mother, my precious Mama.

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Friday, August 15, the second in the series has been published: Connections: Tough Decisions in Caregiving.  It begins:

As a caregiver, there are constant decisions that must be made and many, if not most, are tough ones.  Relying upon God is so important when making these decisions for they affect a loved one, ourselves, and often others in the family.  If you are the one to make such a decision for someone who has lost the ability to do so for him or her self, truly turn it over to God.  Don’t try to go this alone.  Sharing your concerns with a spouse, a grown daughter or son, a brother or sister, (depending upon whom you are caring for) may be a step in the right direction, but sharing it with the LORD is the way to get His dependable answer.

He will direct the path intended for all concerned.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:6

Praying is the key, a must…. [Read the rest here....]

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Postcards of Hope

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I have been blessed to share a ray of hope from my experience with my Mama over on Postcards of Hope.com.

Anita Hunt “runs the Scattering the Stones Christian ministry … a place of peace, praise, and prayer, with the aim to encourage you; focusing on the gifts of grace, joy & hope, with a thankful heart.”

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She and her husband “live in the beautiful county of Dorset in England.”

Anita shares that she “had the pleasure of studying at Bible college, gaining a degree specialising in Theology and Pastoral care.” She says, “God called me to be a Christian writer sharing His love, hope, and Good News in 2011. My heart’s desire is to walk alongside those who are in pain, reflecting God’s love and grace, and share the Hope of the world (Matt 12:21).” 

Postcards of Hope is a part of her ministry and is a special place to sit awhile.

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My story…

“I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”  Psalm 13:6 ESV

“How long, O Lord?  Will you forget me forever? 

How long will you hide your face from me?
 

How long must I take counsel in my soul
 and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
 

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”   Psalm 13:1-2 ESV

I would cry the first line of words out over and over again as I would leave the nursing home where my mother had to spend the last five years of her life.  She took a terrible fall, shattering an ankle and the bones in her lower leg.  So after surgery, she would never be able to fully walk again, although she could stand up momentarily and get around in a wheelchair.  Previously, as well, her mind had slipped into a roller coaster of dementia-ridden fear, repetition, accusation, jealousy, confusion, and hallucinations.  The diabetes she got at age 55 turned to Type 1 at age 85, making her insulin-dependent until the day she died at age 98 years and 10 months.

I loved my Mama dearly.  [Read the rest here...]

…..

Thank you for joining us over at Postcards of Hope.  If you have never been, it is a treat for the heart and soul.  Be blessed.

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Fill

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“Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away?

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?”  declares the LORD.  “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD Jeremiah 23:23-24

Yes, God fills all.  He is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient.  He is the beauty of the earth, the laughter of children, the joy of a new mother, the love between us, the peace around us.. He is the constant filling and filling to where I am never empty when I allow Him to fill me.   He gave His Son to be the Living Water that I should never thirst again.  His Son is also the Bread of Life and I shall never hunger for anything.  He fills me up. 

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In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Isaiah 6:1

And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”  Isaiah 6:3

He fills, is filling, and has filled for always and always.  The whole earth is filled and is full of His glory.  Hallelujah! 

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As I am being filled to overflowing, may the Word of the LORD, the likeness of Christ, be spilling out of me onto those I touch each day.  Amen. 


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I am joining Five Minute Friday @ Kate Motaung’s “heading home.”

If you’re new to 5MF or haven’t participated before, here’s how it works:

Every Thursday a one-word prompt will be announced here on my blog at 10pm EST (and continuing through Friday).

Oh, and before the prompt is revealed, many like to connect on Thursday evenings on Twitter at the hashtag #fmfparty.  Come join!

Those who’d like to participate in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up the post here (via the InLinkz button at the bottom of the post).  Make sure you add the actual permalink to your specific post, and not your blog’s homepage (e.g. http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ and not just katemotaung.com).

This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

Just write.

Also, the most important rule is that you visit the blog of the person who linked up before you and leave some encouragement.  That’s the most fun of all, and the heart of this community.

One more thing: I’ll be choosing one post each week to feature in the sidebar of my blog the following week, as our Featured Five Minute Friday.  Be sure to check it out!

 

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Consider Your Ways

 Make me to know Your ways, O LORD;
teach me Your paths.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
for You I wait all the day long. 

Psalm 25:4-5

I ask God for His wisdom, His Truth, His ways.  I want to walk rightly in Him, growing to be more Christlike with each day.  I ask.  I receive when I am listening, when my heart is right with my God.  The peace of God covers me.  I am able to handle so much that goes on around me and in me.

BUT THEN … I let too much of the world in and so much of God seeps out through the cracks and crevices of me.  The peace escapes and I no longer feel the close connection with God.  Busy-ness of the days, violence of the world, struggles in extended family, chaos, weariness, pain, media’s negative news, it’s short blips on the screen giving us the shallow news of the day…all of these burden me and I allow them to pull me down.  Instead of giving them to Jesus, as He asks me to do, I hang on and think I can handle them alone, be strong, lift the weight alone.  But I am wrong.

Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.

You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.

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Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.

You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 

Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. Haggai 1:5-10

God calls upon me to consider my ways.  What am I doing that keeps me from knowing His peace and His love every single day, every single moment?  I am ignoring His ways and busying about my own.  I allow the world to infiltrate the beauty that is God that dwells within me.

The Israelites put off building God’s temple.  They procrastinated.  They ignored the message that this was the time to rebuild the temple.

The Hebrew figure of speech for this phrase is literally “put your heart on your roads.”  Haggai asks God’s people to consider what direction their life is headed, and if they really want it to continue that way:  living with a small payoff for their work in the fields, never enough to eat or drink, clothing that does not keep them warm, or earnings that just don’t pay for it all.  Does any of this sound familiar?  Working two jobs, or barely making enough to pay the bills or working hard yet without a finished product of fulfillment?  Is my heart on God’s road for my life or mine?  Is my heart headed toward the righteousness that God calls me to?  He calls me to be holy for He is holy.  Am I headed that way?  Is my heart wide open to the call of God and am I able to hear Him with the ears of my heart?

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest:

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.”

Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet,

“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?   Haggai 1:1-4

Due to self-centeredness, me-first, God pulled away the dew, the moisture for the crops to grow.  The drought stifled all that was to grow in the ground.  He wanted the attention of His children.  He does that today with me.  The air seems dry because I am not listening.  I am filling my life with worldliness.  He stands aside while I “handle” things my way.

Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.

And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”   Haggai 1:10-11

When ‘my world’ seems like it is caving in or bulging out, I realize that I must come back, crawl back, to God.  He waits for me.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Sometimes, I have set my priorities all wrong.  I am seeking me first rather than my Creator.  I have given God a backseat in my life rather than the driver’s seat.  I treat Him with less dignity and reverence than He deserves.  I am seeking to fulfill all that I need rather than let God clothe and feed and shelter me.   My doubtful faith draws me into the ways of this world.  I cannot provide for myself without Him.  I can never do it all by myself.  His Word in Matthew 6 tells me not to be anxious but seek Him first, to depend upon Him for all my physical and spiritual needs.  I listen and am reminded to consider my ways, seeking God first.  FIRST.

“Consideration is only as valid as the change it produces.” Ransom Maggard

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.

Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, “I am with you, declares the LORD.”

And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.  Haggai 1:12-15

I want to learn Your ways, Father God, and pray that You teach me, but I am and will consider my own ways for I want to be in Your will with each step.  Oh, God, I love You and pray that I learn and listen and breathe in Your love and life and wisdom and ways.  You are my God and there is no other.  I pray I am learning from Haggai and will keep learning.  Teach me, Father, for You are with me.  I am obedient to Your voice.  Amen.

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quote: Ransom Maggard @ The World is Not Enough

The Sweetness of a Friend

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Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.  Proverbs 27:9

A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.  Proverbs 17:17

But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend Psalm 55:13

…and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.  James 2:23

 

With all of the heaviness of this world, pressure from around us, a little lightness can bring a smile.  : )

May God pour His love and light, His gentleness and kindness, His peace, hope, and comfort upon you as you walk in His ways. 

Caring through Christ, ~ linda

 

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When It’s Dark…

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How often do things of this world, of this life, of an individual’s life bring us to despair?  to discouragement?  to fear?  to anxiousness?  How often?

Just in the past 6 weeks, I have personally known about 3 suicides, told to me by two precious women who are close to my heart.  They have been touched by suicide as I was 23 years ago.  It is such a difficult trauma.  Thoughts of…could we have done something, anything to have prevented this tragedy?  Guilt and wondering about what we did or did not do run through the mind.  As my mother once put it after a cousin took her life, leaving a husband and three children, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  So often, that is the case.  Not always, but more often than not.

In praying for these women and their families, plus the families of the dead, I find my mind thinking about all of this all over again since I personally experienced being the one to find a special friend dead.  The many passing years have helped me to be able to speak and pray with comfort to these women.  Yet, the true reason I can pray and share hope and comfort is that my God has given me salvation through His Son.  He is my hope and love and my anchor.  God has wrapped me in His arms of security.  The Holy Spirit lives in me and gently comforts and gives me the perfect words I need when I am listening and desiring to hear with my ears and my heart.  At the time of the suicide 23 years ago, I did not know Christ as my Savior and LORD, but in less than two years, I had, indeed, accepted the One and Only Jesus into my heart and life.  Because of Jesus, I am able to speak words of comfort, hope, and life to those here who cared about someone who chose to take his or her own life.   May we find our peace through the Holy One.

God created us ~

So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.  Genesis 1:27

God has a plan for us ~

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

God wants us to have life ~

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  John 10:10

God sent His Son to take our sin upon Himself and to save us ~

He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24

But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  John 1:12-13

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13

Accepting Christ gives us a new life ~

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Walking with the LORD takes one step of faith after another ~

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.  Romans 10:17

Seeking the LORD when we feel that there is no hope takes that faith.  God is ever near ~

Our soul waits for the Lord;

he is our help and our shield.

For our heart is glad in him,

because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

even as we hope in you.  Psalm 33:20-22

Christ promises to give us rest from any and all struggles ~

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

We have the assurance of eternal life from God Who gave His Son through death on the Cross for our sins ~

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.  John 5:24

 

Father, I lift up those who are walking through or are mired in the tragedy of suicide this very moment.  I pray that Your Holy Spirit comfort them.  Please rain down Your peace upon them.  Oh, LORD, I also pray that those who do not know You as the God of all, who do not know Jesus as their LORD and Savior, that Your salvation would soon, LORD, soon, reign in their hearts.  Oh, Father God, our hope is in You.  You love each one of Your precious creations and are waiting for us to open the door to our heart to let You in.  I pray.  To anyone who reads this, who is thinking about suicide, I pray that you seek your Creator for He is the God of all comfort and peace and hope.  Father, wrap them in Your mighty loving arms.  Send a warrior, an angel, a calm spirit to pray with them, to speak with them.  Give them hope, LORD.  I pray in the Powerful Name of Jesus.  Amen. 

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Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
Are you not He, O LORD our God?
We set our hope on You,
for You do all these things.  Jeremiah 14:22

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Connections: Giving Care God’s Way @ Soli Deo Gloria

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I am blessed to be a guest writer at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today in the first of a number of posts on caregiving.  Please join me over there.

 

Connections: Giving Care God’s Way 

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The LORD is where our strength rests. He has more than enough for each one of us who gives care to another. Our task, besides the giving of care, is to wait upon the LORD.

Oh, my!  You may ask, “How can I wait when I have all of this to do? I don’t have time to wait.”  He calls upon us to wait. upon. Him.  He will give us all that we need, all that we don’t even know we need.

As I share pieces of what I know about caregiving each month, let’s make our walk together in a garden setting for there is peace and tranquility, beauty and quiet in such a place.  We need these in order to wait upon the LORD for His direction.  I will focus upon the giving of care to the elderly whether he or she be a spouse, parents, elderly relatives, but you may easily be able to transfer this information for any caregiving circumstance such as an ill child or one who has mentally challenges, each of whom depend upon us for their well-being.

….[Read More]….

@ http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/sdg-connections-giving-care-gods-way/

 

Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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