Mercy and Mornings

 

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Merciful
Compassionate
Kind
Such words bring a sweet feeling deep in my soul.  God is merciful.  He cares about His children.  He loves us.  He is kind and compassionate towards us.  How blessed we are to be covered by His Love, His Grace, His pinion feathers.  He protects us as an eagle protects her young.  He holds us close.  His mercies, His kindness, His compassion are meant to bless us.
Mercy can also mean to pity, feel sorry for one, shame, reproach. 

But God loves to shower kindness and compassion upon us.  He is.

 חֶסֶד

checed

kindness; beauty:—favor, good deed, zeal towards anyone, love, act kindly towards, to turn or incline kindness towards anyone, merciful (kindness), mercy,  benevolence, (loving-) kindness; grace, favor, mercy of God towards men;

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Lamentations 3:21-26…

21  But this I call to mind,

and therefore I have hope:

22  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;

23  they are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness.

24  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in Him.”

25  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,

to the soul who seeks Him.

26  It is good that one should wait quietly

for the salvation of the LORD.  

 

His mercy is new every single morning.  God wants us to know how very much He loves us every day.  Upon awakening, He shows us His sunrise, His dew on the grass, His shelter over our heads, His birds singing in the Springtime trees.  He wants us to know Him in all ways, each and every day, in every moment, if at all possible.  He wants us to feel, sense, hear, and see Him all around us…all of the time.

We want that as well so we try to keep our hearts and eyes open all of the time.  Yes, I miss His beauty when I have my head down, or His words when I have my ears and mind filled with ‘stuff’ at times, but between Kenneth and myself, we find that He is close all of the time.  We remind one another too for we do not want to miss our Creator at all, if we can help it.

בֹּקֶר

boqer

dawn (as the break of day), day, early, morning, morrow, daybreak, morning light

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My husband, Kenneth, continues to walk this earth as he lives with Lymphoma on hospice.  We are learning each day the mercies of God.  He gives Kenneth breath for each day (me too, for that matter).  He gives him eyes and ears to see and hear the beauty of God’s world outside each day.  He allows Kenneth to eat certain foods.  He gives Kenneth strength to work in the garage in order to finish unpacking from our move here last summer and to get the garage settled for me, so that I know where things are and how to use certain tools that I may or will need.  He loves getting his workshop ready for both of us now, me later.

We ponder the magnitude of our God in our quiet time.  We spend as much time as possible together throughout each day.  When I am not running errands, I want to be home with him.  Love runs between us deeply and dearly.  We feel God’s hand in our marriage, not just these two months now since the diagnosis, but for the past almost 25 years.  I spend time with Kenneth in the garage learning and helping and we are enjoying that kind of time together too.

God has given us these precious days…weeks…months to share our love, take care of one another, minister to others in whole new ways, and to be together.  We are more in love with each other than ever.  Even sweeter is that we love the LORD in whole new and precious ways too.  We are taking each day that we wake up rejoicing and thanking God…FOR TODAY!

This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

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O LORD, be gracious to us; we have waited for You.
Be their strength every morning,
Our salvation also in the time of distress.  Isaiah 33:2

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5

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“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,

Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the tender grass springs out of the earth,
Through sunshine after rain.’  2 Samuel 23:3-4

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns Psalm 46:4-5

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But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.  Psalm 59:16

He who made the Pleiades and Orion
And changes deep darkness into morning
Who also darkens day into night,
Who calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the surface of the earth,
The LORD is His name.  Amos 5:8

O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:14

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The LORD is His Name…Great is Thy Faithfulness.  O Heavenly Father, Your promises are everlasting.  Your love is forever.  You walk with us in these hard and seemingly dark places.  You bring joy to us.  You rain Your mercies upon us each and every day.  Hallelujah!  The way much of the world thinks, Kenneth and I should be sorrowful, tearful, nervous, depressed, fearful, stressed while facing a Cancer diagnosis and a final outcome of death.  I often feel guilty because I feel so at peace in You, LORD, and because I am not moping around with the “Whoa is me!” syndrome.  Yet we are living in Your Peace, Father.  Your Peace brings calm and quiet to our days.  We feel more in love with one another than ever before, more joy-filled, eyes open to the gorgeous green of Springtime, ears alert to the chirping of birds with their nestlings or fledglings.  Yes, Father, we are facing death in this household, yet there is no room for moping, for feeling sad all the time.  Yes, we feel these things, but we are not living our days in them.  We desire to stay near to You.  We sense Your presence in our lives.  You fill us with Your joy, love, and peace.  Father, these are of You.  You are in our house and in our lives.  Thank You.  We want to be close to You and feel Your Presence.  How wonderful You are, LORD!  How sweet is this time!  I never could have imagined that walking this closely with You would bring such wonder to my heart, to my eyes and ears, to my mind and soul.  Thank You.  Kenneth also feels this joy, love, wonder and peace!  How blessed we are.  We are so very grateful, Father.  In the powerful Name of Jesus, Amen. 

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“Dew on the Grass” photo by Wallpaper.com @  http://wallpoper.com/wallpaper/dew-on-grass-447065; Scripture added @ https://ipiccy.com by me.

Lavendar Field at Dawn @ http://eskipaper.com/nature-dawn-wallpaper.html

Daisies (Psalm 118:24) @ https://twitter.com/kayarthur/status/740532666160828416

Joy Comes in the Morning @ https://sensiblefaith.com/2013/10/07/your-joy-comes-in-the-morning-psalm-305/

Sunrise in Yosemite National Park with Merced River in foreground @  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/282530576598864422/

“Sun Rays Psalms 90:14” @ @}ARosePhotos~~

Simply Jesus

 

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This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

As we seek the LORD, following the star, may our hearts know the way to the Savior.  May we find the way.  May sweet and simple be the journey.  As we ponder this season, this season of plenty, this season of giving, this season of gathering, this season of family and friends, food and feast, may we remember Why we celebrate CHRISTmas.  May the eyes of our hearts see the One, see Jesus, and know that He is all that we need.  The gifts may mean a lot to some for some time.  Yet…The Gift changes everything forever.

My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice Psalm 34:2

CHRISTmas is the touch upon my heart to know the One Who came to save my life, to change my life, to love me to death and love me into His Kingdom.  Praising God.

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you.  He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:21

CHRISTmas takes me from the beginnings of this Child wrapped in swaddling clothes here on earth.  His time began long before that when He was with God, the time of  creation, yet I have come to truly know Him from this poignant point called CHRISTmas, His birth.  I must look upon this Child to see Who He is, to follow Him.  I am His sheep.  He is my Shepherd.   I am ever so grateful LORD.

“I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me, just as My Father knows Me and I know the Father.  So I sacrifice My life for the sheep.”  John 10:14-15

LORD, You came…You came to call me to Yourself, to call me one of Your own.  As a Baby, You were just a baby to most.  Some knew You were to be King of the Jews.  Some knew that yet did not understand.  Some knew You would be the Savior.  I saw You as a baby until I really saw You as God, as my Savior, as my LORD, as my Shepherd.  Oh, Jesus, thank You for opening my eyes, for coming to me, for me, desiring my hearts and wishing to make a home in it.  Oh, I am so very blessed.  LORD, You are the tiny Baby under the star.  You are the Boy Who could talk to the rabbis.  You are the Man Who taught thousands.  You are the One Who was crucified and died on the Cross for me, for so many millions more.  Thank You.  You are God.  You are One in Three…God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. 

A Baby.  As You were protected once by Your mother, Mary, You cover me and keep me safe now.  As Your parents taught You, You teach me.  You are the Holy One of Israel.  You rule over my heart.  Father God, this Gift You have given, Your One and Only Son, the One Whom we celebrate His birth each year, thank You.  Thank You.  In the Name of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, I pray.  Amen.  

 

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O Holy Night

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But the people of God will sing a song of joy,
like the songs at the holy festivals.
You will be filled with joy,
as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims
to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD
to the Rock of Israel.  Isaiah 30:29

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Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.   Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?  When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.  You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”

Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For He took notice of His lowly servant girl,
    and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
    and He has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
    to all who fear Him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
    He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
    and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped His servant Israel
    and remembered to be merciful.
For He made this promise to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and His children forever.”  Luke 1:42-55

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When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.  And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.  And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.  Luke 2:15-20

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Father God, such joyful news You have given me in the beauty of Your Son, Your One and Only.  You have brought glad tidings to us all.  May my ears be open to hear the words of the shepherds.  May my eyes be open to see this wonderful “thing” that You have done.  May my heart be open to hear Mary’s heart-words.  I thank You for blessing me with the saving grace of Christ Jesus.  I bow humbly, Father, in adoration and respect and honor.  I love You so.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.  

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Be Glad

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This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

שָׂמַח

samach

be glad

be cheerful, joyful

rejoice

make merry

be blithe, gleesome

Be glad…a way to praise my Lord

Be glad…putting a genuine smile on my face

Be glad…lifting my hands in glorious honor and praise to the One Who gives me joy in my heart and soul

Be glad…loving wholly the Holy One

Be glad…care about and loving those around me

Be glad…loving the ones we think are unlovable, although they are anything but that

Be glad…adoration

Be glad…in thanksgiving, I give to others with gratitude

Be glad…joyful rejoicing

Be glad…Jesus

Be glad…when I hurt, I find the joy of the Lord is my strength

Be glad…serving the Lord with gladness of heart

Be glad…honoring Jesus in all that I am and all that I do

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Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.  1 Chronicles 16:31

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For the LORD will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.  Isaiah 51:3

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Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord.  Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.  Psalm 69:32

Father, I sing praises unto You.  I rejoice in Your Name.  My whole being shivers with joy, gratitude, and gladness.  My heart is Yours, Father, filled with You.  When I am overwhelmed with the Glory of You, I am filled with gratitude and know that no matter what this world looks like through my eyes, You are my Joy and my Strength, my Comfort and my Redeemer.  When my eyes focus upon You, beautiful You, the sadness, the sorrow, the fears, the unknown, the burdens flee away.  You know all.  You care about Your children.  You lift my head in Your hands and tell me I am Your creation…that I am beautiful…that I am all that You created me to be.  I am so thankful, LORD.  Forgive me when I forget, when I compare, when I cry about not being ‘good enough.’ 

I do find joy when I think of You.  I rejoice in my heart when I ponder all You are to me.  Thank You, Father, for giving us gladnessdelightJOY!!!  I pray in Your Son’s Name, His exalted Name.  With thanksgiving in my heart…Amen. 

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With Shouts of Joy

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You visit the earth and water it;

You greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

You provide their grain,

for so You have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

Psalm 65:9-10

God sends His rain to the earth…this place we call home now.  Earth.  He sends rain by His will, by the ways He so pleases.  We may experience drought or flooding for these are part of living on this earth.

Our spiritual lives sometimes suffer drought or flooding as well.  Too much input, busyness can leave us with little room for God.  Too little time spent with God can cause thirst for Him.  Sometimes we do not even know what we are thirsty for, yet we know that we are.  “Our hearts are dry and barren unless God Himself be as the dew to us and water us; and the plants of His own planting He will water and make them to increase.”  Matthew Henry

I recall searching hard and long for something that I was missing, yet I did not know what that was.  Years later, through many trials, through many seasons of drought and floods, I found Jesus.  Jesus was Who I needed.  I needed to know Him personally.  He would give me Living Water and I would no longer be thirsty.  The fruit of the Spirit could grow in me and then be harvested from me, from my field of new plantings.  This field becomes rich in nutrients and water from the One Who is the Living Waters.  I grow and pray I will continue to grow.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  James 1:17

“…; we must lift up our eyes above the hills, lift them up to the heavens, where the original springs of all blessings are, out of sight, and thither must our praises return, as the first-fruits of the earth were in the heave-offerings lifted up towards heaven by way of acknowledgment that thence they were derived.  All God’s blessings, even spiritual ones, are expressed by His raining righteousness upon us.”  Matthew Henry

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You crown the year with Your bounty;

Your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

Psalm 65:11-13

Everything in His world rejoices over the bounty of His harvest…the pastures, the hills, the meadows, the valleys.  There is abundance in all He is and does.  He rains down upon this earth.  He sends His Love to us in His Son.  He grants mercy upon these souls and bodies from on high.  He whispers grace through His wind, through His Holy Spirit.

He crowns all He is and does, encompassing on every side, as a crown surrounds a head; as when something is completed, it is crowned.  The fruitfulness of His world is in His hands, in His power. 

How grateful I am, LORD.  May You adorn Your world with the riches of harvest, both in fruit of the tree and the fruit of salvation.  I shout my praises and honor to You, oh God.  I am so very heartbroken in the broken and breaking shape of this world, of this nation.  I know this is Your world and You know each and every one of Your creations.  I may feel saddened by so much right now, yet I truly can rejoice in the love, the tender care, the peace, the hope I find in You.  I look up to where my bounty and blessings come from.  Hallelujah!

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

Let all these common gifts of the divine bounty, which we yearly and daily partake of, increase our love to God as the best of beings, and engage us to glorify Him with our bodies, which He thus provides so well for.  Matthew Henry

Father, I am humbled by the beauty of Your Word, by the bounty of Your fields, by the benevolence of Your mercy, by the balance in all that surrounds.  Father, in this season of giving thanks, I am reminded that offering my thanks daily is my desire and hope.  I lift up my hands in praise to You, the Giver of my soul.  You are my All, LORD.  I love You and sing with joy as I ponder the sun rising, beginning each day anew, or watch the sun set, leaving the brilliance of pinks and oranges across the sky.  You are Magnificent, Father.  I see You all around me.  Praising You and praying in the Name of the Bright Morning Star.  Amen. 

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Photo:  kangbch  —  https://pixabay.com/en/barley-field-sunrise-morning-solar-1684052/

Photo:  Hans — https://pixabay.com/en/wheat-spike-wheat-field-cereals-8762/

Rejoice in the LORD

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Isaiah 35

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

it shall blossom abundantly

and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,

the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,

and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who have an anxious heart,

“Be strong; fear not!

Behold, your God

will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,

and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;

the unclean shall not pass over it.

It shall belong to those who walk on the way;

even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

No lion shall be there,

nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

but the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain gladness and joy,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

The Way of Holiness is surrounded by waters, plants, and animals that reveal the glory of the LORD.  All of creation shouts.  Redemption has come and we, the people, sing with rejoicing.  Healing and forgiveness make way for gladness and joy.  The hard things of this world fade away, leaving sorrow and tears to be no more.

The LORD your God is in your midst,
a Mighty One Who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”  1 Chronicles 16:31

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.  Psalm 16:9

Father God, I rejoice in Your Holy Name.  I sing to You and worship only You as I continue to learn of Your ways.  Your highway to holiness is the only way I want to be journey upon.  Your Way is the Truth.  May I walk steadfastly along that highway, remaining close to You, precious LORD.  As I ponder these and other verses about rejoicing, my heart lightens.  The heaviness of this world, all the heartaches and soul aches I see and hear about me seem to fade into the background as You stand strong and faithful beside me.  You come before me and are my way.  I follow You.  May I be in Your will in this world, and may I be strong in You that my heart would not grow faint.  

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31

May I wait upon You and sing praises of joy to You, only to You.   In the Strong Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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Rejoicing in Trials

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Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!  Psalm 98:4

“Let us sing even when we do not feel like it, for this we may give wings to leaden feet and turn weariness into strength.”  J. J. Jowett

As I age, I sense losses of abilities…physically.  I have had three spinal surgeries and one hip replacement.  I will be having knee arthroscopic surgery at the end of May to repair a torn Meniscus and remove some arthritic growth…more physical therapy and using a walker or cane or both.  I am becoming limited in being able to do things I used to do with no thought.  I just did them.

But God and Mr. Jowett remind me that joy is a fruit of the Spirit and I have the Holy Spirit living in me.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  James 1:2-3

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.  1 Peter 1:6-7

So I sing.

I remember Who placed song in my heart and Who gave me freedom to rejoice in all that I am and all that I am given, no matter what phase of my life I am in.

Last week, I played with color and the fruit of the Spirit.  I am still coloring in my heart and now I am singing, humming in color.  I don’t always feel colorful, yet my heart does because of the LORD.  He fills me up and gives me joy and loves me through these hard things, so He fills me up with colorfilled songs.

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Father God, You are the God of all creation.  You know the trials of my body, of my soul, and of my mind.  You know my heartaches too.   You also know that I want to be able to do everything I “should” be able to do.  Growing older is hard, Father.  I miss being able to bend with ease.  I wish I did not have to think about the way I pick up a book from the floor or the way I need to walk with extra care.  Father, I wish it would be easier.  But it isn’t and I am sad.  Yet, these trials are only for a time.  Even if I live many more years, I know…I KNOW…that one day, I will be with You in Heaven and will have a perfect body.  The heart and soul aches of this life, from loss of family and friends, from physical struggles of various kinds, from knowing that this world is not of You…seeing evidence every day on the news, even in nearby places, I KNOW that one day…ONE DAY…I will have only You to kneel before and praise.  So I begin NOW and sing praises to Your Holy Name.  I REJOICE and thank You for always being with me.

 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by Me from before your birth,
carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.”  Isaiah 46:3-4

And I will remember –

The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

They are planted in the house of the LORD;
they flourish in the courts of our God.

They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,

to declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.  Psalm 92:12-15

and that I am to … 

…fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

I pray in the Wondrous Name of Jesus.  Amen.

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When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride….

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1st picture: Unknown

2nd picture: “colors, colours, crayons, music, notes, photography, pretty” by abigaylee @ http://favim.com/image/81928/

3rd picture: Musical Note: http://www.mouserunner.net/Spheres_Free_Musical_Notes