When I was living at home, I would help my Mom with different things. Housework was kind of expected. Doing dishes, (NO dishwasher!), doing laundry and cleaning, etc. As my mother got older she needed some help with personal hygiene. If she needed me to brush her hair, I was okay with that. Sometimes she needed some help getting in and out of the bathtub, or washing her back, I was okay with that too. I’d help her as I could. One of the things she needed some help with was with clipping her toe nails. That kind of made me cringe, a little bit. But I would go ahead and help her though. After awhile I realized that she as a Mother would do those things when I was a kid. So I’d try not to squirm so much and would meekly cut her toe nails for her. Continue reading
Ephesians 3:18 “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;” (KJV)
This verse shows the amazing scope of God’s love. We will look at God’s creation and His creativity. What a wonderful world He made! He helps us to understand His Love.
How High? Mount Everest in Asia rises to 29,029 feet above sea level. Geologists may argue about an island mountain in Hawaii, Mauna Kea, that starts below sea level and rises above sea level as being “taller” than Mount Everest. For most of us, Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. I doubt if I will ever get to Mount Everest. I have been on top of some of the Smoky Mountains. I even climbed a part of one with my husband and my brother to the top. Whew. When you get to the top of the mountain, it is so beautiful! You can see forever. Makes you feel how much God loves you to be there.
How Deep? Mariana Trench, Challenger Deep, at 36,070 feet below sea level is in the Western Pacific Ocean, East of the Philippines. Whew! Again, I will never get there. But I have been to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. The ocean is so big, and it goes to the horizon! When you walk into the ocean, and jump the waves, it feels so wonderful with the water washing over you. You begin to understand how truly deep God’s love is for you.
How Long? Florida has the longest coastline in continental United States at 1350 miles. Alaska is the longest at 6640 miles. I think most everyone has taken a long road trip! Some of you drove to Key West. A beautiful drive along the keys. John and I saw different parts of the country. Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and of course, Florida! We have also flown to California, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas. We live in an awesome country. We also visited foreign countries such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Grand Cayman Island, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Malta, Corsica, France, Monaco, and Tunis, Africa. We are thankful we saw these places, and each place is beautiful. God made it all and it was good. Going on long trips. Why? To see family and friends you have not seen for awhile. When you see them again, it’s like you continue where you left off. It is so wonderful to spend time together with family and friends. This gives us a feel of God’s love and how much He does love us. But so much more.
How Wide? There isn’t anything that is “broader” or the “widest.” But, going East or West is different. If you go East, you are always going East. If you get back to where you started, you are still going East. But, if you turn around 180 degrees, you are facing West and can go West. If you go North or South, you do have boundaries in the North pole and South pole. You can go far enough North to go South without turning around. But East and West have no boundaries. In either direction you can go forever without end.
It is not possible to measure God’s love. We can’t climb above it. We can’t dive below it. We can’t drive beyond it. We can’t go anywhere beyond God’s love. There is no end. All we have to do is look at the cross. God shows how much He loves each one of us by dying on the cross for us. Jesus stretched out his arms wide on the cross, and showed us how much He loves us. Jesus died on the cross for you. Amen.
When we read the story of doubting Thomas, we may ask why did Thomas doubt the other Disciples? From John 20:25-27 we read:
’25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”’ (ESV)
If we are honest with ourselves, aren’t we all like Thomas, and have some doubts? No, I don’t mean, all the time, just sometimes, or a flicker of doubt. When things get tough and we aren’t sure of what will happen.
After much prayer, my husband and I moved from Pennsylvania to Florida. It was hard to leave behind friends, family, and church. We lived in our Pennsylvania home for over 30 years. We let go of stuff we collected over the years. We donated or sold much of what we owned. We also decided where in Florida to move. We felt led to it for its Deaf ministry. Then we started to become doubtful. Was this truly God’s will? We believed He led us to there, but like Thomas we were doubtful.
We were on our way to Florida for our settlement to buy our home when disaster struck! We got email from our bank, telling us the money wire transfer did not go through! The day after settlement, a truck with our furniture arrives. We needed the money to pay for our settlement! The bank said we made a mistake and must return to Pennsylvania to do another wire transfer with correct information. But, if we returned to Pennsylvania, we would miss our settlement, and not have a home for our furniture. Panic! We stopped for the night in South Carolina and prayed a fervent prayer for help to our Lord!
Then the miracle came. My husband’s brother, who’s hearing, was able to help us. He phoned our bank to go over information they had and the bank realized they made the mistake! We did not have to turn around and go back to Pennsylvania! PTL! Talk about God making a point! It was a hard time in our lives, but we had become doubtful.
God wanted us to know He loves us. He is always faithful. He wants us to know He understands our needs. He also wants us to trust and believe in Him. To know God, not just in our mind, but also in our hearts. In all things, He takes care of us. We can step out on faith and trust Him, and not to doubt Him.
We then can say as Thomas did in verse 28 “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (ESV)
He is our Lord and our God and our Savior. We can trust Him.
God leads us every day, every step of the way. He helps us every day. Sometimes we are not sure about things, but He always leads us in His way.
At one time I worked for awhile with a group of people who made fun of Christians and people who went to church. It was hard for me to deal with that. I would do my work and keep on, but it was a struggle. I felt so alone. There were other departments besides the department that I worked with. So I would see other people and would say Hi to them when I was on Break, or walking to Lunch or the restroom.
One day, one guy, Ron, out of the blue, asked me if I go to church! I admit my first thought was what?!? But I realized that I had to say, yes I do. And surprisingly I asked him, Do you?
It turned out that he did go to church and was a fellow believer. That was a start of a good friendship. It was also good to know that someone else who worked there also believed.
Psalm 23:3 “He restores my strength. He leads me down the right paths for the sake of his reputation.” (NET)
Psalm 95:2 “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (ESV)
When we go to church, worship service, Sunday School Class, Bible Study, how are we doing? How are we feeling? Happy, sad, tired, joyful.
Our attitude toward God should be one of being thankful. We have an awesome God and we need to show our respect and our awe to Him. He has done so much for us. He loves us. He forgives us. He helps us. He comforts us. He leads us. Oh how blessed we are.
Be joyful. Count our blessings. We should be thankful for ALL He has done for us. Start each day with a thankful heart. Be thankful for God Himself and for what He does.
We have so much to be thankful for and what He has given us: our lives, our spouse (keep him or her humble!) our children, our homes, our health (even though we are getting older), our friends, our family, and for things we can share with others.
If a person complains a lot, it is hard to be around that person, isn’t it? If we learn to be thankful, that is a great way to start the day! So let’s do that!
We can be thankful for all things.
Today, June 18, is Father’s Day, a day to remember and celebrate our fathers. Some of our fathers are living. Wonderful! What a blessing. For some of us, our fathers have passed on, but our fathers live on in our hearts. They will always be a part of us and in our memories.
My Dad was always helpful with car maintenance. He helped me to have my car running all right and in good order. However he wanted ME to know how to do some things on cars, like change a flat tire, changing oil, and once, he even had me rotate the tires on my car! Yes! all four tires!! Even if I did take my car to a garage, he thought that I should know how to do some things, just in case.
I remember one year for a Christmas present, he gave me a set of jumper cables. (Go on—You can smile or laugh!) He thought it was a practical present as at the time the car that I had, wouldn’t start some times so the jumper cables would help. When I was at work, sometimes, some of my coworkers had trouble starting their cars. So they would ask if anyone had jumper cables. I do! So I was thankful for my daddy for those jumper cables. They not only helped me but other people as well.
1 Peter 5:7 “casting all your care on him, because he cares about you.” (LEB) God knows our needs even before we ask.
Today, May 14, is Mother’s Day, a day to remember and celebrate our mothers. Some of our mothers are living. Wonderful! What a blessing! For some of us, our mothers have passed on. Our mothers live on in our hearts and always be a part of us and our memories.
One of my favorite memories is about my mother waiting for me after school. Our farmhouse porch had a swing and we sat there to talk. I told her about my day, and she listened. Sometimes we talked for 5 minutes. Sometimes for half hour or more. I always appreciated the time she took with me. It was our special time together. It was a break in our day. For her, a break from work. For me a break after school. We then did our farm chores. Some days we had misunderstandings and be upset. This happened more often when I was a teenager. But we always talked through our differences. Then we understood and forgave each other.
Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.” (WEB)
I’m sure you all have your own memories of your mother. God Bless our mothers.