Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Complicating life...

 


Many of my stories are lessons from God I have experienced.  This one is no different.  Some lessons are more painful than others.  It often depends on how strong willed I am towards the change.  I can be a tad stubborn at times. 

Thanking God for His mercy and patience with me…

I have been working on a new book and felt stuck the last few months.  I thought I knew where God was leading me in my writing.  What I didn’t realize was - I had been overthinking God’s direction.   After a few days of prayer this past weekend, I was given a word picture that explained my overthinking. 

God is so good to give us what we need exactly when we need it.  Right?

In my word picture - I was riding down a road on a bicycle.   As I was riding along, my tire caught a string that was laying in the road. I didn’t notice the string until the tire wouldn’t move and I my bike suddenly came to a halt.  Funny how a small string can bring a perfectly working machine to a stop. 

The tire was my momentum and the direction God sent me.

The string was my overthinking the direction and slowing me down. It was also a distraction and taking my focus off the goal which was getting down the road where God wanted me.

The lesson: I was overcomplicating my direction from God.  I was trying to write in a way that wasn’t me.  God called me to write.  He wants me to keep it simple.  His Gospel is very simple, but very profound.  John 3:16. My writing doesn’t need to be different.  I just need to trust Him in the process, and He will give me the direction.

Are you overthinking or complicating God’s direction in your life?  If so, get off the bike for a moment and release the string.  It wasn’t yours to pick up in the first place. 

Refocus on His direction.  Sit and be still for a moment.  Be more like Mary and listen to His voice today.

 

Luke 10:40 (NIV)

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Father's Day thoughts...


 

Happy Father’s Day to all dads, grand-dads, dads to be…  💖

Bringing up the subject of fathers can have different reactions for people.  Some are excited at Father’s Day to celebrate the day and their family.  Others struggled with the entire day because they didn’t have what they expected or needed in a father.  For many years of my life, Father’s Day was a bit stressful.   Actually, stressful was an understatement.  Without going into too many details, I envied what others had and over the years and I hardened my heart towards the holiday all together.  I was bitter towards what I missed out on as a child.

When I accepted Christ as my savior, God taught me a new way to look at Father’s Day.  I discovered a new meaning of the word Father.  One who will always be with me until I am able to be with Him face to face.  Those moments of learning helped soften the scars that had formed in my heart over the years.  It also helped me to forgive my earthly father and understand the humanness in him.  None of us are perfect and everyone has scars from something.    It didn’t happen overnight.  I didn’t even happen in a month or a year.  It took years for God to work in my heart. 

Today I know I can call my heavenly Father - Abba, and know He hears every word I speak.  Psalm 116

I know He loves me unconditionally.  John 3:16

I know He will never let me go, no matter what I do.  Psalm 100

 

Today Father’s Day has a different meaning to me... 


Today, I remember this day with gratefulness to God because He has not only taught me over the years about what a true Father is, but also brought healing in my life through my earthly father.  He truly has restored what the locust have eaten.  God has also given me the gift of seeing my father come closer to Him each day.

Is our relationship perfect? No, but we are better with Gods mercy and grace.

Am I perfect?  Not even close.  I fail every day.

However, each day, we get closer by the grace of God.  He works in us and through us until we see Him face to face.  How awesome is our God?

If Father’s Day is a struggle for you - Step out today in faith and share your thoughts with our heavenly Father. He is there to listen and bring healing.  Ask Him to help you see your earthly father through His eyes.  He can clear the fog.  He can bring perspective.  Remember God was the first Father.   He understands more than you realize about parents and children.

 

Happy Father’s Day dad… 💖

Happy Father’s Day Abba… 💖

 

Psalms 68:5 (NIV)

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Psalms 103:13 (NIV)

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Philippians 1:3 NIV

I thank my God every time I remember you.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Today's encouragment...

 

 

Have you ever been picked last in a game when you were a kid?          

I have. 

I wasn’t part of the popular crowd.  I was an outsider for most of school due to moving every two to four years.  Getting picked last was the norm for me.   It is not a very good feeling at the time.  As I got older, I realized that was a small part of my life and being picked last wasn’t the end of the world.   It did leave an impression on me though. 

Today I go out of my way to reach people others may ignore.  I am very sensitive to those who are not in high positions.  I try to start up a conversation with the wait staff at the restaurants we go to.  I go out of my way to say hi to the janitor or cleaning staff in a building.  I know how it felt to be ignored.  I want them to know they matter and are special in God’s eyes.  I let God use me to remind them.

I went to an event recently that seating was not assigned.  I didn’t mind and stood in the line waiting our turn to go into the event room.  I knew, no matter where I sat, I would see and hear the musicians.  WE stood in the line and walked into the room with another couple.  They took that moment together to share what they observed throughout the weekend. 

They saw people running in the room towards the front and grabbing seats as fast as they could.  Grown adults pushing and running to be first.  I was a bit surprised because this was a Christian event.  I guess selfishness is rampant in the church as it is in the world.  I sat and thought about that for a minute.  

While I was thinking the same woman said to me, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if after everyone came rushing into the front, the main stage moved to the back and the last were suddenly the first?” 

I laughed out loud at the thought.  Then I went back to my own thoughts and wondered is this what Jesus meant when he said, “Anyone who wants to be first must first be the very last.” 

So, my thought for today is if you are feeling left out, take heart, God notices, and the last will be the first.  Our crowns and prestige come from someone much higher than this world.  Never forget whose you are.  You are a child of the King, a chosen people, God’s special possession...

 

Mark 9:35 (NIV)

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

James 1:12 (NIV)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Never give up hope...

 


This may look like an ordinary lemon tree, but it is not.


We originally purchased it many years ago to bring lemons into our home.   My husband and I love to cook with lemons so we believed owning a lemon tree would be a treat. 

The first year we had many lemons on the baby tree.  I was overjoyed as I picked the small balls of sunshine and used them in our many recipes.

The second year there was only one lemon. 

The third year there were buds but no lemons.

Each year it became clearer that the lemon tree would not bear fruit.  

We researched everywhere how to get a lemon tree to bear fruit.  We tried multiple ideas with no avail.  Finally, the tree seemed to give up and the buds stopped.  

We decided to give up on the small tree and my husband put it outside for disposal.  It never made it to the dump and ended up in our garage for future removal.  It sat in our garage for two years untouched.  The branches were bare, and the dirt was dry.

Then something happened...

Yesterday I walked into the garage to grab something, and the little tree caught my eye.

There were not only leaves on the branches, but there were buds and a flower.  




HOW did that happen?  I went closer and looked at the tree. 
 



Yes, there were multiple leaves and buds.  I touched the dirt.  

It was as dry as it could be.  

No moisture at all.





So, I proceeded to drag the little tree out of the garage and gave it some water.  Not sure where this is going, but I can see the lessons here Lord.


Lessons for today...

    NEVER give up hope.  Even when the dream or relationship is dead.  It may not be according to God.  Keep praying!

    Miracles happen every day, even in a baby lemon tree.

    My personal lesson is to trust Him and His timing.  

             Why am I always surprised when God intervenes? 


A reminder today from the most unlikely source…

A lemon tree in the garage.

 

Luke 7:4

Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”

Luke 8:54

But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”

John 11:43-44

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalms 62:5 (NIV)

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

 



Thursday, June 2, 2022

Who do you call on?

 


Have you ever been overwhelmed by the world or even in your backyard?  What I mean, is have you ever felt overwhelmed by what is going on around you?  The news around us can be discouraging.  There is so much pain and the enemy seems to be running rampant.  

Are you experiencing a personal attack by the enemy?  The enemy likes to attack in many ways   however, his attacks are not new. He uses the same old tricks to get to believers.  If he can’t get in your mind, he attacks your family and friends. If he can’t attack your family and friends, he goes after your health or finances. 

Job understood these things.  Remember though, Job couldn’t be touched without God’s permission.  There is always a lesson for either us, or those around us.  We might not learn that lesson until many years from now, or until we are with Him face to face.

We can take heart today that God is not surprised by anything that happens to us or around us.  He is all knowing and with us through each step.  He is with us even in the fire – Daniel 3:25



 

Take Heart today!  Take Courage today!  You are not alone. John 16:32

 

The enemy is not all knowing – only God is. Job 21:22 

The enemy can not read your thoughts - only God can.  Psalm 139:2

The enemy is not everywhere at the same time – only God is.  Proverbs 15:3

The enemy can’t touch you without God’s permission.  Job 1:12

The enemy cannot change the end of the book – he loses.  Revelation 20:10

 

Cling to Him today.  Strengthen each other in Christ today.  Your Christian friends can pray with and for you through every situation.  You can also pray for those who are suffering around you today.  Hold each other up and encourage each other in Him today.




Never forget - we know how the book ends. 

Never forget – we are not home yet – but travelers on this small blue planet.

Keep looking up!  Jesus is coming soon!

 

Job 42: 1-3

1 Then Job replied to the Lord:

2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’

Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

 

Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.


 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.


 Revelation 22: 20-21 (NIV)

21 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

22 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

 

Stones of Remembrance...

We got good news yesterday.  Actually, three things happened that made me stop and thank God each time.  One was a reprieve from the storms ...