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Trusting In God’s Protection, Isaiah 41:10

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There’s been several times when Buddy has fought me while I’ve been trying to hold him to ensure that he lands safely: whether placing him in this washtub in the laundry room to check that he doesn’t have an injury to his back paw and wash it clean or when I try to place him on the ground in the garage after a drive in my car. He spreadeagled himself across the laundry tub tonight and he often fights me to leap out of my arms onto the carport, instead of trusting me to hold him tightly and guarantee he has a safe landing on the concrete.

This verse is one of my favorites and has sustained me emotionally in many an unstable or frightening situation:

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”–Isaiah 41:10

And “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand. Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.'”–Isaiah 41:13

God makes these statements after reminding His people through the prophet Isaiah that He is omnipotent, omniscient and cannot be conquered.

That:

He loves us and carries us close to His heart as our great Shepherd. Isaiah 40:11

He needs no counsel. Isaiah 40:13

The nations are as nothing compared to His power. Isaiah 40:15

No judge or ruler can defeat Him. Isaiah 40:25

He is so powerful that He created the stars, sustains them and calls these many myriad celestial bodies by name. Isaiah 40:26

He has no equal. Isaiah 40:25

He never becomes tired. Isaiah 40:28

He gives strength to the weary. Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to those who lack it. Isaiah 40:29

He is impossible to understand (in other words, He cannot be tricked). Isaiah 40:28

If you are born-again, you can be assured that, regardless of whatever situation you are currently finding yourself in, God is with you and can guarantee a safe landing–if you don’t try to wrestle out of the safety of His might arms.

Please don’t reject His ways and try to solve your problem apart from His godly wisdom. It may not seem like it at first, but eventually you’ll be glad you followed Biblical wisdom and counsel, instead of doing what felt right emotionally or succumbed to what the culture said was right. I can verify this statement from personal experience–positive and negative.

Another favorite verse of mine:

“Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I keep your word.”–Psalm 119:67

A wrong reaction can make a bad situation, worse.

God bless you. From Dawn and Buddy

***

I lost five good friends and one relative during the period November 23, 2018 through April 9th, 2019. The last death was a bit of a shock and I felt rather depressed, mourning my elderly friend’s death. Several times I got to share the gospel with him before he passed on–the last time was several hours before a massive stroke incapacitated him and led to his death two days later. Between the efforts of his cousin and I, I think he made it to Heaven by God’s grace, giving him the extra months to come to salvation. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend again one day.

Do you have the hope of reuniting with your loved ones in Heaven? Please consider Jesus, Who died to pay the penalty for your sins, a penalty demanded by a Holy God, and was raised to life to give us eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit, the seal of our promise of eternity (Ephesians 4:30). Why not invite Him to reveal to you how much He loves you right now?

I hope to be more regular with my blog posting throughout the summer. Thanks for reading.

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Sometimes Life Sucks, Romans 13:12

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Recently we had a snowstorm, then an ice storm and then a windstorm. The branches on the trees couldn’t handle the extra weight and many limbs broke and crashed to the ground in our neighborhood park. Along the pond Buddy had to carefully navigate between the wall supporting the upper parkland and the limbs of a broken tree. It wasn’t easy for a little dog.

The trees broke because their limbs were already carrying a heavy load and couldn’t bend to survive the extra force of the strong winds. Sometimes life feels like that: We already feel burdened, trying our best to navigate the normal, everyday obstacles of life and then the strong winds of adversity blow against us and we feel like we’re about to break.

And we cannot see where the path ahead of us is leading and if more obstacles await, ready to burden us further.

We feel like a once-strong tree that is about to break under the weight.

And we wonder where God is.

Jesus never promised us an easy path. In fact, He pretty much promised the opposite:

“In the world you have tribulation…” John 16:33

And Apostle Paul, after being stoned in Lystra, advised the disciples in Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”–Acts 14:22

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”–Apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 3:11

Not very encouraging when you’re hurting.

God loved Job yet, when Satan stood before God and accused Job of loving God only because he lived a protected and prosperous life, God permitted Satan to put Job through a series of tests, killing his children, his servants, his livestock, his finances, and destroying even his health. His marriage went to pot too. He sat on a pile of ashes, scraping his painful boils with a potshard in great misery and his wife asked him to curse God and die. Then his supposed friends said he must be suffering because he is an evil man and needed to repent. Couldn’t get much worse than that.

Understandably, Job complained to God. God responded, in summary: I’m God the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. What right do you, a puny mortal, have to complain to me?

One of my favorite verses in Scripture, believe it or not, especially when I am suffering, is in Job:

“Though He (God) slay me, I will hope in Him.”–Job 13:15

Job never gave up on God’s goodness, and He rewarded his faithfulness with much more than he had previously lost.

I believe the answer is in the book of Hebrews:

“Let us run with ENDURANCE the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the JOY SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:1-2, emphasis mine

Jesus looked past the agony of the Cross to the joy ahead: the many millions who would have their sins paid by His suffering and death so that they could enter into a relationship with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit.

We cannot see what lies beyond the bend in our life’s path, perhaps more obstacles and pain await. But God promises that, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, and keep walking the path of life with Him, there are far better days ahead.

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near.”–Romans 13:12, Apostle Paul

“The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”–Proverbs 4:18, King Solomon

“”Therefore we do not lose heart,…For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen…”2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Apostle Paul

The greatest gift God gives us is hope. Because a wonderful future awaits us all who trust in Christ.

“And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”–Revelation 7:17, Apostle John

If we can just keep from breaking.

“God is our refuse and strength, A very present help in trouble…the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”–Psalm 46:1,7

If you’re suffering, please pray and reach out to godly friends who can encourage you.

And if you’re not suffering at this time, please encourage or help a friend who is.

God bless from Dawn and Buddy

***

Life is hard. But it’s doubly hard without Jesus. He gives hope and strength in times of need. This world is temporary and will pass away and so will all of your problems and tribulations one day.

Jesus offers you a wonderful future because He loves you.

Everyone is born separated from God because we sin. Not always intentionally, but God hates sin. The only entrance ticket He accepts into Heaven is perfection. But He also loves us and wants to be in relationship with us, so He punished Jesus for our sins. Jesus lived a perfect life, suffered and died on the Cross for all of us. After that, He was raised from the dead, proving He was God and that His sin offering was accepted by the Father.  If you want to enter into relationship with Him, please pray the below prayer:

Dear Father, I admit that I’ve said, thought and done things that displease you. I believe that Jesus is God who died for my sins on the Cross and was raised from the dead to give me eternal life. I ask you to forgive me. I invite the Holy Spirit into my life to lead me and guide me into the paths of righteousness. I thank you for wanting to be my friend, my great Shepherd and my Lord for now and forevermore. In Jesus’ name, Amen

“Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”–Jude verse 24

Please find a Bible-based church and obtain a good Bible. You cannot stand alone, particularly when the winds of adversity blow. There is usually a Christian radio station and/or bookstore in your area where they can give you some guidance in the right direction if you don’t have a church nearby or know a Christian who can assist.

And being a Christian isn’t about being perfect: nobody is, only God. Jesus already lived the perfect life for you. It’s about having a relationship with God through Christ. And having spiritual life, empowered by the Holy Spirit. It’s not about working to meet a high standard to please God: It’s about loving God because He loves you.

And when you love someone, it’s natural to want to please them.

 

 

Light Of The World, John 8:12

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I’m always a bit sad when Christmas Season is over and the lights start going out in our neighborhood. The holiday lights add so much bright cheer and color to the darkness of winter. I wish that we had a holiday in January called “Sparkle Day” where we’d decorate our houses and shirts with sparkling, glowing snowflakes. The fake kind, not the real kind. Thank goodness we haven’t had any snow in the SE Seattle area yet this winter: Because of our very hilly terrain, it can be very frightening to drive on icy streets.

Jesus said,

“I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.”–John 8:12

Often people think of Jesus as lighting up the world by showing us the proper path to walk, how to live: delivering us from the consequences of sin as we turn our lives about and start living in ways that are beneficial.

But, I also believe and have discovered that…

The Spirit of Jesus Christ, also known as the Holy Spirit, lights up the souls of believers. He lifts the darkness of depression and gloom in our spirits and adds lightness to our souls. God promises to inhabit the praises of His people. When you believe in Christ and feel gloomy or the world gets you down, just start singing praises to God. Or pull out a Bible and start reciting the Psalms back to Him. You will feel an actual lift in your spirit as joy begins to dissipate the soggy wet rag of sadness.

When Apostle Peter stepped out of the boat in the middle of a stormy lake to join Jesus, he was able to walk on the water as long as He kept His eyes on the Lord. When he started looking at the angry, threatening waves, he began to sink.

Where we focus our attention really affects our attitude. Also, I believe that praising God chases away evil, as the devil cannot tolerate hearing God praised, desiring all praise and attention and devotion for himself.

Keep your eyes on Jesus this year and He will help keep you in good spirits, whatever 2019 may bring.

May 2019 bring blessing and and many more good days than bad, health and friendship and love.

Happy New Year!

Love from Dawn and Buddy

PS> I am referring to non-medical depression or melancholy.

***

Without a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is not present to dissipate the darkness in your soul. Please consider accepting Jesus into your heart by faith and letting His Spirit lead and guide your life. It’ll be the best New Year’s gift you could give yourself. The God of the Bible is real and lives and is knocking on the door of your heart, waiting for you to give Him permission to enter in (Revelation 3:20). The atheists are wrong and deceived.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”–Jesus

 

Jesus, The Story Teller, Matthew 13:3

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We all have stories to tell about our lives, some more exciting and adventurous than others, but we all have a hi-story. Buddy does too. He suffered abuse by the husband of his very ill owner till a kind Silky terrier breeder rescued him and fostered him till he found his forever home. His story demonstrates that some suffering does end and some lives have a happy ending.

I applied to an advertising art program at an art school some years ago but was rejected by the school’s President. She said I wouldn’t do well in the program because I “was a story teller”. Personally, I think a lot of ads are telling “stories” but I respected her opinion as she had a lot of experience that I didn’t have.

Each new year I realize that I have only so many more years on this earth and ask myself if my goals and how I spend my time is really what God wants me to pursue. I love to draw cartoons and write stories. A bit of depression settles in as I ask myself, “Is my strong desire to tell stories really helpful in furthering God’s kingdom and my purpose on earth?”

And then I remind myself that Jesus told stories, stories that impacted His listeners and the lives of millions for nearly 2000 years. These stories continue to endure, be examined, shared and transform lives.

“And He spoke many things to them in parables,…”–Jesus, Matthew 13:3

So many times I’ve read or heard someone say, “That book” or “That movie” changed my life. Because art often bypasses our intellectual gate keeper and touches our hearts.

King David repented of his hardness of heart, after his murder of Uriah to hide his adulterous relationship with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, when Nathan the prophet spoke a parable to him that touched his shepherd’s soul (2 Samuel 12:1-14). He responded to the prophet’s rebuke after the parable revealed the severity of his sin and hypocrisy.

So I can take heart that, perhaps, I too, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, write stories that will touch people’s hearts and promote introspection, and with God’s grace, encourage positive change. That maybe my particular personality bent has a purpose and place in God’s kingdom after all.

***

I can honestly say that I wish I’d come to the Lord 10 years sooner. I gave my heart to Christ at age 28 after calling up a volunteer working the phones for a Billy Graham crusade which was televised locally. The reason I wouldn’t want to come before my college years is so that I will never forget what it feels like, the emptiness and loneliness that filled my life, before I came into a personal relationship with the Lord. You too can find peace in a relationship with Him. It is possible. He is not a myth: Jesus is real.

If you’d like to enter into a relationship with our Heavenly Father, please pray the below or something similar in your own heartfelt words: Lord, I’d like to know you but my sin has separated me from You as You are a most holy God. I accept that Jesus, as God in the Flesh, took the punishment for my sins. Please forgive me and grant that the Holy Spirit would enter into my heart. May the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, lead me into all righteousness and truth. Open my heart to love you. Amen.

 

Happy New Year! Unexpected Blessing, Luke 2:8-11

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Buddy is a rescue dog from Silky Terrier Rescue. I’ll always be thankful to his foster mom for rescuing him from an abusive situation and bringing him into my life. Barb acted unselfishly as she is a Silky Terrier breeder yet she is willing to care for and place dogs that will not bring her an income.

Buddy was formerly in a bad situation where he was being kicked and mistreated. Suddenly, one day he was lifted out of that situation to dwell in a loving home where he is spoiled and much loved.

At Christmastime we celebrate the story of Jesus Christ’s birth, but it is a wondrous story that can bring joy to our new year, also.

Some shepherds “were staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night.” (Luke 2:8) To them, it was another typical night doing the same boring job they’d likely done for years. They were just another of the Nameless Unimportant doing the job that had to be done to keep their society functioning properly. The shepherds had no clue that life would suddenly change, something miraculous would occur that evening.

“And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'” –Luke 2:9-11

You might be looking ahead to this year and thinking, “Another year. Probably be just like last year and the year before. Same old boring job, same old boring me. Probably be another typical year.”

I’ve been trying to encourage myself today. Seems I’ve been ill a long time, my artistic dreams have not taken wing, and life plods along like I’m a draft horse with its neck stuck in a collar treading the same old ruts on the same old path. But I have to remind myself that “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

But some day this year Jesus may suddenly appear and your ernest prayers will finally be answered, your failing dreams may finally come true, your long held desires will be fulfilled. Just like Buddy, who had no clue that his miserable situation wouldn’t be permanent, we may suddenly find ourselves lifted out of the situation that is plaguing us.

“The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…”–Lamentations 3:22

This night or tomorrow morning or some other day this year could finally be the day that your prayers are answered, your dreams come true.

Buddy’s life changed suddenly for the better. Yours, and mine, can too. Don’t lose hope. We serve an omnipotent and compassionate God.

Have a very happy and blessed 2018.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

PS. I did go to Taiwan last year which was an unexpected blessing and opportunity to serve God.

***

The best blessing a person could have is a relationship with the eternal and living God through His Son Jesus Christ. When you admit that you are a sinner and can never meet God’s righteous standards in your own power and strength, and that Jesus died for your sins, taking the punishment you deserve, to make you right with our Holy God, you become born-again. The Holy Spirit comes to inhabit you and transform your inner being. I invite you to take the first step to a lifetime of adventure and eternal life.

Please pray: Lord Father, I acknowledge that I can never meet your perfect and holy standards. I declare that Jesus died as punishment for my sins because He loves me and so do You. That God took on human flesh, dwelt amongst us and then died on the Cross and was resurrected bodily on the 3rd day. I ask you to forgive my sin and grant me the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. Thank you for your kindness. In Jesus’ name, Amen

I was born-again March 7th, 1989 and I’ve never regretted the decision. Which is why I invite you to join our worldwide and eternal fellowship as a fellow Christian.