The Lord Is My Keeper by Bombi

The Lord, my keeper

It is Winter 2020 and what a year it has been. Talk to anyone anywhere and find the comments readily available to break down how their year has gone. When I tell you, this year has rocked me to my core, I mean ROCKED. The job I was so used to going to every weekday ceased to need me. The daughter I grew accustomed to parenting and planning out each school year with, graduated high school and has ventured out on her own. The little boy who ran around with play guns and mini basketballs finished drivers ed and got his driver’s permit. Not to mention…the global pandemic no one saw coming. And the discussions of systemic racism with my family, and the never knowing what to expect the next day waking up. Who would have ever predicted all of this happening all at once? The discussions I never knew I would have. The arguments I never knew would ever happen. And can we talk about how fun interviewing again in your 40’s is? 

Stretched much? Yeah, I would say. Two HUGE things stand out to me. 

One: It’s not just me

I ‘m not here giving you a sole surviving testimony of what I alone faced. No, it’s not just me, it’s you, it’s him, her, your neighbor, it’s the person we will never know that lives oceans away. It’s the celebrity, it’s the homeless. The rich, poor, and in-between. It is every person on the globe that’s going through like never before. All at once.

And the 2nd thing: God has remained faithful

He never ceases to amaze me. He never stops providing for us. We have yet to go hungry. Our lights are still on. The embarrassment of being laid off didn’t kill me. The heartache of an early empty nest didn’t keep me crushed. God never stopped comforting me. He never left his watch to go relieve some type of stress He needed to rid Himself of. He didn’t need to take a break to give Himself some self-care. No, He stayed. He makes sure we have everything we needed for our sustenance. Oh God, you are so steady. You are so mighty. You are greater than any sickness, financial crisis, family crisis, circumstance, you are higher than it all. Thank you for never letting me go!  

I just want to give God His due glory, and also share a passage I love. I’ve probably shared in past but has come to even greater meaning to me. I encourage you to read it, meditate on it, and allow God to empower you with His word.

Psalm 121Amplified Bible

The Lord the Keeper of Israel. A Song of [a]Ascents.

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills [of Jerusalem]-From where shall my help come?

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

3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber [briefly] nor sleep [soundly].

5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.

6 The sun will not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your life.

8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in [everything that you do] From this time forth and forever.

Do You Hear What I Hear by Trish W.

It’s Christmas season and by the title alone, you may assume this will be a traditional holiday post, but it isn’t. 

My husband’s family were all together  (siblings and parents) for Thanksgiving. We decided to spend the holiday together among our small group since Covid has changed things a bit for us all this year. 

We rented a vacation home and had such a great time just being together! One afternoon I was playing a game with my niece when I heard my bonus daughter say to my niece (or so I thought) “you can beat her, she’s 41!”. 

I turned myself around so quick and looked at her and said “what did you say?” as if to challenge her assumption that my age would hinder me from winning. When I repeated what I thought she said, she started laughing and said “NO! I made a reference to the score being FOUR TO ONE”. We all laughed and she has since reminded me of how off my hearing was.

Isn’t that like life though? We make assumptions based on what we hear. Sometimes our hearing is filtered by many different things such as fear, insecurity, level of understanding or simply the inability to hear correctly. Or maybe what we hear are a lot of facts but we haven’t taken the time to weigh them against God’s truth. 

Right now as we end 2020, we see how this pandemic has spoken loud and clear over the various areas of our lives.It’s not a lie, this pandemic is real and should be taken seriously. Yet, even among the mountain of facts that surround us, God’s truth is greater. 

It’s as if a walking billboard or teleprompter has invaded our personal space reminding us at every turn of our limitations and challenges at hand. Yet in the middle of some very real and raw dangers, do you hear what I hear?

Through the muffle of the constant news reports, social distancing and isolation, I can hear God say “fear not, I will never leave you or forsake you”.

Beyond the valid cries of those hurting among us or even our own cries, I can hear God say “Peace, be still”.

In spite of the flood of phone calls, text messages and social media posts reiterating fear, I hear God say, “I’ve not given you the spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind.”

Despite the overwhelming  knowledge of economic decline I hear God say “I am your provider.”

As a child of God we must keep our  ear close to His heartbeat which found in His Word so we can HEAR beyond what we  hear. 

In this season I know it’s tough and no one should tell you how to walk your own journey. We are all finding our way in these uncertain times. If I can just encourage you with this, although times are uncertain, God’s love and faithfulness is not. He is faithful and He will see us through. I encourage you to spend time in His Word and focus on His truth above all else.

 Beyond the fear, beyond the noise, beyond the loss, beyond the hurt there is a voice longing to bring your comfort, wisdom and direction. His voice is greater than all else. Even now, He’s speaking, silence the noise so you can hear His voice. 

Peace In Uncertainty by Sonya

During this year of 2020, there has been so much uncertainty with what we have had to deal with through Covid-19. It has been hard to plan and see what the future holds as we are in this season of uncertainty not knowing when this will end. For our family, with four kids in school it is the uncertainty of school and if they will resume to their extra activities like sports and hobbies that they enjoy. They have had so much taken away as we all have had, and things canceled that is out of our control. I am reminded that during these times which seem so hard that we serve a “BIG” God and as much as we think we are in control God has shown who is in control of it all. God is still at the throne taking care of us and giving us this peace through it all. His peace covers all understanding and gives us hope to put our trust only in Him. Our family has experienced Covid-19 firsthand as my husband contracted the virus. Thankfully, he only dealt with minor symptom.s. What kept us was focusing on Jesus knowing He is taking care of us and not letting go. God’s peace is key through the uncertain times and allows our hearts not to be troubled. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

As this world endures these quarantines, closures and just the panic of the coronavirus pandemic, God offers peace through this all. His Word brings hope and healing and casts out all fear and worry. Let’s not allow our flesh to get the best of us during this time but find God’s peace that will last. His peace will calm and give an assurance that He is on the throne taking care of us every step of the way. Let the spirit of truth bring you peace in these uncertain times. As we put our trust in Him and not the world, we can open our eyes to what God offers. He won’t let you down and will bring healing to your soul during these times. Are you ready for God’s peace? Let go of your fears and let the peace of God transcend you during your uncertain times. Lets finish this year of 2020 with prayer and thanksgiving giving all things to God as this verse says. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Receive His peace and ring in the new year with God at the center of your life!

His Love Never Quits by Kenika

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his faithful love endures forever.”

Psalm 118:1 

2020. What can we say? What a year. Typically, I am the very last person to say or believe that one particular year is in and of itself good or bad. I just think that time goes on and some days are good, and some days are bad. But even I can’t deny the fact that this has been a challenging year, to say the very least.  As we approach the end, hopefully in every way, of an overwhelmingly eventful year, I find myself contemplating one thing, and that is gratitude. Much time has been spent complaining, too much time has been spent debating and arguing points of fact, there have been lots of tears, fears, anxieties and anything else you can think of.  Also, it is a fact that everyone has experienced the same thing at the exact same time.  However, as I look back, all I feel is grateful. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1) The Message Bible simply says, “His love never quits.”

Some of us have jobs that have ended, living arrangements that have ended, a particular political party’s reign has ended with much contention, relationships have been forever altered or ended, but I find solace in knowing that HIS love never quits, His love never ends.  I needed that. After everything that has gone on, I needed to know that. 

I was having a conversation with my niece and we were talking about how everyone is experiencing mass isolation. Having to quarantine for safety also meant we didn’t get a chance to spend as much face to face time with each other as we are accustomed to. That meant many of us felt isolated and lonely, but we all felt it together. We were discussing how once the Corona Virus pandemic is over, we are going to have to reevaluate our relationships or more accurately, how we relate to others. But even if that’s the case, His love never quits.  For believers, even in our isolation, we were never alone. Jesus didn’t take a “breather” or have a need to be quarantined or separate from us, He didn’t stop loving, caring, protecting, providing and fathering us.  We had to quit going out as much as we did, we had to quit traveling for a period of time, we had to quit going into our offices (for some of us), plans had to be altered, canceled or changed, but His love never quit.  We felt tired, lonely, anxious, angry, sad, but He was always and will always be there. 

If you find yourself a little wearied by this battle that we’ve all been in, approach the end of this year and the holiday season with a heart of gratitude. It’s hard to complain when you are grateful. It’s hard to remain fearful when you remember the creator of the heavens and the earth is with you and will never leave you. Choose gratitude and His never ending, never quitting, never giving up, or never running out love as your motivation and comfort to finish strong and gear up for what’s to come.