[google1a63d3d5b2d95fbc.html] [google1a63d3d5b2d95fbc.html]
 
Picture
Peer pressure. It can come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes we don’t even recognize it. Have you ever felt a little out of the loop, like you were the last one on earth to know about the latest fashion, trend, movie, song, or that video that just went viral. It’s definitely awkward when you’re with a group of people and all of a sudden you’re feeling like a middle-schooler hanging out in the teen group- just totally clueless as to what is going on around you. But let me cue you in on a little secret… it’s okay to not be fully informed on everything in the world today. If you haven’t noticed, our world is getting dirtier and shifting further from God each day. It’s pretty much on the fast track to hell, and if you have taken the opportunity to get off the devil’s ride and trust Jesus as your Saviour, there is no reason to keep standing in line to see what the world still has to offer. It will only bring destruction upon the life God has for you. Romans 16:19 says “I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” It’s easy to question “am I too naive?” We can easily convince ourselves that everyone else knows what is going on and before long the thought sinks in… Just Google It! 

Way back as a teenager, before the cell phone/ internet is everywhere years, I made a personal decision not to watch things that did not line up with the way I should be living. I noticed a struggle within my mind. I knew it was wrong to watch most of the movies coming out and I wanted to abstain from evil, yet with all of the advertising, reviews, and big flashing signs there was a desire to see them, which caused a struggle to do what is right. A very simple decision made this struggle to keep my mind pure so much easier. >>Don’t read the movie signs. Don’t look at the entertainment page in the newspaper. If I pass an advertisement- just ignore it. ...So instead of inserting those worldly images into my mind and then struggling to keep my mind pure, I moved my focus to keeping out the thoughts and images in the first place. Still a short-term struggle, but I soon realized keeping my life pure was so much easier when I put some extra effort into keeping my mind pure.

Forward to 2016 where we are all just a tap away from everything… and I mean too much of everything! Instead of asking, “Should I learn about this?” we are saying, “Should I use Google or Bing?” In seconds or less we have a list of web, image, and video results to anything we type or speak into a search bar. It might be a  phrase we heard but don’t know the meaning to, an acronym, or a person on the news. The truth is… some things we don’t need to know. And many things we really don’t want to know! It’s pretty easy to look up something out of curiosity only to find more than we were expecting. (I am thankful for the filters and safety nets we have online, but that’s not the point I’m referring to here.) We need to be careful about how quick we can be to search something instead of first seek God’s will in our life to live pure. We are unknowingly choosing to make the Christian walk such an uphill battle when we fill our minds with so much of this world.

We want the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, yet according to Ephesians 5:9 “the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,” not in the “filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting” (Eph. 5:4) of this world. Goodness. Righteousness. Truth. That is what we should be seeking. That is what we should be looking for, focusing on, learning about. That is what should fill our lives. The Bible tells us “it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Eph. 5:12) Christian, please, guard your mind. Set up boundaries for how you are going to live and stand strong! Plan ahead so you know how you will handle the temptation to fit in with the crowd. Be able to look at the crowd and see if the way they are going is towards the Lord, or are they standing in line going the way of this world. Read carefully through Ephesians 4 and 5 and see how God has made a change in the lives of His children. We are to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” (Eph. 4:22,23) The cleaner you keep your mind, the easier it will be to follow Christ from a pure heart, meditate upon His Word, and most importantly HEAR what the Spirit is speaking to you!

Our family uses Covenant Eyes on all of our internet browsers. 
What do you use to keep yourself & your family safe online?

 
 
When our first child came I was blessed more than I had ever imagined. Through the years there has been one song that comes to mind every time I think of her and my wishes, hopes, and aspirations for her life. Written by the Epley’s, here are the words to the beautiful song “All We Ask.” Cynthia- this is our prayer for you!

The years have flown by much too fast.
The days we have now are our last
Soon you’ll be gone and life won’t be the same.
We’ve tried to do our best for you.
Sometimes we’ve failed; we know it’s true
But still we pray that you’ll live to praise God’s name.

It doesn’t matter if we never see a place you’ve carved in history.
Fame is fleeting and riches soon will burn.
The only wish we have for you,
Please follow Him Who’s always true.
You will find you have so very much to learn.

And if some day you hear His voice
Calling you to make a choice to serve Him in a land that’s far away,
We’ll remember you’re not really ours at all.
You belong to Him; so heed His call.
That’s the reason that He made you anyway.

All we ask is that you live for Jesus!
We’ve tried to give you roots, and soon we’ll give you wings.
Fly toward the Lord!
Honor Him in all you do.
We’ll be so proud of you if you live for Him.
We’ll be so proud of you if you live for Him!


These 15 years have brought the greatest joy of my life- and I am thrilled to look forward to see the next 15 as our oldest daughter continues with a heart towards God! She has become so much more than I could have hoped for. Her servant’s heart and strong spirit have inspired me. God has brought us through so many things, yet He has always shown Himself present and able to much more than we could ever ask or think. And our children have been able to see the hand of God guiding and helping us along the way- which has only made their faith stronger. I am thankful that through my faults, Cynthia has seen that we must keep our eyes on the Lord.
 

Cynthia is very serious about music, piano in particular. She is now our church pianist and continues to progress even without lessons. She was 11 when she composed "A Waltz for Roy and Dale" and entered it into the York Symphony's competition.

You will be blessed by any of the Epley CD's. I encourage you to raise your family with Christ honoring music! Just click or tap here!!

 
 
Picture
          We have been blessed with a busy summer around here! I would love to blog more, but as the mother of 5 and a pastor’s wife I have decided to keep the blogging on the lower portion of my priority list. As a result, I have a whole list of things I would like to sit and write about! (Yes, I’m keeping a list!) But today, I sat in on the last service for teen camp. It truly blessed my heart, and our oldest daughter assured me that every service this week has been just as good. I would like to share some of the Scriptures, along with the preacher’s three points, and hope that it is a blessing to you as well. If you’d like to hear the sermon for yourself just click or tap here to open the camp’s sermon page. 
It Is TIME to Trust God!
Proverbs 3:5,6
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
 



The Command  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;”

Psalms 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: 
God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: 
but whoso putteth 
his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” 

Psalms 4:5 “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.”


The Caution “lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Psalms 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, 
in whom there is no help.”

Isaiah 5:21 “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent 

in their own sight!”

Proverbs 28:26 “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, 

he shall be delivered.”


The Covenant (Promise) “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Proverbs 16:20 “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth 
in the LORD, happy is he.”

Psalms 40:4 “Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust,

Psalms 34:8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”


Final Thoughts: God’s way is always the BEST way.

Psalms 9:10“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, 
LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”

Psalms 37:5“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; 
and he shall bring it to pass.”


Thank you Bro. Brubaker for this great challenge!! May God bless all of you serving the Lord and being such an example at Servant’s Heart Camp!
 
 
So much is going on in this world we live in. One minute we are tucked away in our cozy homes, raising our children, building our marriages, striving to please the Lord with each day- and before we know it the world is crumbling all around us. Tragedy strikes and we stand in the aftershock wondering where it came from. This may come by a loss of health, the death of a loved one, or a nearby act of terror we didn’t see it coming or going. All we know is somehow we need to find a new normal and figure out how to move on from here. Do we bury our head in the sand? Do we live in denial and act like nothing has happened? Do we leave the firm foundation of our faith in God and get washed away on the shifting sands of this world’s philosophy?  How are we, as Christians, to respond when our world is tossed about on the raging seas of life? (When all we really want is to just live a quiet and peaceable life!)

Well….  I really don’t have the answer for you. (Other than to say turning our back to God is definitely NOT the answer.) But I do have a biblical example to follow. Job lost everything. And Job even had something that we don’t. Job verse one says that he was perfect and upright. Now, I am not trying to speak for you, but I can firmly say that I am neither perfect nor upright! I wish I could say that I was. And someday I hope that I am, by the grace of God. If it weren’t for all the times I continue to cave in to the desires of my flesh I would be a lot farther along than I am today.  Nevertheless, we can see the example of Job- who lost more than we can ever imagine without even a moment’s notice!!

First, let’s get some facts straight. God cares about Job. He knew what Job was going through. He loved Job. So, does it occur odd to us that when the Lord answers Job after so many chapters of silence he ends up spending an entire chapter talking about Leviathan, the great sea monster!! I’m talking about 34 verses!! I am being polite and holding myself back from using CAPS LOCK here… but take a moment to breathe this in! God Himself. Answering Job. Out of His Infinite Wisdom. And He’s talking about a dinosaur?

Picture
This may be a bit cliche’ but, has it ever occurred to you that nothing occurs to God? God knew exactly what was going on. In fact, He knew before it happened. He also knew the outcome. That is not to say that the way was easy for Job. Times were tough and he endured such grief that cannot be explained. Yet, God also knew exactly what Job needed to hear. Sometimes we tend to make God so personal that we lose sight of His Mighty Power!!

This great sea monster that man cannot tame, cannot subdue, cannot even hunt for its meat- God has made to play in the waters for His enjoyment! Psalm 104:24-26 “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.”

So, to all of the naysayers that tell me that this is not an important point… (you know, those “sincere Christians” who insist that we stick with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ) I would like to just point out that when God spoke to Job in his trials and hardship, he spent an entire chapter explaining, in detail, the greatness of leviathan. That was not an accident. Job saw. He got the message. Job got his eyes back on the Lord and His greatness!

How about us? I know it’s hard when tragedy strikes a little too close to home. We can so easily become consumed. Maybe it is concern for our fellow man, our country, our safety- until we become glued to the next news headline popping up on our screen. ...What will it be next? ...Where will it be next? But let me tell you this. This world is not getting any better. And it isn’t going to. Now more than ever we need to take a step back and fix our eyes on our Lord. Draw close to Him. See His mighty power! I am not suggesting that we bury our head in the sand… but it would not hurt any of us to skip the nightly news for once or give our facebook page a rest and take a look at the night sky or get up to see the sun rise in the morning. Sit a while and read through Job 41. Verse by verse. Think about those knights trying to slay the dragon, only to have their spears fall like blades of grass. Yet, the Lord watches him play in the water. And He is the same Lord Who watches over us.

"Sea Monsters … More than a Legend?"  I found this article interesting from Answers in Genesis. Go to their page here.
 
 
Seeing a bowl of cereal always brings me back to memories from my childhood on those mornings before school when most children, I assumed, were eating it for breakfast. But what I recall are Mom’s words… “If you eat cereal for breakfast- you will be hungry again before lunchtime.”  So, I grew up on eggs and toast, oatmeal, or pancakes. And of course, I thought the kids eating Froot Loops were pretty lucky. As always- Mom was right. Eggs and toast helped me concentrate more on my schoolwork and less on  when the lunch bell would ring. My hungry little stomach was much more satisfied after a proper breakfast than it would have been after being filled with brightly colored crunchiness!

I have thought about that lesson so many times. How many things in this world do we want to fill our lives with or spend our time or money on? How many things do we look to for satisfaction… even though our Heavenly Father has warned us that the pleasures of this world will only last for a season?  We go through our days desiring to be filled- to be satisfied- to feel blessed… yet we are sitting down to feast on the emptiness this world has to offer instead of the fulfillment that God promises will come from a life pleasing to Him.

Jesus tells us, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) We have a promise from God Himself that we can be filled! Our lives can be blessed! We can have contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment! What wouldn’t anyone give for just one day filled with the peace of God on their heart? We can have a lifetime of it, and God has already given us the key in His Word: to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Think about your desires today. What are you hungering for and thirsting after? What do you desire to fill your time? What thoughts do you allow to linger in your mind? How do you spend your days, nights, and weekends? And remember this- it is not as much about what we are doing, but rather what our desires are. Many times we are going through our lives filling the roles we are expected to fill… while our mind is wandering far from it. Maybe those around you cannot see- but surely the Lord sees the smallest and deepest desire of your heart.

What are your desires? If you need to make a change- start right now. The first step is always prayer because we truly cannot  do anything right in this life without God’s help. Ask Him to show you what you are desiring now and what He wants you to desire. Ask Him to give you a hunger for righteousness. To be right with Him. To be right in your relationships. To be right with your time, your talents, your every thought! For when you begin to hunger and thirst after His righteousness- you will be filled! There is no satisfaction in this entire world that will be worth more than a life FILLED by following after the Lord. Take God at His Word and live a full life!

 
 
Picture
Have you noticed the variety of things listed in the works of the flesh? Many of us would agree that Murder and Envy are not even close; though envy left unchecked does sometimes lead to murder… every one of us who has been envious has certainly not killed somebody!  And in our culture today we are so quick to accept people if they are “good” even though they believe a false gospel, false religion, or false doctrine- yet in this same list with Adultery, Witchcraft, Drunkenness… we see Heresy!! Can we explain that? They all have one thing in common: they are works of the flesh. “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like:”

Achieving and maintaining the fruit of the Spirit should definitely be a major life goal for any Christian. Yet… HOW?  Is it as simple as learning about “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:” and trying to show them in our lives each day?  What if we’re good in one area- yet constantly struggle in another? You see- there are many works of the flesh. We each have certain ones that we struggle against. But the fruit of the Spirit is
just one. Yes, there is a list of nine ways it will show itself- but it is just one fruit from One Tree.

You see- as much as we like to point out the grey areas in life, the truth is much more clearly seen in only two dimensions. Light & Darkness. The Works of the Flesh vs. The Fruit of the Spirit. As much as we may want to live in our imaginary 3rd dimension of enjoying our life in the flesh “as long as we aren’t hurting anyone else…” we can’t really support this with Scripture. Each step we take, each decision we make, each and every day we are either living according to our flesh or our spirit. If we are saved- we have both. And until we reach heaven’s shores it will be a daily battle.

When we are born again the Spirit of God moves within us. It is then up to us to crucify the flesh “with the affections and lusts” and “walk in the Spirit.”   You see, “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” And yet the Bible encourages us to, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” So many times we struggle daily with controlling our words, our temper, our attitudes, on and on… yet the only things we can truly do are crucify our flesh and walk in the Spirit. Everything on the outside will naturally follow the Spirit if we are led by the Spirit. If we are daily feeding the desires of our flesh- it is no wonder when we cannot control our words, thoughts, attitudes, or actions.

We might think we just have a little problem with patience… but we’re doing good in all the other areas. Or maybe we lack faith, but see ourselves as achieving in love and goodness.  Let’s read through Galatians 5 and 6 with an open heart and prayer towards God that His Light would shine through our hearts and show us where we need Him.  We need His fruit in our lives. And we need to acknowledge that His fruit comes as a WHOLE. When we are walking in the Spirit He gives us “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:” ALL OF IT!!

If you are struggling today with the fruit of God’s Spirit in your life- seek Him!

Crucify the flesh.

Walk in the Spirit.

 
 
Picture
Each of my children has a little box from Grandma. They call it their “special box.” It is a place to keep their birthday cards, old Hersheypark tickets, and small mementos from places we visit. From time to time I will find them with their Special Box out looking through their treasures. It is a great time to remember the fun times we’ve had- and read an old note from someone who loves them!


God has a special place for memories too! I’m not sure what all He puts in it- or when He reads through it… but I hope there is something there from me!!  He tells us in Malachi 3:

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”


The Lord knows our thoughts and He hears what we are talking about. It pleases Him so much when we are speaking to one another about Him that He puts it down in His special book. I hope that He hears me tell of His goodness and speak of His love. I hope He hears me sharing the Gospel with my mouth and praising Him with my lips!!  


It’s not just about how we live or what we do- but are our thoughts truly on the Saviour each day? Are we speaking good things about our Great God? He hears every word… and He remembers!!!

 
 
As I drove through the city a few weeks ago I noticed something that strangely disturbed me. I started to notice this almost everywhere I went. I would bring my children to a nearby park, playground, lake, you-name-it outdoors… and I would find the same thing everywhere.

Something is
taking over our playgrounds. It is all over our state parks. Have you ever driven slowly past a beautiful flowing creek glimmering with sunlight between the trees? It’s there too. The sad part is- we can all do our part to prevent this, yet many times we just don’t.   It is so easy to become caught up in our daily lives that we just brush this aside and hope someone else will deal with the problem. Yet it affects each one of us.

We just have too much to do. I know the feeling… The laundry is never done. Homemade meals take time, effort, and make a mess! Taking care of a house is more than a full time job- not to mention homeschooling the kids, or helping them with homework, being active in your church, focusing on your marriage, plus trying to make a little extra money to help make ends meet!! We can so easily become stretched to our limits just keeping up with daily life.  

Yet so many are struggling to find a balance between productivity and peace. Keeping busy does not automatically mean we are making the most of each moment. In fact, many times it does the opposite. We can convince ourselves that we are so busy that we just don’t have time for anything else- when the best thing we could do for ourselves, our family, and our walk with the Lord is to just STOP. Believe me- the dishes, the laundry, the emails… they will wait for you.
Picture
Are you seeing what I am seeing? Emptiness. Empty park benches. Empty trails. Empty streams. Empty swing sets. Empty slides. You name it… it’s empty.   As for playgrounds- I cannot tell you how many times I’ve brought my children and we are the only ones there. As for the hiking trails… it seems there is some understanding that they are for two groups of people: the dog walkers, and the fitness gurus. I’ve got nothing against dog walkers and have a great respect for people who take good care of their bodies- but where are the rest of us?

We are cowering behind a massive wall of fear and excuses. -I’ve got too much to do! -It’s too cold outside! -It might rain! -Just one more load of laundry! -Maybe we’ll go on Saturday or Sunday!  And on and on the list goes…. The internet is overflowing with websites and blogs about saving money, fighting depression, cheap activities to do as a family, date nights, quiet time with God, etc., yet the beautiful outdoors is just on the other side of our front door. Look through your car window see the beauty of the quiet stream just blocks from your house. Can’t walk much? Find a park bench. Got kids? Hit the playground! Need some time alone? Sit by the lake.

I could cite several studies I have read on the positive effects the outdoors has on our minds and bodies, but I will challenge you to make the choice to add a daily routine to your own life and find out for yourself! I know from having a dog that taking a few minutes a day to play fetch will cut behavioral problems to a minimum… yet do we think of applying that to children? Take a group of kids on a hiking trail or to a stream and see how much it affects their behavior. You might be amazed! Walk away from all the white noise generating in our technology filled houses and listen to the water rushing through the rocks from just the tiniest stream of water!

And I know we could go to our own backyards- many times that is just what we need to do. But I have found for myself that I just have
too much to do in my own home to stay home without getting those things done- so for me sometimes I need to hop in the car and get a few blocks away. Leave the cell phone in the van and walk away for a while.  Don’t worry, when I get back home… everything is still there!! Have I wasted my time? Not in the least. The moments, the memories, the time enjoying the beauty God has given us and the people God has placed in our lives and all around us are worth every moment we spend soaking it all in.

How about you? Do you see an empty place that you can fill? Have you listened intently to a stream or watched a chipmunk scurry among the leaves? Have you left behind your phone and focused on those around you? Don’t let emptiness invade our parks, our trails, our beautiful places that God has provided for our rest and refreshment. Take it all in. Little pieces at a time if you have to. But
don’t be part of the emptiness.
 
 
Picture
Springtime is a wonderful time of year. There is something so beautiful about the world brightening and the weather warming that seems to breathe new life into our daily routines and responsibilities! As the rains falls- the grass turns green, the trees blossom, and the gardens begin to grow.  Isn’t is something how we tend to focus on the sunshine- yet without the rain, sunshine would only bring a desert. Rain is not always a negative- as in the storms of life, but rain also is a way of watering the earth to bring new life. If we planted a pansy in the dry ground it might be pretty for a day, but not long after it would be withered and dried up.  All color would be lost. Yet if we watered and continued to water- the bright colors and beauty would remain through the entire summer! Our lives can be a lot like that. Proverbs 11:25 “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”  As we minister to others we are watering not only their soul- but ours also! We are bringing the beauty into their life and ours.

As I read through God’s Word I see so many places where women are ministering to their families, their churches, bringing people to Christ, and serving with joy. Service and ministry should be more a
part of our nature rather than just something we add to our to-do list. Without ministry in our lives, we tend to wither up like an unwatered plant. Why is that? When we realize what we were made for, and how we are made to interact with others, we can see the importance of serving. We were made to glorify God. We show our love through how we love and serve others. Love is an action.  When we live for our self and our life is focused on “me” we are not watering others and in turn, we tend to shrivel up and dry out just as a flower in a desert. There is no joy- there is no love overflowing our hearts.

Have you noticed that when Peter’s mother-in-law was laying in bed with a serious fever and Jesus came and healed her she immediately sprung out of bed and “ministered unto them!” It wasn’t because the men just wanted her out of bed so she could serve them, but her life was so focused on helping others and serving her family that her immediate response to being healed and well enough to get out of bed was  to see the needs of those around her. (See Mark 1:31)

We can turn to Acts 16 and read of so many sisters in Christ serving in the ministry. In fact, even the men were told to assist Phoebe in “whatsoever business she hath need of you.” We see Priscilla, who is mentioned many times in the New Testament, who lived her life so much for the service of Christ and the furtherance of the gospel that Paul even says she was willing to sacrifice her life to see the work of the Lord continue. We see not only sisters in Christ, but households serving the Lord together and mothers encouraging their families to keep strong in the Lord.

Ladies, let’s take a moment to consider this. Not just to say, “my church is doing this,” or “my pastor is doing that.” Don’t underestimate your role, capabilities, or services- no matter what place you are at in life right now. Each one of us can serve the Lord with our life. What is your ministry, given to you by the Lord? Are you raising your babies for Jesus, encouraging your household to serve the Lord together? Are you encouraging and uplifting your husband to be the man God has for him to be? Are you a helper in the ministry that God has placed you in? Are you seeking to please God every day in your service to Him? Have you told someone about the wonderful love of Christ- that He willingly laid down His life in the death of the cross and rose again with the power over sin to be their Saviour?

If someone was writing a letter of recommendation to the churches today- would your name be on the list? Are you using your life to pour sweet refreshing water on the lives of others? Sister, are you serving?


 
 
Picture
All around us we hear words of peace, words of comfort, words of stillness… yet sometimes the struggle is too real, too dark, too swift… we need Jesus- and being still, waiting in quietness,  just isn’t working. That’s where Bartimaeus was- the blind man in Mark 10. He sat begging, and when he heard Jesus was passing by- he cried out. And when others tried to calm him, quiet him, he just cried out louder!  There are times in our life the struggle is so real and all we can do is cry to Jesus. And when we try to “be still” and listen for that “still small voice” we just can’t. Because the hurt is real, and the pain is deep. We just cry louder.

Jesus sees us in our struggle. He hears us amidst our deepest need.  Bartimaeus was there. He sat begging in the street. Taking whatever the world had to throw his way.  The pain. The sorrow. The loneliness. The world didn’t have much to offer him. He knew there was more- even as he cried to Jesus the world still tried to quiet him. What was he? Just a blind man? Just a beggar?  “And Jesus stood still.”  (vs. 49) To Jesus he was so much more. His needs were real. His struggles were worth caring for. He was worth cleansing and making whole. And so are you.

Bartimaeus was blind. He couldn’t see Jesus. He didn’t know where Jesus was, but heard that He was passing by that way. There are valleys we must pass through in this life. We sometimes get our eyes off the Lord and allow the storms to overwhelm us. We cannot see Jesus. Yet we must trust that He is near- for He is Faithful and True. He is always near. In faith we must call out to Him. Cry out to Him. And if we still can’t seem to see Him- cry louder.  There He is- standing still- waiting for us to come to Him. And there He stands, calling us, like He called to Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus was comforted. He cast off his worldly garment and came to Jesus. He laid down his need at the feet of Jesus. Immediately he received his sight. He didn’t have to wait. He didn’t have to go through some type of ceremony or time of cleansing. Immediately Jesus made him whole. Jesus was ready for Bartimaeus. Jesus was willing to heal him. When Bartimaeus called- Jesus stood still. The Lord knows when the struggle is too much for us to bear. He knows when we reach the end of our resources and can do nothing but cry to Him. He knows when we can’t sit quietly and still any longer. He stands for us. He comforts us. And He is ready to meet our need. Call out to Him today. For salvation. For security. For peace amidst the storms of life. Cast away the garments of shame and come to Jesus. Follow Him in faith. For He is Faithful and True.  

 

UA-66211512-1 google1a63d3d5b2d95fbc.htmlUA-66211512-1 google1a63d3d5b2d95fbc.html 233487506994106