life disappoints

Life Disappoints – But God

Have You Been Disappointed?

Life disappoints but I’m here to tell you that God is our shelter, our peace, our defense, our salvation, our light, and so much more.

I’ve had many disappointing times in my life. But they didn’t get me down. At least not for long. You may be feeling disappointed right now. Maybe you have lost a loved one, lost your job, missed an opportunity, been mistreated, or lied to. I want to tell you there is hope.

life disappoints
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Many men and women of the Bible were disappointed in their lives. To name a few… Joseph, Hannah, David. but God had a plan for their lives. I have been wanting to study verses in the Bible that state, “But God….”.

I recently wrote about the astounding confidence of the apostles. Their fear was turned into confidence when the Holy Spirit came on them. We can know the same confidence.

“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5-6

Over the next month, I will be writing about a verse that turns our sorrows into life. Let’s start with Psalm 34. (emphasis is mine below) Take note of all the goodness of God mentioned just in this one chapter. I believe it will turn your disappointment into praise.

Psalm 34

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Friend, this world can throw a lot of disappointments your way. Don’t let them get you off track. Look to God. He knows all about you. He knows the past, present, and future. Depend on Him today and every day. He is in control.

Trusting Him;

Mandy

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Grapes in the Desert

I’ve been reading through Hosea and I ran into a particularly interesting verse.

10 “When I found Israel,

    it was like finding grapes in the desert;

when I saw your ancestors,

    it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree.

NIV Bible Gateway

Can you imagine God comparing finding you to that of finding grapes in a desert? Just think how refreshing, how satisfying it would be to find grapes in a hot dry desert.

I love God’s use of nature. He has certainly intended that we use his beautiful earth and nature to reflect through it upon our lives and living it. Nature was also meant to have us ask questions that lead us back to God. There are clues everywhere of God’s existence, we need only to get out into nature, watch a sunrise or sunset to know HE IS LORD!

YOU are important to God. He takes great delight in us as individuals and corporately as well.

– Feeling like a refreshing grape that God finds in a desert with you.- Michele

Life’s A Journey

This past week we made another trip out to WI to pack up the rest of my mom’s belongings. It was hard to come to our childhood home to find nobody there. I wasn’t ready for the emotions that hit me as I walked through the door. Nobody there anymore. Quiet.

Life comes full circle. We come into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing. What people know of us is through the life we lead. Our possessions tell the story of what was important to us, what made us “happy” and gave us joy or lead us off track.

My mom loved old stuff. Canning jars, insulators- antique things. I guess that is where I get that too. I love the thought of a simpler time, gives me a sense of peace and appreciation.

I think our best investment is in people. Simply investing our time pouring into others through encouragement, prayer, and living by example. Sometimes I don’t do that very well. I get selfish and greedy. I lose focus and get off track.

I won’t take anything of value with me to heaven, but my eternal investments will be waiting for me when I get there- fellow souls who found salvation by my encouragement and walk.

-Pouring into people instead of things with you. Michele

A Year Reviewed

It’s hard to believe, but my grandson is approaching 16 months old. I watch him toddle and run, discover, and explore. His ever-expanding mind reminds me that God created us to learn and keep learning.

My kitchen reminds me as well of his interest in things. Pots and pans litter the floor. Spatulas (his favorite) find their way into pots and drawers. Little flour piles in the pantry from his secret visits to the flour bin. Magnetic letters in my dryer from being tossed in my kitchen laundry basket.

I would have NEVER imagined parenting at 49- NEVER. But here it is. Six in the morning wake up calls, bug exploration, water table visits, cat hugging, dog ear pulling, endless book looking and food throwing! Phew.

God did not give us a life to do as we please. He gave us a life to be used for HIS purpose and HIS glory. He never wants you to stop your wondering about him. Your awe in what he does and your drive to learn more, be better and grow.

-Appreciating our continued growth seeking him through living life, reading his word and prayer.- Michele

Our Roots

On a recent stroller ride, I noticed new trees sprouting up from the ground. They formed a nice row of about 5 trees. These trees were growing up where an old tree once stood.

As I marveled at this resurrection God brought to mind that the old tree left its roots. As I thought about that I wondered if this works the same way for us? Do the roots that grow our own personal trees live on as testimony to our faith or lack of it?

The old testament talks about trees many times. I especially like the verse that talks about being planted by streams of water in Psalm 1:3

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers.

We as Christians need to keep planted by life-giving water, keep bearing fruit, and continue to have life-sustaining leaves on our branches. We also need to make sure our Christian heritage has deep roots that live on long after we have gone “home” inspiring our family, friends, and many others to live a fruitful, deep-rooted life.

  • Looking at roots, leaves and fruits that should be coming off of our life trees with you. – Michele

A Soft Gospel

That title might sound nice, but in fact, it is not. I recently listened to a John MacArthur sermon on how “comforting gospels”, “soft gospels” are deceiving.

These types of gospels are being preached right now in churches across America and the globe. Their intention is to not “offend” the sinner. This gospel talks a great deal of Jesus and his love for you, but never anything about you being a LOST, SINNER IN NEED of salvation.

Friends, there is nothing simple about sin. You can not just wave your hand at it hoping it leaves or treat it likes it’s nothing. For this reason, I am writing to you today, to sound a warning.

Is the church your attending preaching you a “comforting gospel”? Does the pastor preach a “soft gospel” about your sins? If so, R U N! We all sin and fall short, our ultimate end will be hell if we don’t know Jesus as our Lord and Savoir AND continue to daily work on being Christ-like through prayer, bible study/meditation as well as our daily actions and interactions with others.

-Being very objective about what is being preached to us through radio, in our church, and through what we read with you. We need to hear we are sinners and there is nothing soft or comforting about our sin. AMEN

Mountain Terrain

Mountains are fascinating. If you look up mountain layers, you’ll be treated to a very interesting read. Mountains have different levels or layers to them. Depending on the type of mountain, you can find different climates, different temperatures, different types of forest.

Once you get an idea of how mountains work, it puts your “mountain” into a different perspective.

Some mountain adventures have well-worn paths, seemingly normal life travels, great advice from friends and family, posted signs along the way. But then something happens… there is no cut path, no posted signs and the journey is lonely. Food is scarce, rest is limited.

This is when your faith in God begins to be tested. We forget that God wants an invite to join our journey. We call friends, family, read up on things and then apply them, but when it gets hard that’s when we call upon God, or sadly, we give up without even calling upon him.

Mountains are faith builders. They are meant to be hard and challenging. God wants us to depend on him for strength for the climb. God wants to hear your prayers for help, wisdom, and courage. The mountain was made for you, and God has all the tools you’ll need for your climb.

-Stopping and asking God for help with our mountain climb with you.

Michele

Rhythms of Nature

Perhaps my favorite past time is observing nature. Nature has a rhythm that is comforting, relaxing, and simple. Every year God shows me another side to his creation.

Last year, 2019, I was witness to the hawk families second batch of baby hawks growing up. 2018 was the first batch and that was very interesting to watch. 2019 was just as interesting. The flight training, vocalizations, and one time, I even caught the catching prey training.

Every morning at around the same time I see the same group of birds fly in from their country roosts and make their way into town. Then in the evening as the sun is getting ready to set, they make their way back into the country.

The Great Blue Heron is very secretive and she/he is seen flying from our little creek to the next. The heron doesn’t like to be disturbed and is very wary of my presence. I guess you could say he/she is a bit of a snob.

This year I was witness to 3 batches of babies- two house wren, 1 robin. Baby birds are lots of work and very demanding. I am positive God sent me those experiences to remind me how precious life is, how dedicated parents must be in caring for and raising their children, and how draining it can be. He also wanted me to know how important I am to Trey and he appreciates my caring for him.

Lastly, and forever always, are the BEAUTIFUL sunrises I get to watch. It is so restorative and peaceful. I could go on and gush about sunrises but I will spare you my gushing. 🙂

I say this all so that you will daily go out and seek the simple from his natural world. Find something to restore you, reset your direction, and drive you to the one who is the maker of this all. He doesn’t want you dried up and spent. He wants you to grow, be joyful, and content.

-Praying for you to find and let His nature grow on you giving you a different life perspective.

Michele

Just a Touch

I have been reading in Mark 5. It talks about the demon-possessed man, the woman with a bleeding issue, and Jairus’s sick daughter. The common theme throughout the entire passage is faith and restoration.

My focus was on the woman who knew and believed in Jesus’s power. She had great faith and determination. She knew despite her social standing (since she bled all the time she was an outcast, unclean) nothing, and I mean NOTHING, was going to stand in her way of healing.

I can relate to her wanting to be healed. For years we tried and tried to have a baby of our own. I remember at the time, the news was reporting that an African statue on display somewhere in America was responsible for women’s fertility. All they had to do was touch the statue- that’s it.

My mom read the article and asked if I thought I should drive to the place it was on display and touch it. Though the thought of becoming pregnant was very important, I was not going to touch some wooden idol- because that is what it was- a wooden idol.

God had other plans for my infertility and it was to adopt a baby named Gabrielle. I can see that now, but back then it was very painful. It is hard to come to the conclusion that God directs EVERY aspect of your life. Right down to microscopic events.

Can you remember a time you wanted a healing for something? Just a touch no matter the cost?

-Pursuing a touch from Jesus today with you.

Michele

The Lord is My Shepherd

“The Lord is My Shepherd…”, those are truly amazing words. Shepherds were the lowliest of lowliest… career bottom of the barrel in Jesus’ time. So you should be in awe that God wants to shepherd you.

Sheep appear to be dumb and wander aimlessly. They will eat anything and everything whether it is good for them or bad. AND they will blindly follow any leader bad or good.

Sometimes we don’t like our boss. We may not agree with what he says, his leadership style, what he does, but if your boss is leading your company to be successful, grow and keep your job, there is respect to be shown even though you may disagree.

We are sheep friends, whether we like that idea or not. Baa! Baa! I wonder, wander and waver at times. But God gently walks along with me, reminding me of his love for me, looking ahead knowing all that lies before yet never stopping me. He wants me to look to him for help, not the path, not my fellow sheep, him.

  • Being a sheep in need of a shepherd today with you.
Michele