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He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the Eagle’s! Psalm 103:5

blessedShe sat in my office in tears. After telling her husband for weeks that something was wrong with the car, it finally broke down on her way to work. Her husband was out of town so he was unable to help her.

When she was able to compose herself, I gently asked her a few questions. I knew this marriage was in trouble and sometimes, in a strained relationship, the smallest things can be tinder for a bigger fire.

“Were the boys still with you?”

“No, I’d already dropped them off, so I was alone.”

“So, I offered, it’s a good thing they weren’t with you isn’t it?”

“Yes, a very good thing.”

“Where did the car stall?”

“Just after I crossed the highway.”

“Good thing you got across that road! If the transmission had failed as you crossed it could have been tragic.”

“True.” (You could see the wheels start to turn)

“How did you get the car to the shop?”

“I called a couple guys from work. They towed it to the shop for me and since they were very close it didn’t take long at all.”

“That’s good, isn’t it? I mean, a towing bill can be pretty expensive.”

“Yes, and the weather was warmer today than last week. I’d have hated for those guys to work on my car if it had been as cold as it has been.”

“And, you made it to work in time?”

The light finally broke through.

“True. You know, the whole situation was frustrating to be sure, but it could have been so much worse if it had been colder or the boys would have been with me, or I broke down further from home. God was definitely taking care of me wasn’t he?”

Her story wasn’t really any different than ours. So many times in life we come across situations that frustrate us, make us angry, or make us afraid. Sometimes, to be sure, they are serious things that could be life threatening, but many times they are just small annoyances in the journey of life.

God is good. He allows things to come in our lives to test us, but he promises to walk with us along the way. Most of the time we don’t see God’s goodness because we are focusing on the things we want and not seeing how he has provided the things we need.

I’m convinced, from life experiences and scripture, that God’s angels watch over us daily. Who knows how many car accidents we’ve been rescued from because of a slow driver or missing a light. Take time each day to thank God for the little blessings he’s provided throughout the day. Thank him as well for the things you don’t know he’s done to protect and guide you along the right path.

PRAYER: Father God. You have blessed me far beyond what I deserve. Thank you for watching over me daily. I especially praise you for the many ways your hand has protected me from unseen dangers and turmoil. Amen.

“He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” Psalm 103:3

FORGIVEN“I used to believe in God when I was little,” the man in the airplane seat next to me said, “but as I grew older and saw the mess this world is in, I changed my mind. IF there is a God, and IF he’s good, then t
here wouldn’t be so much sickness and war.”

Even those of us ‘Christians’ can get sucked into questioning whether God is really good or not. Especially when we watch our homes being destroyed, or get a bad doctor’s report, or lose our jobs, stand beside the grave of a loved one who ‘died too soon’, or are served divorce papers.

Forgiveness is one of those areas in which it’s easy to forget Gods’ goodness. When we play the comparison game and see our own weakness it’s easy to think God won’t forgive me because I’ve let him down too many times. When we look at our own sin, more than God’s grace, we can live in defeat emotionally and physically.

The good news is that God’s goodness isn’t dependent on circumstances or our own behavior. God’s goodness is dependent solely on his character. God is good because God is good, not because of anything we’ve done.

Psalm 103:3 is a great reminder of that. The psalmist writes “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” He doesn’t just forgive some of those sins. He doesn’t wait to see if we really mean it when we confess. He doesn’t have a score card. He forgives because he is good!

Don’t allow the mistakes of your past keep you from experiencing God’s goodness. You can never out-sin God’s grace. His forgiveness is like a healing balm for the pain of your failure.

God is good because he good. His goodness is shown through forgiveness.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank you today for your goodness even in light of my failures. Forgive me for the times I doubt your way is best and choose my own way. Empower me with   your Spirit to live in the victory your grace can give. Amen.

May we all take time each day to praise God for His goodness towards us!

Ragamuffingospelfan's Blog

“We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that He should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at His love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground” (Brennan Manning).

” . . . [A]lmost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to . . . . [O]nly a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement” (from Joe Vs. The Volcano).

Very few things in my life are cause for astonishment anymore. I don’t necessarily consider myself overly cynical, but I have experienced a lot in my lifetime, so not much is new to me.

I miss the part of being a child where so many things astonished me, to when the world was a far more magical and mystical place.

Maybe the one thing that…

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Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 NIV

For every unkind word spoken

For every deed that’s a evil token,

For every thought opposed to good,

Let love abide and reign as Jesus would.

We do not have to respond to others as they do to us because the love of Christ reigns within our hearts and we have been given (by Holy Spirit), the gift of discernment so we might know what is the influence behind what people say and do. When Believers understand that the enemy will always influence those whose minds are weak and not focused on the things of God, we will withstand the attacks by showering others with love.

Showering others with love does not mean we become doormats and allow people to deliberately misuse and abuse us. It means that we know when to step back and love…

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Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:5

Slide1Several years ago a friend of mine decided to add on to his home. His family had outgrown the present house but they liked the location and there was little available in their price range. So the addition was the best way to go. I spent quite a bit of time with him in the process. I’m not a builder by any means and it was interesting hearing him talk about the project. I’d never realized how important it was to have the whole plan in place before the actual project began. If the details weren’t right, the whole project might be in jeopardy. Once the details were worked out, the whole picture seemed to make sense.

To be honest, even looking at his blueprints didn’t help me see the whole picture because I wasn’t trained to understand all the intricacies of a building plan.

Those blueprints remind me of how we can gain a deeper knowledge of God and his goodness. When we look at individual situations we may think God doesn’t care or that he isn’t involved in our lives. When we have the beauty of gaining the overall perspective of things it’s much easier to understand.

The first four verses of Proverbs chapter two have given us the details, so to speak, of getting a grasp on knowing God in all his fullness. Some may say, “Can we really know God?” After all, we can’t see him, how do we know he exists? We are surrounded by more and more examples of evil seeming to triumph over us.

To know God fully we must make persistent communication with God a priority by looking at nature, reading his word and looking at the example of his love as shown through his son, Jesus Christ. When all those pieces fall in place then we can gain an understanding of God that allows us to see the whole picture and not be misled by the details of life. When you question what God is doing, step back and by faith remember that he is good and only has your best interest in mind. No matter what has gotten you into the situation you are in, God can help you see a way through.

PRAYER: Father God, I confess to you that I don’t always understand why you allow things to happen as they do. With my lips I proclaim your power, but with my heart I doubt your ability to help me though. Forgive me for my doubt, give me courage to trust you and wisdom to see the whole picture. Amen.

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January 2016
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