"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
September 11, 2013
There are certain truths that we are all aware of, but there are times when one will suddenly come to mind and hits us in the face and we think, "I get it!" It's one thing for someone to tell us something, and another for it to become a reality.
This past summer when Janie and I took Devin to the ocean, we had tried beforehand explaining to him what it would look like. Devin was like, "Yeah, yeah, I know!" I'm sure he was thinking, "I've seen water before! I've been to the lake." Janie told him, "No, this is different. The water goes on and on as far as you can see!" He probably thought, "Okay; so I can't see from one side to the other. No big deal."
But when we got to the beach for the first time and Devin actually saw the ocean, it became a reality and he saw for himself what it was really like. His eyes got big and he was amazed!
I have a Bible program downloaded on my phone and it has a verse of the day. I seldom read it, but recently I was sitting on the back porch while our dog was playing outside, so decided to pull it up. It was one of those times that truth suddenly made sense and I had an "I got it!" moment.
The scripture was Psalm 68:19: "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens."
The word "daily" is what caught my attention. I know that God is real, I know that He hears us when we pray, I know that He loves us and cares about the details of our lives, etc. But it suddenly became clear that He is a DAILY God.
God daily bears our burdens! Not just once in a blue moon, or if we get too weary to carry them ourselves, but God will daily bear our burdens for us.
Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."
There's another daily benefit that God bestows upon us! Every morning when we wake up, God has a fresh supply of compassion and mercy for each of us. We didn't mess up so badly yesterday that we used up our monthly or yearly or lifetime supply; but because of the great love that God has for us, He offers us the mercy that we need for each day.
Another daily blessing that God gives us is found in Matthew 6:11, which is part of the Lord's Prayer: "Give us today our daily bread." Every day we can ask for God to give us the provision that we need. God cares that we are daily taken care of and have nourishment.
When the Israelites were on their journey from Egypt to Canaan, there were times when they didn't have access to food. But during those times, God sent down manna from heaven each morning. The people were instructed to only take what was needed for that day, and not to hoard more than their family could eat. Each morning they woke to look out on the ground and see a fresh supply of manna that God had sent for that day.
Psalm 46:1 tells us that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." God is always present, always near. We don't have to wonder if God is with us or is listening; but we can have the assurance that He is a very present help, every hour of every day. There will never be a day that God isn't watching over us or listening to our prayers, for the scripture gives us the promise of God always being near to us all. This is another wonderful benefit that God bestows upon us each and every day; His closeness and presence in our lives.
What peace and assurance these promises should bring to our heart and mind: God will daily bear our burdens; God will daily give us a new supply of His compassion and mercy; God will daily give us the nourishment (bread) that we need; and God will daily be our refuge and strength, a very present help during those times when we face difficulties and trouble.
Sometimes, it's hard to accept that God is as reliable as "His compassions are new every morning". But we easily take other things for granted. We expect to have electricity to run our alarm clocks every morning, water for our ice makers every evening, and a working sewer any time we need it.
But we loose our electricity fairly often, especially with ice storms here. And our neighboring city seems to loose its water supply because of broken pipes fairly often. And we have probably all experienced back-ups once in a while (hopefully just in sinks).
If we can keep counting on utilities that we know let us down, we can count on God. He may not act the way we think or hope He should each day, but His is working for our good each day.
2 lb. Pkg.Little Smokies
1 (10 oz.) jar of grape jelly
1 (12 oz.) bottle chili sauce/ or 1 can chili without beans
Put smokies in crock pot. Pour chili sauce (or you can use 1 can of chili without beans) and grape jelly over the top. Heat until sausages are hot all the way through; stir before serving.
We have had a lot of flies this summer. I had an employee from a local home improvement store recommend a product to me and he said that this is the only thing he has found that really works, and they sell out of them quickly and have a hard time keeping them in stock. The product is: Black Flag Disposable Outdoor Fly Trap. You pull the top up and add water to the fill line, which mixes with the solution inside. Leave the top up and hang AWAY from your house. The smell draws the flies so you do not want to hang it next to your house. I hung one from a small tree limb and after a few days it was full of flies. The instructions say to hang the traps exposed to the sun to increase effectiveness. If you are having problems with flies, this is worth a try. I have found it to be very effective!
Happiness is the inner joy that can be sought or caught, but never taught or bought. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon