"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!'"
May 16, 2018
It's Monday evening and I'm sitting here staring at my laptop screen thinking, "Jon publishes this newsletter on Tuesday nights, so I really need to get this devotional written! Come on, inspiration! Think, Loretta, think.... God, please just drop into my heart what I need to write about this week!"
Honestly, I'm tired! I'm absolutely worn out. It's been a busy last few months.... busy last few weeks... and last weekend was a busy, busy weekend. Jon and I seem to always be running here and there; my daily schedule keeps me running; and there's just been a lot going on.
Last Friday I cooked supper for my sister and her family for her birthday. Saturday, Jon and I worked on our church (well, he worked on the building and I mowed); then we went to the home of my niece and her family so that Jon could help dismantle an old fort and the old lumber was loaded into our truck so we then had to go put it in a dumpster. We finally arrived home around supper time. I then needed to prepare food to take to Jon's mom's home for lunch on Sunday. Sunday, I got up to put the food in the oven to heat... we went to church... then went and ate lunch with Jon's family.
I enjoyed spending time with both my family and Jon's, and I do enjoy cooking, but it was just a really busy weekend and I was exhausted and in need of a long nap by Sunday afternoon.
Today (Monday) I met my sister and nephew and we went to our church and spent several hours painting. I came home and decided to go ahead and mow since I was already dirty and sweaty. I got showered and cleaned up right before Jon arrived home.
So I'm sitting here exhausted, not feeling very motivated or inspirational; and really not feeling as if I have anything of value to share.
Each of us all have times in our life when we become overly busy and become weary. It may be due to trying to finish a big project, or because of sickness in the family and caring for a loved one, trying to help others, or just daily life that seems to be overwhelming and hectic.
I think that God understands that we would all face those times of being tired and weary, for there are scriptures that speak of that.
Matthew 11:28-29 says, "Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'"
Life can bring about burdens of various kinds into each of our lives. But Jesus' words still ring true today! We can go to Him and find rest for our souls. We can cast all of our worries, cares, and anxieties upon Him, knowing that He truly does care for us. We don't have to take care of those things on our own, nor do we have to figure out how to take care of them; but we can give them to Jesus and trust Him to take care of them. We can rest in the knowledge that He already knows how those things will end up and can handle them much better than we can.
Galatians 6:9 tells us: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Then 2 Thessalonians 3:13 say, "As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never grow tired of doing good."
D.L. Moody, who was a great minister, was once asked if he ever got tired. He replied, "I get tired in the work, but not tired of the work." He never grew tired in working for the Lord, but physically did grow tired and weary at times. At times what we are doing may be of a spiritual nature or ministry related. Even though our bodies and minds may grow weary, we don't give up doing the work of the Lord and doing good, for we know that harvest time will come if we persevere and don't give up.
Isaiah 40:28-31 is a passage of scripture that most of us are familiar with: "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in (or some translations say "wait upon") the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Regardless of age, from the youngest to the very oldest, everyone grows tired and weary and they stumble and fall. We all have days when we are physically exhausted! There are times when we also feel mentally and emotionally exhausted as well; perhaps even spiritually tired and weary.
That is when we hope in, or wait upon, the Lord and allow Him to renew our strength. He promises to give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. In fact, God will cause us to soar on wings like eagles! Instead of being weary and feeling faint, we will run and walk with supernatural strength!
If you are feeling overwhelmed and weary, place your hope in the Lord and wait upon Him! If you are tired and exhausted, allow Him to supernaturally lift you up on wings like an eagle! Don't give up. Allow God to increase your power and renew your strength -- that's what He does!!
Last Sunday, I felt like I was given supernatural strength and energy. I hadn't slept well the night before, and already expected to have trouble staying away through the whole service. I often do have trouble.
This particular morning, it was down to me to do the typing. We go to a deaf church, but have a few people who come that can't hear well, and can't understand (or see) the sign language well, either. To accommodate them, someone types the sermon as it is preached. That might sound simple to anyone who has never tried to type as fast as someone talks. But it is surprisingly hard. The sermon is shared in sign language. Then someone translates that into voiced English. That isn't exactly easy. American Sign Language is closer to French in many ways than to English. So that step is challenging already. The voicer sometimes gets a little lost in how to translate a sentence or two, then voices really quickly to get caught up. (Many signs might translate to different words, and you can't know which is best till later.) And then, it is up to the typist to translate the voiced English to written English. That isn't as difficult language-wise. But I can't possibly keep up, so keep having to paraphrase to something shorter.
This particular Sunday, I was already sleepy. I have discovered that I can't watch the preacher, or I get too distracted with the first translation, and start mixing up my typing. I also can't watch the computer, or I get too distracted trying to correct every typo. So, I closed my eyes, and kept typing. Several people commented later that it looked like I was asleep, but still typing.
I'll gladly hand the credit to God that I never did drift off, or stop typing. I had a few more typos toward the end, but it was still readable. And I didn't slow down. Now that's a miracle.
Cream Cheese Dip
5 packages Cream Cheese
1 pound pork sausage
1 can Rotel
Cook and drain the sausage. Add all ingredients to a crockpot and heat until the cream cheese is melted to a good consistency. Stir occasionally while heating to ensure ingredients are sufficiently blended together and that the cream cheese melts in a timely manner.
Serve with tortilla chips. So easy, but so good!
When my sister's three kids were in elementary school, the older two would ride the school bus, but when the youngest was in kindergarten, his dad would take him to school. One morning, the dad got the older two onto the bus and yelled to tell the youngest to come get into the truck. But his 5-year old son didn't want to go to school that day, so hid behind the couch. His dad got into the truck and took off towards the school, then happened to look over and realized that his son wasn't in the truck with him! This wasn't a car... or van... or oversized truck cab! It was a small pickup truck! Apparently, he had his mind on many other things and wasn't paying close attention. He had to turn around and go back to the house and find his son so that he could take him to school!
"Let God's promises shine on your problems." - Corrie ten Boom
We love you!
Loretta & Jon