Women today are very busy. We all carry cell phones and have access to Facebook, Twitter, texting, Instagram and Pinterest and other social media. in addition to all our family responsibilities, we pack our calendar with activities to benefit out children and use our microwaves to prepare quick meals. Most of us don’t set aside much time to rest, even though we like the thought. I find it interesting that God talked about rest in the early chapters of Genesis, and it’s a huge theme in Scripture.
I believe God knew how crazy our lives would become. He talked about rest in the early chapters of Genesis. It’s a huge theme in Scripture. Consider Genesis 2:2. “And on the seventh day God finished his work, and he rested on the seventh day.” Take a moment and think about that. God doesn’t need anything, yet he rested once he completed the creation. I don’t think he rested because he was weary. God doesn’t get tired. Instead, he wanted to show us a pattern, a balance of work and rest. I really need that.
This was a typical day for me when my children were young: a crying child woke me in the morning, and I hurried out of bed to get breakfast while his sibling hung onto my housecoat whining. Another maddening day. I stopped a squabble while trying to pay bills and then hurried off to an appointment while watching kids poke each other in the back seat. Ballet, Bible study, runny noses, a hasty lunch, a child who won’t stop crying from a minor injury. Fifteen text messages and three phone calls. The postman needed my signature. All day I ran nonstop and then fell into bed and stared at the ceiling, wishing for sleep. I’d think about resting and laugh.
Does that sound like you?
Yet Hebrews 4: 9-10 says, “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” What does God mean by Sabbath rest?
Today I have Gwyn McCaslin as my guest. She’s going to give us her thoughts on rest.
Gwyn is a counselor in Sugar Creek, Ohio. Learn more about her here.
So many times I resort to prayer when I’ve come to the end of my resources. Prayer becomes my attempt to convince God of my agenda. Yet I detest the disturbing thought that prayer resembles a vending machine—saying the right words obligates God to produce what I want. That raises questions: What is prayer? What does prayer accomplish?
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized God’s agenda for prayer. He’s always loved people and interacted with them from the beginning of time. In early history, he didn’t command prayer because he was already communicating with individuals. Remember “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24) Imagine chatting with God so often, that one day you end up walking all the way to heaven during a long conversation Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
The prophet Jeremiah recorded one of the first commands to pray. He wrote to Judah, warning of God’s impending judgment on the nation. God called him as a prophet about 627 BC. God told Jeremiah to record this: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3) From these words, we learn God longs to reveal things to us, things that will change how we live and help us to understand God’s mind.
Linda Evans Shepherd just completed a book called Called to Pray. She helps us understand God’s agenda for prayer, and she encourages us to make consistent prayer part of our New Year’s resolution. Listen and learn.
Today I want you to put yourself in the shoes of Mary. Imagine with me. Picture the angel arriving. In many places in Scripture, people displayed symptoms of shock when an angel appeared, so it’s pretty incredible to see the supernatural. The angel started off by saying Mary was highly favored and said that she will be the mother of the promised Messiah. Wow! Imagine how that felt.
Think of all the frustration she faced when she informed her mother and father she was with child. Maybe they guessed when she got back from Cousin Elizabeth’s house. Either way it wasn’t fun. Imagine her concern about Joseph hearing the news and not understanding. Can you picture relatives rolling their eyes and saying they’d never heard that excuse.
Think about how she felt while riding to Bethlehem on a donkey when she was about the give birth. Nothing feels comfortable when you’re nine months pregnant.
Imagine how she felt giving birth in a stable and wrapping the child in whatever cloth she had and placing him in a manger. Remember that a manger was a feeding trough for animals. Not pretty and clean. Ugh!
Today I have Christy Fay with me, she wrote Reclaimed: uncovering your worth. It’s a Bible study about five women in the genealogy of Jesus.
What kinds of things had the Lord done to prepare her for this time?
How did he use these events in her life?
How does this impact our lives?
Learn more about Christy Fay and her ministry here.
Walking through the neighborhood during December offers a feast for the eyes. Lights twinkle everywhere, nativity sets grace the outdoors, lights sit in windows. Plus this year some people have an entire plastic garden of toys, complete with trains, Santas and moving figures. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even guilty because you don’t put out the energy that your neighbors expended.
I’m sure you all recall the story of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. They were close friends of Jesus and he often stayed in their home. On one occasion Mary worked hard to prepare a meal for the master. She became annoyed that her sister wasn’t helping, and she requested Jesus to get her sister involved. His reply probably stunned her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Some of us feel like Mary during the holiday season when we’re supposed to be celebrating the Savior’s birth. Our lives become a mad dash, and we often forget why we’re supposed to be joyful. It’s so easy to be tense and irritable during this season of rejoicing.
Author and speaker, Jennifer Slattery is my guest this week. She had learned to live with chronic illness. and she’s going to give us some great ideas on remaining calm and focused.
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
We think of medicine as the cure for our hurts, a way to get well, something we don’t need until illness overtakes us. However, let’s examine the other half of the verse. If we live with a crushed spirit, we’ll soon need some tonic.
We’ve come to the holiday season, which runs from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. It’s a month when we feel obligated to celebrate until we reach exhaustion. Sometimes we find it difficult to get in the spirit of the season, especially if we’ve suffered losses during the past few months. The year my father died, I didn’t want to think about parties. In such cases, that’s appropriate. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”(Eccl 3:1)
However, often we look toward this season and all its demands with trepidation. This year I’ve heard a few people say they’d like to skip Christmas. Looking at the world will bring anxiety, especially lately. Despite the freedoms the Constitution offers, voices around us say not to express our opinions or discuss our faith. Almost every day we hear of another terrorist attack or shooting. Our world is hostile to Christians. I was in Gatwick airport the day of the Paris attacks and witnessed a SWAT team hurry past. A bomb threat and an armed man brought security in force. How fun is that?
Despite all that, I want to encourage you to cling to hope. A special family friend and mentor passed away recently. Prior to his death, I asked him how he handling his decling health. He told me he watched his thoughts. That answer is both simple and profound. Our emotions follow our thoughts. Let’s consider Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” That same friend, who is now in heaven, told me we can have confidence because we’ve read the last chapter. I love that. Yes! We have hope.
This week I interviewed Jane Rubietta and we discussed ways to keep joy in the holiday and ways we can laugh through the entire Christmas season. Listen and enjoy.
The holidays are approaching fast, and it’s such a busy time. Many of us will see relatives we love and a few relatives we don’t like. For some of us, Thanksgiving and Christmas bring stress as we consider interacting with that difficult person. Today we’re here to offer some thoughts to make those times easier.
I remember what Paul said in Romans. He advised us strongly to make our bodies a living sacrifice. I don’t know if you’ve noticed the change in language these days. But you’ll hear people talk about freedom of worship rather than freedom of religion. I think that’s deliberate. People who don’t understand our faith assume everything happens inside a church, but it doesn’t. A living sacrifice doesn’t crawl off the altar. In fact, that phrase is an oxymoron. That’s like saying that’s a hot ice cube. The word sacrifice entailed death. In our case, however, we are to live all the time through Christ as if the old nature is dead. That’s or service of worship. In that same passage in Romans Paul says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Hebrews 12:14) What a huge assignment, especially with the history we bring to our families.
Today we have Counselor Judy Herman to share ideas about demonstrating God’s love to those hardest to enjoy.