These Dark Days.

(I give permission for anyone to copy any of my posts.)

In these dark days, we need encouragement, hope and peace. God will give that to us in many ways. One way is asking him for them, another is listening to uplifting music. Somehow music feeds our soul. Like everything else on earth it can feed our souls for good or evil. The last few years, I have found music lifts my heart up to the heavens. The earth seems to fade away.

Below I have printed the lyrics to a song that comforts me. This artist sings some of the most beautiful words I have heard in music. I hope you look him up and give his music a try.

Always Good.

Written and sung by Andrew Peterson

Do You remember how Mary was grieving?
How You wept and she fell at Your feet?
If it’s true that You know what I’m feeling
Could it be that You’re weeping with me?


Arise, O Lord, and save me
There’s nowhere else to go

You’re always good, always good
Somehow this sorrow is shaping my heart
Like it should
And You’re always good, always good

It’s so hard to know what You’re doing
So why won’t You tell it all plain?
But You said You’d come back on the third day
And Peter missed it again and again

So maybe the answer surrounds us
And we don’t have eyes to see


You’re always good, always good
This heartache is moving me closer than joy ever could
And You’re always good


My God, my God, be near me
There’s nowhere else to go
And Lord, if You can hear me
Please help Your child to know


That You’re always good, always good
As we try to believe what is not meant
To be understood
Will You help us to trust Your intentions for us are still good?
‘Cause You laid down Your life and You suffered like I never could


And You’re always good, always good
You’re always good, always good

We Christians should never forget what happened to the followers of Jesus right after he went to heaven. There was death, imprisonment and persecution. Many Jews were thrown out of the temple, excommunicated. This meant no one could trade with them or talk with them. They lost everything for Jesus. That is why the believers needed to share among themselves. The need was very great.

Remember what happened when Rome turned against Christianity. They tortured and killed thousands. Remember the suffering of the Holocaust. Not only Jews, but Christians, gays, mentally disabled and those who resisted Hitler were wiped out. Remember the suffering of the war itself. I had an uncle who died, who left a wife and two daughters behind.

It seems to me that we, North Americans, are surprised by suffering. We don’t seem to think we should have to suffer anything. Even the wearing of a simple mask in order to not spread an illness to others. No, we think that is too much to ask. It is a sacrifice we aren’t willing to make.

Many believe there is no virus. It is all untrue! So that means every news service in all the world is lying about all the people who are suffering and dying. There is some vast (worldwide) conspiracy against – who? Them personally, I guess.

To me, these are the scary people of the world. These are the ones who will persecute others to the death – like the ones who go surround government officials with weapons and send death threats. If they can, they will overthrow the democracy of the United States and keep Trump in power.

We are in our own era now, with our own wars against a virus, against ignorance and against pure evil. We don’t need to fear though, because God will walk through this time with us. He may let us suffer as he has done for millions in the past. We may lose our lives to violence by the hand of evil people.

But as the song says, Jesus did too. Aside from the torture, his death was much worse than any that can happen to a human, because he had the sins of the world on his heart and his Father turned away from him. The Father did this so Jesus could experience the second death: knowing we will be separated from God forever because of our sinful lives. At the judgement, God will show us our sinful lives and why he can’t take us to heaven. Then we will die and be dead forever. Jesus went through that to take our place if we want him to. He endured it so we don’t have to, and he endured it for every person.

My Husband’s Stroke.

Two weeks ago, my husband had a “massive stroke.” The doctor called us and told us to prepare for the worst. They told my daughters, who live 6 hours away to, “Leave now.” So, they did. We called all our family and all his family. Everyone started praying.

Because I have been a Christian for 50 years and there have been other deaths in our family, I believed God knew what he was doing, (which wasn’t always the case.). I told God I knew my husband was in his hands and I trusted him to do what was best for all of us.

My husband lived for a day, and then another day and began rapidly improving. The doctors were stunned. His speech was slurring slightly and his face drooped a bit, but he could move his left arm and leg, which had been paralyzed.

He seemed to have all his past memories intact, but his short-term memories would come and go. He wasn’t sure why he was in the hospital each morning and he had forgotten about the pandemic. He asked me on the phone why I hadn’t come to visit, so my daughter made a sign to hang by his bed which explained about Covid-19 and that we weren’t allowed to visit.

At the beginning, when the doctors thought he was dying, they allowed me into the ICU to see him. In order to get past the front desk of the hospital, I had to say, “My husband is dying.” Those words felt strange to me, as if I was lying to them, as if it couldn’t possibly be true.

I held my husband’s hand and we spoke awhile until he fell asleep. I was glad he knew who I was and could respond. He was shocked he had a stroke. He thought it was carcinoid tumors, which he has had for over 20 years, that had caused this illness.

The next day, he seemed worse, more tired than before and barely spoke. I didn’t expect him to live much longer. But lo and behold, the next day he was joking with the nurses! He was weak, but alert. It was wonderful to see. They moved him out of ICU a few days later and put him in a regular ward.

Well, there was a lot of rejoicing in the family, as you can imagine. We thank God for healing him. I know God does not heal everyone from an illness. If he did, then no one would die and we would be pretty crowded here on earth. Death is a part of life and I accept that. I want to thank him here on this blog, for giving me his comfort, strength and love during this hard time. This is his greatest gift to the world. He gave these things to me when my grandson died and I knew he would do it again.

God’s peace inside me is something I want the world to know, because those who don’t believe in God don’t realize what they are missing. I wish everyone would give God a chance to show them what he can do. He is light, love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and joy.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”   Isaiah 26:3

Have I always had perfect peace? No. It took me many years to learn to trust God. I had been abused as a child by my father, so learning to trust God was very hard for me. But the longer my mind was, “stayed on God,” the more I began to trust. I used to rage and wail against the dark things in my life, but no more. I’ve found that in the deepest dark I am actually learning and growing as a person. And God is there standing beside me, giving me strength and hope.

God says:

“I have upheld you and carried you since the day you were born. Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am he.

I have made you; I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”     Isaiah 46:3,4

Let Go and Let God.

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

I’ve read this verse many times, but I found out something I didn’t know before. A person who knows the Hebrew language said that “Be still…” means, “Loosen your grip. Let go.”

He said, “know that I am God,” means, “Experience God.”

Both interpretations are lovely, but I think “loosen your grip,” gives us a lot more to think about. What do we hold onto that we should let go? I think it means let go of your worries, sadness and perhaps your plans. You can do that by experiencing close friendship with God. When we know him better and better each day, we will learn how to trust him. We can then have a mind that is quieted by God.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7

I’ve thought a lot about how peace guards our hearts. When you are full of peace, the daily irritations, and even big disappointments don’t bother you as much.

I’ve been ill lately because my mother, whom I take care of, wasn’t sleeping well. So, for a couple of weeks I didn’t get enough sleep. Then two of my teeth were pulled and I had a headache for a week. Lack of sleep and pain made me feel really sad. Did I have peace of mind? I think so, but I will say sadness was in my heart. I’ve learned to give my sad feelings to God and I asked him to help me care for my mother. He helped me each day.

I tell you this because of course there are things that happen that will make us sad. Sometimes we can feel sad for a very long time. Jesus felt sadness, so it is not a sin to feel that way. But I wanted his comfort, wanted to feel his arms around me. He did comfort me as I prayed, and I’m thankful.

There has been a lot of talk in Christian circles on how to go through grief and yet have joy at the same time. Jesus did that too. He grieved for his people Israel, yet because of the “joy that was ahead, he endured the cross, despising the shame of it.”

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2,3

Feeling very sad and yet having joy about Jesus and one day being with him forever is a paradox, I guess. It is hard to wrap my mind around, but I am going to keep trying. I do know one thing, sadness alone leads to despair and God doesn’t want us to go there.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.Psalm 43:5

Nehemiah Told Us What to Do on A Holy Day.

Whether you believe the Sabbath is on Saturday or Sunday, it is a day considered holy. It should be considered that since God has made it so.

 “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Exodus 20:11

 “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”  Genesis 2:3

Creation_of_Adam

I was reading Nehemiah, and noticed that Ezra told the people how to act on a holy day. The priest had read the law to all of Israel and the people began to weep because they saw how badly they had been acting. They saw the beauty of God’s law and were sorry they had not followed it.

Then Nehemiah…said to them all, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”

“Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”   Nehemiah 8:9-12

DSCF0066

I think this is example is very important. Yes, we need to acknowledge our sins, but then rejoice immediately by a feast celebration and go on to do good to others by sharing our food. It would be wonderful if every church did this on Sabbath.

Sadness saps our strength,

Joy strengthens us.

Choose joy.

Good Day/Bad Day.

Last night, as I lay in bed, I said to God, “Thanks for such a great day.” Then I stopped. It hadn’t actually been a great day as far as events in my life. Some truly negative things were going on in my family and that day had been especially stressful. But as the day wound down, I didn’t feel the stress in my heart like I used to. I didn’t feel like crying. What a difference! All because I finally understand God loves me just as I am and I love him, so every day is wonderful because it is a day with him.

I have this thing called Joy in my heart now. I used to read about it and want it but I never found it until recently. I couldn’t understand how anyone could feel joyful in this horrible world or joyful when they, or someone they loved, were suffering. I finally know. It only took me 45 years! Lol  Well, I had a lot to get over and a lot to learn.

It feels weird not to be worried about family members who are sick. I almost feel like that is betraying them. How dare I have a good day when they are suffering! How dare I have a moment’s happiness when they are sad! I actually feel guilty. But, as Joyce Meyers says, we cannot let our feelings rule us. We must live by the word of God and what is right and wrong. It is wrong to worry and I ain’t gonna do it any more.

Peace. That’s what you get when you don’t worry. I used to want that too and now I have it. Peace with God. Resting in his love. It is so wonderful.

This isn’t to say I won’t ever cry again or feel awful, no, but it won’t be my default button any more.