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

God’s Relentless Love.

I’ve written about how God sent Isaiah to warn the tribe of Judah, which included the city of Jerusalem, against forming alliances with Assyria. Later on, the King of Judah sent emissaries to Egypt for help.  Isaiah told them they should trust God to save them because he said he would, but the people wouldn’t believe and said, “See no more visions! Give us no more visions of what is right! Leave here and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”

God said to them, “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and deceit, this sin will become like a high wall that is cracked and bulging. It collapses suddenly, in an instant.”

He said, “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength. But you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ “Well then, flee! Your pursuers will be swift. A thousand of your men will flee at the threat of one…”

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you and he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of Justice. Blessed are those who wait for him.

I was moved at the words about God in the last paragraph. He tried to save them from war, he begged them to trust in him to save them, but look at what they said back to God’s prophet! They showed utter contempt for Isaiah and for God.

And yet… God longed to be good to them. He would still show them compassion.

I know a lot of people don’t like to read the Old Testament, but along with the killing and wars there are a multitude of verses that speak of why God is doing what he does and how much he wants us to belong to him. He wants to bless us in this awful world. That doesn’t mean he will always heal our illnesses or make sure we have lots of money. No, his blessings are higher and greater than that.

His blessings are gifts from heaven, a heart that is changed to be like his heart, full of love and goodness. We can become a blessing to the world by helping others. We can have peace and joy, even in the midst of a Covid-19 crisis, even if we have lost everything this world has to give, and even if we die. What I find to be the greatest blessing is telling him all my problems and worries and then just leaving it up to him to take care of. It is wonderful to know he is walking beside us, behind us and before us all the years of our lives.

God and the Virus.

Well, it has been an interesting year so far. Of course, the virus is the big thing, but then there are the other trials of life on top of it. My mother has been having more health problems and sleeping problems, my oldest daughter’s marriage is over, my husband is waiting for back surgery and I had two teeth pulled out last Friday and have felt sick ever since. Also, I need new glasses only 6 months after getting new ones. I turned 70 the other day and I still need to lose weight. I started dieting when I was 11. (There have been slim years and other not so slim years. Lol)

Jesus said, “Love not the world…” I can honestly say I do not.

The virus and God. I’m sure there are people saying God sent this virus because we are such terrible people and he is punishing us. This theme comes up whenever there is a disaster.

Does God punish people? The Bible shows us that he does do that sometimes. But unless you are a prophet, you don’t know why anything is happening. I think we should leave all speculation behind. This virus came by eating unclean animals or some germ-warfare escaping from a lab.

I live in Canada and we are getting more virus cases every day. Pretty well everything has shut down. My husband is working from home; thousands upon thousands of people have been laid-off their jobs. Our government is going to make sure those who cannot work from home are taken care of. I’m happy about that. It is always the working poor that suffer the most.

My mom, who is 92, my husband and I are vulnerable to this virus. If we ever get it, we could easily die. We all have serious health issues. But we aren’t afraid and that’s all because of Jesus, his Father and the Holy Spirit. They live in our hearts and the three of us believe if we die, we will be with God in person (a hugely exciting thought); if we live, then God has a good reason for that. I don’t think anyone on earth dies without God’s permission. You can read about that in the first chapters of the book of Job. Satan was only allowed to do so much to Job. He was not allowed to kill him.

One thing about this virus is it may make people stop and think about how short life is and perhaps some will start praying and learning about God. People will have time now to meditate on their lives and the meaning of life. Our culture is so full of busyness and distractions, we hardly have time to think. Also, I am sure there will be a baby boom in nine months!

All I can say is that if you want peace of mind during times like this, give your life to God and he will flood you with his peace. He is the one full of love, goodness and peace. We are the ones filled with worry, fear and hatred. He will fill you with himself, if you ask him, and keep asking him every day. This exchange is not a one-time thing. It is a daily thing. We need him every moment of every day.

Therapy with God.

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”   Isaiah 9:6

This has been a difficult week for our family. My cousin’s husband died in a car crash and a loved member of our family is detoxing from heroin. I didn’t even know he smoked heroin. I didn’t know a person could smoke heroin. I thought you had to inject it. Apparently not.

Needless to say I’ve been filled with sorrow about both these things. The man who died was around 55 years old. He and my cousin had a wonderful, Christian marriage. They did everything together after their daughter grew up and moved out. They loved to travel and went to Australia, Europe and Alaska. They were going to go to Arizona after Christmas.

The family member on heroin is a young man we all love. He lost his brother 5 years ago, and began using heroin on the anniversary of his death in September. He refuses to go to counseling, which would help him learn to cope with losing his brother, so what can we do? He refuses to go to Narcotics Anonymous and rehab, so his mother moved in with him this week while she weans him off heroin.

I have been praying for everyone and for myself so I won’t slide into a depression. But I couldn’t sleep all night after hearing all this. I didn’t ask God to help me sleep. I just prayed for help for everyone, but I didn’t go into detail.

I was feeling pretty grim the next day, and knew I had to do something. I realized I shouldn’t just pray regular prayers; I should talk with God about everything in detail so I did. I could feel the weight lift from my heart as I shared my thoughts and feelings.

 I talked with him about my sleep patterns too and how they upset me, because I hadn’t been talking with him about that. I’ve been understanding more and more how I just need to talk with God. Talk, not pray, just talk.

Talking is what you do in Therapy. I always learned something new about myself and my life in therapy, just by talking. I also felt better after a therapy session. I could see the way I should go more clearly.

Isaiah wrote that God is our Mighty Counselor.

I believe it.

He also called him the Prince of Peace.

Yes, he is.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.”  Psalm 73:24


“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”   Psalm 32:8

I must add to this post that when my youngest daughter heard about the young man in our family, she was feeling very sad. She was on her computer, went to look at Pinterest, and on the first page she opened she saw this:

god

God is fighting for us and those we love.

Never Feel Alone.

jesus

Photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Thus says the LORD,

 “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, 

let not the mighty man boast of his might, 

let not a rich man boast of his riches; 

but let him who boasts boast of this, 

that he understands and knows Me, 

that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; 

for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.   Jeremiah 9:24


Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”   John 17:3

Do you want to know God? If you have never come to him before there is a way to know him. You just ask him to help you get to know him and then read the Bible. He will reveal himself to everyone who asks.

“I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”   Jeremiah 24:7

Years ago, a blogger, who was considering becoming a Christian, asked her followers, “Are you glad you became a Christian?”  I said, “It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

There is nothing like knowing you can turn to God about everything in your life. To know the Creator of the universe is interested in you and cares about your day. He cares about your children, your job, your health, your desires and thoughts. He wants to walk and talk with you, share his love and comfort. He wants to fill you with love, confidence and peace. Believing all this may take time, but it will come eventually if you don’t give up seeking.

Once you understand God loves and accepts you just as you are, you never feel alone.

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.

Is God Enough?

Although I’ve been a Christian since I was 19 and am now 66 years old, I have been a dumb, slow-learning Christian. Lots of times I have learned something good and then when the chips are down, I forget what I’ve learned. I’m sharing this for those who are also slow-learners in the Christian life. You can take heart, because you are not alone.

 

When my grandson died 4 years ago, it was my worst nightmare come true. I had always hoped and prayed no one young in my family would die. But it was not to be, and I know God knows everything and is all-wise, therefore he knows best.

 

I wondered how I would be able to cope with Craig’s death. I loved him so much it was like he was a son instead of a grandson. I had babysat him for many years. When I first heard the news, of course I started screaming and crying; but as soon as my husband told me what Craig’s last words to him were, I had instant peace.

 

Craig said, “Thank you both for praying for me.”

 

I knew that God was telling us Craig would be saved and I would see him again. I still felt the pain of his death but a wonderful peace settled on me and that peace has never left. A few times, when I saw a video of Craig or a photo, I could feel my stomach lurch and pain in my heart. But I would turn to God and he was enough. He filled me with his peace and love.

 

God is enough when someone you love dies.

 

About two years ago, after I moved out of my daughter’s house and quit babysitting my granddaughter, I became severely depressed. My husband and I lived alone; we didn’t see our girls or grandchildren very often. I was so lonely and bored. I tried to find things to occupy my time but nothing worked. I felt dead inside. There was nothing to live for and so I took sleeping pills.

 

Well, obviously I didn’t die. I went to therapy and tried to find a reason to live. Therapy helped me think more positively but this is what surprised me; God became enough for me. I told him how lonely I was and how I needed him and how it was just him and me now. It’s amazing, but God’s friendship became enough for me. I started to have happy days with him. I talked with him off and on during the day. I read the Bible more and Christian books and listened to on-line sermons. The days got better and better.

 

God is enough when you have lost everything you lived for.

 

I didn’t know God would be enough to live for. I didn’t know he could give me such happiness.

 

I told God how bored I was. I needed some ideas of what to do with myself. He did give me ideas for some arts and crafts hobbies. I am happier than I have been in my life. This has shocked me. This I did not expect.


God is enough when you are sick of life.


My sister lost all her possessions, except her old van, when she became sick and couldn’t work. She lived with us for 2 years, but got sicker because of all the plant life here. She has many problems, one of them being allergies. So, she packed up her van and moved to Washington State which is free of almost all pollens. She became a little stronger and could at least go to a store and buy groceries and get out of bed.

 

As she became more accustomed to camping out in her van, she told me, “I have never been this happy in my life.”

 

God is enough when you lose everything you own.


I thought I’d put some photos up of some of my art projects.

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