My husband and I recently visited Miami to attend a wedding. One evening while walking outside, I noticed a duck and her six ducklings navigating the parking lot to a grassy spot beside the road.

I couldn’t believe that momma would risk having her babies so close to traffic. But a quick glance told me she had an expanse of water across the road as well as the spectacular bay behind the hotel.

When I got close enough to snap a photo, the little mother eyed me with suspicion as if preparing to attack. She wasn’t afraid.

That reminded me of God’s promise in Psalm 91, “under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”

I like the thought of resting under God’s wings because we live in a dangerous time. Explosive emotions teeter on the threshold because our culture has abandoned common sense.

God knows the dangers, but just like that duck saw the water, God also knows the opportunities open to us. In fact, he placed us in this time to have an impact on the world around us.

Let’s rest in God’s provision and be as courageous as Mother Duck while sharing our hope with others.

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former home-school mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

 

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Most cats hate water, right? Nope. Colonel Brandon, my kitty, loved it when he was little. He would smack the water in his dish and watch it fly in the air, landing all over the floor. Who knows? Maybe he could see a rainbow of colors while he splashed.

His joyful game usually ended when he knocked over the bowl, saturating the floor underneath. He’d walk away with droplets of water all over his face.

When he got older, he used to sit with his water dish between his paws, as if he feared it might get away.

His actions remind me of Psalm 42:1. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.”

How wonderful if I sought God as diligently as my cat sought water.

Sometimes I try to find satisfaction other places. Reading or watching a movie can help me escape for the moment.

However, the days I spend time in God’s Word and prayer, I always find the refreshment I need, and I have the courage to face life’s challenges.

Just like my kitty sought water, I encourage you to get in the Word and delight in God’s love.

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former home-school mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

 

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I have a beautiful white kitty with gorgeous blue eyes. His name is Sir Edmond and he has a problem being nervous.

Anytime a new person visits the house, he puts back his ears and scurries toward my bedroom like his life is in danger.

He often misses fun times with us because an unusual noise sends him running.

Last winter, a tree limb fell on our house in the middle of a huge snow storm, and we had no heat for five days. The indoor temperature stayed close to freezing, but my husband and I kept a fire in the fireplace. We huddled there all day, even eating nearby.

We brought my son’s cockatiel into the living-room area and put him on a high stereo stand so the cat couldn’t bother him. But we didn’t have to worry. Kitty stayed under my bed the entire time shivering with cold. He was too terrified to venture out to the fire where the family had gathered.

Sometimes I can be a little like Sir Edmond.

Instead of stepping out in faith, I hover in my safe place because I am afraid. I love the verse in 2 Timothy that says, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (1:7).

I invite you to join me in choosing to trust in God’s power and step out courageously trusting God.

Cynthia L. Simmons

Cynthia L. Simmons

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former home-school mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

 

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When my youngest daughter was about four years old, I took down the Christmas tree during her nap.

Later in the day, I saw her looking out the window toward the tree, which lay on the curb awaiting the garbage collector. She whispered, “Christmas tree, come back, come back.”

That made me sad, but I often feel blue after the holidays. The world goes from lively carols, flashing lights, and sparkling tinsel to the grayness of January’s cold weather.

Everyone has wrapped and stored the magic. Even the trees extend bare branches to gloomy skies. For weeks, I’ll discover wadded bits of Christmas paper and smashed bows and vacuum up shiny flecks.

However, the angel’s message of good tidings to all people endures even when our holiday decorations sit in the attic.

I am learning to allow the good news to penetrate my soul and realize God loves me even though I’m not perfect.

Absorbing his grace shifts my focus to eternity. Mundane moments can become opportunities to minister as I care about those around me. Because Jesus came to earth, we can share his love.

“How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news” (Romans 10:15).

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former homeschool mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

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I have always hated driving in unfamiliar cities because I couldn’t watch the road and my map at the same time.

In the past, I worked hard to memorize directions and search for the next turn while maneuvering through traffic.

Even getting in the right lane to turn can be a challenge when I don’t know the area.

 

Rather than venture out, I often chose cowardice and stayed home. I could imagine myself embroiled in a major accident while floundering through alien streets.

However, I am quite grateful for the GPS on my phone. A holder on the dashboard keeps the map on the phone visible, and a voice tells me where to turn.

Can you imagine groping your way through life? Praise God we don’t have to do that. In Psalm 119 the Psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

The Lord promised if we lean on him and seek his Word, our heavenly Father will reveal the next step. I discovered that to be true many times while raising my five children. God always gave me wisdom when I pleaded for help.

Praise God for his assistance while we walk through life’s bumpy streets.

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former homeschool mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

 

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