We’re moving. That’s the extent of what we know about this year, or maybe next. My husband is going to retire or the business is going to close—we don’t know which will come first—and we’re moving closer to home.

We don’t know if it’s the right time. Billy is eight years older and past retirement age, but I still have a few years to go before Medicare. I also have a condition that may or may not qualify me for disability, but it’s bad enough that we must have health insurance to help pay for all the annoyances associated with it.

One thing I know for certain. I want Billy to have time to enjoy the little farm we own back home, so I’m ready to take that leap of faith. The faith-leap that says we’ll be fine. That I won’t have to go through any more extended hospital stays or endure any more surgeries. That, even if I do, God will somehow help us pay for it all.

It’s a huge leap. Not just for my health, but for everything else involved. By faith, we’re believing the house we’re in will sell at such a price we can afford to build the new one without going into debt. That we’ll be able to move everything into storage and live together in tight quarters for months while the new house is under construction. That we’ll make the transition from work to retirement—while building a new house, while missing our friends here—without too much discord. That we’ll survive this as a loving couple.

We aren’t the first to have plans without a clue of how or when they’ll be accomplished. Long ago God said to Abram, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV).

Abram and Sarai knew less about their future than Billy and I do. They had no clue where they were going or how God would make them a “great nation” when Sarai was barren. But they trusted God and did as He instructed, and sure enough, through Abraham, all the earth was blessed through the life, death, and resurrection of his distant grandson, Jesus Christ.

Billy and I aren’t looking for such greatness. We just want to move to our little seventy-acre farm back home and enjoy the time we have left raising cattle and green beans. And the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of promises and results—will guide us through the maze.

What can He guide you through this year? This month? Today? There is nothing too big or too small for Him. We don’t have to know the particulars of the plan as long as we know Him who guides us through the particulars. Let’s trust Him together.

Linda W. Yezak lives with her husband and their funky feline, P.B., in a forest in deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She has a deep and abiding love for her Lord, her family, and salted caramel. And coffee. Don’t forget coffee. Author of award-winning books and short stories, she didn’t begin writing professionally until she turned fifty. Taking on a new career every half century is a good thing. Visit www.lindayezak.com.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

By Janet Chester Bly

A wounded friend of mine wept. “I prayed very hard my husband wouldn’t leave. Every day and night I prayed. But he left anyway.”

What kills hope?

Fear or rage will. Guilt and doubt try to. Sin does. Prayer answers of “No” and death of a dream can.

Hopelessness has the ability to make us mentally intoxicated—without reason, moderation, or judgment. Our wits become all spur and no rein. We lose confidence that good things will ever happen again when we hit rock-hard bottom.

The traumas of this world soil innocence and blind our view of a loving God. We become like injured, brute beasts who strike out at or flee from the one who comes to rescue. But God told us He wants to save us. He has our best interests at heart.

“But what if mine’s broken?” my friend asked.

We can’t thrive without hope.

George Bernard Shaw told us, “The life of the human race is a brief discreditable episode in the history of the meanest of planets.”

But Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Jean-Paul Sartre stated, “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance.”

But Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Sir James Jeans declared, “Life may be a disease which attacks planets in their decay.”

But Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst … [It] will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Which voice do you choose to believe?

My friend chose to trust in Jesus…despite evil lurking around her and terror that struck at night. Temporary menacing shadows conspire to hide God’s gracious design for her life. But she holds onto blessed hope in Him.

Can’t wait for the unfolding of the rest of her story.

ALT="Janet Chester Bly"Janet Chester Bly authored and co-authored 40 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids with her late husband, Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. www.BlyBooks.com.  “Voices in the Night” is excerpt from Hope Lives Here: https://www.blybooks.com/books/true-life-stories/. She’s working on another devotional, Grace Spilling Over/True Stories of God’s Tender Mercies, and a novel, Beneath a Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill Series. Both books available summer 2018.

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

By Jackie M. Johnson

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Life is full of challenges. You want to lose weight but the pounds stick to you like super glue.

A friend needs a new job or is having marital problems. Your niece is wondering if she will ever get married. Our country is divided on political issues. And on it goes.

As believers, we are taught early to “trust in the Lord.” But what does that really mean and how do we do it?

Trust means letting God be God. Not freaking out when the bills pile up like snow in the Rocky Mountains. Not striving to make things happen on our own. Trust is releasing worry and surrendering stress. It’s letting go of the problem and believing that the One who loves us most will take care of our situation.

So when you submit a book proposal, you don’t keep calling your agent every few days to see how it’s going. Or, if you don’t have the money for rent or the mortgage, you don’t worry incessantly. You pray and take action, and trust God will provide instead of trying to control outcomes and letting the stress keep you awake at night.

As you pray, God acts. He may ask you to do something or he may direct you to wait and be still. Either way, you learn to lean, not on your own understanding of how things should be, but on the strong shoulders of Jesus Christ. He has the wisdom to know what to do, even when the next step seems unclear. He has the strength and power to make real and lasting changes. And, he acts out of ultimate love for his daughters and sons.

God will do what is best, in His way and in His timing. On that we can rely.

Trust in His goodness. Rest in His love.

Jackie M. Johnson is the author of the popular Power Prayers for Women, the helpful breakup recovery resource When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty, and Praying with Power When Life Gets Tough. She also writes a blog for single and single again readers, Living Single, on Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk website. Connect with Jackie at www.jackiejohnsoncreative.com.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller, here in the Southern California desert.0098_Miller

It was always difficult for my mother to relax and trust God, and even when she was in her 80’s, it seemed like the Lord was still inviting her to trust Him more. My sister and I would say to each other, “You’d think the Lord would stop working on people when they get old enough, but He sure seems to still be working on mom.”

That was true up until the last few days of her life. When it was time for hospice, she moved into my home but didn’t seem to really comprehend that time for her was short. In fact, ten days before she joined

Great-gramma with great-grandson Raphael

Great-gramma with great-grandson Raphael

Jesus in heaven, she complained to me, “Kathy, I just hate lying here and not accomplishing anything. I should be doing something!”

I didn’t quite know what to say except, “Well, mom, you are 89. Maybe it’s time for you to just relax and let me take care of you.” She gave me a half-hearted smile like she wasn’t quite convinced.

Read More →

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube