My New Year’s Message

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’ Deuteronomy 33:27 ESV

17 years ago we used to bring two of our grandsons to church. At three and one years old this was a challenge during the song service, while I was alone with them and Nancy sang with the worship team. Nathan, who was the older, was generally happy to sit and clap his hands – but not AJ. Oh no, he wanted in on the action and decided that I had to hold him so he could see what was going on! Now, I loved holding him in my arms for the first song, but by the chorus of the second, he started getting heavy and by the third I was desperate for some help. Today’s verse talks about God’s everlasting arms and I discovered that mine most definitely were not!

As we enter this new year, with all of its challenges, opportunities and scary unknowns, we need the One whose arms alone can carry us through. If we will trust Christ as Savior, then whatever we face we can know that God’s got us in His arms. They are underneath us even when we are at our lowest and He will never let us go!

365 Days With Jesus

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 KJV

I love how my fellow blogger, Barbara recently suggested over on My Life in Our Father’s World that we choose a word as a theme for the year. I have been thinking about that ever since and with the New Year looming ahead I have chosen the subject of prayer as my focus for 2023. It is not that prayer is not a regular part of my life, or that this is an entirely new area for me to discover, but that my heart has been stirred, or rather pricked by the Holy Spirit about the coldness of my life. Where is the intensity that I once knew, the love of Christ that long ago brought tears to my eyes as I interceded for others? In the Fall our church completed, “40 Days of Prayer” by Pastor Rick Warren, and as our small group discussed it and I went through the journal I wished it would never end! Though the study now sits on my side table, I have determined to pursue God with a faith that works by love in my prayer life more than anything else in the coming year. What about you? What goals has God been speaking to your heart about? Maybe like Barbara, you could join the “One Word Community” to help in your journey. Whatever you do, listen to the Holy Spirit’s direction and follow Him. He alone knows the way ahead and what He has planned for our lives. Because of His love for us we can put all our trust in Him. That love is way beyond anything we can ever understand and by it alone can we know the heart of God. If you are looking for a daily devotional resource to help you in your prayer journey, I am offering here my newly revised and edited 365 Days with Jesus devotional. Each day’s reading begins with a verse, then in a short simple way applies it to everyday life and every month starts with a poem, a theme and a verse. Whatever you choose, I wish you all the best in all the 365 days that lie ahead on your path!

I Love to Tell the Story

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”  
Matthew 28:6-7 ESV

Whenever we turn on the news our television stations are filled with stories of snowstorms, tornados, terrorist attacks and sporting events. Then when we open our mailboxes, we find them filled with appeals to buy an unending array of products, sell our homes or give money to hundreds of worthy causes. It seems that everyone wants our money, our time or our attention. Now if our house is on fire, bombs are about to drop or a disaster strikes our neighbors, we indeed should and must act. But even in the greatest those emergencies, we must not allow the urgency of our situation to drown out the most important story of all. “Jesus has risen, and He wants to meet with us!”

Photo by Pixabay on

Just stop and think about that amazing detail for a moment! The One who governs the course of galaxies and who lives in heaven surrounded by angels, wants to be a part of our lives! Why not give Him our unwavering attention and listen to what He has to say before the morning news? Only He can help us to face our emergencies, and only His hope can give us the courage to help others. Just like the disciples in today’s verse, He will show us what direction to take and promises that He will go before us. As we put our trust in Him, and give Him our heart’s undivided attention, we will discover that He is going with us into the New Year and that there we will see Him, no matter what lies ahead!