A Lament for our Country

“Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted.”
Psalm 55:1-2 NASB

woman-praying-300x187Did you know that over 60 of the Psalms are considered laments? That’s not a word we use very often today. A lament, according to Merriam-Webster, is to express sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something. We see a true expression of this in Scripture, especially in the Psalms. There is no faking it with God – complaint, anger, doubt, and worry is spewed out. There’s a sense of wrestling with God, yet He is never blamed. Instead, confidence, praise and joy are found within each lament.

Here in the United States, our presidential election is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but the direction our country is headed grieves my soul. I find myself crying out to God for mercy and healing for our once great land. The fulfillment of Isaiah 5:20 (NASB) is becoming a reality:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Many of my prayers have become laments. Would you join me in crying out to the God of the universe to turn our hearts back to Him? But as with most laments within the Psalms, let us not forget to offer our declarations of praise and adoration to God Almighty. Let us not forget to request His help and intercession. Let us not forget to confess our own sins, as well as the sins of our country. Our God is still in control and in that we put our hope.

O God, in You and You alone I put my trust because there is no god but You. I know Your truths, power and salvation, yet many in our land are clueless of Your existence and ways. Whatever is right in their own eyes is their pursuit. Perversions and sexual immoralities are embraced as normal. Goodness is treated with suspicion and absolutes are deemed obsolete. Our country is such a deplorable mess. Help us, O God! Forgive us for turning our eyes away from You. Revive, restore, and heal us once again. Bring salvation to the leaders of this country. Our lives are in Your hands. All praise and honor and power be to You. Amen and Amen!

[Digging deeper – Psalms 11, 12, 56, 71, 85, and 90]

Confident in Him,

Beverly <><

Cinnamon Toast and Choices

“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
1Thessalonians 5:21-22 NASB

signs-right-wrong-good-bad-1172209I have always loved cinnamon toast. You know, butter smeared on a slice of bread and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Toasted until hot and bubbly. Savor the goodness! Yum, yum!

Four years ago my husband and I made a drastic change in our eating habits due to some health issues. Eliminating refined sugar as often as possible from our diet became a top priority. So, I bid a sad farewell to my beloved cinnamon toast. However, over time I began experimenting with substituting raw honey for the refined sugar. Once again, I am enjoying my cinnamon toast and benefitting from the goodness of the healthier ingredients.

Ok, enough of the health lesson . . . BUT THERE IS A SPIRITUAL APPLICATION HERE. You see, we are faced with decisions and choices every day. Harmful habits pop up and temptations come our way. It is up to us to observe and change the actions and words that aren’t pleasing to God or good for us.

Do you have a habit of saying unkind things about others because of petty reasons? Try replacing the damaging words with something positive about the person. If you can think of nothing good to say, then hold your tongue and whisper a prayer for them instead.

Do you find it hard to spend time with God on a regular basis? Maybe some of your time texting, face-booking, twittering, enjoying a hobby, etc. could be used instead for alone time with Him.

Do you struggle with road rage? (ouch!) Next time the urge comes to rant and rave over someone’s careless driving, why not bless them in the name of the Lord? I said bless them, not bless them out J You really have no clue what they are going through or what’s on their minds. They may desperately need the Lord, so take the opportunity to pray for them.

Whether it’s cinnamon toast or _______________ (you fill in the blank), we can either ignore the warnings and suffer the consequences, or pursue better options that yield fruitful rewards. It’s up to each one of us. It’s our choice. Let’s choose to look for what is really good, cling to it, and steer clear of the evil.

[Digging deeper – Romans 12:9, 21; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; James 4:17; 1 Peter 3:8-9]

Signature: Enjoying good choices,

Beverly <><

Change: About Those Plans!

There’s an old saying, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” As believers in Christ Jesus, we are called to change. Join me this week and consider some aspects of change in our lives as we walk with the Lord. Is there anything that you need changed?


About Those Plans!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” 

Jeremiah 29:11, NLT

Yesterday we considered God in the ways we think; today let’s consider Him in our life plans.

Thursday_Day_Four_Pic_#2-snailOne hot day I saw a snail trying to make its way across the sidewalk. I suspected that it was planning to get to the coolness of the grass on the other side. I watched for a while and it was taking a long time because it was, well … a snail!  It was a snail moving at a snail’s pace. But, I knew that if the snail continued with its plan, to move at a snail’s pace across that big sidewalk, it was likely to get crushed. A group of children were racing up and down the sidewalk across the snail’s path, unaware that it was even there. I wanted to help the snail move out of the danger zone, so I reached down and attempted to turn it in the other direction.

Have you ever tried to move a snail along? It dug in and became rigid and hard to move. I actually had to pull it up to move it in another direction. It was like lifting a suction cup! And, it left a slimy smear on the ground as evidence of its resistance to change! Aren’t we like that with our plans sometimes? We’re doing what comes naturally to us, unaware of potential danger, and don’t know or consider that God has good planned for us. And, if we’re prompted to change our plans, we delay that altogether or move at … a snail’s pace to accomplish them!

Thursday_Day_Four_Pic_#1-Jeremiah_VerseRead today’s Dose verse. It refers to God’s plans for the Israelites; He had plans that they’d be brought back to Him and they could have hope in knowing that He has a future for them. God has plans for us too; good plans for our future, which He reveals when we adjust our life plans to be aligned with His. We can stop going our own way and turn to follow His direction. But, like the snail, we can find it very uncomfortable to realign our plans. It may initially feel as though we’re leaving parts of ourselves behind, like that slimy little smear from the snail, but we’ll be headed to a better future than we ever even dreamed of—a future which God specifically tailored for us.

Sister, be encouraged today in knowing that God has made good plans for your life. Are you willing to change your plans for His?

By grace through faith,