I’m sure you’ve heard stories of people who died but came back to life. Some have been miraculously healed of serious diseases. There are stories of amazing financial provisions – down to the penny needed. Imminent tragedies have “somehow” dissipated. People have prayed for rain in drought and received it. These kinds of things are on the list of “Big Deal Miracles.” But most of us just need a regular miracle – something to encourage our hearts. I also think we get so focused on our own stuff that we miss the entire list of “Super Special Small Miracles” that happen each day. Do you need a miracle?
It’s challenging to be alive and active each day. Global situations bring concerns, fears, and insecurities. Losses and deep disappointments get in the way of living free. This world is writhing with threats against peace. Even so, you can discover the magic of being alive and active.
There is an alarming development over the past several years. People wonder if they actually matter. These “wonderings” happen deep in people’s hearts. Depression has broken some. Discouragement wraps devastating effects around serious global developments. Pandemic, natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, global warming, political unrest. I think it’s time for a strong look at Special Ways God Loves You. May you be encouraged as you connect with the God who loves you.
Ever wonder what God looks like? I remember being intrigued with this as a child. What does God look like? How about Jesus? There were no phone cameras back when Jesus lived on earth. So we have no pictures. We don’t have any life portraits of the God, either. So a lot is left to imagination. Still, God’s Word gives clues – not about God’s physical appearance. Rather, it paints a masterful portrait of God’s nature, personality, and character. And it uses characteristics of God’s face as a tool to communicate His appearance.
When is the last time you considered God’s love for you? Do you ever feel distant from His love? Do you wish you could connect with His love in a more meaningful way? Well, God’s love for you is sincere. It’s powerful. Yes, God loves you, and that makes a huge difference in your daily living.
Does it ever feel like your prayers bounce off the ceiling? There have been times I’ve wondered if my prayers make a difference. It seems everyone goes through experiences when it’s easy to be discouraged. Disappointments and injustices can knock the wind out of you. But little things still matter – like receiving a text, a notecard, a phone call, or even just a hug with the message “I’m praying for you often.” Knowing someone prays for you really helps. And it takes things to a new level to remember – someone prays for you always!
If you’ve ever experienced sadness in the holidays, you know how hard it is to jump into cheer and celebration when your heart is hurting. Sometimes sadness is because life is hard all year, filled with losses, bad news, declining health, broken relationships. At times you can’t even pinpoint why you feel sad. Melancholy lingers even when you are grateful for many blessings. But Christmas is still going to come. So if you are sad, how do you get through the holiday sadness?
If you were to stand in the middle of a busy intersection of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, you’d get significant impressions. Besides being concerned for your safety, you’d also notice it doesn’t always go well. The hair-raising screech of tires and squeal of brakes in a near miss of cross traffic. A motorcycle driver almost clips you with his daring zig-zag around another car. A pedestrian pushes through and almost knocks others over. Someone does lose grip and drops a package. Then there’s the motorist in a hurry and blazes right through a red light. You are almost run over as a bicycler whips by you. On top of all that, there’s the airplane overhead much too low for comfort. You haven’t even thought about a possible pick-pocket.
Pause! Right now stop what you are doing. Put your hand over your heart – or place your fingers on your wrist to find your pulse. Be ever quiet and still as you feel the beat of your heart. That steady beat keeps you alive. Can you imagine how ineffective your heart would be if it was a stone heart?
Loneliness Affects You
So many people struggle with this human condition. It affects everyone, from individuals who have no one to count on, to those who have suffered a terrible loss, to those who have been mistreated. However, loneliness also affects people who have a life partner, a dear friend, or a group they’ve been welcomed into. The condition of loneliness grabs hold of all hearts at some time or other.
Loneliness seems to have mushroomed during this pandemic. From the initial lock-downs to continued social distancing. Even just “masking” seems to interfere with connecting. It’s as if we can’t really “see” one another. Read More …