Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Worth Dying For

posted by Ruth Graham

Our freedom is not free. It was purchased and is preserved by those serving in our military. They believed that our freedom was worth dying for. Our freedom is a beautiful thing. The world envies it. But we treat it far too casually. As an American citizen I want to express deep gratitude for those that have sacrificed and served me. They don’t know my name and I don’t know theirs but I honor them and their family for the service rendered. If you have a loved one in the service, thank you.

Let us pause this weekend during our picnics, cookouts, gardening, get-togethers – our fun celebrations – to remember and say “thank you”. Display our beautiful flag as a symbol of your appreciation and solidarity with those that serve our country with their lives.

Let’s tell Washington that we want our servicemen and women and our veterans treated with the best we can give.

Remember - Memorial Day

Dullness, Decisions, Demands, Dimensions & Disturbances

posted by Ruth Graham

A dear friend from Houston wrote to me recently and she included a quote form Warren Wiersbe that is too good to not pass along to you all! It is from his book, His Name is Wonderful. I thought it was profound.

Isaiah the prophet is making a prophecy about the coming Messiah. He says, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor. Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NAS)

His name shall be called…

Wonderful – that takes care of the Dullness of life.

Counsellor – that takes care of the Decisions of life.

The Mighty God – that takes care of the Demands of life.

The Everlasting Father…that takes care of the Dimensions of life.

The Prince of Peace…that takes care of the Disturbances of life.

 

Are you feeling dull? Do you have big (or little) decisions facing you? Is your life seemingly a series of demands – urgent ones? Do you feel as if there is no purpose to life? Do you feel as if chaos is taking over?

Read the ancient prophet again. Trust his words. Know the truth of them.

This same prophet said, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” (KJV) Keep focused!

 

 

Something to Shout About!

posted by Ruth Graham

What a glorious day we have today! Perfect Spring day with the sunshine, fresh mown lawns, crystal clean air, warm with a cool breeze. What I need is a hammock. and a few hours to enjoy… But regardless, everything is better when the weather is perfect. (No. My mood does not depend on weather – but I find it easier to enjoy life when it is a pretty  day.)

Romans 5: 2b-3a  says, ” Let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover, let us also be full of joy now!” (Amplified) Don’t you love that?!

Suppose you had an invitation to have a private audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. (Or whoever you think is awesome.) Wouldn’t you look forward with a sense of anticipation and excitement? I wouldn’t be able to sleep for weeks! Or remember when you set the date for your wedding – how eager and excited you were… You had to wait for it and the closer the day drew the more excited you got.

That is the kind of anticipation Paul is talking about! But Paul is not talking about something we have to wait for – it isn’t a future event.  We don’t have to wait for the fulfillment – we can experience the joy God’s glory now!

The preceding verse says, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” (NIV)  So…our ticket in is Jesus Christ. It’s like knowing Prince William who takes us into the Palace and we are allowed to stand, walk around, sit, play, eat in the Queen’s very presence! No restrictions. We have a relationship with her and can enjoy the access freely. As we enjoy the access and glory of royalty we are full of joy and happiness. (Please understand these comparisons are pale, at best, but I hope they get the point across.)

In the same way we have access to a relationship with the glory of God though Jesus. We can stand, sit, walk, play, dance, eat – live –  in His presence, freely. No restrictions of guilt, shame, sin, condemnation, unworthiness…only acceptance, unconditional love, joy and peace. That is a mind-blowing thought. And it is not some future event when we die – we do it now – today! That’s something to shout about!

 

 

Prayer of Examen – Being Still

posted by Ruth Graham

We have had a more than a week to worship the risen Savior! We were attuned to the sorrow of the Savior during Lent and more so during Holy Week. We celebrated the Resurrection with joy in our hearts. We had Easter egg hunts, feasts, family get-togethers…now it’s over.

We are back to the everyday grind. Our calendars keep us focused forward rather than inward. Our schedules keep us too busy to spend much time in  contemplation. We rush from thing to thing. At least I do!

God would have us “Be still and know I am God.” We have talked about this before. It  is  battle to be still. But this morning as I was feeling a bit frantic due to an over-filled schedule this week, I realized that I cannot really know God while rushing through life. His place is a place of stillness.

What does “still” mean? “remaining in place; free from noise; hushed; calm…

I have so little of that in my life. But I am trying to practice it more and more through “centering payer” or “prayer of Examen”. It’s just really a way to be more mindful of God throughout the day…

First I quiet myself by breathing deeply several times and remember I am in God’s presence.  2.) I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and imagination and begin to imagine Him being with me where I am.  3.) I think though my day – the good things, His grace and care.  Be thankful. 4.) Anything troubling me, I ask Him to hold it, keep it. 5.) Then I ask myself some questions: Where did I experience God the most today?, Where did I experience Him the least?, What am I most thankful for? 6.) Thank God for being with me and bless Him.

It is in practicing this that I am able to be still – I am a work in progress with a long way to go. But as I go back to the well to draw from Him, I am refreshed for the day ahead.

 

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