Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord

worms eyeview of green trees

Photo by Inactive. on Pexels.com

Did you ever “find” animals and shapes in the clouds when you were a child? My father and I used to have such fun doing that. Later in life, I tried identifying optical illusions, searching for images that were not immediately recognizable. I confess, I don’t always discover the hidden objects as quickly as others. I have read that “seeing” what is hidden within the “visible” is a function of our perception, our ability to respond and interpret sensory information.

In Scripture, we learn that God performed miraculous healing of physical eyes on a number of occasions so people could see. But, He also opened the eyes of humans to perceive things which were, at first, unseen in the natural. In one instance in 2 Kings, God encouraged the Israelites of the spiritual armaments He had prepared to protect them.

In 2 Kings 6:16, the Lord encouraged the servant of Elisha in this way. The king of Syria was making war against Israel, and had sent a great army specifically to capture Elisha. “And Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see,” (2 Kings 6:17 KJV). The servant had seen the physical presence of the enormous threat against them … with his own eyes. He was afraid of what seemed to be Elisha’s certain death. But God intervened and opened the servant’s eyes. He suddenly saw God’s army, horses, and chariots of fire all around Elisha, a compelling counterforce.

God allowed the vision, the spiritual revelation, so they would regain courage in face of a seemingly insurmountable Enemy. At first, they had only seen with their physical eyes, and the threat was real. Yet, there was more provision behind the scenes. God had His invisible army, even more powerful than the Syrian forces prepared to defend His children.

We live in a physical world, yet as humans with a mind, body, and spirit nature, why should we be surprised that there might be more to “see” in any given circumstance? Are we looking for God’s spiritual viewpoint when we face our trials and “insurmountables”? We often cannot see more than the present circumstances, and when those are painfully difficult, we lose heart.

King David prayed to the Lord: “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your law,” (Psalm 119:18 KJV). Maybe we would be wise to pray the Lord open our eyes so we can see things in a dimension that God sees. What might we be missing by not praying that prayer? Maybe we need courage in times of attack. Perhaps, we don’t see the invisible forces He has already provided for us when we think we are alone.

God made it clear that He wants a relationship with us. He loved us while we were yet far from Him, out doing our own thing, apart from His will. How do we know this?  He sent Jesus, His Son, to take the penalty of our sins so our most perfect, loving God could once again walk with us and talk with us as He had originally planned. After that, it was left to us to choose to align our lives by asking forgiveness, and accepting His free gift of relationship. We can be confident in our prayers that God is for us. He chose not to stay apart from us, and made a way for us to have relationship again after sin had, by its very nature, separated us from His Perfect Love.

As the worship song lyrics by Michael W. Smith affirms, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, Open the eyes of my heart, I want to see You, I want to see You …” Let Him show you the spiritual dimension of life, tearing back the curtain of our physical and mental limitations. “I want to see You, Lord.”

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=open+the+eyes+of+my+heart+lord+michael+w+smithhttps://

Where is the Son?

photo of woman in a sunflower field

Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

 

While visiting our seven-year-old Kansas grandson recently, Max excitedly burst into the house carrying a bouquet of sunflowers … for me! He had convinced his mama to buy them for me when they were shopping. The uniqueness of this spray of flowers was that each large flower head was drooping, bowing down from its stem, rather than standing upright.

Maxwell explained with confidence that they were simply being sunflowers which are always looking for the sun. Of course, I graciously accepted his gift with an exclamation of his thoughtfulness. His daddy brought some filler plants in from the yard, which somewhat improved their countenance.

In reflecting on the downcast sunflowers, I was taken back by the image above of the girl gazing in the opposite direction. If the flowers symbolically seek the Sun, shouldn’t we also seek the Son, Jesus, for our Source? Yes, of course. There are times and seasons when we may be tempted to think we’re capable of handling life all on our own. All is well, finances are secure, health is good, and we have done it all ourselves. We may pat ourselves on the back and expect our fans to applaud because we’re successfully sailing along in our strength. Who needs God anyway, one might ask?

But, often that isn’t the way life works. You know that. I know that. Sometimes, nothing seems to go our way. So in those times we can misguidedly plunder through our days, lacking the Son in the messiness of life, lacking His strength, peace, and His Omnipotent wisdom for guidance. Scripture is replete with advice for living a complete and satisfying life, in the good times and bad.

In Hebrews 12:1-2 we are reminded to “… fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter or our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Yes, indeed, as the sunflowers seek the sun, we are advised to “fix our eyes ….” Where? On the Son.

Psalm 34:5-6 tells us that “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” More evidence that when we don’t look to ourselves, in our good old American independence, we will become radiant. We will be the sunflowers of humanity, with faces tilted upward with dignity, grace, and assurance. If you are feeling downcast today, pick up the Bible, and look to God’s Word to you. He will be your strength and radiance.

I don’t know about you, but I need to seek the light of Christ … daily. Whenever I try to go it alone, I quickly become the wilty-headed sunflower, looking at the problems at my feet, instead of the Son’s LIGHT as my Source. I encourage all of us to not lose sight of God’s amazing gift, even in the hard times. When we “look up,” we will find the resources necessary to finish the race victoriously. Not because of our own tremendous capabilities, but because of our loving God and Provider. Look up to the Son, beloved children of God, and become all you are meant to be.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin,” 1 John 1:7. 

 

 

For You Are WITH Me

Have you ever felt like you were alone? SO alone that nobody cared what was going on in your life? No one understood what you were going through? No one was WITH you to help give you strength, encouragement, or even just a bit of compassion. Most of us have been there at one time or another. There are so many instances when I have witnessed people in need of “withness.”

When I was a busy teacher and working mom, if I didn’t tune in to the running discourse of my then-kindergartener, she would reach up to my face with her little hands. She would place one hand on each cheek and turn my head to face her. Although I was answering (likely “um, uh-huh, sure, nice”), she knew when my mind and spirit were not WITH her. Those beautiful blue eyes spoke to mine, as she said, “Mama …” I knew I had not tuned in, and she needed me to do so. We all need someone to hear our hearts. Even if they don’t, or can’t, offer advice or change our circumstances, we desire someone to know us, and even share the joys in our journey.

A few years ago, a friend told me that the word WITH had become her prayer to God. I didn’t get it. She didn’t feel a close togetherness, an emotional intimacy, with her church friends or even her husband. There was something missing — that key ingredient of a listening heart and truly concerned soul. Someone who cared enough to pray with her and to share the ups and downs of daily living. Her heart ached to be “known” and understood as well as the opportunity to know and understand others, if they would let her.

Upon rereading the Twenty-third Psalm, my eyes were suddenly opened the other day. I knew that sweet and wonderful passage from childhood, but it had never spoken so clearly as it did that day. Being a timid flight passenger, and wary of all things weather-related to air travel, I pray for God’s peace upon boarding any flight. That day, I read, “I will fear no evil, for YOU ARE WITH ME.” Simple truth was illuminated. If there are fires, floods, storms, losses of any kind, God has promised to be WITH me. I need not fear. Just based on His presence with me “in the valley of the shadow of death,” I need not fear that thing, whatever it is. God promises a new dimension of reality that should replace fear with PRESENCE. I was nearly dancing in my seat-belted state! He was with me. God was really with me!

I pray that you have others in your life who are intimately with you, but even if not, remember that promise. HE. IS. WITH. YOU. Let Him show His presence. Look for Him. HE. IS. WITH. YOU.

The Virtue of Vigilance

architecture beautiful bloom blooming

Photo by Mike Bird on Pexels.com

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT) “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I have always loved flowers. From my earliest memories of planting marigold seeds with my sweet mama, flowers have been a beautiful part of my life. They make me smile on the gloomiest of days. Flowers have long inspired poets and artists. The great artist Claude Monet said, “I must have flowers, always, and always.”  Henry Ward Beecher, a clergyman and abolitionist of the 1880s said, “Flowers may beckon towards us, but they speak toward heaven and God.”

Scripture also refers to flowers with frequency. Close your eyes and imagine a flower adorned garden in which God placed his first children. I’m sure it was decorated with an abundance of variety and a vast array of colors. In Luke 12:27, Jesus tells the disciples to consider how the lilies grow. He points out that even Solomon with all his wealth was not dressed like the beautiful flowers God created.

However, unlike the Garden of Eden, with its natural mist to maintain moisture, my flowers must be tended. One hot summer day, as I watered my front flower beds, I glanced up to where once-bountifully blooming flower baskets were hanging.

“Oh, NO! Look!” I cried to my husband. “They looked fine Friday!” I cried.

My husband surveyed the damage, and suggested we soak them in a revival attempt. Sadly, the soaking was “too little, too late.” I knew it had been hot, but we had received three inches of rain mid-week. The last time I had assessed the baskets, they seemed healthy. Apparently, I had not been vigilant.

We had been studying 2 Peter 1:5-8, Peter’s “formula” for living well as followers of Christ. Basically, Peter tells us if we attend to his plan, we will have certainty of being “productive and useful” to the Kingdom of God. We will grow spiritually strong, he says, when we add moral excellence to our faith. Peter unpacks other essentials that we need to achieve God’s promised blessings: knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and LOVE for everyone! Oh, how I long to have these virtues growing in me daily.

The Lord spoke to my heart with a spiritual application from my pitiful dead flowers. It appeared that my plants went from thriving to dying “almost overnight.” I was shocked, in fact, with their quick demise. My judgment had lapsed when I assumed they didn’t need immediate attention. The result? Disappointing consequences.

My loss of my flowers is a minor consequence compared to many of life’s unexpected detours. To live in a spiritually effective way, to receive the blessings God has prepared for me, I need to be watchful, attentive … vigilant, in fact. A person can’t simply throw together Peter’s hefty spiritual goals and expect instant attainment. Maybe this is what our Christian fathers have referred to as the “spiritual disciplines.” Goodness knows, my self-control needs hourly monitoring! Perhaps my lesson is that to acquire spiritual strength and blessing, I must tend to my daily progress.

This does not equate spiritual growth  (sanctification) with “good works” to somehow earn salvation. “Earning salvation” is not Biblical. Eternal life in Heaven is freely given by grace through the gift of Jesus Christ. He took the penalty of my sin, providing a way for me to have a relationship with Father God.

However, Peter admonishes us to “make every effort” to respond to God’s promises. My dead flowers remind me to be vigilant in this task. Join me. Pledge to yourself to be vigilant in seeking Holy Spirit empowerment. Why? so you can “finish well” in this race of life. I aim for the greatest of all treasures, to grow in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.

 

His Glory and Majesty … and Me?

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.” Psalm 8:1

Have you ever felt small as you looked into the night skies, stood on a mountaintop, or gazed into what seems like an endless sea from the shoreline? My human life, which is of utmost importance to me, is but an infinitesimal dot in one unfathomable universe … among many universes. In Psalm 8:3, David, the Psalmist, raises the question with this: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (NIV) 

[Enjoy listening to and watching this musical expression of Psalm 8:3 on Youtube:  https://youtu.be/6_f0aOp0EPE ]

The Scriptures proclaim His creativity in Psalm 104: 24: “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”  When I view the intricate details of nature, I am in awe. My heart is stirred at the exquisite pinks, reds, and yellows of a setting sun, at times dispersing its glory into clouds and reflecting waters.  Upon delighting in the scent of honeysuckle or a delicate rose bloom, I am humbled by God’s meticulous design. The calming song of a dove’s “cooooo-coooo,” or a lyrical human voice can lift my spirits even in turbulent times. How can I hold a newborn baby, so helpless, yet brimming with potential, and not see His works? I have only to let myself see, feel, hear, and touch what is all around me, and it becomes evident that God has allowed us glimpses of His Glory now. I can only imagine what Heaven will be as we then gaze upon the One who is the Creator!

It would take greater faith than I have to believe that my world came into being from some astonishing accident of nuclear particles. Or that the complexity of human life evolved from amoeba emerging from its watery habitat. Even the precision of the tilt of the Earth as it rotates, scientists say, is “just about right” (like perfect?) for advanced life to flourish. Such a “coincidence”?

It is no wonder that I am overwhelmed that God, The One who has formed not only my “tiny” yet miraculous life, but the whole of all universes, should care for me. “But God,” I ask. “How can you care about me?” I am but one among the myriads. My heart is so selfish. My woes must are surely fleeting and unremarkable among the countless multitudes in Your creation. And You? So Eternal, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient … all that I am not. My mind is incapable of grasping the wonder of You.

And yet. I can know absolutely that He cares … for me … and you. We do see the beauty of His handiwork and His revelation through our senses. But, even greater evidence is that same all-powerful, creative God wants to have a relationship with me! And you! If you wonder how I know this, I can be certain because He sent His Son, Jesus, to dwell among us on this planet. He came to teach, to heal, and to make a way for me, and all of us who seek God, to have relationship with his Almighty Majestic, Perfect Father. Jesus embodies the words of Eternal Life. Jesus, the only Son of God.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:9-11 (NIV)

“You have made them (human beings) a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. … Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:5,9 (NIV)

Hallelujah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Have a Choice?

Liv, did you know? You really DO have a choice to make. If you are not ready to parent, and you believe it is in your best interest not to try, there is still another option beyond abortion. You will not be parenting now, and you can continue working or going to school. You can continue the goals you had before this unplanned pregnancy. It IS a significant decision that involves loss and grief, but not one that ends a life. You can even experience the joy of knowing your child if you choose to do so.

“What choice?” Liv cried out. “There is a no good choice!”

Twenty-year-old Liv had just found out she was pregnant, which was certainly not in her plans. After taking multiple pregnancy tests, she knew she needed help.

“I sure don’t want HIM in my life,” she said to her friend Talia.

“Tell me about ‘him,‘” Talia said, prompting another tirade from Liv.

“He completely misrepresented himself on social media. This guy is so mixed up. Last week, he even said he was thinking of suicide.”

Talia didn’t interrupt, but listened intently.

“He seemed so together and strong, when we first met, but I really wouldn’t want him to parent. The irony of it all.  You know how I’ve wanted to have a child. So now I have one. But, I will have to do this alone, and you know, I’m not really financially ready for that.”

“This is something to take your time with, Liv. Your choice is going to have long-lasting  effects for you … and that little one,” Talia replied.

“You know, Talia. I’ve always wanted to feel what it would be like to having a baby growing inside me. But, I really can’t take on raising a child right now!”

“Do you know anything about adoption?” Talia asked.

“No, not really.”

“In some ways, it offers the same relief as an abortion,” Talia offered.

Liv sat quietly for a few minutes.

“I know it would give the baby a future. Most likely a better life than I can give it,” Liv said thoughtfully. “But, could I go through with it?”

“You are a brave, Liv, to even think about these possibilities,” Talia said, giving her friend a big hug.

Dear Lord, I pray for Liv and all the young women facing her decision. Help them to see beyond the moment of turmoil they face. Open their eyes to the reality that you have purpose and meaning for this little life. Let Liv know that You will be there through it all if she puts her trust in You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

Limits: Blessing or Curse?

Being the owner and “parent/caregiver” of two adorable Bichons, I am fascinated with their behaviors. I often see an analogous relationship between their instinctive behaviors and ours as humans. Interestingly, when I put them on a leash, no matter what the length, they strain to the end of it. I tell them, “No pull!” quickly making them aware of their limits. If the leash is 4 feet, 6 feet, or 20 feet long, their reaction is the same without training and correction. They want complete freedom without restraint. So do we. It’s a primary struggle.

From the very first creation account, we have testimony that a single boundary was given by Creator God in the midst of an incredible and most perfect place – Eden. Adam and Eve had no labor, no toil, no sweat … just the beauty of the Garden God had placed them in with provision and comfort. Ahhhh … such sweet contentment. But, wait. That’s not how the story goes.

Given only one limitation, and that given for their good, the humans decided that God really couldn’t have meant what He said. Surely not, the Tempter said! The Evil One was lurking about ready to sell deception to these first human children. He also had chafed at his role of being an angelic being, desiring to be God himself. Forever being dismissed from his original heavenly purpose, he has been up to no good ever since. “Why,” he said to Eve, “God merely wants to deny you the gift of being like Him, the ability to know good and evil.” Eve reasoned that this made sense: God wanted to deny them that delicious and beautiful fruit to protect His authority and omnipotence. Wrong.

God had higher purposes for his instructions. Not only had He created these human children with free will to choose, but He also did not want them to live forever in sin. He was protecting them from their own potential wrong choices. Oh, but they chafed against that simple restraint. They tugged at the proverbial leash until they broke free and had their way. Momentary freedom ultimately led to pain, sorrow, and death.

Why, oh why, do we never see boundaries and limits as a gift, for our good and protection? When you say, “God wouldn’t give me THIS situation (you name it) if He didn’t think I could handle it,” are you sure He gave it to you? Or did you break the restraint to have your way instead of His highest and best? Or sometimes, it could be someone else’s sin that produced chaos in your life. Or it could be the condition of the fallen world splashing upon you, a child of God. Father God will see you through the storm, no matter the cause because God is love. Yet, should we examine the potential of our own failure to walk with Him before we assign God the blame?

Creator of the Universe, Father God, is also Omniscient – One who knows our choices before we do. Yes, He is also a loving, forgiving Father even when we foil His best plans for our lives. When we turn from our wayward paths, He redeems our mistakes and even uses them to bless us … when we repent.

Continue Reading

Are Intimate Relationships Impacted by Abortion?

Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Pexels.com

Studies have been done to examine the correlations between abortion and relationship functions. In one such study, the variables included perceptions of quality-of-life, termination of relationship, sexual changes, aggression, and conflict. A large number of both men (n=658) and women (n=906) were interviewed, and the samples were ethnically diverse. Interestingly, for both men and women, if one had experienced an abortion in a previous relationship, there was a negative impact on the current relationship. The abortion experience was associated with an increased risk for arguing about children when children came in to the picture. Females also reported an increased risk for sexual dysfunction, arguments concerning finances, and even the relatives, both his and hers. Though this study does not prove that this affect will be associated with every person who has experienced an induced abortion, it is clear that abortion may impact relationships in a negative way as a person tries to move forward.


Coleman PK, Rue VM, Coyle CT. Induced abortion and intimate relationship quality in the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey. Public Health, 2009 Apr; 123(4):331-8, 308: 10.1016/j.puhe.2009.01.005. Epub 2009 Mar 26

Winter

Photo by Becky McMillen, Baldwin, KS

The beauty of a new snowfall carried sweet remembrances that winter evening. It was so tantalizing that I couldn’t wait to pull on boots and warm gear just to experience the magic outside my window. White puffs of delicate intricacy fell on my head, shoulders, and ultimately, my feet, creating virgin footprints in the yet untouched snow. Everything in sight was transformed to a pristine state of perfection. Just hours before the drab of winter browns and grays dominated the landscape. The ugliness was made new.

As a child, I remembered the excitement of making the first footprints, first sled tracks, or even shoveling the first paths on the sidewalks or driveways. The reward of hot cocoa, and perhaps a just-baked cookie, was often part of the expectation after we’d broken into the frosty scene to our heart’s delight. Even without a fireplace, we could gather around the oven, warming our numbed fingers and toes as we waited expectantly for mother to finish the cocoa.

Winter in the Midwest also reminded me of chilly thrills and spills. There was the joy of riding our steel runner wooden sleds down steep hills and even streets in our small town. As a youngster, I would gleefully jump onto the back of my father at the top of the hill near our home. It seemed like “forever” to the bottom of the gentle slope beside my home, every inch of the way filled with excitement. Dad steered the handles upfront, and I clung to his broad shoulders, screaming for effect as we hit unexpected bumps along the way. Though I knew we might take a tumble, I had ultimate trust in the outcome as I held on to my dad, the one I believed could make all of life go well.

As an adult, I pulled the sleds of my own little ones and as they grew, we sledded any hills we could find when the snow fell. I wanted my children to have the same fond memories I did of winter. We became a skiing family, and that passion infused a new interest in the wintry cold. My feet ached, my fingers froze, and yet, to stand at the top of a mountain range in the Colorado Rockies was worth every discomfort ever experienced. The Creation of God before my eyes was breathtaking, and skiing was an adventurous way to be a part of such beauty.

Over time, despite its beauty, I also learned how harsh and barren winter can be. The cold season brings punishing winds, stinging cold, and danger to wildlife as well as humans who are ill-prepared. Winter can be hard to endure, and seemingly endless some years. I personally find candles and fireplaces comforting with their glowing warmth and esthetic beauty. People use various ways to cope with the restrictive boundaries of winter — remedies for relieving the itch of cabin fever or simply “snow weariness” in the dark days.

Reflecting on a deeper, analogical meaning of “season,” poets and writers have often alluded to the stages of human life. Admittedly, my years of “spring” have passed, those exciting years when everything continues to bloom and flourish in beauty and energy. Those were years of my youth in which mortal life appeared unending, full of promise and expectation, eyes on the next milestone. In the summer, I remained strong, able, and healthy with the promise of more good things to come. In the fall of life, my pace slowed, my children had grown, and I looked forward to their promises of new life and growth. Their milestones became mine vicariously. I knew my “winter” was to come, but I didn’t really ponder it. There were still plenty of projects to accomplish, friends to see, and life to live! If I let myself think about it, the final chapter of life on earth did seem not as far in the future as I once believed.

When my parents passed into eternity, I had the opportunity of holding their hands in those final moments. I stood beside my mother, realizing that I was suddenly the matriarch of the family. I felt instantly orphaned. At that moment, I could not avoid the sight of my own mortality. How many more years would I have, and how should they be spent? How would my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, direct my paths? Would I obey and follow? What purposes would my life serve, however many days, months, or years were left? Was there some significance to this winter season? Was I to glory in pleasureful activities with more freedom to play? Or was there more to this end game?

The good news is that our Creator God has provided purpose for His children in every single “season” of life, from conception to the grave — or to the arms of God in heaven.  I have learned that as long as we have breath to breathe, we have life to live. If there are physical limitations, God has provided (the potential for) spiritual wisdom, which is an even greater gift. In seeking answers for this query of how to live joyfully in the “winter of life,” my eyes were opened to a fresh perspective. Just as we began, we should end. Jesus told us the greatest commandment in the Law:” Matthew 22:37. “… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

These words of Christ are so simple, and yet so profound. If we walk in those great commandments, we can find peace and significance of purpose that I believe all human hearts yearn to know. Undeniably, I have lived through many seasons, but I have discovered that God is my source of strength, courage, peace and all spiritual blessings … through it all, even in the unpleasant and painful trials we encounter on Earth.

I have a choice though! We all have a choice. God was purposeful in His creation, making certain that we could choose to love Him and follow His plans, or not. It’s called Free Will. Father God did not make His creation in such a way that they would be forced to walk according to His Divine Plans. What Father would want puppet children, forced into relationship like slaves? But, He promises to cover our sins like the beauty of new fallen snow when we make that choice to walk with Him.

As for me, I choose to walk in faith until He calls me home to Heaven, Eternal Life, in the presence of the One who created it all. I invite you to find that same assurance, purpose, and peace by accepting His free gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Invite Him to be the Lord of your life. If you are unsure how to accomplish this, talk to someone who is a Follower, or send a note here on the Blog and I will respond personally. By giving God the reigns of your life in exchange for a loving relationship with the Lord of all Creation, you will have everything you need for a life of blessing and purpose through even the winter of life.