Did you know that 70% of those who do not attend a church have never been invited?  Well, today, I’m inviting you.  Church is not a place for righteous, outstanding people, with no problems.  You might even consider it a hospital for sinners. It’s where you can go every week to reaffirm what you believe, refresh yourself with the Word and Sacraments, help others who need help, work together, encourage, praise, give thanks and ask God for all your physical and spiritual needs.

Church is like a huge group home, where we gather together and receive nourishment from the Bible.  We sing hymns to the glory of our Creator.  Sure it’s just a building, but it’s what inside that makes it a church.  Those who attend come because they need to be fed, they need God’s forgiveness, they know that His love permeates these walls.  What they take home with them is usually more than enough to sustain them for the coming week.

Jesus knew that the temple was a holy place and He went there to pray often.  He is our example for all things in life, so let’s follow Him by giving Him the adoration He deserves.


Jesus will be there waiting with open arms.  He will accept everyone who turns to Him.  He doesn’t discriminate.  He doesn’t look down His nose at you. He is our brother and He wants everyone to be His heir and live with Him in eternity.

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My Jesus is my everything, He always lives within me,

He is the shepherd of my heart, He knows right where I will be,

He guides, provides and leads me to, pastures clothed with morning dew,

Restores my soul and gives me rest, each morning He makes brand new,

When I stray far away from Him, He searches until He finds,

He leads me with His gentle staff, from danger of every kind,

He sets me on the narrow path, and even when death draws near,

The confidence that He gives me, will take away every fear,

For death will never o’er take me, He’s promised eternal life,

In heavenly glory I’ll live, free from the world’s ugly strife,

My head he anoints with His oil, My cup is filled to the brim,

His mercy and goodness will dwell, every day I live with Him.


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In solitude we find ourselves – we need some time alone,

A quiet place where life stands still – an instant safety zone,

Where waters blue envelope us, where peace is everywhere,

Where you can hear the voice of God, in quiet, thoughtful prayer,

He may not give us what we want or what we’d like to hear,

But in the sweet serenity, He holds us ever near,

The beauty of those moments, renew – refresh – restore,

So we can handle all the things the world may have in store,

Within that peaceful time with God, our eyes will never close,

New life is ours when we believe our every need He knows,

He has designed what’s best for us, He knows our every need

He proved it when He gave His Son for us to intercede,

Though we may need to sort things out, we never walk alone,

God has a plan for all of us to reach His heavenly throne.

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Hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, deadly tornadoes, earthquakes are all part of God’s plan.  We wonder where He is during those times.  Where is He during a terrorist attack or a school shooting where innocent people are wiped off the face of the earth.  We struggle to make sense of a child’s death – the difficulties of aging – the perils of life threatening diseases.  Where is God?

I couldn’t begin to understand God’s reasoning in sending storms into our lives.  I do know that when we’re faced with them, we can count on His presence.  He’s promised to be with us in all circumstances.  That isn’t very comforting to those who have just witnessed the loss of everything.  Where is God?

We tend to think He’s absent and uncaring.  We might think He’s messing with our heads.  We could even blame Him for all of this.  We look only at what’s happening in the moment and can’t seem to see the future.  Where is God?

Turn your focus to those who have given up so much to help these victims.  Look at the selfless heroes putting their lives on the line to help people they don’t even know.  Think about the dollars being donated for the rebuilding of devastated areas.  Observe the absence of race and bigotry.  Notice how people of every color are working together to help one another.   The power of God is great.  He can wipe out a town in a blink of an eye, but he can bring people together to rebuild it just as fast.

We could refer to this as the “end times.”  The signs are there.  There will be an abundance of knowledge.  There will be a lack of compassion.  People will abandon others in preference of self – wars and rumors of war – A drastic change in morality – rules and laws hold no value.  It’s time to focus on our eternal future.

God says that the end will come as a thief in the night.  We won’t be prepared, but signs are everywhere – signs which make us sit up and take notice.  They’re  a call for us to return to the King of Creation, but where is God?

You can find Him and His message of hope in His Holy Word, the Bible and He is at your side, available at a moment’s notice.  He is there!

Dear Lord, You have complete control over the weather, over the agony of death, the destruction of life, but , you never leave us. Help those affected by the storms of life.  Keep them safe from harm.  Protect us all from the evil one, who would have us believe that you have left us.  We know better.  He is the prince of lies.  Amen!

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An army of birch trees surrounds the crystalizing pond,

The leaves begin to fall, but their outer shell remains,

Clothed in brilliant shades of white and brown,

The air has a chilling bite to it,

An eagle circles above,

Spying his breakfast from aloft,

He swoops and dips – success,

The still water is shattered like broken glass,

But soon regains its calm,

Reflections of an azure sky,

Shimmer and bounce from trees to pond and back again,

The emerald greens of summer are now clothed with crimson, rust and gold,

The soft and gentle autumn breeze will soon turn bitter cold,

Bringing another season for us mortals to behold.


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In the month of May, we celebrate mothers.  We honor moms with flowers, words of love, dinner or something else to make her feel special. Today is Lazy Mom’s Day.  Frankly I believe this is how we should be celebrating moms.  Give her a day to be totally lazy.  Let her experience the feeling of not having to get out of bed, make breakfast, get the kids off to school, fold the laundry, pack lunches, plan dinner and get herself ready for work.  All of this occurring before 8 AM.

Moms, take a look at your house.  Is it the perfection of Pinterest?  Is everything in its place?  Does every sock have a matching one?  Is your sink empty of dirty dishes?  Do you spend the rest of your day thumbing through fashion magazines and eating chocolates?  If this is the case, most likely you have a nanny working for you.  You also have someone who comes in and cleans your house on a daily basis – a personal shopper, a chef, groceries delivered to your door and an event planner.  To top it off, you must have a chauffeur, an accountant, a beauty consultant and an abundance of energy.

The fact that moms are only honored on one day a year is really disgraceful.  They should be held in high esteem – right alongside dads – even when we don’t agree with them.  I love the idea of a lazy mom’s day.

Everyone should be entitled to a day of complete laziness – a time where we have no one to answer to, no obligations, just a day to do nothing.  Today also happens to be “buy a book day” as well as “beer lover’s day.”  Somehow they seem to go hand in hand.

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Being involved in theatre for most of my life has taught me how to become someone else for a short time – to shed my own persona and live in a different time, place or situation.  We all wear masks throughout life. We hide behind them because we don’t want people to see our failures or judge us.  Masks can cover a multitude of sins, but at the end of the day, they come off and we face reality.

Hiding doesn’t always mean closing yourself off from the world.  You may simply not want to bother people with your problems or would rather let them think you’re living the good life.  Living in a world filled with trouble – in homes that are less than perfect – relationships that are hanging by a thread – financial burdens, job loss, health issues – we try to hide the truth.

When we’re in the workplace, at school, with a group of fellow Christians, we put on our “perfect” mask.  If we bore people with the yuckiness of our lives, we may not have any friends – so we lie and say, “I’m fine.”  We might have a mask of “complacency” one day and one of “confidence” another.  Each one is covering up the truth.

Our hearts may inwardly be longing for someone to share our situation with, but we feel we’re letting our guard down or becoming vulnerable.  I’m currently blessed to be attending a small, country church.  This refuge has been like a family to us.  We gather  to worship, but also to share things that  trouble us and to be encouraged by our family.  Still, we don’t know the extent of how another might be suffering.  We still obliterate those secret sins.

When we ask someone how they’re doing, we don’t always expect the truth. Still it’s tough to leave out the dark parts of our lives. For those things, the only One we can truly trust is Jesus.  He walked in our shoes. He knows what sorrow is.  He knows the sting of death and disease.  He lived a life of poverty even though He bore the title of King.  He was tempted personally by the devil.  He got tired, ate, taught, drew crowds, yet he never had a home of His own.  A man of sorrows they called Him.  He knows what our darkest secrets are and He loves us anyway.  His life was dedicated to saving the world

The next time you ask someone how they’re doing,  listen to their response.  Be compassionate, empathic and understanding.  We can’t do anything to change another person’s situation, but we can support and pray for them.  Usually when someone says, “I’m fine,” it’s just a cover up for a mess they’re dealing with.  You might be surprised that someone is pushing through some of the same things you are.  That little phrase can be a call for help.

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Our voice cries out when troubles come, we close our eyes and pray,

The darkest moments will succumb, our minds might tend to stray,

Temptation slithers into hearts, deceiving on its way,

The lies which cloud our deepest thoughts, can darken any day,

Our hope remains in promises that God rains down on all,

We trust because He doesn’t lie, He listens to our call,

Within the peril of each day, His brilliant light will shine,

No matter what life gives to us, we’re part of His design,

We have this blessed assurance, that He has got our back,

He walks with us, He carries us, He keeps us on His track,

And when our final hour shall come, our troubles fade away,

As heavenward He takes us home to live another day.


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School is back in session.  Along with the fears attached to the commonplace incidents of violence in these halls of learning, our children are facing another kind of hate – the bully.  Children need to be prepared to defend themselves against the ugly words of others – the demeaning humiliation that accompanies those words – and the feelings of uselessness which sometimes lead to suicide.  More often than not, there is no defense.

Cyber bullying puts hateful words  right out there for the entire world to see.  Today, unless children are confident with who they are, are being tested on a daily basis.  Some kids can let bullying slide off their backs, but those words have become engrained in that child’s mind and heart.

Workplace bullying is a continuation of that learning – only now it’s being done by “grown ups.”  Once as my husband prepared for an after school art class in his designated, space a group of teachers came in and began posting “anti-bullying” signs.  One by one, the women called my husband out for being in “their” space.  It was ironic that they were doing the same kind of bullying they were trying to prevent.  Another example can be gossiping about another employee or trashing their abilities.

Many say that the bully is just reaching out for attention.  I believe that’s true, but  children also need to be taught to be good or bad.  They don’t come out of the womb knowing the difference.  Their thinking is based on what they see within the confines of their home.  It changes when they begin to socialize and see what others do.  Becoming a bully is a process learned in the environment, through socialization and is the result of those who teach them.  They learn by example.

Before they reach school age, they should be prepared to deal with this situation. They should be taught that every human being is unique and that each one of them has value.  They also need to learn that they have your support along with God’s intervention in every situation – even the ones that break them.  They should respect others even when they are being disrespectful.

One of the hardest concepts we learn as a Christians, is that we don’t fight back when others try to hurt or defame us.  God tells us to let Him be in charge of dealing out vengeance.  He also says we should love our enemies and do good to them that hate us.  Our natural response to someone who is bullying is to fight back – to defend ourselves – to do something equally mean in return.

In the few short years, prior to entering school, parents can determine how their children handle bullying.  During that time, a child’s future is being determined.  What they’re taught, will be challenged when they get outside your home.  They need the armor of God, when they’re under our protection and as they enter the world of bullies.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”  Matthew 5:11

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  Ephesians 4:29


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Signs of autumn in the air,

Leaves slowly lose their grip and fall gently to the ground,

Acorns pile up and seeds of all kinds burrow into the earth,

Regeneration of life to come,

The air is fresher,

The colors richer,

The crops ready for harvest,

And the smell of apple pies tickles our nostrils,

No more warm days of summer,

No more lazy days on the beach,

Birds gather into flocks and escape to warmer climates,

The way we look at things in life can have a great effect on how we live it,

A negative observation often leads to negative behavior and attitude,

Lord, help me to look at things the way you intended them to be,

A gift from you,

With no strings attached,

The bounty of the seasons,

Is finding beauty in all of Your creation.

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There is magic in the river.

She is filled with mystery,



Hope & sorrow,

Some find comfort in the tranquil ripples,

While others enjoy the turmoil created when the current stirs,

An empty barge moves to its destination,

Preparing for a heavy load,

A young boy longs for just one more day to drop a fishing line,

As the school bell rings, calling all to return,

A couple slowly walks hand in hand along the banks,

Contemplating a life together,

A homeless fellow rinses his face in the tepid water,

The river is for everyone,

It comes with no strings attached,

Only its being there,

Placed by God,

To nurture the earth,

And bring pleasure to His children,

Still a young woman stands,

Measuring the events of her short life,

Wondering if she can dispose of them,

Through a desperate attempt to end it all,

The river is for everyone,

It isn’t too late for anyone,

Even in the darkness,

Even in the sadness,

Even in times of danger or despair,

It doesn’t judge,

It just keeps rolling along.





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Every time a computer glitch occurs, I can count on being tied up for at least eight hours.  This amazing device, which normally can save hours has the capacity to make a sweet old granny very cranky.

This morning I opened an email telling me that my bank account has been charged with an amount I didn’t authorize.  There isn’t enough in my checking account to cover this charge so now it is in overdraft mode.  I am pretty good about keeping tabs on my bank numbers, so this immediately shook me to the core.

It drives me crazy how we depend on these devices for so much of our daily goings on.  I look forward to reading others’ blog posts, checking my emails and taking a peek at Facebook each morning.  I usually reserve my early morning hours for writing my own blog and doing those other things.  I’m pretty much glued to my laptop during my waking hours. Now I will be frustrated until at least noon.

Isn’t it funny how we let a screen determine the course of our day?  Maybe this is another test to divert my attention from some of the other things in my life.  My grandson leaves for S. Korea tomorrow for a one year stint teaching English.  I know it’s going to be a wonderful adventure for him and it will help view another culture and basically take the next step in his life.  I’m happy for that, but as with most motherly instincts, we find it hard to let go of our children and grandchildren.

Both of my daughters are trying to discover reasons for certain health issues.  My son will be leaving a job he’s worked at for 20 years at the end of this month, because the company has closed the doors.  Again, the mom in me wants to make it all better, yet I know that even in our difficulties, God has a plan for all of it.

There are always hiccups in life – side tracks that take us off course or lead us down an unknown path.  When we trust in God’s promises, that doesn’t always eliminate our worry.  We pray earnestly and trust His divine providence, but what if the prayers aren’t answered the way we think they should be?

We Christians go through the same difficulties as everyone else.  One may lose a child to death.  Another struggles with financial problems.  Some still hang on to past sins and, even though we know our sins are forgiven, we still have trouble forgiving ourselves.  Guilt is a terrible cross to bear.

We are not guaranteed a life of perfection when we become followers of Christ, but we are given assurance that whatever problems we face, are part of a bigger picture – part of the final outcome.

So now I feel better.  Sometimes we just have to vent.  God will always remain consistent.  He controls the universe and His work is perfect.  Our partnership with Him will always be for our good.  Even the tiny detours that upset the apple cart can be considered blessings.

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Over the weekend, we went to see the newest film by Denesh D’Souza about the death of a nation.  It was an interesting film regarding the involvement of the Democrat Party in slavery, racism towards all races other than white, creating a lie that would eventually turn all of that onto the Republican Party.  As many things have turned upside down in just my lifetime, I found his historical story very interesting.  The facts he presented were proven by historical events.

Within the film he made much reference to the Nazi Regime led by Hitler, showing how his philosophy was based on white supremacy – a population’s growing dependence on government – obliterating the Jewish race, Catholics and many more.  D’Souza draws comparisons between the Germans and the United States, even saying that we were the example the Germans used in creating their own form of governing.

As with any news articles or books, we have to be open minded today.  Unfortunately, political correctness has become so commonplace, we dare not speak for or against anyone.  There was however the story within the film, that emphasized what can be done to combat things that are going on today.

Within the film, we saw a story of a young woman named Sophie Scholl.  She belonged to the White Rose Movement, a group that opposed the Nazi Party, comprised of young people who felt it wrong to discriminate against other races.  She, her brother and some friends actively wrote and distributed leaflets containing their beliefs.  During this time she is known to have said:

“How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”  Sophie Scholl

This piece of the puzzle made me want to know more about this woman and her work in the resistance.  I did a little research and discovered that she was a Lutheran college student from a family of Christians who also felt this new government was wrong.

Her religious convictions included believing that every race has rights and their extermination was totally against God’s teachings.  They were arrested for distributing their thoughts on paper.  Sophie was executed by beheading.  She was willing to put her life in danger and eventually lost.

It gets me to thinking about the activists showing up in our streets on a daily basis.  They’re not like the peaceful young people of the White Rose Movement, simply expressing their beliefs to a uninformed country.  Today, activists are violent in their approach.  They seem to think that by doing damage to other people and their property is the way to deal with their frustration.  This seems to be common in our society – to approach any problem or difference.  We need to start teaching our kids how to live without conflict, how to solve problems peacefully and how to communicate again.


We have a whole group of young people in our country who are not like that.  The kids of today are scared about the future of America.  They should be.  I’m scared too.  The corruption, lies and false news permeating our country is colossal. We can’t be complacent about this.  Our children need to educate themselves, do the research, figure out how to approach the problems peaceably and get out there and do it.  The longer we sit still, the faster we will reach our demise. They are the heroes of tomorrow.  We need our young people to take up the gauntlet.  They are the future leaders of our country.



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As my kids were growing up, Labor Day always signaled the end of summer and the beginning of another school year.  According to my mother, you put away the white pants, dresses and shoes until next Memorial Day.  I never quite understood the reasoning.  Isn’t it funny the traditions we create without really putting a great deal of thought into them?

For example, where I live – the frozen Tundra of Minnesota – our first snowfall can occur as early as September or as late as November.  White shoes and pants would be perfect during snowy months.  You’d blend right in with your environment.  You wouldn’t have to wear camouflage if you were a hunter.  Of course you might be putting your own life on the line by doing so.  You could become invisible as you shovel the sidewalk and freak out all your neighbors.  If the kids were looking for you, you might get a few extra minutes to yourself.  The advantages are countless.

When you think about it, white is worn to reflect the sun.  In the colder months we try to stay warm so we choose to wear darker colors. However, when you’re a young mom and you’re camping with three youngsters, those white things have a pretty good chance of getting grass stained or covered with S’Mores in time.  Doesn’t it make more sense to wear darker colors during the busy summer months to hide some of that stuff?  I mean moms really wind up collecting a lot of dirt, grime, food stains and other assorted discolorations in summer.

We’ve  gotten away from those old traditions as time passes.  I’ll bet many young moms don’t even know the rule for wearing white.  What difference does it make?  It really doesn’t matter what color you wear or when you wear it.  Sometimes we just have to break the rules.


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Broken fences, tattered roof, trees that reach the sky,

The cabin by the lake will now bid us a sad goodbye,

The treasured fleeting memories, will fade just like the sun,

We wander back to normalcy and soon forget the fun,

Summer now a distant treasure, so far beyond our reach,

The days of autumn call to us, forget about the beach,

The colors change to earthy tones, the days flow swiftly by,

The air exhibits a new glow as crystals fill the sky,

The chilly air will soon turn cold and days grow shorter still,

We hibernate in winter warmth, in city caves we dwell,

Tomorrow is another day, renewed by God’s own hand,

We pray that He will protect us and heal our ailing land,

In confidence we rest in Him, our future is secure,

We know that all He’s done for us, eternity assures.


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Buttery, soft petals explode across the western plain,

Flowing gently downward or rising up again,

A plethora of seeds it holds, for waiting birds to eat,

They soon will fill the ground once more, when spring once more we greet,

The Son of God once rose for all, He took away our sins,

He conquered death on that bright day, for us the victory wins,

On that quiet Sunday morning, He showed His face once more,

His followers were doubtful yet, they soon knew it was sure,

He showed His wounds and they believed, but still He said to wait,

For the great and Holy Spirit to seal their coming fate,

These men would be prepared to go, and share God’s perfect love,

They’d plant the seeds of victory, a gift from up above,

The seeds spread all across the land, they burrowed in men’s hearts,

Those little seeds bore healthy fruit and this is how it starts.


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Doing door to door sales in the 1980s was always the hardest thing for me to do.  I was never sure what I’d find on the other side, but I kept on knocking on doors until I’d miraculously find someone home who wasn’t crazy or a serial killer.  Times were different in those days. Today there aren’t too many folks doing this type of soliciting anymore.

I always wondered why they said the hardest door to open was your own, until I actually opened mine and took the plunge.  With any kind of job seeking, you have to be active in the process.  You can’t sit on the couch waiting for someone to hire you.  When one of my grandson’s thought about getting a summer job, he thought all he needed to do was pick up an application.  My point here is that we need to be involved, connected and active.

Searching for a job is tough.  Today you fill out the application on line.  Your resume is electronically sent.  You don’t always get a live interview until you’ve gone through another long time of submitting forms, answering questions, taking tests and totally losing it.   For anyone who’s technically challenged, this whole deal is filled with anxiety.  We may get through part of the application process when everything suddenly crashes.  You spend more time trying to do it on the computer, than it would’ve taken to go to the company with your resume and fill out an application and talk to a human being right there.

The doors we open in the hiring process, may not be as readily available as they once were, but we will have to go through many in order to achieve our goal.  This isn’t only true in our work life, but in our spiritual walk.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7

When we pray, we should come humbly before Almighty God, with repentant hearts.  We’re told to ask, which is hard, when we think we’re entitled to everything.  When we put God first in our prayers, He’ll hear our petitions.  We’re told to seek – the action I was talking about earlier.  We trust in God’s will for our lives, but we still need to be active in our study of His Word – getting it at church or home devotions – sharing it with someone who needs God’s intervention.  Finally He tells us to knock and the door will be opened to you.  What a welcoming thought – to be standing at God’s door, gently tapping upon it and not having to wait a second before He’s right there inviting you into His kingdom. That’s the final treasure we’ll find in heaven.

This passage in the Bible is talking about our relationship with God, but it also applies to everything in life.  When God is present we can confidently pray and expect to be answered.  It may not be the answer we’d choose, but He knows what’s best for us.  Knock on that door – opportunity of a lifetime is waiting.



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The sands of time embraced me and I suddenly was old,

My heart still longs for paradise, along the winding road,

It will be like nothing I’ve ever experienced in this lifetime,

It will take my breath away,

Yet I my lungs will be filled with fresh air,

There will be no tears,

No pain,

No anxiety,

No fear,

No temptation,

No want,

Only perfection,

The weathered and leathered skin will again be supple and firm,

The aching joints will regain their strength and last forever,

The brittle bones will be replaced with new,

My memory will return,

My mind will be clear,

Any disease that has infected my body will be eliminated,

I will appear guiltless before my Judge,

What an awe inspiring adventure awaits me!

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In 1999, an adventure/horror movie called “The Mummy” hit the big screen and we were witness to the dead coming back to life – embalming garb and all.  Flesh began to cover near skeletal bodies – muscle replaced withered flesh – blood flowed through lifeless creatures once more and it scared the heck out of us.

There’s a similar story in the book of the prophet Ezekiel.  His vision of a field of dead bodies inspired by God was returned to flesh and blood.  God’s breath brought new life from death.  This part of the Bible is one of those seemingly impossible stories, but it certainly gives us a clear image of how God can restore life.

The people of Israel had a long history of being held in captivity.  They often became slaves to the religion and culture of their captors as well.  This example of God’s restoration is to assure us that we’ll receive new life, even when our bodies have been broken and carry no life at all.

Are you in a point right now where you feel there’s no hope?  Do you struggle with a severe illness or disability?  Is your pattern of existence a day to day battle to simply get by?  Are you in a broken relationship?  Have you gone a long time without a job?  Do you live with addiction or abuse?

God doesn’t promise a life without problems.  In fact, when man separated himself from God by his disobedience, we all became inheritors of sin, but God, in that very moment of betrayal, provided a way out for us.  The promise was a Savior who would bring eternal life to those who follow Him.

We’re all broken, but there is hope for everyone.  That promise God made so long ago still lives today, just as we’ll someday live again with perfect bodies – with no pain – no sorrow – no sin.


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