The Hope

We went to visit my aunt yesterday. She is so ready to go home from rehab. She was sure she was going home today. While we were there, she was convinced that surely tomorrow would be the day. After we left, I got the message that Thursday would be her day. She will be living, hoping and waiting for Thursday. Scripture comes to mind – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. I get it don’t you? Sometimes we can so focus on what’s going on around us that we …

Not Just A Name Change!

Danny’s mom loved and listened to what was then called Country and Western music all the time. One of her favorites was Freddy Fender. Now Freddy wasn’t his real name. He was actually born Baldemar Garza Huerta but changed his name legally in 1958. He thought he could sell records better with a simpler name. Those years and that style of music are pretty much gone now. But changing names in music and acting are still going on. Why would anybody want to change who they are? Oh beloved, this is the amazing thing of faith. Jesus comes and saves …

IF – And It Is So!

When we said our vows so many years ago none of them included the word if. When we birthed three babies we never included in our adoration of those babies the word if. Those words have never come up in all these years of conversation. My husband is my soul mate – it’s just so. Our kids are our kids – it’s just so. Yet IF is in Scripture! Was God giving a caveat to His Word? Was He holding back? Oh beloved, God speaks volumes in a two-letter word this morning! He speaks to you! He wants to stop …

A New Citizenship

        Are You Up For Peter’s Challenges? 6. We are called to a new citizenship   I Peter 2: 10 “Once you were not a people, but now you are a people of God, once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” This last challenge is that of our calling to citizenship. I am a citizen of the City of Hot Springs, the State of Arkansas, the nation of the United States of America, on the planet Earth, all of which I proudly claim. But this earth is not my home. When God called …

The Light that Shines in the Darkness

Hey everyone- Carissa here! One of my favorite Christmas passages comes from the words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist and the one who held the honor of hearing a word from the Lord for the first time in 400 years. “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke [1:78]-79) The mercy of light in the darkness… anyone who is sitting in suffering today understands …

Mercy: In Worship

  Definition of Mercy: not getting what you deserve       Mercy Mercy is a gift from God, the Father, made possible through Jesus, God’s Son. I accept the gift through faith in the victory over death by Jesus, my Deliverer. Why do I need Mercy? God, who is just, cannot delight in the unrestored. I am unable to make myself worthy in the presence of the Almighty. Who grants mercy? God.  Ephesians 2: 4-5  “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead …

Mercy: Filthy Rags

  Definition of Mercy: not getting what you deserve       King Saul received a command from God to go to battle. He was ordered to completely destroy the opposing nation. Spare no person, animal, or thing. God meant business. Defeating the enemy spelled peace for His people. Destroying the plunder ensured outside influences couldn’t seduce the people away from Him. King Saul went to war and won. But instead of following God’s instructions, he kept everyone and everything he judged valuable. What he considered useful contradicted God’s perfect plan. He deliberately disobeyed, and the Bible says God was …

Mercy: A Bath

  Definition of Mercy: not getting what you deserve       I’d just made the bed and was bent over, picking up dirty clothes when I heard the bed springs squeak. I looked up to see my two-year-old grandson, Bostyn, jumping as high as he could, trying to touch the ceiling fan. Catching him midair, I put him on the floor, smoothed the bedspread, and regathered the clothes. Two steps outside the bedroom, I discovered the toddler sitting on top of the kitchen bar, playing with an ink pen. He’d used the computer unit as a step stool to …

Mercy: The Cross

  Definition of Mercy: not getting what you deserve       God’s mercy required a cross. Receiving God’s Word Do you need God’s mercy? “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3: 23 Why do you need God’s mercy? “For the wages of sin is death, and the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6: 23 How did God show mercy? “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5: 8 What is …

Mercy: The Throne

  Definition of Mercy: not getting what you deserve       Mercy changes how God sees us. Our slate with Him is clean.  Read Psalm 103. Mercy changes our dependency. The Holy Spirit helps us understand more about God. 1 Corinthians 2: 9-13 “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows …

Mercy: A New Way

  Definition of Mercy: not getting what you deserve       Mercy changes how we interact with others. Jacob favored his son, Joseph. It made his brothers so jealous, they sold him into slavery. To make matters worse, he was accused of misdoing and thrown into prison.  But God was watching over him. Joseph was released and even given a powerful position. Imagine his surprise when, years later, his brothers stood in front of him.  Due to a famine, they had traveled to Egypt in search of food. The men didn’t recognize their grown brother in his administrative position, …

Rounding the Bases of Life

Our 7 year old grandson made a home run last night. It was a stop and go sort of run. He made it to first base and the other team overthrew the ball so his coach urged him to keep going. Then he rounded second and headed for third. He almost got tagged by a player and ran back towards second. Again the reprieve of an overthrown ball and he went on to third after all. Finally, the coach and the parents too urged him to run on home. He was elated! We all hollered his name out loud as …