What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fresh Out of Ideas...

"So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."   Luke 11: 9-10

Have you ever just felt like you were
  • fresh out of ideas...
  • running into dead ends...
  • banging your head against a wall...not sure which way to turn? 
If so, I am certain you are not alone...I know I have often felt that way...and continue to feel that way more often than I like to admit.  We start out gung-ho, ready to go on a project or an idea, and get up a full head of steam, and then we start running into road-blocks and obstacles, you know, those little daily frustrations that catch us off-guard and interrupt our plans for the day...or the week, or our life's goals...and pretty soon we find ourselves giving up on our dreams and schemes and going back to the status-quo...the ordinary life...the comfortable place where we aren't challenged to step out on faith and do something "outside the box".   We find ourselves slumped back down in our easy-chairs, pushing the buttons on the remote and looking for something to entertain ourselves...watching other people achieving their goals, obtaining their dreams, carrying out their ideas and finding success and happiness at the end of the rainbow.  And we content ourselves by saying, "well, that just wasn't God's plan for me", or "I guess that wasn't such a good idea afterall."  "It's okay for someone else, but not for me."

I don't pretend to have the answer to this problem that appears to be common to many of us.  But God's Word, The Bible, does have a lot to say to us about how we should go about seeking His plan for our lives...The verses quoted above from Luke's Gospel are a good place to start:
  • "Ask...Seek...Knock..."   and then go to Psalm 27:14, which says:
  • "Wait on the Lord;"
  • "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart;"
  • "Wait, I say, on the Lord!"
Oftentimes I have found that I have given up too soon, thinking that my plans must not have been good enough or in the right direction...when actually what I needed to learn was to wait on the Lord for His plans to come into fruition.  Isaiah 30:18 says,
"Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.  For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him."
Lord, I am learning to wait on You...to answer my questions, acknowledge my seeking, and to open that door in Your good time...and I look forward to hearing Your still small voice saying,
"This is the way, walk in it,"...whenever I "turn to the right hand or whenever I turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21)
Proverbs 16:3 reminds us to "Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established..."
and in verse 9 it says, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

So the next time you find yourself running into those road blocks, stop and ask for directions...and God will direct your steps.  You can't go wrong that way!!!

Have a blessed, productive day!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An Inauspicious Beginning, OR, "Confession is Good for the Soul"...

The Steiner Family Saga continues...stories from "the good old days"

Proverbs 31:12 “She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Yes, we had indeed “moved on up to the eastside”…the eastside of Cleveland, that is, to the region known as The Hills. What a beautiful place this was! Not only was the church a thriving, growing church in the suburbs, but it also had an absolutely gorgeous parsonage! We thought we “had died and gone to heaven” when we moved in! Especially after living in that big old house with the mice and the smelly cellar and the putting up with the alarms, sirens, whistles and bells…this would be divine! But we were soon to discover the truth of that old saying, “All that glitters is not gold.” (“The Merchant of Venice”, Shakespeare, 1596)
In our very first week I just about got us kicked out of that beautiful new parsonage and nice suburban church.

We had come fresh from the country, where people weren’t quite so “up-tight” about their “religion”. We were soon to discover that some of our new church people were the real puritanical, narrow-minded type, who had been schooled in some rather “pharisaical” teachings prior to our arrival. We had only moved sixty miles in the same state, so who would’ve thought that people could be so different?

This was back before contemporary Christian music was used or even considered acceptable in the church services. Once in a while during a youth rally or vacation Bible school or some other such program they might allow some praise choruses to be sung instead of the traditional hymns. Well, here was this dear lady, whom I will call “Eve”, who was immediately my kindred spirit.  “Eve” loved to sing and play the guitar, which I thought was just great! So she encouraged me to help her lead the singing on Sunday night and convinced my husband that it would be just fine. We stood up in front of the church, with “Eve” playing the guitar and me leading the people to sing choruses such as “Allelu, Allelu, Allelu, Alleluia, Praise ye the Lord!” Now, if you are familiar with this chorus, the idea is to divide the congregation into two sides, and have one half stand up and sing the first part, the “alleluia’s”, and then sit down, while the other side stands up and sings “Praise ye the Lord!” This goes back and forth rather rapidly until the end of the song when both sides stand up and loudly sing ‘Praise ye the Lord” together! Simple little song, full of the joy of the Lord, right? Sure! IF the PEOPLE are full of the joy of the Lord!

We sang a few more such songs, and I was wondering why some people just didn’t seem to be getting in the “spirit” of this singing, and were actually glowering at us from their seats with very squinty eyes and crossed arms. I was having too much fun and also too ignorant to realize that I had just stepped on some very prim and proper toes a bit too much! Ouch! The next morning my husband had a line of weeping and wailing women at his study door telling him that they did not like any such singing and that they would not “have a three ring circus” at their church and that I had better not ever do that again! Wow! When he told me what they had said I told him that I would NOT stay at a church where the people felt that way, and that I was too embarrassed to ever show my face again, and that since I hadn’t even yet unpacked all of our boxes we could just pack them back up and move on to someplace else right away! Poor guy! He really had his work cut out for himself at this place…both with the congregation…and with ME!

I wish I could say that I did every thing properly and correctly from then on…but it wasn’t too long after that we had a church social of some kind, and I was helping to serve the beverages to the people. As I went from person to person with my tray of beverages, I came to one of the Elders of the church, another rather “narrow” personage in my opinion, and for some silly reason the only thing that I could think of to say when I offered him a beverage was “would you like coffee, tea, or ME?” Now where did THAT come from? Some movie I had seen somewhere, I guess… I wanted to just fall through the floor and die right there! The look on his face was total shock and then much to my relief, he actually rather blushingly smiled and laughed and said “Wow! I guess I’d better have the coffee!” He kindly helped me get over my embarrassment by not making me feel too stupid. And for that I was very grateful.

I recently discovered a verse that I wish I had known years ago. It could have saved my husband and myself many embarrassing moments. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3.This verse coupled with my most unforgettable Psalm would make an excellent prayer for every woman when she awakens each morning. The unforgettable verse is Psalm 19:14…

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”

A woman who earnestly desires before God to say the acceptable words and think the acceptable thoughts will be more likely to do good for her husband (and herself!) and not evil all the days of her life.

Thank you Lord, for that reminder! I need to plaster it on my forehead or some place visible every day! Oh, and by the way, “Eve” and I have remained friends to this very day. I can’t even remember who the “weeping and wailing” women were! I think some of them have gone on to their “final reward” (maybe).

Now that I've confessed some of my most embarrassing moments...how about YOU?  Have you ever wished the floor would open up and swallow you? C'mon...'fess up!  It's good for the soul!!!  :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Face to Face

I Corinthians 13:12 "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face..."
This blog will be short and sweet...I've been away for a few days...I wonder if anyone noticed?  I was just reading a blog from one of my other blogger friends that answered a question I've been wondering about..."If you don't get many comments from readers does that mean that no one is reading your blog?"  The "Blogging Bistro" assured me that just because no one comments doesn't necessarily mean they aren't reading...they just don't always take the time to comment because they either don't know how to, or they are busy reading many blogs and don't have time, etc....which is fine. I understand that. We are all busy these days...and often don't even take time to read our "real mail", let alone all our emails, facebook posts, and blogs.  Time just flies too quickly.

The reason I have been away was to attend the funeral of a dear and sweet lady, my husband's Aunt Nellie.  Aunt Nellie passed away at the grand age of 93 years.  She would have been 94 in October, but Jesus had other plans...He wants to celebrate her birthday with her in heaven...and with all her other loved ones and friends who have gone on before her.  I can imagine that they are having a huge celebration there today...and having a grand time showing her all the amazing sights and scenery throughout the halls of glory.  But there is one scene that I wish I could have witnessed...when Aunt Nellie first met Jesus face to face, and when she felt His warm embrace and heard Him whisper in her ear, "Welcome Home, Nellie...We've ALL been waiting for you!" 
"Face to face with Christ, my Saviour, Face to face-what will it be?  When with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ, Who died for me?  Face to face shall I behold Him, far beyond the starry sky; Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!!" (Carrie E. Breck, 1855-1934)

I have no doubt that Aunt Nellie is with Jesus today...she loved the Lord with all her heart ever since she was a very young girl...and she was responsible for leading many others to Christ throughout her years as a Sunday School teacher and devoted servant of the Lord in her church and home and community.  My husband has often said that Aunt Nellie was one who had a very profound impact on his life and a strong influence in his walk with Christ at an early age.  She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt grandmother and great-grandmother...leaving a legacy of faith and victory for her family to follow.
I would call that a very successful life...an example that we would be wise to follow...and the kind of heritage I know I would love to leave for my family someday.

Whether or not anyone ever reads my blogs or pays attention to the things I may write now or in the future really doesn't matter.  What really matters is how I live my life...how I share my faith with others, and what kind of testimony and legacy I am handing down for my loved ones and friends when I leave this world to meet Jesus face to face.  I know I am not perfect...neither was Aunt Nellie.  But we both know the ONLY ONE Who IS perfect..."Jesus Christ, Who loves me so!"  Do YOU know my Jesus? It is my greatest desire that in some way you may see Him living in me...and that you would also desire to see Him face to face when that day comes and He calls you home. That would bring great rejoicing in heaven on your behalf as well.
Thanks for being a part of my life...and I hope we all will meet someday in that grand and glorious place.  Amen!

7 Simple Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog

Just thought I'd share this blog with my friends...I didn't write this...it is by Laura Christiansen, the "Blogger Bistro"...she was the original inspiration to get me blogging...enjoy!

7 Simple Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Time to Move On

More of the Steiner family saga...

Soon the day came when John completed his degree at the Seminary, and it was time for us to move on. In a way we were hoping that our current ministry would choose him to become their pastor full time since they were in the process of looking for a new minister. But that was not meant to be. Even though he was well qualified and well liked, it was understood that they needed to have someone new in their leadership…and we needed to move forward.

As I reflect back over this time in our lives, I would like to linger here awhile and not venture forth. See, back when we were actually looking forward to our future, we were full of excitement and joyous anticipation at what the Lord was going to do. We were young, full of vitality, somewhat innocent and na├»ve, and had a real sense of purpose. Our commission was “The Great Commission” as given to Christ’s disciples in Matthew 28:19-20:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

It is merciful of God that He does not give us glimpses of our future, but only asks us to trust Him and obey His commands…and He promises that He will be with us always.

In Joshua 1:9 He says to His servant Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Please don’t misunderstand me…God has never forsaken us. It’s just that as I look back in retrospect, I can see when the real tests started in our lives. Everything prior to this had been a kind of preparation for the bigger tests that still lay ahead. Kind of a “pre-test” if you will. We were now approaching the precipice of true adulthood spiritually speaking…we were “graduating” from the classroom to the “real world of ministry”.
I Corinthians 13: 11-13 says at the closing of that great “Love Chapter”: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
We were being led by the Spirit of God to take the next step in our maturity…to grow up in Christ, and to receive our true inheritance:

Romans 8:14-18 gives us a look into our future: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us"
Early that summer John was called to become the Pastor at a very beautiful, fairly large suburban church in the hills surrounding Cleveland, Ohio. We were “moving on up”!  (or so we thought at the time).  Sometimes the cost can be more than you bargain for...but that's another story for another time.
Thank you, Father, that You were indeed with us as we continued on in our journey of faith and trust in You. Looking back, we can see Your hand in every step of the way. There have been times when we've wondered, questioned, and even doubted and yes, stumbled.  How thankful we are that You have never let us down...You have picked us back up, dusted us off, and pushed us forward in spite of our fears and failures. That gives us great hope for our future now as well...we know that You are still working on us...we aren't yet complete...and we will continue to trust You for whatever the plan may be. Amen.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Chilly Baptism

More of the Steiner Family in Ohio Saga, circa 1980...

Acts 2:41 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

With the coming of spring also came some new challenges and blessings. The first challenge was that the Pastor of our church resigned and John was given the task of preaching both sermons on Sundays in addition to his other responsibilities of leading the youth, the choir, and continuing his seminary studies throughout the week. Although the situation was a bit stressful, John appreciated being able to keep his preaching skills in practice for the future, and the Lord was blessing both us, and our congregation in the process.

Not long after the spring thaw, several people came to John and requested to be baptized. This church did not have an indoor baptistry, so one of the local farmers volunteered to have the baptism at his pond. That was a very kind gesture, except for one problem: The water in his pond in April was still extremely cold! It was especially cold for John, a southern boy who did not much care for cold water under any circumstances! One of the church members loaned him some rubber waders to help “insulate” him from the chilling waters and keep him somewhat dry, but the morning of the scheduled baptism John was also running a slight temperature, making the water feel even more frigid! Dedicated to his task, he was determined to go ahead with the baptism regardless of the conditions.

One of the first candidates for baptism that morning was a very exuberant lady, who stood about five feet tall, and was just about as big around in the middle! As John began to immerse this rather rotund lady into the water, she became really excited and threw back her arms and started praising the Lord and shouting “Hallelujah”, and in the process pulled John right into the water with her, filling his rubber waders with icy cold water. When he tried to regain his balance and pull her up out of the water he just about lost hold of her completely. If it hadn’t been such a deeply spiritual moment, it would have been hilarious! Just the visual memory of it now brings ripples of laughter. As he regained his composure he remembered that he only had sixteen more people to baptize that morning!

Acts 2:46-47 “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

Wow...Thanks, Lord, for these happy memories sandwiched in between the more difficult experiences.  Such is life in the real world...we learn early on that in this life we have to take the bad with the good, and vice-versa.  Thankfully, God gives us the grace we need to endure, and He promises that when things get beyond our ability to cope, He will be there to carry our burdens for us.
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."            Matthew 11:28-30
What new challenges are you facing today? Are they overwhelming you?  Maybe Matthew 11:28-30 was written just for you today! Try it and see. What have you got to lose?  A heavy burden!!!  Sounds like a win-win answer to me. How about you?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Where Do the Years Go?

More Steiner Family Adventures from the past...continued from the Giant Leaps of Faith Saga...circa 1980...

One of the joys of this time, while we were off in the cold north attending seminary, was that our church provided a sense of family for us as well as a place to minister. We were blessed with many young families close to our age, which was a welcome change after our previous ministry to mostly elderly folks. Our boys enjoyed having other kids to play with, and we greatly appreciated the much-needed fellowship. It was wonderful having people with whom we could share the fun times as well as the spiritual times. I will always remember this as one of the happiest times in our lives.

Someone I remember most from this time was my friend Cindy. Cindy had a remarkable talent for playing the piano, with a unique ability to play some of the more difficult newer (at that time) contemporary and Gospel Christian artists such as Keith Green, The Gaithers, and others. Since I couldn’t play the piano (only “Chopsticks” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”) I truly admired and appreciated her gift. The highlight of my week came on Thursdays. John usually worked at the church office on Thursday mornings, so I would drop him off and our then two-year old son Scotty and I would go visit Cindy for a morning of sipping cups of hot tea and making music together! She played, and I sang. Cindy’s little girl Heather kept Scotty entertained while we had fun at the piano. Those were very happy days for both of us. She was working through a difficult marriage and this was good therapy for her. I was just happy for the fellowship and friendship, since we were so far away from home and family.

Cindy also had a son named Jeremy, who was the same age as our two older boys, so we often got our whole families together whenever possible. Jeremy was a very outgoing, fun-loving boy. He had a super personality and such a sweet attitude.

Flash forward about nine years after this time, when Jeremy was a senior in high school with about three weeks to go before graduation. Very tragically, Jeremy was instantly killed in an auto accident on his way to school. We had moved away from there many years before this, but we had kept in touch with the family, and this really hit us hard. He was all set to enter the Air Force upon graduation and had a great future ahead. In reading his obituary I saw that Jeremy had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior on July 3, 1981, at the age of 10, at youth camp, (shortly after we had left that area) and “on May 5, 1989, the day of his death, he met Jesus face to face.” It was a painful reminder to us of the fragility of this life, and how our children really do not belong to us. They are only loaned to us for a little while to love, teach, and hopefully introduce to Jesus at a young age…because we never know what the future may hold.  The following is an excerpt from a little story that was in the bulletin for Jeremy's memorial service:
"I'm not yet ready, Father. I haven't had time to say good-bye....Where did the years go, Father? It seems only yesterday that I held the precious blue bundle close to me, gazing into that small sweet face.....I don't understand it, Father. Only a short while ago our house was full of tricycles, baseballs, shouts, and clatter....
'I'll be OK, Mom,' he tells me.  And, suddenly, I know he will...  "It's time, isn't it, Father? It's time to say good-bye." (from "Time to Say Good-Bye" by Joan Wester Anderson)
Hold your children close while you can...tell them you love them every opportunity you have, because we never know when it will be our last chance to say good-bye.

In Loving Memory of our friend Jeremy...a life taken too soon...but we will see him again someday.
Thank you, Jesus.

Postscript 6/2/2018:  Little did we know that some 25 years later (and four years after I wrote this post) our son Matthew would join Jeremy in heaven, after a four year battle with cancer.  I expect these "boys" are whooping it up in heaven, going fishing, or doing whatever Jesus tells them to do to get things ready for the rest of us to join them someday.  They may be gone from our presence here, but they are never forgotten. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

“A Dog-Gone Good Try”...Or a "Character-Building Moment"

Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart does good, like medicine…”

Taking a giant leap of faith to go off to seminary with a family of five and no visible means of support was probably one of the happiest years of our lives as we look back on it now. If you've read the previous four blogs, you will have a better idea of what I'm talking about.  We had moved to Ohio from Florida  early in the summer with no job in sight.  Within the first hour of our arrival, my husband had a  part time position preaching in a little country church...which didn't pay much, but it helped us get through the summer.  By the time the seminary classes started in the fall, God had provided a much better part time position at a larger church with enough salary to keep us alive for the upcoming school year.  This was truly a miracle, at least we thought so...but it was part of God's plan all along.  He just waited to surprise us when we needed it most! (Right on time!)

Our family was settling into the routine at home and school and church very well. Although John was kept very busy with his studies at the Seminary, he was actually enjoying his work at the church as the Assistant Pastor of Youth and Music. One of our first activities with the youth group was to go roller-skating. Now this was a first for John! Skating had never been one of his favorite things to do. He was more of a competitive sports person, preferring activities like football, baseball, basketball, and soccer. But he was determined that he would learn to skate if it killed him…and it almost did!

That night we spent more time helping him back up onto his feet than skating around the rink! Just as he was really beginning to get the hang of it and was actually starting to skate with a little speed, he came to the curve and couldn’t quite maneuver it. Instead, much to his (and my) horror, he kept going straight ahead, right on through the emergency exit doors at the back of the building, and pushed the doors open, took a flying leap and landed outside in the sand! Overcoming his embarrassment and ignoring the laughter of everyone watching, he got up and managed to stumble back inside, even more more determined than ever to keep going. However, after he had landed on his backside several more times, with the back of his head bouncing off of the floor, I begged him to please stop before he killed himself! He finally gave in to my pleas and took off his skates.

The next morning during the church service, one of the men called John up on to the stage in front of the church and presented him with a brass dog trophy with the inscription, “To Pastor Steiner, For a Dog-Gone Good Try”!  The whole congregation cheered and clapped and patted him on the back and had a good laugh at his “great skating skill”. It was a great moment!

Romans 5:3-4 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope..."

Thank you, Lord, that You were there with us during the happy times as well as the difficult times.  We appreciate the little lessons in "perseverance" that came our way...they helped to prepare us for the more difficult trials that were yet to come. But through it all, YOU have always been there. Again I say, Thank you, Lord. Amen.

What are some of the "Character Building" moments you've experienced in your life?   Sometimes it takes years...and a lot more maturity, for us to realize what growth was taking place, even in the embarrassing moments of our lives. Even if it hurts...we need to be thankful for those learning experiences that have produced perseverance, character, and hope.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"How Deer You!"- Part V

Psalm 18:32-33 “It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places.”

Living in this part of Ohio would definitely prove to have it’s own challenges for our family. Not long after starting our work at the New London church, we were returning home one starry night following the evening service. Our ride home took us through the country, which was primarily farmland and woods. We had been warned by our parishioners to always be on the look out for deer crossing the road just after dark. The only thing about being warned about the deer is that it makes you aware that they could possibly leap out in front of your vehicle without warning at any time, however, there really isn’t a whole lot you could do about it if they did, except hope that you can stop in time.

We found this out the hard way on that moonlit night. As we drove our way home, with the boys sitting snugly in the back seat of our station wagon, suddenly off to our left we caught a glimmer of the eyes of a deer shining in our headlights.  Unfortunately she was already into her leap across the road as she followed her mate who had already crossed before we came into view. It was too late to miss her as she leaped right into our headlights and then bounded on into the ditch alongside the road. We stopped immediately, and could see her lying in the ditch, obviously wounded, but still alive. One look at the front end of our car, and we realized that we would not be going any farther that night. Of course the boys were startled and upset and started crying and worrying about the poor deer. Fortunately none of us was hurt. Someone stopped and said they would go call the Highway Patrol, and so we waited. Finally the State Trooper arrived, and evaluated our situation. He called a wrecker truck to tow our car, and then privately asked my husband if we would like to have some venison for our freezer. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a freezer, and besides, we really didn’t have the heart to tell the children that the deer wasn’t going to make it. The State Trooper said he would “take care of the deer” after we left. The tow truck driver packed us into the cab of his truck and took us home. The next day we had to make arrangements to find something to drive back and forth to seminary while our car was being repaired.

Just when we thought everything was running smoothly in our lives, we were reminded in I Peter 5: 8 that:

“…The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

But the next verse tells us to “resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (Verse 9). And it was comforting to see in the verse previous to these that we should (verse 7) “cast all your care upon Him (God), for He cares for you.”

We were to be reminded of these verses many times in the months and years to come. We had entered upon the battlefield of the Lord, on the very front lines, and sometimes the battle would get quite heated and treacherous. But God was always there, caring for us in the midst of the battle.

In Psalm 91:14-16 God says of His servant, “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

Thank you, Lord, for your protection over our family so many many times in the past and even now still in the present.  We've had a lot of "close calls", but You have remained faithful to Your Word.  Help us to remain faithful to YOU. Amen.