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Devotional Hope Inspiration Ministry and Inspiration

Tabitha’s Calendar

Good Morning my Friends,

I am so excited to share this story with you today. As you go about your day and the upcoming week, be encouraged that God is at work in your life. He already knows what you are facing and has made provisions for you to overcome. He loves you and has your time in His hands.

Tabitha’s Calendar

Peter relaxed on his mat. It had been a busy day in Lydda. He still felt elated from the work of the Holy Spirit. First Aeneas was healed after being paralyzed and bedridden for eight years and then so many people had given their lives to Christ. He was still amazed at the continued fulfillment of the words of Jesus, “I will send you a comforter. He will be in you and with you. He will never leave your nor forsake you. You will do the works I do and much more.” As Peter contemplated on the Lord’s words, there was a knock at the door. When Peter opened the door, he knew his time of relaxation was quickly coming to an end.      “Hello, my brothers. How is the Lord’s work going in Joppa?” He asked recognizing the men at the door.

          “Things are very dire in Joppa, Brother Peter.” Seth sighed.

          “What has happened?” Peter asked.

          “Tabitha has died and the brethren sent us to tell you that you are needed.”

          “Then we must go immediately.”

          Peter grabbed his bag and left with his friends heading to Joppa. As they journeyed the eleven miles, Peter and the men talked about the works and acts of charity Tabitha had been doing. Peter learned that she had suddenly become ill and died. This faithful disciple was already washed, but she had not been buried. She was placed in the upper room waiting for Peter’s arrival.

          When Peter arrived he found the house in deep mourning. The widows were crying and hysterically showing him the purple garments Tabitha had made for them. They were distraught. “Sisters, I know you are upset about your loved one, but I must ask you to go outside. This is not the time for hysteria. It is time to pray,” Peter said as he led the purple clad women outside.

          Once the room was quiet, Peter knelt and prayed, “Lord, you said that we would do the same work as you. You raised people from the dead. Thank You for placing your power in me. You said that if we ask anything in Your name the Father would grant it. I am asking our sister be returned to us.” As he prayed, he knew that Tabitha had more work to do for the Lord. He looked at her and said, “Tabitha, get up.”

          Tabitha opened her eyes and looked round the room. Frowning, she turned her head and saw Peter was in the room. She began to sit up and Peter rose to help her stand. He smiled at her and called out over his shoulder, “Come in, come in, brothers and sisters. Tabitha is alive!”

          The door burst open and the people were amazed to see Tabitha restored to health. Their excitement could be heard in the streets. People from around the city heard of the Lord’s work that day and believed.

          That night after Peter and the others left, Tabitha rested on her bed. She marveled at the story her friends told about how she had died, but was raised. She knew Jesus had raised people from the dead, but never thought she would be the recipient of such a great miracle. “I guess my time isn’t over yet,” she thought. “Lord, I am so glad time is in Your hands,” she whispered as she drifted off the sleep.

You may have read about Tabitha in Acts 9. I love making the biblical stories come alive. Tabitha’s story isn’t just about the raising of a life from the dead. This story can be applied to the dead things in your life as well. There are times when some things must remained dead and we should bury them, but what has God given you to do that you know it will bear fruit for His kingdom?

What has God placed in you that appears to have died? Have you lost your love for your spouse, your ministry, your job? Maybe one of your children is not living the life you taught them. No matter what it is, God can breathe life into it again. I challenge you to take a step back and look at your life. Evaluate what you think is dead that needs resurrecting and ask the Lord to resurrect it. He promised to hear us when we pray. Jesus promised that if we ask anything in His name, the Father would hear us. In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you.”

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Categories
Devotional Inspiration Poetry

Drawing Near

Drawing near

You take away my fears

Loneliness disappears

All things become clear

Lord, I’m here.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6

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Categories
Hope

Letter of Love to My Grieving Friends

Dear Family & Friends,

I know that many of you are grieving the loss of your loved ones. I’ve prayed for you and I know that there isn’t anything I could say to take away your pain. I understand how grief can steal your joy and overwhelm you. I remember the year I lost by husband and grandmother within four months between their deaths. Grief covered me like a thick curtain. There were days when I could see sunlight trying to seep through a crack in the drapes, but the sadness was overwhelming. I had young children and I was concerned for my dad because he had lost his mother.

It was during this time that I enrolled in college and kept myself very busy with raising the kids and adjusting to being a single parent. On top of that, we had just moved back to Longview after living in San Diego for five years and it was very hard being in a small town again. We took many road trips to Dallas so I could get my big city fix. I was blessed with some wonderful family members and friends who helped me with my children, took me on day trips, and prayed with me. One of my friends moved from San Diego to help me. God surrounded me with love.

I sought counseling during this time and my counselor suggested I start a grief journal. I did, but I made it a reflection journal. I recently saw a post on Facebook. My friend, Jha, who recently lost her mom, posted messages to her mom about life events she knows her mom would enjoy. She appears to be keeping a journal of her journey through grief by starting her posts with “Dear Mom”. Journaling is an amazing way to create a keepsake about the good times you had with your loved one. I know it was for me.

I hope you find peace in your grief journey. I can tell you that God sees your pain and He knows what you’re going through. He wants you to know that He loves you and there are better days ahead. Receive the love from your family and friends because He is loving you through them. Remember, no matter what, He will never leave you and He is always available to you.

At my lowest point, I found comfort in this scripture:

“Though mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, my unfailing love for you shall not depart from you and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

In closing, I’m including a link to a song that made me think of you today. I hope it brings you hope and comfort. God loves you and so do I!

Your Friend Who Understands

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again

Dear Heavenly Father, Please help my family and friends during the grief process. Help them remember that You are for them and there is nothing that happens without Your knowledge. You are in control and You will work everything out. I pray that in their lowest hour, they will remember with You all things are possible to those who believe and that when they give You thanks, Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will keep their hearts and minds in Christ. Amen.

 

Categories
Hope

Welcome Autumn

       Hello Autumn,

               I’ve been waiting for your arrival.

               Summer was dry and so was my spirit.

               I’ve been lost in a sea of evergreens and carpets of watered grass.

               You have brought color to my life along with cleansing rains and cool breezes.

               My spirit anxiously awaited for you and now harvest time has come.

               Welcome Autumn.

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Categories
Hope Poetry

When the Heart Hurts

When the Heart Hurts

When the heart hurts

It’s hard to let go

When the heart hurts

It’s hard to see the truth

When the heart hurts

It’s hard to receive a smile

When the heart hurts

It’s easy to lose your way

When your heart hurts

Look to Him who knows it all

To Him who understands your pain

Look to your Creator

Reach for His hand

He knows how the heart hurts

He will make you feel whole again.

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Categories
Devotional Hope Inspiration Poetry

The Path I Travel

I don’t know about you, but I have dreams from time to time that I cannot forget and they keep returning to my thoughts in detail. This morning in my time of meditation, I was reminded of a dream I had over a year ago.

I was traveling on a narrow muddy road following a fuel truck. The vehicle I was driving was an open go-cart type. We were not speeding or going very fast, but suddenly the truck in front me stopped. I kept going. At first I was afraid that I would drive under the tank of the truck and thought it would explode. All of sudden, my vehicle veered off the road and became airborne. As I began to rise, I looked around and noticed the landscape around me was plush and green. When I looked up, I was facing a tall apartment building. Fear set in again because I thought I was going to slam into the building. I started praying for help. Much to my relief, I began to soar higher and higher until I cleared the building. I woke up.

 I don’t know my destination in the dream, but as I meditated on it, I realized that this was a message dream. You see, my father was going through a health crisis. We visited doctors every week for two months. One doctor was convinced that he had liver cancer. Another couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but made some suggestions. A third wanted to remove something, but a fourth refused to do a biopsy due to a blood clot. All during their conundrum over his health, Dad was becoming weaker by the day. Dad’s sickness began in April and continued throughout June and July. I had this dream during that time. I believe God was telling me that we may be facing a difficult time, but we would come out of this just fine.

It wasn’t long after this dream that Dad took a turn for the worse. I didn’t panic and my sweet, sweet, daughter Tennessa rolled up her sleeves to join me in getting him to the ER. We determined that this time we would not leave until we knew what was wrong. It was during this trip that the Lord gave the doctors the intelligence to discover the cause of Dad’s distress. He spent a few days in ICU receiving treatment for a severe infection that tried to take him from us. Within a month he was back on his feet. Now, a year later, he is cancer-free (there was never cancer there in the first place) and he is golfing again.

I am so thankful that God still speaks to us in many ways. He promised that He would guide us and comfort us in our times of trouble. He is faithful. When I remember this dream, I am reminded of Psalms 23. I have a Psalm of my own that I would like to share:


The Path I Travel

The path I travel is ordered by the Lord.

He leads me through valleys and hills.

The path is sometimes a narrow trail in the woods.

It is sometimes a broad highway through busy city streets.

The path may lead me through the thickest of mud.

Sometimes, the path isn’t a path at all.

I get to soar like an eagle.

At time, I glide over rivers, lakes and oceans with mountains just below.

No matter where He leads me, I am never alone.  hills-collage

Categories
Hope Poetry

The Garden Prayer

In the garden He knelt

Thinking of your need.

He prayed to the Father

Before you ever believed.

He prayed for your life.

He prayed for your soul.

He prayed that your heart

Would be filled with His love.

He prayed that you would know His love

And that we would have a spirit of unity.

He prayed that you would understand

You were made for His glory.

You were on His mind in the garden

He knew a time would come

When you would just need to know you are loved.

He loved you even before you were born.

He knew that you would lose your way.

He knew then that you would fall and fail to grow.

He knew that His love would guide you back to Him.

So He prayed that the world would come to know Him by the love that you show.

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John 17:20 – 26

Categories
Hope Poetry

Color the Earth with Love

Color the Earth with Love

In the beginning the Creator spoke and what was void became a work of art.

He spoke and kissed the Earth with shades of blue sprinkled with sparkles of white and twinkles of silver

He spoke again and the skies spread out like a canvas waiting for the Master’s touch.

At the end of the first day pallets of blue had strokes of red, orange, purple and yellow.

At His command the night sky was illuminated with beams of alabaster and pearl as stillness covered the Earth.

Night became morning with shades of pink, violet and beryl dancing across the horizon.

Trees began to wave and clap as ocean waves played a symphony of praise.

He spoke and the animals danced around flashing hues of brown, gold, and black.

He touched the ground and sculpted man and woman, we became His vessels displaying shades of black, white, and tan.

Then He commanded us to color the Earth with love.

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Categories
Poetry

The Healer’s Touch

The Healer’s Touch
You know that a life can change in a moment.

It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or where you’re going.

Nothing stays the same.

The touch of the Healer can make a body grow. It can make a mind slow down.

The touch of the Healer can fill a heart with love. It can make a person whole again.

The touch of the Healer is more than you know. It’s more than you imagine. It can make a body strong and give a wonderer a place to belong.

The touch of the Healer is not always a physical touch. It is in a spoken word. It’s in a gentle breeze.

the-healers-touchThe touch of the Healer is in the colors of the sunrise or sunset. It is in the lyrics of a song.

The touch of the Healer is in the roar of the smallest wave tickling along the shoreline. It is in the word He whispers in your ear.

The touch of the Healer is what makes you, you. Be still and feel the Healer’s touch.

Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

 

Categories
Ministry and Inspiration

Married to Moses: Supporting Ministry

The day was hot as usual in Midian. As my sisters and I made our way to the well, I noticed someone had set up a camp nearby. At first I didn’t see anyone, but then I saw him. The tallest man I had ever seen was gathering wood for what I assumed to be his campfire. He was dressed like an Egyptian and he was handsome. He didn’t appear to notice us, but suddenly he turned around as if he knew he was being watched. I dropped my head as my sisters giggled when he gave us a slight greeting with a nod. We rushed to the well to draw water for our father’s sheep. We went to the well daily and each day when we went the well, we greeted our new neighbor with little waves and a flurry of giggles.

One day while we were at the well, a band of shepherds who were passing through interrupted our work. They demanded access to the well, “Move aside, girls. We need to water,” growled the man who appeared to be the leader of the group.

“We are almost finished, sir.” I replied as we were filling the last trough.

“You will step aside now or we will take the water you have already drawn. Decide,” the brute said as he shoved me aside.

I slipped on the mud and fell. The next thing I knew our mysterious neighbor was at my side helping me up. He turned to the brutish man and said, “You do not touch her. You wait until they are finished.” My rescuer towered over the brute with a scowl on his face that could scare lions away. My heart fluttered, not just from the confrontation with the evil shepherds, but my rescuer’s protective stance in front of me made me feel self-conscious. I was the oldest of my sisters and was not married. We rarely had visitors and I often wondered when I would meet someone I wanted to marry.

“Are you alright?” my rescuer asked. All I could do was nod. I was awestruck by his strength. My sisters sighed. He looked at them and smiled. “Let me finish drawing your water. I will water your sheep for you today.”

“Oh,” I said. “That is very kind of you. Thank you.” When he finished we invited him to meet our father, Reuel (Jethro). Papa was a priest and he would want to know about how the shepherds treated us, but he would be pleased with how the stranger defended us.

As we were approaching home, our father met us and asked, “Why are you back so soon today? Did you finish watering the sheep?”

“Yes, Papa. An Egyptian protected us from a band of shepherds and he drew the water and watered the flock,” I explained as my sisters described the incident in detail to others who were nearby.

“Where is this Egyptian?” Father asked. “Bring him here so that I may thank him and so he can eat with us.”

“He is coming after us, Papa I knew that you would want to meet him.” I hurried to my tent to freshen up. I was very excited. I knew that something important had happened and maybe I had met the man of my destiny.

Moses came to dinner and my father invited him to dwell with us. It wasn’t long before he asked Papa for me as his wife. Papa was happy and we were married.

Being married to Moses was sweet at first. Our first born was a boy. Moses named him Gershom which means “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.” The name was beautiful and I thought it applied more to Moses than to me, but soon I learned that I too would be a sojourner to a foreign land.

One day Moses didn’t come home at his usual time. I kept watching for him. When he finally returned, he announced that he had met with God near a burning bush. God told him to return to Egypt to lead his people out of bondage. The call of God changed everything for us. We soon packed up and obeyed God’s command.

In Egypt I met my new family and watched as Moses grew stronger and more confident in his endeavor to obey God. I was so unsure of what my role was in this new venture, but I knew that he had changed. He was more at peace within. He told me about his past and seemed to forgive himself. He also told me that we would not be in Egypt for very long. God was moving His people to some promised land. I didn’t completely unpack and watched Moses every day to know if it was moving day. Then one day he came home and smeared blood over the door. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Doing what the Lord told me. Tonight is going to be a dark night. Death is coming to Egypt and no household is exempt except those with the blood over the door,” Moses explained.

What kind of God is this?” I thought as I held our sons close to me. When we were on the way to this place, God was going to kill Moses unless we circumcised our son. I was so angry. I had to circumcise Gershom because Moses suddenly became very ill to the point of death. When I put the foreskin on Moses’ feet, he recovered. I told Moses he was a bridegroom of blood. Now God was going to kill the first born of the children in Egypt.

I tried to stay calm, but I was afraid. I’ve never been around anyone who had a relationship with God like Moses did. Moses seemed to have daily conversations with God and then strange things would happen. Thinking about the frogs and flies still made my skin crawl. Can you imagine walking through a floor of frogs? Then having so many flies that you could hardly see in front of you. Ugh! I love Moses and respect what he is doing, but I am ready to move on. Pharaoh was cruel and would punish us every time a plague would leave. I couldn’t imagine what he would do after their children died tonight.

We sat down for our evening meal. We ate bread without yeast and the lamb Moses killed to get the blood he smeared on the door. Moses told me that God told him this would become a feast tradition called Feast of Unleavened Bread. The meal was to remind us about how God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt with a Passover sacrifice. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could forget this experience. After we finished eating, we sat and waited. As the night grew darker, it was very quiet at first, and then around midnight, people began to cry out. I could hear women yelling about their babies not breathing or for their husbands to do something. I looked at Moses and hugged Gershom. “What’s happening?” I asked.

“The Lord has done what He said.” Moses replied as someone yelled outside our door.

“Moses, Pharoah requires your presence at once.” A group of soldiers stood just outside and waited until Moses appeared.

Moses touched my face and said, “Get ready it’s time to move.” He left.

I closed my eyes and drew in a deep breath. I was so afraid that Pharoah was going to have Moses executed all I could do was pace back and forth. I finally packed all the things Moses told me to gather earlier. I didn’t want to leave the house for fear that death lingered. Finally Moses came home and said, “It’s time to leave.”

We started out in the direction of Succoth toward the wilderness. There were over six hundred thousand of us along with our livestock. We stopped to set up camp at a place called Etham. As we were getting settled, I turned to look around and realized the magnitude of what was taking place. The Israelite people had been in Egypt for 430 years and now they were moving because my husband told them the Lord said so. I looked at Moses who was setting up our tent. I wondered what the Lord was going to do next. It didn’t take long for me to find out. When night fell, a large pillar of fire dropped from the sky. Even though the desert was cold, we were warm because of the huge fire provided by the Lord. When we were settled down to sleep Moses told me that he was sending me and our children to my father.

“Why can’t we go with you?” I asked.

“I would feel better if you were with your father at least until I know where we are going to settle. When we are settled, I will send for you. Please do this for me. I have so much on my mind, I don’t want to include wondering if you and our children are safe.”

I nodded, but I was afraid. I felt safe with Moses. He was right, though. So much was happening and the people were unpredictable. He did need to concentrate on his purpose.

The next morning, my children and I were loaded on donkeys and sent with escorts to Midian. Moses and his people started towards the Red Sea surrounded by a huge cloud of dust. I prayed that all would go well for them. I didn’t know where they were going or how long it would take for them to get there. But I did know they were very fortunate to have a God who protected them and they were blessed to have my husband as their leader. He wasn’t afraid to obey God and he wasn’t so proud that he couldn’t listen to advice from others.

I wondered what my role was in his quest to lead his people to their Promised Land. When I returned home to my family, I realized that I didn’t have to be in the middle of what Moses was doing. I just needed to be where he needed me the most. I decided that I would make sure our sons learn to recognize when God speaks and to obey when He does. God may not speak with words, He may use things like burning bushes, frogs, flies, bloody water, or pillars of fire. He is a creative God and He is very powerful. We should never underestimate His ability to deliver us from the things that would hinder our praise or steal our joy. Our God is Jehovah and there is no other god like Him. He hears our prayers and He answers them.

In honor of Ministry Appreciation Month, I selected a wife of a famous spiritual leader. Zipporah was only mentioned three in the book of Exodus (Chapters 2, 4 & 18), but she played a significant role in the deliverance of Israel. She was wise enough to know that God wanted their son circumcised. She obeyed God and saved her husband. He was healed and was able to play the role God had for him in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt.

In honor of Ministry Appreciation Month, I say, “Bless you, Women of God, who are married to pastors, preachers, priests, evangelists, prophets, missionaries, and teachers. You are loved and appreciated as part of the ministry your spouses serve. May you find joy in your journeyhybiscus and may your children grow in wisdom, stature, and the fear of the Lord.
I pray that the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and that you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:11