A Hard Goodbye

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Read: Psalm 68:1-10

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.” ~ Psalm 68-5

When our youngest son joined the Army, we knew that challenges lay ahead. We knew that he would face danger and be tested physically , emotionally, spiritually. We also knew that in some ways our home would never fully be his home again. In the months leading up to his departure, my wife and I steeled ourselves for these challenges.

Then the day came when Mark had to report. We hugged and said our goodbye’s and then he walked into the recruiting station, leaving me with a moment that which I was decidedly unprepared. The pain of that hard goodbye felt unbearable. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I can’t remember when I have wept as hard as I did that day. The hard goodbye, and the sense of loss it delivered, cut me to the heart.

In such moments, I am thankful to have a heavenly Father who knows what it is to be separated from a beloved Son. I am thankful to have a God who is described as “a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5). I believe that if He will also care for me and comfort me, even those moments when I face the struggles that accompany hard goodbyes.

When our loved ones say goodbye
And we have to be apart
God can fill our loneliness
With His presence in our heart. ~ Sper

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Loneliness comes when we forget about the One who is always with us.

Source: ODB Vol. 19

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Dreams or Choices?

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Read: Philippians 1:1-11

“Approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense.”~ Philippians 1:10

I’ve received a lot of good advice in my life. Near the top of the list is this wise observation from a friend: “Life is not made by the dreams that you dream but by the choices that you make.”

He’s right, your life today is the sum total of all the choices you’ve made up to this point. The Apostle Paul gave similar advice in Philippians 1:10, when he said to “approve the things that are excellent”. In any given situation, we have a whole continuum of choices, ranging from really rotten choices, to the mediocrity of average choices, to choices that are good, and then to those that are excellent. God wants to move us across the continuum, past our natural impulses, all the way to excellent choices.

Often it’s challenging to make the most excellent choice, especially if there aren’t many others joining us. Sometimes it may feel as if our desires and freedoms have been suppressed. But if you follow Paul’s advice, you’ll notice some really positive outcomes, like being pure and blameless and fruitful (v.11).

Make the choice to live a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Then revel the result!. ~ Joe Stowell

The little choices we must make
Will chart the course of life we take;
We either choose the path of light,
Or wander off in darkest night. ~ D. De Haan

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Make an excellent choice and watch the ripple effect of blessing.

Source: ODB Vol. 19

Driving in the Dark

Driving in the Dark

Read: Psalm 119:105-112 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105 I’ve always thought that I could get through just about anything if the Lord would tell me what the outcome … Continue reading

Precious In God’s Eyes

Precious In God’s Eyes

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. —Psalm 116:15 In response to the news that a mutual friend of ours had died, a wise brother who knew the Lord sent me these words, “Precious … Continue reading

The Telltale Heart

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If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. —1 John 3:20 Recently I read about a private investigator in the US who would knock on a door, show his badge to whoever answered, … Continue reading

Standing Ovation

Standing Ovation

Read: Acts 6:8-15; 7:54-60 “And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” ~ Acts 7:56 Susan Boyle spent of her adult life living with her cat Pebbles, caring … Continue reading

Freedom at Alcatraz

Freedom at Alcatraz

Read: Philemon 1:4-16 “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains.” ~ Philemon 1:10 A tour of the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay left me with some unforgettable … Continue reading