Friday 7/13 ~ Believe it or not, some day you will smile again

The scripture for July 13 is in Job 7:13ff in the Old Testament of the Bible:

07-Jairus' Daughter-ThumbnailCover“When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.”

Job was extremely depressed. It happens to everyone sometimes. His depression was certainly valid ~ he had lost all his income and all his children in a recent storm. Now he had what the Bible translated as “boils” but the symptoms indicate he had a form of leprosy. This particular form leads to nightmares in addition to the physical problems. Job had every right to be depressed. So depressed was he, that he no longer wanted to live, for his life no longer had meaning.

But, as miserable as Job was, he hung on. Patiently he hung on during the bad times. Sometimes during our bad times, the greatest thing we can do is “hang on” ~ be patient.

Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. Job loved the Lord. Even in his misery and desire to die,  he continued to love God and trust Him.

And although at such times you may believe your misery will never end, you may believe you will never even smile again, it will happen. The misery comes to an end. It did for Job. He got his health and wealth back and more children to comfort him. God will see you through too.

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Thursday 7/5 ~ Oh, how we need eachother

The scripture for today, July 5 (7/5) is 2nd Corinthians 7:5ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible.

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn ~ conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me so that my joy was greater than ever.”

Oh how much we need each other.

Sometimes in life, we go into our own Macedonia where we have no rest and are full of fear. Our Macedonia may be religious or political or medical; or it may be at work, out on the street, or at home.

At such times we need a Titus to help us, to encourage us. Our Titus may be a relative, a neighbor, a friend, or even a stranger.

Have you been a Titus to anyone lately? Look around. Be a Titus to someone today. You are so very needed.

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Wednesday 6/13 ~ Feeling hopeless? Go in the strength you have

The scripture for today, June 13 (6/13), is Judges 6:13f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail” ‘But sir,’ Gideon replied, ‘if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about?… But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us in the hand of Midian [enemies].’ The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have.’ “

How dynamic! When you feel trapped, God says, “Go.”  When you feel paralyzed, God says, “Go.”  When you feel hopeless, God says, “Go.”

Sometimes you spend your time concentrating on your problem rather than a possible solution. Or you try to find someone else to solve your problem for us. Or you feel so helpless, you sit huddled in a dark corner and ask God to take care of your problem for you. When Captain Gideon did this, God replied, “You’ve still got strengths. Use them.”

Yes, you have to wait for God’s final solution, but he does not expect you to sit idly by while he does all the work.  “But how?” you ask.  You are not a rock or tree or grain of sand.  You are not an elephant or tiger or worm.  You are a human being made in God’s image.  God breathed life into you and gave you special gifts and talents.

Don’t sit idly by while bad things happen around you. Everyone has God-given strength. Look deep within your heart. It’s there.  Then go forth in the strength you have.

~~~BUYLINK for eBOOK or discount PAPER; http://bit.ly/crippledprince

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Monday 6/11 ~ Let your heart yearn with them

The scripture for today, June 11 (6/11), is Job 6:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects that I should be patient?”

Many people use the expression, “patience of Job.” But he had on-and-off patience, for he was very sick. By descriptions he gave of himself ~ sores, rancid breath, low voice, partial blindness, skin turned hard and black, bloating, nightmares, extreme pain, unrecognized by his closest friends, some believe he had a grotesque form of elephantitis leprosy.

What did he need from his friends? He surely didn’t get it, for they spent their time trying to prove that he had sinned and God was right to be punishing him. His reply? “I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?” (Job 16:2f).

So how do we comfort someone who feels utterly hopeless? We certainly don’t put the blame on them, nor do we tell them it’s “all in your head’ or to “snap out of it”. We can share times when we felt hopeless. We can weep with them. We can hold their hand. We can sit with them in silence. We can pray aloud for them. (Some people have never heard their name mentioned in a prayer.)

And we need to let them talk. Sometimes they will say things they don’t mean in the long run, but at that brief moment, they do. Or sometimes they need to talk through things they are unsure about. They may even say contradictory things.

At one time Job said, “Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household…God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me” (16:7f). But another time he said, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth…I myself will see him with my own eyes ~ I and not another. How my heart yearns within me” (19:25f).

Do you have a very sick friend?  Let your heart yearn with them.

~~~BUYLINK to eBOOK and Discount PAPER: http://bit.ly/Hearts-Afire

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Saturday 6/9 ~ When you are desperately low, your job is just to hang on

The scripture for today, June 9 (6/9), is Job 6:9-8 found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Hero Alone-COVER-KINDLE-LgThumbnail“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!”

Job was suffering terribly. The Bible says he had sores all over his body. There were other symptoms listed elsewhere in Job that indicate he had a form of leprosy. Now he just wanted to die.

When we get into a life problem that seems hopeless, do we just give up and say, “God, I can’t go on like this. Just take my life right now. It’s too hard. I can’t do it anymore”?

God knows what you are going through. God knows that Satan is attacking you. When things are desperately low, your job is just to hang on. It often takes God time to shift around a lot of other people’s lives in order to alleviate your pain.

Remember, God hurts just as much when you suffer as when he watched his own Son suffer on the cross. His Son’s suffering accomplished something wonderful for others. So too, someday your suffering will somehow in some way accomplish something good. And ultimately, just by surviving, Satan loses and God wins.

This too will pass. You may not think so, but it will. You may think you will never smile again, never want to go around people again, never sing again. But you will. Just like Job did.

~~~BUYLINK to eBOOK and discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/HeroesAlone

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Monday 6/4 ~ Have you ever walked away from God?

The scripture for today, June 4, is Psalm 6:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.”

Have you ever walked away from God then couldn’t figure out how to make a turnaround and get your life back on track? Are you there now?  Stop! 

Stop whatever you are thinking and feeling and considering.  Look behind you.  God is a gentleman and will never force himself on you. When you turn away from him, he turns away from you.  But, oh, how he misses you.  He wants you back so you can feel his love again. 

All you have to do is stop everything and call for him to come get you. “Turn, O Lord! Turn! Deliver me!”

Why would God be so good to someone walking away from him? Because he loves you and is always listening for your voice. His love is unfailing.

 

~~BUYLINK for eBOOK and discount PAPER:   http://bit.ly/2tukMA0

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Sunday 5/20 ~ What is your deepest longing?

The Scripture for today, May 20 (5/20), is 2nd Corinthians 5:20a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

We all have a special and deep longing. When we are in pain and long for reassurances that God is with us, one of the things we often want is to see God, feel God’s touch, look into God’s eyes. This is where Christians come in. God says to Christians, “Go to those in pain. Let them see you, feel your touch, look into your eyes.”

Someone in your life needs you right now because they need God.  They don’t know how to reach out to God, but you do. They don’t know how to understand God, but you do. Stop whatever you have planned for today that is kind of important. Replace it with the very important. Go see someone or call them or Skype them. 

Are you or are you not God’s ambassador? Is God doing anything through you? Yesterday? Today? Tomorrow?

~~~BUYLINK for ebook or discount paper:  http://bit.ly/GodsSpirit

 

 

Sunday 5/6 ~ Where has Jesus gone?

The scripture for today, May 6 (5/6), is Song of Solomon 5:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 4-FolkHero-Cover-Kindle-thumbnail-new“I opened [the door] for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.”

Jesus is the lover of your soul. He opens the door for you, but perhaps you’re spending all your time thinking about material things. His heart sinks when you run away from him. Oh, how his heart aches with loneliness for you.

So Jesus goes out looking for you. He looks everywhere you go. He calls you by name. But perhaps your life is so full of the noise of doing and going and accomplishing, that you do not hear him.

Stop! Allow some quietness into your life. Then listen. Do you hear that? Jesus is calling for you.

Sunday 4/29 ~ Ah, to find God.  Who are you, God? 

The scripture for today, April 29 (4/29), is Deuteronomy 4:29 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

365 Dat by Date-Front-Thumbnail“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Ah, to find God.  Who are you, God?  What do you do all through my day?  What do you have to say to me?  Or do you not say anything?  Do you even see me, God?  Where are you?  I cannot find you.

Open your eyes, friend. God is always nearby.  There is an old expression, “To know him is to love him.” So true.  To find God, get to know him.  He is talking to you right now in his Bible, explaining what he is like and how he reacts to every possible situation in life. Open your Bible.  Look through the mini-books within.  God not only gives you examples of right and wrong ways to seek Him, but he gives you beautiful psalms and proverbs for your everyday life.  And, wonder of wonders, He tells how He came down to us and walked among us as Jesus.  Seek him there. He is talking to you.

Well, don’t you have anything to say about this?  Of course, you do.  The conversation turns the other way when you talk to him in response to what you have read, or what you are trying to apply to your life, or your concern for others.  

Yes, seek and you will find. This mutual conversation with God is the with-all-your-heart-and-soul kind. You can do it.  He is waiting for you.

And it is good.

Tuesday 4/24 ~ When Mt St Helens blew, I looked out my window and…

The Scripture for today, April 24, (4/24) is Jeremiah 4:24 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

02-Noah-KindleThumbnail“I looked at the mountains and they were quaking, all the hills were swaying.”

I was living in a village near the bottom of Mt. St. Helens when it blew.  We had lived there for eight years. We had often taken our children up to it and gone sledding, built snow forts, made snow angels, the works. 

It was our mountain. Our beautiful mountain. It reminded me of an upside-down ice-cream cone.  It was perfect in every way.  Everyone knew it was a volcano, but it had formed thousands of years before and would continue like it was for thousands of years in the future. It was our mountain and it belonged to us to do with as we pleased.

But it wasn’t our mountain.  One morning I looked outside. It seemed as though we had been plunged into the interior of a furnace with all its ashes. I stared. It was snowing gray ash.  I stared more, wondering what the birds had done.  Relieved, I saw them huddled together under bushes.

Of course, the radio and TV had switched to Emergency. We were told to stay indoors because ash is deadly to the lungs. If we did go out, we had to wear surgical masks. If we drove, we were told to put nylons over the air filter and not go over 10 mph.  Even then, the ash flew everywhere. Our freeway entrance and exit were blocked. The most disturbing thing I heard on the radio (everyone kept their radio on day and night) was that we were at the top of the San Andreas Fault.  And so we, like the birds, huddled and waited for more unknown.

Not only was our mountain turned inside out, but our world was turned inside out.

We have expressions that something is “as eternal as the mountains” or “as old as the hills”. Not true. Nothing on earth is eternal. That also includes things, people, power, position, belongings, even dreams.  Eventually, they quake and sway and are gone. Only that which is spiritual is forever. Will your soul be able to handle it?

~~~BUYLINK to ebook or discount paper:  http://bit.ly/HeroNoah

 

Saturday 4/6 ~ Ah Wisdom. We love you, Wisdom!

The scripture for today, April 7 (4/7, is Proverbs 4:7 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-Thumbnail“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”

The verse just before this says, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” And the verse just after today’s says, “Esteem her and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.”

How do we get wisdom? The Bible is full of it. Proverbs was written by Solomon, the wisest man in the world. Just reading and applying Proverbs would give a person Wisdom. And the entire Old Testament gives examples of numerous people through the centuries who did or did not do right, and the result of their decisions.

Many religious people neglect the Old Testament. It is not always pleasant reading. But by reading it, we can avoid the mistakes made by many, and perhaps gain courage to imitate the courageous ones who made the right choices.

How about reading the Bible through every year? To read both the Old and New Testament through in a year would take about 20 minutes a day. Some people have read the entire Bible front to back forty or fifty times. Make this a priority and you may be surprised how much is absorbed into your being, your life.

Ah, Wisdom. We love you, Wisdom!

Monday 4/2 ~ What is that in your hand?

The scripture for today, April 2 (4/2), is Exodus 4:2f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-Cover-KINDLE-Thumbnail-New“Then the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A staff,’ he replied.”

God had just called Moses to go into Egypt and free his people from their slavery ~ one man against an entire nation. Moses objected that he couldn’t do it. Five times In Exodus 3 and 4 he argued with God. “BUT I’m not famous,” “BUT they won’t believe I come from the God of their ancestors,” “BUT they won’t believe God sent me, “BUT I’m not a good speaker,” “JUST send someone else.”

Then God replied, “What is that in your hand?”.

Moses had a staff. God showed him how to use it to perform miracles. Today, are you using excuses to claim there is nothing you can do to show the love of God? “What is that in your hand?” It is a steering wheel, a shovel, thread, a computer, a spoon, a wrench, a cookbook, a band-aid. Whatever is in your hand, God can use to bless people through you.

God does not take ‘no’ for an answer. God challenges you. He wants to stretch you to do what you think you cannot do.  You are God’s hands and feet. Go ahead. Use them. Today.

Tuesday 3/27 ~ What if God…

The scripture for today, March 27 (3/27), is Proverbs 3:27f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ ~ when you now have it with you.”

Christians generally are good people. They stay out of trouble at work and in the neighborhood. They obey the laws. They don’t use profanity, they don’t lie, they don’t cheat, they don’t steal, they don’t commit adultery, they don’t murder. These are bad things Christians don’t do ~ sins of commission.

But what about good things Christians do not do? Too busy to stop and look around you for someone needing help? Too busy to drive someone to the doctor, or watch a child when a parent is sick, or fix a meal when a family is bereaved, or send a card for someone’s birthday, or call someone who is lonely? Too shy to say something to someone in distress? Too afraid to bring up heaven and hell to a lost one? These are sins! Sins of omission and they are just as serious.

Today, look around you. Who needs you? Not needs your neighbor, or a relative, or someone else at work, or one of the other members of your congregation, but you? You! When do they need you? Not tomorrow or next month or next year, but today!

Get out of your comfort zone. Quit committing sins of omission. Make a point to do something for someone else. When? Today. Too busy?  What if God made as much time for you and you do for others?

Thursday 3/22 ~ You can never be consumed

The scripture for today, March 22, is Lamentations 3:22 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

000-COVER-KINDLE-Thumbnail“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

Jeremiah had spent years warning people of the coming destruction of their country and beloved Jerusalem due to their selfish sinful life and taking advantage of each other. He endured taunts, reprimands, imprisonments, and threats to his life. Now it has happened. All hope is gone. Nothing left but ashes.

There were innocent people who suffered as a result.  Would they let Satan get his way and destroy their lives, their spirits, their souls too?  It is at this point that lamenting Jeremiah utters bravely amidst his own tears, “We are not consumed.”

Are there things going on your life that seem to be consuming you? Do you feel utterly hopeless?  Do you feel as though life may not be worth living anymore? Look up. God is still there. He still loves you.

When you have the love of God, you have the courage to take the next step and the next and the next. You have the courage to keep walking and walking and to hold your head high. Nothing and nobody can ever take away the love God has for you. With his love, you can never be consumed.

Tuesday 3/20 ~ He’s calling you. Do you hear?

The scripture for today, March 20 (3/20), is Revelation 3:20 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-thumbnail”Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

A couple days ago we read how the love of Christ is everywhere. But he will not force himself on you. He calls to you and knocks on the door of your heart and mind. If you have too much noise going on in your life ~ coming and going to work, coming and going to clubs, coming and going to education and training, athletics and hobbies, you cannot hear him. If the radio and television and phone and movies are blaring all the time with no silence, you cannot hear him.

Stop what you are doing right now. If there is any background noise, turn it off. Sit in silence a moment. Read a scripture about the life of Christ (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) if you have a Bible, and let him knock on the door of your heart. In such silence, you will be able to hear him.

He’s calling you! Shhh.  Listen.  Do you hear?

 

Monday 3/19 ~ Why had I felt so abandoned?

The scripture for today, March 19 (3.19), is Habakkuk 3:19 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail”The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”

The little book of Habakkuk was written during a period when the leaders were oppressing the desperate poor. Habakkuk complains to God, “Why do you tolerate wrong?”. God answers that he’s getting ready to put an end to it. Not satisfied, Habakkuk asks the same question again.

God’s answer renews Habakkuk’s faith. Perhaps he asked himself, “Why had I worried so much?” “Why had I felt so abandoned?” “Why had I thought God didn’t notice?” “Why had I decided God didn’t really care?”

Everyone grows impatient when leaders are doing wrong. But we must understand that we see just part of the problem and that God is waiting until the right time to put an end to it ~ a time when people are so desperate with helplessness that even unbelievers can’t help but know God intervened.

So when times come in your own life that everything seems to be going wrong, read the little book of Habakkuk and know that God is still in control, he has not forgotten you, and he has special plans for you.

Thursday 3/8 ~ If you lost everything tomorrow

The scripture for today, March 8 (3/8), is Philippians 3:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.”

Wow! Paul, who wrote this, considered everything he had previously owned and every position he had ever held as rubbish ~ garbage ~ compared with belonging to his Lord.

Paul apparently came from a well-to-do family since he was born in today’s Turkey but went to school in Jerusalem. He also apparently held a position in the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin, since he could vote on whether to execute someone. So he probably owned a lot of things and had an honored position. The King James Version of the Bible says he considered it all as dung ~ manure.

Where are your priorities? What do you spend most of your time on? The stuff you just have to own, exciting things you just have to do, the power you just have to claim? All to enhance the little inch of your life on earth?

What if a storm destroyed your house, your car, and all your stuff tomorrow?  What if you were banned from a sport you love tomorrow? What if a rumor destroyed your career with all its power tomorrow?  Then what?

Where are your priorities? What do you spend most of your time on? The stuff you just have to own, exciting things you just have to do, the power you just have to claim? All to enhance the little inch of your life on earth?

Or could you consider the deep and unconquerable love of Christ Jesus your Lord the most valuable thing in your life?  Could you accept your loss, take advantage of it, and unleash a different kind of life for Jesus with no regrets?  

Tuesday 2/27 ~ Satan exists too?

The scripture for today, February 27 (2/27), is Jeremiah 2:27 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Old Testament Survey-Cover-thumbnail“ ‘Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,’ declares the Lord.”

More and more people are blaming God for bad things happening in their life. That is their excuse for rebelling against God and declaring he does not even exist. Their view of God is a Santa Claus or Genie in a Bottle who grants their every wish and keeps them from all harm. No one ever dies, no one ever sins, and it is heaven on earth.

Other people sometimes blame God for bad things happening in their life because blaming is one of the ways they handle their grief. They don’t really want to blame God because they want to think God loves them. But there is no one else to blame.

No one else to blame? Oh, yes, there is. There is Satan. We tend to forget Satan is out there too. It is Satan who causes bad to happen, not God.

Is that what you’ve done lately ~ blame God for bad happening, then rebel against him? Or do you know someone who is going through many problems not of their doing or choosing? Are they blaming God and rebelling against him? Help them. Remind them of Satan.

People want to blame someone. They will be relieved to be reminded that Satan exists. Now they can put the blame where it belongs. 

Let us not blame God for the bad. Instead, let us thank Him for the good. Ah, yes. God does love us after all and is the source of everything good.

Monday 2/26 ~ Paralysis or freedom?

The scripture for today, February 26 (26), is Ecclesiastes 2:26 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Are you happy regardless of how much wealth you do or do not have? Do you require things in order to be happy? Solomon, who wrote the above scripture, was the wealthiest man in the world, but he found it to be meaningless, a chasing after the wind. In another place in Ecclesiastes (5:10) he said that a man loving money never has enough.

Indeed, centuries later, the highly educated and intelligent apostle Paul, who did not own a home or much of anything else, explained his happiness: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11b-12).

If you lost everything tomorrow, would you panic? Or would you use God’s wisdom and knowledge to create a new happiness?  Might you look around and begin doing something you have always wanted to do but were too tied down with things to do?  If you lost everything tomorrow, might it bring a new freedom to you or paralyze you?

Saturday 2/17 ~ What do you crave?

The scripture for today, February 17 (2/17), is 1st John 2:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Michel-COVER-Kindle-Thumbnail“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

Have you lost anything very important to you lately? Has it left you feeling empty?

Were you injured and cannot participate in a certain sport or your bones are getting old and you have to get around in a wheelchair?  Did you lose a savings or part of your income and no longer can buy fancy clothes, a shiny car, a big house?  Did you miss out on being an official for a committee or community and all the importance that comes with it?

The previous verse in the KJV says there are three basic types of sins: Lust of the flesh and eye, and pride. Is your loss devastating to you? Do you now feel worthless?  Do you sometimes even have fleeting thoughts that life is no longer worth living?

Or, perhaps recently you actually obtained your heart’s desire. Were you satisfied? Or did you begin to look higher wanting a little more? Take a deep look at yourself?  Do you think you will ever be truly satisfied?

What are your cravings? Are they all that important?  Are they all that valuable?

Only one thing can ever give us what we truly crave ~ doing the gentle will of God. He is our Creator and he knows what will make us happy. Then we can have all we ever craved ~ forever.