"Now hope does not disappoint, because the
love of God
has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For when we were still without strength, in due time
Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But
God demonstrates His own love
toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:5-8).
Helpless sinners. Unrepentant rebels. "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

Offering the sacrifice of life. Accepting the wages of death. Christ did this for someone who did not love God.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

Great photo taken by Jenny

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11).



In the middle of decisions, situations and questions (in a word, life), it's hard to see things for what they really are.
My feelings about something can soar one moment and die the next. Up close, some things seem big ... overwhelming ... confusing. Looking over hundreds of acres of wheat or corn, it demands work, water, harvest. The future is unsure - will hail wipe it out after the months of investment and work? Will we be able to harvest before a rain comes?
Life can seem the same way to me. What does the future hold? How will today's circumstances play into the next step?
My perspective, however, is so very limited. While I stare at the crop that surrounds me ... wondering what's next, unable to hurry progress ...

God sees my life, circumstances and future from a different angle.

"...in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!" (Ps. 139:16-17).

People change. But as Kaylene reminded me this morning, Christ does not. While I see a glimpse of His glory, when I recognize His mercy and grace in my life, He sees the entire, beautiful picture that's a part of His plan.
"But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (1 Peter 4:10).


Great is Thy Faithfulness

This testimony from Sammy Tippit was a blessing to me.

...When my train arrived at the Romanian border the next night, I was pulled off by soldiers. They surrounded me with their guns and kept me under guard all night. I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know if I would ever see my family again. I didn't know if I was going to prison. I was really discouraged. But then the hymn came to my heart again. "Great is thy faithfulness. Great is thy faithfulness." I began to sing and worship God. Eventually, I was deported from the country. The last thing the Romanian soldiers told me was, "As long as you live, you will never again place your feet on Romanian soil."

Read the rest of the story here.

"Free day"

Whew, free day, I sighed.

Driving home from helping Dad at the feedlot, I noticed the lane to our house needed mowed. And what a great day to get outside and do it ... maybe later on I can get ____ done, too. Oh, and I'll have time to send that e-mail ...

Half an hour later, the phone rang. Instead of all the things I had planned, I spent the day driving and doing errands. It was a good day, with some great highlights. But last night when I got home, I noticed the two-day old to-do list on my dresser.

Nothing had been marked off today.

Oh, well. I have tomorrow!

I set my alarm an hour early and went to sleep reciting "No snooze. No snooze. No snooze." (Well, maybe not exactly.)

I was awakened when the light was flipped on and I heard Dad's voice. "What time is it?" I mumbled. He told me; my groggy morning math told me that I had slept an hour and a half past my alarm.

"We lost electricity last night during the storm. Come over to the feedlot as soon as you can."

Too late to shower. Too late to make the guys' breakfast. Too late for coffee. My early morning ambitions floated out of sight.

I realized God sees my to-do list. He sees my alarm clock. He knows my conscious (and even subconscious) plans and expectations.

And He wants them resting in His hands.

"You are my God.
My times are in Your hands"
(Ps. 31:14-15).
"My soul, wait silent for God alone,
for my expectation is from Him"
(Ps. 62:5).
Just as I wrote that, the phone rang. "Can you run and get parts...?"
God is faithful to remind me that it shouldn't be me controlling and planning.