Here we are at Christmas time in the year 2020. Yes even in this crazy year Christmas can still shine brightly for all of us. Jesus came to earth to save us from our sins and give us new life and that has not changed. For some it might be the first time they have heard about this wonderful gift. For others it is something that we celebrate every year. Let us not ever take for granted the wonderful gift of Jesus in our lives. Let us worship Him today and everyday! This year might look different for many but Christ is forever.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” Hebrews 13:8
Thankfulness is on our minds right now during this time of Thanksgiving. We can always come up with a long list of things we are thankful for. Family and friends probably top the list, just like mine. This year we especially have a lot to be thankful for, since just making it through a day seemed to be a challenge at times. We have made it to the end of November 2020 and that seems like a great achievement.
As I was thinking of my thankful list. I actually thought about the people in my past who made an impact on my life. Friends I made at school, work and church. People who I made memories with that I still remember fondly. They were part of a puzzle that brought me to who I am today. A music teacher who believed in me and pushed me to be better. A boss at my first job who was tough but who really taught me to expect more of myself. A ballet instructor who gave me confidence when I had none. Two special aunts who listened and gave advice that was God directed and reflected the wisdom they learned through trials in life. A Sunday school teacher who presented a story about giving in such a vivid way that I can still remember the feeling I had the first time I heard it. New friends I made when first coming to Florida who opened up their home to me during the holidays and helped me feel comfortable in my new town.
These are just a few of the people who helped me along the way. There are so many more. I am thankful this year for all the times God has put that right person with the right message for me during a trying time.
I hope that I will be able to give back to others and lend support like I have been blessed to receive. As you think of your thankful list this year, think back and thank God for those who crossed your path and made a lasting impression on you.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
“I thank my God every time I rememberyou.” Philippians 1:3
We all have been in the midst of some really tough times for the last few months. There are many voices out there and lots of information that can be confusing. Who are you listening for? Do you listen for direction from God for your everyday life? Do you recognize His voice? Jesus said “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” John 10:27
We know the voice of those we love and have a relationship with. Ask a Mom or Dad if they can hear their child over other voices as they cry for them. Bet they say yes! I know my grandchildren can recognize my voice in a crowded room or store. They have told me so many times. Why, because we have a relationship and we talk often( also I have a loud voice but that’s another story) The same thing happens when we know God, spend time with Him and have a personal relationship with Him.
The Holy Spirit who lives in us will speak and direct us in our daily lives, if we just listen. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
In this time of uncertainty it is even more important to listen to God and follow Him. Remember to “follow the Shepherd and not the sheep.” Listen for Him. Obey His instructions and He will listen to your prayers and hear your voice when you call.
Our word for 2020 was perseverance. Little did we know then how much that word would be confirmed as important. Covid 19 virus has seemed to change our lives daily. We have just had to persevere!
Seems like where ever we look that word persevere is being used. What does persevere mean? In the dictionary the meaning goes something like this, to continue on even when it is hard and success is not guaranteed.
We are all trying to continue on during this time and we certainly can’t see the future. Sure glad it was not something I would have known beforehand. There is certainly a reason we are not told the future. God knows our future and He wants us to trust Him with it. We are to persevere, taking one day at a time.
So how do we continue to persevere even when it gets hard? Look to God for strength to carry on. Ask Him to keep you hopeful even when others around you may not be. Pray for others and offer help where you can. Stay safe, stay well, and stay strong! Focus on God and persevere.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Hello Finding His Purpose family. Since we are not able to meet we thought we would share a few thoughts with you.
You are not alone
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 Remember God is with us during this time.
Prayer changes things
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 Pray for our world, our nation and our families. Pray for healing and revival for our world.
God can use bad times for our good
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV Trust that God is in control and can use this for His good and perfect plan for our lives.
As a group with chronic illness and disabilities we are all used to some amount of isolation at times. We can use what we have learned during those times to help others who have never experienced that. Contact others, pray for their needs, offer encouragement. We hope you all will be able to look back on this and say,
We are all experiencing a time where fear is so evident right now in our world. The Coronavirus has made us all aware of the power of fear. We must take this threat seriously but at the same time continue to trust God to see us through this. Our powerful God is still in control and right now we must remind ourselves of that fact. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind “ 2 Timothy 1:7
In the last few months our granddaughter, Mia has been struggling with anxiety. We have talked about how God can calm your fears and how important it is to replace the negative or fearful thoughts with His words of comfort during anxious times. I would like to to share with you some scriptures that can do that for you.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
“neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
We pray for everyone to be safe and well. Keep close to God and let Him calm your fears. Stay in His word and worship Him with praise. God loves you!
The favorite scripture verse that the group Finding His Purpose was founded on was Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This verse was perfect for this group because the promise it gives us is one of hope. It reminds us that even in the bad things we encounter, God will work them out for our good. Certainly not everything looks like it will work out for our good. Issues of chronic illness and disability is no where close to a good thing. What God wants to do is to make us more like Him through these trials. Sometimes we don’t notice that God is working behind the scenes of our life. It takes time, sometimes years for the full story to unfold. We soon discover that He indeed took a very bad situation and changed it for our good.
What is our responsibility in this? To LOVE the Lord! This is a promise for those who love Him. The purpose is to make us more like Christ. God wants to mold us into the image of His Son. So no matter what your circumstances put your trust in Him. Let Him take your cares, trials and disappointments and make something beautiful of them as He changes you in the process.
Finding His Purpose started on January 23, 2014. It has been 6 years since the first meeting of this support group. We have seen good and bad in those years. We have prayed for things that did not come to pass. We have experienced some mighty miracles. We have lost some members/friends to illness but know they are with Christ and rejoice in that. We don’t know what the next years will bringbut we do know we will continue to thank the Lord for His blessings and trust He will direct our path. All the glory goes to God and we will always look for the good he works in all of our lives. Pray for all at Finding His Purpose.
Here we are at the Christmas season 2019. Many blessings have come to many of us and many have experienced loss this year.
At Finding His Purpose we have recently lost an important member of our group, Matt Lawlor. We all will miss him and his wisdom he frequently shared with us at meetings. He loved the Lord and we take comfort in that as we grieve. Say a little prayer for Carol as you read this.
Many of us have lost loved ones this year, our family included. So how do we keep celebrating when we feel sad and miss having them here? I think we must go back to the Christmas story and find the promise that the birth of Jesus brings to us all. Jesus is born to give us new life. This is the promise of Christmas and if we know Christ as our Savior we will have eternal life.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
Keep that Christmas promise in your heart and love the ones you have here with you extra this year.
The season is here again. It is Thanksgiving time. Lots of talk about being thankful can be heard all around us. What do you do if you don’t feel so thankful and are having a hard time finding what you are thankful for?
Here’s a suggestion-look around and you will always find something to be thankful for. Maybe it can be as simple as a nice day, or as amazing as a beautiful sunset. Make a list of the things you see and before long you will have lots of things to be thankful for. God gives us so many blessings but it can be hard to see them when life becomes challenging. We all have times when we must work to see the good things right in front of us.
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalms 9:1
We come to you with a thankful heart. Let us not only be thankful to you this season but each and everyday. You are our provider and protector. You are our uplifter in times of trouble. You make a way when there seems to be no hope. Help us to always go to you first in times of need. May we always come to you with a heart that is open and thankful for all we do have. Help us to see pass the clouds to see you shine in our lives. Amen
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalms 100:4
We recently went on a road trip that took us through multiple states. It was long at times but worth the effort to see all the sights and sounds we saw. As we traveled, it became apparent to us that our “little road trip” was giving us some very important life lessons.
We were stopped in traffic for over one hour due to road construction, so patience was something we had to develop. It was interesting to see a car or two weave in or out of the line trying to find a quicker way to move on. Just like in life sometimes we need to slow down and take the clear path, instead of rushing forward to find a major road block in our way.
We also had our GPS on our phone tell us that there was a speed trap ahead- well that’s helpful. We do try to follow the speed limit so we looked and said ok we are fine and kept moving. Up ahead we saw flashing lights and a car stopped meaning that the warning must not have reached that person and they were in trouble. How many times do we hear God give us a warning and don’t listen. We then find ourselves in a big problem that could have been avoided. Following the rules is needed and that is why God gives us boundaries to protect us from harm.
Tunnels were another thing we drove through on this trip. Tunnels are not my favorite but can’t be avoided if you need to get to your destination and there are mountains in your path. So you turn on your lights, hold the car steady so not to hit the side of the wall and keep going. There are lights in the tunnel too, flashing quickly by as you travel through. Just as you are getting weary, you see the other side, the opening with the sun shining as you exit the tunnel. Have you had a tunnel experience in your life? Have you held on tightly praying for answers or a breakthrough that just doesn’t seem to come? God is there with us through the tunnel. His light guides our way if we stay the course. He is showing us the opening with freedom on the other side. Keep going and don’t give up.
After a long journey it is wonderful to get back home. Home is where we feel comfortable and secure. Home is where we find rest and people we love. On the road trip of life, don’t forget that this is not our forever home. Jesus died for us to give us a home in heaven to be with God forever if we believe in Him. Please make sure you know the Lord in a deep personal way so that someday when your road trip is done, Jesus will say to you “Welcome Home.”