Antidote for Fear: God says, “You are Mine.”

But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!

Isaiah 43:1 (NASB)

 

IMG_0235The other morning when my kitten, Lucy, greeted me, I noticed she wasn’t wearing her collar. Being a safety collar, it isn’t hard to unclasp—one little tug and it snaps right off. Somehow, she had gotten it off during the night. I looked around but couldn’t find it.
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Saint Valentine: Love and Injustice

We live in an unjust world. No one knows this better than St. Valentine, the man for whom the holiday we’re celebrating is named.rome-714658_1280

 

Legend has it the priest refused to obey Roman Emperor Claudias’ decree forbidding marriages. Claudias believed more men would be willing to join the army and go off to war if they remained single. Believing Claudias’ decree to be unjust, Valentine secretly officiated weddings anyway.
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God is Good!

Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon writers conference

Late in 2014, during a horrific year, God gave me this beautiful Psalm:

“I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God” (Psalm 27:13-14, The Message).

He knew I needed to be reminded that He is good. In the midst of my grief and human-ness, I had forgotten.
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The Problem of Pain

Isaiah66_9
“In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the LORD. “If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,” says your God. Isaiah 66:9

Last week, I talked about the minor pain of inconvenience, namely re-entry into my Realitytale after a fantasy vacation with my dream guy. Broken down cars and home renovations had me wishing for Tinkerbell to sprinkle fairy dust and take me back to the Magic Kingdom.
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Come in Out of the Shame

 

Can I just be real for a second?

man-316521_1280Last week a load of not good enough pelted me. It just started pouring in big stinky drops and wouldn’t stop. You ever have weeks like that?

Nothing specific stood out; I just felt like I was standing under flow of shame without an umbrella.

 
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We Are Who God Says We Are

 

“You are going to lead millions of people to the Promised Land after you free them from slavery. You’ll drive out all the people in the land flowing with milk and honey, and dwell there, away from the oppression of Pharaoh and the Egyptians.”

God told Moses he would be a leader. Not just any leader, but the leader of an unprecedented revolution over a formidable dynasty.pyramid-315298_1280

Can you imagine? Put yourself in Moses’ shoes. The world’s prominent leader of the time not only knows you personally, but he wants you dead.
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Naomi’s Story Redeemed

IMG_2435As we celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, I thought of Naomi, mother of Mahlon and Chilion in the book of Ruth.

With a pain of loss I can only imagine, she decided to travel from the enemy country she’d been living in, back to her homeland in Bethlehem, Israel. Beyond childbearing years, the widow Naomi had no hope of ever having children again.

Naomi spoke from a broken place in the Moab desert. “For the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.”
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