MY BELOVED SON: JOY AND HOPE

Today, July 22, is a special day to celebrate the birth of my beloved son. I have not always been a perfect parent, but I have loved him with all my heart as long as he has lived. I am a proud parent of the man he has become.

He brings smiles, laughter, and delight when he expresses his sense of humor. He often brings amazement and sometimes bewilderment (to me) when he explains his  understanding of areas of expertise concerning his profession. He brings feelings of joy and gratitude to me when he demonstrates his God-given gifts to bless others.

Son, may you have a blessed birthday today with many more to come. You are a life worth celebrating from the first time I held you to the last hug we shared! I am grateful for your love, encouragement, positive communication, and reminders of God’s care even in difficult times — signs of your maturity and spiritual growth. Your life gives me hope, and I pray your life will overflow with hope and abundant living as you walk in the truth. Enjoy a blessed birthday!

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4)

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.”
(Proverbs 3:1-4)

“It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself if his conduct is pure and right.”
(Proverbs 20:11)

“So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17)

A GOOD MAN: JUST, KIND, HUMBLE, AND HOPEFUL

Today, July 18th, I write to honor my beloved husband  on his birthday. I have been privileged to be his wife for almost half the years he has lived on this planet, so I know him well. I loved him when we married, and I love him even more today.

In the Bible’s Old Testament, God tells us in Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

From this verse I understand that a good man is just, kind, and humble as he walks with God. Observing a good man like this makes me hopeful. Being with such a man is a privilege, and loving him and being loved by him is a blessing!

My husband is a good man! That makes me privileged and blessed, and my life is richer by his presence. My faith and hope are stronger because of his example I have observed through the years. He is just, kind, humble, and walks with God. Together we share faith, hope and love.

Birthday blessings to you, my beloved! A 19th century poet surely must have known love to express so beautifully the following wish. I now dedicate it with all my love.

This is my wish for you;
Comfort on difficult days,
smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”
(Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882)

LIGHT FROM A TOLL BOOTH: BLESSING AND HOPE

As I travel to spend my days at the hospital where my beloved is a patient, I stop at a toll booth to pay the required fee. Here it is typical to hear a voice say, “Have a nice day,” as I resume driving.

However one day from one certain booth I heard a heartfelt, “Have a blessed day.” It was that which I needed to hear at that moment. It led to a brief dialogue and to my looking forward to seeing this caring person as I drive through whenever she is on duty.

She learned my name and my beloved’s name and promised to pray for us. We have even discovered that we share a common friend. I have grown to appreciate her and her role on the toll road. I have expressed appreciation for her allowing herself to be used to bless this driver.

I consider her as a light reflecting the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. Her love and compassion originate from Him Who loves us with a sacrificial love. Our faith is our common bond between a driver with a heart full of concern for a loved one who has spent months in a hospital and a stranger who one day chose to share a blessing. I pray for this toll collector to continue to reflect the Light of the World to toll road drivers, of which I am one that she shared a blessing and hope.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5: 16)

INDEPENDENCE DAY: DEPENDENCE AND HOPE

In the USA a common greeting today is “Happy Independence Day.” Today we celebrate our freedoms. July 4th is known  as Independence Day, the gaining of independence from British rule 246 years ago. America was planned to be a hope to the world for the glory of God. (Sadly we Americans have failed to share hope or reflect God’s glory, but this is not my focus today.)

Recently our former pastor and valued friend texted, “Happy Dependence Day.” I understood his message. His point related to being dependent on Jesus Christ. Living independently of Christ is not the way to happiness while being dependent on Him is the way to abundant life here on planet Earth and beyond. The “beyond” refers to eternal life in heaven.

There is a heavenly home promised to those who by faith in Christ alone trust Him as Savior and Lord. It means a happy day or joyful life truly is found in living in dependency on Christ.

Pastor Rick’s reminder follows many past reminders such as to abide in Christ. We were privileged for a couple of years to have him as our pastor. He shared truths found in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. His messages and teachings focused on Christ, honored the one true living God, and blessed our hearts… always.

Today I acknowledge my faith in Christ and pray to become more dependent on Him daily. I need His help, strength, and hope to go through trials in this life until He takes me home to perfect peace and rest.

In the meantime I will continue to read God’s Word, abide in Christ, pray without ceasing, and look forward to being home someday. Dependence on Christ gives me hope, and today I will share, “Happy Dependence Day!” with you and pray this is your reality.

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation.” (Psalm 68:19).

“If I should say, ‘My foot has slipped,’ Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up.” (Psalm 94:18).

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26).

“For I am the LORD your God, Who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13).

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)