Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day By Day

Karolina Sandell (also known as Lina) was the daughter of Jonas Sandell, a pastor of a parish church in Froderyd, Sweden. At the age of 26, she accompanied her father on a boat trip to Gothenburg. During the trip, the boat suddenly lurched and Lina’s father fell overboard, drowning before her eyes. The tragedy profoundly affected Lina, as it would anyone; but, as a result, she began writing hymns. One of those hymns is the heartfelt and beautifully written “Day By Day.” This is such a pretty song, and the words are amazing! (Especially for anyone who is going through a difficult trial.) No matter what you are going through, the Lord is faithful and will strengthen you as you continue to trust in Him. He will help you make it through each day.... each hour.... each moment.....

By: Karolina Sandell

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best——
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Power;
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
Ever to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Testimony of Robert Rogers

At church today, we had a guest speaker by the name of Robert Rogers. At first glance, he is just an ordinary man with a love for God and for his family. However, his faith and devotion goes much deeper than that. In a tragic accident, he lost his wife and 4 young children during an unexpected flash flood. It was hard for him to go on without them, of course. However, with the Lord’s help, he rose above his grief and began sharing his testimony to hundreds of churches across America. Aside from that, he was instrumental in starting orphan homes for children in Russia, Africa and Asia, with a vision for more homes on the way. He also met another young woman who became his wife and, together, they now have 3 beautiful children as well. I would almost call Robert a modern day Job (pronounced Jobe), a man in the Bible who was righteous before God but endured numerous tragedies that took away his family, friends, and everything he owned. Through it all, Job did not curse God and stood firm in his faith. In due time, the trials were over and the Lord blessed him with even more than he had before, including a beautiful wife and many children.

It was tearful, yet inspiring, to hear Robert’s testimony and how he continues to serve the God who made him and who loves him, despite all he has been through. One of the verses he shared with us is my favorite verse: Isaiah 41:13. It is written at the top of my blog. His testimony was a reminder to me that God is always with us, even when things are hard. He is there holding our hand. The Lord may not always calm the storms in our life, but He can calm US as we go through those storms. He gives us peace that only HE can give, and I thank Him so much for that.

A quote from Robert that I found on his website says: “I believe I miraculously survived and am alive to tell the remarkable testimony of hope and God's grace through tragedy. God can bring beauty from ashes. There is peace through Jesus. God is still good, all the time."

Here is more information about Robert and his ministry...

And, here is part of his testimony that you can watch...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Verse to Share

1 Pet 5:8-11 --  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (NIV)

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Personal Example of Being Made Strong in Weakness

This has been a busy and stressful week for me and my family, for various reasons. There’s really no need to go into the details, but just wanted to “set the scene” here.

Wednesday of this week was probably the peak of the stressfulness for me, and by the time 4:00 came around that afternoon, I realized I had not had any time to prepare my lesson for our Wednesday night children’s program at church. “Just great!” I thought. Church was only a couple hours away, so what was I going to do? I had briefly thought about calling in sick, as I DID have a stress headache brewing, and was totally not in the mood to be surrounded by a room full of loud, active children. I remembered how, the previous week, my partner and I had some behavioral issues to deal with, and sort of lost control of the kids a couple of times. And, I remembered how disrespectful many of them had been when it came time to pray at the end of the lesson. I truly did not want to go through that again with the kind of day I had just experienced. But, at the same time, I did not want to let my partner down, as it was my turn to teach.

I began searching around the room for an idea and came across a book I have read to my own children here at home. It’s a book about prayer that answers a lot of questions kids might have about it - what it is, how to do it, when and where, why, etc. - and also includes Bible references to go along with each small paragraph.

I read through the book and decided it would be good to use for our class, especially considering their disrespect towards prayer the previous week. So, I wrote out all the Bible verses on index cards (19 of them) and was set to go.

During class time, after first having a talk with the kids about their behavior the previous week, I passed out the index cards with the Bible verses. As I read the book to them, I had them read the Bible verses out loud when asked. It went really well - actually a lot better than I expected. We had some good discussion come out of it, and I think they all left the class with a little better understanding of what prayer means.

I think its so interesting how this event so closely coincides with the topic I posted about last week.... even in our weaknesses, we are made strong. I know there’s no way I could have come up with the idea to read the prayer book on my own. It was God who led me to the idea. And, even though I was mentally and emotionally weak, the Lord enabled me to follow through with my commitments. All in all, the Lord was glorified and His strength was made evident in my weakness.  

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 -- "And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

If anyone is interested, the book we read is:  "What is Prayer?" By Carolyn Nystrom