Under God’s Umbrella

Years ago, my Mom gave me a copy of Holly Gerth’s book, Under God’s Umbrella:  Gifts of Hope & Encouragement to Shelter Your Heart in Life’s Storms.  The book is available from Dayspring and other religious book stores.

Holly shared this prayer:

“Lord, my heart is in the midst of a storm right now.  Please help me to be honest with myself and with You about all that I am feeling.  Amen.”

I have a great number of feelings right now from fear to anger, despair, hope, uncertainty, overwhelming sorrow, alone, resilient, mad and even strangely connected through technology.

This quote from Annie Johnson Flint was found on the opposite page of the prayer:

“God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain.  But God has promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love.

All of this was found in the chapter, “It’s OK Not to be OK.”  Recognize and call out the emotions that you are feeling and remember that we are all Under God’s Umbrella.

Shared by Marcie Doll

Umbrellas

 

 

 

 

Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

–Naomi Shihab Nye, from The Words Under the Words

And you may want to listen to the author read her own poem and you can click below.

Naomi Shihab Nye reading her poem “Kindness”

CHALLENGING TIMES? INDEED!

We are encouraged and strengthened by Bible verses that help us go through challenging times – times such as the present – that test every part of our character. During times such as what we are experiencing presently, it is important that we engage our mind and our heart with these good Bible verses to aid us as we go through these hardships. They will encourage us to keep pressing forward with a positive attitude.

Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you,  do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.”

Romans 5:4 “And endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Jeremiah 29: 11-13 “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes,  and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious,  and it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Psalms 9:9-10 “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”

Philippians 4:6 “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Proverbs 3:5-8 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,  and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”
 It will be a healing for your flesh and refreshment for your body.”

Psalms 46:1-2 “God is our refuge and strength,  a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea.”

Psalms 50:14-15 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on me in the day of trouble;  I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Psalms 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

I pray that we will repeat these verses over and over so that we will be encouraged and have the Word of God deep in our heart.

 

 Agatha 

Heal the World

At times when the world is dark, I just need to hear this song.

Heal the World by a German School

Heal the World by Kids Artists

Heal the World by Connie Talbot

There's a place in your heart
And I know that it is love
And this place could be much
Brighter than tomorrow
And if you really try
You'll find there's no need to cry
In this place you'll feel
There's no hurt or sorrow

There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
Make a little space
Make a better place

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make it a better place
For you and for me

If you want to know why
There's love that cannot lie
Love is strong
It only cares of joyful giving
If we try we shall see
In this bliss we cannot feel
Fear of dread
We stop existing and start living

The it feels that always
Love's enough for us growing
So make a better world
Make a better place

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me

And the dream we were conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face
And the world we once believed in
Will shine again in grace
Then why do we keep strangling life
Wound this earth, crucify its soul
Though it's plain to see
This world is heavenly
Be god's glow

We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel you are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we cry happy tears
See the nations turn their swords into plowshares

We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space
To make a better place

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me

There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me

You and for me


Words and Music by M. Jackson

 

A Prayer Board

Prayer List

My current prayer board in my home office is crowded, jammed, overflowing, packed, and crammed, but it is not filled.  Each week, I update the board and use it in my morning prayers.  Collectively praying for those who need our prayers each day matters.  And it helps me to have a visual prayer list.  Who is on your prayer list this week?

Pray.  Stay at home if you can. Flatten the curve.  Take care of your family and your self.  Be safe. Pray.

 

Shared by Marcie Doll

Sunday Musical Reflection…I come to the Garden Alone

I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known
He speaks, and the sound of his voice is so sweet
The birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He give to me
Within my heart is to ringing.
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known
I stay in the garden with Him,
Though the night around me is falling.
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

 

Mahalia Jackson’s version of I Come to the Garden Alone

Elvis Presley singing I Come to the Garden Alone

The Treble Chorus sings I Come to the Garden Alone

And I have to say my favorite version….

Johnny Cash’s version….

Shared by Marcie Doll