Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bloom Where You're Planted

Difficulties and disappointments happen. Life can be downright hard. From the time I entered fourth grade, I knew my Dad struggled with health issues. Due to a genetic predisposition for disease and some unhealthy choices, it was only a matter of time before his health began to decline. He had an artificial heart valve put in, and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a few years later. I can only imagine the pain he experienced on a daily basis.

My Dad's suffering played a big role in my career choice. I wanted to help prevent illness. My focus was corporate wellness: emphasizing everything from smoke cessation to weight management. Setting up exercise programs and motivating clients to stick with their regimen became my passion.

As I look back, I can see how God used a difficult situation to inspire positive growth. The same is true today. Each disappointment carries with it the opportunity to create something beautiful. My challenge is to trust the Lord when each trial comes, allowing Him to make the proverbial lemonade from the lemons.

Step back in time with me some twenty-five hundred years or so. Our city of Jerusalem has been ransacked and we've been taken captive by the Babylonians. We're now living among a strange people many miles from home.

Can you imagine it? It's so easy to let your mind drift back to all the comforts of your hometown. The friendly neighbors you had. The bakery you owned and operated in the heart of the city. The temple where you worshipped the Lord. But everything is different today. Your eyes fill with tears as you long for the way things used to be...

Then you receive the letter. A letter from none other than the prophet Jeremiah, inspired by the very God of heaven. His words cause an initial sting, but you know they contain the truth:

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace," (Jeremiah 29:4-7; KJV).

Wow! So this captivity is all a part of God's plan. Our poor choices brought His judgment, but even in this place, He desires to bless us, if we just obey Him. Basically, He wants us to move on with life. Bloom where we're planted. Even pray for our captors. Radical commands! His purpose for us is clear, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end," (Jeremiah 29:11).

Fast forward to today. All of us experience difficulties - probably not as drastic as those faced by the children of Israel! What will you choose to do with your trials? Allow them to destroy you? Or trust God through the situation and allow Him to create something beautiful? The choice is yours!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are so good to me. Help me to focus on Your purpose for each trial in my life. I need Your strength to choose to continue living life when things become difficult. Thank You for the truth of Your Word. Use every trial in my life to create something beautiful that points to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.      

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The job wasn't easy. Thankfully I had some help. A couple of students from our Sunday school class were helping me weed the large hillside in front of our house. I had let the dreaded task slide down my 'to do' list, until it hit bottom. Either I had to get the weeds under control, or they would definitely complete their stealthy hillside take-over. Some of the weeds looked like miniature umbrellas, with huge leaves that would keep the rain off of an entire family of rodents. Others favored the green, feathery portion of a carrot plant. Both varieties were roughly three feet tall and appeared to be growing by the minute. With garden gloves protecting our tender hands, we got down to the messy business of weeding.

It didn't take long to figure out that these weeds were not going to let go of the soil they'd claimed, without a fight. Time to break out the serious tools. Gardening trowels were replaced with heavy-duty shovels. Take that, you nasty weeds! You could almost see them cowering in fear. With shovelhead poised above the ground where the first offending weed was growing, I imagined it frantically waving a tiny white flag in surrender. As my shovel made contact with the ground and sliced into the soil, I knew within a few moments I'd be the victor - one square inch of ground reclaimed. Long, tuberous roots that had once held the weed firmly in place, would no longer provide a base of support.

Slowly, but steadily, we began to see progress. Hillside that had been completely covered with weeds, now had areas that would welcome real plants. But there was still plenty of work to do. I wondered if it would be easier just to use the weed-eater to finish the job. My husband reminded me that we couldn't solve our problem that way. The weed-eater might be able to cut the weeds down in size, but the roots would remain, allowing the weeds to begin growing again. Although roots are underground and can't be seen, they serve a crucial purpose. My American Heritage Dictionary explains that a root not only supports a plant, but it also "draws food and water from the surrounding soil, and stores food." It goes on to say that the root enables a plant to become firmly established, settled, or entrenched.

What a good illustration from the Master Gardener Himself. When I don't tend to the 'soil' in my heart, the tiny sin-weeds begin to grow, gaining nourishment from their roots. As the sin-weeds get stronger and grow bigger, the roots burrow deeper into the soil, allowing the sins to become firmly established and settled. Just as my Sunday school girls and I realized that it was much easier to pull small weeds rather than big ones, the same truth applies to our spiritual soil. It's much easier to deal with sin in its infancy, than when it's full grown. David had the right idea when he invited his Savior's careful scrutiny, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalms 139:23-24; KJV)

As I examine the soil of my heart, may I be quick to pluck the tiny sin-weeds before they have the opportunity to grow and develop deep roots. Our God is faithful to forgive us for our sins when we confess them (I John 1:9). He is able to create a clean heart in us and renew a right spirit within us (Psalms 51:10).

How is the 'soil' of your heart? Can you identify sin that needs to be dealt with? What step will you take to begin 'weeding' today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the lessons You teach me through Your creation. Help me to be aware of the things that need to be weeded out of my life. Give me the resolve to search my heart regularly, so I can enjoy unbroken fellowship with You. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Day at the Spa

It's time. Time for our Golden Retriever, Precious, to spend a day at the spa. You know - the doggie day spa. Following a long winter, her fur is thick and shaggy and in need of skilled hands to transform her tangles into a soft, sleek coat.

Precious loves an adventure. Her excitement is barely contained when she realizes she's in for a car ride. Nothing gets her more wound up then backing the car out of the garage and lifting the hatch. For Precious, this combination serves as an irresistible invitation to defy the invisible fence and make a flying leap into the car. And surprisingly, for an eighty-something pound retriever, she makes it look easy!

Precious doesn't mind going into the vet's office where the groomer has her business. She doesn't even mind stepping on the scale. In fact, everyone within licking distance is sure to know Precious is there. She truly lives up to the breed's sweet-natured, friendliness. But the tail wagging and cooperation stop there.

I'd have to say Precious merely tolerates the fur trimming and thinning process. She begins to show some annoyance when the groomer begins cleaning her ears. And following her bath, the high-pitched whine of the blow-dryer sends her darting into the nearest corner. But the results are amazing.

Clean, soft fur feels like silk under our fingers. Tangled hair no longer forms mats under her ears. Her newly thinned coat and trimmed leg fringes remind us that she's a Golden, and not a wooly mammoth. The shampoo has left her smelling fresh and her toenails are neatly clipped. What a transformation! And in spite of her objections, Precious is clearly much cooler and more energetic as a result of her new 'do.'

My Heavenly Father periodically schedules trips to the 'spiritual' day spa for me. His goal is for me to be an accurate reflection of Him, and for my life to draw others to Him. At first, my prayer echoes that of the Psalmist David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," (Psalm 139:23-24; KJV). When His finger rests on an attitude or action that's displeasing to Him, I begin to squirm.

As the Master Gardener, He begins reshaping the areas that need to be changed. Some cuts are made here. A little trimming done there. The process is painful. I protest, hoping it will be over soon. His word reminds me of the truth - pruning helps me bear more fruit. My job is to abide in Him. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing...Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples," (John 15:5,8).

When I cooperate with the Lord in the reshaping process, the results are amazing. I more accurately reflect my Heavenly Father. The transformation has begun. As I grow to understand that my Savior desires truth in the depth of my being, and that He always has my best interests at heart, I can look forward with eager anticipation to another day at the 'spiritual' day spa!

What about you? Is there something the Father has a finger on in your life? Will you allow the Lord to begin the reshaping process?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your patience with me. Help me to identify and eliminate those things You're displeased with in my life. I know transformation is a life-long process. Thank You that You give me the opportunity to bear much fruit for You. Help me be obedient to You in the reshaping process. In Jesus' name, Amen.

*A re-post from 4/2010

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pass the Salt

Smoking. Not the kind that is hazardous to your health. But the kind that involves cooking meat low and slow. Loosely defined, that’s cooking at a low temperature for several hours. A few months ago, my husband, Steve, purchased a Weber smoker because he enjoys all things barbecue. Big on research, Steve had studied out the smoking process and was ready to test out his knowledge on a pork shoulder.

That first pork shoulder couldn’t have been more delicious. My husband had added the perfect combination of spices to create a mouth-watering rub. The smoker had rendered the meat so tender that the pulling process was a breeze. Pulled pork that should have lasted for several days was devoured within two days. The proper combination of tantalizing spices along with the appropriate amount of cook time, yielded the perfect product. We were eager to eat the pork and boy, was it satisfying!

We’re a little like that perfectly seasoned ‘pork shoulder.’ Sounds a bit crazy, right? Maybe not so crazy when you think about it in light of the gospel of Matthew. Jesus challenges us with these words, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted” (Matthew 5:13; KJV)? See the connection?

Just like the affect of the smoke on the meat during the extended cooking time, when we’ve spent time with the Master in Bible study and prayer, our hearts begin to change, the tenderizing process has begun, and we begin to reflect His light and His aroma to those around us. Salt acts as a preservative on meat. When we’re ‘spiced’ by the Truth, we can share the ultimate ‘preservative’ that has the ability to maintain, protect and prevent spiritual decay.

What a precious commodity we’ve been given! Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word. Will I be faithful with what I’ve been given and remain ‘salty’ in order to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15a)? Or will I keep the ‘salt’ to myself? Christ desires to use me.

With the proper combination of spending time with Him and allowing myself to be the saltshaker, others will ultimately be pointed to and satisfied by my loving Heavenly Father. My prayer is to bear the sweet aroma of my Savior and to ‘pass the salt.’

Are you willing to share the Savior today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving me the opportunity to share Your gospel with others. Give me the courage and boldness I need to share the truth in love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Worth What?

The low interest rates got my attention. A simple calculation confirmed my assumption - by moving from a 30-year to a 15-year fixed loan, and adding a few more dollars to our monthly payment, we could save twelve years worth of payments. Now that's my kind of savings!

The catch? With the downward spiral of the housing market, our home/property value may not appraise for what it had years ago. Why is that such a big deal? We don't want to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). Wikipedia defines PMI, "This type of insurance is usually only required if the downpayment is less than 20% of the sales price or appraised value (in other words, if the loan-to-value ratio (LTV)is 80% or more)." Translation? We'd have to add more money to an already increased monthly payment to cover PMI. Would re-financing be worth it?

With everything riding on the appraisal, I cleaned the house, while making mental notes of all the home improvements we've done over the last few years. The appraiser was friendly and very thorough in her documentations. Our appraisal will arrive within a few days. Time to settle in and wait.

A foreclosure in our neighborhood caused home values to be skewed. Funny to think that just a few years ago, our home was appraised tens of thousands of dollars higher than we expect it will be today. Although we've continued to make upgrades and home improvements, our home has not continued to go up in value.

It's encouraging to know that my value as a human being is not at the mercy of a fluctuating economy. The Psalmist, David, offers reassuring words, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well," (Psalm 139:14; KJV). The Lord's love for me, His creation, is evident in the first book of the Bible, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," (Genesis 1:26a, 27). And he was very pleased with His creation!

Sometimes I'm tempted to find my value in what others think of me. Never a wise move. Just like the fluctuating economy, others opinion of me may change based on what I do or don't do. God loves me unconditionally. His Word tells me so, "But God commendeth (showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," (Romans 5:8; word in italics mine).

As I give the Holy Spirit access to all the areas of my life, I don't have to face rejection - I've got God's Word on it, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," (Philippians 1:6). Wow! What a wonderful truth to bask in today. In the big scheme of things, it really doesn't matter what my home is worth. It's enough to know that I'm of immense value to the One who created me.

How do you measure your self-worth? Will you agree with Your Creator, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your great love for me. Help me not to look to others for my value. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that You love me. Help me to live like the person of value You've made me to be. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Need Help?

I'm not sure how it happened. We were preparing to film another episode for Life Lessons, and I had run upstairs to get a towel to block some unwanted sunlight. I wasn't paying attention as I hurried back downstairs, and before I knew it, I was on the floor - with my right foot bent underneath me. Somehow, I had miscalculated how many stairs I'd come down, and stepped out thinking I was at the bottom of the staircase. With nothing but air to greet my extended leg, I pitched forward, landing on the top of my foot. Needless to say, nothing was filmed that day!

Remember the classic fainting spells on your favorite cartoons? I have to admit, they're pretty accurate. As I sat on the floor, propped up against the wall, I did indeed see stars and it was difficult to hear over the roaring noise that had taken up residence in my ears. Whatever I had done to my foot couldn't be good.

My husband, Steve, to the rescue! Although he didn't SEE me fall, he HEARD it. As I struggled to remain conscious, he was convinced that a trip to the doctor would be a good thing. I was in full agreement - I knew I needed help. Steve's calm demeanor helped me stay focused. Within just a couple of minutes, he had grabbed my purse and shoes and was ready to carry me out to the car.
I've battled weak ankles all my life. The good news? The x-rays showed no broken bones. I had only sprained my ankle. Armed with crutches and the determination to be more alert in the future, we made the drive back home.

There's a bigger truth here. Each one of us goes through life focused on our own plans. At some point, something happens and we're faced with the truth: life isn't all about me, and my life won't last forever. We realize we're NOT in control, and in fact, we need help. God's Word sheds light on our condition, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23; KJV).

A decision needs to be made. Will we admit our sinful condition and our need for the Savior? Or will we stubbornly insist on doing things our own way, denying any need for help? The choice is ours. Will we put our faith in ourselves or in the Savior?

Jesus already died on the cross to pay the sin debt for all mankind. He's finished the work that allows you to be reconciled to a holy God. Will you have faith in His atoning work? "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation," (Romans 10:9-10).

When I hurt my ankle, I knew I couldn't make it to the doctor on my own. I was grateful my husband was able to help me. If you're on life's proverbial 'floor,' and you don't know Jesus, are you willing to trust in Him today? He'll give you a life full of meaning and purpose as you serve Him, and an eternal home in heaven.

If you already know Jesus as your Savior, will you share Him with someone today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your grace and mercy in my life. Thank You for giving me Your Word that shows me the truth - I'm a sinner. How wonderful to know that You love me, and paid my sin debt, so I can be reconciled to God. Help me share You with others today. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Emotions - Can You Trust Them?

I have to be honest. I don't feel like doing anything today. After working out this morning, I feel drained. With muscles like jelly, there is nothing I would  like better than to declare a national holiday: Do Nothing Day.

But I really DO have things I need to get done. Have you ever been there? I found myself involved in an intense struggle. Fortunately, I came to a conclusion in the morning, before too much of the day had slipped away. The truth? Feelings come and go. I can't let my feelings dictate what I do.

God created people with emotions. But they are not to control us. This is an age-old battle. Even the Apostle Paul wrote, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do," (Romans 7:19; KJV). God's remedy? "...Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh," (Galatians 5:16).

What does it look like to walk in the Spirit? If I'm living my life in step with the Spirit, I'll produce some things: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23). A light bulb moment. Do you get it?

Living by my feelings puts my needs first. Walking in the Spirit, gives me the ability to focus on others and their needs.

Remember Nabal and his wife, Abigail? A husband and wife faced with the same situation, but they had  radically different responses. David had protected Nabal's shepherds while they were in the wilderness together. Later, when David was in need of provisions, he sent his men to greet Nabal and ask him to provide for their needs. Nabal allowed his emotions to rule his response, "Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?" (1 Samuel 25:10-11). Nabal thought only of himself.

Abigail's response was totally different. When she heard that David's men had been there, and learned of her husband's evil response, she immediately went to work. She pulled together enough food for a small army, and set out after David and his men. She took it upon herself to apologize for her husband's rude behavior, praising David for following the Lord. Abigail was focused on the needs of others.

Although I'm not in a situation like Nabal and Abigail, how I respond to the circumstances I face, is just as important. I have a choice to make, will I allow myself to be controlled by my emotions, or will I walk in the Spirit? Today, I choose to give the Spirit full control!

Do you allow your emotions to control you? What step will you take today to walk in the Spirit?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for creating me with emotions. Help me to control my emotions and walk in the Spirit. Let the story of Nabal and Abigail remind me of the importance of putting others ahead of myself. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Created for a Purpose

Something was definitely wrong. It was cold. As I stood at the kitchen sink, the air blowing out of the vent at my feet was anything but warm. Overnight, the temperature in our balmy state of Georgia had plummeted, causing us to flip the switch from air conditioning to heat. The only problem was that no warm air was rushing out of the vents to greet us. After a brief trip to the basement, my husband realized that the pilot light was not on and was stubbornly refusing to be re-lit. Time to call the heating and air specialists.

We placed a call to FlowTech Mechanical Services first thing Monday morning. Fortunately they were able to put us on the schedule for later in the evening. Unfortunately, that meant we had to endure the arctic chill that had crept into our house overnight. Its icy fingers convinced us that layers were an absolute 'must.'

Clothed in winter coats and toasty slippers, I wrapped my hands around a steaming mug of coffee, resisting the urge to don a pair of gloves. Ok, so it wasn't quite that cold, but you get the picture! Since our upstairs heating unit was working just fine, both my husband and I retreated upstairs to begin the day's work.

Throughout the day, it was humorous to note that neither one of us spent an extended period of time downstairs. Each of us would only do what was absolutely necessary, before heading back to the comfort of the upstairs. The temperature difference from the chilly downstairs to the pleasantly warm upstairs was noticeable.

It didn't take the heating/air specialist long to determine the cause of our problem. The circuit board was bad and would no longer allow the igniter to do its job; hence the cold air in spite of moving the switch to 'heat.' If I'm not mistaken, when it was originally manufactured, the circuit board's job was to provide power to the igniter which, in turn, causes the unit to heat the air and push it out through the vents, warming the house.

What an accurate picture of our lives before salvation. God created each one of us in His image. Genesis 1:27 spells it out plainly, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (KJV). He created us for a specific purpose: to walk in fellowship with Him, bringing Him honor and glory. When Adam and Eve chose to sin against God, man was no longer in fellowship with his Creator. He could no longer fulfill his God-given role. Similarly, when the circuit board in our furnace stopped working, the pilot light went out and the unit stopped performing the function it was created to fulfill. It no longer heated our home.

A blood sacrifice had to be made to atone for sin so man could once again enjoy a relationship with God (Heb. 9:22). Throughout the Old Testament, animal sacrifices were made according to God's instructions. When God the Father sent His son, Jesus Christ to this earth, He became the ultimate sacrifice to forever atone for the sins of the whole world (Heb. 10:10).

When we accept God's gift of salvation by grace through faith, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Paul words it beautifully in the book of Ephesians, " whom (Christ) also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" (1:13b). We are once again brought into fellowship with God and we can chose to live a life that is pleasing to Him. We can chose to fulfill His purpose for our lives. In much the same way, when the faulty circuit board was replaced, power raced to the igniter, and once the pilot light was lit, warm air coursed through our house. The furnace was doing the job it was created to do.

What about you? Have you accepted God's gift of salvation by grace through faith so you can walk in fellowship with your Creator? If so, are you fulfilling the role He's called you to?  Pray for His guidance as you follow Him, today.

*A re-post from October 2009.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Amazing Love

He spoke the world into existence. Plants and animals appeared at His command. He created man in His own image. Man chose to disobey his Creator. But God made a way for fellowship to be restored. A sinless sacrifice was required. Only Jesus Christ could pay the price. He, "...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:7-8; KJV). Amazing love!

Over and over, throughout the Bible, God demonstrates His power and love. Only an all-powerful God could deliver the Israelites from the Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh. The children of Israel had been slaves to the Egyptians for four hundred, long years. Using His servant Moses, God freed the people and brought them to the banks of the Red Sea. All seemed hopeless, until the mighty hand of God, "...caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left" (Exodus 14:21b-22). God cared for His people
Remember the walls of Jericho? Only a mighty God could cause the walls of a fortified city to fall down flat, using only trumpets and the shouts of people. An amazing feat? Not so much, when you consider an amazing God who is, "long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9b). Before Jericho's walls came tumbling down, one of the cities' residents and her family was rescued: Rahab, her dad, mom, and brethren. Rahab had chosen to believe in the God of the Israelites to the saving of her family. She was convinced of God's love and experienced His provision.

I'm sure the orphan, Esther, never dreamt of being in a beauty pageant, let alone being chosen as the queen of Persia. When she realized the role for which she had been chosen by God, she saw His mighty hand at work. In spite of King Ahasuerus' edict that called for the execution of all the Jews on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, Esther approached him, risking her life to beg for the life of her people. It wasn't that easy, though. You see, what was put into law by the King, could not be revoked under any circumstances. But the King of Kings triumphed. King Ahasuerus issued a decree that the Jews would be able to defend themselves on Adar 13th. God's plan prevailed and as a result, "many of  the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them" (Esther 8:17).

What are you facing today? Remember that the God of the universe is all-powerful. Whatever you think He's capable of, He's capable of more! His love for you is vast and beyond measure. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). Praise Him today, for His amazing love!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the all-powerful God who loves me. No matter the challenges I face, help me to turn to Your Word that I may re-discover Your greatness. Praise You, Lord, for who You are!