Monday, July 28, 2014

You Can Choose Heaven or Hell

Yesterday at church I was reminded of heaven. We heard a beautiful sermon about heaven and all the things we would be doing in heaven. The pastor gave us some scriptures to look up at home because he could not get to all of them. 

Today, I looked up one of them...Luke 16: 19-31.  This not only gave me a little glimpse of heaven, but a big glimpse of hell. Take a look with me...



(scripture via www.biblegateway.com)

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” 
This convicts me on many levels. Notice I said "convicts" and not "condemnation". Conviction is a good thing. It reminds us to do right. Condemnation brings shame and guilt and usually we self medicate to deal with how bad it makes us feel. Conviction challenges us to rise above our circumstances and live the life Christ intended. 
Here are my convictions: 
1. It reminds me that hell is a real place, and I do not want to go there. 
2. It reminds me that I don't want anyone to go there so I need to tell others about Jesus. 
3. It reminds me of the finality of hell. There is a "great chasm set in place....nor can anyone cross over from there to us". 
I believe in Jesus because of his love for me and the awesome love that I feel for him. I believe his power and his goodness are so great that I don't want to live without him in my life. I can't live without him. He has become so ingrained in who I am, that I don't want to live any other way. He is my hope. He is my rock. He is my truth. 
Those are the things I dwell on. This is a relationship to me, not just fire insurance, so I don't spend much time thinking about hell. This scripture of the beggar and the rich man reminds me, "oh yeah, and there is that hell thing too!". (lol)
The rich man saw that it was too late for him, and he pleaded for the life of his family. He begged God to send someone from the dead to convince them to repent and believe. But, he was told even that would not work. Was it too late for them too? Had they already been told many times and simply refused to believe? Ouch! 
Heaven is a real place...but so is hell. I don't like to think about hell very often, but it is a good reminder that we don't want to live there for eternity.  And, as if hell were not bad enough, can you imagine if we had to be in hell and then watch those in heaven? That would be pure torture. 
The good news is ... it is our choice. We choose where we want to live for eternity. And, I chose heaven.  I hope you do too. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Scripture Cures

I woke up this morning full of anxiety. I hate anxiety. Don't like the way it makes me feel...jittery....snappy....shaky...just don't like it.

Drove the kids to school...still anxious.

Got to work...still anxious.

Found this cute little scripture at http://courageouscowgirl.blogspot.com

Then I grabbed my little bible I keep in my desk and read John, Chapter 19 titled, "Jesus Sentenced to be Crucified" and "The Death of Jesus".  This is my least favorite chapter in the bible for obvious reasons. It hurts me all over to read about my Savior being crucified.  And, to know they killed an innocent man simply because they didn't understand who he was or what he was telling them, just hurts me even more.

As I was reading this, I was reminded of a phrase I use often in my line of work, "We eat our own".

The very people that are trying to do good in a community are the ones that get attacked and destroyed by others in the same community. Everyone jumps up and down about wanting progress, or wanting something new, and they want to "keep the town alive". Yet, when someone starts making small steps in that direction, they chop them off at the knees, hoping they die out, much like the two men that were hung on the cross beside Jesus. They weren't all the way dead so the soldiers broke their legs so it could all be over.

But, the bigger picture was that Jesus was a Jew who came to fulfill the Jewish law. He was the savior they had prayed for, waited for, longed for. And, when he came, they did not recognize him and they had him killed out of selfish ambition and fear.


Many times, in community development the person or people trying to be the change that the people want, are often times the ones that those same people devour.  On a larger scale, America is much the same way. We devour politicians who are striving to make change for the better. We lump them all in one big basket and complain rather than being part of the solution.

Let's not "eat our own".  Let's not be divided on so many different issues. Let's work harder to see all sides of the coin. Often times that means compromising and working together.  Let's work harder to find common ground. And, in doing this, it will help us all to "love our neighbor as ourself"...the one commandment that Jesus left for us to fulfill. We can do it.

Wrapping up, I want you all to know after cracking open my bible, my anxiety has subsided.

It works every time. Scripture cures all my ailments!

My problems still exist but God has given me peace.

My anxiety is not actually job related (today!), but reading this passage reminded me that we have a tendency to "eat our own"... so that is what I am sharing with you all.

May the peace that passes all understanding be with you today and everyday. God Bless!


Friday, January 24, 2014

The 15 Year Funk

I started this blog to encourage other Christians.

Today, I'm the one who needs to be encouraged. I started here with my list of 15 things to help save a marriage, and today I'm taking my own advice.

It's kinda cool because these are things I would tell myself, if I were not worked up into a frenzy. (The definition of this word pretty much suits me today.)

Like most people who have been married for a while, my marriage continues to have its ups and downs. But, today is different. Today there is a new underlying problem for me. It is bitterness. (I'm number 5 in this list of definitions.)

This made me laugh out loud!! 
Bitterness, left unchecked, can be deadly to a marriage. It's a terrible thing that honestly I don't struggle with very often. I'm not a bitter person. I let things go pretty quickly. My memory is short. (This is concerning, but for marriage it works in my favor!)

But this week, I made a decision....a family decision...one of those decisions that is hard for me but best for the family unit.

I turned down a job offer. Not just any job offer...my dream job. At least, what I picture as being my dream job.

Why?

I'm trying to simplify my life, not make it more complicated. If I took the job, the family would have to move so I could be closer to work. My husband would have to find a new job. Our kids would have to change schools. And, we just did this whole "move and job change" thing in the last couple of years and it has made life pretty stressful.

Honestly, I also feel if I took the job, it might be detrimental to my marriage. This is a weird season for us... or at least for me. My husband might not agree with me.  Maybe at year 15 this is just how it goes. (The average marriage only last 7 or 8 years so we are double the average!) Adding additional stress on the family might be the nail in the coffin. And, I'm committed to my marriage and my family .... so I said no ... to a wonderful job offer ... did I mention it was my dream job?

I've made the decision that is best for my family... a decision that right now feels more like a sacrifice than a good decision. But, when I come home and my strained marriage is thrown in my face, I'm kicking myself and wondering if I should have taken the job. Is this marriage worth saving? Is it possible to save it? Will it always be this way... the 15-year-funk.... or will we get past it and move on like we normally do?

Today, as I read my own words from 15 months ago, I am humbled. I am reminded to take my own advice. Calm down, think about all the things I am working towards, remember the long-term goal and do not focus so much on today's problem. This too shall pass.

I feel better already. :)



(I ran across a crazy website to predict my divorce rate and turns out I'm in good shape! People with similar backgrounds who are already divorced: 16%. People with similar backgrounds who will be divorced in the next 5 years: 2%. So, it looks like I'm going to make it! lol) 

Full disclosure - my husband is a precious man and I love him dearly. I am very grateful that God gave him to me. No one ever said marriage was easy, but I think I have it pretty darn good. 

Update: 7/28/14 - I want to encourage you all to hold on. The enemy works in many ways. Now that I can look back on this situation, I see God's hand in all of it.  Had I taken this job, I would not have been able to do the things God wants me to do. He is changing my direction and I am beginning to see that now. At the time, I was not sure why I could not have that dream job. But, it is all becoming clear now. Remember the root of the problem is sometimes just the enemy stirring up trouble. Recognize that it is him creating the turmoil, and remember to put him under your feet!! God wants you to live with peace in your heart and with your mate. The enemy wants to reek havoc! 




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Miracle Took Place Last Night

It was not something I could see, but certainly something I could feel. Something had shifted in my heart, and today was a new day.

The night prior I took a muscle relaxer. It was prescribed that day by the doctor for a pulled muscle. (Honestly, it's a rib that has moved out of place, but the doc said muscle so I did what he said.) I ended up sleeping that night and all the next day. Maybe I should have started with half a pill! Oops. While the sleep was glorious, my rib is still causing quite a bit of discomfort.



To add insult to injury, we have a gas leak at our house and the gas has been turned off until this can be fixed. Our hot water heater and our regular heater that heats the house both run on gas. Luckily it's not in the teens as it was last week, but still getting down to 32 at night. No hot showers. No warm house.

Not to mention I've just been in a funk lately. Maybe it was because I was unknowingly breathing in gas fumes - this is very dangerous I hear! Whatever the reason, my mind has not been a pretty place lately.

Last night, as I was laying in bed, complaining about something to myself, I was reminded of something very simple.

"Put your focus on God, not your problems." 

As simple as it was, it was a lightbulb moment for me.

I thought to myself, "Oh yeah, why am I not doing what I know to do?!"

I immediately started praising God. Repeating things to myself like, "Thank you Lord for all that we have. Thank you for all my blessing. Even when it looks crazy, you are there. You are an awesome God. You deliver me from evil." And, I fell asleep.

This morning I woke up a new person.

I'm not kidding.

I honestly was thanking God for the no-heat situation. I remembered that situations like these are opportunities to teach my kids alternative ways to keep warm, take baths, heat water, etc. Things I know how to do, but never have to practice; therefore, my kids would never learn.

I learned these things the same way. When it would get extra cold, and the heater could not keep up, my dad would turn on the oven or a burner (take caution if you have a gas stove). Mom would heat water on the stove for a bath if our water was frozen. She would remind us to turn on our electric blankets before bed so our beds would be nice and toasty. This was important because our bedroom doors stayed closed. We didn't heat those rooms because the blankets would keep us warm.

It's was not always the most comfortable or ideal situation, but it was certainly good to know how to do these things. Even taking time to put extra blankets on the bed, are things my kids never think about. And, they have never even heard of an electric blanket. Do they still make such a thing?

This morning before school, I was also reminded to pray with the kids. I used to be really good at this, but I have been so consumed with my thoughts lately that I haven't even taken the time to do it.

After getting to work, I even sent my husband a sweet text message to let him know I was praying that God would bless him today and that I loved him. While this is a simple thing, I fail to do it very often. (Good intentions?)

A few simple words of praise, lifted up to God in the night, have turned my mourning into dancing. I have so much to be thankful for. I know this, but it is even sweeter when God moves it from my head down to my heart.

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), Luke 1:68-70 NIV (biblegateway.com)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Are You in the Rut of Tradition?


The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13



Historically, the old testament was the law. People were taught traditions and to follow the law which was laid out by God. These laws had their place. It was meant to teach people how to live and protect them from evil. But even then, there was an element of love that carried through the stitching of this law. A deep love of God pulled at the heart string’s of the people. But many missed that memo, and it was strictly about following the letter of the law, commonly known today as legalism.

Then, an amazing thing happened: Jesus showed up. Can you imagine the difficulty he had trying to get people to listen to their hearts rather than the just traditions they had always known? This was a daunting task to say the least. After all, Jesus was murdered because some didn’t like that he was pulling people away from their traditional ways of doing things.

Yet, even way back in history, Isaiah was telling the people they were simply going through the motions and missing the point. 

Unfortunately, today we get caught up in this same rut. We honor God with our mouth and lips, but are hearts are far from him. 

Traditions are beautiful and they have their place, but if we don’t learn to worship God from our hearts, we have missed the point. We have missed the reason he died on the cross. 

He came that we might have life abundant, not the “going through the motions” life. He came that others might know the freedom that sets the captives free! 

That is something that can only be explained in the heart. The head will never understand it.

Is your heart far from God today? If so, ask him to revive your soul and pour out his love on you today. He will do it! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To the Person who Bombed Boston -


I’m sure you had your reasons. I’m certain you have justified it in your mind. But whatever reasoning you came to, you were wrong.

People compare life to a marathon, not a sprint, because it takes time, dedication, discipline and tenacity to train for a 26.2 mile run. It’s not easy. You must work hard, qualify, set aside a year (minimum!) of your life to train for such an event.

Photo Credit: http://www.walkjogrun.net

I wonder how long it took you to build that bomb? To plot this attack? Did you put in the time and discipline to build your bomb that these innocent people took to train for this race?

I doubt it.

If you were that disciplined, you would have spent your time doing something that mattered.  You would have tried to make the world a better place, not destroy others accomplishments. You would not have made yourself feel big by making others feel small.

What is most disheartening of all is that you, and others like you, are trying to turn America into a third world country. You are trying to make it a war zone. Your desire is to turn American into a war-torn pile of rubble.

What does that accomplish?

People flee their own countries in droves to come to the “land of the free” and “live the American dream”.  They come here and live as illegal immigrants and put their families in harms way, all to give their children a better life. They do that because others, like yourself, have already turned their countries into unsafe places to live and raise a family. People like you have destroyed the normal way of life and turned those countries into poverty-stricken places. Those people loved their homeland like we love America, but were driven out of it by people like you.

What you did yesterday was absolutely pointless. And, nothing good can or will come from it.

Are you trying to prove a point? The only point you have proven is that you are weak and spineless. You targeted a marathon!  

Obviously, you wanted notoriety and knew the news cameras would be covering the event. Congratulations. You made the news! Give yourself a pat on the back. Speaking of backs, your notoriety came on the backs of 150 injured people and the death of three others. But, I'm sure you think that is okay.  

Maybe you hate the government. Maybe you are just mad at the world. Whatever you are, the world wishes you had kept it to yourself yesterday.

I am a runner, or at least I was before I broke my leg. I’m trying to get back into the sport. I’ve never run 26.2 miles, but look up to those who have.  Until yesterday, running Boston was not something I aimed to do. But now, a piece of Boston will live in my heart. Maybe I will run it. Maybe I won’t. But one thing is for certain, you will never break the Boston Marathon spirit…no matter how hard you try. 

Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.  Proverbs 13:17-19

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Firsts


In marriage there are many “firsts”.

A first kiss, a first fight, a first child. And, unfortunately, a first major tragedy.

On December 16th, our phone rang at 1:00 a.m. with the terrible news that my mother-in-love had passed away from a massive heart attack. She was one week shy of her 62nd birthday. She had no major health complications. It came as a major shock.

The best Grandmother in the world! (1950-2012)

It is so hard to even imagine life without Grandmother. I’ve only been in the family 14 years come January, and I am going to miss her terribly. I can’t imagine the pain my husband and sister-in-law will face. It will be a first to experience anything of this magnitude with my husband and my children. Grandmother was the apple of their eye.

This experience gives me new insight into older folks or elders. They are wise. But not just in knowledge, also in life experiences, much like this one we are going through. They know that no one can take the place of a mother. They know our lives are forever changed. They know the pain in the coming days ahead. And they hurt for us because they know we will never be the same.

I’m reminded again that death is unpredictable and inevitable. We assume tomorrow will come. We are never prepared for death. We are never ready to say goodbye.

I’m also reminded to be more thoughtful when people lose a loved one. It is hard to know what to say or do, but do something. Those small acts of kindness are never forgotten. Never assume people are too busy to see you or take a call from you. It matters.

Another first for me was living out this tragedy on social media. Not just for me, but my sister-in-law, husband, and most of all my daughter were connected to a larger group of people all feeling our pain with us. Long standing friends and coworkers of my mother-in-law “friended” us on facebook to express their sadness and to “meet” the people they had always heard her speak so fondly about. All of a sudden, brought together by tragedy, we were connected.  

Consoling brokenhearted children proved to be our hardest “first”.  Children feel the sadness but are not sure how to articulate it. Therefore it comes spewing out in the strangest places, usually at a sibling or parent. As if our hearts were not already broken, this heaviness was almost too much to bare. 

And, to add insult to injury, we have already survived her first birthday and Christmas without her. Needless to say, it wasn't the same. But we made time to enjoy each other and savor the family connection. 

Firsts. Sometimes they are a new adventure, but sometimes they are just hard.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One Bite at a Time...

I'm sitting here trying to catch my breath and my legs are tingling just a bit.

I just walked 1.5 miles. That is a small step towards a bigger goal.

500 miles. That is my walking goal for the year. After todays walk, I'm at 4.75 miles for the year. :)

Last year around this time, one of my facebook friends challenged all her friends to do 500 miles in 2012. It could be walking, running, biking, etc. She is a personal trainer and had put together a 500-mile club. We could join, get a t-shirt, and she would send us daily encouragement.

I wanted to join really bad, I knew I needed it. But I did not. My excuse was the commute back and forth to work. It was eating away most of my extra time.
In March 2010, I ran my first half marathon. I've not run one since.
 While training for that race, I lost 50 lbs. I kept most of it off until this past year. 
On December 4th of this year, that same friend posted she had completed 700 miles for the year.

Honestly, I hadn't given the 500 miles much thought since she had posted a year prior. But, when I saw her 700 mile post, it hit me:

Had I taken the challenge one year ago, I would not be 20 pounds heavier. 

Yep, 20 pounds. That is what I gained in 2012 - maybe more.

When I realized this, I told myself that was enough. I would do 500 miles in 2013 and I would start now! I would not wait until January 1st because I was motivated right now!

Believe it or not, I had been praying for God to motivate me. I wanted to be motivated like I used to be. Once you catch the fitness bug, it becomes addicting. You love it! It makes you feel strong mentally and physically...or at least that is how I felt the last time I was in shape.

Since my evenings are unpredictable with kid activities and family commitments, I decided I would use half of my lunch hour to walk. Thirty minutes. What could I get done in 30 minutes? Whatever it was, it was more than I was currently doing, which was N.O.T.H.I.N.G!! The game plan was/is to keep it simple. I would walk in whatever I was wearing, only changing into my tennis shoes. Otherwise, it would get complicated and I would not have enough time to do much.

I started walking on December 5th. One mile, sometimes one and a half is what I can completed in my 20-30 minutes. Regardless how small the miles, the important thing is I'm moving. I'm waking up my metabolism! (It seems to go to sleep after a hysterectomy.) I'm taking small steps towards a larger goal.

You know what they say...The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time! :)

Pray that I will continue to be motivated. My health depends on it.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 

To read more about what stopped my running two years ago, see a previous post here. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Humbled by Service


Today on my drive to work, I was thinking about how serving others makes my faith come alive. Sometimes when my relationship with the Lord has become lifeless (due to my lack of discipline of course), it does me good to serve someone else. 

As I was sitting at my desk working this morning, a knock came at my office door. It was our wonderful custodian, Gilbert, who cleans and polishes the courthouse. He makes this place shine like a new pair of shoes. It’s not unusual for him to ask if there is anything we need or something he can do for us. 

But, this time he was holding a pot of coffee. He looks at me and says, “Coffee?”

Luke 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 

My office is on the second floor. The coffee pot is downstairs on the first floor. I’ve never had coffee delivered to my office.

Not sure what to say, out comes, “No thanks...um, I take cream and sugar.” I knew that was a stupid thing to say but I was caught off guard.

He smiles, pours my cup full and says, “I will be back!”

Before I can say anything, he takes off. A couple minutes later, he shows up with cream, sugar, a coffee stir stick and a napkin.

I smiled gratefully and told him that he was a good man. I thanked him kindly for his generosity and service.

Gilbert continually looks for ways to serve everyone at work.  I know he is a Godly man, and I know he does these things to glorify God, not himself.

As a Christian woman who knows I’m suppose to “serve others”, I repeatedly find myself thinking I don’t have any opportunities or the time to serve. Or, I convince myself it has to be some big, long-standing, time commitment. But, God reminded me today that is not true. There is always a way to serve others, even if it is just pouring them coffee.

Needless to say, I’m humbled.

Humbled that someone served me rather than me serving them.

Humbled that God showed me it doesn’t have to be a big thing. The smallest things can bring a smile to someone’s face.

Humbled that this man’s faith is so strong that he looks for ways to serve all of us to glorify God.

Luke 10:38-42
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Help with Overcoming Frustration


It’s easy to write a blog about overcoming frustration when my life is peaceful. It is a bit of a challenge to write about when my life is chaotic. Today, as I sit overwhelmed in my situation, I have challenged myself to write this blog. 

Normally, I try to keep my life as simple as possible. That is a challenge under normal circumstances simply because we live 72 miles from the nearest large city, we have small children, aging parents and all the other regular stuff. But, for the past seven months my husband and I have been working in a community 50 miles away. Planning to close on a house in the new community on September 4, we started our kids in school there. However, the house situation has drug on longer than expected. 

Four, tired people in a Toyota Camry commuting 100 plus miles a day can get old quickly.  The drive and crazy schedules make for two, tired, bickering kids as well as spouses. Some nights work commitments have us arriving home around 10 p.m. and then back up and in the car by 6:30 a.m. 

I give you this background so you know I’m not writing from my peaceful, pillow-fluffed living room with my five-course-nutritionally-balanced dinner waiting patiently for the family to arrive home. I come to you in the midst of my ciaos. 

When my life gets out of balance, and there is no time to do the regular “Christian” things like quite time, ministry, church, etc., here are some things that bring me peace. 

1. Find a good Christian program on the radio. 
XM radio makes up for the lack of radio stations in my area. I tune into channel 131 for Christian programs and sermons in the morning. This helps me get some Jesus into my tattered soul. 

2. Listen to Christian music. 
When I travel alone, I get a lot more out of this. But, when the family is with me, they don’t appreciate my loud praise music!! However, even listening to it quietly is refreshing to my soul.  At work I play my favorite Christian music through itunes. 

3. Carve out a little time during the day to read my bible. 
If time allows, I will spend time during my break or lunch reading the bible.  The bible is my true north. It balances my life when I feel extremely out of balance. 

4. Pray with my family on the way to school.
Believe it or not, when the kids start bickering, I will bust out with a prayer. This seems to bring peace to everyone. It settles the kids down faster than anything else I can do. It doesn’t always last as long as I would like it to, but it helps tremendously. The tough part is remembering to do it. 

5. Call a friend who can speak a word into my life that brings clarity and direction. 
I have a handful of powerful Christian friends I can call on to pray with me. Their words always bring peace to my soul and settle me down. Sometimes they even get a word from the Lord for me. It is usually a word of comfort and encouragement. 

6. Find something I can praise God for. 
Even if my life is upside down, I try to find reasons to praise God. This gets my focus off of my situation and on Him. There is always something to be thankful for: food in my mouth, a shirt on my back, a roof over my head. Praise the Lord for HE is good!

Psalms 30:10-12
10   Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help. 11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

What other things bring you comfort in the midst of ciaos? I welcome your comments below. 

In the meantime, I pray God would lift you out of the muck and the mire and set you on a mountain of his peace and joy. 

An awesome song by Heather Clark. This entire album is powerful. 
http://www.jesusculture.com/music/heather-clark





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