God Is Still In Control and His Love Will Never Leave Us

Discombobulated. A word that has often bounced around in my head and invaded my life lately. It’s a fancy word for being disoriented or confused, not knowing which way is up or down. I think it’s how many people are feeling these days.

So much is happening in this world that we can’t understand. Honestly, I feel physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually burned out at times.

As I sat at my desk and looked out the window, I told God how burned out I feel and how I didn’t know if I can return to blogging. The words just weren’t there. Then a butterfly fluttered past the window and He whispered, “My child, I am with you.”

Yes, God is always with us, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Whether or not we have words to write. Even in the midst of all the chaos and confusion in this world. As He promises in Romans 8:38, NOTHING can separate us from HIS LOVE.

Over the past couple of weeks, God has been nudging me with some more truth reminders:

❤️ God’s Plan Is Always In Order and His Love Never Leaves Us

No matter how discombobulated we may feel and how out of control the world seems, God wants us to place our hearts and lives and anyone else’s life into His hands and trust He loves us and is still in control.

❤️ We Need Connection

There are so many people who feel the same way we do and need to feel less alone and more understood. So it doesn’t matter if our words sound discombobulated. We just need to speak from our hearts. He wants us to share our stories so others feel less alone and to encourage them to remember His love never fails, even in the midst of pain, heartache, and devastation in our own hearts or in all the chaos of this world.

❤️ God Wants Us to Go at Our Own Pace

We don’t need to keep pace with others. We don’t have to pressure ourselves to regularly write a post like other bloggers can or do. Sometimes other needs are begging for our attention, whether it’s those around us or our own bodies and minds. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to do it all. And that’s okay. Yes, it’s good to write posts to encourage others, but God also wants us to encourage each person He has placed in our lives outside of blogging. God just wants us to “be”, not to be consumed with “doing” more.

❤️ God Wants Us to Pursue Beauty and Share It With Others

“Because while escaping reality may be tempting right now, that is not the life we are called to in Christ Jesus. Rather, we are are called to be Light in the darkness.

The very act of pursuing beauty ignites a spark.

Now, more than ever before in our lifetimes, is the time to fling beauty far and wide. To engage in the divine work! Whatever gifts He has given you, now is the time to use them. Plug your spiritual umbilical cord into the Holy Spirit and get down to business!”

Read More at Inspired by June

Prayer of a Prisoner In a Concentration Camp

“In me there is darkness,
But with You there is light;
I am lonely, but You do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help;
I am restless, but with You there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience;
I do not understand Your ways,
But You know the way for me.”

Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
And in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man’s troubles;
You abide with me
When all men fail me;
You remember and seek me;
It is Your will that I should know You
And turn to You.
Lord, I hear Your call and follow;
Help me.” 


 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

A SONG TO INSPIRE

🎶 LOVE GOD LOVE PEOPLE 🎶
by Danny Gokey

“…Gotta keep it real simple, keep it real simple
Bring everything right back to ground zero
‘Cause it all comes down to this
Love God and love people (People)
We’re living in a world that keeps breakin’
But if we want to find a way to change it
It all comes down to this
Love God and love people…”

Discouragement and Remembering God Is on Our Side

I have been overwhelmed with discouragement at all the hatred against people who are different than we are, division even between Christians, and violence against other people and establishments. We can so easily get caught up in all the chaos and find ourselves being more judgmental than prayerful. Where is all the love and compassion Jesus gives us and desires for us to do likewise?

Are we forgetting our mission? To know Jesus and make Him known? To grow and act more like Jesus? To love like Jesus?

I forget this mission, too. My heart gets so consumed with fretting about what will further happen in the coming days and years. All those “what-ifs” clog up my mind and distort my focus.

But this morning, God used a blogging friend’s post to reorient my perspective and calm my heart:

What if God were not on my side?

“It probably won’t alter your situation, but there’s a very good chance that those eight words will calm your heart and reorient your perspective, right then and there. In these uncertain times, that can make all the difference in the world.”

Lois Flowers – How to Calm the Anxious What-ifs

“What if the LORD
had not been on our side?
Answer, O Israel!”
Psalm 124:1 (GNT) 

As that Psalm continues, we have the answer that without Him we would be swallowed up alive. My faltering heart gained strength as I remembered that God is always on our side, holding our hand when we’re afraid, girding us up with hope and giving us courage to take the next step forward, helping us to trust Him no matter what happens in the future on this earth.

The Lord is with me; 
I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 118:6

With this truth in our hearts and minds, we can step forward more like Jesus would. With healing words instead of hurting words. With love instead of hate. With compassion instead of judgment.

“We can’t heal the world today.
But we can begin with
a voice of compassion,
a heart of love,
and an act of kindness.”

Mary Davis

“There’s no other name so sweet as Jesus.
No one ever cared so much for me.
As to shed His precious blood to save me
No one ever cared so much for me
When I see Him face to face up in glory
I will marvel at His nail scarred feet.
And I’ll thank Him for the pain He suffered
Because, He cared so much for me.
There’s no one who cares like Jesus
There’s no friend so precious to me
Who would carry, carry your cross to Calvary
No one ever cared so much for me
There’s no one who cares like Jesus
There’s no friend so precious to me
Who would carry, carry your cross, to Calvary
No one ever cared so much for me
No one ever cared so much for me”

How Can We Ever Be a Conch Shell to God’s Glory?

Yippee! We’re going to the ocean! I don’t know how often we traveled there, but I do remember my excitement. My big brother took our inner tubes to the gas station to pump air into them, and I tagged along.

I don’t remember everything about it as I probably was younger than 5 since we moved from California to Iowa when I was 6. But I do remember the emotions I felt. I do remember making a sand castle when a wave came in and washed over me. It didn’t even scare me.

Even though I didn’t really know God then, there was something about the ocean that filled my heart with peace and awe. The memories of the sights and sounds still draw my soul.

I love all shells, but conch shells especially remind me of the ocean. Have you ever held one to your ear?

According to scientists, what we hear is just an amplification of the noises surrounding us. Air bounces around inside the shell and produces sound, the pitch depending on how big the conch shell is.

It will always have a deeper, spiritual meaning to me. A few years ago, as I cradled one to my ear, I closed my eyes and listened. Sweet melodies of God’s grace sang peace as they conveyed God’s power to create and preserve. The waves roared as they came in and slapped the shore, then sang a lullaby as they lapped the sand, leaving ripples of God’s voice.

“Are you listening, My child?” God asked.

“OK, Lord, I hear You, but I’m afraid of what You will ask me to do…” was my timid reply.

“You are a conch shell to My glory,” He gently reminded me. “Listen to My voice, follow Me, and make a sound for Me.”

Conch shells were among the first musical instruments and were often used to communicate in ancient cultures. They are still used today.

It is called the Pū in Hawaii and is used to say “goodbye” and “thanks” at sunset. When someone asked Rev. Alalani how she always blows the conch shell right and pure, she answered:

“Because I let God blow through me. I blow for the cause and to open the Heavens to come and Bless. I give thanks. I do not blow the Pū alone.”

Often I feel I can only produce off-tune static that doesn’t honor God. I am afraid, even when I write here, that I toot my own horn more than His. Or that His love for me isn’t pouring out to others. But I know Satan loves to bring all my shame and insecurities to the forefront and dissuade me from writing anything at all.

It is hard sometimes to tune in to God’s voice alone, isn’t it? And when we do, it’s sometimes easy to wonder if it’s actually filtering out of our own wants or if it’s really His voice. But at the name of Jesus, those negative, self-critical voices must stop. He has the power to calm every storm.

“You are from God, little children,
and you have conquered them,
because the One who is in you is greater
than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4 HCSB

Do you feel full of doubt, shame, and insecurities? You are not alone. Jesus knows and cares about our struggles, and He is available around the clock to give us what we need. Funneled through His cleansing blood, our faltering voices can and will produce wholesome heart melodies to His glory.

May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to You,
    O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 NLT

Greater
by MercyMe

“Bring your tired
And bring your shame
Bring your guilt
And bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not your name

You will always be much more to me
Every day I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world…”