By the touch of Faith

I gave my mom a devotional back in 1998 as gift. After my mom passed I brought the book home with me. The topic of learning is the Beautitudes: the psychology of Jesus.

I found the words touched my heart in a special way I struggle with my own temptations and life issues. Perhaps you will find help and encouragement in this as well. Enjoy.

I long to reach out and touch You, my Lord Jesus.

Here is the excerpt from Every Day Light by Selwyn Hughes and Thomas Kincade:

We all want to be happy-and rightly so. This is a deep-rooted instinct which God has built into us. But happiness is not something you make but something you receive. You cannot make happiness any more than you can make love. You can express love but you cannot make love. So it is with happiness. You cannot make it.

In the passage: “And he saw them toiling in rowing”  [Mark 6:48], it is said that the disciples were toiling rowing in the dark and getting nowhere. The wind and the waves were against them and the whole venture was ending in futility. Then Jesus came. In John’s account of the same event, we are told that they took Him into the their boat and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading [John 6:21]. This is the way it is with happiness. We strive to achieve it, but we’toil in rowing’. Then we let Christ in-an lo, we reach the shore where we were going.

If happiness is not something we can create but something we receive, how do we go about receiving it? Listen again to the words o Jesus: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Our Lord is not thinking of here of material poverty, but spiritual poverty: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The word poor in the Greek is ptochos and refers to a chosen poverty. It implies a voluntary emptying of the inner being and issued of those who by choice are so poor that they become poor enough to receive-those who are willing to empty their hands of their own possessions and have them filled with the riches of God.  At the very threshold of Christ’s kingdom, then, we are met with the demand for self-emptying and receptivity.  Our spiritual environment is the kingdom of God. When we respond to it, surrender to it, and receive our very life from it-then we live happily and abundantly. It is our willingness to throw away our own self-sufficiency and open our hands to receive Christ.

She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak… ~Luke 8:44.

This passage shows how on on occasion as Jesus passed along the road, a multitude thronged around Him. A women in deep need came timidly through the crowd and touched His garment. “Who touched me?” asked Jesus as He felt the power go forth from Him. the disciples replied: “Master, the multitudes throng you, so why do you say, ‘Who touched me?'” “Somebody touched me,” Said Jesus. He knew that there was a great difference between thronging Him and touching Him. Those who throng Jesus get little, those who touch Jesus get everything.

Sunday after Sunday, thousands of people go to church and listen; they throng Jesus but never touch Him. Touch Him now-today. Touch Him for forgiveness, for cleansing, for power over temptation, over fears, over anxiety, over everything that stands in the way of your personal happiness.

The closing prayer along with this devotional: “O Lord Jesus, as You pass by I move up from those who throng You to boldly touch You-and I do it now. By the touch of faith I receive into my being Your forgiveness and Your power. Thank You, dear Lord. It’s done. Amen.”

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Where have I been lately?

good view

Chatting with Jesus on my front porch

It has been a long and winding road this past year. The past couple of months perhaps the most challenging. Nothing earth shattering to most, daily life happenings placed upon our [my Salah and my] path meant to distract us from our faith in God and His plans and purposes for us.

Who among you [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has not shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by His God. Isaiah 50:10 Amplified Bible.

Despite the setbacks, God’s glory comes shining through to touch our hearts in the smallest of ways each and every day. He has provided for our needs at every turn. He has shared His wisdom with us to enable us to grow, to learn and to understand His plan and purposes for us being out here in His glorious countryside.

Had we stayed in the city, we would have missed the wonder of new life from seeing baby goats, kittens and puppies being born right in front of our eyes. We would have missed the splendor of His artistry of painting the sunrise and sunset. We would have missed the quiet hush and snuggling under a blanket of fresh fallen snow. We would have missed the explosion of color from the bursting and blossoming of spring flowers. We would have missed the lingering fragrance of a newly fertilized field! We would have missed the merry little breezes offering relief from the warm summer air. We would have missed the wind-swept days of autumn and the image of the leaves meandering their way to the ground. We would have missed the kind and gentle thoughtfulness of our neighbors and community.

Yet, here we are. Here I am amongst God’s land, beauty, and peace. I have been on a stroll with my Lord Jesus Christ that has brought me though a dark forest. When the evil one used our fear of losing income and possibly this homestead and wanted us to give up hope and to turn to run and not believe that God would provide for us, this Bible verse spoke to my heart.

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace [the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners], that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16 Amplified Bible

The Lord’s timing is impeccable. His love for us never-ending. Jesus is all we need.

We have witnessed His majesty by watching our ducks walk through our front yard on their home back to the barnyard from swimming down at the creek and waiting by the gate for my Salah to let them back in because they do not know how to back in by themselves. I have felt Jesus’ love for me through my hubby when I hear my Salah say to me, “Where is my wife?” [his version of I have missed you and gives me tingles to hear his voice say ‘my wife’ with so much-loved placed behind it and a big hug] as I return from being gone for a few days. I have heard the Lord’s voice whispering to me through the trees swaying in the wind. We have been blessed by Jesus’ presence and protection around us when He reached out His hand and used my sister in lay, Yusra, all the way over in the Netherlands to offer help and support to us. hearing her voice say hello on the other end of the phone simple warms and melts my heart. And there is so much more…the Lord’s protection continues to surround us with all my family here and over in Austria and Iraq offering their love and support toward us.

So, if asked, “Where have I been lately?”

“I have been chatting with my Lord Jesus on my front porch. And man, He has some great stories to tell!”