Welcome! I am glad you are here. Join me with a cup of your favorite beverage and see what is going on in my life and what is on my mind. I would love to have you join my site and you can do that on the left side where it says 'followers'. And please leave a comment! Thanks for visiting.


Holy Week
(original post 4/13/12)

Maundy Thursday church service was quite emotional for me. At least that is the way things hit me with Pastor Steve's sermon. He did a series of "The Last Seven Words of Jesus" and this one was "It is Finished." What did Jesus mean with these words? What is finished? Does it mean that now His life is finished? Ended? Not necessarily. The word 'finished' can mean consummated, done, completed. What Jesus is saying is that the work of salvation has been completed. There is nothing more to be done for salvation. There is nothing we can do for salvation. It has been done already.

After that we had communion and it just meant so much more to me and brought tears to my eyes. Jesus said when He broke the bread, "Take, eat. This is My body. Do this in remembrance of Me." Then He took the wine and said, "Drink, this is the blood of the covenant. Do this in remembrance of Me." Jesus is not just saying to remember who He is, but to remember what He has done for our salvation. He allowed His body to be broken, like He broke the bread, so as we eat that morsel of bread, we need to remember what that bread represents in regard to our salvation. And the wine is poured out, like Jesus's blood was poured out to take away our sin. If you study the book of Hebrews you see that Jesus's sacrifice for sin was done only once and done for all. For all believers, and for all time. His work is done and that is why He is seated in heaven. And if you study covenants, you discover that blood is a very important part of a covenant. This first Lord's Supper is the inauguration of the New Covenant, the covenant of Grace.

Friday - Spiritual Growth 

(original post 4/20/12)

I am sure most of you have at least heard the words of John 3:16 - " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." It is probably the first verse that all kids have to learn in Sunday School.

Recently I was watching Joyce Meyers' TV show and she read John 3:16 from the Amplified Bible, which she always uses. I like this version even better.

John 3:16

Amplified Bible (AMP)
16For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
I think that first version I quoted does not fully convey the thoughts and ideas that the Amplified Bible does. Isn't it comforting to read that God SO GREATLY loved and DEARLY  PRIZED the world that He would EVEN give up His only beloved and unique Son. And our response to that love should be not only to believe in that Son, but to trust in Him, to cling to Him, and to rely on Him. That is such an awesome picture! And when we do that, we will not perish. In my childlike mind I thought the word perish simply meant to die. But it is more than that. According to the definition of the word which is in the brackets, to perish means to come to destruction, be lost. So you don't just die, you are destroyed. That is not a pleasant thought, is it? I don't think I like those consequences for not believing. But, by believing we have eternal and everlasing life.
The verse that follows is often forgotten, but is so important to add to this statement of truth.
17For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
If you know anything about Jesus' life while on the earth, I think you find that Jesus did not reject anyone who came to Him, did not condemn anyone or  pass sentence on anyone. He did tell people the truth about themselves and that often hurt. Truth can hurt, can't it? When someone tells us the truth about ourselves, we often don't want to hear it. It makes us very uncomfortable because we don't want to face our mistakes, or faults. We don't want to admit even to ourselves that we don't do things right, but Jesus makes us face them. Then we must also remember that everything Jesus does is done with love and compassion. So Jesus did not come to judge us, but to show us the way to salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. Safe and sound. How comforting is it to be wrapped in the arms of Jesus? Those arms that were once nailed to a cross because of me, and yet -- He still wants to wrap me up in His love.
(please excuse the format at the top. I wasn't able to change it for some reason.)

Faith Friday
(original post 4/27/12)

There was no Bible study class this morning as one of the gals had a conflict. Therefore I could sleep as late as I wanted to this morning - no alarm going off at 5 am. So why was I wide awake at 6:30? The sun wasn't even shining in my eyes as it is overcast, having had some rain earlier, but currently dry with the promise of a lot more rain to come later.

What to write about today? Why is it that when I started to think about blogging I had so many topics and ideas, and now they have flown out the window along with the wind? I did find the following verse written in my notebook and 'blog' written above it. But for the life of me I don't know what was on my mind when I wrote that! Here is the verse --

2 Corinthians 12:9

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

As I said, I don't remember what was on my mind at the time I wrote this down, but I did have the word 'power' underlined. Here is what comes to my mind right now. This is Paul speaking about the thorn in his flesh that he had prayed to God to be removed. And verse 9 is the answer Paul received. Ouch!

But thinking about the fact that God's grace is sufficient, how true that is. That grace is limitless, boundless, abundant, endless. There are many adjectives to describe it and all are wonderful. When God says His grace is sufficient, I find that very comforting. Sufficient. Needing nothing more. It is all I need. One teacher said grace is like standing in the middle of a huge room that is full of wrapped gifts - and they are all for me! All I have to do is take one and unwrap it and enjoy it. The definition of grace is 'unmerited favor.'

"for power is perfected in weakness"
It is God's power and my weakness. If I depend on my power I don't leave room for God to work. Don't we all want to do things ourselves? We don't want or need any help. Often little kids will tell you, "I can do it myself" when we try to help them tie a shoe, cut their meat, pour their milk, button their shirt, zip their coat, etc. They may not do a very good job, spill the milk all over the place and generally make a mess of it. And we still do that as adults, don't we? Just like when the lady from church called and said she wanted to mow my lawn for me. I had a hard time saying she could do it, as I should be able to do it myself. In the end I accepted her offer - stepping aside from my pride, and allowing God's grace touch me through this friend. I had set aside my power, what little I had, because my body really is weak, and let God work through her. And I am very grateful for it!

I think we have all heard the phrase "Let go, and let God." Isn't that so fitting with this verse? Let go of trying to control a situation, or a person, or a troubling past, and let God handle it. Let God heal the wounds of the past that haunt you, or that you cling to and refuse to give up. God also tells us that "vengeance is Mine." When someone hurts us, we don't have to take revenge, but step aside and allow God to deal with them. And remember that He does it on His timetable, not ours. We may never see it, but just need to know that He will take care of it without our help. That leaves us free to do good works for Him.

Paul has said we are not to boast in another place, and yet here he says he would rather boast about his weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in him. This makes me think of the times I have been asked to do something for God, and like Moses and many others, I say that I can't do it, or I am afraid to do it as I have never done anything like that before. I can come up with all kinds of excuses. Isn't that like using my power to control what I do? But when I give up that control and do the job, it is really God's power giving me the ability to carry it out. He gives me the thoughts and words to write or say. He gives me the answers to questions that others ask me, and I had no idea what the answers were until they came out of my mouth! It can make me sound smart and full of knowledge and wisdom, but I am really neither one. I am nothing but the channel God is using. I can only pray that I don't interfere in the process and muddle the truth.

Faith Friday (long)

(original post 5/11/12)


What's so amazing about grace? We all know and probably have sung the song "Amazing Grace." But do we really understand what we are singing? Do we understand what grace is? I think we need to know what it means in order to understand just how amazing it is.

I just finished reading the book "What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey. I have about 11 flags sticking out of the book where there are statements that got my attention. There are really many more than what I flagged - a very thought provoking book that all should read. It has been around awhile and was voted book of the year. I don't know which year but it was published in 1997 so it has probably been read by many before I was able to borrow the book and read it. If it were not borrowed I would have many sentences underlined.

On the inside cover someone wrote the following, "Grace is the church's great distinctive. It's the one thing the world cannot duplicate and the one thing it craves above all else -- for only grace can bring hope and transformation to a jaded world." Without grace, where would we be? What would we be? I hate to even think about not having grace.

Philip points out that all of Jesus' parables point to grace and tries to explain just what grace is. And he talks about the 'unfairness' of grace. Think about it. Look at the parable of the farmer who hires some men to help with the harvesting in the last hour of the day, while other workers had been working the whole day. These last men hired had just been hanging around the town square all day, doing nothing. And yet, at the end of the day, the employer pays all the workers exactly the same wages, whether they worked all day or just the last hour. Talk about unfair! At least the workers who toiled all day thought it very unfair, as would we.

" Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?"

Philip writes, "Jesus' story makes no economic sense, and that was his intent. He was giving us a parable about grace, which cannot be calculated like a day's wages. Grace is not about finishing last or first; it is about not counting. We receive grace as a gift from God, not as something we toil to earn, a point that Jesus made clearly through the employer's response."

Philip goes on to say that many Christians who read this parable identify with the employees who put in a full day's work, rather than the men hired toward the end of the day. We like to think of ourselves as responsible workers, putting in the full time required, and so deserve the full pay. And the late-comers do not deserve to be paid the same as we do. So we immediately say, "That's not fair!"  He continues with, "We are missing the story's point: that God dispenses gifts, not wages. None of us gets paid according to merit, for none of us comes close to satisfying God's requirements for a perfect life. If paid on the basis of fairness, we would all end up in hell."

Grace is again explained in the parable of the servant that had a huge debt to pay, so huge that it was impossible for him to ever pay it back, and yet the king is touched with pity and cancels the debt, letting the servant off scot-free. The servant must have been overwhelmed with gratitude, right? But then, he turns around and demands payment from a colleague who owes him just a few dollars, and ends up having him thrown in jail for not being able to pay. What an ingrate! He had just received a tremendous gift of grace, but he could not extend a small amount of grace to another.

So now I have to stop and think. I must remind myself of the wonderful grace God has given me by not making me pay for my sins. Do I extend grace to those who have hurt me in some way? Another word for it is forgiveness. What do we pray in the Lord's prayer? "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us." Hmmmm. Do I forgive those who have offended me? Do I forgive the clerk that overcharged me? Have I forgiven the person that said some words that hurt me?

Those are small things compared to the stories we hear about the father who forgave the man who killed his daughter, and there have been many other similar stories in the news, and we wonder how they could possible forgive someone for such a heinous crime against them. And yet they do. They do with the help of God. And the grace they extend to the guilty often has amazing results and we see a changed person. He still must pay for the crime, but he knows he has received a great gift of grace. So why do I hold a grudge for something so small as a few hurtful words?

On another page I marked this paragraph -- "Grace makes its appearance in so many forms that I have trouble defining it. I am ready, though, to attempt something like a definition of grace in relation to God. Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more -- no amount of spiritual calisthenics and renunciations, no amount of knowledge gained from seminaries and divinity schools, no amount of crusading on behalf of righteous causes. And grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less -- no amount of racism or pride or pornography or adultery or even murder. Grace means that God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possible love." (italics - Philips, underlines are mine)

Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and nothing we can do to make God love us less. There is nothing I can do to earn that grace, and nothing I can do for God to take it away. "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." All little children know that song, but it is the adults who request that song more than any other. It is all I need to know. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me, warts and all, when I am at my worst, while I am a sinner and not a saint. Jesus loves me. How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so.

Another page says this, "Tony Campolo sometimes asks students at secular universities what they know about Jesus. Can they recall anything Jesus said? By clear consensus they reply, "Love your enemies." More than any other teaching of Christ, that one stands out to an unbeliever. Such an attitude is unnatural, perhaps downright suicidal. It's hard enough to forgive your rotten brothers, as Joseph did, but your enemies? The gang of thugs down the block? Iraqis? The drug dealers poisoning our nation?

Most ethicists would agree instead with the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who argued that a person should be forgiven only if he deserves it. But the very word forgive contains the word "give" (just as the word pardon contains donum, or gift). Like grace, forgiveness has about it the maddening quality of being undeserved, unmerited, unfair."

And other statement, "One day I discovered this admonition from the apostle Paul tucked in among many other admonitions in Romans 12. Hate evil, Be joyful, Live in harmony, Do not be conceited -- the list goes on and on. Then appears this verse, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay.' says the Lord."

At last I understood: in the final analysis, forgiveness is an act of faith. By forgiving another, I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am. By forgiving, I release my own right to get even and leave all issues of fairness for God to work out.  I leave in God's hands the scales that must balance justice and mercy."

In another place Philip says, "First, forgiveness alone can halt the cycle of blame and pain, breaking the chain of ungrace. In the New Testament the most common Greek word for forgiveness means, literally, to release, to hurl away, to free yourself."

I like that thought - to release, to hurl away, to free yourself. That is what forgiveness does. It does not condone the bad behavior or wrong done to us, nor is it done for the person who committed the offense. But forgiveness is for ourselves. We are releasing it, freeing ourselves, hurling it away. Hurling. To me that means throwing it as far as we can throw it. Of course, the trick it to not run after it and pick it up again! I can be pretty good at that sometimes. Philip goes on to say that he readily admits that forgiveness is unfair.

Moving on, Philip talks about legalism and trying to attain to ideal perfection, and I like this statement - "A man who professes an external law is like someone standing in the light of a lantern fixed to a post. It is light all around him, but there is nowhere further for him to walk. A man who professes the teaching of Christ is like a man carrying a lantern before him on a long, or not so long, pole: the light is in front of him, always lighting up fresh ground and always encouraging him to walk further.

In other words, the proof of spiritual maturity is not how "pure" you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace." (underlining mine)

Further on in the book, Philip gets back to who is my enemy. "The abortionist? The Hollywood producer polluting our culture? The politician threatening my moral principles? The drug lord ruling my inner city? If my activism, however well-motivated, drives out love, then I have misunderstood Jesus' gospel. I am stuck with law, not the gospel of grace."

In his last chapter he states - " Having begun with questions -- What's so amazing about grace and why don't Christians show more of it? -- I now end with a final question: What does a grace-full Christian look like?

Perhaps I should rephrase the question, How does a grace-full Christan look? The Christian life, I believe, does not primarily center on ethics or rules but rather involves a new way of seeing. I escape the force of spiritual "gravity" when I begin to see myself as a sinner who cannot please God by any method of self-improvement or self-enlargement. Only then can I turn to God for outside help -- for grace-- and to my amazement I learn that a holy God already loves me despite my defects. I escape the force of gravity again when I recognize my neighbors also as sinners, loved by God. A grace-full Christian is one who looks at the world through "grace-tinted lenses." "

The following I think is a neat picture --
"Strangely, God is closer to sinners than to "saints." (By saints I mean those people renowned for their piety--true saints never lose sight of their sinfulness.) As one lecturer in spirituality explains it, "God in heaven holds each person by a string. When you sin, you cut the string. Then God ties it up again, making a knot--and thereby bringing you a little closer to him. Again and again your sins cut the string--and with each further knot God keeps drawing you closer and closer." "

One final thought -- "Once my view of myself changed, I began to see the church in a different light too: as a community of people thirsty for grace."

There is so much more in the book that is worth reading. I encourage you to find a copy and read it. I would love to hear what caught your attention and your thoughts on it. I know it has made me appreciate God's grace all the more, and to remember to offer grace to others.

FAITH FRIDAY (another long one)
(original post 5/18/12)

This is a copy of an article I wrote for my church newsletter a few months ago. This has been such a busy and tiring week that I have not had the time or energy to work on anything for the blog. We had our early morning Bible study this morning and now I am basically taking the rest of the day off to rest and recuperate as much as possible. There is a mini family reunion tomorrow night with some California relatives and I don't want to show up like a zombie, which is sort of what I feel like today.

I hope this article gives you some food for thought and reflection. I am not sure that I totally got across what I meant to say here but it is the best I could do at the time. I often have so many points in my mind but they don't always show up in the words I say or write. Maybe that is God's way of saying those points are not what He wants me to tell others right now.

Are you Wearing Your Armor Today?

Ephesians in a Nutshell

After looking at the February church newsletter and reading the article on how Satan attacks us, I knew I had to write this. You see, I had been mulling this subject over in my mind for about the last month, thinking that I might write something on it, but also had a couple of other ideas. So seeing last month’s article confirmed that this is what I should do. The previous article is the perfect lead in to what I want to tell you, so I hope you have read it. If not, dig out that copy and check it out, or borrow one if you do not have it anymore.

I know most of you have learned the pieces of armor in Sunday School and maybe some adult Bible studies, but I would like you to take another look at it, and see if you find something new. I know I did when we recently studied the book in my Friday morning group. After we finished the study I kept getting more and more of the full meaning of what Paul was saying to the church at Ephesus, and to us, and that is what I would like to share with you now.

First, we must understand what Ephesus was like at the time Paul wrote this letter. Ephesus was a very large commerce city and a Mecca for Artemis, a popular goddess of the times, as there was a huge shrine for her there and people would come long distances to worship her. There were many magicians practicing their magic, and I don’t mean the kind of magic like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. And there was much witchcraft, casting spells, and all kinds of the occult life. People living there made most of their livelihood making and selling idols of Artemis. In other words, Satan was in control in Ephesus. Is the world any different now? I don’t think so. Just looking at today’s movies, TV shows, and what is on the internet is enough to convince me that Satan has a good foothold on what is happening in this country alone. We don’t have to go to Ephesus to find these things, they come right into our own homes every day. So we need to hear the words of advice from Paul as well.

In spite of the conditions in Ephesus, we find a small group of believers living in the midst of it all. It is quite understandable as to why Paul needed to remind them to ‘stand firm’ and to not give in to Satan’s attacks, right? They are the minority, and probably heavily persecuted by unbelievers. I found it quite interesting that the first thing he tells them is a long list of the things they have in Christ. He reminds them that God chose them to be his adopted children long before creation ever took place. I am now going to change the pronouns of ‘them’ to ‘us’ from here on out. We were chosen, we are adopted into God’s family. We have redemption and forgiveness of sins. We have obtained an inheritance and have been given the Holy Spirit as the seal that we will receive what God promised.

I love to give detailed information but since I said this is a nutshell, I will try to be brief. This seal that God has put on us (the Holy Spirit) is to insure that we will reach our final destination (heaven). It means that Satan cannot thwart God’s plan no matter how hard he tries. And boy, does he try hard! We need to understand Satan’s character – he is a liar and a deceiver. He is the used car salesman that makes a heap of junk sound like a really good car, but when you get it home it falls apart. His lies are so close to the truth that they sound right to us and he catches us unaware. Each and every one of us are vulnerable to his sneaky lies, so it is necessary to know the real truth in order to recognize that they are lies. Paul tells us to expect trials and tribulation. Just because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit does not mean we will have a perfect, peaceful life. We are living in a world that hates God and all who are His, so they will be tough on us as well. We will have to stand up to them and their accusations.

Paul says we need to walk in a manner worthy of our calling. Think about being part of the royal family, which we are, and how we represent that family, and to act accordingly. So what does that look like? Paul goes into a long list of things that are part of our sinful nature that we are to ‘put off’, the things we all know are wrong – lying, cheating, etc. Instead we are to ‘put on’ the new nature that He gives us, created in righteousness and true holiness.

We, as a church body, are to work together in peace as we all believe in the same God, have the same Holy Spirit, and we believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior. We should not be arguing and fighting amongst ourselves. When we do that we look just like the rest of the world. But even more than that it gives the devil a chance to get his foot in the door, and then we can end up getting in deeper than we wanted to.

Then Paul talks about personal lives. We need to make sure our marriage is good. We are to not only keep ourselves in good shape, but take care of our spouse as well. Both partners have to work at keeping the marriage and present a solid foundation so that Satan can’t come in like the wolf and blow the house down. Then he talks about the relationship between parents and children. At your job, do good work, put in your full time doing the work and not goofing off. If you are the boss, treat your workers with respect.

Now, Paul finally gets to the point of his message. Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”  If we try to stand against the devil with our own strength, we can’t do it as we are much weaker than Satan is. That is why we need to put on the armor. Who gives us this armor? God does. And we need to put on every piece of that armor in order to stand against the devil’s wiles.

I can bet that most of you can rattle off the list of those pieces of armor – belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up the emphasis seemed to be on the belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet and sword, not what they represented. We don’t actually put on such things. The most important thing to remember is that God has given us many things to stand firm against the devil. We just need to put them on. And those things are truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God. There is one more piece that is not given a name and that is prayer. We could call that our ‘walkie-talkie’. It is our direct connection to the general commander of the army – God.

So how does this all apply to us? First, we need to know the truth that is in God’s word so that we can discern the truth from deception. Read the Bible and study it. Righteousness – right living, doing the right thing even if others aren’t. The breastplate guards the heart.  Jesus gave us His righteousness on the cross since we are not righteous in ourselves. But we can do our best to live as God wants us to, and the more we practice that, the less we have to consciously think about doing the right thing because it has become a habit. Peace – we need to be at peace with ourselves, others and especially with God. If we are not getting along with any one of these three, the door is open for attack. There is a chink in our armor where one of the devil’s arrows can pierce through. Satan will always attack at the weakest point and that is why we need to make sure we have put on all the armor.

Faith is called the shield for good reason. We need to hold our faith out in front of us like a shield. It should be easy for others to see our faith, and to hold on to it when we are having some really tough times. We depend on that faith to carry us through that battle line. It is our faith that puts out the fiery arrows. Where does our faith come from? God. Remember I said God has given us the armor.

Salvation – naturally we know that God has given us that. We just need to remember that when we are attacked. God has already saved us and given us eternal life. Jesus has defeated death and Satan, and freed us from the grip of both. Then we can pick up that sword of the Spirit and stand firm and defend ourselves. To me, the sword of the Spirit means that the Spirit will give us specific words from the Bible to use against Satan. Remember that Jesus used God’s word against him when he was tempted in the wilderness, and Satan had to walk away.

And remember the last thing, the prayers that keep you connected to God. They should be constant, not only during a difficult time, but at any time.

How about you? Do you have your armor on today? I hope you are reminded of these things when you have a problem, big or small.


When I scheduled this I realized Friday is July 4, and the beginning of a long weekend, so lets read the Good News before the celebrations.

Here is the Good News in Isaiah 43! 

In chapter 42 that we looked at last week, where the Israelites were 'chewed out' because they didn't listen, now they are being told, "Never fear, I am here."

Israel’s Only Savior
1But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob, (Lorita)
he who formed you, Israel: (Lorita)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; (Lorita)
I have summoned you by name (Lorita); you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cusha and Seba in your stead.
4Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
8Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
9All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11I, even I, am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”

You probably noticed in the beginning verses I crossed out some names and put mine in place of them. Try reading this and putting your own name in place of the other names, and claim it!

God tells us, 
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;

And again -

I will be with you.
God calls us precious and honored in His sight, and that He loves us. He calls us His sons and daughters, and He is the best father we could ever hope for. Human fathers can let us down, but God never will.

Continue to read the rest of the chapter. Look at what He says in verse 18 -
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past." 

Isaiah is speaking to Israel, but apply these words to your own life in today's world. Don't read the Bible just to say you have read it. Take in those words and digest them, and see what they are saying to you.

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