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2 Corinthians 3:3 
"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."
Saturday, May 07 2016
A joyous Mother's Day to you all! This has been a week of celebration for our household as we commemorated Paul's graduation from SHSU with a Master of Science degree in Homeland Security Studies and Certification in Critical Infrastructure. Perhaps you heard our buttons popping with pride as we viewed the proceedings in Huntsville on Thursday evening. This was all the more poignant because just three weeks before, I was headed into surgery, not sure if I would even be able to attend the ceremony. 
 
The day following Paul's graduation, I had my second post-op visit. Greeted in the MD Anderson waiting room by Alan, the nurse who would be taking my vitals, he studied me with a rather puzzled grin, shaking his head as he remarked, "Surgery just 3 weeks ago - and it's as if it never even happened!" While in many ways it does seem like that, at times it also feels like I've been around the world in 80 days! Yet I have become even more aware that I want to remember every part of this journey - to never forget the details of God's faithfulness every inch of the way. 
 
Have you ever thought of how ironic it is that the disciples of Jesus seemed to forget from day to day the miracles that they had witnessed and even participated in? How Jesus fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish - and then, not long after that, they had to feed another crowd of a mere 4000 and wondered how they could possibly do that?! Yet I have found this to be true of myself. I have seen the mercies and miracles of God more times than I could ever recount - but sometimes it feels like I have amnesia and can't remember how He has always been my ever-present help in trouble. 
 
Today, I celebrate the love of God expressed in myriad ways: through the gift of Motherhood; through the power of your prayers and expressions of love; through His provision to meet every need; through mercies new every morning and His great faithfulness. I gratefully echo the words of the psalmist in Psalm 77:11-14,
 
"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." 
 
Be blessed as you celebrate today. 
Posted by: Jan de Chambrier AT 09:18 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 01 2016
This morning as I continue to rest in the Lord, I've been chewing on a meaty morsel of scripture from Proverbs 13:12-
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. 
Two days ago, I shared my perspective on what Oswald Chambers calls "gracious uncertainty" - trusting in God's character through our uncharted circumstances; finding that we who are born into a living hope through Christ have His divine presence resident in us as all the hope we need: Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
 
So what is "hope deferred" - and why does it make the heart sick? To defer something means to put it off, to postpone it. There is a delay that causes a desired outcome to not be fulfilled. So often, this results in disappointment and even heartache. We hope and pray and hope some more, but we don't seem to see the results to our prayers.
 
But the scriptures give us an opportunity to see beyond our temporal human desires and peer into the unchanging heart of God. Abraham, the father of our faith, chose to believe God's promise that he would be the progenitor of many nations, even when God asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac on the altar. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed (Romans 4:18). He did not defer his hope by pleading with God to remove this trial; he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3). He didn't waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised (Rom. 4:20-22).
 
Now for the clincher: The words "it was credited to him as righteousness" were written not for him alone, but also for US to whom God will credit righteousness - for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead 
(Rom. 4:23-24). Abraham placed his faith - the substance of things HOPED for and the evidence of things unseen - in God and God alone. He knew that God had made him a promise to be the father of many nations and that the only way this would be accomplished would be through his son Isaac. He knew that God would never deceive or forsake him and he chose to believe God, even when the life of his only heir was threatened. He did not defer his hope but chose to put it in the One who could raise the dead. His longing was fulfilled and became a tree of life: a tree for the healing of the nations. 
 
One of the most comforting verses to me through many years of trial has been Romans 5:5 - And hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out His love for us through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given to us. There have been times when I have been almost afraid to hope - and then the Lord calls this to mind: hope does not disappoint us. If God has deposited His Holy Spirit in believers as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come, how could we possibly be disappointed? If our Hope is living in us, what more do we need? There is no need to defer - to put off - hope and cause our hearts to be sick. We can put on Christ, our very present help in trouble and the lover of our souls, and know that He is the Tree of Life that will bring healing to you, to me, to the nations. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. 
Posted by: Jan de Chambrier AT 09:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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