Wednesday October 22, 2014 Understanding

Posted October 22, 2014 by bgovanus
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The Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.  1 Chronicles 28:9

My daughter faithfully visits her dad’s father in the nursing home. Sometimes he does not recognize her or her children.  He has dementia.  There are other times that he recalls her antics of her youth and they share songs that she used to sing for him.  He is anxiously awaiting heaven and during lucid times will pray with her and share how much he wants to go to heaven to be with his beloved wife and his many brothers and sisters who have preceded him in death.

Even in dementia, God is present in a real sense and can break through and manifest Himself in the minds and hearts of those who suffer from this disease but even more so in those who visit and serve those afflicted. Many of my friends have cared for parents who have dementia or  Alzheimer’s. Their faithful care, sometimes over decades is a witness of love and patience.  Their gift of time, talent and treasure to nurture their loved ones inspires me and others to treasure every moment and be just a bit more patient.

It is hard to watch erratic behavior and harder still to have a parent not recognize their child. One of my friends made an album of his mother’s life so when she had a moment of lucidity she could look back and remember.  What that also did was help her caregivers recognize her as a woman of substance who had a disease that was depriving her of her faculties.  They would talk with her in a more respectful way and converse about her career when she was “awake”.  This simple gesture helped her be less frightened and perk up when she was spoken to about her past as a Fire Chief or a Army Major.

We each seek to be understood. It is special to realize that eventually when my mind shuts down, God knows me and is a part of me… understanding me even when I am incapable of understanding myself.  I don’t have to wait for dementia to need that reassurance.

God, please send special blessings on those who are caring for aging parents. Help everyone who serves be patient and seek to understand.  Be with those who will say good bye to parents until they are re-united in heaven. 

Tuesday October 21, 2014 Attentive

Posted October 21, 2014 by bgovanus
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Jesus said to His disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.”  Luke 12:35

It is so easy to get off track. To get distracted from mission, purpose or even the task at hand.  I can forget in the space of walking from one room to another what I set out to do.  So when Jesus says be alert and attentive… I know I have work to do.  As much as I seek to be present to my Lord at all times, I know that I fail miserably.

Jesus was asking His followers to be paying attention and that is a huge sacrifice of my will. When I place God front and center to the exclusion of all the other trifles in my life, it is not a mortification of my spirit but a raising of my soul to a higher plane.  God is not a task master but a gentle lover asking for my commitment to Him.  When I can be present and attentive, the joy of being in His grace washes over me.

The sacrifice of giving my best self, my highest consciousness, my essence is all I really have to give. He wants my all and I want to give it.  My humanity gets in my way… all those shiny objects call my name and distraction wins too often.

Lord help me to be able to focus on You and give my utmost for Your Highest!

Monday October 20, 2014 Saved

Posted October 20, 2014 by bgovanus
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“Your faith has saved you.” Mark 5:34; Mark 10:52; Luke 7:50

I am sure you have picked up that Jesus said this phrase numerous times throughout the New Testament. He spoke these words to many people who sought Him out for a cure or a change in their lifestyle.  It made me wonder when He would respond in this manner because He is the Savior.

I read an explanation that helped me… Faith is the recognition of the presence of Jesus here and now.  Each of those who approached Jesus believed in His power to heal them.  They did not hang back on the sidelines and doubt, they did not let reason or what other people think stop them from coming forward to touch Him and be touched by Him.

Faith today is the same. Belief in and recognition of the presence of JESUS, Here and NOW!  He lives and moves and has His being for all time.  He has the power to heal, to raise people from the dead and to change the course of history just as much in this time as in the time 2000 years ago when He walked among us and did these things.

Life and times being what they are make it harder for FAITH to coexist with the Blue Ray players, High Definition TV, the cell phone and the surround sound. Jesus’s still quiet voice is often drowned out by all the noise.  If I allow silence then I will hear Him and be able to recognize HIM here and now.

Lord open my eyes to see YOU, here and now. Help me to recognize YOU and seek YOU in my life.  I am asking for my cure as did all those to whom You said, “Your faith has saved you.”

Sunday October 19, 2014 Sliced Bread

Posted October 19, 2014 by bgovanus
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Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

My mom used to say something that is as good as sliced bread needs to be shared. When she was growing up, bread was baked at home or bought in a whole loaf at the local bakery.  When sliced bread became available, it was an amazing thing!  Those nice uniform pieces so perfect for sandwiches were such a welcome change.  Today, obviously it is no longer a marvel.

Sometimes I think my faith becomes like sliced bread. I take for granted that I have a God who loved me so much that He sent His only Son to redeem my sins.  Jesus the miracle worker, the only person who could calm the waves, raise people from the dead or cure leprosy died like a common thief on a cross.  How can I be silent or complacent knowing all He did for me?  Telling other people about something good is second nature to humanity.  Spreading the good news about a movie I like or a great restaurant or a fantastic sale on jewelry or shoes is something I do almost daily.  Then sharing the GOOD NEWS about my salvation should be on the top of my mind.

If it was easy everyone would do it. Living my life as a witness and being able to stand for what I believe is crucial to giving witness.  Being able to say WHY I believe has been the reason I went back to school, continue to study my bible and seek to be fed at the table of great preachers and continue to read great books.  Life presents me with opportunities to share my beliefs and when I do so with joy, then I am confessing with my mouth and opening my heart for the  God who saved me.

Lord help me to be a witness of YOUR love for me and for all Your children. I know that my Redeemer lives and I need to share that Good News as easily as I share my movie reviews or favorite restaurant.  Give me the words to say! 

Friday October 17, 2014 Hidden

Posted October 17, 2014 by bgovanus
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“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.  Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.”  Luke 12:2-3

My mother used to tell her many children to never do anything or say anything that we would not want her to hear or see. When I look at Facebook these days, I can’t help but think how some mothers would feel to see and hear these things. But here people are sharing for the whole world to see what I would not want anyone to know.

God tells me there is “NOTHING” hidden from Him. Since that is the case, come Judgment Day, I will have a pretty red shame-face.  All those impolite or hurtful things uttered under my breath or whispered to my friend in High School about the girl who did not fit in.  The gossip that I shared about a coworker or the affair I had while I was divorced will be revealed for all to see.  Those youthful indiscretions haunt me because I can never undo those hurts that I caused.  NOTHING is hidden from God’s view and I am so sorry for the pain I caused.  None of the barbs I inflicted can ever be totally removed.

God sees all and has forgiven me my sins when I asked His grace and understanding. The analogy of sin to a nail driven into a board serves as a good reminder for me.  The nail can be removed but the hole remains.

Lord, I know that I am constantly a source of sin and I regret my shortcomings. I ask You to help me to make better choices to love and serve those You put in my path.  You see me and know that I am weak… Help me. 

Thursday October 16, 2014 Detours

Posted October 16, 2014 by bgovanus
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Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.”  Genesis 12:1

In this passage from Genesis, the Lord said to Abram, a seventy five year old to pick up his wife and property and leave the home he had known for his whole life. He took his brother’s son, Lot and all his household and hit the road.  The next verses tell of many more detours before he arrives where the Lord had originally told him he would go.  Talk about faithful… Abram (Abraham) is the picture of obedience and trust.

Today, I learned that my granddaughter was hit by a car when she was driving home from her grad school class. It was a trip she made every day since August with no detours or interruptions,  This incident was caused by someone who ran a stoplight.  The detours in life can be caused by many things… illness, accident, tornados, crop failures, fires or a myriad other options…  Sometimes it is as simple as wearing new shoes that cause a blister that slow you down and you miss the train into the city taking you to the World Trade Center.

God is watching over every scenario and knows the detours that are popping up in my life. He has the final destination outlined so these interruptions and situations that seem like they are huge distractions may be a blessing or a shortcut.  It is crucial that to be like Abram and trust that the map maker knows the best route and that God’s GPS will lead me to the desired destination.

I am praying for my granddaughter to come through this detour unscathed but I know that she will reach God’s ultimate destination for her.

Lord, Give me the faith of Abraham and a trusting heart to confidently keep walking when detours seem to be interrupting my progress toward You, my Lord. You are the way! 

Wednesday October 15, 2014 Directions

Posted October 15, 2014 by bgovanus
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Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.  Romans 12:12

There is a wealth of great direction for life in Scripture. Paul and James, Proverbs and the four evangelists give precise and simple ways to live that will get me through most if not all the situations that I find myself in.  These words addressed to the Romans are a great example of that simple wisdom.

Being happy seems to be the mission that most people want… Rejoicing in HOPE is not a commandment that I could easily ignore. When I am hopeful then JOY is very attainable.  It is when I lose desire or spend too much time living in the past that my JOY is stolen from my heart.  My friend Belinda, keeps Joel Osteen’s words on her desk… Don’t let anyone steal your Joy!  By living in the present… where HOPE resides gives me a real foothold in heaven.

I know how often I need to be encouraged to endure when I am hurting or being attacked by the devil who continues to put roadblocks to sainthood.  Each person aspires to be the best they can be BUT affliction pushes me off track.  Knowing I have God on my side helps me endure.

When I pray, a renewal happens. Talking, one on one, with God gives me a channel of peace that not only calms my spirit but opens my heart to receive His blessings.  Today as I Hope, Endure and Pray, God is in the details and will not let me lose the path to Him.

Thank you Lord for the direction and encouragement you have given me in the scripture. Allow me to be a channel of Your peace.


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