Thursday September 20, 2018 Words

Posted September 20, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24

Words are powerful.  The kids standard, “Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” is just a plain outright lie.  I can still remember names that I was called by kids, sixty years ago.  Even harder to bounce back from are the hurtful words uttered by those we love or admire.  A spouse, boss, coworker or friend can lay me low by some off-hand or intentional comment.  I try so hard to use gracious words but when I am under stress, my Commander or Director mode takes hold and I am abrupt and so focused, I am sure Attila the Hun was kinder.  I lay in bed each night and pray that my words were not harmful, that they were healing and never damaging.  And when I succumb to stress and I am short that those I have been hurt will forgive me.

If you have ever seen a honeycomb, this visual will help you remember to use your words sweetly.  Every cell is connected, and one weakness affects the whole.  When the foundation is secure, sweetness is not only possible but overflowing.  Solomon was a wordsmith and a wise person who knew that words used in a loving way created a life long bond.  Being present in silence with someone going through a hard time can be a healing balm as well.  But when distance is a reality, all we have are words to convey our love.

Lord, help me to choose my words carefully that I can always be a cheerful presence in the lives of those I love.  Help me to heal, rather than harm and to be a balm of sweetness like honey to those with a troubled soul. 


Wednesday September 19, 2018 Time

Posted September 19, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot… He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom hat God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

It never seems like there is enough TIME.  Solomon wrote these beautiful words centuries ago, but they give me consolation today.  TIME and life are never understood in the present but when we look back we see that God made everything beautiful in its time.  My heart broke when my daughters moved out for college or to marry, my relationships have evolved from mother/child to adult friendships and mutual respect.  When they presented me with grandchildren, my heart grew larger to accommodate each new wonderfully special human being in ways that I could not even imagine.  When my parents died, I understood heartbreak and the grief opened me up to be a much more empathetic person.  Each life touches so many and when we allow time to heal the wounds, new growth happens if we allow God in to fertilize and repair the scar that uprooting that life from my own created.

When life no longer looks beautiful, it is important to remember that much happens in the winter.  During the desolation, growth is happening below the surface.  God does turn the seasons of life…  a time to mourn becomes a time for joy.  When the silence is deafening, and loneliness surrounds us, He will open a new relationship or bring fulfillment in a new passion to serve.  God has each of our days numbered.  He knows, when it is TIME to shine and a when it is our job to focus the light on another.  The crucial part of being a servant of God is to allow Him to direct our moments.

Lord You are the keeper of every second of my life.  Help me to do Your will and work with Your ebb and flow so that I am not fighting the creation that is an ever-present part of the process.  There is only Your TIME! 

Tuesday September 18, 2018 Grandmother

Posted September 18, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.  I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now live in you also.  2 Timothy 1:4-5

I have a heavy heart this morning as my granddaughter had to cancel her visit.  There were tears and a true sense of loss because our times together are now a rare and treasured time.  She is a graduate student getting her PhD.  I think every grandmother feels the same… time is our most valued asset!  More important than money, much more prized than stuff.  Grandparents look at our progeny as gifts that remind us that our legacy of love will live on after we are gone.

Faith in this passage is also a pearl of great price.  It is NOT inherited but is shared from one generation to the next.  I have endeavored to be a true witness and am so blessed to see faith lived out in the lives of my daughters and their children.  That is the best gift that I could ever have shared with them… love of the Lord and a desire to do His will.  So, in times of loss or in times of joy, I always seek comfort in His word.  He always reminds me of what I must treasure, and a smile comes to my lips for their faith is strong.

Lord I am so grateful for my grandchildren and the faith that was shared with me by my own mother and grandmother.  I come before You and offer them to You for even in my sadness at being apart, I have the reassurance of knowing that they love and seek You.   

Monday September 16, 2018 Engraved

Posted September 17, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget, I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.  Isaiah 49:15-16

When I was growing up, getting something engraved as a gift was a big deal.  In a big family, when much was handed down from sibling to sibling, something that was engraved or “permanently” marked was important.  It meant it was mine forever.  When Isaiah tells us, that God has engraved our names on His palms, it means a belonging that cannot be overcome or changed on a whim.  Jesus made this statement come true when the nails permanently marred His hands with the scars from the cross.  The hammer and the nails engraved my sins so that I could be freed.

Nothing and no one can love me as much as God does.  This passage explains that His love is more than a mother for her child.  That is hard to even fathom.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises in the Old Testament:  Never to be forgotten, never to be abandoned, never to be alone!  What more could I ever want or need?

Lord, I am so grateful to be engraved and be forever a part of Your family.  I regret that my sins caused Your Son torment and pain.  Engraving hurts the surface but the change is forever and I am so happy to always be Yours!

Monday September 3, 2018 Comforts

Posted September 3, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

God comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  2 Corinthians 1:4

How often I pray for God to remove my pain.  But when I read this verse I understand a bit more why I have to endure.  God’s comfort (the Greek word paraklesis) is coming alongside to help.  If I was never in need, would my relationship with God have developed to anything more than a casual or Sunday hour visit?  I know that He has given me strength so that I can come alongside others who are often enduring the same trial.

When in the midst of a storm it is hard to think about anything but the pain.  But I know in my heart that He wants me to remember and share the light when I have come through the darkness.  To give to others what I learned and come alongside them as God did me.  There is always encouragement in scripture, but the true comfort comes when I embrace and believe that God cares for me.  That there is a nothing that can separate me from His love.  Holding onto this love in the harsh realities of life gives strength.  Then on the other side, I am privileged to be God’s comfort for others.

Paul learned first hand what it meant to be comforted during his many exploits and harsh treatment.  He was then emboldened to become a comforter and continues to this day to give to all Christians the comfort that he received from God.

Lord I am encouraged by Paul’s words and seeing how You have been my constant comfort during the darkest times in my life.  Help me to pass along Your light to those who are heavily burdened with injustice and struggle to make sense of their pain.  Let me be Your light in their darkness. 

Sunday September 2, 2018 Thoughts

Posted September 2, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Fix your thoughts on whatever is true, and honorable, and just, and pure, and lovely, and gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

If only it were that easy…  Just think GOOD thoughts and the peace of the Lord will be with me.

What we are promised in these two verses is that it is that easy!  The only thing that any of us have control over is our thoughts.  Like you, I can’t control the weather, the temperature, the actions of anyone else, or the results of game.  SO, really the only thing I can control are my own thoughts!  That means, I need to get past my “Monkey or Reptilian Brain” that is always trying to play it safe.  I need to quit listening to the old tapes that say… YOU Can’t, You’re… too OLD, Too Dumb, Too out of shape and the list goes on.

God invites me to focus on:

What is true… I can do anything with His help…

What is honorable…  There is good in every person, and it is my job to find it!

What is right… There is always a choice to do the correct thing to be the best version of myself.

What is pure… I need to find the essence of every situation; the underlying goodness is at the core.

What is lovely… Finding the beauty in life instead of staring at the accident and suffering along the road of life.

What is admirable… when I look, I will see the core of people who work to make the world a better place.

Focusing my thoughts on what is worthy of praise instead of complaints or finding fault makes my life and those around me so much more joyful. Praising others for their giftedness helps them be encouraged and lifts them up.  There God is truly with all and His peace becomes the standard instead of the exception.

Lord, You give me peace when I turn my thoughts to You.  Help me to always see the truth and recognize the lovely.  In hem Your presence is with me always. 

Friday August 31, 2018 Power

Posted August 31, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Immediately aware that power had gone forth from Him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”  Mark 5:30

When the apostles heard Jesus ask, “Who touched my clothes?” they thought He had lost His mind.  Amid a vast crowd who wasn’t touching Him would have been easier to identify.  BUT Jesus knew that power had gone out from Him.  It was not a casual touch, someone had reached out in faith believing that He was the answer to all her problems… and of course He was and still is.  What I love about this verse is that even in the craziness of life, Jesus is available to me, if I believe and reach out and HE will be there.

My days are FULL of people, noise, distractions galore.  Trying to find quiet time to connect and pray is often difficult at best and impossible in most scenarios.  This verse encourages me to believe I can still touch Jesus and He will be there and aware that I am reaching out.  The woman fell at His feet begging forgiveness, afraid of repercussions but NO.  Jesus complimented her faith!  That is encouragement indeed for me!  If I don’t have time to go to my prayer spot and meditate and pray for twenty minutes but can connect and receive strength in the middle of a crowd… that is a comfort!  I am cured and set free even when I touch His cloak.

Lord You are always present and close enough to touch.  If only I reach out my hand and connect with You. Give me courage and the confidence to seek you in my busy life.  Open my heart so that I recognize when You provide all I need so that I can be as grateful as the woman who you cured simply because of her faith.