Sunday January 7, 2018 Name

Posted January 7, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:9-11

There are a great many people who are recognized by just saying one name: Shakespeare, Cleopatra, Cher, Elvis, Galileo, Einstein, Pele, Ali… just to name a few.  They are recognizable and no one is confused about who you are speaking about.  Some are even people who are admired but none demand the deference of Jesus.

St Paul when he wrote these words inspired the church to always remember that Jesus was the alpha and the omega.  He wanted to instill the love and awe that Jesus deserved.  There have been and will never be, a name above the name of Jesus. St Augustine wrote: Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all. We are called then, to worship and hold Jesus in an exalted place in our hearts, our minds and our tongues.

What then do we do when we hear Jesus name used not as an exaltation but as a curse?  How can we who are believers allow His name to be blasphemed and uttered in anger or frustration instead of praise?  Today in a world where being politically correct is important, I think it is not only okay but right to ask those offending to choose other ways to express their displeasure in my presence.  Only by asking will anything ever change.  Just like creating awareness of prejudice or sexual abuse in the workplace can anything ever change.  If I turn away or pretend it is not happening, I dishonor my God as much as those who utter the curse.

Lord, give me strength to defend Your HOLY name.  The name that is above every name.  I lift my praise to You and always celebrate Your presence and power in my life today. 

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Saturday January 6, 2017 New

Posted January 6, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.  Lamentations 3:22-23

How exciting it is to wake up and embrace the opportunity to see what God has in store for me today!  NEW every morning!  When I hop out of bed and look to what the day will bring, I know there will be so many chances to see God’s love manifested around me.  Nature even in the cold weather is ripe with activity.  The frigid temps make me move quickly and gets my blood flowing!  The squirrels are chattering and the birds flitter from branch to branch.  I marvel at the generosity of people who have extra blankets and coats who have shared them with those who need them.  I am humbled by the great blessings that giving these items can make in someone’s life.  There is nothing worse than being cold and having nowhere to go for warmth.

One of my pastors spoke to us in the congregation about such a situation.  He said we have everything we need to take care of the poor, it is just at your house.  Go home and find what you have to share with those who are needy.  The NEW moments to be an answer to someone’s prayer arise every morning.  What an awesome life I lead that I can be NEW every single day just by being aware and looking in my own house for ways to serve.

My grandmother swept her house every day and always ended on the front porch.  She would sweep off her front stoop and would wave to her neighbors who did the same.  She lived in what was referred to back in the day as the “Scrubby Dutch” neighborhood.  She always said if everyone would clean their own porch then the world would be spotless.  I knew she was talking about more than the small slab of concrete in front of her house.  She fed beggars at the church who stopped by on their way, she washed and sewed clothing that was torn that had been donated to the church so people could have garments that were suitable and gave them dignity.  God’s love is new every morning and each of us are called to be the method that passes it on to those we meet.

Father, How can I do something new for you today?  Which of my neighbors needs to feel Your Love?  Give me the strength and the vision to see how I can serve! 

 

Thursday January 4, 2018 Changing

Posted January 4, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  Romans 12:2

I often wonder about the changes that I have made in my life to become the person that I am today.  I know that I have reacted to circumstances and allowed forces to shape me.  Sometimes these were not really the best influence.  I look back on my early days in business when I was so worried about advancement that I was often harsh and even too demanding of those who worked for me.  In my middle years, I mellowed and tried to be generous to those who were working alongside me but the pressures of owning my own business often did alter my behavior.  After losing everything, I finally realized that God’s will for me was good and pleasing and perfect when I could accept it.

Transforming myself took being stripped of the material things that opened my eyes to what really matters.  God does not look at the job titles but how I treat those around me.  Having lots of stuff does NOT make me happy or fulfilled.  Awareness and involvement in the causes that allow me to be God’s hands and feet to those less fortunate opens my path to grace and light.  He provides plenty of ways for me to understand myself and His will for me when I just look for them.  Learning to KNOW God’s will is what I am called to and will change me into the person HE wants me to be.

Fitting into the world is NOT what God calls me to do.  He has led so many saints to do His will and they were looked at askance and even ridiculed for what appeared to be odd behavior.  The Lord invites me each day to change the way I think, so that my life is dedicated to His will, NOT my own.

Lord help me to always listen attentively for Your call.  I seek to learn Your will for me so that I will be good and pleasing to You! 

Wednesday January 3, 2018 Revealed

Posted January 3, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:2

What a blessing to know that we are children of God.  Looking at my sinfulness and mistakes, it is so comforting to know He has loved me enough to die for me.  I do NOT know what I will be as I get up each day to serve Him, but I can live in confidence that I am called to be like Him.  He has won the war, I battle each day BUT can live assured that I will see Him when He comes again.  It is a most unusual to enter into a situation, KNOWING that you will emerge victorious.  Each time I reflect on what Jesus did to insure that I can live forever in heaven, I want to fall to my knees in gratitude.

Scripture revealed throughout the ages what and who the Savior would be.  As each new description through prophecy appeared, the gift that God was giving to His children became more visible so that when He was born even the lowliest of shepherds could recognize Him.  To the weak and simple He came to set us free.  His power was revealed and continues to be manifest as every knee should bend at the utterance of His name.

Today I celebrate the Most Holy Name of Jesus.  Revealed as a baby, He manifested the saving power of God for me.  Lord I worship and adore You!  I look forward to seeing You as You are! 

Tuesday January 2, 2018 Grandchildren

Posted January 2, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

An old man’s grandchildren are his crowning glory.  Proverbs 17:6

The visit was a whirlwind of activity as it always is… clothes and toys strewn throughout the house made it difficult to find a clear spot to even sit down… a wonderful chaos is my memory of this Christmas visit.  What a blessing to be given this verse this morning as I clean out the refrigerator and put away the Christmas dishes.  Tired but so happy to have been able to share this precious time with my grandchildren.

There is no way to describe the love I have for each of my grandchildren.  The unique relationship that I have developed with each one has been an abiding joy as I have aged.  It motivates me to take care of myself so that I can dance at each of their weddings.  The pride that I feel at their accomplishments dwarfs anything I can ever do myself.  Though I have not contributed to their successes in any way except perhaps a gene, I revel in them.  Each one delights me in their own unique way.

I wish I could give them the world but know that the journey to find the best path is the most important part of attaining success.  Without the struggle, I know I would never have appreciated the good stuff that occurred because I tried and failed. I want to prevent them from the pain of stumbling but realize that my love can serve as a cushion and my arms can be a haven filled with comfort.  I love without strings, I am here always!

I have thought of God as a benevolent Grandfather at times in my life.  Arms to hold me when I was feeling lost.  A lap to climb into when I needed consolation.  One of my strongest memories of my own grandmother was asking her to rock me when I was twelve and taller than she was.  She did, and I cried in her arms.  I was carrying the weight of the world and in my grandmother’s arms, I could lay it down.  I hope I can be that safe place for all my progeny forever.

Lord, I am grateful to have lived long enough to be a grandmother.  Truly these wonderful human beings who I have loved even in their mother’s womb, are my Crowning Glory and I am so very happy that You trusted me to be in their lives.  Bless each of them today and always.

Sunday December 31, 2017 Hope

Posted December 31, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-26

Today many make resolutions and even more make a wish for that the new year will be filled with good things instead of rough times.  Things to look forward to are planned and all are hopeful that 2018 may be BLESSED!  Jeremiah wrote these words after being chained as a prisoner, attacked and pierced by his enemies.  If he can be positive about his future, then indeed each of us has a right to trust in the goodness of the Lord.  The living God is truly all we need to have conviction that we can overcome any trial.

So often I have lived in fear that often prevented me from attempting what in my heart of hearts I wanted to do.   God promised that “I can do all things through Christ.” Phil 4:13 Hope is the beginning of accomplishing what God has called me to do.  I love Maya Angelou and she said, “I know there is no place that God is not.  And by knowing that, I can dare things.  I can dare to succeed because I can dare to fail.”

So, let the resolutions and hopes be real from my heart and whispered to God this day.  Let my faith be in His power knowing that He will guide my steps and that each of His children can achieve by trusting in His love and salvation.  If any words could inspire me then these are it.  Failure is but a training ground and a tool to help me realize that that way does not work.  God wants only to help me achieve His will.  When I seek Him, then nothing can stop me!

Lord, I resolve today to seek You with a trusting and contrite heart.  Guide my steps that I will always walk in HOPE!  I begin this new year open to the paths You would have me walk.  Allow me to serve You and others by waiting on Your word quietly trusting that You are the wind beneath my wings. 

 

Sunday December 24, 2017 Good Gifts

Posted December 24, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Know how to give good gifts.  Matthew 7:11

Through the years of being a sibling, a friend, a spouse, a parent and grandparent trying to buy just the right gift for those I love has been an incredibly difficult thing for me. I want my gifts to be well received and delight the recipient. I pray to know how to give good gifts.

What I have learned however is that most people when they recall holidays never remember the gifts but remember the laughter and the fun, the silly situations that occur and the touching ones. In my own family, singing around the fireplace and watching Miracle on 34th Street always spring to mind but only two gifts from the thousands I have received stand out in my memory.

My mother surprised me with a silver charm bracelet one Christmas. She always wore one and for us kids buying her charms became a Christmas tradition. Ones that would commemorate a special moment in the year past: a vacation, graduation, one year we even gave her an arm wrapped in a cast. So when she presented me with my very own charm bracelet with a Christmas Tree from her engraved with my special name for her, Marm. I knew I was appreciated and special.

The second was a gold necklace from my youngest daughter. She scrimped and saved to buy this for me and it is beautiful. I still wear it everyday twenty years later. The fact that she knew my love for jewelry is one thing but that she worked so hard to make me feel special has made this one of my prized possessions. The giver in both instances knew me and that is what made the gifts so special.

God knew what His people needed to be whole. He gave His Son that we all would live forever. There is no better gift.

Lord, You know when I sit and when I stand.  You know every detail of my life. You have given me so many GOOD Gifts and I am so grateful. Help me to know how to give good gifts that lead those I love to You.