Holding On and Letting Go

Since August 29, 1992, the Lord has led me in a different path than the former years ~ with a new heart, new spirit and new life.

We have together chronicled this path, leaving traces, patterns, and clues on the way. We have filled notebooks and file boxes, written letters, emails, blog posts and books with what He has been teaching me.

Celebrating these last twenty-five years has been a joyful experience as we continue through this wilderness in the power of His promises; in faith and the strength of His will to reach that eternal destiny to which He has called us.

At the age of seventy-eight I am near the riverside, having seen and tasted the glory of the Lord through His gift of grace. Through this pilgrimage, we come to a point where we no longer look back but toward the horizon to where He waits for us.

The Lord has these years in His service, been holding me and teaching me to hold to Him and all that He has given. He has shown me His plans for me, and with it the direction and wisdom in which to go, with the assurance to be with me all the way.

These last six months it seems that we have not gone forward but waiting for His instructions. During this time, we have been able to write sparingly through these blog posts. We have enjoyed being a part of the WordPress Christian Community, caught up with reading and commenting on other blog posts.

As Jerry’s appointments have lessened, though his foot is still not healed, we are now formatting and getting PRAYERS That Brought the House Down ready for publication. Thriving Under Oppression is the next project to finish ~ a continual work for the last three years. Our major work is not to promote and sell but to write and publish what we have already written, and finish others that we have started.

All are witness to God’s grace and His Glory in proclamation of the legacy of His kingdom. Under the name of Father and Family Books, these are the testimony of “laying hold of eternal life” to which He calls us. To continue on we must let go some of the things we have been doing these last six months. We cannot keep up the pace of reading and responding to other blog posts if we are to hold on and continue the work God has for us. I have read more blogs than I have written. We will visit as often as we can, but not on a daily basis as we have been this year.

Holding on means with both hands, eyes and face forward to the upward call. Letting go means not spending as much time where we have been.

We will still post occasionally and we are committed to finish our series on Contentment as the Lord leads.

My main role is as Jerry’s full-time caregiver. The Lord provides the time between our duties for writing and publishing. Please pray for the Lord’s leading and His holy will for all that we do in the service of His kingdom. Our books are Christian non-fiction, except for one book of short stories. They are for encouragement for Christian living and spiritual growth as we look to the hope that is set before us. We will post updates as often as possible.

If you are interested in any of our books on Amazon (one is free), remember that profits are designated for missions and charity. The Lord has provided for all our needs so that all our work is for His kingdom and glory.

Gracious Father, thank you for the precious friends you have given us here. I pray for your guidance for us all to continue holding to what you have given us; to let go the things of this world that would hinder our growth and continued progress in the way of your kingdom and eternal life. Show us your ways , O Lord, teach us your paths. Lead us in your truth and teach us. For you are the God of our salvation. On you do we wait all the day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.  

Related article: Laying Hold of Eternal Life

A Year For Contentment ~ Continued

We are almost halfway through this year in our series on Contentment. I have personally learned much as I have prayed, studied, and written on this subject. Through these six months we have continued to see the extreme between oppression and contentment. We are writing articles for the blog and working on one of our new books, Thriving Under Oppression. We are seeing how contentment is the work in and through us by the Spirit of the Lord even in the middle of oppression. Please pray for this project, a much needed work of grace for God’s people, for His glory and kingdom in this year of our Lord.

Listed are articles we have posted. Following are titles of future posts. If we have not covered something of interest to you, or you have a suggestion or question for a post, let me know. We are still praying and waiting for the Lord’s leading for each one.

A Year for Contentment
Born for Contentment
The Authority of Contentment
The Essence of Contentment
The Image of Contentment
Contentment With God Our Father
Contentment in Jesus Christ
The Reason and Season for Contentment
The Center of Contentment
The Spirit of Contentment
Humility and Contentment
The Voice of Contentment
The Price of Contentment
The Patience That Leads To Contentment
The Flow of Contentment
Future Posts
Contentment vs. Anxiety
The Lens of Contentment
Joy and Contentment
Peace and Contentment
Contentment vs. Satisfaction
Obedience and Contentment
When Will I Be Content?
The Power of Contentment
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for taking us in hand to explore from one end of the spectrum ~ from the state of oppression in which the whole world lives ~ to the other end ~ the state of contentment to which you call us ~ through your plan of redemption in Jesus, your Son. Please continue to brighten our hearts and our hopes while living in the middle of the oppression. We praise you for such a great love that overwhelms us and brings us in your blessedness in the Spirit of Christ to a life of worship and adoration now and for eternity. Continue to lead us in this divine contentment to share your grace with others; for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

The Flow of Contentment

In this article we are continuing our search for divine Contentment, our special topic for the year. Contentment is woven into God’s kingdom, experienced by His people as we live daily by the filling of His Holy Spirit. Our other articles are written to bring us to know the legacy that is ours and to keep us content in His kingdom.
In this post, we want to look at the difference in what God creates ~ a world of contentment ~ and what man creates.
When we look at God’s creation, beginning with the heavens and the earth, we see a flow which man can never create. Between the heavens and the earth, there is connection. We cannot sever where one ends and the other begins.

No Corners

Notice that there are no corners, nothing to stop the flow. God’s intentions are, that the present heavens and earth will be replaced by a new heavens and earth so as to make His people a part of a new creation (2 Peter 3:10-14). By His plan and power, it will be in His timing, so as to show His presence and power over all things.

Continual Light

Though in different parts of the world the sun is hidden so that we may rest and sleep, the light of the sun continues to shine, even casting its reflection on the moon as a reminder of God’s presence with us. So, too, the light that shines in our hearts continues to flow so that we are content with His presence and power in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).

Water

Water flows from heaven, to the springs in the earth, to the streams, the waterfalls, the rivers, and the ocean. So, too, the Spirit of the Lord continues to fill us with the life of Christ.
Plants and trees grow upward and outward, landscaping the terrain in beauty from one hillside and mountain to another, even as they reach to and praise the Creator. 
So, too, the fruit of the Spirit is continually produced in us, for unity with each other and praise to our heavenly Father and our Lord (Galatians 5:22-23).
None of God’s creation has anything to hide, so we see all things living openly and peacefully, uninhibited by pride and sin. They are content to be a part of the flow, producing what the Creator planned for each one. We, too, are content when we experience the flow of the Spirit of the Lord, producing what He plans for each of us, freeing us from sin and pride, in humility to live as a witness of His work in and through us.

Animals

Animals in their natural habitats are not cornered but live by the cycles of each day, as the Lord feeds them
(Psalm 145:15-16);

even the birds of the air

and the fish of the sea (Psalm 8:8).

 

 

 

Life and Death
Even in His creation He planned for the flow of life and death. He created us to reflect His image in the middle of it all. As we consider His relationship with all of His creation, we can live in the state of contentment, believing that whatever is happening in our own lives, personally, or in the world as a whole, He is with us as we are part of the flow, carrying all things throughout eternity, now and forever, for His glory, our good, and our joy.
Our Father in heaven, continually fill us with your Spirit. Make us to know the fulness of Christ and the contentment that only He can give. Move us in the flow of your power as a witness to a world in chaos and draw others to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
A Year for Contentment
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Where Do We Go From Here?

(We are closing our website, Father and Family Books, and concentrating all our efforts here and on Facebook, as we continue to proclaim the legacy of God’s kingdom. Our first ministry of writing (second to caring for Jerry) will still be through the publishing of our books, but we will maintain this blog as a means of sharing what our heavenly Father gives for the edifying of His people. And so, we will seek the blessing from Him as we post in the future.)

As we wrote in an earlier post A World in Crisis (before the election) we now see the scenes of this reality unfolding in our country. Even as God’s people, we wonder where He is and what He is doing.

In the next few posts, I want to document for our legacy as God’s children things that we need to remember so that we see God’s work unfolding in the middle of the chaos of this world. How can we maintain our faith, hope and joy in such times as these?  We are challenged not only to endure; not only to strive, and to survive, but to thrive through all things, in the power, the love, the wisdom and grace of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.images

Growing up I was often reminded that when we see the devil’s work, we can be assured that God is doing something greater. We are distracted by the physical elements of the world and how Satan works in and through men. God, our heavenly Father teaches us to look beyond what we can see with the physical eye, to catch a glimpse of His greatness and glory. In this we can see the working of His grace and goodness. The Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation happened at the same time. There were two kingdoms operating from two perspectives, which is the history of this world, since the antithesis began in the Garden with our first parents.

Let us, as God’s children, be about the Father’s business in the only kingdom that will survive all generations, until in the fullness of time, all things are united in Christ, “things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:10

Dear Father in heaven, we need you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to reveal your presence and power to us as your children, as we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  Give us your love, joy, and peace; shine your light through us to draw others to Christ.  Make us an open door to your kingdom.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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The CONCLUSION

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-20-09-amToday we come to the conclusion of six weeks of prayer for our nation, and the conclusion of an election for a new President of these United States of America.

More importantly we come to the conclusion of the whole matter of all prayer for all things.

We have used the context of the prayer which our Lord Jesus Christ gave us, recorded for all generations and all times in Matthew 6:9-13.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we used the preface and the petitions, and now we come to the conclusion.

Petitions are sandwiched between the preface and the conclusion. Jesus meant for us to see that all is from God, the Father; through Him, and for Him.

All things, all conditions, and all conclusions rest in His hands and His plans.

He is the conclusion of all things, before the beginning and to the end.

The preface is to address the one to whom we pray ~ “Our Father in heaven.”

The conclusion is to establish our purpose for prayer to our Father in heaven ~

“For Thine is the kingdom

“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”
Psalm 103:19

and the power

“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,
Psalm 62:11

and the glory,
forever.”
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Romans 11:36

Dear heavenly Father, we have these last six weeks poured out our hearts to you, seeking you, your kingdom, and your will as it concerns us as your children, the nation and the world in which we live.  We have no other means of wisdom, and authority.  You are our Father, the kingdom and power over all things.  You have promised your presence among us at all times, even when we can’t discern your leading and authority.  Make us to know your sovereign rule during times of uncertainty. When men and women are seeking their own glory, draw us to you to know your strength, your kingdom, your power and your glory over all.  By your Holy Spirit bring your truths to our minds and hearts.  Draw us closer to you and each other in prayer as we continue to seek your kingdom in our hearts and lives.  Make us strong in your word and in faith for what you have planned in the days and years ahead.  Let us always be ready to serve you and others in the name of Jesus our Lord ~ in whose name we pray.  Amen.
Music: Jude 24-25

Praying Together For Our Nation ~ Week 2

Last week we began praying  together  with the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN
HALLOWED BE THY NAME.

This week we want to meditate upon and pray the second petition:

supreme-court

“What do we pray in the second petition? We pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it and kept in it, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.” Shorter Catechism

This answer was documented centuries ago, by those ministers who met together, prayed together and agreed on its meaning.

Dear Father in heaven, we need your Spirit here on this earth to reveal your rule over us. It seems that you have left us to fend for ourselves, that we don’t know where we are going, or who will lead us.   You teach us in your word that all power belongs to you; that your kingdom rules over all men and circumstances. We need to hear your voice, to see your working, and to know your holy will as we wait in uncertainty.

Bring the power of your Spirit to us as your children to trust you. Though we cannot understand how you are working, give us your Spirit of peace and of wisdom for the decisions that each of us must make.  Let us continue to seek your kingdom and your righteousness first and foremost.

We pray that your kingdom would reign in each of our hearts, believing that you have appointed your Son, Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, the authority in heaven and earth. Enable us to examine our hearts and lives to know that Christ rules over all things that concern us.

Enable all who follow Christ to know that your kingdom lives and rules in us all; that we are one kingdom, not a divided kingdom. In these times, let us who are your people put aside all differences and disagreements and join hearts and minds in Christ in a unity that honors you and your Son, our Savior, and Lord, Jesus Christ, exalting Him above all things.

Make us light in the darkness, ready to answer those who ask us the source of our hope.

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.”
Psalm 145:13


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A World in Crisis

Was the whole world in crisis when God sent Jonah to Nineveh? It might have been, had God not saved that city.  In this year of 2016, all nations are experiencing some kind of crisis, but especially here in the USA.  At no other time in history have we seen such a lack of hope for a sensible government to rule this nation.  Where is our hope as we near the time of an election for a new president?635174824587222334sad-child-divorce
Are we to sit around and wring our hands? Are we to be concerned about the condition of our nation and the world? Certainly, we should be. But how are we to respond to the reality of the crisis and uncertainty that we now face?

It does not help to send emails about the character and the secrets of candidates that are running for office. This seems to stir up more anxiety and chaos.

What are we to do? Is there anything we can do?

As Jerry and I are watching the scenario from our little corner of the world we continue to pray.

We believe that there is hope, for with or without it, the whole world is affected.

Without hope, the chaos will continue and with continued crisis comes destruction.

When God sent Jonah to Nineveh, Jonah, at first, refused to go. Personally, it seems that a boat to Tarsus would be easier for me, than launching out into the deep to share this article. I am not a prophetess, nor is my intent to preach, but to share a simple message of wisdom and grace from our heavenly Father.

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, they had no idea that the prayer He gave them would fit every occasion, especially for times of crisis. I believe that God, our Father wants us to listen to Him and perhaps for the first time stop whatever we are doing and take a fresh look at our Lord’s Prayer.

Wherever you are, in the USA or another country, please put aside whatever seems important to you right now, and consider that God is listening and desiring us to come to Him at this time of crisis. In the days ahead please take time with your family and church to consider the importance of this prayer.

What does He want to hear?

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”

Take some time to meditate on this first petition. Is He your Father? Are you honoring your heavenly Father in your heart and life? Does your life witness to others that you are a child of God?  Would your character qualify you to govern others?  Do you desire His rule in your life and this world? Do you trust Him to rule over all things, according to His will? Are you encouraging others to trust Him instead of putting their trust in men and our circumstances?

“Thy kingdom come.”

Do you desire His kingdom ruling in every area of your life? Do you see Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords in your own heart and over the whole world?

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

If we see where Christ is ruling at the right hand of the Father, with all authority in heaven and earth, all creatures and angels are surrounding and worshiping Him.

Is Christ the center of your life? Does your world revolve around Him? Are you following Him daily, looking to Him for all of life; casting your crowns before Him to glorify Him for His grace and goodness in every area of your life? Are you grateful for Him and His sacrifice for you that you may have eternal life in Him? Do you seek His will in all that do?

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Many do not have daily bread, yet most of us have more than we need. Are you God’s means of answering the prayers of others who are in need by sharing the blessings that God has given you? Are you content with the simple things and letting Him be the fulfillment of your life?

“And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Are you withholding forgiveness from anyone?
A nation’s crisis can be summed up in the total of our grievances and vengeance against each other. Resentment is ruled by the spirit of oppression and is our enemy’s greatest weapon. How can we not love and forgive, when our Father has forgiven us? Our nation and the world will remain in crisis without our love and care for our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and each other.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

We start with ourselves, praying this personally and for our families, the church, and the world. We must each take an account as we consider how we live and lead wherever we are. As we look to Him for His continual leadership, we are the example of His goodness, and His power to keep us from temptation.

Can We Make a Difference?

We could concentrate on one petition each week during the next six weeks; asking the Holy Spirit to search our hearts to reveal His truth to us personally ~ then during the week of the election, praise Him for His kingdom, His power, and His glory.

Can this prayer make a difference in the middle of our crisis? Only as we come to our Father, in repentance, in faith, in love and obedience will we know how He will make the difference, first in our own lives; then, in His timing in this nation and the world.

Please join us here on this blog each week to pray together for God’s will in this next presidential election.
Let’s Pray Together For Our Nation  ~ Week 1
Praying Together For Our Nation  ~ Week 2
Praying For Our Nation ~ Week 3

Two months ago He led me to write a little book, First Things That Last Forever. It is the basis from which I write this article. The eBook is free. Please read it, and pass this article and the link to others. Our Father wants us to come to Him with genuine humility and love; with hope and anticipation of a merciful answer.butterfly-1140x460

Dear Father, hear our prayers; send your Holy Spirit; rend the heavens and come down as the melting fire burneth, and make your name known among the adversaries ~ beginning in our own hearts and lives.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
SEE FOLLOW-UP  ~  A CRUCIAL SEVEN WEEKS

Fran ~ 2016

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