About Beth Ann

I'm into Christian Music and play acoustic guitar, sing on the choir and I am active in our local Via de Cristo movement.

Who’s Got Your Back?

Robin“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27

I’ve worked at some places that had “Team Building” exercises.  I hated one that came out (and I don’t know if they still do this), but you had to stand with your back to two or four people and just fall backwards and trust that they would catch you.  I never trusted the people behind me to catch me.  I couldn’t do this exercise.

But in my life I’ve learned to trust the Lord.  Now I figure trusting is just about the same as having faith.  They go hand in hand.  I looked up the differences between trust and faith, and there are differences.  According to http://www.differencebetween.com (yes, that’s a real website!) faith is used in the sense of ‘belief’ or ‘devotion’ and the word trust is used in the sense of ‘confidence’ and ‘reliance’.  Hummm, do you trust in your faith?  Or put another way, do you have confidence in your faith that the Lord will take care of you?

While I was the caregiver for my husband I found that I didn’t have confidence in my faith.  Why did my husband get sick?  Why did this happen?  I was terrified of being a single mom of two teen-aged sons without out a penny to put towards a funeral for my husband if he died.  Life just wasn’t supposed to happen this way.  But it did.

I read Matthew 6:25-27 and this verse held a whole new meaning for me.  I had faith in the Lord, but did I have the confidence that He would take care of my life?  At that time, the answer was no.  So I started to try to build my confidence in my faith.  The Lord helped by opening up my eyes and showing me all the little things in my life that He was taking care of.  As  my husband got worse, He brought people into our lives to show us that help was out there and they pointed me in the right direction.  We had in home aides so I could work and a chair lift so my husband could go up and down the steps.  These helps didn’t cost us a penny, but they were priceless.  As a result, my confidence got stronger.  Today, I know the Lord is looking out for me and has a plan.  I just have to listen to Him.

So, if you feel your confidence flagging, remember, God’s got this!!  He has your back.

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Regrets

I have times when I think about all the things that I’ve been through and I wonder if I made different choices how my life would be.  Doing this actually just deepens my depression because I think that if I’d done things differently I would have a better life now.

This kind of thinking is not productive.  We can’t go back and change our life.  We can only start today and move in a different direction.  However, to look back at your life can do some good in your life.  When I look back now I can see how the Lord has sustained me over the years, even when I wasn’t praising Him or giving Him credit for that time.  He has brought me through some really difficult situations that definitely could have been much worse.

Go back and change things?  I know I wish I could.  But I wouldn’t be the person I am now without those experiences.  I think this is why when MercyMe released this song that it so, so spoke to me.  Don’t we all wish that we could just speak to that younger me and tell them what we’ve learned today?  But as this song points out, we are one of the redeemed.  From this time on we are are to put our pain and hurt at the base of the Cross.

 

Praise Him Now???

We’ve all had times that we get mad at God.  Accidents, death, loss of job; the list can be endless.  But we have to remember that God is sovereign, He is in control even when everything around us seems to be in chaos.

Almost thirty years ago my mother died and I got really mad at God.  It wasn’t that she had died, but the way she died.  For the six months before she died she was a vegetable.  Staring into space, no response from any stimulation.  It was heartbreaking.  She finally died of pneumonia, but by that time I was so mad at God for “doing that” to her.

Looking back now, I know that my getting mad at God didn’t change anything.  It isn’t like He’s going to apologize.  But during that time I learned that no matter  what happens, God is in control.

Recently, my family is going through some extremely tough decisions.  It’s breaking  hearts and causing some depression.  I’ve learned to remind my family that God is in control and He’s got this.  We need to praise Him, no matter what.

This is my “go to” song during times like these.  It sums up the feelings that you have during any crisis.  Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns just nails this.

All Life is Precious

jeremiah 1,15Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday and many people have spent the whole week in Washington, D.C. rallying for the right to life.

Personally, I don’t think that Roe vs. Wade will ever be overturned, that is just my opinion. But, I think that we, as a people, need to express our thoughts on life and make them known to those around us.  We need to let others know about how God created this earth and the people on it and as part of God’s creation, All Life is Precious.

It’s not just abortion.  There are issues with child and elder abuse, and assisted suicide.  None of these issues are new.  Abuse of all kinds have existed for years and years.  The sin in this world has tried to tear us apart in so many different ways.

Our thoughts must center on the belief that God is sovereign and that he has a plan.   Every life matters to him.  He knows each of us and what we are capable of  doing during our time on earth.

Each of us is called to live our lives with love and acceptance of all people.  Each person, each child has a life that God has called them to.  We can hate the sin that is prevalent in everyone’s life, but we must look beyond that to love all that God has created.  Anger and hate has no place in this discussion, just determination to show how God loves all of us and has created us to be who we are.

You were not a mistake and neither is any child that is conceived.  All of God’s children need to be brought up with love, although I know that in this world that may not be possible.  Sickness and pain permeates our existence, but God is in control and we should never try to take that control away from Him.  Instead, we should look to the Sovereign God for direction and help.

Waiting…

isaiah 40-31Are you tired of waiting?  It seems like we pray and nothing happens.  We think the Lord isn’t paying any attention to us and whatever we’re going through is just dragging along.  We can’t do anything ourselves, but we pray and ask the Lord to do something, anything.  Please, just get us out of this place where we are so…  stuck.

Oh, yes.  I’ve been in this place for quite awhile.  I was stuck while I was taking care of my terminally ill husband.  I prayed for change because I was unhappy with the place that the Lord had me.  I had nursing aides during the day so I could work and then I came home and took care of my husband until bedtime.  To say that I was exhausted would be an understatement.

But I learned a lot during that time.  I learned to be patient.  I couldn’t change the situation I was in so I had to rely on the Lord.  After making myself miserable (and probably those around me) I found this verse:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

So Paul had learned to be content, because the Lord was the one who gave him strength.  So I worked on this in my prayer life, thanking the Lord for the life that he gave me, that I had a job and aides to help, food on the table and a roof over that table.  My attitude got better and I wasn’t so miserable.  It was still extremely hard but I could feel that the Lord was with me, and my heart was so much more grateful for the small things in my life.

My husband died three years ago and lately I’m back in another waiting pattern.  I have plans to retire in two years so now I need to just wait until that two years is over.  I have plans for what I want to do when my life doesn’t revolve around my job.  Yes, this is a different waiting pattern because it has a scheduled end and I’m not as exhausted as I was before.  I’m anxious to get started on my plans, but they have to wait.

Until then, the Lord has put in front of me a challenge to deepen my study and prayer time.  This I can do before and after work, but it’s still a challenge for me!  I’m looking forward to my free time that I’ll have in several years, and then I’ll have a deeper knowledge of our Lord.

 

 

The Reluctant Servant

Most people know the story of Jonah. This is a guy who did not want to go to Nineveh and preach and ended up in the belly of the whale.

The Bible doesn’t tell us why Jonah had it out for Nineveh. He must not have liked the city because when God told him to go there and proclaim His anger, Jonah turns tail and runs. Really? Who would, after getting specific instructions like that, try to run from God. But then, don’t all of us at one time or another? Think about that for a while.

Anyway, God sends a storm to rock the boat he’s on and the people on the boat don’t want to throw him overboard, but in the end they have no choice. Even then they pray to God to forgive them for “killing” Jonah:

Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. Jonah 1:13-16

So even though Jonah was running from God, God still changed men’s lives despite Jonah.

Jonah changes his mind while sitting in the whale and get’s spit up on land. I always wondered about this. I mean, wouldn’t Jonah smell? Wouldn’t he look really bad after being in the belly of the whale? Just a thought. So Jonah goes to Nineveh and does what God wants him to do and, of course, Nineveh listens and repents.

What does Jonah do? He gets angry!! He starts ranting at God because God forgives this evil city that repented. He goes out and sits in the sun because he’s angry and wants to die. God sends a plant to cover Jonah and Jonah got happy. Then God kills the plant and Jonah got angry again. God asks Jonah if he has a right to be angry, because God caused the plant to grow and God caused the plant to die.

I think this lesson from Jonah is a good one for us. We may be reluctant to do God’s will and be his servants. We are called to be servants in all we do. Trying to run is not an option since, as we see in this example, Jonah was brought back to do the work he was meant to do.  Jonah was angry about it, but what good did that do?  God is sovereign.  God will do what He will do.  We are called to obey, and that is hard.  I don’t care what some people say, being a Christian and trying to obey the will of God is hard, but the rewards (or blessings) are wonderful.