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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Peace, Like a River...

Anxiety in life is like a fog that rolls over the earth obscuring land marks and sign posts. The tight feeling in the stomach and squinting to see our next step. The fear of a wrong decision, a mis-step. Suddenly a hand that guides, a voice gentle with love makes the way clear. The anxiety fades and again there is peace in my heart.

The death of my Dad, Herman Siemens, was preceded by anxious days and nights as he lay between life and death. One night Mother left his side as the evening shadows gathered, I asked how she could sleep. I remember her words....In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

How was Mother able to be so calm and have such peace when her beloved husband of 50 years lay dying? Tears overflowed as I realized Mother had something I didn't. I was filled with anxiety and dread as I watched my Dad in the hospital after his heart attack. I remember my husband telling me before I left home, “Your Dad will be OK, either way!”

Peace doesn't come from various techniques or pills, peace comes from choosing to follow our God. Wait a minute. Just what is this peace? How can we make it ours? To truly know that perfect peace?

As a child, when I couldn't sleep, Mother told me, “Think of beautiful things, like butterflies, birds and flowers.” Somehow I didn't find those things that God created as an antidote to the unrest I felt – then. I learned, as an ever growing process, to think beautiful things.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Think? Think! Think about such things. That easy? It wasn't – don't think about bad things, but think on beautiful things. Fill my mind with whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Tim Keller says that it is a smart peace to think, not a stupid peace. (

Peace is not the absence of strife or warfare, it is the presence of peace despite being in difficult circumstances. A thinking peace is the presence of more than that – it is the presence of God. The Children of Israel were told - Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 11:18. We keep our hearts and minds on Jesus Christ and in doing so, we know the peace of God.

Have you ever been called to the Principal's Office? As a teacher who ushered disobedient children to the Principal's Office, I saw the concern and fear of punishment in their faces. The fear of the consequences of their choices was upon them. One principal heightened the suspense with intense commands to 'stand up straight'! What would have happened if the Principal (or I) would have hugged the child, told him all was forgiven, and then meted out the consequences.

When we ask God to live within our hearts and lives, we have forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He took the sins of all upon himself as he hung on the cross so that we could have complete forgiveness in our sin-filled lives in this fallen world. It was not created to be a fallen world, but through the first sin, it became so.

Can you imagine a world filled with peace? With joy? With love? That sounds like Heaven, doesn't it? Imagine a world created in the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Altogether they form the promise of God's love and care. They are made up of joy (red), peace (orange), patience (yellow), kindness (green), goodness and gentleness (blue), faithfulness (indigo) and self-control (violet). When we are secure in His love, we want to share that experience of peace we have in knowing Jesus.

Peace, peace, to those far and near, says the LORD. “And I will heal them.” But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” Isaiah 57:19-21

On of my favorite songs reminds me of the strength of peace:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Horatio Spafford, author, lost four daughters at sea and wrote this old hymn. (

His Peace
Each morning when I walk, I look into the sky
And feel your peace, From Your place on high.
As I search the clouds, I know you are there
What joy it gives me, For I know You care.
My peace comes from You, Not from ignorance
But from your lavish love, And endless assurance.
As I walk each day, I lift my hands to pray
And breathe a soft, "Yes.", A beautiful way to start the day.
EAC (written a year ago)

- “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Job 22:21
- The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
- Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
- You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9
- Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
- If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
- And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Through the years I have found that the 'holy grail' sought by most people is that euphoric joy that makes us forget our mundane lives. The elusive state of joy may be grasped temporarily by the god of acquisition through endless shopping for a variety of possessions such as a new house, a new car, a new fashionable wardrobe, or the latest technological gadgetry. Or perhaps it is through the tastebuds – at the newest restaurant, chocolate, or caviar.

The first repair bill on the house, scuffed furniture, ding in the car, tear in the clothing or stomach ache, and the joy, or what we thought was joy, has disappeared. Perhaps, a get-away is in order. But what will a change of scene accomplish? Will it last a life time through the thousands of pictures taken of the fun-filled week or two? Will the responsibilities lessen when you come back because of the 'get-away'? At some point returning is inevitable.

These all describe momentary fun or happiness, not the over-flowing joy that lasts and has eternal worth. A friend of mine, a young lady, became ill. The illness was diagnosed as cancer. Kim taught me the secret of joy. It wasn't what she had, it wasn't about who she was, it wasn't about where she came to her, even in her last moment of life, because of Whose she was. The following chorus, Kim sang over and over.

The Joy of the Lord will be my strength - I will not falter I will not faint.
The Joy of the Lord will be my strength - I am surrounded by mercy and grace.
The Joy of the Lord will be my strength - I will not waiver walking by faith.
He will be strong to deliver me safe.  (Psalm 28:7 - The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.)
What IS joy? Joy is the gift of God through eternal hope and obedience to God. Joy is an attribute or characteristic of God. Joy is having a clear conscience before God because of our obedience to God. Joy is the process of 'being' a child of God. Joy is the second of the fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)

When do we enjoy Joy? Looking back there are moments, flashes of Joy, as when the sun-light catches the cut-glass vase on the shelf, and a reflection pierces my heart with hope that overflows and I feel God's presence. Has it always been so? No, it is a process of faith and building a relationship with God.

Family. I grew up with a loving family. There was the security of discipline and armfuls of hugs and faith that guided me, even when I didn't want to be guided in my teens. And now our own family of four children and their loving spouses, twelve grandchildren and seven great grandchildren are our blessing, our joy combined with sorrow at times that keeps us praying and ever hopeful for their understanding of joy.

When Ed and I were married sixty plus years ago, we began our lives with little or no understanding of the enormity of what joy God would give us. With our first children, twins, Danny and Donny, began an understanding of what trusting in Jesus means, for Donny did not live. Why? Dan became more precious to us and we have a 'place-holder' in Heaven. Donny is a reason to belong to God through Jesus, to be re-united with Donny. At that moment of realization, we had joy and sorrow. Sorrow for what might have been and Joy in trusting that God knew best and would care for Donny. In rapid succession, four years, three other gifts from God were born. And the pain of childbirth was soon forgotten and joy replaced the pain. We celebrated in joy as each of our children had their 'firsts'...and most of all when they were baptized into Jesus Christ at young ages. Our children were gifted in many ways, each one so different and each child loved beyond measure. They continue to bring us joy in countless ways.
- The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. Proverbs 23:24
- I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

As our loved ones pass from this earth, 'joy overlaps sorrow' (Tim Keller - For we understand that our separation from grandparents, parents, siblings is not forever. There IS a reunion. I Peter 1:8 - Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

While the weathermen seem conflicted about how long we will have rain, or when rain will fall, I take joy in cloudy and sunny days, rainy and snowy days, hot or cold days. For God is in control. I find His face in the many colored clouds, the sunset and the sunrise. I hear His Voice in the soft or swift winds. I see his pleasure in many nuances of color in creation. I see His Power in the world about me, in those He places in power. I see His loving Hand as He cares for the 'least of these' through us. I see His Joy in creating the little ones that bring us hope.

Recently, because of health, we moved two states away from our church family. It was a difficult decision and a difficult time to prepare. Many of the belongings that made us feel at home are now gone. Was this the right decision? Would we be 'at home' in a different place? Will God bring us joy in this new phase of life?

We attended our new church family home the second Sunday. As the service began, I looked at my new brothers and sisters in Christ. A wave of Joy covered me as I realized that these unknown souls are known to us because of the joy of belonging to Jesus.

As voices were raised to God in praise and adoration, tears threatened to escape my eyes as the Joy of Jesus flooded my soul. I didn't know all the songs, but simply read the words and they ministered to me. I listened to others singing and knew they meant what they were singing. I watched as the musicians on stage gave God the glory through their talents and enthusiasm to worship. I heard the Word preached with love and fervor. This is home, and the realization that there are so many other 'homes' over all the world and that we are one in Christ Jesus fills me with Joy.

Where can we find this inexpressible joy that brings us to our knees in thanksgiving?
- You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:7
- To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24-25


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Loving Is....

Loving is a verb. Love is a noun. The art of loving is a whole sentence, a lifetime. When I was a child I learned a Bible verse of just three words, God is love. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:8 Understanding that verse has been a long time in coming.

A lyricist penned these words....Love is a many splendored thing.... These words only touched one facet of love. Love is an unfathomable, eternal mystery that cannot be explained or comprehended in this world. Books have been written that try to plumb the depths of this thing we call love.

As a child, I watched the love between my Dad and Mom...the kind that weathers every storm and rejoices in holding hands and sharing. As a teen, a friend observed, “Do your parents often hold hands like that while they are walking?” There they were, oblivious to their surroundings, talking and holding hands. Then, it was an embarrassment, but now it is a celebration, a model of what love is that lasted for more than 50 years.

A few years later, I met the love of my life, and the lessons of loving began in earnest. After the first two weeks of our marriage, I wrote my mother an impassioned letter declaring that now I knew what love was and I was deeply in love with my husband. Mother, always the realist, suggested gently that I had just begun. She was so right. Our love multiplied with the gift from God of four children in rapid succession. God kept one of the first-born twins for Himself, and filled my arms and my heart with other babies, Dan, Paul, Tim and Anna. Those little ones brought laughter into our lives as we watched with wonder all their 'firsts', their learning and becoming parents, making their way in this world.

As each one left home and found their mates, our nest was emptied, perhaps, I thought, my work has ended. But that wasn't so. Twelve times we welcomed a grandchild into this world. Our parental work continued, one generation removed, I learned that these little ones needed prayer and love and encouragement. And now God has added seven great grandchildren. His blessings continue. I learned the truism - “Parenting is not a sometimes thing, but a forever blessing.”

The elasticity of love creates room for more children, more grandchildren and more great grandchildren. But there is more to this love. As I read and see through various social media, my former students of 31 years marry and have children. I rejoice in each little one that is born and pray for the child and the parents. There are church family children that grow up and marry. Love stretches and grows to include all of them. There is nothing more delightful than a new baby.

Another lyricist, Cole Porter, wrote – I saw you there one wonderful day, You took my heart and threw it away, That's why I ask the Lord in Heaven above, What is this thing called love?

Cole Porter knew who had the answer.... for God is love! All love begins in Him and ends in HaShem (The Name). After 83 years on this earth, I am beginning to learn the breadth, the depth and the width of the facets of love on earth. How do we recognize love? There are shining reflective sides to love, just as the jeweler shapes a diamond to reflect light, we reflect the delight of love in such qualities as truth, hope, respect, joy, gentleness, kindness, goodness, patience, self-control and sacrifice. Each quality comes together and becomes a union of true love.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 2:8b These are the words of Jesus.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

God's love is unconditional, it is not what we do, but whose we are, that makes us loved by God. But whoever loves God is known by God. I Corinthians 8:3. When we are young, we give our hearts to our parents, and then at our later age, we decide that we want to be independent of our parents and choose our own way. Acceptance of truth is a step to gaining wisdom. When I realized and accepted the truth that I went from obeying my parents and my husband, and it was a learning time to obey God, the desire to be my own person melted away because of the joy of serving.

A friend often teaches and lives the J-O-Y principle for happiness. Jesus - first, Others - second and Yourself – last.

A young child accepts the outpouring of love from his mother and father as his due and without question. And as the child continues, basking in love, he is learning about a relationship with God and His love in our lives.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, Ephesians 2:4

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. I John 4:7-12

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Mirror

The heavy mirror hung on the protesting wall, crowned with a patina of golden-hued frame. For years it had been a part of my life over the mantel, then over the piano in Oklahoma and then in Arkansas. Now it is packed away, and yet its reflected memories reside inside, if I look closely.
In the mirror I see two women holding hands, laughing, and walking among the flowers in a field. Their images are faint, and the serious one, Emilie, has long thick black hair. the other, laughing Anna, has curly blonde hair. 

 At their feet I see two children at play. The black-haired boy, Herman, is teasing the blonde, sturdy farm girl named Anna. I try to place the setting in my mind for these two women. They were matrons then busily attending to the affairs of the day in two different states. They didn't know each other, and yet their lives would become entwined in love as their children, Herman and Anna gave their vows of love. Emilie's hair, black and Anna's hair, blonde, were always worn in a tight bun at the back of their heads as was proper in their day. Did they let down their hair each night as they slept?

As I view this tableau reflected in the mirror, I look for truth. I know that these four people no longer walk on this earth. I know that they had a strong influence on my life. I close my eyes in wonder and look again. A rolling ocean tossing a splintered vessel to and fro comes into view. A younger black-haired maiden stood on deck. She is wearing a black wool embroidered shawl around her shoulders to protect against the damp wind. Her dark brown eyes are wide in fright. I want to reach out and comfort this young lass who fears for her life as she travels from Russia to United States. Then the wind subsides...

The scene fades and a field of green wheat appears in the mirror and reflects the flatness of Kansas. The blonde woman, newly married, continues to snip wrapping paper into lace-like curtains to hang in the windows of the small and dirty shack. She cleaned the floor, walls and ceiling with lye soap and scrub brushes. This home was was not as clean or spacious as the five bedroom family home Anna left. Love made it home even as crevices were closed against the field mice that wanted to move in. When the skunk moved under the floor, she insisted on moving to a nearby home, more spacious. A tax assessor came, and Anna wrote in her journal – “we owned two horses, one cow, a wagon, a top buggy and a sulky plow. Maybe he thought we could not make it, but we did.”
These two ladies would be much loved and called blessed throughout their lives on earth. Emilie would bear six children and raise five, four sons and one daughter. She will work hard each day, constantly praising God. There will be sixteen grandchildren who love her. I am one. She would care for her beloved Jacob who becomes paralyzed and spend his last years unable to move. He was no longer able to as a traveling evangelist. Emilie never learned to converse in English, using instead, her native Plautt Dietch. Her communication easily crossed any language barrier with her love for her sixteen grandchildren. Her delight at Christmas was to purchase 12 inch, 1 diameter candy canes for five cents each, enough for each of her grandchildren. She spent her last days following the news of World War II that was fought near her home in Saratov, Russia. Anna bore ten children and raised six – four girls and two boys. One day each year she opened the wooden box that contained items of the four children she lost to mourn their loss and then she returned to the present, filled with love and thanksgiving for her family. She was never without her apron as she gathered eggs, worked in the garden, prepared meals, and sewed clothes for her children. She supported her husband's desire to serve The Lord by leading the choir and spending much time learning new songs to praise The Lord. She served large noon meals in the summer heat for wheat harvesters, she taught her daughters to sew dresses and bake Zwieback (light 2-story rolls) that melted in the mouth. Though we lived a state away, Grandma Anna made every Christmas special with a gallon jar of peppernuts. Visits from our Suderman grandparents were heralded by much cleaning and baking.

Two women whose hearts were filled with love for their husbands, their children and grandchildren, and most of all their faith in God to order their days.

The mirror changed scenes again. As I watch the scene change, I see that the mirror has lost it's luster. There are places that are worn, where the reflection had lost its glimmer. The mirror has faded its sharp reflection. How I long to hug my grandmothers and just know their presence once more. I want to know so much more from them now. I want to ask their thoughts and their counsel in this stage of life. I only know them in part. Now I see children and grandchildren weeping as these two women, Emilie and Anna no longer walk on this earth, as neither do many of our loved ones. And I remember this verse of scripture that promises face-to-face vision.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. I Corinthians 13:12

And the mirror reflection tells me, that though I see in part, I will see face to face. In the mirror, I see Herman and Anna working together day by day in the garden, at church, teaching piano, teaching the Word of God. I see Herman, Dad, gleefully chinning himself to show that he has not lost his strength when he was in his 50's. I see Anna Daisy, Mother, trying and learning things and always daring to do more and take the challenge.
The mirror suddenly takes on new meaning. I may only know God in part, but one day, I will see Him face to face. And I will know Him. He who created the universe, He who created my grandparents and my parents, He who created my husband, He who created our children, He who created our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren, I will know Him. The 'now' mysteries will be cleared away. He who created this continuing thread of family in this world will catch us up to Him, and I will know Him even as He knows me.

Now there is distance that separates families. Their presence is often missing from our circle, but never missing from our hearts. But when the 'face to faceness' is reality, and the Presence of God is known fully, there will be an unending reunion with a love that never falters or fails. When the mirror has become clear vision, with no reflections and we see our Lord 'face to face' and each other 'heart to heart'. A clear heart-vision that is more revealing than the brightest sunlit day on earth is awaiting us.

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror. James 1:23

This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ Matthew 13: 13-15


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

White as Snow!

We anxiously watched the sky and soon the bits of white fell, obliterating the yellowed grass and etching the outline of the bare limbs of trees. This annual winter phenomenon brought back memories of Snow Storms past.

Snow creates dreams of a white Christmas, the vision of sitting before an open fire when time seems to stop. Snow creates the hope of a Snow Day by students and teachers alike when the heart beats a bit faster as alternate choices of what to do tumble through the mind.

Snow means the rumbling of the salt truck on its rounds to make travel safer for those who must be out.. Snow means finding all available dry mittens that will be exchanged for wet ones after an hour outside for the children. Snow means the erection of snow men and snow forts. Snow means making snow ice cream and eating the sweet cold goodness, that dissolves on the tongue.

Snow means playing 'snow angels' in the snow leaving tracks of laughter. Snow means making snowballs and lobbing them at unsuspecting passersby. Snow fall means trying to catch a cold snow flake on one's tongue and letting it melt, as lightly as a butterfly kiss in the Spring.

As time goes by, the reflex to a snow for grandparents is to put on a kettle of soup to bubbling on the stove and postpone any thought of going anywhere at all. Thankfulness arises when a child or grandchild wields the snow shovel. Of course, the white hair, reflecting the white snow and wisdom, means a grandparent knows that hot chocolate and cookies must be ready at all times for visiting grand children.

The business man is concerned about the volume of sales dropping with every snow flake that falls. His concern is relative to the depth of the snow.

But is this phenomen of white stuff falling all there is? Does the way the way it falls make a difference in our lives? Is the falling on earth the end of it? No, Snow is an analogy, an illustration for the teaching of God. We are used to the high tech tools of teaching, while God uses his creation to teach of eternal truths.

Just now, looking at the sunshine reflecting the crystals of snow, I am reminded of three scriptures that describe the Ancient of Days, God:
• “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze."  Daniel 7:9.
• "His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow." Matthew 28:3,
• "and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters."
Revelation 1:13-15

If you close your eyes, you will remember how blinding snow is in the sunlight. This scene reminds me of the verses above, a description that helps us understand our awesome God. God is pure, He is Holy, He is omescient. Is it any wonder that He wants to see us, his creation, as His pure and holy children? But how can that be? There are more verses that use the imagery of snow.

Isaiah 1:18 is such a verse, In the midst of addressing a rebellious nation, Isaiah writes these words of admonition from God:

Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they (sins) shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:16-18.
Sins are pictured as a scarlet stain and creates a visible imperfection to God.

Charles Stanley explains how this truth was brought to life in his photography: “I occasionally use colored filters over my lenses when I photograph in black and white. For instance, a light yellow filter darkens the sky, while brightening the clouds. A red filter enhances the white still more. That particular day, I experimented with viewing a red dot on white paper through a red filter. To my amazement, the dot, when seen through the red filter, appeared white. At that moment I realized the overwhelming truth of God’s forgiveness. Our sin, depicted as deep red by Isaiah, becomes white as snow and wool when seen through the red cross of Golgotha. This is the great transformation of forgiveness . . . God in Christ has cleansed you of every stain of sin.” (

Forgiveness is white, sin is red. I choose this year – to be white as snow in Jesus. It is not what I do to attain white-ness, but simply accepting the gift of Grace through Jesus Christ and placing my life in his Hands.

As the Psalmist David said in Chapter 51:7-12.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Dear Lord, Every time it snows, bring your words to my mind. Help me to count your blessings with each snow flake that falls. Help your grace to cover me with forgiveness and my sins be blotted out. May I be pure and steadfast in You.
Help me this year to be mindful daily of your love, and love those you place before me.
In Jesus' Name, I pray!