A Gift Of Age

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4
 
In our culture, aging is often viewed as some kind of disease that, if we ignore it and don’t talk about it might go away. Like we can somehow push back the edges of mortality. Growing old graciously should be one of your life’s goals. You don’t need to fear aging, or try to gloss over your uneasiness about approaching it. There is a reason we want to grow old gracefully: so that younger generations can observe the gracefulness in our lives which speaks of God’s power at work in us.
 
“Now also when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18
 
What does age really represent? Days and nights spent living your life, coming through a myriad of experiences that sometimes seems so monotonous, only to be interrupted by life-altering surprises and unforeseen tragedies. Your age reflects years of collected wisdom. Your age also represents wonderful experiences. You’ve exchanged some of the energy of youth for them, but the older you become the more wealth you have in your treasure trove of memories.
 
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27 NIV
 
Mother Nature and Father Time may have brought you backaches, baldness and bifocals and probably a wrinkle or two. Your hair is changing color and your body is not quite so nimble. None of these things give you any less value! Time is the one resource that cannot be renewed. Life zooms by, so why carelessly waste your time worrying about the perils of aging? If you are still alive, God kept you around for a reason. Find out what it is, and then pour every day and every ounce of energy you have left into it. You can be ‘old’ at twenty-five and ‘young’ at eighty-five. Any measure of health and happiness enjoyed at any age is a gift from God. The memories you’ve made along the way are precious and priceless. Thank God for every year he’s given you. Live and love every moment of your life until He calls you home. It is called “A gift of age.” 
 
Father, thank you for all the years that you have gifted me with on your beautiful earth. I pray that my life has shown your goodness and love to others. I pray that my children will be blessed by my journey. Give me the grace to finish the race. In your precious Name. Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Joy Comes In The Morning

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalms 5:3

One of the most valuable spiritual habits that I am cultivating in my life is morning prayers. I have to admit that in the beginning it wasn’t so easy. While my spirit was wiling, my flesh was not! Once I made the commitment to talk to God each morning I quickly realized that He was already waiting for me for our special time together. I would wonder ‘How do I pray? What should I ask for? I realized that everything that God wanted me to pray for was suddenly present in my mind. There’s something about morning prayers that are different then other times of the day. Prayers don’t have to be eloquent or perfect in any way. It’s simply a conversation about what’s in your heart. Begin with praising God. You will be amazed how easy and rewarding this can be.

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalms 95:2 NIV

There is only one problem with this commitment to Morning Prayer. You know that you’re going to get Satan’s attention when you wake up talking to the Lord everyday and he is going to do everything in his power to interrupt your prayers. Prayers are a conversation between your Heavenly Father and You and believe me when Satan is involved ‘three’s a crowd,’ you know when you are talking to your children and you tell them “Now, look at me” you know, with the two fingers pointing at your eyes? This is a time for talking to God without distractions.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Make a commitment to pray every day; start by establishing a specific time. Mornings are great; that’s what David chose, but choose any time that will work for you. Keep at it even if you miss a few times in the beginning. We are told that doing any activity for three straight weeks makes it a habit. The prayer habit is a very good one to have. Just think; God is already in the habit of listening for you. Shouldn’t you be in the habit of giving him something to listen to? Who doesn’t have a multitude of things to pray for? There is a beautiful promise in scripture that “whatever you ask of the Father in My name (Jesus speaking), He may give to you.” John 15:16. Wake up having a conversation with God each morning; it will fill your heart with joy and make a monumental difference in your life.

Father, thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Implant Your word in my heart. Let it take root and grow. Let it flourish and thrive. Let it change my desires and my thoughts from the inside out. Let it be alive and active, guiding my steps and directing my path. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Serve The Lord With Gladness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy. Psalms 47:1

Have you ever wondered why the birds sing so joyfully in the morning? How they flit and flutter from tree to tree, landing just long enough to release their sweet melodies calling their mates or reassuring their little ones. These beautiful melodic sounds greet my ears and settle down deep in my heart, simple, yet comforting. It’s at times like these that I am reminded of how precious my Fathers love for me is and how his presence fills my soul with such joy and gladness. And my heart is filled with a deep abiding love and gratitude.

“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2

Don’t you just enjoy being with happy people? People that always smile and greet you with a kind word? Someone who speaks positive words that lift you up and makes you feel like you can make it through another day, no matter what challenges that comes your way. As apposed to someone who has a permanent frown that constantly complains and never has anything positive to say. They talk about themselves [or others] and how difficult their life is or how someone else did something that offended them. How do others see you? Do you present yourself as a happy child of God? Do you always greet others with a smile and kind word? Or do others seem to shy away from you?

“For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.” Psalm 92:4

True joy is that overwhelming sense of comfort and contentment that floods one’s soul. It comes with dwelling in the presence of the Heavenly Father. Learn to serve the Lord with gladness, not with a frown, not out of habit, not even out of the feeling of duty, but serve Him with a joyous heart. To serve Him is a privilege; one that we should never take lightly for it is only by His mercy and grace that we even have the opportunity to serve such a Holy, Mighty, Awesome God!

Father, I love you and desire to serve You with gladness and a song in my heart all day long. Please remind me when I am overwhelmed by life’s situations that You are ever present to fill my heart with joy. Help me to always share your love with others. In you precious name, Amen!

Sweet Blessings

Good Morning Father

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4

What is the very first thing that you think about when you open your eyes each morning? Do you reach for the TV remote, radio buttons, or your cell phone? Do you let your mind wander to what your going to wear or fix for dinner? Do you run down your shopping list or think about your next event coming up? The first few moments when we open our eyes are the most valuable and important time of our day. They are the moments that set the mood for our entire day. This special time of the day is well spent in God’s presence, speaking to Him and listening for His voice to speak to us.

“They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 23:30

Morning talks with God will center you, calm you and help you focus on the day’s tasks at hand. Time spent with the Father first thing in the morning keeps us mindful of His rightful place in our daily lives. In order to grow spiritually it is also essential that we spend time each day in the Scripture, allowing God to speak to us through His Word. Speak to God each morning. Ask him to be in your entire decision making before encountering the various situations that will come into life that day. Arm yourself with His Word. Develop an intimate relationship with Him, grow to love Him more, and develop greater faith and trust each day.

“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

We don’t know what kind of evil is lurking around us today but we do know it’s there. I know it’s easy to get discouraged and dismayed. Greet your Father each morning with gratitude and prayer, asking Him to grant you the grace to stand firm and hold fast to His promises. To find strength and encouragement for your day. Then go out and share the magnificent glory of the Lord with others.

Dearest Lord, thank You for desiring to spend time with me. Please continue to mold me into the person who desires to be with You more and more each day. You said; “if we seek, we will find You.” Help me seek You above all else and to find the best way to worship and serve You. I ask this in your Holy name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Sister’s Of Our Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35

‘The sweet blessings of ‘Sisterhood Friendship’ is a precious treasure. The strongest foundation you can have for building healthy friendships is making sure that our own relationship is right with God. At the heart of friendship is selflessness instead of selfishness. I can’t imagine any deeper demonstration of friendship than one who puts your good over their own and who promotes your welfare even if it demotes their own. Jonathan’s friendship with David was such a friendship. The scripture says; “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1

True Christian sister friends will build each other up emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Christian sister’s love to be together simply because it feels good. We receive strength, encouragement, and love. We talk, we cry, we listen. We discover the best of friendships with our sisters who know and accept our weaknesses and imperfections. We walk arm in arm through the difficult times, learning the beautiful meaning of ‘grace’. We pray together, believe together and dream together. Together, we are one voice proclaiming that we are ‘Daughters of a King.’

We are a circle of friends from all across the country who have been brought together through our love of Jesus Christ. It is one of our greatest desires, that through our journey of life’s joy’s and challenges that we bring grace and honor to our Sisterhood. That through our journey we may leave a legacy of the value of Christian sister companionship, based on Godly behavior, for the many sister’s who will walk in our footsteps.

Dear Lord, thank You for all of the friendships and beautiful blessings You have placed in my life. Help me to see this challenge as a sweet reminder to show Your love to those around me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

The Fruit Of Our Hands

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:19-20

‘The Fruit of our Hands’. What a beautiful way to think about using our hands to serve our Father. We have a wonderful Women’s Ministry outreach group in our church that we call ‘Creative Hands’. We gather each week to work on many different crafts and to share fellowship and love with each other. This is a time for our sister’s to strengthen their faith and establish meaningful friendships while selflessly working on various crafts to be used for God’s service. It’s such a blessing to know that we have God’s favor upon the work we are doing.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:29

The Bible tells us that God holds us in the palm of His hand. Our hands represent our Father’s hands. By the good works of our sister’s, they are extending their hands to represent God’s hands. God allows us to partner with him in working for his purposes. He has given each of us unique and special gifts for which to serve Him. What a privilege it is to spend time together in His house creating goodness in His name to share with others.

“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31

In Proverbs 31:31 we see that the good woman produced good fruit and was praised for her works of righteousness. May we all have a desire in our hearts to be like the good woman and produce good fruit that will remain throughout the ages? The steadfast faithfulness, love and loyalty that is seen through our ‘Creative Hands’ ministry represents the same way that we can see Jesus love and loyalty for us.

“And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.” Psalm 90:17

Sweet Blessings

Joy Down In My Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

‘I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” (Where) Down in my heart (Where) Down in my heart to stay.’

What does the joy of the Lord mean? It’s not pretending that you have no problems and that everything is okay. It is recognition that God is present in all your successes, failures, disappointments, and dilemmas. Joy is the highest attainment of life. It’s even higher then happiness.

To understand God’s definition of joy and how it should look in our lives as Christians, we first need to learn how to let go of our need to need. Feel the reality that you already are enough, and that it is truly magnificent. Don’t worry about what will be or what won’t be. See and feel the limitless beauty of what is and the miracle of existence. Even the biggest problems are no match for the positive possibilities that fill your life.

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalms 16:11

Embrace the joyful times in your life. Live them fully. A moment of true, unencumbered joy is worth more than pure gold. When you regularly lose yourself in joy, you will think more clearly, be more motivated, feel better and be healthier. When you have more joy in your own life, you have more to give others. By experiencing joy, you enable the true person inside you to come to life and it will add immensely to your life and the lives of those around you. Let yourself be joyful, without guilt. Learn to value the joyful moments and lose yourself in their richness.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

To find the fullness of joy you must live in the presence of the Lord. When we remain connected to him through prayer, worship, walking in obedience, reading the word, sharing our love with family and fellowshipping with other Christians, we can experience a level of joy that the world cannot give to us. Let’s relish every moment of life as we live it and find joy in the journey. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows. We can all find joy when we keep our Heavenly Father as our guide.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Sweet Blessings

Inwardly Adorned

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

As women we are fascinated by beauty. The beauty industry is one of the largest in America and spends a huge amount of money to make us feel more attractive. A good deal of our personal time and money is spent on trying to make ourselves look and feel prettier. In spite of all the attention, many women today still struggle with poor self image. How many of us ever achieve complete satisfaction with our looks? It’s a generational issue. Sadly, we are taught very young that our worth is in our appearance.

“…God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

We must learn to embrace and thank God for who we are. We are valuable to God. The enemy wants us to be so focused on our outer appearance that we won’t recognize our inner beauty. Our true beauty resides in our inner strength and glory. Real value can not be bought, applied, added on, hung from our ears, or laid around our neck. When God made women, He didn’t just decorate the outside. He decorated the inside and He put true beauty in her spirit.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14

Be encouraged, God will send people into your life to appreciate your real beauty just the way you are. A kind of beauty that last in the face of blimishes, scars, wrinkles, gray hair and stooped shoulders. When you fall in love with God, He will adorn you with glory, power and majesty. It’s not what people say about you that makes you different, it’s what you say about yourself, and what God says about you, that really matters. Value yourself today the way God values you…beyond measure!

Sweet Blessings

It’s A God Thing

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the Heavenly realms, with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

Have you ever known with absolute certainty that God was responsible for something in your life because there just wasn’t any other answer available? I like to call these ‘God things’. I didn’t always recognize them as the hand of God. Sometimes it’s small things and sometimes it’s much bigger things. It may be something that I need or an answer to my prayers. I’ve learned to recognize that this is part of my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. God is a very personal God and he loves us very much. If he cares enough to count the hairs on our head, just think how much he cares about the things that matter to us in our daily lives. He sprinkles blessings in our lives every day. Things that no one else would have a clue about but you, and you just know that there was no other answer except that it’s a ‘God thing.’

“Hath not my hand made all these things?” Acts 7:50

Sometimes we don’t recognize all of the ‘God things’ in our lives. Sometime His footsteps are invisible, and we don’t think about it as anything unusual. Take the time to look back and trace God’s hand in the events and circumstances that have happened in your life. Learn to recognize the little ‘God Things’ and give Him praise for his goodness and blessings.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14

The hand of God is a symbol of His love, guidance, instruction, and discipline for us. Through the study of God’s Word, a strong prayer life, and an abiding trust in God, we can learn to recognize, trust, and enjoy the hand of God moving in our lives. It is so amazing to realize that the ‘God things’ are all a part of God nurturing our daily relationship with Him. So in every blessing and gift from God, big or small, let’s give thanks and praise to Him.

“So that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” Isaiah 41:20

Sweet Blessings

Jesus is My Friend

by Kim McDougal

“Are not two [a]little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31 (AMP)

WOW!, the Lord knows how many hairs are left on my head and how many came out onto my brush! I’ve met many people in my almost 50 years’ lifetime and none have ever known me as deeply as Jesus does. He’s not just the Creator of the Universe and all that’s in it, He calls me His friend. There are times when I truly need a friend to talk to that will listen to me…let me air out my frustration or let me cry and Jesus lets me do this. He doesn’t use my weaknesses against me, He doesn’t keep score of my blunders, He doesn’t throw it back in my face, and He never tires of hearing from me. He lets me be me and I’m safe with Him. Sometimes, you can’t reach your earthly friends when you’re in a crisis. You may get their answering machine, or a busy signal, dropped call, no email reply, etc. Truly, there are just those times when you get to the point that the Lord is the only one to talk to and the only one you need to hear from.

Fact is, God sees us as important to Him. He loves for us to talk to Him everyday as we do each other. Our friendship with Him is even more important than any relationship we have on earth. He made us for fellowship with Him and He’s the only one that can truly fill the void left by sin in our lives. I feel lost if I go through several hours and I haven’t prayed. I have to stop what I’m doing and talk to My Friend. Do you feel alone? Are you lonely at times? Talk to the Lord. Tell Him what’s on your heart. Pour out your concerns to Him, just getting things off the chest makes a huge difference. The enemy would love to weigh you down with all kinds of problems, but your Friend Jesus wants you to give Him your weights so you can live in freedom. There’s nothing He can’t handle. He’s not in Heaven trying to figure it all out as He goes along. He knows the ending from the beginning and He has always had a plan for you and me. Let’s get even more closer to Him today. Jesus is your Friend.

Father God, I thank you this morning that you are truly our friend,
The one forever that all of us can depend,
You wipe away our tears, forgives us of our sin,
The enemy pounces, but in the end we win.

Help us Lord to talk to you day to day,
Listen to our cares and every word we say,
For there is no one anywhere so pure and so true,
No one that loves us so complete the way you do.

We are in such need of more and more of your touch,
You always give of yourself to us so much,
And there is no way to thank you than to offer you praise,
Worship, love, our arms we raise.

You are the one who knows us inside and out,
You know what our life is all about,
We may feel that our problems have no end,
But that’s when you come in to bind and to mend.

In you, we are complete,
And one day soon, we will all meet,

 But while we’re here, we’ll remember you are our friend.
In Jesus’ mighty name, AMEN.
– Kim McDougal