Life’s Hard


Which way to turn? Which way to go?

John 16:33NASB
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Social media is swamped with everything from pity and woe, to beware and be scared. It is not that I do not understand these emotions, these fears, I do.

I have lost loved ones too soon. The list is long. I lost a sibling tragically. I did not understand. I was not asked to. I know death up close and personal. I have watched it suffocate. I watched my dad crash. I watched his lung suctioned. Scripture asks me to trust. Obey. Faith.

I have walked through hard times of jobs lost, savings and retirement gone, car and home lost. No income. It is hard. It is devastating. But, God had a plan. I was not asked to like the circumstances I was passing through, just to stand on His firm foundation and trust His plan. It does not matter if I ever understand the reason this side of Heaven. I am asked to trust. Faith.

Seniors are missing end of year memories. It is hard, I know. I did not go to homecoming or prom. I had worked all summer with 8 girls; made them 3 uniforms each. Those 27 uniforms saw little use when my senior year world was turned upside down. A boy was stabbed in the heart in front of me. Memories? I was 16 years old. My brother turned to protect me and push me out of the way of the five boys attacking. The police took four of us as witnesses. They let my brother stay with me. It was an away game. Cell phones were not invented. My parents met the busses, heard there was a stabbing. My brother and I did not get off the bus. Someone told them we were ok and I was a witness. They had to go home and wait for a call. They caught all but one of the five that night. The guy that stabbed the boy in the heart got away. They lined them up in front of us and we pointed them out. No two way mirrors, face to face. Three days later I came face to face with the guy that stabbed the boy in the heart. Fear unimaginable. I got the detective. He got him. The threats came on the phone in the middle of the night. Dad took the phone off the hook. The threats and more came at school then. The school was suspended from all extra curricular events. My 17th birthday came and went. Two witnesses dropped out due to threats. The nightmares. The trial was horrible. The tranquilizers didn’t help. The stress and fear were overwhelming. I alienated friends, and eventually my high school sweetheart. Senior year? We got back activities after dad and another father threatened to shut down all 64 high schools if superintendent did not lift ban. Our teams, band, chorus, drama, etc., were able to do some events. I graduated. It is a blur. All the years of dreams gone. In the next six months dad had lung cancer. Senior year. It is not good for everyone. Focus on the good circumstances and memories you had and be thankful. You do not like the circumstances but, God has a plan. Grow. Look for the His plan. I did not at first. I dwelled on disappointment and lost dreams. I was grounded in faith, found I was still on His firm foundation. He carried me through. People look to see how you handle these circumstances if you are a Christian. You may never understand. Will you learn anything? Will you grow? Do they see faith?

These current circumstances are no different. Life is hard. Are these the end times? Does it matter? We entered the end times with the fall of Adam. There are no new trials or circumstances, no new sins. We should always live as this is the last days. Never take for granted our Lord’s grace and mercy. The Romans persecuted Christians in arenas for sport. The idol temples were filled with debauchery and sins unimaginable for profit. Plagues and famines have been recorded since Pharaohs’ days. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to salvation. You cannot scare them into it. So point to God’s sovereign love, mercy and grace. Show them trust and faith in your Lord, not fear of circumstances.

This too shall past. Be steadfast.

Psalm 26:12 NASB “My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD”

RBGreenDesigns.com 2020

Missing Pieces


As only a child would think he voiced, “Let’s go find the rest of it!” Simple logic. He knew it was all there…. somewhere, and he wanted to go looking. If only we had the faith of a child.

Matthew 18:2-4 New (NASB) And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

God’s Word has the whole picture, all the answers. Unfortunately, as we grow up in The Lord, we tend to forget where to look for the answers. We forget our lessons learned and fail to return to study and search more. We have read so many devotions and been to so many Bible studies; heard so many preachers that we act as though we have heard it all.

We never see all of the rainbow. That is because of what is on the horizon, it blocks the whole view. We never know all about God either. Our view is blocked by our horizon, our life on earth. Sin has corrupted the view of God on earth. Our earthly minds are too small to grasp all His truths and plans. Even if He showed us all of His plan, we could not grasp it, much less even remember all the details. So we must trust His plan and have faith. We hear it all the time but we cannot even grasp that concept.

God made us, so He knows us. He provided His Word for us to know Him and the Holy Spirit to help us. We decide we have heard it all before and read it all. We close ourselves all up and are in a spiritual room with no doors or windows. We take our last spiritual breath and try to hold it. Then we become spiritually dead. There is always more if we return to the Source. Open His door, His Word and breathe again. You cannot breathe it all in so quit trying. One breath at a time is all you need.

Knowledge of God comes bit by bit. The wisest man I ever knew was 97 years old when he died. David Fant read God’s word every day. As an engineer he would stand in front of his engine at every depot and read God’s Word to the passengers as they went by him. He was known as the engineer-evangelist, God’s “Ambassador On Rails”. He had a brass plate on the front of his engine shaped like a Bible with “The Word Is Truth” inscribed. We in the church called him “Dad Fant“. He is responsible for finding the land and helping establish Tocooa Falls Bible College. I never new a finer Biblical scholar or Godly man. He never stopped seeking to know God more. No matter how much he understood or knew there was always more for him to learn. He knew that there was always more to know about God and he would never be finished.

We grow physically older and mature. We are never as old as the last breath we breathe. Our spiritual life is no different. We will only know Him more each day we breathe in His Word. Each breath should make us younger and more childlike in our faith. We may forget Scriptures we have memorized as we age and our minds fail, but, we trust Him. We know we can stand on His Word and truths, His promises. They will never fail. His Word never returns void. Once we have read and heard His Word it never fails us.

Isaiah 55:11 “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

May we all return to humble, childlike faith and keep searching for Him breath by breath.

RBGreenDesigns.Com 2019

Peace Like A River


thPeace is sought everywhere.  No matter the continent or country, people are looking for peace.  Of course, there are those that destroy peace, but most want to find some sort of common ground and get along.  According to the Merriam Webster dictionary:

peace  noun \ˈpēs\ (1) a state in which there is no war or fighting  (2) an agreement to end a war (3) a period of time when there is no war or fighting
The Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology  says:

The Meaning of Peace. In English, the word “peace” conjures up a passive picture, one showing an absence of civil disturbance or hostilities, or a personality free from internal and external strife.

Some want peace in their personal lives, between family members like siblings, etc.  Others want peace at their school, or job.  Maybe peace is needed in a church or neighborhood.  No matter what kind of peace, it all starts with you.

First, and most importantly, you must have the Prince of Peace in your life, or all your efforts will be futile.

Secondly, you have to daily seek peace.  Sometimes it may even be a moment by moment, standing on His promises to get you through the situation.

Finally, you need to understand there’s a reason we say “Peace like a River”.  Not a lake, or the ocean … a river. That thought struck me this past week.  I did a little research on what the Bible says.

Isaiah 66:12a NASB “For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;”…

Isaiah 48:14 NASB “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

A lake is a body of water, mostly still.  The ocean goes in and out against the shore.  But, a river, a river takes a journey.  Life is a journey, peace is a journey.  Daily going forward, putting the day before behind you.  God always says it just right doesn’t He?

He will be with you on your journey, and His peace is there for you.  There are many verses in the Bible about peace.

John 14:1 NASB  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

John 14:27  NASB  “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

THIS ONE SHOULD GET YOU UP SHOUTING PTL AND PTA: (That’s Southernese for “Praise the Lord” and “Pass the Ammunition”.  ‘Cause we know when you win one battle, another is just around the corner and you need to reload the ammunition.  But, we also know, HE HAS ALREADY WON THE WAR at Calvary!)

John 16:33 NASB  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 20:19  NASB “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the  doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

John 20:21 NASB “Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

John 20:26  NASB “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Philippians 4:7  NASB “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15  NASB “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

May your life this year be peace like a river; a journey moving you forward.

Peace in the Valley this New Year


In 1937 Thomas Dorsey wrote “Peace in The Valley” for Mahalia Jackson.  It has been recorded by everyone imaginable.  The lyrics are hopeful, a FINAL day of peace.  It talks about peace in the valley in the future.  Well, my future in Heaven will not be a valley.  And truthfully, the valleys seem to all be in the here and now.  Yet, I can have PEACE in the VALLEY now according to scripture.  God’s word says, th

Psalm 23:4 (NASB)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

It seems with every year I have found myself saying on December 31st, “next year will be better.”  I look over what has been and think it cannot get worse, then it does.  The year my parents both had open heart surgery and my oldest brother was in the horrible car wreck that ruined his life, also brought a loss job for my husband, an unfavorable medical diagnosis for myself and several other calamities.  Since then I’ve had a brother killed in a plane crash, more job loses, both parents and a parent in law went on to be with the Lord.  We’ve had a daughter almost killed in a collapsed building during a tornado, a granddaughter needing a stomach pumped, more car wrecks, more illnesses, foreclosure and losing my dream house … heart-break after heart-break.  Sometimes it just seems to keep coming and you think, when will the feasting years come.  In the Bible Joseph had bad years followed by good years.  King Solomon had great years.  So then why can’t we?   We do, we just don’t see it that way because we’re looking at the circumstances.  So many times we look at our lives when we need to look around us, or across the world, to see just how good we do have it in our life.

No matter what you are going through, God doesn’t make mistakes.  With the bad comes His presence.  If you focus on the bad of the circumstance you stumble.  When you look back and see all He’s brought you through you know He can carry you through it all. Remind yourself daily all God HAS brought you through, all HE has done for you.  Don’t let people tell you He won’t give you more than you can handle.  That’s not what that scripture means anyway.  He’ll never allow more to touch you that will cause you to lose your faith and give up.  You might feel like you’re going to, but, He’ll be there and He’ll remind you who He is and what He’s done.  We truthfully have no idea how much we can handle anyway.  I just need to remember that all goes through His hand’s before it ever touches me.

So with this new  year I’ll not worry about if it’s all going to turn around and be great.  Neither will I “borrow trouble” as  mom liked to say.  I’ll take each day as He gives it, thanking Him for all the blessings that satan* tries to make me forget by enticing me to look at the circumstances in life.  This year, 2015, will bring what He allows.  Good or bad does not matter as I can rejoice in Him regardless.  I will soon welcome my fifth grandchild.  Grandchildren are wonderful blessings.  My two daughters are blessings.  We are about to celebrate 38 years of marriage.  I’m looking at a cold and clear blue sky with white puff clouds.  I see a variety of large wading birds out back.  The heat is on and I am toasty, the cat is purring.  Hubby’s casting for that big one.  I may see the bobcat walk by, or the flock of wild turkeys.  God’s creation is beautiful, He cares about every detail.  He cares about me and all my details.  He’s not ignoring them, He’s allowing them. I can take comfort in knowing they will work to my good regardless of whether they or good things or bad.  Blessings are everywhere.

Romans 8:28 NASB

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

I’m looking forward to 2015 Lord.  Help me to trust You each day, keeping my focus on You and not whatever the day brings.  Teach me.

*satan is always lower case in my writings, because he is one.

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?


Interesting song from 1969 by CHICAGO lamenting if anyone really knows what time it is?  So, what about God, does He know what time it is? Hurry up Lord, I need an answer NOW, TODAY!

Hmmm, that didn’t work did it? Think of yourself as a small rock.   You can lay beside the stream, in the sun and dry and crack, or you can get in the middle of that stream and wait … and wait, sometimes submerged totally; all the while being shaped and smoothed.  The stream may be low and you can see the sun, the waters may be flood waters covering you with rushing waters, you may tumble further down stream, but you’re being shaped and smoothed.rocksmoothing

I have discussed time before (Got Time? , Hurry Up and Wait, and One Step At A Time), it’s a constant theme with us humans.  The truth is, as I have said before, TIME is for humans.  God does not have time.  He was, is and forever will be, so time is always then, now, and coming: all in one. There is no need to hurry for Him, you can’t hurry what doesn’t exist.   It’s past, it’s present, and it’s future.  We need time, not Him.  Time to shape and mold, to learn patience and to grow like Him.

It is no coincidence that as I was jotting down my notes on these thoughts I stopped to read my daily devotions in “Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.  Today’s scripture:

Habakkuk 2:3 NASB “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.” 

“If God gives you at time spiritually, as He gave His Son actually, of temptation in the wilderness, with no word from Himself at all, endure, and the power to endure is there because you see God.” ~ Oswald Chambers (updated edition – My Utmost For His Highest)