“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” ~ Colossians 3:15, 17 KJV
May Our Heavenly Father bless you all with a beautiful New Year in 2021! May He keep you and your precious families all healthy, safe, and close to His heart, and fill you with His peace and grace, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Love always and forever on Christ, Suzanne, Mark, and JJ ❤️
There has been so much bad news lately that sometimes I find myself feeling very anxious and unsafe. Psalm 103:19 reminds me that God truly is in control of all things no matter what is going on in the world.
“The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all.” ~ Psalms 103:19 KJV
The Psalmist tells us, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:” Psalms 103:2 KJV
The word he used for “forget” means “to forget, ignore, cease to care…”
He then goes over all of the wonderful things the Lord does for us: “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~Psalms 103:3-5 KJV
Imagine spending a night in an agonythat affects every fiber of your body, unable to feel Christ’s loving presence, certain that you’re the chief of sinners, unforgiven, forever condemned to this abyss of torment.
Whenever there is a bad storm or rainy weather, I get violent migraines that rupture my mind with as severe emotional pain as the physical and neurological symptoms they cause.
Suddenly it seems I’ve fallen into a bottomless pit and that no one loves me—not even Jesus. I feel as if I’m the most despised of souls by everyone, even my family. I’m completely cut off, isolated in an abyss of pain. The burden of all the sins in the world are fastened around my aching head in a crown of thorns as sharp as daggers. My legs will not be still and seem like a thousand snakes are crawling inside of them. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
I see Jesus on the cross crying to His Father and I cry out in tears for the Lord to come rescue me from this horrible torment. But I neither see nor feel Him. I’m a condemned sinner screaming and weeping in the darkness for I can’t bear to look at any light.
There in the Abyss I weep tears of remorse. Surely I must have been unkind to my husband, been the worst of mothers and grandmothers, daughters, siblings, friends, and citizens. I’m certain that I must have failed God and everyone else. And the most tormenting of all—-I must have committed the unpardonable sin— why else would I keep having these wretched migraines? Why else would God keep letting this happen to me?
In that pit of Sheol showers of condemnation pour mercilessly upon my soul like the rain drumming endlessly upon our windows and roof as the pain and neurological symptoms torture me.
My precious husband comes and prays for me, while I weep and pray unable to feel either Christ’s presence or love, nor even Mark’s, until at last I fall asleep, exhausted.
The next morning my symptoms are gone. I awake as if resurrected to new life. I’m filled with wondrous joy and peace, How grateful I am that Jesus went to the cross for me; that He has washed my sins away as far as the east is from the west. “Bless the Lord oh my soul. Forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all our sins, who heals all our diseases…” The beautiful sense of Christ’s love and presence enfold me in His arms.
I know then that He has held me throughout the night. He had not really abandoned me. Yet the dark storm of pain from my fierce migraine made me feel hidden from Christ’s presence and forsaken by Him who had promised to never fail or forsake me.
The Psalmist once experienced something like this. “Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will He be favourable no more? Is His mercy clean gone for ever? Doth His promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.” Psalms 77:7-10 KJV
He goes through the bad things he suffers but then he says, “Ok, this is happening because of my afflictions. But I won’t dwell on the suffering. I will remember the good things God has done for me.”
In other words, “Bless the Lord oh my soul! Forget not all His benefits!”
Nationally we are experiencing a stormy path of darkness. Severe pain and troubling circumstances can make us feel isolated from the loving presence of God and cut off from all His promises.
God’s word promises that He heals all our diseases, He forgives all our sins. God is watching over all of us. He is still on His throne. He has not hidden His face from us. He hears all our prayers. Just as He eventually heals me from my migraines, I believe that the Lord will ultimately heal our nation from our current plague of troubles.
The definition for the word the Psalmist used for healing is interesting: (BDB Bible Dictionary Definition of original translation~ rapha~Strong’s H7495) To be healed of national hurts (figuratively) Of personal distress (figuratively) Of national defects of hurts (figuratively) To heal (literally) Of hurts of nations (Involving restored favor)
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:8-12 KJV
Not one of us deserves the grace that has been given us by the Lord through the cross of Christ, for the Bible declares that all of us are sinners.
The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalms 14:2-3 KJV
I guess our world reflects what the Bible declares we are. A mess. Jesus, the Son of God, came to die for us all to make us holy and to clean our souls up~to forgive our sins and heal us spiritually~to make us one with Him. This is very good news and fills me with such joy and peace!
Peace I Leave with You
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 KJV
I appreciate Christ’s gift of salvation and forgiveness more than I can ever say because of my chronic migraine affliction. Therefore I pray that I will never forget, mislay, or cease to care about this wondrous benefit from God, this gift and treasure of everlasting life and peace with God that my Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross to give me and everyone in the whole world who will receive it.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…” Psalms 103:1-2 KJV In Jesus’ name, Amen and amen.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Gift of Salvation in Christ, the forgiveness of sins As far as the east is from the west, Your measureless love for us, Oh thank You and may we never forget Or mislay, or cease to care about all You do for us every day For Thy mercies are new every morning, In Jesus name. Amen and amen.
These past few days have been very challenging for my husband and me. Our little Yorkie, Miss Phee, has been suffering from an illness that is difficult to treat.
I ask you to join me in praying for her healing. I’m truly devastated over her illness.
She is eleven, so she’s not a young dog, but she’s a Yorkie and has always been full of life and energy up until this year. However, she has suffered from a liver shunt since she was three years old. Right now she is dealing with related issues, but not the liver shunt directly.
She hurt her back several months ago by jumping too much off of the furniture. I found that I could not prevent my little dog from hurdling herself off of things when she was excited~alas! Now she has pain associated with all that leaping about.
Alas—everything is painful for Miss Phee right now. And she needs much prayer. I remember my late dad saying as he got into his eighties that growing older was not for sissies. He even had a small pillow with that saying embroidered on it. Miss Phee must be at least eighty or ninety in dog years by now. I guess if she could talk she would agree with my dad’s bit of senior wisdom.
I am so grateful to the Lord that I have had my little Phee for eleven years, for liver shunt dogs aren’t usually as healthy as my little Miss Phee has been up until a few months ago.
Her vet said before she hurt her back that she was the poster dog for liver shunt dogs! Then back in the fall it all went downhill.
From the get-go Miss Phee was a fierce fighter. For when she was just a wee puppy, the vet had to redo her sutures about two months after she was spayed because she was allergic to the sutures and they caused her to have a bad reaction. She became very ill and had to go through that surgery twice.
I wept and prayed before the Lord for her healing for she had to be hospitalized for a week. It seemed I’d only had her for three months though it truly had been since August and now she was going to be taken from me. How could that be possible! But at the time the Lord promised she would be restored to me. He even gave me a promise that not only would she be healed, but she would be a healthy and strong little dog and that I would have her with me to enjoy for many years. He even gave me a sketch of her to go with my prayer.
Miss Phee had come to me through a dream that summer ~and a sketch. Now God was giving me another promise. Another sketch. He would not take her away. I stopped crying.
The previous spring and summer were among the worst of my life health wise. I had suffered the worst migraines ever up until that point.
My daughter was planning an early September wedding and I wanted very much to help her with her big day. I felt bad that I was bed ridden with allergies and severe migraines and was unable to be a part of the planning. The doctors could do nothing for me. I was losing hope that I would even be able to attend her wedding as mother of the bride. I was very depressed.
I had loved to walk before I got sick and had a particular route in my neighborhood that I took every day. As I walked I memorized the psalms and prayed for family and all kinds of needs as the Lord led me.
When I reached the summit of one particularly challenging hill, there was a panorama of the most beautiful mountains off in the distance. And I was always on a particular bible verse at that time.
“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever.” Psalms 125:2 KJV
The Lord was around me. I knew He was with me just as those mountains surrounded me.
One night I could not sleep, the pain in my head and neck were so severe. The Lord then encouraged me to say in my mind the Psalms I had memorized when I had been able to take my walks. He encouraged me to pray and meditate on His Word despite my pain.
He said to walk with Him in the Spirit, to walk our route in my heart while saying the psalms I had memorized.
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear, the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:1
As I began to repeat the Psalms over and over I drifted off to sleep. I saw my walking route. It was a beautiful summer day, with a bright blue sky and lovely white clouds drifting above me. Having walked down our big hill, I now found myself on the flat road saying Psalm 27. The Lord was with me in my heart.
Suddenly there was a little dog with me! I didn’t know what kind of dog this was. It just was a tiny little dog. We walked down the flat road through the neighborhood and on to the next one. Soon we came to the big hill.
I had to carry the tiny puppy in my arms because she could not walk up the big hill.
“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even to forever.” Psalm 125:2
We got back home and sat in the swing out back and looked up at the blue sky filled with clouds and prayed. In my dream, I saw Mark come home from work. He came up to the swing and looked at the little dog and lovingly smiled at her.
Just two weeks before I had prayed for a little dog and then asked Mark and he had said, “I don’t want to have an indoor dog, or any little dog in our house! I really can’t stand little dogs!” I had been praying and having my quiet time downstairs and started crying. “Lord I wish I had a little dog. But Mark doesn’t want one. The Lord spoke to my heart. I will change Mark’s heart. Did I hear God right? I didn’t ask Mark again.
In my dream I thought about what God had promised me about changing Mark’s heart, when he came up to me and the little dog in the swing. God had promised to change his heart. Now Mark joined us and picked up the little dog and smiled. He lovingly petted the puppy’s ears who licked his fingers. In my dream we all three sat in the swing in the backyard under the trees in the beautiful golden afternoon sunlight as the bright clouds drifted across the sky above us.
I then woke up and looked at Mark sleeping beside me in wonder.
“HONEY! I DREAMED ABOUT A LITTLE DOG!
Mark groggily woke up and asked me about my dream. I told him all about it. He sighed.
The next day he asked me to draw the little dog. I drew what the dog looked like in my dream. We took the sketch to the library and started searching through every dog book we could find. We finally found the breed that matched the dog in the sketch. It looked like a Yorkie puppy!
That morning I had another dream. In it the Lord Jesus was giving me that little Yorkie puppy from my earlier dream. He said this was my angel dog. I was responsible to take care of her now. And so was Mark. Then He released her to me. Down, down, down from His arms into my space she came! Then I awoke filled with joy at this beautiful new gift!
Later that day Mark called around and found a breeder in a town a couple of hours away. We went to see her and she had two female puppies. The smallest little one seemed to choose me! The little dog clung to me as I sang to comfort her on our way home that afternoon.
My neurologist found a medication that stopped my migraines just in time for my daughter’s wedding a couple weeks later. I was able to attend and we took little Phee. I named her Phoenix and Mark promptly renamed her Phee.
The Lord truly did change Mark’s heart because he has loved little Phee from the start. And she loves him. He has even bought clothes for her. That would never have happened had God not done a miracle in his heart.
She was God’s gift not only to me but to Mark as well. Then when I almost lost Miss Phee after she got spayed, God restored her to me with a promise and another sketch.
Now she is sick again.
You may wonder how if God promised she would be a healthy and strong little dog, did He then let her get the liver shunt? Why did she have health issues then? Because I have learned that God does not define good health the way humans do.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” saith the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV
Miss Phee has always been healthy and strong in her own way, despite her liver shunt. Her doctor even said she was the poster dog for liver shunt dogs. This was true as long as she stayed within her boundaries and was given her meds. If she would eat the right things, she was healthy and strong and filled with energy and life.
“… they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saveth them out of their distresses. He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalms 107:19-21 KJV
I ask you to join me in praying for my little Phee. If it is God’s will, He will heal her once again as He has before.
Thank you so much. God bless you,
In Christ’s Love,
Lord, Please Heal Miss Phee
Lord, I ask You hear my prayer Please heal Miss Phee I pray Oh Jesus, Lord, have mercy On her where she lay.
Have mercy on her, Jesus, Heal my little dog, Help her bark with joy again Her tail to wag with love.
Lord Jesus, help her eat And food not be her foe Help her body process food The way it’s supposed to go.
Lord Jesus, send Thy word, And fill her heart with life Let her legs be strong again And fill her eyes with light.
Wrap her in Thy arms, Lord, she is so cold! Help her not to be in pain, For Jesus, she is old…
Heal her, Jesus, give her back Her little life, I ask Hold her Jesus, hold her now, Heal her with Thy hands.
Lord Jesus, see her suffering! She’s suffered long with this! Heal her now, help her get well, Lord Jesus, let her live!
Oh Lord, she is so precious, Hear my cry, I pray! Make her well and let her live In Jesus’ holy name, Amen and amen.
“The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalms 121:8 KJV
In the illustration for this prayer card, the Lord inspired me to paint the central figure as a visual metaphor representing a female traveler. She is a student learning lessons on the path of life, collecting them in (metaphorical) note books that she carries as her life lesson journals in her arms next to her heart where they are engraved even as she lives them.
We are all travelers, sojourners on this earth. The face on my traveler is purposely in shadow. Who is she? What will be the outcome of her journey? That is the question in our own mind whenever we embark on some trip. We must go by faith and we proceed on our way (usually) with joy and optimism.
We pray in hope over our babies when they begin their path of life. We pray in sorrow as we watch loved ones depart on their journey into eternity.
Ever since I learned this Bible verse, Psalm 121:8 has been a foundational prayer that I offer to God daily.
We pray this beautiful prayer asking the Lord to guard our going out and our coming in from this time forth~ right now~ till forever ~ throughout our whole lives and for all eternity.
By praying this prayer we are acknowledging that our Creator is in control of all things that pertain to us and we are renewing our trust in His care as our Holy Protector, Good Shepherd, and Guardian.
The word the Psalmist used for *preserve is * shamar (transliteration) (BDB Thayer Bible Dictionary Definition) To keep, guard, observe, give heed… protect, save life…watchman… to keep within bounds, restrain…
The verse before the affirmation that God shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from now till forever promises: “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.” Psalm 121:7
The word for evil is ra’ ra’ ah (transliteration)~from the BDB definition) Bad, evil…disagreeable, malignant…giving pain, unhappiness, misery…displeasing, bad value…distress, adversity injury, wrong, ethical evil, from a word meaning… Ra-ah (phonetic); to be bad, be evil > to break, shatter, to be broken, be broken asunder, broken in pieces. Origin: a primitive root.
Now we know that we all have bad days. And we all get sick. I have severe migraines every day…though I pray this wondrous prayer daily, and many more besides.
So what exactly kind of evil does the verse promise that God will preserve us from then? The following verse defines the promise: “He shall preserve thy soul…” What does the soul mean? The word used means * neh-fesh (*Phonetic) The soul, self, life, creature, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion, /that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man/ the living being/ seat of the appetites/ seat of emotions and passions/ activity of the mind/activity of the will/activity of the character…
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to pray something very important that is related to Psalm 121 every day:
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:13 KJV
As we continue to give God the control over our lives He is going to guard and to preserve our will, and give us self control, and work in us the grace to do what is good and right and proper.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 KJV
It is truly only God’s grace that protects each one of us from doing the unthinkable. God’s Holy Spirit will restrain our sinful impulses as we invite our Lord Jesus Christ to be our Guardian God to keep us from harm and danger, and surround us with His holy favor, so that we can live peaceful, happy lives that honor and glorify Him.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
As we pray such prayers from God’s word we are praying His will~for God’s word IS His will.
As we pray and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our lives, we are inviting our Creator to not only participate or share in our lives but to be our Guardian God, our Shepherd, and Guide, our Protector from all evil and temptations to do harm.
For all of us are sinners. God’s word says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Jesus Christ the Son of God suffered and died on the cross for the sins of all humanity to make people righteous by His spotless blood. He then rose again from the dead after three days and now lives forever to rule and reign over all the Universe.
He makes those who receive Him into their hearts a new creature reborn in their spirits in His image. He puts His Holy Spirit in our hearts and gives us the desire to love Him and other people and do the things that agree with His will. How does He accomplish these miracles?
By the gift of His almighty grace.
Long ago the story is told that as a Christian watched a condemned man being led to the gallows he humbly bowed his head and said, “But for the grace of God there go I…”
Praying the Traveler’s Prayer from Psalm 121:8 won’t guarantee that a soul will not have adversity. But it will invite our Creator to take over the reins in our life and guard our SOUL from evil.
It gives our Creator great joy when we invite Him through prayer to protect us. For He loves us and wants to share our lives with us in intimate fellowship. God longs to be our Friend. The Lord wants to guard our going out and our coming in from this time forth even to forever.
Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, please guard my going out and my coming in from this time forth even to forever, in Jesus holy name, amen.
Psalm 121 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, From whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, Which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out And thy coming in from this time forth, And even for evermore.” ~Psalms 121:1-8 KJV
*To see more photos of the Travelers Prayer Card and read more information it, follow the link below to Etsy Shop “Wings Publications Fine Art, Cards, & Music: