No Matter Who You Are… Trust God! Matthew 8 5-13

January 28th, 2015

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Matthew 8 5-13

“Jesus said to the centurion,
“Go your way. Let it be done for you as you have believed.” His servant was healed in that hour.”

Matthew 8:13

I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes I find it hard to believe God will grant me a favor, no matter how big or small it might be. It’s not that I believe God can’t do what I ask. The problem is something much more insidious. I don’t believe I deserve God’s help and, therefore, God has no obligation or desire to help me.

The centurion didn’t believe he had the right to ask Jesus into his home, but he did have faith that, despite that shortcoming, Jesus would honor his request. Jesus was astounded by the man’s faith. He would have healed the man’s servant regardless, but the centurion’s simple belief made his story so important that Matthew made sure we would hear about it hundreds of years later.

God’s grace is like that. We don’t deserve it, but God reaches down and lifts us up anyway. We can ask God for anything, knowing we are as undeserving as the centurion, and that God will answer us anyway, maybe not in a way we hope, but our prayers will always be answered. We can trust God no matter who we are.

Prayer

We know we don’t deserve your love or the gifts you have given us. We know we have no right to ask you to come to our aid, but you reach out to us anyway. Help us accept your grace, your love and your guidance in our lives. We thank you that you care so much for us and ask you to help us see others as you see us.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Questions and Reflections

As you read Matthew 8:5-13, try to remember a time in your life in which you needed to ask God for help and then needed to trust God to answer your prayer. Then, take some time to work through the Questions and Reflections before engaging in the Meditation Activities.

 

 

Meditation Activites

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take ten to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Matthew 8:5-13, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly

  • In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you, or draw a picture regarding the photo and its relationship to trusting God will help you in your crises.
  • Create a two collages from pictures and words, one showing how you felt before and during a past crisis and one revealing how you felt after God had brought you through it.
  • Tell a friend, or God, about your thoughts and feelings concerning the picture and its relationship to trusting God will help you in your crises.
  • Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God being with you.

***

New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

 

 

 

 

Front-Cover-25-percentGod promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

  • No Matter Who You Are…
  • No Matter How You Feel…
  • No Matter What People Do…
  • No Matter What Happens..
  • No Matter Where You Are…
  • No Matter How Little You Have…
  • No Matter What You’ve Done…
  • No Matter How Old You Are…

Trust God!
Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

 

Vol1Cover25percent

Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

Messages include:

  • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
  • New Beginnings
  • No Fear In Love
  • The Boneyard
  • The Dirty Little Penny
  • The Hardest Commandment

Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Simply Prayer ebook

When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

  • What prayer is
  • Why we pray
  • How to pray
  • How to know your prayers are answered

From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

The eight sessions are:

  • Session 1 … God is always with us
  • Session 2 … God is in control
  • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
  • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
  • Session 5 … God provides for us
  • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
  • Session 7 … God gives us new life
  • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

 buy the .pdf version here

Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

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God Sustains Us: Isaiah 46

September 25th, 2014

bigstock-Open-Bible-glowing-with-Cross-26156423

Isaiah 46

Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.

Isaiah 46 : 4

My husband and I are used to heavy rains causing the sewers in our basement to back up. It’s never been a pleasant experience, since that’s where our bedrooms are, but we manage the best we can, staying up to the wee hours using a shop-vac to suck the filthy water up and tossing it back into the rain soaked night. However, in August and September of 2014, the floods of Noah invaded our lives and we were forced to evacuate our living quarters and call in help from our insurance company.

With nearly six inches of foul water sloshing over our feet, we knew there would be no going back to our beds that night and probably not for quite some time afterward, so we moved everything not soaked by the deluge into our 800 square foot upstairs and turned our kitchen and living room into a combo kitchenette/living room/bedroom for ourselves and our daughter. Sleeping on an air mattress on the floor while eight months pregnant hasn’t been the most wonderful experience and bringing our newborn home to a house of chaos won’t be either.

I could go on about the inconvenience and the heartbreak of losing some precious items to the inundation of water, but there’s more to every experience than the bad feelings we’re left with. There’s a lesson in this. It’s one of patience, yes, as we work to get our lives and our home back in some semblence of order, but there’s also the lesson of how God sustains us during all times.

In some ways it’s been a hassle dealing with all the red tape to get the money for repairs and trying to pin down a contractor who can get started sooner than New Year 2016. In other ways it’s been a blessing. Without the help of several kind people within our insurance company and the cleaning crews, we never would have been able to get the water (or the overwhelming smell!) out of our house. Nor would we be able to make repairs at all.

My daughter often asks why God let this happen to us. It’s a question we all ask of trying times. Our answer to her is that, even though this is a bad thing, God can always make something good come of it. In our case, we’ve wanted to renovate the rooms since we moved in nearly six years ago, but we never had the time or the money. Now we have the money and we’ll be able to hire someone to do it right, rather than try to fumble through it ourselves.

God is answering our prayers in a very unexpected way and during this time of trial, God is sustaining us through people who know what needs to be done and those who care enough to aid us in the little things (thanks Mom for the use of your washer and dryer!).

God sustains us each day by giving us, not necessarily what we want or expect, but what we need.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

We thank you for sustaining us through our joys and our sorrows, through our victories and trials. Help us be patient as we wait for your promises to come to full fruition.

Amen

Questions and Reflections

As you read Isaiah 46, think about the times God has sustained you through life’s trials. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

 

Meditation Activites

 

Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take 10 to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Isaiah 46, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  • In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God sustaining you through all the times in your life.
  • Buy or transplant a flower, vegetable or other plant and nurture it in your home. As you care for this creation of God, think on how God also nurtures you no matter what the weather may be outside.
  • Research different methods of sustainable living. Adopt one or two for 30 days or more. During this time, consider how God created everything and continues to sustain us through all the ups and downs of your life.
  • Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God sustaining you through all the times in your life.

***

New-Subscriber-thumbnailIf you haven’t already, sign up for my monthly newsletter to get sneak peeks (such as first chapters before they’re published) and special prices just for fans. Just enter your email address in the sidebar and click subscribe. Sign up today and download my thank you gift Behind the Scenes: The Malkin Stories.

 

 

 

 

Front-Cover-25-percentGod promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

  • No Matter Who You Are…
  • No Matter How You Feel…
  • No Matter What People Do…
  • No Matter What Happens..
  • No Matter Where You Are…
  • No Matter How Little You Have…
  • No Matter What You’ve Done…
  • No Matter How Old You Are…

Trust God!
Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

 

Vol1Cover25percent

Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

Messages include:

  • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
  • New Beginnings
  • No Fear In Love
  • The Boneyard
  • The Dirty Little Penny
  • The Hardest Commandment

Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Simply Prayer ebook

When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

  • What prayer is
  • Why we pray
  • How to pray
  • How to know your prayers are answered

From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

The eight sessions are:

  • Session 1 … God is always with us
  • Session 2 … God is in control
  • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
  • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
  • Session 5 … God provides for us
  • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
  • Session 7 … God gives us new life
  • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

 buy the .pdf version here

Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

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