God loves us not because of who
we are, but because of who He is.
Read Ephesians 3:17-21
All Lined Up
Today is 7-8-9! Well actually 07-08-09, but you get the idea, the numbers line up perfectly today.  Today, according to numerological experts, should be a great day!  Remember 06-07-08? That would be, one year, one month, and one day ago today.  The numbers lined up perfectly that day too I suppose, but as best I can remember, and I do remember, that day wasn't one of my best days.
What about 05-06-07?  I don't remember that day, nor 04-05-06. 
The thing is there was a news story about today (7-8-9) in USA Today yesterday (7-7-9.)
In a rare alignment shortly before dawn Wednesday, the time and date will be 04:05 and 6 seconds on 07/08/09. About an hour and 45 minutes before sunrise, the time and date will be 4 a.m. and 5 minutes and 6 seconds on July 8, 2009.  In other words or numbers, it will be 04:05:06 07/08/09. This order may indicate it's a good day to make money and spend it wisely. The sum of the time's digits equals six if all numbers are added until there's a single figure left (4+5+6=15; 1+5=6). Also, the numbers within the date add up to eight. According to Betsy Carlson an expert to numerology and tarot card reader, No. 6 represents providing a good service to humanity, while No. 8 represents making money and being healthy,
Now today's date making the news should surely convince everyone in the USA  that today is a great day to make money and spend it wisely. Are you buying that?
People in the USA and all over the world are searching for good news today.  People are searching for light shining in the darkness, answers to confusion, hope in hopelessness.  Numerologist and astrologers and tarot card readers always seem to have just the right answer the searching people are seeking. 
However, there is but one number that guarantees the answer for all who are searching.  There is but one number that guarantees there is hope for a great day today and tomorrow.
The number is one. 
The word one is found in the Bible 2007 times.
One time tells us that ONE makes all of Heaven rejoice. 
Sounds like a good day.
Luke 15:7
I say unto you, that likewise, joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
One time tells us that God sent His ONE Son so we might live forever
Sounds like a good day.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He sent His ONE and only Son, that whosoever believeth on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life
 Another time tells us when the Holy Ghost fell many people were in ONE accord.
Sounds like a good day.
Acts 2:1
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Today, 07-08-09 is going to be a great day!  Don't believe it because numerological experts said so, but because God said so.  God made this day,  and because He made it, it is good!
Genesis 1:31
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
And why the picture at the beginning of this numerological story?
God loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
He loves us even when we stand under a palm tree and expect great things to happen simply because at 4-5-6 on 7-8-9 experts say everything is perfectly lined up and great things are going to come to us today.
Now that is love. Now that is God and He is love.
I Remember You
In line at the grocery store last week  I stood impatiently waiting. There were buggies piled high with groceries and a little bit of everything else as well.  I remember specifically a lot of dog food and charcoal. It's funny how many things you notice when you are forced to stand still and wait.
I had been standing a while and had finally moved all the way to the candy rack. It is a definite milestone in  a long check out line if you find yourself standing beside the
M & M's.  Yes, there is hope!   As I looked at all the candy to pass the time, the person in front of me turned and looked my way.  A very childlike voice coming from a grown woman stuttered, "I remember you." 
I turned from the candy and looked in the direction of the voice.  There was a  young woman partially paralyzed Her face was drawn as she tried to speak, but I could tell the drawn face was smiling. One arm dangled aimlessly at her side. She had to drag her left leg with her good arm to catch the right one as she carefully turned her body to face me. 
I smiled at her and said, "Yes, I'm Judy." I had planned on telling her I was sorry that I didn't remember her, but she quickly told me who she was.  She told me she was Tonya. She told me her parents names. As she told me I did remember her. Well, not really the person who was standing there in front of me, but the person she described that I once knew years ago.
Tonya is one of four daughters of a friend of my husband's. Our children were the same ages and grew up together. 
The Tonya I remembered was a pretty young girl who loved to play softball.  The person standing in front of me looked nothing like Tonya.  She told me she had brain surgery a year ago.  There was aneurysm that burst.  The surgery left her alive, but no longer whole and strong and healthy.   Tonya hugged me with her good arm and told me she loved me.
I told her I loved her too and would pray for her.  I cried as the person with her led her toward the door.
God uses all kinds of things to get our attention every day. God uses all kinds of things to make us realize how very thankful we should be to be whole and strong and healthy.  Sometimes He forces us to stand still and wait and pay attention to all the things around us that we tend to take for granted. 
Yes, there are many milestones in this life that we reach. Yes, there is hope that we will move forward to many more, but we should be thankful for every small step that God allows us to take every single day.
Today as I think of Tonya and the aneurysm that burst in her brain, I think of myself and the aneurysm doctors say is in my brain.  I remember how the very day I saw Tonya I had worried earlier, felt sorry for myself and felt I was barely hanging on by a thin string that was about to break.  
 After seeing Tonya, I know how selfish I have been. God has given me promises and I have doubted.   God said I will live and not die. I can do all things through Christ. I am more than a conqueror. I am healed by His stripes.    I pray no matter what comes my way  I can be half as brave as Tonya. May I always know that my  God looks at me and says, "I remember you."
 Pain is the fuel of passion.
It energizes us with an intensity to change
that we don't normally possess.
II Corinthians 4:8
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Good Times
Today the TV was turned on an old show from the seventies, "Good Times."  Remember Jay Jay?   This episode was centered around the younger child in the family, Michael.  It seems Michael was supposed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a school program, but his boss at the hardware store where he worked influenced Michael to make the decision not to participate.  The boss was an atheist and did not believe anyone should say, "one nation under God."  
This caught my attention because I didn't remember television being brave enough to talk completely against God in the good old days when Good Times came into so many homes every week.  So all this anti-God sentiment in the entertainment industry has been around at least since this seventies sitcom first aired in 1974 and of course, it goes on and on today.
On the show, the atheist argued he could never believe in God because he could not see Him. The atheist had a newspaper in his hand and asked, "If God exists why does He allow all these things to happen: war and hunger worldwide, disease and death of good people, even children. If God exists why doesn't He do anything to stop this?"
 At one point he said, "Oh my God." Michael's mother who was arguing the case for God said, " See there, you said my God." The atheist told her it was only an expression, God was not really his God, any more than he thought smoke was really  holy if he should exclaim, "Holy Smoke!"
 In the end, all was well as was always the case on the show.  After all, the name of the show is "Good Times." This particular episode ended with Michael expressing his true belief in God as the atheist sat down to dinner with the family, bowing his head slightly as Jay Jay said grace.
This morning as I sat at my computer preparing to write a devotional God, my God chose to let this seemingly silly sitcom interrupt my train of thought.  I sat with sadness and thought of death that had come to many families I knew last week.
I thought of a good friend whose sister had passed away only in her forties. I thought of a five-year-old child who died in an accident Friday. I thought of the listings of deaths I looked at on the obituary page and wondered what names would appear along with my name on that page one day.  I know God knows that already and it isn't for us to question such things, but  I myself was asking God why.  I wanted to write something encouraging, but the words were not coming.
As I thought of the child I knew what that pain felt like, as I remembered my own two-year-old grandson who drowned three years ago this August.  I remember asking God why then. 
I remembered God's answer then which I am sure is His answer now.  It is not for us to know all the whys. We are to only trust Him, believe in Him and follow after Him with our whole heart always.  As we trust, believe and follow God, He gives us the strength to face many things that we can never understand. He comforts us in times of loss as no man can.  God holds us tight, wipes our tears and tells us He loves us forever without end unconditionally.  Only He knows the number of our days.
Only He knows why that is the number chosen for each of us.
God is with us always in good times and bad times.  He is our most holy God.