Forever and Ever
Forever is a long time I suppose, forever and ever even longer than plain forever I think.  Remember Cinderella and Snow White? Both stories ended on a happy note of living happily for how long?  Yep, ever after.  And what about everlasting till everlasting? Wow!  Now that must be a really long time.  Even longer than forever, or forever and ever, or even ever after.
God's mercy, name, covenant, kingdom, arms, dominion, and kindness are all referred to as everlasting.
God's Word tells us He is God from everlasting till everlasting.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting till everlasting, thou art God Psalm 90:2
God is to be blessed from everlasting to everlasting.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 106:48
So everlasting seems to be a pretty good happy situation to be in. But what about those tests and trials that seem to go on forever, forever and ever, and even ever after?  Blessed be the Lord even on days that the tears, trials, and tribulations seem to go on forever.  Are the problems going to be around from everlasting till everlasting? No, just as surely as Cinderella's prince came to her rescue with a glass slipper, and as surely as Snow White woke up after her price gave her a kiss, we will be rescued from all trials, tests, tribulations, and tears of this life. Maybe now, maybe later, but the Everlasting God will not allow them to go on in the lives of His children forever.
Revelation 21:4
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
We must understand our forever is so much greater than we can fathom. It reaches so far beyond this life that we know now, the life with the tears, trials, tests, and tribulations that we face that we sometimes think are going to go on forever
The God who is from everlasting to everlasting has made everlasting life available to each of us. Blessed be His name forever, forever and ever, ever after, from everlasting till everlasting.  Praise ye the Lord! Amen 
Lord help us to realize our forever is so much greater than what we can see. Help us know you will not put more on us than we are able to bear while we are here so briefly in this life waiting to step into everlasting life with You.  Let us realize your yoke is easy, your burden light. As we take on your yoke, let us rise above the trials and tribulations of this life. Let us stay strong in You and pass every test. Guard our hearts, our words, guide our steps, don't let us fall.  Catch our tears in your bottle, comfort the hurting. Hold us in your everlasting arms.   Take away the pain that we sometimes think will go on forever and ever.  Help us to realize our everlasting forever will be happily ever after. 
Wow! Now that is a  really long time.
The Victory is Ours
Is it at the end of the rainbow?
Is it across the moon?
Is it close by in the next room?
Is it far away, or is it coming soon?
Is it as high as the mountain tops covered with snow?
Is it down in a valley where no one would want to go?
Is it reachable, attainable, available to all who seek?
Is it reserved for the strong and withheld from the weak?
Victory, victory is what we all hope to gain.
Whether we sit in the sun or run through the rain.
Victory, victory everyone seems to be racing to win,
But those who know not Jesus, will simply drowned in sin.
No matter how beautiful, how wealthy, or  how strong,
No matter how intelligent, how healthy, or filled with song,
No matter how unscrupulous, mischievous, or plain ole mean,
No matter how undeniably filthy or lewd while masquerading as clean.
One day these will find themselves dead and defeated.
They forgot to turn to the Victory when the battle grew heated.
They ran the race with only earthly gain in mind.
They ran the race skillfully but left Jesus behind.
As we live this life here and race toward the finish,
As we feel weary and search for something to replenish,
As we wonder how many more battles will come to be,
As we cry, "Victory, victory is our plea!"
We must ask ourselves, " What victory are we hoping to gain?"
If we're not running toward Jesus, we are running in vain.
We must slow down and take in a  deep cleansing breath.
We must realize the victory has already been won over death.
To death, hell, and the grave, Jesus got the key.
He won the  victory over all three,
No matter how many battles come our way while we are here,
God is always walking into battle with us, carrying the gear.
One day we will stand upon the crystal sea and shout and sing,
"Grave where is thy victory, death where is thy sting?"
"Jesus you are holy," we will sing around the throne
All battles of life forever over, all death forever gone.
Victory is ours through our Lord and Savior forevermore.
Standing on this glass sea shining, we are victorious for sure.
Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
In between the buggies, beeps, and bread in the check out line at Wal-Mart can be enlightening, educational, encounters excitedly waiting for someone to acknowledge them.  The problem is most people in the long line, sandwiched in between candy, gum, and magazines on the left, and shavers, chapstick and air fresheners on the right are too busy huffing, puffing, and throwing cans on the conveyer belt to ever notice God speaking  right in the middle of all the things we just can't live without
Last week I was the person sandwiched in the middle of all the stuff trying to check out some bread, sandwich meat, and drinks.  That's all.  In front of me was a buggy full of everything anyone could ever hope to eat in this lifetime.  The cans were slung out of the buggy on to the counter, the scanner beeped.  And yes, I think someone did huff and puff a time or two,  It could have been me. In the buggy, in the middle of the fresh, frozen, and fortified food was a little blonde-haired girl. Even though she was eating a donut, holding a box of fruit roll-ups, and sitting on a box of Kool-Aide Koolers she was pointing at the gum and the candy rack on the left and mumbling something through the mouthful of donut.  What was that?  Yes, M and M's was the one thing that the buggy didn't contain that she insisted on having before she left the store.  The mother, steadily slinging said, "You don't need any candy you have a donut."  The muffled request turned into a full-fledged temper tantrum for the colored chocolate candy that she could not live without.  The mother grabbed a pack, tossed them her way, and said, "Eat them before you get in the car."
Now that is parenting at its very best. Tell them no until they cry just right. Let the no turn to a yes.  Give them what they want and then give them an order and expect them to follow it.  Wow, I bet the little girl was so fearful of what might happen if she didn't eat the M & M's before she got in the car that she couldn't even enjoy the candy. Truth be known she probably cried when she got to the car for the candy, got that plus another donut, a fruit roll-up and Kool-Aide Kooler to wash it all down.
Now, this is not the end of this sandwiched in saga. Behind me was another buggy equally full of stuff.  There was another mom with a little boy standing beside her in line.  She asked would he like to help her unload the buggy. He smiled, said, 'Yes ma'am' and went to work.  The boy eyed the candy also. He asked could he please have some.  The mother stopped unloading, looked at him, said, "No, it will ruin your dinner."The boy said, "Yes ma'am," and continued to help unload the groceries.
Wow, that was great parenting.  She spoke with authority. He didn't question the authority.  Even though he was denied his request he continued to work unrewarded.  It was as if he truly understood respect, something you don't see a lot of in the Wal-Mart check outline, or for that matter a whole lot of places these days.
Two moms, two kids, in the same line totally different.  I wondered while holding my Wonder Bread how these kids would function as adults. I prayed both equally well but knew the little boy was being trained to show respect and realize to recognize a voice of authority and the little girl wasn't.
Throughout our lives, we too must learn to respect and recognize a voice of authority. Sometimes it is on the job, at school, at church, and sometimes just from a friend or family member who truly has our best interest in mind. Sometimes we have to accept no for an answer, and go on and work unrewarded. 
One thing that caught many people's attention about Jesus was the fact He spoke with authority and people listened, demons even listened.  There was not a no changed to a yes, or a maybe, or a here you go just because someone or a demon threw a temper tantrum.
Luke 4:33 In the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
And that is still true today.  Jesus speaks with authority.  When He tells us no, it is only because He has our best interest in mind.  Jesus also gave us the authority to speak with authority. When we are faced with tests and trials from the enemy, from satan and his demons, we must learn to speak with the authority we have been given by Jesus Christ.  "Come out, be gone you have no  authority over me, my home, or my family."
 Jesus is the authoritative voice over every problem we find our selves sandwiched right in the middle of, every question, everything we could ever imagine.
He, the Bread of Life, is really the one thing we all need and truly can't live without.
Glory Glory Hallelujah
On this Memorial Day weekend, many have reflected on lost heroes, lost loved ones, wars of the past and wars of the present.  Today a song came to mind that we once sang in music class at school when I was young. Back in those days, they allowed us to sing about God at school. I thought of God's glory being present in all things, even in war. I thought of the song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  When I was seven or eight I sang the words, but truly had no idea what they meant. I just knew the glory glory hallelujah part was joyful and victorious sounding. I remember mouthing the other words that I didn't understand but shouting glory, glory hallelujah really loud.
I have the words copied below. One of my favorite lines, that I didn't really remember, is Be jubilant my feet!  Even our feet should be happy as we march on for the glory of God.  As you read them, reflect on God's glory always being present now in all things and think of God's glory that we will see one day as we shout really, really loud, GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH!!!
  Also, below the song is a poem written by Mrs. Brenda Ware that reminds us to be strong, hold on, and know God is with us in all things.  No matter what we face day to day, in the end, it will bring glory to our Father.
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Written By: Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage
Where the grapes of wrath are stor'd;
He hath loos'd the fateful lightning
Of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watchfires
Of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar
In the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence
By the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel
Writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with My contemners,
So with you My grace shall deal:"
Let the Hero born of woman
Crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet
That shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men
Before His judgment seat.
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him!
Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies
Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom
That transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy
Let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on
There Is Glory in the Weight
By Brenda Ware
There's glory in the weight if you persevere.
When the weight seems heaviest, the Savior is near.
Sometimes it seems you can't carry on.
The load is so heavy and all your strength is gone.
But the weight was designed with a purpose in mind.
To bring honor to our Father, so His glory can shine.
Jesus came to earth wrapped in flesh.
When tempted in the wilderness,
The Savior passed every test.
When the Father sent Him, He knew the whole story.
But He bore the weight to bring His Father glory.
The message and moral for this short story,
If you just bear the weight,
In the end, it brings our Father glory.