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Thursday, November 30, 2017

For Just a Moment


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. — Jeremiah 29:13 ( NIV)

Christmas is without you again, Daddy. You live another Christmas far away from us in your mind. You don’t realize where you are or what is happening to you. You don’t realize that you had only one year with your new bride. You don’t realize that Peggy, your youngest, has moved to Massachusetts from England. You don’t know the years are passing, and that you have not had a chance to help Peggy fix her new home, or a chance to enjoy the gift of a new marriage. You don’t know these things, but we do. We know what you have lost, and your loss breaks our hearts.

What can never be lost are the memories we hold close. The joy-filled scenes that we will never forget. We don’t know what you remember and what you don’t, but we know who you are. We know the example of commitment and unfailing love you always lived. You always taught that if we sought an answer, we would find it.

Daddy, I have taken that lesson and so many others with me all the days of my life. I never got the math you tried to teach me, but I got something else. You taught that once I have given my word that I’m committed, but also with that commitment must come wisdom to know how to deal with the inevitable struggles and pain of life. You always nourished my independent spirit, but also showed me how to submit it, when required, without losing myself. You taught me God’s love in each moment of pain, and in each moment that called for my surrender.

I sit beside you while you are sleeping. You will not wake up, and no one has been able to keep you awake all day. Your mind, no longer understanding simple directions, has retreated once more. It hurts terribly, and I suddenly yearn for God’s love to hold me. Then I remember your life lesson that if I seek an answer, I will find it.  If I seek God in this painful moment, I will find Him. So in the silence, I ask, and I hold your hand. And the peace of God, which passes my mind’s ability to understand, settles in my heart. Your hand stirs just a little within mine, and then is still again. For just a moment, you have known. For just a moment, you have remembered.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reach for Him


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:11(KJV)

Unto us a child is born—but not just any child! He is a child born to save the world. He is a child born to save you and me. He is a child born to change our hearts. This child speaks hope where the world speaks discouragement. This child gives joy where the world offers despair. ”He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair” (Isaiah 61:3a, NLT).This child gives what the world can never give—peace in the heart of mankind.

Sin separates us from peace that our hearts long to know. Jesus Christ came into the world to lay down his life so we could experience the peace of His loving forgiveness and grace. His purpose was you, and it was me. He was not forced to give up His life, but He gave it freely without restraint. Because of His obedient and sacrificial love, sin was crucified at Calvary. Now we can go into the presence of an almighty God and find help in our times of need (Hebrews 4:16). There is hope in the midst of discouragement and despair. There is the promise of eternal life to come—and joy and peace now. Jesus’ name is the name above all other names. He is the one who is your answer.

Are you struggling with despair and hopelessness? This Christmas ask Him into your heart, and invite his presence to take what you were never created to handle. His peace which exceeds anything your mind can fathom will guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7). His joy will claim you. His purpose will guide you. His power will sustain you. His promise will fill you. He offers a beautiful life for the ashes of a burned-out one. He offers a life of joyous blessing and praise instead of a heart of despair. He offers hope and an abundant life. Just ask Him. Surrender what has separated you from His love. Surrender all that has burdened you. Give it all up. This Christmas reach for Him.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Daddy's Music

I look at you, Daddy, and remember you as you once were. You had such a brilliant mind, and such a committed heart. I still see the man in this article that was published in the fall of 1999, when the computer world was concerned that computers would crash at midnight on December 31st.  I still see your dedication and your loving commitment—perhaps not the same way as seen in this article, but I catch glimpses of Bud Hampton that remind me that all is not lost.
+++++++
DADDY’S MUSIC

Bud Hampton leans back in his office chair, arms crossed, staring at the computer monitor, nodding as each highlighted note advances across the screen, carefully listening for any mistakes in the bass section of  “Walk Along Beside Me, O My Lord.” His mouse suddenly clicks, adding the tenor to hear the effect. Satisfied, he introduces both the alto and soprano. The blend is more than harmony. It is perfect.

He brings a strong desire for excellence to this computer project.  It is the same desire he has exhibited his whole life—first as a farmer, later as a computer systems analyst.  The end result has always been something carefully completed. It is no different now that he is retired, and he has no way of knowing I find his dedication inspirational.  I’m allowed. He’s my father.

Thirty years ago, Daddy gave up farming to pursue computer programming.  Before Apple had ever stirred a Windows dream in Bill Gate’s mind, Daddy constructed a DOS BASIC program to help him learn his part for his church choir music.  One note at a time for his then tenor voice, the part played faintly through the small internal speaker of his IBM 286.  Vacation in Georgia always included his latest anthem entry. Throughout a technology-driven Microsoft revolution, he pursued his DOS BASIC entries.

Several years ago, my parents moved to Alabama to live near me. They joined St. Mark United Methodist Church in Anniston, and Daddy dutifully entered his singing part in his old computer. When I acquired a new Pentium in 1996, I offered my old Gateway 486 to my parents. With it came a Midisoft program, I’d never used. Daddy loved it. As new music was introduced to the choir, he entered it into the program. Hours every day were devoted to developing the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass parts for the church’s choir music.

Desiring Windows 98, he purchased a new Gateway system. Suffice it to say that it was loaded and ready to spring into action. The old Midisoft program had to be upgraded for the new operating system. Daddy donated his old 486 to the church—and continued to put each choir selection into the computer with instructions on how to use the system. Now any choir member could learn his or her part, add another part to try out that combination, or listen to himself or herself singing with accompaniment.

Even if Bud Hampton wasn’t my father, I’d find this daily contribution to a church choir encouraging. He is one of the sought-after COBOL programmers. He could have given his choir music up to debug legacy programs to make them Y2K compliant—and to make lots of money for himself—but that would have taken away from his project.

Here’s something to think about. Maybe you’re retired with time on your hands. Maybe you’re an at-home computer whiz and member of a church choir. Consider what a computer and a few hours a day in ministry might do. Bud Hampton finds it is just right.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher                        October/November 1999  Scroll Magazine
www.lynnlacher.com



Monday, November 27, 2017

With Great Joy


Christmas 2017. It is almost impossible to believe, but here we are. It is just around the corner. I remember the Christmas in 1968 Pat gave me my engagement ring. It seems like it just happened, but the years tell a different story. Grady was born in 1970. Tricia joined our family in 1972. And on we advanced through the decades with our two children now married, and grandchildren and a great-grandchild to bring joy. There have been so many life lessons to be learned throughout my 69 years. There have been joys, and there have been heart-wrenching times. Mama passed in 2013. Daddy is in memory care at Autumn Cove, and the sweet bride he married in 2015 suffers through the pain of loss with us.

Life has happened, and it continues to happen until the moment when I will be called home to be with the Lord. This Christmas I celebrate the gift of Christ’s life for mine. I celebrate His grace that fills me with love beyond what I can offer. I celebrate my family. Life is a beautiful gift we often squander or waste. Each moment is a chance to love with all our heart. That moment to love will never come again. Love those who are in your life. This Christmas celebrate life with your family because you never know how long you may have. Celebrate the gift you have been so graciously given. It came at the greatest cost.

Now I pray “to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy”—I pray you will allow Him to fill your heart and make this Christmas one you will remember with great joy. His joy will carry you through life’s heartaches, and, one day, straight into eternity with Him.
(Scripture—Jude 1:24, NLT)

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Treasures in Heaven

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

~Matthew 6:19-21(NIV)


          This Scripture instructs that you should place your treasures in heaven and avoid the pitfalls of earthly concerns. You are to give yourself away in order to later receive something much better. You are to die to self so you can live to Christ. Perhaps you treat God’s biblical truths as nothing more than platitudes, because they call for sacrifice and obedience. If you serve two masters (Luke 6:24), you sit on the fence, unable to give up the importance of earthly things. If you are obstinate, you end up coveting possessions and relationships, which give sensory comfort, instead of seeking an abiding relationship with the Lord, which offers both earthly and eternal fulfillment (Luke 6:33).


How do you store up treasures in heaven? You begin by replacing the demands of the earthly for the expectation of the heavenly. God doesn’t demand anything. He desires you to choose Him. He just waits, expects, and loves, because He always see your potential. How do you find God’s expectations? Love Jesus without reservation. Know His Word. Put Him first in all your decisions. If you submit to His will only for the moment you miss two promises—understanding God’s provision and an opportunity to grow in faith.


Your personal life is where you learn to handle the blessings and the trials of life in a responsible way. When blessings are placed first, instead of Christ, they become earthly possessions instead of heavenly inspiration. Likewise, trials that are not given to Christ (Philippians 4:6-7) rob you of His lesson and His peace. When Christ is the reason for your life, then these things are handled in the proper spiritual perspective.


When you place yourself completely in the hands of Jesus Christ you invest in heaven. The more you reach for His expectation, the less the importance of earthly demands. You learn what it means to walk in His Spirit above earthly possessions or concerns of life (Galatians 5:25). Your life may not appear as someone else has determined it should. But it doesn’t matter. You have traded the earthly for the heavenly, and it is as He has determined.


© Copyright 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Thursday, November 23, 2017

My Focus


You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.  —Isaiah 26:3 NIV

What does feeling comfortable have to do with character? What have I discovered in the uncomfortable challenges or life? What lessons have I learned that create in me the ability to persevere? One lesson is that I can conquer the valley with the strength God has wrought in me. The joy found on the mountain is a state of mind and spirit that is promised for those who walk through the valley determined to experience all of His promise. I can never experience His power until I have surrendered my own weakness. It is in surrender that virtue of character is learned, and it is in freedom from the painful control of life's suffering that His peace is secured.  He will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is focused on Him instead of what I face.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Give Thanks

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

Everything changed the moment I surrendered my life to you. I was no longer alone. I was no longer bound in the lies of my past, but redeemed with the truth of your grace. In that instance, I knew your love. I was forgiven no matter what I had done or been. You looked past all that I had ever known, and claimed me as your own.

Each day you carry me safely through circumstances that try to destroy me. Your Word tells me to give thanks in all circumstances because that is your will. Those hard circumstances attempt to tear at the peace and the faith you have imparted. They try to make me question your love. But you know that their real purpose is to give strength of character and elicit praise. Your will for me is to always give thanks no matter what comes in my life. You desire praise to constantly claim my heart. You desire my praise to always rise no matter what happens.

In praise, I find you. You walk with me each day, but more incredibly and wonderfully you live inside me. It is your heart that lives in me, and it is your forgiveness that flows. I have none of my own. You make all the difference. You make my life complete, and for that I cannot give you enough praise. You are my life, and my Savior. I love you for loving me beyond measurebeyond anything my limited mind can imagine. You just are, and in your constant promise, I am fulfilled. I give thanks.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Little Things


I walk down the hall toward Daddy’s room preparing my heart for whatever situation and emotion I will find.  Standing at his door, I knock. There’s no answer, but these days there never is. I turn the knob asking God to give me strength for this moment. Opening the door, I see him in his new zero-gravity recliner. All the long length of him is stretched completely out—eyes closed and breathing evenly. A too-short blanket tucks under his prominent chin and exposes two large feet extending just beyond the foot rest. Neck pillow encircling his neck and a foot pillow protecting the skin beneath his ankles, Daddy is comfortable and peaceful.

I place a folding chair beside his recliner, and sit down. I hate to wake him and discover just where he is in mind, but I reach under the blanket to touch his hand. It is cold, and he doesn’t respond to my touch. So I sit there and hold his hand, and wait. Several minutes pass, and then he moves his head a little, finally aware that someone is beside him.

“You came,” he says.

He can speak words today!  Then he smiles that little grin, and I know that He is with me.

“Is my new furniture here yet?” he asks.

“It certainly is,” I tell him. “You are in your new recliner right now.”

“I am?”

He has had it for weeks, but time doesn’t exist for him.

“Yes, you are. Does it feel good?”

“Oh, yes,” he says. “Is Peach here?”  

Peach is my brother. Daddy hasn’t mentioned his name in a very long time.

“No, but he’s coming to visit in two weeks” I say.

He smiles, and closes his eyes. I hope he remembers. I tell him about the Thanksgiving party at Autumn Cove tomorrow. Jeanie and I are going to roll him in his wheelchair down the hall.

“Don’t forget me,” he says.  “And don’t leave me.”

“We won’t.”

“Peach will get me?”

Peach’s visit and the Thanksgiving party have become one event in his mind, and I can see worry setting in.

“We’ll always get you, Daddy.”

He looks up at the ceiling. 

“See those bubbles?”

“What about them?”

“I’m smashing them.”

“You’re doing a great job.”

There is that little grin again. Closing his eyes, he is asleep once more.  I continue to hold his hand. Where once it was cold, now his fingers have warmed around mine. Today has been a gift not seen very often. I thank God for His blessing.

Take joy in the little things. Sometimes you don’t know how important they are until they are gone.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Monday, November 20, 2017

Let Me


 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. — Isaiah 30:15, NIV

“It is time to end your frantic pace," He speaks to my restless spirit. "Quit struggling and calm your impatient heart. Quit planning and analyzing. Don't rush my time with you. Give me your mind and your thoughts. Be still and know that I am God. Wait for me in your quiet time, and I will come. Wait until my power fills you.

“In your quiet time with me, your strength will return. So many believe that my strength is only seen in action. My greatest strength is given to you in your quiet time with me. In these times of refreshing you find confidence and strength to rise up to face your giants. This confidence and strength you discover will carry you powerfully into the heat of battle, but only if you allow me to bear the weight of command. If I am in control of your battles, your peace will remain. You will know that I am God, and that I take care of every problem and struggle that arises. The moment you attempt to control what is not yours to control, you will lose your peace.

 “You remember that thing you asked me to handle? Will you now finally quit trying to control it? Your attempt at control is destroying your peace. I promise peace. I give rest. Take time for me. Find rest and know that I am your God. Resting in me brings you power to believe. And it also gives you the strength to let go. Let me take care of what you were never meant to handle. Believe that I will handle it, and that you are free to be my beloved child. In quietness and trust, you receive all of me to face all of your giants. Let me be in charge.”

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Friday, November 17, 2017

Simplicity

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. —John 8:36 NLT
“More is better” is the cry of this fast-paced world. Everywhere we turn we are told that we need something else to complete our lives. But what we desire and ultimately possess, does not complete anything. It creates a lust for more. We feel stressed, exhausted, and always lacking. The hurried pace to have more overwhelms us, and we are lost in its control. Christ teaches us that we can be free from this horrendous struggle. It will not be our master, because we are under grace (Romans 6:14). We can learn how to live simply in Him.
The simplicity that Christ offers frees us from the rat race of life and brings peace to our harried existence. This grace teaches that we are more important than what we own. Possessions are not meant to possess us. They are meant to enrich our lives. When we learn to live simply, we discover that people are more important than what they have. The complexity of life becomes one of greater simplicity. 
“This is not possible,” you say. “How can I live a simple life in this world that demands me to achieve—to be better—to have more—to climb to the top?” It is not possible when your heart has not reached a place of surrender. It is not possible when you are the one in control of the desires of your heart and not Him. It is not possible when your flesh is more powerful than His Spirit. But it is possible when your heart lets go of its own desires and seeks His will. Because His will is simple. His message is simple. His heart is simple. Love as He has loved you. Not things, but others. 
Simplicity is a discipline of mind that comes from a heart that has been broken from its own selfishness, and has been given the grace to live selflessly. It is a grace bestowed by God. We cannot will ourselves to live selflessly and simply. It is a gift He bestows to be consciously surrendered in His service again and again. Simplicity in Him frees us from what encumbers. It liberates us from the bondage of things. It focuses our mind and heart on what is important. His love. His forgiveness. His purpose. His heart. It frees us to give ourselves away because He has become more because we have become less.
We can find His simplicity that liberates. We can discover a haven that inspires. We can have peace when faced with an overwhelming world. We can be content in the midst of unrest. It begins in our heart, and frees us from the tyranny of emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental havoc. Whoever He sets free is free indeed.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Thursday, November 16, 2017

More than Rote


Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
—Psalm 119:18 NLT

So often we carry out things we are called to do without seeing the deeper aspect—without understanding the amazing purpose in His instructions. We exist in rote—in tradition—performing instead of participating in His wonderful truths. We have looked, and not really seen. We have heard, and not really understood. The thing we had to do was held to be more important than the reason behind it. We lost our vision in the midst of our performance, and discovered, as we began to perish, that we had lost our first love.

Lord God, open our eyes to the wonderful truths in your instruction! Let us grasp the joy in the daily things we are called to do. Nothing is too menial. Stir us to always fight against the routine of life becoming something without meaning. Give us your eyes to see the spiritual strength you offer to carry out what must be done. Give us the perseverance to make it our own. Give us your ears to hear your loving encouragement through days that become hard and dreary, and give us your understanding to realize the beauty of character you wish to grow in us. May the routine of today be the joy of our purpose! May we participate and contribute instead of just perform! May we, in becoming less, discover how much more you have made us! You are Truth. Your Word is Truth. Purify us with its message.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Beginning


Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven. — (Luke 6:37, NIV).

What is the best gift you can give? It isn't something that you can touch or feel. It isn't something that will one day get lost or damaged. It is real and changes hearts. This is the gift of forgiveness. God's unconditional love always inspires forgiveness. Forgiveness is free and keeps no record of wrong that has been done. It lets go of hurt and releases the one who caused the pain from any debt. It does not judge or condemn.

Have you discovered it is difficult to forgive yourself? When you repent, the Lord forgives you. He remembers your sin no more. But you, on the other hand, can dwell on that sin until you can’t forgive yourself for what God has forgiven. It can sit in the back of your mind and grow large and overwhelming. It can destroy your assurance of God's grace, and make you question if He has truly forgiven you. You have trouble believing that He is a “God, ready to forgive, gracious and merciful” (Nehemiah 9:17, NIV). You can’t grasp that He has forgiven you completely, and your debt is gone.

How can you forgive yourself? This is hard, and and there are no easy answers. What I share comes from my own experience in my walk with Christ. Perhaps you believe you have forgiven someone for a betrayal, or something they did that was dishonest. Perhaps you believe you have forgiven them for rejecting your love or neglecting your trust. But if you have forgiven them for what they have done, why can't you accept God's forgiveness for your own betrayal, or your own action that was less than completely honest, or that time you rejected love and neglected a trust? His love forgives when you repent. Perhaps the inability to forgive lies in the fact that there are underlying unresolved feelings from things that have been done to you. Even though you have reached out and made amends and also been forgiven by others, maybe you still feel guilty and unworthy of forgiveness. Although you believe you have forgiven others for what they have done to you, your inability to forgive yourself might reveal something you haven't even realized—an inability to really forgive those who have hurt you. When you can reach the place where you truly forgive others, then you will also have the power to forgive yourself.

Jesus has told us to forgive, and that we will be forgiven. Forgiveness is an act of will. Forgiveness begins with a decision to forgive. Decide to forgive others, and decide to forgive yourself. When you open your mind and heart to the Holy Spirit, He begins a work of healing of unresolved feeling in His time and in His perfect way. Choose to forgive what has been done to you, and choose to not hold anything against anyone who has hurt you. Ask God to help you deal with all feelings that are involved. Choose to forgive yourself, and let go of any anger you harbor. Allow God to open you to what you need to face so that any emotional pain can be healed. He will help you move forward in His complete love and forgiveness, and He will deal with the past hurt and pain. He promises to take to the grave all the pain and hurt and bitterness and anger and rejection and neglect that you have experienced, and to raise you with Him in newness of life.

Today is a beginning.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Overflowing Grace


Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! —2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT

This gift of His overflowing grace—this gift which never is stagnant, but pulsates, and forgives, and brings new life to stony hearts—flows through us. His grace is not meant just for us. It is for every broken heart that beats. It is for each life that needs new meaning and purpose. Yet how often do we keep His grace to ourselves?  How often do we not extend the love which was extended to us?  Grace has little power to transform our lives if we don’t freely, and without restraint, pass it on. His grace cost us nothing. We didn’t have to earn it, but how often do we expect others to pay for what they have done?  Even though His grace is free for us, it wasn’t free for Jesus. It cost His life. He paid the ransom for our freedom.

We may speak His grace, but if our cold hearts don’t beat with it, and our bitter lives aren’t changed by it—then how real is His grace in us?  Are we really transformed—new and free in His forgiveness?  Has the grace of Calvary really made a difference? Paul speaks of the generosity of believers in today’s Scripture, and the result of their unrestrained giving. Those, who have been the recipients of their loving forgiveness and grace, shall, in return, pray for those generous believers with deep affection.

Grace produces grace. Love produces love. And His gift overflows in the hearts of man, unstoppable and powerful, until no one remains unchanged by the overflowing tide of its message. Free of bondage—free of pain—free of judgement and bitterness, we can rejoice in His gift of grace which is too wonderful for words!

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Monday, November 13, 2017

Jealousy


“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones” (Proverbs 14:30, NLT).

As our pastor said yesterday, jealousy is the green-eyed monster which, if allowed, will consume us. Nothing good comes from jealousy. It springs up and steals the fulfillment God imparts. It kills the fruit of the spirit. Jealousy crucifies any love, robs our joy, and destroys our peace. Any patience we might have had is gone, because we are never satisfied. Any kindness or goodness we exemplified has departed, because we view another person as someone with whom we compete. We have no self-control of our desire for more—we have no faithfulness that perseveres—we have no gentleness of heart, because we are in a constant state of competition. With jealousy, we have no peace. We have turmoil.

This verse from Proverbs reveals that a peaceful heart gives life. Jealousy is like a cancer that grows out of control, reaches into every facet of our lives, and ultimately destroys us. When our hearts and minds are at rest, we can live in His fullness. There is no striving to have more or be the best at something. We can rejoice with others if they receive a blessing. Our hearts are free to love and not judge. We do not compare, because there is no competition. Without the stress of always comparing and competing—when our hearts and minds are at peace, our spirits are also at peace. There is life. If we are filled with jealousy and are always comparing ourselves to others—if what we have never seems enough—if we feel we are not the best at something, then striving and unrest will kill the body and the spirit.

“I gave you milk,” Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3a, NIV). How immature are we? Do we still need to be treated as spiritual babies on milk? We need to grow up and walk in the spirit instead of the flesh. Jealousy does not only destroy our spiritual lives; it breeds dissension and division. Jealousy does not only destroy God's ability to work in us; it destroys others. Now is the time to grow up. Instead of allowing jealousy to crucify the Holy Spirit in us, it is time to crucify this green-eyed monster.

If God's love is in us, there is no place for jealousy. Love is patient, and it is kind. Love does not envy. It does not destroy lives. Love builds. Love creates. Love sees the best. Love does not compare, and it does not compete. The time for solid food has come.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Today


Today I breathe.

Tomorrow I may not.

Today I will love.

Tomorrow may be too late.

Today is the day to live for Him.

Tomorrow may never come.

Today is His day, and I rejoice.

Tomorrow I may not have the chance.

Copyright 2017 Lynn Lacher

Friday, November 10, 2017

Great Peace


“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165, NLT).

Peace doesn’t mean everything in your life is at rest. Peace is knowing rest when everything in your life is not at rest. Child, my peace rises to each occasion when you allow me to manage the turmoil. Be still. Be quiet. Quit your striving with your problem. Give it to me. Seek my peace which surpasses your human understanding. No man—no person—no stress—no hardship—no problem has the power to destroy my great peace. But you can destroy it by allowing worry to claim your mind and distractions to rob you of its promise. You can destroy it by trying to control what only I can control. You can destroy it by opening your heart to despair and your mind to the enemy who whispers his lies. However, when you focus on my Word and the love I have for you—when you surrender all that holds you in bondage to fear, I speak my life into your very being.

Allow nothing to destroy your faith in my love for you. Focus your mind on my truth, and rest your heart. Retreat from seeking the advice of others whose ideas promise peace. Perhaps they have good advice, but it may not be mine. Seek what I have for you. My advice brings great peace. Never let others rob you of your peace of heart and mind. Recognize each problem that arises as a step towards acquiring my great peace. It is real and it lasts in the face of all opposition. Each obstacle has the power to bring you closer to its promise.

You have great peace when you love and live what I instruct. Nothing will make you stumble. When you allow me to guide your life—when you allow selfishness to be crucified at my altar—when you seek my righteousness, you receive all of me. Love me with all your being. Love my Word, and you will discover the power of faith that grants this peace. It is my gift that calmly holds you no matter what the world throws at you. It is real, and nothing can destroy it when your heart continually seeks me.

I am your greatest peace. There is no other.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Known Beyond Myself


You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
—Psalms 139:1–6 (NIV)

To realize that I am so greatly and so deeply known by you, Lord, goes beyond my limited human understanding! I open up my heart to you, and my soul yearns for you to continually search me. I thirst for you with an unquenchable thirst that you alone quench. You are the living God! I cannot move without you knowing it. Every step I plan may be formed in my mind, but your Spirit directs my steps. My thoughts may not be as high as your thoughts, but you impart the wonder of yours to my heart. You know when I am at ease and when I am distraught. You know when I have the faith to move mountains and when I need rest to be revived. You are familiar with every part of me. Before I even speak, you know what I am going to say. Because you know my heart, you know if it is pained or if it rejoices. You understand me, your child, because you became one with me in your suffering. In your death, you brought me forgiveness and grace. In your resurrection, you brought new life. You have placed your hand upon my life. Such knowledge is beyond my understanding—too incredible. Oh, Lord, you know me better than I know myself.

Why would I ever live without hope? I have the promise of hope in you, Lord. Because you know me and created me, I am yours—and you are mine. I pray right now before a word is ever spoken that my words are directed by you, Holy Spirit. I long to have a joyful heart that speaks life. You discipline me, Lord, and guide me in your direction. You chastise me when I fail, and you encourage me when I succeed. You have placed your hand upon my life, and I am always aware of your steady and unrelenting pressure. Your love and your call upon my life are too much at times to even fathom. Just to know you loved me enough to lay down your life for me is too incredible. To know you raised me to love with your heart and purpose, it is joy beyond my ability to comprehend. I give you my limited life today because that is all I have—a limited life unfulfilled without you—a limited life, needing to know that I am known beyond myself. Take my limited life—and complete me with your purpose. Take me—and never let me claim myself again.

Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me (Page 97)
© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com.








Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Surrender

God’s way is best; heart, cease thy struggling
to see and know and understand;
forsake thy fears and doubts, but trusting,
submit thyself into His hand.
—Charles W. Naylor

Lord, if I had chosen your will for my life, I probably wouldn’t have chosen right where I am at this moment. I wouldn’t have chosen this hardship and heartache. I would have chosen something easier. I would have chosen things that bring happiness instead of things that develop character. But you know what brings out the best in me. You know how each hurdle rising before me will inspire my greatest effort. You know what event or circumstance or problem that I face will bring out my best for tomorrow’s greatest joy.

Lord, I thank you for this hard time that will make me stronger. I don’t have to tell you, Lord, that praise in this valley is so much harder than praise on the mountain. Praise right now calls for sacrifice of all I perceive, and it calls for me to place my trust in you. This moment is not only about surrender of my will to yours. It is about surrender for who I am for who you know I can be. You always wish to do something new in me.

By surrendering my control to your control, I discover enough clarity of purpose to trust you for the next hurdle—and the next and the next. “I am about to do something new,” you whisper. “I have already begun. Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through your wilderness.”

As I surrender my life, you grant direction. Your living water flows through me, reviving hope. What I had thought was my time of greatest hardship shall prove to be my time of greatest victory.

Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me (page 31)
© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Morning Comes

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. —Psalm 30:5 NLT

Yesterday, I sat beside you, holding your limp hand. You slept most of the time, but sometimes your eyes would open just a little and stare into a world that I don’t know.  Even though you couldn’t speak or respond, I spoke to you. I sang hymns you love. Grady came to visit. I told you that he had come. I was moving around you at one point when I noticed a wetness on your cheeks. Your chin trembled a little. You knew we were with you.

We are losing you. I thought it was hard with Mama, but it is nothing like this. Writing about the pain helps for a while, but often it resurfaces with a sting which tears the heart to shreds. But I can’t live by the feelings pain brings, or they would consume me. They are real. I will not deny they are there, but with His help, I can’t allow them to claim my mind. With the Word to encourage and guide me, I will make it through dark days that never seem to end. I can do all things with His strength and grace.

Weeping lasts for the night, but the Lord promises that joy will come with the morning. This will not last forever. This night of heartbreak will end. Morning will come. One day, Daddy, you will square dance joyfully again. I remind myself every day that the Lord’s strongest children are those who, in the night of weeping, choose to believe in the promise of joy in the morning.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Monday, November 6, 2017

Remember Me

Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me. —Psalm 106:4 NLT


On the wall she has a poem by Owen Darnell that she reads each day. The last four lines reach into her heart, and stir her unshakeable love for her husband—my father.  “Just remember that I need you,” the poem reads, “that the best of me is gone. Please don’t fail to stand beside me. Love me ’til my life is done.” And without hesitation she lives her love for him over and over again. Through long days and endless seasons, Daddy lives at Autumn Cove—dementia claiming this man we all love. Jeanie, his wife of almost three years, stands beside him. She is the reason he has fought to live this long, and she is God’s gift to a man who unselfishly lived for his first wife through her years of illness.


God did not send just anyone to my father. He sent an angel who had taken care of her first husband for over twenty years of illness. He sent an angel who brightens Daddy’s day like no one else can—who touches a place in his heart that is for her alone. He calls her “My Jeanie”. I think of this verse from Psalm because the Lord has remembered my father, and shown favor to him by sending Jeanie. She rescues his fearful heart with her gentle and strong spirit. She draws him, from long ago places which have claimed his mind, back to the present. She has been his anchor in a sea that is slowly drowning him. Each day that sea takes him a little further away from his Jeanie—from all of us. And that sea will one day close over his mind, and he will no longer remember any of us.


We will always remember him. He is husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather. He is Bud Hampton, who stood strong and tall—whose committed heart always loved—whose inquiring mind constantly searched—who took joy in what others often passed by. He is Bud Hampton. There is no other like him, and will never be.


Love us while we lose him, because we will not always be strong. Forgive us when we fail, because we shall make many mistakes in this journey—not only with each other, but with everyone else. Walk the journey with us when we need your hand, and understand when we don’t. There is no script to read and live that can make this road easy. But there is a love that exists beyond blood. There is God’s love that knows no boundaries. And He can send an angel, not just to Daddy, but to us. 

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Do you settle for less? Do you have trouble understanding and even believing who Jesus Christ says you are? If you will grasp your identity in Him, and allow it to penetrate your spirit, He will transform you. You find your identity in the Word! You are new! You are not who you were! You are valuable to Him! You have His Spirit in you! He has chosen you. Get into the Word, and learn to understand what He has really done for you on Calvary!

Friday, November 3, 2017

In 1994 my parents asked how I felt about them moving to Anniston and living near me. They wanted to be near family to take care of them as they got older. Young and flippant I said, "Of course!"  Little did I know the pain and even the beauty of this journey.


My Daily Call

(new) 

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it —1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV

He calls me, and I will obey. If I stay focused on His purpose, whatever comes against me will not succeed. Hard times come, but I choose to keep calm in His never-changing purpose and unlimited power. If I lose my peace for even a moment, I retreat into His presence and give Him my struggle. I will regain His peace. I can accomplish nothing when I am upset and stressed out. In giving Him all that I face, I get rid of my selfish needs, and concentrate on His purpose for me.

I will always believe that I can do what He has called me to do. He is faithful and will do the work. But His work is only accomplished by His Spirit working through me. I must surrender all my desires for His. I must surrender what I consider my inadequacies for His ability. I must surrender. In my surrender I discover His power.

Focusing on His call, I will concentrate on the daily things which need be done to work toward His vision. If I lose the focus, I will lose the purpose for my life. If I rush the work to attain His purpose, I will become discouraged by the immensity of it all. Daily I lay down my cross, and ask Him to come, and lead. I will remember each day that He never asks me to do something without providing the power to accomplish it.

And that is enough for this journey.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Different Yet One

(New)
Differing approaches and insights to ministry, which sometimes bring division in a church, can actually bring healing to the whole body–when each considers the other as valid as his own. If my goal is God’s truth, and it is the same goal as another’s goal, then any differences are nothing in comparison to the ultimate purpose of His Good News.

One of the greatest examples of this is found in the lives of Paul and Barnabas. Paul was a leader. His mind was on the overall mission ministry. His focus and his purpose was to spread the Good News. Barnabas, even though he was part of this mission ministry, was not focused on that aspect of ministry. His mind was focused on the potential of John Mark, who needed guidance and encouragement. What was Barnabas' goal? It was to help John Mark mature enough to be a strong and viable witness. The approach was different, but the ultimate goal was the same. Read about this in Acts:

Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. —Acts 15:36-41 NIV

Paul and Barnabas disagreed, and they parted company. It was necessary for Paul to keep the overall ministry going. Paul did not have time to be weighed down with John Mark, who had once before deserted them. He had little use for him. Paul was ready to move on. However, Barnabas saw something in John Mark that Paul could not see. He realized John Mark's potential. He believed if he invested his time in John Mark's life, then John Mark would mature into a strong witness for Christ.

Both views of ministry are absolutely necessary and each is as important as the other. Without leaders whose minds and hearts are focused on the corporate ministry, there would be no ministry. Without ones like Barnabas, who realize potential and focus on individual growth, there would be no individuals to participate in ministry. The beauty of this story is that after Barnabas took time with John Mark, and he had matured, Paul invited him back into ministry. If Barnabas had not believed in John Mark, he would have never found his way back. If Paul had not believed in the overall ministry, and had allowed John Mark to go with them, then the overall ministry would have suffered. The two approaches ultimately came together for God's purpose.

God calls each one of us in specific areas. When we see things differently, instead of thinking they are so far apart, we need to realize that they really aren't. That is how the body works when approach to ministry is different. You see the promise in each perspective, whether it is corporate, like Paul's, or individual, like Barnabas'. The end result is a beautiful tapestry of God's making. It is the different parts of the body, working together in unity to weave His best.

 (New devotion)
© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

God, My Rock


I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. —Psalm 42:9, 11 NIV

If God is my rock, my anchor, my purpose, then in the depths of my soul, even though I may not feel His presence, I know He has not left me.  He has not forsaken me. I may cry out “why have you forgotten me,”, but deep inside my soul I know He is still my strength. Even though I might not “feel” Him, I know He is my God, my support, and my only hope. Yet sometimes I mourn what I perceive to be the loss of His presence, and feel so alone. I remind myself I am never alone no matter whether I feel His presence or not.

Fear can keep me from feeling His presence, and then a lack of feeling His presence can make my sense of desertion even worse. Into my life shines His hope! Hope urges me to grab His hand, and place my mustard seed of faith into what I cannot see. That ray of hope begins to spread and dispels the darkness of my despair. And as it spreads throughout my soul, faith begins to rise. Why should I be so downcast or disturbed? I choose to place my hope in my God. I choose Him instead of a feeling of despair. I choose to praise Him for He is my Savior and my God. In this choice I find greater faith to believe.   

I choose hope in Him. I choose to believe. I choose praise. “God, my Rock” becomes more than just something in which I am expected to believe. He becomes my anchor, my strength, my sanctuary, and my purpose. There is no need to think I’m abandoned. I’m known, and placing my hope in Him. I will yet praise Him—my Savior and my God!
 **************
(I have had questions asking if these devotions are in the book. Most aren't. If they are, I will say that they are. This devotion is not in the book.)
 © 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


The Faith of Christ

       I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I liv...