Monday, December 24, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. I Timothy 2:1
Have you ever heard of the Snow Queen? During each Christmas season during the 1950s and onward, she could be found at the Miller & Rhoades Department store in Richmond, Virginia.
Families with children would travel for miles around to stand in line to be greeted by the Snow Queen. In her sparkling long white gown, she would chat with a child, finding out his or her name and a little bit about them. When it was that child's turn to see Santa personally, somehow Santa already knew them. He even knew their name. No one could ever figure out how he knew…
I am reminded that we (male and female) are a bit like that Snow Queen. Here on earth our paths cross with so many different people. Sometimes we find ourselves taking a person before the throne of grace in prayer. God already knows that person's name. He already knows what that person needs. After all, He created them. And yet it must bring a smile to God's face to have one of His own children bring another child of His before the throne.
Heavenly Father, please keep my heart sensitive to your gentle nudging as You bring various people to mind throughout the day. In Jesus' name.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
I take pleasure in them. Psalm 16:3
Who are your heroes? Look around, they are all around us - the godly people who "serve (God) regularly, doing what needed to be done each day." I Chronicles 16:37
Look around at:
The worker who faithfully shows up and does his or her job day after day to the glory of God.
The student who is doing his or her best to prepare for the tasks God gives in the future.
The grandparents who surround their grandchildren with love and prayers.
The son or daughter faithfully caring for an aging parent.
The 'retired' pastor who just keeps giving - prayer, teaching, writing, counsel.
The worker who volunteers with the mentally challenged at a senior center.
The medical missionary team which faithfully serves in a village in Africa although there has
not been a convert in 30 years.
Those battling cancer and other illnesses, bringing glory to God at times of intense weakness.
A husband and wife team who go into an assisted living home to share scriptural teaching and
A pastor who shepherds his flock, bringing health to his flock through good shepherding.
A husband who loves his wife and a wife who respects her husband.
There are godly heroes everywhere. May we join in saying:
May we shout...banners....your victory....
Heavenly Father - please open my eyes to the godly heroes around me. Help me cheer them on. Please help me to be a hero, too. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know Him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of the day. Hosea 6:3
Are there aspects of your life which have resembled a maze this past year? Work, eat, sleep and rise to do it all over again? Wishing things would change for the better at home, at work, in your personal life…and yet you continue to do the sam-o sam-o with the same results?
Recently in the news, it was reported that a couple and their small children decided to have a fun autumn outing. They visited a pumpkin farm and decided to enjoy the corn maze. Off they went. Around and around they trudged, endlessly following the paths. When darkness started to descend, the adults became concerned. They had been following that maze forever, it seemed, and they couldn't get out. Eventually they called 911 and help was on its way. Once rescued, they found that they were 25 feet, only 25 feet from 'civilization'.
God does not want us to live like we are in an endless maze, going nowhere, fearful and anxious, concerned about our lack of progress, our senses deadened by never ending striving to get somewhere. He has meaning and purpose for our lives. Our lives are to take on eternal significance. He wants that for us!
Perhaps that is part of what Jesus meant when He said, 'Follow Me'. He knows the way out, around, under, over and through any maze we are in. It's that simple - this year, call out to Him, listen to what He tells you to do….and you will be out, ready to take on new pathways in the coming days.
Heavenly Father, My heart's desire is to press on to know You. I want to follow Jesus, wherever He may lead. Please open the way for me in the year ahead. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
"I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go, I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule without understanding, which must be curbed by bit and bridle else it will not keep with you." Psalm 32:8&9
Wild horses galloping across the plains or along a wide stretch of beach are so majestic looking. They are free…tossing their heads as their manes and tails stream out in wild abandon.
They are beautiful, however, they are not of use to mankind except for that beauty. They are wild and free doing what horses do.
How does a horse go from such wildness to being of use to its owner - to being put behind a plow, to pulling a wagon or surrey, to becoming a race horse, to serving as a police horse?
Please meet Tucker, my daughter's horse which she uses in the Sheriff's Mounted Division. I love that horse - he is such a protection to my daughter when she is out among crowds at a football game, during hot summer days when crowds are milling about…or when she is just out for a ride enjoying the out-of-doors with him.
What did it take for Tucker to go from wild to useful? It took years. He wasn't born useful. His owner kept him close from birth, training him, being with him, talking to him, teaching him to trust. That is what God does with us.
God takes us, trains us, teaches us…and we learn to trust Him, doing His every command. If we are sensitive to His ways, He can even command us with a word or a gentle nudge - a bit and bridle aren't even necessary.
How about you? Are you still wild or have you come under the ownership of God Himself? Are you submitting yourself to his training and discipline or are you going your own way, liking your wild ways best? Do you need a bit and bridle or do you respond to His quiet commands?
In God's eyes, he surely loves those wild horses. But I have a feeling it brings a special smile to His face when He sees one of His children disciplined for His use, ready to be called where needed., ready to do what pleases Him.
Heavenly Father, thank you for all of the effort and time it takes You to train me for Your purposes. Please help me to submit to your training day by day. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Yet it was our weakness He (Jesus) carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. But He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. Isaiah 51:4-5
Greg Smith, a friend of mine since we were twelve year olds, is a First Responder. What does a First Responder do? Anywhere there is trouble - earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, mudslides, flooding, they go to help.
Ten years ago, it was Greg's privilege to be called to the World Trade Center when it was hit by terrorists. When he left home that day, he and his wife each felt that he might not return.
Greg did return…and ten years later he is bearing the consequences of his going.
The following are Greg's own words to a fellow sufferer who is trying to make sense of his symptoms (notice he calls it Ground Hero not Ground Zero):
"I served at the World Trade Center a total of 2 1/2 months during the first year, 2 months of that at Ground Hero. I made a total of 10 trips back….
As you know, the illness rate has been quite significant for responders….
The first issue was the unbroken weeks of extreme stress, frequently 24 hrs/ day, day after day after day. This triggers the production of the chemical cortisol in the body, which in turn is a primary cause for diabetes.
Diabetes affects the heart, and within the first year I had been in the hospital several times, being diagnosed with Sick Sinus Syndrome, which causes blood clots, which cause strokes. I have had six strokes at this point, but the Lord has been gracious in giving me remarkable recovery in most areas. I received a pacemaker shortly after my first stroke. Plenty of drug therapy to go along with it. This forced me into medical retirement.
Respiratory problems came along in the first 6 months as well, and have gotten progressively worse. My respiratory system is very compromised. I've lost nearly half my lung capacity. I have been diagnosed with COPD, I'm on oxygen, and a Bi-PAP machine at night. I am too weak to walk without a walker or cane. I'm good for walking about 100 ft. before I have to stop and get my breath. This, of course, comes with the phlegm you mentioned, and the chest tightness, shortness of breath, continual coughing, gasping for air, etc.
Then, there is the Post-Traumatic Stress ...
But - I know I am right where God wants me! Praise the Lord!"
As I read a copy of Greg's recent email to his fellow sufferer, I was reminded of Jesus, the ultimate First Responder. Can you see the correlation? Jesus, the First and Eternal Responder, left His home with the Father to come to do the Father's will. He bore the consequences of coming - he grew weary, hungry, was betrayed, mocked, whipped and killed. He responded to our eternal need and bore the price of our rescue. How difficult and heartbreaking that was! Yet how glorious. He was willing to bear the consequences for you and for me.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to rescue each of us. Thank you! In His precious name. Amen.
Thank you, Greg, for allowing me to share your story.
'Reflections of God's Glory' copyright 2001 by Dawn Ulmer email@example.com
Please feel free to share this with anyone you choose.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
GOD is GOD of your past
Are you pleased with your past? Or do you wish you could go back for do-overs?
God in His wisdom won't allow that… God is God of our past. He was there every second before we even drew a breath…and every day since then…as God.
For thou didst form my inward parts,
thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb. Ps. 139:13
Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;
in thy book were written every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16
GOD is GOD of your past.
GOD is GOD of your present
Are you enjoying this season of your life? Or is it difficult? Are you content with what is…or do you wish you could run away from it all? No matter the situation, God is God of your present. You can trust Him to be there as He gives daily wisdom, strength and guidance.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 (Please read all)
GOD is GOD of your future.
How do you feel about your future? Are you confident that God has it all planned out and under His loving control? Or are you afraid?
Have no anxiety abut anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
GOD is GOD of your eternity.
Have you heard the saying: I've read the back of the Book and we've won! It's true!!! God is God of our eternity!
In my Father's house are many rooms…. I go to prepare a place for you…. I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
GOD IS GOD
Thank you, Heavenly Father that YOU are GOD and Your Presence in my life is real and vital. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Reflections of God's Glory copyright 2011 by Dawn Ulmer firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
AS THY DAYS, SO SHALL THY STRENGTH BE. Deuteronomy 33:25
Once upon a time, Peter (a disciple of Jesus), walked on water…once.
How about your life? Do you sense that you are being called by God to walk on water not only once but daily, many times a day, perhaps long into future days?
The job I hold is a challenge. It is in customer service. We all know what that means - taking telephone call after call, day after day, soothing ruffled feathers, imparting knowledge when needed, being patient with the impatient, untangling issues for resolution. When I began, I knew that I could handle one phone call (maybe)…once…but day after day, with an average of a hundred calls per day…all week…all month…all year…year after year, could I do it? We are to live a day at a time yet sometimes we just know that this walking on water is going to be a daily necessity for many days to come. Perhaps you are raising children, caring for elderly parents, working at a difficult job. trying to keep your marriage healthy - all take walking on water….daily.
Thinking about Peter's life in this regard, I can see impetuous Peter jumping out of the boat into the water, so willing to please the Lord. Once…. It is the same Peter, after years of God's training to walk on the water once…twice…again and again, who could pen I and II Peter (may I encourage you to read what he has to say to us). These letters reveal what God will do in a man or woman who is willing to jump out of the boat onto the water not only once but every day of their lives.
As we walk, may we hear echoes of His Word to us:
Apart from Me, you can do nothing. John 15:5
My grace is sufficient for you. II Corinthians 12:9
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
And again…As they days, so shall thy strength be. Deuteronomy 33:25
Heavenly Father, I desire Your will and to walk on water as many times as You choose for as long as you want me to do so. Please empower me by Your Spirit to walk so as to please you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Have you ever been so weary that it took too much energy, energy you didn't have, to crawl into bed and rest? Once there, you found yourself too weary to even be there?
Then comes the guilt as you ask yourself - why am I so tired? Other people have it harder than I do, working 12 hours a day in the coal mine, seven days a week. You rationalize, trying to talk yourself out of being SO tired. But it doesn't work…you are bone weary tired.
Listen to what happened in Elijah's life. If it happened to him, it could happen with us.
"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat under a broom tree. He asked that he might die: It is enough, now, O Lord, take away my life…." Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep." I Kings 19:4
You mean to tell me that someone like Elijah, a prophet of God, got weary, so weary that he just wanted to go Home to the Lord? Yes, it's true.
What was the remedy God gave him?
"Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you." I Kings 19:7
He slept…and got up and ate, being renewed to go further on.
In our hurry-up world, you know the one - lives packed with something in every waking moment, even during vacations. God wants us to sleep when our bodies need the rest. We must turn a deaf ear to our culture's cries to hurry, do more, push yourself, have more fun. We must go at the pace God sets for us during this season of our lives.
Also, in our world we are made to feel guilty for eating - too much, the wrong things, the wrong time of day. Yes, we must be wise about our choices, but our bodies need fuel. God, in a season of weariness, says: "Eat".
If you are weary, take some time to re-charge, be renewed by the Lord, be restored, be refreshed…God wants that for you so that you can continue on your journey called Life. He does not want the temple where He resides to be a ruin but fresh, overflowing with abundant living water, ready to go the distance.
May we heed the admonition: Arise and eat. I Kings 19:7
Heavenly Father, please help me recognize when I am weary. Please give me wisdom for the journey - Please restore, renew and refresh me. In Jesus' name. Amen.
'Reflections of God's Glory' copyright 2011 by Dawn Ulmer email@example.com
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, and self control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. II Peter 1:5-7
In a world of remote banking, the GPS and the internet, where we want tasks completed NOW, there are some things in life which cannot be rushed.
For example, a newborn, by the click of a button, cannot be urged to fast forward to becoming a mature young adult.
In our lives, also, we cannot be hurried as we grow and change spiritually, physically and emotionally.
I was especially reminded of this as I watched a construction site recently. Someone had spent tremendous time, effort and energy creating The Plan
When The Plan was ready, the bulldozers arrived to clear the debris. After the bulldozers, the scaffolding was put into place. Next, the walls were raised. At present, it is still a mystery as to what it will finally become.
Just like our lives - The Plan has been drawn up by the Master Architect - God Himself. If we are wise, we will join in partnership with Him to create what we will become. It won't be an instantaneous building but step by step, in obedience to God, He will build us….
Let's remember throughout the building process, it is God through His Spirit who provides the building materials - faith, virtue, knowledge, self control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. Since the Supplier of the building materials is God, it is our duty and privilege to receive them at our site and continue in partnership with Him to follow His Plan. Day after day we are to 'show up' at our very own building site so He can get us ready for our heavenly home which He is busy constructing for us. We want to be fit and ready.
Heavenly Father, thank you for providing what I need so that You can build me into the person you have planned. In Jesus' name. Amen.
'Reflections for God's Glory' copyright 2021 by Dawn Ulmer firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
DOES GOD LOVE YOU?
If you were asked, "Does God love you?" What would your answer be?
Stop a minute, please, and think about your answer….
Each of us have had different life experiences. Some lives have been sunny, some have been stormy. Most of us have had a mixture of sun and storm.
Yet, either way, can we declare with a certainty: GOD LOVES ME! I KNOW IT!
Isn't it good to know that God doesn't just TELL us He loves us with flowery, flattering words? He gets right in the trenches with and and walks with us through the difficulties…or in the sunshine.
The trenches? I'm sure you know them - the day you are diagnosed with cancer. The day the job dried up and was gone. The day you didn't know where the money would come from just to live life. The day of the miscarriage. The day your husband walked away. The day your child was in a life threatening accident.
Yes, each of us know the trenches. Yet can we declare:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for THOU art with me." Psalm 23:4
God did not promise us a life filled with only flowers . He KNEW that life here in this garden of reality, would be filled also with thorns and weeds. He never said, "I love you, so nothing difficult will happen to you." Being in this sin-sick world guarantees us difficulties. Yet God promises to be WITH us in the midst of it all. His love is showered on us each step of the way - to guide us to the other side (YES, there is the other side) and to empower us to keep going until we reach it.
My prayer for us is this:
…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge…. Ephesians 17 & 18.
'Reflections of God's Glory' copyright 2011 by Dawn Ulmer email@example.com
Please feel free to share.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
If you own a camera, do you take full advantage of all of its features? If you use a sewing machine, do you take time to learn to use its capabilities? How about your computer - do you explore the various applications so you can use them to the fullest? When you take an antibiotic, do you take it to irradiate the germs totally?
Most of us don't realize the benefits, features, capabilities and power available to us - not only in our physical world but in the vast spiritual world where God is God.
Just as using cameras, phones and computers requires that we must discover and avail ourselves of what is offered, we need to discover and avail ourselves of what God Himself offers us: eternal life, wisdom to walk the path He has given us, discernment along the way, knowledge, love for ourselves and for the unlovable, peace in times of chaos, joy which can be deep inside no matter the circumstances, His kindness when we most need it, His goodness in a world full of things which don't look so good, His gentleness when the world is rough on us and His self control when all in our lives seem out of control. He wants us to be full of power - His power.
I was reminded of this concept of being POWER FULL as I was taking an antibiotic for an abscessed tooth this past week. The antibiotic should have been powerful enough to kill the germs to promote healing. However, as days went by, it was apparent that is wasn't working…. The dentist discovered that a weak dosage of antibiotic had been prescribed, thus causing extended suffering and little healing. If I had been able to avail myself of ALL of the power needed, there would have been a different outcome. Instead, I limped along, struggling.
How do we discover and take full advantage of what God offers us? It's as simple as asking Him for what we need. It is simply crying out for His help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, He delivered them from their distress.
Psalm 107: 6, 13, 19, 28 (Please read all of 107)
May I encourage you to study, discover and take full advantage of ALL God wants to offer you for this walk on earth. He did not intend that we should limp along but that we should allow His holy, victorious life to be lived out within and through us. Let's be POWER FULL!
Heavenly Father….HELP…in Jesus' Name. Amen.
'Reflections of God's Glory' copyright 2011 by Dawn Ulmer firstname.lastname@example.org