Free Online Canning Class

I’m sharing my e-newsletter from Melissa K Norris, as she is offering a valuable free class on canning:

Hey there,

It’s probably been on your to-do-list for a while… or you were planning on doing more of it than last year.

In light of current circumstances, you’re likely thinking about your food supply and pantry stock more than usual. It really wasn’t that long ago many families depended on what they grew and preserved to feed themselves but in just a few generations, this know-how has been forgotten or not practiced by most.

My grandmother raised a family through the Great-Depression and my father said if it weren’t for the food they canned in the summer, they would have gone hungry during the winter months.

But they didn’t, because my grandma spent her summer months canning.

I can well over 400+ jars a year for my family but this year, I’ve already purchased extra jars and plan on making sure every single jar is full by the end of the season. If I’m upping my game I know this means more of us than ever before need to put up our own food.

I also know many people don’t know how or don’t realize the info they’re getting in a Facebook group or from Aunt Ellie Suzy May isn’t safe (I know this because almost daily I get messages from people asking if the way they canned something was safe and many times I have to be the bearer of bad news and tell them no, it isn’t).

There’s also a myth the only way to put up that many jars of food are to spend hours a day slaving over the stove and there’s no way people who work have time to do it.

This is simply not true and good news, I’m going to be sharing my system for getting jars on the shelf the safe way for free in a LIVE training this week!

Specifically, this Wednesday, April 29th, at 1 pm Pacific I’m teaching a FREE live class giving you my best tips on home canning including:

      • the essential supply list (you don’t need as much equipment as you think)

      • my system for making sure we have the staple home-canned goods we need to create meals for my family without spending a TON of time canning (and how to customize it for your kitchen).

      • what you MUST know in order to stay safe with canning

      • my TOP home-canned items to help create the most versatile meals

      • BONUS: how to can jams and jellies WITHOUT store-bought pectin

Register for the FREE canning class:

https://melissaknorris.lpages.co/canning-webinar-april-2020/.

Gardening and Bugs

Is your garden in yet? Too soon? Wherever you are in the gardening continuum, there is always something more to learn.

One of my favorite people to follow is Chris from Joybilee Farms. She shares very useful and interesting information. In her post, https://joybileefarm.com/companion-planting-herbs/, she discusses natural gardening and how to keep destructive bugs out. She not only provides natural solutions to existing bug issues, but also offers companion planting ideas with plants that attract the bugs that eat the bugs you want to keep away.

Rx Drugs Linked to Alzheimers

On Dr Josh Axe’s website, Alyssa Lowery presents an interesting article about popular prescription drugs and their links to Alzheimers. Even better, she outlines natural alternatives to these drugs. See the full article here: https://draxe.com/health/drugs-linked-to-dementia/.

She begins: “Any time you take a medication, weighing the risks and benefits of the drug is a must. And now we must ask ourselves, ‘Is this one of the drugs linked to dementia and memory loss?’ Emerging research is finding disturbing connections between anticholinergic drugs and negative brain effects. This drug class includes popular medications used for allergies, seasickness and sleep, including diphenhydramine, dimenhydrinate and others.”

Medications she spotlights are:

  • incontinence drugs
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic painkillers
  • anti-seizure medications
  • Parkinson’s medications
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • antipsychotic drugs
  • allergy medications
  • motion sickness medications
  • (mention to anxiety and insomnia drugs)

She ends with, “While you shouldn’t stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor, it’s worth a conversation to see if your medications include anticholinergic drugs linked to dementia. If they are, inquire about possible alternative options with fewer serious side effects, including natural remedies.”

See the full article here: https://draxe.com/health/drugs-linked-to-dementia/.

Recipe Friday: Black Drawing Salve

RecipeFridayBlackDrawingSalve

This stuff just looks like it means business. And it does.

Black salve is a drawing salve that draws impurities like bites and splinters out of the skin. Apply it to a splinter or a boil, bandage the affected skin.
Applied over a bite or sting, it can draw out the irritation. If you see a stinger embedded, you can scrape it out first, then apply the salve.
A light splinter could move to the surface of the skin in a few hours. Deep slivers may need the salve reapplied.
Be careful when stirring it, and when applying it: you don’t want it on clothing or bedding, etc. Once applied, wrap with a cloth or bandage. It can be re-applied as often as needed.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil OR shea butter or cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal *

Directions

Melt the olive oil, coconut oil, and beeswax together. Once it is fully melted, remove from the heat and carefully stir in the charcoal. The charcoal tends to fly so you’ll want to be gentle in the stirring. Continue stirring while the mixture cools and thickens. Transfer to a salve tin. Label and date.

This mixture will keep for at least a year.

* 1 tablespoon activated charcoal = 8 – 10 260mg capsules

Faces and Facets of Pride

FacesAndFacetsOfPrideimage from google

When I think of pride, I often visualize a long-robed Pharisee, parading along as his followers fawn adoringly in his presence. He’s soaking up the attention, loving the power he has over others as they hang on his every word. He goes home at night, fully satisfied within himself that he is not only right, but righteous; and everyone else is executing their proper diligence to bow before his every utterance and whim.

Oh, thank goodness I’m not like that, right?

Right???

…   …

Some would not agree with me. Sometimes I don’t agree with me.

Oh, I might think I’m pretty good at hiding how smug I feel at being right all most of the time. But I wonder how surprised I would be if I could peek into others’ thoughts once in a while.

That’s a scary scenario.

1 Corinthians 13.1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Pride: any time we think our way is better than God’s. Pride consists of the desire to control our world, of wanting things to happen our way, whether we think what is “right” should happen or not. Pride puts our own selves above God, instead of recognizing His rightful place on the throne of all. In essence, pride is wanting to be god. Pride can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some of them look really nice. (Of course, Satan can appear to us as an angel of light: 2 Corinthians 11.14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.)

Let us consider some of the faces and facets of pride. (NOTE: I do not want, in any way, to minimize or diminish results from traumatic experiences people have gone through. Sometimes really bad things happen. The following list of facets of pride is presented to help those of us who recognize it in ourselves, and who desire to confess before God and be right with Him.)

Fear (being afraid): The Bible is full of admonitions to “fear not.” It is a command, yet we fear. God understands. But fear is a lack of trust in what God is going to allow, a lack of trust in God’s consuming love for us. Jesus did not fear. Even when he sweat drops of blood, it was not driven by fear; He was dreading what was to come, certainly. Fear is a form of pride because we resort to it instead of trusting God.

Matthew 8.23-27 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Here, Jesus tells us that we need not fear, even death itself. Our lives and our time of death are in God’s hands. Wherever we are on our timeline, we are in God’s hands. 1 John 4.18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We have only one thing to fear, and that is being separated eternally from God: Luke 12.5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Worry: Worry is highly related to fear, but we often call on worry as a lesser variety of fear. Again, worry stems from a desire that things would work out the way we think they should. And worry is not good for our physical, mental, or spiritual health, nor the health of those around us. If you are worried, please give it to God and let Him take care of the situation and you.

Insecurity: A cousin to fear and worry, insecurity arises when our circumstances are not peaceful enough for our comfort, when we feel we don’t have enough of something (safety, food, money, character, looks). Then we worry, or become fearful. Realize that God supplies all our needs, all the time. God may not view our needs the same way we do. In that case, we must revise our perspective. Another facet of insecurity is feeling like we’re not good enough (i.e., not enough of the kind of character we think we need). In this instance, to what are we comparing ourselves? More to the point, WHY are we comparing ourselves? And how is that affecting our relationship with God and with others? You are created in the image of God Himself. You are good enough, and God loves and cares for you, just as He loves and cares for everyone He created. If we start to think of serving other people instead of how we think others are looking at us, we will become more profitable servants of God.

Envy: Whether we want something that others have, or we don’t want others to have something, envy is a form of pride. We want to have it all, and we want to look better than others. Whether it’s looks, material possessions, comfort, love, respect, or other things, God supplies ALL our needs. Everyone has differing needs, and God supplies each according to need. Look to God, not to others.

Secrecy: John 3.20, 21 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. We keep secrets when we want to control the outcome. Secrets are kept in the dark until we decide which light should shine on them. (Understand, I differentiate between secrets and pleasant surprises.) Whether we keep a secret sin or we keep a secret truth that would hurt our relationships, God’s truth is in the light, and we must operate in the light. What we strive to keep in the darkness is something that we wish to keep from God. But God knows, anyway. Don’t let secrets fester. Confess and make reparations first with God, and then with others.

Shyness: Being shy is not cute, it is pride. Shyness is when we consider our own feelings above others’ feelings. Shyness, when coddled, can easily morph into a phobia. Shy is not correlational to humble. A Godly, humble person will hold friendly and frank relationships with others, and not turn away from those whom God puts in their path.

Lies: When we lie it is a grasp for control. Center on this crucial truth: we cannot control others; we can only control our own selves. When we lie, we tear down trust. Positive relationships are built on trust. Lies for “good” reasons are still lies. We may think we’re protecting someone (ourselves or another person) by telling a “white” lie; or we may think that we sway another person’s perspective when we lie. The control is not ours. God is always in control. And lying is a sin; when you lie, “ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32.23).

Gossip: Some gossip is outright lying. Some gossip is conveyance of truth, but done for the wrong reasons. What is the line between sharing prayer concerns, and gossip? Don’t be searching your own heart (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17.9). Ask God to search your heart (Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139.23, 24)

Haughty look: Haughty eyes and a proud heart – the guides of the wicked – are sin. (Proverbs 21.4) The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. (Luke 11.34) Sometimes our hearts leak out of our eyes. If your heart is pure, your eyes will shine with that truth. If your heart is tainted, if your motives are impure, it shows in your eyes.

Boasting: This is probably the most conventional indication of pride. The hearer usually picks up on it before the speaker does. If you feel you’ve been boasting, ask forgiveness and let it go. If you feel the need to defend your humble heart, that goes back to desiring to control the perspectives of others. Let God defend you. Luke 14.11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Know-it-all: I confess right here my pride in this area. I love to learn about all manner of information. I am a first-born daughter, and I also love to share what I learn. My motives are to improve the lives of others, to be a blessing, but my pride gets in the way when I press past sharing and into efforts to convince. “I know this stuff, doggone it, and I want to help you! Just listen to me!” That’s control. I don’t have control over others, and my prayer is that I converse in love, and stop talking before I dig into my flesh for more words.

I’m right!: This one is kinsman to Know-it-all. This one says, “This is the right way to look at this, and you should think this way, too.” Or, it says, “I can’t even talk to you if you don’t agree with this.” Such an attitude not only cuts off communication, it puts you in a world all by yourself, and you run the risk of overblowing yourself. This can only lead to a deeper downfall. Be open to new ideas and new information. Filter everything through the Word of God, and allow Him to be your Discerner of Truth. When you know the truth, it is certainly good to share it (in love: Ephesians 4.15 But speaking the truth in love, (we) may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ); but not to force it.

Unforgiveness: Don’t fall into the sin of not forgiving someone because you think they don’t deserve it. God has much to say about forgiveness; most alarming to me is Matthew 6.14, 15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. If we have not forgiveness, then we have not the love of God in our hearts. No one else is better, or worse, than you are.

Because of me: You think that everything that happens is because of you: You assume someone has a bad attitude because they have something against you. It’s raining because you wanted to go on a picnic. Your friend broke up with his girlfriend and you think it’s because you didn’t like her enough. My dear, you don’t have that much power. Give it up. The world does not revolve around you. Let others feel the way they want to feel, and look the way they want to look, and act the way they want to act. You have no control over them. When you feel led, interact with others and let God do His work.

People-pleasing: There is a difference between being a servant and being a people-pleaser. Jesus was a Servant; He was not a people-pleaser. 1 Thessalonians 2.4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, the One examining our hearts. We are to be patient, kind, good, and gentle (Galatians 5.22, 23), but we are to please God, not people. We are not to speak or act in ways that try to manipulate others’ feelings toward ourselves or circumstances. We are to do right, in a loving way; and we let God deal with others’ feelings and attitudes.

Pride is an ugly thing. Sometimes we try to paint it, make it look pretty. But it never works in God’s eyes. Pray for God’s eyes (wisdom).

Now love may be manifest in a multitude of works and ways; but the heart of love is God, for God is love (1 John 4.16).

The obverse and antidote for pride is love. It looks like surrender and submission. It looks like Jesus.

Pilgrim’s Progress Movie

This animated version of The Pilgrim’s Progress is free online until April 30th You have to give your e-mail address to watch it.

Edited to note: After watching this movie, I must say it is NOT the same as the book. Of course, the book is always better. The script generally follows the storyline, and not nearly as much Scripture reference as the book. The movie adds additional characters, and some of them are very scary. Not recommended for young children or impressionable.

https://www.revelationmedia.com/watchpilgrims/.

Coronavirus Support Series from Dr Z

CRONASupportSeries

Dr Eric Zelinski has started an audio Coronavirus Support Series, which seem very helpful. The graphic, above, is from his e-mail support series.

The audio programs can be heard here: https://naturallivingfamily.com/coronavirus-support-series/.

If you want to subscribe via apple podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1504363155.

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/I2o4o63ugzirierq7ju7633i2q4.

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/coronavirus-support-series.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Osos3bMh5ni2MzCqFImYY.

Best of Essential Oils Revolution

Here is another health webinar, this one May 18 – 24. Eric Zelinski (the host) is kind of the “king” of essential oils, and there are many guest speakers whose names I recognize as experts in their fields.

It looks like there is a whole segment on Women’s Health issues; but the webinar is geared for anyone.

https://theessentialoilrevolution.com/.

Recipe Friday: Things to Do

Holy cow, is there a lot of stuff to do! Is anyone bored yet? Not me! I still don’t have enough time in the day to finish what I’d like to do.

Keeping your mind and body active is important for overall health.

Find productive things to do. There is almost nothing more frustrating and deflating than looking back at the end of the day and find you have wasted a bunch of time. And don’t think that, oh well, you’ve got plenty of time tomorrow. When we can go out again, don’t you want to be changed, renewed, more learned, more accomplished and more capable than when you went in? Don’t you want to be closer to family and friends?

Here are a few ideas on how to spend productive time:

Not-computer stuff:

Talk with each other. Like, have face-to-real-face conversations

Color (with a coloring book, or make your own)

Listen to the radio

Go outside:

  • go for a walk
  • bike ride
  • rollerskate or rollerblade
  • play corn hole or hopscotch or jacks or tag or Simon Says or Red Rover, or hide and seek.
  • Jump rope
  • play catch: baseball, softball, Frisbee, or kick a beach ball or dodgeball
  • Take a nature walk (this would be worth it, even if you have to drive to get there). Investigate as you go, breathe deeply the fresh air. If it’s warm, go barefoot.

Read books

Is your library open? Check out some how-to books, fiction, non-fiction. Learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to do: is it knitting or crocheting? Varnishing / refinishing? Cooking? Play chess? Play canasta?

Clean the house. It’s spring. Do spring cleaning.

  • Clear out the cobwebs and dust bunnies
  • Sweep / vacuum / mop all the floors (yes, move the furniture, and wipe/dust the furniture backs and sides)
  • Wipe down / dust all surfaces
  • Disinfect whatever needs it
  • Take stuff out of closets, fluff it up / wipe it off, clean the floors and shelves, put things away neatly
  • Take those area rugs and carpets out into the sunshine and shake or whack away.
  • Wipe off all your kitchen appliances.

While you’re cleaning, organize stuff. You’ve always wanted to do this; now you have the perfect opportunity. SO much to organize: closets, kitchen cupboards, the garage, the shed, the freezer, the downstairs pantry, bedrooms, drawers, books, clothing, collections. Clean as you go.

While you’re organizing, sift out what you don’t use any more. Collect items to bring to donation points (Salvation Army, Goodwill, second-hand stores, etc).

Can you start a garden yet? If not, maybe some inside plantings.

Play the piano, or other instrument.

Play board games and card games. Don’t know how? See library suggestion, above.

Cook great meals. Make it a family affair.

PRAY. Pray by yourself, pray with your spouse. Pray with your family. Pray with your friends over the telephone.

Write a play and act it out.

Get moving! Blow the dust off your exercise videos and DVDs.

Sit quietly and listen to some of those CDs that are sitting in the basement.

Meditate

Write:

  • Stories
  • Lessons for your children or others
  • Journaling
  • Letters (hand-written letters are such a blessing!)
    • Along this line, start a pen pal friendship. There are pen pal resources at the library or online.

Home projects. Hardware stores are still open. Fix that squeaky door. Repair the window screen. Replace that snarky outlet. Refinish or re-upholster your chairs.

Telephone your neighbors. Arrange a time for a neighborhood walk to wave at each other as you pass, or through windows.

Sidewalk chalk! Coordinate with neighbors, and have an art walk afterward.

Visit-at-a-distance:

  • Stand on the sidewalk as you chat with your neighbor
  • Drive over to a nursing home, assisted living, or friend or relative’s house. Bring a camp chair. Chat via phone, through the window, or stay outside as they speak through an open window or from a porch.

 

Computer stuff:

I just learned how to Zoom! I practiced with a couple of friends from church, and we are setting up prayer times. Zoom.us is the website. They have generous free options, in addition to paid options. Other video chat sites:

  • Google hangouts
  • Facebook messenger
  • Skype
  • Whatsapp
  • Facetime (for Apple users)

What to do in group video chats:

  • Chat
  • Pray
  • Bible study
  • Church service
  • Hymn sing (one person can hold up a hymnal to the screen for everyone to sing from)
  • Dinner party: everyone can cook the same thing, or different dishes. Chat while you prepare dinner “together,” then chat while you eat.
  • Watch the same movie and chat about it
  • Craft party: sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making
  • Have a group of talented people? Take turns teaching what you do best.

Take online classes from an accredited college or university. Always wanted to get that degree? Get that promotion? Change jobs? This is the perfect time to get the education you never had the time for.

https://www.mybluprint.com/ Bluprint is offering free classes until April 9th. They offer a LOT of stuff!

You can learn or watch just about anything on youtube. One I find interesting is cake decorating. Or look for essential oils, car repair and maintenance, making soap, baking, drawing, cut your hair, sing, sew, make your own sourdough starter, solve a Rubik’s cube, play the piano, figure out or find cool things on your smart phone or tablet…

Start or join an online book club to discuss books. Your local library is a good resource.

Learn how to play cards. Then turn off the computer and play cards. https://bicyclecards.com/rules/   If you don’t find the card game you want, just type how to play _____ in the web address line (i.e., how to play canasta) and you’ll get a stack of results. (The Bicycle site will likely be first.)

Listen to online sermons or educational talks:

Take educational tours:

Your local PBS stations have oodles of educational and informative online resources for adults and kids.

Get moving! Find dance and/or exercise videos. On youtube, search dance exercise workout.

Some of our local shops are going online with tutorials to go with products they sell. For example, paint-and-take shops and other crafts.

E-mail all your best friends. E-mail people who are kinda friends.

I’m sure all of you are brimming with great, creative ideas. Please share them with us!

Love Looks Like Death

LoveLooksLikeDeath

We don’t normally pair love and death, except to express love for those who have died. But consider God’s love. This is that love that died on the cross for our sins, so that we may have eternal life with God. This is that same love that comes to live within us, and causes us to die to self: die to our fleshly desires, die to our selfish wants, die to putting ourselves first. This is the same love that causes us to put to death the things we loved in our flesh, and instead take up those things that God loves.

John 12.24 – 26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

What needs to die in order for God to get our attention? What needs to die in order for us to commit to Him? What needs to die in order for God’s purposes to be fulfilled for His glory?

Many of us have long been praying for revival. Maybe this is what revival looks like.

Acts 26.18 God appointed Paul a minister To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

I see posts on the Internet about “When life returns to normal,” and “I can hardly wait to get back to normal.” I pray that life does NOT return to normal after this pandemic. Look at the garbage we allow into our homes through Internet and television. Look at the way we speak to and act toward one another. Many of the things we love need to die:

  • What do you watch on television?
  • Whose pockets are you filling with what you feed on? Think food (is it healthy?), Internet (is it edifying?), news sources (is it uplifting, truthful, and unbiased?), other media (does it feed you spiritually?): are you giving your money to Godly causes?
  • How do your words sound and look? If you eat your words, will they be sweet and/or nutritious?

God designed us, and knows best what brings us joy. His love, and sharing that love with others, is what brings true joy. We must kneel before God and accept that His way is best. We must accept that He will allow to die those things that are not glorifying to Him, or that He will use death to bring glory to Himself.

I encourage you to start with prayer and reading of God’s Word.

Isaiah 55.6 – 13 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

I hope you feel God’s call to prayer. If you do, I hope that you heed it. America, the world, must fall on its knees before Almighty God. We must humble ourselves. That means that we give up whatever we think is right and just and true, and that we take to heart His Word, His Truth. (Note: We must find out what are His Word and His Truth by reading the Bible.)

God moves through prayer. He doesn’t need our prayers. We need our prayers. God moves at His will, regardless of our obedience. But He also works through our prayers, in our own lives and the lives of others. One of the great mysteries of God is that He works through people.

Prayer does not “solve” our problems. Prayer lays our concerns before God and gives them to Him. Prayer accepts that God loves us and will do what He deems best in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Prayer places trust in God and God alone. Prayer strengthens us; through us, prayer strengthens others.

Isaiah 40.28, 29 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

I end with a quote by Elijah Lovejoy (1802 – 1837), an American Presbyterian minister, journalist, newspaper editor, and abolitionist: “If by compromise is meant that I should cease from my duty, I cannot make it. I fear God more than I fear man. Crush me if you will, but I shall die at my post.”

I pray I may be found at my post when God comes for me.