Friends Are Important

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:”. Amos‬ ‭8:11‬ ‭KJV

God’s Word has always been important to me, and IT is the the foundation I depend on for strength and guidance. The evil in our world is all around us, and it can be difficult to see because Satan makes it so enticing. The truth is the more dedicated we are — the more determined and creative he is in his pursuit of us The more we suffer, struggle, and stress out – the happier he is.

True Friends are the ones who stay by our side when the party is over, when trash covers the tables and everyone else is packing up to go home and when the excitement has stopped, and the chattering of conversation has turned to silence. They are the ones who stay and ask if they can help. They are the ones who are there when there is no fun to be had, only work to be done. They are not living to be the life of the party, but simply to be a part of our life.

They are the ones who are by our side when everyone else has forgotten. They are the ones who are there when everyone else has gotten tired of our crying. They are the ones who let us grieve, and hold our hand while we mourn. They are there through the rough, and the tough, and the waiting until we can get back up and walk and be ourselves again. They stay and celebrate and clap when we win and stand at the finish line to give us a hug because they genuinely want good for us. They are with us through those major life events, when things get turned upside-down, when there is no easy fix, when all we.need is one friend to understand. They are with us through losing, winning, and all the times in-between. They are with us when we are on top of the mountain, and when we are stumbling through the valley.

They stay and praise when we are in victory-phase, and give grace and forgive when we fall flat on our face.
They push us to be better than the person we were yesterday. They encourage us to shine brighter, and love harder. They tell us the truth when everyone else does not have the courage to give it to us straight. They believe the best and are with us through the worst, because they know after every storm God sends a rainbow and sunshine. In reality, I have just described “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”

Please pray for me, as I am praying for you! Until next time, Hester

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Living for Jesus

November 24, 2021

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalms 28:7 NIV

Sometimes I wonder how people who don’t know Jesus as their personal Savior can make it through the day. He IS my constant companion. Even though I have been experiencing health issues for the last few years, I am and always will be thankful for His Love, Mercy, and Grace! My desire is to serve God, My Heavenly Father, and to be more like Jesus until I get to Heaven.

Reading and studying the Bible fills my heart and life with joy and happiness. The more time I spend in God’s Presence is less time for Satan to be able to cause chaos and stress in my life. It is interesting to me that my heart and mind hungers for more of God’s Presence!

Dear Jesus, You hear our cry, every worry, every concern. Thank you that You are the One who sees us, knows us, and leads us beside still waters. Our world is chaos right now, screaming here, yelling there, bullying in our schools and in our society, and we have lost our center. Be that center that we revolve around. Be that rock that anchors us to the truth that there is nothing to fear as long as we are embraced and established by YOU.

So many of our children, young people, and even many adults are experiencing bullying like never before! Lord, it is causing feelings of hopelessness and insecurity for them. At times, they think there is absolutely no way out but to end their own lives. Thank You that You are bigger than governments, politicians, crime, evil, trafficking, lies, bullying, and anything the enemy of our souls uses to destroy us. Instead let us become lighthearted and joyful because You simply love us, help us to be content in knowing that we do not have to micromanage our lives and the lives of others to find joy. Losing control willingly and surrendering to You will bring us so much more peace. Help us to recognize those things we grab at to make ourselves feel better or more alive, and remind us that they do not ultimately fill us. Instead You fill us, Lord. Renew us Give us Your perspective on this crazy world we live in temporarily. Please teach us to say YES to what You are calling us to do, no matter how silly or insignificant or how profound and scary the obedience is. Make us brave and dependent on YOU and only YOU. Thank you that we know You are the solution and we can depend on You because YOU will bring peace to those who are suffering.
Amen

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Precious Memories

“but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭KJV‬

Over the past few weeks, I have learned of the deaths of four of my classmates I graduated with from high school. There were around 115 in our class, and we were like a large family. We were a really close and caring class. At our class reunion, we were reminiscing about the wonderful friendships we had shared. It reminded me that time is precious and should be spent wisely. Our time spent in God’s Word is valuable and necessary to our growth in our walk with God. I would like to share a poem I think is truly a blessing and excellent advice

Each Moment Is Precious by Pat A. Fleming

Live in the moment,
Just take it all in.
Pay attention to everything,
Right there and right then.

Don’t let your mind wander
To what’s coming next.
Cherish this moment
And give it your best.

Don’t let tomorrow
Make you rush through today,
Or too many great moments
Will just go to waste.

And the person you’re with,
In that moment you share,
Give them all of your focus;
Be totally there.

Laugh till it hurts,
Let the tears drop.
Fill up each moment
With all that you’ve got.

Don’t miss the details;
The lesson is there.
Don’t get complacent;
Stay sharp and aware.

It can take but a moment
To change your life’s path.
And once it ticks by,
There is no going back.

In just 60 seconds,
You may make a new friend.
Find your true love,
Or see a life start or end.

You become who you are
In those moments you live.
And the growth’s not in taking
But in how much you give.

Life is just moments,
So precious and few.
Whether valued or squandered,
It’s all up to you!

Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you for the protection, love, and mercy that you offer to us. Please hold on to us with a firm loving grip as we continue on our journey here on earth. Help us to be more like Jesus and and help us treasure our time with you Lead us and guide us to spend the precious time You give us wisely and in ways that glorify You Amen

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Loss Can Bring Joy

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

During the last few weeks, I have learned of the deaths of four of my classmates who graduated with me. When we are young, most of us do not encounter death very often. Personally, I have to admit I have never been scared of dying. When I was nine years old, my baby brother who was two and a half years old was hit by a truck and killed. My mother witnessed the accident, and it was extremely traumatic for our entire family. When my parents explained about his death, they did it with love and not in a frightening manner. As a result, it truly prepared me for the many, many deaths I would encounter during my life. The sadness and grief that accompany death is expected, and each individual must deal with it in their own way and time.

The more I study the Bible and read about the violence that has been a part of our history, the more I wonder why God has allowed our continued lack of obedience. He is our Heavenly Father, our Dad! Most of the fathers (dads) I know would not have been as patient, loving, and giving, and forgiveness would be another difficult situation. He Forgives and Forgets our disobedience and our sins. All we have to do is repent and try harder to be more like Jesus. When we give our hearts and lives to God, we become His Children, and we can go to Him just as we go to our earthly dad, father, daddy.

I love to talk to God. I, also, love for Him to talk to me. I have always believed that voice in my heart is God’s Voice. I had to learn to listen to Him. I can truthfully say, if I don’t listen to His Guidance and warnings, the price I will have to pay is more than I want to have to confront.

As a result of the accident which caused my brother’s death, I learned to treasure relationships and friendships. I truly try to put others first. I pray every day that all my family members and friends know Jesus as their Savior and God as their Heavenly Father. I believe He smiles when I am talking to Him and call him Daddy.

Please pray for me as I am praying for you! God Loves You, and I do, too.

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God’s Will for You and Me

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Although we spend a lot of time shaming ourselves for sinful choices we have made in our past, that is not God’s will for us. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, our guilt was erased, and the shame was washed away with His blood. We do not have to continue feeling guilt for what we have done or beat ourselves up for feeling worthless. When we continue to do that, we are giving into Satan’s desire to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us.

We need to rejoice and be glad because we have been given the gift of being completely cleared of guilt. Instead of wanting to sin more, we can experience more grace and change our entire life so that our hearts sing for Jesus and are full of praise and gratitude, and new actions will spring from a clean heart. We can be honest with others about our own tendencies because Jesus modeled honesty and truth when He walked this earth. We do not have to be afraid of being exposed because Jesus was without sin and took our punishment upon Himself and set us free. Jesus loved us so much that He laid down His unblemished life for us.

When I accepted Christ as my savior, I knew I was giving my life to him. I have made many mistakes as I have been making this journey, however, God is always with me and forgives my sins. I imagine Him shaking His Head and whispering, “Keep on the path. You can do this!”

Throughout our lives, we suffer many losses, but our joy is on its way! Our reward will be abundant blessings when we meet our Heavenly Father FACE to FACE.

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God’s Love and Discipline

“For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; Even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

God must have felt so torn as His “chosen” sons and daughters wandered into new lands and continued to break His Commandments. He wanted to protect them and reminded them to stand firm and follow His Plan for them. We do not understand why bad things happen to good people. It seems as though the harder we try, the more trouble follows us and bombards us. We were never promised that following Jesus would be easy. In fact, we are told that it will be difficult because Satan wants us to fail.

I love my children and grandchildren so much, and God loves them more than I do. That amount of love is an unimaginable quantity. I have never been a good disciplinarian. I always thought love and talking could solve situations. However, sometimes the situation needs a firmer approach. As we read God’s Word, we are disturbed by the violence and wars that happen over and over. However, we have to realize that discipline has to be taught to everyone, and it is necessary in order for people to exist in our world.

Looking back over the years, I realize that everything that has happened in my life, (the good, the bad, and the ugly) made me who I am today. I have been able to help others who faced similar situations, and I am able to understand and witness to others because I have been there. I know God Loves me and you, and that is the most important thing!

Please pray for me, as I am praying for you.

Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you for the protection, presence, and mercy that you offer to us. Please hold on with a firm loving grip to us as we continue on our journey. Help us to be more like Jesus! Amen!

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Faith Over Fear

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Lately, every where I turn, I have been experiencing news, events, and reasons to be afraid. Sermons about “the End Times” seem to be flooding social media. Descriptions of what will be happening are abundantly given. However, Our Heavenly Father has already told us HE IS The WINNER!!!

We have the truth in God’s Holy Word. The Price we pay for Following Jesus is not an easy path. HE gave HIS LIFE for ME and YOU, and He never committed a sin. What more proof do we need? FAITH over FEAR! Our Heavenly Father is always with us! I am praying for all God’s children to abundantly be blessed!

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God’s Grace

What is Grace? Grace is when God gives you what you need, not what you deserve. Grace is when God says, “I am going to take your problem and make it my problem.” Grace is God’s Riches given to us at Christ’s Expense. Grace is what we should be offering to others instead of criticism and blame for everything that occurs in our society!

It amazes me how many people have nothing better to do than to criticize everything that is written, said, or done! What does it even mean to have a personal opinion without someone jumping down your throat and trying to persuade you that their opinion is better or the only right opinion? That is unheard of today. It frightens me to think what we are modeling and teaching our youth today. They are learning that if you say something long enough and loudly enough it will be true! It does not even matter whether it is really true at all. Respect for educators, law enforcement, and even for family is almost a lost practice! Respect for a person’s own identity and rights is being replaced with the idea that, “I am owed!” “I don’t have to do anything to earn anything because the fact that I AM means anything I want is mine!”

We make every problem in our society about politics. The sad thing is when all those politicians are long gone, our world will be left with lots of broken relationships, hurt feelings, and memories of protesting that brought anger and ruin to our society and influenced our children in many ways we really did not expect. All it teaches them is to scream loudly and get what you want. What has happened to honor, respect, and innocence? If enough people proclaim loudly enough for long enough, you are guilty! It does not matter what the evidence points to or how innocent you are.

We are in dire need of change! Education doesn’t necessarily make us intelligent! How we use our education determines how intelligent our society is. Each of us needs to determine if we want to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Personally, I want to be part of the solution. Most of the time, I try to keep my opinions to myself, and I try to listen to all sides of situations! Sometimes, I suffer from “foot in mouth disease” and speak when I need to just listen. The thought I try to keep in mind is will what I have to say really make a difference, is it necessary, and most of all, “What Would Jesus Do?”

As it is written:

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs‬ ‭15:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If we follow God’s Plan and Jesus’s Example, we can make a difference in our homes, communities, schools, society, and even our government!

Please pray for me, as I am praying for you.

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Answered Prayers

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

My Heavenly Father is ALIVE and in control. He answers prayers! Sometimes we get weary and even wonder if HE hears our prayers. Through the years, I have been the recipient of numerous answered prayers and many blessings. I regret that I have not kept a prayer journal because it would be amazing to see them written. I cannot mention all of them, but God has truly been busy answering my prayers. Recently He performed a miracle in my daughter Heather’s life. He brought her back to life not just once but twice in a short period of time.

For close to seven years, I have dealt with a pain which has depressed me and kept me from doing things I needed and really wanted to do. Praying for some relief was basically what I did after exhausting all efforts like medications, doctors, tests, and research. One morning, I posted a message on Facebook requesting prayer. I am in awe of the number of replies I received. God WAS Listening just like He always does. We do not always get immediate answers. In HIS Time, He answers. Sometimes, the answer is not now, no, or wait! I am telling you now I have been pain free for a week. Glory to God! What an Awesome Heavenly Father! Take all your worries, needs, concerns, and praises to GOD.

If you prayed for me, thank you! If you need prayer, please let me know, and you can be assured I WILL pray for you.

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What Does God Really Want from Us?

“We love him, because he first loved us.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:27‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Have you ever thought about what God really wants from us? The heart of religion is worship, and the heart of worship is sacrifice. God wants us to give our hearts to Him. Our Heavenly Father Loves unconditionally and provides us everything we could ever need. He wants us to worship Him by sacrificing “self.” He wants us to love one another as He first loved us.

It is absolutely amazing how much God loves us, and HE extends His LOVE to His enemies, too! He told us in the New American Standard Version of the Bible, 541 times. In the Gospel of John, love is mentioned 57 times. I believe GOD Wants us to forgive, forget, and, follow HIS example!

One of the most heartwarming things we can do is to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. If you want to make a difference in the world, look for ways to help others. Whenever you have time and energy, try to give your dear ones emotional support, love, and care. Who is your biggest supporter in life? Have you thanked him/her recently? It only takes a moment to be kind and does not cost anything but the effort. Everyone likes a pat on the back, a hug, or even a smile or an “atta boy/girl”!

I know it is extremely difficult to have a forgiving heart towards someone who has hurt you. When I am feeling unforgiving, I remember Jesus’s Words,

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:34‬ ‭KJV‬‬

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