NEW MERCIES

Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Depression is real for so many people it cannot be ignored. Reading Lamentations helps me to remember how to deal with it. Have you ever been through something and came away feeling cynical, bitter, or depressed? I have. Cynical is an attitude of pessimism, skepticism, or suspicion. Bitterness is harshness, being tart, or just sour. While depressed is dejected, miserable, unhappy, or disheartened. Christian, how can God work through you when you’re like that? How do you get over those purpose-stealing feelings? Remember mercy. The Lord’s unfailing love gives out immeasurable mercy.

God of Promises... Always faithful to his word

God of Promises… Always Faithful

Jeremiah was an Old Testament prophet and he admitted to being depressed for a while. We don’t want to feel like aliens taken to a foreign land like the Jews Jeremiah was lamenting over. Life hasn’t always been easy but God has shown mercy. Great is his faithfulness. We must superimpose an attitude of mercy, love, or hope to uplift others, and point them to the supernatural nature of a merciful God. MERCY is goodness, loving-kindness, faithfulness or just plain favor. When I am down heartened for any reason, I must seek my God of hope from inside me. Thank you, Jeremiah.

Depression is real and reading Lamentations helped me to remember how to deal with it. Things you hold inside can eat you up and produce depression. Be aware of how you hold things inside, especially if you’re mad at God. Jeremiah was transparent about his feelings. In Lamentations 3:17 he acknowledged God as supreme. Nothing could happen without God’s awareness of it. So, he said that God had removed peace from his very soul.  He had been deprived of peace to the point that he forgot what prosperity looked and felt like. In verse 18 Jeremiah said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD. Perished means that it passed away; it died. He felt like there was no hope, no expectation from the Lord God.

Then, in verses 19-20, we come across his remembrance of several things, his affliction and his misery. He personally noted suffering and hardship. He considered unhappiness and depression. On another note, Jeremiah considered the wormwood. Wormwood is like a curse and he was bitter about it. He considered the gall, which is also bitter. But, gall is venomous and poisonous, too. Then he said that his soul still remembered. Inside himself, his soul was humbled. If you don’t humble yourself before the Lord, your feelings will eat you up!

What does God have to let you endure for you to become humble? Whatever your current circumstances, they could be worse. Don’t be or become skeptical, cynical, or bitter. Don’t ever get so down about your circumstances that your very soul cannot remember or that you deny God’s presence. Remember your soul’s connection to God. The heart of who you are is your soul. You are not doomed.

God let our fore fathers and mothers go before us to show us. He gave us their shoulders to stand on. On whose shoulders do you stand? I am Barbara Arlene Fields Brehon and I am every person in my family, those gone on and still living. Honor your heritage; cherish the memories, the struggles, and the triumphs. Someone will benefit from watching how you overcome your “stuff”.

Jeremiah remembers a connection with God down to the core of his being, despite his laundry list of woes. It humbled him. Sometimes God has to cut us down so that all we have left is our connection to him. We must work through our issues. Ask God, “What are you doing? What lesson do you want me to learn? Show me what you want me to know and do.” God will show you what you’re made of. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14).

Jeremiah reconnected his mind and soul in verse 21. He is no longer hopeless. 22 He realizes in his mind and to the very core of his being that God’s mercies saved THEM from perishing. He is no longer focused on himself; he becomes inclusive of his people. 22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed. He realizes that God does not just have mercy, but that it’s plural, mercies. Like those Jews, we will not be destroyed because God’s compassions never fail. It is an awesome thing to have holy confidence like that. Sometimes God will give us another chance to reconnect to him as author, finisher, and faithful to all his promises.

When issues make you feel downcast, remember them AND the compassion of a loving Lord. Get over those purpose-stealing feelings by praying the words of his Word:

“Lord, you said that your compassions fail not. That lets me know, Lord, that you have compassion in the plural. So, I’m coming back to you, Lord, because I need your compassion on my predicament. I was wrong and I have suffered for it, but you love me and you still have compassion. You said that your compassion is new every morning, Lord. Your faithfulness is great. I can get up every day, Lord with hope in your mercies.”

God can do anything but fail. In all things, give God praise. Pray the words of his Word. Verse 24 says the Lord is my territory, my portion. That’s why I will hope in him, wait for him and I renew my expectations in him. When you are going through something, HOW do you wait on the Lord? Do you let your soul rest in him for deliverance? Or, do you take it upon yourself?

We get into all kinds of stuff. But, Jesus can intercede for us. He might not bail us out, but he’ll be with us even in the middle of our mess, our cynicism, our bitterness and usher us through our depression.

Don’t forget that God still gives out mercies that you cannot measure. The songwriter penned, morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed, his hand provided. Great is his faithfulness to me.

God will not only show you a rainbow, but sometimes a double rainbow, a reminder that God keeps his promises.

Point to Ponder: Mercy, what do you think?

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor.

www.barbaraafbrehon.com

Shepherding and Civic Responsibility

Whatever concerns the sheep of a pastor’s flock must concern that pastor. Know what is going on in the lives of those unto whom you minister. Attend public forums, civic board and council meetings. Pay attention to the agenda. Listen to concerns and the responses given.

sheepAnd, most of all position yourself to prayerfully hear the voice of the Lord. What is the Spirit of God telling you to do and/or say about what you know is going on around you? Were you planted where you are for such a time as this?

Find out for yourself how to more effectively shepherd the sheep of your pasture.

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Hear us, our God…Do not cover up their guilt… So we rebuilt the wall… for the people worked with all their heart.” Nehemiah 4:3-6

Stand tall for what is right in the sight of the Lord you serve.

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor. www.barbaraafbrehon.com

Still Growing…

2014 Still Growing...1

1 Peter 2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The Lord has been so kind to me and I think I owe it to him to keep growing closer to him. I want to know more about how to please him and I know I have to keep searching his word. I cannot get enough of it. I want to grow and I want to help others to grow, too.

Since my teen years, I began to realize I liked watching things grow, plants and caterpillars. I wanted to see them turn into butterflies, just watch the process. I liked to propagate from leaf and stem cuttings, but not so much from seeds. I got so much joy from the nurturing process, just watching things grow. Who knew that years later the same desires and joys would be the crux of my ministry to others in the name of Jesus?

The Lord knew what he was doing even before I was created in my mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart (I sanctified you; I consecrated you) and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.

Psalm 139:13 … you created my inmost being (formed my inward parts); you knit me together (wove me) in my mother’s womb.

2014 Still Growing...2This past week as I was watering house plants, I mused over the bloom of my snake plant. I had taken the first picture a few months ago and look at the growth in a few months. I was feeling wonderful. My mother nurtured this snake plant when I was growing up. The first time I saw it blossom was last year. The smaller plant grew from a little piece given to me by my dear friend, Barbara Grace; I’ve nurtured it since the 1970’s. I’ve rooted a piece for her daughter to have. My mother and Barbara have been resting in the bosom of Jesus for quite a while now… just thinking about how patient God is with me. Am I growing and blossoming in the soil I’m in?

2 Peter 3:17 …beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

…and so I want to worship the Lord and get as close as I can to where he wants me to be and doing what he wants me to do. I don’t ever want to stop growing closer to him and I want others to want to know him, too. And so I sit with him and walk with him and talk with him and then I just sit some more. Listening. Being. Enjoying. Basking in his love. Who knew that watering flowers would conjure up these thoughts? The Lord, who knew before I was even born! I want to remain FAVORED BY THE FATHER.

And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor. www.barbaraafbrehon.com

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Grow until you’re

rooted and grounded

like this mighty oak.