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No Rest for the Weary—or Is There?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

“Get plenty of rest,” they say as they pump my body full of steroids. Personally, I don’t see how the nurses can keep a straight face while doing so. Anyone who’s been on steroids knows rest is NOT part of the package. Those meds wire you, make you think you can run a marathon—and win without any training.

They also give you Benadryl, which does make you sleepy. Perhaps that’s how the nurses are capable of wearing that straight-faced mask.

Regardless, upon returning home after treatment, I’m fall-asleep-on-my-feet tired. I lie down on the couch with the intentions of sleeping off the effects of the meds. My legs, arms, and mind suddenly kick into high energy mode. I get up. I walk into another room and want to fall asleep on my feet again. So the war between Benadryl and the steroids begins.

Unfortunately, I don’t get enough energy to actually accomplish anything…just enough to stay awake into the wee-hours of the night. I toss and turn until I can no longer lie in bed. I retreat to the living room and, stretching out on the recliner, open the Bible. I read for an hour or so before the steroids concede defeat. When I wake a short time later, I dodder drowsily back to my bed. The steroids seize the opportunity to regain their control. Then I remember Jesus promised to give me rest if I come to Him. Then I pray. He’s faithful. I sleep.

How about you? What motivates you to claim Jesus’ promises?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

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When God Puts Us in Time Out

 

When my daughters became annoyingly overactive, it told me they needed rest … a nap … TIMEOUT. Or maybe I’m the one who needed the break. Regardless, the correction slowed them down, gave them a new perspective on their surroundings, and usually, offered time to come up with a quieter or more productive activity.

Come sit on my deck and enjoy the weather.

As adults, we become overactive with life, rushing here and there, always busy doing, never resting. Occasionally, the Lord says, “Enough. I’m putting you in timeout.” At least that’s how it feels on snowy days like today. The most of Central Pennsylvania has come to a halt. Schools are cancelled. Businesses are shutdown. Few cars are on the road. It’s so quiet. We have time to think, time to reevaluate our lives, time to commune with our Creator. Sometimes, He just wants us to stop and reflect on His goodness.

When the roads are cleared, it’s business as usual. But we feel refreshed, ready to face the hectic life we’ve grown accustomed to. And we realize how much we needed to listen to our Father, to set at His feet and be comforted … to be still and know that He is God (Psalms 46:10).

How about you? How has the storm affected you?

Follow Me!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Follow Me!

Follow Me!

Follow me on Facebook. Those words have become commonplace in our society. When we meet someone, whether an old acquaintance or a new friend, our departing words are often follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Good Reads or a half-dozen other social media sites. Social media has gotten so big, businesses entice us to follow them by offering discounts on their products if not free merchandise.

To some Jesus’ call to “Follow Me” sounds as inviting as following a business on Facebook. He offers rest (Matthew 11:28), the light of life (John 8:12), and peace (John 14:27). Ah, yes, let’s rush over to His page and click the follow button before the offer expires. We accept the deal with great expectations of a life of ease. We treat Jesus’ call the same way we treat 99% of the people we follow on social media. Sure we read His posts … occasionally … when Bible verses pop up on Twitter … if it’s a convenient time. We even like and share Scripture on Facebook, along with those catchy little sayings that make our spirits say, “Yes and amen.”

That’s all fine and good—except when we get right down to it

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Next week:

We’ll look at breaking with the past. Please prepare by studying Ephesians 4:17-32.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Rest

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Rest, Dream, Refresh

Rest, Dream, Refresh

There are mornings I get up, read my Bible, and pray. Then there are mornings I get up, read my Bible, and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. I seem to sleep well enough. But when I read, my eyes become tired and before I know it, I’m snoozing rather than praying. The phenomenon of sleep doesn’t restrict itself to morning devotion time. It overpowers me in mid-afternoon or evening without warning. I’ll be writing on a project or chatting with one of my daughters on Facebook … next thing I’m aware of … an hour later … my daughter’s message: Mom. MOM. Did you fall asleep again?

I remind myself of two of my great-aunts who were talking on the phone until one no longer answered the other. This caused a rift between the sisters. Apparently the one who continued the conversation thought the other one had hung up on her. The problem resolved itself, however, when the talker went to her sister’s home to give her a piece of her mind face-to-face and found her sister fast asleep still clutching the phone. True story. No kidding.

Obviously my ability to fall asleep during inopportune times is inherited. But I’m still perplexed by it, especially when I think about sleeping over one-third of my life away. It seems like such a waste of precious time. And I’ve become more painfully aware of the precious, fleeting minutes of my life the older I get.

Yet, God, in His infinite wisdom, programmed us to need rest.

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Next time, we look at the gift of promise. In preparation, please read and think about 2 Peter chapter 3.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

The Gift of Perseverance

Advent 2014

Day 24

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

During my darkest hours of oppression, I learned the meaning of perseverance. Through my thoughts, the enemy tore at the very core of my faith, my purpose, and my self-worth. At first, I had no control over the negative input. He hammered me continuously with all the wrong I’d done throughout my life. He told me I was unlovable and worthless. But somehow within that flood of lies, the Lord spoke the truth. He said He loved me with an everlasting love; with loving kindness He had drawn me to Him (Jeremiah 31:3). The Lord said He had plans for me and would give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He told me the truth would set me free (John 8:32). And it did. However …

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Tomorrow, we’ll consider the gift of amazement. Prepare by reading and meditating on John 20:11-18.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Prayer

Advent 2014

Day 19

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

The Gift of Prayer

The Gift of Prayer

I enjoy having my devotion time first thing in the morning. Yes, the day does seem to go better when started with time alone with the Lord. However, I also stand guilty—if I don’t take time first thing, I don’t find time later in the day. It just doesn’t happen. Too many other things, time-consuming things get in the way. I’d like to also mention that my mind is more alert after a good night’s sleep. But that’s not the case either. When I pray, I find my meditation drifts into slumber. I occasionally reread a Scripture passage five times before I get to the end of it. I often read aloud just to keep from dozing off. So, when I read the passage about the disciples falling asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, I get it…BIG TIME!

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Tomorrow, we’ll ponder the Gift of Surrender. Prepare by reading and meditation on Matthew 26:47-55.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Journey

Advent 2014

Day 5

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him was expecting a child. (Luke 2:4-5)

Joseph's SongSo Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him was expecting a child. (Luke 2:4-5)
I enjoy traveling, especially when someone else does the driving. Being a passenger is far less stressful. I like to watch the scenery, wonder where everyone is headed, and track our progress on a roadmap … when I’m not sleeping that is. Riding in a car makes me drowsy. I can nod off coming home from getting groceries. So most trips for me are pleasurable and restful.
How pleasurable and restful do you think Mary’s trip to Bethlehem was? I enjoy traveling, especially when someone else does the driving. Being a passenger is far less stressful. I like to watch the scenery, wonder where everyone is headed, and track our progress on a roadmap … when I’m not sleeping that is. Riding in a car makes me drowsy. I can nod off coming home from getting groceries. So most trips for me are pleasurable and restful.

How pleasurable and restful do you think Mary’s trip to Bethlehem was?

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Tomorrow, we’ll travel to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph. You can prepare for the journey by reading and mediating on Luke 2:8-20.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda

P. S. I didn’t forget about the painting. Today’s meditation didn’t render itself well as part of the painting for this week. I’ll add something tomorrow. Blessings.