Be A Simon

By:  Betty Predmore

Do you ever feel burdened? Do you ever feel as if you are bearing those burdens alone? God did not design us to carry our burdens alone. He wants us to share our burdens with Him, so that He can walk alongside us, carrying the load. I am reminded of the teenage boy who wants to walk the girl home from school. He carries her books because it is the “expected” thing to do. That’s how it is with God. We are walking the journey side by side, yet He expects to carry our load.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
He also places others in our lives that can help carry our burdens. Often it is our family and those special friends that He gives us for just the right circumstance. Perhaps it is someone who has already walked the journey you are now on, and can share some wisdom with you. In Galatians 6:2 we are told this…”Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” This is clearly part of our obedience to Christ…to help take the heavy load from others.
Christ himself needed someone to help him carry his burden while he lived in the flesh on this earth. Think of Simon of Cyrene. This man was pulled from the crowd to help Jesus carry the cross on his journey to crucifixion at Calvary. Jesus, so weak from the beating and torture he had already endured, fell down numerous times on the road to Calvary. That cross was a heavy burden he was carrying, and he needed the assistance of Simon to make it to the end of his journey. “As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.” Matthew 27:32. The bible doesn’t say that Jesus made any comment to Simon, but I have to believe that he appreciated some help with that heavy load.
Are we doing enough for others? Are we sharing their heavy load to make their road traveled just a little easier? Are we being obedient to Christ? My prayer today is that we make a sincere effort to look around us and take note of those who seem to have a heavy burden. Look for someone who might be stumbling like Jesus was on that fateful day. Do something to make their burden a little lighter. Join someone on their journey, bearing some of the load for them. Be a Simon….be a difference maker!

So Little Time

By:  Betty Predmore
I am often amazed at the passing of time. Although it seems that some days drag on and bedtime takes forever to get here, it is amazing how quickly our days come and go. My children think “old age” is far, far from now, and that they have all the time in the world to “do this”, “go there”, “be that”. I try to share my wisdom with them and let them know that time is fleeting, like sands through the hourglass, and every day needs to be embraced and used to its fullest potential.
It is incredulous to me to think that my 30-year class reunion is this year. It is somewhat puzzling to recall that I have been on this earth almost half a century. Where did this time go? Did I make the best use of my time that I could? And what IS the best use of my time? I try to be a supportive wife and helper to my husband in his activities. This takes time. I try to be a good mom and stay active in the things that interest my children. This takes time. I make every attempt to be a loving daughter and invest in my parents and their needs. This takes time. I make every effort to be a supporter of my community by being involved. This takes time. I strive to be a supportive role model, friend, and spiritual leader. This takes time. I try to keep my house tidy, the laundry done, and the bills paid. This takes time. I try to make time for kisses, hugs, tickles, giggles, sweet laughter, and “I love you”. This takes time. We have all heard the old saying…”So much to do, so little time.”
Jesus had much less time on earth than I have had, and He had far more to accomplish. In his mere 33 years, he did more than any of us can do in a lifetime. He walked his message to thousands, sharing God’s Word and God’s love to all who would listen. He taught his disciples much on how to live and how to teach others to live. He preached to nations. He prayed for humanity. He offered his body as a living sacrifice so that we could have forgiveness of our sins, salvation, and eternal life with God the Father. He had so little time, yet He accomplished so much.
I don’t know how much time God will give me on this earth. I don’t know what experiences He has for me in the future. I only know that I am called to use my time here to be a supportive wife, to be a good mom, to care for my parents as long as I have them, to be a champion for the causes in my community, to be a supportive role model, friend, and spiritual leader. I am to make sure there is time for kisses, hugs, tickles, giggles, sweet laughter, and “I love you”. And most importantly, I am to make sure there is time for God, first and foremost. I am to allow him to direct my days and my time according to His will and purpose for my life. I am to share His love with others, and bring others hope of salvation and eternal life in the glorious heavens. I am to take my time…my so little time…and use it for the glory of the Almighty.

Labor of Love

By:  Betty Predmore

 

Several months ago, my family and I were perusing the shops in a local vacation spot and I came across the most beautiful rustic farm table. I fell in love with the table, but not the price. As I pointed out my beautiful find to my husband, he assured me that he could build one for me, even nicer than the one I was coveting at that moment.

My wonderful hubby made good on his promise. Hours turned into days, and days into weeks as he spent every spare minute crafting that table for me. Countless times he asked me to inspect this or decide on that. The amount of effort he put into making me the “table of my dreams” was a true labor of love. Because of the energy he put into that, I now have a visual reminder of my husband’s love for me that will last far beyond my time on this earth, and will be handed down through the many generations that will gather around it in the spirit of love, family, and fellowship.

When I think about the love and care that was put into making that table, it reminds me of the love and care that comes down from Heaven for us all. God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. What an incredible labor of love! Jesus loved us so much that he took the pain and shame of the cross for us, so that we could have the opportunity to be free from our sins. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 What an awesome labor of love!

That table is my husband’s handiwork, his beautiful creation built to fulfill a specific need. We are God’s handiwork, His beautiful creation, created for a specific purpose. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10. We are created to do good for others. We are created to share His love.

Daily our God is working in our lives. Daily He is making a way for us. Daily He provides us opportunities to serve Him, and to demonstrate His love to others. Daily He offers us forgiveness. Daily He desires for us to draw closer to Him. Daily He loves us. And just like my husband was willing to work hour upon hour, day after day, out of love for me, to give me something my heart desired, God is there hour upon hour, day after day, out of love for us, to give us our heart’s desires. His great labor of love is for all who are willing to trust and surrender to Him. Such love as His...there is none greater.

New Year…Same Vows

By: Betty Predmore
2015 is here! Another new year…another opportunity to resolve to “do this” or “be that”…another chance to succeed or fall short. We resolve to lose weight, get rid of our gray hair and wrinkles, exercise more, eat healthier, have more patience, make more money, have more friends…this list goes on and on.

At the beginning of 2014, I made the comment that I would not be making resolutions, I would be making vows. And as I think on this new year, I realize that not much has changed in my vows. They are much the same as last year…and though I haven’t achieved 100% success, I can say that I have continued to work on myself, my relationships, and my walk with Christ every single day. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” Philippians 2:12.

I still vow to be the most loving, understanding, and serving wife I can be, and to honor my husband and bring him nothing but goodness. My vow remains to be a loving, compassionate mother who bestows forgiveness when my children need it, rejoices with them in their triumphs, and wipes their tears in times of sorrow. I vow to be a daughter who honors and respects my parents, and gives from the depths of my heart to those who have raised me. I vow to be a sister that is more than a sister by blood, but also a sister of the heart who loves with no limits. My vow continues to be that I am a friend to all, and can share a smile, laugh, hug, or word of comfort, and share in the true blessing of friendship. My GREATEST vow is to love my Lord and Savior wholeheartedly, and to serve Him with a joyful and grateful heart. I want to glorify Him by using the gifts, talents, and resources He has provided to make a difference for others in this world. I want to make an impact on someone’s life in this new year, and help someone draw closer to Jesus. I want my life to be used for His good and perfect purpose. I want to DO SOMETHING for the Kingdom of God!!!

I have no way of knowing what life will bring me in 2015…. what joys and hurts will come into my life. None of us know what the future holds. What I DO know is that I am a precious child of God! YOU are a precious child of God! He has great plans for ALL of us! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. I look toward this new year with great expectation of what He has in store for me. My prayer today is that you, too, are looking forward to the rich blessings that are found in our sweet, sweet Lord, and that you receive all the riches He has for you! My hope is that His hand reaches down from Heaven to guide your steps. My sincere desire is that you seek His will for your life, and that you vow to live out that life with a passion to serve Him and share His word.

May 2015 be wonderful, may it bring you much joy, and may you live out this year with the comforting arms of Jesus wrapped tightly around you. To God be all Glory, Honor, and Praise

The Perfect Gift

By:  Betty Predmore

I had the most incredible experience recently! I was able to be in the delivery room as my niece gave birth to her precious baby girl. This was my first time to be present at the actual delivery of a baby, other than my own. It is an entirely different experience as a spectator. My niece was so incredibly strong throughout the process, and seeing that sweet baby come into this world was a wondrous experience that I will never forget.
It made me think back to what that night in Bethlehem must have been like. What a glorious night that must have been! How strong was Mary as she brought our Lord and Savior into the world? Did Joseph hold her hand and comfort her? Did he whisper reassuringly into her ear as she fought through the pain? Did that sweet baby Jesus enter this world with a loud cry or a soft whimper? This baby did not have the creature comforts of a hospital, for he was born in a stable. “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) Though this baby was born without the comfort and security of a hospital, He had something far greater. He had the Father in Heaven orchestrating his birth, and nothing could have been safer or more secure than that.
Just like my new little niece was a special gift to her family, baby Jesus was also a gift. He was a gift to this world! He was a promise of hope and salvation to all who accepted Him. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) He is the gift that continues to give throughout the ages…the incredible gift of eternity!
As I watched my niece snuggle with her newborn baby, I saw the love and the bond that had already formed. What a great love a parent has for a child. As mothers, we feel that there can be nothing quite like that love we feel for our children. It is such a special bond. This is a point that reminds me how great the love must be that our Father in Heaven has for us. That He would sacrifice his own child for us, for our sins. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) That is the definition of sacrifice. Why did He do this? His love for us is so great, his compassion so marvelous. He wished that all of us would have the opportunity for an eternal life in glory with Him through Christ Jesus. “ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17)
What a gift our salvation is! What an honor to be loved so much by the King of Kings! As we celebrate gift-giving during this Christmas season, let us not forget to give the greatest gift of all by sharing the love of Jesus with those who are lost. This can be done in so many ways…feeding the hungry, providing warm clothes and shelter, or buying gifts for the less fortunate. It can also be done by a smile, a kind word, a hug, and sharing the gospel. It doesn’t matter how you chose to do it, just do it. Share the love of Jesus….He is the perfect gift!

Thankful Every Day

 

By Betty Predmore

It is November…..the month we set aside each year for giving thanks. This is the time of year when we are supposed to take inventory of our blessings, to be appreciative of all we have been blessed with.

I am of the personal opinion that every month should be a time of Thanksgiving. Every day we should be taking inventory of the blessings that have been given to us and we should be forever grateful to our Father in Heaven who not only supplies all our needs, but also gives beyond measure.

Speaking for myself, I can say with all sincerity that God is a generous God. I marvel each day at the gifts He has poured out upon me and my family. James 1:17 says “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” I am so thankful for my husband, and my beautiful children, and my extended family. I am thankful for my home, which is a respite from the chaos of life. I am thankful for the laughter and giggles, the hugs and hand-holding, the boisterous conversations, and the quiet whispers. I am thankful the innocence of children and the memories of yesterdays. I am thankful for pets, sports, vacations, and rainy days. I am thankful for friendships and sisterhood, and accountability.

I am thankful for church family, my well-worn bible, and praise music. I am thankful for opportunities to serve, and the ability to put my thoughts on paper. I am thankful for others who work with diligence to serve and honor the Lord. I am thankful for prayers and times to “be still” in His presence. I am filled with gratitude for the Holy Spirit and the fact that He resides in my heart.

Most of all, I am thankful for Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that He took on my sins, though I am so undeserving. I am so appreciative of the blood He shed that day on Calvary, so that I can be forgiven time and time again. I am so grateful for my salvation, and the assuredness that I will spend my eternity is that beautiful forever called Heaven. I am so humbly thankful for His love.

I don’t need the calendar to say “November” in order to feel this gratitude. I don’t need a special day set aside to pronounce my thanks. I enjoy Thanksgiving…the food, the fellowship, the opportunity for service, and the opportunity to express my blessings. But I want to live a life that declares my gratitude to my Lord and Savior each and every day. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 tells me to ” rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I want to wake up each day and say, even on the tough days, “Thank you Lord for this life. Please help me to use it for Your glory!” I want those blessings to always be at the forefront of my mind, so that I never forget all I have to be thankful for. I want to ALWAYS remember to be thankful EVERY DAY!