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Special Offers and a Freebie to Celebrate My New Book!

“30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents” officially launches one week from today! We are so excited about this new devotional for caregivers we want to pass along the excitement with a couple of special offers and a free printable!

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents:

Are you struggling to navigate the parent/child role reversal? 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents, explores God’s Word to find hope and encouragement for the wide range of physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual challenges the adult child caregiver may experience. Each of the 30 devotions – which can also serve as a guide for a daily quiet time – includes a Scripture passage, a real-life illustration, biblical commentary/application, and questions for reflection.

Free Sample: Read the first 5 days of devotion!

Pre-order Specials

The book officially releases on May 21st, but you can preorder now. And there are benefits in pre-ordering!

Benefit #1: 30% the retail price!

New Hope Publishers is offering 30% off all preorders on their website through May 20th. Just click the “30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents” pre-order button and use “preorder18” for the coupon code.

Benefit #2: Free Prayer Card Printable!

Each devotional in the book ends with a prayer prompt. I’ve used some of these prayers to created a sheet of 10 prayer cards for caregivers. Offer applies to preorders from anywhere – New Hope Publishers, Amazon, CBD, Barnes&Noble, etc. Just email me at kathy@kathyhoward.org with your proof of purchase and I’ll email you the pdf!

Prayer cards

Bulk Order Offer

Are you connected with a caregivers or dementia support group? New Hope Publishers is also offering a 40% off retail discount and free shipping on bulk orders for ministry groups. (Bulk order is any order over a case of 36 books.) Email me if you are interested.

Spiritual Encouragement and Refreshment for Caregivers

My prayer is that God will use this new resource to give spiritual encouragement and refreshment to those who care for their aging or ill parents. What is your prayer for yourself or others you know that are caregivers?

 

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Are you a Caregiver for an Aging or Ill Parent?

Caring for Aging Parents

If you are a caregiver for an aging or ill parent, check out this new resource and enter for a chance to win a copy of upcoming devotional book “30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents!”

My husband and I skipped right over the empty-nest stage. The summer our last child left for college, my 80-year-old father-in-law arrived. One young birdie flew out and one old birdie flew in.

For a season, I was helping both my husband with his father and making regular trips to care for my own parents who lived four hours away. I desperately wanted to do it all right, but the responsibilities felt heavy, draining.

Many of you are there now – overwhelmed with the needs of your parents. Burdened with the responsibility of caring for them.

No one prepared us for this!

Yet, here we are, struggling to navigate the family role-reversal. The parents, who cared for us, now need our care.

We truly want to excel at this God-given task, but it challenges us at every turn. Many days it demands more than we feel we have to give.  Physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion are constant companions.

Encouragement for the Caregiver Available Soon!

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents will be released May 21st! The idea for this devotional book flowed from my own need and life experience. My caregiving journey was still fairly new when I realized I needed a regular flow of spiritual encouragement and refreshment to keep going strong. While many resources exist that provide practical tips and help caregivers navigate the healthcare labyrinth, not many speak directly to our soul needs.

Caring for Aging ParentsWhether you care for your parent full-time, part-time, or share the responsibilities with a sibling or professional caregiver, this book is for you.  30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents goes to the Bible to find hope and encouragement for those caring for aging or ill parents. This daily devotional combines Scripture, biblical insight, life experience, reflection questions, and prayer prompts to help you rest in God’s grace and rely on His strength during this challenging season of life. (

Will You Help Spread the Encouragement?

Do you need some encouragement as you care for your parents? Maybe you know others who need encouragement too? I would be honored if you would help me spread the news about 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents. Here are a few ways you can find out more and share info about the book with others.

You can enter the drawing up to 3 times! In order for each time to be counted, please make a separate comment for each entry (Note: If you are reading this in an email, click through to the blog post to comment.):

  1. Preorder a copy of the book and leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  2. Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and leave a comments letting me know you’ve done it.
  3. Leave a comment answering the following question:

In your experience, what has been the most challenging aspect of caring for your ill or aging parent?

 

 

 

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A Christmas Devotional for You and Your Family

Christmas is just four days away. I hope we will all get a chance to take a break from the busy holiday preparations to prepare our hearts to celebrate our Savior. The following Christmas devotional can help us do just that. Use it alone in your quiet time or use it with your family. Some of my favorite Christmas ornaments inspired these thoughts. If you’d like, gather a few of your own Christmas ornaments to add a hands-on element to your Christmas devotional! (Christmas devotional in PDF for your use!)

The real reason we celebrate Christmas can easily be lost in our culture’s version of the holiday. But, many of the ornaments we use to decorate our trees and homes today remind us of the real Christmas story.

Christmas Devotional

The Christmas Angels

God’s messengers played a vital role in our Savior’s birth. The angels did not take God’s good news to kings or rulers or religious leaders. Instead, these mighty messengers visited the humble. The lowly. Those willing to hear, to believe, to receive.

The angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary and gave a greeting that would change her life forever:

“Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Read Luke 2:29-38 for the whole encounter.)

Gabriel also visited Joseph, the carpenter betrothed to Mary:

“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” (Read Matthew 1:18-25 for the whole encounter.)

On the night Jesus was born, an angel of the Lord also appeared to shepherds in the fields surrounding Bethlehem:

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord!” (Read Luke 2:1-20 for the whole encounter.)

Question for reflection: How would you have reacted to the angel? Would you have run in fear? Listened with skepticism? Or humbly and joyfully accepted God’s great news about our Savior? 

The Christmas Star

Stars at Christmas remind us that God longs for us to know Jesus. The Christmas star appeared to magi in the east and led them far away to Bethlehem so they would find the baby King.

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. …The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” (Read Matthew 2:1-12 for their story.)

But the star also reminds us of Jesus Himself, the bright, morning star who lights our hearts.

Time of Thanksgiving: Thank God for the guidance He gives to bring you to Himself. And thank Him for Jesus, the true and eternal Light.

The Christmas Crown

The crown reminds us that Jesus – that tiny babe born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago – is our glorious, eternal Lord and King.

Centuries before Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah foretold His eternal reign:

“Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (Isaiah 9:7)

The magi from the east endured that long journey for one reason – to worship the King:

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star when it rose and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:3).

Yet many failed to acknowledge Jesus as the divine, eternal King. Thirty-three years later, when He was arrested, beaten, and condemned to die, the Roman soldiers ironically mocked Him:

“And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and put a reed in His right hand. And kneeling before Him, they mocked Him saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!'” (Matthew 27:28-30).

But God’s truth, will, and purposes prevail. Jesus was, is, and will always be our King eternal!

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever’” (Revelation 11:15)

Time to worship the King eternal! Alone or with your family, sing a favorite carol, hymn, or praise song that acknowledges Jesus as King!

Here is this Christmas Devotional in PDF format for easy printing!

I pray that you and your family have a joyful Christmas and a year ahead experiencing the glory of Jesus our King!

  • You and your family might also enjoy this Christmas Trivia Quiz! Find out how well you know the real Christmas story! 
  • If joy is hard to find this Christmas, you may be encouraged by this post, Messy Christmas
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Less Than Perfect Christmas

Christmas often comes with high expectations. We think everything has to be just so. Perfect decorations. Perfect family. Perfect gifts. Perfect meal. Perfect Christmas.

Our culture perpetuates this fantasy. In the dozens of made-for-TV Christmas movies, the girl always finds her soul mate, the estranged father is always reunited with his family, the boy always gets the puppy, and the table is always laden with beautiful food (which must have been made by Christmas elves because you don’t see anyone slaving away for hours in the kitchen).

Christmas

But here’s the problem with high expectations: many of us will be disappointed. Life will never be perfect – not even at Christmas. Maybe especially at Christmas. The arrival of December 25th does not magically heal broken relationships or ease the pain of loss or pay the bills.

In fact, Christmas tends to magnify any grief, anxiety, and sadness we feel because we compare our imperfect, messy lives to that unrealistic perfect image. When our lives don’t measure up, we lose hope. Without hope, Christmas becomes a time we have to get through instead of a joyful celebration.

Here’s the good news: Real hope for Christmas is not in a golden turkey or a new iPad or a happy family gathered around a gorgeous tree. Real hope is in a babe in a manger. God come to earth to be with us. Immanuel.

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us… In Him was life and that life was the light of men… We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God.  John 1:4, 12, 14

This life is messy and will be messy until Jesus comes back for His children. While we wait, we will encounter trials, pain, death, sickness, divorce, heartache and more. However, in the middle of all our mess we can find strength, joy, and peace in the Savior. The birth of that one tiny baby long ago provides hope – for this life and eternity.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

Are you facing a less than perfect Christmas this year? Does your life feel especially messy? Lay it all at the manger. Find your Christmas joy and peace in the Child of Christmas. In your Savior.

Are you struggling with a messy life this Christmas season? Share a thought about the hope, joy, and peace you can find in Christ!

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4 Christmas Gifts from Jesus

One of our family’s Christmas traditions has been to read the biblical Christmas story together on Christmas Eve. We read those chapters from Matthew and Luke about the angels, the shepherds, the star, the magi, and the infant Christ born in a stable in Bethlehem. These beloved passages are so dear and familiar I can recite huge chunks of them from memory.

But did you know there is also a Christmas account in John’s Gospel?

Christmas gifts

John gives us a different perspective. He didn’t write about the earthly circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. Instead, John’s account is more of a heavenly perspective. He wrote about the eternal, divine nature of Jesus the Word and His purpose in coming to earth.

4 Christmas Gifts from Jesus to You

If you have time, read John 1:1-14 now. Or read it tonight with your family. As you read, look for the 4 things Jesus brought to the earth with His first coming. They are His Christmas gifts to us.

  1. Life – In his Gospel, John uses the Greek word zoe, translated as “life,” 36 times! True life – eternal, spiritual life – is in Jesus. He embodies life (John 1:4). He alone can give life (John 5:24-26; John 11:25-26). And He came to earth to bring it to us (John 3:16).
  2. Light – This world and everyone in it is dead and dying without Jesus. We stumble around in the darkness and can’t find our way to God. Jesus came to light the way to God (John 1:4-5). Many claim to know the way, but Jesus is the “true light” that gives light to everyone (John 1:9).
  3. Grace – Jesus came from the Father to bring us grace (John 1:14). Jesus’s death on the cross is the ultimate act of grace. Our sin separates us from God and we cannot save ourselves. But Jesus’ death paid the penalty our sins deserve. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus and His death and resurrection we receive God’s gracious gift of salvation (John 3:16-17).
  4. Truth – Jesus came to bring us God’s truth (John 1:14). During His time on earth He testified to the truth of God (John 18:37). Many reject it. Many cling to the world’s “truth.” But only Jesus gives us God’s truth (John 3:31-36).

You may receive gifts this Christmas that cost a lot of money. But none compare to the 4 gifts Jesus longs to give. Open them up. Embrace them. Share them.

May God abundantly bless you with His life, light, grace, and truth this Christmas.

 

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3 Reasons to Thank God When You Don’t Feel Blessed

ThanksgivingIn 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November to be a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” For over 150 years, Americans – and people around the world – thank God for His many blessings on Thanksgiving.

What if you don’t feel blessed? What if you’re in the midst of some trial or difficulty or heartache right now? Can you still join in the Thanksgiving celebration with joy or will you just be going through the motions?

The writer of Psalm 118 knew trouble. His life had not been easy. He had been betrayed and attacked. And he had felt caught in a hopeless and dangerous situation with no way out.

But in the middle of those trials, he also experienced God’s personal intervention on his behalf. In Psalm 118:8-14, the psalmist testifies to God’s deliverance and expresses his gratitude. In this passage, we find 3 reasons to thank God when we face times of trouble:

  1. God is our refuge – When storms are raging all around us, we can always find safety in God’s presence. He is our shelter from the storm. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Other people may not be fully trustworthy, but God can always be trusted. Other people may not always be dependable, but we can depend on God in any and every situation. Like the psalmist, when we’re in the midst of trouble, let’s thank God that He is our refuge. When we hide ourselves in Him, He will be our shelter!
  2. God is our protector – When people and circumstances fight against us, we do not have to wonder or worry about victory. God Himself goes with His people and fights for them (Deuteronomy 30:3-4). When the psalmist was surrounded and swarmed by his enemies, victory came through the name of the LORD. Do you ever feel “swarmed by enemies?” Call on the name of the LORD. Thank Him that He is your protector!
  3. God is our strength – “The LORD is my strength, and my song; He has become my salvation” (Psalm 118:14). God saves! He will deliver us through trouble with the strength of His might. He is our reason to sing, so let us lift a song of praise and thanksgiving to the God who is our strength!

God is our refuge, our protector, and our strength! If you can name no other blessings in your life today, you can thank God for these. Let’s thank Him today, especially in the midst of trouble.

How else can you thank God today? Express your gratitude in the comment section.

 

 

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23 Days of Thanksgiving

We have reason to thank God every moment of every day of every month. Really, every day should be “Thanksgiving.” But sometimes we simply forget. Or get too busy. Or we allow all our “asking” to push out gratitude.

Yet, giving thanks to God is both a command and a privilege. He commands us to praise Him. And thanksgiving ushers us into His presence.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

Will you join me in purposefully thanking God during the days leading up to Thanksgiving? I have put together a 23-day guide to help prompt our daily thanksgiving from November 1st through Thanksgiving Day.

Use this guide to prompt specific reasons to thank God for what He provides and how He works in your life and the world. The day’s Scripture passage can be read before you pray or as part of your prayer. Pray quietly by yourself, with your family, or both!

The days, prayer prompts, and Scripture are listed below. But for portability, here’s an printable PDF version! 

I know there are many, many more things we can thank God for. Please feel free to add to this list by leaving it in the comments!

DAY

THANK GOD FOR…

SCRIPTURE TO PRAY

Nov 1 Physical life – your body, mind, and ability to relate to your creator. You were made in God’s image! Psalm 139:13-16
Nov 2 Salvation – Christ’s death & resurrection, God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace Ephesians 2:1-10
Nov 3 Your spiritual gifts, skills, & life experiences 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Nov 4 That God chooses to use you for His purposes Ephesians 2:8-10
Nov 5 God’s physical provision – home, food, clothing, job Matthew 6:25-34
Nov 6 Your intellect & creativity – the ability to think, respond, build, and plan Exodus 35:30-35; 36:1
Nov 7 Family – thank Him for specific people and the part they play in your life and in God’s purposes for you Genesis 2:21-24;

Psalm 68:6, 127:3-5

Nov 8 Friends – thank Him for specific people and the unique ways God uses them in your life Proverbs 17:17; 27:6,9
Nov 9 Laughter – Life is full of God’s good gifts to us. This is one! Proverbs 17:22
Nov 10 Spiritual protection – The Spirit within you is far greater than the enemy 1 John 4:2-4
Nov 11 God’s constant presence with you and the comfort, guidance, strength, and power His presence gives John 14:15-21
Nov 12 God’s creation with all its beauty and wonder Psalm 19:1-4
Nov 13 Provision from God’s earth – water, oxygen, light, energy, food Psalm 147:7-9
Nov 14 Your senses – the ability to hear, smell, see, and touch Proverbs 20:12
Nov 15 The Bible – God’s revelation of Himself to us! 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Nov 16 Prayer – the privilege of communicating with God Matthew 6:6-15
Nov 17 The church – you are a part of God’s family  Romans 12:4-8
Nov 18 Christian pastors, teachers, and ministers – be specific Ephesians 4:11-13
Nov 19 Your country – one way God chooses to protect His people Romans 13:1-7
Nov 20 Your trials & struggles – God uses them to shape you into the image of Jesus 1 Peter 1:6-7
Nov 21 Music, your voice, and the ability to praise God Psalm 149:1-5
Nov 22 The boundaries God established for us protecting us from the consequences of wandering away from His good will Deuteronomy 4:39-40
Nov 23 God’s unfailing love – even when we are not aware of it, God faithfully loves us and acts in love towards us Rom 5:6-8; Ps 63:4
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I am Clueless

Have you ever been wronged by someone who had no idea she had done anything? It may have been hurtful words or inconsiderate actions. But she was completely clueless. It’s happened to me. And I know without a doubt that I’ve done it to others as well.

I read a Psalm recently during my quiet time that I’ve read dozens of times. However, this time God showed me something I had not really noticed before.

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. Ps 19:12-13

At first read, it’s easy to understand “hidden faults” as those things we do we don’t want others to know about. The things we do in the dark, hide from others. But the surrounding statements shed a bit of light. David realized that he was not capable of even recognizing all the ways he sinned against our high and lofty God.

Let’s read it again from the New Living Translation:

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. Psalm 19:12-13, NLT

Sometimes I sin against God and don’t even realize it. My sinful heart keeps me from being able to recognize the depth of my transgression against our holy God. I’m clueless. My sin nature blinds me to my own sin.

The psalmist, David, asked God to forgive him for the sin he was not even aware he had committed. Then he asked God to protect him from yielding to blatant temptation. David longed to be blameless – innocent in thought, attitude, and deed. And not in just the things that people would notice. David wanted to be innocent in the eyes of his holy God. Wow!

God has brought me back to these verses several times in the last week. Do you think He’s trying to tell me something? Every time, my prayer has been David’s prayer:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps 19:14 

Are you brave enough to ask God to reveal your hidden faults?

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5 Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged

When was the last time you felt discouraged? Maybe it’s today. Perhaps you face difficult circumstances or everything just seems to be going wrong. You don’t have to give in to discouragement.

The Apostle Paul had plenty of reason to be discouraged. Daily, he endured hardship, danger, pain, suffering, and uncertainty. More than once he looked death in the face. Yet he claimed to not only be content and at peace in any and every circumstance, Paul even rejoiced!

No matter the concern or difficult situation, Paul was at peace. Whether fed or hungry, he was content. Whether in need or in plenty, he was satisfied. In every event and every season, Paul chose to rejoice. Seems impossible, doesn’t it? What was Paul’s secret?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:4-13

Paul purposefully developed an active trust and confident dependence on Christ’s provision and power. Paul took every small need, big need, and in-between need to God in prayer. Peace filled Paul because he chose to trust that God would provide. He did not allow his mind to dwell on the “what ifs.”

Paul experienced contentment in every difficult circumstance or physical need by relying on the strengthening power of Christ working within him. He found total sufficiency in trusting Jesus. And Paul could rejoice because he depended on God’s gracious provision.

We can also experience peace, contentment, and joy when we follow Paul’s example. Here are a few practical tips to get us started:

  1. Take every concern and need to God in prayer.
  2. Choose to trust Him with the answer.
  3. Discipline our thoughts. Focus on God’s provision and not the “what ifs.”
  4. Ask Jesus to strengthen us in times of discontentment. Then rely on His strength.
  5. Choose joy over discouragement.

Bury these marvelous truths in your heart, then share them with others. Jesus is far greater than our need. His power mightily overshadows our discouragement.

What one thing discourages you the most today? What truth from God’s Word today speaks encouragement to you?

 

 

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Are You “Blessed?”

Today’s devotional thought was written by Kimberly Texidor, minister, Bible teacher, and leader of the Facebook group “Soul Tired: A Walk 90-Day Walk through the Psalms for the Weary Traveler.”   (It’s not too late to join in!) This devotional is based on Psalm 1:1-3.

We just met “Harvey.” My family and I live and minister in the Houston area where we hurricane Harvey recently left devastating flooding in its wake. As the community mobilized to help with the cleanup process, there was an urgent need for what they call “mudding out” homes. It is as gross, smelly, and difficult as it sounds, but the work is vital to the survival of the property. 

As I scrolled through social media one afternoon, I came across a photo of a family’s soggy, ruined possessions tossed onto the street along with sheetrock, carpet, insulation, and a lifetime of memories. On the top of the pile lay a cutout sign that probably once adorned their mantle. It simply read #Blessed. 

I have to admit, I’m often perplexed by this “blessed” movement. So often the hash tag comes alongside photos of smiling families, cute children, new cars, or luxury vacations. What does it really mean to have a “blessed” life? What am I actually telling someone at the grocery store or coffee shop when I tell him to have a “blessed” day?

What does it mean to be “blessed?”

For the Psalmist, this “blessed” life was more than a collection of stuff or a season when everything goes according to plan. In the original language, this word is literally translated “happy”. This kind of blessed life is a deep-running happiness that endures outside of circumstances, seasons, floods, or feelings. 

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3, NIV

What can we learn from Psalm 1 about this “happy” life? First, the text says this abiding happiness comes from a disassociation with the wicked and an attachment to God and His Word. (vv1-3). This happy person recognizes the sneaky nature of evil that would cause a follower of God to first walk, then stand, then take up a seat and sit with influences that bring harm to our souls. 

Second, this blessed person is consciously and consistently spending time in and meditating on God’s Word. In a changing, uncertain, storm-ravaged life, the blessed person chooses to focus on God’s eternal promises rather than temporary circumstances. As Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

How Can I have a Blessed Life?

The truth is, if I base my happiness on the people, influences, or stuff in my life, where will I be if it all blows away? If I build a life on unhealthy relationships and decisions, will I feel happy when I see my own face in the mirror? To use the illustration of Jesus, if I’m building an entire life on a castle made of sand, who will I be when it falls? (Matt. 7:24-27)

But we can build a different life, a blessed life, even a happy life. We can build a life based on God’s Word and on living connected to Him. This person, according to Psalm 1, will be a stable, steady, well-fed, blessed person, through all the storms and seasons of life.

Apply these Blessed Truths:

  • Would I describe my life today as “blessed”? Do I base my feelings of blessedness on people, things, circumstances, or something else?
  • Are there unhealthy people or influences in my life that are causing me to walk, stand, or pull up a seat and sit in places where a child of God doesn’t belong? 
  • What commitment do I need to make in regards to meditating on God’s Word?

It’s not too late to join the “Soul Tired” community! There you will find the 90-day reading plan for the Psalms, daily devotionals and lots of discussion in a loving community!

 

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