A Thanksgiving Invitation

Next week many of us will find ourselves welcomed into someone’s home to celebrate, give thanks and break bread together. Many of us will be welcoming others into our homes.

One of the early uses of the word welcome was to describe something pleasurable. From the Old English wilcuma “welcome!”—the exclamation of kindly greeting, and “welcome guest,” literally “one whose coming suits another’s will or wish”.

Continue reading “A Thanksgiving Invitation”

His Name Is…

 

November has blown in and out like falling leaves in an Autumn windstorm! December is upon us. Advent….the Arrival. The season we set aside to prepare our hearts and slow our souls and spirits down. So we can…Reflect. Rest. Renew. Rejoice in our Savior, Jesus. So often the impatient spirit in me wants things NOW! And as I reflect on how quickly the month has passed, it occurs to me that all the rushing and impatience of NOW causes me to miss the joy of the moment. Somewhat ironic. Continue reading “His Name Is…”

Time on the Porch

What do you have planned for this weekend? It’s amazing how stressful and busy the week after a long weekend can be for me. We had a house full over Labor Day and I loved it! Our children and grandchildren made their first visit to our new home. We’d spent the summer preparing to move, packing, scheduling, sorting, purging, moving, unpacking and getting our home ready. As enjoyable as our time with family was, I am ready for a little quiet this weekend. Our new home has this great side porch, and even though we’re smack dab in the middle of a suburban subdivision, it’s so quiet and peaceful…our own little retreat.

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This weekend, I’m going to sit a spell (that’s Southern for take a break, rest and make yourself comfortable). Have a cup of tea. Read a good book. Flip through my last two editions of Southern Living that I have yet to read. And spend some quiet time reading, studying and meditating in God’s Word. I need some one on one time with Jesus! I’ve also got a new book, Humility by Andrew Murray that I’m looking forward to diving into once I finish my current read.

What have you got planned for the weekend? Take time to sit a spell, breathe deeply and relax.

 

 

 

Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.—Psalm 23:1-3

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 11:28-39

Rejoicing in Him!

Susan

 

 

©September 2016, susancady.com

Are You Ready for SUMMER?

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Summer is the season in which we find ourselves looking forward to a little relaxation! It’s time for pool parties, longer days of sunlight, basking in the sunshine, sitting on the porch swing sipping lemonade, bare feet in the sand, ocean breezes, flip flops, ice cream, baseball, cookouts and picnics. We look forward to vacation and a bit of rest and relaxation before our year cranks back up with a calendar full of activities and demands on our schedules that can just drain us!

It’s easy to allow other things to press in and crowd out our time in God’s Word and in His presence each day. One of the greatest benefits of my walk of faith has been to study the attributes and names of God. God reveals Himself to us throughout the Scriptures so that we might know Him and experience the joy found in a relationship with Him. Years ago through a Precept Bible study, I was taught to mark and note any reference to a name or characteristic of God when reading Scripture. This has been an amazing practice in my life. In times of need or when I find it difficult to trust God in a particular circumstance, knowing who He is and calling to mind His names and attributes has grown my faith and changed my life. It transforms my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. The more I know God, the more I love Him and trust Him in even greater ways. I hope through this devotional study, you’ll come to know God and grow deeper in your relationship with Him.

Our guiding verse for this series is Psalm 113:3:

From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! —Psalm 113:3

Each week we’ll focus on a verse or passage of Scripture that speaks to an attribute or characteristic of God found in His Word (SOAK). Then we’ll spend time praising Him (SHINE). We’ll use the imagery found in the summer season to prompt us to praise God.

 

UPDATE: 

The Summer Soak Devotional series is no longer available on the blog. We’ve published! It is available in paperback or ebook through Amazon.

Copyright ©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com

Finding Balance and Rhythm in a Busy World

Are your body and soul out of sync?  Do you need to slow down so that your soul can catch up?  What can you to do restore balance in your life?  

Young lady standing with bicycle on a sea coast and enjoying sunset

There are a couple of words for time in the Bible that bear mentioning when we think about how we spend our days and hours.

“kairos” — time measured by events; special moments where life is experienced

“chronos” — time governed by the clock

Which would you say defines your life more? Personally, it’s easy for me to allow the clock and my tasks to define how I spend my time. I have trouble resting. I have trouble slowing down. Consequently, it often feels as if life is moving at lightening speed! I blink and another month or season is gone. What about you, does any of this resonate with you?

Jesus invites us to slow down. Take a look at the example he sets.

Jesus took time for rest. He withdrew to be alone. He prayed. 

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. -Mark 1:35

Jesus beckons us to come and find rest in His presence. 

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

Come! It’s an imperative in the passage. 

Take! Take His yoke which is easy and light. Learn to find rest in His presence. Begin to mark the moments of your days in “kairos” time more than “chronos” time.

Here are a few ways you can begin to restore balance to the rhythm of your life.

Learn to REST:

Re-evaluate – your schedule, your priorities and your relationships. Is there something you need to say “no” to?

Energize – take time to rest, be still, renew your mind, guard what you take in, exercise, eat right.

Seek – spend time with God. Read and meditate upon His Word and pray about your day, your tasks and your time commitments.

Tell – give thanks and practice praise. Gratitude and praise change our perspective and our attitude. Practicing gratitude calms our mind, souls and spirit, and fills us with peace and contentment.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. —Ecclesiastes 3:1

Would you be willing to entrust your time to Your Creator? 

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. —Colossians 1:16-17

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Focused Forward

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of spending a few days with my daughter-in-law and son after the birth of their second child, a precious baby boy —Charles Walker.  His big sister, Emma, has a WHOLE 14 months on him!  Needless to say, my daughter-in-law has her hands full. She and my son were definitely sleep deprived and in need of some strength. And with no immediate relief in the future (and least for the next few years). Quite frankly, by the time I left to head home, I was pretty sapped myself. How easy it is to forget the energy it takes to care for two little ones under the age of 14 months. Grandmama loved every minute of my time spent with Emma and Charles, and helping to cook and clean, but I was worn out! But I also knew rest and a quiet house were in my future.

Sometimes life is like that —it just saps our strength. In times like these it’s hard to think beyond the moment (and that can be a good thing, but that’s for another post). There are times when life gets so full and busy that it feels as if things are swirling around us like a tornado. Perhaps you’re in a situation where you’re in need of a break! Just a few hours of sleep, an energy boost, just something to give you a little more strength. Emotions take over and you’re on that roller coaster. Perhaps you find yourself weighed down and weary by an ongoing situation in life, one that just won’t seem to quit. You’re having trouble moving forward, you’re stuck in a rut, and came seem to find your way out. This will definitely sap your strength and steal your joy! Let’s spend some time today in Psalm 84. There are some great lessons we can glean from this passage when our strength is sapped and we find ourselves stuck—unable to move forward! Continue reading “Focused Forward”

Stressed!?! Find Rest

We are a society that has become weary for lack of rest. We can relate to the psalmist who says, “I am weary with my sighing” (Ps 6:6). Weary can mean faint, having nothing more to give, ready to collapse. Do these words describe you? Are you weary emotionally, physically or spiritually?

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Too often our “to do” lists are longer than the hours in our day. If you are like me, much of the time, I create my own stress. I say “yes” when I should say “no” to a task or request. I fail to take time to pause and just be in the Lord’s presence; instead I fill my days and hours and the result is exhausting. Many times I create stress by taking on tomorrow’s worries today. I let my mind wander and worry. But God created rest. God desires we find rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 speaks to us about learning to find rest in the midst of our stress:

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.

Come – deute – an imperative — come hither! come here! come! come now! —from a root word meaning urging and calling, here! come!

Rest – anapauoto cause or permit one to cease from movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength; to give rest, to refresh; to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation, an intermission.

Jesus beckons us to come to him to find rest. I love how the original word for “come” is so emphatic. It’s like he is saying, NOW! Not later, not if you feel like it, not when you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, but NOW! The rest He desires to give us is a pause to recover our strength, a quiet and calming of our souls. The great thing about learning to rest in Christ is that it can be done in the midst of whatever we have going on in our day.

Three ways I’ve discovered I can find rest instead of experiencing stress:

Continue reading “Stressed!?! Find Rest”