"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Corinthians 12:9b

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Heart of a Man

“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.”
Psalm 25:21

A large amount of money was missing. Men from headquarters descended on my father’s insurance agency, going through files and financial records with a fine-tooth comb.
My father was a well-known and well-respected businessman. I remember him gathering our family and explaining that an employee who had recently left his office had apparently embezzled a large amount of money which should have gone to headquarters. The good name he had worked hard to earn was in jeopardy.
The officials determined my father was not to blame, but he committed to pay the entire sum owed to the head office himself. He eventually tracked down his former employee. In his gentle way he allowed her to gradually pay him back what she had stolen. Though he never received all the money, he also never pressed charges. My father knew he was innocent. He knew his reputation for integrity and uprightness would protect him and God would vindicate him.
My father raised us with that deep commitment to never bring shame to our name or to the name of our Lord. He was vindicated of all wrong-doing.
God was faithful. When he died my father was remembered by a former pastor as “a man of clear, strong convictions… gentleness, humility and above all a lavish love for God.” He was vindicated not only because the evidence pointed toward his innocence, but because the men he worked for knew him and what he stood for.
If you were accused of wrongdoing, what protection would you have to help prove your innocence? God told Samuel that while man looks on outward things, He looks on the heart.
Determine today to live your life in such a way that you are known and recognized for your integrity and upright character. Place your hope in the God, who alone can vindicate you. Live to honor His name.

This week marks the sixteenth anniversary of my father’s death. He was killed by lightning under a clear blue sky while fly fishing on the San Juan River in Northern New Mexico.
            I love you Daddy!

© Copyright, August 26, 2011, by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman. All rights reserved. Use only with express permission of the author.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Hummingbirds' Lesson

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Hummingbirds should be as beautiful and perfect as they look. They’re not.
          I enjoy watching them at the feeders at my mountain home, but I have been struck by how similar they are to me and the people around me. I see these beautiful little jewels of God’s creation as greedy little creatures. Each one wants everything all to itself, no matter how much there is.
When threatened they go after each other in amazing aerial acrobatics, performing all kinds of intricate moves to make the others go away. They squawk and fuss at each other making quite a racket.
          I can be just like that when I forget I don’t really have a clue what God considers His perfect best for me. To my shame I have, more than once tried to force my own way when surrendering to God’s would have accomplished everything without strife and intricate maneuverings on my part.
The sovereignty of God is always at work. It’s not about me—it’s about Him, His plan and His purpose. My plans are temporary—His are eternal. My perceived needs are purely selfish. His knowledge of my needs is perfect. If I truly seek God each day and determine to accept whatever comes as being from His gracious hand, sufficient in every way, I am so much happier.
Everything He allows me to experience is necessary for maturing me and bringing my faith to completion. When I stop striving for what I want and accept what He sends I can feel His peace. I cease the maneuvering and fussing. I squawk less and hum more.
I want to be in the center of God’s plan, accepting what He sends into my life without complaint. I want His peace so even when I don’t understand, I can accept His best for my life.
          What steals your peace? What situations make you maneuver and complain?
Determine today to give those things to God and see what He will do. Choose to trust Him to always have your best in mind. He will give you more than you ever imagined out of His glorious riches.

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and 2MefromHim Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
Do not use without permission of the author.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Welcome to an exciting new website for 2MefromHim!

2mefromHim welcomes you to an exciting new website which offers the opportunity for expansion. Save http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com/ to your favorites or sign up at the bottom of the website to have devotionals sent to you by email.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Such Things Must Happen

“…but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen... Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains… Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:6-8, 42

Yesterday our nation commemorated the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the most significant and deadly terror attack on American soil ever. In the past few weeks there have been headlines capable of shaking the calm of the most committed and believing Christian: credible 9/11 threats by Al Qaeda, tropical storms in the south, a hurricane in the east creating flooding and massive power outages following closely on the heels of a rare 5.8 earthquake, financial woes as unemployment reaching the highest levels in years with zero jobs created in August, wildfires destroying large areas of the southwest in the grips of a terrible drought, frightening volatility in stock markets around the world, and Mt. Etna threatening a major eruption, just to name a few.
The age of innocence is gone. No more playing until after dark without scaring mom, no more parking bicycles on the front porch with no fear of theft, no more leaving front doors unlocked all day. We will never be the same. No more feeling like we live in the most secure country in the world.
I remember 9/11 as clearly as it was yesterday—watching in horror as the second plane hit the Twin Towers on television and then receiving a phone call that my daughter’s school was being evacuated because of its proximity to a Federal facility. I drove in fear to pick her up in a frustrating round-about fashion, being re-routed more than once because of street closings around the Federal building.
          We don’t know what will take place from one day to the next in our world, but as Christians we can be assured all of these things are under the control of our God. Jesus warned of times like these and said not to be alarmed.
          So what strikes fear in your heart? Do you have deep fears about the future?
          If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can be certain you will be safe in Him—no matter what happens in our world.

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman & http://2MefromHim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without express written permission of the author.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

True Freedom's Symbol

True Freedom’s Symbol

Tall and proud against the sky,
Our country’s beacon stands.
Each star and stripe the symbol
Of sacrifice by willing hands.

Each thread within its fabric,
A reminder of the tears;
Of sweat and toil and suffering
By men and women through the years.

Our flag, a sign to all the world,
Of freedom, hope, and peace,
Of triumph over hardship,
And victory’s sweet release.

We all saw Lady Liberty
 Framed against the smoke…
 Of attacks by men in ignorance
Of the promise which she spoke.

Her words cry out to men like them,
The “tired”, and “poor” who suffer,
To the “huddled masses,” “tempest-tost,”
A hope of plenty, she offers.

But there stands a Symbol greater,
Which will endure beyond the years.
Born by our Savior in sacrifice
To wipe away all tears.

The Cross of Christ is the reason
Our Founding Fathers came,
And the only hope for our nation
Is to return to Him again.

The only hope for this country
Is to seek the Creator’s plan,
His Cross the same from age to age,
Dwarfs the symbols of this land.

(Quotations come from “The New Colossus”, by Emma Lazarus, 1883,
engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty.)

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman & http://2MefromHim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without express written permission of the author.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wait A Minute, God!

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”
Ephesians 3:20a

I got the exact opposite of what I prayed for. I was so certain I was praying exactly as God led me to. I prayed fervently and with absolute certainty God would answer. He did—but not in the way I thought. I was disappointed, confused, kind of angry and very sad.
          My response was, “Wait a minute, God, what are you doing here? Didn’t you hear what I just prayed? Are you not listening?”
Slowly it began to dawn on me, I had been here before. I didn’t like it then either, but I had learned something. If I am praying something that is in line with the word of God and for Him to receive the glory, I am praying correctly. So what if things seem to take a turn in the opposite direction?
God has His own unique way of doing things and doesn’t always take the most direct, or the simplest route to get there. His ways are beyond my understanding. His thoughts are so much higher than mine as to be indecipherable to me. So it stands to reason I would sometimes be baffled by His methods.
Does that mean He isn’t working? Absolutely not!
I recently experienced a situation where I felt as if I was watching events unfold on a movie screen, a story with plots, subplots, character development and precise, down-to-the-second timing with an outcome no one involved could have predicted. God is always in control.
He is sovereign. Everything which takes place is in His time, in His way, for His purpose and to His glory.
Who am I to say things aren’t working as they should? It may not be my way, but even that is to my benefit as I have been known to make royal messes of things.
What are you praying for? How great and unwavering is your belief that God can and will accomplish in spite of all obstacles?
Look at your circumstances, whatever they may be, and tell God you recognize His control. Believe in His ability to accomplish His best purposes. Determine to accept that He is capable of working in even the most impossible looking situation and do more than you ever asked or imagined.

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman & http://2MefromHim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without express written permission of the author.