Author Archives: gardnlady

2 Chronicles 26; Revelation 13; Zechariah 9; John 12

Prophecy foretold:

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech 9:9) NIV

Prophecy fulfilled:

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. (John 12:12-16 ESV)

Living on the other side of the cross, we have the advantage of knowing Jesus. While we can read verses in the Old Testament and totally get they were talking about his coming, the people of that day struggled with who Jesus was even though the signs were there:

39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

40 “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
    and understand with their heart, and turn,
    and I would heal them.”

41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.(John 12:39-41) ESV

Several years ago, my word for the year was “light.” During the course of that year, my understanding of that word not only changed but deepened my belief. I, too, saw his glory. It was a tough year. Together we walked through dark places that needed his light.

46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. (John 12:46) ESV

For years I lived in darkness as an unbeliever, not knowing the power Jesus had to change my life. After becoming a believer and walking with him for years, I was finally able to open those places to him. He gave me the courage to visit memories I wanted to forget. They were dark and shrouded in pain. It was like he did radiation on those cancerous memories. His light radiated into the memories, he revealed himself to me in those memories (“I will never leave you nor forsake you”), and the power they had over me was destroyed. Now whenever those memories try to come back all I see is Jesus and his radiant light.

Lord, even before you breathed life into Adam, you had a plan for our redemption. The fall of humanity was no surprise to you. Jesus was always the plan. As I celebrate Christmas, may I sing songs of praise for the God who stepped out of heaven and came into this world as a baby. May I speak of your glory to anyone who will have ears to hear. Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Savior, Christ the King. In your name I pray, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)


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2 Chronicles 8; 3 John 1; Habakkuk 3; Luke 22

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-34) NIV

And he did just that. When pushed by the people in the crowd, Peter feared for his life. As bold as he usually was, in this instance he was weak. He denied Jesus. Before it happened, Jesus knew about it. He prayed for Peter knowing full well the weight he would feel for denying his friend, his teacher, his Messiah. Peter had walked side by side with Jesus for three years. He was there for the transfiguration, he walked on water, he sat at his feet. He experienced first-hand the power of Jesus as he witnessed people’s lives being changed both physically and spiritually. I can well imagine Peter’s feelings afterwards—berating himself for failing when pushed to the brink, wondering how in the world he did that. It was no surprise to Jesus; he knew it would happen. He also knew Peter would be able to strengthen his brothers in their journey of faith. It was not the end of the story.

This is where grace enters Peters life. The love of Jesus is shown through the forgiveness of our sins. He showed Peter such love and compassion in light of what he did. Jesus did not hold it against him. (“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Ps. 103:12)

I lived for so long under condemnation for the choices I made in the past. There were people who hurt me, people I hurt, decisions I wish I could undo, and so much shame. The weight was unbearable and almost took me out. Sin has such a ripple affect and touches so many as it spreads. Then I met Jesus and through his love l understood a new way to live. God in His glory forgave me! It was almost as if he spoke those words to me: “Cindy, Cindy, I have prayed that your faith will not fail.” There are no words that can describe the moment I realized that weight of sin had been lifted. Grace is powerful!

Through these verses, I also came to understand God’s sovereign will. Satan has to ask God’s permission to “sift” us. It’s taken a lot of years of relationship with God to know that when he’s allowed trials into my life there is purpose in it. I don’t like it, and I struggle with accepting it, but I knew he has a greater good.

In Peter’s case, we later see him go forward and spread the gospel to the Gentiles. He was one of the early leaders. What a testimony he must have had to share of his time spent with Jesus. Peter could share his highs and his lows. His victories and his failings. And assure others, through it all, he was loved exactly the same—never more and never less.  

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. (3 John 1:11a) NIV

Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us what is good by the life of Jesus. May the wonder of Him, God in human form, never be taken for granted. You came humbly to this earth. You poured out your love on a hurting world. You gave us your only Son who willingly paid the penalty for our sins so we can be with you forever. A baby in a manger; a Savior on a cross. Forgiveness. Grace. A love given freely to those who believe. I shake my head in wonder of it all for understanding is beyond my ability.  I praise you for your awesome plan. In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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1 Chronicles 19, 20; 1 Peter 1; Jonah 3; Luke 8

16 “No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. 17 For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.

18 “So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” (Luke 8:16-18) NIV

I have known darkness. It is a place I never want to go again. However, it was through that time of darkness I came to understand the power of light. What truth is in that statement: “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”  

When I first accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was in that place of darkness. I had many dark nights of the soul where the pain was so intense I wasn’t sure I would make it. But I did. I held on to hope. I held on to the hand of Jesus who is Light (John 8:12: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”)

I had an amazing therapist who helped me find the light. As we uncovered all those “secret places” hidden deep within me, we brought them out to the light. Each time we would offer it to Jesus and his light and truth took away the power it had. The lies held me in darkness, his truth revealed light. I stopped believing who others said I am and started believing who God says I am.  When I truly stop and listen, I hear his truth. We really can find him when we seek him with all our heart (Jer 29:13). The darkness was the worst in the middle of the journey. It was like walking through a long tunnel, I could not see the end. I had to rely on the Spirit to guide me to the Light at the end of the tunnel! Jesus is my light at the end of the tunnel.

I pray to be a reflection of the light and point others to Jesus. What he brought me through, he will do for others. He restores us and redeems the times of darkness. His light cannot be hidden. His light should not be hidden.

3 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. This inheritance is 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. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9) NIV

 Heavenly Father, what can I do but sing praises to you for who you are and what you’ve done in my life? You have saved me from that place of darkness; your light shines brightly into the places I opened to you. You have been part of every moment of my life and when I found you in those places of deep, deep pain, they no longer have power. Lord, I am so thankful for the people you sent into my life who have loved me to wholeness by showing me your great love through them. I pray to be that for others. In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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2 Kings 23; Hebrews 5; Joel 2; Psalm 142

24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord. 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. (2 Kings 23:24-25) NIV

After finding and reading the Book of the Law, Josiah did a clean sweep of Judah. He repented and was deeply grieved over how far the people of Judah and Jerusalem had strayed from God. He took action. He turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength. It is such a great reminder to me to stop focusing on the things around me and focus on the Lord.

Life is hard right now. The past few weeks seem to have one thing after another heaped to the point where I feel overwhelmed. Loved ones are suffering. My heart is fearful of the outcome, so I drop to my knees. I lift my voice to God. I look to him for comfort and assurance.

I cry aloud to the Lord;
    I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
    before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way. (Psalm 142:1-3) NIV

I sometimes forget that I do not need to walk through life alone. My tendency is to bulldoze through problems, search for solutions, problem-solve, try to fix things. But sometimes, there are no fixes. There is nothing I can do but surrender to the One who is in control. Learning to give the outcome to him is a very difficult lesson for me. My hands are gripping on to things that need to be released. Peace will not come to me until that happens. I can trust him. I must stay in the present; the future is his domain. Worry lives out there, he calls me to walk beside him today.

13 Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:13)

These are words I can trust. I can grip the words of God instead of uselessly trying to grip for control. No matter the outcome, I know he is gracious and compassionate. I know I can cry buckets of tears and he will never turn from me. He gives me strength, lightens my burdens, and calms my fears. He reminds me I’m not facing whatever happens alone.

I cry to you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”

Heavenly Father, thank you for your presence in my life. You patiently peel open my fingers from the things I don’t need to cling to, the things that belong to you, and instead, show me what is mine to hold to as tightly as possible—your word, your promises, your hand. I pray to stay in today and not let my mind wonder into the future. In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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2 Kings 8; 1 Timothy 5; Daniel 12; Psalm 119:49-72

Psalm 119:49-50 – Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this:  Your promise preserves my life.

58I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.

There have been times in my life when the only thing I had to cling to was God’s promises. Those promises got me through some of my darkest days. I remember specifically one occasion where my heart was breaking. I cried out to Him in my distress.  I was driving down the road, tears pouring from my eyes, as I was listening to a Christian radio station.  The song playing had evoked such emotion of a recent loss.  At the end of the song, the DJ started reading scripture.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  Those words were like a soothing balm to my heart.  There are verses I draw from to give me courage when I need it.  They give me hope when I have none.  His word assures me of his presence.  I am not alone.

67Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

Affliction is not something I would ask God for in my quiet time—or any other time for that matter. Yet, so much of my journey with Him has been learning how to live my life as He calls us to live rather than how I did it on my own.  He has used those trials to teach me. God’s decrees are there to protect us not inhibit us. It took me awhile to understand that.  My sinful nature wanted to do what I wanted to do and out of it came a lot of pain for many people.  Nevertheless, God redeems those years even as we live through the repercussions of our sin.  His word has given me direction.

71It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.

By studying the Bible, I am in the process of learning how to truly live and find joy in any circumstance. For instance, when I was unemployed for over a year, I learned trust.  When my mother was very ill and in the hospital so much, I learned patience.  When everything in my life seemed out of control, I learned to surrender.  When no one else was there to listen to me, I learned to pray.  Those times were not fun by any means, but I can look back and see how He used them to teach me.  They deepened my faith.

Lord, you know there are times I forget what you’ve told me but you are always gracious to remind me. I remember a song with the lyrics, “your loving kindness is better than life”.  Thank you for always being there for me, for loving me as you do, and for teaching me how to have a better life.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Cindy (gardnlady)

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