Thomas FitzSimmons – Signer of the Constitution – Pennsylvania

thC57XERATThomas Fitzsimons, born in Ireland, approximately October 1741, represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention, viewed government as a logical extension of the relationship that existed among families, ethnic communities, and business groups. His own immigrant family, Philadelphia’s Irish-Catholic community, and the city’s fraternity of merchants all figured prominently in Fitzsimons’ rise to wealth and status, and he sought a government strong enough to protect and foster the natural interplay of these elements in a healthy society.

Experiences in the Revolution reinforced Fitzsimons’ nationalist sympathies. Like many immigrants, he demonstrated his devotion to his adopted land by springing to its defense. Participation at the battle of Renton and the later defense of Philadelphia convinced him of the need for central control of the nation’s military forces. Similarly, his wartime association with Robert Morris and the other fiscal architects of the nation convinced him that an effective national government was essential for the prosperity of the country. Though his talents brought him great wealth, Fitzsimons never lost sight of the aspirations and concerns of the common people. He retained their respect and affection because his career reflected not only a sense of civic duty but also a profound honesty. He judged each political issue on ethical grounds. “I conceive it to be a duty,” he said, “to contend for what is right, be the issue as it may.” Using this standard, he concluded with justifiable pride that the Constitution he helped devise was a “treasure to posterity.”

Fitzsimons’ family came to Philadelphia from Ireland in the mid-1750s. His father died soon after settling in the New World, but not before providing an adequate education for his five children. Both Thomas and his twin sister Ann married into the city’s growing community of Irish merchants. In 1763 Thomas went into business with his new brother-in-law, George Meade (the grandfather of the Civil War general), specializing in trade with the West Indies.

The new firm’s emergence coincided with Parliament’s attempt to restructure the British Empire in the aftermath of the Seven Years War. Old laws designed to regulate commerce were supplemented by new revenue measures such as a Stamp Act in 1765 to fund troops stationed in the colonies. Merchants felt the burden directly and emerged as leaders of the resulting storm of protest. When Parliament reacted to the 1773 Boston Tea Party with punitive measures, which the Americans called the Coercive Acts, Philadelphia merchants, including the partners in the prosperous George Meade & Co., were infuriated. They felt that if British warships could close the port of Boston, no city in America was truly safe.

Such economic concerns thrust the young Fitzsimons into politics and the Patriot cause. In 1771 the city’s merchants and tradesmen of Irish heritage had elected him as the first vice president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, a politically powerful fraternal association. Popular respect for his political judgment and economic acumen led in 1774 to his election to a steering committee organized to direct the protest over the Coercive Acts and to the city’s Committee of Correspondence, the Patriots’ shadow government. In choosing him for these posts, the voters ignored a law that barred Catholics from elective office. Fitzsimons went on to represent the city in a special colony-wide convention held to discuss the crisis. Its deliberations led Pennsylvania to issue a call for a meeting of all the colonies, the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia in September 1774.

Pennsylvania’s Quaker pacifist traditions had resulted in a unique military situation on the eve of the Revolution. Lacking a militia, the local Patriots had to organize a military force from the ground up by forming volunteer units, called Associators. Thanks to his wealth and wide-ranging connections in the community, Fitzsimons contributed significantly to this speedy mobilization. When Philadelphia’s contingent of infantry (today’s 111th Infantry, Pennsylvania Army National Guard) was organized, Fitzsimons, as a captain, raised and commanded a company in Colonel John Cadwalader’s 3d Battalion.

During the summer of 1776 these citizen-soldiers faced their first crisis. A large British army, supported by the Royal Navy, attacked New York City, and Congress asked the nearby states to reinforce Washington’s outnumbered Continental Army regulars. Pennsylvania sent the Associators to the Flying Camp, a mobile reserve stationed in northern New Jersey to prevent any sudden diversion of Redcoats toward Philadelphia, the national capital. Fitzsimons’ company served in the cordon of outposts that under Colonel John Dickinson guarded the New Jersey shoreline. Although a month of active duty passed without incident, the assignment provided Fitzsimons valuable time in which to train his men.

In November, with New York secured, the British suddenly invaded New Jersey. This move caught the Americans with their forces geographically divided and badly outnumbered. While Washington began a slow withdrawal of his main force to safe positions on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River, Congress again called on the state for reinforcements. Fitzsimons’ company went on duty on 5 December to cover the continentals’ retreat. For the remainder of the month it guarded the river’s Pennsylvania shore. Complaining in his diary of the hardships the company was enduring in the bitter cold of that famous winter campaign, a company sergeant noted that Captain Fitzsimons was “very kind to our men.” Concern for the well-being of others, a hallmark of Fitzsimons’ military career that echoed through his later life, formed the basis of his broad political appeal.

Aware that a symbolic victory was needed to bolster civilian morale, Washington launched a counterattack on Christmas night. He chose Trenton, the winter quarters for a Hessian brigade, as his target. Plans called for a three-pronged dawn attack, with a large body of militia under Cadwalader crossing downstream to cut British reinforcement routes. Fitzsimons’ company was in Cadwalader’s column, but like most of the militia force, was unable to cross the river because of deteriorating weather. It thus did not share in Washington’s great surprise victory, but it joined Washington several days later, in time to deal with a British counterattack. When General Charles Cornwallis reached Trenton on 2 January, the Americans slipped away in the dark and at dawn struck the enemy’s rear guard at Princeton, smashing a second British brigade. Cadwalader’s militiamen played a key role in the engagement, although Fitzsimons’ company appears to have served in a reserve force. Washington moved on to northern New Jersey, forcing the British to abandon most of the state. Fitzsimons finally retired from active duty at the end of the month.

Pennsylvania authorities then asked him to serve on an eleven-member board to oversee the Pennsylvania navy, which formed the primary defense of Delaware Bay and the river approaches to Philadelphia. In this role Fitzsimons not only helped plan the capital’s defenses, but organized logistics, coordinated defense with neighboring states, and negotiated with a sometimes reluctant Continental Congress over regional strategy. The assignment also provided him with an important lesson when the British captured Philadelphia. Finding Pennsylvania’s defenses too formidable along the river approaches to the city, the enemy sailed up the Chesapeake Bay, and, marching through poorly defended sections of Maryland and Delaware, attacked the capital from the south. Even then, the defenses Fitzsimons had worked so hard to create held out for several months. With Philadelphia, along with his home and business, in enemy hands, Fitzsimons came to understand that no matter how well organized and defended one state might be, its safety depended ultimately on the united strength of all the states.

When France entered the war on the American side in 1778, British strategy changed. The field commander, Sir Henry Clinton, evacuated Pennsylvania and turned his attention to the conquest of the southern states, thus ending Pennsylvania’s need for frequent militia mobilizations. Although Fitzsimons was involved in supplying the French naval forces that occasionally called at Philadelphia, he was now free to concentrate on politics.

Fitzsimons was concerned about the inflation and other serious economic problems that marked the latter years of the Revolution. Pennsylvania, burdened with a weak government, was unable to cope with these issues. Fitzsimons’ experiences both in uniform and on the states Navy Board convinced him that stronger central authority did not pose a threat to liberty and was in fact the only solution to the new crisis. Many leaders who felt this way were unpopular in Philadelphia because of their wealth, but Fitzsimons’ reputation as a caring officer, as well as his work for the poor on numerous local relief committees, sustained his popularity. At this time he also became associated with the Patriot financier Robert Morris, helping to organize the banking facilities that Morris used to support the Continental Army and Navy in the last years of the war. In fact, Fitzsimons served as a director of the Bank of North America from its founding in 1781 until 1803.

Pennsylvania sent Fitzsimons to the Continental Congress in 1782. There he concentrated on financial and commercial matters, working closely with Morris and the nationalist faction led by Hamilton and Madison on developing a centralized economy. He supported the growth of domestic industry and the payment of the nation’s debts, particularly those owed to the soldiers of the Continental Army, but he argued that it was essential “that the weight of the taxes fall not too heavily upon any particular part of the community.” Although his integrity impressed Madison, his political evenhandedness did not sit so well with the voters, who began to criticize his stand on fiscal matters. Chagrined by the criticism and distracted by business obligations, Fitzsimons resigned in 1783.

But Fitzsimons could not abandon politics. He accepted election to Pennsylvania’s Council of Censors, a unique group that reviewed the constitutionality of executive and legislative actions. In 1786 he began the first of three terms in the state legislature, where he was a floor leader of the more conservative forces. He also represented Pennsylvania in a commission that met in 1785 with Delaware and Maryland to try to work out interstate commerce issues.

In 1787 the state selected Fitzsimons to represent it at the Constitutional Convention. There he spoke often on issues relating to commerce and finance, arguing that the central government should have the right to tax both exports and imports to raise revenue and regulate commerce-reiterating a position that he had advocated with little success in the Continental Congress. Following the completion of the Convention’s work, Fitzsimons resumed his seat in the Pennsylvania legislature, where he led the fight for a special convention to ratify the Constitution, arguing that since the document derived its power from the people, the people must approve it through representatives elected solely for that purpose.

Fitzsimons sat for six years as a Federalist in the new House of Representatives. He served on several important committees and was chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He also chaired the committee that organized the government of the Northwest Territory, and, in the aftermath of the Army’s defeat by Indians in 1791, presided over a select committee that investigated the matter. That committee set an important precedent by asserting that the Congress, under the powers vested in the first article of the Constitution, had the right to oversee the President’s handling of military affairs.

Defeated in 1794, Fitzsimons devoted the rest of his life to business and charitable affairs. Financial reverses in old age did not shake his faith in the common man, nor his sense of obligation to those less fortunate than himself. In a fitting tribute to Fitzsimons’ abiding sense of civic duty, a contemporary noted the fact that “he died (on 26 August 1811, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) in the esteem, affection and gratitude of all classes of his fellow citizens.” He is buried at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the 2nd Catholic to sign the Constitution.

Thank God for Sticky Situations

thCA43E4AY(37) And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (38)This is the great and foremost commandment. (39)The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ———- Matthew 22:37-39 (NASB)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but loving one another is about as easy as peeling a sea urchin. There are a lot of sharp things that can stab us. Loving God is easy — He IS love, so His response is always gentle, kind, and fulfilling. Loving people often requires leather gloves to keep from getting hurt.

One day when my husband and I drove into the driveway, we noted our “condo” birdhouse was full. The birds had taken up residence and were fully engaged in nest building. The funny thing is, every “apartment” was taken by a different kind of bird. The top one housed a chickadee, the middle floor a sparrow, and the basement held a pine siskin. They sat happily on their perches, singing sweet bird songs, enjoying the safety of the nest that kept them high above any predators. They didn’t seem to care that they were different “denominations.” They were just thankful for a place to live that was protected and safe!

Part of the secret to getting along with people is being thankful. I am thankful more than words can express for the friends in my life. It is their prayers and encouragement that keep me going. We can co-exist in peace because we know that we love each other, even through difficult times. We don’t have to be jealous, envious, or demand things of each other, because we are thankful for who we are and that we have Jesus. Like the birds in my front yard, it doesn’t matter about our differences.

One of these days, Jesus is going to return for His Bride. He’s going to see if we have been selfish “bridezillas,” or if we have learned how to find the unity of the Holy Spirit. We will never truly agree on doctrines, practice, etc. But we should be able to love with thankful hearts and sense the Presence of God in each other. Today let’s allow thankfulness to spread through us. Let’s enjoy the goodness of God in each other and let go of all the things that we think we know. We can travel the road to destiny together, and sing our heavenly songs of love with joy!

(This information was used by permission from “Whispers of Heaven” by Rosalie Storment and Faye Higbee, copyrighted 2011)

Knowing Him

sheep-with-shepherd(3)To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
(4)When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
(5)A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” — John 10-3-5 (NASB)

When you get to know people, you learn the sound of their voice. They can call you on the telephone and fail to tell you who they are, and you still recognize their voice. (Unless you’re in an office where everyone ends up copying your tone . . . then everyone sounds like you.)

When we know God intimately an connect to His heart, then we hear Him and our lives and those around us are changed forever. His Glory rises over us in ways we could never have imagined! We can have the personal confidence to even see the lives of our loved ones chilnged as God begins to move. If we know Him, we will hear Him!

Example: When I was growing up, my best friend’s name was Shirley. We did everything together, up until she met her husband and got married. She and I knew exactly the sound of each other’s voices –and still do today. She moved away from our area and she and her husband bought a sheep ranch. We were both “Christians” because we went to church, but neither of us was aware that God still speaks in a personal way.

As time went on, I came to know the Lord, but Shirley would call me and you could tell she was sad. She listened to me tell her about the things God did for me, but only said she thought I was “centered.”

One day, one of Shirley’s sheep went into labor. The baby lamb was breached in the mother’s birth canal, and the veterinarian was unable to come quickly enough to save it. Shirley reached in, turned the lamb, and helped it come our safely. As the tiny black lamb slid our into her hands, she heard a soft voice say, “I Am the Lamb of God, I was born for you, and I give you life. Just as you gave life to this baby lamb, I give life to you.”

Shirley took care of the lamb, and ran into the house to find her old, dust covered Bible. As she read it, tears streamed down her cheeks, and the gospel of Jesus became so clear that it changed her entire life. The soft whisper of the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart. Today we can share more than just old memories, we can share what God is saying and doing in our lives.

The Great Shepherd knows His sheep. He speaks to His sheep. He uses YOU as the soft conduit of His Holy Spirit’s Voice. If OUR voice is right, the sound of His Voice comes through! If we are open to listen, quick to obey, joyous to receive, and love to hear Hi,. there are greater things in store. There are wonders waiting for us that we can’t comprehend, and God’s Glory is about to be released in new ways. So we encourage you today to listed, trust, hear, and ask for eyes to see it all! And then move out with confidence!

(This information has been used by permission from “Whispers of Heaven” by Rosalie Storment and Faye Higbee, copyrighted 2011)

Dependence on God

thCAN8U08M(5) Love. . .does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, —1 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB)

Whether we are married or single, one of the most difficult attacks comes with bitterness towards someone else. Married couples experience this frequently–and if not handled it will eventually spell disaster, just like it does in the church.

When we expect something from another human, we are going to be disappointed. When our dependence is on people instead of God, we become angry when they don’t do what we want. It is about what WE want. When we trust the Lord, we can rest and be at peace, because He is then in control.

When my husband and I were married, we didn’t have enough money to buy a wedding ring, so I made one out of old gold and an old diamond from my mother’s ring. Because the gold was very old and brittle, it broke within the first year. Now, of course it was disappointing. But it wasn’t a place where bitterness should grow! And so I placed my trust in the Lord to provide a ring someday at His convenience. If I had focused on my loss, it would have placed an unfair strain in our home. One of my favorite statements came from a former pastor: “Ask yourself–is it a big enough hill to die on?” My lack of a ring was definitely not big enough. For me to have thought so would have brought condemnation and embarrassment to our home!

We should not be easily offended or hurt (1 Corinthians 13). We should be able to tell the difference between something worthy of discussion and something that will tear apart a relationship. Bitterness always tears things apart and speaks of our control and selfish desire more than our concern for the hearts of others. It’s about God, not about us. It’s about love. Let’s celebrate love, let’s walk forward without the baggage of bitterness!

Rescued!

a69ef3631a(5)But I have trusted in Your loving kindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me. ——Psalm 13:5-6 (NASB)

Just what is “salvation” anyway? It has become a religious word instead of a God-heart word, so let’s bring it back to His heart.

The word “salvation” in the Old Testament comes from the word Y’shuwab, or Yeshua. Sound familiar yet? It means to help, to deliver, to save, to bring victory, to care for the welfare of someone. Its connotation to the recipient is one who is brought to good health and prosperity, free of problems. The source of salvation is outside of the situation, not inside of it. A “savior” can rescue us from sickness, our enemies, or any other catastrophe. In total, the denotes a full and complete deliverance from everything we face in live on this earth!

The Bible says that Jesus “saved” us by the cross. That simply means He created the avenue where the enemy of our souls can no longer have authority over us. Nor only do we have intimate relationship to the God of all Creation, but like a safe zone wherever we go, there is no plan against us that can prosper. Jesus also took back the keys of death, hell and the grave by His death and resurrection. That means if we encounter a life-threatening situation here on earth, we don’t have to worry, because He’s already made a place for us with Him forever. We cannot be separated from His love (Romans 8).

When I was a little girl, my dad saw a car burst into flames. He slammed on his brakes, bolted to the vehicle, yanked the female driver out onto the ground, wrapped her in a coat, and flagged down a passing motorist to call the police. When he got home, he smelled like smoke, his coat was charred, and though he told us what happened, it didn’t seem to be a big deal to him. Just something that “had to be done.”

Jesus’ Name means deliverance, rescue, salvation. He IS those things and does them because it is His nature. He doesn’t stop and think first. He simply saves. It is the heart of God that none should perish in ANY way. Salvation is something that “has to be done.” In His heart, He is love. In His work, He is love. We are saved by His love. Whatever you are facing today–a trial, a joyous moment, a change in direction–know that the God of salvation is on the move in your behalf!

Hang On To Your Dreams

Peace(34)“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. —Matthew 6:34 (NASB)

Hang on to your dreams. You don’t fixate on tomorrow. Dad’s ways are often confusing to us as we navigate life on a daily basis. So what is He talking about?

Let’s start with a hint: prophecy is not fortune-telling. Prophetic utterance is speaking forth the Word of the Lord–for encouraging the Church, for letting people know that God hears them, for establishing God’s will and plan. Sometimes “prophecy” ends up as divination – will I be married, will I get rich, will such and such be in my future? It becomes a forum for trying to make God tell us what we want to hear.

Hanging on to our dreams is about hearing the voice of God and staying true to Him, no matter what happens to try to deter us from His plan. A prophetic Word from the Lord can help us stand strong in the midst of the enemy’s attempts to derail our destiny.

Every year promises to be more difficult in the world. But God’s people are beloved–and His promises to them are yes and amen! We don’t need to worry about what is to come or what will happen to us, because our God has promised to be our Rock, our fortress, our strength, our joy . . . and we are citizens of His Kingdom, not the earth!

God’s Kingdom cannot be stopped. Every evil can try to stamp out Christianity or destroy our destinies, but God is sovereign over all. The authority against ALL the works of the enemy belongs to Jesus the Christ. Trust Him. Know that He is King of kings and Lord of lords. And no matter what we see each, trust Him that His plan and purposes will come to pass in our lives.

(This information was used by permission from “Whispers of Heaven” written by Rosalie Storment and Faye Higbee, copyrighted 2011)

Enemies and Victories

Two edged sword(7)Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
(8)Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:7-8 (NASB)

Sometimes in our lives it feels like the enemy gets pretty riled up. That is especially true with people who walk closely in fellowship with the Lord. The devil flat doesn’t like it and wants to wreck us up. Gee, isn’t that just too bad if he doesn’t like it. So if he gets riled up, just stomp him or his buddies like the cockroaches that they are. The Word say we are to resist the devil and he will flee from us. We are to stand fast and know that God is fighting for us. So what does that mean?

Once I received a frantic call from someone who told me that the enemy was trying to ruin their meeting. The people were very upset because they sensed a demonic presence. My answer? “So what? Boot him out – he’s not invited!” We carry the Living God within us. No one can stand against Him. We don’t have to be worried, fearful, or tense, because the God Who created the entire universe is OUR DAD, OUR LORD, OUR FRIEND!

It works the same with things we are praying for. If we get tense (and believe me, I can be as tense as anyone – grinding my teeth tense, in fact), then we live in a place of fear and worry instead of faith. And the enemy loves it. He can whisper in our ear all sorts of things when there is fear or anxiety. “You’re not going to make it.” “You’re a failure, nobody wants you around.” “You will lose everything.” “You can’t have THAT, you are not worthy, God won’t answer you.” Yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. So how do you resist all that hogwash?

A pastor friend once told me that when the negative voices get cranked, go make a peanut butter sandwich. (OK, I admit it; I’d rather have chocolate.) The fact is, it works. Resist the devil. Laugh. Sing praises, stand firm on what the Word says, not what nastiness is coming at you. The Word says that the promises of God are “Yea and amen.” That means whatever you pray for in His name is yours.

But, but, but. No buts. You are beloved; you are adopted into the Family of the Living God. You are part of His Body. You are one with the Savior of all mankind. So relax. Open your mouth, let out all the tension, shout to the Lord in triumph, and receive His promises!

(This information is shared by permission from “Whispers of Heaven” by Rosalie Storment and Faye Higbee, copyrighted 2011)

Go, Go, Go

Afternoon tea(33)“But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”
Proverbs 1:33 (NASB)

One of the most common words in the Bible is the shortest word . . . “go.” There are over 1000 references to that word in varying forms throughout the Bible. So when God says to be prepared to “move out” or “go” He means it!

A nice easy example: One day I distinctly heard the Lord tell me to go buy Rosalie some flowers. Now, that was expensive, and I was not certain I had heard correctly. But it sounded like a fun thing to do, so I called the floral shop beside her bookstore and bought a bouquet. On my lunch hour, I stopped in to see if she liked them, and she told me that it was the anniversary of her opening the store! This gift of those flowers meant a great deal to her. I was clueless, but God was not. He is aware of every small detail of your life.

Another friend of mine was specifically told to go forward in church and tell a woman who was crying that she was praying for her. She gave her name and told her the message. After the service, she learned that this woman’s child had recently died . . . and the daughter’s name was the same as hers. The gentleness of God’s heart touched the woman’s brokenness and gave her a tiny moment of peace. She saw it as a message from God that He was thinking of her.

Be confident of the Lord in your heart, of His Voice in your spirit. Trust His love to bring joy to others through you. As the world gets darker and more difficult for all, God’s love and voice in you and through you will be a lifeline and will change the lives of many. As you trust and believe, more “crazy spiritual things” will happen to you – and that still small, voice of the Holy Spirit will lead you onward. So move out with confidence!

(This information was used by permission from “Whispers of Heaven” written by Rosalie Storment and Faye Higbee, copyrighted  2011)

Grace – My Favorite Gift

hands(35)You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.
(36)You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped.
Psalm 18:35-36 (NASB)

The word “grace” in the Bible means unmerited favor. Heavy emphasis on the “unmerited” part. Simply put, it means none of us can work it up, make it perfect on our own, or achieve God‘s love by what we do. In short, God simply loves us because He loves us. If you think about it, that is amazing – considering He’s the Guy Who created the universe.

The battles we must fight are real. They range in everything from finances to relationships, physical to spiritual. All of this requires faith, but in all of it, there is God’s wonderful, awesome grace.

My husband and I used to live in a less than 900-square-foot home that had no kitchen cabinets, no closets, and no light fixtures (only bare light bulbs handing by a wire). The basement was always damp, as it was made of stones that leaked water in wet weather. The house had lots of mice. We had a very large Newfoundland dog and no fence. Myron’s teenage son lived with us off and on, which made us pretty cramped for space. The previous tenant was a smoker, so the vague smell of cigarettes permeated the pain on the walls. We both had very stressful jobs, and very little income. Myron was working graveyard shift at the mental health facility. Both of us nearly went crazy in the confined space and hectic schedule.

One day, I cracked around the edges and started swearing at the Lord. Yes, I lost it. I threw one whale of a temper tantrum to my Savior. After my tirade, the phone rang and I was invited to a meeting with a minister at a friend’s home that night. I needed to get away, so I went.

The minute I walked in the door, before any introductions, the minister walked up to me, stuck out his hand to shake mine, and said, “The Lord say to you, you don’t have to talk to Me that way.”

Wow. That took me aback. I was embarrassed, but mostly blessed that the Lord had heard me. I didn’t have the tantrum to a God who wasn’t listening. He heard every bad word. I was excited. Within a few months, He made a way for us to obtain a real house with cabinets and real light fixtures. His love endures forever. His gentleness brought life back to my heart.

Our God is gentle, and He loves us more than life itself. He hears every word we speak or think, and we should be very grateful. I love him because He hears me, even when I’m not in the best of moods. He hears me when I’m broken and weeping. He hears me when I’m angry. He doesn’t turn me away when I can’t handle the situation; He covers me with His Grace and gives me His strength. And that gives me great joy.

Today, God wants you to know that His gentleness will make you great. His salvation is sure, His love is forever, and He will never fail you, no matter how badly you may fail Him. He is eternal, and He showers us with strength and grace in everything we face. He loves you!

(This information is used by permission from “Whispers of Heaven” by Rosalie Storment and Fay Higbee, copyrighted 2011.)

Hope

Prayer for the Angel(4)I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
(5)They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.
(6)This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
(7)The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
(8)O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Psalm 34:4-8 (NASB)

No matter what country, background, or ethnicity we may have, all of us have experienced disappointment in our lives. Whether it is a desire to serve the Lord in ministry, or a plan to expand a business, or the hope of the bride in her new marriage, things don’t always turn out as we had hoped. These are “shattered dreams.”

There was a time in our lives where it seemed as if everything kept derailing – no forward momentum but lots of backwards falling. “Hope deferred makes the heart-sick, . . .” is the way the Scripture puts it (Proverbs 13:12 NASB). Yet we learned to move forward and not give up, in spite of heartaches and what seemed like failures. We learned that friendships are huge helps in times of trouble, as are our deepening relationships with the Lord. And we learned that what we THINK we see, may not be what God is doing!

And there is good news! the second part of Proverbs 13:12 which we rarely hear says, ” . . . But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” God is all about life. The reason Jesus went to the cross is to allow us access to life – both here on earth and throughout eternity. (John 3:16). When God created the earth and all that is in it, He commanded all of it to prosper and bring forth life. He asks us to be the vessels of His “River of Life,” the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t break “bruised reeds,” people who are sad and hurting. He came to bring us LIFE and that MORE ABUNDANTLY (John 10:10).

When it seems like there is no hope, there is God who creates the dawn. When the dreams appear to be dead, there is the God of resurrection! Tomorrow is a new day for us all. What happens today may be the stepping stone to breakthrough you have waited for. Faith is built on what we can’t see, but what we know God has in store for us. May the fulfilled desires of your heart come quickly, and may all that delays your hope be destroyed by the blessings and love of our Savior!

(This information was used by permission from “Whispers of Heaven” by Rosalee Storment and Faye Higbeee, copyrighted in 2011.)