BECK BULLETIN

We are on a journey, sojourners on this earth. Let us share with you the highs and lows of our lives. Heaven is a sweeter place now that we have two beautiful granddaughters waiting there for us.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Beyond the Clouds



“Therefore, we do not lose heart…For our light and momentary troubles are achieving or us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18)

When a pilot learns to fly, one of the things he is taught early on is that he cannot depend on what he sees outside the cockpit window. It is easy to get confused in the clouds unless he trusts the instruments even when everything inside of him is telling him the opposite. He needs to look at the instruments in front of him and trust that what they are telling him is true, regardless of what he sees. He needs to look beyond the clouds!

 

In the same way, we are reminded that we should not lose heart when all we see around us is overwhelming and seems hopeless. It is exactly at that time that we have to remember that we are not without hope and that what God promises is true and trustworthy. We have an eternal hope that helps us navigate whatever we are facing in our lives. The best is yet to come.

 

In the early days following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from a human perspective we heard that it was hopeless. The hundreds of thousands of soldiers massed at the borders would surely be guaranteed a speedy victory. Defeat seemed certain. But the world was shocked and surprised by what ensued.

 

In the midst of the battle, reports came out of believers being the hands and feet of Jesus, singing praises to God, holding onto the hope that was within, knowing that even in death, they would know what it means to achieve that eternal glory that is promised us. And so they continued to trust God, to look beyond the storm clouds of war and trust what they knew was true.

 

As we are reminded in Romans 5:5,
Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” In a world without hope, we have the hope that God has given us. What is it that is robbing you of hope today? Are you lost in the clouds? Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.

  

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that regardless of how hopeless my situation seems to be today, I am not alone. Not only are you here with me, but I can trust you and know that even now, you are at work. Help me to fix my eyes on you and see beyond the clouds. Fill my heart with hope today. Amen.

 

Throughout this Day:

Sometimes in the midst of the challenges we face, it helps to meditate on a single verse. Today let that verse be Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

I Am Here

 


“They cried out, because they … were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.”  (Mark 6:50,51)

The day had started out like any other normal day. Just like the disciples heading out in their boat, I wasn’t expecting any surprises. But surprise me it did, devastating news that had ramifications that would impact me and my family. I was overwhelmed with emotion; a feeling of grief and hopelessness threatened to destroy my peace. And destroy my peace it did!

As I struggled with the feelings, the despair, and yes even some anger, I surprised myself. How come I felt this way? Why was I feeling so lost? What was causing this surge of emotions?

In the days to follow, I realized that I had lost my focus. God had not changed, although the circumstances certainly had. I was overwhelmed, yes, but God was still right here with me. His words to me came straight out of this passage, ‘Take courage, it is I! Don’t be afraid.’ That was the important thing that I needed to remember, that he was right here!

What are you facing right now that is threatening your peace? Where has fear replaced faith in your life? When you take your eyes off Jesus, the Prince of Peace, you are easily cast adrift in the midst of life’s storms. It is exactly then that you need to remember to keep your eyes focused on him.

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that you are here with me, right where I am. Though the circumstances may be overwhelming, you are the one that I can look to. Replace my fears with faith and my feelings of hopelessness with hope. Fill me with your peace and help me to look to you in the midst of my situation today. Amen.

 

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

More Than Just a Feeling

 


My best friend doesn’t want to be best friends with me anymore.” Her lip quivered as she told her Grandma the sad news. She was only 6 years old, but she was already learning a hard lesson. In a world that is all about me and my feelings, relationships are fickle and changing. Daily headlines tell us which couple has called it quits and given upon their relationship. Families are divided over differences of opinion.

 

But what does God’s Word tell us about our relationships? Shouldn’t those of us who are Christ-followers have a different measuring stick? These verses in 1 John make it very clear. The reason we are to love one another is because God first loved us. Since he now lives in us, that same love has been made complete in us. Not only that, he has given us his Holy Spirit to make it all possible. We don’t have to do it on our own.

 

So, what does that look like? Love is more than just a feeling. It is intentional, and involves a level of commitment that will weather the test of time and challenges. We don’t have to agree on everything, but we are still commanded to show love to one another.

 

A good friend of mine was widowed and moved back into the area after decades of living a province away. We made a commitment to regularly have lunch to catch up on what was happening in our lives and what we could pray about. And that’s just what we did! Whether in the cold of winter, or on beautiful summer days, we made it a priority and put it into our calendar. But it didn’t just happen. We have been intentional about spending time together, committed to our relationship, and as a result, blessed with an ever-deepening friendship.

 

When we love one another the way God commands us to, it goes beyond just feelings which are fickle and can easily change. It bridges differences in opinion or a change in circumstances. It reflects God in us, at work in us, in the power of his Spirit and should set us apart from those that don’t have him living in their lives.

 

Do your relationships reflect God’s love? Is there someone you need to reach out to today? Who can you be intentional about loving this week?

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that you are love and that you live in me today. Help me to love others in a way that reflects your love for them through me. Use me to be your hands and feet to show your love to the people around me. Amen.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Seeing the Unseen


“And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  (2 Kings 6:17)

When the prophet Elijah was taken up to heaven, it was Elisha who not only saw it happen, but picked up Elijah’s cloak and the mantle of his ministry along with it. But what do you remember about Elisha?

 

Perhaps it is the story of the widow’s oil that didn’t run out until all the containers were filled in 2 Kings 4, or in that same chapter, the Shunammite’s son’s being restored to life. For myself, it is Elisha’s prayer here in chapter 6. You see, Elisha trusted that God could work even when the situation seemed difficult or impossible from a human standpoint.

 

He looked for God’s handprint, evidence that he was not just aware of the situation, but already moving to resolve the challenge. He wasn’t deterred when the circumstances seemed overwhelming or impossible and trusted him to show up even then. Who else would think to command an iron axe head lost in a river to float? (2 Kings 6:6). And it did!

 

When Elisha and his servant were surrounded by the enemy’s army of horses and chariots, he saw the unseen. His response to his servant was this, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha saw that God’s army was already in place ready to do battle on his behalf. God had a different outcome already in motion for that day and could be trusted to work it out.

 

Too often I am like Elisha’s servant, fearful and overwhelmed by the challenges I am facing. Instead, I need to pray, ‘Open my eyes Lord, so that I may see you already at work. I want to see your handprint.’ God is right there, totally aware of all I am anxious about, and he is already at work. I just need to have my eyes opened to see that.

 

What about you? Are you overwhelmed like Elisha’s servant? Can you only see the problem and no possible solution? Why don’t you ask God to open your eyes today to be able to see the unseen and watch him do the impossible?

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that you are always with me, always aware of my situation and already at work. Open my eyes to see the unseen, so that I can see your handprint on every detail on my life today. Amen

 

Throughout this Day:

Look for God’s handprint today, evidence that he is working and active in your life. Thank him for opening your eyes to see the unseen.


Wednesday, December 01, 2021

A Change of Plans


 

“You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give his name Jesus.”  (Luke 1:31)

She had her entire life ahead of her. She was engaged and looking forward to getting married. But all that changed in a single moment. The angel appeared to her with a story that was hard to believe except for one small thing. It was exactly what had been prophesied back in the time of Isaiah, ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son’(Isaiah 7:14). Mary would have been familiar with that prophecy.

 

Suddenly her entire life changed. God had changed her plans! But that didn’t mean it was going to be easy. Over the next few months tongues were wagging and she escaped to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. She was shamed for her pregnancy, and even her fiancé, Joseph, questioned her faithfulness to him.

 

Even though it was God’s perfect plan, the fulfillment of prophecy, that didn’t mean that it would be easy for Mary. There would be times when I am sure she questioned what was happening in her life. Yet her response revealed her trust in God. ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said’. (Luke 1:38)

 

How do you respond when God changes your plans? Do you respond like Mary? Do you trust that He will work out even the difficult things you are going through? Do you praise him even when the going gets tough?

 

What are you facing today that wasn’t according to your plan for your life? Are you doubting that God could be at work even now when everything has changed? Praise him for who he is and thank him that even now, he is at work.

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that I can trust you even when my plans are changed. You have not changed and you are still at work. Help me to remember that when everything around me is uncertain and changing, that you are still the same God who sent an angel to talk to a virgin over two thousand years ago. Amen.

 

Throughout this Day:

When you are tempted to be discouraged by changes in your plans, take the time to first praise God for who he is, thank him that he is still at work, and then trust him to be at work even now.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

You Say

 


“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 

which God prepared for us to do.  (Ephesians 2:10)

 

‘I am so ugly!’ ‘No one loves me because I am so unloveable.’ ‘I am so fat.’ ‘

Why am I so stupid?’


It’s easy to be overwhelmed with words like these, telling ourselves lies that are 

destructive and tear down our self esteem. But this verse in Ephesians 2 tells 

something different. We are actually God’s handiwork, his piece of art, his creation.


Not only that, in other places in the Bible we are told that we are precious and 

honored in God’s sight and loved by him(Isaiah 43:4). In fact, he delights over us 

with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)!


One of the things that helps me to remember what is true about me is to listen to 

worship music or old hymns. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with the lies, God 

uses the words of the songs to speak truth to my heart and mind.


One such song is ‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle. In it she contrasts what God says 

about me with what I say about myself. The chorus of the song reminds me:

 ‘You say I am loved, when I can’t feel a thing

You say I am strong when I think I am weak

And you say I am held when I am falling short

And when I don’t belong, oh you say I am yours’


Are you mired in the lies that you tell yourself? Are you overwhelmed with those 

thoughts that pull you down? Have you forgotten what God says about you? 

He wants you to believe the truth that he tells you about yourself so that you can 

know that not only are you are loved by him, but you belong to him. You are his 

work of art!


Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that what you say about me is the truest thing about myself. Thank 

you that I am loved by you and that you give me strength even when I am weak.  

Help me not to believe the lies that I too often believe, but instead remember 

what you say about me. Fill my mind with those thoughts today. Amen.


Throughout this Day:

Listen to this song, You Say, by Lauren Daigle and listen to the words as she 

sings. Take time to thank God today for the things that he says are true about 

you – you are loved, you are strong, you belong to him, you are his handiwork, 

created and loved by him.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Who Are You?

 

“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”  (Psalm 9:10)

What happens when you wake up at night and are overwhelmed with all the circumstances you are facing in your life? Do you experience panic attacks, where your heart is racing, your breathing is shallow and the anxiety level is almost unbearable? Do you lie awake for hours worrying about the sleep you aren’t getting?

 

Over the past months God has been challenging me to look at everything that I am experiencing through the lens of who he is. He is in charge and there is nothing that is too big for him. Instead of looking at the problems or challenges that I am facing, I need to focus on God. This verse tells me that if I know God’s name then I will trust him.

 

But what is his name? Who is he? That’s the question that Moses asked him when he met him in Exodus 3: 13,14. God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM”. God is beyond us, he is infinite power, he is everything, he is the giver of everything that we need.

 

In those night watches, I have been reciting back to God all that he is, replacing those anxious thoughts that multiply within me with the truth of God’s name and all that he is instead. God you are everything, you are my peace, you are faithful and trustworthy, you are my strength, you are my good shepherd, you are everything I need you to be.’

 

What do you need God to be today? Do you need him to be your rest? Your peace? Your Healer? He is telling you that ‘I am your everything! You can trust me and I will not forsake you.’ Whether you are overwhelmed by your lists of things to be done during the day, or anxious about all the future holds at night, he is worthy of your trust!

   

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that you are the great ‘I AM’ and you are totally trustworthy. You are my strong tower, my refuge and my shelter in a time of storm. I know your name and I can trust in you because you will not forsake me, of that I can be absolutely sure. Remind me of that often today. Amen.

 

Throughout this Day:

When those anxious thoughts threaten to overwhelm you, take the time instead to tell God all that he is to you. Speak it out loud. Tell him what you need him to be today.