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In Our Fearful Times

“Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”


(John 14:27b) 
Life can be chaotic and feel out of control. As a result, some of us seem destined to go through life in a state of anxiety, agitation, or alarm, while more fortunate souls find the path to calm and contentment. Medical records attest to the former mode gaining dominance in our times. Stress, and its related physical maladies, plagues far too many in Western society.

Yet as I’ve noticed, many de-stressing techniques are mere

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distracters. They shift our focus for a time but do little to transform our stressful states. Still Life is based on actual transformation. Its ability to produce change from the inside out is authentic. It’s knowing where to get help with our problems and disturbances  — the stuff of daily life.

Psalm 23 is a place to start. It’s familiar to many, believers or not, and shifts our gaze to consider another reality: an eternal one. “The Lord is my shepherd.” That’s an arresting statement. Is He? How do we know?

Look closer at what He does for us and see if this has happened to you. “He makes me lie down in green pastures…leads me beside quiet waters…restores my soul…” If it has, you’ve been given a sample of Still Life (vv. 1-3).

Later in this passage, David tells of a stressful time but is accompanied by the Lord. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me.” Like us, sometimes, David was faced with enemies, but God’s comfort and holy presence make him feel safe. David was in that place on purpose: God’s purpose (vv. 4-5).

If we have that sense of being led, guided, and provided for, we can endure. The future, as well as the present, is secure. We can choose where we “dwell” (v.6).

Still Life is a habit, a cultivated response based in our spiritual make-up. It’s a snatch of grace amid the constant bombardment of living with what rattles us and challenges our desire for well-being.    Still means both rest, quiet calm, serenity, and soothing, as well as endurance. It’s how we last.

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Instead of bolting or zoning, we wait in patient confidence. Stillness is undisturbed, not unlike the eye of a storm. Its deep pool a reservoir of reserve. It’s not dependent on outside influences, but more on what we allow to matter in the present. Stillness happens in the present.

When events swirl around us, how do we keep from falling prey to emotional and spiritual vertigo? Like ballet dancers who master the pirouette, we find our fixed spot, our place of reference. When we do, the motion isn’t relevant. We are stable and assured.

Those who haven’t discovered this foundation keep riding the waves of worry or woundedness. They hide or escape when they sense another nauseating taste of overwhelm. Frustrated, they blame their circumstances, or beat the air in anger or fear. Endurance becomes a pipe dream.

The pages of Scripture are full of examples of those who last, and those who can’t–ones who trust and others who panic. Mere human beings subject to our same weaknesses, yet, “by faith,” lived out invisible realities that supported and sustained them like bedrock.

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“And what more can I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon…Samson…David and Samuel and the prophets, who, through faith, conquered kingdoms, administered justice…shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames…whose weakness was turned to strength…” (Hebrews 11:32-34 NIV).

Still Life is a longing in our hearts, an ache that doesn’t go away. It’s “losing our lives to save them” (Matthew 10:39). It’s forgiveness undeserved, courage in the face of fear, humility that dismisses boastful pride.

It knows no bounds, because nothing can defeat it. It’s a life

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transformed and empowered to live against the undertow. It buoys us when we surrender to it and reassures us of the future when we can’t see it yet.

Stress and turmoil happen. We know it, but we don’t have to be their victims. The answer is as ancient as the Ancient-of-Days. It’s no secret. And it still works.

As David says, “I shall not be in want…my cup overflows” because the Shepherd’s goodness, comfort, and mercy will follow [us] all of [our] days (Psalm 23:1b, 5b-6 NIV).

Come to Still Life. Now is the perfect time.    -adapted from Still Life, Finding Calm in a Chaotic World

By : Beth Weikel /June 16, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on In Our Fearful Times Read More

The Language of Hope: Finding the Way Through

We’re still sequestered in our homes, but signs of new life are

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emerging every day. It’s spring! Where we live the wildlife is starting to peek out from their winter homes and are invading our yard in a welcome way. The dry grasses are slowly turning green again.

Life is becoming renewed. Our winter storms are subsiding, and rain showers are doing the work of waking up the garden. Let us share an excerpt from Hope in the Midst of Loss that expresses this mood we’re noticing all around us:

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“Bird Party” (from Matthew 6)  “Let all who take refuge in You be glad,
let them ever sing for joy.”    
(Psalm 5:11)                       
   Splashing, spraying, zooming, clowning,  Perching, peeping, chiding, chirping,  Rivers of riotous joy in meadows in full flower.   Breezes beckoning, sun glistening, clouds swaying,  Swelling sounds of motion, commotion mingling of summer’s songsters.   Why?  Wherefore?  Because I filled the feeders in my backyard, and they came.   Before I knew it, a glut of friendly nuthatches, wrens, sparrows and curious bluebirds, robins, and finches were cavorting among the lush evergreens, the tall grasses, and showy wildflowers that lined our pond.   Sage and spirea, hackberry and cockspur were alive with varieties

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of boisterous warblers preening, whistling, and calling out to each other, happy for a generous handout. Sometimes hiding, often waggish, I amused myself with their unaffected caprice, drinking in the natural perfection of a lazy mid-summer’s afternoon.   Such a display was a reminder of what we’re not to be: anxious, worrisome, troubled. What if? If only…dreading times of leanness, distrusting the dark clouds building.   As if we can avert storms, catastrophes, and unforetold events.   Why don’t birds despair? Don’t they recognize life is full of risk, and existence fragile?  

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“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet…”   “Yet?” (One may say) “How careless and irresponsible they seem. Don’t they know about IRAs and flood insurance? Who’s going to take care of them when they’re old, in ill health, forgotten?”     “The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness.”   “But I’m afraid of the dark. Aren’t you?” (I hear another respond)   “…and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth

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much more than they?”   “I’m not sure, but I want to think so.” (Someone may think)   “Therefore do not be like them (the hypocrites or the unbelievers) when you pray. For your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.”   It seems to me that my heavenly Father knew about the birds of the air and their needs when He sent me into my backyard with a bag of birdseed. I got to benefit in their obvious pleasure at the bounty around them.

How often do I acknowledge this promise of provision, even in the waiting, the dry times, especially in the shadowy threatening times? How clear is my eye? How full of light?   “…for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  

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Faithful, Abba Father, let me esteem my treasure, even now, or when faith is faint. When I would have things otherwise, show me where the bird party is.

Help me hold onto those things that don’t perish, that can’t be destroyed. Pull back the curtain on the bird party, with its lasting refreshment for all the senses, or give me memory to reflect on previous bird parties with confident hope that they won’t be the last.

Let me never lose sight of my treasure and fill my heart again to overflowing with its abundance.  Hope Applied

What significant question do we need to answer about our worth to God?

Where should our focus be? How do we lose that?

What truth is mentioned about prayer? How does that change the way we pray?

How can we recognize the bounty around us despite challenges? And how can we hold on to our treasure?

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By : Beth Weikel /April 25, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on The Language of Hope: Finding the Way Through Read More

“Hitting the Pause Button…”

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We’ve all probably had enough time at home by now to appreciate a few questions I jotted down in my journal a couple weeks ago. They came to mind when the reality of this new pace of life with its special guidelines and cautions settled in. Here goes:

1. What did we take for granted?
Here are some possibilities– “community” in all its forms: high

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school plays, free concerts with local bands or national touring groups, routine celebrations like parades or birthday parties, inviting people over, church services in person, time spent in conversation with friends at coffee shops and favorite restaurants, workout classes at the fitness center, doing errands around town with several stops, not hesitating to give someone a hug…

2. What’s difficult?   Getting up each day to wonder what choices we have, reminders of the pandemic and its international impact, trepidation and paranoia when we try to get groceries (have you noticed how many avoid eye contact now), being connected with those we care about, dry, chapped hands from repeatedly washing them and not rubbing or itching our eyes or nose, putting plans for our special anniversary trip overseas on hold this year…

3. What am I grateful for? Being at home in these mountains where beauty is framed in every window, appreciating the

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enormous efforts people at all levels are making to help us get through this time, focused leadership and collaboration, making adjustments together and listening more intentionally, personal and intercessory prayer that redeems this situation, reading Scriptures that remind me all that God is and can be, health…

I hope you are making similar lists and considering what lessons are available for you, too, as we “hit the pause button.” This is a unique opportunity to prioritize and reflect on what matters most.          

By : Beth Weikel /April 13, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on “Hitting the Pause Button…” Read More

Reassurance in Our Insecurity

Reassurance in Our Insecurity    In these times of trouble and turmoil, life is getting stripped down to essentials that we need to remember. This time will eventually pass, but there are lessons to carry forward. What do you know that will never change? This story may help uncover a truth you need:     Years ago, I had the joy of spending an extended weekend with my grandson. This seven-year-old was all about thrilling rides at Nickelodeon Universe, an amusement park next to our hotel. We got there later than planned and needed to move quickly to get to all the rides we wanted to experience. And, what an experience!   After a warm-up on tamer rides, it was on to a roller coaster. The Orange Streak speeds down a twisting, turning track, leaving nothing but screams and startled pedestrians in its wake. At Nickelodeon Universe the staff wears bright t-shirts that say “We want to hear your screams!” My grandson took them at their word.   After a short wait in line, we began our ascent before plunging, tossing, and reeling for several minutes. We screamed the whole way. When we came around the last turn, two girls in front of us craned their necks to spy my grandson enjoying himself at full throttle. I looked at the girls and yelled over the commotion, “They wanted to hear our scream. We gave it to them!”   Before we could call it a day, we had to do the Log Chute. Though this water adventure had quite the wait, it was the one attraction we both wanted to do. As the line crawled along, we had time to think about what lay ahead and knew we would travel through a cavernous mountain that ended with a forty-foot drop.     We were ready for this, we thought; and before too long, we were climbing aboard the log, straddling a bench with no seat belt to hold us into the ride.   What were we thinking? My grandson, feeling like he could fall out of the log, turned around to me and said with urgency, “Hold me, Grandpa. Don’t let me go!” I looked at him and said, “I got you buddy. Believe me, I won’t let you go.”   When we made another turn picking up speed, he repeated, “Don’t let me go!” And I repeated, “I won’t.”   Nearing the end of the ride knowing the forty-foot drop awaited, I heard one more time, “Grandpa, hold me tight. Grandpa, don’t let me go! I don’t want to fall.” Even though I had not let him go, I told him, “I will hold you. You are safe with me.”     The log carrying us plunged what seemed like more than forty feet straight down, splashing us and holding our stomach hostage. But we made it, and with much effort, I did not let him go.   Holding On in Another Time   Long ago, a man in Jerusalem committed many crimes against people in the area. Ruthless and willing to do whatever it took, he was caught breaking into the home of a prominent Roman citizen. Eventually captured by Roman soldiers, he was tried and quickly found guilty, which meant death in those times.     The Roman magistrate had many choices in using the death penalty. The magistrate could bury him alive, throw him from a cliff, or burn him to death.   The decision was made that day this thief would be crucified with two others. His punishment began by scourging. The whip used consisted of metal thongs with pieces of pottery attached to the tips of each strand. The thief was struck thirty-eight times.   The custom was for the condemned to carry his own cross to the place of execution outside the city. When the journey was complete, he was nailed to the cross and it was set in place. Another criminal was already there. The thief knew him because criminals share a bond.     Soon another man appeared. The crowd was following him and chanting, “Jesus, Son of God! The Chosen One.” Hours crawled on as those present waited for the spectacle to end. Suddenly, the other criminal scoffed at Jesus, “King of the Jews, save yourself! And us!”     The thief, overwhelmed, could only say, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? We are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”   He continued by saying to Jesus this time, “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”   And Jesus replied, “Truly you will be with me in Paradise.”   What the thief was asking that day was, “Jesus will you hold me? Don’t let me go!”   By His reply, Jesus meant, “I will hold you through death, then deliver you to Paradise. You will always be with me, I will not let you go.”   This promise Jesus gave the thief who asked for Jesus’ rescue is the same promise He gives all of those who seek Him.   He says to you and to me, “I will hold you through life. There will be times when you will forget that I have you, but remember I am holding you tight and will not let you go.” 

-excerpt from Called to Be a Warrior,Encouragement for the Battle in All of Life’s Challenges by David B. Weikel

By : Beth Weikel /April 13, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on Reassurance in Our Insecurity Read More

Peace Amid Panic and Pandemic: Who Can Help Us?

Peace Amid Panic and Pandemic:     A few days ago while listening to the radio, I heard the daily press conference updates which the President and the Task Force team gave. When it came to the Q & A time, I heard an exchange that has bothered me since.

After some back and forth to clarify specifics, a journalist named Peter asked an open-ended “feeling” question something like, “What do you say to the people who live in fear?” Immediately, the weary Commander-in-Chief snapped back by claiming “sensationalism” and faulty journalism.

After weeks of intense work, pressure, and unknowns, I could appreciate how this question might have felt like a trap and back-handed criticism, despite the obvious care and concern the Team was exhibiting.

However, not knowing the motives of either party, I’ve been mulling over other responses:

Past Crises  Though I didn’t live through the era, I’ve heard FDR’s inaugural speech in the depth of the Depression. “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself…” That response was planned for and carefully worded. Not a surprise.

Not many years later, Winston Churchill rallied the nation when the Nazi’s were at the door. He said, “Never, never, never give up!” And it would take their “blood, sweat, and tears” to see them through. Both men had the media’s support at that critical time.

Our Real Enemy  What occurred to me now was a missed opportunity to admit the panic and paranoia many have displayed, and recognize this human tendency in any crisis. Feelings of helplessness run high, as we react irrationally in survival mode. (Who needs that much toilet paper?!)

However, we are not alone as mere humans with this “invisible enemy.” As we face weeks perhaps months of disruption, we still have choices and can turn to faith in our fears. Fears about death, lost wages, missed opportunities, what this means going forward, and so on.

Though politically sensitive in our society, let me say, there is a God in heaven who is sovereign, Almighty, and shows mercy. This perspective is shared by many who trust more in the God of the universe, who has allowed this trial and turbulence at this appointed time, than human solutions and governmental aid. The Scriptures are evidence of His comfort and wisdom, though people were desperate and afraid.

Make no mistake, we also have an “invisible enemy” of our souls. He has been with us since the beginning of time. He is a “liar, a thief, and a murderer.” Our weapons of warfare are clearly stated in God’s Word. He doesn’t leave us defenseless.

Take Action  So, continue to pray for our leaders who make decisions for us and tirelessly seek answers, while we share this burden. Let us lift up one another and find creative ways to not live in despair, and let God’s Spirit renew our hope daily.

If this message resonates with you, please forward it to those who might need it. 

By : Beth Weikel /April 13, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on Peace Amid Panic and Pandemic: Who Can Help Us? Read More

A Still Life Promise

What do you do when there seems to be nowhere to go with the pressure you’re under? When you’ve tried to be patient for so long and are past hope?     Well, we have models to look at and a Resource that matters.

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Let me share an excerpt from our devotional Still Life that may help. Your circumstances may be different, but the principles still apply.       God’s Inbox   Often in the Scriptures, we see people cry out for God to answer their prayers–prayers of deliverance, rescue, supply, or healing. The psalmist here is no different. He is plagued by enemies and offers his plea to the One he knows can help.   “O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you…Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Psalm 143:1-2, 10 NIV). We often do this same thing today. Wise ones who put their trust in the living God ask, even plead, for God to respond to their pressing need. But, what’s noteworthy here is the position the psalmist takes. He say, “Help me, have mercy, but I don’t deserve it. I can’t earn this.” He acknowledges it’s in accordance with God’s character that he hopes–God’s righteousness and God’s faithfulness. Do we start there? Am I humble before Him, or do I demand and whine? “Therefore, my spirit is overwhelmed within me. For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he had made me dwell in dark places…” (v. 3) While listening to an acquaintance tell me about her ongoing pressure at work, I couldn’t help but notice underlying her complaint was an assumption: if God would remove them, their unfair tactics aimed at me, or better yet, miraculously whisk me away, life would be perfect. Really? I heard her pain. I saw the weariness of trying to deal with a

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negative environment day after discouraging day. I could relate because of similar experiences, but I’ve seen one thing so far, it’s how sovereign God is big enough to use these times for our good if we wait and lean into Him. I don’t have to like what’s happening, but I can remember He’s with me and knows all about it.   After the writer of this psalm lays out his problem before God, he declares that he wants to be taught by Him.  He’s teachable. I don’t think I admit this accompanying need enough when I’m in distress. I want to be rid of my “enemy,” the source of my frustration, or the system I feel abused by. “Just fix it, God. I’m fine–it’s them.”   Better still, how about letting my Lord teach me right where I’m at, before He changes anyone else, or perhaps chooses not to. I have His “good Spirit” to lead me. I have what I need already, and it’s important for me to do His will, even in uncomfortable circumstances. This is my level ground.  

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Also, my prayers are important. They unburden my soul as I lift my concerns from my shoulders and place them onto God’s. I sometimes picture gathering up all the parts of the problem  and putting the stack into Jesus’ inbox–where it belongs. Just that act gives me peace and assurance He’ll attend to it.   Consequently, I can tell after I’ve given all that’s troubling me into His repository, He places His peace in the void that’s left. And with that, I have room to hear His steadying instructions about how to follow Him in that difficult place.   His faithfulness, His righteousness “brings my soul out of trouble,” because in humility and hope, “I am your servant” (vv. 11-12). Stuff His Inbox Lord, I’m so glad Your inbox is never too full. You don’t get those pesky reminders to delete anyone’s messages because You’re at capacity. Thank You that any request matters, any time day or night, especially night when my brain wakes me up with alarm.   Your presence and Your Word teaches me to trust and quiets me. You’ve said we’ll have enemies, but You’ve also told us that’s not unusual as we follow You. In Your faithfulness hear my plea, and remember mercy, O my Lord. Amen.   Secure and Strengthened

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“O, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land;   O , Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, a Shelter in a time of storm.   A Shade by day, Defense by night, no fears alarm, no foes afright,   O Rock Divine, O Refuge dear, be Thou our Helper ever near.”

By : Beth Weikel /April 13, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on A Still Life Promise Read More

Looking for the Blessing in Hard Things

 Looking for the Blessing   in Hard Things   As I listened to the robotic voice I heard, “As of Dec. 31, 2019,

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your health insurance has been cancelled.” So the rumors were true. Our area had been dropped from coverage.

As I kept listening, I had to choose from a menu of options, which seemed like gibberish to me. The one that I needed was to talk to a representative who was not a robot. I picked a number and said, “I need… to talk…to a… representative.” That request seemed too complicated for my robot friend. So I said loudly into the mic, “representative!”

That put me in touch with a human who decided, after I started to

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explain, that I should be transferred to a more local agent. “Oh No! Transferred?” I heard the noxious music starting and waited…

Nick (I always get their names) came back on the line and said he had connected with my local agent who could help. The conversation that ensued wasn’t what I expected. She (Marina) didn’t much care to hear from me or have the information I wanted to know. “You were sent a letter on Dec. 7 that advised you of this action and options you could take,” she said.

“What letter?” Nothing came to mind, but then it was the busy holiday rush. So, she located a copy and read, “Dear Beth…” When she got to the part about my health group being terminated, it was obvious this was just a boiler plate version, not one intended for just me and my immediate circumstance.

I now had 60 days to fix this somehow and it seemed I was to start with an impersonal website with the hope I could get specific

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answers, or go to the “Medicare National Sales Dept.” Yikes! The black hole of government bureaucracy. I’m doomed! Marina didn’t listen to my protests, but merely repeated what she had covered during the call and asked, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” (She didn’t want to hear my reply.)

Since Dave was at an important appointment in the city and didn’t pick up when I called, I remembered what most people do: I texted him. Yes, a short, plaintive cry to intervene in this misery. A couple sentences alerting him it was his turn at bat.

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By the time he got home, I had done what I had promised myself in the New Year. I chose to look for the blessing in hard things. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Identify the struggle and the stress: I had an unexpected turn of events that were out of my control and couldn’t connect with someone who cared to clarify a true solution. (In fact, she couldn’t clarify who was responsible or why this happened.) 
  2. Admit helpless feelings of desperation, inadequacy, resentment, and so on…(Both of us have had some serious health events in the past and needed reliable coverage.)
  3. Bring God into it. He’s part of this day with me and knows more about this than anyone concerned. Acknowledge His power to work and show me a way through, even while I wait in confusion.
  4. Step back and see the blessing: A. I had found out about the problem and had time to call (on a week day during business hours) for some answers right then. B. I figured out from my insurance card who to contact at first. C. I remembered about texting, rather than frantically calling Dave 10 X with no response. D. I could just wait for further guidance and go about my day accomplishing other things I cared about.

When Dave got home he had done some great legwork and found additional information I could be blessed by:

  1. Our health group was proactive in securing an acceptable option without our striking out on our own. (I had visions of “Affordable Health Care and sky-high premiums.)
  2. Dave also found out who was responsible for this development, which surprised me. It wasn’t what “Marina” had said.
  3. This dilemma didn’t drag out very long and didn’t put us in jeopardy, as it seemed.

At the risk of giving too much information about a personal issue, I’m sharing this to present a process toward adopting a new habit for any who care to try it. “Be Blessed,” regardless of daily irritations or seemingly monumental developments. Let me review:

  1. Step back and take a breath, as you go after a solution– in God’s presence
  2. He planned for your day to include this so stay focused, though it’s frustrating to work with strangers on a personal matter.
  3. Begin to let the Spirit share the blessing in this circumstance and calm your heart. Deliverance is in process.
  4. We don’t have to get our way, or abuse people who aren’t helpful. We trust…and let God put us in a different place with Him.
  5. Human weakness is exposed by such events, ours and others’. But we’re not helpless, and we will see His hand.
  6. Let God put the pieces together and lead where He wants it to go. He knows the source of the issue and the path toward resolution.

So, in 2020, join me in this new outlook of finding the blessing in hard things. And, we’ll have more to praise the Almighty for, as well as see growth in our own lives.

By : Beth Weikel /April 13, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on Looking for the Blessing in Hard Things Read More

“Purposeful Brokenness”

“Purposeful Brokenness”  “Because life challenges us with episodes of loss, we must become skilled and committed to handling all of life from the perspective of what we call purposeful brokenness. God’s grace operates in our brokenness

with the long view in mind, while actively, intimately embracing His sons and daughters in a lasting embrace day by day.”     -from The Way of Hope,  Growing Close to God through Loss  Many we met in Paradise, California, were broken and seeking answers to life, desiring to trust a living God as they moved forward. With God even tragedy can have meaning in horrendous loss.  Others who weren’t ready to seek God in their loss were being drawn closer to Christ. In addition to what by His design provided, the church we were partnering with demonstrated an unconditional love for people, with no expectation of getting anything in return. 

 The ten days we spent at Magalia Pines Baptist Church was both exhausting and exhilarating because we could visibly see how our God of undeniable mercy and grace was using all of the team of volunteers to re-create community daily. “The church we had before the fire is not the church we have

now,” Pastor Doug commented. He’s spent the last 25 years at this place and is uniquely qualified by a lifetime of experience and training to be used in this resurrection.   When we got there, this small church who’d lost most of their members due to the devastation, was providing home-cooked meals twice a day and other practical help to hundreds. They’ve been doing this for several months now.   

The ongoing collection of household goods that people can apply for is being housed in the church’s auxiliary building formerly used for children’s ministry.            

By : Dave Weikel /April 13, 2020 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on “Purposeful Brokenness” Read More

Jehoshaphat’s Crisis and the Prophet’s Response

The enemies of Judah showed up suddenly outside Jerusalem to make war in a time of peace.

When the report came, King Jehoshaphat was struck with fear, because the enemies’ combined armies far outnumbered Judah’s.

After declaring a fast for the nation, so they could seek God, they all came from their cities to hear from the Lord.

“All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their infants, their wives, and their children,” when the king spoke. His wise and humble prayer is recorded in II Chronicles 20:6-12.

In effect, he acknowledged the true God and admitted, “We are powerless before this great multitude coming against us, nor do we know what to do; but our eyes are on You.”

“Then, in the midst of the assembly the spirit of the Lord filled Jahaziel…and he said, Listen all Judah…and King Jehoshaphat, thus says the Lord to you” (v. 14-15).

What this obscure prophet relayed to everyone was God’s battle plan when they went out to face the enemy. What God had planned the next day for them was to show up to praise Him, while He dealt with the enemy (v. 16-25).

After Jahaziel spoke, everyone, including the King, bowed their heads and fell down before the Lord to worship Him.

They knew that God’s prophet had spoken and this was the way to victory.

By : Dave Weikel /November 08, 2018 /Uncategorized /Comments Off on Jehoshaphat’s Crisis and the Prophet’s Response Read More

Return…and I’ll Return to You

Have you ever been treated with contempt when you thought you were being gracious? Your heart was right, and the act sacrificial, but those on the receiving end didn’t welcome the gesture. In fact, you were met with hostility. 

When this happens, depending on the parties involved, the sting can be lethal. “How could they have missed the cues,” we wonder? 

Reconciliation is like that. It only works as a two-way street. A hand extended can be slapped away. Though it hurts, the offer needs to be made. 

King Hezekiah sent his priests and messengers throughout Israel and Judah to call the nation back to worship the living God. The hand of God was extended in compassion, but the reaction was mixed. In fact, only a minority responded in kind. The rest laughed.

Christmastime reminds us God’s hand is extended waiting for a response. It’s an invitation to return.

How far away are you? Am I? Is pride, or possibly some other human barrier, the obstacle to receiving what only God can give?

 

Today’s Scripture:  2 Chronicles 30:5-12

“The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but the people scorned and ridiculed them.”   II Chronicles 30:10

Application for Life: Lord, thank You that You made the offer that night in the stable. Help us to recognize Your invitation  and return.

By : Beth Weikel /December 06, 2014 /By His Design Blog, Uncategorized /Comments Off on Return…and I’ll Return to You Read More
  • About By His Design

    Dave and Beth Weikel have worked in full-time ministry, business, and public education for over 30 years. God is using their season of loss to provide hope and healing for others.
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