Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Prodigal Returns

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 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you . . .”
2 Corinthians 9:8

To my dear blogging friend:

I have been where you are right now. I know what it is to have a child walk away from you. It is an agonizing place--full of longing and fear, and trimmed with hurt, a touch of anger and many “what ifs”.

I remember wishing "If I could just have my daughter back--the daughter I know is still in there somewhere." I really didn't know or understand the young woman she had become. I wondered if she had taken to heart anything her father and I had taught her about Jesus (or anything else, for that matter).

Thankfully, God kept his hand on her, though she tried to shrug it off many times. A few years later she came to a hard place in her life, brought on by the combination of a series of poor choices and bi-polar disorder. Though I hated to see her in these painful circumstances, I rejoiced that she turned, not only to her dad and me, but to God for help and strength and forgiveness!

The wonderful differences in her and in our relationship are undeniable and unshakable.

I offer you hope, my friend, glorious hope—hope that wipes away all the anxiety, disappointment, regrets, and pain. Our God truly is faithful and loving. He hears and he answers—maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but at just the right moment.

May He pour out His grace and mercy on you and yours!

With love,
I would have lost heart,
unless I had believed that
I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
(Psalm 27:13-14).  

©2012 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Quiet Night by vladstudio

In returning and rest I shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be my strength
(based on Isaiah 30:15).

a. (Adjective) Making little or no noise.
b. (Noun) Absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm.
c.(Verb) Make or become silent, calm, or still.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the word quiet. Maybe it’s because I often get myself in trouble by speaking without thinking. God has been reminding me that I would please Him more (and sin less) if I spoke less hastily and kept quiet instead. (Proverbs 10:19)

Perhaps the word quiet has been on my mind so much because silence is such a rarity. Everywhere I go there is sound—droning on the TV, blaring in the restaurant, ringing and dinging from my cell phone, thunking and swishing from the washer, etc, etc. I am sure I could have a better conversation with God if, like Jesus did, I would just remove myself from the noise and bustle around me. (Mark 1:35)

And I definitely understand why God is nudging me to indulge in more quiet time. I could connect with God more frequently if I would just become still for a bit (Psalm 46:10) instead of constantly feeling the need to be busy, to be moving, to be getting “stuff” done. Even when I am sitting, my fingers are flying over my computer keyboard and my thoughts are jumping from one idea to the next as I virtually hop from my web browser to my email to Microsoft Word. How can God possibly get my attention when I am so engrossed in surfing the information highway?

How about you? Does quiet seem like a pipe dream to you? Do you struggle to find a little stillness and silence? The Bible says it is worth the extra effort and reaps the rewards of a better relationship with God and one another.

Many blessings, my bloggy friends!

 ©2012 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Run to God!

“Run to God!”
Proverbs 3:7b
(The Message Translation)

I love this picture! The shirt and the smile speak volumes! And even better is when this Little Guy comes running to me full speed, with his arms lifted and his expectations of being picked up, played with, given a cookie, or simply hugged, soaring even higher. How good he makes me feel—so special and needed and loved.

The squeeze of his arms around my neck; the softness of his lips on my face; the brush of his hair on my cheek as he lays his head on my shoulder—epitomizes trust, wrapped up in 33 inches of pure joy.

That’s how God feels when we run in abandon to Him—with our arms reaching out and our hearts completely open to Him. God’s Word assures us that we bring our Heavenly Father GREAT pleasure (Revelation 4:11) when we willingly and expectantly throw ourselves at Him and lay our heads on His shoulder in trust. (Hebrews 4:16) And that trust is wholely justified! (Psalm 9:10) For God cherishes us unconditionally (John 3:16) and will love on us every chance we give Him. (Romans 5:8)

I am reminded of the chorus from a song entitled, “I’ll Stand ” by Hillside United:

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I'll stand
My soul, Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours!

Isn’t that just what God wants from us? Total surrender? (Romans 12:1)

May you experience the awesome blessings of running into God's arms!
©2012 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fitness on a Shoestring

What’s the hot topic the first week of 2012? Exercise! We all want to maintain a healthy weight, prevent diabetes and cancer, and lower our risk of heart and vascular disease. We agree with fitness expert Denise Austin who says, “God gave us one body. We have to take good care of it.”

However, if you are like me, your budget is as tight as your jeans! We can’t afford to join a gym or buy lots of exercise equipment! Are there inexpensive alternatives that will provide the recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week?

Yes! Flattening our abs needn’t flatten our wallets! Try these tips for fitness on a shoestring:
  • Record exercise programs from TV. My favorite comes on at 9:00 AM—not a convenient time for me. Modern technology wipes away our excuses and allows us to sweat along with trained professionals.
  • Exchange equipment. Pricey exercise equipment gathers dust in many homes. Would you rather have a root canal than get on your treadmill one more time? Swap it for your neighbor’s stationary bike.
  • Borrow workout DVDs. The librarian at our church collected used exercise DVD’s and encouraged members to borrow one for a month, then trade it for another.
  • Purchase DVDs used. Local newspapers, and,com sell tons of these.
  • Buy used exercise equipment. Check the Classifieds in your local newspaper or online at, a network of urban communities, featuring free ads.
  • Invite a friend to join you. Whether walking, doing aerobics, or attempting any other kind of exercise, a friend always adds interest and accountability.
  • Organize an exercise group at your local church. At ours we start with prayer requests, then work out together to a DVD. It’s great fellowship to boot!
  • Accept free trial offers at area gyms. They have a program you can afford. At the very least you may get some new ideas of things you would like to try at home.
  • Walk! Invest in comfortable sneakers with good support and walk around your neighborhood, the high school track, or area state or national parks. The variations in terrain will keep you from working the same muscles over and over and the change of scenery will brighten your outlook.
  • Take a walking lunch. Ask colleagues to join you. Walking not only burns calories, it reduces stress and recharges our batteries—something we all could benefit from about mid-way through the workday.

According to the staff at the Mayo Clinic exercise not only helps us lose weight and combat chronic diseases, it also improves our mood, strengthens the heart and lungs, promotes better sleep, and—shhhh—can even put the spark back into your sex life. With a little self-motivation and ingenuity born of frugality, we can become healthier and, believe it or not, stay within our budget!

To a healthier you!

©2012 Pamela D. Williams
first published in VILLAGE LIVING--August 2009