Category: thoughts by Katherine Kehler

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“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”  Hebrews 13:5

Webster’s dictionary defines loneliness as,

being without company; cut off from others; not frequented by human beings; sad from being alone; producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation.

Have you ever felt lonely? Loneliness has many causes: The death of a loved one, divorce or separation, a broken engagement, a career loss or change, a move from one city or country to another. Leaving what is comfortable and familiar and moving into the unknown can be a lonely experience.

Someone once said that loneliness is not simply a matter of feeling alone, but rather the feeling that no one cares what happens to you. Most of us have felt lonely sometime in our lifetime. Feelings of rejection and abandonment are common. Even Jesus felt lonely. We need to know that someone cares about what happens to us.

What can we do to help ourselves when we feel lonely, and how can we help others?

1.  Realize that Jesus also was lonely, so He knows how you feel. Talk to Him about how you feel. (Isaiah 41: 8–10)

2.  Read your Bible every day. You will receive comfort and affirmation.

3.  Know that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. He is always there.
(Hebrews 13:5)

4.  Talk to a friend about how you feel.

If you are feeling lonely today, I also encourage you to read Facing Loneliness, by J. Oswald Sanders. It offers some excellent advice and insights.

Father, we feel so lonely at times. We need You to envelope us with Your love and attention. Thank You that You promised to meet our every need. Help us to be alert to befriend those who are lonely. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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“I am gentle and humble in heart” Matthew 11:28 

I have been rereading The Glorious Pursuit, Embracing the Virtues of Christ by Gary L. Thomas. As before, the content is very thought provoking. Thomas opens with this thoughtful paragraph:

Pause a moment and try to imagine yourself as a person who acts with the compassion of Christ; who has the patience of God Himself; who is discerning; gentle, yet confident; surrendered to the will and purpose of God. This is the life Jesus wants you to inherit, transforming you into a person who is motivated by the beautiful, not the lustful; the generous, not the selfish; the noble, not the conniving; the creative, not the destructive.”

The book is all about embracing the virtues of Christ. One chapter, “The Caressing Life,” expands on the virtue of gentleness, especially the gentleness of Christ.  Jesus describes himself, “I am gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 28–30).

We are also admonished to

Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5).

How does this work out in real life? If you have read the Gospels, you know that Jesus was gentle with most people — healing, feeding, preaching, and teaching. He also became angry with phonies and people who were just trying to set Him up, and He told them in no uncertain terms that He knew what they were trying to do.

I was reflecting on this late last night when our doorbell rang. Two women were on our doorstep asking to use our phone because their car had broken down — they needed to call a cab. I hesitated. We live on a busy highway and have had some unpleasant experiences over the years — people such as these requesting help and then lying and stealing thousands of dollars worth of equipment from our barn and garage. However, to be fair, many were honest and just needed help, which we offered. — my husband has helped several women change flat tires.

But how do I embrace a gentle spirit when I have been hurt and/or deceived? There is only one way. Open myself to Christ and ask Him to develop a gentle, discerning spirit within me. For everything that God asks us to do, He also provides the resources. Isn’t that great?

For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey Him, then helping you do what He wants” (Philippians 2:13).

He will produce in us the wisdom to know when to be gentle with people and when to be firm.

By Katherine Kehler
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“And always be thankful” Colossians 3:15

When I was younger, I naively thought temptations such as cynicism and critical attitudes would lessen with age. I thought I would be a nicer person when I became a senior.

To my dismay, I find that my mind is still being attacked with those temptations.  But why should I be surprised? After all, we never lose our sinful nature, even though the Holy Spirit gives us a spiritual nature.

I find that I need a continuous, moment-by-moment fellowship with God so that I remember to give the temptations to Him. Corrie Ten Boon said, “When temptations come knocking at my door, I let Jesus answer.”

Cynicism has been plaguing me lately — it seems to be getting worse as I get older. Based on my past experiences, my insights and analysis may be accurate, but if my heart is without love, it is sin.

The only cure for cynicism is to cultivate a habit of thankfulness. A thankful heart cannot be cynical.

If you find yourself being cynical or critical today, begin thanking God for all the blessings in your life. You will be much happier.

Father, create in us thankful hearts. Keep us from being critical and cynical. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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“And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

This is the story of Marie.  Marie is from Jamaica and is one of our (Thoughts About God) Prayer partners.  She is 53 years old.  Marie’s story of God’s daily provision throughout her life will surely encourage you.

I want to share my testimony with those who are seeking financial and other blessings from God.  My daily walk with God is one blessing after another.  

I was saved when I was 12 years old–lost my mother when I was 15 and have also lost my only child.  No one came to my rescue but God.  Every time He sent someone to meet my needs. I would wake up in the morning and find money, food or clothing.  I just give thanks.

I grew tired of living from pay check to pay check, but looking back, I recognize that He has always come through for me and I so I share with others whatever he bless me with.  My cupboards have never gone dry or empty. My brothers and sisters–trust God for everything and give Him thanks for it.  

I am working, but my take home pay is little, yet every day He provides the bus fare, the lunch and money to buy my medication.  God is good all the time and all he wants us to do is trust him for everything.  Ask him and believe him for the answers.

One of the things I learned over the years is to give thanks for everything no matter how small it is or seems. God provides for His own.  We (people around the world) are experiencing difficulty now, but God is in control. Just like He protected the children of Israel and provided for them, He will do the same for his children in the difficult times we are facing now.”

I could go on but remember Maria is praying for you and your requests.  I know God is answering them even now.

Thank you, Lord Jesus that you do indeed provide for all our needs as you promised.  Give us the grace to trust you and not to worry or fret.  We love you, our great and mighty God.  Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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“The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” John 10:10

In the fly leaf of my “purse” Bible, I often jot down quotes and thought-provoking ideas I hear in church. This morning I noticed one I had written a few years ago: “Satan is not out to give you a bad day, he wants to destroy your life.”

The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. Death and darkness! Christ’s purpose is to give live in all its fullness. Life and light. Complete opposites.

Marvin and I were youth directors in our church for many years. One year we experienced a phenomenal revival and spiritual awakening — not only in our church youth group, but also in many others in our district. Three young adults, who were drug pushers, attended the youth meetings every Monday evening. One evening, all three of these young men gave the control of their lives to Christ. We were so happy and so were they.

That night we were in bed, almost asleep, when the phone rang. It was one of the three young men. The Holy Spirit had filled them with great boldness. “We were just at the pool hall and were witnessing to the guys in there,” he said. With the Bible on the pool table, they had pointed to the road and said, “See the road out there? Cars are going east or west. There is no middle road. You all have to decide whether you want to go to heaven or hell. There is no in between.

Heaven or hell. Darkness or Light. Death or Life. I encourage you to choose Christ and life, eternal life in heaven — light. Today!

If you have not yet consciously made the commitment to follow Christ, do it today. Don’t put it off.

Lord, You are the Father of Life and Light. The enemy is the father of lies and darkness.  Father, we choose You and Life. We reject Satan and his lies and darkness. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission


Living with hope

Take a look at your life.  How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at different times. We experience a mix of dreams and regrets.

In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over? Your past doesn’t have to control your future. God has a wonderful plan for your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience complete forgiveness through a personal relationship with God made possible through Jesus Christ. And when God comes into your life, he starts to transform you from the inside out.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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“The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

I was overlooked for the leadership position again. Someone much less qualified than me was chosen,” she wrote. She was committed and qualified, but overlooked again and again. It was not right. She asked me, “Is this the norm for most Christian ministries? This is not the first time I have encountered this and I have to say it is extremely hurtful.”

Has this happened to you? Well, you and I know how painful it can be. I have been down this road several times and I can tell you it doesn’t get any easier.

But along the way, I have learned some “God” things. If God puts a call or desire in your heart, He will be faithful to do it through you; however, He may want you to expand your horizons in order to bring this dream to fruition.

I am an innovative person. God has put many dreams in my heart and He has helped me to fulfill those dreams. Sometimes it took a lot longer than I thought it would, but He did it. God put a dream in my heart to reach women through the Internet and since then He has faithfully provided the resources, qualified people and finances.

Recently I read the book, Why Not Women? In the last chapter, the author, Lorne Cunningham wrote:

“It is not your job to change everyone’s mind. It is your job to obey and do whatever He is calling you to do. Keep yielded to Him and open the door to others, free in your spirit from any feelings of rejection or bitterness. Obey God and let Him take care of the results. It will eventually become clear to everyone that God has His hand on you.”

Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Perhaps God is using this “unfairness” to push you out of the nest (your comfort zone) to show you He has something new and exciting for you to do. Why not ask Him? Ask God to show you other horizons where you can make your dream come true. Be strong and courageous. God will supply your needs.

Lord Jesus, show us where You want us to fulfill the dream You have put in our heart. Help us to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and trust You. In your name I pray. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

How do you pray with confidence? How do you know if God will answer your prayers? Four key words answer this question:

Abide
Abiding is the key to successful praying. In John 15:7, Jesus states,

“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.”

Colossians 3:16 says,

“Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you.”

Abiding means you want to stay as close to Christ as possible.

Ask
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7-8,

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened.

We can ask God for anything and He listens – He will answer. Ask specifically!

Someone has said when we get to heaven we’ll find a lot of unopened gift packages with our name on them because we did not claim them through prayer.

Believe
In Matthew 21:22 we read,

Everything you ask in prayer, believing you shall receive.”

Faith, which is an attitude of believing, pleases God. With Him, all things are possible. Remind yourself of this verse when you pray.

Receive
If you are abiding in Christ and you have asked and believe, get ready to receive the answer. In other words, when you pray for rain, carry an umbrella. John 16:24 says,

Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.”

Remember these four words to pray with confidence:

  • abide,
  • ask
  • believe
  • receive

Father, teach us to pray with confidence. To abide in Jesus, to ask, to believe You will answer our prayers and to be ready to receive Your answers. Amen.

by Katherine Kehler
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“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering” Philippians 3:10

What is suffering? Elisabeth Elliot describes suffering as

wanting what you don’t have and having what you don’t want.”

That definition pretty well covers all the little and big “troubles” we go through during our lifetime. It could be a broken hairdryer or a disease. We will have problems. Maybe you don’t have any today, but you probably will tomorrow. And – think about it – you could even be someone else’s problem!

Our reactions or responses to these problems are the key to our inner peace.

Recently, a very positive acquaintance told us about deep waters he had gone through. He said a dear friend and author, Philip Keller, had given him the following spiritual principles to meditate on and apply to his life. He said they had made a big difference in his perspective on problems.

Acknowledge – God is my Father – He knows what is best for me, so I must acknowledge He arranges all my affairs.

Accept all that comes to me as His arrangement. In acceptance comes peace.

Approve of what He does and how He does it. Thanking Him for sincerely releases Him to do great things for you (no more controversy).

I encourage you to make a copy of the three steps, keep them in a handy place, review, and apply them to your situation whenever you have a problem. It will change your perspective.

Suffering is not for nothing.

Father, You know we get far too independent if we don’t have problems. So I thank You for problems. Enable us to acknowledge, accept, and approve that You know what is best for us. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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“The Lord sees the good people and listens to their prayers” 1 Peter 3:12

Recently, I received an e-mail from a new Christian. She had read my devotional on the elements of effective prayer and asked, “What words would I use?”

It’s an interesting question to which I have given some thought. How do you teach a new Christian the words to use to begin to talk to God? When mature Christians have walked and talked with God for a long time, they forget what it was like at the beginning of their walk with Christ.

She would need to be told that prayer is simply talking to God. He isn’t as interested in our words as He is in the attitude of our heart. Because more mature Christians often pray long prayers (whole paragraphs — even a whole sermon) in one sitting, new Christians are intimidated. They know they can’t pray like that — nor do they need to.

Using the acrostic, Adore, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Asking, I would teach her to pray in short, simple sentences — something like this:

•  Adore  “Father God, I love You.”
•  Confess  “I was (name a bad attitude or action) today.”
•   Thank God  “Thank You for cleansing my heart from these sins.”
•  Ask  “Please fill my heart with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to please You and get to know You better.”

When she begins to feel comfortable praying one short sentence, she could begin praying several sentences for each part of the acrostic.

Too simple? For some people it would be. Others will welcome a very simple “how to pray” outline. Regardless of how few or how many words we use, we can be sure that God listens to us, and to our hearts.

Jesus, Your disciples asked You to teach them how to pray. We also ask You to teach us to pray. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way” Psalm 37:23

I had planned to run errands in the morning but there were so many urgent things to do, I didn’t leave until mid-afternoon. There were several entrances to this parking lot and I chose to come in the back way. I didn’t realize that God was directing me until later.

Picking up my dry-cleaning from the back of the car, I quickly walked toward the cleaners. As I looked up, I saw a young woman standing on the sidewalk in front of the store. I could see she was crying so I walked up to her and gently touched her arm and asked her, “What is wrong? Can I help you?”

Then she really began sobbing and told me her mother was in the hospital and just had a stroke. She had no money for a bus ticket to go see her. My heart went out to her and I told her I would help her. I gave her enough money for the bus ticket and some extra for food.

I asked her if she had faith in God. He would sustain her and help her. She said, “Yes, she did.” Then she surprised me by asking me if I had faith in God. I, too, said, “Yes.” We talked a little longer and then we parted. After my errands I walked back to the car. I looked for her, but she was not there.

One of God’s children was in need. God knew all about her needs that day and directed my steps so I would drive into the rear parking lot…in the afternoon…at exactly the time when she would be there…so I could help her.

Coincidence? No. God cares for His children so much. He is such an organizer that it is nothing for Him to arrange our lives in such a way so we are available to help people in need.

Let me encourage you to start taking notice of the unexpected ways God directs you.

Father, thank You that You love and care for your children. I am amazed at how You direct our steps yet so often we are unaware of it. You are awesome! Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
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The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade”  Psalm 121:5

Does God watch over us? We know the Bible tells us He does, but have you experienced it yourself?

I received this e-mail recently from a lady who tells her story of God’s care.

I required knee surgery a few years ago; I prayed a lot before surgery asking God to guide the hands of all those in surgery and to bring me safely out of the anesthetic. I apparently inhaled the anesthetic too deeply and had a hard time coming back into consciousness. I remember being very frightened as I did not want to die — I had so much more to live for. Immediately, a white light appeared in my vision and a voice encouraged me, saying, ‘Breathe, breathe, you can do it, you will come out of the anaesthetic. Do not fight it.’ I know it was the angel of God speaking to me, so I can attest to angels being present all the time and having us always in their care. I have experienced it.”

Be encouraged. God watches over us! He watches over you.

By Katherine Kehler
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“The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” John 10:10

Recently I spoke to someone with a nasty tone of voice. I didn’t even notice what I sounded like. But God did. Later while I was reading a devotional book, the Holy Spirit reminded me that Satan is the accuser and asked me if I really wanted to be on his team?

Well, no, I sure didn’t. So I immediately apologized to the Lord and the person I accused. I could have communicated in a more positive way. I didn’t need to accuse. I could have simply stated how I felt about what happened.

While I was reflecting on that thought, I remembered a spiritual concept that helped me a lot during the years. How do you differentiate between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the accusations of the Enemy? Here is what I learned:

The Holy Spirit convicts us of specific actions or attitudes that needs to be confessed. When we admit and confess it (1 John 1:9) we experience God’s forgiveness and He will not bring that specific sin to our attention again. The Enemy, on the other hand, will make us feel guilty. (Usually a vague sense of guilt – not specific.) He will tell us that we are no good and that we will never be forgiven.

We can choose whom we listen to and believe. Will it be God or Satan? God loves us and has a wonderful plan for us. The Enemy hates us and has a terrible plan for our lives.

Listen to Jesus. He speaks words of life.

Lord Jesus, how often we are fooled by the enemy and listen to his accusations, rather than to Your words of Life. We want to be like You, Jesus. We want to speak words of Life into people’s lives. Thank you for helping us. Amen.

by Katherine Kehler
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“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life. . .” Philippians 2: 14–16

My neighbor Marie invited me over to see her rock collection. She showed me the smooth, shiny rocks which, for days had been buffeted in her rock-polishing machine. They had been rough when they first went into the machine, but now the rocks were smooth with interesting designs and colours. Marie’s experienced eye could see the potential beauty of those rocks before she polished them.

Then she showed me some other, larger rocks that were dirty and rough. But when she split them with a hammer, many of them contained the most beautiful crystal formations. However, they had to be cleaned and treated to loosen the dirt that had gathered in the crevices. The removal of this silt and dirt allowed the beauty of the crystals to shine forth.

It’s difficult to find rocks that can be polished or that contain crystals and precious gems. One has to have experience and patience to spend hours and days looking for them, identifying them, and then cleaning and polishing them.

In a way, we can compare a rock hound to our Creator, Jesus Christ. He knows exactly what is inside of us. He sees the potential in each of us. In his  book Just Like Jesus, Max Lucado writes, “Jesus loves you just the way you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way.” Jesus is patient with us and will keep “polishing” us until we shine like stars.

Sometimes we put walls about ourselves. Kind of like turtles, we withdraw into our shells whenever we think we might be in danger. We have been hurt, afraid, or just plain shy, or maybe we have a secret we don’t anyone to know. We are afraid to let some people get past the wall.

Jesus, patiently, with His unfailing love, tells us, “I have come for people to have life and have it until it overflows” (John 10:10). Sometimes when we choose not to believe Him, He will use people (who rub us the wrong way), painful circumstances, death, financial problems, sickness, sorrow, and disappointments to help us yield to His polishing — to take down the wall. When we trust Him and look to Him for strength, wisdom, and direction, He brings out the beauty in each one of us. “They looked to Him and were radiant. . . ”(Psalm 34:5, Amplified)

Lord Jesus, I am so glad You know everything about me and love me anyways. Thank You that You know best how to bring out our inner beauty. Help us to yield to Your “polishing” and trust You in everything. Amen.

Going Deeper

1. Can you think of a person who has been refined into a “shining star” through difficult circumstances?
2. Can you think of a situation that God used to refine you?
3. How did you respond or react at first? Did you recognize God’s hand in what was happening to you? Have you learned to thank God.

By Katherine Kehler
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The Lord is my shepherd;
I have everything that I need.
He lets me rest in green pastures.
He leads me to calm water
Psalm 23:1,2

Looking out for number one. Be in control. Make yourself look good. Be at the top, or least near the top. This attitude seems to be a plague with which we are all afflicted.

We see it early with children in the playgrounds and sand boxes. We see it in homes, in schools, churches, organizations, at our work place and in the corporate world. Even in senior’s homes. When my husband’s father was bedridden in a hospital or in a wheelchair, we would notice how these older people would jockey for a position at the dinner table and in front of the television, pushing the wheelchairs of others. Pecking order until the day you die.

Phillip Keller, in his book, A Layman’s Look at the Twenty Third Psalm , writes about sheep and their “butting order.” One of the ewes is number one and she attains that position by butting the others into submission. The second in control ruthlessly butts the others into submission and so it goes right down the line to the last sheep. They all become fearful of each other and they can’t graze or lie down to rest because they are afraid.

Phillip Keller was a shepherd for years and knowingly explains that when the shepherd enters the field, the sheep instantly stop butting each other, calm down and relax. They know He is in control and will take care of them.

I reflected on the fact that the Bible often likens His people to sheep, and Christ the good shepherd. If Christ’s presence brings peace to a situation or place can we then conversely conclude that when there is friction, fighting, criticism and striving that Christ’s presence is not there? Or at the very least, we are not yielding to His control?

Think about it. Are you at rest today?

Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd. We pray for Your people today. There is so much competition, gossip, criticism and division in your flock. We pray for Your Presence to be in control. We pray for unity in your flock. In your precious name, amen.

By Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission

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“Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.” Psalm 16:1

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble.” Psalm 32:7a

Our granddaughter Renee, when she was little, was afraid of animals. All animals terrified her. We didn’t know why. She just was.

Pat, our youngest daughter, was still living at home and had talked me into letting her have a cat. A white cat she named Ugali. This cat had the run of the house. My house rules had changed considerably since we moved off the farm.

When Renee came over, we would generally lock the cat in one of the bedrooms, but occasionally Ugali would get out and wander into the kitchen where we were visiting. When Renee noticed the cat she would run as fast as she could to the closest adult and get on their lap, tuck her feet up into their lap and make herself as small as possible. She “took refuge” in the arms of an adult she trusted. We were her “hiding place”.

We did not scold her for being scared. We would put our arms around her and talk to her softly, comfort her until she was brave enough to go and play again.

Now we knew that the cat had no intentions of harming that little child. But she didn’t know that, so we merely held her.

I believe God is even more gentle with us. We can come to Him with our fears, whether they are real or imagined. He will surround us with His loving arms, talk softly to us, and strengthen us until we are brave enough to face the world again.

Thank You, Lord, for being our refuge when we are afraid, whether it is real or imagined. Thank You that You are our hiding place. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Katherine Kehler Thoughts by Women