Category: <span>thoughts by Helen Grace Lescheid</span>

daily devotionalby Helen Grace Lescheid

For he chose us in him (Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”  Ephesians 1:4

In our culture we value achievement. We give awards and trophies, medals and prizes to deserving individuals. Diplomas line our walls. There is nothing wrong with celebrating our accomplishments. But when we base our sense of self-worth on them, we build on a shaky foundation. What happens to our self-worth when we can no longer achieve due to ill health or old age or some setback? We feel side-lined, worthless. We may even feel like we’re a burden on society.

God’s value system is very different from the world’s. He values us for who we are, not for what we achieve. He chose us before we were born, before we had done anything to prove our worth.

True self-worth comes from seeing myself as God sees me: a person for whom Christ died. A person in whom Christ lives. Read Ephesians chapter 1 and underline every time you see the phrase “in Christ.” Did you know that phrase is used more than 172 times in the New Testament? Why?

True self-worth comes from seeing myself in Christ—washed by His blood, clothed in His righteousness, filled with His Spirit. This privilege is for all who will come and accept his gracious offer.

Position in Christ is more important than performance. Being is more important than  doing.

A man whom I recently met at a meeting put the right slant on it for me. After a brief introduction, I said to him, not concealing the admiration I felt, “So, you are an engineer!”

No, I’m a person who does engineering,” he said. Wow! He’s got it in the right  order, I thought. First, I’m a person for whom Jesus died and second, I happen to do engineering.

What do you base your self-worth on? Remember, God sent his only Son to die for you—that’s how much He values you. He longs to be close to you. Whatever has happened in your life, God does not condemn you. The Bible says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). God values you that much.

Dear God, help me to see myself as you see me and to live by your value system.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2014/04/17/hl_our-true-value/

To read more of Helen’s writings go to http://www.helenlescheid.com

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devotionalsby Helen Grace Lescheid

If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with argumentsJob 23: 3, 4

Everything had gone wrong in Job’s life. He had lost his children, his possessions, his business and his reputation as a righteous man. Throughout all of this, God was silent.

If only God would tell me why, it would be easier to take.” Have you ever said that?

But is this what we need most? Would an explanation really help us with our pain?

From experience I know that we don’t need answers as much as a comforting presence.

We need the assurance that we’re not alone. We need hope that we’ll get through this and good will come out of it eventually.

This became very real to me when I thought I had lost everything I valued in life. “But you haven’t lost Me,” I heard God saying.

Then I have what I need to get through this,” I thought.

Many times God does not give us answers. He gives us Himself– for He Himself is the answer.

Job discovered this. “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you,” he exclaimed. “…and I repent in dust and ashes.” When he saw the greatness of God, he wondered, why did I ever doubt?

Dear Father, I want to trust you even when I don’t understand. I believe that you are lovingly and thoughtfully putting together this life-package for me. I want to know you in a deeper way.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2014/03/24/hl_if-only-god-would-tell-me-why/

To read more of Helen’s writings go to http://www.helenlescheid.com

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by Helen Lescheid

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence foreverIsaiah 32:17

The Christmas season has been described as the season of shoulds. We feel we owe it to our family to give them the best Christmas ever. So, we spend too much money. We fuss too much about trivial things. And we work ourselves into a frenzy. No wonder we begin to dread the whole business of Christmas.

So how can we take the panic out of Christmas? Let me suggest:

1. Take inventory: Ask yourself, what’s truly important? Ten years from now what difference will it make that I mailed my Christmas cards late, or my house wasn’t perfect, or the turkey was a bit dry? Look again at what you want to achieve.

2. Be realistic, look at what you can afford. Christmas is not a competition about who can buy the most expensive presents or even who can get the most presents. Our children do not need dozens of presents to know they are loved.

3. Focus on the Prince of Peace. Take time out to relax and to reflect on Jesus’ statements of peace, like the following: “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

In the original Greek the word “peace” has the connotation of being bound together. Imagine, Jesus and you bound together. Doing life together. Wow!

What’s the result of doing it His way? Isaiah tells us there will be peace, quietness and confidence.

Dear God, help me to focus on what’s truly important this Christmas season. I want to honor and glorify you in all my preparations. In Jesus name, amen.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/12/23/hl_take-the-panic-out-of-christmas/

To buy one of Helen’s books go to http://www.helenlescheid.com

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Helen Grace Lescheid Thoughts by Women

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus1 Thessalonians 5:18

Everyone needs a mentor, a person who models for you the Christian walk. A person you look up to and say, “I’d like to be like her when I’m that age.”

Anna is this person for me. At 81 Anna lives alone in a small one bedroom apartment in a Salvation Army Senior independent living complex. Her husband died six years ago. Because she’s experiencing severe memory loss, Anna has had to give up driving her car.

But Anna has not a shred of self-pity. Her face was radiant as she told me, “Glen and I had almost 25 years together.” Then she laughed, “Counting our courting days, it was 25 years. His son, Ron, is so good to me. He looks after all my affairs.”

To the loss of her car she said, “Just think how much money I’m saving by not driving a car.” Then she added, “Besides, walking to the mall does me good. I buy my groceries at Save-On-Foods, then haul them home in my little cart. And when I can’t walk anymore, I’ll get a scooter.” She was exuberant that the mall also had a vet office, a bank, a beauty salon and several restaurants. “Everything I need is right here,” she said.

To memory loss she quipped, “Good thing I’m methodical and I write everything down. That helps. And I’m taking medication against Alzheimer’s.” As we talked about the future she expressed absolutely no fear, only a joyous expectancy of heaven.

When I showed her a photo I’d taken of her on my digital camera, she smiled, “Yes, that’s me.” No disparaging remarks about her looks (like I would have made) not even in jest. As far as Anna was concerned life was good and she was making the best of it.

Anna took me out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant within walking distance to her home. She insisted on paying for the meal. “Then let me give the tip,” I said. She agreed and I left a generous tip on the table. Minutes later I heard her say to the girl at the till, “Please add the tip to the bill.” Just like Anna, I thought, to leave a double blessing.

Dear God, Anna has shown me it’s not age but attitude that makes the difference on living abundantly. Teach me to see my daily blessings. Help me to develop a grateful heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

by Helen Lescheid

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Helen Grace Lescheid Thoughts by Women

by Helen Lescheid

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation2 Corinthians 5:17-18

In my talks with women, I find that many a mother’s heart has been broken because there is division in her family. I hear sad words like these: “My children and I are not on speaking terms.” “My daughter’s phone calls are brief and businesslike.” “My son came to visit in my home town, yet he did not let me know or contact me.” “My daughter has time for everyone else but me.”

I pass on to them what has helped me during a difficult time when my children avoided me. Often an estrangement develops during a traumatic time such as a death or a divorce. Painful emotions take time to process. We need to give our children time and space to sort them out.

If only we could talk,” I would think. “Then we could come to some understanding.” But, this may not be the time for talking. When hurts are deep, no explanation seems to help. In fact, your words will sound like you are being self-defensive. When you are in conflict, concentrate on reconciliation rather than resolution.

For our own healing we need to bask in God’s love by feeding on Scripture verses that speak of His love and His delight in us (such as Ephesians 3:16-19). When we are secure in His love, we’ll be able to reach out to our children in love. We’ll be equipped to be ministers of reconciliation. How? Keep communication lines open by talking about subjects they’re comfortable with. Keep reaching out: remember birthdays and other special occasions. Pray for each child by name with thanksgiving. Be a grace-giver. Grace lets go of the “you-guys- owe-me” hook. It gives your children freedom to grow, to make decisions, to fail and to mature at their own rate. Reconciliation is God’s will for us.

Thank you, Jesus, for working reconciliation in our relationship with the Father and with each other. Help me to be a minister of reconciliation in my family, my church, the world.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/11/23/hl_minister-of-reconciliation/

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Helen Grace Lescheid Thoughts by Women

by Helen Lescheid

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

I have prayed the prayer to receive Jesus,” my friend said to me. “But I didn’t feel any different, so I guess nothing happened.”

I know what she meant. After I prayed to receive Jesus, I felt no different either. Except that now I wanted to read the Bible. As I did so, day after day, I met Jesus in a most remarkable way. Joy and peace flooded my heart. But feelings are not reliable and soon I experienced the whole gamut of emotions including fear and doubt. I had to learn to walk by faith and not by feelings.

In so many ways Jesus let me know that He was with me. By reading His Word, I began to see who I really am—a beloved child of God in whom He delights. Even though my emotions were in turmoil, God had not left me. For he promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

If we seek an experience—an emotional high—rather than God, we will become disappointed. We might even say, “I’ve tried God and it didn’t work.” The Bible says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you,” declares the LORD”.

How do we seek God with all our hearts? By looking in places where He might be found: reading the Bible, going to church, attending  Bible study, going for a quiet nature hike, listening to beautiful music and talking to Him. When God becomes central, all sorts of experiences happen. Life becomes full and exciting.

Thank you Father, that You want us to know You. You’re not playing hide-and-seek. You created us for fellowship with Yourself. Help me to trust You more. Amen.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/04/17/hl_seek-god-not-an-experience/

To read more of Helen’s writings go to http://www.helenlescheid.com
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Helen Grace Lescheid Thoughts by Women

by Helen Grace Lescheid

Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure
Ephesians 1:4 & 5 (Life Application Study Bible).

Why am I here? What is my purpose?

Self-help books suggest you’ll find yourself when you go after your innate desires and dreams. But from experience I know this isn’t enough. The starting place must be our Creator and His eternal purposes for each life.

I was born of German parents in Ukraine which was then part of Russia. During World War II my mother with four small children fled from our country always just ahead of the Russian front. We lived in refugee camps across Europe. As displaced persons we knew that we were not as valued as children born in the country. We were second rate.

Later, when we immigrated to Canada, I became an immigrant girl who never fit in with her teen crowd. I didn’t speak English. I couldn’t relate to the culture. I was hopeless at sports. I was a misfit.

As I listened to the voices of the world and the voice within my own head, I knew I didn’t have what it takes to be a valued person. I carried this negative mind-set well into adulthood.

When I first heard that Jesus loved me enough to die for me (not just for the whole wide world, but for me!), I could hardly believe it. But there was more: He wanted to adopt me into His family. This would happen through Jesus Christ. If I would receive Him as my Savior and Lord, I would become a child of God. He would take me just as I am. One day, I asked Him to come into my life. And He did!

Slowly it began to dawn on me that because Jesus lives within me, I have a place. I have a destiny. I have an inheritance that is eternal. I felt like celebrating my new identity. After careful thought, I gave myself the name Grace. Every time I write my name Helen Grace Lescheid, I’m celebrating the fact that I belong to the best family in the world–God’s family. And all because of God’s grace.

Where are you in this faith journey? Has life dealt you some cruel blows? Do you feel excluded from the in-crowd? These hurtful things don’t have to define you. Stop listening to the world and to the negative voice within you. Start listening to what God says about you. The real truth about you is found in Ephesians 1:3-14. Put your name where it says “we” or “us”. Say the verses out loud to yourself, adding, “this is who I really am.”

Father, may all who read these words today experience the power of the risen Christ within and walk with dignity, confidence, and joy.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/01/30/hl_who-am-i/

Find more of Helen’s writings at
http://www.helenlescheid.com
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Helen Grace Lescheid Thoughts by Women

By Helen Lescheid

Christian daily devotional onlineMay God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24).

Like you, I check my incoming email very carefully. I don’t open anything suspicious. Why? I don’t want to get a virus that will mess up my whole program.

My mind is like a computer. A file that keeps popping up in my memory is the “It’s not fair!” file. I compare my life with someone who seems to have more of what I want and come away feeling cheated. Take for instance,  the staff Christmas banquet. Happy couples beckoned to other happy couples to come and sit with them. As a single, I had to find my own place. Immediately, an unhappy thought flitted through my mind: Why can’t I be blessed like them?

Opening up the “It’s Not Fair” file–as I’m so prone to do–is dangerous. A vicious self-pity virus is attached to it. It sends my mood spiraling downwards. It messes up my whole outlook on life. It distorts reality, preventing me from seeing my own blessings.

So what’s the best thing to do when an unpleasant memory flashes on the screen of your mind? Don’t open the file. Instead, send it away into cyberspace–to God. “Here, God, I give this to You as a sacrifice.” A sacrifice? Yes, you have every right to be self-indulgent, but you’ve decided it’s not worth it. You want to get on with the program. You want the most out of life.

 You want your life to be colored with thanksgiving and praise.

Dear God, cleanse me from every trace of self-pity. I want to be sound in spirit, soul, mind, and body. I want to get the most out of this day.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2012/10/28/hl_put-up-a-firewall/

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Helen Grace Lescheid Thoughts by Women