|Posted by Sue Badeau on February 9, 2016 at 10:05 AM|
Please enjoy this sample entry from the book, Clean Heart, Renewed Joy - now on special $5 off during Lent! Order http://www.suebadeau.com/apps/webstore/ here:
Excerpt from the Introduction - About that Image on the Cover
In addition to associating your daily reflections with music, including visual images that have personal meaning in your own life will bring value to your study. The images may include photos or other forms of artwork and visual expression.
The cover selected for this book demonstrates the value of images. In the spring of 2012 my husband and I experienced the death of one of our sons. We were in a deep season of grief when dear friends provided us with an opportunity to spend a long weekend at their cottage on a lake. We embraced this opportunity for a personal retreat and prayed that God would use it to guide us out of the valley of grief and into the next phase of our life journey. The first morning we were there, I went outside for a walk along the lake. It had rained the night before. I noticed raindrops clinging to tiny buds of yet-to-be-born flowers. This image stirred a great sense of hope and joy within my spirit. This simple image captured the promise and power of cleansing, renewal and new life. Every time I see this image I am reminded of the gift of hope and insight God gave to me on that day. When I embarked again on a study of Psalm 51, this image came to mind and symbolized the essence of the lessons I took away. While I hope that you will enjoy this particular image, I pray that God will provide each of you with your own image or images that can serve as powerful reminders of God’s love, mercy and grace in your own life.
Excerpt from Day 3 – Lovingkindness
Read Verse Psalm 51:1(a) Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; Today, let’s focus on the word translated here as “lovingkindness.”
In other translations this is also translated as constant love, steadfast love and unfailing love. Love that does not, cannot and will not fail.
We live in a world where nothing is constant and everything fails. We’ve all heard the statistic that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce—do we realize this means 6646 divorces per day in our country? On any given day there are 400,000 children in our nation’s foster care system, and each year over 23,000 of these children “age out” of the system with no family—no one to care for them at all.
These are just two examples demonstrating that in our homes, in our families, in our communities love is rarely constant, love frequently fails. If we add in statistics about child trafficking, domestic violence and homelessness the weight of love’s failure is staggering. As I seek to love and minister to others in the face of such brokenness, how can I possibly truly comprehend the depth and reality of God’s unfailing love?
I pray that during this period of reflection and prayer, I will come to know, experience and be utterly astonished by the depths of God’s unfailing, constant and steadfast love, and I pray that you will be astonished too! Take a moment to reflect on what “unfailing” love means in your life and jot some notes in your journal.
A song for reflection today is “Unfailing Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SheFMy98pqk