Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Psalm 103:1-22 The season of Advent begins next Sunday. During Advent we prepare to celebrate God’s greatest gift His Son. Part of that preparation in our house is the hanging of a family memory wreath. Each year at Thanksgiving time we decide on one special blessing that God has given us. Then we find some trinket to represent this and put it on the wreath. This year we’ll add our 48th annual reminder of God’s care in both …

Seasons of Life

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The woods behind our house is splashed with color from God’s paintbrush! Last Fall we had a week’s vacation at Squaw Valley, California. It was early October and we anticipated the best that Fall can give. That’s exactly what we got for six hours. Then suddenly Winter moved in, much too early, with far below normal temperatures. We shivered in our Fall jackets. Friends from Sacramento had planned to …

A Sweet-Smelling Fragrance

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Psalm 31:1-5, 14-19 Sitting on the patio having my morning devotions one day, I saw the perfect beauty of the yellow rose bush. Some of the roses were in full bloom, a delicate blending of shades of yellow and orange. A couple of blossoms were perfectly shaped, but with their tiny petals still forming a cup. Here and there were tight-closed buds. Each stage was beautiful in its own way. And then I noticed, down to the side, …

Freedom From Fear

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : John 14:1-7, 25-27 Yesterday we admitted that we worry about things that might happen. Today let’s consider fear of things that are happening. My husband, a minister of pastoral care, meets with people every day who have bad things happening to them . . . heart attacks, surgery, malignancy, loss of a job, the breaking up of family relationships or death of a spouse. While visiting a very ill elderly woman, he learned that she had a Good …

Peace

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Philippians 4:1-9 We used to live in tumbleweed country. On a breezy day, as we drove down the canyon road, huge tumbleweed were blowing ahead of us, crossing the road in every direction. They looked like formidable obstacles, and my first impulse was to hit the brakes. A need for caution? Yes. But panic? No. I knew from experience that tumbleweeds tumble because they are so light. They are a bit like cotton candy which disintegrates when touched. …

God's Grace

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : John 1:1-16 As I look out my window I see black and gray bare trees and dirtied snow, the ice on the pond reflecting gray skies. Does that mean that this is not a beautiful place because it is not my favorite season and the sun isn’t shining? When we were in college, one of my college friends was involved in an accident that left him struggling with life as a paraplegic. This was a very dark season …