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2 Timothy 1:18-20

I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.

(plain language)

Read the above Scripture again and put your name in the place of Timothy's name. As I prepared to write this inspirational message I tested this out on my Mother, Eileen. Her eyes brightened. When she was growing up in Oklahoma, she would sit in on her Dad's Bible Studies held in his Churches. "I didn't always understand what my Dad was talking about but I was there listening," she told me. And much of what her Dad said sunk in, along with a lifetime of Church functions and raising three kids in the Church.

Scripture's instruction to 'have faith and good conscience' is because of change. "Why so much change" Mother asks. I dearly love my Mother and responded. As we live out our lives we find that changes occur and that can be unsettling at times. We like to see people growing in faith and living with a good conscience. My Mother is this way and I am also. And as changes in our lives occur there is one thing that we can always count on-- God does not change. That's a tremendous axiom of faith. We are reminded of it in all the books of our Bibles. God is unchanging.

I have known God to be unchanging throughout my life and God showed this to me once again when Mother and I brought Dad back from the hospital in October after he had had a stroke. We had wheeled Dad out to the car and I (126 pounds) lifted Dad (162 pounds) by myself and gently set him into the front seat just like his weight did not matter to me. God did this. We found every light green on the way home (14 traffic lights and two were green arrows to make a left turn). God did this. And the gate to their gated community was standing open when we got there. God opened it, I do not know how.

When we got Dad into their home, and sitting comfortably in his easy chair, he smiled a little. He wanted to recover at home and our unchanging God made a green light way for him to get home. Dad wanted to be taken care of at home by my Retired Nurse Mother. I helped, following her accurate second-nature nursing skills that had never left her 88 year old mind.

Dad was recovering and then my Dad had the green light from God to head toward heaven. This happened just days after getting him home We kids, and the grand-kids, really miss him. Mother misses him the most. It has been a big change for us to not have him to talk and laugh with here. We remind ourselves Dad is living in green pastures.

Green is found in our Scripture today. You have the go ahead to '... fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience,' and it is by faith that you will see God's perfect care surrounding your life, like Dad did. And I am God's witness that life's occurrences do not change our unchanging God. God is faithful.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the House of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23


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