Monthly Archives: July 2020

Be Strong and Courageous!

“I command you – be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Joshua…a noble example of complete trust, unwavering belief, and obedient faith in God! When God spoke, Joshua listened and obeyed. Joshua was the appointed leader to take over for Moses after Moses died. What a difficult position to fill because in all honesty, who would ever want to fill the shoes…er sandals of Moses? But…fill them he did!

The first nine verses of Joshua are powerfully encouraging. In those first few verses, Joshua is told to be strong and courageous three times. Look at the intense progression of this command…

“Be strong and courageous…” ~Joshua 1:6a (NLT)

“Be strong and very courageous.” ~Joshua 1:7 (Emphasis mine).

I command you – be strong and courageous!” ~Joshua 1:9a (Emphasis mine).

Notice the exclamation mark after the last command? I am not sure what you are thinking, but I am thinking God was S.E.R.I.O.U.S. He meant what He said! Yes indeed, I would listen too.

Another treasure buried within those first nine verses is God’s promise to be there for Joshua. Not just once, but three times Joshua is reassured that God’s got his back…

“For I will be with you as I was with Moses…” Joshua 1:5b

“I will not fail you or abandon you.” ~Joshua 1:5c

“For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9c

The number three caught my attention. Did you know, next to seven, three is the most commonly used number in Scripture (Johnston, 1990). Interesting! And, speaking of three and being courageous, Joshua needed his army. He couldn’t do it alone. Ecclesiastes 4:12b (NLT) advises us to not stand alone. Two is good, but “three are even better for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Emphasis mine.). Thank goodness Joshua had several triple-braided cords of soldiers.

God kept his promise and stayed with Joshua. The LORD gave Joshua clear instructions of what to do to conquer and gain victory over Jericho. Joshua 6:15-16 (NLT) is the story most of us remember and are still able to sing…

“On the seventh day the Israelites marched around the city seven times. The seventh time around, the priests sounded the long blast on their horns” and the walls came tumbling down.

Joshua conquered and found victory because he was strong and courageous  

During the past few months, our Good Samaritan Society has been under attack by COVID-19. The number of positive cases among the residents and staff has been steadily rising. So has the number of deaths. 😥 Fear and defeat seems to be lurking behind the eyes of so many people.

Some residents are lonely. Some are isolated in the COVID wing. Some don’t understand why family isn’t coming to see them. There are chairs kept outside some resident’s room so family can visit through the window. Breaks my heart!

It was time to put God’s words from Joshua into action. Time to be strong and courageous. Time to know God is with us and in control. Time to believe there will be victory over COVID so that family members can once again visit their loved ones who are at Good Sam.

An SOS call went out to people to gather together to march around Good Sam seven times all while praying for healing and protection over all residents and employees there. Praying for COVID-19 to fall!!!

Even though it was a short notice, the word got around and 21 believers showed up to march (amazing…that is three sevens). God showed up too! We were led in prayer before we began, praise music filled the air during the walk, people inside Good Sam waved at us through the windows, and one pastor actually had a ram’s horn that he blew each time we lapped around Good Sam.

It was powerful. It was inspirational. It was heartwarming. I am believing this action WILL make a difference. I anticipate good things to happen out at Good Sam. I am confident there will be victory over COVID-19!

So…let’s get going!  Let’s be strong and courageous in our communities all the while knowing God will be with us! He’s got our backs through ALL of this craziness. Believe it.

Stay Calm & Be Strong and Courageous!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Johnston, R. D. (1990). Numbers in the bible: God’s design in biblical numerology. Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI.

Happy Birthday Dear Lucy

Miss Lucy

This week Lucy turns 3. Not a big deal to you, maybe, but a HUGE deal to this grandma. Lucy was born with some extremely serious health concerns, and these life threatening issues needed immediate attention.

I sat in the waiting room at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls listening to my son tell me, through tears, of the complicated surgery Lucy was needing. Sadly, Sioux Falls was unable to perform it because of how delicate it was going to be. My son began the search for a skilled surgeon!

It hurts the heart to watch your adult son cry. I went out to my car and sobbed while pounding the steering wheel and screaming at God. (He’s a loving God, He can take the yelling).

Fast forward to today and Miss Lucy is a spunky, spirited little girl who will turn 3 on Thursday. She melts this grandma’s heart into a humongous puddle of mush whenever she says so sweetly, “Grandma, I love you.”  

This same week three years ago, a friend lost her husband to complications of a kidney transplant. She mourns while I celebrate. Why God, are some saved and not others? I don’t know!

A week ago, my blogging partner wrote about her 14-year old nephew who lost his life to cancer five years ago. Why God?

A few weeks ago, a young man lost his life in a boating accident. He was only 22. Why God?

The day before the boating accident another friend of mine said goodbye to her special friend who lost his battle against lung cancer. Why God?

Just this morning I received a private message from a childhood friend who laid her middle daughter to rest from a short war against cervical cancer. The daughter found out on Mother’s Day and was gone by June 28. This young woman was only 43. Why God?

When my only sibling was killed in a car accident 40 years ago, I found peace in Isaiah 57:1. Paraphrasing this verse, it says righteous people are taken home to Heaven early because they are being spared from something extremely evil. I hang on to that. It brings me some peace knowing my brother was saved from something wicked.

Why does God choose to save some and not others? I don’t know! We will never know that answer this side of Heaven. It’s certainly okay to ask, though. It’s okay to pound your fists and scream and yell at God. He is a good God and hears our cries!

The song below is called Why God? by Austin French. Give it a listen.

While pondering what to write next…I visit Facebook. Not a good choice. So.Much.Junk. People bashing others because of personal offenses or political views or __________.

Why God, can’t people take care of personal offenses or political believes privately without having to pollute Facebook? I don’t know.

Life is short! This world needs peacemakers!! So, during this week of celebration (and sorrow), I choose to be a woman of peace.

I have a happy birthday party to attend this weekend. I look forward to celebrating Lucy and my son (his birthday is July 12). Others are grieving the loss of their loved ones. I offer them hugs and prayers.

Happy birthday, dear Lucy. May you grow up to be a woman of peace, filled with love and compassion, always knowing that YOU, sweet girl, are a child of God.

Stay Calm & Celebrate Today!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.