“Turn your eyes upon Jesus…”

Posted on March 10, 2014 by Eliece Rybak

The hymn says….”Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace.”      (By Helen H. Lemmel, 1864-1961)     Helen was inspired by a gospel tract that  said:

” So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full in­to His face and you will find that the things of earth will ac­quire a strange new dim­ness.”

She wrote:

“O soul, are you weary and troubled?  No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,  And life more abundant and free.

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;  Believe Him, and all will be well:

Then go to a world that is dying,  His perfect salvation to tell!”

She wrote:

I always use this hymn as a foundation for personal worship.  As my “heart and spirit sees” the face of my Savior Jesus, and grasps hold of the truth that He can take any burden, heal any pain, dry any tear….  then the things of this life that weigh heavy on me ….become very dim and loose their “grip” on my being.   It is the face of the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world.  He conquered sin, death, pain, and sorrow.  He is the victory (1 Cor. 15: 50-58).

But I note here that if we have our eyes on Jesus, we will also see the Lost…the ones that do not yet know the Savior.  May this hymn inspire us to “go to the world that is dying” with the message of our Savior.

Note:   One of the hymnals of Helen Lemmel was used by the Evangelist Billy Sunday.  She also was a vocal music teacher at The Moody Bible Institute, in Chicago.

Posted in Daily Treasures for the Soul and SpiritHymnsUncategorized

A Love That Will Not Let Me Go…

Posted on December 8, 2014 by Eliece Rybak

A love that will not let me go….

1. God is present. Hebr13:5
2. When you feel life is hopeless… Jere. 29:11
3. He always cares. 1 Peter 5:7
4. When you think you know a better plan than God’s…. Psalm 18:30
5.When you think He doesn’t hear… Psalm 69 “He hears the needy”
6. You do not feel loved… “He loves with an everlasting love”

Geo. Matheson’s hymn, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go”…

…. is the heart cry of a man who went blind.  His fiancée broke the engagement, because she could not live her life with a blind man.

“O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” has passed into the popular hymnology of the Christian Church. Matheson himself wrote of the composition:

“I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high.”

“O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” was written on the evening of Matheson’s sister’s marriage. Years before, he had been engaged, until his fiancée learned that he was going blind—that there was nothing the doctors could do—and she told him that she could not go through life with a blind man. He went blind while studying for the ministry, and his sister had been the one to care for him through the years, but now she was gone. He was now 40, and his sister’s marriage brought a fresh reminder of his own heartbreak. It was in the midst of this circumstance and intense sadness that the Lord gave Matheson this hymn.

He wrote the hymn with the realization that he knew a greater love that would never forsake him.  This was the love if his Savior, Jesus Christ.

Posted in Daily Treasures for the Soul and Spirit


Posted on February 23, 2014 by Eliece Rybak

Depression is a state of being that is unlike your “normal” state.
You do not feel like yourself, and maybe you are acting in ways that are unlike you normally would act. Sometimes you cannot quite put your finger what is wrong but you clearly know that all is “not right”.
Depression can be caused by many things such as medications, illness, physical conditions, emotional situations, and losses. Many losses are very profound….like the loss of a child, or spouse, or a pet; the loss of a job, financial security, or our home; sometimes an illness causes the loss of health or independence.
Symptoms of depression could be:
1.  ongoing sadness, an empty feeling, or anxiety
2.  tired, easily fatigued, exhaustion, or lack of energy
3.  loss of interest in everyday things, no willing to socialize
4.  difficulty in sleeping, or sleeping too much
5.  loss of appetite, or overeating
6.  crying too often, or for no reason
7.  aches and pains that do not respond to treatment
8.  difficulty focusing, paying attention, making choices or remembering
9.  feeling helpless, hopeless, or suffering a loss of self-esteem
10.  feeling anxious, being grumpy or irritable
11. feelings of rejection and despair, thoughts of death or suicide

If you are experiencing several of these symptoms for more than a few weeks, you may need to see a health care professional, especially if you are on medication.  Depression is a side effect of some medications.
Please do not ignore these symptoms.

Pray and ask the Lord for help.  Ask Him to give wisdom as to the source of the depression.  Many times one is aware of the cause of the depression, and a Pastor or spiritual Biblical counselor may be of great help.  If the source is not known, do seek help in a Godly Pastor.
For those of us who know the Lord, He is the one who can help us the most.  His Word is the “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” ( Hebr. 4:12 ).  His Word can show us what our need is and, if the cause of the depression is sin in our life, He is able and willing to forgive all sin.
Sometimes selfishness, immorality, pride, arrogance, how we have treated others, and other sins in our life over a long period of time can cause us to walk away from the Lord, and become depressed.
Profound losses that come into our lives are probably one of the biggest cause of depression.  Depression is “normal” after a profound loss.  It is signifying that a great love was lost.  This depression needs to be shared with someone who can help.  Begin with someone who can be trusted, or a professional that knows what to do.
We may feel our loss is so much greater than anyone  else’s loss and that no one really understands.  But we should not compare our loss to someone else’s situation.  Each situation is so different, and each person responds differently to the loss in their life. Each loss can be significant.  Comparing our situations is unwise.

Please be careful:  Telling someone that they are depressed if they really are not, is not wise.  This person may be grieving very deeply and feeling confused with the changes in their life situation.  It may take them a while to work through the grief, and make some sense of their life.  They need someone to listen to what they are saying, and be a “sounding board” for them.  Do not expect them to make perfect sense, as they usually do.  They are often in a state of numbness/shock after a crisis or loss.  They need someone to listen, but do not keep telling them they are depressed.  They may just be grieving deeply and profoundly.  If they do not come out of it in a reasonable length of time, then stick with them and try to help them to the next step.  This is called the “ministry of presence”.  Be there for them and comfort them as Jesus would do if He was by their side.

But having said that:  we as Christians think that we should be exempt from depression. Why do we think that?  Why should we be exempt?  We Christians love very deeply. We know a very deep love from the Lord and from those around us who love Him. We feel losses very profoundly.  But the Lord deeply loves us and He wants to meet each one of us in our own need. We are each special in His sight.  Each of us can be the recipient of that great love.

If you do not personally know the love of God in your life, I would like to share some verses of scripture with you that show the “heart of God” toward you.

Isaiah 43:1-7… “Thus saith the Lord who created thee,

 Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name;

thou art mine. When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee:

and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior;

….thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee….

Fear not; for I am with thee…

Even every one who is called by my name;

for I have created him for my glory;

I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”

Isaiah 61:1-3…”The Lord hath anointed me (referring to Jesus, Luke 4: 16-21)

to preach good tidings unto the meek;

He hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted…..

to comfort all that mourn;

….to give unto them beauty for ashes,

the oil of joy for mourning,

the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,

that they might be called trees of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord,

that He might be glorified.”

Jeremiah 31:3

“….Yea, I have loved the with an everlasting love:

therefore with loving kindness  have I drawn thee.”

Ezekiel 18:4

“As I live, saith the Lord,

….behold all souls are mine.”

(if you do not know Him personally, as your personal Savior, please go to the section that is entitled  “Where will I spend Eternity” for scriptures on how to know Him.)

Acts 20:24… “None of these things move me,

neither count I my life dear unto myself,

that I might finish my course with joy,

and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus,

to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

Philippians 1:6… “Being confident of very thing,

that He which hath begun a good work in you

will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

For those of us who are of “the household of faith”,  and truly believe the scriptures

and the God of the scriptures, when things come into our lives that we do not really

understand, this becomes a greater walk of faith than we have ever known before.

We take a step back and say “Ok”……

Where is our Rock and our foundation?

Will we continue in Him? Is He faithful?

  Will I trust Him really? …even when I do no understand?

The disciples came to this point one day (John 6:66-71) when they were with Jesus.  Some of the disciples heard a “hard saying” and some went away.

But Jesus asked His disciples,  “Will you also go away?”

Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go?

Thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

In Psalm 73, the psalmist begins by saying,

“Truly God is good.”

Then the psalmist goes on to look at his own life and becomes very distressed.  He sees that his foot has slipped (verse 2), he becomes envious of the prosperity of others, kind of like a “woe is me” outlook (verses 3-16), and he becomes very disappointed in his own life.

This is probably where depression sets in.  We only see the circumstances around us and cannot make sense of it.  If we choose to only look around and within, we will get discouraged.

Then in verses 17 to 22, he chooses to look at things from God’s perspective.  He sees what this world is like without God, and he sees his own foolishness.  His heart is grieved, and realizes that God is continually with him.

Verses 23-28:  “Thou hast held me by my right hand.

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”

“Whom have I in Heaven but thee?

And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

and my portion forever.

But it is good for me to draw near to God;

I have put my trust in the Lord God,

that I may declare all thy works.”

So the psalmist came to the same conclusion that the disciples came to….

that it is our God who is our refuge and strength (Ps. 46:1).

Jeremiah 16:19 says:

“O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction…”

Psalm 27:4,8,13,14:

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after:  that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”

“When thou saidest, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, thy face, Lord, will I seek.”

“I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

“Wait on the Lord;  be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord.”

My encouragement to you when things just do not make sense, seek Him as you have never sought Him before.  He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebr. 13:5).  He chooses to love us unconditionally and always hears our prayers.  Immerse yourself in the  scriptures and get to know the God of the scriptures.  Allow the risen Christ to take over in your heart.  We are saved by His death on the cross, but we are saved by His life….

…”being reconciled we shall be saved by His life,

and not only so, but we also joy in God,

through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom

we have now received the reconciliation.”

We are saved to allow Christ to live out His life in us and through us that our lives can bring glory to Him.  He will do it through us, and we will know joy in God.  That seems like a life worth living.

I have known loss in my life, and suffered with a feeling of deep profound grief that the Lord walked me through.  I was on the verge of depression, but kept looking into the face of the Savior for help.  If I can be of help to you in this, please feel free to contact me through this email:


Psalm 23 : Our Jehovah

Posted on July 12, 2019 by Eliece Rybak

Psalm 23

Seven of the times the name Jehovah is combined with another word

in scripture, they are either used directly or exemplified in the

23rd Psalm to further display Who Jehovah is.

(Psalm 23:1-6)

“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 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 my 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 forever.”

Jehovah (Exod. 6:3 “Yahovah”) means: the self-existent One; the Eternal One.

Meditate on that fact for a moment:

This Jehovah, not only has always existed and will always exist in the future, but He is dependent on nothing else (no one else) for His existence.

He has always been self-sustaining, and always will.

He does not need anything…air, food, the right environment …nothing.

He does not need us.

We, on the other hand, need Him. Job 12:10 reminds us,

“in Whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”

1. “Jehovah-Rohi – The LORD our Shepherd

2. Jehovah-Jireh (Gen. 22:14) The LORD provides;

 “I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.” Trusting /resting in the Jehovah that provides for us, for our soul and spirit means that “I want nothing else. He is all I need and provides all I want”, as a shepherd does for his sheep. We have the Good shepherd who knows all that we need in our soul and spirit, as well as physically. The still waters signify peace/rest.  A sheep will not drink out of rushing waters. It always looks for a calm pool from which to drink. The shepherd provides that. Do you have the calm, quiet “pools” in your life provided by the Good Shepherd?

This also signifies a satisfaction, a satisfied soul. Are you always longing for something that you do not have? Is there some kind of “unrest” or “a searching for something that you cannot find or grasp” in your life? If we come to the Good Shepherd, yielded to Him completely, we shall not want. It is He who satisfies our soul. Not just in what He gives, but it is He who fulfills.

He says that He “will satiate (fill to the full) the soul…, and my people shall be satisfied with my Goodness. For I have satiated (filled full) the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (Jeremiah 31:13, 25) Are we only looking for the physical to be satisfied? This Shepherd is the Shepherd of our soul. Don’t be satisfied to only have your physical needs met. Go to the Shepherd for the satisfying of the soul. We are complete in Him.(Colossians 2:10a) Look no farther. He is the “completer of your soul” emotionally and spiritually, as well as physically.

3. Jehovah-Rapha (Exod. 15:26) The LORD who healeth.

 “He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Jehovah is the healer. He is the One who restores our soul. Restores our soul to what? He restores our soul to Himself. He restores it from the ravages of sin through the redemption on the cross. But He restores it for Himself through sanctification (a present setting apart to holiness, and a future sanctification/perfection in Heaven). The Lord is the healer. He does not always promise to heal us physically in this life. At times He chooses to do that, but only promises total physical healing in Heaven. In the path of righteousness here in this life, we are restored to Him so that we can reflect the righteousness of Christ in our life now. For His name sake we bring glory to God.

4. Jehovah-Shalom (Judges 6:24) The LORD our peace.

 “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 my enemies;” We are walking in a world that is the domain of Satan. He is the prince of the power of the air. Death and evil are all about us. But our Jehovah God is our peace, because He is present with us; His perfect love casts out fear. He is our comfort. He literally prepares for us what we need in the presence of all that could hurt us and the evil that is around us. Peace in the midst of the enemies of our soul.

 5. Jehovah-Tsidkenu (Jere.23:6) The LORD our righteousness.

 “Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” The picture of anointing in scripture is a picture of God’s acceptance and blessing. It is a picture of the Lord setting apart someone to Himself. This picture is of Jehovah the self-existent God blessing us so much that we are satisfied to overflowing with His abundant blessings (John 10:10b).  He gives us His righteousness (11Cor. 5:21), which is all we need, totally sufficient for eternal life in Heaven, but also the fullness of His righteousness is extended to us now.

 6. El-Shammah (Ezek.48:35) The LORD is present;

“Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;”

Ever-present, the LORD is there; the Presence of the LORD is always there, an abiding presence with His own. His Goodness is beyond measure and His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:23-25) to His own. David knew the abiding presence of the Jehovah God. We too can know and sense through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit the Lord’s abiding presence in our lives. He never takes His eyes off us. (Job 36:7)

7. Jehovah-Nissi (Exod. 17:8-15) The LORD my banner;

 “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

The Lord my banner: literally our standard, where we stand; “an altar in the wilderness”….an altar showing ownership and protection. David knew he would one day be with the One who had set His banner over him. The self-existing Jehovah was his, and he was the Lord’s. The promise of eternal life through the Savior to come was extended to Old Testament believers, and many expressed their knowledge of that fact.

Posted in Daily Treasures for the Soul and SpiritEncouragement for the HeartHis Presence….


Posted on March 30, 2014 by Eliece Rybak

In Genesis chapter 50, there is a very amazing statement of the sovereignty of God in the life of Joseph. It says in verse 20:

…”God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day…”

There are things in this life that are very difficult. They seem so much like what…. is not suppose to be. These things are not what we expected, and maybe are so not what we really want in the depth of our hearts. Things did not work out the way we expected our Lord to work His plan in our lives. We just can’t imagine ourselves in the situation we are in.
What do we do?

We must look at the very character of God and see who He is. Is He a good God?

I am sure that Joseph over a period of 13 years did not always see what His God was doing in His life, but he trusted the Lord in His heart.

Here Joseph could say that in the hand of God, this has all come to good. Why? Because God is Good and He has a plan.
Psalm 21:3 says, “For Thou dost meet Him with the blessings of goodness….”

Jeremiah 31:14 says, “…I will satiate (fill to the full) the soul… my people shall be satisfied with my goodness.”

May the Lord fill us full of Himself, that we may stand in awe of His goodness no matter what comes into our lives.

Posted in Daily Treasures for the Soul and SpiritHeart to heart for WidowsUncategorized

Smile, open our eyes, love, and go on!

Posted on December 8, 2014 by Eliece Rybak

As widows we must be careful of our perspective.

It is so difficult to find the pieces after the death of our mate.

It seems difficult to sort through the grief, sorrow and pain.

This is a “perspective” that was given to me after the Homegoing of my husband:

“We can shed tears that He is gone, or we can smile because he has lived.

We can close our eyes and pray that he will come back, or we can open our eyes and see all that he has left us.

Our hearts can be empty because we cannot see him, or we can be full because of the love we shared.

We can turn our backs on tomorrow and live yesterday, or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

We can remember him and only that he is gone, or we can cherish his memory and let it live  on.

We can close our minds, be empty, and turn back, or we could do what he would want…

Smile, open our eyes, love, and go on!”

Posted in Daily Treasures for the Soul and SpiritHeart to heart for WidowsWidows

Suffering and Trials:

Posted on July 19, 2015 by Eliece Rybak

         Victoria Falls:

Victoria Falls (or Mosi-oa-Tunya) is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls on 16 November 1855 from what is now known as Livingstone Island, one of two land masses in the middle of the river, immediately upstream from the falls on the Zambian side. Livingstone named his discovery in honor of Queen Victoria, but the indigenous name, Mosi-oa-Tunya—”the smoke that thunders”—continues in common usage as well.

 Victoria Falls is the largest falls in the world.  It is a mile wide and there is 1000 ft. drop.  It also has the world’s largest rapids. In classifying these rapids, they are a “7 & 8”, which by comparison, in the USA, a “5” is the legal rapid on which to raft.

 A man, donning his life jacket, was preparing to attempt to raft these rapids when he was told:

“When the raft flips (not if it flips…but when), do not go to the calm waters on the side of the river.  You will be tempted to do so ….but do not.  Lurking in the calm, still, stagnant waters are alligators. They are waiting for you to come there.  Stay in the rapid white water.  The rapid white water is where safety is.”

 In life we are tempted to try to go to the place where things are not in such turmoil and the tempest is not raging.  But the Lord has designed the white water for our good and His Glory.  That is where He is growing us, showing us Himself, and proving Himself to be faithful.

 Sometimes in our lives when there is calm, we get lax, let our guard down, and become victim to the things in life that cause destruction.  We can be tempted to trust in our own strength and wisdom, thinking we are doing OK.  We do not grow in the calm as much as when we have something thrusting us into the very arms of Jesus.

 C. H. Spurgeon said…

“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”

 Phil. 1:27-30a :

 “Only let your conversation (conduct) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ, that …I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake….”

 Verse 28: the word “terrified” is referring to a horse that panics in battle (fear in battle that leads to disastrous results)….. scared, and ready to bolt.

Don’t bolt…stay the course…stay in the “white water rapids”:

  • they are by God’s design
  • to draw us to Himself (“be found in Him”…Phil. 3:9)
  • in a closer walk with Him
  • a greater manifestation of Christ in our life
  • to a greater (deeper) belief (trust) in Him
  • through this “suffering” for His sake, He is magnified
  • experience his everlasting arms around us
  • penetrated with His everlasting love (Jere.31:3)
  • saturated with Him in strength
  • fulfilled in His purpose
  • sensing His perspective on the eternal
  • strengthened in spirit by his victory in us and through us
  • ….and knowing in the depths of our soul that… He Is Enough…!!!!

The result is that ….

-the things of earth become strangely dim…

-our sight becomes fixed on Jesus….

-we sense what it means to be “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20)

-we get a glimpse of the “fellowship of His suffering” (Phil. 3:10)

-we see and know the “power of the resurrection” in our lives (Phil. 3:10)

-we see the Crucified with enhanced spirit vision….

 11 Tim. 3:12 – 14… “Yea, and all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them.”

1 Peter 4:12 – 13… “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that, when His glory  shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

Elisabeth Elliot says…”Think of your pain, trial, troubles as a challis, to be held up and offered up to the Lord, even in the midst of your suffering…stop what you are doing and offer it up as an act of worship……..anything offered up to God  becomes a gateway to joy.”

What is worship…is it not giving back to Him what is already His?  …ourselves?  our money?

Our praise and adoration already belongs to Him…He is worthy of all of it.

Should we not offer up the trial that He gives us?  The situation is His; He has allowed it; it is of His doing;

All things are from His hand (Colos. 1:15-18).  Can we trust that nail-pierced hand?

When we lay it at His feet, are we not worshiping Him in all things?

What work is that doing in our heart…is it not saying to Him exactly what Christ said to Him in the garden of Gethsemane?

 “ Father…  not my will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)

 Did the Father suffer with Christ in the garden, and on Calvary?

(He suffers with us, as we suffer for Him.)

 Was the Father touched with that suffering?

 He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities”…

Does he care how we feel?  Yes, offer that up to Him as an act of worship.

He suffers with us (Hebr. 4:13-16) (I Peter 5:7)

It is Ok to say …”Lord, you know I do not want to do this, but I will do it for you.”

Then offer it up to Him in an act of worship.  Make daily things an offering up in worship.

 Here are some results of suffering (which is a gift of His grace), and points to the reality that you are genuinely His:

  1. It strengthens the testimony of the one that endures.
  2. Weeds out superficial beliefs/believers.
  3. Crushes our pride (suffer shame for His name).
  4. Adds to our future rewards
  5. Weans us from self-sufficiency and self-promotion
  6. Informs us we are not in control
  7. Causes us to worship God with purified motives
  8. We stop asking for temporal trivial things.

 Acts 5: 40-41…”beaten…rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”

Posted in Daily Treasures for the Soul and SpiritEncouragement for the HeartHeart to heart for WidowsMothersWidows

A New Testament Lady according to Titus….

Posted on September 19, 2016 by Eliece Rybak

May all we ladies….

“be in behavior as becometh holiness….(enhance the Holiness of Christ)

….that we may teach the young women to be sober,

to love their husbands,

to love their children,

to be discreet, chaste,

keepers at home, good,

obedient to their own husbands,

that the Word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3a,4,5

Some Thoughts on Grieving….

Posted on December 10, 2017 by Eliece Rybak

Sometimes grieving, for whatever it is in our lives, can come to the point that the grieving itself has become a sin.  You say….”That is a strange assessment.”   If we know the Lord as our Savior, and He is the All-Powerful One, the All-Knowing One in Whom we are complete (Colos. 2:10), and if He is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9) to meet all our needs, then is years of grieving with a self focus not a sin?  If our focus is on ourselves, we have not paid attention to the living, we have missed opportunities for the Lord to use us in the lives of others, then this is called “bad grief”.  I am not saying that grieving can “be accomplished” in a few weeks, or even a few months.  (Remember, grieving over a lost spouse, child, or tragedy is not like getting over a bad cold; it doesn’t just go away.)  Some losses/tragedies are deep and life changing so that it takes a great deal of time to even adjust our lives.  The real truth is that our lives are never really the same, ever again.  But there needs to be beginnings in finding a new “normal”.  Prolonged grief reflects a lack of faith and trust in the sovereignty of our Good God.  He has a plan.  Sometimes this side of Heaven we will never understand that plan, but that does not make Him any less a good God.  If we could always understand His will and His way, He would not be God; and, would not be a God worthy of our faith and praise.  He says in Isaiah 55:6-9, that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. Thank you Lord, because He see all things and knows all that is going to happen in the future , and He knows us.

So the next step is to get our focus off our selves and onto Him, who is the sustainer of His children.  I am His and He loves me more that I can ever imagine.  He gave His Son’s life for me, while I was yet in my sin.  Christ died the death payment for my sin, offering me salvation, while I was yet not even knowing or caring that He loved me.  Can I trust One like that?  If I give Him my “gaze”, and my heart…as broken and suffering as it is… I can trust Him with it.

If we confess to Him our sin of lack of faith and trust in Him, and offer our broken selves to Him, He can begin to make some sense out of our life.  As we ask Him to show us His plan for our life, and give ourselves to Him for His keeping, it is the delight of His heart to care for and comfort His child.

Someone wrote this reflecting on Isaiah 61:1-3….we would then “accept the forgiveness by the blood  (of Christ),…and ask for the spirit of praise, as for any other gift of God.  So then He would exchange my ashes for Christ’s garland, my mourning for Christ’s oil of joy, my spirit of heaviness for Christ’s garment of praise”.

That is a wonderful passage.  The doing of it is by the grace of God only, as with all that the believer does.  We get to thinking when we are grieving that we need to pull ourselves out of this pit of despondency.  But as with every other “care” in our life, the Lord wants to gently and carefully guide us in this, and then out of this to the other side as He walks with us.  Remember He weeps with us as He did with Lazarus’s sisters at the death of their brother (John 11:1-44).

Praise can come for His Goodness (Jere. 33:13-14) even when all else is not making sense.  Praise that the Lord allowed us the privilege of having this one for so long a time; praise for the good of sharing a life with them; praise for the way our life was blessed through that person.  Seek to praise for the good things.  Then as He gives grace, accept his “garland” for the ashes.  That may mean that we allow Him to take a life that looks like it is ashes, plans that are in ashes, dreams that will never be (ashes), and commit them to His plan and will, for Him to give us a new life in Him.

Christ has an oil…a healing balm, that can begin to give joy where there was only grieving.  He will be the Master Healer in our lives, if we let Him.  As we accept His grace for all this, He will lift the heaviness in our lives.  His grace is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9) for the healing process, if we yield all of this to Him.

Sometimes those who are grieving think that if they “just stop grieving”, and go on with life, it means that they have forgotten the loved one, or did not really love them.  We do not want to forget them or want others to forget them. It can feel like a betrayal to this loved one.  This can be very profound in the life of the survivor.  Yes, we do not want to forget them, but it does not honor them to go on not living a productive life.  The lost loved one would want us to be comforted (Matt. 5:4), and so we must honor them by finding our Way, coping in the grace and healing of Christ.  Surrender the ashes, the mourning, and the heaviness to the One who can heal, and let us be comforted.  Christ must fill that void.  Anything else that we try to “use” to fill that void will never satisfy.

That loved one will always hold a special place in our hearts, because no one could ever fill that place.  But it is OK to go on.  At some point we must choose life, and go on.  If we could allow Christ to take that special place in our hearts and fill it with peace from Himself, we can go on.  Peace with a past loss, tragedy or care, surrendered to Christ to make of it some sense, is the only way to go on to a life used by Him. He weeps with us, and walks with us….as we Choose Him.

May He be gracious to all of us who suffer loss, and show His presence real to us. May He give to us the balm of healing in our lives (which is really Himself), that we may glorify Him.

God Bless you in your journey to a surrendered life to Him.

Posted in Daily Treasures for the Soul and SpiritHeart to heart for WidowsSuffering / GriefWidows

Heart to Heart for Widows

Posted on February 17, 2018 by Eliece Rybak

Faith: Growing Our Faith in the Trials of Life.

Seeing our challenges through the eyes of the Lord….I Thes. 3:13 “to the end He may establish our hearts unblamable in Holiness before Him….(4:7) God hath…called us…unto Holiness.”

A.W Tozer said…”Whom God will use greatly, He will also hurt deeply.”

  • Keep eyes on Jesus; Set your affections on Him.   (11 Cor. 4:16-18; Col. 3:1-4
  •  Fill our mind and heart with the word of God.   (Phil. 4:8-9; II Cor. 7:1)
  • Talk to God; Pray the word of God back to Him.   (Phil. 4:6-7; I Cor. 2:1-5; Col. 3:15-17)
  • Remember His Promises.   (Rom. 8:28 & 29; II Tim. 3:14-17)
  • Know He loves you; He cares for His own. (Ps. 91:1,2,4,11,12; I Peter 5:7)
  • He never leaves us or forsakes us.   (Hebr. 13:5,8)
  • Keep Praising Him.   (Hebr. 13:15; Ps. 22:3; Ephes. 5:19-20)
  • Keep choosing joy. (Hebrews 12:1,2, Psalm 16:8,9; John 15:1-11)
  • Find something to smile about every day.   (I Peter 4:12-14; Prov. 15:13)
  • Keep giving to others during the trial.   (II Cor. 9:7-8; Phil. 2:1-4; Romans 12:9-21)
  • Surround yourself with mature Believers that you can trust. (Psalm 1:1-6; II Cor. 1:4-5; I Cor. 2:1-5)
  • All things are from the hand of God for our Good. (Rom. 8:28-29; Hebr. 12:6,11-15)
  • Remember…we are only passing through.   (II Cor.5:7-10,20; Phil. 3:20; Job 23:10)
  • Always HOPE (joyful, confident anticipation) in Christ, for this life and the life to come. (I Cor. 15:19)

Meet with God each morning so that:

….rather than viewing God through our challenges, we see our challenges through the eyes of the Lord, whom we have met with, and He is the one that has already prepared us to meet this challenge.

The Holy Spirit comforts and strengthens. John 17

Then… the Holy Spirit challenges and stretches. Phil. 2:13-16

What is the abundant Life?   (It has nothing to do with earthly possessions.)

The abundant life (John 10:10) is a spiritual life of contentment (“in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” Phil. 4:11); Phil. 3:9 says “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering (I Peter 4:13), being made conformable to His death.” (Rom. 8:17; II Cor. 4:10-11)

Abundant Life is a full life of understanding what life is all about through the eyes of Christ, and by thinking Christ’s thoughts after Him. Assurance of salvation and assurance in God does not give us a license to sin, but gives us the liberty to please Him….the liberty to fall in love with Jesus.

Posted in Heart to heart for WidowsSuffering / GriefWidowsWives