Walking by Faith Alone

Archive for May 2012

The Best…last

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Quick Note:

I adore Jesus’ personality. He had quite a sense of humor and of timing. He could deliver a line and tongue tie the wisest of men. One of my favorite stories of Jesus is the wine to water miracle from John 2:1 -11.

Wedding celebrations bring out the best and worst in most people from stress and anxiety to overwhelming joy and laughter. Jesus and his Mom attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee – an all day event of friends of the family – and Mary became concerned for her friends when the wine runs out. In those days, it was public humiliation for the father of the bride’s family to run out of wine. On such occasions, the bride’s family served the best of the best at the beginning of the celebration and as people became more festive and less conscious of the quality, the less expense wine was served in the latter part of the evening. But to run out of wine…

Mary brings her concern to Jesus.

3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” 4 Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” 5 His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”.

I always smile at this because my son Ben calls me “Woman…” While many might find it disrespectful, I love the endearment of it. Regardless of the timing, Jesus comes to the rescue and changes the water into the finest of wines. The guests are elated because their host (the father of the bride) has saved the best wine for the end of the celebration.

Isn’t it just like Jesus to come in at the end with the best of all best solutions. Because He is all-knowing, Jesus knew they were going to run out of wine. He knew His Mom would request of Him to do something. I love His teasing manner as well to His mom, and her assured response, knowing He would do as she asked.

In your trials and struggles, always remember that Satan gives his best first – God saves His best for last. Like a giant broom, God comes in and sweeps up all the mess and always turns what Satan deemed to be a destroying blow, into a victory for God.

Our job is not to doubt. Like a knight on a white horse, God is on the way with the best of the best. Be assured.


Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made…

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Quick Note:

Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful.”

I recently encountered a precious four-year old in a gift shop in North Carolina. We were standing in line, and she was admiring her shoes.

“I got new shoes,” she said to no one in particular.

“I like them,” I whispered.

Her big brown eyes looked up at me with a sheepish grin as she pondered her next statement. I could tell she was thinking intently;  about which I could not imagine.

“God made me really beautiful. He did you too!”

“Yes He did make you beautiful,” I answered with a smile, “And me too. Thank you.”

The familiar verse came quickly to mind from Psalm 139, remembering just recently complaining to the mirror at home about my own inadequacies. I no longer looked or felt 19 and somehow I thought I had been robbed. Why did we have to change as we grew older? Oh to fit into my 19-year-old clothes again – pre-children body.  I wondered if butterflies questioned their beauty or how they measured up. Did the Tiger Swallowtail wish to be more like the Virginia Lady? Did she long for orange speckles instead of yellow and black stripes?

Just last night my son Will and I took a long walk to a beautiful pond behind my house. David Thoreau’s Walden couldn’t compare to the natural, private setting of this dwelling. I noticed a tree that has probably been around 100 years, with thick twisted branches and a large rounded trunk. Its roots ran deep, obvious to all that it had probably weathered.  As I pressed my hand against the bark, Will asked, “Trees are so much prettier when they’ve been around a long time, aren’t they?’

Storms, seasons, snowy days, drought, flood –  all combined give the tree its magnificent splendor.

Aren’t we the same? Shouldn’t we all state with the confidence of that brown-eyed four-year old, “God made me really beautiful” each and every day?

We are a combined total of our experiences, challenges, joys, sorrows, and laughter. We are created uniquely and individually – like no other.

Celebrate who you are and the Artist who carefully constructed you. Like the tree, it is the strength of our roots that give us our splendor.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

To Caroline…

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I’m so excited today! Know why? Today is May 5th the running of the Kentucky Derby. I love the Derby – always have. When I was your age, I was going to be a horse trainer; run a barn; live in Kentucky; and yes – win the Derby. : )

Dreams fill our lives from when we are 2 and 3, from wanting to be policemen or firemen or teachers or astronauts to even in our older days dreaming of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, beautiful gardens, or a vacation home on a remote island. Life is full of them. And they are all good and important in the eyes of God.

One of my favorite Bible verses was written by Paul through God’s inspiration. It comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, ” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Today you are being confirmed into the church, your training ground for the big race. In your lifetime you will hear that a person doesn’t have to go to church to go to Heaven. And that is true. But as you know with cheerleading, you cannot be a part of the squad unless you train, practice, work hard, keep your body free of alcohol and drugs, keep your grades up, and attend practice. You are dedicated to your sport because you want to be a part of the winning team. There are many cheerleaders out there – yes there are. There are many teams. There are people who wish to be a part and people who want you to succeed and those who want you to fail. It is part of the game.

Paul is telling us through God to take our walk with Christ like a race, only we are running for “the crown.” There are people who attend church but then Monday morning treat people or act in ways that is not worthy of a person on God’s team. They are seeking prizes that do not last. Be the one who trains to win the race Caroline. Be the one who trains as Christ longs for us to train, as active members of our churches, readers of the scriptures, prayer warriors, but most importantly people who love other people.

One of the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36 NIV).  Jesus replied, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

And that’s how you win the race…

I am proud of who you are and who you are becoming. Do not lose sight of where you are running and who you are running beside. Be strong and bold for God. Have faith in Him. Most importantly know that as you become a part of the Body of Christ (the Church), you are representing Him in everything that you do.

Much love to you today. Never forget that you are the apple of God’s eye and a daughter of the King of kings.

As I watch the Kentucky Derby, I am going to think about you. I am going to envision the race you are running in your life for Christ. And when the winning horse crosses the finish line, I will rejoice and be glad because I know in your race, you will win for Christ.

God Bless you and keep you. May His Son shine across your face. May He forever hold you in the palm of His hand.


Aunt Nora

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm