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by Rene' Reilly on August 23rd, 2016

​The lazy days of summer are winding down and the craziness of getting the family organized for this next season is in full blown “yikes!” mode.
I’ve found myself running around like a fox with my tail on fire and it causes me to lose sight of a lot of important things that should be taking priority over my business.
Anybody else here feeling a little frazzled?  I know I’m not alone because I have been following a thread of panic filled emails from several parents in search of certain
items on the school supply list that don’t seem to really exist.  Is this our punishment for not putting in enough volunteer hours last year?!
 
What I’m really needing right now, besides the name of the store where I can find these “hard to find” items and a fire extinguisher, is a reminder that underneath all of this craziness lies my “real purpose”.
 
One of the greatest longings of the human heart is to know that there is a purpose to this life.  And I’m just gonna say it…it’s not all about the school supplies!

Sometimes all the chaos and uncertainty of life makes me want to “tuck my tail and run” (this is Texan for “give up”), but ain’t nobody got time for that!
Scripture reminds me that I’m not the first woman to find myself in difficult circumstances.  Take a look at the stories of Sarah, Tamar, Esther, or Ruth.
My goodness!  These gals had rough times! 
 
I know most of our life struggles run much deeper than the scavenger hunt for school supplies.  I also know that the God I serve is so much bigger than these earthly trials.
He created the ground I stand on!  So what does He have to say to you and I today that can bring us comfort, peace, and even joy no matter what giant we’re going face to face with?
 
Psalm 23:4  “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
 
James 1:12  “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
 
2 Corinthians 4:16-18  “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

 
In the midst of the whirl wind of my difficult circumstances, I want to be known as a woman who doesn’t quit.

Are you with me?!!!

by Rene' Reilly on January 7th, 2016

​Happy New Year!!!
     Wow! Where did the time go?  2015 was a whirl of activity at the Reilly House (that’s where I live).  Maybe all that craziness explains my funny (and best ever!) birthday celebration last year…
     At the beginning of every New Year, on January 10th, I turn one year older (stop laughing…that’s not the funny part!).  Last year on my birthday, I found out that I was actually a year younger than I thought I was ...Now you can laugh!!!  So here’s one of the great things about my birthday this year…I’m not as old as I would be if I had of been right last year!  This is truly a gift!  In fact, I’ve instructed all friends and family not to get me anything for my birthday ever again…being one year younger is enough!!!

Moral of the story:  Sometimes being wrong is a good thing!

     My prayer for you is that 2016 will be filled with “good things”!  I hope that as you reflect on the past year, all of the good things will come to mind. 
     The Bible (particularly the book of Ecclesiastes), contains reflections of an old man, as he considered the question of the meaning in life.  He looked back and saw the futility of chasing after even the good things this life can offer, including wisdom, work, pleasure, and wealth, even if such things are satisfying for a time.  All “good things” that are lasting come from God.
 
So how do we get focused on the “good things” that last in 2016?
Get into God’s heart.   God’s Word is the heart of God.   Get into God’s Word.

In the words of Elizabeth George:
     "If you are impatient, sit down quietly and commune with Job.  If you are strong-headed, read of Moses and Peter.  If you are weak-kneed, look at Elijah.  If there is no song in your heart, listen to David sing.  If you are a politician, read Daniel.  If you are getting sordid, read Isaiah.  If your heart is chilly, read of the beloved disciple, John.  If your faith is low, read Paul.  If you are getting lazy, watch James.  If you are losing sight of the future, read in Revelation of the promised land.  In joy and sorrow, in health and in sickness, in poverty and in riches, in every condition of life, God has something [good] stored up in His Word for you."

May 2016 find you blessed and getting into the “good things” that last!
Love, Rene'

by Rene' Reilly on June 7th, 2015

​Summer is here!  Time to pull out those bathing suits…Ugh…, plan a vacation…Yay!...and take an occasional nap…Ahhh.
Our busy schedules seem to make a big shift in the summer.  Not that we are less busy, of course, but the heat seems
to slow things down a bit and we let a few things slide, like ice cream…right into our tummy’s!  But the one thing we
can’t afford to let slide is our connectedness to Jesus. We must stay focused!
 
When Jesus was asked the most important command, He responded without hesitation:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,” He said, “and love your neighbor as yourself.”
When the Pharisee agreed, Christ told him he was not far from the kingdom of God (see Mark 12:30-34.)
Have you decided to take a vacation from God this summer?  Are you taking a vacation from church, worship, service to others,
prayer, or maybe Bible study?  Are you taking a vacation from Christ connectedness?
 
In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine ; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
He is not saying that we are paralyzed, unable to move, or even enjoy Fiesta Texas!  What He is saying is that we cannot do anything that will be worth anything.
Apart from Him, we begin to wither and dry up.  So, as  branches, how then can we afford to take a vacation from the Vine?
 
We must practice the presence of God in every event and every season of our lives----even our Summers! 
We must daily ask ourselves what God requires of us before the day begins.  Then, in the middle of the day,
 in the heat of the sand on the beach or the argument you find yourself buried in; or in the wake of an ocean
 wave or a crushing sea of loss; in the middle of Fiesta Texas, the grocery store, or the office, let us remind ourselves that
 we have asked God for His direction, and let us believe that He will meet us there with new grace to think and act like saints.
 
Are you ready to take “vacation” to a whole other level?
 
 I can’t wait to hear about your summer vacation…with Jesus! 
 
 
 

by Rene' Reilly on July 15th, 2010

I couldn't wait to get home! I had some important news and I wanted to share it with my mom. This was the kind of news that most young women can't wait to bring home and usually starts with, "Mom, sit down." I burst through the door! "Mom, I'm getting married!" She sat down. "Aren't you a little young for this?" True I was only 6 years old and in my first year of school, but when the teacher asked me if I would be the bride doll in the Kindergarten Christmas play, I jumped at the chance. No, I mean I really jumped...up and down. Thankfully, I was blessed with a mother that sews. She made me the loveliest wedding gown and when I put it on, I felt like the most beautiful bride in all the world! The play went off without a hitch and I took my curtseys along with the rest of the accomplished actors and actresses in my class, but I knew the applause was all for me in my lovely bridal gown.

It didn't take me long to realize that someone was missing from the wedding party...and that someone was the groom.

Did it ever occur to you that us gals begin looking for a husband the moment we step on the school bus for the first time? Our eyes begin to scan the aisle for him and we do not hesitate to take the empty seat, fully committed!

Ladies, each one of us was designed with this special "husband seeking" gene sewn into our DNA. Again our loving Father and Creator places in us a desire that points us directly to Him, our Husband to be, our Hope. And, remember hope is not a feeling, but a person...Jesus.

Throughout scripture the marriage union is a metaphor or picture of the relationship between God and His people (first Israel and then the Gentiles-that's you and me).

Scripture tells us:
Then at the time appointed by the Father, the Son, wearing many crowns (Rev. 19:12), will come for us, His bride (Mark 13:32). We don't know the day or the hour of His return, but we know the season (1 Thess. 5:1). We understand from Bible prophecy that the Lord's coming is near, even at the very door (Mark 13:29). Thus, we ready ourselves for the day we will hear the trumpet and the shout (1 Thess. 4:16) before we are caught up to meet the Lord, not on earth, but in the clouds (1 Thess. 4:17)

Now I know some of you out there may be thinking, "I have tried this marriage thing and it did not work out so good for me." Perhaps others of you have been happily married for several years or maybe not so happily married. Maybe you are yet single not having found "the one". You might even be asking yourself, "Why would a perfect God give His perfect Son to someone as imperfect as me? If the marriage is to be validated on my purity, I deserve only divorce or stoning because I sin miserably; I mess up constantly; I fail continually."

Good News! The validation of our relationship with our Bridegroom doesn't depend on our sinlessness, but on His. It is the vesture dipped in His blood (Rev. 19:13) that allows us to be presented to Him without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27) Blessed are those who realize the price has been paid, the work has been done.

Dear beloved, If you have said, "Lord, I know I have sinned and failed, but I believe You love me and that You paid the price for me," Rejoice! Be glad! Celebrate! A future of romance and wedding plans await you!


by Rene' Reilly on May 31st, 2009

Recently, my husband, Patrick and I took our two youngest children on a weekend camping trip. Upon arriving at the park we spent some time looking for that perfect camp site…you know the one…closest to the bathrooms. Bingo! Site secured. It took awhile to agree on which spot of ground was the flattest, but finally the tent was standing and the stakes were driven into the ground. The rest of the day was filled with swimming, hiking, cribbage, hamburgers cooked over the camp fire, and a good book. As the evening closed in, I pulled out the blankets and the “handy dandy” inflatable air mattress. Things were looking good until the motor on the air pump went out. Bye, Bye “handy dandy” air mattress. Hello painfully hard ground. With our heads lying at the elevated end of the tent, least a headache arise, Patrick and I quietly prayed that our chiropractor would be in the office on Monday. The kids played “musical sleeping bags” and “name the creepy noise” for a few minutes before sleep became a real possibility. Then the camp grounds came alive! We found ourselves smack in the middle of camp party central! The festivities continued into the wee hours of the morning, leaving our family painfully exhausted…literally. Thankfully the early morning wake up horn from the campers a few tents down also brought with it rain clouds and the perfect excuse to collapse the tent, stuff everything in the mini-van, and head for home at a swift pace. I admit I giggled a bit as we drove away and the first large raindrops fell on some late sleepers. As usual, I learned a couple of hard lessons on this trip…be careful where you set up camp and be prepared for rain!

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to find a place of peace and tranquility, the storms of life surround us and the rain comes down. Just like the motor on that air pump and the airless mattress we become burnt out and deflated, wondering where to go for rest and shelter. Sometimes, I just need the simple reminder that I can always have confidence in God’s protection. David prayed this prayer in Psalm 61:1-4
V1 Hear my cry, O God
V2 From the end of the earth I call to Thee, when
my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher
than I.
V3 For Thou hast been a refuge for me , A tower of
strength against the enemy.
V4 Let me dwell in Thy tent forever; Let me take refuge
in the shelter of Thy wings.

Let this be our hearts cry! Take comfort. You are not alone. The One who breathed the stars into the universe loves you and will never leave you. Cling to His promises with all your might when the wind blows and He will preserve you. He is our stronghold…let us not be shaken. We worship the Almighty One who calmed the winds saying, “Be still!”

Now the question is: Where are you setting up camp today?

by Rene' Reilly on May 8th, 2009

Recently, a dear friend of mine visited Belgium, and upon returning brought me a treasured gift...Belgium chocolate! Now, I must tell you there is no treat that I love more than chocolate, and this was no ordinary chocolate. This was Belgium chocolate. As I closed my eyes and savored the last creamy "dream" bite, I realized that our time together was short. No matter how I tried to hang on to that luscious morsel, it melted away, leaving me somewhat sad and despondent...possibly due to bottoming out from the sugar rush!

As I sit here now, reading my Bible, having recovered from my episode of chocolate separation anxiety, I have to laugh out loud. Finally, something sweeter than chocolate! Something I can savor for...oh, say...like the REST of my life! "What is this amazing discovery?" you ask. The secret has been out for a long, long time. It is God's gift to us...living, breathing, life-giving...the Bible!

"Heaven and earth (like chocolate) will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." - Matt 24:35. "It is written, man shall not live by bread (or chocolate) alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." - Matt 4:4.

What are you waiting for?..."Taste and see that the Lord is good." - Psalm 34:8 NKJ.