Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

Read Fran's 10/15/2018 Interview with Helene T. Steilian

Read Fran's 9/9/2018 Devotional on ARISE Devos website

Read Fran's 8/26/2018 Devotional on ARISE Daily Devos website

Read Fran's 7/14/2018 Devotional on ARISE Daily Devos website

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A Cheerful Heart

By Fran Caffey Sandin

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33 KJV).

My mother’s neighbor telephoned me one morning and said almost in a whisper, “Fran, this is Ruth. Your mother needs you right now. Come immediately and bring Jim.”
“What happened?” I gasped.
“Just come as quickly as you can.” She gave no explanation.
Shocked and shaking, I said, “We will.”

Jim and I rearranged our day and drove an hour to my family home where the sheriff’s car occupied the front circle driveway. We rushed inside the brick, ranch-style, country home where the sound of my mother’s cries confirmed my worst fear. Dad, in a bout of depression, had died. It seemed surreal as my brother, sister, and I attempted to deal with the reality that he had taken his life. We comforted Dad’s bride of 50 years while feeling the pain and loss ourselves. Dad--a veteran of World War II, steady, firm, loving father, with a strong character, had left the earth, but we knew he had made his peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. It was difficult to realize he would no longer be with us. Perhaps the Lord in heaven said, “Pratha, you moved here sooner than we expected.”

About that time, I had volunteered to help in the church nursery, and while working in the three-year-old class, I lifted a very heavy child.  Unfortunately, back pain resulted, and I spent time recovering with the help of a physical therapist. So, I was grieving my dad’s death by suicide plus dealing with bodily restrictions, and emotional distress--crying, and asking, “God, where are you?” It seemed He had pulled down a dark shade.

But God showed me where He was through His Word. These verses helped me: “My soul cleaves to the dust, revive me according to Thy Word” (Psalm 119: 25 NASB). My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Thy Word” (Psalm 119: 28 NASB). “This is my comfort in my affliction, that Thy Word has revived me” (Psalm 119: 50 NASB).

John 16: 33 is true. Difficult situations will happen, but with time and healing mercies, we will recover with an opportunity to enjoy a cheerful heart because of what Jesus has done for us. The name of Jesus is powerful. As we exercise faith in Him, He encourages us to be brave while comforting and giving us peace. He sends divine encouragers to help bear our burdens. We are blessed when others care, but God’s love is even greater.

Nothing can separate us from His love.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 38-39 KJV).

Are you dealing with some trial or tribulation?  How will you respond?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you tell us the truth, and the truth is—because of Adam’s sin, we live in a fallen world that is filled with disease and various kinds of problems, trouble, heartaches, and tribulations. Thank you that you sent Jesus to pay for our sin and to give us peace. Thank you that you give us courage and a cheerful heart when we trust Jesus and believe the promises in Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.