He Will Answer You

“Because He loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for He acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

I absolutely adore today’s Psalm passage. Why might you ask? Because it contains God’s precious promise that He will rescue, protect, answer, deliver, honor, and show salvation to those who love Him and acknowledge His Holy Name. Wow, what a perfect set of promises for anyone who is seriously struggling in life!

These perfect promises are my strongholds as I deal with the daily demands of living with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. All I have to do is call upon the Lord and He will answer me! Does this mean that His answer will be to my liking? Well, not necessarily. But it will be according to His will which is far more important. You see, as long as I’m living within the will of God, then it really doesn’t matter what is happening to me. God will use it for His glory and His grace will bring me contentment in the midst of my storm.

Perhaps you think this line of thinking is too far-fetched for you as you deal with the daily demands of dementia. But God can use your unique situation for His good if you will trust in Him, allow Him full reign in your life, and acknowledge His power over your situation. You see, although I wanted to be delivered from the disease, God chose to deliver me from the despair of the disease. Because of God’s grace, I am completely content and able to write from a perspective of faith and encouragement. Without God’s grace, love, mercy, and strength, this would not be possible!

If you are struggling today with dementia, call upon the Lord. Ask Him to use your unique situation for His good. Ask Him to deliver you from the despair the disease often brings. Ask Him to protect you. He can do all of this and more if you will only place your trust in Him. Remember, He loves you dearly and He will never forsake you in your time of trouble. So call upon Him today and He will answer you!

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A Fortress and A Refuge

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Psalm 91:2

I have days when fear of the unknown slithers in to torment me. When this happens, I wonder what will transpire when Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease moves from the early/mid stage to the devastating late stage. I start down the slippery path of wondering if I will still be able to recognize my family, read and comprehend Scripture, attend worship service, work in the garden, mow the yard, and walk around the grounds of the Hornback Homestead. If I let myself dwell on these things too long, fear and anxiety naturally set in and ruin my peace. However, to avoid this predicament, when I begin to get fearful, I turn to my favorite Scriptures and reread the promises of God. The promises for those who truly love the Him and are called according to His purposes.

Today’s passage is one of my favorite Scriptures. I love to read it and I turn to this passage often. Why? Because it reminds me that God is my refuge and my fortress from all things fearful to include the impacts of Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the entire 91st Psalm is a plethora of passages which pronounce God’s faithfulness, protection, shelter, and deliverance for those who acknowledge His name, honor Him, and love Him. All I need do is read this precious Psalm and the fear and anxiety that starts to build just disappears. That is how powerful the passage can be!

If you are struggling today with fear of the unknown because of a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, spend some special time in the 91st Psalm. Read it over and over again. Read it aloud if necessary and speak it firmly. Then let the promises contained in these Scriptures soak into your spirit and fear will be vanquished. Remember, God is our strength, our shield, and our salvation if you belong to Him. He longs to be your refuge and your fortress so Trust in Him today!

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Satisfy Us in the Morning

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

It has been an incredible summer morning here at the Hornback Homestead. The air was cool and ground was covered with a thick dew. It was a great morning to be outside as the shining sun glistened against the dew covered grass and reflected the beauty of God’s creation. The dogs and I enjoyed our romp around the grounds as we began our morning chores. I absolutely adore summer mornings and I count them as one of many of God’s rich blessings in my life.

In today’s passage, Moses asks God to satisfy His people in the morning with His unfailing love so they might sing for joy and be glad all their days. It is a remarkable request and one we should passionately pursue. Being satisfied with God’s grace and love leads to joy, peace, contentment, and thankfulness no matter what our particular circumstances may be in life. This is how God wants us to live our lives; joyful, thankful, and content in His precious provisions and perfect presence.

In spite of living with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease for nearly eight years, I am content in all that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do in my life. The Apostle Paul put it pretty succinctly when he said, “I have learned the secret of being content ….. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” God provides all we need to be content and satisfied if we will lean upon Him and be thankful for His love, grace, and mercy in our lives.

If you are struggling today because of the demands of dementia, ask God to help you be satisfied, or content, in your life because of His unfailing love. Focus on Him in the morning and not on your disease so that His strength, grace, and power might engulf your day. Then, like today’s passage proposes, you can be satisfied in the morning and be glad all the days of your life.

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God’s Heart of Wisdom

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

As a Midshipman in Navy ROTC, I had the pleasure of spending a summer cruise on a nuclear powered FBM Submarine. As I recall, the cruise lasted 72 days and we were underwater the entire time. Many of the sailors on board the submarine had cruise calendars which numbered the days of the deployment. Each morning as I reported to my duty station, the sailors would recant how many days were left underwater. These sailors certainly had their days underwater numbered!

Today’s passage from the 90th Psalm puts forth a perplexing proposal. It simply suggests that God can teach us to number our days “aright” so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. This particular Psalm is a prayer written by Moses and could possibly be one of the oldest pieces of Scripture (probably written while wandering in the wilderness after leaving Egypt). It is quite interesting that Moses is concerned about the state of his people’s hearts. In his prayer, He asks God to give them a heart of wisdom. Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” By seeking and listening to God (numbering our days aright), then wisdom, knowledge, and understanding can be attained and Moses knew this better than anyone!

Thankfully, we have the Bible which contains God’s Holy Word and therefore imparts wisdom. The key is to read the Bible daily to begin to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Since my diagnosis of Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, I spend time in the Scriptures almost every day because I definitely need wisdom! I also do this to keep my heart pure, my life focused, and my spirit encouraged. These are all fruits that flow from reading God’s Word on a daily basis.

If you are struggling because you lack wisdom, start to spend some special time in God’s Holy Word each morning. Wisdom will begin to fill your heart as the Holy Spirit instructs you in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. If you are struggling with dementia, continue to spend time in God’s Word so wisdom will remain fresh in your heart and mind each day. It is the only wisdom we truly need for it is eternal!

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God’s Spiritual Light

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. Psalm 89:15

When I go out in the late evening after sunset to lock up my chickens, I use a flashlight to light the treacherous path from the back patio to the chicken coop about 50 yards away. The ground off the patio has a slight slope with rough and uneven patches along the way. The flashlight helps me avoid stepping into small holes, tripping over the stepping stones in the back yard, and running into the chicken yard fence (which I have done on occasion). I use the flashlight every night, whether the moon is shining or not, just to avoid pitfalls and problems that lurk in the darkness.

Today’s passage from the Psalms speaks about an entirely different kind of light. This particular light has a spiritual glow. It is the Holy Light of God’s perfect presence in the life of a child of God. It is this luminous spiritual light that I depend on every day! It helps me avoid the snares of Satan, the pitfalls of petulance, the tripping trials of temptation, the worries of wealth, and the depths of depression that lurk in the shadow of life. You see, God’s glorious light shines upon my path which keeps me from going astray, keeps me from stumbling, keeps me safe, and keeps me secure. Long before my diagnosis of Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, I learned to walk in the light of God’s presence every day. Since my diagnosis, I need His glorious light in my life more than ever before!

If you are struggling in the darkness of dementia, you too need a spiritual light to guide your path. Remember, God’s light is always available! Just call upon His Holy Name and ask for His heavenly help. He is forever faithful and He will light your path if you choose to walk in His presence and acclaim Him. When you walk in His presence, He will never deny you, never disappoint you, and never desert you. Start walking in His light today and stay in the glorious light of His perfect presence forever!

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God’s Glorious Creation

The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. Psalm 89:11

In the early morning and late evening I venture outside to leisurely walk around the homestead with my three long-haired Chihuahuas: Black Jack, Poco, and Slayer. They enjoy being outdoors and chasing any would be predators that have ventured into “their territory” as we survey the homestead. I especially enjoy the time because it is quiet, I’m alone, and I’m able to connect with God on each and every walk. Somehow, seeing the beauty of His creation in the early mornings and late evenings remind me of God’s goodness and grace. I am also humbled by God’s amazing handiwork that quietly glorifies His Holy Name in ways which my words can never express.

Today’s passage from the Psalms stands as a stark reminder that God founded the world and all that is in it. He created the heavens, set into motion the seasons, and filled the earth with everything man needed to survive, enjoy life, and personally witness the fact that He does exist. The rhythmic cycles of His creation remind me that He is still in control of all things to include what is happening in my life. If I can trust His hand for the rising and setting of the sun, the changing of the seasons, and the movement of the tides, then surely I can trust His hand for the ebbs and flows of Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in my life.

Perhaps that is what the Psalmist was expressing in today’s passage; that if God is faithful in His creation, then He is faithful in all things. God established His faithfulness in heaven itself (Psalm 89:2) and extended His faithfulness to earth. So why should I be concerned with my illness? God is still in control and He is still faithful in creation and in my life.

If you are struggling today because of dementia or some other serious illness, step outside and marvel in the magnificence of God’s glorious creation. It will help you realize that God is in control and, as a child of God, you need not fear anything. God loves you far more than the earth He created. His love for you endures forever and nothing, not even Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, can change His great love for you. So trust in Him, the God of Creation!

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Spiritual Morning Rituals

But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Psalm 88:13

My wife and I recently returned from a trip to London, England where we spent a few days with our oldest daughter, middle son, and daughter-in-law who all live away from the Hornback Homestead. It was great to spend some special time with them, to personally reconnect our lives, and to visit the sights of London. Unfortunately, this little retreat took me out of my normal routine. In fact, I didn’t even take a copy of my daily schedule with me which made matters even worse!

Having a daily routine, or schedule, is one of the things that makes living with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease so much easier. By sticking to the schedule, I’m assured that I will take my medication, read my Bible, spend time in prayer and meditation, write my devotions, and vigorously exercise each morning. There is great comfort in doing these things because they ground me to my faith and keep me on track physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The morning ritual of Bible reading, prayer, and devotion writing keep me focused on what’s truly important rather than on my disease or worldly passions. Perhaps the Psalmist had this in mind when he wrote today’s passage. Spiritual morning rituals not only set the tone for the day but they inspire us to press on and persevere through difficult circumstances just like the Apostle Paul who wrote to the Philippians, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14).”

If you are struggling with dementia and have not established a daily routine, I urge you to develop one immediately and begin to follow it. Then be sure to add Bible reading, prayer, and meditation to your morning routine as indicated in today’s passage from the Psalms. A daily routine will keep you on track and the spiritual emphasis in the morning will keep you focused on the right goal for your life. God is the sole source of our strength and therefore He must become the focus of our morning routines if we are win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus!

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His Fountains Continue to Flow

As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.” Psalm 87:7

The 87th Psalm is marvelous celebration of Zion, God’s holy city. Many believe this refers to the holy city of Jerusalem where Jesus died, rose from the dead, ascended back into heaven, sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and will return to rule and reign over the earth for a thousand years. It is a dear and precious city in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.

Today’s passage reminds us how important it is to praise God in song just as they (the worshipers) will do in Zion (Jerusalem). Music is such an important part worship because it naturally flows from the pure heart of a true believer. Today’s passage also implies that God’s spiritual blessings (fountains) are to be praised and we are to be thankful for His grace and goodness in our lives.

Being able to thank God for His spiritual blessings in the midst of the storms of life is the mark of a true child of God. No matter what struggle, storm, or serious situation you are facing, God is still working toward the good in your life. His blessings continue to flow like a fountain that never stops.

After being diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, I struggled with how God’s blessings would be made manifest in my life. After my initial pity party, I came to realize how truly blessed I was because my family surrounded me with overwhelming love and support. They helped me make the necessary decisions about retirement, finances, and property; they encouraged me to write and share my story; they put their lives on hold to help me get a grip on my diagnosis; and they altered their future plans to be more available for me. His blessings abundantly flowed all around me in more ways than I can possibly put down on paper. All I needed to do was stop, be still, and listen as He gently reminded me of all the good He had done.

If you are struggling today because of some storm in your life, by all means seek His help but also praise Him for the many blessings that surround you. God loves you dearly and continues to move on your behalf as you continue to praise Him. Take time today to think about His blessings and then praise Him in song. Why? Because He is our Mighty King, He will return to reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and His Fountains continue to flow!

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A Heartfelt Request for Goodness

Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me. Psalm 86:17

Whenever anyone is dealing with a serious situation or illness in their lives, they often ask God for a sign of His goodness. I suppose this is a natural response when confronted with a serious situation that overshadows one’s day to day living. But why do we need a sign? Isn’t God always working to the good in our lives no matter what is happening? Isn’t that what faith is all about? In today’s passage, David even asks for a sign of God’s goodness for his own predicament (being pursued and assaulted by evil men).

During Jesus’ brief time on earth, the Pharisees and teachers of the law also wanted to see a sign from Jesus. His response was simple and direct when He said, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah (Mt 12:39).” Now this seems a harsh statement but Jesus understood the hearts and minds of the Pharisees. Their motifs were not pure and in spite of all the miracles Jesus had already performed, they needed a much more miraculous sign to solidify that He was indeed the Messiah.

In today’s passage, David’s request for a sign of God’s goodness is much more heartfelt and pure. His purpose is directed toward his enemies; that they might see the awesome power of God and shamefully repent. The difference between David’s request for a sign and that of the Pharisees was a pure and humble heart!

I see the signs of God’s goodness all around me, all the time. In fact, each new day is a sign from God of His great goodness and grace in my life. I am almost 63 years old which is a significant sign from God that He is working in my life. You see, almost eight years ago I was diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and my neurologist thought I’d only live another 6-8 years! God proved Him wrong and I’m still kicking which is indeed a miraculous sign!

Signs of God’s goodness are always wonderful and welcomed in the life of a Christian. However, we live by faith, not by the sight of signs. If you are struggling today, ask God for His strength, grace, and mercy to help you continue forward. They will surely be more than sufficient to ease your struggles and enable you to persevere so you might bring glory to God!

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The Strength of God

Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Psalm 86:16

As we near the end of the 86th Psalm, this particular passage presents itself as a perfect prayer for anyone who is struggling with serious illness, deep despair, relationship troubles, betrayal, or loss of a loved one. In this precious passage, David asks the Lord to turn toward him and to have mercy upon him. Of course, that in itself is not nearly enough! Therefore, David goes a little bit further, as is his custom, and asks that God grant His strength directly to him.

This is exactly what all of us need; God’s strength so we can endure whatever is thrown our way! You see, our strength is never sufficient for the serious struggles and the spiritual battles that every Christian faces when serving Christ. It is only through God’s strength that we can persevere. And why must we persevere? The simple answer is that is how we continue forward in the sight of insurmountable odds. However, the real answer is much deeper. James puts it this way, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (1:5).” We persevere so we can continue to mature spiritually so we may ultimately be made complete in Christ.

God’s strength is always sufficient. God’s strength is always available. God’s strength is supernatural. God’s strength streams directly from His grace. In all our struggles, trials, and tribulations, God grants us His strength because of His grace so we might continue to serve Him. All we need do is ask for His strength just like David did in today’s Psalm passage.

If you are struggling in life today, let this passage be your prayer. Ask God to grant you His strength for whatever struggle you may be facing. I ask God almost every day for His strength to carry on, to continue to write, to be of service, to not be burdensome, and to remain faithful. I, like the Apostle Paul, have to admit that His grace and His strength have been more than sufficient for all my struggles. If He can do this for me, then surely He can do the same for you!

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