The Heavens Declare

The Heavens Declare The Promises Of God.

The Heavens Declare The Promises Of God.

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

The Heavens Declare the Beauty Od The Lord

The Heavens Declare The Beauty Of The Lord

 

The Heavens Declare the Gentleness of The Lord

The Heavens Declare The Mystery And The Gentleness of Our Creator

 

The Heavens Declare the Knowledge Of Our God

The Heavens Declare the Knowledge Of Our God

Do you notice when Creation is the voice of our Creator? Often it tells us of the might and majesty of God. Sometimes it tells us of the Beauty Of God. Other times we learn of His mystery. Living in a city makes it a bit more challenging sometimes, but even weeds grow up through the cracks to demonstrate life and hope in unlikely places.

So next time something catches your eye, or ear, or smell…your attention, ask the One who made you what He has to say to you today through the attention getter. Let me know. Your thoughts are important to me, and even more so to our Abba.

Abba, open the eyes of our hearts to know you, to perceive you and to allow you to love us. Thank you for pursuing us even when we are not pursuing you.

 

Elizabeth Elliott 1926-2015

Some of the people who have influenced me most are people I have never met. I have read books about them and how they learned to depend on God in the face of many different situations. These have encouraged me to trust Jesus more. Elizabeth Elliott is one of those authors who inspired me through her books.

From Elizabeth Elliotts Web site

From Elizabeth Elliot’s Web site

I had the privilege of making her acquaintance a few times since I moved to New England. She passed away last Monday at the age of 88. Her book The Shadow of The Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliott marked me for life. It is about her first husband, Jim Elliot, who was making contact to share the good news of Jesus with the Auca Indians in Ecuador. He was martyred two years before I was born. jim2

She wrote about living in the Auca village with the people who killed her husband and four other missionaries in, Through Gates Of Splendor and in The Savage My Kinsmen.

She also wrote A Chance To Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, about a missionary who saved many girls out of slavery as temple prostitutes in India. I read some of Elizabeth Elliott’s other books as well and heard her speak some years back. Her dedication to God and to truth are evident when one is in her presence, whether in person or in her books.

I thank God for the life of Elizabeth Elliott. She served as a cross-cultural missionary, beginning as a single woman. She forgave and served the people who killed her husband, the father of her daughter. She wrote books, so multitudes of other people could have a glimpse into the lives of people who held nothing back to become more like Jesus. She inspired generations to follow our creator no matter the cost.

Have you read any of her books? How did they effect you? If you have not read any of her books, try to think of a biography that you have read and how it challenged you to be a better person.

The REALLY Big Picture

It is so easy for life to feel complicated at times, even if it really is not. So much has to do with one’s perspective or point of view. We can become bogged down in the details and lose sight of the meaning of the larger “picture.” When we focus on ourselves and our circumstances to the exclusion of the broader point of view, we can be tempted to become confused, frustrated and stuck.

The close up perspective

The close-up perspective

This photo may look like a mess, because there is no context. When we understand that it is a close up of a beach, it begins to make a bit of sense. When stuck, I believe taking a breath and a proverbial or literal step back can begin to bring our lives into perspective with the world around us.  If we “pull out” a bit and look at a larger view of a beach we might begin to understand how the gull feather landed on the shore.

A somewhat broader prospective

A somewhat broader prospective

Even here we do not see the Big picture. But now we see sand and water and a gull. It begins to make more sense. The “step back” offers us more information and informs us how we fit, or belong in the larger flow of life. If we step back even farther a broader view becomes available, again informing our “minute particulars” from the first close up. We begin to see an openness, beauty and even freedom.

The Big picture, but not yet the REALLY big picture.

The Big picture, but not yet the REALLY big picture.

When we remember we are only one of billions who live on the earth, one might feel encouraged that we are not alone, or it is possible to feel worthless and to wonder why bother….

That is where I want to invite you to God’s REALLY BIG, even ETERNAL perspective.

Stepping way back. "Blood Moon" April 5, 2015

Stepping way back. “Blood Moon” April 5, 2015 [still not the REALLY big picture]

This is a distant picture of the moon. Since I am not an astronaut,=} I was not able to take my own distant photo of the earth, but I think you get my gist. This is only one of countless orbs in the Milky Way, which is in turn only one of innumerable galaxies. Yet, Our creator made each human uniquely then strategically placed each of us where we are! Personally, it blows my mind sometimes.

Our creator is able to see our close-up picture with every intricate detail as well the full picture of all of eternity at the same time. He also understands not only where we fit in that huge expanse, but why we are there. The really wonderful thing is that God not only is able, but also has the will to lead us into all truth, to find our place. The word of God promises us that God works all things together for good, (Rom. 8:28) and that the plans he has for us are not bad, but good and for a future and a hope! (Jer. 29:11)

It gets better!

The one who made us and knows everything about every individual and loves us so much He sent the Holy Spirit, a part of the Creator Himself, to live inside of every believer! This third person of the Trinity allows us take that “step back” to know the will of God then empowers us to accomplish it. We only need to look up and listen: “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

So I pray to have God’s eternal perspective. We are finite and can not grasp it all, but I am sure the one who made us will lead us to understand what we need to know to succeed. So I try to keep from getting stuck in the “close-ups.” I do my best to listen to the Spirit of God within me. It allows me to “step back, see and understand the REALLY BIG picture, or at least as much as I can handle.

When you are “stuck” in the close-ups, how do you best “step back” to connect with the one who has every hair on you head numbered and every star accounted for? How do you set your mind on the Spirit?

I bless you with an abundance of life & peace!

 

Soaring Again

I’m basically an upbeat and optimistic person…. I find joy daily and thank God often every day for the abundant blessings I have in this life! Yet, grief is an odd thing. It pops up when it wants, usually unplanned and uninvited. I am learning to “go with it” if at all possible. Today I tried to take my mom’s old address off a business account I have. A little thing. I just wanted to “close that door” and erase one more minor reminder. It was not happenin’! I dissolved into tears. Yes frustration, but a hole in my heart was also left open.

Flying through the ....

Flying through ….

After a good cry I pulled myself together and sought help. I am still waiting for techies to tell me what to do. And while my heart still aches a bit, there is a unique sweetness there too. Like the birds flying just before dawn, I know God is present. He lifts me on His gentle current of love. There is a freedom tied to hope for me and for my loved ones who have gone before. I know my mom is now dancing and living pain free. My dad, who lived 20 years after his debilitating stroke, is playing sports and talking. My older brother is asking God a million questions every day, and receiving answers! And God is present with me. I am here by Abba’s grand design, and I am not alone.

I can choose to let the sorrow overwhelm me, or I can choose to soar with the truth of God’s love and comfort. After all, Jesus did leave the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. When I take a breath and look up, even if it only in my spirit, that is all the Comforter is waiting for. My mind floods with God’s promises and I notice His presence, that never really left me. I begin to mount up on wings like eagles. Honestly, sometimes I fly low with the chickadees and the sparrows, but I am free!

In the mix of all this, there is cleansing in the sorrow. If we allow ourselves to “go with it” for a while and cry, the tears wash away pieces of the grief. There are literal chemical reactions that take place when we cry, almost identical to laughter! Endorphins bring relief to whatever we have pent up. Soaring becomes a possibility again. There is hope in the pain. I find that the deeper the grief, the more I allow tears and laughter, the more healing is realized.

We grieve the loss of people, but we also grieve the loss of pets, jobs, belongings, relationships lost or broken, and so much more. They all matter to God.

It is important to feel it so we can let it go, own it so it is ours to release. Please don’t rush it. Don’t be afraid to feel. It brings healing.

Abba, the longer we live, the more things in life we have to grieve. I pray we soar most of the time, but give ourselves permission to welcome grief in those moments it pops up.

I ask you to sanctify our thoughts and our imaginations. Protect us from dwelling in the pain too long when you are calling us up to you. At the same time, teach us how to sit with the pain and sorrow just long enough for your healing touch to finish transforming that portion of grief.

Bring us to the heights with You so we can see and feel the sanctifying work you are completing in us. Then grant us the grace and courage to sit with those who are learning to grieve and still need a human word or touch to help connect them to You, the source of all comfort. Thank you Abba for loving us and personally holding us through it all! Amen