Delight In The Word With Photos

Psalm 111:1 Praise the Lord!

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
    in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
    studied by all who delight in them.

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Natures star, thanks to wood eating worms.

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and merciful.

The beauty of young life.

The beauty of young life.

He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.

 

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Rain, light and a reminder of why we are free.

He sent redemption to his people;
    he has commanded his covenant forever.
    Holy and awesome is his name!

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Nature’s unrestrained beauty.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever!

 

Where have you seen beauty this week? Don’t remember? Look today. Take a photo? Tell a friend! (Share with me!=})

Who Protects You?

Like a bright orange butterfly on a neutral back ground, sometimes circumstances make us feel like we are unprotected and alone.  There are times when it is extremely difficult to believe anything except the way it looks to the eyes or feels to the heart.

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Too often in life, we erect our own walls of protection in an attempt to keep people from  hurting us over and over.  Each “brick” is a variation of sometimes sub-conscious or conscious promises and vows such as, “I’ll never get married;” It doesn’t matter;” “I refuse to ever get in that situation again;” “All men/women are bad;” “I’ll never trust anyone again;” …really most “All” & “Never” declarations can qualify as self-protection.
The problem with these “walls” that we construct is that they become prisons of our own making, not our freedom. We lose the ability to go freely about life and we become afraid to take reasonable risks that help us grow and mature.
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Protecting ourselves can become a form of self-imposed prison.

Dismantling the walls if self-protection entails learning the truth of what the word of God says about us and our circumstances.

I know from experience that exchanging the belief in lies with the truth found in the Bible is a big relief! By first agreeing with God that we have agreed with lies, then giving those to Jesus and replacing them with the promises from the word of God we dismantle the self-protection and invite God to protect us.

A few examples of God’s promises of protection include:

Psalm 20:6 “Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.

Psalm 46:7 “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”
Psalm 68:5 “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”
Psalm 91:14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.”
Yes, some of these have conditions, but our Creator knows who we are, what we can handle and what we need. It is always good to keep in mind this is a process, a journey. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Perhaps my favorite of these promises is Proverbs 18:10: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” 
I am not righteous on my own! Only by the blood of Jesus do I find myself justified and seated in the Heavenlies. It is by that same work of God through Jesus that the promises apply to each of us who are disciples of Jesus.
“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:30-32
Take just a moment to ask God if He has a “brick”/lie He wants you to give to Him today. If He reveals one, ask Him for His promise to replace it. Dare to trust in the eternal promises of the word of God and the power it has to bring healing and freedom to you today! “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

Glory To Glory In The Cycle Of Life

I really love living in New England. One reason is the seasons. I have lived in warm climates. They have definite seasons, but nothing quite like the leaves changing to bright hues of red, yellow and orange. These leaves fall off and the pure white of the snow follows. Then it begins again with the fresh, bright green of new leaves. The cycle of life.20151012_133812_resized

The bright colors remind me of mature life. I think we all become a bit more colorful with age. My mom used to say we all become “more” as we get older. “More” like who we really are because our inhibitions fade and we tend to care less what others think. Who we are becoming shows more easily.

I have seen this in action and have already prayed for decades that I will not be a mean old woman, but rather one of those gentle, kind ones that think more of others than myself. My kids will be the ultimate human judges on the matter in the end. In the mean time I continue to choose to co-operate with the Holy Spirit as best I can to have Him make me more in the image of Christ every day.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

As we gaze upon the beauty of the Lord through His word, people and all forms of His creation we begin to co-operate with the forces of transformation.

It takes many storms and seasons with leaves coming and going to work the transformation. Patience, part of the fruit of the Spirit is essential for the formation of the other parts. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

I pray I become like the beautiful tree in the photo. For 20 years I have walked by that same tree in every season. It has grown, as I have. It has become more beautiful each year, in every season. As it has weathered many storms and seasons, My prayer is to hold firm through the seasons so I will “look” and act more Christ like every year.

How about you? What kind of “more” are you becoming? What are you beholding?

Abba, the cycle of life is full of beauty and challenges. I ask you to help me co-operate with you through it all so I may truly be transformed into the image of Christ from one degree of glory to another! To God alone be the glory! Amen

Do They Match?

Some days are easy to see God and His work in our lives. Some days are not easy that way. Between the stormy weather we’ve had and the anniversaries of not very fun things that the late summer and fall months bring to my mind, I have allowed myself to lose focus a bit.

Though full of color, these leaves are damaged, no longer whole and dying.

Though full of color, these leaves are damaged, no longer whole and dying.

I took a walk on Saturday feeling a little mangled, like the leaves in the photo. They still have beauty, but they have arrived at their expiration date and are wasting away, no longer able to fulfill their original purpose of feeding the tree. In my lack of focus and full of self-pity, I felt a bit like those leaves look.

Abba knew what I was thinking, and I knew He did. I felt God’s compassion as I heard Him tell me to look at how He, my Creator sees me. Then I saw it:

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Red, like the blood of Jesus. All my sin forgiven.

This leaf was intact, shiny red and reminded me I am covered with the blood of Jesus that makes my Abba see me as pure as the whitest snow.

As I continued to walk and dialogue with Abba in His creation, I saw several things that displayed beauty and redemption. I found a good walking stick. Then driftwood that looked like a star design was carved in it, but it was the handiwork of bugs. I was almost startled as I turned around to find these wild grapes! Clearly ready to be enjoyed.

Rich, luscious, mature fruit.

Rich, luscious, mature fruit.

Even though I began the walk feeling like disintegrating leaves, I sensed the pleasure of the Lord as he showed me the grapes. “You are more fruitful than you think.”

Some days, how I feel does not match how my Creator sees me.

If I am willing, however, to listen to His still small voice, I experience eternal redemption. The truth is what God and His word says about me. My feelings are important, but they can lie, especially if I am exhausted.

Is there anywhere in your thinking or feelings that does not match what our Creator says is true about you? What one thing might you be able to do to help them match?

Abba, Thank you for the way You use nature to speak to me, affirming the truths from your word. Help me to rest in body, mind and spirit so I can hear You and process Your truths well.

 

Looking For God

What does one look for when looking for God? The answer is possibly different for every person. I am willing to guess, however, that here are many commonalities-spoken or not- that humans use to qualify “God Sightings.” Nature is a big one. Trees, mountains, oceans, animals and the diversity of each Human are just a few examples of make us scratch our heads in awe of our Creator.

Looking to the mountains

Looking to the mountains

The laws of science are another category that inspires awe. One of the worlds smartest physicists, Albert Einstein once said: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” I think he understood our need to worship and be in humble relation to the Creator. We live in a tension as creatures discovering how best to steward what has been given us.

I believe the Bible and the person of Jesus are the greatest demonstration of God with us, but…if someone is not already a follower of Jesus they may not be able to see that…yet.

If one is a follower, because we are finite, we can’t help but tether our Creator to our tiny understanding. Those with large imaginations might push the boundaries a bit, but our finiteness will always limit us this side of Heaven.

Looking to oceans and the skys

Looking to the oceans and the skies

One of my favorite aspects of God is mystery. The fact that our Creator is so vast and transcendent and at the same time His Spirit lives inside of every one who follows Jesus is beyond my ability to grasp. I again quote Einstein:“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” Curiosity and wonder keep us looking for more of God.

When I write here, I attempt to draw you, my readers, into our multifaceted God and as much of His mystery and wonder as I am able. All I have to offer is my limited perspective, but with the Holy Spirit inviting you to look for and find Him in your own way.  God says: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord,…” Jeremiah 29:12-14a

Looking any and everywhere in between

Looking any and everywhere in between

I hope anyone reading here is seeking our Creator on some level. I invite you again to come along as I work to seek Him as authentically as I am able. What is helpful to take on the journey? I propose a just a few things to begin: Curiosity, wonder and an acceptance of our limits balanced with the infinite love of God. This Creator is constantly inviting us to pray and seek Him with our whole heart.

Of one thing I am certain: The one who made us is more interested in being found than we are in looking.

Abba, Thank You for Your many promises assuring us of Your perfect love, Your care and provision, that You know all things and always have our best in Your design for every day. I admit I do not understand it well. It does not often look the way I expect. Thank You for not giving up on any of us. You are the God who can be found! Help me to stretch my capacity to perceive you! I want Holy Spirit to develop in me a deeper awareness of your presence and an ability to see how You work in and around me and the world. Amen