Rejoicing

This past Thursday morning, while reading scripture, I was in Mathew 21:8 reading about Jesus’s arrival into Jerusalem. 8. “A large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. 9. And the crowds who went ahead of him and the ones who followed were shouting, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest Heaven!” 10. And when he entered into Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up..”
So many people, a whole nation, was looking forward to the arrival of Messiah, the one who would bring redemption, freedom from oppression, new hope, new life to all of them. There was excitement of finally seeing a long awaited promise come true.
Thursday we, as a family, were looking forward to the arrival of a new little life into our family as well. Little Miss Camryn arrived perfect and beautiful and we are blessed with this promise of life and joy with so many hopes and dreams to come.
I love how God compares the things of Heaven and the things of Earth. We have so many times of rejoicing in our lives. We can also rejoice in times of sadness when we see lives that have blessed us, when those we love make the transition from this life into the presence of God. Free from pain, limitations of physical bodies, disease, handicaps, free to be in His presence with the heavens rejoicing to have another of Gods’ children coming home.
Luke 15:4 tells the story of the man who had 100 sheep and lost 1. He left the 99 and went out and found the missing sheep and came back rejoicing. Verse 7 says: “I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
When we have friends and loved ones who are away from God, and we pray without ceasing for them, when we share His life with the lost, give a cup of water to them, show them Christ with skin on it, a true reflection of God in real life, and they find new hope in Him, there is rejoicing and happiness in Heaven and on Earth.
Christ can triumphantly enter into the hearts and lives of humans if we allow Him too. We can say, with honest enthusiasm “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord” There is hope.

Anticipation

Our lives are made up of many anticipations. Right now we are anticipating the arrival of Granddaughter #2❤️ and cannot wait to greet this beautiful little one into our lives. We all look forward to so many new and exciting events in our lives that bring joy and often butterflies because of happiness and also the unknown!
Although anticipation can have wonderful results, it can also have a negative cloud of fear and dread. Christ encourages us in Matthew 6: 25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27. Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “
Christ anticipated the joy and victory that was on the other side of the suffering of the cross. In Hebrews 12:2 is written “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
No matter the anticipations that are ahead of us, may we put them into God’s hands to produce a wonderful outcome. As through the pain of child birth, what is beyond produces life and joy. May we anticipate God’s blessings in hope and peace.

Come All Ye Faithful

( I meant to publish this at Christmas but like a lot of the time I was sidetracked with things and didn’t get it done. Although it is late, it bears a simple truth that does not change. He is hope! May we remember that and be swift to share with those who are without hope for He is life❣️)

The Christmas Season is always one of my most favorite times of year. And although there is more of an air of love, of giving, of peace and family, there is also the knowledge that there are many lost and lonely hearts who see it as a very sad and depressing time without loved ones and hope. May we be more aware of those around us who need an extra smile, a warm handout, a hot meal and the gift of God’s love through many different ways. May we be His hands and feet during this season for we are blessed with His hope and life.
Father, may i work toward bringing too you the gifts of brokenness, humility, a desire for more of your presence, less of my selfishness, a hope for the lost and weary, a mind with more of you and less of the world and my thoughts…all of these and more of a reflection of you this season as a celebration of Christ’s birth and gift of change that He has made in me. May i give to you more time, more devotion, more of your truth, to prove that i am a follower and not just a fan with words without sacrifice.

A Threshold of Years

And just like that, in a twinkling of an eye, we step across the threshold of another year. Another year has past,a year so full of blessings. A year full of heartbeats, a year full of breaths taken into my lungs. A year of sounds, joyful, laughter filled, the sounds of children and loved ones, the sounds of praises filling the air. A year full of seeing God’s beautiful creations, how can we not be overwhelmed with a thankful heart. Ahead lies the unknown yet there is a light for our feet, a lamp for our path, let us hold it close and never turn our feet from its illuminating revelations. May this new year bring more hope, more love, more truth, more life, more joy, more strength, more peace and more confidence. We don’t know what is in store but we know the one who does and His hand is in ours. Prayers for my family and friends for there is no path so dark and steep that He cannot show us where to place our steps. Be at peace because this year is God’s ❣️

The Light Has Come

Luke 1:79 (LEB): “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct our feet into the way of peace”
It’s pretty easy to understand that so many things we read, hear and see are negative, dark and depressing.Things that cause us worry and fear. Depression is a huge state of being that engulfs so many on a daily basis and often times it is greater during the holidays. At the birth of his son, the profit John The Baptist, Zachariah spoke about God’s promise of salvation, hope and mercy. That the dawn had come, salvation that had been promised, the Light would be given to those who sit in darkness to direct their path to life. Zachariah spoke words of hope and promises, we also have the opportunity to speak words of hope, life, light, peace, provision and mercy. There can be power in our words, life not darkness, we decide what will come from our lips. May we start and end our day with the prayers that the words of our mouth and the the things we think on through our day, will be acceptable in the sight of God, bringing hope and light into every life we touch. It is worth the effort to bring joy and encouragement into the dark and saddening areas of our world. Arise and shine for the light of God has come.❣️
from: (thisfoolishfaith.com)

A Thankful Heart

1: A thankful heart is one who understands the touch of God’s mercy. To know that the great gift of salvation was paid for us, because of love, long before we even existed. That mercy looked beyond anything we have ever done and knew we could never hope to repay. It was and is given freely and graciously. May we remember every moment, that God’s mercy is given that we may give it in return to all who cross our path.

2: I am thankful that my worth is established not by the views or restrictions placed upon me by others, but by the forgiveness and perfect love of a savior who sees endless possibilities within me. May I see myself through His eyes, through His love, through His character, through His acceptance, through His faith in me and never sell myself short because of this world’s desire to belittle me in order to glorify themselves.

3. A thankful heart is retrospective. It becomes more thankful with time and the ability to look back upon the blessings that have followed it. I am amazed at the way God shows His love through individuals, those that put flesh upon His spirit in human form making words into reality. I was blessed with the most wonderful mother who made love not just a word but an action, an act that was carried through every day. It was never just occasional but constant and unconditional. It was alive and growing, an example of what God was and what we should be. Pure love is a seed that is planted, watered, nurtured, pruned and harvested. Though it sometimes suffers droughts and hardships, if rooted and given great care it will survive to become a mighty tree whose roots will anchor firmly it’s house and spread it’s arms to cover many souls beyond.

4. I am Thankful over and over again that God stays right with us through everything that goes on in our lives. That He is NOT an historic figure made up of imaginary visions by humans hanging out around a fire smoking something that gave them weird ideas, But that He is real, creative, loving, protecting, constant, unchanging, able to heal and change the hearts of man. And i know His presence every day. I am Thankful for the smallest of things that bring joy into our lives. Memories, sounds, smells, beauty all around us, the smile of a child, laughter…so many things that lift our hearts that cost nothing. Those simple things that God has given us. I am Thankful that another day has dawned for us. The wind in the trees, the colorful leaves on the ground, the purring kitty in my lap. Eyes to see these things, ears to hear, emotions to enjoy the ups and downs of life. The inner creations that make us who God designed us to be. That we can enjoy who we are, although we are weak and flawed, God has put into us a personality that is special, gifted, loving, encouraging, strong and faithful. May we use it to the best of our ability, strengthened by God, to reach out to make someone elses life better today.

Sometimes Things Just Fall From The Sky

Last weekend I was doing some brush cutting and cleanup and found some trash that I needed to pick up as well during the fun. As I was kneeling down putting some of it into a trash bag I heard a small “Pop”. Wondering what it was I raised my head and almost instantly a Hawk fell right beside my leg. Not being something that I have occur very often, several things ran through my mind rather quickly. Number (1) “What in the World Just Happened?” Number (2) Was the bird ok, shot, did it just run into an invisible force field around an alien space craft? Number (3) Or perhaps (and this one is the winning answer) had he run into the power lines above where I was working? Looking up I saw that the lines were moving, so the small Pop I had heard was the electrical discharge that was enough to pluck him from the sky.

The Hawk looked as if he were a middle aged overweight man sitting on the beach. His legs were straight out in front of him, his tail folded underneath and his wings were at angles out to each side. His head was looking straight forward and he was probably thinking….ummmm whut juz happind??? As he sat there for a few seconds I slowly stroked across his feathers and gathered his wings in closer to his body. After a short time he rotated his head around and looked at me. Then with a couple of blinks of his eyes and the cry that sends chills through the hearts of small rodents everywhere, he sprung once again into the sky flying several feet away and into the top of a pine. He was still a bit rattled and clumsy but within moments he had once again taken his place in the wild blue yonder to soar and hunt again.

Not knowing exactly what goes through the mind of a hawk, aside from natural instincts, I think I can almost 100% guarantee that running into a power line and being zapped was not on his list of “Things to do Today”. As with our own lives “The best laid plans of man” rarely contain the long lists of unexplained happenings that can occur at any given moment. We fly along in our routines, our daily plans to take over our worlds, giving very little thought to those things which can so quickly stop us dead in our tracks! Probably very few of us have seen all of our hopes and dreams come about in our progress of life. Some have seen wonderful blessings one day and life changing hardship and sadness on the day that follows.

2 Corinthians 4:9 Reminds us that “we may be struck down, but not destroyed.” We may get zapped multiple times during our lifetimes. But with God’s strength, we get up, we keep going, we re-group and press on. Psalms 37:24 says “Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the Lord is holding his hand.” When we have to face the unexpected, the sadness that we hoped wouldn’t come yet does, Lord help us remember that we are not alone in what we face. We are not the first to face lost dreams, or loss of loved ones, or bad health, loss of wealth or any number of unwanted things. Psalm 9:10 reminds us that “They that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, has not forsaken them that seek thee.”

Keep your eyes and heart on the Lord. Be aware of the things around you, alert to what things may try and knock you from the sky. They can hold you to the ground if you take your trust away from God. He is there for your rest, to clear your mind, to rejuvenate your failing heart and to send you on your way to continue His plan in your life. Sometimes our lives fall from the sky, but with His strength we can soar again.

The Goodness of God

Often times we live our lives out watching others and their progress, their ups and downs and blessings, feeling at times as if we have been left behind to live out the mundane. We should be thankful for God’s work in others, continuously praying for wisdom and strength for them. With every prayer for those who are growing and prospering in God we should offer up a thankful heart for all of the amazing blessings we have received and for our growth and purpose in God’s Kingdom. God will use us, if we are willing, right up to the last breath and heartbeat. For He continues to pursue us with a Fire, His goodness is always running after us. For this I will forever be thankful!

If We Only Knew

Tons of my friends and family are professionals that know a great deal about so many things that I have no clue about. They have worked hard, studied, spent countless hours absorbing all of the knowledge that they could about the crafts and professions they have taken on so that they can hone the skills necessary to produce a quality of life for others.

As Christians we read scripture, we attend church services, we serve in different capacities and feel as if we are growing and attaining a closer walk and relationship with God yet I feel there is so much more beyond the surface we are living on. If we only knew the true depth of His love for us, The power of the blood of Christ and what it has accomplished and continues to do every day. If we only knew the meaning of being clothed in His righteousness, of being covered by His wings of protection and mercy or the peace that goes beyond human understanding.

Each thing we read in scripture is more than superficial, it has a root and foundation that goes throughout creation and into the throne of God. God is so amazing in His creativity, His wisdom, His love, His mercy, His judgements, His laws, His healing and His promises. Inside I feel as if we are only barely scratching the surface when it comes to being totally submitted and open to God living and working in us.

Can you imagine the power that could explode from us if that depth of who God is and what He offers would suddenly completely open our hearts, eyes, love, compassion and understanding?? There could be no end to that statement Christ made when He said “These things (how He lived and what He accomplished) and Greater shall YOU do!”

If we only knew…

Depth Perception

Hi there everyone! I pray that all is well with each of you and your families and friends. It would be hard to number the amount of individuals i have heard teach, preach, instruct on and illustrate scripture over the years. Tons of those folks i have really enjoyed and have learned a lot through their insight. Others i have found hard to listen to simply because of their delivery method. I had to concentrate on what words they were saying and the point in scripture they were trying to bring across. Our perception of scripture often times is directly related to the Christians we know, the Teachers of the word and the often times famous individuals who present the gospel.

This morning i was reading about Paul’s approach to ministry in Corinth. 1 Cor. 2:1-5 reads 1. “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2. For i decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling, 4. and my speech and my preaching were not with the persuasiveness of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power, 5. in order that your faith would not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Paul learned pretty early on, I think, that his long list of credentials didn’t carry God’s spirit into the battle, but The Spirit carried him. Yes it did open a few doors at certain times and he spoke to some about his list of accomplishments, but I’m thinking that if he had approached the crowds of people shouting his own worth and honors every time, many of them would have turned away possibly angry because of his delivery. In that time period so many rulers had continued to suppress the people and beat them into submission. They could have seen him as just another “I am so much better than you, look who i am” individual, that they could have turned the true words of the gospel off and never found salvation.

May we always be humbled in our sharing and living of the gospel. May people see the living Christ in our words and actions. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts, (“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”) may they be acceptable in your sight Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

Carefully weigh the words of those you sit under for teaching. Consider their delivery, their attitudes, their actions. Don’t be blown about by every wind of doctrine but test them to be sure they are of God. May the depth of our perception be clear through the eyes of God to discern the true reflection of God’s words and purpose.