“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
— Philippians 4:6-8
The Lord is my strength and my shield.
I would have no strength if it weren’t for God giving it to me.
I would have no true shield at all if it were not God who faithfully shields me.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
How has God shown us His love?
Even when we:
Had no interest in Him,
Wanted to do things our own way and
Jesus died for
You and for me.
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
from Psalm 37:7
It might be the flu or it might not.
Whatever it is, it causes my head to ache and it takes away my strength and energy.
When I took the photo of the poinsettias on Thursday, I was not feeling this way at all.
Lying down, home from work and too tired to accomplish much of anything, my thoughts can turn to many things.
Friends and their needs. People I should pray for.
Sickness has a way of slowing me down and allowing my focus to temporarily shift away from constant attention to details at work and home.
I will need to be still and wait patiently, listening for what God may show me in these quiet, isolated hours.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
—2 Corinthians 5:7
Driving through a rural area at sunset, I quickly photographed the clouds before the last bit of blues and golds would soon be faded.
I never know what the sunset will be like.
It’s composition is not up to any human.
Completely God’s doing, the scenes of the day’s closing are a one-time showing—an ultra slow motion kaleidoscope of ever changing beauty and magnificence.
If God chooses to give us another day, He will then give us His sunset that day, as well.
The scriptures say, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
By faith, I must trust God to do what only He can do in every situation.
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.
Isaiah 9:6: For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plan.
The birds overhead were flying in formation.
I couldn’t tell what their intended destination was, but they knew and they were focused on getting there.
How focused am I on the destination God wants to to be traveling toward?
Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.
The Christmas season is officially here.
The tone of each day until Christmas will be influenced by some toward commercialism.
Toward keeping up with the neighbors.
Other family members.
There is yet another direction for each day’s tone.
I know what I want to experience this Christmas.
I want to have a quiet heart, ready to listen.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
—–1 Thessalonians 5:18
Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!
The moon was shining through the clouds last night, creating a muted burst of color.
Later, the clouds were gone and the moon was shining alone in the dark sky.
Everything that God has made shouts praise to Him in its own way.
The moon shines solitarily as it orbits majestically around us.
The sun blazes in wondrous brilliance too great to be looked upon directly.
Their majesty and brilliance are but praise to God their Creator.
In what ways can we praise Him today?
He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Him, because He was going to pass that way.
Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus in the crowd.
For some reason, maybe because he was a short man, he gave up on trying to see him in the place that he was. He decided to run ahead of Jesus.
He found a sycamore tree that would be in the path Jesus would take.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to walk that way. Zacchaeus climbed the tree so he would be able to see Jesus when He passed by.
When Jesus came near the tree, He called to Zacchaeus and told him He would be going to his house!
I believe that Jesus knew Zacchaeus was desperately trying to see Him when he was still in the crowd.
Jesus could have called to him then.
He did not.
Jesus called to him, instead, after he ran.
After he climbed.
After he waited.
Spiritually speaking, am I running, climbing and waiting just to see Jesus?
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Do you ever feel as though you missed seeing something God was doing?
Often, my husband and I will be driving somewhere and he will mention something we just passed.
“Did you see that person on a bicycle?”
We can be in the same car, traveling to the same place and yet he will notice what I do not.
I want to be watchful for the things that God is doing.
I don’t want to miss His answers to prayer.
I don’t want to miss knowing Him all the more.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
A turn in the road?
A bit of rain?
In all things, we should give thanks.
The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.
I am currently reading a book on prayer. This verse was sited along with the idea that we should have child-like wonder as we wait to see what God will do.
Sitting at my table, praying and reading, I looked up to see a candle holder that I have had out for a long time. It has a star tied to it that simply says, “Believe.”
Believe that the LORD of all creation truly does reign?
That He is sovereign?
Believe that He hears our prayers?
That He understands our concerns?
The small ones as well as the giant, overpowering ones that cause us to cry out in desperation?
That His way is always best?
All of that and so much more.
The LORD reigns.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…
Have we forgotten the benefits of the Lord?
If we were to write them all down, we would probably never complete the list.
What are some benefits that you don’t want to forget?
Daniel 9:18: “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”
Could I be good enough to earn the privilege of talking with God?
Could I come to Him and ask for help because of my own righteousness?
God’s mercy and love has given us the privilege of coming to Him in prayer.
He wants us to pray.
We need to pray.
It’s not about Him getting to know us.
It’s about us getting to know Him.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Are you tired?
Weary from many things?
Does your smile fade too quickly?
Is your heart sad?
Is there any way you could feel better?
Who can help you?
Imagine lying down to rest.
And when you need nourishment, good food is available.
Imagine quiet all around you.
Clean water to drink.
Imagine your very soul being refreshed.
Ask Jesus to help you today in every way that you long for.
He is your shepherd.
Listen to Him.
In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.
–from Romans 12:6
The field had several white birds in it, looking for food no doubt.
Stopping on the side of the road to take pictures of them was quite a delight for me.
Without really realizing it at the time, I had captured one bird flying away, one simply standing in the grass and another flying close to the ground.
Three of the same kind of bird, but each in a separate place.
God has given us different gifts.
I may be called to go and given the gifts I need.
You may be called to stay and given the gifts you need.
I may be called to hover over the field, being given the ability to hover.
You may be called to stand, being given the ability to stand.
What gifts has God given you?
I don’t want the noise of the day—work, family issues, illness—to keep me from hearing His knock.
Instead, I want to listen.
Lord, help me to hear You as You knock, every moment of every day. Thank You for Your faithfulness and Your great love.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
–from Psalm 32:8
At my workplace, we recently began a initiative for greater security. In this day and age, it has become a necessity.
Part of that initiative is reminding ourselves of direction—-north, south, east and west. If an emergency is announced to be in the south side of the complex, my coworkers and I would need to ascertain which area is indeed toward the south and quickly move in another direction.
While camping and hiking it is sometimes necessary to carry a compass. This helps us to discover the course we are traveling on in order to avoid getting lost. Being oriented in the correct direction can make all the difference.
How many people do you know who aren’t aware of the spiritual direction they are going? Time after time, you see them wandering into dangerous areas because they are not orienting their focus on Jesus.
If we think about, we’ve been wanderers, too, at some point. We have disregarded the direction leading to peace and forgiveness and gone the other way.
Today, let’s focus on what direction will lead us to Jesus, listening for His guidance in every situation we encounter.
It will make all the difference…
Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, And our land will yield its produce.
The seeds are planted in the ground.
Rain waters the soil and God causes the plants to grow.
The LORD gives what is good.
Everything good in our lives comes from God.
What are you thankful for today?
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
A statue of Christ stands tall in a cemetery not far from our house.
With arms open, the statue suggests that Jesus is ready and willing to forgive us and draw us close.
Everyone who died and was buried there needed Jesus.
They needed salvation.
They needed to be redeemed.
Jesus did that for them, and they only had to make the decision to receive Him as their Savior.
Jesus did that for them.
He did it for us, too.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
As soon as I noticed the sunset, I called to my husband to come outside.
How could I keep such beauty to myself?
I wanted him to view the vibrant colors and sculpted clouds above the horizon.
If God allows us to experience such beautiful and radiant scenes here on Earth, just imagine what Heaven will be like!
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Recently, some friends came to my home for dinner.
After the meal, we played instruments and sang praise songs to God.
It was a beautiful time as we shared our common love for our Creator.
The psalmist issued an invitation long ago in ages past: “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;”
Why not sing a song of praise right now?