Bubbling Spring

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.

—John 4:14

Searching.

Discontent.

Hiding desperation.

Friendly on the outside, insecure on the inside.

Wanting to trust.

Afraid.

Lonely…..

That was me before I gave my life to Jesus.

At times, I can still have feelings of loneliness or insecurity.

But it’s different.

I now have hope.

I know I’m not alone.

I know I can trust God.

I know I have eternal life.

Peace

You, Lord, give perfect peace

to those who keep their purpose firm

and put their trust in You.

—-Isaiah 26:3

Walking along the country road, all was peaceful and calm.

Deer tracks in the sand, an occasional spider scurrying along and the gentle, but unyielding wind in the tops of the towering pine trees.

I wanted to be there.

I wanted to be surprised by every moment of beauty that presented itself as I took step after step.

A flowering tree had heard the call of spring, answering with a burst of creamy white blossoms.

Fences quietly separated farm land from the dusty road.

Although my surroundings were peaceful and serene, the peace I truly experienced was inside me.

A peace that only God could provide—a settled sense of who I am.

A quiet trust….

Morning

As I was on my way to work, the fog was thick.

Stopped in traffic on a rural highway, I looked at my surroundings.

To my left, an open field was blanketed in the mist.

The rising sun appeared more like a glowing moon as its shape could clearly be seen through the filter of vapor.

There are no days when I am alone.

God is always with me.

His guidance, comfort and love are my constant companions.

He will never leave me.

My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

—Psalm 130:6

From His Innermost Being

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”

–John 7:38

 

The plants grow wild where I live.

A type of grass that flowers pink.

They are captivating in the early morning, beaded with moisture, as they were when I noticed them.

Leaning down to the ground in order to capture them up close, I was surrounded by quiet and a lack of disturbance.

Without the water, the grass would die.

Without water, so would I.

Without the living water of Jesus, I would die spiritually.

I believe in Jesus and I am trusting in Him for my life, now and forever.

Today, as you notice the grass or plants around you, think of what they would be without water.

Do you believe in Jesus, who gives us living water?

 

 

 

 

 

 

rivers living water

 

Trees of the Forest

 

The trees stood in the balmy rays of the afternoon sun, shouting bursts of green and gold.

Nature draws me in a way that is difficult to explain.

Its detailed beauty and the handiwork of God cannot be separated.

The trees have no voice except for the divine artistry it exclaims.

When I take notice of what God has made, I join in with its singing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;

let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

—Psalm 96:12

 

 

 

 

forest sing

 

 

Clearly

The moon was rising over the field, quietly moving along the night sky.

Veiled with blanketing streaks of dark clouds, its surface was obscured along with its light.

Because the clouds were in the way, I could not see it clearly.

If I had been above the clouds, the moon would have appeared crisp and bright.

God is at work in our lives.

In every situation.

In every circumstance.

If you think this is not true, consider this–which area of your life do you feel that God is not a part of at this moment?

God is the author of every breath drawn into our lungs.

We can take comfort in knowing He is working in all things.

Like the moon, we may not see His involvement clearly.

There will come a time when the fog will lift and we will understand fully.

The next time you see the moon shrouded with clouds, take a moment to consider that we don’t yet see things clearly in life.

Until we do, we must trust in God, who does.

 

 

 

 

We don’t yet see things clearly.

We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.

But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!

We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us!

—1 Corinthians 13:12

 

 

 

things clearly

Now Faith

Birds come and go this time of year.

Some fly for long distances to find shelter in a warmer climate.

In a way that I could never fully understand, I believe God tells the birds when and where to travel.

Some call it instinct.

I call it God’s direction.

When the birds set out on their journey, surely they must have a confidence in what they will eventually find.

A faith, if you will, on the part of the bird, to trust in that which it cannot yet see.

God has told us of what is in store for those who love Jesus.

We have an assurance that comes from Him about our future.

We have confidence in what we hope for.

Today, notice any birds that might be around you as you travel to work or look out your window.

They listen for God’s direction.

Are you listening?

 

 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

–Hebrews 11:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

now faith

Little Children

It was a foggy morning.

As I climbed out of bed and walked into the kitchen, I could see the thick mist through my window.

A change of clothes was in order…

Quickly grabbing two cameras, I hurried to my car and set out to see how a blanket of moisture had transformed my little corner of the world.

Passing by a a home that bordered an open field, a quick glance made me turn around and go back to visit the scene again.

Simple.

Serene.

Peaceful.

Most of all, trusting.

A single car tire was hanging from a tree branch by a rope that had been tied.

If I had thought to have gone to try out the swing for myself, I would first have checked the knots securing the rope to the tire.

Next, I would’ve surveyed the branch up above for strength.

Would it have been able to have held my weight?

After looking closely at the knots on the branch to make sure they were tight, I might’ve then enjoyed a time of leisure swinging.

Would this have been the thought processes of a young child?

I think not.

Upon seeing the tire suspended from the branch, a child would likely squeal in delight as they ran to place themselves happily into the center.

With no thought to any worry, they would swing high and low, embracing each moment without a care.

Jesus said. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

God, in His mercy, has sent Jesus to die on the cross for payment of our sins.

Accepting His gift, we can put our complete trust in Him and enjoy an abundant life like no other.

If we insist on complete knowledge and understanding of our Creator with every “why” and “how” answered to our satisfaction, we may never fully trust that which could save us.

Yet, if upon learning of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus, we run joyfully to place ourselves happily into the center of His love for us, we come with child-like faith.

Today, as you think of your life, do you picture yourself swinging peacefully with an inner joy inside or do you see yourself standing under a tree, skeptically peering at a bundle of knots?

 

 

 

 

And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

–Matthew 18:3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

little child

Only Listen to Me

“If my people would only listen to Me,
    if Israel would only follow My ways,
how quickly I would subdue their enemies
    and turn My hand against their foes!
 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before Him,
    and their punishment would last forever.
 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
    with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

—Psalm 81:13-16

Am I listening?

Am I following?

Am I eating the finest of wheat?

Am I eating honey from the rock?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

finest of wheat final

Harassed and Helpless

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

 

—Matthew 9:35-38

I am a sheep.

By myself, I don’t know what is best for me.

I might choose green grass to eat –right on the edge of a cliff– without even once understanding the danger.

I can’t fight a wolf.

If a predator comes after me, I must have protection or I will perish.

If I see no water to drink, I may wander aimlessly looking for it.

I am a sheep, but I’m not alone.

I have a Shepherd.

He knows what is best for me.

I must trust Him to guide me.

He chooses what grass I will eat and where I will eat it.

He protects me against my enemies.

There is none who attacks that He cannot stop.

I am a sheep, but I’m not alone.

I have a Shepherd.

Do you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

sheep Shepherd

 

 

 

 

 

Wise Choices

Wise choices will watch over you.
    Understanding will keep you safe.

—Proverbs 2:11

 

 

While photographing my rose bush this afternoon, I suddenly saw the tiniest little green frog.

Huddled up between the pink petals of a bloom, he had taken shelter.

Surrounded by beauty, he was protected in many ways.

 

Our choices have a definite effect on our lives.

If we make wise choices, we reap the benefits.

If we search for understanding that comes from God, we will avoid many troubles.

The understanding that comes from God will keep us safe from the consequences of poor choices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

wise choices

Do Good

Trust in the LORD and do good;

—from Psalm 37:3

 

It seems to always be this way.

When there is a natural disaster of some kind–hurricane, tornado, earthquake, snowstorm–people start taking care of each other’s needs.

Often strangers begin taking care of one another.

There seems to be a sense of belonging and responsibility that comes upon a community, bringing out a shared concern.

Empathy.

A willingness to give.

A generous spirit.

Today (which is the day after Hurricane Irma) I have heard of more than one family cooking food and making an open invitation to others to come.

Groups of people with chainsaws and tools have been going around assisting with the removal of toppled trees and other debris after the storm.

Someone made a large amount of coffee and started bringing it to different neighborhoods.

Wheelbarrows with limbs and sticks were carted to the road.

People are offering to help in lots of ways and this will continue for quite some time.

In Psalm 37:3 we are told to trust in the LORD and to do good.

In times like these, that is exactly what we need to do:

  1. Trust in the LORD.
  2. Do good.

 

 

do good

Even the Cattle

His thunder announces the coming storm;    even the cattle make known its approach.

Job 36:33

The weather reports were filled with only one thing yesterday:

Hurricane Irma. 

My family prepared as best as we could. 

But one thing remained out of our reach–

We couldn’t control the storm. 

Only God could do that. 

Walking outside before the conditions deteriorated, I noticed that the cows in the field across from my house were gathered. 

Did they somehow know the storm was coming?

The sky eventually began to grow darker and the rain and wind began. 

Only God can control the wind. 

Only God can control the rain. 

Never Forsaken

Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.
—Psalm 9:10

A major hurricane is coming and my family and I are in the path. 

We are preparing the house and boarding up windows. 

Storing up water and food. 

Waiting….

Only God controls the weather. 

We must now trust in Him. 

Immovable

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

1 Corinthians 15:58
While at work today, I noticed a single plant growing wild in an area of sandy clay. 

Its solitary condition made me take notice–so much so that I decided to photograph it. 

If I were a single grass plant, I would probably hope to be among a group of plants in rich, fertile soil. 

Standing alone in rusty coloured clay would certainly not be my station of choice. 

There have been times, however, that I have felt separated and alone in a less than desirable environment in which to thrive. 

Even so, my intentions still should have been to live my life for the Lord, doing those things that pleased him. 

I must always remember that nothing I do for the Lord is ever useless. 

Store Up

Jesus said:
 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

—Matthew 6:19-21

Love

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

—Galatians 5:14
Do I only help when it’s easy

But never when it’s hard

Do I forego the present 

And only give the card

Do I open doors for others

When my own arms are full 

Or do I wait till it’s convenient

Before I push or pull 

What do I show about my heart

Each time I make a choice

My actions speak of what is true

With a silent, piercing voice