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

Honeycomb

Pleasant words are a honeycomb,

Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

 

—Proverbs 16:24

 

Would you like to bring healing to someone today?

It is quite possible that the kind words you speak will:

Bind up a wounded heart.

Give hope in the midst of despair.

Bring laughter when tears have recently fallen.

Deliver strength to a weary mind–

Pleasant words.

Caring words.

Sincere words.

Loving words.

Words that God would want you to speak.

Would you like to bring healing to someone today?

 

 

honeycomb

Great Is Your Faithfulness

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    His mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.

 

—Lamentations 3:22-23

 

There will never be a day that we awaken to find that the Lord no longer loves us.

We will never cease to find Him merciful.

He is faithful forever.

 

 

new every

A Glass Darkly

 

There is an old hymn titled, “We’ll Understand It Better By and By”  written by Charles Albert Tindley.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Trials dark on every hand,
and we cannot understand
all the ways of God would lead us
to that blessed promised land;
but He guides us with his eye,
and we’ll follow till we die,
for we’ll understand it better by and by.

 

Trials, hardships.

Storms.

Arguments.

Illnesses.

They make our vision dark and confusing.

We may ask ourselves why God would lead us to live with Him someday through a journey that looks like the one we’re on.

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand.

Yet, He does guide us and we must follow Him.

We will understand the “whys” of our lives later on.

1 Corinthians 13:12 reads,

“For now we see through a glass, darkly;

but then face to face:

now I know in part;

but then shall I know

even as also I am known.”

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to see at times, looking through a glass.

The images are skewed and our perception is weak.

There will be a day when the story of our own life will be clear.

We will understand it better, by and by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

glass darkly

By Faith 

Recently, I was in a Bible study group that was discussing Noah and the ark. The account of what happened in those days is rich with topics of consideration. 

Why did God choose to flood the entire earth? 

Why did He choose to spare Noah and his family?

How did Noah have continual faith when God was asking him to do things he didn’t fully understand?

What made his wife and his sons and their wives have faith, as well?

Why did they choose to stick with Noah as he obeyed God and built the ark?
One thing stands out to me in this biblical account. 

Noah obeyed God even when it likely did not make sense to him. 

Build a boat?

What’s a boat?

Rain?

What’s rain?

Gather all those animals?

How?
Noah obeyed God. 

Noah believed God. 

Noah trusted God. 

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

—–Hebrews 11:7

Lilies

 

 

 

“And why worry about your clothing?

Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.

They don’t work or make their clothing,

yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers

that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow,

He will certainly care for you.

Why do you have so little faith?”

 

–Matthew 6:28-30

 

 

 

lilies

Save the World

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

 

—John 3:17

 

It was through Jesus that I was saved.

God sent Him so that I might be saved.

It is through Jesus that you may be saved.

God sent Him so that you could be saved.

The question is, do you believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God?

 

condemn