Cliffs

While visiting my cousin in another country, I was privileged to do some sightseeing.

One of most beautiful scenes to behold is very close to her home. Huge cliffs overlooking the ocean draw many tourists each year. I can certainly understand why.

As I looked toward the cliffs one morning, it was quite foggy. Later, when walking along the “approved” pathway, I became nervous as other visitors went closer to the edge.

Didn’t they understand the risk? Who could survive so great a fall?

There would be no one to save them.

Psalm 118:13-14 in The Message reads, “I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me.  God’s my strength, He’s also my song, and now He’s my salvation.

I’ve seen a cliff’s edge first hand. Just imagine a “spiritual” cliff that high! Then, imagine God saving us from falling off the edge of that cliff.

That’s exactly what He has done.

He’s my strength, my song and my salvation.

Is He yours?

Washed

Jesus washed His disciples’ feet.

The idea of washing feet has come to me in two different ways during the past year.

I attended a wedding where the bride and groom washed each other’s feet as part of the marriage ceremony.

In an extremely impoverished area that I have visited, an elderly believer in Christ came to some of the residents and washed their feet as a act of faith and love.

Am I willing to serve others by washing their feet?

Usually, that’s not the need that presents itself. Instead, am I willing to take a few moments to listen to someone who is hurting? Am I happy to take the time to call a friend to check on them? Am I available to tell another person about the faith I have in Jesus when the opportunity arises?

All of these needs can be met as an act of faith and love.

Is there someone you could serve today?

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

—John 13:2-5

Victory

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

—1 Corinthians 15:57

Lately, I have become more aware of the power of God to work in our lives.

He is victorious in all things.

All things….

All things in your life and all things in mine.

There is a song that speaks of this.

“Your Name, Your Name, is Victory. All praise will rise to Christ our King.

By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me.”

(Resurrecting–Elevation Worship)

I decided to buy a necklace with the letter V to remind me of victory.

For those that ask why I’m wearing it, I will have the opportunity to explain why the Name of Jesus is Victory.

He has given me new life, He will never leave me and His Name is to be praised forever!

One Another

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

—Romans 12:10

As I was walking past the brick wall, I noticed hand prints someone had made.

I didn’t know who had made them and I didn’t know why they had made them.

As I continued walking, I was compelled to go back and photograph the wall.

How many people had walked past that wall since it had been constructed years ago?

How many of those people were hurting?

Lonely?

Dealing with insurmountable challenges?

How many of them had faith in God?

How many did not?

As they passed the wall, they left a portion of their lives there—a few seconds or moments in time as they traveled on to the next one.

What if each person I’ve known could’ve left an impression of themselves on the wall of my heart?

Would they have found love there?

Acceptance?

Empathy?

Encouragement?

What would Jesus have wanted them to find?

Cast

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

—1 Peter 5:7

It was peaceful.

The sun was fading as evening shadows approached.

I sat alone on the bench beside the lake.

Birds paddled across in the water in front of me.

A chilly March wind blew through my long sweater.

The trees, now barren looking, would soon answer God’s call to burst into new green leaves with the arrival of spring.

Worries.

Uncertainties.

I am not strong enough to bear them.

I was not meant to.

Only Jesus can rescue me from all that threatens

peace

in my heart.

Everything

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

–Philippians 4:13

The bird was perched on a branch high in the air.

I wonder if he had ever thought it was too high to fly to?

There, near the highest point of the tree’s reach to the heavens, he could surely see for miles.

There are times that God plans for us to perch on top when we are convinced we can only make it to the lower branches.

It is God who gives us the strength to reach the heights.

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.