I Will Praise

 

In my quiet time/Bible study this morning, I read an intriguing request in some of my materials; I was asked to think about some of the most specific blessings that I’ve recieved frm God in the past year or so. Some major occurances came to mind quickly. Next, I was instructed to imagine God actually speaking those blessings into existance over my life. At this point, I am still awed by that statement.  It was only eight months ago that I sat down at the computer to do one thing and when I got up from my seat, I had done a totally different thing—I had decided to begin Picture My Thoughts. I don’t remember having considered such a thing before that day. Can you see it with me? God in Heaven speaking the blessing and instruction to begin placing the trio of scripture, photos and text into my life? A way that I could communicate His word with something that brings me joy? Other magnificently wonderful things have occurred as I have seen Him work in the lives of those that I love dearly. I can imagine God speaking those into reality as well. I am unworthy; yet, He blesses me still.

What has God done in your life recently? May you be filled with the comfort and knowledge of His great blessings and His faithful activity in your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Reigns Forever

I had the opportunity to watch a video presentation about power earlier this week.

Moments ago, as I sat waiting for my computer to upload an item, my eyes were drawn to an advertisement about a wealth strategy seminar to be held in a nearby city. A very well known and extremely wealthy man is to be the speaker.  Those promoting the event would surely agree that he is powerful.  The power I’ve been learning about has little to do with the concept of power=money.

I’ve been learning about the power of…the tongue.

Words that are spoken can bring life—or they can tear it down. Words can encourage—or dishearten. Words that flow from our mouths can praise God—or they can grieve Him. 

Today, I read from the book of Isaiah, chapter six. Part of isaiah’s response to his vision of seeing the Lord seated on His throne was, "…I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips…."

With mercy extended, Isaiah’s sin was atoned for. Truly, the Lord is holy and He reigns forever. Should I not honor Him with my words?  I am ashamed to say that many times i haven’t. 

As I am reflecting today on these things, I know that I do want Him to be pleased with what I speak to others.  A seminar on wealth and power? I don’t need it. I need to commit to handling the power I already possess: the power of my words.

 

 

 

 

My Times

 

 

It was a sunny day. Strolling along the sidewalk in the neighborhood park, I noticed it. A wooden structure covered with vines. How long had it taken for the delicate strings of leaves to maneuver their way through each opening, winding themselves in and out to form such a covering?

Although I cannot answer such a question with accuracy, I know that it was a gradual, steady process. Vines that began in the soil were now growing thicker and stronger high above the ground.

As I am continuing to learn and grow in my walk with the Lord, I am finding that it is a gradual, steady process. With wisdom gained from the intertwining lessons of the previous seasons, I grow a little more. With that growth comes movement ever closer to the next level of understanding. I must trust that He holds each day in His sovereign hands.

 

 

 

 

Love Is

 

Love is patient,

love is kind.

It does not envy,

it does not boast,

it is not proud.

It is not rude,

It is not self seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil

but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

Love never fails.

 

I Corinthians 13:4-8a

 

 

 

 

 

Lonely

Have you ever been lonely? I can’t imagine anyone answering anything but, "Yes."  What if that emotion had not been given to us by God? Think of it; not ever feeling the need for someone other than yourself for companionship. It’s almost too odd to consider.

God desires our fellowship and love.  He has placed a void in our hearts that is to be filled only by knowing Him. A type of lonliness rests inside us that longs for the peace of God.

Psalm 25:16 says, "Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted."  When we call to Him, He will graciously turn to us, regardless of the circumstance.

 

 

 

 

The Lord is King

 

As I was driving, I saw a massive cloud formation, highligted by the sun. Not really caring what other motorists thought, I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures, once I had the car window rolled down. Oh, I forgot to tell you–I did this at a stop light…

The sight was absolutely captivating. Really. As I drove home, I kept finding myself checking on the latest movement of the syncronized dance between the sun’s rays and the ever changing cloud. It was so large and majestic.

Kings are in charge. We learn that early in our education. Clouds are in charge, too. Of course, it is God who wills them to form and to move. With all our technology, we cannot control the weather. We must submit to the authority of the rain, the tornado, the hurricane and the snowstorm.

The lyrics of one of my favorite Christian songs have been on my mind lately. One line, especially— "I’m standing on the edge of who I’ve never been before."  The song speaks of what we feel when we hear God communicating with us.  God is our King. He is in charge.  He is the authority. As we become aware of His activity in our hearts, we can sense that things are about to change. We see the light of His love and His plan come gleaming around the edges of our soul, knowing that who we are to become in Christ is an ever changing image on the canvas of our lives.

Just as when I couldn’t stop searching the clouds for the newest contour or subtle color change, I keep coming back to see what  God is doing in my own heart—one feathery wisp and glowing ray at a time.

 

 

 

Set Your Minds

It was a beautiful day. Looking up at the top of the tall, slender palm tree, the sky was its only backdrop. It was not until I looked at my photograph at home that I saw it—the rainbow ring surrounding the profile of foliage. Atmospheric conditions far from the earth’s surface had cascaded the sun’s light in glorious splendor through my camera lens.

The palm tree itself was a beautiful creation of God. Yet, beyond the view of its tallest branches loomed the reminder of the power above that sustains it.

Through every thought, every decision, we are given the opportunity to choose between what is looked upon as important by worldly standards and what is truly important to God.

Let us set our minds on things above…

 

 

 

 

Your Truth

 

What comes to mind when you think of light? Warmth? Brightness?  While there are many different aspects of light, at least one requires the action of a witness. Light exposes. But to whom? When the vibrant rays of light are cast on a particular object, it becomes visible to those observing. What if no one is looking? God still sees.

When the first shadows begin to flee in the early morning hours, I am generally asleep. Though I may miss the dawn, God doesn’t . The glow of the sun that He created exposes the earth for what it is.  Light reveals.

What about God’s truth? It shines like a light, exposing what is false and declaring what is not. It reveals character; it offers the opportunity to recognize what is not in line with His will.

God’s light—it brings with it a message of hope as it stirs our hearts to take action.

 

 

 

 

My Soul Thirsts

 

I don’t know about where you live, but where I am, it’s hot. I was driving by a local bank’s marquee this week as it proudly displayed a temperature of 103 degrees. Prime weather for ice cream shops and cold drink machines. Business is probably good–really good.

 

Why? Well, because since it’s so hot, people get thirsty and want refreshment. They know where to find it.

Would it make sense to see crowds of citizens walking past a lemonade/cold water stand on one of those hot, humid days— especially if sample drinks were being given out free?

When I’m in need of hydration, my body lets me know. The thirst comes. My mouth gets dry. If it’s inconvenient to stop and get a drink, I may put it off a bit.  There again, in just a short while, I will be reminded of it once more. The prompts will keep coming.

In Psalm 42:2 we read, "My soul thirsts for God.."  I am continually drawn back to God for renewal. Amid distractions and responsibilities of every day life, the need still arises. I need to pray. i need to learn more. I need to recognize His presence in my life.

I’m thirsty…..

 

 

Now is the Day

 

 

Waiting. Most people might agree that it’s unpleasant to wait. We don’t like it.  We avoid it.  Advertisements play on our impatience:  No waiting in line! Order by phone!     Drive Through Pharmacy   Instant Oatmeal   Lose 5 pounds in 5 days…

Quicker, faster.  Does it really need to be that way? In some areas, yes—but what about when we are talking about our relationship with God?

The following is a quote from Samuel Pepys:  "Sometimes God delays the answer to our prayer in final form until we have time to build up the strength, accumulate the knowledge, or fashion the character that would make it possible for Him to say yes to what we ask."

It’s okay to read that again. I certainly have read it many times. In fact, I penciled it in on a page just inside my Bible’s front cover.  Do we want God to build up our strength? Do we want Him to add to our knowledge?   Is God fashioning our character?

Today is the day to receive what God has for us now.  We must wait for what He has for us tomorrow, for in His wisdom, it will only come by His perfect timing.

 

 

 

The Ant

 

A little at a time. That’s something I’m still remembering.  I read about this encourageing concept in a book less than a year ago. The author was describing his ant farm and how observing them helped him to plan for finishing his doctorate degree.

Ants can move a tremendous amount of….well, whatever they choose to–a little at a time. Diligence, focus. Those are two words to remember when working toward a goal.

Recently, I have been studying about faith in God. I’ve been learning about trusting Him more. It seems to me that this is a process. I must learn one bit, and then, another.

Eventually, I will look back and see my progress.  Small steps will have turned into large gains.

The journey of our Christian faith is taken one day at a time. We need not give up, even when circumstances are difficult.  God will help us to grow—a little at a time.

 

 

 

Faint Within Me

 

Many times in our lives we need comfort. We need consolation. We need affirmation, care and support. What if those closest to you are not in a position to give any of these? Is there really the possibility of "would not" being replaced by "could not" when applied to our loved ones during those important times? I have come to think there is.

While being overwhelmed by difficult circumstances, which may or may not have been the result of poor life choices, it is difficult to contribute to another’s well being. Emotional survival may be the all-consuming order of the day.

Does the man addicted to alcohol choose to dissolve his marriage through his actions and neglect? Or does the pain and guilt that Satan reminds him of daily drive him to escape the only way he knows how?

Does the young mother with limited resources and a tremendous lack of self-confidence choose to become uninvolved in the lives of her children, or does the encompassing fear of rejection push her past each opportunity as it arises?

Over a decade ago, Veggie Tales were created. It is a computer animated cartoon series used primarily to teach Biblical truths. It’s main characters are vegetables— notably, a cucumber named Larry and a tomato named Bob. None of the characters have arms or legs.

In one of the Veggie Tales episodes, Larry and Bob are feeling very emotional about the story that has just unfolded. Both the cucumber and the tomato are crying.  Larry becomes overwhelmed with emotion and says, "Hold me, Bob!"  With a classic line, Bob responds, sobbing, "I would if I could, man!"

Having no arms, Larry could have been held and comforted. Having no arms, Bob could not hold. Period.

When we are wounded by the apparent lack of empathy from someone we love, it may help the healing process to look past our own pain and consider theirs. Are they capable at that moment of meeting our need? Perhaps not.

God is aware of the yearning of every heart. He knows the sadness, the pain, the joy, the excitement. Only He is able to hold us through every difficulty. There will be times when physical arms will be outstretched to greet us and hold us tightly. God’s arms will envelope you both. On the occasions that we find no comfort available from family or friends, God’s loving arms will embrace you safely and securely.

We will most certainly grow faint in many areas of our lives.  When we cry out to God and say, "Hold me, Lord!"  His response will always be, "I can–and I will."

 

 

 

In God Alone

 

 

Is it ever hard for you to speak? I don’t mean in front of a crowd. I’m talking about when so much is in your heart and mind that words are difficult to form. Sometimes emotion so envelopes the soul that only a word or two will come, if at all.

Joy, sorrow. Both may bring about this response.  Excitement, doubt. When we are overwhelmed, God hears past our failing efforts to explain. He hears our deepest expressions–those that cannot be uttered or dismissed. Creating a pathway inside our frailty, He rejoices with us, comforts us, calms us.  My soul finds rest in God alone.

 

 

 

The Book

I once had a dream where I was standing before two people. They seemed to be in authority. They asked me why I should be admitted into Heaven. I told them it was because Jesus Christ was my Lord and Savior.

You might think this was a good dream, but it wasn’t. It was a nightmare.  The two figures were not angels that were about to admit me into glory; they were there to condemn those who had not believed in Jesus for salvation and eternal life. They had to let me go, because I was a forgiven child of God. That part is wonderful for me, of course, but I was left with a glimpse of what it could be like to die without knowing Jesus.

I really don’t believe that two treacherous figures will be questioning anyone before they are allowed into Heaven. It was only a dream. I do, however, believe the Bible.  In the book of Daniel in chapter 12, toward the end of verse one, we find,  "–everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered."  That would be the Book of Life.

Please consider—–is your name written there?

 

 

 

 

Marvelous

Recently I read the definition of marvelous. Interestingly, these words are used in the description: be wonderful, be surpassing, be extraordinary, separate by distinguishing action.

Doesn’t that sound like God to you? He is wonderful.  He surpasses all others.  He is certainly not ordinary. Who is like Him? His awesome and powerful acts distinguish Him and separate Him to His sovereign place.

He is God.  He is our God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something New

Our youngest son came into the house with great excitement. He carried with him a leaf from our yard. As he positioned it on the counter, he announced the presence of our guest. A tiny (very tiny) insect was crawling on the leaf. A small speck of yellow on a completely green background.  We marveled together at how interesting it was. What was it? We don’t know. God does, though. After all, He made it.  It was just new and exciting to us.  We had not noticed it before.

In Ecclesiates chapter one, verse 10, we read. "Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new’? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time."

God’s love and provision was waiting for us as we were created into existance inside our mothers’ wombs. As we grow closer to Him and discover new insights, it is exciting. God’s character is not new, however. It is only our deeper discovery of who He is that is new.

What I know of Him now, I didn’t fully grasp before. Some things I just hadn’t noticed.  As I am learning new things about God, I should be eager to tell others, "Look! Come and see!"

 

 

 

Healed

 

Exactly what do people believe that God is able to do? If I could possibly answer that question, it would have quite a varied response.

Is it likely that we limit the possibilities of the supernatural work of God in our lives by putting a limit on what we will believe that He could do? That question deserves some thought from all of us, including me.

Take a look at today’s photo. What do you suppose it is? A plant, of course, but what kind? You might believe it to be one type, yet be incorrect in your assumption.  There is only one true answer.

To my knowlege, it has no medicinal value, but I am neither a botanist nor a pharmaceutical researcher. It actually might be used in treating illness. I simply am not aware of it. With that in mind, let’s imagine this fictional scenario for a moment involving a different plant: we are on a mission trip to a remote area in another country. Someone in our group is bitten by an unusual looking insect. Within hours, our friend has fever and swelling. We walk through fields and dense forest, past foliage of many shapes, colors and sizes.  When we reach a nearby village, our friend is very ill. 

There is a small clinic some distance from the settlement. Somehow, we arrive there. The doctor identifies the bite and returns with a cup of hot water, containing the leaves from a specific bush that grows in the area. We are astonished to realize that we walked past several of those plants on our way to the village. Had we only known of the remedy so closely at hand! Instead, we walked right past, assuming they had no power to heal.

The story of the sick woman who touched the cloak of Jesus in order to be healed is recorded for us in the Bible in the book of Mark, chapter five. Many people were crowded around the Savior as He walked. One woman desperately wanted to be healed, and she had the faith to believe that only a touch of His cloak would suffice. 

Have we walked by Jesus, only to assume He cannot help us in our daily lives with all that they contain? Have we neglected to believe that we have an all-powerful God?

I think it’s time that I begin to trust Him in a way that I haven’t before. What about you?

 

 

 

Fully Committed

II Chronicles 16:9a says, "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."  Think of it—-God’s eyes searching the earth to find all who are fully committed to Him. When He finds them, He strengthens them.

When God "searches" the earth, I want to be among those that He finds. That is the desire of my heart today.

 

 

 

Miracles

 

I am currently involved in a Bible study with a group of people. We are using a workbook text that coinsides with a video series. It is called, "Believing God."  During the second week of study, we had to answer a set of questions in the workbook. One particular question was about praying generic prayers because we don’t want to be disappointed by God.

Yesterday, I was in my yard, taking pictures. A bright green dragonfly came on the scene. I wanted to take a picture of him, but he was much too sporadic in his flight. He darted around the corner of the house. I followed him. As I was walking, I remembered that several months ago I had asked God to allow me to photograph a butterfly that was soaring above a lake. The butterfly came and lit on the ground near me. God answered my prayer with a "yes."  The thought crossed my mind to pray that I could photograph this creature. Suddenly, I felt hesitant to pray. Almost immediately, I remembered the words from my text book about being afraid to be dissapointed in God.

I decided I would pray about the dragonfly. As I came around the corner to see him, he disappeared.  Okay. This particular time, God’s answer wasn’t  "yes."

I decided to go back around the corner to the other side of our house. I walked to the area where we have bushes. Often there are interesting things in that area like lizards, spiders, etc…. As I stood by the bushes and vines, the green dragonfly appeared suddenly. He came to rest on the bush beside me. I took a few pictures, then he sat down on a leaf in the bush on the other side of me. I took more pictures.

I had followed this emerald beauty around the house, only to find he was no where in sight. God answered my prayer. If I had simply taken the dragonfly’s photograph as I followed him, well, that’s fairly normal.  When I left that area and walked to another, it was very abnormal to have him come to me and sit down on a bush 24 inches away from my camera.

Did God bring him to me? Well, I DID ask Him if I could take the picture. I thought He had said "No."  In fact, He was going to say, "Yes," but I had to wait on God’s timing.

Psalm 77:14a says, "You are the God who performs miracles;" 

Indeed, He is.

 

 

 

 

 

Sons

Today is a special day in our family. Twenty-four years ago, I was in the hospital….giving birth to our first child, a son.

Time has gone by swiftly, and he is now a man.  We are thankful that God allowed us to become parents on that very wonderful morning, back in 1984.

Psalm 127:3a says, "Sons are a heritage from the LORD…"  One definition of heritage in the dictionary states, " Property that is or can be inherited; an inheritance."  When I think of  "inheritance" I think of something that has been granted to you legally by the written will of another. Something that was once totally in their care is now in yours.

Although not a completely thorough analogy, is this the case with the heritage we have been given in our children? We are granted them by God and by His will. They are always in His care, yet He allows us to be stewards on earth of each precious life that He sends.

As I was speaking to a friend today, she related a sad story. Some years ago, a student who was on the same soccer team as her son commented that he had noticed her regular attendance at the games. This student proceeded to tell her that if his soccer games were held in his own back yard, his parents still wouldn’t attend. How devastating.

Stories like this one grip onto my heart and cause me to feel even greater resolve in supporting and nurturing my own children, at whatever age they may be.  As the years pass, what they seek from a loving Mom or Dad will change in form. The needs of a middle schooler will not exactly mirror those of a thirty-something adult. One thing I know for sure—God wants me to love them unconditionally as He loves me—–and everyone, no matter what age, needs to know there is someone cheering for them in the stands.

 

 

 

Deal Gently

 

 

Some time ago, my office area at work was located in a very large room.  On the back corner wall stood a tall bookshelf.

I had seen the effects of dehydration on small lizards that had made their way indoors .  Many times they simply cannot find their own way out.  Lacking water, they die.

On one particular occasion, I noticed that an anole had come into the building and had made it’s way into my room. Knowing the probable fate that awaited him, I set out on my quest to capture the poor thing and set him free. The problem was, he didn’t understand my intentions. He hid behind the bookshelf. The more I tried to offer him freedom and a chance to live, the more he ran from me. In fear and ignorance of my plan, he resisted all attempts at rescue.

I prayed. I talked to God about this creature’s life.  God granted my request and allowed me to catch my little friend. I proceeded to the large, glass doors that opened to the fresh air outside and I let him go free. Mission accomplished.

In considering what had just occurred, I realized something. Is this not how it is with people? We have lost our way; without understanding, we have strayed away from God into the unknown, surely to perish. He does not leave us to our demise; He offers salvation through His Son, Jesus. We need only to believe and ask forgiveness to be rescued from our fate, yet we run in ignorance from the very thing that could save us.

How thankful I am that when I was running away, He continued to persue me. What a wonderful day it was when I stopped resisting. I was gently lifted from my own damaging choices and supernaturally escorted to a place of spiritual safety.

In Hebrews, chapter five, it speaks of the position of high priest in the Old Testament.  It reads, " He (the high priest) is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness."

God loves us greatly. He beckons us toward Him–toward a life of eternity in His presence. How should we go about the task of telling others about His great love— those who are uninformed of His intentions, going astray through misunderstanding?

Gently…… since we ourselves were ignorant of God’s plan at one time.

 

 

Do Not Worry

Have you ever seen a worried duck? I suppose we can’t actually tell if they are troubled or not, given their  continual stiff-beaked demeanor. Somehow, they seem to characterize a carefree outlook on life. Dipping, headfirst, into the water. Paddling gracefully, uttering an occasional quack or two. Most of the time, they really don’t get into much of a hurry, either. Life on the pond is, well…meant for ducks. Or is it?

We face many troubles in our lifetime. Some are so great, we are astounded by their appearance, thrown off-guard by their intrusion into our lives. God is always present through each one. He has been there for us in the past; He will continue to do so in the future.  Knowing this, we should be calm, right? Living graceful, unhuried lives, free from worry?

Worry has found its place in my mind many times. It should not have been allowed to set up residence there. However, I invited it in. Thankfully, there have been other times when worry has been replaced by peace. God wants us to trust in Him, trading our fears for His comfort.

 If you’re worried today, why not ask God to replace your fears with a newfound trust in Him? Matthew 6:34 says, "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

 

 

 

Obedience

It happened again last night. It was time to put our oldest son’s dog to bed. He sleeps in a crate, specially made just for dogs.  She has been trained to recognize the word "pen" as being the command to get into the crate.  She recognizes the command, but she doesn’t always want to obey. Let me explain.

I stood near the crate and said, "pen."  Our dog began to walk circles around our table, which happens to be near the crate. Around and around she went, in a slow walk. This has been the case before; she is reluctant to submit to authority. On one of her trips around the table and past the crate, she seemed to even pause to snif the door of the crate–only for an instant–before she continued her circular ritual. Finally, after quite a bit of exercise and some time to think, she walked into the crate, relinquishing her will to mine.

Why didn’t she just go in the crate the first time she was told to? Why did she have to be so stubborn? The crate is a safe haven for her; it protects her from getting into things that might prove harmful.

Come to think of it, have I ever acted like that? When I’ve known what God wanted me to do, did I walk in circles instead of obeying? Did I waste a lot of energy mulling it over as I walked? Am I ever stubborn? Resistant? The answer is…..yes.

God knows what’s best for me. I must trust His guidance in my life.  It’s so much easier to obey—the first time.

 

 

 

We Who Are Strong

 

Can you remember back five years? Ten years? Whenever it was that you came to understand what it meant to give your life to Christ? I can recall the very day. One thing I know–after all these years, I am not the same. I’ve been growing in the faith; changing, little by little.

Back then, I was very blessed to have many people come alongside to help me in my newfound journey. Kindly and patiently, I received instruction and insight from others who were more mature in their walk with God. There are no memories of being slighted or put down in any way for my lack of understanding or zeal.

When we are strong in one area, we should help those around us who are weak—those who may have "wilted "under the heat and strain of discouragement.

I am thankful for the mentors that God placed in my life long ago. Their investment in me was a gift from God—one that I was happy to receive.

Is there someone you could be encouraging today?

 

 

 

Those Who Know Your Name

 

 

Have you ever been alone somewhere in a crowded store and suddenly you hear a child say, "Dad!!" or "Mom!!" in a loud voice? Even if it doesn’t sound like your child, or your child is now an adult—you turn to look.  Why? It’s an instant response to the name that connects you to your son or daughter. When you hear the call, you react immediately. Love commands it to be so.  Countless times you have heard your child cry out for you–sometimes in pain, sometimes in great joy—-always in recognition and trust.

We are the precious children of God. As we pray and call out to Him, He hears. He knows immediately. His great love commands it be so. Whether we call to Him in pain or in joy, we can do so with recognition and in trust.

We know His Name…..

 

 

 

No Condemnation

You may have heard it before: "It’s your fault."  "You’re a failure."  "You ruined it."  Those are certainly not words anyone would want to hear. Sometimes we are honestly able to respond with, "It’s not my fault."  But what about those instances when you did fail; it was your fault. What can you do?

An apology fitly spoken would be a place to start.  Earnest regret, however,  will not always render a situation whole again. More is needed. Restitution? Perhaps.

What can be done for the failing heart of humanity? What remedy exists for our sinful nature?

God offers forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son. He chooses to accept us, if we accept His offer.  We will not be condemned.  Romans 8:1a says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…"

 

 

The Light Was Good

Did you see the sun when you awakened this morning? Did you turn on a lamp to illuminate your home when the final rays of light outside were gone?

Light.  What is light?

Scientists have categorized it, defined it, and manipulated it. Nevertheless, it has remained unchanged since its creation. God (who in Romans 4:17 is described as He who, "calls things that are not as though they were.") knew in the beginning that He was about to make Adam and Eve, complete with eyes that would see and minds that would perceive, light.

James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Light is a gift from God, enabling us to experience His creation as it is revealed by sight.

When we enjoy the midday sun, the crescent moon or a campfire under the stars, we should remember–God created the light and He saw that it was good—-and He gave it to us.

 

 

 

A Way That Seems Right

The area where I live is warm throughout most of the year. Given the toasty climate, insects thrive. Through the years, I’ve had my confrontations with many. Who ultimately wins? The ants…

They are never quite gone. Even when I think they are, they are just hiding–in close proximity, no doubt. Case in point: one of my sons, whose name I shall not mention, left a glass recently in their bedroom. It had previously contained milk. Now, only a thick film was left, dehydrated and sticky. Looking into it, I saw A LOT of ants. Almost all of them were dead–stuck to the milk film.

Evidently, the contents of the forgotten glass must have looked good, smelled good and tasted good–to an ant. Yes, most likely ONE ant. He probably heralded the fantastic find to another, who called another, and soon the whole crowd was there for the meal of the day. There was just one problem.  It was to be the last meal. Period. Sticky milk at the bottom of a tall glass may have seemed to be the right choice, but it turned out to be the worst possible avenue to follow.

What about people? Are we like those ants? If we’re not careful, temptation may lead us to what looks good, smells good, seems good—-but then we find we’re stuck, like ants in the milk. It may even have been our friends who ushered us unknowingly to that  point.

If we weigh our actions and decisions against what God instructs, we should be capable of making a wise choice. We need not be drawn in to the destructive cycle of worldliness that silently motions us toward the snare, beckoning our feet to make just one more step into the trap that awaits us. He will give us discernment and wisdom, if only we will ask.

 

Everything Good

As I stood there singing, a thought came to me. I was among several other participants, lifting our voices, singing songs of praise to God. There must have been a specific song that included scripture, because I began to consider how the words in the Bible are like tools that are available to us. As I am pondering that idea now, the thought of a carpenter comes to mind. With tools ready in his pouch, securly attached to his belt, he is ready to begin the work. 

Will this board fit? Is it the correct one to use? Out comes the measuring tape. These nails could hold this piece together. Out comes the hammer. Somehow, this area just doesn’t look straight. Out comes the level to remove all doubt by revealing any misalignment. Without the tools, the carpenter would be severely limited in his efforts.

God has not limited us spiritually. He provides the tools needed by giving us the Bible. By hiding its words in our hearts, we are "strapping" them to our belts. There, they are available to be used to define clarity in aligning our lives with His will.

I am thankful to have His word available to me each and every day. A wise carpenter would never set out to work without his tools–neither should I.