Thirsts

 

It was a delightful afternoon to go to the spring. Yesterday, while my husband and sons were snorkling down the steadily flowing current, I elected to stay dry and take pictures of the spring’s source—the cave-like opening in the rock that continuously spouts water at a shocking 70 degrees F.

Sometimes certain things attract our attention and spark our interest. This afternoon, a 60 second broadcast by Kay Arthur came on the radio as I was going about my daily activities at home. I stopped to listen more closely. One sentence, in particular, seemed to attach itself to my mind for further reflection. Later, I searched the internet to find the broadcast again. I wanted to make sure of each word I had heard. This is what she said:

"Does your presence in the world cause others to thirst after God?"

This is not a question that I can tuck away neatly out of consideration. True, I may forget it in time, but for now, it looms large as I ponder it’s answer.  My presence……..others thirsting after God……

 God created the spring I photographed yesterday. It’s boundless supply of fresh water rushes to the surface to irrigate the land above and bring life-giving sustanance to countless creatures. Physically, we are dependent on water. We thirst for it when we become aware of our deficiency. Spiritually, we are dependent on God, yet many of us are unaware of our need and lack the desire to seek Him.

What is my presence in the world accomplishing?

 

 

At Your Command

In the Book of Job, chapter 39, verses 26 and 27, we find two consecutive questions:

"Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
       and spread his wings toward the south?

  Does the eagle soar at your command
       and build his nest on high?

If someone were to ask me these questions, the answer would, of course, be, "No."

"Then," the questions might continue, "by whose wisdom and command do they respond?"

The only answer is, "God."

As our understanding of who God is grows in depth, we find that the only answer to many of our questions is simply, "God." 

By His power, by His wisdom, by His authority…..

May we rest in the shelter of His complete sovereignty over all.

 

 

 

Don’t Fall!

 

This morning, I read a very insightful article written by a young man living the area. He spoke of recognizing our enemy as the unseen powers that war against us. He also wrote of the reality that many do not believe their existance, scoffing others that do.

Becoming aware of the temptations that might present themselves is critical. Identifying the dark clouds of the spiritual storm while they are still in the distance is paramount. At that point, there is time to prepare for the raging winds of temptation, the heavy drops of discouragement and the blazing bolts of doubt that will be coming our way.

If we turn our backs to the rising waters behind us, we fail to recognize our need for the shelter God has provided for us.

 

 

Your Barns Will Be Filled

What do you think of when you pass a large factory or an industrial park? Do you think of prosperity and wealth? Do you think of toil and labor?

I have grown accustomed to the giant towers and massive buildings of industry. At specific points throughout my life, my regular commute has taken me past various manufacturing installations. Given this familiarity, I forget their significance in society.

The dictionary defines industry as, "economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories."  I would agree with that. But what if we no longer had raw materials to be processed?

It is my understanding that there are countries in this world who live each day in poverty and famine. If I were to visit, the landscape would be void of smoke stacks, pullies and chutes. There would be no vats of oil or silos of grain. Vast areas of barren land might be the backdrop for lonely, confused and stricken faces enduring a harsh existance.

If we have community resources abundant enough to warrant the building of large manufacturing plants, we are rich as a people. It is God’s blessing. Many of our day to day experiences go unnoticed as we take them for granted in our busy lives. We should we honor God in giving thanks for His provision to us.

 

 

 

 

Do I Not Fill Heaven and Earth?

We were a little early for the gathering, so my son and I pulled into the empty parking lot to wait. Not one to just sit and do nothing, I decided to take my camera and walk around the non-paved areas to look for tiny, unassuming plant life. I was not on my quest very long when I discovered delicate, pink wildflowers blooming so very close to the soil. Their intricate patterns of form and color were subtle and subdued. Here was a lovely creation largely unnoticed, yet beautifully testifying to the handiwork of God.

It matters not where we go; God’s glory, holiness and mastery are displayed.

 

 

 

The End of the Age

It was so hot. My friend and I walked down the sidewalks, looking in the little shops in the main part of town. People were bustling everywhere, each with their own agenda. Buy a hat, a pair of shoes, an ice cream cone or coffee. Walk over here, come sit over there. Advertising met us at each window. Life goes on. No doubt, some who were walking that day knew Jesus as their Savior. They believed. Just as likely, some who were strolling along the storefronts did not. The sacrifice He gave for them was not accepted or understood.

As we continued on our little journey down the block, we came upon an outdoor trough in front of a shop. It was the suburban home for a select number of fish—-HUGE goldfish. Some were orange, some more pale in color, others speckled gray. They darted here and there, to and fro, constantly searching for whatever fish search for.

Aren’t we like those fish? They were scurrying around, somewhat aimlessly. As they did so in the water, the people mirrored their toil as they stepped from place to place, looking for whatever people look for.

At the close of our lives, one thing will matter greatly to us: our relationship with God.

If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, consider what He has done for you. Why not pray right now and ask Him to forgive you of all the things you have done that have displeased Him? Resolve to allow Him to become the Lord of your life. Accept the gift He has offered–abundant life here on Earth and eternity in Heaven.

 

 

All Things

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 Colossians 1:15-20

 

 

His Understanding

Should we question God?

Certainly He listens when we do. "Why?" is probably the question most asked of Him, don’t you think?

"Why didn’t I get to …."  "Why did they…."  "Why couldn’t You have changed…"

A million questions could be formed from those beginnings. We don’t always have the answers to our ‘whys’. What should we do then?

As we look into the face of a newborn, smell the fragrance of wildflowers in the spring or feel our hearts beating steadily inside our chests, we are faced with a decision. We must acknowledge God as the sovereign Creator, who in His wisdom sustains all things, or we must choose not to believe. If we choose to admit His existence, we also choose to accept His great power. He knows what is best for us. We may select paths in our lives that grieve God; He may allow us to follow them while beckoning us back to a right relationship with Him.

If God is in control of the tiniest forms of matter, should we not trust Him with the answers to our questions, whether He chooses to reveal them to us…. or not?

 

 

 

Plans

Do you ever feel like quitting? Quitting a job, or perhaps, a responsibility?

As I drove along the road, alone in my car, I began to think of how I could tell one of the children’s directors at church that I should stop teaching a kindergarten class on Sundays. Many times I feel that I have not adequately prepared for the time. This morning, I had begun to feel that it might be best for me to quit.

Had I prayed about this matter? No. Discouragement had crept inside, coloring my thoughts.

When I arrived, I looked on the desk for the materials needed for the class. As I began to read the lesson, I was captivated by the words. The emphasis for the day was on how God will comfort those who mourn—those who mourn for their own sin and those who mourn because of hurt in their lives. One of the scriptures included in the overview was Jeremiah 29:11, which tells of God’s plan to prosper us and not to harm us.

The message on the paper was being sent to my heart as fast as I could read the text. I picked up a yellow crayon and began to underline specific statements. Each paragraph seemed to be written just to me. Through this lesson, I found God’s comfort. Knowing that, surely it must have made a difference in how I spoke to the children today.

Quit? I don’t think so. I am eager to learn what God has for me and the kindergarteners next week.

God has already made plans……

 

 

 

Stand on the Heights

It doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

I have seen pictures of men working on skyscrapers, high in the air, sitting on a steel beam, eating lunch. For me, this is the source of nightmares…

I have never enjoyed being elevated, whether it be on a balcony, an amusement park ride or inside a tall building. Earth. Grass beneath my feet. That’s where I’m comfortable.

Am I missing something by staying securely on the ground? Probably so. Wisdom tells me there is no need to eat a sandwich on a 16 inch wide metal bar, 24 stories high. Adventure tells me the world would appear differently to me if I could view it from a distance, seeing more and gaining a greater understanding of what was personally unknown.

Recently, I photographed a tower. Zig-zag stair steps led to it’s peak. It’s very presence meant someone had been at the top, finishing its construction. The alternating steps suggested that it would be necessary for someone to return from time to time.

II Samuel 22:34b says, "He enables me to stand on the heights." Spiritually, it is God who gives me the strength to climb to the top of situations. It is He who enables me to stand above and see a different perspective. Many times, it is tempting to run to and fro on the ground, searching for understanding and answers, often to no avail. Elevating me to a greater height alters my focus and strengthens my faith.

He enables me to stand.

 

 

 

They Caught Nothing

You might have heard this story before:

Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I’m going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We’ll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

 He called out to them, "Friends, haven’t you any fish?"
      "No," they answered.

 He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

 Is there anything wrong with going fishing? Choosing a college? Applying for a job?  What happens when doing so results in what we would deem a failure?

"Didn’t catch a thing all morning." "The college sent me a letter saying that I wasn’t admitted."  "They hired someone else yesterday…"   When we hear words like this, we get discouraged.

When the disciples went out to fish, there was nothing. Nothing for a very long time. They must have been quite disheartened. When Jesus called out and asked them to throw their nets to the other side, they obeyed, even before they came to the realization that it was indeed Him.

What was the result? More than they could have imagined.

The next time you have a discouraging day of fishing, decision making or just yearning for an answer, listen for God’s voice in the matter. Perhaps you will hear Him tell you to alter your current plans by allowing Him to tell you which side of the boat to fish from.

"Call this college instead."  "Ask this company if they’re hiring."

If you are truly listening to God’s voice, you can trust Him with your obedience.

Only God can fill your net completely.

 

 

 

The Good Things

The sand beneath my feet. The water brushing the shore from the river, ever so gently past the rocks. The tall grasses delicately poised a few yards before the water’s edge. It was a sweetly serene evening. It was mine to hold for a time, to grasp and enjoy.

But what about the rain? The morning brought gray skies and rumbling thunder. Flowers beaded with raindrops and vivid green leaves on tall, majestic trees.

What about the afternoon? Bright and sunny, cheerful and light.

Today was a gift from God. It’s moments, it’s beauty and it’s opportunities.  Psalm 103:2 says, "Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me."

 

 

 

 

His Own Family

The family of God.

You’ve probably heard those words before. But what does it really mean? What does it mean to you, personally?

Just today, I had a wonderful privilege. In talking with a new acquaintance, they told me of their faith in God. As they spoke of their experiences and involvement in their Christian journey, a commonality surfaced. This is anything but rare. The bond between believers is a supernatural one, connecting those who are part of the family of God into a fellowship of faith. It often feels as those you have known someone "forever."  In all of eternity, that is exactly what it will be.

God desires for all of us to be a part of His eternal family, living forever in fellowship with Him and others who have entrusted Him with their lives.

My conversation today is a reminder to me of God’s gift of His own family—the family of God.

 

Mercy, Peace and Love

 

Are there those around you who are seemingly without peace? Without love? Without mercy?

Most of us would not have to look very far to find them. They might be living in your own home. It could, perhaps, even describe you.

So much of what we find distressing in our lives can be condensed to a lack of peace. Are we worried? There is no peace. Are we afraid? There is no peace. Are we angry? There is no peace.

When we find ourselves in this state, what should we do? Ask God to calm our fears and cover us with His peace.

 

 

 

Our Generous God

 

 

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.

James 1:2-6a

 

Fountain of Life

In a group study that I am taking part in, the current topic is fearing the Lord. I have thought in the past that "fear" in this instance would be explained as "respect" or "reverance."  Perhaps that may be true. A new idea has surfaced in the reading assignment for this week.  Essentially, it is that whatever you fear, you are giving control to in your life.

Control? Fear? I had not thought of it this way before. I would have said previously that I do, in fact, fear God. I would have also said that I give control of my life to Him. Is there anything else in my life that I am fearing and therefore giving control to?

Many, many years ago, I was hired at a restaurant. After becoming somewhat skilled at other tasks, my supervisor wanted me to become a cashier. With zero experience in this area, I was fearful.  With firmness, my supervisor made me face my fear. I am happy to say that I conquered my reluctance and became quite adequate and comfortable in my service. If I had not faced my fear, would it have maintained control over me, actually keeping me from being promoted at work?

This week, I will be thinking more about the relationship between fear and control.

What are you afraid of?

 

Tricked by the Snake

It was calm and quiet near my front door. The water from the small fountain was flowing softly, creating continuous, rhythmic sounds. As I sat on the park bench by the fountain, my mind turned to small lizards and their ways. Often, several anoles occupy the area around the bench, spending their days cavorting from one bush or flower to another. I had thought how there would probably be a lizard close by, just standing ever so still so as to keep me from noticing him. As I sat still, I began to search the surroundings nearby with my eyes, hoping to see a small anole camouflaged and hidden. As I turned my head to the right, there beside me on the red mulch, just a couple of feet away–was a snake! His thoughts had apparently been on me the last few moments.

After the initial surprise and realization of what was happening, I slowly rose to my feet and stepped to the sidewalk. The snake proceeded to slither right under the bench where I had been sitting. Thankfully, he had not done that while I was occupying it. Had I not decided to look carefully at what was nearby, I might not ever have noticed him until it was too late. It seemed to be a non-poisonous snake, but if it had been venomous, well, I don’t even want to think about that.

How many times do I sit on the "bench" of my life, failing to notice the possible dangers around me? Am I an easy prey for spiritual deception? Do I allow the tricks of the enemy to slither close, drawing me away from what I really should be trusting in?

I would be wise to look at my circumstances closely to spot the wiles of the devil, standing ever so still as to keep me from noticing.

What’s looking at you today?

 

 

 

Rejoice in the Hope

It was going to be a challenge. It had all the earmarks of being a difficult time. It loomed large in the future hours to come, distant, but not totally daunting. I knew God would be there with me when I arrived at that moment in time.

It was almost a month ago, now, and I have thought about it many times since. God knew what I needed more than I knew myself. He encouraged me and empowered me to complete a very trying assignment.

I had been invited to speak at two different high schools this spring—one in April, one in May. I was to be a part of two "mock" events:  the depictions of fatal car accidents involving persons who were intoxicated. These dramatic productions done in stadiums are very realistic and expertly done. Law enforcement agencies and schools partner in bringing tragedy to reality as injured students are rescued from mangled automobiles as giant tools literally cut a car apart. Helicopters airlift students to a nearby hospital. Ambulances, hearses, fire trucks….it is all so very realistic. I liken it to the filming of a tragic movie.

Our son died in such an accident. My presence on the scene has one purpose: to speak to the students when it is all over, telling them of our personal, real- life nightmare. The collective efforts of myself and all the dedicated people involved are hopefully successful in persuading students to make the choice to never drink and drive so that lives might be saved.

I was on my way to the second presentation last month, driving headlong and intentionally into what I believed God wanted me to do. It was quiet in my car, and my thoughts were tuned to the melody and lyrics of a song:

"Give me Your eyes for just one second, give me Your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing, give me Your love for humanity, give me your arms for the broken hearted…" (Brandon Heath) Going where I was going, I needed God’s love for humanity.

I decided that I should turn the radio on and perhaps that particular song would be played and I would remember more of the lyrics. I pushed the "on" button on the radio, but that song was not playing. Instead, another familiar song was being sung. A song I normally turn off immediately when I hear it, because it is personally difficult for me to listen to the words. It begins,

"There’s a cross on the side of the road where a mother lost her son. How could she know that the morning he left would be the last time she’d trade with him for a little more time so she could say she loved him one last time and hold him tight? But with life we never know when we’re coming up to the end of the road so what do we do then with tragedy around the bend?" (Superchick)

These lyrics had just been sung prior to my touching of the dial; I knew, however, what I had just missed. Now, the rest of the words continued in the following moments:

"We live, we love, we forgive and never give up…….Get out and do what we were meant to do…"

Next, the song in my mind came on! "Give me Your eyes…. give me a second chance to see the way you see the people all along…." (Brandon Heath)

As I drove, I realized what was happening. The following songs were played, one after another (although I don’t remember the order.)

"I want to live my life for You, Lord. Lord, for You I want to live my life." (Third Day)
(That was the desire of my heart that day, and now, as well.)

"You were here before me, You were waiting on me and You said You’d keep me, never would You leave me. I was made to love and be loved by You…..Daddy, I’m on my way…" (Tobie Mac)
(Last YEAR, when I was going to a meeting on the set of the very first one of these presentations, I felt that God spoke the word, "Daughter" into my mind, assuring me that I was His daughter that day.  Now, "Daddy, I’m on my way…"

"Yesterday, it took all that you had
And you’re wondering if you’ll ever get it back
But the whole wide world is waiting for
Waiting for you to step out that door
Come on, and let your life be heard today
You’ve got something to say
If you’re living, if you’re breathing
You’ve got something to say
You know if you’re heart is beating
You’ve got something to say
And no one can say it like you do
God is love and love speaks through
You got it, you got it
You’ve got something to say…
Well your life is the song that you sing
And the whole wide world is listening
Well the answer to the question is
You were created, your life is a gift
And the lights are shining on you today…" (Matthew West)
(I definitely had something to say to the crowd that was my own personal story.)

" I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always
I know the journey seems so long
You feel your walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting" (Jeremy Camp)

With each song that would play, I was more convinced that it was God Himself who was miraculously choosing them and sending me His divine encouragement through the lyrics. Needless to say, I was filled with love and gratitude for the One who loves me, calls me "Daughter," gives me a glimpse of the needs of humanity, encourages me to go out and do what He has willed for me to do, and assures me of my final destination with Him in Heaven where the sting of life will be outweighed by His glorious presence for all of eternity.

My God is an AWESOME GOD!

 

 

 

 

He Has Filled Them

 

I played the piano for someone today who was visiting our home. It was not a point of any concern or embarrassment because I have been playing a keyboard instrument since I was about 6 years old. It comes very natural to me.

Do other people play the piano with more expertise than I? Yes—-a great, great many. That doesn’t matter. Did I have to practice in order to perform the pieces I know? Yes. Did God give me this ability? Yes. Does He want me to use it for Him, at whatever level I possess? Yes.

Without Him, I would be nothing. He chose to give me a talent that I could choose to develop. It all started with Him. I really do want the music that flows from the piano to be a testament of the goodness of God’s gifts.

What about some other blessings from God? I love photography. I love to write. I love to give gifts and watch someone smile in delight. Why? I think God put those desires into my heart.

There is an African welcome song titled, "Funga Alafia." Interpreted, the lyrics state,

"With my thoughts, I welcome you.

With my words, I welcome you.

With my heart, I welcome you.

See, I have nothing up my sleeve."

If I were to apply what God has given me to the intent of this song, it might go something like this:

"God, with my music, I want to honor You.

With my words, I want to honor You.

With my photography, I want to honor You.

See, I am using what you have given me for Your glory."

 

This is what I strive for. Each day brings a choice to use what God has given me the in a way that would be pleasing to Him.

I want to make the right choices, every time.

 

 

Always Be Thankful

 

Colossians 3:13-15

 

 Make allowance for each other’s faults,

and forgive anyone who offends you.

Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.

For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.

And always be thankful.

 

 

Endurance and Encouragement

 

Who gives endurance and encouragment? You might think about your son’s sport coach or perhaps an area supervisor at work. Your spouse or a good friend might have come to mind. But really, where is the source of the encouragement?

 Romans 15, verses 5 and 6 reads, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." It is God who gives endurane and encouragement.

I received a phone call this afternoon at work. A friend took time out of her day to give me encouraging words, advice and an assurance of support. As her obedience to God guides her, I am certain that she is an encouragement to many, being a vessel used by Him to bring His gift of endurance and encouragement to His people—-people just like you and me.

Is there someone you could encourage today?

 

 

The Wilderness

Isaiah 35:1-5

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
       the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
       Like the crocus,  it will burst into bloom;
       it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
       The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
       the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
       they will see the glory of the LORD,
       the splendor of our God.

 Strengthen the feeble hands,
       steady the knees that give way;

  say to those with fearful hearts,
       "Be strong, do not fear;
       your God will come,
       he will come with vengeance;
       with divine retribution
       he will come to save you."

 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
       and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

 

 

Delights

 

 

Psalm 37: 23,24

 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
      He delights in every detail of their lives.
 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
      for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Imagine your son or daughter coming home from a three week visit to Grandma’s. You are overjoyed to see them. While they were there, they were able to take part in some very special activities–a birthday party for Grandpa and a weekend trip to the mountains. With big smiles on both of your faces, you hang on to every word they say. Joy clings to your heart as you listen.

It’s not hard to imagine, is it? Why? Because when you love someone, what is important to them is important to you. 

As His children, God delights in every detail of our lives. Is that hard to imagine?

When you walked to the podium to recieve a diploma, was He not pleased?

When you held your newborn child in your arms for the very first time, did He not smile along with you, pleased to present you with a miracle only He could fashion?

He loves us. He loves us with a love that ‘s great and mighty, because He is great and mighty.

He directs our steps.

He delights in us.

He holds us by the hand.

 

He Must

 

There are many passages in Old Testament scripture where instructions were given to bring offerings and sacrifices to the Lord. Often, this doesn’t come to my mind, since this is not a requirement of God any longer.

Jesus paid the price for all our sin; we need only to recognize our need, ask for forgiveness and believe. But what if you or I were living in those ancient times? What would it have been like?

Today, I had a interesting encounter with a pigeon. He walked, I walked. He went one way, so did I. It was an enjoyable time for me to photograph this bird so closely. That is likely to be the only type of encounter I will ever have with a pigeon. I simply admire them for what they are—beautiful birds.  I will never search for one in order to take it to a priest. I will never have to look upon any animal as an atonement of any kind because of what Jesus did for me—and for you.

Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin.

 

 

 

Equip

How could you pray for someone?

 

"Dear Lord, please give______everything good to furnish them with what they need to do Your will.

May You work in________ what is pleasing to You."

 

If someone you know were to fill in the blanks with your name, wouldn’t you be glad?

Is there a dear one in your life that you could pray for—–right now?

Day Three:

 

 

 

Renew Their Strength

 

It was late last Friday night. I decided I would spend a few moments reading the Bible. As I lay across my bed, I realized that I was not feeling normal. My entire body felt strange.

Within an hour or so, I knew that something was different. Strength was leaving and cold chills began to come over me.

I was sick. Fever with who-knows-what illness. I was engaged in a personal battle with a microscopic enemy and my body, equipped with God’s defenses for such things, was fighting back—-at a very respectable temperature of 103. Let’s just say that I was not enjoying the confrontation.

Most things in my "regular" life stopped. No working, no cooking, cleaning, driving—I really didn’t even want to walk around. I was weak. Important things would just have to wait.

Wait until when?  When my strength was returned.

In Isaiah 40, we are told that "those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength."  That seems to be implying that there will be times when our strength will be weakened and we will be in need of renewal. Speaking from a present struggle or from memories of past spiritual battles, one who knows of weakness and of strength yearns for the latter.

May we remember to put our hope in God.

 

 

A Righteous Man

A righteous man.  Just exactly what does that mean?

In reading a descriptive sentence given in a thesaurus, the definition seemed clear:

 

"A righteous man can be trusted to act honorably regardless of the circumstances."

 

The Bible tells us that "the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. "

Have you ever known such a person as this? Someone who could be trusted to act with the most honor regardless of what was going on?  Consider for a moment those that you have respected a great deal at your workplace throughout the years. Think about the members of your own family that you know you can count on when trustworthiness is an issue. Would you say that they have "thrived" in life?

Chances are, the answer would be, "yes."  Those who obey God reap the benefits of His guiding wisdom in their lives.

A righteous man.

What does that mean—to you?

 

 

Roots by the Stream

 

 

Roots know what to do.

Roots know their purpose.

Without roots, a tree would not stand.

Without roots, a tree would not be nourished with water.

Without water, a tree would not live.

As Christians, our hearts know what to do.

Our hearts know that our purpose is to have a relationship with God and to glorify Him.

Without that relationship, we would not prosper; we would not stand.

Without our relationship with God, we would not be spiritually nourished.

If we had never known this spiritual relationship with God, we would not live knowing that our eternity would be with Him.

 

What does your heart know today?

 

Requirements

 

When we hear of news stories around the globe or in our own neighborhoods, it can sometimes be troubling. We may become aware of happenings in our own extended or immediate families. As we ask ourselves, "Why? Why would they make that decision?" one possible answer might be "Because they do not know what they should do."

As we seek wisdom from the Bible, prayer, study groups and services, we are priviledged to have the opportunity to learn about God’s best choices for our lives. Others may not have ever understood that this was available to them, or perhaps, they have become drawn away from the truth.

Jeremiah 8:7 says, "Even the stork in the sky knows her apointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD."

What could I be doing to help others know God’s best?