A Meal of Vegetables

 

 

 

Who do you like to be around?

Someone who is encouraging to you?

Someone who makes you laugh?

Someone who listens when you talk?

Someone who values your opinion?

Someone who respects you?

Who wouldn’t want to be around a person like that?

When I think of who might enjoy  my company, would they consider me to have the qualities listed above?

If I am ever to be a continually positive spiritual influence on another’s life, I must first earn the right to be in their presence.

Proverbs 15:17 states,

"Better a meal of vegetables where there is love
       than a fattened calf with hatred."

 

 

What Profit

 

 

 

I saw a very intriguing movie tonight.

The main character was a successful young businessman.

Life seemed good.

Suddenly, within a matter of days, things began to change.

His father died.

He was arrested.

He lost his job.

Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it?

Actually, through these things, God was about to bring about good–MUCH good.

He met a young lady who was a Christian. Their relationship began to grow.

A missionary he knew felt led to pray earnestly for him.

An adult caregiver from his childhood began praying for him, as well.

Although he had lost what most people would consider wealth and importance, he gained what was of far more worth.

He came to know Christ as his Savior.

 

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

—Matthew 16:26

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create

 

 

 

 

It was one of the nicest weekends I can remember.

A friend of mine hosted a retreat at her vacation home for a small group of women.

It was located beside a calmly flowing river, deep into the countryside where large spiders grow, fish jump out of the water and plop right back in and insects croon to one another in a lively bedtime chorus.

Group devotional times were held on the dock with a captivating view of the river.

Taking some personal moments to peruse the property with my camera, I photographed a bumble bee buzzing in the grass not far from the white rocking chair on the front porch.

Peaceful. Inviting.

The atmosphere surrounding the hours spent there was one of sincere acceptance, concern and love.

There were precious moments of reflection as I listened for God and contemplated the teaching and conversation.

It was a time of rest.

A time of renewal.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. –Psalm 51:10

 

 

 

 

 

In Awe

 

 

Some songs just seem to reach me where I am and convey the attitude of my heart.

In the past few months, these lyrics have reverberated into my mind, giving me a fresh, new way of expressing praise—

I’m giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I’m giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, ’cause he is everything
‘Cause he is everything

–Starry Night  ~Chris August

If you have not given your life to the only One who makes the Moon reflect the Son, won’t you consider doing it today?

He is truly EVERYTHING.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Covered With Shame

 

 

 

I just had to have another look.

There, not far from the road, were trees.

Well, I suppose they were trees.

If they were, now they are nearly branchless.

One could only imagine what they might have been when they were tall and strong, filled with leaves.

Now, in the state they were in, any former beauty was removed.

Vines had crept up and covered them—completely.

Is it my imagination, or do they stand there, slightly bent, looking almost…sad?

How long did it take the crawling plants to overtake them?

Little by little, inch by inch, the process continued until there was nothing left of the original tree showing.

Like living statues, they silently gave testimony to the strength of their captor.

Have you ever taken "another look" at the people around you?

The hurting people, the homeless, the addicts and  the emotionally depressed?

They used to be healthy and growing, moving forward in life.

Well, you might have supposed that they once were.

If they were, now they appear nearly hopeless.

You can only imagine what they might have been in the past.

In the current state they are in, any former beauty of life has been removed.

The shame of their actions or the actions of others toward them, may have crept up and covered them—completely.

Is it our imagination, or are they just standing there—at work or school, in the park or the grocery store, looking slightly bent over and…sad?

How long did it take the vines of disgrace and shame to overtake them?

Little by little, inch by inch, the process continued until there was nothing left untouched.

Like living statues, they go about each day giving silent testimony to their captor.

But must it be so?

While you and I are inadequate in removing guilt or shame from ourselves or anyone else, God is not.

Whether we feel the shame because of another’s deeds or our own, He is capable of ridding us of the choking vines that entwine our very existance. God’s complete and ultimate forgiveness, acceptance and love tear away the covering and expose a new and radiant life, possible only through Him.

 

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
       he delivered me from all my fears.

  Those who look to him are radiant;
       their faces are never covered with shame.

  This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
       he saved him out of all his troubles.

—Psalm 34:4-6

 

 

 

Locusts

 

 

 

 

Be glad, O people of Zion,
       rejoice in the LORD your God,
       for he has given you
       the autumn rains in righteousness.
       He sends you abundant showers,
       both autumn and spring rains, as before.

  The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
       the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

 I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
       the great locust and the young locust,
       the other locusts and the locust swarm —
       my great army that I sent among you.

  You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
       and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
       who has worked wonders for you;
       never again will my people be shamed.

  Then you will know that I am in Israel,
       that I am the LORD your God,
       and that there is no other;
       never again will my people be shamed.

Joel 2: 23-27

 

 

 

Like A Tree

 

 

 

My husband reminded me of something last night.

As we were talking in the kitchen, he simply made the statement, "God is our strength."

Whatever the day brings, is it any strength of our own that meets it?

Blessed is the man
       who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
       or stand in the way of sinners
       or sit in the seat of mockers.

  But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
       and on his law he meditates day and night.

  He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
       which yields its fruit in season
       and whose leaf does not wither.
       Whatever he does prospers.–Psalm 1:1-3

 

 

Fathers

About a year ago, I went to the theatre and watched a movie.

I rarely do this, so the event is even that much more memorable.

Since that time, I was attending a conference. It was announced that a movie was to be shown.

It was that movie.

This weekend, I attended a bbq/swim/boating party. It was announced that a movie was to be shown.

What movie do you think had been selected?

You guessed it.  That one.

It was an excellent film, so I am not disappointed in any way at the opportunities that I have had to view and re-view it.

Actually, I feel that God must have wanted me to see it more than once. There are surely many lessons to be learned from it.

One such lesson came to me today and I was rethinking a portion of the dialogue.

During the first half of the film, a teenaged boy scores the winning point in a basketball game at which his father is not present. He is away on a business trip.

The next morning, the local newspaper praises the ability of the young athlete.

His father walks in, having arrived late the evening before. The boy lights up with animation as he begins to tell his dad of the teams’ victory and his part in the win. He wants so sincerely to share his excitement with his father.

What happens next is heart-wrenching.

The boy’s father interrupts him, belittling his skill and actions in the game. With a final verbal blow, he insinuates that he is incapable of doing well academically. With an air of unconcern, the man walks out to go back to work.

Taking in this scene from the audience was difficult. I found anger rising up toward this man on the screen.

Couldn’t he see that he was crushing his son’s heart? How could he be so absorbed in his own life that he just dismissed the importance of being an active part of his son’s?

As I thought about these things today, the lesson surfaced.

I’ve tried to attend most of the school events that my children were involved in. I’ve "been there" to encourage.

But, wait—is it possible that I have said things that were hurtful? Made comments that deflated the joy from the precious moment?

Did I ever just "get it wrong" by mishandling a situation while trying to raise my sons?

Probably so.

Am I that different from the man in the film?

How could I change? How could anyone?

Gently, but with concern, perhaps someone should approach us about our actions–

a kind-hearted friend who would take the time to help us to understand that there was a better way.

Is there someone you know that’s trading the most treasured chapters of their lives for temporal gain?

Are they so distracted that their words seem cold and apathetic to those around them?

Could that someone be you?

What about me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He is the Rock

 

 

 

Hear, heavens, and I will speak.
    Listen, earth, to what I say.

  My teaching will drop like rain;
       my words will fall like dew.
    They will be like showers on the grass;
       they will pour down like rain on young plants.
  I will announce the name of the Lord.
       Praise God because he is great!
  He is like a rock; what he does is perfect,
       and he is always fair.
    He is a faithful God who does no wrong,
       who is right and fair.

Deuteronomy 32:1-4

 

 

 

 

Not Only

 

 

I think God wanted me to know.

While looking online for something, I saw a local news title that got my attention.

There had been a motorcycle accident last night near the area where I work. Clicking the mouse to read more, I was shocked.

A friend of our two oldest son’s had been killed.

He was twenty-three.

Thoughts and emotions have not ceased to flood my heart as I have pondered what has occurred.

The young man was a musican. Not only a musician, but a musician who loved God very much.

With a bit of searching, I found that songs that he had composed and performed with his guitar had been available for purchase on a website.

I listened to some of the selections for awhile, recalling his voice and looking at his photos posted there.

He had given an encouraging charge within the paragraphs he had written to those visiting the page:

"Join me, lets go pray for the sick, witness to the homeless. Lets be passionate and pursue charity and holiness with reckless abandon. Lets show the real Jesus to the world."

Philippians 2:4 tells us,

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

In the short hours since I learned of his death, this dear young man has impacted my life with his words of resolve and dedication.

Will I carry the love of Jesus to those who are broken?

Will my life be spent pointing others to Him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much More Valuable

 

 

A couple of days ago, our family had an "unexpected expense" come up.

I suspect that your family has had this happen more than once, as well.

Planning is good, but all things cannot be foreseen or planned for.

Being responsible is a noble trait, but some things fall outside the realm of our responsibility.

Saving for a rainy day is a wise thing to do, but–on occasion–a rainy day may turn into a rainy week.

Should we worry about these occurances?

Car repair.

Root canal.

Broken arm.

Leaking water pipe.

Storm damage.

Ulcer.

Termites….

The list could go on forever and never encompass all the possibilities.

God doesn’t want us to spend our time making those kinds of lists.

I rather think that He might want us to record His acts of provision for us–

Roof repair—God provided for it.

College tuition—God provided for it.

Hospital bill—God provided for it.

Car payments—God provided for it.

Such a list would serve to remind us of His great love and care.

God doesn’t want us to worry……He simply wants us to trust.

 

 

 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:25-26

 

 

Crossed Over

 

 

A storm was coming, ever so slowly.

As the sun was beginning to set, the clouds were coming into view, towering high into the atmosphere, turning colors of orange and peach.

From my front yard, I noticed a particularly peachy looking cloud crossing over in front of a blazingly white one.

Two clouds, one sky, yet they were in different places, and that made all the difference.

Aren’t we like the clouds?

Two people, one house, yet one may be a follower of Jesus and the other not.

Two brothers, one family.

Two workers, one business.

Two patients, one hospital.

The list could go on and on.

The greatest and most important difference between any of us will be whether or not we have accepted Christ as our Savior.

If one of us has crossed over from death to life etenal and the other has not, will there be anything else of significance at the end?

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

John 5:24-27

 

 

In Eager Expectation

 

 

 

The bathroom shower needs cleaning.

The plain squares mixed with an occassional flowered tile are becoming moldy.

It is a never-ending task that I do not look forward to.

In contrast to my immediate thoughts about it, I have seen an advertisement that seems to think it is a pleasurable job.

It pictures a woman holding the cleaning solution that is being marketed.

A statement is made about the shower being in need of cleaning.

Next, it simply says, "Lucky you."

Not intended as sarcasm, it is implying that the reader will be thrilled to have the opportunity to use their product and turn a disgusting shower stall of mold and soap scum into a gleaming, germ-free haven to bathe in.

If this appeals to you, then we have something in common.

Though not eager to scrub tile grout for long periods of time, I do have the desire for a clean bathroom.

There is a measure of joy in restoring something dirty into something that is clean.

A satisfaction arises as we step back and gaze at the object of our efforts.

Why is that?

Is there something psychological about our need to clean, or is it deeper than that?

No one is perfect, yet we want to be. No one is without sin, yet we wish for that kind of existance.

No one is free from the possibility of illness and aging, yet we strive for good health and long life.

The world around us is, in its own way, broken and in need of repair.

We, like the world, long for restoration—a final, perfect and complete restoration.

A transformation that will come only from God.

In the meantime, we clean. We scrub. We change, little by little.

We wait.

There will come a day when all of creation will be made new.

Not by our efforts, but by the power of the One who formed us…

 

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.   Romans 8:18-23

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Desires of Your Heart

 

 

 

We were out taking a leisurely drive in the countryside on a bright and sunny weekend afternoon.

On an unfamiliar stretch of highway, my husband decided to pull off onto the side of the road to check our location on his cell phone’s GPS.

It was an unpopulated area of trees and brush, with Romerillo plants blooming.

To my delight, just a few feet from our car were some butterflies, happily going about their day visiting one bloom and then another.

I took my chance (and my camera) to see them more closely.

Like a detective, I crept up slowly to their spontaneous excursions of flight.

I enjoyed every minute of it.

You see, God knows I like butterflies.

Photographing them was a surprise gift to me–the opportunity arose, seemingly out of nowhere, yet I know it came from Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the Days

 

 

It’s easy to get distracted and forget what God has done for us.

Perhaps it’s even easier to forget what God has done for our parents and, beyond that, our grandparents, as well.

This morning, I was thinking back over the past year at changes that have occurred in the lives of my family.

Could it have been only a year ago that things were a certain way, substantially different than they are now?

How many times of provision could I list from the past 12 months, if I were to possibly remember them?

What great blessings has God granted to me and those that I love?

Calling to mind God’s faithfulness in the past gives us hope for the future.

The recollection of His work from many years ago, even when we were children, helps us to trust in God, even when we cannot  see His plan at the current moment.

Taking the time to reflect on the past can be a springboard into the future.

Think back.

How has God revealed Himself to you and  to your  family?

 Is He not your Father, your Creator,
       who made you and formed you?  

Remember the days of old;
       consider the generations long past.

—Deuteronomy 32:6b,7a

 

 

 

Your Good Deeds

 

 

Apple pie.

There’s one thing that’s for sure—if you’re baking one in the oven, everybody knows it.

You’ve smelled it before.

That distinct aroma of apples and spice, fresh dough becoming toasty brown.

You’ve probably peered into the oven window before to see the little bubbles of gooey apple filling begin to escape through the patchwork of the crust strips that were placed carefully on top.

Of course, no one baking an apple pie would want to keep it a secret.

With just one step into the house, anyone would be greeted with the tantalizing smell of fresh baked apple pie.

There would be no concealing it.

Think of someone you know that’s like apple pie.

Just coming into close proximity to them causes others to notice a difference. A uniqueness.

Instead of cinnamon and spice, they sense kindness and understanding.

In the place of buttery crisp crust, they encounter unconditional love and acceptance.

Instead of the wonderful filling, they find an attitude of gratefulness and devotion to Jesus.

Just like the fresh baked apple pie in the oven, it’s hard to hide who these people really are.

In fact, it’s almost impossible.

But really, who would want to hide?

No one who had the love of Jesus within their heart would want to keep it a secret, would they?

 

 

 

 

 

Bearing Fruit

 

 

I have a dear friend who is struggling with a very difficult illness.

In fact, he is in the hospital right now, with his caring wife by his side.

Many people are praying for his physical recovery.

Spiritually, he is a man close to God.

In the New Testament, Paul prayed for the Christians at Colossae in this way:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. –Colossians 1:9-14

I have never prayed this prayer for my friend; however, I feel that the following is true of his life—

God has given him spiritual wisdom and understanding.

He has desired to live a life worthy of the Lord, wanting to please Him.

I have personally witnessed the bearing of fruit that his work for Christ has produced.

He has had great endurance and patience throughout his affliction.

He praises God for his inheritance of eternal life and the forgiveness of his sins through Christ’s sacrifice.

Throughout  his physical suffering, he is continuing to give thanks to God.

Even now, he is bearing fruit in every good work….

 

 

 

Champions

 

 

 

I wasn’t sure if I had ever heard the song before.

The radio in the car was tuned to a station that I didn’t normally listen to.

It was an "oldies" station, playing hits from 20-40 years ago.

As the lyrics flowed from the female artist’s voice, I began to consider what she was really saying.

It seemed to be an emotional confession of a girl who felt that she no longer had any self control and no will to fight against the lifestyle she had come to exist in. "Night life" had become all consuming to the point that she could not even stop to consider what was happening.

Resigned to her circumstance as a "painted girl" she continued night after night in a helpless situation.

Who is to blame for such a sad existance?

So many people in our culture have been lured into the hopelessness of an indulging, worldly lifestyle.

Not just to have one drink, but six….not just to go out at night, but to go out all night.

Not just to attend a party, but to live for the next one and then the next.

The good news is, no one HAS to live this way. God has something better in mind.

The bad news is, many people do not know about the good news.

The song I heard was an old song, first released in 1983.

The Book of Isaiah had this to say:

Woe to those who rise early in the morning
       to run after their drinks,
       who stay up late at night
       till they are inflamed with wine. (chapter 5:11)

Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
       and champions at mixing drinks,
(Isaiah 5:22)

The Book of Isaiah was written between 701 and 681 B.C..

This constant companion of despair and worthlessness that can seem to overtake us, paving a pathway to our own physical and spiritual destruction, is nothing new.

What can be done?

Helping others to see that God really does offer hope is a first step.

There is a way out of the darkness.

God’s love can set them free from the captivity.

The young lady who was singing the song on the radio?

I read tonight that she had died……

Is there someone you know that needs to hear some good news?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between the Two Men

 

As a child, I would lie awake at night, listening to the distant sounds of trains as they traveled to some far away place.

A train track was only only about four houses away from where I lived. Trains would go by on that track just in the daytime.

The night trains were further away in the city in areas I wasn’t familiar with.

Their whistles accompanied the rumbling sounds made by the engine and the frieght cars.

Distinct and clear at first, the sounds would grow steadily fainter until I could no longer detect their presence.

There’s something about trains that draws out our emotions.

Lonliness?  Loss at saying goodbye?

Unmet dreams?

A desire for adventure?

A hope to one day travel to a better place, a happier home?

I am reminded of the old song, "This Train."

This train is bound for glory, this train.
This train is bound for glory, this train.
This train is bound for glory,
Don’t carry nothing but the righteous and the holy.
This train is bound for glory, this train.

 

A symbolic train, on which we have passage, taking us far, far away—to GLORY—our heavenly home.

When we really do go, we won’t be riding a train… or will we?

What will it be like?

In the Book of II Kings in the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah was about to come to the end of his life here on Earth. He was with another prophet, Elisha. They were walking along, talking. Suddenly, a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire.

It drove between Elijah and Elisha, separating them. Then, Elijah was taken up to Heaven in a whilrlwind.

There were no trains in Elijah’s day, however, chariots were common.

If Elijah’s experience were to happen in this age, would Elisha see a train of fire coming down from Heaven?

What would God choose?

Whirlwind, chariot, horses? Train, bus or airplane?

If God was calling us home, I don’t think it would matter what He chose to announce our journey.

The most important thing would be knowing that we were booked to go–

knowing for sure that  we held the ticket for our journey.

The ticket is our pardon from sin, paid for by Jesus, accepted by God.

Considering that, ask yourself this question:

Am I bound for glory?

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Peace

 

 

You will keep in perfect peace
       him whose mind is steadfast,
       because he trusts in you.

  Trust in the LORD forever,
       for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 26:3-4

 My friend’s backyard is a haven of peace.

Adjoining a lake, the view is calm and serene.

With a silent invitation, it offers moments of rest and reflection.

But what if those who come to sit are worried and distraught?

What if you were to sit beside the gentle waves rippling across the water?

Would God keep you in perfect peace?

Would you cease to worry over troubling matters?

Would your thoughts be at rest instead of constant turmoil?

If your mind was steadfast, trusting in the Lord, the answer is yes.

We must trust every day in the Lord. He is eternal. He will always be there.

He is our Rock.

Is there something you need to trust Him about today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure Gold

 

 

As I was reading the Bible, I came to consider something that I hadn’t before.

Looking at the description of the Temple of the Lord that Solomon built, I began to try to picture its size.

Thinking further about what it would have looked like, I tried to imagine wooden planks overlaid with gold.

So much of the temple furnishings were gold. In fact, King Solomon "covered the inside of the temple with pure gold."

Just think of it—shining, reflective. 

The light from the lampstands would be magnified as it spread over the ceilings, the walls and the floors.

Solomon made sure the temple was magnificently ornate and perfectly fashioned.

Cherubim were made with long wings for the inner sanctuary.

Palm trees and flowers were carved to decorate the temple.

While considering this description, I smiled.

For the first time, I began to think that the temple was in some ways what Heaven is like.

Angels with fantastic wings above—-streets of purest gold.

Trees and flowers.

The golden, intense glow of the majesty of God everywhere, reflecting in living color.

Heaven.

How wonderous and awesome to be in His presense forever!

 

He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there.  The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high.  He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar.  Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold.  So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.

  In the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits—ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip.  The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. The height of each cherub was ten cubits. He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room.  He overlaid the cherubim with gold.

  On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers.  He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.  –I Kings 6:19-29

 

 

 

Don’t Show Favoritism

 

 

 

As I was sitting in church this morning, a thought came to my mind.

Sitting about eight rows back or so, I watched as the people in front of me exited their seats and began walking to the front platform area.

As the pews emptied, a line formed in the middle aisle of those wishing to take communion.

I began to think about rescues. Specifically, boating rescues.

Imagine that someone you loved was shipwrecked at sea. Hanging onto debris and struggling in the choppy water, they glimpse a welcome sight.

A rescue boat is approaching.

It pulls just to the side of the one you love, and a life ring is thrown to them.

They are brought to the side of the ship and pulled on board by welcoming hands.

The heroic story is related to you later as you eagerly listen in great relief, knowing the outcome of the rescue.

The first words out of your mouth are……

"What were they wearing?"

This question begs for the answer, "Who CARES???"

The only real concern should be that the one who was in danger is now safe.

The one who was close to death is alive!

It doesn’t matter what clothes they were wearing at the time!

People from all walks of life were making their way to the front of the church this morning.

Pants, dresses, blouses, T-shirts, ties, coats, sandals.

It didn’t matter to God what they looked like. Their clothing was of little importance.

What mattered was the condition of their hearts as they came forward to remember once again who had saved them—rescued them—from a life apart from God.

If yearly income, social status and choice of clothing is not an issue in being accepted by God, should it be an issue for our acceptance of others?

Wouldn’t we want to be picked up by the rescue boat, no matter what our condition happened to be?

 

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here’s a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?–James 2:1-4

 

 

 

 

 

Even at Night

 

 

 

A soft breeze.

Gentle waves from the lake were bumping under the boardwalk at the water’s edge.

A white crane flew nearby, coming to rest on a painted railing.

An Anhinga bird was grasping the top of wooden post with his large, webbed feet.

There were people quietly fishing.

Children strolled along with their parents.

The park was alive with calm, subdued activity.

A man on a bicycle stopped to talk to us as we were noticing the Anhinga.

He told us several facts about the bird and its habits, as well as some of the other animals that frequented the area.

Later, we moved on, walking down a railroad track that passed a restaurant with outdoor seating.

The entertainment for the evening was an acoustic guitarist with a soothing voice.

The sun was setting with hues of pink and pastel orange.

The colored orb lighting soon replaced its glow.

God was there.

 

Thank You, Lord, for giving us the gift of nature–the birds, the water, the sky and clouds, day and night, dusk and dawn.

Thank You for the peace and calm of this evening.

Thank You for the gentle sounds of life.

 

 

Horses

 

 

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
       he answers him from his holy heaven
       with the saving power of his right hand.

  Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
       but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

  They are brought to their knees and fall,
       but we rise up and stand firm.

Psalm 20:6-8

 

 

 

 

In The Name

 

 

I walked past the bush this morning.

If  they had been there then, I think I wouldv’e noticed.

Three beautiful red roses.

I came home late this afternoon after having attended the funeral of a friend’s mother.

It was a very meaningful service, held at lovely church in a nearby town.

As I came down the walkway, I passed the bush.

After only a step or two, I turned and went back to look again.

Did these bloom just today? Hmmm.

I began to continue my walk to the front door.

Once again, I was compelled to turn around and step back.

I gazed at the flowers for a long moment.

Three roses—blooming on the day this dear woman’s family and friends had gathered to share a final tribute.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit came to my mind. Somehow, the three roses spoke to my heart in an instant.

Closely following, I thought of our lives as redeemed children of God.

We live out our years on Earth; when we die, we are ushered into the presence of our Father in Heaven.

At the resurrection, we will have new, eternal bodies, fashioned by Him.

Three roses.

Three forms of life.

In probably less than sixty seconds, a significant lesson had been placed before me.

A reminder of who God is and the assurance of our existance with Him, now and in the time to come.

Do you know someone who needs to have this assurance?

 

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…  —Matthew 28:19

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Can You…..?

 

 

Can you catch Leviathan on a fishhook
       or tie its tongue down with a rope?
        Can you put a cord through its nose
       or a hook in its jaw?
        Will it keep begging you for mercy
       and speak to you with gentle words?
        Will it make an agreement with you
       and let you take it as your slave for life?
        Can you make a pet of Leviathan as you would a bird
       or put it on a leash for your girls?
        Will traders try to bargain with you for it?
       Will they divide it up among the merchants?
        Can you stick darts all over its skin
       or fill its head with fishing spears?
        If you put one hand on it,
       you will never forget the battle,
       and you will never do it again!
        There is no hope of defeating it;
       just seeing it overwhelms people.
  No one is brave enough to make it angry,
       so who would be able to stand up against me?

  No one has ever given me anything that I must pay back,
 because everything under the sky belongs to me.

—Job 41:1-11