Swallowed Up in Victory

 

 

 

Do you ever wonder why pastel blues and pinks are the colors associated with newborn babies?

Just browse in the newborn section of any department store or children’s shop and you will find the traditional light blue clothing and bedding for boys and the soft pink items for girls.

Although I don’t know the origin of that tradition, the colors have taken on new meaning for me.

Pink and blue are often the paired colors of the sunrise. The shifting hues herald the beginning of a new day created by God and given to us as a gift. How fitting to consider those colors for a newborn baby—the beginning of a new life created by God and given to us a a gift.

But wait–pink and blue are often the paired colors of the sunset, as well. The day is closing and the darkness of night is settling in. The end of the day is upon us.That doesn’t fit at all, does it?

At first thought, perhaps not, but there’s more to consider.

When we are born into this world, it IS a new beginning. We are created by God and given as a gift to those awaiting us. When we are at the end of our lives here on Earth, it is also a new beginning. For those who know Christ as their Savior, it is the beginning of a new day–a new life, created by God and given to us a gift—an eternal gift that knows no end.

At the rising of the sun and at its setting, the colors of pink and of blue are fitting reminders of new life, both in this world and the next.

 

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” –I Corinthians 15:50-54

 

 

Wonders of Him

 

 

 

It was a cold morning.

I had arrived early for work and only a few others had braved the chill to make it there before me.

As I walked alongside the building I noticed the clouds. They were magnificent!

Like little tufts of white cotton, set in an array of mathematical order, they hung suspended above me.

The crescent moon adorned the cottony canvas with a brilliance soon to be muted by the rising sun.

Placing my things inside, I quickly returned to the captivating view of the sky with camera in hand.

How wonderful to begin the day by witnessing a display of God’s creation, declaring His existance, His power and His love!

 

 

 

 

The Goodness

 

 

What does it mean to "take heart?"

To be courageous?

To be brave?

Simply not to give up?

When we are discouraged, crying, lost and confused, there is still hope.

God is there.

It’s not over.

Remember—He is faithful and good.

I remain confident of this:
   I will see the goodness of the LORD
   in the land of the living.
 Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD.

—Psalm 27:13-14

 

 

 

 

The Waves of the Sea

 

 

 

I love the sea.

The endless symphony of waves crashing and receding.

Birds gliding on invisible highways in the salty air, sand between my toes.

Tiny crabs rushing to and fro in a frantic hurry.

Rain clouds in the distance dancing above the waters.

One might suppose that I grew up around such wonders.

I did not.

Instead, from infancy to young adulthood I lived in an area surrounded by……………cotton fields.

Rows of brown plants adorned in white.

Flat land.

No creeks.

No ponds.

An occasional lake.

Although there was a certain beauty to the farmland area I knew, I must confess that the ocean captivates my interest far more.

At times, my mind is drawn to it’s vastness and then, to the power of God in creating it and sustaining it.

When I am on shore, peering out into the glistening glass of the water’s surface, something inside me connects with wonder and amazement at what God has made.

 

 

 

 

 

I Will Be Glad

 

 

 

I have a kind friend who has often sought to brighten my day when I least expect it.

A card may come, an encouraging email or even a small gift.

One such gift was a square, ceramic plate with an open shape of a heart in the center.

Suspended in the empty space is a white heart.

I keep it on a shelf in my office at work.

It is a reminder of love and care.

Someone thought of me enough to send it.

You could say that I am glad and rejoice in the fact that I have caring and supportive friends.

More importantly, I have those friends because God has blessed my life with them.

It is God that creates love in our hearts, enabling us to share it.

He loves us with the greatest of love.

We should rejoice!!!

 

 

 

 

Sweep the House

 

 

 

Today was a good day. A very good day, in fact.

Someone I know decided to make Jesus their Lord and Savior.

Today marks a beginning for them.

A change.

A new life now.

A forever life in etenity.

There is rejoicing in Heaven because of it.

If you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior, just picture it—-the rejoicing in Heaven that occurred when you made that decision!

It was a good day, wasn’t it?

A very good day.

 

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” —Luke 15:8-10

 

 

 

Light is Shed

 

Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
   for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
   and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
 Light is shed upon the righteous
   and joy on the upright in heart.
 Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous,
   and praise his holy name.

–Psalm 97:10-12

Do you have some blessings to be thankful for?

How has God guarded your life?

How has He delivered you?

How has He shed His light on you?

How has He given you joy?

We should rejoice in Him and praise His holy Name!

 

 

fgrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvvgffffffff

Don’t Be Deceived

 

 

Our cat is eleven years old.

He often speaks to us with his own, very expressive, feline language.

Black as night, he sits in the kitchen window for most of the day. He enjoys having his fur brushed, especially under his collar.

There’s one other thing he really likes—-eating.

Oh, but not just anything. He truly is very finicky.

While perfectly wonderful food items may be set before him, he may choose to eat them.

Or, he may not.

I have discovered one delicacy that he cannot resist, however.

One must never refuse tuna.

If I even so much as get the hand held can opener out of the drawer, he is usually interested to the point of immediate conversation.

Such a time as this happened the other day.

As I was preparing our family lunch, I decided to open a can of spinach from the pantry.

Taking the opener in my hand, I began the task of removing the metal lid.

This did not go unnoticed by our cat.

There he was, expecting tuna to be placed in his dish any moment, as he waited expectantly, looking at the can of….spinach.

He thought he knew what was inside the can, but he didn’t.

He thought he knew what was best for him, but he didn’t.

He was making a decision based upon all he knew, which wasn’t enough.

I am fairly certain that I have responded in much the same way as my cat when faced with some expectations of my own.

I have thought that I knew exactly what I was choosing, but I didn’t.

I have thought that I knew what was best for me, but I didn’t.

I have made decisions based on all that I knew, but it wasn’t enough.

I have still been stuck with spinach, when I thought I was getting tuna.

Could I have somehow made a better choice?

All decisions in life need to be approved by our Heavenly Father.

"This school looks good to me. Lord, should I go there?"

"This job has a higher paying salary. Is this the one I should persue?"

If we just go with what we ourselves feel, many temptations can get in the way.

"If I go to school there, surely I will be more popular. If I don’t go there, I may even lose the friends I have."

"Taking this job is the only way I can provide for the family. I can’t consider anything else."

The next time we hear the can opener, let’s ask God what’s really in the can.

 

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.   Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.–James 1:13-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retainer

 

My husband and I have had three of four sons in braces.

Crooked teeth apparently run in the family….

At the end of our third son’s orthodontic treatment, we were prepared for what was next—the retainer.

When the braces are finally removed, the teeth are straightened to fit perfectly in the mouth.

The "bite" is corrected and their function is maximized for chewing and the overall health of the gums and jaw.

The retainer is a clear, plastic covering made to fit the new arrangement of teeth perfectly AND snugly.

I was prepared to purchase the retainer at the proper time.

I wasn’t prepared for the next bit of information.

Casually, I simply inquired as to how long our son would need to wear the retainer now that the braces had been removed.

Three months?  Six months? A year?

No.

"FIVE YEARS" came the reply.

What?? Five years?  Was that really necessary?

Of course, it actually was. And not only that, but two teeth of more serious concern than the others were going to have tiny anchors cemented to the back of them so that a miniature chain could lock them together, preventing any movement.

And why was any of this necessary in the first place?

Because the teeth that were now in good working order, lined up correctly and functioning properly for the first time would want to return to their original, unhealthy positions. Without the braces, they would "go back home" and return to their old ways.

The retainer provides the strength necessary to keep that from happening—

For five years.

I shouldn’t be surprised, really.

Aren’t we like that?

We’re a mess. Sin has made us crooked and out of line. We don’t function the way we were meant to.

By God’s grace, we come to believe in Jesus and His gift of eternal life.

The Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and we want to live in such a way as to please God.

Still, we are faced with the temptations of the world. We might have the tendency to fall back into our old patterns and ways of thinking—yet, God does not leave us alone. We have Him with us to give us strength and hold us in place. We are no longer slaves to sin.

Not only that, but God has no limits on how long He will continue to surround us—there are no five year stipulations.

If your life seems hopelessly out of line, won’t you consider asking God for help?

He’s there waiting.

Right now.

 

 

 

 

The Apple

 

 

A couple of nights ago, I was photographing some pictures that belonged to a friend.

As I was doing so, I was faced with a certain challenge repeatedly. If any of the pictures were processed as a glossy print, light reflected from them. Viewing them was not a problem. Photographing them was.

Trying to get a clear and unobstructed result was close to impossible. The reflection was so great, I kept finding that an image of myself holding the camera kept appearing on the photos.

This is fairly common. Once I saw my own reflection in a drop of water as I was photographing it. Similarly, I have read that the reflection of someone you are standing in front of can be seen in the pupil area of your eyes. Thus the phrase, "apple of your eye" may have come from this occurance to mean one who is held dear and precious to you.

Who is the apple of your eye?

Do you hope to be the apple in another’s eye?

In Psalm 17, King David prays,

"Keep me as the apple of your eye;
   hide me in the shadow of your wings…" (verse 8)

God, with His infinite love, does keep us as the apple of His eye. Precious are we, and most cherished.

Hiding us in the shadow of His wings, we are never far from Him.

He speaks to us.

He guides us.

He gives us life.

 

 

 

 

Free

 

 

 

I’m not quite sure where the first pairing of butterflies and the idea of freedom came to be. Somehow, though, it seems that I have heard about butterflies being free for most of my life.

Several years ago, I attended a memorial service at the church I was attending. At the conclusion of the indoor ceremony, those who were present were invited to step outside on the lawn. While there, we watched as scores of butterflies were released from containers to go flying off into the sky. This was to symbolize, I believe, the freedom their loved one had entered into by being in the presence of God.

The very mention of freedom brings to mind the very opposite–all that is not free.

We imagine traps and cages. We think of bondage and loss of personal choice.

So how can we be truly free?

 

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

  They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. ~John 8:31-36

 

 

 

Pure Joy

 

 

 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.  James 1:2-8

 

 

 

Clay

 

 

 

There is an unfinished clay pot in my office at work. It had been left behind by someone who had previously been employed there.

White, chalky and rough, I have it displayed for all to see. Although I do not know who fashioned it to be so, it has a unique form.

Isaiah 64:8 says,

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Adelaide A. Pollard wrote these very fitting lyrics in 1907:

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! 
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Search me and try me, Savior today!
Wash me just now, Lord, wash me just now,
as in thy presence humbly I bow.

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway.
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!
 

We are all chalky and rough; unfinished as God continues to work in us.

Even so, we are not to be hidden.

On display in the world, we are a living testimony of God’s grace and forgiveness.

 

 

From Death to Life

 

 

 

This morning, before the first rays of sunlight danced across the sky, a very good friend of mine died.

Having been ill for quite some time, he knew that he would soon be in the presence of Jesus.

My dear friend lived a life of service to God, ministering to others in an unselfish and giving manner.

He once constructed a model.

The tiny wooden replica forms a small manger with a cross at one edge.

The design was to remind us of Jesus’ birth and death.

Because of His sacrifice, those who believe in Him may cross over—from death to life.

They will not be judged and condemned by their sin, but will be forgiven completely.

My friend believed.

He believed God had sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in order to pay the penalty for the sins of the world.

He believed that in accepting this gift of salvation, he would one day be in Heaven.

That day was today.

If you are not certain where you will go when your life on Earth is over, please don’t delay.

Ask God to forgive you.

Believe.

It’s not too late.

God is still waiting……for you.

 

 

 

 

Your Conversation

 

 

Conversations.

Do we remember them?

Sometimes, but sometimes—not.

It’s easy to forget what’s been said but not as easy to forget what’s been heard.

Think back—what conversations have you had in the last three days?

Not just a casual interaction of a few seconds beginning with "Nice weather, isn’t it?"

Real conversations where you and someone else shared your thoughts and feelings.

In the past three days, I have had a conversation with:

my husband,

a good friend,

and two girls who are dating two of my sons.

Each conversation was very important.

With sharing, our lives become more closely entwined as we gain greater knowledge of another person’s feelings.

I am so very grateful to God for allowing me the opportunity to listen and to speak.

It is not always easy to really have a time of talking and understanding, but in the end, it is usually rewarding.

Who have you really talked to recently?

 

 

 

Boast

 

 

It’s happened to me more than once.

The doorbell rings, and standing on my porch is a smiling and cordial individual who is currently employed by a local florist.

They have come to deliver flowers….

When flowers and plants are delivered, it really does touch the heart of the receiver, doesn’t it? After all, the elegant arrangement was selected just for them in order to communicate love and care.

No matter the occasion, whether a celebration or a sincere thought of sympathy at the passing of one held dear, the bouquet speaks of love and connection.

Grateful for the colorful blooms, most anyone would begin to thank the deliveryman as the flowers were placed in their hands.

It would only be a polite "thank you" however, in light of the BIG "thank you" reserved for the sender.

If they actually did begin to tell the cheery person at the door how thoughtful and kind it was for them to have given flowers, they would, of course, clarify the situation.

"Oh, no, ma’am—-don’t thank me!  There’s a name on the card—-I’m just the deliveryman!"

Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, says this:

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. –Galatians 6:14

As God’s messengers of love to the world, we are only the bearers of the sweet smelling bouquet. We stand at the door and knock. When someone answers the tapping, we hand them the array of beautiful flowers—words of mercy and forgiveness, acts of kindness and care, the hope and promise of a life eternal.

As messengers and deliverymen only, can we boast? 

No.

The Name is on the card——-

JESUS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I See Your Love

 

 

 

How many ways do we see God’s love each day?

An answered prayer.

The smile of a child.

Food to eat.

Shelter.

A hand to hold.

In what ways do we live by His truth?

It is truth that God loves us.

It is truth that we are offered His forgiveness.

It is truth that we have a home waiting for us in Heaven.

Shouldn’t we live by those truths and more?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Every Situation

 

 

 

 

Do you ever worry about what you might become?

"What if I get……

fat    *   ugly   *   bald   *   old  *   wrinkled   *    double-chinned?

involved in politics  *    married   *   divorced    *   fired?

sick    *   hurt?

What if I get……

a bad attitude   *  cranky   *   unfriendly   *   dull  *  depressed?

apathetic  *   tired   *   unloving   *     prideful?"

 

If we worry about what is going to happen in a certain area of concern for us, are we afraid that God will not handle it in the best way, or not take care of it at all?

Even if it is our own emotions, God is able to heal.

Even if it is a concern about our own aging bodies, God has promised to have a new one for us someday.

I am not the same as I was just five years ago. With God, I am moving forward to a place that is not yet seen.

As His child, I will arrive at my various destinations with Him, not apart from Him.

Whatever happens, He will be with me.

He will take care of me.

Do you believe that He will take care of you, too?

 

 

Fall on the Earth

 

 

It was time to cover the plants outside this evening.

Tomorrow morning is forecast to be very cold.

Although I live in an area that is void of snow, I remember it from living in more northern areas earlier in my life.

I miss it….

There has been a tremendous amount of snow recently, close enough that I could drive to it in a day.

With the snow comes a reminder of God’s tremendous power—-

 

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
   he does great things beyond our understanding.
 He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
   and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
 So that everyone he has made may know his work,
   he stops all people from their labor.
 The animals take cover;
   they remain in their dens.
 The tempest comes out from its chamber,
   the cold from the driving winds.
 The breath of God produces ice,
   and the broad waters become frozen.

–Job 37:5-10

 

 

I Have Loved You

 

 

 

 

About a month ago, on my birthday, a friend purchased a cake for me and I was greeted with a small celebration at work.

What was a very nice and very desirable cake on a bakery shelf now took on a whole new meaning..

Chocolate cakes are good, but this one—this one was bought for me.

Knowing love from my coworkers had prompted the celebration birthed joy in my heart.

At church yesterday, I heard someone say that "I love you" changes everything.

I agree.

What is cold can become warm.

What is sad can become glad.

Like looking at a scenic view through a tinted glass, perspective takes on a different countenance.

God loves us in an incredible way.

The prophet Jeremiah tells us what God had said concerning the future of the children of Israel:

The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:

      “ Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
      Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." –Jeremiah 31:3

God loves us with an everlasting love, as well.

He draws us with lovingkindness.

When we hear God say, "I love you," doesn’t it change……everything?

 

 


 

 

 

A Fragrant Offering

 

 

 

Let’s just suppose…..

Suppose you were given a spoon.

There is food to eat and several people are hungry.

There is a problem—there are no other utensils of any kind available—only your spoon.

Surely, you would use your spoon to feed yourself.

After all, it had been given to you.

The question is, would you also use your spoon to feed others, as well, or would you just keep it to yourself?

If your answer was to share your spoon and feed others with what you had been given, then there are other questions to be answered.

What gifts and talents do you have?

What abilities has God given to you?

Do you keep them to yourself, using them just for your own benefit or do you use them to minister to others, also?

If you find that you rarely take the "spoons" you have been given and use them to nourish another’s life, is it because of insecurity and lack of confidence?

Certainly, it must be pleasing to God when one of His children utilizes a gift that He has given them in order to care for others.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter 4, verses 17-19, we hear of gifts being offered:

  Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.  I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.  And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Let’s just suppose.

Suppose you were given a spoon…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Boundary for the Sea

 

 

I can speak almost instantly to anyone around the world through the internet and by telephone.

My vision is corrected because of a tiny, circular disc that is composed of 38% water.

I can cook an entire meal in a shiny, white box that uses microwaves to create heat and never once see fire.

Stepping onto an airplane, I can be 1,000 miles away in a couple of hours or so.

I get used to things—even things that I don’t understand.

Growing accustomed to all that I know has dulled my appreciation for certain aspects of living.

Technology is not alone in my ever-growing familiarity.

Do I grow accustomed to the miraculous deeds of God?

I can speak…..what a miracle!

I can see…..what a miracle!

My body lives and grows and ingests food that is provided for me…..what a miracle!

I can walk….what a miracle!

God has given me so much–the very earth I live in; the water, the trees, the air I breathe.

He is awesome and powerful, great and mighty.

In everything, I need to remember that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Knew the Gift of God

 

 

 

In the familiar account of Jesus speaking to the woman at the well at Sychar, He asks her,

"Will you give me a drink?"

The woman is surprised that He would speak to her, since she was a Samaritan.  In that time, Jews did not want to associate with Samaritans.

In response to her words—

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  –John 4:10

Jesus, the Messiah, was sitting right in front of her, yet she did not understand who He was or the gift of eternal life she could receive from Him.

If she only knew about the gift!

If she only knew who was talking to her!

If only……

Is it any different today?

Church buildings stand in most countries around the world, yet those living the closest to them may not know who they represent.

People who know Jesus as their Savior live and work near others who have no understanding of what that means. They live day to day so close to those who know, yet they do not.

IF they knew—if they REALLY understood—would they invite Him into their hearts and receive the living water He gives?

What would happen if I chose to look for more opportunities to share with others who Jesus is and what He has done for me?

My neighbors?

The people I work with?

Don’t they need to hear about this "Living Water?"

 


 

 

They Left Their Nets

 

 

 

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.

  Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,  and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

—Matthew 4:18-22

If Jesus wants me to follow Him, how will I know?

Will He tell me plainly?

Will it be a huge command?  

Will it be a small step? 

Will I recognize that I am following Him?

Will I be willing to lay down my familiar net?

 

 

 

 

Those Who Fall

 

 

 

Several people I know are really hurting this evening after hearing some difficult news about a mutual friend.

In dealing with a vast array of emotions, tears have been flowing from the compassionate eyes of those who are hurting.

Why must struggles come?

How can we make it through such heartwrenching times?

Psalm 145:14 says,

"The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all those who are bowed down."

Our mutual friend in such great need? God has not left him, nor will He.

Those of us who are hurting because of his struggle? God will not leave us, either.

He upholds.

He lifts.

He loves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith

 

 

 

 

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  For we live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.—II Corinthians 5:6-10

 

 

In the Emptiest of Places

 

 

 

 

I’m reading a difficult book.

It is a fictional work about the life of a very broken person.

Realistic in so many ways, the chapters create a sympathetic feeling in me as I read the words on the pages.

Think back to the last book you read—isn’t it always the same?

Don’t you want everything to be all right in the end?

Who spends time reading a book hoping the brokenhearted stay that way at the close of the story?

With quite a ways to go before I finish, I have the encouragement of the positive sounding comments on the book jacket to assure me that things will probably be okay…

But what about you and me?

Most of us could be considered "very broken" at some point in our past.

Actually, it may describe your condition at this very moment.

If so, don’t you want everything to be all right?

These words, taken from The Message, speak of hope for a repentant people—hope of renewal from God out of what was once broken:

Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
   your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
   I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
   firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
   a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
   rebuild the foundations from out of your past.

—from Isaiah 58

 

God wants to restore and renew.

Whatever is broken today, in your heart or mine, we should take it to Him.

Let Him finish our story….with healing.

 

 

There is a Time

 

 

 

Have you ever heard anyone say that they wanted a fresh word from God?

A word spoken in due season?

You might have wondered what they were referring to.

A "fresh word" could mean a new insight into something previously known, or even a completely new understanding.

The fresh word from God would come at just the perfect time selected by Him–in due season.

God knows our thoughts and attitutdes. He percieves all that makes us who we are.

He is faithful to instruct us, teach us, comfort us, guide us and protect us—all at just the right time.

When we hear Him, it is always a certain time—

Time to listen.