With Which the Water Teems

 

 

 

 

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures,

and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing

with which the water teems and that moves about in it,

according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number

and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

—Genesis 1:20-23

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
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Without Faith

 

 

 

 

I have friends who don’t believe that God exists.

I have friends that believe they couldn’t exist for a second without God.

If we believe that He exists, it does not alter His existence.

If we do not believe that He exists, it still does not alter His existence.

The effects of our faith or our lack of it, rest on us.

Having faith in God and His forgiveness through Jesus brings us to a special place of relationship with Him.

Having no faith leaves us outside the realm of fellowship with our Creator.

Where are you today?

Do you believe, or do you not?

If you do believe, you should earnestly seek Him as you grow closer to Him.

If you do not believe, I encourage you to examine why you have come to feel that way.

You might also say a prayer that begins, "God, if you’re there….." and see what happens in the unfolding days and weeks.

The writer of Hebrews had this to say:

 

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

—Hebrews 11:6

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

Planted Along the Road

 

 

Where do I fit in with the story of the sower and the seed?

Where do you fit in?

 

 

 

When a large crowd had gathered and people had come to Jesus from every city, he used this story as an illustration:  “A farmer went to plant his seeds. Some seeds were planted along the road, were trampled, and were devoured by birds.  Others were planted on rocky soil. When the plants came up, they withered because they had no moisture.  Others were planted among thornbushes. The thornbushes grew up with them and choked them.  Others were planted on good ground. When they came up, they produced a hundred times as much as was planted.”

After he had said this, he called out, “Let the person who has ears listen!”

–Luke 8:4-8

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
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Entrust Your Ways

 

 

 

 

What does trust mean to you?

The dictionary gives this definition:

Assurred reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.1

 

We can rely on God’s character.

We can rely on God’s ability.

We can rely on God’s strength.

We can rely on God’s truth.

We can TRUST in the LORD….

Always.

 

 

Trust the Lord, and do good things.
    Live in the land, and practice being faithful.
 Be happy with the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 Entrust your ways to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will act on your behalf.

—Psalm 37:3-5

 

1Merriam-Webster.com

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

The Emptiness of the Universe

 

 

 

The emptiness of the universe.

I can’t imagine.

When I look into the sky, my limited eyes see the glowing dots of white, forming patterns here and there.

If I look at a photograph from a telescope, I see much more.

Countless stars on a blanket of darkness or the swirling colors of a nebula.

But what if they all ceased to exist?

All of creation gone?

As difficult to fathom as existence is, non-existence cannot be comprehended.

An empty universe?

Without the fullness of Christ, would it not be that way?

Without Christ, would we not be empty, as well?

 

 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

—Colossians 2:8-10  The Message

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting One Foot

 

 

 I’m not trying to get my way
    in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
    your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
    I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
    I’m not giving up.

Psalm 17:4-5 The Message

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
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Love

 

 

 

 

What is love?

 

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

–1 Corinthians 13:1-7

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
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With You

 

 

 

Whenever there is an emergency, it is the expected thing to do.

If there’s a fire, an accident or some other serious situation, it’s the normal thing to do.

And, what might that be?

To contact the fire department.

Just as soon as we realize that a problem is too big for us to handle, we call them.

Immediately.

We want them there, RIGHT THEN, or at least, as quickly as they can arrive.

But do any of us call the fire department when there’s not an emergency?

Do we expect them to just stay parked in our neighborhoods or in front of our houses or apartments just to enjoy our company?

Watch our kids play?

Eat dinner with us?

Sometimes, we think of God like we do the fire department.

When a problem is too big for us to handle, we call on Him.

That’s actually a good thing.

He truly is the One we should be asking help from.

But, we can forget that God is not really like the fire department.

He’s not just there when we call on Him in times of need.

He’s there all the time.

He’s right there at the house.

With you at the apartment.

He’s watching your kids play in the yard.

You can be sure that He’s there all the time.

And He wants you to enjoy His company.

He enjoys being with you.

When things are going great, He wants you to share that with Him.

Don’t forget to remember Him at dinner.

He is the One that provides the food.

God said these words to Joshua as He spoke to him about leading the people of Israel:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

—Joshua 1:9

 

God is with us, too, in our everyday lives.

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

Each Other’s Burdens

 

There’s a tree in my neighborhood.

Actually, is it one tree, or two?

It’s a little hard to tell, because the branches intertwine as though they are supporting each other.

With people, it’s hard to tell, also.

As one friend supports another, the lines are blurred as to who is helping who.

Think of it—-the hospital room is lonely and quiet with a recuperating patient as it’s only occupant.

A dear friend comes to visit and stay the afternoon.

The ailing friend draws strength from the love and care of the visitor.

The visitor goes away feeling renewed from having spent time with a friend who continues to recognize their blessings even during times of ill health.

So, who was actually being helped?

Who benefitted from the time spent together?

Both.

Galatians 6:2 says,

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

We can help each other during times of difficulty in many ways.

Is there someone you know that needs help with a burden?

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

Into a Good Land

 

 

 

 

The palm trees on the hillside looked like green lollipops stuck into the ground.

So much grows here.

Most of the year is like a long mix between springtime and summer.

Winter seems to be only a short lived few weeks.

Many people move into this area, just because of the climate and natural resources.

The children of Israel received this directive as they were about to move into a new land:

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.  For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills;  a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

—Deuteronomy 8:6-9

 

God brought them into a good land.

They were to observe His commands, obey Him and reverence Him.

Wherever we may live, God has certainly blessed us.

When we leave this earth, we will be with Him forever.

Out of gratitude for what He has given us, shouldn’t we want to observe His commands, obey Him and reverence Him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Way

 

 

 

 

My car was parked in a space in a downtown city street. 

The sun’s last rays were fading.

As I looked up at the traffic lights, I noticed that a steeple with a cross was visible in the midst of it all.

It was time to get my camera out…

It was not until I had looked at the photograph this evening that I realized the significance of a hanging sign.

Very simply stated on the metal plate was, "ONE WAY" with an arrow pointing left.

From the vantage point of my camera’s eye, it is not difficult to draw the conclusion that "ONE WAY" and the cross on the steeple can refer to Jesus.

Listen to these words:

 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

— John 14:6

Jesus is not just one way among many.

He is the ONLY way.

The ONE way.

The traffic lights and sign hung to show travelers which way they could go.

Jesus hung on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, creating a passage for us to eternal life in Heaven.

Do you know Him today?

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

Of Summer and Winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I live in a subtropical climate, the seasons seem to change more gradually.

The colors of autumn are gently creeping into the trees and bushes here now.

They are right on schedule, just as God planned.

Winter, spring, summer and fall are set in motion by Him.

The changes of the seasons remind us that God is in control.

 

You laid out the four corners of earth,
    shaped the seasons of summer and winter.

–Psalm 74:17 The Message

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

A Mighty Downpour

 

 

 

 

It was just supposed to be a fairly quick trip to a couple of stores before they closed for the evening.

Even though time was short, with only an hour or so to make it there, I had to stop and get out of the car.

Having glanced over to my right, I noticed that a rain cloud had burst into a downpour over a nearby lake.

Grabbing my camera, I walked swiftly up to the boardwalk and began snapping…..

Such a mighty thing to have a cloud suddenly drop the rain to the earth!

In the Old Testament book of Job, a downpour is mentioned:

 

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.’

–Chapter 37, verses 5 and 6

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
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Stick Together

 

 

Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

–Proverbs 17:17 The Message

 

 

If you could be rich, what would you want to be rich with?

Money?

Property?

Friends?

A caring family?

We can earn money—even a lot—but it can be gone in an instant with whatever unforeseen economic downturn comes along.

Property values can fluctuate and change the choicest piece of land into an undesireable investment.

We can make friends—-

What an interesting phrase that is.

"Friends" being something that WE make ourselves—by our own actions, words and attitudes of the heart that fly like tiny seeds into the lives of others.

And when we become rich with true friends, it is difficult to separate the relationships.

And what about a caring family?

How much is that worth?

The family that cares for us when we are sick, cheers for us when we do well, and continues to be there for us even when we fail.

Being rich with family and friends is a true blessing from God.

If you could be rich, what would you want to be rich with?

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

Rather Be Healed

 

 

 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,  and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

Hebrews 12:12-13

 

 Last night as I was reading this passage, I suddenly felt that there was a deeper meaning in the second half that I needed to reflect on.

I should make a straight path for my feet.

Does this mean I need to make quality choices for my everyday life and the years ahead?

Am I to avoid cluttering my immediate future with things that will only trip me up–time wasters, empty endeavors, or activities that keep me drained of energy best used somewhere else?

Why?

So that what is lame may not be dislocated.

When I think of someone who has a lame leg, I picture them limping or with a crutch.

When I think of someone who has a dislocated joint, say, like a hip, I don’t picture them walking at all.

Are there areas of my life that are in a lame condition?

There are certainly aspects of my life where I could be thought of as "limping."

If the pathway in front of me is cluttered, I may stumble and become more severely injured.

I would rather be healed.

If the pathway before me becomes straight, I may walk on it without stumbling, allowing my lameness to gradually heal over time.

I’ve certainly made some choices of poor quality in the past.

I’ve cluttered the path and suffered the consequences.

It’s time to look ahead and prepare the path the way that God wants me to.

Isn’t that the best way—-for everybody?

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

My Spoken Words

 

 

 

May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

—Psalm 19:14

 

 

 The words that I speak come from the thoughts that I think.

If I fill my mind with good things—things that are pleasing to God—what is likely to become my words?

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Control

 

 

 

Driving up to the National Forest, I would’ve liked to have gone inside.

Surely there would have been wildlife to photograph, and that would have been a joy for me.

I was met with a sign that explained that I couldn’t go in.

Moments before, I had taken a picture of a sign posted just down the road.

"Restricted Area Boundary."

This was not a place that I could visit.

Photographs from the outer edges of the forest would have to do.

Both the signs I saw were very firm and to the point.

They weren’t belittling; they simply stated entrance laws.

I could learn from that.

Couldn’t you?

The Bible tells us that self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

The world would like to gain entrance into our lives in so many ways.

Ways that could eventually damage us.

Understanding our worth as a child of God, we need to post "signs" that remind us and others what types of things we intend to allow entrance into our hearts and minds.

Things that please God should have access.

Things that do not please God should not.

If we could actually see the signs we have posted, what would they say?

"No Restriction–Enter At Will"
or "Protected Zone"?

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

–Galatians 5:22

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

Bad Company

 

 

 

Pigs.

They like to get dirty.

Or, at least, it seems that way.

I think most people can picture a pig in their minds—standing there, covered in crusted and caked mud.

Yesterday, I heard someone say, "If you wrestle with a pig, you will get dirty, but the pig won’t mind."

After all, if he’s muddy, why should he care if you get that way, too?

To me, this applies to several situations—all of which end badly.

How about dishonesty?

If you choose to hang around people who lie all the time, you will likely start to become dishonest yourself.

And will they care if you do?

Probably not.

What about substance abuse?

If you choose to hang around people who drink excessively or are addicted to mind altering drugs, you will likely be drawn into that lifestyle.

And will they care if you are?

I wonder….

If you choose to hang around people who have no faith in God, will you begin to doubt the truth?

God loves everyone.

He loves people who are dishonest—-He desires that they repent and seek forgiveness and find a new life in Him.

He loves people who abuse their bodies with harmful drugs—-He desires that they repent and seek forgiveness and enjoy a new life in Him.

He loves people who have no faith in Him—He desires that they believe, repent, seek forgiveness and accept a new life in Him.

As believers, we are to love who God loves.

We are to care for who He cares for.

We are to bring the message of new life to them.

We are not to embrace their lifestyles by forgetting that we belong to Christ and gradually allowing ourselves to be drawn away from what pleases Him.

 

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” —1 Corinthians 15:33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

In a Glorious Way

 

 

 

 A few years ago, we bought one of our sons a very nice, vintage blender.

He loved to make milkshakes…..

When our son moved away, he took his blender with him, leaving us blenderless.

I purchased a different blender, but it wasn’t as nice as his.

Yesterday, my husband and I were out walking to garage sales.

While standing in a random driveway, we saw a blender that was almost like the one we had gotten for our son.

Heavy.

Sturdy.

Good quality.

The asking price?

Only three dollars.

We really didn’t need it, but we decided that we would get it and store it away, just in case the other one broke.

A few garage sales later, my husband overheard a woman saying that she was looking for a blender.

He told me about it, and I suggested that perhaps we should sell her the one we just purchased.

We located the woman and she was so happy!

She told us she had prayed that she would find a blender!

I actually think that God had us buy the blender for HER.

It is such a wonderful thing to witness God working in our lives and the lives of others—even when it is something like providing a blender for the kitchen.

Philippians 4:19 says,

My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

But Then He Calls

 

 

 

How quickly can God answer your prayer?

I am fascinated by weather.

Watching meteorological events is of great interest to me.

Reading the predictions of the various computer models, looking at photos of storm systems—it’s all quite captivating.

There’s just one thing, though.

Humans just cannot control the weather.

We study it, predict it and hope our findings will be of good use.

But control it?

Not a chance.

God is the only One who can control the weather.

The writer of Psalm 147 had this to say:

 He sends his orders to the world. How swiftly his word flies.  He sends the snow in all its lovely whiteness, scatters the frost upon the ground,  and hurls the hail upon the earth. Who can stand before his freezing cold?  But then he calls for warmer weather, and the spring winds blow and all the river ice is broken.

—Psalm 147:15-18

 

How swiftly God’s word flies…….to command the weather and to answer our prayers in His timing.

He who sends the snow and rain hears us when we pray.

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

Dwell on the Heights

 

 

 

What kind of people should we be?

What actions please God?

What things should we flee from?

What type of words should come from our mouths?

 

Those who walk righteously
    and speak what is right,
who reject gain from extortion
    and keep their hands from accepting bribes,
who stop their ears against plots of murder
    and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—
 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,
    whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
Their bread will be supplied,
    and water will not fail them.

—Isaiah 33:15-16

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

When the Son of Man Comes

 

 

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left."

—Matthew 25:31-33

 

When Jesus returns, what will happen to you?

Will He separate you from the people who never knew Him and place you with His sheep?

Will He separate you from the people who knew Him as their Savior and place you with the goats?

It’s not really about sheep and goats; it’s about people.

People who believed in Him.

People who followed Him.

People who loved Him.

People who accepted His forgiveness.

People who accepted His gift of eternal life.

And…..

those who didn’t.

Please don’t wait another minute.

Pray and ask God to come into your heart and life.

Tell Him that you believe in Jesus, His Son, who paid the penalty for your sins on the cross.

Ask for forgiveness of all that you’ve done that has displeased him.

Accept His gift of life.

It’s not too late….

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Cured From Your Illness

 

 

A woman was ill.

Very ill.

For twelve years, she had suffered from bleeding.

No one could help her.

One day, Jesus was walking with a crowd around him.

The woman was there.

She came from behind and reached out and touched his clothing—–

 

She said, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll get well.”  Her bleeding stopped immediately. She felt cured from her illness.

 At that moment Jesus felt power had gone out of him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

 His disciples said to him, “How can you ask, ‘Who touched me,’ when you see the crowd pressing you on all sides?”

 But he kept looking around to see the woman who had done this.  The woman trembled with fear. She knew what had happened to her. So she quickly bowed in front of him and told him the whole truth.

 Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace! Be cured from your illness.”

—Mark 5:28-34

A woman had been ill.

Very ill.

For twelve years she had suffered.

Only Jesus could help her.

And He did…..

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

The Lord Rules As King

 

Civilizations have always had leaders.

Nations and countries are ruled with someone in charge.

Usually, there is a second-in-command type of person under them—next in line to be in control.

Through the ages, and even now, confidence in leaders can wane or increase, depending on the circumstances.

Generally, I think all societies truly want to feel safe and cared for by their leadership, somewhat like a son or daughter feeling cared for by their parents.

As years pass, one leader replaces another and the cycle of stewardship goes on.

No matter who is placed with the responsibilities of earthly leadership, there is One who is in charge of all.

God is in control, and He is all-powerful.

There is no need to worry that He will make a mistake.

His integrity will never fail, nor will His great love for us.

We want to feel safe and cared for; He alone can truly do both.

Psalm 97:1 says,

The Lord rules as king. Let the earth rejoice. Let all the islands be joyful.

At every point on the earth, the Lord rules.

He is King.

We may rest in that thought….. and rejoice.

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com