The Fruit of the Spirit

 

Today I was thinking about power.

And electrical plugs.

And lamps.

There is one particular store that I have visited many times.

It has a aisle that is filled with lamps and lighting fixtures–and they are all turned on.

Each one connected to a power source that allows it to shine brightly up on the shelf.

It’s a beautiful area of the store, really, because the lights glow with life from the prettiest crystal chandelier to the outdoor patio lamps.

Whatever size or style, they are projecting light.

There is another store I have gone in more than once.

It also has an aisle that has lamps displayed.

I don’t think I have ever seen even one that was connected to an electrical source.

The lamps are placed neatly on the shelves, but none of them are producing any light.

There’s nothing wrong with them; they could do what they were intended to do, but without power, they can’t.

Both stores sell lamps.

The lamps in both stores have everything they need to light up when their power cord is plugged in.

Only one store’s lamps are shining brightly.

This is not just about lamps.

It’s about refrigerators, drills, microwaves, hair dryers, radios, fire alarms and clocks.

Doorbells, computers, air conditioners and washing machines.

Without being plugged in, they cannot function in the way they were intended.

Of what use is a silent radio?

An air conditioner that doesn’t cool?

A doorbell that cannot ring?

Each of us occupies a geographical location.

Are we showing the results of being connected to God and His power in the place where we are?

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us,

"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."

When others walk down our "aisle" do they see the bright lights of love, joy and peace?

Do they notice the crystal flickering with the glow of goodness and faithfulness?

Are their eyes drawn to the warm light of gentleness and self-control?

If we are to be what we were intended by God to be, we must be connected to Him.

Is your light shining today?

Is mine?

 

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

Troubles and Problems

 

 

A friend talked to me today about some difficulties she had been having. 

I was completely unaware of the problems.

As I mentioned something about her willingness to share with me, she said she was an "open book" about such things.

I told her that I hide……

Thinking about our conversation later when I was alone, I came to some conclusions.

She, being an open book, allowed me to understand more about her current life situation and needs.

If I ever experience anything similiar, I’ll know that I could go to her for a listening ear.

She would be able to empathize.

In constrast to her transparency, I am not an open book.

In fact, I am more like a safety deposit box at a bank.

Privately locked up behind secure doors with only one key holder.

Not that I should have all my concerns printed on the front page of a newspaper, but I am considering that it would be better to unlock the box and share some difficulties with trusted friends.

I fear that many people I have known probably thought I had very little concerns, so they never felt that I would be able to understand theirs if they shared them with me.

If that is true, precious opportunities for mutual encouragement have been lost.

Galatians 6:2 reads, "Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ."

It’s time to exchange fear of sharing for peace in sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

***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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Be Kind to One Another

 

 

 

  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 —Ephesians 4:29-32

 

 

 

***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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Anything That Is Worthless

 

 

 

Walking past an alley in a nearby town, I noticed a doorway to a building back away from the street.

In an odd sort of way, the scene was picturesque.

What kind of people might spend their time there?

Who sits on the chairs with the houseplant placed on the small table beside them?

There can be big houses and little ones.

Fancy ones and plain ones.

Apartments.

Mobile homes.

Rented rooms.

Where we live is not as important as how we are living while we are there.

King David had this to say in Psalm 101:

I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
    to you, O Lord, I will make music.
 I will ponder the way that is blameless.
    Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
    within my house;
 I will not set before my eyes
    anything that is worthless.

I hate the work of those who fall away;
    it shall not cling to me.

–verses 1-3

 

Walking with integrity of heart within our houses is a worthy goal.

Not setting anything before our eyes that is worthless shows great wisdom.

Why give our time and attention to that which is worthless?

To only set before our eyes things that are of worth shows that we value the purity of our minds.

So, how am I living in the place where I am?

How are you living?

 

 

 

***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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You Are Worth More

 

 

 

 Driving by the realty company on the corner, anyone can see that there are properties advertised on the outside of the building.

Brightly colored blooms in flower boxes adorn the ornate windows of the old structure.

I have, on occasion, stood on the sidewalk, perusing the homes for sale, noting their advertised price.

Depending on the year and current market value, a home’s worth may vary considerably.

The home itself may not have actually changed much in a short amount of time, yet it’s price could go up or down.

It’s kind of like that with people, too, isn’t it?

Depending on how young or old we are, what family we’re from or how much education we have, our perceived "worth" in society can change at any moment.

We may not have really changed much in a short amount of time, yet our "value" may seem to change.

Who’s popular?

Who’s not?

Who’s worth a lot?

Who isn’t?

The truth is, our real worth has never changed.

We are important to God.

Our age, family or education will never be a factor in determining our worth to Him.

When He created us, He assigned our worth.

That can never change.

He valued us so much that He sent His Son to redeem us.

 

 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

—Matthew 10:29-31

 

 

 

 

 

***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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Come With Me

 

 

 

On the way to church this morning, I spotted a single boat anchored in the lake.

The day had begun with thickly filtered rays of light, creating a white, ethreal atmosphere.

Stopping to walk out on the dock with my husband, there were no other visitors there.

A group of early rising ducks congregated on the water in the distance.

It was the kind of moment that beckons me to stay and savor every sight and sound.

Could it be that lately I have been drawn more and more to quiet places of solitude?

Crowded areas with the noise of busy-ness has become less inviting.

When all is hushed and still, I can listen for God’s voice.

Jesus wanted his apostles to rest in a quiet place:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

—Mark 6:30-32


Reading further, when the boat landed, there was a large crowd there, so Jesus began to teach them.

They did not get to rest.

Even so, Jesus had suggested that they go with Him to a quiet place.

The Bible also records times when Jesus went alone to solitary places to pray.

Do you sometimes feel that so many people are coming and going in your life that you do not even have a chance to eat?

A chance to get adequate sleep?

A chance to rest your mind?

It may be time to withdraw from the normal routine of living and go by yourself to a solitary place.

 

 

 

 

 

**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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Seek the Lord

 

 

The pale morning light brought the awareness of a thick fog blanketing my part of the world.

Though I’m not sure why, I love the misty haze.

Things aren’t really any different, yet nothing appears to be the same.

Without going anywhere, it’s as if I’m suddenly somewhere else.

For the past several weeks, I have been reading about the presence of Jesus in a believer’s life—

The everyday, all the time, never-ending presence.

All that is negative within me at any given moment should be turned toward the knowledge of His presence.

If I feel unworthy, His presence is with me.

When fear grips my heart suddenly and without warning, He is there.

If despair begins to flood over hope, pulling energy away like broken limbs in raging waters, His presence is still with me.

Comfort.

Peace.

Calm.

Rest.

Without going anywhere, it can be as if I’m somewhere else.

The things that concern me may not be any different, yet nothing appears to be the same when I remember the presence of Jesus.

With Him, all things are possible.

 

Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!

—1 Chronicles 16:11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unprecedented

 

 

He was such an interesting creature.

I watched him with eager fascination as he jumped into the water, swimming just a few feet only to get back out again.

Otters seem to be such playful animals.

Such sleek bodies and tender, kind looking eyes.

God has made so many, many living creatures on this earth with untold characterisitics, each just the way that He wanted them to be.

Consider what the following verses suggest to us:

You will notice that the variety of bodies is stunning. Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies—humans, animals, birds, fish—each unprecedented in its form. You get a hint at the diversity of resurrection glory by looking at the diversity of bodies not only on earth but in the skies—sun, moon, stars—all these varieties of beauty and brightness. And we’re only looking at pre-resurrection “seeds”—who can imagine what the resurrection “plants” will be like!

—I Corinthians 15:39-41 The Message

 

One day, everything will be different.

Eternity will begin for us in a new and different body.

A forever body designed by God, just for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

***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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Give Your Entire Attention

 

 

 

 Today has been a very good day.

The hours at work seemed to pass fairly quickly as my energy level was a bit higher than normal.

The evening brought much needed family time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

There have been many instances in my life where I have been so consumed with thinking about what was ahead that I actually was missing what was happening at the moment.

Being "present" in life instead of being fixed on the past or the future allows us to enjoy the gift of time that God has given us.

I think I was present tonight, not really wandering away with my thoughts, worrying about this or that.

I really listened as my son played the guitar, recognizing the true beauty of his talent.

I actually enjoyed eating the dinner I had planned, instead of being distracted.

God doesn’t want us to worry.

He’s right with us all the time, granting us blessings seen, as well as unseen.

We can be fully present, knowing that His presence is all that we really need.

 

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

–Matthew 6:34  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

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Faint the Whisper

 

I watched him as he floated along.

Content to simply bob along in the water, I couldn’t tell if he was even paddling.

Looking at the photograph, with tourquoise eyes, bright with the mid-day sun and a golden beak, doesn’t he show a carefree sort of elegance?

Designed by God, his feathers caused the water to bead upon his back.

In the Old Testament book of Job, the 26th chapter speaks, in part, of God’s great power in the heavens and seas:

"The pillars of the heavens quake,
    aghast at his rebuke.
 By his power he churned up the sea;
    by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
 By his breath the skies became fair;
    his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
    how faint the whisper we hear of him!
    Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”

—verses 11-14

 

When I am blessed to see a magnificent creature floating in a lake or an intricately designed butterfly flitting by, I know that I am witnessing His power.

When I see a photograph of cells under a microscope, I know that I am witnessing His power then, as well.

But even with all that He allows us to see of His great power on Earth, are we hearing only a whisper of His greatness?

What marvelous and unspeakable power is yet to be revealed to us one day as we stand in His presence?

The whisper of God……can you hear it?

 

 

***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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Don’t Forget

 

 

 

Someone brought me a flower at work today.

A single pink bloom from an Azalea bush growing near the building.

Small acts of kindess–a smile, an encouraging word, a flower—-

these can bring a spark of joy into the heart of another.

Is there an act of kindness that you could do today to brighten someone’s world?

 

Don’t forget to do good things for others and to share what you have with them. These are the kinds of sacrifices that please God.

—Hebrews 13:16

 

 

 

 

 

***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:

 
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In the Morning

 

 

 

 

Standing in my kitchen, I was looking out the bay window at the group of birds that had decided to congregate closeby.

They came to rest on the sidewalk, on the bush beside the porch and the tree next to the fountain.

There are so many bird voices in the area where I live.

A chorus of sounds can be heard at various times throughout the day and evening.

When a bird sings, the beauty of its voice is a praise to God who fashioned the sound to be sung, even before it emerged from its egg.

 

But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

—Psalm 59:16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***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:

 
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Be Friendly

 

 

 

 Standing on the boardwalk this morning, I noticed a bird, high on a stand in the distance.

After a little while, another bird decided to join him on the stand.

There was plenty of room for two.

I photographed both of them as they stood together.

I also photographed them as they slowly walked around each other, seemingly trading places.

There was room for that, also.

Then, the unexpected happened.

In a moment of agression, one of the birds decided that there was only room for one bird on the stand—and that would mean the other one would have to go.

By force.

With his foot placed strategically against his unwanted companion, he tried to push him off.

The other bird flew away.

Mission accomplished.

So what was so wrong about sharing a few sunny moments on the lake with another bird?

Although I won’t ever know the answer to that question, I might just have the answer to another one:

So why do we, as humans, reject the friendliness of another?

It’s not that we started out wanting to be alone.

We probably didn’t start out in life pushing other people away with our feet, either.

Sometimes, we can be ashamed of what we think we are in the eyes of those around us.

At other times, we may be experiencing so much pain that we hide in our solitude.

When someone comes along, even just for a few moments on a sunny afternoon, we push them away with our words.

It’s hard to have understanding friends unless we push back the urge to hide when things aren’t going well for us.

If we hide, who has the chance to understand?

We need to show friendliness to others.

Most of the time, there’s room on the stand for two, if we would only allow it.

 

 

 

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

—Proverbs 18:24

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

 

We Know How Much

 

 

 

 

 We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.  And as we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face him with confidence and joy because he loves us and we love him too.

 We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us.  So you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first.

–1 John 4 16-19

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

 

Well Done

 

 

 

Who are you trying to please?

Parents?

Spouse?

Siblings?

Children?

Boss?

Coworkers?

People you don’t even know?

In a movie I watched this week, I was struck by an underlying theme.

The main character was enjoying public success for his accomplishments, but his father doubted his abilities.

As the two were eating dinner in a restaurant, the son was relating his excitement about a recent endeavor.

The father questioned his son’s results.

The son, hoping for approval, told him about an upcoming honor his was to recieve.

Still, there was an absence of words like, "I’m proud of you, son."

No matter who expressed their praise for the son’s work, he longed only for that of his father.

The movie ended well, but not until there was a change in the father’s heart.

He truly began to believe in his son’s abilities.

That changed everything.

So, who is it that you are trying to please?

People may not recognize your abilities or your character.

They may not understand your heart’s desire or your tenacity.

If God is who you are trying to please, that’s another story.

We can’t please Him enough to earn our way into Heaven.

Salvation is not about how much we can do for God.

Jesus took care of that for us.

He purchased salvation for us when He died on the cross.

Out of gratitide, though, we should still want to please God, our heavenly Father.

When we do, will He make us feel unnoticed?

When we are filled with excitement over an accomplishment He has enabled us to do, will He express doubt?

Or will He rejoice with us?

In the movie, everything changed when the father began to believe in his son’s abilities.

God already believes in us.

The Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

Alone, we really can do nothing—but that’s okay.

With God, we can do anything that He wants us to.

It’s all right to want to please other people—spouse, parents, children, boss, coworker—but the main One we need to please is God.

Jesus told a parable about a man who entrusted his wealth to his servants as he left for a journey.

When he arrived home, he had this to say to the servants that had pleased him with the care of his wealth:

"….Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" (from Matthew 25:21)

Even if everyone else shows disappointment, if God is pleased, nothing else matters in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

As I Have Loved You

 

 

 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

Hearts and roses.

Cards and jewelry.

Boxed chocolates….

Those are all wonderful things.

We want to show love to others on this special day.

But what about the day after?

The week after?

The month after?

When Jesus was speaking to His disciples, He told them that everyone would know that they were His disciples if they loved one another.

So…am I a follower of Jesus?

Yes.

Does everyone know that I am, based on how I love other people?

This question brings both joy and pain.

There are those that I think would say that I love them as Jesus would want me to.

There are probably those that would say I do not.

Concerning both sets of people, flowers and candy on a special occasion will not create a lasting trust in my love for them.

My words and actions on all the other days of the year will serve to determine if they believe that I am a follower of Jesus—–

or not.

 

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 —John 13:34-35

 

***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

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Will Reap A Harvest

 

 

 

 

It was just a few acres of plowed land.

Still, it caught my attention.

I don’t know what the owner was planning to grow.

At that point, it was impossible for me to tell.

It would take weeks and months to plant, cultivate and harvest a crop.

Days upon days of sunlight, warmth, and rain would produce whatever plants were sown there.

And that’s a really important point–the seeds that had been placed in the ground would determine what is harvested later.

It’s that way for us, too, you know.

What we plant in our lives will one day mature and be full grown.

At the harvest time, what can we expect to yield?

 

Don’t be misled; remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it: a man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows!  If he sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him. And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up. That’s why whenever we can we should always be kind to everyone, and especially to our Christian brothers.

–Galatians 6:7-10

 

 

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

He Draws Up the Drops

 

 

 

“He draws up the drops of water,
    which distill as rain to the streams;
 the clouds pour down their moisture
    and abundant showers fall on mankind."

–Job 36:27-28

 

 To me, the water drops on the ends of the branches looked like miniature street lamps.

In the early morning light, they formed mirrors on each tip.

As I looked at a particular photograph that I took of one of the drops, I could see the reflection of the building behind me.

Things like that have a way of making me smile.

God has created such magnificence in everything He has made.

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the LORD Really Wants From You

 

 

 

On the way to my son’s house, I noticed a solitary boater on the lake by the road.

Alone with their thoughts, probably enjoying the sunny sky and blue water.

What would I be thinking if I were out there by myself in my own little boat?

Would I be praying, at least part of the time?

Would I be asking God for guidance and direction in my life?

Each day brings a new path to choose among many.

I need God’s guidance to know which is best.

There are some directions that remain constant, however.

Micah 6:8 states:

"He has told you, O man, what is good,
and what the Lord really wants from you:
He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful,
and to live obediently before your God."

 

Am I promoting justice?

Am I faithful?

Am I living obediently?

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

 

Gladness

 

 

 

Imagine with me for a moment this scene:
A group of adults are sitting in the living room, chatting at a family gathering.

Some teenagers are outside playing basketball while the younger children are at various points around the home playing with toys or watching television.

There is one child, however, who has been quietly and rather determinably at work.

Creative work.

Sitting in a corner with a box of crayons and some paper, they carefully design each part of their picture.

Being only 5 years old, their perception of what they want to portray and how it is turning out on the page match in a perfect harmony of personal satisfaction and pride.

Self-worth is strengthened with every mark of the colored wax.

When the masterpiece is finally completed, the child hurries into the living room with an important announcement to make–

"TA-DAA!"

The smile on the child’s face is mirrored by the approving smiles on the adult’s as they praise the work of art and the artist.

Fast forward five years……

The child still loves to draw, but when they do, the sketches are now placed in a folder and put away, avoiding both praise and criticism.

Fast forward another five years…..

At fifteen, they no longer draw or paint at all.

When asked about their talents, they simply state, "I’m no good at art."

So, what happened?

It’s not really about drawing, coloring or painting.

In fact, it’s not about talent or skill at all.

It’s about acceptance and trust.

Replay the above scene and change the age and the accomplishment to anything:

The child hurries into the living room with an important announcement to make–

"I made the swim team!"

"We won the game last night!"

"I get to bring my stuffed bunny for show and tell at school tomorrow!"

"I’m getting my driver’s permit next week!"

 

It’s also not all about accomplishments.

It’s about acceptance, trust and personal value.

 

"I love to ride horses!"

"I don’t like cake very much, but I could eat ice cream every day!"

"This is my favorite kind of music."

"Someday, I’d like to be a helicopter pilot."

 

Why would someone begin to hide their talents and opinions as time progresses?

When does, "Ta-daa!’ become replaced with cautious silence?

Unfeeling criticism and it’s close cousin–sarcasm–can zap the life from self-confidence and self-worth.

We may all have found ourselves on both sides.

We may have criticized and belittled.

We may have run crying into the next room when painful comments dashed our proudest moments.

But where can we always be safe?

When we run to God as a little child, colored picture in hand, He is pleased.

After all, it was He who gave us the capacity to create and the mental awareness to be happy with our work.

When we tell God that we feel free riding the horses He made and that homemade ice cream at Grandma’s house must be the best taste in all the world, He is pleased that we are pleased.

But what if our choices or actions are truly not what God appreciates?

The great love that He has for us will be evident in every correction.

It will never be the battering of our worth, only the guidance of His perfect will for us.

We will never have to feel that we are not "good enough" to accept His forgiveness and love.

Whatever age we are, we are His children.

When He looks at us, He is pleased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

New Thing

 

 

 

 

 I pass the same house every day on my way home.

In fact, the house is located on the same street as I live on.

This afternoon was different, though.

It had been a rainy day and the last hour or so of daylight was bathed in hues of gray and white.

In this light, I suddenly noticed a tree in the front yard of this house.

The tree had been trimmed back with only stubby branches reaching toward the sky.

For that type of tree, it is a common practice to do so in the winter months.

What struck me, however, was the vividly green leaves that were growing out of the short branches.

New and alive, they almost seemed to glow atop the tree like clusters of neon lights on a dark evening.

Sometimes, it’s good to just start over.

Trim the branches back.

Be willing to part with the old brown leaves in order to make a way for the new green ones.

I know from experience that the tree I saw will flourish with the new growth and bloom in beautiful colors.

Why am I so reluctant to trim away old things in my life in order to make a place for the new things that God is bringing forth?

 

 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

 

—-Isaiah 43:19

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

Flowers Wither

 

 

 

 The flowers had been given to me as a gift.

Carefully placing them in a glass vase, I put them near a window in my kitchen.

For several days the blooms were radiant with color, soaking up the water in their glass container.

Cut flowers cannot last indefinitely however, and there came a day when the flowers were too withered to keep.

Taking them out of the vase, I threw them into the trash can.

It wasn’t that I had not appreciated the gift.

If I had not thrown them away, mold would have begun to grow around them and they would have eventually created a foul odor.

It’s a fact of life—flowers do not last forever.

So, what does?

Isaiah 40:8 reads,

Grass dries up,
    and flowers wither,
        but the word of our God will last forever.

 

God and His word will last forever.

Forever.

We say the word, but we can’t really grasp it.

God will never, ever cease.

He will not grow old and unable to sustain us.

He will not change His mind and suddenly stop loving us.

God is a forever God.

Are you trusting in 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dew From the Sky

Yesterday, I arrived at work to find the early morning fog still hanging closely to the ground.

Approaching the door, my eyes were drawn to a tree growing just outside the building.

A spider had been hard at work during the night as the mist had effortlessly floated through the branches.

He had constructed a masterpiece of intricately woven strands, each adorned by daybreak with mirroring water droplets.

Such beauty!

The spider created the web, but it was God who gave him the ability to do so.

After this work of art was completed, it was God who caused the fog to form, gently depositing the delicate jewels of water on every thread.

In the book of Genesis, dew from the sky is referenced in a blessing:

May God give you dew from the sky,
    fertile fields on the earth,
        and plenty of fresh grain and new wine.

—Genesis 27:28

 

Water replenishes and water cleanses.

It reflects and rejuvenates.

The dew from the sky is a gift from God, and sometimes it comes wrapped in an array of silken lace on a solitary winter morning.

 

***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