It Was Very Good

A family member from far away visits for the very first time. Perhaps an old childhood friend or a military buddy from long ago. “I can’t wait to show you around!” you say with excitement. With expectation of their response, you guide them through every favored place–the aroma filled shops, the woods nearby with their snow laced branches, the view from the upstairs guestroom of the bell tower in the distance. “Aren’t you glad you came?”  you ask, beaming as you wait for their response. With every new discovery, God is ready to display the vast array of His creation for our pleasure. Surely, He is pleased when we gaze at a sunset or admire the intricate miracle of a newborn in our arms. As we arrive at that moment where we glimpse an understanding of God’s love for us, it’s as if He might be waiting expectantly for our response. May our reply always be that of never ending praise.

 

 

November 23, 2007

Be At Rest

It is quiet now. The sound of my husband softly playing the classical guitar, the sounds of dishes and pans being used to prepare the mid-day meal, and the sounds of voices echoing through the house  have now been replaced with  the slow hum of the fan in the windowsill and the calm, yet rhythmic beckoning of the crickets from the cool ground below.  It has been a good day.  Now, it is time to rest.  There is much to be thankful for.  God has been  good  to me….

 

 

November 22, 2007

The Work of Our Hands

According to the dictionary, “establish” means : “1.to found, institute, build, or bring into being on a firm or stable basis..”  I am  thankful today that the work of our hands in doing the will of God will be established in His kingdom,  as we seek to  reach others with the good news of  salvation.

 

 

November 21, 2007

The Right Direction

Where do we find direction in life? How can we rest in knowing the choice of the moment was the right one? Lighthouses have one function: guiding those on the sea to safe passage through unseen danger.  We must choose to look for the light amidst the darkness. And, once we have found it, continue to follow its leading until we arrive securely at our destination.

 

 

November 20, 2007

From the Ends of the Earth

 

 

 

 

Driving along the highway, I kept watching the clouds above me.

Light seemed to be streaming off one particular cloud in streaks resembling pictures I had seen of the aurora borealis.

Finally coming to a place that was clear enough to get a good shot, I got out of my car and took a couple of photos.

With only an hour or so of daylight left, the nearby storm was causing the sky to be a mix of vevet gray, white and blue.

Such majesty!

And I was blessed to see it…..

 

“He made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses."

—Jeremiah 51:15-16

 

 

***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:

 
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Protection

When I close my eyes to sleep at night, I do so knowing that God is awake. As I rise to meet the challenges of the day, I do so knowing that I am not alone.  Nothing takes God by surprise. He is able to sustain me no matter what the current situation may warrant. He promises that He will be with me.

 

November 20, 2007

God Will Provide

Sometimes I feel it.  It can come quickly, without warning. That “Oh,no!” feeling that comes when you’re not sure if the interview went well or you’re wondering how to acquire the funds to pay the latest medical bills. Perhaps the anxiety comes when you feel you are all alone in the thing that God has called you to do. We must trust God and His ability to give all that we need when we need it.  Where is God providing for you today?

 

 

November 20, 2007

Forgiveness

When we show love to others, something happens. A bridge to a wounded heart begins to form. A passageway that was previously non-existent is now a possibility to consider. A broken spirit begins to mend. The flower of forgiveness starts to bloom where once there were only weeds. The debris on the edge of the shoreline is washed away, leaving smooth sand that beckons our feet to travel the uncharted distance into another’s life.

 

 

November 19, 2007

One Heart

Have you ever met someone and—after only a short time—you feel like you have known them a very long time? When God lives in your heart, there is a bonding that can occur with others who love Him, too. It can become apparent very quickly. The heart that loves God has an open door to the heart of another that has also responded  to the  Lord with repentance and devotion.

 

 

November 18, 2007

Power, Love and Self-Discipline

 

 He kept coming back to the plant stalk in front of me.

I decided to go inside the house and bring my camera out to photograph such an ornate insect.

My little dragonfly friend would fly at tremendous speed about three feet away from me, hover for a second or two and then return to the plant.

He wasn’t afraid of me.

There was no fear of this giant human hundreds of times his size holding a not-quite-so-giant black box pointed right at him.

I have read that dragonflies have excellent sight.

He knew I was there.

The Bible tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear.

When daunting situations occur, fear can overtake us if we are not careful to look to God for guidance and protection.

As long as we trust that He is with us, we can "hover" calmly right in front of some really big things.

Things a hundred times our size—our physical size or our emotional size.

Things we cannot control.

What has God given us instead of a spirit of fear?

A spirit of power, love and self-discipline.

 

 

 

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

—2 Timothy 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:

 
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

Pondering Greatness

 

 

 

Image

 

I was just leaving the park with one of my sons when I saw it. One of the most beautiful blooming bushes I had ever noticed. Stopping the car, I just had to grab my camera and get a closer look. I stood under the towering blooms as they reached high into the clear, blue sky, proclaiming silent, yet visible praise to their Maker. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to ponder Your greatness displayed in nature at that moment.

November 18, 2007

At Once

 

 

When Peter and Andrew heard Jesus say to them, "Come, follow Me," they left what they were doing right then and followed Him.

It might be easy to picture this scene in our minds.

Fishermen, working with nets beside an ancient sea.

Jesus walking along and calling to them.

But, is it easy to picture us as the fishermen?

Is it easy to think that we would have just dropped our nets and started walking away with Jesus?

We might decide that it’s pointless to ponder such a thing, since the setting was so long ago and times were so different.

It is a question that can be transformed into our current settings, however.

When we are busy at our jobs and we feel Jesus urging us to do something—

do we stop what we are doing and obey?

Do we make that phone call and check on a friend?

Do we follow His prompting and walk over to the next building to ask a coworker if they are okay?

Do we choose to listen to His voice in our hearts?

 

 

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.

—Matthew 4:18-20

 

 

 

***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:

 
                         myrasthoug
hts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

For I Am With You

 

 

 

 

Driving home this evening, a song began to play on the radio station I was listening to.
I had heard the song many times before, but my thoughts while listening turned to something new.
Here is a section of the lyrics:

So I will call upon Your name


And keep my eyes above the waves


When oceans rise


My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine*

Thinking about the phrase, "Keep my eyes about the waves," I thought about what that would be like.
Living in a central area on a peninsula, I can drive either east or west and get to the ocean in about an hour and a half.
I am well accustomed to waves.
Big waves.
Waves that don’t stop—-ever.
Waves that can contain dangerous fish, like sharks.
Waves that can push you down and carry you along with their power.
I thought about how that would be—calling upon the name of the LORD, looking up into the heavens to see Him instead of looking at the waves around us.

So, what are the waves in life?
Struggling relationships, illness.
Lack of food and shelter.
Danger from those who would seek to harm us.
Temptations and snares.
Fear that accompanies all of the above.

When things of this nature begin to rise around us like the water of an ocean, we can keep our eyes above them, looking to God, resting in His embrace.

So do not fear, for I am with you;


do not be dismayed,

for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;


I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
—Isaiah 41:10


*Oceans by Hillsong United
 

 

 

 

 

***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 Branches

 

 "You’ll never get anything out of that!" my friend said as she walked by my rose bush.

I hadn’t pruned it in a very long time.

Not really being much of a rose gardener, I had asked her for advice.

She felt that I needed to cut away most of the bush.

Electing to wait a little longer, I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful red roses that began to form.

Several deeply crimson roses are currently adorning the spindly branches.

It’s almost as if the bush was hoping for a second chance.

In the book of John, chapter 15, Jesus speaks about branches:

Then Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father takes care of the vineyard.  He removes every one of my branches that doesn’t produce fruit. He also prunes every branch that does produce fruit to make it produce more fruit.

 “You are already clean because of what I have told you.  Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me.

 “I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me."

—verses 1-5

I will need to actually do some pruning to help the bush to produce more roses.

Right now, though, there are several branches producing beautiful blooms.

Jesus tells us that we need to live in Him in order to produce fruit.

He gives us a second chance at 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:

 
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

His Angel Guards

 

 

 

 

The fence in my photograph seemed hardly necessary.

Exactly what could it keep out—or in?

Just some posts of wood, forming a boundary.

It made a statement, however:

This side or that side.

Many fences are in place to show protection, not just a boundary alone.

Within their confines, things are different—looked after.

A fence can be a proclamation of sorts, alerting those who come near.

Psalm 34:4-7 says,

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me;
    he freed me from all my fears.
The oppressed look to him and are glad;
    they will never be disappointed.
 The helpless call to him, and he answers;
    he saves them from all their troubles.
His angel guards those who honor the Lord
    and rescues them from danger.

 

As believers, we are not left alone, apart from God.

His angel guards those who honor Him.

A spiritual "fence" is around us.

God’s power encompasses and protects.

 

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You, Lord, Are My Lamp

 

 

 

 

Are there things in your life that feel like advancing troops on the horizon?

Maybe you feel like you are in a boat on a dark night and you’re afraid of what you can’t see.

Sometimes situations weigh so heavy on us—–illness, finances, jobs, relationships.

It’s just too much.

Yet, in our weakness, God is there.

In miraculous, unexplainable ways, the darkness can begin to fade.

Those marching against us can be made to retreat.

God is our light in the midst of all the confusion.

As our eyes strain into the future, He is there, showing us the way, like a lighthouse on a stormy night.

 

 

You, Lord, are my lamp;
    the Lord turns my darkness into light.
 With your help I can advance against a troop;
    with my God I can scale a wall.

—2 Samuel 22:29-30

 

 ***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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beside My Doorway

 

 

 

 Wisdom.

I have prayed a great many times for wisdom for my children.

The God given ability to make the right choices—to think the right things.

To make the choices God would be pleased with.

To make judgments that bring them good and not harm.

God has a record of every prayer for wisdom that has formed in my heart for each of the children He has blessed me with.

 

In Proverbs 8, wisdom speaks:

“My children, listen to me.
    Blessed are those who keep my ways.
 Listen to my teaching and be wise.
    Don’t turn away from it.
 Blessed is the one who listens to me.
    He watches every day at my doors.
    He waits beside my doorway.
 Those who find me find life.
    They receive favor from the Lord."

—verses 32-35

 May each of my children wait beside the doorway of wisdom…

 

 

 

 

 

***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

 

 

 

 

Just As I Made You

 

 

 

 

  "Take a look at the mighty hippopotamus. I made it, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox.  See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly.  Its tail is as straight as a cedar. The sinews of its thighs are tightly knit together.  Its bones are tubes of bronze. Its limbs are bars of iron.  It is a prime example of God’s amazing handiwork. Only its Creator can threaten it."

—Job 40:15-19

 

 

 

***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

 

 

Treasure

 

 

 

Have I acted with justice?

This week?

Last week?

Last month?

Last year?

Have I treasured the LORD’s gracious love?

This week?

Last week?

Last month?

Last year?

Have I walked humbly with God?

This week?

Last week?

Last month?

Last year?

 

 He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the LORD is requiring from you— to act with justice, to treasure the LORD’s gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.
—Micah 6:8

 

 

 

***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:

 
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

A Lamp

 

 The store I walked into looked interesting.

Filled with various items, I noticed a display of hanging lanterns.

Red lanterns, blue lanterns, orange and green.

Intricately shaped and very ornate, they hung gracefully from the wooden stand.

Psalm 119:105 speaks of God’s word:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Passages in the Bible can light the paths we are on.

God uses different verses to teach us and encourage us along the way.

We may have a "blue lantern" today and an "orange" one tomorrow.

The important thing is, we will have a light for every day until our journey is complete.

 

***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

 

 

Why Are You Depressed?

 

 

Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention.
 I am depressed,
so I will pray to you while I am trapped here in the region of the upper Jordan,
from Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
 One deep stream calls out to another at the sound of your waterfalls;
all your billows and waves overwhelm me.
 By day the Lord decrees his loyal love,
and by night he gives me a song,
a prayer to the living God.
 I will pray to God, my high ridge:
“Why do you ignore me?
Why must I walk around mourning
because my enemies oppress me?”
 My enemies’ taunts cut into me to the bone,
as they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
 Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention.

—Psalm 42:5-11

 

 

 

 

***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