To All People

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We were driving home from the hospital yesterday.

My husband and I had just taken a family member there, about an hour’s trip from our home.

Suddenly, my husband said that something was wrong.

A young man in a a truck was honking at us.

He pulled up beside our car and told us that our brake lights were not functioning.

He had been behind us and noticed.

Even though it was difficult, he got our attention and alerted us to a potentially dangerous situation.

If drivers in other cars were not able to tell we were braking, we could easily have an accident.

Later on in the day, we found an auto parts store and purchased the necessary replacement bulbs.

This young man could have just driven around us, never thinking about our safety or about helping us.

Instead, he was good to us, even though we were strangers, likely never to meet again.

The Bible tells us that we should be like this.

Consider these words:

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

—Galatians 6:10

When we have the opportunity to do something good, something kind, or something considerate, we should do those things for all people–even strangers on the road.

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do good

Life is in the Way

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Life is in the way of those who are right with God, and in its path there is no death.

 –Proverbs 12:28

Because of Jesus.

Because of Jesus and what He did for me.

Because of Jesus and what He did for me by paying the penalty for my sins.

Because of Jesus, I am right with God.

What path is before me?

Everlasting life.

No death.

Because of Jesus.

Do you know Him today?

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life is in

Come and Talk With Me

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My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with Me.”
    And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

—Psalm 27:8

The rose bush growing by the walkway to my front door has always delighted me.

I don’t believe it has ever had more than eight roses at once.

Most of the time, it has only one or two crimson red blooms.

As I come home from work or leave the house in the morning, often I am greeted with a new bloom.

When I notice a new rose, I am always pleased inside.

The part of me that reaches out to grasp the newness of the moment, night or day, responds to the blessing of the beautiful sight and smell sent to me on a thorny stalk of green.

It’s as though the roses say, “Come and see me.”

When I awaken in the morning, when I am falling asleep at night and at any moment throughout the time in between, God’s voice may bloom in front of me, saying, “Come and talk with Me.”

I want my heart to always respond, “LORD, I am coming,” reaching out to grasp the newness of that moment with God, night or day.

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my heart

Go Everywhere

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Standing by the boats on the water, everything was so quiet and calm.

There is something about seeing a boat that makes me want to go somewhere on it.

Somehow there is a silent invitation to an unknown adventure just by being in its vicinity.

Actually, every day brings with it an invitation as a believer of Jesus.

Mark 16:15 reads,

Jesus said to His followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.”

If you and I are followers of Jesus, wherever we go–down the street or around the globe–we will be witnesses of what He has done for us.

Our transformed lives will speak in our actions and our words to those around us.

We have an invitation every day.

Will we go wherever Jesus has planned for us in the upcoming hours, showing others His love through each situation we encounter?

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ships final

The One Who is Wise Saves Lives

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Planning to go get dinner and run an errand to the grocery store, I headed down the highway about an hour before sunset.

As I drove down my lane, I suddenly noticed a group of sand hill cranes on the right side of the road.

There were five of them together!

I rarely see this many cranes at one time.

Being about three to four feet tall with beautiful red bands around their necks, they are one of my very favorite birds.

Pulling over into the closest parking lot I could find, I turned around at a cell phone store.

As I was about to try to pull out onto the highway to go back and take some photos of the birds, there seemed to be a traffic jam.

Right away, I wondered if the traffic had stopped because of the birds.

Moving my car as close as possible to the exit of the parking lot, I could see them.

Inside, I am smiling now, just remembering it—

The five stately birds were calmly walking across the four lane road to get to a farm area on the other side.

Cars moving both directions all stopped to allow their safe passage.

Never mind being late for an appointment.

Never mind not arriving at home just a minute or two late.

There was time to stop.

Time to preserve the lives of five birds.

The drivers in the cars showed kindness.

Think of the reverse—if they had just ignored the birds and hit them, driving on—wouldn’t you think they were heartless and cruel?

At the very, very least, unkind?

I believe, in my own heart, that a driver who stops to allow a bird to live is the type of person who would also show kindness and care for a neighbor, a friend or a stranger in need.

Proverbs 11:30 tells us,

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the one who is wise saves lives.

I watched some very kind people decide to save lives today.

Lives of five sand hill cranes, but lives, none the less.

How can we show kindness so that others will be blessed?

God will bring us the opportunities.

We need only to respond in the way that He would have us to.

After all, wouldn’t Jesus stop to let five of His birds walk by?

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saves lives

Roar and Foam

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The water crashed against the large rocks over and over.

White foam accompanied each surge.

The ocean reminds me of God’s power.

The vastness of the sea and the unrelenting motion of the waves.

No matter what happens in our lives, as His children, the Lord Almighty is with us.

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God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

—Psalm 46:1-7

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roar and foam

Seek the Lord

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I am really glad we have lenses that allow us to see things that we otherwise could not.

We have eyeglasses to help us to see around us.

We have magnifying glasses and microscopes to help us view what is tiny.

We have binoculars and telescopes to help us see what is far away.

Because of these finely crafted pieces of glass, we have found great wonders.

But how does one search for God?

By looking at what He has made, we see His power and creativity.

Seeking God, longing to know more of Him, wanting to be closer to Him, cannot be aided by glass alone.

As we pray with open hearts, we find Him there.

As we read His word, we learn of His presence and love throughout the ages and into our very present lives.

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

—1 Chronicles 16:11

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seek

No One Can Boast

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While visiting a gym this past weekend, I noticed a scoreboard on a platform.

Of course, scoreboards are used to keep track of points earned and to display who is the best.

They proclaim who is the winner.

Do you ever try to “measure up” to other people?

It’s easy to consider that someone you know is kinder, smarter or more talented.

You might even think other people are more spiritual or closer to God.

Does your response lead you to try harder to be acceptable?

There is nothing wrong with desiring to be more like Christ.

We can hope to be kinder to those around us, showing them His love.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be closer to God.

But if we think that we must reach a certain level of acceptability to finally achieve God’s approval, we are missing an important truth.

Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

We should want to live our lives the way that He would have us to out of gratitude for what He has done for us, not in order to gain our salvation.

There is no heavenly scoreboard that keeps track of our works, finally declaring one day that we have “won” our  redemption for ourselves.

We are free from that kind of burden.

If this has been a concern for you, consider these words form Ephesians 2:8-9:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.

Faith.

Not works.

A plan of love from God to us.

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boast

Those Who Led You

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Doing some sightseeing with a visiting relative this past week, we drove by a church in another town.

Looking high above the trees, we could see the cross on top of a bell tower.

As far as I can tell, I don’t know anyone who attends that church, but I know there are those that do.

And—-there are those who have attended in the past.

Probably many, many people.

People who have come there to worship.

People who have come there to teach others.

People who have led each other as they spoke God’s word.

Think back—-

Who has invested their life into your spiritual journey?

A parent?

A friend?

A teacher?

A pastor or priest?

Do you remember them?

Do you remember their faith in God?

Are you investing your life into the spiritual journey of those God has brought into your scope of influence?

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Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
—Hebrews 13:7
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led you

Full of Unfailing Love

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O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
    so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

—Psalm 86:5

I don’t know how to glide over the waves on a surf board.

For some reason, when I see someone gracefully traveling along with a giant wall of water, I want to watch.

They must not be afraid to venture out far from the shore or they wouldn’t keep at it time and again.

The life guard is there, sitting atop the tall stand, ready to rescue.

That must surely be a comfort.

Even when they are just sitting on the board or swimming along beside it, there is certainly some trust of available help, should they need it.

There is a popular Christian song that speaks of such a situation, yet in a spiritual sense.

Here is a portion of the lyrics:

And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me

Your love never fails

The wind is strong and the water’s deep
But I’m not alone in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails

Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture

Even when we are out in the “open seas” of life, caught in strong wind and deep water, God is with us.

We are never alone.

God’s love is unfailing.

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Go to Your Room

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When you pray,

go to your room

and close the door.

Pray privately to your

Father who is with you.

Your Father sees

what you do in private.

He will reward you.

—-Matthew 6:6

Quiet moments.

Time spent seeking God’s guidance.

Listening with our hearts for our heavenly Father’s words to gently, yet clearly, speak to us.

There is no communication more precious and priceless…

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close the door

Your Worries

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Walking along the dock tonight, it was peaceful and calm.

My heart was fairly peaceful and calm, as well.

The sun had long been gone, but a hint of orange still remained in the gray sky of dusk above me.

It was raining and the lights reflected in the soaking wood beneath my feet.

In the last couple of weeks or so, I’ve had many issues to bring before the Lord in prayer.

Already, there have been answers to some.

If I just stop to consider, I have so many blessings to be thankful for.

Despite the issues that seem difficult and overwhelming, there are so many things that are right and good.

Things that are just as they should be, or actually, even better.

1 Peter 5:7 reads,

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”

God loves us.

He doesn’t want us to be sick with worry and concern over things that are in His control.

He wants us to come to Him with our concerns.

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worries

Going or Coming

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My help comes from the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.
 God won’t let your foot slip.
    Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.
 No! Israel’s protector
    never sleeps or rests!
 The Lord is your protector;
    the Lord is your shade right beside you.
 The sun won’t strike you during the day;
    neither will the moon at night.
 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
    God will protect your very life.
 The Lord will protect you on your journeys—
    whether going or coming—
    from now until forever from now.

—Psalm 121:2-8

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What Some of You Were

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Have you ever known someone who was:

addicted to drugs?

an alcoholic?

addicted to pornography?

a compulsive gambler?

aggressively angry?

a thief?

habitually dishonest?

disloyal to their spouse?

a negligent parent?

untrustworthy?

If you are like me, I can look back over my life and probably think of someone in every category.

The 6th chapter in 1 Corinthians speaks of a lot of things that are sinful, meaning they are displeasing to God.

Though perhaps not directly mentioned in the scriptures, the common issues listed above could certainly be in the category of being displeasing to God.

Then, again, the list above could be lengthened a great deal just by considering the ways that you or I might have displeased God, even during a short period.

The fact is, we are all human and we fail.

We fall short of what God wants for us, time and again.

Going back to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 11 reads,

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Whatever we could come up with to label ourselves or others by our sinfulness, those labels do not have to continue to apply.

Those labels are about what we were.

Now, we can be washed.

Sanctified.

Justified.

Because of Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins.

Let me ask you:

Have you ever known someone who was:

forgiven?

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you were

The Life

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It was huge….

As I was walking to my office at work today, I found that an intricately beautiful moth was very near my door on the brick.

With a closed wing length of probably 3 1/2 inches, he could hardly be missed.

Every detail of his appearance was amazing.

With wings that looked like a finely crafted rug and feathery antennae perfectly aligned and proportioned, it was truly a marvel to behold.

Everything that God has made is wondrous!

Job 12:10 tells us,

“In His hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind.”

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breath

Through the Valley

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When I drive, I sing.

A lot.

At different times, the lyrics that I am singing resonate in my heart in a significant way.

Today, I experienced just that.

One of my favorite songs is based on the twenty-third Psalm in the Old Testament.

As I was singing along with the music in my car, these words came alive in my heart:

IF I LET MY HEART BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, I CAN SEE BEYOND THE VALLEY TO THE MOUNTAIN OF MY DREAMS.*

Of course, I have known the words from the psalm that say, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil….”

Strangely, I have never considered what it might be like to look beyond the valley I’m in toward the mountain.

That higher place in my journey with God.

The truth is, there have been, and will be, many valleys to go through.

There will also be many mountains.

Mountains of my dreams.

Mountains where the desires of my heart meet the will of God in a perfect union.

If I let my heart believe that God can do anything—-

even when things don’t look very promising,

then I can let my heart believe that He can bring me through any valley I might be traveling in.

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Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

—Psalm 23:4

*Manwell Reyes

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valley lomo

Exchange

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Walking over to the train station, I crossed the tracks with my camera in hand.

Train tracks have always caught my interest, maybe because I grew up with a freight train crossing just about four houses away from mine.

As a young child, I walked over the tracks twice a day going to school.

My friends and I would put pennies on the tracks and wait for the train to come.

When the heavy weight of the engine and cargo had passed, I recall only seeing the image of Lincoln faintly in the railing—no penny left at all.

Looking at the the photo I took near the train station the other day, I thought first of the two converging tracks as they became one, allowing a train on either track to go to the same destination.

This evening, I thought of the rails another way.

What about a train that was leaving the station and coming toward me?

A choice would have to be made as to which direction to follow.

Should it travel to the right or to the left?

We all have to make such a choice about our destinations.

Jesus had this conversation with His disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

—John 14:1-7

For all of us, there comes a time when the tracks in front of us split into two different directions.

We can choose to follow Jesus or we can go our own way without Him.

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the Way

 

 

 


In Times of Trouble

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The dinner party at a friend’s house was going to start in about half an hour.

I knew I had plenty of time to make it, though.

Deciding to take a more scenic route to their community, I drove through rural areas instead of the busy highway.

Not long into the trip, I began to notice the clouds.

A storm was coming and it looked like it could be quite severe.

Being fascinated by the steel blue sky, I looked for a place to stop the car.

I wanted to photograph the heavy blanket of water that was slowly overtaking the horizon.

The dirt road led to a place I had not traveled before.

There was no immediate shelter that I could see nearby.

I wasn’t worried—I had my car to sit in if the storm began to rage around me.

After a few shots, I put my camera down and continued on to the party.

What would have been different if I had been walking alone on that road when the storm hit?

Choosing a tree as an option, I might’ve gotten underneath it.

I wouldn’t have felt safe from the lightning, though—-lightning strikes trees.

I’m really not sure what I would’ve done to ensure my safety in that situation.

There are so many people in the world who realize their lack of shelter.

They can’t think of any real protection if things actually did get bad.

Physical protection.

Emotional protection.

Spiritual protection.

They know they need it, but they don’t know how to have it.

When “storms” happen in their lives, they find themselves alone on a dirt road with a dark, threatening sky and no where to turn.

No shelter.

No car.

No house.

It doesn’t have to be that way, however.

God is a ready and willing refuge for us.

When the skies are dark, do we have the confidence to think, “I’ll be fine. I will just take shelter with God”?

When we look back on the last tempest we encountered, could we say, “I wasn’t worried—I knew I had my Father’s lap to sit in if the storm began to rage around me”?

It is good to remember these words of encouragement in the Old Testament book of Nahum:

The LORD is good,
    a refuge in times of trouble.

–from chapter 1, verse 7

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refuge correct

The Desires of Your Heart

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The sun was setting as I went for a walk in the neighborhood.

I consciously thought of enjoying the time, taking in the reality of the moments I was being blessed with.

The sunlight was still falling on the trees in the orange grove beside my house, giving them a warm glow as they nestled in the thick green grass that had succumbed to the shadows.

Turning around, I noticed the flowering Crepe Myrtle trees in my yard, towering high with bundles of color.

A dog barked in the distance.

Gopher turtles had dug holes in the ground to shelter themselves in many places I walked.

The pink, fluffy clouds to the south looked like a lovely painting.

If I had decorated a room especially for someone, I wonder how I would feel if they entered it, but failed to notice or appreciate the decorations?

Day after day, God creates unspeakable beauty in our surroundings.

He gives it especially to us, to appreciate and enjoy.

Instead of hurrying through the hours and moments I am given, failing to notice and appreciate the creative works of His hands, I should take the time to enjoy what He has prepared with a thankful and grateful heart.

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Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

—Psalm 34:7

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delight

Courage

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Courage.

The dictionary defines courage as, “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”

Psalm 3:3-4 reads,

“But, Lord, You are my shield.
    You are my wonderful God who gives me courage.
 I will pray to the Lord.
    And He will answer me from His holy mountain.”

If I were to take the modern definition of courage and consider it in this verse it would be,

“You are my wonderful God who gives me the quality of mind or spirit to enable me to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear. You are my wonderful God who gives me bravery.”

As I stood on the grass by the lake as the sun was setting tonight, I photographed the clouds towering in the sky, reflecting on the calm water below.

I prayed.

God knows that I am in need of some courage.

His courage.

He also knows all the other things I need, too, even though I haven’t realized it yet.

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courage

What Is the Price?

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Jesus said,

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins?

Yet God does not forget a single one of them.

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.

So don’t be afraid;

you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

—Luke 12:6-7

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sparrow final

When I Am Afraid

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I’ve been afraid before.

Afraid as a child.

Afraid as a teenager.

Afraid as an adult.

Fear causes an inner turmoil that grips us, whether we are in a dentist’s chair or waking from a troubling dream.

Whatever the situation may be that causes the response of fear, we are never alone in it.

God does not abandon us when circumstances in life become frightening.

When we are afraid, we can put our trust in God.

We never, ever walk alone….

*

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.

—Psalm 56:3

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afraid

Let Us Be Concerned

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Today a friend came over and allowed me borrow something I needed.

People are always showing concern for me.

People help me.

People show me love.

I held the door open for a woman who was exiting a store right behind me this afternoon.

She said, “Why, thank you, Sugar Bear!”

I had to smile.

I suppose a day doesn’t go by that someone is not good to me.

Knowing all of this, I should be concerned for others.

I should help other people when I can.

I need to show love to them, too.

I need to do good things for other people.

It should become a way of life.

It was the way Jesus lived, wasn’t it?

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Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good.

—Hebrews 10:24

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concerned

I Have All That I Need

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The Lord is my shepherd;

I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;

he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the Lord

forever.

–Psalm 23


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all that I need

Just As He Walked

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One of my favorite songs speaks about getting closer to God and looking more like Him.

Here are some of the lyrics:

LIKE A CHILD WALKING IN THEIR FATHER’S SHOES
I JUST WANNA LOOK A LITTLE MORE LIKE YOU
EVERY DAY’S ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
I, I GET A LITTLE CLOSER
(A Little Closer by Group One Crew)
*
Late this afternoon, I made a trip to the grocery store.
As I pushed my cart into the check out line, a young man working for the store asked me if he could unload my cart for me and place my items on the line.
When the purchasing process was over, he had everything in the cart again for me.
Next, he pushed my cart as I walked along beside him all the way out to my car in the parking lot.
He was incredibly respectful.
He inquired about my day, so I told him a bit about how it had been.
In turn, I asked him if he was a student at the local high school.
He told me that he had been, but that he was now in college.
“Do you have a major yet?” I asked.
His answer was a normal one, but the last four words resounded in my mind in bold thought.
He said he was getting a criminal justice degree and that he was going to become a policeman and work for “OPD” (a nearby department) “just like my dad.”

Thanking him for his help, we said goodbye to each other.

I drove away comparing what he had just said to the lyrics of the song that I like so much.

This young man was training with intent.

He knew what he wanted, and he was setting his course in order to reach that goal.

The crown of that goal was to be just like his dad.

“Like a child walking in their father’s shoes, I just wanna look a little more like you….”

What is my goal in life, really?

What is my goal for today?

And tomorrow?

Is it to be a little more like God?

Every day, changing and getting closer to Him?

If someone asks me about my goals, would I tell them that I just want to be more like Jesus?

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He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

–1 John 2:6

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Those In Need

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We have a family member that is ill.

They have been in the hospital for quite some time and their condition has been a matter of prayer through these past days and weeks.

When an illness strikes, it can be overwhelming.

What about treatment?

What about medications?

Which hospital is best?

What doctor should be chosen?

Yesterday and today were especially trying with a lot of details as our family member is being transferred to another hospital.

As I was driving down the highway just before sunset, I suddenly saw a rainbow in front of me.

I stopped the car at a local business and got out to take some photos of the glowing arc in the sky.

Driving a little further, I stopped again—this time at a service station near a lake.

Because it was so beautiful, I just had to have more pictures!

While I was looking at the rainbow, “Everlasting God” by Chris Tomlin came on the radio.

I started singing along, agreeing in my heart that God truly is the everlasting God.

He comforts those in need.

Our family is in need right now.

I am reminded that God will meet our needs as our hope is in Him.

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You are the everlasting God,
The everlasting God,
You do not faint, You won’t grow weary

You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need,
You lift us up on wings like eagles

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord…

—Chris Tomlin

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He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

—Isaiah 40:29-31

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To Fish

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Tonight I found out that the son of one of my good friends won second place in a fishing tournament.

For that to have become a reality, a few things had to have been in place.

First of all, he had to have a desire to catch fish.

After that, he had to go where fish were.

In order to get there, he took a boat.

He also had to have a rod and reel.

Next, he would have needed bait.

With all of these things in place, he was ready.

Ready for success.

Matthew 4:19 reads,

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

For that to become a reality, a few things have to be in place.

First of all, we have to follow Jesus.

After that, we must have a desire to fish for people, so that they may follow Him, as well.

We must go where people are.

To get there, we must use whatever means is needed at the time.

We also need the rod and reel—the testimony of God the Father and His Son, Jesus.

And the bait? Something that interests the people?

That would be learning that forgiveness is offered along with the promise of everlasting life.

Follow.

Desire.

Go.

Testify.

Proclaim forgiveness and salvation.

With all of these things in place, and with God as our strength, we are ready.

Ready for success as the Holy Spirit draws people to Himself.

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fish for people

Not Perish

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As I walked into the room, I saw him.

An anole lizard was sitting on the leg of my husband’s weight bench.

This surely meant death.

Not because I would bring about his demise, but because once a lizard gets into a building, away from life sustaining water, they lose the battle, dehydrate, and die.

Being someone who cares about the creatures of the wild, I set about to rescue him.

Getting a plastic cup and lid, I approached him and attempted to lure him into the cup.

He had other ideas….

Jumping and running this way and that, (him, not me…) he ran underneath a tall wooden wardrobe.

I couldn’t reach him now.

Giving up the quest for a few moments, I set about to do other things.

Walking back into the room a bit later, there he was again.

Continuing my unsuccessful cup trapping method, he stubbornly avoided me.

I prayed and asked God to allow me to save him.

The little brown miniature version of a dinosaur ran over to a bookshelf near the door to the back yard.

I carefully opened the door, and with some encouraging movements on my part, he glimpsed the sunlight and caught the smell of freedom.

He made a good decision and bolted for the threshold, continuing on to the concrete patio.

I realized that God had answered my prayer, as my little friend was now going to be all right.

I had intended to rescue him in the cup and take him to safety.

Instead, I merely opened the door and it was his choice to go through.

How I long to just rescue people who do not know Jesus!

If I could just scoop them up in my arms and take them to eternal safefy—–

but I can’t.

They have to believe and ask for forgiveness of sin themselves.

I can’t do it for them.

Sure, I can open the door—

Talk to them about God and His plan of salvation.

Show them verses in the Bible.

Live the way God would have me to and be a light that points to life in Him.

Once the door is opened though, and they see the offer of complete forgiveness and a home in Heaven, it is their choice–not mine–that will send them across the threshold.

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For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

—John 3:16

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The Bread of Life

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As my friends and I settled down in the crowded restaurant, we were given complimentary loaves of bread.

It was the custom of the restaurant to give each patron bread before the ordered meal was presented.

If we do not have food and water for a long period of time, we will die.

The food and water we ingest and the air we breathe sustains us.

If we do not have Jesus, we will die a spiritual death for all eternity.

It is Jesus, who is the bread of life, that sustains our souls.

The restaurant was offering bread that would satisfy physical hunger, but only for a time.

Jesus is offering Himself as the means of our salvation, satisfying our spiritual hunger forever.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

—John 6:35-40

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From the Rising

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Standing on the dock of the intracoastal waters, I had a prime vantage point for viewing the sunset.

The fiery ball of light before me was vanishing behind a blanket of clouds low to the horizon, giving the illusion of

of mountains in the distance.

As the light danced on the gentle ripples of the water’s surface, it mirrored the subtle colors of gold and gray above.

Psalm 113:3

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.

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