They Sing

The meadows are clothed with flocks And the valleys are covered with grain; They shout for joy, yes, they sing.
—Psalm 65:13

As I looked down from the mountain yesterday, I saw the valley below me. 

The cultivation of grain so artfully planned, the creation of God growing in praise to its Maker. 
  

Along With the Seas

Let the heavens and the earth praise Him,  along with the seas and everything that swims in them! 

Psalm 69:34

I live only an hour and a half drive from the ocean. 

Tonight, while visiting friends far away from my home, we went to “their” ocean–the one not far from their home. 

It was evening when we arrived. 

The moon was high in the night sky and the rolling, white waves crashed on the sand before me. 

It was a shoreline I had never seen, but it was God’s. 

Tonight was just the night that He was allowing me to experience another beautiful part of His creation. 

All praise belongs to God. 

 

The Time of Singing

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

–Song of Solomon 2:11-12

 

Driving past a church on my way home, I noticed a nearby home with a tree in the yard.

It was bursting with color!

Alive with captivating blossoms, it was lovely to behold.

Getting out of the car in the church parking lot, I took some photos of the branches with their delicate and graceful flowers as they were singing silently of the beauty and majesty of their Creator.

The winter is certainly over where I live.

The flowers have appeared.

The time of singing has come!

flowers appear

Faithful

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
–Hebrews 10:23

As I was driving home today from work, I began to think about how God had been faithful at different points in my life. 

I thought about how anyone could point to a certain time in my life and I would be able to tell them of God’s faithfulness during that period. 

If my entire life was chronicled in books placed on a shelf, every volume would contain stories of God’s faithfulness to me. 

I am happy to share what God has done with other people. 

How has God been faithful in your life?

  

Appearances

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. 

–John 7:24

 I went to a restaurant this evening to eat. I avoid meat and dairy products, so I usually order only bread and vegetables.  

As I was looking in the menu, I found “soy chicken.” 

I asked the waiter about it and he assured me there was no meat in the soy chicken. Just soy. 

I decided to give it a try. 

When my order was brought out, it was a lovely plate of what looked like small chicken strips along with sliced bell peppers and onions, in a light, yet flavourful sauce. 

It tasted fine and I was pleased with my selection. 

The “chicken” looked like chicken. 

It had the same texture and color as chicken. 

But it wasn’t chicken. 

Anyone passing by my table would’ve thought I had ordered chicken. 

Real chicken.

 Judging by appearances, you really couldn’t tell the difference. 

There are many things in our lives that may appear to be one thing, yet they are another. 

A new job opportunity may look good, but upon closer inspection, it may not be what is best. 

The latest teaching in a popular book may seem to have the right answers, but upon closer inspection, it may not match up with God’s word. 

Every aspect of our lives deserves closer inspection. 

We need to judge with right judgment. 

What looks like chicken is sometimes just soy….

 

Forgive

Look at my misery and suffering, and forgive all my sins.

—Psalm 25:18

 

Driving along the highway, I noticed a broken down barn.

Why had it been left in disrepair?

Who owned it?

What did it look like when it was new and untouched by time and the elements?

Surely, it was something of great worth to its owner at one point.

If you look closely, I’ll bet you know some people whose lives look like this barn.

Poor choices, the effects of sin, and the barrenness of years spent without a relationship with God have likely caused a spiritual collapse–maybe even an emotional or physical one, as well.

The good news is, God is the Master Builder.

Our lives can be wrecked, but He can restore them.

He can rebuild, reshape and renew.

Through forgiveness, anyone can live an abundant life with God.

Every life is something of great worth to Him.

 

 

 

forgive

Out Do

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10
When I came home the other day, I had a gift waiting from a friend, along with a card. 

It was a small briefcase, printed with a photo of old world bottles and jars. 

She has often encouraged me with cards or gifts through the years, picking just the right times to bring a smile to my day. 

I have seen her thoughtfulness displayed in the lives of others, as well. 

Romans 12:10 tells us to:

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.”

With each day that goes by, I want to remember that I have the power to help and encourage others just by greeting them with a smile, a kind word or doing a thoughtful deed.  

 

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

God never leaves us.

He truly does comfort us. 

As my family and I began driving back home from the funeral of a loved one, I decided to get my Bible and read. Looking around, I did not see it, as it was probably placed in the back of the vehicle. 

I carry a New Testament in my bag all the time, so I decided to get it out to read instead. 

Not having anything in mind particularly to read, I just opened the testament randomly. 

My eyes fell on the 14th chapter of John. 

I began to read:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. 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.”

—John 14:1-3

Coincidence?

I don’t think so. 

God led me to this passage to comfort me in this time of grief. 

He understands our sadness, but He doesn’t want our hearts to be troubled. 

  

Confident Hope

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
—Romans 12:12

The dogwood trees were blooming everywhere, it seemed. 

For most of the year, perhaps, the delicate dogwoods probably tend to go unnoticed, scattered among other trees. 

Not now. 

With elegant white blossoms, their beauty beckons attention. 

In the springtime, the hope that the dogwood branches would once again be adorned with white is fulfilled. 

In our own lives, we should never give up hoping. 

We should never give up praying. 

In both, we should rejoice. 
  

By This

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

—John 13:35

 

Yesterday, a friend came by my house to deliver a beautiful arrangement of flowers in a lavender colored vase.

Tonight, another friend loaned us their van so our entire family could travel together to a funeral out of state.

There are cards sitting on my piano from friends who are comforting and encouraging me and my family.

Another friend brought a wreath and placed it on my door.

It has been four days since we lost a loved one.

We have had four days of kindness.

Four days of love and consideration.

Four days of caring and consolation.

Four days of provision.

These things and many more are but a testimony of God’s love and the faithfulness and generosity of His people.

By these acts and those even before this time, our friends are showing that we love one another.

By these acts, also, others will know that they are followers of Jesus as they demonstrate His love.

 

 

love one another