Confidence

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

–Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

Am I trusting in the Lord?

Is my confidence in Him?

When the heat comes, the tree with its roots in position to receive water from the stream will not fail to thrive.

 

 

 

 

confidence

To Whom

Do you ever want to run away from God?
Maybe it’s that you are so desperate you just want to run somewhere, but you’re afraid—or maybe ashamed—to run TO God, so you run somewhere else. 
The problem is, if you’re not running to God, you’re running away from Him. 
And if you leave God, where could you go?
John 6:66-68 reads:

From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him. 

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
Desperation. 

Shame. 

Guilt. 

Fear. 
No matter what you are experiencing, running to God is the only good choice. 
He will accept you because He loves you. 

Seedtime and Harvest

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

—Genesis 8:22

 

Have you ever been in a situation where things were so unpredictable?

Many people come from homes where there is substance abuse.

Children often live in fear of an alcoholic parent.

The lack of consistent parenting, coupled with erratic behavior can create a fear within the children.

An unstable environment can create a chronic uneasiness.

Our heavenly Father is completely trustworthy and predictable.

He will always love us.

He will always hear our cries for help.

He will always guide us in the very best way.

He will never take back a promise.

Ever….

With the changing of the seasons, year after year, we see a testimony of His faithfulness.

Day and night.

Seedtime and harvest.

What He causes to be, IS.

We can count on God in every situation.

 

 

seedtime

 

New Things

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

As I walked along the bridge, I noticed that a palm tree had been cut down.

Looking more closely, I could see that there was new growth.

Out of the stump near the ground, new life was emerging!

Bright and green, defying a hopeless end, it was springing forth.

So it is with us when we accept Jesus as our Savior.

The old goes away.

The new comes, springing forth, growing ever brighter with each moment.

 

new-things

 

The Fields

Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

—John 4:35

The orange groves in my area are not long for harvest. 

Usually, the fruit is ready by Christmas time. 

Acres upon acres of orange trees have their golden colored orbs ripening and growing, getting ready for harvest. 

The oranges are like people. 

There are so many!

Acres and acres of people, living here and there, needing to know the truth of God. 

Their hearts are ready if we would just talk to them and tell them about Jesus. 

I Know That Full Well

I have read that there are about 2,000 species of star fish (sea stars) in the world. 

Imagine the thousands of them living in the ocean at one time…

Each one created just the way God wanted it to be. 

If we consider all life on Earth, the numbers would be incomprehensible. 

Yet, God knows about every living thing. 

Nothing is alive that He did not give life to. 

Including us. 

We have only God to consider when it comes to our entrance into reality. 

No matter how many billions of people are on the planet, He still knows each one of us. 

He cares about you and about me. 

He wants us to embrace that thought, deep down in our hearts. 

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

—Psalm 139:14

Who Performs Miracles

Miracles.

They really do happen.

They happen because they are the business of God and God is at work.

A miracle happened just weeks ago when a friend for whom I had been praying for over a ten year period stood in my church with her family, seeking prayer.

A miracle happened today when I had a conversation about Jesus with someone that I have been praying earnestly for.

Both of these precious people are opening up to change and acknowledging their need for God.

I have witnessed and been a part of other miracles, as well.

It is important to pray.

It is not just important, it is of eternal significance.

I praise God for His work in the lives of the two people I just mentioned.

Even when we cannot see when miracles are on the way, they are still on the way.

You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples.

—Psalm 77:14

miracles

Give You Rest

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

—Matthew 11:28

 

 

There is a popular song out now that speaks about the extreme hurry people seem to always be in.

Tight schedules.

Too much to do.

No free time.

Pressure from all sides.

The lyrics paint the picture of this kind of life, then they simply say:

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

(Breathe–Jonny Diaz)

A few mornings ago, I think I woke up with this song on my mind.

Instead of “breathe, just breathe” or “and be, just be” I was thinking,

“Me, just Me. Chaos calls, but all you really need is just Me.”

Just Jesus.

He’s all we really need.

Shouldn’t we just take the time to go to Jesus with all our concerns?

Time to reflect on His goodness and His love?

 

give-you-rest

 

A New Thing

The wildflowers blooming near the lake caught my attention.

Pausing to photograph them, I noticed that some blooms on the stem had withered and died.

I hadn’t given it that much thought until tonight.

As I looked at the image of the flowers, I could see several of the blooms that had become brown and shriveled, but also the new white ones that were dazzling and bright.

Among those, I also noticed the flowers that were yet to burst forth, just waiting for the appointed time.

In Isaiah 43:19, God says,

“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.”

Time is moving forward for all of us and God is in each moment of time.

As situations change, we sometimes have to let go.

There are times when one opportunity withers, yet another is right before us.

If we could see what God sees, we would know that He has other opportunities waiting to bloom–ready to burst forth, at their appointed time.

This photograph is now a comfort for me.

An illustration of God’s activity in our lives.

One chapter closes as another unfolds.

At the time of God’s choosing, the new will come.

 

 

 

new-thing

 Hope

    

 I looked up “hope” in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary tonight. 

Here is one entry:

1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.

I must admit, I have never thought of hope, a wish or a desire in this way. 

Hope gives joy. 

As I pray, I am hopeful. 

Trusting that God hears my heart in prayer, there is hope for the answer. 

What are you hoping for today?

Do You Want to Get Well?

Driving home this evening, the sun was on the horizon as dusk was fast approaching.

Another day would soon be past.

How many sunsets have I seen in my life?

God has blessed me with the beauty and grandeur of more than I remember.

Year after year, He has been faithful to me, whether I understood it at the time, or not.

Year after year, He has known the longings of my heart.

He has answered prayers, given me guidance, and restored me from illnesses both great and small.

God has also protected me from dangers that I recognized and from those that I was never even aware of.

He knows the deep desires of my heart for the salvation of those I love and the restoration of broken relationships.

While reading tonight about the healing of a man by Jesus, His question to the man went straight to my heart–“Do you want to get well?”

The man had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

Thirty-eight years…

Then, suddenly, he was healed.

Walking.

Completely whole.

Only the evening before, the sun had set as it had for thousands of times in his life, finding him to be unable to walk.

But not on this day–

This was the day of freedom.

The day of answered prayer for healing.

The day of salvation.

The day of restoration.

What have you been longing for?

Has it been thirty-eight years?

Twenty years?

Ten?

God is able to answer your deepest cries in prayer.

Do you want to get well?

Do you want others to get well?

Continue praying for them.

Tomorrow may yet be the day of healing…

 

~~~~

Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

—John 5:2-8

~~~~

 

get-well2

The Harvest

Where I live, pumpkins are ready for harvesting. 

They are ready for purchase at grocery store displays and at outdoor pumpkin patches. 

Pumpkins are everywhere!

Matthew 8:37 reads:

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

The crowded city streets are not filled with pumpkins. 

Instead, they are filled with people who do not know Jesus as their Savior. 

Many hearts are ready to receive the gospel, but they haven’t been told. 

The workers are few, but the task is great. 

Wherever You Go

The fire department. 

They’re always there. 

Always available to help.

If you call an emergency number, a fire truck with trained, professional people will be at your side in a matter of minutes to take care of you. 

Right?

Well, probably 99 percent of the time. 

What about that other 1 percent?

It’s not because they don’t want to come to your rescue. It’s because they can’t.

Maybe there’s a blizzard going on with high snow drifts and impassable roads. 

Maybe there’s a hurricane or tornado happening. 

Maybe all the fire trucks available are already helping others in need at a different location. 

While we can take comfort in the fact that 99 percent of the time someone at the fire department will respond to our call of distress, we know down deep in our hearts that there’s always the possibility that they might not be able to. 

It’s different with God. 

He is there for us 100 percent of the time. 

He hears our prayers immediately. 

He doesn’t have to travel to get to you or me. 

Though it’s hard to comprehend, He is right with us all the time. 

There are no flashing lights or sirens. 

Just the presence of God with power to heal, transform and comfort. 

Blizzards and snow drifts can’t keep Him away. 

Hurricanes?  

Tornados?

No problem. 

He commands the wind and the rain. 

And what if He’s already helping a million other people who are crying out to Him?

For God, it’s not an issue. He still has time just for you.

God—

He’s always there. 

Always available to help. 

The Message

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

—1 Corinthians 1:18

 

My husband and I drove to a quiet place up on a bit of a hill.

As we sat looking at the scenery, we could see a tall cross in the distance.

The cross is a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made for each one of us.

Some will believe.

Some will not.

What about you?

 

 

cross

The Light Shines

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

—John 1:5

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve said. 

It doesn’t matter who your parents were. 

It doesn’t matter where you were born. 

God’s light can shine on your life. 

He is waiting to forgive you for everything and wanting to be in fellowship with you. 

Darkness and the things of this world will  never overcome the light of God. 

Seek Me

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

—Jeremiah 29:13

Have you ever noticed how some flowers turn their blooms toward the sun?

I wonder how many times I have gone to a window in my home and turned a plant around, because it’s blooms and stems were leaning toward the light. 

We need to look to God. 

We need to turn our hearts toward Him. 

If we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him. 

Prepare a Place

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 14:3

 

The water at the end of my driveway reflected the sunset and its colors like a giant glass mirror.

So perfectly was the image of the pastel hues blending with clouds in the sky, you could almost imagine just stepping into the scene and finding yourself in another world.

That sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it?

Another realm of life, just a footstep away.

Although it is a fascinating subject for novels and movies, most people wouldn’t quite take it seriously.

Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, we do take that thought seriously.

Another realm of life, just a footstep–just a breath–just a heartbeat–away.

Jesus said that if He would go and prepare a place for us, then He would come back and take us to be where He was.

The spiritual realm is right with us, but we don’t see it with our earthly eyes.

Our faith is not in what we can touch, but what we are sure about in our hearts.

Heaven is real.

It’s not science fiction.

It’s our future home.

 

 

prepare

 

One Who Knows Better

I watched a compelling movie last night. 

In one scene, the screenwriters skilfully send a pang of familiarity to the audience. 

As the main character is asked if he is afraid, a flash back occurs in his mind of an incident in his childhood. 

There he is, on the playground, holding a single flower in his hands. As he approaches a little girl to present the flower to, he is met by the intimidating voices of other children making fun of him. As they shun him, they all run away, leaving him alone, holding his flower without ever having the chance to offer it. 

The character in the movie then (after the flashback) replies that he is not afraid, yet the viewers understand that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He still feels the weight of the childhood intimidation even now as an adult. 

Feeling unsure of himself, he does not want to endure rejection again. 

I researched the word, “intimidation.”

I found a couple of definitions to be very interesting. One definition states, “inducing a sense of inferiority into another.”

The next descriptive definition is, “implies a reduction to a state where the spirit is broken.”

When I think of the movie scene–one that I think most anyone can identify with–these definitions are spot on. 

This morning, I read from a devotional book that I have been using in my Bible study time. Today’s topic was on several scriptures concerning the words we say to each other. 

Kind words. 

Hurtful words. 

Encouraging words or discouraging words. 

Each of us gets to decide what words we say. 

We all know what it feels like to hear hurtful words. 

We also know what it’s like to hear encouraging and kind words. 

I get to decide what I want to say. 

So do you. 

~

Whoever puts down another is not wise,
    but one who knows better keeps quiet.

—Proverbs 11:12

He Will Not Leave You

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

—Deuteronomy 31:8

 

There’s a hurricane coming to my area.

It is forecast to be here in a matter of hours.

God had a plan for Joshua to lead His people after Moses.

Moses encouraged Joshua with these words:

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

—Deuteronomy 31:8

God will not leave His children.

Not in a hurricane.

Or an earthquake.

Not in a tornado.

Or a tsunami.

Not in a time of drought.

Or in a flood.

God will not leave His children or forsake them.

 

dismayed.jpg

 

 

Keep Me Safe

 

 

As I drove home from work today, I was praying fervently for someone I care about very much.

After being home a few moments, I sat down at the table and began to read my Bible, along with a couple of devotional and study help booklets.

God’s word was comforting to me as I read passages that I felt related to my heart’s longing.

I heard a bird singing outside the window.

Deciding that I didn’t need to be distracted from my reading, I chose not to go to the window to look out.

Moments passed, and I was once again aware of a bird singing sweetly and clearly outside.

This time, I decided I would walk to the window and carefully peer through the blinds into the back yard.

Though I couldn’t find the bird, my eyes were immediately drawn to the rosebush my husband had purchased for me years ago.

Delicately pink roses had burst forth on the bush, covering it with color.

Taking my camera with me, I made my way to the fence and looked at all the blooms.

Beautiful and tender, they brought a certain happiness to my heart.

I was now calmer than on the ride home.

One of the verses I had read at the table spoke of divinely gifted peace:

Tonight I will sleep securely on a bed of peace
    because I trust You, You alone, O Eternal One, will keep me safe.

—Psalm 4:8

I must trust God and God alone to keep my loved one safe.

God is the only One who can.

With that trust, I will rest with a peace that God has given me.

God blessed me with roses this afternoon…

 

 

 

keep-me-safe

 

 

 

The Word of Our God

The grass withers, the flower fades,

But the word of our God stands forever.

—Isaiah 40:8

 

The grass withers.

Flowers fade.

We know that.

The word of our God stands forever.

Do we know that?

Or, stated another way, do we believe that?

Are we comforted by that?

Do we remember that?

The things of this world are temporary.

God and His word are eternal, never ending.

No matter what we may be facing today, God is there.

We can trust His faithfulness completely….

forever.

 

flower-fades