In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.
She sleeps tranquilly on the leather chair
Soft light surrounds her
With a steady calm
She takes a breath
She is not fearful
Her heart is at peace
May I sleep in calmness as she does
Knowing my Father in Heaven
Watches over me
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
—1 Peter 3:3-4
Looking out over the water
I didn’t expect to see it
A quiet beauty in soft pink
A delicate statement of color
On a warm summer afternoon
With no tailored stones
Or fashioned presentation
The natural spoke silently
With marvelous eloquence
I am the vine;
you are the branches.
If you remain in Me
and I in you,
you will bear much fruit;
apart from Me
you can do nothing.
I can never, ever make this statement without it being false:
“I can bear fruit in God’s kingdom apart from Jesus.”
It’s not a true statement for me.
It’s not a true statement for you, either.
The branches must stay connected to the vine.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take.
I see the sunset as it meets the ocean
A seam of water and sky
Blended with blurred reflection
I hurry beside the fence
Intent on finding a clearer view
The blazing light before me
Fills my thoughts and fuels my steps
Drawn to what I see
The path is laid before me
The only direction I need
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
I saw Him sitting on a plant in our front flower garden area.
A leaf hopper perched out in the open, fully camouflaged.
His wings were like green leaves, even with dead and brown looking edges and spots.
With legs that mimicked tiny branches, he was well disguised.
I marvel at creatures like this.
There might be those that say that his kind evolved in such a way as to look at their surroundings and match them in their appearance in order to evade would-be attackers.
For me, I can only conclude that God, the Creator, made this magnificent insect to look like the environment around him for protection.
He created everything.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
In ten minutes I can be there.
Sitting beside where the trees seem to grow right out of the water.
If trees could worry, these trees wouldn’t be worried about water.
They are staying close.
It’s their place.
I want to be close to God.
I want to listen for His guidance.
I want to be attentive to His love.
In my place.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Have you ever walked on a moonless night in the woods?
It’s so incredibly dark.
It can even be hard to see your own feet.
However, if someone is in front of you with a flashlight, the situation is totally different.
Looking ahead, the light shows you where to go as you follow.
The darkness is displaced by the light.
If we are following Jesus, He is our light.
We no longer have to stumble in the darkness.
Be on your guard;
stand firm in the faith;
be courageous; be strong.
—1 Corinthians 16:13
I stood on the shore and watched.
Who was he?
I will never know.
Standing on the paddle board in the north Atlantic, the waves were constant.
He was on his guard, looking to the side.
I would say so.
Most of us won’t be spending our days balancing ourselves against the power of the sea, but there is still a challenge to be faced.
As believers, we are to stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ.
We are to be courageous and strong.
The strength that we need comes from God.
And the waves?
Yet, we must pray, read the Bible, and continue on–
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
–from Psalm 23:1-3
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Do you ever find yourself in a place where deep inside you know you don’t fit in?
Like being in a grocery store when a group of marathon runners come down the aisle to purchase water and all you’ve ever done is walk your dog.
You don’t fit in.
Or maybe while visiting at a friend’s house the conversation turns to the big game on television the night before. Everyone has seen it–except you. There’s not much you can say.
You don’t fit in.
There are so many situations where we find ourselves to be different.
We can’t all be runners or sports fans or scientists or artists.
We don’t have to conform to everyone.
Spiritually, we don’t have to be like everyone else, either.
We don’t have to conform to the world.
We can be changed and transformed to think in the way that is pleasing to God.
When we are changed, we become different.
We stand out.
We don’t fit in with the world.
Instead, we fit in with God…
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
The view of the water from my canoe was serene and calm.
The complete opposite of a raging lightning storm with torrential rain.
Even flowing water with manatees, turtles and fish as its inhabitants.
The peace of Christ calms us and comforts us.
Our hearts can be at peace through His strength in us.
The complete opposite of the chaotic, fast-paced environment of the world.
I want a peaceful heart.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
God’s power has not changed.
He still controls the winds and the sea.
I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
The late afternoon storm ended.
When the clouds began to move as the rain subsided, a beautiful rainbow appeared.
It’s God’s rainbow.