Mother’s Teaching

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction

And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;

—Proverbs 1:8

 

 

 

The little country restaurant sat nestled in the hills

A gentle rain obscuring the view

Sitting at my table, I saw the pair

 

In a distance, the mother and the foal

Huddling close, the younger never strayed

 

With green grass and yellow blooms

To brighten the dreary scene

Each moment a lesson in life

A mother’s love and teaching revealed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mothers teaching

New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Who was that person I used to be?

What were my thoughts

In my old identity?

How did I reason that I’d be fine

Not trusting in God’s ways

But counting on mine?

Imprisoned with guilt, confusion and shame

My heart was filled with hurt and blame

Jesus came and filled my heart

His gift to me—a brand new start

Who was that person I used to be?

It matters not

Because today I am free!

 

new creation 2

He Refreshes My Soul

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.
He guides me along the right paths
    for His name’s sake.

—Psalm 23:1-3

 

 

The Lord is the one who truly takes care of us.

 

He is the one that can calm us as we lie down to rest.

The quiet waters that give physical and spiritual renewal are His gift to us.

The Lord refreshes us from the weariness draped upon us.

He guides us to the paths that He knows are best.

 

The Lord is the one who truly takes care of us.

 

 

greenpastures

For I Am Lonely

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

—Psalm 25:16

 

 

 

Who are those that are lonely?

The ones in need so deeply inside

They’re mixed in crowds

yet still, they hide

 

Who are those that are afflicted?

The ones so burdened with pain

They blend in around us

But the hurt continues to remain

 

It is not known to their hurting hearts

That God would take them in

Who are those that could tell them?

It’s you and I, my friend

 

turn to me

 

 

 

 

This Is The Way

When I take a step

My gaze often on the road before me

Am I listening?

Listening for God

Awaiting His guidance

Walking in obedience

Instead of my own wisdom

Are my ears hearing a word behind me

Softly

Firmly

Telling me the way

When I take a step?

 

 

 

 

 

to the left

 

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

—Isaiah 30:21

 

 

 

 

Come Forth From the Heart

Matthew 15:18

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart;

and they defile the man.

 

The thistle bloom that grew by the fence

Was purple and brilliant

Sitting atop a mathematical wonder

Of pale green points

 

The perfect orb

A faded base

With prickly spears

 

For all who touch

It’s nature will be known

Sharp and hurtful

Barbs formed

From the inside

Now out

 

 

 

 

proceed

 

 

 

 

 

Unfading Beauty

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

 

unfading

I Am The Vine

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.

—John 15:5

 

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.

 

 

vine correct

He Will Show You

 

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.

—Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

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

 

 

pathto

 

 

 

 

Creatures That Move

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

—Genesis 1:26

 

 

Strolling slowly on the boardwalk, I noticed several dragonflies darting around near the water’s surface.

Dragonflies are so delicate, so quick and so ornate.

Everything that God has made is beautiful.

Every creature that exists is a masterpiece of God.

 

 

creatures that move

 

Encourage One Another

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

—1 Thessalonians 5:11

As I was walking down the street, I noticed a single flower coming up underneath a palm tree. 

Did someone intentionally plant it there?

Did a bird drop a seed in this unlikely spot?

It was so strikingly beautiful against the backdrop of gray palm bark, I just had to photograph it. 

It’s bloom added so much to its surroundings. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in a “gray” area, where joy and color are lacking in others. 

Relationship issues, health problems, financial woes…

We can be the bright yellow flower that speaks a word of truth and love as Jesus would have us to. 

We can be the listener that shows concern and empathy. 

We can encourage and build up where there has been discouragement. 

We can help….

From the Rising

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

—Psalm 113:3

 

Looking out over the lake, the sun was setting in a soft haze above the tree line.

It had been a very hot day, but the air was finally cooling as night approached.

No matter how many times I am privileged to view the setting or rising of the sun, it is always a thing of beauty to behold.

God’s creation is too marvelous for me to understand, but I do know this:

as the psalmist has said, the name of the LORD is to be praised!

 

 

the sun

We Lie

If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

1John 1:6

I went shopping yesterday. 

It was a brief trip– I knew exactly what I wanted to buy from a leather goods dealer. 

Walking up to the display of purses, wallets and bags, I saw an array of other items on a table nearby. 

There was a tray of rings. 

They looked like beautiful gemstones surrounded by diamonds. 

Somewhat intrigued by how nice they looked, I actually picked one up and looked at it. 

Even though they looked so nice, I knew they weren’t genuine. 

They weren’t locked in a secure glass case, protected from would-be thieves. 

I knew if I purchased one that it would look lovely on my finger for a short time, but then it’s true nature would become apparent. 

After awhile, the finish on the inexpensive metal would begin to wear off and my skin would likely turn green in response to contact with it. 

They may have looked like something of great value, but on closer inspection, these rings were practically worthless. 

Our walk with the Lord must be genuine. 

If we are only claiming to be forgiven and redeemed, while we actually have no relationship with Jesus, we are lying and not really being truthful.

We may look “good” on the outside–our lives may seem to be in right relationship with Him–but when Jesus looks deep within our hearts, He knows if we are genuinely desiring to live for Him or not. 

If we are only pretending, we are lying and not living out the truth. 

Jesus is ready to accept us fully, just as we are.

When we repent and ask for forgiveness, committing our lives to Him, everything changes….

A New Thing

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

—Isaiah 43:9

 

Many years ago, an elderly neighbor helped me to plant some flowers in my front yard.

The flowers we planted actually came from her yard.

She was sharing what she had with me.

The flowers that we planted bloomed a dark pink, as I recall.

In the years that followed, the flowers began to come back from the new seeds that had fallen in a new color–yellow.

My kind neighbor has since passed away, but the flowers she helped me plant have now spread to a sizeable area in my yard.

Dark pink, light pink and yellow.

The investment she made in our yard was really an investment in our friendship.

The plants that are thriving now came from that original day when she brought over her flowers.

The yellow ones were a new surprise when they first bloomed.

God is the Creator of new things.

New situations.

New hope.

New life.

New joy.

Sometimes, when all we’ve known is pink, we are pleasantly surprised by the yellow.

God is at work.

Can you see it?

 

 

 

newthing

Full of Water

“You visit the earth and water it,You greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

You provide the people with grain,

for so You have prepared it.”

—Psalm 65:9
A friend gave a bottle of water to me as a gift. She had decorated the outside of the swirled plastic bottle with colourful paper in the middle. 

Next, she attached a single powdered packet of orange flavouring. Part of the note with it read, “Enjoy your summer–relax, renew, refresh.”
We all have to have water to live. 

God gives us that water. 

He causes the rain to come. 

He provides the source for our water. 

The river of God is full of water–everything that we will ever need is readily available from God. 

He Will Guide Me

When I left for work today the sky was overcast and the air was warm, even though it was quite early. 
I had received a weather warning on my cell phone. 

A tornado watch was in effect for my area. 

Of course, that meant that conditions were favourable for the forming of a tornado. 
Honestly, I couldn’t tell that. 

Even though it was cloudy, it looked just like an average rainy day with no apparent dangers. 
But that’s the different between me and the good folks at the National Weather Service. 
I was just looking around with my normal, human eyes at the situation. 
They were looking at a host of various measurements taken from the atmosphere, coupled with sophisticated radar systems. 
They know what’s likely ahead even when I am not perceiving it. 
They don’t keep all that information to themselves, either. 
When there’s a danger approaching, they give a warning. 
After that, it’s up to me to heed their warnings. 
I thought about something earlier today. 
There are situations in life that look just normal to me—
yet, God knows differently. 
I’m looking at things from a human perspective. 
He’s looking at things from His perfect, all knowing perspective. 
Through the reading of His word, through prayer and His word to my heart, I am warned of the dangers and temptations that come over the horizon like stormy, threatening clouds. 
Even so, it’s up to me to heed God’s warnings. 
A gray day could mean much more than a gentle rain….
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God will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. He will guide me with His eye. 

—Psalm 32:8

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For Their Animals

Proverbs 12:10
The godly care for their animals,

    but the wicked are always cruel.
Our cat trusts us. 

Lying peacefully on the rug at the entrance to our home, she doesn’t seem to worry about any danger. 

She has reason to trust us. 

We feed her. 

We give her water. 

We speak kindly to her. 

I think God cares about how we treat our pets. 

Don’t you?