Mansions

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Jesus said,

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  (John 14:2)

I don’t know if there will be numbers on each mansion in Heaven or if there will be any identification or distinction between any of them at all.

I do know that Jesus spoke of them and of preparing a place for those who believe in Him.

If our earthly fathers were to build a new home for us, they would do so from a loving heart along with their financial capabilities.

If our earthly father owned a lucrative business and sustained a large bank account, we would rightly feel that a home built for us would reflect that wealth.

Our Heavenly Father owns the universe.

The most dazzling constellation is but a necklace in His hand.

The brightest, most colorful nebula is just one work of art in His gallery of creation.

Our new home in Heaven will convey His great love for us and the beauty and glory of His presence will forever surround us.

Dear Jesus, thank You for paying the price for my sins and offering me forgiveness and salvation. Thank you for my home in Heaven that awaits me and all those who love You.   ~Amen

 

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mansions

The Benefits of Freedom

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Christ has freed us

so that we may enjoy

the benefits of freedom.

Therefore, be firm in this freedom,

and don’t become slaves again.

—-Galatians 5:1

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What does it mean to be free?

The dictionary says,

“to make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.”
In the verse above, what if we thought of it this way?
“Christ has made us free, set us at liberty, released us from bondage, released us from imprisonment, and released us from restraint.”
Butterflies are a perfect picture of a creature released from bondage.
As a caterpillar, they cannot fly.
Trapped within the chrysalis, they cannot even move along the ground.
But then, freedom comes!
As they emerge from the the darkness around them, they are suddenly flooded with light and with wings made for flight, they soar into the air, free to fly!
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benefits of freedom

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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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

Wedding Clothes

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There is an open field behind my house.

Just beyond it, there is a community of homes named, “Eagle’s Landing.”

A few days ago, a red-shouldered hawk decided to perch on the Eagle’s Landing sign.

I was able to take several photographs before he ventured on his way.

It would’ve been quite the sight if the hawk had actually been an eagle!

Still, to see the painted sign with a living hawk together made me pretty happy.

I started thinking about something, though.

What if the area was an “eagles only allowed” community?

I know that’s a silly thought, but suppose it was?

In that case, the hawk would be out of place.

Not welcome.

He’d be forced to leave.

I thought about an example Jesus gave about a similar situation in the parable of the wedding banquet, found in the book of Matthew, in chapter 22.

Jesus spoke about the kingdom of heaven being like a king who was preparing a wedding banquet for his son. The king had sent those who served him out to tell all the people who had been invited to the event to come, but they wouldn’t. So the king sent more servants to tell them about the banquet being ready and that it was time to come.

Here are some of the verses that follow:

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.  The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.  The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.  So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.”

—Matthew 22:5-11

The king then asks the man how he got into the banquet without wedding clothes.

The man had nothing at all to say, so he is thrown out into the darkness.

So, what does this have to do with hawks and eagles?

None of us can ever enter heaven on our own.

Why?

Because we are all hawks, and only those who are identified as eagles can get in.

How can a hawk become an eagle?

Nothing is impossible with God.

When Jesus died for the payment of our sin, He purchased “eagle clothes” if you will, for everyone who would accept them.

Any hawk found to be without them—-after they have been offered—-will not be able to live forever with God.

Heaven is a real place, just like Eagle’s Landing is a real place.

There, only sinners saved by grace are allowed.

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wedding clothes

And With My Song

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The melodic sound of the cardinal rang out all through the yard.

He had found his way to the very top of one of the tallest trees.

There, for all to hear, he sang….

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The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in Him,

and He helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,

and with my song

I praise Him.

—Psalm 28:7

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my song

Commit Your Way

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Psalm 37:3-5

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
 Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in Him, and He will act.

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What can I do?

Trust.

Do good.

Dwell.

Befriend.

Delight.

Commit.

What will God do?

He will give.

He will act.

On this day that I call today, the future is unknown.

Unknown to me, yet known to God.

On this day that I call today, I must commit my way to Him.

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But Now You are Light

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For you were once darkness,

but now you are light in the Lord.

Live as children of light

(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

and find out what pleases the Lord.

—Ephesians 5:8-10

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The Purpose of the Lord

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It was a quiet morning, warm and inviting.

Stepping out onto the boardwalk at the park, the scenery was familiar.

How many times had I visited this place, looking out over the lake, taking in all the beauty of my surroundings?

Within the first moment of my arrival, I noticed a graceful, white heron posing effortlessly among the plants growing by the water’s edge.

I had often seen birds like this before, but today was different.

God had, in the past several days, been revealing a new direction for me.

There are times when God speaks to each of us to lead us to something new.

He may confirm in our hearts whom we should marry or what career to pursue.

He may reveal to us a new ministry opportunity or He may direct us to begin or end our involvement in a certain area.

Today was just like the other days I had visited the park—-except that it wasn’t.

God had been speaking to my heart about a specific direction for my life, and I was listening.

Proverbs 19:21 says,

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

The plans that are in my mind will ultimately be aligned with God’s purpose, if I am willing to listen and heed His voice.

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Let Us Love

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I received three gifts this week from my sons.

They were gifts of love, and I will cherish that love, because my heart is filled with love for them.

In thinking about these recent gifts, something deep inside of me realizes that the gifts were not just from them.

God was loving me through my sons and their thoughfulness.

When I think of the love shown to me this week, my heart will smile.

God loves me…

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1 John 4:7-8

 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

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He Refreshes My Soul

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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.
 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

—-Psalm 23:1-6

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green pastures light

Rejoice and Be Glad

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Driving along in the shopping area of a nearby city, my husband noticed a fountain that had been placed in the parking lot.

As we drove past the plumes of pulsing water, he noticed that a duck had found the fountain, as well.

Quickly, I grabbed my camera and got out of the car while my husband found a place to park.

The duck was quite obliging in my quest to photograph him as he was enjoying his moments of refreshment.

His orange feet and toes were being constantly washed with the motion of the water as though he were standing in a Jacuzzi tub.

He was magnificently colored with a bright blue stripe on his side.

God created ducks to joyously live and play in the water.

On a hot day, surrounded by concrete and parked cars, this bird found an unexpected respite.

In the middle of an inhospitable environment, a silent invitation to play, drink, and cool off was answered by a

mottled duck, happy to accept.

Aren’t there times when God provides such things for us?

On a tired afternoon, when weariness weighs heavy, suddenly—–there it is.

An encouraging note from a friend, a surprise birthday party or a roadside park, complete with a bench in the shade.

God knows what we need and He knows what brings us joy.

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

—Psalm 118:24

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Be Joyful

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Almost every day at work, I make a list.

A “to do” list.

If I don’t, I risk forgetting something very important.

And if I forget something important that I was supposed to do, a lot of my day–or even my week– could go wrong.

I have sticky notes on the edge of my computer screen for important dates to remember.

Often, I have a paper on my desk, listing my tasks.

It is ready for me to add to it at any moment.

In the 12th chapter of Romans, there is also a “to do” list.

Here are just a few of the things listed that should be on our list:

Love must be sincere.

Hate what is evil;

cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.

Practice hospitality.

—-Romans 12:12-13

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Maybe I should copy this down and place it on my desk at work.

If I forget about these things, a lot of my day–and even my week–could go wrong.

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The Riches

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Money.

Who has money, really?

We might hold it in our hands or have it deposited into a bank.

But is it ours?

I don’t think so.

Money—and all the things that it can buy—really belong to God.

Is your house that you bought with your money really yours?

Or is it the shelter that God provided for you through your work or some other means?

Is your car that you bought with your money really yours?

Or is it the vehicle that God provided for you through your work or some other means?

If God really owns all that we have, what does that make us?

Stewards.

To be a steward is to be the manager of something that belongs to another.

When God blesses us with anything—we become the caretakers of those blessings.

What happens when we feel that we need more money or something that money can buy?

We must go to God in prayer, asking for His provision of that which is already His and not ours.

Believing that He hears our prayer, we must wait for His answer, trusting that He loves us and knows what is best.

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And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:19

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Love Endures Forever

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After completing a photo session with a client late this afternoon, I stepped over to the side of the road to look at the ornate landscaping.

A rod iron fence was separating the road from the grassy lake area below.

Admiring the lush, red flowers before me, I photographed them up close.

As I looked down the road, I realized that the flowers were not only in front of me, but they lined the pavement as far as I could see.

If I traveled down the road a little farther, I’d still be graced with the beauty of the delicate red petals.

Psalm 136:26 reminds us to–

“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

No matter how long our journey is, God will love us the entire time.

Even though I couldn’t see it, I knew there had to be an end to all those flowers blooming along the road.

At some point, they would cease to adorn it.

God’s love isn’t like that.

It endures.

It endures forever.

It endures forever as far as we can see with our incredibly limited understanding, plus on and on with a divine steadfastness we cannot fully comprehend.

If things are difficult for you right now, why not take a moment to visualize God’s love for you.

It’s right there in front of you, and if you look up, you’ll see that His love will be there to greet you with each new step that you make.

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I Am Alive

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After church this morning, those in attendance were asked to bring flowers and place them on a cross outside to signify that Jesus was alive.

Jesus was crucified and yet, He came back to life on the third day.

Where is Jesus now?

In the book of Revelation, John describes being in the Spirit and hearing a loud voice like a trumpet telling him to write what he saw in a book and then to send it to seven churches, which are listed in the first chapter. Beginning with verse 12, here are a few of the verses that John wrote:

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Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,  and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.  The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,  and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

—Revelation 1:12-18

Who is Jesus?

He is the first and the last.

He is the living one.

He died, but He is alive forevermore.

He suffered and died to pay the penalty of our sin, so that we could believe in Him and be alive forevermore, as well.

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Without Self-Control

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I’m not exactly sure what the little building was for.

It had a small fence in front of it.

There were no windows or doors.

In fact, there didn’t seem to be any walls.

Just posts to hold up the sturdy looking roof.

It was some type of shelter, I’m sure, but it would not have been able to protect someone inside from anything other than sun and rain.

If it had been constructed with walls, windows and doors, that would have been a different story.

Someone inside could have been protected from anything outside.

Proverbs 25:28 in The Message reads,

“A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.”

A house with missing windows and doors is unprotected, much like the structure I saw.

Someone who does not have self-control is unprotected, as well.

Just about anything can come into their lives because there are no boundaries or barriers to keep the bad things out.

Those windows and doors are the boundaries and barriers in our lives that can open up to let good things in and shut tightly to keep what is not good from entering.

I need to consider—-

Do I have self-control?

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Equipped for Every Good Work

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As I walked by the building, there were pegs on the wall placed in position to hang tools and useful things.

A shovel, a rope and a ladle…

To place needed items where they can be easily accessed is always a good idea.

I enjoy camping from time to time.

Before I go, I make a list of necessary items that I expect to need when I arrive at the site.

It is very important to have everything on the list at my disposal.

If I don’t have what I need, the trip will not be as successful as I had hoped.

What do I need every day in order to be prepared?

If I have been consistent in reading the Bible, I will have God’s words stored in my mind.

It would be a really good idea to have a Bible placed where I could get to it easily.

As I am starting my day, prayer will allow me time to communicate with God, receiving guidance for the hours ahead.

Throughout the day, these “tools”—God’s word and prayer—-will be what I need.

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

—2 Timothy 3:16-17

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That Appears To Be Right

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Sometimes, life lessons just show up—like in my kitchen.

Yesterday, I decided to make waffles for breakfast.

If you’re going to have waffles, butter and syrup have to be on the menu, as well.

When the meal was over, I put away the ingredients I had used.

Ready for the day, I left the house and did not return until fairly late at night.

The next morning, I saw that I had left the maple syrup on the stove with the cap on, but not tightened.

Upon closer inspection, I realized it was filled with ants.

Not ten.

Not twenty.

Probably more than a hundred ants.

Maybe two hundred!

A scout ant had found the “gold mine” of the century and had alerted all his co-workers of the his sweet discovery.

Ant after ant had decided to take the trip down the bottle to sample the gooey, brown lusciousness of endless syrup.

Ant after ant became trapped and unable to crawl out of the bottle.

If they had only come upon a small drop or two spilled on a counter, they would not have met with their demise.

If they had only been satisfied with the small residue on the cap of the bottle, they most likely would have survived.

The inside of the bottle looked too good.

It smelled too good.

It tasted so good.

Yet………

it killed them.

Proverbs 14:12 warns us:

There is a way that appears to be right,

 but in the end it leads to death.

Right there, in my kitchen, this verse was illustrated perfectly.

The ants thought going into the bottle of syrup was right.

It wasn’t.

If we are wise, we will ask for God’s leading and guidance before heading into any situation, even if it seems right at first.

God knows what is best for us.

If He tells us to pass on the syrup, then that’s what we had better do.

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seems right

In the Shelter

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I noticed her, high up in a tree by the water’s edge.

She was sitting on a nest so far above the ground and on such spindly looking branches.

The nest was of her own creation, done just the way God had placed into her mind to do.

Protecting her offspring was also placed into her mind, as well, I believe.

The Great Blue Heron, far up in the branches, will continue to watch over her young to keep them from harm.

The psalmist writes,

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

—Psalm 91:1

In reality, aren’t we like a tiny, helpless bird in a treetop nest?

Unable to protect ourselves from the vast unknown?

If we are found in the shelter of God, we can rest in His shadow and in His love.

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If You Have

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It was lunchtime, so I stopped at a familiar grocery store that sells pre-made salads in their produce section.

When I began to peruse the selections, I was disappointed.

There is a particular salad from there that I prefer.

Walnuts, raisins, apples and blueberries on a bed of fresh spinach leaves.

Looking carefully at the display of salads, I didn’t see my favorite.

A man was working behind me in the produce area.

I explained that I wasn’t finding what I wanted and I asked if he could look “in the back” to see if there were any that had not been put out for sale.

He looked, and none could be found.

He stopped what he was doing, went behind the counter and began making a salad to my specifications.

He even went out into the store and got a box of raisins and a package of walnuts when he realized he didn’t have any.

While I was waiting—at two separate times—someone who worked at the store saw me and asked if I needed any help.

Also, as I watched him making the salad, I overheard him interact with two other employees who were apparently under his authority, in a very kind and considerate manner.

After quite a bit of trouble on his part, he happily handed me my salad in a clear plastic container.

To top things off, he apologized to me for the wait….

When I got home, I was pleased to see that I not only had walnuts, apples, raisins and blueberries, but I had strawberries and raspberries, too!

This man not only represented his employer well, he represented himself well.

What would it be like if we represented Jesus to others?

When someone asks us for help, what if we were to stop what we were doing in order to see to their needs?

What would happen if we went out of our way to do what was best, even if it took longer?

What if we showed Christ-like character in our interactions with others while we were helping?

What if, while we were helping, two other Christians came by and offered their assistance?

I went away from the store marveling at the attitude and character of the man who made my salad.

The whole experience makes me look forward to visiting that store again.

If there are those who don’t know Jesus as their Savior who are within our scope of care and influence at any time, would their experience with you and me make them look forward to seeing us again?

Would they want to know more about becoming a Christian after realizing that we were?

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By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

—John 13:35

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My disciples

So the Heart Reflects the Real Person

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Early morning.

The boardwalk was quiet for the most part.

I passed a couple of people fishing off the rail.

Silent birds gliding through the still, moist air made their way across the wide expanse of the water.

The lake before me was like a perfect mirror, reflecting the perfect beauty all around.

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As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.

—Proverbs 27:19

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The Gift

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We give gifts at Christmas.

We give gifts on birthdays.

We give gifts at Valentine’s Day.

We give gifts to show love.

The one who receives the gift then has something that they hadn’t before.

God did not want us to be lost forever without Him.

He didn’t want us to be separated from Him.

He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins.

Then, He offered us the gift of eternal life.

We did not have eternal life before.

There was no possible way for us to get it for ourselves.

The gift must be accepted.

What if Jesus spoke these words to you—

“My child, won’t you please accept this gift from Me?”

Would you accept?

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When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

—Romans 6:20-23

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On Wings Like Eagles

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Do you feel weary today?

Are you weak?

Are you tired?

Are you stumbling, feeling like you’ve fallen too far to get back up?

There is hope for you, for me and for all of us.

That hope is in the Lord.

I photographed an eagle yesterday.

The wingspan was wide and powerful looking.

If we hope in the Lord, the Bible tells us we will renew our strength and we will soar on wings like eagles.

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Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
 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 40:28-31

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eagles frame

I Have Overcome

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The afternoon breeze had the slightest chill as I sat in my lawn chair, hoping to get a photograph of a bird in a nearby nest.

Venturing out into the country, away from loud noises and constant distractions, it was nice just to think quietly and breathe in the fresh air.

After awhile, a woman came along, aware of the nest, high in the trees.

We talked briefly about birds and the weather…

Then, a man driving a truck with a horse trailer hitched on the back came driving up the dirt road.

Getting out, he explained that he was looking for a cemetery for a graveside service.

He was bringing the horse to the ceremony.

The woman I had just met was from the area and able to tell him where to go.

He told us the funeral was for a child—only three years old.

I didn’t ask why he was taking a horse there.

Was the horse the family’s animal?

Did the child love horses?

I hurt for the family, knowing their pain and grief surely must be great.

As the man left quickly, I simply said, “God bless you.”

There was nothing I could do to ease the sorrow of the moment.

Only God could meet that family in the deep places of their hearts with comfort, understanding and love.

As I left to go home, I photographed the road and the field beyond.

It was peaceful and quiet—serene.

Jesus said,

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

—John 16:33

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overcome

Love is Kind

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Am I patient?

Am I kind?

Or am I envious, boastful and proud?

Do I honor others?

Or am I self-seeking and easily angered?

Do I keep a record of wrongs?

Do I delight in evil or do I rejoice in the truth?

Do I always protect?

Do I always trust?

Do I always hope?

Do I always persevere?

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

—1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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love is

The Greatest of These

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Valentine’s Day is coming up.

Candy.

Flowers.

Cards.

It’s all about love.

But, what is love?

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Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

—1 Corinthians 13:8-13

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three remain

Only Helpful Words

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“This call may be recorded for quality assurance.”

How many times have I heard this recording or something similar after dialing the number of a business?

It doesn’t really matter what business it is anymore; you could be calling your doctor, the electric company or a fabric store.

It seems that everyone is concerned about “quality assurance.”

Well, now.

Exactly what is quality?

And how do they propose to achieve assurance of it by recording your conversation?

I have my own thoughts about the answer to that question, but the whole idea brings up a different, parallel thought.

What if every time you had a conversation with anyone in person or on the phone, you both heard a little musical tone and then the words, “This conversation is being recorded for quality assurance?”

Would that have any effect on what words you chose to say?

How about the tone of voice you used to say them with?

If someone could actually play back your conversation, would you think twice about your role in the exchange?

The truth is, your conversations ARE being recorded.

Not exactly by an electronic source, but recorded, none the less.

First of all, God hears every word.

He remembers everything, so He will always know what you have said.

Secondly, the people you are talking to at any moment often remember the words that you are saying to them, even when you may forget.

Thirdly, if even for a short time, you are recording in your own mind what escapes from your mouth.

Five minutes later or the next day, week or year, you may still be very aware of your part in a past conversation.

For me, I think it would be a good idea if I always spoke as if my words were being recorded—

not just for quality assurance, but to please God.

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Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.

—Ephesians 4:29

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words

The Fountain of Life

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The ocean’s vast waters glow with the brilliant light of the evening sun.

Bursting from the horizon, it’s reflection marks a pathway across the waves in blazing intensity.

I watched as a man traveled alone across the waves, heading for the light.

Am I heading for God’s light, where true life is found?

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Indeed, the fountain of life is with you. In your light we see light.

—Psalm 36:9

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fountain frame

Whoever Rejects

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John the Baptist, in speaking about Jesus, said,

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

–John 3:34-36

Jesus speaks the words of God.

Everything has been placed into the hands of Jesus by the Father.

If anyone—anyone-–believes in Jesus, they will have eternal life.

If anyone—anyone—rejects Jesus, they will not have eternal life.

If anyone—anyone-–rejects Jesus, God’s wrath remains on them.

It’s up to us.

God’s wrath.

God’s forgiveness.

Which one do you want?

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