Your Needs

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

–Philippians 4:19

 

It wasn’t what I had planned at all.

I wanted to have a peaceful, wonderful day.

Actually, it turned out to be that way, but I wasn’t feeling well.

Having developed a fever and sore throat the day before, I wasn’t up to doing everything I had hoped to.

Still, the morning was beautiful, so I decided to step out into the yard and take a few photos in the early mist.

A squirrel was playfully moving about on a tree.

He was having a good day.

By watching him, I began to experience a certain happiness.

It’s like that for me.

As I look at my surroundings and notice the beauty of what God has created, I begin to feel a happy calmness.

As the verse above speaks of the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus, it seems to me that God will provide our needs, whatever they are.

Spiritual needs.

Physical needs.

Relational needs.

All our needs.

Even as He was healing my body of a sore throat and fever, He was giving me calm through the morning mist and the company of a scampering little squirrel.

 

your-needs

Grow Tall Like the Cedars

There are times when I am stuck in traffic driving home from work along a rural highway. 

The movement of vehicles can come to a slow crawl or even stop all together. 

In these moments, I can choose to look at the scenery around me in a more concentrated way than when I am just driving past. 

The trees are tall and healthy. 

The green grass carpets the ground in vivid color. 

The land has been well cared for. 

People who are in right standing with God—those who have sincerely chosen to seek His guidance as they journey through life—grow tall in the faith and flourish in the midst of His forgiveness and love. 

Righteous people flourish like palm trees and grow tall like the cedars in Lebanon.

Psalm 92:12

The Breath

The Spirit of God has made me,
    and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

–Job 33:4

 

As I walked over the wooden bridge, I paused to watch a small turtle surfacing in the water below me.

With his little neck stretched up into the air, he was sustaining his life as he took a breath.

It pleased God to make turtles, as it pleased Him to make all His creatures.

He designed this particular type to have the need to come up for air every now and then.

Air gives us life, as well.

If we cease to breathe, we cease to live.

Yet, if we did not have God’s breath in us, we would never have existed.

It is God who gives and sustains our lives.

 

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Steadfast, Immovable

While at a friend’s house, she showed me a dove who was faithfully sitting on a nest located in a garden planter.

The dove sat quietly as she looked at me—that odd looking person with a black box in her hand, coming ever so close.

As my camera and I visited her for a few brief moments, I captured a precious scene.

A scene of commitment.

A scene of love.

Who told the dove to sit on her nest?

God gives the animals instructions like that.

We, as believers, need to be committed to doing what God asks us to do.

We need to be steadfast…

 

 

 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58

 

 

 

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Recounted in Order

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The water from the ocean crawls relentlessly up onshore, traveling with intensity and force.

In a moment, as though it had specific orders to do so, it stops–and returns to the vast sea from which it came, leaving behind evidence of its short presence there.

Often, ripples form in the sand.

Intriguing and magnificent, mathematical and perfect; ordered, yet chaotic.

If I could take a photograph of the shore just after the recession of a wave and then measure each ripple with great accuracy, what would I find?

The numbers would certainly show God’s design–a picture of His Divine calculation.

The sand between my toes, the feel of the ripples left behind.

The sensation of cool water passing over my feet.

These are grand testimonies of the power and creativity of the Maker of the universe.

Many, O LORD my God, are your wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are toward us: they cannot be recounted in order unto you: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

–Psalm 40:5

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Prayer

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The garden area I saw was lush and inviting, with blooms of many colors.

An arch of vines formed a canopy over the brick walkway.

I am reminded of the lyrics of an old hymn:

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

 

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

–Philippians 4:6-7

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I Will Watch

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When I got up this morning, the fog was gently draping itself like a blanket just above the dewy ground.

As the sun’s rays came streaming down, they formed a natural spotlight for the grassy stage below.

Quiet.

Undisturbed.

Peaceful.

The start of a new day.

There are many concerns tugging at my heart.

God knows each one.

When I awaken to a new day, often I am reminded of my concerns.

As I pray for God to work in a way that only He can in the lives of those I am interceding for, I must wait.

I must wait and watch for His answer.

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LORD, in the morning You will hear my voice; in the morning I will pray to You, and I will watch for Your answer.

–Psalm 5:3

 

 

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morning watch

Set in Their Places

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This year, there will be a full moon on Christmas.

That hasn’t happened since 1977.

In fact, it’s only happened three times since 1900.

So, when will it occur again on Christmas?

The year 2034….

Figuring out such things requires a great deal of scientific and mathematical knowledge and expertise—a task for the highly educated.

Keeping the moon in orbit around the earth and the earth sailing around the sun and the sun in its place in the Milky Way requires a Creator with ultimate power—a task that only God can handle.

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O Lord, our Lord,
    Your greatness is seen in all the world!
Your praise reaches up to the heavens;
 it is sung by children and babies.
You are safe and secure from all Your enemies;
    You stop anyone who opposes You.

 When I look at the sky, which You have made,
    at the moon and the stars, which You set in their places—
 what are human beings, that You think of them;
    mere mortals, that You care for them?

—Psalm 8:1-4

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mortals

When The Ocean Was Born

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I am fascinated by the ocean.

I love the sound of the waves.

I love to watch the water as it changes shape to form them.

I love to ponder the ripples in the sand that remain when the tide pulls back.

God keeps the vast ocean in its place, every day, every night, without ceasing.

Awesome.

Amazing.

All-powerful.

That’s what God is….

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When the ocean was born,
    I set its boundaries
 and wrapped it in blankets
    of thickest fog.
 Then I built a wall around it,
    locked the gates,  and said,
“Your powerful waves stop here!
    They can go no farther.”

—Job 38:8-10

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Bitter Root

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Since I was off work today, I decided to do some weeding in the yard.

At one side of my house, I have some nice plants in a rectangular bed.

Sadly, I have neglected it and many weeds have grown up.

While removing some of them today, I reached down to pull an unwanted weed.

To my surprise, when I pulled it from the ground, it was actually spread out for quite a way to either side of the root.

What looked like a lot of plants was actually only one weed that had grown and spread its tendrils over an impressive area of soil.

Almost immediately as I looked at the mass of greenery hanging from my gloved hand, I thought of how that applies to life.

I hung the removed mass of stems and leaves up and took a photograph of them.

Pondering further, I think there are many spiritual problems that can threaten to overtake someone.

I wonder if those vast number of issues could actually be stemming from an initial one–

Bitterness?

Greed?

Anger?

If so, how can a person be delivered from a life plagued with the wages of sin?

Only God can deliver us from our plight.

When He removes, forgives and redeems, everything is taken out.

We can be healed from our transgressions and have a renewed mind—a mind devoted to Him.

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See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

—Hebrews 12:15

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root

While the Earth Remains

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While walking in the park, I noticed a branch that had fallen to the ground.

Crimson red outlined some of the leaves.

Once again, God is continuing to bring about seasons.

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While the earth remains,

seedtime and harvest,

cold and heat,

summer and winter,

day and night,

shall not cease.

—Genesis 8:22

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harvest

What Lies Behind

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I could hear the screech of the hawk as I was about to get into my car.

Flying toward the tall tree, it came to rest in the branches that were already thinning as colder weather approached.

Changing my schedule for a few moments, I took the opportunity to photograph the stately bird.

In one of the photos, his body was facing forward in the direction he was headed when I first saw him.

His head, however, was turned around—looking back from where he had flown from.

As believers in Jesus, we must look ahead at our new life in Him.

We can forget the old way of life that we had, with no need to look back.

We must keep looking forward.

We must trust in Him.

All things are new.

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Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 3:8-14

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forgetting

Cut The Hay

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Cut the hay, and new grass will grow.

Then gather the new plants that grow on the hills.

—Proverbs 27:25 ERV

The Good News version of the Bible translates this verse in this way:

You cut the hay and then cut the grass on the hillsides while the next crop of hay is growing.

God’s continual provision is with us always.

We must trust God to provide for us in every way that we have needs.

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cut the hay

Everlasting

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Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
 Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

—Psalm 90:1-2

God loves you right now.

God loved your parents.

God loved your grandparents.

God loved your great-grandparents, too.

No matter how far back you can go in your lineage, God has loved every person.

No matter how far back you go or how far forward you look to, God will still love—

From everlasting to everlasting.

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everlasting

Devoted to Things

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Things.

Things can be destroyed.

They are only temporary.

Things can wash away in a flood.

Things can blow away in a storm.

Things can only be what they are—just things.

A God-shaped life?

It will continue on into eternity….

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A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump;
    a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.

—Proverbs 11:28  The Message

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Rays of Light

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I have heard all about you, Lord.
    I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
    help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger,
    remember your mercy.

 I see God moving across the deserts from Edom,
    the Holy One coming from Mount Paran.
His brilliant splendor fills the heavens,
    and the earth is filled with his praise.
 His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise.
    Rays of light flash from his hands,
    where his awesome power is hidden.

—Habakkuk 3:2-4

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brilliant

Do Not Be Anxious

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Do not be anxious about anything,

but in everything by prayer and supplication

with thanksgiving let your requests

be made known to God.

And the peace of God,

which surpasses all understanding,

will guard your hearts

and your minds

in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6-7

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peace

A Brother or Sister in Need

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If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

—1 John 3:17-18

I think God puts thoughts into our minds sometimes.

When my husband came home from work today, he was in a great mood.

He said it was a beautiful day and we should go somewhere and enjoy it.

I responded by suggesting that we go to a lakeside park and watch the sun set.

After we had been at the park for only a few minutes, we met a woman on the boardwalk who had a need.

My husband and I were able to help her with what she was needing.

We were there at just the right time.

The time, I believe, that God wanted us to be there.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that God cares so much for us that He will bring people to us when we need them?

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possessions

In Due Season

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Where I live, oranges are ready for picking around Christmas time.

Of course, there are other crops that are in season then, as well as many in October and November.

There are berry picking farms in my area.

Even corn fields.

One thing is worth noting—

No matter how hard we would want it to happen, the oranges aren’t going to be ready to eat three months earlier than normal.

The berries aren’t going to be ripe enough to eat three months before their time, either.

The corn isn’t good until each stalk has had the proper time to mature.

The Bible has this to say in the book of Galatians:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

—Galatians 6:9

Farmers can’t give up on their crops before the appointed time of their maturity.

They just have to trust that in time, they will see the fruits of their labor.

It’s that way with us.

We just can’t give up….

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due season

Perfect Peace

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While visiting the ocean recently, I photographed two pelicans.

Often seen silently gliding in the air above in group formation, they are sometimes seen just sitting in the water, floating.

As I watched them, large waves would come up.

At times, they were completely hidden from my view because of the raging water and its foam.

Seconds later, they would appear in view again, still calmly riding the waves as though nothing had happened.

I know, of course, that at any moment they could’ve decided to just take off and fly away.

For a very long time, though, they chose not to.

They remained anchored in the water, moving as it moved, back and forth, high and low.

I can imagine them saying, “Let’s just sit here in the water for awhile and rest.”

Rest?

Rest in the constant surge of water beneath them?

Rest in the ocean’s white foam?

Evidently so.

They seemed at peace as they trusted their Maker.

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 26:3-4 that God can give perfect peace to those who trust Him:

You, Lord, give perfect peace
    to those who keep their purpose firm
    and put their trust in You.
 Trust in the Lord forever;
    He will always protect us.

The waves in our lives can we great, yet God can give us peace…

even in their midst.

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purpose

The Rock

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As for God, His way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    He shields all who take refuge in Him.
 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.

—Psalm 18:30-32

the rock

Puzzling Reflections

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In my journey of faith, there are many things that I do not understand.

Yet, even in my lack of understanding, I must trust God.

He sees things perfectly.

His knowledge is complete.

His love for me is great.

Like a little child trusting in her father as she grasps his hand while crossing a busy street, I must put my faith in God’s wisdom and guidance as I walk through this life with Him at my side.

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Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

—1 Corinthians 13:12

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Praise Him, Sun and Moon

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The sky was clear last night and the moon was bright and almost nearly overhead.

Braving the mosquitoes, I stood in my driveway, trying to get a good shot.

I really enjoy looking at the night sky and seeing a small part of the vastness in space that God has created.

Each time the moon rises, its very presence praises God who made it….

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Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise Him in the heights above.
 Praise Him, all His angels;
    praise Him, all His heavenly hosts.
 Praise Him, sun and moon;
    praise Him, all you shining stars.
 Praise Him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at His command they were created,
 and He established them for ever and ever—
    He issued a decree that will never pass away.

—Psalm 148:1-6

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