The Flower Fades

The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

–Isaiah 40:8

 

While visiting a large city, I was driving through a residential area.

One home, in particular, caught my eye.

Spring blossoms, ablaze in color, were bursting forth on bushes planted by a fence.

An opening near a gate separated two colors as the bushes seemed to beckon an onlooker into the back yard.

With this much beauty on the outside, could their be a gorgeous flower garden on the inside?

As stunning as they were, the flowers on the bushes would soon wither and fade.

There for only a season—–

God is not just with us for a time and then gone.

He is with us always.

His word stands forever!

 

 

flower fades

My Ways

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”

—Isaiah 55:8

I watched a rocket launch earlier this evening.

It was carrying a satellite to space.

Of course, that’s easy for me to say and that’s where the word “easy” stops in this conversation….

If ever anything wasn’t easy, it could be a successful rocket launch.

There I stood on planet earth, gazing into the sky and taking photographs of the rocket as it soared higher and higher into the sky.

A rocket literally escaping from the world below and it’s gravity.

The wisdom and knowledge needed to make what I watched even possible is astounding to me.

The mathematical calculations.

The understanding of the movement of the earth.

The entire thought process is absolutely amazing.

Even so, the most intelligent scientists and engineers among us only possess the knowledge they have because God has allowed it.

Think of it—we send rockets to space.

God created space…..

God has allowed us to know many things about what He has made.

Watching a rocket in the sky is just one more reason to recognize God and His infinite power.

ways correct

The World

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

—John 3:16

 

I went to a party recently.

On the table, I saw a large bowl of many colored jelly beans……….

~

When I was a child, I learned a song about the love of God.

Specifically, how He loves children.

All children.

The song speaks of various ethnic groups, but it applies to the differences in each of us, no matter what they are.

“Jesus loves the little children.

All the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black and white,

they are precious in His sight.

Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

All the children and everyone else, too.

Hair color, eye color, skin color.

Man or woman.

From this country or that country.

With this name or that name.

He creates each of us uniquely.

We are one of a kind, different from everyone else.

It doesn’t matter who we are— Jesus died for us.

God gave His one and only Son so that we might not perish but have eternal life with Him.

Right now—today—know this:

You are precious in His sight.

 

 

the world

 

 

Wind and Waves

I listened to a sermon this evening about Jesus calming the wind and waves.

Recently, I heard a song that spoke of how the wind and waves “still know His Name.”

Jesus can control every storm.

Nothing is too difficult for Him.

Dangerous is a word that applies to what could harm us.

There is nothing dangerous to Jesus…

 

One day Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out.  As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.

 The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.  Then He asked them, “Where is your faith?”

The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When He gives a command, even the wind and waves obey Him!”

—Luke 8:22-25

 

 

 

wind waves

Even Honey

Reverence for the Lord is pure,
    lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true;
    each one is fair.
 They are more desirable than gold,
    even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
    even honey dripping from the comb.

 

—Psalm 19:9-10

 

 

 

 

even honey

To Work Together

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

—Romans 8:28

 

Everything that we see around us that God has made—it’s a miracle, isn’t it?

A flower bud blooming out into mathematical perfection.

A misty sunrise over the mountains.

The birth of a baby.

These aren’t things we could do.

No–only God can do these things.

And God can cause everything to work together for the good of those who love Him.

That “working together” is miraculous, too.

It is only God that can do that for us.

 

 

 

 

work together

Into God’s Presence

Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

—Ephesians 3:12

 

 

 

Walking out of the restaurant in a small town near a lake, I noticed the sun setting with radiant color.

Getting my camera out of the car, I quickly made my way to the water’s edge to take some photographs before the sun was completely gone.

The light dazzled on the horizon, coloring the water with a golden orange hue.

Birds flew in the distance.

The beauty in front of me was just one display of God’s wondrous creation.

A gift for all to see.

We can praise Him for that beauty.

We can thank Him for all His gifts.

We can come to Him with our needs and our concerns.

We can come to Him accepted and forgiven–

Because of Christ and our faith in Him.

 

presence2

Think On

Finally, brothers and sisters,

whatever is true,

whatever is noble,

whatever is right,

whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable–

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–

think about such things.

—Philippians 4:8

 

Changing the dial on my radio as I was driving home, I came across a broadcast of someone speaking about God. 

Having only a few moments to listen before the program was over, I did not hear his context entirely. 

However, one of his statements stood out to me. 

He said to “spend your time wisely.”

But that wasn’t all of the sentence. He actually said, “Spend your time and your mind wisely.”

I had never heard someone say that I needed to spend my mind wisely. 

I understood the principle of spending my money wisely. 

I understood the concept of spending my time wisely. 

But my mind?

How does one spend their mind?

Could it be that the thoughts I allow to turn over and over and over again in my head are what I am spending my mind on?

I suppose I could see the difference in someone spending an evening thinking only about video games and someone spending an evening thinking and studying for a chemistry test. 

But what if I spent an evening worried about an illness as opposed to spending that same evening in prayer and praise?

Would I be spending my mind wisely by worrying?

What if I spent my thoughts criticizing others?

Being angry?

Bitter?

Jealous?

For those moments, I think it would fair to say I’d be wasting my mind. 

What about the times I spend my mind thinking about God?

Loving others?

Considering what God is showing me?

That would be spending my mind wisely, wouldn’t you say?

think on

 

 

Bearing Fruit Each Season

Oh, the joys of those who do not

follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand around with sinners,

or join in with mockers.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,

meditating on it day and night.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,

bearing fruit each season.

Their leaves never wither,

and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!

They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.

They will be condemned at the time of judgment.

Sinners will have no place among the godly.

For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,

but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

–Psalm 1:1-6

trees planted

But With God

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

—Matthew 19:26

 

“That will never happen.”

“They will never change.”

“That marriage is over.”

“I will never get that job.”

“I can’t go to college.”

“No one will ever love me.”

“There’s no cure for this.”

How many times during the day do we limit what God can do with our words and thoughts?

It is so very important to pray about everything that concerns us.

With God, all things are possible….

 

 

possible

Innermost Being

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”

—John 7:38

 

It seems that I have been noticing birds a lot lately.

This afternoon, my husband was watering a section of our yard that had very little grass.

Having recently planted grass seed in that area, he wanted to make sure it had enough irrigation to grow.

I watched a mocking bird fly up into a tree just past the water that was shooting up in streams from the hose on the ground.

As he sat there looking at the water, I was able to get a few photos of him.

As believers of Jesus, rivers of living water flow from us.

Our lives are different.

Other people are watching us.

At work they see us, talk to us, notice how we respond to everyday situations.

At school, at the store, at a ballgame, in church, on a train, in a grocery store line.

Our families watch us at home–at the dinner table, at the family reunion, when we are tired, when we are energetic, when we are happy, when we are sad.

Are they seeing the rivers of living water?

Through everything that happens–as believers of Jesus, we have the opportunity to show that living water is flowing from our lives.

 

 

 

innermost

Be On Guard

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

—1 Corinthians 16:13

 

The Eastern Bluebird stood on the apex of my neighbor’s roof.

Looking.

Being aware.

 

Sometimes we have to get to the very top of our circumstances–above them all–and look at things from an eternal perspective.

We have to be on guard, for temptations and difficulties surround us.

No matter what, we know we can stand firm in our faith.

God is in control.

Because He is and we are not, we can be courageous.

Our strength comes from Him.

 

 

 

 

 

be on guard

 

A Rope or a Bucket

In the book of John, we find an account of Jesus speaking with a woman.

Jesus had left Judea and was on a return trip to Galilee.

He went through Samaria as He traveled and He came to a village near land that Jacob had given to his son, Joseph—-

Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”  He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?  And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

(John 4:6-12)

There are so many aspects of this passage to consider.

The generosity of a father in giving his son a well.

One people group not wanting to associate with another.

God’s gift of living water.

Jesus’ willingness to speak to a Samaritan woman.

What I am pondering now is the woman’s question to Jesus when He says He would give her living water:

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?  And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

She didn’t know yet that Jesus was the Messiah.

She didn’t know yet that He could do anything.

She didn’t know that He was speaking of something other than water that she could touch and see.

Not knowing that, she points out that He does not have a rope or bucket.

She wants to know where He is going to get this water that He speaks of.

She questions how He could be offering something better than what has already been made available.

I do know who Jesus is.

I know that He is the Messiah.

I know that He is God’s Son.

I know that He is the Savior of the world.

Yet, if Jesus tells me that He will provide for me throughout my life, do I question just how He will do it?

Do I have doubt in my mind, not believing that He can do anything?

Do I think somewhere down in my heart that He doesn’t have a “rope or a bucket” to meet the needs I have at the moment?

I would like to think that I would not feel this way, but sometimes, doubts and fears creep in.

When this happens, I need to remember to pray.

As I do, He will assure me of His love and His ability to do more than I could ever imagine.

Jesus will calm my fears, each and every time, giving me faith to trust Him.

rope bucket

Your Light Has Come

Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

See, darkness covers the earth

and thick darkness is over the peoples,

but the Lord rises upon you

and His glory appears over you.

Nations will come to your light,

and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

—Isaiah 60:1-3

As for me, many years ago, a light came into my heart as I accepted Jesus as my Savior.

Darkness covered me–a thick darkness that separated me from His forgiveness.

A darkness of unwillingness to give my life to Him.

A darkness of doubt mixed with fear and shame.

Yet, the love of Jesus rose up in my heart one day and the brightness of salvation came to me.

In asking for forgiveness, I received it from Him.

In desiring His divine guidance for my life, He gave it.

By asking Him to be my Lord, He became just that.

Do you know Jesus today?

your light

 

The Bronze Snake

And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.

 

—John 3:14:15

 

 

Easter is coming.

A time to remember what Jesus has done for us.

Eternal life—

Is there anything more important than where you will spend eternity?

 

 

 

 

 

bronze

 

Out of the Same Mouth

Larger than life. That’s what they were.

On the manicured lawn near an art museum, I noticed a very interesting work.

It portrayed gigantic pencils placed together at different points.

Writing implements are tools with which we communicate our thoughts to others, releasing what is in our minds to the world outside of ourselves.

Like pencils, our tongues can communicate our thoughts to others, releasing what is in our minds to the world outside of ourselves.

It is up to us if we communicate positive, uplifting thoughts or negative, destructive thoughts.

I’m not sure what idea the artist wanted to communicate with their giant pencil art.

I do know that the power of a pencil in someone’s hand is far greater than what is conveyed by its size.

So it is with the tongue.

Though small, it has much power.

James 3:10 reads, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

We have the power to uplift and encourage.

We have the power to tear down and dishearten.

How will you use you words today?

How will I?

 

 

 

same mouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So He Returned

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 

—Luke 15:20

I am fascinated by the night sky. 

Space has always intrigued me. 

When I was about nine years old, I remember doing a science class demonstration of how the planets revolved around the sun. 

Tonight, my thoughts turned to Pluto–

the farthest planet from the sun. 

I also thought of Mercury–the closest planet to the sun. 

I decided to do a little research on the two. 

The side of Mercury facing the sun gets a bit warm. 

800.6 degrees Fahrenheit. 

That makes sense because it’s close to the sun, which is its source of heat. 

Then there’s Pluto. 

Lonely Pluto. 

It is so very far from the sun. 

Just how cold does it get on Pluto?

About -380.2 degrees Fahrenheit. 

380 below zero?

It’s hard to even comprehend how cold that is. 

Cold, of course, being the absence of warmth. 

God is our source of life. 

God placed the planets in space just as He wanted them to be–some close to the sun, others farther away. The planets had no choice in the matter. 

We, however, choose to stay close to God or to drift away. 

Sometimes, we even choose to run away. 

Where does that find us, then?

When we run from God, we find ourselves farther and farther away from the only thing that matters–our relationship with Him. 

Cold and lonely, isolated and barren, we end up in a place we never planned to be. 

If we had chosen to draw closer to God–our source of life–the warmth of His presence would permeate every aspect of our being. 

God calls us. 

He wants us to be close. 

It’s our decision. 

Unlike planets, we can change our minds. 

If we find ourselves far away from God, we can turn around and go back. 

Like the story of the prodigal son in Luke , chapter 15, God is waiting for us to return home to find His love and forgiveness. 

Make Music

Make music to praise the LORD, you faithful people who belong to Him. Remember His holiness by giving thanks.

—Psalm 30:4

I saw him among the branches of the tree in my front yard.

The sun wasn’t far from setting and the blue jay was perched high.

Wanting just to be quiet and calm while enjoying a few moments outside, I listened to the various birds sing and tweet as they prepared for nighttime to fall.

When the birds sing, they make music.

They are able to do so because God gives them that ability.

With each chirp and call, they testify to the greatness of their Creator.

I want to praise God with my voice and with instruments as I make music, giving thanks.

That is possible because He gave me a voice and the ability to play instruments.

Thank You, God, for all that You have done for me. All praise belongs to You.

make music