Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Heart of Love!


      I have driven or walked past this scene more times than I can count in the 3 years I've lived in my apartment.  Somehow I never noticed before this weekend that there were 2 trees entwined causing their branches to form a uniquely beautiful picture.  
     Do you see the heart?  It speaks to me of the love between God and His child, husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, relatives, and friends.  We know the only one of these loves that is perfect is the love that God has for His children.  However, when we accept His love shown through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the love we share with others becomes more like His as we grow in grace.  
     Just like these trees, when we allow our lives to become entwined with God the love we feel for Him and for others is apparent to all who see us.  Accept His gift of mercy and grace, and bask in the warmth of His love.  The warmth will spread and entwine with all your other relationships.  
     I'm so thankful God reveals Himself to us through nature.  Keep your senses aware and He will amaze you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Garden

 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.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.


I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.


I love this story of how C. Austin Miles wrote this song.

Words & Music: C. Aus­tin Miles, March 1912 (MI­DIscore):
"I read…the sto­ry of the great­est morn in his­to­ry: “The first day of the week com­eth Ma­ry Mag­da­lene ear­ly, while it was yet ve­ry dark, unto the se­pul­cher.” In­stant­ly, com­plet­ely, there un­fold­ed in my mind the scenes of the gar­den of Jo­seph….Out of the mists of the gar­den comes a form, halt­ing, he­si­tat­ing, tear­ful, seek­ing, turn­ing from side to side in be­wil­der­ing amaze­ment. Fal­ter­ing­ly, bear­ing grief in ev­e­ry ac­cent, with tear-dimmed eyes, she whis­pers, “If thou hast borne him hence”… “He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their sing­ing.” Je­sus said to her, “Mary!” Just one word from his lips, and for­got­ten the heart­aches, the long drea­ry hours….all the past blot­ted out in the pre­sence of the Liv­ing Pre­sent and the Eter­nal Fu­ture."
      This was my Dad's favorite hymn so it is special to me for that reason alone.   More than that there have been times in my life when I've felt like Mary, tearful and seeking, and the presence of Jesus has been as real to me as it was to her in that garden that day at the tomb.  
      I pray that you will know the sweet joy of walking with Jesus in the garden as you spend time in His presence.  It's a gift from God that never fails.  Unwrap it today.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Gifts from Our Creator!

Last year I had 2 little wrens who nested in a watering can on my patio.
I enjoyed watching them build it but I couldn't see inside.

This year they returned to build a nest inside a plastic bag inside a basket on my patio.
This pair of hard working little birds flew back and forth 
with bits and pieces in their beaks.
They worked for many hours over several days while being alert 
to any danger that might present itself.  
This is the fruit of their labor:
One day I saw one of the birds flying back and forth with something in its beak.
I walked out onto the patio and peaked into the nest as closely as I could.
Daddy is providing for Momma as she sits on her eggs!

What a beautiful picture of God's provision and protection.

"You are my hiding place from every storm of life..."
Psalm 32:7a

Every time I walk out onto the patio I peek inside the nest.
Momma is always in there peering back at me.
Then, a few days I go when I peeked inside I saw:
Momma was taking a break so I was blessed with this gift!

I'm so thankful for the amazing moments God gives me.
So many of them are so small or fleeting 
that we miss them if we are not living in that moment.

God's Word tells us that:

 For his invisible attributes, namely, 
his eternal power and divine nature, 
have been clearly perceived, 
ever since the creation of the world, 
in the things that have been made. 
So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 ESV

Nature reveals God.
In these tiny birds I see how God provides for His creation.
I see how each facet of creation has a role to fulfill 
and is given exactly what is needed to fulfill it.

Jesus Himself said:

Look at the birds of the air: 
they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not of more value than they?
Matthew 6:26 ESV

Keep your senses tuned to God's creation.
He will amaze and astound you when you do.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting expectantly for baby birds.

Thank You for the gifts You lavish on me through Your creation.  
In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Do You Know That You Are Loved?

     Do you know that you are loved?  If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are loved more than you can imagine.  That being said, to know how much you are loved you need to be "rooted and established" in that love.  That doesn't happen by accident.  To obtain this knowledge of being loved you must spend time with the One who loves you so.

     Thankfully, God doesn't leave us alone to grasp this knowledge.  He  has given us His word, access to Himself through prayer in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and fellowship with other believers to help us grow in this knowledge.  It is in spending time reading His word, speaking and LISTENING to Him through prayer, and gathering together with "all the saints" that we come to know the "fullness of God".

     I spent over 30 years in a marriage where I was not loved.  As I look back over that time I am amazed to see how God's love for me shines through especially in the darkest moments.  It is wonderful at this stage in my life to know how much I have been, am, and will be loved by my heavenly Father.  Nothing can change that.  No one can change that.  I am loved!  So are you!

     Please, if you don't know this amazing One who loves you so seek Him out. He has promised us that:

If you do know Him, continue to seek Him.  I can assure you from my own life experience that He will reveal more and more of Himself to you.  You will "be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God".

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Peace Not of this World!

    With these words Jesus reminds me that I will not have peace in this world.  We pray for peace which is good but as long as Satan has his way there will not be lasting peace in the world. 

     True peace in my life can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ thanks to His death and resurrection.  When I in faith accepted His gift of salvation He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within me and to produce fruit in my life.

     As I spend time with God in prayer and scripture this fruit grows and permeates every aspect of my life.  It is only through His presence that my life can reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  

     When Jesus returned to His Father He left His followers the gift of peace.  Therefore nothing that happens in this world should trouble or alarm me.  Move me to share Jesus with the world?  Definitely!  Wring my hands and live in fear?  Absolutely not!

     Do you have this peace that is beyond all understanding?  If not, I pray you will seek Jesus out.  He has promised that when you seek you will find.  Seek Him today.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Peter's Example

     In Matthew 16:15-16 Peter had the correct answer. He confessed his belief in who Jesus is. What a marvelous testimony from this man who gave up all to follow Jesus.
     However, just a few short verses (21-23) later Peter is rebuked by the same One he had just confessed to be the Son of God:
     From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
     I don't know about you but this gives me hope for myself. One moment my faith is strong as can be and the next I'm wondering if God hears me. We know the rest of the story. Peter becomes the leader of Christ's church, a missionary spreading the gospel of Christ, and suffers death because of his great faith.
     I believe Peter's example is given in scripture to encourage and teach me that if God can and will do this for Peter He can do what He wants with me. I just have to be willing to serve Him. He takes care of the rest.
     He can and will do the same for you.