Faith, Living Life, Uncategorized

Remembering God’s Assuring Love

 

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In this society which seems to be imploding with division and blind contention, I cling to the comfort I find in Christ Jesus, in knowing who God is.

 

This chapter of Psalm reads as if it were written only recently, its words so descriptive of modern day humanity.

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The highlighted portion of this text is what I hope to leave foremost in your hearts today. For though the first few verses of this chapter describe a scene of hopelessness and a plot in which evil wins, the message of God’s love toward those whose hope is in Him comes shining through!

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As a ship lost in the overwhelming storms of the sea, those onboard finally seeing a guiding light beam through the darkest sky, finding new strength which springs forth from within them, and they feel renewed determination to hold on and fight the good fight.

 

   “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

 

“I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
  In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
  The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
  Even on their beds they plot evil;
they commit themselves to a sinful course
and do not reject what is wrong.
  Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
  Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
  How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
  They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
  For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
  Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
  May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
  See how the evildoers lie fallen—
thrown down, not able to rise!”

Psalm 36

 

Find comfort, my friends, in this declaration of God’s unfailing love! I pray that your hearts are bathed in it until it saturates every part of your soul with His perfect peace!

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Faith, Living Life, Uncategorized

Clothed in Splendor

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The clematis vine I planted last year has grown more than I could have imagined  and this spring, showcased a remarkable amount of blooms.

 

As you can see, it has settled quite nicely in its home under the pergola. In fact, I love it so much, I’m going to plant another one of a different color.

 

As I thought of a friend of mine who is struggling with health issues, a passage of scripture came to my mind, which immediately made me realize that this simple yet elegant flowering vine not only gifts me with its beauty, but also with an important lesson about life.

 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-34

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I know it is not in the best interest of anyone to worry excessively. There is enough scientific evidence now to confirm that the stress of worrying is not good for our bodies or minds.

 

But life is full of ups and downs, trials and conflicts, enough to at least bring concern to our minds now and then. I don’t believe that is any surprise to God. He told us these times would come and to hold fast to the words which He spoke.

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This passage of scripture is full of assurance and encouragement, and I find much comfort in it.

Because when I look at that little flower on the vine, I see that my God put so much care and thought into the intricate design of each part of it, shaped it just so, and used His imagination to decorate it with brilliant color.

And as He stated in His words,  if He would take such care to dress the field flowers so beautifully, and water them with the dew, will He not make sure that I am cared for also?

 

Sure, times of concern will come. Circumstances will sometimes feel overwhelming. I will even admit that sometimes worry overtakes my thoughts and weighs heavy on my mind.

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In times such as these, this scripture is a reminder to keep our eyes on God, to continue to seek Him, to press in closer to Him, where we will find strength and comfort, peace and wisdom.

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And one more thing about my beautiful, flowering vine… I know that when He was creating it, He had me in mind, knowing that when my eyes behold its beauty, it would remind me of Him and bring warmth and delight to my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Life, Uncategorized

Should I or Shouldn’t I

I am not a risk-taker. There are pros and cons to that. pexels-photo-555709

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Growing up, I did have a few moments of carefree adventure. For instance, I spent many, many hours riding our horses, galloping down the dirt roads in the middle of hop fields and orchards, and setting up small obstacles, which my horse and I would fly over.

 

 

I drove my Chevy Nova much too fast down the back county roads, while I’m certain my guardian angels were busy trying to keep up.

 

I will end my confessions of reckless behavior right there!

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There is one phobia which kept my feet on the ground for most of my adult life: the fear of flying. A time or two, I would try to imagine myself getting on an airplane and going to my dream destination, but the thought of boarding and taking off on that plane, would cause anxiety to rise up in the pit of my stomach. However, I’ve always said I would do it if it was for one of my children.

 

The point came in my life where it was time to face that fear head-on and conquer new experiences!

 

At the time, I was working for a small but dedicated and growing non-profit organization in my community. As part of the staff, I was to be included in the trip to the annual conference, held on the eastern side of the United States. Although my initial thoughts were filled with apprehension, I was also excited for this opportunity to grow in my job skills, to be part of the growth of this wonderful organization, and yes, I was also ready to conquer the fear that had kept me secluded in my little corner of the country.

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As I prepared for this new experience, I did not allow myself to dwell on fear. I would be in the company of several co-workers, experienced flyers, and the excitement felt really  good!

 

The most difficult moments of the entire adventure were walking onto that first airplane, and the first take-off!

 

As I walked down the corridor towards the plane and it hit me that I was really doing this, I just kept silently talking to myself, “Just breath…Just slow down the breathing, just breath…. Just walk and breath“.

 

Once seated, I was still having that conversation with myself, as my co-worker, who was seated next to me and knew this was a first for me, reassured me and engaged me in light conversation.

I might have appeared to have it all together, but inside, the dialog continued. I did not want to be one of those people who faint. Oh! I could have easily been THAT person!

No, just breath. Slow, steady, intentional… just breath!” And I prayed a lot!

 

The surging power of the airplane during take-off was also cause for my apprehension and calculated breathing efforts, but once in the air, and as I peered out the window, the sight of the earth at that altitude replaced my anxiety with wonder and awe. Once the plane ascended above the clouds, I was certain we weren’t far from heaven itself, as I had never before seen such a thing of beauty as the brilliant sunbeams, shining across the great expanse of clouds, highlighted the texture and depth of each one, and they glowed brilliant white! It was so beautiful!

 

The next challenge involved my short legs moving as fast as they possibly could in order to keep up with my seasoned-flyer co-workers, as they nearly sprinted to the next gate, through these small cities they call terminals, so as not to miss the next flight!

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I’ll never forget it, or all the wonderful experiences as I took in new sights, tastes, and met so many kind and interesting people! This one was worth the risk!

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Risky