adventure, change, comfort zone, expectations, follow God, Holy Spirit, influence, living in fear, meeting needs, peace, ponderings, relationships, trust

right or left

living waters

These thoughts on obstacles came when someone requested prayer for their obstacles be removed. I didn’t ask and don’t know what those are but the Holy Spirit sure is giving me some wisdom through it!
Thank you Lord.

If a road is under construction – should the ROAD CLOSED sign be removed?

Sometimes that obstacle is saving us from going in a direction we should not be. Isaiah 30 shares a great picture of this. Worldly wisdom is definitely not the same as heavenly ways.

Maybe our obstacles are from thinking its all about us when it’s really all about Him.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

Thank you Lord that we are a work in process – we’re taking shape, being pruned, growing strong, branching out and can come to You with any obstacle we are facing. Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding us into all truth and giving wisdom freely on if we are supposed to remove an obstacle OR learn something as we wait to proceed. Guide us so our own beliefs are aligned with Your truth and Your ways. Thank you for peace in the process as we remain open to Your leading. There is so much more that You have for us as we seek Your Kingdom – on earth as it is in heaven. Amen

attitude, blessings, change, day to day, encouragement, God is faithful, hope, influence, negative words, ponderings, praise, relationships

describe your river

pigeon paddle wm
Sunrise Paddle

What is in our daily water?

Deep thoughts and rich conversation are happening as I facilitate a class on Evangelism and Spiritual Warfare. Definitely has me more aware of what I’m storing in my river and what I’m using for my personal flotation device.

Jesus came to set us FREE – why are we not living from HIS freedom?
Are we letting HIM renew our minds, our actions AND our words?
Do doubts, lies and curses come out of our mouths?

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Flu is going around…I’m next.
Well last year…it will probably happen again.
Even saying, “I’m worried” or  “I’ll never be…” or …”______”

Fill in your own…or maybe a better plan is DON’T! 
What are your thoughts and conversations usually focusing on?

Most news and updates with friends or family are what negative has been happening. We often need to know those things BUT He tells us not to be anxious and all things are possible. We need to recognize what is in our river and then it’s our choice if we focus on what Jesus really did to bring us LIFE or stay gazing on the one who seeks to muddy our waters.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

We don’t need to settle for only a season of thankfulness when He came to give us a life of abundance. Everyday should be a focus on the blessings God has so generously given. Let us look different than the world and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2)

attitude, blessings, change, day to day, encouragement, hope, influence, negative words, ponderings, relationships, trust

thanks seasoning

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

transition wm
Transition – Available

Several years ago I was having the word “gates” come up so much I did some study and prayer, this verse really impacted my daily life as I meditated on it. Add to that doing a “negativity fast” where you don’t speak negative things…my thoughts didn’t change overnight but my heart certainly had a turn around and the thoughts soon followed.

That wasn’t necessarily my goal but I did notice the difference in me and a great difference in my relationship with the Lord and others. My times with Him became much richer and earthly relationships much easier.

Being thankful brings LIFE to relationships.
Sharing gratitude shows VALUE to others actions.
Honoring others gives HOPE in the most trying times.

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

I pray you will make thanks and praise part of every day! 

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

change, comfort zone, confusion, expectations, God is faithful, hope, meeting needs, peace, ponderings, prayer, trust, wisdom

not all changes

octoberSeasons are changing and bringing me to a place of comparison/contemplation of what was and what will be. I do understand the timing and reasons to focus on political political things but we won’t find the best answers through the media….

Seasons change, people change, cultures change, stories change…

If we are looking for stability, truth, peace and direction – we won’t find it in things or people of this world.

There is only ONE we can rely on as a constant in our lives. God does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17), He is faithful, just, true.

God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfill?
I have received a command to bless;
    he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
Numbers 23:19-20

attitude, change, comfort zone, influence, meeting needs, outreach, ponderings, rejection, relationships

light source

copper-trees01-webI do love to dig into Ephesians… Paul shares such a passion – a heart truly “rooted and grounded in love” for ALL. We know his story now but imagine how he felt along the way.

“Who am I to reach these people?”

Who are we not too!

We (meaning self on many days) seem to prefer the company of those we can relate to; with the same ideals, morals, beliefs. We are supposed to be engaged with “the church” but it wasn’t to exclude people but to REACH OUT to them as we are “being the church.”

Our light source should be more how we can serve God’s purposes on this earth than how we can do something comfortable with ease.

The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.
Ephesians 3:6-7

Help us ALL to see outside ourselves Lord. To REACH out past our comfort zones and safety nets and let the many gifts You have put in us be stretched, used and celebrated as we share Your Light.

 

anticipation, change, God is faithful, inspiration, joy, mystery, ponderings, relax, seeing beyond

framed and named

fill-er-up-web
Fill ‘er Up
solo-flight-web
Solo Flight

In the midst of other things in life, I finished these local scenes for an upcoming exhibit. Hope you like the sneak peek. Portraits are not my forte but I do love to capture people and movement. The local Splash Pad is filled with both on a warm summer day! It was a treasure to watch, snap some photos and imagine how I could bring different things to life.

So often painters are asked, “How long does it take you?”

I often say, “Until it’s finished.”

Just like God’s work in our lives, it really depends. Some journeys are smoother than others.

The more detailed boy – went quickly. I had several photos of the water spray and none include the little girl in that position. I pieced three photos which all had her profile. Her face and head shape seemed wrong with each paint edit. A few days later, the head movement idea came and though difficult to get a pink ear to show in blond hair – it worked.

I think they will bring some great smiles to those viewing our “Art Around Town” showing at Zeeland’s Second Reformed Church. A great gallery space our Zeeland Artists group is thrilled to work with on this plein air project.

I pray you find some extra joy and exploration in your week!

change, expectations, God is faithful, negative words, ponderings, prayer, relationships, trust, wisdom

a promise

sword
Sword

How often are you making promises to others?
Do you find yourself unable to fulfill them?

I’m being more careful with this. I have a promise to my mom still undone. Helping her with woodchips. They are still a calendar item, but put aside due to rain, our availability and more. We both know it will be done and I’m thankful for her grace in the timing.

An internet search shows a range of 3000 to over 7000 promises from God. I’m not out to prove a number…but do you think we can rely on His words?

How often are we incorporating these promises in our prayers and conversations instead of whining, complaining and saying God is distant (when He dwells in us)?

As I am reading the Bible, I’ve been listing some of these promises and using them in my prayers. Very impacting to me.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV

God is faithful to complete the work that he has begun. Philippians 1:6
No weapon formed against us will prosper. Isaiah 54:17
Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you. Matthew 7:7
God is not a man that he should lie. Numbers 23:19
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Many are relying more on the words of people than the Word of God.
Who should really be trusted and relied on the most?

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV

His Word is trustworthy and His promises are definitely worth praying! 

anticipation, attitude, change, day to day, expectations, God is faithful, Holy Spirit, hope, joy, living in fear, mystery, ponderings, seeing beyond

seeing new

IMG_3430I have been doing some occasional work with a company and the view is amazing. Even when I’m seeing the approaching storms – its glorious because I know I’m well protected.

Do you know God’s protection?
Do you feel secure in His plans, His timing?
Are you confident of how He has designed you?

I can’t always answer yes to these but I have definitely learned that what we look at and think on is as important as what we say.

If we focus on what is not happening, what is a mess, what the neighbors say or do – we are not keeping our eyes where they need to be – on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Even focusing on ourselves – is not focusing on Him.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:2-3 The Message

Maybe this week you’ll invite the Holy Spirit – the Counselor and Friend – to let you see new things as you read His word, enjoy His creation and listen to His voice in the wind…

 

blessings, change, day to day, God is faithful, Jesus, meeting needs, ponderings, real love, rejection, trust

remain

Things of life don’t always remain the same. Change is guaranteed and all of our planning can be diverted quickly, often making life seem out of control. BUT…there is always a BUT to consider… even when we feel its out of control, God is still constant. We do have something we can count on never changing.

I was thinking of John 15 – verse 4 Message says, “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”

How often do we feel that God is far from us?
Has He forgotten us, did we blow it, or is He too busy in some other country?

at His feet
At His Feet

God can forget our sins, but He never forgets His children. Even those who stray far from Him. The story of the prodigal comes to mind and even parents that have been separated from their children for a time – they don’t forget.

So if you are feeling left out, alone – know that GOD IS CONSTANT, He never leaves, never forsakes and always loves. It is His nature – and thankfully – He never changes!!! Trust Him.

Blessings to your week. May you feel His presence encouraging you each moment and KNOW that as a lover of Jesus – Christ is IN you – never distant!!! 

anticipation, change, day to day, expectations, God is faithful, hope, living in fear, living in the past, mystery, peace, praise, relax, seeing beyond, worship

never the same

a different view
a different view
Each year I eagerly await the transformation of one tree in my yard. I never catch the colors the same, especially waiting for a sunny day to take photos. Last week the glorious reds were gaining on the greens, now an abundance of golden hues.

All of creation changes so differently. Plants, creatures, people and weather! Definitely something we can be grateful for and other times, steadiness would be good Lord!

I think that is why I find great comfort that God is never changing. The only thing that can always be sure for us. The Creator of all.

I beautiful day of sunshine and simplicity.
Magnifying the Great I AM!

A lyric from years ago comes to mind….
“Just one touch from The King – changes everything!”
Godfrey Birtill (I was used to Old Man Worship Band singing :D)