attitude, day to day, follow God, Holy Spirit, influence, ponderings, prayer, relationships, wisdom

see simplicity

dove paint01Interesting things come as I pray and listen before sleep. Recently questions arose on the Israelite’s and their years of wandering.

I don’t usually as God “Why” when it refers to my life but in understanding His ways and His word, it’s frequent.

Why 40 years for a 250 mile trip? Their complaining and disobedience.
Why were their lands later restored? They repented and praised.
Seem too simple from a complex and awesome God?

We do make many things difficult and intricate in regards to the Lord…I feel He wanted me to see the simplicity too. We often read the details of the Bible and try to dissect each word, often feeling an overload instead of a simple point.

In just one verse you will find a multitude of messages as it comes to life over and over.

A challenge to you this week – pick one verse and meditate/study/pray through it multiple times in each day. See what great things are revealed to you and what the simple points are that He would like to share. 

I think I’ll start here…

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7 ESV

Thank you Jesus for sending the Helper – Your Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth, to enlighten us more in Your ways and share even more of Abba’s heart. Let us know You in a richer way this week through Your holy words. 

 

blessings, encouragement, expectations, faith, God is faithful, Holy Spirit, influence, outreach, ponderings, prayer, seeing beyond, trust

seems right

under the surface webI woke to this verse several weeks ago.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
Proverbs 16:25 ESV

Am I heading in a wrong direction? Is this a warning to me? Is this to guide me in pray for someone else? I wasn’t sure so I continued to ask… As I wrote yesterday, this verse came again and reminds me also of Romans.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV

Sometimes when we are doing what seems right to us, it’s acceptable to the world and to what we know of God’s ways, yet the results can be detrimental.

Maybe its words spoken that hurt relationships.
(No, we can’t control when saying “Hello” will bring someone pain.)
Times we settle for easy fixes that cause even bigger problems.
(That would be me in some of my home repair projects.)

Jonah decided he was not going to do as God asked. Was his reaction fear? Plain ole disobedience? Or just a matter of being in control instead of surrendered to God? His choice didn’t go well and came with a great cost to others. Jonah didn’t die in that fish belly – but a part of him was certainly killed after that experience! God’s grace redirected him so his purpose was completed.

Why do I talk about the dreams God has for our lives so often? Because I know that is part of His message for me to share. He has uniquely designed each of us “in His image and likeness” and He really NEEDS us to walk in that.

It’s not just a matter of us needing God but even more is His need for us to be “fully” who He created us to be. The master blueprint before you were even born showed a God sized destiny – not just an earthly lifespan. Will you dare to dream big again?

 

blessings, change, Holy Spirit, hope, influence, ponderings, praise, renewal, self help

once again

2017-007-webLong, long ago I painted this scene large and vibrant. I ran across my photo reference and felt to create a little 5×7 of it. Such a peaceful place from a color tour in New Hampshire – Virginia area.

We all need peaceful places. A place to refocus on what is truly important. I find that through prayer, reading or listening to the word or worship, painting, or working in the garden. Sometimes even cleaning house! Often just in silence to say, “Speak Lord, I’m listening.” He is definitely a great encourager!

A few years ago I engaged in a negativity fast. It can be a difficult thing, especially since bad news sells and gossip is the general “Hi how you doing? Did you hear about so and so?” kind of conversations. A great verse to keep me in line was…

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 do have bad days but I don’t hang on to the stress or repeat the negative parts to multiple people anymore. It is really liberating to live from that place of peace. Many things still do bother me and I occasionally need to release to someone, but I remember it takes 13 positives to overcome a negative, so I make sure I find the good AND keep it in front of me! I’m sticking to true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy!

Thank you Lord that there are always great things to the day! Thank you for the freshness of the snow cover. For time to paint, write, pray and dig into your Word. Guide us all in the paths of peace that we would know Your ways and walk in them Jesus. Amen

change, comfort zone, expectations, God is faithful, hope, influence, living in fear, living in the past, ponderings, renewal, self help

life to the full

free to soar
Free to Soar

Much of my life right now is around “retired” people. Their focus is helping the aging, being the aging, time with kids and grand kids, extra travel, hobbies and relaxing.

What does “retirement” mean to you?
Do you think of it as “life to the full”?

We spend LIFE working to save for retirement.
Investing to save for retirement.
Exercising to be fit for retirement.
Dreaming about when we reach retirement.
Hoping we make it to retirement.

Many don’t make it that far, others are forced out of work early, health issues keep some home bound and the dreams and ideas for those “later years” don’t always happen.

The words of John are potent and this is a powerful verse in a great variety of ways.

The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. John 10:10 TLB

Are we under the rule of the thief OR the King of Kings?
Do we really understand the “fullness” of God’s “purpose” here?

Maybe it’s time to take back what the enemy has been stealing.

Dear God – HELP! Help us to see the fullness You desire for our lives, no matter our age, health or other perceived limitations. Help us to step up and step out to bring Your fullness to others. Give us the wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Your ways so we can truly do what we were created for. Bring boldness, courage and strength to Your body Lord that we would stand in unity and see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living…

blessings, comfort zone, God first, hope, influence, Jesus, meeting needs, outreach, ponderings, real love, relationships, wisdom

the moments

beach027I heard from mom my phone wasn’t receiving messages. It was great to listen to some of them again. An artist/singer friend called with her husband to leave a Happy Birthday song! That one stays in the save list for smiles through the year.

Another was from a woman I met last April who was at the end of hope…it was the majority of her years. In some ways I barged into her life. She did all she could to push me away. I’m smiling as I remember some of the tense moments and even my talk with God later, “Do you really need me around this negative person?”

She asked me not to get involved in her life unless I was going to really be there. I was very honest to say, “I don’t know how long I’ll be around but I would like to walk with you while I can.” We found some good footing and even better, she found some hope in Jesus.

There is so much to her story I don’t know but I clearly saw God’s hand reaching out to her with great possibilities if she would press in to His goodness. She did! She was baptized and in love with Jesus. As a teen she felt a calling to ministry so finally, 30 years later, she signed up for ministry classes.

 

My friend went to be with Jesus in November and its so sweet to think of her out of physical and mental pain and getting tutored direct! I was remembering her after hearing the message and painting another beach scene…she loved the beach.

Questions I’m pondering and maybe you will too…

How many of those around me will be able to run to the arms of Jesus? 
What am I doing to reach OUT instead of just invite IN? 
Where can I get to know those who don’t yet believe? 
Are there “Christians” around me who don’t really know the fullness His love? 

Thank you Lord that You direct our steps – guide us to those we need to touch for You. Prepare their hearts and help us break down those walls of separation. Let us not just smile and wave but truly share the love of Jesus with them. It’s the best thing in this world!! Amen

 

 

blessings, God first, Holy Spirit, influence, Jesus, ponderings, relationships, worship

the whole earth

wheres your focus
Where’s Your Focus?

Sometimes the Message version just speaks a little louder…

Psalm 24 MSG

 God claims Earth and everything in it,
    God claims World and all who live on it.
He built it on Ocean foundations,
    laid it out on River girders.

Who can climb Mount God?
    Who can scale the holy north-face?
Only the clean-handed,
    only the pure-hearted;
Men who won’t cheat,
    women who won’t seduce.

God is at their side;
    with God’s help they make it.
This, Jacob, is what happens
    to God-seekers, God-questers.

Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
    King-Glory is ready to enter.

Who is this King-Glory?
    God, armed
    and battle-ready.

Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
    King-Glory is ready to enter.

 Who is this King-Glory?
    God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
    he is King-Glory.

comfort zone, follow God, influence, pleasing others, ponderings, relationships, trust, wisdom

growing wings

Several years ago I ran across this little one out of it’s nest. I didn’t know what to do for it. I tried to usher it toward a tree so it would not go from sidewalk to parking lot. There’s a big dangerous world out there little bird…I’d like you to grow up and be able to fly. I’m not sure how it fared.

A message to me today and maybe to you – though we can try our best to be helpful, we can’t guarantee success or outcome. So much will depend on their choices too.

Our part is to do what the Lord tells us to do…no more and no less. 

Church is reading in Ezekiel this month. Another group was talking on evangelism and discussed Ezekiel’s calling. Ezekiel chapter 2 says he was told he must share – whether they listen or fail to listen. Jesus says in several places including John, He is speaking what the Father speaks and doing the will of the Him who sent me. Neither of their steps looked logical, reasonable or easy. Measurable outcomes were not immediately seen.

If we are focused on what God is leading us to do and how, we’ll know how hard to press, we’ll know when we’re not supposed to speak and we’ll know when our work is done – letting God to do His part.

As a person who does like “problem solving”, I’m used to feeling I need to be the one to wrap it up and make sure it’s taken care of. Seeing an outcome that shows my role is complete. Thank you Lord for teaching me further where I need to step and when I need to step away. It’s not always comfortable or going with my logic, but it is getting easier to trust Your words and Your ways.

 

attitude, blessings, follow God, Holy Spirit, influence, joy, peace, ponderings, real love, relax, seeing beyond, trust

sensing peace

peacePeace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Are you like I was, thinking with God – all things would turn up roses?
He does say that with Him – all things are possible but there isn’t a promise of a rose garden. Much in our journey will make us more aware of thorns than the sweet scent of the rose.

Is your peace found in what you understand?
Is it found in what you can control?
Does it come from other people?

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is that man that takes refuge (trusts) in him. Psalm 34:8

If we know it all, understand it all, have it all figured out…
Why would we need God?
Why would we trust Him?
Why would we need peace?

This is speaking to me of our senses today – seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing. We are often relying on our brains or knowledge more than our senses.

God created humans with amazing gifts. I challenge you to turn off technology and get in touch with those senses…listen to the songs of nature, open your eyes to the details of design, taste the freshness before you, feel the textures around you and explore the fragrances life.

As MLK Jr says – it’s not just about the destination – it’s about the journey. Unwrap the peace that longs to be experienced by you each day.

I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT

 

blessings, day to day, expectations, God is faithful, hope, influence, Jesus, meeting needs, pleasing others, ponderings, praise, real love, relationships, trust

receiving your gifts

New Discovery
New Discovery

Tis the season of giving and honoring others. God is the most generous person and wants to honor His children. Think about these GIFTS (statements of His truth) given to you. If any of them feel a bit uncomfortable, look into the scriptures and ask the Lord to reveal His heart to you about that area.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN
WE ARE REDEEMED
WE ARE GIVEN NEW LIFE
WE ARE BLESSED
WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS
WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST
WE ARE CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST
WE ARE SEATED WITH CHRIST IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS
WE ARE GIVEN AUTHORITY TO TRAMPLE ON SNAKES AND SCORPIONS
WE  HAVE ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO LIFE AND GODLINESS
WE ARE BLESSED WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING

These aren’t just simple gifts given because we’re Christians; they are part of our calling as believers in Jesus Christ and they came at great cost.

Jesus first had to give up all of His heavenly power and authority to be born of a virgin and then cry, nurse, grow up and mature just like us. He came as Son of God and Son of Man separating the chasm that was created in the garden. Then the bigger cost of the crucifixion. We have these gifts because of His many sacrifices and the following triumph on the cross. They are imparted to us through our belief in Christ. This isn’t just so we can live a happy go lucky life on earth but so we would continue His work. (That can bring even more discussion.)

To bring Kingdom and God’s will on this earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6) Some of our heavenly inheritance is for now, some we must continue to grow into with the renewing of our mind (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23), like Jesus, growing in stature and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52), being conformed into His image (Rom 8:29), going from glory to glory.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. 2 Cor 3:18

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