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ponderings

think again

We often want to think of God as just the lover and the encourager. He is that and more!

Layers of Prayers – oil and coldwax with prayers

He’s also straight to the point on what is not good. You might be like me that sometimes you don’t really want to dig into the confrontational areas as you read or study.

Lately I do not stray from them but process right away. I do want to be refined. I do want to be closer and closer to His heart for me, for others, and for this world. A section that really spoke to me today….

Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him make himself scarce. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?
James 4:1-12 MSG

Father, I repent for the ways and places I have wanted my own way and have focused on the things of the world more than on You. I don’t want to carry pride or belittle others so remove any of those thoughts or impulses. Help me to know the motives of my heart and adjust them right away to loving as You love. I want all that I do to glorify You Lord!

ponderings

I love words

The other day someone was talking about the word compromise. A few definitions to this word and not always a positive one but…. PROMISE is at the core. Meeting someone half-way we will come to a new promise. I think many of the “com” words are like that.

Communion – come in union
Community – come in unity
Compression – come with pressure

bring joy

Words are what gave us life as God spoke and words are what curse and kill relationships, self-esteem and identities.

Nothing is more appealing than speaking beautiful, life-giving words. For they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits. Proverbs 17: 24 TPT

Lord, guide us in the words we share. Let no unwholesome talk come from our mouths but only what is good for building up, encouraging, and sharing love. Let this be a turning point in our lives that we will think before we speak and use our words for life, beauty, sweetness and healing. Thank you that as we make these changes we see even greater impact for sharing joy!

ponderings

what do you think

I have been in various places in the bible lately. Also reading a few books for a class. It has been a long time since I have done this much reading. A verse that comes up over and over is a favorite from Romans.

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 12:2

What does conforming to the world look like?
How could some transformation change daily life?
Are there known thinking patterns that need refreshing?
Do tough decisions or situations need God’s help and wisdom?

I find this one verse to cover so much of life. If I think like everyone else, I will no longer be me – just a very blurry image of others. If my stinkin’ thinkin’ stays around too long, I’ll be sucked down quickly. Running ahead without wisdom and God’s guidance could have me chasing the wind and wind is hard to see.

I don’t find that this verse is offering a once and done solution. Instead, I find it is a daily compass for knowing where my heart stands. Concerned and following the world with worry and fear or grounded and moving with the Spirit of Grace.

Lord, help us today to take time with You, hearing some of Your heart and allowing our minds to rest and rely on Your good purposes. Thank you that you are for us!

A friend shared this verse over the weekend and shares more of God’s goodness…
The Lord is the one that will go ahead of you and He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

ponderings

faithful always

I often said the newspaper was my grandma’s bible. If it was in the GR Press – it was truth. Or on one of the news stations. She didn’t read a bible or openly believe in God so she found what she felt was something that was reliable. A lot has changed in our world but I don’t know if we can really count on all articles, stories or websites to share truth.

Today I was thinking of where truth and reliability really are found.

Only in God!

The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Numbers 23:19

Lord, You have given so many promises and assurances in Your word. I’m sure we could find a new verse for everyday of the year. Your ways are higher, Your paths beyond tracing out but I know You are inviting each of us to ask. You want to share Your wisdom with us. Lord you are asking us many times in each day to trust You and explore more with You. Help us to seek, receive and understand more of Your ways and Your heart….

ponderings

movement together

Today as I arrived at the page and asked if a particular word or painting needed to be shared I heard, “How beautiful when brothers and sisters……..”

I knew the verse but was surprised at thoughts and images that come from this short but overflowing Psalm.

How wonderful, how beautiful,
    when brothers and sisters get along!
It’s like costly anointing oil
    flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
    flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
    flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
    ordains eternal life. Psalm 133 MSG

Beautiful, costly, flowing, anointing, increasing, abundant, lasting, multiplying…

Thank you God for the how Your Words help us to see a bigger picture of unity. It’s not just a about people together but joining into something that flows and impacts wherever it goes. I pray for Your children to bring this fullness and share the blessings that God brings through it. It is such a rich image of peace, covering and fullness.

ponderings

In God We Trust

Today will bring varying emotions through the US and beyond. One thing is for certain, God is the only one who deserves all of our trust. He is the only one always faithful. He is the firm foundation. If we put more trust in others than in Him, we are fooling ourselves and making idols. Family, friends, politicians or others are not our Savior.

I do believe we have great reason to hope. Not because of any political outcome, but because we have heavenly promises.

In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I had a friend email me today to apologize for sending negative emails on political things. I would just delete them and only responded to those not political. I shared with them that I will not join the party of hatred and division that has been so rampant in our country. I am siding with Jesus who came to bring all things together again!

Lord, help us see past the division that our enemy satan is trying to bring and side instead with the unity and grace that Christ so richly supplies. If we need to humble ourselves and apologize to others, help us to do that with love and show that our relationships on earth are more important than political beliefs. You Jesus have shown us that love is the better way. Lord we thank you that You go before us, You give wise council and You help us to do what is right. I pray for our country’s leaders to come together so we can once again but united for the betterment of America and her people without party divisions.

ponderings

adding it up

How much?
Everything?
Are you kidding?

Shower of Blessings

I was thinking of the story of the rich young ruler. In Matthew 19 the young one asks Jesus how he can “get” eternal life too.

Follow the Commandments – Jesus only lists six of the ten.

I find it interesting that the young man says, “All these I have kept….what do I still lack?”

Why did he feel there was something lacking?
What would make him ask a further question?
Wouldn’t that reassurance from the first answer of Jesus be enough?

In answer, Jesus shares the goals for perfection…..
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” vs 21 (NIV)

That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go. vs 22 (MSG)

Are you holding onto “THINGS” more than God? Maybe its security of job or family. Maybe thoughts of how things should be or not be in our nation? God isn’t asking us to give up things we really need for something that isn’t worth it….

He IS the pearl of great price.
He IS worthy of it all.
It ALL belongs to Him.

Lord, help us to understand further the ways of Your heavenly economy. How bread and fish are multiplied, how coins are fished from the sea, how water can become wine and how the eyes of our hearts can be enlightened. Thank you God that when we ask for wisdom, You give generously……….help us to let go of what we feel is good so we can receive Your best!

ponderings

forest or trees

I feel like the Lord really wants us to do some deeper thinking and praying in this season. We see a lot of judgment, negativity and hatred surrounding us and for many, its equating to deep stress in their personal lives too. BUT does it need to?

Matthew 6:21-23
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (NIV)
Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a musty cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! (MSG)

I pray that this week your heart will be focused on the real treasure of God’s goodness, His faithful promises, and that He always wants the best for us. It might not seem like the best is surrounding us in all places but nothing……NO THING…..is unknown to Him. Will you dare to trust him with whatever issues are surrounding your personal life, your country, or other areas of concern? He truly cares about you and every THING on your heart. When we focus on the word of God and who HE is instead of the circumstances we see all around us, we find that LIGHT. HE is The Light! Let His Light shine in….

Thank you Lord that you know our hearts, You love us intensely, and Your ways are higher than we currently comprehend. Let Your peace reign in our minds, our spirits, and our hearts. Help us to trust, to love, to pray, and rest in You.

ponderings

God hears you

New Movement

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Psalm 34:17-22 NIV

As I read Psalm 34 earlier it just felt right to share on it through this week. Even to me, it was helpful to look at a section at a time and just see what God wanted to show me and how He wanted me to pray for others.

He is not a distant and far away God. He is everywhere at once and loves to be invited into our lives. We often blame Him for all that is going wrong but He is a God who has given us freedom of choice.

I don’t know where I got the idea that having Jesus as my Savior meant that my life would be trouble free. The more I read the Word, the more I realized that our battle isn’t just flesh and blood and with things of this earth but also with spiritual powers that want us defeated and not trusting in our Creator. Only in the Maker of us all will we find the refuge, hope, deliverance that we seek.

Thank you Lord for sharing richly such wisdom and guidance in Your Word. Let it be where we turn to first for understanding, help and encouragement as we live in this world. Guide us in how we can be a part of bringing Your kingdom of heaven to our spheres of influence in this earth and walk with boldness in our purpose!

ponderings

pursue peace

Out of the Darkness – available @AllArtWorks.net

12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.
Psalm 34:12-16 NIV

There are many faces to evil. We have become a world that accepts more and more of it as normal behavior and continue to redefine it through personal lenses. God’s measures are more important than those of your friends, family or leaders.

Pursuing peace doesn’t mean to lie to keep someone happy, it doesn’t mean to set aside the right things so others don’t feel judged. We are capable of loving others even if evil is overtaking them. (I have to tell myself this often too!)

Thank you Lord for the many ways You teach us about what is good, right, true and lovely. Help us to seek peace in our relationships, in our hearts and for our families. Guide us in ways so we will no longer partner with evil but allow us to do good. Thank you for Your word that brings light to the darkness and hope to the broken.