THE HEAVENS ARE TELLING THE GLORY OF GOD

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.  NKJV  

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  NIV

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made.  GT 

sunrise

sunrise (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

  I got up early this morning to watch the sun rise in the mountains.  I like to dothis anywhere I am, at home or traveling.  I am never disappointed!  First there was haze but I could see the closest trees.  The sound of crickets and tree frogs provided a background for what was to come.  Gradually the sky got lighter, the cardinals, crows, blue jays, eagles, and other birds began a chorus of praise that set a tone of excitement.  It seemed the trees got greener as the skies got bluer.  Dogs were barking in the distance that got other dogs barking.  Probably, because they had seen a deer…rabbit…bear…but still, an interesting layer to this symphony of praise.  As the sun began to rise its rays fell on a distant mountain and slowly and  highlighted in the light of a new day. 

These precious moments are a reminder to me to slow down, watch, wait and savor the beauty of all that is around me.  This incredible picture occurs everywhere and is a gift to me (us) from the One and Only who wants me to wake up each morning praising Him and enjoying what He is going to provide for me that day.  God is so good!!!!

Heavenly Father, I give You all praise, honor, and glory.  You have created beauty all around me.  You  alone created the earth and all that is in it.  What an awesome and mighty God. 

Staying Power

Luke 15:4  “Remain in Me, and I in you.”  Remain, stay, abide, survive, (to) last.  These words reflect the power in the concept of this verse.  When I am connected to my Jesus, He is connected to me.  While I am waiting on Him, He is waiting with me.

A beautiful, old hymn says this very well:                                                         Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;                                                            The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.                                                   When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,                                                       Help of the helpless, O abide with me.                                                              I need Thy presence every passing hour;                                                         What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?                                     Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?                                             Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

Stay with God…through dishes, dust, and laundry…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                                                                           Stay with God…through hurts, losses, cruel words, and sadness of this world…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                            Stay with God…when there is not enough time to do it all…and watch the Spirit show up.                                                                                                 Stay with God…                                                                                       Heavenly, glorious Father, I want to stay with You no matter what.  Walk with me and teach me, guide me, forgive me, and make me more like You.  Make me aware of the Spirit throughout this day.  Keep me totally focused on You, my God and my King.  I lift this prayer in Jesus name…Make it so!

Wash Me

We are often reminded  that we need to be ‘washed’ in a variety of ways to be made ‘clean’.    Such phrases as, ‘Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow’, ‘Washed in the blood of the lamb’,  ‘Wash in the River of Life’, remind us that we are cleansed spiritually as well as physically.  Jesus washed the feet of the Disciples at the last supper to remind them to be servants.  (John 13:12-17)  The story that follows was sent in an email from a friend.  There was no author listed.  Enjoy!

Rain

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in WalMart.  She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside.  The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.  We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the WalMart.  We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall.  I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.  Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.  “Mom let’s run through the rain,” she said.  “What?” Mom asked.

“Let’s run through the rain!” she repeated.

“No, honey.  We’ll wait until it slows down a bit”, Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated, “Mom, let’s run through the rain.”

“We’ll get soaked if we do”, Mom said.

“No, we won’t Mom.  That’s not what you said this morning”, the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

“This morning?  When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?”

“Don’t you remember?  When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!’

The entire crowd stopped dead silent…I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain…We all stood silently.  No one left.  Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly.  Same might even ignore what was said.  But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life.  A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

“Honey, you are absolutely right.  Let’s run through the rain.  If GOD lets us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,” Mom said.

Then off they ran.  We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles.  They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.  And yes, I did.  I ran.  I got wet.  I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health.  But no one can ever take away your precious memories…So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

Father, drench me with the cleansing power of Your Holy Rain.  As Peter said at the Last Supper, not just my feet but my hands, my head, and all of me.  Grant me the mercy that comes from Your Healing Rain.  Make it so!

Gifts

Gifts

Gifts (Photo credit: Guudmorning!)

Why do we give gifts?  For birthdays?  Just because?  Anniversaries?  Christmas?

I recently really struggled with what to give my awesome husband for his birthday.  This is a really big deal for me because gifting is my primary love language.  I really wanted to give him a new truck or motorcycle but I don’t have the money for that.  I did tell him that’s what I wanted to give him just to make him smile…He was delighted with a motorcycle print shirt, a soft eagle print sport shirt, and a hand tooled leather belt (He had worn out his favorite one.)

John 3:16-17  God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.

I have received many incredible gifts over the years.  Special things designed just for me.  Yet, none so special as the gift of eternal life.  A gift that will be mine simply because I believe without question that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.  I believe that He personally saved me and would have even if I were the only person on earth.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible, undeserved gift of my Lord, Jesus Christ.  Keep me always aware of Your presence.  Grant me the peace that comes with knowing who You are and Whose I am.   Make it so!

Home Again

Ruth 1:20-21I find it interesting when times or things get tough we want to blame it on anything or anyone around us.  This very human characteristic serves the purpose of trying to make sense of the situation by transferring the issue to another person or thing.  Naomi was so very human.  As she tried to sort out her grief she placed the blame on God by pointing her finger and saying ‘He did it’.  The NIV in verse 21b says this very thing…‘He afflicted me and He brought misfortune on me’. Then she does the very thing she needs to do.  She goes to the comfort of home.
Going home is used many times in God’s Word.  The Israelites wondered in the desert for years before returning to the home God had given them…the release of the Hebrew exiles from Babylon to return home…the prodigal…the hope of heaven…Any time a traumatic event happens to us we go through several stages.  Numbness, grief or sadness, blaming, sanctuary, and rebuilding.  In my recent time of healing, as Ray recovered from a Traumatic Brain Injury, and I tried to make sense of it, returning home each night to known comfort was necessary.  As we continue through the rebuilding we continue returning to home as our sanctuary.  Just like Naomi I returned home, whether it was my physical abode or those comforting arms of God, over and over again.  Above all I have learned, once again, to “Be still and know God”.  He alone has comforted, guided, provided, and healed.  He is my Jehovah Jirah, my Provider.
Jehovah Jirah, you have given me so much, you are there when I need anything.  All praise, honor, and glory is Your due.  You have created this beautiful summer morning just for me.  I can only say thank You!  What a Mighty God we serve.

Forgiving Others

Asking For Forgiveness
Do we have the right to be unforgiving?  Can we pick and choose who to forgive based on their perceived or actual offense?  The obvious answer for the believer is no, yet isn’t that what we do? Jesus had an answer for these questions.  He placed it at the end of what we call The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6.  He very clearly says you will be forgiven by the Father if you forgive those who sin against you.  He adds you will not be forgiven by the Father if you refuse to forgive others.  So in the very words of Jesus we have no choice if we want to be forgiven by the Father.  (Well actually, we have a choice but if we want the ultimate reward of forgiveness…)

In the story of Ruth we discover that when she returned from Moab she was once again received as a member of the community.  Isn’t that interesting since God had  commanded the Israelites to have nothing to do with the Moabites (Deut. 23:3-6).  There is certainly a hidden story of forgiveness here.  Ruth and Naomi could have been rejected, ostracized, and asked to leave the community, but that didn’t happen.  Instead, a leading member of the community (Bethlehem) married Ruth (the Moabitess) and from that union came Salmon who fathered Jesse who fathered David…Even though God had clearly defined the rules for inhabiting with or aiding the Moabites He chose an obvious rule breaker (Boaz) to continue the family line toward Jesus.   He already knew Jesus’ purpose (to seek and save the lost) and planted both the lost and the Redeemed (His chosen people, Israel)  in it.

God’s Glory

 2 Cor. 3:16    I have always been under the assumption that I would see God’s Glory in heaven when I would “see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).  We see Him before that if we take the time to look.  When we come to know Jesus He lifts the veil over God’s Glory and allows us to see it…In the one who has lost a loved one  and is able to “show” God through the pain…In the one who has survived a life threatening illness and is able to tell others that God kept the fear away and allowed her to rejoice in His Power and Provision…In the parent whose child has made poor choices and as in Luke 15:11-31 waits with open arms to welcome them home…The Glory of our Lord is all around us. We need only look and listen to the stories of the People.

Psalm 86

 
Psalm 86 is sub-titled ‘A Prayer of David’ in my Bible. Through prayer and focusing on God’s love David could put those who were tormenting him in the right perspective. Praying this psalm in my own words was very enlightening. Enjoy!
 
 
Oh, LORD, bend your ear down to earth so I can speak my needs directly into it.I trust you to keep me safe because You are my God.I send prayers to You 24/7. Hear and grant them.Help me find gladness in serving You.Many call upon You and depend on Your goodness, forgiveness and constant love.Hear my prayer and plea for mercy.When I am in trouble I come to You for the answer.Your works stand out, You are unique.Your creation worships You.You are the One and Only.Instruct me in Your ways. I am in awe of You.Thank You for being my God. I give You all the glory.Your great love sustains me. You are my Deliverer.Those who do not follow You have risen against me.Show Your mercy and grace, Your ‘always there’ love and faithfulness.

Give me strength and keep me safe.

Let those who hate You be shamed because You are my Helper and Comforter.

Heavenly Father, make it so!

Grab On

“Is my Master satisfied with me?” Does everything I think, do, and say reflect my El Elyon (Most High God) to the world around me?

How I wish I could say yes. Unfortunately we fall into the ‘sin pit’ to easily. However, by reading and studying His Word (to know Him), praying (keeping open the lines of communication with Him), and worshipping (putting our focus on Him) we are able to focus on Him and not on whatever we let put us in the pit in the first place. 

Psalm 60:2 tells us, “Save us and help us with Your right hand, that those You love may be delivered.”David knew God so well that he could depend Him and know without question that God would come to his rescue. We, too, can reach up and grab the hand that is always there to pull us out. Grab on!!!

My El Elyon,  Creator of all that is, was, and is to come give us the courage to grab on…not just when we should but because we can.  Open our hearts to Your Word, our souls to worship, and our thoughts to constant communication,  with You.  I lift this request in the Precious Name of Jesus      Make it so!