Friends Forever

I love to watch children as they play.  There is such a freedom to express who they really are.

childrens-play-zone-01We took our God-niece (4-year old) to Macdonald’s Playland for supper and, of course, ate with all the other brave moms, dads, grandparents, and sitters in the community.  Miss Annabelle (AB) was certainly more interested in playing than eating but was only looking at the tubes and slides.  I realized the problem when I remembered that she had commented in the car that someone had told her not to be afraid of the red slide.  I asked the mom sitting next to us if I could introduce AB to her daughter and would she help her negotiate the playland.  So, introductions done, AB and her new friend went off to explore and learn.  A short while later AB said she couldn’t find her friend, who was hiding in the bubble.  She went to find her and had discovered that she didn’t want to play because AB didn’t want to go on the red tube/slide.   A bit later AB came up with a new friend named Emma.  As they played I noticed AB still was playing on the green slide but Emma wasn’t worried about that.  She had a friend and that was what was most important to her.

What a picture of Jesus’ love for us.  He doesn’t care if we don’t want to play on the red tube/slide,  He just wants to be our friend.  What a reminder of James 2:8.  We honor the Royal Law, of which we are a part when we ‘love our neighbors (friends) as ourselves.

What a Friend We Have In Jesus

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

James My Go-to Book

book-1156001_960_720Do you have a favorite book in the Bible?  One that you can turn to and know that you’ll find new insight into living the way God wants?  James is my go-to book.  It’s the first book I read when I get a new Bible.  It’s underscored, highlighted, marked up, and has notes in the margins.  It speaks something new to me every time I read it.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father.  He loves to help.  You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.  Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.  People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves.  Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.                                         James 1:2-8  (The Message)

Right away we’re told we’ll have tests and challenges.  Why?  So we are forced to be faithful and let others see Jesus in us.  Then, in the next paragraph,  we’re told to pray when we aren’t sure.  Pray with hearts and minds wide open.  Not just saying the words but with the expectation that He WILL answer.  And He will!  He wants to help us!

Abba, Father, hear my prayer.  In all the confusion and challenges of life hear me.  Help me show You to the world around me.  Let my faith shine!  Make it so in Jesus’ Name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

You can read more short devotionals in Pondering and Prayers

 

 

In The Garden

How many times is a garden pictured in the Word?   Whether it is in the Garden of Eden or the Garden of Gethsemane it seems gardens are a popular place to meet our Lord.

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Meeting Him in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:6-7   Before God even planted the garden He put man in it.  What might be the reason for this?  I think God wanted Adam from the very start of his life to know that God is THE CREATOR.  That everything needed for life is from Him.  Look at what God did on the sixth day of creation.  He created Adam and Eve, the flora and fauna, the animals of the land, sky and sea…everything that exists He created.  Later on in Genesis we are told it was common for God to walk in the garden and commune with Adam and Eve.  Every day they could meet Him in the Garden and create a relationship with Him.  Oh, my, what they gave up for an apple.

Andrea Mantegna's Agony in the Garden, circa 1...

Andrea Mantegna’s Agony in the Garden, circa 1460, depicts Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Travel with me through several centuries to another Garden.  This time at Gethsemane (on the Mount of Olives).  The story is in Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42 and Like 22:40-46.  Jesus had asked James, John and Peter to go with Him while He prayed.  What was His expectation?  I think He wanted them to support Him physically and spiritually.  Physically because He knew what was about to happen and He wanted those He loved around Him.  Spiritually because He was about to spend serious time in prayer and He wanted the support of their prayers also.  But, guess what?  Once again God (Jesus) is disappointed.  Each time He returned to them they were asleep.  He says pretty much what He said in the Garden of Eden…What are you doing/What have you done?  Oh, my, what they gave up for a nap?

hanginggardensofBabylon

These are the two most well-known gardens in the Word, but there are others.  One the Ancient Wonders of the World was the Hanging Garden of Babylon built by Nebuchadnezzar.  The entire book of the Song of Songs takes place in a garden.   I think I can safely say, God really likes gardens.

Worship Him with song:  In The Garden/There is None Like You

Abba, there is None Like You.  Let me join You in the beauty of my garden.  The day lilies, ferns, and hanging planters are just a bit of the beauty You created.  Praise You and thank You for the colors, the smells, the blooms…Grow me as You grow them, set apart, sanctified for Your purpose only.  Make it so!

When We Don’t Know What to Pray

 

 
Romans 8: 26-27     Have you ever been in a situation and the only thing that would help was prayer but you didn’t know what to pray for?  I was recently placed in that position and this scripture had a profound effect on me.  It was very comforting to know that since the Spirit lives within me He knows my mind, knows what I need (to ask), and takes it to the throne with words unknown to me. Our God can do what He says He can.  He answers the prayers of the righteous (James 5:16).  He wants us to be sure of His desire to provide for us in all ways.  He loves each one of us and wants each of us to have access to Him.  He has provided this access through the Holy Spirit in us and wants us to communicate with Him.Take time to talk with Him today.  He’s waiting to hear from you…
 
Father hear this prayer in Jesus’ Precious Name.  My mind is black except for the wisdom to know I must be near You!  Take this hodgepodge of thoughts and make sense come from them.  Only You know what needs to be said and only You can hear my heart cry.  Make it so!