God's Love, The Stories of Life and the Dogs We Love
Retired Quality Manager but still have the "Why" curiosity drive so I am turning my love for Christ and nature into my new why chase and am trying to discover more of His word as it relates to His love for His creation.
The word NEVER is an absolute value even though it has nothing to do with math. And when we hear the word never we think of negative actions like “I will never”. In math, a true absolute value removes any negative sign in front of a number making it a positive value. I could not wrap my head around that when I was in college 50 years ago so I surely can’t do it now but…it makes perfect sense when we think of Jesus.
He will NEVER leave you…that is about as positive as you can get. It was so important for God’s people to understand this idea that so He said it again 2 verses later.
Even as far back as Genesis, God reminded us that He would always take care of us. He always honors His promises.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us again….
All through the Bible, we are reminded that he will never leave us – Joshua 1:5, Psalms 94:14, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20, Revelation 3:10, just to name a few. It is important we do not lose hope when the world blows up around us. He is there, sometimes carrying us when we don’t realize it. There is a new song on the radio that when it comes on, I sing it out loud and raise my hand out the car window. It was written by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton sings a duet with him. I will post it at the end if you care to listen but I wanted you to read a few of the words because the song talks about us straying as we do sometimes …but even then He never leaves us.
There Was Jesus
Every time I try to make it on my own Every time I try to stand, I start to fall And all those lonely roads that I have traveled on There was Jesus
In the waiting, in the searching In the healing, in the hurting Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces Every minute, every moment Where I’ve been or where I’m going Even when I didn’t know it Or couldn’t see it There was Jesus
No, I never walk alone Never walk alone You’re always there
We are defined not by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens to us.
In a Oswald Chambers’ devotion, he made a statement that I knew but he shed a different light on it that I had not thought about before now.
“Our Lord’s temptations and ours are in different realms until we are born again and become His brothers. The temptations of Jesus are not those of a mere man, but the temptations of God as Man.” Oswald Chambers
When I look at it that way it makes me go – WOW. Temptation to me is an inner draw toward something we think we need but know in the end, if we really think about it, it will not be good for us. It’s a trial, as it were, of free will in being faithful or unfaithful in a choice that affects you and possibly others. But James 1:13-18 reminds us that while temptations give into sin and sin gives birth to death, God’s perfect gift from above still shows how much he loves us…even when we fail.
But the statement that Oswald made that made a lightbulb come for me was this…
“satan does not tempt us just to make us do wrong things— he tempts us to make us lose what God has put into us through regeneration, namely, the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.” Oswald Chambers
But we can take courage in whatever we face because of what Jesus did for us on the cross…
WE just have to remember that and stand firm…knowing at times we will fail…but God also knew we would fail, yet still He gave us a chance for eternal life.
It reminds me of the TV show years ago called Mission Impossible and the opening statement of each show saying – “If you choose to accept this mission”. Following Christ to me is very much a mission and we are in a mission field. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose but we are always loved…and saved. So come on everyone…
And he does not care if you can sing or not, it’s all joyful noise to Him.
Ans as always we close with reminders of Kindness. Kindness definitely defines who you are by how you react, so be kind.
The images I use are random pictures from the internet when I type in scripture verses or themes.
Good evening. Tonight I had a Zoom Bible study meeting. It makes me acutely aware of how much I miss Sunday School. And it’s not just Sunday School but how I miss seeing everyone, seeing how they are doing, getting hugs and all the loving things we do as a church family. I miss the family but I am ever so thankful for today’s technology helping us stay as connected as much as we can. In the late 90s, Tim LaHay and Jerry Jenkins wrote a series about the end times called the Left Behind Series. I thought this series was great and I ended up with the entire series, except for the two they wrote after the series was complete that talked about what was going on before being left behind. I bring this series up because when it was written 25 years ago, technology was not what it is today and the people in these books were able to connect with each other worldwide through satellites – well, that was fiction then but true life today. Our world has become very small with the abilities of computers today. But even though the world is changing around us – God and His promises never change.
The bible reminds us over 20 times through old and new testament that not only do His purposes never change, He himself does not change.
And in a world that sometimes seems crazy and scary with it’s fast changes, we have the security of knowing HE NEVER CHANGES. John starts off his book reminding us who God was, what the Word was and who Jesus was.
Then later when chaos was everywhere and fear was running rampant, the writer of Hebrews reminded the people of Jesus being God and He never changes.
That gives us great relief, courage, faith and hope in understanding that no matter how bad it may get, whether it be from a virus, conflicts or the sheer feeling of hopelessness, God is always there. I love the footprint message that reminds us how much He loves us.
So remember that He is always by your side, just reach up and He will grab your hand.
And as always, I remind you the value and power of kindness as it reflects the living expression of God’s love.
This morning is another beautiful day. I walk around my small yard and thoroughly enjoy the peace God put there for me to see.
Especially after a night of police chases down our quiet street…twice. Proof that satan is busy all around us and now more than ever we need the rest and peace of Christ. Sarah Young reminds us this morning in her devotional Jesus Calling of the importance of resting in Him. Through the quiet restful time devoted to God we find His peace and love. He wants us to know how very much he loves us and it breaks his heart when we feel unworthy of His love. He said we were worth it and that we should never feel that we are not.
I think we sometimes gets caught up in idea that we need to earn our love from Him but with Him His love is boundless. And He loved us long before we started doing any type of work.
So I encourage you today to take joy in His love for you and let His light warm your soul.
I leave you with some more beauty from my yard to enjoy Cee’sFlower of the Day. Flowers do make me smile and remind me of God’s love for us. And if they are fragrant, that is even better.
And as always, I remind you of the beauty and magic of kindness.
Sometimes it is the tiniest thing we do, and that is usually done unconsciously, that can bring about the biggest smile from the encouragement it gave. I think it is so important to lift others up especially in today’s chaos. Coming home today, I got tickled with the radio’s encouragement as it was talking about the encouragement you got from flossing or not flossing. What?!? Even now I can not put that together but as long as it got someone’s attention and they were encouraged, then it was worth it. Even the USDA had a cartoon campaign by building a car out of veggies to encourage kids to eat better. Encouragement can come in many different forms.
While I am from the south and love my veggies, I prefer the encouragement I get from Scripture and friends and then I just pass that encouragement on to other friends and occasionally here at my blog. According to google, the most encouraging verse in the bible is Psalm 46:1 –
I can see that as being a powerful encouraging verse but I am sure we all have a favorite that speaks just to us. Mine is in Proverbs – well one of the many –
Personally, I need someone to direct my path because I am easily distracted by something like a butterfly and then I will fall in a hole in the ground that I didn’t see. But it is the love of His guiding hand, the gentleness of His whisper and the power of His truth that helps us cling safely to every word of His “training manual” and that is what keeps us encouraged. When we share it with each other or with those who don’t know His words, that is when we again remember just how powerful His words of encouragement are and we can again feel His peace surrounding us.
So, I am just passing on the encouragement I get from reading His words. The more we are encouraged, the more we can encourage others and the more we encourage others, well it just makes a ripple effect that can spread near and far…like tossing a pebble in a pond.
Think about how small the initial ripple of a wave is when first made that can grow into a enormous tidal wave. May we all be ripple makers of encouragement for each other and maybe this will make it a happier world. And as you encourage, remember the tiniest spark of kindness can have a bursting affect of sunshine, so always be kind.
Monday is the day we start out work week so I want to start mine with a reflection of the beauty of nature. Monday Macros is a good time to focus on the details of beauty around us so I give you Sunshine’s Monday Macro from my yard and wish you a beautiful start to you week.
Hoping these smiling flowers bring a smile to you. And as always remember to be kind. It shows the beauty of YOU.
Finally today the sun is shinning after a week of steady rain. I am not really complaining, we needed it badly. I pray that the Pacific coast gets some rain soon or at least relief from the fires. Yet still the south is reeling from the floods of hurricanes – 2 within a couple of days and we here in the midwest are still cleaning up from last month’s Derecho, an inland hurricane, where massive decades old trees were knocked over like toothpicks.
Weather, whether we like it or not, affects us all, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But today I am relaxing in the sun and tolerable temperatures and taking some fun pictures of the few remaining flowers as cool temperatures start leaning their lives toward their winter’s sleep. It’s hard to think of it that way since its just mid-September but last year it snowed on Halloween so…
As much as we would like to think we are in control…we really aren’t, but how we allow life to affect us as it swirls around us, plays an important role in how we survive or not and how those around us thrive or not. So for now I chose to let the sun shine in, smile with the flowers and hopefully spread some smiles in your direction.
My sincerest prayers is for all to be happy, encouraged and have the ability to enjoy the life surrounding you. Where there are troubles surrounding you, may they be short lived and may you feel the peace of Christ flow about you.
Flowers and nature make me smile so I share with you the smiles I had today.
And as always remember the beauty of kindness. All of nature understands this gift as it is from God, and we just forget to share that sometimes.
Tonight I release a little bit more. A little more pain, a little more hurt, and gain a little more courage and a little more self worth. Its been a long journey and I pour out a little more of my soul with the help of my computer to continue my journey in healing. Tonight I watched again, the movie “I Can Only Imagine”. Fabulous movie and the song is probably my favorite all time song. If you haven’t seen it, or heard the song, you need to.
This true story of pain and courage from an abusive home and the hope from its story’s journey has been a huge inspiration to me to remind me there is life after abuse. There is hope after abuse. And there are dreams after abuse.
While I did not come from a physically abusive home towards me when growing up, there were the occasional drunken brawls of abuse between my parents. And what so many do not understand is that there are many forms of abuse other than physical and all of them are detrimental to children of the home.
Colossians 3 reminds us of correct rules for Christian homes reminding parents that they are to love each other as Christ loves them and to not discourage and embitter the children. When children become discouraged from abuse in the home, it sets a standard for their understanding and let me just tell you – No one…No one…and I say it again…No one should be allowed to harm another person with physical action or with words, whether they are family, friend or a total stranger.
Because a lot of times it creates a cycle and it takes a lot of courage and effort to break that cycle. I was not strong enough to do that. Off and on for twenty years I stayed in an abusive marriage. It took two divorces from the same man for me to finally break free of this pattern. And it took another ten for me to gain strength and courage to survive on my own, with three children. Then it took another ten for me to find a new life of courage and self worth with new dreams. Life is hard and I don’t know how anyone can survive this life without Jesus Christ, its hard enough for those of us who do follow him.
My revisited dream of being a writer is actually coming to the front. Will I be a best seller, no, but my second book is in process of being printed and I am hoping it will be out in October. It is a sequel of my first book…about dogs. God instills in us survival techniques that sometimes can come out in various art forms. Some people turn to music, some to painting but I turned to writing. Dogs were a big part of my survival so I turned them into people and wrote about them. It was fun and encouraging for me as I still fight with self worth. When you are told for many years how worthless you are, it takes a while to flush that all down the toilet. I am enclosing one of the first poems I ever place of WordPress. I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s photo and it shows how even now I struggle with self worth in Christ knowing full well to him I am precious. Never forget how much God loves you and that he always has a plan for you. Grab hold of his hand and hang on.
I see and maintain it still is not fair,
I have nothing to lay at the top of the stair.
It’s not my fault, I did nothing wrong,
Well, maybe I did, it’s just been so long.
How long has it been since I climbed to the top,
I remember its relief, why did I stop?
How can a symbol of such astounding grief,
Be given to us to bring us this relief?
With love so amazing, to the cross did He die,
To flood us with gratitude that still makes us cry.
The burdens we carry don’t always seem fair,
Always we can lay them at the top of the stair.
The first step looks brittle, can it carry my weight?
This burden is heavy and may seal my fate.
As I touch each step and climb ever higher,
Is this what I should do, is this really my desire?
As I clear the last step, the cross is before me,
I question my worth, did He also die for me?
As my knees get bent, I’m smothered by His grace,
And I lay all my burdens at the accepting cross base.
Probably the reason I push kindness like I do is because I fully understand its benefits, it value and how easily it can spread. besides it is one of the fruits of the spirit. So I remind you as always the utmost value of kindness. Please be kind.