Beauty & Peace

Sometimes those two words go together, and sometimes they don’t, but this last week of the year has shown some beautiful peaceful evening skies. As we think on closing out a new year – the beauty of the heavens encourage our hopes for the new year.

Sunrises are a beautiful way to start you day, but in truth I enjoy my sleep. But sunsets make me awe in the beauty of creation and the calming speechless words they show us that remind us God is in control.

The storms we had last week that threw their destructive way eastward causing damage and death can not overshadow the peace that can come from the peace of Christ and for me, beautiful sunsets are after severe weather reminder of His promise to always be our caretaker – even in hard times. below are sone shots I took from my deck that faces west. I hope their colors and beauty help remind you that, even though the new year coming will have its problems, His peace can be felt if we allow it.

Sincere wishes for a wonderful and peaceful year. We all need one. And may you feel the power of kindness as part of your new year.

Invisible Love

Hello…remember me?? A person of a certain age…my certain age…should not be so busy that they can’t even do the small simple things they enjoy doing. But alas, that is where we have been for the last six months. But now, I can sit and do nothing…or the small things I enjoy doing. My Christmas decorations of course have been up since mid November so now its just a few presents that need wrapping. Whew!!

The Christmas season, although busy, is where we seem to share the most kindness to those around us and sometimes we focus this kindness on those less fortunate. The Covid years took their toll on all of us – physically, emotionally and financially. And some of those effects are still lingering creating uncertainty. So I want to share a thought from my morning devotion that kind of hit home for me concerning the true purpose for this season…or any season.

Why do we celebrate this season….I think the most trustworthy answer in all categories is...LOVE.

I recently saw a picture on facebook showing pictures of movie portrayals of Mary with baby Jesus next to a picture of Mary crying over the body of Jesus after he was crucified…both pictures reflecting overwhelming gifts of LOVE. God’s gift of baby Jesus for his love of mankind and then Jesus’ sacrificial gift of his life for mankind’s salvation. And lets not forget Mary’s sacrificial gift of raising Jesus, knowing who he was and what his mission was – to save mankind. Colossians reminds us of the visible image and invisible image of God.

Jesus…the visible image of God’s invisible image. How many times do we say – I won’t believe it until I see it. Even the disciple Thomas would not believe in the resurrection until he saw the holes in Jesus’ hands. And modern man is having a very hard time in believing in a God they can’t see. But I challenge you to look around at the beauty of creation, not just the nature side – which is amazing – but the human side as well. While man can sometimes be persnickety, man can also show a beauty and power through kindness and love towards others that can make us see the beauty and love of our invisible God.

16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things have been created through him and for him.

The fact that even in this chaotic world we have the ability to show this love and kindness is proof that the invisible God is still here. There will be a day when He will leave and when he leaves, all the love and kindness will leave as well. It won’t be pretty.

So share this wonderful season of love – not just now at Christmas but make every day Christmas by reflecting the love we have been shown by our invisible God and His visible Son…and always be kind.

Limitless Love

It has been a while since I posted an encouragement, but when I read this morning devotion with Billy Graham, I felt I needed to share his thoughts. There are a lot of storms we face in this life, some weather related and some within our hearts and sometimes they are both. In late September, Hurricane Ian demolished the west coast of Ft. Myers, Florida. Being raised in south Georgia, I fully understood that the late storms of hurricane season were usually the meanest. Now the east coast of Florida braces for a November storm, a rarity.

Storms of the heart are no less powerful. They can come from misunderstandings between people to down right meanness and we have all faced them, maybe even caused a few of them – whether we meant to or not. The problem is, we are all imperfect. We are all sinners. BUT all of us are still loved. God’s love for us reaches beyond anything we could ever imagine, even to those who do not love Him. But to those of us who do love Him, we feel that love. It holds us on course until the storms are over. He stands right beside us fighting the battle for us when we no longer can. He is our warrior.

Billy Graham’s message this morning reminds us of the limitless power of God for all of us.

God can be everywhere at once, heeding the prayers of all who call out in the name of Christ; performing mighty miracles. There is no limit to God. There is no limit to His wisdom. There is no limit to His power. There is no limit to His love. There is no limit to His mercy. Billy Graham

As you fight today’s battles or this weeks battles, always remember there is simply no limit to God’s love for you. As you stand tall in your battle, remember to be kind. Kindness during battle has an extra power of God with it that has the opportunity to open the eyes of the storm and help it resolve.

SOCS, Nov 5

I fully realize today, in my time zone, is Friday morning BUT I loved the idea of tomorrows SOCS prompt. My Saturday is going to be out of control busy so I are doing it today.

My favorite word is a word of action or an expansive adjective, and sometimes it can be an adverb. Its a word that is uses in every language on earth. Its an action that is used by every creature ever made that shows our inner hearts. It is a characteristic of one of the nine fruits of the spirit mentioned in the book of Galatians. It is the forerunner of all things beautiful. I close every post I create with it in some form. That word is….Kindness.

Kindness in any of its many forms, like kind, kindly, kinder… etc. is a base word for growing beauty. Think of all the actions you do on a daily basis but kindness is where you start from…like love, sharing, gentleness. It is a word we should always have in our pockets to use at any given moment. The dictionary has 197 synonyms and antonyms for the word kind proving the power of this one tiny word. Animals use it within their family units but how often do you hear about an animal reaching out to a different specie with an act of kindness and even protection of the other specie. I could tell you countless stories I have read, the most recent from National Geographic about a diver and a whale. It happens more than we know.

Kindness can be as simple as sharing a smile, a soft hello to someone scared, or a much needed hug from which you also benefit. It is a word we ALL benefit from so let’s use it often and help the world become a better place.

Always Be Kind

Morning Encouragement

I want to share with you this morning the thoughts from Steven Scott’s devotion “Jesus Speaks”.

It is one thing to read and try to understand the scriptures of the bible and a very different thing to believe the words as truth. Jesus knew that understand the words was not enough. They needed to believe in the words and who they said he was, and to also believe in the relationship between him and the father. It is no small task and it is the same for us today. While we need to understand the words of Jesus, we must first believe in the relationship between Jesus and the Father. Believing in this relationship alters everything you do. For the evidence of this belief is demonstrated by our behavior. Jesus explained to his disciple that if you can’t believe in who he is from the things he tells them, to at least believe in him because of the works he was doing.

When we believe in this truth, our entire lives are changed. Everything that we are and that we do are changed for the better. And goodness will flow out from us to others because of this belief. So believe in Him and watch him work in you.

I encourage you to close your eyes and envision Jesus walking into the room where you are standing. Can you feel His love radiating towards you? This love that He is sending your way is stronger than you can imagine and He wants surround you in it as He takes care of you. Allow Him to be part of your life.

Have a safe and blessed weekend and may to feel the love and peace of Christ in all that you do.

Week’s End Encouragement

The week is almost over and the weekend is coming – a time of rest, a time for ourselves.

Our weeks are sometimes so busy that the weekend is too short to fully rest, so Matthew reminds us of Jesus’ words to come to Him to find complete restoration regardless of our business. He is gentle and humble in heart and never forces us to come to Him but he patiently waits for us to choose to come. Once we choose to come and rely on His fatherly comfort, that’s when the battle has been won.

It is only after we have begun to experience what salvation really means, that we surrender our will to Jesus for the rest He has ready for us. And it is a voluntary surrender. Surrender in today’s mindset is a negative concept that we fight against, but Jesus reminds us of the power we gain in His surrender and the rewards he has for us.

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory, with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Oswald Chambers

Once we surrender to His will, His grace, His love and His peace, then the remainder of our life will exhibit nothing but the evidence of this surrender. And we will never need to be concerned again with what the future may hold for us, for Jesus is totally sufficient. Even though at times we may be shaking in our boots.

You are never alone

Even though you may feel you are alone in a snowstorm or vast desert, your tiny self is being watched over, and you will be given the strength to grow taller in His care.

And always remember to show the power of kindness. It shows your inner beauty.

Morning Encouragement

I have many devotions I read each morning. Some are here in WordPress, some are other online devotions and some are purchased books. I find them a good jump start to my day to help me focus on the Lord and not the circumstances I face that day. Today’s devotion in My Utmost for His Highest spoke exactly about that.

Oswald Chambers reminded us “If you keep your relationship right with Him, then regardless of your circumstances or whoever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour ‘rivers of living water’”.

That’s kind of an odd saying if you are not familiar with its meaning. For me it means that regardless of how desperate I may feel, the love of God is flowing in me, through me and out of me. Rivers of living water come from the attributes we receive when we follow God and are then filled by the Fruit of the Spirit.

Whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill His purpose, as long as you continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light”. Oswald Chambers

So I encourage you today, regardless of the difficulty you may be facing, let Christ’s living waters flow through you so that you can feel the peace of His love. Then let the fruit of the spirit attributes become part of you as now He is part of you. And remember in all that you do to always be kind.

Weekend Sky #71, Aug 20

Hammad Rais has a fun challenge for Weekend Sky and today was a good day for sky watching. When we started out in the morning, we only had a 15% chance of rain. So you can imagine our surprise when our outing at church got us “drowned rat” wet. It was not a great look but it did give us an event to always remember.

And I saw another line of storms coming around 2:00pm. After getting back home, and dry, I though that would be a great time for a nap…wrong thought. Aside from the lightening and thunder being on top of us, the wind and rain was so intense that it knocked down my sunflowers – remember my post about Sun and Mood 2 days ago. Yep, gone. They were wonderful though and I have picture to prove it. LOL.

So back to the sky. After the storm blew through I got these pictures of the amazing clouds as they cleared the area.

I hope these clouds can encourage you and help you know, regardless of the storm you may be going through, there is always a peace and beauty after the storm leaves. Hang on to that hope, you have got this and if you feel like you can’t hold on by yourself, God always has a hand stretched out to you for you to hold onto. Grab it and hold tight. He will never let you go.

And remember to always be kind, regardless of your storm.

Weekend Encouragement

It’s Friday, the end of the work week for most. Has it been a rough week? Rest assure you were not forgotten as the week flew past you. Even though we don’t see it, God always has a plan for us.

If chaos is surrounding you, don’t let it over take you. Stop, draw in His peace and let it flow over you. You will see God’s great plan come to pass. His complete purpose can not be determined by human reasoning or understanding. We just have to trust in Him to make it all come to fruition.

Cling To God’s promises, His assurance of hope and you can be joyful and patient while the chaos swirls around you. He is holding you in His loving hand.

As you head for a hopefully restful weekend, store up some calming love and peace so the you will be strong but gentle, firm but loving and always kind. The power of the kindness you share with others will lift you as well and bring you peace.

Encouraging Light After a Storm

When storms come through the areas where we live, their is usually a rich beauty in the sunset mixed with the clouds once the storm leaves.

The clouds seem to enhance the redness and brightness of the light. It was a beautiful sunset Friday night. I think that philosophy goes with people as well. When we go through stormy times of our lives, we have the chance to come out brighter on the other side.

Remember to share kindness as you come out of a hard time. It will help encourage you as much as it blesses those whom you are kind with.