Good morning friends. In life, we use analogies to help us create mind pictures in understanding a purpose that is beneficial for us. Kind of like Jesus using parables to help people understand His teachings. In today’s devotional with Oswald Chambers he stated :
“God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.” Oswald Chambers
In other words, God’s purpose for man is not to develop us into wonderful people but to show how wonderful we can be when we allow His purposes to come out of us. So, be a grape today and allow the sweetness in you to flow out to others.
And remember to be kind. Its the sweetest attribute of Jesus.
Good morning friends. This morning I bring you needy ducks. As I walked close to the river at the park, I saw them coming. Running as only ducks can do knowing people may have something they want. I stopped and watched them come closer.
As the braver ones up front stopped within two feet of me, they waited expectantly, softly quacking and muttering. This reminded me of how expectant some people can be of a church or Christianity as a whole. Only to stop short, mutter softly, not understanding what the real gift is that could be given.
I had nothing to give these ducks so pretty soon they turn their backs to me, complaining as they go and slowly waddle back out of the sunlight to the shade of the trees.
Too often I see people coming to the church to get out of a jam. The church will do what they can only to see the previous pattern of this person’s life repeat itself. Some will get so disgruntled that they go back to the dark shade of the trees without truly understanding the benefits God can give them with His light.
“God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill HIS purpose as long as we continue to walk in the light.” Oswald Chambers
We as a church, not necessarily the church we attend, but Christ’s church, must be willing to allow our light to shine thus so, for seekers to see it, want it and learn to walk in it. Oswald Chambers reminds us that it is the work that God does through us who understand this light that counts for the kingdom. Now that our churches are trying to reopen from this virus, it is that much more important for our light to shine. Not just for those we know who already understand the light, for we all who enjoy seeing it as well, but especially for those who are seeking the light. If we can show others how to quench their thirst with the river of light instead of the darkness of the shade trees, then they can be refreshed and encouraged.
As our churches and lives begin to reopen, allow God to work through you to help refresh others, giving everyone some much needed hope of survival in this life. Let’s let our light shine, showing all how to reach up for Jesus’s open hand. It is there waiting to be grabbed as He is anchored with the Father. Their love together can calm any fear, soothe any hurt and encourage you beyond measure. Reach up for His hand.
And as always, I remind you to be kind. Kindness comes from Christ, so let our kindness be a light to someone needing it.
Hello to anyone who may need a comforting and encouraging word. I need them often so when I get encouraged, I like to pass it on. My devotion this morning from “His Utmost for His Highest ” by Oswald Chambers really spoke to me and I wanted to share his thoughts with some of my own. Sometimes life comes crashing down around us like out of control ocean waves but we have an advocate that holds us close in His arms during those times. We just have to be still and focus on His face – even though that seems impossible.
“When we are awakened to the realities of life, true inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus.” Oswald Chambers
His Spirit is right there waiting to comfort us surrounding us in His Peace. It is through His spirit that we are able to stand firm in this life.
So whatever wave seems to be crashing down upon you, look to Jesus and let Him calm your troubled mind.
We were not meant to carry the burden of life alone. Scriptures tell us over and over “cast your burdens on Him”. Lay all of the crashing waves at His feet and watch him turn them into a smooth peaceful lake.
And as always remember to be Kind. Kindness coming out of us when we barely know it is there and giving it to another being can bring us calmness and peace we think is not possible…but through Christ, Kindness is always possible.
Good morning friends. We finally got a little rain yesterday and it was great, short but still so much needed. The ground had really been dry. We as people can get dry as well. Not only thirsty for water but dry and parched on the inside. One of the things that helps me remove the dryness from the inside is music, specifically Christian music. It does not matter if it is one of our cherished hymns or one of the new contemporary melodies that reminds us of God’s love and protection. The Psalms originally were songs of worship that we read today reflecting the hope and love of God for all of us.
During the week, the staff at my church prepares for worship for the following Sunday, making sure the slides and sounds for worship service are clear and easily understood. While many of us across the world have a building we call “the church”, the true church is all of us coming together to worship God as a family. And since we are ALL children of God the Father…then we are ALL family.
It’s like a weekly family reunion and we want to make sure that those who come to our building can all feel welcome. So periodically we have to go through the song slides to make sure they can easily be enjoyed. One song we are singing Sunday needed major rework. Not only were the colors not pleasing for the eyes, but it was on 24 separate slides making it a nightmare for the sound booth. So I corrected it, giving it a calming shade of green and cutting it down to 12 slides. But as I did this I had to really study the words and SEE what the song was saying. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the beautiful melody that we miss the point of the words, regardless of it being a hymn or contemporary song.
Hold Me Close, Let Your Love Surround Me….
Isn’t that what any of us want? Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to sit in the lap of Jesus…as a child…as His child.
So this Sunday, pay attention to the words you are singing and lift them in honor and pray as He showers us with His grace. Down below is one of the songs we are singing at our church this week and it has the words on the screen. It is a song we could sing daily talking about the power of His love for us.
Monday’s I usually send out a post for an encouraging word to help us all have a little brighter smile for the week, knowing we do sincerely care for each other. But tonight I am asking you to remember we are at war. Not a war that you can see with guns, tanks and such, but a war that is even more devastating…spiritual war.
Tonight, I feel we are at war in all of our churches, so I am sending this out to any Christians who understand the true love of Christ. We know Satan is busy lying and deceiving, trying to take down any followers of Jesus as he can. We see it everyday on the news but I saw something today that broke my heart and it reminded me that we are indeed in the midst of a spiritual war. What I saw is not important, so no need to ask. It is just a reminder that Christians are being singled out and that it is only going to get worse.
We, as Christians, MUST stand firm TOGETHER, holding each other up, praying fervently for our pastors, our leaders and our churches. We have seen amazing answers to prayer recently in our church, so we know how well prayer works but I ask you tonight to go strongly to the Lord to pray for pastors, our church leaders and our church congregations and against those who seek to destroy them.
Again, we must be vigilant in prayer. A question from the sermon this past Sunday was “what is prayer” – prayer is nothing more than communicating with God. It does not have to be done in a special way but it does have to be done sincerely and it needs to be done often. The more we tune into the Lord, the more power we have to resist the evil schemes even when we don’t realize we are being attacked.
So I ask you tonight, pray for your church leaders, your pastors, your churches. By all of our prayers, they will be strengthened.
And I close with a reminder of the spiritual gift of kindness. Kindness has the ability to turn away meanness.
Good morning. Hope you are well this morning. I am bringing you thoughts from several sources this morning in hope that it makes you feel the love and peace of Christ. I think there are times we all struggle with “Am I doing this right, am I following Jesus the right way today?” Or maybe it’s just me and my ADD. Sometimes my mouth opens and…good grief where did that come from? Pastor’s sermon Sunday really showed me how easy it is to get off track, even as Christians.
Some so-called Christian leaders even advocate the working out of a system of morals, ethics, and religion that would bring together all the religions of the world. It cannot be done. Jesus Christ is unique. Billy Graham
I am rereading the Left Behind series and finding that since it has been so long since I read it the first time, I forgot about a lot of the inner details of the books, so it’s almost like reading it for the first time. I ran across a statement that hit closed to home as one believer was trying to explain the difference between religion and Christianity. It said “…religion is man’s attempt to reach God, while Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man.”
Our ordinary abilities will never worship God unless they are transformed by the indwelling Son of God. Oswald Chambers
I remind you today of how very much we are all loved and all God really wants from us is that we follow him. When we go all in with that, He give us the riches of the world, not as the world gives but as He gives us through His love for us.
And as always I close with a reminder to be kind. It show the beauty from the inside.
Good morning Y’all. Such a funny contraction “y’all” stemming from the possible laziness of the southern language. In a world that quickly moves about with people moving from place to place all over the world, we run into many forms of different sayings stopping periodically asking “Where are you from?” But it’s great to know that regardless of where we are from or where we go, the Bible is always the same. The versions may change but the message is the same. We just have to read it often enough to make sure we understand what it is saying. And as we read it, sometimes over and over, we get an entirely new meaning of what we read the last time we read that section. I guess that is what makes it the living word of God.
Those who do not read the bible think we believe that the Christian life makes us free from adversity and trauma. But Oswald Chambers reminds us that the bible teaches us how to deal with the craziness that life throws at us.
God does not give us overcoming life— He gives us life as we overcome. The strain of life is what builds our strength. Oswald Chambers
When we step out in faith on the teachings of the scriptures we are strengthened and nourished by God to be able to withstand the sometimes hard onslaught of life. We become overcomers.
Be encouraged today that even though times may be hard, we have a Savior teaching us His ways, holding our hands and sometimes carrying us to a peaceful place where we can be comforted from the turmoil of life around us. Stay in His word and find the strength, love and peace He gives us.
Have a great day and always remember to be kind. Kindness is a gift from God to share on those who need it…and we all need it.
Faith, Hope and Love are to me the top attributes to the Christian faith. Today I want to tie that in with flowers and Cee’s Flower of the Day as I show off my sunflowers, again.
When my sunflowers started growing, because I am on the quirky side, I gave them names. Some got a name change due to how they bloomed and some remained true to their name. First we have the King and Queen. The King was the first on the scene, planted by the local bird population. King kept his name due to his flower being the largest of all at 9.5 inches (214.3mm) across. While his height was less impressive, King still stands 4.5 feet (1372mm) high. He looks to be on his way out but he actually is just about fully ripe. If you look at the top you can see the seeds starting to show their heads. Soon he will be a feast for the birds.
Queen is much more flamboyant and beautiful as any queen should be. While her blooms are much smaller at 6 in (152mm) she does showoff with14 blooms and she stands at 8.5 feet (2591mm).
As beautiful as these two are, the three that guard my gate as I go in and out have been named Faith, Hope & Love. Faith is closest to the gate to refresh me as I go in and out. Hope is furthest from the gate but like his namesake, he is strong, protective and holds the three together. Love is in the middle radiating his name by reflecting his beauty with leaves larger than my hands together.
These three have yet to show their flowers but their stature is quite impressive. Hope, on the far left, is 9.5 feet (2896 mm) tall showing 10 buds to share his smiles with those who see them. Faith, on the right, is a little taller at 10 feet (3048 mm) and seems to have only 1 colossal bud, which is fitting for our faith should be large and strong to carry us through any crisis we face. Love takes over the center position which is fitting as love should be centered in who we are and how we are. Love is also the tallest and the largest at 12.5 feet (3810mm) tall. Its stalk is so large that I can barely wrap my fingers around it. Love has more than 12 buds thus far and I still see buds forming because it is still growing. This is how our love should be – strong, with multiple buds and height to be seen from afar.
I am a firm believer that God shows His beauty of faith, hope and love in all things that he creates for us to enjoy and learn of His caring nature. So look at nature with a different eye and let the fullness of Christ fill you with its various forms of beauty.
And in closing, I always like to remind us all of the power of kindness. Kindness can calm, soothe, encourage and give hope for almost any situation. So remember to always be kind.
Good morning friends. I hope you are all doing well. In reading my devotions this morning I remember my early teachings of what I need to do as a Christian and not understanding the rules at all. Now that I am much stronger in my faith I think back on those teachings and still somewhat disagree with how it was represented but totally understand what they were trying to say.
Being caught in an act or lifestyle of evil is a sin and makes you a slave to it. So change it and be a slave to Christ.
The word slave has such a negative feel about it that I think it turns away those who are seeking because they don’t want to be a slave again to something else, they want freedom.
If one rules another by saying, “You must do this,” and, “You will do that,” he breaks the human spirit, making it unfit for God. Oswald Chambers
But when we recognize the true attributes of Christianity – love joy peace kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self control – then being a “slave” to such things is really a freedom, a freedom from evil. When our slavery comes from obedience in recognizing who Jesus really is, then it is not slavery at all. Slavery is something you don’t want to do but loving our risen Lord is something we relish doing.
Let your soul find the fulfillment of its deepest longings in fellowship with God. Billy Graham
My hopes are that you find the beauty of joy of following Christ. He shows his love in the simplest ways and makes it easy to follow. For me, I find His presence in nature where he shows his beauty of creation. I decided to grow a few sunflowers this year and some are well over 12 feet tall. They make me laugh, especially when neighbors walk by and stop to stare. Share the love of Christ from your heart and it will always be right. Have a great week and remember to always be kind.
All aspects of life have the ability to encourage…even a mushroom.
With us having rain for over a week, it is inevitable that mushrooms would show up…everywhere. But I am a firm believer that all things created in nature come from God and have the ability to show forth some sort of value. In my devotion today, I was reminded that ALL of creation has a purpose. Even these dreaded mushroom has a purpose. For those that are edible, they are high in nutrients, for those that are not edible, they provide much nutrition to the soil which feeds the plant life around it. They provide a sustainable value.
Every tiny bit of life has value. Oswald Chambers
There are some people who feel their value is no longer needed but that could not be further from the truth. During this past year and a half, we have all been shown the enormous value we all have. While we were hunkered down for safety, we realized the love, faith and confidence we have in Christ. And many turned their inside experience into ways of sharing love, kindness and perseverance. By being able to reach out with phone calls, letters and through the internet with email, we have shown Christ’s love to others. Our seemingly small efforts brought enormous joy and encouragement to many as the bright light of Christ was shared to dispel the dark gloominess of fear and uncertainty.
Today, faith and confidence in the resurrected Christ can change your fear to hope and your disappointment to joy. Billy Graham
Now as we wait for these rain systems to move on, we know that bright sunshine will once again find us and bring us its warmth and joy. Let us wait patiently for those days where we see the sun, but knowing we have the Son inside of us to share His light with others and bring joy. Never forget your enormous value, while you think your contribution may be of little value, it could be the one single act that gives the hope needed for another individual. And as always, remember to be kind in all you do. Every small act of kindness has huge value.