Friends on the Couch

How many of you love to sit around and enjoy each other’s company? Envision a group of family or friends sitting around and laughing as they tell stories of old. Sometimes they are scary, sometimes they make us laugh and sometimes they make us cry. But being together with friends and loved ones is what makes the stories worthwhile.

friends

This morning as I read through the Jesus Calling devotional, I remembered many times of the full pleasure this brings us. I recently wrote a book showing how much fun this could be with wonderful groups of friends or family just sitting around telling stories from the past. But we need to remember, there is a very important friend we need to invite that desperately wants to be a part of our group, he wants to join in with our fun, laughter and tears and that would be Jesus. He wants to be a part of every moment of your life.

Jesus laughing

He can enrich our fun and turn our dull grayness to wonderful brightness. When we get stuck in the dullness of everyday tasks, we have a tendency to to forget life’s joy and we descend into the unfocused grayness of discouragement. But if we realize this is happening and refocus our minds and hearts back on Him,  He will lift us back where we need to be, guiding us back to Him on a wonderful bright path of joy.

Psalm 16 11

Yes, this sounds a little far fetched and an unreal way of thinking, but I promise it is very real and well worth the try. We were each created for a purpose that only He knows and guides and we are never meant to do it without Him.

Acts 17 28

His presence goes with us, wherever we may go. You may not feel His presence, you may even deny He is there, but I promise you He is always there. There is a saying that zips through facebook and other social mediums stating that while we prove to Him many times that we am not worthy of His love, He ignores it and loves us anyway. How can you not want that sitting with you on the sofa.

Hebrews 13 5

So my theory is this, if He is going to be there anyway, then offer Him a seat on the sofa and watch the room begin to glow with His love and presence. And when he reaches over to take your hand, grab it firmly in yours and hold on tightly, it will be a fantastic ride.

Psalm 63 8

I leave you with this prayer of encouragement.  Ask Him to remain close to you and guide your way…He has already said yes.

Thank-God-for-Endless-Love-Lamentations-3-22

And as always remember to be kind. It is the most under rated quality of mankind.

Elephant kindness

Encouragement, All He said was “Come”

Good evening. I hope this finds you all well. I wanted to share some encouraging thoughts this evening that I read this morning from Oswald’s Chambers’ Utmost for His Highest. I bounce between that devotion and Jesus Calling each morning searching for my morning jump-start. This devotion reminded me of Jesus’ simple request to us…”Come”.
matt 11 28
 
“God intends for us to live a well-rounded life in Christ Jesus, but there are times when that life is attacked from the outside. Yet it is never God’s intention that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him.” Oswald Chambers
 
Colossians+2-9
 
But when life erupts on us we get scared, lost or unsure of what to do, who we really are and what we are really worth and we start a self examination of self awareness. This is a dangerous practice that allows the door of doubt to open and our inner thoughts take over.
“Anything that disturbs our rest in Him must be rectified at once, and it is not rectified by being ignored but only by coming to Jesus Christ. This [practice of self awareness] only serves to sap your strength and slow your spiritual growth.” Oswald Chambers
 
Coming to Jesus is what nurtures us and gives us strength. 
 
John 7 37 38
When we are refreshed through His living waters we then can stand firm…we then can remind others of His living water. We need to forget sometimes that we are adults and that we think we control things. There are times we need to come to Jesus like small children and let Him carry us. After all, we are His children.
 
Mark 10 14
 
We all know this in our hearts but sometimes our mind gets in the way. We have to allow Him to teach us His ways and let Him guide us along the path of His choice.
 
Psalm 32 8
 
As we “COME” to Him, lean on Him, learn from Him, we can then allow our hearts to prove to our minds of the love, grace and mercy God has for us and find peace and comfort to stand strong.
 
Hebrews 4 16
 
I pray you find comfort from these chaotic times by feeling His presence. I leave you with this prayer of encouragement so that you can know you are cherished and loved in His shelter.
night prayer 2

Evening Encouragement, Special

As I am getting older, my daughter tells me my stubborn streak is getting stronger. Do you consider yourself a stubborn individual? I think all of us are stubborn to some extent, we have limits we will not cross at any cost. As we start to age, some of those limits get hung onto harder for fear we lose something if we give in….like physical abilities, independence, self worth…and the list goes on. It’s hard sometimes especially if you still have things you are trying to get accomplished.

I especially loved my pastor’s sermon on Sunday. He reminded us that we have to periodically regroup – even in our spiritual life.  Stop and focus on Him, Receive the blessing he daily gives,  and Believe he is always there for you. The hardest sometimes is to Stop…and then to believe…
The pressure we sometimes put on ourselves in trying to be the best…that “golden vessel” on this earth is not really what God is looking for. I saw a quote the other day that kind of puts this into perspective at least for me it does. 
 
“God is not looking for gold or silver vessels. He is looking for yielded vessels.” Kathryn Kuhlman, 1907-1976
 
Yeilding
 
Genesis tells us we are made of dust of the ground…that’s dirt. Not impressive at all, yet when He touches it, magic happens…
isaiah_64-8
We all have made things in our lives through the many things we do and we are proud of some of those things. Think how proud God is of you, His child. You are His creation. He is not asking for big things from you, just be yielding like wet clay and let Him mold you as His instrument…
Romans 6 13
Not an easy task per the world’s standards…but to God, it’s all he wants. Then he will take care of the rest.
Always remember how very special you are.
Psalm 139 14
I leave you with an oldie but goodie by Chonda Pierce, Potter’s Hand.
Have a blessed evening and always remember in everything you do…be kind.
kind right 2

Storms of Life

Today we had a really bad storm, 90+ mph winds, hurricane force, In Iowa. Many people in this area are without power but I was lucky. Storms are nothing to ignore, some are very serious but I remind you as I posts pictures of what I saw today, that God is always with us.

We heard the weather reports saying the storm would be in Davenport between 2 & 3 but as fast as it was going it was there shortly after 1. These first pictures are the clouds moving in. Both pictures were taken within one minute of each other. That is how fast it was moving. I apologize in advance if this is boring to you, but I find the weather fascinating. To me the weather during storms shows the awesome power of God.
Even when things seem to be blowing around us uncontrollably, God is still with us…keeping us safe from the storms.
Col 1 17
All through scripture God reminds us he is our refuge and our strength…
Psalm 46 1
I do sincerely pray everyone is safe from today’s storms as they moved through the midwest and that you did not suffer bad damage. It can be so scary to see nature just fall apart around you. A coworker and I stood at the glass doors of the church watching the greenhouse receive damaging tears and at times it looked as though she would fully bend in half and be pulled completely up from the ground and go sailing. This is a community outreach item where we help the neighborhood have fresh vegetables during the summer months.
The wind was still blowing and the house was still shaking when we left. My daughter tells me there were several semi-trucks that were blown over on the interstates around the area. We as followers of Christ can always fall back on the scriptures when it seems fearful and hopeless. He is there to guide us and protect us from all storms.

Isaiah 4 6
Isaiah: 
Although we had no power in the church, we were safe. God was protecting us from the storm. Trees and huge limbs were snapped on all sides of the building but the building was not damaged…unless there is wind damaged we have yet to find.
When you have an older community with massive hardwood that are decades old, they can not handle those types of winds very well. Sometime when we feel older, the buffeting winds of life seem more that we can handle, But I promise, God is always there.
Through all of life’s troubles, we are reminded in scripture, old and new testament, that He is always with us and we can be safe in His shadow.
Psalm 91 1
I remind you of this last scriptural encouragement before closing. All through the bible, God teaches us of the troubles of this world and that to take heart…He has overcome the world and these are the lessons we learn and hang on to with the hope of His love and care.
Romans 15 4, Hope
So hang on to faith as it brings us the hope and endurance to survive.
And as always, even in hard times of trouble, try to be kind. It may be the only hope someone may see that day of that storm.
kind storm

Evening Encouragement, “WHY”

Good evening friends. I wanted to share with you something that I did not come up with by myself but was inspired by two fellow bloggers. These are their pictures, quotes that moved them and then I am adding my perspective to that. It flowed in with what my pastor was preaching about this morning…”what it really is all about”.

the-lord-is-my-rock

The photo was taken by Mitch and his post on The Rock. The quote at the bottom of the picture really rang true. Not sure if the quote was his or if it came from something that moved him, but it went perfectly with the above picture and scripture.

“We have two main purposes in this life: to climb up onto the Rock, and to pull others up onto it.”

The pastor’s sermon today was to remind us of the church being our home, not the building, but the members. We are a church family, and the members nurture and help each other onto the Rock, to stand steady and strong.

Cee’s photo of the rainbow after a storm was amazing and her quote by Mark Twain fell right into this theme as well, at least to me it did.

the-two-most-important

Each person born has a purpose set out by God. And even though he may close doors we think we are supposed to go through, He opens a window that better fits His purpose for us. We are not just idly created, well, yes, our parents did their thing, but God ALWAYS has a purpose in creation. We as humans spend a lifetime struggling sometimes trying to figure out our purpose, why am I here, how do I matter. We all matter because “God don’t make no junk”.

God junk

Remember how we have always heard of the story of a mustard seed, the tiniest seed growing into a huge tree. That is our “WHY”!

matthew25

The smallest thing we do that helps another person in any way, shape or form is our “why” – we do because He did it for us first. Don’t ever think what you do for Him is not important – It’s ALL important.

Have a blessed evening and as always remember, even the smallest bit of kindness can act like a rock thrown on the lake where the ripples grow in sized as they flow across it.

kind ripples

A Bumpy Ride

Good evening friends. These past two weeks have definitely been a bumpy ride for a lot of us, with some of us going down roads we really were not ready to go down. But God reminds us that even though we can not see Him and sometimes can not feel Him, we have assured faith that He is there walking with us.

Luke 1 37

It is faith and God’s love that fills us with Hope.
hebrews-11-1
We know that while we suffer on this earth, God himself will restore us and bring us peace.
1-peter-5-10
God will restore you and make you feel His strength and bring you peace and comfort…regardless of your deepest pain.
isaiah_61_2_comfort
I leave you with this prayer of restoration, comfort and peace. Hold fast to God’s hand and He will carry you when you can no longer stand.
Strength

And I remind you as always of the majestic gift of kindness. Even when we think we have nothing left to give, a gentle smile may be the only kind thing that person has seen that day. Always be kind.
kind smile