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

Evening Encouragement, Examples

The Bible teach us many lessons of how to properly love on this earth and treat each other but sometimes, although we understand the stories, we often miss the point. Jesus was the greatest teacher ever, teaching us about the kingdom of God through his stories and parables. Some we have dedicated to memory because we have taken them to heart. But sometimes we miss the best teaching of Jesus…His loving example. The way he lived was the best example to show us how to be. And there are days when our humanness crushes that example, like today. Today…Gladys came forth. Gladys was my mother and bigger than life itself sometimes.

My family is loving, generous, respected and by all standards good people…but Christ is not at its center. And it makes an astounding difference regardless of how good you try to by yourself. If you had ever heard of the intensity, strength or “Don’t you dare” attitude of women from the southern US, I will be the first to tell you its a real thing. And while we now laugh about some of the stories and examples we were shown, I cringe from some of the borderline meanness I witnessed due to the misunderstand of who Christ was and what he really asks of us. When Christ was here, he knew what people had faced and what generations later would still face so he left us parables to help guide us along the way to a true and gentle heart. Matthew 13 tells the parable of the sower and the soils as an example of receiving the words from God.

Parable of seed

As we go and grow through our lives, it is important to establish our center love “Rock” so that we can stand firm and radiate the love of Christ in all we do. Do we fall off that rock, yes, daily sometimes, but with Christ, we know how to get back on top.

Across the internet, there is a group called RAK, which stand for Random Acts of Kindness that promotes millions of ways to show kindness to others. For those of us who are Christ followers, we know that kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit. I love this picture from Beth Moore about Kindness…

kind fruit

 What an awesome way to understand that. Paul reminds us in  Romans 2:4 of God’s purpose for Kindness…
Romans 2 4
So the kindness examples Jesus tells us about…the examples he showed us by His own life’s example…is how we get close to God…by His example. So remember to always be an example of kindness.
kind right 2
 

 

A Evening with Psalms, Encouragement

Tonight I am posting an evening encouragement in the form of a reflection with a few of the Psalms written by David and others where they poured out their hearts in writings and songs with love to God. On nights when I can’t seem to sleep, I will turn to this book and just breathe in His peace and encouragement of the Psalms. This is just an example of the consistent love God has for us. In reality, this post could be really long as there are lots of good encouragement in the Psalms but I will pick out a few we don’t read as often and maybe sometime later, I will do it again. Tonight I will start at Psalm 1 and go onward. Enjoy and be encouraged. I took these pictures from christian websites.

Psalm 1 6
 
He knows us from the inside…
 
Psalm 11 7
 
We all know this next one but I had to use it. It’s a favorite.
 
Psalm 19 14
Even though it is hard to rejoice when we are hurting, scared or overwhelmed, we know deep down we can rejoice quietly on the inside and he will hear.
 
Psalm 32 11
Always remember he will guide you…
Psalm 37 23-24
This next one we need to always remember and hang onto every letter of each word.
Psalm 48 14
I leave you with this short bit of encouragement from Isaiah 41:10 in hopes that you do indeed sleep like a baby tonight with peaceful assurance of God’s love for you.
Sleep like a baby
And as always, remember the ripple effect kindness brings as it fans out to others.
kind ripples

Tuesday Writing Prompt, If I Never…

If I Never…

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If I never explored the garden, of it’s love and beauty that be

I would miss yellows and purples or other colors to see

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If I never felt the raindrops, as it gathered on leaves around

I would never hear the beauty in its quiet, gentle sound

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If I never saw the sunset and it breathed after the storm

I would never see the beauty in the clouds as they form

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If I never saw the snowfall as to clung to trees above

I would never hear its quietness like the cooing of a dove

 

heart

If I never loved another how profoundly sad to be

For missing all those gifts from God that He would give to me.

Anita Neal

Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge which was started by our star writer Christine Ray. The prompts are designed to be quick challenges that can be written in 10 to 15 minutes,  inspire you creatively, are fun, and get everyone interacting.

Today’s prompt: Write a poem using the phrase “if we never”

Come join in and as always, remember to be kind, it shows you true heart regardless of who, or what you are kind to. Let your kindness ripples be released into the world.

kind ripples

Fragility of Life

Today I was slapped in the face by the fragility of this life and my heart was broken. I borrowed some pictures from google to help express my thoughts for tonight.

This life we have is so very precious and we tend sometimes to take it for granted. But scripture reminds us that flowers of life fade. But it is our duty to nurture every flower as long as we can, to always shower it in love and to always be kind.

1-Corinthians-13-4
The word love is mentioned over 130 times in the bible, so it is very important to God. He gave His son to us because He loved us. And we must be aware of Him as we walk beside Him because He still loves us…warts and all.
Ephesians 5 v 2
It is our hearts that show us who we are and it is through our actions that we show who God is…for God is love.
1-john-4-8.16
I encourage everyone to fully understand how very valuable you are to God. He created you…as you…for a reason and purpose. He was faithful in love in your creation and will remain faithful in love as you walk by his side.
Lamentations 3 22
So gather your beautiful flowers of loved ones around you and make sure they know how sweet their loving aroma is to God’s and you…and never ever forget how wonderful your aroma is to God and how very much He loves you.  Have a blessed evening and remember to be kind.
kind Eph

Day is Over

Sunset Alltona

 

Day Is Over

The day is over and the night is near

Memories were made to hold so dear.

I think in earnest and reflect over this day

Of memories I made leaving nothing to say.

All memories made, some scary some fun

Will all be stored once this day is done.

Lift memories, thoughts and deep felt cares

To the Lord above who will always be there.

He watches with love as we close out each day

And promises to refill us with hope as we pray.

For the day is now over and night is near

So gather those thoughts and memories so dear.

Anita Neal

Photo Courtesy of Judi Beeler

There are times when God paints beauty in the sunset to remind us of His power and glory. When you day is over, take times to reflect on the gifts of that day and remember to always be kind.

kindness sunset