Trust, Obey and Enjoy

My  morning devotion spoke to me today and so I am sharing my thoughts with you. When God was first laying down the foundational rules in Exodus, he told the people he was a jealous God and to worship no other God’s but him.

moses

In today’s world, we often sugar coat the gentleness and kindness of God and forget his powerful being – the ultimate rule maker, the mighty Father. We don’t want to believe he will ever punish us, we don’t want him being something we fear because fear is a negative aspect. God is never negative, right? Do you read the same old testament that I read? How many people were killed by the command of God. Why would you worship a being that does that? Be cause he loves me! And people forget that and lose his love.

When Joshua first invaded Canaan, the first town on agenda for God was Jericho. Jericho, who many many generations ago, forgot who God was now going to be punished for forgetting. So God tells the people to walk around the walled city and then come back to camp. The people – the entire nation of Israel – just walking around the massively walled city. So let’s think about that a minute. You are an Israelite, and God says you will conquer the land. How is walking around the city conquering the land. I am sure there were some in that group that were think, “what? is this how we are conquering?” And I am sure the people of Jericho, who were originally shaking in their boots with fear hearing all the stories of the Red Sea parting and the destruction of the Egyptian army, were wondering “what is this, why are we scared of this?” Evidently none of them knew the song called Trust and Obey.

Then on the 7th day, the walls miraculously just fell down. Walls that had been standing as a fortress for hundreds of year…just fell. And all the people of Jericho, all the people, were killed. Trust and Obey, for there is no other way….

In Sarah Young’s devotional  Jesus Calling for July 11, she reminded us that today’s false gods are out of the realm of religion. Those of us who are practicing the Christian religion have a tendency to get complacent, especially here in the US. And sometimes that complacency can turn us to worshiping other things than God. Oh, it was not our intention and there may not be a physical thing we have set up in our home we bow down to, but any thing that gets in the way of our worship of God can easily become an idle; our jobs, more money, and a big one is our TIME.

24 hours in a day x 7 days = 168 hours, 168 hours in a week x 52 weeks = 8736 hours, 52 Sundays x 1 hour = 52 hours. Not sure 52 hours out of 8736 hours show a good representation of loving our God. How many hours do you spend with your friends doing fun stuff. If you spend an average of 5 hours a week doing fun stuff that is 260 hours, you see where I am going here. God does not want you to not enjoy going and doing fun  stuff. He created a lot of fun stuff for you to do. He just wants to go with you. He wants to be part of your everyday, to share your highs, not just coming when the moments are low.

So as you go about your day, everyday, ask Him to come along smile with him at the funny ‘coincidences’ that seem to happen and realize – “I know that was You God.” And as you smile with him, remember to be kind like him.

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Attitude of Hope and Love

There is so much sadness in this word today. So many broken promises, so many hurts both physically and mentally but I cling desperately to the spiritual truth of God’s love for me and all of mankind and of course for His creation with all its components. He said after creating the world at the beginning that it was good.

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And it was meant for good but alas, it failed due to the weakness of man and the trickery of the evil one. It failed due to the misunderstanding and distrust of man of God. It failed because man forgot the first love. Not our first love that we remember but we have forgotten that HE loved us first.

So many have become so complacent with the world that God is no longer even in their picture.  Then they question those of us who still hang on to God’s hand and His love for us asking “WHY??”. My answer to them is…

I would rather live my life fully believing in a God that loves me, will take care of me, will guide me in all ways but when I go to die, only to realize the belief I encourage myself and others of the joy and peace we felt through our entire lives was only our imagination and none of our beliefs were true and once you are dead its over…..   Than to live my life not thinking anything about a God that loves me, throwing all of my life and cares to the wind and doing everything that pleased only me, never thinking of the harm or discord I brought to anyone or anything else, then to die and realize in horror that I was wrong. There was in fact a loving God who loved me and cared for me and now…it is too late for me and I am lost forever.

That would be the saddest scenario that I can imagine. May we all strive to believe that there is a just, loving and compassionate God who left us an instruction book called the Bible to guide us in any way that we need, to help us face our toughest day, and to show us how to feel the joy of His peace that he offers us through His grace to all of His creation and that He does dearly love us.

And may we remember to reflect His love by showing the kindness He so heavily graces us with so that we in turn we can give it to those who have forgotten His ways and maybe bring them a smile and a hope of His love for them.

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The Warm Fuzzies

Jut got home good from church so I am still feeling the warm fuzzies. That doesn’t always happen but today Pastor Rob really struck home on some key things for me as a Christian. No, he did not preach on warm fuzzies but on the power of prayer. We are all familiar with the golden rule, some may not realize it is biblical because it expresses something we all want, to be treated fairly. John 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them  do to you. 

I found this picture of a explanation by Michael Josephson sometime ago that to me sheds a different light on that rule and I liked it.

Golden Rule
Its About WHO WE ARE, not who they are!

John 6: 27-36 goes into other details of why we treat all people with kindness, even people who may mistreat us, as kindness is an expression of God’s love. It is easy to love those who love us but infinitely hard to love those who are mean to us just because they can be.

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But we are to be reflections of God Most High and He is…Love. He is Kind to the unkind. Verse 36 tells us – Be merciful, just as you Father is merciful. And if you just can not do that face to face because you know the rebuttal you will invoke, then pray for them. Always pray.

power of prayer

The benefits of peace you will receive from the prayers you make or the kindness you give will never be removed from you.

One of the songs we sang today was When Peace Like A River. It is such a wonderful visual image of His love continually flowing over us like a river, soaking us with His peace. The warm fuzzies of peace.  And like the last song that we sang, Better Than Life, its closing line says Your loving kindness is better than life!

So I encourage you today to come join me in the warm fuzzies and remember even in the meanness that you sometimes come upon, always try to be kind. Sometimes when we are nice to meanness, it stops it in its tracks as it tries to understanding why you were kind…and maybe it will begin to change.

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The Old Stone Door

Garden door

The Old Stone Door

This door seems too narrow, with no way to lock, a wedge pushing it always open.

The stone is so old with odd colored splotches, green moss growing all over it’s face. 

This can’t be the way, no look at the door. It looks to small to be used as was spoken.

This is the garden, I know that for sure with tales of peace and beauty of this place.

But many remember a time of no peace, with shouts of anger and shedding of blood

With torches ablaze and sharp swords flying, an ear was taken, but now back as new

“Put away your sword”, he said firmly in love as they struggled standing in dark wet mud

Shall I not drink this cup the Father has given me? A cup allowing for of all things new!

Now, centuries later the garden lays quiet with forgotten memories of that time gone by

I walk through the beauty of flowers and trees and feel the reality this has had on me

Will I feel His love when I walk away from here, the beauty of flower and bright blue sky

Will I be able to use the love I feel, and bring it as proof, an everlasting love for all to see.

Anita Neal

There are times when  fellow bloggers post a picture that is so inspiring that I ask permission to try to write a post worthy of its beauty.  Today, Ken of tallulahbass created a post for Norm for the Thursday doors and posted this door.  I thought it was a beautiful door and thought of the Garden of Gethsemane wondering what it would be like today to walk through that garden.

As we remember the everlasting love he has for us, let us remember to share that love with a loving smile, maybe a gentle touch for a hurting soul or a helping hand for those in need. And always remember to be Kind.

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Our Firm Foundation, One Liner Wed

I had such a wonderful meeting with my friend Rob yesterday and he reminded me of how the “father of lies” can easily deceive us into believing we are not good enough, not doing anything right and just how poor a job as a Christian we are being. I stand on the rock knowing he loves me and that these thoughts are just what they are lies.

In the devotion book by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling today’s devotion is just a reminder of how much he is always by us and always has our hand.

I AM YOUR FIRM FOUNDATION on which you can dance sing and celebrate My Presence. This is a holy calling for you: receive it as a precious gift.

My guidance for each of my children is unique. That’s why listening to me is so vital for your well being. Let me prepare you for the day, point you in the right direction. I am with you continually, cling to my hand.  June 19.

Wow, what a joy to know he is always there for us. May you each enjoy his peace and love this day. Hold on to him tightly and he will guide your way. Enjoy the beauty of this day…and my flowers. That is one way he makes me smile.

Linda G Hill always gives us fun for 1liner Wed, so enjoy each others post.

And as always remember to be Kind. It is a true reflection of God who loves us and watches us.

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A Day of Honor

Today is Father’s day, a day where we honor our fathers here in the US. This is my dad. He was a good man, had his faults as we all do and I miss him greatly.

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Being a parent is tough work and should be taken seriously as we are creating the next generation, the next government or the next way of thinking. That has a lot of punch and truth to it.

So we take this day to honor all fathers for task at hand of being a parent. It is a wonderful hard job but also has so many beautiful attributes. We stand beside you, encourage you, will pray for you and will listen to you when needed. Always remember you have the Father in heaven who is always standing by your side to guide you as you guide your children. Follow His lead and remember the main lesson he taught all of his children… Love. Love your children as the father in heaven has loved you even through all the muddy footprints. John 13:34…Love as I have loved you.

Jesus with children

 

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Always be kind

 

Picture it…

Picture a favorite beach scene. You are sitting relaxed in the loose sand dunes just above the beach. The sun has warmed the sand and it tickles as it shifts through your toes. The sound of the turf is melodic as it pounds on the beach. The seagulls are calling each other as they slowly fly through the gentle breeze, that same breeze that brushes across your face. You inhale and you can almost taste the salt of the warm sea air that you are smelling.

beach
Can you picture it?

Not big on the beach? Then picture the soft tranquility of a mountain stream. You are sitting on a felled tree that is now becoming a bench for anyone on the trail. The stream beside you is bubbling along the rocks as it heads though the forest to the nearest river. The clean air is as refreshing and clear as the water in the stream is cold to the taste. In front of you off in the distance are the mountains, maybe their tops are dusted with snow. The sweet smell of the evergreens is pungent and reminds you of Christmas. Over head a lone eagle floats with little movement as he soars of the updrafts.

mtn stream
Can you picture it?

Maybe you are not a nature lover? Maybe your enjoyment comes with an evening of dinner and beautiful music at an outdoor park. The smells of various foods wafting in the air mixed with warm summer night as the stars slowly begin to show their presence. Soft conversations with strangers around you creates friendships of similar interest. The orchestra or band is warming up their instruments for a night of expected pleasures.

food & music
Can you picture it?

Then picture this…..

black

You are sitting in a dark room.

There is no sound because you are deaf…

There is nothing to see because you are blind…

There is little to smell if anything because you have no reference to what smell is…

There is little to touch as your body has no sense of feel due to being paralyzed.

Senses…Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste & Touch…Gifts from God for us to enjoy His mighty creation. If all of your sense are working, praise God and enjoy these gifts. If you know those who are missing one or more of these senses, then share with them the beauty of what they don’t have so that through the senses that they do have working, they can get a glimpse of its beauty.

And remember as you enjoy your gifts, to share the joy that they bring you with others in hopes they may understand the beauty of it and share it themselves with others. And always remember to be kind. Kindness is enveloped in all of there gifts.

 

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