Bloom With Encouragement

This week I have had several “situations” which were not meant to be hurtful but to a more fragile person, it could have been devastating. I am always aware of how powerful words are and how they can uplift or tear down and I push always to build up. We are all creations of a loving God who we, as a creation, sometime forget and walk away form that love, sometimes because of a harsh word from another. Today I read a post that needs reposting as it affirms God’s continual love for us and how he is forever encouraging us. I saw a picture on Pinterest the other day that really speaks to me…”What ever you are praying for…hold on. I am already on it and help is on the way.” Don’t let the discouragement of this world wilt your beautiful bloom but reach to the Son who loves you. Enjoy this post by Gracespeaker and be encourage for the love all around you. And as always, remember to be Kind.

Five Actions to Prevent Wilting

Finding Assurance

While this post is strongly Christian inspired and maybe not really your thing, I do you will read on a little bit as we all need assurance that we are going in the right direction in our lives, that we are hoping to make a difference and last but not at all the least…that we are loved. While the word love is so vastly over used, it is still the most powerful word God created, after all God is love and he proved His love for us by giving us a part of himself, Jesus. Love is a noun and a verb. It shows up in the most unexpected places sometimes and in many unexpected ways.

It shows up in the beauty of a sunrise of the dainty fragrance or color of a flower.

I comes in the form of many works of art, from writing, to painting, to photography, to music and so many more.

In 1873, Fanny Crosby and her friend Phoebe P. Knapp combined Phoebe’s tune that she could not,get out of her head along with Fanny’s words and came up with the song Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine. Fanny was blind at a young age but never let it stop her form sharing the love she had for God and his wonderful love for us.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O, what a foretaste of glory divine! Can you feel what that says. A foretaste of glory in being assured of Jesus’ love.

Heir of salvation, purchased of God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood. An heir is a person who receives items at the death of another. So we are heirs of salvation, purchased by God with Jesus’ blood. What do we need salvation of?? Think about that.

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.  What an awesome thought, lost in His love. I think this pictures expresses that.

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The living water of the First Day.

I have strong assurance of His love for me and I hope you do as well. Fill your selves with His love and let it flow from you to others with kindness reflecting God’s love for all.

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Love is…

What an open ended statement. Love is many things to many people. I have been away from my computer for a few days as I have been busy with one of my loves…gardening. We have finally been blessed with spring weather, temps anywhere form low 60’s to mid 70’s. Awesome. And this is what I did. You can buy the plants and put them in hangers or buy plants already in  hangers. I did some of both. Plus added some to the ground. But in reality, I am just getting started.

I was trying to get it all done before the rain started last night. Thank goodness I didn’t as what we call where I come from, Blackberry winter, has come upon us. Good grief, wasn’t the real winter long enough. Apparently not. Therefore…the hangers are now decorating my living room as temps are expected to drop below 30 with an inch of that dreaded white stuff. Sorry guys that are already in the ground, hang on.

So since there was no loving to do outside I sat down with another love and read. I finished the next to the last book of a 14 book series by Jan Karon called the Mitford Series. It is a wonderful series set in the North Carolina mountains about everyday life, its tragedy’s and triumph’s. Since I am from the south, I was very familiar with the areas she she spoke of and how very true the conditions she wrote starting in the early 2000’s are even today. I strongly suggest reading this series. You will laugh at the absurdity of its richness and cry with the truth of the pain.

Reading this series really brought home to me God’s love for us as people, human beings and how we as humans are just so…lost sometimes. It is astounding how we as a creation of love can cast off another human or animal as discarded trash or a conquest as we strive to what we believe is a higher purpose leaving destruction in our path. I looked through my study bible to see how many time the word love was used – didn’t want to count them as it was a full page and a half. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as we love our self. Do we not love our self? And who exactly is our neighbor. My opinion is we are all neighbors, all brothers and sisters, all family. Do I fail at loving my neighbor …daily.  But if we as humans who can reason with some form of clarity about how we are supposed to be, we should be getting closer to our created purpose, yet at times we are in far left field.

So as I write my blog, I always try to remind all of us about the beauty of life that has been handed to us. Yes our circumstances may be in the bottom of the barrel but we can always CHOSE to have joy. There is a vast difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is a feeling we get due to circumstances around but joy is having inner peace. This peace comes from Christ. Jesus says “My peace I give you.” Its a peace beyond all understanding to our human minds but it is a free gift. A gift we often do not use.

As you go through your week next week, remember the inner joy and let the light of it shine through you to others around you so that to may enjoy the light and the joy it brings and always be kind.

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Connections…So Many Types

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The finger bone is connected to the hand bone, the hand bone is connected to the wrist bone, the wrist bone is connected to the arm bone….and so on…What a fun song that was when we were kids. Today’s fun  is brought to you by way of Tuesday Photo Challenge of Jansen Photo on Connections. So I bring you connections with the hand.

Think about what our hands connect us with. It is a resource that connects us physically with life through a handshake, a gentle touch, an angry strike, a written word, a flower planted, a baby carried and we could go on forever with all the hands do. But the hands are connected not just with bones but also with the heart. The hands along with the face are the two most expressive parts of our bodies that connect to the world with ways you could never fathom creating every emotion available. Think how a dancer can move your emotions with her movements and her hands in gentle swaying movements of freedom, drooping despair, the hard fist of frustration or the lifting of praise and prayer.

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And these emotions are tightly connected with our heart and with God. Scripture reminds us how His hands are forever reaching down to connect us with Him…to even carry us in His hands during great times of despair when we can no longer stand much less walk. Connections. Life is about connections, good or bad. They can be fleeting or lasting. I challenge you to make your connections last for the beauty available in this life.

One of the easiest ways to connect is with kindness. A connection made with kindness today will plant a seed of love and before you know it you have a beautiful tree to shade others in kindness where they can then grow their own seeds to make other trees of kindness. It all begins with a connection from the heart.

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Weeping Lilies

There is an old legend that many people don’t know about, I was one of those, but it says that for every drop of blood that fell from Jesus while he was on the cross, a lily grew. That’s a pretty remarkable legend. I was doing a research for a poem about Easter lilies and that’s how I came upon that legend.

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The lily in my living room

The whiteness of the lily represents the purity of Christ. The shape of the lily represents a trumpet as it blows to welcome in the king.

Tonight we had a church service to tell the story of Jesus last day on  earth. the horrifying cruelty in the way he was beaten, ridiculed and then crucified. The music was soft and mournful to help set the mood for this dark day. We left the sanctuary quietly to maintain the funeral like mood of death.

When I walked in the house, it was just getting good dark so I turned on the lamp by my sofa where my lily is sitting. Its fragrance has been beautiful filling my house with fresh gentleness for several days as three of four blooms have open to share their love; one new bloom beginning to open this evening. I reached over to smell the blooms and was amazed to see a water drop on the bloom and I wondered where it came from. Nothing on the ceiling, nothing close by that could have done that. So I looked at the other blooms. They all had small drops of moisture on each bloom. I am sure there is probably a scientific explanation but to me…it was weeping. Flowers weeping for Jesus’ death and Jesus’ weeping for us. We all know that creation is raging and wanting to be reconnected with Eden but can not be. So creation weeps.

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Same bloom as bloom above three days later.
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Bloom on opposite side

So understand what all of nature knows, that Jesus loves you and weeps for you and has compassion for wherever you are or whatever you are going through. Feel His love and share his love with kindness.

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Dark Day of Mourning

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Today we mourn the pain and sorrow of ourselves and what Jesus did for us on the cross. His love for us is so strong; stronger than a parents love for a child as we are His children.

Jeremiah 13:3 tells us – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

He loves you regardless of how well you think you are doing to be worthy of His love. As Jeremiah says I love you with an everlasting love, a love that flows from eternity with out limits or conditions.

Today’s devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young remind us that on this day he showed us just how much he loved us. He died for us so that we may live. So on this day of sadness and reflective mourning, know that you are loved more than you can imagine and His love will always remain.

Even though this is a day of mourning, lets us feel His love warm us and let us share in  His loving-kindness for others to feel His astounding love.

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