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Archive for the ‘God’s Plan and Words’ Category

everlasting God

We were returning home from a motorcycle ride when we became separated by a traffic light. I knew my husband was ahead of me somewhere. As I neared our apartment complex on my bike, I saw that he was straddling the tracks of our entrance gate with his bike to keep the gate open for me. He is good like that.

When I pulled up beside him, he pointed to the ground and said, “I found something that you are going to love! You’ll have to get off your bike and look at it.”

In the concrete next to the gate were incredible words that had been inscribed when the entrance was built, “You are the everlasting God.”

Today, the first day of a new year, these words play in my mind like a beautiful song that repeats in my head after hearing it on the radio.

Everlasting: perpetual or enduring through all time, eternal.

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:7 NIV)

Our everlasting God! The One we love! His promise to us, an everlasting and personal covenant.

Your righteousness is everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. (Psalms 119:142 KJV)

His truth. His truth, evermore!

Father, help us to keep our eyes on you, neither here nor there, but on you. Your promise is unbroken, may our promise to you in faith hold fast without blemish.

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

(Isiah 41:28-29 NIV)

On this beautiful day, the day the Lord has given us, I am grateful for the inscribed words left for others to see. Thank you for bringing light to the world. Light filled with strength and power, through the sharing of God’s word.

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God's peacemakers, children of God

As a child of God, remember this, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11)

You’ve heard the words “do not worry over the small things.” I believe, for children of God, everything is a small thing here on earth. Keep your sight on the finish line, for there are the big things.

Yes, unfortunately we are mocked when we say what we believe, and we are mocked when we do not say how we feel. For in our silence, we are judged. This is a form of persecution — an effort to steal our peace.

Satan is the author of confusion and frustration, he is not the King of Peace. Satan wants us to feel less than joyful, and he loves it when we believe the lies that he whispers in our ears, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

“Blessed be the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, for God has a plan for you. The lies that the devil dishes out are of no substance.

There is work to do here, today, in our world. Let’s do it.

March on, Christian soldier.

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aging www.hispasturepress.com

I find aging, or the topic thereof, interesting.

When I was in my early 20’s I couldn’t wait to grow a little older. Being young can be tough, especially in an office workplace setting. I was at the bottom of the totem pole, and I knew it. I typed invoices on a manual typewriter and I was the one that became the favorite filing clerk. I had a lot of proving to do! I tend to remember how I felt (40 years ago), and younger folks probably want to roll their eyes at me when I tell them I know how tough it can be to be young. I am old, what do I know?

When I turned 25 I was surprised when I realized there were no more age markers to look forward to. 13, 21, and for whatever reason, 25 had arrived and I had looked forward to it. No single age has mattered to me since.

I recently asked a woman about her upcoming birthday, and I made positive comments about our age frame. She did not respond and her facial expression was very controlled, stoic. I started to gently ask, “Did you hear me?”, and then I realized that she had. Oops. That moment was a first for me, and a preventable last.

See, I do not find age embarrassing.

When I was a young child I enjoyed touching my grandmother’s soft hands. I loved to kiss her on her cheek. Somehow, that sagging skin (which was beautiful to me), was precious. She was my elder and I appreciated it so very much. Her eyes and skin reflected wisdom. He gray hair was a crown.

Two things do typically catch my attention, though. The first is any statement along the lines of, “An elderly 60-year-old woman was pushing the grocery cart.” What? Elderly? Or, when I converse with someone 20-30 years old and they say, “My grandmother does the same thing.” I then do the math in my head. Yes, they could very well be a grandchild of mine. A young woman relaxing in our community hot tub said to my husband, “Oh, I know, my parents are old too.” Yep. Ancient. Good for a belly laugh.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Oh, and one more thing, the older I get, people that are my age don’t look so old to me anymore. When did older people stop looking old?

How do you feel about age? Is it a number, or do the oncoming years scare you? Do you hide your “real” age from others?

 

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God's voice through colors, God's colors

It had been a trying week. After I arrived home from work I took a drive to a second-hand shop to peek around for a couple of small end-of-week rewards … a token to hold in my hands, and the other a gift of unwinding by myself.

As I drove back home with air conditioning blasting in my face and with my foot heavy on the accelerator I noticed other cars sharing the road had their windows down. They, unlike many city Texan drivers, seemed to be on a slow meander. I said, “What is up with that?” I eased off of the speed and followed suit as I pushed the button to roll down the glass. A glorious cool breeze wafted in, and then I saw it.

God’s pallet unfolded before my eyes. Sunset filled with a rainbow of colors. No need for sunglasses. The glare was gone, and in its wake were the most beautiful deep and profound colors that I believe I have ever observed.

It soothed my soul,  and I whispered as a tear escaped my eye, “Oh Father, I see your beauty. There is no other that could have made this. Your colors speak, and Father, I praise you. I love you.”

I find it to be no coincidence that man reports these colors to hold meaning and significance:

  • Gold – complete and pure
  • Orange – energy combined with happiness
  • Pink – unconditional love and nurturing
  • Purple – imagination
  • Blue – depth and stability

Whether it be through a rainbow after a storm pulls out, or through the promise of rest that follows the prism of sunset, God speaks his words of life.

 

 

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jumbo puppy www.hispasturepressDiesel and I were secured in the dog park when I heard a little voice squeal with delight, “Look mom, a jumbo puppy!” He did not see a chunky wrinkle-faced bulldog, he saw a jumbo puppy! The tiny boy clung to the chain link fence with intent, with nothing short of delight in his eyes. A memory formed in the boy’s mind that instant, the days he saw a tiger-striped chubby dog that strolled in a rolling motion and snorted as he went.

This notice of simple pleasure reminded me to treat today, every day, as the best day ever.

To see life through the eyes of a child.

The sun suddenly became brighter. Blue deepened from horizon to horizon. Clouds fluffed. Air freshened.

This coffee mug that sits within my reach holds not just any ordinary beverage and it is not of a simple design. It is painted with bright hues of red, blue, yellow, and green. I could be drinking it on a veranda, admiring the beautiful Hill Country. I see it. Do you? The coffee is perfectly steamy, with just a touch of vanilla…and something else that I do not recognize. Smooth. This is why they call it Texas Pecan. Today, I let it linger over my tongue. I enjoy every…single…drop.

As I prepare for my day, I am not simply dressing. I am staging my day with color. Today is a deep blue day…from turquoise to navy, with a touch of clay. I am choosing from the box of crayons of life once again. Is it periwinkle, or sea foam green? Perhaps it is tomato red tomorrow. Mountain meadow?

I am listening in these early morning hours to the hum of the refrigerator. I think of my grandmother’s large kitchen with her Formica topped table and white metal cabinets. The freezer and refrigerator filled with Missouri peaches and grandfather’s favorite salads. They also hummed away, holding the treasures from earth cold and fresh. The snoring buzz of the bulldog, the five-year-old jumbo puppy gives warmth to my heart. His eyes pop open now and then, but he is unconscious, the monkey. I hear the tapping of the keyboard. Happy sounds from my fingertips. Painting words on paper. This is not just the ordinary. This is life times one-hundred.

Hello world. I shake your hand. I hug your people. I embrace your beauty. I absorb what you, my Father, have surrounded my being with.

Today, I am who I am. I live in a “jumbo puppy” world.

This is the best day…ever.

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cleave to the power www.hispasturepress.comI am so mad. She has ruined my entire day.

Why does he always do this? I cannot get anything done because of him!

He is going to think I am an idiot no-matter what I do. I will try to be better starting right now, and perhaps if I am careful I can turn this around…or…better yet, I might throw in the towel and go hide away.

Does this sound familiar? I know, it is frustrating. It can feel like you’ve fallen into a whirlpool that sucks you under, twists you about with bone aching action, and never releases you to gulp a restoring breath of well-deserved calm and peace.

Where is God’s power in all of this? What is it that locks iron bars around our attention and devotion while our lives are twisted like flimsy rag dolls?

The power of God’s love. The power of His grace. The power of His will. The power of His plans for us vs. the power of His enemy…our enemy. The enemy that knows our shortfalls. The destroyer that knows our weaknesses and ignores our humane strengths.

We give the enemy our power, and he sneers at us. Ah-ha…I’ve snared her for good today. She thinks she has John, or Susan, or the fire-breathing boss to blame. I’ve wrenched her heart to drain it, and made her soul ache to the bones. She believes my lies. She does not see the truth. I am the one that is handed the token. I have prevailed. With a twist of her mind, I can hold her here and convince her that she is worthless, powerless, and unable to make a change.

She has given the power to me. Me!

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV

I can see Jesus looking at us (in our wrung out state of mind), “Where is your faith?” “Did you lock it away to only be used when you face no problems? What or who is greater than my Father? You have many choices, and one is to pick it (your tired bones) up and follow me.”

Do you feel it? Thank you Father, for your peace and strength. Thank you for understanding us…that despite our love for you, we slip and fall weak. We look inwards for answers, and fumble around in darkness. Thank you for the lessons you continue to provide. The lessons in patience, in love, in remembering the grace that you have given us is the grace that we must also graciously serve to those that live on earth with us. The lesson that we must do this without giving away the power that The Spirit has given us, to allow you to fight what we cannot. Today, we do not want to waste one ounce of that power and love, not a drop, not a single speck.

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you — they are full of the Spirit and life.” John 6:63

Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” John 6:64

Father, fill us with your Spirit. Be with us and fill us with strength.

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dreamstimefree_260516

I am not sure of myself in this.

God, I give it to you.

What if I foul up?

God, I give it to you.

I feel so out of place. I have so much to learn.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? (Galations 1:10 NIV)

God, I give it to you.

My shoulders are tense. I feel stress.

God, I give it to you.

I stared at my desk, piled high with unfamiliar tasks. I prayed. I trusted. I gave it up. The warmth of peace swaddled my being.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4 NIV)

I was reminded that God is in charge, always.

There are lessons to be learned from discomfort…reminders of where we should always be. In our place. His place.

Father. I give it to you.

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