Monday, October 24, 2016

Hope's Inbred Ability

God calls us “prisoners of hope”. (Zeph. 9:12)

If you are a prisoner, there you stay - no leaving.  The privilege to come and go as you please is revoked.

Our God is a God of Hope and we are “prisoners” of that hope.  But, the key is to stay in that place of hopefulness. In the hope-filled place, we will be experientially filled with joy and peace to keep on believing and to keep on abounding in hope.  
Now may the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit~ Apostle Paul, as recorded in Romans 15:13 
STAY in that place of HOPEFULNESS!

Because of Him and Unto Him, 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nature's Green Room

There is a photographer in my church.  His name is Donald Case.  He travels the USA and searches for what I call God moments (instead of Kodak moments) when scenery, lighting, and stillness all come together through his lens. He captures moments in time for our breathless enjoyment.

As I sat looking at his latest photography book, a few photos caught my spirit and words flowed.  Here is one.


There is something about this bare bench and its setting that beckons to me. “Come. Sit. Rest the soul. Inhale fresh air, exhale stress.”

Maybe it’s the varying shades of green-age that frames the bench that de-stresses me.  Did you know that the color of green is a calming, refreshing color? People waiting to appear on TV shows sit in “green rooms” to relax and hospitals use green because it relaxes the patients, so the color experts tell me.

I can picture myself in this particular setting - on this particular bench.  With legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles, head back, eyes closed as the cool air soothes my weary soul. I seem to breathe easier and see clearer as my spirit speaks to Abba.

When I open my eyes I take in the forms of all the various sizes and shaped trees around me. Oh, how my soul rejoices when it sees a huge, old tree.  My fingers run over its bark like I was reading Braille; my eyes follow the branches to their soaring heights; my soul wonders what secrets the old tree may hold. I allow my imagination to “watch” the children of yesteryear as they climb higher and higher laughing and calling to each other.  Like a spider dangling from above, I “watch” the boy give his first young kiss to the girl. 


Trees are for children. Benches are for “old” people. “Old” people who need to destress and be reminded of their youth.  

I think I will come back here often. Back to nature’s green room and its beckoning bench.

What does this photo speak to you?

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, October 17, 2016

got thorns?

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me - a messenger of Satan - to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing, I pleaded with The Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Strength is made perfect in weakness." ~ Apostle Paul, as recorded in 2 Cor. 12:7-9
We have all heard sermons on this portion of Scripture. And what I have been taught is that the "thorn in the flesh" is sickness or disease. That is not what these verses allude to. The word "flesh" means "human nature".  A thorn in our human nature.

Think of how we physically and emotionally react when we get stuck with a thorn.  It hurts. It pricks. It annoys us.  It can get infected.  And it continues to annoy, prick, and hurt us until we get that thing out of our flesh.

And what else has that same affect on us?

Other human beings.  Some people truly are like a thorn stuck in your thumb.

The LORD God Almighty says, as recorded in Judges 2:2-3:
And you shall make no Covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.  But, you have not obeyed My Voice.  Why have you done this?  Therefore, I also said, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall be thorns in your side.
Spouses.  Family.  Co-workers.  Neighbors.  Those who sit alongside us on Sunday mornings. People.  Relationships. That is the thorn in our sides or flesh - the annoyance and pricking to our human nature.

And most of the time, these "thorns" show us exactly how WE are NOT Christ-like. And that is what we have to deal with - US.  Not them.  God allows the "thorns" for a reason. Satan buffets us (which means he pounds, pounds, pounds us) through certain people in our lives. And God desires us to be Christ-like.  Our reactions to what has been said or done shows us something about
ourselves, not just about them.

What better way to bring about Christ-likeness in us than to allow the "thorns" to keep buffeting us until we deal with ourselves.  Our Father's Grace IS sufficient toward us as we allow His Holy Presence to shine His Light on the dark places of our souls and reveal what must change within us.

Is anyone dealing with some "thorns" in their life?  (My hand is raised.)

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, October 10, 2016

Endurance to Endure

Life can be, at times, so overwhelming.  There are seasons where one God-awful thing after another occurs.  Sometimes, it can seem as if we are in the ocean in the middle of a raging storm getting pounded with wave after wave.  The temptation to "let go" and drift off into the ocean's abyss is there, but we keep in swimming, holding our head above water with the hope of being rescued.

What keeps us "keeping on"?

What allows us to keep getting up, morning after dreadful morning?

What triggers the endurance to endure?

Seeing Him Who is unseen.
Hebrews 11:27 speaks of Moses going before the pharaoh time after exhausting time. "By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him Who is unseen." 
We "see" God, our Creator and Father, as He cradles us close to His Heart.  We "see" Him as His Spirit comforts us through His Holy Scriptures, and we "see" Him when we stop and reflect on all Jesus Christ endured in the last 24 hours of His Holy Life. Christ's ability to endure was the same as it is for you and me. He "saw" the unseen.
For the joy set before Him, He endured the Cross, scorning It's shame, and sat down at the right hand of The Throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2
We endure because we know one day we, too, will see God visibly.  We will stand in His Holy Presence. There will be no more tears. No more sorrows. No more struggling to keep on swimming. The same joy that was set before Jesus is set before us, too. May we all keep our eyes on that joy of the revelation of Jesus Christ.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials that the genuineness of your faith - being much more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls.  ~ 1 Peter 1:6-9
Great will be our reward for enduring.  And may that thought allow us to have joy in the midst of the raging storms.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Dew-ness of Life

One of God’s provisions for sustaining life on planet Earth is dew. Tiny droplets of water formed during “perfect” conditions that occur during the night. 

I have been meditating on this Scripture verse for days now: 

Therefore may God give you of the dew of Heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.  
~ Genesis 27:28

This is, in part, the blessings of Issac over his son, Jacob, before Issac takes his last earthly breath.

“The dew of Heaven” is poetic and symbolic.  Heaven’s dew is symbolic of God’s Perfect Provision, and God’s Perfect Provision is here upon earth for us now. 

Dew is not anything I normally think about unless I’m walking in the grass early in the morning or in the cold of wintertime when I need to defrost the car window.  It’s just there, early in the mornings, as

God’s provision for you and I is similar.  It shouldn't be something I need to think about if I’m living up to His conditions.
John 14:23 says:  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
Obedience to The Word of God is the condition for God's Blessings in our life.  Obedience is what proves our love for God.  Anyone can say the love God, but we know actions speak louder than words.  And if we are obedient, then The Perfect Holy Presence and Provision of our God is available to us. And since Provision is within us, we need not think about it. Kind of like dew, it is just there.  Before we even realize we need His provision, it is already in place for us.

In fear and desperation, we cry out to God to provide for us.  But, that IS fear and desperation talking, not faith.  Faith is KNOWING (fully assured) the Dew of Heaven is upon my life - that His Blessing is upon my life and that His Provision is already in place.  

Dew of Heaven, please forgive me for all the times in fear and desperation I've cried out to You.  May I walk in this assurance from this day forward: Your provision for the rest of my life is already in place.  I thank You and bless You and praise You for You are the Dew-ness of my life.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, September 19, 2016

Unlike Floyd

My blogging friend, Floyd, of Finding Floyd, consistently publishes his posts every Sunday.  Like clockwork.  I expect to read him.  Usually on Monday mornings.  Like clockwork.  That so impresses me.  His consistency in publishing reveals he is a serious writer.  Even the place where he writes - in his local eatery.  There he sits, coffee and pen and paper.  Focused. He is a "ready writer" as Scripture calls it.

I have tried many times over the years to do that very thing.  But, unlike Floyd, I get so distracted. People watching, birds singing, etc. calls my attention away from my inner creativity.  Inspiration wanes.  Words get stuck somewhere unknown to me.  Thoughts hide as the intruders intrude.

In this new place where I live, they have a small "business area" where you can go and use their computers.  I've thought maybe that would be a good place to write.  Nope, too sterile an environment.  We have an outdoor "cabana" area adjacent to the pool. Comfy couches, TV, etc. I've thought, that might be a great place to write.  Nope. Too humid out. And because I imagine there must be bees drinking in the nectar from all the different flowers, I prefer not to disturb them.  (Yeah, sure!)

My pen
And so, here I sit, in my chair in my living room. In the dark.  In the stillness.  In the quiet. Encased in The Holy Presence of God. Focused. Wondering as I type where the words will lead. It's usually a surprise to me.

I'm not sure the path these particular words have taken, but this I am sure of: It's OK that I'm not as consistent as Floyd or other bloggers, like my daughter.  I am me.  I am the writer that my Father created me to be.  Different. Undisciplined at times. Challenged in the focus department sometimes.

But, this, too, I am sure of: My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I write compositions concerning The King; my fingers are the pen of a ready writer.  (Psalm 45:1)  I write truth. I seek to inspire others to see the goodness of our God. I write to encourage and it's all Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Not the Band

Jars of Clay.

No, not the band.  Us.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  ~ II Cor. 4:7
I am an indoor-plant lover. When I was a girl, my mother's plants adorned our home.  They were all in the same nothing special, nothing pretty, terracotta, clay pots.  That was the only kind of flowerpots there were in the "olden days".  Today, everything is plastic and colorful; ceramic and decorative.  

The eye is drawn to the planter
My friend, Isabel, is also a plant lover and her plants are housed in those kinds of decorative ceramic flowerpots.  One is prettier than the other. When I travel to visit her, one of the first things I do when I get to her home is step into her plant room (she has a plant room! Oh, a touch of Heaven...).  I walk around admiring her pots thinking, I need to start buying some of these kinds of flowerpots.  I check to see if there are any new additions to the room. And then I notice the plants.  I serendipitously take a second walk around examining them, as I ooh and aah.  

God wants us "earthen vessels" to be like jars of clay: plain, unobtrusive, ordinary pots which hold His extraordinarily beautiful Agape that is to be poured out of us to a hurting world.  

Why ordinary clay pots?  Why not expensive ceramic ones?  

So that others first see and admire the beauty of God within us, not the vessel containing that beauty.  He doesn't want us to be like me walking around Isabel's plant room where my eyes first go to the planters then to the plant.  No, He wants "the plant" to be the first thing others notice.  We should be enamored with the God we see in someone, not someone cause they have God.  There is a huge difference!

As my fingers are typing, I realize that 99% of my plants are in cheap, plastic flower pots.  You would think that I, as a plant lover, would invest money in beautiful pottery to house them in.  I never have.  And even though, as I leave Isabel's plants behind determining in my heart to purchase beautiful planters, I never do.  And I could never understand what my problem was.

It just dawned on me as I'm typing: It's my beautiful plants that catch the eye.  Not their containers.


...Maybe all this about back and forth for years about pots for my plants was more about a blog post - a lessened learned - than actually upgrading my flowerpots.  Oh, thank You, Abba!

Don't you just love the way our Father teaches us His most valuable Truths?  I sure do!  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, August 29, 2016

On The Heels of Victory

Oh, if I could teach Believers one thing, it would be this:

Always, on the heels of victory comes demonic onslaughts.

And for one purpose only: to knock the victory right out of us; to steal the joy that comes from that awesome thing God has done for us, in us, or through us; to shove us back into the flesh so that we react.  Maturity and growth come from such encounters.  If we allow it.

Not being ignorant of Satan's tactics, and understanding that it WILL most CERTAINLY come, is half the battle.
...lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. ~ 2 Cor. 2:11
The other half is no matter who the attack comes through, that we recognize that it is a diabolical plot and not take offense with the person in whom it does comes from. They are just being used like Geppetto masterfully puppeteered Pinocchio. Our problem is not with them, but with God's enemy.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ~ Eph. 6:12
Stand your ground with the belt of Truth around your waist - Truth of the above Scriptures.  For by doing so, you give the evil one a black eye!


AND more importantly...

Greater will be your victory! Greater will be your maturity and reflection of Christ-likeness.  Oh, Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, August 22, 2016

Is it Snuggle Time Yet?

Kodak and I do this "snuggle" thing every night.  I lay on the floor and "spoon" with him and I talk "sweet nothings" in his ears.

No, this is not Kodak. And that is not me.

I just got up off the floor and I was asking him if he wanted to eat.  As the words came out of my mouth, I had this revelation:

Kodak never stresses about his daily needs: food, water, going out to pee and poop. And even play time.  He knows - KNOWS - those needs will be met by me for he is totally dependent on me.

His survival is based on my faithfulness.

His provision for daily care is met by me.  He doesn't stress about whether or not I bought his food. He doesn't wonder if there will be dinner tonight.  Nope.  He rests in peace knowing I will meet all of his needs.  He will verbalize those needs.  When he needs to pee, he lets me know.  If he's hungry, he lets me know. And I, faithfully, "read" his needs and I provide.  Even if he is so patient and he doesn't give me signs, I know what he needs, wants.  And I take care of those things.


We are not any different than Kodak.  Our Father knows our needs and our wants.  His provision is already there.  I don't need to wonder if He will provide because He just does.  I don't need to wonder if we can have "snuggle time" together.  Of course, we can.  He waits patiently for me, just as Kodak does every night.  If I get caught up in something or a TV show, Kodak lays quiet. Every now and then, he "talks" to me, as if to say, "Here I am, don't forget me".

Our Father does the same thing as our faithful companions.  He gently nudges us as if to say, 'Here I am, don't forget Me".

As Kodak is totally dependent on me, I am totally dependent on my Father.

My survival is based on His faithfulness.

A W E S O M E!  

How about you?  Are you TOTALLY dependent on Abba?

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Shadows of Night

Within the night-time light, shadows play and dance
Images in black and white create a unique perspective

Eyes created to see light struggle in darkness
What is that in the corner?

The scene does not change in daylight vs. nightlight
So, what is different?

The brightness of light

In the dimness, eyes focus on the shadowing effects and coloring
No longer seeing the truth in its entirety

Secrets stay hidden
Deceptions lay in wait

The actual truth of the scene is obscured
Eye and mind work hard to comprehend details

As daylight begins to overshadow nightlight 
Clarity slowly emerges 

The hidden now exposed
Truth emerges

Truth that has been there all along
Yet not seen due to the shadowing of nightlight

Truth that has been there all along
Now stands un-mistakingly visible
For Light has come

The Light has surely come into the shadowy night of my life
The Light shows forth clarity, Truth, and 20/20 hindsight

The Light has surely come into the shadowy night of my life
The Light illuminates all that is good, just, right, pure, and holy
And in that Light, no darkness can stand and sin is exposed

Eyes no longer focused on shadowy effects and coloring
Mind and eye fully comprehend

Ever so grateful for The Light that exposed the secrets, deceptions, plots and plans
And dispelled the darkness of all that laid hidden as a snare

Only in the brilliance of Light can Truth stand
He brought me out of shadows into the fullness of Light
Out of evil’s darkness
Into the technicolor of the Glory of His SonLight

All praise, honor, and glory be to my GOD, my Father!  
Arise, shine! For your Light has come!And the Glory of The LORD is risen upon you.For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people;But, The LORD will arise over you,And His Glory will be seen upon you.       ~ Isaiah 60:1-2
Because of Him and Unto Him,