Monday, August 30, 2010
On the way to work, I noticed an unusual tree - or so I thought. Some of the autumn leaves were an orange-red while other branches held deep red-burgundy leaves. It was stunningly beautiful. (Please see the attached image).
I decided to go explore the next free day I had but before the colors were gone. Were the different leaves all growing on the same tree or were there two different trees growing entwined, intermingling with each other to create a very interesting effect?
I thought of Moses long ago:
Now Moses was keeping the flock...and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and Moses looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush.
How do you handle the burning bushes in your life - you know the places where God wants you to stop and listen to Him?
Do you stop a minute, quickly listen and then scurry along your busy way, never consciously realizing that it was GOD speaking? Or do you not stop at all but keep on your way - never seeing, never hearing, never heeding - GOD!
May we see, stop and listen. Then may we obey what we have heard.
Heavenly Father, please make your Presence known to me. Open my eyes daily to see - YOU and my ears to hear - YOU. Please soften my heart so I turn aside to - YOU.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Have you ever heard this quote:
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” - Author unknown.
Sometimes in life, don’t you just wish you could start over? Maybe in a relationship or in a circumstance?
We know we can’t really start over but we can, in a sense, wipe the slate clean with, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”
Those are big words to say - almost the biggest in the whole world.
Only when forgiveness is sought and given can one truly ‘start over’ - but it is possible!
Try it - see if you can say those big words to someone who needs to hear them from you. See what happens - just maybe there will be a new ending to a story that seemed to never change. Go for it!
So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23
Heavenly Father - if there is someone with whom I need to make peace before I come to You, please give me the courage to make things right - even if that means saying, “I’m sorry.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Recently frustration and anger seemed overwhelming. I struggled with my emotions, trying to make sense of them, trying to get them under control.
The harder I fought to control them, the more those feelings ran rampant, defeating any good thought I’d try to use to control them.
At the height my turbulent feelings, I had agreed to go out to get a bite to eat with a friend. I asked her what she did when such strong emotions threatened.
She smiled and said, “Put them on the train, honey.”
Well, of course!
She went on to explain that one night, while trying to sleep, she was so anxious that sleep would not come. In the distance, she could hear a train coming. Since nothing else had worked to alleviate those anxious thoughts, she decided to put them on the train which would carry those thoughts off into the dark night, never to return.
Scripture tells us to do something similar:
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22
The next time…let’s put those anxieties on the train which, I am thinking, goes right to the throne of God. He will give peace.
Heavenly Father, when emotions want to roll over me and I feel that I am drowning in them, please take each situation which is causing the problem and show me clearly what do to about each - even if means seeming to do nothing except to rest it in Your hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Look around - do you have a Bible for almost every room in your house…and in your car? By your bedside are there books pertaining to spiritual growth? By the breakfast table is there a stack of devotional books you religiously read?
This picture reminds me of a computer which continually ‘eats’ data. Continuously being fed, it accumulates piece after piece of information. Yet without a human to put the pieces of information together in a usable form and to use the data…it is just data.
God uses so many ways to give us data (speak to us) - through nature, through His Word, through circumstances, through other people, through our own thoughts. Yet, unless we, as a liviing human beings, take what God says, apply it to our lives and do what He gives us to do, it is just data…data…data - just sitting there waiting to be used.
Be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in the mirror, for he observes himself and goes away and forgets what he was like. James 1:22
Heavenly Father, please keep me from piling up data and never putting it into productive use. Please help me enter data, do the data and then go on to enter more data. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday, August 2, 2010
When the wind blows in your life, do you sway in the breeze or do you topple over?
You may be a beautiful tree with lush, green leaves, at your prime. Yet, how deep are your roots so when the gales begin to blow, you remain standing in the strength God gives?
You may have delightful pink flowery blossoms on your branches but how deep are your roots to sustain you in a wind?
The godly have deep roots or, in another translation, The root of the righteous will never be moved. Proverbs 12:3
Well, that’s clear. We want to be godly. We want deep roots. We want to be found standing victoriously no matter what comes our way.
How do we develop deep roots?
For this reason I BOW MY KNEES before the Father, from whom every family on heaven or earth are named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner-man and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you BEING ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE, may have the power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that you may be FILLED WITH ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD. Ephesians 3:17
As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord so live in Him ROOTED and built up in Him and established in the faith just as you were taught. Colossians 2:7
Growing roots could take a lifetime, don’t you think? Let’s keep on!
Heavenly Father, thank You that Christ dwells in my heart through faith and that my roots can grow down deep into Him. I want the Life He offers, filled to overflowing with the Love of God, with God Himself. In Jesus’ name. Amen.