Trusting Him

16 12 2013

Tree of lifeTrust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7

Faith is the evidence of things not seen. This calls us to imagine our situation in a blessed condition even when things may appear to be so far from our prayer. We have to continue to say, act and move forward according to God’s promises – even when the bank balance is low, the doctors report is negative, a broken heart or other disappointments may come our way. Even when we don’t understand, we have to have faith and trust that He is working it out for our good. Our faith muscles grow during time of challenge.  It is a time to move closer to the Savior.  Moving closer with prayer and fasting, studying the scriptures about His love and His expectations for His children.  We may be tempted to withdraw and to lose faith but His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Move closer, seek His presence.  Close to Him, you can hear His leading.  You can experience His comfort and His love.  You can experience His strength.  Our faithful Father is working on our behalf and He promises to be with us every step of the way. Our Trust is in the Lord.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1





Experience His Peace

13 12 2013

Sparkling Fallview

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

We can have peace that surpasses all understanding. It is a peace that comes from God. He can provide the serenity and a calm that does not depend on the circumstance of the day. Whatever we are facing, we can turn to the Lord in prayer. We can share what is in our hearts and leave our concerns in His powerful and capable hands. With thanksgiving, we can give praises to God for all that He has done. Our passage for today reminds us that after prayer and thanksgiving, we CAN experience God’s peace. His peace can arrive in the midst of a storm, in the middle of sickness and even when our hearts are broken. We can be thankful for this promise. It gives us hope and builds our faith that peace is not elusive and beyond what we can have now. His peace is transformative. It takes our level of thinking that may be filled with anxiety, worry and angst and creates serenity that is based in faith and His love. We need His peace in our hearts so that we can share it with the world. It can start in me today. Experience His peace.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 MSG





Endless Love

12 12 2013

 

Then the winChristmas Wreathd blows on it, and it is gone—
no one s
ees it again.
But for those who honor the Lord, his love lasts forever,
and his goodness endures for all generations
of those who are true to his covenant
and who faithfully obey his commands.  Psalms 103:16-18

 

Christmas wreaths are familiar symbols of the holiday season.  Decorated evergreen wreaths formed in a circular shape have no beginning and have no end.  In the tradition of Christmas, wreaths represent God’s endless love for us.  They represent the consistent, unconditional, full complete unending love of God.  We will see many wreaths in the coming days.  Each one is a reminder of God and His eternal existence and His eternal love for us. Each sighting will be an opportunity to take a moment to remind ourselves that God loves us and that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ for our sins. He loves us and seeks to be in relationship with us.  He loves us and He seeks for us to come close.  We thank God for the blessing of His love and for the Gift of Jesus.  We are thankful for the Christmas season that gives us a chance to celebrate the gift of His endless love for us. 

 Wreath imagesQ0ZCS1EO

The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever

    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!  Psalm 103:16-18





To Be With Us

10 12 2013

Newport_Sun_Set3

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

God’s promise to be with us gives us confidence. It is not a promise of ease or unfettered progress but it gives us so much more. He promised to be with us. He gave His unfailing Word that His presence would be with us always. His presence is a place of peace, joy and strength. In His Company, we can receive renewal, strength and confidence. We can be reassured to be strong and courageous. We can thrive. With Him, fear has no place. We can leave our anxiety behind. We can shed anything that hinders our walking fully in our purpose. In His presence we can be healed of the past and look focused toward the future. Growing, maturing, and completing the work of our hands. He promised to be with us. His presence in my life is sufficient for me.

Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG





The Work in Us

9 12 2013

DSCF0340And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

As long as we are still on our life’s journey, we continue to be a work in progress. Each day is a chance to grow and mature in the way we think and feel. I am thankful for the journey and the Lord’s promise to continue His work in us. His Holy Spirit continues to reveal things in our hearts and minds that need to change and to mature. Places where we have stored up resentment or hard feelings come into the spotlight and we are compelled to respond. Jesus is asking us to release our hearts to Him and choose to respond with love, forgiveness and a higher path in Him. We may want to hesitate to let go of things that may have taken up residence in our lives but God is able to help us to clean them out and to replace those feelings with love, peace and healing. In His hands, He can take any situation and transform it into something with beauty that gives us strength for the road ahead. As the New Year approaches we can consider what things Jesus is showing to us about ourselves that need to change. We can take time now during this advent season to prepare our hearts for celebrating our Savior’s birth. We can prepare with repentance, we can seek reconciliation and we can forgive. We can release our hearts to Him and let Him continue the work of love in our lives.





Heartwork

6 12 2013

YDSCF0547ou intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 NIV
Our hearts are designed to be healthy full of peace and love. It is a large vital muscle within us that gets stronger as we extend our love and compassion to others. Acts of love circulate wellness throughout our being and emanate out to God’s people – using kind and encouraging words and extending genuine concern to those who are in need. We can keep our hearts healthy being careful not to let unforgiveness, jealousy and other blockages that create harm to our bodies and to the Body of Christ. Some of our life experiences seem to be designed to do irreparable harm – betrayal, abuse, disappointment. Thanks be to God that our hearts and experiences in the hands of the Savior can turn what the enemy planned for evil into good. Our passage today is from the familiar account of Joseph’s brothers who left him to die in a pit because of their jealousy against him. What an unthinkable act of betrayal. Joseph when encountering his brothers later did not seek vengeance but found forgiveness in his heart seeing the larger picture and how God turned this evil act into something good. I believe God is able to do this for each of us who may need the heart work of forgiveness and the healing of fresh wounds and scars. God is the ultimate heart surgeon, who can complete the work when we place our heart and our will in His hands.





Wise Men Still Seek Him

4 12 2013

West Angeles COGIC

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2

The wise men saw the star indicating the birth of Jesus. Their response was to begin their journey to seek Him in order to worship Him. The news that the Savior is here still requires a personal response from each of us. Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly. We might be tempted to think of abundance in terms of things but life walking with the Lord and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are so much more – peace, joy, gentleness, love, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control and long-suffering. These are qualities so scarce in our society today. This Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ let us turn our hearts to Him and share His purpose for coming with the World. Let us seek Him daily in our lives and worship Him.