It was a pleasure to experience this awe-inspiring scene one chilly winter day. Despite the cold, barren setting, the brightly shining sun, gave out such a sense of warmth. Even though it was a snowy wintry day, the sun illuminated the entire area, covering it with a blazing glow. It appeared to be setting the trees on fire. It was an extraordinary sight to behold! I call it, “A Sunny Snowy Day.” The scripture in 1 Peter 1:7 (NKJV) tells us:
“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.”
How is your faith? Are you in a struggle? Are you fighting through various trials and temptations? Does the light seem to be going out or flickering? In James 1:2-4 (NKJV) we get inspiration to carry on.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Do we count it all JOY? Are we pressing on to the prize? We do not always see the working of God in us to grow our faith. He may use our situations, in life, to help us realize what really matters. Your FAITH is more precious than GOLD! Keep your faith, let it shine forth in all things, not just the good times. Your surroundings and situations should not matter.
Look unto Him, the “SON”. The “SON” is always there, no matter what season or place we are, in our life. As a child of God, we need to let Him be our refiner, purifier, and polisher. Let God’s perfect design for you shine forth. Let your FAITH in the SON glow. May God set us on fire, as He completes His work in each of us!
People tend to get excited when they see a rainbow. “Hey, look there is a rainbow!” “Wow, I just saw a rainbow!” “That rainbow was so awesome!” These might be some thoughts exclaimed upon seeing a rainbow. Have you ever wondered why it brings this reaction? Yes, it is a beautiful, colorful and wonderful sight to envision. However, maybe the reason we get such delight goes much deeper than this. Perhaps, deep inside we know it is a reminder of God’s love and promise to us.
“I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13 (NKJV)
Let us remember God created us in the beginning, in His image. Sadly, it didn’t take long for mankind to sin and fall from God’s grace. God was repentant, sorry, that He had created us.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:5-9 (NKJV)
God decided to destroy all, through a flood covering the whole earth. Thankfully, Noah found grace in His sight. God allowed Noah and his family to be saved, by entering the ark. This became their home and provision for safety throughout the flood. When the waters receded and land was visible, Noah and his family got off the ark. God made a beautiful rainbow in the sky. He said this was a sign of His promise to mankind, which is not to destroy the earth by a flood again.
“Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud.” Genesis 9: 11-14 (NKJV)
Upon seeing a rainbow, we are mindful of God’s love and grace. We also are reminded of God’s promise to mankind. Let us realize the rainbow goes all the way back to the flood with Noah. The fact that the rainbow is still in existence today shows us that God and His word are real! God keeps His word and can be trusted. This truly is a joy and comfort. What a colorful promise indeed! So, the next time you are enjoying the sight of a rainbow, never forget God’s promise and love for us. Honestly, this is the pot of gold. It is greater than anything the gold could ever buy. Rejoice and be glad. Enjoy!
It is the winter, a season of cold and dreary weather. The trees are bare and empty. However, they still reach out their branches to heaven and stand strong. God is shining through; His love and light are ever radiating. Whatever season you are in, in your life, or no matter what situation you are going through, you are never alone. God says He is the vine and we are the branches. He also tells us that we need to abide in Him for us to bear fruit, to have success. If we abide in Him, He abides in us. It is this working together, in the right relationship, that produces a good result. He is faithful and will be with you. His love and light enfold all who welcome Him. In the verse John 15:5, it says without Him we can do nothing. We need Him and He wants us.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5(NKJV)
Do not let this get you down that you can do nothing without Him. I would not want to be without Him because He is our sustainer. God does not leave us helpless. The Bible tells us that we can do all things through Him. He is our hope, and that should comfort and strengthen us.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Whatever you face in life, in this world, keep your eyes on The Cross. With the Cross before us, we can never lose. Because of God’s Grace, we have Hope.
Listed below are some scriptures that tell us this truth.
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Romans 5:8 (NKJV) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 Peter 2:24-25 (NKJV) “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
John 3:16 (NKJV) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Matthew 10:38 (NKJV) “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Matthew 11:28 (NKJV) “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 16:24 (NKJV) “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'”
Keep your eyes looking up to where your help comes from. There is hope and grace in Christ.
Romans 15:13 (NKJV) “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.”
Take the time, be still or dormant for a season, then the refreshing will come.
Many of us would not consider the winter season to be refreshing, as said in Proverbs 25:13. Living in the north country of New York, I had to learn to deal with winter. Winter is the longest season up here. It can be extremely cold, very snowy and yes quite long to endure. Since most of the time is spent indoors, using it wisely for a season of refreshing, or better said as renewing, is helpful. Actually, this is a scriptural principle.
Ephesians 4:23(NKJV) tells us, “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
There are the seasons of busyness in our lives, all throughout our years. Taking a “time out”, being dormant or still is needed to grow and gain renewed strength. Let us learn from nature around us.
John 12:24(NKJV) “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
The pictures of the grass, wheat, and plant appear to be dead or barren. The river is frozen; it’s very still. They all seem to be in a state of uselessness, when really, they are resting and refueling for the next season of fruitfulness. Whether a beautiful flower to behold or a delicious fruit to eat, they are busy preparing to emerge again. It is hard work, and the dormant season is necessary. They are being still, resting so they can be revived once again.
Do we take time to be still? God tells us in His word,
“Be still, and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10 (NKJV).
I look at winter as a “time out”; a time to reflect, prepare and refuel. We also can be ready for the busier seasons ahead. A day of lightly glittering, quietly falling snow can be peaceful and cleansing. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Being still and enjoying the wonderful beauty winter has to offer can help bring renewal and refreshment to your soul.
Looking out from Whiteface Mountain, we see hills, valleys, waterways; what an endless display of natural beauty. It can bring peacefulness to us, as we behold such grandeur. We clearly can see all the landscape in front of us. Thinking forward, at this point, consider that we cannot see into our future and know all that will befall us; as we travel on our life journey. However, we can carefully consider and contemplate the paths and choices that are ahead. Thoughtfully pondering the situations before us, can help us to choose wisely our direction.
Yes, a “New Year” is once again upon us; actually, it is in full swing. Sometimes we think about it as a time for a new beginning, a fresh start, or a change of some kind. We might reflect on the past and ponder as we consider our future. Thoughts about what was helpful in the last year may go through our minds. We also, might question ourselves about what wasn’t so useful. We can contemplate about both aspects; learn from them and make any changes that can be a benefit to us. We may even make a “New Year Resolution,” that many times we do not keep. Maybe, it has already been broken!
There are many paths, roads, situations, challenges and choices that lie ahead for us this year. Let’s look at what some of these paths might be like. Use these photos, below, to visualize some situations we may encounter.
Some paths are leisurely and pleasant.
Some paths or circumstances are challenging.
Other paths may be choppy or unsure.
There are ups and downs, highs and lows, along with twists and turns.
Some paths are clearly marked, others are not. Some are long, some lonely and dark. Other ways are busy and crowded and some definitely connect one place to another.
Paths have a destination, some lead us to safety, others don’t. Some are lighted along the way, others are not. There can be hope at the end of certain roads, if we choose wisely the road to take.
As we can see many things await us each year. Some will be very welcome; others may not. There will be countless choices and decisions for us to consider. It can be difficult or complicated as we navigate our way through the trials of life. We all will need great wisdom to help and guide us along. I go to God’s word, The Bible, and see what the scriptures say. There is a verse for every situation. My thoughts and reasons for this blog is to help us to thoughtfully consider and ponder what lies ahead and prayerfully contemplate wise choices. May God Bless you all this year ahead. Have a wonderful journey.
Below are a few verses to help. Go search for yourself, there is an endless supply of wisdom available to you. Seek the words of the Lord. Happy travels.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills-From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1 NKJV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 NIV
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 NKJV
“Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27 NKJV
The glowing warmth and radiance of God reaches down to us. This is a marvel to behold! Let us consider how glorious heaven must be. In the picture, we capture a burst of God, just a glimpse of His grandeur, which He allows us to see. The glory of God is glowing brightly for us to grasp. God is yearning for us to turn our hearts toward Him. We, as humans, have fallen from grace. We need a Savior! Although we may feel the need to hide ourselves from God, He still reaches out to us. The rays radiating toward us symbolize God extending His love and forgiveness. How does He do this? He does this by sending His son to earth.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16(NKJV)
Let us take a moment and turn this verse over in our thoughts. We are in great need and God, in His love for us, sent the greatest gift of all, His only Son. He gave Himself fully to take the punishment we deserve. This is Christmas, Christ with us. As we give our loved one’s gifts, let us also lift our eyes and hearts to Him. God gave His Son as the greatest gift to us. Therefore, we can give Him our hearts, as our finest gift to Him. This is the true gift exchange.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
While taking this photo, through the trees, I was trying to capture a feeling of depth and continuance. The opening in the trees forms a heart shape. It draws you into a continuity that stretches quite far. There is a ceaseless depth to God, which stretches into eternity. Looking through these trees, is like looking into the heart of God.
Thankfulness came upon me as I pondered the awe of God and His unending love for us. This led me to consider the thoughts of being appreciative and giving thanks. What is being thankful? I think it is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for someone or something. Being thankful should not be just a one-day event. Thankfulness really is a state of mind. Perhaps, looking deeper, we can even say it is our very being. In the Bible, God tells us to be thankful.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18(NKJV)
It very explicitly says, “In everything give thanks!” This doesn’t mean, in some things, but EVERYTHING or better yet, IN ALL THINGS! Let us truly give thanks to God for all He has done and is doing for us; let it not last only for “Thanksgiving Day” but be continuous without ceasing. Enjoy and God Bless you and your families as we reflect on our blessings this Thanksgiving Day.
Be renewed and be refreshed; God is always there. He is continually flowing in us, taking care of our being. This photo is of a peaceful river with lovely green foliage thriving all around. Along the riverside are purple flowering plants in bloom. Looking at the setting in this picture brings about a relaxing sensation, a feeling that all is well and taken care of.
“The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)
The river is a ceaseless source of flowing water, which shows the perpetual love and out pouring from God to us. Both are the seedbed for our refreshment and nourishment. The richness of the river and its surroundings, reflect this. Our lives, as well, are deeply enriched by His constant renewing and refreshing, which He desires for us.
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24 (NKJV)
Our Heavenly Father is the living God, our everlasting refreshment and flowing spiritual guide. He is the director of our life. Read, reflect, meditate on His word; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Let Him, ever be your nourishment. To God be the glory!