Physical Reflections and Spiritual Reflections

Reflections

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror, for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”  James 1: 22-24 (NKJV)

There are physical reflections and there are spiritual reflections, for us to see.  Let’s look at the physical aspect of reflections.  We use mirrors to capture the physical aspect. Mirrors are used to reflect an image. When we look in a mirror, we might not always like the image that is staring back at us. We physically can see this. There might be some things that we can do to change our picture.  Perhaps, we need to smile.  A good brushing of the teeth could help. You might consider grooming your hair nicer.  Let us not forget a little make-up to the rescue! All of these affect our outside appearance. Although this isn’t the most important factor about us, it can help us to be more confident.  It is our storefront!

Now we want to focus on the spiritual reflection, which is the more important part of us; the actual product of the storefront. The Bible speaks to us about the inner self, the person we truly are. This is harder to be seen.  It can encompass what we believe, our thoughts, our desires, our reactions, our nature itself, for good or bad.  Although I say it is harder to be seen, believe me, what is on the inside, is reflected outward for others to see. What are you showing?

God’s mirror reflects the spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects of our life.  We use a glass mirror to show us our outside appearance.  What can we use to show us the spiritual reflection?  We need to use God’s Word, The Bible, as our inner mirror.  Think about this, God’s word is a guide for us to live by.  Are we learning and living what God teaches us in His word?  As it says in James 1: 22-24, we cannot just read the word; we must also do or live what it says, as well.  

 What are some of the reflections we should be able to see?  Let us look at Galatians 5: 22-25(NKJV): 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

How is your spiritual mirror?  Are you reflecting what is in God’s word?  We need to read, study and learn God’s ways.  Let the fruit of His Spirit flow in and out of you.  His light will beam forth; and reflect from you to others.   

He Will Not Leave You Nor Forsake You

Be Strong And Of Good Courage

Do you ever feel alone, afraid, helpless, hopeless, sad, stressed, discouraged or like giving up?  Sadly, this list could go on and on and on.  At times in life, we all can feel these emotions.  This isn’t necessarily bad; we are human.  However, when these feelings don’t go away quickly, and they seem to be overtaking us, is when they can become a problem or stronghold in our life.

In this photo, the tree is standing strong.  The branch is outstretched with the leaves hanging on.  The leaves don’t appear to be struggling, they appear to be relaxed and calm, we might say, trusting.  The branch reaches out, knowing it is being held up by the strength of the tree.  Again, we can use this as an example to show the trusting relationship needed for this to take place.  Now think about us and how this is a representation of us and our relationship to God. 

God is our strength. Do we allow Him to be it?  How are you doing?  Are you letting God be your strength?  Are you calmly resting and trusting Him in your life situation right now?  OR ARE YOU A STRESSED WRECK?                                                 

God tells us in Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV): 

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”

In the background of this photo, the lighthouse stands with the light on.  This stands for God and His ever-loving steadfastness in our life.  The water is calmed for us by our God.                                                                                                             

 He tells us in Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV):

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

He tells us to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid.  God is always there watching over us.  Through everything, we can trust Him to light our way. We might feel like we are alone, but we are not, so don’t try to do it by yourself.  God did not at any time, intend for us to be on our own.  We read this fact all throughout scripture.  We are His creation, and He cares for us.  Let Him take the proper place in your life.  Together, you can withstand all the storms of life.  Remember, “He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

God Is Graceful And Glorious

The Lord God Is A Sun And Shield

While driving home, one autumn day, there was an especially beautiful display of color and light.  God’s glory was shining forth. The sun was radiant, as it was nearing time to set for the day.  The color of the leaves lit up, glowing brightly from the sun shining on them. It was an awesome show from God.

I was getting near this special spot, known as the point, on The Saint Lawrence River, where the sunsets are just amazing to behold.  That day’s sunset was extremely effulgent. Of course, I pulled over and just had to try to capture its glowing beauty. 

This sunset trumpets God’s glory and grace.  Every day the sun rises and the sun sets.  Faithfully, this occurs day after day, as designed by God.  Each day is gracefully given to us from God, Himself! What a wonderful gift.  We give Him all the glory.

The bible verse from Psalm 84:11 (NKJV) tells us:

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

God speaks to us through His word and creation.  We see this is true by looking at the picture of the sunset; He created.  Then we read about it in God’s word, both working together for His grace and glory. Surely, we can take comfort in believing Him when He says, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”  Walk in His ways and He will be with you. 

Delight In The Lord

A Wonderfully Colorful Pathway

God is a colorful designer. This painted scene, is from a crisp autumn day, near The Saint Lawrence River. We delight in the wonder of the Lord, as His word tells us to in Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

This verse tells us to delight in the Lord. We can take joy, pleasure, contentment, happiness and so much more in our Lord.  Yes, we have every reason to delight in God. He is ever caring, in every area of our life. What a peaceful time it is to walk along this splendid pathway of color, reflecting on the fact that God created it for us to enjoy.  We see a glimpse of His unending creative beauty.  

Have you ever considered that God is delighting in you as well? Further along in Psalm 37, verse 23 we read just that.

“The steps of man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”     Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)

When we let God guide our way, then He delights in us!  What a comfort to know He truly is concerned about us.  He cares for us!  Let Him direct your steps, so He may be delighted with you.  Take time to notice the beauty along your path in life. You only go through once.  Delight in the Lord!

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes To God My Help

My Help Comes From God

The cruise ship stopped in Juneau, Alaska, after all this was an Alaskan cruise.  For most of the day, we explored the Juneau Mendenhall Glacier Park, which was awesome.  It almost appeared fake; the beauty was surreal.  Later that day, having a short time left before the ship was to set sail again, my husband and I decided to go up the tram in Juneau.   The view of The Alaskan Coastal Mountain range was overwhelming in stature, simply put; it was magnificent to behold! In seeing God’s amazing creation, the scripture that came to my mind was:

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1-2 (KJV)

This area was pure untouched nature.  I would have loved to explore the entire region; sadly, there was not enough time.  However, in the short time that I was there, it made a lasting impression on me.  He made such an amazing place, as the world, for us to live on; as well as giving us His inspired word, for us to live by.  I know that He cares for us and will not at any time leave us nor forsake us.  He at no time wanted us to be separated from Him.

In His word, The Bible, God reassures us that He is our help.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”              Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

Whatever you are going through at this time, if your circumstances seem overwhelming and impossible, if you are in a dark, low place, Look Up To The Hills From Whence Comes Your Help!   You are not alone.

Be Still And Know That I Am God

Peaceful Winter Day

Up in the North Country of New York, we get to experience all four seasons.  Some places in the world do not get seasonal changes.  It can be nice to observe these seasonal transitions, as each time of year, has its own beauty.

The photo featured in this blog is during the season of winter.  Winter in the north is very long, cold and snowy.  Some winters are harsher than others. It can be difficult to get through to Spring. Many people choose to go to a warmer climate during the winter months. They are known as “Snowbirds. “

Although winter is not my favorite season, it does have some beauty to it that can be refreshing.  I look at winter as a time to rest and be renewed.  The weather causes us to do more inside activities.  We can think about it as a time out.  In God’s plan, things are dormant or in a state of hibernation during winter.  They are in a waiting pattern; resting and replenishing.  We need to learn from their example.  Taking time to study, learn and reflect is a good way to spend the time.   

God’s word tells us in Psalm 46:10(NKJV) to:

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Each season has a purpose for us.  A cold winter day, with freshly falling snow, has a peaceful, serenity to it.  The photo of the frozen river on a freezing, yet sunny day, illustrates this well.   Take a time out. Be Still and get to know God!

God’s Harvest

The Grain Of Wheat Dies And Produces Much Grain

I live in a small rural “city” in Northern New York.  I quote “city” not to diminish it, but growing up on Long Island, about 45 miles away from New York City; I view a city very different!   Just a few minutes out of town, there is rural farmland.  We also enjoy having a large Amish Community among us.

While traveling across the back roads one day, my husband and I came across this Amish farm of winter wheat. It was harvested and stacked in shocks.  The Amish use a machine that is called a binder to harvest the wheat. They hitch the binder up to their horses to do the job.  They do not use modern machinery. How they live is interesting, and the field of wheat sparked my curiosity.  Of course, I had to get a picture. 

Photos inspire me to think of God’s word and relate it to His creation.  Planting, harvesting and sowing are all a part of His plan.  The Bible verse I used for this photo is John 12:24.

“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.’”   John 12:24 (NKJV) 

In the verse, John 12:24, we can see, metaphorically, that Jesus is the seed that fell to the ground and died. He, even so, rose up to bring about an abundant harvest, for the glory of God.   Through His sacrificial death, eternal life was made possible. This is the way God planned to redeem a lost world, through Christ, Himself, the perfect seed dying and rising again.  We, who believe, are admonished to die to ourselves and live for Christ.  By God’s grace, we can become a fruitful branch that produces a harvest for our Lord. 

God not only shows us His spiritual provision for us, but His provision for our human needs as well.  He cares for us through the planting, growing, and harvesting of the food we need to sustain our life.  The farmer knows the cycle well.  The picture of the field of winter wheat portrays the food, we need to eat here on earth, while John 12:24 speaks to us about our spiritual needs.  Truly, this depicts God’s Harvest!  

Every Good And Perfect Gift Is From Above

Every Good And Perfect Gift Is From God Above

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”    (James 1:17) NKJV

Reflecting on God’s word, in James 1:17, we are reminded that every good and perfect gift is from the Father of lights.  As I contemplate this photo, I can sense these words come alive.  I can feel His warmth, as God sends His love and light down on us, illuminating our way.  Let us ponder this verse throughout the day, knowing that our Father desires to bless us with every good thing.  Let His light radiate for all to see. God is love!  He is always with you.

Let The Rivers Of Living Water Flow

A Wonderfully, Refreshing Surprise

At the end of a family hike was this stunning waterfall. If you were never there, it is a wonderfully, refreshing surprise! A rewarding end to an adventurous day.

On our path in Christian life, we must continue along, pressing forward to the prize. This is stated in Philippians 3:14 (NKJV):

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Then the rivers of living water will flow.

“He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of His heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 (NKJV)