Changes

Are you caught in a time of change? Life is full of them. We can learn and grow from them all, good or bad.

How do you look at change? Life is full of them. Some changes are good, which we openly welcome. Others we find not so pleasant and are not as eager to embrace them. Regardless, in this life, there will always be changes for us to face.

This photo shows a flower going through a conversion process. It is not the more familiar process, which shows new life bursting forth, like in spring. The flower is going from a season of full glory to a dormant stage, a time to rest. The flower loses the color it had and quietly fades away. Yet it does not lose heart! Hibernation helps to protect the plant through the frigid winter season, so once again, it will thrive. During this period, the roots continue to develop and grow, enabling the flower to appear again.

We too, as humans, need to learn from the plants and the process God has put in place. When going through a change point in life it is okay, and even a necessity, to step back. God may have pulled you out for a season to reflect, to rest, study and renew oneself and emerge stronger than before.

God speaks to us through His word. Let us examine scripture verses to see what God has to say concerning this.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”

Do not fear or resist the change God has for you. Let go of the old and allow the new to emerge. God, in His way, does not want us to get too comfortable, change is a way He uses to guide us on. He wants us to embrace all He has for us. Remember, we are just passing through and the best is yet to come. Look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. God Bless You!

© Denise L. Calandra 2021

Photo available at: https://denisecalandraphotography.picfair.com

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)

God Is Our Rock

There Is No Rock Like Our God

  A rock is not a living object but is inanimate. However, this lifeless object brings pictures of understanding concerning God. The rock, in this photo, is a large mass of stone, forming a hill, with a cliff. We use the term ROCK to represent a firm foundation or support.   The Bible refers to the LORD as our ROCK! 

Let us look at what the Bible says about this.

“There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2 (NASB )

Looking at the image, we can visualize this. We can see in the picture the rock is not a pebble; it is not a small stone, or even a boulder, but it is a large foundation stone, which can withstand much, just like our God.

The Bible further states:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”     Psalm 18:2 (NKJV)

Looking closer at some of the words used in the above scripture will help us get a fuller understanding.

Rock- A rock signifies something solid and strong.

Fortress- This is a place we feel protected.

Deliverer-Is someone who can rescue from harm.

Strength- Is being firm, courageous and powerful.

Trust- To have confidence, certainty and to rely on.

Shield- An Armor used to protect.

Salvation-Is to be saved from one’s sins.

Stronghold- Someone or something has a grip on you.  This can be good or bad.

All the above words were used in Psalm 18:2 to help us to understand more about God and who He is.  In these descriptive words, God is portrayed as, strong in nature; a person who supplies shelter for protection. The one who can rescue, give courage and power. Through these, we can take confidence in Him. Furthermore, we can always rely on Him.  He shields us, saves us from our sins and will never let us go.  He is the foundation stone we can build upon and stand on.  Surely, He is worthy of our trust and adoration.  How can we look upon creation, read His word and not see that it all falls into perfect place?  Our God is our ROCK!

The Word Of Our God Stands Forever

These Black-Eyed Susan flowers are bright and pretty. God created them, for a season, for us to enjoy. They are standing strong and tall, in all their glory. Sadly, they will fade away. God likened our lives to the grass and flowers that dry up, wane, then vanish. We are reminded, in God’s word, of the shortness of human life on the earth. All life is strong and glorious for a season, but we are fleeting. He created us for His good pleasure. In our time and purpose, let us not waver. Stand strong and tall in your season, giving all glory to God.

Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.”  Ephesians 1:9 (NKJV)

This is His word, let us take comfort in knowing that the word of our God will withstand all time on earth and into eternity. While our time on earth fades, we too, if in Christ, can share eternity. Not only will His word stand forever, He does as well. Let this comfort you as you walk along your earthly journey. He will not, at any time, leave you nor forsake you!

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”                               Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

The Bible is His living word to us.  It is up to us to read, memorize, study, hide, believe, receive, claim and love it!  It will “Stand Forever.” LIVE IT!

  “The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”                                                                
Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)

Jesus’ Light Shines Bright

Thought for today . . . If you are in the tunnel of darkness, always remember there is light at the end of the tunnel. The light at the end of your dark tunnel is the living Christ. Travel through that tunnel and come to the light. Let Jesus light your path. He is the way, truth and life. Fear not for He is with you. Believe and trust.

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

Seasons come and seasons go, but God stays true through all.

As we transition from Summer to Fall, we surely become aware of this, not only by the cooler temperatures, but also by the display in colors of the leaves.  Where I live, it is a season we get to enjoy.  The leaves lose their chlorophyll, allowing the true colors to come forth.  It is also a time of harvest from all the Summer growth.  In Fall, we prepare for the season of Winter, where we rest and enjoy the reap of the harvest, while waiting for the renewal and refreshing that Spring brings.  God speaks about this in His word, in Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV,

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”

Each season has its purpose.  Every year the Summer, season of growth, closes with the change of color in the leaves, becoming Fall.  Fall is a time of change and harvest.  As the leaves fall to the ground, a yielding to the next season of Winter is taking place.  Winter is a season where we rest and enjoy the harvest.  Then, once again, Spring arrives, bringing with it a fresh newness.  It is a season of new beginning, planting and hope.  The cycle starts once again.  All the seasons have their “purpose under heaven.”

Surely, this is true in our own lives as well.  All the times and seasons have a “purpose.”  We learn; we apply and grow.  We reap; rest and trust God through it all.  Let God show you His “purpose under heaven” for you.  Then take your opportunity; share it in due season and He will bless you beyond your dreams.

If you keep God first, He will keep you first.

In All Things

Red Sky At Night

In our life, we seem to focus on the large concerns, to petition God to help us with.  This is not wrong; He wants us to come to Him, in all things.  However, in our focusing on these, we sometimes miss all the multitude of little things, God is doing.  When I first read the Bible, cover to cover, I was astonished at how many of our daily sayings were there.  These sayings I heard and used throughout my life. This, once again, solidified the fact of God’s existence and word for me.               

This picture is of a glorious sunset, painting the sky red.  Admiring this sight, I was reminded of the saying, “Red sky at night, sailors delight, Red sky in morning sailor take warning.”  I’ve heard and used this saying many times, and there it was, rooted in the scriptures.  For a new Christian, this was a discovery from God.  It may seem like a little thing, but nothing is minimal with God.  As you wait on the Lord to answer your prayers, look for all the small blessings along the way.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking He isn’t there! He surely is there, guiding your way.  Let the word and signs He gives, light your way.

He answered and said to them, when it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’”  Matthew 16:2 NKJV

He is in all things.