In Everything Give Thanks

Looking Into The Heart Of God

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.

© Denise Calandra

God Continually Renews And Refreshes

You Shall Be Like A Watered Garden

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!                             

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. 

Trust In The Lord, With All Your Heart, His GPS Is Best

Let Him Direct Your Path

In life, we travel across many paths.  Sometimes we know where they lead, at other times we do not.  It might seem like we are blindly wandering about out in the wilderness; the way to go is very unclear to us.  What can we do?  Before we get into what we can do, let’s look at the picture that is featured today.  It illustrates a wilderness, with a pathway in the midst, with a glimmer of light to guide the way.

God tells us in His word what we should do.  He tells us to trust Him.

“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)

We might have an idea about where we want to go, but we don’t know how to get there.  Many obstacles may be in our path preventing us, or perhaps; God has other plans.  We always need to pray for God’s will, not our own, and let Him direct our path.We must rid ourselves of our personal thoughts and desires and trust Him, with all our heart, to lead us down the correct path, even if that path is not clear.  That’s where trust comes in. 

Let’s compare this to a GPS.  One way we use the GPS is to have it on, just to make sure, but we already know where we are going.  Sometimes it might tell us to go a different way than we already know.  Then we can choose which way we want to go, but we know we will get there.  You are thankful for the help, but still in control.

Another way to use the GPS is when you have no idea where you are going at all.  You are totally dependent on the directions being given to you on the device. Take the next exit, turn left, then right, etc., etc.  It seems like you are going in circles, you have no clue, but then you hear, take the next left; your destination is on the right.  You have arrived.  You are relieved and thankful to make your destination, without getting lost.  However, for a short period of time, you were not in control; you had to trust and rely completely on the directions you were being given.  This can be stressful.

Now, let’s put this into a spiritual perspective.  We really are not in control; although we like to think that we are. We must depend on God’s word and Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. God wants us to trust Him totally, in all things.  This should not cause us stress, but should give us great peace and comfort. In life, our path may seem difficult or unclear, but when we trust God to lead us, we can be sure that we will be guided divinely.  We must put our trust in Him.  Oh Lord, help us not to lean on our own understanding.  May we acknowledge you in all our ways.  Please direct our paths.  God’s GPS is always best!

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!