Renew and Refresh Your Soul

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.

For Unto Us A Child Is Born

What a peaceful, glorious, holy night. For unto us a child is born!

On a quiet night, a long time ago, a baby was born. He wasn’t just any baby, He was the Son of God, born for us.

Immanuel… “God With Us”

Christmas…”Christ Has Come”

This is the reason we celebrate. This is the coming of our Lord to save us all.

Merry Christmas and God Bless All!

© Denise L. Calandra

The Greatest Gift Of All

God Sent His Son This Is True Love

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

To God Be The Glory

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

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.

In The Beginning…

The Sun And Moon Rule

On an Alaskan cruise, out in the Pacific Ocean, I enjoyed a miraculous sight.  The sun was setting, closing the day, while the moon was rising, beginning the night watch.  My thoughts went to Genesis 1:1 NKJV,

                “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

As we read further into the story of creation, I realized the truth of this account as I gazed upon the sky.   In Genesis 1:16 NKJV we read,

“Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.  He made the stars also.”

Simply put, I was in awe and wonder of our God, who did this in the beginning, and faithfully continues to do this daily.  How can we think that there is no proof God exists?  Everywhere we look; we see that He is real, His creation and His word reveal this to us continually; they coincide. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, this truly is the word of God. 

“From the rising of the sun to its going down
  The Lord’s name is to be praised.”
Psalm 113:3 NKJV

“Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!” Psalm 148:3 NKJV

He is Lord

On a recent visit to our hometown, my husband and I took a walk. Along the path we came upon several sections of the sidewalk with interesting engravings. One inscription said, “Jesus Saves.” Another section said, “Jesus is Lord.” How uplifting this was to us! Even on a simple walk we were reminded of the glory of Jesus.

As I look at nature to see God’s word come alive, I also see this in the things of the world. It is always there no matter where you go or what you see, whether in the heavens above, or on the earth below, there is always the reminder, Jesus Is Lord!

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV

Truly it is engraved in stone forever!

His Mercies Are New Each Morning

God Is The Master Artist

On a recent trip to Lake Placid, NY my husband, and I were blessed to have a hotel room with an amazing view. Every morning God painted a different design for us to enjoy. Each design was more stunning than the one before. The scripture that came to mind was “His mercies are new every morning.” It was so awesome to see God’s word come alive in His creation. It is The Living Word! I look for God and His truth in all things. Reflecting on how he gives us a new day, start, and another chance, is a special reminder of God’s faithfulness. Truly, he loves us and is merciful to us. Creation’s beauty offers you entrance into God’s mercies day to day. Take His fresh mercies every day and soar.